Dual booting causes clocks to go mental!


Although only half a year for a user such as myself.

As I’m happily dual-booting between Ubuntu and Windows at the moment, it becomes clear that in British Summer Time (BST), Windows and Linux disagree on how the computer clock should be interpreted.

What’s really a nuisance is that I keep staying up an hour later than I intended!

Basically, the problem boils down to how Windows and Unix-based systems interpret the computer’s internal clock. There’s more about this here, including some pros and cons of either system.

Windows takes the local computer clock time, and treats it as a ‘local’ time. That is, the clock matches the time that it should be in the region. Mac and Linux systems treat the computer’s clock as GMT, and then makes any adjustemnts inside the Operating System.

The bottom line is, unless you’re living in a GMT timezone – you’re going to get the time constantly changing as you switch between operting systems on the same computer.

The simplest way to get around this is to ask Windows to use UTC time instead of local time:

Copy and paste the following into a new file called time.reg

<code>Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Save the file, and double-click on it. Accept the various warnings that appear.

Once Windows has been rebooted, make sure that the clock is set to the correct time. The time should now settle down as you dual-boot between systems.

Now I’ll be able to go to bed at the right time!

%Logonserver% session variable doesn’t work on network Vista logon

Some grief today as I found that Vista wasn’t behaving with user profiles. Whenever a user attempted to logon, he or she would be greeted with the following popup:

Your user profile was not loaded correctly!

You have been logged on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

How annoying is that message when you are the administrator?

Anyway, the event log was equally unhelpful:

Windows cannot locate the server copy of the roaming profile and is attempting to log you on with you local profile. Changes to the profile will not be copied to the server when you log off. This error may be caused by network problems or insufficient security rights.

DETAIL – Access is denied.

What was weird was that some users were creating the username.v2 profiles.

After a bit of trial and error, I realised that the users that had a dynamic roaming profile path (such as %logonserver%\users\%username%) would not locate or create a profile in Windows Vista.

As soon as I replace %logonserver% with the name of a domain controller (\\server1\users\%username%), everything behaved itself.

This is pretty annoying, as I’d have to set up DFS to get around this. In the meantime, I’ve just changed the paths.

There is no evidence to suggest that this is by design, especially considering that using the SET command in Vista shows that the logonserver variable is indeed set.


Resources are not available error when accessing control panel

If you happen to have an Intel PRO1000 network card, you may come across the following error when you open up control panel in Windows:

Intel PROset

resources are not available

The problem for me stemmed from repairing an installation of Windows.

With the Intel Pro-network cards, the software that comes bundled with them includes advanced network components that can be configured through Windows’ Control Panel. When this fails to load, you are likely to receive the above error.

Here’s what I did:

  • Download and install the network software using Proset.exe
  • Go into control panel, if the error is still present, go to Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the Intel Network software
  • Reboot the computer
  • Log back in, and reinstall the software. Include the advanced settings AND the WMI options.
  • If the network card isn’t working at this point, start the device manager and scan for hardware changes.

If all has gone well, you should now have a working card.

As a point of interest, Windows failed to automatically install the drivers for me, so I had to point to the setup installation directory.

IE7 Group Policy Settings

After when deploying Internet Explorer 7 around your site through a service such as WSUS, there are immediate considertaions that have to be dealt with. The main one being configuring settings for IE7.

It is possible to download the Internet Explorer Administration Toolkit (IEAK), but when dealing with IE7 that has been installed on computers automatically – that’s not what you want to hear.

After installing IE7 on one of our servers, I went to the group policy to see if there were any new settings. As such, the important ones didn’t seem to exist:

  • Configure the phishing filter
  • Disable the ‘First run’ Page

Obviously, there are a number of settings that administrators would want to take control of.

Thankfully, there are two ways of getting these settings in group policy. The first is to simply install Windows Vista as a workstation and use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC.MSC) which is bundled with Vista. This has all of the IE settings.

If you don’t have a Vista system, you can download an up-to-date MSI of the Administrative Templates for Internet Explorer 7 for Windows. This will install the inetres.adm file in the specified folder.

To apply it to the machine you are working on (pre-Vista, of course), copy the ADM file to %systemroot%\inf. Run gpedit.msc and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer.

Some of the useful settings are:

  • Prevent Performance of First Run Customized settings to disable the first run page
  • Turn of Managing Phishing filter to enable the phishing filter and configure its actions
  • Turn on the menu bar by default to stop people asking you where the menu bar is
  • Prevent Participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, another default from the first run page
  • Moving the menu bar above the navigation bar to put the menu bar in its proper place, above the address bar

Using the group policy configuration is a much more practical way of configuring IE7 than the registry hacks that I’ve seen floating around where people are struggling to find the group policy settings for IE7.

There are there! Honest!

Getting those ADSL modem and router settings and checking your line stats

When fixing people’s internet, it’s common to try and get onto the router or modem through a web interface.

Manuals are usually difficult to find, so there is an excellent page at kitz.co.uk which outlines a fine array of adsl hardware and their passwords – as well as how to get to the page to check the line status.

Very, very useful.