Monday, December 21, 2009

How to restore your personal files after a custom installation

You've performed a custom installation of Windows 7 (or Vista) instead of doing an in-place upgrade. The installation process kept your personal files in a folder called Windows.old. Now how do you retrieve them and move them into your new installation of Windows? You'll find step-by-step instructions in KB 932912 at Click Here

"Inaccessible boot device" error when you start Windows 7 or Vista after changing the SATA mode

If you change the SATA mode of one of your hard drives in the BIOS, so it will use the AHCI specification, you might find that after you restart the computer you get an error message that says "inaccessible boot device." That happens if the drive you changed was your boot drive and the AHCI driver is disabled. You need to enable this driver before you make the BIOS change. To find out how to resolve the issue, see KB article 922976 at Click Here

Friday, December 18, 2009

How to change the timeout on Service Communications

When a service starts, the service communicates to the Service Control Manager how long the service must have to start (the time-out period for the service). If the Service Control Manager does not receive a "service started" notice from the service within this time-out period, the Service Control Manager terminates the process that hosts the service. This time-out period is typically less than 30 seconds. If you do not adjust this timeout period, the Service Control Manager ends the process. To adjust this timeout period, follow these steps:

1) In Registry Editor, locate, and then right-click the following registry subkey:

2) In Control, (in the right pane of Registry Editor) right click and choose New, then DWORD. Notice that New Value #1 (the name of a new registry entry) is selected for editing.

3) Type ServicesPipeTimeout to replace New Value #1, and then press ENTER.

4) Right-click the ServicesPipeTimeout registry entry that you created in step 3, and then click Modify. The "Edit DWORD Value" dialog box appears.

5) In the Value data text box, type 180000, and then click OK. Save this value as a Decimal number and NOT a Hexadecimal number.

Note: TimeoutPeriod is a placeholder for the value of the time-out period (in milliseconds) that you want to set for the service. For example, if you want to set the time-out period to 24 hours (86400000 milliseconds), type 86400000. We set ours to 180000, or 3 minutes. I've had to set it as high as 300000 5 minutes.

5. Restart the computer. You must restart the computer for Service Control Manager to apply this change.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Changing where XP downloads files

Starting in Windows Vista Microsoft changed the default download location for files to the Downloads folder unser the User Directory. If you would like similar functionality on Windows XP you must perform the following steps:

You will need to edit the registry. As always, be sure to back up the registry key first and be careful when making changes to the registry. Here are the steps:
1. Open the registry editor.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer
3. In the right pane, double click the Download Directory value
4. In the Value Data field, type the full path to the folder where you want downloads to go by default (for example, C:\Downloads)
5. Click OK

Note that this changes the download location only for the logged on user account.

How to prevent blue screen when installing new motherboard

A new motherboard is the most significant upgrade that you can make to a computer, since the motherboard also determines what processor(s) you can use, how much and what type of RAM you can install, and so forth. Sometimes installing a new motherboard can be tricky and some folks have reported getting a blue screen that says "inaccessible boot device" after the upgrade. Ouch. Here are some tips for preventing that:
1. Before installing the new board, boot into XP.
2. Right click My Computer, click Manager and click Device Manager in the left pane of the Computer Management console.
3. Select the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller.
4. Select your current storage controller.
5. Right click select Update Driver and click "Install from a list or specific location."
6. Select "Don't search, I will choose the driver to install."
7. Select the standard dual channel IDE controller.
8. The first time you boot XP after installing the new motherboard, boot in Safe Mode. XP will install needed drivers. You can also install the motherboard drivers from the disc that comes with it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Computer Losing Time? Here is how to fix it!

There is a known issue whereby XP may display the wrong time or appear to be losing time. This can be a problem with the time server that the XP machine contacts over the Internet to get the right time, or it can be a problem with your system itself. First make sure you have the "Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server" option checked on the Internet Time tab when you double click the clock in the system tray. If that's already okay, try this:

  1. Log in as administrator
  2. Click Start | Run and type cmd to open a command window
  3. At the command prompt, type these commands, in this order:
  • net stop w32time
  • w32tm /unregister
  • w32tm /register
  • net start w32time
Reboot the operating system

Another cause can be a CMOS battery that is dying. You'll need to open the case and replace it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How To Setup An Out-of-office Auto-reply Message Without Exchange Server

For those who do not have Exchange Server in their home or office, setting up an auto-reply to let contacts know that they are on vacation or otherwise out of the office can be a daunting tasks. Thankfully this step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. Don't be worried about the number of steps involved- this article tells exactly when and where to click through the whole process. This tutorial also gives instructions on turning the message off, how to turn it back on at a later date, and how to edit the message later if needed.
Click Here for entire article

Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking some of the pain out of a reformat and reinstall

What's the most annoying thing about reinstalling your operating system? Hunting down, downloading and reinstalling all those applications, right? You probably have the discs for your commercial programs, but if you're like most of us, there may be dozens of freeware apps that you use and they're scattered all over the web. Well, here's at least a partial solution to that problem: it's called Ninite and it contains a catalog of popular free software programs. You simply check the boxes for the ones you want and it will automatically install them all without any help from you (choosing default settings and refusing add-ons). Find out more about it in Aric Annear's blog post here: Click Here

Installing Windows 7 on a netbook without a DVD drive

Remember that you can't do an in-place upgrade from XP to Windows 7; you need to do a clean installation. With that in mind, the good news is that you don't have to go out and buy a DVD drive to install Windows 7 on your netbook. Microsoft has released a USB/DVD Download Tool that you can use to easily create a bootable disk image of Windows 7 on a USB thumb drive. You'll need a USB stick that's at least 4 GB in size and you'll need to set the netbook's BIOS boot order to boot from the USB drive. You can find out more here: Click Here

Monday, October 26, 2009

How To Optimize Your Windows 7 Pc

Here are some good tips and tricks on how to speed up your Window 7 impelmentation: Click Here

Monday, October 12, 2009

Create a shortcut to back up user and system files

We all know that we need to back up our systems frequently, and with the Windows 7 Backup utility, you can set a schedule - but sometimes you might need to create a backup when one isn't scheduled. If you find that happening often, you can save some clicks by creating a shortcut that you can put on the taskbar or Start menu. This site gives you instructions for creating the shortcut and even provides a download for those who don't want to do it themselves. Click Here

How to back up or copy Windows 7 sticky notes file

I like the little Sticky Notes feature in Windows 7. There were third party programs you could install to get the same thing in previous operating systems but they were often flaky. The Windows 7 Sticky Notes feature is built-in, simple and just works. However, my immediate question was "how can I back up my notes?" That involved finding the file where the sticky notes data is actually saved. Here's how you do it:
Navigate to Users\ \ AppData \ Roaming \ Microsoft \ Sticky Notes \ Stickynotes.snt
If you don't find it there, or just want to go to the file the easier way, click Start and type stickynotes.snt in the Search box.

Copy the file to another location to back it up, or set up a program like SecondCopy to automatically copy it on a set schedule.

If you have a second Windows 7 computer and want to transfer your notes to it, you can copy this file to a USB stick and then copy it into the same location on the second computer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to open Explorer in My Computer instead of in the Libraries

1. First, unpin the existing Explorer icon from the taskbar. To do that, right click it and select "Unpin this program from taskbar."
2. Now make a new Explorer shortcut on the desktop. Right click an empty area, click New | Shortcut and in the location box, type: %windir%\explorer.exe /e
3. Click Next.
4. Give it a name (e.g., Explorer) and click Finish.
5. Right click the new shortcut and select "Pin to taskbar."
6. Delete the one that's on the desktop if you want.

Now when you click the Explorer icon on the taskbar, it will open to Computer instead of to the libraries.

How to disable the sidebar in Windows 7

What? You thought there was no sidebar in Windows 7? Well, you're sort of right. There is no visible bar running down the side of the screen, but sidebar.exe is still there, in the Program Files\Windows Sidebar folder on the drive where Windows is installed. By default it loads at startup and runs in the background to manage the gadgets that you put on your desktop. But if you don't put any gadgets on your desktop, it's just taking up memory for no reason. Here's how to keep it from starting and recover that memory:
1. Click the Start button (or press the Windows logo key) to open the Start menu.
2. In the Search box, type regedit.exe to open the registry editor.
3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
4. In the right pane, find the REG_SZ key named Sidebar
5. Right click and select Delete
6. Close the registry editor As always, be sure to back up the registry before making changes to it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to change the Control Panel category for an application

Many of us prefer the Classic view for Control Panel, but others like XP's Categories view. But can you move items from one category to another? This especially applies to programs that put their own applets in the Control Panel, sometimes not in the category where you'd expect it to be. Turns out you can do that, if you're comfortable with editing the registry. Here's how:
First back up the registry, just in case.
Open the registry editor and navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Control Panel \ Extended Properties \ {305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2
In the right pane, each DWORD value is named after the full path to its Control Panel file. Find the one you want to move and double click it.
In the Value Data field, enter the value associated with the Category where you want to place it, from the list below.

Accessibility Options 0x00000007
Add or Remove Programs 0x00000008
Appearance and Themes 0x00000001
Date, Time & Language 0x00000006
Network & Internet 0x00000003
Other Control Panel Options 0x00000000
Performance & Maintenance 0x00000005
Printers & Other Hardware 0x00000002
Security Center 0x00000010
Sounds, Speech & Audio 0x00000004
User Accounts 0x00000009

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to do a custom installation of Windows 7

This editorial, with screenshots, shows you how to install Windows 7 either from within your current version of Windows or by booting the Windows 7 installation DVD. If you're new to Win7, check it out: Click Here

How to add Quick Launch to Windows 7

1. First, open Explorer and go to Tools | Folder Options | View tab. Scroll down and make sure the option to Show hidden files, folders and drives is selected.
2. Now right click an empty space on the taskbar and select Toolbars | New Toolbar
3. Browse to this folder: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer (Note that AppData is a hidden folder and you won’t see it in the folder if you don’t have Explorer set to show hidden files, folders and drives.
4. Highlight the Quick Launch folder and click the Select Folder button.

This adds a Quick Launch toolbar to the Windows 7 taskbar. Unlock the taskbar if you haven’t already (right click and uncheck Lock the Taskbar). Now you can drag it to make it the size you want, and you can drag additional programs to it.

To get rid of the Title and Text, right click the Quick Launch toolbar and uncheck Show Text and Show Title. If you want the icons bigger, select View and Large Icons.

The advantage to having the Quick Launch bar back is that you can put the programs there that you use less often (but still want them one click away) and use small icons, giving you much more space than if you pinned all of them to the main taskbar.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to increase the maximum number of concurrent SMB requests

If you're using an XP Pro computer as a file server, you might encounter a problem because of the default restriction that prohibits more than ten concurrent server message block (SMB) commands, when "long term SMB requests" are used. There is a hotfix that addresses the problem, allowing you to set a registry value to enable up to 256 concurrent requests. Find out how to get it in KB article 926646 at Click Here

How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop

By default, the Remote Desktop Connection software in Windows XP uses port 3389. You might want to change that for security purposes or because you're behind a firewall that blocks that port. You can do that with a simple registry edit, but as always, be sure to back up the registry key before making changes. Find the step by step instructions in KB article 306759 at Click Here

How to restore the Show Desktop icon in QuickLaunch

Have you ever accidentally deleted the "Show Desktop" icon in the QuickLaunch toolbar, and couldn't figure out how to get it back. The procedure for getting the "Show Desktop" icon back if you delete it isn't exactly intuitive. Here's what you do:
1. Click Start | Programs | Accessories and click on Notepad to open it.
2. Type the following, exactly as shown:
3. Save the file with the name ShowDesktop.scf
4. Drag the file's icon onto the Quick Launch toolbar (or the desktop if you prefer).

Friday, August 21, 2009

How to give Windows 7 the "Classic Menu" Look

It's true that Microsoft has eliminated the option to select the classic start menu, but you can still get a similar hierarchical menu on the Start menu, by following these steps:
1. Right click the task bar and select Properties
2. Click the Start Menu tab
3. Click the Customize button
4. Navigate to Documents and select "Display as a menu"
5. Click OK to close each dialog box
6. Right click Documents in the Start menu and select Properties
7. Click the Include a Folder button
8. In the left pane, navigate to ProgramData \ Microsoft \ Windows \ StartMenu and select the Programs folder
9. Click the Include Folder button

To see this process with screenshots, Click Here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to fix a problem where you can't see other computers on the network

If your XP computer can't view other computers in your workgroup, but you can ping other computers and they can ping you, you may be able to fix the problem by editing the registry. As always, be sure to back up the registry before you make changes to it. Then follow these steps:
1. Click Start | Run
2. In the Run box, type regedit to start the registry editor
3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ NetBt \ Parameters
4. In the right details pane, find the values named NodeType and DhcpNodeType and delete them
5. Close the registry editor and restart the computer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

40 Most Popular Tools For Your System Admin Bag

Looking for a good list of sys admin tools (mostly free) all on a 1 page list with links to the home site? Look no further, you have found it here!
Click Here

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make XP shut down more quickly

Are you annoyed at the amount of time it takes for their XP computers to shut down? If XP is inordinately slow about shutting down, it may be that it's waiting on a hung program. You can edit the registry to change the amount of time XP will wait for a program to close. As always when editing the registry, back it up first, just in case. Then perform these steps:
1. Open your registry editor.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop
3. In the right pane, find the item HungAppTimeout and double click it
4. In the value data box, change the default value (5000) to a lower number (for example, 1000). Click OK.
5. Next, find the WaitToKillAppTimeout and double click it
6. Change the default value from 20000 to 1000. Click OK.
7. Now navigate to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control
8. In the right pane, find WaitToKillServiceTimeout and double click it.
9. Change the default value to 1000 and click OK.
10. Then navigate to:HKEY_USERS \ DEFAULT \ Control Panel \ Desktop
11. Find HungAppTimeout and doubleclick it.
12. Change the default value to 2000 and click OK.
13. In the same key, find WaitToKillAppTimeout and double click it.
14. Change the value to (you guessed it!) 1000 and click OK.

If you don't want the timeout to be quite as short, change these values to something else (for example, 5000). Just make sure the value is the same for each.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to customize the right click menus

Many applications install their own items in the right context menu when you install them. After a while, if you install lots of these apps, your context menu can get pretty cluttered up, and some of these menu items may be unused and unwanted. Even if you uninstall the programs, the items may stay in the context menu.

You can remove items from the context menu by editing the registry. The items are contained in the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ * \ shellex \ ContextMenuHandlers

Delete the keys for the items you don't want. Be sure to back up the registry before editing it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Can I or can't I upgrade XP to Windows 7?

There is no direct upgrade path from XP to Windows 7. That is, if you start the Windows 7 installation, you cannot choose to upgrade the current OS and install Windows 7 "over" XP. Microsoft is providing, primarily for enterprises that have many XP machines to migrate, a tool called the Microsoft Deployment Tool 2010 that uses "hard links" to retain certain files and settings, including your user data and user preferences, and then do a clean install of Windows 7 and restore these to the correct location in the new OS. However, this does not preserve your applications as an in-place upgrade does; you'll still need to reinstall them. The tool is a free download and available to anyone, not just enterprises. You can read more about it and see a video of how it works here: Click Here

How to start System Restore when you can't boot into XP

If you're having problems that prevent you from booting into the GUI, you may still be able to use the System Restore tool to roll back to a previous operating system state, and thereby fix the problem. Here's how:
1. Restart the computer and press and hold F8 during startup to bring up the options menu
2. Select "Safe mode with a command prompt"
3. If you have multiple operating systems installed, select the correct instance of XP
4. Log on with an administrative account
5. At the command prompt, type
and press ENTER
6. Follow the on-screen instructions

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Network connection icons are missing in XP

If your Windows XP computer is missing some or all of the icons in Network Connections, but networking still works, there are several possible culprits. You can find several methods for troubleshooting and resolving the problem in KB article 825826 at: Click Here

XP computer can't detect USB flash drive, external hard drive or iPod

If you attach a USB device such as a flash drive, hard drive or iPod music player to your XP computer and scan for hardware, but your computer doesn't detect the device and it doesn't appear in the My Computer folder, it may be because some registry keys are corrupted. If that's the problem, you can fix it easily by clicking the Fix It button or following the instructions for manually resolving the problem in KB 925196 at Click Here

Hyperlinks no longer work in Outlook Express and Word

If you have ever had a time where your hyperlinks no longer work inside of Outlook Express, Word, or any other myriad of Microsoft programs you may need to re-register some of the Dlls. Here is how you would do this:
1. Click Start | Run.
2. In the Run box, type: regsvr32 urlmon.dll
3. Click OK.
4. Repeat the same command for each of the following DLLs: mshtml.dll; shdocvw.dll; browseui.dll; msjava.dll

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What version of Windows 7 do I need?

This article contains a nice chart of a breakdown of what is (and is not included) in the Win 7 Ultimate, Pro & Home Premium versions.
Click Here

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Win 7 Pricing

Retail the Home Premium version will list for $200, Pro $300 and Ultimate $320. Of course Windows rarely sells at list price. The upgrade prices are supposed to be $120 for Home Premium, $200 for Pro and $220 for Ultimate. Redmond has cut the price of the Home Premium, expected to be its most popular retail product, 10% below what Vista Home Premium was priced when it was released.

If you are a consumer and you pre-order Win7 from for instance Amazon you can supposedly get a better deal: more than 50% off for Home or Pro but the offer will only run until July 11 in the US and Canada. A similar offer will start on July 15 in the UK, France and Germany.

But if you are an Enterprise, and you want to restock with new PCs and take advantage of Redmond's Win7 Upgrade, you might be very disappointed.

Under this program, debuting Friday June 26, anyone who buys a PC from a participating manufacturer or retailer that is fitted with a Vista OS will receive upgrades to Windows 7 at little or no cost. But here is a catch: there is a limit of 25 PCs per individual under the program. A single company counts as an individual. Here is the InfoWorld article that has the scoop:
Click Here

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to copy music from your iPod to your iTunes library

I have been looking for a long time for a straight forward method to get the songs off of an iPod when moving to a new machine. This article is very straight forward in it's approach. I have not tried it myself but the instructions seem to make sense.
Click Here

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

How to boot XP from a flash drive

Did you know that you can put a bootable copy of Windows XP on a USB flash drive? It comes in handy when a computer won't boot from its hard disk, or if you want to run your own operating system, configured as you like it, on someone else's computer. You'll need an XP Setup CD and a flash drive with sufficient capacity (I recommend 1 to 2 GB if you're going to install programs, too). The drive needs to be no larger than 2 GB because you'll be using the FAT16 file system. Also be aware that older computers may not boot from a removable drive.

You'll need a couple of freeware tools to get the job done. For complete instructions, along with screenshots, see "Windows in your Pocket":
Click Here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Merging Domain & Forests

Microsoft offers a free tool to merge users, computers, passwords, and groups from various domains into a new common domain/forest. This tool does have a few pitfalls though and the following article gives some good tips to some gotchas and setup work that has to be in place prior to the conversion: Click here

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where is the Vista Start Menu?

Vista has changed the path for that data; it's now in the Users folder instead of Documents and Settings. The full path is: Users \ Default \ AppData \ Roaming \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Start Menu

If you want to modify the Start Menu for your own user account (rather than all users), there's an easy way. In the Search box on the Start menu, just type: shell:start menu

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to increase the timeout on startup Services

When a service starts, the service communicates to the Service Control Manager how long the service must have to start (the time-out period for the service). If the Service Control Manager does not receive a "service started" notice from the service within this time-out period, the Service Control Manager terminates the process that hosts the service. This time-out period is typically less than 30 seconds. If you do not adjust this time-out period, the Service Control Manager ends the process. To adjust this time-out period, follow these steps:

1. In Registry Editor, locate, and then right-click the following registry subkey:

2. In Control, in the right pane of Registry Editor, right click and choose New then DWORD. Notice that New Value #1 (the name of a new registry entry) is selected for editing.

3. Type ServicesPipeTimeout to replace New Value #1, and then press ENTER.

4. Right-click the ServicesPipeTimeout registry entry that you created in step c, and then click Modify. The Edit DWORD Value dialog box appears.

5. In the Value data text box, type 180000, and then click OK

**Note TimeoutPeriod is a placeholder for the value of the time-out period (in milliseconds) that you want to set for the service. For example, if you want to set the time-out period to 24 hours (86400000 milliseconds), type 86400000. We set ours to 180000, or 3 minutes. I've had to set it as high as 300000 5 minutes.

5. Restart the computer. You must restart the computer for Service Control Manager to apply this change.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to move your Corporate Domain into Google Apps

Here is a nice article describing how to move your corporate domain (Email, docs, spreadsheets, mobile messenging) into Google Apps. There is a free and a premier edition ($50 / User / Year).

Click here (PDF)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to hide a user account on the logon screen

Maybe you have created a user account on your XP computer you really don't want to see that account choice every time you log on to Windows, but you also don't want to just delete the account. Here's how to hide an account from the logon screen:
Before editing the registry, back it up just to be safe.
1. Open the registry editor and navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \ UserList
2. In the right pane, you'll see a list of items that correspond to the user accounts that exist on the computer but are not shown on the logon screen. You'll probably be surprised at how many there are.
3. Right click an empty space in the right pane, select NEW and DWORD value.
4. Right click the new value and rename it to the exact name of the user account you want to hide.
5. Close the registry editor.
Now the account name won't show up on the logon screen. You can unhide the account at any time by deleting the registry key you created. Your nephew can still log onto the account while it's hidden. Just press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice in a row at the logon screen and you'll get the logon dialog box that allows you to type in the username.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

How to make a shortcut to mute the sound

It's happened to most of us: you're playing a song or watching a video and the phone rings or someone comes into the room and starts talking to you. You need to get the volume down or off quickly, but if you don't have a multimedia keyboard with a Mute key, you have to go through several clicks to silence your computer. It's handy to have a one-click shortcut to mute the sound. Here's how to make one:
1. First download the nircmd.exe tool here:
2. Right click an empty spot on the desktop and select New Shortcut
3. Assuming you saved the file to a folder called Tools on the C: drive, type this in the "location of the item" box (substitute the correct path if you saved it in a different location): "C:\ Path \ To \ nircmd.exe" mutesysvolume 2
4. Give the shortcut a name (e.g., "Mute")
5. Right click the shortcut and select Properties
6. Here you can assign a key combination, or you can just click the icon on the desktop to quickly mute the sound

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Setting Internet Explorer window sizes

Programs like Internet Explorer will open to the same size and placement as they were when they were closed. The gotcha is that clicking the X in the upper right corner of the application does not officially close the program. That just exits the application quickly.

If you want Internet Explore to open full-size when you start it up, you must first start IE. Then maximize the window. Now click File, then Close. Now restart IE, and it should start up in a full-sized window. If half of the window is off the screen when you start a program, bring the window to the location you want and then click File and then Close, and it will re-open in this position the next time.

Changing the size of windows that appear when you click on an Internet link takes a few more steps.

Open Internet Explorer. Now open another instance of Internet Explorer so that you have two running at the same time. In the second one, right-click a link and select Open In New Window. If the new window does not start in full screen, simply resize the window by dragging the edges out to the sides of the screen. Do not use the max button.

Close the first window by selecting File, then Close. Now close the window you just made full size. But close it by holding down the Control key and selecting File, then Close. Do not release the Control key until the window is closed. Now close the last Internet Explorer window.

If you do this right, the settings will stick. You may or may not have to reboot, depending on your operating system.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Restore the system/boot drive letter

How to restore the system/boot drive letterSometimes when you change the configuration of your hard disks, Windows may get confused and mix up your drive letters. If the drive letter for your system/boot drive (where Windows is installed) gets changed, you may not be able to boot into the operating system when you restart. To restore the old drive letter(s), you can follow the procedure in KB article 223188, which involves editing the registry. As always, be sure to back up the registry before making changes to it. Click Here

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Option to change wallpaper is missing or unavailable

Want to change your desktop wallpaper, but finding that the option to do so in the Display Properties dialog box on your XP computer is not there, or grayed out? This can happen if a registry key is set to hide or lock the display settings. Did you say you never changed such a setting and nobody else uses your computer? Well, it can be done by malware, too. To find out how to fix the problem, see KB article 921049

Vista and XP playing together

From time to time you may have difficulty accessing your Windows XP computer from your Windows XP computer. Here are some suggestions to ease your pain.

The first step is to be sure Printer Sharing is enabled on the Vista computer. Click Start, right click Network and select Properties to open the Network and Sharing Center, then scroll down to the section labeled Sharing And Discovery and turn Printer Sharing on. Now under the Sharing and Discovery section, click "Show me all the shared network folders on this computer" and ensure that the printer is listed.Here's the trick: the default workgroup name in Vista is WORKGROUP. On XP Home computers, the default workgroup name is MSHOME. Both computers should be members of the same workgroup to more easily share resources with one another. If your Vista computer is the new one, you can change its workgroup name by clicking Start Control Panel System and then Advanced System Settings in the left pane. On the Computer Name tab, click the Change button where it says "To rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup, click Change." Under the section labeled Member Of, select Workgroup and type in the name of the existing workgroup to which your XP computer belongs (alternatively, you can change the workgroup of the XP computer to match that of the Vista computer; what matters is that they both belong to the same workgroup).Now you should be able to access the Vista printer from the XP computer.

For lots more info on sharing in Vista, see: Click Here