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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Show Hidden Network Devices in Windows Server

This happens all too often when I'm working on servers that have been through P2V or had their network adapters changed for some reason.  To work around this behavior and display devices when you click Show hidden devices:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type the following command , and then press ENTER:
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
    start devmgmt.msc
  4. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager.

    NOTE: Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Managers before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.
  5. When you finish troubleshooting, close Device Manager.
  6. Type exit at the command prompt.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Remove DELL custom login colors on Server 2003

I was doing work on a P2V setup for a customer just last week and every time I tried to login to one of the SBS 2003 servers I got this high resolution wallpaper with a DELL server on it and the login boxes were black.  Needless to say this was very annoying.  I did a bit of research on the web and here's how I fixed it all.

1. Removed the login wallpaper by renaming the DELL wallpaper name in %systemroot%\system32 folder.
2. Made some quick registry edits listed below to restore all of the colors on the system so I could see what I was typing and get rid of that black box problem.

**NOTE:  I recommend you copy and paste the following into a text file.  Then rename it logoncolorfix.reg and merge it into the registry that way.  It saves a lot of typing.  Make sure you including the Windows Registry Editor line.**

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors]
"ActiveBorder"="212 208 200"
"ActiveTitle"="10 36 106"
"AppWorkSpace"="128 128 128"
"Background"="102 111 116"
"ButtonAlternateFace"="181 181 181"
"ButtonDkShadow"="64 64 64"
"ButtonFace"="212 208 200"
"ButtonHilight"="255 255 255"
"ButtonLight"="212 208 200"
"ButtonShadow"="128 128 128"
"ButtonText"="0 0 0"
"GradientActiveTitle"="166 202 240"
"GradientInactiveTitle"="192 192 192"
"GrayText"="128 128 128"
"Hilight"="10 36 106"
"HilightText"="255 255 255"
"HotTrackingColor"="0 0 128"
"InactiveBorder"="212 208 200"
"InactiveTitle"="128 128 128"
"InactiveTitleText"="212 208 200"
"InfoText"="0 0 0"
"InfoWindow"="255 255 225"
"Menu"="212 208 200"
"MenuText"="0 0 0"
"Scrollbar"="212 208 200"
"TitleText"="255 255 255"
"Window"="255 255 255"
"WindowFrame"="0 0 0"
"WindowText"="0 0 0"

Once this is done, restart your server and the next time you login you will see that the high resolution wallpaper is gone and the login boxes are restored to their normal colors.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

SBS 2011 Exchange 2010 SP2 installation fails - certificate not found error

Tonight I was installing Server Pack 2 on SBS 2011.  Here's the error I got:

Hub Transport Role

The following error was generated when "$error.Clear();
Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Info "Creating SBS certificate";

$thumbprint = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::GetValue("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\Networking", "LeafCertThumbPrint", $null);
          if (![System.String]::IsNullOrEmpty($thumbprint)){
            Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Info "Enabling certificate with thumbprint: $thumbprint for SMTP service";
            Enable-ExchangeCertificate -Thumbprint $thumbprint -Services SMTP;
            Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Info "Removing default Exchange Certificate";
            Get-ExchangeCertificate | where {$_.FriendlyName.ToString() -eq "Microsoft Exchange"} | Remove-ExchangeCertificate;
            Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Info "Checking if default Exchange Certificate is removed";
            $certs = Get-ExchangeCertificate | where {$_.FriendlyName.ToString() -eq "Microsoft Exchange"};
            if ($certs)
              Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Error "Failed to remove existing exchange certificate"
            Write-ExchangeSetupLog -Warning "Cannot find the SBS certificate";
           " was run: "The certificate with thumbprint EC6C8334CEB1F6A5A3802E3927BCADE008ACD07A was not found.".

The certificate with thumbprint EC6C8334CEB1F6A5A3802E3927BCADE008ACD07A was not found.
Click here for help...

The default self-signed certificate generated for Exchange by the Small Business Server setup has been deleted / replaced by a 3rd party certificate, but registry still contains the registry value referencing it. 

I fixed it by opening REGEDIT and edited the following:
  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/SmallBusinesServer/Networking/LeafCertThumbprint and clear the value value under it. (The value, not the key. The key itself should not be deleted) 

Restart service pack installation.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file" error when you try to install, update or start a program or file

If you are getting this error, most of the time I find this to be the fix:

Check to see if the file has been blocked by Windows

In some cases the file may be blocked by Windows. Check the properties of the file, there may be a note saying This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer To check for and unblock the file, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the blocked file and then click Properties.
  2. In the General tab, click Unblock if the option is available. 
  3. Attempt to open the file or program.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Moving DHCP to Server 2012

I've just setup a couple of new 2012 Standard Domain Controllers for a customer and I wanted to be able to take advantage of the DHCP failover for them.  Their old Domain Controller were Server 2003 so I did a bit of research and here's how I moved it in just a couple of minutes.

Once this process is done all that remains is to deauthorize your old DHCP setup and then configure DHCP failover in Server 2012.  Easy!

To move a DHCP database and configuration from a server that is running Windows Server 2003 to another server that is running Windows Server 2012

  1. Log on to the source DHCP server.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Type netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcp.txt all, and then press ENTER.
  4. Install the DHCP server service on the destination DHCP server.
  5. Log on to the destination DHCP server.
  6. Copy the exported DHCP database file to the local hard disk of the destination DHCP server.
  7. Verify that the DHCP service is started on the destination DHCP server.
  8. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
  9. 10. Type netsh dhcp server import C:\dhcp.txt all, and then press ENTER
  10. Open DHCP.
  11. In the console tree, click DHCP.
  12. On the Action menu, click Authorize

Friday, February 08, 2013

Setup Encountered a Problem While Validating the State of Active Directory - Exchange 2010

The error will be worded something like this:

Exchange Setup encountered a problem while validating the state of Active Directory: Could not find any Domain Controller in domain

I ran into this while installing Exchange 2010 SP2.

The simple fix.

Close the install, go to the folder you extracted the patch into and then right click on setup.exe and choose "Run as Administrator".  Makes all of the difference.

Good luck!