Friday, October 30, 2009

Free Windows Server 2008 R2 eBook

Well if this isn't the week for free books... Now there is a free eBook download from Microsoft: Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2.

The "Introducing" series of MS Press books are hardly a technical treatise on whatever subject they happen to cover, but in my opinion, free information regarding their latest products is always a good thing.

And thanks again goes to for this post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Free Exchange 2010 eBook

I nabbed this news item from, a very worthy site for the latest in Microsoft news.

You can head on over to Red Gate Software's site for a free eBook on Exchange 2010. I guess I should start reading, it'll be here sooner than later.

Not sure how long this will last, so get'em while they're hot.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Windows 7! The savior of the computing world!!!

Okay not really, but everyone else is making claims and spreading exaggerated news. Why not a catchy headline for me too?

Windows 7 has been unleashed upon the world today; enjoy!

PS. For those of us who have TechNet or MSDN, we've had the official release version for many weeks. Next time be one of the first with Windows 8 128-bit ;^)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Service 'MSExchangeTransport' failed

A few months ago I had an Exchange Server 2007 install stop cold, caughing up this error:

Service 'MSExchangeTransport' failed to reach  status 'Running' on this server.

Apparently if you disable IPv6 on a Windows Server 2008 the error will occur. Not to be picky, but how many networks are actually using IPv6 and why is it installed by default anyway?

So re-enable it, reboot and try the install again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Command Switches for MSI Packages

Microsoft has been using the Windows Installer Tool for quite some time now to make installing, patching and repairing programs a snap (installers using this will typically have an MSI extension).

One of the many benefits of this tool is the ability to script a program or patch installation using the available command-line switches, e.g.: adobe_reader.msi /qn which will install the application quietly without a UI. This can be key when making a batch file to install numerous applications and patches on a new system.

For the many available switches to use check out the full list from Microsoft.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Amusing Computer Quotes, Part II


"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents."
- Nathaniel Borenstein

"The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier."
- Bill Gates

"In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear."
- John C. Dvorak

"After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy."
- John Pierce

"Programmer - an organism that turns coffee into software."
- Unknown

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What kind of file is that?

Many of us have experienced the annoyance of receiving a file that we don't have the appropriate software to view or in a format we do not know or recognize, e.g., "What is a .xxe file and how do I open it?"

(Disclaimer: Make sure you have up to date virus scan and check with the sender when receiving an unknown file. You have been warned.)

Many sites offer a list of file extensions describing the file type, but the one I like to use is because it also provides a link to the appropriate application for viewing or editing the file.

And in case you are curious, an XXE file is a Compressed ASCII Archive and can be opened with WinRAR.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Control Panel Applets from Command Line

One of my customers doesn't allow user accounts to be in the local Administrators group,  something I wish more companies would do. In fact over 90% of infections could be stopped by not logging in as an administrator; but I'll save that "soapbox" topic for another post.

Many times I need to change settings or install/remove software on someones PC without logging them out of the system, in which case I will go to %windir%\system32, shift+right-click CMD.exe and choose Run As...

Once I've opened a Command window with an account in the administrators group, I can start the Services MMC (services.msc), Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) or Computer Manager (compmgmt.msc), plus many more useful consoles from the command line. Often times I need to remove software or make a change to network settings which involves Control Panel Applets. These also can be run at the command-line (or Run... prompt if you're already logged in as an administrator), some of my favs are listed below.

Appwiz.cpl - Add/Remove Programs (or Programs and Features in Vista or Windows 7)
Ncpa.cpl - Network Connections (for changing IPs and DNS)
Powercfg.cpl - Power Options (perhaps for turning off Standby or enabling the Performance setting)
Sysdm.cpl - System Properties (lots to find here: Remote Desktop, Pagefile, System Restore settings, etc.)
Wscui.cpl - Security Center (change Automatic Updating, the Firewall and Malware monitoring)

Want more? Check out the Wiki page.