Microsoft Exchange 2007 – Insufficient System Resources

I had a customer inform me over this Christmas period that they were not receiving any inbound e-mail from external sources, even though internal e-mail flow was fine as well as outgoing. I performed a quick inbound e-mail test at testexchangeconnectivity.com to discover that their Exchange 2007 installation on Windows Small Business Server 2008 was producing the following NDR error:

Delivery of the test message failed.

Additional Details: The server returned status code 452 – Insufficient system storage. The server response was: 4.3.1 Insufficient system resources

From looking at the error it can be concluded that this issue was definitely related to system storage. What had actually happened was that free disk space on the Windows system drive had dropped below a 4 Gigabyte threshold and as a result the Exchange Back Pressure feature had disabled inbound e-mail messages, as there was no longer sufficient disk space for the mail submission queue to function. This was further confirmed by reviewing event ID’s 15002 and 15006 in the Windows application event log. As I was struggling to free disk space on the system drive, I decided to move the Exchange Mail Submission Queue database to a separate disk where I had plenty of free resource. To perform this, I carried out the following procedure:

1. On a separate disk volume create a new folder structure, for example, D:\Microsoft Exchange\Queue.

2. Open the Exchange Management Shell and type the following command:

Move-TransportDatabase.ps1 -QueueDatabasePath: “D:\Microsoft Exchange\Queue” -QueueDatabaseLoggingPath: “D:\Microsoft Exchange\Queue”

3. The PowerShell script will now perform the move operation. Once this is complete, you should be informed the move was successful.

4. Navigate to the databases new folder location and confirm you can now see the queue database and it’s associated log files.

Your all done, you should now be able to receive incoming e-mail from external sources and hopefully avoid the issue happening again.

Dell Inspiron N5030 Review

I don’t usually post reviews, however I recently acquired a new Dell Inspiron N5030 laptop computer. As there doesn’t appear to be much information on this product, I thought I’d write a small review.

1. Build Quality

The build quality of the Dell Inspiron N5030 is actually very good, considering I picked up the device for £280 excluding VAT direct from the Dell website. It is comprised of a black plastic ABS enclosure with a matt black finish for both the top of the screens lid and the surface area around the keyboard and the screen itself. The case is also complimented by a “3D” pattern design which I found quite smart and makes the device slightly unique compared to other laptops in the Dell range. The device feels good enough quality survive being dropped, without it breaking into pieces, unlike the much more expensive Dell XPS Studio 1340 I also own.

2. Technical Specification

As this is Dell’s entry level laptop the technical specification isn’t the world’s greatest, but I think it is very reasonable for the £280 price tag. The late 2010 model contains the following hardware specification:

Intel Celeron 900(2.20GHz,800MHz,1MB)
2048MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [1×2048]
250GB (5,400rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)
15.6″ High Definition (1366×768) WLED Display with TrueLife

When running a Windows Experience Index on a 64-bit installation of Windows 7 Enterprise the Dell Inspiron N5030 produced the following results:

Inspiron N5030 Windows Experience Index 300x128 Dell Inspiron N5030 Review

Overall a score of 3.4 isn’t that bad for the most basic Dell laptop, with it’s Intel Integrated Graphics being the lowest determining score. If you looking for a gaming laptop however, then this device is certainly not for you, as it’s on-board graphics simply do not provide the performance required for latest generation games. On a another note, the Intel Integrated Graphics do display Windows 7 with full aero functionality, meaning you get all the nice glass and aero peek features.

It is also worth nothing that upgrading the laptops memory from 2GB to 4GB can be achieved by purchasing an additional 2GB SO-DIMM from a supplier such as Crucial, their handy system scanner correctly identifies and suggests memory upgrades the N5030. At the time of writing, an additioal 2GB memory module is only £19.96. The laptop itself unfortunately does not contain a traditional memory door on the base of the unit, to install additional memory the keyboard must be removed to reveal the on-board DIMMS’s and details on how to perform this are located within it’s user manual.

3. Connectivity & Input Types

Connectivity types on the N5030 are basic, as you would expect. The laptop contains three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port and a 100MB Ethernet port. It is also worth noting, that all of these connections are situated on the left hand side of the laptop. Due the cases design there are no connectivity ports located on the back of the laptop, so if you looking to place this on a desk and have Ethernet, power and USB connections coming from the rear, this may not be for you.

The N5030 also contains a basic two button trackpad, which looks and feels nice. I have noticed however, that when using the trackpad to either single or double click, opposed to using the dedicated buttons, it does need a fairly heavy tap to register an action. Also when moving the cursor around with the trackpad you need to apply a little pressure, overall it isn’t the most touch sensitive I’ve used, but you get what you pay for!

Also hidden away in the laptop’s screen is a 0.3 (you read that correctly) megapixel camera, suffice to say it is low quality and unless used in very good light the frame rate generated by the camera is low, giving the user a “slow motion” experience.

4. Other

Other things to mention are that the 6-Cell battery life is generally very good, when using wireless connectivity I am achieving two and half to three hours of use. Wireless connectivity is also of a good quality with the laptop containing a Atheros 802.11n WiFi module which I haven’t experienced any issues with. The quality of the WLED with TrueLife display is also very good, and the brightness can be adjusted to quite a high ratio. The only pitfall of the screen is that it is very susceptible to light reflection.

5. Overall

Overall the Dell Inspiron N5030 is a great entry level laptop. I would recommend the laptop is geared towards casual users, looking for something to perhaps do word processing on and/or browse the Internet. The laptop however would prove a disappointment if purchased for gaming or any overly CPU intensive applications due to it’s basic hardware specification.

Windows Deployment Services – Injecting VMware Drivers

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a technology I have been using for a long time, and is by far one of my favourites. I had a recent requirement to deploy a captured WDS image into a new VMware virtual machine. On doing so I was presented with a driver error, as the VMnet drivers that VMware utilises are not included in the Windows 7 boot.wim file as you would expect. To deploy an image to a VMware virtual machine we need to customise the boot.wim file to include the relevant VMnet drivers. To achieve this, perform the following steps.

1. Obtain a copy of, or use your existing boot.wim file. You can obtain a copy of the boot.wim file from the Windows 7 operating system installation media.

2. Place the obtained boot.wim file on the root of your workstations C:\ drive, so for example, C:\boot.wim.

3. On your C:\ drive create a new folder name “mount”. This will be used to open the contents of the WIM so that we can inject the VMware drivers.

4. Download a copy of the VMnet VMware drivers from here. We will be injecting these drivers into our WIM image. Once the download is complete, extract the drivers folder and place it also on the root of your workstations C:\.

5. Download and install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Windows 7 onto your workstation. This can be downloaded direct from Microsoft here.

6. Once you have downloaded and installed the relevant WAIK, navigate to WAIK start menu entry and launch the “Deployment Tools Command Prompt”.

7. When the command prompt loads, enter the following command to mount the WIM file for modification without quotes:

“dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\boot.wim /index:2 /Mountdir:c:\mount”

8. Once the boot.wim file has mounted, we can now inject the VMware drivers. To perform this run the following command without quotes:

“dism /image:c:\mount /add-driver /driver:c:\vmnet\ /recurse”

9. Once both of the VMnet drivers have been successfully injected, we then need to commit the changes and unmount the image. To perform this run the following command without quotes:

“dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount\ /commit”

10.Upload the unmouted image to your WDS server  and then add it as boot image via the WDS console.

Your all done, you should now be able to use both WDS deployment and capture images in VMware virtual machines.