Windows News, Updates, tips and software

Windows Vista Pre RC1 Released

Microsoft released a new version of their upcoming Windows Vista operating system called Pre RC1 which means this should be the last version before the release candidate gets out. It is only available for a limted time so hurry up and visit their download pages right away. Only the first 100.000 users will be able to download this version, after that the download will not be available anymore.

low disk space warning

Disable Low Disk Space Warnings in Windows

Windows popups a balloon tip with a "Low Disk Space - You are running out of Disk Space" warning everytime a hard drive goes below 200 megabytes of disk space. This can get pretty annoying if you have a lot of data on the drive and your disk spaces goes regulary below 200 megabytes on it. There is however a very easy way to turn this message off, it involves a registry setting.

subst virtual drives folders

Assign Drive Letters to Folders

This tip is really great if you have some folders on your computer that you are working very often with. Instead of navigating to the folder on the hard drive you assign a drive letter to that folder and can access it like it was a own partition or hard drive on your computer. It is very easy to assign a drive letter to a folder, do the following:

Get rid of unwanted files, cache and cookies

Panicwipe is a one click solution to delete unwanted files securely from your system. The freeware is able to delete programs, files, folders, registry entrys, IE cache, history and cookies with one simple click. You´ve got full control over the whole process of course: you select the data that you want to delete, everything else remains.

add ftp server windows

How to mount an ftp server as a drive in Windows

The following tip might be useful for all the webmasters out there and everyone else who is having access to a ftp drive on the internet. Instead of connecting to the ftp with your ftp software you can simply mount the ftp drive in windows and access it like every other hard drive you have installed. Here is how you do that:

windows explorer new menu

Remove Unnecessary Entries From The New File Menu

You see lots of file types when you right click and select new from the context menu. I will never need most of them and I think this is a common problem for most windows xp users. How many users would need the briefcase entry in that menu for instance ? I don´t know a single person who would use that entry on this machine.

Restore Accidentally Deleted Files with Restoration

I´am sometimes deleting files holding down the shift-key without thinking much about it. It happens that I delete a file that I did not want to be deleted at that moment because it is still needed on my system. A very easy way to restore files that have been accidentally deleted is Restoration which is a nice little freeware application that scans your hard disk and lists all files than can be either partially or fully restored.

freshui

Tune Windows with Fresh UI

The windows tuning freeware Fresh UI has been released in a new version and I thought this would be a good moment to write an article about the software. You can customize and tweak your windows operating system with fresh ui, every windows system since 95 is supported. You find six categories on the left side at the start of the program which expand in subcategories when you click on them.

Vista Voice Recognition gone awry Video

You might have heard this story before. Microsoft was holding a press conference in which they wanted to demonstrate the voice recognition capabilities of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Unfortunately for Microsoft the voice recognition did not work as intended.

regeditx

How to enhance the Windows Registry

Accessing keys in the registry is a lot of work, because there is no way to enter the path to the key directly. You always have to either search for the key or navigate through the structure to the key in question. RegeditX enhances the display of your registry by adding a path form field to it. This makes it way easier to work with the registry, you can simply paste complete paths into that field and are taken directly to the specified key at the end of the chain.

groupbar

Start your favorite applications with one click

Microsoft Groupbar is a freeware application for windows xp that offers an enhanced window management capability. Groupbar does not need to be installed, just download the file and start GroupBar.exe. The tool automatically appears as a sidebar on the left of your screen but can be placed in the other three corners as well. The sidebar displays all running applications, you are free to sort them anyway you like.

drive image

Backup your data with Drive Image XML

Chris asked me yesterday if I knew of a good freeware backup program for windows and I replied to him that Syncback would be such a tool. I discovered another one and thought it would be nice to share this one with everyone. The backup tool is called Drive Image XML, it is completely freeware and runs in windows xp and windows 2003 server only. If you are running a different version of windows use Syncback.

How to remove past icons from the taskbar

You have uninstalled the program completly and are sure that no reference is left on your computer. What if there is still one left that you probably did not know about ? Every item that appears on the left side of the clock in the taskbar will be cached by windows which means that the icon of the program is still available on your system. Check this out by yourself by right-clicking the taskbar. Select properties from the menu and click on the customize button at the bottom of that screen. If customize is not active activated it by enabling Hide Inactive Icons.

hdd-health

Check your Hard Drives with HDD Health

Hard drives are critical components in every personal computer. They store the data that you are working with and a failure or defect could lead to data loss sometimes without the possibility of recovering the data. Backups are of course a good idea but monitoring the hard drives performance is another method to check if it is likely that your hard drives might be at the end of their life cycle.

context menu

How to create new context menu options

The context menu pops up when you right click an item giving you some options based on the extension of the file. You could for instance select to rename the file, open it, open it with, take a look at the properties and so on. The tip I´am explaining right now will be helpfull for instance if you perform an action over and over again while the command is not directly available from the right click menu.

Backup or Restore Windows XP without new activation

You have thirty days to activate a new installation of Microsoft Windows XP before it stops working until you finally activated the installation. Activation works this way that you have to provide an installation number to Microsoft either by internet or by phone. If you change hardware or install the operating system again you will have to activate the product again as well. This does not make sense in my opinion but hey, they surely have an important reason for this procedure.

bootskin

Change the Windows XP Boot Graphic

Don´t you hate that boring Windows XP boot screen ? Would not it be nice to have a great skin for that screen ? If you answered the questions with yes bootskin might be exactly what you are looking for. The freeware makes only temporary changes which means that after uninstallation all settings are back to default value.

Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

Microsoft apparently released a new piece of software called private folder today. The software creates a folder called my private folder which can be password protected to keep the prying eyes of your loved ones from finding files they should not see. Windows Genuine Advantage will check twice if your computer is running a legit copy of windows xp.