techfocus                              Windows 7 Migration                    Why a Windows 7                  Upgrade Is ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........    Top Features                       Top Features in Windows 7             ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........    Top Features                           A Direct Access connection to the ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........    Top Features                           With BitLocker to Go, network admi...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........    Top Features                           Branch caching provides a faster d...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........    Top Features                       “Include local directory path when upl...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........ Patch Management                       Patch Management Frees Up Tuesdays   ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........ Patch Management                           Microsoft recommends selecting th...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........ Patch Management                       Windows Update but offers a central p...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........ Patch Management                            A handful of vendors have create...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........      Interface                       A Glimpse at the Windows 7 Interface   ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........      Interface                       taskbar and a preview pane will display...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........      Interface                       imum real estate while trying to keep e...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........      Interface                       application to its original size. Press...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........  Troubleshooting                       Using Windows 7 Troubleshooting Devic...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........  Troubleshooting                       tion issues. PowerShell scripts displ...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........  Troubleshooting                       D Problem Steps Recorder. If the trou...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O N        ........  Troubleshooting                       patch installations and the success o...
WINDOWS 7    M I G R AT I O NTOP FEATURES           ABOUT THE AUTHOR:IN WINDOWS 7                                         ...
RESOURCES FROM OUR SPONSOR• Leveraging Windows 7, Dell Desktops for Virtualization, Cloud Infrastructures and Beyond• The ...
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Windows 7 Migration Station

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windows 7 is Microsoft’s highly anticipated successor toWindows Vista.With this release,Microsoft aimed to address user frustrations with Vista and hoped to
giveWindows XP users a reason to upgrade as well. Feedback has shown that enhancements to security, stability and usability have madeWindows 7 a welcome
platform for corporate users. And although the decision to migrate toWindows 7 isn’t one that organizations should take lightly, the benefits of this OS may be hard to pass up.

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Windows 7 Migration Station

  1. 1. techfocus Windows 7 Migration Why a Windows 7 Upgrade Is Worth It Microsoft Windows 7 addresses user frustrations, but satisfied users are just one benefit of migrating to the new operating system. INSIDE These features can make it TOP FEATURES IN WINDOWS 7 worth the investment. BY ERIC SCHULTZE PATCH MANAGEMENT FREES UP TUESDAYS A GLIMPSE AT THE WINDOWS 7 INTERFACE USING WINDOWS 7 TROUBLESHOOTING DEVICES1 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  2. 2. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Top Features Top Features in Windows 7 Amidst mounting user frustrations with Microsoft Windows Vista, upgrading to Windows 7 and its user-centric features will make you look like an IT hero.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 windows 7 is Microsoft’s highly anticipated successor to Windows Vista. WithWINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT this release, Microsoft aimed to address user frustrations with Vista and hoped toFREES UP TUESDAYS give Windows XP users a reason to upgrade as well. Feedback has shown that en- hancements to security, stability and usability have made Windows 7 a welcomeA GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7 platform for corporate users. And although the decision to migrate to Windows 7INTERFACEE isn’t one that organizations should take lightly, the benefits of this OS may be hard to pass up.USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING Windows 7’s features can enhance the user experience and ease administratorDEVICES aggravations with improved performance over slow WAN links, encrypted remov- able media and better browser security. Advanced virtualization capabilities and improved OS installation tools are also part of the bundle. Here are the top Windows 7 features that will have users thanking you for the upgrade. D Direct Access. Gone are the days of the virtual private network (VPN) and hav- ing to deal with dropped VPN connections and blocked access due to protocols that aren’t allowed through the local broadband connection. The combination of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 gives mobile workers a new remote ac- cess solution. Available on Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions, Direct Access en- ables machines to connect directly to internal corporate resources from the Inter- net—without having to connect through the VPN. And because Direct Access is a bidirectional connection, corporate administrators can remotely manage the Windows 7 machines across the Internet whenever they are powered on. 2 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  3. 3. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Top Features A Direct Access connection to the corporate network is established the moment the Windows 7 system is powered on and connected to the Internet—before a user even logs in. Where needed, the connection uses IP over HTTPS, a secure connec- tion that runs on an SSL port. This ensures that remote systems can connect to the corporate network without opening up special ports or protocols on the routers between the client and the end network.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 As an added benefit, when connected to Microsoft’s ForeFront Unified Access Gate- BitLocker to GoWINDOWS 7 PATCH way, Direct Access can examine incoming protects unencryptedMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS connection requests and ensure that the data from loss by system trying to connect to the server has ensuring that it doesn’tA GLIMPSE AT passed certain health requirements such as “walk away” onTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE being up-to-date with the latest security removable drives. patches.USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING Direct Access lets corporate workers ac-DEVICES cess both local and corporate network files remotely from anywhere. When com- bined with Branch Cache and Libraries for file management, remote workers have the same level of access and performance they would have at the corporate office. D BitLocker to Go. Windows Vista introduced BitLocker—the ability to encrypt data on local disk drives. BitLocker to Go, which is available in Windows 7 Ulti- mate and Enterprise editions, extends encryption abilities and includes removable media such as external USB hard drives and flash drives. For companies that are required to encrypt their data, BitLocker to Go is a wel- come encryption feature in Windows 7 that protects unencrypted data from unin- tended or malicious loss by ensuring that it doesn’t “walk away” on removable drives or storage devices. Specifically, BitLocker to Go allows confidential data on the local hard drive to be encrypted with a passphrase. With Windows Vista, how- ever, when the user transferred the data to a removable drive, that data became unencrypted. Unencrypted data on removable media is essentially an accident waiting to happen. 3 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  4. 4. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Top Features With BitLocker to Go, network administrators can set Group Policies on Win- dows 7 machines that require that USB drives and flash drives are encrypted. If a user chooses not to encrypt a removable drive, he can access existing unencrypted files on the drive, but those files will be read-only and nothing can be written to the drive until it is BitLocker-protected. Group Policy settings also have certain password requirements for encryption,TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 including passphrase length and complexity. Smart cards or domain credentials may also be required to access encrypted drives. The one downside, however, isWINDOWS 7 PATCH that BitLocker to Go does not work on optical/CD media.MANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS D Branch Cache. The Windows 7 BranchA GLIMPSE AT Windows 7 Branch Cache functionality—when combined withTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE Cache—when combined Windows Server 2008 R2—increases net- with Windows Server work performance, decreases WAN utiliza-USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTINGDEVICES 2008 R2—increases tion and enhances user satisfaction when accessing files located across slow links be- network performance, tween central and branch offices. decreases WAN Prior to Windows 7, users in branch of- utilization. fices with slow WAN links suffered from slow download times when accessing files located on corporate file servers. To fix this annoyance, Branch Cache creates lo- cally cached versions of frequently accessed files at the branch office. Network administrators can enable Branch Cache functionality on Windows 7 systems via Group Policy settings. Once enabled, the operations are seamless. For example, a Windows 7 system in the branch office downloads a 2 MB Office docu- ment from Windows Server 2008 R2 across a slow WAN link in about 40 seconds. This document is then securely cached on the remote Windows 7 system. Subsequent requests from other Windows 7 machines to download the same document are serviced from the cache on the first machine that accessed the file. As a result, the large document is downloaded to other systems via a LAN at an even faster rate. 4 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  5. 5. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Top Features Branch caching provides a faster download experience for the end user and saves network bandwidth over the WAN by not having to download duplicate files while remaining transparent to the end user. Options exist to perform distributed cache management in two ways: 1. Downloaded files are stored across the first requesting Windows 7 systems.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 2. A specified Windows Server 2008 R2 system at the branch office hosts all of the cached content.WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS Branch Cache is used when accessing files over HTTP/HTTPS or SMB (file sharing). This feature works in concert with existing security protocols such asA GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7 IPsec, SSL and SMB signing and with other third-party network optimizationINTERFACEE products.USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING D Internet Explorer 8 security. IE8 on Windows 7 possesses improved securityDEVICES functions that protect users as they browse the Internet. Chief among these en- hancements are updates to ActiveX management, data execution prevention, file upload controls and launching other application protocols from within the browser. Specifically, you can configure ActiveX controls in IE8 to run automatically on certain websites as specified in Group Policy settings. ActiveX controls also only operate within a user’s profile, and they do not require administrative privileges to be installed. These two changes to ActiveX behavior significantly reduce the risk of unintended execution when visiting malicious websites. Data execution prevention (DEP) further raises the bar to protect against IE browser exploits that try to run malicious code via buffer overflow or through similar attacks. DEP also makes it safer to visit questionable websites. IE8 also changed the way that the system interacts with websites that prompt users to upload files. Previously, the file upload process would submit the local directory pathname of the data back to the website. This information could allow an attacker to gain sensitive information about a user’s system. In IE8, the setting 5 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  6. 6. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Top Features “Include local directory path when uploading files” is disabled by default when browsing the Internet. Lastly, Internet Explorer 8 includes controls against malicious protocol handler attacks. Malicious websites might try to open other applications in the browser window by specifying certain protocol types—telephony applications, mediaTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 applications, etc. To handle these re- Windows 7 has some quests, IE8 prompts the user to approve advanced virtualizationWINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT or deny the request to start these appli- capabilities. VHD cations instead of starting them auto-FREES UP TUESDAYS native boot allows matically.A GLIMPSE AT users to launch a savedTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE D VHD Support. Windows 7 has some virtual OS without a advanced virtualization capabilities. local hypervisor.USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING Users can now mount hard drives ofDEVICES offline virtual hard disks (VHDs) onto local or remote systems, which allows users to read and write files to the virtual system’s hard drive without having to power it up. There is also an option to boot the local computer directly to a stored VHD on the local hard disk. This option—VHD native boot—allows power users to launch one of several saved virtual OSes on their local machine without the need for a local hypervisor. I 6 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  7. 7. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Patch Management Patch Management Frees Up Tuesdays Windows 7 takes some of the pressure of keeping systems patched off your shoulders by putting more power into your users’ hands.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 within four months of the launch of Windows 7, Microsoft released eight secu-WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT rity bulletins that dealt specifically with that OS and related software. While theFREES UP TUESDAYS security posture of Windows 7 has improved by leaps and bounds over previous Microsoft operating systems, you’ll still need to apply the occasional patch to ad-A GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7 dress known security issues.INTERFACEE Microsoft has simplified the way in which Windows 7 users can keep their systems updated. When installing Windows 7, the system encourages the user toUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING enable automatic updating for important (i.e., security) updates. If automatic up-DEVICES dating isn’t enabled, Windows displays a warning message and a link in the Ac- tion Center window on the taskbar instructing users to enable the update process. The built-in Windows Update function, which can be found in the Start menu or through the control panel, is the central management hub for all Microsoft up- dates. From this window, you can install updates and view available updates, se- lect individual updates to install, view a list of all updates that were previously installed and check whether or not those updates installed properly. By selecting Change Settings in the main Windows Update window, you can customize the options for the automatic update process. You can configure them on individual machines or centrally using Group Policy settings. Available set- tings are: I Install updates automatically I Download updates, but let me choose whether to install them I Check for updates, but let me choose whether to download and install them I Never check for updates 7 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  8. 8. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Patch Management Microsoft recommends selecting the option to install updates automatically (Figure 1). Additional options can be set to include updates for other Microsoft applica- tions such as Office or Silverlight. You can also specify that recommended nonse- curity updates be treated the same as important security updates.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 WSUS: CENTRALIZED CONTROL FOR UPDATESWINDOWS 7 PATCH In an enterprise environment, the Windows 7 update process can be centrallyMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS configured and automated using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). WSUS is a free Microsoft application that provides all of the same services asA GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE figure 1USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTINGDEVICES The Windows Update feature 8 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  9. 9. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Patch Management Windows Update but offers a central point of control for update management that includes reporting. Enterprises that haven’t adopted the full-featured (and expen- sive) Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager should consider WSUS for update management. Although Windows 7’s automatic update process has been simplified, it will only manage updates to the Microsoft OS and applications. Security updates forTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 third-party products such as Adobe Reader, Mozilla Firefox and Sun Java (among others) are critical to ensure the stability of the Windows 7 system, but they’reWINDOWS 7 PATCH not included in the default Windows Update or WSUS scheme. Fortunately, someMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS Microsoft partners provide security update management for these third-party products.A GLIMPSE AT For enterprises running WSUS, a plug-in from EminentWare LLC adds supportTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE for managing third-party application updates. The EminentWare WSUS Exten- sion Pack enables WSUS to deploy and manage other vendors’ updates, includingUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING those from Adobe, Apple, Sun and Mozilla. This pack also extends default WSUSDEVICES features and enables greater flexibility to install updates (i.e., apply updates imme- diately), controls reboots and provides enhanced reporting capabilities. ADMIN TIP TO CONTROL THEmanner in which systems restart after installing updates, con- sider implementing the registry key shown here. A setting of “1” will prevent the system from restarting when a user is logged on. KEY HKLM/Software/Policies/MicrosoftWindows/WindowsUpdate/AU VALUE NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers TYPE REG_DWORD DATA 1 = The system will not be restarted if a user is currently logged on. 0 = A logged on user will be notified that the system will reboot in five minutes (default). 9 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  10. 10. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Patch Management A handful of vendors have created patch management suites that provide up- date management for Windows 7 as well as all other Microsoft OSes and applica- tions, and, in some cases, non-Microsoft OSes. Vendors such as BigFix, LANDesk and Lumension offer enterprise patch management solutions with capabilities be- yond those available in WSUS including detailed reporting, agent or agentless dis- covery, granular scheduling options for installation and reboot as well as supportTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 for third-party applications. These vendor applications should be considered when WSUS or SCCM aren’t an option.WINDOWS 7 PATCH Regardless of your patch management solution, here are seven steps to ensure aMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS successful update process:A GLIMPSE AT 1. Sign up for email that notifies you when Microsoft and other vendors releaseTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE new security updates. 2. Take inventory of all systems and applications that need to be patched. BeUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING sure to include domain and nondomain-joined systems, remote laptops andDEVICES online and offline virtual images. 3. Review update documentation and prioritize which updates should be in- stalled first and which systems need to be addressed immediately—Web servers, domain controllers, etc. 4. Download each update to a local repository. WSUS, SCCM and third-party applications may do this automatically. Make sure to acquire 32-bit and 64-bit versions of each patch, as required. 5. Schedule and perform the installation of each update. Reboot each system as soon as patch installation is feasible. 6. Review each system after restart to ensure that the update was installed properly. Re-install any updates that didn’t successfully install the first time. 7. Create reports, as needed, to show the update status on each machine. I 10 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  11. 11. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Interface A Glimpse at the Windows 7 Interface An enhanced graphical user interface lets users configure their systems, manage applications and organize files the way they want them.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 at first glance, the Windows 7 interface is similar to Windows Vista’s. But justWINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT beneath the surface, you’ll see that Microsoft has significantly enhanced theFREES UP TUESDAYS graphical user experience of Windows 7 using features that increase users’ control of the computer.A GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE D Taskbar. The most noticeable user interface change is the Windows taskbar, which runs the entire length of the bottom of the screen and includes the StartUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING menu and the time/date. When redesigning the taskbar, Microsoft aimed to giveDEVICES users control over their frequently used applications. The configurable taskbar also gives users more control over how they interact with Window 7 features: I Applications can be “pinned” to the taskbar to create a “quick launch” feel, allowing them to be launched using a single mouse click. I Taskbar icons can be reordered by dragging them to their desired location. You can drag desktop icons or start menu applications to the taskbar to pin them in place. I Running applications are displayed under a pane of glass in the taskbar. Multi- ple instances of running applications are displayed under glass in a tabbed de- sign. Press the Windows key and the number 2 to launch the second app listed in a taskbar tab. The ability to preview windowpanes before maximizing them adds another level of user control and confidence. Mouse over a running application on the 11 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  12. 12. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Interface taskbar and a preview pane will display a thumbnail image of the actual window. This is very useful for checking on the status of a large download without having to actually call up and view the entire window. Hint: To view the thumbnail in more detail, you can peek at the window. Mouse over the thumbnail and the full size window will display on the screen. Move the mouse off of the thumbnail and the window image will disappear.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 Applications with multiple open windows, such as IE8 with multiple in-use tabs, displays a preview pane for each window (or tab) of the application.WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS D Jump lists. Another taskbar feature is jump lists. By right-clicking on an application in Microsoft has beenA GLIMPSE AT the taskbar, an application-specific menu—or working to simplifyTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE jump list—appears. For example, right-click- the user experience ing an Adobe Reader icon displays a list of the when managingUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING last 10 viewed PDF files. Right-clicking on an application windows.DEVICES Apple iTunes icon displays the list of recent The result is impres- songs, plus it gives you the option to visit the iTunes store or shuffle through currently sive: Snap and Shake. playing music. Different applications present different jump list options. Experiment with dif- ferent programs to see which applications developers enabled for their jump lists. WINDOWS MANAGEMENT: SNAP AND SHAKE Microsoft has been working for years to simplify the user experience with respect to managing application windows. The result is impressive: Snap and Shake. D Snap. Suppose that a Windows XP user wanted to compare two documents side by side. He would have to begin by positioning one document on the left side of the screen and the other document on the right side of the screen. Then the user would drag the top, bottom and side edges of each window in or out to give it max- 12 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  13. 13. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Interface imum real estate while trying to keep each window at the same height and width. This can be tricky with a mouse and even trickier with a touchpad. Windows 7 solved this using the Snap feature, which auto-positions windows on the desktop—side by side or top to bottom. To position two windows side by side—and maximize the vertical height—drag the first application’s title bar to the left side of the screen and release. Make sure the mouse pointer touches the leftTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 edge of the screen during the drag process. This will snap the window to the left half of the screen. Repeat this with the second window, making sure to touch theWINDOWS 7 PATCH pointer against the right side of the screen. Both screens are maximized for heightMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS and occupy exactly half of the screen. Similarly, dragging an application’s title bar to the top of the computer screenA GLIMPSE AT will maximize the window to the full screen. To return the window to its previousTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE size, drag the title bar down from the bottom of the screen and release. Lastly, an application can be “snapped” to maximize its height by resizing theUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING top or bottom of the window to the top or bottom of the screen. When this hap-DEVICES pens, the application autosizes to the full vertical height of the screen. Double-clicking or dragging the title bar from the top of the screen resets the What’s Missing? YOU MAY BE wondering what happened to the Show Desktop icon that resided on the taskbar and was used to minimize all open applications. This function was removed in Windows 7. To minimize all applications on the desktop, click the button on the very right end of the taskbar—usually the bottom right corner of your display. Click the button again and open applications will re-appear. Another way to do this is to hold the mouse over the button; all of the windows on the desktop will turn to glass, allowing you to see items on the desktop itself. What happened to the 3-D scrolling view of the open applications window? It’s still there, but now you have to press Ctrl + Windows key + Tab to scroll through the 3-D list of open applications. 13 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  14. 14. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Interface application to its original size. Press the Windows key and the up, down, left or right arrow keys to vertically maximize, restore or snap the active window to the side of the screen without using the mouse. D Shake. “Shaking” a window involves clicking the window’s title bar and shaking the mouse while it’s still holding the window. This action minimizes all other openTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 windows into the taskbar, leaving the shaken window as the only application that is displayed on the desktop. Shaking the window again returns the desktop to itsWINDOWS 7 PATCH prior form.MANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS Shaking a window lets you view items that are actually on the desktop, but might be covered by other windows, without losing focus of the currently openedA GLIMPSE AT application.THE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE D Library. In Windows 7, Microsoft introduced a new method to organize andUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING search for files. A library is a collection of selected folders that can be viewed andDEVICES managed as a single folder. For example, suppose that your organization’s chief marketing officer has 10 work folders on her machine—each for a different cam- paign—and she wants to peruse these folders to find one specific document. Prior to Windows 7, this involved opening each folder individually and sorting to find the document in question. Using the Windows 7 library feature, she can assign all 10 folders to the “Cam- paign” library, which contains all of the files from each of the folders in one win- dow. She can arrange the view by folder, or she can sort the files by document type, date or size—even though the files exist in physically separate folders. Libraries can include folders on both the local system as well as folders on re- mote systems such as file servers. By combining Direct Access with the Library feature, users can browse files in their library that are physically stored on servers on the corporate intranet. I 14 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  15. 15. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Troubleshooting Using Windows 7 Troubleshooting Devices Security alerts, the ability to record and track system problems and a reliability monitor make it easier for users and admins to troubleshoot desktop issues.TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 microsoft offers a slew of tools designed to help troubleshoot Windows 7WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT desktops. This segment will look at some of the most popular options.FREES UP TUESDAYS D Action Center. Windows 7 centralized key system messages and status updatesA GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7 into the new Action Center. The Action Center alerts users of security and config-INTERFACEE uration settings that need to be reviewed and addressed to keep the system operat- ing properly. In this area, Windows 7 displays a flag icon in the taskbar whenUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING items must be addressed.DEVICES Here are a few examples of messages that may appear in the Action Center: I The Windows Firewall has been disabled. I The User Account Control settings have been modified from the default. I Windows Update settings are deemed inappropriate. Each Action Center message includes recommended solutions, usually in the form of a button that will allow the user to correct the issue and bring the machine back into the recommended configuration state. The Action Center also provides access to Troubleshooting Packs and the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor. D Troubleshooting Packs. Windows 7 has 20 built-in troubleshooting scripts designed to help end users and network administrators identify and fix common issues. The packs are based on Windows PowerShell commands and address commonly reported issues such as the Windows Aero interface, hardware and device problems, browser safety concerns as well as printing and Internet connec- 15 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  16. 16. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Troubleshooting tion issues. PowerShell scripts display as user-friendly applications with step-by- step instructions to identify and correct issues. Troubleshooting routines can be launched from individual application help files by right-clicking some application icons, such as the networking icon in the task bar, or via a link in the new Action Center window. A list of all troubleshooting packs can be accessed through the Windows 7 control panel “find and fix prob-TOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 lems” link or through the troubleshooting icon. Aside from providing links to popular troubleshooting tasks, the applicationWINDOWS 7 PATCH window also has a link for viewing a history of troubleshooting steps that haveMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS been performed on the system—a welcome feature for systems administrators. You can extend the power of the troubleshooting packs by writing your own.A GLIMPSE AT PowerShell scripts can query almost any attribute on the system, allowing adminsTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE to write troubleshooting packs that enumerate and repair custom settings and ap- plications specific to the company’s environment. Custom troubleshooting packsUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING can be delivered to Windows 7 machines via Group Policy preferences.DEVICES Windows 7 Deployment Tools MICROSOFT OFFERS SEVERAL tools to help enterprises migrate to Windows 7. I Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. This agentless solution re- motely queries systems on the network to identify those that are or are not ready for a Windows 7 migration. This query engine focuses on enumerating hardware and device driver information. I Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit. Analyze all applications on a given system to determine if they will operate correctly on Windows 7. Run this query engine locally on each target system to gather data. I Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. This toolkit contains extensive documenta- tion and samples to help automate a Windows 7 deployment via either System Center Configuration Manager (Zero Touch) or the Windows Automated In- stallation Kit (Lite Touch). 16 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  17. 17. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Troubleshooting D Problem Steps Recorder. If the troubleshooting packs don’t solve a problem, the end user can create a short video showing issues and send that to the systems ad- ministrator. The Problem Steps Recorder logs all of the steps a user takes, mouse clicks, associated screenshots as well as user-supported comments and relevant log files, which is sent as a file to the administrator for review. The recording func- tion should cut down the frustration that sometimes builds between an end userTOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 and administrator when trying to recount exactly how a machine “melted down.”WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT D Resource Monitoring. Troubleshooting performance issues is the bane of aFREES UP TUESDAYS systems administrator’s workday. Before Windows 7, it was all but impossible to identify which application was spinning the hard drive into oblivion. WindowsA GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7 7’s improved resource monitor gives administrators more hooks to view exactlyINTERFACEE what’s happening on the system, including who is responsible for the hard drive churn.USING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTING The Performance Information and Tools icon in the Windows 7 control panelDEVICES gives users access to the resource monitor functions. To launch the Resource Monitor directly, go to the Start menu and type resmon.exe in the Search window. The Resource Monitor application provides simple tabs to monitor CPU, Mem- ory, Disk, and Network activity, including details of each task or event. For exam- ple, viewing details about a process, including associated handles and modules is available in two mouse clicks. Previously, this was only available via third-party software. Similarly, viewing open TCP ports and the applications responsible for those ports and their firewall state is in the default view of the network tab of the Resource Monitor. D Reliability Monitor. Windows 7 has an enhanced Reliability Monitor that can be accessed through the following path: Action Center -> maintenance -> view reliability history. It provides a wealth of information about the system’s overall health his- tory (Figure 2, page 19). The Reliability Monitor displays a calendar view of the system, including icons for days when various events occurred, failures, application installations, security 17 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  18. 18. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O N ........ Troubleshooting patch installations and the success or failure of each event. Technical details for each prior event are easily accessed from the application window. The Reliability Monitor is a great starting point for systems administrators who are troubleshooting a user’s help desk. By tracking system events to individ- ual days, administrators can easily view recurring issues and correlate system in- stability with corresponding system events. ITOP FEATURESIN WINDOWS 7 figure 2WINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENTFREES UP TUESDAYS Windows 7 Reliability Monitor assesses system stability.A GLIMPSE ATTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEEUSING WINDOWS 7TROUBLESHOOTINGDEVICES 18 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  19. 19. WINDOWS 7 M I G R AT I O NTOP FEATURES ABOUT THE AUTHOR:IN WINDOWS 7 Cathy Gagne Eric Schultze is an inde- Editorial Director cgagne@techtarget.comWINDOWS 7 PATCHMANAGEMENT pendent security consultantFREES UP TUESDAYS who most recently designed Margie SemilofA GLIMPSE AT Microsoft patch manage- Executive Editor msemilof@techtarget.comTHE WINDOWS 7INTERFACEE ment solutions at ShavlikUSING WINDOWS 7 Technologies LLC. Prior to Michelle BoisvertTROUBLESHOOTINGDEVICES Shavlik, Schultze worked at Managing Editor mboisvert@techtarget.com Microsoft, where he man- aged the security bulletin Martha Moore and patch-release process. Copy Editor mmoore@techtarget.com Linda Koury Art Director of Digital Content lkoury@techtarget.com Marc Laplante Publisher mlaplante@techtarget.com ©2010 TECHTARGET. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 19 W I N D OW S 7 M I G R AT I O N
  20. 20. RESOURCES FROM OUR SPONSOR• Leveraging Windows 7, Dell Desktops for Virtualization, Cloud Infrastructures and Beyond• The Real Deal about Windows Server 2008 R2: Optimizing the Best New Features for SMBs• Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2About Dell and Microsoft:Dell™ and Microsoft® work together to attain one primary goal - simplify IT.The ongoing partnership has led to a showcase of jointly developed products that are: * Easy to manage * Integrate seamlessly into existing environments * Deliver immediate business valueAccess to key Microsoft architecture enables Dell to develop and deliver solutions that arebusiness-ready. Dell can be your single point of contact for everything you need - from softwareand hardware to infrastructure consulting and lifecycle systems support.

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