Switch between registry hives in Windows 10

When working on a product like Windows, it’s hard please everybody – a feature that will be well received by a certain consumer segment might be completely lost on or ignored by enterprises, etc. and the reality is that Microsoft despite being the software behemoth that it is, we end up having to make choices…


Windows 10 and File Explorer

It’s been a while since I posted anything so I figured I’d give you all, my good-looking audience, an update. My team and I have been pretty busy with File Explorer in Windows 10, and we are very excited about where we are headed and I personally am thrilled with the fact that we get…


Adventures in reinterpret_cast

It’s like dialing the wrong number and then going on as if you’re talking to the person you intended to anyway Today I was helping one of my teammates debug an issue he had been looking at for a while. The symptom was a crash here: HRESULT CGadget::GetPropertyValue(PROPERTYID propertyId, VARIANT *pRetVal) {      switch (propertyId)…


Why does explorer tell me the file was opened by the wrong program?

(or why Windows Audio is holding an Event Log file open) Today’s blog post will be about the “File in use” dialog. You may have encountered this dialog when trying to delete a file that you happened to have already open. In Windows Vista, all you got was “this file is open in another program”….


Why do .zip files from Mac OS show up as green/encrypted?

It’s kind of funny really. The ZIP specification mandates that a program/OS creating a zip archive include a tag informing about itself to the program trying to decompress the archive. This information is called “version made by”, and looks like this: 0 – MS-DOS and OS/2 (FAT / VFAT / FAT32 file systems) 1 -…


System Tray Notification area icons

If you’re a developer writing for Windows 7, you’ll probably have noticed that icons in the System Tray aren’t shown by default. Raymond Chen blogged about this recently, here and here. Notification icons are identified by a GUID, a Globally Unique IDentifier, which is just a big number. The idea is that each application that…


How do I file a bug for Windows 7?

Ok, so you can’t directly file a bug. Just imagine the number of random noise/issues (“my computer is slow” – well if you didn’t install that crapware you did last week maybe it wouldn’t be?)  we’d have to go through daily just to keep up with the volume. Believe it or not , the team…


So, what has your team been up to for the last six months?

I know, everybody must be asking themselves this question. Luckily, I can now show you a bit more of what my team and I have been working for the better part of 2011! Enter what we call the “Windows 8 Copy UX” Read Steven Sinofsky’s blog entry for the full details: Build Windows 8 -…


How to recover Google Chrome passwords and cookies

If you’re one of the two people in the world that follow my blog (thank you Mom!) then you know that I’ve recently had a run-in with physics and my hard drive lost. Long story short, I was able to recover the files like so. If you’ve reinstalled your machine like me, then recovering your…


How to Install the Visual C 7.1 Runtime on Windows 7

You might ask, why would I want to do that…ever? Well, it may become more clear in my next post, so bear with me. It turns out I wasn’t able to find a download location for the VC 7.1 runtime. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, whatever. What I did find was a DST update…