Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Configuring Shaw Business POP Accounts

Shaw provides easy to find documentation for their consumer side POP email. The configuration for the business service is a little harder to come by.

Configuration information:
  • incoming and outgoing server: mail.shawcable.com
  • username: your email address, including the domain
  • outgoing port: 25 (587 is not supported)

Windows 8 Jump Start Videos

Microsoft has published some Windows 8 Jump Start videos that are intended for IT professionals to overview new features of Windows 8. Basically, if you are already familiar with Windows 7, these videos highlight differences. You're not going to see basics of Windows.

The videos available are:
  • Tips and Tricks for IT Pros -  Mostly user interface stuff
  • Windows 8 Deployment
  • Access to Windows - Virtualization such as Windows To Go, VDI, and Client Hyper-V
  • Anywhere Productivity - Multi-device management and roaming between them
  • Windows Apps - Sideloading apps is in this one.
  • Recovery and Security - Includes UEFI, Secure Boot, and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT).
Note: These are all relatively large videos to download. They range between 1.4 and 2.6 GB.

Download the videos here:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Locate a Rogue DHCP Server on an SBS Network

If you use Windows Small Business Server, you may not realize it has an odd quirk. When the DHCP server on an SBS server see communication from another DHCP server, the DHCP server on SBs shuts down. I suspect this it an attempt to be a good network citizen and get out of the way if DHCP is not required from SBS. Basically, in case you didn't know how to configure DHCP on your network SBS gets it out of the way.

Unfortunately the times I see the DHCP server shut down in SBS is when a rogue DHCP server is introduced to the network. Typically this occurs when users bring in a home router to use as a wireless access point or a switch. They often don't realize that DHCP is enabled on these devices.

How do you identify a rogue DHCP server?

The most common symptoms of a rogue DHCP server on an SBS network are:
  1. The DHCP service on the SBS server stops.
  2. Computers are getting an incorrect IP address or DNS server

How do you find the rogue DHCP server?

If you are lucky you are aware of new devices brought into the network. Based on this information you may be able to track down the bad device. However, in most cases, you don't know about new devices. So, what steps can we follow to track this sucker down:
  1. In the System event log on the SBS server there will be an event generated when the DHCP service is stopped.  Event 1053 with the Source DHCP-Server indicates the IP address for the rogue DHCP server.
  2. Try connecting to the IP address with a web browser. If this is a home router or WAP brought into the office, it will probable have a web site for configuration. At the very least this might help you identify the brand of device and indicate what you physically need to be looking for.
  3. Try to ping the IP address of the rogue DHCP server. If you are lucky it responds back. Then use arp -a to list the MAC address of that IP address.
  4. If you have web-managed switches, you can log on to the web site for your switches and identify the port that the MAC address is attached to. That will give you the location of the offending device.
  5. If you don't have web-managed switches, you can use the MAC address to identify the vendor of the equipment causing the issues. Then at least you know what brand of equipment you are looking for.
You can lookup vendors from MAC addresses here:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Using a Calculated Property to Display Group Membership

A forum recently had a question about obtaining a list of contacts and their group membership in a CSV file. At first I figured the person was just lazy and hadn't done a bit of basic research. However, it turned out to be a bit more complicated that I expected.

I ran into two issues:
  1. Get-Contact does not return group memberships for contacts. The good news is you can work around this by using Get-ADObject -Filter {ObjectClass -eq "contact"} -Properties MemberOf.
  2. The MemberOf attribute is returned as an array which does not export properly to a CSV file. For this you need to create a new calculated property that is a string.
The final result was this:
Get-ADObject -Filter {ObjectClass -eq "contact"} -Properties MemberOf | Select-Object Name,@{Name='Groups';Expression={$_.MemberOf -join ";"}} | Export-CSV C:\contacts.csv

Let's break this down a bit:
  • The -Properties parameter is used to specify an AD attribute that you want to retrieve for an object. By default, the Get-ADObject retrieves only a default set of attributes. You need to use -Properties to get more than that. You can use -Properties * to get all attributes.
  • The Select-Object cmdlet limits the properties collected for each contact. Prunes them down to the Name property and a new calculated property Groups.
  • The creation of calculated property Groups is within the @{}. This Name='Groups' defines the name. The Expression={} defines the value of the property. In this instance, it takes each instance of the MemberOf array and joins it together into a single value separated by a semicolon. Each contact will have a single Groups attribute with a single value which is a long concatenated list of the groups that contact is a member of.
  • Export-CSV dumps the list of contacts and their group memberships to a CSV file that is easy to sort in Excel.
The original question in the forum was actually about obtaining a list of contacts that were not members of a group. That was actually easier:
Get-Contact -Filter {MemberOfGroup -eq $null}

Friday, November 2, 2012

iOS 6.0.1 Update Fixes ActiveSync Bugs on iPhone 5

Over the last few weeks I've seen a number of reports of problems with iPhone 5 causing problems with Exchange meetings when connected with ActiveSync. Apple has released an update that addresses this problem.

See details here:
 I have also seen reports of Autodiscover not working properly with iPhone 5 unless it uses the autodiscover.domain.com format for the Autodiscover host. There is no mention of that being fixed.