Author: Andreas Stenhall

A bug in the DNS service in Windows Server 2008

I’ve seen quite an interesting behaviour of the DNS service in Windows Server 2008 for a long time without even thinking about the DNS service having a bug. Apparently there has been a fix for this issue out since summer time but it was not until Microsoft blogged about the bug a few days ago that it got my attention.

The problem is with secondary DNS zones that suddenly loses all (or many) records of the zone, which is not a very good thing I can tell you.

After reading through the description of the bug a couple of times I just sat there with my mouth open. This is exactly what I have been experiencing for some time now. So what is the moral of the story? Always check if it is bug!

Download and more info: KB953317 A primary DNS zone file may not transfer to the secondary DNS servers in Windows Server 2008

Updating Apple Boot Camp – not an easy task!

Recently I have had experience with a customer running Windows Vista on an Apple Macintosh computer. Quite interesting configuration setup and totally unsupported from Microsoft, and to be honest I have never seen so many errors and problems with hardware and drivers as with this machine. Anyway, trying to upgrade BootCamp to the latest version turned out to be a nightmare. Applying the latest BootCamp patch resulted in an instant error message: “Error applying transforms. Verify that the specified transform paths are valid”.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that this was caused by not using a system which is “all-American” but finding out exactly what to change took a bit longer. I soon learned that one have to edit the registry and making sure that the language code set there is changed to the US English code.

You do this by looking up the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installera\Products \82654E0F812156845A61E8A84572A2CD and then changing the value of the REG_DWORD setting named “Language”. To be able to install Apple BootCamp update this setting must be 0x00000409 (1033).

Hide files and folders which users don’t have permission to

The other day I implemented the Microsoft tool Access-based Enumeration tool for the first time with a customer. The tool installs on Windows Server 2003 and present you with a new tab when you choose Properties on shares on the server. When activated it will make sure that users on their client computers don’t see files and folders in Windows Explorer to which they do not have permission.

Download the Access-based Enumeration tool

Workflow problem in SharePoint finally resolved

In my latest posts I’ve been talking about the now released infrastructure for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, an update that would solve the automatic workflow problem once and for all. The problem with workflows not being run automatically is now solved, but be aware that installing the infrastructure update (KB951695) alone does not resolve the problem.

To permanently resolve the problem one must also apply the command that is mentioned in KB953289: A declarative workflow that is configured to start automatically when e-mail enabled items are created does not start automatically after you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1.

Troubleshoot and analyze Blue Screens of Death

TechRepublic has written a post on how to Extract troubleshooting info from Windows XP BSOD error messages. This is good, but I must say that extracting even more information from the memory crash dump file is even better. If you’ve missed my guide on how to do this you have it right here:

Troubleshoot and analyze Blue Screens of Death

Fix for automatic workflows in SharePoint WSS 3.0

So finally Microsoft have released the infrastructure update which once and for all fixes the problem with automatic workflows not working in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

More information: Description of the Infrastructure Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: July 15, 2008
More information: Issues that are fixed in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 by the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Infrastructure Update
More information: A declarative workflow that is configured to start automatically when e-mail enabled items are created does not start automatically after you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 

Source: SharePoint blog

Hotfix for annoying SharePoint issue on the way!

Many users that are using automatic workflows in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) have experienced problems with the workflows not running automatically after applying Service Pack 1 for WSS. According to Microsoft this is a feature because of changes to security. Anyway, Microsoft have had a KB article out (see KB947284) for a possible workaround on this since February but many people including myself has found this KB article to be useless as the problem remain after performing the steps mentioned in the article.

Anyway, after working with Microsoft Product Support Services on this issue for some weeks it seems that Microsoft soon will be done with a hotfix that once and for all will resolve the automatic workflow bug. I’m holding my thumbs!

No new kernel in “Windows 7”, welcome killer compatibility!

Microsoft is now announcing some information about Windows Vistas successor with codename “Windows 7”. There wil be no all new kernel in “Windows 7”, instead Microsoft will improve the kernel from Windows Vista and make it more componentized.

Killer compatibility is something that is coming in “Windows 7”, as “all” applications and drivers that work in Windows Vista also will work in “Windows 7” thanks to “Windows 7” being based on the same kernel as Windows Vista. Looking forward to the beta program for “Windows 7”!  

“Fix” the compatibility problems with IE8 beta

Some time during the third quarter this year the next beta of Internet Explorer 8 will be released. Microsoft is already asking people, webmasters specifically, to update their web sites to be Internet Explorer 8 compatible. IE8 follow web standards in a new way and this causes quite a few web sites to look not so good in Internet Explorer 8 native mode.

Of course the best option is to make your web site follow the standards but in any cases where this is not possible, due to lack of time, money or knowledge there is a snippet of code that you can add to your web sites to make Internet Explorer 8 render them as if they were interpreted in Internet Explorer 7.

The below snippet of code must be placed directly after the <head> tag.

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7">

Adding this tag is equal to running Internet Explorer 8 in the “Emulate IE7” mode.

More information: Your Web site may not display correctly in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1

Collection of best practices guides

Microsoft is providing best practice analyzers for most of their server products and I have gathered them on a list, for your convenience. These best practices analyzers are extremely good for troubleshooting and for making sure that the servers are performing at their best. Here is the link for the article:
http://www.theexperienceblog.com/technical-articles/collection-of-best-practices-guides/