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  • Busting the myths: Windows 7 require Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 domain controllers and raised functional levels

    Posted on May 26th, 2011 By Andreas Stenhall + 1 comment

    It seems a fairly common misconception is that to be able to use Windows 7 in a Windows or should I say Active Directory environment one need to have either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers. There are also misconceptions about the need to raise the forest and domain functional levels to be able to use the full power of Windows 7. Neither of these are true.

    You can get all the same features if you are using Windows Server 2003 domain controllers and that is also regardless of which forest or domain functional levels you are running with. The most common misconceptions are:

    • Group Policy Preferences. Work very well in a 2003 domain. However you need to manage the group policies from a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 machine using Group Policy Management Console found in the Remote Server Administration Tools.
    • BitLocker. To store recovery keys in AD you need to extend the schema. If you have a domain controller that is running Windows Server 2008 or later you have what it takes, if you are running Windows Server 2003 on your domain controllers you simply extend the schema.

    I must add that you get stronger encryption for Kerberos by using Windows Server 2008 domain functional level though but the bottom line is that the functionality of the Windows 7 client is the same regardless of forest or domain functional levels.

  • Dependencies when app compat testing in Windows 7

    Posted on May 12th, 2011 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    When testing application compatibility when moving to Windows 7 you can use ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit) and the tools in there to test and fix applications. Another tool that you can use to learn about dependencies when compatibility testing your applications is a tool called Dependency Walker.

    With this tool you basically open a system file, for instance a DLL or an OCX file, and it will list its dependencies to other files on the system. This can be good for finding what is causing registration of for instance DLL or OCX files to fail on Windows 7 while it works fine on Windows XP. There can be runtimes missing.