Today marks the release of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2008 – a set of tools for IT Pros managing IT environments for companies who have purchased MDOP plus Windows Software Assurance agreements with Microsoft. There are two key product updates in this release I’d like to highlight that I think IT Pros will find very useful – Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 6.0 (DaRT) and Desktop Error Monitoring 3.0 SP1 (DEM).
For those of you not familiar with DaRT, it provides a set of tools for IT Pros to debug and troubleshoot unbootable PCs. DaRT 6.0 brings in some new tools worth taking note of. Tools such as Locksmith can reset a local administrator password, while Hotfix Uninstall can remove a bad hotfix. This is especially useful if the hotfix was the cause of the PC crash. Perhaps one of the simplest uses for DaRT is to recover files from the PC, even if they have been removed from the recycle bin. One of the new features in DaRT 6.0 is the Standalone System Sweeper, an antimalware product that runs while the Windows operating system is unbootable. This tool, which can receive updated virus/spyware definitions via USB thumb drive or online, will scan the PC’s hard drive and is even effective at removing malware which use rootkits to avoid detection. DaRT 6.0 was previously available in beta, and Brandon had a chance to check it out late last year on the Windows Experience Blog.
DEM is a tool which allows the IT department to monitor all of the little application and operating system crashes that occur in an IT environment. You can think of it as a “Watson for companies.” Whenever end users have a pop up error that normally says “Click to send to Microsoft,” the Administrator can now use DEM to automatically redirect all of those errors to the DEM server. By tracking all of these errors, companies can create a more stable PC environment for their end users. They can also use it to track internally developed applications and use the feedback to improve their own development process. DEM 3.0 SP1 brings improved performance and scalability to the product, as well as an improved look-and-feel of the reports which can be generated for key metrics such as Top Application Crashes and Top Error Groups. Additionally, the new version of DEM can be upgraded to System Center Operations Manager 2007 through an in-place upgrade. This will allow IT Departments a deeper level of monitoring for your machines and the added ability to monitor your servers.
The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack continues to be an excellent way for IT Pros to effectively manage their PCs in the IT environment.
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