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News from the “e” world

Secure Windows Login

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 15, 2008

Some viruses and spyware can hijack your Windows login screen. To ensure that you are getting the authentic Windows login screen, you should enable Secure Login. It requires users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to login.

  • Press the Windows button and type netplwiz
  • Click on the Advanced tab
  • Check the “Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete” check box
  • Click OK

Posted in Security | Leave a Comment »

Mineral Oil Cooled Computer?

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

Yes, ladies and gentlemen! It certainly is possible. The proof is here:

People have asked me about submersing hard drives. The answer is yes, you can. Mineral oil does not conduct electricity which would be the only problem in submersing them since hard drives are hermetically sealed.

[Source]

Posted in Computer Tweaks | 1 Comment »

Enable support for 4GB of RAM (or more) in Vista 32-bit

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

On a computer that has 4 GB of RAM, the System Properties dialog box and the System Information dialog box may report less memory than you expect. This problem occurs because the address space is limited to 4 GB in a 32-bit hardware environment. Memory may be relocated to make room for addresses that the basic input/output system (BIOS) reserves for hardware. However, because of this limitation, Windows Vista cannot access memory that is relocated above the 4 GB boundary.

Solution: Open an elevated Command Prompt, type BCDEdit /set pae ForceEnable and press Enter.

The pae parameter enables Physical Address Extension (PAE). On 32-bit versions of Windows, PAE is disabled by default. PAE is an addressing strategy that uses a page-translation hierarchy to enable systems with 32-bit addressing to address more than 4 GB of physical memory. PAE also supports several advanced system and processor features, such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP; “No execute”), Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA), and hot-add memory, so it is also used on computers with less than 4 GB of memory. PAE must be supported by the processor.

On a computer that supports hardware-enabled Data Execution Prevention (DEP), PAE is automatically enabled when DEP is enabled and automatically disabled when you disable DEP. To enable PAE when DEP is disabled, you must enable PAE explicitly: Open an elevated Command Prompt.
Type BCDEdit /set nx AlwaysOff & BCDEdit /set pae ForceEnable and press Enter.

Info & Sources:
Memory Limits for Windows Releases
Windows Vista may report less memory than you expect
Boot Parameters to Configure DEP and PAE
BCDEdit /set Parameters

Posted in Tips | Leave a Comment »

Vista Shell Commands

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

The shell: command can be used to open a special folder directly from the Start, Search menu. For example, the command shell:SendTo opens the SendTo folder (%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo). To launch the Documents folder of your User Profile, you’d type shell:Personal. Below is a complete shell: commands listing for Windows Vista. The entire listing is stored in the following registry key in Windows Vista:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
\CurrentVersion\explorer\FolderDescriptions]

shell: commands for Windows Vista:
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder – shell:Administrative Tools – shell:AppData – shell:AppUpdatesFolder – shell:Cache – shell:CD Burning – shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder – shell:Common Administrative Tools – shell:Common AppData – shell:Common Desktop – shell:Common Documents – shell:Common Programs – shell:Common Start Menu – shell:Common Startup – shell:Common Templates – shell:CommonDownloads – shell:CommonMusic – shell:CommonPictures – shell:CommonVideo – shell:ConflictFolder – shell:ConnectionsFolder – shell:Contacts – shell:ControlPanelFolder – shell:Cookies – shell:CredentialManager – shell:CryptoKeys – shell:CSCFolder – shell:Default Gadgets – shell:Desktop – shell:Downloads – shell:DpapiKeys – shell:Favorites – shell:Fonts – shell:Gadgets – shell:Games – shell:GameTasks – shell:History – shell:InternetFolder – shell:Links – shell:Local AppData – shell:LocalAppDataLow – shell:LocalizedResourcesDir – shell:MAPIFolder – shell:My Music – shell:My Pictures – shell:My Video – shell:MyComputerFolder – shell:NetHood – shell:NetworkPlacesFolder – shell:OEM Links – shell:Original Images – shell:Personal – shell:PhotoAlbums – shell:Playlists – shell:PrintersFolder – shell:PrintHood – shell:Profile – shell:ProgramFiles – shell:ProgramFilesCommon – shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 – shell:ProgramFilesX86 – shell:Programs – shell:Public – shell:PublicGameTasks – shell:Quick Launch – shell:Recent – shell:RecycleBinFolder – shell:ResourceDir – shell:SampleMusic – shell:SamplePictures – shell:SamplePlaylists – shell:SampleVideos – shell:SavedGames – shell:Searches – shell:SearchHomeFolder – shell:SendTo – shell:Start Menu – shell:Startup – shell:SyncCenterFolder – shell:SyncResultsFolder – shell:SyncSetupFolder – shell:System – shell:SystemCertificates – shell:SystemX86 – shell:Templates – shell:TreePropertiesFolder – shell:UserProfiles – shell:UsersFilesFolder – shell:Windows

[Source]

Posted in Tips | Leave a Comment »

Enable Advanced Disk Performance

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

Enable Advanced Disk Performance

When enabled, the hard disk drive operates in write-back cache mode, in which all the data that gets written to the drive is first stored in the cache, and then later written to the disk. Both writes and reads are cached in this case. When disabled, the HDD operates in write-through cache mode, in which all data that gets written to the drive is immediately written to the disks and also stored in the cache. Writes are not cached, but reads are.

Note: This setting is recommended only for disks with a backup power supply, it further improves disk performance, but it also increases the risk of data loss if the disk loses power.

Open Device Manager, expand Disk drives, right-click on a Disk drive, click Properties, click the Policies tab, select the Enable advanced performance check box, and then click OK.

Posted in Performance | Leave a Comment »

Keyboard Shortcuts for Vista

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

Ctrl+Shift+Esc -> Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del -> Tasks Screen)
Ctrl+Shift+Enter -> Run an executable with elevated privileges
Windows logo key+1-0 -> Launch the shortcuts on the Quick Launch toolbar
Windows logo key+T -> Cycle through programs on the taskbar
Windows logo key+Tab -> Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Flip 3-D
Ctrl+Windows logo key+Tab -> Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Flip 3-D
Windows logo key+Spacebar -> Bring all gadgets to the front and select Windows Sidebar
Windows logo key+G -> Cycle through Sidebar gadgets
Windows logo key+X -> Open Windows Mobility Center
Open a folder and press & release Alt -> Show Menu Bar (also works in Internet Explorer)

Full list of keyboard shortcuts in Vista
Internet Explorer 7 Quick Reference Sheet
Windows Mail keyboard shortcuts

Posted in Vista Tweaks | Leave a Comment »

Updated Vista SP1 Release Candidate 1 Build – Released!!

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 13, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC Refresh is available to Beta testers through Windows Update. Experience the WU installation path for Windows Vista SP1 by following these simple steps and give us your feedback to improve our quality.
Download Link

Before You Install

  • You must uninstall any previous versions of Windows Vista SP1 before installing Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh
    To uninstall previous version of Windows Vista SP1

    1. Open the Programs and Features control panel and select View installed updates. In the Microsoft Windows section, right-click Service Pack for Windows (936330) and select Uninstall.
    2. Your system will now uninstall the previous version of Windows Vista SP1 Beta and may reboot multiple times.
    3. Please wait one hour after uninstalling a previous version of Windows Vista SP1 before installing Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh. The installer service needs to clean up and complete the uninstall prior to installing the RC. Failing to do this can result in installation errors when installing the RC version.
  • Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh is pre-release software and will change before the final release. Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh is for individuals, organizations, and technical enthusiasts who are comfortable evaluating pre-release software and is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you have a backup of your data prior to installing any pre-release software.
  • Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh is time-limited software.
    Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date. After installation your desktop will show the text “Evaluation Copy”. This does not mean that your system is no longer genuine but that you have installed a test version of software which is time-limited. The “Evaluation Copy” text will appear on your desktop after the second reboot after installing the service pack. Likewise, the “Evaluation Copy” text will remain on your desktop during the first reboot after uninstall the service pack, but will disappear after the next reboot.
  • If you install Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh it is strongly recommended that you install the final version of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released. To do this, you will be required to uninstall this RC version of Windows Vista SP1.
  • Assisted support (phone, email and online chat) is not available from Microsoft Help and Support for this RC release of Windows Vista SP1. Self-help and peer support is available through the Windows Vista SP1 forum.
  • You must have a genuine copy of Windows Vista installed prior to installing Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh.

The Windows Update Experience

Systems running on Windows Vista RTM typically require two or three updates before SP1 can be installed. These updates are permanent on your Windows Vista systems. Windows Update will detect your system configuration and offer the prerequisite packages that are applicable to your system. Based on the state of your system, Windows Update will offer you all the applicable prerequisite packages and SP1 in a sequential order. For details, please see the instructions below.

The prerequisite updates consist of two updates which service specific Windows components prior to the installation of the service pack and a third update which services the installation software built into Windows Vista. The following are the prerequisite updates.

  • KB935509 This updates is only required on Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate editions (which have Bitlocker capabilities). This update is required prior to installing KB938371, the second prerequisite update and is required to prevent potential loss of data on Bitlocker encrypted systems during updating.
  • KB938371 This update consists of fixes for several components (including the TrustedInstaller), increases the success rate for installing the service pack and enables the service pack to be uninstalled successfully.
  • KB937287 This is an update to the “Servicing Stack” or the Windows Vista component installer technologies built into Windows Vista. This update enables the built-in installer to properly and successfully install the service pack.

Installing the Service Pack
There are two ways to install the service pack, first, as a pop-up notification that the service pack is ready to be installed (this is the method in which most users will install the service pack) and using multiple manual installations from Windows Update. The first method is the simplest, but may take up to four days for the Windows Update Automatic Update feature to deliver each of the 3 prerequisites and the service pack. Windows Vista SP1 distributed through Windows Update will be applicable to Windows Vista machines that are running on any of the 36 languages supported by Windows Vista RTM.

Method 1: Automatic Update
You can install Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh using the Automatic Update process by following these steps.

  1. Save the included RCRefreshSP1betaprogramsRK.cmd script to your machine.
  2. Right-click on the script and select Run as administrator. The script will set a registry key on your machine that allows Windows Update to offer Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh to your machine.
  3. From the Windows Update control panel, select Change settings.
  4. Verify that Install updates automatically (recommended) is selected. This enables the Automatic Update feature to download and install the prerequisite updates and service pack automatically.
  5. Windows Update Automatic Update will automatically update your machine over the next several days with the prerequisites updates. When the service pack has downloaded a pop-up notification will inform you that updates are ready to be installed. You must click on this notification and choose to install the service pack at this point. The service pack will not silently or automatically install itself.

Method 2: Manual Installation using Windows Update
To intall Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh as quickly as possible, follow the steps below.

  1. Save the included RCRefreshSP1betaprogramsRK.cmd script to your machine.
  2. Right-click on the script and select Run as administrator. The script will set a registry key on your machine that allows Windows Update to offer Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh to your machine.
  3. Windows Update Automatic Update will automatically update your machine over the next several days with the prerequisites updates provided you have the Windows Update Automatic Update feature enabled. When the service pack has downloaded a pop-up notification will inform you that updates are ready to be installed. You must click on this notification and choose to install the service pack at this point. The service pack will not silently or automatically install itself.
  4. To manually install the service pack, start by installing all Important updates applicable to your system and the prerequisite updates. You may have to repeat this several times to fully update your system by opening the Windows Update control panel and selecting Check for updates. Note: If your system is managed by a administrator and has a Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) server for updates, you need to use the Check online for updates option of the Windows Update control panel. If this option is not available, your administrator may have disabled this functionality.
  5. If you have Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Enterprise, Update for Windows Vista (KB935509) should be in this list. If you have any other version, Update for Windows Vista (KB938371) should be in this list. Install these updates and reboot your machine when prompted.
  6. If you do not have Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Enterprise Update for Windows Vista (KB938371) should be in the list first and Update for Windows Vista (KB935509) is not required. Note: If you reboot and immediately check for updates you may not see all updates. This may be caused by the installer service completing the installation of the prior update. Please wait 5-10 minutes and check for updates again.
  7. Install Update for Windows Vista (KB937287). Update for Windows Vista (KB937287) does not require a reboot.
  8. Wait for 10-15 minutes before checking for updates again to enable the installer to complete its installation.
  9. Check for updates again and install Service Pack for Windows (KB936330).

Posted in Downloads, Tech News | Leave a Comment »

The Beginning

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 13, 2008

Welcome to eVBin!
This is the “e” age where everything is either digital or will become digital in the future. What I will be posting here is simply new about everything in the electronic world. This can include everything from how to modify your home toaster to the latest info regarding setting up a moon base. Be advised that everything here at eVBin should be taken with a grain of salt. Unless quoted or otherwise noted, the opinions posted here belong to the poster and no one else. This includes comments.

I certainly don’t know where this road will take us but you can be sure there will be lots of bumps and hiccups along the way! 😛

Posted in Site Comment | Leave a Comment »