How to update your Forefront Client Security deployment share

Microsoft recently created up to date Forefront Client Security installation packages. According to KB976669 these are only available within WSUS. So at least existing installs can get the latest version of the client via WSUS. But what about newly installed clients? Why should we have to install an out of date 2007 version and then do an update just to get the latest client. I want the latest version installed right at the beginning dammit!!!

Well there’s a way of finding the install files if you’re prepared to crawl the WSUS SQL database.

Here are the direct links to the install files with their associated language and architecture.

fcsclientpackage language 2052 x64
fcsclientpackage language 1028 x64
fcsclientpackage language 1033 x64 English
fcsclientpackage language 1040 x64 Italian
fcsclientpackage language 3082 x64
fcsclientpackage language 1041 x64 Japanese
fcsclientpackage language 1031 x64 German
fcsclientpackage language 1042 x64
fcsclientpackage language 1036 x64 French
fcsclientpackage language 1033 x86 English
fcsclientpackage language 2052 x86
fcsclientpackage language 1028 x86
fcsclientpackage language 1041 x86 Japanese
fcsclientpackage language 1040 x86 Italian
fcsclientpackage language 3082 x86
fcsclientpackage language 1031 x86 German
fcsclientpackage language 1042 x86
fcsclientpackage language 1036 x86 French

Basically download the one/s you want and extract to a folder by using /extract
You will then have a folder with the files you should use to overwrite your FCS deployment share.

Of course it’s possible these links might change, in which case you will have to crawl WSUS yourself. The secret is to query the dbo.tbFile table for a value like %fcsclientpackage% in the FileName column. Reasonably easy when you know what to look for 🙂

PowerShell 2 for XP, Server 2003, Vista and Server 2008 is available!

Microsoft are calling it the “Windows Management Framework” but in reality this is PowerShell 2.0 and it’s now available for download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968929

If you install over the top of PowerShell 1.0 on XP the startmenu link will go but you’ll be left with the documentation links. So it might be better to uninstall 1 then install 2. Not sure yet.
Part of this is the new ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) too and it’s wonderfully good. Just go start, run, then type: powershell_ise

Note: it supports only XP SP3, Server 2003 SP2, Vista SP1+, and Server 2008 SP2.
Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 have PowerShell 2 built-in of course.

Update on 7th Sep 2012: If you want PowerShell 3 click here

How to download individual updates when using Vista or Windows 7

If you want to get hold of updates for Windows 7 or Vista when you’re running Vista or Win 7 already, you can get the updates via the updates catalog (catalogue): http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/ (the pages require IE of course).

I actually had to run up my virtual xp machine to get hold of that link! I simply couldn’t remember the word “catalog”. Heh.

What inspired this blog entry was that I thought I’d have a go at making a fully up to date disc of Win7 before I put it on my wife’s PC, i.e. mount the wim with imagex, and use dism with the latest updates. Thought that would be fun, but then I couldn’t get hold of the updates of course. Sorted.

Exchange 2007 SP2 has been released

And so to the insignificant clash of tiny mouse sized symbols Exchange 2007 Service Pack 2 has finally been released: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID;=4c4bd2a3-5e50-42b0-8bbb-2cc9afe3216a

According to a little very sketchy investigation I’ve done there’s a schema change and support for PowerShell 2 – in fact they are recommending it! According to this blog post (link) PowerShell 2 is already in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, and sure enough if you run powershell and type $psversiontable and that proves it 🙂
[yes i’ve been running Win7 Enterprise x64 RTM for the last 2 weeks, hehe]

Download Orca for Vista

There’s a new version of Orca available (4.5.6001) that is suitable for Vista. You get it by downloading and installing the Windows Installer 4.5 SDK, available here (6.79 MB).

After the SDK is installed it will have delivered the installer for Orca into the program files folder (“%ProgramFiles%\Windows Installer 4.5\SDKTOOLS\orca.msi”). At this point you install it by double-clicking.
I recommend you archive the orca.msi file somewhere for the next time you need it.

Enjoy 🙂

New version of Adobe Digital Editions (1.7)

Adobe have recently (2nd Feb 2009) released a new version of Digital Editions, this one is version 1.7, and they have finally made available a version that they ‘support’ for installing by administrators.

Here are some links…
Install on a single client (web installer)
Acquire the stand-alone installer the way they want you to (you need an Adobe account)

Photoshop CS3 hangs when you exit

Got myself a new laptop recently with Vista preinstalled and when I installed Adobe Photoshop CS3 I found when I tried to exit the program it would always hang during the exit process. I’d never seen it do that before, but after searching the net I found I wasn’t alone – perhaps I had been lucky up to now.

Anyway after much messing about, reinstalling, trying various things (like turning off UAC and system restore before installing) I found a forum post from someone talking about the FLEXnet Licensing service and how it could be to blame for this stupid behaviour.
Some people said if the service was running it needed stopping and/or removing, others said if it was not running you should start it. Mine was set to manual but was running, so I was suspicious…if it’s manual then something has started it – therefore it must be needed. I wasn’t about to delete it then, and clearly it needed to run.
So I started searching for updates specifically for Macrovision FLEXnet – it is a 3rd party product after all. And low and behold I found a patch on Adobe’s site which nobody had mentioned – in this case for Adobe Acrobat 8 and 8.1. After installing the patch (which I believe replaced a dll) all was well again! Well done Macrovision and Adobe for making crap software.
Since finding the patch I did find a forum post which explains it as something to do with SATA drivers:

OutlookTools (free)

Recently I’ve been having serious problems with my install of Outlook 2007. I’m on Vista x64 SP1 and after running perfectly for about two weeks Outlook started crashing shortly after opening it. After a complete reinstall of Office the problem got worse and now Outlook will not open at all….but I digress…I’m posting to mention that I’ve found a really handy tool…

Called “OutlookTools” it’s a simple app that will let you cleanup and clearout some of the harder to reach depths of Outlook. If you ever have problems with Outlook (ok I’ve caught 99% of people here) all I can say it download it and give it a go! It is free after all 🙂

Download
Also why not check-out the origin site HowTo-Outlook.com – it seems to be quite good.

Get internet radio on a Nokia N-series phone!

I’ve been waiting for this for YEARS! Finally, I can now listen to my favourite radio station wherever I am, purely by plugging into my phone. Nokia have at last released “Nokia Internet Radio” for N-series users. It may be in beta at the time of writing but it sure works well.

Here’s the link to it: http://europe.nokia.com/explore-services/music/fm-and-internet-radio (updated 31-08-2009)
The N95 and E-series phones are supported.

There are masses of different stations to choose from and it looks like Nokia are plugging into the same internet radio station directory that the popular mp3 player WinAMP uses.

So far I’m very happy with it, ETN.fm is working like a dream, and with my monthly quota of 2GB of 3G lovliness from T-mobile for only £7.50 a month I can happily listen for over 90 hours! Doubt I’ll use that up any time soon 🙂

Thankfully for those of you who don’t get a good data package from your mobile provider (let alone a good signal all the time – which I don’t) it does support WiFi if your phone has it built-in and will adjust the data-rate upwards accordingly.

So we can now use our bluetooth headphones and wander around the office listening to endless trance and never need to rip a single track. Fantastic!

How to remove the “Click to Activate” annoyance in IE before April 2008

We all know and hate the click to activate functionality that Microsoft had to add to Internet Explorer, but the good news is that Microsoft are finally allowed to get rid of it. Problem is the lazy buggers won’t get the feature removed until the April 2008 cumulative update for IE.
However there is an interim solution! Yay! And here it is: KB947518

The alternative for Vista users of course is to install SP1, but then Microsoft hasn’t let everyone get that yet have they. Unless you know where to look…

Enjoy 🙂