Windows Client UPDATE, May 16, 2002

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May 16, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Keeping Up with Updates

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Intel Releases Pentium 4-Based Celeron Processors

3. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Cast Your Vote for Our Readers' Choice Awards!

4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • Easily Manage Printers, Profiles, and Policies

5. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Windows XP Doesn't Recognize Your CD Burner
  • Featured Thread: Modem Hangup Causes System Crash

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Speed Up Your PC
  • Updates to Clean Up and Back Up Data

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])

  • KEEPING UP WITH UPDATES

  • Keeping client systems updated with all the current Microsoft system and security patches is turning into a full-time job for systems administrators. Even if you let your client systems use the Windows Update Web site, which downloads an ActiveX control that evaluates what patches the client system needs and offers you the option to download and install the patches, you still don't really know the configuration of every system on your network at any given moment.

    In the past, I've written about the Windows Update Corporate Site, which lets a systems administrator download the updates for any supported Microsoft applications and OSs and keep the update packages handy on the local network. This method lets systems administrators know which patches have been applied to all of the supported computers, but administrators still don't have a way to keep track of the state of each computer.

    By now, Windows XP users and supporters are familiar with the automated delivery mechanism for system updates that this latest OS supports. Automated delivery gives the user quite a bit of control over how the updates are installed and alerts clients when new updates are available. But even automated updates don't let you decide which updates are made available to each client, so you still don't know what's happening on the individual clients.

    Almost since the original announcement of automated updates in the Windows 9x days, Microsoft has promised corporate control over the process and a mechanism to let clients be pointed at an internal corporate update server that the local IT staff runs. Our long wait for Microsoft to act on this promise is almost over. Microsoft announced that the Microsoft Software Update Service (SUS) will be available in the second half of 2002. The beta program is well underway.

    After you install the SUS on a server on your corporate LAN, the SUS will automatically synchronize with the Microsoft Update sites. You'll then be able to test and evaluate new patches and updates and decide which ones you want to deploy in your enterprise. SUS servers will also be able to synchronize with other SUS servers, so you'll be able to build a distribution network within your enterprise and still allow only one contact with the Microsoft Update sites, regardless of the size of your enterprise.

    SUS will also include an automated update client for Windows 2000, which means that XP and Win2K clients will have the same update mechanism. A soon-to-be-released update to the automated update piece of XP, which will also apply to the automated update client in SUS, will let you use Group Policy to control the automated update client, giving you detailed control over what updates are installed on the client systems. Between the updated client and SUS, you'll finally get a real tool directly from Microsoft that will help you maintain client OSs and that won't require installing a global software management system such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS).

    I really have only one thing to say about the entire concept of the SUS: It's about time. You can find complete details on all the announced update changes at
    http://microsoft.com/windows2000/server/evaluation/news/bulletins/sus.asp

    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

  • INTEL RELEASES PENTIUM 4-BASED CELERON PROCESSORS

  • Intel announced dramatic price cuts for its current line of Celeron microprocessors, leading the way for a new generation of Celeron chips based on Pentium 4 processor technology. The company will probably announce the new Celeron microprocessors, which will debut at speeds of 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz, on Monday; PC makers will start shipping systems based on the new chips early next week.

    Even with the move to a Pentium 4 processor-based design, the low-end Celeron family will see less-significant performance boosts than you might expect, thanks to smaller on-chip cache sizes and other technical limitations. But the new Celeron chips will still offer enhancements over the previous generation, which topped out at speeds of 1.3GHz. For example, they'll use a 400MHz system bus, compared to 100MHz for the previous generation. And the new Celeron chips will use the Pentium 4 processor NetBurst architecture, providing such advanced internal features as the Hyper-Pipelined Technology and Rapid Execution Engine.

    If you're interested in buying the current-generation Celeron, the prices are right. You can buy the 1.2GHz version for $69, a $10 reduction; the 1.3GHz version is selling for $74.

    3. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • CAST YOUR VOTE FOR OUR READERS' CHOICE AWARDS!

  • Which companies and products do you think are the best on the market? Nominate your favorites in four different categories for our annual Windows & .NET Magazine Readers' Choice Awards. You could win a T-shirt or a free Windows & .NET Magazine Super CD, just for submitting your ballot. Click here!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/readerschoice

    4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • EASILY MANAGE PRINTERS, PROFILES, AND POLICIES

  • Manage user and machine configurations including drives, printers, Outlook profiles, and application settings. Apply settings with increased control based on OS, IP address range, date, time, recurrence, "Run Once," LAN vs. Dial-up, OU, and more on Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP! Free Trial!
    http://www.AutoProf.com/Update_Client_HotR_2002_05_16.html

    5. RESOURCES

  • TIP: WINDOWS XP DOESN'T RECOGNIZE YOUR CD BURNER
    (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

  • A few months ago, I wrote about the problem that Windows XP has of being able to recognize only one CD burner to be used with the built-in burning tools. A number of readers wrote to tell me that XP simply refused to recognize their CD burners even though, in some cases, third-party CD-burning software worked fine. You can force a solution to this problem by editing the registry:
    1. Launch Regedit.
    2. Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\Drives
    3. Under the Drive subkey, you'll see entries that look like this:
    4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\Drives\Volume\{08a4ee14-86cd-11d4-a06e-806d6172696f\}. (The globally unique identifier--GUID--will be specific to your computer.) Open the Volume that corresponds to your CD burner.
    5. Add a REG_DWORD value called Drive Type and set the value to 1 for a CD-R or to 2 for a CD-RW.

    That should do it.

  • FEATURED THREAD: MODEM HANGUP CAUSES SYSTEM CRASH

  • Ivan has a Dell Optiplex 150s with Windows 2000 Professional. Hanging up the modem causes Win2K Pro to crash. To read more about the problem or offer your help, join the discussion at the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.net/forums/rd.cfm?app=83&id=104397

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])

  • SPEED UP YOUR PC

  • Ascentive announced Ascentive SpeedPak 2002, software to improve PC and Internet performance and eliminate hardware upgrades. The software bundles webROCKET 2002 and winROCKET 2002, which provides enhanced operation of the Windows OS and improves Internet surfing, gaming, and download times. Ascentive SpeedPak 2002, which you can purchase and download directly from Ascentive's Web site, costs $49.95 and runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x. Contact Ascentive at 215-468-1000.
    http://www.ascentive.com

  • UPDATES TO CLEAN UP AND BACK UP DATA

  • 12Ghosts released an update of its package of Windows extensions, version XP/10, which contains changes in security-related tools 12-Wash and 12-Backup. Combined with 12-ShutDown, version XP/10 automates cleaning up and backing up crucial data to improve security and automate repetitive tasks. Version XP/10 runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x. For pricing, contact 12Ghosts at 888-238-3153.
    http://12Ghosts.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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