Sharing files & folders in SharePoint & OneDrive

This is a first post in a while, hopefully I will be posting more content as the year goes on focusing on Office 365 and Azure.

For now, as more and more people move over to SharePoint i get asked how can I share my content with people who don’t necessarily work in my organisation, so hopefully the steps below will help answer this question.

Sharing files and folders in SharePoint Online / OneDrive Online couldn’t be easier. The process is similar in both products so from this point on, I will refer to both products as ‘OneDrive’.

Here’s a few key features of File Sharing in OneDrive;

  • Share files within your organisation and external users
  • Control who can view or edit the shared files
  • Work together in real time (also referred to as Co-Authoring)

File Sharing

  1. Go to OneDrive for Business or the site library that has the file you want to share.

  2. Right-click the file you want to share, and then select Get a link. If you don’t see Get a link, click Share, and then click Get a link.

    Screenshot of Sharing a document by using Get a link

Choose the type of link you want to create.

Screenshot of choosing a link

Links for internal sharing:

  • Edit link – account required After they sign in, people in your organization can edit, copy, or download the file.

  • View link – account required After they sign in, people in your organization can view, copy, or download the file.

Guest links:

  • Edit link – no sign-in required People outside your organization can edit the file and may also be able to copy and download the file. People may need to sign in with a Microsoft account to copy or download the file.

  • View link – no sign-in required People outside your organization can view the file and may also be able to copy and download the file. People may need to sign in with a Microsoft account to copy or download the file.

  1. If guest access is disabled, you’ll see only account required options.

  2. If you choose a no sign-in required link and you want to set the link to expire, click Set expiration, and then choose how long before the link expires, such as 30 days. Account required links don’t expire and there’s no option to set an expiration for those links.

    Screenshot of Setting an Expiration for a guest link

  3. Click Copy to copy the link to the clipboard.

  4. Paste the link into an email and send it or post it on a website for the people you want share with.

I hope this was easy enough to follow, if you have any questions please drop me a line.

Advertisements

Office 365 Hybrid – Federation Configuration Issues

Recently I have been faced with an issue for one of our customers running MS Windows Small Business Server 2011 – Exchange 2010 SP3.

When running the Hybrid Configuration wizard I got an error stating:
Unable to access the Federation Metadata document from the federation partner. Detailed information: “The remote server returned an error: (407) Proxy Authentication Required.”

This happened on the initial phase of the Hybrid config wizard which actually is an attempt to create a federation trust with the MS Federation Gateway.

I checked the IE settings and removed the proxy settings and tried again. Same thing. Not surprising really – Exchange uses the system account which would ignore IE settings. I turned to ‘netsh’ to see what settings the system account would use.

Run from a command prompt: netsh winhttp show proxy

This came back as ‘DIRECT’.
For good measure, I ran ‘netsh winhttp reset proxy
No difference.

The customer did have a proxy – I could have just configured the system to use the proxy with another netsh command (‘netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie’), however Exchange won’t allow this if your proxy requires authentication which was the case. Why was I being forced through the proxy?

I checked one last place using the Exchange Management Shell:

Get-ExchangeServer ‘SERVER’ |ft InternetWebProxy

This came back blank. There was surely no other place where a proxy could be specified?

Not quite – apparently the SYSTEM account will always attempt to use WPAD (Windows Proxy Auto Discovery). Surely nobody uses this anymore? WRONG! This particular customer so happened to have it configured.

Easy way to get rid of it? Simply disable the service (by default it sits in a manual startup mode).

After disabling WPAD, I restarted the IIS service (the w3wp process is responsible for performing the Hybrid Configuration wizard task) but this didn’t quite fix it. It looks like the proxy settings get cached – after a server reboot the problem was resolved.

I did also contact MS support to resolve this, but they drew a dead end.. they asked me to reapply service packs, check to make sure my internet connection was not filtered and there were no firewall rules blocking access.. this will be going down in my notes as one to remember.

Exchange Distribution Group Members

A task that I am often required to do is to provide information about who is a member of what distribution group in Exchange.

Below is a PowerShell snippet that you must run in the Exchange Management Shell to pull out all the required Distributions groups and the members:

foreach ($group in Get-DistributionGroup) { get-distributiongroupmember $group | ft @{expression={$_.displayname};Label=”$group”} | Out-File c:\temp\DistributionListMembers.txt -append}

 

The output looks something like this:
Info
—-
User1
User2
User3

Technicians
———–
Technician1

 

Exchange 2010–Office 365 Hybrid Setup – Remote Powershell

Recently I have been getting issues with performing a hybrid configuration from an on premise Exchange 2010 Server running the latest services packs and meeting all the required pre requisites to perform a Hybrid configuration to Office 365.

One of the first steps is to connect your on Premise exchange server to Office 365 using remote PowerShell, following the how to guide it tells you to connect to the following URI in the command below:

$session = new-pssession -configurationname microsoft.exchange -connectionuri https//ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -credential $o365cred -authentication basic

When you run this command you will get the following error:

ps.outlook.com] The WinRM service cannot process the request because the request needs to be sent to a different machine. Use the redirect information to send the request to a new machine. Redirect location reported: https://ps.outlook.com/PowerShell-LiveID?PSVersion=2.0 . To automatically connect to the redirected URI, verify “MaximumConnectionRedirectionCount” property of session preference variable “PSSessionOption” and use “AllowRedirection” parameter on the cmdlet.+ CategoryInfo : OpenError: (System.Manageme….RemoteRunspace:RemoteRunspace) [], PSRemotingTransportRed
irectException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PSSessionOpenFailed

After speaking with Microsoft I have identified the URI has changed to https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/

and the Powershell command is slightly different to include the –AllowRedirection as there are multiple servers to connect to.

The command that worked for me was the following:

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

How to move from Blogger to WordPress without Losing Google Rankings

I have been using blogger now to host my IT Blogs site for five years now, and thought it was about time for an upgrade.

I felt like my site was lacking functionality and design and have had a look around and apparently WordPress is the place to be.. I did not want to lose any of my site stats so spent a while looking into how I could move away from Blogger and be able to keep them all intact… This is what you do:

Step 1. Before You Start

To get started with WordPress, the first thing you would need is a good WordPress hosting company and your own domain name. We highly recommend Bluehostbecause they will give you a free domain and 50% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users). Bluehost is also an officially recommended hosting provider of WordPress.

If you want a Bluehost alternative, then take a look at Siteground who also offer the same special offer to WPBeginner users.

Once you have signed up for WordPress hosting and set up your domain name, the next step is to install WordPress on your hosting account. We have a step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress. Once you have installed WordPress, it is time to move your content from Blogger to WordPress.

Step 2. Export Your Blogger Blog

First thing you need to do is export your blogger blog’s content. Simply log into your blogger dashboard and go to Settings » Other page. Under the blog tools, click on the Export Blog link.

Export Blogger blog

This will bring up a popup where you need to click on the Download Blog button.

Download your Blogger blog's export file

Your Blogger blog’s content will be downloaded to your computer in an XML file.

Once the download is complete, it is time to import it into your WordPress site.

Step 3. Import Blogger to WordPress

To start importing your Blogger site into WordPress, you need to go to your WordPress admin and visit Tools » Import. On the Import page, click on Blogger.

Blogger importer under WordPress import tools

This will bring up a popup asking you to install the Blogger to WordPress importer. You need to click on the Insall button.

WordPress will now download and install the Blogger Importer plugin for you. Once it is finished installing, you would need to click on the Activate Plugin and Run Importer link to continue.

Activate and run blogger importer

On the Import Blogger screen, WordPress will ask you to upload the XML file. This is the file that you downloaded in Step 1.

Simply click on the choose file button and upload the XML file you downloaded earlier. Next, click on the Upload file and import button to continue.

Upload Blogger export file to WordPress

Now if you didn’t select one of our recommended hosts or your site is really large, you may get an error that your file size is too large. In this case, you would need toincrease your maximum file upload limit. If your file is small, then you won’t see any errors.

WordPress will now import your blogger posts one by one. When it is finished, you will be asked to assign an author to the imported posts. You can assign your blogger posts to an existing author (you) or create a new author account.

Congratulations! you have successfully imported your Blogger content into WordPress. However, you still need to make sure that you don’t loose any search rankings and that visitors from your old blog easily land to the same content on your new WordPress website.

Step 4. Setting up Permalinks

Permalinks is the term used for URL structure of individual pages. WordPress comes with a feature that allows you to set up SEO friendly URL structure. However, since you are importing content from Blogger, you would want your URL structure to be as close to your Blogger URL structure as possible.

To set permalinks, you need to go to Settings » Permalinks screen and choose Month and Name as your permalink structure.

Choosing a permalink structure for your WordPress site

Thats it, you should now have transferred your Blogger sites to WordPress.

All I then did was change the www record at my domain name hosting to point to my new WordPress site.

 

By malple1977 Posted in Blog

Office 365 Credential Issues

If you’ve ever connected a workstation to Office 365 and then been constantly prompted for your credentials you know how frustrating it can be.  Have you ever checked that box in Outlook to “Remember Password” and then screamed in frustration as yet another logon prompt came up?

Below is a collection of sites that can help you troubleshoot issues logging into your Office 365 account.

Browser Not Supported RD Web Access / Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services

If your trying to access a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services / RDS website from a Windows 8 machine or a pc with Internet Explorer 10 or 11 then you will see the error below :-

rdserror

Browser Not Supported - This Web browser is not supported by RD Web Access. RD Web Access requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later. You can download the latest version of Internet Explorer from the Windows Update Web site

This is caused by Microsoft not releasing an update to 2008 to allow it to be accessed in the later browsers. In order to get it to work we can implement a workaround that forces machines with newer browsers to access the site as IE9 compatability view.

First of all this fix ONLY works on RDS Gateway servers with 2008 R2 SP1 installed. If you try it on a server without SP1 it will get rid of the error but you wont see any remote apps.

1) Login to the RDS Gateway server
2) Open Up IIS Management Console.
3) Branch out the sites and then left click on RDweb. On the right hand side double click on HTTP Response Headers.

rdserror2

4) On the right hand pane now right click and select Add…

rdserror3

5) On the box that appears enter :-

Name : X-UA-Compatible
Value : IE=9

rdserror4

Now do a IISRESET on the server and you should be good to go..

UPDATE : If you have any pending windows updates also install these as sometimes it wont work until they are installed.

VMWare Network Performance Checks

If packets are not being dropped and the data receive rate is slow, the host is probably lacking the CPU resources required to handle the load. Check the number of virtual machines assigned to each physical NIC. If necessary, perform load balancing by moving virtual machines to different vSwitches or by adding more NICs to the host. You can also move virtual machines to another host or increase the host CPU or virtual machine CPU.

Resolution

1

Verify that VMware Tools is installed on each virtual machine.

2

If possible, use vmxnet3 NIC drivers, which are available with VMware Tools. They are optimized for high performance.

3

If virtual machines running on the same ESX/ESXi host communicate with each other, connect them to the same vSwitch to avoid the cost of transferring packets over the physical network.

4

Assign each physical NIC to a port group and a vSwitch.

5

Use separate physical NICs to handle the different traffic streams, such as network packets generated by virtual machines, iSCSI protocols, VMotion tasks, and service console activities.

6

Ensure that the physical NIC capacity is large enough to handle the network traffic on that vSwitch. If the capacity is not enough, consider using a high-bandwidth physical NIC (10Gbps) or moving some virtual machines to a vSwitch with a lighter load or to a new vSwitch.

7

If packets are being dropped at the vSwitch port, increase the virtual network driver ring buffers where applicable.

8

Verify that the reported speed and duplex settings for the physical NIC match the hardware expectations and that the hardware is configured to run at its maximum capability. For example, verify that NICs with 1Gbps are not reset to 100Mbps because they are connected to an older switch.

9

Verify that all NICs are running in full duplex mode. Hardware connectivity issues might result in a NIC resetting itself to a lower speed or half duplex mode.

10

Use vNICs that are TSO-capable, and verify that TSO-Jumbo Frames are enabled where possible.

Overview of the different network adapters for your VMWare Guests

  • Vlance: This is an emulated version of the AMD 79C970 PCnet32- LANCE NIC, and it is an older 10 Mbps NIC with drivers available in most 32-bit guest operating systems except Windows Vista and later. A virtual machine configured with this network adapter can use its network immediately.
  • VMXNET: The VMXNET virtual network adapter has no physical counterpart. VMXNET is optimized for performance in a virtual machine. Because operating system vendors do not provide built-in drivers for this card, you must install VMware Tools to have a driver for the VMXNET network adapter available.
  • Flexible: The Flexible network adapter identifies itself as a Vlance adapter when a virtual machine boots, but initializes itself and functions as either a Vlance or a VMXNET adapter, depending on which driver initializes it. With VMware Tools installed, the VMXNET driver changes the Vlance adapter to the higher performance VMXNET adapter.
  • E1000: An emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC. A driver for this NIC is not included with all guest operating systems. Typically Linux versions 2.4.19 and later, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and later, and Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) and later include the E1000 driver.

Note: E1000 does not support jumbo frames prior to ESXi/ESX 4.1.

  • E1000e: This feature emulates a newer model of Intel Gigabit NIC (number 82574) in the virtual hardware. This is known as the “e1000e” vNIC. e1000e is available only on hardware version 8 (and newer) virtual machines in vSphere 5. It is the default vNIC for Windows 8 and newer (Windows) guest operating systems. For Linux guests, e1000e is not available from the UI (e1000, flexible vmxnet, enhanced vmxnet, and vmxnet3 are available for Linux).
  • VMXNET 2 (Enhanced): The VMXNET 2 adapter is based on the VMXNET adapter but provides some high-performance features commonly used on modern networks, such as jumbo frames and hardware offloads. This virtual network adapter is available only for some guest operating systems on ESXi/ESX 3.5 and later. Because operating system vendors do not provide built-in drivers for this card, you must install VMware Tools to have a driver for the VMXNET 2 network adapter available.
    VMXNET 2 is supported only for a limited set of guest operating systems.
    To determine if the the VMXNET 2 (Enhanced) adapter is supported for your guest operating system and vSphere ESXi version, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

    Notes
    :

    • You can use enhanced VMXNET adapters with other versions of the Microsoft Windows 2003 operating system, but a workaround is required to enable the option in the VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client or vSphere Client. If Enhanced VMXNET is not offered as an option, see Enabling enhanced vmxnet adapters for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (1007195).
    • Jumbo frames are not supported in the Solaris Guest OS for VMXNET 2.
  • VMXNET 3: The VMXNET 3 adapter is the next generation of a paravirtualized NIC designed for performance, and is not related to VMXNET or VMXNET 2. It offers all the features available in VMXNET 2, and adds several new features like multiqueue support (also known as Receive Side Scaling in Windows), IPv6 offloads, and MSI/MSI-X interrupt delivery. For information about the performance of VMXNET 3, see Performance Evaluation of VMXNET3 Virtual Network Device. Because operating system vendors do not provide built-in drivers for this card, you must install VMware Tools to have a driver for the VMXNET 3 network adapter available.
    VMXNET 3 is supported only for virtual machines version 7 and later, with a limited set of guest operating systems.
    To determine if the the VMXNET3 adapter is supported for your guest operating system and vSphere ESXi version, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • Notes:
    • In ESXi/ESX 4.1 and earlier releases, jumbo frames are not supported in the Solaris Guest OS for VMXNET 2 and VMXNET 3. The feature is supported starting with ESXi 5.0 for VMXNET 3 only. For more information, see Enabling Jumbo Frames on the Solaris guest operating system (2012445).
    • Fault Tolerance is not supported on a virtual machine configured with a VMXNET 3 vNIC in vSphere 4.0, but is fully supported on vSphere 4.1.
    • Windows Server 2012 is supported with e1000, e1000e, and VMXNET 3 on ESXi 5.0 Update 1 or higher.

How to bulk upload/copy files and folders to SharePoint

One of the biggest challenges I have when migrating customers over to SharePoint is moving their files and folders.

On the surface this is a daunting task as you can’t just give SharePoint your folder structure and tell it to do the work for you, so below are some of the processes I use.

Option 1: Manually via SharePoint Web Interface

Recreate the folder structure in SharePoint and upload the files via SharePoint in batches doing a multiple file upload to one destination folder at a time using explorer view. Not much fun for anyone, but it can be done. This has also proved to be unreliable, some machines need patching to get this to work, so I have found myself spending a lot of time correcting errors with the WebDAV service in order get this to work… This is my least favourite method.

image

Option 2: Commercial Tools

Possibly look at a third party tool they will  cost you but will get the job done and probably with a few extra bell’s and whistles like applying metadata to SharePoint columns during the process. Some of the key companies to take a look at would be:

 

Option 3: Open Source Tools

There are some open source projects going around that claim to handle these types of bulk uploads, here’s a couple that look interesting:

https://spfilezilla.codeplex.com/ – This is my favourite – it really is just like FileZilla

image

http://spbulkdocumentimport.codeplex.com/

image

http://spfileupload.codeplex.com/

image