Powershell for Office 365

Here’s a great resource – powershell.office.com

Are you an Office 365 IT administrator who is new to PowerShell? Are you looking for an Office 365 admin tool to automate repetitive administrative tasks? Or perhaps you are looking to access additional capabilities that aren’t available in the Office 365 Admin Center? Then PowerShell for Office 365 is for you.

Exchange TLS & SSL Best Practices

For those using Exchange on-premises (including SBS 2011), here are some best practice recommendations from the Exchange Team.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2015/07/27/exchange-tls-amp-ssl-best-practices.aspx

In a nutshell,

  • Deploy supported operating systems, clients, browsers, and exchange versions
  • Test everything by disabling SSL 3.0 on Internet Explorer
  • Disable support for SSL 3.0 on the client
  • Disable support for SSL 3.0 on the server
  • Prioritize TLS 1.2 ciphers, and AES/3DES above others
  • Strongly consider disabling RC4 ciphers
  • Do NOT use MD5/MD2 certificate hashing anywhere in the chain
  • Use RSA-2048 when creating new certificate keys
  • When renewing or creating new requests, request SHA 256-bit or better
  • Know what your version of Exchange supports
  • Use tools to test and verify
  • Do NOT get confused by explicit TLS vs. implicit TLS
  • (For now) Wait to disable TLS 1.0 on the Exchange server

Windows 7, 8.1, 10, SBS and Essentials Client Conntector – What works, and what doesn’t

The Essentials Server team have just published a blog post which gives you an at-a-glance look at what features are supported and not supported with the six current (and recently past) SBS and Essentials SKUs.

Read the blog post here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2015/07/23/client-connector-availability-with-windows-home-server-small-business-server-and-windows-server-essentials-for-supported-client-os.aspx

Using Powershell to Start-Stop the SMTP Virtual Server

One of the most popular posts on this blog has been the blog on setting up an Internal SMTP Service for SMBs that need to send server reports and support emailing from Internal devices that have move to cloud based email services.

One of the issues with this service is that is occasionally stops. There does not appear to be any reason why it stops, but it does. Restarting the SMTPSVS service does not restart the service, because it is based on IIS6.

Good news! You can use powershell to script the restart of this service.

Open an Administrative PowerShell window.

To Start the SMTP Virtual Server, type the following:

$SMTP=[adsi]"IIS://localhost/SMTPSVC/1"
$SMTP.ServerState = 2
$SMTP.SetInfo()

To Stop the SMTP Virtual Server, type the following:

$SMTP=[adsi]"IIS://localhost/SMTPSVC/1"
$SMTP.ServerState = 4
$SMTP.SetInfo()

Windows 10 new License Terms

ZDNet reviewed the new License Terms for Windows 10 and found no major surprises.

  • Activation and licensing status is as per previous versions of Windows.
  • Transfer rights. No changes. OEM copies are locked to the device, and retail copies can be transferred.
  • Downgrade rights. Users can downgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1 for as long as the earlier versions are within the support lifecycle.
  • Automatic Updates. The news here is that automatic updates will happen as dictated by Microsoft. Business users will have some management over this.
  • Office on Windows RT. No commercial rights will be assigned to the bundled/included free version.

The full article can be read here – http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-releases-new-license-terms-for-windows-10-no-surprises/ 

Restore Files and Folders wizard has stopped working on Windows Server 2012R2 Essentials

A hotfix is available for systems broken by the MS15-010 (security update for Windows kernel mode driver: February 10, 2015) update.

When trying to restore files or folders on a client that is connected to the Windows Server 2012 or 2012R2 Essentials server from the dashboard, the following error occurs.

A hotfix for this is now available here – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3045682

You can read up more information on this issue here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2015/03/13/the-ms15-10-security-update-for-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-and-the-client-restore-functionality.aspx

How to remove the Windows 10 upgrade icon from the system tray

With the impending release of Windows 10 on 29 July 2015, users are beginning to see the free Windows 10 upgrade icon (for qualified versions), in their system tray. This could become an issue, should users upgrade to Windows 10 before some of their critical line of business applications are supported properly.

The good news is that this notification can be disabled so as not to tempt “itching” fingers from upgrading without proper consideration of the factors.

The steps are as follows (Thanks to Spiceworks, and the SBS Diva).

  1. From an elevated command prompt, run taskkill /f /im GWX.exe /T (wait about 30 seconds)
  2. Create a reg file (eg. create a file in Notepad, and save it as nowin10.reg) with the following contents.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GWX\shell\open\command]

    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ms-gwx\shell\open\command]

    [-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GWX\shell\open\command]

    [-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ms-gwx\shell\open\command]

    [-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WINEVT\Publishers\{18abebc9-83ec-435f-8f15-6d1e9187c999}]

  3. Run the Reg file and restart the computer

To reverse this process, you can create another reg file (eg. call it yeswin10.reg) with the following contents.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GWX\shell\open\command]

@=”C:\\Windows\\System32\\GWX\\GWX.exe %1″

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ms-gwx\shell\open\command]

@=”C:\\Windows\\System32\\GWX\\GWX.exe %1″

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\GWX\shell\open\command]

@=”C:\\Windows\\System32\\GWX\\GWX.exe %1″

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\ms-gwx\shell\open\command]

@=”C:\\Windows\\System32\\GWX\\GWX.exe %1″

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WINEVT\Publishers\{18abebc9-83ec-435f-8f15-6d1e9187c999}]

@=”Microsoft-Windows-GWX-Ins”

“ResourceFileName”=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,\

00,6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,\

5c,00,47,00,57,00,58,00,5c,00,47,00,57,00,58,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,\

00

“MessageFileName”=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,\

6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,\

00,47,00,57,00,58,00,5c,00,47,00,57,00,58,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,00

“Enabled”=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WINEVT\Publishers\{18abebc9-83ec-435f-8f15-6d1e9187c999}\ChannelReferences]

“Count”=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WINEVT\Publishers\{18abebc9-83ec-435f-8f15-6d1e9187c999}\ChannelReferences]

@=”Microsoft-Windows-GWX-Ins/Operational”

“Id”=dword:00000010

“Flags”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WINEVT\Publishers\{18abebc9-83ec-435f-8f15-6d1e9187c999}\ChannelReferences\1]

@=”Microsoft-Windows-GWX-Ins/Debug”

“Id”=dword:00000011

“Flags”=dword:00000000

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