Windows 7 Tips
Free Resources and Tools to Plan and Deploy Windows 7
Ready to roll out Windows 7 in your organization? Here are some essential tools and resources to help you plan, customize, and streamline Windows 7 deployments.
Disable Aero Snap (and Switch Among Open Windows More Quickly)
Windows 7 automatically snaps a window to a certain size and position when you drag its title bar, but this feature can be disabled. Here’s how. (And discover another option that changes how open windows become active.)
Understand (and Get Rid of) the Mysterious Small Partition
You may have noticed that a small System Reserved partirtion is created when you install Windows 7. Here’s a look at what it's for and a workaround to get rid of it.
Understand and Manage the RACAgent Scheduled Task
RACAgent is a hidden task that is automatically configured when you install Windows 7. Find out what RACAgent does, how to manage it, and how you can disable it.
Create a New Partition on a Windows 7 Hard Disk
Here's an easy way to create a new partition on a Windows 7 disk.
Easily Shrink a Volume on a Windows 7 Disk
Here's an easy way to shrink a volume on a Windows 7 hard disk.
Using Group Policy to Configure Wireless Network Settings
In an Active Directory Domain Services environment, you can use Group Policy to configure wireless network settings. But you’ll need to do a little tweaking. Here’s what you need to know.
Configure Network Map Settings throughout Your Environment
Learn how the Network Map feature works and discover Group Policy settings you can use to control network mapping on systems in your environment.
Manage Icons that Display in the Windows 7 Notification Area
Windows 7 provides a single interface for controlling what icons are displayed in the notification area. Here’s what you need to know.
Use WMI Control to Manage Windows Management Instrumentation
Get an overview of working with WMI Control to configure and manage Windows Management Instrumentation on local and remote Windows 7 systems.
Troubleshoot Problems with the Windows Update Client
Get step-by-step guidance on how to troubleshoot problems with a client that won’t correctly install updates.
View Advanced System Information on a Remote Computer
Here’s how you can quickly view advanced information about a remote computer without leaving your desk.
Run (and Automate) Windows Defender from the Command Line
Learn about the command-line executable that you can use to automate the use of Windows Defender from a batch program.
Create and Save Custom Views for Windows 7 Event Viewer
If you find yourself dealing with a persistently problematic program or device, here’s a handy tip that can help you streamline your troubleshooting.
Set InPrivate Filtering for Internet Explorer to Enabled by Default
Learn a Registry tweak that lets you set the InPrivate Filtering feature to be enabled by default whenever you launch Internet Explorer.
Expand the Send To Menu for More Options
Here's a shortcut to access more locations when using the right-click Send To option.
Customize the Command Prompt in Windows 7
Get a quick overview of how you can make the Command Prompt window work how you want it to work.
Optimize How Windows 7 Runs 16-Bit and MS-DOS-Based Programs
Discover how you can make 16-bit applications more responsive on Windows 7, and how you can prevent these older applications from crashing one another.
Use Some (Relatively) Unknown Command-Line Switches for Disk Cleanup
Learn about two cool command-line switches for Disk Cleanup that are relatively undocumented.
Understand and Mange Windows Connect Now for Easy Wifi Configurations
Discover how Windows Connect Now lets you easily configure guest wifi access, and learn how to manage Windows Connect Now options in your organization.
Command-Line Options for Faster Access to Performance Data
These five command-line options provide faster, convenient control of Performance Monitor.
Find Hidden Info in the Windows Media Player Controls
The playback controls at the bottom of Windows Media Player offer more info than is readily apparent.
Display Administrative Tools on the Windows 7 Start Menu
By default, the Administrative Tools menu is not displayed in Windows 7. Here’s how to add it back to the Start menu.
Temporarily Change the OS Boot Sequence
Here’s a fast way to change the boot sequence for just one restart on a system with multiple operating systems installed.
Manage Windows 7 Power Options from the Command Line
Get an overview of the most important parameters you should know for managing power options from the command prompt.
Run Diagnostics to Check Your System for Memory Problems
Do you suspect your computer has a memory problem that isn’t being automatically detected? If so, you can force a memory check using this tool.
Examine File Extensions and File Associations in Windows 7
Use these commands to look up file extensions and file associations in the command shell and in Windows PowerShell.
Best Practices for Creating a Secure Guest Account
These best practices will help keep your systems more secure when you need to enable a Guest account.
Get the Full Path of a Folder or File in Windows 7
Here are some pointers for viewing and copying the full path of the current folder in Windows 7.
Get More Details about Processes Running on Windows 7
Learn about right-click menu options that offer greater insight into processes running on Windows 7.
Use Windows Update to Check for Updates to other Microsoft Products
You can merge the functionality of Microsoft Update into Windows Update so that you no longer need to visit Office Online to get updates.
Understand why AutoRun no Longer Works for Some USB Devices
Some programs that used to automatically run from USB media no longer launch on their own. Here’s why.
Recover a Local User Account Password
Windows 7 offers limited ways to recover forgotten passwords. Here’s what you should know to be prepared before a password is lost.
Optimize Display Scaling and Fix Scaling Issues on Windows 7
Windows allows you to use scaling to increase the size of text and other items on the screen. Here’s a look at how you can configure scaling and fix some scaling-related problems.
Create Local User Accounts in a Homegroup or Workgroup
Get an overview of how to create a local user account for a Windows 7 computer that is a member of a homegroup or a workgroup.
File Name and Folder Name Completion at the Command Prompt
File name and Folder name completion can be indispensible when working at a command prompt. Learn some tricks for getting more out of this feature.
A Fast and Easy Way to Create a System Repair Disc
Find out just how easy it is to create a system repair disc for Windows 7—even if you don’t have the installation disc on hand.
Defrag from the Command-Line for More Complete Control
Learn the options and syntax for running defragmentation from a command-line in Windows 7.
Configure Applications to Always Run as an Administrator
Tired of right-clicking on applications to run as administrator. Windows 7 also allows you to mark an application so that it always runs with administrator privileges. Here’s how.
Use the Shift Key to Temporarily Disable Startup Applications for Troubleshooting
Here’s a quick trick you can use to troubleshoot problems that occur when logging on to Windows 7.
Learn How to Take or Assign Ownership of Files and Folders
Explore the responsibilities that come with ownership and discover how you can take or assign ownership of files and folders.
Configure Remote Desktop Access on Windows 7 Systems
Get an overview of how to enable and configure Remote Desktop on your Windows 7 systems.
Discover Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts Designed for Windows Media Center
The Media Center interface was designed for use with a remote control, but it also fully supports use of a keyboard. Here are some handy keyboard shortcuts designed for Media Center.
Enable BitLocker on USB Flash Drives to Protect Data
Any USB flash drive formatted with FAT, FAT32, or NTFS can be encrypted with BitLocker. Here's what you need to know.
Get 7 Free Tools for Managing Disks and File Systems
Manage disk usage, delete files permanently, monitor streams, and more. Here are 7 free tools every administrator should download.
Learn Commands for Viewing and Managing Boot Configuration Data on Windows 7
Get an overview of the commands you can use at a command line to view and edit the BCD (boot configuration data) Store.
Understand and Configure the Welcome Screen and Classic Logon Screen
Explore how the Welcome screen differs from the Logon screen, and discover some options you can tweak for controlling how users log on.
Use new Powercfg Options to Find and Fix Energy-Related Problems
Discover how new options for the Powercfg utility can help you find and fix common energy-efficiency problems.
Create a Striped Volume in Windows
The Windows 7 Disk Management interface makes it easy to create a striped volume. Here’s how.
Manage BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) with Windows PowerShell
In Windows 7, the BITSAdmin tool has been deprecated and instead you should use Windows PowerShell. Here’s an overview of the cmdlets you need to know.
Use Advanced Tools for Increased Control over Windows Firewall
Find out how you can delve into deeper settings for Windows Firewall, manage it from a command line, and even script firewall settings.
Learn Best Practices for Optimizing the Virtual Memory Configuration
There are some performance benefits to be gained from tweaking the page file configuration on Windows 7. But it is important that you know what you’re doing.
Hide Windows 7 Updates that you do not Ever Want to Install
There's an easy (but hidden) way to hide Windows updates that you don't ever want to install.
Make Sense of Memory Management and Key Memory Measurements
Understanding the meaning of terms like working set, virtual memory, and hard faults is essential to memory management. Here’s an overview of memory-related terms you should know.
Include the Process ID Column on the Task Manager’s Processes Tab
For detailed troubleshooting and performance analysis, here's how you can display the Process ID column on the Processes tab.
Simplify Command Entry with Doskey Macros
Here's a quick and easy way to create short macros you can use at the command prompt.
Understand ReadyBoost and whether it will Speed Up your System
Explore the ReadyBoost feature available on Windows 7 and Windows Vista and determine if it can speed up your system.
Initiate Remote Assistance from a Command Line or a Script
Learn the ins and outs of initiating Remote Assistance sessions directly from the command line or by using scripts.
Use SchTasks.exe to Create and Manage Tasks
Learn how you can use a command-line interface to create, delete, query, change, run, and end scheduled tasks on a local or remote system.
Tweak Device Manager for a more Complete View of Devices
Find out how you can configure Device Manager to view devices that use non-Plug and Play drivers and previ¬ously installed devices that are not currently connected.
Check for and Repair Damaged System Files while Windows is Running
Learn about a command-line utility that can scan for and fix damaged system files.
Use Different Bit Rates for Different Devices when Syncing Music and Video Files
Today’s hard drives have more than enough space for music and video collections, but space is still a concern on portable devices. See how you can store high quality copies on your desktop and have smaller versions automatically copied to your portable device.
Customize the Start Menu Options in Windows 7
Windows 7 offers numerous options for customizing the Start Menu. Here's an overview to help you make the Start Menu work how you want it to work.
Quickly Translate Names to IP Addresses and Vice Versa
Here’s a buried treasure in Windows that lets you quickly convert a fully qualified domain name to its IP address.
Know and Understand the Network Troubleshooting Tools Available in Windows 7
Here’s an overview of the more useful networking-related command-line utilities available in Windows 7 and a summary of how you can use each to solve problems.
Use Network Mapping on Domains and Public Networks
Learn how you can use Group Policy to enable network mapping on domains and public networks.
Use Windows PowerShell to Monitor System Performance
A new feature in Windows 7, you can now use Windows PowerShell to gather performance data. Learn how to use the three new cmdlets that make this possible.
Run Check Disk from Windows Explorer to Check for and fix Disk Errors
We've shown you how to run Check Disk from a command line to check the integrity of disks. Here's an overview of running Check Disk interactively from within Windows Explorer.
Run Check Disk from a Command Line to Check for and fix Disk Errors
You should periodically use the Check Disk tool to check the integrity of disks. Here's an overview of running Check Disk from a command line.
Use the Registry to Configure Custom Search Providers in Windows 7
Find out how you can edit the Registry to configure search providers in Windows 7 and distribute this custom configuration throughout your organization.
Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk on Windows 7
In Windows 7, you can mount Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) exactly like physical disks. Find out how to create and mount VHDs in Windows 7.
Four Free Tools that every Administrator should Know About
Some of the best tools for managing Windows are available for free. Check out these 4 downloads every administrator should know about.
Use Windows PowerShell to Manage AppLocker in Windows 7
Discover how you can use Windows PowerShell to examine and manage the new AppLocker feature in Windows 7.
Remove Accounts and Deny Local Access to Workstations on Windows 7
As workstations are moved around, you might find that previous owners still have access to its resources. Here's an easy way to control what systems users have access to.
Configure a User Account to Log On Automatically on Windows 7
While it's recommended that you require users to enter credentials when the computer starts, there may be times when it's preferable to have an account log on automatically. Here's how.
Create and Use Backups Using the Backup and Restore Center
Windows 7 includes the Backup and Restore Center for creating backups of personal data and entire system images. Find out how to configure backups to protect all your data.
Use Custom Libraries in Windows 7 to Ensure You Backup All your Data
Do you store important data files outside your user profile? Here's a simple trick to make sure you always backup your important data.
Configure Legacy Devices to Run on Windows 7
The Windows 7 driver store includes a small collection of drivers for legacy devices, but will not automatically set up those devices. Here's what you can do to try and keep your favorite device functioning on Windows 7.
Use the Powerful and Free Autoruns Tool to Take Charge of Startup Apps
Autoruns is arguably the most powerful and complete utility for managing programs and services that run automatically at startup or logon. Find out what it can do for you.
Use a Command-Line Utility to convert a FAT32 Disk to NTFS
An overview of the easiest way to convert a FAT or FAT32 disk to NTFS.
Use the Driverquery Command to Take Inventory of Installed Drivers
If you want a compact record of installed drivers in a format that you can review later, use the Driverquery command.
Repair the MBR to restore Windows 7 to your Multiboot Options
You installed Windows XP on a system already running Windows 7, and now Windows 7 is no longer on the boot menu. Find out how to fix the MBR and get Windows 7 back.
Understand Compatibility Issues and why some Apps Fail on Windows 7
Before you deploy Windows 7, you should understand how some applications may break on the new OS. Then you’ll be prepared to choose the best solution to fix your broken app.
Get to Know Robocopy for More Powerful File Management
Dragging files between folders is fine, but when it comes to heavy-duty file management you need a better tool. If you need more power and flexibility, it's time you get to know Robocopy.
Use Local Security Policy to customize UAC behavior
FInd out how you can use Local Security Policies in Windows 7 to modify the behavior of User Account Control.
Use Natural Language to Search your Windows 7 System
Not big into Boolean? You can use Natural Language to perform some pretty complex searches using Windows Search. But first you’ll have to turn on Natural Language support.
Know What’s New for Security in Windows 7
Windows 7 includes some important improvements for securing the desktop. Here's a quick overview.
Remove Personal metadata from Files to Protect Your Privacy
Metadata stored within a file can reveal a lot of information. Fortunately, Windows 7 lets you scrub data from files to protect your privacy.
Navigate Windows Explorer More Quickly with These Keyboard Shortcuts
Learn some keyboard shortcuts designed to help you navigate Windows Explorer more easily.
Assign a Program or Process to a Specific CPU running on Windows 7
On systems with multiple processors or multiple cores, Windows 7 lets you specify which CPU should handle a particular process.
Understand and Control Startup Apps with the System Configuration Utility
If you don’t require a program at startup, it’s a good idea to get it out of your startup path. Here are some pointers.
Remove a program from the Recommended Programs on the Open With dialog
This simple Registry edit lets you control what applications are included on the Recommended Programs list.
Dig Deep into your system with Dedicated System Information Tools in Windows 7
Windows 7 includes some handy tools for digging deep into the details of the systems you manage. Learn about three tools of the trade every IT pro should know.
Use Windows Firewall on Different Networks
The firewall in Windows 7 maintains different network location types for different networks. Here’s what you should know about using these profiles to protect your system on different networks.
How to Restore Data to Windows 7 that you Backed Up on Windows XP
Windows 7 cannot open or restore files backed up in the format used by Windows XP Backup. But your data isn't lost. Here's a look at restoring from older backups.
Configure Your Windows 7 System to Run Legacy Apps in a Virtualized Windows XP Environment
Windows XP Mode is an optional download for Windows 7 that lets you run applications that might not run well on Windows 7. Here's all you need to know to get started.
Install Windows 7 alongside an older Windows OS for a Multiboot System
Want to install Windows 7 on a system, but leave the previous Windows installation in place? Follow these easy steps.