Fix for Windows Update unable to find any update [updated]

This has been reported to be happening after fresh install of Windows 7 SP 1. But, it happened to me on an old netbook with Windows installed three years a go or more as well. There were also reports, that fix shown in this article can help for Windows Vista SP2 not being able to install any new updates. I’m also pretty sure, that certain Microsoft downloads (even those offline) are affected by this problem, i.e. until you fix it, you won’t be able to install .NET Framework (for example) on freshly installed Windows 7 SP1.

Anyway, if at any point of time on any Windows you’ll notice, that Windows Update hasn’t updated any new updates for past few weeks or if searching for new updates in Windows Update hangs forever or you run into some weird problems with installing Microsoft tools then you should read this article, as you may find fix for your problem and many useful links here.

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Download Windows ISO images from Windows 10 page [updated]

Currently the only official way of downloading Windows 7 ISO image is by visiting Windows 7 Disc Images website and providing valid license key. There is no official way to download these images, if you don’t have a key. Fortunately raymond.cc brought a nifty workaround, found by one of the Russian groups of net-freaks.

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Using arrow keys to quickly changing active window placement

By a complete accident I have found a cool feature in Windows 7 (probably works in other versions as well), that allows you to use Windows and keyboard arrows to quickly change active window placement.

You can change horizontal placement (i.e. pick to which screen margin active windows sticks) as well as vertical placement (i.e. quickly maximize or minimize active window).

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Second life of burned-down DVDs (or CDs)

Default, system DVD burning program in Windows 7 is widely known for being very unstable and having burned-down (wasted, destroyed) DVDs ratio even as high as 20-30% (meaning, that you successfully burn only seven DVDs out of ten). If using more stable, dedicated software is not an option (for various reasons), you have to survive hell of using default burner. However, the fact, that DVD is burned-down doesn’t necessary mean, that you should recycle that DVD. In many case you can re-used in future.

This article started as a simple guide, on how you can re-use disk, that were damaged by native Windows burning software. But, since I was burning about 30 DVD DL files, when writing this text, I also included some tips and extra general information on burning disks and using UDF-formatted DVDs. So, this post may become useful even to those, who does not have any problems with disk burnout process under Windows.

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OneDrive troubleshooting on Windows 8.1

I had a serious problems with OneDrive on Windows 8.1. I wasn’t able to access my folder or OneDrive settings (to at least login to OneDrive account and start syncing). I wasn’t evan able to start OneDrive or see its icon in file explorer. Ultimately, I gave up and “resolved” my problem by upgrading system to Windows 10. However, you may use this article as a kind of checklist to see, if you have checked everything, when resolving your problems with OneDrive under Windows 8.1.

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Use custom ringtones in Microsoft Lumia phone

I’ve been struggling for hours to force my Microsoft Lumia 535 to display (and allow me to select) any .mp3 file as custom ringtone. Finally, this WindowsPhone.se answer solved my problems. However, there were some side notes and differences with my Lumia 535, that are not mentioned in this article, so I decided to write following post to further extend it.

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Purge Windows of private data when disk formatting is not an option

When I was hired by my previous employer, I was allowed to use office computer partially for private purposes, i.e. I was allowed to install Dropbox and use Google Chrome with my private account to sync all bookmarks and use password manager.

When I left this employer, to my surprise, I was refused to format system disk. And so, I have come with this short checklist or memo-like article of which steps should be undertaken or considered in similar situation.

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Deploying a PhoneGap app to Windows Marketplace

After Deploying a PhoneGap application to iTunes (App Store) and Deploying a PhoneGap app to Google Play articles, here comes the time to deal with Windows Mobile platform and Windows Marketplace. This article should provide you with all the necessary information on how to successfully submit your .xap file (compiled locally or through Phonegap Bulid) to Windows Marketplace.

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Install and run OS X Yosemite in Virtualbox on your Windows

There are so many articles in the Internet (type Mac OS X virtual machine to Google or your favorite search site to get thousands of them) about running OS X on PC in VirtualBox, that writing another one is just a pure stupidity. Instead, this article includes only a quick check-list to extract essential information from these articles and leave all unnecessary garbage blah-blah behind.

This post is a short version of this article. Refer to it for all details, explanations, solutions for a possible problems and things like that. This guide assume, that you’re installing OS X inside a virtual machine only for one purpose — sending your iOS apps to iTunes through ApplicationLoader program. For this reason, certain parts of original guide are skipped. If you intend to use OS X for other purposes, you may need to enhance your knowledge, by reading missing parts from other sources.

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Changing default PowerPoint presentation

Changing default document for Word (i.e., the one, that is opened each time you start Word) is an easy task. You just have to open %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates folder and save any document as Word Template under Normal.dot file name in this location. Changing default PowerPoint isn’t that easy, because file names and file paths are different. I keep forgetting about this, so I wrote this article as my personal memo.

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Force macro-enabled documents to not display warning after opening

If you work with macro-enabled documents in Microsoft Office and you run on default settings, each such file will be always opened with macros disabled and you’ll have to click Enable macros each time to enable it. If documents are your own, you trust, that they contain no malicious code and they’re all stored in a secure location (i.e. not in some temporal or shared folder), you can change each Office program settings to have these files always opened with macros enabled.

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Changing default icon for a file type in Windows 7

Windows XP was the last Windows system to have File Types tab in the Folder Options applet and to allow user easily changing default icon for particular file extension. This tab was replaced in Windows Vista and following systems by Default Programs applet from Control Panel. It lacks many features, including changing icons for file types. Therefore, in Windows systems following Windows XP you have to either use 3rd party software for achieving this simple task or dig in Windows Registry. This isn’t that hard task as it seems, so read on, if you want to give this method a try.

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Password prompt when accessing account without password via network

If you are trying to access computer, that has only one account, without password, you’ll be asked to provide password anyway. This is normal. By default, Windows blocks all non-local logins to accounts that don’t have passwords, for security reasons. There are few things you can do with this situation.

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No contacts on Windows Mobile after adding Google account

If you have just purchased new Microsoft Lumia phone (or any other device, that uses Windows Mobile system), added your Google account to this device and you found out, that even though synchronization was successful, you have absolutely no contacts imported, then you’re in the same situation, as I was and this article should help.

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Error 1618 when installing any software on Windows

You can find this error during for example Skype or Java Runtime Environment installation. And probably many more. It just means that another program’s installation is in progress and current one can’t continue.

It happens in most case, when you try to install some software, when Windows Update is installing heavy portion of updates. And current program can’t install or update some system elements, that are being updated by Windows Update in the same time.

Solution? Wait some time (until end of Windows Update process?) and then restart installer of your program.

Offline installer for Microsoft Office 2010 and other products

Microsoft has changed offline installation policy and you can’t download any offline installer, until you don’t provide your product key and you don’t login with your Microsoft account. If you don’t have it or you don’t want to use it, then the only option, you’re left with is to download offline installer from unofficial sources.

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Making Windows 8 at least usable

Microsoft is a sinusoid, when talking about Windows releases. It always has perfect system followed by a total mistake and nightmare.

Since Windows 7 was a nearly-perfect system (thousand times better that Vista-joke), then we could expect, that Windows 8, that follows it, will be a nightmare, joke and a total mistake. It is.

While we’re waiting for (hopefully “perfect”?) Windows 9, we need to do something to make Windows 8 at least usable. Because, out-of-the-box, this system isn’t usable and is the shortest path to permanent mental illness. If you can avoid Windows 8, then do it, without asking why. If you’re forced to use it, this article should be a start point for restoring your mental stability.

This is rather a check-list (with some coment), what you should do or at least consider, than fully featured article. And, yes! Everything, what is written here, was tested on Windows 8.1, so should work just perfectly on both Windows 8 and 8.1.

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Write a directory tree to a text file in Windows command line

I found a question “How to write a list of directory trees to a text file?” on Stack Overflow, as I was looking for exactly the same solution. It has two brilliant answers, and since I’m using this blog as my personal remember-that-diary, I decided to share it here, so I shouldn’t look for this solution again.

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Invert non-consecutive data column in Excel

Let’s say, that you have a one or more columns, in which you would like to invert data. What is most important — data does not follow step-by-step (in which case you’d use simple data sorting function in Excel), It can have something like –1, 5, 76, 23, –65, 124 in each following row of column and you want it to have like 124, –65, 23, 76, 5, –1. How to do this, if you deal with hundreds or thousands of rows, so manual change is not an option?

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Change prompt and enable command auto-completion [updated]

I really like some simple extensions and changes to command line in Linux. An ability to enable command auto-complete, commands history navigation and changing prompts look in particular.

However, not every console is suited with these changes, so I wrote this simple article to keep all my how-tos around Linux command line in one place.

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Remove Shared Folders Synchronization from context menu item

There are several ways to get rid of Shared Folders Synchronization item from context menu (right-click menu) in Windows. They all depends on version of your Windows or Microsoft Office (responsible for adding this) and level of your computers skills. This post started as a quick example of removing this nasty context menu item, but ended up as a list of solutions, that you can use to remove many things that may slow down your computer. Consider reading this, even if you don’t have Microsoft Office, but your computer seems to be too slow.

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