Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, August 16, 2004, —brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
Make sure your copy of Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE isn't mistakenly blocked by antispam software! Be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.
This Issue Sponsored By
Windows Scripting Solutions
Sponsor: Argent Software
Free Download: Monitor Your Entire Infrastructure with ONE Solution
The Argent Guardian monitors servers, applications, any and all SNMP-compliant devices as well as the overall health of the entire network at a fraction of the cost of "framework" solutions. Network Testing Labs states that "The Argent Guardian will cost far less than MOM and yet provide significantly more functionality." Using a patented Agent-Optional architecture, the Argent Guardian is easily installed and monitoring your infrastructure in a matter of hours. Download a fully-functioning copy of the Argent Guardian at:
- Q. How can I determine whether my new Global Catalog (GC) is ready to service clients?
- Q. When should I manually defragment a domain controller (DC)?
- Q. I recently promoted a server to a domain controller (DC), and now my event log reports an SPNEGO (Negotiator) event. What's causing this error?
- Q. How can I determine which domain controllers (DCs) my Microsoft Exchange Server system is using?
- Q. How can I specify the Global Catalog (GC) that I want my Microsoft Exchange Server system to use?
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]
This week, I tell you how to determine whether a new Global Catalog (GC) is ready to service clients, when you should manually defragment a domain controller (DC), and the cause of an error that might occur after you promote a server to a DC. I also explain how to determine which DCs a Microsoft Exchange Server system is using and how to specify the GC that you want an Exchange server to use.
Sponsor: Windows Scripting Solutions
Try a Sample Issue of Windows Scripting Solutions
Windows Scripting Solutions is the monthly newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that shows you how to automate time-consuming, administrative tasks by using our simple downloadable code and scripting techniques. Sign up for a sample issue right now, and find out how you can save both time and money. Click here!
Q. How can I determine whether my new Global Catalog (GC) is ready to service clients?
A. When you enable a domain controller (DC) as a GC, the DC can't start offering a GC service immediately. If you have multiple domains, the GC has to replicate information from another GC or for other domains before it can start functioning as a GC. By default, the new GC will wait at least 5 minutes before offering itself as a GC. You can check the Directory Service event log for event ID 1119, which confirms that the server is now a GC.
If you want to automatically check the status of a new GC, you can create the following VBScript script on the DC:
Set objRootDSE= GetObject("LDAP://RootDSE") Wscript.Echo "GC ready: " & objRootDSE.Get("isGlobalCatalogReady")
Save the code in a file called gcready.vbs. Then, to run the script, enter the command
Q. When should I manually defragment a domain controller (DC)?
A. An online defragmentation of the Active Directory (AD) database occurs during the (AD) Garbage Collection process that runs every 12 hours by default. This defragmentation optimizes the database's structure but doesn't shrink the database's size. If you've deleted a large number of records from AD or, more likely, you've disabled a DC as a Global Catalog (GC) server and you have multiple domains, AD might benefit from an offline defragmentation to shrink the physical size of the AD database.
Q. I recently promoted a server to a domain controller (DC), and now my event log reports an SPNEGO (Negotiator) event. What's causing this error?
A. If this event (event ID 40960 or 40961) appears only once in the event log, you can ignore it. The error occurs when the File Replication Service (FRS) starts before the directory service. If the error persists, you most likely have a problem with the directory service and should start troubleshooting Active Directory (AD).
Q. How can I determine which domain controllers (DCs) my Microsoft Exchange Server system is using?
A. Exchange has an internal process called MSExchangeDSAccess Topology Discovery, which runs every 15 minutes and rediscovers the contents of Active Directory (AD). For each DC it discovers, the process runs a series of tests against the DC and selects one or more DCs that contain the information that Exchange requires (i.e, a configuration DC, a domain DC, and a Global Catalog--GC).
You can check the status of the Topology Discovery process by viewing the Application event log. The chosen servers are logged in event ID 2081, as the following example shows:
Event Type: Information Event Source: MSExchangeDSAccess Event Category: Topology Event ID: 2081 Date: 8/3/2004 Time: 7:17:25 PM User: N/A Computer: VPC2003SMS Description: Process MAD.EXE (PID=1708). DSAccess will use the servers from the following list: Domain Controllers: vpc2003sms.demo.local Global Catalogs: vpc2003sms.demo.local The Configuration Domain Controller is set to vpc2003sms.demo.local. For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp.
If selected GCs are unavailable, the process will attempt to contact them every 5 minutes until the next topology discovery. If the GC is unavailable when the Topology Discovery process is run, the process removes it from the list of DCs it can use. When the GC comes back online, the Topology Discovery process detects it during the next check. An alternative way to view the DCs that the Exchange server is using is to select the Directory Access tab of the Exchange server's properties page, as the figure at http://www.winnetmag.com/content/content/43676/exchdclist.gif shows.
Q. How can I specify the Global Catalog (GC) that I want my Microsoft Exchange Server system to use?
A. If you want to force the Exchange server to use a specific GC instead of letting the server automatically choose a GC, you can perform the following steps:
- Start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Exchange System Management (ESM) snap-in (Start, Programs, Microsoft Exchange, System Manager).
- In the treeview pane, navigate to Administrative Groups, <administrative group name>, Servers.
- Right-click the server and select Properties.
- Select the Directory Access tab.
- From the Show drop-down list, select Global Catalog Servers.
- Clear the "Automatically discover servers" check box.
- Click Yes in the confirmation box.
- Click Add.
- Enter the name of the GC to use.
- Click OK.
Microsoft recommends that you don't manually set the GC that Exchange Server uses; therefore, you should manually set the GC only when it's absolutely necessary.
Hot Release: C2C's 3 Reasons to Archive: white paper
Compliance, Capacity and e-Policy; what's driving Email Archiving at your organization?
'3 Reasons to Archive Email': this white paper discusses - internal and external influences on archival requirements; archiving best practice; regulation; optimizing email system resources; choosing a solution. Download '3 Reasons' now!
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
We need your help! Windows & .NET Magazine is launching its first Windows IT Pro Industry Salary Survey, and we want to know all about you and what makes you happy as an IT professional. When you complete the survey (about 15 minutes of your time), you'll be entered in a drawing for one of two $500 American Express gift certificates. Look for the survey results--and how you stack up against your peers--in our December 2004 issue. To take the survey, go to
Join NetIQ for Part 1 of this two-part, live, interactive Web seminar series. Discover the benefits of user provisioning in Active Directory to establish a complete user account lifecycle management solution without the expense of a full-blown identity management solution. Register today!
The deadline is looming for compliance with the final set of Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Are you ready, or are you still struggling with Section 404 issues? In this free web seminar, let the experts of Ernst & Young LLP and NetIQ provide you with the tips and techniques required to maintain proper internal control frameworks. Register today!
In September, Windows & .NET Magazine will become Windows IT Pro! Act now to get our special charter issue that shows you how to plug DNS holes and select the best scripting editor, plus learn more about the business side of IT. And discover the top 10 PC trends we think you need to keep an eye on. Get two risk-free new and improved issues and a subscription at 40% off the cover price at
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine: http://www.winnetmag.com/events )
Don't miss 2 intense workshops designed to give you simple and free tools to better secure your networks and Exchange servers. Discover how to prevent hackers from attacking your network and how to perform a security checkup on your Exchange Server deployment. Get a free 12-month subscription and enter to win an XBOX! Register now!
Comparison Paper: The Argent Guardian Easily Beats Out MOM
Free Download--New - Launch NetOp Remote Control from a USB Drive
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- About the newsletter — [email protected]
- About technical questions — http://www.winnetmag.com/forums
- About product news — [email protected]
- About your subscription — [email protected]
- About sponsoring UPDATE — [email protected]
Contact Our Sponsors
Argent Software -- http://www.Argent.com -- 1-860-674-1700
C2C -- http://www.c2c.com -- 1-413-739-8575
This weekly email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today.
Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters.