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.  

November 2006 - David Overton's Blog

  • Windows Vista documentation (including product guide, IPv6 transition and PowerShell)

    Windows Vista Product Guide A comprehensive feature by feature guide to Windows Vista. With contributions from people who actually worked on the product, this is the definitive resource to learn about Windows Vista. The Windows Vista Product Guide is available in the new Microsoft Word 2007 or the new XPS format. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bbc16ebf-4823-4a12-afe1-5b40b2ad3725&DisplayLang=en Windows Vista Step-by-Step Guides for IT Professionals These step-by-step guides will assist IT Professionals in deploying or migrating to Windows Vista. These guides will also provide step-by-step information on how to control device installation using Device Management and Installation (DMI) and manage ADMX files. There are also step-by-step guides to help you protect data using BitLocker Drive Encryption, to administer the TPM Security Hardware in a computer using Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Services, and to help deploy better-managed desktops and mitigate the impact of malware using User...
  • Are your customers getting too much junk into Outlook - use this tool to tell Microsoft about it

    I saw this on the Technet Newsletter and thought it was worthwhile. Obviously you will have enabled IMF in Exchange on SBS 2003, so what else can you do? The Junk E-mail Reporting Tool lets you directly report junk e-mail to Microsoft and its affiliates for analysis to help us improve the effectiveness of our junk e-mail filtering technologies. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=53541292-ce94-4c5b-9127-b7d56f11b619&DisplayLang=en
  • Need Norton Anti Virus for Vista - get the beta then

    I have just seen that the beta for AV and security software from Symantec is now available for download . As one would hope, it comes with the following information: What is a Beta? A “beta” is a pre-release version of a Symantec product that is available for public testing before the final version is released. Through public testing, we can evaluate how the product performs in “real world” environments and collect valuable feedback from you. We want you to tell us what you like and don’t like about the product and report any problems to us directly. Be among the first to experience the new features and functionality of our latest products. Current betas: Norton Internet Security 2007 Vista Public Beta Norton AntiVirus 2007 Vista Public Beta Norton 360 All-In-One Security Learn More
  • How to manage Shadow Copies (Previous Versions of files) in Windows Vista and SBS 2003

    At the Kent partner group I was asked if shadow copies applied to all volumes or just the main system volume. To find out the answer I typed "vssadmin list shadowstorage" and the result was: C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp. Shadow Copy Storage association For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{f2dea953-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{f2dea953-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 5.622 GB Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 5.874 GB Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 6.05 GB Shadow Copy Storage association For volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{f2dea955-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Shadow Copy Storage volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{f2dea955-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 33.453 MB Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 300 MB Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 961.343 MB This tells me how much storage is used on each...
  • What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)

    Many people have asked me what the killer app is for Office and I have always replied that it depends on the customers' needs. This is still true, so I am not doing a U-turn on that, but one thing people are always after is some form of CRM solution, but moving people to MS-CRM has an associated expense and complexity. BCM in Office 2003 was a nice package, but suffered on account of mobility, sharing account information and scalability. Office 2007 has addressed these issues and is now an amazing product. To see what it can do I strongly recommend you go and watch the small flash demo at http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=HA101759211033&Origin=HH101878561033&CTT=5 . When you load it onto your system (yes, I have it loaded on my work system connected to Exchange) you get the following mail that explains what it can do. I have bolded the sections I think are the most important. One of the really interesting things is that many customers say they want some form of contact management system...
  • Loading Windows SharePoint Services V3 (WSSv3) onto SBS 2003

    WSS V3 has many new refinements, but putting it on SBS 2003 is something that has to be considered due to the impact. From the documentation, this is what it says: This is Version 1 of this document. To download the latest updated version, visit the Microsoft Web site ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=77404 ). The update might contain critical information that was not available when this document was published. The Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 server software (Windows SBS) deeply integrates key Microsoft business productivity server products, including Microsoft Windows SharePoint® Services 2.0. A new version of the Windows SharePoint technology, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, is now available, and it provides enhanced features for your Windows SBS network. However, some of the differences between Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 break the integration between Windows SBS and Windows SharePoint Services. For this reason, if you want to install Windows...
  • Need a machine to practice or simulate Windows Server, Exchange 2007, SQL 2005 or ISA 2006? Download the pre-configured VHDs for these virtual machines

    I am sure you have seen these already, but if not, these are great tools to help when you quickly need a machine to test something on, or spend longer learning about a product. I know you can get the disks in the action pack, but then you have to load it up on a PC or VPC - this saves you all the trouble. Windows Server 2003 R2 Windows Server 2003 R2 helps to simplify branch server management, can improve identity and access management, helps to reduce storage management costs, provides a rich Web platform, and offers cost-effective server virtualization. In this VHD, you'll have the opportunity to road-test new and improved features and functionality of Windows Server 2003, including management and usability enhancements to Active Directory. Exchange Server 2007 Learn how to take advantage of key features of Exchange Server 2007. This VHD provides an exploration of Active Directory and the new features in Exchange Server 2007, new features in Outlook Web Access 2007, enforcing compliance and retention policies...
  • Vista and Office 2007 for Small Business (responding to more comments) - and the EVO Tour and more learnings (updated with links)

    Well, the EVO Tour is underway, with some initial bad feedback, we have taken that on board and now the feedback is MUCH better from all partners, including SBSC members, so the inital concerns appear have been answered - which is well done to the team for such a quick turnaround. When I answered the previous complaints " here ", I wanted to respond more fully to Martin's comments, so I will do that here. This is what Martin said that I will respond to now: "because this customer has temps that may or may not work on these platforms[David: Vista machines], the changes in UI between XP and Vista are significant that this solution[David: Using Vista on some machine] will not work. They believe (and so do I knowing the workforce) they are going to have to upgrade all of their Computers all 35 Desktops. On top of this, they are then going to have to ensure that all of the other LOB Apps run, and then train all users on the diverencies. That will cost the IT budget for the next 12 months so just isn't going to happen...
  • Recapping - what parts of Server 2003 R2 are in SBS 2003 R2

    This is one question I get asked a lot, which parts of R2 are in SBS 2003 R2. Obviously SBS 2003 R2 has the new WSUS tools for small business, which make patching easier, but people often ask about the other elements. This is discussed in more detail at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/02/28/420825.aspx . We have heard that some people want DFS-R, but this is not part of this package. Sorry - we are aware of the desire. ttfn David
  • BSOD screensaver - how to frighten people

    I saw this little ditty that is part of the SysInternals acquisition - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Miscellaneous/BlueScreen.mspx - it simulates a BSOD on your system as a screen saver and then even goes as far as to show the boot screen. Amazingly funny and I had to check that the machine was really ok by stopping the screen saver. Enjoy
  • Vista and Office for Small Businesses - replying to Susanne's and Vijay's blogs

    Wow, I go on holiday, spend some time catching up on e-mail, and what do I find " There’s a whiff of coffee in the air… " asking if Microsoft can help position Vista and Office for small businesses and then Vijay also asking " What’s the Value Proposition…?? ". Now these two blogs acknowledge that there is value in both products, just that the communication of that value is not getting through. It is also worth me saying that I thoroughly appreicate and desire this sort of discourse. Without getting the occational slap around the face Microsoft can not improve what it does, especially if the slap is deserved. Lets start with some ground rules: Vista & Office are not something that every business has to buy either on the 30th November or the 30th January, some people can or will wait a month or two before they feel the need :-) Microsoft does not have all the answers - that is why we rely on a fantastic partner network to fill the gap between MSs view and the customers The products value is additive - one feature...
  • What can Vista and Office do for Small Businesses

    This post is in reply to some recent questions raised by partners on Vista and Office. While the documents referenced here will be posted on the UK Vista and Office Microsite, I have hosted them quicker for your convenience. Files: Top 10 reasons why Vista and Office are right for small businesses Top 4 reasons why Vista and Office are right for small business Document explaining to partners why the top ten features are great for small businesses Why should your customer Vista and Office? Because they need it to solve many IT and business problems. Let's start with run rate. Not everyone has Windows XP, so many people are dealing with the computers they bought over the last 7 years. These people will need to buy new PCs, when they do, what will you tell them? The answer is a business PC that is designed for the 21st century. For those who have newer PCs and are not sure then the answer is that they might not want to upgrade just yet - this is not a "once only" offer - it will take years to move the whole world...
  • David sleeps on holiday

    While I am sifting my mails and the sites for blog entries, I thought I would share these two pictures of me working hard on holiday, looking after Lizzy. Molly thinks my phone looks my teddy, but my excuse is that it is my only clock as I don't wear watches This is what parenting does to you.. flaked out while keeping the little love happy J
  • CIO Jury: The Linux desktop is dead - silicon.com

    I always like to share information about how Windows or Linux is perceived on the desktop, but this little article puts it stronger than I ever would! Linux is unlikely ever to be a viable alternative to Microsoft's Windows on the desktop for corporate IT departments, according to leading CIOs. Just this week new research by the National Computing Centre (NCC) found only one Linux desktop for every 300 currently running Windows XP in UK organisations. Three-quarters of silicon.com's 12-strong CIO Jury backed the view that the Linux desktop dream is dead. Rorie Devine, IT director at Betfair.com, said Linux would have to change drastically to compete at desktop level. He said: "There would have to be a unified vision of where the components fit together and application developers would have to be able to work to that and have a mass market. At the moment there are too many options for the Linux desktop to support mass market tools. A more likely Unix on the desktop is Mac OS X." Source: CIO Jury: The Linux desktop...
  • Windows XP Media Player 11 and Digital Image 11.1 downloads

    Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP Windows Media Player 11 offers great new ways to store and enjoy all the music, video, pictures, and recorded TV on your computer. Microsoft Digital Image Starter Edition 2006 60-day Trial (Version 11.1) This 60-day trial includes easy-to-use tools that help you create, organize, enhance, and share your digital photos.
  • SQL Server 2005 SP2 for Vista and Longhorn

    If you have SQL based apps, they will have to upgrade to SQL 2005 SP2 (that includes the MSDE replacement SQL Express). e-Week noted ( SQL Server 2005 SP1 Users Face Vista, Longhorn Glitches ): These two operating systems will only support SQL Server 2005 SP2 "or later when it becomes available," according to Microsoft's SQL Server support Web pages. But there is no indication on these sites of how soon it will deliver SP2 or whether it will deliver the service pack at about the same time Vista and Longhorn are released. the CTP of SP2 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp.mspx More information on the problems users experience when not running SP2 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/sqlonvista.mspx with support information at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/windowsvistasupport.mspx which notes: Known Issues This section describes known issues that relate to installing and running SQL Server 2005 on Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn." Issues Related to User Account Control...
  • Microsoft Packaging for Vista and Office 2007 Revealed - Gizmodo

    I just like the pictures - cool looking packaging :-) Microsoft Packaging for Vista and Office 2007 Revealed Microsoft, planning to lure you into using Windows Vista and Office 2007 for the rest of your life, today reveals the packaging for the upcoming products, going with a rounded design reminiscent of a 1950s toaster. Let's let the Microsoftians damn us with their faint prose: Designed to be user-friendly, the new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that's designed to protect the software inside for life-long use. It provides a convenient and attractive place for you to permanently store both discs and documentation. The new design will provide the strength, dimensional stability and impact resistance required when packaging software today. Our plan is to extend this packaging style to other Microsoft products after the launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Office system. Take a look at close-ups of a couple of the new boxes, after the jump. – Charlie White Announcing New Packaging [Windows Vista Blog...
  • Restoring SBS 2003 to different hardware

    I saw this internal comment from Mark Stanfill and thought it was too good not to share. When moving to new hardware, this article is a good reference point: 249694 How to move a Windows installation to different hardware http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;249694 This article pre-supposes that they know a lot of details about their server (ACPI settings, filter drivers, HAL, etc) that they may not have access to. You should set the expectation that they will likely have to change some BIOS settings and that failures are likely and will have to be troubleshot on a case-by-case basis. If they have any concerns, this is a case where a call to CSS is highly advisable. Mark Stanfill, MCSE+I, MCSE 2000/2003, MCDBA Technical Lead, SBS http://blogs.technet.com/sbs One really important item in the mail - " If you have any concerns - call the support desk " - in the UK this might cost a couple of hundred pounds, but when doing a recovery and you are having problems, it might save you days of sweat,...
  • Windows Vista Released to Manufacturing - i.e. RTM - aka Shipping, done, finished, out the door to be made into DVDs

    The product is finished, millions of downloads, 60,000 machines in Microsoft, a huge amount of feedback and the product is out the gate. We still need to produce millions of boxes, but if you have Volume Licensing you can get the product at the end of the month, otherwise we have the product launch in January. I am upgrading my laptops as we speak. They are over 2 years old and run Vista like a dream. No fancy hard disks, one has 1GB, one 2GB of memory, one has a 64MB ATI graphics card and it still makes Vista look amazing. Jim Alchin made a very long post here - http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2006/11/08/it-s-time.aspx and simply said "It's Time", however more information can be found at http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2006/11/08/windows-vista-releases-to-manufacturing.aspx including a video of Jim's announcement. ttfn David
  • Help test Centro - MS's beta &/or TAP that requires 3 x64 machines and includes Longhorn and Exchange?

    From the SBS Blog: We are looking for a few good testers to help influence the direction of this new Microsoft® Windows Server Solutions Product. Do you have three 64 bit machines that you can spare to test some of the most exciting technology Microsoft is working on? I know the system requirements are a daunting one, but this is the only way we can test "Centro". So, if you are already on the Longhorn Beta or the Exchange Beta, then you are already two thirds of the way there. For more information, codes to access the beta, how to sign up etc, go look at The SBS and Centro Community Lead Blog : So, what is "Centro" you ask...........?
  • Windows Defender released to market - free Anti-Spyware product

    Windows Defender is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected and minimizes interruptions and helps you stay productive. Now with 2 free support incidents for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Source: Windows Defender home The product has the following features: A redesigned and simplified user interface – Incorporating feedback from our customers, the Windows Defender UI has been redesigned to make common tasks easier to accomplish with a warning system that adapts alert levels according to the severity of a threat so that it is less intrusive overall, but still ensures the user does not miss the most urgent alerts. Improved detection and removal – Based on a new engine, Windows Defender is able to detect and remove more threats posed by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Real...
  • Important Sneak Peak – UK Small Business Symposium coming

    I can't reveal all the details, although I am sure others will, however we are working on special event for SBSC members. This event design incorporates your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to hear about, share as a community as well as information Microsoft needs to share with you. Expect useful information, the opportunity to network with your peers, Microsoft and partners and the ability to socialise too J The timeframe for this event is February 2007, in Reading, Manchester (or Leeds) and Edinburgh, although more sessions will happen in the afternoon in Reading due to availability of speakers and rooms. The ROUGH agenda looks like this Morning: UK Exec who actually cares about Small Business (such as Natalie Ayres - Director of SMS&P*) talking about: What's the view from the top? Why does everything you've heard matter? What's the opportunity for partners? Aileen Hannah – responsible for SBSC programme in the UK, talking about: Highlights & lowlights of the program so far Latest resources...
  • Microsoft blocks 'Black Hat' Vista hack

    I remember when this story 1st broke - that someone had found a way to use cpu virtualisation technology to provide the ultimate "root kit" to steal information from Vista (although this would work for any / every operating system). One little niggle was that the user had to install the nasty, which required admin access, so a UAC security prompt was part of the "process" of the seamless install. Then came the uproar about the 2-yr old technology of PatchGuard, which stops the hooking and replacing of certain x64 kernel APIs to make it harder to attack the system and blocks another set of routes for non-virtualisation based root kits. The noise about this was because some Anti-Virus vendors felt it was their right to modify the kernel in anyway they wanted and this access would obviously be used by both good and bad people. A compromise has been reached, so hopefully systems will be protected and AV vendors will be happy. The final piece is the changes that have been made to stop the virtualisation attack. Once...

(c)David Overton 2006-17