2 comments

FIM: Updating Set Fails/ Timed Out

Published on Monday, November 29, 2010 in

What I will be describing has been explained before to be honest:

However I want to add some additional context information. The issue I was seeing is that with a FIM Portal setup, which has quit some objects in it’s database, certain actions failed. I got the generic FIM Service error when trying to add some conditions to a dynamic set. The errors you receive might differ. Perhaps it’s the generic “an error has occurred”, or you get “Access denied”, or like shown below: Timed out.

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In the Event log some errors are displayed as well:

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The Portal cannot connect to the middle tier using the web service interface.  This failure prevents all portal scenarios from functioning correctly. The cause may be due to a missing or invalid server url, a downed server, or an invalid server firewall configuration. Ensure the portal configuration is present and points to the resource management service.

And in the Forefront Identity Manager log:

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The description for Event ID 3 from source Microsoft.ResourceManagement cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.

If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event.

The following information was included with the event:

Requestor: urn:uuid:7fb2b853-24f0-4498-9534-4e10589723c4
Microsoft.ResourceManagement.Service: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.RequestDispatcher.CreateRequest(CreateRequestDispatchParameter dispatchParameter)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.RequestDispatcher.CreateRequest(UniqueIdentifier requestor, UniqueIdentifier targetIdentifier, OperationType operation, String businessJustification, List`1 requestParameters, CultureInfo locale, Boolean isChildRequest, Guid cause, Boolean doEvaluation, Nullable`1 serviceId, Nullable`1 servicePartitionId)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.RequestDispatcher.CreateRequest(UniqueIdentifier requestor, UniqueIdentifier targetIdentifier, OperationType operation, String businessJustification, List`1 requestParameters, CultureInfo locale, Boolean isChildRequest, Guid cause, Boolean doEvaluation)
   at Microsoft.ResourceManagement.WebServices.ResourceManagementService.Put(Message request)

The handle is invalid

As Darryl explained, and this is has been added in the troubleshooting guide  as well, you can extend certain timeouts. A general advice: take a backup copy of configuration files you edit. I tend to copy them and change the extension to .dateOfToday.bak or something like that.

For starters we have the web.config for the WSS site hosting the FIM Portal. Typically this is located below c:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\web.config but of course this might be environment specific. If you look for the following part in the web.config you can add “timeoutInMilliseconds” to the resourceManagementClient line.

</System.Workflow.ComponentModel.WorkflowCompiler>
<resourceManagementClient requireKerberos="true" resourceManagementServiceBaseAddress=
http://fimsvc.contoso.com:5725 timeoutInMilliseconds="360000" />
<system.webServer>
   <httpProtocol>

An other location where you can adjust timeouts is the FIM Service configuration file. This file is typically located in: "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager\2010\Service\” and is called Microsoft.ResourceManagement.Service.exe.config. Look for the following lines:

</system.serviceModel>
  <resourceManagementClient resourceManagementServiceBaseAddress="fimsvc.contoso.com" timeoutInMilliseconds="360000" />
  <resourceManagementService externalHostName="fimsvc.contoso.com" dataReadTimeoutInSeconds="180" dataWriteTimeoutInSeconds="180" />
  <system.diagnostics>
    <sources>

In this example I added dataReadTimeoutInSeconds="180" dataWriteTimeoutInSeconds="180" to the resourceManagementService line as well as timeoutInMilliSeconds=”360000”. This will ensure the FIM Service waits long enough when writing or reading data from SQL. After changing the above configuratin files, make sure to perform an iisreset and a restart of the FIM Service!

Besides modifying these timeouts, it’s also advised to regularly update the statistics and rebuild the indexes of your FIM Service Database. To conclude: a TechNet article with addition information regarding the mentioned parameters: TechNet: Registry Keys and Configuration File Settings in FIM 2010

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Waking Sleeping Beauty

Published on Sunday, November 28, 2010 in , , ,

I wanted to test something involving Exchange so I opened my d:\Virtual Machines folder on my system and searched for something with exchange on it. I found MBX01 and booted the VM. Oddly I couldn’t log on using my domain admin. It got an error saying the password was wrong. So I logged on using the local administrator. In the event viewer we can see that the machine has been offline for a year + 7 days. However according to AskDS: Machine Account Password Process a machine which is offline for a long period of time should be able to connect to the domain without issues.  Either way, if you got the following events in your event log:

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NETLOGON, Event ID 3210

This computer could not authenticate with \\DC01.home.local, a Windows domain controller for domain HOME, and therefore this computer might deny logon requests. This inability to authenticate might be caused by another computer on the same network using the same name or the password for this computer account is not recognized. If this message appears again, contact your system administrator.

GroupPolicy, Event ID 1129

The processing of Group Policy failed because of lack of network connectivity to a domain controller. This may be a transient condition. A success message would be generated once the machine gets connected to the domain controller and Group Policy has succesfully processed. If you do not see a success message for several hours, then contact your administrator.

TerminalServices-RemoteConnectionManager, Event ID 1067

The terminal server cannot register 'TERMSRV' Service Principal Name to be used for server authentication. The following error occured: Access is denied.

Then I would suggest you reset the machine account password as a possible solution. KB325850: How to use Netdom.exe to reset machine account passwords of a Windows Server domain controller has a nice explanation on how to perform this procedure. The following command can be used:

netdom resetpwd /s:dc01.home.local /ud:home\tvl /pd:*

The command is run on the server which is having issues and the dc01.home.local is a reachable DC. home\tvl is a user with enough privileges in AD to reset the password for the given computer. /pd:* will ensure the command prompts for the password. To finalize the procedure, reboot the server.

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As a possible alternative solution: you can re-join the server to the domain. I prefer the password reset though, seems cleaner. When rejoining a server to the domain I like using the following trick: instead of the traditional workgroup,reboot, domain & reboot again, I just change the FQDN of the domain into the NetBIOS name of the domain. Hence I only have to reboot the server once and the server never left the domain…

imageimage

6 comments

FIM: Troubleshooting Codeless Provisioning

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One of the coolest features in FIM 2010 is the declarative provisioning. It allows you to do a lot of things by simply clicking together the desired items from within the Portal. The alternative is the “classical rules extensions”. This requires writing .net code to extend the possibilities of an MA. I prefer the declarative provisioning. I’m not saying you should abandon classical all the way though. I’m using the following logic to decide between them:

  1. Can it be done from within the Portal (using normal Synchronization Rules)
  2. If not: can it be done by writing a rule extension to be used in the MA
  3. If not: can it be done by writing a workflow to be used in the Portal

I’ve never done 3 to be honest. Most attribute flows and transformations I can manage by defining flows in the Portal. Creating a unique account name I do with a rules extension. I tend to take the best of two worlds. Some people, often seasoned MIIS/ILM folks, still prefer to use classical rules extensions because of the debugging options. I can’t blame them, with the declarative rules you’re sometimes left alone in the dark. So here are some checks to do when your MA of choice is just refusing to show those “provisioning adds” you desire.

This is how it looks when it’s not working, you run your import and synchronization profiles and no “provisioning adds” are being shown. All you see is some EAF’s back to FIM flowing “Not applied” for the “SynchronizationRuleStatus” attribute. And then you say: What, Not applied? Why? How? It sure as hell isn’t my fault, I did it all by the book!

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So here is my list of things to check when it’s just not working. It’s not rocket science, but you might have that “Aaah” moment with one of these.

1. Did you check “Create resource in external system

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2. Do you have at least one “Initial Flow Only” flow configured? Even if you want to have all attributes flowed all the time, you should have at least one “Initial Flow Only” flow. Just add the same flow twice and check it once to have the desired effect if you want the attribute to be flowed always.

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3. Is the Outbound Synchronization Rule being added to the object? If it’s not, it’s very likely something is wrong with the definition of the MPR. Or your object isn’t part of the correct set. Or it was already part of set before you created the MPR. Run on policy update might help you here. Verify the provisioning tab of the object:

No SR present:

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SR pending:

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4. Is the ERE present in the ExpectedRuleList attribute for the object in the Connector Space (CS) of the FIM MA? If it’s not, something is wrong with the import or the selected attributes of the FIM MA.

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5. Is the ERE present in the ExpectedRuleList attribute for the object in the Metaverse? If it’s not, something is wrong with the synchronization or IAFs of the FIM MA.

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6. Did you enable "Synchronization Rules Provisioning” in the Options for the Synchronization Manager. If it’s not checked, declarative provisioning will be disabled.

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If you got all these covered, you should see the desired result:

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And the update of the SynchronizationRuleStatus attribute:

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This post was writing after providing all of the above as possible solutions for the following thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ilm2/thread/1aa13147-e16c-4e99-a7da-76e3c9e8c10d

1 comments

FIM: Enforce Uniqueness For Attribute In Portal

Published on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in

One of the problems you might have is that you want to restrict your Portal Users/Admins to enter the same value twice for a given attribute. Examples might be the account name or employee id. Jorge has a nice article on how to configure this: http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2009/12/10/checking-uniqueness-of-an-attribute-in-fim-2010-during-the-create-process.aspx

One of the remarks was that this only works for Resource Control Display Configurations (RCDC’s) in create mode. However on the forum (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ilm2/thread/cc51ca7a-908c-40bf-ae10-f47711dd321b) I read that  it would also work in edit mode. So I went ahead and tested. After clicking a user and trying to alter the Account Status (a non-unique enforced attribute) I get the alert for the Account Name attribute (unique-enforced in the RCDC). So it seems that however when only changing one attribute in edit mode, all attributes are checked anyhow. I guess that’s the reason why using the “UniquenessValidationXPath” is not supported/does not work for RCDC’s in edit mode.

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Conclusion: RCDC’s cannot enforce the uniqueness of an attribute in edit mode.

Related topics:

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WSS Killer Security Update

Published on in

As I was toying with RCDC’s in my lab environment I was performing iisresets occasionally. Never had any issues. However when implementing my changes in the Acceptance environment one of the nodes of my FIM Portal servers failed to display the portal after an iisreset. Luckily Jorge blogged about this in June, and I remembered the article. The article of Jorge:
http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2010/06/29/windows-sharepoint-services-3-0-breaks-after-installing-update-ms-kbq983444.aspx

I went on and checked the installed hotfixes, and the one mentioned by Jorge (KB983444) wasn’t there:

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However I saw that a new hotfix became active at the time (day) of my iisreset: KB2345304. It’s pretty clear this hotfix supersedes the previous one. It also mentions this exact issue in the KB article so the solution presented by Jorge still works. Just wanted to warn people out there, this hotfix sneaks in with WSUS/SCCM distributed updates and still seems to cause troubles like in June. My advise would be to install it during the build of your FIM Portal servers although I’m not sure whether a following hotfix won’t possibly break it again…

Thomas, who killed my WSS?!, Vuylsteke

P.S. Not 100% sure if it’s related, but the “SharePoint Services Search Refresh” time job was suddenly enabled again at the same time the hotfix came active… This caused an error and warning every 5 minutes in the event log… This can be disabled in the central administration: operations: timer job definitions section.

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FIM SSPR: Password History Enforcement Implementation: SSL Error

Published on Monday, November 22, 2010 in ,

This post is intended for those stumbling upon this exact error. It’s not particular hard to troubleshoot if you watch the System Event log on the FIM Synchronization Server. There’s no AD integrated Certificate Authority in the lab environment where I’m implementing the enforcement of password history. Therefore trusting the root CA, which issued the certificate for the DC, has to be done manually. If you don’t add the certificate of the root CA to the trusted root certificates on the FIM Synchronization Server, the following errors will be shown:

In the Application Log: FIMSynchronizationService Event ID 6328

The server encountered an error while attempting to perform a set/change  password operation.
 
"BAIL: MMS(2528): dnutils.cpp(1329): 0x800700b7 (Cannot create a file when that file already exists.): Cannot add partition DC=DomainDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com to the list because it already exists at position 15
BAIL: MMS(2528): dnutils.cpp(1329): 0x800700b7 (Cannot create a file when that file already exists.): Cannot add partition DC=ForestDnsZones,DC=contoso,DC=com to the list because it already exists at position 16
ERR: MMS(2528): utils.cpp(907): Failed getting registry value 'ADMADoNormalization', 0x2
BAIL: MMS(2528): utils.cpp(908): 0x80070002 (The system cannot find the file specified.): Win32 API failure: 2
BAIL: MMS(2528): utils.cpp(963): 0x80070002 (The system cannot find the file specified.)
ERR: MMS(2528): session.cpp(1502): ldap_connect (timeout= secs and  usecs) failed
BAIL: MMS(2528): session.cpp(1504): 0x8007003a (The specified server cannot perform the requested operation.)
BAIL: MMS(2528): admaexport.cpp(2683): 0x80231109 (Cannot connect to the server you have specified.)
ERR: MMS(2528): admaexport.cpp(3160): Unable to set the password.
BAIL: MMS(2528): admaexport.cpp(3168): 0x80231109 (Cannot connect to the server you have specified.)
ERR: MMS(2528): ma.cpp(9099): ExportPasswordSet failed with 0x80231109
Forefront Identity Manager 4.0.3561.2"

Graphical:

image_thumb[7]

And in the System Log: Schannel Event Id 36882

The certificate received from the remote server was issued by an untrusted certificate authority. Because of this, none of the data contained in the certificate can be validated. The SSL connection request has failed. The attached data contains the server certificate.

image_thumb[8]

6 comments

FIM Build Overview

Published on Friday, November 19, 2010 in

The FIM team did it’s best the past few days to put some KB articles out there making the hotfixes available and perhaps even more important explaining what was fixed and which features were added!

build 4.0.2592.0 (RTM)

build 4.0.3531.2 (Update 1): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978864/

build 4.0.3547.2: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028634/

  • Several fixes
  • Alternative to DirSync permissions for AD MA account: “ADMAUseACLSecurity” registry key
  • Adds back a checkbox on the AD MA to enable an account to be unlocked when a password is synchronized
  • CPU usage remaining at 98% after AD MA doing exports

build 4.0.3558.2: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2272389

  • Several fixes
  • SSPR QA gate can be extend with a link to the data policy of the organisation through the use of the “PrivacyLink” registry key
  • Attribute precedence/recall with the FIM MA now works as it should

build 4.0.3561.2: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2417774

  • Several fixes
  • Support to apply the password history policy

build 4.0.3573.2: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2417774

  • Several fixes
  • Support to apply the password history policy
  • Solved the export-change-not-reimported issue when the recycle bin is enabled
  • Asynchronous export for FIM MA

P.S. all rollups are cumulative so you don’t have to install them all. Just pick RTM and your build of choice.

I’m definitely awaiting for a fix for the group membership issue with the recycle bin turned on.

[Update 1/02/2011] Made some changes to include the latest build (4.0.3573.2)

[Update 27/03/2011] I will not be updating this blogpost any more. For the latest FIM 2010 build info check: TechNet Wiki Article: FIM 2010 Build Overview

3 comments

FIM SSPR: QA Gate Policy URL

Published on Thursday, November 18, 2010 in ,

As mentioned by Anthony in the following topic on  the TechNet forums: FIM Password Client Branding? there is a new setting made available to customize the QA gate. When users are registering for SSPR they have to answers various questions, some might be bothered what will happen with the answers. By setting a registry key you can now explain your policy regarding the SSPR functionality or regarding their answers. I assume you need build 4.0.3561.2 or higher for this to work.

[Update] As stated by Anthony in the comments: build 4.0.3558.2 or higher is ok.

This is how the registration QA looks like without the key set:

image

This is how the registration QA looks like with the key set:

image[10]

How to configure this? On each client which has the SSPR add-ins installed you have to create a registry value below the following key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Forefront Identity Manager\2010\Extensions\GatePlugins\45C4D8BB-D34C-453d-8346-C9061A2A1E4C
  • New String (Reg_SZ) with the following name: PrivacyLink
  • The value for the entry: http://yourwebserver/policylocation

image

You can easily achieve this with group policy preferences, or just use the FIM 2010 Group Policy Templates.

With thanks to Anthony Ho for the formation.

9 comments

A security package specific error occurred(1825)

Published on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in , , ,

A while ago I wanted to view the event log of a server. For this task there is no need to log in using remote desktop. However when I fired up the event log viewer and tried to connect to the NetBIOS name of my server I got the following error:

image

Using remote desktop I could connect just fine to the server. At least that’s what it looked like. Locally I could open the event log without issues. But I saw events which couldn’t possibly be logged on this server. And then it came clear, there was an IP conflict! To be honest it’s a lab environment so these things can happen occasionally.

The reason this fails is because my client (my administration pc) asks AD for a Kerberos Ticket for server x whilst when connecting I’m actually presenting this Kerberos Ticket to server y. This results in a server receiving a ticket encrypted with a password other than it’s own. Result: the above error.

Thomas, we should have updated the CMDB, Vuylsteke

1 comments

Recovering or Installing an additional FIM Service instance when using Update 1

Published on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in

One of the possible topologies for the FIM 2010 solution is having your FIM Portal and FIM Service load-balanced across two (or more) servers. In the backend the FIM Service uses the same database for both nodes. However since FIM 2010 Update 1 (KB978864) has been released, installing such a topology got a bit trickier. I will explain the scenario were one node is damaged, no backup exists (woopsie), so we have to re-install the server. In fact this can al be done without data loss as the  data resides on the SQL server in the back. For this scenario I will use a single SQL server as it doesn’t matter. It could be a clustered SQL server as well. The topology to start from is the following:

image

We got two nodes with the FIM Service/Portal at version RTM + Update 1. This means the database is configured for RTM + Update 1. The version of the FIM Service DB can be found in the table called fim.version in the version column. Now suppose we want to reinstall the second node from scratch.

image

So we got the server team deploy a shiny new 2008 R2 VM and we take our FIM Service setup, go next, next, use existing database and start installing. And then the setup fails. Oh bloody hell. The error shown is not that obvious but if you dig deeper you’ll see it querying the aforementioned FIM.version table before stopping the install.

image

So what to do? One of the tips I got over at the TechNet forums, was to install the additional node using a temporary database and afterwards re-run the MSI but choosing the change option and pointing to the original DB. I assume this is the only supported way to change the DB. You could also start editing registry keys, but this is probably not supported. So you start the FIM Service setup and in stead of “using the existing database” you provide a name like “FIM Service TEMP”… Oi, Stop!

The FIM Service install for the initial setup added some jobs to the SQL Agent configuration which are run on a scheduled base. We wouldn’t want anything happen to them! Two of the four jobs are disabled, but these seem to be called from the other two jobs. In the screenshot below you can see them. Make sure to temporary rename them. I appended “REN”. As the jobs call each other by name (I think), this might temporary break those jobs. And then proceed with the installation to the FIM Service TEMP DB.

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Now your good to go:

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This is how the SQL jobs look like after installing a second FIM Service to the same SQL SERVER. You can can see that the same jobs are added again. I can tell you for sure if you don’t rename those jobs, the only remaining jobs will be those for the FIM Service TEMP DB we installed.

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As these jobs have references to the actual database, this would break things for sure.

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But we got it all covered and RTM is installed so we can continue updating the TEMP DB to the RTM + U1.

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Almost there, just relaunch the FIM Service MSI and choose the change option. It’s now possible to point it to the original shared database and finish the setup without problems.

image

All we have to do now is deleted the temporary database, deleted the jobs added by installing the temporary FIM Service and rename the old jobs back to normal.

In fact the above scenario is almost identical to installing an additional node. As for installation from the ground up there’s an additional possibility: you can install both servers at RTM level with the same database, and then you’ll be able to upgrade them both to Update 1 without issues. The real issue is that you can’t install an RTM Service to a RTM + U1 database.

I can imagine someone having two FIM Service instances point to the same SQL for a lab and production FIM Service instance. When you want to have 2 FIM Service instances use the same SQL Server you’ll have to do some trickery. First you’ll have to rename the jobs, and afterwards you’ll have to make sure the renamed job reference each other with the new name. Upgrading this to newer versions might even be trickier. So the second issue is that you must pay attention to your SQL jobs when installing an additional FIM Service DB on a SQL Server which already hosts a FIM Service DB.

Note: as for the FIM Synchronization server I was able to install an active/standby (2 node) setup using the same database without the above problems. The FIM Synchronization Service seems to be capable of installing a RTM Sync Service to a RTM + U1 database.

3 comments

Using Windows Explorer together with UAC

Published on Sunday, November 7, 2010 in ,

Most Windows management tools behave pretty well with User Account Control (UAC), at least they prompt you for your credentials before actually launching. In the past I already described some of the naughtiness of UAC: Explaining UAC related behavior One of the things that has been bothering me ever since I first met UAC is how the file browser (Windows Explorer) handles UAC.

The problem(s)

One of the dirty things it does for you is adding your account to the ACL of files you normally have access if you are member of the local administrators. This is the prompt you can click continue o-so-easy:

image 

At first sight you’ll be satisfied, after clicking continue and providing your credentials you will see the files & folders. But below the hood your account just got granted access. This doesn’t breaks things, but it’s not nice. The second issue I encounter a lot is when trying to edit a configuration file for an application or service. Or even a easier example: adding an entry to the hosts file. You browse to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc double click hosts, make your modification and when trying to save…

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And after clicking OK you are prompted for a filename and location. Now that’s a lot of hassle to add something to the hosts file.

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The workaround:

UAC elevation allows you to start a given application (process) in an other context with your elevated token (where you do have administrator privileges). And that’s where things go wrong with Windows Explorer. Out of the box when a user logs on, one instance of explorer.exe is started and all subsequent instances are running from this instance. As the explorer starts with your limited token (non administrator privileges), all other instances are limited as well.

Below you see multiple explorers open, but only one explorer.exe is listed.

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Now there is a modification we can do to alter the behavior of Windows Explorer. We can check “Launch folder windows in a separate process” in the Folder and Search Options.

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Whenever we now start multiple Windows Explorer instances, they will all open below the second explorer.exe instance:

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This is actually quit remarkable and very subtitle: after setting this option, the first Windows Explorer instance you open, determines under which token the following instances will run.

Automating the workaround:

The “Launch folder windows in a separate process” is a per user setting, and is stored in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced as the value SeparateProcess.

But since we have those almighty cool Group Policy Preferences, we can click this setting together in no time:

1. Create a GPO, or alter an existing one and create a new “Folder Options (Windows Vista) below User Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Folder Options

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2. At first all settings will be underlined in green, meaning all these will be pushed to the user as listed. We can actually alter this behavior with the F5-F6-F7-F8 keys.

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3. Press F8 so all settings are underlined in red: none will be applied to the user

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4. Check “Launch folder windows in a separate process” and press F6 to underline that specific setting in green so it will be pushed to the user.

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Testing the workaround

The easiest way to start Windows Explorer in elevated mode is to locate in in your start menu below Accessories (or type a part of the name in your start menu) and right click and choose Run As Administrator.

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After editing something like the hosts file, you’ll be able to save it without prompts:

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Whether you set the setting by hand or by GPO, it’s immediately effective. But as the first instance determines the context, you’ll have to close all open Windows Explorer instances first before you can run Windows Explorer as Administrator. This does not include the explorer.exe process which is started immediately at logon. A lot of workarounds for UAC and Windows Explorer explain how to kill the explorer.exe process and relaunch it from an elevated task manager, but in this case there’s no need to do that.

In my opinion this a rather nice workaround. You still have to elevate the Windows Explorer application yourself. The disadvantage is that everything you launch from within that instance is instantly elevated which defeats the purpose of UAC a bit. But then again, this is nothing different from a command prompt you start as an administrator. In both cases administrators should be aware of the risks which launching items from within elevated processes, be it a command prompt or a Windows Explorer instance.

Some additional information: KB2273047 (User Account Control (UAC) and Windows Explorer)
And my UAC settings are those as described in the Enterprise Client security model ( http://technet.microsoft.com/nl-be/bb679962(en-us).aspx –> Table A30. Security Option Setting Recommendations - User Account Control)

Happy elevating,

Thomas.

0 comments

FIM 2010 SSPR Enforces Password History

Published on Saturday, November 6, 2010 in ,

One of the lacking features of the FIM Self Service Password Reset functionality was the enforcement of some of domain password policy settings. More in particular the password history was not enforced. Users could use SSPR to avoid the “maximum password age” policy setting so they can use the same password over and over again. Now we don’t want that huh!

As announced on the FIM TechNet forums: FIM 2010 Self-Service Password Reset Now Supports All Domain Password Policies we can now actually configure FIM to enforce the password history. There are several requirements though, check KB2443871 (FIM 2010 Self Service Password Reset now supports Enforcement of all domain password policies):

For the PDC domain controller

  • Hotfix KB2386717: The "Enforce password history" and "Minimum password age" Group Policy settings do not work when you reset the password for a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer
  • Windows 2008 R2
  • Certificate to enable LDAP over SSL

These are only required for the PDC. But I would definitely make sure all my DC’s, or at least at the main site where the FIM solution resides, meet these requirements. After all the FSMO PDC role can be transferred for various reasons.

For the FIM solution components

There seems to be an error in the explanation as mentioned by Steve on the forums:

Please note that there is an error in the document.  The registry value name required for enabling this functionality is incorrect.

Incorrect Version: ADMAEnforcePasswordPolicyHistory

Correct Version: ADMAEnforcePasswordPolicy

Besides the SSPR enhancement, FIM Update ? (Build 4.0.3561.2) will be a very good one. I can confirm from tests in my FIM environments it fixes the following items:

I think most people now that hotfixes should be installed in a test environment first. Do not let a manager force you to install/configure the enforcement of the password history ASAP. Knowing that FIM update 2 will fix the behavior of the FIM MA, that could alter how your implementation behaves. Especially the precedence change could “break” stuff for you. Test Test Test!

I’m referencing Build 4.0.3561.2 as FIM Update ? But odds are it will be FIM Update 2. Just like KB978864 was FIM Update 1.

Thomas, I want my old password!, Vuylsteke

0 comments

When a printer needs color ink to print black…

Published on Thursday, November 4, 2010 in ,

At home we have a simple Brother DCP-330C printer. It’s an inkjet based printer, has 4 ink cartridges (Black + CYM) and is able to scan a document. All in all a small printer for home usage. Every once in a while my wife wants to print something in gray scale and she starts cursing the color ink cartridges. This weekend we had another episode of this story. It’s Sunday, she wants to print something to use immediately and oh bloody hell, the yellow ink is out. One could think to print in gray scale you wouldn’t need color cartridges… Well not with this device, and it seems a lot of other printers out there have this feature present as well.

The device and next to it the subject of our frustration:

imageimage

So what do you do when you really need to print, and stores are closed for the next two days? You take the empty cartridge out, you take some tape and start being creative. It seems that a lot of these printers use some optical eye to check through some see-through part in the cartridge whether enough ink is left over. Cover the see-through with some tape and you can fool the printer. It’s probably obvious that you shouldn’t use see-through tape…

After some googling I found someone applying the same workaround. Here is some graphical how to. You can see some black tape being applied to the green highlighted part.

image

Source: http://forum.gravure-news.com/brother-dcp-330c-refus-d-impression-vt30847.htm

And the original referenced topic: http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/laser/39806 (amazing how long that is)

Thomas, don’t forget to replace that empty cartridge in the end, Vuylsteke

1 comments

DFS and the OS SKU

Published on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 in ,

A question often asked when discussing an Active Directory design: “Don’t we need an enterprise OS for our domain controllers?”. This question is mostly asked when thinking about hosting one or more additional DFS namespaces on the domain controllers. The answer is fairly simple:

With a Windows 2008 R2 Standard SKU you can create the following namespaces:

With a Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise SKU on the other hand you can create:

  • Multiple standalone namespaces
  • Multiple domain based namespaces

An example on a Standard SKU, I created several domain based and one standalone:

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After trying to create an other standalone namespace:

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One of the differences between standalone and domain based namespaces is how you access them:

In my opinion it doesn’t really make sense to create a standalone namespace on a domain controller. Creating such a namespace on of your domain controllers makes that DC “special”. I don’t like “special” –don’t reboot that DC – domain controllers. Above that if you want the standalone namespace to be high available you need to cluster it. Again domain controllers should not reside on cluster nodes.

An other point: domain based namespaces don’t have to be hosted on domain controllers. They can, but it’s not a must. All you have to keep in mind is that you have to add multiple name servers yourself. This won’t happen automagically.

In the past the above wasn’t always like that. Somewhere in the past this was changed for Windows 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;903651

So to conclude: if you aren’t going to host standalone namespaces on your DC’s, you do not need a enterprise OS for the DFS part.