Windows 7 is the version of the Windows operating system that followed Windows Vista. Windows 7 was proceeded by the less popular Windows 8.

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How to Recover a Vista or Windows 7 Password

Someone posted the following question on itquestions.com, and since the service sucks and wouldn’t allow me to login even after I reset my password, I’m posting the answer here.

I am changing domains on a pc with Vista, i put it in a workgroup, then when i went to log back on, it only gave me the option for the user account, no options to switch to admin. account. I tried booting from ophcrack, but it did not find the user pw, and the admin. and guest accounts said “empty”.

The thing to remember when removing a Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC from a domain is that the local admin account is DISABLED by default.  When you switch a PC from a domain to a workgroup, always remember to one of the following before you reboot: a) create a new local account or b) enable the built-in administrator account and set a password.

Since you’re already past that point you can try this trick. Don’t bother trying to crack the open account’s password using 0phcrack or any other dictionary/rainbow table/brute force cracker.  You’re just wasting your time.  Instead, reset the open account’s password using one of the many free  password reset utilities available on the Internet (http://www.rixler.com/windows-password-recovery-bootdisk.htm is one).  Most of these tools come in the form of an ISO image you’ll have to burn to a CD.  Do that, boot up, and set the password for the open local account to something you can remember.

Uninstalling Programs on Windows 7

This demonstration video shows you how to uninstall applications on Windows 7.  For this video I intentionally sabotaged my computer with a bunch of applications which I don’t recommend anyone actually download, just to show viewers the various tricks that some programs play to prevent you from removing them.

This is the third video in a series developed for my Home PC Maintenance course. Enjoy!

Check Your Hard Drive Space Using Windows 7

The following video shows you how to check your available hard drive space using Windows 7. It also explains how to use the Disk Cleanup Wizard, Compress, and Index options under the Windows 7 Drive Properties window. This is the second video in a new series I’ve developed for my Home PC Maintenance course.

Defragmenting Your Hard Drive on Windows 7

This video I made tonight will teach you how to defragment your hard drives on Windows 7.  This is the first video in a new series I am creating for an upcoming Basic PC Maintenance Course.

PHP On Windows 7

Last week I decided to take the plunge and install the release candidate of Windows 7 on my office workstation where I happen to do a lot of web development and testing.  My development stack consists of Netbeans IDE, PHP 5.2.8, and IIS 7.  There are plenty of other quality tutorials out there explaining how to get PHP working on IIS 7 so I won’t bother beating that particular dead horse.  However there was one quirky difference between installing PHP on Vista and installing PHP on IIS 7 that developers may want to be aware of before they follow my lead.

The Problem : Editing php.ini as a Standard User

During the process of installing PHP on Windows 7 you will be required to copy php.ini into the C:\Windows directory, and  later point you’ll most likely need to edit this file to suit your needs.

On Windows Vista I simply wasn’t allowed to edit files under the \Windows directory (specifically php.ini) when logged in as a Standard User. Windows 7 was more than happy to allow me to modify and save this file in the same location, logged in with the same credentials. But even after restarting IIS my configuration changes never took effect.

The problem was caused by something called the Virtual Store, an application compatibility feature that existed in Windows Vista but works a little bit differently in Windows 7.  Where Vista wouldn’t let me edit this file at all, Windows 7 happily lets me modify it but transparently saves the changes in a different location. The updated php.ini was stored in %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Windows\php.ini.  The service account which IIS runs under can’t see this updated file

The Solution: Run As Administrator

When editing php.ini, don’t simply double-click it and make changes.  You must run your text editor as an administrator to edit the file, otherwise the changes will be saved to the Virtual Store.