Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

SEMblog

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

Autodiscover Proxy Failure

An interesting little issue with a client's configuration caused a problem recently.

The problem only affected users off site using Outlook Anywhere. While they could get their email correctly, the availability service didn't. This stopped Out of the Office from working correctly unless OWA was used, or the end user was in the office.  

This particularly configuration uses a Client Access Server in a data centre, which proxies over a site to site VPN in to the main office where another CAS, plus the mailboxes are actually located. Therefore the issue had to be around a configuration difference between the two servers. 

Running 

get-clientaccesserver servername |fl 

on the server in the data centre and comparing it to the server in the main office, showed that the value for AutodiscoverSiteScope was populated with the AD site for the main office. This was because the server in the data centre had been built in that location initially and then moved. 

Removing that entry so it was blank resolved the issue:

Set-clientaccessserver servername -AutodiscoverSiteScope $null 

A five minute fix resolved an annoying problem for the end users. 

Creating a Combined 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 7 Installation DVD

 

I wanted to update my Windows 7 installation DVD so that it not only installed any version of Windows 7, but also both the 64 bit and the 32 bit. It would be used on both a memory stick and DVD. 

While searching around the internet, I found various techniques using various third party tools. However as I didn't have any of the third party tools and wasn't about to buy them for this single task, I found my own way of creating the DVD using tools that Microsoft have already provided. 

Requirements

 

  • Windows 7 ISOs/DVDs of 64 bit and 32 bit. Doesn't matter which version, as long as it isn't Starter Edition. I probably wouldn't use a vendor supplied disk either as you never know what changes they have made to it. MDSN, Technet or Retail will be fine. 
  • Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit. This is a free download from Microsoft here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34&displaylang=en  - this file downloads as an ISO - hence the need for an ISO mount tool. 
  • An ISO mount tool.
  • Optional: A virtual machine platform to test on. 

 

Method

 

  1. Create two temporary directories. One called WIM and one called DVD. 
  2. Mount each ISO in turn and copy the file "Install.WIM" to the directory "WIM". Rename the file that comes from the 32 bit DVD/ISO x86.WIM and the one from the 63 bit DVD/ISO x64.WIM
  3. Copy the entire contents of the 32 bit Windows ISO in to the directory called DVD. 
  4. Delete the file "ei.cfg" from the copy of the DVD that you have created. This is the file that locks the installation media to a specific version of Windows 7. If it isn't present, setup prompts you for the version you wish to install. 
  5. Install Windows 7 AIK - this is the option "Windows AIK Setup" when you run StartCD from the downloaded ISO.
  6. With the Windows 7 AIK installed on your computer run the Deployment Tools Command Prompt.
  7. Type the following commands in the Command Prompt window. Change the  paths and drive letters to match where you have stored the files.
    Alternatively, copy all of these commands in to a notepad document, rename the document run.bat (or whatever you like) and run that instead.
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x86.WIM 5 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Ultimate x86"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x64.WIM 4 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Ultimate x64"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x86.WIM 4 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Professional x86"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x64.WIM 3 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Professional x64"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x86.WIM 3 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Home Premium x86"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x64.WIM 2 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Home Premium x64"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x86.WIM 2 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Home Basic x86"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x64.WIM 1 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Home Basic x64"
    IMAGEX /Export E:\WIM\x86.WIM 1 E:\WIM\INSTALL.WIM "Windows 7 Starter x86"
  8. Copy the new install.wim created above in to the \Sources directory of the DVD directory created in step 3, replacing the existing. 
  9. Back in the Deployment Tools Command Prompt, run the following command:
    oscdimg.exe -lWindows7 -m -u2 -b"E:\DVD\Boot\etfsboot.com" E:\DVD E:\Windows7.ISO
    Where 
    • Windows7 is the name of the DVD (note the lack of space between the l and the name),
    • E:\DVD is the source directory
    • E:\Windows7.ISO is the destination ISO name. 
  10. Test the ISO using VMWARE Player or other VM technology, before burning to DVD. 
  11. For memory stick use, simply take an existing USB memory stick used for installing Windows 7 and copy the Install.WIM file created above and replace the existing. It will then support both. 

 


 

Got a Blackberry on BIS - Got Exchange/SBS - You Need a BES Express

 

If you were affected by the Blackberry Internet Service outage today (10th October 2001) and your Blackberry connects to an in-house email server running Exchange server (2003 or higher), then you really should be running a BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) or BES Express (BESX).

A Blackberry connected to a BES/BESX gives you the full functionality of the Blackberry with true two way synchronisation of Email, Contacts, Calendar and Tasks. It is an extension of your Inbox. No need to maintain two sets of data that kind of synchronises. 

If you use BESX, then the software is free and you do not have to change your device subscription/tariff. For smaller installations the software can be installed on your server in  a few hours and give you complete control over the devices that connect. 

If you are in an industry where the email traffic is sensitive, the data exchange between your Blackberry and the BES/BESX cannot be intercepted as the encryption is managed by your server, not the one at RIM. This provides a more secure mobile email solution. 

Through my company Sembee Ltd, I can install and configure a BES Express for you for just £250 plus VAT if installed on to an existing server (other terms and conditions apply). That includes post installation configuration and guidance on maintenance, handset setup etc. 

For more information, contact me through the company web site at http://www.sembee.co.uk/ 

 

Future Version of Exchange Error When Removing Public Folder Database

During a recent migration from Exchange 2007 to 2010 I found I was unable to remove the public folder store from the Exchange 2007 server. 

It was returning the following error when using remove-publicfolderdatabase or using EMC on Exchange 2007. 

Remove-PublicFolderDatabase : Object is read only because it was created by a future version of Exchange: 0.10 (14.0.100.0). Current supported version is 0.1 (8.0.535.0).

Obviously the Exchange 2010 server had touched the database in some way, probably due to the Offline Address Book migration. 

The fix was quite simple - remove it using the Exchange 2010 Exchange Management Shell. Can't use the GUI as the Exchange 2007 public folders do not appear in there.

Get-PublicFolderDatabase -Server EXCH2007 | Remove-PublicFolderDatabase

Where "Exch2007" is the name of the Exchange 2007 server. 

After removing the database I refreshed the GUI and was then able to drop the Storage Group and complete the removal of Exchange 2007.