Thursday, April 22, 2010

Google Apps upgrade impressions

Today, I took a 7 person company and moved them from a shared Linux/POP server to Google Apps. Once I got the process down, it was super easy.

Presuming that you want to keep Outlook in use or use the gmail webmail as your primary interface (which is what it sounds like Google wants you to do), you start the same way.

Start with the Google Apps Sync for Outlook:

Just install that, log in, choose a new profile. and then import and choose the old Outlook profile where all the data is. It'll take a minute before it starts importing, but it'll do it.

This is really the best method. I tried to do an import from a PST file, but that failed several times. The google email updater is also an option, but that requires Outlook to be closed, so it's not convenient for a user to work on while the uploading process is happening.

I also had to set up three Blackberries. Setting up Google sync (which does wireless syncing of calendar and contacts only) was super easy. Just go to this site on the BB, log in, and that's it:

But what was weird was the Google Mail app for Blackberries. You can get that here on the BB:

On the Storm, I was able to get the Google icon to appear. On the 8800 and the 9630, I downloaded and installed the mail app, but there was no Google Mail icon. I installed again. Nothing. So instead, I set up those two BBs with IMAP accounts.

First, I had to enable IMAP. You can't do that on an individual's Google settings. It must be done from an admin's console.

Here's how you enable IMAP company-wide:

Click on Manage this domain
Click on Service settings
On that page, find the check box for "Disable POP and IMAP access for all users in the domain" and UNCHECK that box

Wait 30 minutes and you'll be able to use IMAP to check email for staff on google apps

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

steps on recreating a corrupt profile

When you've got a corrupt profile, often the only thing you can do is recreate it. I've found myself recreating a profile about once a month for this damn x2upbf.dll problem. Anyway, here's a basic list of steps so that you don't miss anything when doing it.

steps for rebuilding a profile

1) take note of: 1) default printer, 2) default browser, 3) any additional mailboxes configured in Outlook
2) reboot
3) log in as administrator
4) rename profile (change c:\users\%username% to c:\users\%username%.old) in profiles folder and alter registry if Vista or 7 (registry change instructions)
5) reboot (if Vista or 7)
6) log in as user
7) set up Outlook (and archiving as applicable)
8) move back data from old profile to new profile:
a) desktop
b) documents
c) favorites
d) Outlook NK2 file
e) Outlook archives (if applicable)
f) restore Firefox bookmarks from bookmarkbackups - if applicable
g) Chrome data from c:\users\username.old\appdata\local\google\chrome\user data\default
9) set up backup
10) set up VPN
11) add Bcc to new Outlook messages
12) make sure VPN exists
13) add back signature using old sent items
14) add printers (if necessary) and set correct default printer

Friday, April 16, 2010

all DCs in a small environment should be a global catalog server

I'm reading through some documentation that recommends that, in small networks, all domain controllers should be global catalog servers as well.

To make a domain controller a GC server, follow these steps:

1. Start the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in.
2. In the console tree, double-click Sites, and then double-click the sitename where
your server resides.
3. Below the Site, double-click Servers, double-click your domain controller, right-click
NTDS Settings, and then click Properties.
4. On the General tab, click to select the Global catalog check box to assign the role of
global catalog to this server if it is not already enabled.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Exchange 2007 Service Pack 2 installation tool for SBS 2008

Microsoft released a tool to enable Exchange 2007 Service Pack 2 installs on SBS 2008. Before this tool, it required a bunch of manual stuff to install Exchange 2007 SP 2. You still have to download Exchange 2007 SP 2 separately, but this tool is a must:;EN-US;974271

Friday, April 2, 2010

setting up autodiscover SRV records for SBS 2008 for complete functionality (including out of office assistant)

Exchange 2007 (and 2010) rely on DNS for certain functionality more than Exchange 2003 did. Particularly, I mean the autodiscover record.

A great example is the out of office assistant. This will not work on your Exchange 2007 box unless you have your autodiscover information set properly.

There are a couple ways to do set it up, but I'll cover what seems to be the easiest and least costly way - the SRV record.

Some nameservers support SRV records, and some don't (it's different from an A, MX, or CNAME record) - which is where it can get weird, but presuming you have a nameserver that does, you can set up an SRV record with these properties:

Service: _autodiscover
Protocol: _tcp
Port Number: 443

Once that record propagates, your autodiscover will work properly (because SBS autocreates the appropriate information at

There are other options like getting an SSL certificate that encompasses - but that requries more cost and isn't really necessary.

If you can create the SRV record with your nameserver, that's the best method in my opinion.

If you'd like to check on the status of an SRV record, you can follow these instructions or use Microsoft's site at

Hopefully, this will help someone. As I was investigating why my out of office assistant wasn't working, I feel like all the resources available to me were pretty vague about what was needed and how to go about it.

A good tutorial from Susan Bradley is here (which includes screen shots of setting up an SRV record on godaddy's DNS).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

enabling shadow copy on SBS 2008

For some reason, shadow copy isn't enabled by default in SBS 2008. Or rather - it's enabled on the C drive, but not other drives - where your data is likely located.

Of note - you enable shadow copies for a drive - not a share. So here's how you enable shadow copies for a drive.

Right click on the drive itself and Configure shadow copies. Select the drive and hit enable. This is a no-brainer to set up for clients, but typically, you won't do it until the first time you need it - which will be too late by then.