Saturday, October 21, 2006

Alt+C Vista Trick

This might be a very simple trick which is known to many people out there, but I'm gonna give it out for free no matter what you say :-)

I've read and heard people complaining about the new UAC popup we have in Windows Vista - personally I really don't mind at all - but this really seems to mess people up... Before this, the same people probably complained about the lack of security in Microsoft products, talking about how wonderful Mac and Linux is to use, hmm let me stop now before I get too angry.

Well, I just want to say, that whenever you see this:
 
All you have to do is press [Alt]+C !!! You DON'T have to click the "Continue" button with the mouse... Once you've learned this trick, maybe you won't get so annoyed with Vista UAC behavior anymore ;-)

Do you notice the difference?

Hi,

Just wanted to share this nice detail within Windows Vista Disk Management GUI... Just saw it a few minutes ago and I like it alot!

Do you notice the difference from 2000/XP/2003?

Well, now it doesn't just say "System" anymore (on the System partition/volume), now we have some great detail on the functions each partition/volume has on the computer... This would be "System" (the boot files), "Boot" (the Windows files), "Page Files" (we have the Page File on this partition), "Active" (the partition is used by the BIOS), "Crash Dump" (on system failure we use this drive to store the Kernel memory dump) and "Primary Partition" (the partition type, could be "Extended" etc.)...

Well, maybe I'm crazy - but I really like this detailed info right there in Disk Manager :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Am I command prompt admin?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to know whether you are logged into a Windows Vista command promt as an administrator or a limited user?

Well, this is a small tip to let you SEE the difference :)

We have a registry key that gives us an option to autorun a specific BAT file whenever a command prompt is executed:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor\

All you need to do is to add a String value called "autorun" and point to the BAT file we will create in a few seconds... Use "quotes" in the path, like in my case: "C:\!MY AREA\admintest.bat"

The BAT file itself needs to include the following code:

@echo off
pushd %SystemRoot%\System32
set ADMINTEST=~_~_ThisGottaBeUnique_~_~
:START
MD %ADMINTEST% > NUL 2>&1
if exist %SystemRoot%\System32\%ADMINTEST% GOTO ADMIN
GOTO END
:ADMIN
color 5f
RD %ADMINTEST%
:END
set ADMINTEST=popd

Basically it tries to create a (hopefully) unique directory below "Systemroot\System32" and tests if it succeedes, as only admins can create directories at that location it is pretty simple to figure out.

The rest is just setting the COLOR of the CLI background.

This picture shows the elements needed to perform this little trick - two different CLI's, one as a limited user (black) and one as an admin (purple) - the last title bar still shows "Administrator: Command Prompt" which is the only 'hint' we have by default.

In the background you will see the registry setting as well as the BAT script... I hope you can use this IRL, if not... it's still pretty kewl :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Windows Vista beta - build 5744.16384

In case you didn't know, Microsoft just released Windows Vista build 5744.16384 - the release which is also called RC2 - on https://connect.microsoft.com, but this is only for beta testers right now.

According to different sources a more "public" release will arrive very soon - like MSDN, "second-wave beta testers" and perhaps others...

We still don't need new keys!

The ISO files you need are the following:
0x523B6D3A:
vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x86fre_client-LRMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso

0x0F8131AB:
vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x64fre_client-LRMCxFRE_EN_DVD.iso

Have a nice testing time - I'm downloading as I write, simply can't wait to check out this thing :)

EDIT:
The release is now available to the public - all you need is a key (or you will only have Vista in a trial period of 14 days I beleive), go here to download:
http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/rc2/en/download.htm