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Selasa, 05 Juli 2011

PowerMenu: Minimize Any Application to System Tray in Windows

Do you love a clutter free taskbar and want to minimize all your opened application to System Tray instead of Taskbar? By default Windows doesn't provide this facility but here I'll tell you about a free, small and excellent utility which can provide this facility. "PowerMenu" is a free utility which provides this essential feature which Microsoft has not implemented in Windows yet. It adds following 4 extra options in Windows control menu (the menu which appears when you right-click on windows titlebar or its taskbar button):
  • Priority
  • Transparency
  • Always On Top
  • Minimize To Tray
MinimizetoTrayOption.jpg
You can change window priority which is a feature which Windows Task Manager also provides. Its a critical option and you should not change it unless required.
You can change window transparency:
TransparentWindow.jpg
You can set a window to stay always on top.
And at last which is the main and most important feature of this utility, you can minimize any application to System tray:
MinimizedtoTray.jpg
As you can see, I have minimized Explorer window to System tray using this utility and I can restore it back any time by double-clicking on its icon in system tray.
So its a must have utility for Windows users and the best part is its free. But you can donate the developer for his hard work.
Download PowerMenu Installer
Download PowerMenu Portable Version
Homepage

How to Fix Annoying Folder View Type Problem in Windows Vista and 7

UPDATE: Also works in Windows 7. One of the most annoying problem in Windows Vista is automatically change of a folder view type. You set a desired view of a folder and suddenly Windows changes its view type to "Pictures and Videos" when you copy a picture to this folder.
Its a very common problem in Vista which almost all Vista users are facing. Actually it happens because of "Automatic Folder Type Discovery" feature which was introduced in Vista but instead of making something good, this feature has made the case worst.
But now no need to worry, there is a registry trick to fix this annoying problem. This trick will reset the folder view settings and will completely disable the automatic folder type discovery feature, so you'll not face this problem any more. Windows will always use your custom view settings for all folders.
So follow these simple steps to fix this problem:
1. Type regedit in RUN or start menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now navigate to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
3. Under "Shell" key, select "Bags" key and press "Delete" key. It'll ask for confirmation, click on Yes button.
4. Now right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key" option. Give the new key name of Bags
5. Now right-click on "Bags" key and select "New -> Key" option. Give the new key name of AllFolders
6. Again right-click on "AllFolders" key and select "New -> Key" option. Give the new key name of Shell
7. Now click on this new "Shell" key and in right-side pane, create a new String value and give it name of FolderType and set its value to NotSpecified
Fixing_Folder_View_Type_Problem.jpg
8. That's it. Either restart your system or log off and now Windows will no longer reset/change your custom folder view type settings.
NOTE: If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, then download following Zip file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Fix-Folder-View-Type-Problem-in-Windows-Vista

Fix View Tab is Missing in Folder Options Dialog Box

Recently a visitor asked me how to enable "View" tab in Folder Options dialog box. He found that its missing in his system. When you open Folder Options in Windows Explorer, it shows various tabs:
ViewTabEnabled.jpg
But sometimes a few or all tabs might missing in this dialog box as you can see in following screenshot "View" tab is missing:
ViewTabDisabled.jpg
To fix this problem you can follow these simple steps:
METHOD A:
Open RUN dialog box and provide following commands one by one:
regsvr32 /i shell32.dll
regsvr32 /i browseui.dll

Restart your system and it should fix your problem.
METHOD B:
If the above method doesn't fix your problem, then download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your system and your problem will be solved:
Enable View Tab in Folder Options

Microsoft Live Labs Released Color Picker Gadget for Windows Sidebar

Many programs use RGB color hex codes. Color Picker from Microsoft Live Labs makes it easy for you to use the colors you use most across all applications. It's fun to explore, discover, and save new color combinations. Even if you don't use it in your applications, it looks nice as a decoration on the sidebar. This gadget incorporates the API from colourlovers.com, a resource that monitors and influences color trends.
colorpicker.jpg
Download Link

Add “Open with Resource Hacker” Option in EXE, DLL, CPL, OCX and SCR Files Context Menu


NOTE: Make sure Resource Hacker's EXE file is stored in "Resource Hacker" directory under "Program Files" folder in C: drive, otherwise this trick will not work. Or you can edit the .REG file in Notepad and change the path of EXE file.
If you are a regular visitor of this site, then you might be aware of various Resource Hacker tutorials which we post time to time. Resource Hacker is a tool to edit Windows files to change look-n-feel of Windows interface.
You can check our "All About Resource Hacker" tutorial to know better about this tool.
You can edit EXE, DLL, CPL and many other system files with this tool. If you use it frequently, then here is an interesting tip for you.
Today one of our visitor "Kishan Bagaria" posted a very interesting trick which can add "Open with Resource Hacker" option in EXE, DLL, CPL, OCX and SCR files context menu.
In other words, you just need to merge a small registry file and whenever you'll right-click on any above mentioned files, you'll get an extra option "Open with Resource Hacker" in the list:
Open_with_Resource_Hacker_Option.jpg
Just download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Add Open with Resource Hacker Option
That's it. Now you'll get the option in EXE, DLL, CPL, OCX and SCR files context menu.

Show Your Desired Text on Desktop by Customizing Windows Vista & 7 Build Number Vista_Buil_Number_Change.png

Vista_Buil_Number_Change.png Each Windows OS has its own build number which is shown in its Beta builds but not shown in RTM versions. Like Windows Vista SP1 has its build number as "Build 6001".
In this tutorial, we'll change this build number to our custom string and will show that custom string on Desktop. You can put your name, your website URL or anything which you want to show.
It might also become very useful to customization pack creators who can show their customized text like any beta build number or their pack version/name on Desktop.
So here we start our tutorial:
1. First thing is to enable "Build Number" on Desktop. There is a simple registry trick to show it.
Type regedit in RUN or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
In right-side pane, change value of "PaintDesktopVersion" DWORD to 1 (Create the DWORD value if its not present).

Enabling_Paint_Desktop_Version_Opti.jpg
Now log off or restart your system and you'll see the Build number on Desktop:
Default_Vista_Build_Version.jpg
2. We have completed first step. Now we have to customize this Build number. For this task we'll need to edit a system file "user32.dll.mui" in Resource Hacker.
If you don't know about Resource Hacker, you can read following tutorial:
All About Resource Hacker in a brief Tutorial
To edit the file, we'll need to take ownership of this file otherwise we'll not be able to save our changes. Taking ownership is very easy. First follow the instructions given in following topic:
Add Take Ownership Option in File / Folder Context Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7
Now open My Computer and go to following folder:
%windir%\System32\en-US
You can paste the above string in addressbar and press Enter. It'll open the folder. Now look for the "user32.dll.mui" file. When you find it, right-click on it and select "Take Ownership":
Taking_Ownership_of_User32_dll_MUI_.jpg
NOTE: If your Windows language is different, then replace en-US in the above path with your language code.
3. Now open "user32.dll.mui" file in Resource Hacker. You can simply drag-n-drop the file in Resource Hacker window.
Once you open the file, go to "String Table -> 45". In right-side pane, look at the 715 and 716 entries. The 715 entry contains the first line of Build number i.e. "Windows Vista (TM)" and the 716 entry contains the second line i.e. "Build 6001".
Default_Build_Version_Location.jpg
We need to change their text so that we can show our own desired text. That's very simple. Simply delete the text within double-quotes "" and type your own desired text in both entries as shown in following screenshot:
Changing_Default_Build_Version.jpg
After changing the text, click on "Compile Script" button and at last save the file.
4. That's it. Now restart your system and your desired text will be displayed on Desktop:
Custom_Vista_Build_Version.jpg

How to Prevent Users from Changing Desktop Wallpaper in Windows?

If you run a company, you might want to set your company logo or any particular wallpaper on all of your users' desktops. On the other hand, if you use a single system you might still want to have your desired wallpaper on Desktop and it really annoys when someone changes the wallpaper. So if you are tired from people changing the wallpaper and want to prevent users from changing it everyday, then this tutorial will help you.
In this tutorial, you'll learn a way to set your desired wallpaper on Desktop and no one will be able to change it neither from Desktop Properties nor by right-clicking on an image and select "Set as Desktop Background".
So here we start our tutorial:
1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
3. Under "Policies" key, create a new key "System". It might already exist in some systems.
4. Now select "System" key and in right-side pane, create a new STRING value Wallpaper and set its value to the exact path of your desired wallpaper. You can use .JPG and .BMP files in this method.
e.g. if your wallpaper exists in "E:\Wallpapers\Wall1.JPG", then set the same path as value of "Wallpaper".
5. You can also set the wallpaper style e.g. Centered, Tiled or Stretched. Create a new STRING value WallpaperStyle and set its value to as following:
  • 0 (Centered)
  • 1 (Tiled)
  • 2 (Stretched)
Prevent_Change_of_Wallpaper.jpg
6. That's it. Now restart or log off your system and no one will be able to change the wallpaper.

So Windows 7 Will Be Windows 7

So finally it has come to an end. Guesses are over. Microsoft has finally announced that they are going to keep the same name for their upcoming Windows version "Windows 7". Since long time, Microsoft used to use a codename for their software developments and change it to some other name in Beta stage. But its a bit surprising that they are not going to do it this time.
They used "Windows 7" as the codename for upcoming Windows version and it'll remain unchanged in final version. So Windows 7 will be Windows 7.
"Mike Nash" at Windows Vista Team Blog announced about it:
As you probably know, since we began development of the next version of the Windows client operating system we have been referring to it by a codename, "Windows 7." But now is a good time to announce that we've decided to officially call the next version of Windows, "Windows 7".
He further tells the reason behind keeping the same name:
The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or "aspirational" monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new "aspirational" name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.
Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore "Windows 7" just makes sense.
Its the first time when Microsoft is going to keep the codename as final name for any Windows version ever.

How to Fix “Task Manager has been Disabled by Your Administrator”?

That's a very common problem for Windows users. Many times when you try to open Task Manager, you find that "Task Manager" option has been grayed out: Task_Manager_Disabled_1.jpg
Also when you try to run it by typing "taskmgr" in RUN dialog box, Windows shows following error message:
Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator.
Task_Manager_Disabled_2.jpg
There might be 2 possible reasons behind this problem:
  • Your system administrator applied the restriction using Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor.
  • Your system has been infected with virus and it has disabled the Task Manager.
If you are already the Administrator of the system, then your system is most probably infected. You should follow the instructions given in following topic first:
Is Your System Infected with a Virus / Spyware / Adware / Trojan?
Now if your system in not infected or you have successfully removed the virus, then you can follow these simple steps to enable Task Manager again:
1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor. If Registry editor is also disabled, then follow instructions given in following tutorial:
How to Enable Tools -> Folder Options and Registry Editor in Windows
2. Now go to following keys one by one:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
HKEY_USERS\.default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
and look for a DWORD value "DisableTaskMgr" in right-side pane. If you find it, delete it.
Enable_Task_Manager.jpg
3. That's it. Now Task Manager will be enabled.
PS: If you are not familiar with editing the registry, then you can use ready-made registry script to do the task automatically. Download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted .REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Enable Task Manager

[Fix] Links from Yahoo! Messenger, FDM and avast! Open in IE Even When Firefox is Default Browser

If you use Yahoo! Messenger or avast! or Free Download Manager (FDM), you might have noticed that whenever you click on any link in these software, it opens in Internet Explorer even when Mozilla Firefox is set as Default browser in your system. Most of the times this problem occurs in Windows Vista. If you are facing this problem, then follow these simple steps to fix this problem:
1. Click on "Default Programs" shortcut in Start menu. Now click on the last option in the list "Set program access and computer defaults":
Choose_Default_Program.png
2. Now click on "Custom" section and select "Mozilla Firefox" in "Choose a default web browser" section:
Select_Firefox_as_default_browser.png
3. That's it. Click on OK button and now all links will open in Firefox instead of IE.

How to Remove An Item from RUN Dialog Box History / MRU List?

All of us use Start menu RUN dialog box to enter frequent commands in Windows. It stores the entered commands in its history and suggests them whenever we enter them next time. RUN_Dialog_Box_History.jpg
Although its a good feature but sometimes we might want to remove a particular item from the history list because of some obvious reasons.
Here is a simple and safe method to remove any desired item from RUN history / MRU (Most Recently Used) list:
1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
In right-side pane, you'll see various String values with the name a, b, c, etc and their value will be set to the command which you entered in RUN dialog box:
RunMRU_List_in_Registry.jpg
3. You just need to delete the String value which contains the command which you want to remove from RUN history list. e.g. if you want to remove "msconfig" command from RUN history, then delete the "b" String value.
4. That's it. Now the deleted command will no longer appear in RUN MRU list.

[Fix] Start Menu Recent Items List and RUN MRU List is Always Empty When User Logs On

If you are a Windows user, you might have noticed the "Recent Items" list in Start menu which contains a list of recently opened documents. RUN dialog box also stores a list of recently entered commands list in its history. Sometimes a strange problem starts happening. Whenever you log off or restart your system, the "Recent Items" list in Start menu as well as RUN dialog box MRU list get deleted. You find them absolutely empty when you log on.
Its a very common problem and it happens mostly when you use a tweaking software which adds an entry in Windows Registry to clear history of recently opened documents on log off.
If you are facing this problem, then follow these simple steps to fix it:
1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It’ll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following keys one by one:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_USERS\.default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, look for a DWORD value "ClearRecentDocsOnExit". Its value would be set to 1. Either set its value to 0 or completely delete it.
Clear_Recent_docs_on_exit.jpg
3. That's it. Now restart or log off your system and your problem will be solved.
PS: You can also use this tutorial to intentionally delete recently opened documents list upon log off for security reasons. Simply create the DWORD value "ClearRecentDocsOnExit" in any of the above mentioned registry locations and set its value to 1

Add AskVG.com or Other Website Links in Desktop Context Menu in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and 7

NOTE: This tutorial has been featured by Microsoft. AskVG.com was the first website posting this unique trick.
Do you visit AskVG.com frequently and tired of opening the browser and typing the URL each time? Then here is a special trick for you.
You can add AskVG.com in your Desktop context menu and whenever you want to open the site, just right-click on Desktop and select the option to open AskVG:
AskVG_in_Desktop_Context_Menu.jpg
Interesting, huh? You just need to follow very simple steps to get this option. This trick will only work for Windows Vista users, XP doesn't support this method.
Also you can use this method to add any other website URL in Desktop context menu. It'll work for all websites.
So here we start our tutorial:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\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 name of "Open AskVG.com" (without quotes). You can give any other name, the name you set here will be shown as the option label in Desktop context menu.
4. Now we'll need to create another new key. Right-click on the new key which we created in the last step e.g. Open AskVG.com and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
5. Now select "command" key and in right-side pane, you'll see "Default" String value. We'll need to set its value to the command to open AskVG.com. You can set the browser as well which you want to open while selecting the option in Desktop context menu.
Following are the commands for each browser which are needed to be set as the value of "Default":
Internet Explorer: iexplore AskVG.com
Mozilla Firefox: firefox AskVG.com
Google Chrome: full_path_of_Chrome_EXE_file AskVG.com
Opera: full_path_of_Opera_EXE_file AskVG.com
You can find the full path of Google Chrome and Opera browsers by right-clicking on their shortcuts on Desktop or Programs menu and select "Properties". Now copy the complete path from "Target" text box and use that as described above.
Unlike IE and Firefox, only giving Chrome or Opera doesn't work in this method.
Google Chrome and Opera paths would be as following:
Google Chrome: C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
Opera: C:\Program Files\Opera\opera.exe
If your Windows Vista is installed in a partition other than C:, then replace the drive letter in above mentioned paths.
Adding_AskVG_in_Registry_Editor.jpg
6. That's it. Once you set the value of "Default", you have done. Now right-click on Desktop and you'll set a new option "Open AskVG.com" which will open the website upon selection.
PS: If you want a ready-made script to do the task automatically, then download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Ready-made Script for IE Users
Ready-made Script for Firefox Users

What’s New in Windows 7 Beta: A Small Review

Finally we got our hands on Windows 7 latest build. To be honest, it's very fast and reliable even its under testing at the moment. It looks very similar to Windows Vista as its using the same Kernel. But there are lots of enhancements and feature additions which make it better and faster than Vista.
Without wasting any time, let us look at some new features and options which make Windows 7 unique and better than earlier Windows versions:
1. Setup:
Windows 7 setup is very same as Vista setup. Same interface, same options, same wizard, same timings. Everything is same except the setup background and the boot screen which is too awesome. "Starting Windows" is displayed along with a glassy scrollbar in the middle of boot screen. The setup background is the same image which is used as Desktop wallpaper in the latest Windows 7 build.
It took almost 25-30 minutes in installing Windows 7. Nothing was asked during the setup. A few things like time zone, etc were asked at last. So you can make a coffee or drink after running the setup.
2. Windows Explorer:
Windows Explorer has also been modified a bit. New commandbar (without icons as usual), new left-side pane containing Libraries, Favorites, etc, new Details Pane, a few new options in "View" menu like Content and at last re-sizable Searchbar.
Overall new Explorer looks better and more simple. Also they have moved the "Group By" arrow to the left from right.
3. Desktop Context Menu:
Desktop context menu is similar to Vista but you get 3 new options:
  • Share with
  • Display Settings
  • Gadgets
Share with is used for new Home Groups, Display Settings directly launches the Graphics card Properties tab and Gadgets launches the Sidebar Gadget list.
4. New Control Panel:
Control Panel window has also been modified. The left sidebar takes very less space and resizes itself whenever any control panel item is opened in the window. It provides more space.
You can also switch to Small Icons view by right-clicking in empty area and selecting the option.
As you can see now you can save the view settings which was not possible in Vista and people complained a lot about it.
5. System Tray:
Now icons in System tray are highlighted when you move the cursor over them. Also you can see a little difference in icons when you click on them. The little arrow at start shows the hidden/inactive icons.
The empty space at last of the taskbar is new "Show Desktop" shortcut. It minimizes all opened window and shows the Desktop. Very handy and cool feature.
6. New Taskbar Options:
Now Taskbar and Start Menu Properties contains a few new options and has a re-designed interface.
As you can see now you can change the taskbar location directly from the drop-down box.
PS: Classic Start Menu has been removed. I hope it'll be added in later builds.
7. Ribbons in MSPaint and Wordpad:
As you all know about Ribbon interface implementation in Paint and Wordpad applications.
8. New Windows Defender Interface:
Windows Defender got a new interface in Windows 7.
They have removed the "Windows Defender logo" from right and also changed the colors of window.
9. Improved Firewall:
Windows Firewall has been improved a lot in Windows 7. Now its more customizable and provides more security.
10. Re-designed Calculator:
Calculator has also been re-designed. It provides 2 new options: Programmer and Statistics.
11. New Options in "Folder Options":
There are 2 new options in "Folder Options":
  • Hide empty drives in the Computer folder
  • Try to search the content of unknown file types
12. New Options in "System Properties":
"System Properties" also provides 2 new options:
  • Save taskbar thumbnail previews
  • Show shadows under windows
If you disable "Show shadows under windows" option, then all window loose the shadow around them and it looks very ugly at the moment but its a nice addition.
As you can see the black corners around window which doesn't look good but since its a testing build. Such GUI glitches would be fixed in later builds.
13. New Boot Screen, Login Screen and a little modified Aero Theme:
As mentioned at start, Windows 7 contains a new Boot screen showing "Starting Windows" along with a glassy progressbar in the middle.
Login screen is similar to Vista except the background. Vista login screen background is same as its default Aurora wallpaper. Same case with Windows 7, its login screen background is same as its default wallpaper which is also used during the setup.
And Aero theme is very same as Vista theme. Only a little tweaked start menu and taskbar. Also the maximized windows don't loose transparency.
So that's the end of this review. There is much more to share which is coming in near future. So stay tuned with us...

Download Windows 7 Official Wallpaper Shown at PDC 2008

When "Windows 7 M3 build" preview was shown at PDC 2008, all machines were having a blue wallpaper. Win7PDC_Thumb.jpg
The wallpaper looks cool. If you want to have this wallpaper on your Desktop, then you can download it from following links:
Download 1600×1200
Download 1920×1200 (widescreen)
Thanks to our friend Long Zheng for providing these wallpapers...

Add “Open in New Window” Option in Folders and Drives Context Menu in Windows

Recently one of our readers "CytoxX" asked us how can he add an option "Open in New Window" in folders context menu, so that whenever he right-clicks on a folder, he can get the option in the list. In this tutorial, I'll tell you how to add "Open in New Window" option in folders as well as Drives context menu.
Open_in_New_Window_Option.jpg
Although you can open a folder or drive in new window by pressing "Ctrl" or "Shift" key while double-clicking on it but this trick no longer works in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Seven.
In Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Seven, you can open a folder or drive in new window by right-clicking on it and selecting "Open" option. "Explore" option opens the folder or drive in same window but "Open" option opens them in a new window.
Now to add a separate option "Open in New Window" in folders and drives context menu, 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 following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
3. We'll need to create a new key under "Shell" key. Right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of "Open in New Window" (without quotes). You can give any other name, the name you set here will be shown as the option label in context menu.
4. Now we'll need to create another new key. Right-click on the new key which we created in the last step e.g. Open in New Window and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
5. Now select "command" key and in right-side pane, you'll see "Default" String value. Change its value to:
explorer %1
6. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell
and follow steps 3-5 again for this key.
7. That's it. Once you set the value of "Default", you have done. Now right-click on any folder or drive and you'll get a new option "Open in New Window" which will open the selected folder or drive in a new window.
PS: If you want a ready-made script to do the task automatically, then download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
Download Registry Script

Windows Sysinternals Updated with ZoomIt v2.2 and AccessChk v4.22

Windows Sysinternals team has updated 2 of its components: ZoomIt v2.2: This ZoomIt update makes it easier to see the drawing cursor when it's small relative to the zoomed region by representing it as a cross hair, allows you to position the text cursor when you enter text mode, supports changing the text color for the break timer and while you're placing the text cursor, and includes a number of other minor improvements.
Download ZoomIt v2.2
AccessChk v4.22: This update fixes a bug that sometimes caused AccessChk to not show the full list of rights and privileges assigned to a user account.
Download AccessChk v4.22
[via]

Add “Change Wallpaper”, “Change Theme”, “Change Screen Saver” and Many Other Useful Shortcuts in Windows Vista and 7 Desktop Context Menu

Do you want following Desktop context menu in your Windows? Shortcuts_in_Vista_Desktop_Context_.jpg
Isn't it cool? You can access all your desired options by simply right-click on Desktop. It would be very easy and useful. You can access almost all Desktop Properties options directly from the Desktop itself.
It can be possible in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7.
We would be using 2 tricks in this tutorial which we posted about long time back in following tutorials:
Add Your Favorite Application Shortcut in Desktop Context Menu in Windows Vista
Create Shortcuts to Themes, Desktop Background, Screen Saver, Display Settings and More
Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7 have a built-in feature which we revealed long time back. We can put our desired application shortcut in Desktop context menu which was not possible in Windows XP and other older versions.
So in this tutorial, we'll use the same trick to add shortcut in Desktop context menu and will use the shortcut commands to open various tabs present in Desktop Properties window like Theme, Wallpaper, Screen Saver, etc.
So here we start our tutorial:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\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. "Change Theme" (without quotes).
4. Now we'll need to create another new key. Right-click on the new key which we created in the last step e.g. Change Theme and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
5. Now select "command" key and in right-side pane, you'll see "Default" String value. Double-click on it and set its value to as following:
control desk.cpl,,@themes
Add_New_Desktop_Options_using_reged.jpg
6. That's it. Now you'll have a new option "Change Theme" in Desktop context menu.
7. You can use the same steps 3-5 to add other options. Simply give the desired option label in Step 3 and set the required command in Step 5. Following are the required codes which you'll need to provide as "command" in step 5:
Change Wallpaper: control desk.cpl,,@desktop
Change Screen Saver: control desk.cpl,,1
Appearance: control desk.cpl,,2
Desktop Icons Settings: control desk.cpl,,0
DPI Scaling: dpiscaling
Window Colorization: explorer shell:::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}\1\::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}\pageColorization
8. That's it.
9. To remove any option, simply delete its key.
PS: If you want ready-made registry scripts to add the shortcuts automatically in Desktop context menu, then download following ZIP file, extract it and you'll get several .REG files for adding each shortcut. Just double-click on the desired .REG file, it'll ask for confirmation, accept it and you have done:
Download Registry Script
Don't forget to visit PART-II

Add “Change Sound”, “Change Cursor”, “System Properties”, “Task Manager” and Many Other Useful Shortcuts in Windows Vista and 7 Desktop Context Menu

Yesterday we posted a tutorial which helps you in adding many useful shortcuts like "Change Wallpaper", "Change Theme", "Change Screen Saver", etc in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7 Desktop context menu: Add “Change Wallpaper”, “Change Theme”, “Change Screen Saver” and Many Other Useful Shortcuts in Windows Vista and 7 Desktop Context Menu
Now continuing it, we are posting about a few more useful shortcuts which you can add in Desktop context menu. After following this tutorial, you can get following Desktop context menu under Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7:

You can add all or any of the above shown options in Desktop context menu and can access them by simply right-click on Desktop. It would be very easy and useful.
Its only possible in Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7.
We would be using 2 tricks in this tutorial which we posted about long time back in following tutorials:
Add Your Favorite Application Shortcut in Desktop Context Menu in Windows Vista
Create Shortcuts to Themes, Desktop Background, Screen Saver, Display Settings and More
Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7 have a built-in feature which we revealed long time back. We can put our desired application shortcut in Desktop context menu which was not possible in Windows XP and other older versions.
So in this tutorial, we'll use the same trick to add shortcut in Desktop context menu and will use the shortcut commands to open various tabs present in Desktop Properties window like Theme, Wallpaper, Screen Saver, etc.
So here we start our tutorial:
1. Type regedit in RUN or Startmenu Search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\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. "Change Sound" (without quotes).
4. Now we'll need to create another new key. Right-click on the new key which we created in the last step e.g. Change Sound and select "New -> Key". Give the new key name of command.
5. Now select "command" key and in right-side pane, you'll see "Default" String value. Double-click on it and set its value to as following:
control mmsys.cpl,,2

6. That's it. Now you'll have a new option "Change Sound" in Desktop context menu.
7. You can use the same steps 3-5 to add other options. Simply give the desired option label in Step 3 and set the required command in Step 5. Following are the required codes which you'll need to provide as "command" in step 5:
Administrative Tools: control admintools
Change Cursor: control main.cpl,,1
Change Date / Time: control timedate.cpl
Change Regional Settings: control intl.cpl
Folder Options: control folders
Fonts: control fonts
Internet Options: control inetcpl.cpl
Network Connections:control ncpa.cpl
Power Options: control powercfg.cpl
Printers: control printers
Programs and Features: control appwiz.cpl
Registry Editor: regedit
Security Center: control wscui.cpl
Security Configuration: msconfig
System Properties: control sysdm.cpl
Task Manager: taskmgr
Task Scheduler: Control schedtasks
Turn Firewall On / Off: control firewall.cpl
User Accounts: Control userpasswords
User Accounts Classic: Control userpasswords2
8. That's it.
9. You can add any other desired control panel applet using the same way.
10. To remove any option, simply delete its key.
PS: If you want ready-made registry scripts to add the shortcuts automatically in Desktop context menu, then download following ZIP file, extract it and you'll get several .REG files for adding each shortcut. Just double-click on the desired .REG file, it'll ask for confirmation, accept it and you have done:
Download Registry Script

Download Windows 7 Beta Build 6936 Default Desktop Wallpaper

The latest official Windows 7 Beta build is 6936 which contains a new desktop wallpaper. This wallpaper is quite similar to the previous one included in beta build which was shown at PDC 2008. Following is a preview of this new wallpaper:
Windows_7_Beta_Wallpaper_Thumb.jpg
You can download this wallpaper using following link:
Download Link

Take a Look at New Animated Boot Screen in Windows 7 Build 6954

Although Windows 7 M3 build already contained a new boot screen which shows "Starting Windows..." text along with a glassy progressbar in the middle, the latest build "6954" is reported to have a brand new boot screen. The latest Windows 7 build "6954" contains a new boot screen which shows animated items/balls that come together to form Windows logo.

Its not clear whether the same boot screen will be present in the RTM version or not. Also there are speculations that this new boot screen was also present in the previous Windows 7 builds but Microsoft kept it hidden just like they did with the taskbar.
One more interesting news is coming that Microsoft is planning to allow OEMs to have their own customized boot screens in Windows 7 which was not possible in Windows Vista.
At the moment we can only wait for the next build...

Get Windows XP Styled Classic All Programs List in Windows Vista and 7


NOTE: This tutorial has been featured by Microsoft. AskVG.com was the first website posting this unique trick.
IMPORTANT: This method will also replace "Favorites" list in Internet Explorer with "All Programs" list.
Many people complain about Windows Vista and 7 start menu. They want Windows XP styled "All Programs" list. Windows Vista and 7 show the All Programs list within startmenu on the other hand XP shows it in a new expanded column outside the startmenu.
Recently we received an email from "James Phillips":
Dear Vishal, I am contacting you as a last resort (I have already stated my problem in various forums and blogs with no success whatsoever).
My problem is with Vista's start menu, specifically the way it displays the All Programs list. Instead of showing the list within the start menu itself, i would like it to expand out into a new column, just like in XP.
I know this function is available using the classic menu, but i actually like all of the other features in the normal menu (search etc...) so I would prefer not to use classic.
thanks for any suggestions you may have.
Actually there is a way to enable XP styled All Programs list in Vista, 7 and Server 2008.
Long time back, we posted a tutorial to customize Windows XP start menu:
Change Look-n-Feel of Windows XP Start Menu
We'll use the Step 5 mentioned in above tutorial to implement XP styled Programs list in Vista and 7. We'll replace "Favorites" menu with "All Programs" menu.
1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys one by one:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
2. Now you'll need to change the value of Favorites string value in right-side pane to:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Change C: to your system drive, where windows is installed in your system.
3. That's it. Log off or restart your system and now "Favorites" link in start menu will change to "Programs" and will show all program shortcuts installed in your system just like XP start menu does.
NOTE: If you can't see the new menu in startmenu, you'll need to enable "Favorites Menu" from Taskbar Properties -> Start Menu -> Customize.
4. You can also disable the All Programs button in start menu. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoStartMenuMorePrograms and set its value to 1
Now log off or restart your system and the final output will look as following:
XP_Styled_Programs_List_in_Vista.png
As you can see, the new Programs menu shows the program shortcuts very similar to XP and "All Programs" button is no longer there.
PS: If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, then download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your system to take affects:
Download Registry Script
NOTE: If you want to restore the default settings, Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
In right-side pane, change value of "Favorites" to:
%USERPROFILE%\Favorites

Download Official Microsoft Brilliant Black Skin for Windows Media Player

Here is an official Microsoft skin for Windows Media Player. Its called "Brilliant Black". Actually this skin is a part of Microsoft Touch Pack for UMPC OEM (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer, Codenamed Origami). Our friend, a regular AskVG reader and porting expert "Amirz" got a chance to extract this skin and now you can use it in almost all Windows Media Player versions.
Official_MS_WMP_Skin.jpg
It works in Windows XP and Vista and Windows 7 too. You can use it in WMP 9 and higher versions.
Just download the ZIP file, extract it and double click on "Brilliant Black.wmz" file. It'll automatically install and apply the skin.
Download Link

[Fix] Wmploc.dll Version Number Error While Opening Windows Media Player

Its a very common problem and occurs when you install a new Windows Media Player skin by replacing "wmploc.dll" file in "System32" folder. Actually almost all WMP interface resources are stored in "wmploc.dll" file and most of the designers modify this file and replace existing resources with their customized ones to change the UI.
But "wmploc.dll" is a system file and whenever you start Windows Media Player, it checks the version number of this file and if a different version number is found, it shows an error message similar to following screenshot:
WMP_Version_Error.jpg
As you can see in above screenshot, the error message indicates that the version number of "wmploc.dll" file should be "11.0.6002.16489" but the current file's version number is  "11.0.6001.7000". It happened because the new file version number was different than the original file.
To fix this problem, you can restore the original "wmploc.dll" file but if you want to use the new customized file, then you'll need to follow a few simple steps which are as following:
METHOD 1: Using Command Prompt
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 commands one by one:
unregmp2.exe /updatewmpversion
regsvr32 wmp.dll
3. It'll sync the WMP version number with Windows Registry and your problem should be solved.
METHOD 2: Using Resource Hacker
If the above method doesn't work, you can try following method which requires a little expertise.
1. Open "%windir%\System32\wmploc.dll" file in Resource Hacker and go to:
Version Info -> 1
2. In right-side pane, you'll see the file version info:
WMP11_Default_Version.jpg
You'll need to replace all instances of the version number with the required and correct version number. For example, the new customized file contains version number "11.0.6001.7000" but the correct version number should be "11.0.6002.16489". So you'll need to replace all instances of "6001" with "6002" and all instances of "7000" with "16489" as shown in following screenshot:
WMP11_Modified_Version.jpg
3. Once you correct the version number, click on "Compile Script" button and save the file.
That's it. Now you'll be able to start Windows Media Player without any problem.
PS: If you don't have much idea about Resource Hacker, please go through following tutorial:
All About Resource Hacker in a brief Tutorial

Start Killer: Remove Start Button from Windows Taskbar

Do you also think that the Start button in taskbar should be removed to gain some extra free space? Actually many people use WIN key in keyboard to access the startmenu and find the start button useless for them. If you also want to remove the start button, here is a good app for you. "Start Killer" is a very small program which can remove the start button from the taskbar.
Before:
Default_Start_Button.png
After:
Start_Button_Killer.png
As you can see in the above screenshot, start button is not present in the taskbar. You can access the start menu by pressing WIN key or Ctrl+Esc keys.
To show the start button again, simply close the app by right-clicking on its icon in system tray and select Exit.
You can download it using following link:
Download Start Killer
Homepage

How to Disable Annoying Caps Lock Key in Windows?

So what was the last time when you used "Caps Lock" key in your keyboard? Can't remember? Actually Caps Lock key is one of the most unused keys in the keyboard. Its also one of the most annoying keys. Tell us honestly how many times did you face that annoying situation when you pressed this key accidentally and typed a line or full paragraph without even knowing that Caps Lock is ON? Your answer would be many times.
So here is a simple solution for this annoying problem. You can either permanently disable "Caps Lock" key or change it to some other useful keys like "Shift" or "Control" using the built-in "Keyboard Scancode Mapping" feature of Windows.
To use this keyboard scancode mapping feature, we'll need to edit Windows registry and add a new Binary value "Scancode Map" in following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
Then we'll need to set the value of "Scancode Map" to disable Caps Lock key or change it to some other key.
Doing this task manually will be a bit complicated, that's why we have created a ZIP file which contains ready-made registry scripts for:
  • Disable Caps Lock key
  • Change Caps Lock to Control
  • Change Caps Lock to Shift
  • Restore Caps Lock key
So download following ZIP file, extract it and run the desired REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it and restart your system to take affect.
Download Registry Script

Customize or Disable Any Key in Your Keyboard Using SharpKeys

Recently I got my new laptop "Dell XPS M1530". Its great but I faced one problem. My previous laptop was a Toshiba one and it had the "Delete" key placed between right Ctrl key and left arrow key. This new Dell laptop has the Delete key at top-right corner. I found it very uncomfortable and pressed a wrong key quite frequently. Have you faced such kind of problem? Do you also want to change one or more keys in your keboard? Or do you want to completely disable any key in your keyboard like Caps Lock? If yes, then "SharpKeys" will definitely help you.
"SharpKeys" is a very small application which does an excellent job in remapping the keys. You can disable any unwanted key or you can convert any key into any other key. The bottomline is you can customize almost all keys in your keyboard according to your requirement.
You can download this application using following link:
MSI | ZIP
Run it and you'll see following interface:
SharpKeys_Interface.png
Now click on "Add" button to change any key's function or disable it. You'll get following window:
SharpKeys_New_Key_mapping.png
You can either select the key from the given list or can manually type the key using "Type Key" button. Using "Type Key" button is the best and easiest way. First click on "Type Key" button in "From Key" section and press the key which you want to change. Then click on "Type Key" button in "To Key" section and now press the key which you want to assign to the previous key. If you want to disable a key, simply select "Turn Key Off" option present at top in the "To Key" section.
Once you complete, click on "OK" button and it'll show the conversion in the list:
SharpKeys_Setting_New_Key_mapping.png
At last click on "Write to Registry" button. It'll show a message that you'll need to restart or log off your system to take affect. Once you restart the system, your desired key will be changed or disabled as per your requirements.
Its a very easy to use application and works in almost all Windows versions.
Download Link (MSI)
Download Link (ZIP)
Homepage

Windows 7 Beta Available to TechNet and MSDN Subscribers, Public Release on 9th January

Microsoft has released Windows 7 Beta to TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Its also available on MS Connect. Just log into your account and download it: The "Update for Windows 7 Beta (KB961367)" is an official update for Windows 7 Beta users to fix the MP3 corruption bug.
If you are not a subscriber, don't worry. The public beta will be released tomorrow 9th January 2009. So just wait for a few hours and you'll be able to download it absolutely free from Windows 7 official website:
Windows 7 Homepage
The public beta will be available for a limited time only, so grab your copy as fast as you can whenever it becomes available to download.
The download would be available in ISO format, so you'll need to burn the image.
You can upgrade to Windows 7 Beta from Vista SP1.

Windows 7 Public Beta Released, Download NOW…

We told you yesterday that Microsoft is going to release public beta of Windows 7 on 9th January and now its available for download.
You can download your FREE copy from following link:
Download Windows 7 Public Beta
Remember its available for a limited time only, so grab your copy as fast as you can. Also the download is available in ISO format, so you'll need to burn the image. You can upgrade to Windows 7 Beta from Vista SP1.
And don't forget to read our review of Windows 7:
Windows 7 Review
Also you can find some interesting tutorials and information about Windows 7 in our special section which is completely dedicated to Windows 7:
Windows 7 Section on AskVG

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