Overriding the OpsMgr Exchange 2007 Test MAPI Connectivity Monitor for Recovery Storage Groups

| 05/01/2012 | Tags: , , ,

MSFT-System-Center-logoThe Test MAPI Connectivity monitor for the Exchange 2007 management pack will automatically generate a critical error for any Recovery Storage Groups you have on monitored Exchange Mailbox Roles. As these are generally temporary Storage Groups created for a recovery and then removed, you don’t want an alert – but manually adding an override for every time is not a great use of your time either. (more…)

Online Archiving with Exchange 2010? Can’t see your Online Archive in Outlook?


Having recently managed several Exchange 2010 migration projects, one of the best new features which really sells it to systems administrators is the Online Archive. “No more managing PST files? When can we have it installed by?”

The problem is, once they’ve purchased licensing for Exchange 2010 and installed and configured the server, migrated the users’ mailboxes and decommissioned the old Exchange 2003 server, the Online Archive feature is not available. The users have been enabled, and as of SP1 we have a separate Archive mailbox database configured on slow (cheap) storage, but the Online Archive is nowhere to be found in Outlook. If the users log on using OWA, lo and behold the Online Archive is available.

Now, fair enough, Microsoft require an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) per user for this feature – it’s an Enterprise level feature and you pay for it. What is not so apparent unless you dig around the licensing site is that you also need the Volume Licensing version of Outlook 2010 or 2007 called “Pro Plus”. An OEM or Retail copy of Outlook will not cut it.

Where does this leave them then? Small companies who have shelled out for OEM/Retail copies of Office Professional cannot afford to simply purchase a whole new VLK copy and upgrade. You can’t upgrade and OEM/Retail license to a VLK license, there’s no path. These companies have paid for the Enterprise CALs to use Enterprise features, only to find out that it’s not just the CAL they need!

To me, this is a BIG flaw in the way Microsoft are selling Exchange 2010. Licensing is complex enough without adding this sort of gotcha to a solution, and the companies have paid for an Enterprise CAL. They’re not trying to use an Enterprise feature on a Standard license, they’ve paid for it!

And people like me can’t turn round and recommend an upgrade to a client without upgrading the entire Office licensing too. I hope Microsoft sort this out, I really do, because in all honesty, it puts a real downer on an otherwise superb product that up til now, I have had no hesitation in recommending.

I normally make it a rule that what I post on here is a solution, unfortunately in this case the solution is expensive and involves upgrading your licensing.

Exchange 2010 – CreateTestUser : Mailbox could not be created. Verify that OU ( Users ) exists and that password meets complexity requirements


While using the New-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1 script to create a test user for Exchange 2010’s connectivity testing, I ran into an issue:


CreateTestUser : Mailbox could not be created. Verify that OU ( Users ) exists and that password meets complexity requirements.
At C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts\new-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1:255 char:27
+   $result = CreateTestUser <<<<  $exchangeServer $mailboxServer $securePassword $OrganizationalUnit $UMDialPlan $UMExtension $Prompt
+ CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,CreateTestUser

Oddly enough, that OU does exist (as it will by default on any Windows Domain!) and the password complexity more than satisfied the complexity requirements. The issue is simple enough to fix, I opened the script in notepad and found the line beginning “new-mailbox” – and deleted the parameter “–OrgainisationalUnit:$OrganistationalUnit”. This means the new user defaults to the default OU – Users!

Just a simple fix to save some time! Thanks MS for the buggy script!

Update: Looks like this occurs when there’s more than one OU called Users – my fix will still sort it, but at least you know!

Reporting all ActiveSync devices and their Users in Exchange 2010

Exchange-2010-Logo-748516Recently I needed to report on the ActiveSync devices that were attached to our Exchange 2010 organisation, and which users they were accessing, and then export them to a CSV file. (more…)

Creating/Enabling Exchange 2010 Personal Archives

Exchange-2010-Logo-748516 With the release of Exchange 2010 SP1, administrators can now use separate Mailbox Databases to store the Personal Archives of users – this is particularly useful if you have some larger, slower (and probably by virtue, older) storage that’s not really up to the I/O of your Exchange Server (that old SAN/NAS sitting in the corner of the server room?). It’s also useful if you just don’t have the capacity on your main storage.


Installing Exchange 2010 SP1

image Exchange SP1 has now been released, so I thought I’d document the upgrade process for my small Exchange 2010 organisation, consisting of one CAS/Transport/Mailbox server, and an Edge Transport server.


The starting point is always working out if you *need* to upgrade – what’s the business argument. For that you need to look at what’s new in Exchange 2010 SP1, the release notes and prerequisites. Finally, the installation instructions for upgrading from Exchange 2010 RTM to SP1.

It’s important to note, as mentioned in the upgrade doc:

Note: After you upgrade to Exchange 2010 SP1, you can’t uninstall the service pack to revert to Exchange 2010 RTM. If you uninstall Exchange 2010 SP1, you will remove Exchange from the server.


Installing Exchange 2010 Edge Server with Forefront Protection for Exchange (FPE) and Threat Management Gateway (TMG) – Part 1

TMG2010 I am mid-migration, in a co-existence setup with Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003. So far the roles installed for Exchange 2010 are CAS, Hub and Mailbox on a single server. Into this mix I need to introduce an Edge Server, with message hygiene in the form of Forefront Protection for Exchange (FPE) and Threat Management Gateway (TMG) as a reverse proxy to publish OWA, ActiveSync et-al.

Since Edge, FPE and TMG can now all exist on a single 64-bit server, I will start with a clean installation of Windows Server 2008 R2, up to date with all the latest hot fixes. The server itself is nothing too spectacular, for testing purposes it has 2 virtual CPUs and 2GB RAM. It does need 2 NICs, one on the internal LAN and one on the DMZ. Since the DMZ is behind a hardware firewall, an external IP address has been mapped to the servers DMZ NIC. The server is named EDGE01.


Unable to access Outlook Web Access (OWA) after installing Update Rollup 1, 2, 3 or 4 – flogon.js errors


If you’re having trouble accessing OWA after updating Exchange 2010 with any of the Rollup packages, try this:

– Uninstall the update package from the Programs and Features control panel

– Download the package file directly from Microsoft, don’t use Windows Update

– Open a command prompt or PowerShell prompt as Administrator

– Navigate to the location of the package (.msp) and run from the elevated command prompt.

Apparently when Windows update installs the package it doesn’t run it with the elevated privileges to write to the folder in the Exchange program files – why, I have no idea!

Passed Microsoft Exams 70-662 and 70-663 – Now officially MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator

MCITP(rgb)_1084_1085_thumb On Monday I took the two Exchange 2010 exams, “70-662 TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring” and “70-663 PRO: Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010” and I am pleased to say that I passed both of them, scoring an 812 on the 70-662 and 960 on the 70-663. I am especially pleased with the score on the PRO exam!

Overall, there’s quite a lot of overlap between the two exams, with the more heavily theory and design based PRO exam being a “high-level” of the more hands-on management and cmdlet based TS exam.

Study materials I used were Technet, SAMS Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed and a test installation. I used practice exams from MeasureUp and also spent time answering peoples 2010 based questions on Experts Exchange and Technet Forums.