Microsoft Patch Breaks Zone Alarm

Got a call from a client today complaining that he could no longer access the Internet. He’s running Zone Alarm 7.

Trek out to the site and lo and behold, we can ping IP addresses thru the firewall, but we can’t resolve any names. Turns out DNS had a big hole in it, and it’s been patched by the major vendors, Microsoft among them.

So, Microsoft rolls out KB951748 yesterday as part of Patch Tuesday, and this morning all the machines set to autoupdate who are also running Zone Alarm find themselves out of luck.

The quick fix is to run ZoneAlarm’s Internet Zone Security in “Medium” mode.

Zone Alarm released a knowledge base article suggesting three options: the aforementioned “medium mode” fix; uninstalling the patch or adding your DNS servers to the trusted zone.

Adding the DNS servers to the trusted zone is the most secure solution as it allows you to run in full stealth and still enjoy the “benefits” of the Microsoft path.

Outlook Deleted Items Recovery

At one of my clients, we limit their users mailboxes to keep the Exchange server humming along. We use an archiving program to keep older mail around in accordance with our document retention policies.

One of the things we mandate is that Outlook purges its Deleted Items folder upon closing. We’ve had users maintain 3800 (unread!) messages in their deleted items folder and then complain loudly when they run out of mailbox space citing that they might need something in their Deleted Items folder. (Of course, this runs counter to the design of the Deleted Items folder is — short term storage for items no longer needed. Long term storage should be used in either the users’ folder or the server’s file system.)

These complaints have subsided now that everyone has had a chance to live with the policy… but there are still some times when people delete something, close Outlook and then realize they can’t get it back.

(Let’s assume the archiver is off-line.)

Outlook Web Access can come to the rescue and recover some of the lost items as long as it was deleted recently. Stuff deleted a year ago is long gone.

Log in to Outlook Web Access. (This works in Outlook Web Access 2000 and 2003. Screenshots are from OWA 2003)

Click on the OPTIONS button at the bottom of the screen (it’s the last icon on the right)

Outlook Web Access Options Icon

Scroll all the way down the page until you see “Click View Items to view and recover items that were recently emptied from your Deleted Items folder. Recovered items will be moved back to your Deleted Items folder.

Outlook Recover Deleted ItemsOutlook Recover Deleted Items

Click the “View Items” button and you should be able to browse thru a collection of recently deleted items.

Any item you restore will go back into your Deleted Items folder, where you can then recover it and put it where it belongs.

Bacon saved.

Our Favorite Gadgets: Microsoft Exchange Wireless Connector

Just a quick post to trumpet the virtues of the Exchange Wireless Connector and how it’s helped us at Cuyler Burk.

I chose my SmartPhone, a Treo 700w, because my previous PDA (a Dell Axim) was Windows Mobile based, and I was familiar with it. I also knew that Cuyler Burk, as an all Microsoft shop — sure, we have a few Linux boxes (this blog is sitting on one) — that Exchange 2003 would support my phone out of the box. I didn’t realize how cool it is.

Now, any calendar item I add at the office shows up on my phone automatically. Any contact I add to my phone pops up in Outlook and I don’t have to do anything. Mail just streams to the phone without me having to hit send/receive (like I do with my IMAP based mail accounts) and I can send to internal mailing lists, which is something I can’t do through our internet gateway…

Over the past year many of our attorneys have gotten Windows Mobile based phones. Deployment takes only a few minutes — copy and install the remote certificate and type in their username and password, and they’re off. They love that their secretaries can schedule calls and appointments and they just shows up on their home screen as upcoming events.

To sweeten the deal, this was all bundled with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, so we didn’t have to spend an extra thousand bucks on the Blackberry Connector.

Plus — if the phone is broken — just get a new one… since everything is stored in Exchange, the new phone will automatically sync itself up and all your contacts, speed dials, appointments, etc. are right back to where you expect them. Gone are the days of losing your address book when you lost your phone.

So, if you’re running SBS2003, I would highly recommend taking a look at a Windows Mobile based device for your next phone — you might wonder how you lived without it. I know I do.

(This sounds a bit shill-y, but I can assure you I’m a big fan of this technology. Next time, I’ll rant a little bit about my Treo 700w.)