Tag Archives: Windows7

What’s my IP Address?

It’s one of the first questions that we ask clients when we’re helping diagnose a problem with a network resource. There are several different ways to determine your IP address. There’s even a website, whatsmyip.org which will show you what Internet servers think your IP address is.

In this post, I describe how to determine your IP address(es) on Windows 7 using the control panel. You can also use the ipconfig command-line tool, but if you know about that tool, you probably don’t need me to tell you about it.

Network and Sharing Center

One of my favorite aspects of Windows 7 is the search feature in the start menu. As you type a search term, Windows will show you matching programs and documents.

As a case in point, you can type Network in the Start Menu search box, and click the Network and Sharing Center control panel item in the search result.

win7-netcpl-0-annotated

Alternatively, you can open Control Panel, then Network and Internet, and then click the Network and Sharing Center item.

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Is that program running as administrator?

Using Process Explorer to view process integrity levels

A friend asked me how to open a Control Panel applet As Administrator. In Windows Vista, when you see a little shield icon as part of a button or shortcut, that would indicate that you would get prompted by the User Account Control (UAC) facility to elevate the process Integrity Level, that is, to run it as an administrator with full rights to muck with the system.

In Windows 7, the frequency of UAC prompts has been reduced. You will still see the shield icon, but sometimes there’s no UAC prompt.

You can use Microsoft SysInternals Process Explorer tool to view the integrity levels of running processes. On campus, you can run the tool from \\files\software\utilities\sysinternals\procexp.exe. Once you’ve started Process Explorer, there are two things you’ll want to do:

  1. From the File menu, select the Show Details for All Processes option (you noted the shield icon, yes?).
  2. From the View menu, choose Select Columns… and check Integrity Level item (on the Process Image tab; see below)

procexp-show-integrity

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Changing Boot drive with BCDBoot

Scott Hanselman is a consistently good source of useful info and commentary. Recently, he needed to change which drive his computer used as its System drive, which is to say the drive containing the boot loader and configuration.

( N.B. For some reason, the “System Drive” contains the boot info, and the “Boot Drive” contains the operating system. Why could this not have been corrected?!)

Scott points out his options:

Approach 1: Nuclear Option. Wipe and Start Over.

Approach 2: Copy the Hidden/System Boot Manager and Boot Folder over to the C: drive and run a tool called BCDEdit to move things around in 12 short steps. ;)

This was a scary prospect for me, because from my point of view, while this was a fairly advanced operation, I just wanted to switch where the boot info comes from.

Turns out there is a new (profoundly advanced, you have been warned) command line tool called BCDBoot.

See Scott’s blog post for more info. /me wonders if one could copy the bcdboot executable to a Vista system and perform the same operation.

Troubleshooting Windows Activation

[UPDATE: Removed Vista info: instead of troubleshooting Vista, upgrade it.]

Here are some troubleshooting steps — for my future reference as much as anyone else’s — for for gathering information for diagnosing and resolving Windows KMS client activation issues.

Quick Fix: Try this first!

Most Windows activation issues I’ve encountered are resolved by entering the appropriate product key (not a secret; see footnote):

Windows 7 Enterprise Volume: 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
Windows 8 Enterprise Volume: 32JNW-9KQ84-P47T8-D8GGY-CWCK7
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Volume: MHF9N-XY6XB-WVXMC-BTDCT-MKKG7

Enter the code above and attempt to reactivate. If it works, you should be all set. If it doesn’t, the following steps will help identify the issue.

Gathering Information.

Gathering data is essential to fixing problems. If you ask me (or other IT staff) for help with Windows activation, the first thing I will ask from you is the output of the commands below.

I recommend opening a text editor and copying all the commands and output into a file, which you can send to us if you need additional help resolving the activation issue.

NOTE: All these steps require running commands from a console window (cmd.exe), which you may need to run As Administrator. These commands work in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

1. Run ipconfig /all to capture current IP configuration information.

This could tell us whether the system is in a netreg-ed subnet and needs to register at http://netreg.uvm.edu, or if there are other basic network configuration problems. We really just need the Ethernet adapter, assuming that’s what is being used to connect the system to the network. We don’t need all the additional tunneling adapters, etc. If someone is using a wireless adapter, possibly with the VPN client, then info about those adapters also should be captured.

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