Archive for August, 2008

The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools. This file contains the individual troubleshooting tools and help files. It does not contain non-troubleshooting tools like the BSOD Screen Saver or NotMyFault. The Suite is a bundling of the following selected Sysinternals Utilities.

View: More information
Download: Sysinternals Suite (Updated: August 21, 2008)

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The Windows command-line tools are used to perform various tasks related to Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008.You can use the command reference to familiarize yourself with new and enhanced command-line tools, to learn about the command shell, and to automate command-line tasks by using batch files or scripting tools.

Download: Windows Command Reference Book
News source: Microsoft

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services (SQL Server 2008 Express) is a free, easy-to-use version of SQL Server Express that includes a graphical management tool and powerful features for reporting and advanced text-based searches. SQL Server 2008 Express provides powerful and reliable data management tools and rich features, data protection, and fast performance. It is ideal for small server applications and local data stores.

SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services has all of the features in SQL Server 2008 Express, plus you can:

– Easily manage and administer SQL Server 2008 Express with a easy-to-use graphical management tool – SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Basic.

– Issue full-text queries against plain character-based data in SQL Server tables. Full-text queries can include words and phrases, or multiple forms of a word or phrase.

– Run SQL Server Reporting Services reports on local relational data.

Free to download, free to deploy, and free to redistribute as an embedded part of an application, SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services is the fast and easy way to develop and manage data-driven applications with powerful built-in reporting and full-text search functionality.

For more information about SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services, including other versons and downloadable components now available, see Microsoft SQL Server Express.

Download: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools (SQL Server 2008 Express) is a free, easy-to-use version of SQL Server Express that includes graphical management tools. SQL Server 2008 Express provides powerful and reliable data management tools and rich features, data protection, and fast performance. It is ideal for small server applications and local data stores.

SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools has all of the features in SQL Server 2008 Express, plus you can easily manage and administer SQL Server 2008 Express with a easy-to-use graphical management tool – SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Basic.

Free to download, free to deploy, and free to redistribute as an embedded part of an application, SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools is the fast and easy way to develop and manage data-driven applications. For more information about SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools, including other versons and downloadable components now available, see Microsoft SQL Server Express.

Download: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools

Microsoft this week plans to update the Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy mechanism for Windows XP Professional, which the software giant claims is the most oft-pirated version of Windows. After the update, WGA notifications for XP will be the same as they are for Windows Vista service pack 1, said Alex Kochis, senior product manager in the Windows Genuine Advantage group, in a Tuesday blog post.

That means users whose copies of XP fail validation will see a black background the next time they log in. Although users will be free to switch to their background of choice, the black screen will return every 60 minutes until they validate their copy, and they’ll also see a watermark with a logo that reads “Ask For Genuine Microsoft Software.”

According to Kochis, this will make it easier for XP users to install and stay up to date with the latest release of WGA notifications. “Our research has clearly shown that customers value the ability of Windows to alert them when they may have software that is not genuine, but they also want the ability to stay up to date with the least effort required on their part,” he wrote.

WGA is designed to combat piracy by installing software on users’ PCs that periodically checks to see if their version of Windows is authentic before allowing them to download updates. However, WGA has been a source of frustration for many users since it was launched in 2005, due to several incidents in which genuine users have been mistakenly identified as pirates.

Prior to the release of Vista service pack 1, Vista copies that failed WGA validation would enter a reduced functionality mode in which certain features were disabled, but Microsoft changed to the black screen nagging approach when it released Vista SP1.

News source: CRN

SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors fan speeds, temperatures and voltages in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info for those hard disks that support this feature and show hard disk temperatures too, if supported. SpeedFan supports EIDE, SATA and SCSI drives. SpeedFan can even change the FSB on some motherboards (but this should be considered a bonus feature). At the lowest level, SpeedFan is an hardware monitor software, but its main feature is that it can control fan speeds (depending on the capabilities of your sensor chip and your hardware) according to the temperatures inside your pc, thus reducing noise and power consumption.

Download: SpeedFan v4.35
View: Changelog
Homepage: SpeedFan

Aggiorno express was born to assist you with the meta tagging process for IE8 of all the pages in your Web sites, in an automated way, just as aggiorno does with the variety of aggiornings shipped with v1.0.

Different to the full version of aggiorno, express editions are free standalone aggiornings that are themed to help you with a specific task, saving you hours of effort that otherwise will cost you getting things done.

After downloading and installing aggiorno express, getting your sites ready for IE8 is as easy as launching the application, selecting the source folder of your website, deciding where the new website should be stored, choosing the flag you want to meta tag your pages with and hitting Start!

Download: aggiorno express for ie8 (Free)
Screenshot: Compatibility Screen
Link: Product website

Microsoft yesterday warned users of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) that they won’t be able to uninstall either the service pack or Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) under some circumstances. The warning was reminiscent of one Microsoft made in May, when Windows XP SP3 had just been made available for downloading. At the time, the company told users they wouldn’t be able to downgrade from IE7 to the older IE6 browser without uninstalling the service pack.

In a post to the IE blog today, Jane Maliouta, a Microsoft program manager, spelled out the newest situation, which affects users who downloaded and installed IE8 Beta 1 prior to updating Windows XP to SP3. If those users then upgrade IE8 to Beta 2 , which Microsoft unveiled today, they will be stuck with both IE8 and Windows XP SP3. A warning dialog will appear to alert users. “If you chose to continue, Windows XP SP3 and IE8 Beta2 will become permanent,” Maliouta said. “You will still be able to upgrade to later IE8 builds as they become available, but you won’t be able to uninstall them.”

View: The full story @ InfoWorld

Please read the installation wizard instructions to avoid any major issues as IE 8 is still in Beta 2 stage. The program cannot be uninstalled on the systems with Service Pack 3 installed.

Screenshots: Click here for a gallery of the install process

When you connect for the first time from a new location, Avanquest Connection Manager automatically selects the best available network. Connect quickly and easily to public WiFi hotspots in coffee shops or airports, in your hotel while travelling, when at home or in the office.

Avanquest Connection Manager detects your preferences for set up of printers, email, disk drives for each location, and saves them. When you come back to a location, with Avanquest Connection Manager, your default printer, email accounts, security settings, your web browser, and others, are automatically configured.

Benefits

By memorizing preferred network connection settings, including internet, Virtual Private Network (VPN), email client, default printer and disk drives, laptop users can seamlessly transition from one network to the next without having to adjust settings or deal with annoying error messages.

In the office:

You are on a traditional LAN, using Outlook, a network HP printer, Internet Explorer, and a shared network drive.

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At home:

You are now using a direct wired connection to your DSL broadband, Outlook Express, Mozilla Firefox and a USB connected Lexmark printer.

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At the airport or the coffee shops:

You connect through an unsecured wireless connection with just normal Wi-Fi security to download you mail but that’s all.

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At the hotel room:

You connect through the hotel internet system through either normal phone lines, ISDN or whatever, using a secure VPN back to your office, using a firewall to protect your company assets.

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For each new location or connection type, a PROFILE of the network, email, printer, etc. is saved.

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Features

Easy Connection Wizard

Saves time by detecting every network available from your current location in seconds
Displays connecting strength, status and duration
Remembers all your network, security, printer and email settings

Profile Manager

Creates a profile when you connect to a new network and saves the settings for future use
Automatically configures IP, security, printer and email settings for each location
Manages unlimited number of profiles so you can stay connected no matter how much you move around

Enhanced Security Settings

Keep all your sensitive data safe!
Connection Manager Pro controls your Wi-Fi security settings including WEP and WPA ensuring your transferred data stays encrypted. Windows Firewall can be setup to enforce restrictions on potential incoming computer attacks Virtual Private Network automatically creates a secure Internet connection between your computer and your organization’s network

Network Connection Wizard

Connection Manager saves you time by detecting every network available from any location and locates and lists all available wired and wireless networks in seconds. It also shows the current connection strength as well as the quality level of the signal. Connection Manager automatically stores the best way to connect to the Internet. It supports several connection types:

  • Wired: Ethernet, Dial-Up (PSTN, ISDN)
  • Wireless: 802.11x public “hotspot”

Network Profiles Management

Connection Manager’s profiles management feature allows you to save your network settings for the locations from which you connect. It creates a profile each time you connect to a new network and saves the settings for future use. Each profile contains and keeps the following settings:

  • Network types (Supports workgroups and domains)
  • Default printers
  • E-mail box configuration
  • Internet Connection Sharing
  • Internet Explorer default homepage
  • Drive mapping

When a match is found between the available network and a stored profile, or the new network configuration is completed, Connection Manager sets all the necessary parameters:

  • Security settings: SSID, WPA & WEP code (64 and 128 bits)
  • IP Settings: IP address, DNS server, Gateway, Proxy,etc.
  • E-mail parameters: E-mail accounts, SMTP servers, port access, etc.

User-Friendly Interface to Manage all your Connections

Connection Manager offers a very intuitive interface gathering all the information and features you need to simply manage your Internet connection.
The control screen checks the following elements:

  • Time of connection
  • Current network connection bandwidth
  • Current network reception quality level
  • Connection stages

The main button controls security and connection: The “connect/disconnect” button allows you to control your connection and security by getting connected only when you need it. For example, you can save money on your WiFi pass by connecting only to get your emails. You can then disconnect and read them offline at your own speed. Disconnecting will also reduce the risk of getting hacked

Direct access buttons to the following features:

  • Manage your profile
  • Connect to a wireless network
  • Customise your settings
  • Access to the included wizard

Security Settings

Connection Manager manages standard security parameters (SSID, WEP & WPA code) and will help you access a higher security level:

  • Windows XP Firewall Management
  • Third Party VPN Support

Requirements

Version 2.03
Platform Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit,

With Microsoft Windows XP :

  • Pentium III 600 MHz
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 10 MB available hard disk space
  • Service Pack 2 or higher

With Microsoft Vista :

  • Pentium IV 2 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 10 MB available hard disk space

Compatible networks :

  • WiFi ® : 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g (*)
  • Ethernet LAN
  • PSTN
  • ISDN

* compatible with major brands of Wi-Fi cards using WEP or WPA protocol to authenticate. We recommend using the latest firmware and driver version from hardware vendor.

.: Download

Microsoft has officially released beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8 and is available in a number of languages. Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is available for the following languages: English, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese. In addition, Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is available for the following operating systems:

Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows Vista x64
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 x64

One of the most talked about new features is InPrivate Browsing, which enables you to browse the web without saving your history with Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate Browsing. Now you can shop for that special gift with confidence knowing your family won’t accidentally find out or use a shared computer without leaving a trace. Learn More.

Finally, please look for more information regarding Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 during the week, more specifically, I will be publishing my full review of the updated browser tomorrow. Also be on the look out for our exclusive screenshot gallery.

Download: Internet Explore 8 Beta 2