Out of Office not working – Using Exchange Autodiscover Redirect

Had an interesting one today with a bit of a lesson at the end of the article.

Scenario:

Users are able to connect to Exchange with Outlook, send and receive mails etc. Users are however unable to set up their Out of Office using Outlook but they are able to set it using Outlook WebApp. We have a hybrid Exchange environment with 2010 and 2007 CAS servers. In the back-end we are running an Exchange 2007 CCR Cluster.

Past troubleshooting with regards to Out of Office not working has taught me to check and test autodiscover. I bet that the OAB is also not downloading?
I ran the normal checks such as checking the certificates and running nslookup to see if autodiscover.domain.com redirects to autodiscoverredirect.domain.com asn it did.

My next step was to check IIS as I’ve had a previous issue there. Low and behold I noticed that an ex-admin used his credentials for authentication. This caused issues as the admin’s account has been deleted a few days ago as he left our company. I then created a service account and added the credentials in IIS to ensure that this does not happen again. Users reported that Out of Office is working again.

Below are some screenshots for where I changed the credentials. Note that when I tried opening any settings under the Autodiscoverredirect Webpage in IIS that the error explicitly told me that the account for admin-abc had problems authenticating. The challenge was that I was not too sure where this is supposed to be changed. But here you go:

1. Open IIS on your CAS server and browse to Sites => AutodiscoverRedirect (Or whatever you named it)

Capture1

2. On the right click on “Advanced Settings”

Capture2

3. Click on “Physical Path Credentials” and then set. Add your service account credentials and save.

Capture3

This solved my issue with redirection.

Lesson: No matter how many years of experience admins have, the still seem to take the quick route of using their personal credentials where a service account should be used causing issues for your users and customers. Don’t be a lazy engineer and use the service accounts and remember to document EVERYTHING!

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A Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development Kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse.

I started learning development for Android and downloaded the Eclipse IDE that includes the Android SDK from the Android Development site. Eclipse should be installed after you installed the Java Runtime Environment.

On both my machines I received the below error when starting Eclipse. In my case I think it has to do with the fact that i installed Eclipse and the JRE to D:\ instead of the default locations in the installers.

eclipse error

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I solved this issue by:

1. Right click the Eclipse exe and choose properties.
2. In the Target field add -vm “D:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0\bin” behind the D:\adt-bundle\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130729\eclipse\eclipse.exe
3. In essence it should look like your_drive_letter:\path to eclipse installation\eclipse\eclipse.exe -vm “drive_letter_where_JRE_is_installed:\Program Files\Java\jdk_version_number\bin”
4. Click apply and ok.

Eclipse should now start without any problems.

 


Error Code: 0x000000C4 when trying to install Windows 8 or 8.1 in Virtual Box

I tried installing Windows 8.1 Preview in Virtual Box and received the below error: (If memory serves me correctly this was the same for Windows 8)

Win 8.1 error

Run the following command and then try installing Windows 8.1 Preview again.

“c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe” setextradata “VM Name” VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

This solved the issue for me. Found the information to the solution at this article here.

 


Meeting requests sent to a room mailbox, replaces the Subject, with the Senders name

We received a call today where a meeting request sent to a Room mailbox shows the meeting organiser’s name in the subject line.
This can be rectified by running the following:

Exchange 2010/2013:

Set-CalendarProcessing -identity “meeting room name” -DeleteComments $true -AddOrganizerToSubject $true -DeleteAttachments $true -DeleteSubject $true

Exchange 2007:

set-mailboxcalendarsettings -identity “meeting room name” -deletesubject $false -addorganizertosubject $false

Hope this makes your life a bit easier.


How to install the GUI for Ubuntu Server

I’m busy installing a server for my dad’s home and need a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for him to manage the server. I decided to install Kubuntu on my Ubuntu Server that I’m testing in virtual box. We are planning on getting him a Raspberry Pi running RaspBMC and the choices are OpenMediaVault or Ubuntu server to be the media server hosting his media to be streamed from.

Still deciding which way to go but here is a short tutorial on how to get the GUI installed on an Ubuntu Server after you have finished installing the Ubuntu Server Operating System.

1. After the server has booted you need to logon with the user name and password you set in the Ubuntu installation.
2. Now update Ubuntu by running: sudo apt-get update
3. After the update has downloaded the needed packages and finished the installation run: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop (this will take some time to download the packages and install Kubuntu)
4. After the installation run: sudo reboot
5. Now you will load into the GUI and Windows users should be quite comfortable to use Ubuntu

Here’s a video of the test installation:


 

 


Raspberry Pi and OpenElec

Got myself a Raspberry Pi this week to replace our current media player.

Our previous media player could not connect to the home network and I had to keep copying media to an external hard drive which as you could expect an irritation to say the least. The technology world has changed quite a lot with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi. The Pi is a credit card sized computer that has HDMI, Audio, RCA, USB and LAN connections built-in to it.

Do a google search to see some of the amazing things people have done with the Raspberry Pi.

My goal was to replace the media player with the Pi and stream media from our Home Server to the CRT TV. I installed OpenElec on the SD card which is a great Linux distro if all you want is a media player with some extra functionality.

The Raspberry Pi boots straight into OpenElec XBMC without any of the normal desktop login screens etc.

I then use Yatse which is available from the Google Play Store to remotely control the media center from my Android phone and tablet.

Let’s have a look at some Pro’s and Cons before we get to the video of my OpenElec journey.

Pro’s:
1. The Raspberry Pi with the needed accessories (power supply, SD card and case) cost me less than the media player did.
2. It connects flawlessly to my home network and server. (I had to create a user account on the server for the Pi to connect and authenticate)
3. It’s small and can be hidden out of sight.
4. Boots straight into the Media Player interface.
5. It has HDMI, RCA, RJ45, 1x audio out and 2x USB connectors.
6. Anyone can set this up using the links at the end of the article and searching the net if they get stuck.

Cons:
1. WiFi worked but kept losing my network for some reason.
2. I noticed a definite speed reduction when using WiFi.
3. The Pi had some issues with DNS but after some “googling” it was actually quite an easy fix.

Links to get you up and running quickly:

OpenElec Official Website:
http://openelec.tv/
Images:
http://resources.pichimney.com/OpenELEC/official_images/?C=M;O=D
OpenElec Wiki:
http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Installation
Win32DiskImager:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/?source=dlp


Exchange 2010 Backups fail with Replica Writer Error

We had a backup fail this week with an error stating something to the lines of Exchange Writer is in a failed state.

After some digging around I found that the Microsoft Exchange Replica Writer was in a failed state. To check the writers do the following:

  1. Open the command prompt on the Exchange server where the backup is failing. (In my case the server with the passive copies)
  2. In the command prompt type: vssadmin list writers and hit enter.
  3. You will now see a list of all the writers with their current state.

The picture below shows the writer in the failed state.

writer

To resolve this issue I had to restart the Exchange Replication Service

I then re-ran vssadmin list writers in the command prompt and it showed its state as stable and the backups went through.


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