This page has been imported from our previous wiki and is still in the process of being reviewed. It may be out of date or inaccurate.

General

How do I change my password?

Press Ctrl Alt Del then select Change Password ... from the Windows Security dialog.

It is also possible to change your password via the RAS service (log in and click on the "key" icon) or Outlook Web Access (log in and select Options) which is useful e.g. if you are logged in to a Linux system or are off campus.

The Campus domain password policy is:

Your password must be at least 8 characters in length. The password cannot contain any integral part of your username (individual characters are permitted). It cannot contain any name, or any word which appears in a dictionary. It must contain a selection of characters, including at least one character from three of the following four sets:

lower case letters [a, b, c, ... z]
UPPER case letters [A, B, C, ... Z]
Base 10 digits [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0]
None alphanumeric characters [+, >, ? , {, ... ]

See NUIT tips here.

Note the domain password policy applies to local accounts (e.g. that of the local administrator) as well domain accounts.

Why does text on my screen look too big/too small/unclear?

You can control many settings from the Display control panel.

  • LCD flat panel displays only operate well at one resolution: make sure yours is using its natural resolution from Change Display Settings (Display Properties in XP)
  • Make sure Clear type is turned on .
  • You can make text display larger or smaller throughout the system but have to log off/on for it to take effect (or reboot in XP!)
  • In Windows 7/Vista you can change the size of icons on the desktop via the standard "control middle mouse button" method.

Why do I get an error message about lack of profile space?

If you have a roaming profile (see Can I stop my profile from roaming? below) then changes to your User Profile, which includes files on the desktop, are written back to a server when you log off allowing you to have the same settings when you log in to any CMD PC (hence the term Roaming Profile). There is a 64 meg limit to this profile (as of June 2012), which includes assorted application specific data (though not your IE Favorites which are held inside H:\Favorites), so it is recommended that you keep only shortcuts on your desktop. You will get a warning as soon as you get near or go over the limit. You may find that despite having little on the desktop and having no large files in the list displayed by Windows, you still get the warning message . You need to look in the profile itself but first ensure first you are not hiding Hidden or protected operating system files (eg from Control Panel->Folder Options -> View).

the details are differenting depending upon whether you are running Windows 7/Vista or XP (and in fact you have two Roaming profile: one for Windows 7/Vista and one for XP)

the following describes Vista/Windows 7

{i} Everything inside the profile i.e. C:\users\yourid is part of the roaming profile and subject to the 64 meg limit apart from the following folders:

AppData\Local
AppData\LocalLow

and those in an "excluded folder" list. Microsoft have simple guidelines for application writers to prevent the roaming profile from getting too large but many applications - Java ones in particular but even some MS ones - ignore them, hence the need for an exclusion list.

(!) SearchMyFiles - Roaming Profile from the CS Portable Apps File Management* menu lets you see which large files are in the profile, display or delete them etc, and also see which folders are excluded.

You may well find other applications storing inessential temporary data in AppData which may be deleted (if it returns then the folder needs to be added to the exclusion list above so please raise a support ticket. If you are not sure, move the suspect folder out of the profile, then run the application to see the effect. Folders known to cause problems when deleted include:

  • Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX: loses all your Dreamweaver website setups.

/!\ Don't bother to try to delete NTUSER.DAT. This large file is your user registry containing various personal system and application settings: deleting it causes a complete new profile to be generated so the system does not allow this to occur for an in-use copy.

/!\ Do not perform these deletions whilst off-line as otherwise the next time you login when on-line the files will be restored from the network copy.

It may sometimes help to look at the server copy of your profile so you don't see the excluded files. If you do so then of course you won't see files created in your current session, which could well be the ones causing you the problem. If your Home directory is \\campus\home\homeXY\yourid then its pathname will be \\campus\profile\profileXY\yourid.V2. You can check this from the command line with:

`net user`  **yourid** ` /domain` 

though note this returns the location of your XP profile - i.e. without the .V2 suffix.

/!\ If you find any unwanted files you must delete them from the local copy otherwise they will return when you next log in.

How do I get a new user (roaming) profile?

You may need a new user profile if either: * You cannot find a way of reducing your profile size to below 64 Mb * Some application is behaving strangely, yet works ok for another id on your machine

You can send a request to cs.support@ncl.ac.uk, or, assuming you have local admin access to your machine:

  1. Make sure you know the location of the network copy of your profiles, e.g. see the CMDInfo advanced tab, or run net user yourid /domain from a command prompt.
  2. Ensure you know the local admin password (i.e. for the CMDadmin account in Win 7/Vista).
  3. Log out from your CAMPUS account (everywhere not just on the machine you are using to reset your profile).
  4. Log in to the local administrator account (in Vista/Win 7 it doesn't have to be an admin account, just a different one to your campus account).
  5. Delete the local copy of your profile from System Properties > Advanced System Settings > Advanced Tab > User Profiles > Settings * (Win 7/Vista - you'll need the admin account details at this point ) or System Properties > Advanced Tab > User Profiles > Settings* (XP).
  6. While logged in with the administrator account, run PowerShell ISE as the user whose profile is to be reset: use Shift and Right-click on the application icon for this option.
  7. Copy the content of http://wit.ncl.ac.uk/downloads/profilerename.txt into the (upper) script window and run it; this will rename the appropriate profile folder to zap.yourid. Alternatively use the Powershell Command move \\campus\profiles\profileXY\yourid.V2 \\campus\profiles\profileXY\zap.yourid.V2 (no V2 for XP)
  8. Log off and log on with your campus id; a new profile will be created for you.
  9. Now look at the new profile (c:\Users\yourid in Vista/Win 7, C:\Documents and Settings\yourid in XP). You may now copy the contents of folders such as Desktop, Favorites and Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch from the "zap" network copy you renamed earlier, i.e \\campus\profiles\profileXY\zap.yourid, into the new one in the local disk. You need to know the folder name involved and paste it into the address bar - you cannot browse down to this folder. Do this straight away since the "zap" network copy will be automatically deleted early next morning. /!\ Never explicitly update the current network copy as changes will be overwritten at logout. (If you are confident about editing the registry then you can also recover registry settings e.g. for an individual program: using regedt32 you need to import ntuser.dat (as a hive file) from the "zap" profile, export a branch and then import it into HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Beware, however, that you run the risk of corrupting your profile and having to start all over again .... :( .)
  10. If you've ever logged in to someone else's personal machine (i.e. not a cluster PC) then ask them to delete their machine's local copy of your profile before you re-login to their machine, to reduce the risk of contamination from the old copy. If they do not have local administration rights then ask for help.

Can I stop my profile from roaming?

If you usually log in to the same machine then you may prefer the profile used there not to roam. You can set this yourself if you have local admin rights, however this will not a stop you getting the "over quota" messages. If you raise a ticket asking for roaming profiles to be turned off (including the machine name), then roaming profiles will be disabled for all users of your machine and the message about being over quota should no longer appear - if it does please report it.

/!\ If your profile doesn't roam then the only copy is on your local hard disk and you would be advised to regularly back up any important files/folders/settings within it,including your desktop (there are many unimportant ones, some large, used for temporary files/caches etc.). Locations to consider are:

C:\Users\yourid\Desktop and C:\Users\yourid\AppData\Roaming in Vista/Windows 7 or

C:\Documents and Settings\yourid\Desktop and C:\Documents and Settings\yourid\Application Data in XP

but some applications (particularly Java ones) also store settings directly inside the user profile (i.e. C:\Users\yourid\ in Vista/Windows 7 or C:\Documents and Settings\yourid in XP).

Note, Internet Explorer Favorites are not part of the profile; they are stored in H:.

(!) Before getting a new PC consider using Easy Transfer to preserve local files and settings.

(!) In Windows 7 you can save your desktop settings (desktop background, screen saver etc. which are normally stored in your roaming profile) to a file and easily restore them to the same or other computer.

  • right click on the desktop and select personalize
  • right click on a theme and select Save theme for sharing

The theme will be saved as a .themepack file. Opening the themepack file in Explorer on another computer will apply it.

How can I stop getting error messages about synchronisation failure when I log on/off?

These are due to problems with the locally cached copies of network files maintained by the Offline Files feature. Offline files provide a a "write-through" cache to your home file space, so if you are on-line, updates are written back immediately. If you make changes when off-line, or when on-line and logged in twice, or give another user write access to your files, then the local copy of the cache may become inconsistent with the network copy, and hence the need for synchronisation at logon and logoff time. However, sometimes the local cache can become inconsistent, or contain copies of now inaccessable files, hence the error messages.

  • You can see which files are cached by selecting View Files in the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options Control Panel, and attempt to delete troublesome ones.

  • You can attempt to delete all cached copies via Delete Files ... in the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options Control Panel.

  • If neither of the above solves the problem then if running XP and logged in with local admin rights: press Ctrl Shift while hitting the Delete Files ... button; this will give you the chance to reinitialize the Offline Files cache which is more likely to succeed than simply deleting them. If running Win 7/Vista then following these following these instructions

or executing the following command script

cls
@echo off
::Clears Windows client-side caching (CSC) folder in Windows Vista\7.
::Requires Local Admin Rights and elevated Command Prompt
::James Pocock 2010
::James.Pocock@ncl.ac.uk

takeown /F /A /R /D c:\windows\csc
icacls c:\windows\csc /grant Administrators:f /T
del /F /S /A /Q C:\Windows\CSC
rmdir C:\windows\csc /S /Q 

should have the same effect.

  • Alternatively you may prefer to turn off the offline files feature altogether. You get the option to do this from the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options Control Panel when running with local admin rights. Note, this is a per machine, not user, setting <:( .

/!\ If you're having trouble sync'ing after using your machine when off-line, remember to take a copy of any files you changed when off-line before deleting the Offline Files cache or turning off the feature. It's possible (in XP not Vista) to use the command line client csccmd.exe to extract locally changed files from the Offline Files cache using the /EXTRACT and /ONLYMODIFIED switches - there's a copy of the 1.1 Version of cscccmd.exe in \\campus\software\compsci\localexe - see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884739 for full details.

Why can't I see my USB Flash/Key disk/Memory stick?

Most likely Windows has tried to use the H: drive, which is already allocated to your network home directory (because all the earlier letters have been taken by your disk partitions, CD/DVD drives etc.) . You may reassign the drive letter as follows:

  1. Display a Computer Management console (see The Local Administrator Account if currently logged in with local admin rights or The Runas Command if not).
  2. Select Disk Management
  3. Select the USB drive, right click and select Change Drive Letter and Paths ...
  4. Select H:, click on Change ... and choose an appropriate drive letter.

If you subsequently use the same USB port for the disk then the assignment will be remembered.

If this is a general problem for you e.g. you have many USB ports, or you move your memory stick between machines and would like to guarantee the same drive letter, then you might like to try USB Drive Letter Manager for Windows XP.

If H: assignment wasn't the problem at all then Troubleshooting for USB drives is worth investigating.

Why can't I see my home directory when I use my USB Flash/Key disk/Memory stick?

You have plugged in the USB drive before you logged in and the system has used H: for the USB Flash/Key drive, hiding the network H: drive mapping. The solution is the same as to the previous question.

How do I enable the "Classic" Start Menu in Windows 7?

You can't - it's gone, see Evolution of the Start Menu.

How do I take a screenshot?

Typing the PrintScrn* key (top right bank of keys) puts a screenshot in the clipboard. *Alt PrintScrn dumps the current window rather than the whole screen. Both store a bitmap image which may be very large. Alternatively use Irfanview - Screenshot from the CS Portable Apps| Graphics menu which lets you chose where to save the screenshot and in what format (jpeg etc) as well as allowing you to crop it beforehand. If you want more control over what is captured in a screenshot use the Capture command from the Irfanview Options menu.

What's the keyboard shortcut for ......?

Windows online help (in the Start Menu) contains lists of shortcuts (search for keyboard shortcuts), Keyboard shortcuts is an on-line MS guide, and Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts has a few commonly used shortcuts.

Why is my screen upside down?!!

Typically it is because your PC's graphics card card has rotation "hot keys" enabled by default, and you have accidentally hit one the key combinations. Try Ctrl + Alt + one of the arrow keys to rectify the situation more ยป.

How do I get a command prompt in Vista/Windows 7?

Type cmd into the Start Menu search - then pin cmd.exe to the Start Menu by right clicking on it (or Taskbar in Windows 7). To run an elevated command prompt right click and select "Run as Administrator.

Alternatively open a PowerShell command window (typing power into the Start Menu search should locate it). In Windows 7 !PowerShell's Run as Administrator Jump List makes it easy to create an elevated command window.

Where are the Administrator tools?

In the Control Panel folder. You can get them to appear in the Start Menu from its Customise .. button (right click on the Start Menu button ans select Properties) or typing Admin into the Start Menu search box in Windows 7/Vista will locate them.

Note you can invoke Computer Management by right clicking on (My) Computer and selecting Manage.

Why are the characters @ and " transposed?

You may find the characters @ and " are transposed in an application, typically Outlook. This is connected with the English Language selection. If you find this happening click on the Language Bar icon in the System Tray, which is at the bottom right of the screen, and make sure that English (United Kingdom) is selected.

You can eliminate this problem entirely by removing the US Keyboard from your user profile:

from the Regional and Language Options Control Panel select Details from the Languages tab. Ensure Default input language is set to English (United Kingdom) and delete English (United States) from Installed Services.

Why is Windows behaving badly?

  • You've logged off and logged back in again.
  • You've rebooted.
  • You've shut down, turned the power off for a while and then rebooted again.
  • You've uninstalled that new program you just remembered you'd installed yesterday.
  • You've reset IE to "factory settings" from Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Advanced -> Reset ..
  • You've checked the event logs for anything untoward (from Control Panel->Adminstrative Tools-> Event Viewer).
  • You've checked VirusScan is running (the !VirusScan icon appears in the system tray), is up to date, and you've got it to perform on On-Demand Scan of all your disks.
  • You've restored your system to a recent system checkpoint with System Restore (from start->All Programs-> Accessories->System Tools).
  • You've checked 85 Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets or Tweaks and Tips (XP) for a cure to similar behaviour
  • You've run Autoruns or msconfig to check for unusual programs configured to run during system bootup or login.
  • You've got yourself a new user profile because logging in with another user id seems OK.

Windows is still behaving badly ... could this be the answer? >:>

If not, then you may wish to ask for Windows to be reinstalled :( .

While you are waiting you might like to contemplate the following official Microsoft bug reports (assuming you have access to a working web browser) :

Hair color of the "person" icon for a user group becomes gray if the group contains more than 500 users

Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous 30689 Passwords