Tag: Windows Vista

Beware of saved credentials

Saved credentials can be a good thing, but many times they are not. The last couple of weeks I have become involved in a couple of cases where saved credentials in all from Windows XP to Windows 7 have been the cause of strange problems, primarily accessing file servers.

The problems have been with accessing mapped network drives or browsing file servers, with various error messages. Even though Windows 7 sports the “new” credential manager, this feature has been there even in Windows XP. This means that you can add credentials for servers so that you won’t have to provide them when accessing resources on the network.

The cause of the problem is for instance when a user change his or her password and the saved credential become obsolete, causing the user to have serious problems authenticating to the network resources.

The settings for these saved credentials are as follows:

Windows XP: Start “User Accounts” control panel, choose an account and then go to “Manage my network passwords”.
Windows Vista: Start “User Accounts” control panel, choose an account and then go to “Manage your network passwords”.
Windows 7: Search for and start the “Credential Manager” control panel.”

Solve the problems accessing network resources by deleting the saved credentials once and for all!

New Remote Desktop Client 7.0 for Windows XP and Vista

Windows 7 already contain RDC version 7.0 but now Microsoft has released the 7.0 client for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Some of the benefits of using the RDC 7.0 connecting from Windows XP or Windows Vista are:

  • Windows Media Player Redirection.  This feature lets you play even a HD file on the remote machine without any lag as the video and audio is processed on the local machine.
  • True multi monitor support!
  • Performance improvements. This is alone a good reason to use the latest RDC 7.0 client.
  • Many more new features and improvements, read more at RDS blog.

Note that the above features only work when you connect from Windows XP or Windows Vista with RDC 7.0 to a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 machine.

 Download and more information at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969084

Setup log files locations

Just a quickie about troubleshooting installation issues. You are not always stuck if the installation fails as you can always get to the log files if the setup for instance appear to have hung. Do this by pressing Shift + F10 to bring up the command prompt. Insert a USB memory stick and copy the log files from the hard drive to the USB memory stick and then analyze them on another machine! This KB article documents where you find the various setup log files.

Hotfix saves power on AMD CPU:s for Windows Vista, 7 and Server 2008 R2

Microsoft have just released a hotfix for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that potentially can reduce CPU power consumption by ten percent for AMD processors, specifically ones supporting the power state C1E. This includes popular CPUs such as AMD Phenom and Athlon range of CPUs.

The hotfix can only be obtained by contacting PSS (Product Support Services) or by requesting it for instant download via the KB article below.

KB974090: An update is available that allows for a potential power saving in an AMD multicore processor that is running an x64-based version of Windows Vista SP2, of Windows Server 2008 SP2, of Windows 7, or of Windows Server 2008 R2

Manage the scheduled defrag job centrally

Starting with Windows Vista the defragmentation utility is scheduled to run on all drives once per week. The defrag is done in the middle of the night but if the machine is not on at that time, the defrag will start after next power on.

Anyway, you can disable, change the schedule or in other ways modify the task centrally by for instance deploying a script file by using GPO:s. The following command line disables the scheduled defrag task from running.

schtasks /change /tn "microsoft\windows\defrag\ScheduledDefrag" /disable

Solve inconsistencies in the servicing store

Microsoft introduced a totally new servicing mechanism in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 which is totally component based. Sometimes information in the servicing store becomes corrupt and inconsistent. This state can cause hotfixes, service packs, security updates and other types of updates to fail.

To solve this problem you can use the System Update Readiness Tool which just have been updated to work with Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 Sp2 (it also works for previous service pack levels).

Continuous boot-loop issue with Vista and F-Secure

A serious problem exists with Windows Vista when using F-Secure product, a problem which a lot of users experience. The problem is that when specific versions of F-Secure products are installed Windows enters a continuous boot-loop when installing Windows Update. This issue appears as

Configuring updates stage 3 of 3. 0% complete

after which the computer reboots and reboots and reboots…

The last few weeks I have seen this issue being asked almost every day in the forums over at www.alltomxp.se/forum. Anyway, for the solution have a look at the F-Secure guide or take a look at the MS KB article.

Easier GPO management using filtering

The number of group policy settings that you can use to fine tune your client and server computers are constantly growing. The more settings there are the harder it is to find them. Therefore the option “All settings” in the Group Policy Manager in Windows Vista SP1 and later and Windows 7 is a pleasure. But the best part is that you can filter out and only show polices related to exactly what you are looking for, example only settings that contain “DNS” to see settings only related to DNS.

Start gpedit.msc or the full Group Policy manager which is a part of Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista and Windows 7 and go to Computer Configuration > (Policies >) Administrative templates and click “All settings”. Right click anywhere in the right pane to filter out only settings that you are interested in.

Drivers for old Soundblaster cards in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

A problem when Windows Vista was released some years ago was the fact that Creative wasn’t too “creative” to create drivers for older Soundblaster cards. This is where the kX Project comes in as it provides drivers for most older Soundblaster audio cards in newer operating systems.

But why on earth do I mention this now that Vista has ben out for a few years? Well the reason is that I’ve heard of users (some of which totally skipped Vista) that are testing Windows 7 on older machines and does not find a driver for their Creative Soundblaster audio card.

If you are looking for a Windows Vista och Windows 7 driver for your Soundblaster range of audio card go to http://www.kxproject.com.

EDIT: URL updated.