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volume 12 number 5 may 2007 TipSheet

Welcome to the May issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month we'll start a series on some tips for Getting More From the New Windows Vista.

Tip 586   Vista: Move Quick Launch to Side of Screen Category:   VISTA

In Vista you can no longer move your quick launch toolbar to the side of the screen. For users who have been running XP for a long time, this can be quite painful. Of course, I know the work around...

Tip 587   Command Authority Category:   VISTA

Like a scene straight out of Kramer vs. Kramer or Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy, Vista has two types of administrators. What gives? First, understand that there are two kinds of user accounts, Administrator and Standard. This refers to the level of privileges�the things you're allowed to do. In addition, and separately, there is an account named Administrator. It's typically used to sort out problems that keep you from logging on to your normal account. As in Windows XP, you should rename the Administrator account for security purposes (just don't forget what you've changed it to). Right-click Computer and click Manage. Under Local Users and Groups, open Users, right-click the one named Administrator, and choose Rename. Then right-click it and choose Properties to delete its telltale description as well.

Tip 588   Truely Securew Your Files Category:   VISTA

Password-protecting your laptop is good overall security, but for added protection, start encrypting. Vista Enterprise and Ultimate editions come with BitLocker Drive Encryption, a tool that relies on a Trusted Platform Module to secure access�check your manual to see if your notebook has one and update your BIOS if needed. To make the magic happen, you'll need an extra partition on your hard drive that you can create with the Vista partitioning tool on your installation disc or with the BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool, a Vista Ultimate Extra. You'll create one small partition for essential OS files, and the rest of the drive will hold encrypted files. Format the partition as NTFS, not FAT32.

Tip 589   Be The Boss Category:   VISTA

In order to limit the havoc that rogue programs can cause, administrator accounts aren't totally in charge. To gain complete control (to install antispyware, for example), log on as the Administrator�but not all the time, or you'll negate this account's raison d'�tre. The Administrator account won't show up in the User Accounts control panel, however: It's disabled by default. In Vista Ultimate or Business editions, right-click it in the Management Console (as described in the first tip) and select Properties. Uncheck Account is disabled and it'll show up in the control panel. That's the super-mega-ultimate account. Don't have Ultimate? Click Start, type cmd, right-click the cmd.exe item at top, and choose Run as administrator. Type net user administrator /active:yes and log off. The Administrator account now shows up on the welcome screen.

Tip 590   Install From an Upgrade Disk Category:   VISTA

Past Windows versions have let you prove upgrade-readiness by inserting a CD of the previous OS during the install process. Vista doesn't; Microsoft specifically says "Windows Vista does not check upgrade compliance. Therefore, you cannot use an upgrade disc to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista." To work around this problem, insert your CD into your clean computer. Don't enter the code when Vista asks for your license key, simply click Next. You'll create a system sans activation code that's active for 30 days. Then reboot from the CD; you'll be able to install the OS as an update to your Vista installation. Now use the activation code.

Copyright 2007, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

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