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  • Hide files and folders which users don’t have permission to

    Posted on September 24th, 2008 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    The other day I implemented the Microsoft tool Access-based Enumeration tool for the first time with a customer. The tool installs on Windows Server 2003 and present you with a new tab when you choose Properties on shares on the server. When activated it will make sure that users on their client computers don’t see files and folders in Windows Explorer to which they do not have permission.

    Download the Access-based Enumeration tool

  • Warning for using Vista Offline files with NAS devices

    Posted on May 3rd, 2008 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    This is just a warning to anyone thinking about using Offline files in Windows Vista together with a NAS device. The Offline files feature is activated by default on all folders which you redirect when using Folder Redirection. The problem is that the Offline files feature is not supported by all NAS devices out there.

    The Windows Storage Team posted a blog notice about this more than a year ago but this is worth mentioning again. Although they provide a solution for NAS devices using Samba (which many does) there is no guarantee at all that the NAS device has the correct version of Samba or even support making the necessary changes.

  • Restoring files with “Previous versions” is really easy

    Posted on October 21st, 2007 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    Windows Vista contains a built in function that is called “Previous versions” or “Shadow copies” which is based on the Volume Shadow Copy service that also handle System Restore in Windows Vista. As a matter of fact System Restore and Previous versions go hand in hand and a system restore point include “Previous versions”. Previous versions

    The “Previous versions” feature means that at any time you can right click a file or folder and choose to open and/or restore the file or folder from an earlier  point in time. The great thing is that both backup copies made from scheduled backup as well as local snapshots of the files are listed when you choose to restore the files and folders.

    “Previous versions” will also let you restore files that you have deleted but to be able to do so you have to open the folder in which you originally kept the deleted file. A note to take when restoring files is that if you rename a file and choose to restore an earlier copy using Previous versions you will not find any. The feature “Previous versions” locates previous versions of the file by its file name.

    Also be aware of the fact that if you have a dual boot system with both Windows XP and Windows Vista, all  System Restore points (including Previous versions) are lost whenever you boot to Windows XP.

    The feature “Previous versions” is unfortunately only available on Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows Vista.

  • Tagging files in Vista leaves a lot to wish for

    Posted on October 16th, 2007 By Andreas Stenhall + 1 comment

    Windows Vista has built in functionality for letting users tag files with keywords and other metadata, making it lot easier to find. You can then create “virtual folders” based on saved searches for explicit keywords of the files you have tagged, having different virtual folders for different projects for instance. The only letdown is that you are only able to tag a few file formats and those are:

    • Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access files.
    • Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video files.
    • TIFF and JPEG files.
    • MP3 files.
    • XPS, Microsofts replacement for PDF.
    • MSI installer files. (Yes Windows Vista support MSI files tags but this is in practice not very usable at all.)

    As you can see this leaves a lot of file formats to wish for. For this excellent feature of Vista to be really useful I would like to be able to tag PDF files, PNG image files, favorites, web files and much more. One problem though is that the metadata and tags are stored in the actual files, not in alternate data streams on the file system itself. The advantage of this is that you can be sure that the metadata will always stick with the file if you move it or send it to someone via email.

    I have during the beta testing of Vista tried to find out more about how this file tagging actually works and why more formats are not supported. I mean PDF files can contain tags and comments, what is stopping Adobe or Microsoft from making Vista tags work with PDF files? Sadly Service Pack 1 seems to make no changes at all regarding the ability to tags files. If anyone have more information about tagging files in Vista please leave a comment!

  • Long file names still a problem in Vista

    Posted on October 7th, 2007 By Andreas Stenhall + 2 comments

    Apparently there is a bug in how Vista handles long file names, and it can easily be reproduced. When I download files from Microsoft Update Catalog, the file names of the files that are downloaded are very long, but still not that long. The files are saved to the NTFS formatted hard drive and I can use Windows built-in function to compress the files to a zip file. So far so good, the problems arise when I want to extract the compressed files, where Vista then says that the filename is too long for the file system to handle. This makes me wonder how I could first save the file to my computer, then zip it, but now I am not allowed to extract it? Strange to say the least!