Fixing the Windows 7 is not genuine message

While I’ve run various builds of Linux for many years, I still have to routinely test my work in Windows. While I often attempt to keep my laptops able to dual-boot into Windows, that only (realistically) supports only a single version of Windows. For older versions, I generally rely upon VirtualBox and can then have different configurations available when needed, while keeping my Linux apps open too!

Occasionally, I’ve had a virtual machine running a licensed copy of Windows 7 start warning that it is not activated. This can prove to be annoying for several reasons, as such I did some research and found that others have encountered the same problem and shared the below solutions.

First method:

  1. Open a command prompt in Administrator mode.
  2. Execute “slmgr -rearm”
  3. NOTE: some sites tell you to locate and remove “slui.exe” – DO NOT DO THIS!
  4. Restart Windows
  5. Problem should be resolved

Alternative – reactive with your product key:

  1. Open a command prompt in Administrator mode.
  2. Execute “slmgr –upk
  3. Execute “slmgr –ipk (your product key)
  4. Restart Windows
  5. Problem should be resolved

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Windows 7+ “GodMode”

To give you complete control over all the configurable options in Windows 7+ at a single press of a button just simply create a new folder anywhere and rename it to this:


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

The folder you create will now have 270 items that are to do with configurable options in Windows 7. Interestingly it also works for Windows 8.1 and 10 as well.

NOTE: Vista partially supported this feature, but was prone to crashing until the folder was removed.

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Hackintosh – running Apple OS/X inside VirtualBox (on Ubuntu or Windows)

I’ve done a LOT of web and software development in my career, one of the biggest problems I’v e had is doing proper testing on various platforms. VirtualBox can be run on most platforms, and allows for you to virtualize various operating systems. Apple’s OS X can be problematic to install, here’s some functioning instructions and settings that I’ve successfully used for my virtual Hackintosh test environment.

WARNING: As this uses an image of the software, it is advisable to also have a valid licenced copy as to use this without a licence would be “stealing”.

NOTE: this is a version of Snow Leopard, unfortunately you will NOT be able to update or add “fixes” to this test copy as it will usually break. I recommend making a copy of the VM if you wish to try!

My VirtualBox settings:

Mac OS X
Mac OS X Snow Leopard (64-bit)
1024MB
1 core
Disable EFI
6MB+ video

Steps:

  1. English, continue
  2. Utilities… disk Utilities… Select drive, Erase, name, erase… close
  3. continue
  4. Select disk… continue
  5. Customize (see instructions for: updates, kernels & bootloaders)
  6. NOTE: i only did 10.6.1 (an earlier 10.6.2 failed)

  7. Install
  8. Resolution fix – (I could not save file, but here are the instructions…

    Finder > OSX Drive (On desktop) > Extras > com.apple.Boot.plist (open with TextEdit – use the field to find)


<key>Graphics Mode</key>
<string>1280×1024x32</string>

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“msapplication-config” and browserconfig.xml

Windows-8/MSIE-11 introduced Tiles, as such server administrators may have started seeing HTTP 404 errors in their server logs as it attempts to look for a “browserconfig.xml” file at the root of a website domain. If you are inclined to use this file, you should definitely look into the documentation for how to best make use of it. Others may just wish to prevent the error from making “noise” in their log files.

To remove the error, add the following to your pages; alternately you COULD define the URL of your file as the ‘content’ attribute:

<meta name="msapplication-config" content="none" />

You can alternately place an empty /browserconfig.xml on your web server for each domain.

An common example of how to use this file is below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<browserconfig>
<msapplication>
<tile>
<square70x70logo src="/mstile-70x70.png"/>
<square150x150logo src="/mstile-150x150.png"/>
<wide310x150logo src="/mstile-310x150.png"/>
<square310x310logo src="/mstile-310x310.png"/>
<TileColor>#8bc53f</TileColor>
<TileImage src="/mstile-150x150.png" />
</tile>
</msapplication>
</browserconfig>

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Java temporary file directory path

I’ve recently resurrected some old java code that I’d written back when I primarily used Windows instead of Ubuntu for development. In some of that legacy code, the temporary file paths were hardcoded, to make things more modern and portable, The following line is recommended to get the Operating System values regardless of where it is installed and ran. The file separator “slash” can also be determined in this manner.


private static final String TMPDIR = System.getProperty("java.io.tmpdir") + java.io.File.separatorChar;

Skype toolbar meta tag… preventing Skype from messing up your UI

I’ve previously documented the method used to prevent IOS devices from formatting numbers.

Users on other platforms, notably Windows, have Skype installed and it too can cause some headaches with your UI as it inserts elements to decorate phone numbers.

For users that have the Skype Toolbar enabled, the following META tag will prevent it from doing a lot of damage!

<meta name="SKYPE_TOOLBAR" content="SKYPE_TOOLBAR_PARSER_COMPATIBLE" />

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HTC/.htc files

What is it? Internet Explorer 5-9 introduced behaviors. Behaviors are a way to add behaviors to XML (or HTML) elements with the use of CSS styles.

Why avoid it? The behavior attribute is only supported by Internet Explorer.

What to use instead? Use JavaScript and XML DOM (or HTML DOM) instead

MSIE 5-9 support a scripting (VBScript/JScript) technology called HTML Components (HTCs) to aid in DHTML behaviors. Support was dropped in MSIE 10, you will have to force the browser into MSIE 9 compatibility to use these.

Mozilla? it has a similar proprietary implementation.
http://dean.edwards.name/moz-behaviors/

Included CSS style:

<style type="text/css">
h1 { behavior: url(example.htc) }
</style>

Inline CSS style:

<p style="behavior:url(hilite.htc)">Hello World</p>

Apache MIME Type:

AddType text/x-component .htc

REFERENCES:

HTA/.hta files

HTA/.hta files are a technology that Microsoft implemented in it’s browsers MSIE 5-9 to support rich web applications, MSIE 10 and newer do not implement it and must be forced into MSIE 9 compatibility mode.

Most often HTA was/is used to hide the browser controls (chrome) from the user to provide dialog windows.

EXAMPLE:

<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="ie=9" />
<!-- does not work in 10 or above, so force it back down -->
<hta:application id="example"
applicationname="example"
border="1"
caption="no"
icon="icon.ico"
navigable="no"
scroll="no"
showintaskbar="no"
singleinstance="yes"
sysmenu="no"
windowstate="normal">
</hta:application>
</head>
</html>

Apache MIME Type:

AddType application/hta .hta

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Self-Elevating to make hosts file change in Windows

Working on a Windows machine without elevated permissions can often be difficult for developers. One item that is often useful to change is the ‘hosts’ file. IN Windows 7 and 8 you can often ‘Self-Elevate’ to run a file, but it’s not always obvious how to edit a file in this manner. Some simple batch files can be helpful in this case as you can elevate them to do the actual work requiring permissions.

For example to make all requests to ‘example.com’ to be directed to your own machine…

@echo off
set hostspath=%windir%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 www.example.com >> %hostspath%
echo 127.0.0.1 example.com >> %hostspath%
exit

To replace the existing hosts file with one of your chosing from your desktop. (NOTE: you can change this file or path to anything).

copy "%UserProfile%\Desktop\hosts" "c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc"

A standard ‘hosts’ file in Windows appears as such:

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# 127.0.0.1 localhost
# ::1 localhost

Improve Apache Tomcat logging performance

Logging is often an overlooked performance drain on systems requiring high throughput. Here’s a simple change to the default Tomcat logging configuration to implement. It works on all operating systems.

In the file:
$TOMCAT_HOME/conf/logging.properties

Change:
.handlers = 1catalina.org.apache.juli.FileHandler, java.util.logging.ConsoleHandler

to
.handlers = 1catalina.org.apache.juli.FileHandler

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