LettersReaders Speak Out

PageDefrag Utility

I tried to execute the SysInternals PageDefrag utility that was discussed in your September 2007 issue. However, it failed under Windows Vista® x64 with the error "Make sure that you are an administrator. Error loading PageDefrag driver."

—Alex D.

At this time, the PageDefrag utility is not supported in Windows Vista. It works only with Windows NT® 4.0, Windows® 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server® 2003. We apologize that this was not made clear in the September article.

Backup Scheduler

I read the article "A Guide to Windows Vista Backup Technologies" in the September 2007 issue with great interest, but I have a few questions. Figure 2 in the article shows a date and time for the next backup. How is this possible if the backup tool does not contain its own scheduler?

Since changes to disk blocks are the basis for determining what is to be backed up, what happens if disk defragmentation has occurred? Does this result in a large amount of data to be backed up because the blocks have been moved or changed? Also, during a restore, if blocks are restored to their original location, how is this affected by a disk defrag?

—Bruce G.

We went to the source (author Christine Fok) on this, and here's what she had to say:

Figure 2 shows a date and time for the next file and folder backup, but only the time of the most recent Complete PC Backup. You can schedule a file/folder-level backup, but, as you noted, Complete PC Backup does not contain its own scheduler.

You're right that running Defrag between two Complete PC backups could make the second one bigger. And your take on restoring after defragmenting is also correct. Complete PC works at the volume level, below the file system. It puts back every block exactly as it was at the time of the backup, at the exact same locations on the disk, regardless of whether Defrag has run since that backup was taken. Therefore, you may need to defragment the volume again once the restore is done.

BGInfo Tool

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Utility Spotlight column in the August 2007 issue. The BGInfo tool from SysInternals that gathers crucial CPU and network information was exceptional. I enjoy reading about individuals who develop a new product, utility, program, or application. Has Mr. Cogswell developed other software products for Microsoft?

—Daryl B.

We're glad to hear you find the BGInfo utility useful! Bryce Cogswell has authored a number of handy utilities, generally in partnership with Mark Russinovich as part of Sysinternals. Happily, Microsoft acquired Sysinternals in 2006, and both Mr. Cogswell and Dr. Russinovich now work here. You can find all of their utilities on the Sysinternals Web site at microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals.

RPC and Firewalls

The "Troubleshooting RPC Errors" article in your July 2007 issue was very helpful but missed one key point: Windows Firewall can also cause RPC errors. If Windows Firewall is configured to allow PING requests but not unsolicited incoming messages, then all attempts to manage a machine remotely will fail. If you run RPCPING.exe from the Windows Resource Kit, the error returned is 1722 (the RPC server is unavailable).

In this case, the firewall is doing exactly what it is supposed to do: stopping outsiders from accessing a given system. Unfortunately it will also give administrators fits as they attempt to manage machines on an enterprise network.

—Aaron M.

Thanks for pointing out another potential source of RPC difficulties. We hope that the tools mentioned in the article can help troubleshoot these problems.

Windows XP Licenses

The October 2007 Field Notes column mentioned the possibility of buying licenses for Windows XP for only $5.00. We are a nonprofit publishing house, and I am wondering how we can get these licenses. Is there any way to do this via the phone or mail? I have e-mail, but I don't have Web access.

—Ernest B.

You can reach the MAR administrative partner, TechSoup, at communitymar@techsoup.org or by calling 800-659-3579 x350. You may also write to: Community MAR Administrator, TechSoup Stock, 435 Brannan Street #100, San Francisco, CA 94107.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.