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SBS 2008 / SBS 2011 to virtualize or not to virtualize

Because virtualization becomes more and more common use and with Microsoft Hyper-V included in Windows Server at no additional costs and most server hardware nowadays is more than capable of running a physical Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 or 2011 installation and never get the full benefits of the hardware. It is worth considering to virtualize the SBS 2008 or 2011 server and run one or maybe two or more virtual servers beside it on the same hardware.

In this blog post I will put together some facts, tips and considerations you should look after before you start virtualizing a SBS 2008 or 2011 server. Of course a lot of this information can also be used for virtualizing non SBS servers.

Enable Hyper-V role on a SBS 2008 or 2011 server
So if you just want to add just one other server, why not install SBS 2008 or 2011 on the physical hardware and just enable the Hyper-V role?

The answer is really simple, because it is not supported!! Enabling the Hyper-V role on a SBS 2008 or 2011 server will break stuff, for some additional information read here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/08/07/you-cannot-install-the-hyper-v-role-on-the-sbs-2008-primary-server.aspx

Hyper-V Host
So as we cannot enable the Hyper-V role on a SBS 2008 or 2011 server we need to install a Windows Server version on the physical hardware to function as a Host for the Virtual Machines. It is recommended that the Hyper-V Host will only hold the Hyper-V role and not to include any other roles or tasks. Only exception maybe for some management or backup tasks.

The Windows Server version we will choose is a real important decision, so let’s see what choices we have:
Hyper-V is included within Windows Server since version 2008 this was a version 1.0 and has a lot of limitations. I would not recommend using Windows Server 2008 to host the virtual machines. So I will limit to choice between the different server versions based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.

SBS 2011 Premium Add-on
When you already bought SBS 2011, you might have bought the SBS 2011 Premium Add-on (PAO) in addition. The SBS 2011 PAO includes a Windows Server 2008 R2 standard and SQL 2008 R2 license. With Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard you have the right to install the software on a physical machine and install one Virtual Machine with the same license. This is called virtualization rights (1+1), you may do this only when you do not install any other role on the Host installation other than the Hyper-V role. When you install another role you will lose this right and need to buy a separate license for the virtual installation.

This said the SBS 2011 PAO will be a perfect consideration to use for your Host installation and run SBS 2011 and a second Virtual Machine for SQL server and / or a LOB application or even a Remote Desktop Session Host (Terminal) Server.

Memory
So the SBS 2011 PAO looks like an ideal solution, but one limitation is worth naming. Windows Server 2008 R2 standard has a 32GB memory limitation, this might be a problem when running SBS 2011 standard and also have a memory consuming SQL / LOB application. SBS 2011 standard itself with especially Exchange 2010 is a very memory consuming product, if you also need to run a loaded SQL / LOB application server beside this 32 GB might not be enough.
The Windows Server 2008 R2 Host installation needs about 2 – 4 GB, a SBS 2011 Standard for 25 – 50 users will need at least 20 – 24 GB, so this only leaves 6 – 10 GB for your SQL / LOB application server, this might be a problem. So keep this in mind if you are a growing organization and see the limit coming it is not possible to just insert more memory in your server, Windows Server 2008 R2 standard has a hard limit of 32 GB memory.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter
If memory could be an issue you might consider Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter, they both have a memory limit of 2 TB, this is a significant improvement. Also if you need to run more than one additional Virtual Machine you might consider both, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise has an 1 to 4 virtualization right and Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter even 1 to unlimited. So with both version you will be far more flexible, but will cost considerably more than a standard or PAO version. Because also Windows Server 2012 is available at this moment I would not recommend these option only if you already own a license for these products it might be worth considering.

Hyper-V Server
If you do not have the SBS 2011 PAO or already have a Windows Server 2008 R2 license the free Hyper-V server might be worth considering. The free Hyper-V Server is a stripped Windows Server version with only the Hyper-V role included, there aren’t any other roles included.
The Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 has a memory limit of 1 TB and the Hyper-V Server 2012 has even a memory limit of 4 TB. There are no limitations between the Hyper-V server and the full blown versions of Windows Server, only thing is there is no graphical user interface (gui) on the Hyper-V Server. There is a small configuration menu to do some basic tasks but furthermore you need to configure and administer the server via a command window or via a remote management console.

For additional information about the Hyper-V Server look here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh923062.aspx

Windows Server 2012
If you are not comfortable with a non gui server or have no ability to remotely manage the server and also not have any license available the best option would be to go for a Windows Server 2012 edition. There are only 2 version applicable, the Standard and the Datacenter version, only difference between both versions are the Virtualization rights. Windows Server 2012 Standard has an 1 to 2 virtualization right and Datacenter even 1 to unlimited. Both version have a memory limit of 4 TB so no limitation anymore on the standard version.

Client Access Licenses
If you need one or two Virtual Machines beside the SBS 2008 or 2011 the Windows Server 2012 Standard is an ideal solution.
One thing to keep in mind is that when the Virtual Machines also are installed with Windows Server 2012, the SBS 2011 client access license (CALs) are not covered. SBS CALs cover for all servers in your SBS domain but up to the same version as is the base operating system (OS) of your SBS version. So with SBS 2008 this is Windows Server 2008 and for SBS 2011 this is Windows Server 2008 R2, if you install a newer version of Windows Server you need to buy separate CALs.

Overview
Enough considerations on which OS you could install on the physical hardware as Hyper-V Host. You have to keep in mind there is not one best choice available it all depends on your situation, do you already have licenses that can be used, are you comfortable using a server installation without a gui, how many Virtual Machines do you need to run, etc, etc. To make some choices easier here a little table with the different versions:

Version Memory Limit Virtualization rights
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (SBS 2011 PAO) 32 GB 1 + 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 2 TB 1 + 4
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter 2 TB 1 + unlimited
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 1 TB None
Hyper-V Server 2012 4 TB None
Windows Server 2012 Standard 4 TB 1 + 2
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter 4 TB 1 + unlimited

 
Because licensing is complex material I would recommend you contact your distributor or reseller if you have any doubt about the solution you would like to choose and verify if it fits your company.
If you want to read more about virtualization and licensing I would suggest reading this excellent post: http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=13090

 
Let’s continue with some other considerations if you could or could not virtualize the SBS 2008 or 2011 server.

SBS Backup
With SBS 2008 Microsoft introduced a wizard for configuring a backup, SBS Backup it is based on the Windows Backup but has its own configuration and monitoring options via the SBS console. It is easy to use and has no additional costs, you can configure backup to multiple disks, only thing is it only uses USB disks.

Problem is Hyper-V does not support USB redirection so you cannot attach the USB disks to a Virtual Machine and use them for SBS Backup. Of course there are some workarounds possible to attach an USB disk to a Virtual Machine, see this blog post http://blog.ronnypot.nl/?p=721 for some information, but this is probably not a supported workaround.
You can also create VHD files and attach them to the Virtual Machine and use them for SBS backup, but these VHD files are not attached and detached automatic and are not stored offline by default. You have to consider if this is a good alternative for you. Another option would be not using the wizards and interface but create command scripts using the command version (wbadmin.exe) of Windows Backup.

So if you want to use SBS Backup the way it is intended with USB disks, virtualization is not a good option.

USB redirection
As said there is no USB redirection with Hyper-V, this is for USB hard disks, but also for all other USB hardware, so no USB printers, scanners, drivers, dongles or what so ever.

Hardware
As there is no USB redirection it also is not possible to redirect some other hardware like, Fax boards, other pci cards, hardware dongles, etc.

So if you have any specific hardware that needs to be connected to a Virtual Machine you have to make sure this is possible, but in most cases this might be a configuration where virtualization is not an option.

Conclusion
The question to virtualize or not to virtualize cannot be simply answered with just a true or false, it all depends on many factors, decisions and considerations. Hope the information given in this blog will help you making the decision if you would virtualize your SBS 2008 or 2011 server or not.

 

Posted in Blog, Hyper-V, SBS 2008, SBS 2011, Windows 2008R2, Windows 2012 at February 8th, 2013. 1 Comment.

Windows Management Framework 3.0 with Small Business Server and Exchange servers (Updated)

Last week microsoft released Windows Management Framework (WMF) 3.0 which includes Powershell 3.0 (KB2506146 for Windows 2008 SP2 and KB2506143 for Windows Server 2008 R2) as an optional Windows update. So everyone can approve and install the update via Windows update, WSUS or any other updating mechanism you are using.

But installing this update on a Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 and 2011 or on an Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 will give all kind of trouble.

Symptoms for an Exchange Server:
Installation of Exchange update rollups will fail one of the errors is: error code of 80070643.

The Exchange Team wrote this blog about this issue. It states: “Windows Management Framework 3.0 (specifically PowerShell 3.0) is not yet supported on any version of Exchange except Exchange Server 2013. If you install Windows Management Framework 3.0 on a server running Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010, you will encounter problems, such as Rollups that will not install, or the Exchange Management Shell may not run properly.”

Symptoms for a Small Business Server:
When running some SBS wizards like the Fix My Network wizard it will end up with errors about access denied for the Exchange Management Shell.
Also other kind of problems may occur with the Exchange and / or SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and as written for Exchange Servers installation of Exchange update rollups may fail.

On the Small Business Server Blog there is a post on these issues.

Recommendation for both Exchange and Small Business Servers is to NOT install the Windows Management Framework 3.0 update at this time. If you already installed the update and encoutered the previously described problems, uninstall the update. Your server should be fine when it comes back online after a restart.

Update:
There is another problem reported in the Small Business Technet forum uninstallation of the also removes a registry key that gives problems to the event log. This is the key that is deleted: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ WINEVT \ Channels \ ForwardedEvents”

Anytime later in the same post there is a mention that the updates are removed from Microsoft Update:

As a result of these regressions and feedback from customers and experts like you, we have expired the WMF 3.0 Update for all platforms (Windows 7, Server 2008, and Server 2008 R2) as of 5:07 pm PDT.

2506143 Windows Management Framework 3.0 for Windows 7 (KB2506143)
Windows Management Framework 3.0 for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2506143)
Windows Management Framework 3.0 for Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems (KB2506143)

2506146 Windows Management Framework 3.0 for Windows Server 2008 (KB2506146)
Windows Management Framework 3.0 for Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems (KB2506146)

We’re engaged in an internal post-mortem to identify and resolve the issuesthat led to these updates being released that resulted in the regressions.

We work hard to ensure updates always release with an exceptionally high quality bar. That bar was not met for these updates and we’re working to ensure we can prevent this from happening again. Thank you for your feedback through this and other channels – and please keep providing helpful feedback so we can continue to improve.

doug neal
Microsoft Update (MU)

SBS Migration before you start

Because I get and see a lot of questions on the forums about migrations, how to’s but also about failures and people who don’t have backups to start over. So in this article I would put down some information what you could do to get your migration to a good end. Of course there is no one hundred percent guarantee, but there are some basics you should do that will help to bring it to a good end. I am writing this for a SBS migration but the steps can be used for most migration paths, SBS – SBS, Windows Server – SBS, SBS – Windows Server, Windows Server – Windows Server but also for Exchange migrations. It would be wise to read all information before you start your migration.

Backup

First thing before you even start should be to make sure you have a good backup. Make sure you have tested your server backup, so might something go wrong during migration you always can go back to the original situation. It sounds like something you should take for granted, but you would not be the first one that starts the migration and something went wrong and would go for recovery and then they came to the conclusion there wasn’t a good backup at all. So always test it before you start!

If your original server is a SBS 2003 server you can use the built in backup solution, see this document how to use it: Backing Up and Restoring Windows Small Business Server 2003.

Getting familiar with the migration process

Second before you even start with the migration would be getting yourself familiar with the migration process. What migration you are going to do (there are more guides available) you should at least read through the complete guide so you know what you can expect. Better would be to do a test migration, make a copy of your original server (backup or image) to another physical or virtual machine in a separated network environment and complete the migration process. Than you know exactly what you can expect during the migration. If you do not get a good feeling by the process just do it over and over again or get yourself some help by another it professional before you start the migration for real.

If you are not familiar with SBS 2011 there is a lot of online material (video’s, click thru’s, hands-on labs, etc) that can help you getting familiar with the configuration: Link 1, Link 2

Check the health of your source server

Next thing to do is to make sure your source (original) server is in a clean state and configured correctly. If the source server has already got problems before you start the migration, this will certainly end up in problems or failures.

What you at least should do, make sure your server is up to date with updates, service packs, fixes, etc. Run the best practice or health analyzers for your product(s), it will give you all kind of information about what is configured wrong. Run tools like dcdiag.exe and netdiag.exe to check your server configuration. Check your servers even logs for warning en error messages.
Make sure you fix all problems before you start the migration!

Beside the information given in the migration guides, these articles will give you some good advice about preparing your source server:

Setup phase

When your server is completely healthy, configured right, read all information in the previous steps and you are prepared. Make sure you follow your migration guide step by step and only continue when you are absolute sure you’ve completed the step entirely. Take your time; no one will notice anything from the migration until you are going to move data.

There are still some issues you could run into during the setup phase:

One of the problems that could give a failure is there is a time or time zone difference between the source and destination server. Make sure the time on the destination server is setup correctly in the bios.
Do not choose to install updates during the installation, this would take a lot of extra time and can give all kind of troubles during the installation / migration. It is best practice to install updates after you completed the installation.

Also see this article for some other known issues: SBS Team keys to success part 2 the setup phase.
When you run into a “Cannot connect to the domain” error message in the early stage of the installation there are still some steps you could do, see this article.

Now the actual installation can start, please not that this will take a couple of hours, so when the blue progress bar appears you could leave the server alone for a while.

Post Setup phase

When installation went successful you will see a screen Installation Finished, Run the Migration Wizard to continue migrating to Windows SBS. But if you ran into any problem, error or something else goes wrong, don’t just continue; make sure you completely understand what your problem is. Look at the SBS Team keys to success part 3 post setup and common failures for some known issues and resolutions. If your error is not there and you have no clue, ask some professional or try some community forum like: SBS Technet Forum or Expert Exchange they might have a solution. Otherwise it would be good to start over because continue with errors will in most cases end up in a bigger unresolvable problem.

Guides:

Here you will find some links to additional useful information and migration guides:

For a different migration approach with support you also take a look at SBS migration.

For a lot of SBS 2011 information also take a look at my SBS 2011 index file with a lot of installation and configuration and all kind of other information.

.

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008, SBS 2011 at January 12th, 2012. 5 Comments.

SBS 2008, Event ID 8: The SQLBrowser service was unable to process a client request. errors

The application eventlog of your SBS 2008 server is flooding with the following error more than once a minute.

Event ID: 8
Source: SQLBrowser
Description: “The SQLBrowser service was unable to process a client request.”

I have seen this on multiple servers and it looks like the issue occurs when you install an additional SQL instance and enables the SQL Browser service. This does not occur on a standard SBS 2008 server, because the SQL browser service is disabled by default.

Solution: After some research and found all kind of possible solutions, in my cases the problem was solved by enabling Named Pipes on the protocols for SBSMONITORING within SQL Server Configuration manager. If you have more SQL instance enable Named Pipes for all instances.

To change this go to, Start, All Programs, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Configuration Tools, SQL Server Configuration Manager. Browse to SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration (32bit) select Protocols for SBSMONITORING and rightclick Named Pipes and select Enable. Repeat this for every Instance you have additional created.

Also checked this only occurs to SBS 2008 servers with SBS 2011 never seen this problem.

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008, SQL 2005 at December 9th, 2011. 5 Comments.

How to troubleshoot, repair or reinstall parts of your SBS 2008 or 2011 server

When you have problems with or with parts of your windows small business server 2008 or 2011 and you need to troubleshoot, repair or reinstall on or more of the small business server components it is a good start to take a look at the small business server repair guide:

Windows Small Business Server 2008 Repair Guide

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard Repair Guide

Posted in Blog, Howto, SBS 2008, SBS 2011 at June 19th, 2011. No Comments.

How to send from an email address alias?

Most people have multiple aliases on their mailbox, with aliases on the same email domain or even with multiple domain names. But when you try to send from (send as) one of these aliases you get the following undeliverable error message returned:

“You can’t send a message on behalf of this user unless you have permission to do so. Please make sure you’re sending on behalf of the correct sender, or request the necessary permission. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.”

The answer to this problem is relatively easy, by default and design this isn’t possible, but there are a couple of workarounds available:

  • Create a separate mailbox and put the alias on the mailbox and configure it with send as permissions.
  • Create a distribution group and put the alias on the distribution group and configure it with send as permissions.
  • Create a dummy pop account in outlook and configure the alias as email address.
  • There are some third party tools available that create a workaround.



Workaround 1:
Create a separate mailbox and put the alias on the mailbox and configure it with send as permissions.

First we start with removing the alias we want to send as from the original mailbox.

Now we create a new mailbox, give it a logical name, etc. and give the alias as email address.

After the account has been created we need to set Send As permissions for the newly created account. We do this via the Exchange management console by right clicking on the newly created mailbox and choose Manage Send As permissions…

Add the original user (user@domain.com) to grant Send As permission for the alias@seconddomain.com

Now you are able to send as user@domain.com also with the alias@seconddomain.com address.

We do this by using the From… field in outlook, add the alias in the from field when you want to send from the alias. When you don’t see the from field go to the options menu and choose Show From.

Best thing to do is click the From… button and select the alias mailbox from the address list.

Of course when email is send to the alias@seconddomain.com it now will be delivered to this newly created mailbox. If you would like to receive the email just as before in the same mailbox (user@domain.com), then go to the properties of the newly created alias mailbox and choose the Mail Flow Settings tab, select Delivery Options… and choose properties.

Add the original mailbox at the Forward to: field, via the Browse… button. Now all mail is forwarded to your original mailbox and all mail will be in same mailbox as before removing the alias.




Workaround 2:
Create a distribution group and put the alias on the distribution group and configure it with send as permissions.

First we start with removing the alias we want to send as from the original mailbox.

Now we create a new distribution group, give it a logical name, I always give it the name of the email alias and set the alias as email address.

Then we add the original mailbox as only member.

Now we need to set the Send As permissions for the original mailbox (user@domain.com) on the newly created distribution list. This cannot be done via the exchange management console, we have to use the exchange management shell.

This is the command syntax: Add-ADPermission “public folder name ” -ExtendedRights Send-As -user “Domain\Username”

Now you are able to send as user@domain.com also with the alias@seconddomain.com address.

We do this by using the From… field in outlook, add the alias in the from field when you want to send from the alias. When you don’t see the from field go to the options menu and choose Show From.

Best thing to do is click the From… button and select the alias distribution group from the address list.




Workaround 3:
Create a dummy pop account in outlook and configure the alias as email address.

WARNING: This option is the least recommended, because setting up this will create the posibillity to open a security hole for smtp virusses.

With this workaround we leave the email aliases as they are on the mailbox. We are going to configure a dummy / fake pop account in outlook, so no server configuration needed.
Open outlook and go to Account Settings, choose for New…, choose the email services that include Pop3, choose for manual configure server settings and choose Internet E-mail (Pop).

At Your Name: we give your name (this is the name the receiver will see), at E-mail Address we give alias@seconddomain.com, at incoming mail server, just give in something it doesn’t matter, at outgoing mail server give in your Exchange server and at username and password give in your logon credentials (the users domain account credentials).

Choose More Settings…

Make sure that you enable “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication” on the Outgoing Server tab. This is needed to let you send via your exchange server, then finish the wizard.

Now you are able to send as user@domain.com also with the alias@seconddomain.com address.

We do this by using the Account button that is created after creating the dummy pop account. You just choose the email address you would like to send your email from.



Conclusion:
So you see there are a couple of workarounds available, which one is the best, there isn’t it all depends on your needs and wishes.



Prevent SBS Console to start automatically on Small Business Server 2008 or 2011

When you logon to a Windows Small Business Server 2008 or 2011 the SBS Console is started automatically. If you don’t want the SBS Console to start automatic you can prevent this by changing the following Task schedule.

Open Administrative Tools – Task Scheduler, go to Task Scheduler Library – Microsoft – Windows – Windows Small Business Server 2008 or 2011 Standard.

Right click Console task in the right windows and choose disable. Next time you logon the SBS Console will not be started at logon.

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008, SBS 2011 at April 30th, 2011. 5 Comments.

Folder InetPub LogFiles are filling up the c drive of your SBS 2008 or 2011 server

The C drive of your Small Business Server 2008 or 2011 is filling rapidly and when you look with a disk analyzer tool like treesize or windirstat you see that the folder C:\inetpub\logs\LogFiles\W3SVC and a 9 or 10 digit number is several or even dozens of GB. When you open one of the logfiles you see only lines with “POST /ApiRemoting30/WebService.asmx – 8530” in it.

The log file directory belongs to the WSUS Administration IIS website, this is using port 8530. But it is not WSUS that is filling these logfiles rapidly but they are filled if you let the SBS console open. Beside closing the SBS console when not needed, there are 2 option to keep the log files under control.

Option 1:
Open Administrative Tools – Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, browse through Sites and select the WSUS Administration site and open Logging.

You have 2 options, first you can set the “maximum file size (in bytes):” option under Log file rollover to limit the maximum log file size.
Second option is to completely disable logging, by choosing “Disable” on the Actions menu on the right.

Make sure after you changed anything choose Apply on the upper right and do a iisreset.

Option 2:
The another way for controlling these logfiles is, in SBS 2011 there is by default a scheduled task configured that cleans the logfiles older than 100 days. The same task is added to SBS 2008 by installing Update Rollup 5 (KB2458094) only the default setting with this task is to delete the logfile older than 30 days.

You can change the number of days by opening Administrative Tools, Task Scheduler, go to Microsoft, Windows, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, right click the WSUSLogCleaner task and choose properties. Go to the tab Actions and choose Edit…

The value given by Add arguments (optional) is the value for the number of days the logfiles will be kept. So if your logfile directory is stil really big you can decrease the number of days to something more manageable like 30 days or if this is still to much to something like 14 days.

Conclusion:
The grown of the logfiles is caused by not closing the SBS console. My logfiles have shrunken to 20% of the original size with the console open whole day. There are 2 options to control the growth of these logfiles, IIS to disable logging or maximize the logfile size or the task added in sbs 2008 rollup 5 or sbs 2011 to control the maximum number of days logfiles are kept.

Update:
If you would prevent SBS Console from startup automatically read on here

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008, SBS 2011 at April 15th, 2011. 17 Comments.

File Replication Journal Wrap and Sysvol errors with Small Business Server migration

When doing a migration from Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 to SBS 2008, SBS 2011 or Windows server standard version, one of the first things you should do is run the SBS 2003 Best Practices Analyzer and of course check your event log for known problems.

One of the issues I see often is the sysvol, journal wrap Event ID 13568, Source NtFrs in the File Replication Eventlog.

———————————————————————————————————————————–
The File Replication Service has detected that the replica set “DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)” is in JRNL_WRAP_ERROR.

Replica set name is    : “DOMAIN SYSTEM VOLUME (SYSVOL SHARE)”
Replica root path is   : “c:\windows\sysvol\domain”
Replica root volume is : “\\.\C:”
A Replica set hits JRNL_WRAP_ERROR when the record that it is trying to read from the NTFS USN journal is not found.  This can occur because of one of the following reasons.

[1] Volume “\\.\C:” has been formatted.
[2] The NTFS USN journal on volume “\\.\C:” has been deleted.
[3] The NTFS USN journal on volume “\\.\C:” has been truncated. Chkdsk can truncate the journal if it finds corrupt entries at the end of the journal.
[4] File Replication Service was not running on this computer for a long time.
[5] File Replication Service could not keep up with the rate of Disk IO activity on “\\.\C:”.
Setting the “Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore” registry parameter to 1 will cause the following recovery steps to be taken to automatically recover from this error state.
[1] At the first poll, which will occur in 5 minutes, this computer will be deleted from the replica set. If you do not want to wait 5 minutes, then run “net stop ntfrs” followed by “net start ntfrs” to restart the File Replication Service.
[2] At the poll following the deletion this computer will be re-added to the replica set. The re-addition will trigger a full tree sync for the replica set.

WARNING: During the recovery process data in the replica tree may be unavailable. You should reset the registry parameter described above to 0 to prevent automatic recovery from making the data unexpectedly unavailable if this error condition occurs again.

To change this registry parameter, run regedit.

Click on Start, Run and type regedit.

Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
Click down the key path:
   “System\CurrentControlSet\Services\NtFrs\Parameters”
Double click on the value name
   “Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore”
and update the value.

If the value name is not present you may add it with the New->DWORD Value function under the Edit Menu item. Type the value name exactly as shown above.———————————————————————————————————————————–

Fixing this issue is in most cases relative simple just add the “Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore” registry key noted in the event log and change the value to “1” and restart the “File Replication Service” service.

Before changing the registry key I would recommend to make a backup from the C:\Windows\Sysvol folder.

But after doing that there appeared a new warning message in the File Replication Eventlog, Event ID 13566, Source Ntfrs.

———————————————————————————————————————————–
File Replication Service is scanning the data in the system volume. computer <domain name> cannot become a domain controller until this process is complete. The system volume will then be shared as SYSVOL.

To check for the SYSVOL share, at the command prompt, type:
net share

When File Replication Service completes the scanning process, the SYSVOL share will appear.

The initialization of the system volume can take some time. The time is dependent on the amount of data in the system volume.———————————————————————————————————————————–

As stated you have to wait a while, but I could wait as long as I want but the sysvol share doesn’t appear.

Solution: At the end the solution seems to be that the ntfrs jet database was corrupted. To solve the problem:

Stop the “File Replication Service” service

Rename the “C:\windows\ntfrs\jet” folder

Start the “File Replication Service” service

One other thing that could happen is the folders under Windows\Sysvol are moved to a subfolder called “NtFrs_PreExisting_See_EventLog”. If you have more than one domain controller this is no problem and the folders will be replicated from another domain controller, but if you only have one domain controller which is mostly the case when using SBS. You can copy the right folders back from the backup you made before, or just move them out of the “NtFrs_PreExisting_See_EventLog” folder to one level up.

Solve these problems before you are starting your migration otherwise you will run into replication errors.

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008, SBS 2011 at April 7th, 2011. 29 Comments.

Monitoring and Reporting in Windows Small Business Server 2008 doesn’t work

When you open the SBS console and go to the Reports part. You receive the following error: “There was an error while loading data for this page.”

Also no Reports or information is showed and the Add a new report isn’t clickable after closing the error message.

When you take a look at the C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs\Console.log you see the following message:

[9224] 110302.203758.5574: Exception:
—————————————
An exception of type ‘Type: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException, System.Data, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’ has occurred.
Timestamp: 03/02/2011 20:37:58
Message: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 – Error Locating Server/Instance Specified)
Stack: at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.GetConnection(DbConnection owningObject)
at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionFactory.GetConnection(DbConnection owningConnection)
at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionClosed.OpenConnection(DbConnection outerConnection, DbConnectionFactory connectionFactory)
at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.Open()
at Microsoft.WindowsServerSolutions.SystemHealth.Monitoring.MonitoringSQLDataStore.GetAlertCountPerType(ComputerType type)

Solution: It looks like the SBSMonitoring SQL Server instance is by default on disabled.

Go to Administrative tools, services and change the startup type to Automatic and start the service.

Posted in Blog, SBS 2008 at March 3rd, 2011. No Comments.
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