Tag Archive: Microsoft Windows


Device Manager displays only non-Plug and Play devices, drivers, and printers when you click Show hidden devices on the View menu. Devices that you install that are not connected to the computer (such as a Universal Serial Bus [USB] device or “ghosted” devices) are not displayed in Device Manager, even when you click Show hidden devices.


To work around this behavior and display devices when you click Show hidden devices:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type the following command , and then press ENTER:
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
    start devmgmt.msc
  4. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager.

    NOTE: Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Manager before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.

  5. When you finish troubleshooting, close Device Manager.
  6. Type exit at the command prompt.

    Note that when you close the command prompt window, Window clears the devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1variable that you set in step 2 and prevents ghosted devices from being displayed when you click Show hidden devices


In the Information Technology world, you often hear people say that IPv6 is “the worst” or it causes problems and breaks things with the high recommendation of disabling it.  However, the source of this recommendation is never clearly specified nor validated and there is significant reason to leave it enabled.

When you talk to Microsoft or attend seminars, you always hear them recommend to not to disable IPv6.  The explanation is located at the link below.  I love how Microsoft begins the explanation in this Q&A.

IPv6 for Microsoft Windows


Q. What are Microsoft’s recommendations about disabling IPv6?


It is unfortunate that some organizations disable IPv6 on their computers running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008, where it is installed and enabled by default. Many disable IPv6-based on the assumption that they are not running any applications or services that use it. Others might disable it because of a misperception that having both IPv4 and IPv6 enabled effectively doubles their DNS and Web traffic. This is not true.

From Microsoft’s perspective, IPv6 is a mandatory part of the Windows operating system and it is enabled and included in standard Windows service and application testing during the operating system development process. Because Windows was designed specifically with IPv6 present, Microsoft does not perform any testing to determine the effects of disabling IPv6. If IPv6 is disabled on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008, or later versions, some components will not function. Moreover, applications that you might not think are using IPv6—such as Remote Assistance, HomeGroup, DirectAccess, and Windows Mail—could be.

Therefore, Microsoft recommends that you leave IPv6 enabled, even if you do not have an IPv6-enabled network, either native or tunneled. By leaving IPv6 enabled, you do not disable IPv6-only applications and services (for example, HomeGroup in Windows 7 and DirectAccess in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are IPv6-only) and your hosts can take advantage of IPv6-enhanced connectivity.



There are nine server roles you can install on Server Core:

  1. AD DS – Active Directory Domain Services
  2. AD LDS – Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  3. DNS – Domain Name System
  4. DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  5. File Services
  6. Print Services
  7. Streaming Media Services
  8. Web Server (IIS)
  9. Hyper-V

Server Core is built solely to run only these nine server roles.  Nothing else.

Microsoft Windows 8 is a great product blending desktop and tablet interfaces together.  They have done a great job simplifying the licensing with fewer versions compared to what used to be available previously for Windows Vista and 7.  The editions that have been killed are Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. 6 versions down to 3 (4 if you include the ARM-based version, RT):

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows RT

Thank the IT Heavens for the simplicity of a better licensing system.  However, for some reason they decided to make Windows Media Center an add-on that requires an additional $9.99 purchase instead of being included. For those of you on Windows 8 Pro or are thinking about it, go to this link and get the free product key and get Windows 8 Media Center Pack. Act fast since it is only for a limited time!  Expires January 31, 2013.



ThinkPad X230 Windows 8 Product Key

UPDATE: Information on receiving a COA below is incorrect.  I haven’t had time to update this entry, but I was informed incorrectly by a Lenovo representative multiple times.  In addition, what I received was a power adapter for a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 which is a completely different laptop!  More information is found at http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-8-OEM-OA-3.0-Piracy-Genuine-Microsoft,16636.html

Thank you, Ripper, for the comment and link.


I received what has to be one of the first batches of ThinkPad X230s with Windows 8 Pro and discovered a problem with the shipment…it was missing the CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY that is always including with most OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that contains the Windows Product Key for those that install Windows on their own.  There are several reasons why I recommend to do this, the top being cost savings on hard-drives or SSDs (solid state drives) and performance enhancements with a clean install of the operating system with only the drivers and software you need as opposed to the “junkware” (i.e. Norton Antivirus and other trial software) that is typically included.

In my case, the standard operating procedure (SOP) for me is to install a SSD that is purchased separately since it is significantly cheaper to do it that way instead of having it pre built with one.  Case in point, the Samsung 830 256 GB SSD was purchased for $162 from B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio versus the “180GB Solid State Drive, SATA3” option priced at $380 through Lenovo.

The new ThinkPads use 7mm height drives versus the typical 9.5mm standard so be aware of this if you’re going to install them yourselves.  The best option currently are the Samsung 830 Series SSD since they are 7mm height, reasonable priced, fast and reliable.  It is an extremely easy process that requires removing 5 screws and swapping the drives out.

Without the product key, you are stuck with the problem of how to activate a fresh install of Windows, in this case, Windows 8 Pro.

The solution is to call Lenovo Technical Support at 1-800-426-7378 and speak to a technician explaining the situation.  Depending on the quality of the representative, it may take some time to understand the predicament.  Once they understand the problem, the solution is they will send a sticker with the product key on it to place on the bottom of your laptop free of charge.  Ironically, documentation from the manual states that this sticker is placed underneath in the battery compartment and there is even a place that fits in perfectly.  I am told that because Windows 8 is newly being shipped with these computers that is the reason for this hiccup and that the production process should be ironed out shortly and the stickers will be included and placed in the correct location.

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