BCDEdit and debug setup

This blog is a short guide to provide some basic info regarding Boot Configuration Data Editor (BCDEdit), and present a collection of useful links where more detail is available. Boot Configuration Data (BCD) provides a store that is used to describe boot applications and their settings. These objects and elements effectively replace Boot.ini. The data…


Sterilizing a hard drive with diskpart.exe

Sometimes you need to ensure that a hard drive is completely sterilized (erased) and that all data is actually removed. So to securely wipe (zero-out) a drive, boot the system with a WinPE boot CD/Flash or boot floppy (Windows 98) that has a copy of the diskpart.exe utility on it. Run the following commands in…


Windows Home Server Add-Ins

Windows Home Server has quickly become a mainstay tool in your electronic home as storage for your data and for automatic backup of up to 10 of your home computers. While the server is built to do what it was designed for very efficiently, people are looking for things to improve, and to enhance the…


Default file formats for USB removable media

If the drive is removable, supports hot swap, and the disk size is less than or equal to 32GB, then the default is the FAT file system.  If its size is less than or equal to 2GB, then the default is FAT, otherwise the default is FAT32.   If the disk size is greater than 32GB, then we will default to NTFS.


Add Language Packs before Hotfixes when Creating Multilingual Vista Images

When asked to create a multilingual image for your company or organization, you may be tempted to start with your existing image and add Language Packs.  This method can cause you problems down the road. As a best practice, you should start with the Vista image as shipped and all of the Language Packs you…


Tips for using Vista Package Manager (pkgmgr)

Vista Package Manager is command line tool to install, remove or updates Windows packages to an offline Windows image.  Used incorrectly you can easily corrupt your Windows installation image.  Here are some tips to avoid this problem. The first and most important tip is always save your previous images.  You can not repair a corrupt…


New program highlighting in the Start menu

Ever wonder why some programs are highlighted in the “All Programs” list of the Start menu? Start by reading this fine MSDN blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2005/11/24/496690.aspx Even though it is written prior to Vista, it basically holds true for Vista as well. There are some exceptions, however. On Windows Vista:  1.       Apps installed within 5 hours of…


Windows Home Server PP2 released!

Windows Home Server (WHS) Power Pack 2 (PP2) was released on March 24th, 2009 in English, with more languages to follow shortly. What makes this a PP2 rather than SP2 is the fact that it not only fixes bugs and other known issues, it also adds new features to enhance the WHS experience. These enhancements…


DPI Scaling (font size adjustment) does not work on some displays in Vista

You have your nifty new hand-held ultra mobile PC running Windows Vista, but you wish your font size was a little larger so you could read the text. You hunt around and find that you can modify just the font size (from the classic view of Control Panel -> Personalization -> Adjust font size (DPI)),…