Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What are #HP support returns smoking?

Yesterday I confirmed a diagnosis of a failed disk in a server. As it was under extended warranty I placed the call, got speedy agreement that the disk was U/S (the controller was reporting imminent failure); and the NBD replacement was arranged. So far, so good.

So today we are expecting the replacement which will, amongst other things, provide the returns packaging.

So I why, I wonder, did HP support email at 9:41 this morning complaining that the failed disk had not yet been returned? Their own call records should show that delivery is scheduled sometime today.

So soon after the TouchPad debacle, strategy changes, et al; HP's reputation at Corylus Towers is falling more rapidly than TouchPad stocks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Look what HP tried to sell to me last night #FAIL

To: Peter Bryant
Subject: Instant savings & instant productivity from HP

Huge savings on the newest products from HP--including the all-new HP TouchPad!

HP Business Promotions for you




NEW! HP TouchPad with webOS

WiFi 16GB

WiFi 32GB

Add 50GB in free storage from Box(1) and view, share & store files on-the-go

Save 15% on TouchPad accessories(2)




Talk to a U.S.-based sales specialist:
1-866-625-0242 (option 2)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Public Folder replication from Exchange 2007 to 2010 failing, it's not a pretty fix

If, like me, you have an infrastructure that has a considerable history, then it will have been Exchange 2003 in the past.  The work detailed below was a late night oepration and my documentation skills were not up to the usual levels.  But hopefully you can get enough from this to fix your setup (now you've found this article!)

I've previously blogged about the migration to 2007, and the fun in preparing for 2010, but having made the transition I found that the Public Folder hierarchy would not replicate, let alone the replicate the content.  I was getting errors 1020 on the MS Exchange Store Driver.  In addition on trying to add the PF hierarchy to a new Public Folder Mailbox using AddReplicaToRecursive.PS1 I was getting a lot of errors.

After some investigations and work, I have an answer - your mileage might vary, but:

Firstly, I am indebted to the following pages for providing insight and information on what to look at and try!
Public Folder Mayhem (pointer to an ADSIEDIT required)
The inevitable TechNet article (explanation of that ADSIEDIT - and note NO PLANNED FIX)
and zerohoursleep (another pointer to the same problem)

The first clue from the Public Folder Mayhem was the empty Exchange 2003 legacy object in Active Directory.  The object is
CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=NetBIOS name>,DC=TLD>
this object (which had permissions like this - scuse the obfuscation of some details):

That object was then very carefully documented - permissions, ACL details, ownership, attributes using various PowerShell commands (including Quest's AD addon Get-QADObjectSecurity) and LDP.  These were all filed away.
Some people in that article considered deleting the entire First Administrative Group.  I chose not to, as there are three other leaves in there (Advanced Security, Folder Hierarchies, and Routing Groups).  I saw no point in deleting more than might be necessary, even if those leaves are (or are going to be) unnecessary.  Note that the TechNet article supports this approach.  If you want to delete it - use the interface for Exchange not ADSIEDIT.

So I deleted the object from ADSIEDIT, and replicated around the network (checking that all was good).  This all worked fine.

Now to get the PF replication under way.

Previously I had tried to use .\AddReplicaToPFRecursive.PS1 (with parameters -TopPublicFolder \ -ServerToAdd MBX server NetBIOS name> as supplied by the Exchange Team to speed up the process. This still failed.

Over to the new PF hosting MBX server and the following quickly got things in place:
Get-MailboxServer -identity MBX server NetBIOS name> | update-publicfolderhierarchy 
this gets the heirarchy into the new server

Even now adding the replicas
.\AddReplicaToPFRecursive.PS1 -TopPublicFolder \ -ServerToAdd MBX server NetBIOS name>

Bryant's fail safe to restart all exchange services on both MBX servers was then applied.
It then worked.

So I now had a PF hierarchy and content on the Exchange 2010 server.

A few days later I was investigating something else, and noticed that at a Microsoft Outlook client having opened Exchange Connection Status (right click the Outlook icon on the System Tray, Connection Status) that the PF connection was to the old MBX box (image below shows results after the fix, but you get the picture).

One last trick is required though:  you need to associate the new PF database to the new Mailbox data.  So go to your Exchange Admin tools, right click properties on the 2010 Mailbox database for users.  Client Settings tab
Browse to the new PF store and select it thus:
Now, finally I have Public Folders replicated to Exchange 2010, and users connecting to the new PF location.

just some tidying up, and then i can start to decommission the 2007 world!

Finally airport security starts looking more intelligent, less theatrical

Although I'm sure they'll screw it up as usual.

Early last year I read this article Israelification of airports with interest and looked forward to a significant reduction in the security theatre to which we are all subject every time we fly.

Eighteen months or so later and an experiment at Boston Logan airport is starting. Oh well, I suppose the wheels of the DHS turn slowly... Chat down not pat down security

I guess it'll be even longer before it comes to the UK and Europe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unlocking a 3 E585 MiFi

Some time ago I got one of these units ( on a locked monthly contract. Being an Orange customer I really should use my contacted SIM in it, but time and signal coverage was of the essence so...

Finally having been pointed to by my Twitter chum @timbo_baggins I bought the software for a few quid,

Installing and running were more interesting. I run 64bit Windows 7 by default, and additionally do not give myself Admin rights on my machine. Lastly I run my network behind a Microsoft Forefront TMG firewall.

Firstly, if you run local user only you have to elevate the install. It then installs under the users profile settings - i.e. c:\users\administrator so was inaccessible to me (even the shortcut is on the admins desktop). There's no sign of the app under my user id.

So I log on as Admin and running the software works. Owner it cannot see the dongle, upon further investigation (but not in the emailed instructions) I discovered it'd be good to remove the SIM before trying. Now the dongle could be seen, but... cannot contact the home server for unlocked-dongle's authorisation process. Mucking about with other options got me nowhere. So, given the sub-optimal setup I decided to decamp to a 32bit machine.

That (under admin login) worked fine, until I tried to contact the server again. At this point TMG came under suspicion. Investigations were inclusive, even with a full "everything in and out for that IP" allowed rule - no dice. At which point the help page on the web indicated that firewalls etc were not a good idea.

So finally to Mrs B's laptop, albeit 64bit, but I can use the WiFi to the domestic ADSL connection. That worked. Phew. But I still had to load the Orange APN details for the connection.

I now have an unlocked MiFi and (currently) a choice of 2 SIM's to use. However it is remarkable how 3 can deliver a 4bar 3G signal here, yet Orange can only deliver a 2bar 2G signal.

Other tips - do change the WiFi password - the default is on the inside of the case, so if you lose the unit someone could switch it on and consume your data very quickly.
You may want to change the unit to 3G preferred from 3G only. Better a 2G signal than nowt.
Lastly, the admin password default is pretty weak, change that too.

There's a decent set of options in the setup - worth a good look around just in case, the unit is quite capable really.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ladybird and beetle alter meniscus on edge of water feature

The water flows over the edge of the feature, and the beetles appear to form a space time continuum dent.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Just a reminder, if you are connecting #Outlook 2003 to #Exchange 2010

Then to get a connection you are going to have to turn this:

Into this:

Otherwise the connection and the name resolution on creating the profile, WILL fail.