Category: Windows Vista

Clear Pagefile at Shutdown

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 HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management.

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

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

Completely Remove Printer Drivers

Many times, you will buy a printer and need to update the drivers. Or you go somewhere and need to install a printer temporarily. Well, after you are done using that printer, the old driver sticks around, or pieces of the older driver are still there. Even when you delete the printer from the Device Manager, the driver still remains.

To remove the driver completely, you can follow these few steps using a built in Microsoft utility called MMC (Microsoft Management Console).

1. Go to the Start Menu and type MMC. You will see the MMC icon at the top of the search results. Click that to start the MMC.

2. Select File, then click Add/Remove Snap-in…

3. In the left pane, select “Print Management” and click Add.

4. Select “Add the Local Server”, click finish, then Ok.

5. Navigate to Print Servers, your computer name, Drivers. On the center pane, you should see the printers that were installed. Right click the printer driver you don’t want anymore, and select “Remove Driver Package”.

6. Reboot your machine and the driver is completely gone. This has also been know to solve some OS crashes in some situations.

Create a desktop shortcut to lock your workstation

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:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation in the box.

3. You can name it anything you would like.

And that is it! You now have an icon on your desktop to lock your workstation! You can also change the icon to whatever you’d like using this knowledge base entry.

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 Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\cdrom


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.

Disable Option To Install Updates on Shutdown

Windows updates are a necessity and need to be done to keep a stable a secure system. But, there are times when you want to shut your computer down quickly, not having to “Install Updates and then shut down computer”. There are times when you don’t care, and do want to update. So, why doesn’t Windows give you the choice? Well, follow these steps and it will finally give you the choice.

1. Open regedit (Start > type regedit and press enter).

2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU. If it doesn’t exist, you can right click and create a new key (I had to create both the WindowsUpdate and the AU key).

3. Create a new DWORD (32-Bit), with the name NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption and modify its value to “1“.

4. Now you will have the regular Shutdown button as well as the Install Updates and Shut Down button. Some users like to have this control over their PC, and this gives it to you.

Disable Safe Mode

For some reason, if you decide you don’t want users to use Safe Mode, here is a way to disable access.

1. Open the Registry Editor (Start > Type regedit and press enter.

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot.

3. Rename the Minimal and Network subkeys to Minimal.old and Network.old.

4. Reboot, and you will not be able to access Safe Mode by pressing F8

Disable Thumbnails on Taskbar

Windows 7 has a live preview thumbnail of your running programs when you hover over the icon on your taskbar. Some people love it, like I do, and others don’t care for it so much. Here is how to disable the thumbnails on your taskbar.

1. Open regedit (Start > type regedit and press enter).

2. Naviate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

3. In the right pane, right click and select “New” and “DWORD (32-Bit)”. Give it the name TaskbarNoThumbnail.

4. Right click the new name and select “Modify”. Change the value to “1“.

5. Close regedit, reboot (or log off and back on). You will no longer have the taskbar thumbnails. To reverse it and get your thumbnails back, just delete the new key you created or change the value to “0“.

Empty Recycle Bin of multiple accounts (Command Line)

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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.

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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!