Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re-installing Network Clients/Servers from the Command Line

On Monday, I was helping a client work through their planning and testing of a Novell to Microsoft migration. One of the issues in their environment is that "Client for Microsoft Networks" and "File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks" had both been uninstalled from all of their workstations. Not disabled, uninstalled. Without them, joining the domain and other migration processes weren't going to happen. I spent some time looking for a method of remotely installing those pieces to avoid the client having to go around to each workstation and install them. I ended up finding a great solution that did exactly what we needed (and worked) and was feeling like a genius. My genius was fleeting as moments later I learned a co-worker not more than 15 feet away on the other side of a cubicle wall knew all about my "solution" and had been using it for years at other clients and projects.

In any event, I thought it was worthwhile enough to capture and post. The solution conisists of two Microsoft provided utilities that are well hidden and documented even less, snetcfg.exe and snetcfg_wxp.exe. One is for XP and the other for 2000. I'll let you figure out which is which...

JSI FAQ has the details on the utility and the various command line switches for the Windows 2000 version here. As far as I can tell, the switches are the same for the XP version. Also note that the link to the XP version on the JSI FAQ page is incorrect, it links to the Windows 2000 version. Use the link in the paragraph above to get it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Installing SQL 2000 MSDE SP4

The command line necessary to install SQL 2000 SP4 on an MSDE installation is not very well documented. I have had a couple of cases recently where I needed to install it and each time had to go looking for it. For anyone interested, here it is (the setup.exe is the setup included in the extracted SP4 files):

setup.exe /upgradesp sqlrun /l*v c:\msdelog.log

If you haven't already set the SA password, you'll need to do it when you install the service pack.  In this case, add the SAPWD parameter to the end of the command:

setup.exe /upgradesp sqlrun /l*v c:\msdelog.log SAPWD=<password>

For specific SQL instances, you will need to specify the SQL instance name.  For example, to upgrade the MSDE instance for ISA Server 2006, you'll need to specify an instance name of "MSFW":

setup.exe /upgradesp sqlrun /l*v INSTANCENAME=MSFW c:\msdelog.log SAPWD=<password>

Friday, July 13, 2007

Changing the Windows GINA

Ran into a Novell to Microsoft migration case where the client wants to leave the Novell client on the Windows XP workstations to allow access to non-migrated volumes, but wants the user to have the Microsoft GINA for login. When all the volumes are migrated, then the client will be removed or the workstation will be reimaged. The change itself is simple is relatively simple. To replace the Novell GINA with the Microsoft GINA, edit the registry under the following key:

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Change the data value GinaDLL from "NWGINA.DLL" to "MSGINA.DLL" (without the quotation marks). This changes the GINA, but the Novell client still prompts for authentication to Novell after you log in to the Windows GINA. To stop that, you need to make a change to this registry key:

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Novell\Network Provider\Initial Login

Add a string value called Login when NWGina Not Loaded (unless it already exists of course) and set the value to "no". You'll find that you still get a nice Novell splash screen and we don't want that! To turn it off, you'll need to make a change to this registry key:

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetWareWorkstation\Parameters

Add a dword value called NoLogoDisplay (unless it already exists) and set the value to 1. Finally, if you don't want the big red N in the tray, you'll need to remove the NWTRAY value from the following registry key:

HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

And now the Novell client is fully "disabled". You can still log on to Novell by going to the Programs - Novell and logging in from there.

Outlook 2007 Autodiscover Whitepaper

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 includes the ability to automatically configure user accounts. Outlook uses one of two discovery mechanisms to automatically configure accounts: Autodiscover and Common Settings Discover. This whitepaper describes how the discovery mechanisms work, and how an administrator can modify settings in an XML file to configure Autodiscover for an organization.

Outlook 2007 Autodiscover Whitepaper

Thursday, July 12, 2007

AD Explorer v1.0

A nice Microsoft/Sysinternals provided AD utility to have handy. From Microsoft:

Active Directory Explorer (AD Explorer) is an advanced Active Directory (AD) viewer and editor. You can use AD Explorer to easily navigate an AD database, define favorite locations, view object properties and attributes without having to open dialog boxes, edit permissions, view an object's schema, and execute sophisticated searches that you can save and re-execute.

AD Explorer also includes the ability to save snapshots of an AD database for off-line viewing and comparisons. When you load a saved snapshot, you can navigate and explorer it as you would a live database. If you have two snapshots of an AD database you can use AD Explorer's comparison functionality to see what objects, attributes and security permissions changed between them.

AD Explorer works on Windows 2000 and higher.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Junk E-mail Reporting Tool

Here’s something every user of Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 should have, the Junk E-mail Reporting Tool. Here’s the overview from Microsoft:

The Junk E-mail Reporting Tool submits e-mail to Microsoft when you explicitly choose to do so. If you receive a junk e-mail and want to report it to us for analysis, first select the e-mail in Outlook and then click the junk e-mail button on your tool bar. You will see a pop-up window asking whether you want to report the selected e-mail to Microsoft and its affiliates. When you click “Yes” to confirm that you’d like to report the selected e-mail as junk e-mail, the junk e-mail will be deleted from your Inbox and sent to FrontBridge, a Microsoft company, for analysis to help us improve the effectiveness of our junk e-mail filtering technologies.

It beats simply adding them to your blocked senders, since the spam never comes from the same address twice anyway…