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How to find your lost Windows Product Key

What is Product Key:

When you buy a new software, generally, it come with an alphanumeric code that you need to enter at time of installation of software. This code is used by software vendors in order to verify that your copy of software product is legal and original. This code is known as Product key. Microsoft windows Operating systems like windows 7, windows 8 and Windows 8.1 also come with Product Key which is used to activate windows. Here is the syntax of the product key that comes with windows:
                                      xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
                                                   
windows 7 product key

In the actual product key, the crosses are replaced by numbers and alphabets.

Find Windows Product key:

Windows product key usually written on the cover in which Windows disc is packed up . If you got pre-installed windows in your laptop, then you can find it written at the bottom of laptop. In case of desktop PCs, product key can be found written somewhere on the CPU. But what if you lost or misplaced your product id? Do not worry. You can easily find your lost product key without any product key finder software. This works for Windows XP, Windows vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 . You should know your product key as you need it when you are re-installing windows.

1 . Press Win key + R to launch Run in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 . For Windows XP, go to All Programs and Find Run.

2. Type regedit in the box and click OK. A warning message will show up, click Yes

                                  windows 7 registry editor

3. Windows Registry will open. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE>MICROSOFT>WINDOWS NT

                                  windows 8 registry editor

4. Expand the Windows NT folder(by clicking the arrow in front of it) and select CurrentVersion to see your Product ID. In the Right pane, look for ProductId. The code in front of this, separated by dashes is your Product ID. Make a note of it and keep it safe. You can copy it by double clicking on ProductId and copy the selected code.

windows 7 , windows 8, product key

windows product key

There are many software available that can find the product key but this mrthod requires no extra software.

Note: You are accessing your Windows Registry, any changes to which can make your system unstable and can produce unexpected result. So please do not make changes to any value.

Fix Firefox 29 Crashing problem: Make it Work Better

I am not fan of Mozilla Firefox and normally avoid using it, especially, after launch of Google chrome. But Now I need to use it as I have to test my websites and web projects in different browser. I updated the Firefox to version 29 and its looks surprised me. Mozilla finally leave behind its traditional look and adopt the new lovely User interface. This new look of Firefox is inspired by the chrome.

mozilla firefox crashes

                                                                                                         Although, it is not fastest browser available out there, I like the new interface of Firefox. Also its load time is decreased and now things look more organized. While using it, I found few problems associated with the Firefox. The major issue I found with Firefox is - It Crashes constantly and freezes a lot. But you can fix this problem easily by changing Firefox’s default cache value. Here is how to make Firefox work better and avoid crashes. I am using the version 29 of Firefox but I think it should works for other versions also.

Fix Firefox Crashes

1. Type about:config into the Firefox address bar and press Enter

firefox crash

2. You will see a warning – This void might void your warranty. Click the button – I’ll be careful, I promise!. This warning is shown because you are accessing the part of browser which is normally accessed by developers. 

firefox warning

3. Next , In the Search bar type browser.cache.use. 

firefox - browser.cache.use

4. Double click browser.cache.use_new_backend and change its value from 0 to 1 . Click OK. 

firefox - browser.cache.use_new_backend

5. You can see the changed value.

fix firefox crash


6. Close the tab and continue browsing.


After making this change, Firefox has not crashed a single time and it also feeling little faster than before.

Let me know if this small tweak worked for you. Happy Browsing.

How to remove Shortcut Virus from USB Flash Drive

USB Storage devices are best for transferring data from One PC to another. But this also makes them most vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. When you plug in the USB flash drive/ Pen drive into a system which is infected from malwares and viruses, the malwares automatically gets transferred to your device. This way they spreads from one system to another.

One of the virus/malware from which many USB drives are infected is shortcut virus. This virus turns the files and folders on your drive into shortcuts. You cannot open the files and folders as this gives you error. You cannot manually remove this virus as your data will also be removed. One way to remove the shortcut virus from your USB flash drive is to format the drive. But you do not want to do this if your drive contains some important data. I faced the same problem and searched over the Internet for the same. I found a very easy method to get rid of shortcuts from my flash drive without losing the data. In this post I am going to share it with all of you.

Removing the Shortcut Virus

I able to completely remove the shortcut virus from my USB storage drive (without losing my data) with the help of small software called USB Fix. Here is the step by step guide.


USB fix software

1. First you need to install the USB fix software. It is of very small size(about 3 MB).You can download it from their website or from the link provided below. This worked on Windows XP, Vista, windows 7 and windows 8.
                                                        USB FIX

2. Once downloaded, run it. You do not need to install it in order to run it. It will ask you for the Admin privileges, just allow it.
Note: Some antivirus programs do not allow running this tool. I recommend you to disable your antivirus protection before running it.

3. Click on the Clean Button and follow the instructions. Just Click No when it asks for the forum assistance. Before Clicking Clean make sure that your infected flash drive/ pen drive is connected to the PC. 

                                 remove shortcut virus from pen drive

usb fix

4. It will start scanning all the External storage devices (your pen drives, flash drives,memory cards, etc.) and your PC’s hard disk. It will stop some windows processes and your running programs will close (save your work before running it). Don’t panic and let it finish the scan. 

remove virus from usb storage without format

5. On the completion of the scan, you can see the number of threats that are removed from your system. It will also show you the Log file which contains the information about your system and removed viruses.

                                 usb fix log

6. Open your USB flash drive and you can see that all the shortcuts have been removed. Also your data is safe and intact.

7. Here I attached screenshots of my USB drives before and after scanning with USB Fix.

remove shortcut virus from pen drive

shortcuts in usb flash drive
                                    Before Scanning (Drives Infected with shortcut virus)


Clean USB device

remove shortcut virus
                                     After Scanning (Drives free from shortcut virus)
In addition to removing viruses/malwares, it also fix other problems related to removable drives. There exists other methods for removing the shortcut virus from pen drives, but this one is the most simplest and easy to use method that works.

You can use USB Fix to completely remove shortcut virus from your pen drive, memory cards, External Hard disks and even from your PC’s Internal hard drive. Have any problems, let me know by commenting below. Worked for you, share it to help others.

GodMode : An awesome hidden feature of windows 7/Windows 8 you didn’t know about

If you love to play with the settings of your Windows PC , then knowing this hidden feature of windows will be great for you. Do you know you can access and change all the settings of your windows 7 and Windows 8 PC from a single Place? A lesser known feature of Windows called GodMode enable you to create a folder which contains all the settings and tweaks.

The folder simply contains all the links of the settings. Double click on a link and follow the instructions to make changes and tweak settings of your PC. It is just like Control panel but with lot more features.

How to Access GodMode in Windows:

In order to access the GodMode in windows , follow the below simple steps:

1.      Create a new folder by right clicking on Desktop, selecting New and then Folder. You can Create GodMode folder at any place. 

creating godmode folder in windows

2. Rename this folder to GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and press Enter
                           

godmode in windows 7

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

3. As you press Enter, the folder icon changes to a kind of settings Icon. 

godmode in windows 8

4. Open the folder and you have direct access to hundreds of Settings. These are further categorized as Action Center, Administrative Tools, Autoplay, Font, Sound etc. 

windows 8 godmode

5. You can also filter the results by using the search box in the right top corner. For example, you can view the settings related to mouse by typing mouse in the box. 

windows 7 godmode

6. You need to double click on the link in order to launch it.

You can name the folder anything as you want by replacing the GodMode with word of your own choice. This feature can be very useful when you do not know how to access certain settings of your windows PC. This feature lists all the settings so that you can change them from a single place.
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Finally Chrome Fixed the Security Bug – Now Ask For password before viewing Saved Passwords

Do you Know that viewing the saved passwords in Google chrome was very easy before chrome fix this in their last update. Before this, you just have to go to Settings , Advanced Settings, Select Manage passwords and you can view all the username/passwords that you choose to save at the time of Login/Signup. There was so much written and asked about this security flaw in chrome as anyone who has access to your Chrome browser can easily view your saved passwords. There was so much discussion about this on the Internet but Google didn't answer anything. But Now, finally, it noticed the flaw and made some improvements.
                                                                           The fix introduced by Chrome is just an improvement over the security bug and cannot be considered as full solution. Now when you need to view the Saved passwords in chrome, you have to provide your Windows user password(the password you need to enter when you log into windows). Why I am considering this fix as just improvement and not complete solution? It is quite possible that the person that have access to your Chrome has also access to your Windows password. So your saved passwords in chrome are not still fully secured. Still, it is better than complete open access to your saved passwords. 

viewing saved passwords in chrome

viewing saved passwords - enter your windows password
I am not sure in which version chrome introduced this feature but I am using the Version 36.0.1985.125 m and it ask for windows password before viewing saved passwords.

But what if I do not set any password for windows? Chrome behaves abruptly. When I removed the windows password and tried to view the saved passwords in chrome, it still says for Windows Password and when I click Ok (without entering password), it says Logon Unsuccessful. It doesn't accept blank password. I tried my previous password, and it again says – Logon Unsuccessful. So what this mean? If I do not have set windows password, I cannot view saved passwords ? Obviously, Google needs to consider it again.


Google can use password encryption techniques or set some sort of authentication for accessing this section of settings in order to improve security.

Save Goggle maps for offline use on Android and iOS

Whenever I need to find about the location of a new place or find directions to a place, I take help of Google Maps. Gone are those days when we need to consult a person for knowing about some place. Just open the Google maps, type the name of place and it will tell you everything. Google maps app is available for both Android and iOS so that you can access them anywhere and anytime.

Recently Google has introduced a new feature - viewing Google maps offline. This means you can view the maps even when Your mobile doesn’t have an Internet Connection. At first, this might seems useless feature but it can be very handy in certain situations. There are many places where there is no public wifi hotspot. It might be possible that your mobile does not have cellular reception or you are in roaming. In such cases you can save maps to your device and access them offline.

Here is how you can save the sections of maps to view them offline.

Saving the Google Maps

1. Open the Maps and search for the location that you want to save for later. Once found, the red colored pin will show to indicate the place.
                                      

google maps offline

2. Again hit the Search bar and remove all the text from it if it is not already removed. 


google maps ios

3. Now navigate to bottom and click Save map to use offline. Another way is to hold onto the red pin(which shows the location you searched for), scroll up from the address at the bottom to see the Save map option.                  Saving a google map     save map for offline use

4. Again Click Save to save the map. You can pan and zoom to adjust the view. 

save google maps

5. It will ask you to name the map so that you can remember it. Give it some relevant name so that it is easy for you in case you have many saved maps. 

offline maps android

6. It will show a confirmation dialogue after successful Save .

Accessing the Saved Maps offline

1. When you need to view the saved maps, open the app and click on the Search bar.

2. It will show you an error - Can’t connect to Maps. Check your Internet connection. Look for the option where it says Offline maps and choose the one which you want to view. 

Viewing Google maps offlinie

3. The saved section of the maps will open. 

4. In order to delete the saved maps, click on View and manage all. Click on the options button next to map. You can Delete, rename or Update a map.

managing google maps android

Things to Note:

1. Maps are kept in your device memory for 30 days. If you want to use a map for more than this period, then you need to re-download it.

2. There is a maximum limit of map-size (around 10 MB).

3. You can only view the downloaded maps. You cannot get directions and not even search for location within the saved portions of map.