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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  • How to create a VPN on Windows Vista to connect to a Windows Server, such as SBS 2008

    I was going to include this in the book, but decided it was not quite the right subject matter, so I've decided to post it on the blog. SBS 2003 had a pre-defined tool for VPNs. The tool exists in SBS 2008 to produce the same tool, but you have to configure it by hand. This is covered in this blog entry here . If you are on a client machine and you need create a VPN connection, or you are a user and want to create a VPN on Windows Vista, follow this guide. Start at the Start menu . Press the Connect To button to start the process. You will be told that you are already connected to a network, but you will need to create a new connection. Do this by selecting the Set up a connection or Network option and press Connect . In the Choose a connection option screen, select the Connect to a workplace option and press Next . Now select Use my Internet connection (VPN) . The Internet address is that for your remote server. If you are using Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) this will likely be "remote."...
  • Invalid certificate issued to localhost.localdomain when remotely access SBS 2008 from a Windows PC

    This is another question I was recently asked. One particular user noticed that the certificate they saw when accessing their server from the internet did not match that when accessing from the LAN. The certificate looked something like this: This was a little strange as when the system was accessed from the intranet, all things appeared fine. The culprit for them was the SBS 2003 self signed certificate on the same machine. By removing the certificate and then installing the correct new one things got better. To remove the old certificate, start MMC.exe and accept the UAC prompt. Now press Ctrl+M to add a new snap-in and select Certificates and when asked, add for the user account . The do the same again, but select Certificates and Computer Account and hit OK to accept the current computer. Now expand out Personal Certificates and remove any SBS 2003 self signed certificates. To load the new certificates open a browser inside your SBS 2008 network and point to http://companyweb/Lists/Announcements/DispForm.aspx...
  • Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista to enable "Open From" and "Save to" menu items in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

    One little feature that others might have missed with the new release of Office Live Workspace is the two nifty buttons for Office to enable direct access from the Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista The Office Live Workspace Update installs three Windows Vista updates (KB945435, KB945145, KB933860) and one Office 2007 update to ensure optimal performance on Windows Vista when using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Live Workspace. The update improves the performance of opening and saving Workspace documents from these Office programs. In some cases, the update also resolves problems with "Open from Office Live" and "Save to Office Live" functions of the Office Live Add-in . This update is only needed for computers running Windows Vista. Download details: Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live , Office Live Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Workspace , Vista , Windows Vista , Save to , Open From
  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does...
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Microsoft Windows security tools, Server 2008 readiness, step-by-step guides, virtualisation updates, synctoy beta, VHDs and LOTS on the new Terminal Services

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too. News Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is a risk-assessment application designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623431 Start your Microsoft Windows 2008 Readiness Right Here Focus on readiness for Windows Server 2008 now, and you can be the one who stands out when initiatives happen - and when promotion decisions are made. Let Microsoft Learning resources give you the head start you need to transition your skills and credentials to the latest Windows Server technologies - from free elearning clinics and free ebook downloads. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623432...
  • Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files

    I have documented some of these before, but now all of them are here. - How to backup information in Vista using Restore Previous Versions, writing to DVDs and the built in backup tools - How to use Windows Updates to get patches for the system - How Internet Explorer 7 and Vista protect you - just remember to say no!! - How to take files offline in Vista and Outlook (for SharePoint files) - Sharing files using Windows Messenger ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista
  • How to enable / disable / change the Task Manager on Windows Vista

    This question was asked in the forum, but after a bit of research I thought I would share this more broadly. Here is what I discovered: There is a group policy object to enable / disable task manager You can also replace the file that gets run when Task Manager is requested, but this is done using the debug options Group Policy to enable / disable For the Group Policy options, a quick search on Live Search takes me to http://www.infopackets.com/channels/en/windows/gazette/2003/20030821_enable_taskmanager_for_windows_2000_and_xp.htm which basically points to: Open Regedit Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System. Look for: DisableTaskMgr. Click on REG_DWORD. Value: 1=Enable this key (disables TaskManager) Value: 0=Disable (actually enables TaskManager) Replace Task Manager with another program Then for the how to replace the program you basically need to set the options for taskmgr.exe to replace it with another program using the debug options. This means...
  • New Windows Live suite live - and this is how to install on Windows x64

    I am sure many of you have seen that we launched a new wave of the Live suite (Windows Live Writer - which I am using right now, Messenger, Sign-in Assistant, Family Safety, Mail, Toolbar and Photo Gallery - which also uploaded videos to MSN Soapbox). If you want to more about these cool product, go to http://get.live.com/wl/all where it tells you that this is what you get: Connect Hotmail: Next-generation e-mail on the Web Mail: Multiple e-mail accounts on your desktop Messenger: Connect, share, and make every conversation count Find Search: Say hello to the next generation of search Toolbar: Think outside the search box Gallery: Personalize your Windows Live experience Share Spaces: Your blog, your photos, your social network SkyDrive: Password-protected online storage and sharing Photo Gallery: Edit and share photos and videos Writer: Easily publish pictures, videos, and other rich content to your blog Protect OneCare Family Safety: Help keep your kids safe online Get it together Windows Live Home: Start here...
  • Tool to modify UAC behaviour in Vista using Group Policy - BeyondTrust Privilege Manager

    I am one of those people who always leaves UAC enabled - I like to see when something (*cough* - Adobe Update - *cough*) wants to execute with admin privilege on my system and then get the choice as to whether to allow it or not. However, not everyone likes the choices that are presented by default with the GPOs ( Group Policy Objects ). Coming to the rescue are tools to help enhance these offerings, such as the Privilege Manager from BeyondTrust. Sometimes people forget that Microsoft is a platform for others to build on and this is no different. Their product enables pre-defining the responses to UAC based on a number of variables. While I have NOT tried the product, it is getting good reviews. You can however download an eval copy for free if you so desire. One thing to bear in mind is that when a tool like this is used, you weaken security - why, well, even if you use a SHA1 hash to work out if an application is safe or not, a clever hacker will use plugins, dll's etc to attack that product - it does not...
  • Want to know what is happening on your network, packet for packet - get Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1

    I saw this had been published and thought I would share - it is an amazing tool that I use for diagnosis all the time. Reading http://www.ditii.com/2007/07/03/network-monitor-31-released/ it also reminded me that this includes traces on wireless networks!! Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 Network Monitor 3.1 is a protocol analyzer. It allows you to capture network traffic, view and analyze it. Version 3.1 is an update and replaces Network Monitor 3.0. Network Monitor 3.x is a complete overhaul of the previous Network Monitor 2.x version. Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 x64 editions; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows XP 64-bit It is suggested that you have a CPU of 1GHz or greater, 1G or greater of Memory and 25 Megs of available Hard Disk space, plus room for capture files. Supports Vista 64 bit as well as 32 bit. Instructions Network Monitor 3.1 can co-exist with Netmon2.x. NM3.1 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3, so there is no conflict. But it will require...
  • How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows

    I have been asked this many times following up on the blog entry Installing Office 2003 and Office 2007 on the same system where once people have removed the problem with the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) appearing every time they start Office they then get the dialogs below every time they switch between Word 2007 and Word 2003. when starting Word 2003 when starting Word 2007 The fix to the problem is very simple as it turns out - simply run the following commands (by pressing the Windows Key+R or typing it into the Start/Run command box. Use the line with Office\11.0 if you have Office 2003 installed and Office\12.0 if you have Office 2007 installed. You can use both if you have both installed : reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 That is it. Office 2007 might want to have one more spin round the block with it's configuration dialog box, but that should be it. ttfn...
  • How to use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to stop malware (spyware and viruses) from infecting your computer - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Windows Vista and understand how to be a little safer online: Phishing protection in Internet Explorer ActiveX blocking in Internet Explorer Windows Defender in Windows Vista To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to...
  • How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup tools - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these tools: Use of the recycle bin Use of shadow copies to undo changes to a document Use of the DVD writing tools to copy and update files on a DVD Use of the built in Vista Backup tools To see the Backup Video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. If you want to download it as a WMV file then head over to the new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com - It should appear on this page soon. * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything...
  • Quick Tip - how to run an application, but not let the writes go back to disk - try Sandboxie

    I have to admit I have not done any extensive testing, but this little tool seems like a good thing to have around! For more information, have a look at Sandboxie . About Sandboxie When you run a program on your computer, data flows from the hard disk to the program via read operations. The data is then processed and displayed, and finally flows back from the progam to the hard disk via write operations. For example, if you run the Freecell program to play a game, it starts by reading the previously recorded statistics, displaying and altering them as you play the game, and finally writing them back to disk for future reference. Sandboxie changes the rules such that write operations do not make it back to your hard disk. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Sandboxie , Tips , application testing
  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search...
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • Using Vista and getting a slower performing network? Perhaps with SBS or other network equipment? Then you need to read Kevin's post at Neoblog.

    We all know that sometimes things sloooowwwwwiiinnnngggg down can be a real drag. Some people have seen this sort of thing with Vista and while sometimes it is to do with drivers (do I need to say wireless here??), others it could be one of the "nice" new features in Vista. In the latter example I can give you a good pointer to help. Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me, which is a posting by Kevin Higerty on this very problem - pop along to his blog to get the low down. I’ve been running Vista on my SBS network for a while, well since the January Action Pack, and have noticed resource access to the SBS box getting slower and slower over the last few days. At the same time I had issues like log on’s taking 2 minutes, explorer time outs and generally the whole system running like a dog. The two symptoms have turned out to be seperate, but combined they are a ‘throw the sodding pc outa the window’ type scenario. Slow networking is due to the auto tuning of TCP/IP in Vista which is turned on by default. Source:...
  • The hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista may become unavailable after you use the Disk Cleanup Tool (or fix hibernation not working)

    [updated 12th March 2007 21:03] This particular problem went round the internal discussions groups - having told people how to turn on hibernation and suggested a KB article on it, Armelle O'Neal told me that is has already been written up in KB Article (928897) . SYMPTOMS After you use the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows Vista, you may experience the following symptoms: You cannot see the Hibernate option in Power Options. When you use the sleep feature, the computer does not recover its settings if power is lost. CAUSE This problem occurs when the Disk Cleanup Tool disables the hibernation file. The hibernation file must be enabled to access the hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista. When the hibernation file is disabled, and the hybrid sleep feature is enabled, a backup of open programs and open files will not be saved to the disk when you use the sleep feature in Windows Vista. Additionally, if the computer loses power while the Windows is in sleep mode, open programs and open files...
  • Loading Office 2003 into Vista and fixing the problem with the EULA always coming up

    [updated 9:50 22nd July to include link to stop install dialog coming up when installing both Office 2003 and 2007 on the same machine] Having written about application compatibility and repeatedly answered the question as to whether Vista can run Office 2003 (yes it can), I decided to do a set of pictures for every step of the way. In doing this I got to the bottom of a couple of problems - i.e. how to I get the service packs for Office and how do I stop the EULA from constantly appearing. Here is my picturesque walk through. Step 1 - Boot up Vista and insert the Office CD . Insert the CD with Office on it and it should automatically start with a dialog box askign you if you want to run setup. Step 2 - Accept the User Access Control (UAC) dialog . If the dialog does not look just like the one in the 2nd screenshot below then this is a worry! All untampered Office installs should have a "blue bar" at the top of the UAC prompt box Step 3 - Follow the normal Office install Process (Note if it is a corporate...

(c)David Overton 2006-20