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* MICROSOFT RELEASES WPA FOR XP TO STRENGTHEN WIRELESS SECURITY
This week, Microsoft announced the release of an update for Windows XP that introduces the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) for stronger security over wireless LAN (WLAN) connections. The Wi-Fi Alliance released the WPA specification, which offers encryption and authentication improvements that are stronger than Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), which WPA is meant to replace. WPA is a step toward the 802.11i protocol, which the IEEE is developing.
A spokesperson for Microsoft said, "To improve data encryption, \[WPA\] resolves existing cryptographic weaknesses and introduces a method to generate and distribute encryption keys automatically. Each bit of data is now encrypted with a unique encryption key, greatly improving security. The solution also introduces an integrity check on the data so an attacker cannot modify packets of information being communicated. And to improve enterprise-level user authentication, \[WPA\] authenticates every user on the network while keeping those users from joining rogue networks."
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* TIP: RECORDING THE REASON FOR A SYSTEM SHUTDOWN IN XP (contributed by David Chernicoff, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Windows XP includes the unique ability to let you record why a user shuts down the system. This information can be useful for solving application problems, determining user behavior, and compiling other types of data about your organization's XP client usage. The Options drop-down box lets you record the reason for planned and unplanned shutdowns; the event log stores the information you record. The Options box gives you the following choices:
Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
Hardware: Installation (Planned)
Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
Application: Maintenance (Planned)
Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
Operating System: Upgrade (Unplanned)
Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
After you make the following change to the registry, the Shutdown dialog will include the Options box, from which you can select the reason for the shutdown.
1. Launch regedit.
2. Open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Reliability subkey.
3. Change the value of ShutdownReasonUI to 1. If the entry doesn't exist, create it as type REG_DWORD.
4. Exit the registry editor.
* FEATURED THREAD: CD-ROM DRIVE ISN'T ACCESSIBLE
Forum member Daren's Windows NT 4.0 installation recently became corrupt, with continual blue screen memory dumps. Daren had partitioned his disk with C and D drives and stored data on the D drive. He reformatted the disk and reinstalled NT to the C drive. NT is now working correctly, but the system doesn't recognize the CD-ROM drive, drive E. When Daren tries to access the CD-ROM drive, he receives the following error: "E:\ is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect." Daren can see the E drive in Disk Administrator, but it remains inaccessible. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=38&tid=56731
* NETWORK-BASED SYSTEMS RECOVERY
Winternals released Recovery Manager, software that automates network-based recovery for your workstations and servers. After you install the software on one system, multiple administrators can concurrently perform analysis, repair, and recovery on other systems within the network with the data that the primary installation creates. The software takes point-in-time snapshots, called Recovery Points, of a machine's system and configuration files and stores the Recovery Points in a central data repository. You can roll back a damaged or unbootable system to a Recovery Point taken when the system was functioning. You can perform multiple rollbacks when viruses or other factors cause networkwide damage. Although Recovery Points are similar to Windows XP Restore Points, Recovery Points provide additional capabilities, including the ability to restore unbootable systems, centralized storage of common system files, and cross-platform support. Customized repair functionality includes password resetting, registry settings editing, and event-log viewing. Recovery Manager supports Windows Server 2003/XP/2000/NT. Contact Winternals at 800-408-8415 or 512-330-9130. http://www.winternals.com
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