Archive for the ‘Windows Vista’ category

How to Export and Copy Local Group Policy Settings to Another PC

October 14th, 2016 by Admin

“I am editing local group policies here and would prefer not to edit each machine manually. How do I export the policy, and then import it to other machines? Please help!”

LGPO.exe (Local Group Policy Object Utility) is a small command-line utility released by Microsoft, which allows you to export and import local group policy easily. It’s really convenient if you want to make a backup of local group policy, or import it later on another computer.

This tutorial shows you how to use Microsoft’s command line tool LGPO to export / backup local group policy settings, and import them into another computer.

Download LGPO from Microsoft

Download the LGPO zip archive from Microsoft’s website. Unpack it locally and copy the resulting LGPO.exe file to C:\Windows\System32. Afterwards you can open an elevated Command Prompt for running the LGPO command to automate the management of local group policy.

LGPO

Export Local Group Policy Settings

To create a backup for local policy policy settings on your local PC, run this command at Command Prompt:
LGPO.exe /b backup_path

backup-local-group-policy-via-cmd

A new folder with GPO GUID appears in the target directory. It will contain all local policy settings for this computer. You can restore this backup to your local machine at any time you need it, or import it later into another computer.

group-policy-backup

Import GPO into Another PC

To restore Local Group Policy settings from the backup, import them by running the following command:
LGPO.exe /g backup_path

import-group-policy-via-cmd

Once imported, restart your computer for the local group policy settings to take effect.

Conclusion

This method can help you easily deploy local group policy settings to other computers. As we all know, the Local Group Policy Editor is not present in Windows Home edition so you’re unable to edit the group policy locally. The LGPO utility makes it possible to copy the group policy settings from Windows Pro/Enterprise to Windows Home.

How to Stop Check Disk (Chkdsk) From Running at Startup

September 18th, 2016 by Admin

There are some situations where your PC needs to run a check disk at startup or reboot. For instance, if you run the chkdsk command on a system drive that is being used to run the Windows OS, it will schedule a disk check to run at the next reboot. Windows might also force an automatic disk check when your computer shuts down unexpectedly.

disk-checking-at-boot

Checking disk could be a really time-consuming task. If you don’t want Windows to take its time during the next reboot, here is how you can cancel or stop check disk (chkdsk) from running at Startup in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Part 1: Check if a Manual/Automatic Disk Check is Scheduled

Open a Command Prompt as an administrator in Windows. Type in the following command and press Enter.
chkntfs C:

If there is a chkdsk task scheduled you will receive a response that is similar to “chkdsk has been scheduled manually to run on next reboot.

disk-check-schedule

If a dirty flag is set on your drive, the system will force an automatic disk check at the next reboot.

disk-dirty

Part 2: Stop Check Disk from Running at Startup

The methods of stopping check disk varies depend on how it is scheduled.

Option 1: Cancel the Automatic Disk Check

When the computer boots up with the dirty bit enabled on a drive, you will be asked to check the disk for consistency before Windows is loaded. But sometimes Windows might keep running check disk automatically on every reboot and this could be quite annoying. To stop the automatic disk check, you have to clear the dirty bit by following this tutorial: How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume

Option 2: Cancel the Scheduled Disk Check

It’s much easier to stop the scheduled disk check. You can cancel the scheduled disk check using either Command Prompt or Registry Editor.

Method 1: Using Command Prompt

Open a Command Prompt as an administrator. If you want to disable a scheduled disk check on C: drive, type the following command and press Enter.
chkntfs /x C:

cancel-scheduled-diskcheck

Method 2: Using Registry Editor

Open the Registry Editor. Navigate to the following keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Double-click on the Multi-String value “BootExecute” in the right pane.

boot-execute

This will open the “Edit Multi-String” window. Click in the Value data box, and then delete all of the lines, except the last one.

cancel-disk-checking

When it’s done, click OK and close Registry Editor.

How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume

September 17th, 2016 by Admin

When a dirty bit is set on a volume, Windows automatically performs a disk checking the next time the computer is restarted. You can run the chkntfs command at the Command Prompt to check if a volume is dirty, but there is no way to clear the dirty bit unless you let Windows go through disk scanning at boot.

disk-dirty

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to manually clear or set the dirty bit for a NTFS & FAT32 volume in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. The procedure requires you to use a disk editor software such as WinHex. If you want to edit the dirty bit for a system volume currently in use, you need to use a WinPE bootable CD to boot off your PC.

How to Manually Clear or Set Dirty Bit on Windows Volume?

To get started, open WinHex as administrator rights. Click the Tools menu and select Open Disk.

open-disk-with-winhex

When prompted to select a drive for editing, choose the logical volume you want to edit the dirty bit on, and then click OK.

edit-logical-volume

For FAT32 Volume:

Click on “Boot sector” at the directory browser. The dirty bit for FAT32 volume is located at offset 0x41. If this volume is dirty, the bit should be 01. Just change 01 to 00 and then save your changes back to disk, now you’ve successfully cleared the dirty bit.

fat32-dirty-bit

For NTFS Volume:

Click on $Volume at the directory browser. The offset location of the dirty bit is slightly different on every NTFS volume. To locate the dirty bit, look for a hex string of 13 bytes, beginning with 03 01, ending with 80 00 00 00 18. You should be able to find a match within the first or second sector.

ntfs-dirty-bit

The dirty bit is the 3th byte of the hex string that I’ve circled with red line. To set a dirty flag on the drive, just change it to 01. Or change it to 00 if you want to clear the dirty flag.

When it’s done, commit the change to the disk.

3 Ways to Run Disk Error Check in Windows 10, 8 and 7

September 17th, 2016 by Admin

All versions of Windows come with a useful disk checking feature which can check the integrity of your hard disk, fix file system errors and scan for bad sectors. In this tutorial we’ll show you 3 ways to run disk error check in Windows 10, 8 and 7.

Method 1: Run Disk Check from Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer. Right-click on the drive you want to run the disk check on, and choose Properties.

    disk-properties

  2. Select the Tools tab. Under the “Error checking” section, click on the Check button.

    disk-error-checking

  3. Click on Scan drive button to run the disk check.

    scanning-disk

    If your selected drive is a system partition that is being used, Windows will let you schedule a disk check on the next restart.

Method 2: Run Disk Check Using the Chkdsk Command Line

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.

    • In Windows 10/8, simply press the Windows key + X and select “Command Prompt (Admin)“.
    • In Windows 7, click on Start, navigate to Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. You can run the chkdsk command to run the disk check. Replace C: with the letter of the drive you’d like to run a disk check.

    chkdsk /f /r C:

    chkdsk-cmd

    The /f flag tells windows to fix any issues and the /r flag tells it to do a deep scan. It locates bad sectors and recovers whatever information is readable.

Method 3: Run Disk Check By Setting The Dirty Bit

Sometimes if your PC is not properly shut down or crashed, a dirty flag is set on the disk to force disk check to be run at the next reboot. Here is a simple way to set a dirty bit for your drive manually:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter. Replace C: with the letter of the drive you want to set as dirty.
    fsutil.exe dirty set C:

    mark-disk-dirty

  3. Reboot your computer and Windows will force a disk check on your specified drive.

How to Turn Off Safe Mode without Logging into Windows

September 5th, 2016 by Admin

“I tried to restart my computer into Safe Mode using msconfig without thinking. Now I can’t log in because I couldn’t remember the Administrator password. How can I disable Safe Mode and start my PC normally?”

Stuck at Windows login screen but your computer keeps booting into Safe Mode? Is there a way to turn off Safe Mode without logging into Windows? If you could log into Windows, you can easily disable Safe Mode using Msconfig or Command Prompt. What to do if you forgot the Safe Mode administrator password? In this tutorial we’ll show you how to turn off Safe Mode by booting your PC with Windows installation disc.

How to Turn Off Safe Mode without Logging into Windows?

  1. Boot your computer from Windows installation disc and press any key when prompted. If your computer still boots into Safe Mode, you need to enter into BIOS and change the boot sequence to CD/DVD first.
  2. When you see Windows Setup, press the Shift + F10 keys to open a Command Prompt.

    windows-setup

  3. Type the following command and press Enter to turn off Safe Mode:

    bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

    turn-off-secure-boot

  4. When it’s done, close the Command Prompt and stop Windows Setup.

    cancel-windows-setup

    Reboot without installation disc, and your computer should boot in normal mode by default. This method works with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and Vista.

How to Edit Offline Windows Registry from WinPE

August 7th, 2016 by Admin

When your computer no longer boots up or you’re unable to login to Windows, a registry hack might fix your problem. To access the registry for an unbootable Windows installation, you should use a WinPE bootdisk. In this tutorial we’ll walk you through the steps to load / edit offline registry hive from WinPE.

Before get started, we need to know the locations of Windows registry hives:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM: %windir%\system32\config\SYSTEM
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM: %windir%\system32\config\SAM
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY: %windir%\system32\config\SECURITY
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE: %windir%\system32\config\SOFTWARE
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT: %windir%\system32\config\DEFAULT

How to Edit Offline Windows Registry from WinPE?

  1. Boot your computer into WinPE. Open a Command Prompt and run regedit.exe to open the Registry Editor.

    command-prompt-from-winpe

  2. In the left pane of Registry Editor, highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive (or HKEY_USERS).

    highlight-registry-key

  3. Click the File menu and select Load Hive.

    load-hive

  4. Browse to your Windows partition and select the registry hive which you wish to load. In my example, the registry hives are located in the directory D:\Windows\System32\Config.

    select-registry-hive

  5. Type a key name whatever you like (e.g. “OfflineReg“) and click OK. The name will be used to create a new node in the tree so one can browser the offline registry.

    enter-key-name-for-loading

  6. Now under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, you should see a new key named after the name you typed previously.

    offline-registry

  7. Expand the new key, browse to the desired key or value for editing. In my example, I browse to OfflineReg\Software\Microsoft\IdentityCRL\StoredIdentities and delete its subkey.

    modify-offline-registry

  8. When you finish with the modifications, highlight the key you created previously (e.g. “OfflineReg“). Click the File menu and select Unload Hive.

    unload-hive

  9. This will unload the hive and all changes made will be saved to the offline registry.

Automatically Sync Windows Time More Often Than Default

July 1st, 2016 by Admin

How often does Windows sync time? Is there a way to set a frequent period for Windows to sync time automatically? By default, domain controller will sync clock once per one hour, and standalone computer will sync clock once every week. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to change the time synchronization interval/frequency and make Windows automatically sync time more often than default.

windows-time

How to Make Windows sync time more often than default?

  1. To change the time synchronization interval, we have to access the Registry Editor. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and press Enter.

    regedit

  2. Once the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient
  3. Look for the SpecialPollInterval entry in the right pane. This entry specifies the interval in seconds for the Windows Time service to sync the time. The default value on standalone computer is 604800 seconds, that is equal to 7 days.

    SpecialPollInterval

  4. Double-click on the SpecialPollInterval entry. From the pop-up dialog, click Decimal and enter the time interval (in seconds). For example, if you want to let Windows sync time each hour, just type 36000. Click OK and close Registry Editor.

    change-time-syn-interval

  5. Now we need to check if the Windows Time service is configured to start during boot. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type services.msc and press Enter.

    run-services

  6. From the service list, find the service named Windows Time and then double-click on it.

    windows-time-service

  7. Change the Startup type to Automatic and click OK.

    W32Time

    Reboot your computer and Windows will automatically sync the time at the interval you specified. Every time Windows loads up or you start or restart the Windows Time service, it will also sync time immediately.
    That’s all there is to it.

2 Ways to Block Users from Deleting Browsing History in Internet Explorer

June 16th, 2016 by Admin

How to prevent others from deleting browsing history in your browser? There are situations where you need to share your computer with your friends or family members but you want to restrict them from deleting your saved logins and cookies. In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 simple ways to block users from deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer.

Method 1: Prevent Access to Delete Browsing History Using Group Policy

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  2. This should open the Local Group Policy Editor. Navigate to the following location:
    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Delete Browsing History
  3. In the right pane, double-click on “Prevent access to Delete Browsing History” to open its settings box. Select Enabled and click Apply / OK.

    prevent-delete-browsing-history

  4. Reboot your computer. When you open the Internet Options of Internet Explorer, you’ll find the button for deleting browsing history is greyed out.

    unable-delete-ie-history

Method 2: Prevent Users from Deleting Browsing History Using Registry Editor

If Local Group Policy Editor is not accessible in your computer, you can also use the following registry trick to block users from deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Type regedit and press Enter.
  2. When you see the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

    If both the Internet Explorer key and the Control Panel key don’t exist, you need to create them firstly.

  3. Now in right side pane, right-click the empty space to create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named DisableDeleteBrowsingHistory and set its value to 1.

    disable-delete-browsing-history

  4. Close Registry Editor and re-open Internet Explorer. Now users will not be able to access the option for deleting browsing history in Internet Explorer. That’s it!