Remove Disconnected Mailboxes

I removed a batch of users from our Exchange server and expeteced the cleanup routine to remove them after the next successful backup, but when i checked back a few days later they were still present.

I needed to run a command in Exchange Powershell to remove them, I am running Exchange 2010 SP3

Remove-StoreMailbox –database “Mailbox” –identity “Users Name” –MailboxState Disabled

I had several to remove but i did them one at a time, i’m sure there is a command to remove them all at once but this one was sufficient for my needs.

Relocate the CSC file for offline files

How to change the location of the offline sync folder

 

  1. Log in as a user with administrative rights, e.g. the local Administrator account.
  2. Create the directory to be used by the new CSC database, e.g. D:\CSC.
  3. Run regedit.exe and navigate to:
  4. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  5. System
  6. CurrentControlSet
  7. Services
  8. CSC
  9. Parameters
  10. Add a new DWORD named FormatDatabase and set its value to 1 (the digit one). This DWORD forces Windows to erase/reinitialize the current CSC database. The DWORD will be automatically removed once the CSC database is ready.
  11. Reboot the computer.
  12. Log in as a user with administrative rights.
  13. Run regedit.exe and navigate to:
  14. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  15. System
  16. CurrentControlSet
  17. Services
  18. CSC
  19. Parameters
  20. Add a new string named CacheLocation and set its value according to this format:
    \??\Drive:\Folder
    That’s one backslash, followed by double question marks, followed by another backslash, followed by the drive letter in question, followed by a colon, followed by a third backslash, and finally add any pathname relative to the root directory of the drive in question. Note, this should be a drive letter for a local drive/partition, otherwise you’d defeat the purpose of offline files in the first place. The use of any root directory should be avoided at all cost.
    E.g. \??\D:\CSC
  21. Reboot the computer.
  22. The old CSC database is now just an empty CSC database and may be left in place. A new CSC database will be established at the selected location.
  23. Log in as any normal user and (re)establish the use of offline files.

Change the DPI on a remote desktop session

When logging into a Remote Desktop session on Server 2008 R2 you may find you cannot alter the DPI/Text size settings, for spome users on larger monitors this could pose a problem, luckily Microsoft have realesed a Hotfix to address the issue.

You can find out more about the issue and download the hotfix from here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2726399

 

Cannot insert object

I received this error message when one of our users was trying to insert an ActiveX tick box control into a word document, we also received the following error.

The program used to create this object is Forms. That program is either not installed on your computer or it is not responding. To edit this object, install Forms or ensure that any dialog boxes in Forms are closed.

The resolution to this error was to delete all instances of MSForms.exd in the following folders

  • %appdata%\microsoft\forms
  • %temp%\excel8.0
  • %temp%\word8.0
  • %temp%\PPT11.0
  • %temp%\vbe

There is more information and a Microsoft Fix it available for Microsoft’s Website

Problems installing .net3.5 on Windows 8 and Server 2012

I can across an issue installing .net3.5 on both Windows 8 and Server 2012 from the management console i received these errors “installation error: 0x800F0906, 0x800F081F, 0x800F0907” if i tried to install from disk or told it to go to Windows Update and get it itself.

It turns out in my case that the computers were trying to contact the WSUS server for the installation files rather than Microsoft Windows Update servers, the solution was to alter a group policy to tell the machine to go directly to Microsoft for the update rather than WSUS.

  • Go to search and type group policy and click on Edit group policy.
  • Expand Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System and double click on Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair.
  • Put a dot in enabled and tick Contact Windows Update directly to download repair content instead of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) check box.
  • Click OK and try the .net install again

You may need to wait a few minutes or run gpupdate /force for the policy to take effect, when i did it it worked straight away.

Block internet access using a Draytek router

I found this information over on the Draytek website here but i went a little further by creating a group of blocked users and also creating  schedule to allow internet access between a certain time for one machine.

I started by creating a schedule original article here

I followed the first part of the article to setup the time and date and the actual schedule in the router by going to

  • System Maintenance
  • Time and Date
  • and setting the router to use internet time and daylight savings

I then created the schedule by going to

  • Applications
  • Schedule
  • Clicked on index 1
  • I then set the start date the start time and the duration (note this is not the end time but the duration)

I then created the group of users i needed blocking unfortuatly for me they had random ip’s dotted around the range so i had to add them manually instead of selecting an range by going to

  • Object Settings
  • IP object
  • Add the ip addresses i needed blocking
  • Create a group called blocked users by clicking IP Group and then adding the addresses to that group

The next stage is to create the firewall rule to block internet access i did this by doing the following

  • Go to Firewall
  • Filter Setup
  • Select No. 2 Default Data Filter
  • Select No. 2
  • Give the rule a name Blocked Users in my case
  • Direction – LAN -> WAN
  • Source IP – select you newly created Blocked Users group
  • Further down under Filter i selected Block if No further Match
  • Click OK

I then created the exception rule fir using the internet a dinner time

  • Go to Firewall
  • Filter Setup
  • Select No.2 Default Data Filter
  • Select no. 3
  • Give the rule a name Allowed at dinner in my case
  • Type 1 in the schedule index (we created this before)
  • Direction – LAN -> WAN
  • Source IP – I added the ip address of the machine than needed access
  • Under filter select Pass if no further match

And that should be it this work for our particular scenario

 

Unable to mount Exchange 2010 Database after restore

I recently ran across the following error message after restoring an Exchange 2010 mailbox into a Recovery Storage Group.

An Active Manager operation failed. Error The database action failed.
Error: operation failed with message: MapiExceptionCallFailed: Unable to mount database.
(hr=0x80004005, ec=1011)

I was following this article on restoring an Exchange Database into a Recovery group, i managed to get as far as getting the database into a clean shutdown state but it still wouldn’t mount.

The only difference between this article and my situation was a colleague had already somehow managed to create the Recovery Group in Exchange with a database in a Dirty Shutdown state.

After searching the internet i found several articles regarding adding permissions etc but none of these related to my situation.

It turned out all i needed to do to get the database mounted was to

  • Open Exchange Management Console
  • Go to Organisation
  • Go to Mailbox
  • Open you Mailbox properties
  • Click Maintenance tab
  • Tick This database can be overwritten by a restore click ok
  • Mount Database again

This time it mounted successfully for me.

Send Ctrl-Alt-Del to RDP Session

To send Ctrl-Alt-Del over to an RDP session press Ctrl-Alt-End, this is useful for users changing passwords on Server 2012 as i can’t find any other way of doing it like you could in 2008

Update Offline Address Book causes error Exchange 2010

I had an error on a recently migrated SBS2011 server, when i tried to regenerate the offline address book in the Exchange Management Console as i noticed new users where not appearing in the Global Address List it was coming up with the error

‘couldnt find database domain.local/configuration/deleted objects/public folder store’

as part of the error message i notice it referenced the old now decommissioned server which explains the couldn’t find database part of the message, after a bit of digging through technet it turns out i needed to make a change using ASDI Edit to the Offline Address List key here is what i did.

Launch ASDIEdit (Be careful with this tool it can kill your server)

  • Open the Configuration Naming Context
  • First go to the following CN=Configuration,CN=Services,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Organization,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=Administrative group,CN=Folder Hierarchies,CN=Public Folders
  • Right Click the public folders and click properties
  • in the list select distinguishedName and click edit copy the contents of the value box to notepad then click cancel
  • Drill down CN=Configuration, CN=Services, CN=Microsoft Exchange, CN=Organisation, CN=Address List Container, CN=Offline Address Lists
  • Right click Default Offline Address List and click properties
  • in the list find siteFolderServer and click edit paste the line of text you copied earlier into the value box and click ok, and ok again.
  • Restart the Exchange Information Store Service, and then try to regenerate the offline address book again.

Disable SBCore on SBS 2003

One of the SBS 2003 servers we were in the process of migrating started shutting down every hour because we had reached the 21 day limit imposed by Microsoft.

To over come this limitation i found the following info from this website

To disable we followed the below:

  1. Download the Process Explorer tool from SysInternals – Here
  2. Load Process Explorer and look for the SBS Licensing Service – C:\Windows\system32\sbscrexe.exe
  3. Select this service and Suspend it – you should find the service greys out
  4. Open Regedit and expand the following key – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SBCore
  5. Right click this Key and add the Administrators group giving them Full Permission to the key (refresh this and you should see all the key entries now)
  6. Select the Start DWORD and change it from 2 to 4 (this sets the Disabled state)
  7. Open a File Explorer window and browse to the C:\Windows\system32\sbscrexe.exe file
  8. Right click this and load Properties / Security
  9. Add the Everyone group and set the Deny permission for Full Access (should then tick the sub permissions)
  10. Go back to Process Explorer and now kill the sbscrexe.exe service – this should now be disabled
  11. Check the SBCore service via services.msc – it should have a disabled state and now longer be running
  12. Job Done.