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Category Archives: Windows

With the security on Windows devices improving natively, things are a little more difficult now to push applications out to the desktop – this is something that should be welcomed, but at the same time makes installation of products like Sophos Antivirus a little more difficult to deploy via the Enterprise Manager.

There are some pre-requisite steps that now need to be taken prior to deployment:

1) Allow traffic to the SBS Server from the LAN.

netsh firewall add portopening TCP 8192 “Sophos”
netsh firewall add portopening TCP 8193 “Sophos”
netsh firewall add portopening TCP 8194 “Sophos”
netsh firewall add portopening TCP 8081 “Sophos quarantine digest”

2) Open up Group Policy and edit the Domain Group Policy ->Computer Config->Windows Settings ->Security Settings->System Services.  Ensure that:

Remote Registry: Automatic
Computer browser: Automatic

3) Allow traffic on the workstations…. Computer Config > Administrative Templates > network > Network Connections > Windows Firewall > Domain Profile


You should then be able to assign the machines to groups within the Enterprise Console

I’ve seen so many people attempt to restore Exchange and fail using Microsofts built in tools, or come unstuck because they want to restore a single mailbox, that I thought I’d document the free method of backing up Exchange that we use, so that it will hopefully help others.

One of the tools available from Microsoft free is Exmerge.  It allows individual mailboxes to be individually exported to PST files, which can then either be re-imported back into Exchange or simply opened in Outlook.  Exmerge is available from

Extract and save to the Exchsrv/bin directory, and when the appropriate mailboxes have been selected, destinations set save the configuration.  This will create an exmerge.ini file.

This can then be scripted in a batch file and run as a scheduled task.  I create a folder on the local disk of the Exchange server (although this can be done to a mapped drive) for each day I want the backup to run.

My exmon.bat file reads:

D:\exchsrvrbinexmerge.exe -F C:\scriptsexmonexmerge.ini -B

Which runs the exmerge.exe, with the options specified in scriptsexmonexmerge.ini and runs the script as a batch job using the -B switch.

To clean the folder prior to running, I have a separate batch file that runs earlier on the same day that runs

del /F /Q /S z:\Exchangeexmon*.*

Subsequently to back up the PST files to a separate server I use the excellent BackupPC running on a Debian server.  Installation instructions for Debian are here:

The BackupPC box is confugured to access the SMB share that the PST’s are stored in, as well as additional file shares on the server.  BackupPC supports incremental backups and backups via a variety of methods (including SSH and rsync, as well as SMB).

It’s also possible to archive off historic backups for off-site using the archive functions within BackupPC.  As a free solution for backing up mailboxes and beiong able to recover easily (with version control) this is very effective…

Following a reboot of our Exchange 2003 server, the Pop3 service stated it was started, but on trying to connect to port 110 using telnet it just popped up “connection to the host lost”.  When we attempted to restart the service it hung when starting – there were no events in the event viewer following the stopping of the service.

The solution was to kill the process in Task Manager (inetinfo.exe).  We found it immediately re-spawned and worked…

I’ve just had to migrate a batch of printers to a new AD print server. Fortunately this process was made somewhat painless by the Microsoft Print Migration tool available here:

Outlook web access does not allow the inclusion of images by default. However it is possible to embed the image within the signature.

First upload the image you wish to include to a web server and make a note of the full path. ie,

Then create a new signature in Outlook and ensure the path of the image on the signature points to your webserver. You can find the raw signature files in “C:documents and settingsusername.domainapplication datamicrosoftsignatures” on Office 2007/XP.

You can then edit the raw signature in Notepad.This is an ideal opportunity to tidy up the messy html created by Outlook when designing the signature in the first place. Find the image src and edit to point to the full path of the hosted image

Send an email with the signature embedded to the users email address and open the email within OWA (in IE). Copy the signature then go into Options -> Email Signatures and paste in the signature.

I’ve just finished installing a pfSense firewall as a second gateway for a network that required a dedicated internet connection for some services. Some of the hosts on the network use the main office internet connection as their default gateway. As a result of this I was unable to connect to these hosts from remotely via the VPN, as the return path for the packets attempts to go via the primary internet connection, rather than via the VPN.

I had a quick glance at the pfSense/OpenVPN docs to see whether there was anything I could specify in pfSense and they stated that the machines needed to use the pfSense as the default gateway – this was unacceptable for our purposes here (one of the devices in question is the Asterisk VoIP server on the network which needs to use the other Internet connection for it’s external traffic). There is an easy solution to this however by simply adding a static route back to the IP range issued to DHCP clients via the pfSense’s internal IP.

This looks something like this:


Effectively any internal machines that need to be visible over the VPN need to have an appropriate return path configured. The DHCP scope I have used for VPN clients is
For linux machines on the network, the route can be added on a temporary basis (ie. until reboot) by entering the following command on the host:

route add -net gw

or permanently by adding an entry into the /etc/sysconfig/static-routes (on Centos as per

On Windows hosts this can be achieved by adding a persistent route:

route add -p mask

By default, Microsoft exchange uses the username when creating email addresses for users using Recipient Policy.


However, in many cases the standardised email address format is slightly different – for example:

This is actually really easy to edit in the Exchange System Manager using a few variables:

%g  = Given Name (First name).
%3g = means first 3 letters of Given Name
%s  = Surname (Last name).
%3s = means first 3 letters of sn.
%d  = displayname.
%m  = Exchange alias.

Once this has been edited, just right click on the Policy and click Update this Policy now.

We’re just trialling the Blackberry Professional software here, but with a change of heart as to the test user attempted to delete the user to re-add another.  Unfortunately although the Blackberry Professional Software allows you to delete users, it didn’t successfully purge the user from the database.  This meant that we couldn’t add an alternative user (the software comes with 1 user licence to trial with).

The solution is to manually remove the user from the database.  This can be done using the OSQL command line utility.

1>use BESMgmt
2>select DisplayName from UserConfig

This will show the DisplayName of the user.  For the sake of this document, we’ll call the user “testuser”.

To delete the user, then enter:

1>use BESMgmt
2>delete from UserConfig where DisplayName=“testuser”


That should remove the user.  On checking within the Blackberry Professional software there is now no longer a user, releasing the licence.

Bit of an awkward fix, unfortunately, as this involves having access to a Windows/Outlook setup, but to add a Public folder that exists on Exchange, it needs to be bookmarked as a favourite for Evolution to pick it up.

For example, we use a public folder for shared (company-wide) contacts here.  To add the folder I just log onto my account on a Windows machine, then added that public folder as a favourite.

After logging out of evolution and back in, I could then see these “public” contacts under the contact folder (CTRL+2).

For roaming users who need to connect to services where there is no available WiFi, this is a useful solution.

We use an unlimited data plan with O2 which also has advantages – no further costs for users using the Blackberry as a GPRS modem!

1 – Ensure latest version of Blackberry Desktop Software is installed.

2 – Connect the Blackberry and check that under Device Manager->USB Devices that the Blackberry is listed (if it is not installed correctly, reinstall drivers from:

C:program filescommon filesresearch in motionDrivers

3 – In Device Manager, under ports, you should see an RIM Virtual Serial Port – if not install from the location above.

4 – Next, add a modem in Control panel (using a Standard 33.6 modem). Connect to the virtual serial port listed in step 3.

5 – Under the advanced tab for the modem we just added in the extra initialisation commands box type:


…assuming o2 is your mobile carrier!

Now set up a new dialup connection using this modem.  Username and password have no significance, just set the phone number to dial as:


Uncheck the box that says “make this the default internet connection”