How to Shutdown Windows with Your Eyes Closed

Shutdown dialog
Shutdown dialog

It seems inevitable. At some point, you get into a situation where you need to shutdown Windows without a display or a mouse. Maybe your laptop screen has failed or your  display driver is problematic. Or perhaps, you need to drive some automation to shutdown Windows. This little trick will allow you to shutdown Windows…

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If I’m an Administrator, Why Do I Get Access Denied?

UAC logo
UAC logo

User Account Control (UAC) can seem mysterious. After all, if I’m a member of the Administrators group, shouldn’t I have access to everything?  If you’re a developer, you’ll run into a UAC issue sooner or later.  In this post, I’ll cover the basics that every developer should know. Standard User by Default Running applications as…

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Why does a High DPI Setting Make My Application Look Fuzzy and Have Clipped Text?

If you increase your DPI setting in Windows 7 (or Vista), you may notice your application doesn’t look the way you intended. What’s the Big Deal? You may say, “Nobody changes the default DPI, right?” Well, Windows 7 might. Windows 7 may increase the default DPI setting based on the resolution the video card supports. …

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Q: Why Doesn’t Drag-and-Drop work when my Application is Running Elevated? – A: Mandatory Integrity Control and UIPI

UAC logo
UAC logo

If you run notepad elevated (Right click | Run as Administrator), and you try and drag-and-drop a file from Windows Explorer, nothing happens. It looks like it is going to work because the pointer icon changes but the file doesn’t open. Weird, huh?   What’s Going On?   In the traditional NT Security model (prior…

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Common Application Installer Issues on Windows 7 (and Vista)

There are some very common application installer issues developers run into due to UAC.  Most of the issues are easy to fix.  I’ll cover the most common issues in this post. Per Machine Installers Need Admin Privileges Unless you have a ClickOnce installer, your installer probably installs to a per machine location. The recommended location…

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Common Problems with Checking OS Versions in Code

When a new OS is released, a high percentage of applications don’t install or don’t run because they check for a specific OS version.  The application or installer checks for a specific version number and exits if it isn’t what is expected. I’ve heard claims of up to 50% of incompatibility issues are due to…

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Common Issues with 32-bit Applications Failing on 64-bit

In most cases, 32-bit applications execute with no issues on 64-bit thanks to WOW64. However, there are a few cases that you may need to make modifications to your application in order for it to work on 64-bit.  I’ll cover the common issues and possible solutions in this post. 64-bit OS Basics Issue Solution 32-bit…

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Tales of Application Compatibility Weirdness – Demystifying UAC Virtualization

We had a customer in the lab recently and they were quite certain their application was Windows 7 ready. To their surprise, it had several issues in certain situations.  In this post, I’ll talk about one of the situations they encountered as well as other stumbling blocks you might run into with UAC Virtualization. Why…

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Answers to Several Application Manifest Mysteries and Questions

Recently, someone asked me this question in e-mail — “How do I get my application to run elevated when someone launches it?”   Instinctively, I responded with a “You need to manifest it.”  I got a nice long e-mail in return. 😉 I quickly realized that application manifests appear simple but are quite confusing. Manifests are…

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Windows 7 Application Compatibility Testing Guidance document

If you have an existing application, you may be wondering if it’s going to work on Windows 7.  If it works on Vista, you have a good shot at it working on Windows 7. As a developer or a tester, you may be wondering if you have tested your application to uncover potential issues on…

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