The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

It’s great to see Windows 7 Beta finally released to the world! We’re very proud of what has been accomplished over the last months; in many ways, it sets a new quality bar for a beta operating system release. Building on top of the Windows Vista foundation, Windows 7 adds a great deal of polish…

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Windows Vista Secret #11: Deleting the Undeletable

As many of us move forward from Windows XP or prior beta versions of Windows Vista to the final RTM version, I thought this little tip / secret might be in order. You may be aware that Windows Vista includes a number of different ways to upgrade a computer, from a straight in-place upgrade (insert…

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Windows Vista Secret #10: Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Six Keystrokes

User Account Control is, as I mentioned in secret #4, an important part of the security protection that Windows Vista offers. For any user with administrative credentials, you can always execute a process with full admin rights by right-clicking on the executable or shortcut and choosing “Run as Administrator”. For myself, I regularly want to…

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Windows Vista Secret #9: Kill the Startup Monsters

If there’s one thing that puts me off an application, it’s when it unnecessarily inserts itself into the Windows startup process so that it can have its very own system tray icon from whence it can spam me with annoying messages. Obviously it makes sense for some applications to run on startup (for example, I want…

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Windows Vista Secret #8: Zoom in Explorer

The awesome guys from the Windows Vista Magazine revealed a great Windows Vista secret recently that I wanted to bring to a broader audience. When you’re browsing around the file system in Explorer, it’s often useful to be able to quickly switch between different folder views. If you’re looking at a folder with lots of long…

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Windows Vista Secret #7: The Oldest Component in Windows?

We go to fairly extreme lengths to try to maintain compatibility with older applications, as Raymond Chen’s blog often demonstrates in vivid fashion. As an example of this, some of you may remember seeing Jim Allchin’s demonstration of Visicalc (the earliest spreadsheet) at PDC 2003 running on Windows Vista (then known as “Longhorn”, of course)….

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Windows Vista Secret #6: Running a Command Prompt During Setup

If you’re doing a fresh install of Windows Vista, you’ll probably use a bootable DVD so that you’re able to reformat the system partition. But sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where you could really use a command prompt as you go through those initial configuration stages (for example, when I installed Windows…

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Windows Vista Secret #5: Running Quick Launch Items

Saw this posted on one of the internal forums today, and I thought this was something that was worth sharing. If you’re a keyboard junkie, you’ll love this. Do you have a few applications that you’re always firing up? Would you like a system-wide keyboard shortcut to run them? Here’s what you do. Simply add…

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Windows Vista Secret #4: Disabling UAC

If you’re a reader of this blog, I’m going to take a low-risk gamble and assert that you probably consider yourself a power user. You pride yourself in the responsibility of having full and absolute control over your machine environment and anything that comes between that perfect human-machine symbiosis is to be spurned. If only…

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Windows Vista Secret #3: Bringing Back Start / Run

The Start menu got a big overhaul in Windows Vista, with a number of significant changes made as a result of usability testing and research. One of the nicest innovations to my mind is the search bar at the bottom, which searches through your programs, document files, emails and anything else for which a search provider…

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