Author: Mike F Robbins

Mike F Robbins is a Microsoft MVP on Windows PowerShell and a SAPIEN Technologies MVP. He is a co-author of Windows PowerShell TFM 4th Edition and is a contributing author of a chapter in the PowerShell Deep Dives book. Mike has written guest blog articles for the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog, PowerShell Magazine, and He is the winner of the advanced category in the 2013 PowerShell Scripting Games. Mike is also the leader and co-founder of the Mississippi PowerShell User Group. He blogs at and can be found on twitter @mikefrobbins.

Startup Items with Unicode Filenames on Windows XP

Several end user personal computers that I've looked at recently have had some strange file names showing up in their startup routine. Here’s a look at what Msconfig showed: Attempting to disable these two entries via MSConfig generates an access denied error. The normal spyware programs that I run haven’t been able to detect these items either. The only way I’ve found to disable them is via the registry: µ Read more [...]

Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 (WSUS)

I typically work as a systems engineer in the SMB sector and WSUS is one of the products that in my opinion is a no brainer to implement. It’s free with Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (and Vista & Windows 7 I’m told, although I have not verified this). It can easily be implemented by your present IT staff and can reside on an existing IIS webserver server as long as there is enough local disk space to hold the updates. The updates cannot reside on a mapped drive or on a drive that’s specified Read more [...]

Empty Start Menu on Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server

Recently while assisting one of my customers who was transitioning from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 terminal servers we experienced a problem with start menu redirection where there was nothing at all on a user’s start menu. The start menu was (empty) or blank. This problem ended up being due to applying the same group policy to the 2008 terminal servers that was previously applied to the 2003 terminal servers. To resolve this issue the “Remove user’s folders from the Start Menu” setting Read more [...]

Enabling Remote Access to Device Manager on Server Core

You’ve added hardware to a Windows Server 2008 R2 Core installation machine and you want to check the status of it through the GUI by using Device Manager on a remote computer. The following process allows you to access Device Manager remotely in “Read Only” mode and it assumes that you've already configured remote management on your core server through option 4 of sconfig. You're already able to access the event logs and/or services using Computer Management on a remote computer. When you Read more [...]

Scheduling your Blog Posts

You may think I woke up early today which is Thanksgiving morning to write this blog post, but WordPress has a scheduling feature that allows you to write your blog posts days, weeks, or even months ahead of time and schedule when you’d like to have them published. This allows you to add a level of professionalism to your blog by publishing articles on a more consistent basis instead of posting ten in a day and then not posting anymore for months. You can still write those ten blog posts in one Read more [...]

Adobe Reader 9 update issues on Terminal Server

You’re using group policy to enforce the “Run only approved Windows applications” for a specific group of computers such as terminal servers. After updating Adobe Reader from version 9.0 to 9.2, users receive the message: “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” My first thought was "The name of the executable must have changed". A quick check disproved that. It is the same name with both versions: “AcroRd32.exe” Read more [...]

Dell Systems Build DVD Removes All Existing Partitions

So you've built a server and partitioned the RAID array into two logical partitions, one for the operating system and one for the data. For whatever reason, you need to reload the operating system on the server and you think you can format the OS partition and reload it without loosing the data that's on your data partition. If you were booting directly to an operating system CD or DVD, that would be true, however if you boot to the Dell Systems Build DVD and attempt to reload the operating system Read more [...]

Please wait for the System Event Notification Service…

One of my customers that I provide level 3 support for recently contacted me with an issue where their system would hang on the message "Please wait for the System Event Notification Service..." when they attempted to logout of their Windows 2008 terminal server: We determined that their terminal server had recently received an update to Windows Live Messenger via Windows Update that was causing this issue. Removing Windows Live Messenger from their terminal server resolved their logout issues. µ Read more [...]

How to Activate Windows Server 2008 Core Installation

To change the serial number on your Windows Server 2008 Core Installation, run "slmgr /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX" where X is your new serial number. Wait for the popup confirmation message that the serial number has been changed: Run "cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato" to activate the operating system: µ Read more [...]

Communication Issues between Exchange Servers

Recently while transitioning one of my customers from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, I experienced issues trying to replicate public folders between the servers. This was due to a larger mail flow communications problem between the two servers where mail between them was queuing up and never being delivered. To determine if you are experiencing this particular issue or not, use the Queue Viewer which is located in the toolbox section of the “Exchange Management Console”. If email that should Read more [...]

Exchange 2010 Implementation Tip for Antivirus

Prior to implementing Exchange Server 2010, check with your current Antivirus vendor to validate their product is supported on Exchange 2010. The messaging agent component of Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Advanced 6.0 will not install and is not supported on a server running Exchange 2010. WFBS Advanced 7.0 will fully support Exchange 2010 and is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2010. Trend Micro is current providing their WFBS Advanced customers with a temporary license Read more [...]

Exchange 2010 Implementation Tip for Backup Exec 2010 Users

You should plan to move your Backup Exec 2010 Media Server to 64bit before implementing Exchange Server 2010. A Backup Exec 2010 Media Server that is running a 32bit operating system is unable to backup an Exchange 2010 Information Store. This is because Microsoft does not support 32bit Exchange Management Tools for Exchange 2010. Here's the error message you'll receive if you attempt to backup an Exchange 2010 Information Store with a 32bit Backup Exec 2010 Media Server: Error category    : Resource Read more [...]

Unable to view PDF documents hosted on an IIS 7.5 Web Server

If you’ve recently migrated a web server that houses downloadable PDF documents to IIS 7.5, your users may be encountering issues viewing some of the PDF documents in a web browser. This is due to a change in the way IIS 7.5 handles the downloading of PDF documents. It doesn't affect all versions of Adobe Reader and it doesn't affect all PDF documents so it is very difficult to troubleshoot. Updating Adobe Reader to the latest version on the client end will normally resolve the problem. There's Read more [...]

Unable to connect to a Castelle FaxPress 5000 – Solid Red Alarm

You are no longer able to communicate with your Castelle FaxPress 5000 device. The red light is on solid and the green light is off. Whether this is a new installation, you've moved the back-end portion of the software to a new server, or nothing has changed that you're aware or, here is a major pitfall that you may want to look into before scrapping the device and looking for an alternative solution. The error shown below is what the clients who use "Faxmain" will receive. It's fairly generic Read more [...]

Mailbox Move Failure on Exchange 2010

You’ve attempted to move mailboxes to your new Exchange 2010 server and you receive the following error: Active Directory operation failed on This error is not retriable. Additional information: Insufficient access rights to perform the operation. Active directory response: 00002098: SecErr: DSID-03150BB9, problem 4003 (INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS), data 0 The user has insufficient access rights. Exchange Management Shell command attempted: ‘ user’ | New-MoveRequest-TargetDatabase Read more [...]

Change OWA Logon Format to UPN on Exchange 2007/2010

To change the logon screen of your OWA website to ask for the user principal name (UPN) or email address instead of “Domainuser name”, change the following to “User principal name (UPN)”. To access this screen, from within Exchange Management Console, go to “Server Configuration>Client Access”, right click the OWA website listed under the “Outlook Web App” tab, select properties, and click the “Authentication” tab: Before: After: µ Read more [...]