Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATE, February 24, 2003

Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATE—brought
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February 24, 2003—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

  • Q. Why can't I activate my Windows XP installation on my Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop?
  • Q. What's Windows Server 2003?
  • Q. How can I determine whether the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is installed on my computer?
  • Q. What's the difference between Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and XP SP1a?
  • Q. Why can't I execute programs in the application data area even after I add %APPDATA% to the path string on my Windows XP or Windows 2000 computer?
  • Q. Why is my Windows XP DHCP client address set to 0.0.0.0?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Join The HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show!
  • Our Active Directory Web Seminar Is in Just 3 Weeks!

4. CONTACT US

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

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected])

This week, I explain why you might not be able to activate Windows XP on a Dell laptop, describe Windows Server 2003, and tell you how you can determine whether the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is installed on your computer. I also explain the difference between XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and SP1a, why you might not be able to execute applications in the user's application data area , and why an XP DHCP client address might be set to 0.0.0.0.

Around the industry this week, Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 2003 (build 3763). The beta version of Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) is now entering testing as well as the updated error reporting beta, which aims to improve problem resolution in Windows. The Office 2003 beta was also available on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) for 6 hours before Microsoft pulled it off the Web site. Stay tuned for more details.

GFI Software has released a new version of GFI MailEssentials that offers improved anti-spamming features. VMware has released beta version 4 of its VMWare software, Jasc Software has released a beta of Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8, and, finally, a new beta of the DelOld utility that lets you delete files that have not been written to or accessed for a specified number of days is available for free at http://www.savilltech.com/delold . Must be that time of year for new software releases. Until next week, take care.


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2. FAQS

  • Q. Why can't I activate my Windows XP installation on my Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop?
  • A. This problem occurs because of a conflict between the XP activation component and the Inspiron 8100's graphics adapter. To work around the problem, you need to boot the installation in base-video mode, then activate XP. To boot your installation in base-video mode, perform the following steps:

    1. Start the configuration utility--go to Start, Run and type
    2. msconfig 
    3. Select the boot.ini tab.
    4. Select your boot entry, then select the "/BASEVIDEO" check box.
    5. Click Apply, then click OK.
    6. Reboot your machine.

    Alternatively, you can directly edit the boot.ini file and add the /basevideo switch to your boot entry. For example,

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"
    /fastdetect /basevideo
    will boot XP in a base-video configuration.

    After your computer reboots with the /basevideo option, you can activate your Windows installation. After activating the installation, you can remove the /basevideo option from the boot.ini file and reboot the system.

  • Q. What's Windows Server 2003?
  • A. Windows 2003, previously known as Windows .NET Server 2003, is the successor to Windows 2000 Server. Four flavors of Windows 2003 will be available:

    • Windows 2003
    • Windows 2003, Web Edition (this version won't support Active Directory--AD)
    • Windows 2003, Enterprise Edition
    • Windows 2003, Datacenter Edition

    Windows 2003 builds on new technologies and brings new features to AD, such as the ability to rename domain controllers (DCs) and domains and the ability to move domains in the forest. The new server also lets you add DC replicas from storage media so that you can back up a DC's state and apply the backed-up domain information to a new DC--a useful capability when you need to add DCs in regions that use low-bandwidth connections. Windows 2003 also contains a new Group Policy Management Console that simplifies management of all Group Policy tasks.

    Microsoft also plans to release a separate component called AD in Application Mode (AD/AM) that lets AD run on non-DCs as a non-OS service. A new version of the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT), ADMT 2.0, will let you migrate user accounts and passwords from Win2K and Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2003 servers. Windows 2003 will also include Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 and an enhanced Terminal Services component that will let you use the mstsc /console command to remotely control an actual console session. More information about Windows 2003 is available from the Microsoft Web site.

  • Q. How can I determine whether the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is installed on my computer?
  • A. To verify whether JVM is installed, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a command prompt--go to Start, Run and type
    2. cmd.exe
    3. Enter the Jview command by typing
    4. C:

    If the computer doesn't recognize the command, JVM isn't installed. When the computer does recognize the command, the JVM version will be displayed. For example, when I type the command in Step 2 on my computer, the following line shows that JVM is installed:

    Microsoft (R) Command-line Loader 
    for Java Version 5.00.3809

  • Q. What's the difference between Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and XP SP1a?
  • A. One difference between these two service packs is that SP1a doesn't include the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM). If you're already running SP1, you don't need to install SP1a. If the SP1 JVM isn't installed on your machine, Windows Update won't provide any JVM installation options.

    SP1a also includes two registry changes that signify that the computer is running SP1a:

    • A new value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SubVersionNumber registry subkey that is set to "a".
    • A new "SP1a" string in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows XP\SP1\Q324720\Description registry subkey.

    SP1a also changes the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet to display Windows XP Service Pack 1a.

  • Q. Why can't I execute programs in the application data area even after I add %APPDATA% to the path string on my Windows XP or Windows 2000 computer?
  • A. The APPDATA environment variable points to the user's application data area (e.g., C:\documents and settings\\application data). However, even if you add this variable to the path string, you might still experience problems executing programs in this folder unless you include the full path. This problem occurs because of a bug in XP and Win2K. The workaround is to use the My Computer management interface to update the path variable by performing the following steps:

    1. Right-click My Computer, then select Manage from the context menu.
    2. Right-click "Computer Management (Local)", then select Properties.
    3. Select the Advanced tab.
    4. Under the "Environment variables" area, click the Settings button.
    5. Double-click the PATH variable, then add the %APPDATA% environment variable.
    6. Click OK to close all dialog boxes.

  • Q. Why is my Windows XP DHCP client address set to 0.0.0.0?
  • A. You might experience a problem with the DHCP client address if you uninstall Symantec's Norton AntiVirus but leave the application listed as a dependency for the DHCP service. If you check the System log, you might notice the following error:

    Error 7003 - DHCP service failed to start because 
    dependency service SYMTDI will not start.

    To resolve this problem, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dhcp registry subkey.
    3. Double-click DependOnService.
    4. Remove SYMTDI from the list, then click OK.
    5. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW!

  • Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Come to our 10-city Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register today!
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  • OUR ACTIVE DIRECTORY WEB SEMINAR IS IN JUST 3 WEEKS!

  • Join us as Precise SRM shows you how to leverage Active Directory to assess storage usage, reclaim wasted disk space, and control storage growth. You'll learn how to use AD to save countless hours managing server growth, get back up to half of your server space right away, and even reduce storage growth and backups by 30 percent or more! There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today!
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    4. CONTACT US
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