Windows Live Domains Migration

Over the last two years, Baby-Green and the other domains that I host have been using the email service provided by the hosting provider. This worked fine because it allowed for inbox access via POP3 using Outlook or any other client, allowed us to connect via mobile devices using POP3 and allowed us web access using a rudimentary web access client which I don’t really think any of us used.

WindowsLiveHotmailNew[1]About six months ago, I discovered a service from Microsoft called Windows Live Domains.
This service allows you to use Hotmail and associated Windows Live services under your own domain branding, so in my case, allowing me to use the functionality of Hotmail but with a Baby-Green email address.

The setup of this is fairly simple. First off, you need to register at Once you are registered, you can associate your domain names and begin configuring the DNS records.

The configuration is simple – You need to as a minimum add a CNAME record and an MX record, however you can optionally create a TXT record and some additional CNAME records for other services. In my implementation, I produced a total of seven records per domain, however the whole process took no more to complete than five minutes.

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Domain Problems in Windows 7 RC1

So it seems there are some problems with Domain Membership in Windows 7.

I formatted, installed and joined a Windows 7 RC1 x86 machine at home to the domain at home over the weekend, and me being me, I have quite a lot of GPO’s that apply.

After joining the clients to the domain, if you enter the username and password to logon, once the logon process begins, an error is shown that explorer.exe cannot start. There is a thread running on the TechNet forums for this issue.

Some of the posts on the TechNet forums seem to suggest the Restricted Groups component is at fault here, when trying to control the Administrators groups members on the client, however I don’t believe this is the issue.

For the client in question, I added a new OU called WindowsSeven and moved the client to this OU after setting the Block Policy Inheritance setting. After doing this the client logged in ok. After this I wanted to get the AV software deployed to the client, so I linked my software deployment GPO’s to the new OU, and at reboot the explorer.exe error returned.

I’ve since moved the client back down to Vista, but I will be building a Windows 7 VM to play with which policies may be causing the issues – Keeping you posted as always.

The Case of the Broken Default Domain Policy

So over the last couple of days, I decided as part of my server virtualization project at home with my new hard disks, I would rename the domain to something more suitable.

I found a tool on the Microsoft site called rendom.exe along with a few other tools for renaming a domain. I read all of the instructions and had a plan set out for doing it, and the process was fairly painless due to only having one Domain Controller, so there was no need to wait for forest and domain replication to take place.

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