If you spend much time in Event Viewer or have a particularly troublesome program or device that sends you back to Event Viewer, creating ad-hoc filtering, grouping, and sorting criteria becomes tiresome. Custom views can be a huge help!

To create a custom view:
1. Open Event Viewer, click Action on the menu bar and select Create Custom View.

You’ll see a dialog box nearly identical to the Filter Current Log dialog box. One key difference here, however, is the Event Logs list is available, and you can specify any or all logs to include in your custom view.

2. Specify the filter criteria for your custom view, as you normally would. More »

In certain scenarios users of Windows 7 and Windows Vista can experience problems when connecting their mobile computers to some Wi-Fi hot spots. According to Microsoft, symptoms will vary, and can include poor performance as well as having the wireless network connection dropped altogether. The Redmond company revealed that these issues are also associated with mobile machines which are running on battery power. The software giant noted that customers running Windows 7or Vista mobile PCs and connecting them to wireless access points (AP) also reported these issues.

“This issue occurs if the Wi-Fi hot spot uses wireless APs or routers that do not support the 802.11 power save protocol,” Microsoft informed. Still, the power saving features built into both Vista and Windows 7 by default, contribute to this problem. Essentially, when a Windows 7 mobile PC is plugged into a power source, the wireless network adapter will go into Maximum Performance mode and switch off 802.11 power save mode. More »

Keeping Windows 7 and Windows Vista running under normal parameters takes much more work than is done in Redmond alone. Fact is that the ecosystems of software and hardware products designed to integrate with the Windows clients have to do this seamlessly, especially when dealing with solutions that hook into the core of the operating system. Driver update failures for example, can easily cripple Windows 7 and Windows Vista, causing the two platforms to no longer start.

“This problem may occur if any one of the following conditions is true: The new device or the driver causes conflicts with other drivers that are installed on the computer. A hardware-specific issue occurs. The driver that is installed is damaged,” Microsoft explained.

In case you performed a driver update for a device component of your computer and Windows 7 and Vista are acting up, then your best choice to resolve the matter is to roll back the changes. Reverting the driver update will cause the issues introduced by the refresh to go away. First you will need to boot into Windows.
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With the advent of the public Beta of Windows 7 Build 7000, Microsoft also made available for download a Beta release of the Windows Automated Installation Kit. The Windows AIK, or WAIK, is a collection of resources set up to streamline the process of configuring and deploying Windows platforms, in this case Windows 7. The WAIK contains ImageX, essentially a command-line tool designed to capture Windows images. GimageX, available in Beta, is a tool designed to enhance the WAIK by providing what is essentially a graphical version of the ImageX. Jonathan Bennett, a senior consultant with Microsoft Services, UK, emphasized that GImageX was not a Microsoft release, but a third-party tool.

“With the release of the Windows 7 beta and also the beta of the Windows Automated Installation Kit I’ve updated GImageX to work with these new beta versions. I’ve also tidied up parts of the documentation around installation and tweaked the “mount” functionality to provide better feedback during the operation,” Bennett explained. “Please note that GImageX is a third-party tool so please remember that you won’t be able to ring up Microsoft PSS to get support with it! However, it uses the official Microsoft published WIMGAPI SDK which is a supported way of working with WIM files.” More »

Update Vista’s DirectX9 files for better game compatibility

One of the fixes for getting games to run in Vista that do not normally (such as FEAR and 3Dmark06 as two examples) is relatively simple. These games require the latest version of Directx 9. Vista does not actually contain a full installation of Directx 9, just some elements for compatibility purposes. So, install Directx 9.

To install Directx 9c on Windows Vista:

step 1: Download the latest DirectX 9 redistributable file from Microsoft.com here.

step 2: Unzip the file into a folder on your desktop or in your documents.

step 3: Run the DXSETUP file.

step 4: You can delete the folder after the install has finished.
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