Friday, August 28, 2009

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 doesn't work with VDI

XP Mode won’t run on any virtual machine running on a hypervisor. Virtual Desktops directly running on blades (no hypervisor) will work however. Med-V is the management bit, part of MDOP that is used to manage the virtual images.


XP Mode uses a hardware assisted version of Microsoft Virtual PC to allow the use of XP compatible applications on Vista/7. You can’t use hardware assisted Virtual PC on a machine running on a hypervisor as it requires the hardware assist (VT) from the processor. Virtual Processors don’t have hardware assist. The current version of XP mode uses Virtual PC, but would one would suspect that this will change to an embedded Hyper-V at some stage.

So how does this affect me?

If you thought that VDI was an easy hop to migrating to Windows 7, think again, the much touted Microsoft application compatibility pieces won’t work without using another mechanism.

Will XP Mode run on my laptop?

Only if your chipset supports hardware assist, and if your vendor has added the ability to enable it in your BIOS!

Won’t Citrix Application Streaming/App-V/ThinApp/Altiris SVS etc. resolve this?

Nope, if the application is packaged as a virtual application, it won’t change the OS compatibility of the said application. If it doesn’t work using traditional installation, it won’t work isolated either. Remember its isolated from other applications, not the OS.

So how do I get those pesky XP applications running in my VMs?

Two ways:
1. You could use XenApp running Windows 2003, which combined with either XenApp Streamed Applications or App-V (to provide isolation and application sociability) would support almost all XP applications.
2. You could use VM hosted Apps. Citrix is releasing application publishing from a desktop OS in Q3 - more info here

Hang on, what about Laptop hypervisors, Citrix/Intel Project Independence and the like?

Same story, Windows 7 running on a desktop hypervisor won’t be able to use XP Mode. The difference here is that you can run the XP applications on a second VM on the same device, moreover there will even be elegant ways of accessing the XP applications from within the Windows 7 desktop. Better or worse than XP mode? - Performance will probably be better as you are using a type 1 hypervisor for the application.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exchange Server 2010 Beta1 Known Issues & Solutions

Exchange 2010 has many new features, advance administration methods, significant changes in Information Store to give better performance, new and simple high-availability approach and role based access control features for permissions.

As we know that Exchange 2010 product is still under development and being optimized, so here are certain FAQs, Tips and Known Issues which might help you to evaluate it easily and save your time while finding solutions or workarounds on some common queries and issues.

1. Production Use?

First question comes in your mind while testing Exchange 2010 Beta1 is, can I use Exchange 2010 Beta 1 in production?
~ Answer is "NO", here is an official article from Exchange Team on why you shouldn’t use Beta in production environment.

2. Windows 2008 Editions

~ Exchange 2010 can be installed on Windows 2008 & Windows 2008 R2 but wait…

2.1 Can I install Exchange 2010 on Windows 2008 Server Core?
~ No, Exchange 2010 can NOT be installed on Windows 2008 Server Core, it requires full edition of Windows 2008 Standard or Enterprise.
~ Reason is, Exchange requires some of the components which are not supported on Windows 2008 Server Core, example is .Net Framework.

2.2 Can I use Exchange 2010 Beta 1 with Windows 2008 R2?
~ Yes, you can use Windows 2008 R2 but read below couple of points.

2.2.1 Which build of Windows 2008 R2 I can use for Exchange 2010 testing?
Exchange 2010 Beta1 PowerShell & WinRM are incompatible with post 7000 build of Windows R2 and requires wire-level change so it can be installed
only on build 7000 of R2 and not on later builds so keep in mind if you are planning to install it on R2.

2.2.2 You may get below error while accessing EMC on Windows 2008 R2

Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message : The WinRM client received an HTTP server error status (500), but the remote service did not include any other information about the cause of the failure. It was running command ‘Discover-ExchangeServer -UseWIA $true’.

This is know issue and to solve it follow below two steps…
~ Disable “Anonymous Authentication” on PowerShell virtual directory of IIS.
~ Enable remote powershell for user with below cmdlet in “Exchange Management
Shell (Local Powershell)”
Set-User “User Name” -RemotePowerShellEnabled $true

3. Coexistence

Coexistence with legacy Exchange versions (2007or 2003) is NOT supported with Exchange 2010 Beta1. We may need to wait for next release of Exchange 2010.

4. Installation

4.1 Domain & Forest Functional Levels of your AD environment

Exchange 2010 requires Domain and Forest (both) Functional Levels to at least Windows 2003. You can refer below articles to raise Functional Levels of your AD to Windows 2003.

4.2 Setup fails at Hub Transport Server role installation with below error

The execution of: “$error.Clear(); if ($RoleStartTransportService) { start-SetupService -ServiceName MSExchangeTransport }”, generated the following error: “Service ‘MSExchangeTransport’ failed to reach status ‘Running’ on this server.”

~ This could be because you have disabled IPv6 in Local Area Connection. Correct method to disable IPv6 is with Registry Key and remove the entry from hosts file.
Refer below article.

4.3 You get below error while running installation

"An error occurred while copying file D:\Exchange2010-Beta1-x64\…\templates editor.msc"

~ Copy Setup dump to local hard drive and execute Exchange 2010 setup from there.
~ Make sure that account, being used to run Exchange 2010 setup, has Domain, Enterprise and Schema Admin rights.

4.4 You may get below error while installing additional Mailbox Server in Exchange 2010 Beta1 environment

"Object reference not set to an instance of an object"

~ This might be due to "Admin Audit Log Agent" Cmdlet Extension Agents enabled in your environment. This will be resolved in later builds but current Workaround for this problem is disable Admin Audit Log Agent with below cmdlet.
Disable-CmdletExtensionAgent "Admin Audit Log Agent"

5. Exchange Management Console / Shell Tips

5.1 When you try to access EMS/EMC with newly created administrator account, you get below error

Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message : Access is denied.
At C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\ConnectFunctions.ps1:154 char:28
+ $global:r = new-pssession <<<< -connectionURI
https://$fqdn/powershell -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -Authentication NegotiateWithImplicitCredential -SessionOption $sessionOption #-erroraction silentlycontinue
+ CategoryInfo : OpenError: (System.Manageme….RemoteRunspace:RemoteRunspace) [New-PSSession], PSRemotingTransportException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : RemoteRunspaceOpenFailed


Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message: Access is denied. It was running command ‘Discover-ExchangeServer -UseWIA $true’

You need to enable Remote Powershell for newly created Admin account with below cmdlet.
Set-User “User Name” -RemotePowerShellEnabled $true

5.2 When you click on CAS Server properties you may get below error

Microsoft Exchange
Unable to create IIS (Internet Information Service) directory entry. Error Message is: Access is denied.
. HResult = -2147024891 It was running command ‘get-ActiveSyncVirtualDirectory’.

This is know issue with current Beta1 and you need to add "Microsoft Exchange Security Groups\ Exchange Trusted Subsystem" group to Local Administrators group on all Exchange servers and Restart the CAS server.

5.3 If you create User with ADU&C and enable mailbox with EMC/EMS, now while removing the same mailbox in EMC you get below error

Active Directory operation failed on This error is not retriable. Additional information: Access is denied.
Active directory response: 00000005: SecErr: DSID-03151D12, problem 4003 (INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS), data 0

Solution: You need to use EMS to remove the mailbox with Remove-Mailbox cmdlet.

5.4 How to manage mailbox folder permission with EMS

This is one of the New Mailbox and Recipient Functionality in Exchange 2010. Let’s take an example here, if you want permission on a folder named "SharedFolder1" of User1’s mailbox to User2 in Exchange Management Shell.

~ You can use Add-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet. But what is the format of folder name which we should pass in cmdlet to give permission? So, format should be blow.

Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity User1:\SharedFolder1 -AccessRights Editor -User User2

6. Mailbox Access & Client Issues

6.1 How can I access Exchange 2010 mailbox?
~ You can access mailbox with MAPI clients like Outlook 2007 or 2003, OWA premium experience with IE, FireFox & Safari browser or Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 devices.

6.2 Outlook 2007 is not able to access mailbox and/or unable to start "MSExchange Rpc Client Access" Service
This is know issue and it will be corrected in later build. Workaround is to add below two registry keys on Exchange 2010 Server.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ MSExchangeIS\ParametersSystem]
"Mapi Rpc Endpoint Registration"=dword:00000002
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ MSExchangeRPC\ParametersSystem]

6.3 Outlook 2003 is unable to access mailbox
RPC/MAPI Mailbox access with Outlook 2003 may not work while testing in Beta1, you need to use Outlook 2007 to gain mailbox access. You may use RPC/HTTPs method with Outlook 2003 to access Mailbox.

7. Public Folders Access & Client Issues

7.1 Public Folder Support in Exchange 2010

Public Folder is fully supported in Exchange 2010 life cycle as Exchange team is already announced earlier.
But you need to start looking for other alternative if PFs are being heavily used in your organization, Share Point is a good alternative from that stand point.

7.2 Where is Public Folder option in OWA?

Public Folder, Notes, Tasks, Views etc… modules are not included in current Beta, these will be available in later builds.

7.3 Unable to access Public Folder in Outlook 2007 and you get below error

"Cannot expand the folder. The set of folders cannot be opened. Your profile is not configured"

Public Folder access has problem with MAPI/RPC Outlook 2007 profile and can not be accessible, this will be corrected in later build.

8. Outlook Web Access

8.1 Certain features (like drag and drop items) are not yet fully implemented in this version of Beta to work on Firefox and Safari web browser so you can still find some gaps and which will be covered by RTM

8.2 OWA, where is integrated IM and Presence functionality?
~ IM & Presence functionality is not yet included into Beta1 so we may need to wait for next build releases.
~ However You need to have Office Communications Server 2007 R2 installed in your environment to have basic IM functionality then you can configure an integration between OCS and Exchange OWA to connect together and give you status indication (presence information) of other persons, have chat with them etc…

8.3 OWA gives blank display with below in address bar
You may need to reinstall CAS server role and IIS.

9. Exchange Control Panel (ECP)

9.1 When you click on Options in OWA to login on ECP, again it asks for authentication
~ This is expected behaviour in Beta1 because ECP virtual directory doesn’t support FBA yet. This will be corrected by RTM releases of Exchange 2010.

9.2 Authentication fails when you click on Options button in OWA and you get below error

Unexpected Error – An error occurred and your request couldn’t be completed. Please try again.

~ This happens if you are accessing OWA with FQDN of your OWA address like but didn’t set urls on virtual directories.
~ You need to set InternalURL to
https://FQDNofExchange/OWA and ExternalURL to of OWA virtual directory with Set-OWAVirtualDirectory cmdlet.

Set-OWAVirtualDirectory “Owa (Default Web Site)” –InternalURL “https://FQDNofExchange/owa” –ExternalURL “”

~ Similarly for ECP directory with Set-ECPVirtualDirectory cmdlet. Once these are configured it prompts for passwords (Refer #9.1) and authentication redirects to ECP.

Set-ECPVirtualDirectory “Ecp (Default Web Site)” –InternalURL “https://FQDNofExchange/ECP” –ExternalURL “”

10. Archive or Alternate Mailbox

10.1 How to create Archive Mailbox?
You can use below cmdlet to create archive mailbox. In later builds you can create archive mailbox in EMC too.

New-AlternateMailbox -Name User-Archive -Mailbox UserName -Type Archive

10.2 Where will be Archiving mailbox created?

~ Archive mailbox will be created automatically on the same mailbox database where primary mailbox of user is available.

10.3 Does discoveries feature work on Archive mailbox to find emails by Compliance Officer?
Yes, Compliance Officer can search emails from Archive Mailbox. Exchange Control Panel (ECP) is an interface for Discovery feature of Exchange 2010.

10.4 How to access Archive Mailbox?
It can be accessed via
OWA or Outlook 2010 but unfortunately OWA doesn’t have that feature included in current Beta1 to access Archive Mailbox and beta version of Outlook 2010 will be released in Q3 so we may need to wait until next build of Exchange 2010 available.

11. MailTips

11.1 What are supported clients for MailTips feature?
~ MailTips are supported in OWA and Outlook 2010.
~ But current Exchange 2010 public beta doesn’t have this feature module ported in OWA and Outlook 2010 Beta has not released yet so we may need to wait for next releases of Exchange 2010…

12. High Availability & Recovery

12.1 Database Availability Groups (DAG)

12.1.1 You get below error while adding a server into DAG by using EMC

Insufficient permissions to view the network shares on machines . Error code 5.

~ This is known issue, remote powershell can add a server in DAG since it requires to install Windows Failover Cluster (WFC) components which are not accessible through remote powershell.
~ Use "Exchange Management Shell (Local Powershell)" to add the server into DAG with Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer cmdlet.

Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer E2010SRV1

12.2 What is the alternative of Recovery Storage Group (RSG)?

~ As we know that there Storage Group concept is deprecated and we have only Databases so now we can use Recovery Databases for recovery purpose.
~ Here are cmdlets to create Recovery Database and to restore mailbox.
New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery
Restore-Mailbox -Identity -RecoveryDatabase -RecoveryMailbox


Finally, a Tax Reform of Substance

Recently, the Finance Minister proposed the new Direct Tax Code that is likely to be effective from 2011. This proposed Code will in effect replace the Income Tax Act, 1961. Broadly it proposes to:
  • Raise the tax slabs for individuals substantially as per the table below:
    Tax RateExisting (Rs)Proposed (Rs)
    30%Above 500,000Above 2,500,000
    (Source: Direct Tax Code Bill, 2009)
  • Increase the Section 80C limit from Rs 1 lacs to Rs 3 lacs
  • Make the investments in saving schemes like provident fund, life insurance, New Pension Schemes, EET (Exempt-Exempt-Tax). This will be applicable to all contributions made after the commencement of the Code
  • Scrap the exemption on the interest on home loans of Rs 1.5 lacs
  • Abolish Securities Transaction Tax (STT). This will bring down the transaction cost for investors
  • Remove the distinction between short-term and long-term Capital Gains Tax. This means capital gains will be taxed irrespective of the investment horizon
  • Raise the wealth tax limit to Rs 500 lacs and lower the rate to 0.25%
The new Direct Tax Code has to be first passed by Parliament before it can be implemented. When implemented, it will boost savings of individuals.


Exchange Server 2007 SP2 and VSS Backups support in Windows Server 2008

Exchange Server 2007 SP2 includes a VSS plug-in for Windows Server Backup to support Exchange backups. Once SP2 is installed, you can use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore your Exchange 2007 SP2 databases.

The new plug-in is delivered in the form of a single executable called WSBExchange.exe. This plug-in is automatically installed by SP2 on all Exchange 2007 Mailbox servers. The plug-in enables Windows Server Backup to be able to make Exchange-aware VSS backups as described below:

  • Backups are VSS-based only. You cannot perform streaming ESE backups using Windows Server Backup with or without the plug-in.
  • Backups taken with Windows Server Backup occur at volume level. To back up a storage group and database, you must back up the entire volume containing the storage group and database. You cannot back up any data without backing up the entire volume containing the data.
  • The backup must be run locally on the server being backed up, and you cannot use the plug-in to take remote VSS backups. There is no remote administration of Windows Server Backup or the plug-in. You can, however, use Remote Desktop or Terminal Services to remotely manage Windows Server Backup and your backup jobs.
  • The backup can be created on a local drive, or on a remote network share.
  • Only Full backups can be taken. Log truncation will occur only after a successful completion of a full backup of a volume containing an Exchange storage group and database.
  • The plug-in does not support the Exchange Replication VSS Writer; as a result, you cannot perform backups of passive copies of databases in a continuous replication environment.
  • When restoring data, it is possible to restore only Exchange data. This data can be restored to its original location, or to an alternate location. If you restore the data to its original location, Windows Server Backup and the plug-in will automatically handle the recovery process, including dismounting any existing databases and replaying logs into the recovered database.
  • The restore process does not directly support the Recovery Storage Group (RSG). However, if you restore the data to an alternate location, then you can manually move the restored data from the alternate location into an RSG, if needed.
  • When restoring Exchange data, all backed up storage groups must be restored together. You cannot restore a single storage group or database.