Windows News, Updates, tips and software

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run system tools windows

Faster Access to XP system tools

What do you do if you want to access one of the administrative programs in Windows XP ? You click through various menus most of the time to reach the destination. If you wanted to reach the Device Manager you would have to click on Start, Control Panel, System, Hardware Tab and then the Device Manager.

xp iso builder

Upgrade a Windows XP Recovery CD to a full installation one

Many hardware companies sell their systems with a windows xp recovery cd which makes it most of the time impossible to install that operating system on a different system. This forces the user to either buy a new XP system or at least a standalone XP Cd, that is, unless you do what I'm going to explain here. The following steps create a bootable standalone installation system for your operating system that is not connected to the computer you purchased it with.

folder redirector

Move Special Folders like My Documents to a different path

If you want to move folders that are automatically created by windows xp on your c: drive to another path or folder you might face a problem. Simply moving the folders won't work which means there must be another way to relocate them. The easiest way that I've come up with is to use the freeware called Folder Redirector which makes it simple and fast to redirect the following folders to a different folder or drive on your system.

Add Defragment Now to the right-click menu

Defragmenting the hard drives of your computer is important especially for users who install lots of programs or perform lots of read and write operations on their hard drives (p2p users for instance). In a perfect world files would be written contiguously on the hard drive - in the world of windows they are not. Read operations waste more time because all the bits that make the file are not in one place but scattered around the complete hard drive. Defragmenting the drive moves them closer to each other to speed up loading times.

keep user display settings

Different Display Settings for each User in XP

Windows XP has the annoying habit of assuming that every user wants to run his operating system with the same screen resolution, color depth and refresh rate. If you ever had to share a computer running windows xp with older folks you know what I mean - they tend to love low resolutions because everything on the screen appears to be bigger that way.

Windows Vista Release Candidate 2 Download

Microsoft finally released the second release candidate of their upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Everyone is free to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version on the Microsoft Vista homepage. As always this version will only work 15 days if you do not have a key for Vista which you can get following this link, you need a windows live id - so signup to get one if you do not have it.

windows thumbnail previews

Change the Windows Thumbnail Preview Size

Well this is just a little registry hack that changes the size of the thumbnails of images that are displayed in windows explorer by default. The default size is relativly small and most people surely would like a bigger size for the thumbnails to get a better preview of the images. To do that you have to add a new entry called ThumbnailSize to the following registry key:

Windows Vista RC1 64-bit client download

Until yesterday it was only possible to download the 32-bit client version of the release candidate 1 of Windows Vista. Yesterday Microsoft added the Vista 64-bit client to the download list which can be downloaded through your browser by either using a direct download or Microsofts download manager. As usual this version is time limited and will stop working on June, 1st 2007. You will also need a product key for vista, I wrote a little article detailing the procedure to receive one.

clavier windows keyboard shortcuts

Add PC Wide Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts make our lifes easier, hitting Win +M is nicer than to minimize every windows by hand. Windows XP already has a method of assigning new keyboard shortcuts to programs but this method is very limited. You are only allowed to assign shortcuts using a combination of at least two STRG, ALT and SHIFT keys plus one additional letter, number or symbol.

usb dumper

How to dump all USB files without the user knowing

USBdumper runs silently as a background process once started and copies the complete content of every connected usb device to the system without the knowledge of the user. It creates a directory with the current date and begins the background copying process. The user has no indication that his files are copied from his USB drive unless he does know that USBdumper is running on the system. (or accidentally find the directory with the copied files).

Bypass Microsoft Software WGA Checks

I wrote an article some days ago about a way to download the latest Microsoft software from Microsoft.com without wga, windows genuine advantage, checks. Several users had problems installing the software afterwards because a second check was performed during the installation of the software. It did not install if the check failed and there was not way to prevent the check from happening. Until now..

How to get a product key for Vista RC1

Beta and release candidate versions of Windows Vista, Microsofts latest operating system, can be download from the official Microsoft Vista website but getting a product key did not seem to be that easy. Everyone was able to download Windows Vista but this did not mean that you would receive a product key to activate the beta or release candidate. Without a product key Vista would only work for 14 days.

sysmenusizing

Resize any window to predefined size

Sizer is a great freeware application that lets you resize any window to a predefined size. It is only 30k unpacked and can be started from any location on your computer. Once started a icon appears in the system tray that allows you to configure sizer. You are free to add exact pixel sizes to the configuration which appear when you right click any window that is open. You may also opt to reposition the window while resizing it, sizer offers some default locations like top left or bottom right but has another option that makes it possible to enter the coordinates yourself.

my computer taskbar

How to add My Computer to the Task Bar

This little tweak is really helpfull if you happen to have many windows open and would like to access a hard drive on your computer quickly. Sure, you could hit the left windows key and M and all windows become minimized but you still have to double click the my computer icon and the hard drive icon before you are there - that is if you have my computer on your desktop at all.

Windows Vista RC1 available

Despite the latest rumors of postponing the released of the release candidate of Microsofts upcoming Windows Vista operating system a download link for the release candidate was made public earlier this day. Head over to Microsofts official Windows Vista website and grab it while it is hot. The size of the release candidate is 3677 megabytes and available in iso format. You will have to burn the iso to a dvd before you can install the new version.

Enhance your desktop with Samurize

The classic Windows desktop looks really boring, you can set a background image, edit some icons and enable some effects. Samurize has actually two benefits. First it is a system monitor, it displays information about your system, information that you specify like free disk space, your current IP address or a weather forecast. Besides that it enhances the desktop by applying a skin to the windows system. Take a look at the two examples below.

Windows Vista Price Leaked

What would we do without online retailers who are quick at adding new products and at the same time confirm the price of the product this way. This time it was amazon.com who added product pages for all Windows Vista versions, which as you might now will be available in seven different versions. Windows Vista Home Basic Edition is the cheapest version of Windows Vista with a price of 199$ and can be compared to the Windows XP home version which also retailed at 199 $.

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.