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How to Upgrade Windows 7 from RC to Final

The recent buzz in the technology world has been the upcoming release of the finished build (RTM) of Windows 7. Already, subscribers to Microsoft Technet have been granted access to the final release. But for those who installed the Release Candidate (RC), it will probably come as a shock to find out that there is no direct upgrade path from the RC to the final release. The reason for this is that the build values are different in the source code - the RC has a value of 7100 while the RTM has a…

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How to repair a corrupt MBR in Windows Vista

I tinker with Linux a lot and in many cases, have computers that dual-boot with Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008. What always happens is that sometimes I remove the hard drive containing the Linux partition and the GRUB boot loader. This inevitably leads to the error 5 message - "boot loader not found" when Windows starts back up. In Windows XP, it was a simple case of restarting the computer, booting from the CD and running the /fixmbr command. But, as with all things in Vista, there…

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Why Microsoft will continue to have piracy concerns

Little things usually cause people to make very drastic decisions, sometimes not because they want to, but mainly because they are driven by disgust. Take my experience with Windows Vista for instance. I just got a new computer that came preloaded with Windows Vista 64-bit Home Edition “Premium”. So far, so good. Of course, since the computer came with no productivity software, I had to shell out a few hundred bucks to buy those and install them. As a consultant, you have to know what you are supporting, so the Windows platform is a necessity especially since many business environments have the “Home” edition of Microsoft’s Operating System. I have been using Linux as my main desktop for some time now, and I recently installed Linux Mint 64-bit with OpenOffice 3, Evolution Mail, and about 75 other pieces of software for CRM, project management, network penetration testing, file encryption etc for $0. Naturally, I was probably a little testy with the Operating Sytem than most “regular” users – the ill-advised decision to remove the ability to disable your network adapter with a single right-click, for example, or the contant request for validation even to do relatively minor things. (more…)

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Reduce Stress with Faster Computer Boots

Have you ever found yourself talking to your computer urging it to "come on already"? If I had my way, working with a slow computer should be a form of torture. It does not help either that our newer computers are sometimes as slow as our lovely Pentium IIs with the never ending hourglass that you sometimes wish you could.... oh well. I use Linux Mint as my main desktop on a 64-bit hardware and I am used to fast shutdowns and very fast boots - about 20 seconds from…

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DHS Releases Conficker/Downadup Computer Worm Detection Tool

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday the release of a DHS-developed detection tool that can be used by the federal government, commercial vendors, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure owners and operators to scan their networks for the Conficker/Downadup computer worm. According to the DHS The department's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) developed the tool that assists mission-critical partners in detecting if their networks are infected. The tool has been made available to federal and state partners via the Government Forum of Incident Response and Security…

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Proactive steps for the small business owner

Every small business owner has experienced it – the dizzying speed at which technology is evolving, the myriad of solutions out there, the outrageous cost of so-called “solutions” proffered by self-confessed experts, and the tendency to “In-Source” I.T. responsibilities to a technology-savvy employee who quickly becomes frustrated, overworked and under-utilized. The outcome of this scenario is the overwhelming number of small business environments with ill-maintained computer networks that are out of date in terms of security patches, backups, updates and a coherent licensing structure. (more…)

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