Certified Mail

SUS support; Rewarding Job; Worms; and Data Replication Issues

Windows Update Support
In regard to April’s feature, “Patching the Holes,” by Jeremy Moskowitz, my company has SUS installed in our Windows 2000 Server domain, which works fine for automatic updates. But what about manual updates? There’s the possibility to use “Windows Update” in the Option menu of Microsoft Internet Explorer, but Internet Explorer still goes to a Microsoft Web site and not to the SUS server. Is it possible to change the download site of Windows Update from Microsoft to my SUS?
—Fabian Kraemer
Winterthur, Switzerland

Mere mortals on Win2K or XP desktops can’t run Windows Update. You must be logged in as an administrator or as part of the Administrators group. It doesn’t matter if the client is configured to use SUS or not. Local Administrators on the PC may run Windows Update by going to windows update.microsoft.com, the same location that’s in IE’s Tools | Windows Update. Note that SUS is a supported product by Microsoft PSS services, and Microsoft will give you support if you’re willing to pay the fees. Maybe it has a way around these limitations. Good luck.
—Jeremy Moskowitz

A Different Kind of Reward
I loved the August article, “A Wing and A Prayer,” by Jim Idema. I’ve performed work for a couple of churches in the past with limited budgets. About halfway through the job, I always ask myself: Why am I doing this? It’s only in the end that I realize how rewarding the completed project is. It’s definitely not always about the money.
—Michael Johncock, MCSE, CNE
Houston, Texas

New Directions
My letter, “Keep on Truckin’,” was published in the November 2002 issue. At that time, the economy was headed down the toilet and my career was quickly following.

I went back to school and finished my bachelor’s degree. Being of the “older stock” of the student body, it felt as if I’d taken several steps back in my career. I had over 10 years of IT experience with the likes of IBM, Merck, Target and Union Pacific. But I stuck to it. Through the experience, I got to dabble in an area not previously open to me: programming.

When I graduated last May, I started working toward programming. I kept my skills fresh by marketing myself to local small businesses for the first couple of months and began building applications for clients to streamline their paperwork processes. I snagged a job interview from an Internet job site! I got lucky. I doubt I’d have embraced this direction if I hadn’t been hit by the depressed economy. I thought readers could use a happy ending to a tough story.
—Jim Ownby, MCSE
Atlanta, Georgia

Security by Aggravation
I enjoyed August’s “Call Me Certifiable” column, “Security by Aggravation.” I’m really worried about the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base feature. I’ve had a lot of experience in tech support, watching the results of new features being added but not properly thought through. Is there a good forum for users to send feedback or comments about this to Microsoft, or is it still too early to do so?
—Andy Svendsen, MCSE, MCDBA
Fairfax, Virginia

It’s surprisingly hard to get feedback or comments to most of the software teams at Microsoft. To stay competitive, they tend to keep what the developers are actually up to pretty secret and don’t ask for input until they’re ready to launch a beta program. However, in the case of the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base initiative, Microsoft is making a serious effort to get your input. It has set up a newsgroup for public discussions and an e-mail alias (ngscb_qa@ microsoft.com) to which you can send feedback directly. Check out the NGSCB Web site at www.microsoft.com/resources/ngscb/community.mspx.
—Em C. Pea

Data Replication Issue
I found Jeremy Moskowitz’s article, “Active Directory Back From the Dead” online in your Feburary 2001 issue—just in time. Exactly as described in the article, one of my staff deleted a rather important OU and, thus, we followed the article with success to its restoration. However, we’re now having problems with replication of this data to our secondary domain controller. Specifically, the group memberships look completely different between the master and the secondary domain controller. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
—Robert M. Kinney, CAN, CXE
Columbus, Ohio

Glad you found the article useful. I’d ensure the domain controller that’s not playing well with others is pointing to the same DNS as the others. DCDIAG.exe ought to help here. As for DCDIAG, there’s a downloadable update. I’d also suggest NETDIAG as well for your testing. Updates for both tools are found in article 265706, “DCDiag and NetDiag in Windows 2000 Facilitate Domain Join and DC Creation,” in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
—Jeremy Moskowitz

E-mail Worm
I read Roger Grimes’ July article, “Lifecycle of an E-mail Worm,” on my way home from a technical seminar. I thought the article was very informative, and it brought back some experiences I had with some of these worms. I was wondering if you’d share your 100 potentially dangerous file extensions?
—Derek McKelvey, MCSE, CCNP, CCNA
West Palm Beach, Florida

Although the entire list wouldn’t fit here, you can find it online as part of my article, posted here: http://mcpmag.com/Features/article.asp?EditorialsID=351#threat.
—Roger Grimes

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