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Rabu, 13 April 2011

Windows 8 to Feature SmartScreen File Checking

Internet Explorer users are already aware of "SmartScreen"  filter which contains a list of known malicious links and compares the user visited links with the list. If a match is found, it warns the user. Now Microsoft is going to include this "SmartScreen" mechanism in Windows 8. According to our friend "Long Zheng", In Windows 8, SmartScreen appears to serve two purposes – to reactively check the file system and proactively prevent any downloaded applications from running that are unknown to the filter.
This new mechanism can be enabled/disabled using Folder Options window.

What do you think about this new add-on?

Customize Windows Vista and 7 Media Center Using Media Center Studio

"Media Center Studio" is a free and very useful utility for Windows Vista and 7. It allows you to easily customize look of Windows Media Center. If you want to manually change the Media Center look, you'll need to edit a system file "ehres.dll" which is stored in "%windir%\ehome" directory. But no need to do so much complicated task, you can easily edit existing Media Center theme or create new themes using Media Center Studio.
Features List:
  • Edit your start menu - rearrange or disable native menu items
  • Create your own menu strips, and your own items to go in them
  • Monitors your application and returns to Media Center when it exits
  • Set up a button on your remote to exit your application
  • Create menu items that take you to native Media Center pages, or start media
  • Apply themes to Media Center
  • Create new themes or edit existing ones
Media_Center_Studio.jpg
You can download it using following link:
Download Link
After downloading, run the downloaded "MCStudioLauncher.application" file. It'll show a dialog box asking your permission to install the main application, click on "Install" button and it'll download the main setup file (4.41 MB).

Add Control Panel, Task Manager, Windows Update and Other Useful Shortcuts with Icons in My Computer Context Menu

Control Panel, Task Manager, Device Manager are a few system applications which we use frequently in our daily computer tasks. Wouldn't it be great if we can access them quickly by right-click on My Computer icon on Desktop? Today we are going to share a registry script which will add following shortcuts in My Computer context menu:
  • Programs (Add/Remove Programs)
  • Run Cleanup on this system
  • Control Panel
  • Device Manager
  • Event Viewer
  • Manage
  • MSConfig
  • Registry Editor
  • Services
  • Task Manager
  • Windows Update
My_Computer_Context_Menu_Shortcuts_.png
Just download following ZIP file, extract it and run desired REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Download Registry Script
It works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.
Thanks to AskVG Readers "tlm" and cclloyd9785 for sharing them...

Get Windows 7′s Advanced “Windows Update” in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008

Good news for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008 users. Microsoft has released an updated "Windows Update Agent" for all these OS which brings the new advanced Windows 7's "Windows Update" feature to these older Windows OS. Following is a preview of Windows 7's "Windows Update" window:
Windows_7_Update.png
You'll get a similar interface in Windows Vista and Server 2008 after installing this new update but remember Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 users will not get this new interface, they'll only find some performance improvements as mentioned below.
This updated Windows Update Agent brings following new advanced features:
  • Improved scan times for Windows updates
  • Improved user interface for Windows Vista-based and Windows Server 2008-based computers that are running Windows Update
  • More visible and detailed description of updates
  • Improvements in how users are notified about service packs
You can download the new "Windows Update Agent" using following links:
Download Link (32-bit or x86)
Download Link (64-bit or x64)
Download Link (Itanium)

TransTaskbar: Get Transparent Taskbar and Start Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

TransTaskbar" is a portable, small and free application which can make Windows Taskbar and Startmenu transparent. It might become useful if you are using Windows XP and want to get some transparency for eye candy effects or if you are using Windows Vista or 7 but can't enjoy Aero interface because your Graphics card is not capable to run it. It can be used in Windows XP, Vista and 7 and works very well without any problem.

The utility has been created by our friend "Solo-Dev" @ DA. You can download it using following link:
Download Link
Extract the downloaded ZIP file and you'll get 2 files in it: TTB.exe and TTB-UI.exe
You'll need "TTB-UI.exe" file mostly. Run it and drag the slider to your desired value and click on "Apply" button. It'll immediately make the Taskbar and Startmenu transparent.
TTB-UI.exe is a GUI application and it doesn't allow to set the transparency below 25 and here comes the turn of TTB.exe which a command-line version of this application.
You can open a Command Prompt window and use TTB.exe in following format:
TTB transparency_value
For example, if you want to set transparency to 10, use following command:
TTB 10
Its a good utility for eye candy lovers.

How to Remove Windows Vista Startup ORB Animation (aka Pearl Animation)?

Windows Vista shows a nice ORB animation aka Pearl animation just before the Welcome screen. It looks like following image: Vista_Startup_ORB_Pearl_Animation.png
Microsoft removed this animation from Windows 7 as it takes a few seconds to show the animation.
If you are using Windows Vista and want to remove the startup ORB animation, this article will help you.
The ORB animation is shown using a system file "authui.dll" which is present in "%windir%\System32" folder. This file contains all resources needed for the animation.
"PacMani" @ DA has patched "authui.dll" file to remove the animation. You just need to download following ZIP file, extract it and run "Patch System Files.bat" file.
Download Link
It'll replace the existing "authui.dll" file with a patched one and you'll no longer see the ORB animation just like Windows 7.
If you want to restore the animation in future, simply run "Restore System Files.bat" file.

Disk2vhd: New Utility to Create VHD Versions of Physical Disks

"Disk2vhd" is a new utility released by Sysinternals team at Microsoft which allows you to create VHD versions of physical disks. If you are not aware of these technical terms, lets help you in understanding them. VHD refers to "Virtual Hard Disk" which is a file format used in Microsoft virtual machines. So by using "Disk2vhd" you can create VHD versions of your HDD which can be used in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).
Disk2VHD.png
Disk2vhd supports Windows XP SP2 and higher including 64-bit editions.
You can download it using following link:
Download Link

WinShake: Get Windows 7 “Aero Shake”, “Aero Peek” and “Show Desktop” Features in XP and Vista

"WinShake" is a very small program which can bring Windows 7's "Aero Shake", "Aero Peek" and "Show Desktop" features to Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista. Its size is 600KB and it doesn't take much resources. The new version 2.02 finally adds true Windows 7 Aero Taskbar Peek, making it possible to Peek at a window, just by hovering over its Taskbar Button. You can even Peek at minimized windows. This new function, plus all the other ones, can now also be used with your mouse.
Features List:
Feature = New (Windows 7 Aero) Taskbar Peek function.
Feature = Now you can Shake a window by clicking the MMB (Middle Mouse Button) on its Title Bar.
Feature = You can Peek by clicking the MMB at (the right of) the clock in the Taskbar.
Feature = You can Show Desktop by double clicking the MMB at (the right of) the clock in the Taskbar (hold Shift to Reset).
Feature = And you can use PeekTop by clicking the MMB on the X-Button in the Title Bar of a window.
Feature = When peeking through all windows, you can make a window reappear by clicking the MMB on its border, or on the ToolTip showing its Title.
Feature = Added HotKeys for Show, Shake, Reset, Peek and PeekTop.
Bug fix = Solved the problem that under rare circumstances an active "Normal" window would become "Always-On-Top" after having used Shake or Show Desktop.
Bug fix = Solved a visual glitch when switching between Peek and PeekTop with "Always-On-Top" windows present.
Improve = The Taskbar Peek function even shows SnapShots of programs that don’t follow the default Taskbar behavior (older versions of Adobe Reader).
This utility has been created by "Fred" and here is what the developer says about this program:
The Taskbar Peek function is similar to the true Windows 7 Aero Peek function, making it possible to Peek at a window, just by hovering over its Taskbar Button: when clicking the Middle Mouse Button on one of the program buttons, all other windows are Peeked, leaving only the desired one to look at. You can use this to quickly find a window in real size, making it easier to see the differences between two windows. Or maybe you just want to take a Peek at one without actually switching to it.
By hovering over a Grouped Taskbar Button, its menu automatically opens, so you can Peek at these windows too. Even minimized windows can be Peeked at!... As long as they’ve been open long enough for WinShake Control to take a SnapShot of them, that SnapShot is being shown in real size on the position where the window was when the picture was taken. And when you click on a SnapShot, the actual window is restored.
This Taskbar Peek function however is not completely free to use anymore... I hope you will find it worth a little bit!... :) But first you can try it of course, so...
Enjoy the program!
You can download it using following link:
Download Link
Homepage

Get Transparent Context Menus in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Recently we blogged about "TransTaskbar" which can make Windows Taskbar and Start menu transparent. Today we are going to share another similar utility. "TCM (TransConMenu)" is a very small and portable utility created by the same person "Solo-Dev" @ DA which makes Window menus and context menus (menu which is shown when you right-click on something) transparent.

It works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.
You can also adjust the transparency level by clicking on its system tray icon. Simply drag the slider and click on Apply button.
You can download it using following link:
Download Link

How to Get Windows Vista and 7′s “Copy as Path” Option in Windows XP Context Menu?

Windows Vista and 7 provides a very useful option "Copy as Path" which appears whenever you right-click on a file/folder. You might need to press "Shift" key while right-clicking on the file/folder. This option automatically copies the full path of selected file/folder which can be used anywhere else. If you are using Windows XP and want to get a similar option, this tutorial will definitely help you.
We are going to share 2 small and useful free utilities which can bring the same option to Windows XP context menu (All these utilities also work in Windows Vista and 7):
  • PathCopyEx
  • Nenotech Path Copy
PathCopyEx
"PathCopyEx" is a very small utility created by "Mike Lin". It adds an extra option "Copy Path to Clipboard" to file/folder context menu.
PathCopyEx.png
You can download it using following link:
Download Link
PS: Right-click on the above link and select "Save link as" or similar option to download it.
Neotech Path Copy
"Neotech Path Copy" is another excellent utility which adds a new option "Copy Path" to file/folder context menu which allows you to copy full/short name, path, etc of the selected file/folder.
Ninotech_Path_Copy.png
You can also customize which entries should be shown in "Copy Path" context menu using its "Setup" option.
You can download it using any of following link:
Download Link
Homepage

Microsoft Releases “Patch Registration Cleanup Tool” to Fix Errors While Updating “Windows

Installer” Based ProductsMany times when you try to update a product which was installed using Windows Installer, you might receive errors and the update process gets failed. Actually "Windows Installer" uses the registry to record information about updates installed for each Windows Installer-based product. These registry keys help identify the state of each update: registered, applied, superseded, or obsoleted. Information about installed updates is stored across several registry keys and values. To allow for the product to be in a serviceable state in which it can be repaired, updated, or uninstalled, it is critical for the data in these registry keys to be synchronized. When the data in these registry keys is no longer synchronized, maintenance mode operations cannot be performed on the product .msi file.
The "Patch Registration Cleanup Tool" helps resolve some issues that are related to invalid or corrupted update registration. This tool lets you bring the product back to a known state so that you can reinstall updates.
This tool can be used in Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008 and 7.
You can download it using following link:
Download Link

Texturize Windows XP, Vista and 7 Taskbar using Taskbar Texturizer

Here is another awesome tool created by our friend "Solo-Dev" @ DA. "Taskbar Texturizer" is a small tool which can add various textures to your Windows Taskbar to make it more stylish.
Its portable, so you don't need to install it. It can also be set to run at windows start up, along with auto-applying the last skin that was chosen.
The start menu also becomes transparent with the slider.
It comes with 10+ textures to choose from. It works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.
You can download it using following link:
Download Link

Get Windows 7′s “Desktop Background SlideShow” Feature in XP and Vista Using Microsoft’s Official “Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer” Powertoy

Who said "Desktop Background SlideShow" is a new feature in Windows 7? Did you know Microsoft once released a similar powertoy for Windows XP? "Desktop Background SlideShow" is a feature present in Windows 7 which allows you to set more than one wallpaper for your Desktop. Windows automatically cycles through the selected wallpapers after a fixed period of time. You can set the wallpapers and time period using Desktop Personalization menu.
If you want a similar feature for Windows XP or Vista, here is something interesting for you! In 2003, Microsoft introduced "Winter Fun Packs 2003" for Windows XP which included following components:
  • Windows Media Player 9 Series
  • Windows Movie Maker 2
  • Digital Photography
  • Games
Windows_XP_Winter_Fun_Pack_2003.png
The "Digital Photography" section contained following components:
  • Winter Fun Photo Screensaver
  • Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer
  • Holiday Greeting Card Templates
  • Photo Story 2 LE
Windows_XP_Winter_Fun_Pack_2003_2.png
The important thing which we need is "Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer" which can bring Windows 7's "Desktop Background SlideShow" feature to Windows XP and Vista.
"Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer" allows you to set any desired folder for Desktop background SlideShow. Once you select the folder, it starts cycling through all the wallpapers present in that folder and its sub-folders.
It also allows you to set any particular single wallpaper for your Desktop.
The minimum time interval can be set to 15 minutes and can be increased upto 1 week.
Winter_Fun_Wallpaper_Changer.png
You can download "Winter Fun Packs 2003" using following link:
Download "Winter Fun Packs 2003"
Simply install the pack in Windows XP or Vista and launch "Winter Fun Packs 2003" from startmenu. Select "Digital Photography" from the list and there you can launch "Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer".
UPDATE: You can also download the "Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer" powertoy separately using following link:
Download "Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer" Powertoy (Requires Genuine Windows Validation check) Thanks "Harry".
Direct Download Link Thanks "Geo".
It sits in system tray and allows you to change various settings using context menu.
TIP: If you copy the main "WinterWalltoy.exe" file from "%programfiles%\Windows XP Fun Pack\Winter 2003\WinterPowerToy" folder to any other system, it'll run without any problem and you would not need to install the whole Winter Fun Pack.

Messenger Aero Switcher: Disable Aero UI in Windows Live Messenger (WLM) Under Windows Vista and 7



If you use latest version of Windows Live Messenger (WLM) under Windows Vista or 7, you might have noticed that it uses Windows Aero theme to draw window borders, titlebar buttons, etc. Older versions of WLM didn't use Aero frame, they used to provide their own GUI.
If you miss the old GUI and want to get it back, you can get it by turning Aero theme off in Windows but that's not a perfect solution as it'll affect the whole system look. Then what to do? Don't worry, here is the ultimate solution.
"Messenger Aero Switcher" is a small tool to easily turn Aero off or on for WLM without affecting any other Windows application.
Simply run the tool and select the desired option. It'll immediately apply the change.
Windows_Live_Messenger_Aero_Switche.png
You can download it using following link:
Download Link

How to Disable Autorun Functionality in Windows Using Registry Editor?

Whenever you insert a USB drive, CD/DVD, etc into your system, Windows automatically launches an Autorun dialog box which allows you to select an action from the given list. You can browse the content, play media files, etc using Autorun dialog box. Sometimes you might find the Autorun functionality annoying and might want to disable it permanently. Today in this tutorial, we are going to share a small registry method to disable Autorun functionality in Windows.
This method works in almost all Windows versions including XP, Vista and 7.
1. Type regedit in RUN or Startmenu searchbox and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Go to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
If the above key doesn't exist, create it.
3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDriveTypeAutoRun and set its value to any of following according to your requirements:
FF - To disable AutoRun on all drives
20 - To disable AutoRun on CD-ROM drives
4 - To disable AutoRun on removable drives
8 - To disable AutoRun on fixed drives
10 - To disable AutoRun on network drives
40 - To disable AutoRun on RAM disks
1 - To disable AutoRun on unknown drives
Disable_Autorun_Functionality.png
4. If you want to disable Autorun on a combination of drives, you'll need to calculate sum of the values. For example, if you want to disable Autorun on CD-ROM drives and removable drives, you'll need to set the value to 20+4=24.
5. If you want to restore the Autorun functionality, simply delete the NoDriveTypeAutoRun DWORD value created in Step 3 Or you can set the default value which is given below:
Windows 2000: 95
Windows XP: 91
Windows Server 2003: 95
Windows Vista, Server 2008 and 7: 91
6. If you want to disable Autorun functionality for all users in your system, use the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" instead of "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" mentioned in Step 2.
PS: If you are not very familiar with Registry and want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, simply download following ZIP file, extract it and run the desired REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Download Registry Script

System Screensavers Tweaker: Access Secret Hidden Screen Saver Settings in Windows Vista and 7

Windows Vista and 7 come with some new and interesting screen savers like Aurora, Mystify, Ribbons and Bubbles. All these screen savers are good but the worst part is you are not allowed to customize their settings. There are no options available to customize any of these screen savers. We have posted a tutorial to customize these screen savers settings using registry:
How to Customize / Tweak Windows Vista ScreenSavers using Registry?
If you are not familiar with Registry Editor, you can use a new small tool which allows you to easily customize these hidden settings.
"System Screensavers Tweaker" is a small portable tool created by our friend "Happy Bulldozer aka hb860" which helps you in easily customizing Windows Vista and 7 screen savers.
System_Screensavers_Tweaker.png
You can modify various hidden settings like speed, amount, shadow, transparency, etc.
It supports both 32-bit as well as 64-bit both Windows versions.
Download Link

How to Add Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut in Desktop Context Menu?

We have talked about "God Mode" found in Windows 7 which allows quick access to all Control Panel options in a single place. Windows_7_Gode_Mode.png
To access this hidden "God Mode" you have to create a new folder or a new shortcut but today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to add a shortcut to "God Mode" in Desktop context menu so that you can quickly and easily access it by right-clicking on Desktop and selecting "God Mode" option.
God_Mode_in_Desktop_Context_Menu.png God_Mode_in_Top_Desktop_Context_Men.png God_Mode_in_Bottom_Desktop_Context_.png
Following are the required steps:
1. Type regedit in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell
3. Now we'll need to create a new key under "Shell" key. Right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key". Give the new key any desired name e.g. "GodMode" (without quotes).
4. Now in right-side pane, change value of "Default" to your desired name which you want to show in Desktop context menu. We have chosen God Mode in our example.
5. Now right-click on the new key which we created in step 3, e.g. GodMode and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
6. In right-side pane, change value of "Default" to:
explorer shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
7. To set an icon for the shortcut, select the key created in Step 3 and in right-side pane, create a new String value "Icon". Set its value to your desired icon. We have set it to control.exe in our example to show Control panel icon for it.
To set its position in the context menu, create a new String value "Position" and set its value to:
Top (To show it at top)
Bottom (To show it at bottom)

8. That's it. Now you can have "God Mode" shortcut with an icon in Desktop context menu.
PS. If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the desired REG file:
Download Registry Script
Also Read:
How to Add Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut in My Computer Context Menu?
How to Pin Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut to Taskbar?

How to Add Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut in My Computer Context Menu?

As you all know "God Mode" in Windows 7 allows quick access to all Control Panel options in a single place. Windows_7_Gode_Mode.png
To access this hidden "God Mode" you have to create a new folder or a new shortcut but today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to add a shortcut to "God Mode" in My Computer context menu so that you can quickly and easily access it by right-clicking on My Computer icon and selecting "God Mode" option.

Following are the required steps:
1. Type regedit in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
3. Now we'll need to create a new key under "Shell" key. Right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key". Give the new key any desired name e.g. "GodMode" (without quotes).
4. Now in right-side pane, change value of "Default" to your desired name which you want to show in Desktop context menu. We have chosen God Mode in our example.
5. Now right-click on the new key which we created in step 3, e.g. GodMode and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
6. In right-side pane, change value of "Default" to:
explorer shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
7. To set an icon for the shortcut, select the key created in Step 3 and in right-side pane, create a new String value "Icon". Set its value to your desired icon. We have set it to control.exe in our example to show Control panel icon for it.

8. That's it. Now you can have "God Mode" shortcut with an icon in My Computer context menu.
PS. If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the desired REG file:
Download Registry Script
Also Read:
How to Add Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut in Desktop Context Menu?
How to Pin Windows 7 “God Mode” Shortcut to Taskbar?

How to Get Windows XP Styled Classic “Alt+Tab” Switcher Screen in Windows Vista and 7?

Whenever you press "Alt+Tab" key combination in Windows Vista or 7, it shows a new improved screen which shows running application names along with their live thumbnails so that you can see the window content before switching to them. The "Alt+Tab" switcher screen also shows "Desktop" in the list so that you can directly access Desktop icons without minimizing all running applications manually.
Alt_Tab_in_Windows_7.png
Its good and very handy but some people might find it annoying as it takes some time to show the switcher screen and selecting the running application. If you also find it annoying or boring and want to bring back the good old Windows XP styled Classic "Alt+Tab" Switcher screen in Windows Vista and 7, this tutorial will help you.
Windows_XP_Classic_Alt_Tab_Switcher.png
Please follow these simple steps:
1. Type regedit in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value AltTabSettings and set its value to 1
AltTabSettings_DWORD.png
4. That's it. Now whenever you'll press "Alt+Tab" keys together, it'll show Windows XP styled classic "Alt+Tab" Switcher screen instead of the new screen.
5. To restore default Aero enabled "Alt+Tab" Switcher screen, simply delete the AltTabSettings DWORD value created in step 3. Log off and login again to take effect.
NOTE. If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file:
Download Registry Script
BONUS TIP: If you don't want to set the Classic "Alt+Tab" Switcher screen permanent but want to enjoy it temporarily, then you can follow these simple steps:
  • Press and hold Left or Right Alt key.
  • Now press and release the other Alt key on your keyboard but keep pressing the first Alt key.
  • Now press Tab key and you'll get the Windows XP styled Classic "Alt+Tab" Switcher screen.
Its a bug in Windows Vista and 7. Actually this bug can also be reproduced in Windows Vista Beta versions...

[FIX] Welcome Screen is Displayed for 30 Seconds If a Solid Color is Set as Desktop Background in Windows 7

Some Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users might face a weird bug which has been confirmed by Microsoft and would be fixed in upcoming SP1. The bug appears when you set a Solid Color as Desktop background.
  • Right-click on desktop and select Personalize option.
  • Click on Desktop Background at the bottom of the window.
  • Select Solid Colors option in Picture location list.
  • Now select any solid color and click on Save changes button.
Now if you try to log on to your computer, Welcome screen would be displayed for 30 seconds before showing your Desktop.
To fix this problem, you can set any image as Desktop background or create a new image in MS Paint or any other image editing software, fill it with your desired solid color and set it as Desktop background.
There is also a registry method available to fix this issue which requires following steps to follow:
1. Type regedit in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout and set its value to 5
DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout.png
4. That's it. Log off or restart your system and your problem should be solved.
NOTE. If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file:
Download Registry Script
PS: You can also request Microsoft for a hotfix to fix this problem.
BONUS TIP: This bug was also present in Windows Vista and Server 2008, so if you are facing such problem in Windows Vista or Server 2008, you can follow the same steps mentioned in this tutorial.
Thanks to our active reader "James" for this info...

Stardock LogonStudio: Change Windows XP, Vista and 7 Login Screen

Stardock LogonStudio allows Windows XP, Vista and 7 users to edit, change, and apply new logon screens. LogonStudio comes built with a visual editor to make it easy to create your own logons which can then be uploaded to websites to be used by others users.
System Requirements:
  • Windows 7, Vista or XP
  • Minimum screen resolution: 1024 width and 768 height
  • 10MB free drive space
  • 512MB RAM
Download Link
Homepage

Vista/7 Navigation Button Colorizer: Change Windows Vista and 7 Explorer Navigation Buttons Color

"Vista/7 Navigation Button Colorizer" is a small and portable tool created by vasanrulez @ DA to change the color of navigation buttons in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer. Navigation buttons are the small Left and Right arrows which can be found in Explorer windows. This tool allows you to easily change the color of navigation buttons otherwise you'll need to manually edit system file to change their color.

You can download it using following link:
Download Link
PS: If your antivirus detects it as a suspicious item, please ignore it. Its a false positive which happens because this tool modifies a system file.

Microsoft Launched “Automated Troubleshooting Services” to Fix Common Maintenance Problems for Windows XP and Vista

Microsoft has launched online "Automated Troubleshooting Services" to automatically detect and fix common maintenance problems such as broken desktop shortcuts, unused icons, disk volume errors, and incorrect system time display. It fixes following issues:
Problems with desktop shortcuts and icons
  • Shortcuts on the desktop don't work or are broken
  • Desktop icons are broken or have not been used in 3 months
  • Startup items don't work or are broken
System maintenance tasks
  • Free up disk space by repairing disk volume errors such as bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files and directory errors
  • Free up disk space by removing error reports and troubleshooting history older than 1 month
  • Set the correct system time and synchronize system clock with the time server
You receive following errors
  • Windows update error 0x80072F8F
  • The item that this shortcut refers to has been deleted
Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services scans your computer and detects the root causes of common problems, then automatically fixes the problems that it finds, and offers additional resources if the problem isn't fixed.
Run Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services
It only supports Windows XP and Vista as Windows 7 and Server 2008 already come with built-in Automated Troubleshooting Services which can be accessed using Control Panel -> System and Security -> Action Center -> Troubleshoot common computer problems.

Add “Hide” and “Unhide” Options in File / Folder Context Menus in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Almost all computer users hide their important and private files/folders regularly to prevent unwanted access. To hide a file/folder, you need to enter its Properties and then select the "Hidden" option. Wouldn't it be great if you get a "Hide" option in all Files and Folders context menu so that you just need to right-click on a file/folder and select "Hide" option to make it hidden.
Hide_Unhide_File_Context_Menu_Optio.png Hide_Unhide_Folder_Context_Menu_Opt.png
Today in this tutorial, we'll tell you how to add "Hide" and "Unhide" options in file/folder context menu as shown in the above screenshots.
To add "Hide File" option in file context menu:
Download following ZIP file, extract it and run extracted .REG file. It'll add "Hide File" option in all files context menu:
Download Registry Script
To add "Unhide File" option in file context menu:
Download following ZIP file, extract it and run extracted .REG file. It'll add "Unhide File" option in all files context menu:
Download Registry Script
To add "Hide Folder" option in folder context menu:
Download following ZIP file, extract it and run extracted .REG file. It'll add "Hide Folder" option in all folders context menu:
Download Registry Script
To add "Unhide Folder" option in folder context menu:
Download following ZIP file, extract it and run extracted .REG file. It'll add "Unhide Folder" option in all folders context menu:
Download Registry Script
NOTE: Each ZIP file also contains an Uninstall.reg file which can be used to remove the Hide/Unhide options.

Acer Gridvista: Get Windows 7 “Aero Snap” Feature in XP and Vista

Today we are sharing another freeware which is called "Acer Gridvista". This application makes more effective use of large monitors by dividing them into sections where you can place your windows.
Acer_Gridvista.jpg
Acer Gridvista divides your screen into two, three or four sections in which you can drag & drop windows. The windows will then be automatically resized. You can also set a window to be always on top or semi-transparent.
Download Link
Thanks to our reader "Brink" for this info...

How to Auto-Hide or Disable Command Bar (aka Folder Band) in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer?

Recently an AskVG reader "Nick C" asked following question via e-mail:
Is there a way to hide the 'organize' bar in windows 7 explorer?  I can hide everything else, but unlike Vista there isn't an option to hide that bar.
Its not the first time we received this query. Lots of people want to hide the Command Bar aka Folder Band in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer so that they can get more free space in the Explorer window.
Today in this tutorial, we'll tell you how to set the Command Bar auto-hidden in Explorer window. In this way, it'll only appear when you hover your mouse cursor over it as shown in following screenshot:
Auto-Hidden Command Bar aka Folder Band:

To make the Command Bar auto-hidden, you'll have to edit the "Shellstyle.dll" file which is present in Theme directory.
For example, if you are using default Window Aero theme, you'll get the "Shellstyle.dll" file in following directory:
%windir%\Resources\Themes\Aero\Shell\NormalColor
NOTE: If you are using Windows Classic theme, you'll need to edit "Shellstyle.dll" file present in "Windows\System32" folder.
You just need to follow these simple steps to make Command Bar auto-hidden:
1. Open "Shellstyle.dll" file in Resource Hacker.
2. Now go to "UIFILE -> 1 -> 1033".
3. Press <Ctrl>+F or click on "View -> Find Text..." option and type following in "Find what" textbox:
<style resid="FolderBandStyle">
4. It'll go to following line of code:
<style resid="FolderBandStyle">
<Element
background="argb(0, 0, 0, 0)"
/>
5. Now add following code after <style resid="FolderBandStyle"> line:
<if mousefocused="false" mousewithin="false"><Element padding="rect(0rp,0rp,0rp,-28rp)"/></if>
So that it'll look as following:
<style resid="FolderBandStyle">
<if mousefocused="false" mousewithin="false"><Element padding="rect(0rp,0rp,0rp,-28rp)"/></if>
<Element
background="argb(0, 0, 0, 0)"
/>
Enable_Auto_Hide_Commandbar_Vista_7.png
PS: To permanently disable or hide Command Bar, add following code after <style resid="FolderBandStyle"> line:
<Element padding="rect(0rp,0rp,0rp,-28rp)"/>
6. Now click on "Compile Script" button and save the file.
7. Log off or restart to see the changes OR re-apply the theme.
PS: This method will work for all 3rd party themes as well. Simply modify the "Shellstyle.dll" file present in custom theme folder.
NOTE: If you want a ready-made modified "shellstyle.dll" file, you can download it using following link and replace the default file in your system with it. You might need to take ownership of default "shellstyle.dll" file before replacing it.
Download Link

FxVisor: Windows Vista and 7 Shortcut Overlay Arrow Remover

indows Vista, 7 and all previous versions show a small arrow on all shortcut files. Although it helps in identifying shortcut files but many people don't like it as it hides some part of the actual icon. If you are also one of them, you can use "Windows Vista Shortcut Overlay Remover" to remove the ugly arrow. You can also set it to a small arrow if you want.
It works in Windows Vista and 7.
Download Link

KB980182: Out-of-Band Patch for Internet Explorer

Microsoft has released an out-of-band patch for Internet Explorer which addresses the vulnerability discussed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-018. This security update resolves nine privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer 5.01, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, Internet Explorer 6 on Windows clients, Internet Explorer 7, and Internet Explorer 8 on Windows clients. For Internet Explorer 6 on Windows servers, this update is rated Important. And for Internet Explorer 8 on Windows servers, this update is rated Moderate.
The majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually.
You can also download and install this update manually using the links given in following Microsoft Security Bulletin:
Download Link

AquaSnap: Get Windows 7′s Aero Snap and Aero Shake Features in Windows XP and Vista

AquaSnap greatly enhances the way you can arrange windows on your Desktop. It gives you the possibility to snap windows to the edges or to the corners of the desktop simply by dragging and dropping them where you want. AquaSnap is a great replacement for the Aero Snap and Aero Shake features of Windows 7 and is compatible with every Windows versions.
AquaSnap makes the window management much more ergonomic. Drag a window to the border of your desktop, and this window will be snapped and resized to fit one half of the screen. Drag this window to a corner, it will be snapped to fit one quarter. Shake a window, and this window will stay always on top.
AquaSnap.png
Features List:
  • Can resize windows to half screen and quarter screen.
  • Multiple monitors support.
  • Works with child windows of Multiple Document Interface (MDI).
  • Skinnable interface.
  • Multilingual GUI (English and French).
Download Link
Homepage
Thanks to our reader "Shahnawaz" for sharing this tool...

VistaSwitcher: The Best FREE Windows Alt-Tab Feature Replacement

If you are bored with the default Alt-Tab switcher screen in Windows and want to change it with something new and refreshing, here is a great tool for you. VistaSwitcher is an elegant and powerful task management utility for Windows OS. Once installed, it replaces the default Windows Alt-Tab dialog with a nice box that shows a list of all running tasks, with their names and preview snapshots, and enables the user to take actions on them using the mouse and keyboard shortcuts. With just one click, you can switch tasks, minimize, maximize, restore the main window, or close the process.

The main advantage of VistaSwitcher is a brand new Alt-Tab switching window. Unlike to the stadard Alt-Tab, VistaSwitcher shows a full-sized preview of each task window and easy-to-read relevant lists of tasks running, all shown clearly with titled icons so you can find the one you need within seconds.
With VistaSwitcher, you also have full control over any opened window, all within two clicks away. So, go ahead – minimize, maximize, restore, cascade, tile vertically or horizontally, close or even end the process!
VistaSwitcher runs under Windows XP, Vista and 7. There is also a native 64-bit version available for download. The program integrates into Windows natively and runs without any compatibility issues.
Download Link
Download Link (64-bit)
Homepage

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