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  • Three Ways to Access the Windows 8 Boot Options Menu

    - by Lori Kaufman
    The boot options have been consolidated in Windows 8 into a single menu, called the “boot options menu,” providing access to repair tools and options for changing Windows startup behavior, such as enabling debugging, booting into safe mode, and launching into a recovery environment. The days of pressing a function key or Esc to interrupt the boot process and get into the BIOS configuration (in UEFI enabled systems) are gone. There are three ways of accessing the new boot options menu in Windows 8 and we’ll show you how. 7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows HTG Explains: How System Restore Works in Windows HTG Explains: How Antivirus Software Works

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  • Sharing Windows 7 Hard drive with Windows XP Hard drive

    - by Ginzo Milani
    I wish to share my hard drives between my two computers but I seem to be running along some sort of error... my windows XP Computer is picking up my "XGaming" hard drive but when clicked it says access is denied, despite there is no password set up(I followed this: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/share-files-and-printers-between-windows-7-and-xp/) I also tried to share my C and J drives on my windows XP computer but my windows 7 computer doesn't seem to even detect them!

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  • Building and Deploying Windows Azure Web Sites using Git and GitHub for Windows

    - by shiju
    Microsoft Windows Azure team has released a new version of Windows Azure which is providing many excellent features. The new Windows Azure provides Web Sites which allows you to deploy up to 10 web sites  for free in a multitenant shared environment and you can easily upgrade this web site to a private, dedicated virtual server when the traffic is grows. The Meet Windows Azure Fact Sheet provides the following information about a Windows Azure Web Site: Windows Azure Web Sites enable developers to easily build and deploy websites with support for multiple frameworks and popular open source applications, including ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js. With just a few clicks, developers can take advantage of Windows Azure’s global scale without having to worry about operations, servers or infrastructure. It is easy to deploy existing sites, if they run on Internet Information Services (IIS) 7, or to build new sites, with a free offer of 10 websites upon signup, with the ability to scale up as needed with reserved instances. Windows Azure Web Sites includes support for the following: Multiple frameworks including ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js Popular open source software apps including WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Umbraco and DotNetNuke Windows Azure SQL Database and MySQL databases Multiple types of developer tools and protocols including Visual Studio, Git, FTP, Visual Studio Team Foundation Services and Microsoft WebMatrix Signup to Windows and Enable Azure Web Sites You can signup for a 90 days free trial account in Windows Azure from here. After creating an account in Windows Azure, go to https://account.windowsazure.com/ , and select to preview features to view the available previews. In the Web Sites section of the preview features, click “try it now” which will enables the web sites feature Create Web Site in Windows Azure To create a web sites, login to the Windows Azure portal, and select Web Sites from and click New icon from the left corner  Click WEB SITE, QUICK CREATE and put values for URL and REGION dropdown. You can see the all web sites from the dashboard of the Windows Azure portal Set up Git Publishing Select your web site from the dashboard, and select Set up Git publishing To enable Git publishing , you must give user name and password which will initialize a Git repository Clone Git Repository We can use GitHub for Windows to publish apps to non-GitHub repositories which is well explained by Phil Haack on his blog post. Here we are going to deploy the web site using GitHub for Windows. Let’s clone a Git repository using the Git Url which will be getting from the Windows Azure portal. Let’s copy the Git url and execute the “git clone” with the git url. You can use the Git Shell provided by GitHub for Windows. To get it, right on the GitHub for Windows, and select open shell here as shown in the below picture. When executing the Git Clone command, it will ask for a password where you have to give password which specified in the Windows Azure portal. After cloning the GIT repository, you can drag and drop the local Git repository folder to GitHub for Windows GUI. This will automatically add the Windows Azure Web Site repository onto GitHub for Windows where you can commit your changes and publish your web sites to Windows Azure. Publish the Web Site using GitHub for Windows We can add multiple framework level files including ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js, to the local repository folder can easily publish to Windows Azure from GitHub for Windows GUI. For this demo, let me just add a simple Node.js file named Server.js which handles few request handlers. 1: var http = require('http'); 2: var port=process.env.PORT; 3: var querystring = require('querystring'); 4: var utils = require('util'); 5: var url = require("url"); 6:   7: var server = http.createServer(function(req, res) { 8: switch (req.url) { //checking the request url 9: case '/': 10: homePageHandler (req, res); //handler for home page 11: break; 12: case '/register': 13: registerFormHandler (req, res);//hamdler for register 14: break; 15: default: 16: nofoundHandler (req, res);// handler for 404 not found 17: break; 18: } 19: }); 20: server.listen(port); 21: //function to display the html form 22: function homePageHandler (req, res) { 23: console.log('Request handler home was called.'); 24: res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'}); 25: var body = '<html>'+ 26: '<head>'+ 27: '<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; '+ 28: 'charset=UTF-8" />'+ 29: '</head>'+ 30: '<body>'+ 31: '<form action="/register" method="post">'+ 32: 'Name:<input type=text value="" name="name" size=15></br>'+ 33: 'Email:<input type=text value="" name="email" size=15></br>'+ 34: '<input type="submit" value="Submit" />'+ 35: '</form>'+ 36: '</body>'+ 37: '</html>'; 38: //response content 39: res.end(body); 40: } 41: //handler for Post request 42: function registerFormHandler (req, res) { 43: console.log('Request handler register was called.'); 44: var pathname = url.parse(req.url).pathname; 45: console.log("Request for " + pathname + " received."); 46: var postData = ""; 47: req.on('data', function(chunk) { 48: // append the current chunk of data to the postData variable 49: postData += chunk.toString(); 50: }); 51: req.on('end', function() { 52: // doing something with the posted data 53: res.writeHead(200, "OK", {'Content-Type': 'text/html'}); 54: // parse the posted data 55: var decodedBody = querystring.parse(postData); 56: // output the decoded data to the HTTP response 57: res.write('<html><head><title>Post data</title></head><body><pre>'); 58: res.write(utils.inspect(decodedBody)); 59: res.write('</pre></body></html>'); 60: res.end(); 61: }); 62: } 63: //Error handler for 404 no found 64: function nofoundHandler(req, res) { 65: console.log('Request handler nofound was called.'); 66: res.writeHead(404, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'}); 67: res.end('404 Error - Request handler not found'); 68: } .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } If there is any change in the local repository folder, GitHub for Windows will automatically detect the changes. In the above step, we have just added a Server.js file so that GitHub for Windows will detect the changes. Let’s commit the changes to the local repository before publishing the web site to Windows Azure. After committed the all changes, you can click publish button which will publish the all changes to Windows Azure repository. The following screen shot shows deployment history from the Windows Azure portal.   GitHub for Windows is providing a sync button which can use for synchronizing between local repository and Windows Azure repository after making any commit on the local repository after any changes. Our web site is running after the deployment using Git Summary Windows Azure Web Sites lets the developers to easily build and deploy websites with support for multiple framework including ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js and can easily deploy the Web Sites using Visual Studio, Git, FTP, Visual Studio Team Foundation Services and Microsoft WebMatrix. In this demo, we have deployed a Node.js Web Site to Windows Azure using Git. We can use GitHub for Windows to publish apps to non-GitHub repositories and can use to publish Web SItes to Windows Azure.

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  • Test Drive Windows 7 Online with Virtual Labs

    - by Matthew Guay
    Did you miss out on the Windows 7 public beta and want to try it out before you actually make the leap and upgrade? Maybe you want to learn how to deploy new features in a business environment. Here’s how you can test drive Windows 7 directly from your browser. Whether you manage 10,000 desktops or simply manage your own laptop, it’s usually best to test out a new OS before installing it.  If you’re upgrading from Windows XP you may find many things unfamiliar.  Microsoft has setup a special Windows 7 Test Drive website with resources to help IT professionals test and deploy Windows 7 in their workplaces.  This is a great resource to try out Windows 7 from the comfort of your browser, and look at some of the new features without even installing it. Please note that the online version is not nearly as responsive as a full standard install of Windows 7.  It also does not run the full Aero interface or desktop effects, and may refresh slowly depending on your Internet connection.  So don’t judge Windows 7’s performance based on this virtual lab, but use it as a way to learn more about Windows 7 without installing it. Getting Started To test drive Windows 7, visit Microsoft’s Windows 7 Test Drive website (link below).  You will need to run the Windows 7 Test Drive in Internet Explorer, as it requires Active X support.  We received this error when attempting to run the Test Drive in Firefox: Now, click the “Take a Test Drive” link on the bottom left of the page. This site includes several test drives to demonstrate different features of Windows 7 and its related ecosystem of products including Windows Server 2008 R2, some of which, including the XP Mode test drive, are not yet ready.  For this test, we selected the MED-V Test drive, as this includes Office 2007 and 2010 so you can test them in Windows 7 as well.  Simply select the test drive you want, and click “Try it now!”   If you haven’t run a Windows test drive before, you will be asked to install an ActiveX control.  Click the link to install. Click the yellow bar at the top of the page in Internet Explorer, and select to Install the add-on.  You may have to approve a UAC prompt to finish the install. Once this is finished, click the link on the bottom of the page to return to your test drive.  The test drive page should automatically refresh; if it doesn’t, click refresh to reload it. Now the test drive will load the components.   Once its fully loaded, click the link to launch Windows 7 in a new window. You may see a prompt warning that the server may have been impersonated.  Simply click Yes to proceed. The test lab will give you some getting started directions; click Close Window when you’re ready to try out Windows 7. Here’s the default desktop in the Windows 7 test drive.  You can use it just like a normal Windows computer, but do note that it may function slowly depending on your internet connection.   This test drive includes both Office 2007 and Office 2010 Tech Preview, so you can try out both in Windows 7 as well. You can try out the new Windows 7 applications such as the reworked Paint with the Ribbon interface from Office. Or you can even test the newest version of Media Center, though it will warn you that it may not function good with the down-scaled graphics in the test drive.   Most importantly, you can try out the new features in Windows 7, such as Jumplists and even Aero Snap.  Once again, these features will not function the quickest, but it does let you test them out. While working with the Virtual Lab, there are different tasks it walks you through. You can also download a copy of the lab manual in PDF format to help you navigate through the various objectives. The test drive system is running Microsoft Forefront Security, the enterprise security solution from which Microsoft Security Essentials has adapted components from. Conclusion These virtual labs are great for tech students, or those of you who want to get a first-hand trial of the new features. Also, if you’re not sure on how to deploy something and want to practice in a virtual environment, these labs are quite valuable.While these labs are geared toward IT professionals, it’s a good way for anyone to try out Windows 7 features from the comfort of your current computer. Test Drive Windows 7 Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Mount Multiple ISO Images Using Virtual CloneDriveHow To Delete a VHD in Windows 7Keyboard Shortcuts for VMware WorkstationMount an ISO image in Windows 7 or VistaHow To Turn a Physical Computer Into A Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd 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 DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 If it were only this easy SyncToy syncs Files and Folders across Computers on a Network (or partitions on the same drive) Classic Cinema Online offers 100’s of OnDemand Movies OutSync will Sync Photos of your Friends on Facebook and Outlook Windows 7 Easter Theme YoWindoW, a real time weather screensaver

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  • Download the Windows 8 Release Preview Themes for Windows 7 [Double Theme]

    - by Asian Angel
    The Windows 8 Release Preview came with two great sets of beautiful wallpapers, one for the desktop and one for the lock screen. With this in mind the good folks over at the 7 Tutorials blog decided to help bring that Windows 8 goodness to everyone’s Windows 7 desktops. You can see some of the wallpapers available for the desktop above and see some for the lock screen below… Special Note: While many of the wallpapers are the same as those for the Consumer Preview, there have been some changes in what has been included for the Release Preview. Download Windows 8 Release Preview Themes for Windows 7 [7 Tutorials] HTG Explains: What Is RSS and How Can I Benefit From Using It? HTG Explains: Why You Only Have to Wipe a Disk Once to Erase It HTG Explains: Learn How Websites Are Tracking You Online

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  • Windows 7 and Vista Home Networked-Unable to login from Vista to Windows 7

    - by Lynn
    I set up both Vista and Windows 7 on the same workgroup. I can view Windows 7 from Vista and vice versa. I can login into Vista from Windows 7. I am unable to login to Windows 7 from Vista. When I enter the Windows 7 User name and Password on Vista, the following information appears: Logon unsuccessful: Windows is unable to log you on. Be sure that your user name and password are correct. Both are correct. Do you have any idea how I can resolve this logon issue? Thank you, Lynn

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  • Windows Azure: Backup Services Release, Hyper-V Recovery Manager, VM Enhancements, Enhanced Enterprise Management Support

    - by ScottGu
    This morning we released a huge set of updates to Windows Azure.  These new capabilities include: Backup Services: General Availability of Windows Azure Backup Services Hyper-V Recovery Manager: Public preview of Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager Virtual Machines: Delete Attached Disks, Availability Set Warnings, SQL AlwaysOn Configuration Active Directory: Securely manage hundreds of SaaS applications Enterprise Management: Use Active Directory to Better Manage Windows Azure Windows Azure SDK 2.2: A massive update of our SDK + Visual Studio tooling support All of these improvements are now available to use immediately.  Below are more details about them. Backup Service: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Backup Today we are releasing Windows Azure Backup Service as a general availability service.  This release is now live in production, backed by an enterprise SLA, supported by Microsoft Support, and is ready to use for production scenarios. Windows Azure Backup is a cloud based backup solution for Windows Server which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud, and provides off-site protection against data loss. The service provides IT administrators and developers with the option to back up and protect critical data in an easily recoverable way from any location with no upfront hardware cost. Windows Azure Backup is built on the Windows Azure platform and uses Windows Azure blob storage for storing customer data. Windows Server uses the downloadable Windows Azure Backup Agent to transfer file and folder data securely and efficiently to the Windows Azure Backup Service. Along with providing cloud backup for Windows Server, Windows Azure Backup Service also provides capability to backup data from System Center Data Protection Manager and Windows Server Essentials, to the cloud. All data is encrypted onsite before it is sent to the cloud, and customers retain and manage the encryption key (meaning the data is stored entirely secured and can’t be decrypted by anyone but yourself). Getting Started To get started with the Windows Azure Backup Service, create a new Backup Vault within the Windows Azure Management Portal.  Click New->Data Services->Recovery Services->Backup Vault to do this: Once the backup vault is created you’ll be presented with a simple tutorial that will help guide you on how to register your Windows Servers with it: Once the servers you want to backup are registered, you can use the appropriate local management interface (such as the Microsoft Management Console snap-in, System Center Data Protection Manager Console, or Windows Server Essentials Dashboard) to configure the scheduled backups and to optionally initiate recoveries. You can follow these tutorials to learn more about how to do this: Tutorial: Schedule Backups Using the Windows Azure Backup Agent This tutorial helps you with setting up a backup schedule for your registered Windows Servers. Additionally, it also explains how to use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to set up a custom backup schedule. Tutorial: Recover Files and Folders Using the Windows Azure Backup Agent This tutorial helps you with recovering data from a backup. Additionally, it also explains how to use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to do the same tasks. Below are some of the key benefits the Windows Azure Backup Service provides: Simple configuration and management. Windows Azure Backup Service integrates with the familiar Windows Server Backup utility in Windows Server, the Data Protection Manager component in System Center and Windows Server Essentials, in order to provide a seamless backup and recovery experience to a local disk, or to the cloud. Block level incremental backups. The Windows Azure Backup Agent performs incremental backups by tracking file and block level changes and only transferring the changed blocks, hence reducing the storage and bandwidth utilization. Different point-in-time versions of the backups use storage efficiently by only storing the changes blocks between these versions. Data compression, encryption and throttling. The Windows Azure Backup Agent ensures that data is compressed and encrypted on the server before being sent to the Windows Azure Backup Service over the network. As a result, the Windows Azure Backup Service only stores encrypted data in the cloud storage. The encryption key is not available to the Windows Azure Backup Service, and as a result the data is never decrypted in the service. Also, users can setup throttling and configure how the Windows Azure Backup service utilizes the network bandwidth when backing up or restoring information. Data integrity is verified in the cloud. In addition to the secure backups, the backed up data is also automatically checked for integrity once the backup is done. As a result, any corruptions which may arise due to data transfer can be easily identified and are fixed automatically. Configurable retention policies for storing data in the cloud. The Windows Azure Backup Service accepts and implements retention policies to recycle backups that exceed the desired retention range, thereby meeting business policies and managing backup costs. Hyper-V Recovery Manager: Now Available in Public Preview I’m excited to also announce the public preview of a new Windows Azure Service – the Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM). Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager helps protect your business critical services by coordinating the replication and recovery of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 private clouds at a secondary location. With automated protection, asynchronous ongoing replication, and orderly recovery, the Hyper-V Recovery Manager service can help you implement Disaster Recovery and restore important services accurately, consistently, and with minimal downtime. Application data in an Hyper-V Recovery Manager scenarios always travels on your on-premise replication channel. Only metadata (such as names of logical clouds, virtual machines, networks etc.) that is needed for orchestration is sent to Azure. All traffic sent to/from Azure is encrypted. You can begin using Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery today by clicking New->Data Services->Recovery Services->Hyper-V Recovery Manager within the Windows Azure Management Portal.  You can read more about Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager in Brad Anderson’s 9-part series, Transform the datacenter. To learn more about setting up Hyper-V Recovery Manager follow our detailed step-by-step guide. Virtual Machines: Delete Attached Disks, Availability Set Warnings, SQL AlwaysOn Today’s Windows Azure release includes a number of nice updates to Windows Azure Virtual Machines.  These improvements include: Ability to Delete both VM Instances + Attached Disks in One Operation Prior to today’s release, when you deleted VMs within Windows Azure we would delete the VM instance – but not delete the drives attached to the VM.  You had to manually delete these yourself from the storage account.  With today’s update we’ve added a convenience option that now allows you to either retain or delete the attached disks when you delete the VM:   We’ve also added the ability to delete a cloud service, its deployments, and its role instances with a single action. This can either be a cloud service that has production and staging deployments with web and worker roles, or a cloud service that contains virtual machines.  To do this, simply select the Cloud Service within the Windows Azure Management Portal and click the “Delete” button: Warnings on Availability Sets with Only One Virtual Machine In Them One of the nice features that Windows Azure Virtual Machines supports is the concept of “Availability Sets”.  An “availability set” allows you to define a tier/role (e.g. webfrontends, databaseservers, etc) that you can map Virtual Machines into – and when you do this Windows Azure separates them across fault domains and ensures that at least one of them is always available during servicing operations.  This enables you to deploy applications in a high availability way. One issue we’ve seen some customers run into is where they define an availability set, but then forget to map more than one VM into it (which defeats the purpose of having an availability set).  With today’s release we now display a warning in the Windows Azure Management Portal if you have only one virtual machine deployed in an availability set to help highlight this: You can learn more about configuring the availability of your virtual machines here. Configuring SQL Server Always On SQL Server Always On is a great feature that you can use with Windows Azure to enable high availability and DR scenarios with SQL Server. Today’s Windows Azure release makes it even easier to configure SQL Server Always On by enabling “Direct Server Return” endpoints to be configured and managed within the Windows Azure Management Portal.  Previously, setting this up required using PowerShell to complete the endpoint configuration.  Starting today you can enable this simply by checking the “Direct Server Return” checkbox: You can learn more about how to use direct server return for SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups here. Active Directory: Application Access Enhancements This summer we released our initial preview of our Application Access Enhancements for Windows Azure Active Directory.  This service enables you to securely implement single-sign-on (SSO) support against SaaS applications (including Office 365, SalesForce, Workday, Box, Google Apps, GitHub, etc) as well as LOB based applications (including ones built with the new Windows Azure AD support we shipped last week with ASP.NET and VS 2013). Since the initial preview we’ve enhanced our SAML federation capabilities, integrated our new password vaulting system, and shipped multi-factor authentication support. We've also turned on our outbound identity provisioning system and have it working with hundreds of additional SaaS Applications: Earlier this month we published an update on dates and pricing for when the service will be released in general availability form.  In this blog post we announced our intention to release the service in general availability form by the end of the year.  We also announced that the below features would be available in a free tier with it: SSO to every SaaS app we integrate with – Users can Single Sign On to any app we are integrated with at no charge. This includes all the top SAAS Apps and every app in our application gallery whether they use federation or password vaulting. Application access assignment and removal – IT Admins can assign access privileges to web applications to the users in their active directory assuring that every employee has access to the SAAS Apps they need. And when a user leaves the company or changes jobs, the admin can just as easily remove their access privileges assuring data security and minimizing IP loss User provisioning (and de-provisioning) – IT admins will be able to automatically provision users in 3rd party SaaS applications like Box, Salesforce.com, GoToMeeting, DropBox and others. We are working with key partners in the ecosystem to establish these connections, meaning you no longer have to continually update user records in multiple systems. Security and auditing reports – Security is a key priority for us. With the free version of these enhancements you'll get access to our standard set of access reports giving you visibility into which users are using which applications, when they were using them and where they are using them from. In addition, we'll alert you to un-usual usage patterns for instance when a user logs in from multiple locations at the same time. Our Application Access Panel – Users are logging in from every type of devices including Windows, iOS, & Android. Not all of these devices handle authentication in the same manner but the user doesn't care. They need to access their apps from the devices they love. Our Application Access Panel will support the ability for users to access access and launch their apps from any device and anywhere. You can learn more about our plans for application management with Windows Azure Active Directory here.  Try out the preview and start using it today. Enterprise Management: Use Active Directory to Better Manage Windows Azure Windows Azure Active Directory provides the ability to manage your organization in a directory which is hosted entirely in the cloud, or alternatively kept in sync with an on-premises Windows Server Active Directory solution (allowing you to seamlessly integrate with the directory you already have).  With today’s Windows Azure release we are integrating Windows Azure Active Directory even more within the core Windows Azure management experience, and enabling an even richer enterprise security offering.  Specifically: 1) All Windows Azure accounts now have a default Windows Azure Active Directory created for them.  You can create and map any users you want into this directory, and grant administrative rights to manage resources in Windows Azure to these users. 2) You can keep this directory entirely hosted in the cloud – or optionally sync it with your on-premises Windows Server Active Directory.  Both options are free.  The later approach is ideal for companies that wish to use their corporate user identities to sign-in and manage Windows Azure resources.  It also ensures that if an employee leaves an organization, his or her access control rights to the company’s Windows Azure resources are immediately revoked. 3) The Windows Azure Service Management APIs have been updated to support using Windows Azure Active Directory credentials to sign-in and perform management operations.  Prior to today’s release customers had to download and use management certificates (which were not scoped to individual users) to perform management operations.  We still support this management certificate approach (don’t worry – nothing will stop working).  But we think the new Windows Azure Active Directory authentication support enables an even easier and more secure way for customers to manage resources going forward.  4) The Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release (which is also shipping today) includes built-in support for the new Service Management APIs that authenticate with Windows Azure Active Directory, and now allow you to create and manage Windows Azure applications and resources directly within Visual Studio using your Active Directory credentials.  This, combined with updated PowerShell scripts that also support Active Directory, enables an end-to-end enterprise authentication story with Windows Azure. Below are some details on how all of this works: Subscriptions within a Directory As part of today’s update, we have associated all existing Window Azure accounts with a Windows Azure Active Directory (and created one for you if you don’t already have one). When you login to the Windows Azure Management Portal you’ll now see the directory name in the URI of the browser.  For example, in the screen-shot below you can see that I have a “scottgu” directory that my subscriptions are hosted within: Note that you can continue to use Microsoft Accounts (formerly known as Microsoft Live IDs) to sign-into Windows Azure.  These map just fine to a Windows Azure Active Directory – so there is no need to create new usernames that are specific to a directory if you don’t want to.  In the scenario above I’m actually logged in using my @hotmail.com based Microsoft ID which is now mapped to a “scottgu” active directory that was created for me.  By default everything will continue to work just like you used to before. Manage your Directory You can manage an Active Directory (including the one we now create for you by default) by clicking the “Active Directory” tab in the left-hand side of the portal.  This will list all of the directories in your account.  Clicking one the first time will display a getting started page that provides documentation and links to perform common tasks with it: You can use the built-in directory management support within the Windows Azure Management Portal to add/remove/manage users within the directory, enable multi-factor authentication, associate a custom domain (e.g. mycompanyname.com) with the directory, and/or rename the directory to whatever friendly name you want (just click the configure tab to do this).  You can also setup the directory to automatically sync with an on-premises Active Directory using the “Directory Integration” tab. Note that users within a directory by default do not have admin rights to login or manage Windows Azure based resources.  You still need to explicitly grant them co-admin permissions on a subscription for them to login or manage resources in Windows Azure.  You can do this by clicking the Settings tab on the left-hand side of the portal and then by clicking the administrators tab within it. Sign-In Integration within Visual Studio If you install the new Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release, you can now connect to Windows Azure from directly inside Visual Studio without having to download any management certificates.  You can now just right-click on the “Windows Azure” icon within the Server Explorer and choose the “Connect to Windows Azure” context menu option to do so: Doing this will prompt you to enter the email address of the username you wish to sign-in with (make sure this account is a user in your directory with co-admin rights on a subscription): You can use either a Microsoft Account (e.g. Windows Live ID) or an Active Directory based Organizational account 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 be available to start using: No downloading of management certificates required.  All of the authentication was handled using your Windows Azure Active Directory! Manage Subscriptions across Multiple Directories If you have already have multiple directories and multiple subscriptions within your Windows Azure account, we have done our best to create a good default mapping of your subscriptions->directories as part of today’s update.  If you don’t like the default subscription-to-directory mapping we have done you can click the Settings tab in the left-hand navigation of the Windows Azure Management Portal and browse to the Subscriptions tab within it: If you want to map a subscription under a different directory in your account, simply select the subscription from the list, and then click the “Edit Directory” button to choose which directory to map it to.  Mapping a subscription to a different directory takes only seconds and will not cause any of the resources within the subscription to recycle or stop working.  We’ve made the directory->subscription mapping process self-service so that you always have complete control and can map things however you want. Filtering By Directory and Subscription Within the Windows Azure Management Portal you can filter resources in the portal by subscription (allowing you to show/hide different subscriptions).  If you have subscriptions mapped to multiple directory tenants, we also now have a filter drop-down that allows you to filter the subscription list by directory tenant.  This filter is only available if you have multiple subscriptions mapped to multiple directories within your Windows Azure Account:   Windows Azure SDK 2.2 Today we are also releasing a major update of our Windows Azure SDK.  The Windows Azure SDK 2.2 release adds some great new 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 I’ll post a follow-up blog shortly with more details about all of the above. Additional Updates In addition to the above enhancements, today’s release also includes a number of additional improvements: AutoScale: Richer time and date based scheduling support (set different rules on different dates) AutoScale: Ability to Scale to Zero Virtual Machines (very useful for Dev/Test scenarios) AutoScale: Support for time-based scheduling of Mobile Service AutoScale rules Operation Logs: Auditing support for Service Bus management operations Today we also shipped a major update to the Windows Azure SDK – Windows Azure SDK 2.2.  It has so much goodness in it that I have a whole second blog post coming shortly on it! :-) Summary Today’s Windows Azure release enables a bunch of great new scenarios, and enables a much richer enterprise authentication offering. 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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  • The Best Free Programs for Using Virtual Desktops in Windows

    - by Lori Kaufman
    If you often open a lot of applications at once, a virtual desktop program can help you keep all those windows on your desktop organized. A virtual desktop program allows you to put open applications into separate virtual desktops, cutting down on your desktop clutter. We’ve collected links to and information about several free virtual desktop managers you can use to organize your Windows desktop. How to Factory Reset Your Android Phone or Tablet When It Won’t Boot Our Geek Trivia App for Windows 8 is Now Available Everywhere How To Boot Your Android Phone or Tablet Into Safe Mode

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  • Change the Default Number of Rows of Tiles on the Windows 8 UI (Metro) Screen

    - by Lori Kaufman
    By default, Windows 8 automatically sets the number of rows of tiles to fit your screen, depending on your monitor size and resolution. However, you can tell Windows 8 to display a certain number of rows of tiles at all times, despite the screen resolution. To do this, we will make a change to the registry. If you are not already on the Desktop, click the Desktop tile on the Start screen. NOTE: Before making changes to the registry, be sure you back it up. We also recommend creating a restore point you can use to restore your system if something goes wrong. HTG Explains: Why Do Hard Drives Show the Wrong Capacity in Windows? Java is Insecure and Awful, It’s Time to Disable It, and Here’s How What Are the Windows A: and B: Drives Used For?

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  • How to Make More Space Available on the Windows 7 Taskbar

    - by Lori Kaufman
    Do you pin a lot of programs to your Windows 7 Taskbar and run a lot of programs at once? Between pinned programs and other programs running, your Taskbar can get crowded. There are a few ways you can reclaim the space on your Taskbar. How to Get Pro Features in Windows Home Versions with Third Party Tools HTG Explains: Is ReadyBoost Worth Using? HTG Explains: What The Windows Event Viewer Is and How You Can Use It

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  • How to Skip the Start Screen and Boot to the Desktop in Windows 8.1

    - by Mark Wilson
    For almost everyone who made the upgrade, Windows 8 proved to be something of a disappointment for one reason or another. Windows 8.1 (or Windows Blue) was released to address many of the issues users had complained about including reintroducing the ability to boot straight to the desktop. Being able to boot to the desktop rather than the Start screen is something that people have been clammering for ever since the first preview versions of Windows 8 were unveiled. There have been various third-party tools released as numerous workarounds used to get around the problem, but now it is an option that is built directly into the operating system. You’ll need to have downloaded and installed the update in order to proceed, but once you have done this, things are very simple. When you have Windows up and running after the upgrade, right click an empty section of the taskbar and select properties to bring up the newly named “Taskbar and Navigation properties” dialog.  Move to the Navigation tab and look in the “Start screen” section in the lower half of the dialog. Check the box labelled ‘Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in” and click OK.    

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  • Computer wont install Windows Vista or Windows 7

    - by AsheeVee
    I had Windows Vista on my computer and wanted to upgrade to Windows 7 and thought that I would format my computer since it had been awhile. When I installed Windows 7 it wouldnt let me it would go through all the installation and then when my computer rebooted it would just be black screen with my mouse, I have tried mulitpule times now, and have just gone backs to Windows Vista, this no longer works and does the same thing as when I tried to insta I have a Nvidia GTX 275 video card, ASUS m2N-E SLI mother board,and a AMD 5200 Dual core processor

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  • Update to Windows 8.1 without using Windows Store

    - by Hari
    I am currently using Windows 8 on my desktop PC. I want to upgrade to Windows 8.1. I heard that Microsoft provides this update through Microsoft Store for free. But in My home I don't have a faster internet connection. I downloaded a Windows 8.1 ISO from cafe, but when I started installing, it asks for a key. I typed my original Key for windows 8, but it didn't work. Is there any way for me to update to Windows 8.1 without an internet connection and without purchasing another key? Thank you

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  • Installing the Updated XP Mode which Requires no Hardware Virtualization

    - by Mysticgeek
    Good news for those of you who have a computer without Hardware Virtualization, Microsoft had dropped the requirement so you can now run XP Mode on your machine. Here we take a look at how to install it and getting working on your PC. Microsoft has dropped the requirement that your CPU supports Hardware Virtualization for XP Mode in Windows 7. Before this requirement was dropped, we showed you how to use SecureAble to find out if your machine would run XP Mode. If it couldn’t, you might have gotten lucky with turning Hardware Virtualization on in your BIOS, or getting an update that would enable it. If not, you were out of luck or would need a different machine. Note: Although you no longer need Hardware Virtualization, you still need Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate version of Windows 7. Download Correct Version of XP Mode For this article we’re installing it on a Dell machine that doesn’t support Hardware Virtualization on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit version. The first thing you’ll want to do is go to the XP Mode website and select your edition of Windows 7 and language. Then there are three downloads you’ll need to get from the page. Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC, and the Windows XP Mode Update (All Links Below). Windows genuine validation is required before you can download the XP Mode files. To make the validation process easier you might want to use IE when downloading these files and validating your version of Windows. Installing XP Mode After validation is successful the first thing to download and install is XP Mode, which is easy following the wizard and accepting the defaults. The second step is to install KB958559 which is Windows Virtual PC.   After it’s installed, a reboot is required. After you’ve come back from the restart, you’ll need to install KB977206 which is the Windows XP Mode Update.   After that’s installed, yet another restart of your system is required. After the update is configured and you return from the second reboot, you’ll find XP Mode in the Start menu under the Windows Virtual PC folder. When it launches accept the license agreement and click Next. Enter in your log in credentials… Choose if you want Automatic Updates or not… Then you’re given a message saying setup will share the hardware on your computer, then click Start Setup. While setup completes, you’re shown a display of what XP Mode does and how to use it. XP Mode launches and you can now begin using it to run older applications that are not compatible with Windows 7. Conclusion This is a welcome news for many who want the ability to use XP Mode but didn’t have the proper hardware to do it. The bad news is users of Home versions of Windows still don’t get to enjoy the XP Mode feature officially. However, we have an article that shows a great workaround – Create an XP Mode for Windows 7 Home Versions & Vista. Download XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC, and Windows XP Mode Update Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Our Look at XP Mode in Windows 7Run XP Mode on Windows 7 Machines Without Hardware VirtualizationInstall XP Mode with VirtualBox Using the VMLite PluginUnderstanding the New Hyper-V Feature in Windows Server 2008How To Run XP Mode in VirtualBox on Windows 7 (sort of) 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 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, 3/23/10 New Stinger from McAfee Helps Remove ‘FakeAlert’ Threats Google Apps Marketplace: Tools & Services For Google Apps Users Get News Quick and Precise With Newser Scan for Viruses in Ubuntu using ClamAV Replace Your Windows Task Manager With System Explorer

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  • Add a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the Microsoft Robocopy Command Line Tool

    - by Lori Kaufman
    Robocopy, or “Robust File Copy,” is a command line directory replication tool from Microsoft. It is available as part of Windows 7 and Vista as a standard feature, and was available as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. NOTE: For Windows XP, you can obtain Robocopy by downloading the resource kit. Robocopy allows you to setup simple or advanced backup strategies. It provides such features as multi-threaded copying, mirroring or synchronization mode, automatic retry, and the ability to resume the copying process. If you are comfortable with using command line tools, you can run Robocopy directly on the command line using the command syntax and options. You can also download the command line reference and usage notes for Robocopy as a PDF file. If you are more comfortable using a graphical user interface, or GUI, rather than the command line, there are a couple of options for adding a GUI to the Robocopy command line tool, making it easier to use. Both tools, RoboMirror and RichCopy, are discussed below and links to download each tool are provided. How to Factory Reset Your Android Phone or Tablet When It Won’t Boot Our Geek Trivia App for Windows 8 is Now Available Everywhere How To Boot Your Android Phone or Tablet Into Safe Mode

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  • Windows 8.1 Will Start Encrypting Hard Drives By Default: Everything You Need to Know

    - by Chris Hoffman
    Windows 8.1 will automatically encrypt the storage on modern Windows PCs. This will help protect your files in case someone steals your laptop and tries to get at them, but it has important ramifications for data recovery. Previously, “BitLocker” was available on Professional and Enterprise editions of Windows, while “Device Encryption” was available on Windows RT and Windows Phone. Device encryption is included with all editions of Windows 8.1 — and it’s on by default. When Your Hard Drive Will Be Encrypted Windows 8.1 includes “Pervasive Device Encryption.” This works a bit differently from the standard BitLocker feature that has been included in Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows for the past few versions. Before Windows 8.1 automatically enables Device Encryption, the following must be true: The Windows device “must support connected standby and meet the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) requirements for TPM and SecureBoot on ConnectedStandby systems.”  (Source) Older Windows PCs won’t support this feature, while new Windows 8.1 devices you pick up will have this feature enabled by default. When Windows 8.1 installs cleanly and the computer is prepared, device encryption is “initialized” on the system drive and other internal drives. Windows uses a clear key at this point, which is removed later when the recovery key is successfully backed up. The PC’s user must log in with a Microsoft account with administrator privileges or join the PC to a domain. If a Microsoft account is used, a recovery key will be backed up to Microsoft’s servers and encryption will be enabled. If a domain account is used, a recovery key will be backed up to Active Directory Domain Services and encryption will be enabled. If you have an older Windows computer that you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1, it may not support Device Encryption. If you log in with a local user account, Device Encryption won’t be enabled. If you upgrade your Windows 8 device to Windows 8.1, you’ll need to enable device encryption, as it’s off by default when upgrading. Recovering An Encrypted Hard Drive Device encryption means that a thief can’t just pick up your laptop, insert a Linux live CD or Windows installer disc, and boot the alternate operating system to view your files without knowing your Windows password. It means that no one can just pull the hard drive from your device, connect the hard drive to another computer, and view the files. We’ve previously explained that your Windows password doesn’t actually secure your files. With Windows 8.1, average Windows users will finally be protected with encryption by default. However, there’s a problem — if you forget your password and are unable to log in, you’d also be unable to recover your files. This is likely why encryption is only enabled when a user logs in with a Microsoft account (or connects to a domain). Microsoft holds a recovery key, so you can gain access to your files by going through a recovery process. As long as you’re able to authenticate using your Microsoft account credentials — for example, by receiving an SMS message on the cell phone number connected to your Microsoft account — you’ll be able to recover your encrypted data. With Windows 8.1, it’s more important than ever to configure your Microsoft account’s security settings and recovery methods so you’ll be able to recover your files if you ever get locked out of your Microsoft account. Microsoft does hold the recovery key and would be capable of providing it to law enforcement if it was requested, which is certainly a legitimate concern in the age of PRISM. However, this encryption still provides protection from thieves picking up your hard drive and digging through your personal or business files. If you’re worried about a government or a determined thief who’s capable of gaining access to your Microsoft account, you’ll want to encrypt your hard drive with software that doesn’t upload a copy of your recovery key to the Internet, such as TrueCrypt. How to Disable Device Encryption There should be no real reason to disable device encryption. If nothing else, it’s a useful feature that will hopefully protect sensitive data in the real world where people — and even businesses — don’t enable encryption on their own. As encryption is only enabled on devices with the appropriate hardware and will be enabled by default, Microsoft has hopefully ensured that users won’t see noticeable slow-downs in performance. Encryption adds some overhead, but the overhead can hopefully be handled by dedicated hardware. If you’d like to enable a different encryption solution or just disable encryption entirely, you can control this yourself. To do so, open the PC settings app — swipe in from the right edge of the screen or press Windows Key + C, click the Settings icon, and select Change PC settings. Navigate to PC and devices -> PC info. At the bottom of the PC info pane, you’ll see a Device Encryption section. Select Turn Off if you want to disable device encryption, or select Turn On if you want to enable it — users upgrading from Windows 8 will have to enable it manually in this way. Note that Device Encryption can’t be disabled on Windows RT devices, such as Microsoft’s Surface RT and Surface 2. If you don’t see the Device Encryption section in this window, you’re likely using an older device that doesn’t meet the requirements and thus doesn’t support Device Encryption. For example, our Windows 8.1 virtual machine doesn’t offer Device Encryption configuration options. This is the new normal for Windows PCs, tablets, and devices in general. Where files on typical PCs were once ripe for easy access by thieves, Windows PCs are now encrypted by default and recovery keys are sent to Microsoft’s servers for safe keeping. This last part may be a bit creepy, but it’s easy to imagine average users forgetting their passwords — they’d be very upset if they lost all their files because they had to reset their passwords. It’s also an improvement over Windows PCs being completely unprotected by default.     

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  • How To Rip a Music CD in Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    If you’re a Media Center user, you already know that it can play and manage your digital music collection. But, did you know you can also rip a music CD in Windows 7 Media Center and have it automatically added to your music library? Rip a CD in Windows 7 Media Center Place your CD into your optical drive. From within Windows Media Center, open the Music Library and select the CD. If you haven’t previously ripped a CD in Windows 7 with either Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player, you’ll be prompted to select whether or not you’d like to add copy protection. Click Next. By default, your CD will be ripped to .WMA format. The rip settings for Windows Media Center are pulled from Windows Media Player. So to change the rip settings, we’ll need to do so in Media Player. Click Finish. From within Windows Media Player, click on Tools from Menu bar, and select Options. If you are new to Windows Media Player 12, check out our beginner’s guide on how to manage your music with WMP 12. Select the Rip Music tab and choose your output format from the Format drop down list. You can also select the Audio quality (bit rate) by moving the slider bar under Audio quality. Click OK when you are finished.   Now, you are ready to rip your CD. Click on Rip CD. Click Yes to confirm you want to rip the CD. You can follow the progress as each track is being converted.    When the CD is finished you’re ready to start enjoying your music any time you wish in Windows 7 Media Center. Looking for some more tasks you can perform in Media Center with just a remote? Check out our earlier post on how to crop, edit, and print photos in Windows Media Center. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesStartup Customizations for Media Center in Windows 7Schedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center 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 DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall Office 2010 reviewed in depth by Ed Bott FoxClocks adds World Times in your Statusbar (Firefox) Have Fun Editing Photo Editing with Citrify Outlook Connector Upgrade Error

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  • Windows 7 - Windows Update won't update

    - by StickFigs
    I'm trying to update my Windows 7 Professional 32-bit edition and when I try to tell Windows Update to scan for updates it failed with the error code 0x80096001. I checked out WindowsUpdate.log and it appears this is the problem: Validating signature for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\WuRedir\9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77\muv4wuredir.cab: WARNING: Error: 0x80096001 when verifying trust for C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\WuRedir\9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77\muv4wuredir.cab WARNING: Digital Signatures on file C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\WuRedir\9482F4B4-E343-43B6-B170-9A65BC822C77\muv4wuredir.cab are not trusted: Error 0x80096001 How can I go about fixing this? It looks like it's just this one (corrupted?) file that's causing the problem. Thanks! UPDATE: Upon inspecting the file mentioned in the error message it appears that the file does not exist! What does this mean and how do I get it back? UPDATE 2: Ok it appears that the file in question appears only for a split second when Windows Updating is trying to search (but fails) to find updates. So I guess the problem doesn't have to do with the file specifically then.

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  • Active FTP client blocked by Windows Firewall on Windows 7

    - by Eli
    I have an application that runs as a service and contains an FTP client. It needs to connect to an FTP server that only supports Active FTP. When I attempt to get a list of files or download a file, Windows Firewall is dropping the incoming connection from the FTP server. (I don't believe we had this problem in Windows XP or Windows Vista.) Active FTP is the protocol that requires the the server to open a connection to the client on a port that the client specified. (http://slacksite.com/other/ftp.html) I know I could open up a large port range in Windows Firewall and force my FTP client to only use those ports, but I would have guessed that Windows Firewall would support Active FTP natively. Is there some setting that needs to be made in order to have Windows Firewall automatically detect Active FTP and open up the necessary ports as needed? Can I change that setting programmatically? Thanks. PS- I asked this question on StackOverflow, but was told I should probably ask here as well.

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  • System32 files can be deleted in Windows 2008 but not in Windows 2003 [closed]

    - by Harvey Kwok
    I have been using Windows 2003 for a long time. There is a wonderful feature. I don't know the name of it but the feature is like this. You can rename or delete some important files inside C:\windows\system32. e.g. kerberos.dll. After a while, the deleted files will be automatically recovered. I think this is because those files are criticl enough that Windows cannot survive without them. However, in Windows 2008, this feature is gone. Instead, all the files in System32 are owned by TrustedInstaller. However, as a administrator, I can still take the ownserhip of the files and then delete them. Windwos 2008 won't recover the deleted files and hence the system is screwed next time it's reboot. So, I wonder why Windows 2008 dropping that wonderful feature. Was that auto-recovery feature also suffer from some issues? Does Windows 2008 have some other features that can prevent this type of disaster from happening?

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  • Windows 8.1 Search does not automatically select first search match

    - by Miguel Sevilla
    When I search in Windows 8/8.1 (start menu-start typing), it doesn't automatically highlight the search term. For example, if I'm trying to open the "Internet Options" panel and type the entire thing out in search, I have to down arrow or tab to the "Internet Options" search result. This is retarded. I'm used to Windows 7 style search where the first match is highlighted and i can easily just hit return. First match highlighting does work for other built-in things like "Control Panel", but it should work for all things in general, as it did in Windows 7 search. Anyways, if there is an option to enable this in Windows 8/8.1, I'd appreciate the tip. Thanks!

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  • Stream Music and Video Over the Internet with Windows Media Player 12

    - by DigitalGeekery
    A new feature in Windows Media Player 12, which is included with Windows 7, is being able to stream media over the web to other Windows 7 computers.  Today we will take a look at how to set it up and what you need to begin. Note: You will need to perform this process on each computer that you want to use. What You’ll Need Two computers running Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate. The host, or home computer that you will be streaming the media from, cannot be on a public network or part of domain. Windows Live ID UPnP or Port Forwarding enabled on your home router Media files added to your Windows Media Player library Windows Live ID Sign up online for a Windows Live ID if you do not already have one. See the link below for a link to Windows Live.   Configuring the Windows 7 Computers Open Windows Media Player and go to the library section. Click on Stream and then “Allow Internet access to home media.”   The Internet Home Media Access pop up window will prompt you to link your Windows Live ID to a user account. Click “Link an online ID.” If you haven’t already installed the Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant, you will be taken to Microsoft’s website and prompted to download it. Once you have completed the Windows Live download assistant install, you will see Windows Live ID online provider appear in the “Link Online IDs” window. Click on “Link Online ID.” Next, you’ll be prompted for a Windows Live ID and password. Enter your Windows Live ID and password and click “Sign In.” A pop up window will notify you that you have successfully allowed Internet access to home media. Now, you will have to repeat the exact same configuration on the 2nd Windows 7 computer. Once you have completed the same configuration on your 2nd computer, you might also need to configure your home router for port forwarding. If your router supports UPnP, you may not need to manually forward any ports on your router. So, this would be a good time to test your connection. Go to a nearby hotspot, or perhaps a neighbor’s house, and test to see if you can stream your media. If not, you’ll need to manually forward the ports. You can always choose to forward the ports anyway, just in case. Note: We tested on a Linksys WRT54GL router, which supports UPnP, and found we still needed to manually forward the ports. Finding the ports to forward on the router Open Windows Media Player and make sure you are in Library view. Click on “Stream” on the top menu, and select “Allow Internet access to home media.”   On the “Internet Home Media Access” window, click on “Diagnose connections.” The “Internet Streaming Diagnostic Tool” will pop up. Click on “Port forwarding information” near the bottom.   On the “Port Forwarding Information” window you will find both the Internal and External Port numbers you will need to forward on your router. The Internal port number should always be 10245. The external number will be different depending on your computer. Microsoft also recommends forwarding port 443. Configuring the Router Next, you’ll need to configure Port Forwarding on your home router. We will show you the steps for a Linksys WRT54GL router, however, the steps for port forwarding will vary from router to router. On the Linksys configuration page, click on the Administration Tab along the top, click the “Applications & Gaming Tab, and then the “Port Range Forward” tab below it. Under “Application,” type in a name. It can be any name you choose. In both the “Start” and “End” boxes, type the port number. Enter the IP address of your home computer in the IP address column. Click the check box under “Enable.” Do this for both the internal and external port numbers and port 443. When finished, click the “Save Settings” button. Note: It’s highly recommended that you configure your home computer with a static IP address When you’re ready to play your media over the Internet, open up Windows Media Player and look for your host computer and username listed under “Other Libraries.” Click on it expand the list to see your media libraries. Choose a library and a file to play. Now you can enjoy your streaming media over the Internet. Conclusion We found media streaming over the Internet to work fairly well. However, we did see a loss of quality with streaming video. Also, Recorded TV .wtv and dvr-ms files did not play at all. Check out our previous article to see how to stream media share and stream media between Windows 7 computers on your home network. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Enable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media PlayerFixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesShare Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7Share and Stream Digital Media Between Windows 7 Machines On Your Home NetworkLearning Windows 7: Manage Your Music with Windows Media Player 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 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Stormpulse provides slick, real time weather data Geek Parents – Did you try Parental Controls in Windows 7? 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  • Access PC Settings Easily from Your Desktop in Windows 8 and 8.1

    - by Akemi Iwaya
    Accessing your system’s settings in Windows 8 is not exactly the most straight-forward of processes, so if you need to change your settings often, then it can be a bit frustrating. With that in mind, the good folks over at 7 Tutorials have created an awesome shortcut that will take all the hassle out of accessing those settings, and make ‘tweaking’ Windows 8 much easier. After downloading the zip file, extract the exe file and place it in an appropriate folder, then create a shortcut. Once you have the new shortcut set up in the desired location (i.e. desktop or pinned to the taskbar), accessing your system’s settings has never been easier in Windows 8 and 8.1! Special Note: If you are someone who runs files through VirusTotal before using them, be aware that two listings there (Commtouch and Symantec) will flag the file as malware. We had no problems on our system whatsoever and believe the malware flags to be false positives. Download the Desktop Shortcut to PC Settings, for Windows 8 & 8.1 [7 Tutorials]     

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  • Use a Free Tool to Edit, Delete, or Restore the Default Hosts File in Windows

    - by Lori Kaufman
    The hosts file in Windows contains mappings of IP addresses to host names, like an address book for your computer. Your PC uses IP addresses to find websites, so it needs to translate the host names into IP addresses to access websites. When you enter a host name in a browser to visit a website, that host name is looked up in DNS servers to find the IP address. If you enter IP addresses and host names for websites you visit often, these websites will load faster, because the hosts file is loaded into memory when Windows start and overrides DNS server queries, creating a shortcut to the sites. Because the hosts file is checked first, you can also use it to block websites from tracking your activities on the internet, as well as block ads, banners, third-party cookies, and other intrusive elements on webpages. Your computer has its own host address, known as its “localhost” address. The IP address for localhost is 127.0.0.1. To block sites and website elements, you can enter the host name for the unwanted site in the hosts file and associate it with the localhost address. Blocking ads and other undesirable webpage elements, can also speed up the loading of websites. You don’t have to wait for all those items to load. The default hosts file that comes with Windows does not contain any host name/IP address mappings. You can add mappings manually, such as the IP address 74.125.224.72 for www.google.com. As an example of blocking an ad server website, you can enter the following line in your hosts file to block doubleclick.net from serving you ads. How To Use USB Drives With the Nexus 7 and Other Android Devices Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need a Separate “Program Files (x86)” Folder? Why Your Android Phone Isn’t Getting Operating System Updates and What You Can Do About It

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  • windows xp mode for windows 7 - save text input language settings

    - by Gero
    When I change the 'default language' in 'text services and input languages' in windows xp mode from EN-US to DE-DE the settings are reverted with the next logoff / reboot - EN-US is the default language again. Is there a way around this behaviour? I'm using the default 'XPMUser' in windows xp mode. I also checked 'turn off advanced text services' and disabled the language bar and windows xp remembers these settings - just not the default language..

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