Windows 8

How to activate a Windows 8 clean install with a Windows 8 upgrade key

I’ve always hated how most products (if not all) force you to install an older version of a product if you have an upgrade product key for it, and not just allow you to do a clean install and simply use your upgrade product key.

I was on Twitter yesterday and Jon Skeet had been able to do a clean install of Windows 8, but has having trouble activating the product online, getting the following error:

“The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installation”

One of his followers pointed to a page that contained the steps to work-around the clean install activation crippling. The steps are:

  1. Open the Registry (Windows + R –> regedit –> Enter)
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  3. Change the value of MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0.
  4. Open a Command window as Administrator (Windows + Q –> cmd –> Right Click –> Run As Administrator)
  5. Type: slmgr /rearm and hit Enter
  6. Reboot
  7. Run the activation utility again. You should be able to use your upgrade Product Key.

I got the steps from GHacks: Windows 8 Upgrade: clean install possible?

How to fix Google Drive error c24e where the sync button does not work or do anything

I upgraded one of my computers to Windows 8 today, and when I installed Google Drive and chose a custom setup configuration to only sync some of my folders, I got some weird behavior from Google Drive.

After selecting all the configuration options (leaving the default folder as it is), clicking the Start Sync (or Sync) button wouldn’t do anything at all. No feedback, no error message, no alert, no event viewer message, nothing. I waited for a few minutes, tried again, nothing. I uninstalled Google Drive, tried again, nothing.

After a few minutes, I got an alert box that just mentioned error c24e, and a few more tries gave a different error: An unknown issue occurred and Google Drive needs to quit. Error: Invalid root_inodes set.

A few minutes of google searches, and found a very long Google Products Forum post about a lot of people having this very same error.

Apparently, one of the possible causes of this error is having two accounts with the same username (one local, one domain), which I had. The error has to do with folder permissions, more specifically, the account the user is logged on not having access to the created Google Drive folder by the installer, which is weird, since I installed with that user. I even tried to give my account full access to the folder, but that did not work.

Anyways, the fix is simple:

  1. Uninstall Google Drive
  2. Manually delete the Google Drive folder from your computer.
  3. Manually create a folder with the same name (after creating, confirm your logged in account has full access to the folder).
  4. Install Google Drive
  5. Success.

It worked for me. Another possible solution could be to just to use a different folder from the default one.

Hope it helps.

Windows 8 Pro Box

Hace un par de dias lei un blog post donde anuncian que la gente puede pre-ordenar Windows 8 Pro por $69.99, desde Amazon. Incluso al visitar la pagina de Amazon de preventa de Windows 8, se menciona una promocion en la que regresan $30 dolares en credito de la tienda online (si se ordena antes de Octubre 20), lo cual dejaria el costo de Windows 8 Pro en $40 dolares.

La muy notable reduccion en el precio a comparacion de ediciones anteriores de Windows (no recuerdo precios exactos, pero Windows XP y Windows 7 solian costar arriba de $200 dolares por una edicion comparable a la Pro) me hizo pensar que ahora es cuando varias empresas, oficinas y profesionistas independientes mexicanos pueden cambiarse al lado legal y quitarte de algunos problemas y riesgos.

$70 dolares. No es nada descabellado para un profesionista y mucho menos para una empresa, incluso micro empresas.

Los dos principales riesgos que se me ocurren de instalar ediciones piratas o crackeadas de Windows son:

  1. Pueden tener virus o backdoors integrados desde antes de que lo instales, para hacer tu computadora parte de una Botnet, o simplemente poder robarse informacion (hasta financiera) de la computadora en que se instale el Windows pirata. Una version legal de Windows te permite descargar tambien el antivirus gratis de Microsoft.
  2. Riesgos legales, auditorias, etc. Que necesidad de arriesgarse a multas o cosas por el estilo cuando se puede pagar $70 dolares por una edicion legal de Windows, cuyo gasto hasta se puede deducir de impuestos.
Espero que esta reduccion de precio que Microsoft hizo realmente impacte de manera positiva a las empresas y profesionistas mexicanos.

Additional adjustments to make Windows 8 look better in a MacBookPro with Retina Display

Apple did a very decent job on the default way that Windows 8 looks when installed in a BootCamp partition, however, there are still a few quirks that need to be fixed, like:

1. The size of the title of each window.
2. The font size in a Console or Git Bash window.

Pretty much every website that has reviewed Windows 8 in the MacBookPro with Retina Display already suggests changing the scaling of the fonts to custom, 200%, and that is the sweet spot for that. However, I haven’t seen that any of those sites suggest to fix the default font size for the title of each window, which is so small that just shows as 3 or 4 dashes. The weird thing is that after testing the initial adjustment to do it, the smallest setting does look legible, not the way it looked as it did the before making an adjustment at all. So, whether it looks illegible to you or just really small, it would look like this:

Uhm, the screenshot looks huge on regular resolution. The thing is if you’re using the default resolution of 2880 x 1800, the font size of each window will look illegible.

To change the size, just go to the Display panel of Windows (Right click on Desktop, Personalize, select Display on the left side panel), and on the lower side of the panel you will see the “Custom Sizing Options“. Select “Title bars” from the dropdown, and change the font size to 10 or whatever you feel comfortable with. Then, titles will look way better, like this:

So, onto the next thing. If you use the Command window, or the Git bash window, the font size looks terrible as well. And even if you manage to change what appear to be the defaults, or change the font size for the current window, the next time you launch the program (in the case of Git Bash), the font size will look terrible again, like this:

As I said, you might’ve tried to right click on the title bar and change the font size using the Defaults or Properties menu option. But you will realize that Windows just will not preserve the changes if you do it that way. In order to get it to work, you have to:

1. Open a Windows Explorer window
2. Locate the Git Bash shortcut in C:\Program Files (x86)\Git
3. Right click it, select Properties.
4. Go to the Font tab.
5. Make whatever changes suit you.
6. Hit Save. Windows will say you need to provide Administrative privileges to make that change. Click Continue.

And that’s it. Everytime you launch the Git Bash from now on, the font size will be whatever you set it to be. As for the Command window, actually changing the Defaults will work. Just:

1. Launch a Command window (Run -> cmd -> Enter)
2. Right click the icon on the top left corner, select Defaults
3. Go to the Font tab.
4. Change the font size to whatever you want, click OK.
5. Close and re-open the Command window. Font looks good now.

That’s one of the quirks I faced today, and hopefully it’ll save someone some Google time. Hope it helps.

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