The Case of the Missing AutoPlay

 I’ve been presenting talks on Windows Vista kernel changes since TechEd US in the summer of 2006 and one of the features I cover in the session is ReadyBoost, a write-through disk caching technology that can potentially improve system performance by leveraging flash media as a disk cache. I explain ReadyBoost in depth in my…


The Case of the Frozen Clock Gadget

Besides Aero Glass, one of the most visible features of Windows Vista is the Sidebar with its set of default Gadgets, like the clock, RSS feed, and photo viewer. The convenience of having frequently-accessed information on the desktop and the ease of their development has led to the availability of literally thousands of third-party Gadgets…


The Case of the Failed File Copy

The other day a friend of mine called me to tell me that he was having a problem copying pictures to a USB flash drive. He’d been able to copy over two hundred files when he got this error dialog, after which he couldn’t copy any more without getting the same message: Unfortunately, the message,…


Vista Multimedia Playback and Network Throughput

A few weeks ago a poster with the handle dloneranger reported in the 2CPU forums that he experienced reduced network throughput on his Vista system when he played audio or video. Other posters chimed in with similar results, and in the last week attention has been drawn to the behavior by other sites, including Slashdot…


The Case of the Failed File Compression

The other day Bryce tried to use Explorer’s Send To Compressed (zipped) Folder feature, seen below, to package up his latest Process Monitor source code updates to send me. Instead of presenting compression progress dialog followed by an opportunity to edit the name of resulting compressed file, Explorer aborted the compression with this error: Bryce…


The Case of the Unexpected PsList Error

Not long after I deployed Windows Vista on my main desktop system I noticed that a process became unresponsive and appeared to be consuming excessive amounts of CPU. I had a command prompt handy, so I ran PsList to dump detailed information about the process as one of my troubleshooting steps. Instead of reporting apage…


The Case of the Insecure Security Software

A little over a year ago I set out to determine exactly why, prior to Window Vista, the Power Users security group was considered by most to be the equivalent of the Administrators group. I knew the answer lay in the fact that default Windows permissions allow the group to modify specific Registry keys and…


The Case of the Unknown Autostart

A few weeks ago I installed an update to a popular Internet Explorer media-player ActiveX control on one of my systems. I knew from past experience that the plugin’s updates always configure an autostart, (an executable configured to automatically launch during boot, login or with another process) that I don’t believe serves any useful purpose,…


WinHEC, TechEd and MSDRT

I love speaking at conferences. They provide great opportunities to share information, meet interesting people, hear the concerns and desires of people out in the real world, and see things from a different perspective. I’ve actually been remiss posting all my public appearances on Sysinternals. Some of my recent appearances included Microsoft’s TechReady conference in…


Botnets by Email

I make no effort to hide my email address, which means that I know the instant a new email-based virus, phishing attack, or penny-stock-pumping scam launches when my inbox floods. Most such emails are easy to distinguish from legitimate emails because of their lack of personalization, poor grammar, or low-quality images that attempt to foil…