Archive for the 'Vista General' Category


Prevent users deleting browsing history

In enterprise computing it is not unusual for a local manager to want to run an audit on how much actual work someone is doing compared to how much browsing they are doing. It is common for users to delete their browsing history, either manually at the end of the day, or by clicking the button to delete browsing history on exit every time. If your set browser is Internet Explorer you can make configuration changes to prevent deletion of users browsing history.

Most employers do not mind a little internet surfing or msn’ing during the work day but there are limits to everything, so it seems reasonable that an employer can look at someone’s browsing history on any given day. But it’s easy in IE7 to delete browsing history, forms, etc under the tools menu.

To prevent browing history from being deleted you can create or edit group policy objects. This should only be done by staff with advanced IT skills or your IT Administrator.

Settings are located in both Computer Configuration\administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\ and User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer


The Windows Vista Slide Show


The Windows Photo Gallery is a really useful feature in Vista to create a slideshow of your product range to prospective clients on your notebook PC, or create an impressive slideshow of your wedding pictures on your widescreen monitor.

This is really easy to setup and change configuration settings. You can go to start >all programs >Windows Photo Gallery, or start >type “Windows Photo Gal” (without the quotation marks) and it should come up as first item in the search results.

Launch the Photo Gallery, ctrl + click all the images you want to incude as a slideshow and then click the gallery start. The gallery will launch into a full screen.

You can change various aspects of the slide show using the menus.


You don’t have permission to save in this location

A problem we’ve been seeing when a hard drive is formatted in Windows XP and now running a Vista upgrade is:

You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission. Would you like to save in the documents folder instead?

The solution is to format the drive again. Big effort and requires recover and restore of all your files.

An easier solution /workaround is to locate the executable (.exe) file inside the programs folder for example, right click this executable, choose the compatibility tab, in the lower section you will see “run as administrator”. Check this box to always run this program as administrator.

You should now be able to save the document in the location.


How to repair Vista startup problems

The Windows Vista Recovery Environment can be useful in restoring system files affecting startup.

To use this feature:

1. Boot from the Vista Boot DVD

2. scroll through to choose a recovery tool

3. Statup repair can replace or repair corrupted system files. This is the first option shown

If startup repair is not able to resolve the issue and allow you to boot into Windows you will see the a dialogue window explaining that the repair was not successful along with problem details.

At this point you should contact your IT Admin or call tech support.


learning to love Vista

I’ve been around for a few new Windows releases starting with Windows 98 and it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see new OS’s greeted with walls of resistance from technology reviewers, enterprise adoptors, and small business. It’s always been fashionable to knock Microsoft and for some reviewers it can border on hysterical, like this guy at The Observer in 2001.

“…Windows XP is a montrous, bloated brute that requires state of the art PC and 2gb of hard disk space before it will even say ‘hello'”

Personally, I love Vista. The features that have made my life easier simply aren’t there in XP. Besides, I prefer progress over being able to use my 6 y.o HP printer. Vista service pack 1 has fixed most of the issues and gripes including slow performance over the network, Explorer hangs, and security improvements. The problems I see in the field now are mostly related to application compatibility and lack of knowledge to install backwards compatibilty.

Firstly, Vista offers the choice of two account types: standard or administrator. The latter is a standard account with administrative rights, but is still a standard account. In XP an admin account had full user rights locally. This is a security feature in Vista which launches those UAC prompts. If you want to run a legacy program (such as my accounting program I bought in 2005 which runs fine on Vista) you will need to know the options and procedures to elevate privileges and install legacy programs. The options generally run in this order:

  • contact the vendor to see their articles on Vista installation, program or driver updates
  • Run As Administrator (To launch a program with elevated privileges right click the exe or setup file and choose “Run as Administrator”)
  • Use the Vista Compatibility Assistant (right click setup file, properties, compataibility tab)
  • Use Vista Compatibility Wizard (follow this path >start >control panel >click programs >then choose “Use an older program with this version of Windows”)

I’ll be posting more on learning to use Vista.