Sunday, January 22, 2012

A christmas present, a curry and a movie

There are many pleasures in life but the simple ones are often the best.

Jake wanted to make me a chocolate cake as a belated Christmas present. Having chosen the cake and the topping, we shopped and he made it for me from start to finish on his own. He discovered that over whipping double cream turns it into butter but a butter cream filling (especially with the rum) was equally good.

A great cake.

The new slow cooker was used to make a curry at the same time. A bit of this recipe and a bit of that. Not one I can easily reproduce but it was fabulous.

Then a movie, just the 3 of us.

As Louis Armstrong used to say, what a wonderful world.

Thanks Jake, I know that you get sad at the end of the weekend, but it is great to spend time together.

Monday, December 05, 2011

We're getting the band back together

I actually wanted to get an audio clip of John Belushi saying it but I'll settle for text instead.

The band are reforming after 5 years apart - Annirythmics are rehearsing and planning to play gigs during 2012.

Original band members are all reprising their previous roles with the exception of the lead guitarist who has been replaced as he is enjoying success in another band. First rehearsal last weekend proved extremely positive and all band members are very much looking forward to the next rehearsal.

Annirythmics are a five piece band based in Buckinghamshire based on the classic Eurythmics line up.

Their set list incorporates many of the varied songs by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart including early 'Tourists' material such as 'I only wanna be with you'. They also have a full set of covers from other popular artists including songs from Cher, Suzi Quattro, Cyndi Lauper, Kirsty McColl and many more.

This means that they can tailor their shows to your requirements, performing an entire 'Tribute' show, a whole show of covers or any combination that you require.

There is a new web site at, there is a Facebook group and a Twitter feed too.

Friday, January 01, 2010

MVP once more - the 7th time running

Just had the email to confirm that I am an MVP for 2010 renewed as from today for the whole of the year. This is likely to be my final year for the time being as my life has taken a different direction however I am pleased and honoured to continue to be a part of the MVP group. I am especially honoured to be an MVP alongside the likes of luminaries such as (in alphabetical order) Jimmy Andersson, Mark Arnold, Neil Hobson and Pat Richard – all of whom are extremely knowledgeable experts and use that expertise in their full time jobs.


Congratulations to everyone rewarded today and Happy New Year to you all.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Elephants and giraffes

How do you get 4 giraffes in a mini?

Two in the front and two in the back


How do you get 4 elephants in a mini?

Two in the front and two in the back? Nope, it is full of giraffes. You have to take the giraffes out first...


How do you know if there is an elephant in your fridge?

Footprints in the butter.


How do you know if there are 2 elephants in the fridge?

You can’t get the door closed.


How do you know if there are 3 elephants in the fridge?

There’s one elephant parked outside in a mini.


How do you get two whales in a mini?

Straight up the M4 and over the Severn bridge.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Bagheera

After 5 years, I have decided to sell my classic 1970s Matra Bagheera sports car ( due to lack of use and lack of time. Classic 3 seater, mid engined, rear wheel drive sports car in dark grey with grey cloth interior.
For sale: Matra Simca Bagheera, Series 2 with RHD conversion carried out when new by Hodec Engineering.
Engine: 1442cc 4 cylinder original Talbot Horizon engine reading 18,000km (original French speedometer).
Original and after market stereos provided.
Replacement alloys on vehicle with original steel wheels going with vehicle too.
Recent work carried out by professional machanics:
Complete handbrake mechanism overhaul
Head retorque
Carb removal and clean
New throttle cable
New HT and LT leads
New electric fuel pump and hoses
Pop up headlight mechanism overhauled
Vacuum tube tested and working correctly
New clutch master cylinder fitted
Known issues:
Small oil leak from the old oil sensor plug (needs a bolt in there instead of the unused sensor just to cap it)
Engine loses power after about 25 miles, looks like condenser or coil. Pull over and turn it off, wait 5 minutes and all is well. Some component overheating like the coil or the condenser which should be easy to fix.
Front wheels need balancing.
MOT just done, no advisories at all.
Tax just done.
Cabin condition is very good especially for a Bagheera. Those known issues make a very short list for a car that is 31 years old. Big file with lots of money spent, loads of photos including comprehensive body off restoration.
See also: for a 1977 LHD version on sale at €3,500 in Belgium in apparent good condition.
Also: for a 1975 LHD version on sale at €3,950 in Malta in poor condition.
Enquiries by email please.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Car insurance

I don’t watch much TV but I have seen the advert.


My car insurance came round again and I felt that the renewal was bit steep with little change from £350. The Internet is my friend so I picked a price comparison site at random (there are other price comparison sites available on the market)...hmm, I’ve just thought, I wonder if there is a site to compare the price comparison sites?


Anyway, I typed in all of my details and was astonished. Sufficiently so that I called my insurer to see what they could do to reduce my premium. We ran through all of my details and he corrected my old mileage estimate (low) to my new mileage estimate (higher). Pressing his big red button, he came back with a figure of nearly £400. What’s that all about? He then looked at other options but was unable to reduce the premium. He asked the price I had managed to find online and I told him it was £200 and that it was a sufficient difference that if he couldn’t match or beat the price, I would vote with my feet.


He couldn’t.


But he did speak to his Manager and get a Manager level discount. So would I be interested if they brought it down to £320? Erm...hello? What planet do you come from when £320 is equal to or lower than £200? I cancelled my renewal with them.


My insurance is now with another firm. It was fast, I’m now insured. £170. I just saved HALF.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


A week away with my son, my girlfriend and her Mother. Somewhere quiet in the English countryside with plans for rest, relaxation and trips to the beach.

Well things didn't quite go according to plan. Jake came down with swine flu on the first full day and was mostly recovered by the time he was returned. He managed to give it to me a few days later and I am still down with it. I just hope not to infect the GF (or indeed anyone) as I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

On the plus side though, I'm off food and booze and am hot enough to cook eggs on which must surely be good for weight loss?

Swine flu is the next diet?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exchange 2007 and Windows 2008

Someone asked this the other week and I forgot to blog the answer.


Windows 2008 SP2 has recently been released and now includes a new version of ntbackup that is Exchange aware so now you can back up your Exchange server locally again without resorting to copying ntbackup from Windows 2003.


Someone in Microsoft has been listening to a customer. It will never catch on...


Monday, July 20, 2009

Cured Pigeon

This was amazing!



6-8 pigeon breasts, bonesless skin off

50g Maldon sea salt

50g granulated sugar

A 6 inch sprig of savory or thyme

3 Bay leaves

5 Cloves

9g Garlic cloves

6 Black peppercorns

1 Orange zest

1 Lemon zest

250ml Red wine

10 Juniper berries



Crush all spices and herbs before using

1.       Add salt and sugar to wine and bring to the boil

2.       Pour yourself a glass of wine and drink it

3.       Remove wine solution from stove and add other ingredients

4.       When cool, place pigeon in marinade, cover and chill

5.       Pour another glass of wine and drink

6.       Turn pigeon every 12 hours for 48 hours

7.       When the meat is sufficiently cured it should be fairly firm to the touch

8.       If it still feels tender, continue to marinade for a further 12 hours

9.       Wipe off excess marinade, wrap in cling film and freeze until solid

10.   Unwrap and slice as thinly as possible

11.   As you slice, put it on a plate or it will clump

12.   Roll up around some wild herbs or serve on a bed of greenery


From Chris Horridge, Executive Head Chef at Cliveden


Out of the mouths

On Friday night, the end of a long week, I took myself off to see Jake but was remarkably tired. He decided we were going to play Football on his Playstation rather than going swimming and since I was frazzled, I wasn't exactly reluctant.
After about 40 minutes, Jake asked if I wanted a drink and as I was laid on his bed, I was agreeing to most requested that didn't involve me moving. He came back with a pint glass of squash and a straw angled so that I didn't need to move. He also brought a box of Coco Pops and proceeded to feed me cereal a piece at a time.
After a while, he announced that this was what he wanted to do when he grew up...I thought that in fact I'd prefer him to be a Doctor or a Vet but a Carer would be an honest job.
Then the little whatsit said "I want to look after old people".

I'm an Auntie

Rather earlier than expected, my lovely sis-in-law produced a little girl this morning by the name of Annabel Rose.
Welcome to the world little one and I hope to meet you soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Exchange Server 2010

Woohoo. The announcement has finally come out about the name of the new Exchange Server product to be released to follow in the footsteps of the great Exchange Server 2007.
This one will be called Exchange Server 2010.


·         Microsoft Exchange 2010 Beta Looks Solid from Core to Cloud (and related slideshow Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Includes Welcome Improvements) – eWeek

·         First look: Exchange 2010 beta shines – InfoWorld



·         Broader Office 14 testing coming by fall - CNet

·         Next Exchange features e-mail 'mute' button - CNet

·         Microsoft Brands Office 2010, Releases Exchange Beta – PC World / IDG

·         Microsoft fends off Google with Web browser-friendly Exchange 2010 - Computerworld

·         Microsoft to release Exchange 2010 beta on April 15 - ZDNet

·         Microsoft Exchange 2010 to address annoyances & mobility – Seattle PI

·         Next version of Microsoft Office coming in 2010 - AP

·         It's Office 2010: First technical previews due in Q3 - BetaNews

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008

A trip to Ireland the other week for an email deployment took longer than I expected. No time on site to see what was happening and no project management time meant that the deployment was a “Turn up and do it” style.


Existing site: Single SBS 2003 domain, circa 30 users, mixture of local desktop and remote laptop.

Required outcome: Integrate to new domain accessed over VPN. Use existing hardware for DC and file and print. Deploy new Exchange 2007 into existing org and move mailboxes.



VPN issues meant we could not get domain connectivity or move schema master to local box.

I had not had sufficient experience with 2008 Server.

.Net 3.5 on 2008 means decidedly unhelpful errors with Exchange 2007. In addition to the other installations, use ServerManagerCmd -i net-framework


Notes to the wise:

Read your notes and don’t guess.

Deploy .Net Framework 3.0 despite Exchange saying it has a .Net installation and is happy. It isn’t.


Four days including travel both ways. Migration complete and users happy including a load of client side updates and use of my spring clean document. In isolation I would probably have had more trouble but I was part of a team of 3 people doing the work and had help very late on Sunday evening from Nathan Winters as I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Installing Exchange 2007 into an organisation is fairly straight forward. Doing it on a site you have never visited into an org you don’t know and to a deadline is enough to give you a nosebleed.


I didn’t even get any Guinness.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Exchange Configuration - More on certificates for Exchange 2007

I was looking through my old certificate notes and found this. Might come in handy for someone.


Exchange Configuration - Certificates for Exchange



This document is aimed at IT staff / Systems Administrators who wish to understand more fully the role of Exchange Server and are looking to implement the product. This is not a hard and fast document and any actions taken from reading this document are done so at your own risk entirely. It is understood that prior to reading this document, you are familiar with the concepts of the following:

Certificate services

Command prompt J

Exchange Server 2007

Windows Server 2003 with the admin pack installed



Certificates are simple to implement in Exchange Server 2007 unless your internal domain and your public domain have different names.


Project aim

How to generate and install a certificate for Exchange 2007 that will support internal MAPI access for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003 and external access to OWA activesync and Outlook Anywhere. This document assumes you are using:

                        1. Microsoft certificate services to generate a self certified certificate.

                        2. An internal domain name that differs from your external domain name (FQDN).


When your internal domain name is different from your external conventions then the certificate must be generated with “Subject Alternative Name” or SAN for short. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s certificate services do not support this out of the box so you first have to enable it. To do this, logon as an administrator to the server running certificate services. START, Run, cmd to start a command prompt. At the command prompt, enter the following commands:


certutil -setreg policy\EditFlags +EDITF_ATTRIBUTESUBJECTALTNAME2

net stop certsvc

net start certsvc


To undo this command, start a command prompt and enter the following commands:


certutil -setreg policy\EditFlags -EDITF_ATTRIBUTESUBJECTALTNAME2

net stop certsvc

net start certsvc


What has this done? There is now a new registry key called "policy/editflags" in


which has a value of editf_attributesubjectaltname2


You could set that attribute using the following .reg file if you wish:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CertSvc\Configuration] "policy/editflags"=hex(7):65,00,64,00,69,00,74,00,66,00,5f,00,61,00,74,00,74,\ 00,72,00,69,00,62,00,75,00,74,00,65,00,73,00,75,00,62,00,6a,00,65,00,63,00,\ 74,00,61,00,6c,00,74,00,6e,00,61,00,6d,00,65,00,32,00,00,00,00,00


Ensure that you have restarted the Certificate Services service before continuing. This can be done manually at the command prompt as above or by using the Services Control Panel.


Creating and installing the certificate

Using Internet explorer navigate to \\servername\certsrv where “servername” is the name of the server running certificate services.


Select “Request a certificate” then select “Advanced Certificate Request” Followed by “Create and submit a request to this CA”


In the name field enter your external domain name for the server such as, and the other identifying info as required Change the certificate type to “Server” Select “Mark keys as exportable”


In the attributes box enter your domain information using the following syntax: Where is the FQDN for OWA / Outlook Anywhere access that you use from outside the LAN and mail.internaldomain is the server name and domain name used internally on your LAN. In the friendly name enter your external domain name such as


Click Submit.


Go to the “administration tools” and run the certificate authority program to issue the certificate by using Internet explorer to navigate to \\servername\certsrv Select “View the status of a pending certificate”, then select your server certificate Then select “install this certificate” and click “Yes” to install.


Exporting the certificate

Click Start, Run, “mmc.exe” (without quotes). Click “File” “Add/remove snapin”, “Add” and then “Certificates”. Click Add once more

Select “My user account”, “Close”, “OK” Navigate to “Personal” “Certificates”

Right mouse click on your certificate and select “All tasks” then “Export” Click “Next”, “Yes” (for the private keys export), “Next” Enter the password (twice) then “Next” Enter a filename eg “c:\cert.pfx”


Click “Next” then “Finish”


Close the MMC then copy the file “c:\cert.pfx” onto the Exchange 2007 Server that holds the client access role (CAS).


Importing the certificate

Log onto the exchange 2007 server that holds the client access role.

Start, Run “mmc.exe” (without the quotes), select “File” “Add/remove snapin”, “Add”, “Certificates”. Select “Computer account”, “Close”, “OK”.

Navigate to “Personal”, “Certificates”, right click on “Certificates”, select “All tasks” then “Import”.

Select “next” and then enter the path and filename to where you copied the certificate, such as “c:\cert.pfx”.

Enter the password.

Important note: Do NOT select the “mark this key as exportable” box!

Click “Next”, “Next”, “Finish”.

Run the IIS manager, select the “Default web site”, right click and choose “properties”.

Select “Directory security”, “Server certificate”, “Assign an existing certificate” and select the certificate.


Assigning the certificate to the SMTP receivers

Run “mmc.exe”, select “File”, “Add/remove snapin”, “Add”, “Certificates”.

Select “Computer account”, “Close”, “OK”.

Navigate to “Personal” “Certificates” , double click on the certificate that you added and select the details tab.

Scroll down to the thumbprint field and make a note of the value / copy it to the clipboard.

Load up the Exchange management shell and enter the following command: enable-exchangecertificate -Thumbprint <Thumbprint as per above number> -Services SMTP

Exchange will now be able to work with both the internal and external domain names and Office 2007 will not give certificate warnings.


Note: The same certificate that has just been generated will also need to be attached to the “Listener” service on ISA 2004/2006 to allow SSL bridging to your Exchange server.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Exchange 2007 - post service pack roll ups

In the olden days, when I had dark hair, you used to have to reapply post service pack rollups every time you made a change.


      Install Exchange 2000.

      Install Service Pack 1.

      Install a roll up.

Downstream you add Outlook Web Access. To patch this you would then apply service pack 1 again and then reinstall the roll up.

Exchange 2007 is different and it feels like it flies in the face of logic. Here is how you would *think* things would work...

      Install Exchange 2007 hub transport role.

      Install Service Pack 1.

      Install latest rollup.

So now you want to add the client access server role. Those files will create and then populate the \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess folder. Surely you would need to reinstall service pack 1 and then the roll up after adding that role?

Well, that is no longer the case.

The MSI service knows about the MSI and all MSPs installed for a given product. It actually 'calculates' and combines the MSI and MSP to figure out what the install should look like. It then installs that onto the machine. It doesn't add the role from the RTM MSI and then install the MSP which also makes sense. It does a more direct approach of taking the MSI and MSP, combining them together, and then forcing the machine to look like what it sees needs to be on the machine.

Now, that is logical thinking and means that once you apply a service pack or other roll up onto a machine you are then covered during any changes to the application. However, you do then need to leave the MSI available on the machine otherwise the update will fail and at best you are leaving your machine unupdated (I just made that word up). At worst you could have a problem with the application.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Checking your delegates and SoBos

There is a lot of time spent on the forums on removing delegates on a mailbox when the delegate has left.


What happens if you are experiencing delegate failures on calendar requests to the group but you don’t know which member of the group has the delegate trouble?


The answer is to turn to AD and specifically to Kris Waters’ script.


This will pull out of AD all relevant information that you need to focus on for Delegates and Send on Behalf of problems.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Exchange licensing

I recently saw an Exchange deployment in excess of 50 servers within the organisation. Big deal, there are plenty of larger ones...this one however had a huge amount of nags when you start EMC – all about licensing.


In a test environment I can understand about not wanting to licence your boxes however this was a live org! Exchange 2007 has the option to have the serial number entered or not – without it, you get a nag screen every time you start EMC and Exchange acts like a fully working demo for 120 days. Even after that you still carry on working though you get nagged to enter the product key!


It isn’t rocket science though – you get serial numbers when you buy Exchange and entering the key is not that difficult. In fact it is downright simple and you don’t even need to touch the server in question...yes folks, Powershell...


Set-ExchangeServer –id YourExchangeServerName –ProductKey ‘90210-999-5552323-90210’


The best bit though is wondering WHICH of your servers are licensed and which are not. Obviously this means PowerShell again...


Get-ExchangeServer | Where {$_.ProductId –eq $Null –and $_.AdminDisplayVersion –Like ‘*8.0*’} | Select Name, RemainingTrialPeriod


Since you can set your product key at any time, you can script your entire Enterprise using PowerShell which I’ve mentioned before. So in your DR plans you can put all of your deployments of all of your Exchange Servers as PowerShell scripts including all of the serial numbers too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vehicular transportation

My carefully looked after car was finally laid to rest this week after 9 years of ownership and 47,000 miles. It has been replaced.


My carefully looked after motorbike was picked up this week from the garage who charged me £100 to get me running again but have informed me that there are troubles that mean another £800 bill asap.


So either I pay that money to get the bike going again or I trade it in for something else which would cost more. Either way, no bike means no seeing Jake.


Looks like the moths will get disturbed again soon.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

OOF not working and Autodiscovery messed up - Part 2

The Autodiscover problem was caused by Exchange 2007 being installed on a Windows 2003 x64 domain controller.


There might be ways of resolving all of the little issues and gremlins that were found and highlighted in the last blog article but the installation is not supported.


The OP installed a new server, attached it to the existing Exchange organisation and then migrated everything over.


So the bottom line is...if you are experiencing ESE events 9518,454,492,413, and 485 then just have a double check to see if your Exchange 2007 server is sitting on a Windows 2003 domain controller. If it is, THAT is your problem not the little gremlins you are seeing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bleeding car salesmen

Bought a car yesterday. Bit of a problem with the programming of the ignition key that meant the alarm kept going off.


Cue numerous calls to different workshop experts all of whom gave differing advice on the cure (none worked). One of which is that when the alarm is going off, disconnect the car battery which will reset the car alarm. Err, no...that will make the alarm continually go off since the system thinks the car is being broken into.


So the alarm went off as expected. Same expert revises judgement to leaving the alarm going off for 30 minutes whilst the battery drains. It did. So did my patience – by this time I’d been waiting several hours for them to fix the issue so that I could go home.


During the removal of the battery connector, the sales manager cut his hand and for the next hour dripped blood everywhere.


The experience was so farcical that I had to stay to the end and maybe tomorrow I’ll pick it up. Or maybe not.


Currently in the same old creaking car as I’ve had for the last 9 years but have paid for a replacement car that won’t start. Paperweight anyone?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

OOF not working and Autodiscovery messed up - Part 1

I have had a long email chat with a guy in the US. In fact, I took offline a thread about messed up Autodiscovery and combined with a similarish problem experienced by fellow Tek Tips member Mark MacLachlan.


John’s problem was that autodiscover was refusing to cooperate and he’d even reformatted and reinstalled the OS. He was getting a 500-19 error in Autodiscover which was pointing to a problem with a malformed or corrupt web.config file in /Autodiscover.


Testing went as follows:

When I run Test Email Autoconfiguration, it finds the url through SCP, starts then ends with http status code 500.

Here are the results from Test-Outlook Services:

[PS] C:\Windows\System32>test-outlookwebservices |fl

Id      : 1003

Type    : Information

Message : About to test AutoDiscover with the e-mail address Administrator@domain.local.


Id      : 1007

Type    : Information

Message : Testing server test.domain.local with the published name https://test.domain.local/EWS/Exchange.asmx & .


Id      : 1019

Type    : Information

Message : Found a valid AutoDiscover service connection point. The AutoDiscover  URL on this object is https://test.domain.local/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml.


Id      : 1013

Type    : Error

Message : When contacting https://test.domain.local/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml received the error The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error.


Id      : 1006

Type    : Error

Message : The Autodiscover service could not be contacted.


So now what?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vista is rubbish

Here is a comment made to me on the phone yesterday.


“Vista is rubbish. We’ve got this computer and it has got Vista on it. I put Office 2007 on it and I use that for my work but whenever I send Excel spreadsheets to the office, I can’t read them. It is also incredibly slow”


1.     Vista is an operating system, not an application.

2.     Your speed problem is a combination of children loading every application and trial they can find and the meagre 1GB of RAM.

3.     Office 2007 uses XML for its document type. This is new. Sending that file to a version of Excel that doesn’t know about XML will result in this issue.


Analogy…you speak English and have a friend who speaks English and French. Your new friend speaks English, French and German. New friend says something in German to you but you cannot understand.


Obviously your new friend has rubbish legs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Need a few extra bob til the end of the month?

If you are caught short between now and pay day, borrow some money from a responsible lender


They list themselves as responsible lenders and are honest and up front with their interest rates of 1845%. So if you want to borrow £200 today and repay them on payday in a fortnight, you need to give them the £200 back plus interest of £141.53.


Bank loans at the moment are low, overdraft limits are surely not that level and employers must surely be able to advance you a bit if you are in need of difficulty. I think I’d be feeling pretty desperate to be prepared to repay that level of interest.

Exchange 2007 SP1 rollup 6 now available

Yesterday, Microsoft released rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (959241) to the public.

If you're running Exchange Server 2007, you are strongly advised to install rollup 6 onto your box. If you are not running service pack 1 for Exchange, suggest you download and install that first.

Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2007 SP1 is a cumulative installer so you do NOT need to install rollup 1, 2, 3, 4 and then 5 before doing number 6.

What does this one do?

Here is a list of the fixes included in rollup 6:

  1. 959239 MS09-003: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange could allow remote code execution
  2. 950675 Downloaded .xls file attachments are empty when you open the files by using Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1
  3. 955443 Some free/busy messages are not replicated from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2003 servers after some mailboxes are migrated from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2007
  4. 956356 The Microsoft Exchange File Distribution service uses lots of memory and processor time when Exchange Server 2007 processes many OABs
  5. 956624 The Microsoft Exchange Transport service crashes continuously after you enable journal rule or deploy an antivirus application on an Exchange Server 2007 server
  6. 957748 The custom message class of contact object is overwritten by the normal IPM.Contact class when an Exchange 2007 server replicates the contact object to any other public store

Download the rollup from this link here and also remember it is available via Windows Update directly from your Exchange server.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Exchange 2007 - Autodiscovery Part 1

Keywords: Exchange 2007, Exchange 2003, Interoperability


How to fix problems caused by broken AutoDiscovery. First off, the most difficult task is to understand that your problem comes from a broken Autodiscovery!!


OP: [Quote]Just switched everyone's Outlook 2007 to our new Exchange 2007 server.
Everything seems to work great except for the Out of Office. Each person
can access it using the OWA but when they use the menu item in Outlook they get the error:

Your Out of Office settings cannot be displayed, because the server is
currently unavailable. Try again Later.

Anyone have any idea why everything else works fine but not the Out of
Office Assistant?

One note: I redirected the default web so we could use mail.<domain>
without the /owa. Could that be affecting the AutoDiscover? I had to
change the link for the other virtuals but did find anything for the
Autodiscover in the Exchange Management Console.




OK, so we wondered about just switching everything back which works fine except Out of Office though you can change that in OWA or Outlook 2003. At that point, things point very much to Autodiscover.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson tells it how it is

According to good old Jeremy Clarkson has said “We’ve got this one-eyed Scottish idiot” referring to PM Gordon Brown.


Well, Gordon lost the eyesight on one eye as the result of an accident playing rugby as a teenager.


The Royal National Institute of Blind People said “Mr Clarkson’s description of PM Brown is offensive. Any suggestion that equates disability with incompetence is totally unacceptable”.


Erm, hang on. JC wasn’t equating disability with incompetence. He wasn’t being racist, he wasn’t being blindist. He was doing his usual of stating “facts according to the Gospel of St Jezza”.


Mr Brown only has sight in one eye.

Mr Brown is Scottish.

Jezza feels that Mr Brown is an idiot.


Therefore his statement should not need an apology.

Global warming

The planet is warming, the ice caps are shrinking. Many theories have been proposed. Here is a new one...


One hundred years ago, there were few cattle and no television. People worked long hours, toiling away in manual jobs, eating what they could afford. There was no problem with global warming.


Today there is fast food. This requires large amounts of cattle to produce the burgers. The cattle produce methane which is warming the planet. The cattle are exothermic which is warming the planet. Millions of people are now obese from eating too much fast food. The fatties produce methane which is warming the planet. The fatties are exothermic which is warming the planet. These fatties are sitting at home warming their houses with electricity from fossil fuel supplied power stations which are warming the planet.


There is now a problem with global warming...


The solution is easy. Reduce the amount of cattle on the planet. This will have the knock on effect of raising prices of fast food. This will mean that fatties need to get out and get better jobs. This will improve the economy. They will be getting more exercise so they will get slimmer. This will reduce their methane output. Fewer cattle will produce less methane too. Being out of the house more often will cut electricity consumption. This is good for the world.


You can reduce the amount of cattle by not eating fast food, causing the chains to require less meat.



Save the polar bear...boycott a burger.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hi Larry

If the last Secretary of State was Colin Powell, pronounced “Coe Lyn”, is the new Secretary of State to be called “Hi Larry” Clinton?


Snow joke

Wonderful...Monday was very snowified. Took a 2 hour walk in the stuff and it was great. The main roads were gritted and it was all a bit of a damp squib in the end.

Tuesday was fine, took the car up to London. No worries and much of the snow had melted.

Wednesday was entirely enjoyable and no sign of snow even at bed time.

Got up this morning to find 7 inches of snow had fallen between midnight and 6am. Coolio.


Have built me a snow wall along the side of the drive, a mini igloo, cleared the drive and taken a decent length walk.


On the way back, some eejit decided to overtake a car going through the next village over, throwing the slush far and wide right across me and the GF. We were NOT amused.


Hoping for more snow tonight. J

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Backing up Exchange

This one is to save me time ranting / repeating myself in forums.


It is now ten years since I started using Exchange Server with a stunningly stable and solid product called Exchange Server 5.5. In “those days”, the product of choice was Backup Exec around version 6. Backup Exec was a great product and in fact the ntbackup product built into Windows from the days of NT up to and including 2003 was a slightly modified version of Backup Exec with rather less functionality.


Its chief advantage was that as well as backing up the server and integrating into the scheduler service, when you installed Exchange Server onto the box, you additionally could back up your Exchange Server properly. For free.


So, what do we mean here?


Despite my ten years in Exchange and the number of deployments that have been made and required troubleshooting, newbie admins are *still* trying to do odd things to get their backups complete. Or not.


Examples of what NOT to do:

Ignore backing up, you’ll be fine

Stop all Exchange Services, back up priv.edb and priv.stm (if applicable), start all Exchange Services

Script the line above to do it out of hours with no intervention

Use ntbackup to back up priv.edb and priv.stm

Only back up one store

Just delete “those annoying little log files that fill up my drive”


No, children. No...


Backing up your Exchange Server isn’t rocket science and it isn’t supposed to be difficult to back it up or restore it. NTBackup is free, it is part of the OS and will sort out the log files.


PLEASE just look at the simple route. In ntbackup, tick the box next to “Microsoft Information Store” for your server and carry on. Oh and take that completed backup file off the server – just in case.


This will give you a backup.

It will remove the log files that are clogging up your hard drive.

It will not make your Exchange database smaller.

You will not pass Go.

You will not collect $200.

Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Exchange 2007 Performance - Underneath

It doesn’t matter how much tweaking you do in Exchange 2007, you’ll almost certainly get more performance wrung out of your box by optimising Windows as well.


There are a couple of obvious things first:

1.     Uninstall it unless you need it.

2.     Move the pagefile to a different spindle and set it to RAM + 10MB.

3.     Disable any services you don’t actively need on that box.

4.     Delete contents of %TEMP% and I also remove the hidden windows update files in the Windows folder. No idea if it speeds things up, but fewer files on the disk can’t be all bad J


Then follow this 5 year old blog article for anything you feel comfortable doing.


Remember that a fast Exchange server means fewer complaints to the HelpDesk. This in turn boosts your morale which is a good thing.


Obviously it also minimises problems too as part of your proactive toolkit, so Management get used to your Exchange server running nicely with excellent uptime. Catch 22 – if it goes down too often, they get fed up, if it stays up a long time, they get used to it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dictionary corner: Quorder

This is one that all men can read, understand and nod in a knowing manner.


Quorder: Verb.

An order, given by a woman to a man in the form of a question.



Can you hang the washing out?

Are you able to drive me to the shops?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Exchange 2007 - sizing

I’ve been collecting numbers!!


Maximum database size for Exchange 2007 is 16TB (Note: Maximum theoretical rather than maximum recommended. Recommended maximum is 100GB without CCR, 200GB with CCR). That is PER database so if you need to store more than 16TB of email on one server, you will need more than one database!


That wasn’t actually the reason for the sizing article though, this one is about RAM. A number of forums posts are highlighting hardware specifications without resorting to checking if these specs are appropriate.


Someone actually listed a server with Windows Enterprise and 32GB of RAM but seemed to have no idea about implementation. So I will pose the question – how can you spec up a server with 32GB of RAM without a rationale behind it?


Taking it as read that you know you need 2GB of RAM for the mailbox role, another 1GB for other roles, how much extra RAM do you need? Any?


The answer is yes – you need more RAM once you have users connecting. 2MB per light user, 3.5MB for a medium user and 5MB for a heavy user. Scale that up across your enterprise and even with 1,000 heavy users on a mailbox server means you only really need 7GB of RAM. However, there is another consideration – storage groups. It used to be the case that Exchange 2007 needed 0.5GB per storage group but this has now reduced.


Old calculation 0.5GB per storage group

New calculation 2GB plus storage groups/4 except for 1-4 storage groups where you only need 2GB.


So, when deciding how much RAM you need for Exchange 2007 with 48 storage groups on a dedicated mailbox server with 5,000 heavy users, you need:


Exchange requirement: 2GB

Storage groups requirement: 12GB

User requirement: 25GB


That makes 39GB of RAM so you’ll need Windows Enterprise Edition.


Since we came in with the 16TB per database, what can we do with that? 48 storage groups, each containing 1 database of 16TB means 768TB of emails on that server. That’s a *lot* of spindles and we haven’t even thought about the IO requirements and therefore the number of spindles required.


Ordering a server and a set of RAID arrays to match that box will make someone’s year – maybe there is a small child somewhere who received a very big Christmas present from a father who received just such an order.


If that’s you, do you need any odd jobs doing?