SBS 2011 Standard messed up

Posted on 2015-01-03
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I just inherited a new client who has SBS2011 Standard on a Dell Server. I don't know where to begin, except to tell you how badly the old IT person messed this server up:
1. Domain Name:
instead of using .local they used .com and made the domain name a subdomain of their internet domain name (
*I am using "" as a fictional name so not to disclose the clients name
2. They removed, yes removed all traces of Exchange
3. sharepoint does not work, cannot get to the companyweb or the farm
4. SBS console does not work, he removed the sbs OU structure in AD and manually added users and groups.
5. dhcp is coming from the router
6. dns addresses on nic card are pointing to itself and
7. clients dhcp is coming from router and using sbs server and router for dns
incredibly the server is functioning ok as a DC and File server. They are using Google APPS and syncing google calendars in outlook which is not working at all.
I guess at this point I am wondering do I do the following:
1. leave the server as it and set them up with Office 365 hosted exchange, their biggest pain point is they cannot view each others calendars
2. hope they have the original server disks and O/S and rebuild the server and domain from scratch.
Approx 6 users on the network so not really big.....
I just cannot believe there are IT people out there so ignorant about SBS
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

lruiz52 earned 100 total points
ID: 40529316
Believe it or not some people say that is the correct way of setting up an AD environment, take a look at the link below.

But since you are the one that will be supporting it, you should do it the way it works for you.

I would definitly put a static ip on the server and set the google DNs servers as forwarders. I would also disable dhcp on the router and enable it on the DC.

The environment seems small enough to do a setup from scratch if you wanted too, but ultimately it is your choice since you will be supporting it.

Author Comment

ID: 40529359
Thanks for the input, but I am dealing with small companies that do not host any public facing web pages internally. I have never had an issue with using .local
If I was still working for the corporate hospital, yes I would use the subdomain, but not in this scenario
The main point is that the IT person tried to setup the network like it was some corporate network.
SBS is designed for these scenarios and he broke every setup rule in the book.
On top of that he denied them the ability to use internal hosted exchange and instead set them up with google apps which is a pain to get synched with Outlook. When you have Exchange why in the world would you not use it?
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

VB ITS earned 100 total points
ID: 40529809
Using .local along with any sort of internal private domain is no longer best practice since roughly 2008. Microsoft now recommends using subdomains for your internal domain name so what the previous IT consultant has done there is perfectly fine.

As for the rest of your issues, I think it may be best to wipe the slate clean and do a reinstall of SBS. It already comes with Exchange and Sharepoint, WSUS, etc. so why not use these features as opposed to spending even more money on something such as Office 365.
What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Cris Hanna
Cris Hanna earned 150 total points
ID: 40530326
While I can appreciate the advice from the other contributors, let's remember that this is SBS and rule Number 1 with SBS is USE THE WIZARDS.    And the wizards expect a .local domain

So just to be clear...this is a standalone company, and not part of some larger organization?

I think you could get the server back to functioning condition, but it's going to be a coin toss about which will cost more, to fix it, or start over.    You say they are a client, so you are contracting with them to provide support.   Are you the owner of the support company?   If not, you need, then pretty much your option is, with the approval of your boss to present 3 options
a.  Do break fix on what they have.   The other guy is gone for whatever reason, but is the current setup working for the client?     So there may not be a lot of hours required to support them.
b.  Try to repair what they have.   The client will need to understand that this could be lots of hours of billable time and no guarantee that it would be 100%.
c.  Wipe it and start over.   While there is a big initial outlay for starting over, the ongoing support will be minimal because it will be setup correctly.

If you own the support company, the only option in my opinion is C.   I don't take on clients who don't want to it right, just want to do it cheap.
LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 150 total points
ID: 40530876
I agree with much of the sentiment regarding .local expressed so far.  Current best practice is to use a sub domain of your public domain... HOWEVER, SBS *IS* an exception to that rule.

Otherwise, even if they seem to be working, they are missing a LOT of functionality and a "repair", should the server have issues could be even more costly to the client since everything is so messed up to begin with.

I would recommend to the client a reload from scratch and set it up properly as SBS expects to be setup.  UNLESS the client wants to move to the cloud.  I'm not a huge fan of the cloud, but there are instances where it can make sense and for only 6 users, it's worth exploring the option with the client.  I'd create a spreadsheet to illustrate costs.  If having the latest and greatest office and some of the features afforded by hosted Exchange can be useful to the client, it may well be worth ditching the server and going that route.  But this is really a discussion you have to have with the client - take your expertise on both products, present the client with your concerns and ask what they would like to do.  I do agree with Chris in that if they don't want to run this properly, I would pass on them entirely.

Author Comment

ID: 40538918
Thanks for the input guys, The client has decided to move to Office 365 hosted exchange. They are going into a very busy season so there is not time to rebuild the server right now. I will attempt to make adjustments to the current config after the busy season to stabalize the system. If worse comes to worse they may just move to a new server with Windows 2012 and have a proper dc, file, print server.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40538924
thanks for the comments, each had some merit,

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Cloud-based technologies and services will continue to grow in popularity in 2017 thanks to the simple, scalable and cost-effective solutions they deliver. Here are three areas where cloud adoption is poised to really take off.
How to resolve IMCEAEX NDRs in Exchange or Exchange Online related to invalid X500 addresses.
This is Part 3 in a 3-part series on Experts Exchange to discuss error handling in VBA code written for Excel. Part 1 of this series discussed basic error handling code using VBA.…
To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…

624 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question