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Why Does XP Auto-Connect to sa.windows.com?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the why-does-it-need-this? dept.

Microsoft 135

termigator asks: "I have a private home network that has a Windows XP system on it (I know, the horrors, but it allows my wife to do some of her work at home). With recent discussions about DRM and the Microsoft EULA (which allows Microsoft to autodownload software), I decided to block all traffic on my Linux firewall from Microsoft systems (207.46.0.0/16) to the Windows XP box. This morning there was trapped traffic from Microsoft, after my wife was doing some work on the XP system the day before. I talked with my wife, and I could not determine what she could have done to cause the traffic to happen. Can anybody provide some insight?" Why can't Microsoft be up front about when it tries to phone home? Of course, phoning home isn't the big problem with most people, it's the fact that they try to be sneaky about it for certain tasks. With Microsoft pushing XP into the home, consumers should definitely be wary about storing private information on such systems until Microsoft provides some answers.

"Here is the logwatch summary:

Rejected packets from sa.windows.com (207.46.226.40).
  Port 1053     (tcp,eth0,output): 4 packet(s).
  Port 1054     (tcp,eth0,output): 4 packet(s).
Total of 8 packet(s).
Port 1053 is 'remote-as' and port 1054 is 'brvread'. I am guessing that the remote-as is related to the Remote Assistant feature in XP, but I've had no luck on finding any technical information about brvread via a Google search."

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fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959656)

first post! WAHEY!

it connects there for update information (-1, Troll)

JPawloski (546146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959661)

it connects to the server to get any upgrade information and other notices. there's also an emregency key if there is a serious problem (ie backdoor or trojan) found in Windows. Basically, its making itself a better more secure Operating System, so don't act like they are invading your privacy by doing you a favor.

also ask your wife... (3, Informative)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959708)

...if she had difficulties using the system. eg... did any programs crash? did any error messages pop-up? etc.

Also, how about you try using the box? Do exactly what she does, keeping watch on the firewall status for anything of interest. Experiment with the system and see what happens on the firewall.

Lastly, consider removing the firewall block, and instead doing a tcpdump of the suspicious packets. See if anything of interest comes up.

Someone inform the "factor" (1)

iamwhatiseem (554133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962355)

I would pay money to see Oreily (as in Fox News) to get wind of this kindof stuff MS does. I can only imagine the pleasure of seeing the no-spinner grill Gates in front of millions, of course the bastard would never consider going on his show, after all it isn't MSNBC.

Re:Someone inform the "factor" (1)

BRTB (30272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963209)

I've tried e-mailing him, many times... as far as I've seen he hasn't done any Microsoft investigations so far. Maybe he's just still gathering information but I'm probably just being way too optimistic on that.

Re:Someone inform the "factor" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964873)

no spinner? you mean the biased republican asshole who writes himself off as a journalist? he'd probably supppot microsoft's doings...

-psa

It's all about trust (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959728)

Face it, if Microsoft wants, they can transmit all the information they want from your XP system. There are literally thousands of ways when it comes to sneaking something through a firewall that is not an airgap. It's only trust which matters and while Microsoft is not easily trusted, a detected breach of confidentiality would be a public relations nightmare for them. This is the single most important reason why you should not lose to much sleep over XP phoning home. You did buy that license, right? Most if not all phone home functions are just normal convenience functions btw: The system is keeping it's clock in sync, checking for security updates, looking for new codecs, giving up to date help information, etc.

Re:It's all about trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959781)

well i guess ur right, i can think of a thousand ways they can invade ur privace, its no big deal...but its good to know whats going into and out from your system

Re:It's all about trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959825)

but its good to know whats going into and out from your system

If that's your desire, XP is not the right operating system for you. Only completely open source systems can provide the opportunity to know what is going on, and only if you're willing to read lots of code. Everything else means you're trusting someone else with your data.

Re:It's all about trust (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960687)

Microsoft is not easily trusted, a detected breach of confidentiality would be a public relations nightmare for them. This is the single most important reason why you should not lose to much sleep over XP phoning home.

Well, there won't be much of a public relations disaster if no one's checking for a breach. It's only because their feet get held in the fire for each potential hole that they act as honest as they do--which really isn't particularly honest. I don't know how anyone can trust someone who says Palladium isn't DRM...

You did buy that license, right?

I don't have this particular software, but anyone who does paid money for a product, not a license.

Re:It's all about trust (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964828)

"I don't have this particular software, but anyone who does paid money for a product, not a license."

Not according to the license.

And therein, some would say, lies the problem.

Re:It's all about trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966163)

> Most if not all phone home functions are just normal convenience functions btw: The system is keeping it's clock in sync, checking for security updates, looking for new codecs, giving up to date help information, etc.

Then perhaps you can explain why the mouse software needs to connect home in order to be fully functional?..

Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (4, Informative)

crisco (4669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959752)

A search [google.com] on google for sa.windows.com reveals nothing. But notice the line that says: Find web pages that contain the term "sa.windows.com". Click that link [google.com] and you get plenty of results. Hmm, first search result [windows.com] is to a privacy page on that domain, that provides some clues. Second link [indenial.com] is to an archived message from the NTBugTraq list, that might be a great place to find an answer. The eighth result is a link to an article [lockergnome.com] on LockerGnome, a page or two down and you have a nice concise explanation of what sa.windows.com does.

Now should I complete the whoring and post a cut and paste?

naaa....

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959817)

Frankly, Google sucks now. Rarely do I get any results that's worth looking at if its more than 2 words long

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (1)

s4f (523726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959878)

What's do you use? Or do you just intuit all your net destinations.

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (2, Informative)

dev0n (313063) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959841)

By default, Windows XP looks to be configured for behind- the-scenes connection to sa.windows.com whenever any sort of search is required, particularly when using the search feature within Internet Explorer. I was quickly able to prove that by hitting the search button, the connections were opened immediately. You can turn that off by changing the preferences once you open the search dialog... after getting rid of that cheesy animated pooch, anyway. In the Change Preferences list, click "Change Internet search behavior" and choose "With Classic Internet search". Now when you open the search dialog, the connection to sa.windows.com will no longer be initiated. There may very way be other areas within Windows XP that are tied to that thing, but IE is the most obvious one.

someone had to paste it! :) (from http://www.lockergnome.com/issues/techspecialist/2 0020314.html)

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (1)

dev0n (313063) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959870)

url correction: http://www.lockergnome.com/issues/techspecialist/2 0020314.html

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959912)

url correction: click here [lockergnome.com]

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (1)

mattster999 (591497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960020)

Maybe there should be a rejection option for Ask: instead of simply "rejected" is "rejected - ask google". I mean, who's more to blame. The person who asks the question, or the person who turns the question over to everyone to say "Duh!, Google!" --Matt

The LockerGnome article is incorrect (1)

Mad Quacker (3327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960134)

I have had already done everything in that article, but I tried a _local_ file search, no connections, closed the search window, ~30 seconds later 3 connections to sa.windows.com, from the shell explorer.exe process. hmmmm? Subsequent searches (from a different explorer.exe instance) caused the shell process of explorer.exe to immediately connect to sa.windows.com

This isn't just internet searches, it seems to be reports local searches on local files.

Re:The LockerGnome article is incorrect (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964843)

Perhaps that was the long term reason for naming the internet browser the same as the file manager, so you'd think it was only the browser phoning home.

Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (1, Flamebait)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960163)

The last sentence is:

I am guessing that the remote-as is related to the Remote Assistant feature in XP, but I've had no luck on finding any technical information about brvread via a Google search.

A Google search of my own for "brvread" reveals no information in the first few pages other than that port 1054 is assigned to brvread for either TCP or UDP.

Not only have you proved that you are a karma whore by racing to be the first to post a bunch of Google hits based on only the headline of the article; you have also utterly failed to answer the actual question, since searching within the results of your search for "brvread" returns nothing! Not even a single hit!

You have, of course, been moderated up, because none of the moderators bothered to read the article either. It is fortunate for you that you did not engage in any cut and paste, as that would have revealed to all your total lack of understanding of the question posed.

meta moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3960332)

if you want to meta moderate, do it here: http://slashdot.org/metamod.pl

Re:meta moderation (2)

crisco (4669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961450)

Now heres where the fun lies.

My (admittedly inflammatory) post currently stands at Flamebait=1, Informative=5, Overrated=2, obviously moderation points are being wasted. But are all of those fair? Surely it wasn't worth 5 Imformative points. So the Overrated is valid. Flaimbait, yes, maybe even a few more of these. But not really a good flame, it is so predictable.

Even better, the response to my post calling me on karma whoring and incomplete Google linkage has even better moderation. Flamebait=1, Insightful=1, Overrated=1, Underrated=1 currently. Personally, I'd say the Insightful is the only one it really deserved, the Overrated and Underrated cancel each other out and I'm not interested in responding so it can't be a proper flame, right?

Oh, and this post? -3 Offtopic, definately.

-3 spell check is more like it... (1)

crisco (4669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961481)

Informative definitely

any more?

Re:-3 spell check is more like it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3962806)

I like -1, stupid fucking rant.

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960387)

The question, as summarized in the title, is "Why does Windows XP connect to sa.windows.com. The guy you're responding to, and others, answered this question -- it's for Search Assistant in Windows. Information can be found all over using google.

If the guy wants the gnitty gritty details, he can install a packet sniffer and analyze it. People have already done this and written up summaries, though (see google again).

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962125)

Actually, the only question in the article is "Can anybody provide some insight?" -- "Why does Windows XP connect to sa.windows.com?" is the title, which usually has little connection to the subject, as any /. veteran would know. So, has anyone provided any insight into "brvread"? So far, no. If "People have already [installed a packet sniffer and analyzed it] and written up summaries," as you say, where are they? A Google search for "brvread packet sniffer summaries" [google.com] turns up nothing. So how exactly would you phrase the search so Google finds these summaries? Surely you [slashdot.org] found them, since you cite them, right?

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960835)

A Google search of my own for "brvread" reveals no information in the first few pages other than that port 1054 is assigned to brvread for either TCP or UDP.

Your point is? Thats what the "well known port" lsit says usually uses that port, doesnt mean thats whats actually using it. It can be anything, and usually is considering a lot of people run stuff on non standard ports.
Get over it, it wasnt long ago that bitchx and irssi was sending stuff home ............. :P

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963980)

And you've proven that you're just a jealous cretin that posted a three paragraph whining rant because someone more intelligent than you was modded up.

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't read the article yet? (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965423)

Yeah, I'm jealous of an idiot who started spouting off google links before he even knew what the question was.

Re:Ya lazy bum, you haven't tried Google yet? (1)

termigator (595635) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966276)

Since I am the person who posted the original question, I did figure out that the connections were related to Search Assistant after I submitted the question to /. and was more awake (which I would have then payed attention to the nothing-found page of Google -- which it should automatically done a term search instead of a URL search). I apologize for upsetting some with the a question that should have apparently not have been asked from the perspective of some.

Some responses at least gave some reasons behind the connections. When I examined the packet logs directly, I see that the connection was to port 80 of sa.windows.com and the port numbers for the XP box where just for the client-side of the connection. I do find it annoying that MS does this kind of thing, especially when all that was happening was searches for local files. It seems it would be a pain for people with dialup connections.

BTW, my experience is to not insult a person asking a question, even if it should not be asked, but to nicely imply it (or just ignore it, depending on the forum). For example, if I receive a question about a program where the answer is clearly in the documentation, I respond with, "Please see section XXX of the docs, and if you have any more questions, please follow-up."

Since anyone can have a brain fart at anytime, it is not constructive to insult the person about it. There is enough of that on USENET.

Thanks to all for responding.

Ad (3, Interesting)

s|eeper (110769) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959754)

That huge ad blocks out some of the post. Wonderful.

Re:Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3959839)

No it doesn't. The border of a broken image crosses the text, but the broken image icon does not cover anything.

Re:Ad (3, Interesting)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959880)

I was going to post the same thing. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I don't mind the ads, I realize /. needs the money they bring in, but when ads start interfering with the content it's a real problem that needs to be addressed.

Re:Ad (2)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960077)

Mozilla just writes the text over the ad picture so you can still read it. Not that I would ever be one of those people to push one browser over another on people...

I agree that the ads shouldn't be uber-obtrusive to the point where they hurt the site, though.

Re:Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3960107)

Ok, just so nobody patents it: Slashdot hereby provides prior art for putting an ad behind semi-transparent content. I want to think that it's hard to imagine someone doing this on purpose, but I can't.

Re:Ad (3, Funny)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960636)

Ok, just so nobody patents it: Slashdot hereby provides prior art for putting an ad behind semi-transparent content.

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe it has to be on purpose to qualify as prior art.

Re:Ad (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960377)

I would love to be using Mozilla right now, as I think it's much better than IE. Unfortunately, I have only a 2GB HDD in my work system, and it's mostly filled with work stuff.

Re:Ad (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962143)

Mozilla just writes the text over the ad picture so you can still read it.
No, it doesn't. I'm using Mozilla 1.0 in Windows 2000, and the ad covers the text.

Re:Ad (1)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962283)

Okay, I'll be more specific.

The text appears over the ad in Mozilla Build ID 2002070819 under Linux running the Gentoo kernel 2.4.19r7 in Gnome 2.0. Other people's experiences with its ability to display this particular block of text over the ad in other environments may vary.

Re:Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3962727)

Please be more specific. What was the last thing you ate before experiencing this issue?

Re:Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966179)

> That huge ad blocks out some of the post. Wonderful.

No problem with Linux Opera 6.02.

error reporting (2)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959782)

I believe this is the address used to send error-reporting data after a system crash.

No it is not... (1)

yankeehack (163849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962334)

This is what I have in my firewall logs from a WinXP error reporting event (and no, I didn't know until reviewing my logs that I was blocking this outgoing connection...)

Blocked: Out TCP, localhost:4599->207.68.166.243:80, Owner: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DWWIN.EXE

Notice that the outgoing connection is going to a Port 80 address.

Additionally... (1)

yankeehack (163849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962398)

It's a different program (the error reporting program) that is phoning home.

And before anyone gets huffy about phoning home, I also have talkback.exe on the XP machine which is the mozilla talkback/feedback agent. So it is not only MS that does this sort of stuff.

Google (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3959848)

One minute worth of searching on google explains that this is for the Search Assistant part of Windows XP. It appears to be benign, but you can block traffic and everything still works OK. Consult this google search [google.com] for more info.

Why Does XP Auto-Connect to sa.windows.com? (1, Funny)

Goronguer (223202) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960085)

Because it can.

Search Assistant (2, Informative)

topside420 (530370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960110)

It is a search assistant for Internet Explorer. A previous post had a great link [lockergnome.com] for info.

You can turn the feature off by changing the search method to 'Classic' in Internet Options.

It's there to invade your privacy. (5, Funny)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960171)

It connects to sa.microsoft.com.

Then it proceeds to do a scan of all of your hard disk, counting the mp3's and divx's you have. It reports these figures to the MPAA and RIAA right off the bat.

In stage two, it scans all images on your PC searching for even the slightest bit of nudity. It then analyzes the photo for age, race, sex and fetish information. If it finds anything underage or otherwise disturbing, it notifies the police. And your ISP. And the feds.

Due to provisions of the PATRIOT act, the newest revision reports if you've visited aclu.org or any democratic candidate sites. It also counts the number of baptist websites you visit on a daily basis (minumum of 10 required).

It then audits your system for any source code you have. If it finds any, it will append to it a microsoft copyright and copy it over to microsoft. (You *DID* see that in the ELUA, right?)

In other words, it does everything you suspect of it. And more!

Re:It's there to invade your privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963543)

Your sig would be better if you said "daemon" instead of "devil".

XP Experiences (3, Interesting)

Pampaluz (163324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960340)

This seems to be a similar situation; in that Microsoft is intercepting data entered in a browser, and acting upon the contents of that data:

My father has a couple of computers, and I had to run a program on his Windows XP machine, because I needed to use the "QTopia Desktop" synchronization software that came on the CD accompanying my handheld Linux-based Sharp Zaurus (why they didn't give software on the CD that would work with a Linux-OS computer, I'll never understand...)

Anyway, I needed to do a search for some Zaurus sites (I didn't want to bother to go and check the URLs I had on my computer which was in the other room...so, not thinking, I cleared the URL window in Internet Explorer, and typed in "google" (to get the full URL automatically, the way you can in Mozilla). When I did this, I got a page that said: "If you wish to search the Internet, use MSN.COM"-- complete with the four-color butterfly/Windows XP logo...then, I was transferred to MSN.COM! I didn't even get a chance to say whether or not I really wanted to "Go There Today".

OK fine...I figured it was my fault, I should have typed in the full URL, I should have guessed that Microsoft would do this. So, I cleared the URL window again, and typed in "http://www.google.com/". The computer LOCKED UP-- then came a glimpse of the "Blue Screen of Death" (I think, I am not sure), and then the computer simply rebooted!

When I told me father about this, he laughed, and then when the computer had booted again, he drilled down through his "Favorites" menus, and came to the entry for "Google," and I was finally able to "Google". Since then, I only use the "Favorites" to get to Google whenever I'm using my Dad's machine, so that I don't get rebooted again.

Another thing: if you want to find a book online, Windows XP does it's level-best to make you buy it from Barnes & Noble. I have nothing against B&N, but I do like to use Amazon.com, or ThinkGeek, or some of the other tech bookstores online. But Barnes & Noble is paying Microsoft to be first with XP, and so they get all the traffic if somebody is new to computers, like a friend of mine who recently bought his first computer (this is how I learned about XP's desire to make you buy books only from B&N). My friend's system came with XP pre-installed.

At the time he was looking for a computer, I couldn't convince him that Linux would be a better choice (anyway, all the $800 dollar systems advertised in the newspapers come pre-loaded with XP, no Linux systems in sight) and now he's been spooked because the folks at the place where he bought the computer told him they couldn't (wouldn't?) help him if he switched the operating system (I said "So What! I'll help you!), but it seems that someone there implied that he would lose ALL support if he put Linux on his computer--that it would "Void the Warranty". They can't say it officially, but I wasn't there when the threat was made. Now my friend won't even consider switching; he is having problems with the CD-RW, a hardware problem. (In fact, nobody seems to know how to make it work; it just keeps screwing up blank CD's.)

However he is getting wary of Microsoft, now that some of the things I told him would happen are coming true, plus worse things I didn't even think would be problems (hours on the phone, but nothing gets fixed when they finally answer; being bounced back & forth between Microsoft, the company that sold the machine, & the manufacturer; nobody taking responsibility for tech support, and his "Free MSN Subscription for TWO Years" being WORTHLESS, because he can never get connected: either the lines are busy, or he gets tossed offline during important "secure" transactions, and doesn't know if orders went through or not. He likes use uBid.com (I think it is called). He finally gave up & got a cable modem subscription, and never uses his "Free MSN account" anymore.

--MarkVII

Re:XP Experiences (1)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961314)

Not being able to get to Google while using XP/IE is pure BS. I've been running XP on one of my machines since beta. When I want to look up something quick on the net I fire off Google. I've never had the system crash, lockup or BSoD while going to www.google.com in IE.

There's plenty of faults with Microsoft and XP, so there's no need to invent non-existing ones. The problem could have arisen from installing any number of other software.

Re:XP Experiences (1)

crazymennonite (40480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961935)

Doesn't happen on my wife's machine.
Typing google only, comes back with "cannot find server"
Typing www.google.com sends me to google.
Sounds like something other than WinXP causing the problem to me.

Re:XP Experiences (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962224)

I'll bet his dad's PC has "MSN Explorer" and you wife's PC has "Internet Explorer" -- there's a difference! You can tell which is which by looking at the icon in the upper right corner: It's a Windows logo in Internet Explorer and it's an MSN logo in MSN Explorer. You get MSN Explorer if you use MSN or your PC came with "2 free years of MSN" or if you've ever loaded one of those MSN trial CDs. I don't know how to remove it -- once you have MSN Explorer it appears impossible to restore Internet Explorer. (/. geeks will now post flames saying it's possible, but not telling me how)

MSN vs. IE (1)

yankeehack (163849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962308)

I think the key is to activate/use IE first and then do MSN Explorer.

Or, if you really want to be sneaky, uninstall MSN EXPLORER (it was an optional program when I was doing my XP upgrade--so you don't need to install it in the first place) and just use IE.

Re:XP Experiences (1)

SpatchMonkey (300000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962268)

  • At the time he was looking for a computer, I couldn't convince him that Linux would be a better choice ..
I'm not surprised. As far as features, ease-of-use and stability go, XP wins hands down.

Exactly how would Linux have been a better choice for your friend?

Re:XP Experiences (2)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962281)

Ok, I can tell you 100% you clearly bought a cheap shoddy computer with lowend components, it's no wonder you get lockups!!! I love it when people buy cheapass parts and then automatically assume it's microsoft. Here's a counter example--my personal computer currently has an uptime of 17 days (at which point I installed a new harddrive). My work computer (both are running XP, in case it wasn't obvious) which is used about 10 hours a day by me and another person, has an uptime of 47 days last I checked! The OS is NOT the problem.

The OS is a lot of the problem (1)

Unit3 (10444) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963445)

I've actually had at least 4 systems which had intermittent crashes, lockups and general failures that you would expect would be attributed to the cheap hardware in them... however this same equipment worked flawlessly for months on end once Windows was replaced with linux. My current workstation is custom built from quality parts, but still Windows 2000 sometimes hard reboots (no bluescreen, nothing) when I skip tracks when playing CDs, or trying to digitize video with my TV Wonder.

The problem here is that cheap hardware doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the hardware, just that it doesn't perform as well as competitors, or the drivers are not as well developed, etc, etc. The OS is still responsible to make sure your machine does not lock up, crash, reboot, corrupt data, etc., if this hardware's drivers malfunction. If you can't even do some simple error checking of what your device drivers are doing, I blame the OS, not the hardware. The question is, if other operating systems work fine on the same cheap hardware that windows crashes and burns on, why are you so quick to defend Microsoft's poor software?

Hell, Windows XP still has networking problems on all hardware with other versions of Windows using Microsoft's own protocols, so why would you expect that other parts of the OS are functioning as they should?

Because (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960360)

Because World Domination will come one stupid user at a time?
(Is this a riddle?)

Re:Because (1)

SpatchMonkey (300000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962278)

Please define "stupid user". Thx.

block explorer with zone alarm (2, Informative)

YaRness (237159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960367)

you can block windows explorer (explorer.exe) from accessing the network with zone alarm (or a similar product).

(and this doesn't interfere with internet explorer accessing the network, FYI)

It is looking for updated xml and/or html (1)

Mark Pitman (1610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3960612)

When you do a local file search notice the panel on the left of the window that pops up. That is HTML generated from a few different xml files on your hard drive. The search assistant checks Microsoft's server every so often to see if there are newer versions of the xml files, which would allow for updated searching options.

List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computers: (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961472)


Here is a (probably incomplete) list of ways Windows XP connects to Microsoft's servers. To generate this list yourself, disable Microsoft's firewall, and use the ZoneAlarm firewall, which is free for personal use. When Windows XP tries to connect to Microsoft, ZoneAlarm will bring up a dialog box asking whether that is okay. If you say no to some of the requests, some functions of Windows XP will not work (like networking).
  1. Application Layer Gateway Service (Requires server rights.)
  2. Fax Service
  3. File Signature Verification
  4. Generic Host Process for Win32 Services (Requires server rights.)
  5. Microsoft Application Error Reporting
  6. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
  7. Microsoft Direct Play Voice Test
  8. Microsoft Help and Support Center
  9. Microsoft Help Center Hosting Server (Wants server rights.)
  10. Microsoft Management Console
  11. Microsoft Media Player (tells Microsoft the music you like)
  12. Microsoft Network Availability Test
  13. Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service
  14. MS DTC Console program
  15. Run DLL as an app
  16. Services and Controller app
  17. Time Service, sets the time on your computer from Microsoft's computer.
  18. Microsoft Office keeps a number in each file you create that identifies your computer. Microsoft has never said why.
  19. Microsoft mouse software has reduced functionality until you let it connect to Microsoft computers.
These are just the ones I know. There may be others.

So, if you use Windows XP, your computer is dependent on Microsoft computers. That's bad, not only because you lose control over your possession, but because Microsoft produces buggy software and doesn't patch bugs quickly. For example, as of July 26, 2002, there are 20 unpatched security holes in Microsoft Internet Explorer [pivx.com] . This is a terrible record for a company that has $40 billion in the bank. Obviously, with that kind of money, Microsoft could fix the bugs if it wanted to fix them. Since the bugs are very public and Microsoft has the money, it seems reasonable to suppose that top management at Microsoft has deliberately decided that the bugs should remain, at least for now.

It seems possible that there is a connection between all the bugs and the U.S. government's friendly treatment of Microsoft's law-breaking [usdoj.gov] . The U.S. government's CIA and FBI and NSA departments spy on the entire world, and unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft software help spies.

There are many other big shortcomings in Windows XP. Windows XP, and all current Windows operating systems, have a file called the registry in which configuration information is written. If this one (large, often fragmented) file becomes corrupted, the only way of recovering may be to re-format the hard drive, re-install the operating system, and then re-install and re-configure all the applications. The registry file is a single, very vulnerable, point of failure. Microsoft apparently designed it this way to provide copy protection. Since most entries in the registry are poorly documented or not documented, the registry effectively prevents control by the user. There are many areas like this where what Microsoft's design conflicts with the needs of the users.

Note that Microsoft does not support making functional complete backups under Windows XP. Look at Microsoft's policy about this: Q314828 Microsoft Policy on Disk Duplication of Windows XP Installation [microsoft.com] . Only those who work with Microsoft software will understand the true meaning of Microsoft's policy. Since almost all programs use the registry operating system file, if you cannot make a functional copy of the operating system you cannot make a functional copy of all your application installations and configurations. There are other software companies that try to fix this, but the fixes don't work well, and Microsoft can, of course, break their implementations, as they have often done with other kinds of competitors.

Because the configuration information for the motherboard and the configuration information for the applications are mixed together in the registry file, the registry tends to prevent you from moving a hard drive to a computer with a different motherboard. That's another implication of the above Microsoft policy. So, if you have a motherboard failure, and a good complete backup, you may not be able to recover unless you have a spare computer with the same motherboard.

Only technically knowledgeable people know how to avoid signing up for a Microsoft Passport account during initial use of Windows XP. The name Passport gives an indication of Microsoft's thinking. A passport is a document issued by a sovereign nation. Without it, the nation's citizens cannot travel, and, if they leave, won't be allowed back in their own country. In Microsoft's corporate thinking, the company seems to be moving in the direction of believing that they own the user's computer. Most people are both honest and intimidated. Apparently about 95% do whatever they are asked on the screen. They give their personal information to Microsoft. They don't realize that, if they feel forced to get a Passport account, they should enter almost completely fictitious information, since the real question is not "What is your name and address", but "Can we invade your privacy". The honest answer to this is "No, you cannot invade my privacy", and the only effective way to communicate that is to give completely fictitious information. Since it is the educated people who have computers, Microsoft is building a database of the personal lives of educated people. Microsoft knows when they connect and from what IP address (which tends to show the area), what kind of help they ask, and information about what they are doing with their computers, including what music they like. It is not known, and there is no way to know, how much Microsoft or other organizations make use of this information, or their plans for future use.

Not only has Windows XP definitely gone further in the direction of allowing the user less control over his or her own machine, but with Palladium, Microsoft apparently intends to finish the job: Microsoft will have ultimate control over the user's computer and therefore all his or her data. Even now, under Windows XP, a recent security patch requires that the user agree to a contract that gives Microsoft administrator privileges over the user's computer [theregus.com] . The contract says that if a user wants to patch his or her system against a bug which would allow an attack over the Internet, he or she must give Microsoft legal control over the computer. See this article also: Microsoft's Digital Rights Management-- A Little Deeper [bsdvault.net] . You may need to be a lawyer to take apart the crucial sentence. "These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and [my emphasis] use other software on your computer" legally includes this meaning: "These updates may disable your ability to use other software on your computer." Note that the term "security related updates" is meaningless to the user because the updates have no relation to user security. So, the sentence effectively means that Microsoft can control the user's computer without notice and whenever it wants. That kind of sentence is known in psychology as "testing the limits". If there is no strong public complaint about this, expect to see more and stronger language like this.

This Register article shows the direction Microsoft is going: MS Palladium protects IT vendors, not you [theregus.com] . Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Microsoft is well down that road. See this ZDNet article, also: MS: Why we can't trust your 'trustworthy' OS [zdnet.com] .

These Microsoft policies mean that any government which wants to be independent of the United States government, and any government which represents itself as controlled by the people, cannot use Microsoft operating systems, or other Microsoft proprietary systems.

Microsoft's self-destructiveness does not mean that the user should be self-destructive. There is no need to apologize for using Microsoft software. The correct solution to abuse is persuading the abuser to stop being abusive. Once I posted to a Slashdot story a link to an article on a web site of mine. By far the majority of visitors from the Slashdot story used Microsoft operating systems. Rather than feel embarrassed because Microsoft is abusive, action needs to be taken to prevent the abuse. If you are against Microsoft abuse, you are not against Microsoft; you are more pro-Microsoft than Bill Gates.

In some areas, Microsoft Windows XP has reduced functionality. For example, the command line interface does less in some ways than the CLI in Windows 98 SE (Second Edition). The CLI is a big embarrassment because of its limited capabilities, but at least in Win 95 it worked. With every version since then it has worked less well. (There are two kinds of command prompt, and, according to Microsoft employees, the differences between them are not fully documented.)

The command line prompt sometimes begins to display short file names. Microsoft employees say that Microsoft has no fix, although someone not connected with Microsoft did make a work-around.

Cutting and pasting into a command line program often puts successive extra spaces before each line. Microsoft employees say that there is no plan to fix this.

The fast paste mode that is in Windows 98 is gone in Windows XP. Microsoft employees say there is no plan to fix this.

The DOS QuickEdit mode sometimes flashes wildly when trying to edit from a DOS box.

When using the command line interface, Windows XP doesn't always update the time. After several hours, the time reported to command line programs can be several hours in error.

There is a DOS program called START.EXE that can be used to start other programs. But it does not operate the same way as in other versions of Windows. It starts a program, but cannot be made to return control to the command line program as previous versions did. There is no technical reason for this; it is just one of the shortcomings that are allowed to exist.

People often say that DOS has gone away. But Microsoft still calls the commandline interface DOS, and in Windows XP Microsoft has added new programs for configuring the OS that work only under DOS.

There are many other insufficiencies in Windows XP. Sometimes when you press a key while using Windows XP, it is seconds until there is any response. Apparently there is something wrong with the CPU scheduler in XP, because there are a lot of complaints about this in the forums and MS people have said that they are working on it. On one particular fresh installation of XP, on an Intel motherboard with either a Matrox G550 or an ATI Radeon video adapter, it requires 18 seconds to display a directory listing of 94 items. This is apparently related to a bug in the video software, not the adapter drivers.

Something is wrong with the Alt-Tab display of running programs under Windows XP. If there are a lot of programs, not all of them are displayed. The order jumps around in a seemingly random way.

Another indication of the direction Microsoft is taking Windows XP is that menus are sometimes 7 levels deep.

The most recent version of this article is available at http://www.hevanet.com/peace/microsoft.htm [hevanet.com] .

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (1)

zog karndon (309839) | more than 12 years ago | (#3961979)

Note that Microsoft does not support making functional complete backups under Windows XP. Look at Microsoft's policy about this: Q314828 Microsoft Policy on Disk Duplication of Windows XP Installation [microsoft.com]. Only those who work with Microsoft software will understand the true meaning of Microsoft's policy. Since almost all programs use the registry operating system file, if you cannot make a functional copy of the operating system you cannot make a functional copy of all your application installations and configurations. There are other software companies that try to fix this, but the fixes don't work well, and Microsoft can, of course, break their implementations, as they have often done with other kinds of competitors.

I'm sorry, that seems not to be the case. The link you post has *everything* to do with corporate installations and *nothing* to do with backups. Many corporate sites use disk duplication software (Ghost, etc.) in order to make sure that all their systems have exactly the same software, configured in exactly the same way. Windows XP (and Windows 2000 before it) will have duplicate security IDs if you use the same image on different machines and you don't use the sysprep tool mentioned in the link.

You most certainly can (and I have) use disk imaging software to back up and restore your system, complete with registry.

The problem is with backups, not rollouts. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963704)


Without going into a long story, there is a problem in making backups of Windows XP that actually can be used to make a copy that restores full functioning. The Microsoft article [microsoft.com] says,

"Microsoft does not provide support for computers on which Windows XP is installed by duplication of fully installed copies of Windows XP. Microsoft does support computers on which Windows XP is installed by use of disk-duplication software and the System Preparation tool (Sysprep.exe)."

There is only one kind of backup that is a true backup: A fully installed copy, or some method of creating a fully installed copy. Microsoft is saying that that is "not supported". That language hides the fact that Microsoft made it difficult.

You said, "You most certainly can (and I have) use disk imaging software to back up and restore your system, complete with registry."

I've done it too. But, as Microsoft says, Microsoft does not support this. Think about that for a moment. Suppose Linus Torvalds said, "I don't want Linux to support fully functional backups". That would be preposterous. Why, then, do people accept the same statement from Microsoft? Maybe that is because they have been habituated to being abused.

Please take Microsoft's statement seriously. Consider a real life situation. If you have had a hardware failure, when you do the restore it may not be to a computer that is identical to the one on which Win XP was first installed. (If several years have passed since the computer was made, it may not be possible to buy identical components, for example.)

There can be serious problems with using a restored copy since, with Windows XP, most of the configuration is thrown into one pot, the registry. Yes, you may be successful hand-editing the registry, but maybe you won't. Even if you are successful, you could not call a backup that needs considerable adjustment a "fully functional backup". In a real life situation, the cost of doing a restore to alternate equipment may be more than the cost of completely re-installing the software.

The problem is not in changing the SID. SysInternals [sysinternals.com] provides a free utility, NewSID [sysinternals.com] , to change the SID. The problem is that Microsoft has deliberately made it difficult to make functional backups, apparently as a method of copy protection. Remember, we are NOT talking about manufacturers making copies that work on identical equipment. We are talking about a backup that can actually be used immediately after a hardware failure to do a repair in which the new system is not identical.

It is not impossible that someone could move a backup to new hardware. But, in practice, it may be impossible or too expensive under some circumstances.

I use disk cloning software when the hard drives are not identical, and a mirroring controller like the Promise FastTrak when the drives are identical. Remember, I am making copies that are fully legal because I have purchased licenses for them. I am only trying to save time; re-installing all the software might cost far more than the cost of Windows XP. The issue is not with rollout of new machines. The issue is whether your backup can actually be used to make a fully functional copy.

Most people who use Windows XP don't know of the existence of hard disk cloning software or hardware. One effect of Microsoft's policy is that Microsoft does not tell them. Even if they did have such software, and they new how to use it, most users might still have the difficulties mentioned here.

Re:The problem is with backups, not rollouts. (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964593)

on which Windows XP is installed by duplication

They are not referring to backups, they are referring to GHOST images. That's what "installed by duplication" means.

Again you are not technically competent to be discussing this matter. Stick to "Paper or plastic" as your career choice.

If you are willing to learn, feel free to send me an email and I can answer your questions. But quit trying to pass yourself off as a subject matter expert.

Ghost doesn't always work as a backup. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964878)


"Ghost" is a term created by a company that was later bought by Symantec.

Symantec's product is expensive. Most users of Windows XP don't know it exists. In the situation mentioned, it doesn't always work as a backup.

I stand by my comments.

Re:The problem is with backups, not rollouts. (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965035)

He's not referring to ghosting, or rolling the same installation out to multiple different computers, he's referring to the ability, or more accurately the lack of ability, to recover from catastrophe. Lose a power supply, motherboard, cpu or such, and if you've got another computer you can cannabalize or take over you can be back in business very shortly. Microsoft seems to be throwing away at least one 9 in the high-reliability game. For FUD value, you pass that one degree of separation and that server will never play the violin again.

Re:The problem is with backups, not rollouts. (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966190)

I know what he's referring to.

However he's talking about it in relation to a knowledgebase article which does not discuss what he is referring to.

It would be like me trying to claim the rules of basketball do not accurately detail how to play soccer. Most people would react "Huh? WTF are you talking about?" Which is what I am doing to this poor schmuck.

Re:The problem is with backups, not rollouts. (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966256)

Which is what I am doing to this poor schmuck.
Trying to make some preparations for recovery from catastrophe.
Right.

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3962265)

Jesus.
Whoever modded this up is an idiot. It's a direct fucking copy of the second link. Not slashdotted, not busy, nothing.
In the time between me looking at the /. article and clicking reply, it's been modded up again.
Fucking morons.

I wrote the story at the second link. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963501)


"It's a direct ... copy of the second link."

I wrote the story at the second link. But I wrote the present story AFTER the link was posted. The story needed to be updated. So I hastily updated it, FTP'd it to the server, and decided to post most of it directly to the story.

The story was modded up because it addresses a very, very serious issue. We are seeing a sickness among large companies. Consider Enron and WorldComm and Microsoft as part of a larger social illness. They all lost their way and began to be adversarial toward the world and towards themselves.

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (1)

jargonCCNA (531779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962376)

quote:

Windows XP, and all current Windows operating systems, have a file called the registry in which configuration information is written. If this one (large, often fragmented) file becomes corrupted, the only way of recovering may be to re-format the hard drive, re-install the operating system, and then re-install and re-configure all the applications. The registry file is a single, very vulnerable, point of failure.
Not true. Windows regularly backs up the Registry on its own, and compares its backup to what is available upon boot-up. Further, backing up the Registry yourself is a simple task: Open RegEdit, select Registry->Export Registry File... and you're ready to go. The file will, granted, be a megs in size, but knowing your way around PKZIP or WinRAR will allow you to compress this file (In a self-extracting .EXE) onto multiple disks for later retrieval if something goes wrong.
quote:

Microsoft apparently designed it this way to provide copy protection. Since most entries in the registry are poorly documented or not documented, the registry effectively prevents control by the user.
I regularly hack my registry in order to eke out a little bit better performance from my computer. Nowadays, I never edit my file associations using Explorer's View->Folder Options->File Types window; I go straight into the registry and do it by hand. I've noticed a disturbingly large amount of extraneous data within the registry, and I slowly cull that as I find it.
As well, the Windows Registry has become very well-documented as of late. WinGuides [winguides.com] offers a downloadable Registry Guide in .CHM format and numerous books have been published on the same topic.

I will grant that my technical, empirical knowledge is based on use of the Win98SE Registry, but I can't imagine that things would be radically different between 98SE and XP.

More details about registry problems: (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963807)


There's some misunderstanding here. First, it is not a registry backup that you want, it is a backup that you can restore. I don't know any way of replacing an entire registry with an exported text file. If there is a way, would someone tell me?

More details about registry problems: The problem with the registry is this. Suppose the registry becomes corrupted, but the software that the corruption affects is not used for a considerable time. After the corruption occurs, the computer is upgraded, perhaps with new application software, perhaps with new drivers. Then maybe new system preferences are applied. Suppose the company has saved backups of all previous versions of the registry on CD (an unlikely event).

See the problem? Since all the software is connected to all the other software by the registry, corruption that goes unnoticed for a while can create an impossible situation. If the company goes back to the original, known good registry, they must give up all the time they spent upgrading the computer. This may be substantial, especially since they may not have complete records about what upgrading was done.

In actuality the situations caused by the registry are far, far more complicated than this. For example, you may think that some failure you are having is caused by registry corruption. However, it may take far too much time to prove whether that is the case. If you think of all the combinations of difficult circumstances, you will see that having most configuration settings in one file is sometimes devastating for the user.

Consider that the person who is using the computer probably has an important job in the company, and wants to use the computer, since only some functions don't work, but others do. Consider that a repair person must be supervised 100% of the time at some companies, because of security needs.

Please educate me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing like this in Linux or BSD. First, there is no single file in which corruption can make an entire installation worthless. Second, there is far better error checking, so corruption of any kind is less likely to occur. With Windows XP, sometimes a faulty program can cause the entire OS to become unstable. (I have personally seen this at least 50 times.) My experience with Linux is that the OS just throws the faulty application out of memory and comes back and says, okay, what else do you want to do?

With Linux, a software upgrade that you much later discover was bad causes you to re-install a known good version. With Microsoft Windows XP, because of the connection between all programs by the registry, you may have to start over with a re-formatted hard drive. This usually takes many hours, especially in situations in which a company employee uses a system with special adjustments or programs, which is often the case.

Re:More details about registry problems: (1, Flamebait)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964577)

I don't know any way of replacing an entire registry with an exported text file.

I'm curious. Did you try searching the obvious? [microsoft.com]

Reading the rest of your response it's quite clear you are a fucking retard. I mean I could go on and explain how things work in more detail, but would it even matter? Are you willing to learn? Are you willing to listen? If you can't even search the obvious locations for answers to your questions, why should anybody waste their time with you?

I've been supporting and developing on Windows NT systems since 1996. I'm not going to claim to know it all, but I am extremely familiar with the registry and how the system interacts with it, and how it is connected to installed software.

The problem you are facing is simply that you don't know how it works, so therefore you condemn it as being bad.

Look, not everybody is knowledgeable about systems. It takes time and effort, and normally I'm fairly lenient when it comes to newbies who have a desire to learn and understand. But it really really bugs me to see people who clearly have no desire to learn, and show no technical competence go off trying to sound like an expert and offer advice.

Anger problem. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964918)


I suggest you deal with your anger problem, and not bring it to Slashdot.

Your comments do not apply to the situation mentioned. You apparently haven't read my comment carefully.

Users have always had the option of making backups of the registry. Making useful backups is often difficult or impossible. Backing up the registry in Windows XP is even more difficult, because the registry in now not all in one file, but is partly spread to several files, and the OS prevents you from making copies with xcopy.exe or the copy command. So, you cannot create your own backup tools, as you could in Windows 98.

Stupidity problem (1, Flamebait)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964953)

I suggest you deal with your stupidity problem, and not bring it to Slashdot.

http://www.cableone.net/ctj92/index.html?row1col 2= lets-argue.html

Re:More details about registry problems: (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965115)

The obvious solution is to have NT on a 2gig max DOS FAT16 partition and from a DOS boot, use DOS means to save/restore all the files in C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG.
But it really really bugs me to see people who clearly have no desire to learn, and show no technical competence go off trying to sound like an expert and offer advice.
Self-referential?

Re:More details about registry problems: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3966281)

> Please educate me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing like this in Linux or BSD. First, there is no single file in which corruption can make an entire installation worthless. Second, there is far better error checking, so corruption of any kind is less likely to occur.

If any of these single-file corruptions occur, your Linux install is hosed:

1. /boot/vmlinuz
2. /etc/inittab's entry for bootup (imagine a 0 or 6 instead of 3 or 5)
3. The name of the directory "modules" in /lib.

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962411)

FUD Alert!! Troll alert!!! 99% of this post is such BS that it's not even worth responding too...however, I'll tackle possibly the most egregious point (it kinda proves the rest as BS as well).

There are many other big shortcomings in Windows XP. Windows XP, and all current Windows operating systems, have a file called the registry in which configuration information is written. If this one (large, often fragmented) file becomes corrupted, the only way of recovering may be to re-format the hard drive, re-install the operating system, and then re-install and re-configure all the applications.

BULLSHIT! Microsoft has the ability (I know AT least since Win98) that Windows automatically backs up the registry periodically (ie, at shutdown or boot, major hardware change, etc). IF it ever gets corrupted, there will be a backup to restore from. That's also bullshit what you claim about not being able to backup--it works fine. If you had actualyl read the link you linked to, you would see it's refering to SID--a special identifier used on MS networks (somewhat akin to an IP address, not some evil ploy). Duplicate SID's, just like duplicate IP's, conflict.

How bout you go get a life and stop verbally stabbing at microsoft from your parents home (PennyArcade ;)

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963615)

Most of the article isn't FUD more like 0.01% could possibly be construed as FUD on a good day for MSFT, and the links are legit. You are a fucking cretin, you butt fucking fuck tarded fucking piece of shit. you should go install Debian, FreeBSD and a dash of OS X and see that living on the other side doesn't suck so bad, you fucking fuck-cake mongoloid fool.

About the unique SIDS, so what if I want duplicate SIDS? They basically make you ghost-walk/sid-change the boxes because their privacy invading copy-wrong protection FUCKS YOU eve if you paid for your software legit because you are assumed a criminal.

The "restore" diskette in windows NT 3/4/5/XP/2000 whatever else you call it has to be made. The registry is not auto magically backed up for you, and it is a rollback/regression (most people have only the RDISK from the first day of operation). The pieces of the registry are stored in flat files.

The joke is that without all this tripwire shit to catch people who can't possibly steal Windows since it is sold with EVERY fucking branded PC is making it impossible for a company (see: MSFT) who can't even keep things working properly WITHOUT tripwires to keep things working AT ALL.

What a fucking crock of SHIT. You are a lune toon, fuckstick. Keep wondering what that Symbol-less, stripped source-less mystery binary is send John Ashcroft - all that kiddie pron a scum ball like you obviously reads is going straight home.

Rot in hell, fuckball.

Ill keep using UFS+S while you defrag your drive.

You are the epitome of the ignoramus spouting preteen zitcase saran wrapped keyboard masturbatory fetish freak face that some and slinks through the cracks here. I'll be watching you, scum bag.

If you have broadband, there is no God. People like you should have to wait at least 120 seconds per HTTP post command to limit the fuck-crap-flood you eructate upon the world.

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (2, Informative)

GargoyleMT (9723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964112)

Actually, in XP, the registry backup IS automagically made - that's what the "System Volume Information" folder in the root of your HD is used for. And that Application in the Accessories\System Tools Folder - called "System Restore"? That's how you access it. It'll work in safe mode, too.

Not a cureall for Registry Corruption, but it's an improvement from Windows 2000.

Re:List of ways Windows XP connects to MS computer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3963624)

I have a few things to say to you:
Fuck you, you little snarky fool. Die.

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Humorless Moderator Crack smoke wafts through air - Humorless moderator - Why do you hate me?

Taco, I want you to fuck me in the ass please. I am dying to be anally accosted. I want to be ravaged like hog. I want you to dress like a farmer and make me oink like a pig. I want an ass reaming like no other. Taco, I haven't had this kind of lust for you since the crazy college days. We used to butt fuck each other in the stalls. You always told me not to flush and preferred using my feces as apposed to real lubricant. I remember your chocolaty member, your manhood, draped in my feces. Man, Robbie, I remember. I was day dreaming, escaping into a nether world where we used to fornicate, and live in fornicatory bliss. You used to like to keep your tubes socks on to enhance they gay look. We were so flitty and light on out feet. I am so very confused these days. I have difficulty conceptualizing the time that was then in contrast to now. I mean, first you were a raging homosexual, now you deprecate me in favor of this "woman." I know that bitch is a transvestite. You are closeting your homosexuality and denying your roots in my ass!

I am destabilizing. The world is going dark to me. I have scintillating threads of motley thoughts, my ability to control my self evanesces away! I have only an adamantine desire to see your balloon knot once again, and to have you ravage mine! I see a world of GOATS. A goat fucking extravaganza. I invoke the ANUS of DOOM! I hate Taco.

SON of the GOAT, HUGE ASS WIDENER, This is a massive, massive ass attack from the Minister of Goat, Ayatollah man-meat. [bmezine.com]
Dilated Meat Pie. Most suppressed people really like seeing this. It gives them new masturbatory fodder. [bmezine.com]
Two cucumbers, better than one. This is to show that the giver is really smaller than what is needed to fill GOATSE man. He east Cheerioatse brand O's [bmezine.com]
A Disney product right where it belongs. Up a goat's ass. Death to Mike Eisner, the butt buddy of Commander Tak0. [bmezine.com]
Raw and dilated man-pussy. Put back the trouser snake, Tako. You dick is way too small for this man's ass. [bmezine.com]
A Prolapsed rectum is sure to whet even the most jaded flaming fuck's appetite. Tak0, your penis is regrettably way too small, even for your "Fiancée's" unfettered anus. She doesn't want to dirty her ass with the likes of your pathetic member. [bmezine.com]
GOAT KORAN [goatse.cx]
Classic HIT ME IN THE SHITTER BABY, UNGH HUH [es.org]
Classic Oh yeah, in the shitter some more, in the shitter. [es.org]
Classic More ass stretching goodness. [es.org]
Female Goater My pussy is too small for this APPLE. [es.org]
Goatse Grandpas - GRANPA GOAT S3X0R5 [es.org]
Son of a Goat - Holy fucking son of a goat. Kind of looks like Tako from behind, but to be sure I'd have to ask CowGryl Kneel [conhugeco.org]
1 Oh, pardon me sir, would you happen to have any ANAL LUBE? [conhugeco.org]
2 UNGH FART, pssssbt, ungh, tweeep, squeaaaaaak ungh [conhugeco.org]
3 PFFFFFFFFFFT AHH pffft [conhugeco.org]
4 FOOOOOOOOOOOOF blud dribble dribble [conhugeco.org]
Prime Number Shitting Goatse Man See The Prime numbers flow like the river SHIT [massivewang.com]
Goatse Returns! Fuck yeah, the goat man is a coming back to Trollaxor [trollaxor.com]
I summon the powers of HUGE GAPING ASS!
1 You Will Love to Goatse on all the things of Internet.

2 Will Search and initiate to new members, and you will show the way to the light (www.goatse.es.org)
3 When they return of to see our God Goatse, you mock of them.
4 To fuck, to fuck that are shocked the planets!
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * [goatse.cx]
gcccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cg
oc/ccccc\ccccccccccccc\cccccccccccc/cccc\ccccc cco
a|ccccccc|ccccccccccccc\cccccccccc|cccccc|ccc ccca
t|ccccccc`.ccccccccccccc|ccccccccc|ccccccc:c cccct
s`cccccccc|ccccccccccccc|cccccccc\|ccccccc| cccccs
ec\ccccccc|c/ccccccc/cc\\\ccc--__c\\cccccc c:cccce
xcc\cccccc\/ccc_--~~cccccccccc~--__|c\ccc cc|ccccx
*ccc\cccccc\_-~cccccccccccccccccccc~-_\c ccc|cccc*
gcccc\_ccccc\cccccccc_.--------.______\ |ccc|ccccg
occcccc\ccccc\______//c_c___c_c(_(__>c c\ccc|ccc c
accccccc\ccc.ccCc___)cc______c(_(____>cc|cc/ccc c
tccccccc/\c|cccCc____)/cccccc\c(_____>cc|_/cccc c
scccccc/c/\|cccC_____)Moridineas(___>ccc/cc\ccc c
eccccc|ccc(ccc_C_____)\_ccccc/cc//c_/c/ccccc\cc ce
xccccc|cccc\cc|__ccc\\_________//c(__/ccccccc| ccx
*cccc|c\cccc\____)ccc`----ccc--'ccccccccccccc |cc*
gcccc|cc\_cccccccccc___\ccccccc/_cccccccccc_ /c|cg
occc|cccccccccccccc/cccc|ccccc|cc\ccccccccc ccc|co
accc|ccccccccccccc|cccc/ccccccc\cc\ccccccc cccc|ca
tccc|cccccccccc/c/cccc|ccccccccc|cc\ccccc cccccc|t
sccc|ccccccccc/c/cccccc\__/\___/cccc|ccc ccccccc|s
ecc|ccccccccccc/cccccccc|cccc|ccccccc|c cccccccc|e
xcc|cccccccccc|ccccccccc|cccc|ccccccc| ccccccccc|x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

FUD alert! (1, Troll)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963138)

This article is one of the biggest pieces of crap I've seen in a long time.

First of all, the list he gives of services that contact Microsoft is not accurate.(The time service has to be setup to tell it who to contact and MS recommends using NIST computers, and that's only one example I would want to verify the others) Second of all he's missing some well known ones like the Search command.

Then he goes off on some other rants. In the discussion about knowledge base article Q314828 it is clear he didn't read the article. Basically the warn against SID duplication and they will only support computers which have been imaged with the sysprep utility provided on the XP CD.

Whoever wrote this article is obviously not technically competent.

Please explain. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963711)


I was not able to get the time service to use any but Microsoft's computers. Please explain how to do this. Microsoft certainly does not make it easy to use NIST servers.

Sysprep does not allow fully functional backups, as Microsoft says. Sysprep is used to prepare new systems.

Re:Please explain. (1, Troll)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964524)

Good god, is this guy RE Ballard?

NET TIME /SETNTP:time.nist.gov

That's because Sysprep isn't for functional backups... it's for preparing new systems, which is what the knowledgebase article was talking about.

Good grief, please leave computers to someone who knows what they are doing. All you do is give the whole industry a bad name.

Anger problem. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965192)


What is most interesting about your comment is that you are using this situation as a way of acting out your anger.

I stand by what I said about making functional backups. Most people don't try to do restores, so they don't realize how many times backups aren't really backups.

It is interesting how difficult it is for people to deal with an abuser. Instead of efficiently moving to limit the destructiveness of the abuser, the the abused people often begin to attack each other, as you have done.

When I first tried to change the time server in Windows XP, I got error messages. The system I was testing would not let me make the change. I got error messages when I tried to use any but Microsoft's time server. Now, it works. Thanks for the info. I changed my article to reflect this new information.

I don't say that I know everything about Windows XP. You undoubtedly know things that I don't know. I think it is very likely I know things you don't know. It is interesting that you have the presumption that, if you know something I don't know, that gives you a license to make an angry attack. It is also interesting that you have the presumption that, if I say one thing that is mistaken, you can ignore everything else I said.

And If you're Not On the Net? (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963934)

About this dependence on connecting with Microsoft computers: What happens to Windows machines that aren't connected to the net?

That is a good question. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3964866)

That is a good question. If you buy a Microsoft mouse, you don't get the full functionality until you let the mouse software(!) connect to the internet. So, that gives you an idea of what Microsoft would do. The question is, what does Microsoft do now? First, they make it quite difficult to upgrade your computer to fix bugs. Sometimes the downloadable updates lag behind those available with Windows Update.

Also, it is the direction that Microsoft is going that is even more alarming. Windows Media Player already reports your music choices to Microsoft. The EULA for a security bug fix [bsdvault.net] to Windows Media Player gives Microsoft complete control over your computer: They own it, not you. That shows that Microsoft can and will be sneaky. (The EULA says that it is limited to Digital Rights Management, but Microsoft is trying, with Palladium, to extend Digital Rights Management to everything you do on your computer.)

Re:That is a good question. (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3965165)

the direction that Microsoft is going that is even more alarming
One of the cheap shots for effective security is to never use the machine to be patched to download the patches. Use something else, anything else. I'm very comfortable using Microsoft Windows NT to download RedHat patches.

gives Microsoft complete control over your computer: They own it, not you.
That's the My of My Computer. I think the "My" has to refer to whoever named it so.

wutrack/wustat (1)

mian (253649) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962362)

I noticed this a few weeks ago and also had connections open 24/7 to wustat.windows.com:80 which 2 days ago turned into wutrack.windows.com:80 and I've just checked my netstat and it's back to wustat.windows.com:80 so I figure it has something todo with Windows Updates, I do have automatic updates on and find it a useful feature however with hostnames like wutrack.windows.com it makes me wonder it's doing more. Also it only seems to check for updates every few days so why is the connection open 24/7 (its my own netstat program which I've also coded in a Close Socket button to close the connection, which if I do it wont reconnect until I reboot either), so why does something that checks for updates periodocally need to be constantly connected the entire time your PC is up, and if this applies to every copy of Windows XP, surely there's millions, how does Microsoft handle millions of constant TCP connections (especially if they use IIS)

How can i find out ALL of Microsoft's domains (2)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962388)


is there any way to find out all of the subdomains at microsoft.com (or msn.com) ?
ie:
sa.microsoft.com
windowsmedia.microsoft.c om
msid.msn.com

or can they create subdomains that are completly secret (until found out)
as i would like a list of every microsoft subdomain (and msn domains) so i can add them to the Host file project [remember.mine.nu] so they can be selectivly blocked ?

any help would be apreciated as i already have an extensive list of MS domains but i would really like to grab them all (and any future ones) :)

Netcraft is your friend. (1)

Lukey Boy (16717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962670)

The Netcraft results [netcraft.com] show 223 sites ending in Microsoft.com. Yikes.

Re:How can i find out ALL of Microsoft's domains (1)

trmatthe (311613) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962685)

When DNS servers are configured to back each other up and duplicate the database they use a system called zone transfers to transfer the DNS data to each other. You can emulate this using dig or nslookup.

However, as any properly configured site should, MS stop you doing a zone transfer (certainly from dns3.uk.msft.net which is the one i tried).

Also, I don't think you should do this to add them to your hosts project. Some of the stuff you have in your loopback hosts file is wrong and shouldn't be in there.

Re:How can i find out ALL of Microsoft's domains (1)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3962853)


i would appreciate if you could point out which hosts are wrong and if possible the reasons as a lot of these sites have been submitted by the public and it would be good to keep the project relevant and correct, my email address is on the site, or you could upload a list of bad hosts (identifying that by the filename)

thank you for your help and time

Re:How can i find out ALL of Microsoft's domains (1)

termigator (595635) | more than 12 years ago | (#3966215)

I use whois and APNIC to find out which IP address are assigned to microsoft and then just block those addresses. MS owns the address range 207.46.0.0/16.

Again... (1)

TheDanish (576008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963022)

I'm running XP too (yeah, I know), and it connects to sa.windows.com every time I try to search for a file on my hd (that was covered in an article around here). I simply blocked the traffic, and the search still worked. Gee, that's strange. It doesn't *NEED* to phone home and it still works?

These people obviously aren't as skilled programmers as our friends at Real as far as Phoning Home Functionality is concerned.

Micro$not is the 7th level of HELL (0, Flamebait)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 12 years ago | (#3963999)

I hate Micro$not products. Windows SUCKS.
I provide tech support for quite a few people so I have to run a number of M$ machines here with variuous versions of WinBlows (98 through XP)

I am TRYING to migrate my own personal life to Linux but for now, M$ still owns my soul.

I have one customer with 12 stand alone machines and I'm installing a LAN/switch/router to get them all on broadband. There is a nightmarish hell of WinBlows there, all sorts of mucked up 95 machines, 98, ME, etc..

The customer just ordered a new machine from Dell (ugh! tech support MORONS!) and get this.

1. The ONLY OS they sell a machine with is XP Home.
2. They pre-install XP Home at the factory.
3. They pre-install tons of other bullshit at the factory.
4. If you demand that they ship the machine with a BLANK hard drive and provide a CD with the OS on it rather than a factory "restore image" they won't do it.

I tried to explain to my customer that XP is SHIT (in a nice way of course) and that the purpose of XP is to give M$ a window into her world so they can peer in and spy on her.

"Oh, but the nice man at Dell told me that they fixed all the bugs and security flaws in XP with a Service Pack and there is no problem any more and that XP Home works just fine now."

Uh, ok. Whatever. It appears now that they are going to ship her computer "their way", pre-loaded with spyware and useless Dell bloatware.

I could smack the shit out of these dumbasses that shit there and jab a button so that a robot flash loads racks full of HDD's with total bullshit then they shove them down hapless consumer's throats. "We're here to help you!"

I live one city over from a place where they farm out tech support. This place is a total ghetto, they could have dropped a nuke and done less damage to this place than what poverty has done to it. Anyway, since there are no businesses left there anymore, some big tech support company came in and bought up a bunch of old abandonded shopping centers and they filled them up with phone banks then hired bunches of welfare rejects. You can drive by and see them all out smoking at the door, wearing rags and looking pretty much unclean in general.

These are the people that you get when you call Dell and Gateway tech support and some other large companies too.
Job interview:
Interviewer: "Have you any experiance with computers?"
Prospect: "I hocked a few last week"
Interviewer: "Hired, report to the front office on Monday."

These people read questions from a laminated card. I suppose it is a flow chart, I find it amazing that they can read for one, and that they can follow the logic of a flow chart.

I would not be suprised to find that M$ is using some of these places to browse through peoples systems. We know that M$ grabs snapshots of your registry which is the tell all. With only that one item M$ knows all your comings and goings.
M$ can and does grab copies of your email when they feel the urge. They have the computing power to scan your messages for key words that either hits their tripwires, RIAA & MPAA tripwires, and now PATRIOT ACT tripwires.

Micro$snot XP Home *IS* the PATRIOT ACT. If you use XP you *ARE* being spied upon. If you use WinBlows 9x you *ARE* being spied upon.

2000 ( http://nsa2.www.conxion.com/win2k/download.htm ) can be secured but you have to know what you are doing, it's not a job for Joe Average.

Even following the guidlines above is not enough, you must take your *OWN* steps to secure your system. Build your own firewall and build your own IPTables. Trust no one and no thing.
Your computer is *NOT* your friend.

Bottom line, if you have XP, reformat your hard drive with Linux. Build a hardware firewall.
If you have a Cisco router, dump it. Punks can hack them in seconds. And those dopey little routers they sell at Worst Buy, take it fishing, they make nice sinkers.

Just remember, Bill Gate$ is the Anti-Christ and Micro$not is the 7th level of HELL.

Trusted Computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3964192)

They've got to be kidding!

How can they convince anybody to trust them?

In particular, how could a corporate user who does really large contracts involving billion dollar tenders, store any such information on XP? E.G., suppose a tender is being let for a pipeline through Afghanistan!!!

It seems to me that anything must be considered public domain the moment after it is entered into a Windows XP keyboard.

What does the future hold? Will we need a dual computer hierarchy, first, secure, very expensive computers for confidential, valuable information and Windows for non-confidential and hence worthless stuff, managed by air-head secretaries?!

Maybe it doesn't really matter! All of US businesses look like they are following the Enron/Adelphia/WorldCom/Tyco example. After you declare bankrupcy, who cares anyway!
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