Archive for the ‘Server Administration’ Category

Server 2008 – Hosts file locked…. not really.

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

When is an Administrator not an administrator?  When you’re trying to edit the hosts file in Notepad++ but you didn’t run it “as administrator” (even though you are one).

I really don’t know why you have to select “Run as administrator” when you are a member of the local administrators group.

Anyways, thanks Guy Ellis for the tip!

Hosts file locked (read-only) on Server 2008

Categories: Server Administration

Setting up email on Windows Server 2008

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

I rarely setup email on my VMs unless I want to do workflow, and when I do it’s something I always forget. 

The following articles are good references for getting email setup:

Not that setting up Windows Server SMTP was always successful, the removal of IMAP/POP service from server 2008 left most people looking elsewhere for a solution.  For me hMailServer works very well.

Install hMailServer

Run the install wizard and choose Full Installation to install server and administration tools.

  • Use builtin database engine
  • Configure Administrator Password

Once the installation is complete, it will prompt you for an administrator password.


Select to run the Administration tool on install complete.

Configure hMailServer

The Administrator client will ask the server to connect to.  Select localhost.


Once connected, you will see the administration console.


The first thing we are going to do is add out domain by clicking the ‘Add domain’ button on the welcome page.

Add a domain

On the General tab of the Domains page, enter the name of you domain, and click Save.  In our case it’s “”.  You will notice after saving the domain name, it shows up under domains on the left with three folders:

  • Accounts
  • Aliases
  • Distribution lists


Add an Account

Now that we have our domain configured, we can proceed and setup a user account.  Select Accounts in the tree, and click Add.  Enter the email address and password, and click Save.



Configure Local Hosts

Edit the hosts menu and add the following entry:



At this point, we have our domain setup and one account created.  We should now be able to test our server by connecting to it from Outlook.


Setup Outlook

If this is the first time Outlook has been launched, you will get prompted to configure an email account.  Select yes.

On the “Add new email account” window, select to manually configure by checking the checkbox at the bottom and click ‘Next’.


Select Internet E-Mail as the account type to setup and click Next.




Note: Make sure the username is the full email address.

Click ‘Test Account settings’ to ensure configuration is correct.

Once successful, click Next to finish the configuration.

Now we are ready to test.  Before actually sending an email, enable logging in the Administration client so you can see what’s happening:

Enable Logging

Under Settings –> Logging, select all the options and click Save.


Now, under Status, click the Logging tab and start logging.  Now when you send your test email from Outlook, you will see hMailServer process it.



Very useful for troubleshooting.  Now you should be able to send an email to yourself from Outlook.  Try creating another account in hMailServer and emailing to and from that.


Cannot connect from Outlook

If you are having trouble connecting from Outlook:

  1. Ensure the username is the full email address in account settings
  2. Check ports Outlook is using is same as hMailServer

In Outlook under Account settings, click the More Settings button and switch to the Advanced tab.


In hMailServer, check under Settings -> TCP/IP ports.