A quick article with the code to retrieve your product key in Windows 7 with a small VB script file. There are other articles on the web about this but the ones I found returned errors such as WshShell not valid. This article has a working example applicable to Windows 7 Professional.

With the Windows 10 operating system offered as a free upgrade (for Windows 7 or later at time of print), I needed the serial number / product key from my Windows 7 Professional 32-bit operating system. I didn't want to dig through my CD/DVDs to find my original windows 7 disc and no longer have access to the email account when I purchased Windows 7 (my university one).

I'm going to use my trusty notepad program, copy the following code to it, and run it:

The Issue

People have reported that although they have manually set the date/time on their computer, this gets changed by the windows time server (time.windows.com) when connected to the Internet and for some reason it doesn't display the right date/time.

The Quick Fix

First off, check there aren't any Update for Windows 7 releases at Microsoft's Windows Update

I just had to put something here as I have been buying and returning failed/corrupt USB pens.  In the past few months I have been trying to upgrade my 16Gb USB Integral Pen from Play.Com to a 32Gb equivalent.  I use my USB pen as the "My Documents" folder on every computer I use.  It was fine with my 16Gb one but my 32Gb ones have all failed at some point.

I went for a cheap one on Play.com (Verbatim 32Gb@£49.99 & Kingston DataTraveler@?) and an even cheaper one on Ebay.com (Leather 64Gb@£29.99).  In hindsight, the Ebay one was obviously going to fail (faking the disk size).

I got badgered by my colleagues to splash out and get a worthwhile pen.  Aside from some other failures, I decided to get the bulletproof, waterproof, fireproof, shockproof 32Gb USB Pretec Pen (as advertised by Gadget Show on Five.tv).  Turns out this is an incredibly fragile pen. If files are being written to it and it gets nudged, this will corrupt the pen.  BTW I don't use the "remove device safely" rubbish as my old pen never did and it was fine for over a year.  The default setup in windows XP is that it doesn't need it.

Bulletproof, waterproof, fireproof, shockproof BUT NOT joe-proof! ...

Thought I'd put something here as a lot of my clients and friends are all surprised by the Aero features and weren't aware that these existed in Windows Vista (and originally from Linux variants).

Sometimes you may only have partial Aero effects. This can be because Windows may not think your machine is powerful enough to run these effects without affecting performance.

If this is happening to you, and you don’t mind about a possible slight slow down on performance you can force enable them -

  1. Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System
  2. Click on advanced system settings on the left and then performance settings.
  3. Under the visual effects tab you should see that the option “ Let windows choose what’s best for my computer “ is by default checked.
  4. Below it you should see a list of visual effects, some of which will be unchecked if you are not experiencing the full range of Aero features.
  5. Select the custom option and then select all the effects from the list below it. Hit apply and ok and you should have all the Aero effects enabled.


Now what are these Aero effects?