Sunday, September 30, 2012

Speed Up you Exchange Management Console & Shell Start Up


Microsoft Exchange Management Console and shell is taking too long time to open and sometimes it takes forever.

I’ve been investigating what is happening during the Exchange Management Console or shell startup that is causing this delay,
Thus I run the Microsoft Network Monitor  to sniff the traffic and see what is going on,

I noticed a traffic going to a public IP Address whenever I open the Exchange Management Console or Shell,
At the END of the request you will see as circled below .crl which is an acronym for  Certificate Revocation List
Seems the feature of checking the certificate revocation list is the one causing the delay as the console will wait till the server access the RL and check the status

More information about CRL can be found below 
  1. How Certificate Revocation Works – Microsoft


I removed the check mark on both check for “Check for publisher’s certificate revocation” & “Check for server certificate revocation” from Internet Explorer –> Tools –> Internet Options –> Advanced tab,
The result is an average of 70 % improvement in the startup time
  1. For the Exchange Management Console it improved from an Average of 12  seconds to 4,
  2. For the Exchange Management Shell it improved from an Average of 14 seconds to 3.

Note: this is a security feature and you should disable it only the machine where you are using Exchange Consoles and not on the Exchange Servers themselves ! so Be Careful

 see you soon, Hany Donia


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mailbox could not be created. Verify that OU ( Users ) exists and that password meets complexity requirements.


 You might face an issue during creating the test account that is going to be used by the Microsoft System Center Operation Manager SCOM as below for more information click here


CreateTestUser : Mailbox could not be created. Verify that OU ( Users ) exists and that password meets complexity requi
At D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts\new-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1:267 char:31
+       $result = CreateTestUser <<<<  $exchangeServer $mailboxServer $securePassword $OrganizationalUnit $UMDialPlan $
UMExtension $Prompt
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,CreateTestUser


Add the -OU  parameter the creating script and you should be fine

 .\new-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1 -ou "Your Desired OU"
see you soon, Hany Donia

Monday, September 24, 2012

Setup previously failed while performing the action "BuildToBuildUpgrade". You cannot resume setup by performing the action "Uninstall".

Recently I’ve encountered an issue while phasing-out Exchange 2007 SCC Mailbox Servers after an upgrade to Exchange 2010

1-      Uninstallation failed as per the below screen shot.

2-      Even ID 1002 is logged in the even viewer with the error “Setup previously failed while performing the action "BuildToBuildUpgrade".  You cannot resume setup by performing the action "Uninstall".”


                Exchange keeps tracks of failed through a registry key called “watermarks” so it can continue where it left over in case of setup failure more info can be found here,

                The same key is the cause of this issue as sometimes the setup succeed where the key is saying it failed


You will need to open the regedit and browse to the following location “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\v8.0\ClusteredMailboxServer”

Delete the Action and Watermark keys
Now retry the uninstallation and see the magic

see you soon, Hany Donia

Learn Exchange Server 2010 High Availability from Scott Schnoll


Can’t tell how many times I’ve listen to whom supposed to be experts discussing Exchange DAG and it was all misconnects & Whenever I see such discussions I refer all to Scott Schnoll sessions in TechEd about Exchange High Availability,

Don’t read about DAG from any blog , as there are a lot of misconnects there, learn it from the expert
Scott have done two sessions about DAG & you need to watch them respectively as below; it is not a one-time study, they are your reference to DAG and believe me you will need to watch them more than once.

  1. Exchange Server 2010: High Availability Concepts where the latest session was delivered at Tech·Ed Australia 2011 and here is the download link
  2. Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 High Availability Deep Dive where the latest session was delivered at TechEd Europe 2012 and here is the download link

see you soon, Hany Donia

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Exchange Server 2013 at TechEd

New Exchange Server 2013 Sessions from TechEd 2012 are available at Channel 9 , have fun :)


  1. TechEd Australia 2012


see you soon, Hany Donia

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Keep it Simple !

I was recently engaged in a huge messaging upgrade project and here are the lessons learned:


  1. Think service; when you design a messaging environment don’t let the technology geek in you take over & always think from a service point of view,
  2. Envisioning and planning are the most important steps in any successful project, always take your time to envision and plan and don’t rush things up, the more you invest in these two areas the more likely you will have a successful project,
  3. High availability is an end to end and not a product oriented, make sure the your messaging dependencies are all high available,
  4. Capacity planning , capacity planning , capacity planning,
  5. As Einstein once said everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler; always keep your design as simple as possible, as the design is not a place to show people you know some sophisticated scenarios.
  6. Build yourself a task list for each server and make sure that there is a junior engineer whom is reviewing your configuration against that list,
  7. Make sure all involved parties are aware about the whole picture and every step you are doing,
  8. Educate your service customers about what to expect during each step.
  9. ~ 80 % of any messaging project issues are from the network side; make sure to be in total sync with the network team before each and every project phase.

see you soon, Hany Donia

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Smart move from Microsoft premier !

see you soon, Hany Donia

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange Server failed to update the Kaspersky scan engine

Issue Description:

A Microsoft Forefront Protection event IDs 7003 and 7006 appears in the application log as a warning,

You will notice a warning in the engines part of the FPE dashboard,

If you clicked on engine summary you will notice an alert stating that Kaspersky antivirus definition has failed,

You might also receive an email from FPE stating that that Kaspersky antivirus definition has failed assuming you have configured the notification for that


This is a bug and till moment it is not clear if it is from Microsoft or Kaspersky side.


Make sure you enable the show hidden files

On Windows Server 2003
Browse the following directory  “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data” and rename the “Kaspersky SDK” folder to “Kaspersky SDK old”

Click on the Update All Engines Now from the actions menu

On windows Server 2008
Browse to the following directory “C:\ProgramData”  and rename the “Kaspersky SDK” folder to “Kaspersky SDK old”
Click on the Update All Engines Now from the actions menu
after some time a new folder will be created with the old name,

The first attempt to update the engines most probably will fail due to the timeout settings,
You will need to rerun the  Update All Engines Now from the actions menu for more than once till it succeed.

 see you soon, Hany Donia

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Microsoft Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell

Finally and after a long wait since I heard about it at Tech·Ed North America 2011 “recorded session”, ladies and gentlemen I gave you the Microsoft Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell

see you soon, Hany Donia

Friday, January 27, 2012

Exchange 2010 Microsoft Certified Masters (MCM) Training & Certification Overview

Don’t miss this one; register now to learn more about Exchange MCM

Event ID: 1032506718

Presenter(s): David Bjurman-Birr.
Language(s): English.
Product(s): Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 365.
Audience(s): Architect, Infrastructure Specialist, IT Manager, Pro Dev/Programmer and Training - Partners.

Communication drives business. Whether onsite or in the cloud, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is a critical infrastructure to ensure availability and security of an organization’s email, calendar, and contacts. Microsoft Certified Masters (MCMs) who are certified on Exchange Server 2010 are specialists in the design, migration, implementation, and optimization of the mail experience across multiple devices—which in turn helps lower messaging costs and helps ensure availability and security.
All Microsoft Certified Masters on Exchange Server 2010 become an immediate part of an exclusive community of experts that includes fellow graduates and members of the Exchange Server product group as well as valuable resources to which they can contribute and from which they can draw the collective knowledge of that community at any time.

At this event, MCM Program Management will provide a detailed overview for potential candidates and their sponsors.

Session Objectives:

  • Understand the goals and offerings of the Exchange 2010 MCM program
  • Understand the program value proposition
  • Plan preparation for Exchange 2010 MCM

  • Program Mission & Vision
  • Program Contents
  • Training Experience
  • Application & Preparation Process
  • Pricing Model
  • Value Proposition
  • Q&A

For additional information:

see you soon, Hany Donia