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  • Blog Post: The Domain Logon Dialogue

    Happy New Years everyone! Let’s start the year off with a less strenuous article regarding how the domain logon list gets populated. I’m talking about the user logon dialogue which you see following pressing control, alt and delete at the same time. There is a little bit of confusion around what you...
  • Blog Post: ADMT and Server 2008

    Whenever we release a new product or suite of products we at Microsoft want to ease the adoption of it. For that reason we’ve released tools and scripts over the years to help our customers out. We’ve typically given these as free downloads from the internet, and (I know my opinion is skewed here) frankly...
  • Blog Post: I’ll Say It Again- User Account Control

    You may heard of a little thing we like to call Windows Vista. In fact, you may be slightly deafened by our marketing making sure you do know about it. Vista contains various security enhancements all designed to work toward the goal of keeping folks from unintentionally getting compromised by...
  • Blog Post: Testing a Credential Provider

    Weeks ago I blogged about how single sign on and credential providers work and a scenario you can run into with them. One reader faced a slightly different scenario but was able to apply that topic toward getting his issue resolved. He had installed a credential provider for testing purposes. Unfortunately...
  • Blog Post: ADMT 3.1 Is Now Available for Download!

    There’s been a lot of interest in the next version of our free migration tool and guide. Well, it’s now available. The link below can get you to the new Migration Guide, ADMT itself, and a link to the Password Export Server (PES) 3.1 in both x86 and x64 versions. http://www.microsoft.com...
  • Blog Post: Vista Issue: Vista to Vista Terminal Service Logon Failing

    Some of my colleagues recently had a real puzzler of an issue. When they are that good I want to share it out with everyone so that they don’t have to take the time themselves. The symptoms were when attempting to connect via terminal services from one Vista computer to another Vista computer the...
  • Blog Post: Vista Networking, An Issue With a Limited View

    Every few years we release a new operating system and, no matter how much testing, training and documentation we have, some unexpected behaviors occur. We at Microsoft spend a lot of effort to try and prevent problems from occurring in our products at all, but if they do occur we focus on figuring out...
  • Blog Post: Thoughts on Single Sign On and Credential Providers

    We use the term single sign on (SSO) to describe a variety of behaviors in Windows and other applications where the result is simply to prevent the user from being prompted to provide their credentials again and again; to ideally enter their credentials only once at initial logon. Active Directory and...
  • Blog Post: The FEK, AES and FIPs: Acronym Heaven!

    I’ve had several blog posts about the improved security in Windows Vista and Server 2008, particularly around cryptography. Here’s one more, albeit a short one. This post is about how, generally, Encrypted File System (EFS) works using Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) encryption algorithms to...
  • Blog Post: A Vista UAC story: Can’t change the time Zone?

    We have internal discussion lists in Microsoft that act as clearinghouses for technical issues or hot topics. One of the first thing a fledgling or newly assimilated Microsoftie must do is decide what discussion lists to join for their role. I am internal “owner” of the support alias for Vista...
  • Blog Post: Vista Issue: Time Skew Error When Logging on Across a Trust

    One of the cool things about this job is the way we get to trail blaze new issues as they happen and before any solution or workaround is in sight. We’re the pioneers in a way. This is one example. We’ve had a few customer’s recently mention that they had seen an odd behavior from their Vista clients...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Certificate Web Enrollment Pages - Available!!

    I am very happy to announce that the Certificate Web Enrollment pages from Server 2008 are available as a free download at last. Just click on the links below to get the pages, then follow the steps in the KB article to install them on your Server 2003 certificate server in order to get Vista and Server...
  • Blog Post: Certificate Web Enrollment from Vista

    One of the enhancements in Windows Vista is the new certificate scripting interface called certenroll. In prior client operating system versions we had the xenroll code which would allow users to enroll for certificates via a web page served out by their Windows Server 2003 certificate authority. For...
  • Blog Post: ADMT 3.1 Beta!

    For folks who have been interested helping test Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.1 your day has come! The ADMT 3.1 Beta is here! This is a beta , not the finished product, so please test it out in your non-production environment and file bugs when and if you see them. Where do you...
  • Blog Post: Vista, Client Side Caching, and Office...

    We have a lot of folks out there who use client side caching as a way to have consistent copies of the work they do as they travel and are not always well-connected to their corporate networks. If you redirect a folder like My Documents, such as via group policy, having a copy of the user’s data...
  • Blog Post: Server 2008 and Windows Vista: Encryption Better Together

    A while back I did a blog post about some problems that were seen with people testing Windows Vista and then “rolling back” to Windows XP and some problems that could be seen when using the same computer object (also known as account ) in AD. If you didn’t get a chance to read it here’s the post . ...
  • Blog Post: How Windows Communication Works

    If you are working in a support or engineering role with Microsoft platform products like the various Windows versions one of the biggest struggles you can have is understanding what to expect in code and on the network when Windows computers communicate to each other and other platforms.  Documentation...
  • Blog Post: All The Logging In The World

    There’s normal troubleshooting and then there’s the stuff you do when the basic troubleshooting doesn’t get things resolved. Normal troubleshooting can be things like selecting “last known good” on a reboot after installing a new driver and having a blue screen. Or perhaps uninstalling and then reinstalling...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Web Enrollment and Version 3 Templates

    Certificate Services in Server 2008 has had a lot of changes and enhancements. Some are obvious and documented well, and others are not obvious and not so well documented. Case in point is an additional aspect of Server 2008 certificate web enrollment. Some of you may recall some discussion regarding...
  • Blog Post: Access Denied, or other Access Failure to SMB Shares From Vista Clients

    Some of the fun we in product support have is that, once a new product is released nowadays, we get to chart the unexplored waters of new security settings interoperating with our customers real world environments. With Windows XP and Server 2003 we saw that there were challenges brought about...
  • Blog Post: AES Authentication in Vista…Keep in Mind If You’re Testing Vista

    In the concerted effort to provide more secure methods of authentication we have added in product behind-the-scenes support for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and other security enhancements. More info on that is here: http://www.microsoft.com/brasil/technet/itsolutions/network/evaluate...
  • Blog Post: How To Cut Down On User Account Control Prompting

    We’ve had a few customers tell us that they would really like to not be prompted in application launch scenarios with some applications. There are some valid reasons why this may not be entirely helpful and reduction in clickage can be good when it doesn’t lessen security. Say you logon with Group...