When the mind is under fear..Would you be able to give your best

Changes are welcome but if the changes make you feel suffocated, choked, will you welcome the change?

Sometimes I fail to understand if I am working with you or working for you.

 

 

My current mental state

खुद को ढूंढ़ने निकलता हूँ रोज़,
उन्हीं पुरानी गलियों में,
मगर ना जाने क्यों खुद की ही भूल भुलैया में फंस जाता हूँ,
ना जानें क्यों इतना मुश्किल सा लगता है खुद को ढूंढ़ना,
इतनी दफा उन गलियों से निकलने के बावजूद भी,
ना जाने आखिर कयूँ गुम हो जाता हूँ,
अपनी ही बनाई हुई उन गलियों में,
उन चौराहो पे,
उन मोहल्लो में,
ना जाने क्यों,
बस खुद को भटकता पाते ही,
डर सा जाता हूँ ,
सहम सा जाता हूँ,
खुद को कोसता हूँ, इस भूल भुलैया में घुसने के लिए.

Credit to anonymous

Sad..disappointed, disheartened…..

From last few days, I was reading and following the news of lay offs in some organizations. I have few friends who are working with this IT giant or shall I say was working with this IT giant. I never wanted to call them to ask if they are also affected by this turmoil but could not hold myself. Spoke with one of my very good friend who was also my mentor in my first job. We had spent few good years working together for two organizations before we moved on in our career.

When I called him today, I was praying to God that please keep his job safe. But no…he has been laid off..could not control my tears..why..why God..

He comes from a very humble background. Has struggled a lot to grow in life. I’ve seen his low and was part of his high times…We had shared our sorrows, pains and good times. Why..why he or why anyone..

Long back I was listening to a speaker in some seminar on emotional quotient and he had said “A man is shattered by two tragedies –one loosing spouse and the other is loosing Job..

Everyday when I wake up, I pray to god to keep my family and dear ones safe, sound and healthy.

Now as the emotions are bit low..I am pondering “is this what we deserve”..We compromise on our personal life, sacrifice our happiness to keep our clients happy. We forget or we don’t get time to call our family but never fails to dial in a conference call. We loose sleep to make sure that servers are up and running but if our kid is not keeping well, we may not get a day off to take him/her to doctor..

will come back to this…right now.. all the best my friend..

Have you ever ignored a message in outlook?

Few days back, I got a call from one of my local IT engineer friend to help on a tricky issue. He mentioned that for one of the user, emails with an identical subject line moves directly to Deleted items folder irrespective of internal or external sender.

My first suggestion was to check if there is a rule but as expected, the answer was “no rules”. I double verified it from exchange PowerShell and he was true –no rules.

I had seen such issues earlier and most of the time corruption in rules caused this and MFCMAPI had helped in almost all cases to remove the corrupt rules. But this time as there was no rule at all, MFCMAPI also could not help L

Then, I started analysing those emails. While looking at those emails in Deleted items folder, I noticed that “Ignore” menu is highlighted for those messages but not for other messages…next question, why is this and what is this “ignore” thingy…

As per MS “Ignore Conversation removes all messages related to the conversation that you select, and moves future messages in the conversation directly to your Deleted Items folder.”.

That was it…User has accidently selected “ignore” option instead of delete option and as designed, all future messages in that conversation was moving directly to Deleted Items folder.

Ok..symptom and cause understood but how to stop it…simple…go to Deleted Items folder, select any message in that conversation. You will see that Ignore option is highlighted if the conversation was ignored earlier.

Click on the ignore button and there will be a message popping up

ignore2

Select Stop Ignoring Conversation.  As mentioned, future messages will not be moved to Deleted items folder and all ignore messages will be moved to inbox folder.

Though this ignore option is helpful if we need to stop a particular conversation coming to inbox but it should be named something like “Delete Conversation” as it does exactly that…

 

 

 

 

MSExchange Tranpsort service stuck on “Starting”.

MSExchange Tranpsort service stuck on “Starting”.

Yesterday while monitoring my email servers (we have configured a live monitoring using SCOM) on Live MAP, the primary hub server alerted on the number of emails stuck in “submission” queue. I quickly logged on to the server and found that submission queue is increasing rapidly. As this server is one of the 2 servers to accept incoming emails from internet and also for outgoing, the queue was growing very rapidly.

Checked the event logs and the first event which caught my attention was “Database corruption”. Oh no…long long ago this used to be a normal issue but I don’t remember when was the last time I worked on a corrupted database.

2

 

The logs also showed that Transport service process was crashing continuously

1

As the users had already started complaining about emails not reaching to recipients, we had a little time to fix this issue and business demanded to restore the services at the earliest.

 

How we fixed it:

The toughest part was to get any change request approved as environment being under change freeze period. As the first priority was to establish the mail flow, we chalked out the plan to provide alternate path for incoming emails and remove this server from outgoing connector. The second part was easy, removed the server from Send Connectors. For the first part, we borrowed an unused IP address and assigned it to this problematic server. Then we assigned the original IP of this server to another Hub server as a secondary address. Once  the replication was done in DNS, the incoming emails started flowing through this server. Return to original issue…

The submission queue was showing 1700+ emails. We decided to follow the well laid path..recycle the service. Voila…the service stuck on “Starting”…waited for a while expecting that it would start. Checked the events …logs are replaying…waiting…process crashed. Phewww

Team huddle…decided to kill the transport process and then reboot the box…done…No luck…

Time for some real stuff. Thanks to my Exchange Guru and God : Ashley …..

Though the email queue database extension is .que, the underlying functionality is still like normal exchange database (.edb)

Used the old friendly utility and found that database is in “Dirty shutdown” state.

Command: eseutil /mh “D:\Exchange Server\Queue\Database\mail.que”

Output: Cropped for better readability

          State: Dirty Shutdown

     Log Required: 6525364-6525463 (0x6391b4-0x639217)

Checked the Log folder and fortunately all the required log files were present..(Mail queue database uses circular logging by default)

Though a simple option was to kill the transport service and rename the Queue folder and start the service again. This will create a new database and the issue could have been fixed easily but we would have lost those 1700+ emails. So this option was rejected.

At this point, we decided to perform recovery of the database.

Steps:

  1. Disabled the Transport service and restarted the server.
  2. Copied the complete Queue database to a different drive – for safe keeping.
  3. Ran the below command

Eseutil /r trn /l “D:\Exchange Server\Queue\Logs” /d “D:\Exchange Server\Queue\Database”

The process took some time as the database size was big but completed successfully. Checked the state of the database again and ah…”Clean shutdown”

  1. Started the transport service and this time it started successfully.
  2. As it was a recovered database, we decided to flush all the emails and then create a new database. So, paused the service again and let the queue clear.
  3. Once the queue was clear, stopped the service, renamed the queue folder and started the service again. A new queue database was created.
  4. Checked the queue status – All healthy
  5. Swapped the IP which was changed earlier to restore the original mail route and added the server again to connectors.

A good learning…Special thanks to my Lead “Ashley”..you are genius…always…not sometimes J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Active Sync Device cannot be found :)

Sometimes it seems like, people are waiting to come online on communicator. I plugged in my laptop and picked the cup to fetch hot water to prepare my daily dose of green tea, and one of the site in-charge pings me for an active sync device issue. I politely informed that I need some time to get settled but he was insistent to fix the issue right at the moment. Ok..whats up …

A user has been let off and he carried the device with email configured on it. Security team needs this device partnership removed ASAP. Go ahead…I said. He retorted that after trying it from EMS and EMC and getting an error, he has bugged me.. ok ! let me have a look.

I opened EMC and searched the user and started manage mobile phone wizard.  I could see a device attached to the mailbox. Selected “Remove mobile phone partnership” and clicked on remove and here is the result

erroractivesync

Why…we have a device attached and I do have full rights to manage my exchange environment then what…Took a close look at the error and it showed “The active sync device cannot be found”..Hmm.. I asked IT incharge if there is any changes made to this user AD object. He said as the user was terminated the AD account was moved to Terminated user OU..Voila..that is it..Because the partnership was established before the object was moved to this OU, we are receiving this error. One way to fix this is to move back the AD object to original OU and then remove device partnership and move it back to Terminated User OU. But Security team guys will not allow it so we need to do this purely from exchange side without doing anything to AD object.

Tricky. I forgot about my green tea and started thinking…after some googling and trial and error found the solution.. The trick is to use device GUID..

Here is the simple solution if you ever run into this.

  1. Open EMS
  2. Run following command : Get-ActivesyncDeviceStatistics –Mailbox “user alias”
  3. Copy the GUID of the device that needs to be removed
  4. Run below given command

Remove-ActiveSyncDevice –Identity “Guid copied in Step 3”

Go have your cup of green tea. J

Applies to: Exchange 2010

Emails sent from an individual mailbox are saved in “Sent Items” by default. But in case of a shared/group mailbox, it is imperative that emails sent by using that mailbox from address are saved in Shared/Group mailbox sent items folder, so that it can be accessed by all the members using the shared mailbox.

There are three ways to achieve it.

  1. By modifying the registry key on each computer where shared mailbox is being accessed
  2. Modifying the sent item saving behaviour from Outlook web app
  3. Modifying the sent item saving behaviour from Exchange PowerShell.

 

Method 1:

To enable the automatic movement of emails sent from shared mailbox, a registry value needs to be created in following Key

For outlook 2013

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Preferences

DWORD: DelegateSentItemsStyle

Data Value: 1

For outlook 2010

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences

DWORD: DelegateSentItemsStyle

Data Value: 1

For outlook 2007

Install the hotfix KB970944 and then create the

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Preferences

DWORD: DelegateSentItemsStyle

Data Value: 1

In all versions, close the outlook and reopen to take this change effect.

Method 2 – using outlook web app

To change the sent item saving of a shared mailbox, make sure you have the full mailbox access on the shared mailbox.

  1. Open your personal mailbox using Outlook Web App.
  2. Open the shared mailbox by following the steps mentioned below
  3. Click on your name at the top right of the screen and select “Open other mailbox”
  4. In Select mailbox, type the name of shared mailbox. A part of the mailbox name can also be entered and CTRL+K can be used to complete the mailbox name.
  5. Click “Open” to open the shared mailbox
  6. Check Options ->See all Options at the top right of the screen
  7. Click on Settings in the left-hand column
  8. Click Sent Items on the top bar
  9. The following screen will now appear:

owa

  1. By default the option is set to “Sender mailbox”. You can change the setting to one of the below options
  2. Sender mailbox : this will save the items in the personal mailbox.
  3. From Mailbox : This will save the items in Shared mailbox. Though the option is available but it is reserved for future use.
  4. Sender and From Mailboxes: This will save items in both personal and shared mailbox.
  5. Click on Save after changing the option.
  6. You need to restart outlook to confirm that change is successfully implemented. This can also be confirmed from OWA.
  7. The advantage of doing this from OWA than creating registry key, is that once done from OWA, it will be changed on all the computer where this shared mailbox is accessed.

Method 3: Using Exchange PowerShell

Set-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration CmdLet can be used to modify the setting of sent items behaviour of Shared mailbox. There are two parameters

  1. -SendAsItemsCopiedTo
  2. -SendOnBehalfOfItemsCopiedTo

Like OWA option, there are two values that can be set

  • Sender – this will save the items in the personal mailbox.
  • SenderAndFrom – messages are stored in both the Sent Items of the user who sent the message, and the Sent Items of the shared mailbox
  • There is an additional value of “From” that is reserved for future use.

Example:

To configure the shared mailbox “Test.Shared” so that messages sent as that mailbox are saved in both to the Sent Items folder of the “Test.Shared” mailbox, and the Sent Items folder of the user that actually sent the message.

Set-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration ” Test.Shared ” -SendAsItemsCopiedTo SenderAndFrom

Questions:

For any queries on this, please feel free to comment.