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Windows 7 Tips

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a b $ Windows 7
June 19, 2010 5:11:09 AM

This thread is being created for members to donate their Windows 7 Tips for general use. If you have a tip, please share it. Please DO NOT post in this thread simply to say thanks.

Quick Launch
If you're a former Vista user, you probably noticed that Quick Launch is missing from the Taskbar.
If you're like me, you found Quick Launch to be useful tool so here's how to enable Quick Launch in your Windows 7.

The Quick Launch directory can be found at C:\Users\(user-name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch.
NOTE: Replace (user-name) with your specific user-name.
Right click on the Taskbar.
Move the mouse over the Toolbars option.
Left click on New toolbars...
In the Folder: text box, copy/paste C:\Users\(user-name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch.

Click on Select Folder.
You should now have Quick Launch >> on the right side of your Taskbar.

Reveal Hidden Hard Drives
Windows 7 hides empty drives (both fixed, and removable drives) by default, but many people don't realize this. If you could swear you had a freshly formatted drive just hooked up to the computer, but can't seem to find it, click on Organize, Folder and Search options, select the View tab, and uncheck the Hide empty drives in the Computer folder box.

If the drive is not yet formatted, make sure you run through the steps above (so you aren't further confused in a minute), and then type diskmgmt.msc into the Start Menu search bar. Here you should see all drives connected to your computer. Format as necessary and then they will appear in the Computer folder.

Troubleshooting Tools and Keyboard shortcuts - contributed by Scotteq
Within Control Panel is a single Troubleshooting link that leads you to all of your diagnostic tools on the system. There are additional tools, however, not installed by default. Selecting the "View all" link in the top left-hand corner will help you to see which troubleshooting packs are local and which ones are online. If you find a tool that you don't have, you can grab it from here.

77 WINDOWS 7 TIPS AND TRICKS

Keyboard shortcuts from the above (MSFT sourced) listing.

The 14 Best Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

64. Win+h - Move current window to full screen

65. Win+i - Restore current full screen window to normal size or minimize current window if not full screen

66. Win+Shift+arrow - Move current window to alternate screen

67. Win+D - Minimize all windows and show the desktop

68. Win+E - Launch Explorer with Computer as the focus

69. Win+F - Launch a search window

70. Win+G - Cycle through gadgets

71. Win+L - Lock the desktop

72. Win+M - Minimize the current window

73. Win+R - Open the Run window

74. Win+T - Cycle through task bar opening Aero Peek for each running item

75. Win+U - Open the Ease of Use center

76. Win+Space - Aero Peek the desktop

77. Ctrl+Win+Tab - Open persistent task selection window, roll mouse over each icon to preview item and minimize others

..and there's a lot more, since Microsoft maintains a LISTING OF ALL WINDOWS 7 KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Easier Driver Installs
This tool can help identify device drivers that have not been updated... http://www.pcpitstop.com/store/driveralert.asp

While the full service requires payment, the free version can be used to identify the outdated drivers. With the application of a little common sense, the information provided about the updated driver is sufficient to find it on the internet. This free scan is good for three individual computers only.

View hidden devices in the Device Manager
Right click Computer icon and select Manage > Device Manager > View > Show hidden devices

Customize your Windows 7 install media
For anyone interested in customizing their Windows 7 install media (integrating patches and drivers, including post-Windows setup applications to install, shutting off services by default, etc...) have a look at RT7Lite. It's the same idea as the popular nLite and vLite utilities made my Dino Nuhagic, but it's designed for Windows 7 (but Dino is not involved in the development of this program). It's in beta right now, but seems to work fairly well.

------------------------------------------------

Again, as stated at the top of this post, Please DO NOT post in this thread simply to say thanks.

More about : windows tips

a c 215 $ Windows 7
June 19, 2010 5:18:27 AM

Please note:

The request regarding not posting in this thread simply to say "thanks" was included by me. If anyone deliberately posts in this thread only to say thanks, be aware that a short ban may result.
Related resources
August 5, 2010 12:13:29 AM

I'll break the one-month silence with some more tips to add....

ALT + Tab: Switch between open windows.

Win + Arrow: "Snaps" your window/doc to one side. (What's Snap, you ask? - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/features/sna... )

Ctrl + Shift + Escape: Opens right to Task Master.

Win + P: Choose presentation display mode, switch monitor settings.

Win + "+/-": Zoom in/out.

Hope at least one of these proves to be a pleasant surprise.

- Jake

Windows Outreach Team
August 10, 2010 7:35:20 PM

If you upgrade your system (instead of a fresh install) make sure you install updated drivers which will be more compatible with the new operating system. Windows will not tell you to do this, but theres a reason that chip-set manufacturers create drivers specific to that operating system ;) 
a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2010 11:22:21 PM

God Mode in Windows 7
So, what exactly is God Mode in Windows 7?

Well, for starters, it's not really a mode. And it's nothing you need to be a deity to pull off, either.

Rather, it's a folder packed with shortcuts to just about every settings change and administrative function in Windows 7. Everything you'll find in the Action Center, Backup and Restore, Autorun, Desktop Gadgets, Devices and Printers -- it's all there. All dumped in one central location for easy access.

No, this trick doesn't involve entering IDDQD in the run box - but it's just about that simple. Here's the magic, as provided by the guys at Windows 7 Themes:
• Create a new folder anywhere (I set mine up in d:\)
• Rename the folder and paste in the following text: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
That's it! You've now got your new, somewhat handy folder. Why somewhat handy? Well, because you can already access everything in there by typing a few letters into the search box on your start menu.
or left click on the folder in the left window
a b $ Windows 7
August 15, 2010 8:18:29 AM

For memory intensive Apps, sometimes this helps, for me it was CAD and Gaming,
try this, Start, Accessories, Run(right click, run as admin), fsutil behavior query memoryusage, should return a =0, type fsutil behavior set memoryusage 2, reboot the computer, ALSO, there have been reports/complaints that it made their system crash, it's never happened to me, but who knows what goes on in that computers mind
August 16, 2010 4:55:44 PM

When installing programs, i have found that many programs that came out pre-vista, sometimes don't like to play nice unless I set the properties to run it in XP mode. Additionally, if the program came out pre-vista, i have found that its usually better to install it to the "program files" folder NOT "program files (x86)" folder.

Some programs do this by default, others don't. (I discovered this the hard way when downloading and installing World of Warcraft) And after wasting more than an hour of my day, figured others might want to be forewarned.
August 16, 2010 11:53:17 PM

number13 said:
For memory intensive Apps, sometimes this helps, for me it was CAD and Gaming,
try this, Start, Accessories, Run(right click, run as admin), fsutil behavior query memoryusage, should return a =0, type fsutil behavior set memoryusage 2, reboot the computer, ALSO, there have been reports/complaints that it made their system crash, it's never happened to me, but who knows what goes on in that computers mind



What exactly is going on when you make these changes?
a b $ Windows 7
August 17, 2010 4:12:06 AM

steadfast1984 said:
What exactly is going on when you make these changes?

the fsutil is the File Sys Utility and you are forcing a larger swap file page, which works with memory intensive Apps and Games, for me it Divinity 2, CAD, PhotoShop, etc.
a b $ Windows 7
August 17, 2010 4:32:27 AM

I posted this in configuration, but I figured it would last longer here
Updates Failing
Lately my updates are failing, all of them, done a ton of stuff but nothing really helps, but today I came across this:
Open REGEDIT.EXE, navigate to,
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software/Microsoft\Windows\ CurentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
The correct value is %APPDATA%
Right click on AppData, choose modify, Change this to %USERPROFILE%\APPDATA\ROAMING.

at this point all is well for me, updates are working again, but there was more

If the problem persists continue with
Open REGEDIT.EXE, navigate to,
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurentVersion\Explorer\user Shell Folders
The correct value is %APPDATA%
Right click on AppData, choose modify, Change this to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming

And Change
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
The correct value is %APPDATA%
Right click on AppData, choose modify, Change this to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming

then I came across this, an automatic fix from MSFT,
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2258121
I included the manual fix and the auto because I don't know if the auto works, but I know the manual does
August 30, 2010 6:19:48 PM

One of the best new items in Windows 7 is where you Pin programs to the task bar. (This is also the reason they turned off by default the Quick Launch bar which I loved in XP.) If you regularly have a few programs you always open when you start your computer, pin those to the Task Bar and make sure those programs icon are to the left, starting at the Start Button. Hold the Win key down and then hit 1, 2, 3, etc. Whichever programs are pinned in those positions will now open.

For me this is Outlook, Firefox, Messenger, Quicken and my Game in 1-5.

(I'm a big fan of NOT having any programs actually "auto-load" except Virii and Anti-malware security software and drivers - you'd be surprised how fast your computer start without a bunch of programs auto-loading on start-up.)
September 11, 2010 5:50:02 AM

lazyperson17 said:
When installing programs, i have found that many programs that came out pre-vista, sometimes don't like to play nice unless I set the properties to run it in XP mode. Additionally, if the program came out pre-vista, i have found that its usually better to install it to the "program files" folder NOT "program files (x86)" folder.

Some programs do this by default, others don't. (I discovered this the hard way when downloading and installing World of Warcraft) And after wasting more than an hour of my day, figured others might want to be forewarned.

I just bought an HP with 7 last night. Wife has Vista on her lappy and I just hate it. Never could get the network to work correctly.

I digress. There is a Run as XP feature????

I was just kind of soiling myself over the prospect of losing some really good software to 7

Anyway. You can turn off your monitor by placing an icon on your desktop

Download NirCmd,

Make a desktop shortcut to program and add “C:\path\to\nircmd.exe” cmdwait 1000 monitor off

a b $ Windows 7
September 12, 2010 11:20:43 PM

Win7 seems to have more than the usual amount of problems with BSOD's, lots of threads and lots of varied results, ATI drivers are a headache, but I am using a Nvidia card, I have 4 computers running Win7 Ultimate(64 and 32bit), 1 laptop and 3 desktops, none are reliable yet, have search the MSFT socials, and every place that my search engine(not Google) will find, lately tried switching to 64bit to see if there is any improvement, 15 days later and they started(BSOD's) again, I had always thought that Win 7 had a memory leak, mostly because the causes were so different, no rhyme or reason for them, everyone had different issues, so the last time I had to reinstall I did a dual boot with XP so I could run my old games, that destroyed being able to Restore to a earlier time, 10 days later the problems started again, this time I disconnected the HDD that has all my apps on it(WD 500G), figured I'd spend some time checking everything again, when I rebooted it ran fine, reconnected the HDD and rebooted and more problems, disconnect the HDD all is well, HMM though the HDD is dying right, NOT, it's a WD so I ran WD Diagnostic tools, no problem, ran every HDD Daignostic tool I could find, no problems, I am assuming the tools are right and the drive is good, so why is the the second drive causing me problems, looked in the System Settings, went to Virtual Memory, and checked the settings
Control Panel
Open System
In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.
Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.
Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change. "C" for me
Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.
the Page file size was 2046, ( Windows sets up a paging file that is equal in size to the amount of RAM the computer has installed plus 300 megabytes, but Microsoft recommends that you set virtual to be no less than 1.5 times and no more than 3 times the amount of RAM on your computer) but the recommended was 3069, that was strange, the system had allocated less page file space than it recommended, ( even by MSFT suggestios of the Min be 1.5 times the RAM) so I clicked on Custom size changed the Minimum size to 3072 and the Max size to 6144, clicked the Set button to the right and OK at the bottom, reconnected the second HDD and rebooted, started and ran fine and has been fine since then, 5 days now with out a BSOD, considering that it was BSOD at boot before I hope that my issues are done, so if you have tried everything alse and can't seem to get a handle on why you are having BSOD's, try this, and good luck, will advise later. A small ammend here, I tried to upgrade to IE9, caused such problems, had to strip the drive and reinstall everything, but it wasn't Windows 7 fault, it was the IE9 upgrade failure look in Tips and Tricks for how not to screw up
a b $ Windows 7
September 23, 2010 6:19:31 AM

Installing IE9

the first thing you need to do is go to Start>Control Panel>System>on the left side click on System Protection, near the bottom of the next box select Create, and create a restore point( can you believe that the installer doesn't by itself ! )then go to >Programs and Features> Look on the left side and select View Installed Updates look closly for KB 2259539( some people refer to it as the SP1 upgrade, IE will not install if it's there and you could end up with a few problems like me ), if you got it Uninstall it then run the IE9 installer, looks like a model T, talk about plain Jane, down right ugly, right click on the header bar to activate the menu's, in my case IE9 didn't work, wouldn't open any internet pages, not even MSFT's, uninstalled it, good luck

Lock on the menu bar by going to the Group Policy editor (Type gpedit.msc in the start search box)
not available in home or home premium versions
Select User configuration/Administrative templates/Windows Components/Internet explorer.

Double click on Turn on menu bar by default in the right hand window.
Check the box marked enable.
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 4:14:21 PM

After checking, it seems that this update KB2259539 is actuall installed as part of the IE9 installation, maybe that's why it cannot be installed before the upgrade, teils you something about double installs

I have already found a few bugs in IE9, will continue to use it and see if they get any worse.

I used acronis true Image Home to create a restore point before the installation of IE(, feel a lot safer now
October 14, 2010 3:40:58 PM

Kosmo99 said " Never could get the network to work correctly."

FWIW

On Vista try
Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Manage Network Connections > "adapter" > Properties >

And then uncheck "IPV6" and "QoS"

I had a working network on Vista but it seemed like it was failing/losing it's connection... Pings showed the connection was still alive. After much searching I concluding that it was the new network stack in Vista, and so I essentially turned off the "new" portion by unchecking IPV6 and QoS.

a b $ Windows 7
October 21, 2010 12:15:09 AM

Enabling AHCI in Windows 7 WITHOUT re-installing/repair installing

Chances are, most of you out there are not running AHCI as most boards have IDE mode by default. There are a few advantages with AHCI over native IDE mode, mainly for SSDs. This includes ability to use NCQ and Hot Plugging (HDDs). For SSDs, this will give you a bit more speed.

I have only tested this under Intel chipsets. I have NOT tested this with AMD/nVidia chipsets (and AFAIK, neither supports AHCI).

1. Open up regedit. (Windows Key + R > "regedit").

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > Msahci.

2. In the right pane, right-click "Start" (look under the Name column) and then click Modify.

3. In the Value data box, type "0" (this is a zero, not a "O"), and then click OK.

4. Restart PC, go into BIOS and set it to "AHCI".

5. Windows should start and install the Microsoft AHCI drivers.

6. Reboot and then go online and download the latest chipset drivers for your chipset from the Intel website.

7. Install the drivers. Reboot once done.

8. Congrats! Now you have AHCI using the Intel drivers!
November 11, 2010 4:49:08 AM

For advanced users, I highly recommend checking out Blackviper's blog site on Win7 services and configuring your machine to run optimally. There is a plethora of information on there for which services you may not need, or which you may have disabled on accident that you shouldn't have. :p 

http://www.blackviper.com/

Through my own research, I highly recommend disabling Superfetch and Readyboost. I have a 10k WD Velociraptor drive that I'd like to keep around for a while, and making it load everything I access normally (prior to me actually loading it) is a waste of it's lifetime expectancy. No point in making a high performance HDD whir for several minutes after Windows loads and cache everything I may or may not be using when it loads it .001% slower when I actually load it myself. I repeat, advanced users only please!
November 29, 2010 12:42:55 PM

number13 said:
type fsutil behavior set memoryusage 2, reboot the computer


steadfast1984 said:
What exactly is going on when you make these changes?


number13 said:
the fsutil is the File Sys Utility and you are forcing a larger swap file page,


That is not correct unfortunaly. This setting modifies the so called Paged and Non-Paged Pools of memory available to the NTFS driver. This is a quite advanced setting and I would highly recommend against changing it without a very good understanding of this NTFS behavior.
December 22, 2010 3:58:37 AM

Windows 3.1 to Windows Vista, the Windows operating system has taken many giant leaps. And while Vista received a lukewarm reception from some users, Windows 7 is likely to be remembered for addressing those criticisms.

In fact, there aren't many changes to the overall look of Windows 7 when compared to Windows Vista. Instead, Microsoft seems to have paid attention to the feedback it received and created an OS that is not only stable, but also very capable.


a b $ Windows 7
December 23, 2010 6:28:03 AM

tech_ww said:
Microsoft seems to have paid attention to the feedback it received and created an OS that is not only stable, but also very capable.



Most of which feedback was given by Beta testers during the early days of testing Vista but M$ failed to take notice and kept up the mantra "it will be alright on the night" but of course, it never was.

However, since this is a tips thread, I'll just add that many people are having networking problems with Windows 7.

Some of these problems may not be completely cured in SP1, so I suggest when you make settings changes to make things work properly and yet those things still don't work, wait twenty minutes before deciding to make more changes. You may have done it right but the system hasn't caught up with you yet.

The Computer Browser Service doesn't wake up and go on its rounds as frequently as it did in XP so allowing some extra time might just pay off

December 24, 2010 12:46:09 AM

I'll just add something for the people who keep asking about XP mode:

Depending on how you see it, there are 2 ways that this has been implemented in Windows 7.

-The first is the "usual" run in compatibility mode that (as far as I know) is available on all 7 versions. This is much like the run in compatibility mode for windows 95, 98 etc that you can already get in XP. This is all well and good for running things in the same way that you would run some of the older games and stuff in XP using 95 compatibility mode or similar (for example in XP I used 95 compatibility for Settlers 4. Apparently Starcraft 1 will only work if you use the XP compatibility mode, among other things which you can google for)

-The second is only available on the Pro version and up (so Ultimate and Enterprise as well and then I think that's it) and creates a virtual machine (VM) with Windows XP SP3 running on it. However, this mode is not suitable for games, as some of the things needed to play pretty much all the games does NOT function the same as a real computer running XP. This feature is there solely for age old applications that businesses and so forth "need" to continue using. (or at least that is the reason that Microsoft put it in there)

I'll repeat this again for those who for didn't see it above for one reason or another:
Please do not post in this thread just to say thanks.
It's great to know that these tips have helped you, but having posts that say thanks without adding a tip make it harder for other people to find tips as they're caught up reading thank yous. If you really want to thank somebody anyway, feel free to PM them, I for one don't mind that :) 
a b $ Windows 7
February 14, 2011 3:48:23 PM


Windows [n.] - A thirty-two bit extension and GUI shell to a sixteen bit patch to an eight bit operating system originally coded for a four bit microprocessor and sold by a two-bit company that can't stand one bit of competition. :D  :D 

March 3, 2011 9:20:34 PM

The_Prophecy said:
Yes, It's called Windows XP Mode. You must be using Windows 7 Professional or higher to use XP mode though.

Download it from here if you are licensed to use it:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.as...


I own windows 7 premium does that mean I am licensed to use this?

Also by any chance do you know if world of warcraft cataclysm might run better in windows xp mode?

March 11, 2011 3:12:47 PM

He's been reported :/ 

Is there a way to make it so that newcomers can't post in a thread? If there isn't then they should make it that way :)  would help avoid having this on all these kinds of threads.
a b $ Windows 7
March 11, 2011 3:15:26 PM

Don't quote or reply to spam, just report it.
a b $ Windows 7
March 11, 2011 5:09:23 PM

saint19 said:
Don't quote or reply to spam, just report it.




I only answered the poster's question and at the same time observed it could be construed as SPAM.
April 26, 2011 4:26:00 AM

I currently am running on Windows XP, I never really felt the need to upgrade to vista, but I'm starting to notice XP is starting to become out of date. Is it worth upgrading to Windows 7? I hear a lot of good and bad things. Thank you!
a b $ Windows 7
April 26, 2011 6:42:47 AM

Chicken-Select said:
I currently am running on Windows XP, I never really felt the need to upgrade to vista, but I'm starting to notice XP is starting to become out of date. Is it worth upgrading to Windows 7? I hear a lot of good and bad things. Thank you!




A properly maintained and up-to-date installation of XP is secure until 2014 so it could be worth waiting for the next big thing Redmond has to offer.

May 6, 2011 6:53:03 AM

I was using window XP earlier. But currently I have installed window 7. I am not much familiar with using window 7. these Keyboard Shortcuts would help me a lot to speed up my work.
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2011 6:14:19 AM

Please provide me tips to install win


Hello and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums.


All you need to do is buy a copy of Windows 7 and put the DVD into your drive then follow the instructions. It starts by asking you for your country and language then gets on with the job.


June 8, 2011 9:53:18 AM

I didn't read all the replys, so i don't know if someone allready write this one,
If you got files more than 15MB in the desktop, or User folder, it's takes more time to startup windows, because windows automatically load this files into the memory for fast access, it's better to move them somewhere alse and put a shortcut to the desktop...
a b $ Windows 7
July 2, 2011 9:53:04 AM

Quote:
wHAR KIND OF E-mail program do you use for windowsz 7




Windows Live Mail is the grown up version of Outlook Express and is embedded in Windows 7 but for me, Mozilla Thunderbird still beats all - free of charge from http://www.mozilla.org and easy to configure with no problems when the file storage grows a bit.


July 9, 2011 11:12:08 AM

You can add a number of programs to the Windows 7 system. Some of these programs will add an icon or shortcut to the desktop.
August 9, 2011 11:12:49 AM

Currently i used windows 7 as operating system, its nice operating system. Thanks to all for sharing tips about windows 7. :) 
August 10, 2011 7:17:35 AM

Microsoft Windows 7 is the latest in the series of Windows operating system series by Microsoft Corporation. It has many new features than its predecessor operating system Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP.

a c 395 $ Windows 7
August 10, 2011 9:41:29 AM

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