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Kamis, 28 April 2011

Solution: Windows Desktop Does Not Save User Customized Settings

Sometimes people face a problem in Windows when Windows doesnt remember their customization settings on Desktop and taskbar, like icons positions, toolbars positions, taskbar position, etc. Recently I got a similar mail from a visitor "Onie Ward":
I downloaded something called Vista Customization Pack.
I've tried to uninstall this program (I'm on Windows XP) and it seems to have worked, EXCEPT that every time I login, my icons all line up on the left hand side of the page. I move them back to where I want them, but every login...moved. It all started when I installed Vista Customization Pack. I've emailed them, but haven't heard back.
Can you help?? Thanks.
So if you are also facing such problem, then this tutorial will help you in fixing the issue:
1. Open regedit and check for a DWORD value "NoSaveSettings" in right-side pane under following keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions
The DWORD value must present in any of above mentioned locations, most probably in the last one.
2. Once you find the DWORD value, delete it and restart your system. It'll solve your problem and Windows will remember your desktop settings.

How to Fix / Troubleshoot Various Taskbar Problems in Windows?

Here you can find solutions for a few frequently asked problems which are related to Windows Taskbar like:
  • Taskbar context menu is disabled. No menu appears when you right-click on taskbar.
  • "Lock the Taskbar" option is disabled.
  • Can't add toolbars using "Toolbars" option in Taskbar context menu.
  • Can't open Taskbar Properties. An error message appears.
  • Can't resize or move Taskbar.
So here we start:
=======================================
1. Taskbar context menu is disabled. No menu appears when you right-click on taskbar.
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoTrayContextMenu" DWORD value.
=======================================
2. "Lock the Taskbar" option is disabled. Whenever you right-click on Taskbar, "Lock the Taskbar" option is grayed out:
Lock_Taskbar_Option_Disabled.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "LockTaskbar" DWORD value.
=======================================
3. Can't add toolbars using "Toolbars" menu in Taskbar context menu. All options are grayed out:
Taskbar_Toolbars_Restriction.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoCloseDragDropBands" DWORD value.
=======================================
4. Can't open Taskbar Properties. Whenever you click on "Properties" in taskbar context menu, an error message appears:
Taskbar_Properties_Restrictions.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoSetTaskbar" DWORD value.
=======================================
5. Can't resize or move Taskbar even "Lock the Taskbar" option is unchecked.
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
In right-side pane, delete "TaskbarSizeMove" DWORD value.

Download New “Certified for Windows Vista” Wallpaper Released by Windows Vista Blog

Recently "Brandon LeBlanc" blogged about this awesome wallpaper at "WindowsVistaBlog". Here is what he says:
Last week I posted an update on Certified from Windows Vista products in which at the end of the post I mentioned I had something else planned in regards to Certified for Windows Vista.
Here at Microsoft in Redmond, the Windows Vista Logo Team made a poster that was put up around campus showcasing the Certified for Windows Vista logo.
I thought the poster was really neat so I asked Deryl if he wouldn't mind if we released it as desktop wallpaper here for you to add Certified for Windows Vista to your desktop.
Download Link

How to Restore Missing “Desktop (create shortcut)” Item in Send To Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

A few people asked solution of this frequently occurring problem, so today I decided to post a simple and detailed solution of this problem. As we all know about "Send To" menu which appears when we right-click on a file or folder in Windows Explorer. It contains some useful items like "Desktop (create shortcut)" which can create a shortcut of the selected file/folder on Desktop within a few seconds. Its really a useful option.
But sometimes this item gets deleted from "Send To" menu accidentally or intentionally. Following tutorial will help you in restoring this useful item back in "Send To" menu:
METHOD A:
1. Type "shell:sendto" in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open "Send To" folder.
2. Now right-click on blank area in the folder and select "New -> Text document". It'll create a text file with the name "New Text Document.txt". Rename this file and set its name to "Desktop (create shortcut).DeskLink".
3. That's it. Now you'll get "Desktop (create shortcut)" option back in "Send To" menu.
NOTE: Make sure "Hide extensions for known file types" option is disabled in "Folder Options", otherwise the second step might not work and the text file will not convert in desktop shortcut item.
METHOD B:
This method will only work in Windows XP. It'll not work in Vista and 7:
1. Type following command in RUN dialog box:
regsvr32 sendmail.dll
2. It'll re-create the missing "Desktop (create shortcut) option in "Send To" menu.
METHOD C:
This is the simplest method. Just download following zip file, extract it and copy the extracted file to "Send To" folder:
desktop-create-shortcut

How to Restore Missing “Desktop (create shortcut)” Item in Send To Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

A few people asked solution of this frequently occurring problem, so today I decided to post a simple and detailed solution of this problem. As we all know about "Send To" menu which appears when we right-click on a file or folder in Windows Explorer. It contains some useful items like "Desktop (create shortcut)" which can create a shortcut of the selected file/folder on Desktop within a few seconds. Its really a useful option.
But sometimes this item gets deleted from "Send To" menu accidentally or intentionally. Following tutorial will help you in restoring this useful item back in "Send To" menu:
METHOD A:
1. Type "shell:sendto" in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open "Send To" folder.
2. Now right-click on blank area in the folder and select "New -> Text document". It'll create a text file with the name "New Text Document.txt". Rename this file and set its name to "Desktop (create shortcut).DeskLink".
3. That's it. Now you'll get "Desktop (create shortcut)" option back in "Send To" menu.
NOTE: Make sure "Hide extensions for known file types" option is disabled in "Folder Options", otherwise the second step might not work and the text file will not convert in desktop shortcut item.
METHOD B:
This method will only work in Windows XP. It'll not work in Vista and 7:
1. Type following command in RUN dialog box:
regsvr32 sendmail.dll
2. It'll re-create the missing "Desktop (create shortcut) option in "Send To" menu.
METHOD C:
This is the simplest method. Just download following zip file, extract it and copy the extracted file to "Send To" folder:
desktop-create-shortcut

How to Modify or Disable ScanDisk Timeout Value on Windows Startup?

When Windows is not shutdown properly, an automatic scandisk is performed on next system startup. Actually Windows runs "Autochk.exe" file to perform scandisk operation. Automatic_Scandisk_at_Windows_Start.jpg
Windows shows 10 seconds timeout so that we can bypass the automatic scandisk. This tutorial will help you in modifying this timeout value.
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
2. In right-side pane create or modify DWORD value AutoChkTimeOut and set its value to the amount of time in seconds you want to show in timeout. For example, if you want to show 5 seconds timeout, then set its value to 5
NOTE: If no value is set, default 10 seconds value will be used by Windows. Also Windows will not accept timeout value more than 3 days, i.e. 259,200 seconds

How to Modify or Disable ScanDisk Timeout Value on Windows Startup?

When Windows is not shutdown properly, an automatic scandisk is performed on next system startup. Actually Windows runs "Autochk.exe" file to perform scandisk operation. Automatic_Scandisk_at_Windows_Start.jpg
Windows shows 10 seconds timeout so that we can bypass the automatic scandisk. This tutorial will help you in modifying this timeout value.
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
2. In right-side pane create or modify DWORD value AutoChkTimeOut and set its value to the amount of time in seconds you want to show in timeout. For example, if you want to show 5 seconds timeout, then set its value to 5
NOTE: If no value is set, default 10 seconds value will be used by Windows. Also Windows will not accept timeout value more than 3 days, i.e. 259,200 seconds

Create a Virtual Drive for Your Desired Folder in My Computer Using Subst Command

Today we are going to tell you about a secret DOS command "subst" which can be used to create a virtual drive in Windows Explorer for any of your desired folder. For example, if you frequently use a folder "E:\Wallpapers", then you can create a virtual drive in Explorer which will directly go to this folder whenever you double click on it or access it from RUN or Command Prompt. It'll save a lot of time.
Here is how to do it:
1. Open Command Prompt and provide following command:
subst drive_letter: folder_path
for example, if you want to create a virtual drive letter H: for a folder "E:\Wallpapers", then use following command:
subst H: E:\Wallpapers
Creating_Virtual_Drive_using_subst_.jpg
2. It'll immediately create a virtual drive H: which will represent the "Wallpapers" folder:
Before using subst command:
Default_Drives_in_My_Computer.jpg
After using subst command:
Virtual_Drive_in_My_Computer.jpg
3. As you can see. A new drive letter H: has been created which directly goes to "E:\Wallpapers" folder upon double-click.
4. If you want to delete this virtual drive, then provide following command:
subst drive_letter: /D
for example, we created H: drive in Step1, so our command to delete this virtual drive would be:
subst H: /D
Deleting_Virtual_Drive_using_subst_.jpg
5. You can view a list of all existing virtual drives by simply giving subst command without any parameter in Command Prompt.
NOTE:
A. Remember! You can't use existing drive letters for creating virtual drives, e.g. if you have 2 partitions C: and D:, then you can't use them for subst command.
B. You should not use chkdsk, diskcomp, diskcopy, format, label and recover commands on virtual drives created using subst command as these virtual drives are not real and these commands either will not work or can cause problems for the actual drives where the folders reside

How to Enable / Disable New -> Shortcut Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Many system administrators or home users want to restrict a few things from other users for security purposes. Creation of "New Shortcut" is one of them. Many times we restrict drive access but sometimes it might be accessible using "New -> Shortcut" menu.
So here I'll tell you a simple method to disable "New -> Shortcut" menu, so that no one will be able to create a new shortcut anywhere in your system.
The method to disable "New -> Shortcut" menu is different for Windows XP and Vista. So I'll tell both of them one by one. The method for Windows XP will also work for Windows NT, 98, Me, 2000 and 2003. And the method of Windows Vista will also work for Windows 2008 and Windows Seven.
Disable "New -> Shortcut" Menu in Windows XP:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew
XP_Shellnew_Key.jpg
2. In right-side pane, you'll see a string value "Command". Double-click on it and delete the complete string from "Value data" box.
3. That's it. Now whenever a user will try to create "New -> Shortcut", Windows will show following error message:
Error_while_creating_new_shortcut_i.jpg
And the process will create an empty file "New Shortcut" which you can delete later.
Disable "New -> Shortcut" Menu in Windows Vista and 7:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew
Deleting_Shellnew_Key.jpg
2. Now delete the "Shellnew" key.
3. That's it. It'll completely remove "Shortcut" item from "New" menu:
Vista_New_Context_Menu_without_Shor.jpg
NOTE: If you want to restore the "New -> Shortcut" menu and its functionality, then download the appropriate ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted .REG file. It'll revert back to default settings:
Restore New -> Shortcut Functionality in Windows XP
Restore New -> Shortcut Functionality in Windows Vista and 7

Windows SteadyState 2.5: Easily Manage Your Shared Computers

Windows® SteadyState™ 2.5 is now available on Windows XP and Windows Vista. Whether you manage computers in a school computer lab or an Internet cafe, a library, or even in your home, Windows SteadyState helps make it easy for you to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them. SteadyState Helps Make it Easier to Manage Your Shared Computers:
Shared computers are commonly found in schools, Internet and gaming cafes, libraries, and community centers. It is increasingly common for owners, teachers, or non-technical personnel to manage shared computers in addition to their many other responsibilities.
Managing shared computers can be difficult, technically challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. And what’s more, without system restrictions and protections, users can inadvertently change the desktop appearance, reconfigure system settings, and introduce unwanted software, viruses, and other harmful programs. Repairing damaged shared computers can require significant time and effort.
User privacy is also an issue for shared computer environments. Shared computers often use shared user accounts that make Internet history, saved documents, and cached Web pages available to subsequent users.
Windows SteadyState provides a more effective way to help defend shared computers from changes by untrusted users and unwanted software installations. It can also help safeguard system resources.
Windows SteadyState Features:
Windows SteadyState includes the following features to help you manage your shared computers:
Getting Started – Provides the initial steps to help you during your first time use of Windows SteadyState.
Windows Disk Protection – Help protect the Windows partition, which contains the Windows operating system and other programs, from being modified without administrator approval.Windows SteadyState allows you to set Windows Disk Protection to remove all changes upon restart, to remove changes at a certain date and time, or to not remove changes at all. If you choose to use Windows Disk Protection to remove changes, any changes made by shared users when they are logged on to the computer are removed when the computer is restarted.
User Restrictions and Settings – The user restrictions and settings can help to enhance and simplify the user experience. Restrict user access to programs, settings, Start menu items, and options in Windows. You can also lock shared user accounts to prevent changes from being retained from one session to the next.
User Account Manager – Create and delete user accounts. You can use Windows SteadyState to create user accounts on alternative drives that will retain user data and settings even when Windows Disk Protection is turned on. You can also import and export user settings from one computer to another—saving valuable time and resources.
Computer Restrictions – Control security settings, privacy settings, and more, such as preventing users from creating and storing folders in drive C and from opening Microsoft Office documents from Internet Explorer®.
Schedule Software Updates – Update your shared computer with the latest software and security updates when it is convenient for you and your shared users.
System Requirements:
Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP
Download Link

How to Disable / Restrict Use of USB Storage Devices in Windows?

Many times we want to restrict users from using USB drives in our systems. Suppose you have some important data and a friend comes and takes the data in his USB drive. This tutorial will help you in completely disable the use of USB drives in system. After applying this tutorial, users will not be able to use USB drives. Windows will not detect it.
The tutorial is divided into 2 parts:
  • If the USB storage device is not installed in system
  • If the USB storage device is already installed in system
So lets start this tutorial:
If the USB storage device is not installed in system:
1. Type %windir%\inf in Explorer addressbar or RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open "inf" folder.
2. Now look for following 2 files:
  • usbstor.inf
  • usbstor.pnf
3. Now you have to change their user permissions setting. Do as following for each file:
Right-click on the file and select "Properties". Goto "Security" tab and select the desired user or group in "Group or user names" list which you want to restrict from using USB drives. Now in "Permissions for Users" list, click on "Deny" checkbox next to "Full control" option and then click on OK.
Change_Permissions_for_usbstor_file.jpg
NOTE: In Windows Vista, you'll have to click on "Edit" button after selecting the user or group in "Group or user names" list and then again select the same user or group in new dialog box. Now you can click on "Deny" checkbox.
4. That's it. Now users will not be able to install any USB storage device in system.
If the USB storage device is already installed in system:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor
2. In right-side pane, change value of "Start" to 4
Change_Start_Value_for_USBStor_in_R.jpg
3. Now whenever a user will attach a USB storage device which is already installed in system, Windows will not detect it and it'll not be shown in My Computer.
NOTE: If you want to revert it back to default, then change the value of "Start" to 3

How to Fix Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Stuck at Annoying First Run Welcome Page http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2.aspx

When you run Internet Explorer 7 for first time, it shows a first run welcome page "http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2.aspx" and you need to select your customization settings and then click on "Save your settings" button. This page will be displayed each time you open IE7 until you complete the customization wizard and save your settings.
Sometimes people face problems as given below:
  • The Runonce page is displayed every time even you have completed the customization process.
  • A blank page appears even you have selected some other page as your Homepage.
  • An "Error on page" appears with a plain blue color page.
  • "Save your settings" button doesnt work and shows following error:
  • Line 56 Char:2 Error: Element not found Code: 0 URL: http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2aspx
  • IE7 shows following error upon startup:
  • Server Error in '/' Application. ------------------------------------------------------ The resource cannot be found. Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly. Requested URL: /runonce2.aspx
All above mentioned problems occur if the Welcome page in IE7 is not loaded correctly or if it opens with restricted security settings.
If you are also facing this problem, then follow these simple steps and your problem will be solved:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
2. In right-side pane, look for 2 DWORD values:
  • RunOnceComplete
  • RunOnceHasShown
3. Make sure both have their values set to 1. If any or both of them is set to 0, then change it to 1
Internet_Explorer_7_Run_Once_Welcom.jpg
4. That's it. Exit registry editor and start Internet Explorer. Now it'll not show the welcome page and will directly go to your Homepage.

TeraCopy: Copy Your Files Faster and Easier

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user a lot of features:
  • Copy files faster: TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
  • Pause and resume file transfers: Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
  • Error recovery: In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
  • Interactive file list: TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
  • Shell integration: TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
  • Full Unicode support.

Download Free Version

How to Access Linux Partitions (ext2, ext3) From Windows in Dual-Boot System?

If you have a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux, you probably know that Windows and Linux both use different file systems. Windows uses FAT32 and NTFS file systems where as Linux uses ext2 and ext3 file systems. You can access Windows partitions from Linux but on the other hand Windows doesnt allow access to Linux partitions.
Many times we might need to access files stored in Linux partitions and we realize that we can't access them from Windows. In this situation we have to reboot our system in Linux to access those files.
Would not it be better if we could access Linux partitions from Windows? Indeed, it would. That's why here I'm sharing 4 interesting FREE tools which allow to access Linux partitions from Windows:
  • Explore2fs (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 IFS (Installable File System) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • DiskInternals Linux reader (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 FSD (File System Driver) (Read as well as Write Access)
Explore2fs:
Explore2fs is a GUI explorer tool for accessing ext2 and ext3 file systems. It runs under all versions of Windows and can read almost any ext2 and ext3 file system.
Download Link
Ext2 IFS (Installable File System):
Ext2 IFS provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista with full access to Linux Ext2 volumes (read access and write access). It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating system to include the Ext2 file system.
Ext2 volumes get drive letters. Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications.
Download Link
DiskInternals Linux reader:
DiskInternals Linux Reader runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there. The program provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions.
Download Link
Ext2 FSD (File System Driver):
Ext2 FSD is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64).
Download Link

How to Remove Linux Boot Loader From Startup After Deleting Linux Partition on a Dual-Boot System?

If you have a dual-boot system with Linux and Windows, then you probably know that when you start your system first Linux boot loader appears showing Linux as well as Windows boot entries and if you select Windows from the list, it starts Windows. Suppose a situation when you want to remove Linux from your system and want to use only Windows, then how will you do it?
Many times people delete the partitions having Linux installed from "Disk Manager" but it doesnt remove Linux completely. The Linux boot loader still appears at startup but since you deleted Linux partitions, the boot loader gets corrupted and your system becomes unusable.
So if you are also facing this problem or you faced this problem in past and could not get a working solution, then read this tutorial and you can follow it if you find yourself in a similar situation.
This tutorial will help you in completely removing Linux from a dual-boot system:
1. First you'll need to boot using Windows setup CD. You can use Windows 98 Setup CD or Windows 2000, XP, 2003  CD or Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7 DVD.
A. Using Windows 98 CD:
Boot into Command Prompt and provide following command:
fdisk /MBR
Now exit from command prompt by typing Exit and press Enter.
B. Using Windows 2000, XP, 2003 CD:
Enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R", select your Windows installation and enter administrator password. Now provide following command:
fixmbr
Press "Y" to confirm and type Exit to exit from recovery console.
C. Using Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7 DVD:
Boot using setup DVD and click on "Repair Computer" link, then click on "Command Prompt". Now navigate to your DVD drive using CD command and at last provide following command:
bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr
Exit from Command prompt and restart your system.
Thanks to Ramesh Kumar (Fellow MVP) to provide this trick.
2. The above commands will remove the Linux boot loader from startup and you'll be able to directly boot into Windows.
3. If you have not deleted Linux partitions, then you can delete them using "Disk Manager" tool in Windows.

Download Windows Server 2008 Workstation Converter Created by sawo

Lots of people think and find "Windows Server 2008" faster and more reliable than Windows Vista. They install Server 2008 and add/remove components to make it look-like exactly Vista. Adding components and removing unnecessary components from Server 2008 was a cumbersome process and requires lots of time and efforts but not any longer.
"sawo" has released an excellent tool called "Windows Server 2008 Workstation Converter" which can automatically add/remove components and can make Server 2008 look-a-like Vista with same functionality.

Features List:
  • Set owner name/organization
  • Enable windows audio
  • Optimize CPU performance for programs
  • Disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration
  • Install .NET Framework 3.0
  • Enable SuperFetch
  • Install desktop experience
  • Enable themes
  • Disable CTRL+ALT+DEL at Startup
  • Disable shutdown event tracker
  • Change computer name
  • Enable wireless networking
  • Enable offline files
  • Enable windows search service
  • Enable auto logon
  • Delay activation
  • UxTheme patch for x86 and x64 systems
  • Disable verbose messages at startup/shutdown
  • Install the vista aero cursors
  • Install the vista sidebar (x86 and x64)
  • Install the control panel item for game controllers(x86 and x64)
  • Enable Speech Recognition (require files from vista)
Download Link

New File Renaming Bug Found in Windows Vista and Server 2008

Now that's an interesting bug which exists in Windows Vista and Server 2008. I found it today while renaming some files in Vista. Without wasting any time, I'll tell you the exact steps to re-create this bug:
1. Disable "Hide extensions for known file types" option in "Folder Options".
2. Now open My Computer and navigate to a folder which contains at least one file.
3. Rename the file by clicking on the file and press "F2" or right-click on the file and select "Rename".
4. Windows will only select the name of file and the extension will not be selected. Select the whole text i.e. name as well as extension.
5. Now give it any name and make sure you change its extension. To make it more clear, in this example the file is "Readme.txt" and I'll rename it to "VG.MP3". So I'm changing its extension from .txt to .MP3
6. Now once you type the new name, don't press Enter. Click on empty area in Explorer to apply the new name, Windows will show confirmation dialog box.
7. Click on "Yes" button and see the bug:
Strange_Selection_Rectangle_After_C.jpg
As you can see in above screenshot, a strange selection rectangle will be created automatically from the point where you clicked in explorer to the "Yes" button location.
8. If you move the cursor, the rectangle will change its size.
9. To remove the rectangle, just refresh the window.
NOTE: The bug doesn't appear if you press Enter to apply the new name. You have to click in empty area to re-create the bug.

SP1 Failed to Fix Several Windows Vista Bugs, Do We Need SP2?

As we all know Microsoft released first service pack for Windows Vista this March and tried to fix all broken things in Vista including bugs, performance issues, security issues, etc. When Windows Vista was under testing, I found several bugs and reported them to Microsoft but to my disappointment, almost all of them are still present in SP1. Only 1 bug got fixed in SP1 but other bugs are still present and can be easily re-created. So do you think, its time for Microsoft to release SP2?
If you need time to think about it, then take your time and look at the various bugs which I found in Vista.
So lets start the bug tour:
Vista Explorer Statusbar Bug:
This bug is related to the Statusbar in Windows Explorer. Open My Computer and enable Statusbar from "View -> Statusbar". Now open a folder which contains at least one file. Select the file and check its size in the Statusbar. The Statusbar will show the correct size. Now press "F5" and then again select the same file and check its size in Statusbar. Now you'll be surprised because Statusbar will show wrong size, actually it'll show double size.
File_size_bug_in_Vista_statusbar.jpg
Read More
Vista Explorer Statusbar Bug 2:
This bug is also related to Explorer Statusbar. Guess what? Vista Explorer statusbar is too buggy. Open My Computer and navigate to a drive which contains at least one file in its root. Now select that file and look at Statusbar. It'll show only 1 line "1 item selected", nothing else. In fact it should show the file size as well. Now maximize/restore the window and select the file again, now Statusbar will show the file size. Weird?
Read More
Classic Start Menu Bug:
This bug is found when we use "Classic Start menu". So first change the Start menu type to "Classic" from Taskbar Properties. Now click on start button and if you click on "Log off" option (Don't click now), Windows will immediately logs you out, no confirmation prompt. In earlier Windows versions, a confirmation box used to appear having "yes" and "No" button. It was useful as you can accidentally click on "Log off" option. But its really strange why this option was removed from Vista?
Classic_Log_off_bug_in_vista.jpg
Read More
File Renaming Bug:
This bug appears when you try to change a file name as well as its extension. First make sure "Hide extensions for known file types" option is disabled in "Folder Options". Now open Explorer and try to rename a file. Type a new name and also change its extension, then click on empty area in Explorer, Windows will show a confirmation dialog box. Click on "Yes" button. As soon as you click on "Yes" button, a weird selection rectangle will be created from the point you clicked on empty area to the "Yes" button location.
Strange_Selection_Rectangle_After_C.jpg
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MMC Customize Dialog Box Bug:
This bug is present in all MMC applications like services.msc, gpedit.msc, devmgmt.msc, etc. Open RUN or startmenu searchbox, type mmc.exe and press Enter. Now click on "View -> Customize...". It'll open a new dialog box. Try to click on "Close" button, nothing will happen. Try to press "Esc" key, nothing will happen. Really strange, if CLose button can't close the dialog box, then why its visible?
Customize_Window_in_MMC_Under_Vista.jpg
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Service Manager Bug:
Open RUN or startmenu searchbox and type services.msc and press Enter. Now double-click on an entry in right-side list. It'll open the selected service's Properties dialog box. Now move your mouse cursor at "Close" button and it'll start blinking like a tube light. Must be a bug in DWM (Desktop Window Manager).
Services_Properties_Box_in_Vista.jpg
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Favorite Links and Folder List Bug:
Open My Computer and make sure that “Favorite Links” are showing in left side pane (Navigation pane). If its not enabled then you can enable it from “Organize -> Layout -> Navigation pane“. Close My Computer. Now open “Windows Explorer” from Start menu. It’ll show “Folders List” instead of “Favorite Links” in Navigation pane. Now close Windows Explorer and again open My Computer. Guess what? The Navigation pane will show “Folders List” in left pane instead of previously selected “Favorite Links“.
So the bug is, If you select “Favorite Links” to be shown in My Computer and open Windows Explorer, it’ll overwrite your settings for “Navigation pane” and will force My Computer to show “Folders List“. Windows Explorer overwrites My Computer’s “Navigation pane” settings. Then how can one save settings for “Navigation pane” in My Computer?
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Browse Dialog Box Bug:
Open RUN dialog box and click on “Browse” button. Now right-click on any folder in “Favorite Links” area in left side pane and select “Rename” and get ready to see the BUG.
As you can see in screenshot, as soon as we click on “Rename” option, the look of dialog box becomes completely strange. The REFRESH, SEARCH and the Little DOWN arrow button in the toolbar become distorted. They look like 256 color images. The text color in the addressbar becomes so light that its too hard to read it. Also the text in “Favorite Links” area becomes too ugly.
2 Desktop.ini Files on Desktop Bug:
Open Explorer and goto “Organize -> Folder & Search Options“. In “View” tab, enable “Show hidden files and folders” option and disable “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” option. Now check the Desktop and you’ll see 2 “desktop.ini” files on desktop.
2_desktop_ini_on_desktop_in_vista.jpg
Now you’ll say what’s the bug here? The bug is, these 2 files should not be visible on Desktop at all. In earlier versions of windows (like XP) no such files were shown on desktop even the file exists in desktop folder. These files are used to customize folder settings.
Many power users enable “show hidden files/folders” option and disable the option “hide protected system files” in their system but also they want a clean desktop. But its not the case in Vista.
To make it more clear, “Desktop.ini” file also exists in other system folders like “Temporary Internet Files“, “History“, etc but these folders don’t show these files even after enabling/disabling the options mentioned in Step2, then why Desktop shows these 2 files? Strange, very strange…
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Taskbar Bug:
Double-click on the bottom area of taskbar where system tray icons are displayed, like Windows Defender, Removable Media, Yahoo! Messenger, etc icons. You can unlock the taskbar and increase its size to see the area more clearly.
You’ll be surprised when “Windows Defender” window will open even you didnt click on its icon. Its not a big thing but why does it open Windows Defender when you didnt click on its icon? Definitely a GUI bug.
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Control Panel Task Band Goof-up:
Open Control panel and double-click on “Programs and Features” icon. Look carefully at Task Band containing “Organize” and “Views” buttons. You’ll notice that Task Band color is same as the Menubar color. Actually it should look same as it looks in My Computer but its a goof up that it uses Menubar image as its background instead of task band image defined in the Aero theme. If you are a theme creator, then you can easily understand this goof-up.
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Titlebar Buttons Bug:
Open My Computer and maximize the window if its not maximized. Right-click on Minimize or Restore buttons and you’ll get the context menu which appears when we right-click on titlebar.
It doesnt appear when we right-click on Close button. So its definitely a bug. Why should it appear on buttons?
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Notepad Bug:
Open Notepad and enable “Status Bar” from “View -> Status Bar“. Now open an existing text file (Yep, you have to open an already saved file to re-create this BUG) and put your cursor at any line, you’ll see its location in Status Bar. e.g. we assume that you put the cursor at column 3 of Line 3, then it’ll show “Ln 3, Col 3? in Status Bar.
OK, fine then whats the BUG? Now press <Ctrl>+S or Choose “File -> Save” and look at the Status Bar. It’ll show “Ln 1, Col 1” irrespective of the actual Line and column Number, that was “Ln 3, Col 3? in our case.
Sometimes you may have to press <Ctrl>+S twice to re-create this BUG.
So the BUG is whenever you save an existing file, Notepad will show “Ln 1, Col 1” in Status Bar and it’ll be corrected when you’ll move the cursor.
Note that this bug is present in other Windows versions as well like Windows 2000, XP, 2003, etc.
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A Few More Bugs and Goof-ups:
1. Windows DreamScene doesnt work, if “Show Translucent selection rectangle” option is disabled from System Properties (Performance Settings).
2. When you change some settings in Performance tab of System Properties, the Aero theme is automatically changed to Vista Basic theme.
3. Open “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” and goto “Notification Area” tab. Now look carefully at the image. You’ll find that the sidebar icon is still from Vista BETA releases and they forgot to update the image in RTM.
4. A new interesting feature in Vista is “Taskbar Thumbnails“, which shows the opened windows previews when we hover the cursor on their taskbar buttons. It works perfectly but I found that if we minimize / maximize a window by clicking on its taskbar button and keep the cursor on the button, it doesn’t show the thumbnail preview, it just shows the classic tool-tip.
5. If a window is minimized, then its taskbar thumbnail doesnt show the live preview instead it shows a static preview. Same thing happens in case of <WIN>+Tab or <ALT>+Tab. It also shows a static preview of the window. If the window is maximized, then you can see a live preview.
6. Its related to the HIDDEN files. If a file/folder is HIDDEN under another folder/drive and we press <CTRL>+A or Select All, then Vista doesnt show any message like “This folder contains hidden files. To select all files enable “Show hidden files” option from Tools -> Folder Options” and even if we enable “Status bar” in explorer. It doesnt show “x hidden files” in status bar.
In XP, status bar used to show no. of all files including hidden files and also explorer gives message when we try to select all files.
7. Right-click on My Computer icon on Desktop and select “Properties“. Now move the cursor at the location between "Change product key" and "Ask for genuine" logo.
What you see? The mouse cursor will change to “Hand” pointer like there is a link. But in fact there is no link. Really weird…
8. Open an explorer window, select a file, and minimize and restore the window again. The keyboard focus will be lost and will be set to nothing. You will not be able to use any key combination like “Ctrl+C”, “Ctrl+V”, etc, left/right keyboard keys to navigate in the item list. You’ll have to click on the item list again to make it active. It’s a really annoying and weird bug.
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One Bug Which Has Been Fixed in SP1:
That's the only bug which has been fixed by Microsoft in SP1. To read about it, please visit following link:
Folder and Search Options Bug
Phew, Above are a few bugs which I found while beta testing of Windows Vista and also reported them to Microsoft but none of them have been fixed yet except one bug. I know a few of them are not very big bug but a bug is a bug and every bug should be fixed to make the product perfect. That's why I say we need SP2 for Windows Vista which will make it bug-free. What you say?

How to Create a Single DVD for Windows Vista x86 and x64 Editions?

It’s simple and straight way to merge Vista x86 and Vista x64 editions (DVDs) in a single DVD. Requirements:
Lets come to the point and start now.
We will merge Vista x64 editions into Vista x86 DVD, because Vista x64 DVD has 64-bit contents that can’t run under Win32 mode but Vista x86 content can run under 64-bit environment easily…and one more thing Vista x64 DVD has only four editions, so we have to execute less commands.
How to:
1. Install WAIK in your Windows (doesn’t matter you are running Vista or Windows XP)
2. Make two folders, say Vistax64 and Vista-All and copy both Vista DVDs x64 and x86 versions correspondingly.

3. Run WAIK command prompt (Run As Administrator if UAC enabled):
Start >> All Programs >> Windows AIK >> Windows AIK and PE Command Prompt
4. Each and every Vista edition has an index no. in the install.wim (WIM file), you can check using the following command:
Imagex.exe /info E:\Vista-All\Sources\install.wim

It display the results something like that.
Its means INDEX=1 denotes Vista Business and so on.
5. Execute the following command with appropriate INDEX no. to exports a copy of the specified image to another WIM file. (Vista x64 to Vista x86)
For Vista Business x64:
Imagex.exe /export E:\Vistax64\Sources\install.wim 1 E:\Vista-All\Sources\install.wim "Windows Vista Business x64"
For Vista Home Basic x64:
Imagex.exe /export E:\Vistax64\Sources\install.wim 2 E:\Vista-All\Sources\install.wim "Windows Vista Home Basic x64"
For Vista Home Premium x64:
Imagex.exe /export E:\Vistax64\Sources\install.wim 3 E:\Vista-All\Sources\install.wim "Windows Vista Home Premium x64"
For Vista Ultimate x64:
Imagex.exe /export E:\Vistax64\Sources\install.wim 4 E:\Vista-All\Sources\install.wim "Windows Vista Ultimate x64"
6. After execution of above commands Vista-All's WIM file will be the universal WIM file that contains all version of Vista. You can export your desired only too. I have made a Vista DVD, which includes Vista Ultimate x86 and x64 version only. It fits in single layer DVD too.
7. Now the time to make bootable DVD image, Microsoft ships oscdimg.exe, a command line to make CD/DVD images with WAIK. here is the a single command that make Vista Bootable DVD ISO image:
Oscdimg.exe –u2 –bE:\Vista-All\Boot\etfsboot.com –lVista-All_DVD –g –t07/27/2008,05:30:00 –h E:\Vista-All E:\Vista-All.ISO
Where:
  • –u2 >> make UDF file system for iso image
  • –b >> refers boot image file, which is used to create boot sector in DVD or image
  • –l >>Label DVD or image
  • –g >> makes all times encoded in GMT time for the image
  • –t >>Date and Time
  • –h >> include all hidden files and directories under the source path for this image
8. Now burn the ISO image in a DVD corresponding to image file size.

This tutorial has been compiled by "Ramesh Kumar" (Fellow MVP). So all credit goes to him.
Source

A Guide to Windows Vista Performance and Tuning Released by Microsoft

Microsoft has released an excellent guide for Windows Vista which focuses on performance improvements on a single computer, but also takes a look at some of the tools used in enterprise environments to help make performance tuning manageable on a much larger scale. This guide looks at the following areas of performance improvement:
  • Making configuration changes that help a computer feel more responsive when you use it.
  • Using hardware to boost the actual physical speed of a computer.
  • Making configuration changes that help a computer to start faster.
  • Making the computer more reliable may help increase performance.
  • Monitoring performance occasionally so that you can stop problems before they get too big.
Its a must have guide for Windows Vista users.
Download Link

Hidden Trick to Exit Windows Explorer Using Start Menu in Windows Vista and 7

Many times we install a software, shell extension which requires a restart. Sometimes logging off or end task of Explorer does the job and we don't need to restart the whole system. We usually End task of Explorer using Task Manager but Windows Vista and 7 provide a lot easier way to Exit Explorer which is better than using Task Manager to forcefully End task of Explorer. Its a hidden option in Windows Vista and 7. Do as following to close Explorer cleanly and safely:
1. Click on Startmenu. Now press "Ctrl" and "Shift" keys and right-click on empty area in startmenu as shown in following screenshot:
Revealing_Exit_Explorer_Option_in_V.jpg
As you can see. You'll see a new option "Exit Explorer" which only appears when you use the Ctrl+Shift key combination.
2. Now click on "Exit Explorer" option and Windows will close the Explorer.
3. To get the Explorer back, press "Ctrl+Shift+Esc" keys and it'll open Task Manager. Now click on "File -> New Task (Run...)" option.
Creating_New_Task_in_Task_Manager.jpg
4. Type explorer in the text box and click on OK button:
Starting_Explorer_using_Task_Manage.jpg
5. That's it. Windows Explorer will be back.
This method is much safe and has been recommended by Microsoft itself.
If you are using Windows XP, then you can use following tutorial to safely and cleanly close Windows Explorer:
Hidden Trick to Exit Windows Explorer Using Shutdown Dialog Box in Windows XP

UAC Tweak: A Small Cute Utility to Tweak UAC (User Account Control) in Windows Vista and 7

Microsoft has added a new feature “User Account Control (UAC)” in Windows Vista and Windows 7 which is a good addition. It prevents malicious programs to install in your system as well as it also prevents basic users to accidentally change system critical settings which can be harmful to the system. Although its a good feature but sometimes it becomes annoying to experienced users who know what they are doing with their system. So if you also find UAC prompts annoying, then here is a very small but excellent utility "UAC Tweak" made by my friend "Tom" which can easily turn off UAC or can set the UAC settings to High, Medium, Low so that you get less annoying UAC prompts.
UACTweak.jpg
As you can see in the above screenshots, you can choose any desired option and it'll apply it immediately. Restart your system to take affect.
Download Link

Create Shortcuts to Themes, Desktop Background, Screen Saver, Display Settings and More

In our daily computer tasks, we use Desktop Properties quite often. Sometimes to change Desktop wallpaper, sometimes to change Windows theme and sometimes to change Display settings like screen resolution, monitor settings, etc. For each change, we need to go through various steps: right-click on Desktop and select "Properties / Personalize" and then go to the desired tab and make required changes. Will not it be easier if we could create direct shortcuts to these tabs so that we can launch the desired tab just by double-clicking on the shortcut?
So in this tutorial, I'm going to tell some useful commands to open various Desktop Properties tabs. You can use them to create shortcuts, to create programs or you can directly run them from RUN dialog box or Windows Explorer.
So here are the various commands to launch Desktop Properties tabs directly:
Command to open "Themes" page:

control desk.cpl,,@themes
Command to open "Desktop Background" page:
DesktopBackground.jpg
control desk.cpl,,@desktop
OR
control desk.cpl,,@background
Command to open "Screen Saver" page:
ScreenSaverSettings.jpg
control desk.cpl,,1
OR
control desk.cpl,,@screensaver
Command to open "Appearance" page:
AppearanceSettings.jpg
control desk.cpl,,2
OR
control desk.cpl,,@appearance
Command to open "Display Settings" page:
DisplaySettings.jpg
control desk.cpl,,3
OR
control desk.cpl,,@display
NOTE: You can use any integer from 3-9 in the first shortcut command for creating shortcut for Display Properties.
Command to open "Desktop Icon Settings" page:
DesktopIconSettings.jpg
control desk.cpl,,0
OR
control desk.cpl,,@web
Command to open "DPI Scaling" page:
DPI.jpg
dpiscaling
Command to open "Window Colorization" page:
Colorization.jpg
explorer shell:::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}\1\::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}\pageColorization
PS: The command for "DPI Scaling" and "Window Colorization" will only work in Windows Vista. Rest commands will work in other Windows versions as well.
You can run these command directly from RUN dialog box or if you want to create shortcuts, then right-click on desktop and select "New -> Shortcut", it'll open a wizard:
CreatingNewShortcut.jpg
Enter the desired shortcut command and click on "Next" button. It'll ask for name of shortcut, provide a meaningful name:
SavingNewShortcut.jpg
And click on "Finish" button. That's it. It'll create the shortcut.
I'm also attaching a ZIP file containing all the above mentioned shortcuts, just download it, extract it and you'll get the ready-made shortcuts:
Download Ready-Made Desktop Properties Tabs Shortcuts

[BUG] New Windows Vista Bug Found in Creating New Shortcut

Here is another irritating Vista bug which I found yesterday while compiling the "Shortcuts to various Desktop Properties tabs" tutorial. Following are the steps with screenshots to re-create the bug:
1. Right-click on the Desktop or in the Explorer and select "New -> Shortcut".
2. It'll open "Create Shortcut Wizard".
3. Now either click on "Cancel" button or press "Esc" key to exit from the wizard and get ready to see the bug.
Again right-click on Desktop and you'll see a new entry "Undo Apply Properties". Properties? What Properties? Which properties? Did I apply any property which I should undo now? Weird.
UndoApplyPropertiesOption.jpg
OK. Not a big issue but try to click on this new entry and you'll be surprised to see an error message:
ItemNotFoundError.jpg
WTH??? Windows can't find the new shortcut which I never created. Keep clicking on "Try Again" button and it'll keep showing the same error message again and again. Now click on "Cancel" button and the "Undo Apply Properties" option will change to "Undo".
Click on "Undo" and it'll change to "Redo".
Keep clicking on both these options and enjoy the endless loop unless you End Task of Explorer or log off/restart your system.

Solution: Windows Vista Explorer Hangs while Copying Files from External Media

I'm getting numerous e-mails asking for solution of this problem. This problem exists in Vista SP1. The problem occurs when you copy a large file or lots of files from an external media like CD/DVD, flash drives and sometimes from network drives. In this problem, the explorer window which is being used by the copy process hangs, also the progress dialog box hangs if you try to move it, click on it or if you click somewhere else and returns to it.
Windows_Explorer_Hangs_While_Copyin.jpg
Although the explorer window and progress dialog box hang, Windows still keeps continue copying the files and when the copy operation finishes, the explorer window and the progress dialog box become available again.
So if you are also facing this problem, use following simple steps and your problem will be solved:
1. Click on “Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories“. Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run As Administrator“. If you are prompted to enter password, enter the password and continue. You can also open Command Prompt in Administrator mode by typing “cmd” in Startmenu Search box and press “Ctrl+Shift+Enter“.
2. Now provide following command:
bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff
3. Restart your system and now you should not face any problem while copying files.

[BUG] New Windows Vista Bug Found in Desktop Icon Settings Window

Here is another bug in Windows Vista which occurs in "Desktop Icon Settings" window while changing "Computer" icon. Following are the steps to re-create the bug: 1. Right-click on Desktop and select "Personalize". It'll open Personalization window. Now click on "Change desktop icons" link in left-side pane. It'll open "Desktop Icon Settings" window. You can also open it directly by using "control desk.cpl,,0" or "control desk.cpl,,@web" commands (without quotes).
DesktopIconSettings.jpg
2. Now select "Computer" icon and click on "Change Icon" button. It'll open another window showing various different icons. Select any icon from the list and click on OK button.
ChangeComputerIcon.jpg
3. It'll show new "Computer" icon in the list, now click on "Apply" button and your changes will be saved and you can see the new Computer icon on Desktop.
ChangedComputerIcon.jpg
4. That's fine. Now click on "Restore Default" button and it'll show the default "Computer" icon in the list but to my wonder "Apply" button will not get activated. It'll be still disabled. Then how can we apply the changes?
RestoreDefaultIcon.jpg
5. You can either click on "OK" button hoping that it'll save your changes OR enable/disable any checkbox given at top to activate the "Apply" button. But Windows will not save your changes and the "Computer" icon will not change. You'll need to open the "Desktop Icon Settings" window again, click on "Restore Default" button again and now Windows will save the changes. Really weird...

Solution: Recycle Bin Icon on Desktop Doesn’t Refresh Automatically in Windows Vista

In this topic I'm going to tell solution of another common problem in Windows Vista. Sometimes Recycle Bin icon on Desktop doesn't refresh automatically, i.e. if its showing "Full Recycle Bin" icon, it'll not change even if you empty the Recycle bin. It'll change to Empty icon, once you Refresh the Desktop. It happens when you try to change Recycle Bin icon using Desktop Properties and then you revert back the icon to default using "Restore Default" button. Windows changes the icon to default but the problem of icon not refreshing automatically starts occurring. Its a bug in Windows Vista, which I described recently in this article.
The solution of this problem is manually change both FULL and EMPTY Recycle Bin icons to default instead of using "Restore Default" button. So following are the steps to fix this problem:
1. Right-click on Desktop and select "Personalize". It'll open Personalization window. Now click on "Change desktop icons" link in left-side pane. It'll open "Desktop Icon Settings" window. You can also open it directly by using "control desk.cpl,,0" or "control desk.cpl,,@web" commands (without quotes).
DesktopIconSettings.jpg
2. Now select "Recycle Bin (full)" icon from the icons list and click on "Change Icon" button:
ChangeFullRecycleBinIcon.jpg
3. It'll open "Change Icon" window. Although it'll automatically select the correct default "Full Recycle Bin" icon, click on it to re-select it and then click on OK button:
SelectingFullRecycleBinIcon.jpg
4. Now do the same for "Recycle Bin (empty)" icon. Select it and click on "Change Icon" button:
ChangeEmptyRecycleBinIcon.jpg
5. Select the default "Empty Recycle Bin" icon in "Change Icon" window and click on OK button:
SelectingEmptyRecycleBinIcon.jpg
6. That's it. Now click on "Apply" button and your problem will be solved.
Thanks to our reader "piellepi" for sharing this solution...

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