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WINDOWS ARTICLES / EVERYTHING ABOUT MICROSOFT WINDOWS

If you find yourself using the Group Policy Editor all the time, you might have wondered why it doesn’t show up in the Control Panel along with all the other tools. After many hours of registry hacking, I’ve come up with a registry tweak to let you do just that.

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Scott pointed me in the direction of an interesting utility for Windows XP that will let you “skin” your icons by replacing the built-in folder icons with custom icons, and even assign a different color for different folders.

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We’ve all been at our computer when the Windows Update dialog pops up and tells us to reboot our computer. I’ve become convinced that this dialog has been designed to detect when we are most busy and only prompt us at that moment.

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I’ve been getting emails left and right from readers complaining that their Music folder icon has turned from the default shiny icon into the generic yellow folder icon. After doing some research I finally have a workaround for this issue.

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Driver problems are a source of never-ending issues in the Windows world. Often you’ll have a working driver on another machine, but don’t have the installation cd anymore to install on the new computer.

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I’ve received a number of emails from readers telling me that their computer has no option for “Show Hidden Files and Folders” in the Folder Options dialog. The question even showed up on the forum, where Scott promptly found a registry tweak which I’m sharing with everybody.

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Just about everybody knows about the hidden administrator C$ share that is always built into Windows file sharing, but you might have wondered why you can’t use that in Windows 7 or Vista.

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One of the ancillary benefits of our Vista Gadget breaking and my email filling up with complaints was that I learned how to debug a Vista Gadget in Visual Studio, so I’m sharing the wealth with everybody.

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Some time ago I received an email from a reader curious why their Task Manager option was grayed out on the taskbar right-click menu. After a bit of research his problem was solved, and now I’m sharing the solution with everybody.

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If you’ve ever tried to move your Windows Live Writer settings from one computer to another you’ll know what a royal pain that can turn out to be. Sure, you can backup the registry and all the files in your application data directory, but it just turns out to be a mess.

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The common Open/Save dialogs are so prevalent in Windows applications that each little annoyance ends up driving us crazy after a while. The most frustrating thing for me is that you can’t save your view mode, so every time I have to switch it back to details mode.

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You are no doubt reading this article because you are frustrated with the ctfmon.exe process that just won’t stop opening no matter what you do. You remove it from the startup items and it just magically reappears. So what is it?

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If you’ve got a home computer that you put into sleep mode, you might be irritated that you have to enter your password every time it wakes up. In most cases you could just remove or not use a password, but if you are doing file sharing a password is required. So how to resolve this?

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Have you ever wondered, while listening to the sound of your hard drive thrashing, What files on my system are being modified? Since I recently had that thought, I decided to investigate.

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My favorite keyboard shortcut on OS X is “Hide Others”, which hides every other window except the currently focused one. It’s a great way to quickly clean up your desktop and focus on the task at hand. So how to get this for Windows?

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Have you ever noticed that you have to switch to a window before you can use the wheel button to scroll it? This is especially annoying if you are trying to multi-task or follow along with a lengthy tutorial in your browser window.

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There’s nothing more annoying to me than getting a new laptop from work and having to click through the logon warning message set by the IT department. It usually goes something like “Warning: You are logging onto our computer system. We own your soul.”

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If you are both an IE user and a fan of using custom search providers in your search box, you might be interested to know how you can back up that list and/or restore it on another computer. Yes, this article is boring, but we’re trying to cover everything here!

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If you are tired of the way certain keys on your system work, such as the Caps Lock key, you can re-map them to function as a different key by using a registry hack. But there should be an easier way, right?

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So you installed Windows DreamScene through Windows Update, but where did it go? You can’t find it in the start menu anywhere, and it’s not in Program Files… Turns out that just installing it doesn’t always mean that it’s enabled.

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If you like the way Ubuntu requires you to enter your username and password instead of clicking on an icon, you can enable the same thing for Windows Vista in a somewhat similar style logon process. This is really most useful for home users, as domain users should already see this screen.

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The Desktop Cube effect for Linux is extremely popular because people love eye candy, but the choices for Windows are much less interesting. The latest utility to give this effect for Windows is surprisingly fast, and works on both XP and Vista.

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Geeks everywhere have embraced the lightweight and free Foxit PDF reader instead of using Adobe reader, but did you realize that you can index PDF files without Adobe installed on your computer?

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If you spend a lot of time inside your registry editor, you might already know that you can use the Favorites feature to add in a bookmark to a specific key in the registry, saving you immense amounts of time when you need to check a bunch of different keys.

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The new indexing service built into Windows Vista has been the subject of a lot of complaints, since it seems to kick in at strange times and thrash your hard drive. So what can we do to speed this up?

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