Archive for April, 2008

Microsoft confirmed today that the final version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 has been released to PC manufacturers right on schedule. The update will be available to end users to download next Tuesday, April 29, and pushed to Windows Update in June. A post on Microsoft’s TechNet developer site confirmed the release.

Microsoft gave us an early look at the update as a 580MB disk image. What we saw is barely changed from our preview of an early beta of SP3, and seeing Windows XP SP3 for the first time is highly unremarkable.

Far from being a new operating system, Windows XP SP3 is really an accumulation of updates for compatibility, security, and performance. It doesn’t contain new features found in Vista, aside from Network Access Protection (NAP), which lets XP systems work with Windows Server 2008’s ability to enforce system health requirements before allowing access to network assets. In addition to that feature, the only actually new ones are “Black Hole” Router Detection, more description in the Security Options control panel, kernel-level support for FIPS 140-1 Level 1 compliant cryptography, and a new Product Activation system that allows installation without immediately requiring a product key.

On a 1.5GHz Athlon system with 1GB of RAM, the installation process took a little over an hour. The setup goes through listing third-party drivers, performs a system inventory, checks space for installation, backs up files, installs new OS files, and performs a cleanup. After that, a reboot is required. For a look at the process, see our XP SP3 slideshow .

Windows XP SP3 will be available via Windows Update as a 70MB download and at Microsoft Download Center as a full installation weighing in at 580MB. It will also be made available to volume license customers, TechNet subscribers, and MSDN subscribers. As a cumulative update, it can be installed on top of SP1 or SP2, and works with any edition of XP. The update, however, is not applicable to the 64-bit version of Windows XP. In an overview document, Microsoft specifically mentions that it works with Media Center Edtion, but our preview of the beta noted that Media Center updates were stopped after installing SP3. We haven’t yet tested whether this has been corrected, so stay tuned for our results.

Finally, Microsoft noted that the processes system administrators can use to deploy XP to multiple machines have not changed; further information for them is available at Deploy Windows XP Professional.

I know that there are many users who abhor the process. It may be because they have had problems activating and have had to call the toll-free number and wait to talk to a Microsoft support agent who then read them some 278-character long (okay- it’s a slight exaggeration) activation code. Or maybe they just feel that it is some sort of invasion of privacy or that Microsoft is acting as “Big Brother” and monitoring their actions.

By the way, Microsoft Philippines already change the telephone number you have to contact if you want to activate thru phone. The new number is 672-7272. Pls. contact or call Microsoft Hotline (860-8989 / 860-8920) for more info.

No matter the reason, there are plenty of users who would rather never go through the product activation process again. Unfortunately for those users, they may very well run into a situation where they do. Product activation monitors the system configuration. If it detects a major hardware change or even too many minor hardware changes within a set number of days (I believe it’s 180 days before it resets) then it crosses the threshold and requires reactivation.

Users who reformat their hard drive and perform a clean installation of the operating system will find that they need to reactivate the product. But, as long as the new installation is on the same system and there won’t be any hardware changes it is possible to transfer the existing product activation and skip having to go through the product activation process again. Follow the steps below to save the activation status information and restore it once your system is rebuilt:
– Double-click My Computer

– Double-click on the “C” drive

– Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder (you may have to click on the link that says “Show The contents of this folder”)

– Find the files “wpa.dbl” and “wpa.bak” and copy them to a safe location. You can copy them on a floppy drive or burn it onto a CD or DVD.

– After you have reinstalled Windows XP on your reformatted hard drive, click “No” when asked if you want to go ahead and go through the activation process

– Reboot your computer into SafeMode (you can either press F8 as Windows is booting up to see the Windows Advanced Options menu and select SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Minimal.

– Double-click My Computer

– Double-click on the “C” drive

– Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder (you may have to click on the link that says “Show The contents of this folder”)

– Find the file “wpa.dbl” and “wpa.bak” (if it exists) and rename them to “wpadbl.new” and “wpabak.new”

– Copy your original “wpa.dbl” and “wpa.bak” files from your floppy disk, CD or DVD into the C:\Windows\System32 folder
Restart your system.

Voila! Your Windows XP operating system is now reinstalled on your reformatted hard drive and you are all activated without having to actually go through the product activation process!

Remember though. This won’t work for transferring activation information from one computer to another or if you alter the hardware because the information contained in your “wpa.dbl” file will not match the configuration of the computer. This trick is only for reinstalling Windows XP on the exact same computer after formatting the hard drive.

1. Dial down your screen brightness. The brighter your screen, the more power it uses.

2. Turn off your system completely at the end of the day, instead of putting it in sleep mode.

3. If you (still) have a CRT, consider upgrading to an LCD. An LCD uses about 1/3 of the power (and causes less eyestrain to boot).

4. Forgo the screen saver. Most monitors no longer are in danger of having images burned into them, and screen savers actually use up monitor power.

5. If you’ll be away from your computer or other devices for a long period of time (say, while on vacation), consider unplugging them completely.

6. Look for the Energy Star certification when purchasing new computer systems or elec-tronic devices.

7. Enable any power-saving features on your computers, monitors, and peripherals such as printers.

Microsoft could re-think plans to phase out its Windows XP operating system by June 30 if customers show they want to keep it but so far they have not, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said.

“XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments”, Ballmer told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
Microsoft has announced that it will stop licensing Windows XP to computer makers and end retail sales by June 30.

Ballmer said that most retailers sell computers with Vista, the latest version of its Windows operating system, and most consumers are choosing to buy Vista.

“In the business environment, we still have customers who are buying PCs with XP” because information technology departments often have to work with old machines, he said.

Vista requires high-speed central processing units (CPUs) that are only installed in newer machines.

The news conference was to announce the opening of a regional Microsoft office and an agreement with the Belgian railway company.

Source: http://www.extremetech.com

Na-encounter nyo na ba na tuwing naka-plug ang PS/2 mouse black-out ang board? Ako? Oo! kahapon (4-3-2008)!

Mga bandang 1:30 pm, dumating ang customer complaining na intermittent dispaly daw ang kanyang PC. Upon testing na-confirm ko na sira ang board at dapat palitan ang board. Napalitan naman, kaso nag naging problema black-out nga ang board kapag naka-plug ang ps/2 mouse. 6 na unit ang nasubukan ko, pero puro ganun. Inabot na kami ng 6:30pm bago kami nakapag-update ng BIOS at sa awa naman ng diyos gumana rin.

Sa mga sumasakit ang ulo sa ganitong problema, paki-download na lng ang latest BIOS update para sa board na ito. Siguraduhin lang na para sa v.2.0 or v.2.0a ang BIOS na kukunin nyo, baka kasi ma-black-out ang motherboard nyo kapag mali ang update. For your convience, may BIOS updater (with BIOS update) (filename: NForce6MA BIOS 115.rar NOTE: you need WinRAR to open this file) sa download section ng blog na ito para sa motherboard na ito.

Sana makatulong! God Bless & May the Force be with You!