Windows 7, Server 2008r2 and Server 2012 network switching to public

How many end users or techs have had issues with their PCs and workgroup servers suddenly jumping from home/work to public, blocking access to data, printers, apps, etc?  Often times, this is caused by a router change (which if you are an AT&T U-verse subscriber, could be once every few months).

But in many other instances, this phenomena occurs without warning and for no obvious reason. What’s even more interesting is in an environment of, say, 8 computers, 5 might change to public while the other 3 remain set to private business.

I write this with no solution offered, merely the observation that this problem seems to be fairly frequent and I’ve only really seen it in the last year or so; and never saw it years ago on Windows 7.  Have Windows updates caused this to be more common?  Are hack attempts through the network responsible?

The security policy can be manually set on a single machine to cause it to default to a private network, but I’m more interested in what has been causing this more frequently than before.  I probably get a few calls per week that are directly related to the public network jump on peer-to-peer networks.

I’d love to hear feedback from others in IT that have also experienced an increase in this issue.

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Bye Bye Intel Motherboards – Discontinued – What is Intel thinking?

As an IT guy and hardware reseller, I guess I should have been paying better attention to what Intel has been doing. But a few years ago, we had a falling out as an Intel Channel Partner and no longer participate. The dispute was over Intel’s refusal to give us credit towards our yearly quota unless we purchased from one of their “approved” vendors.

Newegg isn’t, or at least wasn’t, on that list; and quite frankly, I grew tired of paying higher prices and navigating the more cumbersome websites of those other vendors. As the channel partner program became less personable and more outsourced, I saw no value in trying to comply with the program.

Fast forward to February 2014. A lot of people have been buying custom made PCs lately. The biggest reasons are XP is becoming obsolete and it’s hard to walk into a big box store and purchase something other than Windows 8.x- no need to elaborate. However, custom computers can still be built with Windows 7.

I recently noticed that Newegg began to experience Intel branded motherboard shortages. I had been able to substitute a mATX for an ATX board or select a more expensive one, but that became a problem too. Soon, I was scrambling for an alternative manufacturer using the same Intel chipsets. The whole time, I was thinking this was just a blip on the radar and supply would catch up with my demand for Intel motherboards.

But when that didn’t happen, I reached out to Newegg on both Facebook and Twitter. That’s when I was given the bad news. Newegg’s twitter response was:

“Intel announced in 2013 that they’ll transition out of the MB business by 2014. You can try ASUS or Gigabyte as an alternative.”

Say it ain’t so, Intel. Say it ain’t so! Intel may not be known for the best gaming boards in the industry, but their workstation motherboards have been rock solid for over a decade, barring a few unfortunate firmware issues. I’m no fan of Gigabyte and while I used ASUS exclusively 15 years ago, I became troubled by their hit and miss quality at various price points.

I’d love to hear from other techs, who’ve had to switch from Intel boards and find out what they are using now. I’m using Asrock and hoping for the best. If Intel replies to my Twitter post, I’ll add it later. But for now, all I can say is Why Why Why?