First blog got deleted and everything was lost…

Due to some real life pressure (some are related to my current work) I was driven away from the blog… until the hosting has expired and I lost everything was on it…

Now I’m trying to recover the first blog contents depending on old archives from it on the web, such as (… thanks to God that there are some archived snaps of the blog and my other blogs so I can take the texts out of them and put them here again…

This second blog should be in much better state and under better care, I have changed the address and title as well to be something better than the old one, but still typing the address of the old blog will redirect to here.

Also I will try my best to republish old posts with their same date to keep the URL structure in case someone came here … Read the rest “First blog got deleted and everything was lost…”

Allowing access to Google Apps through ISA/TMG

One migration I did, the customer was using ISA server 2006, the customer did not like ISA and wanted to get rid of it, despite my opposite opinion of ISA as a good and perfect firewall/proxy solution, I helped the customer or at least tried to move him into a MikroTik router that was installed in his site… the amount of rules and configurations done on ISA made that quick transition so slow and time consuming…

So to save both our migration and time, I decided to keep ISA for him now and just allow access to all Google domains for now so the migration can go well…

All I had to do was creating a domain set and add in it:

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *

I allowed HTTP, HTTPS traffic coming from internal network to these domains, and every user even the users who did not have internet … Read the rest “Allowing access to Google Apps through ISA/TMG”

PS: Bulk forwarding mailboxes to external addresses

Sometimes you get a sudden need to forward bulk users’ mail to external destination… in normal days, you would create a mail contact, then forward the selected user’s mail to the new external contact.

Now what if you got a large number of contacts to forward? well, you can either:

  1. Manually create all the required mail contacts, then assign each user to each contact.
  2. OR THE BETTER WAY: Use the magic of PowerShell!

This is a very simple and quick procedure…

First, you will need to create the contacts, which you can find how in the following post: PS: Creating bulk mail contacts

Then with another script, you will forward each user to his corresponding mail contact item:

You can Read the rest “PS: Bulk forwarding mailboxes to external addresses”

PS: Creating bulk mail contacts

Below is a useful script to create bulk contacts in Exchange Management Shell:

You need to have the following prepared before you use the script:

  1. A CSV file contains 2 headers: Name, ExternalAddress, with all the contacts list that you want to create.
  2. Save the CSV file in C:\ (to be completely complied with the script above, otherwise save it where you want, but make sure you specify it’s full path in the script above instead of “C:\NameList.csv”.

To make it a bit easier, here is the script ready, just open EMS and run it from there after you make sure the file is ready…


Some points to remember while migrating from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps

I’ve done some migrations recently from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps… While the migration itself went successful, I came across many serious issues that affected the overall satisfaction of the customer…

I tried my best to solve and workaround those issues during the migration process, and it seems everything went well after what I did…

One of the major problems was, the local users were unable to send to the users who got migrated to Google already!, this problem was because of simply because they are still on Exchange server, and the emails they are sending to their colleagues basically never leave Exchange to be routed outside to Google.

One workaround I managed to use was to put the testing domain that Google gives to the Google Apps users to a good use (

I have created mail contact item for every user on the Exchange points to … Read the rest “Some points to remember while migrating from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps”

Unable to uninstall Exchange server 2010 while mailbox database has un-moved arbitration mailboxes


It has been a while since I did a transition for Exchange server 2010, and last days I did one…

Today I was doing the final part of it which is decommissioning the old server, I did it but I had to do some extra work to finish the job…

I had moved all the users mailboxes to the new server, and the database seems empty, but in fact, it was not, because there were some system mailboxes called Arbitration mailboxes

So when trying to uninstall the server, I got the error about existing mailboxes still on the database of the server I want to remove!

All I had to do is move these mailboxes to the new server and I was done (NEVER REMOVE THESE MAILBOXES UNLESS YOU ARE REMOVING THE LAST SERVER IN THE ORGANIZATION)

  • The first step is to list all the arbitration mailboxes
Read the rest “Unable to uninstall Exchange server 2010 while mailbox database has un-moved arbitration mailboxes”

Outlook Continuously Asks for User Name and Password in Exchange Environment

Hello Everybody,

I have got through a problem where MS Outlook continuously asks for user name and password to authenticate the user for exchange…

This could be annoying for users and frustrating for the guys who are troubleshooting that, today I made some researches about problem and I got some solutions for it, but all are on the client side, so imagine if you have about 100 clients, you need to go to all of them and apply the fix (if it was the right solution), of course this is not acceptable at all, so I made some more searches about it into the server and I got to the bottom of it…

Before I put my solution, I would like to clear something, which is this solution has came from experiencing the problem with my configuration, so most likely your configuration will be different from mine (maybe you will … Read the rest “Outlook Continuously Asks for User Name and Password in Exchange Environment”

PS: Managing Exchange Users Using Groups

Hello everybody

Last few days  I was having too much troubles with the rain, and the situation was not good at all in Jeddah, I even had to spend 1 night out of home… 🙁 because the water has blocked almost all the roads in the city… actually you can see a bit of what happened from my Facebook profile:, well, it is in Arabic so you better know some Arabic if you are not Arabic 😛

OK, I almost forgot the main reason of this topic 😀 , it is about managing the Exchange users using the Groups in Active Directory…

There are many ways to manage the users in the Exchange, the easiest at all is using the EMC (Exchange Management Console), and there are many methods to do that, for example you can:

  • Just go for the user you want and right click him
  • Multi-select a
Read the rest “PS: Managing Exchange Users Using Groups”

Error when trying to prepare the organization for Exchange 2010 installation (otherWellKnownObjects attribute)

Hi all,

Sorry for going offline for too long, I was having some bad times (happens to all :-) )

I am going to talk today about a problem that I have passed long ago, but did not expect to encounter again, it is related to the exchange 2010 and active directory…

Now as you all know that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and previous versions as well, are active directory-integrated, which mean that when ever we install the exchange system into the network, it will be having roots (this how I would like to call it anyway) in the active directory schema, which by itself (the schema) is the blueprints of the whole Windows network…

The above introduction, I had to write it to let you get close to the problem I am going to talk about; it is related to the removing of the exchange server, and more specific way… … Read the rest “Error when trying to prepare the organization for Exchange 2010 installation (otherWellKnownObjects attribute)”

Fixing the problem when users cannot connect to exchange server using ActiveSync to sync their data

I don’t know if you got into this problem or not yet, but YOU WILL! :-D. I had this problem one day and I was unable to setup any mobile device to connect to my Exchange Server ActiveSync setup…

I got this problem and it took me one day to find out what is going on…

The problem is you configure ActiveSync on the Exchange server and you put the certificate on the server and on the firewall (TMG or ISA) then when somebody with a mobile device tries to connect using ActiveSync, he fails, and cannot get to the server, even if you check about the problem you will find everything on Exchange and ISA or TMG is clear and no dust on it!

Well, the problem maybe not in the Exchange or the firewall, there is a big chance that you can solve it from the Active Directory!… Read the rest “Fixing the problem when users cannot connect to exchange server using ActiveSync to sync their data”