==== This Issue Sponsored By ====
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1. Commentary: More About Registry Changes 2. News & Views - Microsoft Releases Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
3. Announcements -Active Directory eBook Chapter 2 Published! -Take Our Brief Active Directory Survey!
4. Resources - Tip: Remove the Start Menu Link to the Set Program Access and Defaults Application in XP - Featured Thread: Restricting User Access to CD-RW Drive in XP
5. Events - New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!
6. New and Improved - Fix Unbootable Systems - Submit Top Product Ideas
7. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
==== Sponsor: HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show ====
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==== 1. Commentary: More About Registry Changes ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]
My column and tip in last week's Windows Client UPDATE, "Deploying Registry Changes to Multiple Computers" and "Hide Date and Time Information in the System Tray Notification Area," respectively, generated many reader responses, most of which I can divide into two main concerns. I address these readers' concerns in this week's commentary.
The first concern is one I've heard off and on throughout the 3 years that I've been penning this weekly column: that an easier way exists to change the settings that my tips discuss. Usually, this "easier" method uses a switch somewhere in the Windows interface. Yes, occasionally you can use another method to change a particular setting than the method I describe. However, when I write my tips, I presume that most readers of Windows Client UPDATE support more than one computer. To save readers from the necessity of visiting each computer they support to clear a check box on a configuration menu, I provide the appropriate registry edit so that they can easily propagate the change to multiple computers. If you're a standalone user and you know how to use the Windows GUI to change a particular setting for which I provide a registry edit, you should use the GUI. Extraneous registry edits are never a good idea.
The second set of reader responses I received about last week's commentary highlighted my own tunnel vision. I admit that I have a tendency to focus on Windows XP and Windows 2000, and many readers pointed out that my description of how to distribute registry changes lacked the necessary information for use on legacy Windows NT and Windows 9x computers. Here are two additions to last week's instructions to make your registry edits a bit more universal. The first has to do with the format in which you save the registry (i.e., .reg) file. You can save registry files either in text or Unicode format, but versions of Windows earlier than Win2K can't recognize Unicode files, so for those OS versions, you need to save the files in text format.
The second addition concerns the header line in the registry file. In XP and Win2K, the registry editor is version 5, which you'll find specified in the first line of the exported registry file, which reads "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00." Changing this header line (you can use a text editor such as notepad.exe to do so) to read REGEDIT4 will make the file compatible with earlier Windows OSs.
Thanks to the dozens of readers who took the time to respond to last week's commentary and tip. I'm glad you're keeping me on my toes.
On a completely different note, Microsoft released Win2K Service Pack 4 (SP4) last week. This service pack contains many fixes and updates, two of which I've been waiting for since XP shipped: native 802.1x wireless networking support and native USB 2.0 support. Both of those technologies are in heavy use in my office, and native support for my Win2K computers will make my life easier.
The complete download (so that you can distribute the service pack locally) is 129MB. For more information about the service pack, to download the service pack, or to order the service pack on CD-ROM, go to http://www.microsoft.com/Windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp4/download.asp . To read Paul Thurrott's recent WinInfo news article about the service pack, see News & Views in this issue of Windows Client UPDATE.
==== 2. News & Views ==== by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]
Microsoft Releases Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Just days before it cast Windows NT Workstation 4.0 into the no-support zone, Microsoft issued its fourth service pack for Windows 2000, the OS that succeeded NT in early 2000. Win2K Service Pack 4 (SP4) is a collection of more than 650 fixes. Unlike SP3, SP4 doesn't add any new functionality. However, SP4 includes all of the updates in SP1, SP2, and SP3. Microsoft describes SP4 as a "recommended update," which means the company has held SP4 to a higher testing standard than its hotfixes and believes the service pack is safe for customers to deploy broadly. One item that has changed, however, is SP4's End User License Agreement (EULA), which has been updated to better communicate which features of the product use a network connection to transmit information to Microsoft.
"What we have done is update the EULA so the customer knows that they can turn off these features they may not want to have turned on," Microsoft Group Product Manager Bob O'Brien told InfoWorld. "This is about being super transparent with our customers so they know what the product is doing."
Win2K SP4 includes fixes in the areas of security, application compatibility, OS reliability, and setup. In addition to the updates that the previous Win2K service packs included, SP4 incorporates Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 SP4 and Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5 with SP2. As with previous Win2K service packs beginning with SP2, upgrading to SP4 will automatically upgrade your computer to 128-bit encryption, "to provide better online and local security and to bring your computer up to the current worldwide encryption standard," according to the Microsoft Web site.
The CD-ROM version of SP4 includes documentation such as the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Installation and Deployment Guide" and the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Hotfix Installation and Deployment Guide." If you choose to download SP4 from the Web, you can choose the Express installation (15MB to 27.5MB), for download to a single PC, or the Network installation (129MB), for download to multiple PCs in an enterprise.
To order the Win2K SP4 CD-ROM, go to http://microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/SP4/ordercd.asp . To download Win2K SP4, visit the Win2K SP4 Web site at http://microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp4/default.asp .
==== 3. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
Active Directory eBook Chapter 2 Published!
The second chapter of Windows & .NET Magazine's popular eBook "Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials" is now available at no charge! Chapter 2 looks at what's new and improved with Active Directory. Download it now!
Take Our Brief Active Directory Survey!
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==== 4. Resources ====
Tip: Remove the Start Menu Link to the Set Program Access and Defaults Application in XP
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
After applying the most recent set of Windows XP automatic updates, I discovered that a new item had been added to my Start menu. It's a direct link to the Set Program Access and Defaults application, which lets you enable or disable Microsoft-specific functionality within the OS. Including the link in XP is part of the mandate in Microsoft's settlement with the US Department of Justice.
At this point in my use of XP, I really don't need this option presented to me all the time, so I removed it from my Start menu. To do the same on your system, take the following steps:
1. Right-click Start and select Properties.
2. Select the Start Menu tab.
3. Click the Customize button.
4. Select the Advanced tab.
5. Scroll to the check box labeled Set Program Access and Defaults, just above the System Administrative Tools category.
6. Clear the check box.
7. Click OK. (A reboot isn't necessary.)
Featured Thread: Restricting User Access to CD-RW Drive in XP
Forum member belly administers a Windows XP Professional notebook computer with a CD-RW drive. Multiple domain users share the notebook, and belly wants to restrict access to the CD-RW drive according to user. He was under the impression that in XP, users needed local administrator rights to copy files. He set up a test account with "domain users" rights but was able to copy files to a CD-R disk when logged on to the notebook as "domain users." Belly can find information on the Web about granting access in XP but not about restricting it. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=60799
==== 5. 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! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/wireless
==== 6. New and Improved ====
by Sue Cooper, [email protected]
Fix Unbootable Systems
Winternals Software released Administrator's Pak 4.0, a suite of six tools that help you diagnose, recover, and repair damaged or unbootable systems. The suite presents a Windows XP-like GUI that allows full read/write access to dead systems. Included in the suite are ERD Commander 2003, Disk Commander, NTFSDOS Professional, Remote Recover, Monitoring Tools, and TCPView Professional. The Administrator's Pak is an alternative solution to reinstallation or reimaging because it provides immediate access to the specific drivers, settings, and files that can prevent a Windows server or workstation from booting.
The enhanced functionality in version 4.0 includes offline file recovery and disk repair, offline XP rollback capability, system comparison capability, disk partitioning and formatting, file sharing, enhancements to regedit, customizable media, and Windows Server 2003 compatibility. TCPView Professional monitors TCP/IP activity on Windows systems to determine which applications and addresses are responsible for specific activity. Administrator's Pak 4.0 doesn't require prior setup or installation--its components act as a temporary, self-contained OS that you boot from CD-ROM. Contact Winternals at 800-408-8415, 512-330-9130, or [email protected] http://www.winternals.com
Submit Top Product Ideas
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==== 7. Contact Us ====
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