Location of OCS log files

When you work with OCS you will notice that it is quite good at logging information by the fact that you often get prompted to view the log. When you click view, you are presented with an HTML page showing details of what operations have been carried out and success or failure status. However, it is not immediately obvious where they are stored!

Well the location is as follows:



TechNet 2.0 & The IT Pro Guide – I’m listed as an Exchange Expert!

I have always found Microsoft TechNet website a great resource. In particular the forums are well monitored so validated answers are usually quick to come by!

Now Microsoft has gone even further to support customers by introducing a new site “The IT Pro Guide” and revamping the TechNet site.

The email below from Microsoft explains the aims of the changes, but for me the coolest thing is that I’m listed as an expert on the IT Pro Guide site for Exchange Server! (http://www.microsoft.com/En/gb/itproguide/exchange-2010.aspx

nathan (2)

The Microsoft email:

Exploring Microsoft technology online can be daunting for IT Pros, making it difficult for them to discover Microsoft’s value. To address these concerns the UK DPE Technical Audience Marketing team has made two enhancements to Microsoft’s IT Pro online offering -  the new IT Pro Guide and the redesign of TechNet.

IT Pro Guide

On March 12th the UK DPE AMM team, began piloting a new IT Pro online strategy to  bridge the information gap between feature-driven Microsoft.com product content and technical how-to on TechNet.

IT Pro Guide  provides a focused and managed conversation with ‘unengaged’ IT Pros. These IT Pros may not have purchased Microsoft products recently, but have the potential to recommend and use more. We need to help guide them through the wealth of content  so they can easily find the information they need. 

So why is this site different?

· It’s been designed based on the IT Pro’s requirements not ours. Why would an unengaged IT Pro come to Microsoft? This gave us the 3 titles you see on the homepage.

· The IT Pro can be guided through the site through the path they choose, rather than the way we think is best.

· It has a flat structure, meant to guide the IT Pro through to the most appropriate resource, rather than keep them within the site.

· We have only have 3 resource links per solution.

· We are using MVPs and Microsoft product experts to help start a conversation. Links are not just links but intros to their expertise.

Of course the best way to experience IT Pro Guide is to check out the site.  So go to the Microsoft UK Home Page, select the For IT Pro tab, and hit the link to IT Pro Guide.  Or go directly to www.microsoft.com/uk/itproguide

Thank you goes to the UK Community Council who helped shape the content on this site.

TechNet 2. 0

You’ll already be familiar with TechNet, Microsoft’s site for IT Professionals, but TechNet 2.0 is packed with even more of the best technical content, essential tools for the job, and connections to Microsoft product groups and the technical community.

TechNet went through a global redesign, changing the look and feel across all of TechNet sites. This new version of TechNet is a lot lighter, with many old and redundant pages deleted, and now a new look slimmed down version of the homepage.

Look out for a new version of the TechNet Flash to match.

Its not all about a pretty new blue colour, there is also the launch of the TechNet Wiki , TechNet Search with meta-data enabled search results for TechNet Forums (see Hyper-V example), and new "finder" features for Troubleshooting resources and Downloads (both top IT Pro Tasks)

Activation Fails on new OCS Standard Edition Installation – Failure [0xC3EC78D8] Failed to read the Office Communications Server version information.

When installing a new OCS server recently I got these errors first in the deployment log:


And drilling down further:


So what on earth causes that! I thought, given that I had installed OCS no differently than usual. Turns out this harks back to the issues Microsoft caused when they released an update to the CryptoAPI in KB974571.

Essentially this caused OCS not to be able to read information about itself (like it license info) which was encrypted in with the CryptoAPI. This meant that OCS services wouldn’t start and lead to quite a few disgruntled customers!

Well there was a fix for that called OCSASNFix which not only fixed the services not starting issue but also fixes this new server activation error. The fix is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center. To obtain the fix, visit the following Microsoft Web page:


Here is an extract from the KB article describing what it does: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974571

The fix (OCSASNFix.exe) is governed by the Microsoft Software License Agreement for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Office Communications Server 2007, Live Communications Server 2005, Office Communicator 2007 R2, Office Communicator 2007, and Office Communicator 2005.

This fix works for both clients and servers, and it is applicable to the following roles for all versions of Office Communications Server and Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and for evaluation versions of Office Communicator:

· Standard Edition Server

· Director server role

· Enterprise Edition Consolidated

· Enterprise Edition Distributed – Front End

· Edge Server

· Proxy server role

· Office Communicator 2007 Evaluation version only

· Office Communicator 2007 R2 Evaluation version only

· Office Communicator 2005 Evaluation version only

This fix sets the OCSASNFIX DWORD value to 1 for the following registry subkey on the OCS 2007/R2 and LCS 2005-SP1 Server:


Having downloaded the fix from the link above, navigate to its location in a command prompt and run it by typing the following command, and then pressing ENTER:



When you run it you will see what it thinks is installed on your system and what it has fixed:


After that, as a precaution I rebooted the server.

Hope that helps people get over, and hopefully prevent a most annoying issue!