Windows: The Hosts file – Three good reasons to use it.

The host file is best known by administrators for its misuse by malware creators (Pestilent Hordes). In this post I will describe the host file and three good reasons to use it. The hosts file is a non-suffixed file that resides in the following location: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc Its purpose is to help resolve names to IP addresses much like DNS. The important thing to understand about the Hosts file is that it can be used to preempt DNS queries and thus the reason why Malware providers have been known to misuse the file. Here are some legitimate uses. To find internal … Continue reading Windows: The Hosts file – Three good reasons to use it.

Using Windows 7 Godmode to create administrative shortcuts to wizards and common functions.

In a previous post I described what is popularly know as Windows 7 Godmode. Some administrators like to find shortcuts that make their life easier and so leveraging the functions of “GodMode” this post talks about how to create shortcuts to common administrative tasks. In this example I will show you how to create a shortcut to the “View Network Connections” windows, a commonly used administrative folder which has been isolated a bit in Windows 7. Create a folder any where on your computer named :JeffLoucksAdministrativeFolder.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} Open the folder you just created. In the search dialog in Windows Explorer type … Continue reading Using Windows 7 Godmode to create administrative shortcuts to wizards and common functions.

Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

While choosing a branch office solution, you have to address various issues, such as security, data replication, minimal IT capabilities, hardware costs, unauthorized physical access, and unwanted changes to Active Directory. The following bulleted list discusses the points above and highlights the solutions to address the concerns. (Source:MSL 89-389) Security In case the security at the branch office is your major concern, you should use the  Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 operating system and install , RODCs, Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0, and BitLocker Drive Encryption. Server core offers a reduced attack surface because of the … Continue reading Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

How to Determine If You have a 64bit version of Windows 7

So your new Windows 7 box just arrived and they said it is 64bit. Cool. Now how do you check. Here are some tips which IT Pros have used for years but first the fastest way to find out: #1 Way to determine if you have 64 Bit Windows. Using DxDiag. Click the Start Button Type dxdiag in the search and press Enter The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will open. On the System Tab  locate the Operating System Row and Check for 64 bit Also note at the bottom you have the ability to run the 64-bit version of the DxDiag tool. … Continue reading How to Determine If You have a 64bit version of Windows 7

Upgrade to SharePoint 2010 System Requirements – 64 Bit Only

First thing to know about SharePoint 2010 is it is 64 bit only. Huh, let’s talk about 64bit a little. Exchange came out in 64 bit in the current version 2008 and I think Microsoft is going mainstream in support for 64 bit applications and operating systems. As a side note, a number of my family members are upgrading around Windows 7 and 64 bit is the choice for me in advising them. We are seeing more and more mainstream support for 64 bit and Acer to name one manufacturer is putting out mass market Home Premium boxes preloaded with 64 bit in … Continue reading Upgrade to SharePoint 2010 System Requirements – 64 Bit Only

Industry Statistics: 2000 IT Pro Survey about using Service Providers

Microsoft recently worked with  MarketTools’s Zoom Panel Tech to conduct a 2000 IT Pro survey on the subject of how and why they use solution providers (IT consultants, resellers, system integrators and hosted service providers). Here are the highlights: Over 70% of IT pros surveyed use some sort of solution provider (consultant, reseller, system integrator or hosted service provider.) Consultants were indicated by IT decision makers as the most commonly used solution provider (57%) vs. resellers (43%), solution integrators (38%), and hosted service providers (36%) 42% of IT decision makers view solution providers as “highly” or “extremely” influential in the direction of … Continue reading Industry Statistics: 2000 IT Pro Survey about using Service Providers