Windows 7 : Java Glossary

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Windows 7
Microsoft’s desktop operating system released 2009-10-22 to replace Vista. It requires reasonably modern hardware, with a Direct-X video card. Windows 7 reminds me of the ad teasing Ma Bell for refusing to innovate and instead concentrating on painting telephones. It is a little less cluttered than Vista, but basically it seems the same.

New machines come with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 pre-installed. This is most important change.

Installing

Installing is tedious (it can take several hours), but simple and can mostly run unattended. You have to make two decisions.
  1. Do I want 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7?
  2. Do I want an upgrade or a custom install?
If you choose 32-bit, you need 32-bit Windows 7 drivers for all your peripherals. These will probably not exist unless the model of your peripheral is still being sold to the home or business market. If you choose 64-bit, you need 64-bit Windows 7 drivers for all your peripherals. If you have more than 3 Gb of RAM (Random Access Memory), you will want the 64-bit version. Otherwise you won’t be able to use the RAM above 3 GB. These will probably not exist unless the model of your peripheral is still being sold primarily to businesses. You will have to attach you unsupported peripheral to a computer running XP or Vista and get at it via the LAN (Local Area Network). You might chose 64-bit if you have 4 Gig of RAM or more and need to run programs that use large amounts of RAM. Most Vista programs continue to run unmodified. You may have to upgrade some of them.

If you have XP, or if you want to upgrade from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Windows 7 you are forced to do a custom install. If you have 32-bit Vista, you have the option of going to 32-bit Windows 7 (a snap via an upgrade install), or to 64-bit Windows (taking days via a custom install) or to 32-bit Windows 7 (taking days via a custom install).

A upgrade install merges your old Vista registry with the new Windows 7 one and preserves the files is C:\Users\user\ thus preserving all your installed programs. A custom install discards the Vista registry and all the C:\Users\user\ files. You then have to reinstall all your programs from scratch, however, this gives you a clean start and cleans out a lot of junk.

The O & O Migration kit buynow will preserve your settings from the old OS (Operating System) when you install Windows 7. They also have a version for Windows 7 to 8 transitions.

The install happily does not erase any files except ones on the C: partition.

The install is best Microsoft has ever done. It still is not perfect, but it hard to screw up. About all you could do wrong is fail to have enough free space on your C: drives for Vista and Windows 7 to temporarily live there together. I made space by shuffling partitions around using Boot-It Bare Metal. You will need more than 50% spare space because the install leaves a copy of your old files in place uncompressed.

You may have noticed that there are two directories C:\Windows\windows32 and C:\Windows\sysWOW64 where duplicate copies of various system programs are kept. Just ignore C:\Windows\sysWOW64. You might think the 32-bit versions are in C:\Windows\windows32 and the 64-bit versions are in C:\Windows\sysWOW64, but it is the reverse. Just use C:\Windows\windows32 all the time (for backward compatibility with Visa bat files and programs) and Windows will automatically dip into C:\Windows\sysWOW64 as needed.

Install Program Glitches

The upgrade install does a remarkable job of preserving Vista settings. However, it made some errors including:

What’s New?

What I Don’t Like

What I Like

64-bit mode

Where To Find

Windows 7 hides familiar tools in unfamiliar places. The classic view, available under additional options, makes it easier to find what you need without this guide. Here is where to look:

32 or 64 bit OS? DOS box command prompt Schedule a Task
8.3 legacy short file names Drive Letters Search Indexing
Account Control Eject Security Essentials
Change Account Name Environment Variables Sharing a disk over a LAN
Anti-aliasing Format Sharing a Printer over the LAN
Associations Host/machine Name/workgroup Shared disk accessing over the LAN
Certificates Change Icon Size Show Extensions
Checkpoints Install a Font Show Hidden Files
Clear Event Log IP configuration Snapshots
Clean junk files off your disks IP display Startup Programs
Clock Setting Java Control Panel Stopping a Program
Colours and Fonts .keystore System Volume Points
Correct Problems Lost Icon Recovery Task Bar
Country Memory Test Transparency
Defender Menu Themes
Defrag your Disks pagefile.sys Uninstall
Desktop Mouse Configuration Version
Device Manager Performance Monitoring Virus Scan
Dial the Internet Printer Sharing Wallpaper
Dialer Default Program Data Tips
Dialer Disabling QuickLaunch Books
Dialing Rules ReadyBoost Links
DNS Clearing Restore Point
DNS Suffix Run
Where Windows 7 Hides Interesting Information
Function Where To Look

32 or 64 bit

To find out if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7, click Control Panel ⇒ System and Security ⇒System Then look in the middle of the screen where it says system type.

8.3 legacy short file names

To turn off the creation of new 8.3 legacy short shadow file name entries:

fsutil.exe behavior set disable8dot3 1

If some ancient program stops working, you can turn them back on again with:

fsutil.exe behavior set disable8dot3 0

To actually remove existing 8.3 filenames from the directory, you need:

fsutil.exe 8dot3name strip /s /v Z:\

where Z: is the drive you want to strip. Fsutil not only strips the 8.3 filenames, it renames all legacy references in the registry. Unfortunately, this expands the registry and you cannot undo this. The ideal time to make this change is before you have installed any apps.

In the DOS days, filenames were limited to 12 characters in the 8.3 format. Even today every file is registered under its actual name and a DOS-compatible equivalent name such as TEXTFI~1.TXT for TextFile1.Mine.txt. Programs can look up files by either name. By turning this feature off, you shrink and speed up the directories. However, this just stops the creation of new shadow legacy names. It does not get rid of existing ones. For that you must strip existing 8.3 files.

After you have done this, run a defragger to compact your directories.

Account Control

To turn off account control (UAC (User Account Control) ):
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click User Accounts and Family Safety
  4. Click User Accounts
  5. Click Change User Account Settings
  6. slide to never notify
By default Windows warns you every time it runs a program not digitally signed or anything that could install or uninstall or change a setting. This can drive you nuts, since it will ask about the same program 10 times a minute.

Change Account Name

To change the name of an account:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click User Accounts and Family Safety
  4. Click User Accounts
  5. Click Change your account name
Unfortunately, this does not change the name of the C:\Users\xxxx directory.

Anti-aliasing

To turn on font smoothing (anti-aliasing)(ClearType)
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Appearance and Personalisation
  4. Click Adjust ClearType Text
  5. Turn on ClearType.
By default anti-aliasing(ClearType) is on.

Associations

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Programs
  4. Click Default Programs
  5. Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program
Unlike Windows XP, Windows 7 does not let you set up different associations for open, edit and print. You can just set up the open association. You might try out the Creative Element Power Tools to handle configuring all the associations and the icon.

Certificates

To view digital certificates:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Internet Options
  5. Click Content
  6. Click Certificates
  7. Click Other People
    [or other category]
  8. Select certificate of interest
  9. Click View
  10. Click Details
To edit/manage digital certificates:
  1. log on as administrator
  2. At the command prompt, type:
    mmc.exe certmgr.msc
  3. Follow your nose.

Let you view or add digital certificates used for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypted Internet links. Java code-signing certificates do not appear here. Editing certificates is not for novices. You might want to turn off OCSP revocation checking, for example.

If you do this often, set up a short cut of the form:
C:\Windows\windows32\mmc.exe certmgr.msc
Ignore C:\Windows\sysWOW\mmc.exe.

Clear Event Log

To get rid of old event logs that waste disk space:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Double click Event Viewer
  6. Click Windows Logs
  7. right click clear log on type of log you want to clear, on the left.
There are several kinds of logs you can clear. You can sort by severity of the error first then scan the logs by eye to look for problems before you delete them.

clean junk files off your disks

To get rid of unnecessary orphaned temporary files:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Under Administrative Tools, Click Free up disk space
Get rid of temporary files, empty the recycle bin. Note you don’t actually click Administrative Tools. Look for Free up disk space right below it.

Clock Setting

To set the date and time:
  1. right click time in bottom right of screen.
  2. Click Adjust Date/Time.
  3. Click Internet Time
  4. Click Change Settings
  5. Click Update Now
change the Date/time format:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Clock Language and Region
  4. Click Region and Language Options
  5. Click Additional Settings
  6. Click Date tab
  7. You can select the format or write in your own, e.g. yy-MM-dd or yyyy-MM-dd

Don’t use this to adjust daylight savings. If you have the time zone configured properly the leaping forward and back should happen automatically. Using it to adjust for DST (Daylight Saving Time) will screw up your file dates which are based on invariant GMT/UTC.

Synchronises with Microsoft atomic clock, time.windows.com. It is quite unreliable, so I suggest replacing it with another from this list of timeservers. If that does not work, try SetClock. I have mine set to ca.pool.ntp.org

to select a server from a pool of Canadian timeservers.

Colours and Fonts

To configure the colours, fonts, themes and decoration:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Appearance and Personalisation
  4. Click Personalisation
  5. Click Window Colour and Appearances
Configure colours and fonts used on various window widgets. If you find some great wallpaper, save a copy separately so you can reinstall it later. This is also true for fonts. The fonts themselves live in: C:\Windows\fonts.

Correct Problems

at the command prompt:
sfc /scannow
This checks Windows 7 files for consistency and automatically corrects some problems.

Country

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Clock, Language and Region
  4. Click Region and Language Options
  5. Click Formats
  6. Click Format
  7. Click Select your country
  8. Click Location tab
  9. Click Current Location
  10. Click Select your country
  11. Click Administrative tab
  12. Click Copy Settings
  13. Click OK
  14. Click Change System Locale
  15. Click Current System Locale
  16. Click Select your country
  17. Click OK
  18. reboot
The trick is you have to set the country in four different places

Defender

C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe How to start up the Defender GUI (Graphic User Interface) program. There is a corresponding command line program. C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe. If you use the Defender often, you might set up a short cut to it on your desktop. See Security Essentials

Defrag your Disks

To defrag your disks:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Under Administrative Tools, click Defragment your hard drive
Pull files scattered over the disk into one contiguous piece. Note you don’t actually click Administrative Tools. Look for Defragment your hard drive right below it. See defraggers for better quality third party tools.

Desktop

C:\Users\user\Desktop\ and C:\users\Public\Desktop Where desktop shortcuts and folders live.

Device Manager

To see what hardware and device drivers are configured:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Under System, click Device Manager
What devices are connected? Are there IRQ (Interrupt Request) conflicts? Where you can disable and enable devices. Where you install new device drivers.

Dial the Internet

To set up a dial-up Internet connection for the first time:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Network and Sharing Centre
  5. Click Set up New Connection or Network
You can set up a connection to a new ISP (Internet Service Provider) or find all the existing ones.

Dialer Default

To configure which of several possible connections to use to access the Internet:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Network and Sharing Centre
  5. Click Manage Network Connection
  6. Click Advanced
  7. Click Advanced Settings
  8. Click Adapters and Bindings Settings
Which dial up ISP or LAN do you want to use to access the Internet? Put connections in priority order.

Dialer Disabling

To disable a dialer:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Network and Sharing Centre
  5. Click Manage Network Connection
  6. right click connection
  7. Click disable
You must disable all your dialers when you use the LAN, or you may find programs wanting to use them in preference to the LAN.

Dialing Rules

To configure the rules about how to dial the phone:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Network and Sharing Centre
  5. Click Set up New Connection or Network
Which exchanges are long distance require 1+? When do you need to dial the area code for local calls? Where are you dialling from? See my student project proposal to clean this mess up.

DNS (Domain Name Service)

To clear the DNS cache:

  1. Run the command interpreter (command prompt) as administrator.
  2. Type ipconfig /flushdns.

If you use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), your router or IAP (Internet Access Provider) will provide the IP (Internet Protocol) of the DNS servers automatically, so you don’t have to configure them. Typing ipconfig at the command prompt will display the names of the DNS servers. If you suspect one of your DNS servers is not working properly, you can use ipconfig /renew to ask your IAP to resend the list.

DNS Suffix

Your IAP may ask you to configure a DNS domain suffix. This will let you for example type shawmail in place of shawmail.glb.shawcable.net or shawnews in place of shawnews.glb.shawcable.net. Here is how you do it:

  1. Click Control Panel
  2. Click Network and Internet
  3. Click View Network Status and Tasks
  4. Click Connection e.g. LAN/Wireless
  5. Click Properties
  6. Select Internet Protocol Version 4
  7. Click Properties
  8. Click Advanced
  9. Click the DNS tab.
  10. Click append the suffixes in order
The setting is specific to a connection, so you must repeat the process for each connection. If you find this procedure too intimidating, you should be able to just spell out domains longhand.

DOS box command prompt

To bring up the DOS command prompt:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click All Programs
  3. Click Accessories
  4. Click Command Prompt

This is where you can run old DOS programs or BAT (Batch) files to automate running Windows files. If you use BAT files extensively, you probably should using tcc/TakeCommand instead.

16 bit DOS and Win 3.1 programs no longer work under Windows 7. You need 32 or 64 bit version of them.

 

Drive Letters

To change the drive letter of a disk partition, CD (Compact Disc) or DVD drive:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Click Computer Management
  6. Under Storage on the left, click Disk Management.
  7. right click Change Drive Letter and Paths the drive you want to change. Removable drives are at the very bottom. You will probably have to scroll down to see them.

It is a bit like one of those sliding square puzzles. You can’t change a partition to S: if there already is a partition or device S: even if you plan to change S: to something else soon. You must first change it to something else. If you are doing a major reshuffle, assign all the partitions to temporary drive letters that will not be the permanent set, e.g. X: Y: Z:. Then you can change them to their final letters in any order because all the letters you want to use will be free.

You can also use

  1. Click Computer
  2. Click Tools at the top of the window on the tool bar.
  3. Click Map Network Drive to map a drive letter to shareable directory on a local or remote drive.
  4. To map your entire E: drive so you can also access it as J:, right click E: share with.
  5. click advanced sharing
  6. share this folder
  7. ok
  8. Click My Computer
  9. right click E:
  10. open
  11. tools
  12. map network drive
  13. Choose J: as the drive and type in the name // roedy/E$ as the share name where roedy is your computer’s name. Infuriatingly, you can’t simply browse to the E:\directory.
Making your CD-reader always R:, writer always W: and DVD reader/writer always V:. Be careful reassigning disk drives. Registry references will not automatically be adjusted. You may find all programs on that drive stop working. You can’t resetter the system partition or the partition CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide on Silicon) booted from. This makes it vary hard to clone a system without help from a PowerQuest tools. Your clone has to have different drive letters, e. g. copy of the operating system seems to have its own set of drive letter mappings. However, they are fragile. If you add a drive, swap primary and secondary drives, or change the drive CMOS boots from first, it suddenly forgets its letters and reverts to a default set and very likely will become unbootable.

You can use subst X: Y:\ to define alias drive letters for existing drives, or subst X: Y:\somedir to create shortcuts to commonly used directories. However, Windows forgets your settings after every reboot. To get around that problem you need to compose a bat file to do the SUBST and install it as the login script. SUBST is quicker and does not fail when other network connections fail. See J Drive for details.

Eject

Ejecting a CD/DVD (Compact Disc/Digital Video Disc) is flaky in Windows 7. There are three techniques to try when it does not work:
  1. Press the eject button on the drive.
  2. Right click the drive in My Computer and select eject.
  3. Type ejectmedia V: at the command prompt.
Often Windows 7 saves up writing to do when the disk is closed/ejected, so be patient so long as the CD/DVD is whirring. Sometimes you have to reboot to clear a stuck eject.

Environment Variables

To set environment variables:
  1. Click Control Panel
  2. Click System and Security
  3. Click System
  4. Advanced System Setting
  5. Environment Variables
Where you do you SET XX=YYYY controls for BAT files. If in doubt, put your variables in the system section. This way they won’t get lost if the system decides to rename your user directory, which it will do if you change your computer workgroup/name. After you set you variables, start new DOS boxes to make the changes take effect. To make the changes take effect in BAT files that you trigger with the task manager, you must reboot.

To more rapidly get to the deeply nest environment variables, set up a shortcut or bat file to C:\Windows\System32\SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe which does not get you all the way there, but at least most of the way. The icon looks like a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen with a big check mark on it.

Format

There are three places to format:
  1. FORMAT command line utility
  2. Control panel:
    1. Click Control Panel
    2. Click System and Security
    3. Click Administrative Tools
    4. Click Computer Management
    5. storage
    6. Click disk management
    You can then format partitions.
  3. Pop-up. When you insert a blank DVD a dialog box pops up.
    1. Click burn files to disc
    2. Click show formatting options
    3. click Live File System or Mastered. See the DVD entry for which to choose.
You can format hard disks, CD s, DVDs (Digital Video Discs) and floppies.

Host/machine Name/workgroup

To change your computer’s name on the LAN :
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click System
Computer name and Workgroup for this machine. Only machines in the same workgroup see each other.

Change Icon Size

To change the desktop icon size:
  1. Right click on an empty part of the desktop.
  2. Select view.
  3. Select Large Icons, Medium Icons or Classic Icons for small.

Install a Font

To install a font, usually TTF (TrueType Font) or OpenType-TTF:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Appearance and Personalisation
  4. Install or Remove a Font
  5. Click File. If you don’t see File, click Alt.
  6. Install New Font
  7. In the Add Fonts dialog box, under Drives, click the drive where the font that you want to install is located
  8. Under Folders, double-click the folder containing the fonts that you want to add
  9. Under List of fonts, click the font that you want to add. Infuriatingly, you can’t select multiple fonts. You have to install them one at a time..

    You can also install a font inside a zip:

    1. Open the zip with WinZip.
    2. Double click the font file.
    3. Click install.
  10. click Install
 

IP configuration

To manually assign a fixed IP:
  1. Click Start
  2. Network
  3. Network and Sharing Center
  4. Manage Network Connections
  5. right click connection
  6. Internet Protocol version 4
  7. Properties
Configure static or dynamic (DHCP ) IP/DNS assignment. This menu item will not exist until your Ethernet card is functioning properly. Check with the device manager if you don’t see the Local Area Connection option.

IP display

To display the IP automatically assigned to your machine or manually configured:
  1. in a DOS box, type IPCONFIG.
What IP addresses in this machine using? What has DHCP given me for a DNS server? The full name is C:\WINNT\system32\ipconfig.exe. Also shows dial up IP as well.

Java Control Panel

To access the Java Control Panel:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Programs
  4. Click Java
 

.keystore

C:\Users\user\.keystore Java code-signing certificates. Use keytool.exe to view the file.

Lost Icon Recovery

To recover lost desktop icons:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Appearance and Personalisation
  4. Personalisation
  5. Change Desktop and Icons (in the left panel).
  6. Then make sure all the icons you want to see are clicked, e.g. restore computer, network, user and the recycle bin.
Sometimes your recycle bin, computer, network etc. system icons will mysteriously disappear from the desktop. This is how to bring them back. It is fairly easy to accidentally delete one of the crucial system icons. I keep copies in a desktop folder just in case.
  • You can recover Windows Update by creating a shortcut with:
    target: %SystemRoot%\system32\wuapp.exe
    start in: %SystemRoot%\system32
    comment: @%windir%\system32\wucltux.dll,-2
  • You can recover Program Updates by creating a shortcut with:
    target: C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService\isuspm.exe
    start in: C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService\
    or with target: C:\Windows\System32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate
    start in: C:\Windows\System32
  • You can recover your C++ Visual Studio Icon with:
    target: "\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\ IDE (Integrated Development Environment) \VCExpress.exe"
    start in: "F:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\ IDE \"
    comment: Launch Microsoft Visual Studio 2009
When you drag an icon on to the start menu, it always creates a shortcut to the original icon. The shortcut will stop working if you delete or move the original icon. Thus it often works best to use icons in a hidden folder as your originals, where than can remain undisturbed.

Sometimes Windows 7 will display old versions of icons. To clear its cache:

  1. Stop any browsers.
  2. At the command prompt type CD %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local
  3. type attrib -h IconCache.db
  4. type del IconCache.db
  5. Reboot
Oddly even this does not always work. I resort to renaming icons, or resizing icons, rebooting, then resizing them back.

Memory Test

To change run a memory diagnostic test.
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Administrative Tools
  4. Memory Test
You can also start it with C:\Windows\system32\mdsched.exe
The menu structure is kept in the hidden directory:
"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\". There are also entries in: "C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu\"
You can manipulate the menu by deleting *.lnk shortcut entries, or moving them around in the menu tree, by renaming them or by modifying their properties. However, these changes will not necessarily show up in the menu. You can also manipulate menu-items with shift-right-click.

Mouse Configuration

see configuring a mouse You can change the speed, make Ctrl display mouse cursor location, change look of cursors, add mouse trails…

pagefile.sys

To change the size or placement of the paging file:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click System
  5. Advanced System Settings
  6. Click Advanced
  7. Performance
  8. Settings
  9. Click Advanced
  10. Virtual Memory
  11. Change
Set the size of your backing store, usually to 1.5 to 3 times the size of real RAM, e.g. if you had 3 GB of real RAM set it to 6000 Mb.

Performance Monitoring

To see what percentage of your disk i/o, CPU (Central Processing Unit) capacity etc you are using:
  1. Click Start
  2. Type perfmon

Printer Sharing

To share your printer with others:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Hardware and Sound
  4. Printers
  5. Right click the printer of interest on Printer Properties not Properties
  6. Click Sharing tab.
  7. Check Share this printer
Share your printer with others on the LAN, or access somebody else’s printer on the LAN.
Anyone wanting to use the shared printer must have an account on the computer with the printer, or at least must know some user-id/password combination on the server to connect to the printer with.
Anyone wanting to use the printer must first click start ⇒ control panel ⇒ view network devices ⇒ right click open on the computer with the printer ⇒ right click on the printer ⇒ click connect For more detail, see the printer sharing entry.

Program Data

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\ (supposed to be for configuration data that would ideally follow you around from computer to computer). This is a hidden directory. Make AppData visible if you are doing any work with it.
or
C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\
(supposed to be for configuration data that is tied to this particular computer). Make AppData visible if you are doing any work with it.
Where programs tend to keep configuration information.

QuickLaunch

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\ Where the *.lnk files corresponding to the QuickLaunch icons are stored. The QuickLaunch icons live in the left side of the task bar at the bottom of the screen. You can launch programs with a single click.

ReadyBoost

To configure ReadyBoost:

To turn it off/on:

  1. Click Computer
  2. Select the read/write flash drive letter.
  3. Right click properties.
  4. Click ReadyBoost.
  5. Select use this drive on or off.
  6. Click Ok
  7. Reboot
To turn high performance write-caching off/on:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Device Manager
  5. Click disk drives
  6. Select the read/write flash drive letter:
  7. Optionally right click Update Drive Software
  8. Right click policies
  9. Click ReadyBoost
  10. Click quick removal for safety or click performance for higher speed,
  11. Click Ok
  12. Reboot
ReadyBoost is caching software to use your flash/flash drive to speed disk access.

It allows you to use up to 4 gigabytes of a flash drive for speeding up hard disk access. You use the rest of the drive (if any) for storing, transporting and backing up files.

If you select quick removal, data corruption is less likely. Nothing bad will happen if someone yanks the flash drive out of its slot with the power on.

If you select performance it turns on write caching (procrastinating writes to the disk by temporarily staging them on the flash drive). If someone yanks the flash drive out with the power on your files, including your hard disk files, will be badly corrupted. You can use CHKDSK /F to repair some of the damage, but the recovery will not be perfect. Cheapie flash drives do not support write caching. Write caching is disabled by default.

Restore Point

To turn off restore point checkpointing:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. System
  5. System Protection
  6. Select drive
  7. Configure
To create a checkpoint:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. System
  5. System Protection
  6. Create
Keep several restore points (aka checkpoints or snapshots) since the most recent one may already have been corrupted. Restore points are not a substitute for image and file-by-file backups. It is probably a good idea to turn this on for all hard disks that have crucial system files. Obviously, if you just turned on restore points for drive D:, you won’t protect changes to drive C:. The restore points will be stored in files with the unlikely name of System Volume Information.

Run

To run a program:
  1. Click Start
  2. All Programs
  3. Accessories
  4. Run
You can drag this entry to the desktop or to some prime real estate on the menu for more convenient access. If often use the command line, consider tcc/TakeCommand which offers many benefits.

Schedule a Task

To schedule a bat/btm file to run at a certain time periodically:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Click Task Scheduler
  6. Click Task Scheduler Library
  7. To edit an existing task, right click properties
You may specify multiple triggers, to schedule a task to run more than once a day.

Search Indexing

To tweak the search indexing:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program
  4. On the left click Turn Windows features on or off.
  5. Uncheck Indexing Service.
The background indexer is so annoying I turned it off by telling it not to index any drives. I am using Copernic instead. You can control which directories are indexed and which file extensions.

Sharing a disk over a LAN

To share your disk, or a folder with others:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Click Computer Management
  6. System Tools
  7. Shared Folders
  8. Shares
  9. Action
  10. New
  11. File Share
Share your folder or disk with others on the LAN.

Sharing A Printer

To share a printer:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Devices and Printers
  3. Right click the printer of interest on Printer Properties not Properties
  4. Click Sharing tab.
  5. Check Share this printer
The users of the printer must have an account on your computer to be able to use the printer.

Shared disk accessing over a LAN

To access a shared disk:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Under Network Sharing Centre, click View Network Computers
  5. Click the desired computer
  6. (wait, wait, wait)
  7. right click the desired disk
  8. Click share
Look at somebody else’s hard drive. Optionally, set up a drive letter so their drive forever after looks to be part of your machine. You won’t be able to access any network drives on a machine that is hibernating. Just looking at its drives will not bring it out of hibernation. You must walk over to the that machine and wake it up. This is also true for accessing a shared printer on a hibernating machine.

Security Essentials

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\msseces.exe to start up the Security Essentials GUI, you can also look in the start menu for it. If you can’t find it, it might well be you forgot to install it, or some other virus program deleted it. It is not installed automatically as part of Windows. download Security Essentials and reinstall it. You can set up a shortcut to it at "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\msseces.exe". See Defender: the older anti-virus program.

Show File Extensions

To display hidden files in directory listings:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Appearance and Personalization
  4. Click File Options
  5. Click view
  6. Check show hidden files, folders and drives
Can also navigate there directly with a shortcut C:\Windows\System32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FolderOptions

Show Hidden Files

To display hidden files in directory listings:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Appearance and Personalization
  4. Click File Options
  5. Click view
  6. uncheck hide extensions for known file types
Can also navigate there directly with a shortcut C:\Windows\System32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FolderOptions

Startup Programs

To control which programs automatically run (autorun) when you start up the computer:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Programs
  4. Change startup programs
Not only can you turn off programs that are automatically running, you can learn a bit about them both from where they are on disk and from a database that Microsoft maintains.

You can also get at them via:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click All Programs
  3. Click Startup

The short cut files themselves are stored in: C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\ and C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. You can manipulate them directly with copy/paste/delete.

Stopping a Program

Sometimes a program won’t stop, or won’t start because another copy of the program got stuck half way through stopping. To stop a program
  1. Click Ctrl-Alt-Del holding all three keys down.
  2. Click Start Task Manager
  3. Right click on the Program you want to stop
  4. Left Click end process
You will see all kinds of programs listed there you did not start yourself, such as svchost.exe You can get overview of what they are for in this essay.

Task Bar

To move the task bar from the side back to the bottom:
  1. Unlock the task bar by right clicking it and deselecting lock tool bar.
  2. Left click an unused part of the task bar and drag it to the bottom. It will suddenly jump to the bottom, not move smoothly as with other dragging, so it looks as if nothing is happening.
  3. Right click an empty region of the quick launch bar on the task bar just to the left of the dotted bar.
  4. Click view
  5. Select task bar icon size.

Transparency

To turn off transparent window borders
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Performance Information and Tools
  5. Adjust Visual Effects (on left)
  6. Uncheck enable transparent class.
By default transparent windows borders is on.

Themes

To select a new theme:
  1. Right click anywhere on open space on the desktop.
  2. Click Personalize
  3. Click the theme you want
  4. If you don’t want transparent borders, click window color and deselect transparency.
Alternatively, search the Internet for Windows 7 themes and follow the instructions. Beware of Trojan horses and id theft.

Unsharing a folder over a LAN

To stop sharing a folder with others:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Network and Internet
  4. Click Network Sharing Center : View Network Computers and Devices
  5. Click your computer
  6. Right click the folder you want to stop sharing
  7. Click share with
  8. Click Advanced Share
  9. Click Advanced Share again, but this time the one with a shield
  10. Untick Share this folder
This is insane. The tick should be hanging right off the folder itself,
Unshare your folder or disk with others on the LAN.

Uninstall

To uninstall a program:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Under Programs, click Uninstall a program
 

Version

To find out the version and build number.
  1. At the command prompt, type winver.
The Control Panel welcome will not give you the version, just the OS variant name.

Wallpaper

C:\Users\user\Pictures\.
If you use Opera, sometimes they are stored in:
C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Opera\OPERA\skin\.
Where Windows 7 stores desktop wallpapers, past and present. You can change the wallpaper by finding a suitably large image in your browser and right click Use image on desktop.

Tips

Reinstalling

When you reinstall Windows 7, unfortunately you must also reinstall all your applications, a very tedious process. You can reduce the pain somewhat by copying all the C:\Windows.old\users\user\appdata hidden directory to C:\Users\user\AppData\ and C:\Windows.old\users\user\my documents directory to "C:\Users\user\my documents\" before you do any installing. Prune out directories for programs you no longer use. This way much of the time you will not have to reconfigure your application settings, or restore data from backup.

Every time you re-install Windows, it has to re-download all the updates from scratch. It should be smart enough to let you burn a CD with the updates on it, so you only have to re-download updates since the last reinstall.

Printers Rant

Printers are very badly done in Windows 7. Here are a few of my complaints:

Flaws

Here are some of what I consider flaws in the design of Windows 7. Some of them have been in Windows for decades, so I am not holding by breath these will ever be fixed.

Books

book cover recommend book⇒Windows 7 Annoyancesto book home
by David A. Karp 978-0-596-15762-3 paperback
publisher O’Reilly recommended 978-1-4493-9065-5 eBook
published 2010-05-04 B0043M4Z84 kindle
Problems with Windows 7 and what you can do to ameliorate them. I bought this as an eBook. I have not finished it. What I have read so far is not particularly impressive. It could do with a massive pruning. The author rambles on and on about how he does not like Microsoft. I don’t either, but the ramblings do not help me deal with Windows 7. Further he reiterates Windows documentation without augmenting it or adding any value. He might just as well have said, to learn about configuring Explorer windows, click… and saved a chapter. A fair bit of it is devoted to conversion from Vista which is no longer germane. I trust the mother lode is yet to come. One really good tip can pay for the entire book. It told me how to find the hidden menu to turn off all the CPU-gobbling eye candy. I thought I had turned it all off long ago, but it turned out it had turned itself back on. One of the really infuriating things I got rid of was smooth-scrolling aka creeping-by-themselves list boxes. The book should be called Basic Windows Literacy. Very little of it is about annoyances. It even covers buying replacement hardware. I thought it was a little light on defragging, ignoring all the work done by third parties. I have not yet encountered setting up multi-boots, one of the most mysterious features of Windows, but I am only half way through.
Australian flag abe books anz abe books.ca Canadian flag
German flag abe books.de amazon.ca Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com abe books.com American flag
French flag abe books.fr amazon.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr Barnes & Noble American flag
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Italian flag amazon.it Kobo American flag
India flag junglee.com Google play American flag
UK flag abe books.co.uk O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Windows 7 Tweaks: A Comprehensive Guide on Customizing, Increasing Performance and Securing Microsoft Windows 7to book home
by Steve Sinchak 978-0-470-52591-3 paperback
publisher Wiley 978-0-470-63383-0 eBook
published 2009-12-02 B003B6QZ86 kindle
Various tips on configuring Windows 7, various utilities you can use to speed it up, registry tweaks, lore gleaned by combing the Internet. Avoid the companion software. It has a malware installer. Sinchak also wrote the O’Reilly Lex and YACC.
Australian flag abe books anz abe books.ca Canadian flag
German flag abe books.de amazon.ca Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com abe books.com American flag
French flag abe books.fr amazon.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe books.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Kobo American flag
India flag junglee.com Google play American flag
UK flag abe books.co.uk O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Windows 7: The Definitive Guide: The Essential Resource for Professionals and Power Usersto book home
by William R. Stanek 978-0-596-80097-0 paperback
birth 1966-01-03 age:50 978-1-4493-7945-2 eBook
publisher O’Reilly recommended B0043D2E4A kindle
published 2009-10-22
A basic user manual. Half the book is about MS applications. Poorly indexed. Also has isbn 978-0-596-80098-7.
Australian flag abe books anz abe books.ca Canadian flag
German flag abe books.de amazon.ca Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com abe books.com American flag
French flag abe books.fr amazon.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe books.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Kobo American flag
India flag junglee.com Google play American flag
UK flag abe books.co.uk O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.

Improving Windows

Microsoft dithers about with toys and changing the look of Windows. Here is what I think they should do to fix Windows:


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