7 Windows 7 Tips for July 2010

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

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After a long period of no posting to my blog I return with an installment in the 7 Windows 7 Tips series.

Tip #1: Solving problems signing in to Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 – error code 800706ba

Like a lot of you I recently installed Windows Live Essentials Beta (Wave 4). After the upgrade I had serious problems logging on to Live Messenger, which provided me with the following error message at every attempt;

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Searching around in forums and knowledge base articles came up with a lot of possible solutions – none that worked for me. I then went into the Microsoft Management Console to check out which services were enabled by default or not and found the culprit. So if you are experiencing the abovementioned error message try the following:

  • Click the Start orb and type in services.msc in your searchbar.
  • Once there scroll down to Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant;

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  • Right click on it and select properties;

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  • Make sure Startup type is set to “Automatic” and click Start to start the service, then “Apply” and “Ok”

You should now be able to log into Windows Live Messenger again.

Tip #2: How-to change your default Windows Explorer folder

When you click on the Windows Explorer icon in your taskbar you are by default taken to the Libraries folder. If you want to change this behaviour you can do it by following these steps;

  • Right click on the Windows Explorer icon in your taskbar, and then right click on Windows Explorer in the jumplist and select Properties;

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  • In order to change the default location you need to make changes to the Target field in the Properties dialog box

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  • If you want it to open a spesific folder of your choosing you enter %windir%\explorer.exe c:\YourFolderNameHere
  • If you want it to open to spesific pre set locations, like My Documents, you will have to enter special syntax into the target field
  • For My Documents enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}
  • For Computer enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
  • For Network enter: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
  • If you want to revert back to the default libraries folder you will have to enter: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe
  • After you have made your choices hit “OK” and you are done!

Tip #3: How-to make your own Search Connector for searching your designated site within Windows Explorer

One of the really handy new features of Windows 7 is the ability to search not only your own computer, but also designated websites from within Windows Explorer. In order to do this you need a so-called Search Connector for the sites you want to search. There are many ready-made Search Connectors available out on the internet, for instance Long Zhengs Flickr-search connector which can be found here. If you want to make your own connector, say to be able to search a favorite website or blog, like AboKevin.com (;-D) you can easily make your own in a few steps:

1. Open up Notepad

2. Copy the following text and paste it into Notepad as is

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns=”<a href=”http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/””>http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/”</a> xmlns:ms-ose=”<a href=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/””>http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/”</a>>
<ShortName>AboKevin</ShortName>
<Description>Search Abokevins Blog using Windows 7 Federated Search</Description>
<Url type=”application/rss+xml” template=”<a href=”http://api.bing.com/rss.aspx?source=web&amp;query={searchTerms}”>http://api.bing.com/rss.aspx?source=web&amp;query={searchTerms}</a> site:abokevin.com&amp;web.count=50″/>
<Url type=”text/html” template=”<a href=”http://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}+site:abokevin.com“/></OpenSearchDescription>

3. If you want to change to another website of your choosing change the text in bold;

  • <ShortName>AboKevin</ShortName> – here you give the Search Connector its name (you don’t have to have the text in bold)
  • <Description>Search Abokevins Blog using Windows 7 Federated Search</Description> – Here you give the description of your Search Connector
  • In the two instances of site:abokevin.com you change it into your websites URL without http://www.

4. When done editing your text click save. In the save dialog make sure you do the following;

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  • Change Save as type to “All Files” and give the connector a name with the osdx file type ending. In my case: AboKevin.osdx
  • Make sure the Encoding is set to “UTF-8”
  • Click Save

5. Find your Search Connector in the folder you saved it to and double click it – You will be asked if you want to install the Search Connector – click Yes and you are done

6. Open up Windows Explorer and you will find your Search Connector under Favorites in the left pane – click and enter a search term and… voila!
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Tip #4: How-to make Windows Live Messenger run from the notification area

One minor annoyance in Windows 7 compared to previous versions of Windows is the fact that when you run Windows Live Messenger it will no longer default to the notification area. It is very easy to fix this, although you will loose some functionality.

  1. First of all: make sure you close down all instances of Live Messenger
  2. Locate the messenger executable which can be found in the Program Files folder on x86 systems and in the Program Files(x86) folder on x64 systems. You then have to drill down to the following folder – Wimdows Live – Messenger
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  3. Once there right click on msnmgr (highlighted in the screenshot above) and select Properties
  4. Select the Compatibility tab and set it to run in Compatibility mode for Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) – Click OK and you are done – The Messenger icon should now appear in the notification area when you log into Windows Live Messenger the next time.
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  5. I mentioned earlier that you will loose some functionality, spesifically the ability to set your status just by clicking on one of the four buttons in the preview that pops up while hovering over the Live Messenger Icon while it resides in the taskbar (shown in the screenshot below). If you can live without that one – go ahead and follow the steps lined out above.
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Tip #5: How-to speed up the display of thumbnail images on the taskbar

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When you mouse over icons of running applications in the taskbar you will get a thumbnail preview of said application. If you think that it takes too long for this preview to show up an easy registry hack can make it appear faster.

Note: I advice that you create a restore point before editing the registry, and editing it is done on your own responsibility

1. Start your Registry Editor by entering regedit in the Start orbs search bar

2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse.

3. Double-click MouseHoverTime and set the value to something lower than the default 400. I recommend trying 150. Click OK

4. Close the registry editor. You now have to either log off or restart your computer for the new settings to go into effect.

Tip #6: How-to copy and move files the way you want it

When you drag and drop files and folders from one location to another Windows sometimes copies the files and sometimes moves them depending on the location of source and destination. Simply said as long as Windows sees that the source and destination location is on the same partition/hard drive it moves the file/folder and as long as they are on separate partitions/hard drives it copies them. But what if you want something else to happen? How do you move a file from one location to the other without having to right-click – select cut – move to new location – right-click and select paste?

There is actually several ways to go about this:

Force a copy while performing drag and drop: Hold down CTRL while dragging and dropping will force a copy operation regardless of source/destination location.

Force a move while performing drag and drop: Hold down SHIFT while dragging and dropping will force a move operation regardless of source/destination location.

Force creation of a shortcut while performing drag and drop: Hold down both CTRL and SHIFT while dragging and dropping will force the creation of a shortcut regardless of source/destination location.

And the best of them all:

If you drag and drop with a right-click instead of the normal left-click you will be presented with the following choices when you release the mouse in the new location:

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Brilliant!

Tip #7: Download the Windows Live Essentials Beta (Wave 4)

The last tip is really a software recommendation. I have been running the Live Essentials beta for a while now, and I highly recommend it. The package includes updated versions of Windows Live Photo Gallery, one of the best free applications for managing your photo collection, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Sync – updated with most of the technology behind the previous Live Mesh service – a brilliant tool for keeping files and folders synced between 2 or more PCs, Windows Live Mail, Windows Movie Maker and Live Family Safety as well as an updated Bing bar for Internet Explorer. You can select which ones of the programs you want through the installer which you will find on this page. Go ahead – this one is a no-brainer. Good luck!

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Windows Live Writer Beta

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Windows Live Mail Beta

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Windows Live Messenger Beta

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Windows Live Movie Maker Beta

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Windows Live Sync Beta

So – there you have my 7 Windows 7 tips for this time. Your comments, suggestions and general feedback is most welcome!

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