Windows News, Updates, tips and software


show desktop

Recreate the Show Desktop shortcut

The Show Desktop shortcut in the quick launch bar minimizes all open windows upon pressing the button. If you accidentally deleted that shortcut from the quick launch bar you might face a hard time getting it back there because there is no obvious way to create a Show Desktop shortcut.

Windows Vista has problems with large zip files

I think it is really interesting that a lot of unusual problems start to appear on blogs and websites that users have with Windows Vista. Makes me think why no one found out about it during the extensive beta tests but that is another story. The How-To Geek is reporting a problem with large zip files under Windows Vista.

Why is nvsvc32.exe running on my system?

I do take a close look at the processes that are running on my system from time to time to make sure that no malicious process snug in. Sometimes I find a new process that I never saw before in the task manager and use the Internet to find out more information about it.

windows update cleanup

Is it safe to delete $NtUninstall files?

You might have noticed a lot of hidden files in your Windows directory starting with the string $NtUninstall and maybe you asked yourself the question if it was save to delete those files. Those $NtUninstall are created whenever you install a new service pack or patch from Microsoft. Most folders end with KBxxxxxx which related to the corresponding Knowledge Base article about the update.

windows display user accounts

Check the number of user accounts on your system

Did you know that your system might have more user accounts than you thought it would have. Think about it for a while and write down the number of existing user accounts. If that number is below four you have missed some. Let me explain to you how you can find out which user accounts exist on your system and how to delete or secure those that you do not need.

Get rid of unnecessary system startups

Every software that is starting during system startup is delaying the system boot process. You might not notice an increase if the software is small but there are applications like those from Norton for instance that can delay it by more than a minute. It is therefor always a good idea to check which softwares are starting during Windows startup and get rid of any that are not necessary.

Change Folder Icons with ease

Folders in Windows look all the same which serves the purpose of being able to recognize them immediately. While this might be nice for novice computer users advanced users might want to change the appearance of some of the folders to make them stick out from the rest.

Post-It notes for your desktop

How are you writing down notes when working with your computer ? Do you create text documents and write the notes in there, do you use Post-It notes and stick them to your monitor or desktop or do you prefer to use a software like Shock Sticker which combines the Post-It functionality with that of the text document ?

Pin Folders to the start menu

While Windows XP and Vista offer a way to pin files to the Start Menu both operating systems do not offer a way to pin folders to it. You might have noticed that a right-click on a file on your hard drive does not give the option to pin it to the Start Menu as well, it only appears if you press the shift key while right-clicking the file.

A better software uninstaller

I was always puzzled by the fact that uninstallers would not delete all data, folders and files created by an installation script but would leave traces of that program on the system. What sense does it make to keep registry settings, config files or empty folders on the system if the user opts to remove the software ?


Backup Hard Drives and Partitions with Self Image

Self Image is an Open-Source hard disk imaging tool. It is capable of backing up hard drives or partitions even if those partitions or hard disks are not mounted in Windows. This means that it is for instance possible to backup a Linux partition in Windows using Self Image.

EventID 4226: TCP/IP has reached the security limit

Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista have both a TCP/IP connection limit that limits the half-open connections of the system. If that limit is reached a new entry in the Event Viewer is created stating "EventID 4226: TCP/IP has reached the security limit imposed on the number of concurrent TCP connect attempts.".

Make XP look like Windows Vista

Not many users like Windows Vista. It surely looks better than Windows XP, but other than that ? Please raise your hand if you think that UAC is more annoying than helpful. Windows Vista is just not that ready for prime time and there is not really a good reason to make the switch.


How to remove ctfmon.exe

You might have noticed a process with the name ctfmon.exe when opening the task manager wondering what it was doing and if it was malicious or harmful in any way. A quick search on the web revealed that it is a Windows process for advanced text services. You furthermore might have noticed that this process activates itself again even if you use msconfig to disable it from starting with Windows.

Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows Live Photo Gallery made a big leap forward with the release of the newest beta version 2.2. The greatest enhancement over previous Live Photo Gallery versions is the ability to publish pictures directly on Flickr with a stamp of approval from Flickr. Another aspect will please many users. Before this beta users had to install Windows Desktop Search to work with it which is no longer needed for Windows XP users.

10 Simple Ways to Speed up Windows Vista

Kline over at Connected Internet posted an interesting article detailing 10 simple ways to speed up Windows Vista. I actually tweaked Windows Vista right when I unpacked my notebook which had Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled, got rid of a lot of useless stuff that I did not need anyway.

Automatic compression of the Registry

I described a way to compress the Windows registry manually yesterday. The process itself was not really complicated but it involved booting into DOS to complete the changes to the registry that have been made by the process. Tehmul (more of that please) commented in that article pointing to a software named NTREGOPT (NT Registry Optimizer) which would optimize the full registry and perform the replacement during the next system boot automatically.

How to reduce the size of the Windows Registry

The Windows registry is growing with every piece of software and system changes and never gets reduced again on its own. While this is not a problem for most users it could become for users who make lots of changes to their system. A huge registry is slowing down system load which is actually the number one reason why a user should check his registry from time to time and compress it so that it system load time gets reduced again.