Windows Vista and Windows 7 Tweaks

Create a Windows Password Reset Disk

A workgroup (not domain) member should create a password reset “disk.” You can use a USB drive or a Flash drive, the password reset file is 2KB.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305478

The “God mode” hack

Access to many settings and features:

Action Center (15), Administrative Tools (10), AutoPlay (3), Backup and Restore Configuration, BitLocker Drive Encryption (2), Color Management (1), Credential Manager (1), Date and Time (4), Default Programs (2), Desktop Gadgets (6), Device Manager (1), Devices and Printers (9), Display (11), Ease of Access Center (26), Folder Options (5), Fonts (3), Getting Started (4), HomeGroup (2), Indexing Options (1), Internet Options (14), Keyboard (2), Location and Other Sensors (3), Mouse (8), Network and Sharing Center (16), Notification Area Icons (7), Parental Controls (1), Performance Information and Tools (4), Personalization (12), Phone and Modem (1), Power Options (9), Programs and Features (8), Recovery (1), Region and Language (10), Region and Language (10), RemoteApp and Desktop Connections (1), Sound (4), Speech Recognition (3), Sync Center (6), System (22), Taskbar and Start Menu (10), Troubleshooting (12), User Accounts (13), Windows CardSpace (1), Windows Defender (1), Windows Firewall (2), Windows Mobility Center (2), Windows Update (2)

Create a folder on your desktop and give it a name ending with:

.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

such as “W7-SuperAdmin.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” or “AllTasks.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” (no quotes).

Send To Notepad

I frequently open a file in notepad. Prior to Windows 7, the technique was to add a shortcut to Notepad to the Send To folder.

Windows 7: The command is:

shell:sendto

Add a shortcut to Notepad.exe to this folder.

Open Command Window Here As Administrator

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas]
@="Open Command Window Here as Administrator"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas\command]
@="cmd.exe /s /k pushd \"%V\""

Windows 7: Reset wireless network adapter

Among the many tests the network troubleshooter will perform is reset your wireless network adapter. “Troubleshoot problems” may be the task to perform.

On the other hand, you may want a script to reset your wireless network adapter. You can do this with PowerShell:

$wlan = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapter -Filter "Name LIKE '%wireless%'"
$wlan.Disable()
Start-Sleep -Seconds 10
$wlan.Enable()

Caveats:

  • The script must be run with elevated privileges. To create a way to run a PowerShell script as an Administrator, see Add Run as Administrator to Powershell scripts (below).
  • You must address PowerShell script security. By default, PowerShell scripts are “restricted;” that is, they will not be allowed to run. You can change the default, allowing only signed scripts to run or allowing local scripts to run even when unsigned. Scripts can be self-signed scripts, providing protection from script tampering. Scripts can be signed by a trusted authority, providing protecting from tampering and providing authentication. See Signing PowerShell Scripts or other sources (such as Code-Signing Best Practices or Sign Here, Please). See Microsoft Feedback for errors signing scripts edited with the ISE.

Windows 7: Add Run as Administrator to Powershell scripts

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\Runas]
@="Run as administrator with PowerShell"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\Runas\Command]
@="\"C:\\Windows\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\powershell.exe\" \"-file\" \"%1\""

Windows 7: Invert selection in Windows Explorer

Enable the Menu bar (Organize, Layout, check Menu bar). The Menu bar has an Edit menu and its Invert Selection option.

Alternately, holding down the Alt key, then releasing it temporarily reveals the Menu bar. Alt E I is the keyboard shortcut to invert selection.

Windows 7: Windows 7 Explorer folder auto refresh

From time to time Windows Explorer folder changes do not refresh automatically. That is, expand a ZIP file and the files or folder are not seen. Force a refresh and you see the files or folders.

To restore auto refresh, change the DontRefresh setting from 1 (true) to 0 (false).

32-bit Windows 7:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{BDEADE7F-C265-11D0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}\Instance

64-bit Windows 7:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{BDEADE7F-C265-11D0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}\Instance

Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files

Run gpedit.msc

User Configuration
Administrative Templates
Windows Components
Windows Explorer
Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files

Windows 7: Plugged in, battery not charging

The Microsoft Support Mr Fixit Fix power consumption problems and extend the laptop battery life probably won’t help, but (in Device Manager, Batteries) uninstall the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery (one or more occurrences), unplug and shut down. Wait two minutes, plug in and power up, allowing the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery to reinstall.

Windows 7: Extend your trial another 30 days

(Up to four 30 day trials, or a total of 120 days) In a cmd window, with Administrator priviledges:

slmgr –rearm

Remove old Java Consoles from Firefox

Note: Leaving old consoles clutters up the list of installed add-ons, but, more importantly, any vulnerabilities in old consoles are available to anyone who wishes to exploit them. Don’t leave old versions installed.

Start Firefox as an Administrator (right-click, choose “Run As Administrator”). Now Tools, Add-ons will show an uninstall button for the Java Console.

Uninstall or install software in Safe Mode

To uninstall or install software, you need the Windows Installer Service. The Windows Installer service is not normally started in Safe Mode. To start it, add a registry setting, like:

reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

And start the service:

sc start msiserver


Everything is a replacement for the Windows Find feature.

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