Taylor Gibb

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

Active Directory is essential to any Microsoft network built on the client-server network model–it allows you to have a central sever called a Domain Controller (DC) that does authentication for your entire network. Instead of people logging on to the local machines they authenticate against your DC. Lets take a look at how to install Microsoft’s Active Directory.

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If you manually enter paths into the Windows Explorer address bar, it can become filled with suggestions that were only used once or twice. Heres a quick registry hack to delete the ones that you don’t use often.

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Before we start there is a couple of things that you are going to need:

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The problem with storing all your files on a file server or networked machine is that when you leave the network, how are you going to access your files? Instead of using a VPN or Dropbox, you can use the Offline Files feature built into Windows.

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If you reply to the emails with the same answer over and over, it will save you a lot of time to create a template that you can use over and over. We have previously show you how to create templates in Outlook 2003, so lets take a look at using Outlook 2010.

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Have you ever had a file on a flash drive that you needed to use on a machine that is situated in another building or even halfway across the world? You can do that by plugging it into your local machine and then forwarding the drive through your remote session to that machine. Here’s how to do it.

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Getting a new drive is always exiting, but having 6 or 7 drives show up in My Computer isnt always ideal. Using this trick you can make your drives appear as folders on a another drive. Logically it will look like its one drive but any files in that folder will physically be on another drive.

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If you’d like to safely eject USB drives from your desktop, we’ve got you covered with that one too.

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If you are one of those people who don’t safely remove their USB Devices just because you’re lazy, here’s a neat trick to do it from the context menu on your desktop. Even if you are not lazy and just forget, the icon will serve as a mental reminder. So let’s take a look.

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When you add a drive to your PC, by default it gets a drive letter, whether it is a removable drive or even a fixed hard drive inside of your PC. Lets take a look at how we can hide these drives.

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Sick of formatting? Then learn how to breathe new life into your machines without formatting using the new Refresh and Reset features present in Windows 8 or 10.

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Google Cloud Sync will sync a lot of things, unfortunately the one thing it doesn’t yet sync is your open tabs, lets take a look at how to change this using a custom flag and get your tabs syncing across machines in no time.

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Have you ever seen those weird desktop.ini files that seem to pop-up everywhere? The truth is that they do serve a purpose and Windows uses them to identify how a folder should be displayed, much like the .DS_Store files used in OS X.

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The concept of a drive in PowerShell is not about physical drives, but about representing any data store as a consistent interface. Using the right provider you can even access  the registry as if it was a file structure.

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Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition is a free, ad-supported version of Office 2010 meant to be included on new PCs. It only includes Word and Excel with a subset of features—but it does let you make a portable version. Here’s how to do it.

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Have secret plans to take over the world that you don’t want anyone to be able to read? Encrypt those precious bytes with a custom password before disguising them as an ordinary picture that could fool anyone.

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Note: we aren’t going to cover how to reinstall Windows, since you should know how to do that already. This article just covers backing up and restoring your activation.

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Anyone who has needed to create a large number of folders in Windows knows this is a tedious task. Simplify your creation by typing a list of the folder names in a text document, and get a program to do all the manual work.

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You either love the new explorer ribbon in Windows 8, or you hate it. For those of you that like it but aren’t quite ready to install it, heres how to get a replica of it in Windows 7.

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When you ping a PC running Windows 8, by default it doesn’t reply to the echo request. This is caused by a firewall rule that blocks all incoming ICMP packets, but this can be changed quickly in the Advanced Firewall Settings instead of disabling the entire firewall.

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The Find My iPhone/iPad not only allows you to track your lost or stolen iOS device, it also allows you to remotely remove all your sensitive data off of the device and even lock it in the case of theft.

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If you own a netbook you will know what we mean when we say sacrificing a DVD drive can sometimes be a pain. Net burner sets out to solve this problem by letting you use the drive on another pc remotely.

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Windows 8 and 10 includes Hyper-V as a virtualization platform, but since not everybody will use this feature, it’s not enabled by default. Here’s how to enable it on your Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC.

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Sometimes you want to be able to quickly access a website, without the big clunky desktop optimized interface. Treb allows you to do this by pinning mobile websites to the system tray for easy access. Here’s how to use it.

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Ever wanted to restore a file from the past, but don’t have a good way to do it? With System Restore Explore you can mount a System Restore snapshot, and browse a past copy of your entire drive.

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