Category Archives: outlook

exchange stuff may 2016

Hi all – it is traditional to start this with “it’s been a while”…


Rollups and cumulative updates

Useful and interesting links

Blog articles

Interesting kb articles

Hot news…

FREE exchange 2016 online training course provided by Microsoft on edX, complete with exams and hands on labs (but no videos- it’s all reading, by the look). There are three pretty cheap ones there as well as the initial infrastructure course. It looks like about 20 hours of free stuff (they reckon…). Given the lack of 2016 material on MVA at the moment (all MVA exchange stuff), it’ll have to do, I guess. Give it a go. It’s free.


First up – We appear to be falling behind a bit with our rollup rollouts, so it is likely there will be a new Exchange Stabilisation project shortly. For the avoidance of doubt, I’ll restate the Microsoft support policies:

Exchange 2013/2016 – you are supported by Microsoft on the latest and next latest CU only.

Exchange 2010 – if you are on service pack 3 you are in extended support until November 2020

Exchange 2007 – if you are on service pack 3 you are in extended support until November 2017

Exchange 2003 – you are unsupported. No, really.

With 2007/2010, while you may be supported on sp3 rollup1, it is my experience that unless the problem is a simple configuration issue you will be asked to update to the latest rollup as part of the troubleshooting process. They hate analysing old code.

the latest rollups were released March 15th, and are here:

Useful and interesting links

As part of an investigation last week, I came across a highly useful article that references loadbalancer settings for exchange 2013 – they are the same as for 2010, but it’s nice to have that stated explicitly – it also suggests a great list of other useful and exciting things to do to stave off ever having to log a support call. I know I sent it out earlier, but it bears repeating.

Our colleague Mark Bodley has hunted out a number of extremely useful links:

Database corruption and dirty shutdown decigeons* tree on Exchange server pro. There’s a picture. It’s great. print it out and stick it over your desk.

He emailed a reminder of how to upgrade the CU on Exchange 2013 and 2016, along with some extremely useful links to scripts written by our friend and colleague, Michael Van Hybrid (yes, he’s on the GAL!):

  Not sure if you are aware that the recommend steps for installing CU updates on E2013/2016 are a bit different to what we may have gotten used to with Exchange 2010 – assuming that your local hostile SDM ever agreed to an update!!

There’s an article on the steps required for Exchange 2013 SP2 2016 at with 2013 being quite similar. Confusingly though Exchange continues to ship with the StartDAGServerMaintenance.ps1 scripts, these appear really to be for 2010 and should not be used on 2013 or later.

Michael van Horenbeeck has written 2 scripts for starting and stopping maintenance mode on Exchange 2013 and as they support a multi-role deployment they should work for 2016. Certainly looking at the above article, the steps for 2016 are the same as for an E2013 Multi-role server.

The scripts are at :-

· Stop-ExchanegServerMaintenanceMode.ps1 :

· Start-ExchanegServerMaintenanceMode.ps1 :

The exchange 2010 search troubleshooting guide – invaluable. Note this is for exchange search, not instant search – outlook uses exchange search in online mode, and instant search in cached mode – instant search is based on windows search, and searches the .ost file, not the server. Shall I bore you with exchange store search…? No? ok. Be aware that exchange 2013 has a different search engine again – Microsoft search foundation. try this article.

Understanding the Outlook Connection Status window. Recently (slightly) updated.

How to troubleshoot free/busy issues in a hybrid deployment of on-premises Exchange Server and Exchange Online in Office 365

The latest guided walkthroughs for Office servers – lync, exchange online, office 365 etc – are here. Some of them are brand shiny and new, others are a little long in the tooth. PF repl for 2003? Wow.

Blog articles

Rhoderick Milne explains why Network Location Profiles are giving you neckache – I’ve come across this myself, it stops Exchange working properly, and is tricky to spot.

The PFE Exchange 2013 tips and tweaks post (also Mr Milne). The 2010 article was a standard. You need to read this if you look after 2013, or are about to. CSAs should read it also…

Anyone looking at moving from 2007 to 2013 should review the links from this 2013 upgrade workshop.

My friend Ingo has an update to his activesync user script here: Get-ActiveExchangeUsers 2.0

Released: March 2016 Quarterly Exchange Updates on the official “you had me at EHLO…” blog.

Deferred Lagged Copy playdown in Exchange 2016

Messing around with how powershell proxying works causes headaches. Read this to make sure you are aware of how cu11/cu12 will affect you.

Exmon is finally available for Exchange 2013 and 2016

Interesting KB articles


May 3, 2016, update for Outlook 2016 (KB3115101)

Office 2016 Applications crash or cannot start

Lync 2013 (Skype for Business) or Outlook 2013 Crash after installing the april 2016 upates

Performance problems when you try to access folders in a secondary mailbox in Outlook –I know at least one account is struggling with this.


“The remote server returned an Error 404” or "HTTP request has exceeded the allotted timeout" error when you move a mailbox from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online

Intermittent "500" error occurs for EWS requests in an Exchange Server 2013/2007 coexistence scenario

"Cannot display the folder properties" or "could not be updated" error when Exchange hybrid deployment users open a room calendar in Outlook

Can’t open a shared folder in Outlook on the web in Exchange Server

Users in your Exchange 2013-based hybrid deployment experience mail issues after April 15, 2016

Incorrect output when you run the Get-CASMailbox cmdlet to view the HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership attribute

"Cannot display the folder properties" or "could not be updated" error when Exchange hybrid deployment users open a room calendar in Outlook

"Nullable object must have a value" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"Execution of the Get-WebServicesVirtualDirectory cmdlet has thrown an exception" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

Exchange Online users cannot access free/busy information of users in a non-Internet-facing Active Directory site

"The user isn’t assigned to any management roles" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"Secure Mail Certificate on server is not bound to the SMTP Service" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The SMTP address template is invalid" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The length of the property is too long. The maximum length is 64" error message when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"RequiredTls flag should be set to true if TlsCertificateName is specified" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden" error when you try to move mailboxes from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online

"The term ‘Get-HybridMailflowDatacenterIPs’ is not recognized" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

On-premises users in an Exchange hybrid deployment can see availability but not capacity or description information of a resource when they schedule a meeting

Can’t reserve a resource for a meeting after the resource mailbox is migrated to Exchange Online

"An error occurred while working on your domain" when you try to verify your domain in Office 365 in an Exchange hybrid deployment

Users in a hybrid deployment can’t access a shared mailbox that was created in Exchange Online

Out-of-office replies and voting options in email messages between on-premises users and Exchange Online users do not appear correctly in a hybrid deployment

Slow mail delivery in an Exchange environment that has transport rules configured – I’m particularly keen that you understand this article – I’ve been asked a few times lately about transport rules, so anyone thinking of implementing them needs to understand that they can have a performance impact.

Outlook Anywhere users prompted for credentials when they try to connect to Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016

Information about the Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook (CalCheck)

Feedback is of course welcome.


Roderick, by John Sladek. Probably my favouritest book about robots ever.


My God, it’s full of RSTs…


I had a bit of a debate with a network engineer last week. We’d taken a trace from a load balancer to try and understand why outlook anywhere sessions were getting blocked and terminated randomly (short answer; port exhaustion because there were insufficient IP addresses in the NAT pool on the server facing side of the load balancer, but that’s not important right now). I pointed out the reset packets coming from the load balancer. He countered with “Well why are there so many resets coming from the CLIENT? EH? EH? yeah… you heard me…” etc etc. They do go on, network engineers. And he’s right. Outlook does pump out a bunch of RST packets. On purpose. Allow this trace to illustrate – this is me opening a colleague’s calendar in Outlook, and then closing it.

outlook session temrinating with RST

So why does it do that? First, we need to talk about how TCP sessions are *supposed* to be terminated. The machine that is done talking sends a FIN/ACK, and goes into the FIN_WAIT_1 state until it receives an ACK to it’s FIN/ACK, at which time it goes into FIN_WAIT_2. The receiving machine sends an ACK, goes to the CLOSE_WAIT state, and then sends it’s own FIN/ACK. It will stay in the CLOSE_WAIT state until the application sends a close(). The first machine ACKs that FIN/ACK, and goes into the TIME_WAIT state for about 4 minutes (according to RFC793). This is supposedly to wait for any stray packets, but it’s actually because they are lazy.


So it’s possible to have the socket open but useless for minutes – one side waiting for the application to notice the socket is ready to close, the other waiting for a period equal to twice the maximum segment lifetime to expire (this is all explained MUCH more clearly here:


This is wasteful, to say the least, so many applications choose not to use FIN/ACK, but to issue a RST/ACK instead, which has the huge benefit of closing the socket down on both sides immediately, with none of that messy waiting around. This allows server ports to get recycled much faster. On the downside, it grinds network engineers’ gears. (is that a downside? really?)

this is documented (although not explicitly for Outlook) here:

There’s a good Microsoft article on TCP states here:

and advice on what you can do if your application insists on sending FINs, and you’re suffering from port exhaustion (it’s for SQL server, but you can’t have everything, right?):

Archiving Stuff to .PST

it’s the time of year when we grow up, put away childish things. childish things like the email we sent and received in 2014, so we can focus on the far more serious email we received in 2015 (Nynke, i promise i’ll reply to the mail you sent me in January). i was asked to help out one of my senior colleagues in this task, so i put together a little guide for him. you might find it useful too. He needed to move a years worth of items out of his general purpose PST file and into a archive archive.

i expect there’s a better way of doing it. feel free to call me an idiot.

Part 1 – getting stuff out.

1. Go to the file tab in outlook:


2. Select “Open and Export”, and select “Import/Export”


3. select “Export to a file” and click next:


4. Select “outlook data file (.pst)” and click next:


5. Select the archive pst file you want to export from, in my case it’s “Archive Folders”, and click “filter” (NOT “next”). Make sure “Include subfolders” is ticked:


6. Select the “Advanced” tab, and click the “field” drop-down, then click “received”:


7. Select the “between” condition, and put the dates in – it will export all the items from the first date, but not the ones from the second, so to get all the items received in 2014, set a filter like the one below, and click “add to list”:


8. Create the same rule for sent items:


9. You may well wish to save appointments as well. In the “field” chooser, select “All Appointment fields” and “Start”:


Sorry about the picture of Mr Hayward. You should now have a set of rules that looks like this:


10. Click “OK” which will return you to the “Export Outlook Data File” dialog and click “next”:


11. Give the export file a name – in my case, I’m calling it “2014”, and click “Finish”:


12. You can put a password in if you like, or click “OK” with the fields blank to proceed. If you click “Cancel” it will dump the whole lot, and you’ll have to start again.

Outlook will now be unresponsive for a bit, while it chews things over. This may be a few seconds, or ten minutes or more depending on how modern your machine is:


After a while, though, you will see it start to process items:


13. Go and get a cup of coffee, it may be some time.

14. Once it is complete, open the new archive file; Go back to the Open and Export page, and select “open outlook Data File”:


15. Browse to the file you just created, and click “OK”:


16. It will open in Outlook as “Outlook Data File” – this is a rubbish name, so right click it, select “Data File Properties”, then “Advanced”, and change the name to something more suitable:



17. Click “OK” and “bingo”.


Your data is now sitting in a new archive PST file. Don’t put it on a network drive, eh?

Part 2 – deleting the stuff you’ve exported.

Now, that’s all very well, but it hasn’t shrunk the original archive file any. So…

1. Click on the archive you want to shrink in the left hand folder pane in Outlook, and click to select “subfolders” in the quick search bar:


2. In the search tab, click “More” and select “Received”:


3. Type the year you want to delete items for:


And marvel at the items listed. By default, it won’t show you everything, you’ll need to click “More” at the bottom until you get back to the 1st of Jan:



4. Then you can simply use ctrl+a to select all the items in the column, and shift-delete them. Don’t soft delete them, as they’ll just get moved into the deleted items folder in the archive, achieving nothing.

5. Repeat the process for sent items – most will probably have gone already, but it’s as well to be sure.

Has it worked?

This is what it was:


This is what it is:




I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Intersting things I have seen on the internet, October 14th

Afternoon. Lots of stuff in the last week-and-a-bit. Firstly, you may be interested to take part in the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary survey – if you take part then you’ll get the results mailed to you in March. Interesting stuff. Also please be aware that organisations running Exchange 2007 (like us) may be affected by this issue, causing meetings in Russian time zones to appear incorrectly after October 26. This will be fixed around the middle of November, or the 128th of Mitwoof if you’re in Russia. Anyway, on with it.


Exchange Design:

There’s a new version of the JetStress tool available.

How to integrate Exchange Online with Lync Online, Lync Server 2013, or a Lync Server 2013 hybrid deployment and How to integrate Exchange Server 2013 with Lync Server 2013, Lync Online, or a Lync Server 2013 hybrid deployment.

Need to move mailboxes from one office 365 tenant to another? You need the Microsoft Office 365 merger migration guide for Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online. Yes you do.


Exchange Troubleshooting:

I get bored of saying it. Microsoft get bored of saying it. Now you can get bored of reading it (actually, it’s been around a while, but it’s just been updated and it’s worth reading) Fix Outlook connection problems by upgrading to the latest version

Exchange 2013 has a problem with lazy indices causing unexpected x-overs. This is discussed here – Those Pesky Lazy Indices. The article is remarkable for two reasons – firstly, it’s written by Mr McMichael, and secondly it refers to “failovers”. I thought that was verboten? It appears it’s 2013 CU5 that is mostly affected.

Damian Scoles has a really nice article on troubleshooting mailflow during migrations. Not just how to fix it, but actually how to troubleshoot it. Nice.

Outlook 2013 users who have installed the September 2014 Update may experience a certificate error when they open outlook. Microsoft are investigating this.

MRSProxyConfiguration settings are not honoured when they are configured. This will be fixed in CU7, they say.


Exchange General:

Tony Redmond discusses the implications for Exchange on-prem of Satya Nadella’s statement “Office 365 is the new Exchange and one will cannibalize the other. The key is to ensure that current Exchange customers can transition on their own terms.” Even if he’s right (and he usually is…), the opportunities for basing a career around Exchange are going to be limited, at the least. Still at least we’ll have exchange 16 to look forward to in the near future. It might be interesting to have a look at some of the stuff that might make it into the next version.

Paul Cunningham has a nice explanation of the 2013 Autoreseed feature on his blog.


Core General:

Probably the coolest article in this post: Introducing the Netlogon Parser (v1.0.1) for Message Analyzer 1.1. This is awesome. If you only click on one link, this one should be it. It really showcases the power of Message Analyzer. Paul E Long also has made a plea for MessageAnalyzer feedback. He’s particularly after feedback on performance issues. So, while it’s true, “It’s great, Paul!”  isn’t going to cut it.

There’s an interesting video on virtual networks within Azure on Channel 9. Also got some info on internal load balancing. Sounds like a recipe for calls, to me.

Lakshman Hariharan has a second post on Network Trace Analysis using message analyzer. I’m really keen on this tool (really? Who knew) I’m thinking of doing some online training on it if anyone is interested.

For those of you intending to do your MCSA 2012 R2, there’s an offer on the 70-412 ebook here. Offer expires next Sunday (19th).

Microsoft are really an open source company. Honest, guv. That link is worth looking at, however, for the link to Introduction to Programming with Python on the Microsoft virtual academy. Except I’ve just posted it, there. Oh well. It’s got a picture of a man holding a toaster too.


Office 365:

FREE EXCHANGE KEYS! FREE EXCHANGE KEYS! How to obtain an Exchange Hybrid Edition product key for your on-premises Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2003 organization

Office 365 and azure visio stencils from Keith Mayer. If Visio stencils do it for you, then here they are.

New Azure AD enhanced auditing and activity reports coming soon.

Another update to the “how to troubleshoot Azure Active Directory Sync tool installation and Configuration Wizard error messages”. I wish I could come up with snappy product names like that.

Turns out you might find outlook 2010 suddenly runs verrrry slowly with Office 365 – in which case install the August 2013 hotfix package. Note this is a hotfix package, not a rollup. Confusing.

Archive mailbox issues for a mailbox that’s migrated to or from Office 365

There’s going to be a lot of startled admins out there (step 2 of the solution) On-premises users aren’t getting email messages from Office 365 users in an Exchange hybrid deployment

Office 365: Outlook and mobile device connectivity troubleshooting resources

Another general troubleshooting article: Domain errors in the Office 365 portal. You need to expand the table, otherwise it looks like it’s just taunting you.

How to change the AD FS 2.0 service communications certificate after it expires. Useful information regarding certificate manipulation…

NEW! “The server cannot service this request” error when you use In-Place eDiscovery & Hold to search a large number of mailboxes “may be corrected in a future update!”

Troubleshooting Azure Multi-Factor Authentication issues

There’s been an update to the Office 365 mail flow troubleshooting index.

The latest “From Inside the Cloud” post deals with mail and transport encryption in Office 365.

Damian Scoles (again?) has posted a couple of troubleshooting articles on his “Just a UC guy” website. They’re a bit specialised, but I really like his writing style and his systematic approach, both to troubleshooting and documentation, so I’m going to link to them here. Have a look; you could learn a thing or two. Manager’s Team Calendars with Exchange / Office 365 Hybrid  and Free/Busy Hybrid Troubleshooting.



Jeff Schertz has written a long and detailed article on configuring QoS for Lync IP phones. Lots of pictures. Lots of links. I’m still out of my depth with it.


It’s October. That means it must be time for the September 2014 Cumulative Update 5.0.8308.813 for Lync Server 2013 (conferencing server). What does this fix? Nothing at all. A bit like the unified comms, apparently. The front end and edge updates, web components, core components and conferencing attendant updates all appear to actually do something. I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that each Microsoft update contains a handful of fixes to public intersting things that i have seen on the internet, october 14thproblems, and a lorryload of fixes to stuff that Microsoft don’t tell people about. They may all be downloaded here. This article contains a list of the most recent updates for Lync Server 2013. If you bookmark it, you can look at it regularly. Or use something like follow that page to tell you when it changes. Or, god forbid, Microsoft’s own RSS feed.


And finally…


Damn fine cherry pie.


Intersting things that i have seen on the internet, october 3rd

Right, this is hopefully a little more timely than the last one. Those of you sitting an MCP exam at a Pearson VUE testing centre may notice that the interface is slightly different. Hopefully this will help you feel good about your exam. Probably not as good as passing the thing, though.


Exchange Troubleshooting:

Short and sweet – how to check the autodiscover SRV record using NSLookup, from Rhoderick Milne

Having problems accessing automapped mailboxes in Exchange 2010 recently? Have a look at this article.

New! Exciting! An exchange 2013 CU6 bug design feature! Load balancer marks Exchange server as down in an Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 6 environment.

Can’t create an Exchange 2013 public folder mailbox? “An existing Public Folder deployment has been detected” error when you try to create a public folder mailbox in Exchange Server 2013.


Exchange General:

Good news, bad news. Good news; my friend Justin Harris has earned a “2014 Microsoft Exchange Server MVP” Award. Thoroughly deserved! Congratulations Justin. He does an excellent podcast with Larry Novak, a great Exchange engineer at Microsoft.

Bad news; Microsoft layoff senior technical writers. I can’t see how this is possibly a good thing. The writers in question produce some of the most authoritative and in-depth articles on exchange available. Exchange 2010 has been really well documented, Exchange 2013 less so (where is all the performance monitoring stuff, for instance?) – it looks like 2015 will be barely detailed.


Core General:

Some interesting and useful information from the Defrag show on the latest and greatest Microsoft product; not Sway, not windows 10, but Minecraft. I can’t begin to tell you how excited my boys are that their father is now officially a minecraft support engineer. There’s also some stuff on Windows perfmon counters for HDDs, and yes, some stuff on windows 10. Who cares? “It looks like you’re building an underground labyrinth filled with zombies. Would you like help?”


Clippy has his own Realm, where his army of countless slaves build mile high idols in his image.

Also very exciting (if you support stuff) is Mark Russinovich discussing SysMon on the defrag tool show. Also his latest novel, Rogue Code.

Keith Mayer has advice on using Azure to look at the windows 10 technical preview here, if that’s what floats your boat.

The recommended hotfixes for 2008 R2 clusters article has been updated.


Office 365:

Free/busy lookups between Exchange Online and on-premises users stop working after you set up OAuth authentication. You’ll need (it says) to have a mix of Ex2k13 and Ex2k10 on prem, so hopefully it won’t be a problem, but it’s worth checking for if you see any issues with free/busy and OAuth.

The EHLO blog has an article on the new bulk email feature in Exchange Online Protection. If you’re at all interested in how Microsoft handles your spam, then you may enjoy the linked video – “How does Microsoft handle my spam?

I know there have been a few comments about the wealth of material available for the office 365 exams. Just when you think you can’t possibly fit any more in, along comes the official Microsoft Learning Study Group for MCSA : Office 365.

Once again, Microsoft would like to reassure us all that Office 365 does not mean that we will all lose our jobs. Ummm. More kool-aid here. Strangely, they never wrote a part 2.

How to enable a debug trace for the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant, but not how to analyze it. Sigh.

Troubleshoot single sign-on setup issues in Office 365, Windows Intune, or Azure.

Refreshed advice on Using WAN Optimization Controller devices with Office 365. That’s those riverbed steelhead things… Tricksy.

Mixing Office 2007 and Office 365 causes problems editing Office documents in OWA.

Troubleshooting Lync Online DNS configuration issues in Office 365.

Troubleshooting *more* sign-in issues in Office 365, Azure or Windows Intune.

A List of Attributes that are Synced by the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Tool.



Having problems with Lync after migrating your users to office 365? Richard Brynteson explains how to force lync to autodiscover again.

Troubleshooting Lync Sign in issues. Not new, but good. Plus it was linked to in this excellent article that explains a bit about the troubleshooting process…


And finally, those crazy cats at MSL have another video for you. If you can bear it, see super sigma and psychomagician explain how online proctored exams work. What, girls? No hats?


That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for that creeper.

Intersting things i see on the internet, September 25th

< It’s customary to start these things with “well, it’s been a while…” and I don’t see any reason for this one to be different.  I’ve missed a few things, either due to being on leave (Spain. It rained. A LOT.) or extremely busy (thank you, three of our large accounts beginning with “H” – it’s nice to feel wanted) – so, you’ll already be aware of CU6 for 2013, and the associated problems with it (and another one…),as well as the main improvements in there.. You’ll be busy making plans to install Exchange 2010 sp3 RU7. Exchange 2007 sp3 RU14 is also out, but it’s only a DST update. You’ll be aware that windows 2003 goes out of support in 10 months, so you’ll be planning to upgrade to 2012 R2. Note, that’s R2. Everyone is at the very top of their game, and ready to face the challenges that the autumn will bring. Great. Super.


Exchange Design:

Azure AD Sync is available for download. This will greatly simplify office 365 co-existence, apparently. Steve Goodman has a download link for the deck he and Michael Van Hybrid presented from at the UC Birmingham Users Group, here. Microsoft have published a handy feature comparison with Dirsync and FIM as well. Here’s a really enthusiastic article on it.


Exchange Troubleshooting:

The litigation hold problem in exchange 2013 is explained from a MS viewpoint here. Bharat Suneja has apparently tweeted that the fix will be included in CU7, which should be due out the end of November.

Clint Boessen discovers a problem with exporting mailboxes from exchange 2007 with Outlook 2010. The fix is to uninstall a couple of updates to outlook 2010.

A recent update to Google Chrome breaks OWA in exchange 2013 and office 365.

There are some new guided walkthroughs for Exchange, Lync Sharepoint and Office365. These assist you in troubleshooting or common configuration tasks, extremely worthwhile.

Nuno Mota is halfway through his “email forensics” series on – two more parts to go.

Jeff Guillet has an article on extended message tracing in office 365.


Exchange General:

This article from Ross Smith will be timely for some of you, I know, in which he explains how to protect against rogue administrators.

A nice tip and explanation on how to set AdminSessionADSettings ViewEntireForest to “true” by default from Rhoderick Milne. If you slightly adapt the advice in Bharat’s post here, you’re laughing.

Damian Scoles has a script for examining mail quotas in exchange 2013. I daresay with a little hacking about it’ll work equally well for 2010. He’s promising to update it as well… he also has an interesting post on using powershell for reporting.

How to move domains and settings from one EOP organization to another, in the case of a merger or a divestment or what-have-you.

There’s a brief summary and wrap-up of Exchange Connections, plus here’s Tony Redmond’s new podcast (with Paul Robichaux). Well, it’ll be there soon.

Anderson Patricio has published another instalment of his series on managing mailbox features through corporate profiles.

Michael B Smith has published a script that automates getting CAS configs. Looks useful.


Core General:

How to share regedit favorites between machines. Really. I can think of only a few uses for this, but the explanation is so cool I wanted to share it.

IPv6 nonsense, continued. Basically, if you’ve followed Microsoft’s advice on how to disable IPv6 then there’s a five second delay on boot you can remove. (note that’s *how to* disable it, not *to* disable. The general advice is unchanged. Disabling IPv6 is unsupported. Don’t do it.)

Microsoft learning are introducing online proctoring for MCP exams in America. I daresay this will make its way to the UK eventually. More here.

Message analyser v1.1 has been released. This makes me happy. I like message analyser because, to quote my colleague Mr Christie, “this knocks wireshark out of the park for non-networkheads”. It truly does. Lots of resources for those who want to get started here.

Samuel Drey has a great post on building system monitor consoles in Excel for monitoring perfmon counters.


Office 365:

Dave Gregory has started an ADFS deep-dive series on the askPFE platforms blog. How good is it? I’ll let him speak for it himself:

the power of the SSO experience and the underlying technology is transformative” (obviously this time they’re all for the federation).

The Microsoft Federation Gateway has had a certificate updated, so you’ll need to update your federation trust metadata. Rhoderick Milne has the scoop on it.

An explanation of the office 365 onboarding benefit process. And here is the office 365 etc etc

Why isn’t office 365 spam proof? Eh?

Brad Anderson has an interesting blog called “in the cloud”. He’s just published a good article on secure e-mail with mobile devices. The pictures are rotten, though.

How would you like a teeny amount of control over office 365 updates. Go on… you would you would you would. Actually, “teeny” is probably overstating it.



An update to the “top support solutions for Lync 2013” article. And one for Lync 2010.

An interesting post from Jeff Schertz on different Lync modalities. I had to look up modalities to understand it.

Richard Brynteson has a quick tip on automating the sending of reports from the SQL reporting server. His post includes the line “Make sure that the SMTP Server is setup to accept anonymous relay as there are no authentication options available from this management interface.” Better not, though, eh? Try following the method here for configuring the receive connector as “externally secured” instead.

And, finally, the people who brought you the ummm… “interesting” super sigma and psychomagician video on Exchange 2013 exams (simply awful, according to Tony Redmond) have produced another fix for a problem you didn’t even know you had. That’s right, certified MCP t-shirts for your Xbox avatar.

They are certified MCPs

It’s the end times, isn’t it? Time to start stocking up on corned beef.


If you’ve made it this far, have 15% off an MCP exam. You deserve it.

Intersting things I have seen on the internet, July 14th

First off – interesting things from the word of TMG – TMG 2010 SP2 RU5 is now available. Gosh. I’d also like to shout about this exciting development; Clint Huffman, the excellent engineer who is responsible for the PAL has written a book. It’s a touching tale of an orphan boy who is befriended by hedgehogs in Edwardian-era Leeds  about  windows performance analysis, unsurprisingly, it’s published in October, and it’s available for pre-order right now. If it’s half the book it could be, it will replace “Moby dick” on the nightstand, for me. Daddy loves perfmon.


Exchange Design:

An interesting summary of the current “why the hell doesn’t Exchange support NFS?” debate from Michel de Rooij. He makes the point toward the end that just because something works, doesn’t mean it’s supportable. An example is Exchange on AWS – you’re welcome to try it but your exchange support comes from Amazon, not Microsoft. Tony Redmond’s post on it is likewise interesting – notice Devin Ganger’s comments at the bottom – read them in conjunction with his blog post last week about virtualization technologies not being ready for exchange yet and it’s no wonder so many exchange implementations get into trouble.


Exchange Troubleshooting:

In 2013, if you update the notes field of a contact via a mobile device, it winds up blank. Known issue. Not yet fixed.

Using logparser to see what is using EWS…

A quick powershell one-liner for deleting IIS logs… why do you want to delete iis logs? Because there’s farsands of ‘em.

Farsands of ’em.

If you’ve just migrated a user from exchange 2003, you might not be able to open outlook if they have invalid characters in their legacyExchangeDN attribute.

“the Microsoft exchange administrator has made a change…” prompt cont’d – incorrectly decommissioning public folders can trigger it.


Exchange General:

Message recall. It’s garbage, basically, isn’t it? here are some suggestions for ways to make it less smelly.

A picture is worth a thousand words so here’s a cracking little script to display mailbox growth graphically. I prefer a pie chart personally. A pie would be even better.

Always handy to know; how to install the latest applicable updates for Microsoft outlook. It now covers how to use OffCAT to help you, as well. That’s right, no more hunting through binary versions – OffCAT will tell you which updates you need.

Damian Scoles, Exchange MVP and Unified  Comms guru is building a new lab. I now have lab envy. I’m running a 64GB ESXi 5.5 hypervisor on a fujitsu rx200 s6 with 6TB of iSCSI SAN and it’s clearly too damn small. Sigh.

Tony Redmond discusses the parlous state of Exchange Search, here. And that’s in office 365. It’s worse when you have to try and keep the services running yourself… 😀


Core General:

If Kerberos authentication is required, then a forest trust is necessary. I don’t care what it says on technet.

Elden Christensen has some interesting thoughts on sizing windows 2012 clusters. He also has an idiosyncratic way of spelling “chassis”.

Troubleshooting certificate errors with message analyzer – this is way cool even if they’re using a beta version…

Discussion of a useful tool for configuring ACLs

Gary Siepser explains why | fl  and | fl * return different result sets in powershell.


Office 365:

What’s new for June 2014, according to the office blog. Mostly Lync it seems.

Tony Redmond’s thoughts on Wave 16… probably a must-read for everybody…

A handy video summary of the new features of office 365 enterprise. “Enjoy your office instantly – wherever you go”. Sounds more like a threat to me.

The current top issues for outlook with office 365 – good idea to look here before wondering why things don’t work…

IDFix and the new fast-track onboarding process explained on channel 9.



If you’re new to lync, or contemplating the exams, as I am (in the same way as I’m contemplating my own mortality, with a sense of hopeful procrastination), then you may find the legendary techy’s new lync lab series of interest. If that all looks too manual for you and  you have access to a meaty windows 2012 box with hyper-V installed then you may prefer the lynclabonline script.

There have been some changes recently to the Lync Validator – it’s now hosted on Azure, for a start… What’s Lync Validator? Rob Brynteson’s online Lync 2013 design validation tool. Why not go and have a look at it over at


And finally…


It’s cleaner than water, it’s cheaper than porter, it’s GIN.


My users don’t care what department their colleagues are in.

Or – how to hide columns from the GAL view in the outlook 2010 address book.

Just had an interesting call regarding the GAL in Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010. I have a customer who doesn’t want users to know what department their colleagues are in. I don’t ask why. People baffle me sometimes. Can we do this? Yes we can. Have a look at this article in the knowledgebase. Yes, I know it’s for outlook 2007, but this sort of thing is so esoteric no-one can be bothered updating it for Outlook 2010. Will it work for outlook 2010? Yes it will.

First, open regedit and browse to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences, and create the ABHiddenColumns binary value key.

I’m not going through it, it’s exactly the same as in the KB article.

Right click the ABHiddenColumns key, select modify and type in the chosen value, as per the table in the KB article. So far, so much regurgitated content. The bit that is missing from the article is the value you need to remove the “Department” column. This can be found in the big book of MAPI stuff, volume eleventeen, “[MS-OXOAB]: Offline Address Book (OAB) Format and Schema Protocol Specification


Trouble is, that value is bigendian, and it needs to be little-endian. Or possibly the other way around. Whatever, you need to reverse the order of the octets and lose the leading 0x. so 0x3A18001F becomes 1F00183A. Add it to the 0#000000 that the article talks about (where # is the number of values you want to hide; in this case “1”) and you get 010000001F00183A. Just type that string in; no need to format it or add spaces or anything else, regedit takes care of all the magic.


Click “OK”, restart outlook and hey presto! this:


Becomes this:


“Department” is gone. This works in cached mode and online mode. So… what have I told you that’s new? not a lot. It works for outlook 2010, and there’s a way to get rid of a column that they strangely miss in the article. How do you apply it to 30,000 users? Group policy, my friend. How do you get rid of it in OWA? Custom html page, would be my guess. I’ve not done it, but that’s where I’d start.