Migrate Active Directory from 2003 R2 to 2008 R2 Server Core

This blog will step you through the process of migrating your Active Directory domain controllers from Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 to Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core. Server Core is an excellent choice for dedicated domain controllers since it requires less maintenance, has a reduced attack surface, requires less management, and will run on less hardware. Lots of people are scared off by Server Core because there's no GUI. To be honest with you, it's a blessing in disguise since you shouldn't Read more [...]

How to create an Administrative shortcut.

As most systems administrators know, you should log into your computer as a normal domain user who does not have elevated privileges in your Active Directory domain and only run administrative programs with elevated privileges when necessary. You could hold down shift, right click the shortcut, and select “Run as different user” to run a program as a user who has elevated privileges in your Active Directory domain, but there’s an easier, more efficient way to run programs that always require Read more [...]

System Optimization Tool

One of the system optimization tools I periodically run on my computers is CCleaner. It is a freeware program from www.ccleaner.com. During the installation of CCleaner, I take the following options, but this is more of a personal preference than a requirement: When I run the actual program, I choose the options shown in the image on the right and I don’t make any changes to the Applications tab. For new users, I would recommend taking a look at the help section of the CCleaner website to determine Read more [...]

System State Backup Failures with Symantec Backup Exec

Problem: You receive the message: "The job failed with the following error: A failure occurred accessing the object list." in your backup job notification email when attempting to backup the system state of a Windows 2008 Server with Symantec Backup Exec. The actual error from the backup server job is: “e000fedd - A failure occurred accessing the object list.” and the error code is: “V-79-57344-65245”. Solution: This error is fairly generic and can be caused by several different problems; Read more [...]

Initial Configuration of a WatchGuard Firebox X750e

The Instructions listed below are designed to assist you in performing a basic configuration on a new (out of the box) WatchGuard Firebox X750e: Record the serial number of the Firebox: _____________________________ Log into http://www.watchguard.com/activate and register the firewall. Save the appliance feature key that is provided during the registration process to a text file. It should look similar to this: Serial Number: XXXXXXXXXX License ID: XXXXXXXXXX Name: XXXXXXXXXX Model: Read more [...]

Remove the header row from a SharePoint list.

Problem: You’ve added a picture column to your SharePoint “Announcements” list and you now have an unwanted column header that shows up. You only want to remove the column header for specific lists. This method can be used to hide the column header on any individual list. Solution: Create a custom view style that doesn't show the header row and can easily be applied to individual SharePoint list views. As a best practice, make a copy of the "VWSTYLES.XML" file located in “C:\Program Read more [...]

Associate SharePoint Documents with Application Specific Icons

Problem: You can’t tell what types of documents are in a SharePoint document library because they show a blank icon: Solution: Add an icon for the document types. For pdf’s, download the small 17x17 pdf icon from Adobe: http://www.adobe.com/misc/linking.html. Save the icon to the “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATEIMAGES” folder on your SharePoint server. As a best practice, make a copy of the "DOCICON.XML" file located in “c:\Program Read more [...]

Problem opening pdf documents in Windows 7

Problem: When attempting to open a pdf document by clicking on a hyperlink from within Windows 7, you receive a blank error message with Adobe Reader in the title and a question mark for the error message. Clicking on the OK button only displays a blank web page and does not open the pdf document. Solution: Installing all the available updates from the Adobe Reader 9 help menu > check for updates sub-menu option appears to resolve this issue. µ Read more [...]

Remotely Manage Hyper-V from Windows 7

Problem: You need to remotely manage your Hyper-V server from Windows 7. Solution: Download and install the “Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7” from Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d&displaylang=en Enable the Hyper-V Tools from “Conrtol Panel>Programs>Turn Windows features on or off” menu: You should now have a "Hyper-V Manager" shortcut on your Administrative Tools menu. µ Read more [...]

Creating a Shared Mailbox in Exchange 2007

Open Exchange Management Shell and execute the New-Mailbox cmdlet using the following example as a template: The following cmdlet assigns full access for the mailbox to a group in Active Directory named “My Shared Mailbox Admins” which needs to exist in AD prior to executing this command: This cmdlet allows members of the “My Shared Mailbox Admins” group in Active Directory to be able to send email from the "mysharedmailbox@mikefrobbins.demo" Read more [...]

Remote Management of Hyper-V Server or Server Core

Problem: You receive an error Virtual Disk Manager "The RPC server is unavailable" when attempting to remotely manage Hyper-V Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 Core Installation: Solution: Run the following command on the client and on the server: You have the option of using the Server Configuration menu on the server side if your using Hyper-V Server 2008. Select option 4, Configure Remote Management: Select option 1, Allow MMC Remote Management: µ Read more [...]

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Server Configuration Menu

Problem: You've closed the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Server Configuration menu and need to re-open it: Solution: The command to re-open this window has changed with the R2 release. The new command is sconfig.cmd, with the non-R2 version, the command was hvconfig.cmd. Start Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl & Shift & Esc. Click File>New Task: Type cmd.exe /k C:\Windows\system32\sconfig.cmd and click ok: You now have a new Server Configuration window: Simply entering Read more [...]

Hyper-V Server or Server Core Command Prompt Window

Problem: You've closed your command prompt window on Hyper-V Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 Core Installation and need to re-open it: Solution: Start Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl & Shift & Esc. Click File>New Task: Type cmd.exe and click ok: You now have a new command prompt window: µ Read more [...]

Removing the LAN Manager Hash security risk

Problem: Windows stores a LAN Manager Hash for backwards compatibility with older operating systems. These Hash values are stored in local SAM databases and Active Directory. They are considered to be a major security risk and should be disabled unless you are running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Macintosh Outlook 2001 Clients. Solution #1: Using group policy to disable the LAN Manager Hash is the recommended solution since you can easily push the settings out to all of your workstations and servers. Set Read more [...]

Infrastructure Master FSMO Role Placement

The Infrastructure Master Role is one of the three domain operations masters. Its placement is like many other questions in Information Technology, that is, it depends. It depends on the number of domains in the forest and whether or not all domain controllers in a particular domain have been designated as a global catalog server. The infrastructure master is responsible for updating its domains references to objects in other domains in a multi-domain forest by checking its references with the global Read more [...]