Sunday, November 30, 2008

Drive Letter Disappearing in Windows Vista

If you have been having a problem with the Drive Letters disappearing in Windows Vista try deleteing the following Registry Keys. One of the iTunes updates seems to clobber the drive letters (in some instances). As always, be very careful editing the registry. It is a good idea to back it up first:
Step 1: In Vista search box on the start menu - type in regedit.
Step 2: Open Registry Edit (regedit link appears)
Step 3: Under Computer, open the folder for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Step 4: Then open the folder SYSTEM
Step 5: Then open the folder CurrentControlSet
Step 6: Open the CONTROL folder
Step 7: Open the folder "Class"
Step 8: Look carefully for the folder called
Step 9: On the right side of the open panel, you'll see a listing with lots of information - NEXT to (Default) be sure it reads DVD/CD-ROM drives -
Class should be CDROM
Step 10: There are two files called UpperFilters and LowerFilters. Delete UpperFilters first by clicking the delete key, then say yes. Repeat the process with LowerFilters.
***Be sure the files you're deleting say only UpperFilters and LowerFilters, nothing else.
Step 11: Restart your computer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Free Vista Tools

Want free utilities with which you can tweak the Vista interface (in much the way you could with XP's Tweak UI), launch applications more quickly, or even turn Outlook into interactive desktop wallpaper? (I'm especially intrigued by that last one; I've said for a long time that Outlook is my interface. I'll be trying it out in the next week). This article in PC World contains links to all these: Click Here

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rebuilding Profiles on Computers with Vista

In XP, we were able to just rename a profile folder to rebuild their profiles,
but Vista will create a TEMP user folder instead of a fresh profile. If you
are helping someone with an unreasonably slow logon (longer than say five
minutes), and are unsure of how to proceed, try these steps to resolve the issue.

This solution is a little risky if you are not familiar with the registry, but it has worked the last few times I have tried it.

1. Run regedit

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
a. Look at each folder that starts with S-1-5-21
i. In each folder there are two values you are looking for
1. Guid-contains another unique numeric identifier
2. ProfileImagePath-contains the path C:\Users\username

3. Once you have found the unique ID for the user, in the same directory as ProfileList there are two other folders, ProfileGuid and PolicyGuid.
a. Open each folder and look for the Guid found in ProfileList and delete that folder.

4. After deleting the folders out of ProfileGuid and PolicyGuid, delete the user's unique ID from ProfileList

5. Finally, delete the user's folder and any "TEMP" folders from C:\Users

How to recover from a Corrupted Registry that prevents Windows XP from starting

This article describes how to recover a Windows XP system that does not start because of corruption in the registry. This procedure does not guarantee full recovery of the system to a previous state; however, you should be able to recover data when you use this procedure.

Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives. To access the article:
Click Here

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Change the Logon Screen wallpaper in Vista

you can switch out the blue and green "aura" wallpaper of the logon screen for something more personalized. As with many things in life, there's a hard way and there's an easy way. The easy way is to use the free utility from Stardock that you can download at:
Click Here

You can find instructions for doing it the hard way in a PC Magazine article at:
Click Here

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

How to clean out "CrapWare"

This is a nice article about how to use Autoruns & CCleaner to clean out extra software typically installed on a new or existing computer
Click Here