Posts Tagged Windows

Get smBIOS UUID using wmic

Microsoft Windows 8 online activation requires that the smBIOS UUID be non-zero.

Here’s a wmic command to check the value of the smBIOS UUID.

wmic path win32_computersystemproduct get uuid

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How to fix “Test mode Windows 7 build 7600” message displayed in Windows 7

Microsoft KB2509241 explains Windows Test Mode a little more, and what causes it, but if you’re seeing it and don’t know why, here’s the easy way to fix it:

Open an administrator-level command prompt and type the following commands:

bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

That’s all.

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Disable Thumbs.db creation on network drives in Windows

Windows Thumbs.db files can cause a great deal of annoyance when they’re placed on network locations. Not only can it cause extra resource consumption, but can inadvertently lock files and folders that otherwise need to be manipulated.

However, it’s easy to turn off the generation of these files. To do so, just follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit enter.
  2. Go to User Config > Admin Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer
  3. Locate ‘Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files’ and double click on it to edit the policy
  4. Set the Policy to ‘Enabled’ and click Apply, then ok.

That’s it. I don’t remember if it requires a reboot to fully take effect, but Thumbs.db files will not be created or used.

Questions, comments, or suggestions on the above? Please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you!


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Fixing “Failed to open Group Policy Object” on Windows 7

When trying to run gpedit.msc, the following message may appear:

Failed to open the Group Policy Object on this computer. You may not have appropriate rights.

Details: Unspecified error

Fix this by deleting the contents of the c:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy folder.

This will reset your group policy, but it’s already corrupt.

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Automatically disable wireless (Wifi) when Ethernet is available

Having Windows prefer a wired connection is preferable in a number of situations: When your wired connection is faster, or your wired connection needs to be preferred because it’s a private LAN, etc.

As far as I am aware, there is not a way to completely disable the wireless adapter when an Ethernet connection is available, but you can have Windows prefer the Ethernet connection over the wireless, effectively doing the same thing.

To do this in Windows 7, do the following;

Open Control Panel, then Network and Sharing Center, click Change Adapter Settings, then tap the Alt key to show the menu. Click Advanced, then click Advanced Settings.

On the Adapters and Bindings tab, in the Connections pane, reorder the connections using the arrow keys, putting the most preferred (wired) connections on top. This will have Windows automatically prefer the wired connection over the wireless.

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Disable USB Storage by editing the Windows registry

In certain environments, it can be useful to disable the Windows USB storage driver to prevent end-users from using USB devices to copy data from the system.

You can do this easily by modifying the Windows registry.

Click Start, and run regedit

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesUSBStor

and set the Start value to 4.

The default of 3 is shown in the screenshot below.


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Determine if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows

Due to many limitations in the 32-bit version of Windows, and driver signing requirements on 64-bit versions of Windows, it can be helpful to determine which version you’re running. To do this easily, follow these instructions in Windows 7:

Click the Start menu and right-click Computer, then click Properties:


Then, look under System for System Type.


If the line is not present, you are running a 32-bit version of Windows.

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Determine if your CPU supports 64-bit in Windows

Windows will not be able to report if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows on a 64-bit machine. It will only report that you are running a 32-bit version of Windows.

You can determine if you are running on 64-bit capable CPU by using CPU-Z, using the instructions below:

Download and run CPU-Z, and look at the CPU tab.

Look for the line labeled Instructions.

If EM64T is displayed, your processor is 64-bit capable.



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PPTP VPN Connection to Synology NAS on Windows 7

I previously wrote a post about connection to a Synology NAS VPN server using OpenVPN. Although OpenVPN is more secure, it does involve installing software and can be a bit tricky to set up.

The Synology NAS VPN server also has support for PPTP VPN connections, which Windows 7 (as well as other operating systems) have built-in support for, without the need to install software. It’s much easier to set up and get going.

Here’s how to do it:

Assuming that you already have the VPN Server package installed and running, go to VPN Server and make sure your PPTP VPN is enabled.

Also go to Privilege and make sure your user has permission to connect.

Lastly, make sure TCP port 1723 is forwarded to your NAS.

Setting up Windows 7

Click Start > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center (view by large or small icons) and click Set up a new connection or network.


Click Connect to a workplace.


If you are prompted, click “No, create a new connection”


Select “Use My Internet Connection (VPN)


In the next screen, enter the IP address or hostname of your Synology NAS.


In the next screen, you can enter your username and password and click Connect.

Your PPTP connection is now set up. You can access it from your network connections menu.

Deciding whether to route all traffic through the VPN connection

By default, the PPTP link will route all traffic. This is good if you’re using your VPN session as a routing point to encrypt all your traffic. However, if you decide you do not want all traffic routed through the VPN, but only non-public Internet traffic, change your settings as follows (Windows 7):

Click Start > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings

Right-Click on your PPTP configuration and click Properties.

Click the Networking tab.


For both IPv6 and IPv4, do the following:

Click Properties.

Under the General tab, click Advanced.


To route all traffic through the VPN link, check the Use default gateway on remote network.

To route only non-public Internet traffic, uncheck the box.

Questions or comments, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

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Install LAME and FFmpeg libraries for Audacity in Windows

To install the LAME and FFmpeg libraries for Audacity, follow these steps.

First, download Audacity from SourceForge, and install it.

Next, run it, and go to Edit > Preferences, then click Libraries.

You can click either download button, you will be taken to this webpage. Then, follow the links to download the LAME library and FFmpeg.

To verify correct installation, go back to Audacity’s Edit > Preferences, Library pane, and verify version numbers are displayed, as below:

That’s it!

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