Full of I.T.

Kevin Remde's IT Pro WebLog

Best of Questions and Answers from Webcast: Windows Vista Built-In Diagnostics (July 17, 2006)

Happy Webcast ViewerBest of Webcast Q&A:
Windows Vista Built-In Diagnostics

Below I’ve pasted an edited and cleaned up copy of most of the Q&A from today’s webcast on “Windows Vista Built-In Diagnostics” (July 17, 2006). 

I need to send out a BIG thank you to David Zipkin, Shawn Travers, and Michael J. Murphy for handling the Q&A on the backend, and who’s work this really represents.


Questions and Answers:

“Is there a CompletePC backup tool?”

Yes, it is built into Windows Vista.


“Does VISTA provide a complete BLUETOOTH stack and profiles for popular devices like Headsets, GPS, phone connections, and PDA sync and are there diagnostic tools for correcting Bluetooth problems?”

Yes. More info at:


“Can you install the Recovery Console on the Beta?”

You can boot from the beta DVD and find it there.  That’s just what I did in my demo.


“What is CompletePC?”

 “CompletePC Backup” is a tool that is included in Windows Vista.  It is a disk image backup and restore solution.  You can think of it as being similar to Ghost – however it is actually a file-based (rather than sector-based) backup. 


“That seems to only allow me to run the tools I would like them permemantly installed.”

If you have access to the full Vista bits (via a program like MSDN or TAP), you can install the OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit) and add a second partition as a recovery partition.  I don’t think it’s been decided yet which or how many of these tools will be available to everyone or just to System Builders and OEMs.


“Is WinRE built into all skus?

Yes, WinRE works with all skus. Whether it is included as a separate recovery partition is dependent on whether it is included by the OEM or on the corporate image.


“Can the Vista recovery tools be installed on a system instead of having to rely on the DVD?”

Yes, many OEMs and enterprises will choose to deploy this way.


“Is there a hidden partition that holds the memory tools?”

No, it’s kept in the system32 folder. You can run it anytime. It is named MdSched.exe, and it’s found in the %SystemRoot%System32 directory. You’ll get the usual User Account Control (UAC) prompt when you try to run it, so it is protected by administrator level credentials.


“Is there a system partition that retains a backup image?”

It depends upon how you’ve configured the installation. It is a recommended best practice for most environments to keep a system partition with a clean image, but that won’t happen by default. You’d want to create it from your original install.


 “Is USMT in Vista?”

More information on the USMT can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/deploy/migusmt.mspx


“What is the URL for archived TechNet web casts?”



“However, after reboot, where is the mdsched.exe run from? Is there a special boot partition?”

I believe it is run from it’s location in system32/, but early in the boot process.


“Any more technical documentation on Vista’s firewall available?”



“Where is the Advanced Sec option of Win Firewall”

It’s available as a snap-in. So you could create it as a new MMC and save it for later use, or you could use it as found under Administrative Tools. 

The confusion is that “Windows Firewall” is found in the Control Panel, and looks and acts very much like the Windows Firewall configuration in Windows XP SP2.  “Windows Firewall Advanced Security” is found under Control Panel -> Administrative Tools.


“Can Windows Vista restore a full backup to a different size HD?”

Currently the limitation is that you can restore CompletePC backup to a disk that is the same size or bigger only.


“Will there be a Vista Resource Kit?”

Yes, it’s underway.

Here is my blog resource page for this session again: