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  • Create a Shortcut To Group Policy Editor in Windows 7

    - by Mysticgeek
    If you’re a system administrator and find yourself making changes in Group Policy Editor, you might want to make a shortcut to it. Here we look at creating a shortcut, pinning it to the Taskbar, and adding it to Control Panel. Note: Local Group Policy Editor is not available in Home versions of Windows 7. Typing gpedit.msc into the search box in the Start menu to access Group Policy Editor can get old fast. To create a shortcut, right-click on the desktop and select New \ Shortcut. Next type or copy the following path into the location field and click Next. c:\windows\system32\gpedit.msc Then give your shortcut a name…something like Group Policy, or whatever you want it to be and click Finish. Now you have your Group Policy shortcut… If you want it on the Taskbar just drag it there to pin it. And that’s all there is to it!   If you want to change the icon, you can use one of the following guides… Customize Icons in Windows 7 Change a File Type Icon in Windows 7 Add Group Policy to Control Panel If you’re using non Home versions of XP, Vista, or Windows 7, check out The Geek’s article on how to Add Group Policy Editor to Control Panel. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Add Group Policy Editor to Control PanelQuick Tip: Disable Search History Display in Windows 7Remove Shutdown and Restart Buttons In Windows 7How To Disable Control Panel in Windows 7Allow Users To Run Only Specified Programs in Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows Fun with 47 charts and graphs Tomorrow is Mother’s Day Check the Average Speed of YouTube Videos You’ve Watched OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall Office 2010 reviewed in depth by Ed Bott

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  • Edit Media Center TV Recordings with Windows Live Movie Maker

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Have you ever wanted to take a TV program you’ve recorded in Media Center and remove the commercials or save clips of favorite scenes? Today we’ll take a look at editing WTV and DVR-MS files with Windows Live Movie Maker. Download and Install Windows Live Movie Maker. The download link can be found at the end of the article. WLMM is part of Windows Live Essentials, but you can choose to install only the applications you want. You’ll also want to be sure to uncheck any unwanted settings like settings Bing as default search provider or MSN as your browser home page.   Add your recorded TV file to WLMM by clicking the Add videos and photos button, or by dragging and dropping it onto the storyboard.   You’ll see your video displayed in the Preview window on the left and on the storyboard. Adjust the Zoom Time Scale slider at the lower right to change the level of detail displayed on the storyboard. You may want to start zoomed out and zoom in for more detailed edits.   Removing Commercials or Unwanted Sections Note: Changes and edits made in Windows Live Movie Maker do not change or effect the original video file. To accomplish this, we will makes cuts, or “splits,” and the beginning and end of the section we want to remove, and then we will delete that section from our project. Click and drag the slider bar along the the storyboard to scroll through the video. When you get to the end of a row in on the storyboard, drag the slider down to the beginning of the next row. We’ve found it easiest and most accurate to get close to the end of the commercial break and then use the Play button and the Previous Frame and Next Frame buttons underneath the Preview window to fine tune your cut point. When you find the right place to make your first cut, click the split button on the Edit tab on the ribbon. You will see your video “split” into two sections. Now, repeat the process of scrolling through the storyboard to find the end of the section you wish to cut. When you are at the proper point, click the Split button again.   Now we’ll delete that section by selecting it and pressing the Delete key, selecting remove on the Home tab, or by right clicking on the section and selecting Remove.   Trim Tool This tool allows you to select a portion of the video to keep while trimming away the rest.   Click and drag the sliders in the preview windows to select the area you want to keep. The area outside the sliders will be trimmed away. The area inside is the section that is kept in the movie. You can also adjust the Start and End points manually on the ribbon.   Delete any additional clips you don’t want in the final output. You can also accomplish this by using the Set start point and Set end point buttons. Clicking Set start point will eliminate everything before the start point. Set end point will eliminate everything after the end point. And you’re left with only the clip you want to keep.   Output your Video Select the icon at the top left, then select Save movie. All of these settings will output your movie as a WMV file, but file size and quality will vary by setting. The Burn to DVD option also outputs a WMV file, but then opens Windows DVD Maker and prompts you to create and burn a DVD.   Conclusion WLMM is one of the few applications that can edit WTV files, and it’s the only one we’re aware of that’s free. We should note only WTV and DVR-MS files will appear in the Recorded TV library in Media Center, so if you want to view your WMV output file in WMC you’ll need to add it to the Video or Movie library. Would you like to learn more about Windows Live Movie Maker? Check out are article on how to turn photos and home videos into movies with Windows Live Movie Maker. Need to add videos from a network location? WLMM doesn’t allow this by default, but you check out how to add network support to Windows Live Move Maker. Download Windows Live Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Rotate a Video 90 degrees with VLC or Windows Live Movie MakerHow to Make/Edit a movie with Windows Movie Maker in Windows VistaFamily Fun: Share Photos with Photo Gallery and Windows Live SpacesAutomatically Mount and View ISO files in Windows 7 Media CenterAutomatically Start Windows 7 Media Center in Live TV Mode TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 Get a free copy of WinUtilities Pro 2010 World Cup Schedule Boot Snooze – Reboot and then Standby or Hibernate Customize Everything Related to Dates, Times, Currency and Measurement in Windows 7 Google Earth replacement Icon (Icons we like) Build Great Charts in Excel with Chart Advisor

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  • Configure Windows firewall to prevent an application from listening on a specific port

    - by U-D13
    The issue: there are many applications struggling to listen on port 80 (Skype, Teamviewer et al.), and to many of them that even is not essential (in the sense that you can have a httpd running and blocking the http port, and the other application won't even squeak about being unable to open the port). What makes things worse, some of the apps are... Well, I suppose, that it's okay that the mentally impaired are being integrated in the society by giving them a job to do, but... Programming requires some intellectual effort, in my humble opinion... What I mean is that there is no way to configure the app not to use specific ports (that's what you get for using proprietary software) - you can either add it to windows firewall exceptions (and succumb to undesired port opening behavior) or not (and risk losing most - if not all - of the functionality). Technically, it is not impossible for the firewall to deny an application opening an incoming port even if the application is in the exception list. And if this functionality is built into the Windows firewall somewhere, there should be a way to activate it. So, what I want to know is: whether there exists such an option, and if it does how to activate it.

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  • Windows 7 XP mode missing driver virtual pc integration device

    - by Charlie Wu
    I have XP Mode installed fine, but the shipped Windows XP installation is too heavy. I tried to install a light XP using my ASUS Eee PC. After installation, I have to install a few missing drivers and everything worked OK except I can't copy and paste between host and guest operating system. I checked Device Manager and found the Virtual PC Integration Device is not installed correctly. I can't find any driver for that. How can I fix this problem?

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  • Windows 2000 uninstall on a dual-boot 2000/XP system

    - by Viktor
    While several questions have already been answered about removing an OS from a dual-booting machine, most refer to Windows 7 vs. Linux/Vista/XP. I have W2K installed on my older HDD (Drive C). Later on I bought a new HDD and installed XP's under W2K environment. Each time I turned my PC on, I had the choice of W2K or XP OS, which I still have. I eventually stopped using the w2k OS and as the older HDD where this OS is installed is getting old, I plan to remove it completely. The problem is that the active master boot record is on this very HDD. So when I remove the HDD, I get no OS loader, no matter what boot drive I choose in BIOS. Apparently I have to set the boot record on the newer HDD with XP's. Some advise to use the bootable XP CD and try to set the active MBR from there.. I don't have the CD anymore. Regardless, I suspect there is much less to solving this problem than running the recovery console, like a simple boot.ini file edit. But I might be wrong.

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  • Vista machine hardwired cannot see xp laptop on wireless

    - by Kahega
    I have a laptop with windows xp, connected to my wireless router. I am trying to view the shared files on the laptop with my vista desktop computer. The desktop computer is hardwired to the same router. I can see the desktop pc fine on the xp laptop, and view the shared folders. I cannot see the xp laptop when on the desktop pc. I have tried installing the link update for xp, that is not the issue. I have also tried turning off firewalls, no dice. I have scoured google for this issue, and do not see any resolutions. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  • in HFT trading should I upgrade from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012?

    - by javapowered
    I'm using HP DL360p Gen8 + Windows Server 2008 R2 for HFT trading. That means that every 10 microseconds is important for me. I do understand that if I need everything to be so fast I probably should consider using Linux. But in this post I want to compare only Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. I've found in internet couple articles that suggest how to tune Windows Server 2012 for low latency http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/hardware/jj248719 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831415.aspx Most part of optimizations from these articles apply only to Windows Server 2012 and can not be used on Windows Server 2008 R2. So now I think that as I can optimize Windows Server 2012 for low latency, probaly I should upgrade? After optimizations how much faster windows server 2012 would be (ideally in microseconds :)?

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  • Windows XP Installation issue - cannot find hard disk

    - by Marco
    A friend of mine gave me a laptop with Windows 8 installed and nothing else. I don't like it so I am trying to remove it by installing Windows XP. I have a windows XP installation CD that I have used before and worked fine, but didn't work when I tried to install it on the Windows 8 machine. It keeps telling me I don't have a drive to install to. Then I log into Windows 8 again and install check partitions. I found 2 and tried to make a new one but it will only let me make one of 69mb. Next, I tied to find a way to go back to XP with BCD install and try to set the boot loader for XP but it wasnt there. Somehow I deleted the bootloader for Windows 8 and now it asks me for a recovery tool for media. I am not familiar with the laptop specs, but it is a Toshiba with about 250GB storage, and above 1GHz processor.

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  • Can I use a display driver from Windows 8 in Windows 7?

    - by adam0101
    My latest display driver doesn't support WDDM 1.0, and I need it to be at least version 1.1. I've been attempting to get the Windows Phone 7 SDK working on my HP Pavillion dv9000, but the phone emulator requires 1.1 or higher. My drivers are as up-to-date as they can get. I even tried a modded driver found here, but no go. Then, while evaluating Windows 8 Developer Preview on a different partition I noticed that dxdiag.exe showed it was using WDDM 1.2. I tried installing Windows Phone 7 SDK on Windows 8, but I get an "Internal Error" popup and "Connection failed because of invalid command-line arguments" in the error window in Visual Studio. I'm guessing because Windows Phone 7 SDK isn't supported on Windows 8 yet. So my question is this: Can I get Windows 7 to use the display driver Windows 8 is using to get WDDM 1.2 on Windows 7 and how would I go about doing it?

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  • How to activate Win XP from Windows 7 compatibility mode on MacOS Parallels 5

    - by Ben Hammond
    I am running Parallels Desktop 5.0.9344 for Mac. I am running Mac OS 10.6.3 10D2094 I have bought a retail copy of Window 7 professional specifically because I need the XP compatibility. Windows 7 is installed and working. I have problems with the XP activation Windows7 'Virtual PC' does not run under Parallels (strange error about Server Execution failed 0x80080005). I have used the Parallels Transporter to convert the "Windows XP Mode Base.vhd" file into a parallels Virtual Machine. This copy of XP now starts normally, however it records itself as unregistered. There was a KEY.txt file in the same directory as the .vhd file; although this file contains a valid-looking activation key, it does not appear to activate the instance of XP. I have also tried to enter the Win7 activation key; this does not work either. I have tried calling the two phone numbers; an automated system asked me to enter 56 digits through the telephone and then accused me of being a pirate. I believe it may be possible to install Win7 via Bootcamp, start WinXP under Virtual PC, activate it and then import this activated .vhd into Parallels; but that seems a long way round, and is far from certain. What can I do to get WinXP running under Mac Parallels Desktop ?

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  • Running Windows Update inside Windowx XP Mode

    - by Noam Gal
    I am working on a Win 7 Ultimate machine, and was using XP for some development tasks (for compatibility checks). Everything worked like a charm on the XP, including updates. Two days ago I had to switch computer (mainly a new motherboard/cpu), and I had just stuck my old HD inside the newer case. Win 7 worked like a charm - installed all the new drivers, identified everything automatically, no sweat. The trouble started when I tried running my old XP mode - it won't launch, complaining about the cpu change. I figured it's not a big deal, and I deleted the VM, and re-ran XP mode. It told me it can't find it, and offered to create a new one, just what I wanted. I had finished setting up the new XP mode VM, and it seems to work just fine. Got it to use the host network adapter, so I can surf from "inside". But I can't get Windows Update to run. Whenever I click on the "Custom" button on the WU site, after a short while, I get the [Error number: 0x80072EFD] page. I tried several solution from around the web for it (clearing some cache and restarting the wuauserv, even a microsoft fix-it run), but still nothing seems to work. Anyone here has any new tip for me? Thanks.

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  • Make windows vista file explorer act normally

    - by user25866
    Is there some file I can remove or something I can do to globally ensure that windows visa/xp/etc doesn't do annoying things? Annoying things: 1) Hide the file extension 2) All these "meta" columns I could care less about in "details" view (rating, album, date taken, Assistant's name, Artist, 35mm focal length, City, Other City, etc...). All I want are Name, size, date created, date modified, and file extension. MAYBE file chmod settings. 3) That garbage in the left pane known as "favorite links." (Documents, desktop, photos, music, etc...) 4) Switching between detail view, large icon view, thumbnail view, list view, and tiles when I goto differnt folders, all I want is detail view, with the same columns every time. That's it. I shouldn't have to get third party software to make my file system browseable, but if I need to so be it... Why are all these settings buried away? It feels like I have to apply them onto each folder every time.

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  • Asus AT3-IONT & Win XP

    - by user59178
    Hello! I'm trying to install Windows XP on my nettop (Asus AT3-IONT motherboard). There is a problem - when the progress comes to partition selection, it sees all the partitions on the hard drive, but when I'm selecting any partition, it says that it's not compatible with Windows XP. Windows 7 was installed without any problems, but XP and 2003 R2 have this problem. How can I solve it? P.S. I already have Windows 7, I need exactly XP or 2003 for my work. Thanks.

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  • Asus AT3-IONT & Win XP [closed]

    - by user59178
    Hello! I'm trying to install Windows XP on my nettop (Asus AT3-IONT motherboard). There is a problem - when the progress comes to partition selection, it sees all the partitions on the hard drive, but when I'm selecting any partition, it says that it's not compatible with Windows XP. Windows 7 was installed without any problems, but XP and 2003 R2 have this problem. How can I solve it? P.S. I already have Windows 7, I need exactly XP or 2003 for my work. Thanks.

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  • Can't connect to VPN in Windows XP mode

    - by darkstar13
    I have Windows 7 x32 installed on my laptop. I have also Windows XP mode installed. My setup is that my work-remote programs are in Windows XP mode because my VPN installer in Windows XP only. Lately, I have been having troubles getting on / logging in to VPN. I can access the internet in WinXP mode but When I ping the IP address of the target IP of my VPN network (or even just Google.com), I always get a 'Request Timeout'. However, when I ping the same IP address in command prompt in Windows 7, I get 100% data sent. Is there anything I need to adjust? Before, I have been able to connect instantly. Now, it's like trial and error, or I will have to wait for hours just to be able to enter logon credentials in Cisco VPN dialer. NAT is my network adapter in XP mode.

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  • restoring windows xp mode

    - by confusedAgain
    i have widows seven ultimate install on my laptop but use xp mode for many applications on it, is it possible to return an application in xp mode to an earlier restore point in just xp mode or does the host machine need to be restored i do not wish to make any changes on the host but require to either re install windows virtual pc and all the applications and upgrade them slowly to the point my application fails or restore the applications back? any advise on this will be grately recieved

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  • Remote Desktop Windows 7 into a XP sp3 system print issue

    - by user50963
    I have a windows 7 laptop that I use to remote in to work, which is a XP sp3. I have a brother MFC-8670dn printer. I have the win7 print drivers installed and working on the win7. I made local printers accessible over the RDP. I installed the xp drivers for the Brother printer. So my question is, " Is there a way that I can print from my win7 machine remotely connected to a xp sp3 system"? Or is there no way that I can put the correct drivers on the xp machine to have it redirect to my laptop(win7)

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  • External USB HD issues with a twist (works on Windows7 but not XP)

    - by Eruditass
    I have this older external USB HD, 160 GB. I was using it to copy my Steam games to another computer. On the source computer, Windows 7 64-bit, everything worked fine. Drive reported no errors, had no hiccups, etc. Plugging it into the Windows XP 32-bit computer, it worked fine for looking through the files, moving files around on it (no real reading/writing, just modifying the filesystem table). However, when copying files from it to my internal HD, after a couple seconds to tens of minutes (seemingly random times), the USB device becomes unrecognized and it reports a delayed write error. Events in system log go like this, chronologically: (number times displayed)xSource (Event ID): "message" 2xdisk (51): An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation. 1xftdisk (57): The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur. 1xApplication popup (26): Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file E:\$Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere. 1xntfs (50): {Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere. These repeat for a while, then there is 10+ disk messages or ftdisk messages. Other notes: This occurs on random files at random times. This problem cannot be replicated on the Windows 7 source machine when copying from the HD to a different location on its local disk chkdsk /f was run and found no errors. chkdsk /f/r has the delayed write issue. drive was set to quick removal. Setting to performance in device manager yielded same result I am not writing anything to the USB external drive, so I am not sure why there is even a delayed write error (writing file access times?) local Windows XP was chkdsk'd without problems Windows XP machine has no problems with other USB HD's Various USB ports were attempted Rebooting did not help Occurs with SyncToy as well as windows explorer SMART status is good on both local drive and the external one Lack of gaming is making me cranky

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  • Remove Ubuntu or XP from the Windows 7 Boot Menu

    - by Trevor Bekolay
    If you’ve ever used a dual-boot system and then removed one of the operating systems, it can still show up in Windows 7’s boot menu. We’ll show you how to get rid of old entries and speed up the boot process. To edit the boot menu, we will use a program called bcdedit that’s included with Windows 7. There are some third-party graphical applications that will edit the menu, but we prefer to use built-in applications when we can. First, we need to open a command prompt with Administrator privileges. Open the start menu and type cmd into the search box. Right click on the cmd program that shows up, and select Run as administrator. Alternatively, if you’ve disabled the search box, you can find the command prompt in All Programs > Accessories. In the command prompt, type in bcdedit and press enter. A list of the boot menu entries will appear. Find the entry that you would like to delete – in our case, this is the last one, with the description of “Ubuntu”. What we need is the long sequence of characters marked as the identifier. Rather than type it out, we will copy it to be pasted later. Right-click somewhere in the command prompt window and select Mark. By clicking the left mouse button and dragging over the appropriate text, select the identifier for the entry you want to delete, including the left and right curly braces on either end. Press the Enter button. This will copy the text to the clipboard. In the command prompt, type in: bcdedit /delete and then right-click somewhere in the command prompt window and select Paste. Press Enter to input the now completed command. The boot menu entry will now be deleted. Type in bcdedit again to confirm that the offending entry is now gone from the list. If you reboot your machine now, you will notice that the boot menu does not even come up, because there is only one entry in the list (unless you had more than two entries to begin with). You’ve shaved a few seconds off of the boot process! Not to mention the added effort of pressing the enter button. There’s a lot more that you can do with bcdedit, like change the description of boot menu entries, create new entries, and much more. For a list of what you can do with bcdedit, type the following into the Command Window. bcdedit /help While there are third-party GUI solutions for accomplishing the same thing, using this method will save you time by not having to go through the extra steps of installing an extra program. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Reinstall Ubuntu Grub Bootloader After Windows Wipes it OutClean Up Ubuntu Grub Boot Menu After UpgradesHow To Switch to Console Mode for Ubuntu VMware GuestSet Windows as Default OS when Dual Booting UbuntuChange the GRUB Menu Timeout on Ubuntu TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup AceStock, a Tiny Desktop Quote Monitor Gmail Button Addon (Firefox) Hyperwords addon (Firefox) Backup Outlook 2010 Daily Motivator (Firefox) FetchMp3 Can Download Videos & Convert Them to Mp3

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  • How to install Windows 8 to dual boot with Windows 7/XP?

    - by Gopinath
    Microsoft released Windows 8 beta(customer preview) few days ago and yesterday I had a chance to install it on one of my home computers. My home PC is running on Windows 7 and I would like to install Windows 8 side by side so that I can dual boot. The installation process was pretty simple and with in 40 minutes my PC was up and running with beautiful Windows 8 OS along with Windows 7. In this post I want to share my experience and provide information for you to install Windows 8. 1. Identify a drive  with at least 20 GB of space – Identify one of the drives on your hard disk that can be used to install Windows 8. Delete all the files or preferably quick format it and make sure that it has at least 20 GB of free space. Rename the drive name to Windows 8 so that it will be helpful to identify the destination drive during installation process. 2. Download Windows 8 installer ISO– Go to Microsoft’s website and download Windows 8 ISO file which is approximately 2.5 GB file(32 bit English version). 3. Create Windows 8 bootable USB/DVD – Its advised to launch Windows 8 installer using a bootable USB or DVD for enabling dual boot instead of unzipping the ISO file and launching the setup from Windows 7 OS. Also consider creating bootable USB instead of bootable DVD to save a disc. To create bootable USB/DVD follow these steps Download and install the Windows 7 DVD / USB tool available at microsoftstore.com Launch the utility and follow the onscreen instructions where you would be asked to choose the ISO file(point to file downloaded in step 2) and choose a USB drive or DVD as destination. The onscreen instructions are very simple and you would be able to complete it in 20 minutes time. So now you have Windows 8 installation setup on your USB drive or DVD. 4. Change BIOS settings to boot from USB/DVD – Restart your PC and open BIOS configuration settings key by pressing F2 or  F12 or DELETE key (the key depends on your computer manufacturer). Go to boot sequence options and make sure that USB/DVD is ahead of hard disk in the boot sequence. Save the settings and restart the PC. 5. Install Windows 8 – After the restart you should be straight into Windows 8 installation screen. Follow the onscreen instructions and install Windows 8 on the drive that is identified during step 1. When prompted for product serial key enter NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8. The installer would restart couple of times during the installation process. On the first restart, make sure that you remove USB/DVD. Windows 8 installation process is pretty simple and very quick. The complete process of creating bootable USB and installation should complete in 30 – 40 minutes time.

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  • Windows Azure: Announcing release of Windows Azure SDK 2.2 (with lots of goodies)

    - by ScottGu
    Earlier today I blogged about a big update we made today to Windows Azure, and some of the great new features it provides. Today I’m also excited to also announce the release of the Windows Azure SDK 2.2. Today’s SDK release adds even more great features including: Visual Studio 2013 Support Integrated Windows Azure Sign-In support within Visual Studio Remote Debugging Cloud Services with Visual Studio Firewall Management support within Visual Studio for SQL Databases Visual Studio 2013 RTM VM Images for MSDN Subscribers Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET Updated Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets and ScriptCenter The below post has more details on what’s available in today’s Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release.  Also head over to Channel 9 to see the new episode of the Visual Studio Toolbox show that will be available shortly, and which highlights these features in a video demonstration. Visual Studio 2013 Support Version 2.2 of the Window Azure SDK is the first official version of the SDK to support the final RTM release of Visual Studio 2013. If you installed the 2.1 SDK with the Preview of Visual Studio 2013 we recommend that you upgrade your projects to SDK 2.2.  SDK 2.2 also works side by side with the SDK 2.0 and SDK 2.1 releases on Visual Studio 2012: Integrated Windows Azure Sign In within Visual Studio Integrated Windows Azure Sign-In support within Visual Studio is one of the big improvements added with this Windows Azure SDK release.  Integrated sign-in support enables developers to develop/test/manage Windows Azure resources within Visual Studio without having to download or use management certificates.  You can now just right-click on the “Windows Azure” icon within the Server Explorer inside Visual Studio and choose the “Connect to Windows Azure” context menu option to connect to Windows Azure: Doing this will prompt you to enter the email address of the account you wish to sign-in with: You can use either a Microsoft Account (e.g. Windows Live ID) or an Organizational account (e.g. Active Directory) as the email.  The dialog will update with an appropriate login prompt depending on which type of email address you enter: Once you sign-in you’ll see the Windows Azure resources that you have permissions to manage show up automatically within the Visual Studio Server Explorer (and you can start using them): With this new integrated sign in experience you are now able to publish web apps, deploy VMs and cloud services, use Windows Azure diagnostics, and fully interact with your Windows Azure services within Visual Studio without the need for a management certificate.  All of the authentication is handled using the Windows Azure Active Directory associated with your Windows Azure account (details on this can be found in my earlier blog post). Integrating authentication this way end-to-end across the Service Management APIs + Dev Tools + Management Portal + PowerShell automation scripts enables a much more secure and flexible security model within Windows Azure, and makes it much more convenient to securely manage multiple developers + administrators working on a project.  It also allows organizations and enterprises to use the same authentication model that they use for their developers on-premises in the cloud.  It also ensures that employees who leave an organization immediately lose access to their company’s cloud based resources once their Active Directory account is suspended. Filtering/Subscription Management Once you login within Visual Studio, you can filter which Windows Azure subscriptions/regions are visible within the Server Explorer by right-clicking the “Filter Services” context menu within the Server Explorer.  You can also use the “Manage Subscriptions” context menu to mange your Windows Azure Subscriptions: Bringing up the “Manage Subscriptions” dialog allows you to see which accounts you are currently using, as well as which subscriptions are within them: The “Certificates” tab allows you to continue to import and use management certificates to manage Windows Azure resources as well.  We have not removed any functionality with today’s update – all of the existing scenarios that previously supported management certificates within Visual Studio continue to work just fine.  The new integrated sign-in support provided with today’s release is purely additive. Note: the SQL Database node and the Mobile Service node in Server Explorer do not support integrated sign-in at this time. Therefore, you will only see databases and mobile services under those nodes if you have a management certificate to authorize access to them.  We will enable them with integrated sign-in in a future update. Remote Debugging Cloud Resources within Visual Studio Today’s Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release adds support for remote debugging many types of Windows Azure resources. With live, remote debugging support from within Visual Studio, you are now able to have more visibility than ever before into how your code is operating live in Windows Azure.  Let’s walkthrough how to enable remote debugging for a Cloud Service: Remote Debugging of Cloud Services To enable remote debugging for your cloud service, select Debug as the Build Configuration on the Common Settings tab of your Cloud Service’s publish dialog wizard: Then click the Advanced Settings tab and check the Enable Remote Debugging for all roles checkbox: Once your cloud service is published and running live in the cloud, simply set a breakpoint in your local source code: Then use Visual Studio’s Server Explorer to select the Cloud Service instance deployed in the cloud, and then use the Attach Debugger context menu on the role or to a specific VM instance of it: Once the debugger attaches to the Cloud Service, and a breakpoint is hit, you’ll be able to use the rich debugging capabilities of Visual Studio to debug the cloud instance remotely, in real-time, and see exactly how your app is running in the cloud. Today’s remote debugging support is super powerful, and makes it much easier to develop and test applications for the cloud.  Support for remote debugging Cloud Services is available as of today, and we’ll also enable support for remote debugging Web Sites shortly. Firewall Management Support with SQL Databases By default we enable a security firewall around SQL Databases hosted within Windows Azure.  This ensures that only your application (or IP addresses you approve) can connect to them and helps make your infrastructure secure by default.  This is great for protection at runtime, but can sometimes be a pain at development time (since by default you can’t connect/manage the database remotely within Visual Studio if the security firewall blocks your instance of VS from connecting to it). One of the cool features we’ve added with today’s release is support that makes it easy to enable and configure the security firewall directly within Visual Studio.  Now with the SDK 2.2 release, when you try and connect to a SQL Database using the Visual Studio Server Explorer, and a firewall rule prevents access to the database from your machine, you will be prompted to add a firewall rule to enable access from your local IP address: You can simply click Add Firewall Rule and a new rule will be automatically added for you. In some cases, the logic to detect your local IP may not be sufficient (for example: you are behind a corporate firewall that uses a range of IP addresses) and you may need to set up a firewall rule for a range of IP addresses in order to gain access. The new Add Firewall Rule dialog also makes this easy to do.  Once connected you’ll be able to manage your SQL Database directly within the Visual Studio Server Explorer: This makes it much easier to work with databases in the cloud. Visual Studio 2013 RTM Virtual Machine Images Available for MSDN Subscribers Last week we released the General Availability Release of Visual Studio 2013 to the web.  This is an awesome release with a ton of new features. With today’s Windows Azure update we now have a set of pre-configured VM images of VS 2013 available within the Windows Azure Management Portal for use by MSDN customers.  This enables you to create a VM in the cloud with VS 2013 pre-installed on it in with only a few clicks: Windows Azure now provides the fastest and easiest way to get started doing development with Visual Studio 2013. Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET (Preview) Having the ability to automate the creation, deployment, and tear down of resources is a key requirement for applications running in the cloud.  It also helps immensely when running dev/test scenarios and coded UI tests against pre-production environments. Today we are releasing a preview of a new set of Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET.  These new libraries make it easy to automate tasks using any .NET language (e.g. C#, VB, F#, etc).  Previously this automation capability was only available through the Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets or to developers who were willing to write their own wrappers for the Windows Azure Service Management REST API. Modern .NET Developer Experience We’ve worked to design easy-to-understand .NET APIs that still map well to the underlying REST endpoints, making sure to use and expose the modern .NET functionality that developers expect today: Portable Class Library (PCL) support targeting applications built for any .NET Platform (no platform restriction) Shipped as a set of focused NuGet packages with minimal dependencies to simplify versioning Support async/await task based asynchrony (with easy sync overloads) Shared infrastructure for common error handling, tracing, configuration, HTTP pipeline manipulation, etc. Factored for easy testability and mocking Built on top of popular libraries like HttpClient and Json.NET Below is a list of a few of the management client classes that are shipping with today’s initial preview release: .NET Class Name Supports Operations for these Assets (and potentially more) ManagementClient Locations Credentials Subscriptions Certificates ComputeManagementClient Hosted Services Deployments Virtual Machines Virtual Machine Images & Disks StorageManagementClient Storage Accounts WebSiteManagementClient Web Sites Web Site Publish Profiles Usage Metrics Repositories VirtualNetworkManagementClient Networks Gateways Automating Creating a Virtual Machine using .NET Let’s walkthrough an example of how we can use the new Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET to fully automate creating a Virtual Machine. I’m deliberately showing a scenario with a lot of custom options configured – including VHD image gallery enumeration, attaching data drives, network endpoints + firewall rules setup - to show off the full power and richness of what the new library provides. We’ll begin with some code that demonstrates how to enumerate through the built-in Windows images within the standard Windows Azure VM Gallery.  We’ll search for the first VM image that has the word “Windows” in it and use that as our base image to build the VM from.  We’ll then create a cloud service container in the West US region to host it within: We can then customize some options on it such as setting up a computer name, admin username/password, and hostname.  We’ll also open up a remote desktop (RDP) endpoint through its security firewall: We’ll then specify the VHD host and data drives that we want to mount on the Virtual Machine, and specify the size of the VM we want to run it in: Once everything has been set up the call to create the virtual machine is executed asynchronously In a few minutes we’ll then have a completely deployed VM running on Windows Azure with all of the settings (hard drives, VM size, machine name, username/password, network endpoints + firewall settings) fully configured and ready for us to use: Preview Availability via NuGet The Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET are now available via NuGet. Because they are still in preview form, you’ll need to add the –IncludePrerelease switch when you go to retrieve the packages. The Package Manager Console screen shot below demonstrates how to get the entire set of libraries to manage your Windows Azure assets: You can also install them within your .NET projects by right clicking on the VS Solution Explorer and using the Manage NuGet Packages context menu command.  Make sure to select the “Include Prerelease” drop-down for them to show up, and then you can install the specific management libraries you need for your particular scenarios: Open Source License The new Windows Azure Management Libraries for .NET make it super easy to automate management operations within Windows Azure – whether they are for Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Storage Accounts, Web Sites, and more.  Like the rest of the Windows Azure SDK, we are releasing the source code under an open source (Apache 2) license and it is hosted at https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-for-net/tree/master/libraries if you wish to contribute. PowerShell Enhancements and our New Script Center Today, we are also shipping Windows Azure PowerShell 0.7.0 (which is a separate download). You can find the full change log here. Here are some of the improvements provided with it: Windows Azure Active Directory authentication support Script Center providing many sample scripts to automate common tasks on Windows Azure New cmdlets for Media Services and SQL Database Script Center Windows Azure enables you to script and automate a lot of tasks using PowerShell.  People often ask for more pre-built samples of common scenarios so that they can use them to learn and tweak/customize. With this in mind, we are excited to introduce a new Script Center that we are launching for Windows Azure. You can learn about how to scripting with Windows Azure with a get started article. You can then find many sample scripts across different solutions, including infrastructure, data management, web, and more: All of the sample scripts are hosted on TechNet with links from the Windows Azure Script Center. Each script is complete with good code comments, detailed descriptions, and examples of usage. Summary Visual Studio 2013 and the Windows Azure SDK 2.2 make it easier than ever to get started developing rich cloud applications. Along with the Windows Azure Developer Center’s growing set of .NET developer resources to guide your development efforts, today’s Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release should make your development experience more enjoyable and efficient. If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today.  Then visit the Windows Azure Developer Center to learn more about how to build apps with it. Hope this helps, Scott P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at: twitter.com/scottgu

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  • BUILD 2012 day 1 Keynote recap

    - by pluginbaby
    On October 30, 2012 Steve Ballmer kicked off the first BUILD conference keynote. Steve shared some insights around Windows 8: 4 million customers upgraded to Windows 8 over the weekend since the October 26 release (so in 3 days only!). Focus on sharing code between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Syncing everything through SkyDrive Xbox Music free streaming and Xbox Smart Glass. He did all the demos himself, showing off great “Windows 8 generation” devices already available (including an 82-inch Windows 8 “slate” by Perceptive Pixel). Steve Guggenheimer (Microsoft's Corporate Vice President DPE) talked about The Business Opportunity with Windows 8.   Notable announcements of day 1: The Windows Phone 8 SDK is now available at dev.windowsphone.com (includes SDK, free version of VS2012, Blend 5, and emulators). Release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8: Ability to use C# 5 or Visual Basic 11 features in your code (async programming mode, ...), share code between WP8 and Windows Store apps. Windows Phone 8 individual developer registration is reduced to $8 for the next 8 days! (hurry up…) Note: strange absence of Steven Sinofsky on stage…   Watch the entire keynote online: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/1-001 Read the full transcript: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Speeches/2012/10-30BuildDay1.aspx

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  • Easiest way to replace preinstalled Windows 8 with new hard drive with Windows 7

    - by Andrew
    There are all kinds of questions and answers relevant moving Windows 8 to a new hard drive. I'm not seeing anything quite applicable to my situation. I have a new, unopened, unbooted notebook with pre-installed Windows 8. I will be replacing the hard drive before ever booting, unless that is not possible for some reason. I want to "downgrade" to Windows 7 Pro, and I want a clean installation. To do so legitimately, I apparently either need to: Upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro using Windows 8 Pro Pack, then downgrade; or Just install a newly-licensed copy of Windows 7 Pro. (Let me know if I've missed an option.) Installation media is likely not a problem, though if I need something vendor-specific that I cannot otherwise download, that could present an issue (Asus notebook, if that matters). If I could, I would just buy the Pro Pack upgrade, swap the hard drive (without ever booting), then install Windows 7 Pro directly on the new hard drive, using the Pro Pack key for activation. Will this work? Are there any activation issues? Edited to clarify, as some comments and answers indicate confusion: Here is, ideally, what I want to do: Before ever powering on the notebook, remove the current hard drive. Replace this hard drive with a new, blank hard drive. Install a clean copy of Windows 7 Pro on this new, blank hard drive. Unless I have no choice to accomplish the end result (a clean install of Win7 Pro on the newly-installed, previously-blank hard drive), I am not wanting to: Install Windows 7 "over" the current Windows 8 install (after upgrading to Win8 Pro). That would involve using the currenly-installed hard drive. I want to use a new, different hard drive. Copy the Win8 install to the new hard drive, then install Windows 7 "over" that installation. Install Windows 7 "over" the current Windows 8 install (after upgrading to Win8 Pro), then copy the installation to the new hard drive. If I have to use one of those three options, I will, but only if there is no other choice. Please note that this question is not about licensing: I will purchase the necessary license(s) to accomplish this procedure legally (apparently either Win8 Pro Pack or Win7 Pro -- the former currently appears less expensive).

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