How To Reset Your Windows 10 Laptop

This article shows you how to reset your laptop running Windows 10:

On the Windows 10 Start menu, click the Gear icon and select “Settings”.

Select “Update & security”.

Click “Recovery” in the left pane.

Pick one of three options:

  1. Reset this PC
    This is the best option for starting fresh.
  2. Go back to an earlier build
    This option is made for Windows Insiders who want to roll back to a previous version of the OS.
  3. Advanced startup
    This option lets you boot off a recovery USB drive or disc.

Click “Get started” under “Reset this PC”.

Click either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything,” depending on whether you want to keep your data files intact. Either way, all of your settings will return to their defaults and apps will be uninstalled.

If you chose to “Remove everything” in the prior step, you can now select “Just remove my files” or “Remove files and clean the drive”.

“Remove files and clean the drive” will take a lot longer.  However, if you are giving your computer away, this will ensure the next person will have a hard time recovering your erased files.  If you are keeping the computer, you can choose “Just remove my files.”

In the “Warning!” screen, click “Next” to confirm that you won’t be able to roll back to a prior version of Windows.

Click “Reset” when prompted.  Windows will restart and reset itself.

Click “Continue” to exit and continue to Windows 10.

Enjoy your fresh Windows 10!


Published in: on July 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Getting OneNote Screen Clipping Shortcut to Work on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

OneNoteUndoubtedly, OneNote is one of the most useful applications in Microsoft Office. Using OneNote, you can quickly do screen grabs of anything you see on your screen.

By default, Windows Key + S is the hotkey combination for the OneNote screen clipping feature.

However, with the release of Windows 8.1 and later, the same hotkey combination is taken up by the Windows’ own Search functionality which makes it unavailable for the OneNote counterpart.

This article shows you how to resolve this conflict by assigning a different hotkey to the OneNote screen clipping functionality.

Assigning Windows Key + A as the OneNote Screen Clipping Hotkey

To fix this issue, we will assign Windows Key + A as the hotkey combination for the OneNote Screen Clipping functionality.  We will use the Registry Editor to accomplish this.

  1. On Windows 8.1, press Windows Key + R. Then, type Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

    NOTE: The instruction here refers to Office 2013 which has a version number 15.0. If you’re using Office 2010, replace 15.0 with 14.0. If you’re using Office 2007, replace 15.0 with 12.0.

  3. In the right pane of this location, create a new DWORD (32-bit) by Right-clicking -> New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
    Replace “New Value #1” with ScreenClippingShortcutKey.
  4. After the new DWORD is created, double-click on ScreenClippingShortcutKey to modify its value.
  5. In the “Value data” field, with the Base Hexadecimal radio button selected, put in 41. This will set the hotkey combination to Windows Key + A. Click OK to confirm the changes.
    Edit DWORD
  6. Reboot your computer.
  7. After rebooting, you will be able to activate the OneNote Screen Clipping functionality by pressing Windows Key + A.  Enjoy!
Published in: on August 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  


WampServer  and XAMPP are both free and easy to install Apache-MySQL-PHP local servers.

The major difference is the operating system. WAMP runs on Windows only while XAMPP is multi-platform. In addition to what WAMP offers, XAMPP also includes MariaDB and Perl.


  • XAMPP stands for X-OS, Apache, MySQL and PHP and Perl
  • It supports multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux
  • It is an open source project
  • It comes with additional features including support of PERL, MariaDB, Filezilla, Mercury Mail and some scripts
  • It supports SSL feature
  • You can add other services to XAMPP
  • XAMPP is easier to use
  • Its control panel is more user-friendly than WAMP


  • WAMP stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP
  • It only runs on Windows
  • It is an open source project
  • Its setup configuration is easier than XAMPP
  • You cannot add other services to WAMP
  • It does not support Perl
  • It does not support SSL feature
  • Its control panel is more complex than XAMPP

Should I choose XAMPP or WampServer?

Choose XAMPP if:

  • you need Perl, Filezilla, Mercury Mail and other features support besides Apache, MySQL and PHP
  • you want better control panel
  • you need support for SSL feature
  • you work on multiple platforms
  • you want to add other services

Choose WampServer if:

  • you are only on Windows operating system
  • you only want to use Apache, MySQL and PHP
  • you want lightweight and easy to configure server
  • you do not need Perl, Filezilla, Mercury Mail and other features support
  • you do not need SSL support
Published in: on March 7, 2016 at 2:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Windows 10 GodMode

Windows-10-Logo 320x93“GodMode” is a term given to a special folder containing links to hidden settings (Power Toys, if you will) throughout the Windows system.  It has been present in the last three major versions of Windows.  Fortunately, for users who like to tinker with hidden settings, GodMode is available in Windows 10.

How to Enable GodMode in Windows 10

Please note that the system account used to enable GodMode must have FULL administrative privileges.

1.  Right click on the Windows 10 Desktop and select “New >”, then “Folder”. This creates a new folder on the Desktop.

2.  Make sure the newly created folder is given this special name:


3.  Hit the Enter key to create the folder with the given name. This will automatically turn the folder into a special GodMode folder.

4.  Double click to launch the newly created “GodMode” folder.


GodMode offers a whack-load of settings for 40+ categories, including things like User Accounts, Windows Defender, Work Folder, Windows Mobility Center, etc.

As with previous versions of Windows, each user’s mileage may vary from the settings included within the GodMode folder depending on the hardware running within the computer.

The arrival of GodMode was an inevitable one given how power users have already started digging into the OS to unearth features that Microsoft would rather not tell us about.

This tip works on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 as well.

Published in: on August 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcut List


Windows Key + E Open File Explorer
Windows Key + H Open the Share charm
Windows Key + I Open Settings
Windows Key + K Open the Connect quick action
Windows Key + T Cycle through apps on the task bar
Windows Key + X A Command Prompt (Admin)
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager


Windows Key‌ + C Open Cortana in listening mode
Windows Key‌ + S Open search

Activity Center

Windows Key + A Open Action center
Windows Key + B Set focus in the notification area
Windows Key + V Cycle through notifications
Windows Key + Shift + V Cycle through notifications in reverse order

Virtual Desktops

Windows Key + Ctrl + D Add a virtual desktop
Windows Key + Ctrl + Left arrow Switch between virtual desktops you’ve created on the left
Windows Key + Ctrl + Right arrow Switch between virtual desktops you’ve created on the right
Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 Close the virtual desktop you’re using
Windows Key + Tab Open Task view

Game bar

Windows Key + G Open Game bar when a game is open
Windows Key + Alt + G Record the last 30 seconds
Windows Key + Alt + R Start recording (press the shortcut again to stop recording)
Windows Key + Alt + T Show/hide recording timer
Windows Key + Alt + Print Screen Take a screenshot of your game

Microsoft Edge

Ctrl + D Add current site to favorites or reading list
Ctrl + H Open history pane
Ctrl + I Open favorites pane
Ctrl + J Open downloads pane
Ctrl + K Duplicate tab
Ctrl + Shift + R Enter reading view
Ctrl + Shift + P Open a new InPrivate Browsing window
F7 Turn caret browsing on for the current tab
F12 Open F12 Developer Tools
Alt + C Open Cortana
Published in: on August 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

SQL Server Installation – Error while enabling Windows feature NetFx3

The Problem

When installing SQL Server 2012 on a Windows Server 8.1 VHD, the following error occurs:

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Setup
The following error has occurred:
Error while enabling Windows feature: NetFx3, 
Error Code: -2146498298, Please try enabling
Windows feature: NetFx3 from Windows management
tools and then run setup again. For more
information on how to enable Windows features,


Enable .NET Framework 3.5 from the Command Prompt (Run as administrator) using the following command:

dism /online

My Windows 8.1 install disc was mounted on D: drive.  Change this accordingly to match your environment.

Published in: on July 10, 2015 at 2:49 am  Leave a Comment  

How to Reattach VHD on Windows

Windows8On Windows 7 and above, to reattach a Windows VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) file, do the following:

1. Open Command Prompt with elevated Administrator privileges

2. In the Command Prompt, copy the VHD file to your local hard drive by doing the following:

md C:\VHD
copy X:\windows10.vhd C:\VHD

(Replace X:\windows10.vhd with your VHD source file.)

3. Use diskpart utility to attach your VHD:

select vdisk file=c:\VHD\windows10.vhd
attach vdisk

4. Look at which volume the VHD is attached to by doing the following:

list volume

5. Then, select this volume as follows:

select volume <the listed volume number>
assign letter=z

6. Add this VHD to the Boot Menu by typing the following in the Command Prompt:

bcdboot z:\windows

7. Optionally, you can modify the description of the Boot Menu item that you’ve just added:

bcdedit /set {default} Description "Windows 10"

8. Reboot and enjoy!

Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

WindowsNew keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10

Snapping window WIN + LEFT or RIGHT (can be used with UP or DOWN to get into quadrants)
Switch to recent window ALT + TAB (unchanged) – Hold shows new Task view window view, let go and switches to app.
Task view WIN + TAB – New Task view opens up and stays open.
Create new virtual desktop WIN + CTRL + D
Close current virtual desktop WIN + CTRL + F4
Switch virtual desktop WIN + CTRL + LEFT or RIGHT
Published in: on May 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Cleanly Uninstall Apple iTunes on Windows

In some rare instances, you might need to remove iTunes and related software components before re-installing iTunes. Simply follow the steps below.

Use the Control Panel to uninstall iTunes and related software components in the following order. Then restart your computer.

  1. iTunes
  2. Apple Software Update
  3. Apple Mobile Device Support
  4. Bonjour
  5. Apple Application Support (iTunes 9 or later)

On some systems, iTunes might install two versions of Apple Application Support. This is expected. If both are present, be sure to uninstall both versions.

Don’t uninstall these components in a different order, or only uninstall some of them. Doing so might have unintended affects.

Make sure that iTunes and its related components are completely uninstalled.

In most cases, removing iTunes and its related components from the Control Panel will remove all supporting files belonging to those programs. Sometimes, files might be left behind. After following the steps above, confirm that the following files and folders have been removed. If any are left, remove them.

If you have a 32-bit version of Windows, confirm that the following folders have been removed:

  • C:\Program Files\Bonjour
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\CoreFP
  • C:\Program Files\iTunes\
  • C:\Program Files\iPod\

If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, confirm that the following folders have been removed:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Bonjour
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\CoreFP
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\iPod\
Published in: on February 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Illegal Filename Characters on Windows vs Mac OS

Windows vs MacCross-platform file sharing is very commonplace nowadays. This article will explain the limitations posed by Windows and Mac when it comes to naming your files and folders. It will outline which characters to avoid when you name your files or folders to ensure maximum cross-platform compatibility when you move files between Windows and Mac.

Windows File Naming Convention

The Windows operating system can use two different file systems:

  • Protected-Mode File Allocation Table (FAT) file system
  • New Technology File System (NTFS)

The two systems have much in common, but the characters permitted in a file or folder name may differ. In the conventions listed below, it is true for both systems unless otherwise specified. Specifically there are cases where NTFS does not have the limitations (see note below).

On Windows running the NTFS file system

  • do not use any of the following characters when naming your files or folders:
    • / ? < > \ : * | ” and any character you can type with the Ctrl key
  • file and folder names may be up to 256 characters long
  • the maximum length of a full path is 260 characters

On Windows running the FAT file system

  • do not use the caret ^ in your files or folder names, in addition to:
    • / ? < > \ : * | ” and any character you can type with the Ctrl key
  • file and folder names may be up to 255 characters long
  • the maximum length of a full path is 260 characters

In addition to illegal characters, the following conventions are also illegal:

  • Placing a space at the end of the name
  • Placing a period at the end of the name

The following names are reserved under Windows (i.e. Do not use as your file or folder names):

  • com1, com2, com3, com4, com5, com6, com7, com8, com9, lpt1, lpt2, lpt3, lpt4, lpt5, lpt6, lpt7, lpt8, lpt9, con, nul, prn


The previous conventions are true only if the application used in managing them is does not use the Unicode API. Although the file system may support most of the above mentioned conventions the operating system may not. For example, the NTFS file system allow paths to have a length up to 32,767 characters with each component (folder, file, etc.) being limited to 255 characters. However some windows applications like Windows Explorer, for example, may not behave correctly in this circumstance.

Below the Macintosh conventions will touch the fact that the colon “:” is an invalid character in the Macintosh Operating Systems. Under Windows and the NTFS file system the colon is an illegal character, because it is used to open alternate file streams. However all other characters can be moved on and off the NTFS file system if a program with Unicode support is used.

Mac OS 9 File Naming Convention

  • The only illegal character for file and folder names in Mac OS 9 is the colon “:”
  • File and folder names may be up to 31 characters in length

Mac OS X File Naming Convention

Since Mac OS X is build on top of UNIX there are a few inherent conventions that OS 9 users may not expect. Because of this, migrating certain files and folders from OS 9 to OS X may cause unexpected behavior.

  • The only illegal character for file and folder names in Mac OS X is the colon “:”
  • File and folder names are not permitted to begin with a dot “.”
  • File and folder names may be up to 255 characters in length

Examples of Unexpected Behavior

Below are a few scenarios that show what can happen if file names that are acceptable on one operating system are moved to another:

Example 1

  1. Create a file named .valid_filename_on_Windows on Windows
  2. Move the file to a Mac OS X machine
  3. The file will not be visible via the Finder
    (File and folder names beginning with a dot mean the file or folder is hidden)

Example 2

  1. Create a file named valid_filename_on_Mac/ on Mac OS X
  2. Move the file to a Windows machine
  3. If the file is viewed via Windows Explorer the file name will not appear as it did on the OS X machine

Example 3

  1. Create a file named lpt1 on Mac OS 9
  2. Move the file to a Windows machine
  3. Under Windows 2000 viewing the folder which contains the file via Explorer will result in Explorer crashing
  4. Under Windows 2003 the file name cannot be changed because the file will require inherent access permissions
Published in: on January 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment