Exchange Free/Busy Problems

After searching for a few hours and feeling seriously inadequate in my Google-Fu, I finally found a fix for a problem that doesn’t seem to have happened to anyone else.  So, if you have run across this issue, I feel your pain…

The boss lady called yesterday to let me know that she could not email her calendar with ONLY Free/Busy information.

The calendar you are saving does not contain any appointments during the specified date range:

Now, her error showed a date range for a month, not a single day.  Changing the options to include Limited data worked fine.  But this isn’t always acceptable.  If you’re sending this info to a vendor to help with scheduling a meeting, the vendor doesn’t need to know you have lunch plans with a competitor or an interview scheduled for next Friday.  They just need to know you aren’t available.

As I mentioned earlier, I searched for at least an hour and a half for this error.  After verifying that this occurred on my machine as well, I ruled out Outlook and started looking for solutions regarding Exchange.  I came across this great Technet article.  I downloaded the MAPI Editor tool and proceeded to follow the instructions in the Removing Free/Busy Information from the Schedule+ Free/Busy Folder section.

To remove Free/Busy information from the Schedule+ Free/Busy folder

  1. Log on as an account that has Exchange Full Administrative permissions. For more information about permissions, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 823018, “Overview of Exchange administrative role permissions in Exchange 2003” at
  2. Start MAPI Editor.
  3. On the Session menu, click Logon and Display Store Table.
    If the Choose Profile dialog box does not appear, you are probably already logged on to a profile. Log off the client and profile, and try step 3 again.
  4. Select the profile that you created for the directory service mailbox, and then click OK.
  5. On the MDB menu, click Open Public Folder Store, select Use Admin Privileges, and then click OK.
  6. In the Public Folders window, expand Public Root, and then expand NON_IPM_SUBTREE. The SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY folder is displayed.
  7. Expand the SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY folder.

    The subfolders of the Schedule + Free/Busy folder will be of the form EX:/o=Organization/ou=domain.

  8. Double-click the appropriate folder to open it.
    The folder could have several messages in it. Press Escape (ESC) to stop loading messages.
  9. Table/Create and Apply Content Restriction can be used to restrict the table to show only messages you are looking for. For example, because the subjects of free/busy messages take the form USER-/CN=container/CN=username, a restriction on PR_SUBJECT (0x0037001E) for the value “username” with the flags 0x00010001 (FL_SUBSTRING | FL_IGNORECASE) could be used to locate one specific message. Note that on large folders, restrictions may take time to apply.
  10. When the problem message is located, if you want to delete it, right-click the message, and then click Delete Message.
  11. When you are prompted, select Permanent Deletion (deletes to deleted item retention…) from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
  12. Using Outlook, create a new appointment for this user to force re-creation of the Free/Busy message.

Voila!  Emailing the calendar with only Free/Busy status works as expected. 😀

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 Exchange, Microsoft No Comments

Programmatically Throttling IIS

Ran across an issue where I needed to throttle WSUS bandwidth coming back to a server.  While WUS uses BITS, each machine knows of it’s network availability and utilization but has no knowledge of the network congestion to the server.  So, throttling IIS allows us to keep update traffic low and allows other traffic in and out of the site.  Here’s some VBScript

'Connect to local default website
Set IISConn = GetObject("IIS://localhost/W3SVC/1")
'Define kilobits for easier number manipulation
kBits = 1024

'Define the maximum bandwidth when throttled
minBandwidth = 10240 * kBits
minConnections = 300

'Define the unthrottled bandwidth value
maxBandwidth = -1
maxConnections = -1

'WScript.Echo IISConn.MaxBandwidth
'WScript.Echo IISConn.MaxConnections

'Detect current bandwidth setting and change appropriately
If IISConn.MaxBandwidth = minBandwidth Then
IISConn.Put "MaxBandwidth", maxBandwith
IISConn.Put "MaxBandwidth", minBandwidth
End If

'Write the value to the metadata

Two things of note…

1) Change the IISConn path to which ever service is running the website you want to throttle.

2) The values of the bandwidth entered to be multiplied should already be by 1024 (10 Mbps x 1024 = 10240 as listed above).

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 Code, Microsoft No Comments

Manually uninstalling Office 2007

Ran across an issue where the setup for Office 2007 would not complete.  It installed itself enough to show in Add/Remove Programs yet the programs wouldn’t start.  To resolve this I followed part of the steps in this article.

Specifically just Step 1…

Step 1: Remove any remaining Windows Installer packages of the 2007 Microsoft Office system:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type installer, and then click OK.This process opens the %windir%\Installer folder.
  2. On the View menu, click Details.
    To use the View menu in Windows Vista, you must press the ALT key first to display the menu bar, and then click the View menu.
  3. On the View menu, click Choose Details.
  4. Click to select the Subject check box, type 340 in the Width of selected column (in pixels) box, and then click OK.
    Note It may take several minutes for the subjects to appear next to each .msi file.
  5. For Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, on the View menu, point to Arrange icons by, and then click Subject.  For Windows Vista, on the View menu, point to Sort By, and then click Subject. In Windows Vista, a User Account Control dialog box may be displayed with the following warning:
    An unidentified program wants access to your computer

    Click Allow when you see this warning message.

  6. For each .msi file where the subject is “Microsoft Office Product_Name 2007,” right-click the .msi file, and then click Uninstall.
    Product_Name is a placeholder for the name of the 2007 Microsoft Office product.

After that I used the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility (download here) to remove the instance in Add/Remove Programs.  Installation completed successfully afterwards. 🙂

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 Office No Comments

WPMU Video Solution Framework

Playing with this framework for a project at work.  Here’s a couple of problems I’ve run across on my virgin Ubuntu install.  Documenting for prosperity. 😀

Import file for MySQL
mysql -uusername -p mysql < /path/to/sql/file.txt(.sql)

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 Ubuntu, WPVSF No Comments

Ubuntu Changes (for me)

Just getting used to the changes in these ‘modern’ Linux OSes…

Restart Apache
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Apache user

Apache config
apache2.conf (not httpd.conf)

Enable mods

Enable site

Mods are held in mods-available and sites are held in sites-available.

I’ll add more as I discover the changes I’ll need to remember.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 Ubuntu No Comments

WPMU Database Backup

While in the process of backing up a WPMU installation for upgrade testing I ran into a few problems with my database backups.  Seems that using the MySQL Administrator tool for backups hasn’t been working as well as I had hoped.  Restoring these backups would freeze halfway through.  So I figured it was time to resort to the old trusty mysqldump…

Unfortunately, running and testing backups during work hours is not so good.  The server handles the load fine, but locking the tables isn’t nice to the users.  Luckily for the testing db I don’t need full integrity so running the db backup without locking the tables is as simple as the following:

mysqldump -u username –password=supersecretpass –skip-lock-tables db_name > output.sql

However, this still doesn’t address the original issue of the MySQL Administrator program not giving me good dumps.  So we’re back to mysqldump:

mysqldump -u username –password=supersecretpass –opt db_name > output.sql

Now we’re in business…except for the following error:

Got error: 29: File ‘./wpmu/wp_1028_comments.MYD’ not found (Errcode: 24) when using LOCK TABLES

Well, it looked good anyway.  After doing some Googling I ran across this article detailing a couple of ways to fix it.  In my case, this error was only being seen during the dump of the database.  Simply adding –single-transaction to the command fixed the problem.

mysqldump -u username –password=supersecretpass –opt –single-transaction db_name > output.sql

If you do see this error during other times, try increasing the open_files_limit in the MySQL config file.  The Racker Hacker article goes more in depth if you want to check it out.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 MySQL, WPMU No Comments

Getting Setup

Blog setup and changes forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 Info No Comments

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