Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hey check out my new brick .. it looks just like a Nokia Lumia 800!

Today has not been a good day as I am now holding a completely useless “bricked” Lumia 800 .. but first let us wind back 3 weeks when my wife and I became proud owners of brand spanking new Nokia Lumia 800 phones running Windows Phone 7.5 (“Mango”).

The new Nokia Lumia 800, running Windows Phone 7.5

Yep .. thats right .. we both got the same phone (she got the blue / cyan one .. I got the black one). You might think this a little sad (his and hers?) but honestly I find providing “tech support” far easier when we both have the same handset 😉

Anyway .. so we left the store, brand new phones in hand. They were very shiny, they looked slick, they started up quickly and seemed like honestly damned good phones.

We both got our email setup quickly (both Hotmail and Exchange accounts) and while my better half was merrily catching up on Facebook, I was very impressed with the SharePoint integration and how it automatically configured the Office Hub when it realised my email account was on Office 365! Very slick…

What Battery Problems?
Now I had heard that there were battery problems, but a recent software fix seemed to sort this out. One of the very first things I did (with both phones) was plug them into Zune, get them synced up and install the latest software fix (so my phone is currently fully patched and running the latest version!).

My wife’s phone was having an issue with battery life before the update (it dying after 12-15 hours) but this was well documented, and after we updated the phone everything seemed to be fine ..

in short .. life in the Hatch household’s mobile world was good ..

so now lets wind on to last week ..

What do you mean you can’t turn it on ??
The first sign of problems was actually on my wife’s phone (the blue/cyan one for those of you paying attention!). She was coming to meet me in London after work and the usual agreement of “I’ll send you a text message when I’m outside your office” .. now the work day came, went and started slipping when I finally got a phone call from a pay-phone … my wife was frantic as her phone had turned itself off despite still having over 20% battery life remaining! and it would not turn on!

Eventually I managed to meet up (strangely difficult without constant-on communication .. how on earth did I manage before I had a mobile phone?) and I looked at the handset itself… I tried 6 times in a row to turn the phone on and kept trying periodically for another 10-15 minutes … I tried it again one final time and it worked, buzzing into life like a defibrillator had just kicked it into life. I quickly logged in, went to the Settings and checked the “Battery Saver” and it said it had 23% battery with approximately 15 hours remaining …. how bizarre …We didn’t see the problem happen since (and we both use our phones quite a lot every single day) so I put it behind me and we kind of forgot about it ..

now lets wind on to today (or more accurately last night)

Congratulations! Its a Brick!
I was heading over to a friend’s house .. now this particular friend has been having problems with his Android phone and was quite keen on looking at the latest flagship Windows Phone .. so I took mine out of my pocket and tried to unlock it … nothing .. dead as a doornail.

I tried to turn it on .. nothing … held down the power button for up to 30 seconds … tried again .. still nothing. So then I thought .. “maybe the battery is dead??”. So I borrowed his micro-USB charger and left it to charge for 20 minutes. I then came back .. still won’t power on.

So now I am panicking .. I took my precious new phone home and left it on charge for 9 hours overnight but this morning? Nothing .. no life .. completely dead.

Now I have since attempted various tricks on the internet from various forums:

  • Some people said it can’t recharge if the battery hits 0% so heat the phone up and THEN try plugging it in .. this didn’t work!
  • Tried holding down the power button for 8 seconds (apparently this resets the power-cycle) .. that didn’t work
  • Tried unplugging and re-plugging the charging cable several times in a row while either holding down or randomly trying the power button … didn’t work
  • Tried a “hardware reset” by holding down the Volume Down, Camera and Power buttons … that didn’t work either!

So what now? My new shiny Lumia 800 is officially bricked!

I will be taking this back to the Orange store that I got it from ASAP .. I expect them to replace it .. but I have already seen evidence of this strange issue on my wife’s phone last week .. so will this keep happening?

I really hope this is a software bug (so they can release an update) .. or perhaps a really rare glitch in hardware that just HAPPENS to have struck both me and my other half at the same time.

If any of you have experienced the same problem please let me know in the comments… Otherwise I’ll see what happens when I get mine replaced / repaired and let you all know!

21 Things I would do if I was an evil SharePoint overlord!

  1. All site collections will be deployed with site collection quotas allowing only 1 sandbox resource point
  2. The Site collection storage limit warning will be set at 1mb for My Sites with the entire company set as the warning email address
  3. I will insist that all site collections are created with their own host name URL. This will force any BI tools to require new SPNs for Kerberos configuration
  4. Ideally, each of these sites will have their own Web Application, and their own application pool, which will force them to buy new servers so keeping within the “10 application pools per server” guidelines which I will give them
  5. Every web application will have a custom service connection proxy group, so every time a new service application is created they will have to manually add it to each web application’s custom proxy group
  6. All databases will be created through Powershell by concatenating random GUIDS (in addition to the ones SharePoint creates automatically)
  7. While developing, all of my API classes will be public with internal constructors
  8. All default site content will be deployed using HTML encoded XML, with multiple unecessary nested divs and empty spans.
  9. Feature Stapling will be banned .. as will Content Types
  10. I will configure all Diagnostics Log categories to “Verbose”, disable flood protection and only keep log files for 1 day, making it a painful and arduous task to troubleshoot issues.
  11. Each SharePoint server will install to a non-default directory. This will be different for each server to keep the admin team on their toes.
  12. I will include a script which adds expiration policies to the “Document” content type in each site collection .. this will bombard the author with emails if they don’t update their documents every 2 weeks, therefore keeping the content fresh
  13. SharePoint Designer will be unblocked, and its usage will be encouraged!
  14. The User Profile database will be configured to crawl every 2 minutes .. keeping the process continually running so no-one can modify the connections
  15. For contrast, the default Search content source will only index User Profile content every 56 hours .. so no-one can be exactly sure when it will be updated
  16. Each web application will be given different URLs for each department. IIS bindings will be put in place, but no alternate access mappings so they cannot share links or embedded urls with each other.
  17. The default zone will be set as Read Only via a policy so that items found in search results cannot be edited. there will be an alternate URL, but access mappings won’t exist so users will have to swap it out manually
  18. The reply-to email address for all notificatiosn will be set as the company switchboard.
  19. All custom web parts will, where possible, be deployed as Farm Features .. so that everyone can see them, but will only be configured to work on specific sites.
  20. We will not have specific servers .. all farm servers will run all of the services. I will convince the IT team that this makes their lives easier as they only need 1 server spec when buying new machines.
  21. I will set the qouta of the my site host to 10MB so that only the first few users will be able to upload their profile picture.

Suggestions are welcome in the comments 🙂

I’m speaking at the International SharePoint Conference

Yep, its that time again and one of the biggest, most innovative and best SharePoint conferences is back for another year.

This conference has been through a few iterations in its time going by the names “SharePoint Best Practice Conference” and “SharePoint Evolution Conference” but they have now dropped those for a more simplified “International SharePoint Conference“.

The conference is held in London, Westminster  (April 23rd – 25th) and this year promises to be an absolute cracker! The best thing about this year’s conference is that they are doing “Solution” tracks, following a single thread from concept all the way through. This will involve all angles from IT Pro, Developer, Information Worker .. and really helps to tie together all those pieces that make up a single complex problem. For the first time you won’t have a session saying “well .. this next bit is really important but we don’t have time ..” at this conference they will make the time, whether they need 3, 4 or even 6 sessions to get through the whole problem.

One of the best quotes comes from the organiser, Steve Smith (@SteveSmithCK):

As you can see it is very exciting and different unlike any other agenda attempted by a SharePoint conference.

For example: A total of 10 solutions over the three Information Worker tracks based on different real world scenario’s with one solution alone covering 7 sessions to completion and speakers working together over the sessions to build the solution.

A lot of people have asked me how I have been able to build such an agenda. The answer is pretty straight forward. unlike most SharePoint conferences that are run by conference events companies Combined Knowledge actually understands SharePoint and we know the people out there who are specialists in those subject areas to come and talk on it, we have been working with SharePoint for 10 years and over those years I have had the privilege to meet some very smart people in the SharePoint world and therefore I personally build the agenda and along with some specialist from each track we are working with the speakers to make it happen.

I also look at the current maturity model of the product and what type of content people are searching for and then finding the best way to deliver that content in a format that people will enjoy watching and listening to as well as learn from it. In my opinion that is the only way you can truly deliver a conference that provides the attendees with the knowledge needed to take away and use in the real world.

The Agenda and Speaker List looks amazing .. if you haven’t bought a ticket yet then you are most definately missing out!

I’m speaking too …

And this year I have my own slot talking about Real World: Building a global Business Intelligence Extranet, from End Users to Support and Operations.

This is basically a combination of technical and logistical problem solving involved at my main project over the past 12 months delivering a global Business Intelligence extranet in SharePoint 2010.

The main thing here is that we are not just talking about the technical problems (like multiple languages and scalability) but more about the operations and admin side of things, like how do you track and manage security for thousands of databases and thousands of users at the same time?

There is also the problem of processing and updating tens of thousands of OLAP cubes every month, and add to this other third party BI tools (which sit alongside Excel Services, PerformancePoint Services and Reporting Services) and you have a big challenge on your hands.

Well, I certainly hope to see you there. Even if you don’t make to my session (there are loads of great session tracks on all three days) then grab me during one of the breaks, or one of the SharePints afterwards and I’ll be happy to chat.

DNS Records required to use Lync Online (Office 365) with a Vanity Domain

Note – this only applies if you have your own “vanity domain” such as This does not apply if you are using the Microsoft Online domains “”

I’ve seen quite a few people asking for help with this, and struggled a little bit when I first set this up myself, so I thought I would post the DNS entries that are required to get Lync Online working.

These are generic DNS records, so it doesn’t matter what server / service you have.

Now, first off you will need to get yourself a relatively advanced DNS Management Service. I personally use the most excellent Zone Edit ( This is completely free and allows you a very high level of control over what records you can create. I have found with some of the other DNS management sites that sometimes you cannot create some of the required records (such as SRV records).
DNS Records described by Office 365 Portal

There is 1 SRV record and 2 CNAME records that you need to create.

You can find these in your Office 365 Portal under “Domains” and “verify DNS Settings”. Below is the screenshot from my own Portal Site for my domain “”.

The thing to note is that it gives you the full host-name entry for each of the records you need to create. When you actually create these (depending on your DNS management tool) you will probably only need the prefix for the host name.

So the three records you need to create are:

  • _sipfederationtls
    • Type: SRV
    • Port: 5061
    • Weight: 1
    • Priority: 100
    • TTL: 3600 (seconds)
    • Target:
  • sip
    • Type: CNAME
    • TTL: 3600 (seconds)
    • Host-Name:
  • lyncdiscover
    • Type: CNAME
    • TTL: 3600 (seconds)
    • Host-Name:

So you can see above, I have only used the initial part of the full hostname. Having a CNAME record called “sip” in my managed domain “” gives me the fully-qualified address “”.

But … that’s not all …

I also found in my environment that one more SRV record was required, which for some reason was missing from the official instructions. I honestly can’t remember where I found this (credit goes to someone wonderful person on the blogosphere somewhere) but the details are below:

  • _sip._tls
    • Type: SRV
    • Port: 443
    • Weight: 1
    • Priority: 100
    • TTL: 3600 (seconds)
    • Target:

I found that once that is also in place, everything started working. You may need to wait for 24 hours (for this to propogate round the world’s DNS servers) and you should be good to go! (I think I had to wait a good few hours before mine started working .. so please be patient!)