One of the most talked about annoyances in Windows Vista are the UAC prompts that constantly pop up when you are trying to make system changes. It’s especially irritating when you often need to run a particular tool that requires administrator mode in order to run. Thankfully there’s a simple hack that you can do to create an administrator mode shortcut that doesn’t prompt for UAC.

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If you find the popup notification balloons in the Windows system tray to be too annoying, you might be interested to know that you can completely disable them. This would be an extreme option, of course… typically you can just turn them off in any offending applications, but if you want to disable them across the board, this is the solution.

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If you’ve ever needed to create a list of files in a directory, you’ve likely used a command from the prompt to pipe the directory listing into a fileā€¦ but what if you could simply right-click on or in any folder and copy a list of the files to the clipboard?

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Have you ever noticed that with the Windows Vista Firewall enabled, you can’t use ping from another computer to see if your Vista computer is alive? Sure, you could take the drastic step of disabling the firewall for testing purposes, but the simple solution is to just allow ICMP requests through the firewall.

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Have you ever copied something to the clipboard that you don’t want to leave there in case somebody else is going to use your computer? Sure, you can copy something else to the clipboard real quick, but can’t you just make a shortcut or hotkey to clear it?

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One of the changes in Windows Vista was the easy way to remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop (simply right-click and delete)… unfortunately this sparked a new problem where unwitting users started deleting the Recycle Bin instead of Emptying it and were unable to figure out how to restore it.

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When you are troubleshooting network problems, one of the first things to do is disable the built-in Windows Firewall… but there are just way too many steps required to the firewall on and off. Can’t we make a simple shortcut icon instead?

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If you don’t already have a quick launch icon or a hotkey set to open a command prompt, there’s really quick trick that you can do on any Windows 7 or Vista computer to open up a command prompt without having to navigate the menu.

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If you are using Microsoft Outlook as your email client, you’ve likely already used the instant search box… but using it can be even more “instant” if you learn how to use a couple of shortcut keys, instead of having to resort to the mouse every time.

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If you’ve used Linux for any amount of time, you’re already familiar with the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace shortcut key combination that restarts X Windows immediately… but have you ever wondered if there is a way to disable that behavior?

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Have you ever noticed that new folders that you create inside of your Home directory in Vista just look out of place? All the built-in folders have those stylish greenish icons, and your folders are ugly and yellow.

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You are no doubt reading this article because you are wondering why this dwm.exe process is taking more memory than you think it should, and you are curious what it does. Thankfully for you, we have the answer.

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This article was written by our excellent reader Leon Steadman.

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One of the reasons we started the How-To Geek Blogs was to give bloggers the chance to focus on other topics that we don’t cover as regularly here. If you are interested in Windows Home Server, our very own Gmedia blog has been running a series covering the addition of a new server in his already impressive home media setup.

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One of the best features in Windows Vista is the updated System Restore feature, which saves people from certain destruction on a nearly daily basis, judging from the feedback on our forums. The only problem is that it takes far too many steps to manually create a new restore point. Can’t we just make a shortcut icon for it?

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This should fix the issue in both Windows XP and Windows Vista! Enjoy!

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One of the most frustrating changes in Windows Vista is the lack of the “Up” button when browsing the file system. Sure, there’s been a slightly buggy add-on that you can use, but how about a really solid Up button that just works and doesn’t bloat your system?

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Editor’s Note: Online-Tech-Tips is a great site covering a wide variety of topics, and is well worth subscribing to.

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Have you ever wondered why Windows Vista allows you to choose themes, but there’s no way to add custom themes without additional software? The reason is because Windows checks the themes with a cryptographic key, so you have to patch windows to allow custom-created themes to install.

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System Restore is one of the better features in Windows 7 and Vista… spend any amount of time on our forums and you’ll see how often it solves issues… but it’s like a black box, nobody knows how it really works, or when it’s doing things. So how do you change when it creates snapshots?

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Have you ever tried to select a bunch of files in Windows Explorer while holding down the Ctrl key, and then all of a sudden there are duplicate copies of all of those files sitting in the folder? Really irritating, so how do we fix it?

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So you notice you are missing icons in the System Tray, like the clock or volume icons, and then you realize that you simply can’t enable them because the checkboxes are grayed out. So what do you do?

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I have neglected several included features in Windows Vista.  And to be honest I have not used many of them assuming they won’t work very well.  Rather than be an ignorant assuming geek, I have decided to go over some of the included features in Vista.  Today I will start with Windows DVD Maker.

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This article is part of Mysticgeek’s IT blog, a How-To Geek blog focused on IT geekery.

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By now most people have likely already upgraded to Windows Vista Service Pack 1, but one of the smaller feature upgrades might have passed most people by: You can now configure automatic defragmenting for All drives, as well as defragment all of your drives at the same time.

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