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Crashes and Error Messages (part 1) - Viruses, Malware, and Spyware
Malware, or malicious software, is a class of software designed specifically to wreak havoc on a computer—your computer. Malware includes such nasty entities as viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and spyware.
Migrating User Data : Understanding User Data
If implemented, a combination of redirected folders and roaming profiles may actually serve as a method of natural and automatic migration. In fact, it may well be worth considering the implementation of folder redirection and roaming profiles as a precursor to your Windows Vista migration.
Working with Windows Installer : The MSI Package Lifecycle
After all testing and conflict detection is done, you need to perform a final quality assurance on the package. Ideally, the person performing this final QA activity will be different from the person who originally packaged the product.
Managing Windows Vista : Backing Up Your Files & Restoring Backed-Up Files
Have you deleted or otherwise lost files that you now need? If those files were routinely backed up from your computer, you can restore them from the backup onto your computer.
Understanding the Capabilities of Windows Installer (part 2) - Managing the Windows Installer service
Windows Installer is a transactional service that is based on the MSI database, you're starting to see the value of such a service in a managed network. Because Windows Installer is a service, it needs to be managed like all the other components in your network. Microsoft has made it easy to work with and manage this service.
Understanding the Capabilities of Windows Installer (part 1) - Understanding the Windows Installer architecture
The Windows Installer package is everything that is required to perform the installation of a software product. The first part of the package is the .MSI file. This file includes all of the instructions for the installation.
Working with Windows Installer : Introducing Windows Installer
This powerful service has been created by Microsoft to help manage the software lifecycle on Windows systems. With the release of Windows Vista, Windows Installer is in its fourth edition.
Managing Windows Vista : Managing Settings for a Presentation
The items shown in the Windows Mobility Center will vary depending on the computer you use. The items shown here, however, should be available for most computers.
Managing Windows Vista : Controlling the Power Options
You can adjust a power plan so that the computer does these things automatically, or you can make the adjustments manually by specifying what you want to happen when you press a power button or close the lid of a portable computer.
Add an Xbox 360 : Configure the Windows Vista–Based PC
With a media extender such as an Xbox 360 and a PC with the Windows Vista operating system, you can watch media stored on your PC anywhere in your home by incorporating your wired or wireless network connection.
File Type Associations (part 4)
To every rule there's an exception, the basic file types system is laid out, with a collection of keys named for filename extensions and the corresponding file type keys .
File Type Associations (part 3) - Customize Context Menus for Files
A context menu (sometimes called a shortcut menu) is the little menu that appears when you use the right mouse button to click on a file, folder, application title bar, or nearly any other object on the screen.
File Type Associations (part 2) - Change the Icon for All Files of a Type
If the reference to the IconHandler is contained in one of the keys named IconHandler, the .dll is responsible for the dynamically generated icon.
File Type Associations (part 1) - Anatomy of a File Type
A registered file type is constructed out of a handful of keys and values in the Registry that Windows reads in real time to handle your documents appropriately.
Registry Tasks and Tools (part 5) - Back Up the Registry
In a way, the Windows Registry is a weak link in the operating system's stability and robustness. It's remarkably easy to damage, but very difficult to repair. And unless you go to the trouble of making your own backup copy, it's not necessarily easy to replace it if it's damaged .
Registry Tasks and Tools (part 4) - Export and Import Data with Registry Patches & Prevent Changes to a Registry Key
A Registry patch is a plain-text file with the .reg filename extension that contains one or more Registry keys or values. Double-click on a .reg file, and Windows runs the Registry Editor, which "applies" the patch to the Registry, meaning that its contents are merged with the contents of the Registry.
Registry Tasks and Tools (part 3) - Create an Interface for a Registry Setting
The format is actually quite remarkable, because you don't have to be a programmer to utilize this feature. You can add new options to a certain portion of the Registry and then tie those options to values you choose anywhere else in the Registry.
Registry Tasks and Tools (part 2) - Find the Registry Key That Does...
Zero and one, with regard to Registry settings, typically mean false and true (or off and on), respectively. However, sometimes the value name negates this—if the value in the example were instead called DontShowSplashScreen, then a 1 (one) would most likely turn off the feature.
Registry Tasks and Tools (part 1) - Search the Registry & Search and Replace Registry Data
You don't have to replace the same text you searched. For instance, you can search for c:\program files\acme, and then do a search and replace within these results for anything you like, such as acme by itself, or even portmeirion.
The Registry (part 1) - The Registry Editor & The Structure of the Registry
There are five primary, or "root," branches, each containing a specific portion of the information stored in the Registry. These root keys can't be deleted, renamed, or moved, because they are the basis for the organization of the Registry.
Custom Startups Using the Boot Configuration Data (part 2) - Using BCDEDIT to Customize the Startup Options
For example, the Boot tab doesn’t list any legacy boot items on your system, and there are no options for renaming boot items, or changing the order in which the boot items are displayed in the Windows Boot Manager menu.
Custom Startups Using the Boot Configuration Data (part 1) - Using Startup and Recovery to Modify the BCD & Using the System Configuration Utility to Modify the BCD
You can modify a limited set of BCD options using the Startup and Recovery dialog box: the default operating system, the maximum time the Windows Boot Manager menu is displayed, and then maximum time the Windows Vista startup recovery options are displayed.
Customizing and Troubleshooting the Windows Vista Startup : The Boot Process, from Power Up to Startup
To better help you understand your Windows Vista startup options, let’s take a closer look at what happens each time you fire up your machine.
Using Control Panel and Group Policies : Implementing Group Policies with Windows Vista
Group policies are settings that control how Windows Vista works. You can use them to customize the Windows Vista interface, restrict access to certain areas, specify security settings, and much more.
Using Control Panel and Group Policies : Operating Control Panel
Control Panel is a folder that contains a large number of icons—there are more than 50 icons in the Classic View (depending on your version of Vista) of a default Windows Vista setup, but depending on your system configuration, even more icons could be available.
Troubleshooting Device Problems
Windows Vista has excellent support for most newer devices, and most major hardware vendors have taken steps to update their devices and drivers to run properly with Windows Vista.
Managing Your Hardware with Device Manager
Windows Vista stores all its hardware data in the Registry, but it provides Device Manager to give you a graphical view of the devices on your system.
Getting the Most Out of Device Manager : Tips and Techniques for Installing Devices
Device drivers that meet the Designed for Windows Vista specifications have been tested for compatibility with Microsoft and then given a digital signature. This signature tells you that the driver works properly with Windows Vista and that it hasn’t been changed since it was tested.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Reviewing Event Viewer Logs
Windows Vista constantly monitors your system for unusual or noteworthy occurrences. It might be a service that doesn’t start, the installation of a device, or an application error. Vista tracks these occurrences, called events, in several different event logs.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Checking for Updates and Security Patches
Microsoft is constantly working to improve Windows Vista with bug fixes, security patches, new program versions, and device driver updates. All of these new and improved components are available online, so you should check for updates and patches often.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Backing Up Your Files
The Microsoft Backup program from the past few versions of Windows seemed, at best, an afterthought, a token thrown in because an operating system should have some kind of backup program.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Setting System Restore Points
One of the biggest causes of Windows instability in the past was the tendency of some newly installed programs simply to not get along with Windows
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Defragmenting Your Hard Disk
File fragmentation is one of those terms that sounds scarier than it actually is. It simply means that a file is stored on your hard disk in scattered, noncontiguous bits.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Deleting Unnecessary Files
If you find that a hard disk partition is getting low on free space, you should delete any unneeded files and programs. Windows Vista comes with a Disk Cleanup utility that enables you to remove certain types of files quickly and easily.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Checking Free Disk Space
Hard disks with capacities measured in the tens of gigabytes are commonplace even in low-end systems nowadays, so disk space is much less of a problem than it used to be.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Checking Your Hard Disk for Errors
Check Disk performs a battery of tests on a hard disk, including looking for invalid filenames, invalid file dates and times, bad sectors, and invalid compression structures.
Maintaining Your Windows Vista System : Vista’s Stability Improvements
Vista offers a limited set of customization options that control the behavior of the Windows Error Reporting service as well as the contents of the reports.
Working with Windows Communication Features (part 5) - Using Windows Meeting Space
An important design goal for Windows Vista is to give users the ability to share information easily. All too often, users have to share files through removable media (such as USB flash memory drives) or by using e-mail to transmit files.
Working with Windows Communication Features (part 4) - Using Windows Calendar
Windows Vista includes Windows Calendar, which uses a simple, intuitive user interface for recording information about upcoming meetings, tasks, and related details.
Working with Windows Communication Features (part 3) - Using Windows Mail to Access Newsgroups
Windows Mail is automatically configured to provide access to the Microsoft Communities news server. This service is designed for users of the Windows platform to ask questions and provide responses related to various operating system features and applications.
Working with Windows Communication Features (part 2) - Working with Windows Mail
Junk e-mail can be annoying and potentially dangerous. By enabling the advanced filtering options of Windows Mail, however, users can save time and keep their computers secure.
Working with Windows Communication Features (part 1) - Configuring Windows Mail for E-Mail
Windows Mail does not support direct access to Web-based e-mail using the HTTP protocol. Depending on the features provided by their Web-based e-mail provider, users might have the option of sending and receiving messages using the POP3 or IMAP protocols
Mobile Computing in Windows Vista : Getting the Most Out of Your Tablet PC
The first Tablet PCs came with their own unique operating system: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. With Windows Vista, the Tablet PC–specific features are now built into the regular operating system, although they are activated only when Vista is installed on a Tablet PC
Mobile Computing in Windows Vista : Configuring Presentation Settings & Understanding Windows SideShow
Windows SideShow isn’t strictly for notebooks. Microsoft has shown images of secondary displays running on keyboards, remote controls, and cell phones. Almost any device that can wirelessly connect to a Vista machine can transform into a SideShow-ready device with the addition of a secondary display.
Mobile Computing in Windows Vista : Managing Notebook Power
Like most of its predecessors, Windows Vista supports various power schemes—Vista calls them power plans—that specify different time intervals for when the notebook is plugged in and when it’s on batteries
Configuring and Customizing the Windows Vista Desktop : Working with the Sidebar (part 2) - Configuring Gadget Settings & Configuring RSS Feeds
Although the built-in gadgets for Windows Sidebar that are included with Windows Vista are useful, the real power of Windows Sidebar is that it allows third-party developers to create their own utilities and applications
Configuring and Customizing the Windows Vista Desktop : Working with the Sidebar (part 1) - Managing Gadgets
Windows Sidebar, by itself, does not perform any useful functions for users. Instead, it’s the actual gadgets for Windows Sidebar that can be used to provide information and manage user interaction.
Configuring Windows Aero and Desktop Settings (part 3) - Configuring Other Windows Display Options
Because there are specific hardware requirements for enabling the Windows Aero user interface, a common customer support issue will be related to troubleshooting systems on which Windows Aero is not enabled.
Configuring Windows Aero and Desktop Settings (part 2) - Working with Windows Aero & Troubleshooting Windows Aero
Because there are specific hardware requirements for enabling the Windows Aero user interface, a common customer support issue will be related to troubleshooting systems on which Windows Aero is not enabled.
Configuring Windows Aero and Desktop Settings (part 1) - Working with Windows Display Settings
Windows Vista has been designed with a look and feel that is easy to configure and customize, using simple GUI-based tools. Most of these options are available directly from within Control Panel, although there are other ways to access the same settings more quickly.
 
 
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