Thursday, July 06, 2006

Exchange Week lost count

Server hardware has been here for about a week now, i have already setit up as a domain controller with exchange installed on it with no problems.

After a little discusion with my assistant have decided it would be a good idea to take this opertunaty to rebuild the entire network again, so have set the new server up as the PDC with the same name as the exsisting PDC.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Exchange week 5.2

He Shoots He Scores

Meeting was a success everyone gave me the go ahead to order hardware and get the proccess started. Looking at quotes now for hardware, Server + Switch + UPS + Backup.

For backup i have decieded to look at network storage sata hdds, they look pretty good.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Exchange Week 5.1

Time has come. 1 hour left before i have to go and sell the product to the leadership team. If all goes well we should get the go ahead and the money to order our new server plus some extra backup devices.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Exchange 4.1

The time has been set, Tuesday 6th June at 3:30, need to sell exchange to the entire leadership team.

Great will need to iron my shirt for a change, and possibly put a tie on instead of leaving it on my desk every day.

Have decieded to cut down on the need of an extra workstation by installing a virtual workstation onto the server, encouted errors due to no network connection but a quick google search on the images told me how to create a loop back cable.

Setup four users using "random" names: Bart, Lisa, Homer, and Marge each with there own mail box.

Ran a test sending tasks to different users: successful

Looking at ways of sharing a calandar. seems to be two different ways either share a calander of a user, so for a whole school calandar create a user called whole school calandar. This would mean that someone would have to keep checking a different mail box.
The other way is to create a public folder and create a calandar in there. this seems to be the best way, will look into this more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Exchange 3.3

The Verdict

Mandatory profiles do not work with Outlook.
Looking at the facts moving the application data to the home dir speeds up the logon procces a bit but not needing to be copied to the local drive at logon, so possibly if i switch everybody back to roaming profiles it would work, but printers will become an issue again.

attempt to rewrite my printer program to remove network printers at start up then install chosen printers.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Exchange 3.1

Had anouther look at the profile problem this morning.

Started by removing everything to do with profiles so far.
Redirected the application data folder to the home directory, now this sounds simple but just try it. To start with enter the gpo then goto User Config - Windows Settings - Application Data and bring up the properties, and change the first setting to 'Basic' then in the target folder location you have to use 'Create a folder for each user under the root path' if you do not it just changes back after you click 'OK', in the root path enter the unc path.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Exchange Week 3

Not a lot done on exchange over the last few days, still having problems using mandatory profiles, but simply alowing admin users to use it in outlook and students to use it in explorer may bypass this problem.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Exchange week 2.2

Converted my users to mandatory profiles today to discover that this just screws everything up.

Have looked at a couple of web sites that claim to have this working but it is still causeing me problems. i will let you know when i have an answer.

Teaching myself outlook: It all looks very basic, there are a few sections that just seem to be pointless and some that look very complicated, i can see that restricting students may be a problem.

Exchange week 2.1

installed with the microsoft office resource kit
used by adding template to group policy object editor
Very help full for customizeing security in outlook.

Exchange week 2

Didn't manage to get an update to this blogg done on friday so thought i would do it now.

Exchange server fully up and running, workstation built and tested.
Had an issue when starting outlook on the workstation for the first time on any profile where the user would have to set up exchange manualy on every workstation he/she wnated to use it on, but after a bit of a play with the office custom insterlation wizard i managed to get this fixed.

Now just to teach myself some of the features of outlook/exchange.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Exchange Day 2

Managed to getserver 2003 + exchange installed onto my laptop with no problems.
Have created a single user with a mail box.
Now trying to use our crappy test station to install windows xp with out any luck so far.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Exchange Day 1

End of day one and test machine has fell over twice, so have given up on it (bloody blue screens).

Decieded to use my laptop instead, specs as follows

40 gig HDD
756 Ram
1.4 pentium M cpu

I think it should be able to handle it and it means i should be able to work on it from home as well.

Exchange Day 1

After a very small amount of thought decided it would proberbly be better to keep the test eviroment completly seperate from our domain. This means that our crappy test machine needs to also handle active directory as well as exchange, cant wait to see it struggle.

Installing server 2003 with Active dir, and IIs, and NNPT + SMPT.

Exchange Day 1

Have arranged to give leadership team a demonstration in 3 weeks, should really get this up and running quickly then.

We have downloaded the 120 day trial of exchange 2003, and have found some hardware to test it on.

specs of test server:
AMD 2000+ XP CPU
40 gig HDD standard IDE
256 Ram (dont think this will be enouth)
SIS chipset all in one cheap and nasty motherboard
52 X CDrom
3.5 inch fdd
crappy 15 inch monitor
old ball mouse
nackered keyboard.

New Term New Task

New term has started, new task started, its good to be back.

Exchange Server
The aim is simple setup an exchange server to be in full use from september 06.

Any way that gets the job done, with me doing as little work as possible.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Week update

Haven't managed to log anything this week and thought i better just drop an update just for the sake of it.

Tuesday morning was involved in an road traffic accadent, wrote my car off and took the day of work.
Wednesday sun was shinning no one wanted to use a computer let alone log any faults. Went home early and moved a couple of tons of granite to get ready for the new building project.
Thursdays could barely move my arms all day, had dentist in am so could hardly speak all day.

Last day of term today so not much should happen, school closes at 1, then off to find the sun in spain.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Monday has come again.
Sun is shining, birds are singing.
Assistant has been given the day of by the powers from above.
Wich means i have been out of the office all day doing small jobs that are not even worth thinking about.

Ran the sims + FMS updates on friday last thing, so as per usaual sims and fms were not working this morning, wich in turns warents 30 odd phone calls to tell me so.

Friday, March 31, 2006


End of the week has arrived again, no major problems today, just a few arguments with one teacher.

After telling her off for failing to return 2 laptops at the end of here lesson yesterday, she decieds an hour later would be a good time to ring me and request help plugging video/audio cables in so she can play a sound through her computer, now come on three phone cables colour coded red white and yellow, three sockets coloured red white and yellow, has it become so easy to become a teacher now that they do not need to know basic colour cordination. Left her waiting for ten mins then whent down myself to plug them in. Didn't bother testing just left without saying a word, havent heard anything else from her today.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

new registry setting found today

Thursday has come and past again, anouther non day as far as i'm concerned.

Did find a nice setting for the network to remove most error messages the students see, such as access denied messages.
The registry setting is as follows:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Controlcreate key: error message instrument
create dword: EnableDefaultReply
give it a value of 00000001
reset machine.

This is simple and effective, and should save me a lot of hassel.

Also managed to sort out what was preventing the teachers and admin staff from burning CDs, as it turned out it was simply the denied access to the c: that was causing the problem.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why is it you only lurn something help full at the end of the day?

After a rather dull and pointless day i found something that is going to make life a hell of a lot easyer, I hope.

Casualy browsing through regedit i noticed an option called 'load hive' not not knowing what the hell a hive is (in regedit) thought i would investergate further, after a very short period of time noticed that i could open NTUser.dat from any profile that was not being used.

This may sound pointless but combined with mandatory profiles it means i can achive just about anything.

putting it to the test now, i will keep this blog up todate with the results.

Kids with viruses

Virus report today from a students home directory (adware.starware in joke.exe), just anoying realy, students can't download *.exe throught our proxy so that means he has bought it in, students can't run *.exe from anywhere they can access so whats the point.
Doesn't affect server 2003 so just locked his computer account banned internet access, should see him soon.

Dull day

Morning running so slowly today, doesn't help this pounding migrane i woke up with this morning.

Still waiting for the right time to give my assistant a verbal warning for all the hassel on monday morning, just hoping head clears before the right time.

Didn't bloody work

Checked logs again, error has re occured, bo**ox.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Monday morning is here again, with a week an hour shorter than the rest of the year to add that extra kick.

Turned up to my office today to find that no one could access there documents, and my assistant is no where to be found (by that i mean in the hall working with the music department.) After about 15 phone calls 3 people poping into my office i get a free couple of seconds to try and find the problem.

The usual checks arn ran to find that half the school is fine the other half is not just to confuse matters even more.

Thought to myselft this is monday morning 'screw it' set two domain controllers to restart then go and make a cup of coffee, once they have rebooted problem apears to have disapered, not the best fix but it works for now.

Had a look throuh the event viewer on the PDC to find a lot of errors under the application section:
eventid 1030
'Description: Windows cannot access the file gpt.ini for GPO CN={31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9},CN=Policies,CN=System,DC=domain,DC=com. The file must be present at the location <\\domain\sysvol\domain\Policies\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\gpt.ini>. (The network path was not found. ).'

This error seems to be occurning every five mins, so i thought better do something about it.
As per usual searched the microsoft site and found a few interesting refrencs but nothing that would really solve the problem to thought it would wise to expand the problem a bit, get a bit more understanding of where it is coming from.

It turns out that the policy {31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9} is the machine name of the default domain policy, now i know when i first setup this network i did make some changes in here which have sinced been moved to smaller GPOs. Had a second check to see if there were any custom settings left in the default domain policy to find none apart from Password age.

Reset the Default Domain Policy
So simple, restore it to its previous pointless glory.
now this sounds simple, and it is in a complercated way, all you have to do is modify the 'GptTmpl.inf' located under \sysvol\\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\">\\\sysvol\\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\MACHINE\Microsoft\Windows NT\SecEditto read:
[System Access]MinimumPasswordLength = 2
PasswordComplexity = 0
LockoutBadCount = 0
RequireLogonToChangePassword = 0
ForceLogoffWhenHourExpire = 0
ClearTextPassword = 0
[Kerberos Policy]MaxTicketAge = 10
MaxRenewAge = 7
MaxServiceAge = 600
MaxClockSkew = 5
TicketValidateClient = 1
[Registry Values]

Then edit the version number in the '\sysvol\\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\GPT.INI'">\\\sysvol\\{31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-00C04FB984F9}\GPT.INI' simply add a '0' to the end.

Run gpudate /force
there is no need to restart the server or logoff.

No errors for 2 hours now!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Its Friday

Turned up early this morning to make up fo time of required yesterday, to find my assistant walking out the door of the office, he didn't return untill lunch time. This means i have been stuck in the office all morning unable to sort out the few problems that have been reported.

Managed to test the new user manager software i wrote this morning, password reset for students works great.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday morning

Too late a night at the pub last night, thirst thing this morning chucked half a cup of coffee over my workstation keyboard and laptop display, (missed the server by about 6 inches).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesdays are dull

So many simple small problems in one day they are barley worth mentioning but here we go any way.
Projector bulb needs replacing, found a replacement cost £340, to replace the projector with a new one with a free extra bulb £550, I will go for the new projector I think.
My documents link on desktop not working, changed GPO and wait for every single member of staff to ring/pop in to tell me, I say log off the log on again.
Keyboard replaced.
More Mice ordered.
Lots of coffee drank.
Move to an Exchange server approved, £6k to play with.
White board pen broken, 3 ordered to replace it.
Software that I have spent an hour trying to get working get told that it is not required.
Crocodile clips physics is now wanted on five different machines, only five licensees in the building.
Assistant out all day doing work for another department.

God Tuesdays are dull.

Monday, March 20, 2006

access violation at address 0064c3be in module attendw.exe

Bloddy hate sims useless error message handed to me to sort out today. Spoke to sims support they suggested removing all installs of it from the network, then deleting all files it fails to uninstall, reboot workstation, reinstall sims, reboot workstation, run sims update, REPEAT FOR 30+ WORKSTATIONS. what a supprise still doesn't fix the problem.

Is it possible they are just trying to put off the problem for a while.

tried there fix on one (correct errors on there email for how to fix the error) didn't work so sent email straight back to them, waiting for anouther fix to be sent.

Install Printer per workstation not user

Right it begins:
Having recently rebuilt our entire computer network to a windows 2003 domain with XP clients it became necessary to sort out our printer issues once and for all.

Using start-up scripts to map printers.
The problem we are having is this:
Using roaming profiles, when a user logs onto one workstation they get the printer mapped to them, when they log off and move to a different room the keep the printer installed in there profile.

The first solution.
I decided as a quick fix to add an extra start-up script that removes all printers that are not supposed to be installed when the user logs on.
This worked for a while but was very messy needing a lot of scripts.

The Big Idea.
After a long time searching the web for answers I found a few ideas that put together would form the solution, and would not cost anything. First it was necessary to switch everyone over to mandatory profiles (I have been meaning to do this save some space on our servers anyway).

1) I created a folder called printers and inside placed another folder called installed.
2) For each printer I wanted to be installed I created a file with no extension in the format “@@servername@printersharename”
3) Created a simple VB program that checked the ‘installed’ directory for files, upon finding them, replaced the ‘@’ with ‘\’ (‘\’ can’t be used in file names). Then using the shell command mapped the printer.
So far this has sorted the whole issue out.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


New application today for library management. Sales person nicely informed us that it is very simple to install, even comes with an MSI to enable it to be installed down the network, great! Found the MSI installed it onto my workstation ran the icon to find an error displayed straight away, ‘unable to locate database’ not to unusual, the program has not asked where the database is being stored. Had a quick search for an MSI for the server side of the program, to find it doesn’t exists, ran the main setup program to be presented with an option to install the program, not what I was after but ran it any way, then there it is an option right at the bottom to install database files only SORTED.
Client installed from MSI, database now located on a server share, but still the program has not requested the location of the database so just supplies an error message. Searching through the files the MSI installed found a file called Local.ini containing a target line pointing to a database that does not exists, upon correcting this it worked.

Great now it seems I have to correct this file on every workstation that has the program installed.
Decided after sorting out many confusing computer problems around the work network, and the many simple problems I have sorted out from home for anyone who has ever met me, or it seems met anyone I know, I should keep some sort of record to help others who get stuck searching through many web pages for simple answers.

I will make it clear now at the beginning that not all of the fixes have come simply from me, but are a combination of information I have found through the web and books and word of mouth.

One more thing I am fully aware how bad my English skills are (spelling and punctuation,) I will try to correct it as I go along but I will not make any promises, so there will be mistakes.