I love hotkeys… WIN+ALT+D

I am frequently writing an email where I need to take a peek at a calendar to determine what the date is for some day next week. The new Windows 10 calendar that is under the click of the clock is great, but I have always wanted a way to use this calendar via a…

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What is CDD.sys?

I frequently run across drivers running on Windows and need to figure out what the driver is for and who owns it. Today’s driver is CDD.sys. It was being called into by Win32k.sys, the kernel side of the Windows Messaging subsystem on Windows, indicating something to do with graphics. I was able to determine this…

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What is an Access Violation?

An access violation (AV) occurs when the program performs and action on a memory address that does not align with the page protection for that memory. 3 common types: Read Write Execute from non-executable In order to determine the cause for the AV, you first need to know which type you are dealing with. With…

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What is a deadlock?

A deadlock is a situation in which two or more competing actions are each waiting for the other to finish, and thus neither ever does. Avoiding deadlocks is all about making sure any locks that are acquired in a series (A, B, C, etc.) are always acquired in the same order. For example, say we…

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Started means started, not completely ready.

Windows is extensible. Extensible means we have places that are built for external software writers to plug in to provide additional functionality that was not included by default. This makes Windows very powerful as a platform. This comes at a price. In any plug-in model, you have the option to document the contract or to…

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Our team is hiring. We debug Windows

I work on a team that debugs windows. Pre-snarky “Yes, I stay busy”. This means I work in Microsoft Support, talking to customers and internal support staff about two key types of issues: Crash, hang, or dump. Configured correctly and still not working. The Tools: Debugging Tools for Windows (Windbg) Windows Performance Toolkit (XPerf) Anything…

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Pinned Websites with ugly icons

I have become a big fan of pinning my most common web apps using IE9 and greater. The downside to this is that some sites have not spent the time making sure their favorite icon looks great when their site is pinned to the taskbar. This leaves me with ugly icons on the taskbar. Call…

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Windows 8: THE power user’s hotkey

In Windows 8 there are a lot of new keyboard hotkeys to help navigate. In my opinion the one that is going to be THE poweruser hotkey is…   WIN+X This brings up the following menu:   The underlined letter of each entry allows you to follow WIN+X with f – for programs and features…

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Windows 8: Shell commands (getting to “Special Folders”)

Via HKLM>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>Explorer>FolderDescriptions In a previous post I showed how to use the Shell:<location> style syntax to get to a Windows “Special Folder”. I wanted to share the full list and highlight the new ones for Windows 8. These can be used in the run dialog or the Start screen’s search dialog to quickly get to…

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Windows 8: Where did the Startup folder go?

I am a long time user of the Start menu’s “Startup” folder to run several apps that I want to launch after on logon. With the new Start menu now not showing this folder, I decided to figure out how to accomplish this task. I go into this already knowing the location this folder sits…

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