WindowsNetworking.com Monthly Newsletter of December 2009 Sponsored by: SolarWinds
Welcome to the WindowsNetworking.com newsletter by Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MVP. Each month we will bring you interesting and helpful information on the world of Windows Networking. We want to know what all *you* are interested in hearing about. Please send your suggestions for future newsletter content to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who are wondering about that new name in the byline: Tom has just taken a full time position with the TMG team at Microsoft. Consequently, I will be taking over most of his former duties here on the TechGenix web sites, including the WindowsNetworking newsletter. As husband and wife, we have worked together closely since leaving our former professions (medicine and law enforcement) to jump full-time into the IT world over twelve years ago. We co-authored a number of books on ISA Server and other Microsoft networking technologies, and I have authored two books of my own, co-authored a few with other people, and contributed to more than twenty in all, on a wide range of networking and security topics.
I write for Windowsecurity.com, TechRepublic/CNET, and blog about Windows 7 for Amazon and about tech gadgets and consumer technology on Windows Live. I edit a couple of weekly Windows newsletters and do contract work (white papers, product documentation, coursework) for Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and other software and hardware companies. For the past five years, I have been a Microsoft MVP in the field of Enterprise Security. If you want to know more about me, check out my personal web site at www.debshinder.com .
Tom is a hard act to follow, but my pledge to you is to follow the precedents he has set and to continue to provide the same high quality content in this newsletter, and the articles and blog posts on these sites. I have been heavily involved with Windows 7 since the early betas, and this month, we are going to talk about the new OS; specifically, we will take a look at its built-in network power management features.
Network Power Management in Windows 7
Power management is a big deal these days. With the high cost of electricity and government mandates to save energy, its more important than ever to use electrical power only when we need it. Windows 7 goes a long way toward helping us out in those efforts, with its new power management capabilities.
One of the more interesting and helpful power management features included with Windows 7 is its networking power management. One of the greatest challenges for network managers is saving power while keeping the entire solution manageable. To save power, you can encourage users to put their computers to sleep when not in use, and you can even enforce such a policy through Group Policy. This meets your goal of saving power. However, these sleeping computers can present a management problem, since traditionally a sleeping computer was off the network. What if someone needs to connect to it remotely?
Windows 7 helps solves this problem by adding network power management capabilities. Using these features, you can obtain network presence information without waking a computer, or you can wake a computer using TCP connections or using a traditional magic packet approach. All of these Wake On LAN methods make it easier to not only reduce overall power consumption, but enable a high level of network management for powered on and sleeping computers.
So whats been improved in Windows 7 network power management?
You can wake up a Windows 7 computer using one or more of several methods:
Depending on your NIC and the features it supports, you should be able to enable WOL for wired and wireless computers for the following:
Note that these features are available for both wired and wireless connections. However, the wireless NIC will need to be able to support these features in a lower power state while the computer is asleep.
Configuring support for WOL is easy. You can do this in the user interface. Here is how:
Note that for devices that do not support ARP and NS offloads, Windows will default to wake only via the magic packet. You can also configure power management for networking by using the command line or using WMI.
As you can see, Windows 7 gives you the best of both worlds - robust network power management to reduce overall power consumption, and the ability to manage machines that might be in a low power state. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Quote of the Month - "By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day." - Robert Frost
3. WindowsNetworking.com Articles of Interest
Apply Server 2008 Group Policy to Windows XP Devices
Windows Server 2008 Group Policy provides several new features that ease network administration. In order to apply these new settings to Windows XP devices, a couple of extra steps will need to be taken.
One of the most exciting things Windows Sever 2008 has to offer is its new Group Policy preference features. These features such as mapping drives or installing printers will work just fine on Windows Vista devices, but your Windows XP workstations and Windows 2003 Servers will need one more step before you can expect to leverage Group Policy for their administration.
The reason for the issue is that the Preference settings now configurable in Group Policy require the installation of Group Policy Client Side Extensions (CSE) on Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server machines. Once these are installed, the GP preferences will apply as they should. Alternatively, these updates can be pushed to clients by WSUS. You can download the Group Policy CSE here:
You can find this admin tip here.
For more admin tips, check out the entire database here.
You might have friends or relatives who think they need to get Microsoft office or some other office product in order to create simple documents. For example, my friends mom asked me if she needed to buy the trial version of Office that came with the computer she just bought. She only needs to write simple docs like letters and reports, and she doesnt need to create presentations or run spreadsheets. She had tried out Google Apps and hated it. I told her about the new free web version of Microsoft Office 2010, but its expected to come out in June and she needs a solution in the meantime (and does not really want to use beta software).
Is there a good alternative? You bet! On her new Windows 7 computer, she has a new and improved version of an almost forgotten old friend: Wordpad. This new Wordpad has many of the features of the full version of Word - but it comes with Windows 7 so there is no extra cost. You can do the most common formatting, insert pictures and objects and even do a find and replace. For most simple word processing projects, it is all you need!
Another small application that people sometimes buy or download from a third party vendor is a sticky notes program. With Windows 7, you no longer need to hunt down a sticky notes program because it comes with Windows 7 right out of the box. The notes you place on your desktop persist after a reboot, too.
Another freebie that works quite well in Windows 7 is the image burner. You can burn .iso images or files to a CD or DVD and verify the disc after burning. Nothing fancy here, but if you have simple burning requirements then there is no reason for you to install a third party burning program.
Ive got some computers on my network that are domain members, but for some reason are not syncing their time with the domain. I thought that domain time sync was automatic. Is there a way I can fix this?
It could be that a previous administrator, or even the users themselves, set the computers to sync with external time sources. Maybe they were having problems connecting to the domain controllers, or perhaps they read something on the Internet and decided to play with their configurations. Whatever the reason, you need to make sure your domain members can sync time with your domain hierarchy.
Heres how you fix it:
However, if you do not want to deal with that or have your users do this, you can send them to this web page and have them click the Fix It button.