I was on a call to Microsoft support today for an issue with Communication server 2007. During the initial steps of the support call when the technician was trying to setup the Easy Assist session, his computer started a memory dump with a BSOD. He had to jump to another machine while rebooting the now inoperable computer. He apologized politely, but it was no big thing for me, I actually got a kick out of it. It also helped that the Guy (Hi Patrick), was a BSG fan and we chatted a little about the upcoming Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica…
If you have Verizon FIOS, and haven’t already customized your router to use better DNS Servers, do yourself a favor and do so asap. By default Verizon uses “DNS assistance” on their *.*.*.12 DNS servers. Set your router to use custom DNS servers and change the ending .12 to a .14. Alternatively, using any of the other official Verizon DNS Servers in the range of 188.8.131.52 through 184.108.40.206 is also a good bet.
If you don’t customize your DNS, the Verizon DNS assistance configuration can potentially cause issues for Tech Savy users who do VPN, host monitoring, etc. You are also helping Verizon make more money by being served ads on their DNS assistance page.
This is the first time I’ve run across this issue, but what was happening is I’d see a black screen both through RDP and from the actual server console. You could see a little bit of the windows logon box, but it was cut off where the username and password fields would be. If you can fumble your way through the logon screen you’d be able to logon but everything was still black, the only color you’d see would be in the desktop icons. This makes it virtually impossible to do anything on the server. This situation does not cause a work stoppage, as all the background services ran fine, you just can’t logon and do anything.
So I started searching around and ultimately ran across a MS KB article 906510. I’ll paste in the information below, but the KB said it was an issue with the color scheme, and the registry values were all set to “0”. At least that is whats listed as the cause of the black screen symptom, but it does not offer an explanation of what would cause the numbers to get set to “0” in the first place.
To resolve this I had to do the following: (NOTE: the drive mapping step was only needed for my solution as the server was not on the domain and not using internal DNS, so I could not authenticate on the domain).
1. Map a drive from another network machine to this server using local admin credentials.
2. Open regedit and connect remote registry to the server in question. (this will not work unless you map the drive first – see above note)
3. Use an export from a working server of the registry key noted in the MS KB and import that into the remote server.
4. Attempt logon through RDP or at the console, the color issue should be resolved.
I wish I knew what caused this issue, but I can’t find much as to the actual cause. I heard talk that maybe it was a disk space issue, but my server had 10GB of free space, so that wasn’t it. Hope this information helps someone in the future.
I ran into a situation in which the Help and Support service in server 2003 dissappeared. I had no idea why, and for a long time left it alone. I then did some digging and found a KB article from Microsoft describing how to re-install the service. Follow these instructions (taken from MS KB article 937055):
To resolve this problem, reinstall the Help and Support service. To do this, follow these steps:
|1.||Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.|
|2.||At the command prompt, locate the following folder:
|3.||At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
Something really strange just happened, and I can’t explain it. Yesterday I was trying to install Terminal Services on a Widnows 2003 server. I went through the normal install routine, and set my options and everything installed ok. But when I went to view the configuration, it was set to Remote administration mode, and did not prompt me for this before install. I was also trying to install Citrix and couldn’t get past the first part of the installer because it detected TS wasn’t in application mode. I tried uninstalling and re-installing and nothing helped.
Here is the weird part, this morning when I tried doing the same thing, uninstalling and re-installing, this time it worked fine. I don’t even see a mode option in the configuration now and the Citrix setup is allowing me to proceed. I didn’t do anything differently this time, same options and same license server, but this time it worked. I have no idea why, but I’m not complaining, I just hate coming across things like this that don’t make sense and I can’t explain what happened.
I’m pleased to announce that I’m now able to access my exchange mailbox from anywhere in the world using RPC over HTTP(s). This was a lot easier to setup than I thought it would be, and following the steps provided by Daniel Petri helped a lot! I also utilized the RPCFrontend tool that he mentions in the link. This made things very easy and I got it working the first time I attempted the configuration.
What this means is that I can now access my mailbox on my Exchange server, from anywhere with the only requirement being an internet connection. I can just open Outlook, and go straight to my mailbox as if I were on my home network. I highly recommend this for anyone with Exchange servers, it makes remote connectivity so much easier and can be fully secured with SSL and other security options.
I ran into an interesting issue today, something that is an old leftover from early mail systems.? I was trying to e-mail my hosting provider back on a support ticket I had opened with them, but when I replied I got a bounce message saying my mail was rejected with the following message:
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
This should come in handy for lots of people. Need to get some reports out of your Active Directory system? Then this tool can help, its a called SmartR from Imanami, and its free. There are additional report packs you could buy, but I’ve found it comes with just about everything I would need. It has a good wizard interface and can generate nicely formatted reports in a flash. Output options are HTMl, XLS and XML.
I needed to generate a report of all my AD users and find which groups they belonged to. To be more specific, I was trying to get a list of all our Distribution lists and find out who was in each one. I was able to accomplish both reports quickly and easily with this tool.