Archive for the ‘Vista’ Category
The visual effects Windows 7 uses may be very pleasing to the eye, however they use up a lot of resources. If you like to play a lot on your computer this is an obstacle you do not need to face since you can disable compositions and visual themes upon starting a program. To do so, right-click the program’s icon and select Properties. Browse the Compatibility tab and have a look at the options it provides:
The most functional options here are Disable visual themes and Disable desktop compositions. If you check their boxes, these two options will be triggered upon starting the program and deactivated again when the program is closed. This way you save a lot of resources which your games or other applications can grab.
The minority of Windows users have really ever needed Caps Lock – most of the passages written in capital letters are still done with Shift only. Because of that, most people will find the Caps Lock key rather annoying since everybody has already experienced accidently using it and finding out too late. If you are one of those who could easily abandon the Caps Lock function there is a great registry option for you (with which you can not only change the function of Caps Lock, but of every other key as well). Open the registry by entering regedit in a Run… prompt and browse the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout key. Now create a new value inside of it by right-clicking on the right-hand registry frame, selecting New > Binary Value and naming it Scancode Map. Modify it by double-clicking and enter the following (without the spaces – these will be added automatically; don’t get confused about the four-digit string on each line’s beginning):
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 2a 00 3a 00 00 00 00 00
This is what it should look like in the window:
After the changes are done, close the registry and reboot your machine. The Caps Lock key should now function like a normal Shift key.
If you look for a powerful tool to move files to FTP or SFTP servers or want to move them via SCP on Windows, there is a valuable solution for you called WinSCP. WinSCP is a useful Client able to deal with files in all three ways and comes with an easy-to-understand graphical user interface. You can download it >here<
Just log yourself in with the receiving server’s data, choose the protocol you want to use and you will be presented with a two-framed window that lets you drag and drop files between the servers:
While working with your computer you surely have come across files in the .zip or .rar format. These are so called packed or compressed files, their function is to store multiple files and/or folders into one single file and compress them so they are easier to send and waste less space. Windows has a built-in function to pack and unpack files: to compress files, just right-click them and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. To uncompress, right-click the zipped file, select Extract all… and choose a directory where to put the uncompressed folder. However there is a more powerful tool called WinRar which is easy to handle, has a bunch of useful functions and also supports another compressing format, .rar which is safer than zipped compression if provided with a password. WinRar is downloadable for free as a 30-day trial version and reminds you to buy the full version after 30 days but is still usable then. You can download the appropriate version for your system here:
Double-click the downloaded file and click Install on the appearing window. The next window displays WinRar’s configuration. The checkbox-filled panel on the left determines which formats your computer is supposed to open with WinRar. Usually all predefined settings should be alright, so click on OK.
On the next screen, click on Done to finish installation. Nearly all compressed files are now being associated with WinRar and have adopted its icon:
Uncompress files associated with WinRar by double-clicking them and drag-and-dropping its content anywhere on the screen or clicking on Extract To and choosing the target directory.
To compress files, just select the ones you want, right-click them and choose to either compress them to a .rar archive immediately or to add them to another archive (.zip or whatever you want) with more detailed options.
When you right-click any object on a Windows system, there is the option Send to which is able to literally send objects to other computers by automatically opening a new mail and attaching the chosen file as attachment, process them with other programs selectable from a list, or just moving the file to a different location (hold the Shift key when right-clicking to enable more options to Send to). The common user however does not use this function really often, in fact, he may also find it annoying since it might cause short freezes on slower computers if one accidently hovers the mouse over it and thus makes it load a list of applications. But as for every other problem on your computer there is also a solution for this one, disabling the Send to command with the registry.
To do that, open your registry by entering regedit in to a Run… prompt and direct it to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Send To key.
Now the default value that is found in that key is
If you ever want to revert your setting the easiest way is to just save this value somewhere safe, since the thing you need to do to disable the Send to command is to double-click the value and remove the string so that it is empty. Leave the registry afterwards and the command should no longer appear on right-clicking.
HiJackThis is a software that is able to detect unusual entries on your registry and hard drive and create a log file with the information it gathered about the running processes. This log file can either be analysed by the user himself or be copied into an automatic analyser that shows if the entries are rated safe or dangerous.
You can download HiJackThis here: http://www.trendmicro.com/ftp/products/hijackthis/HiJackThis.msi
If you made the program create a log file after scanning, it is recommended to copy and paste it into an automatic analyser such as the one you can find here: http://www.hijackthis.de/en. The analyser will then give you an overview of the scanned files combined with a rating given by visitors.
If you find any unsafe entries, you are given the option to fix them in the program’s window. Be cautious what you delete however, inform yourself about the stated entries and do not rely on information provided by a single source. Always double-check before you delete an entry.
On every Windows system able to create system restore points that undo any configuration changes made after their creation, there is also the possibility to create simple quick-link icons, consisting of a few line of code, that enable you to create restore points with a double-click. On Windows XP this is achieved with only two lines of code. Learn in this post, how it is done. In Windows Vista and 7 however, there are a few problems that stand in the way of our (automatic) one-click system restore point. First one is, that the script we need to run to create system restore points can only be run with administrative powers, so we need a way to get those. Second is the annoying User Account Control that asks as if we really want to run that script. This would not be such a great deal, but if you are the kind to create restoration points quite often or after a time schedule, the UAC may become a great pain.
To start with the administrative rights, there are more than one way to get those. The probably least complex one is to add the Run as administrator option to the menu appearing upon right-clicking the script:
This is done by adding the appropriate keys to the Windows Registry. To open that, open Run… by entering run into the Windows search bar in the main menu and clicking on the program. Type in regedit into Run and the Windows Registry will open. It consists of two columns, one on the left, containing the key directories, and one on the left, showing the keys’ values. Take on the left column and browse the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VBSFile\Shell directory. Right-click it and select New > Key. Name it Runas and leave its values as they are (there is only one). Now right-click the Runas key and again select New > Key. Name the newly created key Command and leave the values as they are. Right-click the Command key and select Export…. Give it a name and save it somewhere you will find it. Go to the directive you saved it and open it with notepad. Erase all of its contents and paste this:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Save the file and double-click to merge it with the registry. The Open as administrator option should now be available to all Visual Basic Scripts (you can use the one from the linked XP tutorial with this option enabled).
However, this option neither is automatic nor does it circumvent the UAC. An option that enables creating a restoration point on double-click (but still, without disabling UAC) is to alter the script that you use for this. Open a new notepad (it has to be notepad) and paste the following code:
if wscript.arguments.count = 0 then
set objshell = createobject(“shell.application”)
objshell.shellexecute “wscript.exe”, wScript.scriptfullname & ” run”, , “runas”, vbnormalfocus
getobject(“winmgmts:\\.\root\default:systemrestore”).createrestorepoint “Automatic Restore Point (Win7 Script)”, 0, 100
Save the script as *.vbs and make sure to select All files from the dropdown menu before saving! With this, you have enabled administrative rights beforehand every time you run the script. Now there still is a slightly circumstantial method to also disable the UAC prompt. To achieve this, you need to have a desktop shortcut pointing to a scheduled task that runs the script with highest privileges grantable. To access scheduled tasks, browse Menu > Control Panel > System > Administrative Tools > Scheduled Tasks. Create a new one without any trigger, executing your script (be sure to remember the task’s name, you will need it once more) and check the Run with highest privileges box on the first tab.
Now right-click your desktop and create a new shortcut. Let it point to following location (enter your own task-name in the last option):
C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /run /tn “EnterYourTaskNameHere”
Upon opening, it should execute the script without asking for anything.
Sometimes it is necessary to just put a file that does not want as you want in the trash can. And sometimes doing this simple thing is not possible, because the file is being used by another program or is bound to other processes . If this is the case, the file is treated as if it was “locked” and changes cannot be done to it. If you are sure that the file needs to be deleted anyway, there is a tool called Unlocker that is able to cut off any file from its bonds so that it can be moved, renamed or even deleted. This can be pretty handy if your computer too stubborn to see its mistakes.
Unlocker is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems on the emptyloop homepage: http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/#download
To be able to use Unlocker with a rightclick, make sure that the Explorer extension is checked during the installation process.
To delete files afterwards, rightclick them and select Unlocker. The opening window will tell you if the selected file is locked or not and gives you the option to move, rename or delete it instantly.
The common computer user often does not know that a simple uninstall of a software he or she is no longer in need of will not erase the program completely but will leave traces on your hard disk. These may stack up to a fairly high size and can slow your computer down. The same goes for all kind of temporary files your system stores, the most common being temporary internet files. Deleting these files manually can be a hard thing to do, especially if you do not know where to find those and how to recognize them. That is why there are plenty of tools on the internet that allow you to search for and erase them automatically.
One of these helpful tools is CCleaner.
CCleaner is a tool that allows you to clean up your Windows Registry (the key storage that is responsible for every kind of configuration on your system), uninstall software properly without leaving any traces, disable autostart processes, delete all kinds of temporary files and even format your hard drives and overwrite them up to 35 times so that your old files will no longer be accessible by any usual means.
CCleaner for Windows can be downloaded here: http://download.piriform.com/ccsetup311.exe
It is also available for Mac on: http://download.piriform.com/mac/CCMac1.00.077.dmg
CCleaner’s menu is divided into four main options, being Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options. The Cleaner section is there for deleting temporary files, cookies, recent documents and other stored files of that kind. The Registry section searches the registry for disposable entries such as missing shared DDLs, unused file extensions or obsolete software and gives you the option to delete these entries. In the Tools section you can uninstall software, delete system restore points and wipe your hard drives empty. Options, speaking for itself, lets you configure your settings, mainly to include or exclude data from being deleted.