Network Administrator Knowledgebase


January 27, 2008  11:25 PM

Microsoft releases Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 (We can call it Release Candidate 3)

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Microsoft released Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2 (We can call it Release Candidate 3). It will just be released to the 15,000 official beta testers.

January 16, 2008  8:10 PM

Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) deployment – New white paper

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Microsoft just released a new version of their IE7 deployment paper. The document has 156 pages. IE7 deployment can get tricky. Try to read this document before deployment, if you haven’t done it yet. It might be a useful reference if you run into problems.


January 16, 2008  7:56 PM

Server Core Roles and Features of Windows Server 2008

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

For installing Server Roles & Features on Server Core we can use an OCSetup.exe (OptionalComponentsSetup).  To identify all installable and/or installed roles and features we are using other tool, OClist.exe. However, at times some of those roles are not available by default (such as Hyper-V, …).

The Server Core installation option is a new option that we can use (i think it’s a best option) for installing Windows Server 2008.

A Server Core installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles, which reduces the maintenance and management requirements and the attack.
To achieve this, the Server Core installation option installs ONLY the subset of the binary files that are required by the supported server roles.

Right now, a server running Windows Server Core 2008 supports the following 9 server roles:

  1. Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) using dcpromo.exe
  2. Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  3. DHCP Server
  4. DNS Server
  5. File Services
  6. Print Services
  7. Streaming Media Services
  8. Web Server (IIS)
  9. Hyper-V (Windows Server Virtualisation)

As i said, all Server Core server roles can be installed via OCsetup.exe, just with one exception of the Active Directory Domain Controller role. AD is done by using dcpromo and the Web Server which is done through the PackageManager (PkgMgr.exe).

Installing a specific server role follows the syntax below:

start /w ocsetup <serverrole-name>

  1. Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS): dcpromo /unattend:<unattendfile.xml>
  2. Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS): start /w ocsetup DirectoryServices-ADAM-ServerCore
  3. DHCP Server: start /w ocsetup DHCPServerCore
  4. DNS Server: start /w ocsetup DNS-Server-Core-Role
  5. File Services: installed by default
  6. Print Services: start /w ocsetup Printing-ServerCore-Role
  7. Streaming Media Server: start /w ocsetup MediaServer (After copying the appropriate Microsoft Update Standalone package (.msu files) to your Server Core installation, and running the .msu file(s)).
  8. Web Server: start /w pkgmgr /iu:IIS-WebServerRole;WAS-WindowsActivationService;WAS-ProcessModel
  9. Hyper-V

Streaming Media and Hyper-V (and may be other roles) might be missing when looking through the Optional Component list (via OClist.exe).

To add updates/roles/features to the list, use the following command:  wusa <update>.msu /quiet

A typical example is the Streaming Media Server role, which only becomes available after copying the appropriate Microsoft Update Standalone package (.msu files) to your Server Core installation and running the .msu file(s).

Installing a specific feature follows the syntax below:

start /w ocsetup <feature-name>

start /w ocsetup BitLocker
start /w ocsetup BitLocker-RemoteAdminTool
start /w ocsetup FailoverCluster-Core
start /w ocsetup WINS-SC


January 16, 2008  6:31 PM

Exchange Best Practices Analyzer Update 2.8 – Must Have :)

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Microsoft has released new Exchange Best Practices Analyzer. This download contains the latest XML and ExBPA.chm files. Use this package to update your existing installation of the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer.

NOTE: If Internet connectivity is available, the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer will attempt to automatically update itself from the Internet. Where updates are being applied automatically, there is no need to download the Web Update Pack.

To find out which version of ExBPA.Config.xml is installed on your computer, click the ‘About Exchange Best Practices Analyzer‘ link within the tool. The upper version number refers to the core application (e.g. 2.9.7926.0), the lower version is for the configuration XML file.


January 12, 2008  11:27 PM

Setting Alternate Credentials to use for Accessing a System

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

When you connect to a new system you might be prompted for authentication or the access will fail. You can simply configure alternate sets of credentials to be used for various systems using the CMDKEY utility, as this example shows:

C:\Users\administrator>cmdkey /add:srv01.admininfo.ca /user:admininfo\pelekan /pass:
Enter the password for ‘virt\bruce’ to connect to ‘srv.admininfo.ca': ****

CMDKEY: Credential added successfully.

C:\Users\administrator>cmdkey /list

Currently stored credentials:
Target: srv01.admininfo.ca
Type: Domain Password
User: admininfo\pelekan

Target: srv.admininfo.ca
Type: Domain Password
User: srv.admininfo.ca\admin

You can remove an entry using the cmdkey /delete: command.


January 9, 2008  7:50 PM

Virtual PC needs to be run as Administrator ?

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Virtual PC is able to run when you are using a non-administrative user account and most part will work. However – a couple of things that will not work correctly unless Virtual PC is run under an Administrative account:

  • Using ping (or other ICMP based tools) over shared networking.
  • Using or converting linked virtual hard disks.
  • Accessing copy protected CDs.
  • Configuring the Virtual PC security options.

Under Windows Vista Virtual PC will be running as a non-administrative process even if you are using an administrative account. To work under Vista you need to right click on the Virtual PC icon in the start menu and select ‘Run as administrator’.


January 9, 2008  6:20 PM

Symantec Endpoint Protection 11: too early to deploy

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Friend of mine from YourAdmin.Ca posted an interesting opinion about Symantec Endpoint Protection 11:

After two month of intensive using of the newest product from Symantec – Endpoint Protection (SEP) 11 – I am ready to make a statement: you want to wait at least till the first service pack before deploying SEP in production.

If you decide to try anyway, spend time to develop proper policies before clients installation. Turn off all features that you do not need at the moment. Pay close attention to Network Threat Protection and Outlook Auto-Protect features. May be it will be better to refrain from using them so far.


January 9, 2008  5:58 PM

January 2008 Security updates

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

This tool checks your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove the infection if it is found. Microsoft will release an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month.

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64

This tool checks your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove the infection if it is found. Microsoft will release an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month.

Security Update for Windows XP (KB943485)

A security issue has been identified in LSASS that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB943485)

A security issue has been identified in LSASS that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB943485)

A security issue has been identified in LSASS that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems (KB943485)

A security issue has been identified in LSASS that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB943485)

A security issue has been identified in LSASS that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Vista (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows XP (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

Security Update for Windows 2000 (KB941644)

A security issue has been identified in TCPIP that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it.

January 2008 Security Releases ISO Image

This DVD5 ISO image file contains the security updates for Windows released on Windows Update on January 8th, 2008.


January 5, 2008  5:39 PM

SoftGrid 4.1 SP1 Hotfix Rollup Package 1

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

This cumulative update for SoftGrid v4.1 SP1 provides the latest updates to SoftGrid v4.1 SP1. In addition to stability improvements, this update contains the following changes:

  • Improvements to package upgrade when importing upgraded sequencings into the SoftGrid Server Management Console Snap-in.
  • Improvements to package downgrade operation.
  • Improvements to nonpaged pool usage when sequencing large applications.
  • Improvements to sequencing of applications that use both Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
  • Improvements to command-line parameter handling of virtualized child processes.

New capabilities
SoftGrid 4.1 SP1 Hotfix Rollup Package 1 also provides the following new capabilities:

  • Microsoft SoftGrid now provides support for the MSI Utility for Microsoft Application Virtualization.
  • Microsoft SoftGrid now supports SoftGrid Server components running under WOW64 on 64-bit Windows.

Download locations
SoftGrid for Windows Desktops (4.1.2.21)

http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/6/d/d6dd54bd-2c9f-41ba-8fd7-4b8b03d5c12f/SoftGrid_wd_setup_4.1.2.21.exe

SoftGrid for Terminal Services (4.1.2.21)

http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/3/d/f3deb4c3-f484-4bf7-ae49-c9f8a010b594/SoftGrid_ts_setup_4.1.2.21.exe

SoftGrid Server (4.1.2.20)

http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/9/4/994b08d3-7f01-4696-994d-a67f2e0bdf33/SoftGrid_server_setup_4.1.2.20.exe

SoftGrid Sequencer (4.1.2.20)

http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/8/0/e80de2bf-bebd-480e-a1ee-f9febb996b8b/SoftGrid_sequencer_setup_4.1.2.20.exe


December 29, 2007  4:45 PM

Updated Documentation for Hyper-V Beta

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Release Notes:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/4/8/e48d5cff-53d2-4eed-85bf-4af50e25b78c/relnotes.htm

Step-by-step guide:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/b/6/1b687175-0b30-4f56-bb58-2349b2ee1c98/Step-by-Step_Guide_to_Getting_Started_with_Hyper-V.doc


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