Windows News, Updates, tips and software

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Display Notebook Battery Status

I find it hard to tell how much time I have left to work with my notebook when running on battery and always thought it would be nice to have an application that would display the notebook battery status somewhere on screen. BattStatt is a small software that displays the battery status in the system tray when hovering over the icon.

restart explorer.exe

Restart the Explorer when Windows hangs

This is a quick Windows tip that helps me from time to time when some windows in Microsoft Windows do not react anymore to user input and show that dreaded sand clock mouse cursor. This only works if Windows is still responsive. To shut down the Windows Explorer you need to hit Start > Shutdown (Turn off Computer on Windows XP) and click cancel on the shutdown dialog while holding the CTRL, Shift and ALT keys.

find text in files

Locate text in files

A friend of mine was telling me about a problem that he had with his website Love is a Game. A user posted a comment on Stumbleupon claiming that his website would contain a virus which his anti-virus software reported. He mentioned the name of the virus as well and a text string of a different domain. My though was that he had misinterpreted the warning and that it was a warning from another website and not from my friends website.

Use Returnil to create a Virtual System in Memory

One of the latest security trends is to use virtual systems to protect the computer from harm. The benefit of those systems is that changes are only temporary and undone after the next reboot which means that you always start with a fresh system. Most users do not want to use virtual systems because they seem complicated to setup and maintain.

defrag-check

Defrag Hard Drives only when they are fragmented

It does not make sense to start a hard drive defragmentation if the drive is not really fragmented. You might be loosing lots of time if you have scheduled those defragmentations. The defrag tool in Windows can be used to check the fragmentation level of a hard drive and we are going to use this to create a script that runs defrag only when the hard drive is fragmented.

Create Folder Drives

When you open My Computer you see floppy disk drives, hard drives and DVD drives. Lots of space is wasted in that window and you have to click several times to reach the location that you wanted to. If you do have folders on your hard drives that you use over and over again you might want to consider creating folder drives which would make them appear as drives in My Computer.

windows explorer start folder

Change the Default Windows Explorer Folder

The Windows Explorer default folder is the folder that is shown when Windows Explorer is started. This is the My Documents folder if you use Windows XP or the Documents folder if you happen to use Windows Vista. While most users might find it comfortable that those are the default folders others prefer to work with different folders and largely ignore the My Documents or Documents folder.

autopatcher windows updates

Autopatcher Updater is back !

Microsoft killed the Autopatcher project some months ago which was a shock to everyone who used their monthly Windows Update collections to update their computer(s) which had several benefits such as downloading the updates only once and not connecting to a Microsoft server at all.

security release iso image

Microsoft Security Release ISO Images

Microsoft is releasing a monthly Security Release Iso image which contains the security releases of that month packed on one Iso image. The benefit of this approach is not really obvious for home computers running just one version of an operating system by Microsoft but for networks with lots of installed operating systems.

Save Notebook Power by disabling unneeded devices

Most notebooks tend to run out of power quickly and most of the time in an inappropriate moment. What most users do not know is that every component in the notebook is using power even if you are not using it at the moment. This leads to the conclusion that disabling unneeded components would save power and thus prolong the work time.

send to printers

Create Send To Entry for non-default printers

Windows gives you no choice but to use the default printer when using the Send To right-click menu. This is not problematic if you only use one printer but if you are working in a place with several printers it could become a nuisance. There is always a way though to make things work the way we want them to.

Time for some PC Winter Cleaning

It's becoming dark and cold outside sooner these days which is in my opinion the best time for some serious PC winter cleaning. I'm doing those cleaning once every three months to make sure my computer runs stable and without ballast that drags performance down. This article will only look at the software and operating system and not on the hardware which could be optimized as well by looking for firmware and bios upgrades.

windows search file contents

Search in all Filetypes in Windows when using Windows Search

By default Windows XP searches only inside a handful of selected file types and ignores file types that are not registered in Windows. This means for instance that the Windows search is not searching through php documents. Here is a quick Registry hack that enables searching in all file types and not only a selected few.

Disable restart after Automatic Updates

Automatic Updates means that your computer will check periodically if updates for Windows XP are available and install the automatically if it finds any. The computer needs to be restarted after installing those Windows updates because some files can't be exchanged while the operating system runs.

Battle of the Uninstallers: Safarp vs. MyUninstaller

I think we can all agree that the default way of removing software in Windows is probably the worst way possible. It takes ages until the Add or Remove Programs window populates the entries and removing entries is painfully slow and sometimes not working as well. I have been using MyUninstaller until now which is faster and comes with some comfort like removing entries from the list of installed programs and details about the software that has been installed.

Windows XP File Security Extension

Running Windows XP on a hard drive or partition with the NTFS file system has several advantages. One of them being a increase in system and file security because it is possible to alter file access rights on a per user base. Most Windows users do not know that it is possible to set those rights much similar to those on Linux and Unix systems.

Delete Entries in Windows' Add or Remove Programs tool

Every software that is installed using an installation routine will be added to the Add or Remove Programs Windows menu and can be uninstalled by any user who has access to this window. I'm going to explain a trick that removes the entry from the Add or Remove Programs window without removing the software itself.

command prompt change default location

Change the default Command Prompt directory

Whenever you open the Command Prompt in Windows you are taken to a default directory which is usually your Documents and Settings \ Username directory. Most of the time you navigate away from it because you need to access files that cannot be accessed from there.