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Microsoft releases Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 2008 Server SP2

May 27th, 2009 No comments

Quick note to let you know that Microsoft has released Service Pack 2 for Windows 2008 Server & Vista for the general public.

Download: Vista SP2 / Server 2008 SP2 x86Vista SP2 / Server 2008 SP2 x64
Download Size: 348.3 MB | 577.4 MB
Direct Downloads: Windows6.0-KB948465-x86.exe | Windows6.0-KB948465-X64.exe

KB Article: Microsoft KBQ948865

Service Pack 2 Details

x86

Build: 6002.18005.090410-1830
File Name: Windows6.0-KB948465-X86.exe
Size: 365,230,920 bytes
CRC: 3368C777
MD5: C9394FD32DB15619328AF4FF0315750A
SHA1: 106C0484D7449CC4B70353C21D0C0D63E4BA66C3

x64

Build: 6002.18005.090410-1830
File Name: Windows6.0-KB948465-X64.exe
Size: 605,410,472 bytes
CRC: 1737E14D
MD5: A3BCB1FFDB366397FA5FAB0898EB098D
SHA1: BE8D74ADC029FA7350FC1F0D32BEF853C0519A92

Enjoy! You can also slipstream this release into an existing SP1 installation media using vLite, just be weary of a couple of caveats.

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COOL TOOL: WinRAR 3.90 Beta released with some ubber goodness!

May 1st, 2009 3 comments

Rarlab, the genius’s behind the WinRAR product have released a new beta version (v3.9)  which brings some impressive new features:

Changes in Version 3.90 Beta 1:

  1. WinRAR version for Windows x64 is available. If you use Windows x64, it is strongly recommended to install 64 bit WinRAR version. It provides a higher performance and better shell integration than 32 bit version.
  2. RAR compression speed is improved for multi-core and multi-CPU systems. This improvement is most noticeable in Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.
  3. “Remove duplicate folders from extraction path” option in “Settings/Compression” dialog is replaced by more universal “Remove redundant folders from extraction path” option. This option will eliminate redundant archive name based folders from extraction path if you unpack an archive with “Extract to DestName\” context menu command and if archive root folder contains only one folder and no files.
  4. Changes in “Extraction path and options” dialog:
    1. “New folder” button creates a new subfolder in currently selected folder;
    2. F2 key renames a selected folder in the folders tree;
    3. F5 key updated the tree pane contents;
    4. Del key removes a selected folder in the folders tree.
  5. You can enable “Show seconds” option in “Settings/File list” dialog if you wish to see seconds in file dates in file list in WinRAR shell.
  6. “Where to check for SFX archives” options group in “Settings/Integration/Context menus items” dialog lets you to control processing of SFX archives in context menus. For example, if you frequently right click “.exe” files on slow network disks, you can turn off “Network disks” options to minimize the delay before displaying the context menu.
  7. If you sort files by name in the file list in WinRAR shell, WinRAR will use the new logical file name sorting, same as in Windows Explorer, considering digits in file names by their numerical value. So files will be sorted as 1.txt, 2.txt, 10.txt instead of previous 1.txt, 10.txt, 2.txt. This new sort behavior is available in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and newer.
  8. Ctrl+W key combination can be used to close the main WinRAR window also as WinRAR viewer windows. “View as Windows text” shortcut in WinRAR viewer changed from Ctrl+W to Ctrl+I.
  9. New command line switch -r- disables recursion completely. So ‘rar a -r- arc dirname’ command will add only the empty dirname folder and ignore its contents. By default, if dirname does not include wildcards, RAR adds its contents even if -r switch is not specified.
  10. If used when extracting, the new command line switch -ai forces RAR to ignore file attributes. When using this switch, extracted files will always have attributes assigned by operating system to a newly created file by default.
  11. If output file name is not specified in “cw” command, console RAR will send comment data to stdout.
  12. When compressing stdin data with -si[name] switch, RAR sets modification time of archived entry to current system time. Previous RAR versions did not fill this field, resulting in meaningless modification time for stdin.
  13. Message displayed when you place the mouse cursor on WinRAR tray icon includes the archive name now. Previously only time left and total percent were displayed for archiving operations.
  14. Bugs fixed:
    1. WinRAR could fail to open tar or tar.gz archive if such archive contained a file larger than 8 GB;
    2. WinRAR context menu did not work properly in Windows 7 beta if icons in context menus were enabled and user clicked a file inside of Windows 7 Library folder;
    3. previous WinRAR versions failed to rename files having 5 or more continuous spaces in the name. WinRAR shell does not display such spaces for safety reasons, because they can hide an actual file extension. But this security measure prevented the rename command to work properly.

The primary bits that got my attention was the native x64 release and the improved multi-threaded support for compression (the first two items – bolded). So naturally I downloaded the Windows x64 release and had a stab at doing some benches. This was a very quick test.

Test Setup

Hardware

Specified in detail on the CPU-Z Validation page, otherwise an ASUS P5Q-Pro, Intel QX6850 @ 3Ghz with 8Gb of Corsair TWINX4096-6400C5 modules on two different hard disks:

Software

Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1 (current as of 01/05/2009)

WinRAR was set to ‘Best’ Compression and ‘Create Solid Archive’.

Test Methodology

I looked around for the best bunch of files I could find to compress – and that’s easily reproducible. Funnily/nerdy enough, the Microsoft Enterprise Library 4.1 (Download from Microsoft) source folder was chosen – with build files already included (binaries, pdbs etc).

Folder statistics

  • Files: 5148
  • Folders: 742
  • Size: 230Mb (241,576,303 bytes)
  • Size-on-Disk: 240 MB (251,727,872 bytes)

You can download a copy of the files from me, its 5.8Mb compressed. (UPDATE: Doh! wrong linkage!)

WinRAR Versions

WinRAR v3.80 (x86) vs WinRAR v3.90 Beta 1 (x64)

Test Results

WinRAR 3.9 Beta 1 (x64) vs WinRAR v3.80 (x86)

WinRAR 3.9 Beta 1 (x64) vs WinRAR v3.80 (x86)

The final output size of the RAR file was 5.28 MB (5,541,888 bytes).

Wow, 10 seconds shaved off, the cores were definately being utilised far greater than the previous releases.

Caveats

Unfortunately, the Beta  1 release (for me atleast) doesn’t properly register the shell context menus, so if you like right clicking and doing “Add to Archive” you might find that missing even though you told it to use it – I did make sure I uninstalled the 3.8 release prior to installing 3.9 and rebooted just to be sure, but no dice.

So maybe its not ready for prime time just yet, but 3.9 will surely rock your socks with some multi-core McLovin.

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Two Cans: Windows Vista SP2 RTM’s

April 29th, 2009 1 comment

10685_10520_9787_windows_vista_packagingHot on the heels of Office 2007 SP2, Microsoft has RTM Windows Vista SP2 (also applies for Windows Server 2008).

This update brings:

  • Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches
  • Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology
  • Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration
  • Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.

More changes are documented on Technet or for more information see the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article KB948465.

The Release Candidate was released in early march.

microsoftwindowsserver2008The slipstreamed versions will appear on MSDN:

Filename: 6002.18005.090410-1830_x86fre_Client_en-us-FRTMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso
Size: 3,243,413,504 bytes
SHA1: 25AD9A776503E6A583BEC07879DBCC5DFD20CD6E
MD5: 19CA90A425667812977BAB6F4CE24175
CRC: E2AD10F9

Filename: 6002.18005.090410-1830_amd64fre_Client_en-us-FRTMCXFRE_EN_DVD.iso
Size: 3,861,460,992 bytes
SHA1: AAEE3C04533899F9F8C4AE0C4250EF5FAFBE29A3
MD5: A1C024D7ABAF34BAC3368E88EFBC2574
CRC: 80B2EDB5

For the moment, keep your eyes on the Technet page (currently, the page title is “New Page copied from Windows Vista SP2”). Otherwise you can download them when available:

While your reading, Windows 7 RC should be available very soon! Build you should be looking out for is, 7100.0.winmain_win7rc.090421-1700. Its worth the wait 😉

As for non-subscribers, it should be ‘out in the coming months’.

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Windows Vista SP2 RC and Windows Server 2008 SP2 RC Available to General Public

March 4th, 2009 1 comment

Microsoft releases IE8 Beta 1 and ASP.NET MVC RC1

January 28th, 2009 No comments

Wow, what a stinking hot day today was, utter chaos on our public transport system (which they are explaining and not making excuses about just incase you got con’nexed into thinking that) so it was nice to spend some time on the beach like the rest of the crowd.

More importantly, news in the virtual werld is that Microsoft have released Internet Explorer 8 RC1 for everyone to test against. Essentially its now feature complete and will behave like RC1 at final RTM. So give that a go, if you were a tester you’ll be glad to know that your pre-RC1 copies will upgrade. You wont be able to install it on Windows 7 though!

If you want to peak Inside Internet Explorer 8 theres a good interview on Channel 9 with Dean Haachamovitch and Jason Upton.

Then, theres the release of ASP.NET MVC Framework RC1. See the release notes and take a look.

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Microsoft releases Vista SP2 Beta and Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta to public!

December 6th, 2008 No comments

Thats right, get it while its hawt! SP2 Beta for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is available for your downloading pleasure. Weighing in at 338Mb its one download for both OS’s.

SP2 is an update to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista that addresses feedback from our customers and partners. By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimizes deployment and testing complexity for customers.
In addition to all previously released updates, SP2 will contain changes focused on addressing reliability and performance issues, supporting new kinds of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. SP2 will also continue to make it easier for IT administrators to deploy and manage large installations of Windows Server 2008.

Service Pack 1 is a prerequisite for installing Service Pack 2. Please make sure that your system is running Service Pack 1 before you install Service Pack 2.
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta – Five Language Standalone version can be installed on systems with any of the following language versions: English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish.

Technet areas:

Download links:

  • ISO for Windows Server 2008 x86/x64/ia64 and Windows Vista x86/x64
  • x86 for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista x86
  • x64 for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista x64
  • IA64 for Windows Server 2008 ia64
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