Archive | Windows Internals

Application launch - no folder redirection vs. FR to file server with 100 percent CPU vs. redirection to W2k3

Measuring the Impact of Folder Redirection – Application Launch & SMB Version

This is the fifth in a series of articles on folder redirection by Aaron Parker, Helge Klein and Shawn Bass. Part one: How Folder Redirection Impacts UX & Breaks Applications Part two: Visualizing the Impact of Folder Redirection – Logon and Application Launch Part three: Visualizing the Impact of Folder Redirection – Start Menu Search […]

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Offline Files Taskbar Notification Icon

Windows Offline Files Survival Guide

Windows Offline Files have a bad reputation. Many an administrator can tell a story where Offline Files caused issues that sometimes even required a reinstallation of the affected PC. But Microsoft has gradually improved the functionality and ironed out many of the bugs. Today – in Windows 7 SP1 with all post-SP1 fixes – Offline […]

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localhosttest_2012-02-02_16-59-12

Access Based Enumeration on Windows 7

Access Based Enumeration (ABE) is a well-hidden feature even in Windows Server, where it can be configured per share, but only in the Share and Storage Management MMC and not when right-clicking a folder in Explorer. Thanks to the shared code base ABE is available in Windows 7, too, although hidden even better. Let’s find […]

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Dissecting a Shortcut

Ever wondered about the layout of shortcut files? Those tiny little buggers with the extension LNK you have probably dozens of on your desktop? For years the format was subject to reverse engineering and speculation. Last year Microsoft finally released an official format specification, documenting this surprisingly complex format. This article is the result of […]

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App Paths Registry Key

How the App Paths Registry Key Makes Windows Both Faster and Safer

Why can you start Mozilla Firefox by typing “firefox” in the Run dialog and press enter? Firefox.exe is not located in any directory in the path. The same with Outlook (type “outlook”), PowerShell (“powershell”), VMware Workstation (“vmware”) or Adobe Reader (“acrord32”). This “magic application starting thingy” works because of a little-known Windows feature based on […]

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Active Setup Explained

Active Setup Explained

This is a summary of my experience with Active Setup combined with the information I could find on the internet. What is Active Setup and How Does it Work? Active Setup is a mechanism for executing commands once per user early during logon. Active Setup is used by some operating system components like Internet Explorer […]

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Registry Fun (Working With Hive Files)

Sometimes it is necessary to export/import data from or into the registry for some sort of additional processing. To this end, often regedit is used to create .REG files, which store a human-readable text interpretation of the registry content. .REG files can be edited easily with any capable text editor (even Notepad), and thus are […]

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Why Disabling the Creation of 8.3 DOS File Names Will Not Improve Performance. Or Will It?

It is a common practice amongst administrators to disable the creation of short filenames on NTFS. I freely admit to have recommended this in the past. Was I wrong? Background NTFS is relatively relaxed about file names. They can be quite long (255 characters) and may contain “strange” characters (nearly all UNICODE characters are allowed). […]

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