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Windows 8.1: A service pack or a new OS?

Is Windows 8.1 an update for Windows 8 or an upgrade? In other words, is it a service pack or is it a new version of Windows?

Windows 8.0 in comparison to Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.0 in comparison to Windows 8.1.

Let’s find out.

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Wiping out remnants of deleted files… with Windows itself

Update: Bad link fixed

In computers, deleting a file is analogous to tossing a piece of paper into a trash can. Anyone could simply retrieve that piece of paper from the trash can; so could anyone undelete the file.

Cipher.exe, having performed data erasure on volume E (a USB flash drive)

Cipher.exe, having performed data erasure on volume E (a USB flash drive)

Proper data erasure, however, is possible; it is analogous to tossing a piece of paper into a shredder or burning it. Read the rest of this entry

Inside Windows 8.1: File and printer sharing protocol

While browsing Windows Features applet in Windows 8.1 Preview’s Control Panel, a new “feature” caught my attention: SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support. For those who know what it is, it bears a very clear message. Those who do not, however, might want to read on and find out.

A dialog box whose title reads "Windows Features". List a lot of items, including "SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support"

Windows 8.1 Preview – Features applet contains SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support

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VMware Workstation v9.0: Importing Windows XP Mode properly

This post covers VMware Workstation v9.0 but I believe it applies to v8.0 or probably earlier.
Screenshot: vCenter Converter Standalone v5 - ConversionVMware Workstation can import a Windows XP Mode virtual machine, enabling the owners of this product to have a VMware-compatible Windows XP within minutes. However, an imported copy of Windows XP Mode virtual machine will remain dependent on Windows XP Mode. This post will teach how to resolve this issue. Read the rest of this entry

Thumbs.db in Windows 7

Until today, I thought Windows 7 does not create thumbs.db files. But I was wrong.
Screenshot of Windows Explorer having searched for "thumbs.db" files stored in a computer

I was using a Windows 7 Professional Edition machine to browse a network share on a Windows XP Home Edition netbook. The share contained two JPEG image files which I had put there. Seconds after browsing the network share, a thumbs.db file appeared beside the two image file.

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A ten year old design flaw in Adobe Photoshop

Not long ago, when I was trying to open my Photoshop CS3, a vague error message that I had not seen in ten years stopped me:Could not initialize Photoshop because the file is locked. Use Properties command in Windows Explorer to unlock the file.Photoshop ended afterwards.

Like all badly-written error messages, it did not make any sense. I was not trying to open any file; I was trying to open Photoshop itself. I was sure that none of the Photoshop’s files were changed. (A look on the access date of the files confirmed this.) Moreover, I was sure that even if Photoshop was somehow automatically updated, the file system access permissions were not changed. (AccessEnum tool confirmed this.) So, what was the problem? Read the rest of this entry

Startup and shutdown history of Microsoft Windows

There are cases of emergencies when a Windows system administrator wishes to know if system is started up or shutdown in a particular date or time. Fortunately, you can use the Event Viewer in Windows XP  to determine the approximate time and date of startup and shutdown. Read the rest of this entry

Solution to Windows XP Autoplay Problem: Corrupt entries and missing providers

I did not know when exactly it began but annoying corrupt entries had appeared in my Windows XP autoplay dialog boxes, like the one in this picture. When the problem proved persistent and my standard maintenance tools failed to fix it, I decided to go for a manual fix.


Since there was no strong evidence about the source of the problem, all I had was assumptions and all I could do was investigating their validity. Read the rest of this entry

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