If your Windows 10 PC says it’s having activation problems today, here’s why

A glitch with Microsoft’s activation servers appears to be disrupting many users’s PCs, as Windows 10 erroneously reports their systems as either un-activated or downgraded from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Home.

Users are advised to ignore the Windows messages and wait for the problem to resolve itself, according to postings in Microsoft’s support forums.


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Microsoft Broke Windows 10 Again, Despite Warnings From Windows Insiders

While it’s not as severe as having your documents wiped out of existence, it can still be classified as very irritating for users. That’s because the bug in question breaks file associations, preventing certain file types from opening with the default programs you choose. For example, not being able to associate Adobe Photoshop with image files, Notepad++ with text files or VLC with .mp4 files.


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Outlook Freezes or Not Responding

 

Outlook provides great flexibility by acting as a connectivity bridge for many pieces of professional software. However a lot of this software contain add-ins for Outlook that are not reliable. These add-ins can lead to Outlook not functioning properly. Outlook is designed to archive emails and reduce the size of your mailbox. When more items are added and the mailbox size increases, Outlook struggles with daily tasks which help provide quicker access to your mailbox and can lead up to Outlook Not Responding or Freezing of the program

There are numerous other reasons for “Outlook Not Responding” error. Such errors are quite frequent if it hangs or freezes while sending or accessing a mail.outlook-stop working

Some of the common causes of “Outlook Not Responding” error.

  • Outlook is outdated
  • Outlook is being used by multiple processes
  • Conflict with add-in’s installed with Outlook
  • Large mailbox
  • Corruption in Office programs
  • Corrupt/Damaged Outlook data files
  • Conflict with antivirus software and Outlook
  • Corrupt user profile
  • Conflict with any other program with Outlook

All the above-mentioned causes and the corresponding error message occurred in earlier versions along with the recent Outlook 2013 and 2010. So, in order to overcome the common issue of “Outlook Not Responding” error from all the versions, you need to have a common solution that works for Outlook 2013, 2010, 2007 and earlier versions.

 

These are some of the solutions that can be tried.

  • End Outlook.exe process
  • If the Outlook is being used by multiple processes, you can kill the hanging process. This can be done by following the below mentioned steps.
  • Start the Windows Task Manager by either by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del, or by right clicking the taskbar.
  • Choose “Start Task Manager“.
  • Switch to the Processes tab.
  • Choose the OUTLOOK.EXE by clicking on it.
  • Hit the “End Process” button.

 

  • Start Outlook in Safe mode
  • Starting Outlook in safe mode is yet another solution that is worth trying. Safe mode loads the Outlook without any add-ins and customization files. This can be done by following the below mentioned steps.
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click on its icon or open the command line and type outlook.exe /safe.
  • Click Yes to confirm that you really want to start Outlook in Safe mode.
  • If the above steps resolve your issue, the problem was most likely with one of your add-ins.

 

  • Disable your Outlook add-ins
  • If you experience the “Outlook Not Responding” error for the first time, then try turning off the recently installed add-ins one-by-one. In order to turn off the add-ins in Outlook 2007, follow the below mentioned steps:
  • Go to the Tools menu
  • Click “Trust Center“ and choose ’Add-ins’
  • Click Go
  • In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, follow the below mentioned steps.
  • Switch to the File tab
  • Click ‘Options’
  • Choose ’Add-ins’
  • Click Go
  • Uncheck the add-ins and close the dialog.

 

  • Close all open programs and applications
  • Since Outlook is a complex application, it requires a lot of resources. If it does not have the required memory to perform a required operation, which can eventually lead to “Outlook Not Responding” error. A simple solution is to close all other programs that are not required at that moment.

 

  • Repair Outlook data files
  • You can always use the inbuilt utility to overcome many issues faced in Outlook. The Outlook comes with an efficient Inbox repair tool, which scans your damaged or corrupt Outlook data files and automatically repairs it. In order to use the Inbox Repair tool you need to follow the below mentioned steps.
  • Close Outlook.
  • Navigate to the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE14 folder if you are using Outlook 2010 and C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE15 for Outlook 2013.
  • Double-click Scanpst.exe.
  • Click “Browse” to select the Outlook data file.
  • Choose the scan options by opening the “Options” dialog box.
  • Click “Start” when you are done.
  • You can initiate the repair process, in case it spots any errors.
  • But sometimes, Inbox Repair Tool does not work and you can not repair your outlook PST file.

 

  • Reduce the size of your mailbox
  • With the accumulation of mail and its associated items, the Outlook mailbox grows in size. This can also make the Outlook unstable.
  • There are few simple ways to handle this problem.
  • Create multiple folders as Outlook takes more time in displaying items from a single folder while you are navigating to another folder. In this way, you can organise your mails as well as avoid any concerning errors.

Compact the Outlook data file by following the below mentioned steps.

1. If you are using Outlook 2010, go to the Compact option on the File tab, under Info > Accounts Settings >Data Files tab.

2. Choose your Personal folder.

3. Click Settings.

Click Compact Now by going to the General Tab.

 

If you are using Outlook 2013 and 2010, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

1. Right-click the Personal folder.

2. Select Data File Properties > Advanced>Compact Now.

 

Another way of reducing the file size is archiving your old items.

 

  • Synchronize Outlook without interrupting
  • While Outlook archives or synchronizes messages and contacts with your other devices, do not take any actions in Outlook during this period. This will allow Outlook to perform the archiving or synchronization process smoothly without giving any error.

 

  • Disable antivirus software
  • Outdated anti-virus or anti-spam programs are one of the main reasons for Outlook issues. These programs often conflict with Outlook and prevent them from functioning properly. It is always recommended to update the anti-virus from time-to-time. In addition, make sure that the Outlook add-ins are added to the trusted applications list of your protection software

 

  • Repair your Office programs
  • In case none of the above solution works, try repairing your Office programs. Follow the below mentioned steps to repair the Office programs.
  • Close Office applications.
  • Open Control Panel.
  • Right-click on the Microsoft Office under “Add or Remove Programs”.
  • Select Change.
  • Choose Repair
  • Click the Continue button.

To end, as with anything on a computer google search your issue someone else has probably had it and might have some insight/ideas to help you with a solution.

Petya Ransomware

Be careful opening any emails, even from people you know. Make sure your computer is backed up and you have all the latest updates to your Operating system. Run a Anti-Virus and even MalwareBytes, in 2017 you can not be too safe.

Behavioral analysis

This ransomware is delivered via scam emails themed as a job application. E-mail comes with a Dropbox link, where the malicious ZIP is hosted. This initial ZIP contains two elements:

  • a photo of a young man, purporting to be an applicant (in fact it is a publicly available stock image)
  • an executable, pretending to be a CV in a self-extracting archive or in PDF (in fact it is a malicious dropper in the form of a 32bit PE file):

petya_exe

In order to execute its harmful features, it needs to run with Administrator privileges. However, it doesn’t even try to deploy any user account control (UAC) bypass technique. It relies fully on social engineering.

Petya – Taking Ransomware To The Low Level

USB PC KILLER – They are now available, beware!

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What started as a proof-of-concept from researchers has now come to market. These items are not only available to buy, but they work. Please be cautious of any USB device someone wants to plug into your computer or device.

See the link below for more info and video proof it works.

http://gizmodo.com/you-can-now-buy-a-weaponized-usb-stick-for-55-1786451276

Windows 10 Tips – Default Printer

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With the introduction of Windows 10, there was a new feature added that might drive you nuts. “Let Windows Manage Your Default Printer” – This feature will automatically change your default printer to the last one used. If you only have one printer, it really does not matter; but if you have multiple printers it could create more time choosing printers than you need to.

This is switched on by default so if your printer default printer keeps changing on you, which is driving you up the wall simply turn it off.

Click your windows key or the windows icon (bottom left of taskbar), choose the settings/gear icon and then devices. Down at the bottom below your listed printers, you will find the option to turn it off or on. Make your choice and close the window, you can turn it back on by repeating the same steps.

Here is a screen shot of that window.2016-09-09

​Chrome to warn about insecure websites

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We all should know by now, that when we use the the web http:// means insecure and https:// means secure. You should never visit a site to do online shopping or any type of transaction that shows http:// and not https://. Well google in January 2017 with its chrome browser #57 will start warning you whenever you are on a insecure site. For more info click here.

Social Media Banner Templates

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If you are one into social media and just don’t want to use a image for your banner, but want to create something whether it is for branding or just being creative you will need to know what the specs are. Each social media site is different and they are ever evolving to change and tweak their look to keep it fresh.

Below you can download some PSD templates to assist you in creating that perfect look. We have taken the guess work out of what is visible and what is not. Each template file is clearly marked with guides to make your layout a breeze.

Our templates look like this:

twitter_header_template_COPC_2016

facebook_header_template_COPC_2016

youtube_header_template_COPC_2016

google_plus_header_template_COPC_2016

 

You can download them here:  DOWNLOAD

Windows Key + R Scam

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There is a growing problem with scam phone calls going around. You may get bogus calls telling you that your computer is infected and you need to press the Windows + R key or you could loose all your data. What this does is open the Run command on your PC and they will have run a command to clean it, but what they are doing is infecting your PC with malware and locking your PC down. What they plan on doing is holding your system ransom until you pay them.

No one is going to call you out of the blue and tell or ask you these things, be smart. Hang up the phone, if you have the ability to block the number do it. You could always tell them you are running a Mac, Linux box or Chrome book which all have no Windows keys.

Windows-key-R