Contents tagged with Windows XP

  • Virtualizing XP applications using Windows 7

    Tags: Visual Studio, Windows XP, Windows 7, Virtual PC

    Windows 7 has an upgrade to Virtual PC which allows you to run Windows XP applications virtualized on your Windows 7, without having to run the whole desktop running.

    I still have to use Visual Studio 2003 to support some old good applications including SharePoint 2003 apps. So I have used a Windows XP virtual machine to run it, but now I can fire up Visual Studio 2003 directly from my Start menu in Windows 7. As most of you know, you can't install VS2003 on a Vista or Windows 7 machine, and I don't even want it there either.

    It's also great for having Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 on the same machine!

    Here are some pictures of the Windows XP Mode features.

    Visual Studio 2003 running on Windows 7 using Windows XP mode

    Visual Studio 2003 running on Windows 7 using Windows XP mode

    Published XP Mode apps

    The published Windows XP applications in the Windows 7 start menu.


    The Windows XP notification icons appear in the Windows 7 notification area. Note  the Windows Update and Windows Security Alert icons. I thought this was really cool.

  • Open linked Office documents in the application instead of in Internet Explorer

    Tags: SharePoint, Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Vista

    I have several time stumbled upon clients who complain that their hyper linked Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) opens up in the web browser, Internet Explorer, instead of in their respectively Office application.

    In SharePoint document libraries these problems are solved using a special JavaScript that fires up the correct application, but today I had a client complaining about this problem when having Office documents linked in a Wiki. So I dug up some information from the Microsoft Knowledge Base on this matter and though I should share it (or at least have it written down for future reference).

    Three KB articles focuses on this one (wonder why I have missed them before?).

    There are mainly two methods to make the documents open up in their Office applications; one is to do some registry hacking and the other one is to edit a property in the Registered file types. I think the easiest way is using a registry script.

    This script (from KB927009) fixes the issue, just create an empty document with notepad and save the file using a .reg file extension and then double-click the file and accept to import the changes to the registry.

    If you don't have Office 2007, then you can remove all references to ????.12, for example Word.Document.12.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    Standard registry hack disclaimer: only do this if you are sure what you are doing....

  • What is the Digital Locker?

    Tags: Microsoft, Security, Windows XP, Windows Vista

    image When using BitLocker or encrypting your file system with EFS on Windows Vista, you will be using certificates and/or passwords. If these certificates or passwords are lost the chance that you loose the information and data on the disks that are protected is very likely. The certificates can of course be backed up on removable media or similar. But storing these kind of crucial information bits on a remote location is of course the best way and you should do that. You can store it in any kind of web-storage such as SkyDrive, but the best way is to use a service called the Digital Locker by Microsoft.

    The Digital Locker is a remote and safe way to store software product keys and certificates and it is integrated into the Windows Marketplace so your purchase history is automatically appended to your Digital Locker.

    The Locker

    The Digital Locker is accessible from the Internet at and you sign in using your Windows Live ID. From there you can access your software. You may enter notes on each product, view license information and download the product.

    You also have the possibility to archive your software for later use.

    Digital Locker interface

    Windows Vista integration

    Vista Control PanelWindows Vista comes with a Digital Locker integration for storing your BitLocker recovery password and/or your EFS recovery certificate. You can easily backup this information by using the Control Panel and then select what you would like to backup. You may keep all of your certificates, from all your Vista machines, at the same location.


    Windows Vista also contains direct access to the Digital Locker via the Digital Locker Assistant, found in the Control Panel.

    Digital Locker Assistant

    According to the documentation it should be possible to back the Digital Locker up to a CD/DVD, but I have not found where to do that yet.

    Windows Marketplace

    The Digital Locker is a part of the Windows Marketplace so whenever you add something to your cart in Windows Marketplace it is added to your Digital Locker. For example if you buy a product you can easily later on reinstall it by downloading it once again and using the product key stored in the Digital Locker.

    Adding your own software

    With the Digital Locker you can backup your own software securely. You can with a few steps add all your software, purchased from anywhere, to the Digital Locker together with an optional product key and download location. I previously stored all this information in a document stored on my hard disk, but now I try to keep all this information in the Digital Locker.

    Windows XP

    If you use Windows XP, you can download and install the Digital Locker assistant to get direct access from you desktop to the Digital Locker.

  • Vista Ultimate Language Packs finally released

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista

    Finally the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras team released the remaining 19 language packs for Windows Vista Ultimate. The language packs allows Vista Ultimate users to easily switch between different languages in the Vista user interface.

    The language packs are maybe not the most exciting feature for Windows Vista  and I believe that this should not just be an exclusive add-on for high-end users (the ones who buy the, as of today, very expensive Ultimate version) of Vista. This feature should be a part of all Vista editions, maybe with an additional minor charge for each language pack.

    But on the other side, who will use this feature - not me anyway!

    Now that the Extras team have released all of the announced Extras the Windows Vista Ultimate Director Barry Goffe says:

    "Given our track record, it would be unwise to provide details of what comes next until I am 100% confident in our ability to deliver. Please rest assured, though, that our team is working on hard to deliver on our promise to Ultimate customers. I look forward to announcing the next Ultimate Extra. Please stay tuned… "

    I really hope, and that soon, that they will have something really Extra up their sleeve so the extra cost for Windows Vista Ultimate finally will be worth something. Today the only thing that is extra with Vista Ultimate is the cost...

  • Re-release of Internet Explorer 7

    Tags: Windows XP, Internet Explorer

    image Yes, you heard it right, Sandi Hardmeier (IE MVP) brings us the story that today Microsoft will re-release Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP.

    The interesting stuff is that the re-release will not have any Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) check during installation. My humble guess is that Microsoft is trying to get all non-legal copies of Windows XP to update to the more secure version of Internet Explorer.

    I have not seen any official words yet on this and it's not available on Windows Update, but I'll update this post as soon as I get more news.

    Update 2007-10-05: The Internet Explorer team has now made it official.

  • Total Commander 7.0 released

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Software

    image My favorite Windows Explorer replacement has finally been released in it's 7th version.

    Total Commander, which much remainds of the classic old Norton Commander, is a fast and intuitive file and folder manager by Christian Ghisler. It performs much faster than Explorer and has nice built-in features such as packing (ZIP, RAR...),  FTP support, multi-renaming, quick-access to common directories... you name it!

    Version 7 contains a number of new features and fixes, read more about them in my previous post on the subject or on the Total Commander home page.

  • Annoying Windows Vista bugs - re-booting is necessary

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista

    I have been running Windows Vista for a few months now and I discover new bugs (and features) every other day. Vista does not seem so stable as it should be. It's no big blue screens or major application crashes but small annoying stuff like not persisting settings and stuff like that.

    I earlier wrote about changing the start menu power button, this changed setting reverts to it's original state about every third boot and then goes back to my changed state on the next boot! I have also written about that icons disappear from the notification area once in a while.

    Another issue that has been hazzling me is that on my development/work machine I have several applications running (Microsoft Offce, Virtual PC, Internet Explorer, Visual Studio) at the same time and at the end of the day I can't get the applications to work properly. Context menus does not appear when they should, buttons is missing in dialogs, windows is not appearing etc.

    Here is an example when I tried to close a Notepad document. First an empty dialog came up with no options...

    So I closed down a Skype window...

    Not much better, but now I could see what the dialog was about, so I closed Excel...

    That was better!

    I never had this problem with Windows XP and it looks like Windows Vista does not handle resources correctly or leaks them. Have you experienced something similar or do you now if there is a solution available?

    Windows Vista is designed to go into standby mode instead of rebooting, just look at the new start menu, more often than previous Windows versions. But the experience so far is that one reboot every day is necessary to get it to work properly. My XP workstation was sometimes not rebooted for a few days because I did not need to. I really hope that the Vista team is listening (yes, I have opened a few support cases but since it's random the most common answers is - sorry can't help you) and that they are working as much as they did in the end of last year before the release to create a great Service Pack 1.

  • Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 RTW

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, XPS

    Microsoft has released version 1.0 of the XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack. The pack is available for Windows Vista or Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server (both 32 bit and 64 bit versions is available).

    XPS Reader EPXPS Essentials Pack contains

    • An XPS viewer called XPS Viewer EP - for reading XPS files
    • An XPS Document writer - for printing to an XPS file
    • Filters for previewing (IPreview) and searching (IFilter) XPS files
    • Windows Shell handlers, for Windows Explorer integration and thumbnails

    Note: On Windows Vista Internet Explorer will still be the default viewer for XPS files. Just right click any XPS file and choose Open With and then Choose Default Program. In the dialog choose the XPS viewer you want to use as default.

    Choose default program for XPS files

  • Compacting a Virtual Hard Disk

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Virtual Server

    Virtual PC and Virtual Server uses Virtual Hard Disk which may be dynamically sized, that is they don't occupy the whole size of the disk on the host system. But they may take up much more than the guest operating system reports.

    I will show you how to reduce the size of you dynamically expanding virtual disk, using the tools provided with Virtual PC 2007 beta 2 (it's the same on VPC 2004).

    I just created a VHD containing Windows XP SP2 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 SP1 and some other dev. tools so I can switch my main laptop to Windows Vista. As you know VS.NET 2003 does not run on Vista but I still have to do some .NET 1.1 development so a VPC will be just perfect. I also wanted this image to fit on a DVD and this is how I did it. I went from a VHD file size from 6.7 GB to 4.0 GB.

    1. Prepare the guest OS

    First of all I did a Disk Cleanup and removed all unnecessary files.

    And to save me some more space I cleaned up the System Restore an removed all the backups of Windows Update (only do this if you are sure on how to do it!).

    2. Defragment the guest OS

    To get an effective compact of your VHD you must defragment the guest hard disk.

    4. Run the Virtual Disk Pre-Compactor

    Virtual PC contains a utility to prepare the disk before compacting it, called the Virtual Disk Pre-Compactor. This is run by mounting the Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso on the guest OS, found in the Virtual Macine Additions directory where Virtual PC is installed. Follow the instructions and wait while th VHD is being prepared...

    5. Compact the Virtual Disc

    Shut down your guest OS and launch the Virtual Disk Wizard from the Virtual PC Console. Follow the instructions;

    a) choose to edit a diskb) choose your VHDc) hoose to compact itd) optionally choose to create a new one (I normally choose this in case of any trouble - I'm using VPC 2007 beta here)

    Then wait while the disc is compacted...

    6. You're done

    Now you are all set and done and you should have saved a lot of space.

    7. Next?

    You can sometime save some more space doing it all over again once again, at least I did.

  • Announcing: msfeedicon version 2.0

    Tags: XML, Windows XP, Internet Explorer, Windows Vista, msfeedicon

    msfeedicon is now released at version 2.0 and is a major update to the previous versions.

    msfeedicon is a plugin to the Windows RSS platform and Internet Explorer 7 Feeds and appears as an icon in the Windows XP/Vista system tray and displays when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. Whenever there is new posts in a feed msfeedicon will show an alert window with direct access to unread posts. No more need to have the Feeds Favorites Center visible in Internet Explorer nor Internet Explorer open to see when your feeds are updated.


    • Runs at startup (customizable*)
    • Icon in the system tray displaying if there are unread posts or not
    • Alert windows (customizable*) for new posts with direct access to the feed
    • Notification of new versions of msfeedicon
    • Free
    • Feed statistics
    • Mark posts unread automatically* (customizable)
      • Internet Explorer 7 only marks feeds as read when you close the tab with the feed or you navigate away from the feed
    • Enable or disable the automatic feed sync
    • Icon in system tray indicates if the feed sync is downloading or is enabled/disabled 
    • Install and uninstall program
    • Force an update of all feeds
    • Customizable*
    • ...

    * is new in version 2


    Requirements are checked during installation.

    • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
    • Microsoft.NET 2.0 Framework
    • Internet Explorer 7


    The download is available at:


    Icon in system tray

    Icon in system tray

    Alert window when a feed is updated

    Alert window when a feed is updated

    Menu of msfeedicon

    Menu of msfeedicon

    Settings dialog

    Settings dialog

    If you have any problems or comments please inform me by commenting on this post or sending me an email.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

And a word from our sponsors...