Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, August 8, 2005, —brought to you by the Windows IT Pro Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
Make sure your copy of Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE isn't mistakenly blocked by antispam software! Be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.
This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, which offer products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE.
Download a Tool that will Benefit any Sys Admin
httpZip for Advanced IIS Compression: Speed and Savings
Sponsor: Download a Tool that will Benefit any Sys Admin
Are you searching for an affordable real-time monitoring toolset that will support your proactive system management objectives? Start NOW and download ELM Enterprise Manager from TNT Software. Within an hour, you will experience for yourself why ELM is recognized as the tool that will benefit any System Administrator. Before the 30 Day full feature trial is completed, the Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting will have saved you time and provided you the data for prompt corrective action. Be Proactive; and download ELM Enterprise Manager from the link below:
- Q. What is Windows Vista?
- Q. How can I use Group Policy to control the new Windows Firewall that's included with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows XP SP2.
- Q. What resume options does Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) support when you deploy applications via Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003?
- Q. What is Microsoft's MSN Virtual Earth?
- Q. How does Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack handle an unpartitioned disk?
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]
In today's issue of Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, I tell you about Windows Vista and about a neat new tool from Microsoft--MSN Virtual Earth. I explain how you can use Group Policy to control Microsoft's new Windows Firewall and what resume options Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) supports when you deploy applications via Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. I also explain how SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack handles an unpartitioned disk and how you can control this behavior.
Sponsor: httpZip for Advanced IIS Compression: Speed and Savings
Web compression with httpZip will reduce your Web file size transfers and decrease your bandwidth usage, saving money and speeding up sites and apps for users. httpZip integrates into several third party systems running with IIS, including Windows SharePoint, Microsoft Small Business Server, BEA WebLogic, and IBM WebSphere (just to name a few). With new support for the Akamai Content Distribution Network (CDN), httpZip is at the cutting edge of IIS compression technologies. Additional features include settings import and export for use in Web farms and complex networks, settings copying for transfer between virtual servers, and built-in smart compression defaults for easy acceleration right out of the box.
Q. What is Windows Vista?
A. Windows Vista is the final name for the next major Windows OS, code-named Longhorn, which is the successor to Windows XP. (The server version of Longhorn likely won't carry the Vista title and will instead be named Windows Server 2007.) Microsoft released Vista Beta 1 on July 27. You can learn more about Vista here . If you're purchasing new machines now on which you want to be able to run Vista, ensure that they have a minimum of 512MB of RAM and at least a 3GHz Pentium 4 processor.
Q. How can I use Group Policy to control the new Windows Firewall that's included with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows XP SP2.
A. Along with the new Windows Firewall in Windows 2003 SP1 and XP SP2, Microsoft provided an updated system.adm administrative template file that adds Group Policy settings that you can use to configure firewall behavior at a local machine policy level or by using an Active Directory (AD)-based Group Policy Object (GPO). To access the Windows Firewall Group Policy settings, open either a local machine policy (run gpedit.msc on a workstation) or a GPO stored in a domain. Expand Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Network, Network Connections, Windows Firewall. You can configure firewall settings under both the Domain Profile and Standard Profile subfolders. You use the domain profile when the computer is connected to the AD network and the standard profile when the machine isn't connected to the corporate network. This setup lets you configure different settings for networked machines and remote machines, as the figure shows. The options under each of the two branches are identical, and you can click an item to view its description. Here are some key settings you might want to enable:
- Windows Firewall: Protect all network connections. This setting essentially forces the firewall on or off for the profile.
- Windows Firewall: Do not allow exceptions. This option instructs the firewall to ignore any exceptions that have been defined. Enabling this setting is equivalent to selecting the "Don't allow exceptions" check box on the General tab of the Windows Firewall Control Panel applet.)
- Windows Firewall: Define program exceptions Properties. This setting lets you define custom programs, to which you can then grant exceptions to pass through the firewall.
- Windows Firewall: Prohibit notifications. This setting stops the firewall from prompting users whether they want to allow exceptions for a currently stopped program.
- Windows Firewall: Allow logging. This option lets you configure the logging level for the firewall, the log size, and its name and location.
Q. What resume options does Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) support when you deploy applications via Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003?
A. BITS provides several useful features, particularly the checkpoint-restart capabilities, which apply when an application is configured as download and execute (i.e., the applications files are downloaded to the client before installation). If a client is downloading files from an SMS distribution point and the process is interrupted, the client can continue downloading the files without starting from the first file. If the download is interrupted mid-file and the client reconnects to the same distribution point, the download will continue from the point in the file where the interruption occurred. For example, if the client had downloaded 50MB of a 100MB file when the interruption occurred, the client would reconnect and the download would start from 50MB. If the client connects to a different distribution point, then the download will restart from the beginning of that file.
Q. What is Microsoft's MSN Virtual Earth?
A. Virtual Earth is Microsoft's equivalent of Google maps. It lets you view any area of the United States via a map or satellite image (or a hybrid view as the figure shows). The satellite images aren't real time and most are several years old (as the figure shows--otherwise it means I'm living on farmland). Visit the Virtual Earth Web site at http://virtualearth.msn.com for a test run.
Q. How does Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack handle an unpartitioned disk?
A. By default the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack will create a single partition and perform a full NTFS format on a blank disk. If you want to control this behavior and perhaps perform a quick format instead of full format, you can use a script to run in the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack's preinstallation stage to partition and format the disk. To do so, use the following code, which you can download at http://www.windowsitpro.com/content/content/47395/formatdisk.zip . The code runs the DiskPart utility and calls the ZTIDiskPart.txt file to create the partitions. (Some lines wrap because of space constraints.)
' Run DiskPart. iRetVal = wshShell.Run("DISKPART.EXE /s, 0, true) If iRetVal <> Success then EXIT FUNCTION End if ' Now format. iRetVal = wshShell.Run("FORMAT C: /FS:NTFS /Q /V: /Y", 0, true) If iRetVal <> Success then EXIT FUNCTION End if ZSTIDiskPart.txt: select disk 0 clean create partition primary assign letter=c: active exit
& <folder> &_ "\ZTIDiskPart.txt
Hot Release (advertisement)
Get the bare and necessary facts you should know to maintain your Exchange Server 2003 environment – including critical strategies for predicting and responding to failures.
Events and Resources
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: http://www.windowsitpro.com/events )
In this free Web seminar, get the tips you've been looking for to save time and money in achieving IT security and regulatory compliance. Find out how you can simplify these manually intensive, compliance-related tasks that reduce IT efficiency. Plus – sign up today and you'll receive a free white paper by Charles Kolodgy of IDC on using security compliance software to improve business efficiency and reduce costs.
In this free eBook you'll discover all you need to know about fax technology! You'll learn how to improve business processes by minimizing manual faxing and integrating faxing into your business workflow for improved ROI. The eBook will also look at the how-to of the desktop fax client, fax automation, faxing hardware and software technologies, and the future of faxing. Let this important guide help you stay on top of fax server technology within your business environment.
Do you rest confidently knowing your Exchange and BlackBerry backup/restore solution meets your high-availability requirements? If not, you won't want to miss this free Web seminar. Join industry guru Paul Robichaux and learn all about choosing the appropriate technology, balancing the cost and the skill set, assessing the knowledge level required, the complexity added to your existing environment, and how much availability each technology gives you. Attend and you could win a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy!
Continuous or real-time backup systems help avoid the danger of losing data if your system fails after the point of backup by providing real-time protection. In this free Web seminar, learn how to integrate them with your existing backup infrastructure, how to apply continuous protection technologies to your Windows-based servers, and more. Sign up today and learn how you can quickly roll back data not just to the last snapshot or backup, but to any point in time!
In this free Web seminar discover the issues involved with integrating your compliance system with backup and recovery, including backup schedules, the pros and cons of outsourcing your backup media storage and management, the DR implications of having to back up all that compliance data, and the possibility of using alternative backup methods to provide backup and compliance in a single system. You'll learn what to watch out for when combining the two functions and how to assess whether your backup/restore mechanisms are equal to the challenge.
Featured White Paper
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)
Get the most efficient, scaleable and secure approach to managing information using an Oracle Database with a Web application as the user interface. In this free white paper, learn how you can use an Oracle HTML Database to convert a Microsoft Access application into a Web application that can be used by multiple users concurrently. You'll learn how to improve the original application by adding hit highlighting and an authorization scheme to provide access control to different types of users.
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)
The August issue is a must have! Subscribe now and find out the best ways to plan for Longhorn, what you need to know about VBScripts, and how to make sense of SQL Server. If you order today, you'll also gain exclusive access to the entire Windows IT Pro online article database (over 9000 articles) and save 44% off the cover price!
If you haven't seen Exchange & Outlook Administrator, you're missing out on key information that will go a long way towards preventing serious messaging problems and downtime. Request a sample issue today, and discover tools and solutions you won't find anywhere else to help you migrate, optimize, administer, backup, recover, and secure Exchange and Outlook. Order now!
Experts Pick the Best Windows Monitoring Solution
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- About the newsletter — [email protected]
- About technical questions — http://www.windowsitpro.com/forums
- About product news — [email protected]
- About your subscription — [email protected]
- About sponsoring UPDATE — [email protected]
This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro,
the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and
related technologies. Subscribe today.