Relevant Windows 7 facts

This is not meant to be a thorough report, just the highlights I found relevant related to its recent release.


  • Starter is weak (for netbooks) 32-bit only, OEM pre-install only
  • Home Basic is for emerging markets (we probably won’t see it in the US much)
  • Home Premium is what most consumers will end up with
  • Professional is the lowest version to include features such as Remote Desktop Serving, Domain Joining, and Windows XP Mode
  • Enterprise is the same as Ultimate but with volume licensing and they both include BitLocker
  • Ultimate has all possible features (of course)

Wikipedia detailed Windows 7 Version Comparison Chart


  • Supposedly 7 can be installed from a USB drive (without hacking).
  • Internet Explorer 8 can pretty much be removed – many parts are integrated into the OS, but the browser can go bye-bye.
  • The sidebar is gone but Gadgets remain, and are more efficient and movable.
  • There is an overly hyped new taskbar.

Sometimes Ghost is truly the best tool

HDD stackLately I’ve been loving Clonezilla for rolling out refurbed Dell workstations. It’s been really cool, boot from USB “liveCD”, clone disk to disk directly over gigabit ethernet, reboot, repeat. But after doing 10 of them, I ran into the true limitation of Clonezilla. Clonezilla relies on ntfsclone and partimage (great tools) but they share a key weakness: neither can restore an NTFS drive or partition image to a smaller target – in my case it was a matter of a dozen sectors. It’s ironic because both tools only copy the used blocks and seem to support resizing but they just plain don’t do it. Needless to say I couldn’t accept that fact until I was done pounding my head against the issue thoroughly, then I used the de facto Windows imaging tool: Norton Ghost.

So, its 4:00 AM and I’m in the lab finishing up my Ghost disk-to-disk imaging on the remaining machines…

Total time to break remaining boxes and yank HDs + Ghost imaging time = 30 mins.

Time wasted to get to this point = 3 hours.

If anyone can prove me wrong concerning the shortcomings of Clonezilla, please do (and comment, duh).

Hide Administrator from Welcome Screen in Vista

By default the Administrator account in Vista is Disabled – everything is run in a sudo fashion withoutvista-icon actually logging in to the Administrator account. Some times due to external password recovery systems or other various reasons the built-in Administrator account is enabled, causing it to show up on the Welcome Screen.

In order to stop the Administrator account from showing as a login option on the Welcome Screen in Windows Vista you need to set the Administrator account to not active with the net user command from an Administrative cmd prompt as follows:

[sourcecode]net user Administrator /active:no[/sourcecode]

Some people report that the “/” causes the command to fail, try it without:

[sourcecode]net user Administrator active:no[/sourcecode]

From then on the the Administrator account should no longer show on the Welcome Screen.


Missing User Accounts in Windows XP

xp-logoSo this time they weren’t hidden ’cause they weren’t in the following registry key:


But they didn’t show up in the Accounts Control Panel or in Run > control userpasswords2.

But they do show up when you run the command:

[sourcecode]net user[/sourcecode]

aaand each account is active.. BUT they had no groups assigned to them and since it was XP Home Edition we didn’t have access to the groups snap in.

So, thanks to Google we found the proper syntax for adding a user (“username”) to a group (“Administrators”) with the net command:

[sourcecode]net localgroup Administrators username /add[/sourcecode]


Using SIW to Find Hardware in Windows

I’ve often resorted to loading up a Linux livecd and running “lspci” just to get an idea of what hardware is in a box. Let’s face it, even if box manufacturers do provide the drivers you need, that model may have shipped with one of 4 different NICs, video cards, etc. So it used to be I had to run a linux cd and the lspci command to get the PCI devices table but not anymore…

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