Going virtual with your domain controllers

If you plan to convert your physical domain controllers into virtual servers, you probably know there is a lot to consider prior to the move. But what you might not know is that Active Directory doesn't like being restored from the image, which what all physical-to-virtual conversion tools (Acronis, Ghost, etc.) are doing. It doesn't matter if you are trying to convert your physical server to a virtual or if you're converting your server from one virtual format to another (for example, Vmware-to-VPC, or vice versa).

After the conversion, replication process breaks and the error starts appearing in the log files "The source server is currently rejecting replication requests"; the same error pops up when you try to run dcpromo command. Obviously if the problem is not resolved within 60 days, that domain controller will get tombstoned by Active Directory, which is not very good. Most of the websites suggest to forcibly remove that domain controller from the Active Directory by running dcpromo / forceremoval and then cleaning up your schema using metadatacleanup of ntdsutil. To me this solution is not only too drastic, but often is not an option because it might cause more problems than it will resolve.

After an extensive research I have finally found a solution that has worked for me. The solution is actually pretty simple: you simply need to enable inbound and outbound replication on the "faulty" domain controller.

To enable inbound replication, run:

repadmin /options SERVERNAME -disable_inbound_repl

To enable outbound replication, run:

repadmin /options SERVERNAME -disable_outbound_repl


And the error disappears J

Piping STSADM command

I recently discovered that piping can be used in conjunction with STSADM command. I always found it difficult to use that command. It has too many options and parameters that are not always obvious and often very difficult to use. Piping makes it easier to use STSADM command, it can be used for search through STSADM keywords in the commands: For example, stsadm | find "enum" can be used to find all STSADM keywords related to enumeration within SharePoint. Or, you can also use pipe | more to paginate the STSADM output, which could be very useful.

You can also redirect STSADM output using the redirecting command: stsadm > filename >& This can be very helpful when you need to generate an output and view it later, or if you need to export that output into a different application.

I realize it's very basic, but it's the basic things like this that help me save time and keep my sanity.

How open source has influenced Windows Server 2008

I have found a very interesting article on Technet on how open source community has influenced Windows Server 2008. I think it is very encouraging that Microsoft is taking user’s feedback seriously and trying to integrating the improvements developed by open source community into its system. And, if they make a few bucks along the way by doing this, so be it.

One has to admit, there's no better enterprise level system then Windows server. Not yet, anyway. It's streamlined and well designed; it's an excellent tool for desktop and user support/control (OUs and policies). Exchange, ISA, WSUS, and many others integrate naturally into AD. It is about what public knows the best, at work, at home, and in the library. As much as I love Linux, it's not even close to being there. It's all dispersed, scattered-around collection of technology DIY's, that works, but has no core. For those who want to learn more about Windows Server 2008 and, as I am, are too lazy to read a book, here are some clear installation instructions from TrainSignal:


It will be interesting to see a similar lists for other Microsoft products, such as Office, SQL Server or Visual Studio.

Editing SharePoint documents (WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007) in Microsoft Windows Vista/Office 2007

Users of Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 might have encountered an error "Unknown error trying to lock file" when they click Edit Document. This error however didn't occur for users of Microsoft XP with Office 2007. As far as I know the problem occurred because of the changes made in the Web Client service in Vista and the way Office was communicating with Sharepoint. Installing Microsoft hotfix 943280 and patching your Web Folders with 907306 didn't resolve the problem. Trying numerous workarounds described on the web didn't resolve the problem either. The only workaround that worked setting the office applications to run in "Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode", but then why would you run Windows Vista. You could say this is another reason to go back old Windows XP.

Luckily with the release of SP1 for Vista this problem disappears! So, thank you Microsoft for solving this problem, although I hope such problems will be resolved faster and more efficiently. I would wish that those problems will not exist in the first place, but then I start thinking that if all software would run smoothly, it will make a life of IT guys pretty boring. So, thank you Microsoft for keeping IT guys busy/employed! J

Note: Don't forget to upgrade your SharePoint servers to SP1.

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