Friday, May 15, 2009

Windows 7 Release Candidate; The Good and The Ugly Sides

Microsoft's limited distribution of the Windows 7 release candidate (RC) on April 30 -- followed by its more widespread release a week later -- has triggered a firestorm of opinions, comments, critiques and compliments.
As usual, the commenters can be generally divided into two camps: Windows haters and Windows fans. On the whole, though, the RC has received a considerable amount of praise, even from some Macintosh users.
However, security -- always an issue with Microsoft -- could be a problem with the RC, which apparently has a security hole that has hung around on Windows operating systems for years.
Just Loving It
The Windows 7 RC has generated lots of positive comments.
Michael Cherry, a senior analyst at Directions on Microsoft, is running the RC on a newly purchased netbook with an Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Atom processor and 1 GB of RAM. "I was skeptical because a lot of Microsoft executives were promoting running it on a notebook, but it works just fine," he told TechNewsWorld.
The RC has also generated quite a bit of fan mail. "So far, I'm apprehensively impressed," one fan signing himself "Daniel" wrote in response to an article on The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog about the RC. "Seems Microsoft really pulled their finger out to make this simple and sexy."
After running the RC for two days, another commenter on the blog, Joe Richards, said that he prefers his PC running Windows 7 RC over his Apple Macintosh.
Even on the Apple Blog, which (perhaps predictably) ripped the Windows 7 RC, there were a few favorable comments.
"I've used Windows 7 RC1 quite a lot and it's been blisteringly fast," wrote Chris Neal in response to a post about Windows 7 RC, suggesting that it outperforms Windows Vista, Windows XP and, in some cases, Apple's own OS X operating system.
The Other Side
Not everyone who has tried the Windows 7 RC has fallen head over heels in love with it, however. Naysayers include many other commenters on the aforementioned Apple Blog.
Among them is Christian Walker, who considers himself as a hardcore Windows user. The Windows 7 RC has "frozen up on me as much as and perhaps even more than Vista," he wrote, adding that the RC also caused him other problems. "Let's just say I'll be purchasing a Mac. My first Mac."
Meanwhile, security vendor F-Secure points out on its blog that the Windows 7 RC retains a known security hole in Windows Explorer that lets malware authors trick people into clicking on and downloading their malware.
This is a feature that hides extensions for files. Instead of seeing a file name with the extension ".doc" or ".txt" ("Finances.doc" or "MyFile.txt"), for example, users will see the file name without the extension (simply "Finances" or "MyFile").
The problem has been around since Windows NT, according to the F-Secure post. Windows NT, a family of operating systems first released in 1993, is the first fully 32-bit version of Windows.
Hiding the Extensions
Malware authors leverage the extension-hiding feature by renaming an executable file, which uses the ".exe" extension. "The trick was to rename 'Virus.exe' to 'Virus.txt.exe' or 'Virus.jpg.exe' and Windows will hide the '.exe' part of the filename," the F-Secure post says.
However, this may not be much of an issue, according to Directions on Microsoft's Cherry. "The first thing I do on any Windows machine is set the file attribute so I can see the attributes even on hidden files," he noted.
"Microsoft uses this feature because it's very confusing to a lot of users to see all these file extensions out there," Cherry explained. "They just want to name their file. They don't want to know the difference between the '.xls,' the '.doc' and the '.dot' extensions, for example."

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to Find out Keylogger? | Is keylogger insalled on my System?

What a keylogger do?

It traces all your keystrokes, and sometimes screenshots of your display and sends the information to the email id of the desired person frequently. It is very harmful since it can capture our username, password and other personal information.

There are software and hardware keyloggers. It is pretty easy to find hardware keyloggers : check the keyboard cable connected to the PC, and observer is there any extra connectors between your PS2 or USB connector and port, and remove it.
Software keyloggers are very harmful and very difficult to find out.

A keylogger is a harmful program that runs almost invisibly as a low level system process. Usually started up when your computer is booted - so there is no way of you detecting it - this program logs all the keys that you type and then sends that information out to the person who infected you with the keylogger.

Keyloggers are extremely dangerous and can be used to steal personal information such as your social security number, credit card number, and passwords to just about everything. This may lead to identity theft or theft in general. Keyloggers are especially dangerous to anyone who uses online cash sites such as PayPal for a large amount of money.

When you suspect that you are infected with a keylogger, do NOT type any personal information. Even if you are typing in a normal word document, the keylogger still keeps track of everything you type.

Sponsored Links

Alternatively, if you suspect that keylogger is installed and you want to type your username and password with an immediate requirement, use on screen key board instead. This is a very good tool to overcome keylogger, since keylogger trace only the key strokes of hardware keyboard.

Go to run à type osk à hit enter; now you will get on screen keboard.

These days some of the websites, especially banking websites, started adding onscreen keyboards on their website, to prevent possible threat of key logging.
But email web portals and similar websites not yet started providing this option.

Doing this opens up a keyboard on your screen so that you can click whatever letter you would like to type. Since a keylogger does not track where and what you click, this helps you to get around it in times of urgency. Typing with the on-screen keylogger is a great hassle. The only alternative is the remove the keylogger completely.

Before you can destroy the keylogger and make your compute safe, you will need to detect it. Detecting a keylogger is not easy. It can be installed in over a 100 places on your computer, usually located in one of the system files. However, there is a much easier way to detect if a keylogger is running or not. Right click on your menu bar and click Task Manager. Alternatively you can press Ctrl + Alt + Del. You should be looking at all the applications you are running at the moment. Click the tab that says Processes. This gives you information about all the programs, hidden and visible that your computer is currently running.

Unless you know a lot about which processes the computer runs and does not run you will have trouble figuring out what you are looking at. The name of each process is under Image Name. The keylogger will show up on the list of processes as well as many other programs and background processes. However, you may not be able to distinguish between the different processes.

You will need to know which process to end before you can stop the keylogger. There are many sites available on the Internet that provides a vast amount of information on each and every process that you may encounter. One of these sites is Liutilities. This site provides some background information on each process as well as telling you the author and which program it is part of. One of the best features of this site includes a recommendation about what to do with that process. Most of the time, the process you look up will be harmful and simply part of the operating system or another program you are running.

Another fantastic site for information on processes is Neuber. As with Liutilities, Neuber gives you background information on that process. A special feature they have is user created comments. Anyone can rate a process in terms of its security a leave a comment about how to deal with the process. Generally, these comments are very accurate. Neuber also provides a 'security rating' for each process based on the average rating by users.
However, some find it hard and long drawn out to research each process individually. Thankfully, there is a program called Security Task Manager that is free to download. It will display information about each of the processes that are currently running, as well as telling you if they are dangerous or not. You will immediately be notified should anything harmful come up. Produced by Neuber, the program also shows the security rating and a random comment made by a user for each process. This program does have its disadvantages though. Processes that the program has never encountered before are not given a security rating or a comment. It is therefore advised that you research these processes individually.

Once you have found the harmful process, click the process and then click the 'End Process' button towards the bottom right. The process you have selected should be terminated immediately.

Once this is complete, you should be safe until you reboot your computer. If you do not delete the keylogger, upon rebooting your computer, the keylogger will start up again.
Once you have stopped the keylogger, run anti-virus and spyware checks on your entire computer. Some free virus scan utilities that are recommended are A2, Dr. Web and AVG. However, highly advanced keyloggers such as TypeAgent, KGB, and SpyOutside can often slip through these scans and remain undetected.

If the anti virus scans fail to show any result, you will need to manually detect and delete the keylogger. Keyloggers are usually located in the system files, so do not delete anything that you aren't 100% sure is the keylogger. Doing so may lead to errors in other areas of the computer. Go to 411-spyware and search for the type of keylogger that has infected your system. If it is listed, there should be instructions about how to manually remove the keylogger.
A great way to check if the keylogger has been completely removed from the system is to reboot. Remember the name of the keylogger's process and reboot the computer. If the process is not there when the computer has rebooted, you are safe.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Browser war Continues, Now Between IE 8 and Firefox 3.5

The browser was has been continuing for last many years actively between IE and firefox, the other players in the browser field such as opera, chrome and safari are miles behind in the run with IE and firefox. And recently microsoft and mozilla launched its fully armed versions; IE 8 and Firefox 3.5, there are a lot of similarities in these two new versions, let us have a close look at the two.
Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Beta
This latest beta packs a lot of new features and performance improvements from the previous beta. Some major upgrades include:
Support for HTML 5

What Firefix 3.5 promises
Firefox 3.5 beta 4 touts increased performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine (where Firefox needs to outdo Chrome and Safari), support for native JSON and Web worker threads, and new Web technologies like HTML5 video and audio features, all of which have developers' mouths watering. I'm confident Firefox will be a solid contender to continue challenging Internet Explorer in the browser wars.

What makes a browser "enterprise-ready"?
One important feature for enterprises is multiple language availability. Firefox currently boasts 70 languages. IE8 currently supports 43, with 20 more coming in the near future.

Another key attribute is controllability by administrators: IE8 uses Microsoft's well-entrenched group policies, a plus. However, for Firefox, there are other ways (some of them free, like FrontMotion's Firefox Community Edition) to enforce settings across your organization through ActiveDirectory using administrative templates -- similar to locking down settings with mozilla.cfg on one computer. You might also consider FirefoxADM from or PolicyPak for Firefox and other Group Policy configuration tools.

Microsoft categorizes browsers as having either Level 1 or Level 2 support for its SharePoint server. Microsoft recommended Level 1 browsers, which were only its own browsers (IE6 and IE7). Level 2 support permitted only basic functionality and encompassed competing browsers such as Firefox 1.5 and Safari 2.0. But that's changing. SP2 for the Microsoft Office 2007 System, which shipped yesterday, provides official support for both IE8 and Firefox 3.0 browsers. With SharePoint becoming a larger staple in intranets of late, this broader support is a plus for those holding back on Firefox deployments due to SharePoint. (Similarly, Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access also offers broader browser support for the full OWA experience, as opposed to the OWA Lite that Firefox users encountered in the past.)

In life, it may come down to what you know and like. But in the business world, it might come down to what is easiest. With IE8 being a part of Windows 7, it may simply be the de facto enterprise browser because it is what people know and what administrators can count on being included and controllable without any further effort on their part. Then again, Firefox is not all that difficult to deploy and manage these days, and it is well liked.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What is Cloud Computing?

It is a few years since we started to hear about cloud computing, many of us do not know what exactly it means. In the world of IT, changes are always welcome, and it sometimes over rides the present gadgets and technologies. We can define the term cloud computing in this particular view point. The technology called ‘cloud computing’ can be mentioned as a new variety of our so called “client server system”. In a client server system, all client computers or desktops or user workstations are accessing resources and files from a centralized server. But usually the client server system will span inside a LAN or corporate network. The concept of cloud computer can be basically compared to client server, but it spans to the internet. We can user applications, server spaces, and shared resources from the internet. After the complete implementation of the cloud computing, there will be no necessity for local hard drive resources; even we do not need an operating system. It is said that Google is developing a new operating system which is coming under the cloud computing system. You need to have a laptop and internet connection, and no need of operating system installed on your laptop. When you turn on the laptop, it will contact Google server which contains the operating system, and load it to the ‘RAM’ of the laptop. That is It.! OS is centralized.

It looks like pretty soon all computing will be called cloud computing, just because the cloud is “in.” Fortunately most computer savvy folks actually have a pretty good idea of what the term ‘cloud computing’ means: outsourced, pay-as-you-go, on-demand, somewhere in the internet, etc. What is still confusing to many is how the different offerings compare from Amazon Web Services to Google App Engine and Dell, IBM, Sun, Microsoft, Amazon and many others are all doing it this year. Cloud computing is a type of computing that is comparable to grid computing, relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional supercomputing power (normally used by military and research facilities) to perform tens of trillions of computations per second.

To do this, Cloud computing networks large groups of servers, usually those with low-cost consumer PC technology, with specialized connections to spread data-processing chores across them. This shared IT infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used to maximize the power of cloud computing.

There are many people out there who believe the term cloud computing is just another buzzword that is used to describe too many technologies, making it confusing to many. The term Cloud computing has been used to mean grid computing, utility computing, software as a service, Internet-based applications, autonomic computing, peer-to-peer computing and remote processing. When most people use the term, they may have one of these ideas in mind, but the listener might be thinking about something else.

Regardless if you share this view or not, you’re bound to hear more on cloud computing in the coming year.

Cloud computing is a computing paradigm in which tasks are assigned to a combination of connections, software and services accessed over a network. This network of servers and connections is collectively known as “the cloud.” Computing at the scale of the cloud allows users to access supercomputer-level power. Users can access resources as they need them. (For this reason, cloud computing has also been described as “on-demand computing.”)

This vast processing power is made possible though distributed, large-scale cluster computing, often in concert with server virtualization software, like Xen, and parallel processing. Cloud computing can be contrasted with the traditional desktop computing model, where the resources of a single desktop computer are used to complete tasks, and an expansion of the client/server model. To paraphrase Sun Microsystems’ famous adage, in cloud computing the network becomes the supercomputer.

Cloud computing is often used to sort through enormous amounts of data. In fact, Google has an initial edge in cloud computing precisely because of its need to produce instant, accurate results for millions of incoming search inquries every day, parsing through the terabytes of Internet data cached on its servers. Google’s approach has been to design and manufacture hundreds of thousands of its own servers from commodity components, connecting relatively inexpensive processors in parallel to create an immensely powerful, scalable system. Google Apps, Maps and Gmail are all based in the cloud. Other companies have already created Web-based operating systems that collect online applications into Flash-based graphic user interfaces (GUIs), often using a look and feel intentionally quite similar to Windows. Hundreds of organizations are already offering free Web services in the cloud.

In many ways, however, cloud computing is simply a buzzword used to repackage grid computing and utility computing, both of which have existed for decades. Like grid computing, cloud computing requires the use of software that can divide and distribute components of a program to thousands of computers. New advances in processors, virtualization technology, disk storage, broadband Internet access and fast, inexpensive servers have all combined to make cloud computing a compelling paradigm. Cloud computing allows users and companies to pay for and use the services and storage that they need, when they need them and, as wireless broadband connection options grow, where they need them. Customers can be billed based upon server utlilization, processing power used or bandwidth consumed. As a result, cloud computing has the potential to upend the software industry entirely, as applications are purchased, licensed and run over the network instead of a user’s desktop. This shift will put data centers and their administrators at the center of the distributed network, as processing power, electricity, bandwidth and storage are all managed remotely.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Event ID :1046 | DHCP Error | DHCP server frequently becomes unauthorized

In windows server 2003 domain environementm, the DHCP server should be authorized in the domain by Active Directory, then only the DHCP server will be able to lease IP address for the clients in the domain.
But sometimes you may face some troubles with the DHCP authorization. It may get unauthorized frequently in the domain. I have been searching for some troubleshooting for this occurance. and I found some uselfu stuff in Microsoft knowledge base.
This error will log some events in event viewer. It is as follows :
"Event Source: DhcpserverEvent

Category: None

Event ID: 1046

Date: Date

Time: Time

Type: Error

User: Not Applicable

Computer: ComputerName

Description:The DHCP/BINL service on the local machine, belonging to the Windows Administrative domain domain, has determined that it is not authorized to start. It has stopped servicing clients. The following are some possible reasons for this: This machine is part of a directory service enterprise and is not authorized in the same domain. (See help on the DHCP Service Management Tool for additional information).This machine cannot reach its directory service enterprise and it has encountered another DHCP service on the network belonging to a directory service enterprise on which the local machine is not authorized.Some unexpected network error occurred. "
This issue may occur if there is an object conflict inside the Active Directory directory service configuration container.
To troubleshoot this issue you have to install "adsiedit.msc " to any active directory domain controller in the domain, and do the follwoing troubleshooting. You will get adsiedit tool from windows server 2003 support tools.
To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
1. Start the Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) Edit MMC snap-in. To do this, follow these steps:
a. Click Start, click Run, type Adsiedit.msc, and then click OK.
b. Click Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.
2. In the console tree, expand the Configuration container, expand CN=Configuration, expand CN=Services, and then expand CN=NetServices.
3. In the details pane, you may find objects that resemble the following:
CNF:,CN=NetServices,CN=Services,CN=Configuration, domain
4. Right-click the objects, and then click Delete.
5. Exit the ADSI Edit MMC snap-in.
Verify that the DHCP server becomes authorized after active directory replication is complete.
Source : Microsoft Help and Support

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Active Directory : Understanding FSMO Roles.

Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) is a feature of Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD).
FSMOs are specialized domain controller (DC) tasks, used where standard data transfer and update methods are inadequate. AD normally relies on multiple peer DCs, each with a copy of the AD database, being synchronized by multi-master replication. The tasks which are not suited to multi-master replication, and are viable only with a single-master database, are the FSMOs.
The FSMO roles are also called Single Master Operations or Operations Master, FSMO is sometimes pronounced as “fizmo”.
What is the need of FSMO roles?
Active directory is multi master replication model. Meaning clients can register their records to any available Active directory domain controller and have access to resources within active directory NTDS.DIT database.
The purpose of having FSMO roles is being cause by Multi master replication model. In this model there has to be a way of preventing the conflict being happened, such as firing up adsiedit.msc and adding to the same object from different locations, which one would win? The NTDS.DIT DataBase would get confuse, Therefore we needed to have schema master so that regardless where you make the changes within the Domain changes gets okay from Schema Master first than, schema master replicates these changes to all other Domain controllers. This is the primary purpose why Microsoft comes up with FSMO roles (Operations Masters)
Knowing these FSMO roles and understanding them is Curtail for any Windows server administrator who is dealing with Active Directory and Exchange server.
The Five FSMO Roles
There are just five operations where the usual multiple master model breaks down, and the Active Directory task must only be carried out on one Domain Controller. FSMO roles:
1. PDC Emulator
Most famous for backwards compatibility with NT 4.0 BDC’s. However, there are two other FSMO roles which operate even in Windows 2003 Native Domains, synchronizing the W32Time service and creating group policies. I admit that it is confusing that these two jobs have little to do with PDCs and BDCs.
2. RID Master
Each object must have a globally unique number (GUID). The RID master makes sure each domain controller issues unique numbers when you create objects such as users or computers. For example DC one is given RIDs 1-4999 and DC two is given RIDs 5000 - 9999.
3. Infrastructure Master
Responsible for checking objects in other other domains. Universal group membership is the most important example. To me, it seems as though the operating system is paranoid that, a) You are a member of a Universal Group in another domain and b) that group has been assigned Deny permissions. So if the Infrastructure master could not check your Universal Groups there could be a security breach.
4. Domain Naming Master
Ensures that each child domain has a unique name. How often do child domains get added to the forest? Not very often I suggest, so the fact that this is a FSMO does not impact on normal domain activity. My point is it’s worth the price to confine joining and leaving the domain operations to one machine, and save the tiny risk of getting duplicate names or orphaned domains.
5. Schema Master
Operations that involve expanding user properties e.g. Exchange 2003 / forestprep which adds mailbox properties to users. Rather like the Domain naming master, changing the schema is a rare event. However if you have a team of Schema Administrators all experimenting with object properties, you would not want there to be a mistake which crippled your forest. So its a case of Microsoft know best, the Schema Master should be a Single Master Operation and thus a FSMO role.
Note: There is a also an important Global Catalog Role, however it’s not a FSMO role as you can have more than one Global Catalog.
FSMO Role Deployment
Three of the FSMO roles (1. 2. and 3.) are held in each domain, whilst two (4. 5.) are unique to the entire forest. Thus, if you have three domains there will be 3 PDC emulators, 3 RID master and 3 Infrastructure Master, but only 1 Schema Master and Domain naming master.
Which DC is holding FSMO role?
By default, the first domain controller of the domain will be holding all the five operations master roles of the forest. But we can transfer the roles for the load balancing and for the better distribution of Active Directory replication.
We can transfer the Operations Master roles using Graphical interface or Command line interface, which I will discuss in another article.
Here I will tell you how we can identify which AD Domain controller.
RID, PDC, Infrastructure (1. 2. and 3.)
You can discover which server holds the Operation Master by opening Active Directory Users and Computers, Right click your Domain and select Properties, Operations Masters.
Domain Naming Master (4.)
To see the Domain Naming Master (4.), navigate to the little used, Active Directory Domains and Trusts, Right click your Domain and select Properties, Operations Masters.
Schema Master (5.)
The Schema Master (5.) is the most difficult FSMO to find. The reason is the Schema snap-in is hidden by default. Perhaps is this is Microsoft saying - don’t mess with the object definitions. However, you can reveal the Schema and its FSMO settings thus:
1) Register the Schema Snap with this command, RUN regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll
2) Run MMC, File menu, Add\Remove Snap-in, click the Add button and select,
Active Directory Schema
3) Select Active Directory Schema, Right Click, Operations Master.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting Started with Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)

GPMC (Group Policy Management Console)
The GPMC is one of Microsoft's best new features in all of Windows Server 2003. Within the GPMC is a rich variety of tools for creating, editing, observing, modeling and reporting on all aspects of Group Policy. Previously GPMC was not there bundled with Windows Server 2003, But Microsoft made it available though their download site. You can install and download GPMC from the below link
The latest version of GPMC is 1.0.2 with service pack 1, which was released in 2004.
GPMC (Group Policy Management Console) Introduction
Remember that Microsoft designed the GPMC for Windows Server 2003 rather than W2K. Get your copy of GPMC.msi as a download from Microsoft's site. While I am assured that the GPMC will work on Windows 2000 Domains, I have not got it to run. (However, I have not tried that hard as I now prefer Server 2003.)
The GPMC unifies Group Policy management across your Active Directory forest. Before the GPMC, administrators needed multiple tools to manage Group Policy; the Microsoft Active Directory Users and Computers, the Delegation Wizard, and the ACL Editor. Not only does the GPMC integrate the existing Group Policy tools, but also it brings the following exciting new capabilities:
* A user interface that makes it easier to create and edit each Group Policy.
* New WMI filtering means that you can apply policies to particular machine, or only if there is enough disk space.
* Interfaces to Backup, restore, import, and copy Group Policy Objects (GPOs).
* Simplified management of Group Policy-related security.
* Reporting for GPO settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) data.
Getting started with GPMC
After I downloaded the GPMC from Microsoft's site, I installed the application by double clicking GPMC.msi. At first I carried on in my old ways. When I wanted to check a group policy I launched Active Directory Users and Computer and right clicked the domain, properties, and thence to the Group Policy tab.
However I soon found that you could add a GPMC snap-in to the MMC, and this is now my preferred method of accessing the GPMC. Microsoft GPMC
Right from you outset GPMC gives you the big picture. The GUI encourages you to survey the range of places to look for Group Policies, from the Forest at the top, through to the Domain and down to the Sites. The OU Group Policies are hidden under the domain, note that OUs have a little book symbol that is absent from container objects such as Users, Builtin and Computers. What this means is that if you see the book symbol then you can create a Group Policy, whereas if all you see is a blank yellow folder, then you cannot create a Group Policy at that location. The GPMC also lists any Models or Policy Results.
RSoP Snap-in (Resultant Set of Policy)
Microsoft provide a snap-in called RSoP for showing a given combination of policy settings. I find that if you install the GPMC, then you do not really do not need this RSoP. However, if you have Windows 2000 and no GPMC then the RSoP is intuitive to use and comes in two modes:
* Logging mode. In logging mode, the RSoP snap-in tracks the policies that you apply. In this mode, the tool shows the actual policies for a given user or computer.
* Planning mode. In planning mode, the snap-in indicates the set of policies that would be applied if you deployed the policy. You can perform what-if analyses on the user and computer; the domain, and organizational unit.
I am so pleased that Windows 2000's Secedit has been superseded by Gpupdate on XP, the old Secedit syntax was horrendous. Mostly, I just run plain Gpupdate in a 'Dos Box', occasionally, I append the following switches:
/force reapplies all settings.
/target:computer or /target:user applies only the user or computer section of your policy. Normally I would use plain Gpupdate without the optional target switch.
/logoff Useful for settings that do not apply until the user logs on again.
/boot Handy for configurations which need the computer to restart.
N.B. /boot does not mean apply the settings every time the computer reboots.
While, I prefer the GPMC console above, Gpresult is a handy command line utility to display the results of Group Policy. What I particularly like is the /user switch. Take the example where you are logged on as the administrator, but wish to test a user called Psycho's settings. Rather than logoff then logon as that user, just type: gpresult /USER psycho. Do remember the /USER. This command would be a mistake: gpresult /psycho.
This handy command line utility restores the two default Group Policy objects to their original state (Domain and Domain Controllers). You find this 'get out of jail card' = Dcpgofix in the \windows\repair folder. However because the \windows folder is in the 'Path' you can just run Dcpgofix in a 'Dos Box.
Syntax and Switches
dcgpofix [/ignoreschema][/target: {domain | dc | both}]
Example: dcgpofix /target: GuyDom
This tool will restore the default domain policy and also the default domain controllers policy to their state just after installation. Naturally, when you run dcgpofix, you lose all changes made to these Group Policies.
By specifying the /ignoreschema parameter, you can enable Dcgpofix.exe to work with different versions of Active Directory. However, default policy objects might not be restored to their original state. To ensure compatibility, use the version of Dcgpofix.exe that is installed with the operating system.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to Remove Unused Device Drive from Windows XP ?

When you install a device driver on a Windows XP machine, the operating system loads that driver each time the
computer boots regardless of whether the device is present—unless you specifically uninstall the driver. This
means that drivers from devices that you have long since removed from your system may be wasting valuable
system resources.
Follow these steps to view and remove these unnecessary device drivers:
1. Press Windows + Break to bring up the System Properties dialog box.
2. Select the Advanced tab and click the Environment Variables button.

3. Click the New button below the System Variables panel.
4. In the New System Variable dialog box, type
in the Variable Name
text box and
in the Variable Value text box.
5. Click OK to return to the System Properties dialog box and then click OK again.
6. Select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button.
7. In Device Manager, go to View | Show Hidden Devices.
8. Expand the various branches in the device tree and look for the washed out icons, which indicate unused
device drivers.
9. To remove an unused device driver, right-click the icon and select Uninstall.

Gmail's New Search Experience.

Gmail added yet another Labs feature, this time related to searching. If you enable "Search Autocomplete", Gmail will try to finish your query using names and email addresses from your contact list, built-in Gmail sections like "starred messages" and more advanced searches like "has photos" or "unread messages".

The new feature is especially useful if your search includes advanced operators like to: or from: because it's easier to enter the sender or the recipient.

Since Gmail doesn't show in the list of suggestions previous queries or common patterns from your messages, the feature has a limited use. You could get similar suggestions by typing names in the Gmail chat box and clicking on "View recent conversations".

Some other search-related Labs feature you should enable: Quick Links, which lets you bookmark Gmail pages, including frequent searches, Go to label, that autocompletes the name of a Gmail label, and Multiple Inboxes, which allows you to create a dashboard from different Gmail views.

Another quick way to view your contacts is to use the standalone page for Google Contacts available at or According to the Apps Update blog, "the new standalone contact manager allows you to manage your contacts within Google Apps without enabling Gmail". You can also use it with a regular Google account that doesn't include access to Gmail.

[Thanks !]

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to insert or enable smiley / symbols in Outlook mail?

Some times we may need to add some emoticons with our emails, a single smiley or emoticon can express happiness or anger, which we may not be able to express though texts. Here are some ways to insert smiley with outlook mail.

I auto correct option is enabled in your Outlook, you can use the below method:

:) (Column and right bracket) It will show a smile emoticon J

:| (Column and vertical line key) It will show a happiness emoticon K

:( (Column and left bracket) It will show a sorrow emoticon L

Here is the way to enable auto correct option in your outlook.

If MS word is installed, open word and go to Tools -> auto correct options -> Just check 'replace text as you type'.

If MS word is not installed this way will not work, so try the below options:

Press the blow key:

ALT+074 – You will get Smile emoticon

ALT+075 – You will get Happiness emoticon

ALT+076 - You will get sorrow emoticon


Initially you will get a letter, select the letter and change its font to wingdings.

Use numeric keypad to type numbers.

Try now! Happy smiley..!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

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