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Microsoft Windows news, reviews, and analysis
  • Finding technical info on Microsoft's web site

    Posted July 29, 2008 - 4:25 pm

    Some need-to-know pages on microsoft.com for IT pros who work with Microsoft products and technologies.
  • Reconsidering Vista

    Posted July 28, 2008 - 12:38 pm

    OK, it's not perfect. But Windows Vista on a new PC is perfectly serviceable for many users. In some ways, in fact, Vista is a better operating system than Windows XP. Unfortunately, XP's heir apparent is also the most derided and discounted Microsoft operating system since Windows Me.
  • Forrester: Vista is like 'new Coke'

    Posted July 24, 2008 - 5:22 pm

    Fewer than one in eleven of the PCs being used in large or very large enterprises runs Windows Vista, according to survey results released Wednesday by Forrester Research Inc. Of the 50,000 enterprise users surveyed by the Cambridge, Mass. analyst firm, 87.1% were still running Windows XP at the end of June, compared to 8.8% for Vista.
  • Another script to make Knowledge Base searches easier

    Posted July 23, 2008 - 10:55 am

    Here's a simple scripted Web page you can save onto your hard drive and use to google the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
  • Windows Home Server update fixes data-corruption issue

    Posted July 21, 2008 - 4:14 pm

    Microsoft has released an update to Windows Home Server that fixes a data-corruption problem some users were having with the software.
  • What Does It Take to Get a PC With XP?

    Posted July 18, 2008 - 11:53 am

    I won't waste time rehashing the argument over whether Windows Vista is any good. The fact remains that lots of people prefer Windows XP, and they'll go to great lengths to get it.
  • Another Use for Diskpart Shrink

    Posted July 16, 2008 - 4:10 pm

    In last week's post we saw how to shrink a disk volume using the SHRINK subcommand of the DISKPART command. Today we'll look at another use for this command.
  • Shrinking a volume using diskpart

    Posted July 10, 2008 - 5:09 pm

    The Diskpart command in Vista lets you shrink a disk volume, but sometimes not very much. Here's a way you may be able to make your volume even smaller.
  • Who's Logged On?

    Posted July 10, 2008 - 6:28 am

    How do you know who's logged on to a Vista machine? For example, what if you're sitting down at a client computer and you're not sure who's logged on and what privileges they have? No problem. You can use the WHOAMI command to get all kinds of useful information about the user who is currently logged on to the computer. Here's the syntax:
  • Microsoft offers free Vista-to-XP downgrade help

    Posted July 9, 2008 - 4:28 pm

    Microsoft Corp. Monday said it would offer free technical support to small businesses that buy new PCs with Windows Vista in the next three months, its latest attempt to convince users that moving to Vista is a good idea.
  • Microsoft patches security bugs in products

    Posted July 8, 2008 - 4:40 pm

    Microsoft has patched bugs in its Exchange, SQL Server and Windows software that could give hackers new ways to break into computers.
  • Microsoft to release new 'Essential' servers in November

    Posted July 7, 2008 - 8:37 pm

    Microsoft plans to release a new Windows server OS aimed at midsized businesses as well as the next version of its small-business server software worldwide on Nov. 12, the company said Monday.
  • XP SP3 to reach most users 'shortly,' says Microsoft

    Posted July 7, 2008 - 2:00 pm

    Microsoft Monday said that it would begin pushing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to most users "shortly."

  • Script to make Microsoft Knowledge Base searches easier

    Posted July 3, 2008 - 7:36 pm

    Do you ever get tired of typing "site:support.microsoft.com" into the search box when you're using Google to search the Microsoft Knowledge Base? I certainly do--here's a short script to give your fingers a break.
  • XP deadline matters little to business customers

    Posted June 29, 2008 - 4:55 pm

    The countdown is nearly over: Monday marks the long-awaited date after which PCs preloaded with Windows XP will no longer be available.
  • Microsoft repairs PCs crippled by XP SP3 update

    Posted June 29, 2008 - 4:43 pm

    Nearly three weeks after security vendor Symantec Corp. released a free tool to clean up PCs crippled by the Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) update, Microsoft Corp. issued a fix that should reestablish lost Internet and wireless connections.

  • Hiding Your Shared Folders

    Posted June 27, 2008 - 8:21 am

    Setting up user accounts with strong passwords and then applying shared-folder permissions on those accounts are the necessary network security tasks, and in most small networks they're also sufficient for achieving a decent level of security. However, when it comes to securing your network, a healthy dose of paranoia is another good "tool" to have at hand. For example, the properly paranoid network administrator doesn't assume that no one will ever infiltrate the network, just the opposite: The admin assumes that someday someone will get access, and then he or she wonders what can be done in that case to minimize the damage.

  • Using Remote Assistance Across a NAT

    Posted June 26, 2008 - 5:49 pm

    Use this cool tool from Microsoft to verify whether your NAT router supports Vista's enhanced Remote Assistance capabilities.
  • Microsoft posts Vista SP1 reliability patches

    Posted June 25, 2008 - 8:26 pm

    Microsoft Tuesday released a reliability update for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) that fixes several bugs in the OS update, including one that threw off errors when users tried to run large applications, such as Microsoft's own Excel 2007 and Windows Media Player.
  • Microsoft plugs downgrade option as XP deadline nears

    Posted June 24, 2008 - 1:47 pm

    Businesses that aren't quite ready to deploy the Vista operating system as of the June 30 expiration date can continue to use XP, said Microsoft Corp. in a letter released to its customers this week.
  • Controlling Service Security Using Windows Server 2008

    Posted June 24, 2008 - 11:49 am

    With Windows Server 2008 Microsoft has added some fantastic new control over services. When you combine all of the control that Microsoft provides for services in a Group Policy Object, you can ensure that your services are protected.
  • More on preventing RAID problems

    Posted June 20, 2008 - 3:42 pm

    Mix and match a bit with the drives in your arrays, and avoid whenever possible using drives from the same manufacturing lot. And to be safe, implement RAID 6 that allows recovery from two failed drives instead of the one failed drive that RAID 5 protects you against.
  • Microsoft's critical Bluetooth patch didn't work on XP

    Posted June 20, 2008 - 9:29 am

    Microsoft has reissued a critical Windows security patch, saying that the fix didn't initially work on the most recent versions of Windows XP.
  • The future is bleak without XP

    Posted June 19, 2008 - 2:26 pm

    In just under two weeks, Microsoft will discontinue Windows XP and make way for a new era in the world of operating systems. The days of Start bars will give way to wonky buttons and a refreshed design, stable operation will give way to frequent crashing, and XP will die at the hands of a misguided killer: Microsoft.
  • Resolving an RPC error

    Posted June 19, 2008 - 11:54 am

    This week I was busy with a number of things, including trying to deploy a distributed file system (DFS) namespace using several servers running Windows Server 2008. Setting up the namespace was simple enough: I created the namespace root, added namespace folders, and configured various folder targets. Then I tried to configure replication between the folder targets for one of the namespace folders, but the replication wizard wouldn't start -- it said something about "RPC Server unavailable" and that the shared folders underlying the folder targets couldn't be found.
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