Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ category

How to View or Show Password Hidden Behind Asterisk Characters

September 20th, 2012 by Admin

Almost all web browsers, instant messengers, email applications, FTP clients and many other software offer the capability of remembering usernames and passwords, which makes it convenient to automatically login to your user account. If you launch the application, you can see that the password field is protected and masked with some asterisk characters. This is good security measure. However, in some scenarios, there may be a need to view or show the actual password hidden behind asterisk characters, especially if you forgot the saved password.

In this guide we’ll show you an easy way to view and show the hidden password behind asterisk characters. With Asterisk Password Recovery utility you can reveal and view the masked password hidden under the asterisks on password field on web pages and program’s user interface.

How to View or Show Password Hidden Behind Asterisk Characters?

  1. Launch the Asterisk Password Recovery program.

    Asterisk Password Recovery

  2. Open up the application you wish to recover a password from. In my case it was MS Outlook. Once the program is open, bring up the account properties dialog of your email account.

    Reveal Outlook Password

  3. Click on the icon , drag the icon to the password field with asterisk characters.
  4. The hidden password will be showed and you can view the actual password of your email account.

Note that the asterisk password recovery tool is meant for password recovery purpose. They won’t be able to decrypt and show Windows logon password (and password in User Account Manager in Control Panel). If you forgot Windows logon password, you can choose to remove the forgotten password with Reset Windows Password bootdisk.

What to Do if You Forgot Windows Password?

September 19th, 2012 by Admin

What to do if you forgot Windows password? In this tutorial we’ll show you all tips and tricks you can take to recover or reset your forgotten Windows password, so you can log back into your PC without reinstalling Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP or Windows Server 2008/2003/2000.

Forgot Windows Password?
Windows may ask for your password to continue using the computer. This is true if the user account was set up with a password. The password to logon to Windows is set to expire after 42 days by default, but if your password expires or you forget your Windows password, you cannot logon to Windows. Many people have asked the question “How do I unlock my computer without a password?” and we’ll answer that by providing steps in recovering or resetting forgotten Windows password.

1. Recall Your Password
If you tried entering the password but Windows does not recognize it and you cannot remember your password, you can try clicking the question mark beside the password logon box. It will show the password hint that you had entered before. However, if you still can’t remember the password after answering the password hint, your other option is by using your password reset disk.

2. Use Password Reset Disk
Many people do not create a password reset disk which means that option is not for you. For end-users who have created a password reset disk to prevent issues with a forgotten password, simply insert the floppy diskette into drive A. Follow the wizard to creating a new password and the new password hint, then use the new password to logon to Windows.

3. Boot into Safe Mode
People who failed to create a reset disk must not lose hope because you can try resetting the Windows password by rebooting the computer to safe mode. Proceed to logon using the hidden Administrator account. Note that the hidden administrator account does not have a password, so simply click the Admin account to login. However, if the PC vendor created a password for the hidden admin user account and you did not reset it, type “password” without quotes as the password.

Proceed by navigating to User Accounts in the Control Panel, then create a new password for the account that was locked out due to a forgotten or expired password.

Restart the computer to normal mode and logon using the new password. If you happened to create an account password for the hidden administrator account but you forget that as well, your only option is to either reinstall Windows or by using third-party software to recover or reset your forgotten Windows password.

4. Last Resort

Forgot Windows login password? Account locked out due to invalid password attempts? With Reset Windows Password utility you can reset Windows local admin/user passwords on Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2008/2003/2000, change forgotten domain user passwords in Windows Server 2008/2003/2000, and unlock any user account which is disabled or locked out.

2 Ways to Change Your Office 2010 Product Key

September 19th, 2012 by Admin

Prepare to upgrade from Office 2010 beta? Perhaps you need to change your Microsoft Office 2010 product key to resolve activation issues or other reasons. No matter what the reason is, changing Office 2010 product key is simple.

Tips: Lost your Office product key? You can use Product Key Finder to easily recover lost Office product key from your current Office installation.

When you activate Microsoft Office, you must enter a product key. If for any reason you need to change the product key in Office 2010, you have two options. You can change it from within any Office 2010 application, or you can change the product key from the Windows Control Panel. Select the option that seems easiest to you.

Option 1: Change the Product Key from Backstage View

The first location where you can change the Office 2010 product key is in “Backstage View” of any Microsoft Office 2010 program, such as Word, Excel or Publisher. In Office 2010, change product key in Backstage View by going to the File tab and clicking the Help tab in the left pane of the window.

Click the Change Product Key link in the About section of the window. The Product Activation window will open. Type your new product key into the box and then wait while your key is validated. Once it has been validated, click the Continue button. Click the Install Now button and wait while Office 2010 is configured with the new product key.

Option 2: Change the Product Key from the Control Panel

The second option you have is to change the product key via the Control Panel. Click the Start button and select Control Panel from the right pane of the Start Menu. Select Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP or Programs and Features in Windows 7/Vista.

Find Microsoft Office 2010 in the list of currently installed programs. Click to select it and then click Change.

From the newly opened dialog box, click Enter a Product Key and click the Continue button. Enter your product key in the field provided and click the Continue button. Click the Install Now button and wait while Office 2010 is configured with the new product key.

Restart a Microsoft Office application. You may need to wait while it is configured with the changed product key. When configuration is complete, you are done.

These methods let you change product key of the following Office 2010 editions and products:

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010
  • Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010
  • Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2010
  • Microsoft Office Professional Academic 2010

How to Create a Windows Password Reset Disk in Mac OS X

September 18th, 2012 by Admin

Did you forget the password to your Windows account and now you cannot login into Windows? How to recover or reset Windows password? As we all know, we can create a password reset disk on another Windows PC and then use it to boot your locked computer for removing your forgotten password. But what if you can’t find an accessible Windows computer on hand? Do you think you have no other option but to re-install Windows?

As long as you have a Mac computer, you can still log in to your Mac OS X and create a Windows password reset disk. After creating a reset disk, you can bring it to boot your locked Windows PC and remove your forgotten Windows password. Here are steps to create a Windows password reset disk in Mac OS X.

How to Create a Windows Password Reset Disk in Mac OS X?

  1. Download the zip archive of Reset Windows Password onto your computer. Double-click the zip file to unzip. Check the extracted folder and you’ll find the ISO Image file: ResetWindowsPwd.iso.
  2. Launch Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities).
  3. Insert your blank DVD or CD.
  4. Drag and drop the ResetWindowsPwd.iso file to the left pane in Disk Utility.
  5. In the list on the left side of the Disk Utility window, you’ll now see an object representing the .ISO file. Click to select it.
  6. Click on the Burn button. Sit back and wait while your new disc gets written!

Once the burning procedure is complete, you can then use the CD or DVD you’ve created to reset your forgotten Windows password. Here is the step-by-step guide:

How to Reset Lost Windows Password with a Password Reset CD

Note: please skip the step 1 in the guide above, because you’ve already created a Windows password disk in Mac OS X.

How to Disable Password Expiration in Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller

September 18th, 2012 by Admin

Having built a lot of Virtual Development Environments with Windows server 2008 and CRM, one thing that I always have to look up is how to disable the annoying password expiration settings so that the password doesn’t have to be reset every 42 days.

Setting this is not so straight forward, so below are the instructions on how to do this successfully on a Windows Server 2008 that is setup as a domain controller.

Note: If you forgot domain admin password or you are locked out of domain controller, you can use Reset Windows Password utility to unlock your domain password easily.

How to Disable Password Expiration in Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller?

  1. Start –> All Programs –> Group Policy Management.
  2. Expand Forest –> Domains –> (your domain).
  3. Right click on Default Domain Policy and Select “edit…”.

  4. Expand Policies –> Windows Settings –> Security Settings –> Account Policies.
  5. Inside Password Policy you will find all the relevant password settings.

  6. Setting Maximum password age to 0 will disable password expiration notification.
  7. Exit out and in the command prompt run “gpupdate.exe”

Now you should be good to go 🙂

Forgot Admin Password for Windows 7 64-bit PC?

September 17th, 2012 by Admin

Forgot password to Windows 7 64-bit Dell Laptop, please help! I am a novice in the IT world, the password I picked is pretty good but I locked myself out of my laptop. I have tried everything with no luck.

Forgot the admin password for your Windows 7 64-bit PC? Your kid changed your admin password and now has no idea what he changed it to? Many people face this problem you are not alone. There are many tricks and tips on what to do when you forgot admin password. Unfortunately, most of them are based on Linux bootdisk and all procedures are too complicated for Windows users.

Luckily there is a boot-disk utility based on Windows PE that allows you to reset your forgotten admin password for Windows 7 64-bit computer, It has a simple graphical user interface that even the computer novice can get it to work! The software is Reset Windows Password. Let’s see how can you use it to reset forgotten admin password on Windows 7 64-bit desktop and laptop computers.

Forgot Admin Password for Windows 7 64-bit PC? How to Reset the Password Easily?

The password-resetting procedure can be divided into 3 steps. It should be the simplest solution for you to regain access to your Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2008/2003 64-bit operating system.

Step 1: Create a Windows Password Reset Disk

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a bootable password reset disk. This may require you to grab a thumb drive and use a friend’s computer to do this. Follow the instructions to create a password reset disk:

  1. Download the Reset Windows Password package.
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the package, unzip the download file and you’ll get the CD/DVD ISO image file: ResetWindowsPwd.iso, which you can burn it onto a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive.
  3. Burn the ISO image to a USB thumb drive using the ISO2Disc tool.

Once the password reset disk is created successfully, you can then use it to boot your locked computer and perform password resetting.

Step 2: Boot from Password Reset Disk

Now you need to set your locked computer to boot from the password reset disk you’ve created. Booting from a USB thumb drive can be done fairly easily using BIOS settings. Every BIOS is a little different, though you should be able to access it using the instructions that appear on screen when you first power up your machine and find a boot order or option to select boot device. Holding DEL or F12 when rebooting can usually get you where you need to be. Some systems are different, however.

If you still can’t figure out how to make your computer boot from USB thumb drive, please refer to this article:

How to Set Your Computer to Boot from CD or USB Drive

Step 3: Reset Admin Password on Windows 7 64-bit PC

Once you’ve configured the locked computer correctly, plug in your USB thumb drive and turn on the computer. It will boot from the password reset disk. Once the boot procedure is complete, it will launch the Reset Windows Password program. This is the software you’ll need to reset your forgotten admin password on Windows 7 64-bit PC.

The software allows you to select the Windows SAM registry hive from the drop-down list. It will then display a list of Windows user accounts inside the SAM file. Choose your desired user account and then click on the Reset Password button. It will remove your forgotten or unknown password instantly.

The next step is to unplug the USB thumb drive and restart the computer. You can then log in to your Windows 7 64-bit system with a blank password. If you don’t have a USB thumb drive, you can also use a CD or DVD to follow the steps above to reset your forgotten admin password.  Enjoy!

Remove Stored Network Passwords in Windows 7, Vista and XP

September 17th, 2012 by Admin

Windows stores user names and passwords on your PC so when you try to log on to network shares, websites (Windows Integrated Authentication) or Remote Desktop Connections, you don’t have to reenter the login information. Caching logins can be helpful if users have multiple usernames and passwords for different programs and can also speed login times for users. However, by storing passwords, Windows also makes it possible for an unauthorized person to walk up to the computer and use the stored passwords to access the protected programs.

I recommend checking which passwords Windows has already stored and delete those that pose a high security risk. Here’s the method to remove stored Windows network passwords.

How to Remove Stored Network Passwords in Windows 7?

You can access the Windows Vault through the Credential Manager. The easiest way is by just typing “Credential Manager” in the Windows 7 Start Menu search prompt. You can also access the Credential Manager through the Control Panel: -> User Accounts -> User Accounts. The link to the Credential Manager can be found in the left navigation bar.

You can remove an entry by selecting it from the list and clicking Remove.

How to Remove Stored Network Passwords in Windows Vista?

To access Stored Usernames and Passwords, you have to run “control userpasswords2” from the command prompt, then click on Advanced, and then on Manage Passwords. You can also launch the tool via the Control Panel: User Accounts -> User Accounts, and then click on “Manage your network passwords” in the left navigation bar.

You can remove an entry by selecting it from the list and clicking Remove.

How to Remove Stored Network Passwords in Windows XP?

In Windows XP, to access Stored Usernames and Passwords, you have to run “control userpasswords2” from the command prompt, then click on Advanced, and then on Manage Passwords. You can also launch the tool by running “rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr” from the command prompt.

You can remove an entry by selecting it from the list and clicking Remove.

How to Disable USB Storage Drive Access in Windows

September 15th, 2012 by Admin

Disabling USB storage drive access to your computer is essential if you must share your computer with others who you don’t trust.  To prevent others from using USB flash drive or mass storage device to copy and transfer your data and files, you can simply disable USB ports in computer BIOS. However, disabling USB ports will also block other USB based devices such as USB keyboard, USB mouse, printer,etc.

As a workaround, you can use the following registry trick to disable only USB storage drive access while you can still use USB keyboard and mouse normally.  With this trick you can prevent others from taking out data from your personal computer without permission or spreading viruses through the use of USB storage drive.

How to Disable USB Storage Drive Access in Windows?

Open Windows registry editor quickly from Run box by pressing Win+R key. Now type regedit and hit OK. When it opens, browse to the following key address.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\USBSTOR

You will see an item list in the right part of the window. Now, Double click on the name Start. A new small box will appear.

In the box you will find the value data set to 3. Change that value to 4 and select Hexadecimal in the Base group. Now click OK.

But, it may not work till your next restart.

To enable access to USB storage drive again, just change the Start key value back to 3. Done.

This trick allows you to disable any USB mass storage device such as USB flash drive, USB key and portable hard disk from been used in your Windows PC, while still allowing hardware components to work properly via USB connection. It works in most Windows operating system such as Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, Windows Server 2008, 2003 and 2000.

8 Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

September 14th, 2012 by Admin

Taking your hands of the keyboard to use the mouse can be annoying. Luckily, Windows has a number of keyboard shortcuts that can speed you along. Use these Windows keyboard shortcuts to perform tasks, such as cutting and pasting text, quickly and easily.

Check out the selection of shortcuts below and see if there aren’t a couple you didn’t know about that could be saving you some real time.

1. Win + F

Use this key combination to open Windows Search. If you got something quick to search for, though, you can go ahead and use the top right corner of any Explorer window. With Windows Search you can search your entire computer for something that you’ve been looking for. It will scan every volume you have installed on your computer. Don’t underestimate its power!

2. Win + E

This will open up an Explorer window. This is very useful if you want a quick way to get to My Computer.

3. Win + L

Here is an extremely interesting one. This will lock down Windows. If you have it set up to where you have to enter a password to open Windows, you will have to enter your password when it is locked. Otherwise, just hit OK and you will return to Windows. This tip could be especially useful for laptop users. Say you are leaving your laptop for a moment. If you use this shortcut, you can feel safe that nobody is going to mess with anything while you are gone.

4. Win + D

This will minimize every window you have open. I use this constantly because I tend to have about ten windows open at the same time. To move the windows back to normal you can hit the Windows Shortcut Key + D again and all the windows will be restored.

5. Win + R

This opens up the Run command. I’m not really a big fan of the Run command except to use it to speed up my startup. But if you constantly use the run command this will save you some time.

6. Ctrl + Esc

This will bring up the Start Menu. In Windows 8, the Start button is removed so you can’t access the Start Menu as convenient as before. But you can still press Ctrl + Esc to access the Start Menu quickly.

7. Ctrl + Alt + Del

The Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination is used to access the Task Manager, so that you can close the application by killing its process.

8. Shift + Del

Right-click on the files or folders you want to delete, and then press Shift+Del, it will delete the files directly without sending them to the recycle bin.

These are eight really simple time-saving keyboard shortcuts that might actually save you some day from ever thinking of what you could have done to cherish every moment in your life. Time is something precious, more so if you approach a ripe old age or own a business. Now, for your next goal: putting your saved time to good use!

How to Reset System Password on Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP

September 13th, 2012 by Admin

What do you do when you forget your Windows system password? Forgetting your Administrator password can leave you without access to your system, or worse. This could happen out of honest forgetfulness, the result of idiotic roommates with nothing better to do, or any number of other situations that could result in a total loss of access to your system.

Thankfully, being locked out doesn’t mean you can’t regain control through Windows password recovery software. In fact, all you really need is a USB thumb drive and another computer to create a bootable USB disk on. In many cases, you can reset system password in just a few minutes.

How to Reset System Password on Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP?

The password-resetting procedure can be divided into 3 steps. It is perhaps the simplest solution for you to regain access to your system on Windows 8/7/Vista/XP.

Step 1: Create a System Password Reset Disk

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a bootable system password reset disk. This may require you to grab a thumb drive and use a friend’s computer to do this. Follow the instructions to create a system password reset disk:

  1. Download the Reset Windows Password package.
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the package, unzip the download file and you’ll get the CD/DVD ISO image file: ResetWindowsPwd.iso, which you can burn it onto a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive.
  3. Burn the ISO image to a USB thumb drive using the ISO2Disc tool.

Once the system password reset disk is created successfully, you can then use it to boot your locked computer and perform password resetting.

Step 2: Boot from System Password Reset Disk

Now you need to set your locked computer to boot from the system password reset disk you’ve created. Booting from a USB thumb drive can be done fairly easily using BIOS settings. Every BIOS is a little different, though you should be able to access it using the instructions that appear on screen when you first power up your machine and find a boot order or option to select boot device. Holding DEL or F12 when rebooting can usually get you where you need to be. Some systems are different, however.

If you still can’t figure out how to make your computer boot from USB thumb drive, please refer to this article:

How to Set Your Computer to Boot from CD or USB Drive

Step 3: Reset System Password

Once you’ve configured the locked computer correctly, plug in your USB thumb drive and turn on the computer. It will boot from the system password reset disk. Once the boot procedure is complete, it will launch the Reset Windows Password program. This is the software you’ll need to reset your system password.

The software allows you to select the Windows SAM registry hive from the drop-down list. It will then display a list of Windows user accounts inside the SAM file. Choose your desired user account and then click on the Reset Password button. It will remove your forgotten or unknown password instantly.

The next step is to unplug the USB thumb drive and restart the computer. You can then log in to your Windows system with a blank password.