Microsoft Office Version Numbers (two styles)

There are two styles of naming versions of Micrsoft Office software, the Retail name, and the “code name” which matches actual folder name where it’s stored:

  • Retail: Eg: Microsoft Office 2013
  • Code / Folder name: Eg: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
Retail Code Name / Folder
2003 11
2007 12
2010 13
[skipped] 14
2013 15
2016 16 (They sorta match for the first time)

References:

It used to be easy to reverse mouse wheel scrolling direction. I’m talking mouse wheel, not touchpad:

Now it takes a registry hack.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID

In there, find the right key name (eg: “VID_046D&PID_C52F&MI_00“) and under that, Device Parameters\FlipFlopWheel set from 0 to 1.

Reference: ilovefreesoftware.comHow To Reverse Mouse Wheel Scroll Direction In Windows 10

Windows Aero Taskbar Icon Hover Thumbnail Threshold to Show List

Below threshold Windows Aero will show thumbnails. But over threshold, because the thumbnails would be too small, it’ll show list instead.

Set:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband\NumThumbnails

to DWORD(32bit) 10 or whatever number you want.

Reference: tenforums.com : Windows 10: Change Taskbar Thumbnail Threshold to Show List in Windows 10

Windows Client and Server Version Equivalents

test

Windows Client Version Equivalent Windows Server Version
Windows XP Windows Server 2003
Windows Vista Windows Server 2008
Windows 7 Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 8 Windows Server 2012
Windows 8.1 Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Windows Server 2012 ???
Windows 10 Windows Server 2016

A Comprehensive (and I mean comprehensive) Security Recommendation



A Comprehensive (and I mean comprehensive) Security Recommendation

Bleepingcomputer.com is a comprehensive security site with help from experts even for non-techies.

Here’s a post from one of those experts with just about every security recommendation he could think of:

Please take the time to read below on how to secure the machine and take the necessary steps to keep it Clean.

 

STEP 1 – UPDATING TASKS

  • It is possible for programs on your computer to have security vulnerability that can allow malware to infect you.
  • Therefore, it is also a good idea to check for the latest versions of commonly installed applications that are regularly patched to fix vulnerabilities.
  • You can check these by visiting Secunia Software Inspector or you can use the following application for this purpose PatchMyPC.
  • You may take a look at UCheck as well.

 
Visit Microsoft’s Windows Update Site Frequently

  • It is important that you check for Windows Updates regularly.
  • This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer.
  • If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.

 

STEP 2 – CLEANUP

Here are a few additional steps on how to remove all of the tools we used:

  • Please download Delfix.exe by Xplode and save it to your desktop.
  • Please start it and check the box next to “Remove disinfection tools” and uncheck the rest and click on the run button.
  • The tool will delete itself once it finishes.

Note: If any tool, file, log file or folder (belonging to the program we have used) hasn’t been deleted, please delete it manually.

 

You can delete the following folders:

C:\ProgramData\HitmanPro => to delete the leftovers from HitmanPro
C:\EEK => to delete the leftovers from EmsisoftEmergencyKit

C:\Users\tierz\AppData\Local\ESET => to delete the leftovers from Eset Online Scanner

I suggest you leave Malwarebytes installed for on-demand scans but if you want to uninstall it then you can use this tool

 

STEP 3 – SECURITY ADVISES
 

Keep your antivirus software turned on and up-to-date

  • New viruses come out every minute, so it is essential that you have the latest signatures for your antivirus program to provide you with the best possible protection from malicious software.
  • Note: You should only have one antivirus installed at a time. Having more than one antivirus program installed at once is likely to cause conflicts and may well decrease your overall protection as well as impairing the performance of your PC.
  • Note2: You should scan your computer with an antimalware program like Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software. Be sure to check for and download any definition updates prior to performing a scan. Also keep in mind that MBAM is not a replacement for antivirus software, it is meant to complement the protection provided by a full antivirus product and is designed to detect the threats that are missed by most antivirus software.

 

Be prepared for CryptoLocker and similar threats:

Since the prevention is better than cure you can purchase a license for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (because Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit are also included in the Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 3) or try a free program such as Kaspersky Antiransomware for business.

In addition to whatever you choose to use I would suggest you to add CryptoPrevent to supplement them to secure the PC against these lockers. Also make regular backups of your important documents.

You can use a standard user account with UAC enabled. If you need administrative privileges to perform some tasks, then you can use Run As or log on as the administrator account for that specific task.

 

Practice Safe Internet

One of the main reasons people get infected in the first place is that they are not practicing Safe Internet. You practice Safe Internet when you educate yourself on how to properly use the Internet through the use of security tools and good practice. Knowing how you can get infected and what types of files and sites to avoid will be the most crucial step in keeping your computer malware free. The reality is that the majority of people who are infected with malware are ones who click on things they shouldn’t be clicking on. Whether these things are files or sites it doesn’t really matter. If something is out to get you, and you click on it, it most likely will.  Below are a list of simple precautions to take to keep your computer clean and running securely:

  • If you receive an attachment from someone you do not know, DO NOT OPEN IT! Simple as that. Opening attachments from people you do not know is a very common method for viruses or worms to infect your computer.
  • .zip, .exe, .com, .bat, .pif, .scr, .cmd, .cab .vbs or .js do not open the attachment unless you know for a fact that it is clean. For the casual computer user, you will almost never receive a valid attachment of this type.
  • If you receive an attachment from someone you know, and it looks suspicious, then it probably is. The email could be from someone you know infected with a malware that is trying to infect everyone in their address book.
  • If you are browsing the Internet and a popup appears saying that you are infected, ignore it!. These are, as far as I am concerned, scams that are being used to scare you into purchasing a piece of software. For an example of these types of popups, or Foistware, you should read this article:
    Foistware, And how to avoid it. There are also programs that disguise themselves as Anti-Spyware or security products but are instead scams.  For a list of these types of programs we recommend you visit this link: About Malwares, Rogues, Scarewares, SmitfraudFix
  • Another tactic to fool you on the web is when a site displays a popup that looks like a normal Windows message or alert. When you click on them, though, they instead bring you to another site that is trying to push a product on you. I suggest that you close these windows by clicking on the X instead of the OK button. Alternatively, you can check to see if it’s a real alert by right-clicking on the window. If there is a menu that comes up saying Add to Favorites… you know it’s a fake.
  • Do not go to adult sites. I know this may bother some of you, but the fact is that a large amount of malware is pushed through these types of sites. I am not saying all adult sites do this, but a lot do.
  • When using an Instant Messaging program be cautious about clicking on links people send to you. It is not uncommon for infections to send a message to everyone in the infected person’s contact list that contains a link to an infection. Instead when you receive a message that contains a link, message back to the person asking if it is legit before you click on it.
  • Stay away from Warez and Crack sites! In addition to the obvious copyright issues, the downloads from these sites are typically overrun with infections. Avoid using cracks and unknown programs from sources you don’t trust. There are MANY alternative open-source applications. Malware writers just love cracks and keygens, and will often attach malicious code into them. By using cracks and/or keygens, you are asking for problems. So my advice is – stay away from them!
  • Be careful of what you download off of web sites and Peer-2-Peer networks. Some sites disguise malware as legitimate software to trick you into installing them and Peer-2-Peer networks are crawling with it. If you want to download a piece of software a from a site, and are not sure if they are legitimate, you can use Bitdefender TrafficLight or Avira Browser Safety to look up info on the site. Note: skip this advice if your antivirus have a Web Guard.
  • DO NOT INSTALL any software without first reading the End User License Agreement, otherwise known as the EULA. A tactic that some developers use is to offer their software for free, but have spyware and other programs you do not want bundled with it. This is where they make their money. By reading the agreement there is a good chance you can spot this and not install the software.
  • You may want to install Unchecky to prevent adware bundled into many free programs to install.
  • Make the extensions for known file types visible: Be worried of files with a double extension such as image.jpg.exe. As a default setting, Windows often hides common file extensions, meaning that a program like image.jpg.exe will appear to you as simply image.jpg. Double extensions exploit this by hiding the second, dangerous extension and reassuring you with the first one.Check this out – Show or hide file name extensions.
  • Disable Autorun: It’s a good idea to disable the Autorun functionality to prevent spreading of the infections from USB flash drives. Check the article here for more information. Also you can install McShield – to prevent infections spread by removable media.
  • Disable and Windows Scripting Host: If you don’t use any script files then you can go ahead and disable Windows Scripting Host using the tool provided by Symantec – NoScript.exe. Simple download and run it and click on the Disable button and reboot the computer. If you need to run any js. or vbs scripts at a later stage you should run NoScript.exe again and select Enable, then reboot the computer.
  • Install Adblock Plus to surf the web without annoying ads!

 

 
Create an image of your system (you can use the built-in Windows software as well if you prefer)

  • Now when your pc is malware free it is a good idea to do a backup of all important files just in case something happens it.
  • Macrium Reflect is very good choice that enables you to create an image of your system drive which can be restored in case of problems.
  • The download link is here.
  • The tutorial on how to create an system image can be found here.
  • It’s a good idea to add Macrium to the boot menu to access it if Windows won’t start and you don’t have a Rescue CD.
  • The tutorial on how to restore an system image can be found here.
  • Be sure to read the tutorials first.

 

Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.

 

Safe Surfing !

 

Regards,
Georgi

Edited by B-boy/StyLe/, 28 March 2017 – 09:45 AM.

From: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/642995/winvmx-the-requested-resource-is-in-use-tried-all-suggestions-on-forum/#entry4208784

Google Docs vs Microsoft Office

IMG:o365_gdocs

Google Docs vs Microsoft Office

Little Known Fact about MS Office

MS bills its “Office 365” as a “cloud suite”. Actually, it includes the regular old desktop programs of Office 2016 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and in some versions Outlook).

Summary

In a 2016 review of Google’s G Suite business subscription service, Eric Grevstad of PC Magazine stated that Google Docs follows the “80/20” rule: “that is, 80 percent of users will never need more than 20 percent of the features”.[71]

–wikipedia

I would like to modify that somewhat. While he says “will never need” I think that’s a stretch. I think it’s more accurate to say “80 percent of the time users will only need 20 percent of the features.” The way this new view plays out, is that if you use Google Docs, once a year or so, you will run into a situation in which you need features Google Docs does not offer. That’s more what I experience from users in real life.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – Comprehenive Advanced Features

As I said in the “Summary” above, if you use Google, once a year or so, you will need some more complex / advanced feature that is in Microsoft Office but not Google Docs.

There’s always a workaround, with some additional effort and inconvenience.

(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – privacy

Educated guess, but I believe MS Office protects your privacy more than Google.

Here’s my reasoning. These aren’t proofs–just educated guessing and reasoning.

  • MS is less motivated financially to sell your content to advertisers or private investigators. Because you pay for MS Office. They have a buisness model where they get paid for the software they produce. Google’s only business model is to sell advertising based on your content. So it is an urgent need, a matter of corporate survival for them to violate your privacy.
  • This one seems backwards, but stay with me. MS was criticzied for their handling of privacy because they published visibly that they would turn over your Office 365 (OneDrive) content to law enforcement authorites without your consent or notification. This is true of ALL companies, because of the Patriot Act in the United States. So I give MS *credit* on privacy for being visible about this, instead of hiding it like other companies. It makes me trust them a smidgen more on privacy.
  • Last buy not least, MS Office supports a fully offline model, with all files stored on your local hard disk, instead of in the cloud (MS OneDrive). These files are much less likely to be scanned.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – offline and alternate cloud storage

Since MS Office 365 (or the desktop apps) run on your desktop, you can be fully operational without an internet connection. Eg, on a plane. Or the day that your ISP goes down. Or if the power goes out (assuming you have laptop battery to keep working, and assuming you don’t have battery backup or generator backup for your internet connection).

Offline, desktop acces model in MS Office also means you can use them with almost any cloud storage (Dropbox, Box.com, SugarSync) in addition to MS’s own OneDrive.

That is *IF* those services have a ‘local sync’ feature. All of those I listed do. (This local sync feature sync’s a folder on your desktop to the cloud. Changes you make in the cloud are replicated on your local disk. Changes you make on your local disk–with desktop Office 2016, for example–are mirrored in the cloud.)

Can not do that with Google Docs because there is no way to work on local files.

You can download offline files out of Google Docs, for storage and back. And you can edit them locally. With what? MS Office? Might as well have just used MS Office in the first place.

You could edit them with the free LibreOffice and get close to the MS Office experience. The disadvantage is that you’re working in two different interfaces, and LibreOffice is not quite as powerful as MS Office.

Or using only the Chrome Browser, and a Chrome extension “Google Docs Offline” you can edit offline with Google.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – printing

in Google Docs, if in Firefox or Internet Explorer, you have to dowload as a PDF to print. Using the browser print will make it print like a web page, not a document.

In the Chrome browser (only) Google Docs print normally.

Reports (I can’t confirm) that advanced printing is not available in Google Docs (but they’re upgrading all the time).

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – upload limit

50MB (was: 2MB) upload limit for Google Docs (no limit once in Google Drive online cloud storage)

(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – huge size

Google Docs can’t handle HUGE data sets, eg, > 2 million (was: 400K) cells in a spreadsheet.

ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – FREE!

By far the biggest difference between the two is that Goodle Docs is FREE. You pay for that with Google scanning your docs and providing that info to advertisers so that they can target ads to you. But Microsoft is still doing at least some of that.

ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – “Explore”

GDocs new “Explore” feature

Launched in September 2016, “Explore” enables additional functionality through machine learning.[36][37][38]

  • In Google Docs, Explore shows relevant Google search results based on information in the document, simplifying information gathering. Users can also mark specific document text, press Explore and see search results
  • based on the marked text only.
  • In Google Sheets, Explore enables users to ask questions, such as “How many units were sold on Black Friday?”, and Explore will return the answer, without requiring formula knowledge from the user.
  • In Google Slides, Explore dynamically generates design suggestions based on the contents of each slide.

The “Explore” features in Docs follow the launch of a more basic research tool originally introduced in 2012.[39][40][41]

In December 2016, Google introduced a quick citations feature to Google Docs. The quick citation tool allows users to “insert citations as footnotes with the click of a button” on the web through the Explore feature introduced in September. The citation feature also marked the launch of the Explore functionalities in G Suite for Education accounts.[42][43][44]

In June 2017, Google expanded the Explore feature in Google Sheets to automatically build charts and visualize data,[45][46] and again expanded it in December to feature machine learning capable of automatically creating pivot tables.[47][48]

–wikipedia

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – columns and image editing

In 2013, Microsoft released ads that called out specific features missing in Docs, including columns (eventually added by Google Docs in 2016) and image-editing support (eventually added by Google Docs in 2014).

–techwalla

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – mail merge

You didnt used to be able to do mail merge in Gmail+Docs. Now you can.

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – add-ons

In March 2014, Google introduced add-ons

–wikipedia

Before that, only MS Office had add-ons.

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – real-time simultaneous co-authoring

Until MS Office v2016 MS Office did not provide real-time simultaneous co-authoring (unless you used Enterprise SharePoint).

By this I mean 2+ people working on the same document at exactly the same time with each seeing the other’s edits in real-time as they happen, letter by letter.

Before v2016 MS had less helpful co-editing techniques.

References:

Network speeds–WiFi/Wireless g/N/ac, Wired Gigabit Ethernet, Broadband Internet Connection (Eg, Comcast/Time Warner/Optimum)




Presented below is a table of comparative network speeds.

It is important to know the relative speeds when making purchase decisions on networking.

It is also important to know that network speeds are subject to the principal that they only run as fast as their slowest link. They’re subject to bottlenecks.

For example, no matter how fast your in-building wired Ethernet or WiFi/Wireless speed is, your speed to the public Internet is likely limited to the speed your broadband provider gives you. It provides no benefit to upgrade your internal network, without also upgrading your bandwidth provider with a faster (more expensive) service.

On the other hand, in-building computer-to-computer or computer-to-device or client-server traffic does not touch the global Internet, and doesnt depend on your provider’s bandwith.

There was a time where “wired” was faster than “wireless” but with new innovations in Wirless N and Wireless ac (802.11n, 802.11ac) standards, that’s no longer true. However, BOTH ends (pc, router) have to support the standard to achieve that speed. And laptops sometimes skimp on the WiFi.

The common types of interent to consider, roughly in order slowest to fastest, are:

Broadband Internet
Connects the network in your building to the outside world, the wider public internet, the WAN (wide-area network). Typically provided by a cable or phone company, eg, Comcast, Time-Warner, Optimum.
Ethernet
Wired networking. Eg, cat5 cables and RJ45 wall outlets.
WiFi / Wireless
To/From the Wireless Network Adapter (NIC) in your laptop, printer, smartphone, tablet over the air to the wireless router, often provided by your broadband provider.

Table of Relative Network Speeds

Key
Broadband Internet (red)
Ethernet (yellow)
WiFi / Wireless (blue)
Description Speed
Low-end residential broadband 5 Mbps
Wirless g, 2.4 GHz band, mid-2000s (54 Mbps nominal, but only 50% efficient) 22.5 Mbps
Wirless N, 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz band, 2010, uses (MIMO), (54 Mbps nominal, but only 50% efficient) 22.5 Mbps
Mid-grade residential broadband 25 Mbps
Starting-level business, Hi-end residential broadband 50 Mbps
Standard Ethernet “Fasternet” (nominal 100 Mbps but only 50% efficient) 50 Mbps
Mid-grade business broadband 100 Mbps
Hi-end business broadband 150 Mbps
Wirless N-150 (MIMO) 150 Mbps
Wirless N-300 (MIMO) 300 Mbps
Wirless N-450 (MIMO) 450 Mbps
New Gigabit Ethernet (nominal 1000 Mbps but only 50% efficient) 500 Mbps
Wirless N-600 (MIMO) 600 Mbps
Wirless AC-1200 (MIMO) 800 Mbps
Wirless N-900 (MIMO) 900 Mbps
Wirless AC-1900 (MIMO) 1000 Mbps

Notes:

Mbps = Mega-bits per second; divide by 8 to get MBs = Megabytes per second)

MIMO = multiple input and multiple output antennas

You can test your current Internet speed from your current location via

SmallNetBuilder has good educational materials on routers, WiFi, and speed tests and rankings of routers.

Windows Activation of Re-Deployed Images – OEM_SLP keys – System Builder Stuff



So you want to

  1. install Windows
  2. configure it how you want, including adding users, installing and configuring software
  3. image that system C:\ drive
  4. then restore or redeploy that image on another PC.

Definition Helps:

OEM_SLP keys

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer, eg Dell, HP

SLP = System Locked Pre-installation

from: https://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/316e1ed5-04a1-4a2b-a8e0-2e13520ec5e6/changing-oem-slp-key?forum=genuinewindows7

user=Darin Smith MS

Hi dgranata,

Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

A) OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the special instructions found only on that Manufacturer’s computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) windows looks at the motherboard and sees the special instructions and Self-Activates. (that’s why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought it home)

B) COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but should only be used in limited situations (sush as if the OEM SLP key stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by Phone. (Note: All manufacturers that use the OEM SLP system are required by contract to include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker, that has a COA SLP key, on the computer)

The COA SLP key is a backup to the OEM SLP key. The only difference if you change to the COA SLP key is that you would be required to Activate by Phone.

Thank you,
Darin MS

Quick answers:

C:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe

use generalize

that puts the image in “OOBE” (Out Of Box Experience) mode.

So it loads drivers at start. And maybe otherwise diassociates from particular hardware.

But did not for me fix the OEM_SLP

From: https://www.sevenforums.com/backup-restore/400137-macrium-reflect-restore-image-different-computer-same-model-post3278700.html#post3278700

user: Cursed Lemon

What you can do is a little trick I learned.

If you didn’t know, Windows has a tool called “SysPrep” which dissociates the Windows installation with the hardware it was installed on. You can then transfer this hard drive to a brand new machine, and Windows boots up as if it’s being used for the first time. It will prompt you to create a new user account, but you can log into the original/old user account you already have and delete it later.

What I’ve done is do a brand new, fresh Windows installation and installed all of the programs I like to use on it, getting everything configured the way I like. Then I use SysPrep to put the computer into “OOBE” (Out Of Box Experience) mode, which performs the aforementioned driver stripping.

After that, I pull that hard drive out of the computer and put it in an external HDD enclosure or carriage hooked up to another computer. On that computer, I use Macrium Reflect to create an image file of that SysPrep’d drive, and store that image file somewhere safe.

So now, whenever I need to install a fully-configured Windows 7 to another computer entirely, I just take the hard drive that’s going to be in that computer and use Macrium to restore that image to the hard drive, at which point I will use totally-not-unscrupulous-and-illegal methods (coughRemovecoughWATcough) to bypass the authentication software.

remove *cough* wat *cough* download.com (did not try; did not need; certificats below worked)

System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) in Microsoft Windows 10/8/7


url = http://www.thewindowsclub.com/the-system-preparation-tool-sysprep-in-microsoft-windows-7

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799240(v=ws.10).aspx

The big one:

talks about loading new certificates for the manufacturer using slimgr

Windows 7 OEM – Applying OEM System Locked Preinstallation Activation
url = http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/the-activation-backup-and-recovery-program-windows-vista-7-version/

see below

This one talks about windows 8 BIOS keys :

https://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/slic-bios-oem-slp-certs.49850/

recreate the licensing store

https://www.sevenforums.com/windows-updates-activation/242158-windows-7-build-7601-copy-windows-not-genuine-3.html

There’s still a problem somewhere – you have an error I’ve only ever seen once before.

Script execution time was exceeded on script “C:\Windows\system32\slmgr.vbs”.

I suspect that there’s some minor corruption preventing proper function….

Please first try recreating the Licensing Store.
Recreate the Licensing Store
1) Click Start button.
2) Type: CMD.exe into the ‘Search programs and files’ field
3) Right-Click on CMD.exe and select Run as Administrator
4a) Type: sc query sppsvc to see if it’s on (it probably is)
4) Type: net stop sppsvc (It may ask you if you are sure, select yes)
Note: the Software Protection service may not be running, this is ok.
5) Type: cd %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform
6) Type: rename tokens.dat tokens.bak
7) Type: cd %windir%\system32 (no need, really)
8) Type: net start sppsvc
9) Type: slui.exe software licensing UI
10) After a couple of seconds Windows Activation dialog will appear. You may be asked to re-activate and/or re-enter your product key or Activation may occur automatically.

If you are asked for your Key, use the one on the COA sticker on the machine’s case

Reboot and Post back with a new MGADiag report




The big one (quotd):

talks about loading new certificates for the manufacturer using slimgr

Windows 7 OEM – Applying OEM System Locked Preinstallation Activation
url = http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/the-activation-backup-and-recovery-program-windows-vista-7-version/

[raw]

Windows 7 OEM – Applying OEM System Locked Preinstallation Activation

10 Votes

Make a Donation Button

Microsoft Code of Authencity – Windows XP OEM, Windows Vista OEM and Windows 7 OEM

For systems shipped with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 a Code of Authenticity (COA) with a 25 digit product key was shipped affixed to the system.

Windows 7 COA

There was a change in print quality of the COA when Windows Vista was released which made the COA prone to fading. As a consequence for most Windows 7 systems the COA was Placed in the Battery Compartments of Laptops to Reduce the Problem of Fading.

Laptop COA
What is Original Equipment Manufacturer System Locked Preinstallation Activation?

Examples of Microsoft’s Major Partner Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) are:

Alienware/Dell
Lenovo/IBM
HP/Compaq
ASUS
Acer
Samsung
Sony
Toshiba
MSI
Fujitsu

Microsoft Major Partner OEMs preinstalled Windows 7 on millions of machines. In order to save production time these Major OEM licenses utilised a BIOS based activation mechanism and as a consequence the key on the COA is typically not used for Windows Installation. The system BIOS of Windows 7 OEM will contain a SLIC of version 2.1.

Microsoft’s Minor OEMs are small scale OEMs that sell a low volume of machines. These licenses known as Commercial OEMs do not apply OEM System Locked Preinstallation. Motherboards with Commercial OEM Licenses will not contain a SLIC.

The conventional activation mechanism (using the key on the COA) would have required the OEM to input a unique 25 digit product key and call Microsoft for every single machine they made… For Windows 7 OEM installation the 25 Digit Product Key on the COA is hence typically unused. Instead OEM System Locked Preinstallation is applied:

Instead of using this unique 25 digit product key on the COA for installation an OEM System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) Key is input by Dell Branded Reinstallation Media.
In essence the System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) Key must match up to the System License Internal Code (SLIC) incorporated in the systems BIOS for System Locked Preinstallation (which is automatic offline Product Activation) to be applied.
This means you can still use OEM SLP to activate Windows 7 OEM even if your COA has Faded.
Windows 7 Pro OEM SLP can also be used for Downgrade Rights from Windows 10 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro.

SLIC Version:

Version 2.1 – Eligible for Windows 7 OEM System Locked Preinstallation
Version 2.0 – Eligible for Windows Vista OEM System Locked Preinstallation
Version 1.0 – Eligible for Windows XP OEM System Locked Preinstallation

This means that one may Clean Install Windows 7 OEM on systems that have faded COAs:

It also means one may exhibit Downgrade Rights to Windows 7 Pro without a Windows 7 Pro Product Key:

win10Pro Win8Pro

A SLIC version of 2.1 is required for Windows 7 OEM SLP. To determine your SLIC launch RW-Everything and select Access → ACPI Tables:

rw1

Select the SLIC Tab:

slic

Scroll down until you get the SLIC Marker Structure. You are interested in 2 fields:

OEM ID
SLIC Version

In this case the OEM is Dell and the SLIC Version is 2.1.

The example I used was from a Dell Latitude 7350 shipped with Windows 8.1 Pro. It doesn’t have a Windows 7 Pro COA but is eligible to run Windows 7 Pro using OEM Downgrade Rights.
An Inspiron 7347 shipped with Windows 8.1 (Home) and hence doesn’t have any OEM downgrade rights. It has no SLIC tab and hence Windows 7 cannot be activated by use of OEM SLP.

Systems sold with Windows Vista OEM in the period of 6 months before the release of Windows 7 may have an SMBIOS of 2.5 with an original SLIC version of 2.0. The latest BIOS update won’t change the SMBIOS which will remain at 2.5 however it may update the SLIC version to 2.1.

The OptiPlex 760 for example has a SLIC version of 2.1 with its latest BIOS Update so the Free Upgrade to Windows 7 may be taken (documented in detail here) but the OptiPlex 755 was sold just a wee bit earlier and retains a SLIC version of 2.0 even with its latest BIOS Update.
I have listed the latest BIOS Update for systems with an SMBIOS of 2.5 here (please comment to let me know what SLIC version your system has with its latest BIOS update as it may help others).

Note RWEverything doesn’t state the Edition of Windows 7 to be installed. In testing the SLIC seems not to be Edition specific. To be licensed correctly you should match the Edition on the Windows Vista/Windows 7 COA.
System Locked Preinstallation Key and Product ID List

One can check the Product ID and Activation status in system (go to Start, Right Click Computer and Select Properties). If it contains OEM-899 (Windows 7) or OEM-733 (Windows Vista) then it is activated using OEM-SLP:

windowsactivated

The SLP keys and Product IDs are generic every single Dell system shipped with Windows 7 Pro OEM will have the Product Key 00371-OEM-8992671-00524. The SLP key associated with this is 32KD2-K9CTF-M3DJT-4J3WC-733WD. This Product Key can only be used for OEM SLP and cannot be used for conventional activation.

If Windows 7 has been activated by the 25 Digit Product Key on the COA the Product ID will contain OEM but not 899. One should verify whether a SLIC exists in the system BIOS or not.
Installation Media

Major OEM Installation Media e.g. a Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD will automatically Apply OEM SLP Activation without asking for a Product Key.

Windows 7 Retail Installation Media and Windows 7 Commercial (Minor) OEM Installation Media won’t automatically apply OEM SLP Activation and instead ask for a Product Key.

Unfortunately Major OEM Installation Media was not Downloadable while Windows 7 Retail Installation Media and Windows 7 Commercial OEM Installation is Made Readily Available to Download.

OEM customers are hence forced to Download the Retail Installation Media or Commercial OEM Installation Media, Install Windows 7 by Skipping Input of their Product Key and Manually Apply OEM SLP.

If the EI.cfg file is deleted from the sources folder of your Bootable USB you will get the option to install all the Editions of Windows 7 present on the .iso if not you will automatically install the Edition the EI.cfg file is locked to:

1

Accept the license agreement:

2

Uncheck “Automatically Activate when I’m online”. Select skip:

3

This will install Windows 7 without a Product Key allowing a 30 day trial.

One can check the Product ID and Activation status in system (go to Start, Right Click Computer and Select Properties). They should see that Windows 7 is not activated.

vlcsnap-2017-02-28-22h55m40s706
OEM Cert Collection

To activate using OEM SLP download the OEM cert collection:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/software-os/m/microsoft_os/20443565

4

Select save:

5

Right click to Extract the Folder:

6

Select Extract:

7

Open the extracted folder:

8

Select your OEM:

9

Select your Edition of Windows 7:

10

Copy the OEM folder:

11

Ensure the OEM folder is placed directly on your C:\ Drive:

12

Right click the slp.bat and select Run as Administrator: 13

Accept the UAC prompt:

14

Press OK:

15

Press Ok again:

16

Press any key to continue (this will close the command prompt):

17

One can check the Product ID and Activation status in system (go to Start, Right Click Computer and Select Properties). Windows 7 should be activated using OEM SLP:

WAT Windows Activation Techonology Checker Windows Update KB971033

research about how it works what it does. It searches for exploits: http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-activation-technologies-an-unauthorized-inside-look/

how to manually uninstall: http://islandflyer.podbean.com/e/uninstall-windows-7-activation-update-kb971033-and-reactivate/

What’s my ip address–from Windows command line (cmd.exe)



If you’re behind a router (and most people are) then ipconfig.com will give your LAN address–local to your building, but not your WAN address–the IP address that websites see you as.

The most common way to find your WAN IP address is http://whatsmyip.net.

But that doesn’t (easily) work from the Windows command line, eg cmd.exe

But, your salvation is here: Here is something that does. Quite simple:

C:\users\YOURNAME> nslookup myip.opendns.com. resolver1.opendns.com

Notice the dot (“.”) after myip.opendns.com. That prevents it getting appended.


Reference:

The various volumes on an iPhone



Most of the time the volume you set on the iPhone “just works.” But it’s far more complicated than you’d think, and it’s very context dependent. Macworld describes it well.

This article is from 2013, quoted in its entirety here. But things are always changing:

How to control the volume in iOS

By Sharon Zardetto
Macworld | Mar 7, 2013 7:00 AM PT

Most of the time, you hit a volume button on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and it does what you expect, whether it’s turning up your reminder alarms or turning down your music. And then there are the other times.

different iOS volume icons

But once you understand the different “kinds” of sounds, the interaction between software settings and the volume buttons, and how context overrides the default course of events, you’ll have better control over your device’s volume.

The sound of more than music

The key to mastering volume adjustment is understanding that most of the sounds on your device fall into one of two categories. General audio includes music and other media, and the voice volume on the iPhone and for FaceTime on all devices. The “ringers and alerts” category includes not only the iPhone ringer, but also: FaceTime rings; Clock app alarms; notifications and individual app alerts; keyboard clicks; and miscellaneous app sounds like the whoosh of sending Mail.

IMG:iPhone settings sound

Basically, you can decide which kind of sounds—general audio or the ringers and alerts—your volume buttons control by going to Settings > Sounds and, under Ringers and Alerts, set Change With Buttons to On or Off; if you turn it off, the buttons control the general audio. But your default choice is easily, and often, overridden because what you’re doing at any given moment takes precedence over the default settings

Context is everything

The volume buttons “just work” most of the time because they’re context-sensitive.

If, for instance, you’re in the Music app, the buttons change the media volume even if you’ve set them to control Ringers and Alerts; this happens even if the music controls are merely showing, on a Lock screen or in the multitasking bar, with no music playing. Conversely, when media volume is the default, you can change the Ringer volume when an alarm is playing. These changes affect the overall volume setting for that category, not just temporarily or for the current sound.
The volume settings screen

The volume icon that appears when you use the buttons helpfully indicates what you’re adjusting. With Ringers and Alerts as the default, press a button when you’re on a Home screen with no music playing and the icon is labeled Ringer (on the iPhone) or Sound Effects (on other devices). If Ringer and Alerts is turned off, you get the unlabeled icon that stands for general audio. If you’re using headphones, it’s their volume that’s altered, not the device’s speaker, and the volume icon notes that.

As for controlling the volume in games, that’s complicated. Many games are set to the Ringers and Alerts volume when you first run them; some interact with that setting if you change the game volume. Some newly launched games inherit the volume level from the last game app you used. A game remembers its own volume setting from its previous use if it’s been sitting in the multitasking bar. Luckily, no matter your default setting for the volume buttons, they will always control the volume of the current game.

Want Siri to talk louder, or to lower its voice? Neither general audio nor Ringers and Alerts volume settings affect that. To adjust both the little chirp and the voice volume, start Siri with a press of the Home button, and use the volume buttons while Siri’s open.

Setting limits

While you’re in Settings, you can also set an upper limit for headphone music volume in Music > Volume Limit to protect your—or a child’s—hearing. The setting doesn’t restrict non-headphone volume. (A side effect of setting a lower limit is that each press of a volume button changes it by a smaller increment.)

You can prevent the youngling from upping the volume by locking the level with a passcode. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions; tap Enable Restrictions if necessary, and supply a passcode. Tap Volume Limit and then Don’t Allow Changes.

Mute and other silencers

Volume isn’t the only thing that depends on context. How you mute your device can depend on which device you’re using, the situation, and hardware or software settings.

  • When your iPhone is ringing, hit either volume button to temporarily mute it; this also works for FaceTime rings on any device.
  • On the iPhone, flip the Ring/Silent switch to kill the ringer; it will still ring through headphones. This also mutes Calendar and Reminder alerts, most games, and other sound effects (including the camera shutter) but not alarms—an important point if you’re sitting in the front row for the New York Philharmonic.
  • On an iPad, use the Side Switch to mute button ringers and alerts; it doesn’t affect music or other media. In Settings > General, under Use Side Switch To, tap Mute. To override the setting, or mute the iPad when the Side Switch is set to Orientation Lock, see the details in Lex Friedman’s guide to muting notifications. You can also mute the volume with the volume button: Hold down the lower end for about two seconds.
  • Use Settings > General and turn on Do Not Disturb to silence notifications during the times you specify. This works only when your device is locked, and does not affect alarms.
  • You can mute certain sounds for some individual apps in Settings > Sounds. Tap New Mail in the Sounds list, for instance, and then tap None.

From “How to control the volume in iOS”