Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.

Latest Posts

Vista Hands On #8: Delay activation

Every copy of Windows Vista requires activation, and the default settings will do it automatically three days after you complete Setup. If you're not ready to make that commitment, here's how to disable automatic activation and use Vista risk-free for its full evaluation period.

February 27, 2007 by


Vista WGA problems confirmed

I've seen Vista's new WGA problems up close and personal, and I've got the screenshots to prove it. Why are some programs able to convince Windows that the operating system has been tampered with? Why is Windows Defender allowing them to do it? And what can you do if you're caught in the crosshairs?

February 26, 2007 by


Problems arise with Vista's validation

Microsoft announced its new anti-piracy measures for Windows Vista last fall with an assurance that its tight integration into the operating system would reduce the number of false positives. But its own message boards tell a different story, with at least four third-party applications now known to cause validation problems and even outright activation failures.

February 25, 2007 by


A brief history of anti-piracy at Microsoft

I’m revisiting Microsoft’s Genuine Advantage program this week, in light of the introduction of a new WGA Notifications tool for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. As background, I thought it might be interesting to post a brief history of how Microsoft’s anti-piracy programs have evolved over the past 25 years.

February 24, 2007 by


Son of WGA

Microsoft has just released an update to its Windows Genuine Notifications software for Windows XP and other pre-Vista platforms. Last summer's WGA release was a horror show; will the sequel be kinder to customers?

February 23, 2007 by


Vista Hands On #7: Move user data to another drive

One of the smartest things you can do with a new installation of Windows Vista is to relocate user data folders to a different drive than the one that contains the Windows and Program Files folders. The advantage? By separating system files from data, you make it easy to back up and restore each. Here's how.

February 22, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #4: Clean install with an upgrade key

You probably heard or read about the "Vista upgrade loophole." Most of the reports I've seen have the basic facts wrong. The Setup feature they're describing isn't a loophole at all. It's a perfectly legal workaround for an amazingly stupid technical restriction that Microsoft imposes on upgraders. In this installment of my Vista Hands On series, I explain exactly what's going on and how you can legally perform a clean install using an upgrade key.

February 15, 2007 by


Vista Hands On #3: Check your disk before upgrading

If you're getting ready to perform a Vista upgrade, be on the lookout for two gotchas, both of which are related to your system drive. You'll need sufficient disk space and the right disk format. If your old PC is still using FAT32, this installment in my 30 Days of Vista Hand On series will explain how to convert it to NTFS.

February 14, 2007 by