After our transition to Exchange 2010 most things were working as expected. One thing that wasn’t was the OAB. I did set it to the new generation as I was supposed to, but the clients were still not getting any updates.
After some hunting around the web I discovered that I also needed to update the distribution point from the virtual directory of the old 2007 server to the new 2010 server. I hoped that this would fix it, but it did not. It turns out that something I had set to make my life easier made my life harder!
I had setup folder redirection to point OWA access to https from http, as well as redirecting to /owa so that users would not have to remember everything in the url. This was working but it broke the OAB delivery and gave an error 500. It turns out that when you setup the redirection on the root folder in IIS7/7.5, and you then turn that off for the underlying virtual directories, IIS sets up a web.config file in every underlying directory. You have to then go into the file structure on the server and allow ‘Authenticated Users’ read and read-execute permissions on that web.config file. Once I had done this my OAB was then available and all the clients went and downloaded it.
Yet another one of the little gotchas that is not documented.
I’ve been working with Windows Sever 2008 and 2008 R2 only for a couple of months now. Generally the OS is greatly improved over 2003. There are many quirks that are frustrating though. They are generally little things, but there is nearly zero documentation and only extensive web searches reveal the fix.
One issue I’ve been struggling with is the Task Scheduler not working on what I had assumed were basic tasks. I have a script that I run to clean out files of a certain age from a specified folder. I use it for deleting log files and some backups etc. The task simply executes a batch file which calls a .vbs script. The task was failing with error code 0x1 without any farther details. After some time spent searching and trying different things I found the trick that worked.
When running a batch file at least, it seems that when setting up a task you cannot just specify the file to be run, you also have to specify the ‘start in’ parameter. For example if you specify c:\temp\script.bat you also have to specify c:\temp as the start in parameter. I did this and my task is now working like a charm!
I have a number of remote users that I support, and sometimes walking through things over the phone is just difficult. I have used Remote Assistance a few times, but walking a user through requesting help can be slow and troublesome sometimes. I started searching around for way to do unsolicited remote assistance sessions and found this post that walked me through setting up a GP for it. Worked like a charm and has already saved my bacon!
Offer Unsolicited Remote Assistance GPO
This may seem obvious to everyone else out there, but it wasn’t to me. I am testing a new Exchange 2010 server running in VMWare and am experimenting with backups. I have the whole server backed up using BE AVVI, but wanted the granular restore of mailboxes and messages, so I was also running a job where I selected just the Exchange database. When I went in to do a test restore the Microsoft Information Store showed up in the list with two distinct entries. The properties looked slightly different but the data was the same.
It took me a little time to realize that I was duplicating my Exchange data by having those two backups (duh!), so I turned off my specific Exchange job and just left it with the AVVI job only. What I didn’t realize was that just having the AVVI job would allow me the granular restores of messages from Exchange.