Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category

How to Fix Windows 7 Unable to Create or Find a System Partition on an SSD

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Windows LogoMy primary hard drive died, and I decided to replace it with an SSD to help speed up my system. When I tried to install Windows 7 on the new drive, however, I kept getting this error message: “Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information.” (<RANT>And just WHERE would these log files BE?!?</RANT>) Most of the “solutions” on the web dealt with correctly configuring the disk partition. I had used the Windows installer to set up the partition, but just to make sure, I booted into Linux and set the boot flag for the partition. Didn’t work. So I used DiskPart from the Windows recovery console. Didn’t work either.

Finally I came across an article that mentioned BIOS settings, and that did the trick. The SATA Mode (that’s what it’s called in my setup program but it varies) was set to IDE and needed to be AHCI. After making that change the install went smoothly. The article also said that you should not use Intel® Smart Response Technology, which is another BIOS option.

Windows 10 to Get Its First Major Update

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Windows LogoSince Windows 10 was released with its free upgrade offer, I’ve been telling people to delay upgrading until after the first major update—which will happen sometime in the next week or so. It’s pretty much a no-brainer to take advantage of the free upgrade, and most of the major issues should be ironed out after this update, so I say “go for it.”


Windows 10 Has a Native Print to PDF Function

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

MicrosoftIn a move that is long overdue, Microsoft has added a “printer” to Windows 10 that will generate a PDF file of what you’re printing. It will show up in your printer list, just like the XPS Document Writer has for all those years, but this will be much more useful.


Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Windows LogoMicrosoft has announced Windows 10. (What happened to Windows 9 you may ask — who knows?) Details are sparse, but they did say that it will run on all devices a la Windows 8, but will configure itself for the device type. So PC users will see a Windows 7 interface while phone users will get a start screen with tiles. Also, there will be a single app store with apps that run on all platforms and devices. Sounds like they learned from Windows 8.


Uninstall Windows 7 Update #2823324

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Microsoft LogoIf you use Windows 7 and did last Tuesday’s Windows Update, there’s one particular update that’s causing some computers to not boot. So it needs to be uninstalled, even if it hasn’t caused any issues on your machine. Microsoft has published instructions on how to do that.


How to Fix the “This page can’t be displayed” Error in Internet Explorer 10

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Windows LogoHaving just set up a new install of Windows 7 two days earlier, I learned that Internet Explorer 10 was now available for that OS. So I downloaded and installed it, only to find that it didn’t work. Every URL gave the same error message: “This page can’t be displayed.” My other browsers worked, so it wasn’t the network or the connection. After searching for a while, I found the answer from the linked article. To summarize:

  1. Click the cog wheel towards the upper right part of the IE10 window. This will open a menu.
  2. Select “Internet Options” from the menu. This will open the options window.
  3. Select the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Scroll down to the “Security” section.
  5. Check the “Enhanced Protection Mode” option.
  6. Save the options and restart the computer. Problem fixed!


UPDATE (10/30/2015): For a technical explanation of why this works, please refer to this article from Microsoft. For a less technical explanation of what “Enhanced Protection Mode” does, I recommend this article.

Windows 8 From a Tech User’s Perspective

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Windows logoJohn from Boulder, CO, a computer professional and self-proclaimed “digital dog”, has gone all out in regards to Windows 8. For example, he purchased touch-sensitive desktop displays a touchpad and a touch mouse so he could experience Windows 8 as it was meant to be. He currently has it installed on a Dell desktop system, a notebook, and a phone. Here are some of his thoughts.

“There is no performance penalty in Windows 8 (quite the opposite).”

“I am coo-coo for cocoa puffs over the blistering fast shutdown and startup behavior on Windows 8. This simply does not get talked about enough. With everything else working so well, you’d think people would at least mention what a time saver this is.”

“Windows App launch is many times faster than Win 7. For example, if I double click on an .XLS type file in Win Explorer in Windows 8, it launches as fast as Notepad in Windows 7. Very snappy.”

“Live Tiles is The Real Deal. Look for Android and iOS to figure out how to get their OS’s up to this level of convenience and power. Really, with Live Tiles on my Windows 8 Phone, I can review state of up to five different things without even unlocking the start screen — battery level, missed calls/voice mail, newly arrived texts … you pick ’em. And then once on the Start screen, there are those aspects and others (like weather — eg, outside temp, forecast high/low, percip prognosis … since the live tile is live, it can rotate through lots of things).”

“Oddly, the Win 8 Start screen is a better way to start up your common-use Desktop apps (ie, non-metro style apps). In Windows 7 you have a quick start menu that has to be searched, … but the Win 8 start screen has tiles in a size OF YOUR CHOOSING so the things you want are bigger and the things that deserve a place, though less so, can be squeezed in at a smaller size. It’s like the old Cordless Phone experience … you never knew you could check the mailbox out front, run out to the car in the driveway, or go out back with the dog, while you were on the phone … not until you got your first cordless phone.”

“I upgraded my heavily used Windows 7 eight-way processor developer-purposed notebook to Windows 8 and everything turned up ‘just as I’d left it’ — all my apps (and their configurations — registration database or not), all my desktop icons, my Quick Launch toolbar definitions, my DOS environment variable definitions, on and on.”

“My Windows Desktop apps work fine. All my drivers worked under Windows 8 – printing, monitors, external drives, etc.”

The Lowdown on Windows 8, Part 2

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Windows LogoThe linked article answers common questions about Windows 8, which is being released on Friday, and also discusses some of the features and major changes we’ll see.


Get Ready For Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Windows LogoThe first linked article is a review and overview of Windows 8, which will be released on October 26th and represents a foundational change to Windows. The article is a good introduction for those who don’t know much about the new operating system, although we’ve discussed it previously here at Chad’s News.

The second article is about the new Microsoft Surface computer, which will run Windows RT (a flavor of Windows 8) and also has a release date of October 26th. You can pre-order it now. The Surface is interesting in that it’s a hybrid tablet and computer. It can be used just as a tablet but also comes with an optional, and expensive, cover that serves as a keyboard and turns it into a laptop of sorts.

Thanks to Donna for this topic.

Link #1:…

Link #2:…

The Pros and Cons of Windows 8

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Windows LogoThe linked article has an infographic listing the pros and cons of Windows 8, from primarily a corporate IT department point of view:


  • Common user experience across devices
  • Windows 8 will run from a USB drive
  • Easy to reset devices back to their original configuration
  • Better login security: gestures on a picture
  • 8-second boot time
  • 3G/4G support: automatically detects your SIM card and configures for it


  • No Start Menu
  • Significant retraining required
  • The corporate desktop seems to be an afterthought
  • PCs will require a hardware upgrade to touch screens in order to use the touch interface
  • Mobile devices can’t join a Windows network domain


Why You Should Use the exFAT File System on Your Flash Drive

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Hard DriveexFAT is a file system, similar to FAT32 or NTFS, developed by Microsoft and released to the mainstream in Windows Vista SP1. It’s primarily intended for Flash drives, as opposed to magnetic hard drives, and has the added advantage that Apple Macintosh computers with OS X 10.6.5 or later support it by default (which is not the case for NTFS). Based on the linked article, you should probably use NTFS for standard hard drives and exFAT for Flash-based devices, and just completely forget about ever using FAT32. exFAT will work with Windows XP if you install update KB955704.

Thanks to Josh for this link.


What is Windows RT and Why Should I Care?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Windows LogoWhen I first heard about Windows RT, I got it confused with the old IBM RT PC, but they are not related. Instead, RT is a version of Windows 8 that will run on mobile devices that have ARM CPUs (instead of the familiar Intel/AMD CPUs that we see on desktops and laptops). One downside is that existing Windows applications, those developed prior to Windows 8, will not run on Windows RT without some conversion work. But Microsoft plans to release an ARM-compatible version of Office to help lead the way. Windows RT is an effort by Microsoft to get Windows into the mobile device market. The benefit to users will be Windows’ huge pool of applications. We’ll see how well it works out.