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Enterprise Tech General Microsoft

Difference between Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise and other SKUs

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate are the most versatile and powerful editions and are designed to address the needs of both enterprise customers and consumers who want every feature of Windows 7.

While the features in these editions are the same, Windows 7 Enterprise includes volume activation capabilities and is only available to customers with a Microsoft Software Assurance Agreement.

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate help make you productive anywhere, enhance security and control, and streamline PC management. They also offer remarkable ease of use with the entertainment features of Home Premium and the business features of Professional, plus the flexibility to work in many different languages. Quite simply, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate include everything Windows 7 has to offer.

In addition to the below mentioned features, these editions include the following:

  • Microsoft BitLocker™ and BitLocker To Go™ drive encryption and data protection on internal and external drives and storage devices
  • DirectAccess, which helps give you a more secure connection to your corporate network over the Internet
  • Microsoft BranchCache™, which helps provide faster access to content from remote file and Web servers at branch locations
  • Microsoft AppLocker™, which helps prevent unauthorized software from running on workers’ PCs
  • Enterprise Search Scopes, which make it easy to discover and search content on intranet portals
  • Multilingual user interface packs, which let you work in any of 35 languages

Summing up, the other SKUs –

Windows 7 Starter Edition is the entry-level edition for small notebook PCs and other PCs with limited hardware. It makes using your PC simpler. Key features that you will find in the Starter edition include the following::

Windows 7 Home Basic makes the things you do every day faster and easier. This edition is designed for value PCs in emerging markets. Home Basic includes the following:

  • Live thumbnail previews
  • Advanced networking support (ad hoc wireless networks and Internet connection sharing)
  • Ability to extend your screen across multiple monitors

Windows 7 Home Premium is the best entertainment experience on your PC. This edition provides full functionality on the latest hardware, easy ways to connect, and a visually rich environment. you’ll also get the following:

  • Advanced window navigation and personalization with several new Microsoft Aero® desktop improvements
  • The ability to create a homegroup, so you can easily share files between your networked PCs and devices
  • The ability to watch Internet TV and record TV on your PC with Windows Media Center
  • Remote Media Streaming and improved support for different media formats

Windows 7 Professional is everything you need for work and home.This business-focused edition is great for small- and medium-sized companies, and people who have networking, backup, and security needs and multiple PCs or servers. You’ll also get the following:

  • Domain Join, which gives you the ability to join a managed Windows Server network
  • Advanced Backup and Restore to help you back up your entire system to a home or business network,
  • Encrypted File System to help protect your data
  • Windows XP Mode for running older productivity applications that require Windows XP
  • Location Aware Printing, which helps you set different default printers for your home and work networks

Courtesy: Windows 7 Product Overview Notes

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Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

How to Enable Data Collection (RACTask) for Reliability Monitor Tool

Reliability Monitor is an advanced tool that measures hardware and software problems and other changes to your computer. Reliability Analysis Component (RAC) aggregates, analyzes and correlates problems at the operating system and application levels. The location of Reliability Monitor data files is stored in the registry. If the monitor does not show data to you, then you will need to Enable the Data Collection Task.

To learn more on How you can measure Hardware and Software problems using Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 – Read this article

Reliability Monitor uses data provided by the RACTask scheduled task. Reliability Monitor will start displaying a Stability Index rating and specific event information 24 hours after system installation.

The RACTask scheduled task runs by default after the operating system is installed. If it is disabled, it must be enabled manually from the Task Scheduler snap-in for Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

Step 1: Start the Task Scheduler. you can run taskschd.msc in the searchbox, and then press ENTER (or) Right click on the My Computer, and then select the Manage option. Choose Task Scheduler.

Computer Management

Step 2: In the navigation pane, expand Task Scheduler Library, expand Microsoft, expand Windows, and click RAC.
Choose RAC in Task Scheduler
Step 3: Right-click RAC, click View, and click Show Hidden Tasks.
Show Hidden Tasks for RAC - Task Scheduler
Step 4: Click RACtask in the results pane. On the Action menu, click Enable.
How to Enable Data Collection for Reliability Monitor Tool

To learn more on How you can measure Hardware and Software problems using Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 – Read this article

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Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

Analyze Hardware and Software problems in Windows 7

Reliability Monitor is an advanced tool that measures hardware and software problems and other changes to your computer. This helps IT professionals better manage the stability of machines in their organization. Reliability Analysis Component (RAC) aggregates, analyzes, and correlates problems at the operating system and application levels. It calculates a stability index that indicates overall system stability over time. RAC also keeps track of any important changes to the system that are likely to affect stability, such as Windows updates, application installations, and driver installations.

The Reliability Monitor is intended for advanced computer users, such as software developers and network administrators.

You can Invoke Reliability Monitor perfmon /rel and pressing ENTER in the command prompt.

Invoking Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 using Command Prompt

You can also search for Reliability monitor in the Control Panel.

When you click on the ‘View Reliability history’, you will get this below dialog. This is actually refreshing and generating the report.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - Report Being Generated

This will open the Reliability Monitor. Users can view RAC data via the Reliability Monitor, which displays data collected from RAC in a stability chart and correlates the computer’s stability index with important events that are likely to affect stability, such as driver failures and software installation.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7

When you double click on any of the events, it would give you the detailed information on how that event occured. For eg: I  see a WindowsExplorer event, which gives the Summary information that the ‘User canceled a hung navigation’. When I double-click it, you can see this below detailed information.

WindowsExplorer Hung Error Information

Another example for an Successful Message – Let us look the details of the VirtualBox USB Driver Installation message.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - View Technical Details and Summary

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - View Technical Details of Virtual Box ErrorIf some applications events triggers an error, you can check for a solution online and also send the report to Microsoft. If the solution is not found online, they will appear in the Action Center when the information in available later.

In Windows 7, Reliability Monitor uses data provided by the RACTask (Reliability Analysis Component scheduled task). Once enabled, This tool will start displaying a Stability Index rating and specific event information 24 hours after system installation. Find the detailed instruction on how to enable this task.

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Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft

Open Command Window (cmd) / Program as an Administrator in Windows 7

Consider you have a situation where, you need to work with applications which needs administrator privileges. Just invoking the application shortcut / command window will not help in Windows 7, as you will be running in as a Standard User. (Read User Account Control to understand more in detail). You will need to launch the program in an elevated context to run it as an administrator. A simple right-click on the program/shortcut and choose ‘Run As Administrator’.

However, you cannot follow this method all-time. Especially, when you need to this more frequent. Here is a simple technique (using Application Shortcuts) which will help you in elevating programs.

If you want to implement this alongside the executable itself, you will need to create a RunasAdmin or RunAsInvoker Shim for this purpose. – Read this Article for more information.

Step 1: Create a Shortcut for the application. You can either use Pinning feature, where you can pin an application to the start-menu or the task-bar. You can also create it on the desktop.  In this example, Let’s choose a Command Window (cmd). (You can use this technique for any application)

Step 2: Right Click and goto the properties of the Command Prompt, Select the ‘Shortcut’ tab.

Step 3: Goto Advanced Tab, And select the ‘Run As Administrator’ checkbox in the Advanced Properties.

This will ensure that, this shortcut will run the program in elevated context all the time. You can always invoke the other default shortcut from the start menu, to launch the application in the standard User mode (if you really need to).