Category : Windows 7

FSLogix – Create more portable computing sessions when using physical devices

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FSLogix is a set of solutions that enhance, enable, and simplify non-persistent Windows computing environments. This solution are appropriate for Virtual environments in both public and private clouds. This solution includes:

  • Profile Container – Profile Container redirects the entire user profile to a remote location. Profile Container configuration defines how and where the profile is redirected.
  • Office Container – Office Container will generally be implemented with another profile solution. Other solutions must be configured to exclude the portions of the profile managed by Office Container.  When using Office Container, both applications and users see the portions of the profile managed by Office Container as if they’re located on the local drive.
  • Application Masking – The purpose of this is to manage user access of installed components.  Application Masking is most often applied to manage non-persistent, virtual environments, such as Virtual Desktops.

Heres some features of FSLogix:

  • Maintain user context in non-persistent environments
  • Minimize sign in times for non-persistent environments
  • Optimize file IO between host/client and remote profile store
  • Native (Local) profile experience, eliminating many compatibility issues with solutions using visible redirection, such as User Profile Disk (UPD).
  • Simplify the management of applications and ‘Gold Images’
  • Specify the version of Java to be utilized by specific URL and applications

Key Abilities:

  • Redirect user profiles to a network location using Profile Container. Profiles are placed in VHD(X) files and mounted at run time. It’s common to copy a profile to and from the network, when a user signs in and out of a remote environment. Because user profiles can often be large, sign in and sign out times often became unacceptable. Mounting and using the profile on the network eliminates delays often associated with solutions which copy files.
  • Redirect only the portion of the profile that contains Office data by using Office Container. Office Container allows an organization already using an alternate profile solution to enhance Office in a non-persistent environment. This functionality is useful with the Outlook .OST file.
  • Applications use the profile as if it were on the local drive. Because the FSLogix solutions use a Filter Driver to redirect the profile, applications don’t recognize that the profile is on the network. Obscuring the redirection is important because many applications won’t work properly with a profile stored on remote storage.
  • Profile Container is used with Cloud Cache to create resilient and highly available environments. Cloud Cache places a portion of the profile VHD on the local hard drive. Cloud Cache also allows an administrator to specify multiple remote profile locations. The Local Cache, with multiple remote profile containers, insulates users from network and storage failures.
  • Application Masking manages access to an application, font, printer, or other items. Access can be controlled by user, IP Address range, and other criteria. Application Masking significantly decreases the complexity of managing large numbers of gold images.

 

Microsoft Office 365 User for Azure – Upgrade to Windows10

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So as of May of this year Microsoft is allowing all Office365 (O365) business users to upgrade their local desktop/notebook machines to Windows 10.  This initiative is due to all the features that Windows10 provides and how they integrate to O365.  Windows7 will not be supported post January 22nd, 2020 and this is a great step Microsoft is moving people off a legacy operating system.   If you have Windows devices running Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1 Pro, your Microsoft 365 Business subscription entitles you to a Windows 10 upgrade.  This only applies if you are using AD Business Azure but this is becoming very popular these days for security and authentication.  This cost is $2/user and allows for Microsoft to manage AD through their services platform.

For more information on how to upgrade Windows devices to Windows 10 Pro Creators Update, follow the steps in this topic: Upgrade Windows devices to Windows Pro Creators Update.

 

WaaS! What Windows as a Service means for IT professionals

WAAS

Windows as a service means less control for IT professionals. Faster upgrade cycles, single rollup patching, and no more service packs.

Aggressive upgrade cycles means that you can no longer deploy a version of windows and stick with it for 5 or 7 years. The upgrade cycle has shortened dramatically to about 18 months. Now feature updates can be deferred but only for a certain amount of time, and never refused entirely.

Windows 10 Pro was released in February 2016, six months later the Anniversary update (version 1607) was released to the Current Branch (CB) and in November 2016 to the Current Branch for Business (CBB). Business versions are able to defer updates for eight months. Therefore, not even a year and a half later in July 2017, you will be forced to upgrade to version 1607 or later.

The version 1607 tightens the group policy timeline down from eight months to 180 days, with a 60 day grace period at the end. It is expected that businesses will have to upgrade each PC in their organization once a year, which can be difficult for those small business without IT staff, since upgrades often break the functionality with third party applications.

It use to be that patches could be selected, rather than with the new upgrade model that rolls all patches into one. This essentially is forcing the PC to the same base configuration as needed for the new rollup. IT professionals can no longer pick and choose, and uninstall problematic updates. The only option is to delay the update a number of weeks until the next rollup. But this also means delaying critical security fixes as well.

No more service packs means that rolling back an OEM device to factory configuration entails getting it to the latest feature update then installing another large update to get it to current.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, or to view the original content please visit: www.zdnet.com

Monthly patch rollups for Windows 7, 8.1 start October 2016

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Monthly patch rollups for the Windows 7, 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 operating systems will commence in October 2016. Microsoft will also move the same monthly rollup model for the .NET Framework in October as well.

A rollup is multiple patches, “rolled up” into a single update, replacing individual patches for operating systems. Previous individual patches allowed users and administrators to select the patches they wished to apply, but Microsoft officials say this has led to fragmentation, with different PCs having different sets of updates installed.

“The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates, and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates.” –  Microsoft said in a statement

Security and reliability patches will be included in the rollups, yet Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash updates will not. Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and the Microsoft Update Catalog will have the monthly updates published.

Microsoft’s goal is for the monthly rollups to be fully cumulative, happening as the team adds patches previously released, so users can install the latest single rollup and be up to date.

Windows will release a single Security-only update, including new security patches for each month with individual patches no longer available. The Security update will not be available on Windows Update, but will be available from WSUS, SCCM, and the Microsoft Update Catalog.

 

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented int his blog post, please visit : www.zdnet.com

Ransomware like scam – Windows Product Key is “Invalid”

 

Now that ransomware is on the brain, a few crooks posing as tech support are tailoring their skills to work the system. A lock screen appears on your PC and claims that a users Windows license has expired and to simply call the tech support number provided in order to quickly and effortlessly solve the problem. A fake Microsoft technician answers the line and is more than happy to help, if you are willing to pay the price.

Users will see a lock screen appear on their machine that truly resembles a genuine Microsoft program. After the program installs it waits patiently for the user to restart the PC. After the restart the program activates and sequentially takes over the desktop and displays a highly sophisticated Windows Update screen. Unrecognizable to the naked eye that this is in fact ransomware.

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After the program activation, the infected PC will display a screen that tells the user the desktop has been made effectively disabled because of an expired license key, with the computer name being taken from the victims actual PC. Now that the PC is locked, the user thinks they are doing the right thing by calling the number provided and talking to who they think is a tech support working for Microsoft.

Malwarebytes called the number, and a fake Microsoft technician revealed a hidden functionality. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+T would bring up a built-in installer for TeamViewer. The tech support scammer on the other end of the call refused to give much more information without the $250 to unlock the PC, which of course, Malwarebytes did not pay.

If a user refused to pay the fee requested, they would have little resources to fix the machine on their own. Fortunately, security researchers have found a small loop hole. Discovered by  @TheWack0lian, Ctrl+Shift+S will allow users to kill the winlocker without touching the contents of their machine. The hardcoded values “h7c9-7c67-jb” or “g6r-qrp6-h2” or “yt-mq-6w” can be entered as the product key. These may work to unlock the machine, but is not a fix across the board as they will not work for all versions of the lockers.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Ransomware-like tech support scam locks screen, labels Windows product key as invalid

Microsoft Pushes Back Windows 7/8.1 End Date

Windows 7 Windows 8 End of Support It appears Microsoft is trying to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 by finally pulling the plug on Windows 7 and 8.1. Well. Sorta.

The painstaking process of adapting older operating systems to Intel’s revolutionary architecture lead to the initial decision to withdraw support for 7 and 8.1 in 2017. Users have until July 17,2017 to upgrade. If the upgrade is not made, users will only receive security fixes deemed as most critical. After this date only users working with Windows 10 will  receive the most recent updates, patches, tweaks, and fixes. As you can imagine this irked consumers wishing to stay with older operating systems. This is the first time Microsoft has somewhat become demanding of its customers when it comes to making the switch to Windows 10.

Jeremy Korst, general manager of Windows marketing, reveals the shortened life span is “designed to help consumers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage migrations to Windows 10” . This makes sense considering upgrading to Windows 10 on Skylake devices ensures users are able to access the latest and greatest in terms of modern hardware and software.

Korst also explains in a blog post the obvious advantage of running Skylake on Windows 10, “Compared to Windows 7 PC’s, Skylake when combined with Windows 10, enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life.”

The end of life date for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8. The delayed deadline should hopefully make the transition smoother for customers. Another year will be allowed for Skylake to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 while still receiving all major windows updates. Microsoft is also enhancing its overall policy to promise more security updates, in case the deadline alone doesn’t convince users to make the switch to Windows 10.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/343041/microsoft-extends-update-deadline-for-windows-7-8-1-skylake?mailing_id=1646016&mailing=DailyNews&mailingID=4C40F34FE0DC8E21A3A653EEBB113330

Windows 7…on the way out

slug, windows 7 slow, sluggish Designed in 2005, over ten years ago, Windows 7 is still used among common user and business owners alike. Microsoft released the Windows 7 Service Pack 1, more than 5 years ago in 2011. A more recent Service Pack 2 has never been released despite the desire of devoted Windows 7 users. Lack of updates makes for a sticky situation for those users wishing to do a clean install. When you run Windows Update, you see a whopping 216 updates available. Mildly insane.

As discovered by Ed Bott, for The Ed Bott Report, there is a way to avoid the delay partially. The KB3083710 and KB3102810 updates need to be downloaded before starting the installation process and copied to a USB flash drive. From this point you can install Windows 7 with SP1, leaving the network cable disconnected while you proceed to install the two saved updates from the USB flash drive. This saves time and allows you to then connect to the network again and run the Windows Update.

To increase frustration further, getting to the place where 216 updates are made available takes nearly eight hours due to the bug detected by Microsoft in fall 2015, making installing and searching for updates with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 extremely slow and painful.

Windows 10 utilizes cumulative updates in comparison to Windows 7. Rather than waiting hours for hundreds of updates to be installed, after one clean install only one update is needed, a great improvement. It appears that Windows 7 is on its way out, with lack of security updates and service packs. Although the extended support for Windows 7 does not officially end until January 2020, the outlook for shorter update times and less updates found in general is less than optimistic.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/sticking-with-windows-7-the-forecast-calls-for-pain/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

Remoting into Your Home Computers

My husband who is a programmer recently asked me how he could remote into his desktop pc when he was sitting in bed working on his laptop. This is a common utility I use whenever I’m working at home on my laptop and use my desktop to store most of my media. Here are the simple steps to do this when your at home and need to reach another pc on your home network:

1 – Enable Remote Desktop: to do this you simply right click on the COMPUTER icon found either on your desktop on from the Start Menu and select Properties.

2 – A window will open, from there click on Advanced System Settings

3 – Click on the Remote tab and under Remote Desktop select the second radio button… All connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)

4 – Select users

5 – Make sure your username is listed and give yourself full access

Now go to the computer you will be using the Remote Desktop Connection client on…

6 – Open up Remote Desktop connection and enter the computer you want to connect to IP address or name.

7 – Enter your username and password. If you not on the same workgroup, please enter the computer name followed by the backslash (geinadgeina where geinad was the computer name and geina was the username).

That’s it!

Bootcamp – Windows on a Mac?

Mac’s are really popular because of the design of their laptops. The metal casings are pretty steamlined and very durable. Because of this people are using Mac’s more and more. However many businesses are still using Windows as their dominate OS. So when you find a Mac user, they are trying to do many of the things a Windows machine does, but with great difficulty. Because of this Macs allow users to install Windows on their machines. This can be done in two ways. You can use software such as VMWare or Parallels to install a virtual machine consisting of the Windows OS, the issue is that is that your splitting your hardwares CPU and RAM thus making the speed less than what it could be. Your other option is to use Apples native software Bootcamp, and create a dual boot system so that you can use either OS and maintaining your hardware’s full powers.

Requirements
To use Boot Camp, you need:

1 -An Intel-based Mac with a built-in or external USB keyboard, and a built-in trackpad or USB mouse.
2 – Mac OS X v10.5 or later.
3 – The latest firmware updates available for your Mac.
4 -At least 10 GB (for Windows XP or Windows Vista), 16 GB (for 32-bit Windows 7), or 20 GB (for 64-bit Windows 7) of free space on your startup disk (for the Windows partition).
5 – Boot Camp Assistant, which is located in /Applications/Utilities/ . You can also open Launchpad and type Boot Camp Assistant in the search field.
6 – Supported Windows installation media. Boot Camp does not include Windows

Windows Intune

Users always on the go? Having a hard time managing remote workstations? Need to ensure updates are installed on mobile workstations? Want to push apps to remote workstations? Well look no further, try Windows Intune. I recently came across a client that had many mobile users and we were having a very tough time managing them and ensuring they are up to date. What I came across was Windows Intune.

Windows Intune is essentially a cloud based management system for remote workstations. It gives you the ability to monitor antivirus activity using Windows Intune protection, as well as a web based update console that is much like WSUS on Windows server. It’s a very simple and easy project to use if you have many remote workstations. It literally took me about 10 minutes to get it setup and I was pushing agents out to the workstations. It even sent me an email alert when a computer detected malicious items on one of the PCs.

Furthermore if you sign up for Windows intune which is about $7 per workstation per month, you are given the ability to install Windows 7 Enterprise on your workstations. Microsoft essentially gives you a volume license key for the enterprise software for each pc using Windows Intune.

So if you are looking for an easy way to manage remote systems that never connect to the domain, I would recommend trying Windows Intune.

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