Windows NT was first inaugurated in 1993. Six versions later (3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0, 2000 and XP) we are now waiting for the release of Windows .Net the server equivalent of Windows XP workstation product. Windows .Net has the .Net framework built into the product hence its name but its important to realize Windows .Net is just the next version of Windows 2000 Server (which has NT 5.0). When inspecting the version number of Windows XP we see it as 5.1 which demonstrates it is actually quite a minor upgrade that does however have some nice changes.
As a result of Windows’s ease of use and large feature set (and the Microsoft name), Windows is now the corporate desktop of choice and now Windows 9x and NT have finally merged with the release of Windows XP it will also become the home desktop of choice. The server market remains Microsoft’s goal and while it has a good percentage of the market it continues its assault and when .Net is released 64-bit processor support will be added as well as full Web services implementation. With Windows here to stay, learning how to get the most out of it is critical. In the corporate setting in particular, Windows system administrators must deal with many common challenges and tasks, but until now, there has been no one resource that addresses all of these common tasks and challenges.
The goal of this book is to provide Windows users and system administrators with valuable know-how for handling these day-to-day tasks and proven solutions to the many common challenges. Just as the administrator is task-driven, so too is this book, task-focused. How do I execute RDISK in Windows 2000? How do I configure Remote Assistance? Hundredsof such Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and their answers are provided in this book!
The tasks and challenges addressed as questions cover all facets of Windows, from the simple to the complex, and should appeal to both experienced and inexperienced administrators and users. When first using Windows, everyone has the same challenges (or issues, to use Microsoft speak), such asHow do I convert FAT to NTFS?What operating systems can be upgraded to Windows XP?How do I copy group policy objects between domains?
Every answer is structured in a step-by-step format with examples and an explanation of what is being performed.
I expect that some answers in this book are known to you but it really is designed to appeal to everyone from the beginning user to an experienced system administrator. My hope is that with hundreds of answers to common questions, all readers will find something helpful and informative.
How It Began
I’ve been using Windows NT since its first version, 3.1; however when I first used it I had know idea! I realized I wasn’t in Kansas when the system hung (which I know seems impossible) so I pressed Ctrl-Alt-Del and instead of nearly rebooting a strange dialog was displayed and from this point I was hocked and have been ever since, learning all I can and participating in the Windows NT beta programs since Windows NT 4.0 and currently on Windows .Net beta.
When I first started out learning I had many questions and I found the best way to find the answers was via the NT newsgroups but while learning I saw many other users posting exactly the same questions and so to help I put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and posted this list on my Logica Web page (where I worked at the time). I quickly began to get requests and suggestions from many other NT users and over the past five years I’ve expanded the FAQs and added details about various other components such as Internet Information Server, Internet Security and Acceleration server, Exchange server—all topics in this book. The Web version of the FAQ now gets millions of hits a month and is used by many large companies as a vital resource including U.S. government agencies and many large computer and financial institutions. It is due in part to the creation and up-to-date maintenance of this Web-based FAQ that I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Award (MVP) from 1997 through to 2000.
Turning the Web-based FAQ into a book seemed to be a natural and worthwhile progression and the first edition was received very well and, as I’d hoped, the readers found printed edition very useful and found information they had never seen on the Web.
Who Should Read This Book?
If you are using Windows NT, 2000 or XP and have questions or simply wish to increase your understanding then there will be something in this book for you. This book is aimed at beginners and advanced administrators.
Ideally people would read this book from start to finish, however, many people deal with a specific area of technology and therefore will only want to read those chapters. However, understanding elements that you don’t currently use will open up the true power of Windows and potentially give you new and more efficient ways to achieve your day-to-day tasks. My hope is that this book can server as the one Windows reference guide that will help you be successful as a user and system administrator.
So you can get to the solutions quickly, I’ve structured the book so each entry is self-contained, i.e. you don’t have to read FAQ x,y,z first. The book starts off with the core chapters about what Windows is, installation and then moves onto customization, domain concepts and optionally components.
Each chapter starts off with the basic, e.g. what is the subject matter, where applicable; how do I install and then moves on to the more advanced configuration options and actions.
This book is a technical book; the answers are to the point and do not have lots of extra narrative. When you need a solution; you need a solution—you are not that interested in an amusing story about my cat (of which I have many!) When a description is useful one is given and in all cases the information given is consistent with that needed to achieve and where appropriate solve your issue.
What Version of Windows Is Covered in This Book?
This book covers mainly Windows 2000 and XP and, thanks to their common core functionality, the FAQs provided apply to both versions, in most cases. However, to be able to bring you information about the new features of XP, for example, some FAQs will not apply to Windows 2000 and some functionally has changed so a 2000 FAQ will not apply to XP. We also have some NT 4.0 FAQ’s which may not apply to other operating systems and so we have a key to help identify these. Unless otherwise stated, FAQ’s apply to Windows 2000 and XP and many will also work on NT 4.0.
A big thanks to
Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Emmaline who has always given me unconditional love, support, and put up with me “always being on that computer”.
I’d like to thank the technical reviewer of this book Goga Kukira for her great work and spotting all my mistakes and providing exceptional feedback. Big thanks to Stephane Thomas for keeping the whole thing together and everyone else at Addison-Wesley. Their patience and professionalism helped transform my rough draft manuscript into this masterpiece J. Also thanks to Mark Smith, Eric Shanfelt, Warren Pickett, Michele Crockett, Kristi Forren, and everyone else at Penton who have helped develop the Web version of the site.
Finally I’d like to thank my eight month old son Kevin for putting everything into perspective and bringing me so much joy.
Petts Wood, England