Wednesday, 31 May 2017

How to activate Windows 10 after a reinstall on (Tier 1) OEM licensed hardware

I've recently been buying a lot of Dell hardware for my clients, then performing aftermarket upgrades as it is very cost effective. After installing a new SSD and reinstalling Windows, it reports as not activated.

To fix this, run the following command:

wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

It outputs the key straight away, and you can copy/paste this to the regular activation window.

And done - this is ridiculously simple and I am not at all sure why Windows doesn't do this automatically.

(I usually install from a ISO acquired from VLSC. I have not tested using a Dell branded disk, or even a standard OEM edition)


I had a client purchase 10 machines that were upgraded - 9 worked fine, then the 10th said that the key had already been used (I did the above steps each time, didn't reuse once).

The solution was to go to the (elevated) command prompt and type "slui 4"

I then did the old phone activation which went through fine.

I have no idea why 9 were successful and 1 failed.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Office 2016 problems

After many months of Office 2016 being available on Office 365 to some customers, it was finally added to mine and I finally upgraded around 2 months ago.

With a single exception being a really nice feature in Outlook where the attach file button shows the most recently edited files, I have yet to see any killer feature or improvement in day to day usage.

To start, my start menu keeps losing associations with all the Office programs.

Doing a repair install seems to fix this temporarily, but, give it a few hours and it breaks again.

The biggest annoyance I have at the moment is that Excel and Word just seem to be so buggy - it is unreal.

I have been trying to do various accounting work for the past 2 days involving having two spreadsheets open. I worked for 2 hours, making various marks on the spreadsheet - and when I clicked save, absolutely nothing happened.

I then tried to highlight to do copy and I got a weird out of memory warning (despite having ~40% free on a 16GB system). I tried so many things, but, it was, in official terms "buggered". Upon restarting, the worst thing was there was no auto recovery.

This has unfortunately happened so many times now that whenever I am doing work, I find myself saving a lot more often than I previously used to (after each row sometimes) and just restart the moment I see an error.

I wish I could say it was a failed installation, but, I have the same on my home machine and two of my laptops (I don't use any out of the ordinary add-ons).

There was an Office 365 addon today - running it fixed the file associations for about 6 hours - but, they are broken again and I have already had the Excel bug a few minutes ago.

It was a very similar bug (freeze on saving) that got me to leave my year long experiment with OpenOffice many years ago - I wonder how that or Libre Office is coming along?! I just can't put up with this much longer - or, maybe I should just go back to Office 2013.

Years on, I've sold so many Office licensing deals to companies because it is the right thing to do from an IT standpoint (deployment/growth etc. is so much easier), but, the IT cynic in me wonders if people are just best off buying boxed copies/OEM with the huge release cycle Microsoft seem to have - and how lackluster the improvements seem to be in every version.

... Still waiting for the version of Word that can type a dissertation or other long document for you!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Migrating Gmail to Office 365: MigrationPermanentException Error with user name and password

Have you been pulling your hair out for the past few hours (or days?) and not found anything online that can help?

Yep... Same here - been driving me mad! I've checked, double checked, triple checked all username and passwords which are all correct, but every migration comes up with the same error:

"Error:MigrationPermanentException: We had trouble signing in to this account. Please confirm that you‎'re using the correct user name and password."

Well, after a bit of digging, this is actually an easy one to fix -

1. Login to Gmail as the user
2. Go to account options (as of writing, click the name in the top right corner then "My account").
3. Click on the big "Sign-in & Security" button
4. Go to "Connected apps & sites"
5. Turn on "Allow less secure apps"

And, try the migration again - please note, you will have to delete any other migration in progress that has the same mailbox, or, it may skip over it without giving feedback.

I hope this helps and saves you hours of time!

If it does and you do not currently have a partner, please add EZPC Limited as your partner of record (the ID is 612026) for your Office 365 account and we will be happy to assist you in the future!

To anyone else thinking of signing up to Office 365, here is a link to a no obligation 25 user, 30 day trial:

Too Long :(

It's been over a year since my last blog post :(

Where has the time gone - and wow, what a year! There has been some very big changes which I'm sure I'll be blogging about later!

I just want to say a big thank you to all my friends and ex-coworkers for the support you continue to give.

That you to the people who have been answering comments left by others, and sorry for all the spam here :( I thought Blogger was better than this - I've cleared well over 1,000 entries, but there is loads more to do.

Anyway... I've been adding topics to my todo list and I'll get around to blogging regularly again soon!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Getting an "Error Verifying Request Signature or Signing Certificate" message on Windows Server (0x800b0101 (-2146762495))

I went through hours of trying to fix this, without finding anything on Google... I hope this gets rated high on the search results for the terms :0x800b0101 (-2146762495)

The short story is simply, don't try to renew an already expired certificate - just issue a new one in the same name.

You can only renew non-expired certificates, otherwise you get the message:

 “Error Verifying Request Signature or Signing Certificate. A required certificate is not within its validity period when verifying against the current system clock or the timestamp in the signed file. 0x800b0101 (-2146762495).”

... Sorry if you have just had to run through tonnes of useless patching that hasn't fixed it!

Friday, 9 May 2014

How to fix Apple Iphone/IOS asking for your password when connecting to ActiveSync (Exchange or Hotmail).

A lot of users at my company appear to be continually asked for their user name and password credentials when trying to retrieve emails (From Exchange) on their iPhones since updating to version 7.1.1

It looks like Apple have somehow screwed something up again!

A three point solution that seems to have fixed the vast majority of these cases within the company:

1) Delete the email account
2) Hold down the power and home button (as if you are taking a screenshot) until the Apple logo comes up (can be a good 10-15 seconds). Let go straight after seeing the Apple logo.
3) When restarted, re add the email account using your correct credentials

Please note from my testing, 50% of phones were fixed after just doing the reset as per step 2. For the ones where this didn't work, I added steps 1 and 3. There are still a few phones that won't save the password - I believe something else is the problem and if I find out, I'll update this post.... It is more than likely this will be stealthy fixed in a future update.

I tested this on:

Iphone 4, 5, 5s
Ios version 7.1.1
Connecting to Microsoft Exchange on premis, Office 365,

Saturday, 1 March 2014

How to upgrade Windows 8 volume license to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store

***Update at the bottom***

After searching for ages, I came up with only complaints online and couldn't actually find a solution... So I thought I would make one!

Remember the days of Windows XP where you could upgrade in so many ways? Windows Update, Slipstream, IT Pro Deployment pack... I really miss how easy Microsoft used to make things!

If you have a volume license edition of Windows 8, you will know that you can't easily upgrade to 8.1 without downloading the 8.1 ISO and performing an upgrade, or upgrading your own deployment infrastructure to support it.

Whilst having your own deployment infrstructure is best for large companies, for smaller companies, this is a real big PITA that you really should try to avoid if you can.

Microsoft have taken the decision that you can't upgrade to 8.1 if you have a volume license edition of Windows. Well... There is a simple solution... Don't use a volume edition!

In order to easily upgrade using the store, open an administrative command prompt, and from there type:

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk V7C3N-3W6CM-PDKR2-KW8DQ-RJMRD

(This is a Microsoft Retail default key used by OEM/System builders to get through setup, it will not activate, but you don't need it to).

Once you have done this, run "wsrest" to delete the windows store cache and restart your computer.

After you have done this, Windows 8.1 will appear on the Windows Store and you can successfully upgrade to it.

Once you are on Windows 8.1, simply change back to a KMS edition via the volume license default codes:

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9

Then activate against your KMS host

c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato

And you are done!

Update: A lot of people are commenting here about activation failing and the key being blocked.

Please note, this is simply meant to be a way to upgrade 8 VLK edition to 8.1 without a reinstall. It is NOT a way to get Windows for free or bypass licensing.

Once you are upgraded, the step I gave above will reapply a default product key that is not able to activate - it is your job to target your KMS (or other) host and activate in the same way as you did before the upgrade. If you do not, Windows will act in an unactivated state (the same as installing without a valid key)