Rodney Buike - Founder and original lazy admin. MVP: System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management

Daniel Nerenberg - Lazy admin 2.0. MVP: Windows Expert - IT Pro

Disclaimer

These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. You assume all risk for your use.

Redirect Command Line Output to the Clipboard

Have you ever been working in the command line and want to send the output of a command to another document? Well we can right-click the command window and select Mark and then copy and paste into the document, or add > c:info.txt to the end of the command line and get the info from the text file, but there is a better way!

Windows Server 2003 allows you to redirect directly to the clipboard. As an example lets say I wanted to run IPConfig /all and send the output to the clipboard; by adding “| clip” to the end of the command the output will be redirected. As a trial run the following command on a Windows 2003 Server ipconfig /all | clip Now open up Notepad and press Shift+Insert or Ctrl+V. Pretty amazing isn’t it!


This feature isn’t available in Windows 2000 or Windows XP, however if

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Managing the Event Logs with MSH

The event log is full of information that can be very useful in troubleshooting. Unfortunatley, it is also full of information that just gets in the way and makes finding things more difficult. There are features within Event Viewer to sort the logs, and there are also 3rd party tools to manage them, but you can also use MSH to manage your event logs!

Using simple MSH commands you can list the contents of an event log, sort by source, group by message type and more. To get the a whole log use the following command: get-eventlog [log name] get-eventlog Application If you wish to sort the records by source use this command: get-eventlog Application | sort Source You can also group the records by Source, it can take a while depending on the number of records, but it is handy! Just run:


get-eventlog Application | group Message


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Configure SSL for Virtual Server 2005 Using SelfSSL

Virtual Server 2005 is a powerful virtualization tool. One of my favourite features is the web based administration of the server and the virtual machines. As with any web facing application SSL encryption is important, and with Virtual Server 2005, it is a snap to configure.

There are two different SSL configurations required for Virtual Server 2005, one for the administration web page, and one for the Virtual Machine Remote Client (VMRC). Let’s tackle the administration webpage first and then take care of VMRC. You can enable SSL for the administration web page in the same manner as you would for any other website. For this demo I am going to use SelfSSL from the IIS6 Resource Kit. SelfSSL is the perfect tool for creating self-signed SSL certificates without installing a Certificate Authority (CA). Once you have downloaded and installed SelfSSL we can begin. To start, you need to open

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IIS 6.0 MIME Type Handling

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) types are used to instruct a Web browser or mail application how to handle a file received from a server. For example, when your Web browser requested an item on this server, it also requested the MIME type of the object.

Some MIME types, JPEG’s for example, can be displayed inside the browser. Others, such as Word or Excel documents or EXE files, require an external helper application to be displayed or downloaded. You may have tried to make some files downloadable from your web server only to get an error when trying to view or download the file.


HTTP Error 404 – File or directory not found.


You know the file is there and the link is correct, but what you missed was defining the MIME type on the server. There are two ways you can remedy this, you can add a

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Create IIS Application Pools with VBS

Windows Server 2003 provides us several ways to manipulate IIS, the first being GUI based. This, while useful, becomes cumbersome if you are administering more than a few sites. The second option is to do things programmatically, either utilizing the build in scripts, or writing your own. TLA reader Gerald Bunch has written an excellent how to on creating IIS Application Pools with VBS.

To do this, one must get their hands dirty. No fears, however, notepad and VB script have caused many a headache, but never a fatality. First, the script


 


csript.exe CreateAppPools.vbs



If we take a look at IIS Manager after the script is run we should see the new Application Pool.



For more information see:


IIS Command Line Administration


Download CreateAppPool.vbs Script

Query Based Distribution Groups

A while back I wrote on Active Directory groups. If you are running Exchange 2003, there is one more group type you can use. Query Based Distribution Groups are a new type of distribution group. Unlike the normal distribution groups, they do not have static members, rather the groups membership is based on a query or queries that you can specify.

Query-based distribution groups are availabel to pure Exchange 2003 deployments or in an Exchange 2000 SP3 and 2003 native Mode environment with Windows Server 2003 global catalog servers. Also query-based distribution groups must have access to a global catalog server. If there is no GC available the messages will go into a retry queue and be resent at the retry interval if a GC is available. Lastly, if you are running a multiple domain enviroment you should only specify Unviversal Groups as members. If you remember Universal Group membership

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IIS 6.0 and SSL Host Headers

Using IIS, you can host multiple Web sites on a single server. There are a number of ways to distiguish between them but host headers allow you to host them on a single IP Address and Port. With IIS 6.0 you can also use host headers on SSL web pages as well.

IIS allows you to assign multiple Web sites the same IP Address/Port and distinguish them from each other with host headers. When an IIS server receives a request for a Web page, it looks for the HTTP header which contains the actual domain name requested. IIS can then use this information to “route” the request to the proper Web site. In order to configure SSL with host headers, you will need to obtain a wildcard server certificate. In order to do this you first must create the certificate request. Follow the normal procedure, however when you are asked

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Top 10 Exchange 2003 Performance Tips

Exchange Servers are resource intense machines that can be improved with some small but very important steps. Applying a few, or better yet all, of these tips you can increase the performance of your Exchange 2003 server(s).

Lets get right to it!

  • Use Windows Server 2003 Exchange Server 2003 was designed for Windows Server 2003. This allows the memory tuning, processor optimization, and other performance tweaks in Windows Server 2003 to be utilized by Exchange 2003. 

  • Memory and CPU Specifications Exchange Server 2003 is a 32-bit application and therefore can only access up to 4GB of RAM, any more is a waste. This effectively limits the number of CPUs to 4 as the memory bottleneck will negate any performance increase from more CPUs. 

  • Hyper-threading or Dual-Core CPUs Windows Server 2003 supports Intel’s Hyper Threading technology and it can boost performance by up to 25%. Hyper-Threading Technology allows multi-threaded

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  • Moving the SMTP Mailroot Directories

    A “best practice” for Exchange 2000 and 2003 server performance is to move the SMTP queues to a seperate partition. The queue is located in the Mailroot directory and the default location is Program FilesExchsvrMailrootvsi # (# is the SMTP Virtual Server number).

    To move the Queues we first need to create a new Queue folder and a new Badmail folder, moving the Badmail directory is not necessary but still recommended. It is also recommended to place these directories on a redundant array. Next open up the Exchange System Manager and drill dow to the SMTP Virtual Server, right click and select Stop. Next right click and select Properties, then click the Messages tab. Under the Queue Directory heading, enter in the new path to the SMTP Virtual Server queue directory.



    You can do the same for the Badmail directory.


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    Domain Rename Part 2 – Renaming

    In part two of this three part series, author James Rudley takes us through the actual renaming process. Part one covered the setup of the tools and part three will cover the Exchange Server 2003 portion.

    Rendom will translate this file into a sequence of directory update instructions that will be executed individually and remotely on each DC in the forest. Run the following command from the control center PC to upload the changes to the DCs.


    rendom /upload



    Now, you should have a dclist.xml in your rendom folder. It should have every domain controller in your forest. Now, force replication and check for the resource records that are required for DC location and for Active Directory replication. Next use the DNS monitoring tool to check that the correct SRV resource records that are used by DC Locator have been registered in DNS. Now

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