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October 31, 2002—In this issue:
- Explore How You Can Use Dfs
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Win2K Passes Security Test
- Attend Our Free Tips & Tricks Web Summit
- Microsoft's Premier European Infrastructure Conference
- Tip: Recognizing a Drive's Total Capacity
- Featured Thread: NT Power Management Problem
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Upgrade Adds Support for MPXP
- Thumbnail Images Enhance Web Browsing and Searching
6. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])
I've recently received email from Windows Client UPDATE readers asking various questions about the Dfs service available on server versions of Windows. Dfs is an incredibly useful feature that requires only one Windows 2000 server for setup (although Dfs has additional features you can use in domains and Active Directory—AD—environments). Dfs lets you point all your physical network shares on any machine that runs the NTFS file system to one virtual share point.
Using Dfs, you can give your users one mapped drive, and all the network shares available to them will appear as directories on that drive. No more worrying about extra drive letters or remembering on what drive you've stored an application or certain data—the user simply goes to that mapped share and is all set.
Are you planning to add storage to your network in the form of a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device? You can set up many NAS devices as additional shares on your Dfs root. Because the shares are virtual, you can back up and restore any share without affecting the behavior of client applications that point to the share. For example, if drive F is the Dfs share and you've configured an application to look for its files and data on drive F, you can back up and restore the physical devices that make up that share and any action you take is invisible to the user.
Dfs also works well for making similar data scattered across your network easily available. If you're in a small office or departmental environment, you probably have shared folders on many computers. In my office, dozens of shares are scattered across many client Windows XP and Win2K computers. On my main server's root Dfs share, I've created a Dfs share that includes all those client-computer shares. No one on my network needs to know on which computers particular shares reside; I simply mapped the Dfs root share, and it makes all of those scattered shared folders available to users in one stroke. If user Bob needs to share a document, he simply puts the file into a shared directory on his computer. Thereafter, he can find the file by going to the directory called Bob that I created as part of the Dfs share on my Win2K server. The share named Bob points directly to the shared folder on user Bob's computer.
More importantly, I can simply point my backup software to the Dfs share to back up all essential data on all my client computers. After the initial backup, my daily incremental backups of the mapped drive that represents the physical shares that make up the virtual share keep all the key data on my network secure.
On my small office/home office (SOHO) network, I even have a Dfs root that points to all the My Music folders scattered across the computers in my home. Using the Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 feature that lets me target a directory for automatic updating, I simply point at the Dfs share so that I always have a current list of music that's available on my network. Obviously, keeping my music files updated isn't a business use for Dfs, but it gives you a good idea of what you can do with Dfs.
To start using Dfs, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools on your Win2K server, then click Distributed File System. Click the "Create a new Dfs root" button on the toolbar to launch the New Dfs Root Wizard, which will walk you through creating your Dfs root share. After you create the root share, right-click it to see a menu of things you can do with the Dfs root. You can find a step-by-step guide for using Dfs here.
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
On October 29, Microsoft announced that Windows 2000 has received the highest level of security certification that any commercial OS has yet received. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) awarded Win2K the Common Criteria (CC) certification for the broadest set of real-world scenarios that any OS has achieved, as defined by the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CCITSE). An international standard that's often a requirement for local, federal, and international government contracts, the CC isn't an easy certification to receive.
"Security is a key priority for our customers, and this certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deliver more secure systems," said Craig Mundie, chief technology officer and senior vice president for advanced strategies and policy at Microsoft. "The CC certification achieved by \[Win2K\] is a milestone toward the objective of Trustworthy Computing, and, through our initiative, we continue to improve the inherent security, privacy, and reliability of our products and services."
Mundie described the certification process as a multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitment that involved several real-world deployment scenarios. He also noted that Microsoft is submitting Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 and Windows XP Professional for CC certification, a process that should take less time than Win2K's submission. "We took work done for \[Win2K\] certification and carried it forward because it has a common code base and much of the work that was done doesn't have to be done again," Mundie said.
Join us December 19 for our Tips & Tricks Web Summit featuring three eye-opening events: Disaster Recovery Tips & Tricks, Intrusion Detection: Win2K Security Log Secrets, and Merging Exchange Systems: Tips for Managing 5 Key Challenges. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today!
Microsoft IT Forum 2002 is the definitive resource for anyone who plans, manages, or deploys Microsoft technologies. This will be an optimal place to get acquainted with Windows .NET Server 2003—the latest mission-critical Windows server operating system (OS). Register now!
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
Because extreme-capacity ATA hard drives are becoming so commonplace, I decided to upgrade one of my computers with a 160GB hard disk. You can imagine my annoyance when the computer didn't recognize the hard disk's total capacity. To get the hard disk to work correctly, I had to do two things (if you install a hard disk that has a capacity of more than 137GB, you'll need to take these same steps).
First, I had to check the BIOS to make sure that 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) support is available. For my system, I needed to download and install a BIOS upgrade to my Promise Technology Ultra 100 ATA controller card.
Second, I had to upgrade my Windows XP computer to Service Pack 1 (SP1) and modify the registry by performing the following steps (48-bit LBA support is currently only available in Windows XP):
- Launch regedit.
- Open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Atapi\Parameters registry subkey.
- Add a REG_DWORD value name EnableBigLba and set its value to 1.
- 4. Exit regedit.
- 5. Reboot.
A reader just installed a new 80GB IDE hard disk drive to go along with two SCSI RAID drives. Every 90 minutes, the IDE drive powers down and the server becomes inaccessible. He's turned off all power management features in the BIOS, but the problem continues. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL:
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])
MicroVision Development released a free upgrade for current owners of SureThing CD Labeler 3.0. SureThing Playlist Plus! is a new utility that lets users instantly print CD labels from Windows Media Player XP (MPXP). Playlist Plus! works as an intermediary between MPXP and SureThing CD Labeler to generate CD titles, artists, and track listings from an MPXP playlist into a stylish CD label while the users burns the CD. After the utility gets the playlist information from MPXP, the user can select one of several premade design layouts and backgrounds or create a colorful custom label design from scratch using SureThing CD Labeler's design tools. For more information, go to the MicroVision Development Web site.
Lucid Step Software released NetVisualize Favorites Organizer 1.1.0, a Web browser enhancement that creates thumbnails of your favorite sites and provides visual and text-based searching. NetVisualize uses a Windows Explorer-style interface to let you drag URLs to or from the Windows desktop or your browser address bar. You can also drag a link from a Web page directly into NetVisualize. NetVisualize creates a thumbnail image of the Web site for each URL you add to your collection of favorites. NetVisualize runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x and costs $34.95 for a single-user license. For more information, contact Lucid Step Software at 801-764-9689 or go to the Web site.
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT THE COMMENTARY—[email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL—[email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS—http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS—[email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support—[email protected]
- WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE?—[email protected]