7 Windows 7 Tips for January 2010

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in 7 Windows 7 Tips, Tips, Windows 7;

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Clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, story, tips, Windows 7, tricks, how-to

Tip #1: Install Windows 7 on a Netbook without optical media

If you want to install Windows 7 on a Netbook that comes without a CD/DVD-drive Microsoft has provided a neat little tool called the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. What this tool does is to take an ISO image and easily transfer it to a USB-memory key. You can then boot from it and install Windows 7 to your netbook. I also use it to install Windows 7 on other computers with optical drives, as I find that it speeds up the already fast process. So how do you go about using this tool? Read on;

Step 1: Download the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool and install it on your system

Step 2: Click the Start button, and click Windows 7 USB DVD Download tool in the All programs menu

Step 3: Browse to and select your ISO file and then click Next.

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Step 4: Choose the media on which you want to install (mount) the image – in this case your USB device

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Step 5: Select your USB device and click on Begin copying

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Step 6: Once that process is done, make sure the computer on which you want to install has the boot from USB device option selected in the BIOS, reboot and the installation process should begin.

If you have more questions regarding this device the Microsoft Store has more information here.

Tip #2: See all Control Panel tasks in a categorized list – aka God Mode

This tip is making its rounds around the internet at the time of writing. In some places described as the God Mode, which actually is not the case. This tip in no way will give you access to hidden and unknown tweaks, but it will provide you with easy access to all the different task that you can perform from the different menus and submenus in the Control Panel.

Right click on your desktop and create a new folder. Rename it to: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} (You can actually call it anything you want instead of GodMode. Just make sure that everything after the word Mode is exactly as stated above – including the dot)

Your new folders icon will automatically change into a control panel icon;

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When you click on this icon an Explorer window will open with the mentioned tasks listed like this screenshot shows;

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Ed Bott has more on this feature over on his blog.

Tip #3: Use Autoruns to manage startup applications and services.

image There are many programs out there that gives you the ability to manage your startup applications. Included in Windows 7 you will of course find the Microsoft Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe), but Microsofts Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswells Autoruns program (part of their Sysinternals suite of useful applications) is head and shoulder above the competition. Go to the TechNet Sysinternals site and download Autoruns, then extract it to a location on your hard drive. In that folder right click the autoruns icon and run it as an Administrator and you should see the following application;

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First select the Logon tab, then go into the Options dialog and select Hide Microsoft and Windows Entries, then hit F5 to refresh the view. You will probably be surprised by the amount of applications that automatically runs with Windows. Deselect any that you do not want to run automatically. I also recommend visiting the Internet Explorer tab as well as the Scheduled Tasks tab to deselect any entries you do not want in those locations. Once you are finished, all you have to do is to close the Autoruns application – no need to save anything. The next time you start your PC your new settings are applied.

Tip #4: Create your own Windows 7 themes

Windows 7 are more customizable than previous versions of Windows. One notable change is the ease with which you can create your and apply your own themes to the OS. How easy you ask. As easy as 1-2-3. Just follow my lead;

Step 1: Right click on your desktop and select Personalize;

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Step 2: In this view lets start by selecting the background pictures we want as part of our theme. Select Desktop Background.

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Step 3: Browse to the location of your pictures and select the ones you want there.

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Step 4: Choose the position of your pictures as well as how often they should change and click on Save changes.

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Step 5: When you are back in the Perzonalisation view, select Windows Color and choose your… windows color ;-D

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Step 6: Once back in the Personalization view again, the next option is to select Sounds. There you can select from a number of sound schemes as well as make some new ones of your own (more work!). For this theme I chose the Landscape scheme.

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Step 7: The next option is to set your Screen Saver. Here I chose the Bubbles screensaver. Make your selection and click OK.

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Step 8: Now it is time to save your theme. In the main Personalization view scroll down until you see the Save Theme option and select it. Give your theme a name – mine is called Christmas 09 – and you are done!

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Tip #5: Use SkyDrive Explorer to access your SkyDrive folders

If you are using Windows Live services you are hopefully aware of the fact that you have 25 GB of online storage for free courtesy of Microsoft through their SkyDrive service.

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If you haven’t done so already, I suggest that you head over to home.live.com and sign up for an account straight away.

Until recently, one of the problems with SkyDrive was that you had to go the webpage and use the interface there for adding and removing files as well as other file-related tasks. This could be tedious and was obviously not the most user-friendly way to do things. SkyDrive Explorer to the rescue. SkyDrive Explorer is a free extension to Windows Explorer that allows you to add and remove folders and files to SkyDrive from your Windows Explorer interface. According to SkyDrive Explorer the latest version of their software can;

  • View the structure and contents of folders in SkyDrive™;
  • View files information (type, size, creation date in GMT format);
  • Create new root folders and subfolders;
  • Copy files into the storage;
  • Delete files and folders;
  • Copy files from the storage to the computer;
  • Copy folders and subfolders from the storage to the computer keeping their structure;
  • Use Drag & Drop for files operations;
  • Rename files and folders;
  • Create links to SkyDrive™ folders on your computer;
  • Copy URL of the selected object(s) to the Clipboard;
  • Automatic check for the latest version;
  • Bidirectional languages support;
  • Selection of your preferred interface language

Head over to SkyDrive Explorers site to download and install it. Once you have done that your SkyDrive Explorer will pop up in your Explorer window as a station. You will have to sign in with your Windows Live ID in order to access your SkyDrive through this interface;

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Once you have done that your SkyDrive Explorer extension gives you access to your SkyDrive folders and files directly in your Explorer window;

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Tip #6: Optimize your AMD system for games with AMD Fusion Utility for Desktop

This tip is for those of you that are using PCs powered by AMD and are playing PC games (a dying breed according to Paul Thurrott :-D). AMD has released an application that shuts down unnecessary processes and application depending on what activity you are about to embark on, in order for you to use whatever PC juice you have got for that particular task and that task only. This application is called AMD Fusion Utility for Desktop, and is currently in beta. I haven’t actually done any benchmarks to see whether this works, but my impression after playing Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 both with this application and without it, is that it actually works. There seems to be less lagging and visual artifacts, and the game seems to be running smoother.

Head over to this AMD site and download AMD Fusion Utility for Desktop. As the site states you will probably get better results if you also install the AMD Overdrive and the latest Catalyst Control Center. Once you have installed the application, run it and you will be greeted with this button on your desktop;

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By clicking the button it automatically shuts down all running applications and processes that it deems unnecessary for you to run your games. Clicking the button again restarts everything that was shut down previously. If you want to streamline your applications and processes to other tasks as well, click on the Advanced Mode button and the application changes into this interface;

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In this interface you select the Profile you want and then click on Run Profile in order to activate it. When finished with your activity just click on Stop Activity to set your system back to its previous state. Check it out for yourselves and have fun. A word of caution though; this application tampers with some security settings so pay attention to the warnings you are getting and try to understand them before accepting them.

Tip #7: Access additional options in the right-click menus

By hitting Shift and right clicking on a folder, file or icon you get additional options in your right-click menu. Underneath you find three examples of normal and extended right-click menus

 

 

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The screenshots above shows the extended right-click menu for folders.

 

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The screenshots above shows the extended right-click menu for the Send to option.

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And these screenshots show the added Open command window here option when you hit Shift and right-click on your desktop.

 

That’s it for this time. I hope you will find all or some of these tips useful. If you have a tip – hint – or software recommendation you want to share feel free to send me an email or add it to the comments section underneath this post.

Until next time…

lick by lick

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