Archive for the 'Windows 7' Category

Bug introduced in Windows NT3.1 (1993) still affecting all subsequent releases of Windows!

Since NT was introduced, pure command line DOS was replaced with the Virtual DOS machine (VDM) that allows legacy DOS and 16-bit windows application to run on top of NT (all variants), XP, Vista and Windows 7.

It would seem the VDM engine has a major flaw!

Read more at and packet storm security

A summary of the issue is that it is possible for a limited user (i.e. a non administrator user) to gain administrative privileges via the VDM.

A workaround is to disable 16-bit applications as part of the Active Directory policy for your domain.


An alternative to WSUS and Windows Update

We manage a few standalone machines, and also a few machines that are on a network without access to the internet.

What is the alternative to WSUS and Windows Update?

Well, as I have to keep using a search engine to get this link, here it is:

This page links to a list of ISO images that contain the security patches for a given month.


Sophos Antivirus on Windows 7 RC (Build 7100)

As you may be aware, Windows 7 has a number of beta products and applications that you can download to help protect your Windows 7 RC system.

Dwight Silverman: Getting the Windows 7 RC? You’ll need protection

Sophos is our corporate AV supplier, so it was important that I maintain similar protection on my Windows 7 RC laptop system.

Sophos is not listed amongst the Windows 7 antivirus partners, however, I can happily report that Sophos 7.6.7 (designed for Vista) works great for me on my x86 version of Windows 7 RC. It also worked great on a Virtual Machine running the x64 version of Windows 7 Beta. Pictures shown here are from the x86 version of Windows 7 running on a mid spec laptop.

imageFigure 1: Sophos AV 7.6.7 working on Windows 7 RC

Figure 2: Sophos system tray icon

Figure 3: Sophos Antivirus is not totally compatible with Windows 7

As you can see in Figure 3, the only snag with running this in Windows 7 is that is doesn’t report its status in the correct format, however, I’m watching the space for a new version of Sophos to be fully functional very soon.

windows7_av_001Figure 4: Action centre – showing Sophos AV is functioning correctly

Figure 4 shows that whilst Windows 7 acknowledges the fact that Sophos does not report status correctly to it, the application itself is fully functioning.

Figure 5: Sophos Antivirus start screen

I know some of you reading this will be asking why I don’t simply pick a free alternative, such as Avast! or AVG… I have considered going that way, but Sophos works great, and why fix it if it doesn’t seem to be broken!

I do hope the lab team at Sophos fix that status issue very soon, as it is the only minor flaw.

I cannot give enough superlatives for this new operating system, it is the most stable RC I’ve ever had the pleasure to use, and works a treat on my mid spec laptop (new in 2005).


P.S. please let me know if you are successfully using Sophos on Windows 7 RC :-)

Windows 7 - Build 7000, Beta 2… Testing testing 1-2-3

Happy new year all!

I’ve started the year rather slowly, so I haven’t had anything blog-worthy to write as of yet, however I thought I’d share some screenshots of the Windows 7 (x64) Beta 2 install and a very brief test.

If you are an MSDN subscriber with the relevant subscription, you should be able to join me in the Beta test of Windows 7.

I’m going to be testing Windows 7 using VMware Workstation, version 6.5.1. VMware workstation detects the ISO image of Windows 7 (x64) as Windows Vista (x64). I have left the default settings where possible.

Figure 1 - VMware workstation, configuration and version.

We begin the install, VMware boots from the ISO image.

Figure 2 - the install begins

You are greeted with a flashy animation, which morphs into the Windows icon, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3 - you are able to select which version you’d like to try out. I selected Windows 7 Ultimate.

Figure 4 - the installer shows a progress bar at the bottom.

Figure 5 - following the install, the computer reboots and displays this screen

Figure 6 - The new windows desktop, and the windows update screen. I was unable to detect any updates when I ran this

Figure 7 - Internet Explorer 8 Beta

Figure 9 - The new task bar, that now shows you each tab in IE8. Tasks are now shown by Icon and grouped.

Figure 10 -  The new task bar shows Calculator and ‘Sticky Notes’ running under their icons.

Figure 11 - the gadget sidebar from Vista is gone, you can now place your gadgets wherever you like!

I am surprised to report that Windows 7 (x64) seems more responsive than Windows Vista (x64) when running in a Virtual Machine. Could Microsoft have tuned this OS a little better? I hope so!

The speed could be down to the core i7 chip that is in my host PC so I would be grateful if you could let me know how you get on with your own Beta tests.

Figure 12 - information about the Virtual Windows 7 PC

I hope to do a little more delving into the changes implemented in this new OS. I will keep you posted.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.