A Security Baseline Resource for Windows 7–Internet Explorer and Windows 7 Firewall

If you are looking for some ideas how to secure your Windows 7 clients, have a look at the USGCB (The United States Government Configuration Baseline). The USGCB has been developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The documentation looks impressive and even if you aren’t going to apply all of these 1-1, it might give you some ideas on how to make your clients more secure. Read More …

Retrieve Group Policy size in SYSVOL folder with PowerShell

Needless to say that there are quite some benefits in using a central store for Group Policies, one of them is that you can prevent the so-called SYSVOL bloat. A good description of the SYSVOL bloat is described here. So how much size do my GPOs currently consume within the SYSVOL folder? I asked myself that question a few days ago and ended up with let’s say my first version of the GetGPOSize PowerShell script. Read More …

Wakeup Your Computer And Do Something

Assume you need to start a file transfer, a download or just execute a batch file once or on a regular basis in the middle of the night. What would you do? Most people will probably use some scheduling software and leave the system on until the task is scheduled to start in addition change the power settings so that the system doesn’t go into sleep or standby as this will prevent the scheduled task Read More …

BITSAdmin is deprecated in Windows 7 and 2008 R2

Just recently when I created a script using BITSAdmin, I noticed the following text when running the BITSAdmin executable: BITSADMIN is deprecated and is not guaranteed to be available in future versions of Windows. Administrative tools for the BITS service are now provided by BITS PowerShell cmdlets. So BITS with PowerShell landed on my to-look-at list, but just today I came across Ashley McGlone’s Blog – Big Downloads With Powershell which contains a sample script Read More …

Restricting the use of Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC is a great feature of Windows 7, but unfortunately Microsoft did not consider to provide any Group Policy settings to control the use of it. In an enterprise or small business environment you might want to do the following: Completely restrict the use of Windows Virtual PC (even if users have local administrative rights and can enable the feature) Prevent the creation of additional Virtual machines other than the one you prepared Read More …

ToolTip: Soluto–Improve your Windows Boot Performance

Hey here’s another cool application that can help improving Windows startup boot times. The Application is called Soluto and can be downloaded from here. Using Soluto is a no-brainer, just install it, and reboot. Soluto will show you the applications that are executed during the Windows Boot process and then allows you to either pause or delay the application during future boots.

Mute Windows System Volume

I came across a forum post where someone asked how to programmatically mute the Windows System volume. So this is what I have found: NirCmd NirCmd from NirSoft is a small command-line utility that contains many smart functions like muting and unmuting the system volume. To mute the system volume, simply run the following command nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 1 and to unmute you run nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 0 With VBScript Another option is to use a VBscript, Read More …

ReadTip: General (Windows) activation concepts (KMS/MAK)

A great article from Kevin Ledman – Microsoft Platforms Support, covering the following topics around Windows activation: What is KMS? What is MAK? What do you consider your ‘current operating systems? How do I know what I have available to me? I see both keys on the volume website, so I guess I have both options. Now what? I don’t have enough machines to use KMS, so I’ll use MAK. What do I do now? Read More …

ReadTip: Planning guide for Microsoft Office 2010

For anyone who is somehow involved in a Office 2010 deployment planning I strongly recommend reading the Planning Guide for Microsoft Office 2010. Microsoft just released an updated version. Don’t be shocked, the document counts 458 pages, but does contain a lot of useful and interesting information. And in case you aren’t aware already about the KMS requirements for Office 2010, read the Office 2010 KMS Server Requirements blog post, I mention this often when Read More …

Automated Microsoft Security Essentials Installation

For all those that frequently setup test machines and get tired of manually installing the Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0, here’s a straight forward batch file (even a regular user could use) that does the following: Downloads the Microsoft Security Essential 2.0 (x86) installation source file Installs Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 Downloads and updates the virus definition signature file   [sourcecode language=”plain”] @ECHO OFF Echo Downloading Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 (x86) start /wait bitsadmin /TRANSFER MSE20 Read More …