Friday, February 22, 2008

VISTA series - Digital IDs, Adobe Acrobat, BER error ...

Hi again,
I'm continuing to post VISTA problems and resolutions.

Actually I'm not sure whether the problem I am going to describe is specific to VISTA only, but it appeared to me after migrating to VISTA.

So, who does not have a Digital ID (Digital signature) nowadays. I am using one since last year. I'm used to use the electronic services provided by the government, as well as digitally signing different kind of documents. I had no problems for more than an year. Until I got VISTA.

Suddenly the Adobe Acrobat (7.0.0) under VISTA did not see my digital ID. It sees some other self-signed IDs, but not the one that I really need. The strange thing is that it does see it in the "Advanced -> Security -> My digital IDs", but when I want to see details, the Acrobat errors with something like:

Certificate parsing error:
x.509 parsing error
Error encounted while BER decoding


After some googling, I found that it is a common, well-known by Adobe problem, with no patch/update yet (the problem seems to exists in Adobe Acrobat 8.0, too).

The problem seemed to be that there is some "peer-to-peer" certificate in the Windows Certificate Store. It is issued by [my windows login] to [my windows login], and I don't know why and when.

The solution:

  • Open the Windows Certificate Manager (Start->run / search->certmgr.msc)
  • Locate any "peer-to-peer certificate" you may have (the "peer-to-peer" you will see in the column "Intended purposes").
  • Remove it (all of "peer-to-peer")
  • Restart Adobe Acrobat

Now I think you will be able to use your digital ID with Adobe Acrobat again.

Hope this helps,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

VISTA :) SP1 Prerequisites

I found an interesting article on the net:

Vista SP1 prerequisite updates send some PCs into endless reboot...

And I am happy to find that I have installed these updates without any problems ;)

VISTA networking sometimes blocks outbound traffic

Strange things happen all the time ;) That's the funniest.

So, I have (hopefully to put that into the PAST) some strange problem under VISTA with my Marvell Yukon Ethernet NIC and my Linksys' WRT54GL.

From time to time it appears that I don't outbound traffic to ports like HTTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, etc. But I have outbound traffic via ICMP like PING, TRACE, ECHO. What is going on ?

I did a little research over the Internet and a number of posts came out. The most descriptive one I found is here.

It appears that VISTA is trying to impress us and play hard with the network adapters on some lower layers of the OSI model.

And so, I disable the "IPv4 Checksum offload", the "TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4)" and the "UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)", restarted and looking forward to see the change. This you can do from:

  • Control Panel -> Network Connections
  • Right click on the desired network connection
  • Select PROPERTIES (you will be prompted from the UAC that this requires administrative permission)
  • Click on "CONFIGURE" button just bellow the name of the Network Adapter used for the connection
  • Go to "Advanced" tab
  • Find all the "[something] Offload (IPv4)" and select "DISABLED"

OK, I'm sure we are all impatient for the SERVICE PACK 1, which is expected to come with Windows Update in mid-March.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Calculating time to copy files, or how to speed up file copying under VISTA

Hi there,
I'm sure that most of you, guys who are using Windows VISTA already hate the "smart feature" that is "Calculating time remaining to copy files", which takes more time than the actual copy itself. Well, may be under some circumstances it may speed-up networked copy of files, but in the common scenario it just slows down the whole process.

Thanks to this post, I've found the way to remove the irritating feature and go normal again.

The culprit seems to be the "Remote Differential Compression" feature, which is introduced in VISTA for the first time. To turn it off go in Control Panel / Programs and features / Turn on or turn off Windows features and uncheck "Remote Differential Compression".

Another feature that might slow the network traffic is the TCP/IP "Receive Window Auto-Tuning", which can be turned off via elevated command prompt:

netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

After these changes you might want to reboot the system and look for improvements.

Note: I also have read somewhere that Microsoft has promised to fix this issue with Service Pak 1 for VISTA. And the Service Pack 1 is already released to manufacturing, as of 04 February 2008.