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  1. #1
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    New Win 7 user has some questions

    When my old XP computer crashed (not the hard drive, it was either the MB or the processor, not worth fixing), I purchased a new computer with Win 7 Pro installed. I'm learning the system, but still have some (probably many) questions, and I'm working my way through Paul Thurrett's Windows 7 Secrets book to learn the answers.

    But I have a few questions.

    When I shut down the computer (Start/Shutdown), just before the computer actually shuts down, a message flashes on the screen for a very short time (too short too actually read it), and then the computer shuts down. I was able (after several shutdowns) to catch a glimpse of a decision box that said "Force Shutdown", but there was some text and another decision box that I couldn't read.
    So my question is, how can I force the message to stay displayed long enough to figure out what it says, and what's causing it?

    Another question: While browsing the BIOS settings (never hurts to get familiar with a new machine), I noticed in the BOOT section that both UEFI and Legacy boot options were checked. I'm not familiar with UEFI. Can you please explain what is, and if both options need to be checked?

    Also, the computer came with a Win 7 Pro full install disk (as well as a Win 8 full install disk), but there was no Microsoft product key, either on the computer or on the disks. I was told (by the techs at Microcenter) that starting with Win 7, as long as you have the actual disk, a product key is not required. This is new to me (every Windows computer or installation disk I've ever owned came with a product key). Was I given accurate information?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Also, the computer came with a Win 7 Pro full install disk (as well as a Win 8 full install disk), but there was no Microsoft product key, either on the computer or on the disks. I was told (by the techs at Microcenter) that starting with Win 7, as long as you have the actual disk, a product key is not required. This is new to me (every Windows computer or installation disk I've ever owned came with a product key). Was I given accurate information?
    A product key will always be required. Check your documentation.
    What kind of computer is this we're talking about here? (Corporate vs Consumer)
    What kind of install disks are we talking about here? (Corporate/OEM vs Genuine)
    Some machines may have the product key embedded in the BIOS or CMOS chip.
    Check your documentation

    Another question: While browsing the BIOS settings (never hurts to get familiar with a new machine), I noticed in the BOOT section that both UEFI and Legacy boot options were checked. I'm not familiar with UEFI. Can you please explain what is, and if both options need to be checked?
    What is UEFI
    Check your documentation to learn what will be relevant in your setup.

    When I shut down the computer (Start/Shutdown), just before the computer actually shuts down, a message flashes on the screen for a very short time (too short too actually read it), and then the computer shuts down. I was able (after several shutdowns) to catch a glimpse of a decision box that said "Force Shutdown", but there was some text and another decision box that I couldn't read.
    So my question is, how can I force the message to stay displayed long enough to figure out what it says, and what's causing it?
    Check the event viewer for such info. Errors will usually be displayed under "administrative events".
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-02-09 at 01:36.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, Clint.

    My install disk is a Microsoft disk (on the label), but it also says "For distribution only with a new Micro Electronics, Inc. PC." The computer is a PowerSpec computer purchased from Microcenter for home use.

    You say (multiple times) to check my documentation. Believe me, if there was any documentation provided (there isn't), I would have checked that before posting here.

    I looked at the event viewer (there was a LOT of stuff in it that I couldn't make heads or tails of), but I did clear it so that the next time I shut down and restart, any errors should be obvious.

    I'd still like to know if it's possible to freeze or save the error screen. Perhaps if I ran the shutdown command from the system prompt, I could direct any messages to a file that I could look at(?).

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    It is quite likely that the message you are viewing results from some apps not responding too rapidly Windows "informing them" about the shutdown and when that happens, Windows asks if the user wants to force the shutdown, regardless of the status of the apps. This also means that such message will disappear as soon as the "slow" apps actually respond. So it seems to me that is all normal behavior.

  5. #5
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    Cool

    I get that message sometimes when shutting down. It is just waiting for some program to respond to the shutdown command and when it does the message goes and computer shuts down. This has not caused any problems for me in fact I think it is helping to not have a program corrupted by shutting down before it has competed its clearing of what was in ram.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  6. #6
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    Les,

    There has to be a Product Key somewhere... on the discs packaging, on a sticker affixed to the machine. If it can w/ Windows 7 & has a Windows 8 disc, the Win8 disc may be an Upgrade disc to take the Win7 to Win8.

    The "Force Shutdown" bit you saw is not an error message. One gets that when shutting down or rebooting when there are windows open & or programs running... one can either wait for them to close & then the machine shuts down OR hit the Force Shutdown button which is instead of waiting for them to close in their 'natural' time. Nothing amiss there.

    UEFI is a new type of M/B BIOS. It doesn't really matter much pre-Windows 8 and an OS will run whether the BIOS is EFI or UEFI. However, what it does mean is Windows 8 has something called Secure Boot & Secure Boot needs UEFI although, Windows 8 will run on EFI it will not do Secure Boot w/out it. Most of the latest M/Bs and computers will be UEFI.

    Cheers,
    Drew
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    Win8Logo.jpg

  7. #7
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    Cool

    If you could download SIW (System Info for Windows) under the licenses list it will show what the product key is (so you can write it down somewhere) I expect the win 7 you have is an OEM version with the Key already set in the Disk.or recovery partition.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I would advise against making changes in your BIOS settings RE UEFI. If both UEFI and Legacy are checked, chances are good that your system is UEFI/GPT, and the check in Legacy is to allow booting from CD/DVD that is not EFI aware. If the OEM setup is UEFI and you were to uncheck UEFI, Windows will not boot. All OEM Windows 8 PC's/Laptops are UEFI.

    The absence of a COA/Product Key sticker (and that you have both Windows 7 and Windows 8 installation discs) indicates that the system is UEFI, that the certificate is in ROM on the motherboard, and your OEM OS installation discs have an XML file in the installation routine that will call that Product Key from ROM during installation. Your system documentation is probably on the hard drive somewhere.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-02-09 at 07:38. Reason: clarity
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  9. #9
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    If you have an upgrade disk to win8 depending on your feelings about win8 if you are going through a new learning curve for a new OS it would be better to do that with win8 as it is the latest MS OS.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would add another item to what Clive just said, the Sticky threads at the beginning of the Win 8 Forum will help significantly in this learning curve.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  11. #11
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    Also, in addition to the wealth of info & guidance we have here for you... if you go to STORE & Search Windows 8, Microsoft has provided a bunch of APPs that offer instruction, tips, reference & direction for you. Plus the Help & Support sections w/in the OS itself offer a lot of terrific insight to the OS

    Cheers,
    Drew
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You say (multiple times) to check my documentation. Believe me, if there was any documentation provided (there isn't), I would have checked that before posting here.

    http://www.microelectronics.com/

    Make and model number of computer?

    There will always be documentation. Provide more information and we will help you search for it.
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  13. #13
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    Thank you all for the responses re. the forced shutdown message and UEFI. This sets my mind at ease.

    Clive, I have downloaded SIW (not installed yet). Thanks for the info.

    Clint, my computer is a PowerSpec model B828 with an Intel DH77EB motherboard. I chose PowerSpec because it had the least crapware on the hard drive. I detest crapware, and this was my way of voting with my wallet. I was only able to see the computer specs on the Microcenter web site, but could find no other manuals or user information. The Intel site does provide motherboard layout and other information, which I found necessary to identify all the MB connectors.

    For all those suggesting or recommending that I use Windows 8, I am definitely NOT interested in Windows 8. It's not an issue of learning a new system, I just strongly dislike the Win 8 interface. In fact, I was quite happy with XP, and I'm running Win 7 with an XP-like interface (you can keep the eye candy Aero junk). But then, I resisted leaving DOS until I couldn't run any newer programs with it anymore.

    Thanks again for the help. And if you can find any manuals or other info for this machine online, Clint, I'd certainly like to know.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I recommend NirSoft's ProduKey v1.54, it a free non installable executable product key finder.

    I highly suspect your product key is embedded in the install disk and or BIOS ROM, so you may not have to enter it and have it validated. But that is another
    question for which you'll need to query about. (direct specific make/model questions to the Microcenter forum, the rest we can discuss)

    Is this your computer?
    zz1.jpg
    Not a bad deal for under Eight Hundred, even without a monitor.
    Cool of them to include a Windows 8 upgrade disk too


    The Micro Center Tech Support Online forum would be a site to bookmark.
    The forum would be an ideal site to query some of your questions, like where to get driver updates and a detailed user manual
    for your specific make and model.
    You should also check the driver disk for a user manual in PDF format. Many manufacturers place it on the disk.



    Technical Support

    I could not locate a place on the site to download updated drivers and or user manuals. Perhaps a call to them by you
    will help shed light on this.

    As others have said; leave the UEFI settings in the BIOS alone until you are more informed about it's functioning and settings.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-02-09 at 20:58.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  16. #15
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    Hi, Clint.

    Yep, that's my computer. It seems to be pretty nice, except that the built-in card reader (Inland, Microcenter's brand) is a piece of junk. First one failed after a few hours. I wasn't sure if the problem was a bad card reader or the motherboard USB connector, so I promptly packed up the computer and exchanged it for another (same model). Didn't seem like I should ask for warranty support for a computer that new.

    The card reader failed on the second computer after the same time period. This time, just to verify that it was the card reader and not the motherboard, I replaced the card reader with the one from my now dead HP computer (much better quality than the one that failed), and everything worked fine (plus it provided another front panel USB port). Took the failed unit back to Microcenter, and they exchanged it with an off the shelf high quality reader (not Inland). No questions asked, no problem, good response from Microcenter. I'm leaving the HP reader installed and keeping the new reader as a backup.

    Also, the new machine's a bit noisier, but the 4 processor cores each run about 15 degrees C cooler than the single core processor on my HP, so that's a fair trade-off.

    Thanks for the tip about ProduKey. That did the trick.

    I checked the driver disk, but it had no manuals on it. But thanks for the links to the forum (where I already posted the question) and the tech support site.
    You've been very helpful.

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