Category Archives: Server 2008

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()

Using DISKPART to create a Bootable USB of Windows 8

Windows 8 was released today on MSDN and Technet. It will soon be released publically. With that comes the many GBs of downloads for the ISOs. Many may have newer Ultrabooks, which do not feature DVD drives anymore. Rather than burning the ISO to a DVD disc, why not put it on a bootable USB stick? There are many ways to do this, and I have found that the best way to do this is to use a command tool called DISKPART. The commands are fairly easy.

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt and type DISKPART. You will open up the Diskpart tool, as evidenced by the DISKPART> prompt.
  2. DISKPART>LIST DISK <- This will give you a listing of the disks on your system. It is very important to identify the USB disk, as you really do not want to format your system drive.
  3. DISKPART>SELECT DISK n <- this will make select the USB disk n, as identified in step 2
  4. DISKPART>CLEAN <- This effectively does a quick format/wipe of the USB disk
  5. DISKPART>CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY <- This will create a primary partition on the disk
  6. DISKPART>SELECT PARTITION 1 <- Since there is only one partition, this will select it.
  7. DISKPART>ACTIVE <- This makes the partition active
  8. DISKPART>FORMAT FS=FAT32 <- This formats the disk and sets it up as a FAT32 formatted drive. This will take a while to complete
  9. DISKPART>ASSIGN <- This assigns the next drive letter to the drive
  10. DISKPART>EXIT <- To exit the utility

Once the USB drive has been prepared, you can now use a utility like 7-Zip to extract the ISO directly to the drive.

BTW. This process will also work when creating bootable USB disks of other Windows ISOs – Windows Server 2012, Windows Small Business Server 2011, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and even Vista.

 

 

Goodbye SBS!

Microsoft announced today the next release of their Windows Server operating systems, and thus ended the branding and name Small Business Server. Read the announcement here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/07/05/windows-small-business-server-essentials-becomes-windows-server-2012-essentials.aspx. Also check out the new line up for Windows Server 2012 here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2012-editions.aspx.

Here is a brief history of SBS. Google “Small Business Server” for more information on this.

  • 22 Oct 1997. BackOffice Small Business Server 4.0 is introduced, based on Windows NT Server 4.0 SP3. Allowed 25 client licenses.
  • 24 May 1999. BackOffice Small Business Server 4.5 is released, based on Windows NT Server 4.0 SP4. Allowed 50 client licenses.
  • 21 Feb 2001. Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 is released, based on Windows 2000 Server. Allowed 50 client licenses.
  • 9 Oct 2003. Windows Small Business Server 2003 is released, based on Windows Server 2003. Allowed 75 client licenses.
  • 29 July 2006. Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 is released, based on Windows Server 2003. The main updates here included the introduction of Windows Server Update Services and expansion of the 18GB Exchange database limit to 75GB.
  • 21 Aug 2008. Windows Small Business Server 2008 is released, based on Windows Server 2008. Allowed 75 client licenses, and introduced a new Console for administration and management.
  • 13 Dec 2010. Windows Small Business Server 2011 is released, based on Windows Server 2008 R2. The product was split into a Standard and Essentials version, where the standard version carried forward the 75 client license limit as seen in past releases. The new Essentials version was introduced from the Windows Home Server codebase and included 25 client licenses built in.
  • late 2012/early 2013 (estimate). Windows Server 2012 Essentials will be released, based on Windows Server 2012. Includes 25 client licenses.

With the introduction of Windows Server 2012 Essentials, the Small Business Server brand name will be lost. Here are some screenshots of the administration console as it developed in SBS2000, SBS2003, SBS2008, SBS2011 Standard and Essentials.

For more information on Small Business Server features, go to www.microsoft.com/sbs. SBS2011 is available right now. This is your last chance to get a fully integrated server for small business which integrates on premise Email, collaboration, update services, remote web access gateway, and much more.

 

WSUS dies after installing KB2720211

Recently, there have been quite a number of cases where WSUS stopped working after a recent patch KB2720211 was deployed.

There is now a blog listing the common issues that arise, and how to fix them  – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sus/archive/2012/06/20/wsus-kb272011-common-issues-encountered-and-how-to-fix-them.aspx

 

WIM2VHD tool to convert images with support for Windows8 and Server 2012

A new tool has been released to quickly convert WIM images into VHD and the new VHDX format. The tool is completely written in PowerShell and also has a GUI. The file (Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 ) can be downloaded here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Convert-WindowsImageps1-0fe23a8f

The tool supports Windows 7, Server 2008R2 and above. Vista and Server 2008 are not supported.

 

PowerShell Not Your Father’s Command Line

There is a great 31 part blog post on PowerShell that is in developement (part 23 of 31 at this moment). Everything you wanted to know about PowerShell and some great scripts that can be used.

The main landing page for the blog is here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthewms/p/powershell.aspx

Here are the titles.

Part 1 of 31: Why PowerShell?
Part 2 of 31: The Basics on How to Read PowerShell
Part 3 of 31: Where Did All the Good Cmdlets Go?
Part 4 of 31: Who Ya Gonna Call For Help?
Part 5 of 31: What’s in it for Devs?
Part 6 of 31: A Cmdlet By Any Other Name Would Be An Alias
Part 7 of 31: Conjunction Function PowerShell What Are Functions?
Part 8 of 31: Won’t You Take Me To Functiontown?
Part 9 of 31: Another Side of PowerShell Profiles
Part 10 of 31: PowerShell Protecting You From Yourself
Part 11 of 31: PowerShell Providers and You!
Part 12 of 31: PowerShell and The Registry
Part 13 of 31: The Provider Active Directory Style
Part 14 of 31: Sorry I’m Not Home Right Now, Walking into IIS Webs…
Part 15 of 31: ISE, ISE Baby…
Part 16 of 31: PowerShell Take Me Out To The Grid
Part 17 of 31: Who Wants to Manage Active Directory?
Part 18 of 31: So You Deleted A User…On Purpose
Part 19 of 31: Small Business Server, PowerShell, and Me
Part 20 of 31: Hanging with Hyper-V
Part 21 of 31: Knock Knock PowerShell Calling!
Part 22 of 31: Good PowerShell Things Come in Nifty Packages
Part 23 of 31: HUGE Announcements, Disagreements, Best Practices and A Party…Oh My!
Part 24 of 31: PowerShell Did What!?!? How to Mitigate Risk!
Part 25 of 31: Did You Know PowerShell Can Talk VMware?
Part 26 of 31: Start Spreading the News…
Part 27 of 31: It Takes a Community to Raise a Language
Part 28 of 31: What is the .NET Framework?
Part 29 of 31: Demystifying MSDN and PowerShell static syntax
Part 30 of 31: PowerShell Likes the Pretty Blue Eyes of Azure Too
Part 31 of 31: That’s a Wrap and We are Not Done Yet!

Logon Type Codes in the Security Logs

With the prevalance of brute force security attempts, it is not uncommon to see EventID 529 appear often in the security logs. When a failed logon attempt is made on the network, the security logs note down the Logon Type among other information. I use this resource quite often – http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Logon-Types.html to work out what the codes actually mean.

 The above resource lists the various logon codes with explanations of what they are.

The most common codesI have seen are:

  • Logon Type 2 – Interactive – when someone attempts to logon to the server console.
  • Logon Type 3 – Network – when failed attempts are made inside the network to shared resources on the server. These errors coupled with IIS attempts could also mean attempts are being made on the SMTP service or HTTPS service. Unfortunately, no IP data is logged on these types of attempts. This has to be manually found from the SMTP or Web logs.
  • Logon Type 10 – RemoteInteractive – Attempted logins to Remote Desktop or Terminal Services. This is often accompanied by useful IP information, which can be used to isolate the offending attacker.

The other codes are described in the article.

IT Security revisited

I was just reminded of the 10 Immutable Laws of Security (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722487.aspx)

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore Continue reading IT Security revisited

Installing Blackberry Enterprise Server Express on SBS2008

I don’t use the Blackberry, but there are people out there who do. For those users, there is now free server software from Blackberry. Mariette Knap has written an precise and clear guide on how to install this server software on SBS2008. There is quite a bit of work involved, and a far cry from what iPhone and Windows Mobile users need to do to get set up on SBS2008.