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Running Dropbox as a Service on Windows Server

If you need to run Dropbox as a service, you need to convince Windows Server to run it as a service. That's easy enough using the old "srvany.exe" toolkit program that let's you run "any" program as a service.

Basically, you will install dropbox, grab srvany.exe, create a service entry, add a registry setting, start the service, then you're up and running.

Here are the details...

RDP, Terminal Server, and 2 Annoyances

I use terminal server a lot with my clients. I was trying to set up RDP sessions to run a certain program and quit (rather than just opening up an RDP session and running the program from there). I do this so that I can run a program and get out. For instance, I have some web-based server management interfaces that are only available from inside the network (like for the phone systems) and if I just want to go in and fix something, I don't want to have to run a VPN session and I don't want to get a full desktop to start a browser, so I just fire off the browser as a program in an RDP session and I'm in and out!

However, I was running into 2 annoyances:

1) I would set up an RDP session to run one program, but the session would hang when the program exited. The session would stay hung so that when I came back and re-connected, I got the same hung desktop session back!

2) No matter what I changed in the RDP settings or on the server, every time I opened an RDP sessions file, my window would have scroll bars with my desktop bigger than the window that RDP opened!

Both were pretty annoying and had different solutions.

Network Zimbra 6 Backups Stop Running

I had a situation where I had to recover a failing Zimbra email server running Network version 6.x. The hardware was failing, so I recovered the system to a new virtual server. There were a lot of things to deal with in moving to a new system, but I had everything back and running in about 12 hours (there was almost a terabyte of messages to move to the new system).

Everything looked good, but when I went back to do a reality check on the system a week later, I found out that the automatic backups weren't running.

It took a little research, but I figured out how to get backups to run again...

Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Password Complexity and Other Settings

I don't use Active Directory and Policies enough to remember which is the proper place when I want to adjust the draconian password complexity settings on a Windows 2008 Server.

Here's how...

Windows Server 2008 Shutdown with a 0x500ff Reason Code

I had a client that had a new Windows Server 2008 R2 server shutdown spontaneously.

In reviewing the logs, I saw where the system went into shutdown, but I couldn't tell why. All I had to go on was a 0x500ff reason code.

Resources I found to help diagnosis this issue included:

Systems Shutting Down with 0x500ff:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2001061

Shutdown codes:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa376885(VS.85).aspx

None of these were really helpful, though, because the problem was kind of my fault. You see, we had installed the server, but it wasn't in its final secured location. It was sitting in an empty office. An empty unlocked office.

When some kids came in to the facility to hang out and wanted to use a computer, they tried a few times to log in, couldn't, and powered the server down, since it wasn't "working".

Oops. Looks like I have to get the server physically secured sooner, rather than later.

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