I had an update on my system in a partially installed state. Our vulnerability scanner determined one file, MSO.dll, was still out of date. It recommended a patch to apply. Running it gave me an error message. Here’s what to do when Windows says the update is already installed on this system and refuses to let you do anything but click OK.
Because hey, from a security analyst’s point of view, this is anything but OK. I get questions about patches in a partially deployed state all the time, so I figured I’d write about it. Here’s what I do when security updates fail to apply with this error.
Sometimes it’s faster just to type a command than to dig around in the start menu. That’s especially true for many sysadmin tasks. Knowing the command line for active directory users and computers can save you a lot of time.
What went wrong with Windows Vista? If you were around when it launched, you probably wouldn’t argue with me if I said the things that went right were easier to count than the things that went wrong. Windows XP lived nearly forever because Vista was so bad.
If you’re still using Windows XP, I wish you’d stop. Seriously, for your safety and the safety of others, I wish you’d stop. The good news is you have some options, and you’ll probably be happier with one of them.
I advised a Fortune 25 company on how, when, and why to migrate off Windows XP in a professional capacity. So hopefully I can help you like I helped them. The reasons for doing it are the same. The only difference is scale.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone explain the benefits of defragmenting your computer hard drive. I do see a lot of misconceptions out there. I explained defragmenting in my 1999 book, so I’ll explain it again.
Part of the misconception is that things have changed. The tools have changed, yes. But the need hasn’t.
I can’t say I’ve ever seen the Windows registry explained well. It helps to think of the registry as a database. Microsoft loves databases, and they’ve been trying for decades to stuff as much database technology into Windows as they can. The registry was one of the earliest and most successful of those efforts.
Although it was controversial in the 1990s, the registry solved a very real problem. Windows 3.1 and earlier stored all of its settings in huge plaintext files called ini files. They were a tangled mess, and the more you used your computer, the slower it became. The registry made it a lot faster for the computer to find each setting it needed.
If your start button disappeared, I have the fastest possible fix for you. It works with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, and server versions, in addition to versions of Windows you shouldn’t be running anymore.
The symptom: If you install more than 512 MB of RAM in a system running Windows 9x (that’s any version of Windows 95, 98, 98SE, or ME), you get weird out of memory errors. Here’s how to get around those memory limitations to make Windows 95 and Windows 98 work with 2 GB of RAM.
The culprit is a bug in Windows 9x’s disk cache. The solution is to limit the cache to use 512MB of memory, or less, which is a good thing to do anyway.
It’s important to check SSD alignment in Windows. If your SSD isn’t aligned, you reduce its performance and its life expectancy. Fortunately in many cases, your SSD will be properly aligned, but it only takes a minute to check.