Archive for the ‘Windows 10’ category

Extend Windows 10/8/7/Vista Trial Period from 30 to 120 Days

May 14th, 2015 by Admin

During Windows installation, you can skip the product key screen to continue installing the OS for evaluation purpose. By default, you can use it for 30-day trial period. If your trial has run out before you’ve decided whether or not to purchase a license key, you can extend the trial period from 30 days to 120 days.

In this article we’ll show you how to renew the trial period once it has expired with just a simple command. This method works regardless of what edition of Windows you’re running, including Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Windows Server 2012, 2008.

How to Extend Windows 10/8/7/Vista Trial Period from 30 to 120 Days?

  1. Open up a Command Prompt in Administrator mode.
  2. Type slmgr.vbs –rearm at the Command Prompt, and press Enter. In Windows 10 or 8.1, use slmgr.vbs /rearm instead.
  3. After a couple of seconds it will show you the message window that the command has completed successfully.
  4. Restart your computer and you can use the trial version for another 90 days for free. If you want to enjoy exact 120 days, run above mentioned command on the last day when your Windows trial period is going to expire.
  5. You can check how many days are left in your trial period, by running slmgr.vbs -dli in the Command Prompt.

How to Install Windows 10 or 8 without Product Key

May 14th, 2015 by Admin

Unlike earlier versions of Windows, you can’t install Windows 10 or 8 without a product key. Microsoft has made it compulsory to provide a product key before proceeding with the installation. But what if you want to install and trial Windows 8 before purchasing? Luckily there is a workaround to bypass the product key screen during Windows installation.

windows-8-setup-product-key

Note: Skipping the product key doesn’t means you get a fully activated Windows installation. Once you skip the product key, your Windows installation will be limited to a 30 days trial period and you will have to purchase a genuine product key in order to activate your Windows 10/8 installation.

How to Install Windows 10 or 8 without Product Key?

  1. Follow this guide to download a official copy of Windows 10 / 8.1 directly from Microsoft’s servers.
  2. After you’ve downloaded the Windows 10 or 8 ISO image, burn it to a USB flash drive with the freeware ISO2Disc. It is easiest if you’ve created USB installation media, as you can later edit the files directly on your USB flash drive. If you created an ISO file, you’ll have to modify the files inside the ISO image before burning it to disc.
  3. Open your USB installation drive and navigate to the /sources folder. Look for the ei.cfg file and open it in a text editor such as Notepad. If the file doesn’t already exist, create a new text document and rename it as ei.cfg.
  4. Copy and paste the following text into the ei.cfg file and then save it. Make sure that anything that already exists in the file should be cleared first.

    [EditionID]
    Professional
    [Channel]
    Retail
    [VL]
    1

    ei_cfg

  5. That’s it. Now go ahead and boot from your USB installation media. This time you will see a Skip button when you are prompted to enter a product key during Windows Setup.

Once you have successfully installed Windows 10/8 through this method, you will then have 30 days to activate your Windows installation.

How to Change Local or Domain Password Policy from Command Prompt

May 10th, 2015 by Admin

How to disable the password complexity policy for Windows Server Core installation? If your Windows system comes with a GUI interface, you change the password policy from within the Group Policy Editor, but the steps are still a bit complicated for a Windows domain controller.

In this tutorial we’ll show you a quick yet simple way to change local / domain password policy from the Command Prompt. This method works with all versions of Windows, including Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Windows Server 2012 (R2) / 2008 (R2) / 2003.

How to Change Local/Domain Password Policy from Command Prompt?

If your computer is a domain controller, follow the steps below and you can change the default domain password policy. To change the local password policy on a domain controller, you must boot your server in Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) and then perform the steps below:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. If you’ve forgotten the local or domain administrator password and couldn’t log on, try the PCUnlocker bootdisk for bypassing the password.
  2. Type the following command and hit Enter:
    secedit.exe /export /cfg C:\secconfig.cfg

    export-group-policy

    This will dump the local policy or domain policy for the system, including account policies, audit policies, and so on.

  3. Open the C:\secconfig.cfg file with your text editor. For Windows Server Core, you can type notepad.exe in the Command Prompt. When Notepad launches, click the File -> Open menu to open C:\secconfig.cfg.
  4. Now you can view and edit all of the relevant policies as shown below. In this example, we’ll disable the password complexity policy. So we replace PasswordComplexity = 1 to PasswordComplexity = 0, and change the value of MinimumPasswordLength to 0.

    edit-group-policy

  5. When done, save your changes. To load the edited file as your new policy configuration, use the following command:
    secedit.exe /configure /db %windir%\securitynew.sdb /cfg C:\secconfig.cfg /areas SECURITYPOLICY

    update-group-policy

  6. The new password policy will apply to all password changes and new password. After disabling the password complexity policy, you should be able to change Windows account password to whatever you like.

2 Options to Disable the Windows Store in Windows 8/8.1/10

May 6th, 2015 by Admin

Windows Store is integrated into Windows 8/8.1/10 that provides access to thousands of free and paid apps. If your computer is also shared among other individuals, it makes sense to turn off the Windows Store. In this post we’ll show you two options to disable the Windows Store in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

Option 1: Disable Windows Store with Group Policy

  1. Press the Windows + R key combination to bring up a Run box. Type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following location:
    User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Store
  3. On the right hand side you will see a setting named “Turn off the Store application“. Double-click on it to open the Settings box, select Enabled and click Apply.

    turn-off-store-application

  4. Now you will need to enforce the updated policy to take effect on your PC, to do this press the Windows + R key combination, when the Run box open, run this command:

    gpupdate /force

  5. Now you’ve successfully disabled the Windows Store. When you try to open Windows Store again, you’ll receive the following error message:

    Windows Store isn’t available on this PC. Contact your system administrator for more information

Option 2: Disable Windows Store with Registry Trick

If you are not using Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise you will not have access to the Group Policy Editor. Instead you can disable the Windows Store through this registry trick:

  1. Press the Windows + R key combination to bring up a Run box. Type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore

    remove-windows-store

    Create a new DWORD value in the WindowsStore key. Name it RemoveWindowsStore and give it a value of 1. If the WindowsStore key does no exist, create it firstly.

  3. Restart your computer. The next time you try launch the Windows Store, you will notice it is disabled. If you want to re-enable the Windows Store later, just change the value of RemoveWindowsStore to 0.

Using Windows Firewall to Block A Program from Accessing The Internet

May 6th, 2015 by Admin

Have you ever installed a program that you only needed for offline use, but it kept on trying to connect to the Internet? Or need to stop a program from gathering your personal information and sending them out to the Internet? With Windows Firewall you can easily block any program of your choice from connecting to the Internet.

How to Block A Program from Accessing The Internet?

  1. To get started we need to open up Windows Firewall. One quick way to do this is from the Control Panel. Just click the Windows Firewall icon.

    control-panel-items

  2. On Windows Firewall window, click on the Advanced settings link.

    windows-firewall

  3. Here you can see all your Firewall rules: Inbound or Outbound. When it comes down to it I think Outbound rules are usually enough for most applications. When Outbound connections are blocked, this means that the application can’t send any of your data to the Internet.
  4. Right-click on Outbound Rules from the tree at the left, and then select “New Rule…

    new-outbound-rule

  5. Select the Program as the rule type and click Next.

    rule-type

  6. Select the “This program path:” option and then click on Browse to locate the program which you want to stop from accessing the Internet.

    apply-rule-to-specific-app

  7. Select the “Block the connection” option and click Next.

    block-connection

  8. When comes to the Profile tab, select all of the available boxes: Domain, Private, and Public.

    when-rule-apply

  9. Give your new rule a name whatever you like. Click on Finish.

    set-firewall-rule-name

  10. In the Name column, your newly blocked program will be listed. In the Action column, you’ll see that your newly created rule is set to Block.

    firewall-rules

    Repeat the same steps to block as many programs as you want from accessing the Internet.

How to Disable Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows 10/8/7 64-Bit

May 4th, 2015 by Admin

In 64-bit operating systems starting with Windows Vista, Windows will load a kernel-mode driver only if the driver is signed. It was designed to prevent unsigned device drivers (or kernel modules in general) from being loaded and executed. After installing an unsigned device driver, it will always result in a blue screen of death during the startup process.

The problem is that many devices ship with unsigned drivers. Today, we’ll show you 2 methods to disable Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows 10, 8, 7 (64-bit) so you can then install / load unsigned drivers without problems.

Option 1: Disable Driver Signature Enforcement Completely

  1. Open a Command Prompt with admin privileges. In Windows 10 or 8, just press the Windows key + X and then select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
  2. Type in the following command and press Enter.
    bcdedit /set testsigning on

    You should receive “The operation completed successfully” message.

  3. Close the Command Prompt and restart your computer. From now on, you will be able to install or run any unsigned driver without problems.

    If you need to enable the Driver Signature Enforcement again, run this command instead:
    bcdedit /set testsigning off

Option 2: Disable Driver Signature Enforcement Once

If you don’t want to use the method above to permanently disable Driver Signature Enforcement, here is a solution for you to temporary turn off Driver Signature Enforcement to install unsigned driver:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box. Type shutdown /r /o and hit Enter.
  2. Windows informs you that you are about to be signed off. Click Close.
  3. Once your Computer has rebooted you will need to choose the Troubleshoot option.

  4. Then head into Advanced options.

  5. In the Advanced Options window, choose Startup Settings.

  6. Click the Restart button on the Startup Settings screen to reboot your computer again.

  7. After restart in Startup Settings windows, press the F7 key on your keyboard to select “Disable driver signature enforcement“.

  8. Your PC will then reboot. Proceed to install your unsigned drivers. During the installation procedure, Windows will inform you that can’t verify the publisher of this driver software. Just ignore the warning message and choose “Install this driver software anyway” to complete the installation.

Keep in mind that after the next restart, Driver Signature Enforcement will be automatically enabled again to prevent new drivers from being installed, but Windows will keep using any unsigned drivers you’ve already installed.

How to Add Safe Mode to Boot Menu in Windows 10 or 8

April 28th, 2015 by Admin

Safe Mode is a special Windows boot mode used for troubleshooting and system diagnostics. Since Windows 8, there is no straight-forward method to access the Safe Mode and the traditional F8 key also doesn’t work any longer. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to add the Safe Mode option to Boot Menu in Windows 10/8.1/8.

How to Add Safe Mode to Boot Menu in Windows 10 or 8?

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt by pressing the Windows key + X and then selecting “Command Prompt (Admin)“.
  2. Enter the following command or copy and paste the command in the Command Prompt window, and press the Enter key.
    bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Safe Mode"

    bcdedit

    This command clones the current OS boot settings to a new boot entry named “Safe Mode”. Close the Command Prompt after the command above is executed.

  3. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box. Type msconfig and press OK.
  4. In the System Configuration window, click on the Boot tab, select the newly-created boot entry “Safe Mode” from the list. Check the box labelled Safe boot (under Boot options), and set the Timeout to 30 seconds.

    msconfig

  5. Click OK, then apply changes. Restart your PC and the Safe Mode option would now appear in the boot selection menu.

    windows-8-safe-mode-boot

    The boot screen menu will automatically disappear after 30 seconds to boot into Windows. Note that, when you select the Safe Mode option, your PC will reboot once again and bring you to Safe Mode automatically.

How to Create A Windows To Go USB Drive with Freeware

April 27th, 2015 by Admin

Windows To Go is a new feature introduced since Windows 8, which allows you to install and run Windows 8 from a USB drive. It’s officially available only for Enterprise edition of Windows 8, but using the freeware ISO2Disc you can create a Windows To Go USB drive with any edition of Windows 8, 8.1 or 10.

Requirements:

  • A USB thumb drive (USB 3.0 is preferrable) or external USB hard drive with at least 16GB of space.
  • Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 10 ISO image
  • The free ISO burning tool: ISO2Disc

How to Create A Windows To Go USB Drive?

  1. Click here to download the latest version of ISO2Disc and install it on your computer.
  2. Plug the USB drive into your PC. Note the steps below will wipe out the entire USB drive, including all partitions! If there is important data, backup now before continuing.
  3. Launch the ISO2Disc application. Click on Browse to select your Windows 8/8.1/10 ISO image.

    iso2disc

  4. Click on Burn to USB Flash Drive and then select your attached USB drive. Make sure the correct USB drive is selected (any content on the USB drive will be wiped during the creation process so this is a vital step).
  5. If you’re going to use the Windows To Go drive with GPT partition scheme, select “GPT (required for UEFI boot)“. MBR partition scheme should be selected if your target PC can boot in Legacy BIOS or CSM mode only.
  6. Under the Bootdisk Type, there are two options: Create Windows installation USB and Windows to Go (install Windows to USB). Select the second option as we need to make a Windows To Go USB drive.

    windows-to-go

  7. Click on Start Burn, you’ll see “Your USB drive will be erased” warning. Click OK to prepare the Windows To Go USB drive.

    create-windows-to-go-usb

    This is the longest part so be patient. The process only took 15 minutes for me, even though I used an external hard drive with a slower USB 2.0 connection. But it could take more than one hour if a USB 2.0 thumb drive is used.

  8. Once you’ve created a Windows To Go USB drive, you can bring it to boot up any computers. The first time you boot from a Windows To Go USB drive, you’ll have to go through the same first-time setup process you’d see after installing Windows on a computer normally. That’s it!

How to Turn Off SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10 or 8

April 9th, 2015 by Admin

SmartScreen Filter is a useful security feature introduced since Windows 8. When trying to download or run a specific program, SmartScreen might show you a warning that “it is not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer“, “running this program might put your PC at risk” or “This unsafe download was blocked by SmartScreen Filter“.

smartscreen

download-blocked-by-smartscreen

If a program is already used by a reasonably large number of people, it will be considered to be safe and SmartScreen will allow you to download or install it without warnings. If the program is rarely downloaded, SmartScreen will warn that it might not be a safe choice. If you are sure that the downloaded program is safe, you can continue by clicking Run Anyway button.

This can be annoying, when downloading less popular applications. SmartScreen is not an anti-virus software and it won’t scan your PC for threats at all. SmartScreen may occasionally prevent a legitimate application from running. If you don’t like that feature, here’s how to disable it separately from Control Panel, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

Part 1: Turn Off SmartScreen Filter from Control Panel

  1. Press the Windows key + X to bring up the Power User menu, and then click Control Panel.
  2. After opening the Control Panel, select System and Security option as it has been shown in the image below.

    control-panel

  3. Now select the Action Center option, or click on Security and Maintenance in Windows 10.

    system-and-security

  4. In the left pane, click on the Change SmartScreen settings link.

    change-smartscreen-settings

  5. Now SmartScreen Settings window will appear. You will see three options there. Check the last option
    Don’t do anything (Turn Off Windows SmartScreen)” and press OK to disable SmartScreen.

    disable-smartscreen

  6. Now you are done with it. SmartScreen is disabled now. It will no more irritate you until you re-enable it.

Part 2: Turn Off SmartScreen Filter for Microsoft Edge

However, even if you’ve turned off SmartScreen Filter in Control Panel, Microsoft Edge browser still uses the SmartScreen Filter to check for malicious website or download. Here is how to disable SmartScreen Filter protection in Microsoft Edge:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge. Click on the More actions button at the top right corner, and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

    microsoft-edge-settings

  2. Scroll down the settings and click on “View advanced settings” button.

    view-advanced-settings

  3. Toggle the “Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter” switch Off.

    disable-smart-filter-protect

Part 3: Turn Off SmartScreen Filter for Internet Explorer

If your downloaded is blocked by Internet Explorer, here is how to turn off SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer:

  1. Open Internet Explorer. Click the Gear icon in the upper-right corner and then select Internet Options.

    internet-options

  2. Select the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Security section and then uncheck the “Enable SmartScreen Filter” setting.

    uncheck-smartscreen-filter

  3. Click Apply and then OK.