I am a lost and lonely Windows sysadmin, or wondering why there are Windows notes here

Learn about the WindowsCommandLine, and then go and get all the Sysinternals utilities. You'll be glad you did.

Wondering what all those weird processes are?

The Startup Programs and Executables Listing names lots of common programs along with their purpose. Next time you see something like tikl.exe running, boggle no more.

Blank Explorer windows on dual CPU servers

Got a Windows 2000 Server that displays blank Explorer windows until you refresh or right click inside them? Recently updated to 2 CPUs (and installed the Multiprocessor HAL)?

You need Patch KB:328310 (MS02-071), even if you've installed it already.

Can't authenticate users in a trusted domain for RRAS/VPN

GoogleGroups offers Allowing VPN access to trusted domain users.

It seems you have to add the other DC to the group "Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Users" on the DC
net localgroup "Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access" everyone /add

See KB:240855.

Windows 2000 Tab Completion

Everyone loves TabCompletion. It was introduced in the Windows 2000 CLI but not enabled by default. It is, in Windows XP. To enable it on W2k, change the value of the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor\!CompletionChar? (which should be a REG_DWORD) to 9. (It's the ASCII value of a Tab for the curious.)

CLI windows already opened before you changed the registry will not register the change.

Remote restart/shutdown a WinNT/2K/XP machine

There are various programs that shut down a Windows machine remotely using RPC. The appropriate !ResourceKit? for the OS has a tool for this. The PsShutdown utility from SysInternal's PsTools is another.

And if you don't keep your machine patched, it will sooner or later shut down with a timed 60 seconds warning.

Print drivers cause crashing

Sometimes you'll find that, when starting MicrosoftExcel or Word you'll jump to 100% CPU usage, one half by the application, the other half by spoolsv. You can enter the application if you issue

net stop spooler

but you can't do much in there and printing is out of the question.

Try installing a different printer driver, then print to screen. If it works, then it's the printer driver and you'll need to contact the printer manufacturer to see if they have an updated one. If it's across a network, there could be problems with that as well, which get fairly involved to troubleshoot.

Using IPSec

Check out these links.