Deploy Printers via Group policy for Win XP, Vista and Win 7

I took me a while to figure out how to Deploy printers affectively using Group Policy.

Below is a step by step guide on how to deploy it for computers running Win XP and upwards.

  1. Download the appropriate drivers for the printer. This will mean in most cases you will need the 64 and 32bit drivers. I usually download the drivers for Server 2008 32 and 2008 64 as this seems to work the best.
  2. Install the Print Server role which can be found under Print & Document Services

  1. Open the Print Management MMC and go to the server. Right click and add the network printer exactly like you would normally.

  1. After its finished install right click on the printer go to Properties – Sharing – Additional Drivers and add the 32 bit drivers.
  1. Open the Group policy Management Console and create a Group Policy Object Called Deployed Printers. After this you have to link it either to an Organisational Unit on straight to the domain. When linking it to a OU please take note that you can deploy the printer per user or per computer. So make sure the if you deploy per user that the OU contains Users.

  1. Right click on the printer and select Deploy Printer with Group policy.

  1. Browse and select the Group Policy we created in step 5 and tick the users box. Then click add to deploy the printer. Your printer will then be listed under Deployed printers. The printer will then be available after a restart for workstations Vista and upwards. For computer running Win XP please continue with step 8.

 

  1. With Win XP computers we also need to add a file called Pushprinterconnections.exe which I’ve uploaded as I struggled to get hold of it.
  2. Edit the Deployed Printers Group policy and go to User Configuration – Policies – Windows Settings – Scripts and edit the Logon Scripts.
  1. Click on show files and copy the pushprinterconnections.exe into that folder. Then close the folder.
  2. Click add and select the pushprinterconnections.exe file and click ok.

  1. Apply and close the Policy and your XP computer should now also have the printer applied after a restart.

 

 

Installing Server 2008R2 from USB

So you’ve got everything prepared ready to install Server 2008R2 only to realize that you have the .iso for Server 2008R2 but no DVD to burn it on.

Luckily as long as you have a USB stick you can load the ISO on there and boot from USB.

Here is the steps:

D:\ = Server 2008R2 Mounted ISO

E:\ = Plugged in USB drive

1. Format the USB drive with FAT32

2. Run command:  D:\boot\bootsect.exe /NT60 E:  – This will make the stick bootable

3. Run Command: RoboCopy “D:” “E:” /S /E /copy:datso /zb /np /r:1 /W:1 – This will copy all the required files to the USB stick.

4. Make sure booting from USB is enabled on your server.

 

Regain control of Kaspersky Agents after Security Center Server crash.

The server that your Kaspersky Security runs on have unfortunately crashed or the services don’t start anymore. You’ve setup a new server and would just like to move all the agent to the new server. This is actually a lot easier then you think.

Below are the steps you need to follow:

1. Create a text file with the following 2 lines of code:

“c:\Program Files\Kaspersky Lab\NetworkAgent\klmover.exe” -address New_Kaspersky_Server -silent

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Kaspersky Lab\NetworkAgent\klmover.exe” -address New_Kaspersky_Server -silent

2. Rename it to a .bat file.

3. Open your Security Center and got to: Repositories – Installation Packages

4. Right click New – Installation package.

5. Select: Create installation package for specified executable file and then browse to the .bat file we created above.

6. Finish the import of the application.

7. Go to tasks for specific computer and create a new task.

8. Give it a name and select install application remotely.

9. Choose the computer you want to target, enter an admin account and set the time you want the task to run.

I would suggest to run it for a week at least to get the users that’s not always in the office as well.

RAID grow / Adding disks to RAID

Below the describes the process of growing the RAID on a server.

Preparation:

1. Make sure you have slots available for the new disk to be installed.

2. Make sure the drive size and speed is the same as the current drives in the server.

3. Make sure the server supports hot-swappable drives before you install the disk on a running server.

4. Make sure the new hard drive has the necessary casing on it to slot into the server before you take it through to the client (This is for the hot-plug drives).

3. Install the Dell Server Administrator software (If it is a Dell server). You will use this to grow the RAID.

4. Make an image/backup of the server before growing the RAID.

Execution:

1. Install the disk – This can be done while the system is live if the server support hot-plug drives. The lights on the new drives should immediately come on.

2. Open the Server Administrator software.

3. Select reconfigure on the Virtual Disk and click Execute.

4. Select the new disk you have installed that you want to add to the current RAID.

5. Select the RAID level. You would most likely not want to make any changes to the RAID so keep the RAID level the same as the current configuration.

6. It will now reconstruct the RAID to include the newly installed drive. Note that this can take several hours to complete. You can monitor the progress on the virtual disk.

7. Once the drive has been successfully added to the RAID you will see the free space available in Disk Management. You can now extend the current partition or create a new one. If you are using Server 2008 you can just right click on your current partition and select extend. If you are using Server 2003 you would have to use disk part.

 

 

SBS migration fails with Exhange that could not be installed

When we checked the logs we found the following error:

[REQUIRED] The nominated Exchange server for offline address book ‘New Offline Address List’ has been deleted. Nominate a valid server and restart setup.

In this case it was a SBS2003 to SBS2011 migration and on the SBS2003 server it did not have a valid offline address book specified. To resolve this you need to point the offline address book to valid server on the 2003 server.

Migrating printers

When migrating printers from Server 2003 x86 to Server 2008 x64, you can migrate them via Print Manager on server 2008.

Remember to either:

a) add x64 drivers as additional drivers on the source server

b) pre-install x64 drivers on the destination server

Otherwise the printers might not function correctly on the new server.

Exchange server not routing mail to another Exchange server

When you have two exchange servers and they are not routing mail correctly to one another, check the receive connector – If the other Exchange servers IP fall in the range that is specified in the custom internal relay connector with different permissions. Then the Exchange servers won’t be able to route from one to another.

Also note the following:

After we followed the Exchange deployment kit for 2007 – 2010 migration – We could not send mails from mailboxes that were moved to the new exchange 2010 server – You need to add the new server to the ‘source’ server tab on the new servers send connector.

Considerations for Microsoft DFS (Distibuted File System)

Many people look at DFS as a means to replicate data between servers and different branches.

Some thing to take note of before deciding to implement DFS:

1. You would need enough free space for the staging quota on the drives that contains the replication data. The staging quota is the area on the disk where the files that will be replicated are compressed to before they replicate to the other server. By default your staging qouta is 4GB but generally you will make this bigger.

2. If you have big files (Larger than 4GB) that is part of the data that will be replicated you would need to increase the staging quota. Any files larger than the staging quota won’t be able to replicate. Generally you want to increase the staging quote to as this can decrease the needed replication times.

3. When you setup DFS for the first time it can be very resource intensive on the CPU’s (Initial big replication).

4. DFS can be difficult to manage / troubleshoot if there are problems.

5. Certain firewall’s tend to cause problems when replicating over a WAN. In one scenario we had the situation where the Sonicwall was dropping the TCP connection after a certain period of time so the initial replication could never complete.

6. You can’t create new replication groups of folders that are already within an existing replication group.

7. Backups should not run at the same time as the DFS replication, otherwise it will backup the temporary staging folders. Should your DFS replication be scheduled to run all the time then make sure you remove the staging folders from the backup selection.

8. Users can overwrite eah others work if you are using DFS replication over a WAN to different file servers.

Make sure you run health reports in DFS to ensure your data is replicating correctly before you decommission one DFS server.