How To Tips & Tricks Windows 7

Manage login items in Windows 7

It’s always a good idea to keep track of login items – i.e. what applications are being automatically opened when you log in. In Windows 7 (and, if memory serves, on previous versions of Microsoft Windows), this is done through the MS Config tool. Here’s how:

Internet Explorer Windows 7

Internet Explorer: Search in the address bar does not work

A while back, a user called in, complaining that he was unable to use the address bar to search, in Internet Explorer 10. He further reported that he had just upgraded from Internet Explorer 9. I originally thought it was due to problems with a plugin, so that was where I started out. After looking at all of them; enabling and enabling, restarting IE and so on, I had gotten nowhere. At all.

How To Windows 7

Deleting protected EFI disk partitions

A while back, one of my laptops kicked the bucket. The cost to repair it was too high, and I opted to get the laptop back to scavenge the parts. In particular, I wanted to get my hands on the hard drive, a solid state wonder with a capacity of 240 GB. I invested in a cabinet for it, and plugged it in. That should have been where the story ended, right?

How To Microsoft Windows Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP

Fixing “The security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship”

When working in a corporate environment with Active Directory, you may, from time to time, encounter computers that users cannot log on to, as they receive an error message saying:

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2010 roundup

Almost past us, I think it is time to take a look back and take stock of 2010, and see what the year brought.

BitLocker Security Tech support Tools Windows 7

BitLocker asks for BitLocker Recovery Key at restart

Having gone from Windows XP to Windows 7, we are seeing a rash of new problems. One of these is that a lot of our users are unable to boot into Windows, as they are prompted for a BitLocker Recovery Key. The temporary fix for this is simple enough; look up and tell the user the BitLocker Recovery Key, and have them enter it. Well, I say simple, but the BitLocker Recovery Key is a string of eight segments of six digits, and having to enter this each and every time you reboot gets … tiresome … very quickly.
So, let’s see if we can’t improve on that. There are two methods, the first usually suffices, but sometimes, I’ve had to go for the second. The first solution is as follows:

Hardware review Windows 7

The Asus Eee 1101H reviewed

I recently decided to get a new laptop. My old laptop was looking like it was going to kick the bucket soon, and I wanted to exchange it sooner, rather than later. I was originally planning to get a high-end Dell, but looking closer at the contents of my wallet, I decided to forego the high-end one for now, and rather go for a cheaper netbook-style computer. In the end, I decided on the Asus Eee 1101H, opting for a large screen and decent specs.

Windows 7

Windows 7: Problem Step Recorder

As a support technician, I have often needed to see how a problem occurs, or show someone how to do something, but the person I need info from, or need to teach, is not available so that it can be done face to face, or over the phone.
A lot of my users are getting better at using screendumps, but the screendumps have one major drawback; they are static. They don’t show any sort of detail as to what happens between dumps. The same is true when I create a tutorial for my user; they simply don’t always see every step.
Problem Step Recorder to the rescue. By typing psr.exe in the search box in the Start menu and hitting Enter, PSR is started. From here, simply click “Start Record”, and go through the steps in the resolution or problem.

PSR is simple and efficient, and will be especially helpful to those of us who, from time to time, create tutorials and the like.

Windows 7

Windows 7: Run as administrator

Like in Windows Vista, users don’t usually run programs as administrators, even if they have administrative rights on their computer. While there has been a lot of talk about whether or not User Account Control (UAC) is a good idea (which I think it is, although the implementation in Windows Vista was less than intuitive), most users will have it enabled.
Like in Windows Vista, you can run a program under elevated rights by right-clicking it and selecting “Run as administrator”. This has now been given a keyboard shortcut. Simply hold CTRL+Shift when starting the program, an it will be startet with elevated rights. You will still get the UAC prompt.

Windows 7

Windows 7: Restoring the QuickLaunch bar

The new taskbar in Windows 7 does its job admirably. Even so, many users complain that they can’t find the QuickLaunch bar. This option is not available by default in Windows 7, but if you want it, it is simple enough to recreate:

Windows 7

Windows 7: Empty the desktop

Most users use their desktops as their primary workspace, saving everything they work on to the desktop. While practical, this has a nasty tendency to become rather cluttered.
In Windows 7, you can opt not to display desktop icons on the desktop itself. To do so, simply right-click your desktop, click “View”, and uncheck “Show Desktop Icons”. Should you need to access your files, they are still available under the Desktop heading in Windows Explorer. Also, this is a temporary fix, as, apparently the icons will return after a reboot. To prevent this, simply save the current theme, and you’re good to go.
The same option is available for gadgets, all you need to do is uncheck “Show Desktop Gadgets” as well, then save the theme if you want that change too to be permanent.