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

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


Vista Hands On #2: A no-fuss, nondestructive clean install

Who says you need to format your hard disk to do a clean install of Windows Vista? In this edition of my 30 days of Vista Hands On, I explain how to use an upgrade copy of Windows Vista to install a completely clean copy without wiping out your old data. The technique involves a Setup procedure that was guaranteed to cause problems in Windows XP but works just fine in Vista.

February 13, 2007 by


Vista passes its first Patch Tuesday test

It's Patch Tuesday, and Microsoft doled out a dozen Critical and Important updates for Windows and Office via Automatic Updates. But if you're running Windows Vista, you can hit the snooze button for another month. None of those patches - not a single one - apply to Windows Vista or Office 2007. But there is a new Ultimate Extra

February 13, 2007 by


Vista Hands On #1: What you need to know about product keys

When you buy a copy of Windows Vista, the most important part of the purchase is the 25-character product key, which you use to activate your installation. In the first installment of my Vista Hands-On series, I explain how to use two tools - an obscure VBScript file included with all Vista editions and a free third-party utility - to find out important details about your product key.

February 11, 2007 by