Troubleshooting Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

I have recently been having some Address Book sync problems with Office Communicator 2007 R2. A couple things I wanted to share with anyone who cares to listen:

-When you turn on logging within Communicator, the logs are placed in your profile directory. So, at the root of your profile (i.e. for Windows XP, it would be: c:\documents and settings\%username%), open the Tracing folder. This is where the logs are created.

-When you start Communicator, it tries to download and make a local copy of the Address Book. The location of the address book copy is again located in the profile directory. So, for Windows XP, it would be: c:\documents and settings\%username%\local settings\application data\microsoft\communicator .

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and NIC Teaming

I have been trying to install Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 Standard Edition for a few days now without success.

During the server install process (after the schema has been extended), a warning shows up in the activation logs of every role (Standard Edition Server, Web Components Server, Web Conferencing Server, Audio/Video Conferencing Server, Application Sharing Server, and Application Host).

The warning on the main Deployment Log states:

[0x03EC796D] Wizard was successful, but one or more warnings occurred during execution of the wizard. Please check the log file for more information.

The warning within each activation log states:

[0x03EC78E4] More than one DNS records are found for the pool FQDN. Please validate the pool’s DNS registration.

A note about the DNS Record Count: 3 is also in the log.

After trying for many hours to get this to work, the solution is simple, but it isn’t ‘nice’.
Office Communications Server 2007 does not support network interface controller (NIC) teaming. Sounds crazy, right? Good luck finding this little tidbit documented anywhere.

[UPDATE] I have been told (by a Microsoft rep) that Microsoft does support NIC teaming, but I haven’t found any documentation that points to the correct answer.

Exchange System Attendant Errors

I have recently been setting up a virtual network to get more experience in upgrading the applications listed below in the same environment. I am utilizing the following Microsoft products:

Windows Server 2008 domain controller (version: Server Core)
Windows Server 2003 application servers (possible upgrade to Server 2008 in the future)
Exchange (version: 2003 upgrading to 2007)
Live Communications Server (version: 2003 upgrading to OCS 2007)
Windows SharePoint Services (version: 2.0 upgrading to 3.0)
SharePoint Portal Server (version: 2003 upgrading to MOSS 2007)
SQL (version: 2005 upgrading to 2008)

The DC has two NICs, one is Local only and the second has external access. The first Application server has one NIC, local only.

Right now I am at the point where I have my DC setup and I have finished installing Exchange 2003 on the first Application server that will host LCS 2003 as well. However, after I rebooted, I encountered the following errors within the Windows Application Log:

Event ID: 1005
Source: MSExchangeSA
Type: Error
Body: Unexpected error The logon attempt failed ID no: 8009030c Microsoft Exchange System Attendant occurred.

Event ID: 1004
Source: MSExchangeSA
Type: Error
Body: Microsoft Exchange System Attendant failed to start

Event ID: 1005
Source: MSExchangeSA
Type: Error
Body: Unexpected error The clocks on the client and server machines are skewed. ID no: 80090324 Microsoft Exchange System Attendant occurred

Also there is a Kerberos (Event ID: 5) error in the Windows System log.

My first thought was that due to the 1005 errors, the Application server wasn’t getting its time from the DC. Since it was a Server Core implementation, I did miss something (oops!): I did not start the w32time service. So, I entered the following commands:
>net start w32time
>sc config w32time start= auto

Now that the service was started, I did a reboot of the Application server just to make sure everything was working well. Same errors.

Since the error stated the times were “skewed”, I checked the time on the DC (by just typing “time” at the cmd prompt) and Application server….they were the same. What now?
I tried a manual time sync on the Application server using the w32tm command. This told me that the time between the server and the DC (its time authority) was exactly 2 hours off. That raised a flag! Timezone!

I checked the timezone for the Application server and it was correct. I went to the DC and at the prompt I typed >control timedate.cpl and one of the only remaining GUIs in Server Core gave me my answer….the DC was using the wrong timezone.

I updated the timezone, rebooted the Application server, and the System Attendant started without any problems.

Now on to installing LCS.

Remove (Hide) SharePoint Templates

I have been asked several times about removing some of the templates that are available at site creation. There are several reasons you might want to do this and it really is simple to implement.

To hide a template from users, open the Webtemp.xml file located in the /program files/common files/Microsoft shared/web server extensions……/template/1033/XML folder. Change the Hidden parameter of the template(s) you want to hide. Recycle IIS and you should be set.

BTW, don’t even think about editing anything other than the Hidden parameter in the Webtemp.xml file. You don’t want to fall into the unsupported configuration category as KB 898631 explains.

Mail Enable Document Libraries for WSS 2.0

One great feature for WSS 3.0 is the e-mail enabled libraries. It can really get you using SharePoint beyond just a normal web site. But did you know that you can have e-mail-enabled document libraries using WSS 2.0? Yup, you sure can. It actually isn’t anything new for the recent version.

Here is the information on TechNet: Configuring E-Mail-Enabled Document Libraries (Windows SharePoint Services 2.0)

Solutions Using the Microsoft Office System

I recently ran across a little gem on the TechNet website: “Solutions Using the Microsoft Office System: Learn how to use the Microsoft Office system to solve your business scenarios
This page includes over 40 large Visio diagrams detailing the Microsoft Office system, over 30 of which specifically reference SharePoint as a central topic.

The topics include InfoPath and Forms integration, scenarios using SharePoint (such as a Call Center, Intranet Portal, Internet News Site, etc.), Records Management, Business Intelligence, and detailed SharePoint Server topics including:

  • Application Security
  • Backup and Restore
  • Topologies
  • Baseline Site Hierarchies
  • Customization
  • Database Administration
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Extranet Topologies
  • Inter-Farm Shared Services
  • Search Administration
  • Shared Services

The information presented can give you a really good understanding of the functions of SharePoint Server. I am currently diving into the Backup and Restore diagram. I just wish I had a poster printer for them!

Upgrade WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2003 to MOSS

It would be great if we all had a detailed guide to show us the upgrade steps specific for us. A step-by-step guide is a little more complicated than you might think. Without knowing your environment, any plan anyone will give you will be at least a little generic.

However, Microsoft has done a pretty good job at providing the steps. You will need to make your decision on how you will upgrade your environment. Your choices are gradual upgrade, in-place upgrade, and database migration. Basic concept: if you have a highly-customized environment, you will have a more complicated, but not impossible, upgrade path.

Instead of rewriting what has already been said, I suggest following Joel Oleson’s advice in his post labeled Best of… Upgrade and Deployment Guides for WSS v3 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

If you follow the steps listed on Microsoft’s TechNet site, you will probably have a successful upgrade. But, you have to read it all!
I suggest start at the beginning: Upgrading to Office SharePoint Server 2007

Here are the links to the sections below the link above.

If you want to do this correctly, you will need to read the content and make an informed decision on your path to upgrade. I have done upgrades and it can be a pain. But once it is done, you will love your new environment!

Response to a SharePointU post here: