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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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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Free Tool to Help You Better Understand What is Inside a Citrix License File

Update: Version 1.1 supports XenDesktop Licenses in Addition to XenApp Licenses Most Citrix products rely heavily on license files. While the basic format of a license file is somewhat documented, most fields used in license files are not. This makes understanding their contents difficult. It does not help that the license files can hardly be […]

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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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Free Tool: Refresh the Desktop Programmatically

I recently had the requirement to refresh the Windows desktop after certain changes had been made to Explorer’s registry entries. This seems simple at first: klick on any item on the desktop and then press F5. It wasn’t, though. The registry changes would be made upon logon by a software installation agent. It was expected […]

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New Blog in Town

My colleague Nicholas Dille has started his own blog. Nicholas is a very clever guy whose opinion I value very much. I have often worked and laughed with him in the past couple of years. It has always been both fun and technically challenging. Expect interesting, little-known and well-researched technical content from him.

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Why is (Almost) Everybody Wrong About HKU\.Default?

Most technical folks have stumbled across the registry hive HKEY_USERS\.Default at some point. Many of them think they know what it is used for. Interestingly, most who do are wrong. The misconception about what HKU\.Default is used for dates back to the good old days when Windows NT 4.0 was still considered “new technology”. This […]

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Soup Up Your Terminal Server: Optimizing Explorer’s Network Performance

Update: The ADM file can now be downloaded here. I recently came across a post in the Windows Server Performance Team’s blog that lists several registry values which can be used to tune Explorer’s SMB performance by modifying the following: Searches for Desktop.ini files used for folder customization Periodic refreshes of folder contents Searches for […]

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