So you’re in the middle of doing something important on your computer when the “Restart your computer to finish installing important updates” dialog comes up, and asks you to restart your computer.
When you administrate servers running Windows Server 2000 or 2003, one of the most frustrating experiences is when sessions get cut off but the server still thinks they are active. You’ll get this error message, which you are sure to encounter at some point:
If you are running a web application using the original ASP technology on Windows Server 2003, you might get this error message once you upgrade to Service Pack 2: “New transaction cannot enlist in the specified transaction coordinator. [-2147168246]”.
I’ve received a number of emails asking where we got the sweet black theme for Windows XP in most of the screenshots. It’s the Zune theme from Microsoft, which you can get directly from their download site:
As a command line junkie, I end up doing almost everything from a command prompt. The problem is that Windows Vista doesn’t have a built-in command to launch an application in administrator mode.
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use Windows Movie Maker (a highly video-editing software in Windows Vista) to edit and create movies.
Nobody is asking why you want to clear the recent documents from your XP start menu, but we’ll show you how to do it anyway.
Are you sick of looking at the Windows XP logo when you boot up your computer? Here is a quick tip on how to disable it.
So you’ve got a bunch of .OGM video files and they won’t play in Windows Vista… relax, you just need to install the right codecs in order to play them from within Windows Media Player.
Do you wish the IE7 Menu bar was located where it was in IE6? Here is how to quickly create a registry fix to move it back to the top.
Setting a manual exception for a certain program.
If you are annoyed with Windows popping up a balloon notification telling you things you already know every time you turn on your machine, here is a quick tip on completely disabling them. (Note this requires a registry modification so be sure to back up your registry before making any changes.)
Automatic Updates is a great feature. Your computer stays protected from threats without worrying about it… but if it’s 3am and I’m trying to play a video game, the last thing I want is for the automatic updates to pop up and remind me every 5 minutes that I need to reboot, interrupting my game… Drives me crazy!
If you are concerned with video game performance, or you are trying to fix some problems with any 3D application, you can ensure DirectX 9 on XP is running at peak efficiency by running a diagnostic.
The System Restore feature in Windows Vista is very important to keep enabled, what with all the problems Vista users are having with compatibility. Even so, the disk usage can get out of hand if you install a large amount of software.
For those times when Windows completely freezes and you can’t even open the start menu, you can also restart your computer from Task Manager instead of just powering the machine off.
Many utilities need to be run as administrator in order to function properly, especially older utilities that haven’t been updated to support Windows 7 or Vista yet.
If you’ve been wondering why your XP desktop icons have a background color, you’ll be glad to know you can flip a checkbox and have them go back to a normal transparent background.
Restarting Firefox is always difficult for those of us with dozens of tabs open, because you don’t want to lose all the open tabs, but you might not want to bookmark them all either.
It drives me crazy when applications install themselves into the system tray without giving me a choice during setup. QuickTime has no good reason to be in the system tray, but it’s there anyway after you install iTunes.
I’ve previously written about mounting an ISO image in Windows Vista using Virtual CloneDrive, but I thought I’d go a step further and explain how you can mount more than one ISO at a time.
If you have an external hard drive that is always plugged into your computer, you can enable write caching to speed up performance significantly when writing to the disk.
To show hidden files, open Control Panel and double-click on Folder Options.
Using the Disk Cleanup utility in Windows XP is a great way to clean up files and get more hard drive space. One of the options is to “Compress Old Files”, but the default setting is files older than 50 days. This setting can be modified if you only want to compress really old files.
Windows Media Player has an interesting option that will let you open files in the Mini Player mode instead of the full player window. This is especially useful for opening music files where you really don’t need the full-size window.