Why won’t Microsoft Office 365 install? Stuck on Getting things ready

So you are stuck trying to install MS Office 2016 with your 365 installer download. You see, We’re getting things ready… which promptly disappears and nothing has happened.

Great.

You’ve read that maybe you should leave it for a few hours, restart the computer, and hope that it has appeared… you could do that.

Or you could use this handy little tool to blitz all Click-to-run installations from Control Panel which should then allow Microsoft Office 365 to install properly – yes please!

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Troubleshoot-installing-Office-365-Office-2016-and-Office-2013

After doing that, restart the computer and give that Office 365 installer download another go… here’s to hoping!

Windows 10 – Shutdown Vs Restart

Unlike Windows 7, Windows 10 (and 8.1 before it) comes with ‘Fast startup’ enabled on systems that will support it.

So what’s that then? When you choose the ‘Shut down’ option, what actually happens is that some core system files are written to disk in the state they are so as Windows 10 does not have to spend the time loading them from scratch the next time round.

Isn’t that like hibernate? Well, yes, it partially is!

So, on an out of the box Windows 10 system, in order to truly reload your Windows from scratch you must select ‘Restart’.

Is there another way? Always!

Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options\System Settings and click on the ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ shield. This will now allow you to un-tick ‘Turn on fast startup’, ‘Save changes’ and your ‘Shut down’ option will truly shut down.

Un-tick 'Turn on fast startup' to make your 'Shut down' truly shut down.
Un-tick ‘Turn on fast startup’ to make your ‘Shut down’ truly shut down.

What makes a password strong

So you have been told to make a strong password for one (or all!) of your accounts, be it banking, ebay, Spotify, or anything else.

What is a strong password?

Advice varies, but a good start has to be what HM Government’s Cyber Aware website has to say. See this short video:

We would also like to see at least two capital letters, numbers, and what is called a ‘special character’, e.g. # ! & $ *

Never use your name, relatives’ names, a pet’s name, or other personal information that might in fact be known by those close to you.

But won’t I just forget it straight away?!

How to remember strong passwords

There are some simple memory tricks and techniques that could help you if you’re struggling to remember your strong passwords. Just don’t write them down anywhere!

  • Loci method: imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location i.e. red rose on the table, book on chair, poster on wall. Imagine yourself looking around the room in a specific sequence. Re-imagine the scene and the location of each item when you need to remember it.
  • Story methods: remember a sequence of key words by creating a story and including memorable details e.g. ‘the little girl wore a bright yellow hat as she walked down the narrow street…’.

SOURCE: https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/passwords

Using a DrayTek Vigor 2820 2830 or 2860 series gateway firewall router with SIP VoIP traffic

This really only applies if you are using a cloud based VoIP telephony provider with VoIP phones on your desks and you are using a DrayTek firewall. You will need to make a backup of all your settings and have your current firmware file to hand in case you need to roll back.

Disable SIP ALG

Using telnet, log in to the DrayTek’s interface (PuTTY is a good free client if you need one) with your admin username and password.

Type in the following commands:

sys sip_alg 0 (and press ENTER)
sys commit (and press ENTER)
sys reboot (and press ENTER)
– this will reboot your DrayTek

Reducing the NAT session time

On busy networks it can help significantly to reduce the default NAT session time on TCP traffic from 24 hours (!!) to 10 minutes.

Again, using telnet (as above) type in the following command:

portmaptime -l  (that is a lower-case L)
– this will show you the default of 86,400 seconds!
portmaptime -t 600
– this will change it to 600 seconds
sys commit
sys reboot
– this will reboot the DrayTek

This article can apply to

  • Vigor 2760
  • Vigor 2800
  • Vigor 2820
  • Vigor 2830
  • Vigor 2832
  • Vigor 2860
  • Vigor 2920
  • Vigor 2925
  • Vigor 2952
  • Vigor 2960

Password not working at login screen because keyboard layout is wrong

If you are using Windows 10 and just know you are typing in the right password, and your password contains a # or a £ sign for example, then this article should help you out.

You will need to know what the American keyboard looks like. Here is a picture:

So if you have a # in your password, you will need to press SHIFT+3 at the logon screen.

How can I fix this?

To resolve this you will first need to be able to log in – hopefully the above will help. Then:

  • Open Control Panel
  • (View by: Small icons)
  • Click on Language
  • Click Advanced settings (left hand side)
  • Now click the Apply language settings to welcome screen… option as seen below:

Control Panel srcset= Language > Advanced settings” width=”532″ height=”162″>

  • On the next screen, click the Copy settings… button
  • Tick the bottom two boxes and press OK

Welcome screen and new user account settings

  • That should do it for next time you reboot your computer.
  • While you are at it, why not go download the English (United Kingdom) language pack?