Locating PST files on a network

In order to size any mail archiving solution it is important to understand the amount of archive data currently in use. For many companies this is in the form of Outlook Data Files (PST’s). Unforutnately, the only resource Microsoft provide is a VBScript dating back to 2005 on the technet script center.

I decided to have a go at implementing two methods to locate PST files on the network using Powershell, the two options for locating files I came up with are:

  • Enumerate the Outlook settings on client computers to determine PST files loaded on client computers;
  • Use WMI to call the search APIs on remote computers to locate the files;

In testing the two options, using the search APIs via WMI located twice as many files as just relying on the information located in the windows registry. Both scripts will also read the first 11 bytes of the PST file to determine the file format, whether it’s an ANSI or Unicode PST file.

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DCDiag error after upgrading to DFS-R

After switching a domain to use DFS-R rather than FRS for SYSVOL replication you may experience the following error when running dcdiag.exe

      Starting test: VerifyReferences
         Some objects relating to the DC LONDON have problems:
            [1] Problem: Missing Expected Value
             Base Object:
            CN=LONDON,OU=UK,OU=Domain Controllers,DC=nwtraders,DC=msft
             Base Object Description: "DC Account Object"
             Value Object Attribute Name: frsComputerReferenceBL
             Value Object Description: "SYSVOL FRS Member Object"
             Recommended Action: See Knowledge Base Article: Q312862
         ......................... LONDON failed test VerifyReferences

DFR-S replication of the SYSVOL replication group looks to be otherwise healthy.

This error is caused by some poor logic in dcdiag.exe when the domain controllers have been moved from the default “Domain Controllers” OU. If you move the domain controllers back to the default “Domain Controllers” OU the error will disappear. However, leaving them where they are is likely to cause no problems, other than give you a dcdiag.exe error.

Microsoft plan to fix this in Windows Server 2012.
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Break sequence on a Cisco 1921 ISR

A colleague made me aware of a potentially serious problem on Cisco 1921 and other ISR G2 routers. According to Field Note 63355, these devices shipped with a buggy version of ROMMON, the software that controls the boot process of Cisco routers. Here’s how Cisco describe the problem:

Routers with ROMMON version 15.0(1r)M1 fail to respond to the break sequence command received from a device connected to the console port. This failure prevents normal password recovery of the device.

If you have a 1941 you can simply pull the CF card to enter into ROMON. But what about it you have a 1921 and need to perform password recovery? the Cisco 1921 doesn’t have a CF card, and according to Cisco has no user-replaceable flash. You’re essentially forever locked out of your device.

Thankfully, there’s a workaround. If you pop open the cover of a Cisco 1921, using a Torx 10 screwdriver, you’ll see a small daugher-board. This small daughter-board, secured with a single screw, is the flash on the 1921. Remove the single screw and carefully lift out the board.

Cisco 1921 - Flash
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