Tuesday, March 28, 2006

SBS Backup Fails on VSS 0x800423f4 error Part 2

In working on the backup issues we noticed that there is a direct corolation between SQL Server and the backup not working. In the Event Viewer we are getting the following when the backup should start:

Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: VSSEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 6013Date: 3/17/2006Time: 10:01:52 PMUser: N/AComputer: SERVER1Description:Sqllib error: OLEDB Error encountered calling ICommandText::Execute. hr = 0x80040e14. SQLSTATE: 42000, Native Error: 3013Error state: 1, Severity: 16Source: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL ServerError message: BACKUP DATABASE is terminating abnormally.SQLSTATE: 42000, Native Error: 3202Error state: 1, Severity: 16Source: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL ServerError message: Write on '{6982A5F8-27AD-45DF-A816-53522621B2F4}1' failed, status = 995. See the SQL Server error log for more details.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

So it appears that SQL is our culprit with our failed NT backups. Microsoft has suggested we make sure that the System Account is running as the log on service for MSSQL$Sharepoint and MSSQL$Monitoring as well as for the default MSSQL instance. It appears to be so. We'll be following some more as we narrow down what is happening. It also seems to now be happening sporadically as last night all backups worked. Go figure.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sharepoint Web Part for Microsoft CRM

I installed for the first time at a client site today the Sharepoint Web Part for CRM. Very cool and amazingly easy to use. In fact take a look at the Using the List Web Part for Microsoft Dynamics CRM page that shows how you can link 2 of the parts together.

Sharepoint really is becoming the central page around a business and with this type of integration to CRM it becomes something that businesses will start to use and rely on in a day in day out fashion.

Oh and the client? They liked it...alot!

SBS Backup Fails on VSS 0x800423f4 error

In the last 2 weeks we've suddenly seen 3 of our client's SBS Servers appear with failed backups and the following in the backup log:

Volume shadow copy creation: Attempt 1."MSDEWriter" has reported an error 0x800423f4. This is part of System State. The backup cannot continue.
Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:800423f4Aborting Backup.

We're currently looking into it but all of these servers are SBS 2003 SP1 with Exchange SP2 recently installed. I don't know if there is any relation but it sure is more than a coincidence that all of them are starting to have trouble.

Even running the backup now option in the SBS wizard causes the backup to fail as well. We're following with Microsoft to see a resolution and I'll post here when I find it, if I do!

Friday, March 24, 2006

CRM 3.0 SBE SQL Reporting Error

In doing some work with CRM recently on some test installs we kept coming up with the error that "Setup failed to validate specified Reporting Services Report Server https://server.xxx.com/ReportServer. Error: The request failed with HTTP status 401: Unauthorized.

This seems to be a pretty common problem out there but not a lot of response to the issues. One thing I can say is that CRM is a good product but man is it complex in the guts of it. Not for the faint of heart that's for sure, especially when it comes to SQL and SQL reporting services.

Anyway back to the problem. In most cases with CRM 3 and SBS the documentation at such sites as Anne Stanton's show a problem with ISA. This box we were building didn't have ISA (as of yet).

The problem we were experiencing seems to be more with SP1 of Windows Server 2003 than anything else. The KB article 896861 seems to be spot on. We did the following according to the article:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
3. Right-click Lsa, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.
5. Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.
6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
7. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.

Doing this allowed us to get to https://servername/reports and show the full SQL Reporting Services web site. CRM Reports now work as they were meant to.

Microsoft PeopleReady Campaign

During a breakfast meeting this morning with US Vice President of Partners for Microsoft, Margo Day she made mention of a new campaign by Microsoft called Peopleready. Check out the Web Site. It's a nice redirector to the appropriate business size and function area within Microsoft.

As we do Small Business Margo mentioned that over 4.5 Million people each month are visiting the http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness website. That's a tremendous amount of traffic and no doubt due to the excellent content found there.

This campaign will hopefully show that with the right technology and especially the right people using it, anything can be possible.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness! But come on will ya??

SearchSMB has a little article on March Madness! Preventing network overload. OK I have to admit that I'm a sports guy and I love watching the NCAA tournament. Why else would I have a digital TV transmission antenna and watch all 4 games at once on the digital feed?? But come on will ya?

How many SMB's out there have their network screeching to a halt because of March Madness? Yeah didn't think so. Now how much lost productivity from people calling in sick or watching their brackets...that's another story.

Well if you do have need to stop those crazy fanatic fans from downloading streaming NCAA games then SBS Premium's ISA Server is just the beast. But I can think of better reasons to use it.

OK...now back to the games. Go ILLINI!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Indy is the man!

Indy Boteju delivered a nice presentation on Microsoft Small Business Accounting tonight. Indy is a TS2 seminar presenter out of the Charlotte area. He came up this way to fill in for a couple of TS2's this week and graciously presented at our Michigan SBS User Group tonight. It's really great when Microsoft personnel take time out of their own schedule to promote the community. We enjoyed it.

His TS2 presentation yesterday was right on as well. Check it out if you get the chance as I particularly like the content this month.

New Mobile Whitepaper out

Just wanted to quickly point out that the new Deploying Windows Mobile 5 on SBS whitepaper is out.

I had the privilege to help out on the tech edit and test this paper with a new MSFP enabled device. All I can say is that the remote wipe works good!

Especially check out the section on certificates. There still is a little confusion around this and this will definitely clear it up. Kudos to the team on a solid doc.

It's Pushing....We have MSFP lift off.

I gotta say that I really enjoy my new phone. It's the iMate K-Jam and it really has moved me from being a phone guy first to more of a PDA first person. The ability to respond and check on emails is very impressive and the display on this Windows Mobile 5 device just plain rocks.

Well I've been following Windows Mobile devices for quite a while and of course the new push email concept with Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 (and SBS 2003) is a great feature that will probably push RIM off of the map pretty quickly.

The second part of the push email concept is the messaging and security feature pack that must be installed through a ROM upgrade on the device itself.

Well lo and behold iMate now has a ROM upgrade for my phone the K-Jam to install the MSFP on it. It's about a 60 MB download. You connect the K-Jam and run the self install executable that totally wipes the device and installs the new OS and ROM image.

After installing I had a fresh image on the phone and resetup the Exchange Server credentials along with the SBS self signed certificate. Set the sync time to "As Items Arrive" and now you're ready to go. One other thing to check is to make sure on your Exchange Server (that remember has SP2) under Global Settings...Mobile Services...Properties that Enable Push over HTTP is enabled.

Well it's installed and yes Houston we have lift off. MSFP is working correctly and I'm getting emails about 20 seconds on my phone after I see them in my desktop inbox in Outlook. Very impressive.

OK....that's done...what's next?

Monday, March 06, 2006

CRM 3.0 Addins and beyond

On a conference call today and it appears that the momentum behind CRM 3.0 will continue in the short and long term.

The connector for Great Plains and CRM 3.0 will be released right around April 1st. In addition a big item that will be tremendous to many CRM 3.0 clients is the addition of the CRM mobile client that will run on the Pocket PC client. This too is due out right about April 1st. In my mind running this with Windows Mobile 5 and the Exchange Activesync is going to be a killer item for the Sales people out their in small businesses. Having the ability to quickly get at company contacts, email and direct push of personal email will move these devices to a reach that we haven't seen as of yet.

In addition beyond CRM 3.0 the new code name of the next version is "Titan". It will be released in the 12-18 month time frame. That should be welcome news for those that waited forever for 3.0 to come out.

Backup Exec Remote Agents in SBS Land

If you're running Veritas or now Symantec Backup Exec and have the Small Business Server edition you may be trying to backup your clients on the LAN. Remember however to do one thing.

If you select these clients through the Job Setup you might be getting an error that the remote agent is not accessible or old. This is caused as a result of the Windows XP SP2 firewall blocking the remote agent requests. How do you resolve this? You could go around to each workstation and unblock the port through Windows Firewall but the much easier way is to do it through Group Policy.

1. Go to Server Management. Advanced Management.
2. Expand Group Policy Management.
3. Expand your Forest and Domain.
4. Right click on the Small Business Server Windows firewall policy and click edit.
5. Go to Computer Configuration...Administrative Templates...Network...Network Connections...Windows Firewall...Domain Profile.
6. Now open up the Policy for Windows Firewall:Define Port Exceptions.
7. You'll see the listing for remote assistance.
8. Add in the Veritas remote agent port. 10000:TCP:*:Enable:Veritas Port.

There you go. Make sure you allow time for the Policy to replicate to the workstations. The agent should now work as advertised.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Took the 71-282 beta today

I ventured out to my local Vue testing station today and took the beta exam of the new 71-282 that will allow a partner to become a Microsoft Small Business Specialist. Overall the test is definitely worded better than the original 70-282 beta I took a couple of years ago.

It's interesting though that the first 15 questions I got (the test is 86 questions) was only on Windows Server 2003 and not SBS.

Another thing I noticed is the amount of questions centered towards the Small Business Server transition pack. Is it just me or does anyone else find it curious that the test has a focus on the transition pack yet it's still this little enigma out there that not many have used and fewer have documented. We have 100's of whitepapers on SBS but that transition pack sure seems to be obscured in the back of the dusty book shelf somewhere.

More so than just a techy down and dirty test this test is becoming more of a business consultant test that tests you on your knowledge of scenarios and which server or system is right. Many of the questions now start out with "you're the network consultant". Thanks I know that! :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Don't forget SBS R2 promo starts today

Folks don't forget that for those of you getting SBS 2003 that if you are buying release one of this then you get SBS 2003 R2 for free starting today. This promo starts today and is suppose to go 90 days pass the release date, whenever that may be.

Hopefully we'll get to see it soon enough.