TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008

At the Microsoft Download Center I found some interesting online books. This is one of them 🙂

This online book is a structured, introductory approach to the basic concepts and principles of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol suite, how the most important protocols function, and their basic configuration in the Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 families of operating systems. This book is primarily a discussion of concepts and principles to lay a conceptual foundation for the TCP/IP protocol suite and provides an integrated discussion of both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Download TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows

Windows Vista SP1 Available For Technical People Soon

Today Mika Nash announced on the Windowsvistablog that SP1 will become available to Technical People before the end of the month (february it is).

I quote from Windowsvistablog.com:

We’ve heard the feedback and I want to update you on our plans and progress for making SP1 available to our beta participants, our Volume Licensing customers, and our MSDN/TechNet Plus subscribers:

  • Late Friday we made SP1 RTM available to individuals and companies who participated in the SP1 beta program
  • At the end of this week we will be making the English version of Windows Vista SP1 available to Volume Licensing customers.  Other languages will follow soon after
  • Later this month, SP1 will be available to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers

For broad availability, we are still planning to release in mid-March, since we want to be sure that everyone has the smoothest experience possible.

I want to be super-clear on one point:  Windows Vista SP1 is final.  It has been fully released to manufacturing and we do not plan to make any changes to the SP1 code prior to public availability.  We are confident in the quality of Windows Vista SP1 and know that it will help improve our customers’ experiences with Windows Vista.

Our goal here is to address the needs of our customers while delivering the best experience.  Please keep the comments coming.  We are listening!

– Mike

Windows Vista SP1 goes RTM

Windows Vista SP1 goes RTM

Just announced : Windows Vista SP1 goes RTM today(just the first set of languages : English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese)!

When can you download it? Just check the following timingtable :

  • In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on microsoft.com.  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1.  If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1.  Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.
  • In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically.  That said, any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not update successfully will not get SP1 automatically.  As updates for these drivers become available, they will be installed automatically by Windows Update, which will unblock these systems from getting Service Pack 1.  The result is that more and more systems will automatically get SP1, but only when we are confident they will have a good experience.
  • The remaining languages will RTM in April.

Read the complete story on the Windows Vista blog.

Windows Vista + Windows Server 2008 = Superb IT

Today I read something nice on the Windows Server 2008 website I would like to share with you guys. It starts that Windows Vista & Server 2008 began as a family…

“Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 originally began as part of a single development project, and as such they share a number of new technologies across networking, storage, security and management. Although the development of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 have branched into separate releases with different release cycles, many of these enhancements apply to both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. When organizations deploy both operating systems, they will see how the combined client-server infrastructure provides even greater advantages.”

Features

IT professionals who are administering a Windows Vista / Windows Server 2008 infrastructure will notice many improvements in how they control and manage their environment.

  • Maintenance is greatly simplified by the use of a single model for updates and service packs across client and server.
  • Client computers can monitor for specific events and forward to Windows Server 2008 for centralized monitoring and reporting.
  • Windows Deployment Services provides much faster and more reliable operating system deployment.
  • Network Access Protection features on Windows Server 2008 ensure that Windows Vista clients connecting to the network are compliant with security policies and restricted from accessing network resources if not.

The reliability, scalability, and overall responsiveness of the infrastructure are greatly increased by improvements made to both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

  • Clients can render print jobs locally before sending them to print servers to reduce the load on the server and increase its availability.
  • Server resources are cached locally so that they are available even if the server is not, with copies automatically updating when the client and server are reconnected.
  • Applications or scripts that need to run on both client and server can take advantage of the Transactional File System to reduce the risk of error during file and registry operations and roll back to a known good state in the event of failure or cancellation.
  • Policies can be created to ensure greater Quality of Service for certain applications or services that require prioritization of network bandwidth between client and server.

Windows Vista clients connecting to networks where Windows Server 2008 has been deployed can experience greatly improved communication speeds and reliability.

  • Searching Windows Server 2008 servers from a Windows Vista client avails of enhanced indexing and caching technologies on both to provide huge performance gains across the enterprise.
  • Native IPv6 support across all client and server services creates a more scalable and reliable network, while the rewritten TCP/IP stack makes network communication much faster and more efficient.
  • The new Server Message Block 2.0 protocol provides a number of communication enhancements, including greater performance when connecting to file shares over high-latency links and better security through the use of mutual authentication and message signing.
  • Terminal Services on Windows Server 2008 have many improvements, including providing Windows Vista clients with remote access to internal resources through an HTTP gateway and seamless remote applications that run as if on the local desktop.

New Windows Vista updates available via Windows Update this week

According to the Windows Vista Team Blog some new updates will become available somewhere this week via Windows Update :

As you probably know and as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we use Windows Update to periodically deliver updates for Windows Vista. We do this so that customers need not wait for a service pack or another or larger release to benefit from the ongoing improvements we make to Windows. With Windows Update, we can regularly service Windows as quickly, effectively and unobtrusively as possible, so that keeping your Windows OS up-to-date is easier and more convenient for you. All you have to do is make sure you are signed up to have updates installed automatically, and you’re good to go.  Continuous improvement is the name of this game.

The non-security updates planned for release through Windows Update this week include:

  • An update on system compatibility, reliability and stability:  extends the battery life for mobile devices, improves stability of wireless network services, and shortens recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity, among other fixes.
  • An update to USB core components:  mainly affects systems returning from sleep or hibernation, fixing problems causing 1-2% of all crashes reported.
  • An update to Windows Media Center:  among other things, affects interaction issues occurring between Media Center PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 when Xbox 360 is used as a Media Center Extender.

The links in the above list will lead you to the KB article related to each update in case you want more information on them.  And, when they’re made available via Windows Update (expected to occur Tuesday 13th), you can also right-click each entry in Windows Update to get its 400-word summary description.

These and similar updates will be wrapped into SP1 for those of you considering installing them in one fell swoop.  We’ll let you know here on the blog when we have more news in this vein.

SMB v2.0 in Windows Vista & Windows Server 2008

Source : Kurt Roggen’s Blog

Server Message Block (SMB), also known as CIFS (Common Internet File System) is the file sharing protocol used by default on Windows based computers.  Windows includes an SMB client component (Client for Microsoft Windows) and an SMB server component (File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Windows).

SMB in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista support the new SMB version 2.0 that has been redesigned for today’s networking environments (wireless, possible high loss, timeouts, high latency, …) and for the needs of the next generation of file servers (EFS over the wire, Offline Files and Folders enhancements, …).

Machines running Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista support both SMB v1.0 and SMB v2.0.  However SMB 2.0 can only be used if both client and server support it!!  So, the SMB protocol revision to be used for file operations is decided during the negotiation phase

A Vista client advertises to the server that it can understand the new SMB 2.0 protocol.  If the server (Windows Server 2008 or otherwise) understands SMB 2.0, then SMB 2.0 is chosen for subsequent communication, otherwise they fall back to SMB 1.0. 

This preserves “downwards” compatibility so that deploying Vista clients or Windows Server 2008 servers should be simple and straightforward.   The following list below describes what protocol will be used when communicating between different types of client and servers.

  • Vista client <> Vista client or Windows Server 2008 – SMB 2.0
  • Non-Vista client <> Vista client or Windows Server 2008 – SMB 1.0
  • Vista client <> Non-Vista client or Non-Windows Server 2008 – SMB 1.0
  • Non-Vista client <> Non-Vista client or Non-Windows Server 2008 – SMB 1.0

For an overview of the impact on network throughput, have to look at the white paper of a third-party benchmark study done by The Tolly Group which compares network throughput and time-to-completion of several tasks when using Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 .

Click for a large image 
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Recording 2 Channels at once with Windows Vista Media Center (almost) works!

Windows Media Center

Earlier this evening I posted about a new update for Windows Vista Media Center. I was very astonished when I tried (just for fun) the Live TV function of my Media Center after I applied the Update…wauw..I could record two channels at once again. I know my last post about this working on my configuration doesn’t mean it works for everybody!

The thing I can tell is that it’s not working 100% correctly (it stutters a bit), but it’s a good start!

Check out the screenshot (just to proof it to you). On the screenshot you see a two channel recording and the MultiMeter Gadget to show you I have 4GB RAM and a 64bit Vista 🙂 Owh..and I have installed SP1 installed. Wanna know how you can install SP1? Check my post.

You can click if you want a larger picture!

Why Microsoft’s competitors own the applause

Refreshing my FeedDemon I stumbled on a very interesting post on 4sysops.com :

Vista seems to be a great success – Why Microsoft’s competitors own the applause

Considering the bad and often unfair press that Vista got during the last months, it must surprise many that Microsoft reports the fastest revenue growth in any first quarter since 1999. 88 million Vista copies have been sold by now. That’s more or less the population of Germany. Since many have been waiting to upgrade, mostly because of the bad press, I would expect that it won’t be the last record that Microsoft will set in the near future.

These numbers fit well to a report on eWEEK claiming that Linux loses market share to Windows Server. According to IDC, Linux had a negative growth of 4% in the x86 market in 2006, whereas Windows Server was outpacing the total growth rate by more than 4%.

I must admit that I wasn’t expecting it so soon. When I first played with Windows Server 2008, I anticipated bad times for Linux to come. I also thought that it will take quite some time until Windows users would give up their beloved XP. So where will this all lead to?

You might think that I would like these developments since I am running a blog for Windows administrators. The fact is that I am in no way emotionally connected to Microsoft or Windows. If I would come to believe that the future belongs to Linux, I would certainly say good bye to Windows from one day to the other. I work with Linux almost every day, and I confess, it is more fun to play with. However, from a technical and economical point of view, I can’t see how I could justify a move from Windows to Linux in my organization.

So whom can you blame for this development? Certainly not Microsoft. They do what all companies are doing. They try to earn money. I never believed that their success was in any way related to their often rude business practices. The contrary is true. Ballmer and friends did more harm than good to Microsoft with their rude and brash manner. No other company in the software business has such a bad reputation as Microsoft. I think it is the only company where people say that they don’t buy their products because they don’t like them.

Frankly, I believe that one has to blame Microsoft’s competitors for the Windows monopoly on the desktop. Since I have followed Microsoft’s success story (more than 20 years), its competitors always tried to beat them by doing things in a completely different way. IBM, HP and Sun tried to sell their operating systems as add-ons to hardware. What a big mistake! And do you remember the OS/2 fiasco? IBM still thinks that the only use of software is to sell hardware. That’s why they like Open Source so much. Now they don’t even have to pay the programmers anymore. As it turns out now, this stance was the best that could happen to Microsoft.

Read the whole story…

Update : New Update for Media Center for Windows Vista

Windows Update

A new update for Windows Vista Media Center is available.

The October 2007 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista resolves the following issues :

  • Several issues that are related to the Media Center Extensibility Platform
  • An issue that affects digital cable card components when you use Scientific Atlanta cable cards
  • Interaction issues that occur between Media Center PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 when Xbox 360 is used as a Media Center Extender.
  • Autolaunch issues that occur with video CD (VCD) media

Download update for Windows Vista 32bits (KB941229)
Download update for Windows Vista 64bits (KB941229)

More information about the update for Media Center for Windows Vista

TweakUAC – A nice tool to turn off UAC in Windows Vista

TweakUAC

ICTFreak has a nice tool mentioned on his website. With TweakUAC it’s easy to disable the UAC in Windows Vista.
It was already possible to turn of UAC in Windows Vista, but the method wasn’t that easy! Now it’s a peace of cake with TweakUAC.

With the tool it’s also possible just to turn off the UAC prompt. This is a bit more secure than just turning off UAC entirely, and with this option you also spare a reboot. If you want to do some Admin tasks on your Windows Vista machine, just put UAC in quiet mode and do your admin stuff. When you’re finished you turn on UAC again and there you go!

With the tool you can also check the UAC status on a Vista machine, so if you put in on a usb stick you always have it with you!

TweakUAC Screenshot

Download TweakUAC
Visit the TweakUAC website for more information.