HelpWithWindows Newsletter
 19 March 2005, Vol 8 No. 11

In this issue:

The Utility For Any Serious Windows Tweaker!

Windows XP SP2 Automatic Update Blocker to be Lifted

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows XP Service Pack 2 Automatic Update Blocker to be Lifted When Microsoft introduced Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) last August, it provided IT professionals & System Administrators with a tool that would block the delivery of SP2 via the Automatic Update feature of Windows XP.

Microsoft allowed people to install this block to provide IT professionals & System Administrators additional time for validation and testing of the SP2 update.

Initially the blocker was limited to 120 days, but last September Microsoft doubled that time to 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004 to April 12, 2005. After this date, Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems who have Automatic Updates enabled.

You can find your Automatic Update settings by going to Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System and selecting the Automatic Updates tab.

This upcoming change affects only computers use in businesses, for which system administrators used specific software to "roll out" updates across an organization, such as Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 or Software Update Services (SUS).

For more information about deploying Windows XP SP2, visit the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Information Web site.

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Microsoft Releases Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0

Microsoft Releases Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 Microsoft this week released a new version of its Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). ACT is intended to be used by System Administrators to help migrate applications from previous Windows versions to Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.

ACT 4.0 includes updated versions of the Microsoft Application Analyzer; the Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator; and Compatibility Administrator.

The Application Analyzer tool collects application information from your computers (along with identifying computer information), and provides you with detailed reports of known application compatibility issues. The Application Analyzer tool can collect information from the following operating systems:

  • Windows 98
  • Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Windows Me
  • Windows NT 4
  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows Server 2003

The Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE) is designed to help you evaluate changes in behavior of Web Applications and Web sites caused by the new Security Features in Windows XP with Service Pack 2. It also gives specific details to identify the location of the problem. Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator can be run on Windows XP SP2

The Compatibility Administrator tool is a useful tool for resolving application compatibility issues during a deployment of Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. This tool can be run on Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Web site.


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I get messages from people having problems with Windows Explorer crashes on a regular basis. In a lot of cases, these errors are caused by 3rd party shell extensions that are not functioning properly.

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Images of Ireland Desktop Theme for Windows XP

This is a desktop theme for Windows XP Home and Professional Editions. It includes a desktop wallpaper and a screensaver depicting images from around the island of Ireland. The images have been kindly supplied by Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Download [5.46 MB]

Microsoft Executive Chat - Longhorn Networking Revealed

Join Jawad Khaki, Corporate Vice President of the Networking and Devices Technologies division, for a frank conversation about networking in Longhorn. Exchange points of view, ask tough questions, share experiences and get answers.

March 22, 2005
11:30-12:30 P.M. PT
19:30-20:30 GMT

Join the chat room on the day of the chat.

Windows XP How To: View System Uptime

OK, this is always a frequent request, since we've finally gotten rid of that buggy Windows 9x code... the question comes to mind: how long has our system been running?

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Fine Tune Windows 98: Improving Performance

Although Windows 98, when running on an identical setup as Windows 95, outperforms the latter, there are still a few "tweaks" to improve the performance of Windows 98.

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