Archive for the ‘small business technology’ Category

h1

Transferring Shares to a new Server

August 8, 2007

I just came across a great way to transfer the shares from an old server to the new one.  It handles printers as well as folder shares.  NOTE: You may have to go through the shares and update the paths as the drive letters may be different on the new server.  Even with having to do that it will save tons of time which would have been spent creating the shares by hand.

Here is a link to the MS KB:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/125996

h1

Forward email to Blackberry’s with Exchange without BES

August 1, 2007

What? Yep, you heard it right. And I never really thought about it, but it makes total sense. I got this from SearchExchange… it’s so simple!

Here is a solution that is very easy to implement and does not require any knowledge or possession of a BlackBerry server. To do this, you only need to have an email-enabled BlackBerry device. (If your device is not yet email-enabled, you can probably arrange this at no extra charge through your handheld/wireless provider).

Once you’ve configured an address for your handheld device, such as JTest@myhandheldprovider.com, create a contact in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) that corresponds to that address.

After the Exchange Recipient Update Service (RUS) has run its magic and you can now “see” this contact in your address book, configure forwarding of messages from the user’s regular mailbox to the new BlackBerry contact. You will do this on the Exchange General tab of the user account. You can also set this so that messages are sent to both the BlackBerry and the mailbox, rather than just to the BlackBerry without leaving a copy in the mailbox.

Messages sent to the BlackBerry using this technique will appear as the original message, preserving all sender information. The messages will not appear as having been forwarded by another account.

As a final step, you may want to hide the BlackBerry contact from the address book, using the Exchange Advanced tab of the contact, so that regular users do not see it in the address book.

h1

Let users update their own AD information with the Active Directory Update tool

July 4, 2007

Serdar Yegulalp
07.03.2007


Active Directory Update is a .NET Web application written by Active Directory and Exchange Server maven Jim McBee that allows individual end users to update their own Active Directory attributes via a Web page.

Windows and Exchange Server administrators who rely on the GALMOD utility to modify user data in Active Directory should welcome the convenience of the Active Directory Update tool. Users just have to log in to a Web interface to modify Active Directory attributes for which they have been granted update permissions.

The program has a number of customizations that can be applied:

  • Fields like city, state, department, and office can be constrained to dropdown list selection only to prevent mistakes or invalid submissions.
  • Any part of the interface can be hidden to simplify the presentation.
  • All of the help/attribute strings and labels in the interface can be customized.

The program comes with its own installer and requires only that Internet Information Services (IIS) be installed and running, and that ASP.NET and the .NET 1.1 Framework be present. Connections to the program can optionally be made over an SSL connection for added security.

If you want to try out the program, a 10-day evaluation version is available that works without any functionality restrictions and can be easily upgraded to the full version with little effort. The cost to license the full version is U.S. $299 per Active Directory domain.

h1

So a user deletes their inbox… now what?

June 21, 2007

Alot of this is taken from Daniel Petri. I’m simply reposting much of it because it’s simply perfect!

A user uses Outlook. They call you and say “I just deleted my entire inbox”. You may ask “how the hell did you do that?” – but more often than not you should start asking the basic questions. Do you have Outlook? And most of the time, you will need to find out if they use Exchange as their mail server, because alot of times, end users simply don’t know.

Well, first things first… if they’re using PST’s… you better hope you have a backup of the PST.

However, this post is strictly about Exchange Server and an Outlook client.

If a user deletes their entire inbox, for example, it may be recoverable.

First, lets see how long an item is kept in the store after a user deletes it:

  1. On your Exchange server open Exchange System Manager (ESM) and navigate to your server object.
  2. Right-click the server object and select Properties.

In the Limits tab notice the value in the “Keep Deleted Items” box.

In our case it’s 7 days. This means that a user has 7 days to recover his or her deleted items. After that – it’s restore from media time!

Note that the higher you make this value, the bigger the store gets, as deleted items take a longer time to be purged from the store.

Note: Purging deleted items from the store does NOT make the store any smaller. For that you need to Defragment Exchange 2000/2003 Server Databases Offline.

Use Outlook to recover deleted items

The good news is that you can recover deleted items both from the regular Outlook client and from OWA.

In order to recover a deleted item via Outlook we need to first open Outlook (Duh). Then, click on the Deleted Items folder.

Click on Tools, and then the Recover Deleted Items icon (which looks like the recycle bin, lookout not to click on the left icon – that’ll empty your deleted items folder).

You’ll get a new window, where you’ll be able to browse to the item(s) you want to recover, and then press the Recover button.

The recovered items will return to the Deleted Items folder, where you can read, reply or move to their original location.

How do I recover hard-deleted items via Outlook?

Hard-deleted items are items that have been deleted by using SHIFT+DEL, thus the item avoided landing in the Deleted Items folder, and because of that, it cannot be simply recovered.

There is a registry hack for this to work on Outlook (MS KB 178630).

To show you the trick we will first hard-delete an item from the user’s Inbox by clicking on the item and pressing SHIFT+DEL on the keyboard. You will be prompted to accept the action. Do so.

Now, lets see if we can normally recover this item.

No, the Recover Deleted Items folder is empty because the item was hard-deleted from the Inbox.

To enable hard-deleted items recovery in Outlook follow these steps:

Open Registry Editor.

In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options

Create the following value (DWORD):

DumpsterAlwaysOn

and give it a value of 1.

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you’re supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

Close Registry Editor, re-open Outlook for settings to take place.

After you add this value, the Recover Deleted Items option becomes available for the Sent Items folder, the Drafts folder, the Outbox folder, and the Inbox folder. You can recover deleted items from these folders.

As you can clearly see, the Inbox has the Recover Deleted Items option enabled, and so does each and every folder in the user’s mailbox.

h1

Examining Disk Space on Servers

June 16, 2007

Need some nice free tools to see exactly what’s taking up all that space on the server your working on? Well… here you go! Here are some free tools that can help.

WinDirStat http://windirstat.info/

Very flashy but also very useful.  Those blocks represent single files, so the larger the block, the larger the file.  I found a whole season of Thomas the Tank Engine on one my client’s user shares with this.  Sorry Thomas is no longer available.

 

DFolder – (http://files.ww.com/files/18506.html)

It’s a shell extension for when you hit the properties of any folder or hard drive. DFolder’s been sitting at this website for years.  Apparently it was made by someone in France somewhere along the line.  It’s reliable nonetheless and it’s a feature that really should have been in Windows at some point.  When you fire it up go to Options and check “By Size” and then Check “Descending”.

 

Grand Perspective – (For the Mac)

It’s like WinDirStat but better because it’s on the Mac.

h1

Outlook PST’s… Back them up locally, or disable them completely! Here’s how

May 25, 2007

It’s been an ongoing debate.

Some people keep archive PSTs or backup PSTs to store their old email. We’ve all seen PSTs grow too big that are stored on servers causing Outlook slowdowns and/or crashes, which result in client complaints. In fact, Microsoft frowns down on doing this. It is an unsupported practice.

Or, if the PST is stored locally, and there is a hard drive crash with no backup, the user is left with no emails.

Nick over at Addicted to IT recently blogged about this same topic and recommended checking out the Outlook Add-in Personal Folders Backup Tool. The Personal Folders Backup download creates backup copies of your .PST files at regular intervals, in Outlook 2002 and later versions, making it easy to keep all of your Outlook folders safely backed up. So, if your PC does crash, you’re not down the creek without a paddle.

However, Sean Daniel has recommended the obvious, stop PST usage all-together, so backing up PST’s isn’t even an issue anymore. It can be a pain in the arse to set up. Plus if PSTs get to big, it causes Outlook performance issues anyway. And it’s now easy to implement this to all the users in your environment with a little GPO to prevent PST usage.

Check out his blog for easy directions setting this up. If you’ve done GPO work before, it’s a cinch. This policy prevents the PST files from growing (hence writing to PST files) It does not prevent the user from loading up any PST file and reading mail out of it.

h1

Exchange 2007, 32-bit, in Production? What? Huh?

May 24, 2007

Apparently, it can be done. However, with a few caveats.

Read the full article here.