Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Eight Rules of Security


Read a blog from Dana Epp, recently about eight components of any good security decision. It is not about Firewall, antivirus, lockdown etc. Read it here.


Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC


If you are evaluating RC version of Windows 2003 Service Pack1, this is for you, read on.

One of the best way to test/evaluate/look-see the SP1 RC would be to use it in a Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server. Hence having a Windows 2003 OS CDROM with SP1 RC slipstreamed in it would be great. Here, IT Pro Evangelist, John Howard, has easy steps to follow to slipstream SP1 RC.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Microsoft Licensing: 7 Steps to a Better Bargain. It would save you LOTS of $$$

This is great read at Redmond Magazine (previous MCP Magazine). You get some overview on licensing (if you are not into reading the lengthy licensing guides at Microsoft website). Then you get a drilldown on cost saving when negotiating software licenses.

Links: (the article) (Microsoft Licensing WebSite)


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The New ISA Server and Exchange Deployment Kit

Greetings folks,

For those working on ISA2004 and Exchange 2003, here is a latest document from Microsoft on "ISA Server and Exchange Deployment Kit". There are lots of information on all possible deployment of ISA and Exchange server.

Note, the document is 11MB and about 700 plus pages.


Here is the short link : or click the title.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

.Net Framework based CLI (nothing like what you have used/seen before)

Jeffrey Snover, architect on the Monad (MSH-Microsoft Shell) team, demonstrates and discusses Monad.

It is one awesome CLI (command line interface). Imagine doing a "dir" on Active Directory, Registry Key, list of installed certificates or list of processes, and awhole bunch of other cool stuff.

It will be available in Longhorn but since it is .Net Framework specific technology, you could download the beta now and run it on a current OS with .net on it.

This link, will take you a Windows Media video presentation about the tool.

Think what you want, write it down, and get what you want. Unix folks hold on to your jaws.

A couple of reasons why you should use this tool:
1. Strong Naming (manage 80% of the system with under 50 verbs)
2. Help (just like the "man")
3. It is a object-based system i.e. the help is a reflection of a Help Object
4. SQL type utility (select, sort, condition, present)
5. Pipelining concepts

Just watch that video!!

To download the tool, goto, use a passport account to login, then to get the tool use account id: mshPDC.


Monday, November 01, 2004

The other command line tool

A little history on WMI first.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a component of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system and is the Microsoft implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), which is an industry initiative to develop a standard technology for accessing management information in an enterprise environment. WMI uses the Common Information Model (CIM) industry standard to represent systems, applications, networks, devices, and other managed components. You can use WMI to automate administrative tasks in an enterprise environment.

Where applicable WMI can be used in all Windows-based applications, and is most useful in enterprise applications. System administrators can find information about using WMI on TechNet, and in various books about WMI.

Lots of folks may not know this, but, there is this great command line tool in Windows XP (yes !!Windows XP. Was originally written for Windows 2003 but is it released with Windows XP as well) and above (Windows 2003 and SBS 2003). WMIC.exe gives you access to WMI on your Windows machine. The information you could collect now is simple amazing.

Here is a link to "A Description of the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Command-Line Utility (Wmic.exe)" support article at

Microsoft's msdn website.


Using Netsh: the coolest Windows command line utility (besides WMIC.exe)

At recent newsletter from, author Robert J. Shimonski wrote about Netsh, a Windows based command line tool that if you master, can be very helpful in quickly getting your network setting changed from the command line without having to navigate the GUI for all your setting changes.

The Netsh tool once mastered can make life much easier for you and your administration of systems on your network or at home. In this article we will also look at how to create files to simplify changes further.


You will truly appreciate this tool. Changing network settings is just one of the functionality. You could also work with anything from IPSec to Windows Firewall (Win. Xp SP2)


Friday, October 29, 2004

Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (BETA)


Microsoft released the VSMT (Virtual Server Migration Toolkit )

VSMT automates the migration of an operating system and installed applications from a physical server to a server running within a virtual machine that is provided and managed by Virtual Server 2005.

Virtual Server is Microsoft's virtual machine software for servers based on the software the Microsoft acquired from Connectix Corp.

The toolkit supports migration of Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 systems to virtual machines running on Virtual Server 2005.

Use the Virtual Server 2005 from anything like development, testing, migration to data center like server apps hosting. Click the title of this post to the microsoft site for full details.

Note: Remember to read the licensing information when using Virtual Server 2005.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Microsoft MVP writes about the Dark Side of SP2


I know there has been too many articles about sp2. I read this and realise
this was different as it contained a very comprehensive list of how to
prepare for a SP2 nightmare.

The MVP here is, Brien M. Posey. The aricle is at:

Sunday, October 17, 2004

GMAIL's virtual drive in "MY COMPUTER"

I  know some folks who have obtained a GMAIL email account. After a few weeks and months, it was still at 1-6% or so  usage out of the total 1000Mb. Now there is a great way to use that extra space. I am talking about GMAIL drive shell extension.
Go to to download software, what is required and quick explanation about GMAIL's drive shell extension.

Stop using passwords ?!!

A blog by Microsoft's senior member of the PSS Security Incident Response
team, Robert Hensing, says so.

Migrating to or Interoperating with Microsoft Products?

I get lots of questions with regards to migration and interoperating with
Microsoft products.

Did you know there is such a website at Microsoft TechNet dedicated to this

If you have issues like migrating from Netware or interoperating with AD or
loads of other issues with regards to migration or interoperating, and we are talking about
developers too (.Net and J2EE interops, migrating ASP or JSP etc) , then this is the URL.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

A detailed review of Windows XP SP2 (non-Microsoft)

As mentioned by Bruce Schneier in his CRYPTO-GRAM newsletter "Long and interesting review of Windows XP SP2, including a list of missed opportunities for increased security which is definitely worth reading:

Then there was a follow up at which of course is worth reading too.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Listing usernames via a null session on Windows XP

Found this interesting read about listing usernames via a null session on Windows XP (with or without sp2).

Tell me if you tried.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Windows XP SP2 Installation Error

There was a recently released KB article from Microsoft with regards to Windows XP SP2:

You receive a "Stop: c0000135" and "winsrv was not found" error message after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Follow the hyper-linked title of this post to the microsoft site for the article.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Microsoft won't ship WinFS with Longhorn

Read about this recently. Read more here,10801,95538,00.html?nas=PM-95538.

But WinFS will be available with the client version of LongHorn when it is released. I suppose keeping the deliverables to the limit, we would get some real working, secure and robust components of LongHorn. Over promising with the deliverables would cause lots of features but with lots of compatibility issues and BUGS!

Information on LongHorn here -- >


Monday, August 23, 2004

SP2 Deployment Updates

Greetings folks,

I know there are lots of stuff out there on SP2, so I am not going to be talking about SP2 and it's many benefits.

How to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) by using Systems Management Server -;en-us;842844&Product=sms2003

Deploying Windows XP Service Pack 2 using Software Update Services -

Previously there were no detailed steps on these two and if there was, it was on the Beta/RC version of SP2.


Friday, August 20, 2004

BLOG created.


I have just created my blog for the first time. Welcome to the revolution!