Mailbag: New Year New Questions (Issue #5)



AskPFEPlat is in the process of a transformation to the new Core Infrastructure and Security TechCommunity, and will be moving by the end of March 2019 to our new home at (hosted at Please bear with us while we are still under construction!

We will continue bringing you the same great content, from the same great contributors, on our new platform. Until then, you can access our new content on either as you do today, or at our new site Please feel free to update your bookmarks accordingly!

Why are we doing this? Simple really; we are looking to expand our team internally in order to provide you even more great content, as well as take on a more proactive role in the future with our readers (more to come on that later)! Since our team encompasses many more roles than Premier Field Engineers these days, we felt it was also time we reflected that initial expansion.

If you have never visited the TechCommunity site, it can be found at On the TechCommunity site, you will find numerous technical communities across many topics, which include discussion areas, along with blog content.

NOTE: In addition to the AskPFEPlat-to-Core Infrastructure and Security transformation, Premier Field Engineers from all technology areas will be working together to expand the TechCommunity site even further, joining together in the technology agnostic Premier Field Engineering TechCommunity (along with Core Infrastructure and Security), which can be found at!

As always, thank you for continuing to read the Core Infrastructure and Security (AskPFEPlat) blog, and we look forward to providing you more great content well into the future!


Hey y'all, Mark and Tom and some new members to AskPFEPlat to tackle your questions in the new year. Hope everyone was able to take some time off and re-charge. How are those new year's resolutions going? Be healthier? Read more? Learn a new technology? Get certified? More on that later. By this point in the year most people have already dropped them. Stick with it! Alright let's get into the Q&A.

Upgrading AD

Forest and domain functional level support

Defragging SSD

Portqry without portqry

Stuff from the Interwebs



Windows Server 2003 is end of life July 14, 2015, I guess that means we should start upgrading Active Directory. Any useful links I need to know about?


Now is probably a really good time to start on this if you haven't started already. Seriously. I know some of you are probably thinking "Really? Still on 2003?" I assure you it is true. So if this is you time to get started.




We will upgrade all of our Domain Controllers (DCs) to Windows Server 2012 R2 in the coming weeks/months, but the forest and domain functional levels will remain at “Windows Server 2003” – are we supported after 14. July 2015?


Gary Green here to answer this. As you pointed out, the end of extended support is fast approaching for Windows Server 2003:

However, the answer to your question is “YES” – you are supported as long as the operating system(s) you have deployed for your DCs are supported.

Forest Functional Level (ffl) and Domain Functional Level (dfl) control certain functionality within the Active Directory forest and/or domain respectively and are not affected by OS lifecycle limits.

Active Directory Functional Levels Technical Reference:

A few things you should know about raising the DFL (and/or) FFL to Windows Server 2008 R2



Should I be defragging my SSD? I see lots of info all over the place what's the story?


This topic is being put to bed by Scott Hanselman's excellent post that should not be missed by anyone.



I’m on a 2012 R2 server and don’t have portqry or telnet available.  Is there another method to test if a port is open on a remote machine?


Longtime reader now Microsoft FTE Mike Kline has this one.

On Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 running version PowerShell 4.0 you can use the Test-NetConnection cmdlet

In the examples below we are testing for port 389 (LDAP) between two domain controllers




Notice that we failed to connect to port 389.




When the port is unblocked TcpTestSucceeded is True and the warning message disappears.


Stuff from the Interwebs

-Want to get certified this year, you know you do, well the Second Shot is now back!

-It took the Internet about five seconds to point out how much Back To The Future 2 got wrong in 2015. If you can't trust a movie trilogy where your mom tries to make out with you when you go back in time to predict the future accurately I just don’t know what you can trust. Though the shoes might be real.

-Someone made a Jaws bed for their baby which is as close to real life version of this scenario I imagine.

-Ever wonder what all that 'code' is on tv and movies? Check out this blog.

-Gambit finally has a release date, and 3 X-men movies in 2016 which I'm sure wont be confusing at all.

-A guy challenged Gaston to a push up contest. How you like Gaston now?

-Finally, long time ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott passed away this past week. If you are a certain age you probably watched him every morning. His catch phrases were so popular SNL even did a parody. He will be missed.


Mark 'sweet sassy molassy' Morowczynski, Tom 'Booyah!' Moser, Gary 'First Timer' Green, Mike 'Finally a Blue Badge' Kline