Windows Setup could not configure Windows on this computer’s hardware,” is an error message that some customers attempting to install Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 received before the deployment failed.

Microsoft confirmed the issue and also offered details on the source of the error message.

According to the Redmond company, the problem involves scenarios in which users try to install either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to an advanced 512-byte emulation (512e) format disk.

The drive also needs to be configured in such a way as to emulate RAID disk functionality in order for the error message to be presented, the software giant explained. More »

Even though there are many commercial and freeware download accelerators and managers available for Mac OS X, nothing beats the simplicity of a command line tool like wget. Mac OS X comes with a similar command-line tool called cURL, but for people who are from a Linux/UNIX background, wget would be the preferred tool.

Installing wget on Mac OS X involves compiling it from source. The first step to installing wget is downloading the source from one of the GNU FTP mirrors. You can get the latest version, or any previous version, if you prefer. The source usually comes in a .tar.gz, which you can easily extract by double clicking on the archive in Finder (the Mac OS X Archive Utility handles this).

To start the installation, open, and navigate to the source directory for wget (the one that was obtained by extracting the archive in the previous step), by using the following command: More »

Occasionally, you might discover a client that isn’t automatically installing updates correctly. Such clients are typically identified during software update audits. To identify the source of the problem, follow these steps:

1. Determine the last time the client was updated. This can be done in two different ways—by checking the client’s registry (the most reliable technique) or, if you use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), by checking the Reports page on the WSUS Web site.

* To check the client’s registry, open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\Results registry key. In each of the Detect, Download, and Install subkeys, examine the LastSuccessTime entry to determine when updates were last detected, downloaded, and installed. More »

1. Problem Steps Recorder

As the local PC guru you’re probably very used to friends and family asking for help with their computer problems, yet having no idea how to clearly describe what’s going on. It’s frustrating, but Microsoft feels your pain, and Windows 7 will include an excellent new solution in the Problem Steps Recorder.

When any app starts misbehaving under Windows 7 then all your friends need do is click Start, type PSR and press Enter, then click Start Record. If they then work through whatever they’re doing then the Problem Steps Recorder will record every click and keypress, take screen grabs, and package everything up into a single zipped MHTML file when they’re finished, ready for emailing to you. It’s quick, easy and effective, and will save you hours of troubleshooting time. More »

Microsoft has reduced the number of product keys available to TechNet subscribers from ten to maximum five, for security reasons.

The change was first related by Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, less than a week ago, qualifying it as a supposed TechNet bug and on September 19, he updated his bog and confirmed it was intentional.

Apparently this reduction of the number of product-license keys was done without notice, according to The Register, even if Microsoft says it was mainly a security measure, meant to prevent piracy.

Here is Microsoft’s response to Mary Jo Foley’s questions about the change in the number of product-license keys:

“Microsoft is committed to helping prevent software piracy, which often results in end users being the victims of software counterfeiters. More »