Best Practice Ezine #48 – Cost Nothing Tips
Here are my tips to help you get the most from your Exchange server in general and the Exchange System Manager in particular.
Here is one of my Litmus tests to separate amateur troubleshooters from the professionals.
Amateurs reboot the server when ever there is the slightest problem.
It’s true that in the old NT 4.0 days, rebooting cured 80% of all your server problems. My guess is that in Windows Server 2003 a reboot cures less than 20% of errors. As a matter of professional pride, I am keen to extend the number of times I can solve a problem without relying on a reboot.
Iisreset is the latest addition to my tool kit. As its name suggests, this command restarts the Internet Information Service from the cmd prompt. The benefit of iisreset is that there is no need to reboot the server, as a result there will be no downtime for your website or Exchange server. The hardest part about iisreset is remembering its name, I have this urge to tell people it’s called something else. I won’t mention this other word because I don’t want to give you a wrong subliminal message!
Surely, there must be other command line tools which restart other Windows 2003 services? Naturally, if I knew more I would tell you. So if you have a favourite command line restart command, then do let me know.
Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT)
Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker
As you may know, I love ‘cost nothing’ tips. If you throw enough money at almost any problem then you can make that trouble disappear. However, what I seek is maximum gain for minimal cost and adding the /3G switch to boot.ini is a classic case in point. Specifically, this switch improves the performance of Windows Server 2003. What happens is /3GB makes more memory available to applications running on that server.
If you have more than 1 GB of physical memory, then you can just take my word and append the /3GB switch to boot.ini. Alternatively, you can read up on the way it re-distributes virtual and physical memory as a result applications like Exchange and SQL get more memory and the Windows 2003 operating system gets less of the available memory. In the case of Exchange 2003, you can also add the /USERVA =3030 switch.
Note: Microsoft only recommend that you use /3GB if you have Windows Server 2003 and at least 1GB of physical RAM.
Before (The following command is all on one line in Boot.ini)
After (All one line)
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The main idea behind Exchange 2003’s Recipient Policy is to create a secondary email address. For example, if a group of users has just joined from a subsidiary company, or via a merger, then they probably want to receive email from both the old and the new email domains.
To create a secondary email address, navigate to the Recipient Policies folder, right-click and select New. When the Recipient policy arrives, the two points to remember are: 1) Create a secondary SMTP address, 2) From the General Tab, create a Filter for the accounts who need this second email address.
On a serious note, Terrence T spotted a DNS error with certain ebooks. According to Terrance, when you click on a link inside the ebook, it produces a DNS error. The problem only affects XP machines with SP2. Even then, only some computers and some ebooks are affected.
I could hide behind the line: ‘It works O.K. on Guy’s XP SP2 machine’ or ‘ Activ-E compilers say the problem does not affect their brand of ebooks’. But I don’t I want to hide. I want to shout out: Terrence has researched a cure. The crucial key registry key is called : ‘ Adv AddrBar Spoof Detection’. What you need to do is this, execute Regedit then add, I repeat add, the above key to this part of the registry,
Now create a REG_DWORD (not REG_SZ) called Enable=dword:00000000. Just to be clear the DWORD is actually called ‘Enable’ and its value should be set to 0 (zero). This should stop a DNS error in your ebook.
When people take the trouble to write in with tips and suggestions, it gives me a buzz because I believe that the internet should return to its roots as a tool for co-operation. So, if you know of any more commands like iisreset then please email me and I will publish them.
A few weeks ago I had fun speculating about people’s age by observing their preferred method of copying. Barry L reminded me of the Insert key, he uses Ctrl + Insert to copy and Shift + Insert to paste.
Daniel Z wrote in to say that there is nothing magical about the Run Logfiles command, anything that you put in the Run box Windows will attempt to execute in the %systemroot%\system32 folder. As logfiles is actually a folder hence Run, logfiles gives you some action.
I have just received two tips explaining how to detect a user’s OU from within Active Directory Users and Computers. Method one, make sure you go to the View menu and display the advanced features, then simply click on the Object tab. Method two involves using Find, but adding extra columns to the resulting display. The secret is once again, to select the view menu, but this time to select ‘Choose Columns, and select Published at; as a result the OU will display in the search output.
Lots of useful computer tools