HOWTO: Moving an Application Window in Windows 7 Using Keyboard

I have a multi-monitor configuration both at work and home.  Sometimes when I undock my laptop from the separate LCD display and bring it to another room I have found that some application windows are “stuck” on the other screen.  Here is a quick and easy way to move those stuck windows to the correct screen.

Use the Windows Picture of Windows logo key+Left arrow or Picture of Windows logo key+ Right arrow to move the window to one edge of the screen.  This should make it visible again.

This is a Windows 7 only tip from my testing.  Let me know in the comments if you have another way that works.


IE9 RC Release Candidate now available

Internet Explorer 9 RC is now available from Microsoft as of Feb 10th, 2011. You can obtain IE9 via Windows Update or direct download from Microsoft.   Apparently there must be a staggered roll-out via Windows Update as I have not received notice as of yet on my Windows 7 machine.  Only those who previously installed an IE9 beta release will get the Windows Update alert.

This should be the last update prior to general availability which is planned later in March 2011.

HOWTO: Windows 7 – Clean Install using Upgrade Media

I recently had the opportunity to do a Windows 7 install on my brothers new computer. Since my brother already owned Win XP, he decided that an upgrade version of Windows 7 was all that was needed. Well here is where Microsoft decided to make things difficult. Apparently Windows 7 requires some unusual work-arounds to do this but thankfully Paul Thurrott has documented this on his SuperSite for Windows.

The basic premise is that there are three methods for using a Windows 7 upgrade disk to perform a clean install of Windows. It doesn’t make sense to first install the previous version since this would be a total waste of time and effort. So let’s proceed with the work around methods.

Method 1 – Boot using the Windows 7 upgrade disk. Choose new install, what ever you do don’t activate or enter your product key yet. Complete the full installation and run Windows updates until there are no more critical high priority updates and reboot as required. After the update steps then enter activate in Windows Start Search. Enter your product key. If it works you are done, congratulations. If this does work, you can call Microsoft or continue on to Method 2. I recommend method 2.

Method 2 – This involves doing a simple registry tweak and running a simple command at the cmd prompt. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself ask your computer guy/gal to help out. This may be a family member or friend. If you don’t have someone to help, then try it yourself and learn how.

– Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
Modify MediaBootInstall from “1” to “0“.  Then close regedit.

– Open a cmd window as administrator, right click the cmd.exe and choose “run as administrator”.  Then in the cmd window type slmgr /rearm and press enter, then wait for the confirmation window.

After doing the registry tweak and cmd steps go ahead and reboot. Upon restart of Windows, enter activate in Windows Start Search and enter your product key. This method worked for me and have heard that it should work on most every machine you try this with. At this point you are finished, congratulations. However if it doesn’t work or you are uncomfortable with this method continue on to method 3.

Method 3 – Double install method. After performing a clean new install, reinsert the Windows 7 upgrade media and rerun the startup process again. Choose upgrade, not new or custom. This part may take longer than the previous install and that is normal. When complete enter activate in Windows Start Search. Enteryour product key and this should activate. You are finished.

Thanks and credit goes out to Paul Thurrott and his SuperSite for Windows for the research and notes in creating this article.  Please consult his guide for further details and other Windows 7 details.

HOWTO: Turn off Password Expiration in Windows 7

I found it annoying when Windows 7 one day told me that my password was about to expire.  If you are like me I would rather be the one in control of when I change my password rather than Windows dictating this.

Here is a quick easy way to turn this off.

In Windows 7 Professional , Ultimate, and Enterprise:

  1. Open the Local Users and Groups administration panel. Do this the easy way; Start –> then enter  lusrmgr.msc into the start menu search box. (or the Run box on XP)
  2. Double click to select your user
  3. Check the box next to “Password never expires”
  4. Click OK, and your done.

win7-user panel

In Windows 7 Home Premium:

  1. Run Command Prompt as Administrator (Rt-click cmd program to Run as Administrator)
  2. Type the following, then press enter   net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited
  3. Logoff and restart the PC,  Your done.

Alternate Option – Available for all Windows 7 editions:

  1. Run Command Prompt as Administrator (Rt-click cmd program to Run as Administrator)
  2. Type the following, then press enter wmic  path  Win32_UserAccount  WHERE  Name=’username‘  set  PasswordExpiries=false
  3. NOTE: Replace username in the command with the actual user account name.
  4. Close the cmd prompt window,  Your done.

HOWTO: Upgrade Windows 7 beta to RC1 directly

Follow these steps to perform a hack upgrade of your Windows 7 beta to RC1

  1. Obtain the Windows 7 RC1 ISO file.
  2. Extract the content of the ISO file to a folder using utility like IZArc
  3. Inside that folder, open the sources directory.
  4. Open cversion.ini in Notepad or similar text editor.
  5. Change the 4-digit number after the word MinClient build number to a lower value, like from 7100 to 7000.
  6. Save the file.
  7. Start the Windows 7 installation
  8. When presented with the option of Upgrade or Clean Install, choose Upgrade….voilà!