Monday, December 20, 2010

Windows Live launches new plug-ins website

This week we are introducing a new Windows Live plug-ins website, which allows you to download and submit plug-ins for Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Writer.

Source : Inside Windows Live

Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 released

Microsoft Security Essentials, released back in September 2009 as a free replacement for the subscription-based Windows Live OneCare, has been updated to version 2.0 today. The final release carries the build number 2.0.657 and includes new features such as:

  • Windows Firewall integration – During setup, Microsoft Security Essentials will now ask if you would like to turn the Windows Firewall on or off.
  • Enhanced protection for web-based threats – Microsoft Security Essentials now integrates with Internet Explorer to provide protection against web-based threats.
  • New protection engine – The updated anti-malware engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities with better performance.
  • Network inspection system – Protection against network-based exploits is now built in to Microsoft Security Essentials.


You can download Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 at Microsoft Download Center.

Source :

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to use MDT 2010 + WDS with VirtualBox

I wanted to setup a virtual lab with a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 server and a PXE client in Virtual Box. I finally got it to work !

The main problem is that the Intel PRO/1000 network card in VirtualBox does not seems to work with PXE (I dont know why) and the PCnet-FAST adapter is not supported (by default) in Windows PE (and no driver available in x64).

My solution is to simply define 2 network adapters in your virtual machine (the PXE client) :


PXE will use the first adapter (PCnet-FAST) and Windows PE will use the Intel PRO/1000 because it doesn’t know about the other one (no driver).

Here’s a step-by-step guide :

Ensure that the boot order of you VirtualBox machine allow it the boot from the Network :


You should also check that APIC is ON (Windows PE wont boot without it).

Boot you virtual machine, a screen like this should appear :


Open your "Windows Deployment Services” (WDS) console and approve the new pending device :


To avoid confusion in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) I prefer to use the Computer UID instead of the MAC address to identify the computer (because we have two network adapters). To get the Computer UID at this stage, open “Active Directory Users and Computers” and display the properties of the new Computer object that WDS created when you approved the pending device.


On the Remote Install tab, copy the ‘Computer’s unique ID’ without the bracelets {}.

Open the ‘Deployment Workbench’ and create a new computer in the database (Advanced Configuration)


Enter a description and paste the ‘Computer’s unique ID’ in the UUID field. Complete the computer configuration the match your MDT setup (Assign a role or a TaskSequenceID).

That's it, reboot your virtual machine and your deployment should start.

Note : This article does not cover all your MDT/WDS setup, you have to install and configure those by yourself before using this solution. But if you used MDT before that should not be a problem.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Solutions for Virtualizing Domain Controllers

When it comes to building a virtual datacenter, perhaps no topic is as controversial as domain controller placement. Server virtualization has been around for a long time now, and with several mature virtualization products on the market, one would think that the ground rules for virtualizing network servers would have been firmly established by now. For the most part there are clear and concise guidelines for server virtualization. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to virtualizing domain controllers though. It absolutely amazes me how many different philosophies there are as to how domain controllers should be dealt with in a virtual environment. Since there are pros and cons associated with each of these different philosophies, I decided to take a critical look at domain controller placement in a virtualized environment.

Source :

Friday, December 10, 2010

Deployment Walkthrough Videos Now Fully Posted

Thanks you all for your patience waiting for the full set of deployment walkthrough videos to be posted on TechNet Edge. As per my previous post, over the past few months I have been updating the deployment walkthrough videos and I am pleased to announce that the whole video series has now been posted. In all there are seven videos (around 10 hours of content) - you can see the full list of videos here or you can link to the individual videos below:



Source : The Deployment Guys

Visio shapes for SharePoint Server, Project Server, Search Server, and Office posters

Visio shapes to use to create models of server deployment environments.

Download this zip file of Microsoft Visio stencils to create your own diagrams for models of server deployments. For examples of how the IT pro content publishing team for Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Project Server 2010, Microsoft Search Server 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation used these shapes, see these pages:

Download details Visio shapes for SharePoint Server, Project Server, Search Server, and Office Posters

Source :

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Snippet manager in PowerGUI Script Editor

Browse, edit, and create new code-snippets in rich UI without leaving your scripting IDE – this is what you can now do with the add-on just posted by Denniver here:

Source : Dmitry's PowerBlog: PowerShell and beyond

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blocking Automated SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection attacks have been increasing over the last three years, mainly because of automated tools. Since these automated attacks were first noticed in December 2007, very little has changed in the way that they work. Attackers use automated tools to query search engines for interesting URLs and then submit various SQL injection payloads to each. The goal is to inject malicious JavaScript into all string columns in SQL database tables.

Microsoft has provided guidance ( and some tools ( to combat these attacks. Microsoft has also started tracking these automated SQL injection attacks during the last one year and provides the information in the Microsoft® Security Intelligence Report.

Today I would like discuss another technique that one can use to block automated SQL injection attacks against web applications that use Microsoft SQL Server® as the back-end processor. (Note: These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications; there are no known security vulnerabilities in Microsoft SQL Server). Before I describe the technique, I would like to reiterate that using parameterized queries is the best way to mitigate SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications. You can read this Quick Security Reference: SQL Injection that details various classes of SQL injection vulnerabilities and how to address them in the design, development, and testing phases.

Source : Microsoft Security Tips

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SEL

… a significant and obvious drop in the interior quality – even the non-VW faithful will notice how cheap the door panels look …

Volkswagen has long attempted to make hay from the perception that German automakers build driver's cars, but the 2011 Jetta is less so in any of the currently available U.S. trims

the seats are still widely adjustable, though less so compared to past Jettas

Electric power steering is numb and strangely weighted, like there's a coupling made of rubber bands somewhere.

Drivers looking for the old Jetta formula of near-premium feel for near-economy price will find the 2011 Jetta is Volkswagen's New Coke, though others will remind you that the updated formula actually tasted better. This new Jetta is a different flavor that appears to be more tasty to shoppers, despite leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the Jetta faithful.

Source : Autoblog

Updates for Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Today we released a recommended update for all Internet Explorer 9 Beta customers via Windows Update (KB2448827). This update includes stability fixes for the beta build. It is not a new Internet Explorer 9 Beta build. Another update shipped today (KB2452648) resolves issues between the IE9 send feedback feature on 64-bit machines with Windows-Live-Essentials 11.  These updates apply only to Internet Explorer 9 Beta.

Customers who have automatic updating enabled will not need to take any action because this update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871

Source : IEBlog

How to check a suspicious file : VirusTotal will allow you to upload a file and check it against 43 antivirus engines. Oh and did I mentioned it is totally FREE !

Microsoft vs. McAfee: How free antivirus outperformed paid

How effective is free antivirus software? I had a chance to see a real, in-the-wild example just this month, and the results were, to put it mildly, unexpected. Microsoft’s free antivirus solution found and removed a threat that two well-known paid products missed.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog RSS | ZDNet

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Report: VW's Euro Jetta gets better interior, independent rear suspension [w/poll]

Our initial opinion of the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta went something like this; nice enough vehicle that still outpaces the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, but the cost-cutting is evident. Soft touch materials have been replaced with harder plastics that don't feel particularly good and almost look as bad. But the U.S. Jetta starts at a class-competitive $15,995, and chopping thousands off of an MSRP doesn't come without sacrifices. But will these cost-cutting measures fly in Europe, where a higher premium is placed on an upscale interior and sporting characteristics?
Fortunately for the folks overseas, they apparently won't have to worry about it. Automotive News reports that the Euro Jetta, which launches in March 2011, will feature a more upscale interior and a four-link independent rear suspension instead of the lower cost 'built for comfort' beam axle setup we have in the U.S.-spec sedan. Source : Autoblog

I envy them :-(

Source :

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The next front in the cookie wars: Fighting the Evercookie

Web-browser cookies, you either love or hate them. There is no in between. Well, get ready to be either more in love or more upset. Read more

Source : Micheal Kassner (

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My new external monitor


I now have a new external monitor with my Thinkpad. Unfortunately Windows 7 is missing some tools to optimize this setup (dual monitor). Here’s what I use :


The free version of DisplayFusion is a must have for everyone with two monitors or more. It will allow you to have a different wallpaper (background) on each monitor. You can also add keyboard shortcuts to move your Windows from one monitor to another.

Good Wallpaper sites

If you want to span a single wallpaper through all your monitors you need big wallpapers. Here’s a list of good sites where you can find those special wallpapers :

Ref :

Best Places to Find Multi-Monitor Wallpaper
Make the Most of Your Dual Monitors
Customize Your Dual Monitors with Display Fusion

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility View List

This download consists of a list of sites that are most likely to be displayed better in Compatibility View in Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Source : Microsoft Download Center

People Using SharePoint in Education

Watch a couple of interviews that highlight how SharePoint was used to implement solutions for the University of Washington, Foster School of Business and the Lake Washington School District.

Source : Get the 'Point: Posts

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

TM VBA Inspector

When coding, it's easy to make small mistakes. Usually these types of mistakes have no direct effect; the code runs and everything appears to be OK. That makes this situation so dangerous.

If you want to gain a quick overview of potential errors, you can use the free TM VBA Inspector. This add-in lets you browse the entire VBA code of an application for potential errors.

Source : Microsoft Access Team Blog

Facebook spammer fined $1 billion

MONTREAL – A Montreal man who sent more than four million spam e-mails to Facebook users over a two-month period was ordered to pay the social media giant more than $1 billion in compensation.

Source :

A self elevating PowerShell script

The long and the short of it is that, as a general rule, I always leave UAC enabled on Windows and never run as Administrator by default.  But I do have scripts that need to run as administrator from time to time.

Rather than launching PowerShell “as Administrator” (which would result in me running other scripts as administrator – because it would be convenient) I have put together the following chunk of script :

# Get the ID and security principal of the current user account
$myWindowsPrincipal=new-object System.Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal($myWindowsID)
# Get the security principal for the Administrator role
# Check to see if we are currently running "as Administrator"
if ($myWindowsPrincipal.IsInRole($adminRole))
   # We are running "as Administrator" - so change the title and background color to indicate this
   $Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle = $myInvocation.MyCommand.Definition + "(Elevated)"
   $Host.UI.RawUI.BackgroundColor = "DarkBlue"
   # We are not running "as Administrator" - so relaunch as administrator
   # Create a new process object that starts PowerShell
   $newProcess = new-object System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo "PowerShell";
   # Specify the current script path and name as a parameter
   $newProcess.Arguments = $myInvocation.MyCommand.Definition;
   # Indicate that the process should be elevated
   $newProcess.Verb = "runas";
   # Start the new process
   # Exit from the current, unelevated, process
# Run your code that needs to be elevated here
Write-Host -NoNewLine "Press any key to continue..."
$null = $Host.UI.RawUI.ReadKey("NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown")
This means that when you run the script in question – a new window will be opened “as Administrator” (with an appropriate prompt).


Source : Virtual PC Guy's WebLog

Monday, October 04, 2010

Volkswagen 2011 Jetta reviewed by

…VW aimed the sixth-gen Jetta at the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. But going head-to-head with two perennial best-sellers meant dropping the Jetta's base price to just $15,995. In doing that, VW cut some corners, even on the upscale SEL version ($21,895) we spent a day in.

The biggest changes are to the interior, where you'll find a lot of hard, shiny plastic where VW once used more upscale materials. Some of the knobs and switches feel flimsy. Leather is no longer an option. And though the interior is spacious and comfortable, it doesn't have quite the same fit and finish as earlier models.

VW cut costs under the car as well. The base model doesn't get cruise control. The base and SE models get old-school drums brakes at the rear, but to be fair VW says they perform as well as competitors' discs. And only the sporty GLI — available early next year— gets the multi-link independent rear suspension. Everything else uses a less sophisticated semi-independent torsion beam.

Source  :

Friday, October 01, 2010

F1 2010 – Review

No, F1 2010 is not iRacing and does not qualify as a hardcore simulation in any shape or form.

To be honest, I´ve never been more torn regarding a title as I am with F1 2010. There certainly is a lot on the bright side, namely stunning graphics, excellent atmosphere like you won’t find in any other racing title and a rather innovative career mode.

Sadly, the title feels very much unfinished in its current state, being plagued by bugs and a horrible AI system as well as very limited multiplayer options. What makes these problems worse is that, aside from the issues, F1 2010 is a very fun title that shows a lot of promise.

Source :

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spaces goes WordPress (and so do we!)

Big news yesterday as the endgame for Spaces was finally revealed.  The handwriting has been on the wall for quite some time for Spaces, with anything of value (Photos, People, etc.) pulled out of Spaces quite some time ago, and a whole Wave of innovation passing it by.

Still we were relieved and even encouraged by today’s announcement that Microsoft was partnering with to allow current Spaces users (and future Windows Live bloggers) will be able to migrate or start a new blog at, and connect their blogs to Windows Live Activity Streams through Messenger Connect.

Source :

Windows Live Essentials 2011 available for download now

We are pleased to announce that Windows Live Essentials 2011 for Windows 7 and Windows Vista is now available for download!

Source :

Cool : IBM Server Simulator

I just found out about some simulators available for IBM servers. Mostly they are BIOS, uEFI, ServerRAID or MegaRAID software simulator that allow you to see what the interface looks like.

They are very cool.

You will find them here.

Boot WinPE 3.0 USB key on EFI system

Yesterday I was trying to build a bootable USB Key with WinPE 3.0 (from Win7/2008 R2 AIK) to use on my new IBM x3550 M3. I was unable to boot the computer with the key. Strangely the key works fine on another computer.

I was building my boot image (boot.wim) for x86 (32bit) OS. This morning it hits me, why not try to build an x64 image (amd64) ? and it worked !

Here’s my understanding of the problem (and I could be wrong) :

My IBM x3550 M3 is an EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) system, you know the replacement of the old BIOS. It looks to me that booting an EFI system with a x86 WinPE is not supported because the bootmgr.efi file is missing. When you build an x64 (amd64) WinPE the file (bootmgr.efi) is present and everything works fine on my server.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Did a Security Patch Bust SharePoint Server 3.0?

Recently Microsoft published the security update MS10-039 for Sharepoint. You may want to read the following articles BEFORE applying that update :

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to embed PowerPoint presentations or Excel sheets in a Blog post

Starting today, you can embed a PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet in a blog or website. With PowerPoint presentations, viewers can page through a mini version of the slides or view in full screen. For example, you might embed a PowerPoint presentation of photos from your last vacation, share slides from a lecture or talk that you enjoyed, or broadcast your knowledge of a special subject.

Source : meraTechPort

Friday, September 17, 2010

Internet Explorer 9 Beta is here !

Internet Explorer 9 Beta has been released !

Check it and download at

Monday, September 13, 2010

How To: Use Microsoft.Web.Administration from Powershell

Powershell has become a defacto scripting environment for a lot of  companies and rightly so considering its capabilities.
However, not every place do we find all modules loaded into powershell as one would like for the ease of scripting. I faced a similiar situation wherein I wanted to perform few admin tasks on an IIS box and din't have the IIS powershell snap-in installed. Wish the server was Windows Server 2008 R2 (IIS module is out-of-the-box loaded). There are more than a couple ways which could handle the script I was aiming for. Nevertheless, I thought it was a great opportunity to check out this functionality.

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple iTunes 10

It's gotten to the point where iTunes is simply something that we, as Windows users, have learned to live with. It's a bloated, poorly-written, poor performing pig of a program. But it's also an absolute necessity for the hundreds of millions of us who use iPhones, iPods, and iPads every day.

Source : Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows

The unofficial guide to installing iTunes 10 without bloatware

iTunes 10 might be brand new, but little has changed in Cupertino. Apple still gives Windows users a single installer that clutters your hard disk with a bunch of unnecessary components, some of which can be harmful to your system’s security and reliability. I show you how to take control of the iTunes 10 installer so you get exactly what you want and nothing more.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report Blog RSS | ZDNet

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Add the Quick Brown Fox in Microsoft Word

If you want to insert some dummy text in a Word document, start a new paragraph, type =lorem() and hit Enter.


Or Just type the command =rand.old(m,n) at the beginning of a new paragraph and hit enter. The number n is the number of paragraphs while n is the number of lines that you want to appear in each paragraph.

Source : Digital Inspiration Technology Blog

Monday, August 30, 2010

PHP Manager for IIS 7 – beta release

Today I am releasing PHP Manager for IIS 7 – beta, which is an IIS extension for setting up and managing multiple PHP installations on IIS 7 servers. It can be used to: Register PHP with IIS; Run multiple PHP versions side by side; Check PHP runtime configuration and environment (output of phpinfo() function) Configure various PHP settings Enable or disable PHP extensions Remotely manage PHP configuration in php.ini fille The PHP Manager installation packages can be downloaded from these locations...(read more)

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Friday, August 27, 2010

Download and print a chart of groups and permission levels for SharePoint 2010

Download and print a reference chart of default user groups and their associated permission levels for SharePoint Server 2010.​

Source : Get the 'Point: Posts
Download this Microsoft Excel 2010 template

Exchange ActiveSync to arrive on Hotmail on Monday

In an interview here on Thursday, Microsoft's Dharmesh Mehta told CNET that Exchange ActiveSync, which will let Hotmail users get push e-mail on cell phones and other devices, will become available on Monday.

Source :

Thursday, August 26, 2010 Update adds tags support, search, sort and filter, and new Social Doc Templates

Back in April, Microsoft FUSE Labs released, a service which ties in Facebook with Office Web Apps to let you share documents with your friends on the social network. It seems like the guys over at FUSE Labs had recently updated, adding new features which makes document much more social and discoverable.

Source :

YES ! my wheel will be supported on F1 2010

With the relase of Codemasters’ first ever official Formula One title now being less than a month away, the last gaps of information regarding F1 2010 are quickly being filled. Part of that is the official controller compatibility list that includes all controllers that will be officially supported by the title on the PC, Xbox [...]

Source : VirtualR - Sim Racing News

Monday, August 23, 2010

Add-ons, and Opting out of Google Analytics Without Them

Recently, Google made available the “Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.” This add-on enables consumers to “indicate that information about the website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics.” We agree that making it easy for consumers to protect their privacy is good, and Internet Explorer offers a variety of features to help keep you in control of your information when visiting websites. In this post, we describe how to use some of these built in features to accomplish the same outcome without installing a Browser Helper Object and the Google Update Service.

Source : IEBlog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Windows Live Essentials 2011 Beta Refresh available for download NOW! (Updated)


Windows Live EssentialsThanks to a tip by Chrilo, who has found out the download address for the new Windows Live Essentials 2011 “Beta Refresh” supposedly due to be released in a few hours (10AM PST according to To get it, simply click on the link below:

Download Windows Live Essentials 2011 Beta Refresh (English Full Installer)

The new installer weighs in at about 151MB for the full installer and carries the build number 15.4.3001.0809. For the web installer, click here to download.

Update: We also have the installer links for other languages:

Source : Windows Live Essentials 2011 Beta Refresh available for download NOW! (Updated)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Calendar Printing Assistant for Outlook

There is an update for “Calendar Printing Assistant for Outlook” that is compatible with Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 (32-bit).

It was publish last July so I misted it because I was on vacation.

Download :

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Microsoft PHP driver for SQL Server 2.0 released

The SQL Server team just announced the release of their latest PHP driver for SQL Server. Details about the release can be found at

A major highlight of this release has been the introduction of PDO drivers for SQL Server. This means the PHP application developer now need not care about database but rather focus on the application code.

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Reliable way to test network connection

Sometimes you want to check if the network is up in your application, there is a built-in function for that : NetworkInterface.GetIsNetworkAvailable()

the problem with GetIsNetworkAvailable is that it incorrectly always report TRUE if a loopback adapter is present. It also report TRUE if a “VirtualBox Host-Only Network” adapter is present.

So I have written the following function in Visual Basic (vb) to replace GetIsNetworkAvailable :

Function IsNetworkAvailable() As Boolean
    IsNetworkAvailable = False
    Dim AllAdapters As NetworkInterface() = NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()
    Dim Adapter As NetworkInterface
    For Each Adapter In AllAdapters
        If Adapter.OperationalStatus = OperationalStatus.Up And
            Adapter.NetworkInterfaceType <> NetworkInterfaceType.Loopback And _
            Adapter.NetworkInterfaceType <> NetworkInterfaceType.Tunnel And _
            Not Adapter.Name.Contains("LoopBack") And _
            Not Adapter.Name.Contains("VirtualBox Host-Only Network") Then
            IsNetworkAvailable = True
        End If
End Function

Monday, August 02, 2010

First Drive: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta gets with the (American) program

See Autoblog

Web Farm Framework 2.0 overview

IIS team has recently released a Web Farm Framework 2.0 beta . The goal of the Web Farm Framework is to enable easy provisioning, deployment and managing of web farms. This blog post provides an example of what Web Farm Framework can do and how it can simplify the Web Farm management tasks. To demonstrate the capabilities of the tool, we will create a simple web farm that looks as on the following diagram: The load balancer will be using the Application Request Routing for IIS 7 and will also act...(read more)

Source : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Microsoft sets emergency Windows patch for Monday

Microsoft today said it will issue an emergency patch for the critical Windows shortcut bug on Monday, Aug. 2.

Source :

July 29, 2011 (Last Friday Of July) 12th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day

On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication.

More :

Sunday, August 01, 2010

New 2011 Volkswagen Jetta blasts its rivals off the road

judging the overall package based on the test cars, we'd have to say that the 2011 Jetta will be VW's best car.

Source :

Friday, July 23, 2010

Microsoft’s official Logos

I just find out that could get a copy of Microsoft’s Official logos for almost all Microsoft products at the Microsoft Press site.


An open source, AJAX implementation of the VirtualBox user interface written in PHP. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances. Much of its verbage and some of its code is based on the (inactive) vboxweb project.

phpVirtualBox was created for people (like me) who prefer not to have to log in to their headless VirtualBox host to administer their virtual machines.

Source :

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Outlook Social Connector for Facebook & WLM

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider for Windows Live Messenger Connect your Windows Live ID to the Outlook Social Connector and stay up to the minute with the people in your network by accessing everything from e-mail threads to status updates in one single, centralized view.

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider for Facebook
Connect your Facebook account to the Outlook Social Connector and stay up to the minute with the people in your network by accessing everything from e-mail threads to status updates in one single, centralized view.


Source :

Install Mac OS X in VirtualBox [Snow Leopard]

It’s been a while since we wrote the popular Tutorial on installing Snow Leopard on Virtualbox. Certail users had trouble with the guide due to lack of proper hardware support — Intel VT support. So here comes a tutorial with the help of tek411 which works without much hackery

Source :

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Fight Slow Startup Times in Windows 7

Sandro Villinger wrote an excellent article on speeding up boot-times, most of these articles do not go further than msconfig.exe, this article does.

Like this article talks about “MainPathBootTime”


Read the full article: What’s Taking So Long How to Fight Slow Startup Times in Windows 7 « IT Expert Voice

Source :

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Microsoft Office Web Apps now online !

Office Web Apps are now online :

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote

You can try it for yourself at

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Remote Desktop Connection Manager v2.2 (RDCMan)

This is a new tool available for free from Microsoft Download.
This is a ‘must have’.

RDCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs where you need regular access to each machine such as automated checkin systems and data centers. It is similar to the built-in MMC Remote Desktops snap-in, but more flexible.

From a click in a tree I can launch a Remote Desktop on any of our servers.


There is even a thumbnail view of my connections.


You can set all the Remote Desktop Client parameters for each server.


The settings in each tab can be inherited from the parent group. This mains that you can change the settings of all, or a group, of your connections in one place.


You can log off (or disconnect) all your connections in one click.

All the settings/groups/servers you define are store in a RDG file. You can copy this file to another computer or use it to import a list of servers.

Many thanks to Julian Burger who made this nice little tool.

Download :

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Keyboard problem with language other than english in Microsoft Expression Web 3.0

I’m writing HTML pages in french with Microsoft Expression Web 3.0 (xWeb) and I can’t type certain characters like è, ê, or î. For example to produce an è you have to first hit the dead-key ` and than hit the e letter. This works everywhere except in xWeb.

A search in the Expression Web Forum showed me that I’m not the only one :

I was really disappointed to read :

The good news is that we have fixed the bug.  The bad news is that the fix is not in the service pack and will not be available until the next release.

I can’t say that I think this is really professional. Come on guys you could have done better than that. I guess we just have to hope and wait for version 4.0

In the mean time I’ve used the ‘Code snippets’ to help paste the lost characters.

Here’s how to configure and use your codes snippets for french characters :

Close Microsoft Expression Web

Open the the file C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Expression\Web 3\Legacy\Expression\Web 3\Snippets\SnippetsCustom.xml

Copy the following XML, paste it in the SnippetsCustom.xml file and save it.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!-- Fichier de configuration des extraits de code -->
<snippets><snippet keyword="é">
	<snippet keyword="à">
<snippet keyword="â">
<snippet keyword="Â">
<snippet keyword="À">
<snippet keyword="ç">
<snippet keyword="Ç">
<snippet keyword="é">
<snippet keyword="É">
<snippet keyword="ê">
<snippet keyword="Ê">
<snippet keyword="Ê">
<snippet keyword="è">
<snippet keyword="È">
<snippet keyword="ë">
<snippet keyword="Ë">
<snippet keyword="î">
<snippet keyword="Î">
<snippet keyword="ô">
<snippet keyword="Ô">
<snippet keyword="û">
<snippet keyword="Û">
<snippet keyword="ù">
<snippet keyword="Ù">

Open Expression Web

In the code view hit CTRL + ENTER and choose one of your new snippets.


Friday, May 28, 2010

How to check your Facebook security settings

Here are some tools that can help you to check to security settings (privacy) in Facebook :

Profile Watch

Get your “privacy score” and check what everyone can see on you Facebook profile

Reclaim privacy

Get a detailed scan of your Facebook profile and see what needs you attention.


Search Facebook update from peoples that left their privacy settings open for everyone

Check how your friends sees your profile

This one is built in Facebook :

  1. Logon to Facebook
  2. Click on this link

FREE: Blackbird auditor express – Real-time Active Directory change monitoring

Blackbird auditor express is a free and easy-to-use version of Blackbird auditor. This community version offers real-time change monitoring for organizations with basic Active Directory (AD) auditing needs.

Source : 4sysops

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Profile Watch : Check your Facebook privacy

With this web site you can get your “privacy score” and check what everyone can see on your Facebook profile.

Link :

Friday, May 14, 2010

Capacity Management for SharePoint Server 2010

This page contains resources to help you with capacity management in your Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 environment—map your solution design to a farm size and set of hardware that supports your business goals.

Additional content is under development. Check back for new and updated content.


Source : SharePoint Server 2010 > Resource Centers

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Google Docs does not make Office better

Hi, I’m Alex Payne and I’m a Director in our Online Product Management team. A couple of news articles and blogs landed today where Google is trying to make the case that existing Office customers (and there are over 500 Million of them worldwide) should hold off on upgrading to Office 2010 and instead utilize Google Docs as a complement to older versions of Office.

This just isn’t the case.

Source :

Also interesting : Forrester: Google still a distant Office competitor

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Scientific Atlanta (CISCO) Explorer 8300HD Tips

If you own a Scientific Atlanta HDTV recorder (Explorer 8300HD), here’s a few tips you might find interesting.

Tips From Enter
Enter diagnostic mode Front of unit Press and hold SELECT until the Mail LED lights,
then press INFO
Enter diagnostic mode Remote control Press and hold PAUSE until the Mail LED lights,
then press PAGE UP (+)
Reboot Front of unit Press and hold VOL+ and VOL-, then press INFO
Reboot Remote control Press and hold PAUSE until the Mail LED lights,
then press PAGE DOWN (-)
Change diagnostic window transparency Front of unit While in diagnostic mode, press SELECT
Change diagnostic window transparency Remote control While in diagnostic mode, press B
Format hard drive Remote control Press and hold PAUSE until the Mail LED lights, then press LIST three times, the unit will format the drive and reboot

I hope I do not have to tell you not to try the “format hard drive” tips unless you really want to do this and loose all your recordings.

Source : and Videotron technical support.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Total Network Monitor

Softinventive Lab Total Network Monitor is a sophisticated free monitoring solution that supports numerous probe types based on HTTP, FTP, Event Log, Service State, Registry, log files, and more. The tool has only been released recently as freeware. There is no doubt that Total Network Monitor (TNM) is one of the best free monitoring solutions.

network-monitoring Screenshot

Source :

Password Assitant


Password Assistant is a GUI application that lets you update passwords of user accounts on multiple Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP machines. A good example is updating the Administrator password on all of your workstations.

You can obtain computer names to update from the network neighborhood (with a filter option) or from a text file. The update process can also be logged to a text file.

It’s free as in free beer !

Source : NTToolkit From

Outlook 2010 : Sending screenshots

When I’m writing my e-mail message to my Mom, I go to the Insert tab, click the Screenshot icon, and then click Screen Clipping.

source : Sending screenshots

Dilbert on Wireless network


Friday, April 16, 2010

Microsoft Fix it Online Beta announced


Microsoft has announced the Microsoft Fix it Online Portal. Microsoft Fix it Center makes getting support easier than ever because automatic troubleshooters solve the issues you have now and prevent new ones

As easy as "Click, click, fixed!"

Source :

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How do I create a Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset (DART) bootable image?

One of the applications included with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is DART, which is made up of tools previously available through the Winternals Administrator's Pak.

Source :

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on Windows 7

From time to time people have asked me how to install Virtual Server on Windows 7, and have even pointed me towards attempts made by other people with varying levels of success.  But I have not looked into this until today – because it is unsupported. 

Source : Virtual PC Guy's WebLog

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are you a piler, filer, or purger?

When we looked into how people used email, we found some interesting patterns. It turns out that there are generally three types of people when it comes to email: pilers, filers, and purgers.

Which are you?

  • Piler: “I generally don’t put email into a folder or archive. I don’t delete it. I just let it pile up in my inbox."
  • Filer: “I generally categorize messages by moving them into folders I’ve created or assigning labels to each message.”
  • Purger:  “I generally delete email after I’ve read it.”

Source : Inside Windows Live

Monday, April 12, 2010

Microsoft Security Essentials anti-malware definitions now available via WSUS

Microsoft Security Essentials antimalware definitions are now available via WSUS.

Source :

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Service Pack 2

Expression Web 3 SP2 contains general improvements to the application and to SuperPreview. You can get a more complete description of Expression Web 3 SP2, including a list of issues that were fixed, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article "Description of Expression Web 3 Service Pack 2."

You can install Expression Web 3 SP2 if you have either Expression Web 3 or Expression Web 3 with Service Pack 1 installed.

Expression Web 3 SP2 includes SuperPreview support for Firefox 3.6 along with improved stability when working with CSS, PHP, and PDF files.

Source :,

Windows Server 2008 R2 to Phase Out Itanium

Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support the Intel Itanium architecture.  SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium.

Source :

Powershell Everyday FAQ


Read my new blog : Powershell-Everyday-FAQ

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The "Search programs and files" box does not display search results correctly in Windows 7 and in Windows 2008 R2

A few days ago the search box on my Windows 7 start menu mysteriously stopped working. If I typed anything in the box the search always returns group headers for items (like Programs, Files, Microsoft Outlook, etc ) but not the items themselves.

Took my a while to find the solution on the net, so I thought I shared the solution and give some thanks to a few peoples.

First, a special thanks to Chris DeLashmutt who blogged about this problem and the solution I used.

Also, big thanks to Bobby Mikkelson who wrote a detailed solution.

There is also an Hotfix for that problem at Microsoft (kb977380).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Default Programs Editor

it is a context menu editor, an autoplay editor, and default programs association editor; essentially, the settings in the "Default Programs" Control Panel page. It's a replacement for the "File Types" dialog in Windows XP, and brings some key features of TweakUI to Windows Vista/7.

Really cool and well done tool, a must have.

Source :

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Follow me on Twitter

You can now follow me and my blog on Twitter :

Follow me on Twitter

Thanks to

PowerShell : How to get the script directory

I was looking for a function to get the script directory in a PowerShell script and I didn’t found exaclty found what I was looking for.

I found some scripts on the net that works on PowerShell 1.0 or  2.0 and with Powershell host or PrimalScript 2009 Host (yes I’m using PrimalScript everyday).

So I tooked some code form others and added some of my stuff and here what I came up with :

function get-scriptdirectory {

# 	Return the current script directory path, compatible with PrimalScript 2009
# 	Equivalent to VBscript fso.GetParentFolderName(WScript.ScriptFullName)
# 	Requires PowerShell 2.0
#	Author   :
#	Date     : March 31, 2010
#	Version  : 1.01
# .LINK 

    if (Test-Path variable:\hostinvocation) 
    Else {
   		$FullPath=(get-variable myinvocation -scope script).value.Mycommand.Definition }  	
	if (Test-Path $FullPath) {
    	return (Split-Path $FullPath) 
    Else {
		Write-Warning ("Get-ScriptDirectory: Powershell Host <" + $ + "> may not be compatible with this function, the current directory <" + $FullPath + "> will be used.")
		return $FullPath

My function will work on PowerShell command line, PowerShell ISE or PrimalScript 2009. You will, however need PowerShell 2.0.

It is also compatible with a ‘Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0’ (you the thing most best practices guide told you to use).

Update (march 31, 2010) :

Looks like there is currently no way to get the script directory from PowerGUIScriptEditorHost, so I’ve modified my script to return the current directory (and a warning) instead of throwing an error.

SyntaxHighlighter on my blog !

Finally got the time to install the fantastic SyntaxHighlighter on my blog so I can post my code more easily.

I just followed the well done Blogger Syntax Highlighting guide from MLA Wire.

So I’ve added the following code in my Blogger site’s template, just before de </head> tag :

<link href='' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>
<link href='' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>

<!-- add brushes here --> 
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>

<script type='text/javascript'>
  SyntaxHighlighter.config.bloggerMode = true;
  SyntaxHighlighter.config.clipboardSwf = ''; 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

18 years of technology …

A friend of mine sent me this comic.

Do you have a flat screen TV ?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MDT : Debugging custom scripts

Daniel Oxley has created a debugger for custom scripts in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

You should look at it : MDT Debugger

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Error openning Outlook 2010 beta with Social Connector

I’ve installed the “Outlook Social Connector 32 bit (February 2010 Beta)” on my Outlook 2010 Beta following the instructions on the Outlook blog but I keep getting the following error :


If you found how to make it works Contact Me

Microsoft removes hardware virtualization barrier to running XP Mode

Microsoft is making a slew of virtualization-related announcements on March 18 -- including one that will be welcome by customers who've been stymied by the chip-level virtualization requirements for running Windows 7 in XP Mode.

Source : All about Microsoft

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Office 2010 Beta : CurrentProject.Connection crash Access

I recently installed Microsoft Office 2010 Beta, I choosed to keep my Office 2007 applications and to only install Outlook 2010 and Office 2010 Shared Components. I did not installed Access 2010.

After that my Microsoft Access 2007 crashed every time I opened a database that use the CurrentProject.Connection object in the code.

It seems that Office 2010 setup installed the “Microsoft Office 14.0 Access Database Engine Object Library (Beta)” component even if I did not choosed to install Access 2010. Even worst it also removed the reference to the “Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine Object Library” component witch is require by Access 2007.

How to fix this ?

Do a repair of Microsoft Office 2007 installation and everything will be back to normal. Except if you played with the References in your Project (Database tools > Visual Basic > Tools > References), you may have to un check all references to “Microsoft Office 14.0 Access” objects and recheck all references to “Microsoft Office 12.0 Access”.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to share a Youtube video on Facebook

Every time I want to share a YouTube video on my facebook page I forgot how to do it, so I though I should post how to do it on my blog :

How to Post a YouTube Video on Facebook

You can also watch this video :

Monday, March 08, 2010

Windows Activation Technologies: an unauthorized inside look

Last month, Microsoft rolled out a controversial anti-piracy update for Windows 7. Everything you've read about KB971033 so far, including my report last week, has been based on what Microsoft said it was going to do. But what does this update really do? I took a close look using my best CSI toolkit. Here are the details Microsoft doesn't tell you about.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report

Confessions of a Windows 7 pirate

I've been hanging out with a bad crowd lately, trying out popular hacking tools and utilities to see if I could install Windows 7 without paying for it. Unfortunately, I succeeded. In this post, I'll share my experiences, including close encounters with some very nasty malware and some analysis on how the latest showdown between Microsoft and the pirates is likely to play out.

Source : Ed Bott's Microsoft Report

Friday, February 26, 2010

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Hyper-V

Hyper-V customers are running both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux as guests. We have provided Linux integration components for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, but customers did not have the same level of performance with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a guest since the IC’s were not supported for RHEL.

We are excited to announce the availability of Linux integration components for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4) which provides synthetic network and storage drivers enabling RHEL to work with the optimized devices provided by Hyper-V.  We’ve already submitted these drivers to the upstream Linux kernel in July 2009 (read here for more information) and are looking forward to these being integrated with a future version of RHEL.  In the meantime, Microsoft will provide full support for these drivers.  Red Hat provides best effort support for these components. Customers interested in understanding how these are supported by Red Hat prior to their inclusion natively into to their distribution can read the details at the Red Hat Knowledge Base article.

To download this new version of the Linux Integration Components, visit this link on the Microsoft Download Center.

Mike Sterling

Hyper-V Program Manager, Microsoft

Source : Windows Virtualization Team Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Working with VHD and differencing disk in VirtualBox

I recently switch to VirtualBox (from VirtualPC), but i was not ready to dump all my VHD files. So i decided to keep working with VHD. The other thing I use a lot is “differencing disk”, VirtualBox also support these, but, as with VHD the documentation is not always very clear on how to use them.

First you have to understand a difference between Virtual PC and Virtual Box about “differencing disk” :

In VirtualPC In VirtualBox
You create a normal VHD that will become the parent, then you create a child VHD pointing to the parent You create a normal VHD and flag it as “immutable”, then you create new VMs using this “immutable” VHD. VirtualBox will automatically create the child VHD that will appear like a snapshot ({GUID}.VHD)

Here’s how I do it :

Step 1 : Create a 20Go dynamic disk VHD

vboxmanage createhd --filename "F:\.VirtualBox\HardDisks\WinXP_Parent.vhd" --size 20480 --format VHD --variant standard --remember

Step 2 : Change the new VHD into an immutable disk

vboxmanage "F:\.VirtualBox\HardDisks\WinXP_Parent.vhd" --type immutable

I Also like to force it to read-only as an additionnal precaution :

attrib +R "F:\.VirtualBox\HardDisks\WinXP_Parent.vhd"

Step 3 : Create a new VM using the WinXP_parent.vhd


Yon now have a new virtual machine with a differencing disk in the VHD format.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Everything you need to know about DHCP as a Systems Administrator

Nice article By Netanel Ben-Shushan about DHCP.


This article will help you to learn everything that you need to know as a systems administrator (or SysAdmin) about this protocol and what can you do with him.

Source :

What's the Opposite of "Buzz"? Because That's What Google Is Generating with Buzz.

Google's belated second shot at social networking with the Gmail-based Buzz service was supposed to catapult the company into competition with Twitter and Facebook. But instead, it has created an amazing uproar among Gmail users who feel the service is invasive at best and privacy-adverse at worst.

How this piece of junk escaped internal testing is unclear, given how poorly implemented it was at launch last week, as well as its complete lack of configuration. But with Google now facing a class-action lawsuit over the service, maybe it's time for the online giant to step back and ask itself what the heck just happened.

For all the bad stuff Google has done over the years—working with the Chinese and scanning copyrighted books without asking permission, for starters—it's interesting to see that a silly and pointless service is what brought this clueless and insular high-flyer down to Earth.

The issue here is simple, however, and although I wish I could take credit for this observation, it comes from my friend Fabrice: No one cared when Google was violating IP and copyright laws around the world by scanning books, because that was other people's data. But when Google opens up actual users to privacy invasion, it gets personal. I think Fabrice is right. Google is a smart company full of smart people. But this is one the dumbest things I've ever seen.

Source : WinInfo Dailey by Paul thurrott