Friday, December 28, 2007
When the replacement arrived I followed the instructions - uninstalled the software and then reinstalled the software. I was able to print via the network to the printer - I could access the web interface of the printer. HOWEVER, if I attempted to launch the HP SOLUTION CENTER I immediately received a reply that NO DEVICE FOUND - along with a button to click that said OK! (as if this was ok).
By the way, what do you think of printer/scanner software that tells you it is going to take 20-30 minutes to install? This to me sounds like BLOAT.
I called HP Technical Support. They established a remote session with my workstation. They redid the steps that I a had already told them I had done - uninstalled the software and then reinstalled the software. NO DEVICE FOUND. You have to love that at least these beasts are usually consistent. After hacking around for a total of about 2 hours this support guy was able to scan by manually launching one of the executables buried deep within their software directories. So, obviously the hardware was working. It got to be 5pm and I told the technician that the business owner had to close up shop and we would have to discontinue the support call and resume at a later date.
The support technician then told me to allow 3 to 4 hours for the next support phone call! At this point, without the followup call, my customer had already paid me more for my time than the $400 cost of the printer.
Instead of making the 4 hour phone call the next day (12/17) I wrote an email to Mark Hurd, CEO of Hewlett Packard. I received an email response the following day (12/18) apologizing for my difficulties and letting me know my issue had been forwarded to the Customer Escalation team and I would hear from them. The Customer Escalation team must have been fairly busy - I received a telephone message on 12/24.
Yesterday I made a site visit to the customer and called the Customer Escalation department. When I explained the issue I was told - 'you need technical support - but let me try and work with the software issue' . This guy had me delete a few files, reinstall some software and try again. NO DEVICE FOUND. Then he said he would transfer me to Technical Support. I asked if there was some higher level of Technical Support I could access since the guys that say 'please be on hold so I may consult my resources' have NO EXPERIENCE and about as little technical knowledge. I wanted to work with someone that was a troubleshooter - not a script reciter. The Customer Escalation guy told me that there was just one access point to technical support. Then he said if I did not find the support technician to be helpful - I should ask to speak to the supervisor because they are technicians and have experience. Before he transferred me he said he would call me back late in the day to followup on my technical support experience.
Then I spoke to 'William' from Banglor or whatever his name was and wherever he really was. I told him what the issue was and for the next several minutes he asked me questions that I had already answered in my initial description of the issue. Eventually he asked me to 'please be on hold while I consult my resources'. Before he could put me on hold I jumped in and told him that the guy who transferred me to him instructed me to ask for a supervisor.
From this point it took about 15 minutes of him asking me my name, email address and other stuff that he already had in the case notes. After all this delay he told me his supervisor was on the telephone, this was the only person available for me to talk to, and he had no way of knowing how long he would be - but that he could have the supervisor call me back - within 90 minutes. I said okay. That was at about noon EST on 12/27. It is now 12/28 and I have not heard from the supervisor.
I did, however, have another phone message from the Customer Escalation department guy.
I returned the call, spoke to a different guy because my guy had finished his day. I gave the different guy my report. 1) Supervisor never called me back. 2) HP AIO software is BLOAT and this is just one of several really bad experiences I have had with it 3) Is this the experience that HP wants to have with their end users (my customers) where they have to pump more money into making something work than the actual device cost in the first place.
I added - as something for the mythical suggestion box - in this day of venders trying to make inroads into the SMB market space - that HP should consider having a Technical Support access for SMB Consultants where we can find someone that knows more about their product than we know - instead of script readers.
By the way, on my own, after getting off the phone with 'William', I found that the web interface for the printer has a SCAN funtion. I doubt that it is as pretty, functional or robust as the workstation scanning software but guess what - I was able to show the customer how to scan with it and CUT HIS LOSSES.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Here's one that I just unraveled. Perhaps it will save some of you some headache in the future.
I've got a client that has SBS. They are a fuse/zoomtown customer. When I first got involved with them they did not have SBS and fuse was hosting their email. When we implemented SBS we initially were using the POP mail connector. Everything was working fine.
Recently I wanted to switch their mail to be processed by Exchange Defender. In order to take advantage of ED we needed to get of the POP Connector and get on to SMTP. Fuse also hosted this company's DNS. I contacted Fuse network operations and requested they change the MX record in the DNS from FUSE to EXCHANGEDEFENDER. They made this change promptly and everything was working well – or so I thought. On a recent office visit one of the staff at this company told me that some emails being sent to them were not being received. A second staff member heard this and piped in – 'yeah, me too – some people have told me they sent me email and I never received them'. I asked if they recalled the various senders that had reported sending 'lost' email and they remembered each one. When we looked at the senders email addresses they were all @ fuse.net email addresses. I called fuse/zt tech support and spoke to someone there and explained the situation and asked if they could check this out. They did something and then told me everything was fine on their end – 'must be something wrong with your exchange server or your Exchange Defender service'. Today I had a revelation – one of those mental light bulbs that comes on in the shower, on the can, etc. and I figured it out. I got someone else at fuse/zt on the phone and I told them what the answer was and asked them to dig in their system and confirm it. Seems that when they changed the mx record to direct mail to a different destination – that was all they did. They did not update ANYTHING in their mail server. My client's domain and defunct pop mail boxes still existed in their server. When the outside world sent email to my client their outbound mail servers did the proper thing and queried DNS and saw that this mail was supposed to go to EXCHANGEDEFENDER and routed it accordingly. HOWEVER, if a FUSE/ZT customer initiated email – the fuse smtp server did not look at DNS first, it first looked at it's internal mail server and saw that there was a domain and mailboxes sitting right there in house. They proceded to send emails that originated on the fuse network to these defunct mailboxes. Voila – or wahla as I've seen. This mystery solved.
Right now I am still waiting for cinbell to complete the fix. Their first instruction to me was that I should call the business office and request they cancel our account. I said 'that's not going to happen'. When asked 'why not' I said that I KNEW that if I did this then certain other things – like our ISP service, the web site that they host for us would be guaranteed to disappear and we would have a Chinese firedrill ( no political incorrectness intended here) would ensue realtime during business hours. So far they have deleted the individual mailboxes in their system but not the domain from the mail system. So now, senders instead of getting no response when they were sending email to the dead letter mailboxes – get an immediate 'bad email address' because fuse still checks the internal mail server and sees there is no longer an individual box for the particular addressee. I just have to get them to delete the entire domain from their mail server now so they route the mail properly to its correct destination at ED.
Maybe there's not that much difference
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sent to you by Allen via Google Reader:
Les Connor uses spamhaus.org to add a bit more spam filtering to his clients
Go to the Connection filtering tab, and enter zen.spamhaus.org as the provider, and OK/apply.
Ensure connection filtering is enabled in the default smtp virtual
Go into the default SMTP Virtual Server Properties
Click on Advanced
Click on Edit and ensure Apply Connection Filter
Go to http://www.spamhaus.org/ and have a look at their faq's, they're very
good. The zen thing includes their 3 anti-spam databases.
You can set up perfmon counters to see how effective it is - see the
attachment. The IMF perfmon setup is there as well. I keep shortcuts to
the two on the server desktop so I can check the stats periodically.
When I did one of my Fast Track webcasts I did a demo of my Performance Monitor
reports for Intelligent Message Filter and Real-time Black Lists reports. I thought I
would show them here since everyone seemed pretter interested in them. To create
these, you just bring up Performance monitor and pick the counters listed below,
select view report on the toolbar and save it as a shortcut. The counters will reset
when the machine is rebooted.
P.S. Oh yeah... Les says it appears to nail most of this pdf spam
Things you can do from here:
- E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva"
- Subscribe to E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your favorite sites
Monday, August 6, 2007
Use 2 private store and 2 public store files - not log files.
Copy files to MDBDATA folder and attempt to Mount Databases.
If there is an error you can try the following procedures (KB906148)
Option 2 - Repair the database
Open a command prompt.
Move to the Drive:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin folder.
Type the following command:
eseutil /p "drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb"
Defragment and rebuild the database so that you can use this database in a production environment. To do this, type the following command:
eseutil /d /t:x "drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb"Note In this command, x is a temporary drive location that has free drive space that is equal to at least 110 percent of the size of the database that will be defragmented.
Verify that the status of the database is consistent. To do this, type the following command, and then review the output:
eseutil /mh "drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb"If the database is consistent, the following text appears in the output:
State: Clean Shutdown
Use the Microsoft Exchange Server Information Store Integrity utility (Isinteg.exe) to repair the logical corruption of the database. To do this, type the following command at the same command prompt:
Isinteg –s exchange_server_name –fix –test alltestsWhen you run this command, you are prompted to select the database against which you want to run the Isinteg utility. Repeat this command for the same database until you receive zero errors and zero fixes in the output.Important If you do not receive zero errors for a database after you run this command several times, you must rebuild the database by creating a new mailbox store on this server or on another Exchange Server server. Then, you must move all the mailboxes to the new store. If you cannot create a new mailbox store, you must rebuild the database by using the following method. Export all data to .pst files, delete the database, and then import the data from the .pst files.
Repeat steps 3 to 6 for each database in the storage group.
Mount the databases.
After the databases are mounted, perform an online backup of the storage group.
If you only need the Recovery Console you can boot from a different SBS 2003 media, or even Windows XP media. If you need to get to other options, like partitioning and formatting, you can use the following procedures.
MS Technical Support provided a work around. Using another computer, edit the file cddrive:\i386\WINNT.SIF and delete the section for [unattended]. You may have to expose hidden or system files to find this file. Save this revised file to a floppy disk.
AutoPartition = 1
****remove the next 2 lines********
Unattendmode = "defaulthide"
ProductID = "QWRKF-IRemovedMostOfThis-828XJ"
JoinWorkgroup = Workgroup
Make sure the bios settings on your server call for booting in the following order:
3) Hard Drive
Insert the SBS2003 Dell CD1 and the floppy disk in the appropriate drives and reboot the server.