Windows 7: Bitlocker-To-Go

I have a USB to IDE bridge that has 80GB of very useful space and a thumb drive for presentation backups etc. But all of these contains very sensitive information. Or you just want to hide some thing from someone in your drive? Since I’m already running a Windows 2008 R2, I’ll try now to use my bitlocker-to-go 😀

So what really is Bitlocker-To-Go? In my nutshell, its a drive encryption tool built-in for Windows 7. It secures your removable devices so that in an event of a security compromise such as say leaving it on an event, your sensitive information is safe and you don’t have to be fired because you left vital company information in it :D.

I’m using a Windows Server 2008 R2, and we need to install the BitLocker Feature from server manager.

 

In order to use Bitlocker, you have to enable it thru Group Policy, it can be configured both for local and domain group policy.

I’ll be doing a local policy, if you know how to do Domain Group Policy, you can implement this enterprise wide. In local policy, you have to launch the local group policy editor: gpedit.msc

In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, Windows Components and Bitlocker Drive Encryption. I’m going to implement this on my removable data drives so I click the node and see the contents.

First we must enable the Bitlocker on removable drives. Right click and select edit from the context menu.

Its also a good thing to enable the “Allow access to BitLocker-protected removable data drives from earlier versions of Windows” so that you can use this even with Vista or even XP.

Lets step up a notch, lets also configure the password complexity.

After applying the Group Policies, insert your USB Drive and this wizard will appear.

Yes we want to encrypt the drive!

Since were only encrypting a thumb drive, yes its safe to do this.

After clicking yes, the wizard continues. wait to finish.

Remember the policy on password above that we configured?

Use a complex password, the longer the better.

You can save a recovery key to a file, just incase you forget your password because hey, we all have fat fingers and we all forget passwords.

Start encrypting!

It takes about a few minutes depending on the size of your disk. Do the math, I have 1GB, finished the wizard in 15mins.

There! So we should remove the disk and attach it again to check if its already password protected and encrypted.

There! A password protected, encrypted thumb drive even without third party tools. I love Windows 7 😀

Lets test it on a Vista Machine:

Unfortunately our domain does not allow auto run 😀 so we have to run the BitlockerToGo.exe to access our file


As expected, we are asked for our password

And for Vista machines, here is our BitLocker To Go Reader!

Free Microsoft Press e-books: Vista and Visual C# 2008

There are new Free E-books from MS Press this Feb! Wow thanks!

Windows Vista Resource Kit, Second Edition

By Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, and Jerry Honeycutt with the Windows Vista Team
ISBN: 9780735625969

Get it here: http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urws8un4p7


Microsoft® Visual C#® 2008 Express Edition: Build a Program Now!

By Patrice Pelland
ISBN: 9780735625426

Get it here:  http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urrs4gt63d

Career Talk on Colegio San Juan de Letran

Recently I gave a career talk "for Letran graduating students in Intramuros Manila. I must say, I felt easy being around a huge MCP crowd! The talk is about “I.T. Industry-Academy Partnership” where I shared what it is like to be a real-life MCP working as a Software Engineer for a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Letran being our preferred school for accepting Student On-the-Job Trainees, will be having its graduation this March and we hope that we contributed to their preparation on the IT world outside Intramuros and hope in some way we inspired these new MCP’s

Tim Vergel de Dios of MS Philippines is also there to share very cool stuffs on Windows 7, Surface etc. Hehe nice slides and nice delivery, I hope I can be as good as these folks.

 

I was really glad we were invited here and thanks again to the Letran MCP Club for organizing this event, in a very unique way, you guys have inspired me too!

Windows 7: PowerCfg /energy

Are you running your Windows 7 (or Server 2008 R2) on a laptop or in any battery enabled machine? Try this one out, its Windows 7’s version of the command line powercfg. It has a new switch called /energy.

What this does is gives you your Power Efficiency Diagnostics (with an HTML report). You have to be a member of the power users or administrators group to do this. It would give you a very granular detail on your power consumption, how to maximize your power efficiency and for my reason of doing this, to give my laptop more battery life!

If you are also running hyper-v this is a neat tool for you to compute how much you are saving by running virtual and not physical machines. 😀

 

here is my report, the highlighted is the design capacity which means it has  been designed to be 48 Watt Hours but now my full charge is only at 42 🙁

I would ask the technician if I have to replace my battery now or is this an acceptable factory value. Now I now that I need to configure most power management options in my machine, maybe that’s why I can only run it 3 hours max on battery.

Windows Live One Care for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

I have been using Windows Live OneCare http://onecare.live.com/standard/en-us/3/default.htm like forever. It has been used enterprise wide on the desktops and for my demo machines, which is a Vista Business and a Server 2008. I really loved OneCare and to all those that I have recommended it, never called me back!

So here again, for those that are still on third party antivirus suites and trials that most of the time did not worked or worked against the user! "Onecare is also available for  Microsoft Windows XP (Home Edition, Professional, Media Center Edition, or Tablet PC Edition) with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later, or Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate) operating system (OneCare does not support the Windows XP Professional 64-bit operating system)".

 

Adding to that, OneCare has also released a support for Windows Servers (for Small Business), and I’m using it in my Server 2008 Demo machines.  Cool huh!

Now here’s the thing, as I have said in my previous posts, I upgraded my laptop to Windows Server 2008 R2 but OneCare did not got installed. But fortunately there is a remedy for that.

So this how to is to Install Windows Live One Care on Windows Server 2008 R2 and for Windows 7!

 

On the OneCare installer, right click for the context menu and Click Troubleshoot compatibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Program Compatibility Window, Click Next.

After the Compatibility Runs, This window will appear. Our problem is : The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now. Click the check box and then Click next.

 

It was used to run on Vista Versions so we choose Windows Vista, then clicking Next.

 

After a few moments on resolving issues, the Installer now runs! We now need to press next.

Choose your language, then click next.

On the terms of Use, Accept then click Next.

after accepting the terms, OneCare downloads the rest of the file needed to install. Takes about 15-30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While downloading, We should pre-empt the installation that it should run as Windows Vista. To do that, you should navigate to "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Windows OneCare LiveStaging" and find the "2009-02-16T08-02-49X64mpam-fe.exe" file.

Right click it and go to the compatibilities tab and change all settings for all users. Make sure you set the compatibility mode to Windows Vista.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the installation has completed make the winss.exe the service app of one care 😀 also in Vista compatibility mode. Its located at "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Windows OneCare Live"

 

You may have to reboot to properly install OneCare. And after rebooting?

 

 

 

If you are an existing subscriber, you may need to signup. If not, enjoy the 120 days trial!

 

The how-to is to make OneCare’s installers (msi’s) and the Service Executable in Vista Compatibility mode.

So there you have it. Windows Live OneCare for your Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2!

PHIWUG on University of Sto Tomas!

 

The Philippine Windows Users Group has just gave a seminar in UST (University of Sto. Tomas) entitled the "Latest in Microsoft Technologies"  Where we featured a requested pick of technologies such as Windows Mobile done by Chris Misola, Server 2008 Core by Faelmar Teñada and Me for Hyper-V :D.

We also had the chance to show off yes, that’s Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Distributed copies of Windows 7 for those who did not downloaded thru Microsoft Download, surprisingly there are students that have already a working W7 on their laptop! Hopefully we have answered your questions on the compatibility of software, specially games on W7 :D.

February PHIWUG meeting

Faelmar Tenada has shown of his HOW-TO on BOOTING (not installing, booting!) Windows 7 on a USB disk! and there we were dismantling the Hard disk of Bong’s Laptop. Thanks sir Bong!

 

This is the transcend USB disk that was used to boot up Windows 7.  So there ya go, no HDD!

 

 

We are also preparing for the University of Sto. Tomas talk. We will be using my Windows Server 2008 R2 laptop and Chris’ Windows 7 rig.  

Hey Windows 7, meet Server 2008 R2!

Windows Live Rookies : KYLIE – age 4 1/2

This is really cute from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/rookies/, Kylie – age 4 1/2 getting photo of her pet from her digital camera and sending it thru email to her family.

This is very inspirational, well to me as a Software Engineer who design and build software’s for our client and for the market. To make software’s that has industrial strength & stability but is very intuitive that even a 4 1/2 year old can use. I must admit, Windows Live has done a great job on the photo gallery and other live products such as Live Messenger and Live Writer (I’m using Messenger at office and writer for my blog).

Windows Server 2008 R2: I survived an Upgrade!

If you can read this, this means that I have already upgraded my Windows Server 2008 Standard laptop to R2! 😀 Yes, I’m now on R2 and everything works like a charm but the Windows Live One Care, (EDIT: One Care Now works on my next Post) all file and folders are here, all hardware works without any driver from the manufacturer, office is working, and all of our Internal home-grown software and my self built software works. It was really a painless upgrade, as I have said before in my previous post, I will do a Batman stunt on this, without backup, without drivers in hand, just a DVD of R2.

Before upgrading by the way, I have read this from the R2 site, the "Before Installing Guide" and there is an upgrade path from a Full Installation of Windows Server 2008 Standard to Full installation of either Server 2008 R2 standard or its enterprise edition. Phew! At least I will be confident in my upgrade.

So here goes nothing! I have downloaded the R2 Self-Extracting Executable that has the ISO and unpacked it, burnt the ISO to a DVD disk and I’m now on my way to upgrade. I inserted the DVD and I got this Screens.

Yes, download updates. Best practice to do so, specially on newer software’s.

After a few seconds of waiting, you will be presented with a window of choices of what you want to upgrade to: I have chosen a 64 bit full installation of Windows Server 2008 standard R2.

after accepting the license terms, I choose now to upgrade. This machine has a 64 bit standard already and I only need to upgrade

On the compatibility check, I was prompted that my Storage controllers (SCSI/RAID Host Controller) will not work after upgrade. Oh my! This is a problem, hmm.. But as I have thought about it, hehe that was a VIRTUAL CD! I was using Alcohol to use ISO images to be directly  used as DVD.

So its just now a waiting game, about 20 minutes or so, I just abandoned it while I’m in a meeting 😀

The first thing I missed is my AERO desktop! I’m very sure and as you can see my previous screenshots, my themes and aero desktop was enabled. In order to enable the desktop themes for Server 2008 R2, just go to your Server Manager, expand configuration and click Services. Find the Themes Services, then right click it and enable the service. After Enabling, start the service!

So here ya go, my first ever Screen Shot of my Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard!

Windows Server 2008 R2

If you haven’t got it yet (like me), join me in trying out the next best operating system known to the planet : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/r2.aspx

Also, you might want to check out the Beta Reviewers Guide here: Windows Server 2008 R2 Reviewers Guide and the Top 10 Reasons on why upgrade here:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/R2-top-reasons.aspx

If this is my last post, It means I crashed or destroyed my laptop / demo machine. I’m always a fan of a DEEP DIVE experience (well not in production 😀 ) and I will UPGRADE this demo machine from 2008 up to 2008 R2. I hope it will be a seamless and fuss free upgrade. I reaaallly hope so. So guys, don’t do this at production, first its a beta release (not meant for production and for testing purposes only) and second, you don’t do a Batman stunt (bahala na si batman, then jump!) on upgrading.

 

I think that’s it, I will not spoil your fun of discovering the R2. Download it here!