Windows Client UPDATE, July 17, 2003

==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

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1. Commentary: Catching Up with Reader Questions and Concerns 2. News & Views - Intel Ramps Up Xeon Performance

3. Announcements - Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait? - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. Resources - Tip: Who You Gonna Call? Disabling the Speech Recognition Option in Office XP - Featured Thread: NT Workstation Help

5. Events - New Active Directory Web Seminar

6. New and Improved - Install an Affordable Backup Solution - Submit Top Product Ideas 7. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.


==== 1. Commentary: Catching Up with Reader Questions and Concerns ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

My commentary for the July 10 issue of Windows Client UPDATE about spam seems to have touched a nerve with readers. I received many email messages in response to the commentary, with suggestions to look at some 40 unique antispam products and technologies. Going through the product suggestions, acquiring software, and evaluating the software will require time; look for my reports about the results to begin appearing here in approximately 1 month.

I've also been receiving messages from readers asking for the results of my search for a new high-resolution monitor, which I described in my commentary for the June 12 issue. I'm afraid my answer might disappoint a lot of you. After talking to numerous monitor vendors, I've decided to buy a refurbished 21" monitor from NEC or Sony (for less than $300) and wait for the next generation of flat-panel displays to hit the market. Although the flat panel will be more expensive than a tube monitor of comparable size and resolution, the newest flat-panel technologies will make the additional cost more reasonable to me. I do my best to minimize the number of monitors that clutter my office (I currently have three monitors for seven computers), so moving to flat-panel displays will confer significant advantages in reducing heat generation and saving space. I'm not a hardcore computer gamer, so the problems with flat panels that most gamers complain about won't affect me. (I'll keep tube monitors around in case my children decide they need them on their computers.)

I've also heard from readers who've had problems applying Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4), which I wrote about in the July 3 issue. Setup errors seem to be common, and most readers who wrote to me think the setup problems have something to do with the service pack itself. Fortunately, that's not the case because the setup problem is a known issue. If your version of Windows Installer is outdated or corrupted, you'll usually receive a service pack setup error. You can solve the problem fairly simply by taking the following steps:
1. From the Administrative Tools menu, open Computer Management.
2. Expand the Services & Applications menu item.
3. Double-click Service.
4. Double-click Windows Installer, then stop the service.
5. Launch regedit.
6. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer.
7. Select the MSIServer subkey and delete it.
8. Exit regedit and reboot the computer.
9. Click the following link to install the latest version of Windows Installer: .
10. Rerun the failed service pack installation.

If you've been rigorous in keeping your Win2K computers updated by using the auto update feature, you shouldn't have a problem because you'll have already updated the installer. The procedure I outline above works only if Windows Installer is corrupted. If you're running Win2K SP3, you should have a recent enough version of Windows Installer that it won't be the root cause of any SP4 setup problems.

I hope the topics I've discussed in this commentary catch me up on outstanding reader problems and my most recent crop of reader questions. Keep them coming, and I'll do my best to answer them.


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==== 2. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Intel Ramps Up Xeon Performance

On Monday, Intel released a new, faster version of its high-end Xeon processor that further distances the chip from its competition in the workstation market. The new Intel Xeon Processor 3.06GHz features 1MB of Level 3 cache, up from 512KB in earlier versions of the chip. In addition to the added cache, a 533MHz system bus, Intel NetBurst microarchitecture, and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology make the Xeon the fastest-performing workstation microprocessor on the planet. Intel says the chips are designed for one- and two-processor systems.

"These larger-cache Intel Xeon processors deliver outstanding performance, price-performance, and value to customers," said Richard Dracott, group marketing director of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group. "Drop-in compatibility with existing Intel-based platforms also provides significant flexibility and extends the life of previous investments."

Thanks to its expanded cache, the new Xeon processor delivers a 16 percent performance improvement over earlier versions, according to Intel. Customers interested in the new chip can purchase it for $690 in volume; earlier models that feature 512KB of Level 3 cache now cost just $455, a reduction of 34 percent.

==== 3. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait?

Windows & .NET Magazine and Aelita Software would like to know about your organization's plans to migrate to Exchange Server 2003. Take our brief survey, "Windows & .NET Magazine: The State of Exchange Migration," and sign up to receive a free white paper titled "Upgrade or Migrate? Deployment Options for Exchange 2000/2003." Give us your feedback today!

Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today!

==== 4. Resources ====

Tip: Who You Gonna Call? Disabling the Speech Recognition Option in Office XP
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

I recently received a phone call from a panicked friend who was sure that a malicious virus had attacked her computer. Programs would start by themselves, exit on their own, and randomly move in and out of the foreground, even when she was using them. I loaded up my virus and computer toolkit and went out to solve the problem. I was surprised when none of my usual tools detected any sort of virus, and nothing in any Windows configuration file I checked showed anything out of the ordinary. I wasn't convinced that I was encountering a new virus, particularly because my friend swore that she hadn't opened any unusual attachments, and her computer's Internet protection (i.e., a firewall and antivirus program) was in place and in use.

A conversation with another systems administrator gave me a clue to the root cause of the problem, and a phone call to my friend confirmed it. She had recently installed Microsoft Office XP and installed the speech recognition option. The problem was that she had never configured the option. Failing to configure speech recognition when you install the option can result in "haunted computer" phenomena.

Removing the speech recognition option isn't necessary to solve this kind of problem, but either configuring or disabling the option is. To disable speech recognition in Office XP, take the following steps:
1. Open Control Panel.
2. Double-click the "Regional and Language Options" applet.
3. Click the Languages tab.
4. Select Details.
5. Select the "Turn off advanced text services" check box.

These steps will stop the haunted behavior.

Featured Thread: NT Workstation Help

Forum member Tibby812 maintains approximately 175 PCs distributed among five computer labs in a school setting. The machines have Windows NT Workstation installed and connect to a server running Windows 2000 Server. Tibby812 needs help with several tasks. First, whenever a user logs on to one of the workstations, the machine maps the home directory to the Z drive. Tibby812 would like to know how to configure the machines to map to the H drive. Second, he wants to prevent users from modifying the workstations. He has set file and folder permissions on the C drive and used the policy editor to configure basic security, but he had to give Add and Read access to the profiles folder to let new users create profiles. As a result, users can add programs to the desktop and make other modifications. Tibby812 would like to know how he can prevent these modifications. Third, he would like to know which proxy setting he can apply to the machines so that any user who logs on can access the Web. Fourth, he would like recommendations for tutorials and other how-to information about working with the Windows registry. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL:

==== 5. Events ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine) New Active Directory Web Seminar!

Discover how to securely manage Active Directory in a multiforest environment, establish attribute-level auditing without affecting AD performance, and more! Space is limited--register today!

==== 6. New and Improved ====
by Sue Cooper, [email protected]

Install an Affordable Backup Solution

Host Interface International released Double Image 5.0, a backup and restore solution you can use across local or remote networks with an unlimited number of Windows systems. The software is fully featured for systems administrators yet simple enough for novice users to employ. You can use the UI, the command line, or a combination of both to configure backups. The software lets you schedule full or incremental backups and restores. You can run multiple backups at the same time and save profiles for each unique backup and restore situation. You can restore entire backups or target individual files and their applications.

A variety of reports and events detail each backup and restore operation. Double Image works with any local or external disk drive, removable drives, FireWire, and USB. An enhanced version planned for release in September 2003 will include the ability to copy open files. The software supports Windows Server 2003/XP/2000/NT/Me/9x. Double Image 5.0 is priced at $59.95 per seat. Contact Host Interface International at its Web site.

Submit Top Product Ideas

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

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==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

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