Lync for Mac 2011 ver. 14.3.3 -instability and balloon Spinning hanging

Hello All

Recently i have suffered from a real pain in the ar5e issue with Lync for Mac 14.3.3

Backtracking to February when 14.3.3 arrived as GA, i noticed that my Lync for mac client became really unstable with random crashes and general instability of the client. As this only become present with the 14.3.3 update, i downgraded back to the 14.1.1 build which brought the client back to a workable/normal state. At the time of going to 14.3.3 i had also been running a few Microsoft UC TAP/beta programs and i was thinking that it could be these clients causing the issues and instability i was seeing.

So, i decided that it was time for a new OSX rebuild of my machine and to get a good clean image to build upon. Following the OSX installation, i loaded Office 2016 for mac, and set my profile correctly before installing Lync for Mac 14.3.3 **without any TAP/Beta installations!..  AGAIN i saw the same random instability issues including the spinning beach ball cursor (not responding) from the Lync for Mac client. Again i ran with this setup for a few days, but then decided that the client was physically unworkable and was left again with no choice but to downgraded back to 14.1.1 which like before worked flawlessly.

This now led me to believe (in error) that it was either el-capitan OR office 2016 for Mac. ? so i set about investigating both with more several rebuilds… On builds i did notice that applying my profile before Office 2016 meant the issue was still seen.??? arghh.

One common dominator though was on a fresh rebuild of OSX THEN the installation of Lync for Mac 14.3.3 without Profile and Office 2016 would work perfectly and that the issue would only arrive back when i installed either Office 2016 or on the configuration of my profile (dock, power setting, screen saver etc).

Anyhow after a far to long and drawn out process of elimination, i finally cracked the riddle of the problem, and this being……

There is a bug in Lync for Mac 14.3.3 which is nothing to do with El-Capitan OR Office 2016  but was in fact the use of a OSX profile picture greater in mb size of 5mb.! IF you changed your picture to > greater than 5mb you will start to see instability of the Lync for mac client 14.3.3. (this didn’t happen in 14.1.1).

Simple resolution was to downgrade the profile picture to less than <5mb and the client became workable using 14.3.3 **note: this has been raised with Microsoft.



Skype for Business – Moving the Fileshare Error

Hello All

This blog post is to share the experience seen with issues around moving the Skype for Business fileshare from one windows server to another.

Its worth noting that this was a real life issue seen on a clients site so elements of the image are blackout to hide the clients identity.

Below is the details and scenario seen

I followed this set Microsoft procedure to move the actual file share:

  1. Create the new file share and configure the correct permissions;
  2. Stop all Skype for Business services across all FE’s in the Enterprise pool;
  3. Configure topology to include new file store and associate with the Enterprise pool before publishing changes;
  4. Run bootstrapper on all FE’s;
  5. Copy data from old file share to new one using robocopy;
  6. robocopy \\OldServerFQDN\OldShare \\NewServerFQDN\NewShare /S /R:10 /W:10 /XF Meeting.Active /MT;
  7. Start the Skype for Business Enterprise pool using Start-CsPool commandlet;

After following each of the steps about, all services started successfully however after a basic health check it appeared that there was an issue with the backup service (pool pairing), see below:Image1


So go figure….?

My next steps was to de-configure the pool pairing and re-configure it, however the error same occurred.

I then proceeded to reboot each Frontend in turn, same error occurred after rebooting all Frontend’s.

Everything looked good at this point in terms of File Store association with the Enterprise pool. The old file share was not referenced anywhere.


The fix was to move the WebServices* directory on the old file share into a temp directory, very bizarre as the old share was not referenced anywhere in Topology/PowerShell. 

After moving this directory and restarting the backup service again, all the errors cleared and the backup service returned to normal state.


Skype for Business CMS Pool Failover Issue

Good Morning All

Last week, while working on a clients deployment one of the Modality team came across a rather interesting issue around failing over a Standard Edition SkypeFB pool pairing.

What started out to be a simple failover test became a monster of an issue without any real good reason. The situation was when the pool faileded over the CMS , it became kindof orphaned in the process with the secondary front end not becoming the master and also what was the primary releasing itself as the master. Its also worth confirming that the procedure to failover was completed without error and issue and it was only when the services restarted that we saw the issue. **The Master replicator service would not start.

As this was the first time of seeing such an odd issue, we referenced the usual channels and came across Mark Vales blog almost detailing word for word the same situation/issue.

Doing some investigation we could see that the CMS was no longer attached to the primary frontend and also the secondary frontend, yet the SkypeFB client was happily working??. Also running powershell commands we could also see that the replication was now false across all the frontends/edge.


We tried a number of steps to resolve this issue including the ones Mark detailed in his blog, without success. It seems this issue can morph itself into many factor.

We tried to failback to the primary without success and got the following error


And when we attempted to restart the services we were getting the following error


Also we went to the extent of deleting the xds/lis databases and reinstalling them and importing the backup we had onto the clean databases. Still we was seeing the same errors.

The solution that worked for us was a simple one really.

Uninstall-CsDatabase –CentralManagement


Install-CsDatabase –CentralManagement

and restoring CMS from backup did the trick.



Northern UC UserGroup 2016 Dates Published.

Good Afternoon All

Below are the Northern UC User Group dates confirmed for 2016.

March 23rd (Wednesday)

June 22nd (Wednesday)

Sept 21st (Wednesday)

Dec 14th (Wednesday)

All the events will take place in Leeds, at the location of Modality Systems Leeds office next door to the Leeds Train Station.

Address: Modality Systems Leeds office: 223 Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds LS1 4HY

Also its with pleasure to confirm for the 2016 events we are running with two sponsors. these being 

Tickets are now available for the March Usergroup HERE

Unified Communications Day 2016


I would like to announce that Unified Communications Day which i co-host will be coming back in 2016 on the 24th October. After a successful event this year we have decided to include an extra technical track to our event (Microsoft Azure) where you can learn from the best about the latest and greatest happening within the Azure arena. This will now make UC Day a dedicated Microsoft Unified Communications and Cloud Conference, which makes us very excited for next year.

UC Day will be returning to the conference suites at National Motorcycle Museum Birmingham which has now been rebranded to the National Conference Centre.

All slides and information from 2015 are still available on the UC Day Website

Remember you can also follow the event on Twitter @ucdayuk

Registration Opens Mid-2016

Registration will open Mid-2016. Conference tickets will be subsidised by our event sponsors and currently free. Join our Mailing list to ensure you dont miss out on this event and receive further information about the pre-conference event, speakers and sessions as they are announced and discounts on the conference partner hotel.

Join Our Mailing List

The UC Day Team looks for to seeing you all in 2016 and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Iain Smith

I will be at Microsoft Future Decoded next week – London

Modality Systems are a gold sponsor and have a stand at the upcoming Microsoft Future Decoded in ExCeL London, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th November. I’ll be there for the technical day (Wednesday 11th), if you are coming along please come over and say hello.


What is Future Decoded?

Future Decoded 2015 will host 10,000 of the brightest Business Decision Makers, Developers, IT pros and Partners from across the UK and Europe. Attendees will be taken on a journey to decode the future of business and technology whilst gaining tangible insights in making sense of the latest social and economic changes. The Expo and Conferences will be taking place at the fantastic ICC Capital Suite, at the ExCel centre in London and will take place over two days: Tuesday 10th November 2015 for Enterprise, Partner and SMB audiences and Wednesday 11th November 2015 for Technical and Developer audiences. Last year the event had almost 9,000 attendees and saw a social reach of 52 million.


Come and find out the latest in the technology field and lean what Modality are doing with Office 365 and Skype for Business. Find out more details about the event here.

UC Day – UK 28th September. Not to be missed.

Unified Communications Day is now only 6 weeks away and if you work in or with Unified Communications (Skype for Business, Office365 and Exchange) it really is an event you don’t want to miss. Andrew J. Price one of the Contributors of the UC Architects Podcast and Founder of Unified Communications Birmingham User Group has teamed up with fellow UCBUG organisers and other well know UC Professionals based in the UK to bring a very special event to the UK Conferencing calendar. We will be focusing on the “Real World and True Techie” sessions you don’t really get to see outside of Microsoft Ignite, TechEd and other Microsoft based Conferences.

We boost an impress line-up of speakers which includes;

  • • 13 Microsoft Valued Professionals
  • • 4 Microsoft Certified Masters
  • • 3 Microsoft Employees
  • • 4 Book Writers
  • • 4 Community Leaders

So I says it safe to say the guys that will be speaking at UC Day really know there stuff when it comes to Unified Communications.

So who are the speakers?

Skype for Business Speakers Exchange Speakers Office 365 Speakers
Stale Hansen (MVP) Brian Reid (MCM, MVP) Gary Steere (MVP, MCM)
Tom Arbuthnot (MVP, MCM, Community Leader) Steve Goodman (MVP, Community Leader) Ed Baker
Tom Morgan (MVP) Michael Van Horenbeeck (MVP) Jon Maunder
Iain Smith (MVP, Community Leader) Dave Stork (MVP) Martina Grom (MVP)
Ben Lee (Community Leader) Nathan Winters Toni Pohl (MVP)
Alessio Giombini Nick Parlow (MCM) Justin Harris (MVP)

So how much does this event cost?

This event is completely free to attend, all you need to do is head over to the UC Day Website to grab a ticket and then turn up on the today where you will be presented with a badge. On your badge will be a barcode which will be used by sponsors to obtain your contact information. This process is pretty standard across most events run in the UK.


The flow of the day will be very simple and affective kicking off with morning coffee for Network with other Attendees, Sponsors, Organisers and Speakers from 07:30 the moving to the Britannia Suite for the opening morning welcome from Andrew J. Price and Keynote (Speaker to be confirmed)

Once we have completed the Keynote session there will be 15 minutes break before we kick off with our first 3 sessions from Stale Hansen, Ed Baker and Steve Goodman. Each session will run for 45 minutes with a 15 minutes break in-between during the sessions you more than welcome float around the venue and we will have an excellent Expo Hall which will have all our sponsors setup and waiting to answer any product related questions you may have.

There will be longer break after the second session of the day for attendees to get lunch and network.

You can find the running Agenda over on the UC Day Website at

The UC Architects will be UC Day

As a member of the UC Architects Team, we will be hosting a Pre Event on the 27th September at The Windmill Village Hotel in Allesley. The order of the evening will be Curry Buffet and Quiz hosted by the UC Architects, as this is an additional event to UC Day there will be slight cost involved to cover the Curry Buffet but why not come and network with some of the best guys I know.

Tickets cost £14.00 with a £1.49 Eventbrite fee

We have got a discounted room rate for attendees of the Quiz, just call or email The Windmill Village Hotel and quote “Unified Communications” to obtain your discounted room

Modality Systems – 3rd Annual Lync Event – Further information

Following on from my previous blog about our 3rd Lync Event we have recently published more information which i would like to share with you.

Firstly we have added another session onto the agenda to talk through what the recent announcement from Microsoft (Skype For Business) means to companies already using Lync or are thinking of moving onto Lync?.

What Modality have to say about it, and what will be covered at the event

Arguably the Skype for Business announcement is one of the biggest announcements of the year, the Skype for Business news is causing much discussion and has divided opinion in some camps. Join us on the 2nd December to hear more about the news and get an insight as to what it could mean for you.

And finally to finish this blog, we are also pleased to announce that we will have a number of industry leading vendors join the event as part of the showcase being held over lunch, representing many of the associated aspects of a UC solution, from hardware infrastructure and connectivity, to devices and applications.

As mentioned at the start of the blog we have limited places left! so Register today!


Modality Systems – Third Annual Lync Event – Tuesday 2nd December

Evening All

We’ Modality Systems are holding our third annual Lync event which builds on the success we had last year. This year we have changed locations but are keeping with the car theme and are hosting our event at the Millbrook Technology Park in Bedfordshire on Tuesday 2nd December.

The theme to our event is around how to keep ahead of the curve in unified Communications, with selected speakers from some of the Modality Systems customers, plus out own in-house experts.

We are limited to 100 seats, so if you would like to attend and listen about to the journey of UC then select the below race track image were you will be hyperlinked to the registration page.

We look forward to seeing you at the event.