Thursday, January 29, 2009

OWA 2007 E-mail Display Issue when a Plus Sign is in the Subject

This was a particularly odd issue, e-mails wouldn't display in the web browser when a plus sign was present in the subject line. This manifested on a Windows Server 2008 system with Exchange 2007.

The answer was actually on a TechNet blog dedicated to Entourage, thanks to Amir for the answer. It makes sense that it would affect Entourage and most likely Evolution as well, because both use OWA to manage data, rather than RPC.

Here's the fix...

1. Open Notepad

2. Go to File > Open, then type (or copy and paste) %windir%\System32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config in the File name: field and click Open

3. Locate the section titled (use Ctrl-F): <location path="Default Web Site/Exchange">

4. Under that section locate the </authentication> tag

5. Create a new line, indented the same, and add: <requestFiltering allowDoubleEscaping="true" />

6. Save and Exit Notepad

You don't have to restart the server or any services, it'll just work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lockdown in Sector 4

One of my customers yesterday contacted me because they were getting an error when connecting to GMail using Outlook. It was the dreaded 'Lockdown in Sector 4" notice, which apparently happens when the Google bots come to the conclusion that there is some kind of unusual account activity.

Mail account access through IMAP or POP is locked for a period of up to 24 hours and then you're free to use it until the bots decide you're abusing it. Actually, it's something that more e-mail providers should be doing to reduce spam and account security.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Exchange 2007 Logging, Part Deux

I covered setting the logging level for IMAP with the Exchange Management Shell a few weeks ago, but I keep coming up with more items to track. The expected syntax is below.

Set-EventLogLevel “MSExchange ActiveSync\Requests” -Level High

To find the available processes for logging (you put them between the quotes if spaces are present) enter Get-EventLogLevel in the Exchange Shell and you will be presented with an impressive list.

And again, the available levels are Lowest, Low, Medium, High and Expert.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Windows Server 2008 and UAC

I know a lot of people are really annoyed by UAC or User Access Control in Windows Vista. You know, it's the the flash of the screen and a prompt for you to say it's okay to install a program or modify your system.

I actually don't mind it on my Vista system, since I only get prompted once in a while now that my system is fully configured. (I installed about twenty five programs and changed numerous settings on my last system build.) And anyone whose used MacOS or various flavors of Linux are familiar with using "elevated priviledges" to install software or make a system altering change. This usually takes place by using sudo or giving the root password. It helps protect the system from unwanted changes or inadvertent malware installs.

What I do mind is having UAC enabled on a Windows Server. It is rare indeed that I actually log onto a server unless I'm actually going to be installing software or making a configuration change that doesn't evoke the UAC. I read log files, add users and dns entries, plus much more, remotely from my client. Having to acknowledge an endless stream of prompts is ineffiecent to say the least. I know I could log onto the server as Administrator, but that's hardly best practice.

To disable UAC on Windows Server 2008 (and Vista as well), go to the Control Panel > User Accounts and click the link for Turn User Account Control on or off (and yes, if you're not logged in as Administrator a UAC prompt will appear). Uncheck the box and choose OK. A reboot is required for it to take affect.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer

This has been covered a number of places before, but this is really cool and bares repeating. This free testing site, with it's amble result data, can be invaluable when rolling out Exchange services. Whether it's ActiveSync, Inbound SMTP, RPC/HTTPS, plus more, this Microsoft troubleshooting website is great. (And the SMTP test works with more than just Microsoft mail servers.)

Try it out here: Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer

Thursday, January 1, 2009

SQL Server 2008 Express Prerequisites

Last week I installed SQL Server 2008 Express on Windows Server 2008 and there's a short list of prerequisites I had to download over a slooooow link.

Hopefully this list will save someone the same pain I endured.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

Windows PowerShell 1.0

Windows Installer 4.5

It was smooth sailing after the prereqs were installed. I have to say Microsoft has done a great job as of late with their installers, they're informative and usually include links for missing components or wizards to install features or roles. What took them so long to reach this point? It's not like this is rocket science...or is it?