Cannot connect to Outlook Anywhere (Outlook 2007 RPC over HTTP)

While am a sure there are a ton of reasons Outlook Anywhere will not work, here are the two huge issues we ran into when getting this working.

1) Wild Card Certificates (special handling)

If you are using a wild card certificate, you will need to run the following connect on whatever CAS server you are using:

Set-OutlookProvider -Identity EXPR -CertPrincipalName msstd:*.contoso.com

You can also check what the current settings are by using:

Note: *.contoso.com is replaced with your wildcard certificate name.

Get-OutlookProvider

by changing that setting it will update autodiscovery to set that into the outlook client configuration as shown here:

For more details about wildcards and Outlook Anywhere go here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc535023.aspx

2) Issues with IIS and Certificate Settings

Everyone who is trying to get Outlook Anywhere working should triple check that on the root of the IIS site is set to ignore client certificates.

To do that first go to the properties of the IIS website that has your RPC proxy (the root of the website)


Then click the directory Security Tab, and click Edit on Secure communications

Make sure “Ignore Client Certificates” is selected.

You can change all of the sub folders but you must make sure it is set to ignore on the root site.

So there you have it, those were to two issues we had and were able to resolve.

I would like to thank Jason B (one of my Network Administrators) who did the research to discover the second issue.

Stocks Gadget missing on Windows 7 RTM

If you have used this gadget you probably know that all of the other available stock gadgets don’t come close to its looks and ease of use. I was really disappointed to see Microsoft remove the gadget from the tool kit in the final version of Windows 7.

I am sure they had their reasons; my best guess is whoever provided the quotes for this gadget didn’t want to do it anymore? Or maybe because it does have a 20 minute delay and most apps are real time now?

I was able to find a solution to get the Stock Gadget running on Windows 7 RTM.

I will detail the solution here but to give credit where credit is due I found the solution here (thanks AthlonXP1800):
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproappcompat/thread/6fea0e6d-1074-492f-a76c-6af214802d1d

1) You will need to have the Gadget from Windows 7 RC1 (although I am sure its floating around the internet.) You can find the files you need at “C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Stocks.Gadget” (copy the entire folder)

2) You will also need the “C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\wlsrvc.dll” DLL file from the Windows 7 RC1 machine.

NOTE: If you cannot find a Windows 7 RC1 machine you could try using these files from a Vista machines although I am not sure if it would work.

3) Click the Start button, type CMD, when it comes up right click on it and run as administrator (or just press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER after typing CMD)

4) Once the command prompt window is open type the following commands:

C:
CD “\Program Files\Windows Sidebar”
TASKKILL /F /T /IM SIDEBAR.EXE
TAKEOWN /f wlsrvc.dll
icacls wlsrvc.dll /grant %username%:F

5) Take that DLL file from your other machine and copy it to “c:\program files\windows sidebar”

6) Finally, copy the Stocks.Gadget Folder from the other machine and copy it to “c:\program files\windows sidebar\gadgets” folder.

7) You can restart the Sidebar application by running “c:\program files\windows sidebar\sidebar.exe” or by rebooting your PC.

Comcast sucks. Why they don’t get it…

SUCKS

For the third day in a row my high speed internet has been disconnected. Why? Because my HOA (home owners association) has canceled my television service. Now if you are wondering what my TV service has to do with the interwebs, you and I are in the same boat.

Each day I have spent 30 minutes on the phone and they add my modem back to my account.

Today however I demanded 1 month’s service credit for the repeated interruption. The first two times I didn’t even bother to ask. First time I figured it was due to the HOA. Second time I thought ok that was strange. Third time, now they have wasted over an hour of my time.

So the first tech guy was nice and got me up and running and was “checking with billing” for my credit. He then blind transferred me to someone with the initials “WCI”. She asked who I was and what I wanted. I explained I thought I was on hold while the tech got a status on the refund. She then told me it was my fault because I use my own modem.

I want to make it perfectly clear that it’s a problem with their systems and only happened after the HOA stopped paying for TV service.

I cut WCI off and told her that was the final straw and if she was going to be so low as to blame me and my 2 month old cable modem then I didn’t want to be a customer any longer.

Then I got transferred to cancellations, they wanted to know why. I told them because of WCI’s attitude of blaming me. She then proceeded to tell me that they could only give me a credit for 3 days (about 3 dollars). So I canceled my service. I am a free man!

ATT U-Verse here I come!!! Lisa and I are very excited.

One final thing for those of you thinking of canceling, you always pay a month in advance so make sure to tell them to cancel the day that you are paid up to. It will give you enough time to make the switch.

Comcast, shame on you! Your middle managers really all need to be fired. I bet your top executives don’t even know how bad and unsympathetic your customer service is. Not once did any of the three customer service representative take one second to ask why my service was failing each day. All they cared about was handling me per their carefully constructed plan thought up by middle management, a plan which leads to lower hold times and displeased customers. Well ATT has U-Verse now, you need to get your act together or everyone is going to leave you and not even that colorful logo can save you now.

Disable IE8 “Set up Windows Internet Explorer 8” Wizard

So nothing bothers me more than every time I open a new server or desktop on my network then seeing the “Welcome to Internet Explorer8” setup screen.

It was a good idea but not executed well.

The main problem I have with it is users have zero idea what to do or click. Users are very much like sheep and don’t want to think or read anything unexpected for fear they might damage the computer.

However using ether registry setting or GPO you can disable this unwelcomed screen and save yourself some helpdesk calls.

Registry:
DWORD : “DisableFirstRunCustomize” set to 1 under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Use any tool you have to push this to your desktops. I personally use ScriptLogic Software’s Desktop Authority to do this.

GPO:
Go to a GPO then pick computer or user then Policies (in Vista / 2008 and Windows 7) -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer

Select “Prevent performance of First Run Customize settings”

Then select Enabled, and “Go Directly to home page”

Thanks to Axel S. for providing the GPO method that I and my team had overlooked!

Fix: BES 5 on SQL 2008 (BAS: “cannot display the webpage”)

Wanted to take a quick second to let everyone know SQL 2008 does work on BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0. After spending what could arguably be the greatest waste of one hour of my life on the phone with TSupport they told me it’s not supported. However it does. Since its not officially supported make sure to always tell them you are running SQL 2005 and if for some reason the server breaks you are on your own.

The install was using a remote SQL 2008 cluster (although should work the same for a non-cluster.) The actual install worked fine, DB’s were created and every looked good. NETSTAT –an showed it was listening on 443 but when I went to a browser I would get “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”.

I never laugh so hard as when TSupport level 1 told me to click the “Diagnose Connection Problems”. That alone told me I was in for a bumpy ride.

Officially IE8 (Internet Explorer 8 ) is not supported and nether is SQL 2008. This is just another example of RIM not getting it (very common). In fact you think that once got the server running using the migration tools is going to be a snap. Well think again, no IT policy import and export between 4 and 5. Shame on RIM, seriously. Their Java programmers are on another planet. The user migrator isnt bad however.

Make sure to install MR1 right after installing the server (even before its actually working).

So my problem ended up being the SQL settings. Make sure in the BlackBerry Server Configuration you check off “Use dynamic ports”. It will not work hard coded to 1433 even if you have that set on the SQL Server.

One last recommendation, change the LDAP settings to just the domain name. By default it puts a domain controller in there. Only problem, if that DC is not there BES will not be able to query. Assuming your DNS is setup to resolve FQDN to your DC’s then change the LDAP from server.domain.ext to domain.ext as shown in this example. Always make sure to click verify.

*** UPDATE **** Installing the Native SQL Server Client 10.0 also seemed to help. Had problems with Office Communication Server 2007 intergration that was fixed by installing the client. Also make sure you are running the 2.1.19 (for 4.6 OS and lower) and 2.2.21 (for 4.7 OS and greater).

Network Name slowing failover of clusters

So after building a recent cluster I was looking at time it took to failover and failback. I noticed that it took a long time to bring the “SQL Network Name” resource online. After doing some searches on the internet I found this:

http://blog.rollback.hu/2009/03/slow-cluster-failover-waiting-for-network-name-in-online-pending-state/

If you uncheckRegister this connection’s address in DNS” for the Network Properties of the Client Access / Public Network interface it would go to a few seconds to fire this up this resource.

Eric’s List of Best Must Have BlackBerry Storm Applications

I have seen a lot of these app lists in the past but they are never complete.  Since I seem to rebuild my Blackberry all the time I thought it would be nice to share a complete list of what applications I install for the BlackBerry Storm each time.  They are all free unless otherwise noted. Also a lot of these applications will work on standard Blackberries as well.

 
Must Have Applications for the BlackBerry Storm:

  

  • FaceBook
    • Actually made by RIM, it’s a clean, very deeply integrated client for the BlackBerry.
    • With version 1.6 you can do everything you need right from your mobile device.
    • http://www.blackberry.com/facebook  (from your wireless device)
        
  • BlackBerry App World
  • Pod Trapper
    • The #1 application on the BlackBerry Storm, period.
    • Allows for automatic download of Podcasts to your BB, will delete old ones automatically.
    • Great to have Audio and Video on BB for those times you have nothing to do.
    • Some really good Podcasts out there (will post a list of some of the good ones soon).
    • Paid Software ($10 and worth every penny).
    • Free 30 day trial.
    • http://www.versatilemonkey.com/ 
       
  • Visible Vote
    • A must have.
    • VV will show you all pending legislation and allow you to vote on it.
    • Once you have voted it will show you your state legislators and how many voted with you or against you.
    • Has some FaceBook integration too if you dare bring politics to FaceBook
    • Best part, when you vote it emails your senators letting them know how you would like them to vote.
    • http://visiblevote.us/blackberrybetainfo.php 
       
  • Slacker Radio
    • At work I use Pandora but on the road you have to use Slacker.
    • It has offline cache of up to 25 radio station for free (great for slow BB’s on t-mobile)
    • Advanced UI, easy to use.
    • http://www.slacker.com (from your wireless device) 
       
  • Google Maps
    • Google always knocks it out of the park.
    • Best app for maps and directions.
    • Also great for looking at local traffic.
    • http://m.google.com/maps (from your wireless device) 
       
  • YouTube
    • Another great app for the BlackBerry Storm from Google.
    • It’s a really rich full featured application for watching YouTube videos. 
       
  • Mobi Pocket
  • CoinToss for BB
  • Weather Bug
    • Uses GPS to tell you local weather without having to type in where you are.
    • Get it right off the App World for Free. 
       
  • Staples Easy Button
  • StormSketch

Honorable Mention Applications: 

Fix: “The current SKU is invalid” when adding second node to SQL 2008 Cluster

Quick post, was building a SQL 2008 Active / Passive cluster today on Windows 2003 x64 and got stuck when adding the second node.

Turns out to be a bug in the install media. Microsoft has a hotfix posted but that doesn’t seem to work correctly.

Got the correct fix from here:

http://forums.techarena.in/server-cluster/1032365.htm

The Workaround:

In the install media folder under \x64 find the DefaultSetup.ini file.

Just comment out the key (while you’re in the file copy the key) and put the key in during the installation.

Worked perfectly.

MSA 500 on Windows 2008

I had a HP MSA 500 G1 and G2 Storage array lying around that I got with some DL380 G3’s. I figured I would buy new DL380 G5’s add in a HBA and I would have a nice shiny new cluster for SQL 2008 x64.

I was dead wrong. First the MSA500 with HBA is not even recognized by the OS. Then I used a Smart Array 6402 Storage Controller card and was able to see the MSA500 in the OS. Still no go, Clustering services in Windows 2008 requires some sort of SCSI protocol v3 which the MSA500 cannot do.

Just figured I would save anyone else the pain of having to order and return all of those parts.

I ended up installing Server 2003 x64 and that’s working great.