How to stop Windows 7 requiring you to change your password

 

There are no built in tools in Windows 7 to do this, but thankfully its pretty simple. This is especially useful if you are running Windows 7 as part of a Parallels Desktop for Mac installation, as the whole VM freezes when Windows requires a password change!

Follow these instructions and it works every time.

1. Right-click on the desktop and Choose New > Shortcut

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.03.25

 

2. Type in wmic as the location, and click on Next

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3. Just leave the name as WMIC, or you can change it if you want, and then click on Finish

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.03.42

 

4.Right-click on your newly created shortcut and click on Run as administrator

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5. If you have User Account Control turned on (which you most likely will) then you get a dialog box  confirm you wish to run the utility, click on Yes

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.04.21

 

6. The wmi command line utility opens up. Type in (exactly)

UserAccount where PasswordExpires=TRUE set PasswordExpires=FALSE

and then Press Enter

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.04.51

7.A message appears with a Y/N option for each user account on the computer. Press Y for each, and then press Enter

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.05.47

8. You should see the message “Update Successful” – you can now close the command line window, and will never have the annoyance of Windows requiring you to change your passwords again!

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 12.05.57

 

Troubleshooting: If you get an error running the command, it most likely means that it cannot write to the accounts and are not running the command as Administrator. Its really important that you do this (see Step 4 above).

Airplay receiver for Windows

Quite possibly one of the greatest pieces of Freeware I have every found. Shairport4w is a simple executable that runs and turns your PC in to an AirPlay receiver – allowing you to play music through your PC speakers directly from your iPad, iPhone, iPod or iTunes on another PC.

Shairport4w.zip

Download and save locally

Extract the .exe file and run! Its that simple!! (NB. the first time it runs it may ask to modify your firewall to allow the airplay content through to it).

If you want the program to run every time your PC starts, simply add it in to your startup folder in the Start Menu.

I have tested it on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. If you run this sucessfully on other set-ups please comment to let others know what it works on.

Apple’s AirPlay feature makes it easy to share and stream your iTunes library to iOS devices, but it lacks the option to stream media in the opposite direction. Shairport4w is a free application that makes it possible to transform your Windows based computer into an AirPort receiver so you can stream media from one machine to another.

The application can be used in conjunction with any computer or device that includes a version of iTunes or iOS that supports AirPlay, and the process of configuring your computer to be a media access point can be completed in just a moment.

Shairport4w is based on the recent Shairport app, but has been designed specifically with Windows users in mind. The program can be used in a variety of ways, but the most obvious benefit is that it makes it possible to have a single iTunes library that can be played anywhere in the home. As the app is portable, it can also be used in other ways.

If you have an extensive music library on your iOS device, you can pop a copy of Shairport44w on a USB drive and take it with you to parties or when visiting friends. Run the app under Windows and your music collection can be played back through computer speakers, and playback controlled from your iPhone or iPod while you sit on the sofa.

The perils of dropbox when its not understood

It all started with a very panicked phone call, one of our customers was exceptionally worried – she had been deleting files from her computer and then realised that they were no longer available on her iPhone…. And it took me a while to register that last part… On her phone..? Oohhh and then it hit me – the company in question were using DropBox!

So, rewind several weeks, and a local company who have no IT experts amongst their staff needed a way to share their standard corporate documents with a new office in Belfast, budget was a real issue, and a VPN was out of the question, so I had recommended  that Dropbox would be a good solution. It was diligently installed on their server and done so well, that none of the staff noticed any changes (something that would turn out not to be a good thing) – they still accessed their documents through the mapped drive to “Shared staff documents” on their computers.

But things did not end there – unknown to us the company director and one member of staff didn’t quite understand the concept (fault of not explaining it properly entirely mine) and after I had left the site, they downloaded dropbox and put it on their own machines…. Which don’t have sufficient hard disk space to store the 30Gb+ of documents that were then synchronised across the network to their pcs. The first signs of concern was an email saying that the network was running very slowly, but a different local it person visited the site and rebooted the server, and suddenly all was well… (as it turns out, really not well – the dropbox service hadn’t started, so it appeared to have worked, but the moment anyone logged on to the server it started the service again…)

To resolve the mounting issue of lack of disk space the staff with locally installed started deleting documents from the new local dropbox folder…. And that is when the disaster started taking hold…. Nearly 3Gb of documents permanently deleted in moments… Everywhere, in every office… Gone.

Thankfully the panicked phone call stopped all that, and order is now restored (and all documents recovered – a wonderful dropbox feature!) with a big bit of learning – training, training, training – absolutely essential!

Clearing saved network username and passwords

Ever mapped a network drive and it works fine, and then go back another day and it says

"Windows cannot access \\server\share"

Check the spelling of the name. Otherwise, there might be a problem with your network. To try to identify and resolve network problems, click Diagnose"

..and under details it says "Error code: 0x80070005 Access is denied."

Here is how to check (and remove or amend) the stored network passwords (works on Xp and Vista)

Start > Run

Type in:

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

This then brings up an application built in to Windows that lists all of the stored User Names and Password.

Sorted!

Follow-up – removing a current share (where it says it is shared, but no drive letter appears)

On the off-chance that this doesnt sort out the problem, another (even better way) is:

Start > Run

cmd (and then press Enter)

type in "net use" (and then press Enter)

This will list all of the mapped network shares. In my case, this listed my share I was having a problem with but with no drive letter.

To delete a share simply type in the following to your command window:

net use \\server\share /DELETE

this then removes the current mapping to the share, so that you can re-map it with the correct credentials.

Really sorted!

How to stop Outlook 2007 asking for a password every time you open outlook when connecting to Exchange

If you are encountering an infuriating problem where Outlook constantly asks you for your password even though you check the "Remember my password" box every single time, then you are in luck because here is how to fix the problem.

Make sure you have logged on to exchange one last time when opening Outlook, and chosen the option "Remember my password"

Make sure Outlook is closed

In any explorer window, paste the following into an address box

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Protect

The folder will open, simply rename the folder that is contained within this folder (it has a really long file name) – I suggest just adding "-old" on to the end.

Open outlook, and hey-presto, no more dialog box!

Multi-monitor Graphics Questions

Since posting my article about having 4 screens, I’ve had numerous people contacting me asking how I did it, because when they try to do it they get a "Incompatible display adapter has been disabled" error message. The full message is:

Incompatible display adapter has been disabled
At least one display adapter on the system has been disabled because its driver is not compatible with the driver for the VGA adapter.

..and after a lot of digging here is the reason why and/or solution:

The key issue with this problem is the two different windows driver models. There is WDDM (Used by Windows Vista) and XPDM (Used by Windows Xp). If you have two graphics cards that use different driver models they will not work together, and Windows will disable one of them.

With the two graphics card you use, you can have 2 different variations that will work:

  • Two identical cards from the same graphics hardware vendor – for example, two PCIe ATI Radeon x600 cards, each in an x16 PCIe slot.
  • Two different cards from the same graphics hardware vendor – for example, one PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 7600 in an x16 slot and another PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 6600 in a second x16 slot.

Notice that the bus type – PCIe, AGP, or PCI – is irrelevant. You could have "n" cards in "n" PCIe slots of the same or different lane widths, or you could have "n-m" cards in PCIe slots and "m" cards in PCI slots. The key point to remember is that all "n" graphics adapters use a single graphics driver (WDDM or XPDM).

What wont work?

  • Two different cards from different hardware vendors (E.g. one ATI card and one NVIDIA card)

Do there you have it – you can easily add multiple cards. The cards that I use are:

ATI Sapphire Radeon X1650Pro 512Mb PCIe x16

and

ATI Sapphire Radeon 9250 256Mb PCI

which work well!

Further questions on multi-monitor support in Vista might be answered by this page from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/display/multimonVista.mspx