By default, the Windows Installer service does not start while in Safe Mode. This service allows you to not only install, but to uninstall software. It also does not allow you to start the service in Safe Mode. Here is how to create and start the service in Safe Mode.
1. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.
2. Type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.
2a. If you are in Safe Mode with Networking, you would type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.
3. Type net start msiserver and press enter.
Now you should be able to install or uninstall software while in Safe Mode. This comes in handy when a piece of software causes issues after being installed.
Some people share a PC with multiple users, and each user has it’s own mess of files. They also have separate Recycle Bin’s. When a user deletes a lot of stuff, it sits in the Recycle Bin until it is emptied. Some users don’t know that you need to empty the bin occasionally. Here is a quick command line tip to empty all the Recycle Bin’s on your PC – without having to log into the other users accounts. This could also be scripted if you want to have the Recycle Bin emptied when logging in or off, if you wish.
1. Launch the Command Prompt as an Administrator. Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (you can press Right Shift and left click the shortcut and select Run as different user, if needed).
2. Type in rd /s c:$Recycle.Bin and select Y to delete all the files in the Recycle Bin.
The first window is not using an elevated CMD prompt, the second is using Run as different user as Administrator.
This can help you keep your PC clean and stop your hard drive from filling up completely if you have a user that forgets to empty the Recycle Bin!
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.
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 Tweaks.com.
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.
Using a registry hack, you can change the name of your CPU to what you desire? Want the latest and greatest, or at least bragging rights to claim so? Check this out.
Open Regedit, navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine > Hardware > Description > System >Central Processor. If you have multiple cores, you will need to choose 0. You can modify the “Processor Name” string to the name you choose.
Some may know about the Windows Key + L to lock your workstation, others may not. To keep your PC secure, it is a good idea to lock it when you are away from your desk. Many times, you just want a simple click to lock your PC. Here is how.
1. Right click the desktop and select New and Shortcut.
2. Type C:WindowsSystem32rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation in the box.
In Windows, it is easy to run more than one instance of an application, with each running in it’s own memory space. If you wanted to run two versions of Notepad and have both open at the same time, or FileZilla in this example, this is how to do it.
1. Start the first instance of the program. It’s as simple as launching the program. You may already have it running.
2. Hold Shift and Left click the program icon in the Taskbar.
3. A new instance of the program will start, running as it’s own task and in it’s own memory space.
There are times when you need to flush the DNS cache of Windows. This may be you changed hosts, and it takes a while for the DNS cache to query the DNS server again. Here is a quick and easy way to flush the cache.
1. Open an elevated Command Prompt by going to Start, All Programs, Accessories. Right click the Command Prompt icon and select Run As Administrator.
2. Type IPCONFIG /FLUSHDNS and press Enter. You will get the message: Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache. Then, you can visit sites again, and it will re-query the DNS server for host names.