Windows 8 Consumer Preview – Getting around

Posted from my Windows 8 VM ūüôā


Slow (Bridged) network performance on a virtual machine

Scenario: A Windows 7 machine running VMWare Server as a host for a Windows 2008 R2 guest OS.

Problem: Slow performance transferring files to/from the guest OS.

Solution: Performance issues with bridged networking on Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2008 host operating systems. (It worked with Windows 7 too).

Windows 7 RC1 and wireless networking

Enjoying being a Windows user again.
I have had Windows 7 RC1 installed on a partion of my desktop machine at home for a¬†few weeks and have been reaping the benefits of the new OS.¬†Having recently purchased a new laptop for more general use around the house¬†I decided to take the plunge and see how it performed on this newer piece of hardware. The laptop was a standard Dell Inspiron 1525 purchased from retail outlet that came pre-installed with Vista Home Premium edition and all the usual Dell extra’s. The Windows 7 installation went very smoothly and all the pieces of hardware were recognised and the drivers installed.
My only problem occurred when I tried to connect the laptop to my wireless network running WPA-PSK encryption. Windows 7 would recognise the existence of the wireless network but it would not allow accept the personal security key that I was using. Obviously, I was not the only person experiencing this issue with the wireless network within Windows 7. The solution was relatively painless. I just need to update the driver for the wireless hardware to the current one offered by Dell for Vista.
Having downloaded and installed the Vista 32-bit wireless card driver for my 32-bit Windows 7 OS and then done a quick reboot I was able to connect the laptop to my wireless network.

Deleting Offline Folders with Vista

How do I delete offline folders from a Vista machine when there is no connection to the server? 
There was an issue with Vista that it would not allow you to delete or rename folders that were cached by Offline Folders when you were working offline. The fix to this issue is available here I found that since I was already using Vista SP1 the actual hotfix was not required I just needed to insert the relevant registry entries and reboot my machine.

Where has my YouTube gone?

Flash Plugin not being recognised for some websites
When the time comes to update your Flash plugin and yours suddenly stops working you might want to take a quick look at . I had updated my plugin to 9,0,124,0 and got confirmation that everything installed OK, however after doing a bit of surfing it quickly became apparent that this was not the case. I followed the guidance provided by Jason and the plugin is functioning normally again.

Vista still causing a few problems

The TMM Scheduled Task and Screen Refreshing on Vista
I have had a problem with my Vista Ultimate laptop when I have been using an external monitor which has been a pain for a while. Basically, when I unlocked my machine whilst it was connected to an external monitor, Vista would set the refresh rate of my external monitor to a value higher than the monitor was able to display. Consequently I would end up with a blank screen on my external monitor.
The simple fix has been to open the Display Settings (desk.cpl), choose my external monitor and then change the refresh rate back to a more sensible value. I can’t remember when this problem started with my desktop monitor but it was one of those things that, although anoying, I just put up with. Today I decided enough was enough and began the quest for a more definitive solution.
To cut a long story shorter, this seems to be working for me so far… Thanks Rev. Smile

Time to RTFM!

Displaying the list of recently used programs within Vista
Having rebuilt my desktop using Windows Vista SP1 (32-bit) I was getting a bit confused as to why my list of recently used programs where showing up empty? ¬†I had made sure that the relevant option had been selected within the Start menu properties…
 Start Menu
But still nothing was appearing on my Start Menu and I wondered if I had found a bug in my SP1? It turns out that I should read the next page of the Vista manual. Click the Customize… button and Hey Presto!
 Start Menu - Customize
Under the Start menu size option my Number of recent programs to display was set to zero. No idea why it was set to that value and I dont remember setting it to zero, but once I had increased the value my recently used list of programs started showing up.

Unknown Device in Device Manager

‘Unknown Device’ listed in the Device Manager
If you are having trouble getting Windows to recognise a piece of your hardware in the Device Manager and scanning for updates did not solve the problem then have a go at this solution;
  1. Open the Windows Device Manager
  2. Open the properties for the device in question.  Click the Details tab. Make sure that "Device Instance Id" is selected in the drop-down menu on this tab.
  3. You will then see a string like¬†¬†this : PCIVEN_8086&DEV_2658&SUBSYS….
  4. In the example  above 8086 (after VEN_) is the Vendor ID and 2568 (after &DEV_) is the Device ID.
  5. Go to and type the appropriate values into the Vendor Search and/or Device Search using the Vendor ID and Device ID you have just found.
  6. Refer to the Vendors web site for the appropriate drivers for the device.


Remote Differential Compression – Vista highs and lows

Its like finding one of Windows Vista’s Holy Grails!
In my first post I talked about the length of time it takes to solve some technological problems and this is another of those great gotcha’s! I¬†have been using Vista (32¬†& 64 bit flavours) since they were issued as Beta versions and have been very pleased with it. I agree, its very hardware intensive but¬†as an overall package I like it and I¬†continue to work with it on my 2Gb RAM laptop Smile¬†every day. However, there has been one particular issue¬†that has been¬†driving me round the proverbial bend¬†on both my 32-bit laptop and my 64-bit desktop.
Moving and copying files from one machine to another has¬†been difficult, impossible and sometimes worse. There can be nothing more frustrating than wanting to do a simple drag-n-drop file copy from one machine to another in my home network and Vista just sits there. It claims to be working out how long this task is going to be taking, but don’t you belive it, this task will never happen! It used to work, once, a long time ago and I am not exactly sure what stopped it working altogether but I did the usual thing and trawled the net for a solution.
The Register ( has a great article about this with some useful links and from here I have finally found a solution that seems to work. Turn off Remote Differential Compression. Not sure why this has been causing so many problems but this has worked for me. I now see progress bars zipping accross the screen as files are transfered at the expected rate.
If you are not sure how to turn off Remote Differential Compression in Vista go to the Programs And Features section under the Control Panel and select Turn Windows features on or off. In the box that comes up deselect the Remote Differential Compression feature.
If you want to know more about Remote Differential Compression take a look here.
Update – March 2008 : Windows Vista SP1
I have just applied the new release of Service Pack 1 for Vista on both my Desktop and Laptop and tried transfering a 450 MB file from my desktop to my laptop using the wireless router….SmileSmileSmile…. the problem seems to be fixed…at least in this scenario. There was no long delay whilst Windows ‘Calculated the time remaining…’ or any problem transfering the file. I will keep doing some tests over the next few days, but hopefully this will mean the end to one of Vista’ biggest annoyances!