Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

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:

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 7.7/10 (7 votes cast)

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.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)

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}

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 5.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Choosing the right file system for your USB drive

Choosing the right file system for your USB drive can be a really tough and tedious task. Making a USB usable on all your systems can be a real pain. And when consoles get in the picture… things can get nearly impossible.

Many users don’t want to get their “hands dirty” and get familiar with file systems, which is the main reason they suffer from USB drives that don’t work on all their platforms.

According to statistics the three most common file systems are NTFS (the current Windows standard), HFS+ (the OS X standard) and (surprisingly) FAT32 (the older Windows standard). Surprisingly, modern OSs, don’t natively support other OSs file systems. Windows doesn’t recognize HFS+ drives (or treats them as unformatted), while Mac OS cannot write on an NTFS drive.

Many Linux distros natively support pretty much every file system (or it’s a matter of downloading a small package to get support).

Home consoles, on the other hand, support very few file systems and most of the time support only read operations. In order to help users choose the best file system – the one that will work on all their platforms, we’ve composed this useful table:

  Windows XP Windows 7/Windows Vista Mac OS Leopard Mac OS Lion/Mac OS Snow Leopard Ubuntu Linux PlayStation 3 Xbox 360
NTFS (Windows) Yes Yes Readonly Readonly Yes No No
FAT32 (DOS, Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
exFAT (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (using exFAT packages) No Yes
HFS+ (Mac OS) No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
EXT2, EXT3 (Linux) No No No No Yes No Yes

Note: The table shows native support of the OSs. There are many packages that enable the read/write support of non-native file systems. The main focus here is on native support.

Note: Although the table points FAT32 as the clear winner, it should be noted that FAT32 is old. This being the main reason to be natively supported by so many OSs. However FAT32 is not the best choice if you disk is large or you plan to store large files since FAT32 limits both the size of the volume and the size of the files stored on it.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

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 »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (10 votes cast)

How to delete a system file in Windows 7

Note: Delete system files only if you are absolutely certain what you are doing!

If you have tried to overwrite a Windows 7 system file you have probably noticed that this is not possible even in administrator mode. The reason for that is that by default the system files are owned by a service called TrustedInstaller. But of course, there is a workaround.

First open the command prompt in administrator mode. Open the Start menu, in the search box type in cmd:
Read the rest of this entry »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (10 votes cast)

Add the Take Ownership option in the right-click menu in Windows 7

Whenever you need to quickly move or edit system files the Take Ownership option comes in handy. However wouldn’t it be better to add it in the context menu? Well using a little registry tweak we will do that in a matter of clicks.

First let’s open Notepad:
Read the rest of this entry »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

How to create a shortcut for the Safely Remove Hardware dialog

Normally to open the Safely Remove Hardware dialog you have to click the tiny icon located in the system tray (or in the notification area in Windows 7). Personally I use flash drives and other USB devices quite often and I find this whole searching business quite annoying: Read the rest of this entry »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

How to print the contents of a folder to a text file in Windows 7

Printing the contents of a folder may be a useful way of tracking what’s going on on your PC. Using a few commands in the Windows command prompt we can easily do that.

First open the Start menu and type in cmd in the start menu search box:
Read the rest of this entry »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Create custom libraries in Windows 7

Windows 7 introduced a cool new feature called Libraries. It allows you to quickly access folders that you use frequently. Basically a library is a folder which contains references to multiple folders. By default searching in libraries is much, much faster since by default these folders are indexed. Libraries also make sharing a lot easier.
There are four default libraries:
Documents which points to C:\\Users\\*Username*\\Documents (a.k.a. My Documents) and to C:\\Users\\Public\\Documents
Music which points to C:\\Users\\*Username*\\Music\\ (a.k.a. My Music) and to C:\\Users\\Public\\Music
Pictures – C:\\Users\\*Username*\\Pictures and C:\\Users\\Public\\Pictures
Videos – C:\\Users\\*Username*\\Videos and C:\\Users\\Public\\Videos
Like previously stated searching in those folders is extremely fast.
But most users, me included, store their files in different folders. For example my music is in D:\\Music and my photos are in D:\\Gallery\\Photos. And searching for a particular song takes me a couple of minutes. It is possible, though, to add custom libraries. When we add a custom library we will create a reference to another folder. By doing so, we will make an index of that folder and increase the speed of searches in that folder.

First open the Libraries folder:
Read the rest of this entry »

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)