I have started a series of articles here on my blog titled the 7 Windows 7 tips for week WW-YY… which (obviously) is a weekly installment. If anyone of you out there have any tips or tricks you want to see here, feel free to contact me through the comments section of this post..
In this second installment I have the following 7 Windows 7 tips;
Tip #1: Customize Your Windows Log-on Screen
Ever wanted to customize your Windows Welcome screen? There are many posts floating around the web describing the process of how to do this. Rafael Rivera explains it in this post, but the most elegant way of doing it is via the Windows 7 Logon Background Changer made by Julien Manici. After downloading and extracting the tool, you run it and are greeted with this interface;
You then change your background log-on wallpaper by selecting from the theme backgrounds depicted on top, or by navigating your preferred picture somewhere on your computer. After selecting your picture – hit Apply and you are done!
This tool has been made in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and is a gorgeous example of what can be made utilizing WPF. Highly recommended.
Tip #2: Make a System Image Backup
After having installed Windows 7 plus your applications and settings it is time to make a system image. With an image like this you can easily go back to the state your system was in at the time of the backup without doing all the hard work once more.
Hit the Start orb and type backup. Backup and Restore should be the first choice. Click and you will be greeted by this menu;
In the left pane click on Create a system image.
Then select your backup media – on a hard disk or on a network location is recommended.
You then select the drives you want to include in the backup before hitting next.
The last step is to confirm your setting before clicking on Start backup.¨
You can stop the process whenever you want (but why..?). After a while (depending on the size of your backup) you will be greeted with this;
At the end of the process you will be given the opportunity to create a system repair disc which you can use to boot the system in order to restore your computer from a system image. I recommend that you do this…
That’s it. You have now got a back-up of your system image and a repair disc – all set for the day when your system wont work any longer.
Tip #3: Encrypt your removable USB disk with Bitlocker To Go
One of the really nice features of Windows 7 Professional Enterprise or Ultimate is the Bitlocker encryption feature, and more particularly the Bitlocker To Go utility which allows you to encrypt your removable USB media for enhanced security.
After having inserted your removable USB disk, right click it in Explorer, and select Turn on Bitlocker
After the initial preparation of the media your are presented with these choices;
You then have to decide on how to save your recovery key;
Your drive is soon ready to be encrypted; hit Start Encrypting and the process starts.
There is of course a process indicator;
When the process is finished you will get this one;
In Windows Explorer the removable disk will have the Bitlocker icon added to it and it will look something like this;
Tip #4: Quickly Open The First 10 Applications On Your Taskbar
Tip #5: Stream Your Media To A Remotely Connected Computer
Windows 7 and Windows Media Player 12 allows you to stream your media on one computer to any other Windows 7 computer as long as you are integrated with an online ID provider like Windows Live ID. The procedure for configuring Remote Media Streaming is the same on both the remote and local computer. The first thing you have to do is to start Windows Media Player. Then you click Stream and Allow Internet Access to home media.
Now you will need to link an online ID to your Windows account. Click on Link an online ID
As long as you have already set up an online ID like Windows Live ID you will be presented with this screen. Click on Link online ID (written in blue).
You are then provided with this Sign in to Windows Live ID screen;
Back in the previous screen you now hit OK.
After that is done you are once again back in this screen, and it is now time to choose Allow Internet access to home media.
You will get a UAC-prompt, select Yes and you will be rewarded with this dialog;
You are now finished with configuring Remote Media Streaming on one computer, repeat the above process on the other computer(s). Restart Windows Media Player on them all and you will see the shared media under Other libraries
Tip #6: Pin Your Favorite Folders To The Windows Explorer Jump List
Do you have particular folder that you access all the time? For easy access you can pin those folder to the Windows Explorer Jump List. Open Explorer and navigate your way to the folder you want to pin. Right click and hold and then drag it down to the taskbar;
The next time you right-click the Explorer icon in the taskbar you will find your folder at the top of the Jump list;
Tip #7: Do You Have Unanswered Questions Regarding Windows 7?
That rounds up the second installment of my 7 Windows 7 Tips. Got any comments, suggestions or advice? Feel free to post them in the comments section of this post.