Archive for August 21, 2009

How to Disable User Account Control in Vista

Posted: August 21, 2009 in Vista
Tags:


You can disable User Account Control across the board for all users of a given PC by

navigating to the User Controls section of the Control Panel (in Control Panel➪User

Accounts and Family Settings➪User Accounts) and selecting the option titled Change

security settings. This will load the Change Security Settings window. To disable User

Account Control, simply uncheck the option titled Use User

Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer and then click the OK button.

Note that you will have to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

If you want to disable User Account Control for just a single user, you simply need to

select a single check box in the User Accounts Control Panel. The quickest way is to

open the Start menu and click the picture that’s associated with your user account.

Then, in the User Accounts window that appears, click Turn User Account Control on

or off. You’ll see the required check box in the next window.

Advertisements

Is Administrator Accnt in Vista annoying U?

Posted: August 21, 2009 in Vista
Tags:

By default, administrators using Windows Vista are running in a new execution mode

called Admin Approval Mode. This is the reason you see consent dialog boxes appear

from time to time. You can actually disable this mode, making administrator accounts

work more like they did in XP, without any annoying dialog boxes popping. However,

you should realize that disabling Admin Approval Mode could open up your system

to attack. If you’re still interested in disabling this feature, or disabling User Account

Control, we will discuss ways to do so at the end of this section.

Conversely, administrators who would like Windows Vista to be even more secure

can also configure the system to prompt with a User Account Control credentials dialog

box—which requires a complete password—every time they attempt an administrative

task.

How to get best security in Vista?

Posted: August 21, 2009 in Security, Vista
Tags:

To get the absolute best security with Windows Vista, run one of the x64 versions of

the operating system.That’s because the x64 versions of

Windows Vista include a few unique security features that are not available or as

effective in the 32-bit versions of the operating system. These include:

• A new feature called Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) that randomly

loads key system files in memory, making them harder to attack remotely.

• A hardware-backed version of Data Execution Protection (DEP) that helps prevent

buffer overflow-based attacks.

x64 drivers must be digitally signed, which suggests (but doesn’t ensure) that

x64 drivers will be more stable and secure than 32-bit drivers, which are often

the cause of instability issues in Windows.

Of course, x64 versions of Windows Vista have their own compatibility issues, both

with software and hardware. The tradeoff is yours to make: Better security and reliability

or compatibility.


In Windows XP and previous NT-based versions of Windows, Microsoft offered a feature

called Encrypting File System (EFS) that enabled users to encrypt important folders or

files. This prevents thieves from accessing sensitive data should your computer be physically

stolen: If the thief removes your hard drive and attaches it to a different computer,

any encrypted files cannot be read. EFS has proven to be a popular feature with businesses

that have many roaming executives with laptops, with IT administrators, and the

security conscious.

EFS is still present in Windows Vista and works as before, but it’s been augmented by a

new technology called BitLocker. Like EFS, the new BitLocker feature in Windows Vista

lets you encrypt data on your hard drive to protect it in the event of physical theft. But

BitLocker offers a few unique twists.

_ First, BitLocker is full-disk encryption, not per-file encryption. If you enable

BitLocker, it will encrypt the entire hard disk on which Windows Vista resides,

and all future files that are added to that drive are silently encrypted as well.

_ Second, BitLocker protects vital Windows system files during bootup: If

BitLocker discovers a security risk, such as a change to the BIOS or any startup

files (which might indicate that the hard drive was stolen and placed in a different

machine), it will lock the system until you enter your BitLocker recovery key

or password (discussed shortly).

_ Third, BitLocker works in conjunction with new Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

security hardware in some modern PCs to provide a more secure solution than is

possible with a software-only encryption routine. BitLocker may not be theoretically

impregnable, but in the real world the chances are that no hacker will ever

defeat a BitLocker-protected PC.

One of the best features in Windows Defender is hidden a bit in the application’s user

interface. The Software Explorer—found in Tools➪Software Explorer—lists the applications

that run at startup (you can also change the display to list currently running

applications, network-connected applications, and other features). Best of all, you can

actually remove or disable startup applications. In previous versions of Windows, you

would use the System Configuration utility (msconfig.exe) for this functionality;

System Configuration is still available in Windows Vista, but Windows Defender’s

Software Explorer feature is arguably a better solution because it provides so much

information.

There’s some confusion about how the Windows Firewall is configured in Windows

Vista. Although it is indeed enabled to monitor both inbound and outbound network

traffic, it is configured differently for each direction. Windows Firewall, by default, is

configured to block all incoming network traffic that is not part of an exception rule,

and allow all outgoing network traffic that is not blocked by an exception rule.

The Windows Firewall interface described previously is quite similar to that found in

Windows XP with Service Pack 2. But Microsoft also includes a second, secret interface

to its firewall that presents far more options. It’s called Windows Firewall with

Advanced Security, and you can access it via the also-hidden Administrative Tools

that ship with all mainstream Windows Vista versions. To find it, navigate to Control

Panel and turn on Class View. Then, navigate into Administrative Tools and then

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security., the tool loads into

a Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

As good as Vista’s firewall is, you should absolutely use a third-party firewall instead if

you’re using a security software suite. In such cases, the security suite will typically

disable Windows Firewall automatically and alert Windows Security Center that it is

now handling firewalling duties. Unlike with antispyware applications, you should

never run two firewalls at the same time, as they will interfere with each other.


The Alt+Plus, Alt+Hex method won’t work in Windows or any application if a certain

key in the Registry isn’t set correctly. This could happen if the key was inadvertently

changed or was never switched on. If Alt+Plus, Alt+Hex doesn’t work, take the following

steps:

1. Use the Start menu to run RegEdit.exe.

2. Expand HKEY_Current_User to /Control Panel/Input Method. Find the key (or

create a new string value) called EnableHexNumpad. If you create this string

value, it should have the REG_SZ type.

3. Right-click and modify EnableHexNumpad to give it a value of 1. Close RegEdit.


Although the Sidebar configuration user interface is fairly complete, there are a few

things you can’t easily do. Behind the scenes, however, the Windows Sidebar utilizes

special configuration files named settings.ini to determine all of its configuration possibilities.

If you don’t mind taking a small risk by editing these files with a text editor

such as Notepad, you can perform various configuration tasks that are impossible

with the standard Sidebar UI.

Be sure to back up any files you’ll be editing before making changes. You’ll also want

to quit Sidebar before editing these files.

There are two versions of settings.ini. The first is devoted to system-wide configuration

options and default settings and is located in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar

by default. If you right-click this file and choose Edit, you’ll see the contents of this file,

which should resemble the following:

[Root]

SettingsVersion=00.00.00.01

SidebarShowState=Imploded

SidebarDockSide=2

Section0=1

Section1=2

Section2=3

SidebarDockedPartsOrder=0x1,0x2,0x3

[Section 1]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows

sidebar\gadgets\RecycleBin.gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

[Section 2]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows

sidebar\gadgets\Launcher.gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

[Section 3]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=%PROGRAMFILES%\windows

sidebar\gadgets\SlideShow.gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

A second version of the Sidebar settings.ini file is available for each user. This file is

located in C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar by

default. This file has a similar structure, but could be much longer depending on how

much you’ve configured Windows Sidebar. Here’s an example of what it could look like:

[Root]

SettingsVersion=00.00.00.01

SidebarShowState=Imploded

SidebarDockSide=2

SidebarDockedPartsOrder=0x2,0x3,

SidebarAlwaysOnTop=true

SidebarDockMonitor=0

PickerPosX=386

PickerPosY=233

Section0=1

Section1=2

Section2=3

[Section 1]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=C:%5CProgram%20Files%5CWindows%20Sidebar%5CGad

gets%5CworldClock.Gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

PrivateSetting_GadgetTopmost=false

PrivateSetting_SidebarDockedState=Not%20Docked

clockName=Eastern%20Time

clockText=

timeZoneIndex=13

timeZoneBias=0

dayToNight=True

secondsEnabled=False

SettingExist=True

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationX=1078

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationY=179

[Section 2]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=C:%5CProgram%20Files%5CWindows%20Sidebar%5CGad

gets%5CRSS.Gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

PrivateSetting_SidebarDockedState=Docked

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationX=257

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationY=859

rssFeedPath=Internet%20Explorer%20Team%20Blog

rssFeedUrl=http:%2F%2Fgo.microsoft.com%2Ffwlink%2F%3FLinkId=58643

PrivateSetting_GadgetTopmost=false

[Section 3]

PrivateSetting_GadgetName=C:%5CProgram%20Files%5CWindows%20Sidebar%5CGad

gets%5CRSS.Gadget

PrivateSetting_Enabled=true

PrivateSetting_SidebarDockedState=Docked

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationX=1433

PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationY=420

rssFeedPath=Internet%20Explorer%20Team%20Blog

rssFeedUrl=http:%2F%2Fgo.microsoft.com%2Ffwlink%2F%3FLinkId=58643

PrivateSetting_GadgetTopmost=false

Let’s examine a few of these settings. The SidebarShowState option is set to Imploded

in the code example. This means that the Sidebar will be displayed normally, and not

in front of other windows. SidebarDockSide is set to 2, which is the right side of the

screen. If you change this number to 1, the Windows Sidebar will display on the left.

In addition to the options you see here, there are a few other undocumented options.

For example, if you’d like a certain gadget to never appear in the Add Gadgets windows,

you could simply find the gadget in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

and delete it, but what if you wanted it to be available to other users? In this case, you

could simply add a line like the following to your user’s version of settings.ini:

PickerDefaultPackageSkipList=SlideShow.Gadget,worldClock.Gadget

This particular code would only make the Clock gadget unavailable. Obviously, there

are many more settings possibilities. It’s also likely that an enterprising software

developer will come up with a TweakUI-style application that will provide the same

functionality.

Vista Side Bar

Posted: August 21, 2009 in System Basics, System Information, Vista

Windows Sidebar is actually not displayed by default on all PCs. If the resolution of

your PC’s screen is 1024×768 or less, for example, Windows Sidebar will not display

by default. To enable Windows Sidebar on such a system, follow the instructions

in “Launching Windows Sidebar,” below. Then, right-click the Sidebar and choose

Properties. In the Windows Sidebar Properties dialog that appears, check the box

titled Start Sidebar when Windows starts if you’d like it enabled by default.

For others, however, Sidebar might not be a desirable feature. To disable Windows

Sidebar, right-click the Sidebar tray icon and choose Exit. (Do not right-click the Sidebar

itself and choose Close; that simply hides the Sidebar.) Then, uncheck the option box

asking whether you’d like to run Sidebar automatically when the system reboots.

Different BIOS Entry Passwords

Posted: August 21, 2009 in Bios, System Basics
Tags:

Acer – CTL ALT ESC

AMI BIOS – DEL, F1 or F2

AST, Advantage, Award, Tandon – CTL ALT ESC

Award BIOS – DEL or CTL ALT ESC

Compaq – F10

DELL – F1 or DEL or CTL ALT ENTER

DTK BIOS – Esc

Gateway 2000 – F1

Hewlett Packard – F1

IBM
Older Models – In order to get into the configuration of the IBM setup screen CMOS screen you need to hold down both mouse buttons during bootup.

Aptiva – F1

PS/2 – CTL ALT INS after CTL ALT DEL

PS/2 with reference partition – INS

NEC – F2

Olivetti PC Pro – SHIFT CTL ALT Numpad DEL

Packard Bell – F1 or F2

Phoenix BIOS F1 or F2, or CTL ALT ESC or CTL ALT S or CTL S or CTL ALT INS

Sharp Laptop 9020 – F2

Sony – F3 at switchon, then F2 or F1

Tandon – CTL SHIFT ESC

Toshiba – ESC at switchon

Zenith – CTL ALT INS

Miscellaneous – CTL ESC or CTL ALT +

Step no. 1

1. Go to Start -> Run -> Write regedit and press on Enter button.

2. Navigate to the following registry keys and verity that following settings set to default:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
“DisableTaskMgr”=dword:00000000
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\LocalUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
“DisableTaskMgr”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system\]
“DisableTaskMgr”=dword:00000000
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
“DisableCAD”=dword:000000003. Reboot the computer.

Step no. 2
1. Go to Start – Run -> Write Gpedit.msc and press on Enter button.

2. Navigate to User Configuration – Administrative Templates -> System – Ctrl+Alt+Del Option

3. In the right side of the screen verity that Remove Task Manager option set to Disable or Not Configured.

4. Close Gpedit.msc

5. Go to Start – Run -> Write gpupdate /force and press on Enter button.