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How to Tweak ClearType in Windows for Better Screen Readability

October 11, 2017 by findkeyhome  

ClearType is font-smoothing technology built into Windows to help make text more readable on LCD monitors. If your text is looking a little blurry, tweaking your ClearType settings can definitely help.

There are a few issues that can cause slight blurriness. For starters, you should always use your monitor's native resolution. Windows uses the native resolution by default, but some games and other apps can lower it and then not reset it properly when they're done. Also, Windows doesn't always handle high-DPI displays well without a little tweaking. If neither of those are the cause of your blurry font troubles, the chances are that tweaking your ClearType settings will help.

The instructions in this article apply to Windows 7, 8, and 10, where the ClearType tuner is built in. If you're still using Windows XP or Vista, you'll need to download the ClearType Tuner PowerToy for XP (which also works in Vista) and follow the the instructions in this guide. It works very similarly to the built in tuner we're discussing here.

If you're not sure which device driver or update Windows just installed that might be causing you problems, you can view the list of installed updates. You'll see a list of updates and the dates they were installed here. If you want to work with a file in Windows, you'll have to save the file from your Windows file system with the save option. If need some help you can check findkeyhometo find windows product key online with the lowest price.

What Is ClearType?

ClearType is a font smoothing technology first introduced with Windows XP. It is designed to smooth the fonts on your screen with subpixel rendering so that they are more readable on LCD displays. Fonts can easily look jagged and pixelated on LCD screens since they have fixed pixels. This was not a problem with earlier CRT screens, which do not have fixed pixels.

When you enable ClearType, text rendering look like this. Notice the color shading around the characters, which gives the fonts a much smoother look on LCD screens.

When you bump down the zoom to normal levels, you can see the difference in readability when ClearType is turned off (on the left) and turned on (on the right).

How to Use Slmgr to Change, Remove, or Extend Your Windows License

September 27, 2017 by findkeyhome  

Windows activation is designed to be as foolproof as possible, so Microsoft's graphical tools keep it simple. If you want to do something more advanced like remove a product key, force an online activation, or extend the activation timer, you'll need Slmgr.vbs.

This command line tool is included with Windows, and provides options unavailable in the standard activation interface provided on the Update & Security > Activation screen in the Settings app.

First: Open an Administrator Command Prompt Window

How Does Windows Activation Work?

To use this tool, you'll want to launch a Command Prompt with Administrator access. To do so on Windows 8 or 10, either right-click the Start button or press Windows+X. Click the "Command Prompt (Admin)" option in the menu that appears. On Windows 7, search the Start menu for "Command Prompt," right-click it, and select "Run as Administrator."

Note: If you see PowerShell instead of Command Prompt on the Power Users menu, that's a switch that came about with the Creators Update for Windows 10. It's very easy to switch back to showing the Command Prompt on the Power Users menu if you want, or you can give PowerShell a try. You can do pretty much everything in PowerShell that you can do in Command Prompt, plus a lot of other useful things.

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View Activation, License, and Expiration Date Information

To display very basic license and activation information about the current system, run the following command. This command tells you the edition of Windows, part of the product key so you can identify it, and whether the system is activated.

View the License Expiration Date

To display the expiration date of the current license, run the following command. This is only useful for Windows system activated from an organization's KMS server, as retail licenses and multiple activation keys result in a perpetual license that won't expire. If you haven't provided a product key at all, it'll give you an error message.

Uninstall the Product Key

You can remove the product key from your current Windows system with Slmgr. After you run the below command and restart your computer, the Windows system won't have a product key and will be in an unactivated, unlicensed state.

If you installed Windows from a retail license and would like to use that license on another computer, this allows you to remove the license. It could also be useful if you're giving that computer away to someone else. However, most Windows licenses are tied to the computer they came with–unless you purchased a boxed copy.

Introducing Nested Virtualization in Windows Server 2016

September 22, 2017 by findkeyhome  

Nested Virtualization Background

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 contains a new nested virtualization feature that IT groups have been asking for ever since the first version of Hyper-V. If this is the first time that you have come across this concept, nested virtualization provides the ability of running a virtualization environment inside a virtual machine (VM). You may ask, why would I do that? One of the most common uses for nested virtualization is in a training environment as it reduces the number of physical servers needed to run hypervisors to train users.

In short, nested virtualization allows you to install the Hyper-V role on a physical server, create a VM that executes in the Hyper-V hypervisor, install and run the Hyper-V role in that VM, and create a new VM inside the original VM. Modern day hypervisors like Hyper-V leverage hardware virtualization support from Intel and AMD processors to run virtual machines. However, it is only in this latest version of Windows Server that the Hyper-V hypervisor exposes those critical hardware virtualization features directly to virtual machines.

Deployment Requirements for Nested Virtualization

Before you can deploy nested virtualization, you must configure your environment to meet the minimum requirements that are described here.

For the physical host:

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 with all updates installed

Intel processor with Intel VT-x enabled (e.g., AMD-V is not yet supported)

16 GB minimum RAM recommended (RAM for the host and the nested hypervisor)

Device Guard disabled

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Virtualization Based Security (VBS) disabled

Nested VM running Hyper-V

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 with all updates installed

Minimum of 4 GB RAM for startup (8 GB recommended)

Dynamic Memory disabled

MAC spoofing enabled

Disk space capacity to host the VMs and files such as ISOs

Generation 2 VM (recommended)

Configuring a Hyper-V Host to Support Nested Virtualization

In this section, you learn how to prepare the physical host to support nested virtualization. Follow the procedure below prior to the creation of the VM in which you plan to install the Hyper-V role:

Ensure the physical host meets the recommended requirements to run Hyper-V (Intel VT-X, 16 GB RAM, 1 OS disk, 1 data disk for VM storage, 1 Gb NIC)

Install Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview on the host (use at least a 8 GB USB stick to create bootable installation media)

Configure the physical server with all of the latest updates

Install the Hyper-V role with Server Manager or PowerShell (reboot the server after installation is complete)

Ensure that one NIC is enabled as a Hyper-V Network Switch

Ensure that Device Guard is disabled

Once all of these steps are complete, then you can configure a VM for nested virtualization.

How to Change Windows Sleep Settings

September 14, 2017 by findkeyhome  

Almost all electronic devices go into some form of low power mode after a specific, predetermined period of inactivity. This feature is often intended to improve battery life or secure the device, as is the case with mobile phones and tablet computers, but the technology can also be used to ‚Äčprevent internal parts from wearing out sooner than they should. For example, smart TVs often turn on a screen saver to prevent image burn-in on the screen.

Just like these devices, you’ve likely noticed that your computer goes dark after a specific amount of time, too. Most of the time, the computer goes to "sleep." If you find yourself having to wake your computer from sleep more than you'd like, or you'd like it to go to sleep sooner, you can change the preconfigured, factory settings.

This article is aimed at folks running Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. If you have a Mac, we have a great article about changing sleep settings for the Mac.

On Any Windows Computer, Select a Power Plan

All Windows computers offer three power plans, and they each have different settings for when the computer sleeps. The three plans are Power Saver, Balanced, and High Performance. One way to quickly change Sleep settings it to choose one of these plans.

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The Power Saver plan puts the computer to sleep the fastest, which is a great option for laptop users who want to get the most out of their battery or those simply trying to save electricity. Balanced is the default and is often the best option for general users, as it is neither too restrictive or too limiting. High Performance leaves the computer active the longest before it goes to sleep. This setting will result in the battery draining more quickly if left as the default.

Note: Although you can make changes to the Power Plan using the method described here, we think it’s easier (and a best practice) for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users to learn to make the changes in Settings, which is detailed next.

Change Sleep Settings in Windows 10

To change Sleep settings on a Windows 10 computer using Settings:

1.Click the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen.

2.Type Sleep and select Power & Sleep Settings, which will likely be the first option.

3.Click the arrow by the drop-down lists to configure the settings exactly as you want.

4.Click the X in the top right corner of this window to close it.

Note: On laptops, you can make changes based on whether the device is plugged in or on battery power. Desktop computers only offer Sleep options for when the computer is plugged in though, because they do not have batteries.

Change Sleep Settings in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 computers offer a Start screen. To get to this screen tap the Windows key on the keyboard. Once at the Start screen:

1.Type Sleep.

2.In the results, select Power and sleep settings.

3.Select the desired options from the resulting lists to apply them.

Change Sleep Settings in Windows 7

Windows 7 doesn’t offer a Settings area like Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 10. All changes are made in Control Panel, including those for Power and Sleep. Open Control Panel by clicking the Start button and then Control Panel. If you don’t see this option, refer to How to Open Control Panel.

Once in Control Panel:

1.Click the Power Options icon.

2.Select the desired Power Plan and then click Change Plan Settings.

3.Use the ‚Äčlists to apply the desired settings and click Save Changes.

4.Close Control Panel by clicking the X in the top right corner of the window.

Fix Your Windows 7 Network

September 12, 2017 by findkeyhome  

Setting up and maintaining your home PC network is easier than ever before with Windows 7--but that's not saying much. Many networking issues still aren't easily fixed from Windows 7's control panels. That's why we've compiled a list of common networking problems and their quick fixes.

Reset Your IP Address

If your system's connection to a network is unreliable, or you're getting IP address conflict error messages, try renewing your IP address. First, click on the Start button, navigate to the Command Prompt (Start Menu, Applications, Accessories, Command Prompt), right-click it, and select Run as Administrator from the menu. Then type ipconfig /renew, and press Enter. That should do it.

Flush Your DNS Cache

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Whenever you type a URL into a Web browser, your PC asks your domain name service server (DNS server) to translate that URL into an IP address, and caches that information. That cache can occasionally become outdated or corrupt, which can cause Internet connection problems. To clear your DNS cache, open the Command Prompt with Run as Administrator, type ipconfig /flushdns, and press Enter.

Restarting a Windows 7 system will also flush its DNS cache, but if any applications (malware, perhaps) are altering the cache, flushing manually could help.

Reset Your Broadband Modem and Router

Your broadband modem's connection to the Internet will occasionally become unreliable, and restarting it can fix that. The same trick also occasionally works for the connection between a router and a broadband modem.

To reset your broadband modem and router, disconnect their power cables and leave the modem and router off for 30 seconds. Don’t just press the power buttons--that can occasionally put modems or routers into standby mode rather than totally killing the power. Next, reconnect the modem's power cable to restore its power. Wait a few moments for the modem to renegotiate its connection to the Internet and establish a solid link; then plug in the router. Once the router has completely booted up, follow the steps outlined earlier to renew your system’s IP address. You should then be good to go.

Configure Wireless Security

The vast majority of wireless broadband routers available today ship with their wireless security features disabled. This makes it easy for novice users to set up a wireless network in their homes or offices, but it also leaves your network vulnerable to prying eyes.

Although the exact procedure necessary to enable wireless security will vary from router to router, in general the steps required to access the pertinent options will be similar.

Assuming your router/gateway’s IP address is and you’re connected to the network, open a Web browser on a system that is phsyically wired to your network and type into the address field. You’ll then be prompted to enter the necessary credentials to access your router’s configuration menus (consult the manual for your router’s default username and password if you didn’t set them yourself. And if you didn’t set them yourself, change them right away to prevent unwanted tampering).

Once logged into the router, you’ll see a number of tabs or links to various control panels. Click on the Wireless tab or Wireless Security tab. On the resulting screen, you should see an area where you can set the Security Mode, with options like WEP, WPA, WPA2, and others listed. If you have relatively current wireless devices that support the standard, we recommend enabling WPA2 Personal on your home network because it offers stronger encryption that other methods. If your devices don’t support WPA2, try WPA, or as a last resort WEP (the weakest available encryption method). You’ll then have to set the encryption type (TKIP or AES; either one is fine) and then define a wireless password or key. Make the password/key something that would be difficult to guess and include letters, numbers, and special characters. Save the settings and reboot the router; at least a basic level of Wi-Fi security should now be in place.

Open and Forward Ports

Some applications require that certain network ports be opened and forwarded to the correct PC for some of their functions to operate across the Web. Game servers are a great example: If the correct network ports aren’t opened and requests on those ports aren’t forwarded to the correct PC, inbound traffic on them will never make it through your firewall.

As always, though the exact process necessary to forward ports will vary, the steps required to access the pertinent options within any router will be similar. Check out our guide to port forwarding for more information.

Connect your PC to the network, open a Web browser and type your router's IP address (usually; check your manual to be sure) into the address field. Log in with your name and password, then find the NAT (Network Address Translation), Firewall, or Port Forwarding menu.

You’ll need to create a ruleset that tells your router which protocol to use (UDP, TCP, or both), defines the port range you want to forward, and specify to which IP address the traffic on those ports should be forwarded to. For example, if the machine running the application you are troubleshooting has an IP address of, put that string into the IP address field. Save the settings to enable the rule, then reboot the router to finish the job.

Put a System in a DMZ

Sometimes port forwarding isn’t enough and you’ll have to give a system unfettered access to the Internet. In those cases, the machine can be placed in a network DMZ, or demilitarized zone. Putting a system in a DMZ means all of its ports will be accessible from the Internet; such a situation is very dangerous, so don’t take that step unless it is absolutely necessary.

Let's assume that your router IP address is indeed and that you’re connected to the network. Open a Web browser and type into the address field. Log in to your router and find the NAT (Network Address Translation), Firewall, or DMZ menu (the DMZ options will be under a menu with one of those names).

When you're on the DMZ configuration menu, you’ll need to enable the DMZ and specify the IP address of the system you’d like to place in the DMZ. Enter the IP address, save the settings, and reboot the router; that system should now be in the DMZ.

Update Network Drivers

Like any other peripheral in a Windows PC, the network controller requires drivers to operate. Those drivers tell the operating system how to use a device and occasionally need to be updated to resolve issues or add new features and capabilities.

Updating network drivers in Windows is usually done in one of three ways: through the Windows Update software, by downloading and running an executable installer, or by manually choosing a driver through Device Manager. When possible, use the first method: Updating a driver through Windows Update is easy and automatic. Unfortunately, manually installing a driver through Device Manager is a bit more complex.

If you’ve downloaded a driver for your network interface card from the manufacturer’s website and the file contains nothing but some .inf or other nonexecutable files, you’ll need to manually install it using Windows Device Manager. To do so, click on the Start button and type Device Manager in the search field. Press Enter to open the Device Mananger, find Network Adapters in the list of devices in the system, right-click on your network controller, and select Update Driver Software from the menu.

In the new window that opens, click on the Browse my computer for driver software button; then click on the Browse button and navigate to the folder where you placed the newer driver you downloaded. Click the Next button, and the driver should install automatically.

Disable or Add Exclusions to Windows Firewall

Windows 7's built-in firewall constantly asks you to allow or deny an application's access to your network. If you've mistakenly blocked an application and want to unblock it (or the other way around) you'll have to manually change some settings in the Windows Firewall control panel.

Click on your Start button, type Allowed Applications in to the search field, and press Enter. In the resulting window, all of the applications installed on the system that were flagged by Windows Firewall will be listed. If there is an application communicating through the Firewall that you now want to block, click the Change Settings button at the top of the screen, then scroll through the list of programs until you find the application, and disable it from accessing the Internet over Home/Work or Public networks. Conversely, if you'd like to allow a program that was previously blocked, find it on the list, and select the appropriate boxes next to the entry.

Scan Your Network for Attached Devices

With so many connected devices now on the market, there may come a time when you want to scan your entire network to see exactly what devices have obtained IP addresses and are consuming resources. Your router may be able to check the status of connected clients, or you could use a third-party application that will more comprehensively scan an entire range of IP addresses to find and obtain information on the connected devices.

Many free utilities are available that will scan a network, but we’re partial to one called Angry IP Scanner. Simply download and run the executable--the program doesn’t even need to be installed. Enter the IP range you’d like to scan, click the Start button, and a few minutes later you’ll have a list of every active IP, what the ping time was for the device, its hostname, and which ports it has open. Right-clicking on an active device in the list will reveal more details; it will also allow you to ping the IP address and connect through a Web browser or FTP client.

Diagnose Internet Connection Issues

Finally, one problem that may be beyond your immediate network: Is your Internet connection unstable--and you can't figure out why? A couple of utilities built into Windows 7 may help. Ping and tracert (traceroute) can help you find out if your Internet issues are with your home network or with your ISP--or somewhere in between.

Performing a continuous ping on a known good website (we like to use google.com) will allow you to constantly monitor a connection and see if packets are being lost or the connection is dropping. Open a Command Prompt window (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt), type ping google.com –t, and press Enter. Your system will then start continually pinging the Google website. If the connection is stable and reliable, you shouldn't see any errors, just replies from the IP address with ping times and other data. If, however, if the connection between your PC and Google is broken for whatever reason, ping will report that there was no response from the server.

Tracert is another useful tool that will list the route and measure transit delays of packets across a network. To use Tracert, open a Command Prompt window and type tracert google.com. This will essentially map out the path from your PC to a Google server, listing the IP addresses of the servers and switches in between. Usually your packet's first few hops will start in your home network, then go through your ISP's network, and then eventually find their way to google.com. If the packet doesn't make it out of your network, the problem is inside your network; if it doesn't get past your ISP's network hubs, your ISP probably has a network outage or equipment failure (yes, a busted Internet connection isn't always your fault).

How to turn on/off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Windows 8

September 8, 2017 by findkeyhome  

There are two main ways that you can switch on or off wireless connectivity in Windows 8 – here's where we show you how to do both.

How to turn on/off wireless connectivity in Windows 8

You can turn on/off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Windows 8 computer easily by following these few simple steps. You also can reinstall the system to solve all the problems. If you can not find the previous activation code, you can click https://www.findkeyhome.com/to buy genuine windows product key with the lowest price.

Step one

Press the Windows key to bring up the Modern UI (aka metro interface) and simply type “Wireless". From here click and open the Settings icon located on the right hand side of the screen.

Step three

You will now see a list of wireless settings on the left hand side of the screen. The second option down will be a cog icon titled “Turn wireless communication on or off" - click on this.

Step four

From here you will have three options and you can individually turn on/off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, or enable Flight mode, which will turn off all Wireless connectivity.

That's how you turn on/off wireless connectivity in Windows 8. Easy eh?

How to turn on/off wireless connectivity in Windows 8 with touch

If you're lucky enough to have your Windows 8 computer optimized for touch, then turning on/off wireless connectivity is very simple.

Step one

Swipe in from the right of the screen to bring in the charms bar.

Step two

Open settings and click on the Wi-Fi symbol found in the bottom left of the Settings bar. From here simply toggle the Flight mode switch to the on or off position.

If you want to keep Wi-Fi on and turn Bluetooth off then you do so by clicking on PC Setting (found at the bottom of the settings bar) and follow step four above.


How to turn on or off Fast Startup in Windows 10

September 6, 2017 by findkeyhome  

Windows 10 may have divided opinion, but if your PC or laptop has it, there are plenty of features to like. Here are just 10. One of the default features is Fast Startup, and here's how to turn it on or off.

1 - Head to the Control Panel and click on Power Options

2 - Click the link of the left-hand side 'Choose what the power buttons do'

3 - Click the 'Change settings currently unavailable' link

4 - Tick the 'Turn on fast start-up' box under Shut-down settings

If you run into issues, here's some extra information which should help.

Fast Startup is linked to hibernation, and so it's more of a laptop feature than PC. It means you might not find it on your PC, and you certainly won't if yours has InstantGo (previously called 'Connected Standby' in Windows 8).

By default Fast Startup is enabled in Windows 10, so you shouldn't have to do anything if you were planning on enabling it.

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If you can't see Turn on fast start-up under Shut-down settings in the Control Panel, it could be because hibernation is disabled for some reason.

The quickest way to enable it is to right-click on the Start button and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu that appears.

Now type powercfg -h on and press Return - or Enter.

In case you're wondering, Fast Startup is a bit like Windows 8's Hybrid Sleep, except that it enables Windows 10 machines to start faster after being shut down, rather than put in sleep mode. When you turn off your PC or laptop, Windows 10 saves the current state to the hibernation file, and reads this when you turn it back on.

And that explains how you can carry on where you left off even if you choose shut down instead of sleep in Windows 10.

How to deploy dns on windows server 2016 nano edition

September 4, 2017 by findkeyhome  

DNS is one of the most important services to keep local to your users. A remote DNS means that every name resolution request experiences latency, and that means every connection to every service will be slower than it needs to be...even to local file and print resources. Many offices are considered too small, too remote, or too insecure to deploy more than the bare minimum number of servers to, which is a scenario that Windows Server 2016 Nano edition and Windows Hyper-V Server 2016 can solve. Configure a single, smaller, piece of hardware running Hyper-V Server 2016 as a minimal host, and deploy VMs on it to provide local resources like DNS, F&P, and perhaps IIS for some local apps. We're going to look at the DNS aspect in this post.


We're assuming in this post that you have a Hyper-V host in place which has the resources to host a Nano VM. Sure, if you had the Hyper-V host already in place, you could deploy DNS on to it, but in the interest of keeping this remote office as low maintenance as possible, running things as thinly as you can, and minimizing both patching and reboot down times, keeping the server headless, and being able to administer things remotely through tools or even a console emulator, Nano is the way to go. Once your Nano server is deployed, here's how to get DNS going.

Setting up the DNS service

You can set up the DNS service on your Nano to be a caching-only server, which will minimize memory and effort, while still providing local name resolution for your users, except of course for the first one to need to resolve a query! You can also set up the Nano DNS as the secondary to other servers, or as authoritative for a domain. Just remember that since this is Nano, it's not going to be able to read from or store zones in Active Directory, so you will be dealing with a file-based DNS. That doesn't mean you cannot host the entire AD zone as a secondary zone on the server, just that you will have to set it up and point it to a domain controller as it's primary. Here are some example commands to get you started.