Thursday, January 27, 2005

How to Run a WMI Query from the Command Line

If you have some WMI Query you can use wbemtest *) to run it. But this is a little tedious as you first have to connect to the namespace etc.
An alternative is to do it from the command line using WMIC. Take this statement - it was part of an SMS error message I got:
SELECT __CLASS, __PATH, __RELPATH, Description, Manufacturer, Name, Status FROM Win32_NetworkClient
You can not use the statement directly, but it can easily be converted to WMIC style:
wmic path Win32_NetworkClient get __CLASS, __PATH, __RELPATH, Description, Manufacturer, Name, Status
Use the /Format switch to make the output more readable.

*) In case you do not know wbemtest, play around with it. Just search the Help and Support Center for wbemtest.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Domain Trust and "The operation can not be performed on the current domain"

I was trying to setup a trust between two domains across ISA2004. Everything running in Virtual PC. But it did not work. Whenever I tried, I got the message The operation can not be performed on the current domain. I was not able to find this message anywhere on the Internet and the message gave no hint as to why it wasn't possible. Trying to explain the problem to my colleague, I realized the problem myself: I had copied the original Windows Server 2003 disk (file) in a workgroup state. DCPromo seems to reuse the SID of the original server for the domain, so the problem was caused by the fact that both Active Directory domains were having the same SID. Hmmm - I knew that I should not just copy the disk, but a decent error messages would have helped a lot. Demote, sysprep and promote removed the problem.

If you by chance should experience the same situation on NT4, the error is also a strange one. As I'm not 100% sure, I'm not going to provide the message but it had something to do with file/record already exists.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hosted Messaging And Collaboration 3.0

The next version of Hosted Exchange 2003 (HE2003), Krakatoa, now renamed to Hosted Messaging and Collaboration 3.0 (HMC 3.0) has been released. It continues the evolution from HE2003 and adds "true" support for Sharepoint Services and Live Communications Server 2005. Furthermore the reference architecture has been updated significantly with -

Support for running on MPS on Windows Server 2003 (As opposed to HE2003)
SQL Reporting Services
Microsoft Operations Manager 2005
Migration tools from to migrate users from other platforms
ISA 2004
Intelligent Message Filtering
Resource Manager Rebuilder Tool (Used when AD and MPS is out of sync)
OAB Migration Tool (Used when moving from "standard" Exchange OAB implementation to dedicated OAB servers)

And much more - I will be back with further info when I've had the time to test and use the product. Until then you can check links to the press release here and what the press has to say about it here.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Virtual PC 2004 SP1.27 Upgrade Experiences

This is a follow-up to my earlier post.
So I tried to update. But the SP1.27 (as I now call it) said the software already was installed. I went into Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled SP1. Planning on rebooting later, I found that the uninstall made all my network adapters unusuable. Normally, the install disables networking temporary, but this time they simply did not work afterwards.
After rebooting, I realized that Virtual PC was completely uninstalled. I installed the RTM version again and applied SP1.27.
Now both Help, About and Add/Remove Programs, Support Information claims that I'm running 5.3.582.27 as expected.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Multiple Versions of Virtual PC 2004 SP1!

This is strange. My Virtual PC crashed. Although, that is rare - it is not strange. The strange part comes later. Well I reported the error to Microsoft as a good computer citizen and on the "upload done / thank you very much" box, I pressed the 'more information' link. Just for fun. You never expect that to take you anywhere useful. To my surprise I came to the Online Crash Analysis (OCA) web and it told me that there was an update to my problem. Surprised, as I was, I clicked the link for the download. Now, my expectations were fulfilled - the link was broken. I investigated this a little further, as it made me suspicious that the 'file not found' appeared in Danish. It turned out that the OCA site appends &displaylang=da to the URL as my regional settings are Danish. When I stripped off the language part, I came to the real download.

Now to the strange part. The download was SP1 - but I already upgraded to SP1 last year?? I took it one step deeper and came up with these version numbers:
  • RTM report (build 582) - ORCA say 5.3.582
  • My running SP1 is 5.3.582.23 - but Add/Remove Programs 'Click here for support information' says 5.3.582.24?
  • I already had a saved, downloaded SP1 kit - it is 5.3.582.24. Obviously, I did not use this when I upgrade - or did I?
  • The new download is 5.3.582.27

SP1 is not SP1 - I think I will upgrade again...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Exchange Best Practice Analyzer Tool update

The by now eminent ExBPA tool has been updated to version this time with over 50 new rules including -

Missing Exchange binary files, presence of recovery storage groups, availability check for the primary DNS server, Exchange process TCP port conflicts, and checks for over 25 non-default settings.

Find it here

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Junk e-mail Filter updates on Outlook, Entourage (and IMF?)

Microsoft has released updates for their Junk E-mail Filters on Outlook 2003 and Entourage - furthermore rumor has it that Microsoft will start providing updates to the by now outdated Junk E-mail Filter in IMF by the end of this month (In addition to the update to IMF expected in Exchange 2003 SP2).

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kit - Upgrading to Exchange 2003 in a Medium-Sized Organization

Microsoft has released a deployment kit that describes what they define as the "standard deployment method" for upgrading Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 (including domain upgrade). The target is medium-sized organizations which they define as approx. 200 to 2000 mailboxes.
The kit contains three documents (and a small checklist); the first of these takes the reader through the high level deployment steps and a decision flowchart to check whether or not the readers organization is a candidate for the "standard deployment method" - the second document contains instructions for an in-place domain upgrade and the last document contains instructions for upgrading the Exchange environment.
IMHO one of the best features of this deployment kit is that it has an reasonable size (less than 80 pages) and that it gives the reader a very good overview of the steps in a standard Exchange/domain upgrade - whether or not the "standard deployment method" is a viable method for all readers is another case; but more important is that it gives the reader a good background for e.g. a discussion with their professional advisors regarding deployment methods.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Beat Hackers At Their Own Game With A Hackerbasher Site

This is great stuff from Marnie Hutcheson: Customize your ISA/IIS and trap all web requests using an IP address (probably some hacker/worm tool) in a dummy location. Much like a honeypot - but easier and cheaper. Quote -
In this article, I will present an easily implemented strategy that uses HTTP 1.1 host headers to divert port 80 attacks away from unsecured public Web sites into a dead end where they can't do damage.
Make sure to read the Hardening Your Web Server sidebar for further ideas.

MOM 2005 Performance and Sizing White Paper

First, happy 2005. Vacation is over and its is time to get back to work tomorrow.

Next, Microsoft ended 2004 by finally releasing a white paper on MOM sizing. It is going to be fun to see whether the systems I have implemented meets the requirements... ;)