Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists


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

Net Framework 3.5 Installation errors Windows 2012/2012 R2

Recently tried to install Net Framework 3.5 on to an existing server which had been in production for a few months. 
Constantly failing with an error about being unable to find the source files, even though it was using an ISO which was used to build this and many other servers in the past. 

Clutching at straws, discovered that the server had a Windows Update installed, released in September 2014 for Net Framework 3.5, even though it wasn't installed. Some research on the internet indicated that it was one of these three:


Removing the update then attempting the installation again was successful. 

Once Net Framework had been installed, I ran Windows Update to reinstall the update I removed, plus numerous others that were required for Net Framework. 

Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 End of Life

Completely forgot to mention last week that as well as Exchange 2003 going end of life, so did Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2. Therefore to continue to receive updates and support for Exchange 2010, you need to be on Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3. 

This follows Exchange 2010 RTM going end of life in October 2011 and Service Pack one in January 2013.

You can see the full list of Microsoft Exchange end of support dates on the Microsoft Lifecycle web site.

Farewell Exchange 2003

Today is the day that support for Windows XP ends, but it is also the end of another product that was much loved in its day and even now is still in widespread use, and that is Exchange 2003.


Exchange 2003 was where I really got heavily involved with the Exchange product. I had played around a bit with Exchange 5.5 and 2000 at previous employers, but it was around the time of Exchange 2003 SP1 release that I really started to spend time with it.


I was thrown in to a migration from Exchange 2000 to 2003 within weeks of starting a new job, and having built my first server, interest in the product grew very quickly. It was working on Exchange 2003 problems within the community that first got me recognition from Microsoft via their MVP programme - which I have just been received for the ninth year.


Getting RPC over HTTPS to work was my first major achievement, and it became one of the most popular articles on my web site. Documentation wasn't great and it required manual registry changes to work correctly.


I remember the joy of having the 16gb database limit increased to 18gb initially, up to 75gb with a registry change that was introduced with one of the service packs.


By the time we got to service pack 2, Exchange 2003 was a pretty rock solid product. Reliable, with plenty of third party support. The introduction of ActiveSync over HTTP was particularly important, as just a short time later the iPhone was released which took advantage of it. Until that point, mobile sync support was limited to Windows Mobile devices or Blackberry.
There was a version of ActiveSync at RTM, but until the HTTP version came out, it only really worked for users in the USA, who had free email to text services.


Looking at it now, Exchange 2003 is a fairly basic email application, but for many companies it does all that they need. However it is starting to show its age. There are problems with some modern ActiveSync devices and OWA does not like the modern browsers and unless you are using Internet Explorer, the OWA experience is pretty painful. The limitation of 75gb on a database in standard edition is very limiting for all but the smallest of companies.


It was also the last version of Exchange that was administrated purely through a GUI. However with email platforms becoming bigger all the time, a GUI only approach quickly showed its weaknesses and the move to a modern scripting language like PowerShell was overdue.



As with many things, it was good for its time, but the more modern versions of Exchange, particularly Exchange 2010 are simply much better, more feature rich and a lot more suitable for the demands of a modern IT infrastructure. 

Exchange 2007/2010/2013 Outbound SMTP Banner Testing

Back in 2009 I posted that automated tools like those at mxtoolbox will return false negative results on the SMTP banner tests. (


This is because the SMTP banner presented for inbound email is different to outbound email.


This is still the case with Exchange 2010 and 2013. You shouldn't try and change the Receive Connector configuration to "fix" this problem as will cause further issues with Exchange.


However with those tools providing false information, it raises the question of how do you easily test the banner so that you can see how a remote server will see your server?


Of course one way is to simply send an email to a remote server which you have control over, and check the headers. That isn't always practical and if you don't have your own server, using something Gmail or Hotmail might mean the message gets block because you haven't configured things correctly.


One of the blacklist operators has setup a system that will show you exactly what you are sending back, in the form of an NDR.

The details are here:


After sending the message, you will get an NDR back similar to this: rejected your message to the following e-mail addresses: ( gave this error:

*** The HELO for IP address was '' (valid syntax) ***


 A problem occurred during the delivery of this message to this e-mail address. Try sending this message again. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.


Diagnostic information for administrators:


Generating server: #550 *** The HELO for IP address was '' (valid syntax) *** ##


Original message headers: 



This service is a quick and easy way to verify the server is configured correctly. 

Blackberry 10 Simulator

If you are curious to see what the Blackberry 10 device is all about, or you need to support it, then the simulator is probably a good choice. This is available free of charge from the Blackberry web site. 

The simulator usually has a more advanced version of the OS than currently available, as it is designed to help developers get ready for the new OS. 

At the time of writing this means 10.2.1 which includes the Android emulation feature. 

System Requirements

Due to the installer Blackberry use, you need to have JAVA installed on the workstation. 

It also requires VMWARE Player or Workstation. 


The default location during the install is in My Documents. However if you decide to install it somewhere else, then you should run the installer Elevated. After installation the permissions can be out, so give Users full control to the directory where the VM is stored. 

The virtual machine installs with the network set to NAT mode by default - I prefer it to be connecting directly, so change the configuration before booting the VM.  


It is a little slow to load, and do ensure that you have the latest video card drivers and a machine with Hardware virtualisation support enabled in the BIOS. However once loaded and you get your head around the "swiping" with the mouse, it is very quick. 

Once you have it loaded, don't forget to change the keyboard and language settings. I also found the time zone was wrong and the clock was six hours wrong as well, despite "automatic" time sync being enabled. 

Application Installation

You can access the Blackberry App World, you can also use third party App Stores, such as the Amazon App Store. However if required you can also sideload applications. There are various methods to do this, one of the easiest is to use a Google Chrome Extension, which is discussed here:

Exchange Connectivity

Of course as an Exchange MVP, one of the first things I wanted to try was connecting it to Exchange. This works perfectly, I was able to add it to my test Exchange 2013 server very quickly, and also to a test BES 10 server. 


The simulator is free to download, and can be found at this link: