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New Patch Available For DPM

January 29th, 2006 by Joseph Bittman MCSD .Net

    Hot off the press! New patch correcting Short File Name collusion and access denied errors in DPM! The KB article isn’t live quite yet, but you can get the patch by calling in FREE to Product Support Services and asking for the patch related to QFE 911169.

 What the symptoms look like:

#1 Access Denied Error in DPM UI

#2 For the more beefy details, I’ll leave it to my trusted friend, Karan, from DPM: 🙂

“The problem occurs because during a consistency check, both the long name
and the short name of each file must match. Short names are assigned
according to the order in which they are created. Therefore, the short names
of the files on the destination server may not match the short names of the
files on the source server. For example, this problem occurs in the
following scenario: . The LongFileName02.txt file is created on the source
server. The short name of the LongFileName02.txt file is LongFi~1.txt.
      . The LongFileName01.txt file is created on the source server. The
short name of the LongFileName01.txt file is LongFi~2.txt.
      . A consistency check is run. The files are validated by using the
long name in alphabetical order. The LongFileName01.txt file is validated
      . A LongFileName01.txt file is created on the replica. This file is
given the LongFi~1.txt short name.
      . During the next synchronization, the LongFileName02.txt file is
created. The short name of this file is LongFi~2.txt.
In this scenario, the short names of LongFileName02.txt and
LongFileName01.txt are exchanged.

The next time that you run a consistency check, the synchronization fails
because the long name and the short name of each file do not match.
Therefore, the replica remains inconsistent with the source server.

I would recommend installing this hotfix on all DPM servers in production
where you are seeing this problem.”


Now to go call to get it myself!


Joseph Bittman MCSD.Net DPM MVP

Posted in DPM, MS News | Comments Off on New Patch Available For DPM

Free MCP Developer Exams!!!

January 29th, 2006 by Joseph Bittman MCSD .Net

    Thanks to Sondra from MSFT posting in the Microsoft Certification newsgroups, the public now has the codes to take a BUNCH of the new MCPD beta exams! Use the codes below to take them for free!! If you pass, you will receive credit for the exams when they go live! Also, if you pass, you get another free exam voucher to take another test of your choice! Hurry though, as some of these only have a day or so left and seating is limited!!!

Exam 70-526:  TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Windows-Based Client
Development. Visit

Exam 70-529:  TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Distributed Application
Development. Visit

Exam 71-526: TSB526
Exam 71-529: TSB529

Exam 70-547:
Exam 70-548:
Exam 70-549:
Exam 71-547: PRO547
Exam 71-548: BTA548
Exam 71-549: 549BTA
**Following exams require you to have achieved the exam’s certification upgrade (like MCAD/MCSD per exam title):

* Exam 71-551: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD Web Developer by Using the
Microsoft .NET Framework — Promo Code: UPG551
* Exam 71-552: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD Windows® Developer by Using the
Microsoft .NET Framework — Promo Code: 552BTA
* Exam 71-553: UPGRADE: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise
Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework:  Part 1 —
Promo Code: BTA553
* Exam 71-554: UPGRADE: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise
Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework:-  Part 2 —
Promo Code: UPG554


Joseph Bittman MCSD.Net DPM MVP 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Microsoft Posts Record $11.8B Revenue

January 28th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft on Thursday announced its financials for the quarter closing out 2005, posting record revenue of $11.84 billion and a 9 percent increase over the previous year.

Profit for the quarter topped $3.65 billion thanks to 14 percent growth in the company’s Server and Tools division.

Microsoft also cited the Xbox 360 and the success of Windows XP in a growing PC market as reasons behind the record results. Operating income dipped 2 percent to $4.66 billion due to expanded marketing efforts like the one pushing the new Xbox console. Microsoft also returned $8.5 billion to shareholders during the quarter in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Microsoft Posts Record $11.8B Revenue

Microsoft to Skip Vista Beta 2!-According to MSFT Watch.

January 28th, 2006 by Patrick S

  Microsoft-Watch has just posted a really interesting story concerning the remainder of the Windows Vista beta phase. According to Microsoft’s own Jim Allchin, the software giant will not be releasing any one build labeled as the definitive Vista Beta 2. Instead the company is going to rely on additional CTP builds of the next-generation operating system to receive fresh feedback from the enthusiast and beta community.Allchin went onto explain exactly how the remainder of the Vista Beta program will take place. Build 5270 or the ‘December CTP’ was described as a “partner” beta of Vista being directed at the testing community in general. The next major CTP release slated for the first quarter of 2006 will be directed at enterprise, or “TAP” beta participants. Allchin commented that this build will include the ability to install on top of an existing Windows XP installation and may or may not include the much anticipated Windows Sidebar for users to play with. A third build labeled as “Beta 2” (much like 5270 was and the upcoming Q1 ‘TAP’ build), will be released around April of this year and will be labeled as a major ‘CPP’ or “Customer Preview Program” release. “Customers do need significant milestones,” Allchin said. “But you could classify CTPs as betas, but for a different audience.”Other interesting information contained in the article includes: 

  • No traditional “Release Candidate” builds of Vista 
  • Vista stamped media will not contain all the different product ‘bits’ or versions as previously reported 
  • Introduction of a “Windows Anytime Upgrade” program allowing customers to change Vista SKU’s easily 
  • Two more ‘traditional’ beta releases for Vista Server, including a new Beta 3 release in Q3 (More CTP builds as well) 
  • Vista is now “feature-complete’ and some features might even be cut if stability/performance milestones cannot be achieved 

This is a dramatic shift in the way Microsoft will run the remainder of the Vista Beta program. It will be interesting to see if this new policy of directed CTP builds will result in an improved final product, or end up being the Achilles heel for this much anticipated operating system from Microsoft.

Paul Thurrott has also posted a lenghty interview with Jim Allchin which signifigantly clarifies the remainder of this beta program. Allchin reveals to Thurrott that Microsoft will be cutting back on the idea of ‘Virtual Folders’, and that the planned April CTP could be thought of as the major public preview.

Source Neowin

Microsoft-Watch-Worth a read.

Posted in MS News, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Microsoft to Skip Vista Beta 2!-According to MSFT Watch.

Exclusive: Windows Live Sessions (UK)

January 27th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Me, Linda, Fraser (new bloke I met, very Scottish, very funny, excellent bloke and only works round the corner from where we are) and Jonathan (another new bloke, very experienced and only a little older than me) all met up in the pub about 20 minutes ago and had a bit of a nerve-wrack session (well, me and Linda definitely!). We’re at MSN House in London, just off Piccadilly Circus on Great Pulteney Street. This is where the Windows Live Sessions is for today.

We had a good mingle, talked to a few people and I was talking to a bloke (can’t remember his name which is a shame) about Windows Live Mail and giving him a good perspective of what we thought of it and how things could be improved. I’ve been looking over some of the things that people have been saying about Windows Live the last few months and really gave them feedback on what they had to say, and the best bit about it is, is that they really took it on board. It’s so much better telling someone face to face about the product they are making and really telling them the pro’s and con’s about it, rather than in a bug report that might get tossed from one department to another.

Anyway, we got our official badges on as well as our identification cards (I nicked mine and they’re not having it back! I like to think of it as… go somewhere new and “take a little bit home with you” – some may say it’s stealing but hey, I just call it a souvenir!). We went and sat down in the “Swimming Pool” area of the building, called that because it was a swimming pool based on the tiles and the architecture around it, but they put some nice water-effect carpet down which was cool. We were introduced by the UK Head of Marketing, Adrian Simons and he then introduced a really cool looking bloke, Phil Holden who was a developer and an evangelist for Microsoft in the USA and travels all over the world doing his “thing”.

Windows Live – the general view
The whole thing started around February/March time of last year, when the people working on the MSN teams basically decided that it would be a good idea to branch off from MSN and form a new set of products and technologies, which “bridged” the gap between the Microsoft operating systems (Windows), and the web-based applications that they have now. They came up with the codename of it, which was “Skyline” and then over time they decided to call it Windows Live – something which has stuck even to date.

Windows Live Contacts
People nowadays have to juggle different aspects of life, but mainly they fall into two categories – personal and business. Windows Live Contacts is a new idea which will soon be in full swing, and with the new server side refresh of MSN Spaces, you will certainly see this soon as well in the next beta build of Windows Live Messenger. It’s the ability to change what’s on your contact card in Messenger, and now extending that into MSN Spaces – you can customise what’s on your contact card to different people whether it is personal or business. This will probably be interwoven into the Groups function in Messenger, but this will make people’s lives much easier. You may only want business contacts to have your works phone number and works email address, whilst you only want your friends and family to have your personal number. It really defines personal and business really well, so now there is no fine line but more of a bold, thick line separating the two.

Extendibility to mobile devices
As I was talking to Philippa Snare, the Head of Communications at MSN UK, and she was talking to me about mobile devices as well as what I had been said during what Phil had been saying. Although a lot of the Windows Live stuff is web-based, there are still some software elements such as Windows Live Favourites (formerly known as Roaming Favourites) and Windows Live Messenger (also known as Messenger 8.0). But now we’ll be seeing new downloads for mobile devices, so we may actually see a Windows Live Mobile Messenger very soon… whether they’ll call it that, I just don’t know. Also Philippa confirmed that it was “most likely” and “almost definite” at the fact I was the one behind the goat emoticon in MSN Messenger 7.0 and onwards. Ahh… I knew it was… I just knew it!

Windows Live “Remote Record”
Now I’m saying Remote Record but to be honest, I have no idea what it’s called. They may stick with that name, but who knows. The idea is, is that when Vista is launched, some of the seven available versions will have Media Center (not Media Player, but Media Center) already installed. You will have the ability to record a program using Windows Live through your mobile device on your computer or television at home. You can be hundreds of miles away and forget to set the record for “The Simpsons”, so you’ll be able to get out your phone or PDA and login to the service and set it from wherever you are! There will also be the ability to watch back on your mobile device whatever you recorded, and that is uber-uber-cool!! This will be available in the USA, but may be extended to the UK and other international countries… but don’t hold your breath!

MSN Spaces (version 10.5)
Hopefully you’ve noticed some of the changes on my blog as well as on every blog out there! The URL address has been shortened to take out the “members” part, more Modules have been added to the Customise section as well as a whole new variety of themes available in different category – over 100 I believe. You can add comments to the photo galleries just as you can with blog entries, and you can also do so much more. Whether they will end up calling it “Windows Live Spaces” or not, we’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully uptime and being able to access it more often than not will be a good thing.

Windows Live Mail
The new name for Hotmail, which has been pretty much the same for the last decade or so as it’s been around. However, time to change and indeed they have! A lot of people (about 0.3% of Hotmail users… that’s still about a million or two!) were given invitations as ‘VIPs’ to use the new beta, so many people have seen it. Those who haven’t can expect a “Outlook” sorta view where you have different things in different columns. However, the main thing is safety and junk protection. They now have really intelligent junk filters which detects whether a message has a valid Sender-ID (as in it actually came from a real domain server and not just pretends to look like it) as well as filtering stuff out. The coolest thing though, is the ability to drag and drop messages as if it was a real application. Also, messages that get sent into your junk mail folder have two views – orange and red. Orange means that it’s junk and might have something rude or not wanted in the message and red means that the message could be potentially harmful such as a virus/malware attachment or be a phishing message. Both of these views asks you to open the message before it displays it, so if you’re at work then your boss won’t see “Buy Viagra very cheaply” on screen, as it’ll ask you to actually view the message.

Windows Live “Fremont”
Named “Fremont” as a place near Seattle where Microsoft is based, known as “the center of the universe” apparently! Anyway, this will be the Microsoft version of eBay, where you can buy and sell things just as you can on eBay, but it’s totally free so you can buy and sell things for totally free. I can’t really say much more than that due to NDA and stuff, but it’s really really cool and the interface is excellent. It’s only available to Microsoft employees who are in the USA at the moment for internal testing, but once that’s sorted they’ll roll it out to everyone for general use.

Source: Zack’s Blog of Weird and Wonderful Things

Posted in Windows Live | 8 Comments »

Glossary of DFS Terms

January 26th, 2006 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Jill from MSFT explained about the DFS terms in Microsoft newsgroup.

Essentially, the “root replica” is what makes a namespace redundant. Don’t
think of a root replica in terms of user data or replication–a root replica
is just the DFS infrastructure that runs on each server that hosts a given
domain-based namespace. Adding multiple root replicas (now known as root
servers or root targets) ensures that if one of those servers goes down,
users can still access the namespace.

Your links and link targets are pointers to the user or application data
that you want available in the namespace. Having a single link target for a
link means that if that link target server is unavailable, the user can’t
access the data. Having multiple link targets (whose content is kept in sync
using FRS or some other means) means that even if one link target fails,
users are transparently redirected to another link target.

A namespace (aka DFS root) can have multiple links, and each link can have
multiple targets. So for your scenario, you would need to create one
namespace (possibly with multiple root replicas if you want redundancy and
can use a domain-based namespace), and then create a link for each
directory. That link points to the UNC path of where the data will be

 Don’t get confused by these terms!

Posted in Windows Server System | Comments Off on Glossary of DFS Terms

Office Online Beta

January 26th, 2006 by Patrick S

Stumbling my way through the World Wide Web today i found a link to the “Microsoft Online Beta”. It seems to be a site I would call hidden (a weird sub domain and such)

Which is funny Because it is not under Microsoft’s name.

Bell, Jason
   4010 174th CT NE
   Redmond, WA 98052

It appears to be an update to the current Microsoft Office Online to provide resource to templates etc for all recent Versions of Microsoft Office Including Office 2007. Does this Mean Office 12 will be re-named to office 2007 like its other previous counterparts?

“Welcome to the online service that is part of Microsoft Office 2007: the Office Online Web site. We have made significant changes to the site, and during this beta period, we invite you to explore it and tell us what you think. Use this site to learn more about the Office 2007 programs and get more done with them.As a beta customer, you can try out the Office 2007 products and site early. Your feedback is important to us. Tell us what you think of the Office Online beta site.”


I guess only time will tell.

UPDATE: It appears you need Office 12 installed to access the page. Also i tend to believe this will show up in the Next build of Office 12. As no links in the Application itself link to it yet.

UPDATE2: It appears that MSFT have disabled the site. We will see it another day though.

Check it out yourself at

Source Deansweb


Posted in MS News | Comments Off on Office Online Beta

Expect to See New Vista CTP on the 21st!

January 24th, 2006 by Patrick S

According To (dont ask me how they found out) but the next Vista CTP is due on the 21st Of Feb.

It wont be beta 2-It will come sometime in April of this year.

“It is not likely that in this CTP round a Longhorn Server build will be distributed.”

Posted in Windows Vista | Comments Off on Expect to See New Vista CTP on the 21st!

The long road…(The final chapter-Part4)

January 22nd, 2006 by Patrick S

From “Longhorn” to the beta 2 release, Windows Vista has had a rough journey.
It’s telling that after all these years even a company like Microsoft is still learning just how hard it is to design and create operating systems. When we first heard of Longhorn there were a number of promises of what the exciting next incarnation of Windows was going to look like, and what it would do better than before.
Now at Beta 2 we can see that you don’t always get what you wish for. The journey from Longhorn to Vista has seen Microsoft re-think the priorities on what’s feasible in this next-generation operating system, and what exciting features the world may not yet be ready for.


After the release of Windows XP in October 2001, we were too caught up in the new OS to think about what would follow. It wasn’t until 2002 that info started to seep into public view about the successor to Windows XP, codenamed “Longhorn”, which was set to be more than just an upgrade. Based upon the Windows XP codebase, Longhorn promised to revolutionise the desktop and bring with it a host of features never seen before. These included…

“Restructuring and separation of the user interface from the kernel (and with the ability to take advantage of 3D rendering hardware to accelerate the desktop), a new user interface API (later named Avalon), the inclusion of the .NET developers framework, a new service-orientated messaging system (Indigo), a powerful integrated database and file system (WinFS), stronger integration of DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the Trusted Computing Platform”

And of course next-generation versions of Internet Explorer and Media Player. Naturally, security was also to be a strong focus for the OS in order to not repeat mistakes of the past. Microsoft was keen to keep Longhorn under wraps until 2003 where it demonstrated early builds of the operating system at its PDC (professional developers conference) 2003. Here it was announced that Longhorn would ship in 2005.


Then in 2004 something interesting happened: Microsoft, who used to build code upon code and turning its products into massive juggernauts, began to realize this method of development was going to fail them for Longhorn. The planned features were too big for the Windows XP codebase to handle and, remarkably, it went back to the drawing board. Instead it started again with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 as a base, and began building the Longhorn feature set and components on this codebase. With it came a more modular design, one that would support the operating systems growth and adaptability to the various target markets Microsoft had planned for the OS. This setback meant a number of features wouldn’t be able to make it to the final Longhorn build if Microsoft was to keep any sort or release date. One of the casualties was the long-awaited Win-FS. The release date is now set to 2006.


In April 2005 the first demonstration of the new operating system happened through the release of the Longhorn Developer Preview, an ‘alpha’ release designed to give developers a hands-on look at the OS.
Not long after, Microsoft announced that the OS was to be called Windows Vista, and in August 2005 released its first beta version to developers, partners and customers.  Though not an essential component, an uproar erupted over the exclusion of a new desktop component known as the sidebar. Present in earlier Longhorn builds, the sleek panel is designed to sport all manner of gadgets for information display-and was looking to give Apple a run for its money in the swank desktop department.


In October 2005, Windows Vista Beta 1 was released and for the first time we got to see a more complete version on Microsoft’s next OS. The sidebar returned along with the all new tab-enabled IE7 and our first look at Media Player 11. Since Beta 1 Microsoft is trying something it hasn’t done before-releasing regular updated builds of the OS to developers and partners through its Community Technology Preview (CTP) program. Currently, a new CTP build is being released nearly every month.


After the numerous delays it’s natural to be sceptical about when Windows Vista will finally be complete. The operating system is supposed to be ‘widely available’ in 2006, with initial reports putting release in May. If the OS were to be delayed again, it can only be a good thing. Better Microsoft gets it right this time than release another troubled operating system. When it arrives Windows Vista will come in up to nine different flavours. For the home there will be Windows Vista starter edition, Windows Vista Home Basic Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. Roughly, Home Basic and Home Premium will correlate to XP Home and XP Professional accordingly, but just what will set Basic, Starter and Ultimate editions apart isn’t set in stone yet. For Business there will be Windows Vista Small Business Edition, Windows Vista Professional Edition, and Windows Vista Enterprise Edition.  Again we will all hear more about this closer to release.


The much anticipated WinFS will be available as an add-on for Vista after its release, but just when this will be isn’t clear. And for Patrick E similarly, the planned command line update Monad is expected to be available by the time the server components of Vista ship in 2007.

Well that’s part 4 to the 4 part series. The End 😛

Posted in Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

The Nuts And Bolts Of Vista

January 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

The Look is Different, but has the new OS changed significantly under the bonnet?  So is Vista a new OS, a ground up clean slate? No, of course not. It’s a natural progression of the work done for XP, taken forward some years. However, to dismiss Vista’s improvements so quickly is to be glib; there is a great deal that’s new, and there’s more to come before the product finally ships. The three big areas of change underneath the surface are in the GFX, the web services and soon the file system. 


For the end user the graphics system changes will be the most immediately noticeable. Windows has lagged significantly behind the capabilities of modern desktop graphics cards for some time now, and with Vista it starts to take advantage of the processing power built into the latest and most powerful graphics cards. The so-called Glass effects add transparency, and the engine allows for a fully composited Desktop experience. The codename for this was Avalon, but it’s recently been re branded as Windows Presentation Foundation.  Then there’s the new programming interface code-name Indigo. Although this won’t be immediately visible to the user, it will allow a new class of applications to be built that rely totally on XML and web services. The Indigo system, now called Windows Communication Foundation, makes web services an integral part of the client and server experience. For Devs this is a huge step forward, at last, any client type can work with any server type, providing it’s communicating via web services.  

   Lastly, the new file system, codenamed WinFS, will come after the product is launched and will be the first wave of storage capabilities from Microsoft. It’s designed, like the rest of Vista, to break away from the simplistic file name and directory combination. The big push towards XML metadata is a key driver here, weather that data is held within a file or in data streams-a contact record or a diary appointment for example. Coupled to this will be a much stronger indexing and searching capability, integrated into the new search interface compared to XP’s. And in time, you’; be able to search across Longhorn Server system too!  


So what about the core OS? Well there’s a new display driver model to support the increased #d capabilities, but this doesn’t mean older hardware is left out. You’ll be able to use existing Windows Driver model graphics cards instead, although you won’t get the benefit of all the new 3D capabilities. It isn’t yet clear weather driver signing will become mandatory in Vista but I hope it does, if only to help clarify when a driver is considered beta quality or release quality. There’s also a lot of fine tweaking going on to the core OS engine to allow for much faster start-up and shutdown; this is crucial for Intel’s newly announced Viiv PC’s.  There are also a few other little pieces that might get dropped before release but show interesting thinking. One is Auxiliary Display support, which allows notebooks and tablets to have a small secondary display, probably mounted on the outside of the device, which will give users a quick, at-a-glance view of system status or access o information when main display is closed. This could alert you to thinks like warnings for diary appointments, number of unread mail messages and battery levels. The latest set of Visual Studio programming tools and frameworks are the bedrocks for a lot of this new capability. 

Hopefully with less spelling mistaces mistakes now 🙂

Posted in Products, Windows Vista | Comments Off on The Nuts And Bolts Of Vista

VistaBase now open

January 20th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post on here, mostly because I’ve been so bloody busy to be honest, but I promise, that as this is a new year and all, I’ll start blogging on here much more often.

I made an announcement on the Vista beta newsgroups as well as the public Vista newsgroups, and for some time now, since about November, I’ve been compiling a whole load of issues and questions from various people, and compiled them into a knowledge database. At the moment I’m still uploading the questions and answers, but it’s primarily for those who don’t know much about Vista and Longhorn Server and would like to know more.

It’s based on a system of where if you ask a question (using the appropriate link on the site) then within 1-2 days or so, you’ll recieve a reply on the website and an email notification saying so. It won’t just benefit the user who submitted it, it’ll benefit everyone who reads it. There’s loads of subcategories – even a screenshot gallery of pictures taken from every Longhorn/Vista build there’s been.

The link is: (you may have to copy and paste the link, depends on browser security) if you want to have a browse.

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | 4 Comments »

XBOX 360 NZ Roadtrip

January 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

In March 2006, the next generation of gaming console launches in New Zealand. New Zealand is a major country in MSFT’s books as a lot of Xbox consoles have been sold there in the past. So What does Microsoft do to celebrate the launch of the New console here? How about buying a huge bus. Kit it out with a whole lot of Plasma Screens and Xbox 360’s (and hopefully promo girls 😉 ) And drive around New Zealand showing off what the new console looks/feels and works. 

I think its great that Microsoft are splurging out to give Us in New Zealand a taste first hand of the new Xbox 360 as we dont usually get these opportunities.  


In March 2006, the next generation of gaming console launches in New Zealand. We’re so excited about Xbox 360 and the amazing line-up of games available at launch, we figured there was only one thing to do – ROADTRIP!
Xbox 360 will be touring the country throughout March in the giant
Xbox 360 Bus and things will be going off with live demos, hot giveaways and even the chance to meet the sizzling Joanna Dark.
And it doesn’t get much better than playing an amazing line-up of Xbox 360 games running on hi-def Samsung screens inside our specially constructed air-conditioned bus. You can beat the queues by registering now and getting your name on the VIP priority list. 


I cant wait. 

Check it out HERE  Patrick S  


Posted in Xbox and Gaming | 3 Comments »

Codename Blackcomb changed to Vienna?

January 20th, 2006 by Patrick S

Codename Blackcomb was internal codename first talked about in 2001 I think. It would be the succesor of Windows XP and .NET server (codename Whistler). Later Microsoft decided to create a small in between version of Windows codename Longhorn.
Longhorn is a bar in the Whistler ski-resort between the mountains Whister and Blackcomb.
Well we know Longhorn turned out to be a major Windows release, which is over 5 years of development. Blackcomb is still the next major release of Windows after Longhorn (Vista) but first Longhorn “R2? Windows editions will be released.Anyway, on the Channel 9 forum, Robert Scoble comments that the codename Blackcomb is changed to “Vienna”

Posted in Beta News | 3 Comments »

Microsoft Update SP1 invites sent out

January 20th, 2006 by Patrick S
Microsoft has selected testers to help with scenarios on a Service Pack 1 update for Microsoft Update. The beta is only expected to last until the end of January. Microsoft released the Update service last year after extensive testing that brought together Windows and Office Updates on one page. End users have the option to use Windows Update or the new Microsoft Update service.
No new features will be added to the service, the purpose of the beta is to test fixes that have been made since the release last July. 

Posted in Beta News | Comments Off on Microsoft Update SP1 invites sent out

Utilizing Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server 2003 RRAS to cope with a system failure

January 16th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

After our slight system issues yesterday, and the fix I implemented to cope with it until I could physically get to the server to fix it there – I’ve decided to go into a little more detail on how you can use Virtual Server 2005 R2 in conjunction with a Windows Server 2003 RRAS (Routing and Remote Access) VPN to implement a temporary quick-fix to a server outage.

First off, for the purpose of this scenario – the server that was having issues needs to be a Virtual Machine running on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or VS2005 R2.  There also needs to be physical access to the machines’ VHD file.

What I did next was to copy the VHD file and VMC configuration file to the remote (backup) Virtual Server 2005 host server and load the VMC config file as if I were loading a new machine.

Next, I changed the IP address of that guest machine to match that of the internal network it was now running on, as well as some config files for App Server sofware running on the VM.

Then, I created a simple demand dial VPN connection into my already existing Windows Server 2003 VPN infrastructure (More information on setting this up is available here: Windows Server 2003: Virtual Private Networks)

Lastly, on the Routing and Remote Access firewall settings on my external server (which is also running the VPN)  I added the IP address formally being used for the MSBLOG external server to the Reserve Public IP Addresses for use by Internal Clients list, and allowed incoming traffic (also make sure on your internal end — the backup server in this instance – that a firewall is running only letting the proper ports in — 80/TCP in this case)

Information on setting the public IP reservations and NAT (Network Address Translation) configuration in Routing and Remote Access can be found here: NAT Tools and Settings

After that is done — the setup works — only a bit more slowly due to a 384 kilobit transmit rate on the ADSL line at the backup site.  But the key is that it does indeed work.  Try it out — it just may save you time and money in travelling to get a backup server running.

And finally — a diagram showing the logical flow of data to and from the requesting web surfer  😛

Patrick Elliott, Microsoft MVP – Windows Server System

MSBLOG backup Visio diagram

Posted in Products, Windows Server System | 1 Comment »

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