Windows Vista Migration Tools & Support!

We would like to remind you of the support available for migration to Windows Vista and introduce some additional toolkit items.

As well as the improvements in the new Base Policy announced earlier the Vista Version of ‘CMDInfo’ includes tools which allow users to import Favourites, Desktop Files and Outlook NK2 files from their XP Profiles.

For those of you developing Policies for Vista, there is now a Vista WMI filter ‘ISS – Windows Vista Filter’ which can be used to easily restrict Policies so that they are only applied to Vista Machines allowing you to run XP and Vista machines within the same OU container. The Test Vista Base Policy already uses this filter.

The vast majority of centrally provided software Policies are tested and supported on Windows Vista including but not limited to the programs below.**

4 Central Office 2003
4 Central Office 2007
3 Central Apple QuickTime 7.4.5
3 Central Adobe Reader 8.1.2
3 Central Asian Fonts for Adobe Reader 8
3 Central Adobe Flash Player
3 Central Adobe Shockwave Player
3 Central Paint Dot Net 3.31
4 Central ReadAndWrite Gold 8.1.6
3 Central Citrix RAS Client 10.200
4 Central MindGenius 2.43
3 Central CDBurnerXP
4 Central SAPCampus SapGui710 (Vista)
2 Campus Microsoft ISA Firewall Client 4.0.3442.654
4 Central Office 2007 Getting Started Toolbars
5 Central Licensed Acrobat 8.1.2 Professional
5 Central Licensed Inspiration 8.0b
4 Central Office 2007 Proofing Tools
4 Central SigmaPlot 11.0.1
4 Central CES EduPack 2008
4 Central QSR NVivo 8
3 Central Adobe Flash Player
3 Central Notepad++ 4.9.2
3 Central SequoiaView 1.3
4 Central EndNote X1.0.1
3 Central MDL Chime 2.6 SP7
3 Central TrueCrypt 6.1

**This is a list of new numbered policies created since Easter 2008 we started packaging for Vista however many other numbered policies work fine.

The ISS teams responsible for infrastructure and software are only an email away via If you have concerns about migrating to Vista or issues preventing you then please let us know. You can also comment on any article posted here on the WIT blog where one of us will respond.

Money for nothing and your learning for free!

[Disclaimer: Though the title may suggest it, this post has no information about gaining money for nothing; only learning for free. If you have a fool-proof way of getting money for nothing, please add it as a comment.]

You may already know that Microsoft have compiled a huge collection of self-paced learning materials at the Microsoft Learning site. What you might not know, is that they regularly publish courses for everyone’s favourite price – FREE!

These free courses and clinics are usually introducing new features in new versions of products, or giving giving overviews rather than digging into deep technical detail, but a lot of the time that may be just what you want.

Some examples of free content that are currently available are:
Database Fundamentals in Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Introducing Windows Server 2008
ASP.NET for PHP Developers: Introduction to ASP.NET

They handily provide a catalogue of free products, which I suggest you have a look at. If you want to take up one of the free offers, you don’t have to complete the course right away; typically you just activate a subscription to the content, which may give you access to it for 3, 6 or 12 months.

Happy learning!

Campus Managed Desktop Information Tool

CMDInfo is a major redevelopment of the ISS PC Info tool which is part of the current Windows XP Base Policy. It is designed to provide important information to users and support staff including their profile path, home directory path, machine name, group policies and firewall exceptions.

CMDInfo also includes WinDirStat, a freeware tool which gives a graphical representation of the space utilisation on a given folder or volume. When launched from CMDInfo WinDirStat will automatically present a view of a users H Drive.

Extra features are available when running CMDInfo under Window Vista including migration scripts which will copy Internet Explorer Favourites, Desktop Items and Outlook NK2 (nickname) files to their Vista profiles.

The new tool is included in the new Test Vista Base Policy announced yesterday. It will also be merged in to the existing XP Base Policy later today and delivered to machines under the Policy at their next restart.


  • Displays detailed system and user information including Username, Home Directory path, Profile Path, Mapped drives, Firewall exceptions, Network Name and Hardware Information
  • Simple and advanced views.
  • Support links for helpline and printing credit.
  • Includes WinDirStat
  • Includes tools to import all or any combination of Favorites, Outlook settings, Desktop files and document templates from a Users XP profile to their Vista (Vista Only).
  • Includes emailing component which will interrogate the system and send advanced support information ‘ipconfig’, ‘set’ and event logs to support staff (Vista Only).


User information (Advanced View).

User Information

System information (Advanced View).

System Information

Support and Tools (Advanced View/Windows Vista)


Send Logs (Advanced View/Windows Vista)


Send Logs Script (Advanced View/Windows Vista)

Send Logs

Email recieved from CMDInfo


New Windows Vista Base Policy open for testing

For the last few months we’ve been developing a new version of the Windows Vista Base Policy. The current version, which has not been updated since Vista’s release , has suffered from a number of problems, particularly with Folder redirection. These have now been addressed and we are pleased to invite you to help us test the new Policy before its full rollout in the few months of next year

These improvements will allow seamless switching between Windows XP and Vista machine on CAMPUS and will make the rollout of the Vista OS viable for the majority of campus users.

To apply the Policy apply to a machine use ‘TEST 0 Windows Vista Base Policy.’ Please note that the test policy should replace the original policy.

New Windows Vista Base Policy Features

Folder Redirection Fixed!

All standard Vista user folders are now redirected to the Network and any duplicate folders are removed but only if they are empty.

This means that users who have accidently saved files to their local machine will not lose them upon the new Base Policy being applied. The table below shows details on the redirection paths. Notice that where applicable, folders have been redirected to the exact location of their Windows XP counterparts i.e. ‘My Music ‘ rather than ‘Music.’

This means that users moving between XP and Vista are using the same folder and will not see duplicates under drive H:\ or C:\Users

Windows Vista Folder Name


New Location


Default Location for Users’s Contacts



Desktop items, including files and shortcuts



Default location for all user created documents



Default location to save all downloaded content



Internet Explorer Favourites



Default location for user’s music files

\\towerx\homex\username\My Music


Default location for user’s video files

\\towerx\homex\username\My Videos


Default location for user’s picture files

\\towerx\homex\username\My Pictures


Default location for saved searches



Default location for user application data and binaries (hidden folder)



Contains Windows Explorer Favourite Links


Saved Games

Used for Saved Games

\\towerx\homex\username\Saved Games


Start Menu

The existing base policy removes the ‘Documents’ label from the Start Menu and replaces it with the full UNC path to the users home directory. This is unhelpful and unsightly. The new Base policy renames the ‘Documents’ label Documents (H:\). This will provide a consistent point of reference for support calls. The Drive map label will also have the same name.

My Pictures and My Music shortcuts reference the new redirected (correct) location.

The computers network name also appears on the start menu providing an ‘at a glance’ view of the computers name.

New Start Menu


To help distinguish Campus Managed Desktop machines branding has been added.

The University crest now replaces the default logon pictures.


The Crest is also visible on the Start Menu

Start Menu

System Properties have also been updated.

System Properties

Other Features

Local Administrators

When using ‘Run as Administrator’ the UAC dialog box will list all local administrators on the machine.

Local Admins

Offline Files

Offline files are now automatically Encypted.


System Drive Permissions redesigned.

The new policy sets stricter permission for the system drive preventing creation of folders by non Administrators as well as creating the C:\TEMP folder on which so many of our packaged applications depend.


We really need feedback on your experiences with the new Policy. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any comments, questions or issues.

IMAP Access to Exchange

IMAPs (Secure IMAP) access to the Exchange 2007 servers is now available, however it will only be implemented on a per user basis on the authority of a School Computing Officer and should only be used by non-Windows users.

It’s use will remain unsupported due to the nature of not being able to control which clients access the servers and not being able to provide adequate support for unknown clients. The transfer of existing mail will also remain the responsibility of the user. Any client queries should first be directed to your School Computing Officer.

The introduction of this service is to offer non-Windows users the opportunity to use their preferred mail client against Exchange and subsequently not have the separation of Mail and Collaboration/Calendaring functionality.

Access is limited to IMAPS on port 993

If you would like to make use of IMAP access to Exchange, please ask your School Computing Officer to request access for you through the ISS helpdesk.

Further information and examples of client configuration can be found here

Summary of Server 2008 Performance and Security Improvements

Mark Minasi’s latest newsletter has a very compelling list of Windows 2008 improvements.

I was lucky enough to meet Mark at Tech-Ed Barcelona this year as well as attend a number of his seminars and I think it’s safe to say that he is one of the greatest Microsoft experts in the World today. It’s well worth checking out his site here.

Windows Live Wave 3 Online Services Launch

I posted about the update to SkyDrive before, but the Windows Live people haven’t just been busy there. They’ve just launched a load of updates and new online services. ties all of your existing Windows Live services together (such as Spaces, SkyDrive, Hotmail and Events) and they’ve added Groups, Photos and Windows Live Profile.

Check out the Windows Live Team Blog for the details.

Deleting Windows Profiles

Written by James Pocock:

There have been a few problems recently with local copies of roaming profiles being incorrectly deleted. The following procedure should be followed when deleting a profile.

Removing the Local copy of the profile

A common mistake is to simply logon to the local machine as an administrator and delete the users Profile from C:\Users or C:\Documents and Settings.

However, deleting only the local folder does not remove some key registry settings. While XP is usually quite forgiving of this Windows Vista is not and a profile which has been deleted in this fashion will never function correctly on the machine until it is rebuilt.

The profile should be fully deleted from the local system by using the User Profile settings option in System Properties.

In Windows XP:

System Properties > Advanced Tab > User Profiles > Settings

In Windows Vista:

System Properties > Advanced System Settings > Advanced Tab > User Profiles > Settings

Profile 1

Highlight and delete the profile you wish to remove (you may need to reboot first).

Profile 1

Finally you can manually remove any residual folders from C:\Users or C:\Documents and Settings.

Remove the Server Copy of the Profile.

Within the CAMPUS network only the user and server administrators have permissions to remove a profile. There are two ways to go about this.

Map a drive to the folder above the users remote profile folder with the user using their user account. You can find out the path by using CAMA.

Alternatively you can request this process is performed by ISS by emailing

Rename the folder as zap.username. This is important because The CAMPUS profile servers have run scheduled tasks which remove folders prefixed with zap. each morning at 06:30. This allows some time to retrieve files from the old profile. More importantly, If the old profiles are not deleted they will count against the users quota.