Microsoft’s Message Analyzer enables you to capture, display, and analyze network traffic. This software even allows payload rendering in order to see pictures and other data.
The Microsoft Update may show that your computer is up-to-date but you may be able to improve system stability and performance with these 90 updates for Windows 7 and Server 2008 with a hotfix that was released earlier in 2013.
This enterprise hotfix fix WebDAV, DFSN client, Folder Redirection, Offline Files and Folders, SMB client, Redirected Drive Buffering Subsystem, Multiple UNC Provider, SMB Service, TCP protocol components (Network Performance), processing of Group Policies, Group Policy preferences, helps to reduce network load and domain load, WMI and more.
Information on the hotfix is here - (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2775511/en-us)
Where do you get the hotfix? The hotfix can be downloaded here. You MUST use Internet Explorer to apply the hotfix. The hotfix from the Windows Update Catalog requires you to install components to download the files of your choice.
After downloading the update, you will need to double click the installation file and after the hotfix is applied, you must restart your computer.
The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit which is also known as EMET is designed to assist IT Pros with securing their systems. EMET helps to block hackers from accessing systems. EMET helps to block common attacks and enables IT personnel to manage security.
An excellent review of EMET.
Microsoft Download and Blog on EMET
One of the hardest computer related tasks for new IT people to learn is looking for drivers.
- If the computer is a brand name, try the manufacturers website first. Remember, many vendors use a service tag or serial number to identify the computer. If you can enter this tag, you will find the exact drivers intended for your computer. Download your operating systems drivers. Often Windows Vista drivers can be used for Windows 7. Try to research before building a computer and see which vendor offers updates over a period of time (one or more years of support). These vendors are vendors who care and want you to have a good experience with their hardware. Recently we flashed a BIOS for our computers and the vendor had offered hexacore processor support for a two year old motherboard. Truly a vendor who cares.
- Know the components in your computer – use software to identify them – use the internet to download drivers based on the components in your computer
- Drivers can be downloaded in two packages
- Zipped – the driver is downloaded and the files needed to make the hardware work are compressed. Unzip (extract) these files. Use either the setup.exe program to install or go to the device manager and select update driver and ‘point’ to the downloaded driver if a setup option is not available
- Self Extracting – the driver is downloaded in a setup file that extracts and runs through a setup process
It’s hard to beat Rick over at Whats On My PC. He is always finding some of the best tools you can use to keep your computer running like new. With IOBit’s Portable Free PC Repair ToolBox, this all in wonder tool can help you perform many tasks that usually takes many tools working together to thoroughly analyze and clean your computer. In its beta stage, this tool is worth looking at.
Some of the features -
More than 20 tools in a portable app that allows you
- Process viewer
- Disk viewer
- Disk Cleaner
- Registry Cleaner
- Windows Analyzer that allows you to repair minor problems
- Security Analyzer
- Optimizes Memory
- and more..
Rick’s excellent review shows how this Toolbox can be used with your computer. At 14 mb (29 mb unzipped), this tool easily fits on your flash drive.
This excellent post comes from MakeUseOf.
“Did You Know Windows 8 Has a Built-In Time Machine Backup?”
“We sometimes forget with all the focus on Windows 8′s new “Modern” interface, but Windows 8 has a variety of great desktop improvements. One of them is File History, a built-in backup feature that functions similarly to Apple’s much-loved Time Machine. Enable the Windows 8 “time machine” File History, and Windows will automatically back up your files to an external or network drive.” Read More
Windows 8 is out and laptops are flying out of retail businesses. End users are complaining about navigating in Windows 8. It is really easy. Truly designed for touchscreens and tablets, Windows 8 menus are in the corners and on the side. Here is a basic setup of Windows 8 in VMWare and a few shortcut clues. Think of Windows 8 as two operating systems. Think of the applications on the front as one OS and the desktop as a super performing Windows 7.
Remember you can find your programs on the application front or in your programs under Windows 8.
You should find Windows 8 very smooth and reliable. Here’s our performance ratings -
——————————–Windows 7 Windows 8 in VMPlayer
Boot Time 38 secs 19 secs
Shutdown 17 secs 10 secs
200 MB file copy 14 secs 13 secs
(See the PCWorld article on “Windows 7 to Windows 8: The system’s biggest improvements”.
Remember you can get alternate menus if you don’t like touching the corners with your mouse. (Menus mentioned on Whats On My PC - Thanks Rick and any sources credited in his article.) There will always be updates and changes to operating systems.
To say Windows 8 is a disaster before truly using the operating system usually comes from people who don’t like change or who have not given the operating system time to mature. Yes, they need a desktop version and a tablet version. An easier to use menu should be available for end users.
There were huge changes from DOS to Windows 95 and we have came a long way as far as usability, performance and with communication. If you are fragile to change, use the menus above. You’ll find the operating system to be one of the fastest and most reliable on the market. Do some research on Windows 8 and you will find articles that appear to be biased, negative and against the changes Microsoft has made. Read the comments on the articles and you will find many end users who love Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform. It has always been this way.
If I go back 20+ years and look at menus and usability of operating systems, I’ve just about seen it all as far as change goes. If we wrote articles on stepping back in time, we’d find the flaws with every operating system and wonder how we got where we’re at today. However, at the time, it was all state of the art and it is a fun ride.
Technology is changing daily. Download VMPlayer or VirtualBox and use them all. I love the differences in the operating systems that are on the market.
For this installation, I installed the OS into VMPlayer. (See our article on Windows 7 Installation in VMPlayer)
The initial screen shows the new Windows logo during the boot-up process. You will experience a two to three minute delay depending on your memory CPU, Hard Drive and memory (resources). On this VMPlayer, I used 2 GB of RAM and 30 GB of hard drive space.
The installation has a period of time that it will appear that your computer is doing nothing. The files are being installed to your computer at this time.
After 3-5 minutes (depending on your computer’s resources) you will see an installation that looks like Windows 7.
Once the installation has unpacked files and begins the installation, the computer will reboot and you will be greeted by the Windows Logo and a “Getting Ready” message.
An unfamiliar ‘Hi’ message will appear and messages will begin to appear including how to find menus. Microsoft will alert you to where the menus are. (They are on the sides and corners.)
Although you will receive a message to Swipe in from any edge, this is for touchscreens and tablets.
If you are using on a desktop, simply move your mouse into any corner of your screen and hesitate just for a second or two. A menu will appear.
Be patient during this time, the desktop information and Windows is still loading.
Once your computer is ready, you will be brought to your application or login screen. If you have the login screen click and drag the mouse upwards will reveal the login.
Because I used VMPlayer, the VMWare tools are installed after my installation.
Below is the login wallpaper that you will see that appears over the login. Click and drag your mouse upwards.
The login screen.
If you want to see your documents, libraries, computer, recycle bin, network and control panel (desktop icons), simply right click the desktop and select personalize. (The desktop app is on the application screen if you landed there.)
Moving your mouse to the lower left corner where your Start Button or Windows Orb was before will present you with a application menu. You can right click this menu to access Program and Features, Power Options, the Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompts (regular and Administrator), the new Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer (navigation through your files – this is new and easy to use), Search and Run (to run a program by typing in the command).
In order to register Windows 8, I use the command line which never fails if you have a network connection.
Open a command prompt as an Administrator and type - slmgr.vbs -ipk ‘Product key – 25 alphanumberic characters’
The right menu allows you to Search, Share, go to the Application Menu (Start) Device and Settings. To access this menu, move your mouse to the right side of the screen and hesitate just for a moment.
The PC Settings found in the menu allow you to customize the look and feel of Windows 8. You can also adjust Notifications, manage users, use the search function, Share and use other PC settings.
Below is the Search function found in Windows 8.
Windows Explorer now offers a view that gives several dozen options.
The new menu can add things such as quick launch menus by right clicking and adding this feature in explorer.
The control panel has all of the options of Windows 7 and a few extra features.
The Task Manager offers a very detailed view of Processes, Performance (shows your CPU, Memory, Network and Hard Driver Performance).
The system information contains familiar menus found in Windows 7.
The Advanced Tools which are found in Windows 7 are also in Windows 8. Users do not utilize these tools like they should.
Disk Cleanup in Windows 8 is the familiar Windows Disk Cleanup. You can download your favorite utilities on Windows 8.
Here I am installing CCleaner from Piriform. An excellent cleanup utility that can be used on Windows or (new) Apple.
Internet Explorer 10 which is really fast and stable can be used with your new installation or you can install your favorite browser. Below, you’ll see I installed Chrome.
Under the settings (right menu – from above), you can also manage Applications.
Once you get Windows 8 installed and tweaked like you want it, you can also use the Storage Spaces (if you have multiple hard drives) to make your computer even more reliable to use. See the PCWorld article “How to master Storage Spaces in Windows 8″.
If you want to restart or power down, click the menu in the lower left corner. Then click on your user and select Sign out.
You can then hit the Power button on the lower right corner.
The golden question is should you upgrade when Windows 7 does basically the same things? This could be the reason PC sales are down. But with the Windows 8 Pro tablet coming out, the OS will find its place in technology.
PCWorld’s “Why you should upgrade to Windows 8″
As this year comes to a close, take a look at Rick’s Bookmarks4Techs site. A comprehensive list of nearly 500 blogs. This list is a valuable resource for anyone in today’s world who enjoys technology.
Just a few of the blogs -
Bill Mullins Tech Thoughts Daily News – A great site that has the latest news, terminology and freeware along with how-to articles, reviews and other great information.
Whats On My PC – Reviews, articles, portable-cloud-software apps and tons more.
Have you ever noticed the small ‘System Reserved’ partition in Windows 7 under disk management? This small partition is new in Windows 7 and has a couple of functions.
- It holds Boot Manager code and the Boot Configuration Database
- It reserves space for start-up files that are needed in BitLocker Drive Encryption. If you decide to encrypt your system drive using BitLocker, it will use this partition on to make encryption possible.
Here’s a utility to help you install updates from the command line. We have had success with this when the GUI failed.
Usage (First unzip the download to a folder)
At the command line in the folder (use cd\yourfolder when at the command line)
Type wuinstall /search to find updates (See the documentation for filtering updates and downloads)
Once you find your updates, use wuinstall /download to download the files
Here’s a few tips we use when optimizing and troubleshooting computers and mobile devices on our network. Remember Windows 8 is a different operating system and Windows Surface tablets can be a true productivity tool.
Jumbo Frames – What are they? How can they help in the Enterprise?
In a gigabit network, you should enable jumbo frames and tweak the jumbo frame settings on your nic so that large files can transfer at greater speeds. In a packet of data, the header will remain the same but the payload size will increase. You should do this if you have gigabit switches and gigabit cards in place. Normally network cards will allow for tweaks of the Jumbo frame by several MTUs. With gigabit switches in place, the receiving switches may be 10/100 and the computer on the other end will not see a great benefit from this. However if you have cards in computers that are connected to a switch (1000 mbps/1 Gbps) and a NAS that supports Jumbo frames, the data transfer from these computers (normally a Server) will benefit from this tweak.
Ideally you would want your entire network on gigabit. In today’s economy, many if not most networks are a hybrid (a mixture of 1000 or 100 mbps) nodes (printers, computers, switches). There’s only one way to find out about performance. Transfer a large file (ISO or several megabytes) and time it slowly tweaking the MTU settings under the network card’s property.
Windows 8 in a domain environment
Windows 8 is here. This article is an older article that we posted months back. Can mobile computing be controlled by domains? Part of the security nightmare is the fact that mobile computers cannot be controlled or there is very little control. We used a domain setup on a computer and here’s how we joined Windows 8 to a domain with a roaming profile.
The steps are the exact same as with any Windows operating system when joining to a domain. IT personnel use the desktop feature on the Windows 8 tablet to change into the desktop view of Windows 8. There the user follows the same steps as they would with Windows 7 when joining a domain.
The above picture shows how Windows 8 has been joined to a Windows domain.
The above screen (right half) shows the PTR record of the Windows 8 tablet as it appears in a DNS record. The picture to the left is of a Windows 8 roaming desktop on Windows 8. (This picture also shows how the roaming profile ‘pulled’ the programs and desktop to the desktop of the roaming tablet.
The picture to the immediate right shows the folder with the desktop information vs. the information in the left screen.
See our review of Windows 8 (older article) and see how you can run 90% of your programs, virtualize other operating systems, use your network and more.
Slow SQL Connection
If you have a connection to Microsoft’s SQL, there are several things you can try if response times seem slow-
Disable auto tuning level of the TCP. Please follow below steps:
1) Open command Prompt with admin right (Run as Admin)
2) Type “netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled”
3) After running above command restart the machine.
You can also try this next tip which seems to work best ~
Finally found a small problem with Windows 7. After upgrading, we have discovered that Windows 7 was responding slow to our SQL Server 2005. What we discovered is below.
Slow response times in Windows 7 to a SQL Server can be due to the LLMNR protocol. This may be resolved by turning off the LLMNR protocol.
LLMNR is a protocol that allows both IPv6/4 computers to perform name resolution for the NetBIOS names of other computers without requiring a DNS server.
IPv4 hosts can use NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) to resolve computer names to IPv4 addresses for neighboring computers by broadcasting a NetBIOS Query.
All IPv4-based LLMNR hosts listen on the IPv4 multicast address 126.96.36.199 instruct their Ethernet network adapters to listen for Ethernet frames with a destination multicast address.
Windows Vista and 7-based LLMNR computers do not send or respond to unicast queries.
To disable LLMNR:
Modify Group Policy – Go to Search – Type GPEdit.msc – Enter – Navigate to the following and make sure Enabled is checked -
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\DNS Client
\Turn off Multicast Name Resolution = Enabled
How does Multicasting Work? Here’s a good explanation
Dawn M. Babian, GSAE
Disabling LLMNR (Below)
Professional or Enterprise (Gpedit.msc)
Create a registry key as follows -
You also should go to your network adapter properties and disable all of the settings under the advanced properties such as TCP/Offload and other advanced settings. Remember, not all adapters have advanced options – disable any settings that allow you to do so….
Odd Network connectivity or no connectivity
- Click Start Menu, type cmd in the search box or run box ( Hold down Ctrl + Shift and hit Enter)Type the following commands, each followed by pressing enter.
- ipconfig /flushdns
- nbtstat -R
- nbtstat -RR
- netsh int reset all
- netsh int ipv4 reset
- netsh winsock reset catalog
After rebooting, run a command prompt as an administrator and type:
- netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
- Red X on the network icon (by time on taskbar)
- Still able to go to the internet
Click “Start or orb”
Run or Search box
type “dcomcnfg” and hit enter
Find: Component Services-Computers-My Computer-DCOM Config-netprofm
Right click “netprofm”
Click on “Properties” select “Security”
Navigate to “Launch and Activation Permissions” section changed to “Customize”
Click “Add..” Type “LOCAL SERVICE” as the object names then click “OK”
In “Permissions for LOCAL SERVICE”, select “Allow” for “Local Launch” and “Local Activition” Click ”OK”, Click “OK”
All of the Windows Services should restart and you should be able to join domains, have the icon repaired and be able to perform all network tasks.
Other common problems may be-missing Network Adapters under connections
If you have this problem (above) you may need to re-register 3 dlls. Follow these steps. (Error normally found in Windows XP or 7)
Start, Run. cmd.exe
Also make sure Simple TCP/IP is enabled by following these steps:
a. In Control Panel, double-click Add or Remove Programs.
b. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
c. Click Networking Services, and then click Details. Verify that Simple TCP/IP Services is turned on
Slow Network Response
If you have slow or non responsive program properties; such as a database or other network program…Right Click on My Computer, go to Properties, select Hardware, Device Manager, click the + sign on Network, Right Click on your network card, select properties, select the Advanced Tab, Look for Speed – adjust the value to 100 Full Duplex, 100 Half or even select the 10 settings. Try it on each of the settings to see which one is optimal for your network.
When computers handshake (exchange data) autosense does not always work.
I’ve had replaced network cards, ran winsock fix and tried everything when the solution was right in front of me. Don’t let vendors tell you that you need a new computer.
Device connectivity problems with NAS or SANS
You may have devices on your network that you can no longer connect (Vista/Windows 7) to or you may not be able to network to Windows XP (for whatever reason, this works). Actually this changes settings to accept NTLMv1 and NTLMv2 so that you can connect to Samba Servers, Snap Servers, Older Windows Computers or whatever….
1. Go to Run, Type Regedit and open this key:
2. If it doesn’t exist, create a DWORD value named
3. Set the value to 1
Optimizing your computer – Another Opinion
We are often asked how we optimize a netbook, laptop or desktop by many students. If you have completed some of these steps, simply skip them and go to the next item. Here’s our tip sheet -
____ Right click on desktop, enable all desktop icons
____ Right click Computer or in home navigate to users under the control panel, enable the administrator account
____ Set administrator password
____ Change Workgroup to whatever you want
____ Go to Device Manager, double click wireless card and LAN card, click advanced tab, disable all services except radio. Click on power management tab, uncheck “Allow computer to turn off this device to save power. Go to the network and sharing center, click on change adapter settings, hit the ALT key, go to Advanced, go to Advanced Settings, highlight the wireless or LAN network connection and move the one you use the most up.
In the Network and Sharing Center, Go to Change Advanced Sharing Settings, Turn off Media Streaming if you won’t be streaming video or music.
In the Network and Sharing Center, change adapter settings, under the wireless card and LAN card settings, double click TCP/IP 4, click advanced, Click WINS and enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP
____ Go to command prompt as an administrator and enter the following commands to optimize your network:
netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=disabled
netsh int tcp set global chimney=disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal
netsh int tcp set global congestionprovider=ctcp
netsh int tcp set global ecncapability=disabled
netsh int tcp set global timestamps=disabled
Modify LLMNR by doing the following:
Modify Group Policy – Go to Search – Type GPEdit.msc – Enter – Navigate to the following and make sure Enabled is checked – Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\DNS Client
\Turn off Multicast Name Resolution = Enabled
____ Office 2010 – double click on setup – during the setup you should select custom – you should select Microsoft Office and install ALL from my Computer. When installation is complete, you must open one of the Office programs and go file – help and Change Product Key. Paste your key here. Close program and reopen to verify Office is registered and activated.
_____Install Sumatra PDF or Foxit reader instead of adobe reader (unless you use quickbooks) – these readers (uninstall adobe to increase your performance)
____ Navigate to the device manager, double click the hard drive, choose policies, check turn off windows write cache
____ In the device manager, go down to USB, on all USB Root Hubs, go to Power Management tab and uncheck “Allow computer to turn off this device to save power.
____ Go to Power Management under Control Panel, Click Change Advanced Power Management settings, on Hard Disk, set to 120 minutes, Under the Wireless adapter, set power saving mode to Maximum Performance, Sleep After 120 Minutes, Hybrid Sleep – Off, USB Settings should be disabled, PCI Express – Change Link State Power Management to Off, Turn Display Off After – 120.
____ Install Auslogics defrag and go to settings – enable start with Windows and enable minimize on close – enable the auto defrag option
____Download and install CCleaner
____Download and install Malwarebytes
____Download Microsoft Safety Scanner (update every ten days)
____Download Microsoft Security Essentials and install
____Install up to 4 GB of RAM for a 32 bit OS or increase your memory based on your budget for a 64bit computer.
Of course there are tons of freeware available and programs you can use. Solid State Drives (SSDs) are an option and multi-processor computers are an option.
Do you have tips on increasing a computers speed and performance? We’ll publish it here.
Instead of trying to impress everyone with bits, bytes and binary, we’re trying to put these tips in layman terms for young IT professionals (quick start guides).
If you have installed your Teredo drivers and IPv6, you should receive a 2001: IP address on your Tunnel adapter if you do an ipconfig at a command prompt. You can assign your self an ipv6 address based on this scheme if you are behind a router (home wireless or other) That is not IPv6 compliant. How?
Teredo is a protocol that works behind NATed devices – (by the way, NAT is going away…yes going away. Stateful firewalls and the security of IPv6 won’t require NAT anymore after you are 100% compliant)
It breaks down like this. Your router gives you an IPv4 address with its DHCP server. The IPv6 address you want is an IP address a 128 bit address instead of 32 bits. To see newer IPv6 websites, you’ll need Teredo to get you there (both IPv4 and IPv6). So how does an IPv6 address break down?
Prefix – Teredo Server IPv4 – Flags - UDP Port - Your IP address(Teredo Client)
2001:0: 4136:e378: 63bf: 8000: c0a8:0405 <- is 192.168.4.135 (Example)
So the first part doesn’t change (Prefix/Teredo Server/Flags/UDP Port) but where do you get the Teredo Client address?
You can take your ip address (IPv4) and put it into a conversion utility and after the conversion, you but the hex number to where the Teredo Client goes (above).
Is it working after you put it (The ip address) into your network adapter statically?
Note:You won’t need a gateway or DNS in the IPv6 section – however you will need an IPv6 DNS server address that has an IPv4 numbering scheme to put in your router?
WhatIsMyIPv6.com test your 4, 6 or both
test-ipv6.com runs a comprehensive test where you can see results of test
Wireshark IPv6 picture load from IPv4 and IPv6
Test your IPv6 speed to Japan
Arin’s wiki page on IPv6 Troubleshooting
Feel free to use Twitter, Facebook or the links below if this has helped you! Please leave comments and suggestions that will help home users or businesses.
Pssst…need more help? http://www.ipv6actnow.org/
Creating a Roaming Profile
Don’t forget, the fastest hard drive without IPv6 ….check your network info here
Attached are guides on creating a roaming profile with Windows 7 and Server 2008 r2.
(Thanks to Mr. Ledlow for creating these)
Guides are in PDF
Step One Create a User on the Domain
A roaming profile allows the domain user to login and keep their preferences regardless of where they login.
See our review of Windows 8 and see how you can run 90% of your programs, virtualize other operating systems, use your network and more.
Also go and Tweak your wireless!!