Technical Preview – Microsoft Windows 10

Once upon a time, long long ago, there was an OS called Win XP. It was very famous and enjoyed a lot of popularity among the masses. It enjoyed 80% market share. But time and tide, stays for no man, I mean no OS. Then came Win Vista, quickly followed by Win 7, as Vista was a disaster. Win 7 was much better than Vista or XP, but its manufacturer wanted more from an OS. They wanted it on the phones, tablets, notebooks and even on their gaming boxes, so they came up with Win 8. It was a total disaster, and people hated it even more than Vista. It had big buttons, it was clunky and it did not even have a start menu. What was MS thinking?? So the manufacturer MS, worked hard and came up with Win 9, which did not see the day light. They worked even harder and finally came up with Win 10.

Win 10 will be released early in 2015 and MS is doing a lot of beta trial with it, to get opinion of the masses and listed to them. It has the start menu back, so that if you are using the OS on a desktop without a touch screen, you actually don’t have to get a third party start menu.

MS is encouraging tech community to download it and provide feedback. It has already seen more than a million download. So if you want to download it yourself and take a look, go right ahead.


Wireless network keeps dropping off on Windows 7

If you have purchased a Win 7 laptop lately or installed an OEM version of Win 7 on an older XP laptop, chances are that your machine keeps dropping off the wireless network randomly. Good news is that you are not alone, a lot of people are having this problem, bad news is that there is no good cookie cutter solution to this problem.

I personally had this problem when I upgraded my Dell Latitude 630 laptop from Win XP Pro to Win 7 Ultimate; and when I purchased a new ASUS K53E-1BSX laptop.

What has been proved that the problem has something to do with Windows 7 and wireless device drivers, as people have reported that they did not have the problem when they were using the same hardware with Windows XP. Even more, people have tested by replacing the Wireless AP/ router as well. I personally have replaced three different Linksys/ CISCO routers, re-installed Windows and changed wireless adapters, in the process of troubleshooting this problem.

Common recommendations that have worked for many people are:

  1. Update wireless device drivers for Windows 7, if available.
  2. Disabling windows firewall.
  3. Set the device properties to NOT go in Power Savings mode.
  4. Set your AP/router to a particular WiFi type – B, G or N, instead of auto, if possible. Under Advanced device configuration, set the IBSS 54G(tm) mode to 54g Auto or 54g-performance.
  5. Un-install any anti-virus or anti-spyware software that you may have and try to see if the problem goes away
  6. Purchase a newer USB Wireless device, preferably the mini, low profile devices.

The above mentioned steps are written in order in which they should be tried. In my case, I had to buy a newer USB wireless adapter for my ASUS laptop and disable the on-board, and step number 4 worked for the Dell laptop. So it is a hit or miss at this point. I will update as I find out more about this embarrassing problem of Windows 7.

I was feeling confident about the performance of Win 7, until I met this problem.


Windows could not connect to Printer – Access denied – Vista

Most of the pople who are buying new laptops or desktops with Win Vista preloaded and have a small home or office network with file and printer sharing, are very likely to run into this issue. I ran into it, and fould the solution on MS tech forum. It is most likely a bug, but people have found a way around it. So do it the way geeks do, till MS releases a fix for it.

Scenario – you have an existing home or office network with Win XP loaded on machines doing file and printer sharing. Basic workgroup environment. You purchased a new laptop or a desktop with Win Vista preloaded and bring it home and introduce it to the workgroup. [Assuming that you do everything right, you will be able to share files and folders, but not the printer] You will be able to see the printer in the network, but when you try to connect to it, you will very likely get an error saying “windows could not connect to the printer, access denied”.

Here is how to get it to work.

  1. On the new vista machine go to printers in control panel and add new pritner.
  2. select local pritner, instead of network/shared printer [don’t ask me why].
  3. create a new local port and give it the network name. i.e. if the name of your host computer that has the printer hooked up to it is JacksPC and the shared name of the printer is Brother4150, then the network name for this shared resource is \\JacksPC\Brother4150 click next.
  4. Click next and install the drivers for Vista, by selecting have disk. [assuming that you have downloaded the drivers of the printer for Vista.] and it should work.

Set up remote desktop on Vista?

I recently made a successful remote desktop connection between a Vista machine and a XP machine, so I wanted to post it, just in case someone else was trying to do the same. This was done using the built in remote desktop feature on Windows XP and Vista.

Let’s set the parameters first. Suppose you have two machines; one at your work which has Windows XP Pro loaded, [we will call it the Remote Machine] and the other machine being your new Toshiba notebook with Windows Vista Ultimate on it [we will call it the host machine]. Variable – You have a Wireless router on both the remote and host network.

Step 1. On the host machine, set a user account with log in password. Assign administrator group rights to this account. If you already have an account in the remote machine, make sure you are a member of the administrator group.

Step 2. Assign a static IP to the remote machine. eg.- [please make sure the IP is within the DHCP server’s range in the router]

Step 3. Log in to your wireless router, and create a port forwarding rule in the port forward table of the router, to the static IP that you have assigned to your remote machine. [see the eg. ip above] Windows remote desktop uses port 3389, and TCP packets. Do not forget to save your changes in the router 🙂

Step 4. On the remote machine, go to system properties and turn on remote desktop. Click on the radio button and save.

Step 5. On the remote machine, if you have windows firewall on, or any other firewall on, make sure you put remote desktop in the exceptions list of the fire wall. Save changes.

Step 6. Check the public IP of your network. Easiest way is by going to the URL Note down the public IP of your network. You will need this and log in ID and PW of this remote machine. Do not shut down or log off your remote machine.

Step 7. Go to your host computer, [on a different network. like say when you get home from work] and type mstsc on the run command.

Step 8. On the remote desktop connection console, type the public IP of the computer in the computer field. Click the Options button and type the user ID and the PW in the required field. Hit connect and if you are prompted with any warning signal, just ignore them. You should now be able to connect to the remote machine from your laptop.

How to stop Vista confirmation messages

Here is how to turn off User Access Control [UAC] in all types of Win Vista machines.

NOTE: Turning off UAC reduces the security of your computer and may expose you to increased risk from malicious software. However, clicking Yes on the prompts without reading them is the same as turning them off. Do you read all the prompts that UAC pops up before you click on Yes? I guess it will depend on how strrong your nerd meter reads. I know what I am doing, so I turn off the warning that UAC provides.

For Vista Business and Ultimate versions:

your account needs to have admin rights in order to do any of this. If you are unable to do this, then the account in which you are logged in as is not an admin account.

On the search box of windows, type Local Security Policy- Search result is a the new Management Console for Vista. You will see a window divided in two panels. Right Hand side, and a Left Hand side. On the LHS you wan to click to expand the local policy. Then select Security Options to bring out a list of policies on the right hand side panel. Once you see the list, click on the top bar to sort by reverse alphabetic order. So now your list should start with items listed with U alpha.

Now locate “User account control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for Administrators in Admin Approval Mode”. Double click to open it, and from the drop down menu select, Elevate without Prompting.

Elevate without prompt

There are two other policies that you may want to look at. I have attached a pic of how it looks in my PC for you to compare. DO NOT mess up other items, or else your new PC might not work properly.

For Vista Basic and Home Premium:

On these versions, you can only turn off the UAC [User Access Control], which asks for every small little thing, like Do you really want to pee, – Yes, any doubt.  =) MS did not include the Security Policies tool box in these version, so it is not possible to tweak some other features, like you saw being done above.

But, if you are a entry level User, then I would recommend not turning UAC off, as it may put your system at risk, provided you read all the warning signs that it pops up.

To turn off UAC

Source: technet @ MS

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, click User Accounts.
  3. In the User Accounts window, click User Accounts.
  4. In the User Accounts tasks window, click Turn User Account Control on or off.
  5. If UAC is currently configured in Admin Approval Mode, the User Account Control message appears. Click Continue.
  6. Clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer check box, and then click OK.
  7. Click Restart Now to apply the change right away, or click Restart Later and close the User Accounts tasks window.

Alternately, if you are running the Basic or Home Premium version, then you can also modify the registry to achieve the goal. Some people like hacking the registry in good old ways. =) So I have compiled a registry key hack, that you can download and run. Download it here System.reg Once you have downloaded it, rename the file name from System.reg.txt to System.reg and run it. Finally reboot your computer and see if it wroks for you.