Interesting technical links for Monday July 7

The Sean Blog points out that Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 has been updated to include information on tweaking Hyper-V, Microsoft’s forthcoming server virtualization product.

Jeff at the EXPTA blog explains how to remove information about your internal network infrastructure from the SMTP headers on Exchange 2007 using a concept called Header Firewall. This is done using the remove-adpermission cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell.

Now that Hyper-V has been officially released, check out the release notes. I found it interesting that there are three known issues with backup:

  • The data on the physical disk attached to a virtual machine, or on the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) disk attached to the guest operating system will not be included in backup when a virtual machine has either a physical disk or an iSCSI disk attached. To fix this issue, utilize backup agents inside the virtual machine and individually back up each virtual machine as if it is a physical computer.
  • Virtual machines that have dynamic volumes inside the guest operating system are supported for offline backup only when the guest operating system is configured to use dynamic disks in Disk Manager. When attempting a backup of such a virtual machine, it is saved and subsequently resumed, during the backup process. Even if the virtual machine is running, only an offline backup is taken. To avoid this issue, when using online backup, one should only use a basic disk. To fix this, either use offline backups or convert the dynamic disk to a basic disk.
  • If you restore a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) based backup of a virtual machine while it is running, the virtual machine may end up in an inconsistent state. To avoid this issue, ensure that the running virtual machine is not selected in the backup application before starting the VSS restore operation, ensure that the virtual machine is turned off prior to starting the VSS restore operation or, if doing a system-wide restore, ensure that all of the virtual machines are turned off.

Lee Desmond has a short video showing the essential steps for a basic setup and configuration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP1 on Windows Server 2008 RTM.

John Howard from Microsoft explains how basic networking works in Hyper-V, and makes a few configuration recommendations as well.

Remko explains how to resume the download manager when downloading from Microsoft’s volume license site fails by running C:\Windows\DOWNLO~1\CONFLICT.1\Manager.exe.

Windows 2008/Exchange 2007 Event 4001: A transient failure has occurred. The problem may resolve itself in awhile. The service will retry in 56 seconds.

Today I was installing Exchange 2007 SP1 on an HP Proliant DL380 G5 server running Windows 2008 x64. After the installation and reboot, I kept receiving the following error in the Event log:

Event ID: 4001 Source: MSExchange System Attendant Mailbox

A transient failure has occurred. The problem may resolve itself in awhile. The service will retry in 56 seconds. Diagnostic information: Could not find any available Domain Controller.

I did exhaustive research and finally came across this thread, which suggested updating the Intel NC110T NIC drivers and disabling the checksum offload options on the server’s network card. I was already running the most recent version (9.10 dated February 25 2008) of the HP driver for the Intel NIC, but did disable all the checksum offload options.

Following a reboot all of my Event 4001 error messages disappeared. The local administrators are going to open a support case with HP to try to determine some type of resolution that does not require disabling the NIC’s checksum offload options.

Howto: Enable POP3 logging in Exchange 2007

POP3 logging is not enabled by default in Exchange 2007. To enable it, edit the C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\PopImap\Microsoft.Exchange.Pop3.exe.config file.

Under appSettings, change

<add key=”ProtocolLog” value=”false” />


<add key=”ProtocolLog” value=”true” />

and restart the Microsoft Exchange POP3 service. You can restart it in services.msc or run the following command from the Exchange Management Console:

Restart-service MSExchangePOP3

Log files will be created in your C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Logging\Pop3 folder.

Windows 2008 Upgrade Paths, and the Problem with Exchange 2007

Ask The Performance Team has a blog posting on the upgrade paths for Windows 2008, which is set to be released at the end of this month. To begin, lets get two things clarified right away. There is no way to perform cross-platform upgrades, i.e. x86 to x64 architecture, and there is no way to upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows 2008 Server Core Edition. If you’re unfamiliar with Server Core, it’s installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles that reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the attack surface for those server roles.

Available upgrade paths from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 are:

  • If you are currently running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (R2, SP1 or SP2), you can upgrade to the full installation of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition or the full installation of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.
  • If you are currently running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (R2, SP1 or SP2), you can upgrade to the full installation of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.
  • If you are currently running W indows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition (R2, SP1 or SP2), you can upgrade to the full installation of Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition.

Also note that you must test all applications before migrating to any version of Windows Server 2008. Read all about the Exchange Team’s effort to migrate Exchange 2007 from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008; all of the caveats and requirements can make your head hurt.

The big problem ends up being:

Exchange 2007 SP1 can be installed on Windows Server 2008, but Windows Server 2008 cannot be installed on Exchange 2007 SP1. This means that all computers running Exchange 2007 SP1 must have Windows Server 2008 already installed before Exchange can be installed on the system. This also means that you cannot take an existing Exchange 2007 server (RTM or SP1) running on Windows Server 2003, and do an in-place upgrade of the operating system to Windows Server 2008.

Put another way:

When upgrading standalone servers, it is not supported to upgrade your operating system to Windows Server 2008 and then upgrade Exchange 2007 to SP1. It is also not supported to upgrade Exchange 2007 to SP1 and then upgrade your operating system to Windows Server 2008. To deploy Exchange 2007 SP1 on Windows Server 2008, you must install Windows Server 2008 on a computer that does not have Exchange installed, and then install Exchange 2007 SP1.

To help assist IT professionals with determining if their existing networking environment will support Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Solution Accelerator, which is now available for download. You can read more about this tool at the MAP Team blog.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator performs three key functions, including hardware and device inventory, compatibility analysis, and readiness reporting. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool is based on agentless infrastructure scanning technology that makes it easier to set up the inventory without the requirement of installing any software agents on each machine being inventoried.

(MAP) is the expanded version of the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment solution accelerator (WVHA). This new version of the network-wide assessment tool gives you not only the original capability of hardware inventory and assessment for desktops, but also expanded features including server migration recommendation with Windows Server 2008, virtualization workload placements for server consolidation with Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2, and application virtualization recommendations with Microsoft Application Virtualization.