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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  • Upgrade Windows XP/Vista/7 to Windows 8 Pro for $40 or £25 AND Media Center Pack for free – until 31st January

    This is a simple offer. Download the upgrade assistant from Microsoft, run the tool, purchase the license for a shockingly low price and get the benefits of Windows 8. Even if you think you might not use it for a year, you can burn the ISO so it is ready. All indications are that the price will increase once this offer expires. So, what is the processes? Go to the web site - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/buy (UK) or http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/buy (US) Press the Download link - Download Pro for £24.99 ERP (UK) or Download Pro for $39.99 ERP (US) ) - note the link is the same for any country for the assistant. Run the assistant and fill in the details, including the purchase options There is also one other thing you may wish to consider. Getting the currently free Media Center Pack. This is also very simple, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-8/feature-packs (UK) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs (US), enter your e-mail address and get a free key e-mailed to you. This is so simple, it has to be worth doing and much cheaper than purchasing full price from February! The nice thing is that you can download an ISO, or do an “online” upgrade and you get the PID, so installing from the ISO later is simple. For the PC to be able to run Windows 8, the upgrade assistant will guide you, plus all the usual T’s and C’s can be found on the Microsoft pages. ttfn David
  • Windows Intune book update

    Well, I’ve finally finished the drafts for all chapters of the soon to be published book called Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration . It would have been sooner if my lovely mother had not fallen ill and passed away. I don’t regret the delay in finishing the book, but that we had so little time in the end and that she was not here to see it finish. The book is now awaiting review and editorial updates before it is finally published. Update - 2/10/2010 - Since the launch of Windows Intune V2 is so close, I'm updating to V2 now. This means that you can no longer access the work in progress chapters. I hope to resolve this in a few weeks time. The book has undergone some structural changes while I was writing it. The chapters are now: 1. Overview of Cloud Computing 2. Introduction to PC Management Concepts 3. Overview of Windows Intune Features 4. Signing up for Intune and installing the client software 5. Configuring Windows Intune 6. Configuring management policy 7. Tracking and reporting 8. Monitoring and dealing with alerts, including remote assistance 9. Resolving problems using Microsoft DaRT 10.Using and deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with Windows Intune 11.Integration with existing Microsoft Products You can access the book “in progress” and buy it from here . Once this is solidly out the way and the V2 beta has stabilised I will look to work on a V2 book too. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • Windows and other products coming End of Support information

    Microsoft has an industry leading support lifecycle for it's products with business software generally getting 10 years support and consumer products 5 years, but even then the end of support surprises some individuals and you need to be aware to ensure you are not caught out.  Our support also requires people to adopt service packs within 12-24 months of them being released, depending on the products. here along with all the obsolete products here. Why do I mention all this now, after all, this is not new information, well, we have some significant Windows End of Support (EoS) dates coming up.  With these date looming reminding your customers that moving to Windows 7 and utilizing the many features built into the product can help you achieve simplier support and them a more secure and compliant platform for your users, reduce your help desk costs, and increase performance and reliability for your end users. Remember that a Windows 7 user can record the steps of a problem and send them through to you using the Problem Step Recorder which simplifies support. Here are some key dates to remember: March 1, 2010 – Windows 7 RC pre-expiration shut downs begin. Beginning March 1, the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will start to shut down every two hours in preparation for its expiration on June 1, 2010. That means you will need to migrate your RC systems to a released to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7; or your previous operating system. Remember to back up all your data as either option will require a clean installation. For more information, read this post on the Windows Team blog. April 13, 2010 – Support for Windows Vista RTM ends. To help ensure your Windows Vista PCs stay secure and up to date, make sure they are running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Service Pack 2 (SP2). July 13, 2010 – Support for Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2000 ends. If you are running Windows XP, stay more secure by moving to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) or migrating to Windows 7. Updating your Windows 2000,...
  • Windows 7 appreciation continues to grow

    I saw these three articles and thought I would share.  How are you getting on with Windows 7?  And for those who say that Vista adoption was very poor, it was not statistically different to that of Windows XP, so you can't just say "oh, that was Vista, XP was much better!" Adoption of Windows 7 Continues to Swell Computerworld - February 01, 2010 Windows 7 took just three months to reach a penetration benchmark that Windows Vista needed almost a year to reach, according to a report by NetApplications.   SMBs Step Up Plans to Adopt Windows 7 eWeek - February 02, 2010 Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are accelerating plans to migrate to Windows 7, according to a global survey conducted by network management specialist Spiceworks.   Customer Satisfaction with Windows 7 Rises Bloomberg News - February 01, 2010 Microsoft has received a bigger boost in customer satisfaction from Windows 7 than Apple did from its most recent upgrade of Mac OS X, according to market research firm YouGov. On my own site, Windows 7 has clearly overtaken Windows Vista and is having an impact on Windows XP too.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Microsoft
  • How to copy or archive files by year using the command line and robocopy

    I got this question via e-mail and decided I would post the answer here in a blog. I want transfer all files created in Office Word 2003 by year (annual batchs - ex: 2005, 2006, etc.) to external HD. How can to do this? I will appreciate your answer. Edgar To do this via the command line you can use Robocopy which is present in Windows Vista and Windows 7.  If you have Windows XP download the Server 2003 Resource Toolkit and install it.  Robocopy will be part of the install and found in the install directory. The actual command would look like this and would need to be entered into a command prompt: for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /minage:%x0101 /maxage:%x1231 /s To break it down a bit.. for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do This creates a counter from 2009 up in steps of -1 (or down in steps of 1) until 2000 is reached.  Each time the counter changes it is set into %x, so %x will become 2009, 2008 and so on.  It then executes the command after to "do". robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /minage:%x0101 /maxage:%x1231 /s The robocopy command is very flexible.  Details of it can be found on the wiki page here .  The first two parameters are the sounce and destination locations.  so it might be c:\users\david\documents and F:\document_backup.  Note the \%x on the end.  This means it will put the files inside a folder on the destination location that matches the year you are archiving. *.doc? is a limiter to the files to be copied - if you want all files, simply remove it.  This will copy all Office 2003 and 2007 document files - if you only want Office 2003, use *.doc and don't include the question mark. The minage and maxage state how old the file is.  It can either be in days or a date in the form of yyyymmdd.  So with the %x set to 2009, the command will have /minage:20090101 /maxage:20091231 which equates to everything in 2009 and so on. The /s copies all subdirectories too You can optionally put the /MOV...
  • How to encrypt backups and optionally the system disks on Windows Server 2008 and SBS 2008 and Windows Vista too

    Hi, someone asked in the forums how if the backups on SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2008 were encrypted and the answer is no, even if the drives being backed up are BitLocker protected ( more details here ). However you can get encrypted backups with a bit of effort. To do this you will need to at least BitLocker enable your removable drives and optionally your system disk. I used the information at http://blogs.msdn.com/askdavid/archive/2007/06/08/enabling-bitlocker-on-removable-drives-usb-flash-drives-usb-hard-drives.aspx as a guide to putting together what I needed to do, so many thanks David Chandra for this. This same process can also be used on Windows Vista There are a couple of snags however and you need to work out which scenario you wish to have (if you have a TPM chip then option 2 & 3 can be replaced with entering a key into the TPM prompt: encrypt just the backup disks you will need to run a script each time a volume is added back to the system encrypt the system disk and the backup disks and you will need a USB key or key information to be entered every time you reboot the server encrypt the system disk and the backup disks, but store the system unlock information unencrypted on the server so you do not have to enter decryption information every time. Given the choices above the steps are as follows (they build from option 1 through to option 3): Option 1 Add BitLocker to the server Encrypt the Backup Hard Disks Add an unlock script Option 2 Prepare the system disk for BitLocker encryption Encrypt the system Option 3 Store the unlock key on the boot partition for automatic use Option 1 (encrypting the backup disks) You will need to repeat the steps below (excluding adding Bitlocker to the system) for each disk you want to encrypt. You can do this to an existing disk or a new disk. Add Bitlocker role To start this task we need to add the BitLocker role to SBS 2008. While BitLocker is built into Windows Server 2008 it is not installed. To install it start Server Manager from the Start Menu and then scroll...

(c)David Overton 2006-13