For the Windows category

VirtualBox does not run or runs slowly under Windows 8

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Windows 8 comes with Hyper-V pre-installed.  If you want to run Virtual Box, you must completely uninstall Hyper-V through the “Add and Remove Programs” option from the Control Panel.  Failing doing so will result in:

  • Virtual Box will display error messages when starting up your Virtual Machine
  • You will not be able to change the number of processors in Virtual Box
  • You virtual machine will run very slowly because of the inability to increase the number of processors
  • Hardware acceleration will be disabled

Stopping the Hyper-V service is not enough.

Installing the Android Development Environment for Windows 7

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This post lists the main steps in order to install an Android development environment for Windows 7.  The developement environment relies on Eclipse.

  1.  Download a JDK (7u3)  from the following page:
  2. Install the JDK
  3. Set the environment variable JAVA_HOME that points to the installation directory of the JDK
  4. Download Eclipse Classic (3.7.2)  from the following page:
  5. Unzip the Eclipse package where you want to install it.
  6. Download the  SDK starter package from
  7. Install the SDK starter package
  8. Launch Eclipse and install the ADT plug-in
    1. Select “Help > Install New Software….”
    2. Add the Indigo repository:
    3. Add the repository
    4. Select “Developer Tools” and click next until it gets installed
    5. When Eclipse will restart, you will have to install some SDK’s.

How to backup and restore Windows 7 activation files

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It is possible to backup and restore the activation status of Windows 7

Backing up the activation files

To backup the activation status, backup the following files. Administrator access rights are required.  Make sure you have the Windows activation key.

  • %SystemDrive%\Windows\ServiceProfiles\NetWorkService\AppData \Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwarePlatform\Tokens.dat
  • %SystemDrive%\Windows\System32\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms (for 32 and 64 bits editions)
  • %SystemDrive%\Windows\SysWOW64\spp\tokens\pkeyconfig\pkeyconfig.xrm-ms (only for 64 bits edition)

Restoring the activation files

To restore the activation status, restore the backup files.  Administrator access rights are required.  Make sure you have the Windows activation key.

  • Re-install Windows 7.  Nevertheless, do not supply the activation key when asked for.
  • Stop the Software Protection Service with the following command net stop sppsvc.  This command must be run as Administrator.
  • Replace the activation files with the one backed up.  Prior to do so, you must take ownership of the existing files.
  • Start the Software Protection Service with the following command net start sppsvc.  This command must be run as Administrator.
  • Register the product key for Windows 7 with the following command (as Administrator): slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
  • Check the activation status with the following commands:
slmgr.vbs -dlv
slmgr.vbs -dli
slmgr.vbs -ato

How to change the signature of a disk

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To change the signature of a disk under Windows 7, follow these steps are:

  1. Run the command line utility diskpart as the administrator user
  2. Execute the command “list disk” to locate the disk you want to change the signature
  3. Execute “select disk n” to select the disk where n is the numeric id of the disk (0, 1, 2, …)
  4. Execute “unique id” to display the selected disk signature
  5. Execute “unique id signature=hhhhhhhh” to change the selected disk signature. hhhhhhhh in a hexadecimal dword
  6. Execute “exit” to quit diskpart
  7. It is recommended that you reboot your system


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