Archive

Archive for the ‘Windows Operating Systems’ Category

How to disable Windows 8 Messenging

October 6, 2012 Leave a comment

I recently moved to Windows 8 RTM and in an effort to take full advantage of the Windows LIVE integration, I connected my domain user account to my Microsoft account.  Doing so automatically signed me into the native Messaging app, and I am not sold on full-screen instant messaging (I’m a strong Trillian supporter actually).  Unfortunately, I struggled to find a way to disable the Messaging app without uninstalling it.  At first, most people might think that uninstalling an application you don’t use is a reasonable solution, but uninstalling Messaging means uninstalling the Mail, Calendar, and People apps as well.  So, I put my thinking cap on and decided there just had to be a way to disable Messaging without uninstalling it.

As it turns out, there is.  And it’s super easy.  Simply open the Charms Bar and click through a few short menu options:

ImagePress CTRL+C, move your cursor to the upper or lower right corner of the screen, or swipe in from the right if you’re luck enough to have a touchscreen.  With the bar open, click Settings.

Image

Next, click Options.

Image

Move the slider to Off, then close the app.

It is worth noting that you will no longer see the number of unread messages on the lock screen, but if you prefer to use the classic Windows LIVE Messenger, Trillian, or some other IM client, this is probably a worthwhile tradeoff.

Advertisements

Get ’em while they’re hot! Microsoft unveils several ‘beta’s…

While many techies were distracted by other events at Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft unveiled the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, making it available for public consumption.  Okay, okay, you probably already knew that.  But did you know that Windows Server 8 “Beta” and Visual Studio 11 Beta (along with Team Foundation Server and Team Explorer Betas) are available for download as well?  I’d write more, but I’m too busy getting my hands dirty with these new Microsoft bits.

I’ve already installed Windows 8 in a VM, cleanly on a Lenovo ThinkPad W510, and did an upgrade install on a Lenovo ThinkPad T400S.  I’ve also installed Windows Server 8 Beta in a VM and Visual Studio 11 Beta once online and once offline.  Now it’s time to play!

Synchronizing OneNote over SSL with integrated Windows authentication

February 4, 2011 4 comments

I started using OneNote about a year ago, and I’m still very much an amateur when it comes to what OneNote can really do.  I’m constantly finding new neat features in the program, but that has nothing to do with this post.  We have a server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, which is built on Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0.  I placed two OneNote notebooks in separate Document Libraries on separate SharePoint sites, and configured the sites to use Integrated Windows authentication.  Everything seems to work great via Internet Explorer, but other applications, such as OneNote and Windows Explorer, don’t work so well.  I thought this was due to the fact that my WSS sites only accepted SSL connections with an internal domain certificate, but as it turns out, it has nothing to do with SSL!

Does this look familiar at all?  If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will get this error when trying to connect to a WSS 2.0/3.0 site using WebDAV.  In case you didn’t know, if you have a OneNote notebook stored on a SharePoint site, it connects via WebDAV to sync changes.  Also, if you access a SharePoint site via the UNC path, it also uses WebDAV.  For the last few months, when I opened OneNote, it would tell me OneNote needs a password to sync some of your notebooks.  Click here to see the list of sections and notebooks that require passwords.  When I clicked the message, I was prompted for credentials, and although I was already logged into my laptop with my domain credentials, I would simply put the same user/pass that I was logged in with, and it would sync.  I also found that I could not browse to the Document Library with the UNC path (\\example.v1corp.com@SSL\mysharepointsite).  When I tried this, I got the message The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not been authenticated.  The site uses Integrated Windows Authentication and was already in my Intranet zone in Internet Explorer, but it would not authenticate me.

Then I found this.  This is a known issue in Windows Vista, and KB941050 details how to fix it either with hotfix 943280 or with a registry hack.  As I am running Windows 7 and the hotfix did not seem to work for me, I tried the latter.  All you need to do to make Windows Explorer and OneNote happy is to create a new Multi-String Value called AuthForwardServerList in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters, add your site’s URL in the form of https://example.v1corp.com/mysharepointsite (obviously replace the FQDN and site with your own information, and drop the s if you are not using SSL), and restart the WebClient service.  No reboot necessary :).  The error goes away and you can access WSS Document Libraries over the Internet and sync OneNote notebooks via Integrated Windows Authentication (a strong word of caution though, if you are using Integrated Windows Authentication over the Internet, you really should use SSL to encrypt the information).

IIS errors when running 32-bit application pools on SBS 2008

August 17, 2010 13 comments

I have run into this problem a few times with customer migrations, and again recently when installing some service packs and updates.  Consider the following scenario:

You are running one or more 3rd-party web applications on a machine running Small Business Server 2003.  You decide it is time to upgrade to Small Business Server 2008 only to find that your web applications no longer function, and the application pool is crashing. 

This is because SBS 2008 is a 64-bit operating system, and the web application you are trying to run has 32-bit components.  If you look in the Event Viewer, you will likely see the following in the Application log as well:

A listener channel for protocol ‘http’ in worker process ‘####’ serving
application pool ‘DefaultAppPool’ reported a listener channel failure. The
data field contains the error number.

Application pool ‘DefaultAppPool’ is being automatically disabled due to a
series of failures in the process(es) serving that application pool.

If you edit the Advanced Settings for the Application Pool and set Enable 32-Bit Applications to True (see above), you will be met with a new problem: 500.19.

This can be remedied by editing a few lines the applicationhost.config file (C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config) like thus:

<add name=”PasswordExpiryModule” image=”C:\Windows\system32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll” />

becomes

<add name=”PasswordExpiryModule” image=”C:\Windows\system32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll” preCondition=”bitness64″ />

This, along with an IISRESET, will fix the IIS errors and let your 32-bit ASP web application play nice on SBS 2008.  Should you later install Exchange 2007 SP3, you will need to repeat the process for exppw.dll (it is listed twice – once in GlobalModules and once in Modules).

Just for the record, this problem is not limited to SBS 2008.  It’s the rpcproxy.dll that has the incompability with 32-bit application pools that causes this, and that DLL is needed for Outlook Anywhere and the Terminal Services Gateway role.  You may see this on any 64-bit Exchange 2007 server or Terminal Server Gateway server, depending on your configuration.

Microsoft announces Small Business Server 7!

We’ve had some people take vacations at Vision One recently, so the rest of us have been spread pretty thin, and I completely missed the fact that Microsoft revealed some of the details on the much-anticipated successor to Small Business Server 2008.  This announcement was made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference early this past Monday, July 12th, 2010.  According to The Official SBS Blog, there will be public preview releases for the next version of SBS within the next month or two.  And yes, you read that right; there will be TWO releases:

  • Windows Small Business Server “7”:  This next version of SBS will include a richer remote access experience, replaces Windows Server 2008 with Windows Server 2008 R2, replaces Exchange Server 2007 with Exchange Server 2010, and will also replace Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with SharePoint 2010 Foundation.  SBS 7 will still have the 75 user limit.
  • Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”: This is a whole new type of SBS.  Aurora, as it is being called right now, will offer a mix of traditional and cloud capabilities.  Some of the features it boasts is automated backup and restore capabilities, organizing/accessing business information from almost anywhere, and will be limited to 25 users.

If you are familiar with the SBS platform, then there isn’t much I can tell you about SBS 7 that you didn’t already get from the above, so I won’t go into that.  Instead, I will elaborate on Aurora a little.  Aurora is meant only for new customers since it cannot be joined to an existing Active Directory domain, and must be the first server in a new domain.  Based on some of the screenshots and management features, a lot of the code base is likely shared with Microsoft Home Server “Vail”, which only makes sense as this is meant for customers with 5-25 PCs.  One big difference between SBS 7 and SBS Aurora is the lack of e-mail and collaboration on the box.  Instead, Aurora customers will leverage Microsoft’s hosted services for Exchange and SharePoint.  My feelings are torn on this idea until I see pricing, since SBS Aurora will mean a monthly fee for the hosted components, whereas SBS 7 has no monthly costs.  One nice perk with Aurora is that in addition to Windows Server Backup there will be a PC image backup tool for customers who need to backup client machines.

For those of you interested in beta-testing the new SBS line, head on over to this link to be notified on updates from Microsoft 🙂

Vision One is now a Microsoft Small Business Specialist!

May 8, 2010 1 comment

If you are familiar with our company, you probably already knew that the majority of our customers are in the SMB market. We cater to companies of all sizes, but our focus is primarily on small businesses that aren’t big enough to justify a full-time IT staff, but still have IT needs. We have taken the next step to further ourselves in this growing market by becoming a Microsoft Small Business Specialist. Basically this means that we have engineers and technicians on staff that are Microsoft certified in the technologies that will affect you (the SMB customer) the most. It’s one thing to say we work with small businesses, but it holds a lot more clout when Microsoft recognizes our expertise in this market J.

RIM announces BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

February 16, 2010 5 comments

For the past few years, RIM has offered BlackBerry Professional Software to SMB customers as an alternative to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.  BPS was more or less a watered down version of BES (latest version was 4.1.4) with a hard limit of 30 users.  The server software was free, and included 1 CAL, and you could add up to 29 additional users by adding BES CALs.  Sadly, RIM killed the project a while ago, and while BES kept getting service packs and new features, BPS was starting to get stale.  My biggest pet peave was that BPS did not support Server 2008 (which was a big problem for SBS 2008 customers).

RIM just announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, which seems to be the replacement for BPS (and I can’t even find BPS on www.blackberry.com anymore).  It won’t be released until next month, but as far as I can tell, it is basically BPS with a new name, and the following features added:

  • 30 user limit has been increased to 75 (or 2000+ if installed on dedicated server)
  • Works with *BIS and BES data plans, software and CALs seem to be free
  • Remote file access (Windows Shared folders)
  • Support for SBS 2008 and Exchange 2010
  • Web-based administration

This means that the BlackBerry solution for SMB customers will be ABSOLUTELY FREE.  There is no cost for the software, and CALs are even free.  Also, no longer will end users need the enterprise data plan, which most carriers charge an extra $10/month per line for.  This will mean new features and a much lower cost for SMB customers!

*EDIT: I just read on the BES Express documentation that a BES data plan is needed for wireless enterprise activation, as well as: “Over-the-air (OTA) updates require a BlackBerry Enterprise data plan.”  This means BIS users will need an updated data plan if they want to stay wireless :/