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OEM Vista upgrade frustration
If you bought a new Dell prior to the release of Vista, you had the option of selecting a Vista upgrade when the OS became available. I installed Vista from scratch on my Dell and avoided all that, but I’m hearing that some of the folks who opted for the upgrade have had long waits to get their software and that some of them are finding that Dell doesn’t have Vista drivers available for all of their hardware components. A quick web search finds that some people have recorded their experiences. We wonder if the same thing is happening with those who ordered upgrades with other brands. Let us know if you’ve experienced any problems with a hardware manufacturer’s Vista upgrade option.

Vista deactivation blues
Joe Wilcox blogged last week about a friend’s scramble to get his Vista computer working because he had failed to activate it when he installed Vista and the 30 day period ran out right at the time he suddenly decided he needed the laptop for a business trip. Sounds to me like all the drama was self- inflicted, but you can read and decide for yourself.

Vista: Improved Remote Desktop Connection
Like Windows XP Pro, Vista Business, Ultimate and Enterprise editions includes the Remote Desktop Connection service that allows you to connect to your computer and control its desktop, run its applications, etc. from another system on the network. RDC is based on Windows Terminal Services. The RDC client is included in all versions of Vista and can be used to connect to a Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise machine’s desktop or to a Windows Terminal Server. The new RDC client built into Vista makes RDC more secure, by using a new technology called Network Layer Authentication. You don’t have to upgrade to Vista to use the new RDC client, though. You can download a version of RDC 6.0 for XP here.

How to change the time stamp on a group of files
Here’s a by-product of Daylight Saving Time you might not have thought about: a colleague mentioned to me that whenever the time changes, his synchronization software thinks all the files have been updated on the USB flash drive he carries to transfer data between home and office, and wants to sync them all. He asked if there’s a way to change the time stamps on those files.

I use PowerDesk to do that: just open the PowerDesk Explorer, navigate to the location of the files you want to change, highlight them all, click File and select Set File or Folder Date/Time. Then type in the date or time you want to change it to and it’s done. You can use the free version of PowerDesk, or a little freeware utility called Time Stamp 1.1 that does the same thing. (On the subject of PowerDesk, the original developer, Mike Kronenberg, is rumored to be coming out with his own version of the product in several weeks. So if you’re thinking of buying a copy, I would hold off for a bit and contact his company, Novatix, to see what the plans are).

Additional Tip: If you just want to change the date stamp on a group of graphics files, but not the time, you can do it by right clicking the group of highlighted files in Vista Explorer, selecting Properties, clicking the Details tab and clicking the Date Taken field. This will drop down a calendar that lets you pick a new date.

How to change the name of the registered owner in XP
To change the name of the registered owner in XP, do the following:

  1. Click Start Run and type regedit to open the registry editor.
  2. Browse to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion
  3. In the right details pane, double click the value RegisteredOwner.
  4. In the value data field, type in the name you want to use and click OK.

You can change the company name, if any, in the same way by editing the value RegisteredOrganization.

If you’d prefer not to edit the registry directly, there is an automated script you can download from the Kelly’s Korner web site that will do it for you.

Can’t download files to XP computer with IE 7
If you’ve installed Internet Explorer 7 on your Windows XP computer and find that you are unable to save files to your computer from the File Download dialog box, it may be because you have the Japanese Input Method Editor set as the default keyboard layout. What’s up with that? You can get a hotfix for the problem. To find out how, see KB article 932823.

How to change column settings in Windows Explorer
You can configure Explorer to display the columns that you want to see, or change the order in which the columns are displayed, by following the instructions in KB article 310297.

XP computer restarts unexpectedly or you get a stop error
If your computer suddenly decides to reboot itself without your permission and you get an error message saying the system has recovered from a serious error, or you receive a Stop error message that references “Driver_IRQL_Not_Less_Or_Equal,” this may be caused by a problem with the TCP/IP stack on a network running the IP Security (IPsec) protocols. There is a hotfix available. For more info, see KB article 925922.

Deb Shinder, MVP


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