Network Operating Systems
These are some sites that I find useful. Sometimes it seems that wading through all the hype to get to the "techie" stuff is more work that fixing the original problem. Hopefully, this page will help to bypass some of the fluff.
www.microsoft.com/ - Microsoft World Wide
Useful SBS tips & real
stories - the best site I've found yet
www.autoprof.com/ Automated Profile Management
for roving Outlook users
Wingate - Lan to Internet Very nice proxy server
Exchange Server to a single POP3 mailbox
Talk about misunderstood...
Everyone assumes (me included) that connecting Exchange Server to an existing POP3 mailbox should be a piece of cake, well it's not. Exchange Server is an SMTP server and expects to talk to another SMTP server. There are some workarounds, but they are not simple and require a fair amount of cooperation from your ISP -- who are not necessarily know for their willingness to cooperate in the first place.
However, there are some POP3 gateway vendors that allow you to use a single POP3 mailbox to serve your entire company with individual mailboxes [maintained by Exchange server]. They are EFS (Email Forwarding Server), an inexpensive (free - 30$) solution that is reported to work quite well. Another is Pop3Gateway ($239) that is also reported to work well, but is slightly more expensive -- a few hundred dollars either way seems insignificant if it solves such a major problem.
A good solution is EPEC - Exemplar Pop to Exchange Connector. I have used this product and was pleased with the ease of use and functionality. It can be used to "harvest" POP3 mail from multiple mailboxes and deliver mail to the user you specify, as well as forward an entire domains aliased mail to Exchange Server.
I will be trying some of these solutions and will post my results.
Following are some general RAS related issues:
ISP logons via NT Server RAS
NT Hardware Compatibility List
Remote Exchange Clients
For a more detailed discussion, Microsoft has articles on the subject: OL97: Remote Mail, Offline Folders, and Working Offline and OL97: What Are Offline Folders and How Do You Use Them? but a basic description of the methods follow.
There are 3 "remote" scenarios that you can do with exchange, 2 of them support "offline / disconnected" mode:
You can also have a personal folders store (or multiple of them) mounted in any of the 3 cases above and have private folders available in it/them in all 3 cases. In case #1, your inbox could be server or personal folders based, depending on your preference. In case #2 and #3, your inbox is server based.
If you wish to make changes to a user's logon script, you need to make the changes to
the logon script template file. Each time a user is created or his or her application
state is changed with the Set Up Computer wizard, the logon script is regenerated using
the logon script template file, c:\smallbusiness\template\template.bat. If you make
changes to an existing logon script, the changes will be removed any time that user is
selected in the Set Up Computer wizard. If you wish to make permanent changes to the logon
scripts, you can edit the template.bat file, and your changes will be propagated to all
the logon scripts that are subsequently created.
In order to backup the Exchange Information & Directory Stores via command line [specifically if you want to use the AT scheduler] use the syntax:
To enable fax notification where the client will receive an email message with the status of a fax:
On the SBS Server:
On the SBS Client:
Seagate Backup Exec
My only problem to date has been with an error stating "Initialization of the dynamic link library D:\WINNT\system32\USER32.dll has failed. The process is terminating abnormally.". This error and it's fix is documented on Microsoft's web site as Q158308. A simple registry setting change resolved this issue.
American Power Conversion UPSs
If you use an APC UPS, occasionally during a reboot SBS (or NT 4 as well) will detect a serial mouse and add drivers for it, on the next reboot, it will complain that there is no mouse. The system will also have sent the UPS into on-battery mode and have lost contact with the UPS. Check out Microsoft's article as Q131976
To prevent this from happening, add the following to the c:\boot.ini file at the end of
each line after [operating systems] making sure to substitute the proper com port.
This will prevent the mis-detection of the UPS as a mouse. I'm not sure why APC doesn't do this for you, I thought it did in PowerChute version 4.x. At least it was in the manual, I could find no mention of it in the version 5 manual.
Make sure to have an approved modem from the HCL before starting installation, otherwise you will have nothing but problems. In one installation, I was using a quad-port serial board from Comtrol. The board required drivers to be installed to make the ports available, and by the time I was able to do so, the modem detection phase had passed. I manually added the ports and modems, reinstalled the fax, proxy, and shared modem services -- quite a pain, and I'm not sure I got it all right. I ended up temporarily adding a modem to a "normal" com2: port and everything went much smoother. I was then able to add the modems to the Comtrol ports without incident.
Proxy service (DUN) not hanging up on idle
I have found several postings concerning this issue. Even though the manual states that the proper entries should be made under DUN control panel applet under Programs/Accessories/Dial Up networking/<your phonebook entry>/More/Logon Preferences/Idle Seconds before disconnect: <time>. You also have to go into Internet service manager/www proxy/ cache, and disable active caching. When it thinks a page needs to be updated,it creates modem activity which resets the idle seconds counter.
Location of default shared folders
SBS setup places the Company and User folders on the C: drive -- which so completely goes against my instincts...
Anyway, leave them there. The console.exe has hardcoded references to to them, and you're just asking for trouble by moving them.
I prefer to have the boot volume be a FAT volume, but I do appreciate the interest in security. Also, it seems that the Proxy Server has to have the URL cache folder on a NTFS volume. Maybe to keep things simple, we should just leave SBS to it's own devices and accept the defaults. I also see that there is a motherboard limitation on the size of disk partitions, some accept 2Gb at a maximum, others accept up to 4Gb.
I prefer to keep my data separate from the system files, but with SBS mixing them (out of the box, mind you), I may give thought to partitioning the whole disk into a single volume.
Overall, I like this product. Still, it seems that I always forget to rename the avupdate.ino file to avupdate.ini until I've spent time running around wondering which place to look next -- I would think that during the install it could simply ask if you need to preserve your existing .ini file (assuming that it found one at all).
I always seem to have to fiddle with the settings, and generally poke-and-prod to get the auto-update service running -- there's another one, why doesn't the install start the required services for you?
Attention Cheyenne: at least please give us a checklist of "Things You Need to Do Manually Before this Product will Work".