Windows fast user switching + Zone Alarm = bad IT day

My poor colleagues had to put up with a lot of complaining yesterday. I was having a bad IT day (when nothing seems to go well). And it seems to be continuing today.

I recently rebuilt my company notebook PC to run Windows Vista and Office 2007. That’s going well but then there’s all the stuff that goes on top (anti-virus software, corporate VPN client, etc.). My colleague and trusted advisor, Garry, helped me to get all that in place, an administrator added my machine to the corporate domain and before I left last night I logged on so that I had a profile for my domain account with cached user credentials (for working at home today).

It should have been fine but I didn’t log out from my original account because I was in the middle of something – I used the fast user switching feature instead and then waited… and waited… and waited… as Windows tried to set up my profile.

In the end I gave up and logged out, only to find a load of Zone Alarm messages popped up under the original account.

“Blah blah blah is trying to do something… do you want to allow this?” I don’t know – probably! Just let me get on with logging in.

Today it’s more of the same, as switching back to my old (non-domain) profile to run Windows Easy Transfer resulted in the same problem.

I think Garry was quite disturbed to see how I (and another colleague) quickly tired of reading these incessant firewall popups and just clicked the “allow” button (and the “don’t bug me again” checkbox) every time – which proves a point I made about firewall messages almost two years ago. And anyway, what’s wrong with the Windows Firewall? If I didn’t have to use Zone Alarm to meet VPN access policies then I wouldn’t. Grrr.

The good news is that Windows Easy Transfer was really useful for migrating my application settings from my old profile to the new domain profile (I didn’t use it for the files as it’s easier to just drag and drop them in Explorer).

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