Monthly archives: February 2007


Delegating "Power Options" Management to Limited Users in XP

Microsoft doesn't have a lot of good literature on how to do this, so that's why I am writing this post. 

We have users who frequently take their laptops on business trips to do presentations.  Having the monitor blank out from inactivity during a long discussion is a frequent complaint.  Worse is when the computer goes into standby!

Normally these are great things as it saves the laptop's battery life.  But sometimes you just want to turn these options off, or modify them to your liking.  Doing so usually requires administrator priveleges.  But it SHOULDN'T have to!

To grant the ability to change machine power management settings to your users, simply grant them Full Control (minus take ownership/change permissions) on the following registry key.  This can, of course, be deployed through a GPO, too.

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\PowerCfg

Now your users can mess with the power options all they want without bugging you!

I couldn't think of any security reason why this is bad (short of corrupting the registry's stored power settings, but I hardly think that will cause a BSOD or cause any truely bad unrecoverable problem or information disclosure -- maybe just some angry message boxes from Explorer?  I haven't tried...)

NOTE: This will NOT affect any sort of screen saver timeout that you have controlled through Group Policy.  Those settings can be handled through the Administrative Template in the User Settings.  The screen saver policy is more security critical, IMHO, because this is where you can force the screen saver to require a password to unlock the machine.


Problems installing Web Application Projects after SP1 is applied to Visual Studio 2005

UPDATE on April 4, 2007:

It turns out that the Web Application Project is included in Service Pack 1, which pretty much makes the entire post below completely moot!  I'm leaving it here in case somebody needs the information, but after installing SP1, check under VB or C# Projects (NOT websites) and see if "Web Application" is there.  If it is, you don't need to install the Web Application Project component that was avaialble for pre-SP1 Visual Studio 2005.  Man, I feel like a moron... :-) I need to learn to read the docs from time to time...

Original post follows...

I ran into a weird problem today.  At the company where I work, we use Web Application Projects in Visual Studio 2005, which allows 2005 to create, open, edit, save, and publish Visual Studio 2003-style web applications.  In case you are not familiar, the original version of 2005 introduced the concept of "web sites" which are quite different from the old structure of "web applications" which caused many upgrade nightmares for legacy applications changing from one to the other!  Each has advantages and disadvantages, but it was clear that Microsoft thought everybody would embrace the Web Site concept and forget about the old tried and true Web Application.  Well, resistance to change was high!  And rightfully so.  You want to use 2005, but you don't want to have to rewrite thousands of lines of code and spend weeks adapating your old web app into a web site.  That costs money.  And Visual Studio and .Net are supposed to SAVE money.

Anyway, I'm stepping off my soapbox now.

So Microsoft released the Web Application Project feature pack for 2005.  It's great.  It also requires a hotfix to be applied before installing.  Apparently, in some Visual Studio 2005 post-sp1 machines that never applied that hotfix beforehand, you cannot convince the Web Application Project that, indeed, the hotfix (or the service pack containing the "supported" fix) is actually installed.  Everytime you reinstall it, it prompts you again to install it again!  You'll get the following error message...

A Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 - Update to support Web Application Projects is requried before you can complete this install.  Would you like to install it now?

The update IS installed!  Annoying!

Well it's easy to fix this with Orca, which is Microsoft's MSI table editor.  Download Orca, then right click on the "WebApplicationProjectSetup.MSI" and select "Edit with Orca."

Go down to the _VsdLaunchCondition table and delete the row that has "WAPGDR" as its "Condition." This removes the hotfix check code.  Run the MSI and it will install.  Be aware that removing the hotfix code will also remove the warning of a legitimately non-updated version of Visual Studio and the Web Application Project may not work as a result.

Hope this helps someone...


Connecting SQL Server Management Studio to a non-standard TCP/IP Port

I searched for an hour on and to try to figure out how on EARTH you specify a non-1433 port number when you want to establish a remote connection to MS SQL Server using Management Studio.  It seemed like such a simple thing.  So simple, I guess, that I'm the only person that doesn't know how to do it!

Well I finally found a page that has the answer.  It's easy.  You add a comma and the port number to the end of the server name.

So if you want to connect to on port 3821, you type...,3821

That's it!

Hopefully this will help some other poor sap who didn't realize (like me) that you use the same nomenclature as any normal connection string to specify a port number.  So simple.  Sheesh.

Ah well.  Such is life!


More bug fixes with RD Tabs 1.1.2

RD Tabs 1.1.2 is now available!  Read more about it in the forums... And don't forget to post your product suggestions and technical support issues there too!


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