Free Your Windows 7 Desktop While Drag&Dropping

There is a feature added to the Show Desktop panel in the bottom right corner of the screen that enables you to free the desktop of all windows instantly if you want to drop an item upon it. To do so, just drag the desired item on the panel, hold it a split-second and all open windows will minimize, allowing you to drop the item on the desktop.

How to change the update frequency in Microsoft security essentials

Microsoft security essentials is the free antivirus software from Microsoft for Windows 7. Unlike other antivirus tools which update their signatures every few hours, Microsoft security essentials is updating its antivirus signature database only once in 24 hours. But the update frequency can be changed in the Windows regestry and the following tutorial will show you how.

1) Open the registry editor by executing the following command on the windows console


2) Go to the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Microsoft Antimalware/Signature Updates

Then click on "Signature Updates" > "Permissions" >"Advanced" and go to the "Owner" Tab. There click on the administrator group and click OK. Now your back in the "Permissions" Window, select the "Administrators" Group and enable the checkbox which is labeled with "Full Control".

You have changed the permoissions now so that your administrator user can edit the keys. The next step is that you doubleclick on "SignatureUpdateInterval", select "decimal" and enter the update interval. The interval is set in hours from 1 to 24.

For security reasons, you should then change the permissions back from "Administrator" group to "System" group and close the registry editor.

Microsoft security essentials will now update its signatures in the interval you set in the registry.

Please be aware that a MSE update will reset the interval back to 24 hours. As a alternative approach of updating the signatures, you can create a scheduled task which executes the command:

cd "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware"
MpCmdRun.exe -SignatureUpdate

The commnd should be executed as "SYSTEM" user.


How to save the music from a youtube video as mp3 file

Have you ever wanted to save the sound from a youtube video on your harddisk as mp3 file? There is a handy Firefox plugin named "Youtube to mp3" available for that. Open the following link in the Firefox webbrowser:

and click on the "add to Firefox" link to install the plugin. Then restart firefox to activate the plugin.

How to remove old java versions from Windows

When you install the latest java runtime enviroment, it gets installed beside your existing java installation. With every java update, more space is used on the harddisk. To remove old java versions, there is a tool named JavaRa which can be downloaded here:

Unpack the file and double click on the JavaRa.exe to start JavaRa. Select the language:

and click on "Remove older versions".

Robocopy single- and multithreaded benchmark on Windows 7

A commenter of my robocopy article asked me if a multithreaded copy tool like robocopy is really faster then a single threaded copy tool like xcopy as normally the harddisk is the bottleneck and not the CPU when copying files. As I did not found any benchmarks, I decided to do my own benchmark. Here are the results:

In my test, I copied a folder hierarchy with 429 directories and 6313 files with a overall size of 522 MB. I've run every test 2 times to ensure that the speed differences are not caused by filesystem caching. I know that this test was not made under scientific conditions, so if you have your own results, feel free to post them here as comment.



xcopy D:\server\test D:\tmp\test /D /E /Y /Q

Time to copy files

First run: 42 seconds
Second run: 41 seconds

robocopy with 1 thread


robocopy D:\server\test D:\tmp\test /MT:1 /E /LOG:d:\tmp\robocopy.log

Time to copy the files

First run: 43 seconds
Second run: 41 seconds

robocopy with 10 threads


robocopy D:\server\test D:\tmp\test /MT:10 /E /LOG:d:\tmp\robocopy.log

Time to copy the files

First run: 38 seconds
Second run: 36 seconds

Conclusion: Using a multithreaded copy tool like robocopy with 10 threads speeds up file copying and makes sense if you have to copy a large number of files. At least on my system.

Copy files faster in Windows 7 with robocopy

Windows 7 comes with a new version of the robocopy command that is able to copy files much faster then the normal copy command or copy function of the file explorer by using several simultanious threads. So if you plan to copy a large number of files, e.g. to make a backup, use the robocopy command.

Example Copy files from C:\myFiles to F:\backup and use 10 simultanious threads. To execute robocopy, open the windows shell window or press the keys [Windows] + [R] to open the windows command line, then enter the command:

robocopy C:\myFiles F:\backup /MT:10

To get the full list of robocopy options, execute the command:

robocopy /?

For Windows XP or Vista, you can get the robocopy command from the Microsoft Resource Kit Tools

How to link a network drive into a folder on Windows 7

Have you ever tried to install a software on a network drive or use a network drive as data directory were the software installer checks for the drive type and refuses the installation on network drives? A workaround that helped me in these cases is to use a symlink on Windows. For example, the application wants to put its data in the path C:\ProgramData\appname but you want the data to be stored on the mapped network drive X:\mydata\appname, you can use the following command on the windows commandline to symlink the directorie:

mklink /d "C:\ProgramData\appname" "X:\mydata\appname"

The benefit is, that the application installer detects now C: as valid local harddrive and uses the symlinked path to store its data on the network drive X:\mydata\appname.

The general syntax for the mklink command is:

mklink /d symlinkpath targetdirectory

How to access all system settings, the so called “GodMode”, in Windows 7

The "GodMode" in Windows 7 is a special folder which contains links to all system settings that are available in Windows 7. To Access this function, create a new folder (e.g. on your desktop or home directory) with the following name:


and save it. If you open this folder, you will get a list of all admin functions of Windows 7, there are also many functions listed that are normally not available in the Windows 7 system settings.