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Last Updated October 14, 2009


LabMice Link of the Week Archive
As we surf the web in our pursuit of additional content for LabMice, we occasionally stumble upon a really cool, humorous, unusual, or very useful link that we think should stand out from the hundreds we add every week. So we developed a small section on our front page to highlight these, and will archive the rest here.

Tip: Windows Server 2008 concerns
While there is a lot to like about Windows Server 2008, it's not without a few quirks. Learn about some of the major and minor issues that you might run into with the new OS and how to fix them.

Free Seminar: Vista & Virtualization

7 steps for SharePoint disaster recovery

Does too much memory affect Exchange 07?

Batten down your Windows shop
The job of securing the Windows enterprise never ends. With news and advice on topics like Network Access Protection and locking down Hyper-V, this Windows Digest offers resources to help keep your data safe.  Source:

New tool makes workstation image management easier in Windows 7
The Windows Automated Installation Kit has been revised to ease deployments of Windows 7, and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool is a command-line tool that you can use to manage desktop images. Source:  

Avoid Outlook 2007 performance issues during repairs
Premature shut downs of Outlook can lead to performance problems. Educating your users on the reconciliation process is a good start. Source:

Are you ready to migrate to Windows 7?
Windows 7 features can greatly benefit your organization. Therefore, the question is not if you should upgrade to Microsoft's newest operating system, but when. Source:

Remote Desktop Virtualization: Windows R2's most compelling feature
The Remote Desktop Virtualization feature stands out as Windows Server 2008 R2's most compelling new capability. Source:  

How SQL Server recovery models impact SharePoint
SharePoint administrators can minimize data loss by selecting the appropriate SQL Server recovery model. But which model is right for your enterprise? Source:

The Windows Report - Inside BranchCache for Windows 2008 R2  
In the July edition of The Windows Report, Microsoft MVP Gary Olsen offers his thoughts on Windows Server 2008 R2's BranchCache feature, followed by a new tip for cleaning up your server from Windows expert Brien Posey. Source:  

Protect virtual databases through SQL Server database mirroring
Learn how database mirroring provides cost-effective protection for critical databases running on virtual machines. Source:

Managing multiple passwords in Windows
Allowing users to manage their passwords can lead to security risks. Enacting policies, such as base passwords for different systems, can help keep your Windows environment safe. Source:

Simple techniques for finding Windows memory leaks
Symptoms of a memory leak can show up long before a server fails. Check out these tips for catching a leak early and plugging it up.

What Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 can do for your business
Some killer enterprise features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will solve some of your problems. Here’s one expert’s take on the best of what’s coming in these two new operating systems. Source:  

Windows desktop security standards best practices
Improve your Windows desktop security by developing detailed documentation of an organized focused set of security standards. Source:

Hyper-V gains new resiliency features with R2
Live Migration is just one of the improvements made to Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008 R2. Learn what else has been added to Microsoft Hyper-V version 2. Source:

Implementing SQL Server 2008 FILESTREAM functionality
Learn to enable the FILESTREAM feature in SQL Server 2008 and configure your database to support it. Source:

Killing Hyper-V high-availability cluster services and network issues
Tips and workarounds for achieving high availability with Hyper-VSource:

Microsoft TechEd 2009 conference news coverage
Get all the news from the Microsoft TechEd 2009 conference in Los Angeles. Find out about Windows 7, the R2 versions of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V and more. Source:

How to forge an IT consulting career
Before building your IT consulting career, review these six factors to learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Source:

The state of enterprise security in 2009
Learn about the enterprise security issues that organizations continue to face, as well as what they can do to mitigate emerging security threats. Source:

Scaling up vs. scaling out with SQL Server 2008
To scale your SQL Server properly means to make it bigger and better. But what is the best method for 2008? Source:

Top five Server Core management tips for Windows 2008
Here you'll find some useful tricks for taking the headaches out of Server Core administration, including how to disable UAC and the default prompt. Source:

Control customizing of document libraries in MOSS 2007
Are users customizing default SharePoint document libraries? Learn how to use templates to control content customization in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007.

Combining folder redirection with roaming profiles
Using roaming profiles and folder redirection can prevent corporate data loss and streamline network management processes.

FAQ: High-availability solutions with SQL Server 2008
Expert Ross Mistry discusses the different ways that SQL Server 2008 can provide high-availability solutions in this FAQ podcast. Source:

Windows 2008 R2: Not your father's R2 upgrade
Find details on improvements to Windows Server 2008 R2, and learn why unlike with Windows 2003 R2, this Microsoft release could be well worth the upgrade. Source:

Windows Server 2008 Learning Guide
If you're planning a migration to Microsoft's latest server operating system or just want more info, this guide provides tips, videos and more covering the top features and improvements included with Windows Server 2008. Source:

Top 5 Active Directory tips of 2008
This collection features the very best of our Microsoft Active Directory advice from the past year, with info on replication, troublshooting and database management. Source:

Video: Mark Russinovich on virtualization, Sysinternals and the cloud
Microsoft technical fellow Mark Russinovich discusses several topics that are on the horizon for Windows administrators, such as cloud computing, client virtualization and the release of Windows 7 Server. He also provides insight on the fate of WinFS, what's new with Sysinternals and the controversy surrounding Windows Vista. Source:

Podcast: Discussing Windows 7 with Mark Minasi
What are the compelling reasons to deploy Windows 7? What is Microsoft planning to do about hardware support for the new OS? Are there any new features worth getting excited about? Listen to this podcast with Mark Minasi to learn the answers to these questions and more about Windows 7. Source:

IT Picks: Top free downloads from Microsoft
This guide reviews the top free downloads from Microsoft including the five free overall downloads, as well as the top five free tools for Windows desktop management, Windows server management and Windows security management. Source:

Podcast: What to expect from Windows Server 2008 R2
In this podcast, learn what's changing in the areas of AD, failover clustering and more with Windows 2008 R2, plus how user feedback has affected some of the other improvements. Source:

Tutorial: Learn SQL Server basics from A-Z
If you're new to SQL Server of simply want a refresher on some fundamentals, check out this tutorial on topics from security and performance to SSIS and using native tools. Source:

Checklist: Exchange Server security dos and don'ts
Securing Exchange Server against spam and viruses is a challenge. Follow these security practices to protect Exchange from various email security threats. Source:

Why Windows Vista is superior to XP
Complaints about Windows Vista have been heard loud and clear, but is Vista really that much worse than Windows XP? Windows expert Brien Posey doesn't think so. Source:

Checklist: Three don'ts when optimizing Exchange performance
To optimize Exchange Server performance, pay attention to your hardware setup. You also must avoid these three common Exchange Server performance pitfalls. Source:

What's there to hate about Windows 2008?
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is not without its flaws. Learn some problems Windows admins might have with the new server and how to fix them. Source:

The Windows manager's guide to e-Discovery
Today's laws demand that certain information be produced and made readily available as evidence in legal proceedings. IT managers are now expected to create and support a matrix of information in a way that makes sense to the legal department. Windows shops that ignore electronic discovery requirements could be setting themselves up for some big costs. In's Windows Manager's Guide to e-Discovery, learn what e-discovery is and how IT shops should prepare for the possibility. Source:

FAQ: SQL Server permissions
Permissions problems affect your users login abilities and their access to certain aspects of SQL Server. Troubleshoot permissions issues with these FAQs submitted by your peers. Source:

Learning Center: Windows PowerShell for beginners
Ready to get started with PowerShell? This collection of screencasts, book excerpts and tutorials lays the groundwork for those using PowerShell with Windows Server 2008. Source:

Step-by-Step Guide: How to handle your Vista migration
Rolling out a new operating system is no small task. Even so, there are things you can and should do to prepare for a Vista migration. Source:

Learning Center: Understanding Exchange 2007 backup and DR
Exchange Server 2007 backup and disaster recovery has evolved. Learn about new Exchange 2007 features and tools to backup and restore data more reliably. Source:

When (and when not) to use failover clustering
While clustering offers several benefits to IT shops running Windows Server 2008, IT pros should also be aware of the potential disadvantages before implementing them. Source:

Tutorial: SQL Server stored procedures
Learn how to write and tune SQL Server stored procedures in this tutorial. Also included is a collection of stored procedure examples for you to browse. Source:

Screencast: How and why to hack Windows Vista for security testing
In this screencast, learn why you should hack Windows Vista to test the security of your OS and how to pull off a handful of effective security tests. Source:

eBook Chapter: Leveraging SANs in Windows servers 
An iSCSI storage area network (SAN) offers several advantages over direct-attached storage (DAS) in a Windows server environment. In this chapter, get the information every Windows manager needs to gain the most out of an iSCSI storage platform. Source:

Video: SharePoint exec tackles technical questions about MOSS 2007 
In this videocast Q&A, Tom Rizzo, director of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, offers practical advice on SharePoint governance issues, tools and tradeoffs between control and empowerment as well as tips on migration, file shares and upcoming features. Source:

Tip: How to access SharePoint sites through Outlook
If you have both Microsoft Exchange Server and SharePoint, you can easily access SharePoint sites directly from Microsoft Outlook. Here's how.

Video: Breaking down the RODC with Windows 2008
In part two of our interview with Microsoft's Justin Graham, learn how the read-only domain controller can help improve branch office security. Source:

What's in a name: Keeping track of virtual servers
Virtual servers can be difficult to keep track of. Learn how a specialized naming scheme can help admins keep an eye on a virtual server's location and purpose. Source:

Free security tools that can improve IIS security
These free security tools can go a long way toward improving the security of Internet Information Services (IIS) in your enterprise.Source:

Screencast: SQL Server PerfMon counters for Windows OS
SQL Server MVP Kevin Kline walks you through best practices and maximum values to watch for when using PerfMon counters, including percent usage for page files, processor counters to monitor CPU and server activity on both SQL Server and Analysis Services. Source:

Mark Minasi dissects Windows Server 2008
In this exclusive video interview, best-selling author Mark Minasi offers his usual trenchant opinion to help you decide on deploying Windows Server 08 by analyzing the pros and cons and why R2 is making some IT pros wait. Source:

Fast Guide: How to improve OWA security
Two big Outlook Web Access security issues are email attachments and OWA user authentication. Get tips on how to improve Outlook Web Access security here. Source:

Application Virtualization Guide
In this five-part series, Danielle and Nelson Ruest break down the basics of app virtualization and detail its impact on Vista, Windows 2008 and Terminal Services. Source:

Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 -- upgrade or business as usual?
Vista Service Pack 1 just came out and XP Service Pack 3 will be here soon. But which should use? Learn about the pros and cons of each SP in this tip. Source:

Podcast: The impact of Windows 2008 on an Exchange 2007 migration
Before installing Exchange 2007 SP1 on Windows 2008, learn about Windows 2008 features and deployment concerns that will impact your Exchange migration. Source:

Why do Windows servers hang?
Troubleshooting a hung server begins with understanding why the problem occurs in the first place. Bruce Mackenzie-Low explains some common causes of Windows server hang. Source:

Tutorial: Managing an Exchange 2007 CCR setup
Get an overview of the Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) feature in Exchange Server 2007 and learn how to configure and manage a CCR setup. Source:

Screencast: SQL Server PerfMon counters for Windows OS
SQL Server MVP Kevin Kline walks you through best practices and maximum values to watch for when using PerfMon counters to monitor OS performance. Source:

How to format NTFS: More tricks to improve file system performance
The best security features are the ones that protect a system without slowing down the NTFS. Microsoft MVP Brien Posey offers some suggestions for finding the right balance between NTFS performance and system security. Source:

Admin Guide: Recovering from configuration changes to Windows XP
In this three-part series, Microsoft MVP Brien Posey runs through the best practices and strategies for returning Windows XP to a functional state -- with minimal effort. Source:

Special Report: Windows Server 2008 ready to make its debut
Windows Server 2008 was officially released on Wednesday. Learn what to expect with the new features and how to plan for migration. Source:

All in One Guide: Microsoft security testing tools
Learn which tools, such as Metasploit, you can use to test the security in your Windows shop and read about some of the top free tools available today. Source:

Webcast: Application virtualization -- Ending DLL hell once and for all
In this webcast, Nelson Ruest looks at the myths and realities surrounding app virtualization, with details on what the technology means to Microsoft apps and Terminal Services. Source:

Podcast: Top Exchange tip of 2007 -- How to fix corrupt Outlook calendar entries
Discover how to fix Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 corrupt calendar entries with the step-by-step strategies revealed in this tipcast. Source:

How secure is your SQL Server network design?
Here are SQL Server network designs to avoid when designing your SQL Server system and tools to protect your SQL Server databases. Source:

2007 New Product Showcase
Editors in TechTarget's Windows Media Group have pulled together a showcase of new products to help orient Windows professionals who have little time to search on their own. Source:

Windows Vista security: Top 10 tips of 2007
The top 10 Vista security tips of 2007 include advice on hacking Windows Vista for security purposes, encryption best practices for Vista and reviews of Vista's security features. Source:

The new System Center: What happened to SMS and MOM?
Microsoft MVP Gary Olsen looks at Microsoft System Center and describes the things administrators should know about the new enterprise server product suite. Source:

Tutorial: Group Policy basics for Windows Vista
These book excerpts provide Group Policy management tips for working with Windows Vista, with info on troubleshooting, configuration and more. Source:

Editing content with Windows PowerShell
In this month's Scripting School column, Christa Anderson continues her in-depth look at Windows PowerShell with scripting advice for finding and setting content in text files. Source:

Application lifecycle management made simple with AppV
Danielle and Nelson Ruest break down the basic components of app virtualization and explain how it can be used to simplify application lifecycle management. Source:

eBook: Email archiving -- Planning, policies and product selection
Learn the essentials of email archiving from the perspective of an IT manager in the ebook, "Email archiving: Planning, policies and product selection." Source:

Podcast: Planning Windows security tests
Listen to this podcast to hear Windows expert Kevin Beaver's eight main reasons why you need to plan out your security testing well in advance!  Source:

App virtualization: The Terminal Services killer?
There are many reasons to deploy Terminal Services. But new virtualization technologies that simplify application management and lower server costs could change all that.  Source:

Making the most of the Terminal Services Gateway
When you mention Windows Server 2008 features, you will likely think of things like BitLocker, Server Core and PowerShell. However, the new Terminal Services Gateway, in combination with the new Remote Desktop client, provides a powerful and secure connection to network resources in remote locations.  Source:

How to use app virtualization for server consolidation
Learn how to take advantage of new application virtualization technologies for operating system migrations and other server consolidation projects.

Moving mobile user mailboxes to Exchange 2007
Read about the potential pitfalls of moving mobile user mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to 2007, and find out how to simplify ActiveSync mailbox policy management. Source:

Sniffing out security problems in Windows networks
Learn what tools to use to uncover security vulnerabilities on your Windows network and how to use them. Source:

Solving Active Directory replication failure
Every now and then, AD admins are faced with replication failure. While fixing the error is critical, knowing how to find the cause of the failure can be just as important.  Source:

A guide to troubleshooting BIOS beep codes
A pocket guide to BIOS beep codes can help systems administrators quickly troubleshoot the startup error sounds for motherboards using BIOSes from AMI, Award and Phoenix Technologies.  Source:

Web security tactics that harden Windows networks
Improve Web security by learning how your Windows network can be breached via the Web, including how to protect yourself against the number one Web-based security threat.  Source:

Exchange Server and Internet Information Services (IIS)
Learn to install, configure and secure Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) for Exchange Server email communications with these tips, tools, and tutorials.  Source:

Upgrading to SQL Server 2005 FAQs
Here's a list of frequently asked questions that address your SQL Server 2005 upgrade issues, including DTS packages, copying databases and creating passwords.  Source:

Can Active Directory benefit from 64-bit technology?
Directory services expert Gary Olsen explains what 64-bit technology means to Active Directory and compares the benefits of IA64 and the x64 chip.  Source:

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide
Browse Exchange Server 2003 administration best practices, tips, and tools that will help you manage all aspects of your Microsoft email environment.  Source:

The ultimate Microsoft Vista tutorial on security
Read about User Account Control (UAC), Encrypting File System (EFS) and other Windows Vista security features and management best practices in our potpourri grab-bag.  Source:

SQL Server 2005 Express: Beyond the basics
Find examples of SQL Server stored procedures and parameters not documented by Microsoft.  Source:

When and how to migrate to a 64-bit platform
It's time to get educated on the technical aspects of 64-bit so you can make informed business decisions on how to take advantage of this powerful technology.  Source:

What's hot in Microsoft security: Critical patches
In this Microsoft security podcast we discuss the implications of August's critical Windows patches and how admins can better manage patches in the future.

IT Disaster Recovery Planning Guide
In this series, expert Russell Olsen describes the keys to developing a solid disaster recovery plan
.  Source:

Configuring Microsoft Exchange Direct Push technology
Learn how Microsoft Direct Push technology works and find out how to configure and implement Direct Push in an Exchange 2003 SP2 email environment.  Source:

SQL Server patch pros and cons
A patch to your SQL Server system can cause problems, but an unpatched SQL Server is unprotected. Learn the pros and cons of SQL Server patches.  Source:

Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 calendar features
Discover new calendar features in Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 and find out how the new Scheduling Assistant improves meeting and resource scheduling. Source:

Five Windows desktop tasks you should automate
Automating desktop tasks is one way for Windows administrators to make better use of their time. This guide suggests five desktop tasks that should be automated. Source:

Third-party tools to crack Windows passwords
Learn to use password cracking tools to crack Windows passwords and test their strength in this screencast by Kevin Beaver. Source:

Domain Name System (DNS) Guide
Active Directory relies heavily on DNS to function. This guide breaks down the basics of DNS, and provides some helpful tips on how to assess, manage and protect your environment.  Source:

Active Directory Learning Guide
This comprehensive guide provides the information every administrator should know, from the basics of Active Directory, to tips and explanations regarding DNS, replication, security, migration planning and more.  Source:

What is Analysis Services in SQL Server 2005?
Want to learn about Analysis Services 2005 in SQL Server? These Top 10 tips outline helpful features and give examples of this BI tool's functionality. Source:

Getting to know the RODC for Windows Server 2008
One of the most common questions surrounding the new Active Directory technologies for Windows Server 2008 involves the read-only domain controller. Active Directory expert Laura Hunter breaks down the key details of the RODC and how it can increase AD security and flexibility.  Source:

How to set up MOM for Exchange Server monitoring
Learn how to set up Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 to monitor Exchange Server 2003 performance, interpret the results and display them in an easy-to-understand manner. Source:

Storage management tasks that are a waste of time
Here are six administrative tasks related to storage and storage management that aren't worth the time they take. Source:

News from Microsoft TechEd 2007
TechEd, Microsoft's annual showcase event for enterprise IT professionals and application developers, was held June 4 to 8 in Orlando. Check out these articles below to learn more about what happened at this year's event. Source:

Windows security testing: Five tips for the summer
Testing Windows security is necessary to ensure that hackers stay out of your network. Read these five tips to learn security testing best practices. Source:

Microsoft Vista interoperability: What's at stake for IT managers?
How well will Vista interoperate within a corporate environment? Expert Laura Hunter presents key aspects of Windows Vista interoperability for IT managers' consideration. Source:

FAQ: SQL Server features comparison
In this FAQ, our SQL Server experts answer your questions about comparison features in both SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005. Source:

Taking on Windows configuration management
Windows configuration management is certainly a difficult task. While it may not be the most fun you've ever had, it will save you a lot of pain down the road.  Source:

Inside Windows Vista: Windows Defender
Will Windows Defender in Vista be the cure-all solution that ends malware infestation for good? Learn more about Windows Defender in this tip by Microsoft MVP Brien Posey.  Source:

Microsoft Windows Vista: What's new under the hood
Check out these excerpts from Microsoft Windows Vista Unleashed by Paul McFedries, with details on the new performance, stability and security features in Windows Vista.  Source:

8 tips in 8 minutes: Microsoft Outlook email security
Become a Microsoft Outlook security expert! Learn how to use a wide range of Outlook email security features, including the Outlook security update, RPC over HTTP, S/MIME and IRM.  Source:

A disciplined approach to the Windows change management process
While change management is a very simple concept, the process can be very complex. Expert Harris Kern highlights the IT staff's roles in the Windows change management process.  Source:

Stop malware from infecting your system
Learn everything about protection and preventing malware from infecting your Windows system in this third chapter of the Windows Security Threats All-in-One Guide.  Source:

Book Chapter: Installing Windows Vista
Mark Minasi's new book provides a step-by-step explanation of how to install, configure, run, and troubleshoot Windows Vista. Check out this series of excerpts from chapter two of Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals.  Source:

Tip: Fixing a corrupt Outlook profile after a Vista upgrade
After a Windows Vista upgrade, you may experience a corrupt Outlook profile that requires troubleshooting. Here are step-by-step instructions that will resolve the problem.  Source:

Windows Vista: Inside User Account Control (UAC)
UAC is a new Vista security feature, and security expert Serdar Yegulalp shares his experiences, both good and bad, working with it. He's got plenty of UAC advice for you as well.  Source:

Checklist for creating a cluster in Windows Server 2003
Here's a checklist for creating clusters in Windows Server 2003 using either the GUI-based Cluster Administrator or the command-line utility Cluster.exe.  Source:

Stored procedures in SQL Server: A dozen must-have tips
Your SQL Server stored procedures can run more effectively. Check out these popular tips offering guidance on structured exception handling to debugging stored procedures.  Source:

Windows Vista: Inside the new security features
Learn about Windows Vista's new security features, like BitLocker and the Security Center, with these tips by industry experts.

Vista Deployment: What's In The Box And What's Not
In this live webcast, Mark Minasi walks you through the best and worst of the Windows Automated Installation Kit and Vista Business Desktop Deployment tools. Available now On Demand.

TechTarget names best Windows products for 2006
Judges evaluated more than 160 entries in 15 categories based on innovation, performance, ease of integration into existing environments, functionality and value. Source:

When AD replication fails: Debugging Event ID 1311
Perhaps the most infamous Active Directory replication error is Event ID 1311. But how do you resolve it? Expert Gary Olsen breaks down all of the factors you must consider when troubleshooting the error.  Source:

Top 10 Exchange administration tips of 2006
Based on your clicks, here are the top 10 most popular Exchange Server administration tips from 2006.  Source:

Scripting School: Managing Group Policy with VBScript: 
Scripting expert Christa Anderson explains how you can use scripting to manage Group Policy with VBScript.  Source:

Configuring IE7 security in Vista
In our step-by-step guide, read about the new security features present in IE7 and which of these features are user configurable.  Source:

Windows backup and recovery
Having a fast and secure backup and recovery plan is a major priority for any IT manager. This series of webcasts and podcasts offers valuable information for protecting your Windows network and successful
ly backing up Exchange Server, SQL Server and your Windows operating system. Source:

Is domain controller virtualization really a good idea?
As virtual application servers continue to grow in popularity, many IT managers are beginning to explore the idea of virtualizing domain controllers as well. Expert Gary Olsen tackles some of the many unanswered questions involving DC virtualization. Source:

Using the NETSETUP.log to debug domain join problems in Active Directory
One of the most overlooked features of MPS Reports is the NETSETUP.log. Expet Gary Olsen breaks down the tool and explains its value when troubleshooting Active Directory. Source:

Windows Firewall Basics
In this excerpt from Mark Minasi's latest book, learn the rules of Windows Firewall, what it does and why it does it. Source:

Terminal server-based computing: A change management strategy can make a big difference
IT managers with terminal server-based computing farms would be wise to integrate a change management strategy to make their IT infrastructure easier to manage down the road. Source:

Evolution of the VML flaw
Prepare for the next time a vulnerability arises in your Web applications by checking out this series of Web security tips and guides. Source:

Run 32-bit applications on x64 Windows servers
Because most applications are 32-bit, the x64 version of Windows makes use of an emulator known as WOW64 to allow 32-bit applications to run. Source:

Windows Weekly Newscast: Email packages and IE flaws
This week, listen to how Dell's partnership with Symantec could pay dividends in the email management market, the dangers of the latest security threat for Internet Explorer, and how upgrading to Office 2007 could affect your bank account. Source:

Chapter Download: Windows ADM templates for Group Policy
Anyone who has administered Group Policy knows that it can often be just as maddening as it is helpful. Understanding the concepts and details is essential to managing and configuring your Windows network successfully. With this book, Jeremy Moskowitz provides all the GPO know-how you need for Windows 2003, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Source:

Simple Active Directory tricks: Event logs
When troubleshooting a problem, looking through event logs in Active Directory can make you crazy. Read expert Gary Olsen's tricks for making the process less tedious. Source:

Resetting Microsoft Outlook's 'nickname cache'
Outlook uses name lists called "nickname caches" as part of the auto-complete feature. These lists occasionally become corrupted and need to be manually erased and rebuilt. Source:

10 tips in 10 minutes: Windows IT management, part 2
Were the first 10 tips in 10 minutes not enough for you? No problem! We've compiled an all new list of our top IT management tips and articles for those managers with too much time on their hands. Learn more about the latest technology and organizational tools, and prevent network problems before they arise with this fresh list of tips on Windows IT management. Source:

When an AD design goes bad -- and how to fix it
Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something right is by examining someone else's mistakes. Expert Gary Olsen presents a poorly designed Active Directory replication topology, and leads the way toward fixing some common design flaws. Source:

Expert answers to your scripting questions
Scripting expert Christa Anderson tackles readers' email and answers questions about managing variables and string names, killing a process and whether you should learn to script. Source:

Best practices for Active Directory replication topology design
A well-designed replication topology is the key to an efficient Active Directory infrastructure. Expert Gary Olsen highlights the most important rules to live by when designing topologies for large, complex networks.  Source:

Checklist: Data mining 101 in SQL Server 2005
Data mining in SQL Server 2005 provides the tools to better understand your clients. Study this checklist to see if this is a feature you can benefit from.  Source: 

Exchange Server 2007: 32-bit versus 64-bit hardware contributor Serdar Yegulalp explains your 32-bit and 64-bit options for Exchange Server 2007 and offers warning about an important installation caveat.  Source: 

Active Directory trust relationships, SID filtering and the authentication firewall
Expert Dean Wells continues his dissection of the Active Directory architecture by breaking down AD trust relationships and security identifiers (SIDs), as well as lesser-known features such as SID filtering and the authentication firewall.  Source: 

Data destruction
Make sure that old data on old hardware gets disposed of properly. This article covers some secure methods. Source: 

Customizing a RIS installation script
Customizing the default Remote Installation Services (RIS) installation script requires nothing more than a few simple edits, which you can do without any real programming. Source: 

Outsourcing your Windows environment: It isn't as bad as you may think
Hiring an outsourcer to take over some of your IT operations is a concern for many mangers, but Mark Arnold says while it might change your daily life, it won't change everything.  Source:

FAQ: Domain Controller Management
Got a question about domain controllers for our Server Management expert Laura Hunter? Check this FAQ first to see if she may already have answered your question. Source:

T-SQL Learning Guide
Improve your Transact-SQL (T-SQL) skills with these overviews, best practices and stored procedures. Source:

Registry hacks that improve Exchange and AD performance
Learn two registry hack techniques that will ease the burden on overloaded Active Directory domain controllers and boost Exchange Server performance.  Source:

Step-by-step guide: Laptop hacking
Laptops with sensitive data are getting stolen every day. Contributor Kevin Beaver says the best way to secure your laptops is to understand how they will be attacked. He provides the basic attack methods and a set of preemptive measures in this step-by-step guide.  Source:

GPO replication: Understanding the ins and outs
Replication services for Group Policy Objects are key to the stability of a GPO. Expert Derek Melber breaks down the process for GPO replication, and explains how to ensure a more stable environment.  Source:

Patch Management Toolbox
Patch Tuesday only comes once a month, but keeping up with the latest security fixes is no easy task. Use the tools in this toolbox to make patch management as easy as possible.  Source:

Fixing your AD design with GPO Loopback processing
Just because you're an IT manager with Active Directory design issues doesn't mean you're stuck. Using GPO Loopback processing puts you on the road to AD design recovery.  Source:

Active Directory tools ease import/export of data
Expert Gary Olsen explains how to use LDIFDE import and CSVDE export features to better manage your Active Directory architecture.  Source:

Microsoft Longhorn features worth watching
Expert Gary Olsen offers observations on some of the more notable features in Longhorn that will make a difference in Windows administration. NAP, Terminal Services and Unix integration are just a few of the Longhorn features that Olsen discusses.  Source:

Top 5 cool Longhorn/Vista features
Expert Gary Olsen gives an overview of some of the exciting new features for Windows Longhorn and Vista that were presented at Microsoft's TechEd 2006.  Source:

64-bit Watch
No longer a futuristic technology, 64-bit technology is what's happening right now. So, to show you which 64-bit products are available now for your Windows network, has put together these easy-to-read tables as a reference guide. We've organized the tables into three sections: processors, operating systems, and software and drivers  Source:

Fast Guide: Active Directory security
Windows Active Directory has become one of the key components to enterprise management, and many compaines use it to control large portions of their networks. With so many factors dependent on the successful administration of AD, security is especially important. This guide offers plenty of must-know tips on maintaining a secure AD environment, starting with the basics and moving on to more advanced practices.  Source:

TechEd 2006 Best Session picks
The experts of various sites at TechTarget have picked their must-attend sessions at TechEd 2006 in Boston. You'll find a wide range of topics that will guide you while at TechEd. Source:

Windows security toolbox: Network security
Check out these 12 free tools from to prevent attackers from crippling your network. Source:

Mastering the LDAP search filter
Expert Gary Olsen breaks down the principles of the LDAP search filter, making it easy for an admin to formulate whatever search he or she wants in Active Directory.  Source:

Top 10 Questions: Setting user rights and restrictions with Group Policy
Group Policy was designed to make an IT pro's job easier, but it sure seems like the opposite sometimes! Fortunately, we've gathered our top reaer questions on dealing with Group Policy user rights and restrictions to help keep you and your admins on the same page.  Source:

Simplifying LDAP scripting behind the scenes
It is important for every admin to have an understanding of LDAP when searching for information in Active Directory. Expert Laura E. Hunter breaks down the syntax into its component pieces and provides some essential tips for AD scripting.  Source:

Managing Active Directory users: Getting from Point A to Point B
This is the second in a two-part series on the use of multi-platform management tools to unify heterogeneous environments under Microsoft Active Directory.  Source:

10 tips in 10 minutes: Getting technical with Active Directory
The inner workings of Active Directory can get so complex, it can drive an admin crazy. Not to fear, though. No one is more adept at the technical side of AD than our own expert Gary Olsen. Here we have gathered Gary's ten best tips from the past year, as rated by you, our readers.  Source:

Fast Guide: Keeping pace with Microsoft certifications
Microsoft certifications are some of the most sought after certs on the IT market, and with the upcoming release of Windows Vista, even more cert exams are hitting streets. This guide features all the latest developments in the world of Microsoft certifications, as well as must-know info on MCSA and MCSE to get your IT career on the fast track to success.  Source:

Learning guide: Patch management
Check out this collection of tips, expert Q & A's, webcasts, downloads and more that will ensure that you are properly prepared to handle all of your patch management issues.  Source:

Tip: Extracting AD info quick and easy with LDIFDE
Gathering data in Active Directory can be a simple task if you know the right commands. Expert Gary Olsen offers a few helpful scripting tips for LDIFDE.  Source:

Top 10 Questions: MCSA and MCSE
Microsoft certifications are always a hot topic among IT professionals, and no one knows more about MCSA and MCSE than our career development expert Ed Tittel. Here we have gathered our top readers questions dealing with the two popular Microsoft certs, so before you send your own question to Ed, check out the great advice he's already shared!  Source:

Top 10 Questions: Printing with Terminal Services
Printer management is a fact of life for most network administrators. Consider this Top 10 list as required reading for understanding the ins and outs of setting up, fine-tuning and troubleshooting those pesky printer mishaps.  Source:

10 tips in 10 minutes: Windows IT management
IT managers spend a great deal of time troubleshooting issues that pop up in a variety of different areas. Whether it involves upgrading new technology or solving security mishaps, it's always a better idea to prevent problems before they arise. Stay one step ahead of your next IT dilemma with this collection of our 10 best tips on Windows IT management.  Source:

Fast Guide: Know your DNS inside and out
Your Active Directory relies heavily on DNS to function, whether you're using Windows Server 2000 or 2003. This guide breaks down the basics of DNS, and provides some helpful tips on how to assess, manage and protect your environment.  Source:

All-in-One Guide: Active Directory backup and recovery
Ensure that your Active Directory network remains intact -- even when the worst happens -- with this collection of tips and advice. Our categories of Backup Basics, Replication and Disaster Recovery include tips on establishing secure Active Directory boundaries, backing up DNS servers and creating a disaster recovery plan.  Source:

Group Policy Under the Hood: Applying a 'master' set of policies in a non-AD environment
In this series, expert Jeremy Moskowitz helps readers with such issues as using Group Policy to force all PC homepages to a specific Web site and using a registry key to monitor security template changes.  Source:

Tip: The effects of GPO version numbers on Group Policy replication
The relationship of the version numbers for the Group Policy Template and Group Policy Console of each GPO are important for proper Group Policy replication. Expert Derek Melber discusses this relationship and explains why the numbers don't always add up.  Source:

Fast Guide: The ABCs of GPOs
You can use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to control almost every aspect of your computing environment. This guide breaks down the basics of GPOs, and offers helpful tips for managing them and keeping them secure.  Source:

Exchange tips to make backup a breeze
Your Exchange Server may be humming but there are always ways to make it run just a bit smoother or tricks for faster and more reliable back up and recovery. Discover the secrets to more efficient Exchange backups.  Source:

Active Directory Under the Hood: Monitoring AD performance
In this series, Active Directory expert Laura E. Hunter gives tips on monitoring AD usage and totaling users in a specified group. She also works out issues when trying to add a child domain in a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory. Source:

Special Report: Server virtualization
The big players in the server virtualization market are vying for the hearts and minds of IT shops as well as the partner community. Source:

Career expert Ed Tittel recently spoke with Microsoft Learning Group Project Manager Al Valvano about what's on tap for Microsoft's certification programs, and how they will be affected by the upcoming release of Windows Vista. Source:

Active Directory Under the Hood: Trouble starting AD Users and Computers
In this series, Expert Laura E. Hunter helps readers with such Active Directory issues as authorizing the DHCP, resetting the AD Restore Mode password and starting AD Users and Computers. Source:

Quick fix for a non-replicating DC
While it doesn't come up every day, one of the most frustrating experiences for an AD administrator is to try to fix a non-replicating DC. Expert Gary Olsen breaks down the process step-by-step to make troubleshooting your next non-replicating DC a snap. Source:

All-In-One Guide: SQL Server backup and recovery
Find out how to successfully back up and recover SQL Server data with this collection of tips and expert advice. Our three categories include Basics, Restore Procedures Maintenance and Troubleshooting, with tips on selecting a SQL Server backup model, steps to faster backups, optimizing backup performance and more! Source:

Certifications: Getting work with MCSA and the value of PMP
Career expert Ed Tittel helps readers get on the right track toward a successful IT career. In this series, Ed explains the benefits of MCSA and PMP certifications, as well as the hot new cert trends for 2006. Source:

Featured Topic: Getting secure with Vista
Both experts and users seem to have high expectations of the security features to be included in Microsoft's upcoming release of Vista. Click here to see what's being planned. Source:

Rootkit prevention and detection
Rootkits are virtually undetectable tools used by hackers to control your Windows systems. Learn how to prevent, locate and eliminiate these attacks in this learning center. Source:

Utilities for a surrogate key architecture
Learn how to maintain a surrogate key architecture with this collection of utility routines and stored procedures. Source:

Eight reasons to plan out your security testing
Why take the time to plan before you test your security? Here are eight reasons why you should take your time before searching for vulnerabilities. Source:

Active Directory's inner workings influence backups and restores
Expert Laura Hunter reviews some of the inner workings of Active Directory, which directly impact the AD backup and restore process. Source: 

Vista's security features: What to expect
It is still a few months away, but Windows Vista will provide quite a few security features that administrators will be able to take advantage of right away. Source:

Microsoft Vista interoperability: What's at stake for IT managers?
For IT managers who are contemplating deploying Windows Vista, perhaps the most critical question at hand is one of interoperability. Source:

User rights for Windows domain controllers and servers
Some Active Directory user rights are more critical than others because they control key aspects of the server that an attacker could exploit. This tip reviews the differences between some critical user rights settings for domain controllers versus member servers. Source:

Hacker Valentines - Top 5 Windows threats
Hacker's need love too, well maybe not. Watch out for these not-so-happy Valentines. Source:

Use command line tools to monitor Active Directory
Monitoring Replication is critical to maintaining Active Directory health. Repadmin is a powerful, but often overlooked, Windows Support Tool that can make AD monitoring a much easier process. Source:

Learning Center: Certification trends for 2006
Could Microsoft certifications help you obtain a better job? In some cases, the answer is yes. Learn how to make the most of your certification efforts here! Source:

Getting more FRS debug help from FRSDiag
Expert Gary Olsen explores some powerful features of FRSDiag that can be used to troubleshoot your Active Directory network. Source:

New developer and database exams coming fast and furious
VS.NET 2005, .NET Framework 2.0 and Sequel Server 2005 are the focus of Microsoft's latest certification offerings. Source:

Active Directory scripting secrets
While the Graphical User Interface (GUI) provides great options for many common administrative tasks, there are times when an admin still needs more help to get the job done. Expert Laura E. Hunter reveals some helpful scripting tools to help admins in ways the GUI cannot. Source:

Quest wins for best Group Policy product of 2005
The judges gave the gold award for's Group Policy Products of the Year to Quest Software's Group Policy Extensions for Desktops 2.0. The silver and bronze awards went to FullArmor's IntelliPolicy for Clients 1.5 and DesktopStandard's GPOVault 2.1, respectively. Source:

NetPro takes gold for best Active Directory product
The top two awards for's Active Directory Products of the Year for 2005 went to NetPro Computing, Inc. for their products ChangeAuditor 2.6 and NetPro RestoreADmin 1.0. Rounding out the top three was Specops Deploy 3.0, a Group Policy-based software deployment product. Source:

Best Exchange Server messaging products of 2005
The Products of the Year for 2005 are unveiled, with awards going to nine products in three categories: Archiving and Compliance, Backup and Recovery and Security. Source:

Best SQL Server products of 2005
The editors of sat down this past fall to assess the 2005 crop of products. Here are the winners in the General Database Utilities category. Source:

Firefox security
What if Firefox was as big a target as Internet Explorer? Would it still be the more secure option? Source:

Third-party patch management tools
Where do you go if you are unsatisfied with Microsoft's patch management offerings? This article examines a few options. Source:

Open source security in a Windows enterprise
Open source security products provide a low-cost and, often, highly effective option for enterprises. So why are many of us reluctant to adopt them? Source:

Learning Center: Curing Active Directory security issues
Recent concern about the new worm threatening Windows security has made patch management and network security a hot issue again. This series of links will help you to maintain a secure Active Directory network, as well as advise you on what to do when problems slip through the cracks. Source:

Don't use backup to distribute database tools
You may be tempted to use a full backup to distribute database-packaged tools to end users, but contributor Serdar Yegulap advises against it. Find out why in this tip. Source:

Learning Center: Active Directory backup and recovery
One the most critical jobs for an Active Directory administrator is the ability to recover from unexpected mishaps. This series of links outlines a number of recovery tips to help ensure that your AD network remains intact; even when the worst happens. Source:

Getting inside DNS
With the emergence of Active Directory, having a properly deployed DNS is a must to keep your network running correctly (or at all). Expert Laura E. Hunter breaks down the mechanics of DNS and explains how DNS clients and servers work together to resolve human-readable DNS names into IP addresses.  Source:

Checklist: Test SQL Server security
You must regularly test SQL Server security if you hope to identify security weaknesses before an intruder does. This checklist will help you find and fix vulnerabilities. Source:

Controlling Access-based Enumeration with Group Policy
The addition of Access-based Enumeration to the latest Windows Server 2003 server pack shows that Microsoft has finally jumped on the security bandwagon. Expert Derek Melber explains how the feature can be controlled using Group Policy. Source:

Debugging NTFRS using FRSDiag and the Propagation File Tracer
Debugging FRS can be a major headache for most network admins. Fortunately, Microsoft has released some useful tools to make the process less painful. Expert Gary Olsen goes through these solutions step-by-step, beginning with the FRSDiag tool and specifically the Propagation File feature. Source:

Checklist: Top 5 Windows domain settings to audit
Microsoft has improved its default security settings, but older software might still have some dangerous default settings. In particular, keep an eye on your domain controller. Source:

Microsoft's ABE keeps users honest
The inability to hide files and folders from users has been an administrative problem for several years, but not anymore! Expert Derek Melber breaks down Access-based Enumeration (ABE), a new tool from Microsoft that allows admins to control which resources users see. Source:

How to create a VPN for your wireless network
Protect resources on your wired network from those who might attempt to access it wirelessly by implementing a wireless gateway VPN (Virtual Private Network). Source:

Hack-proofing your clients
The basic steps to make your clients less hacker friendly. Source:

Four ways to lock down mobile devices
Mobile devices can transport your company's data away from your secure network. Try these steps to protect that data. Source:

New MCP exam betas already underway
The next incarnation of Microsoft certifications has finally arrived. Expert Ed Tittel runs through the new roster, including individual exam objectives and planned data test periods where applicable. Source:

Which is the best antispyware?
A consolidation of reviews and rankings points to a top antispyware product. Source:

How to encrypt emails in Outlook
An e-mail encryption guide for Outlook. Source:

The four layers of Internet Explorer security
The best way to secure IE is with a layered approach, highlighted by careful configuration and user education. Source:

Trinity to the (system) rescue!
The Trinity Rescue Kit, a system recovery toolkit, contains drivers to provide access to almost every commonly used variety of network, mass storage or system hardware. Source:

Group Policy Learning Guide
This guide provides an introduction to Group Policy, explains how it's used, outlines best practices and provides troubleshooting help and advice. (Source:

Understanding the GPC for Group Policy
Understanding the structure of object and object properties is an important part of dealing with Group Policy issues. Expert Derek Melber clarifies the responsibilities of the Group Policy Container (GPC). Source:

Checklist: Securing the Windows gateway
Your gateway is the entry point to your network, and ISA Server might be your most important server. Make sure it is the most secure by following these five steps. Source:

New Microsoft database and developer credentials have arrived
Certification programs have evolved toward more job-based credentials. Expert Ed Tittel delves into Microsoft's revamped cert structure and discusses the new credentials available to IT pros. Source:

Knowing key settings in Group Policy Template speeds problem resolution
Knowing how to use the Group Policy Template is vital to successfully managing your Group Policy. Expert Derek Melber breaks down the folder and file structure of GP and explains how it can help solve management and application problems. Source:

Google Hacking your own Web site
Make sure your Web site is not vulnerable to Google hacking. Use this step-by-step guide to test your site. Source:

Maintaining a secure Active Directory network
In this four-part series, expert Derek Melber discusses the different aspects of Active Directory network security. Source:

Backup tape encryption grows up
If you want to protect your backups, take a serious look at tape encryption technology. Here's how to speed up the process with hardware appliances. Source:

Top five Windows networking mistakes
Check out this top five and make sure these aren't mistakes you're making. Source:

Securing domain controllers
Domain controllers are essential to keeping Active Directory running. Secure your domain controllers with Group Policy settings. Source:

New tool can help assess your DNS environment
In a complex network, it can be difficult to keep track of changes to your domains. In this article, Gary Olsen breaks down a new tool that can help maintain the health of your DNS environment.  Source:

Readers' Choice: 15 admin tools you can't live without! asked our readers to name the one admin tool they couldn't live without. The response was great, and here we share with you the overall winner -- Hyena -- along with 14 other admin tools that our readers cited as their favorites! (Source:

Don't be left in the dark about your system's vulnerabilities. This easy-to-use penetration testing tool can help. Source:

How attackers install backdoors
How did that backdoor get there? If you've ever found yourself asking this question, then find out how they get there and how to stop them. Source:

Securing Your Active Directory Network
Derek Melber investigates the security of your Active Directory database and the objects that exist within the database. Source:

Fingerprinting the bad guys
Fingerprinting, a hacker technique, can be used against hackers to both acquire evidence against them and to obscure the identification of your own servers.  Source:

Locking down services on XP client workstations
Locking down unnecessary services is an excellent way to prevent security holes in Windows client workstations. 

Step-by-Step Guide: How to deploy a successful patch
This step-by-step guide explains how to deploy a patch, and provides the tools you will need to mitigate the risk of a compromised computer.  Source:

System info tool gathers data fast
A compact System Information for Windows utility gleans system info in dozens of categories and makes a powerful addition to an administrator's on-the-go toolkit.  Source:

Manually detecting rootkits
Sometimes tools come up short. When they do it is just you against the hacker. Find out what techniques to use to manually track down rootkits.  Source:


Single-firewall DMZ or dual-firewall DMZ? What's it gonna be? 
Setting up a DMZ between your internal network and your outward-facing servers is already a good idea, but is it worth it to add the security of a dual-firewall DMZ? This article from Windows Hardening expert Jonathan Hassell examines the tradeoffs of a single-firewall vs. a dual-firewall DMZ.   Source:


Upgrading and patching Firefox: Security considerations for administrators Mozilla's Firefox has a reputation for being not only a great browser, but a highly secure one as well. Many organizations that don't rely on Internet Explorer or ActiveX technologies are being urged by this reputation to switch to Firefox, both for safety's sake and for ease of use.  Source:


Worst practices for SQL Server backup and recovery 

The following tip highlights some of the most common worst practices that I encounter when evaluating a company's backup and recovery practices. Take a look at what you must not do and – if you are doing them -- how to set things right.  Source:


An introduction to Google Hack Honeypots
Google Hack Honeypots can give you information about would-be Google hacks attacking your Web site.  Source:


Security concerns of unattended, automatic installations  

With all that is going on in any given day, an admin can't be bothered with something as mundane and procedural as a new installation. There is, however, a certain level of vigilance required to make sure these automatic installations are done securely.  Source:


Active Directory-integrated DNS zones and the case of the disappearing zones! If you've had zones disappear in your Active Directory-integrated DNS, you know the frustration of trying to find them again. Expert Gary Olsen gives you guidance on how to fix the problem or avoid it entirely.  Source:


Take advantage of privilege delegation and off-load your work!
Active Directory has a feature that could be useful to administrators grappling with assigning administrative privileges to users. Expert James Michael Stewart explains how you can take advantage of this feature and off-load some of your work. Source:


What's in a name? Active Directory security under the covers  Laura Hunter is delving a bit deeper into ways to manage Active Directory security when you need to create trust relationships beyond those that are created by default.  Source:


DNS Primer: Tips for understanding Active Directory integrated zone design and configuration

Microsoft's development of the Active Directory integrated (ADI) primary DNS zone has some useful benefits for administrators. Gary Olsen's article defines ADI and tells you how to maximize its benefits.  Source:


Windows Security Clinic: Rooting out a rootkit
It's the newest IT administrator headache -- rootkits. These pesky programs are a collection of tools that a hacker uses to mask intrusion to a computer network and obtain administrator-level access. In this Windows Security Clinic, "doctors" diagnose and troubleshoot a user problem that wreaks of a rootkit. Source:


10 tips in 10 minutes: Configuring Windows 2000 Server

Get a glimpse inside "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion, Second Edition," with this collection of 10 tips excerpted from Chapter 6, "Configuring New Windows 2000 Server Installations." These tips are full of practical information to help IT professionals plan the installation, deployment and maintenance of Windows 2000 Server.


Find objects with Windows Scripting Host
This month's scripting column by expert Christa Anderson introduces you to a sampling of the Windows Scripting Host objects and also explains how they help you perform administrative tasks and work with your environment.  Source:


Windows security tools: Our experts' favorite freeware's experts list their top five freeware tools for Windows security. Find out what they say are  the best freeware downloads on the Web!  Source:

Learning Guide: Managing Windows storage

Need to get up to speed on Windows storage? You've come to the right place! This guide introduces you to storage basics, reviews best practices and pitfalls to avoid and provides troubleshooting help and advice. You'll find articles, tips, and advice to pump up your storage know-how quickly!   (

Learning Guide: OS Troubleshooting

Frustrated with Windows and its multitude of quirks? We hear you! This guide provides OS troubleshooting tips and advice and explains best practices and what pitfalls to avoid. (

Best Practices: Desktop Disaster Recovery
A desktop system crashes. Critical data is at stake. What steps should you take? Here are 5 Best Practices that lay the groundwork for what you should do. (<

Windows Security Clinic: Got spyware? Clean it up

Annoying pop-up ads, hijacked browsers and persistent search toolbars keep your end users complaining and slow productivity to a crawl. Three security "doctors" offer their diagnoses and cures for such ailments. (


A look at file management tools for Windows

What's the first thing you think of when you hear "file management tools?" Probably Explorer, but you have a number of other options that may suit your needs better. (


Checklist: Quick setup for the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW)

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 includes a new security enhancement that contributor Jonathan Hassell calls one of the "most significant" ever made to a Windows server version: Security Configuration Wizard (SCW). In this checklist, he explains how to set up SCW to reduce the Windows server attack surface. (


Learning Guide: Freeware

There may be no such thing as a free lunch -- but there's always freeware! This guide will help you get a grasp on the concept of freeware with tips, articles, expert advice and Web resources. (


Battling malware on multiple fronts: How to keep systems protected

A devious malware author won't limit his target to a single Windows vulnerability. He will try to attack the door, the window and come down the chimney all at the same time instead. Contributor Tony Bradley offers six simple steps to defend against any type of threat. (


Checklist: Network access quarantining

Mobile desktops must meet security policy before accessing the network -- or you could be allowing malware and malicious users in along with them. This advanced checklist will help you understand and apply network access quarantine options using a new feature in Windows Server 2003. (

Windows Exchange Tip: Cleansing an infected mail server

If your server is heavily infected, the sheer volume of infected messages can overwhelm the machine, and your antivirus software may not be able to keep pace with the server. If you find yourself in a situation like this, here are the steps you need to take. (


Windows Security Tip: Securing Windows laptops 

Sensitive company and private information lives on Windows laptops, making it critical that you safeguard that data in the event of an attack, loss or theft. Get tips and advice on laptop security in this week's Learning Center.  (


Windows Security Tip: Keeping remote PCs patched

Patching is a necessary evil in today's networked world -- particularly for Windows machines that are not always on the network. Site contributor Tony Bradley offers three quick tips to help you ensure remote computers are regularly patched, or at least protected until they can be patched. (


Learning Guide: Scripting

This guide offers news, tips, expert advice and resources to help boost your scripting know-how quickly. Included in this guide are basic scripting concepts, advanced scripting concepts, tips to create scripts and help you debug your scripts, expert advice and Web resources. (


How to Google hack Windows servers

You must Google your public-facing Windows servers before a bad guy Googles them first. You may be shocked to learn just how much sensitive information can be found. In this tips series, site expert Kevin Beaver offers Google tools and queries to help you perform ethical hacking tests and identify Windows vulnerabilities. (


Step-by-Step Guide: Time Management

In the hustling bustling world of IT, one thing Windows computing managers never have enough of is time. How often have you arrived at work in the morning with an ambitious agenda, only to find yourself sitting at your desk eight to ten hours later with nothing crossed off your to-do list? If this happens to you regularly, you may have a time management problem. Here are 10 steps to help you work more efficiently, reduce your stress and increase your productivity. (


Checklist: Automate security administration for standalone PCs

IRoberta Bragg says she's sick and tired of small business IT professionals complaining that Microsoft offers no tools to automate security in a workgroup -- when the tools they need are right in front of them. She provides step-by-step advice for automating workgroup security for a standalone PC, without having to move to a domain environment, in this checklist. (


Undo your Windows patching mistakes

Imagine a worm is on the loose and you deploy a critical patch immediately to prevent an attack -- but the patch breaks a critical business application in the process. Sound familiar? Contributor Tony Bradley offers three tips to help you undo untested patch mistakes. (


Windows Security Tip: Combat security threats with user education

Experts say user education is the key to securing your Windows environments from viruses and spam, but administrators at a recent New England Information Security Group (NEISG) meeting are weary about how far education can actually go. (


Learning Center: Harden Windows communications


Make sure data is moving securely across your Windows networks. Here you'll learn how to use three basic security processes to protect LAN, WAN and Web communications. (

Checklist: Tools that diagnose Exchange performance problems

This checklist of tools will help you quickly diagnose and remedy your Exchange performance problems. (

Learning Center: 15 steps to hardening Windows Server 2003

Don't leave any stone unturned when it comes to Windows server security. Here we'll highlight Jonathan Hassell's 15 steps to hardening Windows Server 2003, and a few related resources to help you lock down. (

Authentication Learning Guide

Overlooking the importance of strong authentication is like giving hackers and crackers an all-access pass to your Windows systems. Get help locking down authentication for user logon, remote and wireless access, and Web servers in this learning guide.(

Featured Topic: An executive's guide to open source/Linux adoption

Experts predict this will be a critical year for Linux and open source adoption. Check out the resources, case studies and advice you'll need to make a smart open source decision. (

Learning Guide: Managing remote users

Whether you're dealing with business travelers or telecommuters, or both, this collection of tips and expert advice will teach you how to set up, secure and troubleshoot remote user connections to your network. (

Topics: Spy Fighters: Antispyware lessons learned

When asked which antispyware solutions work best, readers have a lot to say. A group of 10 true spy fighters share their spyware nightmares, product reviews and technical advice on beating spyware. (

Learning Guide: Backup Solutions

Trying to make your backups run more smoothly, or thinking about swapping out your existing system for something more current? Browse’s collection of tips, articles and expert advice to get started! (

Learning Guide: 12 steps to project management success

Managing a successful Windows or IT project is about managing people. Here are the twelve keys to project management success. (

How much encryption is too much?

Many security companies try to thwart competitors by including stronger encryption in their products. But is this a battle worth fighting? Brien Posey offers his take on encryption-strength wars and explains how to ultimately achieve adequate encryption in Windows systems. (

Special report: Coming to terms with compliance

Unlike the largely unnecessary Y2K spending spree, investments to meet the demands of government regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley are making it easier for businesses to see why IT matters. (

Windows Server Tip: No separate Windows license required for Ultimate Boot CD

Check out the Ultimate Boot CD. Unlike the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, this free diagnostic software doesn't require a separately licensed version of Windows. (


February 2005

Exchange Tip: Allow local servers to relay
Exchange 2003 ships "locked down." This is great from a security perspective, but can create problems for programs on other servers that notify admins of system issues via e-mail..(

Checklist: Good security is not optional
Don't look at security as an optional component of a Windows implementation. Roberta Bragg explains why good security practices are a must and lists some security policy do's for standalone and workgroup computers, as well as Active Directory domains.(

Learning Guide: Secrets of the Windows registry: 
The registry is the heart of the Windows operating system, making troubleshooting and fine-tuning skills a must. Browse our collection of tips, news, articles and expert advice!  (Source:

Malware Learning Guide 
This guide introduces you to three types of malware: spam, spyware and viruses. Each malware-specific section explains how to recognize the problem, protect Windows from attack and handle the cleanup if you've already been hit.

Learning Guide: Man your wireless LAN 
As if managing your Local Area Network isn't challenging enough, managing and securing a wireless LAN can be even trickier. has collected tips, expert advice, news and White Papers to help make your job easier.

Network Access Control Learning Guide
Understand how access control works and get various tips for preventing unauthorized access in this Learning Guide.

Checklist: Control Joe User's actions
The only true way to prevent users from abusing their rights is to take those rights away. How can you do that without hindering their work? Find out in this checklist from security expert Roberta Bragg.  Source:


December 2004

Auld lang syne
Join us for an eclectic look at 2004: the best security products, the best movies for geeks, the best newsworthy moments, the highs and lows, the effects of outsourcing and more!

A primer on Exchange public folders
Learn how to make the most of public folders -- from setting permissions and storage limits to customizing, recovering and troubleshooting public folder content.

20 tips on protecting and recovering Exchange data in 20 minutes
Protecting and recovering your Exchange data could be one of the most important operations you can perform. We offer a crash course to help you keep your data -- and your job.

Microsoft is about to release two new feature packs for their Systems Management Server. This collection of SMS info will get you up to speed quickly!

Checklist: XP Service Pack 2 Pre-Installation
The long-awaited Windows XP Service Pack 2 is finally here, and to many administrators, it is a double-edge sword. The new security features, policy settings and improvements to the firewall are welcome additions. However, these same features may have a major impact on the way some applications perform, especially if they require communication via specific TCP/IP ports. Before rolling out SP2, you'll need to thoroughly test your hardware and applications. Bernie Klinder, MVP and technology consultant, provides this pre-installation checklist to help you prepare and plan for a trouble-free XP Service Pack 2 installation. Source:

VB.NET troubleshooting
Need help navigating the VB.NET roadblocks? Then browse this collection of common development challenges, handy resources and enlightening solutions.

Exchange 2003 best practices
Have you recently migrated to Exchange 2003 or are in the process of doing so? Here is a collection of Exchange 2003 best practices, tips and expert advice to help you through it and get you up to speed on your new environment.

Learning Center: 2004 Hall of Fame Tips
The tip which receives the highest user rating each month is inducted into the Tip of the Month Hall of Fame. To make it easier for you to view these "top tips" we have compiled the most recent winners here.

Submit a tip and be the winner for October! In addition to being included in our Hall of Fame, the user who submits this month's winning tip will receive a Rio Forge 256 MB Sport MP3 player. Visit the 2004 Hall of Fame Tips section to find out how to submit your tip.

Featured VS.NET tip: Project structure best practices
The .NET Framework is designed to allow tight integration with development tools. However, there are things that you should know before you start a team project, or any production project for that matter. This article outlines some common-sense best practices for structuring development projects. Source:

Are you looking to firm up your server side and client side security? Then look no further: we have excerpted 8 tips from a book by David McAmis and Don Jones, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Delta Guide."

New answers from Samuel Matzen
ASP.NET, VB.NET and VS.NET expert Samuel Matzen just came through with a major round of answers to tricky user questions. Browse Samuel's answers today!

Exchange goes down. What do you do?
Obvious answer: Bring your server back online as quickly as possible. Here are some tools and a checklist to help you remedy your problem as quickly as possible. Source:

Managing Active Directory -- 10 tips in 10 minutes
Active Directory is Microsoft's trademarked directory service and an integral part of the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 architecture. Here are 10 tips and expert advice to help you with AD administration and maintenance. Source:


Checklist: Windows services you should disable today
Windows services running by default are exposing your systems to attack. Which ones should be turned off immediately? Find out in this checklist by site expert Roberta Bragg. Source:

PDF manipulation in the .NET environment part 2
Ed Tittel's recent article about PDF manipulation triggered a huge reader response ranging from the enthusiastic to comments that'll make your hair catch fire if you stand too close. Faced with such
tremendous feedback, Ed had no choice but to revisit the topic and set the record straight.
>> More on PDF manipulation in the .NET environment

Will Longhorn include WinFS after all?
Microsoft's official position is that its next-generation operating system, Longhorn, will ship in 2006 without some anticipated features like WinFS. But a pre-beta version of Longhorn and sources inside Microsoft say otherwise. Source:

Webcast: Real-world .NET issues
Consulting Director and veteran site expert Berni McCoy has been working with clients on a wide variety of projects since .NET's first use in industry. With industries ranging from travel, ERP, CRM to financial, scientific and medical applications using a variety of .NET technologies, there are few challenges Berni hasn't faced at one time or another. This webcast taps that vast experience by providing a solid overview of how to resolve .NET development problems. Tune in for step-by-step, practical tips for discovering, isolating, analyzing and resolving the most stubborn challenges. Don't miss out on this opportunity - tune in today!

Fast Guide: Archiving
Is archiving your priority? Now more than ever, keeping important information backed up tops every IT list. Look here for a collection's latest articles and tips on keeping your Exchange data safe. Source:

Windows Management -- 10 tips in 10 minutes
Here are 10 tips for the future of Windows management. Look for a new Microsoft Operations Manager, Systems Management Server service, feature packs and Software Update Services. Source:

Shortcuts to AD security
Numerous security settings exist in Active Directory, and it's essential to set the proper ones early on to avoid problems later. Here you'll find a series of tips from the Administrator shortcut guide to Active Directory security. Source:

Exchange Admin 101: Downsizing databases
You can decrease a database's file size by defragmenting it - offline -- and reclaim lost disk space. This tip explains how to perform the process and what to be cautious of when you do it. Source:

How do you rank on our Windows geek-o-meter?
The end of summer is always depressing, isn't it? We felt as though we all needed something light and fun to start out this week. So, we challenge you to take this quick quiz and see how you measure up on our Windows geek-o-meter. How many can you guess without peeking? When you're done, share your score with us and be entered to win a great tan and navy TechTarget canvas bag!!! Source: SearchWinITcom

Best of Ask the Experts
Do you have an Exchange problem that is driving you nuts? We have taken the top Ask the Expert questions voted on by our members from the last six months and put them together so you can send your Exchange problems packing. Source:

Get your network hacked in 10 easy steps
Microsoft security expert Jesper Johansson offers 10 common mistakes administrators make that can allow a hacker to freely roam a network. Source:



Crash course: E-mail protocols
Are you looking for the right e-mail protocol for your system? features today's top candidates and includes tips to help you master your pesky protocol problems.  Source:

Gold, silver or bronze?
Our readers were the judges, and our content, the competition. Where did your favorite article place in the 'page view' Olympics? Don't miss the title holders for top 10 of 2004. Source:

IT Career Success -- 10 tips in 10 minutes
Frustrated with your job or scared you might lose it? Here are 10 tips to help you stay at the top of your class, reach for a bigger paycheck or a promotion, and stay out of the unemployment line. Source:

Roberta Bragg's 10 Windows hardening tips in 10 minutes
Roberta Bragg explains how to think proactively about Windows security and offers 10 things to do right now to harden your Windows systems. All 10 tips are excerpted from Chapter 1 of her book "Hardening Windows systems." Source:

Sharpen your C# skills
C# is a key skill for any well-rounded .NET developer. Brush up on your C# skills today! Source:

Crash course: E-mail protocols
Are you looking for the right e-mail protocol for your system? features today's top candidates and includes tips to help you master your pesky protocol problems. Source:

IT Career Success -- 10 tips in 10 minutes
Frustrated with your job or scared you might lose it? Here are 10 tips to help you stay at the top of your class, reach for a bigger paycheck or a promotion, and stay out of the unemployment line. Source:

Know Exchange? Join our team of site experts!
We're looking for an Exchange guru to join our team of site experts. Think you've got what it takes? Want to beef up your resume and earn extra professional exposure? Apply today! Source:

New C# expert: Mark Belles
We have a new member on the expert team! Mark Belles is a self-proclaimed “techhead” in search of new challenges. While C# is Mark's primary field of expertise, he also has extensive knowledge of VB/VS.NET, VC7, COM and .NET Web Services. Over the years, Mark has also worked with ASP.NET, Windows API and encryption technology. Make his day -- send your toughest questions today!

Chapter Download:  'Harden communications'
What is the best approach to bulletproofing your system? In this chapter, site expert Roberta Bragg offers her take on the matter along with tons of tips and tricks for securing LAN, WAN and Web communications with SSL. Get the complete rundown of the three basic security processes for hardening network communications: authentication, integrity and encryption. Source:

New! Visit our just-launched site is the new mecca for tactical expert advice and news about securing Windows systems. It is designed to help you with Windows administration, deployment and infrastructure security; identify domain, local and account-level weaknesses; address security concerns before breaches occur and recover quickly in the event that they do.'s experts and educational resources offer how-to advice, essential tips and best practices for hardening Windows systems and securing valuable company information. Visit our new site today!

Exchange Admin 101: Outlook's group calendars
Outlook's calendar lets you do more than set reminders to yourself. Learn how to manage events for groups and master other advanced calendar functions. Source:

Fresh answers from Berni McCoy
Our VS.NET/Business Issues of .NET Development expert Berni McCoy recently came through with a fresh batch of answers to user questions. Source:
* Can I use VS.NET on a server that's not upgraded to .NET Framework?
* How can I display an active image from webcam using Visual C++ code?

Click and Learn: Outlook Web Access
Wish you knew a little more about Outlook Web Access? Here are a number of tips and tricks that would surprise even an OWA expert. Source:

Featured Topic: Group Policy 101
Is the vast world of Group Policies driving you crazy? You're not alone! Get the scoop from our articles, tipsters and site experts, and learn how to be a Group Policy pro.

Featured Topic: Terminal Services 101
Thin clients are no longer the pariah they once were. Ease of patching, security and greater control have all contributed to renewed interest. Find out how to install, deploy and operate a Terminal Services environment.

Expert advice on backup and recovery
Think your organization has a solid backup and recovery plan? Your data may not be as secure as you think. Here are some tips and tricks that will help get your storage plans back on track. Source:

Ask the Expert: New answers from Berni McCoy
VB/VS.NET guru Berni McCoy recently came in with a fresh batch of expert answers to common user problems. Browse to find the golden tidbit of information that just may save your day tomorrow! Source:



When the lights go out: Exchange disaster recovery, part 1
Do you have a backup plan in the event of an unexpected disaster? Here are the basics on what you need to do if a power outage or crash strikes and you are left in the dark.

New site expert
We have a new face on the team! Samuel Matzen is an expert .NET developer for both Windows Forms and ASP.NET with has 35 years of application software development experience. Samuel has written 200+ tutorials for the Infragistics Net Advantage products and runs a popular developer resource site alongside his consulting business. Let's welcome Samuel by sending him your toughest ASP.NET and VB/VS.NET questions! Source:

Expert advice on backup and recovery
Think your organization has a solid backup and recovery plan? Your data may not be as secure as you think. Here are some tips and tricks that will help get your storage plans back on track. Source:

Defragging 101 
Defragging is high on most administrators' "hate lists." But this mundane chore is crucial to maintaining high-performance. This collection of tips, articles and advice can help make defragging easier and less time-consuming. Source:

Exchange Admin 101: Database architecture primer
Today we introduce a category of tip aimed at the Exchange newbie -- Exchange Admin 101. Check out today's topic on database architecture. Source:

Product review: MailEssentials' new version tackles more than spam
Our reviewer finds GFI MailEssentials Version 10 offers features that improve filtering accuracy almost immediately, and discusses other product benefits beyond anti-spam features. Source:

Chapter of the Week: 'Building a load-balanced cluster'
Load balancing is also known as server clustering, server farms and Web farms. Regardless of the name, the goal of this technology is to distribute client requests across multiple nodes to avoid swamping any one machine. This chapter from the book "Windows 2000 Clustering and Load Balancing Handbook," by Joseph Lamb, explains how this technology works, how to set it up, and best practices for configuration and testing. Source:

SearchVB Free Code Library
Browse thousands of free VB code downloads and snippets in our Visual Basic Code Library. Source:

Crash course: Outlook
Check out our top 10 tips and other links for those of you that need to brush up on your Exchange fundamentals. Whether you are looking into implementation or just need to sharpen your skills, these tips are for you. Source:

Chapter of the Week: Clustering Design Issues
Setting up a cluster server is a complex undertaking, but smart planning can help smooth the ride. This chapter from the book "Windows 2000 Clustering and Load Balancing Handbook," by Joseph Lamb, walks through the planning process in a simple, step-by-step manner to ensure minimum disruption and optimal performance. Source: (July 12, 2004)

The Windows Server 2003 reference guide shootout
For Windows administrators looking for some summer reading, Bernie Klinder offers a review of the most popular reference books on Windows Server 2003. Be warned, however: Don't drop these tomes on your toes. Source:

Visual Studio .Net Info Center
Visit the VS.NET Info Center on -- NEW FEATURES: We now have two new experts ready to answer your toughest Windows development questions ... check out the buzzing forum ... and you can still find downloadable code and the latest news! Source:

Security best practices dos and don'ts
While there is no magic formula for keeping Exchange totally secure, these best practices lay the groundwork for the start of a solid plan.
Part 1 Security best practices dos and don'ts, part 1
Part 2 Security best practices dos and don'ts, part 2

The Exchange administrator's toolbox

Here are the top 10 tips and expert advice that every Exchange admin needs to know! Source:

Featured Topic: Crash Course – Spyware

Spyware is often considered a malicious thief, but it can have legitimate uses. It can yield vital information used in investigations. For example, spyware can determine whether an employee is stealing confidential company information. Check out this compilation of tips and expert advice to help you weigh the pros and cons of spyware, and learn how to best protect yourself. Source:

Migration advice

Your time has come to migrate off Exchange 5.5 and on to Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003. Check out these tips and expert advice to avoid the challenges and problems others before you have encountered. Source:

Webcast: Securing Web Services with WSE 2.0

Microsoft's new Web Services Enhancements (WSE) v 2.0 will help leverage the latest in Web Services standards. This webcast explains how to apply the OASIS WS-Security standards for authentication, encryption and message signatures using WSE 2.0, and demonstrates how WS-Policy is applied to further automate the process. Pre-register today! Source:

12 ways to protect your Exchange 2003 data
How do you keep your Exchange data secure? In "12 ways to protect your Exchange data," excerpted from Mike Daugherty's new book, "Monitoring and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003," we have 12 tips to teach you how. Source:



Migration 101
Migration can be tricky business. We have the tools and resources to help you plan, implement, troubleshoot and fully utilize your new system. Source:

Chapter of the Week: 'Capacity Analysis and Performance Optimization'
Are you getting your money's worth out of Windows Server 2003? This chapter from the book "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Unleashed," by Rand Morimoto, et al., examines the analysis and fine-tuning skills you need to achieve optimal performance. Starting with established baselines, the author walks through the available tools, monitoring procedures, patch management and Best Practices you need to get the job done. Source:

Learning guide: Migrating to Windows Server 2003

Considering Windows Server 2003? You're not alone. But how to approach such a complex migration? How can you be sure you're getting the most use out of your investment and avoid the pitfalls, all while keeping your system secure? We have gathered a wealth of helpful information to assist you through the process, from planning to post-implementation troubleshooting. Source:

Chapter of the Week: 'Planning, implementing and maintaining routing and remote access'
Remote network access doesn't have to be a technical headache; it can also be a security nightmare. Learn how to dodge the culprits in this information-packed chapter, from the book "MCSE Windows Server 2003 All-in-One Exam Guide", by Brian Culp, et al. The topics include routing protocols, remote security and access policies, authentication, IPSec policy and troubleshooting. Source:

12 credit cards in one

This is a programmable card in development that can represent all of your credit, debit, and consumer cards, so you only have to carry one card. Working in conjunction with a small handheld device called the Pocket Vault, this card has security features that guard against identity theft, physical theft of cards, and theft of credit card information over the Internet. The device also has built in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and the capacity to display a user's photo. Think you know this term?  Find out if you are right! Source: 

Blocking spyware via the ActiveX kill bit
Most spyware installs through an ActiveX plug-in when a browser window is opened. Disabling ActiveX controls entirely can cripple IE to the point where many legitimate sites don't work at all, and using the Trusted and Restricted Sites feature in IE isn't always helpful either. One way to stop spyware from installing itself is to attack it in the Registry, by preemptively blocking specific ActiveX controls from being installed. Read this tip to learn more. Source:

Microsoft's Security Guidance Center for Small Business
The primary thrust of Microsoft's Security Guidance Center for Small Business is what they call a "small business security checklist." Read this tip to take a look at this checklist. Source:

Welcome to the Blooper Zone

The May Blooper contest is over and we have a winner! A.S., a former technical support person from Illinois, snagged the top spot. Read his and other hilarious stories here! Source:

Got IT job woes? Get advice from the pros
Are you an underpaid systems admin, a tech specialist ready to tar and feather a user or an IT manager trying to get your boss' job? Here are some tips and advice that can enrich your job or help get you the one you want. Source:

What is a good tool for logon scripts for Windows?
Dear Serdar:
We migrated from Novell two years ago to Win2k. As you know, Novell had good instructions for writing Logon script for different OS mapping and deep-level mapping. Win2k is not as easy. What is a good tool for logon scripts if you don't know Csript, Wscript or VB?
Read Serdar Yegulalp's expert response.  Source:

Fast guide to Windows storage
A number of factors are driving more data centers to run some -- if not all of their storage -- off a Windows-based platform. The move to open systems, coupled with Microsoft's recent involvement in storage, makes understanding the nuances of Windows-based storage all the more important. This guide has the latest news and technical resources you need to get up to speed on Windows storage. Source:

Ask the Expert: How to remove a child domain

Dear Paul:
What is the correct way to remove a child domain?
Read Paul Hinsberg's expert response.



Vertical partitioning of large databases
Partitioning tables into different files contained in the same database is a good way to improve performance of large databases. You can choose to partition your tables using either vertical or horizontal partitioning depending upon the nature of your data. This tip examines the option of vertical partitioning. Source:

‘Migrating from Win 2000 to Win Server 2003’
Get the skinny on migration challenges in this chapter from the book "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Unleashed, 2nd edition," by Rand Morimoto. The topics include a comprehensive migration process overview, AD forest upgrades and domain consolidation and migration using AD Migration Tool v2.0.  Source: (May 21, 2004)

Administrator's guide to deploying Office 2003 - Expert Webcast
The process of deploying Office 2003 is similar to Office XP. There are subtle differences that affect how you design and distribute your configuration, however. In this webcast Jerry Honeycutt describes those differences and what they mean for you. Source:

Use crash dumps to troubleshoot hardware/OS issues
Microsoft has introduced a special function into the PS/2 keyboard mouse driver that allows users to manually initiate a BSOD/dump action. If a user is able to manually initiate a crash, the problem with the operating system which can be traced and debugged from the crash dump. Read this tip to find out how and why to perform this action. Source:

The 2004 Microsoft Report Card!

The results are in! We crunched numbers from 1,000 responses to our third annual Microsoft Report Card survey and -- just as we suspected -- there are some interesting trends to report. You'll find the details -- including all the data, whys and wherefores -- in our Microsoft Report Card for 2004. Look it over and let us know if you agree or disagree. Source:

'Maintenance and Troubleshooting'
Think you know all there is to know about maintaining and troubleshooting Microsoft's newest IIS web servers? Check your understanding of critical HTTP error messages, IIS logging issues, event lots and other critical topics in this chapter from the book "IIS 6 Administration," by Mitch Tulloch. Source:

Tip of the Day: Remind users to never patch from e-mail attachments

As with any other e-mail attachments, it's essential to train your users never to use them to patch systems. This tip discusses why this is so important and how you can be sure your users know what not to open. Source:

Featured Topic: XP SP2 explained

If you're waiting for XP SP2, we've got the lowdown on how it will change XP security and how it will impact your systems. Here are tips, expert responses and news stories to guide you in your planning. Source: (May 13, 2004)

Troubleshooting sleep-mode problems due to improper profiles
Most versions of Windows use the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) to enter a number of different low-power consumption modes by the user or after a certain amount of elapsed time without activity. There are five different power states available to Windows on an ACPI computer. Occasionally, some of these power states become unavailable. Find out the cause of this problem and how to fix it in this tip. Source:

How to remove NT4 BDC from Active Directory
Congratulations to Muhammad Haneef, our April Tip of the Month 3rd place winner. Read Muhammad's  winning tip on how to remove NT4 BDC from Active Directory.

Chapter of the Week: 'Managing and maintaining Group Policy'
Troubleshooting Group Policy application and deployment can be tricky business. Get the inside scoop on little-known tools and methodologies in this chapter from the book "MCSE Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure Study Guide," by Dennis Suhanovs, along with helpful tips and tricks on efficient Group Policy management. Source:

Install Windows XP without booting to CD
Congratulations to Billy Brown, our April Tip of the Month 2nd place winner.  Read Billy's winning tip on how to install Windows XP without booting from a CD. Source:

Get DOS applications to print in a timely manner
Congratulations to David Bonham, our April Tip of the Month winner. In addition to being inducted into our Hall of Fame, David won a Rio S35S Sport digital audio player. Read David's  winning tip on how to get DOS applications to print in a timely manner.

Stabilizing Windows: 20 tips in 20 minutes

No administrator worth his or her salt wants to deal with an operating system crash. Here are 20 tips and nuggets of expert advice to show you how to increase the overall stability of your Windows servers and workstations. Source:

Chapter of the Week: 'Planning and implementing Active Directory infrastructure'

You're probably aware that spending time on careful planning tends to pay off tenfold through the Active Directory life cycle. But are you up to speed on the changes and enhancements of Windows Server 2003? This chapter from the book "MCSE Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure Study Guide," by Dennis Suhanovs, walks through the finer points of an AD implementation on Windows Server 2003. Source:

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