Anti-Virus Software, That’s Free!

I am probably the last Microsoft blogger to actually get round to writing something about this… but hey, I have been busy! Microsoft recently released to the public their free anti-virus solution, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).  I had been trialling the beta versions for a few months on a Windows 7 computer and I was…


Kicking the tyres

Want to try out Windows Server 2008?  Or perhaps Exchange Server 2007?  You can download complete virtual machine environments for a whole list of Microsoft products, free of charge.  Check out the Test Drive program here: for more information and the download links. The best thing about it is that you can download an…


Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista (SP2) has been a hot topic recently.  While Microsoft has not released an immense amount of information regarding this upcoming important update, some interesting stuff has appeared (here and here, for example). As normal, the service pack will include all previously released updates since service pack 1 (SP1) was…


Self-healing NTFS

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 contain an often overlooked feature called NTFS Self-Healing.  In a nutshell, it is basically an improvement to the NTFS system whereby Windows will detect a file system error and automatically fix it on-the-fly.  All this is performed in the background without anyone actually noticing that it happened, unless you…


Decorating Windows Explorer

This is a tip that someone recently showed me that I really liked.  It allows you to display in Windows Vista (I haven’t tried it on any other Windows OS) a unique background image in Windows Explorer for each drive (internal or external) that you have in your computer.  This is particularly useful if you…


Windows Vista, please can you stop changing the view of my folders without asking me?

Something that really bugs me with Windows Vista is that it ‘decides’ all by itself what view you want for your folders in Windows Explorer; and it seems to always get it wrong (as least for me anyway).  As you can seen in the the picture below, I have 5 files in a folder but…


VMWare working great on my computer

I was at a conference a while ago and got talking to someone about virtualisation.  When the guy found out that I worked at Microsoft he gave me a VMWare ESX Server 3i VMVisor USB Flash Disk to try out, telling me that it was the best thing on the market and that I would…


Hyper-V on the side

I noticed today that someone has written a new cool gadget for the Windows Sidebar that lets you display what multiple Hyper-V servers are doing, all from your workstation.  Double clicking on a server will also allow you to connect straight to it. You can get the gadget, and more info about it, here:


Getting my bits in a twist

This week I installed a new Windows Vista virtual machine in Hyper-V.  I installed the OS, added it to the domain, then realised that I had not added the integration services for the guest OS.  Launching the install for them gave me the following error message which I had not seen before. As far as…


Uninstalling the uninstall

Windows Vista is a pretty big install, and then when you add to it the install of Service Pack 1, it becomes even bigger.  So, once you have been running Service Pack 1 for a while, you can safely remove the uninstall files for the Service Pack.  Doing so should save you around 1Gb of…