Sunday, August 30, 2009

VNC Server on Windows Vista

After installing VNC (Server) on a Vista machine in service mode, I was unable to connect to it on the local LAN via a wifi-connected Vista laptop. VNC Viewer would give me a "connection closed unexpectedly" error. Both machines had the Vista firewall disabled. The event viewer on the machine running VNC Server had the following entry:

Unable to connect session to Console: Access is denied.

The failure is due to security restrictions of Session 0 in Windows Vista. For more on Session 0 see here.

The workaround is to run VNC Server not as a service, but in User mode instead. You can add the shortcut of RealVNC User mode to your startup entries to ensure it starts for every boot.

Source (My Digital Life).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Installing SSL Certs in Vista

Recently I had a user who with his new Vista laptop wanted to access his exchange account via Outlook using RPC over HTTP. After installing our server's SSL cert it would still not connect. The problem is that Vista's automatic certificate installtion does not put it in the Trusted Root Certificate Store. Therefore when first installing the cert, click the Install Certificate button, and then click next, then choose Place all certificates in the following store and choose Trusted Root Certification Authorities.

This was only necessary in Vista, but for XP, the automatic installation worked fine.

For complete details and screenshots see here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MSExchangeIS Event ID 9554

To troubleshoot the error below, see this Microsoft KB article.
Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: General
Event ID: 9554
Date: 22/03/2009
Time: 1:36:04 PM
User: N/A
Computer: -
Unable to update Mailbox SD in the DS. Mailbox Guid: f30ae147-244a-4ae0-ae26-cca7280a40fb. Error Code 0x8004010f

For more information, click

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Setting Exchange Mail store above 2GB

The default storage limit setting in the Exchange System Manager for issuing warnings is 2GB. To increase this limit you need to use a tool like ADSIedit.

For complete instructions see here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Access Denied and Bypassing Traverse Checking

If a folder is shared and the appropriate permissions were set for a specific user or group to access that share, yet the user is receiving access denied errors, you might need to check the settings for Bypassing Traverse Checking.

"Bypass Traverse Checking determines which users can traverse directory or file system folder trees even though they might not have permissions on the level of the traversed directory or file system folder hierarchy itself."

Here are list of articles that discuss the issue. This post might be updated in the future.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Exchange System Manager crashes when launching Help

If you have IE 7 installed together with Exchange Server 2003 you might be experiencing the following issue.  While in Exchange System Manager (ESM) try hitting F1 (Help), or choosing the question mark button within a dialog box in ESM.  Crash!  The issue is a result of an incompatablity between IE7 and ESM.  The fix requires renaming the file 'psapi.dll' located in:

Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin

For the full instructions see here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Outlook Tools

Found this nice program called Outlook Tools. Here is the description from their website:

OutlookTools is a support and advanced settings tool for Microsoft Office Outlook. It gives you easy access to Outlook settings and data folders and allows you to change settings that are normally only possible through the registry.

Link here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

MSExchangeTransport Event ID 952

The following error has been bugging me and I found no documentation anywhere so I am posting it here:
Event Type:        Warning
Event Source:    MSExchangeTransport
Event Category:      Routing Engine/Service 
Event ID:              952
Date:                     04/02/2009
Time:                    1:38:42 PM
User:                     N/A
Computer:          --removed--
Description:     Subordinate routing node failed to connect to its master 

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
Data: 0000: 0000274d
The error means that an Exchange server which is NOT a routing group master could not contact its routing group master.  In my case, my primary (and only) exchange server for some reason was not set to be the routing group master.
  • Go to the Exchange System Manager.  
  • Under Routing Groups > Members.
  • Right click on the server you wish to be master and choose Set as Master.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Increase Exhchange 2003 SP2 18GB Limit

The default size limit for Exchange Private and Public store is 18 GB. Instructions on how to increase this size can be found here:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Solution for Windows XP SP3 install failure

If you are having trouble installing Service Pack 3 on Windows XP here is a solution that has not failed me.

Head over to C:\windows and open the file name svcpack.log.

After a windows update failure you will see in this log file the reason for the failure. For every failed SP3 that I've experience it was the result of RDP 6.0 MUI PACK (Update for Windows XP (KB925877).

However, every time I checked Add/Remove Programs - it was never in the list. In order to 'remove' this update, you need to manually remove it from the registry. Open the registry (Start > Run > regedit), navigate to and delete the following entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Hotfix\KB925877

Reboot and try installing SP3 via Windows Update again. (Note: you might not actually have to reboot).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Unassociate file type

Have you ever accidentally set the default program for a default file type and regretted that decision?  Well in Vista, it's pretty easy to change which program is the default for specific file types.  In the Start menu go to Default Programs.  Choose Associate a file type or protocol with a program.  You will be given a list of file extensions and then have the option to change which program launches that file type.

Well, what if you wanted to just delete a file type extension and remove any association with a program.  That is not possible without the help of this utility.  Its called, appropriately, Unassociate.

Its very simple to use.  Find the file extenstion you'd like to delete and choose delete file type.

That's it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hibernation in Windows Vista

One feature I never use in Windows is Hibernation. Unfortunately there isn't an option in the Power Options in Vista's Control Panel to turn it off. Just a simple line at the command prompt:

Note: you must run 'cmd' from the Run Menu as an Administrator.

Type powercfg -h off and press ENTER.

That's it.

Source: here

Friday, January 2, 2009

Windows Vista .. Finally

It's been about two weeks since I installed Windows Vista for the first time. There haven't really been any issues and overall I'm pretty happy. However, I haven't so far found many things that cause me to be more productive and therefore think anyone who is still using Windows XP and doesn't really have any issues, to stick with what works for them. There are little nuances in Vista that will be annoying for seasoned XP users at least initially.

One of the features of Windows Vista is the Aero user interface which causes the windows to have a glassy texture allowing you to see through them somewhat. Along the same lines are the themes. In Windows XP you were able to download third-party themes which changed everything about the user experience. In Vista, themes have to be digitally signed by Microsoft and therefore require a few extra steps in getting third-party themes to work. For detailed instructions you can see this blog post from How-To Geek.

I will say that Windows Vista does a pretty good job of protecting itself from users. Even in a user is technically and Administrator on the machine, in most cases he is running at a lower level and any tasks that require elevated privileges will be met with pop ups asking for permission to elevate the user for that task. More information on that here. By default if you wanted to rename or replace a system file (from \windows\system32) you would be met with errors. The solution would be to "take ownership" of a folder of specific files. Instructions can be found here.

I will hopefully have more to say about Vista and issues that I have resolved in the coming weeks.