Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get a handful of useful Windows Vista configuration tips and tricks

As you probably know by now, Microsoft Windows 7 is just around the corner with its scheduled release date of October 22, 2009. However, not everyone is going to jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon when it first arrives, and many of you who made the move to Vista will stick with it for a while. Chances are good that you are still on the lookout for some handy tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the operating system.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll share a handful of useful Windows Vista configuration tips and tricks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Determine if your hardware can support Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

One of the most innovative features in Windows 7, from an IT perspective that is, is the new Windows XP Mode. This feature makes it easy to install and run Windows XP applications right from within Windows 7 by way of hardware-based virtualization technology and the new Windows Virtual PC utility — the successor to Microsoft Virtual PC.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll help you cut through all the hype surrounding the hardware requirements for running Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 by describing the procedures that I went through to determine if my hardware would support Windows XP Mode. In future articles, I’ll explain the Windows XP Mode installation procedure and show you in more detail the benefits of running Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.

10 things you should know about Windows XP's System Restore tool

Windows XP’s System Restore lets you restore your computer to a previous time if a problem occurs. To accomplish this feat, System Restore continuously monitors your system looking for significant changes to the operating system, such as an application or driver installation procedure, automatically creating a restore point when it detects an impending change.

System Restore will also create restore points every 24 hours. Restore points are essentially snapshots of your system state, which comprises crucial system files, including certain parts of the registry. System Restore maintains multiple restore points, which gives you the choice of restoring your computer to any number of previously saved states.

Here are 10 things you should know about Windows XP's System Restore tool.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Uncover the performance benefits of the Favorite Links list in Vista

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day asking why Microsoft had done away with the Places Bar in the Save and Open dialog boxes in Windows Vista. I was a bit surprised at first, but I wrote back and explained to my friend that Microsoft had not really done away with the Places Bar in Vista but had replaced it with the Favorite Links list, which essentially has the same functionality as XP’s Places Bar and much more. For example, not only does the Favorite Links list appear in the Save and Open dialog boxes, it also appears in Windows Explorer. Plus, the Favorite Links list is easier to customize than the Places bar.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll delve into the Favorite Links list feature and show you how to take full advantage of it. As I do, I’ll show you how to customize the Favorite Links list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The three-application limit is out, Windows 7 Starter on netbooks is back in

As you may recall, in a recent blog, Is Microsoft Shooting Its Other Foot with Windows 7 on Netbooks? I was reminiscing about my 1995 HP Jornada and looking forward to getting a netbook with Windows 7 on it. I haven’t been ready to jump to Linux yet, and the thought of buying a 2009 computer running a 2001 operating system just doesn’t seem right to me. However, when I discovered that Microsoft had designated Windows 7 Starter as the operating system for netbooks and that this version was limited to running three concurrent applications, I was bewildered, confused, and annoyed.

Well, in a recent edition of the Windows 7 Team Blog, Brandon LeBlanc announced that Microsoft is making Windows 7 Starter available worldwide on small notebook PCs.

When I read this, I was very happy to learn that Microsoft was indeed listening and willing to adapt their plans to the wishes of its customers who want to be able to use Windows 7 on a netbook.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Restore a lost feature and install XP's Backup Utility into Windows Vista

My recent blog post, Microsoft Bows to Feedback and Brings Back Real File Backup in Windows 7, raised quite a bit of conversation in the TechRepublic Community Forums about how much members liked XP’s Backup Utility, which, by the way, was licensed by Microsoft from Veritas Software. This company specialized in storage management software, including the very popular Backup Exec for SOHO and NetBackup for the enterprise. (Incidentally, Backup Exec originally came from the Seagate Software acquisition.) With a heritage like this it is no wonder that Windows XP’s Backup Utility was so effective and easy to use, not to mention so well liked by XP users.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll show you how to install Windows XP’s Backup Utility in Windows Vista.