• June 21, 2010 21 Jun'10

    Mark Russinovich Does It Again: IE Crash Diagnosed

    I've been a tremendous fan of Windows maven Mark Russinovich for over a decade now. In addition to his fabulous SysInternals utilities, he's done more for me (and most other ordinary Windows users) ...

  • June 14, 2010 14 Jun'10

    More Interesting Windows Network Troubleshooting

    OK, so I had to replace my trusty HP EX-475 MediaSmart Server because its network interface was stuck in beaconing mode. That is, as soon as I plugged the GbE interface for the device into a ...

  • June 03, 2010 03 Jun'10

    Network Nightmares Reinforce Troubleshooting Skills

    When I got up on Monday morning, Memorial Day, my wife Dina let me know she couldn't access the Internet. "No big deal" I thought to myself: "Either I'll reset the cable modem or the router and all ...

  • May 27, 2010 27 May'10

    Interesting Java Issue Pops Up

    If you read this blog, you know I not only think highly of the various Secunia software monitoring products available — I use Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) for my personal machines, and ...

  • May 25, 2010 25 May'10

    Enterprises accept netbooks as worthy desktop devices

    Some businesses have adopted netbooks as supplements to traditional PCs or laptop replacements -- but there are many others that have resisted.

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  • May 12, 2010 12 May'10

    Beware the TDSS Rootkit Removal Tool!!!

    In the latest (May 2010) issue of Virus Bulletin, I read Alisa Shevchencko's story "TDSS Infections - Quarterly Report" with some interest and a lively appreciation of the TDSS rootkit malware and ...

  • April 15, 2010 15 Apr'10

    Office 2010 could be hard sell for most enterprises

    Although Microsoft has made some enhancements to Outlook in Office 2010, companies that use SharePoint Server have the most to gain from the updated software.

  • April 13, 2010 13 Apr'10

    Microsoft releases 11 patches for Windows, Exchange and Office

    Microsoft has released security bulletins for flaws in several of its enterprise applications, including Windows Media Services. See how urgent they are for you and your users.

  • April 13, 2010 13 Apr'10

    Google makes Docs more like Microsoft Office

    Google Docs is getting better in some ways, but in other ways, Office still rules. Collaboration features remain strong, but Office 2010 is just around the corner.

  • April 07, 2010 07 Apr'10

    Troubleshooting: Sherlock Holmes to the Rescue!

    One of my favorite quotes from the 19th century master sleuth himself goes like this: "It is an old axiom of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, ...

  • March 09, 2010 09 Mar'10

    Microsoft issues two Patch Tuesday bulletins, but omits one patch

    Microsoft's March Patch Tuesday bulletins address vulnerabilities in Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Producer 2003 and Excel. Are your systems affected?

  • March 05, 2010 05 Mar'10

    Interesting Issue with Acronis True Image Home 2010

    Until the last couple of weeks, my production Windows 7 system has been a model of reliability and stability, with my first-ever two week period with staight 10.0s in Reliability Monitor on that ...

  • March 03, 2010 03 Mar'10

    Why are Win7 rollouts gathering steam?

    In a recent report from ninemsn (for APC, Australia's self-proclaimed "#1 online publisher"), Windows 7 is enjoying significantly better market uptake than Vista ever did. Their recent story ...

  • March 03, 2010 03 Mar'10

    No legacy Windows support, no problem for some IT managers

    Microsoft will end support for Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista with no service packs, and all versions of Windows 2000, but some IT managers are in no hurry to upgrade to Windows 7.

  • February 21, 2010 21 Feb'10

    Making SSDs Work on Windows 7

    By now, everybody's aware of the speed and power consumption or battery life benefits that solid state drives (SSDs) can confer on desktop and notebook PCs, respectively — at least, for those ...

  • February 10, 2010 10 Feb'10

    February's Patch Tuesday brings an array of bulletins

    The sheer number of security bulletins this month may cause your IT staff to revolt. Manage the chaos, and see which of the 13 patches are critical for your enterprise.

  • February 09, 2010 09 Feb'10

    A True "Killer Deal" on MSDN Subscriptions

    If you're in the market for an MSDN Subscription, as I was recently--I missed my "renewal date" while I was overseas for the last week of January and the first week of February, and found myself in ...

  • February 02, 2010 02 Feb'10

    Enterprises hold onto Microsoft Office despite Google Apps option

    Google Apps is making headway over Microsoft Office in startups and SMBs. But inside enterprises? Not so much.

  • January 15, 2010 15 Jan'10

    Windows Time Synch Problem Solver: Atomic Clock Sync

    I'm sitting here at Gate 78 in the Pittsburgh airport. It's 4:40 AM, and I'm waiting for 5:15 to roll around so I can board a flight to Atlanta, and thence on home to Austin. In about 5.5 hours I ...

  • January 13, 2010 13 Jan'10

    Handy Windows IP Configuration Utility: Win IP Config

    I teach online courses for HP and other vendors, and really enjoy that work. I often learn as much or more from the students as I feel like they're learning from me. Case in point: in one of my ...

  • January 12, 2010 12 Jan'10

    New year begins with a light Patch Tuesday

    Administrators can be grateful for a light first Patch Tuesday in 2010, with Microsoft releasing a bulletin for a critical security vulnerability in Windows 2000 and other OSes.

  • January 08, 2010 08 Jan'10

    GUIDs, Shortcuts, and "GodMode" in Windows 7 and Vista

    Last week, I read with great interest about a well-worn Windows trick. If you couple a folder name with a specific globally unique identifier, usually called a GUID, and save it in a directory, ...

  • January 06, 2010 06 Jan'10

    Build a Quick'n'Dirty WinRE UFD for Windows 7

    A quick and judicious combination of the right tools can make it easy to add to your Windows 7 (or Vista) toolkit. The Windows 7 Recovery Environment (aka WinRE) is included on the operating system ...

  • December 30, 2009 30 Dec'09

    Interesting Win7 ROI tool

    Earlier this week, Nick Eaton posted an interesting blurb to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Entitled "Windows 7 ROI tool estimates cost savings," it pointed me to a free Microsoft-sponsored ...

  • December 25, 2009 25 Dec'09

    Merry Christmas Everyone

    This isn't a real blog post. Rather, it's a quickie digital Christmas card from me and my family to you and yours. Let me briefly extend the best wishes of the season to one and all, with hopes ...

  • December 22, 2009 22 Dec'09

    Finally, my Windows 7 Production PC gets into the groove

    Anybody who's followed this blog for any length of time knows that I've fought my battles with both Vista and Windows 7, in terms of making my production PC stable and reliable. Today, I'm very ...

  • December 16, 2009 16 Dec'09

    You have 4 minutes to speak...

    Yesterday, I delivered the eulogy at my Mom’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery where she was interred with full military honors, including a funeral service, a procession to the gravesite ...

  • December 13, 2009 13 Dec'09

    Is Patch Tuesday Still Patch Tuesday?

    For the past 5 years, Microsoft has made a policy of releasing non-emergency patches and security fixes on the first Tuesday of the month. The idea is to limit the frequency and standardize the ...

  • December 11, 2009 11 Dec'09

    Interesting Doings Around the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

    On November 2, 2009, I blogged about the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool, then available from the MS Store. In the meantime, a bit of a fracas has erupted around this tool because Microsoft ...

  • December 09, 2009 09 Dec'09

    Interesting Secunia Patch Maneuver

    On my home network, I use Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) on all of my Windows machines to make sure they keep up with the latest and greatest updates to the OS, Microsoft Office, and ...

  • November 29, 2009 29 Nov'09

    Where Windows 7 Starter Falls Down...For Me

    OK, so I've been running Windows 7 Starter on a couple of netbooks and my wife's mini-ITX Core 2 Duo system for a couple of months now. And while I still like this OS, especially for its slim ...

  • November 06, 2009 06 Nov'09

    BlueScreenView Makes Great Crash Debugging Tool

    In the past few years I've written about numerous utilities from Nirsoft, Nir Sofer's superlative source for what he aptly describes as "small and useful freeware utilities." Although it's been out ...

  • October 27, 2009 27 Oct'09

    Win7 Auto-detect Doesn't Always Load the Right Drivers

    In switching my test and production PCs over from Vista (or creating dual boot Vista/Win7 or XP-SP3/Win7 setups), I've observed that while Windows 7 does a very good job of identifying most ...

  • October 23, 2009 23 Oct'09

    More Windows 7 Downloads

    Gosh! There's so much hype and hoopla surrounding yesterday's Windows 7 launch that I'm almost disinclined to add to the clutter myself. But hey: a guy's gotta blog, so there's plenty of ...

  • October 16, 2009 16 Oct'09

    Let's trade one Reliability Monitor mystery for another, OK?

    Anybody who's been reading these blogs for any length of time knows that I am enamored of the Reliability Monitor in Windows Vista and 7. Back in early September I wrote a blog entitled "Why ...

  • October 14, 2009 14 Oct'09

    Patch Tuesday: 13 Bulletins on 10/13 Zounds!

    Those inclined to see numerological conspiracy every time the number 13 pops up will want to take a deep breath before pondering Microsoft's release of 13 security bulletins for this Patch Tuesday, ...

  • September 16, 2009 16 Sep'09

    Check Out Ed Bott's Windows 7 Upgrade Survival Guide

    Long-time Windows guru Ed Bott blogs for ZDNet, and his postings are often sources of great information, tips, and tricks for that OS. His 9/14/09 posting "The Windows 7 upgrade survival guide" is ...

  • September 14, 2009 14 Sep'09

    Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2 adds Windows 7 support

    If you plan to upgrade to Windows 7 soon, you may want to download Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2009 R2, due out in late October.

  • September 14, 2009 14 Sep'09

    Eight is too many characters for strong passwords

    Passwords that are eight characters long are easily cracked. Learn how a seven-character complex password can provide better security, and passphrases can be stronger still.

  • September 08, 2009 08 Sep'09

    Insight into the Windows 7 "Device Experience"

    One interesting change in interface and behavior in Windows 7 is the addition of the Devices and Printers option in the Start menu (depicted below). This new facility not only shows you the devices ...

  • August 26, 2009 26 Aug'09

    Microsoft releases WSUS 3 SP2 with Win 7, R2 support

    WSUS SP2 adds improvements to client performance, and increased server usability and reliability. It also patches Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

  • August 24, 2009 24 Aug'09

    First casualty of Windows 7: HP LaserJet 4M PS 600dpi Printer

    Back in 1994, I traded a copy of NetWare 4 50-user with a reseller for a brand-new HP LaserJet 4M 600-dpi PostScript model. It's stuck with me through two versions of Windows NT (3.51 and 4.0), ...

  • August 17, 2009 17 Aug'09

    Bungled BIOS Upgrade Leads to New Test Install

    Last Thursday, I suffered a BIOS flash problem on my primary test machine that resulted in a completely dead motherboard: no post, no action at startup except for lights and fan up, followed by an ...

  • August 07, 2009 07 Aug'09

    Hold on to Windows XP at your peril

    Enterprises running Windows XP are budget conscious and will put off Windows 7 upgrades for as long as they can. But running an 8-year-old OS comes at a cost.

  • July 22, 2009 22 Jul'09

    Patching third-party browsers adds more work in Windows shops

    Many organizations use Microsoft's free WSUS patch management tool to update Internet Explorer, but browsers like Firefox or Safari pose a patch management challenge.

  • July 14, 2009 14 Jul'09

    Vista shops eye quick path to Windows 7, XP shops likely to resist

    Windows enterprises running Microsoft Vista will likely embrace Windows 7 quickly but IT managers still on XP will stay loyal as long as they can.

  • July 02, 2009 02 Jul'09

    Better, Faster, Cheaper--Say What?

    It's a truism in engineering that no matter what customers request, when it comes to revising existing products given goals to make things better, faster, and cheaper, it's necessary to pick at ...

  • June 30, 2009 30 Jun'09

    Windows 7 improvements driving enterprise adoption

    Windows 7 offers new features and improvements that will drive enterprise desktop adoption.

  • June 12, 2009 12 Jun'09

    Get ready for Microsoft Morro

    Last November, MS announced its plans to create a no-cost consumer security software product. Code-named "Morro," this solution is supposed to debut in H209 and be able to deal with viruses, ...

  • June 10, 2009 10 Jun'09

    Patch Tuesday June09: A Real Whopper!

    OK, so yesterday's Patch Tuesday does the deed for June. It's a monster: 10 security bulletins, 31 vulnerabilities addressed, and involving most versions of Windows itself, IE, and various MS ...

  • June 01, 2009 01 Jun'09

    Intel's Moblin raises stakes on netbook OS race

    Intel's new Moblin netbook operating system gives business netbook buyers another non-Windows option besides Google Android.

  • May 11, 2009 11 May'09

    Which format for UFDs?

    I'm helping to revise a book on Windows 7 right now. By well-known Windows mavens Brian Knittel and Bob Cowart, it's to be called Windows 7 in Depth (Pearson, 2009, ISBN: 0789741997). In the course ...

  • April 29, 2009 29 Apr'09

    Vista SP2 is Done, Done, Done But Not Yet on Tap

    BitTorrent is turning into an unofficial prerelease mechanism for Microsoft software these days. It's cartainly become a nonpareil source for Windows 7 builds that's right in synch with Microsoft's ...

  • April 13, 2009 13 Apr'09

    "Roll Back To Vista for Next Win7 RC" sez MS

    An interesting report from ComputerWorld surfaced this morning — namely, a request from Microsoft for Windows 7 beta testers to restore Vista on their test machines before upgrading to the upcoming ...

  • April 03, 2009 03 Apr'09

    Check Out Windows Springboard for Win7 Info

    Thanks to a recent email from the Microsoft Learning PR rep, the ever-helpful Andrea Platt Dayal, I now know about the Microsoft Springboard Series, which she describes as a source of ...

  • March 26, 2009 26 Mar'09

    When to move off XP, onto Windows 7

    IT shops that skipped Vista may want to get at least some desktops on the newer OS. Otherwise, upgrading to Windows 7 could get a little crazy.

  • March 25, 2009 25 Mar'09

    Handy Tool: Halfdone Development's Unknown Devices

    If you're like me, you're nearly always in the process of building or rebuilding one or more Vista systems, or checking specific systems out for currency and correctness. Especially when dealing ...

  • March 09, 2009 09 Mar'09

    Paragon Partition Manager 9.0 Pro Edition

    If the care and feeding of your Vista systems is anything like mine, from time to time there's just no getting away from messing with disk partitions. For me, that means one of several activities ...

  • February 20, 2009 20 Feb'09

    Another Use for WinPE: WinRE UFD To the Rescue

    If you've ever messed with the Windows Vista Recovery Environment you know it's helpful, but it can take quite a while for it to appear on-screen on a machine in need of repair or recovery. In ...

  • February 16, 2009 16 Feb'09

    Clean Up New PCs with PC Euphemism

    Actually the name of the program in question is not Euphemism--rather you can read it from the domain name in the URL for the Subscription page where ...

  • February 06, 2009 06 Feb'09 is another hidden treasure

    If you read my previous blog, you already know that VistaPE is  a project that uses WinBuilder to automate the construction of a WinPE 2.0-based bootable image from the Windows Automated ...

  • February 05, 2009 05 Feb'09

    A Fabulous WinPE Resource: VistaPE

    As I've learned to build various types of bootable CDs and UFDs with the Vista-based WinPE environment, I've also been working to learn more about its inner workings and capabilities. As I ...

  • January 28, 2009 28 Jan'09

    Other Uses for a Bootable WinPE UFD

    I've just finished writing a story for Tom's Guide on using a bo0table WinPE UFD, and doing the research  for that story led me to a few interesting discoveries. First and foremost, no ...

  • January 21, 2009 21 Jan'09

    Playing with the Vista SP2 Beta

    Over the past week or two, I've been messing around with the Windows Vista SP2 beta. For a release with beta status, it's amazingly stable, and some of the new functionality is welcome (burning ...

  • January 14, 2009 14 Jan'09

    Using the WinPE Boot UFD, Part 1

    This weekend, I was fooling around with my Windows Home Server machine (a very nice HP EX475 MediaSmart Server) and found myself forced to repeatedly reinstall the Windows Home Connector software ...

  • January 07, 2009 07 Jan'09

    Create a bootable WinPE UFD

    Everybody knows what a UFO is, but let me remind readers that Microsoft interprets UFD as "USB Flash Drive." Thus, what I'm about to describe is best understood as how to create a bootable Flash ...

  • December 24, 2008 24 Dec'08

    Windows PE and the PE Walkthroughs

    The Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) 2.0 delivers a basic, no-frills operating system with limited services and no GUI capabilities that's built upon the Windows Vista kernel. You ...

  • December 14, 2008 14 Dec'08

    Digging into Crash Dumps? Try Dumpchk first

    There's no question that the Windows Debugger (windbg.exe) is a nonpareil tool when it comes to troubleshooting source code or digging into Vista crashdumps. But with the program's requirement for ...

  • November 24, 2008 24 Nov'08

    Explorer Crashes? ShellExView to the Rescue!

    I've grappled with this problem on various Vista systems for over a year now. A user will be tooling along merrily in Vista on his or her desktop when all of a sudden BAM! Explorer.exe crashes, and ...

  • November 19, 2008 19 Nov'08

    Exam 70-624 TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client

    Another doozy of a title, this exam is likely to appeal to IT professionals who work with Vista in all situations (SOHO, SMB, tech support, enterprise, and so forth) and of all stripes (help desk, ...

  • November 18, 2008 18 Nov'08

    Does Vista's strong security make it better than XP?

    Despite being the whipping boy of Windows operating systems, at least one expert, Brien M. Posey, feels that Windows Vista's security makes it a better OS than XP.

  • November 17, 2008 17 Nov'08

    Are Windows Vista's features silencing critics?

    Several of Windows Vista's features make it a strong enterprise operating system. Find out how these features can improve IT security and manageability in your organization.

  • November 10, 2008 10 Nov'08

    MS Exam 70-621 Pro: Upgrading Your MCDST to MCITP Enterprise Support

    This exam applies only to those who've earned the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, or MCDST, credential for Windows XP who wish to upgrade their coverage to include Windows Vista. As ...

  • November 10, 2008 10 Nov'08

    Managing single sign-on security burdens in Windows

    Single sign-on came with the expectation that management activities in Windows systems would become easier, but that doesn't seem to be the case today.

  • October 09, 2008 09 Oct'08

    The Application Compatibility Check Process a la Microsoft

    For the next couple of weeks, I'll be digging into issues related to application compatibility for organizations and enterprises considering the move to Windows Vista. For such outfits, one of the ...

  • October 08, 2008 08 Oct'08

    Managing Application Compatibility for Windows Vista

    In a perfect world, IT professionals wouldn't have to worry about application compatibility issues: everybody would already have embraced the latest versions of Visual Studio (2008) and the .NET ...

  • October 03, 2008 03 Oct'08

    Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor Provides Basic HW Assessments

    In enterprise environments, desktop hardware configurations tend to be standardized, and are usually limited to at most a handful of different setups that will be deployed for various job tasks or ...

  • November 29, 2006 29 Nov'06

    Office 2007 adoption hurdles shared by IT managers

    With two major upgrades in the wings, IT managers balance the pros and cons of migrating to Office 2007 and Vista.

  • November 28, 2006 28 Nov'06

    Office 2007 collaboration features puzzle IT managers

    With Office 2007, Microsoft is releasing SharePoint as a collaboration boost for Office 2007. IT managers are asking how to adapt SharePoint Services to their businesses.

  • October 23, 2006 23 Oct'06

    Microsoft taking heat over desktop security

    Microsoft says Vista kernel access would come with SP1, and Gartner predicts years of compatibility problems. Meanwhile, claims of an IE 7 vulnerability surface.

  • October 19, 2006 19 Oct'06

    Windows XP Service Pack 3 delayed until 2008

    Microsoft is pushing back the release of XP Service Pack 3 until the first half of 2008. By the time SP3 comes out, it will have been four years since the release of XP SP2.

  • May 25, 2006 25 May'06

    Correct components are critical to Vista experience

    Vista is expected to be available in early 2007. By then vendors are promising they will have the hardware to go with it.

  • May 22, 2006 22 May'06

    WinHEC spotlight shines on OSes, virtualization

    At Microsoft's Windows hardware show this week, look for news about the company's server virtualization plans and updates on Vista and Longhorn, its next-generation desktop and server.

  • May 15, 2006 15 May'06

    Windows threats are evolving

    Windows security threats are not what they used to be. In years past, most security problems were related to how Windows operating systems interacted with Internet Explorer. Now, however, there are four new trends with which you need to concern ...

  • May 12, 2006 12 May'06

    Q & A: The evolution of spyware

    This past week, antispyware vendor Webroot Software Inc., with headquarters in Boulder, Colo., released its quarterly State of Spyware report, which reviews malicious software trends. The company also made news by teaming with the FBI in an identity...

  • March 06, 2006 06 Mar'06

    Rooting out a rootkit

    As if you didn't have enough to worry about with all the viruses, worms and spyware dilemmas plaguing your Windows environment -- now you have to think about rootkits. In this Windows Security learning center, learn everything you need to know about...

  • February 21, 2006 21 Feb'06

    Learning Guide: End-user education

    With changes occurring so frequently in the computer world, especially the world of computer security, it is difficult for anybody outside of the IT industry to keep up with all of the latest security information that they need. That's where the ...

  • February 17, 2006 17 Feb'06

    Microsoft adds throttling to Longhorn, Vista

    Quality of Service will become part of Vista and Longhorn.

  • January 31, 2006 31 Jan'06

    Make friends with your security auditors

    IT managers and security auditors have long had an uneasy relationship. Contributor Derek Melber tells you why its in your best interest, and your company's, to get along.

  • January 10, 2006 10 Jan'06

    Security Blog Wire: Plenty of opinions on WMF patching

    Though Microsoft decided to release its WMF patch early, debate raged this week among bloggers over whether the danger warranted the use of third-party fixes.

  • January 05, 2006 05 Jan'06

    Prevent attacks on your Windows environment

    There will never be an OS that is 100% immune to attacks, but it should be the goal. Here are some measures you can take to help prevent most attacks on your Windows computers.

  • December 07, 2005 07 Dec'05

    Microsoft pads security partner competency

    The software giant is adding a pair of specialties to its Security Solutions Competency, and integrating certifications from ISC² and ISACA.

  • November 08, 2005 08 Nov'05

    Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Server enters the arena

    Insiders say Visual Studio Team Server will change Windows development -- helping companies to create a process that focuses on the team, and finishing software projects on time.

  • November 02, 2005 02 Nov'05

    What is spyware? Industry group has an answer.

    The Anti-Spyware Coalition has released a set of guidelines to help vendors determine what should be blocked and what maybe is allowed.

  • October 04, 2005 04 Oct'05

    Firefox 1.5 gets the sniff test

    Will the latest incarnation of Mozilla's wildly popular browser calm recent concerns about buggy code? Two users weigh in.

  • September 27, 2005 27 Sep'05

    Cybersecurity czar: DHS overhaul will improve preparedness

    The Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity chief says a planned agency overhaul will bolster the fight against digital danger.

  • September 21, 2005 21 Sep'05

    The threat with the most disaster potential

    Whether they oversee physical or online defenses, security officers say the disaster scenario that scares them most begins with an insider with malicious intentions.

  • September 20, 2005 20 Sep'05

    Cyber crooks going after the desktop

    The antivirus giant's report on threats for the first half of 2005 shows a dramatic increase in the amount of code designed to commit fraud.

  • August 26, 2005 26 Aug'05

    Network safety relies on reaction time to Patch Tuesday

    Taking a wait-and-see approach before installing updates on Patch Tuesdays can leave your company vulnerable to attacks, thanks to zero-day exploits. Take some steps to provide your network assets have "defense in depth."

  • August 03, 2005 03 Aug'05

    Rootkit battle: Rootkit Revealer vs. Hacker Defender

    Although rootkits have been threatening various platforms for years, only recently did a major battle develop between the rootkit creators and eradicators: Holy Father's Hacker Defender vs. Sysinternals' Rootkit Revealer. Microsoft's Kurt Dillard ...