David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were new to selling SBS and the afternoon track was for those who already have a great deal of experience in selling SBS. Both sessions went down a storm where we covered off all sorts from market analytics to Windows Mobile with SBS. With the learnings from that event and feedback from YOU, we're hoping to do it again - but better. So, while James tries to uncover how you want your content delivered, I'm keen to understand what exactly it is that you need from us. And it may seem obvious to you. But tell me anyway. As we plan the UK launch event for around the September/October timeframe, it would be really helpful to hear from you on what you need from us - either at the potential launch event, or before that via webcasts. <snipped - contact details on Sonal's blog> SBS stuff and then some... : What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Marketing , Community , SBSC , Partners
  • Small Business Server 2008 downgrade rights questions and answers

    Last night I was at the Merseyside Partner group in Liverpool and once question that got asked again (and was in TPV and London too) was around downgrade rights from SBS 2008 to SBS 2003, so I dug for about 30 seconds and found these items on the Licensing FAQ site Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 : Q: What are downgrade rights? How do I exercise them? A: Downgrade rights, in general, means that you can use an earlier version of the software acquired. For Windows Small Business Server, this means you are allowed to install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Premium Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition, which is what you purchased. You can also install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition. At any time, you can install the software you purchased and cease to use the earlier version. If you obtained your server with Windows Small Business Server preinstalled from a partner or OEM, in order to exercise your downgrade rights you must already have the earlier versions of Windows Small Business Server media available. If you purchased Open Licensing, Volume Licensing, Software Assurance, or the full retail product of Windows Small Business Server 2008, contact Microsoft fulfillment services in your region. Q: Are my Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 CALs valid to use to access my Windows Small Business Server 2008 network? A: No. You must have the CAL version that matches the version of the server software you are running. That is, if you have a Windows Small Business Server 2008 domain, you must have Windows Small Business Server 2008 CALs. Note: If you choose to run an earlier version of the server software (by way of using downgrade rights), you would still be in compliance with your license by acquiring Windows Small Business Server 2008 CALs. Q: How do I obtain CALs for earlier versions of Windows Small Business Server when they are discontinued? A: You will need to purchase...
  • Performance monitoring tools to go with Windows Vista Magazine article

    In my latest article for Windows Vista Magazine I spoke about performance tuning a system and more importantly how to diagnose performance issues. One of the tools I recommend using to do this is the Windows Performance Tools kit. This can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/perftools.mspx . It includes a getting started document. The tools are described as: The Windows Performance Tools (WPT) Kit contains performance analysis tools that are new to the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. The WPT Kit is useful to a broad audience, including system builders, hardware manufacturers, driver developers, and general application developers. These tools are designed for measuring and analyzing system and application performance on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later. The tools currently include an xperf trace capture tool, an xperfview visualization tool (also known as Performance Analyzer), and an xbootmgr boot trace capture tool. The tools are designed for the analysis of a wide range of performance problems including application start times, boot issues, deferred procedure calls and interrupt activity (DPCs and ISRs), system responsiveness issues, application resource usage, and interrupt storms. The MSIs containing these tools are available in the SDK bin directory (one per architecture). The tools are built on top of the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) infrastructure. ETW enables Windows and applications to efficiently generate events. Events can be enabled and disabled at any time without requiring system or process restarts. ETW collects requested kernel events and saves them to one or more files that are referred to as "trace files" or "traces." These kernel events provide extensive details about the operation of the system. Some of the most important and useful kernel events that are available for capture and analysis are context switches, interrupts, DPCs, process and thread creation and destruction, disk I/Os, hard faults, processor P-state...
  • Moving SBS 2003 to new hardware or performing a migration – Update (QFE) to give you longer to do it (21 days up from the 7 days)

    From The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released , a slightly old post, but something work highlighting – how to have 2 SBS boxes on the same network for 21 days. Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released [Today's post comes to us courtesy of Justin Crosby] The software license terms for Windows SBS enforce a limitation that permits the presence of only one Windows SBS server in the domain. However, there is a grace period where you can have a second SBS server in “join domain” type migration scenarios. This grace period is 7 days. In some situations, this grace period may not be long enough to properly complete the migration. This software update extends the allowable grace period for the supported scenarios from 7 days to 21 days. Please plan accordingly, aim to complete your migration within 7 days and only use this update for situations where it is needed. Remember, i f you hit the 21 day limit there is nothing that can be done to extend the limit any further. Important: We strongly recommend that you complete all migration tasks before you demote the Windows SBS domain controller to a member server. Once you demote the Windows SBS domain controller to a member server, the grace period is reset back to 7 days or whatever is left from the 21 days (whichever is less) . The update is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=64903D3C-3264-418D-9199-2963A599E268 The KB is available at: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;943494 For more information on migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to new hardware please see: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServerSolutions/SBS/en/library/62e2094e-ad4e-4227-b20e-97a716ed7c861033.mspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2008 , Small Business , Microsoft , SBSC , Updates , Tips
  • SBS 2008 systems limitations and functions are the same as Windows Server 2008

    With SBS 2003 R2, some of the Windows Server 2003 R2 features were not included. I asked today where we were with SBS 2008 and the CPU, Memory and feature lists are, so I am told, the same. On the page http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/compare-specs.aspx it talks about the max number of procs, memory etc for Windows Server 2008 Standard. You should use these to represent SBS 2008, however, note SBS 2008 has it’s own minimum requirements. See below for the important points KEY: = Not Available = Available Specification Standard Enterprise X64 Sockets 4 8 X64 RAM 32 GB 2 TB Failover Cluster Nodes (Nodes) 16 Fault Tolerant Memory Sync Cross-File Replication (DFS-R) Network Access Connections (RRAS) 250 Unlimited Network Access Connections (IAS) 50 Unlimited Terminal Services Gateway 250 Unlimited Virtual Image Use Rights 1 4 The features of Windows Server 2008 that are in Standard Edition can be found here - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/differentiated-features.aspx which should also be a list of what is in SBS 2008. Bear in mind that the product has not released yet, but it appears to be going this direction. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Small Business , Limitations , Windows Server 2008 , SBSC , Microsoft
  • System Center Essentials 2007 on Windows Server 2008

    I got a question the other day asking in SCE was available on Windows Server 2008. From the System Center Essentials 2007 hope page I noticed that is states that with SP1 Windows Server 2008 is supported. Service Pack 1 Is Now Available! System Center Essentials just got better and faster: The new improvements include up to 70% less memory consumption, faster console, support for workgroup joined computers, SNMP v1 devices, improved setup, new update approvals rules, enhanced third-party update experience, and support for Windows Server 2008. Download the trial or update your existing Essentials server . For more information on what’s included, visit the SP1 Resource Page . Now, I’ve not installed this on Server 2008, but apparently there are a few tricks that you need to learn – I’d suggest that you have a look at Permanent Link to Installation Guide for System Center Essentials SP1 on Windows Server 2008 (x8 and Permanent Link to Reinstalling System Center Essentials 2007 . Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Management , Windows Server 2008 , System Center Essentials , SCE , System Center Essentials 2007 , SP1 , Service Pack 1
  • Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download

    I saw over on Aaron’s blog that Microsoft has posted an update for Media Center. I’ve loaded this on the machine under the TV, but there again, I was not seeing issues, except those caused by network congestion as all our PCs and extenders connect via a wireless network. June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download A new cumulative update package for Windows Vista Media Center has been released this week. This update is called the June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista and is also known as KB950126. It is available for download in x86 and x64 versions. It can be installed on systems running the original version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions and the SP1 version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions. The June 2008 Cumulative Update includes the following fixes: All of the fixes previously included in the February 2008 Cumulative Update Improvements to the TV recording experience on systems that use analog tuners, do not have a set-top box and do not have any digital tuners installed. Blank screen that can occur when you switch between full-screen mode and windowed mode while playing a video. Empty removable media devices may be displayed in galleries (this issue was introduced in Windows Vista SP1 and only affects those systems). Client ID may not be set correctly if you use the Express setup option when launching Windows Vista Media Center. Memory leak in extender sessions. Updated frequency table for China. Channel names in Simplified Chinese are shown as unrecognizable characters. Downloads on Aaron’s site Aaron Stebner's WebLog : June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download ttfn David Technorati Tags: Media Center , MCE , Windows Vista , Vista , Microsoft , System Update
  • Proof that SBSC partners can grow from 1-man businesses into Microsoft Certified Partners – and still be good for small business – congrats Richard Tubb

    I remember the name Richard Tubb being mentioned a few times over the last 2 year and remember him on some of the Live Meetings I delivered and then he launched his blog. One thing that was apparent from his questions, contacts and especially his blog is that this is a man that “got it”. Now there are a few others that I believe live and breathe this attitude and to name some and miss others would be bad, so I wont name any (if you want to know if your on my “I love you man” list, drop me an e-mail, but I’ve probably told you or made time for you, which is a good hint), but one thing about living your life by certain principles is that you still have to live your life. By got it, I mean: is solution, not product oriented Is value sensitive, not price sensitive Believes in the value of the community Is prepared to stand up and be counted for his opinion – which is his, not others Will tell you when he things you are talking… erm… rubbish!! Believes in good processes (eg service plans, documentation etc) If you look at his blog, you will see the above, so it is nice to see the business grow and achieve an amazing milestone. Richard is still a great SBSC partner, but now he is ALSO a Microsoft Certified Partner. Well done - TubbBlog: Netlink IT achieves Microsoft Certified Partner Status I'm chuffed to announce that Netlink IT achieved Microsoft Certified Partner Status this past month gone. After striving to reach the level this Certification demanded for quite some time, the achievement of reaching the goal-post almost got lost in the business that taking on new staff, moving into a new office and re-organising the business brought on! It was March 2006 that Netlink IT became a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partner - and two years on I think that the SBSC certification , and in particular the benefits of working with the community that surrounds the "blue badge" from that certification, have significantly helped me to grow the company to the stage it's at now. I'm hoping that Microsoft Certified...
  • Upgrade Windows Search to Version 4.0 and improve your PC (for Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2008)

    If you have have Office 2007 or a Windows Vista or Windows Desktop Search (WDS) then you probably have V2.6 or V3 of this fantastic search product. Version 4 has a wealth of updates, but most importantly, is more stable and faster. One of the things I love about this is that if you put this on a client and server, and then search a network share, if the contents are indexed on the server then WDS uses the remote index to search, making it super fast. It can even be used with SBS 2003 / 2008 to speed up access to the shares there too. Description of Windows Search 4.0 and the Multilingual User Interface Pack for Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 lets you perform an instant search of your computer. Windows Search 4.0 helps you find and preview documents, e-mail messages, music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. You can use this search engine to index a program's content and to obtain instant results when you search in a particular program. Windows Search 4.0 includes the following improvements: Support for indexing encrypted documents of local file systems Reduced affect on Microsoft Exchange when you index e-mail in online mode, and there is no local cache (.ost) Support for indexing online delegate mailboxes Support for client-to-client remote query to shared indexed locations Improved indexing performance Faster previewer updates for Windows XP Per-user Group Policy settings Windows software updates for Watson errors Support for the following new enterprise Group Policy objects: Computer policies Prevent adding Universal Naming Convention (UNC) locations to index from Control Panel Prevent customizing indexed locations in Control Panel Prevent automatically adding shared folders to the index Allow for indexing of encrypted files Disable indexer back-off Prevent clients from querying the index remotely Allow...
  • Do you like my blog? If so, why not nominate me for the Computer Weekly IT Blog awards?

    [update - I missed the nomination deadline, so don't vote for me!! double update - I've been accepted - so DO vote] I was browsing Steve Clayton’s blog today and noticed these awards. While I’m not one to play copy-cat, I’d like to think my blog posts are useful (well, enough people read them). So, there appears to be a bit of a competition – if you like what read hear, consider nominating me :-) You can read more about this at http://www.computerweekly.com/blogawards.htm . Nominate me in Company Blogs Thanks David Technorati Tags: Personal , If you only read one post today , blog
  • Configuring OneCare for Servers in SBS 2008

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. OneCare for Servers provide anti-malware capabilities and is an important part of the system integrity. SBS 2008 comes with a trial of OneCare and so far I’ve found it very effective. Setup today requires two updates that it downloads and applies itself: Notice that the initial configuration immediately informs you that you need to update Start the process, tell OneCare which country you are in and and accept the EULA. The download starts, updates and finishes If you have an activation key, or wish to purchase one you carry on through the process, switching to a web site to complete the process Note, DO NOT try to activate your trial in the Technical Preview unless you have already been provided with a key If you have been going through the Console in order then this is it baring the enabling of Office Live. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , One Care , Security , Anti-Virus , Anti-spam
  • Set up Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the options is for a spit personality Office Live for Small Businesses solution. Why split, well the e-mail items are held on the SBS 2008 Exchange server, as will the report site services, but the public web site and WSS external collaboration sites will be hosted on the Office Live servers. This means that things like DNS need a bit more management, but that can all be handled for you. This is how I configured mine: Start the process from the console and say I want a new site. Since SBS 2008 already knows the external address of the SBS box, it offers to enable the DNS to be redirected to Office Live for the www.mydomain.com address We then get into the Office Live sign-up process via the web. One word of note here, I had installed the box as a US system, not a UK system, so it took me to the US site. If you change the language settings in the browser (Tools/Options/Language) to EN-GB, then you will get the UK site. You can see form the pictures below that the sign-up process is simple and secure. Once you have finished on the web site it all you need to do is to complete the sign in details below. Now for me, that was not the end of the story – the verification e-mail was simply not arriving, even though I requested it to be resent several times. Eventually I discovered it was the spam filter settings rejecting the mail. I have reported this as a bug into Microsoft, but in the mean time, to overcome the situation, have a look at How to change spam settings on Exchange 2007 / SBS 2008 to enable some / all / more spam to be delivered to an account for analysis to see how I resolved it. One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community...
  • EBS 2208 and SBS 2008 Upgrades & Migrations from SBS 2003 and SBS / EBS 2008

    I saw over on Nicholas's blog post - Nicholas King : EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations that he has started to answer some of the questions around system upgrades and migrations. Below are some snippets of key information he has shared. Read his blog post for more. However, key thoughts for me are: 1) no in box SBS 2003 -> SBS 2008 upgrades. This is a box to box migration process. If you have SA or FPP copies of SBS 2003 then you can potentially do a P2V and then migrate from the virtual image. If not, I would consider running a VM of Windows Server to enable you to move the domain at least 2) Moving from one box to another (eg hardware upgrades in the future) are now supported. This can potentially be used to go from a RC0 build to RTM, but it is not tested or supported, however that does not mean it will not work!! 3) There is a GREAT document linked below that describes a migration in glorious detail EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations Recently I had several people ask me whether it is possible or supported to do a build to build migration or upgrade from the RC0 of either SBS or EBS to RC1 or even RTM. Migration and Upgrade are two words often used interchangeably. Technically as you know they have some very specific meanings. Upgrade means to take the existing code base and then lay binaries over the top of, or underneath of (believe it or not this is how Vista does it!) the existing installation effectively taking the old installation and making it the new, whilst maintaining the existing configuration. Migration means setting up a completely new environment and then transferring the settings, user data and environment functionality to the new setup. Upgrades are not something we design, test or develop for either SBS or EBS . For RTM our research points to the fact that most installations have new hardware on site, and added to that the SBS architecture change from 32-bit to 64-bit prohibits us from doing in place upgrades. EBS is V1 so no upgrade requirement there. This leaves migrations, I need to be...
  • Want to legally download Microsoft Software (Vista, Office, Works, Maths and Expression) - go to the www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk (UK & Germany for now)

    I would have put money on this not happening this year, but finally there is a legal place for people to download full copies of Microsoft products. Go to http://www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk and you can buy software and download it there and then. At the moment this is limited to the UK and Germany, but I would personally expect it to go broader like all Microsoft ventures! I suspect the list of products will also expand. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows Vista , Office 2007 , Works 9 , Expression , Buy , Download , Shop
  • SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 video recordings of presentations from the SMB Summit 2008

    If you have looked at the information on setup and install at SBS 2008 Install process (in pictures) and wanted more information then these presentations will be of extreme use to you. They cover both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008. I particularly liked the setup and migration and messaging sessions. SBS 2008 product related sessions SBS 2008 Overview SBS 2008 Setup and Migration Networking Setup and Getting Started Tasks Administration and Management Networking Messaging Storage Management - Backup, Restore, and Server Storage Health and Monitoring Client Experience EBS 2008 product sessions Essential Business Server Overview Installation and Migration Administration and Management Security and Messaging Implementation Differences (between EBS 2008 and SBS 2008) If you want to see more of the information on SBS 2008 , click the link on the left ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , EBS 2008 , Small Busines Server , SBS , Essential Business Servers , Event , SMB Summit , Partner , Community , Small Business , SBSC
  • Welcome to readers of Windows Vista Magazine as I'm now a contributor

    Some of you might know that I used to write for Windows XP Magazine, but having used Windows Vista during the beta cycle I eventually had to give it up as I was writing about an OS I was not using. Well, that has all changed - I've been using Vista for over 3 years now and I've now got a technical spot back into the Windows Vista Magazine. My 1st articles are about identifying Vista performance issues and then will continue on to understanding system crashes and then solving some common Office 2003/7 and Vista problems. I'd love to hear about topics you would want me to cover - just leave a comment or e-mail at admin@davidoverton.com . If you want to only see my Windows related articles, click onto this link - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Vista/default.aspx Please feel free to ask questions on the site, or even on this blog post. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Windows Vista Magazine , Personal , Vista
  • If you are a Microsoft partner who sells SBS, then please fill in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Community Survey

    Kevin asked a couple of weeks ago if I could share this – so I’m sharing :-) The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is live This is the third year we have published an SBS WW Community Survey to the SBS Community. Because of the previous surveys, we have made some adjustments in our community engagement. To name a few; we really worked on putting more focus on the Official SBS Blog. Our Sustaining Engineering team runs mini betas with our MVPs before KB's and Bug Fixes are released via Windows Update. We try to get more involvement in our techbetas from our User Groups. The list does go on. To the survey, the SBS Product Team would like to hear from the Windows SBS Community again. This survey is completely anonymous. In fact, some of you may have to sign out from Live in order to take the survey. So, if you get a PAGE NOT FOUND error message, please log out of Live and click on the link to the survey again. We want to know how valuable your experience is with the community resources and information that is available to you today as a member of the Windows SBS Community. We also want to know what you think could be done to improve your Windows SBS Community Experience. Please take a couple of minutes to provide us your candid feedback via this survey and let us know what you think. SBS WW Community Survey 2008 Thanks in advance for your feedback. Kevin Beares Community Lead - WSSG The WSSG Community Lead Blog : The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is live Please fill it in David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , SBS 2003 , Small Business , SBSC , Partner , Microsoft , Community

(c)David Overton 2006-13