Countdown to TechEd 2010 in New Orleans, LA: 2010-06-07 00:00:00 GMT-08:00

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The TechEd 2010 Count Down Gadget

Are you going to TechEd 2010 North America?  Can't wait to visit New Orleans with all your fellow IT Pros?  Well, get your geek on with the TechEd 2010 Count Down Gadget for Windows 7 and Windows Vista!

Just download the gadget from any Windows 7 or Vista computer and double-click it to add it to your Windows Sidebar.  But hey, you're an IT Pro.  You already knew that.

Update: The TechEd 2010 Count Down Gadget has been accepted and approved for distribution through the Windows Gallery.

Special thanks goes to Oliver Green with  He did all the smart stuff.  I just changed the graphics.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7 Interoperability Pack Released

Microsoft announced today the release of the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, as well as Remote Desktop Connection Client 7.0 and Windows Management Framework.  This was previously known as the Windows 7 Interoperability Pack.

Please see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles for more information.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Windows Server 2008 and Vista Service Pack 2 Released

Today, Microsoft released Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.

Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista is an update to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It provides customer and partner feedback-driven fixes into a single service pack, minimizing deployment and testing complexity. In addition to all previously released updates since SP1, SP2 supports new types of hardware, and adds support for several emerging standards.

Details and download links can be found at

Notable changes in Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Vista SP2 can be viewed from this link.

Along with all the other fixes and rollups that are currently available through hotfixes and rollups, it includes improved power management and new Group Policy settings.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

How to Hide a User Account on the Logon Screen

Maybe you created a user account on your XP computer so your nephew could use it when he was visiting you. Now he's gone home and you really don't want to see that account choice every time you log on to Windows, but you also don't want to just delete the account because he'll probably be back again next year. Here's how to hide an account from the logon screen:

  • Before editing the registry, always back it up just to be safe.

  • Open the registry editor and navigate to the following key:

Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \

Note: The SpecialAccounts \ UserList keys may not exist on your computer. If they do not, create them.

  • In the right pane, you'll see a list of items that correspond to the user accounts that exist on the computer but are not shown on the logon screen. You'll probably be surprised at how many there are.

  • Right click an empty space in the right pane, select NEW and DWORD value.
    Right click the new value and rename it to the exact name of the user account you want to hide.

  • Close the registry editor.

Now the account name won't show up on the logon screen. You can unhide the account at any time by deleting the registry key you created. Your nephew can still log onto the account while it's hidden. Just press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice in a row at the logon screen and you'll get the logon dialog box that allows you to type in the username.

Note: This tip works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The SpecialAccounts key may not exist by default, but if you create it as specified above it works a treat!

Additional Note: I've discovered this tip does not work in Windows Vista because Microsoft removed the "Classic Logon" functionality from this OS. You can still hide the account, but you won't be able to logon as this hidden account by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del twice. You can, however still switch to this account using user account switching.

Thanks to Deb Shinder for the tip!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Modify the All Users Startup Menu

As you no doubt know, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have modified the locations for user profiles. They are no longer in %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings and exist in the %ProgramData%\Users folder.

However, to modify the All Users profile to add a shortcut to the Startup menu you actually need to access the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder.

See Peter Fitzsimon's blog for all the gory details.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

New Certifications

May 2008 was a busy month for me.

In addition to writing a book, I passed five exams in the first three weeks and earned my MCITP:Enterprise Messaging Administrator (the premier Exchange 2007 administrator certification) and three MCTS certifications (SCOM 2007, ForeFront and Exchange 2007).

That makes 34 exams in a row that I've passed without failing, including my CISSP. Yes!! The streak remains unbroken!

I've put together a certifications page that lists the current certifications that I hold, which I'm rather proud of.

Tomorrow I'm off to TechEd and I can't wait! I'll be blogging at least once a day while I'm there. Check my blog all week. If you're going to TechEd yourself, I might meet you at the TechEd Blogger Ultra Lounge. See you there!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

RSAT Released for Windows Server 2008

The Windows Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) have been release for Windows Server 2008. These tools allow you to manage remote Windows Server 2008 computers from a Windows Vista SP1 x86 client. The Vista SP1 x64 version is available here.

These tools are designed to provide the same functionality as the familiar Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack. But sorry, no XP for you!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And there was great rejoicing

Mark Rossinovich (Computer God Extraordinaire) released a free Microsoft plugin that provides right-click Run-as functionality for any application.

Now when you right-click any application a Run as and Run as different user option will be displayed in the actions menu. Sweet!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vista SP1 is available!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Microsoft has released Windows Vista SP1 for your download pleasure. Technet subscribers can go to the Technet website and view the "Top Subscriber Downloads" section.

MSDN subscribers can download it from MSDN from here.

If you're not a TechNet or MSDN subscriber, expect to see it show up in Windows Update in March. It will first be an optional update and later a critical update.

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