Windows Update - installs updates even if you've set it to let you choose

In Windows 2008 (and Windows 7 if I remember well ... and probably Vista as well, though I've never tried it) if you set the Windows Update settings to "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them", Windows installs important updates without asking you anything. So much for "let me choose". Sad
If you really want to be in control of what updates get on your system, choose the "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" option. Unfortunately this way it'll not even download the updates in the background, but at least it'll not install any updates without your specific approval.

TCP Catcher

I've already written about a number of web debugging proxies (Charles, Fiddler, Paros) and now I've stumbled on another one. Smile TCP Catcher comes as a simple JAR (yes, this one is written in Java too, just like Charles) and has a lot less features than Fiddler or Charles. However less is sometimes more. It consists of only two screens: settings page and request (TCP or HTTP) list. It's very easy and fast to set up and works quite well. If you don't need the rich feature set of Charles, TCP Catcher is the way to go. Smile

Installing the Boot Camp drivers on a Mac Mini in Windows 7

I installed the Boot Camp v3.1 drivers from a Mac OS X 10.6.3 DVD on a Mac Mini running Windows 7, but after the setup was finished, Device Manager still showed two devices as erroneous: "Performance Counters" and an USB device (which turned out to be the Apple Remote, aka. "Apple IR Receiver"). Repeating the install process did not fix the problem. The solution was to manually install the drivers. Ie. extract the contents of Drivers\Apple\AppleRemoteInstaller.exe (for the Apple Remote) and Drivers\Apple\AppleNullDriver.exe (for the Performance Counters) and update both devices with the respective drivers. This way the driver installations succeeded.

Fixing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL errors while shutting down a QEMU/KVM virtual machine running Windows 7

The idea is at the very end of the blog post, in an "UPDATE" section. The BSOD (blue screen of death) occurs during shutdown if the virtual machine is set to use the 'i686' architecture. Changing it to 'x86_64' fixes the problem.

How to unlock a user and change it's password in Windows 7

I successfully used NTPWEdit v0.3 launched from an XP-based Ultimate Boot Disk for Windows to unlock and change the password of the administrator user on a Windows 7 (Ultimate, 32 bit) PC. It's a GUI tool and is based on code from Offline NT Password & Registry Editor.

How to manually start the uninstall of Nortel VPN Client

The 4.x and 5.x versions of the Nortel VPN Client are based on InstallShield. They put an uninstaller app in the C:\Program Files\InstallShield Installation Information\{GUID} directory (where {GUID} stands for the app ID - a series of hexadecimal numbers separated by hyphens). The uninstall routine can be invoked simply by executing Setup.exe with the "Uninstall" parameter in that directory.

Fixing deeply screwed networking in Windows

I've been in this situation a couple of times before, but I've never been able to fix it ... not until today. Let's assume that somehow your network setup in Windows gets screwed up. Ie. you've no network connection, the network adapter in Device Manager has a small yellow exclamation mark meaning it has some obscure problem that prevents it from normal functioning. And of course re-installing the adapter won't help because you get an obscure "error occurred during the installation of the device" error message (maybe you even get a "The system cannot find the file specified." message along too) ... or even better, you cannot uninstall the adapter at all because you get a "Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer." error message. All seems to be lost.

How to specify the interface for a network route in Windows

The description of the route command on the MS website is a lot more helpful, than the output of route /?. I've used the route command a lot, but never before realized that there's an interface list at the start of a route print command's output. Smile It's good to know how to create a route for a specific interface. I had some trouble with a Nortel VPN Client (it overwrote my default gateway) and I couldn't figure out why my custom routes won't work (I still don't know). But an interface specific rule helped.

How to remove the 100 MB system reserved partition when installing Windows 7

To summerize the steps:
  1. Let the installer create the system partition.
  2. Remove all other partitions (except for the 100MB system partition) if there're any.
  3. Extend the 100MB system partition to a size of your choice (eg. if you want to use this as the primary Windows partition, then resize it to at least 10-20GB).
  4. Optionally (if you still've any free space left) create as many partitions as you like (I used to have a 20GB partition for the system and the remaining space in one big partition for the user data ... however for users who store everything in their user profile folder, you might want to have only one big partition for both the system and user data).
  5. Proceed with the installation on the first (system) partition.

IMAPSize - a tool to manage your IMAP storage

"IMAPSize is a freeware Windows application that allows you to quickly and efficiently manage your IMAP mail accounts. It is not another mail client. The main purpose of IMAPSize is to locate space consuming folders and allow you to manage them, hence putting your storage quota under control. To accomplish this task IMAPSize offers a variety of useful (and some unique) operations."

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