Saturday, January 28, 2012

SBS 2011 Backup Failure - A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. Unknown error (0x800423f0)

I was configuring SBS backup on an SBS 2011 machine to a 2 TB external hard drive. But I got this error on the first backup:
SBS 2011 Backup Failures - A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. Unknown error (0x800423f0)

After some quick research, I found that in some of the updates installed, there was a Sharepoint update that had downloaded, but needed to be manually installed. That's pretty lame, but whatever.

The method of updating Sharepoint properly is discussed here:

In essence, it's just go to an administrative command prompt. Go to this folder:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN

and run this command:
PSConfig.exe -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

backing up a virtual machine to a local USB hard drive

A virtual machine can't natively see USB hard drives. The USB hard drives are attached to the host OS and not visible by the virtual machine. I wondered how to get a virtual machine created in Hyper-V to see a local USB drive and I found this excellent tutorial:

A summary:
In the host OS, go to disk management and take the USB drive offline (right click on it and choose offline)
Shut down the virtual machine you want the USB drive to attach to.
Open the settings for that virual machine
Go to SCSI controller -> hard drive
Under phsyical hard disk, select the USB drive, which should be visible there

Now you'll be able to see the USB drive in the virtual machine and back up to it if that's what you'd like to do.

Monday, January 23, 2012

creating a CSR for a UCC SSL certificate on Exchange 2010 or SBS 2011

I installed an SBS 2011 box this weekend and I wanted to install a UCC SSL certificate on it. I get my certificates from godaddy, and this was the method I used in the Exchange Management Console to create the CSR that godaddy needed.

Here is the text in case that link ever gets moved or taken down:

Open the EMC

Select "Server Configuration" in the menu on the left, and then "New Exchange Certificate" from the actions menu on the right.
When prompted for a friendly name, enter a name by which you will remember this certificate in the future.

This name is not an integral part of your certificate request.

Under Domain Scope, you can check the box if you will be generating the CSR for a wildcard. Otherwise, just go to the next screen.

If you do select that box for a wildcard, skip to step 7.

In the Exchange Configuration menu, select the services which you plan on running securely, and enter the names through which you connect to those services, as prompted.

At the next screen, you will be able to review a list of the names which Exchange 2010 suggests you include in your certificate request. Review those names (using our SAN Name Help tool if necessary, and add any extra names at this point.

Your Organization should be the full legal name of your company.

Your Organization unit is your department within the organization.

If you do not have a state/province, enter the city information again.

Click "Browse" to save the CSR to your computer as a .req file, then Save, then Next, then New, and then Finish.
You should now be able to open the CSR as a notepad or wordpad file, and you will want to copy the entire body of that file into the online order process.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Corrupt PST handling (particularly > 2GB files on the old PST format)

I had a case where I exported an old mailbox from Exchange 2003 and could not access the file I exported. The mailbox was larger than 2 GB, but Exchange 2003 could only export 2 GB. When I tried to open the PST file in Outlook, I got "the [PST file] has reached its maximum size." and I wasn't able to open the PST.


I used the PST crop tool and tried to use scanPST - to no avail. The crop tool worked, but scanPST would fail and say it didn't make any changes to my cropped PST file. I tried cropping various amounts and running scanpst. I used a hex editor and altered some parts of the PST as I read other places. No success.

Reading through someone else's thoughts, I was able to use exmerge to import the PST back to an Exchange mailbox. I was able to do this *without* cropping the 2 GB PST.

This was very annoying, but eventually worked using exmerge. If that failed, I would have had to use one of the many paid PST recovery options. The fact that Exchange will export a corrupt PST is absurd. Why would there not be an error if it couldn't complete the export?