Saturday, March 31, 2007

"Stop 0x50 BSOD in Windows XP"

I've had several machines show this message 0x50 BSOD error in Windows XP Service Pack 2. In all the cases where I saw this message the computer boots back up on the next cold boot. For the error not to reoccur follow the steps in the KB Article:

What worked for me:

I started out by updating the Video adapter and then the BIOS update and then running the chkdsk utility. For detailed instructions on how to run chkdsk and different parameters... click this link... If the error re-occurs after a few days or so, the best option is to run one of many free RAM tests available on the Internet. You can also download one from Microsoft's website

If the test fails YES, it is time to replace the memory.

Windows XP built-in firewall a nuisance

Microsoft has been very proud of including built-in firewall with Windows XP and Vista. In my experience in a small shop run only by 1 person this has turned out to be a complete Nuisance. When we first installed Windows SP2 which automatically turned on the Windows XP firewall on all the 60 desktop machines that I Manager and support, several of our applications either failed to work and or they were just very slow. Virus Management software and one of our line of business application CCH's Engagement would not work. Besides users complained about their computers running slower than usual, not to mention outgoing messages in their Outlook client would just sit in the outbox until they hit send/receive.. ( Yes we are running Exchange server).. and Yes they are working in a LAN environment with Gigabit speed to the desktop. Well the culprity... you guessed it right.. Windows XP firewall.

File Restoring Tools and Utilities

File restore utilities and tools are really not cut out to be what they promise. I have in desperation tried a couple of the utilities available in the market place to restore deleted files from Windows with very little success.
The 2 utilities that I used were
1. File Restore - Part of the Winternals Admin Pak 5 (now owned by Microsoft)
2. Recover My Files - Get Data

The first one being more expensive than Recover My files as it is only sold as part of the entire Admin Pak which runs around $1199. That's a steep price to pay for a file restore utility that promises to restore your deleted data from command prompt, recycle bin data that was deleted.
As I understand part of the problem with restoring permanently deleted files from windows is that the deleted files get overwritten as the computer is in use by your Internet cache files, so there is a high likelihood that part of the files could get overwritten and even if you are able to restore some files they might be corrupted.

I used Recover my files for a user who had deleted some important folders on their computer. The install was simple and the user interface easy enough for anyone with little PC experience to use.

The file restore utility from Admin Pak 5 of Winternals was not that great either. I had deleted some files on one of the servers by accident by writing an incorrect script that deleted files under a wrong path. I installed it on a windows 2000 server, it took about 3 hours to seach my hard-drive and came with nothing.

If anyone out there has worked with some good windows file restore utilities that have worked for them, I am all ears.