Failed to read the Office Communicator Server version information

December 8, 2009

While trying to deploy an Edge Access Server for my OCS 2007 R2 deployment today I received the error message in the subject of this post.  Having installed the required files for the Edge Server, I then proceeded to Activate the server from the deployment wizard.  After selecting a service account I completed the wizard only to be presented with the following message.

when I then looked the log that has been generate I saw following error message

I couldn’t understand why I was getting this message as I knew that the time and date were set correctly on the server.  So a quick google search led me to a post where someone was having the same error.  Thankfully a response had also been posted which implied that security update KB974571 was to blame.  I checked the updates installed on the edge server and sure enough this update was in the list.  Following a link contained in the post led to a downloadable fix which i’m glad to say worked.



How to set Custom Status in Microsoft Offfice Communicator

December 7, 2009

Save the following code as Presence.xml under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communictaor

<?xml version=”1.0″?>






       <customState availability=”online”>

              <activity LCID=”1033″>Today at Home</activity>


       <customState availability=”busy”>

              <activity LCID=”1033″>Urgent Meeting</activity>


       <customState availability=”busy”>

              <activity LCID=”1033″>In a Conference</activity>


       <customState availability=”do-not-disturb”>

              <activity LCID=”1033″>Getting relaxed</activity>




Create a new Key called Communicator.  In that key, create a new String called CustomStateURL and give it the value file://C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office Communicator\\Presence.xml.  Then create a new DWORD called EnableSIPHighSecurityMode and give it the value 0

Extracting Activesync Logs from Exchange 2007

October 29, 2009

Had to try and troubleshoot an ActiveSync connectivity problem as I discovered though there is  no GUI mechanism that analyzes ActiveSync logs, so you I  had to use the Exchange Management Shell and the Export-ActiveSyncLog cmdlet to export the data.

To do so, you need to know the date that the desired data was collected, and the path to which you want to dump the extracted data. For example, suppose that you wanted to extract data that was collected on October 29 2009 and move it to a folder called C:\Logs. In this situation, you would use the following command:

Export-ActiveSyncLog -FileName:’C:\Inetpub\logs\LogFiles\W3SVC1\u_ex091029.log -UseGMT:$true -OutputPath C:\aslogs\(this was run on windows 2008)


This file name is based on the date chosen, which is entered in YYMMDD format. Exchange Server will then create six csv files in the target directory. The first CSV file that Exchange Server creates is Users.csv. This file logs user activity.

User-Agents.csv is the second CSV file that Exchange Server 2007 creates. This file logs activity according to device type. 

The Servers.csv file reports ActiveSync-related activity on a mailbox server-by-mailbox server basis. 

The PolicyCompliance.csv file reports on how well various wireless devices comply with established ActiveSync mailbox policies. 

The StatusCodes.csv file contains various undocumented codes designed for use by Microsoft technical support staff

Office Communications Server Front-End Fails to Start After Windows Update

October 15, 2009

After applying Windows Updates to My OCS 2007 R2 front-end server today I noticed that my communicator had failed to sign to me back in.  So I logged onto the front end server and to make sure all the services had restarted.  Looking at the services I noticed that the Office Communications Server Front-End had failed to start, so obviously I tried to restart it however again it failed to start.  A quick look in the event log showed the following error

“OCS Front-End service stopped with service specific error 3286842403 (0xC3E93C23)”


Did a search on google and came across another blog posting on the same topic which claimed that one of the Windows Updates that had just came down was the culprit (KB974571).   So I uninstalled the update and the gave the server a reboot and hey presto the service restarts and I can login to communicator!!!

Good old Microsoft hey…. Nothing like releasing a bug in a Windows update that breaks a critical product!!!

Killing a Windows Service That hangs on Stopping

October 2, 2009

Today I needed to restart the remote loader service running on Active Directory for Identity manager as the sync had stopped working.  However when I clicked the stop the service just hung in a ‘stopping’ state.  Now as this is running on a domain controller I didn’t really want to reboot the machine to kill the service off, so a quick google and I came across this solution:

1. Open a command prompt and query the service (in this case dirXMLRemote) by using the sc command

sc queryex dirXMLRemote

2. This will give you the following information:

        TYPE               : 110  WIN32_OWN_PROCESS  (interactive)
        STATE              : 3  STOP_PENDING
                                (STOPPABLE, NOT_PAUSABLE, IGNORES_SHUTDOWN))
        WIN32_EXIT_CODE    : 0  (0x0)
        SERVICE_EXIT_CODE  : 0  (0x0)
        CHECKPOINT         : 0x0
        WAIT_HINT          : 0x0
        PID                : 5172
        FLAGS              :

3. Here you can find the process identifier (PID), so then you can kill the associated process by using the taskkill command.

taskkill /PID 5172 /F

Replacing NDS 2 NDS Certificates in Novells IDM

September 22, 2009

Had an issue today day where synchronisation was not occurring between our master directory and the student NDS tree.  The first thing I tried was to restart the IDM driver, but this didn’t seem to have any effect.  So I opened a remote console into the server running the driver in the student NDS tree and loaded DSTRACE, the switches I used were:

dstrace on screen on file off

dstrace -all +dxml +dvrs

When I then switched to the DSTRACE console I was greeted with the following error message


The error message itself was pretty self explainable, the SSL certificate had expired and was preventing  the driver from communicating.  To double check this in console one, I located the KMO object for the driver certificate. When i went into the properties for the public key certificate on the certificates tab, yes indeed the certificate had expired 4 days ago.


So how do the replace the SSL certificate, thankfully there isn’t much involved this you just use the NDS 2 NDS Certificate Wizard within IDM to recreate the certificate, exactly the same way you did initially when creating the driver.



September 18, 2009

Came across powershell v2.0 CTP release 3 today so I downloaded and tried to install it.  No go! First I get a message telling me that I need to install something call WS MAN.

What is WS MAN? From the Microsft website: (

WS-Management (also known as WinRM) OOB is a targeted release for supporting WS-Management functionality on the following platforms: Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows 2003 Server R2. It replaces the WS-Management version that shipped in Windows Server 2003 R2. Customers are advised to update their Windows 2003 Server R2 with this update. This is a required component for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1

Ok that done I try again.  This time I get a warning telling me to uninstall previous versions of powershell (I had version 1 installed).  Ok not a problem I thought, so I opened up add/remove programs (shortcut appwiz.cpl) and scrolled down to windows powershell, but hang on its not there.  Thats strange I thought, so I went to the top of the list and scolled all the way down looking for powershell but still I can’t see it.  So how do I uninstall it?  A quick google search reveals that powershell actually comes down as a Windows update so i needed to check the box to show updates and hey presto problem solved powershell appears and I can uninstall it.

Renewing a self-signed certicate in Exchange 2007

September 16, 2009

While I was looking in the event logs of one of my Exchange 2007 Hub Transport Servers this morning I noticed the following warning message:


This is because Exchange 2007 issues a self-signed certificate for use with services like SMTP,IMAP,POP,IIS and UM and these certificates have validity period of 1 year.

To renew the certificate, open the Exchange Management Shell on the server in question and run the following powershell command:

Get-ExchangeCertificate -domain “fqdn of server”  | fl

Copy the thumbprint of the certificate which is displayed and then to renew the certificate run

Get-ExchangeCertificate -thumbprint “thumbprint” | New-ExchangeCertificate

When prompted enter y to continue, the new certificate is then generated and enabled.