Archive for the ‘Windows 10’ category

2 Options to Get out of Safe Mode in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista

November 20th, 2015 by Admin

Are you stuck in Windows Safe Mode? Every time you turn on or restart your computer and you still keep ending back in Safe Mode? In this article we’ll show you 2 ways to get out of Safe Mode in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista, so your system will go back to normal mode.

Note: The following methods require you to log on your computer as administrator. If you’ve forgotten your password, try to reset lost Windows password with PCUnlocker.

Option 1: Get out of Windows Safe Mode Using MSConfig Utility

MSConfig is a built-in tool available in all versions of Windows, which is designed to help identify problems that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. From within the MSConfig utility, you can set Windows to start in normal node instead of Safe Mode.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box. Type msconfig and press Enter.

    msconfig

  2. When the System Configuration window opens, you’ll see the Safe boot option under the Boot options section.

    safe-boot-settings

  3. If Safe boot is checked, your computer will keep booting in Safe Mode. To get out of Safe Mode, you have to uncheck Safe boot and click Apply.
  4. Restart your computer and it will start in normal mode.

Option 2: Get out of Windows Safe Mode Using Command Prompt

  1. Before get started, you need to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges. If your computer is current running in Safe Mode – Alternate Shell, you should be now at an administrator Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command directly at the Command Prompt. Press Enter and it will turn off Safe Mode.
    bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot

    get-out-of-safe-mode

  3. Reboot your computer with the command:
    shutdown /r
  4. Now your computer will boot back into normal mode. That’s it!

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 without Using Windows Update

November 18th, 2015 by Admin

Windows 10 is available to public as a free upgrade to every qualified computers running a genuine copy of Windows 8.1, 8 or 7. (Enterprise editions do not qualify.) Just download the official Media Creation Tool from Microsoft and it allows you to upgrade to Windows 10 as well as create installation media such as bootable USB or DVD drive. This tutorial will show you how to upgrade your current or another computer to Windows 10 directly without using Windows Update.

How to Upgrade Your Computer to Windows 10?

Head over to Microsoft’s website to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Media Creation Tool. Pick the 64-bit version if you want to run Media Creation Tool on Windows 8 or 7 64-bit OS. Otherwise opt for the 32-bit version.

If you don’t know whether you’re running Windows 32-bit or 64-bit, right-click on “My Computer” or “This PC” icon on your desktop and select Properties, the field labeled System Type will indicate if you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit OS.

system-type

Run the Media Creation Tool and follow the steps below to upgrade your current computer or another PC to Windows 10.

Option 1: Upgrade Current Computer to Windows 10

  1. Run the Media Creation Tool and then select the Upgrade this PC now option.

    upgrade-this-pc

  2. The Media Creation Tool will download Windows 10. When it’s done, accept the EULA, you’ll be presented with three options:
    • Keep personal files and apps
    • Keep personal files only
    • Nothing
  3. Select the first option to ensure your PC upgrades and you keep your files and applications. Windows 10 will start installing and after a few reboots and customization you’ll be upgraded.

Option 2: Upgrade Another Computer to Windows 10

  1. Run the Media Creation Tool and then select the Create installation media for another PC option.

    create-installation-media

  2. Select the language, edition and architecture (32 or 64 bits) of Windows. Make sure your selections match those of the computer(s) you wish to upgrade. So, if you currently have Windows 8 Pro (32-bit), choose Windows 10 Pro 32-bit.

    select-os-edition

  3. Select USB flash drive. If you plan to burn this to DVD instead, select ISO file and, after the process is over, you’ll have to use a DVD burning program to write the ISO to disc.
  4. Click Finish when the process is complete. If you don’t plan to upgrade to Windows 10 right away, you can remove the drive and stop here.
  5. Insert the created CD or USB flash drive into the computer you want to upgrade, and then run setup.exe. Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the upgrade process. If the software asks you for a product key, you are using the wrong edition of Windows 10 to upgrade.

2 Ways to Set Password Hint for Windows User Account

November 9th, 2015 by Admin

“I have activated the built-in guest account on my system so guests can use to work on my computer. To log on they must enter a password. How can I set a password hint to inform users of the correct password when entering wrong password? Please help!”

windows-password-hint

The password hint is used to remind you of your password in case you forget it. In this article we’ll show you 2 ways to set up a password hint for any user account in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. The first method is the most common way of setting a password hint, but it doesn’t work for Windows guest account. While the second method is a bit complicated but it works with any situation.

Method 1: Set A Password Hint Through Control Panel

It’s super easy to set up a password hint when you change or reset your Windows user password. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel. Set the View by option to Large icons. Click on User Accounts.

    control-panel

  2. Once on your user account page, click on the Manage another account link at the bottom.

    user-accounts

  3. Click on the user account whose password hint you want to create or change.

    manage-accounts

  4. In the next window, click on Change the password.

    change-windows-password

  5. Type your current password and set a new password. Next enter a word or sentence for your password hint that will help you (and you only!) remember your password. Click Change password when you are done.

    set-up-password-hint

Method 2: Set A Password Hint Through Windows Registry

It turns out that the password hint is stored in Windows registry as a readable format after you set up it through the Control Panel. Here we’ll walk you through the steps of set a password hint directly from the registry.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM. To go beyond SAM you have to give yourself permission by right-clicking the second SAM Key and selecting Permissions….

    sam-permissions

  3. In the Permissions for SAM dialog box, highlight the “Administrators” and click the “Full Control” box, click Apply and OK.

    permissions-for-sam

  4. Press F5 to refresh the registry and you’ll be able to navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM\Domains\Account\Users.
  5. You’ll notice a Names subkey with a registry key for each user account. Click on your desired account and you’ll see the RID of your account in the right pane. In my example, 0x1F5 is the RID of the built-in Guest account.

    account-rid

  6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\{User_RID}. Right-click on an empty area in the right pane. From the pop up menu, select New > String Value.

    new-string-value

  7. Rename New Value #1 to UserPasswordHint. Next double-click on UserPasswordHint, type your password hint and click OK. Close the Registry Editor and it’s done.

    UserPasswordHint

After setting the password hint, log off or restart your computer. Type in a wrong password at the Windows login screen and it will show you the password hint as a reminder of the password. Make sure you choose a good and secure password hint. If you’re locked out and the password hint couldn’t remind you of the forgotten password, you have to use PCUnlocker to reset the login.

Fix Automatic Startup Repair Loop in Windows 10, 8 and 7

November 6th, 2015 by Admin

A customer recently mentioned that his Windows 8 laptop was stuck in an Automatic Repair loop. When he turned on the computer, it came up with the ‘Preparing Automatic Repair’ screen, and then rebooted automatically and ran Automatic Repair again, becoming caught in the loop again and again.

There could be many reasons for a failed automatic repair. However, the most common problem is corrupted registry or missing files on the hard disk. Here I will give the complete solutions on how to fix this issue in Windows 10, 8 and 7.

All the solutions below require you to run certain commands at the Command Prompt. Here is a way to access the Command Prompt at boot:

  1. Insert your Windows installation DVD, turn on the computer, and wait until you see the message “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD“. Just press any key to continue. (Note: If you don’t see this message, you probably have to change the boot order in the BIOS)
  2. After a while, you’ll get to the Windows Setup screen. Press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt.

    windows-setup

Solution 1: Running check disk to see if your hard drive is the problem

Chkdsk could be used to check and repair your hard drive for filesystem corruption. Before running the chkdsk command, you have to find out the drive letter of your system drive. Depending on how your system is setup, this could be either C: or D:.

  1. Type dir C:\ and press Enter.
  2. If you see the common folders: Program Files, Users and Windows, then you have found your system drive.

    find-system-partition

    If the drive is not your system drive, repeat the step above, changing the drive letter to D, E or some other letter until the system drive is located.

When you have located your Windows system drive, type the following command and press Enter. Replace d: with the actual drive letter of your system drive.

chkdsk d: /f

chkdsk

The scan should start. This could take several hours depending on the size of your hard drive. Once the scan is done, exit the Command Prompt and reboot your computer to check if the problem has been solved.

Solution 2: Manually attempt to rebuild the BCD and repair MBR

Running the bootrec utility to rebuild the BCD / MBR might fix the automatic repair loop problem. Type the following set of commands at the Command Prompt, one by one.

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /rebuildbcd

fix-mbr

The /fixmbr switch writes a new MBR (Master Boot Record) to the system partition, the /fixboot switch writes a new boot sector onto the system partition, and the /rebuildbcd switch scans all disks for Windows installations and provides a choice of which entries to add to the BCD store.

Solution 3: Disable Automatic Startup Repair

If the automatic repair couldn’t really repair your PC and just get you stuck in a repair loop, it’s better to disable the automatic startup repair. Type the following command and press Enter:

bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No

disable-automatic-repair

Now you’ve successfully disabled the automatic startup repair feature in Windows.

Solution 4: Restore your Windows registry

A corrupted registry settings can also cause a auto-repair loop. Here is how to restore your registry from the RegBack directory. The RegBack folder is located in :/windows/system32/config, which is used by Windows to hold a recent backup copy of the registry hives.

Assuming your system drive is d:, run the following command to restore Windows registry:

copy d:\windows\system32\config\RegBack\* d:\windows\system32\config

restore-windows-registry

if prompted to overwrite existing files, type All and hit Enter. Type exit and hit Enter to close the Command Prompt window. Restart your computer and most probably, you may able to access your Windows system as before.

Reset Dell Laptop to Factory Settings without Knowing Admin Password

November 5th, 2015 by Admin

How to reset your Dell computer to original factory settings if you forgot the administrator password? A forgotten password should not become an obstacle on the way! This guide explains how to perform a factory reset on Windows 10/8/7/Vista Dell laptop, without knowing the admin password.

Note: a factory reset is used to wipe and take your computer back to where it was on the day you opened the box. It will delete everything on your hard drive. Be sure to backup anything you don’t want to lose.

Part 1: Reset Windows 10/8 Dell Laptop to Factory Settings without Admin Password

Locked out of your Dell laptop after forgot the admin password? Don’t worry! Follow these steps and you can factory reset Windows 10 or 8 from the login screen:

  1. From the login screen, click the Power icon in the lower right corner of the screen. While holding the Shift key, click Restart.

  2. The computer will restart and take you to the troubleshooting option screen. Click on Troubleshoot.

  3. Now you’ll see the options to reset or refresh your computer. Click on Reset your PC.

  4. Click Next. The system will reboot and begin preparing to reset the PC.
  5. At the Reset your PC screen, click Just remove my files and then Click Reset.

Part 2: Reset Windows 7/Vista Dell Laptop to Factory Settings without Admin Password

Unlike Windows 10/8, Windows 7 and Vista will require you to enter admin password when resetting it to factory state. If you’ve forgotten your password, you can remove the password by booting your Dell lapltop from PCUnlocker Live CD. If you don’t have such as a Live CD, you can create one from another computer you have access to.

Once you’ve successfully removed the admin password (or you could remember your password), let’s proceed with a factory reset on your Windows 7/Vista Dell laptop:

  1. Turn on the laptop. As soon as the Dell logo appears on the screen, repeatedly press the F8 key until you see the “Advanced Boot Options” menu.

    repair-your-computer

  2. Select “Repair your computer” and press Enter. The System Recovery Options screen opens.
  3. Select your keyboard layout, and then click on Next.

    select-keyboard-layout

  4. At the next screen it will ask you for the user name and password. Type your Administrator username and password, and then click OK. If you’ve removed the admin password, leave the password field blank.

    enter-admin-password

  5. When you’re presented with a list of system recovery options, look for an option named “Dell Datasafe Restore and Emergency Backup“, “Dell Factory Image Restore“, or “Dell Backup and Recovery Managers“. Click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your Dell laptop to factory settings.

    dell-factory-reset

Windows 10 Password Recovery on Surface Book & Surface Pro 4

November 1st, 2015 by Admin

Lost Windows 10 password for signing in to your Surface Book or Surface Pro 4? Is it possible to recover or reset Windows 10 password on a UEFI-based laptop or tablet? The Surface machine is equipped with UEFI and Secure Boot which add security but make old password recovery methods obsolete. Here we’ll show you how to reset forgotten Windows 10 password on Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, by using a UEFI-compatible bootdisk – PCUnlocker.

Requirements:

The following things are needed before you begin:

  • A USB thumb drive with at least 1Gb space (USB 3.0 is recommended as Surface has a full-size USB 3.0 port).
  • PCUnlocker Enterprise
  • A USB burning tool – ISO2Disc

How to Reset Windows 10 Password on Surface Book & Surface Pro 4?

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the zip file of PCUnlocker Enterprise (trial version) to a computer you have access to. When the download is complete, extract the contents of the ZIP file using 7-Zip or your favorite unzip program. You should see a file called pcunlocker.iso.

Download and install the freeware ISO2Disc. With your USB thumb drive plugged in, launch ISO2Disc. Click on Browse button to select the PCUnlocker ISO image you’ve downloaded. Click on “Burn to USB Flash Drive” option and select your USB drive, next choose “GPT (required for UEFI boot)“.

Click on Start Burn. Wait until ISO2Disc utility erases your USB drive and transfers PCUnlocker ISO file to it. When this is completed, close ISO2Disc utility, unplug the USB stick and use it to troubleshoot your locked Surface computer.

Insert the PCUnlocker Live USB drive into the USB 3.0 port on your Surface. Press and hold the Volume Down (-) button on the top edge of the device’s screen, then press the Power button. When the Surface logo appears, release Volume Down button and the machine will now boot from the USB drive.

surface-volume-button

Once booted to the PCUnlocker program, you can see all your Windows user accounts. Select an account from the list and click on “Reset Password” button. The program will remove your forgotten password immediately. If the account you selected is linked to a Microsoft account, PCUnlocker will automatically help you switch the Microsoft account back to local account.

Click on Restart button. While rebooting, unplug the USB drive and let the Surface boot from hard drive normally. When comes to the login screen, just click on your user icon and you can log on to your Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 without typing a password! That’s it!

Block Read / Write Access to USB or CD Drive in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

October 29th, 2015 by Admin

There are situations where you might want to disable USB/CD device access in your computer, if someone wants to copy your files to removable devices (USB stick or CD). In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 ways to block read/write access to USB/CD drive in Windows 10, 8 and 7.

Method 1: Using Group Policy

  1. Open up the Run box by press the Windows key + R. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

    gpedit

  2. When the Local Group Policy Editor opens, navigate to the following location:
    User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access

    If you want to block access to removable devices for ALL Windows accounts, navigate to this location instead:
    Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access

  3. In the right pane, there are lots of settings for denying read/write access to removable disk, CD and DVD. If you want to deny read access to all external removable hard drive or USB flash drive, just double-click on the policy “Removable Disks: Deny read access“, and set it to Enabled.

    usb-storage-access

  4. In order to make your changes take effect immediately, open an administrative Command Prompt and run the following command:
    gpupdate /force
  5. Once your group policy takes effect, a user will see the following message box whenever they attempt to open a removable storage device.

    usb-access-is-denied

Method 2: Using Registry Trick

However, not all editions of Windows has a Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). If you’re using a Home edition of Windows, you have to use this registry trick to disable the USB/CD drive access. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\RemovableStorageDevices

    If you want to block access to removable devices for ALL Windows accounts, navigate to this key instead:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\RemovableStorageDevices

  3. In the left pane, right-click on RemovableStorageDevices, select New -> Key and type in {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}.

    {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} is GUID of the generic USB storage device. If you want to block CD/DVD access, type the GUID {53f56308-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} instead.

  4. In the right pane, right-click on an empty area and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value and type Deny_Read and press Enter, modify its value to 1.

    usb-deny-read

    If you want to deny write access, create a new value Deny_Write and set its value to 1.

  5. Close the Registry Editor. Restart your computer to apply changes.

3 Ways to Lock Your Computer in Windows 10

October 24th, 2015 by Admin

Locking your computer screen is a secure way to prevent unauthorized access to your files or running applications when you walk away. This feature is really useful especially when you need to leave your computer in a hurry but you don’t want to shut down or log off. Here we’ll show you 3 ways to lock your computer in Windows 10.

Method 1: Lock Windows 10 Computer with keyboard shortcut – Windows key + L

Press the Windows key + L at the same time to lock your screen quickly. The Windows key is the one on the bottom row of keys that looks like the logo for Windows. This method also works with Windows 8.1, 8, 7 and Vista computers.

Method 2: Lock Windows 10 Computer with Ctrl+Alt+Delete

Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard at the same time then click Lock.

ctrl-alt-del-screen

Method 3: Lock Windows 10 Computer from Start Menu/Screen

Click on the Start button to open the Start menu. At the top of the Start menu, you can click your user icon and it’ll give you an option to lock the machine.

lock-windows-from-start-menu

If your computer is running in tablet mode, click the Start button to open the Start screen. Next click the small hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) present at the top-left corner. From the drop-down menu, you can click your user icon and select Lock.

lock-windows-from-start-screen