A freeware tool I use many times in IT is System Info for Windows. This small lightweight utility comes packed with a lot of power. No need to install anything on the local hard drive … just run it from a jump drive or pop it on a disc. If you need detail about a computer you’re working on, SIW will give you everything including the kitchen sink!
A very useful feature in Windows is the ability to automatically hide system tray icons when they are not in use. The problem is that over time, Explorer caches a list of every single icon that it’s ever seen, and your list might grow to hundreds of items that Explorer knows about.
In my quest to get rid of every useless tray icon wasting memory, I was very annoyed when Vista’s automatic updates installed a new driver and the icon for the touchpad ended up in my system tray again. There’s almost no benefit to this icon, so it needs to go.
After writing the article yesterday about how to restore the show desktop icon, I received a number of emails asking if I could post the shortcut for Flip3D as well, so I’ve zipped up a copy of that shortcut as well.
I’ve received dozens of emails asking how to restore the show desktop icon once you’ve deleted it, so I have a solution for everybody: I’ve zipped up a copy of the shortcut, and you can download it here.
If you switch resolutions a lot you’ve probably experienced the problem with Windows moving your icons around every time it switches to a lower resolution, such as when playing a video game or hooking up your laptop to an external display.
A number of people have written in asking about a Vista Sidebar gadget for our latest articles feed. I finally got some time today, so I’ve thrown one together that isn’t exactly feature-rich, but does get the job done.
As you install ever more software on your computer, your startup entries become littered with applications that slow down your boot time and typically waste your computer’s memory.
Dozens of people have written in and expressed their hatred of the new breadcrumb feature in Windows Vista’s Explorer address bar, and especially because you simply can’t turn it off… until now.
Most of you who are running Vista should know by now that Microsoft introduced major updates for Vista. For a full detailed summary of what is included read The Geek wrote a great article reviewing the updates. One of the updates includes better Vista Aero performance with NVIDIA graphics cards.
One of the more advanced options for resizing your Windows Vista partition is to use the GParted Live CD, a bootable linux CD that takes you straight into GParted, the great linux utility for managing partitions. The problem is that if you resize your boot/system partition, you will be completely unable to boot without repairing windows.
The Shrink Volume feature in Windows Vista has some serious limitations, which we’ll try and explain and then suggest a few workarounds that might help you out. Be careful when following these steps, because they could leave your system unable to boot… advanced geek level required.
Microsoft has just released a set of updates for Windows Vista, divided into two separate update packs. One deals with performance and the other with reliability, and seems to fix quite a few issues with video drivers and hibernation.
We’ve always been fans of the free Foxit PDF reader here, but when I came across an open-source PDF viewer that was even more lightweight and simple, I immediately switched.
For those of you joining us in progress we’ve started something new here called the How-To Geek Bounty Program, where we sponsor software projects based on ideas suggested by the readers.
A very cool utility to analyze and keep track of everything running on your computer during startup is Autoruns. This handy little utility displays everything running on your computer when you start up. Sure you can use the built in utility in Windows “msconfig” however your not getting the full picture with msconfig. Autoruns on the other hand will go through and list everything running and the order in which it start up! Here I will show you the difference between MSCONGIG and the Autoruns program on a computer running Windows Vista.
The question I am asked most often is “How do I install a dual-boot with Windows XP on my new Windows Vista computer?” The answer is that it’s not that difficult, it’s just very time consuming, and you need to own a copy of Windows XP.
This week I had the opportunity to check out Microsoft’s System Center Essentials (SEC) 2007. I thought I would share this with all of our IT geek’s out there.
Here is how to manage basic Windows Home Server settings. Screen shots speak for themselves so here we go!
Windows Home Server is still in beta stage but when it is officially released we will have all the information you will need to effectively manage your home server. Here is a quick tutorial on how to add a new user to your home server.
If you are experiencing weird issues after upgrading your hardware, or you’ve just upgraded to the latest hardware device and aren’t seeing the performance you’d like, you might want to remove the old drivers which are still installed for the old hardware, even though you can’t normally see them in device manager.
Have you ever wondered where the Display Settings icon or Network Connections folder went in the Control Panel’s Classic View? For that matter, why can’t you search for them using the start menu search? Because they are prohibited from loading in the registry – that’s why.
Everybody knows how to change their Vista logon/start menu picture, but if you select a new picture, Windows Vista removes the last picture from the list entirely, leaving just the new picture and the default pictures. Does anybody really use the robot or the fish picture?
If you’ve entered the wrong address into the Windows Vista Mail client, you might have problems getting rid of the wrong autocomplete entries in the list. There’s a couple of things you can try to delete the entries in the list.
If you are unfamiliar with the Sysinternals Process Explorer utility, you should really check it out… it gives you so much more information than the default task manager, including a tree view of all the processes so you can see which processes launched other processes. You can look at pretty much every piece of data concerning a process, including associated registry key handles, open files, dlls. There’s even a search function.