David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Released to fix Vista AV reporting issue and GoDaddy domain registration issue

    Hi everyone, the first roll-up of fixes for SBS 2008 shipped today. It addresses some minor issues, which is good, but always worth being aware of. From the Official SBS 2008 blog SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 1 releases today. This rollup package addresses the following issues in Windows Small Business Server 2008. Issue 1 The Security tab in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Console incorrectly reports the spyware and malware status of Windows Vista Service Pack 1-based clients that are joined to a domain. Specifically, some security applications are reported as incompatible in the antivirus and malware status that is reported. Issue 2 The Internet Address Management Wizard exits unexpectedly when you register a domain name. This issue occurs when you select GoDaddy.com as the provider, and then you click Register Now How to obtain this update This update will be available from the Microsoft Update Web site: http://update.microsoft.com More Information http://support.microsoft.com/KB/958715 The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Vista , Windows Vista , Updates , GoDaddy , Anti-virus , Anti-Malware , System Updates , Microsoft , SBSC , Community
  • How to create a VPN on Windows Vista to connect to a Windows Server, such as SBS 2008

    I was going to include this in the book, but decided it was not quite the right subject matter, so I've decided to post it on the blog. SBS 2003 had a pre-defined tool for VPNs. The tool exists in SBS 2008 to produce the same tool, but you have to configure it by hand. This is covered in this blog entry here . If you are on a client machine and you need create a VPN connection, or you are a user and want to create a VPN on Windows Vista, follow this guide. Start at the Start menu . Press the Connect To button to start the process. You will be told that you are already connected to a network, but you will need to create a new connection. Do this by selecting the Set up a connection or Network option and press Connect . In the Choose a connection option screen, select the Connect to a workplace option and press Next . Now select Use my Internet connection (VPN) . The Internet address is that for your remote server. If you are using Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) this will likely be "remote." and your e-mail domain, so for example if your e-mail was david@davidoverton.com then it would be remote.davidoverton.com . In the Internet address box type your address. Now type a description. For me, I would also suggest ticking the box Don't connect now; just set it up so I can connect later . Press Next to continue Type in your User name and Password . While you can tick the box Remember this password it is a security risk as anyone using your computer can then connect to your work domain without knowing your password. You will also need to know your domain name. If you do not know this right click on Computer in the Start menu and select properties . When the screen appears your domain name will be shown. Enter this information into the Domain (optional) box. You are now ready to connect. Press Connect Now to start a connection. Next time you press Connect To from the Start menu you will see your VPN in the list. Select it and press Connect . If your User name or password are not present (if you followed...
  • Invalid certificate issued to localhost.localdomain when remotely access SBS 2008 from a Windows PC

    This is another question I was recently asked. One particular user noticed that the certificate they saw when accessing their server from the internet did not match that when accessing from the LAN. The certificate looked something like this: This was a little strange as when the system was accessed from the intranet, all things appeared fine. The culprit for them was the SBS 2003 self signed certificate on the same machine. By removing the certificate and then installing the correct new one things got better. To remove the old certificate, start MMC.exe and accept the UAC prompt. Now press Ctrl+M to add a new snap-in and select Certificates and when asked, add for the user account . The do the same again, but select Certificates and Computer Account and hit OK to accept the current computer. Now expand out Personal Certificates and remove any SBS 2003 self signed certificates. To load the new certificates open a browser inside your SBS 2008 network and point to http://companyweb/Lists/Announcements/DispForm.aspx?ID=3 which should give you instructions and the URL. I hope that makes sense. ttfn David Technorati Tags: localhost.localdomain , SBS 2008 , Certificates , Tips
  • What software could you not live without – tell Windows Vista Magazine?

    I’ve just noticed this blog post on the Windows Vista Magazine - What software could you not live without? We’re searching for the 100 best programs for Windows Vista – and we need your help! By James Stables on 08 July 2008 In our October 2008 issue we will be compiling a list of the 100 best pieces of software which power up Windows Vista. These are the pieces of software you would never run Windows without, which make a difference to your everyday life and that you would recommend to all other readers. We want to hear your ideas to make sure no stone goes unturned and no program is left out. This is a great opportunity for the Windows Vista Magazine community to share the combined experiences and knowledge that help make this one of the most diverse magazines on the market. Leave us a comment saying what should be in our software top 100. I’ve just left my list, which to be complete is also below: My core products: Vista Office 2007 - for my work Live Writer for blogging Live Messenger to communicate To tweak my UI experience: Stardock – Winblinds Stardock – DeskScapes Stardock - Tweak Vista Stardock - Logon Studio Other utilities I love: EzDetach for Outlook to save space on inbox Live Mesh for sharing files Speedfan to help manage temperature Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Software , Windows Vista Magazine , Microsoft
  • Seeing is wanting for Windows Vista (Mojave Experiment) – people having their perceptions changed by actually seeing what it can do…

    I have to admit I really like this – take people who rate Vista as a ZERO, show them a new operating system called Mojave and see them rate it as high as a ten, then tell them that it was Vista and almost immediately you get “Well, I’d not seen Vista before, it’s much better than I had heard”. It just goes to show that a well configured machine (a HP laptop with 2GB of RAM) can do wonders. I also like the stats page that states: Of the 140 respondents polled on a scale of 1-10 where 10 was the highest rating, the average pre-rating for Windows Vista was 4.4. After they saw the demo, respondents rated Mojave as average of 8.5. Many said they would have rated it higher, but wanted more time to play with it themselves. The users used other operating systems – 84% Windows XP, 22% Apple, 14% Windows pre-XP, 1% Linux More information can be found on the Vista team blog or the site above. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Windows Vista , Mojave
  • Performance monitoring tools to go with Windows Vista Magazine article

    In my latest article for Windows Vista Magazine I spoke about performance tuning a system and more importantly how to diagnose performance issues. One of the tools I recommend using to do this is the Windows Performance Tools kit. This can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/perftools.mspx . It includes a getting started document. The tools are described as: The Windows Performance Tools (WPT) Kit contains performance analysis tools that are new to the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. The WPT Kit is useful to a broad audience, including system builders, hardware manufacturers, driver developers, and general application developers. These tools are designed for measuring and analyzing system and application performance on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later. The tools currently include an xperf trace capture tool, an xperfview visualization tool (also known as Performance Analyzer), and an xbootmgr boot trace capture tool. The tools are designed for the analysis of a wide range of performance problems including application start times, boot issues, deferred procedure calls and interrupt activity (DPCs and ISRs), system responsiveness issues, application resource usage, and interrupt storms. The MSIs containing these tools are available in the SDK bin directory (one per architecture). The tools are built on top of the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) infrastructure. ETW enables Windows and applications to efficiently generate events. Events can be enabled and disabled at any time without requiring system or process restarts. ETW collects requested kernel events and saves them to one or more files that are referred to as "trace files" or "traces." These kernel events provide extensive details about the operation of the system. Some of the most important and useful kernel events that are available for capture and analysis are context switches, interrupts, DPCs, process and thread creation and destruction, disk I/Os, hard faults, processor P-state...
  • Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download

    I saw over on Aaron’s blog that Microsoft has posted an update for Media Center. I’ve loaded this on the machine under the TV, but there again, I was not seeing issues, except those caused by network congestion as all our PCs and extenders connect via a wireless network. June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download A new cumulative update package for Windows Vista Media Center has been released this week. This update is called the June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista and is also known as KB950126. It is available for download in x86 and x64 versions. It can be installed on systems running the original version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions and the SP1 version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions. The June 2008 Cumulative Update includes the following fixes: All of the fixes previously included in the February 2008 Cumulative Update Improvements to the TV recording experience on systems that use analog tuners, do not have a set-top box and do not have any digital tuners installed. Blank screen that can occur when you switch between full-screen mode and windowed mode while playing a video. Empty removable media devices may be displayed in galleries (this issue was introduced in Windows Vista SP1 and only affects those systems). Client ID may not be set correctly if you use the Express setup option when launching Windows Vista Media Center. Memory leak in extender sessions. Updated frequency table for China. Channel names in Simplified Chinese are shown as unrecognizable characters. Downloads on Aaron’s site Aaron Stebner's WebLog : June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista available for download ttfn David Technorati Tags: Media Center , MCE , Windows Vista , Vista , Microsoft , System Update
  • Welcome to readers of Windows Vista Magazine as I'm now a contributor

    Some of you might know that I used to write for Windows XP Magazine, but having used Windows Vista during the beta cycle I eventually had to give it up as I was writing about an OS I was not using. Well, that has all changed - I've been using Vista for over 3 years now and I've now got a technical spot back into the Windows Vista Magazine. My 1st articles are about identifying Vista performance issues and then will continue on to understanding system crashes and then solving some common Office 2003/7 and Vista problems. I'd love to hear about topics you would want me to cover - just leave a comment or e-mail at admin@davidoverton.com . If you want to only see my Windows related articles, click onto this link - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Vista/default.aspx Please feel free to ask questions on the site, or even on this blog post. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Windows Vista Magazine , Personal , Vista
  • Diagnose Windows Performance issues with the tools Microsoft uses

    I’m writing about diagnosing performance problems at the moment and this blog starts the process off for me. XPerf is an amazing tool that was internal to Microsoft only. You can now use this yourself!! One quick update, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/perftools.mspx for an update to just the xperf tools and you don’t need to download the rest of the SDK either :-). The SDK team just shipped the latest version of the Windows SDK which supports Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1. The SDK now includes an important new tool; the Windows Performance Tool Kit from the Windows performance team (we call them the xperf tools for short...) This is the first article in the xperf series, the next one is Xperf Tools Landing Page and Update The xperf tools have long been an internal tool used by our team, and widely throughout Windows, for system-wide performance analysis. Xperf got its start many years ago as a set of command-line tools that produce reports based off the ETW instrumentation in the kernel[1]. Many other components and applications in Windows are instrumented with ETW and xperf can enable these events, dump them, and analyze them. Xperf is an important tool for anyone doing system performance work on Windows because it's specifically designed to give you a complete system-wide view of performance over long periods of time (10's of seconds, to minutes)[2]. It's also the only tool that knows how to fully process all the events from the kernel and correlate them into something that makes sense. For example, here is a detail graph of all the disk I/O to the system drive on my laptop for opening this post, editing it a bit, and then closing Live Writer. Pigs Can Fly : Xperf, a new tool in the Windows SDK Enjoy, David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Performance , Windows , Vista , Windows Server 2008 , Windows Vista
  • This consumer operating systems stuff is harder than 1st thought – Red Hat and Novell no longer targeting consumers with desktop Linux

    I saw this and it made me smile – looks like building a desktop OS for consumers is harder than people thought :-) And I thought consumers were more willing to put in time to fiddle too, so that makes the enterprise play even less likely for me!! Red Hat skips consumer Linux desktop Red Hat has no plans to create a traditional desktop product for the consumer market, but will continue to place its bets on a desktop for commercial markets. "We are focused on infrastructure software for the enterprise market, and to that market we are offering the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop," said Michael Chen, vice president of corporate marketing at Red Hat. "You need a different support ecosystem and applications for the consumer desktop," Chen added. Among the company's desktop goals for 2008 and 2009 is to ensure that its desktop products complement its server and middleware products, Red Hat said in a company blog post Wednesday. Red Hat's strategy is similar to that of Novell , which is currently focusing on Linux for enterprise desktops. The market for Suse Linux on the consumer desktop is taking time to develop, and the market for the desktop for the next three to five years is mainly enterprise-related, Novell President and CEO Ronald Hovsepian said Wednesday. Red Hat skips consumer Linux desktop | InfoWorld | News | 2008-04-17 | By John Ribeiro, IDG News Service ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Client , Windows , Windows Vista , Vista , Linux , Red Hat , Novell , Microsoft
  • Available to everyone (well almost) - Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update

    Today Windows Vista SP1 has made it to Windows Update for the 5 lead languages with the rest to follow over the following weeks. Lots of details at Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update . Perhaps some of the most important points from the blog entry for me are listed below, but read the blog entry for all details: If in running Windows Update you do not see Windows Vista SP1 listed, there are a number of good reasons for this (Eight in fact, see the whole list ) If You have a pre-release version of SP1 and need to uninstall it before installing SP1. This is quite a chore - expect the uninstall to take 30 to 90 mins depending on hardware, then start the whole install process again!! Back in February we announced that we'd be using Windows Update to help make the update as seamless as possible for our users. Windows Update will detect drivers that we know may be problematic when updating to SP1 and will not offer the service pack until an update has been installed. More details about the drives on the blog There is a standalone installer at the Microsoft Download Center here . Windows Update will help ensure a better experience, so if you do choose to visit the Microsoft Download Center make sure that you read these KBs before installing. I've noticed the benefits on my PC with regard to wireless networks, resume from stand-by, performance of things like file copies and more. Enjoy the SP1 world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista SP1 , SP1 , Vista SP1 , Windows Client , Vista , Service Pack
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner experience in support of Windows Vista: Mid-March 2008 delivery of Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP1 in a special Action Pack shipment to partners worldwide. To make it easier for you to deploy the final release of Windows Vista SP1 for internal use, all subscribers will receive full code*. Not currently an Action Pack subscriber? Find out how to subscribe . New subscribers will receive Windows Vista with SP1 as part of the April 2008 Welcome Kit. One licence for Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 (full code*) for internal use, so you can discuss this product's benefits and features with customers who need a single PC to fulfil their work, travel and entertainment needs. This software will be delivered in the regular Action Pack quarterly update (April 2008) for current subscribers and for new Action Pack subscribers starting in April 2008. A comprehensive set of readiness resources to arm you to sell and support Windows Vista SP1 solutions for your small- or medium-size-business customers as momentum...
  • Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista to enable "Open From" and "Save to" menu items in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

    One little feature that others might have missed with the new release of Office Live Workspace is the two nifty buttons for Office to enable direct access from the Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista The Office Live Workspace Update installs three Windows Vista updates (KB945435, KB945145, KB933860) and one Office 2007 update to ensure optimal performance on Windows Vista when using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Live Workspace. The update improves the performance of opening and saving Workspace documents from these Office programs. In some cases, the update also resolves problems with "Open from Office Live" and "Save to Office Live" functions of the Office Live Add-in . This update is only needed for computers running Windows Vista. Download details: Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live , Office Live Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Workspace , Vista , Windows Vista , Save to , Open From
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server 2008 , Mid-Market
  • Microsoft drops the price of retail versions of Vista significantly all over the world, but plenty in the UK

    I saw some people talking about this on the Yahoo groups and on the blogs, so thought I would do some investigating. The retail price has moved quite nicely in the UK .. in the following blog they talk about a drop of upto 40+% in the UK, while US prices only dropped 20% http://hackinthebox.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=25990 - Microsoft is cutting the retail price of its Windows Vista operating system by as much as 39% here in New Zealand. Prices in the US will drop 20% and in the UK and Europe, savings of up to 46% are available on some versions. On Friday, Microsoft announced sweeping price cuts to boxed copies of Vista, saying then that the cuts would range from as low as 3% in developed countries to nearly 50% for some editions sold in poorer nations. Prices just released by the local Microsoft office show that New Zealand has done pretty well with a drop of 39% for the top Vista Ultimate from $979 to $599, and a 24% drop for the Home Premium edition from $589 to $449. Home Basic also drops 24% from $499 to $379. A Home Premium upgrade drops 35% from $349 to $229 and an Ultimate upgrade drops 24% from $649 to $499. So having seen this, off I went to Amazon, especially since I had recorded the Amazon prices earlier in the discussions at The price of Vista in the UK - some really, really bad maths . How good / bad was it then? To get the latest prices from Amazon, click the links below for UK or US pricing as an example. (I do not think all the UK Amazon price changes have gone through yet though) For example Windows Ultimate has gone from £294 to £229 at Amazon in the UK and the new Home Premium price of just £79. It all looks good to me!! UK Pricing US Pricing It is nice to see real price drops for many of the packages in the UK too. thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Windows Client , Vista , Service Pack 1 , Price drop
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to corporate environments from Microsoft Update. This release fixes issue found since the release of the product. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=1&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3df87b4c5e-4161-48af-9ff8-a96993c688df%26displaylang%3den Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Overview This paper introduces Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and provides information about features, and server and client computer requirements. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=2&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3d1b5eac37-bd48-41fd-869b-f9b06fa64a61%26displaylang%3den Release Notes for Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 These release notes describe known issues affecting Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and include recommendations and requirements for...
  • Is your network going to be IPv6 ready?

    You remember IPv6 - it was that thing that people didn't like in Vista and tried to turn it off? Well it is coming and it is coming quickly. I saw this and thought I would remind everyone that what you know about IPv4 is no longer going to be enough. Is your network technology and software up to the task? Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins The current version -- IPv4, which can accommodate 4.3 billion addresses -- would have run out of addresses by 2012, experts predict. The switch to a new Internet address format has begun, as Web overseers look to provide a pool of virtually unlimited addresses to support the growing number of Internet-connected devices. On Monday, records written in IPv6 were added to the Internet's root servers, making it possible for the first time for computer systems to communicate via the Web using only the new format, the London-based BBC news agency reported. The development marks a milestone in the conversion from IPv4. Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins -- IPv6 -- InformationWeek MSDN developer resources can be found at ( http://search.msdn.microsoft.com/search/Default.aspx?query=ipv6&brand=msdn&locale=&refinement=00&lang=en-us was used to get these links): IPv6 Guide for Windows Sockets Applications (Windows) This guide provides the information you need to enable your Microsoft® Windows® application to use the next generation of Internet Protocol , version 6 ( IPv6 ) http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms738649.aspx IPv6 Application Development TCP/ Internet Protocol version 6 ( IPv6 ) is a connectionless, unreliable datagram protocol used primarily for addressing and routing packets between hosts. Connectionless means that ... http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa917153.aspx IPv6 Blog : Mythbusters #1: No one is using IPv6 [UPDATED] Hmm, let's bust this myth with a quick experiment. You can all take part. In order to be a valid test, you need to meet the following requirements: 1. You must have a cell phone ....
  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does not offer the option to remove any version of the .NET Framework that is an OS component on the OS it is being run on. Aaron Stebner's WebLog : How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista The important things seem to be: Don't use the clean up tool Try the command " sfc /scannow " from an elevated command prompt Repair the (V2) framework with the command " %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe update " again from an elevated command prompt The 1st item stops corruption, then 2nd checks the OS's binary (core internal files) are correct and matching their signatures and the final one re-creates all the "native" files from the IL code. ttfn David Technorati Tags: .Net Framework , Support , Windows Vista , Vista
  • New build of Vista SP1 RC Preview to load and rumour that Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15

    I've been running Vista SP1 builds for a while and I like them. I don't like the process of changing builds which is "simply" a case of uninstalling the old build, letting it reboot twice, updating the registry, doing find updates in windows update, reboot, do it again, reboot, do it again, wait 15 mins, do it again, then let it install for a chunk of time, reboot twice more. Now, you won't have this fun when the "real" update comes out, but us testers simply enjoy this process!! To get the latest preview go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=529d992a-d69e-4c73-9213-7a7f3852c0ca&DisplayLang=en Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month. According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is planned for release by the end of March 2008. Microsoft has not shifted from the official timetable and failed to update it in accordance with the development of the operating system. However, it appears now that February 15 was confirmed as the RTM date for Windows Vista SP1. Mid February 2008 is a more realistic date for the launch of Vista SP1, and one that is at the end of the natural course of evolution of the service pack's development process. Taiwanese news outlet DigiTimes, doing a story on the DRAM industry in 2008, cited Pei-lin Pai, a spokesman for DRAM manufacturer Nanya, saying: "the PC market will rebound in the second quarter. The launch of an updated version of Microsoft Vista on February 15, if its prices do not go up too much compared to its previous version, may help boost DRAM sales," (emphasis added). Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? - KezNews.com I can't comment on the date, but mid-Feb is Q1 calendar year 2007. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista...
  • New Small Business Oriented blog - Microsoft Police (entry on licensing) and Vista bloody Vista (who's fault is it when things don't work on Vista)

    Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me - Dave is doing some excellent blogging! I like both these entries from January. One discussed the rights and wrongs of what to do with a customer who will not license legally. My personal opinion here is that if they won't pay a software company, how long until they will avoid paying the services company for a quality job. Dave's second post is dealing with someone who has been told that Vista is poor and blames anything that does not work under Vista on Microsoft. I'm not saying that Microsoft is never to blame, but it is nice to see posts like this coming out of the woodwork. Microsoft Police There has been a lot of chatter in the newsgroups recently about Microsoft licensing and what to do if you think the legality of clients software is suspect. Here is my opinion. Funny that, it being my blog Simple, get them to become legitimate (or legal) or walk away. Let’s clarify this. Why I said legitimate or legal is because these can be two separate things. Why? well frankly, just because Microsoft and it’s lawyers say something should be the case, it doesn’t mean that it is the law. <snipped - click link above to read more> Vista, bloody Vista! I was having a friendly discussion in the pub at the weekend and was introduced to a college lecturer. He spoke quite fluently about IT in his college even though he admitted he is not very technically minded. Then it came…Why Vista he asked, it knackers things, so his techie people tell him? Windows 98 which he has at home is fine GRRRR! Except, it isn’t fine. His PC was falling apart at the seams, things just weren’t working. The more I questioned the more it became like a broken record. Why had Microsoft not left things alone. The fact that his quite clearly 18million year old dial-up modem wasn’t working was obviously Microsofts fault. They only update things in order to screw money out of poor victims like him. (This did stay friendly I hasten to add and many more pints were...
  • Report: Small businesses moving to Vista fastest | InfoWorld | News | 2008-01-14 | By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service

    Yes this is a US report, but I believe a similar move is happening in the UK Nearly half of businesses polled in a recent survey are in some phase of updating to Vista, and of those companies, 53 percent are small businesses By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service January 14, 2008 Nearly half of businesses are in some phase of preparing to update desktops to Windows Vista with small businesses moving the fastest to implement the OS, according to a new report released Monday. The number of organizations evaluating and testing Vista increased from 29 percent in February 2007 to 48 percent by early November 2007, found the report, commissioned by reseller CDW and based on information collected by Walker Information from 772 IT decision makers. Moreover, about 35 percent of companies are currently implementing or have implemented Vista already, compared to 12 percent last February, the report said. The report is the third of a wave of reports on Vista adoption that CDW has done since the OS was in its final testing phases in October 2006. In the latest phase of release, which tracked Vista adoption from October 31 until Nov. 7, 2007, small businesses comprised 53 percent of those companies either using or evaluating Vista. The higher-education segment came in second, with 49 percent reporting that they are evaluating or using the OS, while medium-to-large businesses were third, with 48 percent. Because of lingering hardware and application compatibility issues between existing company IT assets and Vista, CDW still advises customers to move to Vista on a case-by-case basis, said David Cottingham, director of product and partner management at CDW. In the case of small businesses, they may not have the application or hardware dependencies on Windows XP that larger businesses have. "There are still definitely concerns when you get into custom applications in industries that will run on XP," he said. "If [companies] have custom applications that don't run on Vista yet, they're going to stay on XP...
  • Samba developers can now see the Windows Protocols, make their products more interoperable with Microsoft Windows and see where Patents are to then choose to avoid or license

    I have never been known to sugar coat my opinion and one that has been forming recently is that much of the EU work on opening the Windows Media player is undesired by the consumers or the industry. This is my opinion, but I've seen no evidence to the contra. However, the licensing of protocols, while I don't wholly agree with the pricing structure, I see it as a good thing. This is a classic example of a de-facto standard working how it should. Today yet another organisation licensed the protocols, this time for the Samba community (with restrictions on redistribution and patent awareness) and this should deliver the reality of "interoperability, not standards" that I personally feel is the true desire of the world. Update: Microsoft to hand over Windows secrets to Samba team | InfoWorld | News | 2007-12-20 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Developers of open-source Samba software will find their work a little easier thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, signed Thursday, that will give them access to previously secret data on how the Windows operating system works. <snipped> The deal was signed with a nonprofit group called the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation, (PFIF) which negotiated on behalf of the Samba team because Samba is not represented by a corporate entity. PFIF will pay a one-time fee of €10,000 and, in return, will be able to allow open-source developers, including the Samba team, to access the documents. Developers will have to sign nondisclosure agreements and will not be allowed to redistribute Microsoft's documentation, but they will be able to write open-source software that implements the Windows protocols. The deal will also clarify which patents Microsoft believes are related to this technology, making it easier for open-source developers to avoid patent violations. The article is quite negative in tone, ignoring that the licensing process was available before the EU stepped in and giving the glory to the EU, when I believe it is the free-market that made...
  • Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals - download details

    If you do plan to deploy Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the information that these guides can give you: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals These guides will assist IT Professionals in evaluating and deploying Windows Vista SP1 and are downloadable versions of the SP1 guides found in the Windows Vista Technical Library . (http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/90a564b9-34af-4a6b-937f-324e1862244b1033.mspx) Files in This Download The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you. Deployment_Guide_for_the_Release_Candidate_Version_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Enterprise_Guidance_for_Application_Compatibility_Testing_and_Windows_Vista_SP1.doc Hotfixes_and_Security_Updates_included_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Notable_Changes_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1_Release_Candidate.doc Overview_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Download details: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Service Pack , Service Pack 1 , Release Candidate , Documentation
  • How to get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC (legitimately) via the Public Availability Program

    I knew this was coming, but I've not seen it shouted too much. My machine feels more responsive and some operations as mentioned before are faster. If you read the Windows Vista team blog Windows Vista SP1 RC now available for public download you would think it is only available to MSDN and Technet customers. It does have some good pointers though. We're making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet , with an FAQ here . I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here . Before you install SP1 RC, please bear in mind the following points of advice, detailed in this short article : If you have a prior version of SP1 Beta installed, you must uninstall it prior to installing RC. This is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission-critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you backup your data prior to installing any pre-release software. Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate is time-limited software. It will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date. Support is through self-help and peer support via the Windows Vista SP1 forum . Assisted support (phone, email and online chat) is not available from Microsoft Support for this RC release of SP1. Support is not available via this blog. If you install the Service Pack 1 Release Candidate, it is strongly recommended that you also plan to install the final version of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released in the first quarter of 2008. To do this, you will be required to uninstall this pre-release code. You must have a genuine copy of Windows Vista installed on the computer prior to installing the Windows Vista SP1 update. Thanks to all of you who've expressed interest in testing the RC! To get on the programme for Windows Updates based SP1 RE, have...
  • More on the differences between real world Vista performance and that of a benchmark

    Following up on my articles that discuss Vista performance (I still stick by my statement that it is reasonable to expect Vista to need more resources) at More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger? and Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here> I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - especially worth watching the video!! The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance Posted by Nick White on Friday, November 30, 2007 4:29 PM Measuring the performance of an operating system is a tricky thing. At the same time, it's the right and necessary thing to do, because performance is one of many criteria important to customers. Part of the trick of measuring performance is to time testing execution with the product cycle such that the results are as meaningful as possible for customers; this helps them make a better decision by making use of the full array of available information. As one example, about a year ago we commissioned a firm called Principled Technologies to conduct a study comparing Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista RTM. That study found the performance measures of the two operating systems were within the same range for many tasks that home and business users frequently perform under real-world conditions. Windows Vista Team Blog : The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Performance , Vista
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Is Vista really that bad or do we have rose tinted glasses - How well was Windows XP accepted in the early years

    I have had a bit of a rant with Vlad over at Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 Performance Stats: Flawed Samples or Market Reality? and the comments are good - the communication is very worthwhile, but I thought I would share some of the "what was it like with Windows XP" reality. That does not excuse the issues people see, but rather highlights the fact that with XP, it took some time for things to bed down and hopefully what you are seeing with Vista is a more responsive Microsoft and partner eco-system. Complaints about Whistler (Windows XP and 2003) come in the form of performance, adoption rates, application compatibility, relevance - all things people are complaining about today with Windows Vista. I will say it again - ONLY DEPLOY VISTA IF IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. What is more, only deploy Windows XP on new machines if there is a compelling reason to NOT deploy Vista . Remember that if you buy Vista Business / Ultimate and downgrade you can then re-load Vista at a later date without having to re-buy the OS. Buy XP and you will have to purchase the OS too. Performance Vista does many things to improve performance, but there is a limit as to how much juice you can squeeze into a firmly boxed space. 1GB of RAM is now a minimum and with multi-core coming along, scaling sideways is not a more important trick that raw performance. Vista has many things under the bonnet to improve performance, but in some scenarios it still does not work like XP. Just look at the "fix" that Alistair found for his Dell - Alistair likes Vista and found out that the Dell SATA drivers were making is go slow ENT Review: Windows XP - I feel I could be reading a Vista review For IT organizations that have already standardized on Windows 2000, however, the rationale for upgrading to Windows XP is altogether less clear cut. <snip> Speed and Performance Considerations We deployed Windows XP on a 1.4-GHz Athlon system (512 MB of RAM); a 1-GHz Toshiba Tecra 8200 laptop (256 MB of RAM); a 500-MHz IBM Thinkpad 570E laptop...
  • Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here>

    I saw the article at ZDNet ( Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test - ZDNet UK ) and at various other places and decided to comment. It compares a 1GB XP machine and a 1GB Vista machine and says that Vista is slower - both using beta service packs. This article links back to the blog of a certain benchmarking company ( http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/windows-xp-sp3-yields-performance-gains.html ) and the result was an article with quotes in it like: "Vista, both with and without SP1, performed over two times slower than XP with SP3 in the test, taking over 80 seconds to complete the test, compared to the beta SP3-enhanced XP's 35 seconds. Vista's performance with the service pack increased less than two percent compared to performance without SP1 — much lower than XP's SP3 improvement of 10 percent." Now this annoyed me twice. So did they turn off things like the pre-loading of applications, was this a fresh PC or one where the inbuilt tools could optimise themselves? Did they turn off new features like and anti-spyware and search engine, the graphics etc? You can't add a bundle of new features and get it all for free - they have to load and boot up time is the most likely time. "The tests, run on a Dell XPS M1710 test bed with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 1GB of RAM, put Microsoft Office 2007 through a set of productivity tasks, including creating a compound document and supporting workbooks and presentation materials." Now this also annoyed me, even more. a Vista machine with the recommended MINIMUM amount of RAM, but XP with eight times it's minimum recommended. Microsoft clearly recognised that Vista's new features require more memory, as do Office, so they have one machine that is 5 years skinny on features and another that has 5 years worth of extra features and security built in. Come on. What about trying it on a 2GB machine, or one that the tests have been run on a hundred times so the optimisation engines in Vista can get to work. I've done benchmarking...
  • Another Vista UI tweak - change the size of the thumbnail (preview) picture in Vista Aero when you hover over an icon in the taskbar

    The final one from Ave, another amazing UI tweak. Thumbnail Sizer Thumbnail Sizer allows the user to change the size of Vista's Window thumbnails that show when one hovers over the taskbar button for the window. download from Ave's Vista Apps ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista Tweaks , Vista
  • 3D Rotating (swaying gently back and forth) User Pictures in Windows Vista Start Menu

    Another User interface trick that I am now using from Vishal's blog - it just adds minor touches to Vistas UI. 3D Rotating User Pic in Windows Vista Start Menu Ave’s 3D UserPic In the old longhorn 4xxx days, the startmenu user picture was more animated as it was today. Today, we get a cheap alpha-fading effect when you hover over an item: the user picture simply blends with the icon for a while. Back in the days, the user picture was actually rotating when you had the start menu opened. This application tries to achieve that effect. Screenshot ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not. Now read about Photosynth and Seadeagon and you realise that people are not just seeing a HD future, but a future where seeing details and accessing them is much, much easier: The demos by themselves are awesome - Chris Koenig : Seadragon and Photosynth If you haven't already seen Seadragon or Photosynth , then you need to watch this video from TED 07 . The speaker, Blaise Aguera y Arcas , is an Architect at Microsoft, and responsible for the Seadragon product. This is AMAZING technology - absolutely unbelievable what they've been able to do here. You can try out Photosynth for yourself today, but Seadragon itself is not publicly available (I can't wait to get my hands on this Seadragon demo)! The short term future is described by people like Pete: Microsoft & Photography - Pete's Eats I've been a heavy Photoshop user since v2.5 now but thought I'd do some research at Microsoft to see what kinds of things we have to offer too. I have to say, I was pretty surprised at the content...
  • New reliability, compatibility, USB and MCE Updates to Windows Vista available via Windows Update now. The USB update fixes 1-2% of all Vista crashes!!

    I saw this on the blog and thought I would tell you all about it. I'm testing SP1, so I did not see it on my updates, but SP1 has this in it, so I think it is worth getting!! New Updates to Windows Vista available via Windows Update this week As you probably know and as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we use Windows Update to periodically deliver updates for Windows Vista. We do this so that customers need not wait for a service pack or another or larger release to benefit from the ongoing improvements we make to Windows. With Windows Update, we can regularly service Windows as quickly, effectively and unobtrusively as possible, so that keeping your Windows OS up-to-date is easier and more convenient for you. All you have to do is make sure you are signed up to have updates installed automatically, and you’re good to go. Continuous improvement is the name of this game. The non-security updates planned for release through Windows Update this week include: An update on system compatibility, reliability and stability : extends the battery life for mobile devices, improves stability of wireless network services, and shortens recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity, among other fixes. An update to USB core components : mainly affects systems returning from sleep or hibernation, fixing problems causing 1-2% of all crashes reported. An update to Windows Media Center : among other things, affects interaction issues occurring between Media Center PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 when Xbox 360 is used as a Media Center Extender. The links in the above list will lead you to the KB article related to each update in case you want more information on them. And, when they’re made available via Windows Update (expected to occur Tuesday 13th), you can also right-click each entry in Windows Update to get its 400-word summary description. These and similar updates will be wrapped into SP1 for those of you considering installing them in one fell swoop. We’ll let you know here on the blog when we have more...
  • Windows Vista UK Web Special Offers (I saw 18% off at one site and yes, it is legit)!!

    I just saw this at Windows Vista: Special Offers retailers are offering 15%+ off of Vista. You need to look at the sites yourself to determine which one has the best price for your needs, but still - nice amount to have removed in the UK!!. Shop By Retailer Shop By Brand Shop By System Builder ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Discounts , UK
  • An update from Vijay on the SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call and further evidence that Microsoft might sometimes be slow to react to feedback, but it does react and the results are often good

    I saw this post of Vijays ( » SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call ) and thought it was worth highlighting some of it: Michael Risse, VP of the Small and Midmarket Business Group has issued an open letter to SBSC Partners about the issues with Solution Finder. Demo Showcase 2007 will be available to all SBSC Partners, shipping this December. I clarified that it will be the Virtual Server Images and not just the canned simulations and Andrea said it will be the full versions. The Managed Newsgroups are now 24 hour in the UK and other selected countries from last week. Special Edition Toolkit will ship in December provided you are a SBSC Partner before 30 November. You will get Vista anytime upgrade to Ultimate from Business, eval of Forefront for Sharepoint/Exchange, Demo Showcase 2007, Brand Tools, Viral Videos, Licensing Guidance, printable Small Business Guide. Customer Campaigns around the following areas (hopefully call to action will be go to a SBSC Partner but depends upon how Microsoft UK implements them) Security and Reliability Business Productivity Customer Acquisition & Retention Business Solutions Also, Microsoft are asking where we would like support from Microsoft to build business in new areas such as CRM, Sharepoint, SCE, Security and/or vertical market segments. For all the requests, Vista Ultimate will be part of the offering to SBSC partners and the special recognition that SBSC partners continues to grow. It is also nice to see that the managed newsgroups are now manned 24hrs, so PLEASE use them to help diagnose problems. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBSC PALs , Vista Ultimate , Managed Newsgroups
  • Microsoft Windows security tools, Server 2008 readiness, step-by-step guides, virtualisation updates, synctoy beta, VHDs and LOTS on the new Terminal Services

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too. News Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is a risk-assessment application designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623431 Start your Microsoft Windows 2008 Readiness Right Here Focus on readiness for Windows Server 2008 now, and you can be the one who stands out when initiatives happen - and when promotion decisions are made. Let Microsoft Learning resources give you the head start you need to transition your skills and credentials to the latest Windows Server technologies - from free elearning clinics and free ebook downloads. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623432 Get an Extra Shot at Microsoft Certification For a limited time, you can get an extra chance to pass any Microsoft IT Professional, Developer or Microsoft Dynamics Certification exam - free. Register for this offer before your first exam and you'll get two shots at success. Register now! http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623434 The Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Exam Is Coming Update your skills and get ready for the Windows Server 2008 certification exam with special offers on e-learning collections and classroom training. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623435 Documents Windows Server 2008 Technical Overviews These technical overviews provide IT Professionals with information about how a Windows Server 2008 technology works. They may also cover design and planning considerations and basic setup and operating instructions. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46dc26d6-af47-43f0-b3de-521831fe09d6&DisplayLang=en Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides These step-by-step guides help IT...
  • Windows is now getting too difficult to hack, so the hackers sights are moving elsewhere, but that does not mean security is now easier.

    I have heard many times how Windows is the big target for virus and phishing nasty people in general, but more and more people are showing that Windows is just too hard to hack when applications and other platforms offer so much more opportunity. From the article at eBay: Phishers getting better organized, attacking Linux Dave Cullinane, eBay's chief information and security officer said that in his previous job protecting a bank from phishers "The vast majority of the threats we saw were rootkitted Linux boxes, which was rather startling. We expected Microsoft boxes. Rootkit software covers the tracks of the attackers and can be extremely difficult to detect. According to Cullinane, none of the Linux operators whose machines had been compromised were even aware they'd been infected. Although Linux has long been considered more secure than Windows, many of the programs that run on top of Linux have known security vulnerabilities, and if an attacker were to exploit an unpatched bug on a misconfigured system, he could seize control of the machine. " In the same article it also mentions: "We see a lot of Linux machines used in phishing," said Alfred Huger, vice president for Symantec Security Response. "We see them as part of the command and control networks for botnets, but we rarely see them be the actual bots. Botnets are almost uniformly Windows-based." Since Linux machines can be used to more easily create specially crafted networking packets, they can be used in highly sophisticated online attacks, said Iftach Amit, director of security research with Finjan Inc.'s malicious code research center. Now this might sound like a load of old "mine is better than yours", but there is much more to this. Oracle, who on the whole don't make that many products, released their latest set of patches, just 51 this month - http://techworld.com/applications/news/index.cfm?newsID=10369&pagtype=all , compared to a much smaller set from Microsoft. What is worth noting is...
  • Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files

    I have documented some of these before, but now all of them are here. - How to backup information in Vista using Restore Previous Versions, writing to DVDs and the built in backup tools - How to use Windows Updates to get patches for the system - How Internet Explorer 7 and Vista protect you - just remember to say no!! - How to take files offline in Vista and Outlook (for SharePoint files) - Sharing files using Windows Messenger ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista
  • How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista

    This question was asked in the forum, but after a bit of research I thought I would share this more broadly. Here is what I discovered: There is a group policy object to enable / disable task manager You can also replace the file that gets run when Task Manager is requested, but this is done using the debug options Group Policy to enable / disable For the Group Policy options, a quick search on Live Search takes me to http://www.infopackets.com/channels/en/windows/gazette/2003/20030821_enable_taskmanager_for_windows_2000_and_xp.htm which basically points to: Open Regedit Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System. Look for: DisableTaskMgr. Click on REG_DWORD. Value: 1=Enable this key (disables TaskManager) Value: 0=Disable (actually enables TaskManager) Replace Task Manager with another program Then for the how to replace the program you basically need to set the options for taskmgr.exe to replace it with another program using the debug options. This means that you want to do the following: Open Regedit Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options \ taskmgr.exe Look for: Debugger - if it exists then the program listed gets executed, if it is not present then taskmgr.exe is executed eg "Debugger"="C:\SOFTWARE\TOOLS\PROCESSEXPLORER\PROCEXP.EXE" Now while this sounds simple, if you have UAC on and the program you are calling requires elevation then you will hit problems. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/replacing-task-manager-with-process-explorer-in-vista discusses how to work around them. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows , Vista , Task Manager
  • Vista whitepapers on implementation, Bitlocker, Application Compatibility

    Documentation Windows Vista Step-by-Step Guides for IT Professionals These step-by-step guides provide instructions for deploying or migrating to Windows Vista, and various management tasks, including configuring security, monitoring performance, and managing printers. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=21&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d311f4be8-9983-4ab0-9685-f1bfec1e7d62%26DisplayLang%3den App Compat Prep and Implementation http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=24&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d02e01c4d-49a2-43e6-a9c5-8b174d1f089a%26DisplayLang%3den ACT 5 Step by Step Guides http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=25&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dbc931bfd-d279-4060-b370-08fa52f97a8d%26DisplayLang%3den BitLocker Design and Deployment Guides http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=29&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d41ba0cf0-57d6-4c38-9743-b7f4ddbe25cd%26DisplayLang%3den ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , whitepapers , BitLocker , Application Compatibility
  • SBSC and small business partners get a chance to find out more about the market they sell into and Microsoft technology that is here and coming

    Want to talk to Microsoft and hear where we see the market, opportunities and key technologies? Then get to one of these (there are even more dates on the web site) :-) We are taking to the road to see you, our partners! Jump in the driver's seat and join us to find out how we plan to get your business motoring. A top Microsoft technology and business team will map out the latest developments in the server and desktop markets and take you on the journey from market opportunity to technical 'how to' demonstrations. We'll get under the hood of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, along with the Office Ready PC, giving you detailed insights to get your business moving. And of course, we'll be outlining the route ahead for the new Windows Server 2008, with its built-in web and virtualisation technologies for increasing the reliability and flexibility of your customers' server infrastructure. Additionally we will be running exclusive SBSC pre-sessions at four of the locations so be sure to make one of these events by signing up using the links below: 1. Wednesday 10 th October – Cardinal Place, London 2. Thursday 11 th October – TVP, Reading 3. Wednesday 17 th October – Park Plaza, Nottingham 4. Tuesday 23 rd October – The Lighthouse, Glasgow And, importantly, we'll have the chance to meet. We want to know what you think, how you see the industry and the challenges you face. It's only with the direct feedback from you, our partners, that we can be sure we are on the right road. So, please join the whole team: technical, sales, marketing and business development, over beer and pizza to chat through the journey! Yours sincerely, Jennifer Brinton SBSC Programme Manager Microsoft ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , System Builder , Vista , Office 2007 , Windows Server
  • Microsoft code name "Acropolis" - Build WPF enabled applications simply with reusable modules, workflow and theming of your application

    I saw this and had to share.&#xA0; In the samples on the site it includes a RSS reader, Outlook tool and more! Welcome to Acropolis The Microsoft code name &#x201C;Acropolis&#x201D; Community Technology Preview is a set of components and tools that make it easier for developers to build and manage modular, business focused, client .NET applications. Acropolis is part of the &#x201C;.NET Client Futures&#x201D; wave of releases, our preview of upcoming technologies for Windows client development. Acropolis builds on the rich capabilities of Microsoft Windows and the .NET Framework, including Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), by providing tools and pre-built components that help developers quickly assemble applications from loosely-coupled parts and services. With Acropolis you will be able to: Quickly create WPF enabled user experiences for your client applications. Build client applications from reusable, connectable, modules that allow you to easily create complex, business-focused applications in less time. Integrate and host your modules in applications such as Microsoft Office, or quickly build stand-alone client interfaces. Change the look and feel of your application quickly using built-in themes, or custom designs using XAML. Add features such as workflow navigation and user-specific views with minimal coding. Manage, update, and deploy your application modules quickly and easily. Microsoft code name "Acropolis" - WindowsClient.net for information and http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9AF56576-217B-4599-9472-FFA7835F3BF4&displaylang=en to download the code, help files and samples. &#xA0; ttfn David Technorati Tags: WPF , Acropolis
  • New Windows Live suite live - and this is how to install on Windows x64

    I am sure many of you have seen that we launched a new wave of the Live suite (Windows Live Writer - which I am using right now, Messenger, Sign-in Assistant, Family Safety, Mail, Toolbar and Photo Gallery - which also uploaded videos to MSN Soapbox). If you want to more about these cool product, go to http://get.live.com/wl/all where it tells you that this is what you get: Connect Hotmail: Next-generation e-mail on the Web Mail: Multiple e-mail accounts on your desktop Messenger: Connect, share, and make every conversation count Find Search: Say hello to the next generation of search Toolbar: Think outside the search box Gallery: Personalize your Windows Live experience Share Spaces: Your blog, your photos, your social network SkyDrive: Password-protected online storage and sharing Photo Gallery: Edit and share photos and videos Writer: Easily publish pictures, videos, and other rich content to your blog Protect OneCare Family Safety: Help keep your kids safe online Get it together Windows Live Home: Start here for search, blogging, e-mail, and more Now some partners and customers have notices a little problem - getting this great stuff running on 64-bit Windows. An extract from anti|tgtsoft shows the best way forward (which is obviously not supported, but all told seems to work just fine): Here’s how to get the latest builds installed on your machine: Patch WLinstaller.exe At offset 0×1B9F0, change 74 to EB Execute WLinstaller.exe Attempt to install all products, ignore the installer errors and exit Navigate to %systemroot%\Syswow64\config\systemprofile\AppData\ Local\WindowsLiveInstaller\MsiSources Use the handy dandy chart below to install the products you want to install/update. Windows Live Writer Install_{1F973A7F-3FE4-4D11-A9A2-E869C2899A7D}.msi Windows Live Messenger Install_{508CE775-4BA4-4748-82DF-FE28DA9F03B0}.msi Windows Live Sign-In Assistant Install_{CB5EA99C-8A5B-49F2-9A1A-2EF78BE4DB41}.msi Windows Live Mail Install_{EDB619FD-4E71-403C-8E99-DFC9CF9DD345}.msi Windows Live Toolbar Install_{C6876FE6-A314...
  • Service Packs, Vista and a Q&A with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft, discusses the company's plans for the first service pack of Windows Vista.

    A few people have asked me about Vista SP1 - what will it contain, how big will it be, can you tell me more, so I thought I would share these two articles with you. One is a press report of a discussion with Shannon on http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Windows-Vista-SP1-weighs-in-at-1GB/0,130061733,339281624,00.htm which states things like: the company has revealed that test versions of the update are currently 1GB As for what's in the Vista update, it's mostly a collection of existing fixes and tweaks aimed at improving stability and reliability of the operating system ability to encrypt multiple hard drive partitions using Vista's BitLocker feature removable storage file format known as exFAT as well as for EFI (extensible firmware interface), an alternative to the BIOS (basic input output system) that handles the initial start-up of a system changes to Vista's desktop search feature in response to complaints from Google or http://www.betanews.com/article/Windows_Vista_SP1_Will_Uninstall_Group_Policy_Management/1188398636 Probably in response to a few users' bewilderment over the seemingly unrestricted accessibility of what had actually been one of Windows Vista's most requested new security tools, Group Policy Management Console, Microsoft announced today that the act of installing Vista Service Pack 1 will simply delete the tool altogether Finally a Q&A was released on the Microsoft PressPass REDMOND, Wash, Aug. 29, 2007 – Microsoft today shared details on its plans for the first service pack of Windows Vista, including a timeline for its release. To learn more, PressPass spoke with Jon DeVaan, Senior Vice President of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft. PressPass: There has been a lot of speculation around the first service pack for Windows Vista. When will it ship, and why are you just now sharing information on Windows Vista SP1? Jon DeVaan, Microsoft Senior Vice President, Windows Core Operating System Division DeVaan : We’re targeting the first quarter...
  • Tool to modify UAC behaviour in Vista using Group Policy - BeyondTrust Privilege Manager

    I am one of those people who always leaves UAC enabled - I like to see when something (*cough* - Adobe Update - *cough*) wants to execute with admin privilege on my system and then get the choice as to whether to allow it or not. However, not everyone likes the choices that are presented by default with the GPOs ( Group Policy Objects ). Coming to the rescue are tools to help enhance these offerings, such as the Privilege Manager from BeyondTrust. Sometimes people forget that Microsoft is a platform for others to build on and this is no different. Their product enables pre-defining the responses to UAC based on a number of variables. While I have NOT tried the product, it is getting good reviews. You can however download an eval copy for free if you so desire. One thing to bear in mind is that when a tool like this is used, you weaken security - why, well, even if you use a SHA1 hash to work out if an application is safe or not, a clever hacker will use plugins, dll's etc to attack that product - it does not have to have the main .exe file to breach the security and once they are in, they are in. You can find out more about Privilege Manager from the FAQ at BeyondTrust | Privilege Manager FAQ , however a short snippet is below (which I have cut around, so there is much more under each section): Applications are targeted on the Application tab, which allows you to specify an application by one of several criteria. This includes: Path to an executable file supports wildcards and environment variables Folder of one or more executable files including wildcards and environment variables Hash rule SHA1 hash of the targeted executable file MSI Path rule target Windows Installer installation of specified packages MSI Folder rule ActiveX rule My gift to those of you who are UAC challenged :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: UAC , Vista , Security , Group Policy
  • A selection of WPF-based (Silverlight) applications

    I saw this blog entry and just had to share it - a number of Silverlight application (don't know how many will work with the updated Silverlight builds) - WPF Cornucopia - A selection of WPF-based applications . Below are some of my favourites. There are many more on the blog entry Some cool WPF and Silverlight applications that you can download or play with today. The deployment model has been added so that you know what you are getting into as far as installation goes. Lots are using ClickOnce .application files and .xbaps, so installation is trivial! My Web Pages Starter Kit New with Silverlight Demo (Web Application) New York Times Reader Next-generation online reading experience for the NY Times (MSI) Microsoft Calendar Printing Assistant Generate printed calendars from your Outlook schedule (MSI) Microsoft Expression Blend Designer tool for building WPF experiences (MSI) Microsoft Expression Design Illustration and graphic design tool (MSI) Microsoft Windows Live for TV 3D access to Messenger contacts from Media Center or IE (MSI) Wikipedia Explorer 3D exploration of related articles from Wikipedia (Application) iBloks Mashup application for creating 3D movies (MSI) RikReader RSS Reader that integrates with Internet Explorer 7 (Application) Nostalgia Yahoo! Flickr browser and photo manager (Application) Cine.View Netflix movie queue manager (Application) Actipro Wizard A control for building wizard dialogs in WPF (XBAP) British Library Turning the Pages British Library's 'virtual viewer' for some of their most precious books (XBAP) ITN Hub Player Video clips and news stories from ITN (Application) Evolution Media Center HTPC Front-end with stunning animations and dynamic XAML-skinning (ZIP) WeatherNews Weather visualization (XBAP) DOSV Computer Configuration (XBAP) Roxio Central DVD and CD Burning Software (Application) 90 Degree's Radius Reporting Tool for Business Data (Application) Forbes.com Reader News Reader Application from Forbes.com (Application) Seattle Post -Intelligencer PI Reader...
  • Windows Client (Vista and XP) - Active X installer service, Volume Activation Tool, Diagnosing XP crashes, modifying the boot configuration parameters

    If you use volume licensing with Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the tools to manage them - it is not as simple as it used to be as you now need a management tool inside the business. VAMT answers this as does Desktop Management. Then we have some webcasts on slow networks, diagnosing crashes in Windows XP (although many of the techniques work for Vista too), backup and restore in Vista, using the ActiveX installer Service and Boot config parameters VAMT 1.0 (x86) The Volume Activation Management Tool enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). VAMT v1.0 is only available as a US-EN (x86) release. Best Practices on Managing Windows Vista Desktops Get best practice guidance for managing Windows Vista desktop operations. Windows Vista Service Life-Cycle Management (WVSLM) provides concise guidance to help minimise the total cost of ownership of desktop infrastructure. Process guidance and document templates help make service management concepts from the IT Infrastructure Library and the Microsoft Operations Framework tangible and easily implementable by focusing on a single and common IT service. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7137227 TechNet Webcast: "The Network is Slow": Identifying the Cause of Slow Network Communications (Level 200) The Offline Crash Diagnostic tool for Windows XP is available - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=923800 TechNet Magazine: The ActiveX Installer Service in Windows Vista How do you secure the desktop against malicious ActiveX controls without limiting application compatibility? We'll take you on a tour of the ActiveX Installer Service (AxIS) in Windows Vista that addresses this issue with a new way to manage ActiveX controls. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7137204 Discover How to Modify Boot Configuration Parameters In the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) Editor FAQ, find out what the BCD store is, why it was created, where it's located in the registry, how to modify it and...
  • If you want to see what Vista, Media Center, Xbox 360, Movie Maker, Home Server and more can do when you use Vista, then go to this event in Manchester, Newcastle, Falkirk and London.

    This was only 2 or 3 times overbooked last time it ran and had rave reviews. Now there are another 4 events to choose from. I found them at the Microsoft TechNet UK Events website. James and Matt will be hosting, so it is bound to be huge fun Vista After Hours You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work – whether you have deployed it or are evaluating it – but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built in elements of Vista (such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and the Networking and Sharing Centre) but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience with Windows Media Centre, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment. 20 September 2007, Manchester: Vista After Hours 25 September 2007, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Vista After Hours 27 September 2007, Falkirk: Vista After Hours 03 October 2007, London: Vista After Hours Timings: 18:00-18:30pm- Registration and Tea/Coffee 18:30pm-19:45pm- Session 1 19:45pm-20:05- Food and refreshments 20:05-21:20- Session 2 21:20- Close Speakers: James Senior, Vista Technology Specialist, http://blogs.technet.com/james Hello there! I’m James Senior and I work in Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Group whose sole purpose is to help our partners and customers understand and use our latest technology. As you would expect, Windows Vista features prominently in my work at the moment but my background in software development means I also spend some of my time involved in the world of Software as a Service (SaaS). Did I mention I also dabble in a bit of High Performance Computing? In my spare time I enjoy playing Basketball and filling up my ½ terabyte Media Center with music and recorded TV. Matt McSpirit, Vista Technology Specialist, http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit I joined Microsoft back in January 2006 as a Partner Technology Specialist, working primarily with our Virtualisation technologies. Since July of last year, my primary...
  • Security for Windows Vista (understanding more about UAC), Networks, plus advice and guidance

    Security is always a big subject area. Over the last two months Technet have published the following items that will help understanding and delivery of secure systems base do Microsoft technology. Windows Vista TechNet Magazine: Inside Windows Vista User Account Control Mark Russinovich explains that User Account Control (UAC) is one of the most misunderstood new features in Windows Vista. But its goal -- to enable users to run with standard user rights -- can solve many security issues. Get an inside look at the problems UAC addresses and see exactly how this new feature works. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6803653 Network Security Internet Protocol Security Enforcement in the Network Access Protection Platform This white paper describes the Network Access Protection (NAP) platform, how IPsec protects traffic, and how IPsec Enforcement in NAP provides system health policy enforcement for IPsec-secured communication. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=144cc69f-790f-4f52-8846-3f3b8584d7cd&DisplayLang=en Introduction to Network Access Protection Read this white paper for an overview of the NAP business scenarios, an outline of the components of NAP, and a description of how NAP works. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5d5e243a-23a8-479c-9f2d-37d6d79153e7&DisplayLang=en Step-by-Step Guide: Demonstrate VPN NAP Enforcement in a Test Lab Test lab to demonstrate VPN NAP enforcement http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=729bba00-55ad-4199-b441-378cc3d900a7&DisplayLang=en General Microsoft Security Intelligence Report http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6755495 The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report provides a comprehensive understanding of the types of threats Windows customers face today so they can take appropriate action to help ensure they are better protected. The report highlights trends observed over the past several years, leveraging data collected by Microsoft between July 1 and December 31, 2006, from numerous sources including the Microsoft...
  • Will Virtualisation really crush the server market and Virtualised Windows on Linux... not likely

    From the register I saw the article " Virtualization Software to Crush Server Market " and it sort of made me laugh. Last year saw a dramatic drop in growth of Server shipments, both Microsoft and non-Microsoft. One explanation given is that virtualisation has increased so much that less servers are being bought, but the growth was still strong, just not in actual servers. I have seen the growth of virtual servers, but don't think it really accounts for the hundreds of thousands of servers that fill the gap that appeared in the research last year. VMWare's growth does not account for this, nor does the impact on Windows licensing that would be seen. Analysts and executives came out this week and declared that x86 server shipments will likely decline as VMware, Microsoft, and a host of startups push their virtualization wares at speed. In a rare feat, Schwartz and Sacconaghi also happen to agree about another trend that virtualization will drive. They're claiming that customers will buy larger, more memory- and component-packed servers moving forward to handle the demanding virtualization code. Why consolidate a couple of workloads on a two-socket box when you can consolidate more software on a four- or eight-socket system and deal with less hardware management overhead? According to Sacconaghi, the trend toward larger systems will hurt Dell, since it has specialized in two-socket gear. It will, however, also hurt Sun, since x86 virtualization will only speed the move away from Unix systems. <snip> The mainframe arena - the place where VMware pinched its genius - has survived virtualization for a long while, as has the Unix market. Each segment, including the x86 market, has its unique attributes, making apples v. apples comparisons tough. Still, customer demand for more horsepower serves as constant across all three markets, and we suspect it will keep overall demand for servers high, despite virtualization code. Moving this theory along, Microsoft has announced that the license for Vista...
  • Vista updates (performance fixes) now out

    OK, so there I was posting that they were coming and now 2 days later they are here. If you want to improve Vista, go get them: Title Release Date Popularity Update for Windows Vista (KB938194) This is a reliability update. Install this update to improve the reliability of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. 8/7/2007 #15750 Update for Windows Vista (KB938979) This is a performance update. Install this update to improve the performance of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. 8/7/2007 #12367 Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (KB938979) This is a performance update. Install this update to improve the performance of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. 8/7/2007 #16432 Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (KB938194) This is a reliability update. Install this update to improve the reliability of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. 8/7/2007 #16951 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Performance , Application Compatibility
  • The UsefulTechnology Blog: Windows Vista's Reduced Functionality Mode

    Since this is coming, I thought I would share this with you - if your customers find lots of "genuine" warnings and then rebooting every hour... think about this as a cause :-) Well, think about the non-genuine license. That does not mean that the customer has necessarily knowingly bought ripped off software, but it does happen. You may have recently read about the $500M bust of a piracy ring - they were not giving the software away to their customers - they were selling it as full price product. Windows Vista's Reduced Functionality Mode Now, think about it, does that look genuine? It's not a widely publicised feature, but users of Windows Vista who fail to properly activate their software may find themselves in Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) . In this state, you will be unable to use any of the Windows Vista Premium features like Aero Glass and ReadyBoost, nor will you be able to play any of the built-in games. Tougher still you'll only be able to use the computer for one hour before it automatically logs you off. The UsefulTechnology Blog: Windows Vista's Reduced Functionality Mode ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Piracy
  • Want to know what is happening on your network, packet for packet - get Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1

    I saw this had been published and thought I would share - it is an amazing tool that I use for diagnosis all the time. Reading http://www.ditii.com/2007/07/03/network-monitor-31-released/ it also reminded me that this includes traces on wireless networks!! Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 Network Monitor 3.1 is a protocol analyzer. It allows you to capture network traffic, view and analyze it. Version 3.1 is an update and replaces Network Monitor 3.0. Network Monitor 3.x is a complete overhaul of the previous Network Monitor 2.x version. Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 x64 editions; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows XP 64-bit It is suggested that you have a CPU of 1GHz or greater, 1G or greater of Memory and 25 Megs of available Hard Disk space, plus room for capture files. Supports Vista 64 bit as well as 32 bit. Instructions Network Monitor 3.1 can co-exist with Netmon2.x. NM3.1 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3, so there is no conflict. But it will require that NM3.0 be uninstalled first. The NM3.1 install will do this automatically for you. For Vista, we have a new driver that supports new features available in the NDIS 6.0 driver. If you are using tools that rely on Network Monitor 2.x NPPTools, these tools will no longer work. Capturing on Vista requires NM3.0 or NM3.1, as Netmon2.x does not capture properly on Vista. Warning: Capturing with the NM3 GUI with conversations enabled can use up considerable amount of memory. This may cause a machine to become unresponsive. If you need to capture data for long periods of time, please use the included command line utility, NMCap, and the /DisableConversations switch. Download details: Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 ttfn David Technorati Tags: NetMon , Network Monitor , Network , Windows Vista , Windows Server 2003 R2 , SBS 2003 , troubleshooting
  • Vista Deployment training

    M icrosoft Windows Vista: Doing Deployment Right! This one-day session is a combination of presentations that focus on growing services opportunities for partners, and a series of new technical exercises that highlight some of the compelling new design enhancements in deploying Windows Vista desktops. Click here to enrol. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Deployment , Training
  • How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows

    I have been asked this many times following up on the blog entry Installing Office 2003 and Office 2007 on the same system where once people have removed the problem with the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) appearing every time they start Office they then get the dialogs below every time they switch between Word 2007 and Word 2003. when starting Word 2003 when starting Word 2007 The fix to the problem is very simple as it turns out - simply run the following commands (by pressing the Windows Key+R or typing it into the Start/Run command box. Use the line with Office\11.0 if you have Office 2003 installed and Office\12.0 if you have Office 2007 installed. You can use both if you have both installed : reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 That is it. Office 2007 might want to have one more spin round the block with it's configuration dialog box, but that should be it. ttfn David Technorati tags: Office 2003 , Office 2007 Deployment blocker fixed , Word 2003 , Word 2007 , Vista , Install , Same machine
  • How to use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to stop malware (spyware and viruses) from infecting your computer - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Windows Vista and understand how to be a little safer online: Phishing protection in Internet Explorer ActiveX blocking in Internet Explorer Windows Defender in Windows Vista To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup to check for Updates in Windows Vista use the new Security...
  • Visual Studio F5 debugging of ASP.NET applications on Vista

    If you are having problems with authentication issues when trying to debug with Visual Studio on Vista then there is a fix for you. A Visual Studio patch that fixes the Visual Studio F5 debugging of IIS7 applications on Windows Vista Home Premium and above has been released! This patch solves the "An authentication error occurred while communicating with the web server. Please see Help for assistance.", and "Debugging failed because integrated Windows authentication is not enabled. Please see Help for assistance" errors, that until now had to be worked around using the instructions below. This patch also enables customers using Windows Vista Home Premium customers to use Visual Studio F5 debugging, who were not able to use this feature at all previously because Windows Authentication was not available on Windows Vista Home Premium. Mike Volodarsky's ServerSide : Fix problems with Visual Studio F5 debugging of ASP.NET applications on IIS7 Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Vista , Visual Studio
  • How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup tools - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these tools: Use of the recycle bin Use of shadow copies to undo changes to a document Use of the DVD writing tools to copy and update files on a DVD Use of the built in Vista Backup tools To see the Backup Video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. If you want to download it as a WMV file then head over to the new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com - It should appear on this page soon. * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup to check for Updates in Windows Vista use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to...
  • What is going on in the world of Virtualisation with Virtual Server and Virtual PC on licensing, Vista, x64 and more

    There are a couple of recent announcements with regard to the current range of products that I thought I would cover off. One is about licensing and has been written up by Matt McSpirit at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit/archive/2007/06/22/microsoft-virtualisation-licensing-client-and-server.aspx and covers how many licenses you get when. The other is Virtual Server SP1: Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Is Now Available Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is the server virtualization technology engineered for the Windows Server operating system to increase hardware utilization and enable IT staff to rapidly configure and deploy new servers. Register to download the free software and you will receive relevant resources that are strategically assembled to address the challenges you will face as you discover, assess, and deploy the software. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7042993 The What is New page shows (plus more on the page) - note the x64 support for more memory. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/virtualserver/evaluation/vsoverview.mspx What's New in This Release Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 includes the following new capabilities: Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition can be installed on servers with up to 32 physical processors. • Virtual Server host clustering. Support for host-to-host connectivity lets you cluster all virtual machines running on a host. • iSCSI support. iSCSI clustering enables guest-to-guest connectivity across physical machines. • x64 support. Virtual Server runs natively within a 64-bit Windows host operating system, providing increased performance and memory headroom. • Enhanced PXE booting. PXE boot support has been added to the virtual machine network adapter. This means that when the appropriate network infrastructure is in place, you can perform a network installation of a guest operating system in the same way as physical servers. • Other improvements. Virtual Server now includes improved hyperthreading, support for F6 Disk (SCSI driver), Active Directory integration using service...
  • Alistair likes Vista and found out that the Dell SATA drivers were making is go slow

    I was browsing the UKSBSG Yahoo Group (a group for UK Small Business Partners) when I noticed Alistair 's post in response to slow Vista systems and I thought I had to share: Hi, Just from experience, I had similar issues on Outlook 2007 and, to a lesser extent, Vista in general - especially on boot, which would take an age. I am using a Dell Dimension 9100, 2GB ram and SATA drives. One would think it would be pretty good, but behaved like a dog. The Microsoft fix made some little difference. What made a huge difference though was updating the SATA drivers on my Dell box. These were not listed under updates and I had to search for them, but it is chalk and cheese now. Persevere, once you have it right it's a dream: I have to say I love Vista, it is stable, runs all our legacy apps, line of business accounting apps, remote jobs and managed to blow away our desktop uptime record - still stable at 60 days uptime. XP struggled at 30. I do strongly suspect that naff drivers are a major factor in the bad press that Vista has been receiving; I suspect it's been too easy to get them through the certification procedure. Anyway, just my two pennoth. Alistair that was it except to say that besides the Updates technology in Vista you should also go and check the OEM provider for your systems and graphics cards to get more from Vista. thanks David Technorati Tags: Vista , Drivers , Performance
  • SMBs more aggressive with Vista upgrade plans - 47% of small and mid-market customers plan to upgrade to Microsoft’s Vista operating system in the fourth quarter of 2007

    I saw this and thought it was another reason why you need to be prepared for Vista and Office 2007. Among small and mid-sized enterprises 47 percent of them plan to upgrade to Microsoft’s Vista operating system in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a Cowen & Co. survey. The survey, which is done in conjunction with CRN magazine , also found that 78 percent of small and mid-sized businesses will adopt Vista by the second quarter of 2008. Simply put, the small fry will lead the charge when it comes to the Vista upgrade cycle. Cowen analyst Walter Pritchard said in a research note that his firm’s most recent survey is above the adoption rates predicted in February. In February, 43 percent of small businesses indicated they would adopt Vista by the end of 2007. » Survey: SMBs more aggressive with Vista upgrade plans | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Small Business
  • Quick Tip - how to run an application, but not let the writes go back to disk - try Sandboxie

    I have to admit I have not done any extensive testing, but this little tool seems like a good thing to have around! For more information, have a look at Sandboxie . About Sandboxie When you run a program on your computer, data flows from the hard disk to the program via read operations. The data is then processed and displayed, and finally flows back from the progam to the hard disk via write operations. For example, if you run the Freecell program to play a game, it starts by reading the previously recorded statistics, displaying and altering them as you play the game, and finally writing them back to disk for future reference. Sandboxie changes the rules such that write operations do not make it back to your hard disk. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Sandboxie , Tips , application testing
  • If you want Windows XP Pro on a new machine, buy Windows Vista (Business or Ultimate) and then downgrade

    I’m not sure how many people are aware of this, but if you buy a Windows Vista Business or Ultimate then you can use a Windows XP CD (which you have legal access to) to load Windows XP onto that machine. When you need the product key / or need to activate, this will potentially fail, but a quick call to the activation centre with your Vista product key should give you all the details you need. Then when you are ready to put Vista onto that machine, you can do without the cost of buying it anew. Alternatively you can buy Windows XP today and should you ever want to load Vista, you can give more money to a shop to get a copy again. For further information go to http://oem.microsoft.com/script/sites/public/licensing.htm More information can be found in this one page document OEM Downgrade from Vista to Windows XP ttfn David Please Note the following (in legalese) Windows Vista Downgrade Rights Clarification Per the EULA and OEM DTOS Agreement, the end user customer is responsible for supplying media for the OEM or customer to create the downgrade product image on the customer system. Neither Microsoft, the OEMs, nor the system builders are responsible for supplying this media. VL customers already have the necessary media. For non-VL customers, the easiest way to obtain this media is to buy a single FPP copy of Windows XP Pro or use an existing FPP copy of Windows XP Pro if they already own one. That media can then be used to downgrade Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate machines to Windows XP Pro. If the customer uses a product key for Windows XP Pro that they’ve previously activated, that machine will likely fail activation. If the downgraded machine fails activation the customer will be prompted to call the product activation call center to request a key that will enable them to pass activation. The customer should mention that they’re exercising their downgrade rights to the customer service representative in the activation call center.
  • Do you want to ask Microsoft the hard questions on Vista and Office before you sell them to your customers - well now you can in June - Live!!

    Your Office and Vista questions answered We are offering UK partners the opportunity to talk directly to one of Microsoft Europe's leading technology specialists in a series of online Q&A sessions. These sessions will seek to answer the nitty gritty questions you need to answer to transition your customers over to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. Book your place now. Register for 4 June Register for 5 June Register for 6 June Register for 7 June Register for 8 June ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Office , Partners
  • How to configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections on Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) / Windows Vista

    Just a quick one - I was playing around with SQL2005 on my Longhorn server and I could not connect from a remote machine - Ahh I thought, the firewall is in the way, but it turned out I had to do 3 or 4 things to get things working. The Microsoft KB article that pointed to the light was How to configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections which covers how to enable the firewall for the 2 programs you need and so on. When you try to connect to an instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 from a remote computer, you may receive an error message. This problem may occur when you use any program to connect to SQL Server. For example, you receive the following error message when you use the SQLCMD utility to connect to SQL Server: Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Native Client: An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. This problem may occur when SQL Server 2005 is not configured to accept remote connections. By default, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition do not allow remote connections. To configure SQL Server 2005 to allow remote connections, complete all the following steps: Enable remote connections on the instance of SQL Server that you want to connect to from a remote computer. Turn on the SQL Server Browser service. Configure the firewall to allow network traffic that is related to SQL Server and to the SQL Server Browser service. Well, the above is all well and good, but we also need to remember that in a Vista and Longhorn setup the "admin" accounts do not have admin control over the database, so you may well also need to run the SQL 2005 Surface Area tool that enables you to add administrators I also found I had to enable network connections by going to the SQL Server Configuration Manager and enabling TCP connections on my IP v4 network. ttfn David Technorati tags: SQL , Vista , Longhorn...
  • Responding to another "I can't load Office 2003 on Vista" e-mail

    [updated to correct a typo - 10:48 27th May 2007] I get lots of mails similar to the one below as a result of the blog entries on the EULA not going away and the Office 2003 on Vista and in some cases the issues have been Vista, sometimes the CD and sometimes non-genuine software that someone has been sold (as a side note - it has never been the new security - UAC that has been at the root of the problem). Hi David, I have read your blog entry re: 2003 installation on Vista but I have a problem not previously mentioned. I am doing an install from the CD and have disabled UAC. I attempt to run the SETUP.EXE (as Systems Admin and even with the compatibility set to WinXP SP2) to no avail. The next dialog window comes up saying that the SETUP.INI file cannot be found (path: ./FILES/SETUP/SETUP.INI). I'm baffled because I take the same installation CD and I put it in my old WinXP box and I can explore to find the SETUP.INI file exists. Why is my Vista box not able to see this .ini? Do I need to install the mentioned compatibility patch? Just to be very clear, genuine copies of Office 2003 can install on Vista without issue. When you insert the CD or run the setup program you will get a single blue elevation box like this (unless you have turned off UAC, but I would strongly advise against turning it off): If you see a red or orange version of the dialog above there is a chance that you have a damaged CD or non-genuine copy. Have a look at this web site to see if your CD is non-genuine and assuming it is, then it is time to start sending me some information. The easiest way is to do some screen prints of the version information and the directory structure. to get a print of the dialog boxed you will need to press alt+PrtScn to capture that dialog box and it must be the selected window when you do this. Then pop over to a mail and press Ctrl-V to paste them in. Go to your CD and find the setup.exe file and right click on it and select properties. you will get a screen like the 1st one below. Take a shot of this and then...
  • I hate seeing computers advertised on TV with 512MB of RAM with Vista

    This is a personal rant !! I was watching TV and saw a device advertised at a very attractive price, but with only 512MB of RAM. While Vista will work on a machine with 512MB of RAM the RECOMMENDED MINIMUM for all versions other than Home Basic is 1GB , meaning that the systems are shipping with just half the recommended minimum they should ship with. The recommended minimum amount of RAM for Windows XP was 128MB RAM with 64MB being the absolute minimum. Shipping a home premium or business machine with below the recommended minimum is a bit like running Windows XP with 64 (or even 128MB RAM). Think what XP would be like and while Vista is not that bad with 512MB, it is definitely not great. So, please, please, please, 1GB minimum, 2GB and above for power users. I've seen this discussed in so many places, but please, 512MB is just no fun - don't let it happen to your customers - prepare them now. I just bought 2GB of RAM for about £30 per stick so when buying new PCs, be a good person and put it in there!! Why, you might ask, does Vista require more memory than Windows XP, well it is all the new things.. such as: Indexing and Search Aero Graphics (open up a PC running Vista with Aero and look at the memory use of DWM - you get the idea) Security Options New Services space to move (VSS) Virtualisation of files and registry Windows Defender SuperFetch I am sure there is more too - this is my opinion, but I had to get the rant out of the system. ttfn David Technorati Tags: rant , vista , memory
  • Changing the way that Vista User Access Control (UAC) works in Vista by group policy

    James gave me some hassle the other day for not referencing his blog (which is a valid thing to do), so I thought I would point out this post as it will end some of the gripes of people out there. Using Group Policy you can change the following: User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users User Account Control: Elevate on application installs User Account Control: Run all users, including administrators, as standard users User Account Control: Validate signatures of executables that require elevation User Account Control: Virtualize file and registry write failures to per-user locations More information from James Blog at Views on Windows Vista : Can I customise UAC? . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Group Policy , UAC , Security
  • The price of Vista in the UK - some really, really bad maths

    OK, so this has really got my goat - I read that there is a £100 difference between the UK and US prices for Vista Premium Edition, so I thought I would add my PERSONAL view on this. Microsoft does not set the prices, the resellers do - some offer products at a loss to bring you in, some add plenty of margin because they believe the market can bear it When comparing prices we need to do so on as close to a level playing field as possible - so no VAT & state tax etc There is some difference due to the unusually high exchange rate - and using the market exchange rate rather than a normal punter exchange rate does not reflect the man on the street pricing The figures stated don't seem to bear out in reality in my opinion I found a typical story here : UK customers face disparity and confusion over the pricing of Microsoft Windows Vista , Computing Which? has discovered. Windows Vista Home Premium has a recommended retail price of $240 (£125) in the US. But to buy the same software in the UK would set consumers back £220 – almost twice as much. The process I will use is very simple: Lets take an example - Vista Home Premium - I'll use two retailers I know online (I found cheaper in both countries) www.dabs.com price - £182.30 inc VAT, so £155.15 excl www.bestbuy.com - $239 excl taxes Thomas Cook currency rate 1.87 dollars to the pound. This gives us numbers to put into our equation - The Best Buy product converts to £127.80. So there is a difference between the two products - £27.35. Add shipping, local cost differences etc and all of a sudden it becomes a much less important question as to where the money goes - VAT and other local costs soon make the real difference. The £100 becomes just £27 once tax and a real price is taken (since the RRP is not actually provided by Microsoft in either country). The best prices I found in both countries (using Pricewatch and Kelkoo) led to just a £11.55 difference before VAT. Shopping around can make the difference. ttfn David
  • Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista - what happens when a journalist tries Vista and likes it - he makes his Mac Tiger move out for a while :-)

    I saw this and the whole article is well worth a read - a good Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday read to smile. I Shacked Up with Windows Vista Joe Wilcox Last week, Vista and I started living together again , and Tiger moved into an apartment across the hall. I like Vista, but she's sometimes a tough companion. Tiger and Vista are both attractive, but my new roomie is just so much more pleasing to look at—and she likes to do fun stuff that's quite different from the cat woman. Over the weekend we did the Vongo together and hung out at the Yahoo Music club. Tiger wouldn't do either. Vista also is much more social. She loves to nudge her friends and hang out at social clubs MySpace and Live Spaces . She's quite particular about her social calendar , too. Source: Microsoft Watch - Vista - I Shacked Up with Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista business value , MAC
  • Windows Vista AppReadiness- Find out if your application is known and / or supported or expected to run on Vista

    I saw this was released and thought I had to share it - finally a resource will logo'd ready and community opinion on application compatibility for Vista. It states: Welcome to the Windows Vista Application Readiness Beta site! The central place to find and share information about software that runs on the Windows Vista platform. Browse through a comprehensive listing of applications that have a Windows Vista Logo or are Ready for Windows Vista, See comments on compatibility that the community has contributed and The url is easy to remember with www.windowsvista.com/appreadiness . As a quick sample you have the following: Browse by Application A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ( Browse by Company ) Or the "new" sections: NEW! Community Submitted Applications Application App Version Company Comments Status Cosmocall 4.5.0 Build 3201 Cosmocom ( www.cosmocom.com ) Not working on Windows Vista Incompatible with Windows Vista Harvst V. 7 patch 3 Computer Associates (All Fusion) Waiting for release of patch for Vista Incompatible with Windows Vista Majestic Chess unknown Sierra Currently there is only one version on the market. It appears as if Sierra is no longer making this game. Is there a way to get some shim to install the game? Incompatible with Windows Vista fishscape v .001 fishes Doesn't play well on Vista. Incompatible with Windows Vista NEW! ISV Supported Windows Vista Applications Application App Version Company Status Oracle Database 10g 10.2.0.3 Oracle Learning Essentials for Microsoft Office 2.0.0 Microsoft Corporation Garmin Training Center 3.2.3 3.2.3 Garmin International VectorWorks 12.5.1 12.5.1 Nemetschek North America FileMaker Pro 9 9.0.1 FileMaker, Inc. ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista business value , Application Compatibility
  • Buying Vista and then installing an old version of Office - what are you allowed to do

    I have already discussed on this blog what is and is not support for Office on Vista (any version from 2000 on) here . However there is always the question of licensing what is actually allowed and what would be piracy. I am going to try to make it very simple here. · If you have the Home and Student (was the Student and Teacher) Edition then this can be installed on 3 computers in the same household · If you have a previous “Full Packaged Product” – the pretty box you bought at a retailers – version of the product then this can be removed from one computer and installed on a new computer. It can only be installed on one computer at any time · If your software is provided as part of a volume license agreement then you can install on a new computer or other computers, but if you change the number of computers that it is installed on you may have to pay more for the extra usage. · If you have neither of these then you have an OEM copy – this is provided and supported by the people who supplied your computer and part of the license provision is that it belongs to that computer only and can not be transferred anywhere else. I hope that makes it clear. As always, leave a comment for any questions. Ttfn David
  • Vista and Longhorn Events in May

    Events/WebCasts 1 May 2007, Leeds: Windows Vista After Hours You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work - whether you have deployed it, or are evaluating it - but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside of work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built-in elements of Vista, such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker and the Networking & Sharing Center, but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience, with Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment. 01 May 2007, Leeds: An Introduction and Overview of Microsoft Licensing Licensing can be confusing - but it needn't be. Attend this course to understand Microsoft Licensing and how to best apply it in your company to fit in with your business needs. This session is aimed at IT professionals who wish to gain a better understanding of Microsoft's Software Licensing. The briefing assumes no previous in-depth or technical licensing experience. 3 May 2007, Reading: Windows Vista After Hours You may be familiar with Windows Vista at work - whether you have deployed it, or are evaluating it, but have you ever thought about the possibilities of Vista outside of work? This session, aimed at IT professionals, explores not only the built in elements of Vista, such as Search, Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and the Networking & Sharing Center, but also how you can extend your Windows Vista Experience, with Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 and specific applications to open up a new world of gaming and home entertainment. 22 May 2007, Edinburgh: Vista Deployment Using BitLocker Encryption to Protect Mobile Data - How to Keep Secrets Windows Vista's BitLocker feature provides the means for you to secure data and ensure the integrity of your mobile systems like never before. In a lab it's a wonderful thing. This session will show you how to take advantage of BitLocker in a production environment. 22 May 2007, Reading: Windows...
  • Vista and Longhorn Webcasts

    Executive Chat: What's New in Windows Server "Longhorn" with Bill Laing, Iain McDonald, and Colleagues Tuesday, May 8, 10:00 AM Pacific Time Join Bill Laing, General Manager for Windows Server; Iain McDonald, Director of Windows Server Program Management; Joseph Landes, Director of Product Management; David Lowe, Senior Product Manager; Ward Ralston, Senior Technical Product Manager; and Eric Rezabek, Product Marketing Manager, to discuss what's new in Windows Server "Longhorn." TechNet Webcast: Cluster Validation in Windows Server "Longhorn" (Level 300) Monday, 7 May, 2007 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. GMT TechNet Webcast: Internet Information Services 7.0 in Windows Server "Longhorn" Level 300) Thursday, 10 May 2007 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. GMT TechNet Webcast: UNIX Interoperability in Windows Server "Longhorn" (Level 200) Monday, 14 May, 2007 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. GMT ttfn David
  • Job aids (things to help you do your job) with Microsoft Office 2007

    2007 Microsoft Office System Be productive while using the new versions of Microsoft Office desktop applications. · Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface Get Started · Microsoft Office Charts and SmartArt Get Started · Microsoft Office Styles Get Started · Microsoft Office Tasks Get Started · Microsoft Office Tasks Learn More Everyday Work Discover best practices for working with e-mail, organizing your time, and more. · Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Work Smarter Checklist · InfoPath 2007 Forms Get Started E-mail · E-Mail Basics Get Started · Outlook 2007 E-Mail Signatures Get Started · Outlook 2007 E-Mail Rules Get Started · Outlook 2007 Out of Office Assistant · Delegating Outlook 2007 Access Learn More · Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 Integration Overview · Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 Integration Get Started · RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Overview · Subscribing to Web Content with RSS Time and Task Management · Microsoft Office Tasks Get Started · Microsoft Office Tasks Learn More · Multiple Calendars Get Started · Sharing Outlook 2007 Calendars Get Started · Managing OneNote 2007 Notebooks Learn More ttfn David Technorati tags: Job Aids , Office 2007
  • Win an XBOX 360 or 5 x Office and Vista while getting Microsoft to pay some or all of your Marketing Campaign Builder Expenses for Small Business PC, Branch Office solutions or Build Customer Connections Campaigns. Time limited - ends 30th April 2007

    Hopefully I have your attention, which is good. Microsoft UK are trying to encourage the use of our marketing tools and also gain some feedback. First of all, the prizes for the best feedback - an Xbox 360 system OR 5 x Vista Ultimate AND 5 x Office 2007 Pro. Next, the cash - we can offer a limited number of people £150 towards a marketing campaign - if that covers the whole of the campaign, then so be it and it has cost you nothing! This money is to be used at the UK Partner Campaign Builder portal. OK, so now for the pitch! As many of you know we like to help our partners in many ways here at Microsoft and one area that small business partners have asked for help is in the marketing area. Campaign Builder is a one stop shop to either produce materials and run the campaign yourself, or use the agency to run the campaign for you (or at least print the materials). Well, we have a limited number of discount vouchers to make this a £150 easier process. The idea is simple to do, simply do the following this April (2007 for the pedants) Visit the Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign page to learn more about the campaigns Visit Partner Campaign Builder and get up to £150* towards your first Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign with Partner Campaign Builder You then need to enter the promotional codes as below Send an e-mail to Doverton@microsoft.com with the subject “I used campaign builder and it worked for me” with the details of how you used the campaign and what it has done to help your business and if necessary what it should do better. Send the e-mail by the end of May and we will read them and pick out a winner for either 5 x Office 2007 and 5 x Windows Vista Ultimate OR a Xbox 360 core edition for the 3 rd week of June (you choose which prize you want). (we will notify you of you success via a return mail to your e-mail address and will publish the winning reason on the blog site). We may also ask to discuss the benefits of Campaign Builder with you further to improve the service or ask to...
  • Channel Expo Show presentations - Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Windows Server (SBS, Naked, Home Server and Longhorn) sales slides

    If you visited the Channel Expo show this year then you probably saw one or two Microsoft presentations on desktop and server solutions. James Akrigg and Matt McSpirit provided the desktop entertainment while I covered off what servers we have out there and what is coming in the near future. We promised the slides and here they are: Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- Office 2007 PowerPoint Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- PDF Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - Office 2007 PowerPoint Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - PDF James has an amazing blog (Out of Office) at http://blogs.technet.com/outofoffice Matt touches many aspects of desktop technology including that for small business at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit Have a look at the blogs and enjoy the presentations. ttfn David Technorati tags: Channel Expo , Vista , Office 2007 , SBS 2003 , Nakes Servers , Home Server , Longhorn
  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search , Registry
  • Dreamscapes 3D spinning earth background where lighting changes depending on the time of day - for Vista, amazing!

    I just have to share some of the pictures my PC created while running Dreamscapes (free from StarDock at http://dream.wincustomize.com/ ) - this one is of the planet Earth spinning, but the view of the earth changes depending on the time of day, so you get to see the light polution if it is night etc. It also works well, as you might expect with Flip 3D: See the tools to produce this and much more at: http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-enhancements-and-utilities-changing-the-screen-savers-adding-extra-search-functionality-to-the-start-menu-objectdock-logon-screen-changer-windows-blinds-and-wim-image-modifier.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-has-flip-3d-for-changing-applications-well-here-are-some-more-3d-cube-based-virtual-desktop-window-switcher-rotation-based-flip-3d.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/changing-vista-boot-screens-and-opening-yourself-up-to-rootkits-or-not.aspx
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Changing Vista boot screens and opening yourself up to rootkits (or not)

    I love people who want to customise WIndows Vista and some of my previous posts have covered this, however you can go too far - you can hack the OS. While I understand the desire to "hack" the OS to get customisations, there are better ways. This particular example is where people want to change the boot screen in Vista. The ability to do this will be coming from StarDock soon, but until then people have taken to modifying the existing OS files. THERE IS ALWAYS a change that by downloading someones customised file to your PC and it being loaded so early on in the boot process that it could do nasty things, especially since these files are in now way certified by Microsoft. A classic example of this can be found here when people want to change the boot logo - this could easily be a social engineering attack. The instructions tell someone to remove the access and security permissions from a core system file, overwrite it with one that might make the system look prettier during boot, but who knows what else will happen as a result of the change? This is also known as a trojan horse - as you accept it through the gates on the assumption that it is a gift from the gods, but infact inside it has lots of the enemies troops. You have a choice - compromise your system security or wait until StarDock release thier boot screen changer. Is it really worth risking the integrity of your system for a pretty graphic for a few seconds during startup? http://www.myvistaboot.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 Changing the boot screen: http://tweakvista.com/article38970.aspx Boot screen logo generator: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=527262 ttfn David
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • Symantec "Microsoft Listed as Most Secure OS"

    Wow, you have to wonder whether this hurt them to say this :-) Now I am a believer that any security vulnerability is bad and that the longer it is out there then the more likely it is to exploit it. If "people" only have one way to crack into your system, then they can still get in and the longer it is out there then the more likely it is that it will be used, however always nice to see that MS is trying hard and while not perfect, is doing better than other people who throw stones at MS. Of course, Windows also has more in it, so being better with more features in the box is even nicer and this is across all versions of Windows, not just the latest (Vista) for example. I think it shows that the IT industry has more work to do in this area - as Ed the Fed said - "this is a journey." Surprise, Microsoft Listed as Most Secure OS By Andy Patrizio UPDATED: Microsoft is frequently dinged for having insecure products, with security holes and vulnerabilities. But Symantec ( Quote ), no friend of Microsoft, said in its latest research report that when it comes to widely-used operating systems, Microsoft is doing better overall than its leading commercial competitors. The information was a part of Symantec's 11th Internet Security Threat Report . The report, released this week, covered a huge range of security and vulnerability issues over the last six months of 2006, including operating systems. The report found that Microsoft Windows had the fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006. <snip> During this period, 39 vulnerabilities , 12 of which were ranked high priority or severe, were found in Microsoft Windows and the company took an average of 21 days to fix them . It's an increase of the 22 vulnerabilities and 13-day turnaround time for the first half of 2006 but still bested the competition handily. <snip> Then there's Mac OS X. Despite the latest TV ads ridiculing the security in Vista with a Matrix ...
  • I love the press - saying that organisations are "banning" Vista when they are doing normal testing - and then writing another story when they get it wrong!!

    I read with interest the previosu stories about large oganisations banning Vista deployments, wondering if this was anything but normal policy. Then this story broke where NIST in the US "were irked" at suggestions that the ban was in anyway but normal practice until they finish testing Explaining a Vista ban The National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a moratorium on using Windows Vista, but that's business as usual, says agency's CIO. newsmaker The prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a ban on Windows Vista, but that's standard procedure, according to NIST's chief information officer. NIST, which does research and sets standards for things like cryptography for government use , is among several federal agencies that have put a moratorium on the use of Vista . The agencies are taking some time to make sure that the new Microsoft operating system meets their needs. It is not unusual that large organizations aren't rushing to install major software updates. These organizations tend to do a lot of testing before upgrading. The same happened when Microsoft released Windows XP, and again with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP . Microsoft widely released Vista in late January . Simon Szykman, chief information officer at NIST , was slightly irked by some of the media reports on his agency's move, which painted the ban as a major slap in Microsoft's face. In fact, Szykman said, this is business as usual. Ultimately, NIST expects many of its PCs will run Vista. Still, Microsoft has predicted a swift adoption of Vista by businesses . Source: Explaining a Vista ban | Newsmakers | CNET News.com ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Testing
  • UK Vista Community Group - First Meeting - March 28th

    Vista Squad The place to discuss Windows Vista and the .NET Framework 3.0. We're excited to announce the inaugural meeting of the Vista Squad! The event will be held between 18:15 and 21:15 on Wednesday 28th March 2007 at Microsoft's HQ, Thames Valley Park, Reading. This will be a great opportunity to meet other members, discuss Vista and see two cracking presentations. If you'd like to come pop your name in a comment and we'll add you to the list. The line-up is as follows: 18:15-18:30: Refreshments 18:30-18:45: Introduction session to introduce the group, the key people involved and finally our aims and goals – (Ray Booysen, Scott Belton, Robert Knapp) 18:45-19:45: Presentation 1 - Are you ready for Vista - Windows hardware assessment tools (Scott Belton) 19:45-20:15: Break - Food, refreshments and networking 20:15-21:15: Presentation 2 - WCF Introduction– (tbc) 21:15: Roundup and close Source: Announcements : First Meeting
  • Running Office 2003 on Windows Vista and running other applications that work on Windows XP on Vista

    [updated 19th March 14:45 - added App Compat fixes KB article] I seem to be being asked this question a lot, so I thought I would blog the answer. The short answer is yes, you can run Office 2003 on Windows Vista . For that matter, you can run many other applications on Windows Vista too. For those who want details on how to do this, go to this page . Lets start from the top - most Windows applications run unmodified under Windows Vista. Some have been designed to, others have been certified to ensure they do. Details of this list can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933305 and includes products like Office 2003 (and 2007) and so on including those by Corel and so on. There is also then community maintained lists, such as http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Software_Compatibility_List for software that people believes does or does not work. Microsoft have released patches to Vista to increase the number of applications that run without any changes or user interaction. Details of this patch at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932246 Should you get a program that will not run in Vista then there are a number of features that continue to enhance the ability to run untested / older software on your PC. The simplest of these is the "compatibility tab" where you can go and choose compatibility mode or OS version you wish to run the application as. On the same page will be options to change screen resolution, always run as an administrator, disable visual themes, dpi scaling and desktop composition. You might also find this tab is grayed out - normally due to the fact that the program is not linked to a .exe, but to a MSI install (e.g. the office applications). To get round this you may have to create a new shortcut linking to the actual exe file required. If you don't know how to do this - start the application, open up Windows Task manager (press Ctrl-Shift+Esc) and go to the process, then right click on it and select properties - this should help you. If this fails, which is might...
  • HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) - The future after JPEG?

    I'm not really much of a photographer myself - all my cameras are snappers and the pictures I take are just that - snaps. Now Jo in the Office is a Pro and has sold many of her photographs. Every so often I ask her about Office Collaboration, SharePoint, Content Management to understand what can be used in the small biz space and then spend time talking about which camera I should get :-) I heard recently about HD Photo which is "and format for end to end digital photographers" (Press release " Microsoft Announces HD Photo, a New Imaging File Format With Advanced "). It is worth noting that to speed release there is a HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) too. If you've ever paid close attention to your photos you will know that a "lossy" format means that you loose some of the detail compared to the original, but get much smaller files. Now "HD Photo fully preserves the original image fidelity with high dynamic range while still allowing for significant improvement in compression size." It might even help my snaps look better too. ttfn David Technorati tags: HD Photo , Adobe Photoshop , WIndows Vista , Digital Photography
  • Do you want to be able to see PDFs previewed in Outlook 2007 and the preview pane in Vista Explorer? What about C#, VB, SQL and javascript code?

    This has been banded about a lot inside Microsoft, but it is just too good to ignore. Enjoy!! Foxit PDF Preview Handler in my daily work i spend a majority of my 'computing' time in outlook. communicating with peers, team members, customers, etc. is mostly done via communication (sad, i know). a lot of that time it involves sending information attachments back and forth, using office documents, etc. i've said a lot about how much i love the preview functionality within vista and office 2007. i even wrote a code preview handler for .cs, .vb, .sql, .js files. one of the samples in the msdn article was for pdf files...of which i receive a lot. i don't use adobe reader because i think it is overkill for reading pdf's personally. the sample, however, relies on having adobe reader installed...which i didn't like. i started working with the foxit activex sdk , because i love their reader product. after some communication with the team at foxit, we started collaborating. as a result of that collaboration, foxit software and i partnered to create the 'foxit pdf preview handler' which you can download for free! this is a pdf preview handler for outlook 2007 and windows vista. the current version requires vista, but we are working on a windows xp version for outlook 2007 on winxp. what this enables you to do is, well...the following: Source: Foxit PDF Preview Handler ttfn David Technorati tags: PDF , PDF Previewer , Outlook 2007 , Vista Explorer , Preview Pane
  • Deploying Vista to many desktops from Small Business Server 2003 with SP2 (R2 or R1) using Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools

    A nice man named Zack dropped me a mail asking about the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools and "real" documentation, which led to Matt in the PTS team writing about all the great tools (see below). I then installed SP2 for Windows Server 2003 and realised that my SBS 2003 system now has the capabilities of BDD to deploy Vista desktops (in my case, pre-configured with Office 2007 too). Wow. I went and checked and the Windows Deployment Services admin controls are there on my SBS SP2 system, so you can use this information to enable PXE deployments of Windows if you want. These can include other programs such as Office and anti-virus products and also be pre-configures to join the domain etc. Business Desktop Deployment 2007 - Resources Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:43 AM by mattmcspirit For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or BDD for short. So, what is it? Well, the BDD is essentially, your one-stop-shop for deployment when it comes to our new wave of technology. Want to customise your Vista install? Want to inject drivers for hardware into images? Want to customise WinPE 2.0? Want to easily create Unattend.xml files? Want next week's winning lottery numbers? OK, BDD can't help you with that last one, but it can allow you to do all the others! Source: Peering through Windows... ttfn David Technorati tags: BDD , Business Desktop Deployment , SBS 2003 , Service Pack 2 , SP2 , SBS 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for Microsoft (UK) Partners' Friends and Family

    [updated 18th March 08:44am] - The links are working now - hurray Now before someone goes and shoots this down, we have managed a small discount for Microsoft UK Partners' friends and family. It is not a half price discount or anything close, but if you know someone who was going to buy our software or wanted too, it is now a more attractive price :-) Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for your Friends and Family Are you experiencing the 'WOW' of the new Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista yet? If you are you'll probably want your friends and family to feel it too! To help you spread the WOW factor Microsoft Partner DABS is offering a special price to Microsoft Partners' friends and family on the home-use versions of these exciting new releases*. Product Special Friends and Family Price** Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student £85.00 Vista Home Premium £185.00 Vista Home Premium Upgrade £123.50 *Please note: These products are not discounted. The products on offer are legitimate software applications for home use only. Prices may change at any time and there is no guarantee of availability. This promotion runs until 30 June 2007. There’s more info’ and details how to order at https://partner.microsoft.com/uk/40037033 . To access these offers Partners will need to log-in to the Partner Portal. ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Offers , Partners , UK
  • Using Vista and getting a slower performing network? Perhaps with SBS or other network equipment? Then you need to read Kevin's post at Neoblog.

    We all know that sometimes things sloooowwwwwiiinnnngggg down can be a real drag. Some people have seen this sort of thing with Vista and while sometimes it is to do with drivers (do I need to say wireless here??), others it could be one of the "nice" new features in Vista. In the latter example I can give you a good pointer to help. Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me, which is a posting by Kevin Higerty on this very problem - pop along to his blog to get the low down. I’ve been running Vista on my SBS network for a while, well since the January Action Pack, and have noticed resource access to the SBS box getting slower and slower over the last few days. At the same time I had issues like log on’s taking 2 minutes, explorer time outs and generally the whole system running like a dog. The two symptoms have turned out to be seperate, but combined they are a ‘throw the sodding pc outa the window’ type scenario. Slow networking is due to the auto tuning of TCP/IP in Vista which is turned on by default. Source: neoblog » Vista + Network = Slow ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Network , Slow , Auto Tuning , Syn
  • Vista, by itself, and business value - what can you get

    I was a little horrified to see a small business group posting that said " In my opinion, there is nothing in Vista that warrants an upgrade at this time for businesses." Oh my golly gosh thought me. Has this person actually looked at the stuff we have to better explain what the benefits are? (I don't know, but if they have then Microsoft needs to do a better job, if not, then Microsoft needs to do a better job telling everyone). 1st off though, just as many people have commented - I expect many people to buy Vista with a new PC, but I also believe that the decision to buy a new PC will in part be driven by Vista as opposed to just hardware needs. OK, where does Vista add value to businesses (this is where I use it) over Windows XP out the box today and even more so over Windows 2000: Work More Efficiently Searching for documents, e-mails, contacts Preview files without opening them via thumbnails and preview pane Shrink to fit for IE printing Finding open programs, items on start menu, control panel items Enhance performance with ReadyBoost Glancable information with Gadgets Staying Connected "File" file sharing Ad-hoc wireless networking Wireless security manager Windows Mobile Device Center Data protection and integrity Automatic PC backups Previous versions of files, even when out the office Anti-phishing technologies Anti-spyware tools UAC and protected mode in IE File and disk encryption Image based backup and restore Systems Management Reliability Monitor Enhanced Event Viewer Memory Checker Problem History Enhanced Remote Desktop Recovery tools Sales and Marketing Fax and Scan tools Photo Editing tools XPS Support Faster response when opening the lid Dual use - home and business use Parential controls Media Center DVD Playback and burning Many many more It is worth looking at the version comparison document on http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareWindows.aspx and the Vista comparison guide that can be downloaded at http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/5/E/E5E1A4B0-124F-4A6E-A152...
  • The hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista may become unavailable after you use the Disk Cleanup Tool (or fix hibernation not working)

    [updated 12th March 2007 21:03] This particular problem went round the internal discussions groups - having told people how to turn on hibernation and suggested a KB article on it, Armelle O'Neal told me that is has already been written up in KB Article (928897) . SYMPTOMS After you use the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows Vista, you may experience the following symptoms: You cannot see the Hibernate option in Power Options. When you use the sleep feature, the computer does not recover its settings if power is lost. CAUSE This problem occurs when the Disk Cleanup Tool disables the hibernation file. The hibernation file must be enabled to access the hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista. When the hibernation file is disabled, and the hybrid sleep feature is enabled, a backup of open programs and open files will not be saved to the disk when you use the sleep feature in Windows Vista. Additionally, if the computer loses power while the Windows is in sleep mode, open programs and open files will not be recovered, and any unsaved work will be lost. RESOLUTION To resolve this problem in Windows Vista, run the powercfg -h on command at an Administrative command prompt to enable the hibernate feature and the hybrid sleep feature. To run this command, follow these steps: 1. Click Start , click All Programs , and then click Accessories . 2. Right-click Command Prompt , click Run as administrator , type powercfg -h on, and then press ENTER. If this fails, it is normally because the command prompt is not actually running at an admin level - click here for my " how to tell " Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Hibernate
  • How to start an administrative (or elevated) command prompt and tell if you got it right (in Vista)

    I have had a few people tell me that they have had problems getting an administrative command prompt up and running in Vista. If you have done it correctly then a windows will open just like the one to the left. Notice that it has opened into the X:\windows\system32 directory and that it has the title "Administrator: X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe. Anything else and I would be suspicious. The process is simple - do either of these Click Start , click All Programs , and then click Accessories . Right-click Command Prompt , click Run as administrator or Click Start Type cmd into the search box and wait for Command Prompt or cmd.exe to appear in the list Press CTRL-Shift-Enter Either way, you should get an User Account Control (UAC) prompt appear with a BLUE banner on the top - press Continue here. For more information on User Account Control go to here ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Elevate , run as Administrator , Vista Ultimate , Security
  • Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc) always has the wrong domain name, IP address or always prompting me about security - here are the fixes

    One of my UK SBSC partners asked me how to do a couple things in Remote Desktop using the new Vista RDP v6 client as they were bugging the hell out of him and others (I asked him how Vista was going). Since he admins a number of SBS boxes, these were his top (valid) gripes: Stop putting in IP addresses for the domain name Stop the pre-prompt for credentials when TSing to another system Stop the statement about security every time I try to remote admin into things The good news is that much of this has been documented else where. Stop putting in IP addresses for the domain name Problem is that you fill in a screen like this and get a prompt as below. Notice it has the domain name as the IP address? The quick answer is to type the username as <domain>\<username> - eg abusiness\administrator. This will change the domain name. Stop the pre-prompt for credentials when TSing to another system Now the pre-prompting for credentials is the process we have just seen above. This is required in domains where Network Level Authentication will stop the TS connection without the appropriate credentials before the connection is made. Details of this can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/archive/2007/01/22/vista-remote-desktop-connection-authentication-faq.aspx#_When_to_use Stop the statement about security every time I try to remote admin into things This is again due to increased security levels. It can be solved by either editing your RDP file (the default.rdp file is in your documents folder - it is a text file) or by going tothe advanced tab and tellit it to always connect. This information can be found at both http://weblogs.asp.net/owscott/archive/2006/11/10/Vista_2700_s-Remote-Desktop-Prompt.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/archive/2007/01/22/vista-remote-desktop-connection-authentication-faq.aspx#_How_to_eliminate ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Terminal Server , RDP , Remote Desktop , Credential Prompt
  • Loading Office 2003 into Vista and fixing the problem with the EULA always coming up

    [updated 9:50 22nd July to include link to stop install dialog coming up when installing both Office 2003 and 2007 on the same machine] Having written about application compatibility and repeatedly answered the question as to whether Vista can run Office 2003 (yes it can), I decided to do a set of pictures for every step of the way. In doing this I got to the bottom of a couple of problems - i.e. how to I get the service packs for Office and how do I stop the EULA from constantly appearing. Here is my picturesque walk through. Step 1 - Boot up Vista and insert the Office CD . Insert the CD with Office on it and it should automatically start with a dialog box askign you if you want to run setup. Step 2 - Accept the User Access Control (UAC) dialog . If the dialog does not look just like the one in the 2nd screenshot below then this is a worry! All untampered Office installs should have a "blue bar" at the top of the UAC prompt box Step 3 - Follow the normal Office install Process (Note if it is a corporate version some or all of these screens might be missing). The screen shots below show everything from the setup initialising, entering a product key, entering your personal details, choosing the install type - I personally always do a "complete" install and then the product installing and finishing. Step 4 - Accept the EULA and activate the products. Find word on the menu, run it, accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and finally activate the product if required to do so. For the update process to work you must exit all open Office applications. Step 5 - Update and patch the product . Skip straight to 5b for the right process or read 5a for more information. Step 5a - Note - this is for information only - this is what happens if you do this (try to use the Office Update in the products or on the web site), however you can go straight to step 5b without any issue. Step 5b - update the product using Microsoft Update (eg go to the start menu and type Updates and select Windows Update from the...
  • Was Vista's arrival a surprises to anyone? No? Then how come so many people were unprepared - hardware vendors, ISVs, even Microsoft to an extent

    Lets start off by saying this is a RANT. If you don't like rants, look away now. I saw this in CRN and it made me laugh and cry. We have seen news that iTunes has undisclosed issues with Vista (even after being fixed ), poor drivers from nVidia and others and even enough to stop a BBC reporter from getting it going , yet from the list below, most are down to 3rd parties. I have only a little sympathy for hardware partners who didn't get drivers out - I was at WinHEC 3 and 2 years ago when the need to build drivers was hammered home. I have seen the offers of help to ISVs to get their applications working. I have seen the large amount of online training available for partners of all sizes to understand the benefits of the products. However, I have also seen the difficulties people have in when to bet on Vista and deploy the resources - I think its success has taken a few people by surprise! Microsoft is certainly happy with the launch . If like me, when you have 2 years to solve a problem it is always tomorrows problem, until eventually the deadline looms and it suddenly urgent - perhaps many face this issue. Of course, I am hugely over simplifying the issue. Some people chose not to move, saying that they would wait until there was enough market demand. Others, so the rumours say, have no desire to make older versions of hardware or software work on Vista and are using it as a lever to drive upgrades. Finally, the meaning of "minimum requirements" somehow seems to have been lost on people, so when all editions other than basic recommend a minimum of 1GB, that should not be seen as optimum for all users, but the minimum. I am frankly amazed that some vendors "top" PCs are not Vista compatible and it is because they were not ready - I thought the product was delayed to help these guys get ready - and if lower spec machines are working... gosh! While others have got it all working, on new machines and with new hardware designed for Vista style PCs . For application issues, many uncertified Windows Vista Apps May Work...
  • Virtual PC 2007 released

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to Virtual PC 2007 and another will relate to SQL 2005 SP2. You can find out about Virtual PC 2007 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx , however the key features over and above the 2004 product are: · Support for Windows Vista as a host · Support for Windows Vista as a guest · Support for Windows Vista 64-bit as a host · Improved performance compared to Virtual PC 2004 Ttfn David Technorati tags: Virtualisation , Virtual PC , Vista , Windows Vista , x64
  • SQL SP2 updates to support Vista and Office 2007

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to SQL 2005 SP2 and another will relate to Virtual PC 2007. Microsoft announced the release the web of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2. SP2 is an important deliverable for SQL Server, providing support for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System in addition to delivering important enhancements for customers. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/sp2.mspx . For me, the performance of my reports on my reporting server went up significantly. Ttfn David Technorati tags: SQL Server 2005 , SQL 2005 , SQL SP2 , Vista Published with BlogMailr
  • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007 Action Pack Update - my FAQ

    [last updated 8th Mar 2008 Please read http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/03/08/action-pack-subscribers-get-full-windows-vista-dvds-not-upgrades-and-they-also-get-a-copy-of-ultimate-too-plus-a-stack-of-materials-to-sell-the-product.aspx to read about how full Vista SP1 will be shipped in the Action Pack ] Inside Microsoft we have been toiling very hard to provide solutions that answer the most common feedback. To this end, perhaps slightly before all the legal stuff gets finalised, here is my FAQ on the subject, however the headlines are: You can continue to use the Windows XP and Office 2003 CDs that were supplied in your Action Pack subscription You can Upgrade from Windows Vista Business to Windows Vista Ultimate. This is not a free upgrade, however you get the benefits of this being thought of as a Not for Resale FPP copy AND it does not expire should you stop using Action Pack* (please see legal statements below) Personally I think this is an amazing offer and I am very grateful to the Windows Vista for taking this unusual step Questions: Can I continue to use Windows XP and Office 2003 as previously shipped in the Action Pack, even if my subscription has been renewed? I understand that Windows Vista in the Action Pack is an Upgrade Edition, however I want to do clean installs - how can I do this? I understand that Windows Vista in the Action Pack is the Business Edition, but I want Ultimate , how do I get this? I understand that there are multiple sites available to purchase the Windows Anytime Upgrade from, can I use any of these with the Action Pack DVDs? I need to build a short term demo system , how can I do that without using one of my keys (for any version - from Home Basic thru to Ultimate )? I would like OEM media for Windows Vista? Can I run my business using the Action Pack ? What happens if I need the key again , eg if I have to re-install the OS on the same machine again? How can I create a system that dual boots Windwows XP and Windows Vista ? Can I upgrade from a Vista Home edition...
  • Vista is a sizable segment of the community that visit my SBS site

    I thought this was worth mentioning - I just pulled up the stats for my UKSBSGUY.com site to discover that Vista is doing nicely - nice to see partners moving to the Operating System and using it. Windows XP - 68% Vista - 23% Windows 2000 - 3% Windows NT - 2% (is that really still out there) Mac Intel - 1% Linux - 1% Mac OS - 1% Windows 98 - 1% (well 0.55%)

(c)David Overton 2006-13