Awesome Win 7 Secrets & Activation

From the email archive 11/17/2009

Check out this page from maximum pc. The keyboard shortcuts alone at the articles beginning are worth the read – like:

Hold Ctrl + shift then click – to launch an app from the task bar or start menu (with admin rights)

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_windows_7_tweaks_tips_%E2%80%93_every_secret_uncovered_date

and BTW, Win 7 does have to be activated, to check – right click “computer” then click on properties. Scroll to bottom, what does it say about activation?

If it says “WINDOWS IS ACTIVATED” then you’re good to go

If it says “windows will activate automatically in xx days” – then you should probably do it yourself because auto activation is known to fail, especially on volume license versions

Mine wouldn’t activate on its own, it kept trying and erroring. So I decided to do it by hand, and again encountered errors. The error message would just say it failed, but would

Have an underlined link that said “Details” when I clicked on that I found the following message:

Code 0x8007232B – DNS name does not exist

Adding DNS Server IP’s does not solve the problem. This is actually a throw back to Windows server 2003 and early Vista activation issues and interestingly the fix is

Kind of stupid. There’s a link that says “Enter new product key” next to the activation status area. You click that, but put your same key in and it activates successfully.

(this is probably because it never asked you for a key during install, and so is trying to activate with a blank key)

If you don’t activate and windows keeps failing automatic activation, you will eventually get locked out of the system.

In the past, Vista did this because you had to activate using the admin account, and not an admin equivalent. By default the account you set up when you install is given admin equivalent

And the real admin account is disabled. Whether this is part of the issue or the solution or not, I recommend that while logged in under your default account, that you:

1) Right click the computer icon and choose manage

2) Go to local users and groups, then users below that

3) Right click on the administrator account and choose properties

4) Untick the account disabled check box

5) Save by clicking ok

6) Now right click on the administrator account and choose reset password (answer yes or continue since the account has never been in use and is not logged in)

7) Type in a strong password for the account

This is your back door. If your admin equivalent account hoses for any reason, and this admin account is disabled you might just be done. At least with admin enabled and password protected you can get in to fix stuff.

-Doc

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