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

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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

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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

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

UserAccount where PasswordExpires=TRUE set PasswordExpires=FALSE

and then Press Enter

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

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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!

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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!