How to Reduce the Size of Roaming Profiles

This article is part of Helge’s Profile Toolkit, a set of posts explaining the knowledge and tools required to tame Windows user profiles. Roaming user profiles tend to grow over time, which is sometimes referred to as profile bloat. In and by itself, profile growth is not a problem. Users of desktop PCs who log […]

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How to Convert Quicktime MOV Video Files to MPEG-2

[Update 1: Fixed bugs in the batch file and made it available for download] [Update 2: Wildcards are now supported] [Update 3: Timestamps are now copied from source to destination files. For this, touch.exe is needed.] [Update 4: File names with spaces in them are now handled correctly] I recently bought a new compact digital […]

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VMware vs. Microsoft: Why Memory Overcommitment is Useful in Production and Why Microsoft Denies it

In the ongoing virtualization war much has been written (pro and con) about the value of memory overcommitment, a feature VMware ESX has and Microsoft Hyper-V is lacking (XenServer, too, for that matter). But only few people take a look at what the term overcommitment actually means. In this article I will explain how overcommitment […]

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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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How to Run Console Programs Without a Console Window

From time to time the question gets asked how a batch file or console program can be executed silently or hidden, i.e. without a console window popping up. If you do not know what I am talking about: press Win+R, type “help” and press ENTER. A black console window will open, execute the HELP command […]

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ParseCitrixLicense Now Supports XenDesktop Licenses, Too

A few weeks ago I published the tool ParseCitrixLicense which displays the contents of Citrix license files in a human-readable form. The original version 1.0 did not support XenDesktop licenses, for the simple reason that I had none to test my program with. Recently my colleague Nicholas Dille provided me with a XenDesktop eval license […]

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Finally! Font Smoothing Over RDP/ICA on Server 2003

It took five years and probably lots of customer complaints, but finally one of the most important technologies introduced with XP/Server 2003 is available over the remoting protocols RDP and ICA: font smoothing aka ClearType. If you have read other articles on this blog you know that I deem font smoothing indispensable on today’s LCD […]

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Undocumented Changes to the Cluster.exe Command Line Tool in Server 2008

While working on the next edition of my book I found several documentation errors on Microsoft’s Technet pages describing the command line tools of Windows Server 2008. One of the graver errors relates to clustering. Windows Server 2008 brings many improvements with regards to clustering. However, the new syntax of the command line-based cluster management […]

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The Most Interesting New Feature of Server 2008 Terminal Services / XenApp 5.0? Why, Font Smoothing!

Much has been written about the many new features of Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services. Now, with the upcoming release of Citrix XenApp 5.0 (Project Delaware), Citrix updates its best-selling product and ports it to the new platform. Brian Madden analyzes whether it is still worth buying Citrix XenApp / Presentation Server on top of […]

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Free Tool – List Registry Links (REG_LINK)

Recently I got into a very interesting discussion with my colleague Nicholas Dille on various aspects of Windows x64. One question he brought up was especially intriguing: Knowing about registry redirection, it is not astonishing to find that the 32-bit version of the registry key HKLM\Software\Classes (aka HKCR) gets to be HKLM\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node. But there is […]

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Windows x64 – All the Same Yet Very Different, Part 7: File System and Registry Redirection, Registry Reflection

This is the seventh part of a mini-series on Windows x64, focusing on behind the scene changes in the operating system. In the last article I explained that mixed 32-/64-bit processes are not allowed and how that rule affects both administrators and script-writers. In this context I mentioned the strangely named directory SysWOW64. Today I […]

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Another IT Legend

Some time ago I wrote about a misconception so common that it might pass as an IT legend – the confusion of HKU\.Default with the default user’s registry hive. Recently I came across another interesting misapprehension. As you know, the profiles base directory (usually C:\Documents and Settings) contains not only one special sub-folder, Default User, […]

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