Granting write permission for calendar sharing with OWA 2010

Thoughtsofanidlemind's Blog

The calendar sharing feature introduced in Outlook Web App 2010 (OWA) allows a user to grant access to their calendar to another user. To access the option, click on the Share option when in the Calendar and then on Share This Calendar. You’ll then be able to select the user(s) that you want to share your calendar with and define the level of information you want the recipient to be able to see in your calendar.

Creating a message to inform the recipient that you’d like to share your calendar

The recipients see a message as shown below. To access the calendar, they simply click on the Add This Calendar link. OWA will then add the calendar to the list of available calendars and the user can then access your calendar whenever they want by simply clicking on the calendar’s entry to instruct OWA to open it.

The message…

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O365 – MAPI over HTTP Support & AD Connect Notices

Potential service disruption for Outlook for Windows users

On October 31st, 2017, Exchange Online mailboxes in Office 365 will require connections from Outlook for Windows use MAPI over HTTP, our new method of connectivity and transport between Outlook for Windows and Exchange.

In May of 2014, Microsoft introduced MAPI over HTTP as a replacement for RPC over HTTP. RPC over HTTP was a legacy connection protocol that is being deprecated from Exchange Online.

[How does this affect me?]
Beginning October 31, 2017, Outlook for Windows clients using RPC over HTTP will be unable to access their Exchange Online mailbox.

[What do I need to do to prepare for this change?]
The necessary action depends on the version of Outlook in use in your organization.

If you are using Outlook 2007 or earlier, you need to upgrade. Outlook 2007 does not contain support for the MAPI/HTTP protocol. We encourage you to update to the Office 365 ProPlus subscription, or access Outlook via the web browser (which is included in your current subscription plan).

Outlook 2010-2016 customers will need to ensure their version of Outlook for Windows is set up to support MAPI/HTTP. At a minimum, you should ensure you have installed the December 2015 update.

Lastly, ensure your Outlook clients are not using a registry key to block MAPI/HTTP.

We are replacing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization (“DirSync”) with Azure AD Connect in Office 365

Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Azure AD Connect is replacing DirSync and Azure AD Sync and these two older sync engines are deprecated from April 13, 2016 reaching end of support April 13, 2017.

You are receiving this message because you are using DirSync, Azure AD Sync, or an Azure AD Connect installation released before 2016.

[How does this affect me?]
After April 13, 2017 you will no longer be able to open a support case without first upgrading to Azure AD Connect.

[What do I need to do to prepare for this change?]
You should upgrade your sync engine to Azure Active Directory Connect.

When Ctrl+Z Doesn’t Work

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So I was transferring some pictures off of my Android phone, and even as an IT professional I still have a horrible habit of cutting and pasting instead of copying and pasting. I was literally on the last of about 50 files when for whatever reason, my cut and paste did not work and the file never showed up on my destination directory. Thinking that the file would still be in memory, I hit Ctrl+Z and went back to the source, to find that there was nothing there. Immediately – panic sets in. I mash Ctrl+Y, which only succeeds in creating a New Folder on my desktop.

The lessons here are that once you cut something from external media, it’s only in memory for that one time. If you try to undo wherever you paste it to, it will try to put nothing back to nowhere. Another lesson is that the transfer of files from one media to another is never a guarantee, and that Recuva or any other 3rd party recovery option is not going to be able to find those files. So don’t be an idiot like I did, and make sure you have everything successfully at your destination before you delete the source.

How To: Terminate Extraneous RDP Sessions

Usually, my remote access client (Kaseya) is pretty decent at connecting to client machines and servers. However, I also have a couple clients who are still using Server 2003, and Kaseya can’t even when it comes to that. The connection takes far too long to establish. My alternate connection method (VNC) usually performs admirably with its 60-second negotiation limit, but sometimes that doesn’t work either, and the only thing left to do is to remote into another server and RDP over. The problem with that is I’m not the only IT guy here, and people don’t like to properly terminate their RDP sessions. When that happens, you’ll get a message along the lines of “maximum RDP connections exceeded”.

The default number of concurrent sessions is 2, and this can be changed through group/local policy, on the network adapter, and in the admin tools of the server. However, none of that does you much good if you can’t get to the server in the first place. Thankfully, the trusty command line is always there to help. I present to you: session.

RDP

The first thing you have to do is supply admin credentials of the server you’re trying to get to. The syntax for this is net use /user:<admin name> \\<server>. You can supply the password on the same line, but I like to have it ask me, to make sure I have the right user selected.

Next, we need to see how many RDP sessions are active. query session /server:<server> will display just that. What we’re interested in are any sessions with the name rdp-tcp#. In the example above there are already 2 sessions active, so it makes sense that the server would be rejecting a 3rd.

In order to close the extra sessions, we have to reset them. To do this, type query session <id> /server:<server>. The ID is listed in the 3rd column when you query the sessions. You can see above that the sessions had an ID of 3 and 34, so I reset both of them, and queried again to show that they were in fact closed. After clearing out the extra sessions, I was able to connect just fine. Happy troubleshooting!

How To: Fix File Associations for Windows 7

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Today I had to work with a machine with an interesting issue – every time you’d navigate to a different directory in the GUI, it would always open in a new windows. Here’s how I fixed it.

The first thing to note is that most of your Google searches on the subject are most likely going to be fruitless. Chances are you already know where to go to change the default behavior for the folders and it hasn’t worked, neither has resetting the folders to default settings.

  1. There’s only one step in this process. Go here and download the “Folder” link’s .zip file. Extract the registry key, right-click it, and merge it, overwriting what’s already in your registry.

Side note: There is also a fix known as the RegisterActxprxyAndIeproxy.cmd file, and all it is is a batch file that re-registers a couple .dll files. In my experience, it hones in on Internet Explorer, and didn’t do anything to address my folder issue. A few comments on the page that mention it have said that it fixed their issue in cases though, so if the above doesn’t work you can go here to check that out. All you want to do is run the batch file as an administrator and reboot.

How To: Resolve Domain Time Sync Issues

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I’ve seen this issue alarmingly often – a domain’s computers and servers are not displaying the correct system time. This sounds like a minor inconvenience but it can actually wreak havoc on applications and functionality across the board for an organization. Here’s how to fix it.

I think the first reaction to many people will be to say “well, just swap out the CMOS”, but do you really want to crack open your server and pull out components when there’s a way around it? That’s not to say that it will always be a CMOS issue either, and then you’ve done all that work for nothing.

The first thing you want to do is to get into your DHCP server and open up DHCP in Administrative Tools. Expand the tree for the server, IPv4 (if you’re still using that primitive outdated address scheme like the rest of us), and then navigate to Server Options. Under the Actions menu, go to “Configure Options…” What you want to do here is make your DHCP server your time server as well. This isn’t set by default.

Under Server Options, check “004 – Time Server”. Below under “Data entry”, add in the IP address for the server and hit add. You don’t need anything in the Server name field.

Now that you’ve designated your server as a time server, you have to head to the ol’ command line to set the global time servers and then tell all the client machines to sync to the server, not try to figure it out for themselves. To do this, open up a command prompt and type:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:”0.north-america.pool.ntp.org 1.north-america.pool.ntp.org” /syncfromflags:manual /update

Let’s take a look at this command. “w32tm” is the Windows Time Service. What we’re configuring here are 2 global time servers, in this case North America 0 and 1. If you aren’t sure what pools to use, take a look at http://www.pool.ntp.org/en/use.html . The “syncfromflags:manual” parameter tells every endpoint to override what they want to sync to by default. The “update” parameter tells the command to run now. Like, right now.

The only thing left to do is to issue the w32tm /resync command, and that will synchronize the server with the rest of the domain. This doesn’t require any system reboots or anything, and end users should see their time clocks change in seconds (ha ha).

That’s all there is to it!

How To: Fix Your Kindle’s WiFi Connection

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So my girlfriend’s Kindle suddenly refused to connect to WiFi, and it took hours and more forums and websites than I can count to troubleshoot. Hopefully this helps someone. The Kindle I worked on was a 7th generation Paperwhite, but these steps should be applicable to most of them.

First of all, let’s talk about these generations. They’re not labelled at all on the device, but the first 4 digits of the serial number can tell you if you Google it. Alternatively, you can check here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201263790

The first thing I did was checked my router. A lot of people are saying that too many devices on the router can kick your Kindle off. There were about 2 dozen devices connected to mine and they all worked fine, so out of all the possibilities I wouldn’t worry too much about that one.

The first real step was to make sure the SSID (name) of the wireless network was in all capital letters. This is a thing, no one knows why, so you can try that. The next thing was to try changing the wireless mode to only 802.11b/g. Mine was in 802.11b/g/n mode, so the change would be to try to accommodate older Kindles. If your Kindle is 5th generation or before, this may work, but the 6th gens and up are 802.11n compatible (citation needed, I didn’t check every one). The last thing to check on the router was to manually assign it a wireless channel. I used a wireless scanner application to check the channels my neighbors’ routers were broadcasting on and picked one as far from it as I could. In my case, most people in my area were predictably on channel 6. I changed it to 1, but you could change it to 11 as well.

None of that worked, so I went to the device itself. Obviously you want to give it the ol’ restart. There’s 2 different restarts for a Kindle. When you hold down the power button for about 5 seconds, a pop-up will come up and you can restart it like that. If you hold it down for about 20 seconds, it will restart itself. You want to try the longer button press.

Next, try a software upgrade. Navigate to this link to see what’s available: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200529680 . I had 5.7.2.1, and 5.7.3 was available. I downloaded the .bat file with the update, plugged the Kindle to my PC via the USB cord, dragged the file onto the Kindle, unplugged it, and then went into settings and the “Upgrade Kindle” option was now available. If your update option is still grayed out even after you drag the file over, then you’ve put the wrong generation’s software on there (ask me how I know… the 6th and the 7th gen Kindles are almost identical physically). Try another.

If that doesn’t work, try to manually assign your Kindle an IP address. When you connect to a network, select the advanced option. Begin by typing in the SSID of your WiFi network. For the IP, select something in your network that isn’t being used already. For most people who go to Best Buy and plug their self-configuring routers in, you have 253 options – 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254. I picked 192.168.1.100. Your subnet mask is usually 255.255.255.0. Your default gateway (the address of your router) is usually 192.168.1.1. You can test this by typing the IP into a web browser and seeing if your router’s administration page pops up. Lastly, select the type of password you have (I had WPA2) by pulling that information from your router’s password page and enter in the password.

If that doesn’t work, you have to factory reset the device. Anything you have on it that’s not in the cloud (synced) will be lost. This is where it gets weird.

If your Kindle has a passcode on it already, you can go into settings and hit “Reset Device” and be done with it. If there isn’t one, you need to put one on there under Device Settings, or there’s a chance it won’t let you reset. I set the passcode “1234” temporarily, since a reset will wipe it out anyway. Once I set it, I put the Kindle to sleep by tapping the power button, then tapped it again to wake it back up to get the passcode prompt. Instead of typing the code I just set, put in “111222777” instead. This forces the device to factory reset, as this code was put in by Amazon for that reason. With great knowledge comes great responsibility – please don’t troll your friends by wiping out their Kindles.

After the factory reset I manually put in the network information with the static IP and all that again and it worked just fine. Happy reading!