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

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:

Easy keys to “Run as Administrator” from start orb–Windows 7



More common way to start a program as administrator from the Windows 7 Start Menu/Orb is to

  1. click the start orb
  2. type the search text ie part of the command or program you want to start
  3. when you see it found in the list at the top,
  4. RIGHT-click on it and choose ‘Run as administrator’

Mostly mouse.

If you want a way to do it by keys, it’s similar but uses keys strokes on the keyboard (see also image below):

  1. type CTRL+ESC
    • this brings up the start orb via keys on the keyboard; equivalent to clicking on the start orb
  2. type the search text ie part of the command or program you want to start
  3. when you see it found in the list at the top,
  4. type CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER
    • this will start the program as Administrator, usually prompting you for approval (if UAC is on)

Here’s what it actually looks like.

I hope this tip speeds you through your work day.

References:

windows welcome login/logon screen hacks/tweaks



How to bypass windows logon / welcome screen and log on automatically

Often having just 1 user who has no password will do it.

Otherwise,

netplwiz.exe

First (must be done first), select the user who you want to log in automatically.
Then, uncheck the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer box.

reference: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/377-log-automatically-startup.html


How to hide all accounts but one but require a password for that account (if the account has one)

create the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\.DEFAULT with nothing in it.

Apparently that displays just the most recent user and “Other Users” (did not try it 4/9/2016)

References:

  • http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/182279-logon-screen-fix-showing-only-other-user-last-logged-user.html
    RIPPED TORN comment: http://www.sevenforums.com/2111856-post14.html
    hhaddow990 commet: http://www.sevenforums.com/1738383-post5.html
  • http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-desktop/recent-windows-7-update-change-welcome-screen-not/9539d070-2bac-4144-8dfc-0632aedb8f2b

How to Temporarily Bypass Automatic Logon at Startup and force the windows welcome logon screen to appear (IE, UNDO the above)

Let BIOS complete (or else you might get a “Stuck Key” error)

At the first windows screen (after BIOS done) hold down Shift key until you see the welcome log on screen.

You might want to change the logon background wallpaper image (below) to instruct users about the SHFIT key.

This does NOT display hidden accounts (“SpecialAccounts“).


Hide user from welcome screen (et al)

Put in SpecialAccounts list in registry and set it’s value to 0 (hidden; 1=unhide)

(Note: the ‘NT’ in WindowsNT in this reg key, not the regular ‘Windows’ without the ‘NT’)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList\USERNAME 0 to hide; 1 to unhide

(Note: SpecialAccounts\UserList levels do not usually exist)

Warning: This disables the account in other ways. No way to log in to it temporarily from the login screen without changing the registry back frist. Ie the only way you can use it as a backup account in case your regular account gets corrupted, is to set LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy to 1 (it’s default 0 or missing) and use sysinternals PsTools/psexec to log into it remotely. Command line only.

Reference: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/16378967-8a39-4aef-85e4-d859a71648d3/hide-user-accounts-on-windows-7-logon?forum=w7itproui

X:\a_no_backup\dl\M_M\usb_drive_copy\tech\windows\batch_files\hide_user_frome_welcome_screen.bat.txt


Use Hidden account–Shift click run as

To get a prompt that includes a username and password field from within Windows 7 — even in a Standard (non-Administrator) account follow these steps.

  1. While holding down the Shift key, right-click the program you want to run.
  2. Select “Run as a different user.”
  3. Type the username and password of the hidden account.

Note: this does NOT work for disabled user accounts, like the built-in Administrator account.

This DOES work for hidden (but still enabled) user accounts.

BUT this did not work for me 4/9/2016 from a user account that has no password (the dest acct does have a password)

The following did work:

runas /user:USERNAME "C:\Windows\system32\notepad.exe"

Reference: http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/32109-logging-hidden-administrator-account.html
Reference: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/419-run-different-user.html


“Classic” logon screen where you have to type user AND password

Local Security Policy secpol.msc or gpedit.msc

Local Group Policy editor gpedit.msc

  • Local Computer Policy
    • Computer Configuration
      • Windows Settings
        • Security Settings
          • Local policies
            • Security Options
              • Interactive Logon: Do not display last username : Enabled means classic login; Disabled (or not defined? means classic windows 7 user buttons)

Local Security Policy secpol.msc

  • Security Settings
    • Local policies
      • Security Options
        • Interactive Logon: Do not display last username : Enabled means classic login; Disabled (or not defined? means classic windows 7 user buttons)

Or,

regedit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\dontdisplaylastusername set to 1

Reference: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/61650-log-user-name-password.html


change windows logon background image

This is not the desktop background wallpaper. It’s only seen during login/logout. It is a similar blue image with swooshes by default in Windows 7. But not the same. The login/out image does not have the MS logo in the middle, eg.

You might use this to instruct to hold SHIFT while logging on (see above).

I found the default login/out background 2 places. Only in winxsx folders–weird, I think:

C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_setup-uxwizard-clientimages_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_a4cc3ba14850df9e\background.bmp

C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_setup-uxwizard-clientimages_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_48ada01d8ff36e68\background.bmp

Either

  1. regedit

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background\OEMBackground 1

    (might not exist; just create it)

    or

  2. gpedit.msc -> Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon

    “Always use custom login background.”
    set to “Enabled”

    Put image here:
    C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds\backgroundDefault.jpg

    must be that exact filename. There are some variations on names using image size numbers I found online.

    oobe folder might not exist; just create it. oobe stands for “Out of Box Experience” ie first time you start up a new Windows PC.

    Reference: https://www.howtogeek.com/112110/how-to-set-a-custom-logon-screen-background-on-windows-7/

    Reference: https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/5382-log-screen-change.html

Can i still make an image copy of my system drive if i have bad sectors?

YES

with Macrium Reflect, my favorite disk imaging program. (I pay for it, cuz the free ones are too risky / unsupported, and it’s too important to risk.)

First, you should run chkdsk, perhaps 2 or even 3 times. This can take an hour or more to run. This may mask bad sectors so Macrium Reflect can finish.

Note it would be helpful after restoring to a new drive to run chkdsk /b to re-evaluate those bad sectors, cuz on the new disk, there are none (or at least fewer, we hope, but certainly different ones).

If chkdsk doesnt fix ’em, there is an option in Advanced called “Ignore bad sectors when creating images”

Reflect_defaults


 

Reference: v5: Imaging disks with bad sectors in the Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase

 

What causes Bad Sectors on Hard Disk Drives (HDD)?

What causes Bad Sectors on Hard Disk Drives (HDD)?

There are 2 categories of reasons.

1. You (nothing personal)

If you jar or jolt or jerk or jiggle or strike or shake or bang your pc while it is accessing the disk, you can damage that tiny piece, and cause a bad sector. And your pc is pretty much always accessing the disk, so…

What’s happening is that inside the hard disk drive is a…disk, an actual platter that is spinning fast, really fast. The platter contains all the data. As the platter spins the “head” of the disk (that which reads and writes the disk) floats over the platter on a laminar cushion of air flow with literally a few nanometers of space between them.  That’s about 1 millionth of a millimeter. So, yeah, small.

For an analogy, it’s like a 747 flying 1/32nd of an inch off the ground.

Sudden motions of the disk (or the computer containing the disk) can cause the head to contact the platter and scratch it. Usually this only happens for a fraction of a second and damages just a tiny portion of the disk. Just a sector or few.

2. Entropy

The theory of entropy states that everything in the universe tends towards disorder (or decay).

This is happening right now on your hard drive as you read this 😉

The specific sources of this decay are:

  • original manufacturing defects
  • heat
  • wear over time
  • tiny, tiny specs of dust (that get by the filter)
  • vibrations of the building containing the device
  • electrical disturbances (from the power company, lightening)
  • error in the logic hardware of the drive
  • “overclocking”

References:

 

 

What is a “Bad Sector”

A “Bad Sector” is a term for a broken piece of Hard Disk Drive (HDD)–a very small piece. There are millions of sectors on a hard drive. EG, standard sector size is 512 bytes (aka 512B). Consider a typical disk (in 2015) of 1TB in size, or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes (1 trillion bytes). Doing some math: there are 2 million sectors on a 1TB hard drive.

That means everything you store on there is broken up into pieces of 512. Have a 100MB video file? It is stored as 2000 pieces of 512B each.

Fortunately, when sectors go bad, two mechanisms exist to help you.

  1. The hard disk drive itself detects many bad sectors and remaps them so that data is stored elsewhere, in good sectors. You may never notice these.
  2. Windows Operating System detects bad sectors and marks them to avoid using them in the future. Windows Vista, 7, 8 (and presumably 10 and later) detect when a “chkdsk” is necessary and prompt you to run it at next boot. If not, you can run “chkdsk” yourself.

Note: when the OS detects hard disk errors, you should IMMEDIATELY MAKE A BACKUP. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200.

Then, get a new hard drive.

Usually things will only get worse. In the upcoming months, even days, even hours.


Why do sectors go bad?


Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_sector