Going live tomorrow (21st April 2020) Microsoft are renaming some of the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 products. I guess this is what happens when the marketing department have too much time on their hands.
They are renaming all the Business Office 365 range into a Microsoft 365 naming convention.
Setting a decent password policy has long been a none of contention. IT people want passwords to be secure, and users want something that they can remember.
Net result is that a lot of password policies force users to use something that is hard to remember, but comparatively easy to crack. Having hard to remember passwords leads to users writing them down, reusing them in multiple places, or just coming up with something like P@ssw0rd and thinking they have bucked the system.
So, to help out at Shadowfax I’ve created a password generator for our website. It is nice and simple, generates a password based on a number of random words (I recommend three). There are then options for whether you need a number, capital letter and symbol.
I also added an option to let you set the maximum size of the words used. The dictionary I’m using has 86,000 words in it, and I’ve found if you leave it too long it suggests words above my vocabulary. Great for learning new words- but hard to remember!
We sometimes find the need to delete all files from a folder over a certain age. For example we have a folder that our network scanner dumps its scans in. Ideally everyone would file their scans straight away, but it doesn’t always happen.
So we have the following script running every hour that removes all files from the folder that are over an hour old.
I’ve condensed it here to a reg file you can create and run.
Copy the following code into a text document, name it time.reg and run it on a DC.
Then restart the time service with the command:
net stop w32time && net start w32time
Give it a few seconds and the clock should correct itself.
If it is a virtual machine make sure that the Hyper Visor isn’t pushing time out to it, as the server will take that as priority. For example on Hyper-V go to the VM Settings, and Integration Services and un-tick Time synchronization.
We’ve had a spate of PCs filling up their disks recently, and it seems to stem from a bug in Windows update.
The issue occurs because an accumulated update log file grows, and generates a series of CAB files “cab_xxx_x” in the temp folder (normally c:\windows\temp).
The issue isn’t new, I found references to it dating back to 2012. It seems to be a bug with Windows Update on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
If you just delete the CAB files they will come back. The solution seems to be to do the run the following commands:
net stop wuauserv net stop trustedinstaller
rmdir /s c:\windows\softwaredistribution del c:\windows\temp\*.* /s /f /q
net start wuauserv net start trustedinstaller
If you don’t stop the services first you may not be able to delete the files.
Next step is to run Windows update. Windows 7 and 2008 R2 have a huge number of updates to do from a fresh install, which is why this log file builds up. Deleting the files resets the log, but if there are still too many to do the issue may come back.
I set up a monitor on SolarWinds N-Central to check all our clients temp folder sizes and to run the above as a script if it was over 15GB. That should prevent any space issues on-going.
Alternatively just upgrade to Windows 10 and Server 2016 – they don’t have this problem.
If you want to use Office 365 as your SMTP email server for a 3CX PBX you are best setting up a Connector on the Exchange Online account. I am assuming that your PBX is on the end of a static IP address.
First configure your 3CX server. Under Email and settings set the mail server to match your MX record. This usual follows the format domain.mail.protection.outlook.com where domain is your email domain with hyphens instead of dots.
Set a reply to address on the same domain. I always use pbx @ sfax.co.uk, it doesn’t go anywhere, I don’t expect anyone to reply to it.
You don’t need a username or password or to enable SSL/TLS as we will set up a connector to receive the email.
Next log on to your Office 365 portal as an administrator, and open your Exchange Admin Center. From there pick connectors under mail flow.
Create a new Connector.
Pick from: Your organization’s email server
To: Office 365
Give it an appropriate name:
Next select By Verifying that the IP address of the sending server matches one of these addresses that belong to your organization
Click the plus to add an IP address and enter your PBX’s internet IP address