Tips, Tools, Tricks for Windows 2000

Tips, Tools, Tricks for Windows 2000<@VM>Tips, Tools, Tricks for Windows 2000 (cont.)<@VM>Tips, Tools, Tricks for Windows 2000 (cont. 2)

Microsoft Windows 2000 is many things, but it is not particularly easy to get up and running. It's a new, expansive operating system with new code, tools and features, and in some respects it requires a new approach to network management. So, if you've recently upgraded to Win 2000, or if you're planning to, you can use all the help you can get. Here are 100 items that can contribute to a successful migration.

The tips, tools and tricks that follow include everything from advice on deploying or running the system to utilities that help you administer your Win 2000 network and some freeware programs that can make life easier.

The list was complied from a variety of sources, with significant assists from the GCN Lab, Stu Souwjerman of Sunbelt Software Inc. of Clearwater, Fla. (www.sunbelt-software.com), BrainBuzz.com of Tampa, Fla. (www.brainbuzz.com) and the PC and Windows resource Active Network (www.activewin.com).

Tips

Take it with you. Notebook PC users who store data on a network drive can now access that data while off the network. Right-click any file or folder and select Make Available Offline. The data travels with you and is automatically updated when you return to the network. To make certain this feature is enabled, open My Computer and select Folder Options from the Tools menu. Use the Offline Files tab to specify your preferences.

The big sleep. You can allot hard drive space to enable hibernation on Win 2000. Go to the Control Panel and then into the Power Options. Click on the Hibernate tab. The OS will estimate the space needed to put the system into hibernation, where all running tasks are saved to disk and the system is put into sleep mode. When you power back up, the computer returns to the state it was in before the big sleep. You have to click the check box to activate hibernate support. Then go under the Advanced tab to tell the computer when it is allowed to hibernate. But you might not want to try this with PCs more than a year old. Win 2000 taps into some advanced power features that require appropriate hardware and BIOS settings. Click the tab labeled APM, for Advanced Power Management, to find out if your system can use power-saving features.

How am I doing? If your system seems slow, you can bring up an extensive monitoring window that is simple and accurate. Go to the Control Panel and click on the Performance icon. A window showing how your system is using available resources comes up as a bar graph. You can set different variables on which of your system's resources to monitor. You also can click on the Alerts option and find out what is going on, including any conflicts, behind the scenes.

Name game. You might be used to changing your computer's name and its associated domain with the Network icon in the Control Panel. With Win 2000, you will find that information under the Network Identification tab of the System icon.

Shell game. Win 2000 often tries to stay ahead of users by anticipating what they should or should not see. For example, when entering the OS directory, a message along the left side of the window says: 'This folder contains files that keep your system working properly. There is no need to modify its contents.' A little lower, there's a link for Show Files. Click it to see the contents.

Tired of waiting? From a cold boot, the OS start-up by default allows 30 seconds for the user to select which OS to load. For PCs running more than Win 2000, this is handy. But for the rest of us, it's wasted time. To decrease or eliminate the delay, go to the Control Panel and double-click the System icon. Select the Advanced tab and click the Startup and Recovery button at the bottom. It brings up a window where you can change the delay time or uncheck the box to skip the delay.

Make a backup. When you upgrade to Win 2000 Professional from Windows 9x or Windows NT, the setup wizard displays a warning message telling you that your current OS will be replaced if you continue. Since Win 2000 doesn't have an uninstall feature to let you return to your previous OS, make a complete system backup before upgrading to Win 2000. That's the only way you can return to the previous OS as it was before the upgrade.

Editing the registry. Once you edit a registry key there is basically no turning back because neither registry editor in Win 2000 has an undo feature. What then? First, back up the registry before performing an edit, as there is always the risk of a mistake. Second, remember the keys you change just in case you would like to change them back to the original settings. Finally, if you are worried about a setting you think you might change, the best thing to do is not to change it unless it is vital.

What's that? Almost everywhere in Win 2000, holding the pointer over an icon will prompt a helpful phrase to pop up, explaining the feature. The bubble help is everywhere, from applications to Control Panels.

Pulling the strings. With Win 2000, everyone can have full Telnet power. Click on Administrative Tools in the Control Panel, and then open Telnet Server Administration. A Telnet window opens automatically. See exactly who is accessing your system, boot users, change registry settings and even stop or start services. If you are running a server, this is a handy shortcut that will make you master of your domain.


User control. Users, passwords and encryption certificates are all housed under the Users and Passwords icon of the Control Panel. You can add or delete users, change passwords and adjust some user rights. You also can access encryption certificates.


Fade out. Win 2000 has fading menus turned on by default. When you go to the Start button, all the menu bars slowly fade in until they are solid. On slower desktop PCs and most portables, the process can be quite maddening. You can rid yourself of the special effect. Right-click on your desktop and select Properties, then go to the Effects tab. From there, your first option is the menus. Uncheck the box to turn off all effects, or you can select to have the menus displayed with the scrolling effect most people are used to. And scrolling is a lot faster.

Pausing a queue. Here's how to pause or resume an outgoing queue: First, open Computer Management. In the console tree, right-click Outgoing Queues. Then click Pause. Click resume to start the queue again.

A la carte. Under Win 2000, a user can set up the Control Panel and other Start Menu folders to open and expand when the pointer hovers over them, just like Programs and Documents items do. Right-click the Taskbar and select Properties. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties box, click on the Advanced tab. At the bottom of the screen is a small window with the Start Menu Settings. Among them is Expand Control Panel. There are several other check boxes for customized menus that will expand automatically.

Get your rights. While visiting a client system, administrators can run applications using administrator's rights without forcing the user to log off or returning
to the administrator's own terminal.
The RunAs service allows this convenience. Under the Services icon in the Administrative Tools folder of the Control Panel, make certain RunAs is enabled and the appropriate user account is designated. On any application shortcut, right-click and select Run as in the menu and enter the password of the appropriate account.

You and your shadow. If you think your cursor under Win 2000 looks a
little heavier than before, it's just that large shadow following it around. If you don't like to be shadowed, you can deactivate this, returning your cursor to its high-noon appearance. Go into Control Panel and launch the Mouse icon. Then click on the Pointers tab. Uncheck the box next to Enable Pointer Shadow, and the darkness returns to whence it came.

No more protection. Before you begin the installation of Win 2000, uninstall any antivirus or disk-accessing utilities, such as Norton Utilities or McAfee VirusScan. Some of these applications will interfere with installation. Moreover, these applications need to be updated for the new operating system.

For your eyes only. Win 2000 provides encryption and decryption on the fly. Right-click on any file or folder, select Properties, and click the Advanced button. Under Compress or Encrypt Attributes, check Encrypt Contents to Secure Data. Once a file or folder is secured, only the logged-in user who encrypted the file can access the file. But note that while prying eyes cannot read encrypted contents, the files and folders can be deleted by unauthorized users.


Upgrading evaluation edition. If you have installed the Win 2000 evaluation edition and want to upgrade it to full code using the Win 2000 upgrade CD, download this utility at www.microsoft.com/technet/win2000/win2ksrv/tools/w2kupd.asp. To complete the upgrade, you will need to have a valid qualifying Windows CD, such as that for Win98 or NT 4.0. You do not need this utility if you are using the standard, non-upgrade Win 2000 CD.

Win 2000 readiness tool. Start preparing for Win 2000 with the Microsoft Readiness Framework Skills Manager Tool 3.0. This tool provides personalized learning plans and resources for preparing to deploy, migrate to, interface with, and develop applications for Win 2000. Details on downloading are at www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=enterprise&
SubSite=readiness&PageCall=skillsmanager&PageMenu=sub
.

Testing, testing. Before migrating to Win 2000, it is well worth your time to test custom applications for their ability to run on the new OS, even if they already run well under NT. Set up an evaluation copy on an available computer with enough power to run the applications.


Tools

Security check. STAT, which stands for Security Test and Analysis Tool, from Harris Corp.'s electronic systems sector in Melbourne, Fla., is designed for
the security of government sites
and runs more than 800 checks of critical and vulnerable points in Win 2000. Check it out at www.statonline.com, or call 888-725-7828.


Back to work. FileScreen 2000 from W. Quinn Associates Inc. of Reston, Va., can help keep employees from downloading such things as MP3 music files, pornography or unlicensed games that aren't part of their jobs. The software checks for image, video and sound files and prevents them from being written to servers. Go to www.wquinn.com, or call 703-758-0707.


Guarding the gate. Secure Suite from I/O Software Inc. of Riverside, Calif., provides tools for increasing security by replacing password log-ons with one of several options, including fingerprint or other biometric characteristics, smart cards, tokens or proximity cards. The software includes public-key infrastructure support. Visit www.iosoftware.com, or call 909-222-7600.

Remote control. NetOP Remote Control Version 6.5 from Sunbelt Software provides fast, flexible remote monitoring and support for PCs on a Win 2000 network. Check it out at www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=888, or call 888-688-8457.

Vulnerability assessment. System Scanner 4.0 from Internet Security Systems Inc. of Atlanta provides system security assessments for Win 2000 Professional and Win 2000 Server. Call 678-443-6142, or visit www.iss.net.

Easy ISS security. Internet Server Security Configuration Tool 1.0 for Win 2000 from Microsoft makes it a snap to secure a Web server running Internet Information Server 5.0. It interviews you to determine what
services you want to provide and then generates and deploys a policy to configure the server accordingly. It's downloadable free at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tools.asp.

Back it up. BackupNow for CD recorders and rewriters, Win 2000 edition, from NewTech Infosystems Inc. of Tustin, Calif., lets users include both image- and file-level CD backup in a single application. Once a master backup is obtained, users can back up new or changed files as needed with BackupNow's built-in scheduler. Go to www.ntius.com, or call 714-259-9700.

Managing space. DiskSpace Explorer 2.1 for Win 2000, NT and Win9x from East Technologies Software of Oradea, Romania, lets users analyze and manage disk space to make allocation decisions. A 30-day trial version is available at www.east-tec.com/spacex/download.htm.

Remote registry. Multi-Remote Registry Change 3.5 from Eytcheson Software of Independence, Kan., is designed to make managing the registry for networks running NT or Win 2000 fast and efficient. The software even lets network administrators change user names and passwords for services and modify user rights on remote machines. Find out more at www.eytcheson.com, or call 316-330-1483.

Last laugh. Hyena 2.3 from Adkins Resources Inc. of La Vernia, Texas, is designed to simplify day-to-day network administration tasks with a single, centralized Explorer-style interface for all Win 2000 management functions. Hyena 2.3 adds support for new Win 2000 settings for user-rights management dialogues and the audit policy dialogues. It can be downloaded at
www.adkins-resource.com/download.htm, or call 877-797-8665 for more information.

Keeping tabs. MDE InfoHandler 6.0 from MDE Software of Germany provides an interface through which users can organize documents, notes, e-mail messages, Internet links and other files. The software provides passport protection for databases, multiuser support and a search tool. For more information, visit www.mdesoft.com.

Manager's toolkit. Northern Utilities from Northern Parklife Inc. of Tampa, Fla., is a toolbox that aids network administration without requiring installation of agents ahead of time on PCs and servers. The tools allow remote reboots and remote kills. Visit www.northern.se, or call 813-639-0767.


Safe exchange. Antigen 5.5 for Microsoft Exchange from Sybari Software Inc. of East Northport, N.Y., provides tools that can prevent the spread of viruses in an exchange environment. The software scans messages on a network, examining files by content rather than file name, without slowing down servers or the delivery of messages. It also shares information between clustered nodes. Contact Sybari at 631-630-8500, or go to www.sybari.com.


Fast track. SuperSpeed 2000 from SuperSpeed.com of Sudbury, Mass., eliminates a system bottleneck by moving disk data into system memory, where it can be accessed by application software at high speeds. The company's SuperCache 2000 helps to cache disk partitions that otherwise would be too large to fit into system memory. Visit the company's site, at www.superspeed.com, or call 800-388-8872.

Ship it to Win 2000. Network administrators can use ShipIT, a software distribution tool from Computer Associates International Inc., to migrate their entire computing environment to Win 2000. For more information, visit www.cai.com/products/shipit.htm, or call 800-225-5224.

On the job. The Argent Job Scheduler from Argent Software Inc. of Nashua, N.H., takes advantage of symmetric multiprocessing servers with four-, eight- and 32-way CPU architectures to provide the kind of batch processing typically limited to mainframe job schedulers. Argent says it can increase the number of jobs that can be run on one server from 8,000 per day to more than 300,000 per day. Visit- Argent's site, at www.argentsoftware.com, or call 603-883-6000.

Got your backup. Veritas Backup Exec Desktop Edition from Veritas Software Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., provides automated data protection for Win 2000 Professional. It provides one-click backup and data restoration and can automate backup operations. It also includes a disaster recovery tool that can restore an entire system. Contact Veritas at 800-327-2232, or visit its Web site, at www.veritas.com.

Directory support. UltraAdmin 2.0, network administration software from Dorian Software Creations Inc. of Decatur, Ga., features Active Directory support for users, groups and computers in Win 2000 domains. UltraAdmin lets administrators filter domain views and use drag-and-drop to manage group membership, privileges and access control lists. Go to www.ultraadmin.com/download.asp, or call 404-633-3623.Looking for trouble. Directory-Analyzer for Active Directory from NetPro Computing Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., monitors Win 2000's Active Directory, including domain controllers, domains, and Domain Naming System functions. It troubleshoots problems and provides early warning of infrastructure problems. Visit www.netpro.com, or call 480-941-3600.

Plan it out. DM/Suite from FastLane Technologies Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia, provides directory management applications for the planning, deploy-ment and management of Win 2000.
It can enforce policies across multiple
directories and platforms, including Active Directory domain structures. Contact FastLane at 902-421-5353, or go to www.fastlane.com.

Smooth move. BindView Corp.'s bv-Admin for Win 2000 Migration has a set of tools to facilitate the migration from NT to Win 2000 and Active Directory. It includes user and group account migration and merging, and other tools for users, servers and workstations. The Houston company also sells bv-Admin for Win 2000 Administration. Check out its Web site, at www.bindview.com, or call 800-813-5869.

Stocking up. ARCserveIT Enterprise from Computer Associates provides automated, cross-platform storage. It incorporates RAID storage technology and supports a variety of client OSes. See the company's Web site, at www.cai.com, or call 631-342-5224.

Troubleshoot AD. DirectoryAnalyzer from NetPro Computing monitors and troubleshoots Active Directory. It displays an enterprise-level view of the directory infrastructure, identifying relationships and disclosing detailed information about each component. DirectoryAnalyzer troubleshoots domains, domain controllers and DNS servers; delivers early warning of infrastructure problems; and provides error resolution with a context-sensitive knowledge base. Get details and a free evaluation copy at www.netpro.com/directoryanalyzer, or call 800-998-5090.

Get a grip. AppManager Suite from NetIQ Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., allows proactive management of Win 2000 servers, clients and server applications. It allows automated problem detection and correction, and can generate reports to verify service levels. Contact NetIQ at 408-330-7000, or check the company's Web site, at www.netiq.com.

Save and restore. UltraBac 5.5 from Ultrabac.com of Bellevue, Wash., a division of BEI Corp., provides backup and disaster recovery for Win 2000, including enhanced restore options for SQL Server 7.0 databases, and a new interface for creating disaster recovery boot disks. Visit www.ultrabac.com, or call 425-644-6000.

Take it with you. Desktop DNA from Miramar Systems Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., is a handy tool for system migration that lets you take all of your personalized Windows system settings, applications and files with you. It's based on a scripting language that is Win 2000-ready. Contact Miramar at 805-966-2432, or check its site, at www.miramarsys.com.

Ready for rescue. ERDisk from Aelita Software Corp. of Powell, Ohio, performs backup and recovery functions on computers running NT and Win 2000. The software automatically updates system configuration changes and creates emergency repair disks remotely and across an entire network. Contact Aelita at 800-263-0036, or visit www.aelita.com.

Inside look. LDMDump is a freeware utility from Sysinternals that lets you examine what is in a disk's copy of a system's Logical Disk Manager database. LDM manages the disk partitioning scheme that is new to Win 2000. LDMDump shows you the contents of the LDM database private header, table of contents and object database, and summarizes its finding. The Sysinternals site is at www.sysinternals.com.

Save that file. File Rescue for Win 2000 from Software Shelf International Inc. of Clearwater, Fla., allows for full undeletion of files after they have been removed from the recycle bin. Users also can restore compressed files and heavily fragmented files. Get downloads at www.softwareshelf.com, or call 727-445-1920.

Across the board. Symantec Corp.'s pcAnywhere provides remote troubleshooting and help desk support. Version 9.2 from the Cupertino, Calif., company, is certified for Win 2000 and has a new file transfer interface. It allows connection via the Internet, can launch third-party applications and includes security wizards. Contact Symantec at 408-253-9600, or visit www.symantec.com.

Watchful eye. Observer from Network Instruments LLC of Minneapolis is a network monitor and protocol analyzer for Ethernet, token-ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface. It provides metrics, capture and trending for both shared and switched network environments. Contact Network Instruments at 800-526-7919, or visit www.networkinstruments.com.

Added control. UserManagemeNT from Tools4ever of Baarn, Netherlands, helps simplify server administration in Active Directory through the Microsoft Management Console. It can set up,
manage and move users from one server to another, individually or in batches. Visit www.tools4nt.com for more information.

Service pack check. SPQuery from St. Bernard Software Inc. of San Diego reports which service packs and hot fixes are installed, which are not installed and which are available. It facilitates locating, downloading and installing the latest service packs locally or remotely. A release for Win 2000 is scheduled for this year. Contact St. Bernard at 800-782-3762, or visit www.stbernard.com.

Frag fighter. Diskeeper 5.0 from Executive Software International of Glendale, Calif., performs automatic disk defragmentation to help eliminate fragmentation bottlenecks. It operates in the background and can be set to work on one disk or a thousand, across groups or multiple domains. It comes in client and server versions. Contact Executive Software at 800-829-6468, or go to www.execsoft.com.


Migration planning. Sunbelt Domain Reporter 2.6 from Sunbelt Software is an NT BackOffice-compliant reporting tool that lets you collect domain information on file systems permissions while planning transitions to new domain structures and Win 2000. It also provides domain object and file permissions reports, and performs security auditing. Contact Sunbelt Software at 888-688-8457, or visit www.sunbelt-software.com.


Gaining speed. WarpNT from EngageNT Inc. of Kirkland, Wash., is a performance enhancement tool that, despite its NT name, also works with Win 2000. It speeds up applications by allowing users to adjust the caching mechanism. With it, you can simultaneously process tasks from batch processing to video editing. Contact EngageNT at 425-820-9999, or visit www.engagent.com.


Archiving help. File Archivist from NTP Software of Manchester, N.H., automatically locates unused files, catalogs them and moves them to a specified directory. You can then back up the files on tape and archive them, freeing space on your hard drive. Contact NTP Software at 800-226-2755, or visit www.ntpsoftware.com.

No Scripting code. ScriptLogic Professional Edition 3.0 from ScriptLogic Corp. of Pompano Beach, Fla., lets Win 2000 network administrators centralize client administration with a single line of scripting code. ScriptLogic incorporates log-on scripting, security-policy management, and other functions from a centralized, intuitive management console. Visit www.scriptlogic.com, or call 888-468-3538.

Data available. Double-Take from NSI Software of Hoboken, N.J., keeps backup copies of critical files by monitoring file changes as they occur on source servers and replicating them to a server over existing network links. Contact NSI at 888-674-9495, or go to www.nsisw.com.


Keeping track. EventAdmin from Aelita Software is an event management and analysis system that provides a central location for collecting, storing, and analyzing information contained in event logs on midsize and large Win 2000 networks. Contact Aelita at 800-263-0036, or visit www.aelita.com.

Automating tasks. OpalisRobot, system management and automation software from Opalis Software Inc. of Toronto provides real-time monitoring, notification, corrective action and event-driven job scheduling for proactive administration over Win 2000 environments. Call 416-253-9383, or visit www.opalis.com.

Built for Windows. Galaxy Enterprise 2000 from CommVault Systems Inc. of Oceanport, N.J., is a storage management system built from the ground up on a Windows platform for managing large, heterogeneous computing environments. Galaxy's console shows logical views of files and application-specific data. Go to www.commvault.com, or call 732-870-4000.

Early alerts. RobMon for Win 2000 from Heroix Corp. of Newton, Mass., manages Win 2000 applications, systems and networks. It monitors for early warning signs, alerting network administrators. Call 800-229-6500, or go to www.heroix.com.

Alerts for stress points. StorageResource Manager from HighGround Systems Inc. of Marlborough, Mass., discovers enterprise storage resources, monitors predetermined thresholds and sends alerts on storage stress points and bottlenecks in Win 2000 environments. Check it out at www.highground.com/products/srm.htm, or call 800-395-9385.


Sorting out your disk. StorageCentral 4.1 for Win 2000, an enterprise storage-capacity optimization package from W. Quinn Associates of Reston, Va., monitors and controls disk utilization in real-time and lets users estimate future storage requirements. It operates from a single management console and provides alerts of attempted storage violations. Download a trial copy at www.wquinn.com/prod_stor.htm, or call 703-758-0707.

Install it. NetInstall 5.0 from Install Shield Software Corp. of Schaumburg, Ill., lets network administrators distribute and manage software from a
single server. Its NetInstall Manager
contains a powerful scripting language for customizing installation packages.
It also configures the distribution of
the software packages and determines user access to the applications. Call 888-838-1163 or visit www.installshield.com.

Tricks

Free calendar. Task Plus from Contact Plus Corp. of Satellite Beach, Fla., is a freeware task and calendar management program that can track an unlimited number of projects and tasks from a calendar. You also can include holidays, birthdays and work deadlines, and publish a calendar to a Web page. Download it from www.contactplus.com/products/freestuff/index.htm, or call 800-366-9876 for more information.

Security patch. Microsoft last month released a patch and a tool to eliminate a vulnerability in Win 2000 that could make it easier for a malicious user with control of Win 2000 to access and compromise other users' information. Details on the vulnerability and the patch can be found at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-032.asp.

Resolve access snag. This update resolves the mixed object access security vulnerability in Win 2000 by preventing a malicious user from modifying information in Active Directory. This vulnerability can only be exploited under specific conditions by a user who already has authority to modify information in Active Directory. Only Win 2000 domain controllers are affected by the vulnerability, and Win 2000 auditing shows administrators who made the change. Download the patch at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/critical/q259401/default.asp.


FTP support. Crystal FTP 2000 from Crystal Art Software is a freeware file transfer protocol client, supported by advertising banners inside the utility, with a configurable Office 2000 interface. It lets you send, receive or delete files or folders with a single click and includes features such as resuming file transfers where they left off. Download it at www.casdk.com.


Get a driver update. This update addresses the high bandwidth unavailable with VIA 1394 Open Host Controller error message in Win 2000. If the 1394 Open Host Controller Interface on a computer contains four or more ports, certain 1394 devices connected to the 1394 OHCI may be unable to allocate the level of bandwidth necessary to transfer data. Installing this update lets the affected 1394 devices operate at full capacity. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/recommended/q253152/default.asp.

Thwart malice. This update resolves two security vulnerabilities in Internet Information Server 5.0 and IIS 4.0: the undelimited .htr request vulnerability and the file fragment reading via .htr vulnerability. Installing this update will prevent a malicious user from exploiting the vulnerabilities to slow performance on an affected Web server or obtaining the source code of certain types of files on a Web server. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/critical/q260069/default.asp.

Go to the root. Win 2000 Server will set up the integrated Dynamic Domain Naming System server for you, but that can cause a problem in using root hints or forwarder options to resolve DNS queries. Win 2000 by default creates a forward lookup zone for '.', which is root, so you cannot forward or use root hints. The resolution: Inside the DNS manager, delete the '.' zone from the forward lookup table, then shut down the DNS manager and restart it. In the Properties for the DNS, you can now add forwarding and root hints.

Object viewer. DevView, freeware from Walter Oney Software of Boston, gives a view of the Win 2000 kernel-mode namespace and lets you drill down to view device and driver objects and symbolic links. DevView requires a Beta 2 or later version of Win 2000. Download it at www.oneysoft.com/devview.htm.

Saving event logs. EventSave Version 4.0 from Frank Heyne Software of Dresden, Germany, allows you to schedule automatic saving and deletion of event logs in Win 2000. Download it at www.heysoft.de/index.htm.

The rights place. User rights may need adjustment after an upgrade from Win9x to Win 2000. Unlike upgrading from NT, when you upgrade from Win95 or Win98, all your users are automatically added to the local Administrators group. Microsoft did this because the users had full access to local resources when running under Win9x. You can remove them from the local Administrators group and add them to the local Users group.

Redirect approach. When redirecting a command to a file in Win 2000 Professional, Server or Advanced Server, use redirection operators such as > and > to spool the output of a command to a file. Use dir > file.txt to redirect the output of dir to file.txt. The contents in the file will be replaced if it exists. Use dir > file.txt to append the output of dir to file.txt, if it exists; otherwise, a new file is created.

Taking command. Ever wish you had command line completion in Windows similar to what you can get in Unix? In Win 2000 it's easy. Simply type Start->Run, then type cmd /f:on to start a command prompt with automatic name completion enabled. Or, you can modify the shortcut that you use to start a command prompt (Start->Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt) by right-clicking the shortcut and clicking Properties. In the Target box, add /f:on to the end of systemroot/system32/cmd.exe. Now, to use it, use Ctrl-D for directory names or Ctrl-F for file names to cycle through the list of available directory or file names, respectively. Shift-Ctrl-D or Shift-Ctrl-F will cycle through the list in the reverse order.

Emergency recovery. Win 2000 has the ability to boot into the Emergency Recovery Console, which lets you perform file manipulations so you can attempt to recover from a corrupted Win 2000 installation. It's an option that can be installed by typing winnt32/cmdcons from the Win 2000 CD, and it adds another boot option in the boot.ini. If you want to install this as part of your standard server or client image, you can use the following command format during your scripted server setup to make it a silent install: winnt32/cmdcons/unattend.

Making the change. To change the mount order in the work queue, open Removable Storage and, in the console tree, click Work Queue. In the details pane, right-click the applicable mount operation and then click Re-order Mounts. In the Change Mount Order dialog box, do one of the following: To make the selected mount operation the next to be completed, click Move to the Front of the Queue. To make the selected mount operation the last to be completed, click Move to the End of the Queue. To move the selected mount operation to a specific position in the work queue, click Make it Number, and then click the up or down arrow to move the item ahead or behind in the queue.

Upgrading from a beta. When upgrading from a previous installation, the OS typically will detect the current version. But when starting an upgrade from within NT or Win9x, you might get the message: 'Win 2000 Setup could not detect the version of Windows you are currently running. Setup cannot continue.' This can result if you cloned your current OS and the cloning software dropped your product identification. To correct the problem, use the registry editor to navigate to hkey_local_machine/software/microsoft/windowsnt/currentversion/productid. Edit the ProductId string value and enter your product ID. For Win9x users, replace 'Windows NT' in the above registry path with 'Windows.'

Adding a submenu. To add a submenu to the Start menu for administrator, right-click Start and then click Open All Users. Double-click the folder in which you want to add a submenu, usually the Programs folder. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder. Type a name for your new submenu, and then click an empty space on the desktop.

Strengthen encryption. The Win 2000 high encryption pack lets you enhance your system with the highest available encryption level, 128-bit.
Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/recommended/encryption/default.asp.

BackOffice service packs. BackOffice Server 4.5 is fully supported on Win 2000 Server but requires specific service packs, which can be downloaded at www.microsoft.com/backofficeserver/prodinfo/win2000sps.htm. The service packs offer the latest software and performance enhancements and include necessary updates for compatible operation of BackOffice applications on Win 2000 Server.

Migrating tool. The Active Directory Migration Tool provides an easy, secure and fast way to migrate to Win 2000 Active Directory service. System administrators can use the tool to diagnose potential problems before starting migration operations to Win 2000 Server Active Directory. The tool's reporting feature lets you assess the impact of the migration, both before and after move operations. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/admt/default.asp.


Offline readiness. The Disk Image Version from Microsoft lets you run the Readiness Analyzer on computers that are not on the Internet or your network. Using two floppy disks, you can download the tool from the Internet. Then run the tool on offline computers you want to analyze before installing Win 2000. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/radiskimg/default.asp.

User data. Log Info Version 1.21 from RJL Software Inc. of Lith, Ill., is a freeware utility that lets you log significant amounts of information about your users by adding one line to users' log-in scripts or by running the Log Info program from a floppy. It logs hardware and network information, OS data, PC configuration information and more. Check it out at www.rjlsoftware.com, or call 847-669-8061.

Updating Iomega tools. Installing this update will resolve an incompatibility between Win 2000 and software from Iomega Corp. of Roy, Utah, used to access storage devices attached to a parallel port. This update lets Iomega software tools view parallel port drives with Win 2000. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/recommended/q251381/default.asp.

Prepping for Win 2000. The
Win 2000 Readiness Analyzer tool analyzes your system and reports potentially incompatible hardware devices and software applications. Although this check also occurs during Win 2000 setup, you can download and run the tool before installing Win 2000 to help ensure your installation will succeed. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/readiness/default.asp.

Compatibility updates. Microsoft's application support package sent in May includes software compatibility updates for Win 2000 and includes the compatibility updates of the February package. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/appcompat/default.asp.

Sizing things up. The Active Directory Sizer tool lets you estimate the hardware required for deploying Active Directory in your organization. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/sizer/default.asp.

Prep tool. The Win 2000 System Preparation Tool Version 1.1 lets administrators prepare Win 2000 System Images as part of an automated deployment. Sysprep 1.1 is an update to Sysprep 1.0 and adds the ability to reduce the number of images required in a deployment by supporting multiple
mass storage controllers. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/sysprep/default.asp.

Upgrade utility. Download this utility if you have installed the Win 2000 Evaluation Edition and want to upgrade it to full code using the Win 2000 Upgrade CD. To successfully complete the upgrade, you will need to have a valid qualifying Windows CD, such as that for Win98 or NT 4.0. If you are trying to upgrade using the Standard, nonupgrade Win 2000 CD, you do not need this download. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/deployment/evalupg/default.asp.

Help files. Download your choice of Help files for Win 2000 Professional, Win 2000 Server or Win 2000 Advanced Server at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/otherdownloads/helpfiles/default.asp.Customer support diagnostics. The Microsoft Win 2000 Customer Support Diagnostics package consists of important tools and data for diagnosing your Win 2000 system. Download it at www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/otherdownloads/symbols/default.asp.

Recovery actions. If Win 2000 stops unexpectedly you can use the Recovery feature under System in the Control Panel to configure the OS when a severe error'a stop error or fatal system error'occurs. First, write an event to the system log. Alert administrators, and dump system memory to a file that advanced users can use for debugging.

Encryption check. ISEncrypted is a freeware file analysis tool from AccessData Corp. of Provo, Utah, that will help you search for encrypted files. You can download it at www.accessdata.com, or call AccessData at 800-574-5199.

Photo album. FotoArchive is a freeware tool that lets you catalog images according to file format and allows easy viewing with scrollable sides and full images. Download it at members.tripod.com/~dilos/fotoarchive.htm.

Take a pass? For all the tools and advantages Win 2000 offers, it's still new code. And that means bugs. If you have a stable system now that's up to the task, you might want to wait for a more mature version.

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