Windows 7 RC Goes Live, and Other News

Quite a bit of news in the last week – just to make sure you didn’t miss these events in the pre-Derby festivities:

  1. Office 2007 SP2 has launched
  2. Vista SP2 has reached RTM
  3. WSS v3 w/ SP2 is out
  4. Windows 7 RC hit MSDN and TechNet today (for subscribers)
  5. Windows 7 RC will be available to the general public on May 5
  6. Window 7 Beta expires July 1
  7. If you got a THRIVE card at the last KYSBSUG meeting, those expire TODAY, so make sure you active it today.
  8. Chris Rue is coming to Cincinnati on Tuesday May 5 on the Microsoft Tour
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Downloads – Service Pack 2 for Office 2007

image Recently announced: Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007 is finally available for download.

Download URL: Click here
File name: office2007sp2-kb953195-fullfile-en-us.exe
Date published: 04/24/2009
Size: 290 MB


  • Ability to open, edit and save 1.1 documents (*.odt, *.ods, *.odp)
  • SaveAs PDF has been added back in (no need to download separately)
  • Improved graphic presentation and printing
  • OneNote / SharePoint synchronization improved
  • Groove synchronization improved
  • Outlook performance improvements in startup, shutdown & viewing
  • and more
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Downloads – Free SBS 2008 Administrator’s Companion eBook

NOTE: This is a limited time offer, so grab it while you can!

Windows Small Business Server 2008 Administrator’s Companion Title: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Administrator’s Companion
Authors: Charlie Russel & Sharon Crawford
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Publishes: January 07, 2009
ISBN: 9780735620704
Pages: 719
Hard copy available: $37.79 at
Register for FREE download: Click here (24.2 MB)


Your comprehensive, one-volume guide to planning, setup, and administration.

Get the critical information you need to build and run a Windows Small Business Server 2008–based network. This essential, single-volume reference details system capabilities and components—including Premium Edition features. Gain the real-world insights, workarounds, and troubleshooting tactics you need for on-the-job results.

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Should I Sell Essential Business Server 2008?

If you’re a Microsoft Partner selling & supporting Windows Small Business Server, you’ve probably already asked yourself the question above.

The answer to that question depends primarily on you and your company, rather than on the features or maturity EBS product itself. The reason being; the EBS market is vastly different than the SBS market. Different not just in scale and dollars involved, but in expectation management, project planning, level of communication, and perhaps even in the way you invoice.

Chris Rue - If you’ve been eyeballing EBS and looking at moving towards the mid-markets, or even if you’ve already been there for quite some time, you will definitely benefit from watching Chris Rue’s 5W/50 webcast:

Title: “Adding Essential Business Server to Your Infrastructure Practice”
Presenter: Chris Rue [EBS-MVP] CEO of Black Warrior Technology, LLC and David Fabritius, Technical Product Manager (SBS/EBS) at Microsoft
Date recorded: 04/10/2009 at 12:00 PM Eastern
Registration URL:

Have you ever wanted to sit down over beers and pick the brain of an expert in a product or market? This webcast is like that. It’s directed at Microsoft Partners, and it’s a real eye-opener for SMB folks who haven’t had much mid-market experience. Chris definitely knows his stuff. This webcast is well worth your time, and I HIGHLY recommend it – fantastic job Chris!

Also, hats off to the folks at Microsoft for putting the 5W/50 webcast series together! To Eric Ligman, Mike Iem, the presenters and crew, You guys rock!

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Another IM Virus

I saw this IM virus for the first time today:

WARNING – Don’t go to the URLs listed in this post, due to possible malware and NSFW content.

Another IM virus on Windows Live Messenger

Followed a few minutes later by:

That’s from one of my sisters (so I see some phone support in my future.) She’s not signed in, so that’s a dead-giveaway right there.

At any rate, the domain information for “” is cloaked:

WHOIS lookup from

Pinging either domain name resolves to IP address is, which is in Hong Kong:

IP address lookup from

As a test, I used a canary virtual machine to see if AVG Free 8.5 would block either of these sites – it didn’t.

Protection is necessary, but you can’t patch for everything. It comes down to end-user education. If you’re responsible for the computers in your company (or in your home if you’re a parent) you need to let folks know about IM vectors of infection and other threats. Spend the time educating, or spend a lot more time afterwards cleaning up.

One thing I do to encourage end users to “Call Before Clicking” centers around recognizing them when they make smart web surfing decisions. Example – picking up the phone immediately when getting a “your computer is infected with xyz” pop-ups instead of trying to close the windows.

To assist with this, I have a Microsoft Word document that I can edit called the “Safe Computing Award”. I customize it with the name of the client / employee and send it to them via email when they do something that avoids getting their computer infected. Sample below:

Safe Computing Award

It just takes a minute or two to update the Word doc, PDF it and email it to the customer, and they have always been well received.

A little positive reinforcement goes a long way. 🙂

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Key Icon and User Roles in SBS 2008

From the mailbag:

“After a migration, some of the users showed up in the SBS Console with a key under their name and some didn’t. Example:



I can’t change RWW access for these users either – it’s grayed out:


or even…


What does that key mean and how do I get rid of it? 


The key means the users are domain administrators, and therefore you can’t disable RWW for them individually. Don’t be fooled by the “User Role” column.

The key can come from two places.

1 – If a new user is created with the User Role of Network Administrator when running the SBS 2008 Add a new user account wizard, they get that key.

2 – In a migration scenario (like this one) if a user was a member of the “Administrators – domain/Builtin” Security Group on the source server, they will show up with that key after the migration to the SBS 2008 box (see George McFly above):


Before we move onto the resolution (below), there are a few points to remember with User Roles in SBS 2008 detailed below. The wizards make it VERY easy to blow stuff up accidentally.

CAUTION – It is highly recommended that you read understand all of the information in this blog post before making changes any to user accounts and groups. There is no Undo or Recycle Bin for Active Directory changes in SBS 2008 RTM.


When running the “Add a new user account” wizard in SBS 2008, you have
(by default) three options for User Roles:

  1. Standard User
  2. Network Administrator
  3. Standard User with Administration links


Here’s what you get with each role.

Default group memberships by User Role:

Default SBS 2008 Groups & User Roles


Standard User
w/ Admin Links


All Users*




Windows SBS Fax Users




Windows SBS Link Users




Windows SBS Remote Web Workplace Users




Windows SBS SharePoint_MembersGroup




Windows SBS Admin Tools Group  



Windows SBS Administrators*  



Windows SBS Fax Administrators    


Window SBS SharePoint_OwnersGroup    


Windows SBS Virtual Private Network Users    



HINT: *The All Users and Windows SBS Administrators groups are E-mail Distribution Groups, not security groups, which means that you can’t assign security permissions to those groups.

Normally you would think that a group named “Windows SBS Administrators” would be some type of security group, but that’s just one of the gotchas in SBS 2008. The Groups tab in the SBS 2008 console makes this easy to see, but if you’re poking around in AD, you might forget. Just look for the ‘key’ icon to differentiate E-Mail and Security Groups.


So, this begs the question, “If I create a standard user, right-click them in the console and make them a member of all of the same groups as the Network Administrator in the chart above, do they get the ‘key’ icon?

Answer: No. You have to use Change user role for user accounts wizard (or dig into AD).


Things to remember about User Roles and user accounts in SBS 2008:

  • NEW USERS – User Roles are chosen at the time the User Account is created if you use the “Add a new user account” wizard (shown above).
  • CUSTOM ROLES – Have you ever gotten a call like this, “Mary is moving to part time, and we hired another person to do the same job in the afternoon – can you setup a new user account for Jennifer with the same permissions?”

    Now you can create a new role like “Reception” and create it based on Mary’s current permissions / memberships. This is great if you start creating new roles like “Warehouse”, “Intern”, “Vendor”, etc.

  • CHANGES – You can change the User Role assigned to an existing user after the fact using the “Change user role for user accounts” wizard (shown below). 
  • APPLYING ROLES – When applying a “User Role” to an existing user, you are given the option of adding or replacing the existing user permissions (shown below). This is where it gets sticky.
  • ADJUSTING PERMISSIONS OUTSIDE THE USER ROLE – After a User Role has been applied, you can tweak the permissions. This is great for creating department supervisors after the department has been mapped out.

    Example – You create a custom “Sales Rep” User Role, and then apply it to all sales users, including Marty McFly. Afterwards, since Marty is actually the Sales Manager, you also give him access to financial data.

  • REPLACE VS. ADD – If you re-apply a User Role to a user, you can accidentally remove any customizations to them. This is where you break the step above.

    Example – The custom “Sales Rep” user role has recently been updated to include a new e-mail distribution list. Then you decide to re-apply the permissions to Marty. Congratulations. You just took away Marty’s access to the financial data and made him a normal Sales Rep drone, and not a manger.

  • TRUST BUT VERIFY – Just because you see an entry in the “User Role” column, don’t assume that the user has had no customizations made to their account.
  • WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING WIZARDS – If you’re old school and manually create a user in Active Directory Users and Computers instead of the SBS Console, the user won’t show up in the SBS Users Console.

    Why? Because the attribute of “msSBSCreationState” = “<not set>”.

    But, you can change this in Active Directory by setting that to “Created”. Example – User account that will not show up in the SBS 2008 console:image

    Example – User account that will show up in the SBS 2008 console:image


OK, you understand the difference between Add & Replace, and the implications of re-applying a user role to an individual.

After you make a copy of the user group membership settings (because you love your job) you need to apply the “Standard User” User Role to that user and choose “Replace user permissions or settings” to get rid of that domain admin key. 

  1. Open the SBS Console, click Users and Groups, then click the Users tab.
  2. Click “Change user role for user for user accounts” wizard on the right.
  3. Select the role for the user account (in our case Standard User), choose “Replace user permissions or settings”, and click Next.
  4. Click on the name of the user on the left from the “All user accounts” column, click the Add button to move their name to the right column, then click the “Change user role” button.
  5. Done. Click Finish.


If you’re AD savvy you can always open Active Directory Users and Computers and remove membership the ‘Administrators – domain/Builtin’ Security Group. This just takes away the ‘Administrator’ permissions and leaves everything else in tact.

Props: Thanks to Cory Rammer, MCSA/MCSE and all-around nice guy for his help on this post!

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Announcing Windows Server 2008 Foundation

If you read this blog, you should be familiar with the Windows Essential Server Solutions (WESS) family that includes:

Windows Server 2008 FoundationOn April 1, 2009, Microsoft announced the NEW
Windows Server 2008 Foundation” (WSF).

Dude, where's WHS?

Here is the official blurb:

Windows Server Foundation provides organizations with a foundation to run most business applications. It’s an affordable platform for the core portfolio of IT capabilities, including file and print sharing, remote access and security features. A familiar Windows experience makes it easy for organizations to get up and running. As the heart of a true local area network, Windows Server Foundation lets employees exchange data very securely, without requiring email or the Internet. An easy upgrade path to higher-end versions of Windows Server allows your IT solution to grow as your business grows.

Design structure of this product:

  • Designed for small businesses
  • Limited to 1-15 users (total company users)
  • There are no CALs to install
  • Only available through OEMs: Acer, Dell, HP & IBM (right now)
  • Single processor limit (can be multi-core though)
  • Maximum RAM 8 GB
  • Does NOT come with Exchange
  • Cannot be virtualized (must be installed on the physical hardware)
  • Ideal for a first-server in an organization moving from a workgroup
  • Can be used as a file or print server
  • Can be used as an Active Directory server or domain controller
  • You can run Line of Business Applications (LOBs) on it
  • Supports Terminal Services (but you need to buy TS CALs)
  • Can join a domain in an SBS network (<=15 users total)
  • Can be a branch office server in an SBS network (<=15 users total)
  • You can install Windows SharePoint Services or WSUS on it.
  • Languages – English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.
  • Distribution – will be available in 40 countries to start
  • Pricing has not been set, and will be determined by the OEMs.


If an application runs on Windows Server 2008 Standard, it will work on Foundation. Just remember that virtualization is not supported and there is a 15-user limit company wide.


Here’s a short video about WSF and the partner perspective:
(1 minute 25 seconds)

<a href=";playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:8423bc3b-c3de-4b99-9557-3c46cca91027&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=msnvideo" target="_new" title="Windows Server Foundation">Video: Windows Server Foundation</a>

And here’s a video from Iain McDonald, the GM of Windows Server:
(2 minutes 38 seconds)

<a href=";playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:06833065-c7a5-451c-a3ed-844ba0994b79&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=msnvideo" target="_new" title="Ask Iain World Premiere">Video: Ask Iain World Premiere</a>

For more info, visit the Windows Server 2008 Foundation home page:

UPDATE: If you need some more technical information on WSF, check out the “Windows Server 2008 Foundation Network Guide.doc” (51 pages – 0.5 MB)

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