Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

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Microsoft Exchange Server and
Blackberry Enterprise Server news, views and fixes.

Approving Quarantined ActiveSync Devices with Exchange Management Shell

For some reason, the act of approving a quarantined device using EMS isn't immediately obvious. It took me a little while to work out how to do it. 

This command will show you what devices are quaranted:

Get-ActiveSyncDevice -filter {deviceaccessstate -eq 'quarantined'} | select identity, deviceid | fl

Therefore it would seem that set-activesyncdevice would be the correct command to use to approve the device. 

Not so. 

It is actually set-casmailbox. 

Take the device ID from the first command, you use it to complete this second command: 

Set-CASMailbox –Identity user@example.com –ActiveSyncAllowedDeviceIDs DEVICEID

Give it about 15 minutes and the device will start to get email. 

Kemp Release Free Load Balancer Virtual Appliance

Kemp have released a free load balancing virtual appliance. If you have a small environment and don't need the high availability of two load balancers, then this could be an ideal solution. 


There are some limitations, particularly around the throughput (only 20mps) but if you are using a small environment or a lab, then it could be all that you need. Absolutely no reason to use Windows Network Load Balancing any more. 

If you have Kemp load balancers in your production environment, then it is an ideal way to have the same in your test environment. It will also make this a valuable learning tool for Exchange and server administrators. 

No support included, but that is to be expected. 

It looks like it is pretty much the complete feature-set from Kemp, including:

Layer 4/7 load balancing
Content switching
Caching, compression engine
MS Exchange 2010/2013 optimized
Pre-configured virtual service templates

The only thing it is missing features wise is Active/Hot Standby redundant operation.

If you are going to use this in a production site, then I would watch that maximum throughput though. 

Update for Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime (KB3001652) Install Hang

Looks like the updates for today (10th Feb 2015) has an update that isn't installing correctly.

KB3001652 Update for Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime.

On Windows 8.1 machines it seems to just hang.
However on a Windows 7 machine, I got a runtime installer appear, which required me to click through a few steps to install. 

Therefore it looks like it is hanging because the setup installer is hidden in the background. 

This was further confirmed by trying to reset the Windows Update system using my script from here: http://wuauclt.info/scripts.asp

In the command prompt window it said that a file couldn't be deleted because it was held open by another process. 

Looking in Task Manager, I found a setup.exe process running. Killing that process immediately brought up the Reboot now windows in Windows Update. I ran the script again and it was successful. A reboot also passed without incident, taking just a couple of minutes which was normal for the VM I was using. 

As the lab system I am testing against uses a WSUS, I declined the update. For home users, you should probably hide it. I expect it will get pulled by Microsoft very shortly. 

So the complete method to deal with this stuck update.

1. In task manager, find the setup.exe that is running in the background which you cannot see and end the task. 
2. Run the script from my web site above, to clean out Windows Update.
3. Reboot. 
4. Re-run Windows Update. When you see the update listed, hide it. 

Install all other updates as normal and reboot. 

Did Blackberry EZPass? Watch for automatic enrolment in support programme

If you took advantage of the Blackberry EZ-Pass programme earlier this year to get free licences for BES 10 and then BES 12, you should have been receiving emails asking you to renew the support. For all EZPass upgraders, support expires on Jan 31st. 

However it is easy to miss in these emails is that if you do not opt out, then you will be invoices for the renewal automatically. This could end up being very expensive. For my four licences, Blackberry were asking for over £700!

"Important information on opting out 

If you do not wish to renew your Advantage Level Technical Support, you must opt-out of the program in order to avoid being invoiced following the close of the program. Please contact BlackBerry to receive instructions regarding the opt-out process."

What are the options here? 

There are a number of options available, depending on your own needs. 

  1. Renew. 
    The price quoted is for support on all of your Silver CALS that you got for free via the EZPASS programme. They also include support, so when BES 12.1 or higher is released, then you will be able to upgrade. 
  2. Opt out and pay nothing else.
    The EZPASS programme provided Silver Perpetual CALs. Therefore if you opt out, then you will stay on the version that you have now. You will be unable to upgrade to new versions of BES for free and will not get any support. You need to contact Blackberry for the opt out. You will then get an email with a link to a web site to click on and confirm the opt out. If you have not had that email then you have not opted out.
  3. Re-Purchase the licences fresh. 
    All new licences are annual subscription, so you need to pay to renew each year. This is what I am doing. New silver licences here in the UK are £15 a year, therefore I could renew my four licences for 10 years and still save money.
    However another client was quoted the equivalent of £12 a user, so it made sense to renew. 
    Furthermore, if after 12 months they decided not to renew, then their licences are still valid, as they are perpetual. There would simply be no further support available. 
Make a decision - doing nothing is not an option. 

Remember though, I am not an employee of Blackberry and therefore the advice above is my interpretation of the licencing of BES. If you are unclear, you should speak to Blackberry Sales.