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Thread: Vista

  1. #61
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    Lightbulb Vista SP1 EFI Support

    Late last month, word on the street was that the first service pack for Windows Vista might have been delayed until next year.

    Vista SP1 will become available some time in the first quarter of 2008.

    The upcoming service pack will largely be a collection of existing patches along with a handful of novelties, such as support for the exFAT file system and the Extensible Firmware Interface. The site also quotes Shanen Boettcher, the General Manager of Microsoft's Windows Unit, as saying that Vista SP1 "is not a delivery vehicle for lots of features.

    Changes likely in the upcoming service pack include:
    speedier file copies and system shutdowns
    SD Advanced Direct Memory Access support
    ExFat flash file system support
    BitLocker drive encryption improvements,
    Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) support for 64-bit
    MeetingSpace
    Remote Assistance connections
    Firewall improvements
    • Reliability and performance updates
    • Administrative improvements
    • Newfound support for some of the newer standards
    It'll also include all the updates, patches and nonpatches that have been released between Vista going RTM (release to manufacturing) late last year and now,

    Other enhancements expected in SP1 include improved performance when copying files and shutting down the computer, support for SD Advanced Direct Memory Access, support for the Windows flash file system exFAT, the ability to boot using EFI instead of BIOS on 64-bit x86 machines.

    FAQ: Say hello to Vista SP1

    To get the EU's Competition Commission and its bulldog chief, Neelie Kroes, off its back last year, Microsoft bowed to criticism from the likes of Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. and promised to produce several application programming interfaces (API) that would give security vendors some access to the kernel of 64-bit Vista, Microsoft's PatchGuard protection schemes notwithstanding. Also in SP1: another API that allows security companies to better integrate their product's on-screen status features with Vista's built-in Windows Security Center.

    SP1 adds support for the exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system, which is used on flash-based storage devices, typically on Microsoft CE-based devices. The 64-bit version of Vista SP1 also adds Extensible Firmware Interface support, letting 64-bit PCs network boot with this BIOS replacement. "Network boot," by the way, refers to cranking up a PC remotely and often applies to diskless clients that run their operating system and applications off the network.

    BitLocker whole drive encryption tool within some Vista offerings -- Ultimate and Enterprise only -- has been updated so it can encrypt any local drive, not just the primary, or c:, drive. And the Network Diagnostics tool has been enhanced, says Microsoft.

    White Paper

    Installing the service pack will require a large amount of free disk space (7 GB for x86 and 12 GB for x64). However, most of this space will be reclaimed after installation.
    Last edited by TZ; 08-29-2007 at 04:19 PM.

  2. #62
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    Lightbulb

    You cannot select the Upgrade option when you try to install Windows Vista, and you receive the following message: "Upgrade has been disabled" (926069)

    - This issue occurs because Windows Vista requires that the hard disk partition is formatted by using the NTFS file system. ... that the hard disk partition (disk volume) you are installing Vista into is formatted by using the NTFS file system. ... Sometimes, the open files may include a paging file.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926069/en-us

    BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool

    The BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool is available. You can use this tool to prepare the computer for BitLocker Drive Encryption.

    This article describes how to obtain this tool. This article also provides an operational overview of the tool. This overview includes system requirements and command-line parameters. Finally, this article describes the most common problems that you may encounter when you use the tool.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930063/en-us


    The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed
    (929605) - The primary difference between PAE memory paging schemes and non-PAE memory paging schemes is the additional level of paging that is required in PAE mode. PAE mode requires three levels of paging instead of two levels of paging. ... system instability by directly modifying system page table entries ...
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605/en-us

    PAE-mode-induced driver compatibility issues

    Driver compatibility issues that are related to Data Execution Prevention (DEP) are typically physical address extension (PAE) mode-induced compatibility issues.

    Note PAE is required only on computers that have processors that support hardware-enforced DEP.

  3. #63
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    Lightbulb PatchGuard (KPP) protection

    Opinions
    Vista Kernel Dogged by Bad Drivers
    Opinion: Microsoft says its Windows Vista signed driver policy was never meant to be a security feature

    The developers of the widely used driver added support for Windows x64 in January, as its change log shows, "by digitally signing all the binaries of the WinPcap distribution." Then on July 3, they fixed a bug that involved a system call found on Unix-like systems that allows an application to control or communicate with a device driver outside the usual read/write of data. The bug caused a BSOD (blue screen of death) when passing invalid parameters from the user level.

    In Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and yes, Vista, a BSOD happens when the kernel or a driver running in kernel mode can't recover from an error.


    As Whitehouse described it, the WinPcap vulnerability allows, yet again, arbitrary writing to kernel memory.
    It's another example of a certificate Microsoft will have to consider pulling, Whitehouse said, and it's another really good reason to stay on top of upgrades.

    "Kernel Patch Protection protects code and critical structures in the Windows kernel from modification by unknown software or data," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "This update is a defense-in-depth change that builds additional checks into KPP for increased reliability, performance and security. Although the update will enhance security within the kernel, this is not a vulnerability-related issue."

    x64 Driver Signing Update
    Scott Field, Windows Security Architect.

    Microsoft recently became aware of a third party kernel mode driver named “Atsiv” which provides a deliberate means of loading code that conflicts with the Kernel Mode Code Signing (KMCS) policy included in Windows Vista x64 editions. In Windows Vista x64 editions, the default KMCS policy is to only allow code to load into the kernel if it has been digitally signed with a valid code signing certificate.


    AMD graphics driver hole opens Vista to rootkits
    ATI driver that could allow arbitrary memory writes to the Vista kernel

    A proof-of-concept tool put together by a ReactOS kernel developer Alex Ionescu has unmasked a serious vulnerability in AMD's graphics drivers for Windows Vista. As ZDNet reports, the security hole allows the Vista kernel to be patched to turn off "certain checks for signed drivers." Through this vulnerability, a malicious programmer could develop software capable of bypassing the mandatory driver signing mechanism in Windows Vista x64 in order to load a rootkit—a tool designed to conceal the operation of other malicious software—onto the operating system.

    When asked about the security hole, a Microsoft spokesman told ZDNet, "Microsoft is in contact with ATI to help address this issue and once fixed we will assist in getting it to our customers."
    Last edited by TZ; 08-16-2007 at 08:37 AM.

  4. #64
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    Lightbulb Heard round the web...

    Performance and reliability updates, security patches, how do people who use 64-bit edition of Vista feel?

    Techreport forum talks about Vista 64-bit:
    http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=52678

  5. #65
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    Lightbulb Security update news

    Microsoft fixes 14 flaws in biggest patch day since February

    Microsoft Corp. today released nine security bulletins that offer 14 patches for a variety of bugs; Eight of the fixes were labeled as "critical" the company's highest risk ranking. Read the latest...

    Symantec, Intel work on microchip-level VM security August 15, 2007
    A Symantec vice president revealed Tuesday that his firm is working with Intel to develop security products that would run on virtual machines and be built directly into microprocessors.

    Microsoft reacts to kernel hacks, updates Vista's defenses August 15, 2007
    Microsoft Corp. quietly beefed up a key defensive feature of 64-bit Windows Vista yesterday to better protect the operating system against hacks that have plagued it for weeks.

    The update to Vista's Kernel Patch Protection, a.k.a. PatchGuard, was issued through Windows Update as a high-priority download, but not as a patch per se. Microsoft, in fact, denied that it was a security fix. "While this updates adds additional checks to the Kernel Patch Protection system, it does not involve a security vulnerability," an advisory posted yesterday by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) stated. "The update does increase the reliability, performance, and resiliency provided by Kernel Patch Protection."

    Patch Tuesday, Aug 14:

    "For instance, #6 addresses remote code execution through Windows Media Player. This is only given a rating of 'important' because it requires some form of user interaction, but many users browsing the Internet are viewing media. Even if an organization blocks certain Web sites or Active content, they typically don't block streaming media which could easily trick users into compromise if this vulnerability is exploited."

    (Even with the patch, AVG alerted me that WMP wanted to establish an outbound connection immediately after startup! which I blocked, permanently.)
    Last edited by TZ; 08-21-2007 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #66
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    Lightbulb Flash

    Flash Player support on 64-bit operating systems

    Issue

    Flash Player is not supported for playback in a 64-bit browser.

    However, you can run Flash Player in a 32-bit browser running on a 64-bit operating system.

    Reason

    Adobe is working on Flash Player support for 64-bit platforms as part of our ongoing commitment to the cross-platform compatibility of Flash Player. We have not yet announced timing or release dates.

    Solution

    To use Flash Player to view Flash content on a 64-bit operating system, you must run a 32-bit browser.

    Adobe Flash plug-in

  7. #67
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    Lightbulb Repartition my hard disk

    Can I repartition my hard disk?

    You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.
    Yes. It's possible in this version of Windows to repartition your hard disk by using the Shrink feature in Disk Management. You can shrink an existing partition or volume to create unallocated disk space, from which you can create a new partition or volume. (Often, the terms partition and volume are used interchangeably.)



    1. Open Computer Management by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Computer Management.* If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    2. In the Navigation pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
    3. Right-click the volume you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.
    4. Follow the instructions on your screen.
    For detailed information on how to shrink a volume, open Disk Management, click Help on the menu bar, click Help Topics, click the Contents tab, click Disk Management: Welcome, click Manage Basic Volumes, and then click Shrink a Basic Volume.
    Notes
    • If you have multiple partitions on your hard disk, you can delete and create partitions from the resulting unallocated space. When you delete a partition, all data on the partition will be erased.
    • You can also repartition hard disks with a third-party partitioning program. Several third-party manufacturers offer programs that allow you to repartition your hard disk without erasing data.
    When a new disk drive is discovered, you have the choice of using MBR to be compatible with previous Windows systems, or to use GUID which would only be supported with Vista.
    Last edited by TZ; 08-21-2007 at 03:12 PM.

  8. #68
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  9. #69
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    Lightbulb Intel® Workstation Board S5000

    Links to Intel and others in this thread:
    Driver support

    Intel® Workstation Board S5000XVN

  10. #70
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    Lightbulb FireWire crippled to 100MB/sec?

    I saw there was a hotfix for XP SP2 to fix slow I/O over Firewire (any) but Vista? Seems like 10MB/sec.

    So you might want to consider what other interface. Either USB2 even, or eSATA.

    Also look to make sure that WD etc have "Vista Certified" - it may be 90% marketing, but the other 10% helps.

    I thought copying was fast - at first - and there was a patch this month to "improve copying" but lately using various drives they all seemed to be slower than they should.

    Source drive and target when both are 'modern' SATA should "fly."
    More testing to follow up.

  11. #71
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  12. #72
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    Lightbulb Disk performance - Cached system files

    Disk performance is a serious limiting factor for the performance of most systems. As the drive fills, it becomes slower due to the additional disk head motion required to access the files that are spread across the disk. A full drive is a slow drive, so the best way to increase performance is to uninstall unneeded applications and delete the junk files that Windows keeps around long after they have served their purpose.

    By default, XP's System Restore feature uses 12% of the total space on every partition to save restore point files and settings. For example, with a 200GB disk broken into two 100GB partitions, it will use 12GB on each partition to hold system-restore files. With its standard settings, XP creates a restore point every day. The actual size of a restore point varies, but they are typically something less than 50MB. That means the default settings allow for about 200 days of restore points, which is much more than anyone needs.

  13. #73
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    Lightbulb Benefits of 64-bit OS

    Although this approach reduces virtual address consumption, it does not eliminate the 2 GB virtual address space limit that many applications are quickly approaching on their own. Eventually, applications will reach the limit for other reasons.

    Prerequisites

    If you are running a Windows Vista-based computer that has multiple graphics cards, we recommend that you first install the hotfix that is included in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 936710.

    For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 936710 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936710/)

    When a DirectX 10 application runs on a Windows Vista-based computer that has multiple graphics cards, the computer does not use the secondary graphics card

    A comparison table of 32 vs 64-bit virtual address space:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294418/
    Top 10 benefits of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

    7 Multiprocessing and multicore processor support
    Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is designed to support up to two single or multicore x64 processors for maximum performance and scalability.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/6...cts/top10.mspx
    The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed.

    Various devices in a typical computer require memory-mapped access. This is known as memory-mapped I/O (MMIO). For the MMIO space to be available to 32-bit operating systems, the MMIO space must reside within the first 4 GB of address space.

    For example, if you have a video card that has 256 MB of onboard memory, that memory must be mapped within the first 4 GB of address space. If 4 GB of system memory is already installed, part of that address space must be reserved by the graphics memory mapping. Graphics memory mapping overwrites a part of the system memory. These conditions reduce the total amount of system memory that is available to the operating system.

    The reduction in available system memory depends on the devices that are installed in the computer. However, to avoid potential driver compatibility issues, the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista limit the total available memory to 3.12 GB. See the "More information" section for information about potential driver compatibility issues.

    If a computer has many installed devices, the available memory may be reduced to 3 GB or less. However, the maximum memory available in 32-bit versions of Windows Vista is typically 3.12 GB.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605

    The Benefits of x64 Technology

    http://www.microsoft.com/servers/64b.../benefits.mspx

  14. #74
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    Lightbulb Intel RAID issue w/ Quicktiime & iTunes

    There is a problem with RAID volumes and QuickTime Windows on Vista early on. As for what triggers it or not, hum... it's no fun if it affects you and your system.

    If you look in the Vista event viewer you will find event id 9 errors with a source of iastor, which is the intel raid driver. This is the source of the quicktime slowdown. If you leave quicktime running long enough it will fail both drives of a raid 1 array and Vista will crash.
    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=86131
    Intel RAID
    QuickTime Vista RAID Havoc

    UPDATE: So it looks like some of these issues could be related to using an Intel RAID array and that there could be fixes coming with the famous Vista Service Pack 1.
    http://www.geekzone.co.nz/hadders/2273

    Latest Cnet forum fix
    Intel's Fix for Vista

    Intel release notes for its Intel Matrix Storage Manager version 7.0.0.1020 that acknowledge a known problem with using iTunes and Quicktime to play video.

    New hardware support Support for platforms with the Intel(R) 82801HBM/HEM I/O controller hubs (ICH8M/ICH8M-E).
    Intel® Rapid Recover Technology Introducing Intel® Rapid Recover Technology on platforms with Intel(R) 82801HEM SATA RAID controller hub. This feature allows the primary system drive to be cloned either in continuous or manual update mode. The fast sync capability brings about faster synchronization. The ability to boot to the recovery drive facilitates rapid recovery of the system in the event of a primary hard drive failure.
    Improved event logging The list of Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager events reported in the system event log has been improved and enhanced.

  15. #75
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    Lightbulb Troubleshoot Quicktime, iTunes Windows


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