I recently ran across an issue where a client using a Windows Vista machine could not connect to a specific server via RDP. Every time they would try to connect to this specific server they would get an error that stated “The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol”. This computer would connect ok to other servers via RDP, and I could connect to that specific server via RDP from many other computers I tried. So I searched the web for an answer, and many seemed to point to a specific registry key.
The instructions I found all said to delete a couple of keys using these instructions:
1. Click Start, type regedit and hit enter.
2. On registry editor window, navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSLicensing
3. Right click on MSLicensing, click Export and give a name to file e.g. RemoteKeyBackup and click Save it on the Desktop.
4. Right click on HardwareID and Store keys folder under MSLicensing and click Delete.
5. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect. Restarting the computer will create new keys.
I did this and it did not create the new keys and I kept getting the same error.
After a bit more digging, I found the answer, a very simple on it seems in hindsight, but one that escaped me.
**Note: I am not sure if doing the above mentioned registry fix had anything to do with the final fix or not, but it made sense to try it.
To fix this, all I did was go to Programs > Accessories, and right click on Remote Desktop Connection and select “Run as Administrator”
Running as administrator fixed the issue – I think that I probably had a corrupt registry key and only by running Remote Desktop as an administrator was I able to recreate the proper keys.
Hopefully this will save someone else a ton of searching
Microsoft has just released Security Essentials 2.0 (MSE 2.0), which includes a number of enhanced features. In this latest version there is a updated and reportedly much better hueristic scanning engine for viruses and malware (heuristics look for virus/malware like behavior on your computer). Also included is improved integration with Windows Firewall, and new network traffic inspection. The firewall enhancements are only available to those running Vista or Windows 7 as Windows XP does not have the needed platform to run (if you are still on XP, it is really time to seriously consider upgrading as XP is now 10 years old and was never designed for today’s internet or programs).
Microsoft Security Essentials integrates with Internet Explorer to protect your machine from Web threats like malicous scripts. With the increasing number of viruses and malware spreading to all computers from social networking sites like Facebook, and the constant email bombardment, it is imperative to make sure that you have active and updated anti-virus and antispyware/antimalware software on our computer (yes, even Macs and Linux machines are now getting infected with viruses and malware).
The best part of Microsoft Security Essentials is that it is free for home users as well as being free for small businesses with 10 PC’s or fewer. While only time will tell how effetive this latest version is, I would certainly recommend using it in place of software like Nortons or Mcaffee (both of which are often first targets for virus and malware writers).
You can download Microsoft Security Essentials free directly from Microsoft here: http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/
*Note: Microsoft Security Essentials, like most antivirus software cannot be installed with other antivirus software as well as some other security software, so make sure to remove other security software before installing it.
For links to other free security software or help with Malware, Spyware and Virus removal, visit Pensacola Computers Tech Support page
Windows 7 was released to the public yesterday – walking into any major electronics retailer, or visiting manufacturers online sites would fill your eyes with Windows 7 systems. Of course Mac, not wanting to be left out, has made a pitiful attempt by releasing some updated systems themselves, but they are still nothing more than expensive toys for the most part (come on Apple, a 27 inch imac with no BlueRay? - just another one of those iDont’s, what losers).
I have already installed Windows 7 for quite a few clients, and all of them love it. Not to mention how much easier it is to install printers and other hardware devices (but no, you still can’t run that 8 year old printer that hasn’t had drivers made since 2003). Windows 7 is snappy, it’s fresh, it works well and has a host of new features that will make doing things easier. If you are running Windows XP, I would say it’s definitely time to buy a new computer with Windows 7 – while there are some newer systems that have XP on them that will run Windows 7, in the end you are probably much better off buying a new system with Windows 7 pre-installed as you will be getting at least a 1 year warranty, it will be new technology, and you won’t run into any compatibility problems with older hardware or drivers.
If you have a Windows Vista machine and are one of those people who constantly say how much you hate Vista, then the move to Windows 7 is probably something you will want to do as soon as possible. Although not gone completely, Microsoft has seriously reduced those annoying permission prompts, as well as fixed a number of other Vista annoyances. If you like Vista, then you may still want to take a look at what Windows 7 has to offer in terms of improvements, and if you like them, then take the plunge.
I was at a major electronics retailer the other day and was saddened to see them pushing that people need to bring their computers in to them in order to get the computer upgraded to Windows 7 properly. I even heard a saleperson tell a customer that if the customer tried to do it themselves that they could ruin their computer and void their warranty – what a total load of crap!! Of course, for such a blatant lie, I went up to that customer and told them the truth: Upgrading your computer to Windows 7 is quite easy, doing it yourself will NOT void a warranty, and even in a worse case scenario, if something were to go wrong, you could still easily do a fresh install. Basically to upgrade a current Vista installation to Windows 7 of the same type (ie: home premium to home premium, business to professional), all you do is pop in the DVD and follow the on screen prompts.
This same store that was telling customers such blatant falsehoods was also offering this ‘upgrade’ service for the minimal fee of $39.99 (or something close to that). So basically, you pay them 40 bucks so some snot-nosed kid can pop a DVD in your computer, then come back a while later and take that same DVD out. Oh yeah, they will also ‘update’ your system with all the latest updates (something that your machine will do automatically as soon as it is hooked up to the internet).
Another thing they fail to tell you, in their quest for evey 40 bucks they can get, is that most IT people will tell you that you are usually better off doing a fresh install of Windows 7 rather than upgrading directly from Vista. While you certainly ‘can’ upgrade directly, and in many cases things will be fine, if your computer currently has any ‘issues’ that are impacting it’s performance, you will be bringing those same issues forward to the upgrade. Even doing a fresh install is a pretty basic and straight forward thing (although moving things like Outlook files can be a bit tricky), but as long as you spend a little time preparing and reading up on how to do it, you should be able to do it with ease.
In the end, don’t pay any ‘squad’ 40 bucks to just put a dvd into your computer then try to sell you all kinds of crap like their ‘neccessary’ security productc (most of which are crap). And don’t believe most, if not all, of what they tell/sell you.
With the start of the school year, and the upcoming release of Windows 7, many people are getting new computers. In order to have the best experience from your new computer, there are a few important things to do:
By taking a few extra minutes setting up a new computer properly, you can ensure a much better and safer experience in the long run, and it is well worth the initial time investment
Windows 7 has been Released to Manufacturing – this means that the final code is locked in and will soon be coming to a computer near you. Windows 7 will officially be released to the general public on October 22nd, however Microsoft Partners, and OEM builders will have access to it within the next couple of weeks. Windows 7 has been designed to run on just about any system that currently supports Windows Vista, so migration will be quite easy for those currently running Vista. Windows 7 also has requirements a bit less stringent than Vista, so may allow you to run it on hardware that would not support Vista (such as some netbooks).
In my own testing of Windows 7, I found the installations to be very quick (usually under 20 minutes), and the operating sytem itself was very snappy and performed well. I have installed it on everything from an Intel Celeron 900 netbook with 1 GB of RAM and a 16 GB SSD Hard Drive to a monster Core 2 Quad gaming rig, and in all cases it has performed very well. There are many enhancements in Windows 7 that make it more secure, more reliable and more user friendly than Vista or XP (although die-hard XP fans will still balk at some of the new features I’m sure). There are also some new features such as 4 point touch abilities that will take advantage of new hardware offerings (touch is cool!!!).
Although some of the changes will take a bit of getting used to, such as the new library folders, a bit of time spent investigating these new features will be well worth the time investment. Home networking is much improved with the addition of a host of new network wizards and the new Home Groups, and Windows 7 integrates easily with external devices such as game systems and big screen TV’s. Windows 7 is also being released with Server 2008 R2 which adds a bunch of new client/server features that can really make a difference to businesses.
If you are currently looking at new computers, almost all manufacturers are now offering free upgrades to Windows 7 if you buy a system with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate editions (Home Basic does not qualify for the free upgrades). These free upgrades are offered through the manufacturers websites, so be sure to register there if you buy a new computer that is eligible.
Microsoft has officially announced that Windows 7 will hit retail markets on October 22nd. In addition they will shortly be announcing the final details regarding a Windows 7 upgrade option for people buying new computers between the end of June and October. Right now it looks like anyone who purchases a new computer that has Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate after the end of June will recieve a free or deeply discounted copy of Windows 7 when it is released. Hopefully Microsoft will open up on the exact details soon. One thing to note though – don’t expect any free or discounted upgrades on netbooks as most are currently running Windows XP which will not be part of the upgrade promotion (however, Windows 7 will certainly run, and run well on most netbooks currently on the market).
I have been running Windows 7 for many months now and must say that it is very stable, seems quicker than Vista in many tasks, and is definitely more secure than XP and even Vista. It has quite a few new features, and while some people seem to always resist change, the changes in Windows 7 seem really to help productivity and ease many common tasks.
The time is coming for a lot of people to ditch Windows XP – yes, they like it, it is easy to use and familiar, but face it, Windows XP is going on 9 years old and most new programs are either back-ported to it, or soon won’t even run as manufactures of hardware and software are not going to support it.
Microsoft has done a pretty good job on applying patches and service packs to keep it running, but in todays world of high demand, media rich application, Windows XP is starting to really struggle. So, should you throw that XP box out and run out and get a new machine? Well, personally I would wait until the end of June (baby that XP box to squeeze everything you can out of it until then). At the end of June, all new PC’s that have Vista installed on them should then qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it is releases (probably towards the end of the year).
After running Windows 7 Beta on my main system for a few months now, I have to say that I really like it. It performs very well and has a host of new features that make a lot of things easier. It is also ready to run new applications, has better security, and a host of new features that make it easier to manage. Sure, some people are going to gripe that they like XP just fine and don’t want to change, but let me tell you, spending a few minutes learning some of the new features in Windows 7 will end up saving you a lot of time, and make your computer life a lot easier.
And why shouldn’t you just run out and buy an Apple? Well the fact is, Apples cost more for the same hardware that a PC runs, there are way more applications that run on PC’s (not that Apple’s don’t have a few good ones, but face it, Macs will never be able to outperform the best PC’s, most businesses run PC’s which means in the business world you better know how to use one, and my biggest beef of all with Apple’s is that if you want to run an Apple operating system, you have to buy a Mac and be tied in to what they decide you should have for hardware.
I have seen quite a few major name consumer electronics retailers offering “New Computer Optimization Services” for computers that you buy from them. First let me say “what a crock” – they are going to sell you a new computer, then they want to charge you money to make it run better? Of course they will also try to sell you some crap security software that will just slow your computer down more, and of course there is the always tried extended warranty service ploy. My general rule of thumb on extended Warranty service is that it isn’t worth it if the computer is much under $1000 to begin with. They tell you – oh we will sell you our 2 year extended warranty for $$$, but what they don’t tell you is that almost all computers already come with a 1 year warranty, so they are actually only selling you an extra year. I just can’t see paying an extra couple hundred $$ for a computer that only costs $500 or so to begin with. You are better off saving that money towards a new computer in a couple of years. Face it, computers are cheaper than ever, and they just aren’t made to last. Hard drives will ALWAYS fail, it isn’t a matter of if, just a matter of when.
Then there is the whole optimization garbage -this is nothing the average person can’t do themselves easily by going to add/remove programs and taking off the majority of add-on and trial programs that most new computers come with. These garbage programs are what I consider a neccessary evil, as the program makers subsidize the computer makers when they put these programs on a new computer and this is reflected in cheaper prices for you the consumer. The other bad thing about the computer optimization services is that they do it in a generic way, and what they optimize is usually not optimized for how each individual uses their computer. Then there is the whole fact of the security software they want to install for you – I’m sorry but in my many years of experience, the full security solutions that they bundle with most systems like Nortons (Symantec) and Mcaffee, just aren’t that good and they use up way to much memory and system resources. On top of that, there are quite a few spyware/virus programs that actually target these security software solutions. In the end you are better off with a free antivirus like AVG, or if you need top rate, go with something like Eset’s NOD32.
Things to do to make a new computer run the way a new computer should:
Just doing these three things will speed up your computer a good bit, and save you a nice chunk of change – even if you don’t feel comfortable doing these things yourself, take it to a local computer shop before trusting it to a mass market consumer electronics store – they just want your money, more and more.
So, I have been using Windows 7 for a while now and I must say that I really like it. Since I have been using Windows Vista since its early Alpha testing, it is nice to have something new to explore, and Windows 7 is full of interesting things. From the new Library folders, Jump Lists (where you can pin favorites and links), to nice new features like the ability to burn an iso file directly to a CD (previously you needed something like Nero to do this), the new features will certainly be welcome on my desktop.
In addition, Microsoft has listened to people and the things that they liked or disliked about Windows Vista, and made some welcome changes, such as the ability to control the User Account Features (those prompts that come up a bit too often in Vista **Note: people who turn off this feature in Vista are basically just leaving their computer wide open to the security vulnerabilities that so easily allow viruses and spyware to infect Windows XP machines). Also included are some great new performance and troubleshooting tools to help people understand what is going on behind the scenes in Windows.
While some of the new features may only appeal to the ‘geeks’, I have found that many people are becoming much more in-tune with technology and what they don’t know today, they want to learn tomorrow. Windows 7 will provide a host of new features, and some improvements on current ones and it is certainly looking like Microsoft is moving in the right direction.