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  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: RELOG.EXE

    Following on from our last Two Minute Drill, today's topic is the RELOG.EXE utility.  RELOG.EXE creates new performance logs from data in existing performance logs by changing the sampling rate and / or converting the file format.  RELOG.EXE is not a new tool - it is however one of those tools...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: WMIDiag and Namespace Security

    Hello AskPerf. Happy New Year! My name is Gangadharan Prashanth and we’re going to kick off 2009 with a quick look at WMI Namespace Security and a common error message that we see when running the WMI Diagnosis Utility (WMIDiag). When running WMIDiag, we often see an alert that looks something like this...
  • Blog Post: WMI Troubleshooting: Permissions

    Back in June, we published our post on Basic WMI Testing . Today we're going to go over some common issues and ways that you can troubleshoot and recover from them - specifically rights and permissions. We're not going to get into troubleshooting scripts - what we're looking at is troubleshooting WMI...
  • Blog Post: Group Policy Logging on Windows Vista

    Although the bulk of Group Policy Processing and Troubleshooting is handled by our Directory Services team, we often collaborate on these issues - mainly when the issue relates to a user logging in and not being presented with their desktop environment as they would expect.  Instead they are simply...
  • Blog Post: IE7 - Introducing the Phishing Filter

    Before looking at the new Phishing Filter for IE7 and what it does, it is important to understand what Phishing is, and some common Phishing techniques. Phishing is a criminal activity. Using social engineering techniques, phishers attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information - such as usernames...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: The .MSP file

    Hello AskPerf – my name is Digvijay Nath, and I’m a Support Engineer on the Performance team in our Bangalore office.  Today, I’m going to quickly cover the .MSP file used by the Windows Installer.  The installer uses different file types to glean data about software installs, uninstalls and...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Configuring a Debugger using Image File Execution Options

    There are times when tools such as DebugDiag, ADPlus or UserDump fail to capture a dump when a process terminates unexpectedly.  When that happens, we can launch the process inside the debugger to ensure that we capture a dump.  Here’s how we do it: Install the Debugging Tools for Windows Copy...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Application Verifier

    Happy Friday AskPerf.  My name is Syed Yusuf, and I am a Support Engineer on the Performance team.  Application crash issues can be somewhat tricky to resolve – especially if we’re dealing with a third party application.  Today we’re going to take a look a the Application Verifier tool...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Introduction to XPerf

    Hi there, this is Mark with the Windows Performance Team. This post is a quick introduction to a new performance tracing tool called XPerf. Moving forward with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, this powerful tool will hopefully be utilized more often. XPerf is part of the Windows Performance Toolkit...
  • Blog Post: Overview of Internet Explorer Group Policies

    Today we're going to discuss IE Group Policies. If you're unfamiliar with Group Policies, I highly recommend that you read our earlier post on the Basics of Group Policies . When dealing with IE group policies, there are two types of settings to consider - IE Maintenance and IE Administrative templates...
  • Blog Post: The Basics of Browser Helper Objects

    In our last few posts on Internet Explorer, we've looked at ActiveX Controls.  Today we're going to take a look at the Basics of Browser Helper Objects (BHO's).  We're not going to cover BHO's and Security in this post, that will be covered in our next post on BHO's. First off, what is a BHO...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: File System Filter Drivers

    File system filter drivers are often the topic of some interesting discussions when working on server performance issues.  Understanding how a file system filter driver works is the topic of today’s post.  We’ll also quickly discuss one of the most common issues that we see  - especially...
  • 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: WMI Troubleshooting: Impersonation Rights

    Today we're going to take a look at an issue that is fairly common when dealing with WMI failures.  Starting with Windows XP, WMI providers are hosted in a separate process called WMIPRVSE.  Most of the time this provider host runs in the context of the Network Service Account.  In order...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: System Diagnostics Report

    Something many of our readers have asked for is a quick overview of new and useful tools and features in Windows. Today we are launching a new series, called our “Two Minute Drill” – these will be brief posts that provide a high-level view of tools and features. We have already published several posts...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Overview of SMB 2.0

    The Server Message Protocol (SMB) is the file sharing protocol used by default on Windows-based computers. Although file sharing and network protocols are primarily supported by our Networking team, it is important to understand how SMB works given its importance to network activities. SMB 2.0 was introduced...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting with Process Monitor

    In our post last month regarding a Basic Troubleshooting Toolkit , one of the tools we mentioned was Process Monitor. The new version of Process Monitor combines the old Process Monitor tool with the File Monitor (FileMon) and Registry Monitor (RegMon) tools. So today we're going to provide a quick overview...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: The New MPS Reports

    *UPDATE* as of October 8th, 2013, the below MPS Reports link is no longer available. Please see the following blog post from our good buddy Yong Rhee, that details more on this change: Tool: MPSreports replacement as of Oct. 8th, 2013 Happy Friday AskPerf! Today’s post is a quick overview...
  • Blog Post: Understanding the IE User Agent String

    Today we're going to discuss the IE User-Agent String - a term with which more administrators are becoming familiar since the launch of IE7. The User-Agent string identifies your browser to the server hosting the site that you are visiting. This allows the web server to provide content that is tailored...
  • Blog Post: Batch Files, Task Scheduler and PSTools – and a EULA?

    Here’s an odd issue that one of our Support Engineers ran into with a customer recently that I thought would be interesting to share. Systems Administrators use scheduled tasks to run batch files as a normal part of their job. In this specific instance, our customer was using the PsService and PsTools...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Stack Basics

    Welcome back AskPerf!  Carrying on with our debugging / architectural theme from the last couple of weeks, today’s topic is about the stack.  A stack is a way of storing information – a data structure.  When a new object is placed on the stack it is placed on the top of the stack. ...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with Windows PowerShell

    Today we're going to talk a little bit about Windows PowerShell. Before we get into Powershell though, let's look back at how PowerShell came about. Ever since MS-DOS and the earliest versions of Windows, there has been a command line tool. The problem was that not everything that could be done via the...
  • Blog Post: The Basics of Group Policies

    The Performance team handles Group Policies for several different components - most notably Printing, Internet Explorer and Terminal Server. In most environments, the Active Directory administrator handles the design, implementation and maintenance all of the group policies - even if another group is...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Debugging – lm, not just Alphabet Neighbors

    I know – it really does seem like I’m on a bit of a Sesame Street kick at the moment, doesn’t it? Ah well - it is Friday and the weekend is almost upon us. Why not have a little fun? Today, we’re continuing on with looking at different debugger commands. Our topic for today is the lm command and its...
  • Blog Post: Two Minute Drill: Using PROCDUMP

    Hello again AskPerf!  Blake Morrison here to introduce you to a new tool from Sysinternals called ProcDump.  If you are familiar with AdPlus then ProcDump will be a welcome addition to your debugging arsenal.  ProcDump is a new command line tool which allows you to monitor a running process...