SBS 2008 Migration Smack Down

Two classrooms full of Microsoft MVPs, all working on an SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migrations on identical equipment (Dell Optiplex servers with Core 2 Quad processors w/ 8 GB of RAM). Lots of talking, lots of flexing, lots of reading.

Who won?

Team “Tim & Vlad”. Proof, baby:

All the party people say "woop-woop"

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Seattle – Funny Pool Picture

I’m in Seattle this week for some SBS 2008 training and for SMB Nation, and I just checked into my hotel in Issaquah. As usual, I popped onto Microsoft Virtual Earth to see what’s around here. Imagine my surprise when I saw this swimming pool:


Yep, the swimming pool is in the shape of a fish, and the baby pool is a baby fish, of course this and other pools have the best hayward pool pump to be able to stay clean. Pretty cute for a Holiday Inn!

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Hacks – DD-WRT Firmware Presentation

Thanks everyone who attended the KYSBSUG presentation on modding your wireless router with the DD-WRT firmware!

Here are the show notes from tonight. P.S. Don’t forget to reset your wired NIC TCP/IP settings back to automatic after you’re done flashing your router. 🙂

If I don’t see you at SMB Nation in Seattle next week, I’ll see you at the Oct KYSBSUG meeting (tentative date Wed Oct 15, 2008).

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Talk Like A Pirate Day Goes I.T.

Pirate Mouse - Arg! As ye should be wary, today be a special day on ye old calendar. A day of grunts and peg legs. A day of squints and grinding of teeth. 

Fri Sept 19, 2008 is "International Talk Like A Pirate" day.

T’was a fun conversation I had on IM today with me mate.

Arg - ye chat

Sometimes a wee bit o’ silliness makes a Friday go by faster.

Happy TLAP day to ye, PC lubbers!

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Get Your Search On

search_server_express_2008 Recently announced: Microsoft Search Server Express is now available as a free download! It’s available in x86 or x64 versions too.

Download URL: Click here
File name: SearchServerExpress.exe
Size: 248 MB


  • Processor: 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) (minimum)
  • Memory: 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM (minimum)
  • Operating System: Any of the following editions of the Windows Server 2003 or newer operating system with the most recent service packs: Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Datacenter Edition, and Web Edition.
  • Hard disk: NTFS-formatted partition with 3 GB of free space (minimum)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 with ASP.NET 2.0 enabled
  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation Runtime Components
  • Note: Search Server 2008 Express can be installed on one computer only. It supports an unlimited number of Web front-end servers, but only one application server.


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Remaining SBS 2008 Tour Dates

I’ve had a couple folks today ask about other stops on the SBS 2008 Tour.

Here are the remaining dates and the URL to register:

  • Downers Grove, IL – Tuesday, September 16
  • Irving, TX – Wednesday, September 17
  • Minneapolis, MN – Thursday, September 18
  • South Field, MI – Wednesday, September 17
  • Waltham, MA – Thursday, September 18
  • New York, NY – Friday, September 19
  • San Francisco, CA – Monday, September 22
  • Irvine/Los Angeles, CA – Tuesday, September 23
  • San Diego, CA – Wednesday, September 24

Registration URL: Click here to Register at the event of your choice

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Dell Raid Controller Thinks 160 GB Drive is 32 GB

Dell PowerEdge 400SCI’m sure everybody on Earth already knows this (and I’m just exposing my ignorance about computers – again), but I’d like to share a little tech tidbit in case some Google user runs into the same issue.

First off, before anyone asks, this is a small shop – they just want to buy one more year on their existing hardware before a refresh and SBS 2008.

Previous Configuration (slow, but works):

  • Dell PowerEdge 400SC
  • Windows Small Business Server 2003
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dell CERC ATA100/4ch RAID controller
  • 2 ea. Western Digital WD400 40 GB IDE drives in RAID1 mirror

New Configuration (faster, but missing about 120 GB):

  • Same Dell PowerEdge 400SC
  • Windows Small Business Server 2003
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Dell CERC ATA100/4ch RAID controller
  • 2 ea. Seagate ST3160815A 160 GB Ultra ATA100 drives in RAID1

Issue: Removed the old WD drives and deleted the old array. Inserted the new Seagate drives, but the RAID controller only recognized them as 32248 MB drives (instead of 156250 MB). I didn’t order the parts myself, so I started to question the drives as being appropriate, but a double-check verified that they should work. Visual inspection of the jumpers on the new drives matches position on the old drives. I spoke with a Dell technician who was certain that the array was created wrong, but I told him that it misrecognized the drive size even before creating the array.

Resolution: While the Dell tech was searching, I rechecked the jumpers, and the new Seagate drives were in last position, exactly the same as the old Western Digital (position 1-2 shown below).

Western Digital drive jumper positions Western Digital (cable select)

The problem is that “cable select” on Western Digital drives isn’t in the same position as it is on Seagate drives (Seagate uses position 5-6 shown below).

Seagate drive jumper positions Seagate (cable select)

To make matters even funnier, the Seagate drives only have 8 pins. Doh!

Once I pulled the Seagate drives, moved the jumpers to match the cable select position shown on the sticker on the drive (instead of the physical location on a different brand drive) the array controller immediately recognized the correct drive capacity.

Details, details, details… that’s what happens when you’re in a hurry.

In my feeble defense…

Exhibit (A)
The Western Digital WD400 drive
didn’t have a jumper sticker on top.
Exhibit (B)
And the jumper setting is only shown in tiny print on the mobo of the drive.
WD400 - top WD400 - bottom

But, yes, I’m still retarded. 🙂

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