Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pass4sure 70-680 Question Answer

You have a computer that runs Windows 7.
You need to modify the file extensions that are associated to Internet Explorer.
What should you do?

A. From Internet Explorer, click Tools and then click Manage Add-ons.
B. From Control Panel, open Default Programs and then click Set Associations.
C. From the local Group Policy, expand Computer Configuration and then click Software Settings.
D. From Window Explorer, right-click %programfiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe and then click Properties.

Answer: B

Pass4sure 70-680 Question Answer

You have a computer that runs Windows 7. You need to configure the computer to meet the following requirements:
• Generate a new security ID (SID) when the computer starts.
• Ensure that the Welcome screen appears when the computer starts.
What should you do?

A. Run Sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize.
B. Run Sysprep.exe /audit /generalize.
C. Run Msconfig.exe and select Selective startup.
D. Run Msconfig.exe and select Diagnostic startup.

Answer: A

You have a computer that runs Windows 7. You need to confirm that all device drivers installed on the computer are digitally signed. What should you do?

A. At a command prompt, run Verify.
B. At a command prompt, run Sigverif.exe.
C. From Device Manager, click Scan for hardware changes.
D. From Device Manager, select the Devices by connection view.

Answer: B

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clock is Ticking for Windows 7 Windows 8.1 on new PCs as Microsoft Focuses on Windows 10

Microsoft has published a list of new PCs that will be supported on older versions of Windows -- but only for the next year and a half.

Following an announcement last week that earlier versions of Windows will not be supported on the newest chips from Intel and other chipmakers, Microsoft has published a link to an “initial list” of systems using the new 6th Generation Intel Core processor, aka, “Skylake.” Those systems will be supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until July 17, 2017.

“Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, said last week in a blog post addressed to business customers. “Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago” and the underlying code is too burdensome to continue to support on new chips, particularly for businesses, Myerson said.

The initial list of systems includes dozens of models from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and NEC. For example, HP lists supported systems here and Dell here.

This list is not final and “will be continually updated in the coming months,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email sent to

“Dell recommends that customers upgrade Skylake systems to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after July 2017 or consider Dell ProSupport services,” Dell said in a statement posted to a Dell support page.  “Dell will continue to provide ‘best effort’ support for Skylake systems with Win 7/8.1 through our ProSupport service,” Dell added in the statement.

“Microsoft has announced that support for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will end on July 17, 2017 for all Intel Skylake processor systems. This means that all security fixes will end on this date and customers should transition to Windows 10 prior to this date,” Lenovo said on a support page.

Don’t panic if you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on older chips prior to Skylake. Windows 7 will continue to be supported for “security, reliability, and compatibility” through January 14, 2020 on older Intel and AMD processors. Windows 8.1 will receive the same support through January 10, 2023, Myerson said last week.

Intel, for its part, wants everyone to upgrade to Windows 10 and has a promotion page insisting that “Windows 10 runs best” on its newest chips. Needless to say, some of that is marketing hype in order to convince consumers and businesses to buy new PCs. But Intel has also built functions into the new processors that speed up some of Windows 10’s new features.

That includes biometric authentication in the form of Windows Hello, allowing quick access to your PC by facial or fingerprint recognition. The subtext for Windows Hello is that Microsoft wants to make computers more secure. Intel is also trying to promote new connection technologies via its Skylake chips such as USB Type-C, a much smaller USB connector than found on PCs today. Dell, for example, uses the connector on its new Skylake-based XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Microsoft: Skylake Owners Must Upgrade To Windows 10 Within 18 Months Future CPUs Will Require it

Microsoft has announced some significant changes to its long-term support model, and recent Intel Skylake buyers will need to pay particular attention. Up until now, customers have had considerable freedom to combine an old operating system with much newer hardware. Windows XP was sold as a preinstalled option until October 22, 2010, for example — nine years after it was first introduced.

Going forward, Microsoft will no longer offer this kind of long-term support for previous operating systems, and Intel Skylake customers will be the first to be impacted by the change. According to Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, Windows 7 and 8.1 were designed long before modern x86 SoCs were built. It’s more difficult to create Windows 7 and 8.1 drivers for modern x86 SoCs as a result, and attempting to integrate support for specific capabilities into these operating systems “would introduce churn into the Windows 7 code base, and would break this commitment [to support the older operating systems].”

Microsoft has promised to release a list of exactly which Intel Skylake products from specific OEMs will be supported on Windows 7 and 8.1 at some point this week.

Myerson continues:
Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.

The entire point of this extended 18 month stay of execution is to give enterprise business customers time to get ready to deploy Windows 10.

Future hardware will be Windows 10-only

If you have older, pre-Skylake hardware, you’re free to continue using Windows 7 or 8.1 for as long as you like — but don’t count on ever upgrading your hardware if you want to keep your operating system. Again, here’s Myerson:

Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge” silicon.

Microsoft, in other words, has no plans to support newer SoCs on older versions of Windows. Broadwell and Carrizo users won’t face the short 18-month support window that Skylake users are stuck with, but it looks like enterprise customers will no longer have the option (via Software Assurance) to downgrade to previous versions of Windows when purchasing new equipment.

How much will this matter?

The big question here is how much “official support” actually means to the end-user. There’s no way to answer this until people start trying to use unsupported hardware on older operating systems, but my gut feeling is that it’s going to matter quite a bit.

If, for example, Intel and AMD don’t release Windows 7 / 8.1-compatible video drivers for their next-generation SoCs, users who buy those parts wouldn’t be able to use them with older operating systems. Now, extend that idea to USB 3.1 support, advanced power management, or any multi-threading changes that either company might introduce that required support from Microsoft. (Both Intel’s Hyper-Threading and AMD’s multi-threading approach with Bulldozer required service packs and patches in order to function at peak effectiveness.)

Users have found ways to install Microsoft operating systems on supposedly unsupported hardware for years, and I have no doubt that this will continue to occur, but actually leveraging the capabilities of that hardware could become quite difficult.

Furthermore, it’s unlikely that many companies will bother to continue to offer driver support, once Microsoft stops supporting older operating systems on newer hardware. Discrete video cards will probably ship with multi-OS support for the next few years, and companies like Marvell or Realtek that have onboard solutions on multiple generations of hardware will still offer some compatibility, as well. Long-term, however, the trend is clear: Microsoft intends to move the entire Windows ecosystem to Windows 10, and those who prefer older versions of the operating system will either have to make do with current hardware or switch to Apple or Linux.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Microsoft's iOS Bridge to Windows 10 is Moving Forward

Microsoft is getting closer to opening its bridge to iOS developers to help them develop versions of their apps to Windows 10.

Microsoft officials are remaining mum about the status of its "Astoria" bridge for bringing Android apps to Windows 10. (Word is plans for that bridge may have been scuttled.) But it looks like it's full steam ahead with the iOS bridge, codenamed "Islandwood."'s Cassim Ketfi discovered an update to Microsoft's Windows Bridge for iOS page that indicates Microsoft will be launching a new web tool "in the coming weeks" designed to automatically analyze iOS apps for compatibility with the iOS bridge.

The coming app analyzer is in testing at the moment, but those interested in trying out the tool can sign up now through Microsoft's site to be one of the first to get results from it.

Here's more on what the analyzer will do from Microsoft's page:

"You'll be able to see exactly how much work you'll have to do to bring your app to Windows, along with suggestions, tips and workarounds for any libraries you're using that the bridge doesn't support yet."

The Windows iOS bridge relies on an Objective-C development environment for Visual Studio to help iOS developers build Universal Windows Platform apps. Microsoft open sourced and moved an early version of the code for that bridge to GitHub in August 2015.

In addition to the iOS and Android bridges, Microsoft also developed a Web bridge for Windows 10 ("Westminster") and is working on a bridge to help developers package and publish existing .NET and Win32 apps to the Windows Store ("Centennial"). Microsoft partner Mobilize.Net also developed a bridge to help Windows Phone Silverlight apps to the Universal Web Apps platform.

Microsoft Changes Windows 10 'Free Upgrade' Rule

Windows 10 is perhaps the most polarizing operating system Microsoft MSFT +2.75% has ever released. It’s adoption rate is both lauded for its speed but mocked for only matching Windows 7 given it is free. Similarly, its user tracking is both attacked a privacy invasion and defended as a necessary evil. But there is one place where consensus exists: Microsoft’s Window 10 upgrade tactics – and now a key rule for them is changing…

Taking to its TechNet blog, Microsoft has announced it will step up the intensity of its ‘Get Windows 10’ campaign for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. The nagware has already been heavily criticized for its persistent attempts to push consumers to upgrade (including automated downloads and reducing choices) but now business users are going to get the same treatment.

“Small businesses and organizations will soon be able to receive notifications about the upgrade and then directly upgrade to Windows 10,” explained Matt Barlow, Microsoft’s general manager of business group marketing, in the blog post.

 Get Windows 10′ notifications and upgrade pressure is has now been increased to business users. 

This is a notable change as previously Microsoft had decided not to push business customers in the same way as consumers, recognizing many businesses have mission critical legacy software and hardware which may or may not run into compatibility problems.

So how does it all break down? Microsoft says the rollout will begin in the US later this month followed by additional markets “shortly thereafter” and will impact devices which meet the following criteria:
  • Running and licensed for Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Configured to receive updates directly from the Windows Update service (i.e. updates are not managed by WSUS or System Center Configuration Manager on those devices)
  • Joined to an Active Directory domain

This checklist means small to medium size businesses are squarely in Microsoft’s sites, especially as ‘Enterprise’ editions of Windows 7 and 8 do not qualify for a free Windows 10 upgrade. The upgrade notifications will also not appear for organizations who prefer to manage their own updates with onsite tools.
These exclusions are a good thing as notifications and pop-ups with the infamous choice of ‘Upgrade Now’ or ‘Upgrade Tonight’ are not what anyone wants to see on Windows PCs running critical functions in industry or defence.

‘Get Windows 10′ notifications and upgrade pressure is has now been increased to business users

Also worthy of praise is the fact Microsoft will offer businesses a method to block Windows 10 upgrade notifications. But this method is still not being offered to consumers running ‘Home’ versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 (the vast majority).

As might be expected, the extension of these upgrade rule changes has been rounded criticised. ZDNet’s Ed Bott warns “Microsoft is getting more aggressive…If you thought Microsoft was getting ready to ease up on its massive Get Windows 10 upgrade campaign, think again”

Meanwhile Paul Thurrott has launched a savage attack concluding:

“For the record, I deplore the tactics Microsoft is using to force Windows 10 on users. Advertising the upgrade is one thing, but users should be able to turn off notifications for set periods of time or for perpetuity, and Windows 10 Setup should never silently download in the background ‘just in case’…And forcing the upgrade down SMBs customers’ [sic] throats only exacerbates the problem.”

Of course I have my own theories on why Microsoft is doing this and publicly stated targets to get Windows 10 on one billion devices within 2-3 years are not helping. In fact Microsoft will make further upgrade rule changes for consumers to accelerate adoption in the next few months.

Consequently only one thing looks certain: if you want to continue using Windows for the foreseeable future, then it is going to be on Microsoft’s terms and that means Windows 10…

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Downgrade Windows 10 Uninstall Win 10, Reinstall Windows 7, 8

By now you've probably decided by now whether or not Windows 10 is for you. If you don't like it or are having problems, it's easy to downgrade Windows 10 and return to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. We explain how to uninstall Windows 10 and restore your old Windows in minutes.

Step 1 of 7:

How to uninstall Windows 10: Summary

Within a month of installing Windows 10 you can uninstall Windows 10 by selecting Go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 from the Recovery menu, but even after a month all hope is not lost. In this article we reveal your options for downgrading Windows 10.

How to uninstall Windows 10: Step-by-step guide

Windows 10 has been out for a good while now, and if you've recently upgraded then the clock is ticking on your downgrade window. Microsoft gives you one month to try out the new OS and roll back if you hate Windows 10 or find out some things don't work properly. It's easy to downgrade Windows 10 and return to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and here we answer your questions about downgrading and upgrading. See also: Windows 10 review

You have one month to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 after installing Windows 10. So make sure you make up your mind before the option disappears. Also see: How to downgrade Windows 10 after one month.

The first step is of course to back up any information you currently have on your PC that you want to keep. Changing an operating system is a big thing, and data can often be lost along the way. You can use external hard drives, thumb drives, or some of the various online cloud storage such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Tresorit, that offer lots of space for free. When you’ve safely copied any documents, video, photos, or other important data you need, you’re ready to begin.

If you've added any user accounts since upgrading you'll have to sign out of them and then remove them from the main account before you can downgrade.

Naturally, you can only downgrade if you upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1. If you then did a clean install of Windows 10 you won't see the option to go back. You'll have to use a recovery disc, or reinstall Windows 7 or 8.1 from scratch.

Step 2 of 7:

How to downgrade Windows 10 and reinstall Windows 7 or Windows 8.1: Using the Update & Security settings

When you upgraded to Windows 10 on a PC that already has Windows, the old version is stored in a folder called Windows.old. While this takes up space (up to around 30GB), it also means that you can restore the version via Windows 10 itself. To do this first open the Windows Start menu by clicking on the icon in the bottom left of the screen. Select Settings from the menu. (Also see: How to delete Windows.old)

Step 3 of 7:


Now you’ll see on option for Update & Security. Click it.


Step 4 of 7:


On the next page you’ll find a list of options on the left, one of which is Recovery. Click this and the main pane will display a variety of choices. The one you want is ‘Go back to Windows x’ where x will be 7 or 8.1 depending on what your computer was running. Click 'Get started' to begin. If you’re using a laptop you’ll also need to connect it to a power source or the option won’t work.

Step 5 of 7:

You’ll now be presented with a screen asking you why you’re downgrading. Essentially, it's a tool so Microsoft can gauge the user experience with Windows 10. Click Next when you’re done.

Step 6 of 7:


Before Windows starts the process it gives a couple more opportunities to cancel, along with a notice that you'll have to reinstall some apps and programs. It also reminds you that if you had a password on your previous version of Windows then you’ll require it once the process is finished. If you’re happy to proceed then just click Next, then put the kettle on.

Windows will now roll back your system to how it was before Windows 10 was installed. Some people are finding that even if their Windows.old folder is intact, Windows 10 will still throw up an error saying that files needed have been removed. We've asked Microsoft to explain why this happens, and for a fix. If you deleted Windows.old youself, you're out of luck.

Step 7 of 7:

How to downgrade Windows 10 and reinstall Windows 7 or Windows 8.1: Tidying up
On our Windows 7 test machine, which had very little installed on it, the whole process took about ten minutes and was pretty much trouble free. The only thing we needed to change was the shortcut to Windows Explorer in the taskbar, which had stopped working.

To fix this we simply right clicked on the icon, unpinned it from the taskbar, then searched for Windows Explorer in the Start menu, dragged it to the taskbar, and everything was working again. All of our data was intact and in the right place, and the only other reboot needed was for Windows to instal a few updates.

We then performed a second test on a different laptop running Windows 8.1 and found (like some in the comments below) that the icons for Microsoft apps on the Start screen had disappeared, being replaced by text. We haven't yet found a fix for this.

As a final check, launch all the programs you use on a regular basis to make sure they work (or reinstall them if they don't) and make sure your documents and other files are present and correct. If not, copy them back off your external drive where you made a backup at the start. You did make a backup, right?