Set Custom Resolution in VirtualBox for Windows 8

Windows 8 doesn’t work with the included VirtualBox display driver, so by default you are limited to several 4:3 resolutions (full screen). If you want a different resolution or a widescreen resolution, it requires a command line entry to enable it. Here’s how:

1. First, close your virtual machine. Then, navigate to x:Program FilesOracleVirtualBox. Hold Shift and right click an open area of the window. Select “Open Command Window Here”. A command prompt window will open in exactly the correct directory to do the job.


2. Type VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Win 8 dev" CustomVideoMode1 1680x1050x32. You can edit the name in quotes to your Windows 8 virtual machine name, as well as the custom resolution (my monitor runs as 1680x1050x32).


3. Restart your VM, and you can now select from the custom resolution you just enabled.


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Disable Metro in Windows 8 Developer Preview

For many, the Metro interface is a problem and would like to have the desktop similar to Windows 7 and other previous versions. Here is a registry edit to disable Metro UI.

1. Open regedit by typing regedit at the Start screen.

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer


3. Modify the RPEnabled key to a “0” instead of the default “1”.

4. To return to the Metro UI, just change the value back to a “1”.

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Developer Preview Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 8 Developer Preview is out, and as usual there are those out there that are very efficient with keyboard shortcuts. Here is a list of known shortcuts for the preview. There may be more, which will be added as they become known.

Edit: Here is an updated PDF or XPS page with the new Windows 8 Shortcuts (for Consumer Preview & Developer Preview)

Key Function
Windows logo key+spacebar Switch input language and keyboard
Windows logo key+Y Temporarily peek at the desktop
Windows logo key+O Locks device orientation
Windows logo key+V Cycles through toasts
Windows logo key+shift+V Cycles through toasts in reverse order
Windows logo key+Enter Launches Narrator
Windows logo key+PgUp Moves tiles to the left
Windows logo key+PgDown Moves tiles to the right
Windows logo key+Shift+. Moves the split to the left
Windows logo key+. Moves the split to the right
Windows logo key+F Opens File Search App
Windows logo key+C Opens Charms Bar
Windows logo key+I Opens Settings charm
Windows logo key+K Opens Connect charm
Windows logo key+H Opens Share charm
Windows logo key+Q Opens Search pane
Windows logo key+W Opens Settings Search app
Windows logo key+Z Opens App Bar
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Show All Drives (Even Empty Memory Card Slots) in Windows Explorer

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Many new PC’s come with a memory card reader installed. When you open Windows Explorer, you can’t really where they are. Windows has an option in the Folder Options that allows you to view all the drives, along with the drive letters assigned to them. Follow these few easy steps to get this as default.

1. Open Control Panel. Start > Control Panel.

2. Open Folder Options.


3. Click the View tab. Then UN-Check the option that says “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder”. Then click OK.


4. Now, when you browse your computer using Windows Explorer, you will notice a few extra drives. Do note that if you try to open one without a card installed, you will get an error.

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Enable Telnet with single command

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With the release of Vista came the demise of the built in Telnet command. You can add it again using the Programs and Features tool in the Control Panel, but here is how you can do it with a single command.

1. Open a Command Prompt with administrative permissions. Start > All Programs > Accessories > right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

2. Type (or cut and paste) dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient and press enter.


3. Telnet is now available in Windows.


Credit for this tip goes to Steve Sinchak from

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Clear Pagefile at Shutdown

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There are times when Windows will store a password in plain text or other information on your PC in it’s paging file. Here is how to clear the paging file when you shutdown your PC. Note: It does increase your shutdown time a small bit.

1. Start Regedit. Start > type regedit and press enter.

2. Navigate to HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management.


3. In the right pane, right click ClearPageFileAtShutdown and select Modify. Change the Value data to 1 and click OK.


When you shut down your PC, the page file will now be deleted giving you an extra little bit of security.

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Disable Hibernation

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There are times when you want to disable hibernation for your PC, either for speed reasons or to make it do a complete shutdown. Here’s how.

1. Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges. Start > All Programs > Accessories. Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

2. Type powercfg /hibernate off and press enter.

Your PC will not go into hibernation mode from now on. To reverse this, use the same command but replace off with on.

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Enable Verbose Output on Startup & Shutdown

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There are times when Windows takes a long time to start up or shut down, with nothing to show what it’s doing. With a simple registry hack, you can enable verbose output which will let you know what the system is doing when it is starting up or shutting down. Here’s how.

1. Open Regedit (Start, type regedit and press enter).

2. Navigate to HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System.


3. On the right pane, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.


4. Name the new value VerboseStatus and press enter.

5. Double click the new VerboseStatus key and change the value to a 1. Click OK.


6. Exit Regedit and restart your PC to see the changes.

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Windows 8 M1 Leak Features Unlocked Via Registry Hacks

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The recent leak of Windows 8 Milestone 1 Build 7850 has been given more features via registry hacks. The features are still under development, so I am sure they are not 100% stable and ready for release.

Here is how to enable the following features:

To unlock webcam.exe

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionGRE_Initialize”
create a DWORD value called “RemoteFontBootCacheFlags“, set its value to “0x100f (4111)”

To unlock Modern Reader

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurr entVersionAppletsPaintCapabilities” create a string value named “CLSID”, set its value to “{D3E34B21-9D75-101A-8C3D-00AA001A1652}” , then run glcnd.exe.

To unlock the new Task Manager UI

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionTaskUI”, and create a 32bit value “TaskUIEnabled“, set its value to “1”.

And finally, to unlock the ribbon UI in Windows Explorer

Create this key in the registry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{4F12FF5D-D319-4A79-8380-9CC80384DC08}

Create a string value  called “AppID”, set its value to “{9198DA45-C7D5-4EFF-A726-78FC547DFF53}

Restart Explorer and you should have the ribbon UI unlocked.

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