Open Windows Explorer to My Computer (instead of Libraries)

I heard my friends say Windows 7 Explorer opens to Libraries page automatically. They have been used to see “My Computer” page in Explorer like below.

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No Fear. To open Explorer to “My Computer” by default, follow the steps below.

  • If you pinned Explorer to the task bar (by default Windows 7 does it), right click on Explorer, and right click on “Windows Explorer”. Select properties.

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  • On the properties page, copy & page this on Target text box: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

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  • Click Ok.

Try clicking on the Windows Explorer icon on the task bar.  Did you find your old love of “My Computer” page?

Configure applications as “Run as an Administrator” every time

User Account Control kicks in when you try to run some applications (e.g., Administrative tools), you have to click UAC window. Or some times you simple want to run an application with high privileges and you hate every time you had to right click and select “Run as an Administrator” option. Here is the easy way.

1. On the Start menu, locate the program that you want to always run as an administrator.
2. Right-click the application’s shortcut, and then click Properties.
3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Compatibility tab.
4. Do one of the following:

  • To apply the setting to the currently logged-on user, select the Run This Program As An Administrator check box, and then click OK.
  • To apply the setting to all users on the computer and regardless of which shortcut is used to start the application, click Change Setting For All Users to display the Properties dialog box for the application’s .exe file, select the Run This Program As An Administrator check box, and then click OK twice.

Windows 7: Defrag hard disk from command line or schedule a task manually

Windows 7 defrag GUI tool is simple and easy.  Click Start Orb, type Defrag and Press Enter. You can configure schedule to defrag automatically on your specified time. I usually choose the day time, because my laptop is off during night.

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Here are command line options for more control (check out /X option).

Defrag <volume> | /C | /E <volumes> [/A | /X | /T] [/H] [/M] [/U] [/V]
The options for Defrag.exe are:

  • <volume> The drive letter or mount point of the volume to defragment.
  • /C Defragment all local volumes on the computer.
  • /E Defragment all local volumes on the computer except those specified.
  • /A Display a fragmentation analysis report for the specified volume without defrag¬menting it.
  • /X Perform free-space consolidation. Free-space consolidation is useful if you need to shrink a volume, and it can reduce fragmentation of future files.
  • /T Track an operation already in progress on the specified volume.
  • /H Run the operation at normal priority instead of the default low priority. Specify this option if a computer is not otherwise in use.
  • /M Defragment multiple volumes simultaneously, in parallel. This is primarily useful for computers that can access multiple disks simultaneously, such as those using SCSI- or SATA-based disks rather than disks with an IDE interface.
  • /U Print the progress of the operation on the screen.
  • /V Verbose mode. Provides additional detail and statistics.

I like this geek cartoon, by the way. Found at http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2010/11/geek-gen-x.html

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IE InPrivate Filtering – Enable it by default

If you don’t know what’s InPrivate browsing, here is brief introduction (or read it here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-vista/What-is-InPrivate-Browsing)

InPrivate Browsing enables you to surf the web without leaving a trail in Internet Explorer. This helps prevent anyone else who might be using your computer from seeing where you visited and what you looked at on the web. You can start InPrivate Browsing from the new tab page or the Safety button.

Now you know or already know what it is, you may want to enable it every time you open Internet Explorer. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Open Registry Editor (Regedit.exe)
  2. Navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Safety\PrivacIE
  3. Create new DWORD key named StartMode and set the value 1.
  4. Close Registry Editor
  5. That’s it.

Enjoy your InPrivate browsing.

Multiple Monitors–different wallpapers (Free Open Source Tool)

Wish you had different wallpapers for each monitor on your computer? Is one of your big monitor doesn’t display the wallpaper correctly due to different sized monitors? No worries..there is free software, named WallMaster, does the job.

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WallMaster provides the following features:

  • Completely independent selection of wallpapers for each screen
  • Random selection of wallpapers based on a user defined directory
  • User defined interval for changing wallpapers
  • Selection of a different background color for different monitors
  • Multiple options for placing a wallpaper on a screen
    • Center
      • Centers image, cropping it to the limitations of the screen
    • Stretch
      • Stretch the image to take up the entire screen, distorting aspect ratio
    • StretchRatio
      • Stretch the image to take up the entire screen, maintaining aspect ratio
      • This may result in either horizontal or vertical bars around the image
    • Magic
      • Center an image when it is smaller than the screen, otherwise use StretchRatio
  • Dynamically discovers screen the number of screens
  • Resize images automatically when the screen resolution changes
  • Hides in notification tray on minimize

Head over to http://wallmaster.codeplex.com/ to download the software.

Windows 7: Auto Login to Domain Account and lock the desktop right away

I saw this blog post in Life Hacker (Make Windows load your desktop before you log in) and see the interesting idea which I used to do few years ago. That Life hacker post is for home users. It doesn’t apply to the domain computers, obviously. So I decided to explain how to auto logon with Domain account and lock your desktop on start up. Here it is.

  1. Open Registry Editor (Start Orb –> type Regedit.exe)
  2. Browse to this location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Edit DefaultUserName key and type your domain user name
  4. If doesn’t exist, Create DefaultDomainName (string or REG_SZ) key and edit it with your domain name
  5. If doesn’t exist, create DefaultPassword (string or REG_SZ) key and edit it with your password
  6. If doesn’t exist, create AutoAdminLogon (string or REG_SZ) key and edit with “1”.
  7. Close Registry Editor
  8. Open Notepad
  9. Type this: WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation")
  10. Save it as “LockDesktop.vbs” (NOTE: you have to type script name in double quotes, or it will save it with “.txt” in the end) to a known location (would say Documents\scripts in your profile)
  11. Click Start –> All Programs. Right click on Startup and select Open.
  12. On Startup Folder, right click on empty space and select New –> Shortcut.
  13. Select your script (LockDesktop.vbs) on your saved location and create a shortcut.
  14. That’s it. Reboot your computer and watch your computer auto login with your account and locks the desktop right away.

Make sure have a plan to change the password when your password expires in the registry (DefaultPassword key). I would create a local user account and have it handy just in case. Enjoy!