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Benoit s Corner

Benoit's corner

Jan 28
Office 365 – ForeFront Identity Manager Synchronization Service is still installed after uninstalling Office 365 DirSync 1.0.7020

While I was evaluating (using another server and after stopping the current DirSync service) the next version of Azure Active Directory Connect tool in beta, I faced an issue when I switched back to the current DirSync instance: directory synchronization seems to work BUT deleted AD accounts were not deleted on Office 365.

So, I wanted to uninstall the current DirSync instance and reinstall it BUT the ForeFront Identity Manager Synchronization Service component was still installed and there is no way to uninstall it from the Add\Remove Program on Control Panel; it always ask to execute the process as administrator while I was using an enterprise (and local) administrator account


Off course, if I try to install again the DirSync tool, it failed because of this component.

After some digging, I found the correct command to uninstall FIM Synchronization Service – by the way, if you have a media with the full ForeFront Identity Manager product, don’t try to use the installer to uninstall it as it will failed also because of a different version number.

So, the command line to be executed to uninstall the FIM component is msiexec /x {4E67CAD2-D71B-4F06-A7AE-BB49C566BB93}; run this command using a command prompt using the run as administrator.

After a simple prompt to confirm the process, the FIM component coming with DirSync will be uninstalled


After a server reboot, I was able to install again the DirSync tool (version 1.0.7020). Off course, don’t forget to ensure there is no remaining files (like within the SQL directory or Windows Azure Directory Synchronization folders)

Jan 24
Windows 10 – January Technical Preview First Review

As Microsoft has just released the January Technical Preview for Windows 10, here is a first review just after the installation.

The installation went smoothly without any issue.

The issue on the previous build with application which start automatically when Windows starts did not start (like Lync, antivirux, Skype…) has been solved.

Tablet Mode

My first thing about this new build is the Tablet mode which has not been automatically enabled while I’m running it on a Surface 3 Pro; however this is simple to enable/disable, a quick action from the notification hub


You can also enable the tablet mode from the Settings\System menu


Start Menu

The way the Start menu is displayed depends on the running mode (table or non tablet)

In Tablet Mode in Normal Mode (non tablet)
image image

By the way, my custom application arrangement in tablet mode has been lost from the previous build and it seems this build does not allow you to arrange as you want


With this build you can now download and keep available offline some maps for the GPS/navigation system as we can already do with Here Maps from Nokia on Windows Phone

This Map options is located within the Settings\System menu



This is it for this first very quick review. Will see over the time how it is going….

Dec 17
Office 365 – Azure AD Connect Preview installation

Following my previous announcing the preview of the new version of Azure AD Connect which will replace the current DirSync tool for Office 365, here is a post detailing the installation of the preview.

As said in my previous post, this version can be downloaded from the Connect web site (

For this installation, I reused the same server which is already hosting my DIrSync instance for Office 365, as well as the Yammer DirSync. I did this to test the upgrade (if there is one Smile) from DirSync to Azure AD Connect. I also already have an ADFS in place with a Web Application Proxy.

Upgrade from DirSync

So, I started to try to upgrade from DirSync (version 1.0.6862 – so not the latest version but not too old).

First step, accept the EULA – simple Smile


Then, the setup analyze the server – this when the trouble can appears


It seems the check passed as I got the request to enter my Office 365/Azure Active Directory credentials – don’t forget, this is still a global administrator credentials


For the propose of this post, I also first try with a NON global administrator account – it’s a preview and just wanted to check/get the error Smile

,,, and it seems it passes even if this account is NOT a global administrator and I reached the next step which displayed the Express Settings proposed by the tool regarding my current state (single AD Forest BUT it does not detect my ADFS install).


So I reassigned the global administrator role and tried the Custom step.

Custom Settings

After hitting the Customize button to configure my self the settings, I got the Single Sign On experience and had to choose between ADFS or Password Sync. If you move over the question mark, you will get a quick explanation of each option


So, the next steps followed the choice of Password Sync

So then you have to define the Active Directory (as it’s based on AD Connect you can add multiple AD Forest) or a NON AD-LDAP directory to synch.


Then you have to select which features you want to enable: Exchange Hybrid and/or Password Right Back (remember for this last feature you need to have an Azure Active Directory Premium)


Then you have to define how your users are represented; this is important in case of you are synching multiple directory and if your user accounts are present in both directory


User present in multiple directory

You have more choice here; including the option to use a custom attribute


Then this step is common to both option, you can define how to link both cloud and on premises user object


This is it, the setup can be completed (and I will see if the upgrade is possible and working as expected)


And…. it failed with the error Unable to install the synchronization service.

So I will uninstall my DirSync instance.

Fresh Install

As it is not possible to upgrade from DirSync to this preview, I uninstalled the DirSync instance and tried again.

The setup process is exactly the same anyway Smile

The good news is the setup detects that a previous execution has already been done with some configuration and propose to keep it or start over


The wizard has some sort off minor bug here as when it starts the configuration, the main windows is kept in front while a new one displaying all the progress is hidden behind (obviously this should be the same window)



Then as usual you can open the console to select/unselect the OU to be synchronized (this time this is located below C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure AD Sync\UIShell) and the connectors name is using either the tenant name for the Azure AD or the directory name for the on premises

In the meantime, there is no more MSOL account created and used to synchronize your AD; it finally use the account you defined during the configuration (so do not use anymore the administrator account Smile)


To complete, open the Scheduled Tasks console and enable the tasks created during the installation called Azure AD Sync Scheduler

Dec 17
Azure – Azure backup now supports Windows client

After the server side, Microsoft has published an update for Windows 7 and 8 clients to allows these clients to take advantage of the Azure service called Azure Backup.

Go there to download and install the package and starts backing up your clients on Azure

Dec 16
Office 365 – Office 365 DirSync will be replaced with Azure AD Connect

Microsoft has announced that Azure AD Connect, the new tool to synchronize On Premises Active Directory directories will replace in a very near future the current DirSync tool for Office 365.

As you may be aware, since few months we now have different synchronization tools for Office 365 and Azure Active Directory:

  • Office 365 DirSync, the “old” synchronization tool initially used for Office 365 with single AD Forest
  • Azure AD Connect, the younger one which support the same than DirSync PLUS multi AD Forest, attributes selection…

Since yesterday, a new version of the Azure AD Connect has been available in a public preview which combines both DirSync and Azure AD Connect features.

Read the announcement here

Download the preview here


Dec 09
ADFS 3 / Office 365 – Sign in with Lync mobile app on Android failed

While working on a project to deploy Office 365 with ADFS 3.0, I was running on an issue with the Lync mobile client on Android ONLY; other Lync client did not had the issue (on WIndows, WIndows Phone or iOS).

The issue was the user was not able to sign in on the Lync 2013 mobile client on Android (while Office mobile or web browser access worked fine); the same user account on WIndows, WIndows Phone or iOS worked fine either.

It appeared that (for some unknown reason), a default entry on ADFS and Web Application servers was not there:

So the solution was quite simple and has to be executed on both ADFS and Web Application servers:

  • using a command prompt (with the run as administrator), run the first command to get some values (certificate hash and application ID): netsh http show sslcert

it returns all listener available on the servers


  • then run the command netsh http add sslcert ipport= certhash=<replace with the certificate hash value from the frist command> appid={<replace with the application ID from the first command}


Et voila

Nov 13
Azure / Office / Office 365 – Support for MFA for Office applications is coming

As you may already know – if not, this is it Smile - Microsoft has introduced and provided Multi Form Factor (MFA) with Office 365, and Azure Active Directory, for some time now. This MFA solution is provided by PhoneFactor – which has been bought since then by Microsoft.

If you don’t know anything about this just take a look here for On Premises deployment and for the Office 365 version.

That said, and while I’m a big fan of this solution, there has been a big hole with it: this was working ONLY for web browser access, Office client (and PowerShell) do not support this additional authentication scheme. The workaround was to setup what it is called an App Password which automatically generated and in my opinion is not so secure as it contains only small cap characters.

After this introduction, here is the GOOD news…. Support for MFA will be available soon for Office client (nothing said about PowerShell support).

If you want to know more and take part of the preview read the announcement here and join the preview here

Read carefully the announcement has there are some restrictions.

Hopefully I will be able to provide you my feedbacks with this preview soon.

Oct 29
Windows Phone – Updated version of OneDrive (personal)

Today, the OneDrive app for Windows Phone – the personal version – has been updated to the version


Ok, I usually don’t post about such mobile apps updates – as they can be frequent, but this is one is interesting as it introduced an interesting new feature.

Indeed, you can now add your OneDrive for Business space into the OneDrive (personal) mobile application


If this page does not come when you start OneDrive app after the update, just hit the button on top left (just left of Files menu)


Then just enter your Office 365 organization account


Once authenticated, your OneDrive for Business will appear in the list of available storage space as well as through the Settings\Accounts menu; as you can see, you can add more than one Office 365 OneDrive for Business space


If you want to reach your OneDrive for Business space, you just need to switch by hitting the Files menu shown below your Office 365 account

Oct 27
Windows 10 – Failed to check for new preview build. Please try again. 0x800700EA SOLVED

If you are running the preview version of Windows 10, you may be aware that an updated version is available and should be installed through the Update and Recovery section from the PC Settings in the Charm bar.

Ok, but if you have enabled Media Center this operation will failed with the error code 0x800700EA. I found that is the Media Center feature which cause that issue thanks to the Windows community forum (only place I found exact same issue BUT with no solution except reinstalling without enabling Media Center – as reminder this come with an specific product key).

So as I did not want to reinstall it (even by doing an inplace upgrade), I dug a little and found 2 registry keys have to be updated to allow me getting the updated version of Windows 10.

You have to change the value of the following keys:

  • EditionID, change from ProfessionalWMC to Professional
  • ProductName change from Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center to Windows 8.1 Pro

These keys are located below HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.

After changing the value of these key, restart the client and go to the Update and Recovery section to get the updated version.


Oct 22
Office 365 / SharePoint Online – OneDrive for Business Calculator

I know OneDrive for Business is not completely working (many synchronization issues have been reported, lacked of troubleshooting way…) but when it work, it is really helpful (especially because of the storage space increased up to 1 To recently Smile). I’m myself not a big fan of O4B.

So that said – and because Microsoft is working hard to improve that, there is a useful Excel file which can help in the OneDrive for Business deployment called OneDrive for Business Client Network Bandwidth Calculator – available for download from (currently in beta)

This spreadsheet will help you to determine the bandwidth consumption for your company when deploying OneDrive for Business.

You can define the number of site, number of user per site, average file size, client type (mobile, PC…) and it will generates a report with graphic to help you understand your needs to provide good user experience (if possible with the current version Smile)


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Benoit is specialized on Microsoft infrastructure (Active Directory, Azure, ForeFront products, Hyper-V, Identity Management, System Center, Windows) and collaboration (BPOS, Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint) technologies.

He has been awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2002 - on Windows, then SharePoint and finally Office 365. Ha has been recoginzed as Microsoft Community Contributor for his work on the Office 365 community in 2013 and 2014.

He has been involved in early stage of testing phase for many Microsoft products - from Windows to Office 365, including Exchange, SharePoint or Office client and WindowsUpdate.

He has participated as speaker or Ask The Expert (ATE) at many Microsoft or Quest events. He also participed in writing several books on SharePoint (2003 to 2010).

He is now working as Cloud Solution Architect for an australian based company, Kloud, in Sydney. After working at Capgemini Australia, Capgemini and Sogeti France, Microsoft France and Avanade France.

With more than 10 years of professional experience, he has a deep knowledge of the Microsoft market and his competitor.

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