Another Stupid Microsoft Windows issue

I was trying to create a mirror disk in MS Windows XP.. It seems that Micro$oft does not want you to be able to do software mirrors in Windows XP. How freaking stupid is that? They let you create a stripe but not a mirror:

They even have a page about using mirrored volumes in Windows XP, but there is a note in there

Mirrored volumes are not available on computers running Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

that totally sucks. It basically means you have to get a hardware raid device to do mirroring or upgrade to a Windows Server version. Leave it to Micro$oft to leave out a ability that pretty much all other desktop OS’ have built in to them. Not to mention they don’t have SSH either, but that is for another time.

XP Still doing better than Vista

If this article does not explain it, then nothing should… PC World New Zealand is running an article on how Microsoft is having to create a new build of XP (called XP SP2c) just because there is still such a great demand for it, that they are running out of registration keys… This tells you two things:

1. Vista is not catching on like they had hoped it would.. (Duh!)
2. They originally built in a limitation in to XP on how many actual keys could be sold/generate.

I find it funny that if Vista was supposed to be such a killer OS, that more people have not flocked to it.. But after running it in a previous life for a couple of months I can see why no one is flocking to it.. XP will be the last Windows I use for a LONG time.

How to patch Windows quickly

In the last couple of days I have had to install/reinstall Windows on machines and in VMWare more times that I can probably count.. One of the biggest problems with installing Windows that I feel is the number of reboots required to install all the patches if you use the Windows Update web site. I have been using a Slipstreamed XP SP2 cd that I made and even after that there are still 80+ patches that need installed. So a while back I found c’t Projekte Offline Update. This little program saves a ton of time.. What it does is download all the patches for various versions of Windows and then builds a ISO image that you can use to install all the patches at once. Those familiar with the WSUS for Servers/Domains of windows machines, this is basically an offline version of WSUS. I have used it to make CD’s for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. Works great!

N.B. The above page is in German, but all you need to do is click on the 3.21 version link (latest at the time of writing). Once downloaded unzip the file and run the DownloadStartGUI and select which versions of windows you want to download patches for and off it goes. Once it is done, it will put an ISO image in the iso directory. Just burn it to cd (or mount it as the cd in vmware) and run the updater that is in it.

Zip file too big for MS Windows?

Got a zip file the other day that some one had made on windows. The contents of the zip file was a 6.5 gig file that had been compressed to about 3.5 gig. Well the built in “zip” program in Windows can not open it for some reason. Neither could unzip on Solaris or Mac. Well 7Zip came to the rescue and allowed me to open the file. Granted it took almost 20 minutes to decompress it, but it opened it. Not sure why Windows sucks so bad, but it does.