Welcome to Microsoft Windows OS

windows7-logoMicrosoft operating operating systems have undergone many changes since MS-DOS was released way back in August 1981. Few will remember those early pioneering days before GUI systems changed computing forever.  It was perhaps the launch of  Windows 3.0 in May 1990 that had the biggest impact on most people. Here we had an operating system that you didn’t require a computer science diploma to use!  However these early platforms were of course far from perfect and many will remember the dreaded ‘blue screen’ with the now infamous phrase “Windows has encountered a problem and has to close”.

Since then Microsoft operating systems have evolved into far more stable and user-friendly platforms. There have been ups and downs over the years with arguably Windows XP being better in many ways than it’s successor in the form of Vista. Some believe we are seeing a similar scenario with Windows 7 & 8. In any case, it is hoped that this  blog  will provide practical help and advice on how to install and obtain the best from Microsoft operating systems from Windows 7 onwards.

The simple step-by-step tutorials in this blog are intended to provide some guidance in setting up and working with Windows operating systems. However, they cannot be a substitute for proper professional instruction and should be used as a general guide only. There are many training organisations such as Paul Brown Training Ltd which can provide accredited Microsoft Windows tuition. It is recommended that such professional advice is taken before embarking on any substantial IT projects.

How to Backup & Restore Windows 7

Backup and Restore console

This helps us to copy and preserve the files to cope with failures. There are several destinations where you can save the files. Two supports for taking backup are ‘System image backup’ and ‘Files and folders’ backup.

  1. System image backup: It backs up the entire volume to a .VHD disk image. This backup helps you to restore your computer settings and all the running applications quickly. Windows image backup folder is created in the root of the backup media. System image backup creates the following files:
    1. A media ID file in the folder to identify the disk image.
    2. Global catalog and Backup global catalog files in the catalog folder to track the backup image versions.
    3. Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) files in the backup folder that has configuration settings for the backup file.
    4. Files and folders: In this type you can store files and documents to compressed (.zip) files. They do not provide back up to system files, program files, encrypting file system or user profile settings. Files and folder backup can be backed up to either local media or shared folder on the network.

System recovery options

The system recovery options contain several tools that can help you recover your operating system from a serious error. This set of tools is present on the computer’s hard disk and on the windows installation disc. There are following options in system recovery:

  1. Start up repair. This automatically fixes the problem that prevents the windows from starting.
  2. System Restore. System restore provides another method of starting system restore to a previous system restore point.
  3. System image recovery. IT allows you to implement a System Image restore. You can use this tool if system changes are causing problems.
  4. Windows Memory Diagnostic. This analyses memory of the computer for hardware problems.
  5. Command Prompt. It gives access to the file system, volumes, and files through a command line interface.

Configuring Files and folders backup

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel’ – ‘System and security’.
  2. In the ‘Backup and Restore’ windows, click ‘Change settings’.
  3. Select a destination where you would like to take backup. Click ‘Next’. On the ‘Setup backup’ page, select ‘Let me choose’. Click ‘Next’.
  4. Select he files which you want to backup, Click ‘Next’.
  5. On the ‘Review your backup settings’ page, Click ‘Change Schedule.
  6. The ‘How often do you want to backup’ wizard appears. Select ‘How often’ you want the backup to be taken, ‘What day’ you have to take backup, and ‘What time’ you want to take backup.
  7. Click ‘Ok’. Review your backup settings. If everything is alright, click ‘Save the settings and exit’.

Create a System Repair Disc

  1. Click ‘Start’ –‘Control panel’ – ‘System and security’ – ‘Backup and restore’.
  2. From the left pane, click ‘Create a system repair disc’.
  3. Insert a blank DVD ROM inside the computer. Click ‘Create disc’.
  4. ‘Creating a system repair disc’ dialogue box appears. Click ‘Close’.

Creating a system restore point

  1. Right click on ‘Computer’; select ‘Properties’.
  2. In the left pane select ‘System protection’ – click on ‘Create’ button.
  3. Give a specific name to the restore point, click ‘Create’. A system restore point is created.

Performing system restore

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel’ – ‘System and security’ – ‘Action centre’.
  2. Click ‘Recover’.  Click ‘open system restore’. Click ‘Next’.
  3. Select the restore point and click ‘Next’. Click ‘Finish’.
  4. It will display a message ‘Once started the system restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?’
  5. Click ‘Yes’. Click ‘Close’ after the system is restored.

BitLocker Drive Encryption

Bit locker is a feature used to protect your computer running on windows 7 from offline attacks by encrypting the system volumes. ‘Bit locker To Go’ is a new feature for encrypting removable drives. If you lose your laptop computer, bit locker helps you to protect your data on stolen or lost computer from unauthorized data access. ‘Bit locker To Go’ can be used to protect data on external storage devices such as flash drives. Offline attacks include booting an alternate operating system to recover data from the hard disk of one computer and remove and place the hard disk of one computer to another to recover data stored on that hard disk.

Start-up key: A start up key is a special cryptographically generated file stored on a USB device.

Bit locker Modes:

Bit locker can operate in different authentication modes depending on computer hardware capabilities (Trusted platform module, TPM is required) and desired level of security. We have following bit locker modes:

  1. TPM only: In this mode user does not provide a password. PIN or start-up keys to boot the computer. User is unaware of the bit locker functioning.  It is the least secure authentication mode for bit locker functioning. User becomes aware of this mode when bit locker detects modification in boot environment or if the user tries to remove the hard disk and use it on another computer.
  2. TPM with Start-up Key: User must provide a USB device containing the start-up key to boot the computer. If you do not provide a device which have start-up key at boot time, the bit locker leads your computer into a bit locker recovery mode. The bit locker in this mode also provides boot environment protection through TPM.
  3. TPM with PIN: User must enter a ‘Personal Identification Number’ before your computer boot into windows operating system. IF users do not enter the correct PIN at a boot time, then bit locker forces your computer in recovery mode.
  4. TPM with PIN and start-up key: When users turn on ‘Bit locker in TPM with PIN and start-up key, then user must provide PIN number and a device which host start-up key at the boot time. This is most secure mode for Bit locker.
  5. Bit locker without TPM: If your computer does not have TPM chips, then the bit locker can be operating in Bit locker without TPM mode. This mode does not provide boot environment protection. This mode provides only hard disk encryption.

Steps to Configure bit locker:

  1. Click ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’- ‘System and security’. Choose ‘Bit locker drive encryption’ from ‘System and security’ console. The Bit locker drive encryption console appears.
  2. Click ‘Turn On bit locker’ to encrypt the corresponding drive on the computer.
  3. Manage Bit locker allows you to change or print the recovery key of the encrypted drive.
  4. You can ‘Turn off the bit locker’ if you have the encryption key or PIN. It then decrypts the drive and it is no longer protected.

 

Encrypt a system drive using bit locker:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Computer’. Select the drive which you want to encrypt and right click to select ‘Turn on Bit locker’. It opens ‘Bit locker Drive encryption’ wizard.
  2. After Bit locker initialization, the ‘Bit locker drive encryption’ wizard opens a new screen to choose a way to unlock your drive. You can enter either a password or can use a smart card. Choose the required option and click ‘Next’.
  3. It opens a wizard to choose way to store your recovery key. You can ‘Save the Recovery Key’ into a file on your computer or you can ‘Print the recovery key’. Select the required option, Click ‘Next’.
  4. The wizard appears to store the recovery key. Then it displays a message ‘Are you ready to encrypt your drive’. Click ‘Next’. This will start the encryption. After the encryption is complete you will receive a message as ‘Encryption for selected drive is complete’.

Configuring Windows Firewall Advanced Settings

Windows Firewall:

Firewall is software used to check the information coming from the internet or the network. Firewall prevents hackers or malicious programs, worms from gaining access to your computer through internet or network. Firewall restricts these hackers and malicious programs based on the predefined rules or firewall settings. IT also stops your computer from sending malicious programs to another computer. Windows firewall with advanced security protects your computer from network attackers and malicious software.

Windows Firewall with advanced security:

Windows firewall with advanced security consists of complicated rules based on port protocol, port address and authentication. Windows 7 firewall can protect your computer from hackers. Some of its features are:

  1. Configure inbound and outbound traffic rules.
  2. Configure and apply Firewall rules based on network protocol type and port address.
  3. Configure and apply firewall rules based on network address of a specific service.
  4. Configure rules to allow only authenticated network traffic and block the others.
  5. Configure the security rules.

Inbound traffic: Inbound traffic is the network data that is sent to client computer running on windows 7 from external host over a network.

Outbound traffic: Outbound traffic is the network data that is sent by the client computers running on windows 7 to an external host over the network.

 Steps to configure Windows Firewall:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel—‘system security’ – ‘Windows Firewall’. From the left pane, click ‘Allow a program or feature through windows Firewall’.
  2. Click on ‘Change settings’ button, check and select the programs or applications from the list.
  3. IF you want to open application in ‘Home/work (private) or Public, or both the networks then select accordingly.
  4. Click ‘Allow another program’ button, if you want to add more programs or applications.
  5. Select program from the ‘Add a program List’ or click on ‘Browse’ to browse the program from the respective location. Write down the name of the program which is allowed to interact with the network.
  6. You can specify the network location on which you want to allow the program by clicking on ‘Network location types’. Click ‘Add’ button to add the selected application or program. Click ‘Ok’ to save the settings.

Steps to configure Windows Firewall with advanced security rules:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel’ – ‘System Security’. Open ‘Windows firewall’ console and choose ‘Advanced settings’.’ Windows firewall with advanced security settings’ page will be displayed.
  2. Select ‘Inbound rules’ node to create inbound rule. Click ‘New rule’ in action pane to create new rules. The ‘New inbound rule’ wizard appears.
  3. Select the type of the rule that you want to create from the rule type page and click ‘Next’. Select ‘Port’ option and click ‘Next’. The ‘Port and the protocol page’ of the ‘New inbound rule ‘wizard appears.
  4. Select the appropriate protocol and specify the ports on which you want to apply rule conditions and click ‘Next’. The action page of the ‘New inbound rule’ wizard appears.
  5. Select the type of the rule you want to create. For e.g. Select ‘Allow the connection if it is secure’ and click ‘Customize’ button to apply the security methods. Select the required option on ‘Customize allow if secure settings’ page and click ‘Ok’.
  6. On ‘Action page’ of the ‘New inbound rule’ wizard, click ‘Next. The user’s page of the new inbound rule wizard appears.
  7. On the ‘Users page’ specify the type of users and add the users of specified category that are allowed to make the connection specified by the rule. Click ‘Next’. The ‘Name page’ of the ‘New inbound rule’ wizard appears.
  8. On the ‘Name page’ of the ‘New inbound rule’ wizard, enter a name for the ‘New rule’ and specify a description for the same. Click ‘finish’ when you are done.

Configuring Windows Mail

Windows mail is not available by default in windows 7.  Windows mail is a replacement of outlook express in Windows XP. It has more advanced features than Outlook express. We can set multiple email accounts in one place. Features like Email, Calendar can be viewed offline. Enhanced search option which can search Titles, email and content as well.  Photos can be sent in a small thumbnail size retaining the quality. We have to download ‘Windows Live Essentials’ from the internet. You can download Windows Live essentials from the following link:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/essentials. Once you download ‘Windows Live essentials’ double click the setup and start installing it. Here while selecting the installation type select ‘Choose the program you want to install’ and select only ‘Windows mail’ so that only windows mail will be installed. The installation requires internet connection. Make sure that you are connected to internet before starting the installation. Once you complete the installation follow the steps.

Security Features in Windows Mail:

  1. Warning about harmful emails and blocking of potential harmful attachments.
  2. Blocking of image downloading and other external content.
  3. Separate Inbox folders for different accounts.
  4. It synchronizes with Windows Live contact.
  5. It has automatic spelling check.
  6. While writing email you can use Emoticons.
  7. Search option has advanced features like title search, email search in Windows mail.

To configure Windows Mail you should have following things:

  1. Valid Email ID & password.
  2. Information of POP, IMAP or SMTP server.

POP: Post Office Protocol is an incoming mail server protocol.

IMAP: Internet Messaging Access Protocol is an incoming mail server protocol.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an outgoing mail server protocol.

Steps to Configure Windows Mail:

  1.  Go to ‘Start’ – ‘All programs’ – ‘Windows live mail’. It will display ‘Windows Live mail is starting’ page. ‘Windows Live mail’ window is displayed.
  2. Click on ‘Accounts’ tab – ‘Email’ link in the left pane. This will display ‘Add your Email account page’. Enter you email id, password, Check the ‘Remember my password’ option. Enter the ‘display name’ which you want to be sent to recipient. Check the ‘Manually configure the server settings’ option.
  3. On ‘Configure server settings page’ enter the appropriate incoming ‘POP server/IMAP’ and outgoing ‘SMTP’ server information.
  4. Click ‘Next’ – and click ‘Ok’ to finish the configuration. Once this is done it will automatically start downloading messages from the mail server.
  5. To send a new message ,click on ‘Home’ tab and select ‘Email message’—enter the recipient address in the ‘To’ field, enter the ‘Subject’ and write the body of your message. Once this is done you can click on ‘Send’ to send the message. You can also click on ‘Send Receive’ button in the home tab. This helps us to test the ‘Send and receive’ configuration. If it is configured properly the synchronization will successfully complete.

Configuring Windows mail backup:

  1. Select the ‘File menu’ drop down arrow, Select ‘export messages’, Click on ‘Windows live  mail’ program, specify the location of the messages which you want to export by clicking on ‘Browse’ button or select the ‘default path’ and click ‘Next’.
  2. Select ‘All folders’ option if you want to take backup of all folders. The ‘export completed’ page appears. Click ‘Finish’.

Restoring Windows Mail:

  1. Select the ‘File menu’ drop down arrow, Select ‘import messages’, Click on ‘Windows  mail’ program, specify the location of the messages which you want to import by clicking on ‘Browse’ button or select the ‘default path’ and click ‘Next’.
  2. Select ‘All folders’ to restore all the folders. The ‘Import completed’ page appears. Click ‘Finish’.

Setting Up the Windows Home Network

Home group:

Home group is a new feature in windows 7 which allows you to connect to other computers and also allows you to share music, pictures, documents, printers and other files with other computers. Home group cannot be created on a Domain network. We can allow other computers on home group to modify our files o make them read only. You can set permissions for other users to access your files.

Steps to create a Home group:

  1. You require minimum 2 computers on the same network.
  2. Click ‘Start’ and select ‘control panel’. In control panel select ‘Network and Internet’ and click on choose ‘Home group and sharing’. This will display the home group window.
  3. Click the ‘Create a Home group’ button. The Create Home group window will appear. Now select the check box for which items you want to share and click ‘Next’. Then it opens a window with password information to other computers.
  4. You have to use this same password to add other computers to your network. You can also click on ‘Print password and instruction’ and give this password to other computers running windows 7 on the network to join your Home group.
  5. Click ‘Finish’ to complete the creation process.

Note: When a computer is connected to the home network where you created your home group, windows 7 prompts you that there is Home group available to join.

Steps to Join a Home group which is already created:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control Panel’ – ‘Network and Internet’ – ‘Home group’. The Home group window will appear.
  2. Click ‘Join now’ button to join your Home group. The join a Home group wizard will appear.
  3. On the join a Homepage window, select the items that you want to share with other computer and click ‘Next’.
  4. Enter the Home group password that you got from the person who created the Home group and click on ‘Join now’ button.
  5. If you want to leave the home group, open the Home group item in the ‘Network and sharing center’ and then click ‘Leave the Home group’ option.

Sharing Data in your home group:

  1. Type ‘compmgmt.msc’ in start search box, click on ‘Shares’ under ‘Shared folders’.
  2. Right click on shares node and click ‘New share’. Then it will open ‘Create a shared folder’ wizard.
  3. Click ‘Next’ and specify the folder which you want to share. After entering the folder path ‘Create a shared folder’ wizard appears. Enter ‘share name, share path & description’ to specify how users see and use this shared folder over a network and click ‘Next’.
  4. Set the appropriate permission that you want for the shared folder.
  5. Click ‘Finish’ so that the sharing completes.

Sharing a printer in your Home group:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘control panel’- ‘Hardware and sound’- ‘Devices and printers’.
  2. Locate the printer and right click the printer which you want to share. Select ‘Printer properties’.
  3. Click ‘Sharing ‘tab of the printer properties and enable the ‘Share this printer’ option.
  4. To add additional drivers for the printer, Click ‘Additional drivers’.
  5. Click ‘Apply’- ‘Ok’.

Stop or change folder sharing:

  1. Open windows explorer. Select the folder and right click the folder for which you want to stop sharing. Select ‘Share with’ and select ‘Nobody’. The sharing wizard will appear.
  2. Click ‘Change sharing permissions. This will allow you to change the existing permissions.
  3. To stop sharing permission, click ‘Stop sharing’ option from share wizard.

Note:

You can assign three different kinds of permissions:

  1. Owner permissions:  For the user who shared the folder.
  2. Read permissions: Allows the user to access files in the shared folder but not to delete or modify them.
  3. Write permissions: Allows the user to read, add, delete and modify the files in the shared folder.

How to Create a Virtual Hard Disk

A  Virtual Hard disk is capable of storing files, folders and file system like that of a Physical Hard Disk. It can host native files and support standard disk operations. It allows multiple operating systems to reside on a single host machine. We can modify a Virtual memory shared disk from a host server. It supports following applications:

  1. Moving files between a VHD and the host file system.
  2. Backup & Recovery.
  3. Antivirus & security.
  4. Image management & Patching.
  5. Disk Conversion (Physical to Virtual).
  6. Life cycle management and provisioning.

There are 3 types of VHD files:

  1. Fixed Hard-disk image: A fixed hard disk is a file that is allocated to the size of the virtual disk.
  2. Dynamic Hard-disk image: A dynamic hard-disk image is large as the actual data written to it at any given time. As more data is written, the file dynamically increases in size.
  3. Differencing Hard-disk image: It describes the modification of a parent image. This type of hard-disk is dependent on another hard-disk image to be fully functional.

Steps to create a Virtual Hard Disk:

  1. Go to ‘Start’, Right click on ‘Computer’, Click ‘manage’. The ‘computer management’ window will appear.
  2. From the left pane select ‘Disk Management’ option, Right click ‘Disk management’ and click ‘Create VHD’.
  3. In ‘Create and attach Virtual Hard Disk’ dialog box, mention the location where you want to create the VHD file by clicking on ‘Browse’ and mention the Virtual Hard disk size in MB.
  4. Type the file name for VHD and click on ‘save’. Click ‘Ok’ and newly attached disk is created.
  5. To initialize the disk, right click the icon near the disk designation and click ‘Initialize disk’. This opens the ‘Initialize disk’ dialog box. Select the disk and click ‘Ok’.
  6. You can now partition this Virtual Hard Disk in the same way you partition your physical Hard Disk.

Detach a VHD:

  1. Go to ‘start’ Right click on ‘Computer’ select ‘Manage’.
  2. From the left pane right click ‘Disk management’. Select ‘Detach VHD’.
  3. Click the icon besides the disk designation and click ‘Detach VHD’.
  4. In the Detach Virtual Hard Disk dialogue box select the VHD which you want to detach. Click ‘Ok’.
  5. You can now copy the VHD file from the location which you specified while creating VHD so that you can attach it to any computer.

Attach a VHD:

  1. Go to ‘start’ Right click on ‘Computer’ select ‘Manage’.
  2. From the left pane right click ‘Disk management’. Select ‘Attach VHD’.
  3. This will open attach Virtual Hard Disk dialogue box. Browse the location where you have saved the VHD file and click ‘Ok’.
  4. You can now see a new VHD in the Disk management window.

Importance of Virtual Hard Disk:

  1. Using Disk management tools to create and attach a VHD for offline image management. You can attach a VHD by using ‘Attach disk’ command which activates the VHD so that it appears on the host as a disk drive rather than as a .vhd file.
  2. Mounting reference VHD image on remote shares for image servicing.
  3. Configuring VHD files for native boot without requiring a full parent installation.
  4. Configuring computer to boot multiple local VHD files containing different application workloads, without requiring separate disk partitions.
  5. Managing desktop image deployment.
  6. A VHD can be used as running operating system on hardware without any other parent operating system. VHD is not designed to replace full image deployment on all client and server systems.

Step by Step Guide to Installing Windows 7

Windows 7 is perhaps the best Microsoft operating system to date and is very easy to install compared to windows XP.

Before starting the installation we should make sure that the computer meets all the Hardware requirements for installing Windows 7.

Minimum Hardware requirements:

  1. 1 GHz 32 bit processor.
  2.  1Gb RAM for good performance
  3. Graphics adapter that supports Direct x 9 graphics. Minimum 512 Mb of Graphics memory.
  4. 20 GB free Hard disk space.

Different Editions in Windows 7:

  1. Windows 7 starter
  2. Home basic
  3. Home premium
  4. Professional
  5. Enterprise
  6. Ultimate

The steps to install Windows 7 operating system are as follows:

  1. Start your computer. Press f2 or delete at start up to enter the bios menu. Select First boot device as ‘CD ROM’ if you installing from DVD ROM. Second boot device as ‘Hard Disk’ so that the computer boots from Hard disk if OS is not in DVD ROM. Press f10 to save your settings and select yes to restart your computer.
  2. Insert the installation disc for Windows 7 and start your computer. The computer will ask you to ‘Press any key to boot from CD/DVD’. Press any key on your keyboard and it will start loading the operating system from the CD.  
  3. After loading windows 7 successfully, it opens an install window. Enter the Language time & currency format and keyboard or input method. Click ‘Next’. The ‘Install windows 7’ screen will appear.
  4. Click ‘Install now’. Setup will start and you will see a message on the screen ‘Set up is starting…’
  5. Now it will show the License agreement screen. Check the ‘I accept the License terms’ and click ‘Next’. The ‘Install windows’ wizard will appear.
  6. Select Custom (Advanced) option. The screen will prompt you to select the location to install windows. Click drive option (Advanced menu). Click on ‘New’, you are then asked to allot a size on the disk for installation. Enter the appropriate volume size and then click ‘Apply’ to create partitions for the installation, click ‘Next’. Windows will start the installation. Now the installation status screen appears. You will have to wait for the following tasks to get complete.
    1. Copying Windows
    2. Expanding Windows files
    3. Installing features
    4. Installing updates
    5. Completing Installation
    6. The computer will restart several times during this process so do not worry.
    7. After successful installation of Windows 7 it will ask you to specify the ‘computer name’. It will also ask you enter a ‘User account’ and ‘Password’. Enter the password in the respective field and also the password hint, click ‘Next’.
    8. The setup key will open the ‘Product Key’ option. Enter the correct product key, make sure that ‘Automatically activate windows when I am online’ check box is selected and click ‘next’.
    9. Now a window to set time on your computer will be displayed. Set the correct ‘Time Zone’, date and click ‘Next’ option.
    10. The ‘Computer network location’ option will be displayed if your computer is already connected to a network. Select ‘Network type’ and click ‘next’.
    11. Windows will now finalize the setup and start to prepare your Windows 7 Desktop.

Upgrading to Windows 7

  1. To upgrade to Windows 7 you need Windows Vista in your computer.
  2. Turn on your computer. Once windows Vista is started open the installation media for windows 7. If you are using a DVD, insert DVD disc in your computer. Setup will start automatically. If it does not start, Click on ‘Start’ – Computer—double click the DVD drive – double click the setup file.
  3. Click ‘Install now’ button. ‘Get important updates for installation’ page appears. Select ‘Go online and select the latest updates for installation (recommended).
  4. The ‘License agreement ‘page appears. Check ‘I accept the License term’ and click ‘next’.
  5. The windows to ‘Install windows’ will appear. Select ‘Upgrade’ option. Now windows will check for the compatibility with the help of windows upgrade advisor and generate report if it finds any compatibility problems. If no compatibility issues are found then Windows 7 starts up gradation process.

All the applications, data, settings and documents existed on the computer running windows vista will be available in windows 7 after the upgrade. We should run windows upgrade advisor before we start up gradation. Most of the applications which run in windows vista will run in windows 7. But some significant applications and hardware may not. This is called as compatibility issues. Windows upgrade advisor will is an application which helps you in determining any applications which may not run properly on windows 7. If any problem is occurred during the up gradation of windows 7 it will automatically restore the previous operating system. If you are experiencing any problem at the time of login then you can roll back you vista operating system manually. You cannot upgrade a 64 bit version of windows 7 operating system to 32 bit version of windows 7 operating system. Also you cannot upgrade from Windows 7 ultimate edition to Windows 7 home premium.

Remote Desktop & Remote Assistance

Remote Desktop

Remote desktop and Remote assistance is available in professional, business and ultimate editions of Windows 7. It is a technology which allows you to access remote computer from one place. Remote desktop is disabled by default on computer running Windows 7. You can enable the Remote desktop connection from the ‘Remote’ tab of the ‘System properties’ dialog box.

Remote Assistance

Remote assistance is a helpdesk feature used to view the screen of the user whom they are supporting. If a person experiencing any difficulty on his computer or on any applications or software products, the help desk staff can view and provide support to them remotely using Remote Assistance.

There are three options to configure Remote Assistance:

  1.  Save this invitation as file. Save the invitation as file and send this invitation to the helper as an attachment through web based email.
  2.  Use Email to send an Invitation. Use this option to send the invitation to the sender through email directly without saving the invitation on your local computer. You cannot use this option if you have not configured the email program.
  3. Use easy connect. This method is applicable only on a local network if the peer name resolution protocol is present on the server. A DNS server and email server configuration is required on the network.

Note: In all of the above methods, the person requesting for help needs to provide a password to the person who provides assistance.

Configure Remote Desktop in windows 7:

  1.  Right click ‘Computer’ icon on the desktop, select ‘Remote settings’ in the left pane, select ‘Allow remote connections from computer running any version of Windows’.
  2.  Click ‘Apply’- ‘Ok’. This will enable remote desktop in the computers who want to remotely connect to each other.
  3. Click ‘Start’ – ‘All programs’ – ‘Accessories’ – ‘Remote Desktop Connection’. The Remote desktop connection window appears.
  4. Enter the Name/IP address of the computer which you want to connect. Click on ‘Connect’ Button.
  5. The Remote desktop connection starts to configure remote desktop session. It will ask you to type the username and password to provide authentication to the remote computer.
  6. Once the authentication process is done remote connection is established with another computer and you can now control the computer and resolve the issues.

Configure Remote Assistance in windows 7:

  1. Right click ‘Computer’ icon on the desktop, select ‘Remote settings’ in the left pane, select ‘Allow Remote assistance connections to this computer’.
  2. Click ‘Apply’ – ‘Ok’. This will enable Remote Assistance in the computers you want to access remotely.
  3. Type ‘Remote assistance’ in search box of the ‘Start menu’. Open ‘Windows remote assistance’ console. The Windows Remote assistance window appears.
  4. IF you want help from someone, then you have to select the first option ‘Invite someone you trust to help you’. The Windows Remote assistance screen appears. Click on ‘Save this invitation as a file’. Give a specific path on a shared folder so that another person having access to the shared folder can access the invitation file.
  5. Open the invitation file and it will display a ‘Password’ for another person to connect using the same file.
  6. The person who wants to help you will access the ‘Windows Remote assistance’ console from the search box of the ‘Start’ menu. Select ‘Help someone who has invited you’ option. The ‘Windows Remote assistance’ page appears.
  7. Click on ‘Use an invitation file’ and browse the location to open the invitation file from the remote computer. Type the password generated by the first user and this will allow providing remote assistance to his computer. Click ‘Ok’.

Setting User Accounts & Parental Controls

User account:

Several people can work on a single computer by creating their own user account. Every user account has its own settings and preferences. They can be configured to set their own desktop background, screen saver, themes etc. You can create different types of account in your computer. Windows 7 allows you to create, modify and delete a user account. You can also set a password for your user account.

Types of user accounts:

  1. Administrator account: An administrator account allows you to make changes that will affect other users of the computer like installing software or changing security settings of the computer. The built in administrator account is disabled and the account created by the user at the time of installation is used. Administrator account has complete access to your computer.
  2. Standard account: A standard account cannot make changes that will affect other users and security of the computer. Standard account can use most of the programs in the computer but cannot install or uninstall them. Any account that does not have administrative rights is a standard account.
  3. Guest account: A guest account can log onto the computer but will not have access to all of your files.  A guest account can log onto a network, browse the internet and can shutdown the PC.

Creating a new user account in windows7:

  1. Click on ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’ – User accounts and family safety.
  2. Click ‘Add or remove user accounts’. The account management window is displayed.
  3. Click ‘Create a new account’ option on ‘Manage accounts’ page. The ‘Create a new account’ window will appear. In the ‘New account name’ field enter the name of the new account that you want to create.
  4. Select the type of the account. Two options are available namely ‘Administrator and Standard user’. Select the appropriate option and click ‘Create account’ button.
  5. Now the user account has been created and you can see the account in the list of ‘Manage account’ window.

Changing the account name and type:

  1. Click on ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’ – User accounts and family safety.  The ‘User account and family safety’ page appears.
  2. Click ‘User accounts’ from ‘User accounts and family safety’ page. The ‘User account window appears. Click ‘Change your account name’. The ‘Change your name windows appears. Enter the name that you want to change and click ‘Change Name’ button.
  3. Click ‘Change your account type’ from ‘User account’ screen to change the type of user account. Select the required type of account and click ‘Change Account type’.

 

Setting password for the User account:

  1. Click ‘Start’ – ‘Control Panel’- ‘User account and family safety’- User accounts.
  2. Click ‘Create a password for your account’. The create password window appears.
  3. Enter the password that you want to set and confirm the password, type the ‘Password Hint’. Click on ‘Create password’ button.

Parental Control

Parental control helps you to decide how other users want to use your PC. You can block access to a particular game, websites and programs by configuring parental control. You can set time limit in hours that another user can use the computer through parental control utility. Parental control can be applied only to the standard account. You can restrict the kinds of websites that children visit and games, programs, etc. Parental control feature is available in windows 7 Home premium, ultimate & Enterprise editions.

Configure Parental Control:

  1. Click ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’- ‘User account and Family safety’- ‘Parental control’. The ‘Parental control’ windows will appear.
  2. Select the standard user for which you want to set the parental control. Select ‘On, Enforce current settings’ under parental control settings. Set the individual settings such as ‘time limits’, control over ‘games’ and ‘Allow or Block specific programs’ and click ‘Ok’ to apply parental control.

Set Logon Hours:

  1. Click ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’- ‘User account and Family safety’- ‘Parental control’. The ‘Parental control’ windows will appear.
  2. Select the standard user for which you want to restrict logon hours.
  3. If the parental control feature is not enabled, then enable it and click on ‘Time limits’.
  4. Now you can select different logon hours for each and every day of the week by selecting the squares. Blue space indicates ‘blocked’. White space indicates ‘Allowed’.

Block games using parental control:

  1. Click ‘Start’- ‘Control panel’- ‘User account and Family safety’- ‘Parental control’. The ‘Parental control’ windows will appear.
  2. Select the standard user for which you want to apply ‘Game control’.
  3. In the ‘User account control’ windows click the’ Games’ link. Click ‘Yes’ option.
  4. Click on ‘Block or allow specific Games’ link. You can select ‘Always allow’ or ‘always block’ for the games which you want to allow or block.

Parental control is not applicable for administrator and the members of Administrator group.

Installing Windows Server 2008

Windows server 2008 has a new feature called as ‘Server core installation’ & ‘Full Installation’. The ‘Server core installation’ is a command based version of Windows Server 2008 whereas, the ‘Full installation’ is a Graphical based installation in Server 2008.

The different Editions in Windows server 2008 are:

  1. Standard Edition
  2. Enterprise Edition
  3. Data centre Edition
  4. Web server Edition

Steps to install Windows Server 2008:

  1. Insert the ‘Windows Server 2008’ bootable DVD into the DVD rom. Restart your computer and press any key when the ‘Boot from CD/DVD’ option appears.
  2. The installation screen in the beginning will show you the following options:
    1. Language to Install
    2. Time and currency format
    3. Keyboard or input method
    4. Select the appropriate Language, Time and currency and Keyboard input method.
    5. Click ‘Next’ – ‘Install now’.
    6. You will be prompted to enter the product key. Enter the right ‘Product key’ and click on ‘Next’.
    7. The ‘License agreement’ window will be displayed, select ‘Accept the license and agreement’ checkbox and click ‘Next’.
    8. Select the ‘Custom’ option if you are performing a new installation. Click ‘Next’; select the partition space (at least 25000 MB).
    9. Select the desired partition and ‘Install’.
    10. The installation begins and the system will restart once or twice and the installation will complete after a while.
    11. The Windows login screen will ask you to type a new Administrator password. Once you type the password you can start working on the Windows Server 2008.

Server Roles in Windows Server 2008:

  1. Active Directory Certificate Services
  2. Active Directory Domain Services
  3. Active Directory Federation Services
  4. Active Directory Rights Management Services
  5. Application Server
  6. DHCP Server
  7. DNS Server
  8. Fax Server
  9. File Services
  10. Network Policy and Access Services
  11. Print Services
  12. Terminal Services
  13. UDDI services
  14. Web server (IIS)
  15. Windows Deployment services
  16. Windows SharePoint Services

Features of Windows Server 2008

  1. .NET framework 3.0 features
  2. Bit locker Drive Encryption
  3. BITS Server Enterprises
  4. Connection Manager Administrator Kit
  5. Desktop Experience
  6. Group Policy Management Installed
  7. Internet Printing Client
  8. Internet Storage Name Server
  9. LPR Port Monitor
  10. Message Queuing  (Installed)
  11. Multipath I/O
  12. Network Load Balancing
  13. Peer Name Resolution Protocol
  14. Quality Windows Audio Video Experience
  15. Remote Assistance
  16. Remote Differential Compression
  17. Remote Server Administration tools
  18. Removable Storage Manager
  19. RPC over HTTP Proxy
  20. Simple TCP/IP Services

These are the few features of Windows Server 2008.

Windows Activation

Volume Activation is use to manage the licensing process for operating system software like Windows Vista and Server 2008. It eliminates the need to manually enter a product key when the Operating System is installed, and it allows you to protect and manage Volume License keys throughout an organization. There are two types of Keys in Windows Server 2008.

  1. Multiple Activation Key (MAK): A Multiple Activation Key is used for a one-time activation with Microsoft’s hosted activation service. It can be activated via the internet, over the phone, or by using the ‘Volume Activation Management Tool’ (VAMT).
  2. Key Management Service (KMS): A Key Management Service (KMS) license key allows you to host an activation service locally within your own network. Rather than contacting the Microsoft hosted activation service each time KMs allows you to contact the Ms Activation service one time to activate your KMS host, after which all activation traffic is managed locally. Minimum number of physical computers required to allow you to use a KMS key is 25 Vista computers and 5 Windows Server 2008. Internet host has to activate after every 7 days with KMS host and will require connecting at least once every 180 days to maintain its license.