• April 14, 2015 14 Apr'15

    Windows 10 features Cortana, holograms, automatic updates

    Microsoft has taken the wraps off some Windows 10 features, including holographic technology, automatic -- and free -- updates, and more Cortana integration.

  • April 13, 2015 13 Apr'15

    System Refresh Leaves Interesting Items Undone

    In experimenting with a full system recovery recently on my Microsoft Surface Pro 3, I've been trying various methods to get from a current bad system state to a current good one. But while a ...

  • April 10, 2015 10 Apr'15

    Problematic SP3 Drivers Identified

    Over the past two weeks, I've been engaged in a part-time exercise to rebuild my Surface Pro 3 from a clean re-install of Windows 8.1 Update 1. This has proved to be an interesting exercise for ...

  • April 08, 2015 08 Apr'15

    Interesting Benefits of Click-to-Run Office Installation

    I've just recently rebuilt my Surface Pro 3 installation, and am still recovering from that aftermath. Upon discovering a link to "Click-to-Run" installation for MS Office Professional 2013 on my ...

  • April 06, 2015 06 Apr'15

    Fixing 2 Win10 Build 10049 Gotchas

    I've got two test machines upon which I'm running the latest Win10 build, namely 10049. In getting those machines up and running, I've found myself subject to 2 inadvertent gotchas along the way. ...

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  • April 03, 2015 03 Apr'15

    USB 3.1 Type-C Comes Closer to Your Desktop

    "Why," you may be thinking as you read the title of this blog post, "would I care about a high-speed interface on my desktop when it's most likely to show up first and foremost on notebooks and ...

  • April 01, 2015 01 Apr'15

    XP Holding Steady While Win8.* Versions Close In

    Gadzooks! Has it really been 32 months since Windows 8 was unleashed on the world? Indeed it has, and supplanted even, with Windows 8.1 in February of 2014. But only now are Windows 8 versions ...

  • March 30, 2015 30 Mar'15

    Restoring Surface Pro 3 Poses Interesting Challenges

    In the wake of last week's firmware updates for the Surface Pro 3, released outside the usual "Update/Patch Tuesday" timeframe, I decided to upgrade the drivers on that machine as well. I shouldn't ...

  • March 27, 2015 27 Mar'15

    Latest Surface Pro 3 Firmware Update Leads to Learning

    When I saw through the various news outlets that Microsoft had released an out-of-band Firmware update for the Surface Pro 3, I knew it was probably worth jumping onto sooner rather than later. ...

  • March 25, 2015 25 Mar'15

    Getting to Win10 Build 10041, Slowly but Surely

    Last week, build 10041 for Windows 10 hit the fast ring for early adopters. Yesterday, it hit the slow ring for all adopters. I was able to upgrade my Windows 10 desktop without any issues during ...

  • March 23, 2015 23 Mar'15

    Is It Me, or Is It IE?

    In reading about a new version of and model for web browsing in Windows 10, I often find myself nodding along and thinking "'Bout time!" Over the past two years, I've been making a steady move away ...

  • March 18, 2015 18 Mar'15

    All Pirates Forgiven in Upcoming Free Windows 10 Upgrade

    A Reuters story from the WinHEC conference in China has got the Windows press and blog environment abuzz enough that it's being widely re-reported in most such outlets. In the story, Terry ...

  • March 17, 2015 17 Mar'15

    New OS Compression in Windows 10

    Over at this morning, I found a simply fascinating story about a new version of "OS compression" that's making its debut in Windows 10. The ultimate source for this info is a March 16 ...

  • March 16, 2015 16 Mar'15

    Windows Key Shortcuts in Win10

    Thanks to a recent article at I came across this weekend, I've been wondering if there isn't some master repository of keyboard shortcuts for the latest and soon-to-be-greatest ...

  • March 06, 2015 06 Mar'15

    Removing Phantom Printers from Client PCs

    I went to print a phone card for my wife this morning, and wound up lost for a while in the "Hall of Mirrors" section of the Windows OS. In this case, I knew I needed to print to the Dell color ...

  • March 02, 2015 02 Mar'15

    Driver Cleanup Remains a Solid Disk Space Reclamation Tactic

    Back in 2011, I blogged here about a program named DriverStore Explorer. Aka RAPR, this is a CodePlex project that when run in administrative mode enables users to see all drivers in the Windows ...

  • February 27, 2015 27 Feb'15

    OK, I'll Bite into Start10 ... Now What?

    Anybody who's read this blog for any length of time has witnessed me repeatedly and enthusiastically recommending Stardock's great product, Start8, as a Windows start menu add-in/replacement for ...

  • February 25, 2015 25 Feb'15

    Dastardly Driver Download Delivers Browser Hijack(s)

    This weekend, I installed a HighPoint RocketU 1144C on my production PC, in search of solutions to a USB 3 drive access problem. There's a PLX PCIe 8609 DMA controller on that board, apparently ...

  • February 23, 2015 23 Feb'15

    Interesting Win10 Driver Problem on Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130

    By and large, I've got to give Dell credit for a winning solution in their 11" Venue Pro tablet with detachable keyboard. It's on par, features and power-wise with equivalent Surface Pro 3 models ...

  • February 20, 2015 20 Feb'15

    Clean (Re)Install Benefits from Driver Backup Utility

    In reading over an interesting article on Ars Technica this morning, I realized that many online sources (including the otherwise redoubtable Ars) that describe how to reinstall Windows to ...

  • February 18, 2015 18 Feb'15

    Don't Forget About RecImgMgr

    Slimware Utilities is the company behind RecImg Manager, a program that can capture and restore modern-format Windows images. This is the same kind of image that Windows 8 or 10 uses, when you ...

  • February 17, 2015 17 Feb'15

    Windows 10 adoption will follow smaller, quicker updates

    Enterprise adoption of Windows 10 isn't likely to follow the same pattern as for Windows 7, and that's a good thing, writes columnist Brian Madden.

  • February 13, 2015 13 Feb'15

    Puzzling Intel Chipset Situation

    I've been a big fan of the Intel Driver Update Utility for years, especially since the company published the standalone program version (v2.0) in mid-2014. With the introduction of the 10.x.x.x ...

  • February 11, 2015 11 Feb'15

    KB 3001652 Goes Bad on Update Tuesday

    Oho! Yesterday was "Update Tuesday," the second Tuesday of the month. Tuning into Windows Update just after lunch I noticed a big batch of updates (38 on Windows 8.1 systems with MS Office 2013 ...

  • February 09, 2015 09 Feb'15

    Windows 8.* Slowly Overtaking XP, 7 Still on TOP

    Every now and then, I have to check in over at, to see what's happening with the distribution of desktop OSes that the company detects on the Internet. This morning, I couldn't ...

  • February 06, 2015 06 Feb'15

    Win10 Gets Smart About Paging Files

    In working on a Windows 10 story for SearchEnterpriseDesktop this week, I came to an interesting realization. In Windows 10, MS has finally broken with tradition when it comes to sizing the paging ...

  • February 04, 2015 04 Feb'15

    Universal Office apps for Win10 Now Up

    Drat! It was with interest and curiosity that I jumped up to the Windows Store (beta) a few minutes ago, hoping to download and install the latest so-called "Universal Office apps for Windows 10" ...

  • February 03, 2015 03 Feb'15

    Next Win Server Release Breaks Lockstep with Win10

    Amidst the TechNet blogs let loose last weekend, this interesting little item from the Server & Cloud Blog let it be known that, for the first time since the Windows Vista era, the next release ...

  • January 22, 2015 22 Jan'15

    Subduing the Wily and Recalcitrant Windows.edb in Win8.1

    I am a great fan of checking in on my disks from time to time, especially my system/boot disk, which goes by C: on my system. The last time I fired up WinDirStat on my production system, my eyes ...

  • January 19, 2015 19 Jan'15

    TechNet Solution Guide Addresses WinDeployment Best Practices

    From the "better late than never" school of information sharing, I just found an October 2014 TechNet Solution Guide that many Windows administrators are likely to find captivating. It's entitled ...

  • January 17, 2015 17 Jan'15

    Seismic Shift in Windows Punditsphere

    Huh? What's a "Punditsphere?" Glad you asked! It's the group of industry insiders, experts, gurus, and gadabouts that attach themselves to specific technology platforms, tools, and operating ...

  • January 14, 2015 14 Jan'15

    Windows 7 Now Off Mainstream Support

    OK folks, here's a transition point for you to note. As of today, January 14, Windows 7 is no longer on mainstream support at Microsoft. Going forward, it will get no new functionality, no new ...

  • January 12, 2015 12 Jan'15

    Dell Venue 11 Pro Shows Promise of Broadwell Tablets

    About two months ago, I purchased a Dell Venue 11 Pro model 7130, when I read that it featured a Broadwell "M" class CPU in a compact 11" format. By the time all was said and done I spent around ...

  • January 10, 2015 10 Jan'15

    Update Tuesday: Evolving from Advance Notification to myBulletins

    For the past year or so, Patch Tuesday has been remonikered Update Tuesday. In a blog post from the Microsoft Security Response Center on Thursday, January 8, Chris Betz discussed the topic of ...

  • January 05, 2015 05 Jan'15

    CES Is On: Hope the Hype Hits!

    Now that the holidays are behind us, and the New Year is unrolling before is, it's time for that annual technology extravaganza known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), still one of the ...

  • January 02, 2015 02 Jan'15

    Yes, Virginia: Windows *DOES* Defrag SSDs (Sometimes)

    Two persistent myths that attach to SSDs running under "modern" Windows OSes (version 7 and higher) are as follows: (a) defragging such disks is a bad idea (b) Windows doesn't defrag such disks by ...

  • September 15, 2014 15 Sep'14

    Grab the Latest Sysinternals Suite (FREE)

    For those not already in the know, Sysinternals is the name of a former company that's now part of Microsoft that's long been a source for some of the very best Windows monitoring, management, and ...

  • August 22, 2014 22 Aug'14

    Two-year PC replacement saves cost, raises productivity

    IT pros debate whether companies should replace PCs every two years instead of following conventional wisdom of three to four years. In today's world, one size doesn't fit all, and a two-year cycle may work in some cases.

  • July 22, 2014 22 Jul'14

    Microsoft talks up services, mum on Windows strategy

    Microsoft has acknowledged that users aren't just tied to desktop OSes, shifting its focus to Office 365 and DaaS rather than its Windows strategy.

  • April 30, 2014 30 Apr'14

    Fast moving Microsoft Windows 8.1 update train railroads IT

    Microsoft's faster Windows 8.1 update cadence has a major impact on IT pros who don't have time to test applications and third-party software.

  • April 01, 2014 01 Apr'14

    Why was the Windows XP lifespan so long?

    There are many reasons why the Windows XP lifespan lasted longer than those of most operating systems. Our columnist looks at three major reasons.

  • March 04, 2014 04 Mar'14

    Microsoft licensing changes with standalone Windows Enterprise upgrade

    Microsoft launched a standalone Windows Enterprise upgrade SKU, but is it a true value or simply a way to lure IT pros to Windows 8?

  • February 12, 2014 12 Feb'14

    Microsoft's cloud initiative, streamlined transition gives hope

    Microsoft's cloud transformation to a mobile and services company may be exciting, but can it retain its bread-and-butter enterprise IT customers?

  • February 12, 2014 12 Feb'14

    Microsoft mobile, cloud strategy hold key to transforming its future

    Microsoft is undergoing a transformation to focus on mobile and the cloud, but will the industry continue to stick with the software giant?

  • January 16, 2014 16 Jan'14

    Windows XP anti-malware support extended until 2015, buys IT time

    Microsoft will extend anti-malware support for Windows XP until July 2015, giving a slight reprieve for those who have yet to migrate from the aging OS.

  • October 28, 2013 28 Oct'13

    Thurrott Previews the Surface Docking Station

    The much-awaited and anticipated Surface Docking Station from Microsoft gets a once-over in a recent piece from Paul Thurrot. The piece is entitled "Surface Docking Station: First Impressions and ...

  • October 22, 2013 22 Oct'13

    Mobile workstations deliver high-end computing power -- for a price

    Mobile workstations from Dell, Toshiba and HP pack plenty of computing power and weigh less than their predecessors, but prices may limit adoption.

  • October 16, 2013 16 Oct'13

    Windows 8.1 biometrics support increases security, but do you need it?

    The Windows 8.1 Preview features more biometrics support, such as built-in fingerprint authentication, which could be useful for mobile security.

  • September 30, 2013 30 Sep'13

    Best practices for a Windows XP migration to Windows 7 or Windows 8

    Windows XP support ends on April 8, 2014, and businesses that haven't upgraded should follow best practices to move ahead with a Windows XP migration.

  • September 20, 2013 20 Sep'13

    Ballmer confesses Microsoft mobile device missteps in final financial call

    Departing CEO Steve Ballmer admits that Microsoft missed a huge opportunity to be competitive in the now lavishly successful mobile device market.

  • August 19, 2013 19 Aug'13

    "Run as Administrator" Adds to WinDirStat File Visibility

    I've written repeatedly about a great, free SourceForge utility called WinDirStat for this blog over the years. But just this morning, I learned something about the program I didn't know -- namely ...

  • August 01, 2013 01 Aug'13

    Can Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview entice business users?

    Microsoft ships Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview on the heels of Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview updates.

  • July 29, 2013 29 Jul'13

    Lines between tablets, notebooks and ultra-mobile PCs blur

    How does a tablet differ from a notebook or an ultra-mobile PC? Here's how to determine which is which.

  • June 11, 2013 11 Jun'13

    In mobile device era, Hewlett-Packard recommits to PCs at HP Discover

    IT pros are encouraged by Hewlett Packard's new support services plan for PCs, but would like to see mobile devices from the company.

  • June 06, 2013 06 Jun'13

    Rufus Beats Windows 7 USB Download Tool, Hands Down

    These days ultrabooks and tablets make DVDs passé for Windows installs. UFDs (USB Flash Drives, that is) are the way to go. I'd discovered the free Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool at the ...

  • April 15, 2013 15 Apr'13

    Standardizing on Windows tablet PCs to simplify device management

    The enterprise can learn a thing or two about managing mobile devices from the education industry's standardization on Windows-based tablet PCs.

  • April 05, 2013 05 Apr'13

    Is a subscription for Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus too much change?

    To guarantee its revenue stream, Microsoft must convince businesses that subscribing to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is worth the monthly cost.

  • March 28, 2013 28 Mar'13

    Microsoft hints at Windows Blue agenda, speeds Windows updates

    Microsoft finally acknowledges Windows Blue, but is not forthcoming with details on the initiative's operating system updates.

  • March 08, 2013 08 Mar'13

    Enterprise IT shops put off Windows 8 migrations

    Windows 8 migrations have stalled as IT shops grapple with decisions over hardware and software upgrade costs, Windows security issues and more.

  • October 25, 2012 25 Oct'12

    Microsoft's latest 'bet the farm' operating system wager debuts

    Windows 8 will finally launch this week, but whether IT pros embrace it remains to be seen.

  • September 17, 2012 17 Sep'12

    SATA II ICH10R vs. SATA III Marvel 9128 Controllers

    Last week, after upgrading my 119 GB (actual) SATA II OCZ Vertex-2 SSD to a 167 GB (actual) SATA III Intel 520 SSD, I quickly realized that the SATA III Marvell 9128 controller on my Asus P6X58D-E ...

  • May 27, 2012 27 May'12

    Dealing with the "Bezel Issue" and Windows 8

    Almost any of the touchscreens you might buy today (especially those offered at more reasonable prices) will have bezels around the edge. By definition, a bezel forms a raised edge around the ...

  • October 21, 2011 21 Oct'11

    Turn off Random IPv6 Address Generation in Windows 7

    If you read this blog regularly, you already know that a team of authors -- including Jeff Carrell (the lead), James Pyles, Tom Lancaster, Mark Mirrotto, and myself -- are reworking a college ...

  • September 19, 2011 19 Sep'11

    The Real Secret Behind SLAT and Hyper-V for Windows 8

    So now that I've been introduced to Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) as a requirement for Hyper-V on the upcoming release of Windows 8 (see my recent blog on this discovery at ...

  • July 27, 2011 27 Jul'11

    Auto-Update for KB2310138 Spreads Consternation for MSE Users

    OK, so if you're running Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) installed then you must figure out what to do with an update that Microsoft pushed yesterday in its increasingly typical "2nd Patch ...

  • March 22, 2011 22 Mar'11

    Microsoft sweetens MDOP deal and releases Intune

    Windows Intune, Microsoft's cloud-based desktop management console is ready, and an MDOP 2011 update is due this year which will be offered to a wider customer base.

  • January 05, 2011 05 Jan'11

    Visio 2010: An improvement over 2007, but still flawed

    The latest version of Microsoft's diagramming program offers a plethora of new features -- and reintroduces a former flaw.

  • October 19, 2010 19 Oct'10

    Creating an IT admin's PowerShell toolbox

    The PowerShell scripting tool in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 should be the staple of any IT administrator's toolbox. Learn how it can help you.

  • October 19, 2010 19 Oct'10

    Microsoft counters Google Apps with Office 365

    Checkmate! Microsoft hopes its Office 365 online software suite will help retain customers considering a move to Google Apps.

  • June 22, 2010 22 Jun'10

    "Please Wait" Can Mean "Wait Forever..."

    According to MS KB Article 983551 (6/10/2010; Rev: 2.0) some computers running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 can freeze at the "Please wait" display that precedes appearance of the desktop on ...

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • April 28, 2009 28 Apr'09

    Microsoft wraps Office SP2 with better doc support

    Microsoft Office 2007 service pack 2, which is ready for download, supports an expansive list of document formats.

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • May 08, 2005 08 May'05

    What are user-mode vs. kernel-mode rootkits?

    All modes of rootkits are difficult to detect, but one type is preferred by hackers over another. Read about different rootkits in this tip.

  • January 13, 2005 13 Jan'05

    10 tips in 10 minutes: Password policy considerations

    The following 10 quick tips offer expert advice on password policy considerations, from educating users on the importance of a password policy to enforcing minimum length passwords.

  • December 21, 2004 21 Dec'04

    Definition of Microsoft patches

    Find out what types of new code introductions are included in Microsoft patch management in this book excerpt from Chapter 1 of "The complete patch management book."

  • October 22, 2004 22 Oct'04

    Close all unused ports

    This excerpt from "The administrator shortcut guide to patch management" describes how to restrict traffic by only allowing it through certain firewall ports.