Monday, December 19, 2011

About Network Policy Server Role Service

Installing and Configuring a Network Policy Server
The Network Policy Server (NPS) role in Windows Server 2008 replaces the Internet Authentication Service (IAS). Windows Server 2008 R2 can authenticate clients using Network Policy Server (NPS). NPS provides an additional layer of security for your network.

  • NPS provides support for the Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service protocol and can be configured as a RADIUS server or proxy. 
  • NPS also provides functionality that is essential for implementation of Network Access Protection (NAP)
  • NPS is used for enforcement for:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

About Routing and Remote Access in Server 2008

Components of a Network Access Services Infrastructure

In Windows Server 2008, Network Access Service includes the following:

  • VPN Server
  • Active Directory Domain services (AD DS)
  • IEEE 802.1X Devices – provides port based authentication of users
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server – Responsible for leasing IP addresses
  • NAP Health Policy Server – Provides authentication services for other network access components
  • Health Registration Authority – Obtains health certificates for clients passing the health policy verification
  • Remediation Servers – A new server for Windows Server 2008 on a limited network, designed to treat machines that do not have the latest antivirus or Windows updates, by pushing the updates down to the NAP client sitting in the restricted network before the client accesses the main network

Friday, December 2, 2011

About IPv6 TCP/IP and Windows Server 2008

Web Running Out of Addresses

In the mid 1990s, we started to run into an ever shrinking pool of IPv4 addresses. According to the Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2011, was the week the last batch of Internet addresses was doled out.

Because of the growing proliferation of network devices and the expanding Internet, Internet Protocol version 6 (Ipv6), is built into Windows Server 2008. Ipv6 is a new suite of protocols developed to ensure growing Internet client needs. The IPv4 scalability will no longer meet the challenges ahead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Configuring and Troubleshooting DHCP

Overview of the DHCP Server Role
One of the major problems in networks when the move was made to the TCP/IP protocol, was getting the IP address input onto each machine.

The solution is DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). The DHCP server maintains a pool of IP addresses and DHCP leases out an IP address for a period of time to DHCP-enabled host machines on the network. DHCP provides the IP address along with the subnet mask and default gateway (router). The IP addresses are returned to the pool to be reallocated, when they are no longer in use. DHCP waits for the client to request an IP address using network Broadcasts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WINS and Server 2008

Overview of the Windows Internet Name Service 

WINS is a NetBIOS Name Server (NBNS). Windows hosts support two types of names, host names and NetBIOS names. 

In a Windows OS, network services can be requested using Windows Sockets, Winsock Kernel, or NetBIOS. If Windows Sockets or Winsock Kernel is requested, the host name is used. Windows Sockets is used to access network services in many applications. The newer applications that were designed for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 use Winsock Kernel.  If NetBIOS is used, the application uses a NetBIOS name.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Troubleshooting tips for DNS

Time to Live, Aging, and Scavenging
Time to Live (TTL)
How long a DNS record will be valid
When records inserted into the DNS server reach expiration and are removed
Remove old DNS records

Time to Live – TTL depends on the type of DNS record. MX records have a longer TTL than a host A record, for example. The TTL can be modified.
Resource Record Types
Aging – DNS record removal helps to keep DNS accurate and using less disk space.
Scavenging – If DNS records have not been aged, we can force a database cleanup by removing stale records. This can be done by scavenging DNS records. Stale resource records can slow down DNS lookups and cause errors.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tips on How to Configure DNS Zones

DNS zones allow domains to be logically configured and managed in a structured way. A zone hosts all of a domain or parts of a domain and its subdomains.

Take for example, Imagine is divided into two zones. The first zone hosts and  Let’s pretend we have a site called We delegate it to a new zone that hosts the and its subdomains and

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Configure the DNS Server Role

Components of a DNS Solution
  • DNS Clients. Windows, Unix, Linux, Macs operating systems. Windows systems also maintain a local DNS Resolver cache.
  • DNS Servers. Host a distributed heirarchical database of resource records stored by the DNS zone and include:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Installing a DNS Server Role in Windows Server 2008

DNS recognizes computers by alphanumeric names and translates the names to the numerical IP addresses recognized by computers and networking equipment. DNS resolves the computer names to the IP addresses.
DNS is installed as a role in Windows Server 2008. It can be installed with Server Manager and with the DNS Server command from the command prompt. The preferred way is to install the DNS Server Role when Active Directory Domain Services is installed, if you want to integrate the DNS domain namespace with the AD DS domain namespace. In addition, Server Core can act as a DNS Server.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Overview of Server Roles and Features in Windows Server 2008

Server Roles describe the primary functions of a server in Windows Server 2008. On a server, there can be one or more server roles. For example, you can have a DNS server or a Web server, or a server comprising multiple roles.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Installing Windows Server 2008

Installing Windows Server 2008 is different from previous installs of Windows Server platforms. There is no text-based phase. The installation is now done in a GUI and the install process is very similar to Windows Vista.

Windows Server 2008 Editions
Server Core
Windows Server 2008 Standard (small offices or workgroups)
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (greater scalability, failover clustering, AD Fed Services) 
Windows Server 2008 DataCenter (larger orgs and server consolidation projects, greater memory and processing power, unlimited virtual image use rights)
Windows Web Server 2008 (standalone server for IIS)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems (highest level of performance and scalabiity, leading rival platform for Risc-based UNIX servers, requires Intel Itanium CPU) 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Precision Guide to Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration Review

Kurt Dillard's Study Guide for the 70-640 Exam helped me to pass and obtain the Microsoft MCTS Active Directory 2008, Configuring certification. After studying several Microsoft reference materials and practice tests, and still having trouble in a couple of areas, I picked up Kurt's Study Guide. Kurt explains the relevant facts to focus on for the certification test and presents it in a simple to understand format. At the end of each chapter, Kurt has questions and answers for you to check your comprehension. This is a great value and will surely help you to achieve your next certification! I look forward to referencing Kurt's other study guides.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Disk Management for Windows 7

Partitioning Disks
Master Boot Record (MBR) Disk:
  • Contains the partition table for the disk and a small amount of executable code called the master boot code.
  • The computer BIOS examines the MBR to determine which partition on the disks is marked as active and returns the information so you can boot up.
  • 2 terabyte (TB) limit.
  • You can have four partitions for each hard drive. The boot.ini contains the the list of operating systems and points to the one you want to boot (‘multi-boot’ systems). Virtualization does away with ‘multi-boot’, not needed.
  • Active partition contains the OS startup files.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prepare to Install Windows 7

Windows 7 Starter – System Builders Only, 32bit only, 2GB only

Windows 7 Home Basic/Value Edition - Emerging Markets, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 8GB

Windows 7 Home Premium (Aero) multi-media - Retail, System Builders, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 8GB

Windows 7 Professional – Business edition for small, lower mid-market, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 192 GB

Windows 7 Enterprise – Business edition for large enterprises, volume licensing, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 192 GB

Windows 7 Ultimate – Retail + System Builders, All features, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 192 GB 

Windows 7 N Editions* (as above but without Media Player) - European Union Only, 32-bit, 64-bit, 4GB, 16GB, 192 GB
*Windows N Editions include Windows 7 Home Premium N, Professional N, and Ultimate N

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quick Check Facts for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

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DNS (Domain Name System) for Active Directory
  • Zone Types
    • Primary: hosts a writable master copy of the zone data and is authoritative for the zone. Can be integrated with Active Directory.
    • Secondary: is a read-only copy of a zone from the master DNS server and is a secondary source of information for the zone. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blogger Buzz: Blogger’s fresh new look

Blogger Buzz: Blogger’s fresh new look: Posted by: Chang Kim, Product Manager As you may have heard , things are starting to look a little different across many Google products—a...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

About DNS and Windows Active Directory

What is DNS?
Ever curious about how your internet browser knows how how to get to a particular website? When you browse to a website, for example,, the name has to be resolved to its server's numerical IP address,, because

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blogger in Draft: Customize Your Favicon

Blogger has added a new feature to replace the infamous blogger favicon with our very own customized favicon.

I knew the developers would get around to creating a method for bloggers to display their own unique brand in place of the orange B eventually. Too bad, I spent countless hours this past winter investigating and testing how to get my

Blogger Buzz: Update on Browser Support

Blogger will only support modern browsers, as of August 1, 2011. Blogger Buzz: Update on Browser Support: "Posted by Brett Wiltshire, Product Operations Our team has been thinking a lot recently about browser support, and wanted to make you aware..."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

About Windows Server Core 2008

How to Install Windows Server 2008

There are two options to install Windows Server 2008:
  1. Graphical installation
  2. Core installation
Windows Server 2008 functionality is based on server roles and features. Server Manager gives you the ability to add and

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How I Created and Uploaded a Favicon for Blogger

A favicon, first created by Microsoft for the Internet Explorer Favorites menu and is short for favorites icon, is the icon you see to the left of the URL on the Internet address bar. You may also see it when you add a website as a bookmark. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Configure Password and Lockout Policies

Windows Server 2008 has a new security feature to allow configuration of fine-grained password policies to assign different password and account lockout policies to users and groups within a domain. The security options are designed for both user and computer configuration.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Connection Problems with Mail on the Mac

Are you having problems with your Mac sending or receiving Mail?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Check the Hard Drive on a Mac

Computer hard drives don't normally fail without warning, unless you do something really dumb like I did one day. My daughter and I were on the LIRR going to NYC. She was eight years old at the time. Audra handed me her Macbook to carry....., as usual. As we arrived at Penn Station, I got up, my hands overflowing with everything else I was carrying, and I

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Duplicate Contacts Calendars with MobileMe iPhone

I signed up for Mac MobileMe after it was first released and I am hooked. I love being able to sync  photos, contacts, and calendars in the cloud. Everything is automatically 'pushed' to your devices to keep your constantly changing information in sync. Add a new contact and there it is, already in sync on all of your Mac devices and in Outlook on your PC. I love not

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Application Freeze on a Mac

You are pushed for time and are trying to get some work done, when your cursor turns into the spinning beach ball that you despise! You sit and wait precious seconds for the beach ball to go away. You move your cursor away from the application. The beach ball disappears, only to reappear when you move it back. Your computer is frozen. How can you

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ZoomIT - SysInternals Zoom and Annotations Utility

Here I am again talking up the SysInternals utilities. ZoomIt is my newest obsession and I am on a roll. ZoomIt was written by Mark Russinovich, author of the SysInternals tools. Mark is now with Microsoft as a Technical Fellow. And, among his many accomplishments, he has just written a book called Zero Day, which I just finished reading and thoroughly enjoyed.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Case of the Unexplained 2010 SysInternals Review

Mark RussinovichImage by rwoan via Flickr

The Case of the Unexplained is an ongoing series of webcasts, by Mark Russinovich, based on real troubleshooting scenarios in Windows. Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, which is the highest technical position at Microsoft. A Senior Architect in the Windows division, Mark was the co-founder and chief software architect of Winternals Software, co-author of Windows Internals 4th and 5th edition and Inside Windows 2000 3rd edition with

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sysinternals Advanced Malware Cleaning Review

_MG_0853Image by rwoan via Flickr

Trying to cleanup malware from your computer? Advanced Malware Cleaning, located on the Windows Sysinternals website, is a must watch video from Windows expert Mark Russinovich. Mark was the co-founder of Sysinternals before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2006.

Mark gives an overview of how SysInternals tools work, such as Process Explorer, along with using the AutoRuns utility,  SigCheck, and TCPView Utility to discover where malware is hiding on your computer and how to clean it. Mark talks about Rootkits and his own RootkitRevealer tool, an advanced rootkit detection utility.

Mark discusses the future of malware and how malware is becoming harder and harder to detect.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Iphone4 Crash

Did you open an app on your iphone4 and the iphone suddenly crash or shut down? 

When you open an app on the iphone, it leaves the application open so you don't have to reopen it the next time you want to use it. This is a benefit of multitasking, one of the features of iOS4

If too many apps are open, your iphone could suddenly shut down. You might also notice your battery draining faster than it used to. The more apps open on your iphone, the faster the battery drains.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Windows Hang and Crash Dump Analysis Webcast Review

Recently, I spent an exciting Saturday watching and documenting a Sysinternal's webcast by Windows expert, Mark Russinovich, entitled, Windows Hang and Crash Dump Analysis. Mark takes you step by step into the internals of Windows to help you better understand how system crashes happen, what caused the crash, and how to fix it.

These are my notes I took during the Webcast. On a separate afternoon, while writing this blog, I tested WinDbg. Included in this documentation, are additional notes about what I did to create a crash dump, using the program Mark wrote called NotMyFault, and how I tested WinDbg. I am hoping the hours I spent watching and documenting the webcast will be useful one day to me and to my blog readers. The entire process has been a learning experience and very gratifying. 

And now, the Webcast....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to run Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool

The 536,870,912 byte (512×2 20 ) capacity of t...Image via Wikipedia

You are having various application problems on your computer. You think the computer's RAM might be failing and you want to check it using the Windows Vista Memory Diagnostics tools. 

How do you run the Windows Vista Memory Diagnostics tools?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Computer Lost Internet Connection

my ip address

Most home computers connect to the Internet through a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. This means the IP address is automatically assigned by the server (most likely your router).  IP addresses are automatically assigned (leased) for a time determined by your ISP.  The time varies, depending on the ISP.  When your lease expires you lose your internet connection.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Network Problems because your Wireless Switch is turned off

Benq laptopImage via Wikipedia

Many mobile laptops have a wireless switch on the front or side of the computer to enable or disable the wireless radio.  This functionality is usually added to allow laptop usage on an airplane or in other areas with radio sensitive environments.  You can switch off the wireless radio to enable usage of the laptop.  It could be an actual hardware switch or a led light by the keyboard triggered by a combination of keystrokes such as Fn, Ctrl, Alt in combination with function keys ranging from F1 to F12.  If you have a switch, make sure it is turned on in order to receive a wireless connection.

If you don't know how to turn on or off your laptop's wireless radio, consult the laptop manufacturer, or check the link below for a list of various laptop models and their corresponding wireless radio switches.

How to turn on/off Wireless in various Laptop Models
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Problems with your DVD-ROM CD-ROM drives

You are having problems accessing your DVD-ROM and CD-ROM drives. The problem happened after you opened an email attachment. You need to make sure your drivers are the correct versions. However, you do not know how to do that. What should you do that will allow you to determine whether correct versions of the drivers are installed?

Run the DRIVERQUERY command-line tool.

  • Open a command prompt window.
  • Type driverquery /? (to get a list of the driverquery options)
  • Type driverquery | more (to see a pageview display of drivers). note: the | sign on the keyboard is the broken line above the \
Driverquery is a quick way to generate a of list of installed drivers on your system.  However, in my opinion, a better way is to use DriverView, a free utility from NirSoft. DriverView works under all versions of Windows except for 98 and ME.

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    Wireless enabled and no internet connection

    The following is a repost of an unusual problem encountered a few years ago while troubleshooting a friend's Windows Vista laptop:

    I installed a free anti-virus software.  After the installation, I encountered one problem after another.  Windows Firewall connection turned off and became disabled.  I was unable to connect to the Internet even though my wireless connection was showing as enabled.  Internet Explorer was showing a "Page cannot be displayed" error.

    I googled "wireless connection showing enabled and no Internet", as I had never before encountered that problem. A blog entitled, Repair and reset Windows Vista TCPIP Winsock Catalog Corruption popped up and described the situation. It was easy and solved the problem in five short steps.  Be sure to click on the link for an explanation as to what caused the Winsock corruption.  This fix could save you a lot of potential headache. Here is the Microsoft Knowledge Base article for  How to determine and to recover from Winsock2 corruption in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, and in Windows Vista.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Find IP address of Network Printer

    computer network IP addressImage via Wikipedia
    If the printer has an Ethernet port, then it probably has a menu button to configure settings and you will have an option to display the IP address of the printer.

    If there is a computer set up to use the printer:

    1. Go to Start
    2. Go to Control Panel (In Vista, type Printer in the search box on the Start menu)
    3. Go to Printers and Faxes
    4. Right click the printer
    5. Click Properties
    6. Click the Ports tab to display the IP address
    You can ping your network from a computer connected to the network and look up an arp table:
    1. Click Start
    2. Click cmd
    3. Type ipconfig to find your network address.  Most of the time it will be (the default gateway) on a home network.
    4. Ping your network using the broadcast address.  If your network address is, the broadcast address is and you would ping  If your network address is, the broadcast address is and you would ping
    5. Then type arp -a to see the devices connected to the network.  One of the listed devices is the printer.
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    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Troubleshooting Workgroup Connections

    A common network configuration is a workgroup consisting of a few computers.  Each computer is connected to a router or hub, through an Ethernet cable or wirelessly, in order to share files or printers in a small office or home.  Problems connecting in this type of network can occur for many reasons.

    Part of the troubleshooting process is to verify the computer name and the workgroup name.  The user could have changed the name of the workgroup or name of the computer in the Systems Properties dialog box, ran Network Connections Wizard, or Network Setup Wizard.

    One way of checking the computer name, user nameworkstation domain, and other info is by using the command-line utility net config workstation.

    Go to Start
    Click Run
    Type cmd to access the DOS command prompt
    Type net config workstation
    Press Enter

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    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    How I solved code 32 for Optiarc DVD RW AD-7580S

    Crystal Clear device dvd unmountImage via Wikipedia

    Yesterday morning my Lenovo laptop was unable to recognize a DVD in my Optiarc DVD RW AD7580S.  I hadn't used the DVD player for quite awhile and wondered when the problem actually began.

    I proceeded to go into Device Manager to check the DVD/CD-ROM drives.  There was a yellow exclamation point over the DVD icon for the Optiarc DVD RW AD7580S ATA Device.  Since an exclamation point means there is some type of problem, I checked the Properties for the DVD player. An error code of 32 was generated in the Status text box on the General tab in the Device Manager Properties dialog box.

    I linked to to find out what Code 32 means.  Code 32: A driver (service) for this device has been disabled. An alternate driver may be providing this functionality.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Need an IP Address

    You are having network connectivity issues.
    1. You have ruled out problems with physical connections such as your cables and network adapters.
    2. Your Windows Troubleshooter in the Windows Help and Support Center pointed to a TCP/IP address problem.  
    Use the Ping command. TCP/IP  is a network protocol used in the Windows environment. TCP/IP automatically installs itself when it detects a network adapter. The Ping command allows you to check for connectivity between devices on your network.

    You should Ping the loopback address first. The loopback address is IP addresses that have 127 in the first octet are called loopback addresses. If this check fails, the TCP/IP configuration for your computer is incorrect. To ping the loopback address:

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Losing your internet connection?

    You are in the middle of something and you lose your internet connection. What a pain! 

    You don't feel like calling the ISP and getting up to check your cable connections or resetting your cable modem. If your computer connects through a DHCP server, which chances are it does if you have a router, it means your IP address is automatically assigned by the server and can sometimes need to be renewed. 

    You can do this by restarting your computer or if you want to save time there is an easier method. Try this: 
    Go to START/RUN. Type CMD. 
    Type ipconfig /release 
    Press enter 
    Type ipconfig /renew 
     Press enter.

    Voila! Your internet connection is renewed.

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    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Migrating to a new computer using Windows Easy Transfer

    Windows Vista is one of Microsoft's latest cli...Image via Wikipedia

    You have just purchased a new computer because your old computer has a version of Windows that is no longer supported and you want a faster computer. You have files and settings on your old computer that you desperately want to retain. How can you get the files and settings from your old computer over to your new computer without having to do it manually?

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Windows Vista Startup Repair Tool

    System Restore // 18-8-2008
    Image by twinkleboi via Flickr

    Use the Startup Repair tool if your computer won't start up. Windows Vista has a Startup Repair tool that automatically fixes common problems. The Startup Repair tool scans your computer and attempts to fix it so your computer can start correctly. 

    When your system detects a startup failure, it automatically fails over to the Startup Repair tool. The Startup Repair tool performs diagnostics to determine the cause of the failure, and then attempts to recover.

    The Startup Repair tool can automatically repair incompatible drivers, missing and corrupted startup configuration settings, and corrupted metadata.  Afterwards, a log is provided to you about the steps that were taken in the repair, and diagnostic information to make further troubleshooting easier.

    If the Startup Repair is unable to repair the startup errors, the system is rolled back to the last known working state.

    If you want to start the Startup Repair manually, make sure the disc is enabled as a boot device in the BIOS with a higher priority than the other drives.  Insert the Windows Vista installation disc. Restart and follow these steps:

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Hibernation power option

    You need to configure your desktop computer to maximize the time between recharging your computer that is used infrequently during the day. What mode should you use?

    Hibernation is a feature of laptops that allow them to enter into a low power state. This low power state will ensure that the laptop battery is not consumed when it is sitting idle. Hibernation can be configured through the Power Options applet in the Control Panel.

    Do you want some pointers on how to save energy and be green doing it?  Get your daily green tips from Our Daily Green Life and Life the Green Way

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      Standby mode and Screen Savers

      You tried to configure your XP laptop to go into Standby after 15 minutes, but it is not working. What is wrong?

      Is a screen saver configured? If so, is it a Direct3D screen saver? Direct3D screen savers sometimes prevent a computer from entering standby mode. This is because a computer goes into standby only when the CPU has been idle for the time that is configured in Power Options. When a 3D screen saver runs, the CPU begins processing. This is a known issue in MS Windows XP and a hot fix is available.
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