Microsoft Web Site Offers Valuable Information--If You Can Find It

As you might imagine, many of the email messages I receive from readers start with the phrases "Can you explain" and "How do I." Although some messages relate directly to a specific problem, many of them are requests for more general information about new Windows 2000 concepts and features. The most common requests are for information about the Win2K security model and about rolling out Win2K Professional. I try to answer as many questions as possible, but sometimes the volume makes answering them all impossible. Most questions have answers somewhere on Microsoft's Web site, but as you've probably noticed, finding information there is more of an art than a science (a problem endemic to large corporate technical Web sites).

While searching for a generic document describing Win2K security services (which I found here, I realized that the "How It Works" Web page contains a huge amount of good, basic information about almost every facet of Win2K. The documents, although focused on the general aspects of the individual technologies and functions, also contain links to more detailed technical documents buried within the Microsoft Web site, making the page an excellent starting place if you're looking for answers to specific questions or Win2K background knowledge.

But the page doesn't link to other gems found on the various Microsoft Web sites (Support, MSDN, Technet), such as the Automated Deployment Options overview. Although this Web page is called an overview, it offers step-by-step illustrated directions for using Win2K deployment tools and links to white papers and technical outlines that provide detailed information about deployment options. It's a shame that this stuff isn't easier to find.

This week's tip:
This tip is a little different from the Registry tips I've offered so far. It's a systems management tip that I hope applies to more users than just me.

Living in the northeastern United States has subjected me to some pretty significant rainfall in the past few weeks. And living in a somewhat rural area means that when the rain gets bad, I begin to have power failures. I'm used to these power failures, and the dozen or so computers in my home office have their own UPS. But they don't all have the ability to auto-shutdown because I often have multiple systems attached to one large UPS. So when the power starts to fluctuate, I have to shut down almost all of the computers manually. This situation usually isn't a problem because even the smallest UPS gives me about 5 minutes of uptime for the systems attached to it. However, with continual intermittent power failures, the batteries in the UPSs don't have enough time to recharge completely, which cuts into the shutdown time available to me.

So I enabled hibernation on all of my Win2K systems that support it. Although a normal shutdown of some of my systems can take as long as 4 minutes, placing them in hibernation mode shuts them down in about 60 seconds. This approach also lets me restore the systems to the state they were in before I had to shut them down—I don't have to re-launch every application. Check the Power Options applet in the Control Panel. If your system is Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) -compliant, the last tab in the applet will say Hibernate.

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