Happy New Year … Not!
With the New Year comes a new class of malicious attack that can impact IT systems. This time, the attack is hardware based, affecting mostly Intel based systems, and to some extent, AMD systems as well.
Here is a list of resources that highlight what it is all about and how to mitigate against this new threat. In the words of Microsoft, “Don’t panic.”
The Essentials Server team have released a blog post to highlight which client versions are supported on currently supported Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server 2011. The blog post can be read 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
Basically, if you need to connect a Windows 10 client to Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2, which is probably the most common scenario, you will need to perform a manual client connector installation. A fix for the server is scheduled to be released on 17 November 2015.
Another common scenario would be the joining of the client connector for a Windows 10 client to Small Business Server 2011. In this case, 2 lines need to be added to the XML file on the server, which is located at C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin\WebApp\ClientDeployment\packageFiles\supportedOS.xml. Add the following 2 lines.
<OS Architecture="9" RequiredProductType="1" RequiredSuite="" ExcludedSuite="512" SPMinor="" SPMajor="" Build="10240" Minor="0" Major="10" Name="Windows 10, AMD64" id="9"/>
<OS Architecture="0" RequiredProductType="1" RequiredSuite="" ExcludedSuite="512" SPMinor="" SPMajor="" Build="10240" Minor="0" Major="10" Name="Windows 10, x86" id="10"/>
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
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
I spoke with Robert Crane from CIAOPS – Need to Know podcasts on the options that are available to small businesses in creating a cost effective hybrid IT solution.
Listen to the podcast here – http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-78-boon-tee/
Here is a list of where you can find important log files for Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
In Windows Server Essentials 2012 and 2012 R2, the location of the log files is under %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs.
Service Integration Log Files:
|Windows Azure Backup
Backup Log Files:
|Server Backup Configuration wizard
|Server Backup restore wizard
|Client Backup Feature server side log
|Client backup database cleanup
|Client backup database checker
Storage and Devices Log Files:
|User/Device management feature
|Storage related feature
Azure Backup Log Files:
|Location: C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Backup Agent\Temp
|Azure Backup Logs
|Failed Azure Backup Logs
Other Helpful Log Files:
|Health evaluation schedule task
|Macintosh Clients Status update
|Server DNS status
|Customer Experience Improvement
Program and Service Quality Measurement Log Files:
|CA Role installation
|Media pack installation (2012 R2)
|Media Service (Specially with RWA)
|O365 (Assign/Un-assign Accounts)
The client-side log files are located in the folder %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\logs. They are as:
|Client package installation Failures
|Client backup restore mount driver
|Client operation for File history Sync
|Main log for client launch pad
|Password synchronization feature in AAD
|Add-in feature on client
|Health evaluation schedule task
|Client Backup scheduled task
|Connector uninstall cleanup task
|Update health definition file from server to client task
|RDP feature for RWA
||RunTask-RDP Group Configuration.log
|Client VPN connectivity issues
||RunTask-VPN Routes Repair.log
|Client network status update
|Client deployment API call (Client deployment fails)
|Health alert feature
Reference – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/09/30/windows-server-essentials-log-files.aspx
The latest August 2014 update rollup for Windows Server 2012 R2 has addressed this issue. The integration feature previous only worked when the Essentials server was the only domain controller in the domain, which led to some difficult workarounds in migration scenarios.
The rollup can be downloaded via Windows Update or directly here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975719.
You can read the Microsoft announcement here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/08/13/announcing-the-availability-of-enabling-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-integration-of-microsoft-online-services-in-environments-with-multiple-domain-controllers.aspx.
I was building a new Hyper-V server using Windows Server 2012 R2 and ran into this error. The scenario? You set up a new VM using the default settings, and configure the use of Dynamic RAM.
Once the VM is set up, you start this and get to the point of typing in the license key. In the case of the Datacentre edition, with Generation2 VMs, you can use the Automatic Activation Keys as detailed in the Technet article here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/dn303421.aspx. And the following error occurs – “We couldn’t verify the product key. Please check your installation media.”
Alternatively, you may get the following message after selecting the operating system – “Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation.”
The solution is straightforward. You need to assign at least 576MB RAM as the starting value for the VM to bypass this problem. I usually configure my virtual servers to start with a minimum of 1024MB RAM.
The Essentials team have blogged the step by step instructions on how to configure Microsoft Azure backup integration with an on-premises installation of Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
The blog post can be found here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/05/01/configuring-microsoft-azure-online-backup-on-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials.aspx
Note that there is currently an issue if you are using the Essentials role enabled on Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition in Azure (I have not verified if on-premises Datacenter edition is OK). You will receive an error, when attempting to install the Add-in – “The add-in cannot be installed because it is not compatible with WIndows Server 2012 R2 Essentials”. We hope that there will be a fix for this soon.
If you have DVD media or and ISO of your Operating System, you can quickly and easily create a sysprepped VHD or VHDX image. With this Virtual Hard Disk file, you can set up a Virtual Machine and boot it directly to the Out of Box Experience, thus saving about half an hour to an hour of installation time.
The process for doing this and PowerShell script called Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 is documented in the Technet Script Repository here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Convert-WindowsImageps1-0fe23a8f
Note: This latest release (v6.3) now supports the creation on Generation 2 VMs.