Pulling bacon out of the fire: How to use Compatibility mode in IE 11

Just when I was thinking I was going to have to write something negative about Windows 8 and, more specifically in this case, IE 11 an old ally comes out to save the day

I use a piece of software that is heavily web-dependent.  I wanted to upgrade to Windows 8.1 quite badly and did not do my full diligence.  Once the update was complete I was all happy until I tried to log in to the appplication.  It does not support IE 11.

What was I to do?  I really want to try Windows 8.1 but I have to use this application.

Compatibility mode to the rescue.  I was dismayed at first since I could not find the familiar “broken page” icon in the address bar that I was used to see in IE 10…

To the Internets… and voila.  The answer is that compatibility mode has been  moved!  It is now located in the tools menu:

Just click the gear icon in the top right corner and select “Compatibility view settings” and add the site in question to the list.  Bob’s your uncle and the site now works 🙂

Work around to phone activation

Ok, so it seems like the old back door is closing.  From what I hear the ability to call into the Microsoft phone system to activate a troublesome OS is slowly going to disapear.  This caused me much worry last week as I could not activate a particularly nasty OS.

Then I stumbled across this nugget of information

Start – Run – SLUI 04

It will popup the phone number to call and give you the install ID you need to enter

Here is a link to the full article I was reading: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921471/en-us

Once you get this entered  you should have no problem doing the activation

Why does the string have to be so long 🙁

Quick and easy: Command line to show OS version

Here is a new command I just learned:

Open command prompt and type hostname

It will will return your PC name

I never had to use it before but it came in handy the other day so I thought others may benefit

Whilst I was looking this up I came across a really cool reference article on TechNet:


It has a complete command line reference!  Anyone else having DOS flashbacks?

Resolving Printer issues

They have to be the most hated peripheral that an IT Pro has to deal with.  They cause me nightmares sometimes. Like, legitimate, wake me up in the middle of the night nightmares… ok, so that is going a bi too far but I have learned to dislike them in the extreme.   But as a good IT Pro I go where the problems are.  Here is a new one to me:

Client contacts me since they cannot print.  They have no printers listed in the Printers windows and they cannot add any new printers either

Ah ha! Says I.  I have done this before and there are 2 usual fixes

Easy mode:  Turn on the Print spooler service from the Services panel (Type “services” in the run box and scroll down to find “Print Spooler”.  Right click it and select start)

Medium mode: Same as Easy mode but with this additional step: Delete the contents of the spool folder. (navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool and delete the contents of the drivers folder).  This will delete all the printers on the PC

In the past this would have been 100% fixed but I did the above and still had issues.

Here is the fix

Hard Mode: Same as Medium but with this additional step:  Once done open a command prompt and type “SFC /SCANNOW”

This will launch the system file checker and low and behold it fixed the issue\

Always learning 🙂