The Windows Management Framework 3.0 (KB2506146 for Windows 2008 SP2 and KB2506143 for Windows Server 2008 R2) has been recently offered as an optional update on Microsoft update distribution clients such as Windows Server Update Services, and Windows Automatic Update. This update contains the following features:
- Windows PowerShell 3.0
- Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
- Windows Remote Management (WinRM)
- Management OData IIS Extension
- Server Manager CIM Provider
If you install these updates on a server running Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard or Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, you will encounter issues with Exchange Server, SharePoint, and the SBS wizards. We have found the following symptoms:
- The Exchange Management Shell may not run properly. Additionally, if you install Exchange Update Rollups, you may see installation errors as mentioned here.
- The SharePoint 2010 Management Shell may not run properly. Our wizards that need SharePoint 2010 Management Shell are affected too.
- Certain SBS wizards such as Connect to Internet wizard, Internet Address Management wizard, and Fix My Network wizard may not run properly
If you see one of the above symptoms on your Small Business Server, check whether one of these updates is installed on the server. In order to check this, you can open Programs and Features from the Control Panel and click on Installed Updates, as:
The above screen-shot is from Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard. On a Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard, you should look for “kb2506146”.
You could also run the command Get-Host on a PowerShell prompt to find the version of Windows PowerShell, as:
PS C:\Users\admin> get-host
Name : ConsoleHost
Version : 3.0
InstanceId : e66e1400-9f45-4205-8151-9ed07a1823ba
UI : System.Management.Automation.Internal.Host.InternalHostUserInterface
CurrentCulture : en-US
CurrentUICulture : en-US
PrivateData : Microsoft.PowerShell.ConsoleHost+ConsoleColorProxy
IsRunspacePushed : False
Runspace : System.Management.Automation.Runspaces.LocalRunspace
It will show the PowerShell version as 3.0, which implies that the PowerShell has been updated to the newer version.
In such scenarios we suggest you to uninstall the Update.
Our guidance at this time is that Windows Management Framework 3.0 should not be deployed on a server running Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard or Windows Small Business Server 2011 Std.
[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Sabir Chandwale and Charanjeet Singh from Commercial Technical Support]
Update Rollup 3 for Small Business Server 2011 Standard addresses the warning message while joining a Windows 8 client machine to Small Business Server 2011 Standard server. There are few more fixes as part of Update Rollup 3. For details please visit knowledge base article.
After applying Update Rollup, follow the steps mentioned below to join a Windows 8 client to Small Business Server 2011 Standard server.
- Open browser and type in the URL http://sbsconnectcomputer.
- Click on Start Connect Computer Program
- Accept UAC, click Run.
- Once the launcher.exe is downloaded, click on Run again.
- You will get a warning relating to SmartScreen. Select Run Anyway.
- Select one of the options on the screen Setup this computer for myself or Setup the computer for other user.
If you choose the second option, Set up this computer for other users, you will get additional screens which asks for network administrator credentials, provide option to select users and assign level of computer access for the users.
- The wizard will check the computer requirements.
- Enter the username and password. This can also be of a standard user.
- Enter the Computer name and description.
- The following warning is displayed that the wizard cannot move existing user data and settings automatically. This is to ensure that the Windows 8 modern apps work well after it joins the domain.
The steps to move existing user data and settings is documented here. Click Next.
- On the next screen click Restart.
As mentioned in the screenshot above, the program will automatically open and continue connecting to the network after restart.
[Today's post comes to us courtesy David Fabritius from Windows Server Marketing]
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is primarily designed as a first server solution for small businesses that need support for up to 25 user accounts and up to 50 devices. But even beyond the first server scenario, Essentials provides a number of unique, value-added features, such as Remote Web Access and automatic client computer backup, that many customers and partners want to have available in larger environments.
There are two scenarios in which Windows Server 2012 Essentials can be used in environments with more than 25 users, and we’ve blogged about the first scenario before (see Growing Beyond 25 Users with Windows Server 2012 Essentials). Small businesses that initially purchase Essentials and then later grow in size can purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard and do an in-place license transition of the server. This transition applies the Standard edition license and changes the Essentials “locks and limits,” such as the 25 user account limit, to those of Standard while retaining the value-added feature set—without having to re-install or migrate. Keep in mind that you will need Windows Server 2012 client access licenses (CALs) to access the instances of Windows Server 2012 Standard in your environment (the simplified licensing model for Essentials does not use or include any CALs as part of its product license). Also note that while there are no restrictions placed on the number of users/devices that can be added to a Windows Server 2012 Standard environment, there are maximum supportability limits for the specific Essentials features of 75 users (for example, when using the Dashboard for account management) and 75 devices (for example, when using client computer backup). The license transition also removes the Active Directory limitations so that you are able to establish trust relationships with other domains. Again from a supportability perspective for the value-added features, the Essentials server needs to remain the root of its forest and domain and retain all the FSMO roles.
The second scenario is new for Windows Server 2012 Essentials, but has been available in the Windows Server family for some time. The downgrade (sometimes referred to as “down edition”) rights for Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter have been expanded to include the Essentials edition. This means that when you purchase, or receive as a Software Assurance (SA) grant, a Windows Server 2012 Standard license, you can choose to run Essentials as one of your two virtual instances—without having to purchase Essentials separately. Remember that Standard now allows virtual use rights for up to two instances. This provides you with the small business server experience in the first virtual instance and leaves the second instance available to run additional workloads, such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, Remote Desktop Services, SharePoint, and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
This right is documented in the Windows Server 2012 Licensing FAQ (see Q15) as well as in the latest Microsoft Product List. Because this right was added during a late stage of the product release cycle, we were not able to update the EULA that is incorporated as part of the Windows Server 2012 products; however, this downgrade right is available to all customers in all available channels (except for SPLA), including volume licensing (VL), OEM, and retail (FPP). Keep in mind that the ability to run downgrade bits does not change the licensing or support terms in which you can use the product you purchased. So if you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard, you will need Windows Server 2012 CALs even if you choose to downgrade an instance to run Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
When you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard through volume licensing (VL), you can also download a copy of Windows Server 2012 Essentials and a product key from the VLSC. If you purchase an OEM or retail copy of Standard, you can download Essentials and obtain a product key to use during installation from the TechNet Eval Center, and then perform an in-place license transition by using your Standard product key, which gives you a fully licensed and supported instance.
Let’s look at some examples (all prices shown are Open no level estimated retail price in US dollars).
Scenario #1: Purchasing Windows Server 2012 Essentials to use with fewer than 25 users, and then later growing larger
You initially buy server hardware and Windows Server 2012 Essentials for your small business. Later, your business grows beyond the limits of Essentials, so you buy a copy of Windows Server 2012 Standard with the appropriate number of CALs and do an in-place license transition. When you perform the license transition, the Standard license is now also assigned to the server hardware. If the original purchase of Windows Server 2012 Essentials was an OEM license, it cannot be assigned to a new server, but retail and volume licenses can be reassigned to new hardware (limited to once every 90 days).
What to buy initially
Windows Server 2012 Essentials
N/A, no CALs included with purchase
Small to mid-range server
How to transition - What incremental software/licenses to buy
Windows Server 2012 Standard
(there is no “step-up” SKU or any special pricing/program)
Windows Server 2012 CALs for each user/device
(no CALs are included with the Essentials license)
$30 per user/device
N/A, you do an in-place transition using the same hardware
Scenario #2: Purchasing Windows Server 2012 Standard, exercising downgrade rights, and performing an in-place license transition
You buy server hardware and Windows Server 2012 Standard with CALs for your business that has more than 25 users. You have decided that you want to run one of your instances as Windows Server 2012 Essentials, so you download the ISO image and the product key from the VLSC or the TechNet Eval Center. You install Windows Server 2012 Standard and the Hyper-V role on the physical (host) server, create a virtual machine, and install Essentials as a virtual instance. In order to remove the 25 user account limit, you perform the in-place license transition by using your Standard product key. You can also create a second virtual machine to support additional workloads.
What to buy initially
Windows Server 2012 Standard
Windows Server 2012 CALs for each user/device
$30 per user/device
How to transition - What incremental software/licenses to buy
N/A, covered by downgrade rights
In light of the downgrade and in-place transition rights, what is the best edition of Windows Server 2012 for small business customers?
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is an ideal fit for small businesses that:
- are looking for a simple solution to deploy their first server;
- have fewer than 25 users;
- are interested in leveraging cloud-based applications and services; and
- want to run on a low-cost hardware platform.
Small businesses with these characteristics represent a huge opportunity in the market today, one that Essentials was specifically designed to address.
Windows Server 2012 Standard provides a more robust infrastructure solution while still allowing you to deploy and use all the great value-added features of Essentials. It’s an ideal fit for businesses that:
- have more sophisticated technology needs;
- have, or soon expect to have, more than 25 users;
- want to take advantage of Hyper-V Replica for disaster recovery; or
- have a business need to run additional on-premises workloads such as messaging and/or line-of-business applications in their own isolated instances.
If you haven’t already, please download the Windows Server 2012 Essentials evaluation and give us feedback via the Windows Server 2012 Essentials forum. We’d love to hear from you!
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Update Rollup 4 has been released today and is available for download from Microsoft Update. You can read about the issues this rollup addresses in Microsoft Support Knowledgebase 2757007.
In addition to the server-side update, a client-side update has been released as well. This update is documented in KB 2757014. The client-side package will be downloaded to the server along with the Update rollup. User does not have to go to the Windows Update website to obtain the package separately for the client machine. The client-side update supports Windows XP SP2 and later.
- 2757007 Update Rollup 4 for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials is available
- 2757014 Client-side update package is available for Update Rollup 4 for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Home Server 2011, and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
- 2757013 Update Rollup 4 for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is available
- 2757011 Update Rollup 4 for Windows Home Server 2011 is available
When you try to connect to Office 365 from the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard, the connection may fail or timeout.
Here is how the Office 365 tab shows up:
It will eventually time out without showing up the Exchange Online Mailbox information:
Here is how the user properties show up on the USERS tab.
It will eventually time out as:
Additionally, you will see the following error in SharedServiceHost-O365ProviderServiceConfig.log under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs directory:
PSRunspace: Openning remote runspace failed due to the error: Connecting to remote server ps.outlook.com failed with the following error message : The Proxy Auto-configuration URL was not found
This happens when the SYSTEM account is not able to establish an internet connection to the Office 365 site.
To correct the internet connection settings for the SYSTEM account, follow these steps:
- Download PsTools from http://download.sysinternals.com/files/PSTools.zip and extract it into a folder.
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator and navigate to the folder where PsTools are extracted.
- To open Internet Explorer under SYSTEM account, run PsExec.exe s i “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Iexplore.exe”.
- On the Internet Explorer window that has been opened under SYSTEM account, open Internet Options from the Tools icon. Navigate to the Connections tab, and click on LAN Settings. Clear the check for Automatically detect settings.
- Close the Dashboard and restart the Windows Server Office 365 Integration Service.
- Open the Dashboard again and you will find the Office 365 information available in the respective windows now. If that is not the case, you may need to restart the server.
[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Charanjeet Singh and Rituraj Choudhary from Commercial Technical Support]
After you login to a Windows Small Business Server 2008 Remote Web Access from an external Windows 8 machine and attempt to connect to an internal client, you will get the following error:
VBScript: Remote Desktop Connection
The wizard cannot configure Remote Desktop Connection settings. Make sure that the client version of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 6.0 or later is installed on this computer.
You will see this error even after installing the Microsoft RDP Client ActiveX control, and would not be able to connect to any internal machine via RWA.
The current workaround to get this working externally is to open Remote Web Access website in Compatibility View. You can accomplish this by following one of these methods.
- Click the Compatibility View button in the Internet Explorer Address bar and login to RWA again.
a. Tap the ‘Alt’ key to view the Internet Explorer Tool bar. Click Tools and then Compatibility View Settings.
b. Click to Add the website name and click Close. Login to RWA website again.
Following either of the aforementioned methods would let you remote desktop to the SBS 2008 domain clients using RWA.
[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Duncan Chalmers, release manager for Windows Server Essentials]
Hello everyone. I’d like to update you on three additional add-on software that are now available for Windows Server 2012 Essentials. We have added the Health Report add-in, made available the System Center Management Packs, and updated the My Server for Windows Phone app:
Please read the other postings on this Blog for more details about each of these cool new add-on software for Essentials.
Hi this is Yang Cao again, program manager on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials team. Today’s topic is about one of my favorite features in Windows Server 2012, Storage Spaces. If you Bing “Storage Spaces + Windows Server 2012” you’ll get over 400 million results (you’ll get even more results if you Bing “Storage Spaces + Windows 8” because this feature is available in both server and client). So in today’s post, I’ll try not to duplicate the other 400 million pages. I won’t repeat the definition of Storage Spaces, storage pools, thin provisioning, or resiliency. I won’t even insert the many screen shots of how to create a storage space. You can find all this information in this fabulous blog post in the Building Windows 8 blog: Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency.
Instead, I will talk about why small business users would love Storage Spaces, and how Windows Server 2012 Essentials makes Storage Spaces creation and management simpler.
Why would small business users love Storage Spaces?
When you are starting or running a small business, one question you might ask yourself is, how do I store data in a flexible, reliable, and affordable way? Maybe you just went through the pain of replacing a smaller disk with a larger one (not flexible enough). Maybe you are a little concerned with the critical data stored on an old disk (not reliable enough). Maybe you are looking at different solutions that might offer similar benefits, but would eat up your next year’s IT budget (not affordable enough)…
Why small business users would love Storage Spaces:
It is flexible. You can add disks of any kind or size into a storage pool, and then create one large virtual disk. Later on when your business and data grows, you can add more disks to seamlessly expand the storage capacity.
It is reliable. You can select the desired level of resiliency when creating your virtual disk, such as mirroring. For example, with at least two copies of the data being available on at least two different physical disks, you gain business continuity even if one of the physical disks fails.
It is affordable. No need to pay for another storage solution, no need to purchase special hardware controllers, enclosures, or drives, and no need to retire and abandon old drives.
Working with Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 Essentials
Storage Spaces meets small business users’ requirements for storage, so then the next question is, how can small business users make Storage Spaces “just work”? The Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard is a portal designed for small business administrators to perform daily management tasks. We integrated some common Storage Spaces tasks into the Dashboard so that administrators can continue using the same portal to configure, use, and manage Storage Spaces.
To make Storage Spaces easier to configure, Windows Server 2012 Essentials integrates the Storage Spaces control panel UI into the system, and provides an entry point from within the Dashboard (Storage -> Hard Drives -> Advanced: Manage Storage Spaces). Compared to Server Manager, the control panel UI simplifies the settings while still providing the most important configuration options, such as Name, Resiliency Type, and Size.
After a storage space is created, working with it in the Dashboard is very similar to other hard drives. You can create a server folder on a storage space, move a server folder to a storage space, or view the properties of a storage space. When you select a storage space, you can see more information about the resiliency type and the underlying storage pool in the Details Pane.
You can use a storage space as if it were a normal hard drive, and any warnings or errors will be displayed in the Alert Viewer in the Dashboard. Most commonly, you’ll see a low storage pool capacity alert. This alert appears when the underlying physical disk’s free capacity is running low. To solve this, you could either delete files to free up more space on the disk, or you could add a new disk to expand the storage pool. The UI from the Alert Viewer guides you through the task of adding a disk to the storage pool.
This is a short introduction because this feature is easy to configure, use, and manage. I hope you like this feature and the integration work we did in Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Your feedback is important to us. Please report any issues or suggestions on the forum
[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ning Kuang from Sustained Engineering]
We are excited to announce the RTM release of Health Report Add-in and Management Pack for Windows Server 2012 Essentials!
- Health Report Add-In for Windows Server 2012 Essentials: Download Link Here
Health Report covers the health of several key functionalities for Windows Server 2012 Essentials, it is designed to assist the administrator to easily monitor the server’s overall status, with a manually or automatically generated report.
Note if you have installed pre-RTM version, you should uninstall the previous version first, before you can install the RTM version.
To uninstall the pre-RTM Add-in:
- Open Dashboard, select APPLICATIONS from the navigation bar.
- From Add-ins page, select Health Report from the list of installed add-ins.
- From the Health Report Tasks, select Remove the add-in.
- Follow the wizard to remove the add-in.
- Windows Server 2012 Essentials Management Pack: Download Link Here
The Windows Server 2012 Essentials Management Pack allows you to monitor Windows Server 2012 Essentials with System Center Operation Manager 2012.
This is the first release of the pack, please download the package, and follow the System Center Operation Manager’s instruction to complete the setup.
A more detailed user manual will be published later this month.
[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Rituraj Choudhary and Manish Kapoor from Commercial Technical Support]
After you have applied updates from KB 2574819 and 2592687 to enable Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 on a client running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 on a Small Business Server 2011 Standard or Small Business Server 2011 Essentials domain, you may not be able to connect to it with the following error:
Additionally, if you try to RDP to this client internally (within the domain), you may see this error:
This issue may occur because in the Inbound Rules of Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, the rule Remote Desktop – RemoteFX (TCP-In) is not enabled on the client.
To enable this rule, click Start, and then type Windows Firewall with Advance Security.
Open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security and enable the rule Remote Desktop – RemoteFX (TCP-In).
Enabling this rule should fix the RDP connectivity issue.