Tag : Windows

What should I use to run Windows on my Mac?


It pays to know how to run Windows on Apple machines as there will most certainly be times when running Windows is a must in order to run an application. Here are 5 easy ways to run Windows and Windows applications on your Mac.

Boot Camp – OS X allows you to install Windows directly onto your hardware and boot into the operating system, using a feature called Boot Camp. If you have ever run a dual-boot PC then this should ring a bell. No additional software is needed as everything is already built into the device. Even better, since Windows will run as the native operating system you will have access to the full power of the system. The downside of Boot Camp is that you can run only one operating system at a time, which means you also cannot run Apple and Windows applications at the same time. Switching between operating systems means going back into Boot Camp, which can be time consuming.

Virtual Machine – Another option would be via a virtual machine. A good software choice that comes highly recommended is Parallels Desktop. If you want to be able to run Windows and OS X at the same time this is the perfect software for you. At $80 for a license, this software is super fast and easy to use. In addition, you can make snapshots and backups for your virtual machine easily in case something goes wrong. Although this method does require additional software it is a worth it purchase.

Remote Desktop – This is a good option for those that already have a PC running Windows. You can easily access the PC remotely via your Mac, giving you access to all the data and applications on that system. Microsoft even has a free tool that helps you remote in. I would not advise buying a separate PC just for this purpose, but if you already have a PC running Windows you should give this a try and utilize all your free resources. Just remember your files aren’t saved locally using this method.

Wine – By the glass or the bottle? Not quite. Wine is a program that is actually a compatibility layer rooted in Linux and works on OS X. This is a free method  and is fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Captain. You don’t even need Windows or a license to utilize Wine. It can have a few problems now and again, after all it is free so patience is key with this one.

CrossOver for Mac – CrossOver is compatible with thousands of Windows applications, but it is not free, subscriptions start at $40. This commercial option provides better coverage than Wine but does not guarantee that every application will work. In comparison to a virtual machine this is an easier option.

Many that switch between OS X and Windows become frustrated by the track pad not working in the same way. Trackpad is a utility for Apple’s Multitouch and Force Touch track pads on Mac machines. It supports 2, 3, and 4 finger OS X gestures and also supports Windows gestures. In addition it has the ability to detect and ignore accidental touches of the track pad. Pretty cool.



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the content presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com



Ransomware like scam – Windows Product Key is “Invalid”


Now that ransomware is on the brain, a few crooks posing as tech support are tailoring their skills to work the system. A lock screen appears on your PC and claims that a users Windows license has expired and to simply call the tech support number provided in order to quickly and effortlessly solve the problem. A fake Microsoft technician answers the line and is more than happy to help, if you are willing to pay the price.

Users will see a lock screen appear on their machine that truly resembles a genuine Microsoft program. After the program installs it waits patiently for the user to restart the PC. After the restart the program activates and sequentially takes over the desktop and displays a highly sophisticated Windows Update screen. Unrecognizable to the naked eye that this is in fact ransomware.


After the program activation, the infected PC will display a screen that tells the user the desktop has been made effectively disabled because of an expired license key, with the computer name being taken from the victims actual PC. Now that the PC is locked, the user thinks they are doing the right thing by calling the number provided and talking to who they think is a tech support working for Microsoft.

Malwarebytes called the number, and a fake Microsoft technician revealed a hidden functionality. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+T would bring up a built-in installer for TeamViewer. The tech support scammer on the other end of the call refused to give much more information without the $250 to unlock the PC, which of course, Malwarebytes did not pay.

If a user refused to pay the fee requested, they would have little resources to fix the machine on their own. Fortunately, security researchers have found a small loop hole. Discovered by  @TheWack0lian, Ctrl+Shift+S will allow users to kill the winlocker without touching the contents of their machine. The hardcoded values “h7c9-7c67-jb” or “g6r-qrp6-h2” or “yt-mq-6w” can be entered as the product key. These may work to unlock the machine, but is not a fix across the board as they will not work for all versions of the lockers.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Ransomware-like tech support scam locks screen, labels Windows product key as invalid

Windows 10 just gets better and better!



In light of the Windows 10 Anniversary update coming this summer, Microsoft is vamping up some of their already offered features. Cortana becomes a stronger force, Windows Hello is improved and gaming capabilities are increased.

The new update provides a more powerful Cortana. Cortana will appear more throughout the system, in the lock screen and with Skype as a bot conversation. She is gaining momentum as a suggestion advocate, providing cuisine ideas and even following commands. Although barely touched on at the Microsoft conference, one of the new features associated with Cortana is the ability to system control. Microsoft gives viewers a reason to believe Cortana will soon be able to recognize phrases such as “Cortana, turn off Wifi.” or “Shut down PC.” In o92a2806addition, Cortana will tap into third party apps more often. She already is able to access Yelp and TripAdvisor for information, but now she will have access to 1,000 apps that integrate with Cortana. The Microsoft app store section, “Better with Cortana” provides plenty of options to make Cortana more proactive for the average user.

Windows Hello will increase as a feature, with the ability to log into websites on the Microsoft Edge Web browser along with third party apps. As you may already be familiar with Windows Hello works with Windows 10 to allow users to log into their machine via face recognition, iris recognition, and fingerprints. The new update allows web developer the option to integrate this feature into their site using JavaScript APIs. Windows Hello verifies your identity and Microsoft Passport gets to work ensuring the public-key encryption can access resources.

Exciting for gamers, Microsoft is enhancing a few of the top features such as allowing support for multiple GPUs and the ability to turn off VSync and enable GSync and FreeSync instead. Game developers will be able to use the new Desktop App Converter to put out Universal Windows App versions of their work. The biggest announcement for gamers is Dev Mode for Xbox One. Developers can easily use Xbox One as a development kit and create more games.




If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit: 4 Big Updates Coming to Windows 10 this Summer


Microsoft releases 13 security bulletins – 5 critical, yikes!

Eight of the bulletins released by Microsoft resolve remote code execution vulnerabilities.

Microsoft patches bulletins

The five critical patches released are for RCE flaws. MS16-023, 024, 026, 027, and 028 are the patches that reach Windows Media Parsing RCE bugs, Windows PDF Library holes, and Microsoft Edge corruption flaws. Included in these five are the codes for execution flaws for IE and to correct 13 memory corruption vulnerabilities. The monthly fix for Microsoft Edge is a part of the list, patching 10 memory corruption flaws that could lead to even more execution flaws as well as information disclosure bugs.

The other eight bulletins are listed as a notch down from critical, as “important” for both RCE and EoP. Although these patches are not needed immediately, without attention many lead to greater future problems and security errors. It would be best to identify which patches fit your immediate needs and which will become problematic in the future. For instance the MS16-030 is listed as important, though if left alone a hacker could exploit the two Windows OLE memory RCE flaws if the Windows OLE fails to validate user input. Unless your users are completely accurate, without fail, this should be patched.

If you would like to see the complete list of bulletins, in more detail, please visit:


Windows reportedly going to merge Windows and Windows phone 8 into Windows Blue

Contrary to recent releases, it appears that new rumors are coming out from Microsoft that the upcoming release of windows 8.1 or windows 8 Blue is much more than just an update/service pack. It appears that Microsoft is intending to merge both the pc and mobile platforms under one product called Windows Blue. What does this mean and how will it play together, well that’s all speculation at this point. With recent announcements from Microsoft that allow the support of lower resolution screens kind of play into this rumor.

It is already knowledge that windows phone 8 and windows 8 already share quite a bit of similar code in the start menu and much of the back end networking code, as well as application compatibility.

To tell you the truth, I’m rather curious as to how they will do this as I’m a big proponent of having the phone and OS separate. The metro interface should be the phone and they should go back to the original style in my personal opinion.

Windows 8 to Go Tested

Just the other day I thought I would go ahead and test out the windows 8 to go feature that is included with Windows 8 enterprise. I used a USB 2.0 device that had a 128 GB Solid State drive in it and began my work. I initially tried setting it up using the built in gui but soon found that while formatting the drive it would lose its drive letter and then fail. I eventually had to use the command line and the image.exe application from the Windows automated installation kit (AIK). It took about 12 minutes to get the whole thing setup and I was off. When you first plug it in it looks like you are starting your computer for the first time and it sets up the devices. The first time you boot it on a specific machine it does this but the second time it works fine. Once loaded, I was able to load all the applications I need and all drivers were detected as they should. Overall the response and interaction was as if I were sitting at my normal computer.

Windows 7 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

So everyone has been using Windows 7 for some time now and they are fairly familiar with it, but there might still be some things you do not know. Let me help you become a more efficient user of Windows 7 with these several useful keyboard shortcuts. Learn fast and become a power user today.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Using the mouse, you can drag-”˜n-dock windows to either side of the screen, or drag it to the top to maximize it. These keyboard shortcuts are even faster:

  • Win+Left Arrow and Win+Right Arrow dock the window to the left and right side of the screen
  • Win+Up Arrow and Win+Down Arrow maximize and restore/minimize
  • Win+M minimizes everything
  • Alt+UpAlt+Left ArrowAlt+Right Arrow navigate to parent folder, or browse Back and Forward through folders in Explorer
  • Win+Home minimizes/restores all open windows except the active window

Alt+Win+# accesses the Jump List of program number ‘#’ on the taskbar

Smaller Windows 8 Tablets on the way.

The rumor mill has been churning lately about what Microsoft’s second edition of the surface may look like. Well if rumors are true, you will be looking at a 7 inch version of the tablet. It appears that Microsoft has decided they needed a smaller tablet to compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and iPad mini. What makes it even more interesting is that Microsoft recently changed its policy regarding the resolutions Windows 8 could run on. They are now stating it can run on as low as 1,024 x 768, when it was originally only slated for devices with 1,366 x 768 or higher. Yikes!

MP3 Rocket – Video Conversion

Have you ever wanted to convert a video file but weren’t sure what tool to use? MP3 Rocket is a fast video to MP2 Converter. This software quickly and easily converts video to MP3, MP4, MPG, FLV and MOV. It also includes HD video or audio formats if you want. Is there a video on Youtube you wished you could have an MP3 file of? This tool will search the internet and find items based on your search and quickly download and convert the file for you. Pretty nifty! http://downloads.zdnet.com/product/2071-75337655/

What is Microsoft Surface’s fate?

With Microsoft Surface sales not reaching its expected quota it leaves us at BVA asking the question of what is next for the tablet? Since they have sold 1.5 million units in total which is a much lower number than they were expecting (roughing 2 million during the holiday season). Now comparing that to Apple’s numbers of 22.9 million iPads during the fourth quarter of 2012 you can see its like comparing apples to oranges.

What should we be expecting in the near future with this all too expected battle between Microsoft and Apple? Well, Apple has stated that they will be coming out with a 128GB iPad which is obviously competing with the Surface Pro. Then we have Microsoft paving the way for a smaller sized tablet to compete with the mini tablet market that has become quite popular over the last few months.

Whether the Surface sales start picking up or it goes into the history books next to the ill-fated Zune player, only time will tell. As always, the team here at BVA will keep our eyes on for you.