Archive for the ‘Windows Vista’ category

Enable / Disable Fast User Switching in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista

January 28th, 2016 by Admin

Fast user switching is disabled or missing on your Windows 10 system? Unable to switch to a different account as the “Switch user” option is greyed out?

win7-switch-user

In this tutorial we’ll show you 2 ways to enable or disable Fast User Switching in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.

Method 1: Using Local Group Policy Editor

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  2. The Local Group Policy Editor console should open. In the left pane, expand the following nodes:
    Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon
  3. In right-side pane, double-click on the “Hide entry points for Fast User Switching” policy and its properties screen will open.

    hide-fast-user-switch

  4. If you want to turn off / disable the Fast User Switching feature, set it to Enabled. Or click Disabled or “Not configured” to re-enable Fast User Switching.

By disabling the Fast User Switching feature, the “Switch user” option will be greyed out or removed from Windows logon screen,Start menu and the Task Manager.

Method 2: Using Registry Trick

Since Group Policy Editor doesn’t come with the Home and Starter editions of Windows, here is another method to enable / disable Fast User Switching using Registry Editor:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type regedit and press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  3. In the right-side pane, search for the value named HideFastUserSwitching. If it doesn’t exist, you can create one by right-clicking in the empty space on the right pane and choose New –> DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    hide-fast-user-switching

  4. Set the Value data for HideFastUserSwitching to 1 if you want to disable the Fast User Switching feature. To re-enable it, change that value to 0.
  5. Close the Registry Editor. You will have to log off and then log back on for the changes to take effect.

How to Know Your Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit

January 23rd, 2016 by Admin

All versions of Windows are available in two different flavors: 32-bit and 64-bit. For most people, whether they use a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows doesn’t make a difference. But it’s necessary to find out your running Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit when performing certain tasks, such as install drivers for your new device. Here are 3 simple ways to know your Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit.

Method 1: Right-click on My Computer

Simply right-click on “My Computer” (or “This PC” if you’re running Windows 10) icon on your desktop, and then select Properties from the drop-down context menu.

my-computer-properties

The System Control Panel will now open. In this screen you will see various information about your computer and Windows. The System type field indicates whether your computer are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

system-info

Method 2: Use the MSINFO32 Command

Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog. Type msinfo32 and hit Enter.

msinfo32

This opens the System Information window which shows details of almost everything in the system. Click the System Summary node on the left, then locate the System Type entry. If it’s x64-based PC, you’re running 64-bit Windows. If it’s x86-based PC, your Windows is 32-bit.

system-information

Method 3: Check the Program Files (x86) Folder

For purposes of backward compatibility, 64-bit version of Windows needs to run both 64-bit and 32-bit programs. 32-bit application are installed in the “Program Files (x86)” folder but native 64-bit application run in the normal “Program Files” folder.

program-files-x86

So if you can see the “Program Files (x86)” folder under the root path of your system partition, your Windows is 64-bit. Otherwise it’s 32-bit OS.

How to Restore Local Security Policy to Default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP

December 14th, 2015 by Admin

Did you mess with the local security policy? Or a certain program changed the security policy that caused some strange issues? Luckily there is a simple way to reset / restore your local security policy settings to default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP, if you mess up.

How to Restore Local Security Policy to Default in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP?

This method uses the default security configuration templates to reset the local policies (including account lockout and password complexity requirements policy). Here’s how to reset local security policy settings to their default values:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. In Windows 10 and 8, press the Windows + X key combinations to open the Quick Access menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). In Windows 7 or Vista, click the Start menu, then select All Programs -> Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Now copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt. Hit Enter.
    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

    If you are running Windows XP and need to reset the security settings to their default values, use this command instead:
    secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

    reset-local-security-policy

  3. This will take a few minutes to reset all the policies back to the Windows defaults. you’ll have to restart the computer to see the changes.

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!

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.

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

2 Options to Add a User to Local Administrators Group

July 13th, 2015 by Admin

Only an administrator can perform the administration tasks such as installing a driver or an application. If you have an existing standard or limited account, you can grant it administrator privileges by adding it to the built-in Administrators group. Here are two options to add a user to the local Administrators group in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP.

Option 1: Computer Management

The easier way to add a user to the local Administrators group is to use the Computer Management app. Here’s how:

  1. To open the Computer Management, right-click on My Computer icon on your desktop and then select Manage. Another method is to press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box, then type compmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
  2. When the Computer Management window opens, expand Local Users And Groups in the left pane, and click on Users (Please skip to the option 2 below if you don’t see Local Users and Groups.)

    local-users-and-groups

  3. Double-click your desired user account in the right hand side.
  4. In the User Properties window, click the Add button.

    account-properties

  5. In the Select Groups dialog, type the name of your administrators group. Click Check Names, and then click OK.

    select-groups

    If you don’t know the name of your administrator group, click Advanced and next click Find Now.

Option 2: Command Prompt

However, not every edition of Windows have the Local Users and Groups entry in the Computer Management (for example, Windows 8 Home and domain controller). This method will work on all editions of Windows.

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt. In Windows 10 or 8, press the Windows key + X and then click “Command Prompt (Admin)“. In Windows 7 or Vista, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories, then right-click on Command Prompt shortcut and select “Run as Administrator“.
  2. To see a list of local groups available, just type:
    net localgroup
  3. You can add a user to the built-in Administrators group by running the following command:

    net localgroup Administrators [username] /add

    For example, add a user named test to the administrators group, we can run the below command.
    net localgroup Administrators test /add

    add-user-to-group