Sunday, February 27, 2005

How to query the Microsoft Knowledge Base by using keywords and query words

Maybe I should have known more about this years ago - I actually have thought about it - just never investigated it. Nevertheless, you can use predefined keywords to make a more precise search for you KB articles. Not all keywords are in the help article. Some, you have to figure out yourself.
Two useful ones are Windows SP2 fixes kbwinxpsp3fix and Office 2003 SP 2 ones kboffice2003presp2fix.

Friday, February 25, 2005

New Permission Objects in SMS 2003 SP1.

While creating a script setting up permissions in SMS, I realized that there are some a new kids in town – the manage folder permission and the software updates class. But the binary value of those are not documented in the SDK!

Manage folder is bit 17 hex 0x20000 decimal 131072. Software Updates is class value 10. Both are the next available bit/value - makes sense.

Software Updates has read, modify, delete, administer, create and delegate permissions.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Guest OS Slow - Give It More RAM

Playing around with Virtual Server 2005, I ran into some very slow guest OS’s – some reacted very, very slowly, so here’s a hint:
If you are experiencing that one or a few of your guest OS’s are slow but the others are running as expected, you probably have starved the slow ones. Give them more RAM to speed things up. The easy way to check whether a guest is starved is to compare the assigned RAM to the Commit Level (Task Manager) and at the same time look at the page fault delta values (Task Manager, Processes tab, select columns). If you want to get the most out of your RAM, you probably will run with the Commit Level some above the amount of RAM – but too much paging will slow you down.

Monday, February 21, 2005

MOM 2005 Core MP Updated

An update of the MOM 2005 Management Pack versioned v05.0.2803.0000 was released February 9th. My existing is 2746. You can get it here. The changes can be viewed by using the MP2XML and MPDiff tools of the Resource Kit -
  • Convert the old and the new AKM files to XML with MP2XML AKM-file XML-file
  • Run MPDiff.Console.exe /src:old.xml /tgt:new.xml /v:cad. You can also run it with one of the cad (changed, added, deleted) letters at a time.
  • View the output or view diffout.xml with Internet Explorer

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Virtual Server 2005 and InCd are not best friends!

I found the solution to the problem in my earlier post. InCd conflicts with Virtual Server 2005. Uninstalling InCd made the problem go away.

Indigo - Applications on Longhorn

If Microsoft is able to hold the schedule, we need to start considering how managing and running Longhorn applications is going to be. Applications utilizing Longhorn will be based on the Indigo application framework. I stumbled across this article about Indigo. It is worth reading! And as the article ends -
The impact of this technology will not be small. Anyone who builds distributed applications on Windows, especially applications that must interoperate with those on other platforms, should pay close attention. Indigo will significantly change their world.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Nokia and Exchange Server ActiveSync

According to this press release (and a lot of blogs - too many to mention) Nokia has licensed EAS for their Nokia 60 and 80 Series. This is interesting news especially for Service Providers offering Hosting based on Exchange 2003 as one the advantages of this platform is the integrated mobile features (Be it ActiveSync or OMA) - the problem is that the penetration rate of Windows Mobile Devices was and probably still is very low compared to that of e.g. Nokia Mobiles (In Scandinavia anyway).
And IMHO Nokia Mobiles is still a better choice than the Windows Mobile powered devices I’ve used so far (Qtek 2020 and lately iPAQ 6340) and even though the battery lifetime and impressing feature set of the latter is very attractive – I’d prefer a stable PDA/Phone (I've had my Wireless repaired 2 times and its broke again; furthermore I've had issues with bluetooth and stability problems).
According to a Danish news source there should be an update on the way to fix the Wireless/Bluetooth problems with the iPAQ 6340 – when/if that comes and if it fixes the problems I’d probably change my mind as the iPAQ 6340 is very close to be the perfect Mobile/PDA device for me (I love the Wireless features and my TomTom Navigator 3 with Bluetooth GPS).

Friday, February 11, 2005

Virtual Server 2005 Events are OK (now)

This is a follow-up to my earlier blog. After uninstalling Virtual PC 2004 and rebooting the server, eventlogging works. Events are logged in the Virtual Server eventlog and they also appear in the Virtual Server Web interface. Looks like a conflict with (the unsupported on Windows Server 2003) Virtual PC 2004. Think I will clean up the registry...

Could not See Virtual Server 2005 Events

Playing around with Virtual Server 2003 eval edition, I had problems starting one of my guest OS'es. I went into eventvwr to analyze the problem and discovered that Virtual Server creates its own eventlog like e.g. DNS does. This was empty. The events were in the Application log but they were not translated correctly -
Event Type: Error
Event Source: Virtual Server
Event Category: (2)
Event ID: 1061
Date: 12-02-2005
Time: 11:32:54
User: HOST\Administrator
Computer: HOST
Description: The description for Event ID ( 1061 ) in Source ( Virtual Server ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: po-sql2000.

Not very useful! So I decided to fix the registry to get these events translated correctly. This is how I did that -
  • First I looked below HKLM\SYSTEM\CCS\Services\Eventlog\Virtual Server\Virtual Server
  • Here I found the pointer for the resource DLL C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server Trial\Event Log\VirtualServerLogMessages.dll.
  • I verified that the file was on my system.
  • Having done so, I exported the above key to a .REG file.
  • Replaced the first \Virtual Server\ string with \Application\ using notepad.
  • Saved the file.
  • Loaded it by double-clicking it

This got the messages translated corrected in event viewer -

"po-sql2000" could not be started because there is not enough physical memory or system resources available.

Now I only have to figure out what it means by that - I have 1.5 GB available!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC2 released

Microsoft has released SP1 RC2 for download - you can find the information about SP1 here and download RC2 here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Enable Remote Desktop Connections remotely #2

I've received a few comments on my earlier post - one of them is that you can just wait a minute or 2 after changing the registry key instead of rebooting (Patience is a virtue ;-) another one is that the "authorized" way to do this is through WMI -

wmic /node:"Computer Name (FQDN)" /USER:"username" RDTOGGLE WHERE ServerName="Computer Name" CALL SetAllowTSConnections 1

This by the way only works from Windows Server 2003 (Thanks to Per Ø. for pointing this out) - if you need to this from Windows XP it looks like this -

wmic /node:"Computer Name (FQDN)" /USER:"username" PATH win32_terminalservicesetting WHERE (__Class!="") CALL SetAllowTSConnections 1

It's a good suggestion to use WMI (Except that it's easier - for me anyway - to remember the registry key ;-)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

SMS 2003 SDK Version 2

V2 was out in August last year so this is not brand new stuff. Anyway, things like these may not be the first to look at until you have a reason, so treat this as a reminder. The new version contains .NET examples, console folder documentation and the Management Point (MP) API. As always it contains a wealth of information useful for the SMS nerd :) - the extensibility of SMS is one of its best features.

LogParser v2.2

LogParser was recently updated. LogParser is a cool tool and it also have an object interface for scripting. Read the excellent Tales from the Script article on scripting it. Read the help file to see other uses - it is very versatile.

Scriptomatic 2.0

For those doing automation - and who doesn't? - Scriptomatic from Microsoft just got a major overhaul: Support for multiple scripting langauges and output formats. Use it to jumpstart your scripts. It is a very useful product - although there are still improvements wanted - at least for the VBScript version. I think a global On error resume next is considered bad programming. Likewise a missing Option Explicit is bad. I am aware that Scriptomatic is intended to get you going and it does that very well, but learning scripters bad habits is not a good thing. Normally, on error resume next / goto 0 should only surround statements throwing an error you want to catch. Without Option Explicit, you can risk all sorts of side effects in your code if it grows beyound a few lines. An example:
dim lngCounter
wscript.echo lngCounter
wscript.echo lngCounter

sub IncreaseCounter
end sub

This will echo 1 and 1 and and not 1 and 2 as expected. This is caused by a spelling mistake in the statement in IncreaseCounter. Option Explicit would have caught this error.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

IMF update has arrived

As I reported in an earlier post Microsoft has released a long awaited update to the SmartScreen filter in IMF (Before the technology update coming in SP2) - you can find it here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Enable Remote Desktop Connections remotely

How many times have you went back to your Desk or home after installing a brand new Windows 2003 Server just to find that you forgot to enable Remote Desktop Connections? Jim McBee has found the registry key to remotely enable this –

HKLM\System\CCS\Control\Terminal Server\fDenyTSConnection

Just change it from 1 to 0 and reboot.

It's the Little Things in Life ... (Like Google or Regmon ;-)