SMB Signing and Security

Server Message Block security has two main components: user-level and share-level. The first is for accessing servers, and the second is for accessing files, folders, and printers if share-level authentication has been configured on...

01/31/10

Uninstalling and Downgrading SMB 2.x

We’ve been extolling the virtues of SMB 2.x for the past few posts, but sometimes you may want to disable SMB entirely, or perhaps downgrade it from 2.x to 1.x. Here are some suggestions to point you in the right direction. I’ve...

01/28/10

SMB and Opportunistic Locking

One of the ways in which Server 2008’s new version of the Server Message Block protocol improves performance over the original version of SMB is through something called “opportunistic locking,” or “oplocks” for short. The idea is...

01/25/10

SMB 2.x and Interlocking Technologies

So we’ve been discussing SMB (Server Message Block) 2.x and its various benefits, but so far we haven’t talked about how the new file-sharing protocol works together with other bits and pieces in Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. It...

01/22/10

SMB 2.1 and Multithreaded Robocopy

The latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s Server Message Block protocol for file sharing in Windows networks is 2.1, which ships with Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. In previous posts I’ve mentioned some ways in which this new SMB...

01/18/10

Server Message Block 2.1

Last time I discussed the (relatively) new SMB 2 protocol supported in Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008. This protocol update can make communications more efficient between Longhorn operating systems. The question naturally arises...

01/17/10

SMB 2.0: Addressing the Basics

The Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol has been around since the dawn of time (anybody remember Windows for Workgroups?) With Longhorn operating systems (Server 2008, Vista, Windows 7), we have finally moved from SMB...

01/16/10

Windows Server Backup and Server Core

Microsoft’s Windows Server Backup program, which we’ve been discussing lately, wouldn’t be all that great if it didn’t also support the Server Core versions of the server operating system – the ones that don’t include a graphical...

12/30/09

WBADMIN and Server 2008 R2

Last time I wrote about the Windows Server Backup tool in Server 2008 and its use in creating systems state backups. Microsoft made some changes to the backup tool in Server 2008 R2, as it pertains to system state backups, that I...

12/26/09

Server 2008 System State Backups

The “system state” of a Windows server can contain a variety of data stores but it always includes the computer settings in the registry, so making sure you have frequent system state backups is generally a good thing. A system state...

12/23/09

Vista/S2008 Registry Corruption Recovery Trick #1001

The other day I wrote about a power outage in my office that resulted in Server 2008 registry corruption and a no-start condition, requiring the restoration of the system state from a backup. However, what if you don’t have a...

12/22/09

BranchCache and Content Updates

One of the issues in any caching scheme involves data volatility. When data can change, there is a risk of caches becoming outdated. We’ve seen the potential ramifications of this in technologies from browser caching to DNS...

12/21/09

An Overview of a BranchCache Implementation

Last time, I wrote about the new BranchCache capability in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. Today I'll give you an overview on how to go about setting it up. (You’ll find details on these steps online in various TechNet docs on...

12/17/09

Server 2008 R2 and BranchCache

The concept of file caching has been around for many years. In fact, it’s one of the ways that IBM made its PS/2 Model 50 computer perform better than its predecessor, the IBM AT, even though the AT’s hard drive was actually faster...

12/16/09

Registry Corruption and Power Cuts

Winter in Colorado can be brutal, and this past week we’ve seen some low temperatures, high winds, and (partly as a result) some power cuts. In fact there was one at my own office yesterday. The power was out for most of the day. The...

12/11/09

SRV Records and Active Directory, Part IV

Today we get to take a look at one of the clever advantages of using SRV resource records in DNS to provide locator information for Active Directory domain controllers. Because Windows clients are “wired” to check DNS to find a DC,...

11/29/09

SRV Records and Active Directory, Part III

In recent posts I’ve written about the SRV resource records in DNS and how they provide location information for domain controllers and global catalog servers. In addition, SRV records point to the one server in each domain that acts...

11/28/09

SRV Records and Active Directory, Part II

Earlier this month we discussed how special DNS resource records called SRV (service locator) records help Windows systems find domain controllers so they can authenticate to the domain. Interestingly, SRV records also help Windows...

11/23/09

SRV Records and Active Directory

Any discussion of DNS and Active Directory must come quickly to a discussion of the AD “signposts” known as the SRV (service locator) records. SRV is just another resource record type, like A and PTR and MX. It is defined in the RFC...

11/16/09

Secure Updates in Server 2008 DNS

One of the big benefits of combining AD and DNS on the same system using Active Directory Integrated (ADI) zones is that you can specify that dynamic updates should be “secure.” (This operation is accomplished either through the DNS...

11/13/09

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