Pop-ups add new twist

March 8, 2008 – 2:06 PM

“Pop-up and pop-under ads open a new window when people visit many popular Web sites, often littering the computer desktop with multiple browser screens. Advertisers hope people will visit the promoted Web page by clicking anywhere on the window, although many simply close it by selecting the “X” box in the top-right corner. But a relatively new feature may make it harder for people to avoid these windows. Using a technique called the “kick through,” advertisers can direct a person to another Web site if they simply move their cursor across the pop-up ad–no clicking is necessary.”

Full article…

24 Microsoft products you can try for free!

March 8, 2008 – 2:05 PM

Check out the following trial versions of Microsoft products-including trial versions of the latest games, personal finance software, reference products, Web publishing tools, and more! Depending on the trial, you can choose to download the trial for free straight from the Web, or order the CD-ROM for a nominal shipping and handling fee.

Age of Empires
Spans ten thousand years, in which you are the guiding spirit in the evolution of a small Stone Age tribe. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
The award-winning, best-selling, real-time sequel to the original Age of Empires strategy game. Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion
Get a free taste of world domination, Mayan and Aztec style. Age of Mythology
Transport yourself to a world where heroes battle mythological creatures and gods meddle in the lives of mortals. Casino
The Microsoft Casino trial version takes you into the tropics with access to The Mirage? resort. Inside you can play either Blackjack or Video Poker, all within the excitement of The Mirage?. Close Combat III: The Russian Front
The latest in the award-winning series puts you in command in the epic Eastern Front struggle of World War II. Crimson Skies
The flight-combat game that features a fully interactive storyline right out of a 1930’s movie and an intuitive flying system that lets you command the air with ease. Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection
An original compilation of ten puzzle games. FrontPage 2002 The latest version of Microsoft’s Web site creation and management tool. Links 2003
The newest version of the best-selling golf simulator of all time. Links Extreme
A golf experience like you’ve never seen before?exploding golf balls, wandering zombies, deathmatch play, and more! MapPoint 2002
The latest version of Microsoft’s business mapping and demographic analysis software. MechWarrior 4: Vengeance 2002
are pitted against deadly enemy AI bots in a wave battle scenario. Midtown Madness
Race through downtown Chicago during rush hour! Money 2003 Deluxe
A complete personal finance solution for managing day-to-day finances, PLUS investing, financial planning, and tax savings tools. Monster Truck Madness 2
Outrageous attitude, unrestrained racing and real monster trucks for a fun and exhilarating off-road driving experience! Motocross Madness
Be the first rider out of the gate for high-flying, wheelie-riding, off-road motorbike action. Office XP 30-Day Trial
Here’s your chance to try the smarter work experience with Office XP. Includes Word 2002, Excel 2002, Outlook 2002, Access 2002 and PowerPoint 2002. Pandora’s Box
From the creator of Tetris! With hundreds of the most beautiful puzzles ever created, it’s up to you to solve them and save the world from chaos. Pinball Arcade
A collection of seven licensed tables that represent the evolution of pinball in America. Publisher 2002
This latest version of the leading business desktop publishing program. RalliSport Challenge
Experience the white-knuckle thrill of off-road, hard-driving rally action in RalliSport Challenge. Return of Arcade
Puts you in command of four hot arcade classics: Pac-Man, Pole-Position, Galaxian, and Dig-Dug. Zoo Tycoon
This place is a real zoo and you’re the one in charge! Go wild building the most fun and beautiful zoo you can imagine.

Getting the Most from Windows Update

March 8, 2008 – 2:04 PM

Imagine having an assistant that helps you by keeping track of what software you have installed on your computer, letting you know when new versions are available, and alerting you to potential security problems. Sure, in a big company, people like this exist: they’re called network administrators. Unless you’re married to a network administrator, you might think that you don’t have access to the same capability when your using your home computer–but as long as you’re running Windows 98 or later, you do!

Windows Update is a built-in feature of Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. At your command, it can check the software you have installed on your machine against the list of current versions from Microsoft, letting you know whether newer versions are available. The update service works for Windows system components, Microsoft applications like the Windows Media player and Windows movie maker, and many Windows device drivers. As a bonus, Windows update also includes early access to beta versions of selected applications and components.

Action go to the Start menu and find the Windows Update item. Select it, and wait for the Windows Update page to load in Internet Explorer’s window. If you’re using Windows XP, find the “Scan for updates” link; for other versions of Windows, look for the “Product Updates” link is. These links are what you’ll use to see what new components are available.

How It Works

It’s important to understand that Windows Update doesn’t send any information about your computer’s configuration to Microsoft. The first time you run Windows Update on a computer, you’ll see a prompt asking you if it’s OK to install the Windows update ActiveX control. When loaded by a Web page, this ActiveX control gathers information about the versions of software installed on your machine, then downloads a list of available components from Microsoft. By comparing the two lists, the control can figure out which versions of components you don’t already have. You simply have to scroll through the list of available updates and decide which ones you want. Be default, all critical updates are selected automatically for download. To read detailed instructions about how to use Windows Update on a computer that is not running Windows XP, see the Knowledge Base article Q198344.

Of course, if you’re using Windows 2000 or Windows XP (Home or Professional), Windows Update will only work if you’re logged in as a user that has administrative privileges.

What You’ll Find on Windows Update

When Windows Update shows you the list of available updates for your machine, you’ll see that the updates are grouped into several different categories. Of course, the exact contents of each of these categories can be different on two seemingly identical machines, since they might actually have very different Windows component configurations. Here are the categories you’ll see:

  • Critical updates and service packs: 8200549You should always install pertinent items in this category whenever they’re offered?this is where Microsoft puts important security fixes so that they’ll be immediately visible. 8200549If you install it, the critical update notification tool will alert you when new critical updates are released. (Note that TechNet also has a spiffy service pack finder that you can use to find service packs for applications that run on Windows). It’s not necessary to install updates for programs that you aren’t using; for example, if you’ve disabled Windows Media Player, you don’t need to install updates to it.
  • Picks of the month: Items here are featured programs or components that Microsoft thinks you’ll like. For example, as I write this the pick of the month is the latest version of Windows Media Player; the contents of this section will change as Microsoft releases new programs (and new versions of existing ones).
  • Advanced security updates: When a new security problem is found in Windows, Microsoft responds as quickly as possible with a security patch to fix the problem. Although Microsoft diligently tests these patches, due to the need for a rapid response, they are not as tested as service packs or product releases. Because of this, it is recommended that you only install the patches when they solve problems with programs or features that you are using or have enabled. If you are not using the feature that the patch fixes, it is recommended that you wait for the fix to come in the next service pack release.
  • Recommended updates: Updates that fall into this category update existing functionality in Microsoft Windows. These updates are not necessary, but as they are improved versions of software already on your system, it is recommended that you download them.
  • Additional Windows features: These are new features that you don’t have installed. They are not necessary in order for Windows to run, but provide additional functionality that you may be interested in taking advantage of.
  • Device drivers: A device driver is a program that allows the Windows software to talk to your computer’s hardware such as a sound or video card. Often new versions of these drivers will be released to take better advantage of the hardware in your computer. If Windows Update finds a new version of a device driver for a piece of hardware that is installed in your computer, it will display it here.

Checking For and Downloading Updates


If you are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP you can launch Windows Update from the Start Menu. However, for any compatible OS, you can launch Windows Update by loading Internet Explorer and navigating to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. There are several applications that may interfere with the Windows Update service. These are listed in the Microsoft Knowledge Base in article Q241234.

To Launch Windows Update on a computer running Windows XP

Point to Start All Programs and select Windows Update.

If this is your first time running Windows Update, you will be prompted to download an ActiveX component. This component is necessary in order for Windows Update to run. Once the component is downloaded, it starts to scan your computer. If you have already downloaded the component, then you are given the choice to “Scan for updates”.

When the scan is completed, you can chose which updates you want to install. By default, all of the critical updates have already been selected to install. Unless you have a reason not to install critical updates, you should always install them. However, none of the other updates are installed by default, so take some time to read through their descriptions and decide what you want. Most updates have a “read more” link that gives you a little more detail about what the update is for and what benefits it will give you.

Once you have decided what you want to install, click “Review and install updates” from any of the update pages. This will take you to a summary page showing you all of the updates you have chosen to install. If you are happy with your choices, click “Install Now”.

Using the Critical Update Notification Feature


Windows Update is a handy tool, but getting the most from it requires you to do? nothing special! Actually, there is one small thing you have to do: turn on the Critical Update Notification tool. The notification tool periodically checks for critical security updates on the Windows Update site, then notifies you by flashing a small icon in the system tray. If you click on the icon, you’ll be taken to the relevant Windows Update page; this cuts the time it takes for you to learn of, and install, new security patches with zero additional effort on your part.

How do you get this wonderful tool? From Windows Update, of course! Look in the “Recommended Updates” section for a tool named “Windows Critical Update Notification 3.0”, then check the box next to it. When you click on the Download button on the Windows Update page, the notification tool will automatically install.

Security How-Tos

March 8, 2008 – 2:02 PM

Topics on this Page

Windows 2000 Professional
Windows 2000 Server
Windows XP
Internet Security and Acceleration Server

Windows 2000 Professional

Analyze System Security in Windows 2000
Apply Predefined Security Templates in Windows 2000
Change the Policy Settings for a Certification Authority (CA) in Windows 2000
Configure a Certificate Authority to Issue Smart Card Certificates in Windows 2000
Configure a Domain EFS Recovery Policy in Windows 2000
Configure Certificate Trust Lists in Internet Information Services 5.0
Configure Security for a Simple Network Management Protocol Service in Windows 2000
Control Access to a Database on a Web Server in Windows 2000
Create Automatic Certificate Requests with Group Policy in Windows
Define Security Templates in the Security Templates Snap-in in Windows 2000
Disable the Automatic L2TP/IPSec Policy
Enforce a Remote Access Security Policy in Windows 2000
Export Certificates in Windows 2000
Find and Clean Up Duplicate Security Identifiers with Ntdsutil in Windows 2000
Get a Certificate Signed by an Off-Network Root Authority in Windows 2000
Harden the TCP/IP Stack Against Denial of Service Attacks in Windows 2000
Install a Smart Card Reader in Windows 2000
Keep Domain Group Policies from Applying to Administrator Accounts and Selected Users in Windows 2000
Prevent the Last Logged-On User Name from Being Displayed in Windows 2000
Publish a Certificate Revocation List in Windows 2000
Use IPSec Policy to Secure Terminal Services Communications in Windows 2000
Use the Directory Services Store Tool to Add a Non-Windows 2000 Certification Authority (CA) to the PKI in Windows 2000
Back Up Your Encrypting File System Private Key in Windows 2000

Windows 2000 Server

Network security

Configure a Primary Internet Authentication Service Server on a Domain Controller
Configure Remote Access Client Account Lockout in Windows 2000
Configure Security for Files and Folders on a Network (Domain) in Windows 2000
Monitor for Unauthorized User Access in Windows 2000
Prevent Users From Changing a Password Except When Required in Windows 2000
Prevent Users From Submitting Alternate Logon Credentials in Windows 2000
Restore an Encrypting File System Private Key for Encrypted Data Recovery in Windows 2000

Web Security

Plan

Perform Security Planning for Internet Information Services 5.0
Configure the Security for a Server That Uses Microsoft NNTP Service in Windows 2000
Configure User and Group Access on an Intranet in Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000
Provide Secure Point-to-Point Communications Across the Internet in Windows 2000
Safely Connect Your Company to the Internet in Windows 2000
Set SMTP Security Options in Windows 2000
Use IPSec Monitor in Windows 2000

Deploy

Enable SSL for All Customers Who Interact with Your Web Site in Internet Information Services
View or Change Authentication Methods in IIS

Operate

View or Change Authentication Methods in IIS
Prevent Users from Accessing Unauthorized Web Sites in ISA Server
Provide Internet Access Through a Firewall in Internet Security and Acceleration Server
Add an Authorized Page Warning in Windows 2000
Configure IIS 5.0 Web Site Authentication in Windows 2000
Install Imported Certificates on a Web Server in Windows 2000
Prevent Mail Relay in the IIS 5.0 SMTP Server in Windows 2000
Prevent Web Caching in Windows 2000
Secure XML Web Services with Secure Socket Layer in Windows 2000
Set Secure NTFS Permissions on IIS 5.0 Log Files and Virtual Directories in Windows 2000
Use Internet Protocol Security to Secure Network Traffic Between Two Hosts in Windows 2000
Use NTFS Security to Protect a Web Page Running on IIS 4.0 or 5.0

Windows XP

Access an EFI Partition in Windows XP 64-Bit Edition
Audit User Access of Files, Folders, and Printers in Windows XP
Change the Logon Window and the Shutdown Preferences in Windows XP
Configure a Preshared Key for Use with Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol Connections in Windows XP
Create and Disable Administrative Shares on Windows XP
Delegate Security for a Printer in Windows XP
Disable the Local Administrator Account in Windows
Encrypt a File in Windows XP
Encrypt a Folder in Windows XP
Encrypt Offline Files to Secure Data in Windows XP
Manage Stored User Names and Passwords on a Computer in a Domain in Windows XP
Manage Stored User Names and Passwords on a Computer That Is Not in a Domain in Windows XP
Prevent a User From Running or Stopping a Scheduled Process in Windows XP
Remove File Encryption in Windows XP
Set Up a .NET Passport Account in Windows XP
Set WMI Namespace Security in Windows XP
Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP
Set, View, Change, or Remove Special Permissions for Files and Folders in Windows XP
Share Access to an Encrypted File in Windows XP
Turn On Remote Desktop Automatic Logon in Windows XP
Use Cipher.exe to Overwrite Deleted Data in Windows
Use the Autologon Feature in the Remote Desktop Connection in Windows XP
Use the Group Policy Editor to Manage Local Computer Policy in Windows XP
Use the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor Web Site in Windows

Internet Security and Acceleration Server

Configure Logging in Internet Security and Acceleration Server
Set Up and Allocate Bandwidth in ISA Server
Configure the ISA Server 2000 HTTP Redirector Filter in Windows 2000
Enable Reporting in Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000
Filter ISA Server Web Proxy Cache Entries in Windows 2000
Monitor Server Activity in Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000
Securely Publish Multiple Web Sites by Using ISA Server in Windows 2000
Set Bandwidth Configuration in Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server

Networking How-Tos

March 8, 2008 – 2:02 PM

Topics on this Page

Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows XP
Windows 95/98

Windows 2000 Server

Remotely Administer Windows 2000 Server
Adjust the Polling Interval of the Internet Time Feature
Connect a Handheld PC to a Terminal Services Server
Activate a License Server by Using Terminal Services Licensing in Windows 2000
Add an Attribute to the Global Catalog in Windows 2000
Allow Remote Users to Access Your Network in Windows 2000
Audit Active Directory Objects in Windows 2000
Back Up and Restore a Certificate Authority in Windows 2000
Change the IP Address of a Network Adapter in Windows 2000
Complete a Semantic Database Analysis for the Active Directory Database by Using Ntdsutil.exe
Configure a Primary Internet Authentication Service Server on a Domain Controller
Configure a Secondary Name Server in Windows 2000
Configure a User Account to Log on to Windows 2000-Based Computer from a NetWare Client
Configure a Wireless Link That Uses Infrared in Windows 2000
Configure Active Directory Diagnostic Event Logging in Windows 2000
Configure Clients to Use a Network Address Translation Server in Windows
Configure DNS Dynamic Update in Windows 2000
Configure DNS for Internet Access in Windows 2000
Configure DNS in a New Workgroup Environment in Windows 2000
Configure Local User Accounts Log On to Windows 2000 Server from a NetWare Client Computer
Configure One-Way Non-Transitive Trusts in Windows 2000
Configure Packet Filter Support for PPTP VPN Clients in Windows 2000
Configure Printer Settings in Windows 2000 Server
Configure Remote Access Client Account Lockout in Windows 2000
Configure Security for Files and Folders on a Network (Domain) in Windows 2000
Configure TCP/IP Networking While NetBIOS Is Disabled in Windows 2000 Server
Configure Terminal Services for Remote Administration Mode in Windows 2000
Configure the NAT Service in Windows 2000
Configure Windows 2000 to Be a Router
Configure Your Computer for Infrared Communication in Windows 2000
Connect to Shared Folders Over the Network (on a Domain) in Windows 2000
Control NTFS Permissions Inheritance in Windows
Create a System Data Source Name (DSN) in Windows 2000
Create and Configure a Site Link in Active Directory in Windows 2000
Create or Move a Global Catalog in Windows 2000
Delegate Administrative Authority in Windows 2000
Diagnose and Test TCP/IP or NetBIOS Network Connections in Windows 2000
Enable Active Directory Access Auditing in Windows 2000
Install and Configure a DHCP Server in a Workgroup in Windows 2000
Install and Configure a DHCP Server in an Active Directory Domain in Windows 2000
Install and Configure a File and Print Server in Windows 2000
Install and Configure the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS-Compatible Transport Protocol in Windows 2000 Server
Install MSDSS in Windows 2000 Server
Install Network Load Balancing Service That Was Previously Uninstalled in Windows 2000
Install Terminal Services in Application Server Mode in Windows 2000
Install Terminal Services in Remote Administration Mode in Windows 2000
Install the SAP Agent in Windows 2000 Server
Install WINS in Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Join a Workgroup in Windows 2000 Server
Manually Re-create a WINS Database in Windows
Migrate from UNIX to Windows Servers
Monitor for Unauthorized User Access in Windows 2000
Move Users, Groups, and Organizational Units Within a Domain in Windows 2000
Perform Advanced Network Load Balancing Procedures in Windows 2000
Perform an Authoritative Restore to a Domain Controller in Windows 20000
Perform Basic Network Load Balancing Procedures in Windows 2000
Prevent Users From Changing a Password Except When Required in Windows 2000
Prevent Users From Submitting Alternate Logon Credentials in Windows 2000
Recover a Deleted Domain Controller Computer Account in Windows 2000
Remove Active Directory with the Dcpromo Tool in Windows 2000
Restore an Encrypting File System Private Key for Encrypted Data Recovery in Windows 2000
Securely Copy and Paste Files Between the Terminal Services Client and the Terminal Server in Windows 2000
Set up a One-Way Non-Transitive Trust in Windows 2000
Set Up and Configure Remote Installation Services in Windows 2000
Set Up Remote Access for an Intranet in Windows 2000
Troubleshoot DNS Name Resolution on the Internet in Windows 2000
Use Both NetWare Servers and Windows Servers in Windows 2000
Use DNS to Find Networked Resources in Windows 2000 Server
Use Gateway Services for NetWare to Share a NetWare Printer with Client Computers in Windows 2000
Use Gateway Services for NetWare to Share a NetWare Volume or Folder with Client Computers in Windows 2000
Use Remote Storage in Windows 2000 Server
Use the Group Policy Migration Utility to Migrate Windows NT System Policy Settings
Use the Terminal Services Licensing Reporter Tool (Lsreport.exe)
View and Set Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Policies by Using Ntdsutil.exe in Windows 2000
Capture WAN Traffic with Network Monitor in Windows
Create Domain Organizational Units in Windows

Windows 2000 Professional

Configure TCP/IP Filtering in Windows 2000
Bind and Unbind Network Protocols and Services in Windows 2000
Change the IP Address of a Network Adapter in Windows 2000
Configure a Wireless Link That Uses Infrared in Windows 2000
Configure Clients to Use a Network Address Translation Server in Windows
Configure DNS Records for Your Web Site in Windows 2000
Configure Internet Printing in Windows 2000
Configure Routing and Remote Access Tracing in Windows 2000
Configure Your Computer for Infrared Communication in Windows 2000
Create a System Data Source Name (DSN) in Windows 2000
Install and Configure a Virtual Private Network Server in Windows 2000
Migrate a Printer Server Configuration Between Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 Computers with the Printer Migrator 2000 Tool
Mount a Volume at an NTFS Folder in Windows 2000
Share Files and Folders Over a Network for Workgroups in Windows 2000
Use Both NetWare Servers and Windows Servers in Windows 2000
Use IPSec IP Filter Lists in Windows 2000
Use the Hfnetchk Hotfix Checker Tool in Windows 2000
Use the Ntdsutil Utility to Deny Access to IP Addresses in Windows 2000
Determine Which Program Uses or Blocks Specific Transmission Control Protocol Ports in Windows

Windows XP

Configure and Use Callback for Dial-Up Users in Windows XP
Configure a Connection to the Internet in Windows XP Professional
Configure a VPN Connection to Your Corporate Network in Windows XP Professional
Configure a Wireless Link That Uses Infrared in Windows XP
Configure and Use Dial-Up Connections in Windows XP
Configure Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP
Configure TCP/IP to Use DNS in Windows XP
Connect and Disconnect a Network Drive in Windows XP
Connect to a Printer by Using a Web Browser in Windows XP
Create a PPPoE Connection in Windows XP
Create a Shortcut to a Network Location in Windows XP
Determine Which Program Uses or Blocks Specific Transmission Control Protocol Ports in Windows
Enable the Internet Connection Firewall Feature in Windows XP
Enable Windows XP Automatic Wireless Network Configuration
Install NetBEUI on Windows XP
Prevent the Network Setup Wizard From Creating a Bridge in Windows XP
Save and Restore Dial-up Connections in Windows XP
Search for a Computer on the Network in Windows XP
Set Up Multiple-Device (Multilink) Dialing in Windows XP
Use the Alternate Configuration Feature for Multiple Network Connectivity in Windows XP

Windows 95/98

Create a System Data Source Name (DSN) in Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT

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