Tag Archives: windows

Passmark diagram of my system (425)

My Primary Windows Computer

My primary Windows Computer is a home built one I put together about a year ago. It started out as a Vista PC build but soon got some significant upgrades to bulk up its processing power. Most of those original parts were recycled in a PC I built for my parents. Still, despite being recently purchased most of the parts are no longer available, having been superseded by newer models.

The system scored a 1203 on Passmark 7. Because I like my primary machines to be stable I’m conservative and haven’t done any overclocking. The full benchmark report is on my benchmark page while the full system information as reported by the Passmark benchmarking software is below.

System Summary

Windows 7 (64-bit) Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz 8190 MB RAM NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 932GB HDD, 932GB HDD, 140GB HDD CD/DVD/BD/HD DVD-ROM, CD-RW/DVDRW/BD

System Information

  • System Name: computer
  • Operating System: Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • Motherboard Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Motherboard Model: GA-E7AUM-DS2H
  • Motherboard Version: x.x
  • BIOS Manufacturer: Award Software International, Inc.
  • BIOS Version: F2
  • BIOS Release Date: 12/17/2008

Memory Information

  • Total Physical Memory: 8190 MB RAM
  • Available Physical Memory: 6870 MB RAM
  • Slot 1: Unknown, 2048MB, 800MHz  Slot 2: Unknown, 2048MB, 800MHz
  • Slot 3: Unknown, 2048MB, 800MHz Slot 4: Unknown, 2048MB, 800MHz
  • Virtual Memory: C:pagefile.sys (8190 MB)

CPU Information

  • Manufacturer: GenuineIntel  Type: Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
  • Manufacturer: Cores per CPU: 4
  • Hyperthreading: Not capable
  • Measured Speed: 2401.7 MHz
  • Multiplier: 9X
  • Bus Speed: 267Mhz  Front Side Bus Speed: 267Mhz
  • L1 Instruction Cache: 4 x 32 KB  L1 Data Cache: 4 x 32 KB
  • L2 Cache Size: 2 x 4 MB  L3 Cache: (N/A)

Disk Information

  • Drive Letter (Number): C (Physical drive 0)
  • Model Number: Unknown
  • Disk Size (Free space): 139.6 GBytes (95.5 GBytes)
  • Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
  • File System: NTFS
  • Drive Letter (Number): D (Physical drive 0)
  • Model Number: Unknown
  • Disk Size (Free space): 931.5 GBytes (818.1 GBytes)
  • Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
  • File System: NTFS

Video Adapters

  • Description: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT
  • Chip Type: GeForce 9500 GT
  • DAC Type: Integrated RAMDAC
  • Memory: 512MB
  • Video BIOS: Version
  • Driver Provider: NVIDIA
  • Driver Version: Driver Date: 1-11-2010
  • Monitor 1: 1920x1080x32 60Hz (Primary monitor)

Optimizing A Windows Vista Virtual Machine

The Team Fusion blog has an article about optimizing Vista on VMware Fusion 2. Since it’s from the VMware folks it’s titled as VMware specific, but it’s appropriate for any Vista virtual machine.

Suggestions include:

  • Disable System Restore
  • Disable Screen Saver
  • Optimize Power Management for Virtual Machine
  • Disable Windows Sidebar
  • Disable Remote Management
  • Run Windows Disk Defragmentation Utilities
  • OPTIONAL: Change to Classic UI

Disabling system restore is something I hadn’t considered although I do severely limit the disk space it’s given. I like the option of bein able to roll back patches and update, although vm snaptshots and backups would work too.

My Windows Vista vm on my MacBook is running under VMware Fusion and has 728MB of memory allocated to it, with 2GB of RAM on the MacBook. Performance is acceptable but I’m a light Vista users on the MacBook.

On my iMac I’ve got 1GB out of 3GB allocated to Vista. While I tend to run a little more software I wouldn’t say I stress the system.

Security Quest #17: Microsoft Edition

Lock in black & white Another second Tuesday of the month and another set of Microsoft patches. I realize it’s important to patch vulnerabilities as soon as possible and this monthly release schedule tends to go against that, but I like the consistency and ability to plan.

Anyway, this week brought two patches. The first is MS08-001 titled “Vulnerabilities in Windows TCP/IP Could Allow Remote Code Execution”. This affects all supported desktop OS’s. It’s rated as Important for Windows 2000 and Critical for all flavors of Windows XP and Windows Vista. I didn’t have any problems applying this update to my two Windows XP SP2 installations. There wasn’t any update through Windows Update for my Vista SP1 RC1 install so I don’t have any experience with that one.

MS08-002 is titled “Vulnerability in LSASS Could Allow Local Elevation of Privilege” and is for Windows 2000 and Windows XP on the desktop. It rated as important. If someone already has logon credentials they can use this vulnerability to elevate their privileges.

There’s no cumulative IE update or any Office updates this month.


Microsoft Security Resources

Additional security resources from Microsoft:

Microsoft Security Newsletter is a monthly e-mail covering security topics from Microsoft. To subscribe you’ll need a Microsoft Live ID (formerly passport) although the newsletter can go to any email address.  You’ll also be required to provide a name. By default the box to also receive other Microsoft emails is checked so be sure to uncheck it (unless you want the emails). You can also view the latest newsletter‘ without subscribing.

Microsoft provides several levels of security notifications via several methods. They provide either basic or comprehensive alerts along with additional non-vulnerability advisories and a blog. Delivery system include email, rss, Windows Live Alerts and the website.

A security bulletin search is provided that allows searching by date, product and severity rating.

They also have a new (at least to me) Malware Protection Center that lists information about malware and provides links to Microsoft tools.

Spam Counts

This weeks spam counts:

Primary Mailbox 30-day spam count: 2

This is down one from last week and none of it is new.

Public Mailbox 30-day spam count: 156

Down 20 from last week with new spam this week at 21 pieces.

Website comment and trackback spam: 7,573

This is up 73 from last week.

Security Quest #13: Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Yesterday was patch Tuesday for December and Microsoft released seven security bulletins. There weren’t any Office updates but there were updates for all supported OS’s – Windows 2000 Professional SP4 to Windows XP SP2, and Windows Vista – along with updates for Internet Explorer 6 and IE 7. All the updates are available through Automatic Updates or the Microsoft web site. Microsoft has said that exploits for the IE vulnerabilities are already being used. Click the bulletin number to go directly to the MS bulletin. I do not mention server OS’s when saying what OS the patch is for, only desktop OS’s and app’s.

MS07-063 is for Windows Vista, including the 64-bit version, and is rated as Important. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution but it’s mitigated by the fact that SMB2 is off by default and not used when connecting to previous OS’s (like Windows XP).

MS07-064 is for DirectX 7 and 8 on Windows 2000; DirectX 9 on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista; DirectX 10 on Windows Vista. The patch is rated Critical on all systems.

MS07-065 is for Windows 2000 Pro and Windows XP. It’s rated as Important on Windows 2000 and Moderate on Windows XP. An attacker that already has valid logon credentials could elevate their privileges.

MS07-066 is for Windows Vista, including 64-bit, and is rated as Important. The vulnerability could allow the elevation of privileges.

MS07-067 is for Windows XP and it’s rated as Important. It also allows privilege elevation.

MS07-068 is for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista and it’s rated as Critical. The patch varies based of the version of the Windows Media Format Runtime that is installed and isn’t OS specific. The vulnerability can allow remote code execution.

MS07-069 is the always expected Internet Explorer Cumulative update and is for Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. And also for Internet Explorer 5.01 on Windows 2000. It’s rated as Critical on all desktop OS’s.

I run a basic (no additional software) Windows Vista Ultimate VM and it updated without a problem. The same for a basic Windows XP SP2 VM I also run. The updates were installed through Automatic Update.

News & Links

ArsTechnica.com: Rating antivirus software: vendors to agree on standard testing guidelines – Software vendors are working to come up with a standard way of evaluating and comparing AV software.

ArsTechnica.com: SAFE Act won’t turn mom-and-pop shops into WiFi cops – There was a lot of hysteria about this bill in various articles. Mainly saying that it required free Wi-Fi providers to monitor users. Ars Technica has a more reasoned article (as they usually do).

Avast.com: Avast AntiVirus Home Edition – Free virus protection for your home PC – Avast has updated their free (or personal use) Anti-Virus software.

F-Secure.com: Data Security Summary – July to December 2007 – F-Secure has published their year-end data security summary in both written and video form.

Google Privacy: Emails, Off-the-record Chats – Continuing the privacy theme, information on GMail and Google chat.

News.Com: Free online service cuts back on catalog clutter – Reduce the snail-mail spam.

News.com: Grisoft acquires Exploit Prevention Labs – Grisoft adds web page scanning to its tools.

OpenOffice.org: OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 Released – OOo released version 2.3.1 which patches one vulnerability and includes a few other bug fixes.

Techdirt.com: Verizon’s Idea Of Security: We Block Spyware… Unless It’s From Our Partners – TechDirt says Verizon’s security service has some deficiencies.

WashingtonPost.com: Top 10 Best & Worst Anti-Phishing Web Registrars – Security Fix – Some registrars are better than others when taking down phishing sites. Plus, there’s an effort to standardize the take down process.

WinSuperSite.com: Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Review – Good review of the latest Windows OneCare version

Wired.com: AIM Hack Shows AOL Hasn’t Patched Critical Security Hole – AOL often plugs vulnerabilities in AIM by doing server-side filtering.

Yahoo.com: Google Disables Some Gmail Accounts by Mistake – Seems like Google disabled some GMail accounts for spamming or other TOS violations. It’s all better now, but some mail may have been bounded.