Archive for July, 2008
I recently was contacted by a partner who was having trouble with a migration. They had been working all night because they ran into trouble and had to start over. In the second pass, they could not get Active Directory to sync between the two servers. That’s when they called me in.
After getting a status report about the error, the first place I had them look was the ipconfig on both servers. As soon as they looked at the output from one of the servers, they knew what the problem was: the server was pointing to a non-existent system for DNS. There was no way that box could sync anything since it could not get valid DNS entries for AD.
The moral of the story: always check the basics. Even if you KNOW that the settings are what you are expecting, confirm them when you hit a snag.
While sitting in our local SBS 2008/Vista event this morning, Peter Gallagher, a TS2 presenter, mentioned that SBS 2008 Premium will ship with both SQL 2008 and SQL 2005 workgroup edition. The SQL 2005 is included for LOB apps that may not be ready for SQL 2008. You won’t be able to run both versions simultaneously, but you can switch when ready. This is documented in the Database box at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/essential/sbs/compare-features.mspx.
With the release of the iPhone 2.0 software and the 3G iPhone on July 11, 2008, the iPhone can now have a native connection to Exchange 2003 and 2007 servers. This post documents the steps needed to configure the iPhone for an Exchange account, assuming that Exchange ActiveSync is already configured and working properly on the Exchange server. If the Exchange server is running on SBS 2003 or SBS 2008, this configuration is already in place.
From the iPhone:
- Press the Home button to bring up the Home screen.
- Select Settings from the Home screen.
- Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars from the Settings page.
- Select Add Account.
- Select Microsoft Exchange.
- In the Email field, enter the e-mail address for the account.
NOTE: this e-mail address must match EXACTLY with the default e-mail address on the account, case included. If the default e-mail address is First.Last@domain.com and you enter email@example.com, you will run into issues with Calendar sync, and possibly other areas as well.
- In the Username field, enter the domain user information in the format Domain\Username (i.e., smallbizco\jondough).
- In the Password field, enter the account password.
- If desired, you can change the Description field.
- Select Next.
- If you have a self-signed SSL certificate, you may get an “Unable to Verify Certificate” warning. Select Accept to continue.
- In the Server field, enter the full public domain name for your server. This is the same as the web address you use to connect to Outlook Web Access. If your OWA address is
https://mail.smallbizco.net/exchange, then enter
mail.smallbizco.netin the Server field.
- Select Next.
- If you have a self-signed or unrecognized SSL certificate on the Exchange server, you will receive an “Unable to Verify Certificate” warning. Select Accept to continue.
- Once the account has been verified, you will be able to select which information you want to synchronize: Mail, Contacts, and Calendar. Select the items you wish to synchronize to the iPhone by selecting On or Off for each item.
- Select Save to create the account.
- On some Exchange servers, you may be prompted after completing the account setup to configure a passcode for the device. Enter a passcode for the device and keep record of that passcode.
At this point, your iPhone is connected and ready to go. The first time the iPhone attempts to synchronize with the server, you may get the “Unable to Verify Certificate” warning again if you do not have a recognized SSL certificate. If you get this warning, select Accept. Otherwise, your selected items will sync to the iPhone from Exchange. You can go back to the home page and open the Mail app to review your mesages.
Looks like there might be an issue with installing KB948110 via Automatic Updates or Microsoft Updates if you have Sharepoint on the server. I’m tracking this down at a client site, but have heard of several other instances this morning. The behavior is this:
- After installing KB948110, Sharepoint/Companyweb is not available. The message “Cannot connect to the configuration database. For tips on troubleshooting this error, search for article 823287 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com.” appears in the browser when accessing the site.
- The Application Log has numerous Sharepoint errors: #50070: Unable to connect to the database STS_Config on SERVER\SharePoint. Check the database connection information and make sure that the database server is running.
- The ERRORLOG file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL$SHAREPOINT\log contains the following at the end of the log: Database ‘master’ has invalid schema.
If you go into services.msc, you will see that MSSQL$SHAREPOINT is set to Automatic but not started. If you start the service, it will appear to start, but on a refresh it will show as stopped again. Attempts to uninstall KB948110 may not show the Sharepoint instance in the list. A successful uninstall of 948110 may not restore operation to Sharepoint, either.
I’m working with Microsoft on this and will update this post as new information becomes available.
One of the factors leading to the issue has been identified. The 948110 update is not correctly identifying the Service Pack level on some MSDE instances. In cases where MSDE 2000 is at SP3, the 948110 update should not be installing, yet it is. This was the cause of the problem on the system I was working with. Other factors are involved as well, and those are still being investigated. More info as it becomes available.
The SBS CSS support team is now officially recommending that you hold off on installing this update on SBS servers, per their blog post: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2008/07/09/hold-off-on-installing-hotfix-948110-on-sbs-2003-servers.aspx. I’m taking the stance that I will not be installing this update on any servers with Sharepoint until another update is released.
UPDATE: 7/10/08 7:00am
OK, a few other items have been identified as causes for this issue. I’ve already mentioned the Sharepoint database being on WMSDE 2000 SP3 instead of WMSDE 2000 SP4. Turns out there are also cases where Sharepoint is running on MSDE 2000 instead of WMSDE 2000, and that can cause problems as well. Not sure how Sharepoint is getting installed on MSDE 2000 instead of WMSDE 2000, as with the SBS 2003 install it goes on WMSDE for sure (and I think the default install of WSS 2.0 does as well), but there have been some instances where this is the case.
If you look in the ERRORLOG file in the path mentioned earlier, you may see something like this at the top of the file:
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 - 8.00.2039 (Intel X86)
May 3 2005 23:18:38
Copyright (c) 1988-2003 Microsoft Corporation
Desktop Engine on Windows NT 5.2 (Build 3790: Service Pack 2)
The last line above is the tell-tale indicator of which version of SQL that the Sharepoint database uses. If it says “Desktop Engine” like in the example above, Sharepoint is sitting on MSDE (which has a 2GB file size limit and the real reason it wants to sit on WMSDE). Instead, the line should read “Desktop Engine (Windows)” which indicates that it’s sitting on WMSDE.
Also, the SBS Blog has an update on how to get Companyweb working again if you hit this scenario. this is a workaround, as their advise is to roll back the BINN directory under MSSQL$SHAREPOINT to the content it had before the update. This can be done by restoring from backup, or by using the Previous Versions feature if VSS has been enabled on the volume. Regardless, if you have NOT installed this update yet, DO NOT install it yet. This update has been pulled out of our process for installing updates on our managed servers until the installer gets fixed.
Still, if your Sharepoint database instance has not been updated to WMSDE 2000 SP4, you should probably look to do that at you earliest convenience.