February 16, 2009

Install Windows from a flashdrive

Get you a spare 4GB USB 2.0 thumbdrive (at least 1GB for XP), reformat it as FAT32, and simply copy the contents of the Windows 7 ISO image to the memory stick using xcopy e:\ f:\ /e /f (where e: was the DVD drive and f: was the removable drive location)

If you don't have a ISO image of the disk, you will need to make one...if will make alot easier.

Have fun :)

February 15, 2009

Auto Login

Follow these simple step by step instructions to enable Windows 7 to automatically log you in

Press Win + R to access Run -> type in “control userpasswords2” -> Enter.

In the User Accounts windows that has just appeared before you, uncheck “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” -> OK.

You will have to confirm your password for the OS to process the modifications.

Enable Hidden Admin Account

When installing Windows 7, the software will automatically set up an administrator account, which will later on be disabled (default behavior that also occurs when installing Windows Vista). Whenever you want to perform tasks under the administrator account with no UAC (user account control), you need to enable the admin account.

A word of warning first: it is advisable not use the admin account on a day to day basis, only enable it when you have to address some problem or issue that can only be fixed otherwise (guest accounts offer limited accessibility, but from a security point of view are safer).

To enable the admin account, follow this simple step by step:
Right click on Command Prompt -> Run as administrator -> type in the command
“net user administrator /active:yes”.
You might want to password protect you newly enabled admin account, so type in “Net user administrator password”. Replace “password” with the password of your choice. Log off after the command has been executed. When you login you will notice that the admin account has been enabled. To disable it once again, use the “net user administrator /active:no” command.

Alternative way of enabling the admin account:- Start -> Search -> type in “secpol.msc” -> Local Policies -> Security Options -> Accounts: Administrator Account -> double click to enable/disable -> Log off and log back in to see the modifications.

February 8, 2009

Create a System Repair/Recovery Disc

New in Windows 7 is the ability to create a system repair CD that will help you recover your computer from serious errors preventing windows from starting up. The recovery disc is based on Windows PE and includes the standard recovery options that are found on any Windows 7 installation disc.

If you have a Windows 7 installation disc, that doubles as a repair disc so you don’t need another. This article is only useful for users that have Windows 7 pre-installed and did not receive the installation media with their computer.
Creating the disc is very simple. Just click on the start button and type in resdisc and press Enter.

Calibrate your display

Windows 7 includes a new tool to help you calibrate the correct gamma, contrast, brightness and color settings for your specific display.

Just click on the Start Button and type in dccw and hit Enter.

Then follow the on screen directions and adjust the sliders so that the test picture look like the “Good” sample picture.

February 6, 2009

Video Hands-On with Microsoft Windows 7

What's new in Windows 7? In this 10-part series of hands-on video lessons, we take you through notable features for IT admins, new networking series, application enhancements, and more.

This is a good site to get a idea of what to look foward too.


Windows 7 will come in many flavors

Despite criticism that Windows Vista came in too many versions, Microsoft is moving ahead with plans to offer just as many editions of Windows 7.

Although the software maker will offer at least six distinct versions of the new operating system, Microsoft said to expect almost all PCs sold in the U.S. to come with either the Home Premium or Professional editions of the operating system.

"We're going to focus on two versions," Microsoft Senior Vice President Bill Veghte said in an interview, noting that those two versions will likely account for 80 percent of Windows 7 sales.
Still, versions of Windows 7 will include: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. Unlike with Vista, however, the Home Basic version will be sold only in emerging markets.

So, if Microsoft is going to focus on two, why bother with all of the other versions? Veghte says it comes down to the fact that there are just so many places in which Windows is sold.
For emerging markets, for example, Microsoft needs to have lower-priced versions. As a result, Microsoft plans the severely limited Windows 7 Starter as well as the bare bones, but relatively full-featured home basic version. Volume license customers will be able to get an enterprise version that includes BitLocker encryption and a couple of other enterprise-only features. For consumers who really want access to those features, there will again be an Ultimate version of the operating system.

That's not to say Microsoft is doing everything the same with Windows 7. Veghte said that Microsoft learned some important lessons from Vista.

One specific criticism with the Vista packages was the fact that there were features in Home Premium that weren't in the pricier Vista Business edition. With Windows 7, each higher-priced version will be a superset of the other versions. For example, the Professional version of Windows 7 includes Windows Media Center.

Also, Microsoft will make it easier to move from one version to another. With Vista, Microsoft introduced the notion of being able to easily upgrade from one version to another, though a special upgrade disk was needed. Windows 7, despite its many versions, will actually come as a single piece of code, or image. That means all the features will come loaded onto a Windows 7 PC, ready to be unlocked with an upgrade product key.

As for the specific versions, Windows 7 Starter has some of the key features of WIndows 7, such as the new taskbar, but not the live thumbnail previews. It is also limited to three applications running at a time and will have limitations on the kinds of screen resolutions and processors it will support.

Home Basic, which will be sold only in emerging markets, removes the screen size, processor, and open application limits and adds support for Internet connection sharing and the new sensor and location-based features. However, Home Basic lacks such things as multitouch support or the Aero interface. DVD playback and Windows Media Center are also found in the Home Premium and Professional editions, but not in Basic or Starter.

The ability to use presentation mode or join a domain are two examples of features that are found in Windows 7 Professional, but not in any of the home versions. Finally, you'll need either Ultimate or Enterprise for a few features, such as DirectAccess, BitLocker, or booting from a virtual hard drive.

Regardless of the rationale, having so many versions of Windows 7--not to mention any additional versions mandated by antitrust regulators around the world--will certainly open Microsoft up to additional criticism and probably some mocking from the folks in Cupertino.
To some degree, the customization is necessary. After all, while Apple may boast of only having one version--it essentially targets only the high end of the consumer market--the segment served by Home Premium.

However, the need for an Ultimate version, particularly now that the Professional version will have Media Center and other consumer features, seems somewhat dubious.

Story courtesy of Ina Fried

February 5, 2009

Quick Launch in W7?

You might have noticed that the old faithful Quick Launch toolbar is not only disabled by default in Windows 7, it’s actually missing from the list of toolbars. As is probably obvious, the concept of having a set of pinned shortcut icons is now integrated directly into the new taskbar. Based on early user interface testing, we think that the vast majority of users out there will be quite happy with the new model, but if you’re after the retro behavior, you’ll be pleased to know that the old shortcuts are all still there.

To re-enable it, do the following:

Right-click the taskbar, choose Toolbars / New Toolbar

In the folder selection dialog, enter the following string and hit OK:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Turn off the “lock the taskbar” setting, and right-click on the divider. Make sure that “Show text” and “Show title” are disabled and the view is set to “small icons”.

Use the dividers to rearrange the toolbar ordering to choice, and then lock the taskbar again.

If it’s not obvious by the semi-tortuous steps above, it’s worth noting that this isn’t something we’re exactly desperate for folks to re-enable, but it’s there if you really need it for some reason.
Incidentally, we’d love you to really try the new model first and give us feedback on why you felt the new taskbar didn’t suit your needs.

Courtesy of Tim Sneath

UAC and Gadgets

When I first tested the newly-integrated Windows 7 gadgets, I discovered that the gadgets disappeared every time I turned UAC off. Well, now you can keep UAC turned off and have your gadgets.
I must warn you, this fix is not for those who don't like to go into their registry.
You should probably set a System Restore point or backup your registry before you attempt it:
1. Open the Registry Editor, or regedit.exe. You can search for regedit in the Start Menu.2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings3. Right-click and create a new DWORD (32-Bit) Value called AllowElevatedProcess.4. Right-click AllowElevatedProcess and click Modify. Set the value to 1. Close the registry editor.

Your gadgets should work with UAC off now. You might have to reboot.

Using the Problem Steps Recorder Tool in Windows 7

Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) in Windows 7 is a great little tool to record the steps to reproduce a problem in the computer. The captured data is stored in a MHTML document which is enclosed in a zip file. You can send the zip file to someone else who can help you fix the problem.

Recording Problem Steps
Click Start, type PSR.EXE and press ENTER.
This starts the Problem Steps Recorder.
Click the Start Record button and continue the steps to reproduce the problem/error.
You can also add comments then and there, by clicking the Add Comment button.
Once done, click the Stop Record button.
Mention the output file name and save the file.

Live Mesh

With Live Mesh, you can synchronize files with all of your devices, so you always have the latest versions handy. Access your files from any device or from the web, easily share them with others, and get notified whenever someone changes a file.

Working on one computer, but need a program from another? No problem. Use Live Mesh to connect to your other computer and access its desktop as if you were sitting right in front of it.

Live Mesh Remote Desktop
Transport yourself to another computer in your mesh. Live Mesh Remote Desktop opens a window into your remote computer and gives you access to even those folders you haven’t synchronized. You can also use any programs on your remote computer, even if you don’t have them installed on your local computer.
Copy and paste files between your remote computer and your local computer, and even connect from almost any web browser.

Take your mesh with you wherever you go. From any mobile phone with web access, go to mesh.com to work with your synchronized folders, upload photos to share with others, read news about your mesh, and more.

Looking for a snapshot of your mesh? The notifier lets you see news about what’s happening in your mesh and quickly check the status of all your synchronized folders and devices. It stays out of your way while you work, but is always available by clicking the Live Mesh icon in the notification area of your Windows taskbar, the menu bar of your Mac, or the taskbar of your Live Desktop.

Available from the notifier, the mesh bar, and your Live Desktop, Live Mesh News gives you a continuous feed detailing activities in your mesh. It lets you know when a file in a shared folder has been changed, when someone joins or leaves a folder you’re sharing, when messages are posted to folders, and more.

Mesh bar
Appears whenever you open a folder in your mesh, helping you manage your files and the members you invite to share them. Use the mesh bar to:
Invite or manage members
See who has access to the folder
See news related to the folder
Post messages to the folder
Chat with members using Windows Live Messenger*
Change synchronization settings for the folder
Live Desktop
Your Windows PC on the web—complete with 5 GB of free storage space—where you can see all your synchronized folders in one place. It lives on the web, which means that even if you‘re not at one of your computers, you can still access and work with your folders from any computer that‘s connected to the Internet.

Devices page
Manage your mesh here. Click Add Device to download and install the Live Mesh software on your computer, so you can automatically sync your folders with other computers in your mesh and with your Live Desktop. You can also connect to a remote computer or your Live Desktop from here. To access the page, click Devices in your Live Desktop header bar.

Here is the link https://www.mesh.com/Welcome/default.aspx

I have used this for about a week now, i am loving it.

Hope you enjoy :D