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.  

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  • Developer Events in September and October in the UK

    I just saw this, so thought I would pass it on: Join other developers at free regional Microsoft Technical Events to receive technical know-how demos from Microsoft experts, insights into our latest technologies and a chance to meet and talk to other developers. Events nearest to you MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: Reading Date: 2 September 2008 MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: London Date: 4 September 2008 MSDN Event: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Reading Date: 2 October 2008 MSDN: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Bristol Date: 22 October 2008 MSDN Roadshow Re-Run Location: London Date: 24 October 2008 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , RIA , Rich Internet Applications , Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5 , Service Pack 1 , Microsoft , Events
  • System Center Essentials 2007 on Windows Server 2008

    I got a question the other day asking in SCE was available on Windows Server 2008. From the System Center Essentials 2007 hope page I noticed that is states that with SP1 Windows Server 2008 is supported. Service Pack 1 Is Now Available! System Center Essentials just got better and faster: The new improvements include up to 70% less memory consumption, faster console, support for workgroup joined computers, SNMP v1 devices, improved setup, new update approvals rules, enhanced third-party update experience, and support for Windows Server 2008. Download the trial or update your existing Essentials server . For more information on what’s included, visit the SP1 Resource Page . Now, I’ve not installed this on Server 2008, but apparently there are a few tricks that you need to learn – I’d suggest that you have a look at Permanent Link to Installation Guide for System Center Essentials SP1 on Windows Server 2008 (x8 and Permanent Link to Reinstalling System Center Essentials 2007 . Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft...
  • Available to everyone (well almost) - Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update

    Today Windows Vista SP1 has made it to Windows Update for the 5 lead languages with the rest to follow over the following weeks. Lots of details at Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 Released to Windows Update . Perhaps some of the most important points from the blog entry for me are listed below, but read the blog entry for all details: If in running Windows Update you do not see Windows Vista SP1 listed, there are a number of good reasons for this (Eight in fact, see the whole list ) If You have a pre-release version of SP1 and need to uninstall it before installing SP1. This is quite a chore - expect the uninstall to take 30 to 90 mins depending on hardware, then start the whole install process again!! Back in February we announced that we'd be using Windows Update to help make the update as seamless as possible for our users. Windows Update will detect drivers that we know may be problematic when updating to SP1 and will not offer the service pack until an update has been installed. More details...
  • Latest news, events and downloads in the Security world from Microsoft - Windows Server 2008, Mobile, employee habits, Antigen, IPSEC, ForeFront, NAP, XP Firewall, System Center

    Each month the TRM blog product this great summary of the Microsoft world in various product areas. The blog can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ News Help your customers securely deploy Windows Server 2008 with the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide! http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92550 Every day, adversaries attempt to invade your customers’ networks and access their servers—to bring them down, infect them with viruses, or steal information about customers or employees. Your customers are looking to Microsoft and Windows Server® 2008 to help them address these threats. To assist customers in taking full advantage of the rich security features in Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has developed the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide. The Windows Server 2008 Security Guide provides IT professionals with best practices, predefined security templates, and an automated deployment tool to help strengthen the security of servers running Windows Server 2008. Supporting Your Family, Friends, and Neighbours...
  • All change - Windows Vista SP1 here now for technical customers - it was delayed. It is still a little way away for non-technical people

    Last week Microsoft announced SP1 for Vista to the world , but then said some device drivers were causing problems so there would be a delay to enabled those to be resolved. That is the device drivers, not SP1. Well, as you can imagine, there was a fair amount of noise around this, so the rollout has been changed to enable technical people who were on the beta and MSDN & Technet Plus people to get it much earlier. Someone once asked me why we could not get things on the web quicker - well, if you have a few million people downloading something at the same time it has a hit, so all releases, even system updates, have an element of staggering. From the blog posting Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 availability for technical customers some salient points are: On Monday (February 4th), we announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Overall, people are excited to hear that we have reached this milestone, but some are disappointed they are not able to immediately...
  • New build of Vista SP1 RC Preview to load and rumour that Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15

    I've been running Vista SP1 builds for a while and I like them. I don't like the process of changing builds which is "simply" a case of uninstalling the old build, letting it reboot twice, updating the registry, doing find updates in windows update, reboot, do it again, reboot, do it again, wait 15 mins, do it again, then let it install for a chunk of time, reboot twice more. Now, you won't have this fun when the "real" update comes out, but us testers simply enjoy this process!! To get the latest preview go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=529d992a-d69e-4c73-9213-7a7f3852c0ca&DisplayLang=en Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month. According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is...
  • One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched - down from 28% last May, but still need to be careful

    I like Secunia as an organisation. They present huge amounts of data that you can then pick into if you disagree with it. For example, ZDNet recently said that 2007 saw more serious security flaws for Apple OSX compared to Windows using the information provided by Secunia's web site. They also run a scan on people's PC to determin how good/bad they are and while things have improved - it is again too easy to be one of the people throwing things saying "I'm alright because I run Windows Update or applied Service Pack 1". One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched Updates are available, but users haven't installed them, says Secunia December 28, 2007 (Computerworld) -- One in five applications installed on Windows PCs are missing security patches, a Copenhagen-based vulnerability tracker has reported. According to Secunia APS, more than 20% of the applications scanned by its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility were open to attack because available fixes for security flaws had not been...
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

    I'm sure you have heard that the Office 2007 Service Pack is here. Darren Strange has documented what is in it and how to get it at Office 2007 sp1 ready for download today and OfficeRocker! : More detail about sp1 . In answer to Susanne's post at here , hopefully this post has some more info in it One of the little things he puts that I like is: Some other factoids about sp1 There are roughly 2500 fixes in SP1. This an average size for a service pack, but the issues fixed are very important to our customers. Almost 20% of those fixes are direct result of customer requests. Over 500 of those fixes focused on security. There are a total of 24 different releases in 38 languages. There are 683 distinct packages. All have released simultaneously today. If you get the whitepaper then you would be keen to see the information below. Notice that SharePoint amongst other things a developer update to support Ajax and that other server products (Groove and Project Server) are also updated. Stability Microsoft continues...
  • The Official SBS Blog : New Best Practices for SP2 KB - From June, but worth getting out there

    I should have mentioned this before, but I appear to have been a bit bad at reading others blog and forwarding on :-) Anyway, since the release notes for SP2 can't be updated, here are the latest best practice KB articles. This is just a quick note about the availability of a new KB published today to help consolidate some of the information that we've posted on this blog. Best practices and known issues when you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 on a Windows Small Business Server 2003-based computer http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=939421 The Official SBS Blog : New Best Practices for SP2 KB ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2003 SP2 , Best Practices
  • Service Packs, Vista and a Q&A with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System division at Microsoft, discusses the company's plans for the first service pack of Windows Vista.

    A few people have asked me about Vista SP1 - what will it contain, how big will it be, can you tell me more, so I thought I would share these two articles with you. One is a press report of a discussion with Shannon on http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Windows-Vista-SP1-weighs-in-at-1GB/0,130061733,339281624,00.htm which states things like: the company has revealed that test versions of the update are currently 1GB As for what's in the Vista update, it's mostly a collection of existing fixes and tweaks aimed at improving stability and reliability of the operating system ability to encrypt multiple hard drive partitions using Vista's BitLocker feature removable storage file format known as exFAT as well as for EFI (extensible firmware interface), an alternative to the BIOS (basic input output system) that handles the initial start-up of a system changes to Vista's desktop search feature in response to complaints from Google or http://www.betanews.com/article/Windows_Vista_SP1_Will_Uninstall_Group_Policy_Management...
  • FoxPro Service Pack beta

    Many years ago I used to do database development and my preferred environment was FoxPro. Well, were now on version 9 and the latest service pack is in beta. Have a play, but think how you can move to Access or SQL in the future. Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0 Service Pack 2 and "Sedna" - Beta This download contains the BETA release for Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP2 and the "Sedna" add-ons. This release has two parts: The Sedna Beta download contains six components: VistaDialogs4COM, Upsizing Wizard, Data Explorer, NET4COM, MY for VFP and VS 2005 Extension for VFP. The VFP 9.0 SP2 Beta download contains a patch that can be applied to VFP 9.0 or VFP 9.0 SP1. In addition to fixes to the core product, this patch contains significant enhancements to the Reporting features. Note that the SP2 patch can only be applied to VFP 9.0 or VFP 9.0 SP1. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=05A0E7C9-43C1-417F-8810-AE7D7C66BAC8&displaylang=en ttfn David Technorati Tags: Foxpro , beta...
  • What is going on in the world of Virtualisation with Virtual Server and Virtual PC on licensing, Vista, x64 and more

    There are a couple of recent announcements with regard to the current range of products that I thought I would cover off. One is about licensing and has been written up by Matt McSpirit at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit/archive/2007/06/22/microsoft-virtualisation-licensing-client-and-server.aspx and covers how many licenses you get when. The other is Virtual Server SP1: Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Is Now Available Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is the server virtualization technology engineered for the Windows Server operating system to increase hardware utilization and enable IT staff to rapidly configure and deploy new servers. Register to download the free software and you will receive relevant resources that are strategically assembled to address the challenges you will face as you discover, assess, and deploy the software. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7042993 The What is New page shows (plus more on the page) - note the x64 support for more memory. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/virtualserver/evaluation...
  • Vlad Mazek - "What is service management" and "how to avoid being hit by a truck when it is most inconvenient"

    I love Vlad's straight talking. If you get a chance read the whole of the blog entry Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Windows Server 2003 SP2 EEULA & CYA because as far as I am concerned he is preaching to the converted. I will stand by my view that Service Packs are tested as much as possible, but you need to do your own validation (see Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others thi ) to ensure that your application vendor is also happy to support their products on that service pack. If you only have MS products, check the release notes AND SUPPORT.MICROSOFT.COM as both may well have important information. I've extracted part of Vlads process to avoid a bloody head - read his post for more as people like Susan Bradley wishes she had :-) However, a part of me wonders just how heavy the rock was. You know, the one that he was under since Microsoft started releasing service packs. As painful as the above is to read, and as painful as this...
  • Windows Server SP2 (SBS 2003 (R2) with SP2 too) RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update

    Susan B has probably been at the forefront of SBS 2003 SP2 pains, so it is only right that it is her blog I see this posting on. SP2 RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update The Official SBS Blog : New SBS 2003 Updates released through Microsoft Update and WSUS: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/06/08/new-sbs-2003-updates-released-through-microsoft-update-and-wsus.aspx New on Microsoft update is a sp2 patch that you should be installing BEFORE you install SP2. But the problem is that only gets MU'd offered up to you AFTER you install SP2. At that point in time there is a chance (especially with ISA on the box and broadcom nics) that you'll lose RDP/VPN. So I'm sticking with my recommendations from before.... SP2 RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update - E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" ttfn David Technorati Tags: Service Packs , SP2 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS 2003
  • Important Update on SBS 2003 upgrade from RTM (SP0) to SP1 for Premium customers who wans ISA 2004

    If you have recently tried to upgrade from SBS 2003 RTM you might have hit a minor issue - we did not have the premium tech CDs available. While we can not promise them to be available today, the problem is being worked on and the issue will be resolved. However, the supply of CDs is limited, so if you plan to do this, order the CD now and save the CD for when you want to upgrade. The URL with the information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/downloads/sp1/default.mspx . Standard users will still just need to download the SP1 bits. Premium users will need to download the SP1 bits AND order the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium CD3 which contains the bits needed for ISA. An update will be posted on April 30, 2007. thanks David Technorati tags: SBS 2003 , Service Pack 1 , ISA 2004
  • Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others think it is just Microsoft (vendors)

    I saw this in a forum and got a bit upset by it... it read: “SP2 is not going anywhere near anything we manage until some other people have tried it and seen whether it has any unexpected side effects.” This was followed by “What would happen if everyone took that attitude? I believe that we have to take responsibility for testing these service packs ourselves for the benefit of our customers, not waiting for someone else to try it first.” And then “That's MS's job - not ours.“ And “It's not about whether others can be bothered it's about whose job it is to test these patches. It's not mine, nor my customers. There are far too many Microsoft bashers and there are far too many Microsoft sycophants - the rest of us just get shouted down when we say it like we see it.” The last comment really got my goat, so much so that I posted back to the forum this reply, but I thought I would make it wider as I think the conversation should be discussed broader. Now in defence, I have snipped little bits of the conversations...
  • Help and Support Service not working / there after Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is applied to a machine

    I had some apps fail on my machine yesterday after I got back from the TechNet event, so off I went to diagnose. It was then that I discovered that the help and support service had gone. Vanished, Vamoosh. I did find this little baby in the event log though: Event Type: Error Event Source: HELPSVC Event Category: None Event ID: 16387 Date: 14/03/2007 Time: 11:44:31 User: N/A Computer: SERVER Description: Service could not be deleted Being of a speedy nature I fired a mail off internally only to be told "yep, we know about and are investigating and we have already blogged about it" - http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/03/20/help-and-support-service-missing-after-installing-windows-2003-service-pack-2.aspx There is a fix there, which I used, works and is great, so no harm done, just a small panic.
  • Deploying Vista to many desktops from Small Business Server 2003 with SP2 (R2 or R1) using Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools

    A nice man named Zack dropped me a mail asking about the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools and "real" documentation, which led to Matt in the PTS team writing about all the great tools (see below). I then installed SP2 for Windows Server 2003 and realised that my SBS 2003 system now has the capabilities of BDD to deploy Vista desktops (in my case, pre-configured with Office 2007 too). Wow. I went and checked and the Windows Deployment Services admin controls are there on my SBS SP2 system, so you can use this information to enable PXE deployments of Windows if you want. These can include other programs such as Office and anti-virus products and also be pre-configures to join the domain etc. Business Desktop Deployment 2007 - Resources Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:43 AM by mattmcspirit For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or...
  • Small Business Server 2003 (SP1 and R2) upgrading to SP2 and Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) information - including the fact that you do NOT have to uninstall IE7

    [updated 21th March 14:15] This is just a quick note to say that the release notes are WRONG (and will be changed) in stating that IE7 has to be uninstalled. Also, if you have automatic updates turned on, SP2 will still prompt prior to an install as the EULA needs to be accepted, so no discovering that it was installed by the note that the server has rebooted. I did the install today my system is fine and I have had it confirmed that unless you specifically fall into the problem areas listed in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/932600 : You upgrade from an evaluation copy of Windows Small Business Server 2003 to the full retail version. You upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to the full retail version of Windows Small Business Server 2003. You migrate to Windows Server 2003 from Windows Small Business Server by using the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Transition Pack. For information on SP2 and what it delivers, please look at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sp2.mspx . This is a...
  • Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager and Small Business Accounting 2006 - Update for Vista and Office 2007 support

    Service Pack 4 for Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and for Small Business Accounting 2006 fixes the following issues that were not previously documented in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: Application compatibility with Windows Vista Application compatibility between Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and Office Accounting 2007 Source: Description of Service Pack 4 for Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and for Small Business Accounting 2006 ttfn David Technorati tags: BCM , Business Contact Manager , Small business , CRM , Service Pack
  • SQL SP2 updates to support Vista and Office 2007

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to SQL 2005 SP2 and another will relate to Virtual PC 2007. Microsoft announced the release the web of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2. SP2 is an important deliverable for SQL Server, providing support for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System in addition to delivering important enhancements for customers. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/sp2.mspx . For me, the performance of my reports on my reporting server went up significantly. Ttfn David Technorati tags: SQL Server 2005 , SQL 2005 , SQL SP2 , Vista Published with BlogMailr

(c)David Overton 2006-18