Sunday, September 9, 2007

Don't put SharePoint Services 3.0 on an Exchange Edge Server

Bad things happen and both products won't work. Just don't do it.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Search results may take a long time to appear because Microsoft Search is unavailable

A colleague of mine ran into a problem during an Exchange 2003 / migration. When some of the users tried to search their mailboxes, they receive a message saying, "Search results may take a long time to appear because Microsoft Search is unavailable. Results will not include matches in the e-mail body." (See the example above, from OWA)
This will happen to all mailboxes on the same server if the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer service is stopped, but in this case only some of the mailboxes on the same server were affected.

I tested the same thing on my home server and found the same results. I had migrated all my accounts from my Exchange 2003 server months ago. When I ran the Get-Mailbox Test-ExchangeSearch PowerShell command I found that all my mailboxes except one (a service account) came back as True (enabled).

The bad news is that there's no way to enable Exchange Search for an individual mailbox. However, the following PowerShell command worked for me to correct the problem:
ResetSearchIndex -Force -All

This command will stop the MSExchangeSearch service, remove the entire search database and restart the MSExchangeSearch service. The MSExchangeSearch will immediately begin crawling the database(s) and rebuild the index(s). It took about 3 minutes on my 550MB database in a VM. You can use Perfmon to watch the Full Crawl Mode Status counter in the MSExchange Search Indices performance object to monitor when it's done. The counter value will be 1 while it's rebuilding, 0 when it's done.

Usage for the ResetSearchIndex PowerShell command:

ResetSearchIndex.ps1 [-force] [] ...
ResetSearchIndex.ps1 [-force] -all
get-mailboxdatabase ResetSearchIndex.ps1 [-force]

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

How to Access Public Folders in OWA 2007

Public Folders are not available in the RTM release of Exchange 2007 OWA, so I created a work-around:
  • Log into E2K7 OWA as usual
  • Right-click your name in the folder list and select "Create new folder"
  • Name the new folder "Public Folders"
  • Compose a new email to yourself with https://yourOWAserverURL/public in the body of the message and send it
  • Move the new email to the Public Folders folder you created

To access Public Folders, open the Public Folders folder and click the link. Public Folders will open in a new window or tab in Internet Explorer.

Look for REAL Public Folder access to arrive with Exchange Server 2007 SP1.

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Relaying SMTP Email Through Your ISP

Most ISPs these days are blocking SMTP email (port 25) from their subscribers. This is a good thing, because it stops malware and infected hosts connected to the ISP network from propagating to other hosts on the network and the rest of the Internet.

If your ISP blocks port 25 your Exchange server(s) will be unable to send SMTP email. This article explains how to work around this in Exchange 2007. Other versions of Exchange will be similar.

If you have an Edge server, like I do, you cannot make the configuration changes directly on the Edge server. You have to make them on a Hub Transport, CAS or Mailbox server. The changes will then replicate out to the Edge server on the next EdgeSync.

Here's what to do:

  • Open EMC and navigate to Hub Transport under Organization Configuration.

  • Select the Send Connectors tab and double-click the send connector for outbound email to the Internet.

  • Click the Network tab and select "Route mail through the following smart hosts".

  • Click Add to add your ISP's outbound SMTP server (i.e,

  • Click the Change button to configure Smart Host Authentication Settings.

  • Select Basic Authentication, and enter your ISP account's user name and password.

  • Click OK twice to close the dialog windows.
Test outbound email. If you're using an Edge server, you need to wait for an EdgeSync event to run (or run Start-EdgeSynchronization from the Exchange Management Shell). If you're not using an Edge server, the changes go into affect immediately.

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VMware Processor Check for 64-Bit Compatibility

VMware has created a standalone processor check utility which you can use without VMware Workstation to determine whether your CPU is supported for virtual machines with 64-bit guest operating systems.

This utility is a handy way to check a system before you buy it. Download it onto a USB key and run it on the prospective computer to see if it will run 64 bit guests.

It's important to note that you do NOT have to run a 64 bit host OS to run 64 bit guests in VMware 6. For me, this is really handy since none of my wireless USB Ethernet adapters have 64 bit drivers. I can use x86 XP as my host OS to access my wireless network while still running 64 bit guests like Windows Server 2008. Sweet!

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