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Archive for January, 2009

Windows 7 Beta – Fix Installer & Windows Update Crashes


Some Windows 7 Beta users are reporting crashes when running Windows Update, or installing third party applications (i.e. Java, Flash, and other MSI-based installers). The third-party Windows .msi installer, or Windows Explorer will crash. Microsoft has identified this may be related to a configuration change in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) client. If you’ve experienced Windows Update or installer crashes with the Windows 7 beta, try the fix below. If you haven’t experienced Windows Update or installer crashes crashes, there’s no need for the fix. Future installations of Windows 7 after the initial beta will not be affected.

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10 Free DNS and IP Lookup Tools – or Alternatives

image If you’ve ever tried to lookup the location of an IP address, check the status of DNS propagation, or wanted to check the health of your DNS or mail server,  you’re probably familiar with It used to be an incredibly useful site – when it was free. While does still offer a selection of free tools, full access has now reached $79/year! While no free site offers every tool available on, here are 10 free sites that offer a good selection of alternatives.

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Win32/Conficker.B/Downadup Infection Prevention and Removal

Is there a Windows Update icon in the system tray by your clock that you’ve been ignoring? You know, the one that says, “New updates ready to install”. This would be a good time to stop ignoring it, and make sure your system is fully updated. At a very minimum, install the update appropriate to your version of Windows identified in this Microsoft Security Bulletin. All versions of Windows are affected, from Windows 2000 right through Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (even the Windows 7 beta).

Why the alarm and concern? There are widespread reports of malware infections (Conficker.B or Downadup) that exploit a recently discovered vulnerability in the Windows Server service (SVCHOST.EXE). You can become infected by simply the act of being connected to a network, the internet, or sharing a removable drive. No action required. Scary stuff.

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ERD Commander – Free Trial from Microsoft

ERD Commander is a very useful tool that Microsoft acquired with it’s purchase of Winternals. It’s especially useful for computers that aren’t able to boot into Windows, or even safe mode. ERD (Emergency Repair Disk) allows access to Windows restore points, file recovery, crash analysis, hotfix uninstall, and other low level operating system tasks, all in a very familiar Windows interface. It also provides network and internet access, as well as a web browser.

erd commander

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Norton Internet Security 2009: Review

imageChange can be a great thing. We’ve all heard fascinating tales of people who shed half their weight.  But change can also be treacherous and destructive. A peek into history books would reveal us tales of great empires falling apart, leaving nothing but dust behind. Doubtless however, change is powerful.

Symantec’s history over the last few years seems to match the second definition. The huge security company, which just a few years ago has been the biggest and doubtless the most influencing security software developer around, witnessed a steep downfall in sales. The security giant, whose products were once installed in almost every new computer, was taunted by the Revolution of the Internet. Faster download speeds made it easier to find alternatives – some of which were free; so did online reviews and comparisons, which were available to everyone: not only in geeky computer magazines.

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Printing in circles – DYMO DiscPainter Review

Overall = Rating: ★★★★½

85000-dydiscpainter2-r-thumb.jpg“To print circles, you should print in circles” is one of the tag lines on the DiscPainter page of the DYMO website.  The DYMO contention is that you can’t get the quality from normal CD/DVD printing methods that you can from their “revolutionary” RadialPrint Technology.

In my time I have used every imaginable method of printing on a disc.  I have used sharpie more times than I can remember.  I printed the stick-on labels.  I currently use a typical disc printer at work, and now I have the opportunity to use the next generation in disc printing technology.

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