Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Modify the All Users Startup Menu

As you no doubt know, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have modified the locations for user profiles. They are no longer in %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings and exist in the %ProgramData%\Users folder.

However, to modify the All Users profile to add a shortcut to the Startup menu you actually need to access the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder.

See Peter Fitzsimon's blog for all the gory details.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Incorrect userAccountControl Attribute value causes error in DCDIAG

When you run DCDIAG for a domain controller your may see the following error reported:

Starting test: MachineAccount
Checking machine account for DC MYDC01 on DC MYDC01.
Warning: Attribute userAccountControl of MYDC01 is: 0x82020 = ( UF_PASSWD_NOTREQD , UF_SERVER_TRUST_ACCOUNT , UF_TRUSTED_FOR_DELEGATION )
Typical setting for a DC is 0x82000 = ( UF_SERVER_TRUST_ACCOUNT , UF_TRUSTED_FOR_DELEGATION )
This may be affecting replication?
......................... MYDC01 passed test MachineAccount

This typically occurs when the computer account was pre-staged in Active Directory before the computer was joined to the domain. It also may occur if you use the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) to migrate to a new domain. When you do this, the 0x20 attribute is assigned to the UserAccountControl attribute, indicating that the computer account does not require password changes. It really doesn't matter, as Windows will use a password (and change it every 30 days) regardless of this setting.

The error is still annoying, so here's how to fix it:
  • Open ADSIEdit.MSC (install the Support Tools if ADSIEdit is not installed)
  • Connect to the Domain naming context
  • Expand the domain and navigate to the Domain Controllers container
  • Select the problem Domain Controller
  • Right-click the Domain Controller and select Properties
  • Scroll to the userAccountControl attribute and click the Edit button
  • Change the decimal value to 532480 (0x82000 hex)
  • Click Ok twice and close ADSIEdit

Wait for the change to replicate and re-run DCDIAG to confirm the error has cleared.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TechEd 2009 - L.A. LIVE



The area around Staples Center and just north of the L.A. Convention Center, where TechEd will be hosted, has undergone a major renovation. The area is called L.A. LIVE and contains a "campus" of hotels, entertainment and restaurants. Here's what the promoters have to say:
Located in the center of the entertainment capital of the world, the 5.6
million square foot L.A. LIVE mixed-used development on 27 acres will be the
primary "content campus" and event center for southern California where people
seeking entertainment offerings intersect with the sports and entertainment
industries at work in an energetic, unique, urban environment covering more than
6 city blocks.

Leveraging the tremendous success of STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE will
expand the entertainment content in downtown Los Angeles' South Park district
with complimenting venues, fully functioning broadcast studios, restaurants,
cafes, cinemas, bowling lanes, music clubs and an innovative music museum.

In addition, L.A. LIVE will serve as the catalyst to enhance the
economic performance of the adjacent Los Angeles Convention Center by adding two
luxury hotels, creating a convention headquarters destination with substantial
meeting and hospitality space, once again making Los Angeles competitive with
other regional convention markets. L.A. LIVE will also invigorate an emerging
high-density urban residential neighborhood and pedestrian district.

L.A. LIVE will serve as the leading entertainment destination for all
of Los Angeles and as the event capital of the world. L.A. LIVE was created to
put its audiences in the moment. "Live" is the driving force - you cannot get
any more "live" than when you are in the moment.

Sounds like a great venue for TechEd 2009! See you there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TechEd 2009 (LA) Registration Opens Today



Microsoft TechEd 2009 registration opens today, December 10. Be sure to sign up soon for a "special holiday discount."

TechEd 2009 will be held for the first time in Los Angeles, May 11-15, 2009. This is the premier IT event for Microsoft IT Professionals and Developers. This year Microsoft is recombining the ITPro and Developer tracks into a single TechEd. Yea!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Stop Spamming Yourself!

We all knew that the huge decrease in spam that occurred after mccolo.com was shutdown would be short-lived.

Recently, I've a seen large increase in the amount of spam to me apparently coming from me.


Note: Exchange 2003 and 2007 displays the "from" address
of these emails as the full SMTP address (i.e., jeff@expta.com), rather than the resolved name (Jeff Guillet), to show that the email actually came from outside the company.
To stop spamming yourself, configure your SMTP gateway server to reject all external emails from your domain(s). Here's how to do this using the Exchange 2007 Edge Transport server:
  1. Open the Exchange Management Console (EMC) on the Exchange Edge Transport server

  2. Expand Microsoft Exchange and select Edge Transport

  3. Double-click Sender Filtering to open its properties

  4. Click the Blocked Senders tab and click Add

  5. Select Domain, enter your SMTP domain name, Include all subdomains, and click OK

  6. Click OK again to close the Sender Filtering Properties window

Now the Edge server will not accept non-authenticated emails from your domain to your domain. Note that this does not affect any external Windows Mobile or Outlook Express clients from sending email into your domain, as long as these users are authenticated.

You can use the following VB script to test the new settings:

'VBScript to test SMTP email

CONST mailServer = "incoming.mydomain.com"
CONST emailAddress = "user@expta.com"

Set objEmail = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
objEmail.From = emailAddress
objEmail.To = emailAddress
objEmail.Subject = "Test Message"
objEmail.Textbody = "This is a test message."
objEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing") = 2
objEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver") = mailServer
objEmail.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport") = 25
objEmail.Configuration.Fields.Update
objEmail.Send
MsgBox "SMTP Email sent successfully to " & emailAddress, vbInformation, "TestSMTP"

Change the mailServer variable to use your Edge Transport server name and the emailAddress variable to use your internal SMTP address. The script will send SMTP email to the email address from the same email address.

Before Sender Filtering is enabled, the script will return a success message:


After Sender Filtering is enabled, the script will return a Sender Denied message: