Category: Windows Vista

Assign a static drive letter for USB drive

There may be times when you use a USB drive frequently and you want it to always have the same drive letter. You may have applications that save to that USB drive, and if it’s not there, you have to hunt for the drive letter (this can be a pain when browsing through a command prompt). Using this tip, you can assign your USB drive a static drive letter to make sure it always stays the same.

1. Right click on My Computer (or Computer), and click Manage.

2. Click on Storage to expand, and click Disk Management.

3. Right click on your USB drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths…

4. Select the drive letter and click OK.

5. Here is where you assign the drive letter for the drive. Make sure it is a few letters past what your last one, to avoid giving the letter to a different USB drive when the static one isn’t inserted. Click OK.

6. Click Yes. This will affect any running programs that reference the current drive letter for the USB drive.

7. Your USB drive will be reassigned to the new drive letter, and if AutoPlay in enabled, you will be greeted by the AutoPlay popup.

Remove backup files from SP Install

After you install a service pack, you more than likely don’t want to uninstall it. If you do, then this tip isn’t for you. However, leaving the service pack uninstall files on your hard drive can take up valuable space. This tip shows you how to get rid of them. NOTE: You will not be able to uninstall the service pack after doing this.

1. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools. Right click on Disk Cleanup and click Run as Administrator.

2. Select the drive where Windows is installed (Usually C:) and click OK.

3. Once the scanning is finished, you can select anything, but to delete the uninstall files from the service pack, choose Service Pack Backup Files and click OK.

4. It will take a few minutes to clean up, but it can save you quite a bit of space.

How To Add More Rows in Tabs – Internet Explorer 9

By default, Internet Explorer 9 shows 2 rows, or 10 most used web pages on it’s about:Tabs page or when opening a new tab for browsing. For some, that just isn’t enough. If you’re like me, you visit a lot of the same sites daily. By increasing the number of rows to say 5, you can go from 10 pages to 25 (5 per row). Here’s how.

Method One: Manually edit using regedit.

1. Click Start, type regedit. The Registry Editor will open.

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > TabbedBrowsing > NewTabPage.

3. Right click the NumRows key, and click Modify. You can change this to how many rows you would like to have on the about:Tabs page. I used 5 here to fill my screen.

Method 2: Download and Merge Registry File

1. Download the following file. Double click it, and select Yes to merge the contents with your registry.{filelink=1}

Add Defragment to your right click context menu

Sometimes, you want quick access to defragment your hard drives. Well, you can save yourself a few clicks by adding the Defragment command to your right click context menu. This can come in handy (although it does nothing to speed up the defrag process itself).

1. Go to Start, type in regedit and press enter (Or you can go to Start, Accessories, Run and type regedit).

2. Navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDriveshell.

3. Name it defrag (this name can be anything, really).

4. On the right pane, double click the Default value and name the Value Data field with “Defragment“. This text is going to be what you see when you right click a drive, so it is also custom.

5. Right click on the defrag key that you made earlier and choose New and Key.

6. Name it command.

7. Double click the Default value of this key, and change the Value Data with defrag %1 -v.

8. Now, when you right click a drive, you will have the Defragment command available. It does open a Command prompt to do it’s work.

Can I delete the Windows.old file?

If you do an upgrade using Windows Vista, you end up with a directory called “Windows.old”. Sometimes, this folder can be quite huge! So, many people ask if they can just delete the folder. In a word: yes.

However, there is a quick and easy way to do it.

1. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup

2. When it asks “Which Files to Clean Up”, select “Files from all users on this computer”

3. Select the drive where your “windows.old” is located.

4. Windows will scan the drive and calculate how much space you can save by deleting some files.

5. Select “Previous Windows Installation(s)” in the “files to delete” list. Select OK.

After it does it’s work, you should no longer have the “windows.old” folder, and you should have reclaimed a bit of hard drive space.

Change default boot screen in Vista

Microsoft’s dull boot screen with just the progess bar can be replaced in just a few easy steps.

For a quick and easy way to change your boot up screen to something a little better than the default progress bar, follow these few easy steps. This will give you the better looking Aura boot screen.

1. Go to the Start Orb, type “MSCONFIG”, without quotes, and press enter. Click on the “Boot” tab.

2. Check the “No GUI Boot” box. Click “Ok”.

3. Reboot to see the new boot screen.

Change Default Icons of A Shortcut

Windows has always allowed you to change the appearance of your icons, and the procedure is pretty much the same in Vista and 7. If you don’t like the way your default icons look, you can always change them. There are plenty of built in icons to choose from, as well as many able to be downloaded. If you feel extremely adventurous, you can try your hand at designing one yourself.

Here is how to change the default icon in Windows.

1. Right click on a Folder, Shortcut, or Drive and click Properties.

2. On the Shortcut tab, click the Change Icon… on the bottom of the panel.

3. Select the icon of your choice, browse for a new icon collection (usually in c:WindowsSystem32imageres.dll or shell32.dll) or a custom .ico that you’ve built or downloaded.

4. That’s it. You’re done.

Before and After

Before & After

Create Folders With No Name

Sometimes you want your Desktop to be nice and neat, so you only have a few icons on there. But, you know what the Recycle Bin and My Computer looks like already (this works with other icons, as well, I am using these two as an example). So, here is a quick and easy way to get rid of the names below the folder.

Right click the icon you want to change and go to Rename.

Hold down the ALT key and press 0160 (ASCII for the Space), and press enter. Tada! No name for the icon. You can do this to whatever icon you’d like.

Create your own logo in the System Panel

Disable Autorun on CD/DVD Drives

Many times, you don’t want your CD or DVD to process the Autorun file. You know what you want to do, and you do it. But, disabling the Autorun feature isn’t the easiest to find. In fact, you have to edit the registry to do it. Here is how.

1. First, open the Registry Editor (Start, Run, type regedit -or- Start, type regedit in the search box and press enter).

2. Navigate to the key ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicescdrom


3. Right click the key on the right pane titled AutoRun and click Modify. Change the 1 to a 0.

4. Restart your PC, and the Autorun feature is disabled for your CD/DVD drive. This can be very handy for those that dislike the Autorun feature.