How to: Enable BitLocker in Windows 8 without a TPM

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Microsoft, Tips, Windows 8

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One of the advantages of Windows 7 and now Windows 8, is the ability to encrypt whole drives using BitLocker or BitLocker To Go. First of all, what is BitLocker?

  • BitLocker provides disk drive encryption. When enabled BitLocker encrypts the entire disk. When adding new files to the disk those are immediately encrypted as well
  • BitLocker can do this to both system and non-system drives
  • BitLocker protects vital Windows system files during boot-up.
  • BitLocker works with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security hardware, which is provided in some modern PCs
  • When copying or moving files off of a BitLocker protected drive they are automatically decrypted

Alas, none of my PCs have a TPM, so one might think that this is a no-go option.

But, no – you can actually enable BitLocker on Windows 8, even on PCs without a TPM

In order to do this follow these few steps;

  • Make sure you are logged on as an administrator
  • Hit the Windows key and type gpedit.msc

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  • Hit enter and the Local Group Policy Editor comes up;

Refreshing Windows 8

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Software, Tips, Windows 8

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In my previous post I described the process I went through in order to upgrade both my laptop and desktop computers from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Both apparent success stories, except that it really was not on my laptop. After using it for some hours and few days I discovered a bug related to the desktop version of MetroTwit. When I tried to open up the application the process would start up, consuming up to anywhere between 15 and 20 MBs of RAM, and then just freeze up. There was no splash screen, and the application itself never showed up on the desktop. I tried uninstalling both the desktop and Metro-version, then reinstalling the desktop application to no avail. I searched online to see whether anyone else had encountered similar problems, without finding anything. The problem probably had nothing to do with MetroTwit itself, as it ran just fine on my upgraded desktop PC.

I took a hard look at what I had on my laptop, and contemplated formatting the C drive and doing a clean install, but decided against it since I have too much data on that drive that then needed to be moved off it before proceeding (I have back-ups of everything – both on and off site). Lets just say that the sheer size of the workload put me off. I know that Windows 8 comes with some new features allowing you to refresh your operating system, while keeping your files and settings. This meant blowing away all applications, but still not as daunting a task as a complete reinstall would entail. So, as I mentioned in the previous post, after some short contemplation I decided to try this out on the laptop.

In order to start this process you navigate to the Charms bar by either moving the mouse to the lower right corner of the start screen, or by hitting Winkey + C.

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You choose Settings which brings up the following;

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Here you choose Change PC settings, which brings you onto this full-screen environment

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Click on General and scroll down until you see these options:

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As you can see, you can choose between refreshing your PC without affecting your files or reinstall Windows while removing everything. I chose the first of the two.

The screen then dims down and you are presented with the consequences of your actions. What to do…

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The OS then starts preparing for the operation

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As it found it my case, it needed some of the files I have on my Windows 8 USB key

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After popping in the USB-key and restarting the preparation face, I was notified that it was now ready to refresh my PC

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Then it is just to sit back and relax while the system refreshes itself. It will reboot the system, and you will eventually have to go through the intro and setup of your fresh Windows 8 install (as described in my previous post).

The outcome? A fresh copy of Windows 8 on your machine, with no other applications other than your Metro-style apps (eh Windows 8 modern UI apps – whatever). But, all my files and settings were still there. To give an example: After installing a fresh copy of iTunes onto the laptop, my whole library was there, and I was able to sync both my iPhone and iPad without having to wipe them and start over, which I would have had to had I done a complete reinstall of my system. Sweet!

And Windows 8 had also done me the service of putting an html file on my desktop with a list of all the applications I had installed previously. Let’s just say that I have not reinstalled every single one of them, neither will I. But what about MetroTwit you ask? I headed over to the website, downloaded the desktop version, installed it and it is just running as beautiful as it always has. Success!

All in all a perfect way of making sure your system is running like its new, without loosing any of your data. A total win for Windows 8. Killer feature!

Internet Explorer 9 Beta is here!

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Screenshots, Tips, Windows 7;

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Today, September 15th 2010, Internet Explorer 9 Beta went public. And the only way to sum up my first impressions is – wow – IE is back in the game. I have been using Google Chrome for the last year. I like its simple user interface and speed, compared to IE 8, which became slower and slower to me. IE 9 on the other hand is slick, slim and fast.

I will test the browser more thoroughly in the weeks to come, and will for now only show you some screenshots with my comments after a few hours use. For more in debth information Ed Bott and Paul Thurrott have both written up their impressions after a few weeks use and both articles are really worth reading.

 

If you want to download the beta yourself head on over to the beautyoftheweb.com site to get the bits;

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Underneath are a few screenshots I have taken that shows IE 9 Beta in action;

 

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The IE 9 Beta site that welcomes you after installing it

 

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My homepage setup in IE 9 Beta with the LastPass add-in and the Favorites bar.

 

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My Hotmail inbox with the taskbar preview of all the tabs showing at the bottom.

 

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IE 9 Beta allows you to pin tabs to the taskbar, and for sites to make spesific jump lists for their sites. Paul Thurrotts’ winsupersite.com already has that functionality enabled as seen on this screenshot.

 

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The open new tab displays this page. Yes, there is definitely something similar to Chrome here, and I am pretty sure that a lot of people will compare IE 9 Beta to Chrome due to this and the general layout of the browser. It still feels different in all the right places.

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Like in Chrome you now search directly from the addressbar. But unlike Chrome the more secure option is default and you have to actively select to turn on search suggestions – which means that your keystrokes are transmitted over the net.

 

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Here I have locked the Favorties pane on the left, and here I am missing one of my simple but favorite UI solution from IE 7 and 8; the little blue arrow that pops up on the right side of your bookmarked links which enabled me to with just one click open the link in a new tab. Here I either have to right click and then choose “open link in new tab” or hold down CTRL while clicking the link – Microsoft – please bring back the blue right arrow.

 

To sum it up; Impressive and a total redesign of Internet Explorer. It is fast, it is good looking, it has great integration with Windows 7 and it really looks promising going forward. I have already made it my default browser and it will be interesting to see how I feel about it after more regular use of it. If you are using some other browser, it being an older version of IE or one of the competing browsers like Firefox or Chrome you ought to test this one out – you will be positively surprised

 

Two thumbs up!

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