The file hgfs.dat could not be deleted…why??

In my virtual environment at home i’m using VMware Workstation on the host. Today i’ve installed an new Terminal Server 2003 environment with RES PowerFuse and RES Wisdom. All the users have mandatory profiles, published with RES PowerFuse. When I login with a user, there’s a copy of the mandatory profile in the %systemroot%\Documents and Settings. In my TSpolicy i’ve enabled the option “delete cached copy of roaming profiles”, so all the profiles should disappear when the users logoff.

All the userprofiles are still there when the user logoff, included only one directory and one file…hgfs.dat. The file hgfs.dat comes from VMware shared folder feature. The files is created in the profile of the first user that logs on. The file handle is kept open and therefore you might get more profile folders for the same user.

I’ve fixed it with the following VMware (VMware FAQ1317) article.

1.) Open regedit on your Terminal Server
2.) Locate the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider\Order
3.) Edit the key ProviderOrder
4.) Remove vmhgfs
5.) Close regedit
6.) Reboot your Terminal Server

vmts_00     vmts_01

How to: Restore deleted users in Active Directory

Do you remember a situation when you deleted a couple of Active Directory objects, and after this action you thought, “oops!!”. You’ve to restore these user objects, but how? By default the Active Directory markes all the deleted objects as IsDeleted True. The objects are not vissible any more in your Active Directory, but they still there. This calls tombstoned objects. By default tombstoned objects will be available for 60 days in a Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory and 180 days in a Windows 2003 SP1 of 2008 Active Directory.

In my testenvironment I’ve created 50 test user objects and deleted a couple of this user objects. Now we are going to restore the objects. First I’ve downloaded the following commandline tool adrestore. This tool I’ll using for the restore.


recover_ad01    recover_ad02    recover_ad03

recover_ad04    recover_ad05    recover_ad06

The following commands can be used:

This command will give you an overview of all the tombstoned objects in your Active Directory
This command asks for an conformation to restore all the individual tombstoned objects.

adrestore -r

adrestore -r “CN of the tombstoned object”, for example adrestore -r testuser11
This command perform a restore of tombstoned object testuser11

Note: after performing a restore of the tombstoned objects, the accounts are disabled and the user must change password at next logon. Before you can enable this account, make sure you reset the password that meets your password policies, configured in your Default Domain policy.

Free monitoring tool for Exchange 2000/2003

Solarwinds has a new free monitoring tool available on the website, the Exchange Monitor 1.0. This sound great, so I’ve installed it in a test environment.

Operating System Select a 32-bit or 64-bit edition of one of the following operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2008

.NET Framework Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
Hard Drive space 10MB
Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003
Exchange Server Credentials Administrator-level access to the Microsoft Exchange Server

Ports Open the following ports to and from the Exchange Server:



Fill in the Exchange server for the Solarwinds Monitor. In our example its: srv01.e2k3.local.



The first looks are great…..but let’s do some little test to wath the real monitoring! We are going to stop the Exchange Information Store manualy.


Great job, the monitoring tool gives a critical warning as you can see. The Exchange Information Store is not running any more…

This is realy a nice free tool to monitor the baseline information for your Exchange 2000 of 2003 environment. Can’t wait for the Exchange 2007 version 😉

Custom Recipient Policy Exchange 2003

In some environments there are users who needs a custom e-mailaddress. You can make all this custom e-mailaddresses user for user…but that’s a wast of time! Let’s make a custom Recipient Policy for the specific users.

First off all open Active Directory and open the users that needs a custom e-mailaddress. Open the tab Exchange Advanced, Custom Attributes, extensionAttribute1. Add a value in this field, so you can use this field later on…for example: User with custom address.


Open the Exchange System Manager, Recipients, Recipients policies. Make a new Recipient Policy.


Click on Modify. Here we are going to make a query to make the user selection. Go to the tab Advanced, Field, User, Custom Attribute 1, Condition (is exactly). Here we are going to add our value that we filled in earlier in Active Directory, User with custom address. Click on Add. If you want to see the selection of users within this query, you can click on Find now.

Now we are going to add a custom e-mailaddress for this user(s). Go to the tab E-mail Address (Policy). Click on the first SMTP address and click Edit.


Apply the custom policy. Apply this policy now. If your going to Active Directory again, you will see that the custom e-mailaddress is added to the specific user.