IE7 – Introducing the Phishing Filter

Before looking at the new Phishing Filter for IE7 and what it does, it is important to understand what Phishing is, and some common Phishing techniques. Phishing is a criminal activity.  Using social engineering techniques, phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information – such as usernames, passwords, credit card details and bank account information by… Read more

Memory Management – Understanding Pool Resources

Following up on our Memory Management 101 post, we’re moving on to a discussion of Pool Resources and Pool Resource Depletion.  First of all – what are Pool Resources?  When a machine boots up, the Memory Manager creates two dynamically sized memory pools that kernel-mode components use to allocate system memory. These two pools are… Read more

DST 2007 is almost here – are you ready?

With the upcoming Daylight Saving Time change and the associated patch that will configure Windows to make the change on the morning of March 11th, we have had quite a few calls regarding the DST patches and how to test Windows to ensure the patch is working.  The method used to test DST has not changed… Read more

Memory Management 101

Memory Management issues make up a considerable portion of the support incidents that we handle.  At some point during the support incident we invariably engage in a discussion of Memory Management, Memory Tuning, the use of the infamous /3GB switch and more.  There’s far too much information to compress into a single blog post, so think of this as the first part in a series. … Read more

The Basics of UAC

One of the new features of Windows Vista that has caused a little bit of confusion is User Account Control (aka UAC).  Ever since the days of Windows NT 3.1, user rights have been a bit of an all or nothing proposition.  Users were divided into Standard Users, or Administrators.  The Power Users group, which sought to… Read more

Processes with High Virtual Memory at Startup?

We’ve had some customers this week who have run into issues with multiple processes consuming large amounts of memory at startup.  One extreme case had every process using anywhere from 500MB to over 1GB per process!  Think about Notepad.exe taking up 500MB of memory after a restart … scary, isn’t it?  Obviously there are issues… Read more

Teach me what you know!

 One of the questions customers frequently ask us is “Where can I learn all this stuff?” A great deal of our knowledge comes from practical experience and exposure to a wide array of issues. Think of it in these terms – an IT Administrator may only have one or two environments (or areas within an… Read more

Network Stored PST files … don’t do it!

At least once a week, someone on the Performance team will get a customer call concerning hangs or resource depletion on their file server.  The file server in question is used for user home folder storage and users are accessing Outlook Personal Storage (.pst) files stored on the server from their client.  The issue will manifest… Read more

Blocking Internet Explorer 7 Installations

  One of the more common questions IT Admins and Managers ask us when they call in is “How do we prevent IE7 from installing on our client machines?”  Although it seems like a fairly straightforward question there are several scenarios to consider: Scenario 1: If a user gets the update from Windows Update through an Automatic… Read more

Preparing to Troubleshoot – Part One

A very common question that we are asked is, “What kind of data can I gather before I talk to a Support Engineer at Microsoft?”  In all honesty, there is no single right answer – especially where the Performance team is concerned!  It all depends on the issue.  However, that’s not to say that you… Read more