Windows 8 BitLocker Recovery Keys

OneDrive, Tips, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
With an ever-growing concern around data security, it’s no surprise that many companies (and individuals) make use of Microsoft’s BitLocker drive encryption technology. BitLocker, once enabled, will encrypt your entire drive (or drives) on your computer (e.g. desktop, laptop, or tablet). As long as your computer continues to run “normally”, things are hunky dory. However, if you end up in a “recovery” situation with your computer, you will need a BitLocker recovery key. Not just any recovery key, but a specific key that will work only with your computer. You’ll know you need your recovery key when you are presented with a screen that looks something like this: It is good practice to backup your BitLocker recovery key for just such an occasion. However, if you haven’t backed up your…
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TIP: Previous/Next Track Buttons in Windows 8.1

Tips, Windows 8.1
If you’re like me, you like to listen to music on your PC/laptop/tablet while you’re working. In my case, I happen to utilize the Windows 8.1 Xbox Music app (with Xbox Music Pass) which has become much better with the last couple of updates. There was, however, one feature that I really wanted – “previous/next track” keyboard shortcuts. Unfortunately, no shortcuts are provided out of the box with the Xbox Music app (or by Windows). Given this limitation, I had to turn to my keyboard. While there are many keyboards available with built-in previous/next track buttons, my keyboard is not one of them. However, I do happen to use Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Assuming you have the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard center installed (it’s installed automatically the first time…
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TIP: Visual Studio 2013 XAML Error

Tips, Visual Studio 2013, Windows 8.1
Since I upgraded to Windows 8.1 I’ve had various issues with Windows Store apps running in Visual Studio 2013. I would get strange debugger-related issues when I attempted to run an app though it would compile just fine. In fact, it didn’t matter if I ran the app locally or within the emulator, it would give me some strange debugger errors which were surfaced from non-managed code. I noticed that when I opened a XAML file in the XAML editor (within Visual Studio 2013) I would get the following error: I did some quick bing’n around for an answer and came across a post on Microsoft Connect that suggested drivers for a dual-video docking station might be at fault. It just so happens that I am using a Toshiba dynadock…
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TIP: Disable Spell Check and Autocorrect in Windows 8.1

Tips, Windows 8.1
For many of us, myself included, having automatic spell check integrated into most of the apps I use on a daily basis (including Windows Live Writer, which I am using to compose this post) has been a great productivity enhancer. However, there are certain scenarios where autocorrect, or automatically highlighting misspelled words, can be a nuisance. My native language is English and I have to admit that the spell check features in Windows 8.1 have worked pretty good for me. However, I have seen many reports of the spell check and autocorrect features being less than desirable for non-English languages (e.g. Spanish). There are plenty of examples where someone types something specific only to have autocorrect change it to something else just as you click/tap “send”. The ideal fix for…
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Windows 8.1 & Windows RT 8.1 Released

Windows 8.1
Microsoft released Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 today. This update, which applies to Windows 8 and Windows RT 8, is the first “major” release since the initial release about a year ago. What’s New? This update contains many enhancement and fixes. Some of the updates include: Start button. Although the Start button does exist in Windows 8, it is hidden by default until you move your mouse into the lower left corner, or swipe up from the bottom. In Windows 8.1, the Start button is shown by default. SkyDrive integration. With Windows 8.1, SkyDrive is deeply integrated into the operating system making it simple to view and save files to/from SkyDrive. In fact, making use of a new feature called smart files, you can now see the names of…
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