Windows 8.1 key Archives

Windows 8.1 key Archives

Windows 8.1 key Archives

Windows 8.1 key Archives

The End of Life for Windows 7, Server 2008 R2, & Small Business Server 2008 + 2011

Where do you draw the line on personal privacy? The right options are different for everyone. This guide shows the privacy settings that will help you to create the right balance of privacy and convenience in Windows 10.

Over the past year, We’ve read countless “privacy guides” for Windows 10. Most are well-intentioned, but they invariably take a simplistic approach to privacy: Just turn off every switch in the Privacy section of the Settings app.

If you do that, you’re not understanding the privacy landscape, which encompasses far more than just those settings. You’re also missing some important additional steps.

Windows 10 is a mix of software and services. With every session, a Windows 10 device exchanges a great deal of information with Microsoft’s servers. That’s neither unusual nor alarming. Microsoft’s chief rivals, Google and Apple, are also blending services into their software, with the goal of making your life easier and making that software more reliable.

So are other tech companies that you don’t think of as software companies: Amazon, with the Echo. Tesla, with its self-updating, software-driven cars. Your thermostat and your home security system.

There’s something profoundly satisfying about a service that anticipates your every move, reminding you when to leave for an appointment to arrive on time, or to pick up flowers for your anniversary tomorrow. Your digital personal assistant, whether it’s Siri or Cortana or Alexa or Google, needs to be able to see your calendar and contacts to make that magic happen.

But when that sort of personal attention goes too far, it “crosses the creepy line,” to use a phrase that Eric Schmidt probably regrets uttering when he was Google’s CEO.

The thing about that line is that it’s drawn in a different place for everyone. There are people who are thrilled at the idea that their PC or mobile device is so familiar with their actions that it can anticipate what they’ll do next. I know others who would like to build a virtual Faraday cage around their computing hardware so that none of their personal details can escape.

Both of those viewpoints, and everything in between, are perfectly valid. That’s why the software and services we use are loaded with switches and dials designed to help you take control of their potential privacy impact.

In this post, We’ll walk you through the big privacy questions for Windows 10, with enough context to help you decide which settings are right for you.

Note that this guide assumes you are using Windows 10 on a personal PC or one in your small business. If you are in an enterprise setting, or if you are in a regulated industry, you should seek professional assistance to ensure that you’re meeting proper standards.

Let’s start with the part of your PC that has the biggest impact on your personal privacy.


No one knows more about your online identity than your Internet service provider. Every packet you send or receive from anywhere online goes through their servers. When you travel and connect to Wi-Fi networks that are under the control of others, the owners of those networks can see every connection you make and can intercept their contents.

Regardless of the platform you use, that’s why it’s important you use encrypted connections for any kind of sensitive communications. Using a virtual private network whenever possible is an excellent best practice.

Windows 10 does offer one obscure option that can help protect third parties from tracking your movements based on your connections to Wi-Fi networks. (Note that this feature requires support from your Wi-Fi adapter, so if you don’t see this option, the most likely explanation is that your hardware doesn’t support it.) Under Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, turn the Use random hardware addresses setting to On.

That step keeps third parties from matching your Wi-Fi adapter’s hardware address with your personal information, making it more difficult to track your location.


Countless third-party ad networks and analytics companies use cookies and other tracking technology to record your movements around the web and to correlate your online activities with your offline identity.

The result is a digital fingerprint that can be extraordinarily detailed and, unfortunately, outside of your ability to change.

To limit the amount of information that those ad and analytics companies know about you from your web browsing, consider third-party anti-tracking software such as Abine’s Blur, which is available for every web browser except Microsoft Edge. (That lack of solid support for add-ons is one reason I can’t yet recommend Edge as a full-time browser for most Windows 10 users.)

Another privacy product worth considering is Ghostery, although some are suspicious of this browser extension because of its uncomfortably close ties to the online advertising industry.

Ad-blocking software can also provide some privacy protection as a side-effect of performing its basic function. Here, too, watch out for close ties between some ad-blocking add-ins and the third-party trackers they supposedly protect you from.

Note that none of these steps is unique to Windows 10. Anti-tracking software is typically a browser add-in and works with most popular browsers.


With those two big, platform-independent factors out of the way, we can now turn to Windows 10 itself. When you use a Windows 10 device, it is capable of sharing the following types of information with Microsoft’s servers:

Your location

Windows 10 can determine your location to help with actions like automatically setting your current time zone. It can also record a location history on a per-device basis. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location to control the following:

  • Location on/off?Use the master switch at the top of this page to disable all location features for all users of the current device.
  • Location service on/off?If location is on for Windows, you can still turn it off for your user account here.
  • General location?This allows you to set a city, zip code, or region so that apps can deliver relevant content.
  • Default location?Click Set default to open the Maps app and specify the location you want Windows to use when a more precise location is not available.
  • Location history?Click Clear to erase the saved history for a Windows 10 device.

If location is on, a list at the bottom of the Settings > Privacy > Location page allows you to disable access to that data on a per-app basis.

Your input

If you enable Cortana, Windows 10 uploads some info from your devices, such as your calendar, contacts, and location and browsing history, so that Cortana can make personalized recommendations. If you don’t want any accounts on your PC to use Cortana, follow the steps in this article to disable the feature completely: Turn off Cortana completely.

Windows 10 uses some feedback from the way you type, write, and speak to improve performance for you and as a way to improve the overall platform. This isn’t keystroke logging; rather, the operating system uses a very small amount of information. A separate feature uses your speech and writing history to make better suggestions in Windows and Cortana.

You can control this collection with two sets of controls:

Under Settings > Privacy > General, click Info about how I write and turn it off so that your typos aren’t used to improve things like the built-in spell checker.

Under Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing, under the Getting to know you heading, click Stop getting to know me to turn off personalization.

To clear previously saved information associated with your Microsoft account, click the first link under the Manage cloud info heading. That takes you to this Bing Personalization page, which includes this prominent button:

Click Clear to remove that saved information from the cloud.

Files and settings

When you sign in with a Microsoft account, you have the option to save files to the cloud using OneDrive. Windows 10 also syncs some settings to OneDrive, allowing you to have the same desktop background, saved passwords, and other personalized settings when you sign in with that account on multiple PCs.

If you use a local account, of course, none of your settings are synced. If you use a Microsoft account, you can turn off syncing completely or remove certain settings from the sync list by going to Settings > Accounts > Sync Your Settings.

OneDrive is an opt-in service. If you don’t sign in, it does nothing. You can’t save files to OneDrive accidentally, and no files are uploaded without your explicit permission, which you can revoke any time. To disable OneDrive for all users on your PC, follow these instructions: Shut down OneDrive completely.


Microsoft, like all modern software companies, uses feedback from its installed base to identify problems and improve performance. In Windows 10, this feedback mechanism produces diagnostics data (aka telemetry) that is uploaded to Microsoft at regular intervals. The data is anonymized and is not used to create a profile of you.

The default telemetry setting for all consumer and small business versions of Windows 10 is Full, which means that the uploaded data also includes details (also anonymized) about app usage. If you are concerned about possible inadvertent leakage of personal information, I recommend that you go to Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics and change the Diagnostic and usage data setting to Basic.


Although the number of subcategories under the Privacy heading in Settings seems daunting, most of them govern access to your information by Windows Store apps. That set of apps includes those that are preinstalled (Mail, Calendar, Groove Music, Photos, and so on) as well as those you acquire from the Store.

Most of the categories offer a single on-off switch at the top, which you can use to disable all access to that feature by all apps. If you leave the feature enabled, you can use a list of apps at the bottom of the page to enable or disable access on a per-app basis.

This capability works the same with the following categories: Camera, Microphone, Notifications, Account Info, Call History, and Radios. The Other Devices category lets apps automatically share and sync info with wireless devices that aren’t explicitly paired with your PC. Use the Background Apps category to specify which apps are allowed to work in the background.

If Location is enabled, you have the option to disable location access on a per-app basis and to disable Geofencing.

The Contacts, Calendar, Email, and Messaging categories allow you to control which apps can have access to these features. If you want to share content from an app using email or messaging, this option has to be on for that app. Note that Mail and Calendar, People, and Phone always have access to your contacts; Mail and Calendar are always allowed to access and send email and always have access to your calendar.

Finally, one horribly misunderstood setting is available under Settings > Privacy > General. Advertising ID controls whether Microsoft serves personalized ads to ad-supported apps. If you turn this option off, you still get ads, but they’re not personalized. In any case, your information is not shared with advertisers.

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Posted inInternet Security, Laptops, Microsoft, PCs, Quick Reference Guides, Security, Surface Tablet, Tips & Info, Uncategorized, Virus / Adware / Spyware Removal, Windows, Windows 8.1
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, Windows 8.1 key Archives

Working Hard In IT

It’s a great day as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 bits have gone GA (“General Availability”). So it’s of to the Volume License Servicing Center to get the bits and the keys.

Before we start the roll out we need to either bring up a Windows Server 2012 R2 (or Windows 8.1) KMS host or upgrade the existing one that runs Windows Server 2012 or lower. In this example our KMS Service is running on Windows Server 2008 R2 so we need to do a couple of things.

Install the following update: KB 2885698: Update adds support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 clients to Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 KMS hosts (see Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8.1 KMS Service Activation).  If you don’t install this hotfix registering a Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key will throw an error:

0xc004f015: The Software Licensing Service reported that the license is not installed.

So grab the hotfix and install it from an elevated command prompt. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine

Once you’ve clicked “Yes” the installation will start

When the installation has finished you will be asked to restart the server. You need to do so. Just restarting the KMS service ("net stop sppsvc" and "net start sppsvc") doesn’t seem to suffice.

When your server comes back up you’ll be ready to install and activate the Windows Server 2012 R2 KMS key.

First we take a look at the current situation:

slmgr.vbs /dlv => clearly the Windows 2012 KMS key

Uninstall the current KMS key using slmgr.vbs /upk, please use an elevated command prompt

Now you can install the new Windows 2012 R2 KMS key. If you run in to any issues here, restarting the KMS Service can help (("net stop sppsvc" and "net start sppsvc") . Try that first.


Be patient, it’s not instantaneous.

The key listed here is for all you wannabe pirates out there, sorry, this is the navy. If you’re, looking for illegal keys, cracks, keygens, activators or dodgy KMS virtual machine for Windows  8.1 activation and such this is not the place .

You now need to activate your brand new KMS key running slmgr.vbs /ato

Show what’s up and running now by running slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see we’re in business to activate all our Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 hosts. I’m happy to report that our users will be enjoying Windows 8.1 on the clients in 2014 & the infrastructure in the data center will be benefiting form the goodness Windows Server 2012 R2 brings.

Posted inIT Pro, Microsoft, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 | TaggedActivation, Key, KMS, Licensing, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 | 45 RepliesИсточник: []
Windows 8.1 key Archives

How to Find Product Key for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

If forgot or lost Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key, how could we find it?

It is known that Windows 8 is different from previous Windows operational system. There is no sticker available on computer listing product license key. In Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 computer, product keys are saved in the registry and evaluated each time you load a Windows update.

So now see three options on how to find Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key from BIOS and registry?

  1. Option 1: Find Windows 8 Product Key in Registry
  2. Option 2: Find Windows 8 New Product Key from Microsoft
  3. Option 3: Find Windows 8 Product Key with Third-Party Software

Option 1: Find Windows 8 product key in registry

From the above introduction, we know Windows product key is saved in registry, so we open registry now to view Windows product key.

1. Press Win + R to get Run box appear.

2. Enter Regedit into the text box displayed and press OK button. Windows registry editor opens.

3. Navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion" key in the registry. This holds several Windows settings for your machine.

4. Right-click the ProductId key and select Modify. View the number displayed. This is your product key for Windows. Press the "Cancel" button to avoid making changes to the value.

Option 2: Find Windows 8 new product key from Microsoft

If the above couldn't help you, we need to ask for Windows 8 replacement product key from Microsoft. But at first you have to make sure Windows 8 version you are using. Is it Windows OEM version? If it is, you have to call the support department of your PC vendor first.

If your vendor cannot solve your problem, then you should go to Microsoft support and ask them for Windows 8 replacement product key.

Now activate Windows 8 new product key in command prompt:

1. Open the command prompt as administrator (when opened as admin the prompt will be at "c:\windows\system32").

2. Uninstall the present Product Key (if any) by typing this "slmgr /upk".
A message should pop up notifying it done.

3. Now install the new Product Key by typing this command "slmgr /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX". This command will replace the X's with the Windows 8/8.1 key.

A message should pop up to notify you later that new product key has been installed. You can verify it by refreshing and checking the systems properties page. Hope your problem has been solved.

Option 3: Find Windows 8 product key with third-party software

Surely, above two ways work sometimes. But whether there is another way more easily and effectively to find Windows 8 product key? The answer is yes. iSunshare Product Key Finder is such third-party software used to find forgotten or lost product keys for installed software programs, including Windows, Office, SQL Server, IE, Adobe etc.

Step 1: Get Product Key Finder and install it on your computer.

Step 2: Run it and click Start Recovery. Product Key Finder begins to find Windows 8 product key and product ID and other software license keys.

About few seconds later, you will see their product keys and product ID listed in the Product Key Finder. 

Step 3: Click Save or Save to File button to save all the product keys in a text document.

Open the text file, you would see not Windows 8 or 8.1 product key is saved there, but also product keys of Microsoft Office, SQL Server, and other software listed above are found together.

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