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Ok, so for a brief overview, every user account on my home computer has internet access but mine.
I have Windows 7 (64 bit), my computer is a gateway, and I use Internet Explorer. If anyone needs any more information about this sort of stuff, just let me know and I'll do my best to provide it.

This problem started after my anti-virus software (ZoneAlarm) caught two virus. It got rid of them like it always does; however, after that the internet wasn't working on my profile. By what I remember, before I ran the scan and got rid of the viruses, the internet wasn't working for anyone's account. Then after the scan, everything was working fine again but the internet on my account still wasn't working. This was about two weeks ago, so I don't remember all the details.

So, onto the exact problem. Whenever I click internet explorer down in the task bar either nothing comes up at all, OR a blank window will open after about 30 seconds of waiting, and then close on it's own after about 10 seconds. I should mention that according to the little icon in the bottom right-hand corner, I have internet access; and I can access my e-mail through windows live and read, send, and receive mail, I just can't click any of the links in the e-mails.

I've tried opening the internet with no add-ons, I've tried going to the control panel and making internet explorer my default program for everything internet related or whatever, I've tried running CCleaner--none of it has made a difference.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.




first of all, I have WinXP Pro with SP2 installed. I just format the hard
drive on Monday (Nov 15th). First I installed everything for Windows (from
the OS itself, then all the updates from windowsupdate.microsoft.com), then
the drivers, then Zone Alarms firewall, Norton Antivirus 2003, then
everything else (programs, games, etc).

some people in a forum I belonged to tried to help with no "real" result
until now. one person suggested that I should remove SP2 (which I almost
did), another person suggested to remove other things, and so on.

but well, anyway, here's what happened so far:

- one member of the forum suggested that HP (I have an HP all-in-one)
software is buggy. I uninstalled the whole software and the driver, even
cleaning up the registry entries, and the control panel still plays dead.
- another member told me that most of the time NVidia drivers that comes
with WinXP are 90% incorrect. I've downloaded the drivers & programs from
NVidia website and installed them. nothing changed, control panel still plays
dead.
- I can access each one of the CONTROL PANEL applets from system32 folders
and every single one works fine (I can click on each button available and
able to go back & forth)
- I already run a adware remover program (as the matter of fact, I run the
program daily) and found nothing beside leftover cookies after browsing
- I tried clicking on each option available in the CATEGORY VIEW and comes
up with a list of which option works and which one don't.

the ones that works fine (getting in & out, click this & that without
problems) a Add/Remove Programs, Security Center, User Account.

the ones that "half" working (I can click on it but the CP hung in the next
screen after that first click) a Performance & Maintenance, Date Time
Language & Regional Setting, Sound Speech & Audio Devices, Network & Internet
Connection, Appearance & Themes.

the ones that aren't clickable & make the CP hung by clicking the options
a Accessibility Option, Printers & Other Hardware.

so, anybody with any "possible" explanation/solution, please kindly reply to
this thread or email me directly at




Hello all,

Did some searching, no luck, so I hope someone here can help please.

I got a computer from someone with Windows 7 on it, and they had already created their account. I was tired of their initials being on everything and changed the name of the account. That was a surface fix and did not remove all the folders named after the other user. To fix this problem I did some searching and found what I thought was the solution. I made a new account, copied all my files into the new account I wanted to keep, and deleted the old account. All of this was done from a third account (CompAdmin) with administrator permission.

Now, the Recycle Bin icon shows the white page with bent corner and windows box inside as the icon instead of the normal one. I cannot access the control panel page. I get the error 'failed to load'. Searching these problems on the internet, I cannot find a solution which I am allowed to use. I ran /sccannow through the CompAdmin account and there was an error found but it said it "was unable to be fixed" in the CMD (whatever the text is that is returned after running scannow).

I don't really know what I did to create these errors and I don't know how to get them fixed. If you need more details please let me know, I tried to be brief in explaining my problem.

Thanks

**EDIT

I also see the account has popped back up in the LocalDiskUsers folder. I deleted it and the files that were left in it, or so I thought. My new account is there as well as the CompAdmin account (which had not been there before) but the original owner's folder in Users is still there and says to be over 25Gigs which it was when I deleted it.




Hi all,

I posted a long (probably too long) issue recently but despite nearly 200 people viewing it, no-one offered a solution. So I am re-posting a shorter, clearer statement here but below I also enclose the long full diagnostic information (at the bottom).

At home we have 4 computers: a Macbook Pro with OS X 10.7, a Windows XP desktop machine, a Windows 7 Professional 32-bit laptop, and a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit workstation. As a result of my extensive experimentation and testing I found that:

- Networking and sharing drives between the Macbook and the XP machine worked fine in both directions
- Ditto for the Windows 7 Professional 32-bit laptop - everything "just worked" exactly as it should
- However the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit machine simply would not work from the Mac to the PC (I was however able to access the PC from the Mac)
- All PCs were of course able to inter-operate in both directions across the network with each other

My conclusion therefore is that the Mac is set up and working correctly, there are no connectivity problems, and almost certainly this is an issue relating either to 64-bit W7 (versus 32-bit) or it's an issue relating to "Ultimate" versus "Professional" (or both). I have not 'fiddled' with anything, the only setting changes made which could be considered low-level were the 'secpol' change on the W7x64 machine which I read in many posts might solve the issue (it didn't).
I am not a technical expert although I have some ancient history in the field. I just want it to work. Everything I read tells me that it should - now Windows and Mac both use SMB, etc etc. But it doesnt.

Absolutely desperate to get this solved quickly now. I would even happily have paid someone, but finding an expert in Switzerland who can come to the house, speak English fluently plus (of course) be fluent in Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Mac... it's proved to be a test too far. So if anyone out there can help... thank you in advance.

Alastair

--------------------
ORIGINAL DIAGNOSTIC DETAILS

CONCLUSIONS
There appears to be a fundamental compatibility problem between Mac OS X and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
The problem actually appears to have a degree of randomness / instability about it (see below when, during diagnostics, the workstation actually disappeared, then reappeared!).
I can only presume this issue relates in some way to the “enhancements” either related to Ultimate versus Professional, or to 64-bit versus 32-bit variants.
At the moment there is only one solution I am confident would work, which is to revert my workstation to 32-bit… however this is not an option for me as it would render around 21GB of RAM unusable and remove the whole raison-d’etre for purchasing a powerful workstation in the first place.
I am therefore stuck and in need of help!
PRECONDITIONS
In all cases I am using connectivity between three different PCs and a Macbook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X running version 10.7 (Lion). BTW I know Lion is new but it was exactly the same with 10.6.
I have three PCs: an XP Pro machine, a W7 Pro 32bit machine and a W7 Ult 64bit machine.
All three PCs are running the same antivirus and firewall (Norton Internet Security 2011), this was left ON for all tests on all machines.
I have already been through all the myriad of advise on this subject: as you can see from the below, file sharing etc has all been enabled. The “secpol” changes etc have also been made on the W7 Ult 64bit machine only (but these were only made because it didn’t work without the changes and everyone seemed to think this was needed).
All my Windows computers are configured to workgroup “WILF” and also set this Workgroup name on the Mac in the WINS settings dialogue. No homegroup exists on the network.
No other “tinkering” has taken place. Although I have some tech skills, I am just a bloke who wants to use his computers, not a computer genius. As such the Tosh laptop is pretty much fresh out of the box, the Mac has nothing non-standard and the only setting change is the WINS setting for the Workgroup name. The workstation is a little over a year old so but I have not poked around with anything deep inside it, so if there is anything wrong it should be superficial – the kind of thing a basic user could have changed by mistake and can easily be changed back.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
Connecting between Macbook and old Windows XP machine (XP Pro 2002 SP3):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.
From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
From PC: Opening “My Network Places” and clicking on “View Workgroup Computers” shows all my networked computers including the Mac, double-clicking the Macbook icon opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
In short: this appears to work as it should.
Connecting between Macbook and new Windows 7 machine (W7 Pro 32-bit 2009 edition, Tosh laptop w/ Intel Core i7 M620 @ 2.67GHz, 4GB RAM):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.
From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. This time I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
In short: this appears to work as it should.
Connecting between Macbook and fairly new Windows 7 workstation (W7 Ultimate 64-bit 2009 edition SP1, Supermicro workstation w/ 2 x Intel Xeon W5590 @ 3.33GHz, 24GB RAM):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC WAS INITALLY immediately visible under ‘Shared’… however while carrying out the testing for the XP machine and the laptop, it has disappeared! The other two machines remain visible.
STOP PRESS: It reappeared… for how long, is anyone’s guess…

From Mac: A single click on PC icon almost instantaneously indicates “Connection Failed”. Repeated attempts produce the exact same result. To verify the basics some elementary diagnostics:
Mac IP address 192.168.0.11 can be successfully pinged from the PC.PC IP address 192.168.0.3 can be successfully pinged from the Mac.From PC entering comment “ping MACBOOKPRO-598A” (the latter being the computer name of my Macbook) works successfully i.e. name resolved OK, no packet loss, 1ms round trip.From Mac unable to run the reciprocal ping test for EITHER PC since I don’t know what to put into Ping to allow it to resolve the computer names.However I note that all 3 Windows machines remain visible in the Finder, only the two which work (the XP machine and the W7 32bit laptop) have the “Eject” symbol next to them and they are still the only two which work both ways without problem.In the Finder window after clicking on the PC icon in the left column, I get another instance of this icon in the next column with “Connect As” underneath and presently “Connection Failed”. If I click on “Connect As” I receive the error “There was a problem connecting to the server ‘alastair-ws’ (which is the PC name of the workstation).Finally if I use the GO -> Connect to Server option in Finder, using SMB://alastair-ws I receive the same error as above. I get EXACTLY the same error if I use the IP address of the workstation 192.168.0.3 as above.
From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. Again I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, although naturally not the other way around.
Therefore the PC-to-Mac seems to work OK, but the Mac-to-PC does not no matter what I try, although the IP is visible and it’s clear the connectivity exists (or Mac copy onto PC would also not work).[END]




This question or a similar one has ben asked on here and other places but no one seems to have any idea. So this will probably go unsolved like many other windows 7 issues but here goes. I'm happy to award 8 internets to anyone who has any ideas about resolving this issue.

Have a windows 7 pro machine which is part of a domain. User ONLY has domin login. ONLY admins have local machine access. When user takes windows 7 machine home and connects to network at home they cannot access any files on their XP "Workgroup". On the XP pro machines browsing the network shows the domain (Because the domain joined machine is now on the same network) and also shows the domain joined machine. All machines can ping each other. When attempting to connect to an XP machine that is sharing both folders that require a login and those that dont (everyone full access) the user is greeted with a login prompt. User has a login in lusrmgr.msc on the XP machine attempting to be accessed. This login works from the other XP machine. Does not work from the domain joined windows 7 machine. No login in lusrmgr on the windows 7 machine or the windows xp machines work when attempting to access that xp machine. Tried various login incarnations as the users login is automatically tried (DOMAINUser(which is in the xp machines lusrmgr users list)) Tried XPMACHINEUser, .User, User, IP.ADDRESSUser XPMACHINEUser IP.ADDRESSUser. All obviously to no end. Using an XP machine joined to the same domain, with the same login credentials, logging onto the same "Workgroup" works perfectly everytime using the users domain login credentials. At this point I'm assuming that microsoft has removed all ability to acces a workgroup share from a domain joined W7 machine and I should possibly be advising the company to roll back all W7 machines to XP so basic required functionality is restored.

BACKSTORY: User works for an accounting firm whose staff visit several customer sites to perform assorted tasks with the customers accounting "company files". Internet access is used at all sites so laptops are joined to the network. easiest option would be to use the same network to access the "company files" as opposed to copying to portable media and then back again once changes are made. The moving process also halts any other users from making changes whilst the accountant is editing their version of the file as the restored file will not have the changes made to the original during that period.

1 fix given was to rename the "Workgroup" to the same name as the domain. This is not practical accross serveral "Workgroups" especially if they are not owned by the user.
link-> Sharing "domain" & "workgroup"

A few similar questions asked on this forum never resolved or answered
Link-> work domain screwing up home network attempt
Link-> Damn you, Microsoft
Link-> switched domain to workgroup and can longer log onto computer

/rant




These words below are mine.I created them,I wrote them.Even though Engel
uses them nearly everywhere.I just do not like somebody to copy and paste
them,to use them fully because these words are NOT created by him. I am angry.

I just post to everybody know and understand who these words belongs to.
They belongs to me...:-)

And a question :
Is there a way to stop and prevent him from coping these words fully ?!

MALWARE REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS

Follow them carefully and step-by-step.
All cleaning actions should be done
without internet connection

1. Download the necessary software

@ SpyBot Search and Destroy
http://www.safer-networking.org/microsoft.en.html

@ Ad-Aware SE Personal
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware

@ Microsoft Antispyware (only for genuie Windows versions)
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...s/default.mspx

@ CWShredder
http://housecall.trendmicro.com

@ Antivirus software (if you still do not have)

Panda Titanium 2005
http://www.pandasoftware.com/microsoft

Specific
If you are non-XP user and still do not have firewall,
you should get free one from he
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...s/default.mspx

Optional
There are some malwares that can destroy the internet connection
when you try to remove them.That's why you may get that program
that could restore your internet connection.
I haven't tried it but lots of people like them.

Win Sock XP Fix
http://www.spychecker.com/program/winsockxpfix.html

2. Create a back-up of all your critical information
This is just an option.
You should check it for viruses later.

3. Run a Firewall

Windows XP
has integrated firewall -
Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) for SP1 and
Windows Firewall (WF) for SP2

Windows versions different from XP
They do not have integrated firewall ,they have to use software firewall.

!!! Use only 1 firewall !!!

4. Windows Updates
Connect to internet and
download all the security updates - Critical updates with Express install.

Start - Windows Updates
or
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

5. Install and Update

SpyBot Search and Destroy
Ad-Aware SE Personal
Microsoft Antispyware
CWShredder

6. Delete all the Internet Explorer's temporary stuff

Start - Settings- Control Panel - Internet Options

There ,on the General Tab you will see where you can delete
internet temporary files
cookies
history
Delete them all.

7. Delete all Temporary files

| Windows XP users (all new versions) |

The path is :
C:Documents and SettingsUSERLocal SettingsTemp
Delete all files from this folder
and also
C:WindowsTemp

| Windows 98 users (all old versions) |

The path is :
C:WindowsTemp

8. Remove any unwanted programs

Boot in Safe Mode (see how below)
Then ,in Safe Mode, Start - Settings – Control Panel – Add /Remove programs
See if you have any unknown /unwanted software
installed- toolbars and/or known spy programs.
Remove them with the REMOVE button.
Also check for tracks of these programs in
C:Program files and delete,if any.
Then restart with booting in Normal Mode .

9. Run Disc Clean up

Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disc Cleanup

Make sure you have checked :
Downloaded program files
Temporary Internet files
Temporary files
Recycle bin
Web Client/Publisher content

10. Remove viruses /worms /trojan horses

@ Scan with Microsoft Windows Malicious Software removal tool

http://www.microsoft.com/malwareremove

@ Scan with

Panda Software free Active Scan,where you can check your
PC for ALL TYPES of security threats and clean viruses and worms

http://www.pandasoftware.com/product..._principal.htm

@ Install the antivirus software

Boot in Safe Mode and install the antivirus software
In Safe Mode,because there are viruses
that have the ability to damage an antivirus while installing it

How to boot your computer in Safe Mode

Do this by repeatedly typing F8 while Windows is starting before
Windows logo appears.
Then you'll open the BIOS menu where you can choose to boot
the hard drive in SAFE MODE

(If you are XP user ,find more about Safe Mode
in Help and Support Center ; Start-Help and Suport)

@ Update the antivirus and scan with it

Boot in Normal Mode and update it.
Make sure you have all functions ON
(scanning all files,heuristic,disinfect,scanning for other threats...)

Perform a full scan in Normal Mode first
Then boot in Safe Mode and also perform a scan

@ While still in Safe Mode,scan with these

SpyBot S&D
Ad-Aware SE Personal
Microsoft Antispyware
CWShredder

and remove the junk
!!! They must have already been updated !!!

When the scan is finished,
DO NOT restart ,if you have Win XP or ME

System Restore (for XP and ME only)

Because of the fact malware is a program,
System Restore also stores all malware tracks and when restarting,it can
replicate some infected system stuff and the malware will be back !!!
So you need to delete all the restore points before restarting :

Right click on My Computer-Properties-System Restore
Check Turn off system restore.Click OK

Restart the in Normal mode.

11. For better performance ,it is advisable to check your hard drives for
errors
Open My computer .
Then right click on the hard drive you want to check - Properties - Tools
In the error-checking area ,click "Check now" to start the process.

At the end (when the system is malware-free)
again Right click on My computer-Properties-System Restore
Uncheck Turn off system restore ,so you'll have your Restore function ON.

After these,your computer should be clean !
If you do not understand something,you can post again and ask for
information
If the instructions seems difficult to you,you can take your computer to
a computer store where IT specialist would help you wipe out the junk!
Don't be shame.

--- Useful pages ---

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...s/default.mspx
different kinds of free or trial security software.

http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/r...ldren_internet
Because of the campaign "Children and the Internet"
Panda Software offers 90 day free trial version of one of the best security
software
Panda Platininum Internet Security 2005 awarded with many prizes

http://www.pandasoftware.com/protected/tips.htm ;
useful tips for protecting computers

http://www.pandasoftware.com/product..._principal.htm
Panda Software free Active Scan,where you can check your
PC for ALL TYPES of security threats and clean viruses and worms

http://housecall.trendmicro.com
Trend-Micro free online scanner HouseCall where you can scan for
Viruses and Spywares and clean them. CWShredder is also available here

http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner
Kaspersky free online scanner
and checker for suspicious files.If you have issues with suspicious
file,here is the right place!

http://www.f-prot.com/virusinfo/submission_form.html
Send F-prot AV suspicious files for fast analyze and and it is all for FREE

http://www.microsoft.com/malwareremove
Microsoft Windows Malware Removal Tool

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...nfectedpc.mspx
Microsoft MVP Charlie Russel's article about Dealing with malware
Really good and detailed

http://support.microsoft.com
Free Microsoft support and suggestions (for genuie clients)

Now ,when you have cleaned your computer,you need to think about your
security!
Microsoft
suggests 3 + 1 general steps how to protect
your PC and the infomation stored on it,
your privacy and your family
1.Use an internet firewall
2.Enable Automatic Updates for your PC
3.Use an antivirus software
4.Use antispyware software

Goto http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security and learn more
Check the Security Essentials for your OS and also have a look at all
sections!

Panda_man
" Let's beat malware black and blue"
" No new epidemic of all kind of malware - Panda TruPrevent"

| SETTING UP A COMPUTER |

When you first turn on your computer
it is adviseable to first have a look at its setings.

** If you use Windows XP **

1 .Create as many computer accouts as you need

If your computer is going to be used from more than one person
(family members,friends,colleagues ,etc...) ,
make others limited users and you - Administrator
So that you'll have full control of the PC,but they would only be
able to change their files and few settings only !

If you are a parent and would like your children to access the internet,
create the limited user accounts.More about the parental control below

!!! Windows XP has hidden built-in administartor account
accessable and visible only in Safe Mode.
Get into Safe Mode and password protect it.
In Safe Mode,goto Control Panel -User accounts and click on the name
of that hidden account,called Administrator !!!

| How to boot your computer in Safe Mode |

Do this by repeatedly typing F8 while Windows is starting before
Windows logo appears.
Then you'll open the BIOS menu where you can choose to boot
the hard drive in SAFE MODE

(If you are XP user ,find more about Safe Mode
in Help and Support Center ; Start-Help and Suport)

2. Password-protect your account and your files

Make strong password,
with numbers,letters and at least one special character
Start - Settings - Control Panel - User accounts

When you decide to password protect your account,
after creting a password Windows should ask you if you want
to protect your files also.Click YES

or
Click on the folder you want to password-protect-Properties
Click on Sharing tab -Make this folder private

** All Windows Versions **

Start - Settings - Control Panel
or My computer -Control Panel

3. Have a look at

Display settings
Date and time Settings
Mouse and Keyboard settings
Power Options
Regional and language settings
Sound settings
Start Menu Settings

4. I do not recommend any user to install programs like

WinAmp ,Real Player
or WinZip (in Win XP )
Because of the fact Windows has integrated Windows Media Player ( 2 versions)
plus (Zip archiver in XP ) ,it is pointless to install such programs

5. Do install programs like

Adobe Reader / Acrobat because it is useful and with it
you can read PDF files which become more wide-spread everyday
http://www.adobe.com

6. If you do not have Microsoft Office

Download
1. Open Office
http://www.openoffice.org

2.Microsoft Word viewer / Excel viewer / Power Point viewer
http://www.microsoft.com ; ,click on Office

Open Office is free as well as Microsoft viewers.
Open Office is not as good as MS Office but would do the basics

| THINK ABOUT INTERNET |

1. After you go on-line,upgrade to the newest Service Pack available for
your OS .
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
Learn more about the SP in Microsoft web-site and read the preparation steps !

2. Also download all critical updates with Express install.

I recommend you to use only Internet Explorer as an internet browser
as well as Outlook Express for your mail program
Many people may think them as not as secure as other but that is not true.

| PARENTAL CONTROL |

Internet is useful for everybody and even for the children
They can search information for school project,listen to music,play on-line
games
and even talk to friends
But it is even dangerous
What I recommend is to talk to your child/children and to explain them about
the activities they don't have to do while online

Then,do not trust your children fully.Install a good software/s/ to help
protect your PC and your family's privacy

So....
1. Create your children limited user accounts in Windows XP

So they will have their own My documents folder
but will not be able to access PC settings
Limited users can download everything but cannot install anything
,so they cannot install any spyware/virus in the family's computer.

Children limited account should NOT be password-protected !!!

Parent administartor account should be password-protected !!!

2. Turn on Internet Explorer's Content Advisor

It would help your children not to open pornographic pages
and pages with bad content
Start- Settings - Control Panel - Internet Options - Content tab
and then enable it and check the settings

2.1 MSN toolbar
This toolbar become more useful everyday
It has either pop-up blocker and also Anti-Phising filter
Recently Microsoft had established this Anti-phishing filter
as an add-in for the Toolbar
http://toolbar.msn.com to get the toolbar
http://toolbar.msn.com ; click on Add-ins and search for the Anti-Phishing

Antiphishing would help to protect your family from online fraud

3. Microsoft has made a component to help protect a computer
that is used by many people.It prevents limited users from access to
^chosen by the admin user^ programs and files and also prevent them
from downloading files and other things
It is easy to use and can be configured to meet everybody's needs
It is called Share access tool

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/s...ccess/faq.mspx

/example : A parent with Administrator rights can prevent a children
with limited account to use a chat program or download a new one /

4. When a child uses the internet ,
the computer should have an antivirus software ON + firewall always ON

http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/r...ldren_internet
Because of the campaign "Children and the Internet"
Panda Software offers 90 day free trial version of one of the best security
softwares
Panda Platininum Internet Security 2005

Please,go through the additional steps below.............

| PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
AND THE INFORMATION STORED ON IT |

Microsoft suggest 3 +1 steps general steps to help protecting your
computer.Here they are plus some additional !

1. Firewall ON

It is very important to know that you REALLY SHOULD
use only one firewall (to prevent software conflict ) !!!

Firewall is a protective barrier between your PC and the outside world.
It protects you from hackers and other intruders from gaining
remote access to your PC and also from viruses and network worms (like
Sasser).
It also makes your PC invisiable for hacker softwares and
even if hackers find your PC it will block the attack.
Firewalls scans all your incoming (or outgoing) traffic and
immediately block it if it is unsolicated.

** Windows XP **

has integrated firewall -
Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) for SP1 and
Windows Firewall (WF) for SP2

Windows Firewall (for SP 2)
is full firewall ,suitable for all kind of users and connections.
Windows Firewall is designed especially for home users with
not very big computer literacy and that's why it works almost
automatically,asks rarely !

When using it,check the Exception list .
If you are home user and do not want to play network games,exchange files
over chat
or you are connected to internet via none/less secure server, you can check
" Don't allow exception "
This guarantees you maximum protection!

Start - Settings - Contol Panel - Windows Firewall .See its settings.

Users with no Service Pack or with SP 1 you should upgrade to SP 2
because ICF is partial firewall made for direct internet connection only

** Windows versions different from XP **

They do not have integrated firewall and they are not protected
from hackers and intruders,network viruses and etc.
They MUST use software firewall.So choose one firewall

You may get Zone Alarm personal (free) from :
http://www.zonelabs.com

2. Windows Updates ON

Windows Updates can protect your PC from different OS vulnerabilities and
security threats.

** Windows XP and ME **

| Critical updates |

Automatic Updates ON
Right click on My computer - Properties - Automatic Updates -
Download updates automatically but let me choose when to install them

** Different form XP and ME **

| Critical updates |

Automatic updates are not offered
Manually download critical updates
Start – Windows Update or http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

** All Windows Versions **

| Optional updates |

Because of the fact Automatic updates downloads only critical updates (they
are the most important),
regularly visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
and download some of the optional software and hardware updates available.

3. Virus Protection ON

Antivirus Software can protect you from viruses,worms,trojans and other
security threats

Always use the latest version of your program and update it at least every two days.
The more often you update it ,the higher protection for new threats you have.

Make sure it has real-time scanner which is enabled

Make sure all security settings are turned ON

(e.g. scanning All files,scanning compressed files,mail scanning,
disinfecting, heuristic scan,behaviour analyze
or detecting spyware,hacking tools, jokes and so on…..)

Use only 1 av software .More than one may cause your PC
problems because of the permanent protection ! ! !

Other : List with all Microsoft Anti-virus partners
http://www.microsoft.com/security/pa.../antivirus.asp

| PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PRIVACY |

1. Spyware protection ON

Spybot Search & Destroy
http://www.safer-networking.org/microsoft.en.html

Ad-Aware SE Personal
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware

Microsoft Antispyware
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...s/default.mspx

These 3 programs(all free) are the most famous
in the world and ,of course,are the best.
Using two of them guarantees you very ,very good protection !

Microsoft Antispyware is the only one from these above that has
real-time protection,which is very important for dealing with spy junk

2. Manage your Internet Settings

Start-Settings-Contol Panel-Internet Options

| On the General tab |
Delete all temporary internet files,cookies,history ( often do this)

| On the Security tab |
Make sure the Internet level is Medium.Check other levels

| On the Privacy tab |
Make sure the level is Medium High.

| On the Content tab |
Goto Auto complete
Delete(clear) forms and passwords and check the settings

3. Use a pop-up blocker

Internet Explorer 6 with XP SP 2 has integrated pop-up blocker

However ,if you are not XP SP 2 user ,or you are without IE 6
get the Free MSN Tool Bar that has pop-up protection
http://toolbar.msn.com

3.1 MSN toolbar
This toolbar become more useful everyday
It has either pop-up blocker and also Anti-Phising filter
Recently Microsoft had established this Anti-phishing filter
as an add-in for the Toolbar
http://toolbar.msn.com to get the toolbar
http://toolbar.msn.com ; click on Add-ins and search for the Anti-Phishing

4. Other

4.1
( Depending on your mail program - this below is for Outlook Express )
Open Outlook Express
Tools - Options - Security
Make sure you have checked these:
` Warn me when...
` Do not allow...

4.2
Create free web-based mail
Lots of free web-based mail accounts exist.
You may create one in Hotmail , Yahoo , Gmail or Mail.RU

They are all for free with a lot of space and intergrated SPAM and Virus
protection
Yahoo.co.uk and Mail.ru offer free POP 3 / SMTP /HTML access
so you may use them with Outlook Express

4.3
Think first , then click !!!

Nothing can protect the computer from its user.
Even though you could have firewall,av software,
antispyware software and all updates downloaded,
you are not protected 100 %.NOTHING guarantees you 100 % protection.
So if you don't know what exactly to do and when to do it,you'll probably
fall a victim
of a virus , spyware or hacker.
You can find it ridiculous,but it is true! :-)

BE CAREFUL which sites you visit
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL what you install,especially free or shareware software.
ALWAYS check everything you download from internet with AV and AS software.

4.4
Be aware of SPAM messages and especially PHISHING !!!
Spam messages are unsolicated mail.You really do not want them !
In most cases SPAM is just annoying,however PHISHING is a type of spam that
is
is really dangerous.Someone unknown sends you a messages,which is
trying to get personal information,such as bank account number
and passwords ! That's why :

NEVER give your email and/or passwords to strangers.
Don't post your mail or passwords in forums and chats.
NEVER read email messages from people you don't know. Just delete
them!!!
NEVER answer to strangers or even open the attachments,if any !!!
Delete the mail !
NEVER follow links in email from stranger and in mail that you
doubt and do not trust !

For more info about SPAM / Phishing visit
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security ; - Email section

4.5
Regularly :
Run Disc clean-up (with all checked)
Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disc Clean-up

Check all hard drives for errors
Back-up all your information (at least montly)
Defragment all hard drives
Scan all your computer with antivirus and antispyware software
(should be twice a week)

--- Useful pages ---

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...s/default.mspx
different kinds of free or trial security software.

http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/r...ldren_internet
Because of the campaign "Children and the Internet"
Panda Software offers 90 day free trial version of one of the best security
software
Panda Platininum Internet Security 2005 awarded with many prizes

http://www.pandasoftware.com/protected/tips.htm ;
useful tips for protecting computers

http://www.pandasoftware.com/product..._principal.htm
Panda Software free Active Scan,where you can check your
PC for ALL TYPES of security threats and clean viruses and worms

http://housecall.trendmicro.com
Trend-Micro free online scanner HouseCall where you can scan for
Viruses and Spywares and clean them. CWShredder is also available here

http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner
Kaspersky free online scanner
and checker for suspicious files.If you have issues with suspicious
file,here is the right place!

http://www.f-prot.com/virusinfo/submission_form.html
Send F-prot AV suspicious files for fast analyze and and it is all for FREE

http://www.microsoft.com/malwareremove
Microsoft Windows Malware Removal Tool

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...nfectedpc.mspx
Microsoft MVP Charlie Russel's article about Dealing with malware
Really good and detailed

http://support.microsoft.com
Free Microsoft support and suggestions (for genuie clients)

Now ,when you have cleaned your computer,you need to think about your
security!
Microsoft
suggests 3 + 1 general steps how to protect
your PC and the infomation stored on it,
your privacy and your family
1.Use an internet firewall
2.Enable Automatic Updates for your PC
3.Use an antivirus software
4.Use antispyware software

Goto http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security and learn more
Check the Security Essentials for your OS and also have a look at all
sections!

Thanks very much !!!
Panda_man

" Let's beat malware black and blue "
" No new epidemic of all kind of malware - Panda TruPrevent "




You create a Workgroup merely by having at least one computer with the
Workgroup name you want - so you've done that.

However, something is blocking the communication between the computers.
This could be all kinds of things, but I suggest checking:

1. if you have the XP Internet Connection Firewall turned on on either
computer, you might want to turn that off, at least temporarily - your
wireless router probably has a built in firewall that will be adequate, at
least while you're testing (if you're concerned, disconnect the DSL modem
temporarily). Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right click on
your wireless connection, select Properties, select the Advanced tab, remove
the check mark from Internet Connection Firewall.

2. make sure that both computers have the Client for Microsoft Networks and
File and Print Sharing installed and enabled for the wireless connection.
Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right click the wireless
connection, select Properties. On the General tab, make sure you have the
wireless adapter selected, then check that Client for Microsoft Networks and
File and Print Sharing appear in the list have check marks.

3. check that both computers are on the same IP subnet. Open a Command
Prompt window (Start, Run, key cmd, press Enter) and key the command
ipconfig /all (press Enter). The SubNet Mask value should be the same on
both computers (e.g. 255.255.255.0). The network part of the IP Address
needs to be the same (e.g. 192.168.1.x). Also, the computers should be in
the same subnet that the router's LAN connection is in. You should be able
to check that with the router's configuration tool; normally, this IP
address will show up as the "Default Gateway" on the computers. I suggest
configuring the computers to get and IP address automatically - most (home)
routers have a built in DHCP server that will send the required IP
configuration to the computer when XP starts; this will eliminate the need
for any manual IP configuration settings on your computers.

4. check that there is IP communication between the computers. Open a
Command Prompt and key "ping" followed by a space followed by the IP address
of the other computer. You should get 4 lines indicating how long it took
for the reply to come back from the other computer (usually a few
milliseconds).

5. check that there is name resolution happening - if all of the above
checks out, name resosolution should be automatic. You can test if by using
the ping command (as in 4) but using the Computer Name of the other computer
instead of its IP address (e.g. ping pc2).

6. On one computer (e.g. PC1), add a share to a folder (right click on the
folder, select Sharing). On the other computer (e.g. PC2), click Start, Run
and key followed by the Computer Name of the first computer (e.g. PC1).
You should then get either a prompt for username and password or a Windows
Explorer window showing the objects that are shared on the first computer,
including the share you created and any shared printers. If you get a
prompt for a username and password, key whatever username and password you
use to logon locally at the other computer. If your user accounts have
blank (empty) passwords, you won't be able to use those user accounts for
network access (there's a bypass for this, if you need it, let me know).

--
Bruce Sanderson MVP

It's perfectly useless to know the right answer to the wrong question.

"Raj" wrote in message
...
I can not seem to find any help for this "common"
questions.

I have XP pcs. PC1 and PC2.

PC1 has the LOCAL printer ( HPLaser )

Both PC's share's DSL via wireless router.
BUt ,
i am not able to create iether a WOrkgroup. or share the
printer via Wireless network.

PC2 does not see the PC1.

As of now.

in both PC i have tried to make a WORKGROUP == HOUSE
and Printer name == HPLaser with Shared option.

HOw can i Get the PC2 to use the PC1's printer via
wireless network...or better yet...how do i create a
workgroup between these 2 computers.?

any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Raj




Bruce,

I followed your advice and completed instructions
1. Turned off the Firewall.
2. Both PC's have NETWORK and Filesharing/printer options
3. PING to check.
SUBNET: 255.255.255.0
IP for PC1 == 192.168.1.101

IP for PC2 == 192.168.1.100
and they are AUTO configure.

4. PING for each other computer. ((no success))
This is not working.. (PC 1 wont find PC2) or (PC2 does not see the PC1)

5. I tried PING-ing to the name of the computer...IP and still does not find it.

6. However, while i was setting this up.....PC 2 finally showed me the WORKGROUP HOME. and the PC2 with all its printer...

but PC 1 still does not see the WORKGROUP.

When i tried to INSTALL NETWORK PRINTER...it says that I Do not have access to the WORKGROUP HOME...contact admin.

BUt i have not put any kind of password or user setup.?

--
So..where should i be trouble shoot next?

Raj
Thanks for all the help.

"Bruce Sanderson" wrote:

You create a Workgroup merely by having at least one computer with the
Workgroup name you want - so you've done that.

However, something is blocking the communication between the computers.
This could be all kinds of things, but I suggest checking:

1. if you have the XP Internet Connection Firewall turned on on either
computer, you might want to turn that off, at least temporarily - your
wireless router probably has a built in firewall that will be adequate, at
least while you're testing (if you're concerned, disconnect the DSL modem
temporarily). Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right click on
your wireless connection, select Properties, select the Advanced tab, remove
the check mark from Internet Connection Firewall.

2. make sure that both computers have the Client for Microsoft Networks and
File and Print Sharing installed and enabled for the wireless connection.
Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right click the wireless
connection, select Properties. On the General tab, make sure you have the
wireless adapter selected, then check that Client for Microsoft Networks and
File and Print Sharing appear in the list have check marks.

3. check that both computers are on the same IP subnet. Open a Command
Prompt window (Start, Run, key cmd, press Enter) and key the command
ipconfig /all (press Enter). The SubNet Mask value should be the same on
both computers (e.g. 255.255.255.0). The network part of the IP Address
needs to be the same (e.g. 192.168.1.x). Also, the computers should be in
the same subnet that the router's LAN connection is in. You should be able
to check that with the router's configuration tool; normally, this IP
address will show up as the "Default Gateway" on the computers. I suggest
configuring the computers to get and IP address automatically - most (home)
routers have a built in DHCP server that will send the required IP
configuration to the computer when XP starts; this will eliminate the need
for any manual IP configuration settings on your computers.

4. check that there is IP communication between the computers. Open a
Command Prompt and key "ping" followed by a space followed by the IP address
of the other computer. You should get 4 lines indicating how long it took
for the reply to come back from the other computer (usually a few
milliseconds).

5. check that there is name resolution happening - if all of the above
checks out, name resosolution should be automatic. You can test if by using
the ping command (as in 4) but using the Computer Name of the other computer
instead of its IP address (e.g. ping pc2).

6. On one computer (e.g. PC1), add a share to a folder (right click on the
folder, select Sharing). On the other computer (e.g. PC2), click Start, Run
and key followed by the Computer Name of the first computer (e.g. PC1).
You should then get either a prompt for username and password or a Windows
Explorer window showing the objects that are shared on the first computer,
including the share you created and any shared printers. If you get a
prompt for a username and password, key whatever username and password you
use to logon locally at the other computer. If your user accounts have
blank (empty) passwords, you won't be able to use those user accounts for
network access (there's a bypass for this, if you need it, let me know).

--
Bruce Sanderson MVP

It's perfectly useless to know the right answer to the wrong question.

"Raj" wrote in message
...
I can not seem to find any help for this "common"
questions.

I have XP pcs. PC1 and PC2.

PC1 has the LOCAL printer ( HPLaser )

Both PC's share's DSL via wireless router.
BUt ,
i am not able to create iether a WOrkgroup. or share the
printer via Wireless network.

PC2 does not see the PC1.

As of now.

in both PC i have tried to make a WORKGROUP == HOUSE
and Printer name == HPLaser with Shared option.

HOw can i Get the PC2 to use the PC1's printer via
wireless network...or better yet...how do i create a
workgroup between these 2 computers.?

any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Raj




For years I have used Internet Mail Only (IMO) option. Upon being assigned to HQ I now must use the Corporate Workgroup (CW)config to access office info via the network. I just converted to CW and it changed many features.... YIKES... It also has changed all users. (running WinXP Pro on a Centrino Laptop)

Our sysadmin and other techs are out for a long weekend. I can get my email, but can no longer choose which account I send an email from. It seems to only send from one of my email account identities. It is important for me to be able to send certain emails from certain accounts.

Is there a way to accomplish this using Profiles or some other magic? TIA!

EDIT: Ok... I found one way but it is cumbersome... TOOLS--SERVICES--DELIVERY and change the order so it will send from the top acct. Awkward but does the job.... Any others? [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]




I have just set up an Office365 account for my office. Although I can access the Office365 portal easily enough, when I click on the Team Site tab, I just get the generic "Internet Explorer can't open the web page" message. Same result when I try to open the company web site hosted by 365. On the other hand, the Home, Outlook, and Admin tabs work just fine. Oddly enough, this problem is limited to my computer. When I try to open the team site or the company web site on any of my associates' computers, I have no problems at all. Because the team site is inaccessible on my computer, that means it is also inaccessible to my Office 2010 programs as well; I am unable to "Save and send" documents to Sharepoint.

Oddly enough, this afternoon, I had a window of about 30 minutes in which I could access Sharepoint, but then that window shut again, and I'm back where I was. I was hoping that Office365 would help productivity in my office, but so far it is just a big problem. What is it about my computer that could be causing this problem?

Fafner

After I posted, I tried logging off and logging on as another user on my computer. In all other user accounts, I can access these pages, but still not in my main user account. This is of course also the only account in which Sharepoint is set up on the desktop to sync with Office365. Are there some settings somewhere that I am missing? And if its a Sharepoint issue, why can I not even access the company web site?




In a fast paced world, three years after Windows 7, Microsoft’s upcoming successor OS, Windows 8 remains a hard sell. Does that mean it is not worthy of the buzz and hype?

Browse a tech magazine lately? Check out a news site about technology? Chances are, you will read something about Windows 8. Just two weeks ago, Microsoft released the Consumer Preview for Windows 8. It hasn’t even hit store shelves yet, and people are already complaining. This is nothing new in tech circles: Everyone is resistant to change. Sometimes, that resistance to change can be helpful, and even good feedback for developers. Other times, it can result in a shouting match that just remains unwinnable. But like many things, thinking in absolutes is often deconstructive, and seldom objective. Business men and women will judge Windows 8 with business acumen; savoring each bit of financial data and sales indicators to prove a point about the new system. Decision-makers in IT circles will look at security and reliability before weighing in with a more structured cost-benefit analysis that deals in infrastructure. Home users are likely to place more value on aesthetics, performance, and ease-of-use as major factors in the upgrade model.

It is the middle of the month: March 15, 2012 to be precise. It is hard to believe that already three years have gone by since the release of Windows 7. Many IT business people, including server administrators, are just starting to become acclimated with the Windows 7 client environment, its off-shoot productivity software, and the Windows Server 2008 family of products, including Windows Server 2008 R2. In one worldview, short and steady wins the race. While more tech savvy companies clearly saw the benefit of migrating quickly upon release, many SMBs, mid-range companies, and home users remain in a Windows XP limbo – either due to the economic mess that most of the world is dealing with, budgetary constraints, or simply a lack of knowledge about how to port all of their important data over to a Windows 7-based network. But as time has gone on, these groups are a minority, for as much as is known. While much of the third world may still be using Windows XP, and even older systems, it is difficult for that data to be chomped up and read by skeptics and true-believers. In agrarian, rural, and largely undeveloped lands, Internet access still remains a commodity that is seldom traded, and where mobile phone companies continue to make inroads.

Back here in the west, the difference is noticeable in how a company conducts its business, especially when you walk into one running Windows XP and Server 2003. It is not uncommon to see pending Windows Updates on every workstation, versus an up-to-date Windows 7 network. If the IT tasks are outsourced, how that time is spent, and for what purpose, will likely face scrutiny and prioritization. For instance, the administration of an important database may take precedence over the application of client operating system updates. Many system administrators may simply ignore, or be unaware of, the capability of domain controllers and file servers to push out updates across the internal network using WSUS. In many offices, however, you will be likely to find a hybrid network. With a lack of EOL policy and strategy, many businesses end up with certain departments stuck between Windows XP and Windows 7, and that difference takes place when they purchase new hardware – not due to a timetable, but out of necessity. A hybrid network of these systems is not exactly the best medicine for either a business or group of home users who rely on their Windows computer systems day-to-day activities, but it may be better than nothing.

A Trip to Seattle: Home to 90’s Alternative Music, Starbucks Coffee, and Microsoft
On April 1, 2011, I received the Microsoft MVP award for Windows Expert – Consumer. It was a real treat to know that Microsoft had recognized my contributions in the form of setting up forum websites and participating in them. I was certainly very thankful for the award, and presumably happy to know that I could continue to do what I do best, as that is why I received it. I wasn’t the first to be recognized by Microsoft for my contributions to my own website: Ross Cameron (handle: kemical) became one of our first Microsoft MVP’s. One of our former members, Greg (handle: cybercore), had contributed thousands of helpful posts on Windows7Forums.com and was nominated. As time went by, we were fortunate enough to see other MVP’s join our website, including Shyam (handle: Captain Jack), Pat Cooke (handle: patcooke), Bill Bright (handle: Digerati), and Ken Johnston (handle: zigzag3143). These people are experts in their field and genuinely reflect an attitude of altruism towards people. Such traits are hard to find, especially over the Internet, and in a field that is driven by individual competitiveness that forces group cohesion as a necessity. I started communicating with one MVP as a result of a disagreement, but have since gained an enormous amount of respect for her: Corrine Chorney, the owner of SecurityGarden. When I made a video that contained an error or two, about ESET Smart Security, I was suddenly contacted by a fellow MVP: Aryeh Goretsky. These types of people live and breathe technology, and thus, even having a brief e-mail exchange can be a breath of fresh air. It becomes recognizable and clear to me that Microsoft’s selection process and choices for those who receive this award is hardly based on pure number crunching, but on gauging a person’s enthusiasm and demonstrated expertise in a field. Understanding how that translates to a much broader audience is compelling. To me, this is a good thing, as it shows that even one of the world’s most successful corporations, in this case Microsoft, perhaps in one of the few acts of selflessness that one could expect from a multi-national corporation, finds customers who have made a mark in information technology and celebrates that. I become hopeful that they recognize the countless others who make contributions on a day-to-day basis. With half a dozen certifications under my belt, and nearly a decade and a half of experience, I am but one person. And for every Microsoft MVP I have met, their dialogue always translated into real energy and enthusiasm. How many countless others have not received an award, or merit, for helping someone “fix their box”? I suspect that number is in the millions. This in no way belittles the award, because to me, such an award really is about helping others.

Often times helping others is giving someone your opinion: even if your opinion runs contrary to running a system consisting purely of Microsoft software. One example is Windows Live: I have a fundamental disagreement about how I chose to use Windows Live, and whether or not I want Windows Live Services embedded into my operating system experience: something that home users with Microsoft-connected accounts will notice almost immediately upon starting the OS. I do not, in any way, undervalue the development of these services, or their potential market value to consumers. I simply have a difference of opinion. And this should no way diminish someone’s ability to receive an award. I am not an employee or pitch man for Microsoft products, but someone who conveys his own thoughts and expertise in that area. To me, the award would have little value if I was expected to tout the benefits of using Microsoft Security Essentials over a paid anti-malware suite. I think that even the developers of the software themselves would take exception to misinformation. And to Microsoft’s credit, they have asked me nothing of the sort. To me, that is a fundamental sign of an award that encourages community participation and expertise in a given area of technology, from a company that is now expected to set standards on the world stage.

Not everyone made it to this summit: For many of them Redmond, WA is far, far away. For me, living in New York, that also rings true. But it sure are the people who make it worthwhile – even when you’ve never met them in person, the way they behave and conduct themselves, towards you, speaks volumes. And so I’ve learned a lot from every Microsoft MVP that I have met – both online and off; in a five minute conversation, or a fifteen hundred word e-mail.

During the Microsoft MVP Global Summit in the Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond area, I had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and eclectic groups of people in information technology that I’ve encountered in years. Truly, the revolution taking place around technology in Seattle, and its famous campus grounds located at 1 Microsoft Way in Redmond, is in no way limited to laboratories that are seldom, if ever, open to the public. Quite to the contrary, acclimating with Microsoft’s extensive community of worldwide supporters and individual contributors doesn’t just result in hearing success story after success story (although that is fun too). Of the thousands of people invited to the event, from all over the world, including Japan, Asia, Indochina, North America, Brazil, and the world at large, I found myself welcomed by a remarkable group of individuals. These men and women were of no traditional demographic one would think of – in fact quite the opposite was at hand. At 29 years old, I met kids younger and more successful than myself, who had generated their own start-up firms. I also met much older men and women, who witnessed the transformative nature of technology and got involved, one way or the other. These men and women came from all walks of life, but I am reminded, in particular, of a few of them I met who had a real impact on me. As someone who had come so far to be a part of this event, I did feel uneasy knowing that I was there alone. The individuals I met at the summit were polite, courteous, helpful, and informative. It was not difficult to see why they are considered experts in their field.

Whether the issue for them was something simple, like MP3 players like Zune, the Xbox, MS SQL, or the Microsoft Windows family of client and server products, this entire network of community supporters really outlined why Microsoft continues to have far-reaching success around the world. The level of enthusiasm for their technologies is clear, concise, and breaks down the traditional barriers of race, color, nationality, and gender inequality.

At that summit, I was witnessing not just what technology would be capable of doing in the future, but as a first timer, I got to see with my own eyes what it had done for just about every participant I was able to strike up a conversation with. Having been severely jet-lagged and exhausted from my trip, I travelled all the way from New York City to Seattle-Tacoma airport in a few hours. Having travelled, for the first time, outside of my own time zone, suspended at 38,000 feet in the air, I found myself dizzy, drowsy, and often times downright sick once I got off the airplane. It was something really unfamiliar to me, but in a way, strange thoughts began to fill my head. I realized that in Seattle, it nearly almost always rains once per day. There is certainly less sunlight there than in New York. Perhaps this lack of sunlight had inadvertently made people more likely to turn on a computer and create some kind of innovative programming. It was a silly thought, but staring at the horizon in the distance, I could not help but think about Mount Rainier, Lake Washington, and the land I was now interconnected with. In many cases a landmark home to science fiction, Seattle’s own Space Needle is a national treasure. A marvel of all aerodynamic ingenuity west of the Mississippi River valley, the Space Needle is essentially a giant UFO-shaped tower that is capable of housing restaurants, sight-seeing tours, and shines a giant beam of light that was part of the original design, but was only recently added.

Perhaps, I thought to myself, this is how the term “cloud computing” had caught on. With a lack of major sunlight ever permeating this area, to my knowledge, and with rain and humidity always on the horizon in a constant lake effect, it suddenly made sense to me how the area had become famous for its murky alternative rock grunge music in the 1990’s, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the evangelical computer programmers, and a number of activities, like concerts and music performances, that are usually held in-doors! In a way, it all made sense to me now, and I spent a great majority of my time taking in the sights, sounds, and hospitality of an entirely different area of the country. The most populous city in the northern United States is also home and origin to Starbucks. It all began to make sense to me that it would be here, more than anywhere else in the USA, that they would need fresh coffee beans from Jamaica available at a moment’s notice. And as humorous and sophomoric as that may read, I still think there is some truth to this.

This summit was my first experience with my Microsoft MVP award for Windows IT Expert – Consumer on the road. It was certainly a bumpy ride, and I did not take advantage of all of the event activities I could have. Windows product group experts and Microsoft employees were available, nearly from the break of dawn to the dark hours of night, to provide on and off-campus sessions to enthusiastic individuals. Looking back, the path was worthwhile. While most of the people I met had embedded themselves in this event for many years, I was certainly a newcomer. Determined to act the part, I tried my best to overcome the massive jetlag I had encountered, and vowed to myself to never eat sushi after getting off of a six hour flight again. Who could not be anxious when arriving in such a foreign place compared to the east coast of the USA? I have certainly flown and driven up and down that area most of my life, visiting nearly all of the north and south, but I had no idea what to expect near Redmond. An acquaintance of mine from Los Angeles was able to help me deal with the insomnia and time difference that comes with this type of travel, and she probably helped me in a way that she still doesn’t know – all from a few text messages. I am constantly reminded that technology itself has made us all interconnected, no matter where we are. At the Microsoft MVP Global Summit, what I did find were individuals, many of whom who had a certain selflessness about them, and a desire, above all things, to learn more, experience more, and help even more.

Upon immediately striking up a conversation with anyone at the event, it was absolutely easy to see how these men and women achieved recognition of excellence from Microsoft. While many young people who attended the event had created innovative ways to help others by setting up websites or studying the inner-workings of the Microsoft entertainment platform, others had been part of the commercial information technology circles and big businesses that have changed the environment of the Internet. I even caught a glimpse of two individuals who appeared to be working for a former web host that one of my websites was hosted on. These businesses, powered by ingenious individuals, have swept the Internet. And while many people appeared to be there as part of a corporately backed package, it was clear to me that most others had made a name for themselves by creating their own platform for innovation and success. Most important, and pronounced to me, was that each and every person there reached that point through acts of selflessness -- for helping others. In each and every instance, you could go around the area and know that you were surrounded by people who could speak your language: whether that be ASPX, XML, C, PHP, JavaScript, or BBCode. While a person there from Asia may not have had any comprehension of what I was talking about if he did not speak English, if I showed him Process Monitor in Windows, I could probably communicate with him on some technical level.

To contrast that, I came home to an environment back in New York where the Windows 8 Consumer Preview had just been released. It was no surprise to me that Windows 8 had been getting some slag for replacing the Windows Start Orb and Start Menu with the Metro User Interface (Metro UI). Windows 8 still has some major feature improvements going for it. This early in the game, there is no question that many of these features have likely gone undocumented, exist under-the-hood, or simply have not reached a stage in development that was acceptable for the Consumer Preview. First, it is important to note that the Consumer Preview is as much of a beta release for public testing as it is a marketing tool for Microsoft. When we examine how this has been released to the public, it is not hard for me to conclude that it is also a way to gauge public reaction to the first serious and inherent differences to the way the Microsoft Windows GUI has been presented – ever. Other operating system releases have taken the idea of the Start Menu and added search capabilities and refined a core concept. Slowly, but surely, we see an improvement that has occurred over time, with the look and feel of Windows remaining consistent over the ages.

The Consumer Preview Was Released To Test Your Reaction; Not Just The OS

In fact, this is a public release of Microsoft Windows to appear in limelight, in what is essentially a beta (and presumably near release candidate stage), with some features either completely omitted or broken. But not all is lost for Windows 8. There are some under-the-hood changes that show promise. I am not a Windows developer or programmer (most of my tinkering involves Linux, C, HTML, PHP, and JavaScript), but I can start to appreciate the level of changes that are being made on a core level as I get more time to become acquainted with this system and allow various whitepapers and documents to enter my lexicon.

Those looking to upgrade, or who will receive the upgrade already as part of a plan, like Microsoft VLK Software Assurance, will reap some benefits by making the upgrade to Windows 8. Businesses that have been around long enough will be familiar with creating and following a comprehensive End of Life (EOL) cycle plan. Such plans are usually coordinated between an enterprise administrative team that manages the day-to-day changes of internal certificate authorities, domain controllers, and mail servers. This group usually (and hopefully) has the training and forethought necessary to look at the official Microsoft release timetable, as well as the support for commonly used hardware and software. Assessments can be made to better understand how, where, when, and why this software and hardware is deployed, and under what conditions it is upgraded or phased out entirely. Not only does this level of planning bring clarity to what could otherwise become a source of enormous administrative overhead, but it also helps to mitigate the risk associated with allowing systems to continue running under-the-radar and without proper security auditing. Under such a scenario, businesses may choose to have their internal IT department perform network-wide audits of all systems. It is an affordable alternative to bringing in an outside specialist, and comparisons with Microsoft’s official support timetable can help make the transition to new hardware and software – as well as what comes with that -- such as training and significant infrastructure investment -- a more conceivable possibility.

Home users can depend on a much more simple approach, and that is to monitor requirements needed for tasks like school, work, and entertainment, while keeping up-to-date with Microsoft’s in-band and out-of-band security patches. As mentioned previously, Microsoft already publishes a roadmap to indicate when mainstream support, and even updates, will be terminated for their operating systems. Combining all of these ideas together, it is not unreasonable to come to a conclusion that one can continue using Windows 7 for a few more years without much difficulty. When the time comes, an upgrade will be made easy, as the large system manufacturers and independent system builders will, no doubt, bundle OEM copies of the system after RTM (“release-to-manufacturer”). On the side, one could begin to upgrade a small office or a home network with new computers when the need arises, in order to take advantage of the new feature set that is sure to be setting a precedent going forward.

Very large enterprise networks usually already make use of proprietary, custom software and hardware. Those businesses can begin the transition planning in phases, and will have access to fully licensed Microsoft support personnel who work in the corporate sales division of the company. Those resources can be accessed by standard enterprises (approx. 200 clients systems) and by mid-range offices (approx. 50-200 client systems) using Microsoft Gold Certified Partner program members that also specialize in employee training, resource management, and all-inclusive maintenance plans. Even a few well-trained and certified IT consultants and managers could handle a migration and post-migration scenario with the right level of planning and funding.

Stay positive, here is some deductive reasoning as to why not all is lost, and how the feature improvements that Windows 8 customers will benefit from may actually start to appear after the OS hits store shelves. (The kind of stuff that may not be readily apparent in the incomplete Consumer Preview version):

Virtualization Scores A Win

Hyper-V Virtualization included in Windows 8 will allow you to take your computing experience to the next level. If you are not entirely enticed by the prospect of running Windows 8, or still have a co-dependent relationship with legacy applications, Hyper-V will be sure to help you in that area; much like Microsoft Virtual PC brought Windows XP onto the desktop for many Windows 7 users. While Hyper-V isn’t about to take the throne away from VMWare’s line of virtualization products just yet, especially Workstation and ThinApp, expect to see the inclusion of Hyper-V as an experience that has the potential to compartmentalize the installation of applications – even really old ones. With Hyper-V and Metro as platforms likely to be directly controllable and manageable from Windows Server 8, IT admins can rejoice at the concept of virtualizing what is left of the desktop – and preventing inappropriate use of computer system resources at work. With full control of Metro and Hyper-V under Active Directory, system management is about to get a whole lot easier. Windows 8 fits as the one OS that office managers can control directly from Windows Server 8 without remorse. Limiting access to the desktop will reduce headaches for employees who may only be obligated to launch specific company-approved Metro apps.

Metro: The User Interface Revolution
Metro UI will not be alien to anyone who is old enough to remember Microsoft Encarta, or to any youngster who has already owned a Windows Phone. I still remember using Microsoft Encarta’s slick navigation system to look up John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address. This was one of the first times I saw decent video footage in an encyclopedia. Back in those days, everyone was on dial-up, and an encyclopedia like Encarta was the be-all and end-all of factoid finding for non-academics and kids still in grade school. So expect Metro-powered applications, programmed in C++, C#, HTML, JavaScript, and even VisualBasic. This programming platform, dubbed, Windows Runtime or WindowsRT for short, is object-oriented and just getting started. With enough knowledge of HTML and JavaScript, many people out there with limited knowledge of C++ could create some pretty snazzy object-oriented apps that make use of jQuery and YUI hosted over the web. With the launch of the Windows App Store, don’t be surprised to see some amazing third party apps put long-time industry staples to shame. Once you start looking into the development platform for Metro, then you start to realize that it isn’t just a gimmick for touch screen users. Ostensibly, a great deal of time developing the .NET Framework is about to pay off, in bundles, for everyone who starts using Metro.

Gamers Not Doomed; HID Development Pushed Forward by Windows 8 OS
Gamers likely won’t be left out of the picture. Metro apps are designed to run in full screen, and as all hardcore gamers know, most high intensity games actually throw you into full-screen mode any way. The difference is likely to be negligible, but who wouldn’t like a concise way to manage all entertainment software and keep it running in the background every once in a while? Single player games that enter the market as instant classics like TES: Skyrim could suddenly appear more interactive in the future. Don’t be surprised to see some form of Windows 8 incorporated into the next version of Xbox (Xbox 720?) with DirectX 11 support. It would be nice to see cross-compatibility with the Xbox and Windows PC. Imagine if you could run any console game on a PC and vice versa: Now that kind of unification would prevent a lot of people from buying all those Media Center extenders and going wild on home entertainment systems. Only time will tell how far Microsoft will take us down the rabbit hole. For gamers, that is a great thing.

Multi-monitor and multi-touch support will bring Windows 8 to tablets and phones like never before with certified Metro applications that are programmed for Windows Runtime (WindowsRT). Expect a lot to happen in how we use our desktop and laptop systems. While major advancements in human interface devices are years away, it appears to be one of the major cornerstones of IBM Research and Microsoft Research. Unification across platforms is a recipe for redundancy, but in the case of sensitive data, redundancy is a very good thing. We want to be able to access our office files from home and our home files from the office, without necessarily having to do cartwheels with third party software. The integration of SkyDrive, and ultimately, shell extensions for third-party apps like Dropbox, is a given. Microsoft is never going to take over the cloud-hosted backup market, but they could pull off a pretty neat way of sharing, updating, and collaborating on projects between tablets, phones, desktops, laptops, game consoles, and more. Kinect for Windows is going to be scoffed at in the beginning, but once everyone has such a device linked up to their monitor, moving your hand around to change the active Window on your computer isn’t going to be that bad of a trade-off. In 2009, I gave a speech to a number of people in the public sector about what I saw as the cornerstone for future technology. That presentation included the fact that a device like the SmartBoard would be obsolete within five years’ time, due to the decreasing price of touch screen computers, and the ability for computing devices to detect human movement. While it didn’t go over well with the locals, it is happening, right now. That is something to be excited about. Whatever touch screen advancements Microsoft introduces with Windows 8 will once again push the hardware market to accommodate the software. This means all sorts of new human interface devices are already in development, even from third parties (see: Google Goggles/Google Glasses as one superlative example).

A New World for Software and Hardware Development

It’s not just a Microsoft world: Software companies, game studios, and all sorts of IT companies depend on the reliability and performance of Microsoft products and services, even when their customers aren’t in Microsoft Windows. This happens whenever an e-mail passes through an Exchange server, or a large database is designed for interoperability between a metadata retrieval system and Microsoft Access. Companies that specialize in document management, database administration, and even brand marketing will reap massive benefit from an interface that contains a display mechanism that has the potential to plot and chart raw data into something visually understandable. For example, if I tell you we ordered a hundred pizzas, each consisting of eight slices, and we only have 10 minutes to finish 25 slices, you’re going to wonder how many pizzas we have left. Once data entry software, even stuff that was initially designed with a Mac in mind, is designed for Metro, we’re not just going to be able to see how many pizza slices we have left – we may have the option to order some extras, or watch other people eat the ones left in 10 minutes. It’s that kind of world we’re delving into. We don’t see how great Metro can be: Only because software companies known for their great innovative capabilities like Google and Apple are just getting started on WindowsRT and Metro. This stuff is not going away, and when all the great innovator’s in the world get involved, we’re going to see sparks fly off the third rail.

Negativity Bias
Many people who try the Windows Consumer Preview may be inexperienced with running beta software. And when your whole operating system is a big chunk of bugs, in many cases unbranded, and in some cases feature incomplete, there is going to be a heck of a lot to complain about. I admit that I’m one of them. Take a look at my post about Windows 8 being a platform to sell Windows Live connected services. Well, of course that is what Windows 8 is, but it has the potential to be much more. Studies show us that, on average, people tend to remember a negative outcome 2.5x more than they do a good one. That means you’re 2.5 times more likely to remember when you got a bad haircut then when you got a good one. You’re 2.5 times more likely to dwell on the day you lost your job, than you are to remember the years you spent at the very same job when you contributed an enormous amount of productivity to the company’s bottom line. You’re 2.5 times more likely to remember that turbulence on the airplane. It was unbearable for ten minutes, and now you’re 2.5 times less likely to remember the time you struck up a great conversation with someone on that long flight. You’re 2.5x more likely to remember that woman or man who rejected you on that first date then you are to remember the laughs you shared going into the restaurant. This negativity bias is something we usually learn about in the first or second year of undergraduate psychology, but very few of us even remember or know what it is. In general, your body is trained to remember when bad things happened more than good things, and actually dwell on it. It is truly a response from the Stone Age, and is a very healthy response. It keeps you in balance. But in today’s high tech and demanding world, it can be taken too far.
So yes, we can look at Windows 8 and positively say, “Maybe this thing won’t be so bad. Maybe I can learn it, and enjoy it.”

The True Test: Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts?

Don’t forget that Windows 8 will include a Start on Demand model for all system-related services. For years, I found myself sending Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 customers to a web page called Black Viper (BlackViper.com). This site contained detailed guides on how to configure your Windows operating system to use as few services as absolutely necessary. That site became especially popular during the Windows Vista release. Essentially, the site goes through every single service running on your system and will tell you, not only what the default start setting is for it, but how best to optimize it to suit your needs. If you were trying to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the operating system, without much care for its ability to perform certain operations, you could always use BlackViper’s “Service Configurations” lists to decide whether or not it was safe to make sure that something like the Distributed Link Tracking Client service or the World Wide Web Publishing Service could be completely disabled or not. If I haven’t lost you on this one, Microsoft has come up with a novel solution that is sure to improve your experience with Windows 8, and that is by using “Start on Demand”. Under Start on Demand, when Windows 8 needs a service, it launches it – only when. So that, in and of itself, will save resources. And when we look at what is coming up with memory deduplication, we are looking at true advancement in operating system performance at its most basic level.

Yes, the Consumer Preview is flawed, but for all its flaws, let us all think about these things and realize that the best is yet to come for an operating system ahead of its time.




I have reserved a great deal of time not passing judgement on Windows 8, but so far I am not as enthused as, perhaps, I should be. This is not to say that I have given up on Windows 8, but for me, the Consumer Preview just isn't doing it. The main problem, of course, for me, and I suspect many others, is not so much the lack of Start Orb, but the Metro UI itself. Please allow me to explain:

Is Windows 8 a service, a product, or both?

I have discussed this quite entangling issue to some length with others in confidence, and have found myself to be disappointed with Metro UI. Some concerns that I see myself and others having is the Metro UI as a service platform for Windows Live. It is clear to me that this is likely the reason that Metro UI has been embedded into the operating system. While its usability is no doubt optimized for touch screens and next generation human interface devices, I find myself frustrated with the pre-installed applications in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In fact, I find myself quite annoyed, and in some cases, startled by what happens when you link your Windows Live ID to Microsoft Windows 8.

In Microsoft Windows 98 SE, upon launching Internet Explorer 5, one of the first screens a user saw was:

"Welcome to MSN Internet Access"
"Get fast, reliable Internet access and e-mail from Microsoft."

During that time, it was uncommon for someone to be on a LAN (local area network) using a router. A LAN would actually have to be manually set up, and so Microsoft attempted to use MSN as an Internet Service Provider to give you dial-up access to the Internet using a dial-up modem.

However, this terminology is telling to me. The issues with Active Desktop from the Windows 9x series of operating systems have not been lost on me. In this context, I am mindful of the fact that Microsoft has attempted to control the desktop, and did make an early bid to control and monetize on the Internet, from its early ages. This is not so much condemnation of Microsoft as it is a realization that Microsoft is a business: just like Google and Facebook.

But what was once seen as a massive attempt to take over the Internet by a corporation that controls the majority of the operating system market, now seems to be getting a welcome reception with bells and whistles from a new generation, corporations, media, and people planning on selling books off their review sites. Indeed, even Paul Thurrott threw me for a loop in one of his more recent reviews, when he concluded something like (paraphrase) "More soon... I have a book to write! (Windows 8 Secrets)".

I have always admired Paul, and his contributions with reviews and early access to Microsoft software. In fact, I have nothing against the guy. But it is true. He has a book to write. About all of the secrets of Windows 8. Much of that review was spent explaining what certain features do. And why they actually may be relevant. To me, this was a sharp departure from highlighting some of the improvements that could be found in the OS or talking about faster benchmarks and better ease of use. What I saw was a middle-of-the-road exploration of features that are so difficult to interpret or understand, even though they are deeply embedded into the operating system, that he has to go around telling you what they are for.

Most of the benchmarks performed on the CP show that there is a small performance blow in comparison to Windows 7, thus far. The system does not run any faster, but boot times have been expedited by code optimization. We have seen this before, with other Windows releases besides Windows 7. One major drag on the operating system seems to be battery usage. The results seem to be inconclusive in this realm, with one site showing better returns, and another site showing massive battery consumption compared to Windows 7. Even though memory deduplication is supposed to improve battery life, benchmarks show either less battery utilization, or much more.

Better Battery Life:
Hands on with Windows 8 CP: Battery life test | ITworld

Less Battery Life:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Quick Look at Battery Life (Updated) | Your source for downloading popular benchmarks

Then there is the whole idea of interest in this OS:

windows 8 cp vs 7 vs xpsp3 benchmarks? - Neowin Forums

Huh? What is going on here? Where is the main interest in the system that we saw with the likes of Windows 7 and even Windows Vista? Windows Vista was a major flop for Microsoft, and it was released years after Windows XP. Still, it offered robust security, and was a step in the right direction for many of us. This is because Windows XP was released in October 2001, and something had to go in the right direction after so much time. Now, with Windows 7 only a couple years old, one is left to ask whether they even need a new operating system. With five years of time between Windows XP and Windows Vista, we still saw big manufacturers like Dell and HP offering downgrades to Windows XP - which many businesses took to save money, at their own peril. But Windows 7 offered something its predecessor, Windows Vista, could not offer. And that was performance on par with Windows XP, a much more slick look, and virtualization technology that would allow anyone with a fairly decent computer system to run, not just a legacy Windows XP application, but the entire Windows XP operating system, in a virtual machine inside Windows 7.

My first point was about Windows 8 as a service, and that is where I also run into some difficulty swallowing the results. Windows 8, when connected with a Windows Live account, seems to want to download your life from Facebook. The "People" Metro application runs a Facebook-based application that, with your consent, downloads all of your information from Facebook and syndicates it to your Windows Live page and Windows Live Messenger. It then uses that information to help you find your "people", by literally just taking all of the data off of your Facebook account. Then, your Windows Live status page becomes something of a Facebook clone. You can find even more people by performing the same task on LinkedIn, and presumably, in the future, all other services, perhaps maybe Google. But what if they let you link Google as well? Then, you can just access everything from "People", which is your Windows Live Messenger status page. What incentive do those other sites have to continue to develop their own social networking sites?

Next up was the product placement in Metro UI applications. When going to video, I found advertisements for popular television shows like The Walking Dead on AMC. It appears that you will eventually be able to purchase video content from this store, and watch videos on your computer. Where will this content come from? Microsoft, of course. This would not be a problem for me, if other services did not exist, like Netflix, for this very purpose. Then, going to Music doesn't show any advertisements just yet - but it does show a blank user library, where you can't add any music to it unless you go into the Desktop any way. Chances are this will be changed, but that doesn't discount the fact that over a decade of software development went into Windows Media Player, which has taken almost a dozen versions for any serious audiophile to even remotely take into consideration. Most will still jump over to iTunes, Winamp, and foobar. Does the Music app interact in some way with Windows Media Player? Is Windows Media Player being phased out? Is Microsoft going to offer its own music service now? We are left to try to figure this out.

You may be wondering where this is going. For me, any way, controlling the presentation means controlling the content. I am very pleased that services have been created like Steam for games and Spotify for music. With these programs, you are able to purchase music as a service. You are also able to purchase and download the full version of games. This software is fantastic, has its own interface, and offers remarkable service when you create an account. You are free to buy stuff, or never do that at all. You can take advantage of social networking within these services. But the great thing about these programs, in my opinion, has always been that you can install and uninstall them at your leisure. Thus, I ask the question, why can't Metro UI itself, just be an icon on the desktop, and a component of Windows that can be removed at any time? After testing the Windows Live features in the built-in Microsoft apps, I am left to make a conclusion I don't really want to make. That conclusion is that because Microsoft could not market social networking to the masses on par with Facebook or Google+, and because the company could not market their operating system to phones and tablets, they have decided to use forced obsolescence to make sure that everyone on the entire planet that buys a PC desktop or laptop computer, besides Linux users, will be forced to interact with their online services like Windows Live and Bing.

When I use the term forced obsolescence, I specifically state that Windows 8 is being designed to make Windows 7 obsolete - eventually. While the touch screen features are great, they seem to be an excuse for giving us a brand new version of Active Desktop. However, this time, everyone actually uses the Internet, and bandwidth/connection speed/throughput is no longer a major concern.

I am left to imagine an Internet where everyone who used a Microsoft Windows computer signed up for MSN Internet Access in Windows 98 and never bought a router. What if everyone in the world was OK with Microsoft placing advertisements for their own or preferred online services in all of their applications years ago? Well, you'd never have Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or a number of other companies. Everyone would be using MSN Search (Bing), Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Live Mail (Hotmail). I am reminded of America Online.

I have never really minded that Microsoft sells their online services to the world. Windows Live has always been something I considered a decent alternative to Google. However, I do have a problem with the operating system that I use also being designed directly to connect to a slew of services I do not use, and likely never will. This includes everything I listed above about Windows Live. This integration of applications that are dependent on Windows Live is a sharp contrast from Windows 7, and I, at least right now, would have major privacy issues divulging all of my Facebook information, online information, and handing it over to Windows Live. I like the fact that I can use multiple social networks, and that I have options. I use Windows Live for a variety of reasons, but I would never want it to be the only option on my phone. much less my desktop. I would want to be able to uninstall software applications associated with Live.

Because Microsoft controls the operating system market, they have decided to expand their business and compete in other areas. This includes gaming consoles, phones, and tablets. I have never taken issue with this, but I do take issue when these services are being bundled and forced down my throat in an OS release. I am reminded of how, on nearly every operating system installation I performed for years, I would have to be sure to remove the "Online Services" section from Microsoft Windows. These "Online Services" included America Online, AT&T WorldNet, CompuServe, and Prodigy.

Today, the desktop is being phased out. Many Windows 8 Consumer Preview users have found this to be a difficult issue to deal with. They claim they prefer the traditional desktop and Start Menu. I find that to be true, but for different reasons. At the click of a few buttons, in order to use the People app in Windows, Microsoft downloaded nearly the entire contents of my online Facebook account. They downloaded my data from LinkedIn. And they turned it into a Windows Live service. When I go to the Videos app, they're trying to sell me movies and TV shows when I already have Netflix. When I go to the desktop, I'm led to believe that the entire concept is a legacy feature. When I want to access a web browser, I don't want it to take up my entire screen and use 20% of my entire monitor to show me what my browser URL is. What happens when I actually need to do some real work? What happens when I need to bypass all of this junk?

For me, it will probably be easy. I have worked in IT and trained myself on how to get around almost anything. I have learned, over the years, what services are not essential on a Windows desktop, and how to install, manage, and maintain all kinds of different services. But for a person who is basic to intermediary with computers, they will never get passed Metro. They will have their content presented to them in a way Microsoft can control. And instead of the Internet being divided up into different areas operated by different corporations and public interest groups, it becomes very clear to me that Microsoft will showcase a heavy hand in controlling all online content, including multimedia, browsing, search, and social networking. Whereas before people didn't use their services because Google or Facebook may have had an edge, tomorrow people will be led to believe that this is much easier. With no off switch, Metro UI becomes a platform for delivering "online services" as part of the computing experience itself. And in so far that Microsoft could not put a dent in the multi-billion dollar online advertising network run by Google, or take advantage of the benefits of data mining that Facebook has had with their one billion users, they will now use their operating system platform to scoop up hundreds of millions, if not billions of new Windows Live members. To me, this matters.

While I have never had an issue with Google managing my e-mails and search, they also don't control the presentation of all the apps on my desktop. And while I may rely on their online services, I would never purchase an operating system released by them for just that reason. And that brings me back to Metro UI, and the reason why, at least right now, I can't tolerate it.

Here will be my test: If Windows 8 is even significantly slower or more resource intensive than Microsoft Windows 7, I will likely have no reason to upgrade. With a big magnifying glass being placed on my online presence through the integration of Windows Live into my operating system, I won't want to. If my computer boots a few seconds faster with Windows 8, I'll still breathe a sigh of relief that someone isn't trying to sell me zombie flicks directly on my desktop with no off switch.

I won't have as many privacy concerns as others will. If people were upset that Microsoft was going overboard with including Internet Explorer with their operating system, they will be infuriated by the massive takeover of the desktop with intrusive data-collecting applications that make up the Windows 8 Metro UI interface on install. While Microsoft was once a software development company that released products, they have now concerned themselves with maintaining a strong and marketable online presence on the web. They want people using their services on every phone, every gaming console, every desktop, every laptop, and every type of device in existence that uses a micro-processor. For me, this is overboard, and not what I'm interested in spending my money on.

I would have liked if Microsoft came out with an option for consumers: Pay a $100 annual subscription for feature improvements to the operating system. That is a service I would have been willing to buy. And under those circumstances, I'm willing to bet I'd be promptly allowed to uninstall Metro UI and delete the shortcut to it off my desktop; something that will never happen once you examine the changes that have been made between the Windows 8 Developer Preview and the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

When discussing the new OS with even some of the most technically minded individuals, a guy who designed a Skype app for Windows Phone before the official one was even announced, I found these types of comments:

"Im going to place a shortcut to shutdown.exe -s on my desktop. Although I have my power button assigned to turn it off too."

If that's not being "Vista'd" I don't know what is. But perhaps here are some other considerations:

If this is the most advanced operating system in the world, is it going to even detect whether or not you have a touch screen monitor, and adjust the situation to compensate?

As one other expert put it, why do you have to do "double-backflips" to shut it down?

If the Windows 8 installation asked if you wanted to install Metro UI, would the majority of desktop users currently say no?

Does the operating system showcase more opportunities to market Microsoft online services than it does actual improvements to productivity, usability, and computing power?

How come the only way to close an app is to hit ALT-F4 or CTRl-ALT-DEL, but the option to download TV shows seems to be fully developed? Is this thing like a hotel room menu or something?

Is this OS release inspired by a spur of new innovation or a desire to compete more directly with iOS, Android, Google, Facebook, and Apple?

Does Windows 8 outperform Windows 7?

I'd love to read your comments.

(These are my opinions and they do not reflect on anyone else here at Windows8Forums.com. They are subject to change, of course. Here's hoping Microsoft gets it right.)




Hi:

I have two Windows 7 PCs. I use PC1 to create a homegroup and have PC2 to join the homegroup. I followed the video posted on Microsoft website and thought it would be easy to share a folder between two PCs. After I did all that, I can see both PC-1 and PC-2 under full network map (PC-1 and PC-2 > Switch > Router > Internet).

Now I went to PC-1, select a folder, go to share with and share with specific people. In Microsoft’s video, you can see all people in your homegroup and select one of them but I see nobody. I don’t even have “to find one” option under the drop down menu. I searched help and it says I have to create an online account. If it is required step, why Microsoft didn’t put that in the video?

Anyway, I finally manually added PC1 by typing “PC1” (computer name not user account) and successfully share a folder and I can see that folder from PC1. Again, I asked myself, it I have to do it manually, why Microsoft didn’t include that in the video? The story continues.

When I went back to PC1, double click the folder, it says access is denied. Again, according to MS help, I have to turn off password protection and join on line account.

At this point, I’m so freaking confused. First, my friend can easily do that without turning password protection off. Second, again, if it is required, why didn’t Microsoft included that in the tutorial?

Can someone help? All I wanted is to have a share folder….




Hey all,

Sorry I'm new to the forum, hopefully this is the right place to put this.

I've just upgraded my Dell XPS 420 to windows 7-32bit Home Premium from vista and now any time I try and install a program from the internet (even things like iTunes or Firefox) I'm running into problems.

Once I've downloaded any set-up file I click on it and one of two things happens. Either the user account asks if I want to allow the program access. Once I click yes it thinks about it for a bit and then nothing happens. Or the program's blocked because it doesn't have a valid digital signature.

I've tried running them as administrator and in compatability mode. I've also tried unblocking them in the properties and even re-downloading and installing without any user account settings or firewall but nothing works.

I even thought it might be a bad install of Windows so I formatted my hard drive and tried again but still no luck.

Someone did tell me it might be a DEP problem because if I check the event viewer there's loads of errors, but I'm afraid I don't actually know what that all means :P

Can anyone please help, my computers basically useless right now
Thanks
Nemo




Sure, I know I'm going to get a lot of static for this, but here goes anyway:

Left and right panes of Explorer windows are not synchronized. The inevitable result will be (and has been) that people will press the Delete key on the wrong item. This is a major design flaw which causes the loss of data. It is anti-intuitive to have the same window represent two different locations in the navigation pane and in the contents pane.

Shared folders do not have an icon indicating that they are shared. (The argument made by the Microsoft team that users wanted it removed because it cluttered the display is a lie.)

If you delete a file or folder in an Explorer window, the file or folder might not disappear from the display until you refresh the view. (This is probably a bug.)

With full row selection in the Details view of Explorer windows, it's harder to draw a selection box around a group of files. Full row selection can't be disabled. Users may unintentionally drag items to different locations when they are trying to draw selection boxes.

The functional Internet Explorer Icon can't be put on the desktop. Only a normal shortcut can be used. After more than a decade of having a functional IE icon on the desktop, which made our lives easier, arguments that not giving users the choice to have that functionality available from the icon do not make sense.

All Explorer windows which show folders open to the same size. You can't customize the size of a window for a particular folder. Being able to adjust the size of individual windows was one of the most useful features of windows. Removing the ability to personalize particular windows when personalization should be a core objective of any user interface is foolish.

The user can't create a secondary file association action which he would in Windows XP. The Microsoft UI team seems to have decided that removing functionality is a good thing. I believe that removing the Microsoft UI design team would be a good thing.

The user can't set security properties/ACLs/permission on multiple items from Properties because there is no Security tab like Windows XP for multiple files or folders.

Explorer toolbars can no longer be customized.

The "Details" metadata tab is gone from the file and folder Properties dialog. Metadata cannot be edited for popular file types without third-party add-ons.

The Details pane of Explorer windows cannot be disabled even though it takes up a lot of screen space to display very little information. And, sadly, neither the Details pane nor the Status Bar show the total size of a folder being displayed when no files are selected. The only way to get a folder's size is to view its properties from the context menu.

File lists in Explorer windows are automatically sorted. Auto-sorting cannot be disabled. This can be very inconvenient when working in folders with large numbers of files.

The user cannot execute multiple actions on a set of files from the GUI which was possible in Windows XP.

Autologon cannot be bypassed with the Shift key.

The user cannot set multiple connection icons, cannot customize connection icons, and cannot access connection status quickly from the connection icon all of which was possible in Windows XP.

There are no indicators of network activity in the Notification Area. They have been removed.

Easily customized searching is gone.

Taskbar buttons are now permanently grouped rather than displayed in the order in which they were opened. Grouping cannot be disabled (although some third-party tweakers offer ways to do this). This is anti-intuitive.

The user cannot disable jumplists in favor of old context menu. Jumplists are just another menu that changes unpredictably, making navigation more difficult for the average user.

The user cannot quickly access the Network Connections folder and actual wired/dial-up connections. It is buried several clicks inside the UI.

New network connections, such as VPN or dial-up connections, are made from the Network and Sharing Center. But they are not shown there. They're shown and available for editing in the Network Connections windows, in which you cannot create a new out-going connection. You can only view existing connections or create a new incoming connection. This is not logical.

File and folder security settings are still as cumbersome as they were in Vista, with separate dialogs used to view and edit settings. Many dialogs could be combined, and lots of extra mouse clicks could be avoided. If the goal is to clean up the UI, why this?

The new Start menu style cannot be disabled in favor of the "Classic" menu. The Windows Classic Start Menu was a masterpiece of sound ergonomic design. The new style eliminates the logical structured tree view of the Classic style and confines the menu to a small window in a corner of the display. The menu does not stretch as the number of menu items increases, making scrolling necessary.

The new Start menu style (actually introduced in Vista) lists folders below single items, completely reversing the format we've become familiar with over the years.

Explorer now has “Favorites” and “Library” nodes that can't be removed in the left pane. They waste space and present the same logical UI problems as having a menu that constantly changes, making it harder to find things. Items on menus and navigation links shouldn’t move unpredicably; it makes navigating harder, not easier. The Library does not make it clear to average users that files may be located on different computers or in different user accounts on the same machine. Accurate navigation requires that you know where you are and have a clear path to follow. These new “features”, as well as the new Start Menu, blur the path and make it difficult to know what you are looking at both on your computer and on the network. While this is less of a problem for expert users than for average users, average users must be the target audience.

Explorer no longer shows free disk space in the status bar. This is a big problem for portable drives.

Various hardware interfaces, including audio outputs and keyboard controls, are not restored properly after after waking a Windows 7 machine from Standby or Hibernate mode. The only solution is to restart the computer. These are major problems that will frustrate a lot of people.
If you drag a window to the side of the display, it automatically expands to occupy half of the display. In what way is that a useful “feature”? Who decided that filling half of the display would be a useful size for a window? (Some third-party tweakers allow you to disable this questionable “feature”.)

As with Vista, user interface design controls are split up into many different windows and dialog boxes rather than being conveniently accessible in a single dialog box as they were in XP.

During installation, you cannot specify on which drive the boot manager will be installed.
Overall, a lot of useful functionality and information have been removed from the GUI which should not have been, and there’s no way to get it back without third-party tools. While the GUI certainly needed cleaning, this is ridiculous. It’s as crippling and expensive as forcing the world to learn a completely new UI with the Office ribbon bar after more than a decade in which the world learned to use the menus.

Microsoft should realize that sales are up not because people are happy, but because we simply have to upgrade our aging machines. Balmer’s claim that he has “no responsibility for anything besides the making of money” will come back to bite him in the ***, hopefully very soon. Microsoft did the world a good service when it created a useful visual “language” for using computers. Drastic changes such as these only muddy the waters and make their products less useful. While it’s true that a significant, if uninformed, part of the population is satisfied with eyecandy, the rest of us are not so easily fooled.




My normal logon account has normal permissions in which my email and normal user account features are tied to. I have an elevated account that has access to some file shares that the normal account does not. Back in WXP, I would just do a RunAs on Internet Explorer or Explorer, type in my elevated account, then browse to the file share I needed access to. In Windows 7, I cannot figure out a way to get this to work. When I do a Run As Different User on IE8, then try to access a file share, it tells me it cannot find the path. Other methods to do this on Explorer.exe result in simillar messages, or sometimes the application not launching at all.

I know with Vista and W7 that many of these features were stripped out for security reasons, but surely that has to be a way to access these file shares without having to log out of my normal account and log in with the elevated one. Any help is appreciated.




Folks,
I have been trying for months to get my Macbook talking to my W7 workstation. Finally today I devoted some proper time to gather some significant evidence, in the hope that someone smart out there can help as I am sick to the back teeth with this problem!!!
Below I have written a long narrative of what works and what doesn’t, if anyone is genuinely interested in this topic then a) I hope the below is interesting and helpful for you, and b) in return I hope you can help me solve it before one or the other machines goes through the window.
Thanks in advance,
Alastair

CONCLUSIONS
There appears to be a fundamental compatibility problem between Mac OS X and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
The problem actually appears to have a degree of randomness / instability about it (see below when, during diagnostics, the workstation actually disappeared, then reappeared!).
I can only presume this issue relates in some way to the “enhancements” either related to Ultimate versus Professional, or to 64-bit versus 32-bit variants.
At the moment there is only one solution I am confident would work, which is to revert my workstation to 32-bit… however this is not an option for me as it would render around 21GB of RAM unusable and remove the whole raison-d’etre for purchasing a powerful workstation in the first place.
I am therefore stuck and in need of help!
PRECONDITIONS
In all cases I am using connectivity between three different PCs and a Macbook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X running version 10.7 (Lion). BTW I know Lion is new but it was exactly the same with 10.6.
I have three PCs: an XP Pro machine, a W7 Pro 32bit machine and a W7 Ult 64bit machine.
All three PCs are running the same antivirus and firewall (Norton Internet Security 2011), this was left ON for all tests on all machines.
I have already been through all the myriad of advise on this subject: as you can see from the below, file sharing etc has all been enabled. The “secpol” changes etc have also been made on the W7 Ult 64bit machine only (but these were only made because it didn’t work without the changes and everyone seemed to think this was needed).
All my Windows computers are configured to workgroup “WILF” and also set this Workgroup name on the Mac in the WINS settings dialogue. No homegroup exists on the network.
No other “tinkering” has taken place. Although I have some tech skills, I am just a bloke who wants to use his computers, not a computer genius. As such the Tosh laptop is pretty much fresh out of the box, the Mac has nothing non-standard and the only setting change is the WINS setting for the Workgroup name. The workstation is a little over a year old so but I have not poked around with anything deep inside it, so if there is anything wrong it should be superficial – the kind of thing a basic user could have changed by mistake and can easily be changed back.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
Connecting between Macbook and old Windows XP machine (XP Pro 2002 SP3):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.
From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
From PC: Opening “My Network Places” and clicking on “View Workgroup Computers” shows all my networked computers including the Mac, double-clicking the Macbook icon opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
In short: this appears to work as it should.
Connecting between Macbook and new Windows 7 machine (W7 Pro 32-bit 2009 edition, Tosh laptop w/ Intel Core i7 M620 @ 2.67GHz, 4GB RAM):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC immediately visible under ‘Shared’.
From Mac: Single click on PC icon indicated “Connecting” then “Connect as Guest”, opens a list of all shared and public folders. Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. This time I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, am able to copy files from PC to Mac.
In short: this appears to work as it should.
Connecting between Macbook and fairly new Windows 7 workstation (W7 Ultimate 64-bit 2009 edition SP1, Supermicro workstation w/ 2 x Intel Xeon W5590 @ 3.33GHz, 24GB RAM):
Open ‘Finder’ on Mac, PC WAS INITALLY immediately visible under ‘Shared’… however while carrying out the testing for the XP machine and the laptop, it has disappeared! The other two machines remain visible.
STOP PRESS: It reappeared… for how long, is anyone’s guess…

From Mac: A single click on PC icon almost instantaneously indicates “Connection Failed”. Repeated attempts produce the exact same result. To verify the basics some elementary diagnostics:
Mac IP address 192.168.0.11 can be successfully pinged from the PC.PC IP address 192.168.0.3 can be successfully pinged from the Mac.From PC entering comment “ping MACBOOKPRO-598A” (the latter being the computer name of my Macbook) works successfully i.e. name resolved OK, no packet loss, 1ms round trip.From Mac unable to run the reciprocal ping test for EITHER PC since I don’t know what to put into Ping to allow it to resolve the computer names.However I note that all 3 Windows machines remain visible in the Finder, only the two which work (the XP machine and the W7 32bit laptop) have the “Eject” symbol next to them and they are still the only two which work both ways without problem.In the Finder window after clicking on the PC icon in the left column, I get another instance of this icon in the next column with “Connect As” underneath and presently “Connection Failed”. If I click on “Connect As” I receive the error “There was a problem connecting to the server ‘alastair-ws’ (which is the PC name of the workstation).Finally if I use the GO -> Connect to Server option in Finder, using SMB://alastair-ws I receive the same error as above. I get EXACTLY the same error if I use the IP address of the workstation 192.168.0.3 as above.
From PC: Opening “Windows Explorer” and single-clicking on “Network” shows all my networked computers including the Mac. Again I decided to try logging into the Mac drives as me, rather than as a guest:
Double-clicking the Mac icon opens up the ID / Password dialogue box.Inputting my correct username and password for the Mac immediately opened up all the folders on the Mac I have access to (the shared / public folders but also the folders for my login account on the Mac).Am able to copy files from Mac to PC, although naturally not the other way around.
Therefore the PC-to-Mac seems to work OK, but the Mac-to-PC does not no matter what I try, although the IP is visible and it’s clear the connectivity exists (or Mac copy onto PC would also not work).[END]




Hosts: Jonathan Ness, Security Development Manager, MSRC
Pete Voss, Sr. Response Communications Manager, Trustworthy Computing
Website: TechNet/Security
Chat Topic: December 2011 Out-Of-Band Security Bulletin Release
Date: Thursday, December 29, 2011
Q: How are Denial of Service, Tampering, Information Disclosure orSpoofing issues rated?
A: The Exploitability Index only attempts to rate vulnerabilities that can be leveraged for code execution. Vulnerabilities that could allow denial of service, tampering, information disclosure or spoofing will receive an Exploitability Index rating of "3." The notes for that particular CVE will also reflect the nature of the vulnerability.
Q: One angle I'm interested in is those Microsoft products that might use forms authentication, such as Exchange 2010 or TMG 2010. If we're using forms authentication there, does that mean we're vulnerable?
A: Any products that are using ASP.NET forms authentication will be secured with this update. This includes SharePoint and Exchange, when they are using ASP.NET forms authentication. If these products are using a Forms Authentication module other than the one provided by ASP.NET, then the issue addressed in this bulletin does not apply to you.
Q: Why does Windows Update on Windows 2008 servers show this update, but the check-box next to it is un-checked? What is the difference between patches that are checked by default and those that are not checked?
A: In the case of "Important Updates", an update that is in the "PENDING" state will be unchecked when you view it in Windows Update. This means it is already queued for downloading. You can manually override this to start the download manually by checking the box next to the update.
Q: Please confirm that if an IIS instance is installed that we are at risk for one of the CVE's and therefore we should patch ASAP. The assumption is that the server has IIS without .NET components.
A: By default, IIS is not installed with .NET and by default, .NET is not installed by ASP.NET. Customers would first need to have installed .NET framework with ASP.NET in order to be vulnerable to the vulnerabilities documented by MS11-100.
Q: What level of testing or specific tests is recommended for applications using ASP.NET? Is it highly likely that the hashing change will impact applications using the framework?
A: Microsoft recommends that customers test this update before deploying. There is a change in how forms authentication occurs and will require updates to be deployed at the same time across server environments. Click here for more about forms authentication.
Q: Can sample DoS requests be provided to allow us to understand what the DOS signature may look like so we can test the patch as well as monitor our production environments until the patching is completed?
A: For more technical information regarding MS11-100, please see the SRD blog, where we have shared a short signature detecting this issue.
Q: Is this critical to environments where there are no Internet-facing systems? And what if there is no IIS installed on the workstation -- is it atrisk?
A: Exploitation requires ASP.NET installed and to be exposed to input from unauthenticated users. Typically this is through IIS. If workstations do not have ASP.NET or IIS installed, then those systems are not exposed.
Q: In the Critical Elevation of Privilege can the attacker elevate is privilege only if they have the username without having the password? Can we have machines with the fix and without the fix working with each other?
A: Yes, the attacker only needs the username to carry out the attack. The fix involves changing the format of the forms authentication ticket, so that unpatched and patched machines cannot work with each other. So after patching you cannot have machines with the fix and without it working together, unless you set a configuration setting on the patched machines. For details, please read the FAQ for this CVE for more information on applying updates to web farms.
Q: For CVE-2011-3414, is there a requirement of authentication to exploit the DoS vulnerability successfully?
A: No, CVE-2011-3414 is anunauthenticated Denial of Service.
Q: What could be a potential impact on server running IIS with custom code? In short, can this update impact server or service to go down after installation? Do you have any suggestions on installation on web servers running custom code?
A: This update is specifically for ASP.NET, but the issue that was disclosed is an industry-wide issue concerning hash collisions. So, it is possible for your custom code to be affected, but you will need to investigate what kind of hash-tables your custom code uses and if it operates on untrusted user data.
Q: Is there a client-side patch that will protect users that fall for phishing attacks and visit websites that have not patched?
A: As clients are not affected by server-sided vulnerability, the security update does need to be installed on the server.
Q: If the main target is Internet facing systems with IIS & ASP.NET installed, should I concentrate on patching my webservers first before patching client systems?
A: Prioritization for this update would be specific to users’ environments, but servers that are internet-facing and accept input from unauthenticated or untrusted user-provided content are most affected and should be prioritized. Likewise, clients are typically not in a web server role, and so systems that are running a web server role should be prioritized.
Q: What steps can I take to reproduce and see if/how my site is affected, and so I can confirm the issue is gone after applying the patch?
A: For the protection of customers, Microsoft does not disclose proof of concept code (POC). The technical details of this issue are however public.
Q: If Microsoft .NET Framework is installed on an IIS Server, does this mean that ASP.NET is also installed but possibly not enabled?
A: Whether you have the .NET Framework (and ASP.NET) installed on a machine will depend upon the specific OS platform. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 all ship with the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher, which includes ASP.NET, and you should install the corresponding patches listed in the security bulletin. If you are using an older Server OS such as Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86, then that platform includes .NET Framework 1.1 SP1, and you should install the corresponding patch listed in the security bulletin.
Q: From a desktop browsing experience, this update will patch Windows XP, Vista and 7. If machines do not have IIS installed and enabled, as well as ASP.NET enabled, is the criticality of this update reduced? For example if the user goes to an internet site, would their desktop PC be vulnerable? It seems to be mostly if you have IIS and ASP.net installed and acting as a web server.
A: If you have a client machine with no ASP.NET installed, then your desktop PC would not be vulnerable to the particular security issues that are being addressed in this update.
Q: ASP.Net has been identified for the DoS. How about classic ASP/ISAPI applications? Is it just a .Net hash-table issue? And has the Microsoft Foundation Class / ATL / Visual Basic 6.0 been checked?
A: This is an industry-wide issue that could affect a broad spectrum of technologies. Since ASP.NET was at the greatest risk because of the public disclosure, we have focused our efforts so far on making sure we secure ASP.NET. We are actively investigating other technologies where this could be vulnerable and so far we do not think that classic ASP is vulnerable. Information on other affected technologies will be revealed as the issue develops.
Q: So just to be clear, Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access isn't vulnerable to the privilege of escalation? Just to the DOS?
A: OWA 2010 can be configured for forms-based authentication. Based on this, it should be considered vulnerable. If there is any doubt, Microsoft KB Article 2638420 discusses parameters you can check for to verify if an application is using forms auth. Specifically, to determine whether your application uses forms authentication,
examine the System.web file. Applications that use forms authentication use the following entry in System.web file:
Q: What tools are available to remotely scan systems to see if they’re vulnerable -- that is, that IIS and ASP are installed and active?
A: The Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance section in the security bulletin provides information on how to identify systems to which this update applies. If you want to identify whether a system has IIS installed with ASP.NET enabled, the answer depends on the operating system that each system is running.
Q: Are only webservers vulnerable? We have limited personnel this weekend for QA and deployment. Are we pretty much covered if we just deploy to systems in our DMZ this weekend and then rest of the enterprise next week?
A: Prioritization for this update would be specific to users’ environments, but servers that are internet-facing and accept input from unauthenticated or untrusted user provided content may be at greater risk than internal servers.
Q: Sites that disallow "application/x-www-form-urlencoded” or “multipart/form-data” HTTP content types are not vulnerable. Is this set to disallow by default? How do we verify if it is set to disallow?
A: No, application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data are not disallowed by default. Customers will need to explicitly disallow these. Customers can do this by using IIS request filtering.
Q: Forms authorization login from TMG/ISA doesn't use ASP.NET. Is it still vulnerable?
A: TMG is not exposed and is not related to the ASP.NET issue described in the bulletin.
Q: Do you suggest immediate patching of all servers (internal/external) or just of externally available servers and allow internal servers to be patched during the next patching cycle?
A: Once again, prioritization for this update would be specific to each user’s environment, but servers that are internet-facing and accept input from unauthenticated or untrusted user provided content may be at greater risk than internal servers.
Q: Is the critical CVE related to forms authentication only an issue if the site is configured to support forms authentication without cookies? Or, are all forms authentication implementations impacted?
A: No, this issue applies to all types of ASP.NET forms authentication, cookie and cookie-less.
Q: For CVE 2011-3414, does the patch change the size of request header accepted, place controls on the amount of CPU that can be used, or change the hashing functions used?
A:The security update addresses this issue by limiting the number of inputs ASP.NET accepts from clients.
Q: Does this patch limit the number of parameters passed in the post request? If so, what is the new limit? I am trying to determine what application problems may arise after applying the update.
A: The security update addresses this issue by limiting the number of inputs ASP.NET accepts from clients. If you are interested in changing the number of parameters passed in the post request, please see the section of the bulletin titled Workarounds for Collisions in HashTable May Cause DoS Vulnerability - CVE-2011-3414.
Q: Can the normally scheduled January bulletins be installed independently of the critical one?
A: Yes, Future security updates can be installed independently of this issue. Microsoft does recommend all customers always read security updates to ensure they fully understand any known issues that may be documented in the security bulletin.
Q: Is the attack vector based on the server or the client? Do we concentrate on server or desktop side first?
A: The vulnerabilities in the bulletins are primarily focused on systems operating in a Web server role that use ASP.NET. Clients are typically not in a web server role.
Q: Could you provide more detail around the 3rd mitigation factor -- specifically the account registration procedure?
A: I am assuming this question is about the first mitigating factor for CVE-2011-3416: forms authentication bypass. Essentially, to pull off an Elevation of Privilege attack, the attacker would need a valid account on the system they are trying to compromise and the user name of the target of the attack.
Q: Can an ASP.NET site (e.g. SharePoint 2010 site) using authentication (NTLM/Kerberos) come under the DoS attack as described in CVE-2011-3414 by an unauthenticated user?
A: NTLM/Kerberos authentication changes the attack vector of the vulnerability. An ASP.NET site can come under a DOS attack – however, the attacker would then need to be authenticated.
Q: Will this affect -- or will I need to be aware of -- this update impacting ASP.NET session and machine key settings in IIS for a load balanced environment, where all machine keys are matches to make sure sessions are the same across a server farm?
A: This update changes the way in which forms authentication tickets are created, so all servers would need to use the old or the new ticket format in order to maintain compatibility. Please refer to Knowledge Base Article 2659968 for deployment guidance for this update.
Q: What about servers that have IP address access limitations? Since we are resource-limited, we'd like to skip these servers that are only allowing certain IPs to access IIS.
A: As we’ve mentioned, prioritization for this update would be specific to users environments, but servers that are Internet-facing and can accept input from unauthenticated or untrusted user provided content may be at greater risk than internal servers. Servers that have additional protections may reduce the potential attack risk of these vulnerabilities. Customers are encouraged to analyze their own environments.
Q: We have ASP.NET prohibited in in our Web Service Extensions -- IIS 6. Are we still vulnerable?
A: No. If ASP.NET is not enabled, you are not vulnerable.
Q: The Section Workarounds for Collisions in HashTable May Cause DoS Vulnerability - CVE-2011-3414 in the bulletin is confusing. Is it required to put this script and then install the update?
A: Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability, but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality. Customers are always encouraged to apply the security update. The workarounds are not a prerequisite for installing the security update.
Q: If TMG is not affected then, if TMG is protecting an Exchange 2010 server and the TMG is handling the forum authorization, would the patch for an Exchange server be necessary?
A: Although firewall solutions could protect systems behind the firewall it is important to understand the types of traffic that that FW may proxy to servers behind it. Systems behind the firewall are still vulnerable to internal attacks and have vulnerable code and should be updated to be properly protected.
Q: Is AppSettings.MaxHttpCollectionKeys the new parameter that contains the maximum number of form entries?
A: Yes it is.
Q: For ASP.NET on Internet-facing systems requiring authentication, does an attacker have to have a valid user name AND the valid password to carry out an attack?
A: No. The only requirement is to have the target's username, and *any* valid account on the system.
Q: Will any forms authentication tickets generated before the patch is applied be rendered invalid once the patch is applied?
A: Yes. The change in the forms authentication ticket format will render all pre-patch tickets invalid once the update is applied.
[B]Q: Our ASP.NET application requires large file uploads and requires our




http://news.softpedia.com/news/Softp...I-129831.shtml

The Internet is certainly one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind. It helped open the road to unprecedented levels of innovation and communication between people. But, life on the Internet is by no means perfect.

Numerous gangs of cyber-criminals lurk in the Internet's underground and plot their attacks against unsuspecting people. Because of this, Internet users have a very real and pressing need to protect their assets, be them online (accounts of all sorts) or offline (their computer and personal information).
It would be reasonable to conclude that computer security should be a critical aspect for at least a fifth of the world's population, who use the Internet on a regular basis. However, real-life studies have constantly revealed that a high percentage of users fail to employ even the most basic security precautions online.

In turn, this ends up affecting everyone. A compromised computer or account is subsequently used to attack other users, thus directly contributing to a decline in the quality of the Internet ecosystem.

There are complex reasons why people fail to properly protect themselves. These range from lack of computer knowledge and experience to social and economic background, indifference or plain misinformation. Clearly, some of these aspects are hard to address, but the later in particular is the source of many computer security-related myths.

For example, a lot of people still think that computer security costs big bucks. It's true that many users are willing to pay for advanced solutions or extended support and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, without money, companies would not be able to develop better security models or implement them. But, the sad reality is that a huge number of computer owners, especially those living in developing countries, simply can't afford such investments.

Others seem to think that users running on pirated copies of Windows installed are getting infected because they don't have access to the same level of protection as the people who paid for a license. By no means do we encourage or endorse piracy, but we don't think this is true. While Microsoft doesn't go out of its way to make this clear, we honestly believe that it is not its intention to keep the software pirates vulnerable to attacks.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of users running on non-genuine Windows copies out there, and for the sake of the rest of us, they should learn how to protect themselves. This series of articles wants to challenge the belief that security is inherently expensive and to demonstrate that everyone can achieve a reasonable level of protection online for free. It doesn't aim at being a complete security guide for the computer literate and will only contain the most basic advice that we can give to our readers.

In this respect, some of the articles will name and describe easy-to-use free security solutions from different vendors. However, we are sure that there are plenty of alternatives out there and people are encouraged to discover them on their own. It is also worth noting that even though the principles described in this article hold true for most operating systems, they are particularly meant for Microsoft Windows users.

Part I - Update, update, update!

The three "updates" in the title of this part stand for: update your operating system, update your software and update your antivirus program. Updating is a critical aspect of staying safe online. Some of you might find updating inconvenient, but even if it is not as easy as click and go, it is an effort well worth undertaking and it will make a huge difference to your security.

If you use one of the still supported versions of Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista and 7, without counting the server flavors), make sure that you have the latest Service Pack (SP) for your operating system installed. This is important, as security updates are offered to you based on the SP deployed on your system.

In the Windows world, a Service Pack is a stand-alone package which contains all security updates, hotfixes and other enhancements released over a longer period of time for a particular version of the OS. There are several methods of obtaining the latest service pack.

The recommended way is by using the Windows Update website, who's shortcut is located under the Windows Start menu, or the system's Automatic Updates feature, accessible from the Control Panel. The other method involves obtaining the stand-alone installation package (for Windows XP / for Windows Vista) and installing it manually.

You should note that high priority updates, which include security patches for all Windows components are available for both owners of genuine Windows licenses, as well as for those who choose to illegally run pirated copies of the operating system. The difference is that people who fall in the latter category can only get them through Automatic Update.

By default, the Automatic Update feature is set to download and install all updates automatically, but this can be changed in order to offer more control over the process to the user. For example, one can choose to only be notified of available updates. They can then manually select only the ones they want.

Through this method, certain updates like the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Notification tool, which is distributed as a critical update, can be hidden and never offered for download again. This is not a hack. This is how Microsoft intended it to be. The user will continue to receive the rest of the high priority updates normally.

Updating third-party software on your computer is another critical aspect, as many of the attacks today attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in popular applications. Programs such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Sun's Java Runtime or Mozilla Firefox, are installed on a huge number of computers, which makes them attractive targets for attackers.

So, does this mean that you have to manually check various websites for updates on a daily basis? Fortunately, no. There are special programs or services that can do this for you both automatically and for free.

One such tool is the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI). Secunia is a reputed vulnerability management company, which maintains an extensive database of security issues that affect different versions of over 12,400 software products, spanning multiple operating systems. The Personal Software Inspector can scan a computer and detect what software installed on it is outdated. If any is found, the program offers direct download links for the available updates, which are rated according to their security impact.

An alternative is using an online service such as the one Softpedia offers. Our software editors work very hard to keep the tens of thousands of programs listed on our website up to date. You can register for free and subscribe to receive e-mail notifications about updates for your favorite software.

Keeping your antivirus software updated is always a must. The antivirus is your last line of defense. If everything else fails, this application should prevent malware from being executed on your system. AV software requires updates for malware definition files, as well as for its own components.

On average, antivirus vendors release malware definition updates a few times a day. Without these updates, an AV application's ability to properly detect the latest threats is significantly affected. Most of the products allow modifying the update checking frequency, therefore make sure to set this interval the lowest possible value.

Free antivirus solutions and their particularities will be covered in the next part of this series. Stay tuned.




Ok, to start this off I'm going to provide some backstory into my problem. This is from a thread I created here about a month ago.

Ok, so for a brief overview, every user account on my home computer has internet access but mine.
I have Windows 7 (64 bit), my computer is a gateway, and I use Internet Explorer. If anyone needs any more information about this sort of stuff, just let me know and I'll do my best to provide it.

This problem started after my anti-virus software (ZoneAlarm) caught two virus. It got rid of them like it always does; however, after that the internet wasn't working on my profile. By what I remember, before I ran the scan and got rid of the viruses, the internet wasn't working for anyone's account. Then after the scan, everything was working fine again but the internet on my account still wasn't working. This was about two weeks ago, so I don't remember all the details.

So, onto the exact problem. Whenever I click internet explorer down in the task bar either nothing comes up at all, OR a blank window will open after about 30 seconds of waiting, and then close on it's own after about 10 seconds. I should mention that according to the little icon in the bottom right-hand corner, I have internet access; and I can access my e-mail through windows live and read, send, and receive mail, I just can't click any of the links in the e-mails.

I've tried opening the internet with no add-ons, I've tried going to the control panel and making internet explorer my default program for everything internet related or whatever, I've tried running CCleaner--none of it has made a difference.

So, take that into consideration. I eventually just deleted my user account (keeping the fileson the account) and created a new one. The internet was working again, butstill not like it should. Every time I would open the internet after that, theinternet explorer window would go black before for about two secondsbefore the webpage contents would be available. It was working though, so Ididn't think much of it. Anyways, now the problem has gotten worse.

Every time Itry to go onto YouTube, the screen flashes a bit (its really funky I don’t knowhow to describe it) and then after a couple seconds Youtube comes back up andthere is a message bubble in the right hand corner saying “Display driverstopped responding and has recovered. Display AMD driver stopped responding andhas successfully recover.” Then, when I try to click and watch a video onYouTube, the whole screen goes black for about a second and then the screengoes blue, with allot white text saying something like “A problem has beendetected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.” Itgoes onto say “Attempt to reset display driver and recover from timeout failed.”And then it goes on to give advice about what to do like checking hardware andwhat not. After this the computer restarts.

I know that’sallot to read, but I wanted to be as detailed as I could be. Mind you, I knownext to nothing about drivers and what not, so if anyone needs informationabout drivers, graphics cards, and that stuff, you’re going to need to explainto me how I would find out which ones I have.

Any help isgreatly appreciated.


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