Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Upgrade old crappy Windows 7 32 bit to Windows 10 32 bit, post install fixes and impressions / How to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Upgrade-Windows-7-Vista-XP-to-Windows-10-upgrade-howto-observations-post-fixes

However as I've been upgrading my sister's computer previously running Windows 7 to Windows 10 (the process of upgrading is really simple you just download Windows-Media-Creation-tool from Microsoft website and the rest comes to few clicks (Accept Windows 10 User Agreement, Create current install  restore point (backup) etc.) and waiting some 30 minutes or so for the upgrade to complete.

windows-7-to-10-windows-setup-upgrade-this-pc-prompt

Then it was up to downloading some other updates on a few times and restarting the computer, each time the upgrades were made and all the computer was ready. I've installed Avira (AntiVirus) as I usually do on new PCs and downloaded a bunch of anti-malware (MalwareBytes / Rfkill  / Zemanta)  to make sure that the old upgraded  WIndows was not already infected before the upgrade and I've found a bunch of malware, that got quickly cleared up.

Anyways I've tried also another tool called ReimagePlus – Online Computer Repair in order to check whether there are no some broken WIndows system files after the upgrade

Reimage_Repair-Windows-fix-windows-failing-services-and-broken-windows-installations-clear-up-malware
(here I have to say I've done that besides running in an Administrator command prompt (cmd.exe) and running
 

sfc /scannow


command to check base system files integrity, which luckily showed no problems with the Win base system files.

ReimagePlus however showed some failed services and some failed programs that were previously installed from Windows 7 before the upgrade and even it showed indication for Trojan present on computer but since ReImagePlus is a payed software and I didn't have the money to spend on it, I just proceeded to clean up what was found manually.

After that the computer ran fine, with the only strange thing that some data was from hard drive was red a bit too frequently, after a short call with a close friend (Nomen) – thx man, he suggested that the frequenty hdd usage might be related to Windows Search Indexing service database rebuilt and he adviced me to disable it which I did following this article How to speed up Windows by disabling Search Index Service.

One issue worthy to mention  stumbled upon after the upgrade was problems with Windows Explorer which was frequently crashing and "restarting the Desktop", but once, I've enabled all upgrades from Microsoft and Applied them after some update failures and restarts, once all was up2date to all latest from Microsoft, Explorer started working normally.

In the mean time while Windows Explorer was crashing in order to browse my file system I used the good old Win Total Command or Norton Commander for Windows – WinNC (with its most cool bizzarre own File Explorer tool).

Windows-Total-commander-tool-running-on-MS-Windows-10

As I wanted to run a MalwareBytes scan and Antivirus under Windows Safe-Mode, I tried entering it by restarting the Computer and pressing F8 a number of times before the Windows boot screen but this didn't work as Safe-Mode boot was changed in Windows 10 to be callable in another way because of some extra Windows Boot speed up optimizations, in short the easiest way I found to enter Windows 10 Safe Mode was to Hit Start Button -> Choose Restart PC and keep pressed SHIFT button simultaneously
that calls a menu that gives you some restore options, along with safe mode options for those who want to read more on How to Enter Safe mode (Command Prompt) on Windows 10 – please read this article.

Windows-10-enable-Safe-Mode-options-screen

Once the upgrade was over and all below done unfortunately I've realized her previously installed WIndows 7 is x86 (32 bit) version and the Acer notebook 5736Z where it is being installed is actually X64 (64 bit), hence I've decided to upgrade my dear sis computer to a 64 Bit Windows 10 and researched online whether, there is some tool that is capable to upgrade WIndows 10 from 32 bit to Windows 10 64 bit just to find out the only option is to either use some program to creaty a backup of files on the PC or to manually copy files to external hard drive and reinstall with a Windows 10 64 bit bootable USB Flash or CD / DVD image, so I took my USB flash and used again Windows Media Creation Tool to burn Windows and re-install with the 64 bit iso.

If you're wonder about why I choose to re-install finally Win 10 32 bit with Win 64 bit, because you might think performance difference might be not really so dramatic, then I have to say the Acer notebook is equipped with 4 Gigabytes of RAM Memory and Windows 10 32bit  (Pro) could recognize a maximum of 3 Gigabytes (2.9 GB if I have to be precise) and 1 Gigabyte of memory stays totally unusued all the time with  Winblows 10 32 bit.

Windows-10-4gb-memory-present-only-3gb-usable-why-reason-and-solution

I've tried my best actually to not loose time to fully upgrade Windows 7 (32 bit) -> Windows 10 (64 bit) but to make Windows 7 32 bit Windows to use more than the default Limitation of 3GB of memory by using this thirt party PAE Externsion Kernel Patch
which is patching the Windows Kernel to extend the Windows support for PCs with up to 128 GB of memory however it turned out that this Patch file is not compatible with my Windows Kernel version once I followed readme instructions.

It seems the PAE (Physical Address Extension) is supported by default  by Microsoft only on 32 bit Windows Server 10 to read more on the PAE if interested give a look here.

Well that's all folks, the rest I did was to just boot from the USB drive just burned and re-install WIndows and copy my files from User profile / Downloads / Pictures / Music etc. to the same locations on the new installed Windows 10 professional 64 bit and enjoy the better performance.

Windows XP multicore not detected after CPU update – XP Enable multicore after singlecore install

Friday, April 8th, 2016

windows-xp-add-multicore-with-command-after-multiple-cpu-not-detected
These days it is not common to install Windows XP however for some old unsupproted applications that still work on XP in many countries  in Africa, Asia, Europe and even America. Custom patched Windows XP is still heaveily used for some corporate businesses in accounting and on airports and other government institutions even to these day, I'm aware of Windows still heavily used especially in  Russia, Belarus,Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Bulgaria etc.

Hence still there is plenty of softwares designed to work XP the good old Win XP and thus often XP needs to be emulated on VMs though officially not supported any longer  by Microsoft (its Support lifecycle End was for a last time on April 14, 2009).

Now I guess these days I guess nobody doesn't install and use Windows XP on a normal hardware PC Desktop / laptop but XP is continually installed on Virtual machine servers VMWare / VirtualBox.

Hence if you happen to have already migrated or installed some old Windows XP operating systems under VMWare for a corporate clients single core machine (no matter virtual or physical) and the client requires an update of hardware of the Virtual Machine you will be surprised that even though you add a second / third etc. core (new CPUs) the virtual machine hardware and restart the Windows XP installation.

It seems XP is designed to remember the install time CPU model hardware so once the VM and doesn't have a way to update its HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) definitions if you install it in Virtualbox thus to make XP recognize the extra added CPU cores it is necessery to do a small hack with a devcon.exe utility downloadable from Microsoft site to do the trick

1. Download the command line devicemanager utility (devcon.exe) from Microsoft Development Network MSDN here.

Note that it will work only if you use the correct version depending whether XP is  (x86/x64) bit install so check it out from My Computer -> Properties.

windows-xp-multicore-not-detected-enable-add-multicore-after-singlecore-windows-xp-install-with-devcon-exe

2  Next. Execute the following 2 commands:

    devcon sethwid @ROOT\ACPI_HAL\0000 := +acpiapic_mp !acpiapic_up
    devcon update c:\windows\inf\hal.inf acpiapic_mp

devcon.exe will  let the automatic hardware detection find out the extra CPU (multicores) added.
Wait 'till you get prompted for a reboot.
Be brave Reboot! 🙂

There is pretty much more fun useful things you can do with devcon.exe such as disabling USBs from command line,

DEVCON-command-DisableUSB_on-windows-xp-7-8-howto

listing your PCI devices and so on:

devcon-windows-command-to-list-pci-devices-on-xp7-win8-win10

You should now see all cores, hooray cores will appear in Task Manager / System Information.

Change Skype for Business UI to Lync – Skype for Business Lync Theme / Remove Skype for Business coloroful UI and Switch to Lync simple interface

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Revert-skype-for-business-Lync-User-Interface-change-skype-for-business-theme-skin

If you are working in a large corporation such as (HP or HPE – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE is the new splitted company brand name for the Software and Servers division of ex-HP) / IBM / Dell or any other company with the size of top fortune companies and you Computer Domain admistrator has forced your work PC to already use Skype for Business instead of the good tested Lync Client along with the goodies and PROS of having the newer Skype for Business (S4B) as usual for old fashened users like me and the avarage employee the New S4B interface will turn into nightmare with all this circled names and more buttons and the annoying Skype Blue Theme.

For anyone who has even basic idea of design and aesthetics, I believe the default Theme of Skype For Business  will be evaluated as a serious "interface downgrade" compared to the simple looking Interface and White Skin of Lync Client.

With this said it will be logical for the end user like me to desire to customize a bit default S4B Skin to make it more elegant looking like Lync 2013 client but guess what there is a Surprise if you google around, Skype For Business just like the regular Skype client doesn't have integrated support for Skins / Themes.
To make the horror complete, many big corporations are choosing to migrate their Email infrastructure from the classical and well tested Windows Domain with Exchange Server to  Microsoft Office 365 (Cloud services),
which makes the dependency on M$ products even bigger and in the long run control and spying on people's email and information (people's data security even worsers) as you know how hackable Windows prooved to be over the years.


Well for those who remember the good old times of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and ICQ (I seek you) 🙂 and even Jabber when chatting emerged and boomed into popularity all the chat clients nomatter whether it was a free software under GPL / BSD license or it was a Proprietary licensed software, there was always alternative on the Interface Outlook of the Chat clients and on practically all popular Chat / Audio / Video communication Standards / Protocols, there used to be some option for the users to use either a different client or to customize the outook of the program.

Well now the big surprise with Skype Protocol which was purchased by Microsoft some years ago back is this terrible already M$ program doesn't have any option for changing the Theme and even basic customization besides the ones provided by default by Microsoft. For my surprise such a trivial and everybody used program like Skype with perhaps already 1.5 or 2 Billion or even more users doesn't have even basic support for customization !!!
To make the Skype program use horror story even worser Microsoft does upgrade the Skype client agressively and for the last 3 or 4 years Skype is owned by Microsoft the interface gets changing slightly or even completely with every next release.

Now with latest Skype versions since a 1.5 year or so the agressiveness of the program even increased further as it wants you to automatically upgrade, every time you run Skype.
With this in mind and the fact, I have to spend about 8 to 10 years on the PC with Skype for Business switched on on my notebook with no option to use Lync for communication because of the Domain Exchange forcing the changes to all of the users within our EMEA.

So after some serious digging on the Internet, the only work around to change the Skype For Business Theme available by a couple of sources is to Revert Back the Skype User Interface to Lync 2013 Client by changing a value to the Windows registry and get back the good old elegant Lync interface instead of S4B.

The Windows registry value that needs to be changed is:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync]


The default value there is:
 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync]
"CanSharePptInCollab"=dword:00000001
"CanAppShareInCollab"=dword:00000001
"CanShareOneNoteInCollab"=dword:00000001
"EnableSkypeUI"=hex:01,00,00,00

 

The value has to be changed to:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Lync]
"CanSharePptInCollab"=dword:00000001
"CanAppShareInCollab"=dword:00000001
"CanShareOneNoteInCollab"=dword:00000001
"EnableSkypeUI"=hex:00,00,00,00


restart_lync_screenshot-ms-windows

The value "EnableSkypeUI"=hex:01,00,00,00 – instructs so Skype for Business UI is used:
"EnableSkypeUI"=hex:00,00,00,00 – instructs S4B to revert back to Old Lync interface

For a little bit more on the value check out also articles – Alternate Between The Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business
and Managing the Skype Client UI in Skype for Business.

To modify about registry setting you will either have to manually run regedit from Start -> Run ->  cmd.exe or use Windows button + R and type inside run box:
 

regedit


Or even better just use and Run (Click over twice) on this skype.reg (download) sciprt which will modify registry

Because the Domain administrator has forced a policy to automatically offer Change of Lync Interface to Skype for Business on every notebook boot to disable EnableSkypeUI registry value and make Skype appear in the good old Lync UI, I've created also a tiny Batch script lync_ui.bat with following content:
 

cd \
cd \Users\georgi\scripts
 regedit /s skype.reg
exit


You can download lync_ui.bat from here

Note that both skype.reg and lync_ui.bat should be existing in my case in C:\Users\georgi\scipts , change this path to whatever your username is and create scripts folder in your User Home dir.
If unsure about the home directory name you can check it from command prompt with:
 

C:\Users\georgi> echo %HOMEPATH%
\Users\georgi


To make the lync_ui.bat (script invoking skype.reg)  be executed on every PC boot, you need to add it to:

Start -> All Programs -> StartUp

http://www.pc-freak.net/images/how-to-add-script-to-windows-startup-screenshto-microsoft-windows-7

Well this is it now you will have back the Lync UI, Enjoy! 🙂

 

Windows key Shortcuts and Commands List every Win admin / support must know

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

windows-XP-vista-7-8-server-2003-rc2-2012--full-complete-keyboard-shortcuts-list
If you're a system administrator of Windows Servers or or just a PC support in a small company and you have to fix PCs running Microsoft Windows XP / 7 / 8  daily, sooner or later you will be interested into how to optimize your windows maintainance work to be able to do more adminsitration work for less time.

M$ Windows OS has evolved a lot over the past 10+ years and many of the features available GUI are now either possibile to be done via a standard commands and the GUI interfaces. Various adminsitration and common daily work simplification goodies are now accessible through quick access shortcuts and commands.

Virtually all Windows operating system environment could be now customized by using such shortcuts, this reduces the multitude of annoying double clicks which are truely pissing off sysadmins and tech-supports involved in  Windows Ticket solving.

Win Shortcuts and Commands helps to:

  • Quickly invoke almost all System Settings available from Windows Control Panel
  • Access all admins tools GUIs throguh command
  • Speed up Opening Video, Pictures, Documents, Downloads folders start Windows Update, Configure Printers / Fax / Add Sharings

etc..

A lot of the commands were new to me thus I decided to try out all of the commands in command prompt (cmd). Many of the tools down-mentioned were news to me and let me understand better on Windows Internals, so if you time try them out.
 

Function Comand
Open Documents Folder Start menu -> Search (Type documents)
Open Videos folder Start -> Search (Type videos)
Open Downloads Folder Start -> Search (Type downloads)
Open Favorites Folder favorites
View Recent messages of your PC Start menu -> Search (Type recent)
Open Recent Folder N/A
Open Pictures Folder Start menu -> Search (Type pictures)
Windows Sideshow control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSideshow
Windows CardSpace (Windows ID Manager) control.exe /name Microsoft.cardspace
Windows Anytime Upgrade Start menu -> Search dialog (Type WindowsUpdate)
Taskbar and Start Menu control.exe /name Microsoft.TaskbarandStartMenu
Troubleshooting control.exe /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting
User Accounts (Run user accounts Interface) control.exe /name Microsoft.UserAccounts
Adding a new Device devicepairingwizard
Add Hardware Wizard hdwwiz
Advanced User Accounts Management netplwiz
Advanced User Accounts (Authorization Mgr) azman.msc
Windows Backup and Restore sdclt
Bluetooth File Transfer fsquirt
Calculator calc
Certificates Manager certmgr.msc
Change Computer Performance Settings systempropertiesperformance (Remove visual effects)
Change Data Execution Prevention Settings systempropertiesdataexecutionprevention
Change Data Execution Prevention Settings printui
Character Map charmap
ClearType Tuner cttune (Make text onscreen more readable)
Color Management colorcpl
Command Prompt cmd
Component Services comexp.msc
Component Services dcomcnfg
Computer Management Interface compmgmt.msc
Computer Management Interface compmgmtlauncher
Connect to Network Project via Network netproj
Connect to a Projector displayswitch (Alias for Fn key + F4)
Run Control Panel command control
Create A Shared Folder Wizard shrpubw
Create a System Repair Disc recdisc
Credential Backup and Restore Wizard credwiz
Data Execution Prevention systempropertiesdataexecutionprevention
Date and Time timedate.cpl
Default Location locationnotifications
Device Manager devmgmt.msc
Device Manager hdwwiz.cpl
Device Pairing Wizard devicepairingwizard
Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard msdt
Digitizer Calibration Tool tabcal
DirectX Diagnostic Tool dxdiag
Disk Cleanup cleanmgr
Disk Defragmenter dfrgui
Disk Management diskmgmt.msc
Display (Change font size of text onscreen) dpiscaling
Display Color Calibration dccw
Display Switch displayswitch
DPAPI Key Migration Wizard dpapimig
Driver Verifier Manager verifier
Ease of Access Center utilman
EFS Wizard rekeywiz
Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
Fax Cover Page Editor fxscover
File Signature Verification sigverif
Font Viewer fontview
Game Controllers joy.cpl
Windows Getting Started Iface gettingstarted
IExpress Wizard iexpress
Another alias for Getting Started irprops.cpl
Install or Uninstall Display Languages lusrmgr
Internet Explorer iexplore
Run Internet Explorer Internet Options inetcpl.cpl
iSCSI Initiator Configuration Tool iscsicpl
Language Pack Installer lpksetup
Local Group Policy Editor gpedit.msc
Local Security Policy secpol.msc
Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc
Location Activity locationnotifications
Magnifier magnify
Malicious Software Removal Tool mrt (Might be not existent on some Windows versions)
Manage Your File Encryption Certificates rekeywiz
Math Input Panel mip
Microsoft Management Console mmc
Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool msdt
Mouse main.cpl
NAP Client Configuration napclcfg.msc
Narrator narrator
Network Connections ncpa.cpl
New Scan Wizard wiaacmgr
Notepad notepad
ODBC Data Source Administrator odbcad32
ODBC Driver Configuration odbcconf
On-Screen Keyboard osk
Paint mspaint
Pen and Touch tabletpc.cpl
People Near Me collab.cpl
Performance Monitor perfmon.msc
Performance Options systempropertiesperformance
Phone and Modem telephon.cpl
Phone Dialer dialer
Power Options powercfg.cpl
Presentation Settings presentationsettings
Print Management printmanagement.msc
Printer Migration printbrmui
Printer User Interface printui
Private Character Editor eudcedit
Problem Steps Recorder psr
Programs and Features (Install / Uninstall) appwiz.cpl
Protected Content Migration dpapimig
Region and Language intl.cpl
Registry Editor regedit
Registry Editor 32 regedt32
Remote Access Phonebook rasphone
Remote Desktop Connection mstsc
Resource Monitor resmon
Resultant Set of Policy rsop.msc
SAM Lock Tool syskey
Screen Resolution desk.cpl
Securing the Windows Account Database syskey
Services services.msc
Set Program Access and Computer Defaults computerdefaults
Share Creation Wizard shrpubw
Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc
Snipping Tool snippingtool
Sound mmsys.cpl
Sound recorder soundrecorder
SQL Server Client Network Utility cliconfg
Sticky Notes stikynot
Stored User Names and Passwords credwiz
Sync Center mobsync
System Configuration msconfig
System Configuration Editor sysedit
System Information msinfo32
System Properties sysdm.cpl
System Properties (Advanced Tab) systempropertiesadvanced
System Properties (Computer Name Tab) systempropertiescomputername
System Properties (Hardware Tab) systempropertieshardware
System Properties (Remote Tab) systempropertiesremote
System Properties (System Protection Tab) systempropertiesprotection
System Restore rstrui
Task Manager taskmgr
Task Scheduler taskschd.msc
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Management tpm.msc
User Account Control Settings useraccountcontrolsettings
Utility Manager utilman
Version Reporter Applet winver
Volume Mixer sndvol
Windows Action Center wscui.cpl
Windows Activation Client slui (Runs on Windows license activation time)
Windows Anytime Upgrade Results windowsanytimeupgraderesults
Windows CardSpace infocardcpl.cpl
Windows Disc Image Burning Tool isoburn (Command line tool to burn images)
Windows DVD Maker dvdmaker (N/A on Windows 7, 8)
Windows Easy Transfer migwiz (N/A on many Windows versions)
Run Windows Explorer explorer
Windows Fax and Scan wfs
Windows Features optionalfeatures
Windows Firewall firewall.cpl
Windows Firewall with Advanced Security wf.msc
Windows Journal journal (N/A on Windows 7)
Windows Media Player wmplayer (N/A on many Windows releases)
Windows Memory Diagnostic Scheduler mdsched (Check your PC memory on next boot)
Windows Mobility Center (Stats) mblctr
Windows Picture Acquisition Wizard wiaacmgr
Windows PowerShell powershell
Windows PowerShell ISE powershell_ise
Windows Remote Assistance msra
Windows Repair Disc recdisc
Windows Script Host wscript
Windows Update wuapp
Windows Update Standalone Installer wusa
Show Windows Version winver
WMI Management wmimgmt.msc
WordPad write
XPS Viewer xpsrchvw


Most of above commands works fine with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 / 8, Windows 2003 / 2012, however some cmds are missing across some win versions.

Here is list of other useful Windows shortcut keys:
 

General keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+C (Copy)
  • Ctrl+X (Delete selected item and save a copy to the clipboard)
  • Ctrl+V (Paste)
  • Ctrl+Z (Undo)
  • Delete (Delete) 
  • Shift+Delete (Delete the selected item permanently without moving the item to the Recycle Bin) 
  • Ctrl while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
  • Ctrl+Shift while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
  • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
  • Ctrl+Right Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word) 
  • Ctrl+Left Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word) 
  • Ctrl+Down Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph) 
  • Ctrl+Up Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph) 
  • Ctrl+Shift with any arrow key (Highlight a block of text) 
  • Shift with any arrow key (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document) 
  • Ctrl+A (Select all) 
  • F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
  • Alt+Enter (View the properties for the selected item) 
  • Alt+F4 (Close the active item, or exit the active program) 
  • Alt+Enter (Display the properties of the selected object) 
  • Alt+Spacebar (Open the shortcut menu for the active window) 
  • Ctrl+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable multiple documents to be open at the same time) 
  • Alt+Tab (Switch between the open items) 
  • Alt+Esc (Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened) 
  • F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
  • F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or in Windows Explorer) 
  • Shift+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
  • Alt+Spacebar (Display the System menu for the active window) 
  • Ctrl+Esc (Display the Start menu) 
  • Alt+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
  • Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
  • F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
  • Right Arrow  (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
  • Left Arrow  (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
  • F5 key (Update the active window)
  • Backspace (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer) 
  • Esc (Cancel the current task)
  • Shift when you insert a CD into the CD drive (Prevent the CD from automatically playing)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Open Task Manager) 

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Tab (Move forward through the tabs)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab (Move backward through the tabs)
  • Tab (Move forward through the options)
  • Shift+Tab (Move backward through the options)
  • Alt+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command, or select the corresponding option)
  • Enter (Perform the command for the active option or button)
  • Spacebar (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
  • Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
  • F1 key (Display Help)
  • F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
  • Backspace (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

Microsoft natural keyboard shortcuts

  • Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
  • Windows Logo+Break (Display the System Properties dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
  • Windows Logo+M (Minimize all the windows)
  • Windows Logo+Shift+M (Restore the minimized windows)
  • Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
  • Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
  • Ctrl+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
  • Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
  • Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
  • Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

  • Right Shift for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys on or off)
  • Left Alt+left Shift+Print Screen (Switch High Contrast on or off)
  • Left Alt+left Shift+Num Lock (Switch the MouseKeys on or off)
  • Shift five times (Switch the StickyKeys on or off)
  • Num Lock for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys on or off)
  • Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

 

 

  • End (Display the bottom of the active window)
  • Home (Display the top of the active window)
  • Num Lock+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
  • Num Lock+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
  • Num Lock+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
  • Left Arrow  (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
  • Right Arrow  (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder) 

Keyboard Shortcuts for Character Map

 

 

After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the keyboard shortcuts:

  • Right Arrow  (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
  • Left Arrow  (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line) 
  • Up Arrow (Move up one row)
  • Down Arrow (Move down one row)
  • Page Up  (Move up one screen at a time)
  • Page Down (Move down one screen at a time)
  • Home (Move to the beginning of the line)
  • End (Move to the end of the line)
  • Ctrl+Home (Move to the first character)
  • Ctrl+End (Move to the last character)
  • Spacebar (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected) 

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) main window keyboard shortcuts

 

 

  • Ctrl+O (Open a saved console)
  • Ctrl+N (Open a new console)
  • Ctrl+S (Save the open console)
  • Ctrl+M (Add or remove a console item)
  • Ctrl+W (Open a new window)
  • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
  • Alt+Spacebar (Display the MMC window menu)
  • Alt+F4 (Close the console)
  • Alt+A (Display the Action menu)
  • Alt+V (Display the View menu)
  • Alt+F (Display the File menu)
  • Alt+O (Display the Favorites menu) 

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) window keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+P (Print the current page or active pane)
  • Alt+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
  • Shift+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
  • F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
  • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
  • Ctrl+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
  • Ctrl+F5 (Restore the active console window)
  • Alt+Enter (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
  • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
  • Ctrl+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut closes the console)

Remote desktop connection navigation

 

 

  • Ctrl+Alt+End (Open the Microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
  • Alt+Page Up (Switch between programs from left to right)
  • Alt+Page Down (Switch between programs from right to left)
  • Alt+Insert (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
  • Alt+Home (Display the Start menu)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Break (Switch the client computer between a window and a full-screen display)
  • Alt+Delete (Display the Windows menu)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Minus sign (-) (Put a snapshot of the complete client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing Alt+Print Screen on a local computer)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Plus sign (+) (Put a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing Print Screen on a local computer.) 

Microsoft Internet Explorer navigation

 

 

  • Ctrl+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
  • Ctrl+E (Open the Search bar)
  • Ctrl+F (Start the Find utility)
  • Ctrl+H (Open the History bar)
  • Ctrl+I (Open the Favorites bar)
  • Ctrl+L (Open the Open dialog box)
  • CtrlL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same web address)
  • Ctrl+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
  • Ctrl+P (Open the Print dialog box)
  • Ctrl+R (Update the current webpage)
  • Ctrl+W (Close the current window) 

Complete list of Windows Keyboard Shorcuts is on Microsoft website

how to archive with Windows default zip (compress) algorithm

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

windows-sent-to-compressed-file
I'm working on a decomissioning project (for those who hear decomissioning for a first time – in corporate world this means removal of service/s or assigned resources of a server or a physical server hardware that is not to be used in future or is obsolete). The decomissioning includes removal of Apache Tomcat (Software Configuration Item CI – in HP terms) from Microsoft Windows 2007 – Service Pack 2.
Part of decomissioning is of course to create backup of Tomcat Application server and for that I needed to create compressed archive of Tomcat instances. Usually I do archives on Windows using Winrar or Winzip but this time as the server productive server has the minimum installed there was no any external vendor produced archiving software available.

My memories from past were that there is a native compressing program embedded into Windows as I've unzipped compressed archives on Win hosts with no need for external WinZip. However until so far I never did .ZIP archive with no available external uncompress software.

Using Winzip or Winrar so far to make archive from a number of files I used to select files to enter Archive press right mouse button and select Create Archive (Add To Archive) so I expected this will work whenever no Winrar, however there was no obvious button like this, so I googled a bit to find out how is that possible ending up on Article from Microsoft titled "Compress and uncompress files (zip files)", there is a dumb proof video teaching Compressing files with Microsoft default ZIP program is done by the the weird "Send To" menu 🙂 

Selecting files to enter Archive;
> (Click Right Mouse Button) -> (Send To Compressed Zipped Folder)

compress_zipped_folder_with_windows_default_archive_algorithm how to archive with windows default compress archive

Honestly If I didn't checked the net probably I will never think of looking it there.

Mount ISO Image file in Windows 7 and Windows Vista ( Virtual Clone Drive )

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Virtual Clone drive logo open iso files Microsoft Windows

In Microsoft Windows 8, there is embedded way to mount ISO files. However in Windows 7 still there is no way to mount ISO image files. I just installed a new Windows 7 on my office work notebook given by Hewlett Packard and had to mount an ISO with Microsoft Visio. Normally all know the two standard programs to mount ISO images in Windows;

1. DaemonTools Lite
2. MagicISO
3. Virtual CD-ROM (Microsoft program)

After consulting my colleague I was recommended to rather install Virtual Clone Drive, for the reason Daemontool's latest versions install Spyware on Computer. On the other hand MagicISO is nice one but a bit obsolete already.
Launching installation prompts opens below install Window;

Virtual Clonedrive 2 on microsoft windows 7 screenshot great program to mount iso files
As you can see from installation Virtual Clone Drive supports ISO / IMG / UDF / BIN and CCD images. Once installation complete to Mount an ISO into separate drive quickest way is to Double click on Image. Also it can be done from program by navigating to:

Virtual Clone Drive Windows 7 mount drive open iso files

From my little experience so far with Virtual Clone Drive I would recommend Windows users to better install it instead of freeware alternatives. VCD feels more robust.

How to make VPN PPTP (Point to Point Tunnel) Server on Debian Wheezy GNU / Linux

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

VPN pptp server linux debian logo

Creating VPN server for allowing users to connect is as early practice as the internet was used over Dial-Up modems. PPTP Connections were useful for separating user accounts traffic and easily keeping an eye on who connects to a server via phone line. Besides that VPN tunnels allows the user to connect to every possible running service locally on the server, meaning whether a user opens a VPN (PoPTOP) connection to the VPN server there is no need for port forwarding to local running server services.

Other advantages of plain VPN connection is it is a good way to grant access of Remote host not belonging to a network to have access to a distant local network using the internet as well as it is ultra easy to configure and use.
Even better PPTP is supported by virtually almost any modern operating system including all versions of Microsoft Windows.

As connection between client -> server is insecure and only password is transferred securily there is no complexity of SSL Certificate generation and Exchange like for instance whether configuring to use OpenVPN tunnel, IPsec or L2TP+IPsec.

Besides the many upmentioned advantages, there are some disadvantages of PPTP as it is unsecurely transferring data between VPN Client and VPN server.

After this short intro, here is how easy is to configure PPTP.

1. Install pptpd deb package

apt-get install pptpd

2. Edit /etc/pptpd.conf

vim /etc/pptpd.conf

Place near end of file:

localip 10.10.10.1
remoteip 10.0.10.2-250

localip variable sets local VPN server main IP and remoteip sets range of IPs in which VPN clients will be assigned IPs. As you see clients IPs will be assigned from;
10.0.10.2 to 10.0.10.250.

Some other reasonable values for localip and remoteip are:

localip 192.168.1.6
remoteip 192.168.1.150-183,192.168.1.244


As you see it is possible to set only a set of few ranges of IP in class C network to be assigned new IPs on connect to PPTPD server.


3. Modify /etc/ppp/pptpd-options configuration

ms-dns 8.8.8.8
ms-dns 8.8.4.4
nobsdcomp
noipx
mtu 1490
mru 1490

I prefer setting Google's Public DNS for VPN clients use (ms-dns 8.8.8.8 … etc.), as they are often more reliable than provided ones by ISPs, however others might be happier with custom ones as they might be quicker to resolve.

4. Edit chap-secrets to place client authentication usernames and passwords

File should look something like:

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client           server         secret                          IP addresses
internet pptpd qwerty

For multiple VPN users just add all user usernames and passwords. If you want to assign certain username IPs from above pre-selected range put write it too.

5. Restart PPTPD server script

/etc/init.d/pptpd restart
Restarting PPTP:
Stopping PPTP: pptpd.
Starting PPTP Daemon pptpd.

By default PPTP server listens for network connections via port 1723. If server launches properly port 1723 should be listening for connections.

netstat -etna|grep -i 1723
tcp       0           0          0.0.0.0:1723                  0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN       0        32810

6. Enable VPN server access to all nodes on local network

Enabling PPTP Client to access the whole network is tricky and very bad security practice especially if VPN server is not behind DMZ. Anyways allowing a client to all local network computers is often needed. This is done via;

enabling IP Forwarding

To do so add in /etc/sysctl.conf

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

i.e. exec:

echo 'net.ipv4.ip_forward=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf

sysctl -p

That's all now PPTP is ready to accept connections. I will not get into details how to configure VPN PPTP Connection from Windows host as this is an easy task and there are plenty of good tutorials online.
Cheers 😉

Change Windows 8 Start menu look like in Windows 7 or How to get back good old start menu back in Win 8

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Classic shell add Windows 8 classic start menu

Whether you just installed to try Win 8 or received an office work notebook configured to work with Microsoft Windows 8, you certainly are already annoyed by changed Mobile phone like interface. First time I saw Windows 8 interface I was in shock what kind of mess this interface is. I understand Microsoft's desire to make Windows Mobile ready,  but maybe it was wise idea to allow the user with option to revert back to old Windows XP / Vista /7 interface for the sake of some compitability and user friendliness. Even for young people who already worked with computers this "chopped" interface is surely horrible. I even can't imagine how hard it is for older people to get used to this weird interface.

Windows 8 terrible Graphic interface interface fake Start screenshot
Today in my work place, the husband of our Second Executive, brought to me a relatively new Sony VAIO notebook bought with pre-installed Win 8.
Just like any normal person, he was in shock with Windows 8 weird interface and he asked me to explain him the interface. Well I will immediately after someone explain me the interface 🙂
He so much didn't like Win 8 that he even asked to re-install computer with Windows 7. I'm a lazy person plus I like saving my time. So looked quickly online if it is possible to make Windows 8 interface with Start button similar to older Windows releases. Actually there are plenty of ways to do it via both, Free and paid Software.
I'm a Free Software supporter, so I didn't even considered checking non-free or freeware ones. And I sticked directly to Open Source – Classic Shell.

Windows classic shell start menu screenshot Windows 8

What Classic Shell does is it turns interface of Internet Explorer to look like IE 9, adds a Start Menu button With Programs etc. to left Win corner (of course it doesn't place Windows Start button as this one is patented and forbidden to use in Free Soft).

.

Here is main list of current Classic Shell  features:

  • Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
  • Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8
  • Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
  • Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer

Program is in very active development (last beta released is from 2 days ago) meaning it is very popular among Windows users. As of time of writting its stable release is at ver. 3.6.8. It has even translations in in 18 languages including (my native Bulgarian)

There are plenty of things to configure on how Classic Shell behaves;

Settings for classic start-menu windows 8

I was a little bit scared it might break up Win 8 first time I installed it, but installation went quite smoothly and even there was no need for restart for new Win start menu to appear.
Classic Shell, Search option works fine too and is quite fast (dunno if it is due to Windows indexing) or it use some custom acceleration. It has also a number of Skins to choose from to change appearance of Start Menu button.

To sum it up Classic Shell does well what it is meant for, I guess in any future Windows install it will be the first program to install and save myself those terrible Windows 8  UI!
 

Teracopy faster Windows copy or Save files from Windows PC with dying hard drive

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

TeraCopy logo copy files faster and prevent windows hangs up on broken hard disks
My sysadmin colleague mentioned today about TeraCopy. An application for Microsoft Windows designed to be used to Move or Copy  files. So why would one want to use Teracopy instead of normal Windows Explorer copy integrated soft? Reason is Teracopy is faster than MS Windows Copy / Move and uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. This asynchronous copying speeds up file transfers between physical HDDs.

More precious feature of TeraCopy is whether you have to Save data from hard disks with Bad Sectors, it can skip faulty files (stored on bad sectors) without triggering Windows to hang up or halt with the Blue Screen of Death.TeraCopy even can be setup to replace Windows Explorer (i.e. Shell Integration copy and move functions). Beside that it works well with Unicode encoded file names (Cyrillic, Chineese) etc.

Teracopy copying files on Microsoft windows 7 substitutes default windows copy and move opeartions

As of time of writting article, TeraCopy has support for all Windows NT (Windows XP / 2000) as well as for Windows 7 and 8. Whether a failure to copy file occurs it tries to recopy file several times in order to achieve copy success. After each file is copied a CRC check up value of file is calculated and matched. It also provides a way more verbose information on copied files than Windows default Copy. It is very useful in copying large files from system to system as file transfers complete time is significantly lower

teracopy with more information on copying files screenshot MS Windows

Once TeraCopy is installed it automatically does replace Explorer Copy and Move functions, hence after install every next Move or Copy operation is auto handled by it. In preferences the user could still revert back Copy / Move functions to Explorer original.

TeraCopy copy faster files and save files from broken win hdd preferences screenshot

Unfortunately TeraCopy is not-free software but freeware and can only be used to non-commercial use, for commercial use you have to purchase TeraCopy Pro version.

PeaZip good Windows and Linux free software alternative to non-free WinRar and WinZip archiver tools

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

peazip extract rar and zip files Winrar Winzip good alternative program free windows linux freebsd graphic software

Until recently it was almost impossible to have Microsoft Windows without WinRar and WinZip archiver programs installed.
Though both can be used as trial versions for personal use for commercial use one had to purchase license. It is pretty annoying that each time you run Winrar you get reminded you're using its trial version. As I'm trying to substitute all non-free software with free software even whether I have to install or maintain Windows, just recently I found out about existence of PeaZip – Free Zip file utility / Free Rar Extractor.

Besides being open source software PeaZip and supports Windows it is also available prepackaged for Linux / BSD as well.
PeaZip supports unarchiving of 150 archive file types, and by installing it you save time otherwise spend in installing two separate tools on Windows. It can do plenty of other useful stuff for instance joining / splitting files ending in suffix (001, 002, 003) etc. as well as splitting archives in parts (…part1, …part2, …part3 …), create self-extracting (.exe) archives, do multiple archives at once.

Peazip Windows Linux rar zip archives create and extract supported basic formats screenshot

Here is list of  most popular archive file types supported to browse / test / archive / dearchive:

7z, bz, bz2, bzip2, tbz2, tbz, gz, gzip, tgz, tpz, tar, zip, zipx, z01, smzip, arj, cab, chm, chi, chq, chw, hxs, hxi, hxr, hxq, hxw, lit, cpio, deb, lzh, lha, rar, r01, 00, rpm, z, taz, tz, iso, jar, ear, war, lha, pet, pup, pak, pk3, pk4, slp, [Content], xpi, wim, u3p, lzma86, lzma, udf, xar, dmg, hfs, part1, split, swm, tpz, kmz, xz, txz, vhd, mslz, apm, mbr, fat, ntfs, exe, dll, sys, msi, msp, ods, ots, odm, oth, oxt, odb, odf, odg, otg, odp, otp, odt, ott, gnm, doc, dot, xls, xlt, ppt, pps, pot, docx, dotx, xlsx, xltx, swf, flv, quad, balz, zpaq, paq8f, paq8jd, paq8l, paq8o, lpaq1, lpaq5, lpaq8, ace, arc, wrc, 001, pea, cbz, cbr, cba, cb7, cbt …

Even better PeaZip has ports for both 32 and 64 bit Windows (XP / Vista / 7 and 8), Linux and *BSD. Official PeaZip download page is on Sourceforge here

peazip winrar winzip unarchive all in one unarchive windows linux freebsd program screenshot

Next time you need multi-format unarchive program on a new Windows install, give it a try.
PeaZip has good compitability with new versions of WinRar and WinZip archived files, so it is not very likely you will ever in future need these proprietary applications.
One note to make is during install as most software, it offers installing some useless stuff like "Free Smilies" and a Toolbar, make sure you don't click Next by mistake – ( un-tick them ) !

peazip-installation-process-registryreviver-offer

peazip install screenshot get the free smileys we love extension screenshot

For Linux users on PeaZip's website there is package in deb, rpm and tgz. Packages are available with builds for GNOME graphical environment with GTK2 lib or KDE QT.

I tried installing PeaZip  on my Debian 7 Wheezy downloading deb provided by Sourceforge, but install failed with error:

noah:~# dpkg -i peazip_5.0.LINUX.GTK2-2_all.deb
Selecting previously unselected package peazip.
(Reading database … 226682 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking peazip (from peazip_5.0.LINUX.GTK2-2_all.deb) …
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of peazip:
 peazip depends on libgmp3c2; however:
  Package libgmp3c2 is not installed.

dpkg: error processing peazip (–install):
 dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
 peazip

In previous Debian release Squeeze there was package libgmp3c2 but it is no longer available from repos on Wheezy. Thus to install it on Wheezy I used Universal Linux .TGZ Package and just extracted it in root directory ( / ):

noah:~# cd /
noah:/# links http://sourceforge.net/projects/peazip/files/5.0/peazip-5.0.LINUX.GTK2.tgz/download
noah:~# tar -zxf peazip-5.0.LINUX.GTK2.tgz

To run it:

hipo@noah~:$ /usr/local/bin/peazip

PeaZip on Debian Gnu Linux screenshot rar unrar zip unzip archive dearchive ms windows and linux free instrument
PeaZip's archive / unarchive operation speed compared to CPU use and memory consumption is fast, though it eats a bit more ram than GNOME's default Archive ToolFile Roller.

Peazip rar zip archive unarchive windows linux program archiving zip file screenshot

Thanks God for PeaZip! Buy-buy forver to Winrar and Winzip 🙂