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Preview: David Overton's Blog : SBS 2003

David Overton's Blog : SBS 2003


Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008–June 17th 2010

Wed, 16 Jun 2010 10:37:10 GMT


I know this has gone out to UK SBSC partners, but I thought I should let people know through the blog too.

Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008

Technical Schools are a series of monthly Live Meetings specifically for the Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) and Registered partners who specialise in targeting the small to medium sized business market. Taking place on 17 June, 15:00-16:00 (GMT), the next Technical School will be led by Microsoft's David Overton who will provide guidance relating to Small Business Server 2008. Review a recording of last months' Technical School, which discussed Office 2010.


We will cover off the preparation required prior to a migration, the process of installing or migrating and then some FAQ’s of the most commonly asked questions that people have sent me.  These will include:

  • Converting a trial license to a purchased solution
  • Getting rid of the Outlook prompt for username and password
  • Installing the latest service pack for Exchange





Where to buy Small Business Server 2008, Installing, Migrating and Configuring book

Tue, 05 May 2009 09:37:00 GMT

I've had a few people ask where they can buy my book so I thought I would lay out the options.  You can always purchase both the book and / or the e-book from Packt Publishing at this address however for those who wish to buy elsewhere, you can.   Book or eBookFree shipping! US, UK, Europe & selected Asian countries This is the RAW book (Read as Written). More Information here To buy or pre-order, click here Book and eBook. Pre-order now! Print only price £27.89 save 10% eBook only price £13.19 save 40% Amazon in UK Amazon in USA Anywhere in the world Anywhere in the world   I hope you enjoy the book.  For a brief summary of the chapters go here and you can preview a chapter from the book here -(Sample Chapter 4 Installing SBS 2008 and Connecting to the Internet [2.0 MB]). If you wish to request a copy to review, look at the Request a Review Copy page. I have now embarked on my 2nd book project and you can find out more about it here - I have also included a link to buy the RAW version in the above table too!   Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008,Small Business Server 2008,Installing,Configuring,Migrating,Microsoft,Book[...]

SBS 2008, Installing, migrating and configuring BOOK now available to pre-order

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 10:22:00 GMT

[updated 2nd May 2009]

Hi everyone.  My SBS 2008 book is in now available to order.  Details below.  If you want to ask questions once you have the book, go to  To order the book click

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

David Overton


Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact

· Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures

· Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003

· Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces

· An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background

(image) In More Detail

Available April 2009. Order now!

Cover price


Packt Special Offer

£22.49 save 10%

Multi-buy Discount

£20.49 save 18%






SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success from the Official SBS Blog

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 02:05:00 GMT

I started to write about this at SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues and Active Directory Health Checks, but after some discussion with the SBS team at Microsoft we now have much more:

The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success

The purpose of this post is to help you complete your SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008 successfully on the first attempt.

………………  much, much more


Use this information if you have a non-standard implementation or are concerned about the success of a migration.





Citrix Access Essentials, SBS 2008, EBS 2008 and you - Birmingham, 10th Feb

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 09:35:00 GMT

As many of you know I work with Citrix in the UK.  While their product is not appropriate for 100% of the SBS & EBS market, if you would like to know more about the opportunity when you are a Citrix Partner and specifically about Access Essentials for SBS and EBS, you should attend this event.  There is also a great prize too :-)   If you want to see a blog all about Citrix then look at their official blog here and if you want to see someone in the community talking about his area then look at Brian Madden's info here. Find out how your business could join the fast lane in 2009 by becoming a Citrix partner. It's an exciting time to be part of the Citrix Partner Network™: in the last year we launched new virtualisation solutions, expanded our partnerships with the world's top hardware and software vendors and added new incentives to channel programmes. At our Citrix Partner Accelerator event, you'll learn how these investments could help you develop your business - by offering your customers the most powerful and comprehensive value-added application delivery infrastructure solutions in the market. Get up to speed with Citrix We'll bring you up to speed with the latest Citrix vision and strategy and give you the inside track on new Citrix and partner offerings that could help you stay competitive in 2009. Understand the latest developments within Citrix and in the wider market with keynote speeches from senior Citrix executives. Learn how you can develop new business opportunities by working together with Citrix. Experience the newest application delivery infrastructure solutions through demonstrations and proof of concepts in the technical sessions. Connect with Citrix employees, Citrix Distributors and Citrix Alliance Partners who could transform the way you do business. Focused Workshops for new resellers on developing your business with Citrix, plus a Citrix Access Essentials for Microsoft focused partners and a Citrix strategic sales workshop for those who want to learn more about the value proposition. Register online today to guarantee your place.   The prize draw: Explore the benefits of becoming a Citrix partner and you could win a once-in-a-lifetime Formula 1 VIP experience.* In June 2009, the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix comes to Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, for what could be the last time. Record-breaking crowds are expected to welcome home the reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton. The stage is set for a weekend of unrivalled sporting excitement with an unforgettable party atmosphere - and you could be part of it! Citrix is offering everyone who attends the Citrix Partner Accelerator event on 10 February the chance to win an awesome all-inclusive Grand Prix experience, including: Two nights' accommodation for two at 4* Horwood House, a grand manor house set in 38 acres of landscaped grounds just 15 minutes from Silverstone. Helicopter transfers to and from the race circuit. Day membership of the exclusive F1 Paddock Club, including gourmet cuisine, fine champagnes, amazing views of the race start and finish, and guided pit lane walkabouts. To ensure you're in with a chance to win, register now and attend the Citrix Partner Accelerator event in Birmingham on 10 February. About the event Citrix Partner Accelerator is an unmissable opportunity for any reseller who wants to evaluate the benefits of joining the Citrix Partner Network™. We'll bring you up to speed with the latest Citrix vision and strategy and give you the inside track on new Citrix and partner offerings that could help you stay competitive in 2009. Register online today to guarantee your place. *Terms and conditions apply - see   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Citrix,Microsoft,Partners,SB[...]

Active Directory Health Check - Make sure your AD is healthy before you migrate SBS 2003 to SBS 2008

Mon, 19 Jan 2009 23:30:00 GMT

[updated 29/9/12 with new link]

Given the recent comments about AD validation I thought I would share this excellent document on verifying your AD before you begin a migration (or at any other time)

Active Directory Health Check - Active Directory

This document outlines a basic procedure for validating the health of your domain and is a good practice for iterative maintenance and an excellent pre-check before doing any potentially dangerous domain operations

I would add a couple of extra tests to the list in this document, which would be placed after the 1st DCDIAG test, also perform:

DCDIAG /test:DNS /DNSALL /e /v

DCDIAG /test:DcPromo /e /v

DCDIAG /test:RegisterInDNS

If you system passes these tests then it is a good indication of health.





SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues

Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:03:00 GMT

I've been part of a lively debate on the Yahoo UK SBS Group about how to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and what the issues are.  The information I have so far is good, but I need much more to take it to the product teams.

For sure, the issues so far are:

  • Concerns around the "state" of AD before a migration is started - how do you check it - look at this blog post
  • Concerns around the Exchange migration in terms of time taken and failure scenarios - how to remove the chances of this?
  • Concerns around "on-site" versus "off-site" strategies
  • Concerns around recovery options in the event of failures (restore from backup not being ideal if you want it diagnosed)

My problem is that I have no data to take to the Microsoft product teams, which means I can't ask them to fix things so this is a two fold open invitation.

  1. If you have had an issue, share it via comments below, but also PLEASE e-mail ( as well so I can get in touch with you and potentially the product teams too.  If you put your mail in the blog then others can see it.  You are also welcome to just e-mail me, but then there will not be discussion in public, which might be a shame.
  2. Share other concerns so I can get them documented and addressed, but also use the Microsoft support - you can always send me the SR numbers if you want me to tie them together.

That is it - may the knowledge sharing continue!




How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 17:33:00 GMT

Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking.  If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration.  I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work.  So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy. The process in outline is below.  If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book) Take a full system backup before starting Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC (see here for details) Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks.  To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here.  Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration. Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM.  Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available. Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that points to the other new disk, again as a pass-through volume.  This will be the SBS 2008 boot disk and can be booted with or without Hyper-V later Perform the Migration as per my book (not yet published) or Whitepaper Start migration process, including creating the answer file. Create a VFD with the answer file on it and boot SBS 2008 to start the migration Finish the migration to the point where the SBS 2003 box is downgraded Turn off SBS 2003 VM and store, recycle or dispose of disks Choose to either make the machine book natively boot to the SBS 2008 partition (in the bios) or continue to use Hyper-V   That is it. Much simpler than a swing if your box is good enough to run Hyper-V server.  If you intend on keeping SBS 2008 running under Hyper-V, have a look at this Technet article.   ttfn   David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003,SBS 2008,Microsoft,Migration,SBSC,David Overton[...]

Internet Explorer security vulnerability fix now available – think of it as an early Christmas present… now about Firefox’s 3 issues this week…

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 09:25:00 GMT

I think everyone knows that an urgent security issue has arisen in IE this week and Microsoft has taken the (wise) decision to publish a fix outside the normal 2nd Tuesday release cycle.  Some have said switch browser because of this issue, but not only can that be complex, but most browsers suffer security issues so once again the only real protection is to wrap in cotton wool and hide.  Or, use the built in features of Vista and IE7/8 which means protected mode and NOT running as admin.  You might ask why a Christmas present?  Well, if this continued un-patched then your information is seriously at risk and that would make for a very bad Christmas if your credit card information was stolen!! Either way, if you have IE on your systems then you will need to update your systems urgently.  Of course, my Hyper-V server (or Windows Core for that matter) don’t have IE, so no updates for them!!! Just for completeness, here is the information from the Technet newsletter Internet Explorer Security Update I wanted to update you on the Advance Notification of security update MS08-078 which will address a new vulnerability allowing remote code execution in all affected versions of Internet Explorer products. We plan to release this update on December 17th, around 10 a.m. Pacific Time (6pm UK time) through Automatic Updates and Microsoft Update. We encourage you to test and deploy this update as soon as possible. Our investigations of the known attacks have verified that they are not successful against customers who have applied the security update. You may be interested to know, that in response to the threat we mobilized security engineering teams worldwide right away to develop, test and deliver a security update of appropriate quality for worldwide distribution in the unprecedented time of eight days. We also published the Microsoft Security Advisory 961051. Microsoft's teams worked constantly to identify more options for customers and updated this advisory 5 times in six days. We remain committed to building secure products and we also encourage responsible disclosure of vulnerabilities. We believe the commonly accepted practice of reporting vulnerabilities directly to a vendor serves everyone's best interests. This practice helps to ensure that customers receive comprehensive, high-quality updates for security vulnerabilities without exposure to malicious attackers while the update is being developed.   Phil Cross Technical Audience Group Manager ttfn David Technorati Tags: if you only read one post today, Internet Explorer, Security, Windows, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server, SBS 2003, SBS 2008, Microsoft[...]

Important Microsoft security update – update your machines now!

Thu, 23 Oct 2008 20:06:21 GMT rebooted today due to an emergency security update – an “out of band” release from the normal “patch Tuesday” process.  It is worth considering updating and reboot your computers and servers asap.   More information on this can be found at  Impacted systems below:   Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 3 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Remote Code Execution Important None Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1 Remote Code Execution Important None Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems* Remote Code Execution Important None Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems* Remote Code Execution Important None Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Remote Code Execution Important None ttfn   David[...]

How to migrate from SBS 2003 to Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008)

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 01:06:00 GMT

I’ve spoken about migration several times now for SBS 2008.  The short answer is that migration from one box to another is vital.  If a customer wants to do migration on the same box, then this is either expensive (and a very long process) or something that requires moving the server temporarily to another system, or as I prefer, virtualising it.  Of course, SBS 2003 is not necessarily supported in a virtual environment, but since all we want to do is migrate from it, not “run it”, this should help you get over this. The details of the process can be found in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 technical library.  One of the MOST IMPORTANT things to understand is to create the answer file.  This is covered in the migration help below: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Migration Help  (Download) Provides step-by-step instructions for migrating from Windows SBS 2003 or 2008 to Windows SBS 2008.  Last Updated on June 30, 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008 Product Help (Download) Provides step-by-step instructions for using the Windows SBS 2008 server software.  Last Updated on June 30, 2008 Downloadable documentation for Windows Small Business Server 2008 Before you start – what you need to remember SBS 2008 is a 64-bit solution requiring x64 capable hardware There is NO 32-bit to 64-bit “in-place” upgrade solution SBS 2008 Standard is a single server solution, while SBS 2008 Premium includes the license and software for a 2nd Windows Server system (as part of the domain) SBS 2008 Premium edition does NOT have ISA as part of the solution. SBS 2003 Premium customers with Software Assurance will be able to “make good” their ISA licenses for a limited amount of time after SBS 2008 is released. SBS 2008 Premium edition has the option to use SQL 2008 Standard edition on either server. SQL 2008 can be downgraded Migration options at high level Add a new server to existing SBS 2003 domain and either Remove old SBS 2003 server Purchase SBS 2008 Premium edition and make old server 2nd server using the license as part of SBS 2008 Premium edition Using the rights of Software Assurance / Full Packaged Product, move physical SBS 2003 to an virtual machine and migrate from it to the existing x64 capable hardware Note that SBS 2003 running in a Virtual Machine is not supported! Load onto existing server, reloading all data and rejoining all PCs to the domain   Option 1 - Process to add new server Backup up SBS 2003 server Tidy up the SBS 2003 system Remove unwanted software, files, users etc Install the new SBS 2008 system Create the answer file and install the new hardware with SBS 2008   The answer file tool looks like this: Complete the setup Set up web site information, security and so on Be aware that the migration process is an interactive process, not a click and go process   Turn off old server Confirm all client applications, printers, shares etc work If you have SBS 2008 Premium edition, rebuild old server Windows Server 2008 Standard or downgrade to Windows Server 2003 Standard for application compatibility reasons (x86 or x64 server) Finally, share how to use SBS 2008 Option 2 – Move from physical to virtual to do 1 box migration You need to do this part before you go to the steps above, starting at step 3 Purchase P2V (Physical to Virtual) software, such as SCVMM or PlateSpin solution Backup SBS 2003 server Tidy up SBS 2003 server as before and remove all unnecessary files Run P2V software Turn off SBS 2003 system and re-start SBS 2003 virtual machine Continue migration process as if installing a new server   Option 3 – Blow away existing server and rebuild all PCs Just don’t do this unless you really need t[...]

Small Business Server 2008 downgrade rights questions and answers

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 06:57:26 GMT

Last night I was at the Merseyside Partner group in Liverpool and once question that got asked again (and was in TPV and London too) was around downgrade rights from SBS 2008 to SBS 2003, so I dug for about 30 seconds and found these items on the Licensing FAQ site Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008: Q: What are downgrade rights? How do I exercise them? A:Downgrade rights, in general, means that you can use an earlier version of the software acquired. For Windows Small Business Server, this means you are allowed to install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Premium Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition, which is what you purchased. You can also install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition. At any time, you can install the software you purchased and cease to use the earlier version. If you obtained your server with Windows Small Business Server preinstalled from a partner or OEM, in order to exercise your downgrade rights you must already have the earlier versions of Windows Small Business Server media available. If you purchased Open Licensing, Volume Licensing, Software Assurance, or the full retail product of Windows Small Business Server 2008, contact Microsoft fulfillment services in your region. Q:Are my Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 CALs valid to use to access my Windows Small Business Server 2008 network? A:No. You must have the CAL version that matches the version of the server software you are running. That is, if you have a Windows Small Business Server 2008 domain, you must have Windows Small Business Server 2008 CALs. Note: If you choose to run an earlier version of the server software (by way of using downgrade rights), you would still be in compliance with your license by acquiring Windows Small Business Server 2008 CALs. Q:How do I obtain CALs for earlier versions of Windows Small Business Server when they are discontinued? A:You will need to purchase Windows Small Business Server 2008 CALs and use your downgrade rights Q:How are my licenses activated? A:The Windows Small Business Server 2008 server license is activated over the Internet. If you do not have an Internet connection, you can follow the instructions in the Windows Activation wizard for calling a telephone number to activate. Windows Small Business Server CALs no longer have to be activated. Note that if you are running Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition, the second copy of Windows Server 2008 technologies will require similar activation. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008, Licensing, Microsoft, SBS 2003, SBS 2003 R2, Small Business, SBSC[...]

Moving SBS 2003 to new hardware or performing a migration – Update (QFE) to give you longer to do it (21 days up from the 7 days)

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 22:46:41 GMT

From The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released, a slightly old post, but something work highlighting – how to have 2 SBS boxes on the same network for 21 days. Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released [Today's post comes to us courtesy of Justin Crosby] The software license terms for Windows SBS enforce a limitation that permits the presence of only one Windows SBS server in the domain. However, there is a grace period where you can have a second SBS server in “join domain” type migration scenarios. This grace period is 7 days. In some situations, this grace period may not be long enough to properly complete the migration. This software update extends the allowable grace period for the supported scenarios from 7 days to 21 days.  Please plan accordingly, aim to complete your migration within 7 days and only use this update for situations where it is needed. Remember, if you hit the 21 day limit there is nothing that can be done to extend the limit any further. Important: We strongly recommend that you complete all migration tasks before you demote the Windows SBS domain controller to a member server. Once you demote the Windows SBS domain controller to a member server, the grace period is reset back to 7 days or whatever is left from the 21 days (whichever is less). The update is available at: The KB is available at:;EN-US;943494 For more information on migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to new hardware please see: ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003, SBS 2008, Small Business, Microsoft, SBSC, Updates, Tips[...]

Proof that SBSC partners can grow from 1-man businesses into Microsoft Certified Partners – and still be good for small business – congrats Richard Tubb

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 08:07:00 GMT

I remember the name Richard Tubb being mentioned a few times over the last 2 year and remember him on some of the Live Meetings I delivered and then he launched his blog. One thing that was apparent from his questions, contacts and especially his blog is that this is a man that “got it”.  Now there are a few others that I believe live and breathe this attitude and to name some and miss others would be bad, so I wont name any (if you want to know if your on my “I love you man” list, drop me an e-mail, but I’ve probably told you or made time for you, which is a good hint), but one thing about living your life by certain principles is that you still have to live your life.  By got it, I mean: is solution, not product oriented Is value sensitive, not price sensitive Believes in the value of the community Is prepared to stand up and be counted for his opinion – which is his, not others Will tell you when he things you are talking… erm… rubbish!! Believes in good processes (eg service plans, documentation etc) If you look at his blog, you will see the above, so it is nice to see the business grow and achieve an amazing milestone.  Richard is still a great SBSC partner, but now he is ALSO a Microsoft Certified Partner. Well done - TubbBlog: Netlink IT achieves Microsoft Certified Partner Status I'm chuffed to announce that Netlink IT achieved Microsoft Certified Partner Status this past month gone. After striving to reach the level this Certification demanded for quite some time, the achievement of reaching the goal-post almost got lost in the business that taking on new staff, moving into a new office and re-organising the business brought on! It was March 2006 that Netlink IT became a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partner - and two years on I think that the SBSC certification, and in particular the benefits of working with the community that surrounds the "blue badge" from that certification, have significantly helped me to grow the company to the stage it's at now. I'm hoping that Microsoft Certified Partner Status helps me grow the business further still.   I’m always happy to shout about great partners, so if you have something to shout about, let me know and either myself and / or Microsoft will shout too.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft, Partner, Certified Partner, SBSC, Community, SBS 2003, Small Business, Business [...]

Upgrade Windows Search to Version 4.0 and improve your PC (for Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2008)

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 12:41:52 GMT

If you have have Office 2007 or a Windows Vista or Windows Desktop Search (WDS) then you probably have V2.6 or V3 of this fantastic search product.  Version 4 has a wealth of updates, but most importantly, is more stable and faster.  One of the things I love about this is that if you put this on a client and server, and then search a network share, if the contents are indexed on the server then WDS uses the remote index to search, making it super fast.  It can even be used with SBS 2003 / 2008 to speed up access to the shares there too. Description of Windows Search 4.0 and the Multilingual User Interface Pack for Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0Windows Search 4.0 lets you perform an instant search of your computer. Windows Search 4.0 helps you find and preview documents, e-mail messages, music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. You can use this search engine to index a program's content and to obtain instant results when you search in a particular program. Windows Search 4.0 includes the following improvements: Support for indexing encrypted documents of local file systems Reduced affect on Microsoft Exchange when you index e-mail in online mode, and there is no local cache (.ost) Support for indexing online delegate mailboxes Support for client-to-client remote query to shared indexed locations Improved indexing performance Faster previewer updates for Windows XP Per-user Group Policy settings Windows software updates for Watson errors Support for the following new enterprise Group Policy objects: Computer policies Prevent adding Universal Naming Convention (UNC) locations to index from Control Panel Prevent customizing indexed locations in Control Panel Prevent automatically adding shared folders to the index Allow for indexing of encrypted files Disable indexer back-off Prevent clients from querying the index remotely Allow for indexing of online delegate mailboxes Prevent adding user Specified locations to the All Locations menu Enable throttling for online mail indexing Per-user policies Prevent adding UNC locations to the index from Control Panel Prevent customizing indexed locations in Control Panel Prevent indexing certain paths Default indexed paths Default excluded paths Windows Search 4.0 Administrator's Guide Windows Search 4.0 Troubleshooting Guide  The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center: Download the 32-bit Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 package now. Download the 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 package now. Download the 32-bit Windows XP package now. Download the x64-based Windows XP package now. Download the 32-bit Windows Server 2003 and Windows Home Server package now. Download the x64-based Windows Server 2003 package now. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Client, Windows XP, Windows, Windows Server, Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Desktop Search, Search, Windows Desktop Search, Support and Tools, Microsoft[...]

EBS 2208 and SBS 2008 Upgrades & Migrations from SBS 2003 and SBS / EBS 2008

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:07:00 GMT

I saw over on Nicholas's blog post - Nicholas King : EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations that he has started to answer some of the questions around system upgrades and migrations.  Below are some snippets of key information he has shared.  Read his blog post for more.  However, key thoughts for me are: 1) no in box SBS 2003 -> SBS 2008 upgrades.  This is a box to box migration process.  If you have SA or FPP copies of SBS 2003 then you can potentially do a P2V and then migrate from the virtual image.  If not, I would consider running a VM of Windows Server to enable you to move the domain at least 2) Moving from one box to another (eg hardware upgrades in the future) are now supported.  This can potentially be used to go from a RC0 build to RTM, but it is not tested or supported, however that does not mean it will not work!! 3) There is a GREAT document linked below that describes a migration in glorious detail EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations Recently I had several people ask me whether it is possible or supported to do a build to build migration or upgrade from the RC0 of either SBS or EBS to RC1 or even RTM.  Migration and Upgrade are two words often used interchangeably.  Technically as you know they have some very specific meanings.  Upgrade means to take the existing code base and then lay binaries over the top of, or underneath of (believe it or not this is how Vista does it!) the existing installation effectively taking the old installation and making it the new, whilst maintaining the existing configuration.   Migration means setting up a completely new environment and then transferring the settings, user data and  environment functionality to the new setup. Upgrades are not something we design, test or develop for either SBS or EBS.  For RTM our research points to the fact that most installations have new hardware on site, and added to that the SBS architecture change from 32-bit to 64-bit prohibits us from doing in place upgrades. EBS is V1 so no upgrade requirement there. This leaves migrations, I need to be very clear that it IS NOT SUPPORTED from any build to build.  Code can and does change from each of these milestones and we focus our resources on shipping a quality product for RTM.  Now that that's out of the way, let's cover if it's possible.. Yes it is possible to do such a migration.  We do this for our TAP customers using the same migration document that is on TechNET (we add some more details to it to cover the changes we make, but for the most part it is the same doc).  Both products have focused heavily on migration scenarios.  I'll break this into two sections to make it read easier. Small Business Server 2008 Migration Migration is one of the killer workloads for SBS 2008.  We've built so much from SBS 2003.  An SBS 2008 migration is based off of a domain join side-by-side configuration where you migrate the user accounts and settings from the old machine to the new using a 21 day trust we create.  It is also answer file based so you'll need to kick off the tool found in the SBS 2008 binaries.  You can read more by following the migration guide found here   ttfn   David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2, SBS 2008, EBS 2008, Microsoft, SBSC, Partners, Small Business[...]

If you are a Microsoft partner who sells SBS, then please fill in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Community Survey

Sat, 31 May 2008 23:18:06 GMT

Kevin asked a couple of weeks ago if I could share this – so I’m sharing :-)

The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is live

This is the third year we have published an SBS WW Community Survey to the SBS Community. 

Because of the previous surveys, we have made some adjustments in our community engagement. To name a few; we really worked on putting more focus on the Official SBS Blog. Our Sustaining Engineering team runs mini betas with our MVPs before KB's and Bug Fixes are released via Windows Update. We try to get more involvement in our techbetas from our User Groups. The list does go on.

To the survey, the SBS Product Team would like to hear from the Windows SBS Community again. This survey is completely anonymous. In fact, some of you may have to sign out from Live in order to take the survey. So, if you get a PAGE NOT FOUND error message, please log out of Live and click on the link to the survey again.

We want to know how valuable your experience is with the community resources and information that is available to you today as a member of the Windows SBS Community. We also want to know what you think could be done to improve your Windows SBS Community Experience. Please take a couple of minutes to provide us your candid feedback via this survey and let us know what you think.

SBS WW Community Survey 2008

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Kevin Beares
Community Lead - WSSG

The WSSG Community Lead Blog : The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is live


Please fill it in




Pricing for SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 released (US FPP) and public beta for EBS, with public beta for SBS 2008 to follow

Wed, 14 May 2008 14:40:51 GMT


My blog has been quiet recently – think of it as a the quiet before the storm (or I’ve been maxed around quarter and year end  business, family and partner visits to the US).  Anyway, this has crept up on me before I re-installed my server, so I thought I would just share the love.

Microsoft Announces Public Preview and Pricing for Windows Essential Server Solutions

Today Microsoft announced the following prices for the Windows Essential Server Solutions family:

  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.)
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.)

We also announced availability of the public beta, which is available here:

Since I know this will raise some eyebrows I thought I would jump in early:

  1. Yes the price has gone up, but so has the value of what is in the box.
  2. In many scenarios, due to the single CAL purchases and reduction in Standard CAL prices, the solution will cost less for a customer than SBS 2003 today
  3. The Premium product now has a copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition in it to enable SQL on a 2nd server, Terminal Server solutions and more.  The Exchange and management components need to stay on the 1st server
  4. You ONLY need a Premium CAL for users who are accessing SQL, so if you don’t access SQL, then you can use the Premium product without having to move to Premium CALs, saving you money


Happy to hear more about this – I will be discussing the product at the London and Liverpool group meetings over the next month.





UK SBS group meeting in Manchester on Wednesday 23rd April 2008

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:51:15 GMT

I just saw this from Chris Parks and thought I would share with a wider audience:

Folks, Just a quick reminder of the meeting this Wednesday at One Central Park, Manchester M40 5WW, 18:30... Attending from Microsoft are David Overton, Danny Ovens and myself.

Hope to see you there :) Also, a huge thanks to those who’ve either joined the online network or sent me back their profiles so far...some of them have been enlightening and some of them downright intentionally hilarious!!! (Please feel free to send through today if you get chance and haven’t done so yet :)


Chris Parkes

Technology Adoption & Solutions Specialist




Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:02:00 GMT

I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!!  Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted.  An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted.  We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically.  For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003.  A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st.  Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream -   Ok, so that is the picture out the way, now lets talk about the question. Which question you ask… well, this one: Will any of your customers be running in the “S+S or hosted” marketplace in 5+ years time? Now while that is a good question, I expect most of you will say … some, definitely not all, but some.  How many customers can you afford to lose to a S+S provider? Now this leads to an even bigger question …. What will you have done to ensure they are still your customers, as opposed to someone who is skilled in S+S? Personally I find this question much more concerning as many people can’t articulate any plans they have to capture these customers!!  So what do I suggest …  If you are a services partner I recommend you start to look at SaaS services like Office Live that are slowly moving towards S+S or S+S services like CRM online and start to plan how you could add value to them and make money in the future. If you are an ISV, then now is the time to start to look at services like the Sync Framework - and the blog at You should have most of the other tools already, although if not then other keywords to do some reading on are Hosting, SPLA licensing, Application Virtualisation and Citrix.   If you want to know more, let me know   David Technorati Tags: S+S, Saas, Software as a Service, Software plus Service, Live, Online, SBS 2003, Small Business, Business, Community, SBSC[...]

How to get DNS and DHCP working on a Windows Server from behind the Windows Firewall

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 20:55:00 GMT

I have a Windows Home Server at home and I decided I wanted it to be responsible for handing out DHCP and DNS addresses in the house.  All very good, but when I set up the services none of it worked because of the built in Windows Firewall.  While I could have just turned off the Firewall I decided to learn how to put the holes into the firewall to make it work with the firewall, thus maintaining better security. A quick search of the web showed me many settings, but it did not seem to cover the whole picture – then I came across the MS site Windows Firewall Settings which has things broken down into these four handy sections that shall for ever more be my guides to ports and firewalls in the Microsoft world.  What is more, as you will see later, the tips in here as to how to get things working, getting over common hurdles is quite stunning too: Windows Firewall Settings: Optional Components Windows Firewall Settings: Remote Administration Tools Windows Firewall Settings: Server Roles Windows Firewall Settings: Services  The two key entries for me are below – DHCP and DNS.  Note that the DHCP entry has a wonderful tip saying that you will need to ensure is included in the scope of the acceptable ports – i.e. you can not just set the scope to local network only.  This was my 1st mistake Windows Firewall: DHCP server Add UDP ports 67 and 2535 to the Windows Firewall exceptions list on the DHCP server. Important: When you create a Windows Firewall exception for the DHCP protocol on a DHCP server, you must set the scope for the exception to Any computer including those on the Internet. If you leave it set to My network (subnet) only, all inbound DHCP Discover packets from client computers are dropped because the IP address of the packet is, which is not recognized by the computer as being part of the local subnet. This causes the DHCP process to fail and clients do not receive IP addresses. Windows Firewall: DHCP server   On the DNS entry the thing which grabbed me was the ports other than 53 that were needed: Windows Firewall: DNS server Add UDP port 53 and TCP ports 53, 139, and 445 to the Windows Firewall exceptions list. Windows Firewall: DNS server   Invaluable information!   ttfn David Technorati Tags: DNS, DHCP, Windows Server, Firewall, Windows Firewall, Ports, Port, Microsoft, Windows Server 2003[...]

Extended Promotional offers for SBS 2003 – now available until June 30, 2008

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 17:58:17 GMT

I saw these on the SBS Offers site and noticed that they have been extended, so here are the things you need to know below.  It is worth remembering that it is up to you how you pass these benefits through to your customers!!

What? Promotion Offering:


When? The promotion extension means system builders and resellers can now submit claims for services they deliver between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008.  Participants will have until July 31, 2008 to complete their claims.

*If a partner submitted claims between January 1, 2008 and February 29, 2008 they will be applied to this extension period and cannot  exceed 50 claims in total per partner. 

Who is eligibleAll system builders and resellers in the participating countries in Western Europe, Germany, France, UK, APAC, India, MEA, CEE (EU only), and Latam (CCA only).   

How?The system builder/reseller goes to to learn about the offer and the steps needed to redeem:






Dear Susan … It is 75 CALs, but recommended for 50 users … reply to "Tom"? We'll need you to dispel another myth. - The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva"

Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:33:31 GMT

Susan has raised a really good point and something that is often misunderstood about SBS – and this ties in to SBS 2003 AND SBS 2008.

What is the problem … Here is what Susan put… is SBS designed for 50 or 75 CALs?

"Tom"? We'll need you to dispell another myth.

March 11, 2008

Windows Small Business Server 2008 – HOT!Prepare for New Server-Solutions Business <>

Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is coming in the second half of 2008. The enhanced platform, part of the new Windows Essential Server Solutions family, is built on the Windows Server 2008 operating system and includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. With SBS 2008, you can deliver cost-effective, manageable, enterprise-class technologies to your small-business customers with up to 50 75 workstations or devices,and grow your server-solutions business.

"Tom"?  We're going to need you to dispell another myth that has already been started.  It's not 50, it's 75.  There's no change in cal count from SBS 2003.

"Tom"? We'll need you to dispell another myth. - The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva"


The answer is that SBS can run with up to 75 CALs, but the risk of hitting that limit is not good, so we recommend if someone is buying a new system for them to go with 50 CALs as a limit to give headroom.  If they expect the server to last 3-6 years, the potential of hitting the top is there and the experience when they do is not great.  Now I know that we have the transition pack for those that hit the limit, but this is about a simple positioning statement that people can understand.


So, 75 CALs limit is still true, but the recommended (as it is for SBS 2003 today) is still 5-50.  You will also notice that EBS has a recommended coverage of 25-250.





Are you a “Wizard bigot”? So you think that SBS is a poor quality, cut down version of Windows Server? Do you think that SBS admins are small in capability?

Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:12:27 GMT

Unfortunately there are people who answer yes to the questions above, so lets get some things straight – if you think that: SBS is bad.  There were dark days in the SBS 4.5 and 2000 time (to a small extent) when people thought SBS did not work, did not perform and was clobbered down with stuff that made people hate it.  Now Days SBS 2003 is amazing and is built on top of Windows Server 2003 with lots of good stuff extra too. SBS is insecure. SBS is not only as secure as Windows Server 2003, but since most of the work of securing the system is done for you, it stops you missing silly and obvious things.  SBS 2003 R2 even ships with WSUS enabled and a system for telling you if your systems are patched (yes, desktop and server).  For a fun look, see Hack That! Wizards are for wimps. I don’t understand those people who insist on not using the wizards.  Yes, SBS 2003 has all the tools of Windows Server 2003 underneath, but why why configure everything by hand when a wizard will do 1/2 hours work in 1 minutes.  If you then need to tweak the settings (and that means tweak because it helps the business, not because you prefer everything to end in an even number), then you can still do so – all the of the product features are still there, including all the low level tools. SBS can’t do everything that Windows Server can do. Well, the answer is almost.  It does have some restrictions on it, but they are really simple and nothing to do with application compatibility or ability to work inside a small business: 1 domain (as many other DCs and servers as you want – have a look at Ultimate Server Rave and ) 75 CALs, so no enterprise Only 1 SBS Server per organisation, but as with the domain question – you can have as many Windows Servers in the domain as you want. Also look at Tech-knowledgey   I love SBS, but to help you convince others, why not have a look at a few places: For information on the Myths - Presentation: Dispelling Common Myths About Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Are you prepared to answer customer questions about SBS 2003 R2? Get an overview of product features and licensing scenarios as well as a list of common misperceptions about SBS and why they're incorrect. Windows Small Business Server Truths Revealed Myths abound about the flexibility and scalability of Windows Small Business Server (SBS) environments. The truth: SBS can work in most complex server-workload scenarios, from multiserver environments to line-of-business applications and remote access. Read about Microsoft Partner experiences. Learn about the robust capabilities of SBS. The benefits of deploying the platform and how you can satisfy the needs of your small-business customers - and increase revenue - by selling them the right solution. or for customers, send them to To punish those bad wizards from the past have a look at Punch A Wizard Game and then understand more about them look at Wizards.   Finally, have a look at Hello World! and all the items on the blog to understand more about what SBS can do!!   ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003, SBS 2003 R2, Server, Windows Server 2003, Wizards, Small Business, Small Business Server, Marketing, Microsoft, Humour, Humor      [...]