Kerio Connect: Use it with free "Let's Encrypt" Certificates on IIS

"Let's Encrypt" is an organisation that provides SSL certificates for free in an automated way. While the use is simple on IIS or Apache web servers, on Kerio Connect it is a bit more complicated as it comes with its own web server. Here is how I set it up (there might be other ways, of course, please feel free to add your comments at the bottom of the page).

First, download "letsencrypt-win-simple" from

https://github.com/Lone-Coder/letsencrypt-win-simple

This tool simplifies and automates the communication with the Let's Encrypt API.

Then, make sure you have IIS enabled on your Windows 2012 R2 Server, but only have a binding to port 80 (port 443 will be used by Kerio Connect). Bind http://mail.yourmaildomain.com to IIS.

Make sure that Kerio Connect only has https enabled and not http.

Now, run letsencrypt.exe from the folder where you downloaded it. When run for the first time, it will ask you for your email address and to accept the TOS. It will present you with all the current bindings from IIS. Choose mail.yourmaildomain.com.

It will now create the certificate for your mail server. Two files are important

mail.yourmaildomain.com-crt.pem
mail.yourmaildomain.com-key.pem

They can be found here:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\letsencrypt-win-simple\httpsacme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org

From Kerio Web Admin > SSL Certificates, import the certificate and make it the default certificates. Delete any other certificates.

This results in 2 files in

C:\Program Files\Kerio\MailServer\sslcert

server.crt
server.key

You should now be able to go to the Kerio Connect login web page with

https://mail.yourmaildomain.com

If you look at the certificate it should list "Let's Encrypt Authority" as the issuer and it shoul show a green padlock.

Renewal

Let's Encrypt certificates expire after 90 days, so you should create a schedules task that renews the certificates and copies them to

C:\Program Files\Kerio\MailServer\sslcert

overwriting server.crt and server.key

Outlook: Disable Auto-Complete of your own Name

Outlook has an editor feature that suggests to insert your full name whenever you start typing your first name. This is really annoying because you might want to use only your first name for signing off your emails (i.e. "Regards, John", instead of "Regards, John Doe").

You can switch it off, but not in the auto-correct or auto-format options, as you might have expected. Outlook has hidden it under "Quick Parts" and "Building Blocks". Here is how to disable this annoying feature:

  • Create a new e-mail message
  • Make sure you have selected HTML as the mail format ("Format Text" tab > HTML)
  • Click into the body text area and from the "Insert" tab, select "Quick Parts" and then "AutoText"
  • Right-click one of the quick parts and select "Organize and delete", this will open something called the "Building blocks organizer".
  • Remove the Quick Parts containing your name

Voila - the annoying auto-complete of your name is gone.

You can also disable the whole "Auto-Complete" feature, but this will stop all auto-complete functionality:

  • Go to File > Options > Mail > Spelling and AutoCorrect > Advanced
  • Then disable the option "Show AutoComplete suggestions".

Windows 10: iPad in recovery mode not recognized by iTunes

I had an iPad that was bricked and i brought it into Recovery Mode to Factory Reset it:

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from your iPad, but leave the other side connected to your Mac or PC
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. Press and hold down the Home and Sleep/Power button on the top of the iPad to turn off the iPad
  4. Press and continue to hold the Home button while you reconnect the USB cable to your iPhone, this will cause the iPad to turn on
  5. Continue to hold the Home button until an alert message in iTunes informing you that an iPad in recovery mode has been detected.

The last point did not work for me. While the iPad went into recovery mode (showing the plug to connect to iTunes), iTunes did not recognize the iPad.

iTunes reconizes my un-bricked iPhone, but it does not recognize any device in recovery mode.

The problem was that the recovery mode drivers were not installed. Here is how to fix this.

  1. In Windows 10, go to Device Manager
  2. Go to View > Devices by connection
  3. Expand and search for the entry "Apple Mobile Device (Recovery Mode)"
  4. Right-click on the entry above called "USB Composite Device" and choose Update driver software...
  5. Choose Browse my computer for driver software
  6. Browse to the path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers" and click Next
  7. This will install the Apple driver
  8. iTunes should now recognize your device in recovery mode

Blackberry: Changes in BES 12.5.0a

On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" (BES 12.5.0a) without release notes. So there was no direct way of finding out what the "a" really changed.

Digging through the KB articles I found this:

http://support.blackberry.com/kb/articleDetail?articleNumber=000038323

So the short answer is: The "a" fixes one specific issue that would block you from upgrading from a previous BES version to 12.5.

If you already have upgraded to BES 12.5.0 successfully, you don't need to apply 12.5.0a. If you could not upgrade (e.g. from 12.4), version 12.5.0a now lets you upgrade.

Find below the full text of the KB, in case Blackberry deletes or changes it:

Unable to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5

Article Number: 000038323 First Published: July 13, 2016 Last Modified: August 12, 2016 Type: Support

Environment

  • BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12

Issue Tracking

  • JI 1557439

Overview

When attempting to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 the upgrade fails during the database deployment phase.

Looking in the db_start_command_log log file in the deployment directory (the default location is C:\Program Files\BlackBerry\BES\Logs\deployment) the following error is seen:

2016-07-12T17:04:17,596 main MDMLogger ERROR  Problem processing sql: 
/* 59.13.4 */
UPDATE def_policy_setting_definition
    SET name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization'
  WHERE internal_id = 'IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x'
    AND name = './Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/DataProtection/AllowInputPersonalization'
    AND id_device_os_family IN (SELECT id_device_os_family
                                    FROM def_device_os_family
                                   WHERE name = 'WP');
com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerException: Violation of UNIQUE KEY constraint 'AK_def_policy_setting_dfn'. 
Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'dbo.def_policy_setting_definition'. 
The duplicate key value is (IT_CONFIG.WP.dataprotection.allow.input.personalization.x, ./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Privacy/AllowInputPersonalization, 6).

Cause

An IT Policy Pack update was pushed out on July 12th, 2016. This introduced some data into the database that is causing the Service Pack 5 upgrade to fail. Customers who upgraded prior to this update would have completed the upgrade successfully and will not be affected by this issue.

Resolution

Please run the attached script only once against the SQL server that hosts the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 database following these steps:

  1. Backup the BES Database.
  2. Download and execute the attached script.
  3. Re-run the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5 setup.exe file to upgrade BES to the latest version.

Repeat step 3 above on the BES12 instances installed in the same BES12 domain (sharing the same database).

Additional Information

On July 26 2016 BlackBerry released "BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 Service Pack 5a" which includes a fix for this issue for customers who did not already upgrade to Service Pack 5.  This version can be used to upgrade without the need to manually run an additional script.

Note: If the server is already running Service Pack 5 and the above issue either did not occur or was already corrected, there is no need to upgrade to Service Pack 5a.

Attachment

 

Veeam 8.0: How to remove a restore point manually

Veeam is a good tool to backup and restore virtual machines. After you remove a server from backup (because you have decommissioned it, for example) you might get the following warning:

01.06.2016 11:04:33 :: Server01 is no longer processed by this job. Make sure this change is intentional.

This is happening because Veeam still has one or more restore points of this server. If you are sure you never want to restore this server again, you can delete the restore point manually:

Backup & Replication > Backups > Disk

Go to the job name that gives you the warning, locate the decommissioned server and right-click it. Choose

Remove from disk

You might get the following error:

Unable to perform the operation while primary backup job, or SQL transaction log backup jobs is running.

Make sure to stop and disable all jobs. I my case it was a "Backup Copy to WAN" job. Although it was idle, I had to disable it. Once disabled, I could remove the restore point.

Word 2013/2016: How to remove the extra "Save AS" Dialog Window

Word 2013 and Word 2016 introduced a new window when you use "Save As". Microsoft calls this "Backstage".

For me, this extra window has absolutely now value and just means one click more. Luckily, there is a setting that removes that extra window. Here is how:

  1. Click on File > Options
  2. Tick Don't show Backstage when opening or saving files
  3. Click OK

What is confusing is that if you go to File > Save As, you will still see the Backstage window! Unfortunately, that tick box only fixes the keyboard shortcut for saving. So if you press Ctrl-S, you will now go directly to the Save File Dialog.

If you don't want to use keyboard shortcuts or can't (because you are on a tablet), you can add the "Save As" to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Click the down arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar
  2. Click on More Commands...
  3. From the list on the left, select Save As and add it to the right list

You can now use Save As with one click: Just click on the Save As button (Floppy disk icon with a pencil on) in the Quick Access Toolbar

Outlook 2013/2016: Make Sender and Subject the same Font Size

In Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016, the sender is shown in a bigger font that the subject in the email list. This is a change from Outlook 2010 where both lines were with the same font size.

To get that behaviour back, do the following:

  1. Go to the View tab
  2. Click on View Settings
  3. Click on Conditional Formatting...
  4. Click on Add and give the new rule a name (e.g. "Sender name")
  5. Click on Font...
  6. Under the "Size" heading, click on Smaller
  7. Click OK
  8. You will get a warning that you have not created a condition. Click Yes

That's it.

Outlook 2013/2016: Don't Show Message Body in Email List

When you move from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 or 2016, you will find that in the list of Emails, Outlook has added a 3rd line:

  1. Sender
  2. Subject
  3. Start of email body

I wanted to remove that 3rd line as it only takes space and it normally only contains stuff like "Hello John" which adds no real information.

So I thought I could go to the View setting and change

Maximum number of lines in compact mode = 2

But I still saw 3 lines in my email list! It took me quite a while until I found out what to do:

  • Go to the View tab
  • Choose Message Preview
  • Choose Off

Simple, isn't it? Why it took me so long to find that out is that I associated "Message Preview" with the Preview Pane (now called "Reading Pane"), so I never looked in there.

Internet Explorer: Favorites list is jumpy and loads very slowly

In Internet Explorer, I found that my favorites list loads slowly and when I hover over it with the mouse, the mouse pointer is hanging and jumpy.

I have redirected my favorites to a network folder, so I can have the same favorites on all my Windows machines. The problem does not occur if my favorites are kept on a local drive (but that is not a solution for me).

What helped and made the favorites list (and the favorites bar) quick and snappy again was the following:

  1. Open File Explorer (not Internet Explorer)
  2. Go to Organize > Folder and Search Options > View
  3. Un-tick Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items
  4. Click OK

That's it. Favorites are fast again.

My experience with servers, networks and gadgets.