Tutorials in ‘Windows’ Category

How to force Windows 7 to use the entire available RAM

It is a little known fact that Windows 7 doesn’t use the entire available RAM by default. For example if you have 8GB of RAM and a 64-bit Windows 7, it will use around 7.1GB of it (in the case of 4GB of RAM and 32-bit Windows 7, it will use around 3.5GB). The reason for this behavior is not completely known, but it is quite possible to alter it – to force Windows 7 to use all available RAM.
How do we do this? First, open the Start menu and enter msconfig in the start search box:

and hit Enter. The System Configuration window will open:

Navigate to the Boot tab:

Click the Advanced options button. A new window will open:

In the BOOT Advanced Options window check the Maximum memory option:

Click OK to close the boot options dialog and another OK to close the System Configuration window.
Restart your computer for the changes to take effect:

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How to forbid downloading files with Internet Explorer

Assuming that if a user of a given machine has chosen Internet Explorer as his/her browser, one can conclude that the user is not quite aware of hat he/she is doing. So just to be safe, it may be a good way to prevent the user from downloading any files from Internet if he/she is using IE.
Naturally, to force such a strange behavior we will use a good old registry tweak. First, we will open the Registry. Open the Start menu and enter regedit in the start menu searchbox:

and hit Enter. The Registry Editor will open:

Using the left-hand pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3:

Note: The next step is optional as the value 1803 may already exist.
On the right-hand pane click anywhere except the Name column and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value:

Name the new value 1803:

Double-click on it and a window will open. Enter 0 in the Value data textbox:

Click OK and close the Registry Editor. To revert to your old settings simply delete the value 1803.
Note: This trick works for IE 6 through 9.

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Checking the sites your computer is connecting to in Windows

Have you noticed a sudden drop of your Internet speed? A possible explaination is that some nasty program is doing things behind your back. Whether it is spyware, malware or adware you might have a serious case of unauthorized traffic on your hands.

But don’t worry, it’s quite easy to get a list of your connections in Windows. Such a list may turn quite helpful and may help you find some unknown applications are using your bandwidth for their dirty bidding.

Naturally this list will be generated through the Command Prompt. First, open the Command Prompt under Administrator Mode. To do that, open the Start menu, type cmd in the search box:

Right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as administrator:

The command prompt will open:

Enter the following command:

netstat -fab 5 > connections.txt

Now, before we press Enter, let’s take a moment to look what exactly are we doing here. First of all netstat is a command that generates a lot of useful information about your network status. Additionally there are several options we can add to our netstat command, some of which are:

 -f – for displaying the full DNS name for hosts on the other side of each connection. This makes the generated data a lot easier to comprehend.

-a – to put it simply this stands for “all”. As in “all connections and listening ports”.

 -b – to output the name of the application making the connection.

Alternatively to -f you can use -n to display only IP addresses.

Naturally, “5” stands for how often do we want this information to be gathered. Finally, “> connections.txt” means that we want to output this information to connections.txt (so called piping).

So now that we now what we are doing, we can freely hit Enter.

Wait for a couple of minutes and press Ctrl + C to stop netstat. Now you can open connections.txt (which in our case is located in C:\Windows\System32  because we ran netstat from there) and see the activity of every application for the moment you started netstat, until you turned it off.

Note: This information may not be complete as we set netstat to update once in five seconds.

Note: This trick works on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If you are still using Windows XP you need at least SP2.


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Make Windows remember your folder settings

How often has this happened to you? You have just set everything about a folder (View, Sort by, Group by, folder type, etc.) and a few days later when you open the folder all your settings are gone. Not to mention that it only takes one unmount and remount for a hard drive to reset its settings. Well, this is kind of annoying, isn’t it? Thankfully, this can be solved pretty easy with a little registry tweak.

First open the Registry Editor – open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box, wait for search to locate regedit.exe and press Enter:

The registry editor will open:

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell using the left-hand pane:

Note for Windows Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64 users: You should navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\ instead.

Create a new DWORD key:

And name it BagMRU Size:

Double-click on it and a new window will open:

Choose Decimal base and enter something like 10000:

Click OK, close the registry editor and you are done.

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Change the Explorer startup folder in Windows 7

Normally when you open Windows Explorer via the button on the taskbar:

Explorer opens the Libraries by default:

Now, we find this rather strange and useless since the Libraries is not one of the most used directories. So in this short tutorial we will show you how you can change that behavior and choose a more appropriate folder as the default.

To change this, right click on the Explorer button in the Taskbar:

Right click on Windows Explorer and choose Properties:

A new window will open:

As you can notice the target of this shortcut is set to %windir%\explorer.exe

A better alternative to use as your default directory is Computer. To change the default directory to it simply enter %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /E,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} in the Target text field and click OK.

Now when you click the Windows Explorer button it will open Computer:

Note: Alternatively you can open Explorer properties from Start button > All programs > Accessories > right click on Windows Explorer > Properties:

Another alternative for the default folder of Windows Explorer is My Documents. To set it as default simply set the target to %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}

Basically you can use any folder as long as you know its Globally Unique Identifier (GUID), but expect more on GUIDs in a different tutorial.

Note: If you want to have some fun, why not change your colleagues’ default location to the Recycle Bin – simply use %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /E,::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

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Diskeeper – how to defragment my hard disk

Diskeeper defragmentator tool designed to keep your hard disk drives always running at their maximum peak performance. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to manage the Open with menu in Windows

How often have you opened a file using the Open with menu or the Open menu in Windows Explorer.? Read the rest of this entry »

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How to disable the Windows 7 Gadgets

For some the Windows 7 Gadgets provide some useful functionality, but for many they are nothing but desktop clutter and right-click menu clutter.: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hot to disable the Windows 7 Transparency and Aero Theme

Without any doubt, the Windows 7 Aero Theme looks amazing. However, to look that great, it uses up a lot of your resources. If you don’t care that much about looks and prefer to have a faster and more responsive system you may consider disabling it. But how?

We’ll, first show you how to disable the transparency. First, right-click on the Desktop and select Personalize:
Read the rest of this entry »

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Enabling and disabling TortoiseSVN items in the right-click menu in Windows

TortoiseSVN is one of the best subversion clients. In 2007 it was the winner of the SourceForge.net Community Choice Award for Best Tool or Utility for Developers and is a favorite tool of many programmers. When installed it adds a little something to the right-click menu: Read the rest of this entry »

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