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The Internet Explorer 9 Beta is out and already I can see several new features and improvements over previous versions. While it still isn’t enough to get me to switch from Chrome, they are making serious improvements in the UI and how it handles certain websites. One new feature, however, I find quite interesting. They’re called jump lists and basically, it’s a bookmark on steroids.

Windows 7 has allowed you to pin applications to the taskbar for easy access. IE also provided the ability to switch tabs via the pinned application on the taskbar. Now, they have taken it to the next level. You can pin a specific site to the taskbar and open to it as if you were starting a new application. Currently, this is an IE only feature, but Microsoft hopes to turn it into a standard for other browsers to follow suit. [more]

Let’s say, you browse to http://arstechnica.com and you want to pin their site to your taskbar. Click/drag the tab to your taskbar and it will automatically pin. Notice that the icon has changed.

Then when you click on it, it opens up a “special” version of IE with its own special colors and icons.

This information is grabbed from the favicon.

Finally, the jump list. Right-click on the pinned application:

Notice that there are new “tasks”. When you click on one of these, it opens that specific page. The code to add this information is really simple.

<!-- C-razy IE9 stuff --><meta name="application-name" content="Ars Technica"/>
<meta name="msapplication-starturl" content="http://arstechnica.com/"/>
<meta name="msapplication-tooltip" content="Ars Technica: Serving the technologist for 1.2 decades"/>
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=News;action-uri=http://arstechnica.com/;icon-uri=http://arstechnica.com/favicon.ico"/>
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Features;action-uri=http://arstechnica.com/features/;icon-uri=http://static.arstechnica.net/ie-jump-menu/jump-features.ico"/>
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=OpenForum;action-uri=http://arstechnica.com/civis/;icon-uri=http://static.arstechnica.net/ie-jump-menu/jump-forum.ico"/>
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=One Microsoft Way;action-uri=http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/;icon-uri=http://static.arstechnica.net/ie-jump-menu/jump-omw.ico"/>
<meta name="msapplication-task" content="name=Subscribe;action-uri=http://arstechnica.com/subscriptions/;icon-uri=http://static.arstechnica.net/ie-jump-menu/jump-subscribe.ico"/>

I’ve added this to one of my sites within minutes and all works as intended. Now because the jump list is actually pinned to the taskbar, the Windows team had to modify the structure of their code to allow IE to do this. This is why it still requires a reboot to install IE9. They’re modifying the kernel to allow for jump lists. Pretty neat stuff.

 

If you have more than one domain controller and are trying to examine why an account keeps locking out (for example, after a password change), you can download a tool from Microsoft called LockoutStatus.exe.  This tool will help you analyze which Domain Controller the lockout happened against if there is more than one DC.  It will also list the time it happened so it can help speed up the process of examining the Security logs in the correct DC’s event logs. 

The tool can also be used to unlock accounts easily.  You must specify the name of the domain account that you are searching for.  [more]

Further information can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738772%28WS.10%29.aspx


 

In a prior post I outlined a method to set the time zone from the command line using a control panel applet.  I needed to do this to fix a problem with the Mac RDP client which doesn't work correctly with time zone redirection.  Using the control panel applet works great on XP and 2003 Server, but only launches the Date and Time applet on 2008 and Windows 7.  After a little bit of research, I found a utility called tzutil that's included with Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.  This is the same utility Microsoft used to change time zones during the last daylight savings time calendar change. [more]

Syntax:   tzutil /s "Central Standard Time"


 

I had an issue where wsus on a Windows SBS 2008 system was saying it was synchronizing successfully, but it wasn't downloading updates. All you would get was a message in the event logs from Windows Server Update Services (event id 10032) saying that "The server is failing to download some updates". Clients would show that they needed updates through the WSUS console and via the SBS Console, but the updates would never show up on the server for installation. In the local client WindowsUpdate.log file you would see something similar to the following [more]

2010-10-12  10:39:45:574  784  1a20 PT       +++++++++++  PT: Synchronizing server updates  +++++++++++
2010-10-12  10:39:45:574  784  1a20 PT       + ServiceId = {3DA21691-E39D-4DA6-8A4B-B43877BCB1B7}, Server URL = http://...
2010-10-12  10:39:49:011  784  1a20 PT       +++++++++++  PT: Synchronizing extended update info  +++++++++++
2010-10-12  10:39:49:011  784  1a20 PT       + ServiceId = {3DA21691-E39D-4DA6-8A4B-B43877BCB1B7}, Server URL = http://...
2010-10-12  10:39:52:433  784  1a20 Agent  * Found 0 updates and 57 categories in search; evaluated appl. rules of 643 out of 1075 deployed entities

So why would the WSUS server recognize the server needed updates and the client not recognize and download them? Further investigation uncovered the fact that the WSUS Content Repository was nearly empty. Total size of the repository was less than 100 MB. Obviously, none of the patch data had been downloaded.

So why was the sync successful? Moving on, after more investigation, I discovered that the ISA server was blocking what appeared to be anonymous web traffic from the SBS server even though there was a access rule set to allow all http, https, and ftp traffic from the SBS server. So, skipping to the solution. First, ISA 2004 has a problem with BITS 7.0 that is used in Windows 2008 and Windows 7. Because the initial synchronization from WSUS ONLY downloads metadata, ISA was letting that out and it would show success in the consoles. Then WSUS turns over processing and downloading of the actual patch files (.cabs, etc.) to BITS. ISA was blocking BITS background download processing so what we had was metadata for the updates, but no updates. WSUS knew the servers needed the updates, but the servers had nothing to download because the actual content for the updates wasn’t there. The fix is to change the processing of update downloads using BITS from a background to a foreground process. ISA seems to allow that just fine.

Do it by running the following query against the WSUS database. The connection can be made via SQL Management Studio Express in most cases…you are just looking to run the query against the SUSDB database.

update tbConfigurationC set BitsDownloadPriorityForeground=1

If you are using Windows 2008 with the Microsoft Internal Database (as SBS 2008 does), this proves to be a little more challenging because you have to connect with SQ Management Studio Express using named pipes instead of TCP/IP. Connect using named pipes by using this as the server

\\.\pipe\mssql$microsoft##ssee\sql\query


 

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) is a free Firefox backup utility that functions as an add-on.  You can have it do scheduled backups, backup your whole profile or pieces and parts (including other add-ons, cookies, etc.).

This is most helpful for me since I use NoScript to limit which scripts are allowed to run as well as Permit Cookie to determine which site cookies I want to retain after I close Firefox.  Whenever I rebuild a laptop, it's handy to not have to manually install all add-ons, etc. [more]

http://softwarebychuck.com/febe/febeFAQ.html


 

The CommVault Exchange Mailbox iData agents do not backup mailboxes associated with disabled Windows user accounts. The backup job reports a "success" for the job, but when the details of the backup are explored, the backup set does not contain any data. Additionally, requesting a listing of all failed objects for the backup job results in a "no failures" status. According to CommVault, this behavior is by design as is the "successful" backup status. After all, the job did not technically fail if it is not designed to include mailboxes belonging to disabled user accounts. This is very strange given that, in general, CommVault iData agents have an "inclusive by default" behavior.  This can become a real problem if you try to restore data for a former employee whose Windows user account was disabled when they left the company.  The lesson here is that you should always test your backups. Even if the backup report and all job status notifications indicate you are good....test anyway.


 

Back in 1982 Digital Research released DR PalmDOS which ran on Palm personal digital assistants.  When you used a PCMCIA card for storage, instead of adding a drive letter, it added a drive number - 0:, 1:, 2:. Today, even with Windows 7, non-alphabetic characters can be used, including  $ [ ] ` { } etc.  But some characters are just too special and cannot be used: % & ^ = | \ " ; , /..

The subst command is the only way I could find for using these, though.  This could be handy for a system where you are connecting removable media and you would have trouble knowing which drive letters would be available.  For example: [more]

subst 1: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents"

subst *: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents"

Unfortunately, the regular Explorer windows cannot handle these "special" drive designations, but they can be used from the command line.


 

During troubleshooting it is often necessary to see what traffic is being passed between two networks or two hosts. The ASA software now features a built-in packet capture tool.

Below are the steps you need to take:

For the sake of this tutorial, let’s assume that we are troubleshooting traffic between a host with the address of 192.168.1.1 and a host with the address of 10.10.10.1.

Step 1. Define the traffic that you are interested in seeing via an ACL named “cap”: [more]

ASA(config)#access-list cap extended permit ip host 192.168.1.1 host 10.10.10.1
ASA(config)#access-list cap extended permit ip host 10.10.10.1 host 192.168.1.1
ASA(config)#access-list cap extended permit icmp host 192.168.1.1 host 10.10.10.1
ASA(config)#access-list cap extended permit icmp host 10.10.10.1 host 192.168.1.1

Step 2. Create and start the packet capture process named “capin”:

ASA(config)#capture capin access-list cap

Step 3. Generate some traffic between the two hosts.

Since our ACL in this case is set to detect all IP and ICMP traffic between the host we can just start a simple ping betweent the hosts.

From the host 192.168.1.1:
ping 10.10.10.1
From the host 10.10.10.1
ping 192.168.1.1

Step 4. Analyze the packet capture.

ASA#show capture capin
*This will output all of the traffic that it captured.

Step 5. Turn off the packet capture and remove the ACL:

ASA(config)#no capture capin
ASA(config)#clear configure access-list cap

Miscellaneous notes/commands:

You can clear the capture log by using this command:
ASA#clear capture capin

You can also use the pipe functionality when viewing the capture output:
ASA#show capture capin | inc 192.168.1.1

This can also be done via the ASDM, but what fun is that?


 

Vista/Windows7/Windows Server 2008 introduce a new format for the administrative templates for group policies.  Instead of replicating proprietary ADM files with the group policies, you now create a “central repository” for the ADMX (xml format) administrative templates.  Stored with the ADML files are language specific ADML files (in a subdirectory).  The trick here, is that once you create the central repository then Windows 2008 group policy editors cannot see the old ADM files, so if you have settings you wish to edit you have to create a complimentary ADMX template.  Further, older OS versions cannot read the ADMX files, so you have to be careful to perform a cutover.  Either use ADM files, or use ADMX files and edit the group policies only on newer OS versions. [more]

ADMX step-by-step guide:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709647%28WS.10%29.aspx

“New Windows Vista–based or Windows Server 2008–based policy settings can be managed only from Windows Vista–based or Windows Server 2008–based administrative machines running Group Policy Object Editor or Group Policy Management Console.”

“Group Policy Object Editor on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 machines will not display new Windows Vista Administrative Template policy settings that may be enabled or disabled within a GPO.”

Inside ADM and ADMX Templates for Group Policy

Win Server 2008 Directory Services, Group Policy Templates


 

New Windows 7 hotkeys

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Windows logo key +Home Clear all but the active window
Windows logo key +Space All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktop
Windows logo key +Up arrow Maximize the active window
Windows logo key +Down arrow: Minimize the active window or restore the window if it's maximized
Windows logo key +Left/Right arrows Dock the active window to each side of the monitor
Windows logo key +Shift+Left/Right arrows If you've got dual monitors, this will move the active window to the adjacent monitor
Windows logo key +T Shift focus to and scroll through items on the taskbar
Windows logo key +P Adjust presentation settings for your display
Windows logo key +(+/-) Zoom in/out
Windows logo key +Click a taskbar item Open a new instance of that particular application

Ease of Access keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts that can help make your computer easier to use.  [more]

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Right Shift for eight seconds Turn Filter Keys on and off
Left Alt+Left Shift+PrtScn (or PrtScn) Turn High Contrast on or off
Left Alt+Left Shift+Num Lock Turn Mouse Keys on or off
Shift five times Turn Sticky Keys on or off
Num Lock for five seconds Turn Toggle Keys on or off
Windows logo key +U Open the Ease of Access Center

General keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains general keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
F1 Display Help
Ctrl+C (or Ctrl+Insert) Copy the selected item
Ctrl+X Cut the selected item
Ctrl+V (or Shift+Insert) Paste the selected item
Ctrl+Z Undo an action
Ctrl+Y Redo an action
Delete (or Ctrl+D) Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Shift+Delete Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
F2 Rename the selected item
Ctrl+Right Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
Ctrl+Left Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
Ctrl+Down Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
Ctrl+Up Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl+Shift with an arrow key Select a block of text
Shift with any arrow key Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document
Ctrl with any arrow key+Spacebar Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop
Ctrl+A Select all items in a document or window
F3 Search for a file or folder
Alt+Enter Display properties for the selected item
Alt+F4 Close the active item, or exit the active program
Alt+Spacebar Open the shortcut menu for the active window
Ctrl+F4 Close the active document (in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
Alt+Tab Switch between open items
Ctrl+Alt+Tab Use the arrow keys to switch between open items
Ctrl+Mouse scroll wheel Change the size of icons on the desktop
Windows logo key +Tab Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D
Ctrl+Windows logo key +Tab Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D
Alt+Esc Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F4 Display the address bar list in Windows Explorer
Shift+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
Ctrl+Esc Open the Start menu
Alt+underlined letter Display the corresponding menu
Alt+underlined letter Perform the menu command (or other underlined command)
F10 Activate the menu bar in the active program
Right Arrow Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
Left Arrow Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
F5 (or Ctrl+R) Refresh the active window
Alt+Up Arrow View the folder one level up in Windows Explorer
Esc Cancel the current task
Ctrl+Shift+Esc Open Task Manager
Shift when you insert a CD Prevent the CD from automatically playing
Left Alt+Shift Switch the input language when multiple input languages are enabled
Ctrl+Shift Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are enabled
Right or Left Ctrl+Shift Change the reading direction of text in right-to-left reading languages

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for use in dialog boxes.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Ctrl+Tab Move forward through tabs
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Move back through tabs
Tab Move forward through options
Shift+Tab Move back through options
Alt+underlined letter Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter
Enter Replaces clicking the mouse for many selected commands
Spacebar Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
F1 Display Help
F4 Display the items in the active list
Backspace Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts that use the Windows logo key .

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Windows logo key Open or close the Start menu.
Windows logo key +Pause Display the System Properties dialog box.
Windows logo key +D Display the desktop.
Windows logo key +M Minimize all windows.
Windows logo key +Shift+M Restore minimized windows to the desktop.
Windows logo key +E Open Computer.
Windows logo key +F Search for a file or folder.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +F Search for computers (if you're on a network).
Windows logo key +L Lock your computer or switch users.
Windows logo key +R Open the Run dialog box.
Windows logo key +T Cycle through programs on the taskbar.
Windows logo key +number Start the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the program is already running, switch to that program.
Shift+Windows logo key +number Start a new instance of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +number Switch to the last active window of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Alt+Windows logo key +number Open the Jump List for the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows logo key +Tab Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +Tab Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
Ctrl+Windows logo key +B Switch to the program that displayed a message in the notification area.
Windows logo key +Spacebar Preview the desktop.
Windows logo key +Up Arrow Maximize the window.
Windows logo key +Left Arrow Maximize the window to the left side of the screen.
Windows logo key +Right Arrow Maximize the window to the right side of the screen.
Windows logo key +Down Arrow Minimize the window.
Windows logo key +Home Minimize all but the active window.
Windows logo key +Shift+Up Arrow Stretch the window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows logo key +Shift+Left Arrow or Right Arrow Move a window from one monitor to another.
Windows logo key +P Choose a presentation display mode.
Windows logo key +G Cycle through gadgets.
Windows logo key +U Open Ease of Access Center.
Windows logo key +X Open Windows Mobility Center.

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Windows Explorer windows or folders.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Ctrl+N Open a new window
Ctrl+W Close the current window
Ctrl+Shift+N Create a new folder
End Display the bottom of the active window
Home Display the top of the active window
F11 Maximize or minimize the active window
Ctrl+Period (.) Rotate a picture clockwise
Ctrl+Comma (,) Rotate a picture counter-clockwise
Num Lock+Asterisk (*) on numeric keypad Display all subfolders under the selected folder
Num Lock+Plus Sign (+) on numeric keypad Display the contents of the selected folder
Num Lock+Minus Sign (-) on numeric keypad Collapse the selected folder
Left Arrow Collapse the current selection (if it's expanded), or select the parent folder
Alt+Enter Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item
Alt+P Display the preview pane
Alt+Left Arrow View the previous folder
Backspace View the previous folder
Right Arrow Display the current selection (if it's collapsed), or select the first subfolder
Alt+Right Arrow View the next folder
Alt+Up Arrow View the parent folder
Ctrl+Shift+E Display all folders above the selected folder
Ctrl+Mouse scroll wheel Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons
Alt+D Select the address bar
Ctrl+E Select the search box
Ctrl+F Select the search box

Taskbar keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with items on the taskbar.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Shift+Click on a taskbar button Open a program or quickly open another instance of a program
Ctrl+Shift+Click on a taskbar button Open a program as an administrator
Shift+Right-click on a taskbar button Show the window menu for the program
Shift+Right-click on a grouped taskbar button Show the window menu for the group
Ctrl+Click on a grouped taskbar button Cycle through the windows of the group

Magnifier keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Magnifier.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Windows logo key + Plus Sign or Minus Sign Zoom in or out
Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar Preview the desktop in full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+F Switch to full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+L Switch to lens mode
Ctrl+Alt+D Switch to docked mode
Ctrl+Alt+I Invert colors
Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys Pan in the direction of the arrow keys
Ctrl+Alt+R Resize the lens
Windows logo key + Esc Exit Magnifier

Remote Desktop Connection keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Remote Desktop Connection.

Keyboard Shortcut Action
Alt+Page Up Move between programs from left to right.
Alt+Page Down Move between programs from right to left.
Alt+Insert Cycle through programs in the order that they were started in.
Alt+Home Display the Start menu.
Ctrl+Alt+Break Switch between a window and full screen.
Ctrl+Alt+End Display the Windows Security dialog box.
Alt+Delete Display the system menu.
Ctrl+Alt+Minus Sign (-) on the numeric keypad Place a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing Alt+PrtScn on a local computer).
Ctrl+Alt+Plus Sign (+) on the numeric keypad Place a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing PrtScn on a local computer).
Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow "Tab" out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.
Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow "Tab" out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.