26 August, 2010

Windows 7 Activation Methods and Issues

Recently we have reached more than 30 computers with Windows 7 Professional in our organization. This means that we can know use our KMS (Key Management Service) that requires 25 or more Windows 7 computer to be perfectly operational. As you all know, a lot of things have changed with Windows 7, including the licensing. For more information about Windows 7 licensing, you can look at this document (.doc) that comes from Microsoft.

In our company, all the Windows licenses were activated by using a MAK (Multiple Activation Key). When we have reached enough computers to use the KMS, I quickly started to transfer MAK activated desktops to KMS licensing. This was the easy part. You can even do it without standing up from your chair! Thanks to slmgr.vbs command! Or there is even a better tool to manage your desktops licenses! Windows Automated Installation KIT (Windows AIK). There is a tool included with this program, "Volume Activation Management Tool" (VAMT). You can download Windows AIK from here. This tool gives you more than an activation tool but today's topic is "Activation" so, let`s continue with this subject! Basically, this Volume Activation Management Tool scans your Active Directory, or even your Workgroup, and gives you a detailed list of all the desktops & Servers with Windows 7. From this list, you can see if your client is activated with a MAK, OEM or KMS key, or it's not activated at all! You can see the error codes for easy troubleshooting and there is even an "error code look up" tool! There is an option to choose multiple computers and with only a click, change all these computers licenses to KMS licensing service!

While I was transferring the entire Windows 7 family under our newly created KMS server, I realized a very strange problem. From 35 computers, I had only 4 that didn't activate! So I started to look around to understand the cause of the problem. I tried the activation process directly from these computers, but it didn't work! I used to get this error code 0xC004F035.


After a little bit of Google search and trying solutions by myself, I finally realized the common thing between these 4 computers that would not activate! First of all, they were all "Dell OptiPlex 745" family computers. But i had many of these same models activated with no issue! After checking the bios versions of these computers, I realized that these 4 computers were the only ones with old (really old) BIOS! When I compared the bios version of all the "Dell OptiPlex 745" computers, it was so clear that the only ones that I could not activate were the ones that the BIOS were out of date! After a quick BIOS update, I was able to proceed with the activation without a problem!

The Windows KMS & MAK systems are great tools for IT people and you really have to take advantage of these systems. This little article shares one of my experiences with these services and I thought that it can be useful to someone else to know that even the BIOS is important with a Windows 7 activation. Because windows 7 want's to verify a bunch of information during the activation and including some information from your computer's BIOS. If your computers BIOS or other drivers are not up to date in your organization, you may see other issues of this kind! Don't forget to update!






23 August, 2010

How to find Windows 7 Computers in your organization? – Applying Filters in “Microsoft Management Console”


With the increasing sales of Windows 7, most of the companies have now more than 1 Operating Systems in their systems. Like Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. With all this mix of operating systems, sometimes, it can be hard to find something very easy. I recently had to find out all our Windows 7 computers in our organization to change all the MAK activated Windows 7's to KMS licensing server. Usually, to find out all the computers with some specific configuration, I would use a program like "Spiceworks" or "Windows System Center Essentials". But let's assume that we don't have anything else other than our famous Windows Administration Toolkit. So, to make a good .CSV report with all the Windows 7 clients inside of your organization follow the following instructions;

  1. Fire up your "Microsoft Management Console" with the "Active Directory" snap-in!
  2. Explore to the "Organizational Unit" of your client computers in Active Directory
  3. From the "Menu Bar", click on "View" tab and "Filter Options"
  4. From the "Filter Options" window, choose to "Create a Personalized Filter" and click on "Personalize" button!
  5. Now click on "Field" button, "Computer" and choose "Operating System".
  6. In the "Condition" field, choose the "Exactly Equal" option.
  7. "Value" field must be the name of your operating system. In my case it's "Windows 7 Professional"
  8. Click on "OK" button in the 2 windows that are open!


Now, you can explore again to your client computers "Organizational Unit" in Active Directory and you will only see the "Windows 7 Professional" computers. This is because of the "Filter" that we just applied. To delete this filter and see everything in an "Organizational Unit", follow these instructions;

  1. In the "View" menu, choose "Filter Options"
  2. Choose "View all type of Objects" and click "OK"


You must be able to see every object in every "Organizational Unit" like before.




22 August, 2010

When will XP finally fade away?

A cool article to read... See how Windows 7 is taking over on Windows XP and Vista...


19 August, 2010



1-) Log in as “Administrator” in Windows

2-) Browse once \\Print to enter the credentials of someone who has access to print server.

3-) Open “CMD” and type the following command to add a printer connection on the machine.

Rundll32 printui.dll PrintUIEntry /ga /n\\Print\PRIXXXX



1-)Repeat the steps “1” - “2” and “3” as explained above.

Enter the following command to delete a per connection printer from the machine.

Rundll32 printui.dll PrintUIEntry /gd /n\\Print\PRIXXXX

After these steps, you have to reboot the computer.

Next time a user with an Active Directory account connects to this computer, the user will have all the printers that were added with this method.

Kubilay Elmas

IE through the years

As Microsoft's browser turns 15, a look back at how it's evolved.

1995: Internet Explorer 1.0
The first version of IE came in August 1996, a month after Microsoft released Windows 95. The browser was not part of the operating system, but instead was included as part of an "Internet Jumpstart Kit" in the Microsoft Plus add-in.

1995: Internet Explorer 2.0
In November 1995, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 2.0, its first browser to offer both Macintosh and Windows support. IE 2.0 also added support for the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, HTTP cookies, and Internet newsgroups.

1996: Internet Explorer 3.0
Released in August 1996, IE3 included support for e-mail, the display of GIF and JPG files, and direct playback of streaming audio without the need for additional applications.

1997: Internet Explorer 4.0
IE4 added support for Dynamic HTML (DHTML), which allowed for interactive Web sites where menus could be expanded or images could be moved around. IE4 also brought the arrival of Microsoft Outlook Express 4, an improvement to the mail and newsgroup readers that had been part of IE.

1998: Internet Explorer 5.0
Released in September 1998, IE5 expanded on the support for DHTML and allowed for greater personalization.

2001: Internet Explorer 6
Released as part of Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6 became the standard in Web browsing for years, eventually to the dismay of the entire industry, including Microsoft itself, which has struggled to move customers to more modern and secure versions of its browser.

2006: Internet Explorer 7
Released in October 2006 for users of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later as part of Windows Vista, IE7 added support for tabbed browsing along with antimalware protection.

2009: Internet Explorer 8
Released in March 2009, Internet Explorer 8 was an attempt by Microsoft to modernize its underlying browsing engine. Other features included support for creating small "Web clips" of a portion of a Web site as well as the use of "accelerators" to take action on a highlighted piece of text. A version of IE8 was also built in as part of Windows 7.

2011?: Internet Explorer 9
Internet Explorer 9 is the next major update to IE, adding improved HTML5 support, a faster JavaScript engine, and the ability to tap a PC's graphics chip to accelerate text and graphics. Microsoft has released several platform previews and a beta is planned for September. Microsoft has not said when the final release will come, but it is unlikely to be this year.

Source: Microsoft and CNET

18 August, 2010

Fujifilm Unveils Its Second-Generation 3D Camera

Fujifilm Unveils Its Second-Generation 3D Camera

The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 shoots 720p high-definition video in 3D and lets you view three-dimensional content without glasses.

"Three-dimensional everything" is shaping up to be the big trend of 2010 (or at least its most-prominent bastion of hype), but Fujifilm had an early jump on the 3D craze. The company introduced the 3D-shooting FinePix Real 3D WX1 all the way back in the 2D-centric days of 2009, and it will stay a generation ahead of the competition with the just-announced FinePix Real 3D W3.
From the looks of it, this is the most advanced 3D-capable digital camera we've seen yet, thanks to its manual controls, 3D display adjustments, and shooting-mode capabilities.

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3: Revamped Hardware and Shooting Modes

The dual-lens, dual-10-megapixel-sensor W3 has many of the same specs as last year's W1, but with a few notable changes. The two-CCD camera can shoot 720p high-definition 3D video through its pair of 3X optical zoom lenses, offers a new image processor that has some innovative shooting modes, and includes an HDMI-out port for viewing 3D images and video on compatible 3D TV sets.

No glasses are needed to view images and video with a 3D effect on the camera itself. Like the W1, the W3 features a 3.5-inch, lenticular-layer-coated LCD, but Fujifilm says the version on the W3 is better than the one on the lprevious-generation camera. With the W1, 3D images seemed to flicker at times during playback, and the screen had "sweet spots" that you needed to find in order to view 3D content properly; Fujifilm says that the new screen is much brighter, has less of a flicker effect, and displays more-vivid colors.

During playback, you'll be able to manually adjust the parallax controls on the display to change the camera's depth effects. A few interesting modes in the mix make good use of the camera's two-lens setup for both 3D and 2D shooting purposes.
In 3D mode, the camera lets you manually capture left- and right-lens images at different times to create eye-popping depth effects for large objects in the distance; the W3 also allows you to take 2D shots with different effects and settings for each of the camera's lenses. The camera boasts full manual, aperture-priority, and scene-based modes, too.
Due in September, the FinePix Real 3D W3 will be priced at $500.
See our complete fall 2010 camera announcement coverage for the latest digital camera news.

17 August, 2010

Use the "Spike" Feature in Microsoft Word to Copy and Paste Text

Use the "Spike" Feature in Microsoft Word to Copy and Paste TextMicrosoft Word has a hidden feature that most people probably don't know about: a way to collect text on the clipboard from multiple locations, and then paste it all at once into your document.

The Help Desk Geek blog details how this feature works: You start by selecting a block of text, and then use Ctrl+F3 to copy it to the "Spike". Once you've selected a number of entries this way, you can then paste the combined set of copied text back into the document with the Ctrl+Shift+F3 shortcut key combination, or by typing the word "spike" and hitting F3.

This trick actually uses Microsoft Word's Quick Parts feature which we've covered before, but this entry is automatically created behind the scenes. It's a useful trick that could come in handy the next time you're reformatting a long document.

Use the Spike to Copy and Paste Text in Word [Help Desk Geek]

Send an email to How-To Geek, the author of this post, at lowell@lifehacker.com.