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  1. #1
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    Taming Win8's seven-way sign-in hassles

    LANGALIST PLUS

    Taming Win8's seven-way sign-in hassles


    By Fred Langa

    Windows 8 offers three common and four less obvious ways to sign in a seven-layer complexity that can cause problems. Here's what to do when sign-in trouble strikes. Plus: Cure 'wicked slow' startups in any Windows version with built-in, free, or paid tools.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/taming-win8s-seven-way-sign-in-hassles/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    ANOTHER TAKE ON WINDOWS 8 SIGNINS.
    Fred, I have found for the vast majority of average users I set up on Windows 8, the most trouble-free way is to use a local account (most with no password, some do create a password). In order to do this during the initial setup, when you come to the point where it asks for your Microsoft account, you have to click "Create an account" and then on that screen, you have the option of logging on with a local account. By taking a couple other steps- removing the trial antivirus and turning on Windows Defender, and installing Classic Shell to replace the Start button, I have given them a Windows 7-style machine that requires no other learning curve (easier than putting them on a Mac)... except for the gotchas- if they move the mouse to a corner, something will popup: ignore it and go on; if they accidentally click on "Start Screen" on the top of the Start menu, they need to click "Desktop" to get out of it; and if they do play around with the tile screen and try to play a game, Microsoft might trick them into creating/logging into a Microsoft account, and then make the Microsoft account the default sign-in (that is the default behavior). Anyway, for most of my customers, who are regular home PC users, this has been the easiest for all, and usually avoids the hassles I have had with Microsoft accounts.

    When I was first setting people up with Windows 8, I assumed that creating a Microsoft account to start with was the way to go. The first problem might have been fixed by now, but it used to take up to a half hour to wait for the creation of a new Microsoft account. If you went to live.com and created it there, it was easy, but from the Windows 8 setup screen, a long wait. It was bad enough that I would go to a customer's home with laptop in hand so that I could get online and create their Microsoft account from my computer and then set it up on theirs.

    I had one customer who had a Microsoft account and was already using OneDrive, but when we setup her Windows 8 machine and she found that since she logged in with her account, her Hotmail and OneDrive were already logged in, this was not acceptable for her. Apparently even though she had to log in initially, there were other people around that she didn't feel safe without having to log in to those areas separately. So though she had a Microsoft account, she chose to move to a local account with a password.

    The other issues have to do with password problems. I have dealt with enough of these over the years that I am sure that these are sometimes mangled (inadvertently) by the company (Microsoft or whoever). I have been the email contact for several people who gained "probationary" access to their Microsoft account for thirty days: this happens when out of the blue, Microsoft suddenly decides after you log in that you need to confirm some other security measure such as mobile phone (though most of these created their Microsoft account before this information was added) or security questions that are case-sensitive. I have to educate people all the time to write down their user-id, password, and security answers for every account they create. So this is not just a Microsoft issue, but Microsoft seems to be among the most annoying about it.

    Sometimes people get into trouble because they heed Microsoft's initial advice that they can use their current (Non-Microsoft) email address for their Microsoft account. This usually goes bad; it confuses people who do change their email password when now they can't log in, and (at least in the past, this might have been fixed) usually they couldn't even log in with that address at live.com. So I've since told people who are creating a Microsoft account to not use a non-Microsoft email address.

    But the worst case I called in on was when a woman's Microsoft account log in somehow got changed- she knew the password she always used, but that didn't work and at live.com she got a temporary password and then created a new password. So far so good. But then her internet went down. She could not log in to her computer because she had to enter the last password she used- not the original she had, that one hadn't worked; possibly the mangled one that she had to bypass earlier; more probably the temporary password that Microsoft gave her which she used and then threw away because she changed it. We had to get her router replaced and then get the computer online (as I recall, I was able to access the wifi connection to get her online; but I was prepared to move the desktop into the room with the router and cable it in), and then she was able to log in. She was said to me, this can't happen again, and we went with a local account.

  3. #3
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    Fred also returned to the use of msconfig to speed up reboots. The other side of that coin is rarely mentioned: that is - how can I add an executable to msconfig if it didn't get there when the program was installed?
    All help gratefully received!

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    Curing slow boot times.

    Since the problem described happens when on an office LAN, the problem may not be a problem but a feature. I work in a really secure environment at work and at boot, IT tends to do lots of security related stuff ranging from OS security updates to virus database updates to...well whatever it is they need to do. In general, they're consuming less time at boot but periodically they either intend to stuff large packages of data or perform specific scans on boot OR they muck something up and cause problems.

    It's never a bad thing to discuss the problem with the local IT group (if you have one).

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