Working with Terminal Server

When you choose to make Remote Desktop accessible in Windows Server 2008, you install a small subset of the Terminal Server functionality. To obtain full Terminal Server functionality, however, you must install the Terminal Services role. This role provides considerable additional functionality for your server, such as letting users access applications remotely. You can use this role to help thin clients access the applications they need. However, if you don’t have thin clients and assume that the user will use local applications to modify data, installing this support really isn’t necessary.

It pays to view the warning on the Terminal Services page of the Add Roles Wizard. You don’t have to install Terminal Services if your only purpose is to allow administrative access to the server. In fact, if you plan to use Remote Desktop for other users, you simply have to add them to a list of people allowed to use Remote Desktop — you don’t have to install Terminal Services. Installing Terminal Services opens another potential security hole on your server, so you should use this role only when necessary.

Carefully consider the Terminal Services features you need, and then install the Terminal Services features you require before you install any applications. If you install the applications first and then Terminal Services, the applications may not work correctly. The applications you share using Terminal Services must provide correct support for a multiuser environment. For example, database applications normally provide multiuser support, but a word processor may not. When you install Terminal Services after you install the applications, the multiuser support may not work properly. If this problem occurs, try uninstalling and then reinstalling the application to fix the problem.

Terminal Services on Windows Server 2008 also provides support for a new feature, Network Level Authentication (NLA). This feature works great as long as you have a network that solely supports Vista and Windows 2008 systems with the correct support installed. Most administrators need to install Terminal Services using the Do Not Require Network Level Authentication option.

When you reach the Role Services page of the Add Roles Wizard, choose the Terminal Services roles you need. Don’t install all the roles unless you truly need them. Installing either TS Gateway or TS Web Access requires that you also install Internet Information Server (IIS), Network Access Protection (NAP), RPC over HTTP Proxy, and Windows Process Activation Services role services. You see Terminal Services abbreviated as TS in many places. The following sections describe the additional features you see when you install the Terminal Services role on your server. You can use the information in these sections to determine whether you actually need to install a particular Terminal Services role.

Source of Information : For Dummies Windows Server 2008 All In One Desk Reference For Dummies

Dealing with Software Incompatibility in Vista

Regardless of Windows Vista’s compatibility successes, compatibility issues can still bite you when you least expect it. Fear not: There are ways to get around most software incompatibility issues. You just have to know where to look.

Compatibility Mode
If you do run into an application that won’t work properly in Windows Vista, first try to run it within a special emulation mode called compatibility mode. This enables you to trick the application into thinking it is running on an older version of Windows. There are two ways to trigger this functionality: automatically via a wizard, or manually via the Explorer shell. There’s also a third related function, the Program Compatibility Assistant, which appears automatically when Windows Vista detects you’re having a problem installing or using an application.


Using the Program Compatibility Wizard
You’d think that using a wizard would be easier than manually configuring compatibility mode manually; and it would be if you could just find the wizard. Unfortunately, the
Program Compatibility Wizard isn’t available from the Windows Vista user interface.
Instead, you have to trigger it from within Help and Support. Here’s how: Open the Start Menu and choose Help and Support. In that application’s Search box, type Program Compatibility Wizard and press Enter. The first search result you’ll see will be Start the Program Compatibility Wizard. This entry provides a link to start the wizard.

The admittedly bare-bones-looking Program Compatibility Wizard steps you through the process of identifying the application to run in compatibility mode and which settings you’d like to configure. These steps include the following:

• Locating the application: You can have the wizard automatically generate a list of potential applications, which includes applications already installed on the system as well as downloaded and optical-disk-based installer applications. Alternately, you can choose the installer in the optical (CD-ROM) drive or locate the application manually.

• Select a compatibility mode: Select which version of Windows you’d like to emulate for that one application. Possibilities include Windows 95, Windows 98/Me, Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5), Windows 2000, Windows XP (Service Pack 2), and Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 1). You can also choose not to use a compatibility mode.

• Choose display settings: You can choose from a variety of settings that might positively affect the application. These include using only 256 colors, using a 640 × 480 resolution, disabling Vista’s visual themes, disabling desktop composition (which is responsible for the Windows Aero user interface), and disabling display scaling on high-DPI displays. These options can all be disabled independently.

• Administrative privileges: If the program must be run with administrative privileges, you can enable that functionality here.

Once you’ve configured things as you like, you can test-run the application to see how
things work out. You can then either accept the configuration, go back and make changes,
or just quit the wizard.


Enabling Compatibility Mode Manually
You don’t actually have to hunt around for the Program Compatibility Wizard if you want to run an application in compatibility mode. Instead, find the executable (or, better yet, a shortcut to the executable, such as the ones you’ll find in the Start Menu), right-click, and choose Properties. Then, navigate to the Compatibility tab. As you can see, this tab provides all of the options found in the wizard, but in a handier, more easily contained location. Just pick the options you’d like, click Apply, and test the application. Once it’s working correctly, you can click OK and never bother with this interface again. Compatibility mode is a great (if hidden) feature, but it’s no panacea. Some applications will simply never run on Windows Vista, no matter what you do.


Understanding the Program Compatibility Assistant
When Windows Vista detects that you’re installing an application with a known compatibility problem or suspects that a just-completed application installation has not concluded successfully, it will offer to fix the problem. This functionality, called the Program Compatibility Assistant, occurs automatically. You’re free to decline the offer if you believe the application ran correctly. There is no way to trigger it manually, as you can with program-compatibility mode.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Offers Better Compatibility

Thanks to the evolving nature of Microsoft’s online software updating systems, today’s Windows users can take advantage of ever-improving software and hardware compatibility. Instead of being stuck with whatever drivers and software-compatibility support that came in the box, Windows Vista users benefit from ongoing compatibility fixes that appear on Windows Update and are delivered automatically to users who need them. For users who purchase Windows Vista now that Service Pack 1 (SP1) is out, the situation is even better: All the updates that have shipped since Vista first appeared are included in this upgrade.

Antivirus is an obvious area where Windows Vista lagged behind at launch, though one might also make the argument that AV vendors were at fault. After all, they knew Vista was coming for years before it shipped. Regardless, within six months of Vista’s release, all five major AV vendors had Windows Vista–compatible products on the market, compared to just three of five when Vista became generally available.

When trying to determine the success of Windows Vista’s compatibility, consider the numbers. At the time of Vista’s general availability in January 2007, over 1.5 million devices were Vista compatible. Less than a year later, it was over 2 million. Microsoft says that this figure represented about 96 percent of the devices on the market at the time. The company also notes that it was more ready with ecosystem coverage—that is, application and device support—with Vista than it was with any previous OS release, Today, Vista’s compatibility with current hardware is closing in on an impressive 100 percent.

Thanks to instrumentation that Microsoft added to Windows Vista, customers can optionally provide the company with feedback when things go wrong, as part of the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. This feedback has enabled the company to make fixes available at an unprecedented rate. More important, Microsoft is identifying the issues that are causing the most problems and fixing those first. Of the remaining 4 percent of incompatible devices, or about 70,000 devices, that existed at the start of 2008, 4,000 account for about 80 percent of the problems. Guess which ones Microsoft focused on first?

Microsoft tells me it will fix or create drivers for any device that generates 500 or more user reports, which further demonstrates the need to participate in the Customer Experience program. The only exception, of course, is drivers for devices that are no longer sold because the company that made them went out of business. Such devices will likely never be made compatible with Vista. As of the release of Service Pack 1, over 15,000 hardware devices have received the Certified for Windows Vista logo, a program aimed at helping consumers find Vista-compatible products. (This, by the way, explains the absence of a Hardware Compatibility List [HCL] these days.) Those looking for a seamless installation experience will be pleased to learn that the number of device drivers on Windows Update was up from about 13,000 at launch to over 54,000 with SP1, in addition to the 20,000 that ship on the Vista setup DVD.

How about software? Whereas the initially shipped version of Windows Vista supported about 250 logoed applications—that is, applications that were certified to be 100 percent compatible with Vista—as of the release of SP1, that number exceeded 2,500, over 10 times the original number. With SP1, 98 of the 100 top-selling applications at the time were compatible with Vista, while 46 of the top 50 online downloads were also Vista compatible.

Finally, Windows Vista SP1 also includes fixes for numerous incompatible enterprise applications that were deployment blockers during Vista’s first year on the market. More specifically, Microsoft and its partners remediated over 150 enterprise application blockers, applications that previously prevented one or more corporations from upgrading to Vista.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Understanding Windows Vista Compatibility Issues

Any discussion of PC compatibility, of course, encompasses two very different but related topics: hardware and software. In order for a given hardware device—a printer, graphics card, or whatever—to work correctly with Windows Vista, it needs a working driver. In many cases, drivers designed for older versions of Windows will actually work just fine in Windows Vista. However, depending on the class (or type) of device, many hardware devices need a new Vista-specific driver to function properly on Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Software offers similar challenges. While Windows Vista is largely compatible with the 32-bit software applications that Windows users have enjoyed for over a decade, some applications—and indeed, entire application classes, such as security software—simply won’t work properly in Windows Vista. Some applications can be made to work using Windows Vista’s built-in compatibility modes, as discussed below. Some can’t. A final compatibility issue that shouldn’t be overlooked is one raised by the ongoing migration to 64-bit (x64) computing. Virtually every single PC sold today does, in fact, include a 64-bit x64-compatible microprocessor, which means it is capable of running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. However, virtually all copies of Windows Vista that are sold are the more mainstream 32-bit versions of the system


Hardware Compatibility
One of the best things about Windows has been that you could go into any electronics retailer, buy any hardware device in the store, bring it home, and know it would work. Conversely, one of the worst things about any new version of Windows is that the previous statement no longer applies. I recall wandering down the aisles of a Best Buy in Phoenix, Arizona, over a decade ago when Windows NT 4.0 first shipped, with a printed copy of the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) in my hand. I needed a network adapter but had to be sure I got one of the few models that worked in the then new NT 4.0 system. (In the end, I bought the side model that was compatible.)

Windows Vista users face a similar problem today, though there are some differences. First, there’s no HCL available anymore, at least not a public one, so you’re a bit more on your own when it comes to discovering what’s going to work. Second, Vista is already far more compatible with existing hardware than NT was back in the mid 1990s. Indeed, Microsoft claims that Windows Vista is actually more compatible with today’s hardware than Windows XP was when it first shipped back in 2001. Based on my testing and evidence provided by Microsoft, I believe this to be the case, though overblown tales of Vista’s compatibility issues burned up the blogosphere during its first year on the market.

I’ve tested Windows Vista over a period of years on a wide variety of systems, including several desktops (most of which use dual-core x64-compatible CPUs), Media Center PCs, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and even two Ultra-Mobile PCs. Windows Vista’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) compatibility with the built-in devices on each system I’ve tested has been stellar. (In this case, OOTB refers to both the drivers that actually ship on the Windows Vista DVD as well as the drivers that are automatically installed via Automatic Updating the first time you boot into your new Windows Vista desktop.) On almost all of these systems, Windows Vista has found and installed drivers for every single device in or attached to the system. So much for all those storied compatibility shenanigans.

How about those fears that Vista’s high-end Windows Aero user interface requires hardware upgrades? Balderdash. On every single one of my systems, except for a 2002 era, first generation Toshiba Tablet PC that was slow the day it came out of the factory, Windows Aero is enabled by default and works just fine. This even includes systems with integrated graphics, the very types of systems that were supposed to cause all kinds of problems.

Where you might run into hardware issues is with older scanners, printers, and similar peripherals. My network-attached Dell laser printer wasn’t supported by Windows Vista– specific drivers until Service Pack 1 shipped. (It’s really a Lexmark printer in disguise, so I was able to get it up and running just fine using Lexmark drivers previous to SP1.) Ditto with an older HP Scanjet scanner: It wasn’t supported with Vista-specific drivers immediately in late 2006, but HP has since shown up with updated drivers that work just fine. An Epson photo printer has always worked just fine, and even uses Epson’s bizarre configuration utility—though I’ve never had to install the software manually myself.

TV-tuner hardware? It just works. Zune? Done. Apple’s iPods? They all work (even on x64 systems). Windows Media–compatible devices? Of course; they all connect seamlessly and even work with Vista’s Sync Center interface.


Software Compatibility
I regularly use and otherwise test what I feel is a representative collection of mostly modern software. This includes standard software applications—productivity solutions and the like—as well as games. I run a standard set of applications across most of my desktop and mobile PCs. I’ve also tested numerous video games to see how they fare under the initially shipped version of Windows Vista, as well as Vista with Service Pack 1. The results were largely positive: Not only do most Windows XP-compatible applications and games work just fine under Windows Vista, many pre-Vista games also integrate automatically into Vista’s new Games Explorer as well. Unless it’s a very new game designed specifically for Windows Vista, you won’t get performance information as you do with built-in games, but the game’s Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating is enough to enable parents to lock kids out of objectionable video games using Vista’s parental control features. It’s a nice touch.

Software-compatibility issues in Vista are likely to appear with very old applications that use 16-bit installers and with classes of applications—especially antivirus, antispyware, and other security solutions—that need to be rewritten to work within Vista’s new security controls. By mid 2007, compatibility issues with security software had all been resolved.


x64: Is It Time?
The one dark horse in the Windows Vista compatibility story is x64, the 64-bit hardware platform that we’re all using today (though few people realize it). The x64 platform is a miracle of sorts, at least from a technology standpoint, because it provides the best of both worlds: compatibility with virtually all of the 32-bit software that’s been created over the past 15 years combined with the increased capacity and resources that only true 64-bit platforms can provide.

When Windows Vista first debuted, x64 compatibility was a mixed bag. Hardware compatibility, surprisingly, was excellent, and virtually any hardware device that worked on 32-bit versions of Vista also worked fine on 64-bit versions. Software was another story. Too often, a critical software application simply wouldn’t install or work properly on 64-bit versions of Windows, making these versions a nonstarter for most.

Time, however, truly heals all wounds. A huge number of compatibility issues were fixed over Windows Vista’s first year on the market, and x64 versions of Windows Vista are now largely compatible, both from a hardware and software perspective, with anything that works with 32-bit versions of the system.

So, is it time? You’re getting there. And if you’re adventurous enough and technical enough, I think Vista x64 may be the right solution if you’re hamstrung by the 4GB memory limit of 32-bit versions of Vista. That said, even Microsoft has been surprised by the slow uptick of 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, so much so that the company reversed course and announced that the next version of Windows, dubbed Windows 7, would ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Originally, Windows 7 was going to be 64-bit only. Maybe it’s not time after all.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Understanding Windows Vista Compatibility Issues

Any discussion of PC compatibility, of course, encompasses two very different but related topics: hardware and software. In order for a given hardware device—a printer, graphics card, or whatever—to work correctly with Windows Vista, it needs a working driver. In many cases, drivers designed for older versions of Windows will actually work just fine in Windows Vista. However, depending on the class (or type) of device, many hardware devices need a new Vista-specific driver to function properly on Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Software offers similar challenges. While Windows Vista is largely compatible with the 32-bit software applications that Windows users have enjoyed for over a decade, some applications—and indeed, entire application classes, such as security software—simply won’t work properly in Windows Vista. Some applications can be made to work using Windows Vista’s built-in compatibility modes, as discussed below. Some can’t. A final compatibility issue that shouldn’t be overlooked is one raised by the ongoing migration to 64-bit (x64) computing. Virtually every single PC sold today does, in fact, include a 64-bit x64-compatible microprocessor, which means it is capable of running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. However, virtually all copies of Windows Vista that are sold are the more mainstream 32-bit versions of the system


Hardware Compatibility
One of the best things about Windows has been that you could go into any electronics retailer, buy any hardware device in the store, bring it home, and know it would work. Conversely, one of the worst things about any new version of Windows is that the previous statement no longer applies. I recall wandering down the aisles of a Best Buy in Phoenix, Arizona, over a decade ago when Windows NT 4.0 first shipped, with a printed copy of the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) in my hand. I needed a network adapter but had to be sure I got one of the few models that worked in the then new NT 4.0 system. (In the end, I bought the side model that was compatible.)

Windows Vista users face a similar problem today, though there are some differences. First, there’s no HCL available anymore, at least not a public one, so you’re a bit more on your own when it comes to discovering what’s going to work. Second, Vista is already far more compatible with existing hardware than NT was back in the mid 1990s. Indeed, Microsoft claims that Windows Vista is actually more compatible with today’s hardware than Windows XP was when it first shipped back in 2001. Based on my testing and evidence provided by Microsoft, I believe this to be the case, though overblown tales of Vista’s compatibility issues burned up the blogosphere during its first year on the market.

I’ve tested Windows Vista over a period of years on a wide variety of systems, including several desktops (most of which use dual-core x64-compatible CPUs), Media Center PCs, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and even two Ultra-Mobile PCs. Windows Vista’s out-of-the-box (OOTB) compatibility with the built-in devices on each system I’ve tested has been stellar. (In this case, OOTB refers to both the drivers that actually ship on the Windows Vista DVD as well as the drivers that are automatically installed via Automatic Updating the first time you boot into your new Windows Vista desktop.) On almost all of these systems, Windows Vista has found and installed drivers for every single device in or attached to the system. So much for all those storied compatibility shenanigans.

How about those fears that Vista’s high-end Windows Aero user interface requires hardware upgrades? Balderdash. On every single one of my systems, except for a 2002 era, first generation Toshiba Tablet PC that was slow the day it came out of the factory, Windows Aero is enabled by default and works just fine. This even includes systems with integrated graphics, the very types of systems that were supposed to cause all kinds of problems.

Where you might run into hardware issues is with older scanners, printers, and similar peripherals. My network-attached Dell laser printer wasn’t supported by Windows Vista– specific drivers until Service Pack 1 shipped. (It’s really a Lexmark printer in disguise, so I was able to get it up and running just fine using Lexmark drivers previous to SP1.) Ditto with an older HP Scanjet scanner: It wasn’t supported with Vista-specific drivers immediately in late 2006, but HP has since shown up with updated drivers that work just fine. An Epson photo printer has always worked just fine, and even uses Epson’s bizarre configuration utility—though I’ve never had to install the software manually myself.

TV-tuner hardware? It just works. Zune? Done. Apple’s iPods? They all work (even on x64 systems). Windows Media–compatible devices? Of course; they all connect seamlessly and even work with Vista’s Sync Center interface.


Software Compatibility
I regularly use and otherwise test what I feel is a representative collection of mostly modern software. This includes standard software applications—productivity solutions and the like—as well as games. I run a standard set of applications across most of my desktop and mobile PCs. I’ve also tested numerous video games to see how they fare under the initially shipped version of Windows Vista, as well as Vista with Service Pack 1. The results were largely positive: Not only do most Windows XP-compatible applications and games work just fine under Windows Vista, many pre-Vista games also integrate automatically into Vista’s new Games Explorer as well. Unless it’s a very new game designed specifically for Windows Vista, you won’t get performance information as you do with built-in games, but the game’s Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating is enough to enable parents to lock kids out of objectionable video games using Vista’s parental control features. It’s a nice touch.

Software-compatibility issues in Vista are likely to appear with very old applications that use 16-bit installers and with classes of applications—especially antivirus, antispyware, and other security solutions—that need to be rewritten to work within Vista’s new security controls. By mid 2007, compatibility issues with security software had all been resolved.


x64: Is It Time?
The one dark horse in the Windows Vista compatibility story is x64, the 64-bit hardware platform that we’re all using today (though few people realize it). The x64 platform is a miracle of sorts, at least from a technology standpoint, because it provides the best of both worlds: compatibility with virtually all of the 32-bit software that’s been created over the past 15 years combined with the increased capacity and resources that only true 64-bit platforms can provide.

When Windows Vista first debuted, x64 compatibility was a mixed bag. Hardware compatibility, surprisingly, was excellent, and virtually any hardware device that worked on 32-bit versions of Vista also worked fine on 64-bit versions. Software was another story. Too often, a critical software application simply wouldn’t install or work properly on 64-bit versions of Windows, making these versions a nonstarter for most.

Time, however, truly heals all wounds. A huge number of compatibility issues were fixed over Windows Vista’s first year on the market, and x64 versions of Windows Vista are now largely compatible, both from a hardware and software perspective, with anything that works with 32-bit versions of the system.

So, is it time? You’re getting there. And if you’re adventurous enough and technical enough, I think Vista x64 may be the right solution if you’re hamstrung by the 4GB memory limit of 32-bit versions of Vista. That said, even Microsoft has been surprised by the slow uptick of 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, so much so that the company reversed course and announced that the next version of Windows, dubbed Windows 7, would ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Originally, Windows 7 was going to be 64-bit only. Maybe it’s not time after all.

Hidden Perils of the Vista Upgrade

With all the new features and functionality provided by Windows Vista, you might be tempted to buy a retail version of the operating system and install it over your existing copy of Windows XP.

I don’t recommend doing that, for the following reasons:

• Your old PC may not be up to the challenge of running Vista. You may need substantial investments in additional RAM, a more capable video card, a larger hard drive, or all of the above to get adequate performance from Windows Vista.

• Some of your hardware, such as printers and networking adapters, may not work at all after you install Windows Vista—unless you update the drivers they need to versions that are Vista-compatible.

• Even if you find that one or more of your drivers need to be updated, the vendor of your hardware may not make a Vista-compatible version available for months, years, or ever. (It’s happened before with previous versions of Windows.)

• Some of the software that’s installed and running just fine in Windows XP may not work properly once you’ve performed the upgrade.

• Finally, some software or hardware may never work in Vista. Companies do go out of business, after all.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Avoid Installing Vista over Windows XP

It is recommended that you get Windows Vista preinstalled with your next new PC. This is the best way to acquire Vista. Another reasonable option, assuming you know what you’re doing and have recent hardware, is to purchase a retail version of Windows Vista and then perform a clean install of the OS on your existing PC. I don’t recommend that you install Vista over Windows XP.

Here’s why. Installing Windows Vista on top of Windows XP may cause incompatibility problems that you might not be able to fi x easily. When you buy a new PC with Windows Vista preinstalled, it’s almost certain that the components in the PC will have been selected for their compatibility and will have the latest driver software. PC makers also support their products with Web sites that provide the latest known drivers. These sites aren’t usually as up-to-date as they should be, but they will at least work. In general, you shouldn’t consider installing Vista over Windows XP unless the following conditions are true:

• You need a feature of Vista that you can’t add to XP.

• You need an application that requires Vista.

• You can’t afford even the least expensive new PC that comes with Vista preinstalled.

Even if one of the preceding conditions is true, you may be better off backing up all of your old data to a CD/DVD or removable hard disk, formatting the old PC’s hard drive, and doing a clean install of Vista. This avoids the possibility that some components of the old OS will hang around to cause conflicts. If you’ve never backed up and formatted a hard drive, however, don’t try to learn how on any PC that’s important to you.

If you do decide to install Vista over Windows XP, at least run Microsoft’s Vista Upgrade Advisor, to determine which drivers you may need to update first; and regardless of how you need to install Windows Vista, there are various ways in which you can get this system installed.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Windows on Mac: Virtualization Solutions

If you’d prefer to join the ever-increasing ranks of Mac switchers—you traitor, you—you can still run Windows and, more important, Windows applications, from within Mac OS
X. You do so via a virtualized environment such as VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop, both of which fool Windows into running inside of a software-based PC that itself runs as an application under Mac OS X.

In the past, virtualized environments presented a number of huge issues, especially on the Mac. First, performance was abysmal, owing mostly to the underlying architectural differences between the PowerPC and Intel x86 platforms and the difficulty in translating running code between them. Second, virtualized environments have typically presented
Windows and its applications as a sort of thing-in-a-thing, whereby the entire Windows environment would run inside a closed-off window that was quite separate and distinct from the Mac environment in which it was running. Moving back and forth between the Mac and Windows environments was jarring and difficult.

Modern virtualized environments—such as VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop—have mostly overcome these issues. Thanks to the underlying Intel x86 platform now used by the Mac, virtualization offers better performance because there’s no need to do on-thefly code conversion. Yes, performance still suffers, but I think you would be surprised by how well Fusion and Parallels Desktop actually work.

More impressive, perhaps, both VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop offer unique new usage modes that blur the line between the Mac and Windows desktops. VMware Fusion offers a feature called Unity that enables you to run a Windows application directly from the Mac Dock, switch between Windows and Mac applications using the Mac’s Exposé window switcher, and drag and drop files between both systems.

Parallels Desktop offers a similar feature called Coherence, which also integrates Windows applications into the Mac desktop experience. Coherence even supports copy and paste between Mac and Windows applications, and many other integration features.

VMware Fusion also offers an impressive bit of integration with Apple’s Boot Camp functionality. If you’ve already installed Windows Vista in a dual-boot setup with Mac OS X using Boot Camp, Fusion will detect that Windows install and automatically enable you to access it as a virtualized environment from within Mac OS X. This, truly, is the best of both worlds, as you can choose to access Windows Vista natively via Boot Camp or virtualized from within Mac OS X using Fusion, all on the same machine.

You can find out more about VMware Fusion from the VMware Web site at www.vmware.com/products/fusion. Likewise, you can find out more about Parallels Fusion online at www.parallels.com/products/desktop.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Installing Windows Vista on a Mac

When Apple switched its Macintosh computers from the aging Power PC architecture to Intel’s PC-compatible x86 platform in 2006, the computing landscape was changed forever. No longer were PCs and Macs incompatible at a very low level. Indeed, Macs are now simply PCs running a different operating system. This fascinating change opened up the possibility of Mac users running Windows software natively on their machines, either in a dual-boot scenario or, perhaps, in a virtualized environment that would offer much better performance than the Power PC–based virtualized environments of the past.

These dreams quickly became reality. Apple created software called Boot Camp that now enables Mac users to dual-boot between Mac OS X and Windows XP or Vista. And enterprising tech pioneers such as VMware and Parallels have created seamless virtualization environments for Mac OS X that enable users to run popular Windows applications alongside Mac-only software such as iLife.

Now consumers can choose a best-of-both-worlds solution that combines Apple’s highly regarded hardware with the compatibility and software-library depth of Windows Vista.
Indeed, I’ve been using an Apple notebook running Windows Vista ever since Microsoft’s latest operating system shipped publicly.


Dual Boot: Using Boot Camp
Boot Camp is a feature of Mac OS X and is configured via that system’s Boot Camp Assistant. Boot Camp Assistant is available from the Mac OS X Utilities folder (Applications -> Utilities) and provides a wizard-based configuration experience.

The key to this wizard is the Create a Second Partition phase, where you can graphically resize the partition layout on the hard disk between Mac OS X and Windows, (Macs with multiple hard drives can be configured such that Mac OS X and Windows occupy different physical disks, if desired.) Boot Camp is available only in Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” or newer, and it supports only 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista.


After that, Boot Camp prompts you to insert the Windows Vista Setup DVD and proceed with setup. From a Windows user’s perspective, setup proceeds normally and Windows looks and acts as it should once installed. Be sure to keep your Mac OS X Setup DVD handy, however. It includes the necessary drivers that Windows needs to be compatible with the Mac’s specific hardware.

Once you have Windows Vista up and running on the Mac, there are just a few Mac specific issues you should be aware of:

• Confi guring Boot Camp: When you install Windows Vista on a Mac using Boot Camp, Apple installs a Boot Camp Control Panel application, which you can access via Start Menu -> Search by typing boot camp. This application helps you configure important functionality such as the default system to load at boot time (Mac or Windows). There’s also a system notification tray applet that enables you to access the Boot Camp Control Panel and Boot Camp Help and choose to reboot into Mac OS X.

• Switching between operating systems at boot time: While you can choose the default operating system at boot time via the Boot Camp Control Panel application, or choose to boot into Mac OS X from within Windows by using the Boot Camp tray applet, you can also choose an OS on the fly when you boot up the Mac. To do so, restart the Mac and then hold down the Option key until you see a screen with icons for both Mac OS X and Windows. Then, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to choose the system you want and press Enter to boot.

• Understanding Mac keyboard and mouse differences: While Macs are really just glorified PCs now, Apple continues to use unique keyboard layouts and, frequently, one-button mice. As a result, you may have to make some adjustments when running Windows on a Mac. Table 2-3 lists some commonly used keyboard commands and explains how to trigger equivalent actions on a Mac. Additionally, you can right-click items on a single-button Mac trackpad by holding two fingers on the trackpad and tapping the button. To scroll in a document or Web page, move two fingers on the trackpad simultaneously, either up or down.


The differences between these two types of Windows-on-Mac solutions are important to understand. If you choose to dual-boot between Mac OS X and Windows using Boot Camp, you have the advantage of running each system with the complete power of the underlying hardware. However, you can access only one OS at a time and need to reboot the Mac in order to access the other.

With a virtualized environment such as Mac OS X, you have the advantage of running Mac OS X and Windows applications side by side, but with a performance penalty. In this situation, Mac OS X is considered the host OS, and Windows is guest OS running on top of Mac OS X. Thus, Windows applications won’t run at full speed. With enough RAM, you won’t notice any huge performance issues while utilizing productivity applications, but you can’t run Windows games effectively with such a setup. Note, too, that the Windows Vista Aero user experience is not available in today’s virtualized environments, so you would have to settle for Windows Vista Basic instead.

Regardless of which method you use to install Windows Vista, be aware of a final limitation: You will need to purchase a copy of Windows Vista, as no Mac ships with Microsoft’s operating system. This is a not-so-fine point that Apple never seems to point out in their advertising.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

Delaying Windows Vista Product Activation

Retail versions of Windows Vista must be activated within 30 days. Otherwise, the system slips into an annoying state in which it notifies you, every 60 minutes, that the system must be activated. Still, the 30-day grace period is useful, especially if you’re just testing some things and want to make sure that your new install is working properly before you lock things down and tie your one product key to this particular PC.

That said, sometimes 30 days isn’t enough, and if you want to extend this grace period, I’ve got some good news: Thanks to a barely documented feature aimed at Microsoft’s corporate customers, it’s actually possible to extend the activation grace period up to a total of 120 days. You just have to be a bit vigilant.

The key to extending the grace period is a command-line program in Windows Vista called Software Licensing Manager (SLMGR), which is actually a VBScript script named slmgr.vbs. (It can be found in c:\windows\system32 by default.) Using this script with the -rearm parameter, you can reset (or, in Software Licensing Manager lingo, “re-arm”) Vista’s 30-day activation grace period. This effectively resets the clock on the activation grace period back to a full 30 days whenever you run it.

Unfortunately, you can run this script successfully only three times, so it’s theoretically possible to re-arm the product activation grace period to a total of 120 days (30 days of initial grace period plus three additional 30-day grace periods). That said, even the most careful of users will likely want to re-arm the grace period with a few days remaining each time, but you’re still looking at over 100 days of non-activated Windows Vista usage.

You can view your current grace period in the System window. To do so, open the Start Menu, right-click the Computer icon, and choose Properties. The bottom section of this window, Windows activation, displays how many days you have until the grace period ends, and provides a link to activate Windows immediately

Here’s how to re-arm the Windows Vista product-activation grace period:
1. Open the Start Menu, select Search, and type cmd.

2. Right-click the cmd shortcut that appears and choose Run as Administrator from the pop-up menu that appears. Windows Vista’s command-line window appears.

3. Type the following text in the command-line window and press Enter when complete:
slmgr.vbs -rearm. When the command is run successfully, a Windows Script Host window appears, noting “Command completed successfully. Please restart the system for the changes to take effect.”

4. Click OK to close the Windows Script Host window and then restart the PC. When you reboot, reload the System window.


Software Licensing Manager isn’t designed solely to extend the Windows Vista grace period. If you run slmgr.vbs from a Windows Vista command-line window without any parameters, you’ll eventually be presented with the dialog showing you the many possible options.

The most interesting of these include the following:
• -ipk: Enables you to change the Windows product key
• -dlv: Displays a detailed list of license information about your PC, including
the Windows Vista product version and type (e.g., retail)
• -ato: Activates Windows Vista
• -dti: Activates Windows Vista offl ine, without an Internet connection

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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