Monday, March 31, 2008

Vista - Admin tools (adminpak.msi) lost but now found

So you've gone and upgraded your desktop to Vista and tried to install ye olde adminpak.msi only to find that it don't work. To add insult to injury, for the past year there was no hope in sight for fixing this sad state. Fear not, Microsoft has released the RSAT package. (Remote System Administration Tools) which will allow you to use Admin tools from a Vista box with SP1 and is compatible with 2k3, and 2k8 servers!

Download 32 bit version:

Download 64 bit version:

After installing, it'll add a help file to your local admin tools and you'll be wondering where the tools are. If you read the help file, it'll tell you to go into Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off and check the box for "Remote Server Administration Tools"

Separate wallpapers for dual monitors in vista

You know, I really thought they'd have this feature built into Vista. It just seems like one of those nifty GUI things they need to keep up with Mac...

Here's where DisplayFusion comes in. The basic version is free and will allow you to choose a different wallpaper image for each monitor. The app is pretty small (currently consuming 796K in RAM) and is really easy to use. Once installed, just launch it and it'll show up as an icon in the taskbar tray.

Go into the settings and then choose a monitor, then a background color (if needed) and the image you want to display on that monitor. Repeat for second monitor.

Download it here:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Head's up - Win2k3 SP2 may cause networking issues

There's a lot of buzz going around about problems being caused by SP2. By default it turns on a lot of features like TCP/IP Offloading (TOE), and Receive-side Scaling (RSS) which can play havok on older network cards and apparently some newer boxes as well. There's a really good write-up on the problem from the exchange team at
which goes into detail on what is happening. If you've got anything weird going on with your servers since applying SP2, there's a good chance it's because of this.

I personally haven't run into problems on my exch 2k7 box with win2k3 x64 sp2 but I'm going to update my drivers now anyway just in case.

Monday, March 24, 2008

FS116P Desktop POE switch review

Sometimes you've just got more devices in a room than ports and whether it's temporary or not, you just can't get approval for more LAN drops. And to make matters worse, they're IP phones that run on POE (Power Over Ethernet). Now in your big network closets you can install those new big howling POE switches for your backbone but for a small room, a quiet switch will keep mad users from coming to your office with torches. (I just installed a 24 port Dell POE switch on the backbone last week and it would make an aircraft carrier deck seem quiet.)

Enter the Netgear FS116P - 16 port 10/100 with 8 ports of POE.
It's a fanless desktop switch and out of the 4 I got for our small rooms, only 1 had a discernable buzz but it was faint and after being stuffed behind the printer stand wasn't really noticable. As far as performance goes, it works just like any run of the mill 10/100 desktop switch - not noticeable either way for end users. Only the first 8 ports are POE enabled but for smaller rooms that's really all you need. This switched worked fine with my Nortel i2002 phones and the Cisco 1131AG.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Exchange 2007 Powershell Script - Emails owners of all email distribution groups

Last year I posted a generic script to enumerate all members of all email groups. My department was tasked with finding a way to keep all email groups updated for all departments. My solution has 2 parts:

Part 1 is configuring the "Managed By" field in Active directory or exchange for all distrubtion groups and checking the box for 'Manager can update member list'. This allows email distribution group owners to modify membership through their Outlook client directly. (via the Address book interface.)

Part 2 consists of the following Powershell script which finds all Email Distribution Groups in the forest and then sends an email for every email distribution group to that groups owner. The emails contain the primary SMTP address for reference and a list of all members of that group for quick viewing and confirmation.

# Enumerates all members of all Distribution Lists in Exchange 2007
# and all owners.
# Script will then proceed to email each owner a list of all
# members of each group.
# Uses cmdlets from exch2007
# 3/14/08
# By: Gnawgnu

#first get all distributionlists
$dl = get-distributiongroup

#then enumerate through them all and get all group members.
foreach ($group in $dl) {

#build group data
$groupName = "Group Name: " + $
$groupAddr = "Email Address: " + $group.PrimarySMTPAddress
write-host $groupName -foregroundcolor Green
$dlgm = get-distributionGroupMember $
$gOwner = get-user $group.ManagedBy.Name

#setup email - make sure to add to your whitelist for
#antispam if applicable.
$sender = "PickASMTPSenderEmailAddress"
write-host $sender
#get Email Address of group owner
$recipient = $gOwner.WindowsEmailAddress
write-host $recipient
$server = "YourSMTPServerGoesHere"
write-host $server
$subject = "Monthly Review required - Email Group: " + $group.Name.ToString()
write-host $subject
#Note: `r`n is a carriage return
$bText1 = "`r`nOwner:" + $group.ManagedBy.Name.ToString() + "`r`n"
$bText2 = $groupAddr.ToString() + "`r`n"
$bText3 = "group members: `r`n"
$bText4 = $dlgm | fl Name | out-String
$bText5 = "Please use your Outlook Client to make changes if needed.`r`n"
$bText6 = "If you are no longer the manager of this group, please notify IT.`r`n"

$body = $bText1 + $bText2 + $bText3 +$bText4 +$bText5
write-host $body.ToString()
$msg = new-object System.Net.Mail.MailMessage $sender, $recipient, $subject, $body

#send email
$client = new-object System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient $server
$client.credentials = [System.Net.CredentialCache]::DefaultNetworkCredentials