WindowsNetworking.com Newsletter of April 2008

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: dshinder@windowsnetworking.com

Get up-to-date network maps in just minutes!

Leveraging a unique multi-level discovery technique, LANsurveyor automatically discovers your LAN or WAN and produces comprehensive, easy-to-view network diagrams that integrate OSI Layer 2 and Layer 3 topology data (including switch-to-switch, switch-to-node, and switch-to-router port connections). With two mouse clicks, this data can be exported into Microsoft Office Visio and easily shared with your colleagues. Additionally, LANSurveyor will automatically track and account for changes to the network in real time with a unique continuous scan feature that can immediately detect new devices on the network and dynamically update the network map.

Try it free!

1. Network Power Management in Windows 7

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, it’s 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 what’s been improved in Windows 7 network power management?

  • Wake on LAN and Wake on Wireless LAN. The Wake on LAN features in Windows 7 were designed to wake the Windows 7 computer when accessed over the network while reducing the chance of unwanted wake events, such as unicast ICMP echo request connections. Windows 7 adds support for Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) and Neighbor Solicitation (NS) offloads to the NIC (NS is an IPv6 concept). ARP and NS map IP addresses to MAC addresses. ARP and NS are also often used as troubleshooting tools to verify whether a computer is still on the network while not requiring a connection to any service on the computer. By offloading ARP and NS responses to the NIC, the computer no longer needs to be woken up to maintain a network presence. Note that support for these offloads depends on the NIC and the NIC driver (NDIS 6.20) and so may not be available on older hardware.
  • Low Power on Media Disconnect. This new feature enables the computer to save energy by placing the network adapter in the low power state when the network cable is unplugged and the computer is running. This feature is only available when supported by the NIC.

You can wake up a Windows 7 computer using one or more of several methods:

  • Incoming IPv4 and IPv6 TCP connections
  • 802.1x re-authentication packets
  • Magic packets (traditional Ethernet based WOL)

Depending on your NIC and the features it supports, you should be able to enable WOL for wired and wireless computers for the following:

  • Magic packets
  • NetBIOS name queries
  • TCP SYN for IPv4 and IPv6 packets

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:

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center by clicking Start, typing Network and Sharing in the Start Search box, and press ENTER.
  2. Click the Change adapter settings link in the left pane of the window.
  3. Right click the network connection you want to enable/disable power management and click Properties.
  4. Click the Configure button which is located just under and to the right of the name of the NIC. For example, Intel 8256V-2 Gigabit Network Connection.
  5. On the Power Management tab, put a checkmark in the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power check box.
    - When checked, power management is enabled on the network adapter.
    - When cleared, power management is disabled on the network adapter.
  6. When the Allow the computer to run off this device to save power checkbox is enabled, you then have the option to allow all the available methods to wake the computer over the network, or require that magic packets be used to wake the computer:
    - To enable WOL for all methods, put a checkmark in the Allow this device to wake the computer check box.
    - To enable Wake on LAN for magic packets only, put a checkmark in the Allow this device to wake the computer check box and then check Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer check box.
  7. Click OK.

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!

Thanks!
Deb Shinder
dshinder@windowsnetworking.com

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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
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2. ISA Server 2006 Migration Guide - Order Today!

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Order your copy of ISA Server 2006 Migration Guide. You'll be glad you did.


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Get up-to-date network maps in just minutes!

Leveraging a unique multi-level discovery technique, LANsurveyor automatically discovers your LAN or WAN and produces comprehensive, easy-to-view network diagrams that integrate OSI Layer 2 and Layer 3 topology data (including switch-to-switch, switch-to-node, and switch-to-router port connections). With two mouse clicks, this data can be exported into Microsoft Office Visio and easily shared with your colleagues. Additionally, LANSurveyor will automatically track and account for changes to the network in real time with a unique continuous scan feature that can immediately detect new devices on the network and dynamically update the network map.

Try it free!

3. WindowsNetworking.com Articles of Interest

4. Administrator KB Tips of the Month

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

5. Windows Networking Tip of the Month

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 friend’s 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 doesn’t 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 it’s 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.

Get up-to-date network maps in just minutes!

Leveraging a unique multi-level discovery technique, LANsurveyor automatically discovers your LAN or WAN and produces comprehensive, easy-to-view network diagrams that integrate OSI Layer 2 and Layer 3 topology data (including switch-to-switch, switch-to-node, and switch-to-router port connections). With two mouse clicks, this data can be exported into Microsoft Office Visio and easily shared with your colleagues. Additionally, LANSurveyor will automatically track and account for changes to the network in real time with a unique continuous scan feature that can immediately detect new devices on the network and dynamically update the network map.

Try it free!

6. WindowsNetworking Links of the Month

7. Ask Deb Shinder

QUESTION:

I’ve 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?
Thanks! - Danny J.

ANSWER:

Hi Danny,

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.

Here’s how you fix it:

  1. Open a Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command and then press ENTER:
    w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update
  3. Type the following command and then press ENTER:
    net stop w32time
  4. Type the following command and then press ENTER:
    net start w32time

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.

Get up-to-date network maps in just minutes!

Leveraging a unique multi-level discovery technique, LANsurveyor automatically discovers your LAN or WAN and produces comprehensive, easy-to-view network diagrams that integrate OSI Layer 2 and Layer 3 topology data (including switch-to-switch, switch-to-node, and switch-to-router port connections). With two mouse clicks, this data can be exported into Microsoft Office Visio and easily shared with your colleagues. Additionally, LANSurveyor will automatically track and account for changes to the network in real time with a unique continuous scan feature that can immediately detect new devices on the network and dynamically update the network map.

Try it free!