February 2005 - Posts
REVISED Feb. 27, 2005 [Thanks to a tip from Steve Foster!]
It's a well known fact that the first person each day that attempts to access the CompanyWeb Sharepoint Site on an SBS2003 server will encounter a delay. Ray Fong previously offered a modification to the IIS Application Pool as a possible workaround - see http://msmvps.com/kwsupport/archive/2004/03/14/3911.aspx - but that does not completely solve the problem of the first person getting hit with a long delay before the companyweb's home page appears.
With an assist from Steve Foster, you can create a scheduled task on your server to start up IE every morning prior to employees arriving, and they will not have to endure the long wait!
1. Click on Control Panel > Scheduled Task > Add Scheduled Task; then click Next
2. Scroll down to find and highlight Internet Explorer from the list of available programs, then click Next
3. Type in a name for your task (like “Start CompanyWeb“), click ono the Daily option, then click Next
4. Set the time that you want this to run (maybe 6:30am) and click Next
5. Enter your administrator password (twice), then click Next
6. Click on the 'Open advanced properties' box, then click Finish
7. In the Run: box, append -nohome http://companyweb to the end of IEXPLORE.EXE
(note make sure there's a space between ieplore.exe and -nohome ...)
8. Click on the Settings tab and change the 'Stop Task' option to 0 hours 1 minute, then click OK
If you want to test to make sure it's working correctly, go back to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks, right click on the task you just created and click Run. IE should open up, and one minute later it should close. That's it.
[PREVIOUS VERSION] Prior to Steve's suggestion (above), I had written a 3 line batch file to do the same thing. But it also required downloading two free utilities. I like Steve's solution much better, but here's how I used to do it. I created a small batch file that will startup IE, display the companyweb home page, and then closes IE. It utilizes two free utility files (sleep.exe and process.exe). SLEEP.EXE is included in the free Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. Download and install the kit on an XP workstation, and you will have your 'sleep.exe' file. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en and PROCESS.EXE is a free utility from BeyondLogic. It comes with several command line options. I use the -q option to gracefully close IE after it has been opened. You can download the utility from here: http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/processutil/processutil.htm
Here's my script:
REM Script C:\companyweb_startup.cmd
START "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" http://companyweb/default.aspx
c:\process.exe -q iexplore.exe
Save the file with a .cmd suffix, and then schedule it to run every morning, maybe at 6:30am!I hope this helps someone. And let me know if this script can be improved!
I always like to find easy ways to do things. Mick recently shared in the public newsgroup how he maintains a log file of user's logons and logoffs.
Step 1: Create the following two files using Notepad or your favorite text editor:
echo logon %username% %computername% %date% %time% >> \\sbs\share\logon.log
echo logoff %username% %computername% %date% %time% >> \\sbs\share\logon.log
Step 2: Update Group Policy to run the appropriate batch file. In Group Policy, go to:
User Configuration-> Windows Settings-> Scripts (Logon/Logoff)-> Logon
Step 3: As users log on and off, your log file should look something like this:
logon June VSXP Tue 22/02/2005 10:39:51.12
logoff June VSXP Tue 22/02/2005 10:41:08.45
logon MickM VSXP Tue 22/02/2005 10:42:01.07
logoff MickM VSXP Tue 22/02/2005 10:42:46.81
A recent post on the newsgroup wanted to know how to determine what application may be listening out onto a port on outr network. Susan Bradley and David Copeland offered the following advice:
1. From a command line, type: netstat -ano . This will give you a list of TCP/UDP ports, their current state, and what Windows application (PID#) is attached. Here's an example of what you would see:
Proto Local Address Foreign Address State PID
TCP 0.0.0.0:135 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 1028
TCP 0.0.0.0:3389 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 952
TCP 0.0.0.0:5800 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING 532
2. Now, open up your Task Manager, click on View > Select Columns, and click to enable PID (Process Identifier). You will now find a new columnd (PID) added to your list of active processes. Click on the PID column header to sort the list of processes in ascending PID number order.
In my example, I was curious about port 5800 / PId 532. Task Maanager reported that “winvnc.exe“ was using it.
3. Another command line prompt you may wish to check out is: tasklist /svc . The result is a list of processes and PID numbers, like this:
Image Name PID Services
==================== ==== ===========================
System Idle Process 0 N/A
System 4 N/A
smss.exe 552 N/A
csrss.exe 680 N/A
winlogon.exe 704 N/A
services.exe 756 Eventlog, PlugPlay
lsass.exe 768 Netlogon, PolicyAgent, ProtectedStorage, SamSs
svchost.exe 952 DcomLaunch, TermService
svchost.exe 1028 RpcSs
svchost.exe 1100 AudioSrv, CryptSvc, Dhcp, dmserver, ERSvc,
svchost.exe 1144 Dnscache
4. You can also concatenate the netstat or tasklist commands with the find command, if you have a specific PID number you are looking for, like this:
netstat -aon | find ":3389"
tasklist /svc | find "nnn"
5. Finally, check out KB 832017 for more information on Service overview and network port requirements for the Windows Server system:
Well, I've spent the better part of several days trying to connect my first Blackberry to an SBS server. After trying to do it on my own, I finally contacted Cingular/Blackberry (BB) support. Here's the lowdown (aftere I first do some venting) --
VENTING: It must be SOP that Cingular puts you on hold for 45 minutes before you ever talk to a human being. By the 3rd day, I was almost getting use to the drone of their pre-recorded messages. After talking to front line people twice, I finally got patched over to a true BB support person (in Canada, naturally) today. I literally was on the phone from 10:30am until 2pm --- all for a single Blackberry!!!!
SETUP: I have a single BB 7290, and I was trying to use the BB redirector/desktop software to sync up email and contacts. I was told by BB that it should work without my having to forward incoming emails out to the BB via Exchange. Yea, right. Well, I couldn't make it work unless otherwise.
Today, with BB tech support with me on the phone, we totally reconfigured my redirector/desktop, stopped Exchange form forwarding the email, and got everything to work.
SOLUTION: Part of the problem is that the BB desktop/redirector does NOT work well with Cached Exchange mode. So they had me setup a second MAPI profile in Outlook, with cached mode disabled, and used that profile to configure the desktop/redirector. It didn't work right away, but I could here him typing furiously on his keyboard, and lo and behold, the emails started to fly.
CONCLUSIONS: Why, you may ask, was I on the phone so long? Answer: 1 hour wait /on hold, 1 houre to walk me tru uninstalling / reinstalling / and configuring both the BB and the software, and then 1.5 hours to work on the BB locking up when I was trying to sync up to my public contact folder. Yes, my public contact folder! I was thrilled when I heard they supported it -- without my having to copy the contaxcts to a temporary folder under my Inbox.
Unfortunately somewhere between the desktop softwar,e the USB cable, and the BB phone itself, it kept freezing up. Finally found out that there was a KB article that lock ups may occur if trying to *only* sync up a Public folder. Onmce included syncing up an empty person contact folder, the syncing and uploading worked like a charm.
Well, that's my experience. Let's see how things are working on Monday!
I recently asked some of the SBS MVP's what products they use for cell phones or PDAs. I've listed their comments below. If you have are using something different, please post a response!
1) Cellphone Sprint: Sanyo RL 4920. Just upgraded from Sany 8100 (didn’t use the camera). Pros: easy to use; great, great battery life! Cons: Signal sensitivity not as good as the 8100. Pocket PC: HP iPAQ 5555 Pros: Lots of built in features: Bluetooth and 802.11b, fingerprint reader. Cons: Battery Life stinks! Wish I could trade it. Only Expansion Slot is SD. Never had any trouble with OL2003 and synching contacts with my 5555
2) Just got an Ipaq 6315. Now if I can figure out how to get my contacts to sync which I never could with the Ipaq 5555.
3) I got 3 Samsung SCH-a650's for lawyers and they're very happy with them. We need tri-mode and no camera (not allowed in some courts), and those fit the bill. Well recommended by Verizon repair techs, too.
PDA - Dell Axim X30. I have very basic needs for a PDA - 80% Outlook contacts and calendar, 20% Avant Go and media player. I picked the X30 because it's cheap and seemed to have a lot of bang for the buck. Battery life is good. Since getting mine, I've standardized on these for the office - we have 4 or 5 total. One started having screen problems a day before the warranty expired and Dell replaced it, and the others have been fine
4) Smartphone -> Motorola MPx220. It’s a really small and cool phone, has more features that I could ask for. Cingular Wireless service is good here in Delaware and even better in Puerto Rico. I’m pretty happy with it. I finally wrote my “review” today:
http://msmvps.com/javier/archive/2005/02/05/35038.aspx. Of course as soon as I got it, I learned about the MPx (which has full QWERTY keyboard in a similar small package).
5) We have the iPpaq 6365 (Aussie version of the 6315). Basically the phone section leaves a lot to be desired - it has poor quality and frequent dropouts. We're waiting on a Rom upgrade from HP which is supposed to fix it.
6) Cell phone – Sanyo PM-8200 w/ Sprint PCS service. I love Sanyo phones – they take a beating and just keep on going.
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cellular-battery/sanyo-pm-8200-holster-swivel.html . As for PDA – don’t have one. However, I’m thinking that I’m going to bite the bullet and upgrade to a PDA phone sometime in the next few months . . . So far, the Audiovox PPC6601 is at the top of my list. Welcome to Audiovox:
7) I had the Sanyo 8100 and loved it but the big trouble I had was it slipping out of the plastic holder frequently. You might look at this one for the 8200 as well: http://www.factorydirectcellular.com/home/sanyo/sanyo-pm8200.htm
8) Using the I-Mate PDA2K EVDO that uses the CDMA Network and 3G Roaming Broadband. In a word: Brilliant! (only issue is that the Bluetooth is a little inconsistent, dropping out and not auto-reconnecting at times - but that's Bluetooth.) Has an SD Slot for accessories like WiFi ( Built into the GSM, but given the 920 KBS of the CDMA Roaming Broadband, really not needed for other than War Driving ), GPRS and Memory Upgrades ( The combined Memory + WiFi Card has "Issues" )
I also use the Sierra AirCard for the laptop which totally frees me for the need to search out WiFi Hot-Spots.
9) I’m deciding if I want to take an i-Mate from the cellular company http://www.orange.co.il/corporate/imate/index.html, though I would prefer the model with the keyboard - or whether to buy the iPaq 6340 as it is named here. I have heard reports that the iPaq drops of the network all the time when calling.
10) iPaq HX4700 WLAN, 128/64MB, Pocket PC 2k3 - Built in bluetooth (don't use) and wireless (use all the time); Some kind of slot or card reader built in, SD I think. Also have a Palm Tungsten C with wireless, built in thumboard. Works good to, but doesn't talk to exchange other than OMA. Also has some kind of slot for ?. The iPaq has a bigger screen, and is a bit thinner - I find it easier to carry. If we had more wireless hotspots in Canada I'd probably use the iPaq more. I find both of these gizmos confusing, but that's just me.
11) Sanyo 8200 flip phone. Small, easy to use, nice features. Got it at Costco 1 week ago ($49 after rebate). I really like the 8200 features: * Easy to take out the phone and snap quick pictures (with flash) of opportunities (wiring, connections, circuit numbers, serial numbers, the car odometer), * Ability to record quick audio notes and to record conversations to capture phone numbers or specifics., etc., * Talk to dial, great 2 way speaker phone to enable quick conference calls and hands free to type and talk at the same time.
I also like the ability to plug in a simple $9 USB cable and to use it as a modem for my laptop (RWW) in a pinch. (I was sitting in the middle of the desert, at a freeway rest stop, outside of Yuma Arizona, and connected to one of my customer's desktop s through RWW to fix a problem- what a beautiful thing!)
Because I'm not a fan of personal devices that do everything in one device (if that one device fails I'm without many 'devices') I have a Dell Axim Pocket PC with a wireless card that gives me everything I need and I don’t have to hold that huge thing to my ear to talk. I also think that if I have a phone in my ear I can’t use it as a PDA/PPC very well.
12) Re: USB cable … had it for the 8100 and it still fits the RL4920, just had to download the updated phone drivers from FutureDial I’m getting about 100k up and down (according to speedtest.charter.com). Future Dial supports some other carriers and many phones. www.futuredial.com (also available
Someone recently posted the following question: “Our SUS folder has now reached over 2 Gb in size.How [can we] move it to a different location without downloading everything again?“
James Reather then shared the process he followed:
1. Stop the SUS services
2. Back up the \SUS\CONTENT folder to a different place
3. Uninstall SUS
4. Reinstall SUS in its new home and configure it.
5. Stop the SUS services and copy the contents of the old CONTENT folder back into the new CONTENT folder
6. Start up SUS and do a synchronisation.