What does the end of Windows 2003 mean for you?

What does the end of Windows 2003 mean for you?
On July 14th 2015 Microsoft will officially end support for Windows Server 2003. Many schools and businesses are still using this outdated OS on their servers and with the end of product support I thought I’d write a short blog post to help you understand what this means.

 

windows server 2003 end of life

windows server 2003 end of life

 
Well first of all, I will point out that your servers won’t suddenly stop working. They will continue to work as normal and you won’t notice anything different. Files will be served, logins will be accepted and IP addresses will still be distributed. However this doesn’t mean you can sit back and ignore this important event. After the 14th July you will no longer receive updates from Microsoft. This means your server which is the brains of your IT network/system will be open to vulnerabilities. If someone finds a security hole in Windows Server 2003 then Microsoft will not send you the annoying updates to block the hole and keep your server secure. Plus, if you get an error or bug in any of your applications running on Server 2003 or even in Windows itself, you will not be supported! So if you decide to ignore this and continue running Server 2003 your whole system will become vulnerable and open to attacks/viruses/security issues and bugs/errors. Is it worth ignoring this and risking it? No!

What next? Unfortunately most servers running Windows 2003 have old server specs and won’t run Windows 2012 Server (the latest version) or at least won’t run it to its full potential. So the answer is to purchase a new server. This also means the fancy migration tools that are built in to windows server 2012 can be used to Migrate all your settings, files etc. If you are in the UK and would like a quote for a new server please get in touch. Plus if you are based in Leicestershire or surrounding areas we can quote for a full install!

How to Install System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager – A Step by Step Guide

Just a quick post to point you to an amazing site I found this week. After a major server failure I needed to reinstall our SCCM setup. So I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade to the latest versions. As I didn’t have much time to research and read etc I decided to find a step by step guide. After a short time googling I came across this site and found it to be so good that I thought I’d share for others.

http://prajwaldesai.com/sccm-2012-r2-step-by-step-guide/

I hope you find it useful. Enjoy

Simple Guide to Installing Microsoft Office 2013 via Group Policy (GPO)

Today I decided to update our Office from 2010 to 2013. Rather than going round lots of computers to install it though I decided to do a quick ‘Google’ to find a script and I came across this fab site so I thought I’d share it. Enjoy

Deploy Office 2013 with GPO – the simple way

Apple Configurator and Locked Device

Today I ran into a few problems when trying to setup an ex employees iPad for a new employee. You could say the problem was caused by myself for not getting the ex employee to remove their passcode but it’s helped me learn a new trick and I thought I’d share it with you.

The Problem
I have an iPad with a passcode on which I don’t know so I can’t access the iPad and I want to use Apple Configurator to set it up for someone else. This problem was made more complicated as ‘Find My iPad’ was enabled on the device. So Apple Configurator came up with an unable to check iOS error.

IMG_2631.PNG

The Solution
To resolve this issue I had to put the iPad into recovery mode. To do this you need to follow these steps.
– Turn off the iPad in the normal way and disconnect all wires from the iPad.
– Setup Apple Configurator in Prepare mode making sure to select update this device when in recovery mode and tick erase device.
– Now with the iPad still turned off press and hold the home button on the iPad and plug in the lightning/USB adapter.
– Apple Configurator should now recognise the iPad and the iPad screen should be showing the iTunes icon with a cable.
– Now you can tell Apple Configurator to prepare the device and let go off the home button.
– The iPad will now be configured as a new device but will still not function correctly as the device is still registered with the old users Apple ID. You may get an unable to apply error due to activation error. See image below.

IMG_2657.JPG
– If the Apple ID is an email address on your domain you can setup a forwarder or reset the users password to gain access to the email address for the next step. Otherwise you will have to talk to Apple.
– You now need to goto appleid.apple.com and click reset your password.
– Type in the Apple ID and click next.
– Select email authentication and click next. An email will be set to the ex users email address and hopefully you can access this either by logging into their email with a password reset or from a forwarder to yourself.
– Follow the instructions in the email on how to reset the Apple ID.
– On the iPad now work through the setup screen and you will come to an activation message saying the iPad is locked to that account.
– Fill on the details with the Apple ID and password you just reset. Complete the setup process.
– Now the iPad can be used as normal and setup for a new user via Apple Configurator without any errors.

Good Luck

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Mobile Devices Deployment Guides, Articles and Information

The most common request from schools these days is help with deploying mobile devices. The mistake schools seem to make is misunderstanding how the technology works and how its deployed in an educational environment. Most just buy iPads and give them to someone who signs up with one id and downloads a few apps. They then think it will miraculously change education in the school. Unfortunately most schools find that after a month or so the novelty factor wears off, the iPads start acting strangely, managing the iPads becomes a nightmare and basically the iPads become an expensive bookend!

The best deployment is carefully thought about and heavily invested in. Ensuring school leaders have a clear vision shared with all, the infrastructure is ready, the staff are trained, the Mobile Devices are carefully deployed and managed, the correct accessories are purchased and most of all the correct support network is in place to help.

So to get schools started and thinking about deployments etc I thought I’d create this little post sharing links to a few useful resources. To start you of below is a presentation from FrogTrade giving their Top Ten Tips on a successful Deployment.

Next is a link to download Part 1 of a Guide to implementing devices by FrogTrade. After reading part 1 you should get an email allowing you to download part 2.

http://info.frogtrade.com/implementing-devices-ebook-pt1.html

Another nice guide by 9ine consulting who have worked with tablets for schools investigating 1:1 deployments.

http://www.tabletsforschools.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CM00-Tablets-for-Schools-9ine-response-to-QA-introducing-tablets_spellchecked.docx

For those of you who prefer to read a book! Here is a link to iPad in Education for dummies.

http://eu.dummies.com/store/product/productCd-1118375386.html

I hope to add more links over time. If you have a good link about this topic add it in the comments below and don’t forget to follow/like.

Thanks

Windows 8 Metro App Troubleshooter

Over the last few days I’ve had a problem with one or two of Apps not launching correctly. I tried lots of different ways to try and fix the problems but without any success. I was about at the point of a system refresh when I came across a Microsoft Windows 8 App Troubleshooter by accident.

You can download the troubleshooter from the Microsoft website by clicking here.

After downloading the troubleshooter run it and follow the instructions. It will check your system and make some changes to your settings/files. Once the troubleshooter has finished restart your machine and the apps should work again.

Success