Windows Client UPDATE, September 11, 2003

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Windows & .NET Magazine Network


1. Commentary: Get to Know Windows XP Pro's File and Transfer Settings Wizard
2. Reader Challenge - August 2003 Reader Challenge Winners - September 2003 Reader Challenge

3. News & Views - Here We Go Again: Microsoft Issues New Security Fix

4. Announcements - Are You Ready for Exchange 2003? - If You Like Reading This UPDATE, You'll Love ...

5. Resources - Tip: Tip: Working with DVD-RAM Drives
6. Events - New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

7. New and Improved - Improve System Performance - Control Print Jobs - Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

8. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. Commentary: Get to Know Windows XP Pro's File and Transfer Settings Wizard ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Lately, I've been talking to people who are finally ready to move to Windows XP Professional. What's interesting about this situation is that virtually none of the people I've talked with in this group are really interested in upgrading their current Windows version. Rather, they've reached a point where they find their current OS installation so cluttered and confused that they don't want to risk an in-place upgrade, which would move the clutter and confusion to a newly installed OS. As a result, I've been peppered with questions about how to back up data and configuration information so that users can upgrade their computer, reinstall their applications, and still maintain their machine's accustomed "look and feel," as well as the data that they don't want to lose.

In many cases, the questions about backing up data were the easiest to answer. Most of these users employ multiple hard disks, so I merely suggested that they move data that they want to keep to their secondary hard disk. Everyone I talked with was surprised to learn that XP Pro includes a tool that lets you save most of your configuration information, along with application settings and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) preferences and bookmarks. That tool is the File and Settings Transfer Wizard. You can find it on an installed copy of XP Pro (as well as XP Home Edition), and you can also run it from the XP distribution CD-ROM.

To run it from the distribution CD-ROM, launch the fastwiz.exe file from the Support\Tools directory on the XP distribution CD-ROM. Follow the prompts, and tell the application where you want to store your collected files and settings. You can keep them anywhere on your new OS system installation you'd like. The application will churn for a while, then produce a list of the items it can save for you. Verify the list, direct the wizard to continue, and it will round up all the selected items and store them in the place you specified.

At this point, you can install XP and remove all traces of the previous OS by deleting, recreating, then reformatting the partition on which you'll install XP. When the installation is complete (including the reinstallation of your applications), run the File and Settings Transfer Wizard from Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools. Tell the wizard where you specified your information to be stored when you ran the wizard before the installation. The wizard will then prompt you to log out and then log back on to enable the changes.

You can find the text of the entire Windows XP Professional Resource Kit, with information about the File and Settings Transfer Wizard and all the other utilities XP includes online at the "Microsoft Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation" Web site. Go to .

==== 2. Reader Challenge ====
by Kathy Ivens, [email protected]

August 2003 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to our August Reader Challenge winners! Dick Campbell of Danvers, Massachusetts, wins first prize, a copy of "Admin911:Windows 2000 Registry." Ian Rosenfeld of Rye, New York, wins second prize, a copy of "Admin911:Windows 2000 Group Policy." Visit to read the solution to the August 2003 Reader Challenge.

September 2003 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Windows Client problem, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by September 25, 2003. You must include your full name, street mailing address, and phone number (all required for shipping your prize).

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents (and I never respond to a request for a receipt). Look for the solutions to this month's problem at on September 25, 2003.

This month's problem is connected to last month's challenge, which concerned the problems that arose when a group of corporate users wanted to share folders and files among themselves. In addition to their confusion about permissions when files were exchanged within the group, some members faced problems when they attempted to share folders. Specifically, the system didn't let them create a share. How much do you know about the mechanics of sharing folders? Indicate whether each of the following statements is true or false:

1. In a Windows domain, members of the Administrators, Server Operators, and Power Users groups can share folders that reside on any machines in the domain.

2. If group membership includes the ability to share folders, the user's file permissions are irrelevant for the purpose of creating the share.

3. The root of each volume on a hard disk is automatically shared, and the share name is the drive letter appended with a dollar sign. CD-ROM drives are not shared automatically.

4. When you install Windows, the folder that holds the system files (c:\winnt or c:\windows) is automatically shared as Admin$, and the systemroot\ System32\Spool\Drivers folder is shared as Print$. By default, Administrators are the only users who can access these folders.

==== 3. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Here We Go Again: Microsoft Issues New Security Fix

In July, Microsoft released a crucial security fix, warning users that attackers could use the specified vulnerability to take over users' systems and wreak havoc on the Internet. A month later, the infamous MSBlaster worm exploited that vulnerability. Yesterday, Microsoft released another crucial security fix that repairs a vulnerability that's painfully similar to the one that led to MSBlaster. If you didn't feel sufficiently warned the first time around, take this warning to heart: You need to install this fix immediately.

The fix, one of three detailed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-039 (Buffer Overrun In RPCSS Service Could Allow Code Execution), supersedes and includes the fix for the earlier vulnerability, detailed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026 (Buffer Overrun In RPC Interface Could Allow Code Execution). As with the original vulnerability, the new vulnerability that MS03-039 fixes involves the remote procedure call (RPC) technology in various Windows NT-based Windows versions, including Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, NT Workstation 4.0, NT Server 4.0, and NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition (WTS).

If you have a recent Windows version, you can simply download the patch from Windows Update or Auto Update, features that are included with your OS. For more information about the security patch or the other tools Microsoft offers to protect your system, visit the Microsoft Web site.

==== 4. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Are You Ready for Exchange 2003?

With enhanced performance and security and an improved infrastructure, Exchange 2003 is poised for takeoff. Join Windows & .NET Magazine and NetIQ for this free Web seminar, and discover which migration method makes the most sense, the best security and management practices, and much more. Register today!

If You Like Reading This UPDATE, You'll Love ...

Security UPDATE. Every Wednesday, we deliver news, commentary, alerts, and hotfixes so that, in about 5 minutes, you can catch up on the latest security developments, find out what the risks mean to your enterprise, and face your day more prepared. Subscribe today!

==== 5. Resources ====

Tip: Working with DVD-RAM Drives
contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Recently, the CD-ROM drive in one of my desktop computers died. Rather than replace the drive with another drive scavenged from my large collection of broken computers, I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade the computer with a DVD-RAM/CD-RW combination device.

Everything went smoothly until I decided to burn a DVD-RAM disk. The new drive worked fine burning all sorts of different types of CDs (e.g., audio, data, CD video), but when I tried to burn to a DVD-RAM disk, an error message told me that the disk either wasn't writable or was full. I then tried a couple of different media types but got the same error. I became even more confused when I discovered that I could write to the DVD-RAM drive when I used third-party tools, rather than only using Windows XP (either Professional or Home Edition).

A little research pointed to the problem. When you use the Enable CD Recording check box on the drive's properties page to configure a drive, the setting tells the OS to use CD-ROM File System (CDFS) to format the media in the drive. The problem is that formatting a DVD-RAM disk requires FAT32 or Universal Disk Format (UDF), neither of which are compatible with a CD-RW disk.

When I cleared the check box, XP wrote to my DVD-RAM media. This solution is a clumsy one, however, because when I want to use the drive to write to a CD-RW disk, I have to manually reenable CD recording before writing data from the OS.

If I used third-party software, I probably wouldn't have a problem. However, I often drag data onto CD-R media, using CD-ROMs for large amounts of data the way I used to use floppy disks for small files. Because of this habit, when I added a recordable DVD drive to my primary desktop, it was in addition to the existing CD-RW drive, rather than as a replacement for that drive.

==== 6. Events ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event!

==== 7. New and Improved ====
by Sue Cooper, [email protected]

Improve System Performance

Executive Software announced Diskeeper 8.0, an automatic disk defragmenter for Windows systems. New functionality includes a performance index to quantify losses that fragmentation causes; a defragmentation engine that's optimized for large disks; support for Active Directory (AD), logical groups, and their respective views of your network systems; an improved GUI. Diskeeper 8.0's Administrator Edition introduces the New Machine Information Report, which details system information, and a reliability index that alerts you to crucial system problems. Contact Executive Software at 800-829-6468, 818-771-1600, or [email protected]

Control Print Jobs

Software Shelf released Print Manager Plus 5.0, software that lets you enforce users' print quotas and track printer usage. New features include an administrative console for centralized service control, full cost accounting, date and time scheduling for quota updating, granular assignment of printer restrictions, and plotter control. Print Manager Plus 5.0 runs on Windows 2003/2000/NT print servers. Pricing is $795 per server. Contact Software Shelf at 727-445-1920 or [email protected]

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

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==== 8. Contact Us ====

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