Windows 7 Forums FAQ
Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.
Getting Started on the Forums: Beginner's Guide
I have no idea how to use this website. What do I do?
Here is some information on getting started. The same information applies to both Windows 7 Forums ("windows7forums.com") and Windows 8 Forums ('windows8forums.com"). This video can ultimately save you an enormous amount of time getting started, especially if you are not profundly efficient with computer systems. Please watch this YouTube video:
If you are still encountering major difficulty, even after following these steps, read this entire section of our website, and you will understand how bulletin board systems (BBS) and forums work.
What is registration?
Registration is the process of creating a member account on Windows 7 Forums. It is entirely free, and provides you with the features necessary to create a user profile and post a message. Ensure that the e-mail address you use is valid and does not have a over-active spam filter. If you did not register with a valid e-mail address, you will not be able to activate your account.
Why do I have to register?
You do not have to register. If you do not register, you can only browse the website. You cannot use any other features, and that includes posting messages. The reason that we require registration is to prevent spam infiltration and malicious threats.
I cannot pass the registration or access my account, and am receiving an error. What do I do?
Check this area very thoroughly for any errors or mistakes. Be sure to follow the directions diligently and carefully. Make sure that you use a strong password, but one that is easy enough to remember. The most common areas of difficulty are the following:
Is this website secure?
This website is 100% secure and is hosted from a data-center in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is monitored twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year by network engineers. There is a team of professional experts and consultants who work on-site at the datacenter and off-site at WiredTree Communications, whom we highly recommend. We also have direct access to all server resources and often implement security patches directly to the system. The main system administrator is a 7x certified information technology professional and 2x Microsoft MVP awardee. The website has existed since 2005 and has never had the user database, e-mail information, or datastore penetrated or accessed by an unauthorized entity. No e-mails have ever been sold or harvested for profit. Every member of our forum team is highly proficient, professional, and qualified.
Is this website authoritative?
After six years of doing this professionally, we would consider the website to be one of the most authoritative forums on the Internet regarding Windows technology. However, the same could be said for dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of websites in many different languages around the world. What differentiates our website from others, we feel, is our commitment to retain messages over a long period of time (archival), our willingness to go above and beyond what a normal forum website would be expected to do (quality of service), and our ability to be supportive of our members through innovative technology. For example, many of the admins on our site have direct access to Microsoft employees and representatives, whereas countless other sites may not have achieved this privilege. There are less than 5,000 Microsoft MVPs in the world, and our website currently has 4 active Microsoft MVPs. All of our volunteer team members have lifetimes of experience interacting with computers, training and helping others, and comprehending Internet protocol. Each member of our team has their own unique specialization(s) which they readily bring to the table.
Are moderators / team members supposed to help me?
Yes, but perhaps not in the way you may imagine. On most forum websites, moderators are actually supposed to moderate and editorialize content. These duties include keeping our website secure from external threats, such as banning malicious users and preventing denial of service attacks, and assisting in official functions. However, we expect more from our moderators. This includes an obligation to help our members use the site, which is more important than fixing your broken computer. While the stability of our website is always our number one priority, and while we leave most questions up to our veteran members to help with, our website functions as an exchange of ideas, and you will find our official team members helping in this role all the time. This is what makes our team exceptional, and not just average or good. Our team members are committed to helping others, and regularly participate on Skype through text chat and conference calls to resolve on-site issues. We have other methods of communication as well, and entire procedures set up to deal with a multidude of different eventualities. Almost all of our moderators are seasoned IT professionals, but being sociable is also a requirement. Have a disagreement with a moderator? Just remember that our service is entirely volunteer based. Not a single moderator is paid for their help. Everyone here volunteers their time.
What guarentee do I have that my content will be read?
You have no guarentees. But the odds are in your favor, perhaps more often than not, on here than on other sites of a similar ilk. We have put in place a system whereas if our readers are unable to help you, then we expand who can read your message. Every time a new message is posted, it is automatically syndicated to Twitter and Facebook. Also, the more thorough your message is, and the more substance it has, the more likelihood it has of being quickly indexed by search engines. Use keywords and details to get your message across. Many of our seasoned and long-term members have become recognized for helping others. Every Microsoft MVP on our forum team has received the award, partially, or in totality, for their contributions to this website. As you continue to post messages, your impact on the website becomes larger, and people will start to look to you as an expert. The impressions that each person makes on the website, and how it is absorbed by our millions of readers around the world, has been fascinating to watch over the weeks, months, and years. As you become more and more well-known, you can literally make a name for yourself by using our services. This credit will never be revoked from you unless you violate our Terms of Service agreement. Our goal is to have our service going, in perpetuity, until the end of time.
Be sure to read this entire FAQ if you still have questions! There is more to be found.
Is this a Microsoft website?
No. This website is not owned, operated, or involved with Microsoft Corporation. This website is operated by computer and software enthusiasts from around the world.
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Please follow our policies on making new threads and posts to the website. At this time, you must be a registered member to post on this website. There are certain basic standards of conduct that we request you follow: Please click here to access our Terms of Service agreement which you must follow as a registered user
What is Microsoft ® Windows 7?
Windows 7 is the latest operating system by Microsoft Corporation. For more information, please visit Wikipedia, which contains an excellent description of the new operating system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7
What is Windows7Forums.com?
Welcome! This site is an open discussion website about the Microsoft ® Windows 7 operating system. This site is not affiliated with Microsoft Corporation, and is here for the sole purpose of open public conversation. Feel free to browse and make the best use possible of our site.
On behalf of everyone here, welcome to the forums. We recommend you register and join our community. Whether it is a question, comment, or simply technical discussion, someone is very likely to respond to you!
How do I stop receiving admin e-mails?
To stop receiving e-mail alerts from Windows7Forums.com:
1. Sign in on windows7forums.com at http://windows7forums.com/profile.php?do=editoptions
Options for these settings are presented to every single member on registration. As such, these e-mails form the basis of an opt-in mailing list. Your e-mail address is never shared with 3rd parties.
How can I show others my computer's specs?
You can now fill out additional details in the User Control Panel which will show your stats to the world on every post you make. To do this, simply go to "Edit Your Details" in the User CP and fill out any fields you want to show on your profile. You can use different online services and software to find out your computer details, or you can contact the manufacturer you bought your computer from, like Dell or HP.
How do I remove advertisements?
We currently allow members to remove advertisements. Please navigate to your Settings and you will find that you have the ability to turn off all advertising. This policy may change in the future since as of September 2011 the website is incurring severe financial difficulties. We ask that you seriously keeping the ads on unless absolutely necessary.
How do I delete my account?
Account Deletion Requests
Here is how we deal with your request. We erase almost all of your information if you request your account be deleted. However, posts that you would have made are given a guest attribute that does not include your username. Further, you may not request re-admittance into the website again under another assumed alias. Deleting accounts is a delicate procedure that needs to take place because of so many entries in our database. However, once you receive the message that your account is "pending deletion", you can rest assured that all services related to your account have been immediately cancelled. The best way to get rid of your account is simply not to use it at all.But wait! There's more!
We'd like to know why you are leaving? Is it something we've said? Do you dislike something we've done? Please articulate this to us nicely. If you even want to contact us via telephone, we will go to that length for you.
How can I financially help this free service?
Premium Supporters are members who subscribe to a Windows7Forums.com Premium Subscription plan. They are amongst the most valued members of the Windows 7 Forums community since only donations, subcriptions, and advertising help keep the website strong over a long period of time.
The Premium Supporter Program started at a time when the website was undergoing severe financial hardship and continues to this day since we're still broke. Early in 2011, the website was making a lot of revenue. It was enough to purchase big products for the website, including enhanced web server software and terabytes of bandwidth on a content delivery network. Today, we're once again in the poor house.
To become a Premium Supporter, log in to your account and visit Subscription Payments. The system is being changed to allow as small or as large of a donation as someone would want to make. Obviously, we are extraordinarily thankful for your help.But... Don't I Get Free Stuff?
You bet you do! You gain access to our exclusive Premium Supporter Forum. And because we are launching Nextwork Media Company, there may be additional offerings for Premium Supporters in the future.
You also don't have to worry about most upload, size, and message storage limitations. You can have a gigantic avatar if you want, for example. Your name appears in gold.
For more information, please see: Help Keep The Website Going Strong.
What are donations used for?
All donations sent to the forums are used to keep the website online, secure, and fully operational. To pay for hardware hosting, maintenance, repair, licensing, programming, testing, and the support of our member community, we are actively working to improve the service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes providing 99.99% uptime reliability for all visitors around the world. We directly administer and protect the main database server our site is hosted on, with the assistance of on-site datacenter technicians in Chicago, as well as server administrators around the world. Bug fixes, development, and even meetings take time, and thus, money, to stay in operation.
How does the website stay online without donations?
The website stays online directly through publishing advertising space, monetizing content, and working as a publishing company. Without advertising income, the website would not have the financial resources to stay online for more than a few months. The website receives around a million unique viewers a month, but this is not keeping the site fully funded at this time. For example, we are limited in providing potential behind the scenes software solutions, or to develop an even better website experience. We will launch vBulletin 5 Connect soon, but do not have the funding available for online advertising.
How much does it cost to keep the website online on a monthly basis?
Our main server costs around $600/mo. USD to host at a Chicago, Illinois datacenter. However, we are also paying for premium access to web server hosting software called Litespeed. The cost of performance and security updates for this web server software alone costs over $400/mo USD for our 8-core owned license. We also pay for an international content delivery network from MaxCDN, whereas bandwidth is paid for by the terrabyte. While a special arrangement was made with the CDN, once our bandwidth runs out, all incoming connections around the world will need to reach our main web server in Chicago, and not the datacenters we upload scripts and images to around the world. The purchase of additional bandwidth will cost several thousand dollars, and we estimate that without the CDN, site load speed will decrease significantly enough to limit the number of incoming connections by a large margin. Thus, without the CDN, we will begin to have difficulty reaching visitors in eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. We estimate that for the website to truly expand, we will need to generate approximately $10,000 USD per month. We are nowhere near this estimatd quota. All donations would help us reach this objective, and an immediate difference would be noticed. With 40 million unique visitors, if each visitor had donated just one dollar, the website would have around 40 million US dollars to expand operations around the world. Instead, the website currently incurs a major account deficit of around $30,000 USD (September 2012).
What kind of costs does the website incur?
The website incurs financial costs to pay our service providers and creditors, including, but not limited to, infrastructure upgrades and maintence, on-site datacenter support, server hosting, monthly and annual licensing of software, content delivery network bandwidth and hosting on nearly every continent of the world, and a large number of domain name renewal fees. Publishing applications for Facebook, Android tablets and phones, and, in the future, iOS (Apple), and Windows RT (Windows 8 Runtime - Modern), will incur heavy fees. The website also has nearly one hundred backup domain names for the expansion of our service, which we are planning at a set time. We are beginning to default on the renewal of many of these domain names due to the renewal cost. By 2013, we will combine our Windows8Forums.com sister site and Windows7Forums.com into one main online forum directory accessible from a single domain name for all time, but these plans can and will be disrupted by a lack of funds.
Are donations mandatory? What do I get out of it?
Donations are not mandatory, but will provide you with additional support options. Should you choose to join us in helping fund the website, we will attempt to provide you with premium access to our partner networks, backup software, an exclusive members-only forum, and immediate access to our administrative team. You will receive access to a member only form. Your name will appear in gold lettering, many account restrictions will be lifted, and you will also be on the front line of helping us to keep our website operational.
Why is this necessary?
We do not operate a traditional company, and the profit motive is not our goal. Our goal is to help technology users overcome their difficulties, and help users on a day to day basis. To achieve this directive, we are using all of our resources. This includes search engine optimization software and a number of programming secrets to keep our visitors using the site. Your help would immediately go towards keeping our service online, always, and you would be helping us fulfill our pledge of being the #1 Windows Community.
When do donation memberships expire?
As of September 6, 2012, any donation or funding sent on your behalf to Windows7Forums.com or Windows8Forums.com will never expire.
What is the recommended donation? What is the minimum?
While we suggest a minimum, one-time contribution of $20 USD, we will accept any donation, large or small. Your donation can and will help make a difference in how we keep our service online and functioning at maximum capacity. There is no minimum or maximum donation.
What kind of developments can I expect in the future?
As Internet standards evolve, so must Windows Forums. Today, it is possible to enter your system specifications into our database to make it easier for problem solvers to help you. Much of the programming you see on the website today is a direct result of our own initiative, our collaboration with vBulletin as a NDA tester, or code contribtions made available via license to improve the speed of the website and prevent large amounts of spam from reaching our member base.
We have developed the software necessary to syndicate nearly every message to Twitter, and then to Facebook, to make your questions and answers known. We have worked with dozens of companies, large and small, to provide software-based solutions to our members. Expect to see a massive improvement as we move in the direction of vBulletin 5 and continue to work with our partners.
What is the ultimate goal of a donation?
The ultimate goal of any donation is to help us keep our service online and running. The mission statement and goal of the Windows Forums is to keep the content that have been made online secure, and indexable for all time. To this end, we will work to preserve the website, and provide donors with as much additional help, support, and promotional material as possible.
Changs to Our Plan as of 9/2012:
Donations are now unlimited and are not charged on a monthly basis.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We currently accept PayPal as the preferred method of payment, but if, for some reason, an online transaction can not work through PayPal.
I cannot use PayPal. How can I contribute financially?
Method 2: Intuit GoPayment
If you cannot use PayPal, we also accept payment through Intuit GoPayment. This donation can be made via the following:
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Method 3: Check or Money Order (with Delivery Confirmation)
We will accept donations via check or money order. We highly recommend that you use a certified method of delivery, such as tracking, to make sure that this is not lost in the mail.
The check or money order should be made payable, in US dollars, to:
Michael Fara (WindowsForum.com)
Please include your forum username, e-mail address, real name, and real contact information.
This information will be received and retained, for security purposes, by the owner of the website, Michael Fara (2x Microsoft MVP and 7x Microsoft Certified Professional). In all cases, the credit card information will not be be retained, and you will receive a receipt of any and all transactions. This information will never be shared with third parties.
To make a donation online using PayPal, please begin below here
How can I start a blog, create albums, or start a social group?
You must have at least ten posts to start a blog, create an album, or start a social group. This new requirement was added on February 11, 2012 in order to help combat spam and prevent abuse of these systems. If you are a professional publisher or industry expert, and would like immediate access to these features, please apply under Permission Groups.