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  • Blog Post: Windows Architecture - The Basics

    Today we're starting a new series of posts focused on understanding the Windows System Architecture itself. In our first post, we're going to quickly review some basic Windows concepts and terms including a brief overview of the Windows API, Services and the difference between a Process and a Thread...
  • Blog Post: Windows Architecture - Registry 101

    When I first started in the IT industry (back in the Windows for Workgroups 3.11 days), one of my team leads told me at least once every other day, "If you ever decide to start editing the registry directly, you'd better be sure you know what you're doing." That may have been one of the most valuable...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Terminal Server Web Access Architecture

    It's Day Twenty-Three of our series.  The Launch Event is just a couple of days away.  Following on from yesterday's post on Terminal Services RemoteApps , today we're going to be providing a very brief overview of the Architecture of Terminal Server Web Access and the Web Connection Client...
  • Blog Post: What a Heap of ... (Part Two)

    On Tuesday, we talked about Heap - what it is and how it works. Today we're going to continue our look at Heap. At the end of the last post we mentioned Look-Aside Lists and Low Fragmentation Heap. But before we dive into those, let's take a look at Heap Synchronization. The heap manager supports concurrent...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Memory Management, Dynamic Kernel Addressing, Memory Priorities and I/O Handling

    It's the end of the first week - seven days down and only  twenty more to go.  Today we will take a very brief look at some important enhancements to Memory Management, as well as talk about Dynamic Kernel Address Space, Memory Priorities and I/O Handling.  So let's dive right in ... The...
  • Blog Post: Windows 2003 Print Clusters - Part One

    Today we're going to start looking at Clustered Print Servers. Clustering itself tends to intimidate many administrators, especially newer administrators. Much of the fear factor usually stems from being unfamiliar with how clustering works, and the fact that you are dealing with shared storage. Throw...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Terminal Server Session Broker Overview

    It's Day Twenty-Four. Only three more days until Launch Day! Our Windows Server 2008 series continues today with an overview of Terminal Server Session Broker. Terminal Server Session Broker (TS Session Broker) is a role service in Windows Server 2008 that allows a user to reconnect to an existing session...
  • Blog Post: Kernel-Mode Print Drivers: Gone the Way of the Dinosaur

    If you have been around since the days of Windows NT, then you are probably all too familiar with Kernel-mode Print Drivers and the devastating effect that problems with those drivers can have on system stability. In the majority of environments, these kernel-mode drivers have been supplanted by user...
  • Blog Post: COM and DCOM for Administrators

    So today we're going to cover the basics of COM and DCOM. The key word here is basic - if you need to get into a depth discussion about how your custom components are working (or not working in some cases!) and your code, then you should be working with Developer Support rather than Platforms Support...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Windows Service Hardening

    Day Three of our series of posts in preparation for the Windows Server 2008 Launch and the countdown continues.  If it's a weekend for you, I hope you are enjoying yourself.  Only twenty-four more days to go till Launch Day.  Today's post - Windows Service Hardening. Windows Service Hardening...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Print Driver Isolation

    Welcome back folks! It’s Day Eight. We’re just over one-third of the way through our series and there are only two more weeks until launch day! Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to deal with a Print Spooler crash. Keep your hand up if the problem was caused by a faulty driver. Keep...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Console Host

    Happy Monday everyone.  It’s Day Five of our Launch Series.  Today, we’re going to cover a new feature in Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 – Console Host (ConHost.exe).  A good number of companies and individuals out there still run “console” applications.  A console application...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Remote Desktop Services Virtualization (RDS-V)

    Good Morning AskPerf Nation! Our Launch Series is at Day Seventeen. There are only five more days to go! Today we’re continuing on with Remote Desktop Services, with a look at Remote Desktop Services Virtualization (or RDS-V, for short). You may also hear RDS-V referred to as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure...
  • Blog Post: To DEP or not to DEP …

    In my previous posting on Access Violations, I briefly mentioned Data Execution Prevention (DEP).  I have recently had the opportunity to work on a couple of customer issues that caused me to dig a bit deeper into the workings of DEP, so I figured that I would pass this knowledge on.  To begin...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Core Parking / Intelligent Timer Tick / Timer Coalescing

    Welcome to Day Three of our pre-launch series.  Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have many features that are geared toward reducing power consumption.  In order to achieve greater power savings by processors, they must be able to idle more often and, when they are idle, stay idle for long...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Startup Processes and Delayed Automatic Start

    It's Day Two of our series of Windows Server 2008 posts. Only twenty-five more days to go till the big launch. Today's topics are Startup Processes and Delayed Automatic Start for System Services. In previous versions of Windows, during system boot, the Session Manager process (SMSS.EXE) would start...
  • Blog Post: Access Violation? How dare you ...

    I am sure we have all seen access violations occur since we took ownership of our first x86 PC's.  The infamous "Bluescreen", application crashes, it doesn't really matter, access violations are all over the place.  For any of you that remember the good old Windows 9x days, a General...
  • Blog Post: What a Heap of ... (Part One)

    Today's post is actually the result of a recent series of questions on Heap and the Heap Manager that I fumbled quite hopelessly! Once I got back to my desk, I pulled out my trusty copy of Windows Internals and started reading. The more I read, the more I thought about a blog post. The catalyst for inspiration...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Remote Desktop Connection Broker (Part One)

    Good Morning AskPerf! Welcome to Day Fifteen of our Launch Series. There is only one more week to go! If you remember Windows Server 2003 R2 then you probably also remember that Terminal Services (as it was called then) didn’t change much from Windows Server 2003. The same cannot be said for Remote Desktop...
  • Blog Post: MSIT, Terminal Services, Network Adapter Performance and Hyper-V

    Looking at the title, I know you’re thinking, “what do these four things have to do with one another?” The answer: not a great deal in fact. However, there are some very interesting posts and articles on these subjects that have been published recently that we thought we would bring to your attention...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Unified Background Process Manager (UBPM)

    Welcome back AskPerf!  It’s Day Four of our pre-launch series.  Even though it’s Sunday here, we’re not letting up at all – we’re feverishly working to get the rest of our series completed!  Today’s topic is the new Unified Background Process Manager (UBPM).   Historically, Windows...
  • Blog Post: PRF: Memory Management (Event ID 333)

    MEMORY MANAGEMENT – EVENT ID 333 Description: The first thing to understand is what exactly an Event ID 333 is. The event ID 333 is a System event error log that occurs when the registry is unable to complete a flush operation to the disk. There are several reasons that this can fail and we'll...
  • Blog Post: An Overview of Troubleshooting Memory Issues - Part Two

    In our last post, we looked at some common memory issues and how to troubleshoot them.  Today we're going to go over excessive paging and memory bottlenecks. We've talked about issues with the page file in several posts - something to bear in mind is that although you want to have enough RAM to...
  • Blog Post: Sessions, Desktops and Windows Stations

    Today we are going to briefly go over the basics of some concepts that can be pretty confusing even at the best of times - Sessions, Desktops and Windows Stations. So let's dive right in ... A session consists of all of the processes and other system objects that represent a single user’s logon session...
  • Blog Post: WS2008: Upgrade Paths, Resource Limits & Registry Values

    It's February 1, 2008. Only twenty-six more days until Windows Server 2008 is released to the world. With that in mind, we have twenty-six posts lined up between now and February 27 covering areas of Windows Server 2008 that contain both general information as well as specific posts that are relevant...