Category: OS Hacks


This tutorial will provide an in-depth explanation of how one could disable the hindering UAC (User Account Control) on their Windows Vista machine, in order to provide much easier administrative control over your computer system. Read below to find out how you can disable UAC on your computer and enjoy your administrative power without the irritants involved with having to accept prompts.

The first thing you must do is head to the “Control Panel”. To open the “Control Panel” you must click your “start” button, which is the small, round multi-coloured button in the bottom left of your screen. When you click the “start” button you will be presented with a menu like so:

Clicking the start menu

 

As you can see in the screenshot above, there is a small red oval around the text “Control Panel”. You must click the text “Control Panel” in order to open the “Control Panel”.

 

Once you have clicked the text “Control Panel", the “Control Panel” will open like so:

Searching control panel

 

The screenshot above depicts the “Control Panel” – the point of control over a Microsoft Windows operating system. You will notice a small red oval circling the text “Classic View”, which I recommend you click in order to achieve a more organized “Control Panel”, although it is best that you are in “Control Panel Home” view for the duration of this tutorial.

 

Once you are in “Control Panel Home” view, you will be presented with a screen just as it appears in the screenshot above. Once you have this screen you must then enter the text below in the text box at the top of the window marked “Search”

uac

 

Once you have typed the text “uac” into the “Search” bar, you will then be presented with a window just like so:

Control panel - user account control

 

You will notice in the screenshot above that there is a red oval around the text “Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off”. You must click this text and then allow administrative privileges by clicking the “Continue” button at the prompt. Once you have accepted the security prompt, you will be presented with the window below:

Deactivating UAC

 

As you can see there is a small red oval circling the text “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer”. You must click the small white box on the left of the text in order to remove the check from the box. Once you have removed the check, you must then click the “OK” button on the right side of the window.

 

Once you click the “OK” button, you will then be presented with the window below asking you to restart like so:

Restart now

 

You must click the button marked “Restart Now”, which is circled in red. Doing so will restart your computer, which will then have UAC disabled.

Congratulations! You have just disabled one of Microsoft Windows’ most irritating “features” and you can now traverse your computer more freely. Enjoy your newfound Windows knowledge.

This tutorial is aimed at showing every user of Windows Vista or Windows XP how they can dramatically decrease the boot time of their computer by disabling unnecessary startup programs. Read below to find out how you can decrease your boot time in just minutes.

The first step you must take is to open the “Run” window, which be opened by holding the “Windows” key and then pressing the “R” key.

Hold down “Windows” key, while holding the “Windows” key press the “R” key once and then release the “Windows” key.

 

Once you have opened the “Run” window, you may then proceed to opening the “System Configuration” window, which can be done by typing into the text box within the “Run” window the text below and then hitting the “Enter” key or clicking “OK”:

msconfig

 

You must enter the text into the appropriate text box like so:

Opening msconfig

 

Once you have entered the text above as shown you must then hit the “Enter” key or click the “OK” button.

 

Now you should have the “System Configuration” window open, which will look like this:

System configuration

 

You must now click the tab marked “Startup” on the top of the window like so:

System configuration - startup

 

The startup services shown above will vary depending on your computer. As you can see I am running Windows Vista on a Lenovo computer.

 

You must now scroll through this list of programs and remove the programs that you know are not necessary by left-clicking once in the white box on the left of the program name then clicking “Apply” then clicking “OK”. For example if you wanted to disable “Windows Defender” on startup, you would uncheck the box next to “Windows Defender” then click the button marked “Apply” then restart your computer.

 

Once you have clicked the the “OK” button you will be prompted to restart your computer, accept the prompt and your computer will restart. Once your computer restarts you will notice a decrease in your startup time, which will vary depending on which startup programs you disabled.

Congratulations! You have just decreased the boot up time of your computer. Enjoy your newfound Windows performance boosting knowledge.

This tutorial is written for all Windows users who are sick of those boring old Windows sounds and would like to change those sounds to a sound file of their choice. Read below to find out how you can modify the system sounds on your Windows computer in a few easy steps.

The first step is to use the Win+R key combination in order to open the “Run” window, which can be done using the combination highlighted below:

Press and hold the “Windows” key (bottom right of keyboard) and then press the “R” key once. Now release the “Windows” and “R” key.       The “Run” window will now be open.

 

Now that you have opened the “Run” window, you must enter the text “mmsys.cpl” into the text box provided within the “Run” window, as shown below:

Running mmsys

 

Once you enter the text into the text box provided as shown above, you must then click the “OK” button or hit the “Enter” key, which will open the “Sounds and Audio Devices Properties” window, which will allow you to change the sound settings on your computer. The “Sounds and Audio Devices Properties” window will appear as shown below:

Sounds and audio devices properties

 

Now that you have the window open, you must then left-click once the “Sounds” tab from the top of the window, which will bring up the window shown below:

Sounds and audio devices properties - sounds

 

Now that you have the window shown above on your screen, you must then select the event you would like to change the sound for. For example if you click “Asterisk” and then use the drop-down box or the “Browse…” button to search for the .wav file you wish to play when the “Asterisk” event occurs, as shown below:

Sounds and audio devices properties - sounds selection

 

All you must do is select a Windows sound from this drop down list for the event of which you wish to change, left-click the sound once and then click the “Apply” button and then click the “OK” button to apply the new settings. In addition you may click the “Browse…” button and then navigate to an appropriate .wav file stored on your harddrive and select it and then click the “Apply” button and then click the “OK” button, just as you would if you were to use the drop-down box method.

 

You may replace “Asterisk” with any other event sound you wish to change, as “Asterisk” was just an example. You may use the procedure above to change any of the event sounds in the scrollable list. Once you have selected and applied the sound for the event or events you wish to use, you may close the “Sounds and Audio Devices Properties” window and proceed with using your computer just as you normally would. Although, if you have changed startup sounds then you may restart whenever you like in order to test them.

Congratulations! You have just edited the event sounds on your Windows computer. Enjoy your newfound Windows modification knowledge.

This tutorial explains to all Windows users how they can install a simple program that will allow them to close all open programs in a single click. Read below to find out how easily you can install this wonderful program and boost your efficiency.

The first thing you must do is be sure that you have an active internet connection, which can be checked by opening your favourite web browser (i.e Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and visiting the website of your choice. For example, type into the address bar at the top of the browser “www.google.com” and then hit the “Enter” key. If the Google webpage loads then you have an active internet connection, if the webpage does not load then you should try another website, if the second website does not load then you do not have an active internet connection.

 

Now that we have that out of the way we can get to the good part, installing the program!

 

To acquire the installer for the software you must visit the URL below:

http://www.ntwind.com/software/utilities/close-all.html#download

 

Once you have clicked the link above and it has opened in your default web browser, you will see the following page:

Downloading the CloseAll zip file

 

You will notice that in the above picture there is a red circle around the text “Download – CloseAll.zip (36 KB). You must click this text (which will bring up a dialogue asking you whether you would like to open or save the file). If you open or save the file you must extract it using an “Archive Extractor” which can be found by visiting the download page of “WinRAR” linked below:

http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

 

Once you have extracted the “CloseAll.zip” file to your desktop, you must open the folder (which should be named “CloseAll”) and then right-click the file named “CloseAll.exe” and move your mouse to “Send To” and then select “Desktop (create shortcut)”.

 

Once you have selected “Send To” and then selected “Desktop (create shortcut)”, an icon of a red “X” will appear on your desktop and the icon should be named “CloseAll”. In order to enable the famous “One click close”, you must click and drag the “CloseAll” icon on your desktop into the “Taskbar”, on the right side of your “Start” button and then release the drag when the icon hovers over the “Taskbar” with a small curved arrow indicating a shortcut appears over the icon of which you are moving.

 

Now whenever you would like to close every program open in your taskbar, all you must do is click the “Red X” in your “Taskbar”, next to your “start” button.

Congratulations, you just made your computer much more effective in the way of ending applications. Enjoy your newfound Windows convenience knowledge.

This tutorial is written for Windows XP users who are tired of the cliché “Recycle Bin” and would like to rename their trash folder to something unique. Read below to find out how you can rename the trash folder to anything you choose.

The first thing you must do is open the “Registry Editor”, which can be opened by holding the “Windows” key and then tapping the “R” key.

 

Once the “Registry Editor” is opened you must navigate to the location shown below:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ CLSID \ {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

 

Once you get to the location shown above, you will need to edit the value to whichever name you would like to appear in place of “Recycle Bin”, such as “Trash” or “Garbage Bin”. To edit the value you must right click the value named “LocalizedString” and then select “Modify” from the context menu that appears and then enter the preferred name and hit “Enter”

In case you do not yet understand the value you need to edit, it is circled in red in the screenshot below:

Recycle Bin Renaming

Once you have renamed the value and hit the “Enter” key, the value will be set and you can close the “Registry Editor” window by clicking the red “X” in the top right corner of the window.

 

After you have closed the “Registry Editor” window you can restart your computer to be absolutely certain that the change will fully take effect or you can continue using your computer normally (although your ”Recycle Bin” may still be named the same, until you restart).

Congratulations. You just modified the Windows XP registry to make it work for you by changing the default name of your trash folder. Enjoy your newfound Windows XP modification knowledge.

This tutorial shows you how to remove an irritating feature of Windows Vista, known as “Fast User Switching”. Using this feature just allows you to run multiple login account parallel to each other, although doing such will dramatically affect the performance of each of the logins. Overall, this is an unnecessary feature that can be disabled quickly and easily. Read below to find out how you can disable this feature in under a minute.

There are two methods used in order to disable this feature. The first method is below:

Method 1

 

The first thing you must do is open the “Run” dialogue. To do so, you must open the “start” button and then type into the “Search” bar the text below:

gpedit.msc

 

Once you have entered the text above, you must hit the “Enter” key. This will open the “Group Policy Editor” window. What you must do in this window is navigate to the location below:

Local Computer Policy –> Administrative Templates –> System –> Logon

 

Once you have navigated to the location above, you must set the option “Hide entry points for Fast User Switching” to “Enabled”.

 

Now, assuming the above settings worked on your specific version of Windows Vista, the ”Fast User Switching” option will now stop appearing in the Login UI (Login User Interface), the Task Manager and also the Windows “start” menu.

 

If the above method did not work then you may try the method below. The most common reason for the above method not working is the fact that certain versions of Windows Vista do not come with the “Group Policy Editor” software. If this is the case and the above method will not work then you should try the registry method below.

Method 2

 

In order to use the registry method to deactivate the “Fast User Switching” option, you must first open the Windows Vista registry. To do so you must hold the “Windows” key and then tap the “R” key once, doing this will open the “Run” dialogue, which you are about to use to open the “Registry Editor”.

 

Once the “Run” dialogue is open you must type the text below into the text box and then hit the “Enter” key or click the “OK” button:

regedit

 

Once you have entered the above text and hit the “Enter” key or clicked the “OK” button, you will now have an open “Registry Editor” window. The first thing you must do with this window is navigate to the location below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System

 

Now right click in an open, white space in the right window pane and select “New” and then select “DWORD Value” and name the value using the text exactly as shown below:

HideFastUserSwitching

 

Then change the value of the key to the following:

1

 

Once you have changed the value and hit enter, the value will now show “1”.

 

You can now close the “Registry Editor” by clicking the red “X” in the top right side of the window.

 

Now you must restart your computer for the changes to take effect (sometimes the feature will deactivate without having to restart, although it never hurts to restart just to be sure).

Well done, the feature will now be deactivated and you can enjoy your computer without the irritating “Fast User Switching” feature. Enjoy your newfound Windows Vista knowledge.

This tutorial is written for all of you computer users out there who hate Norton Antivirus but for some reason are forced by their computer system to use the Norton suite, as it will not let you uninstall it. Read below to learn how you can give Norton the boot and install the Antivirus program you have been waiting for.

The first step you are going to have to take towards removing all of Norton Antivirus’ countless traces throughout your computer in just a few simple steps, using the Windows “Registry Editor”.

 

The first thing you are going to have to  do is open the Windows “Registry Editor”. This can be opened by using the “Win + R” (press and hold the Windows key and then tap the "R” key) key combination, which will open the “Run” window.

 

Now that you have opened the “Registry Editor” you will need to navigate to the “Software” folders throughout the Windows registry and then delete everything related to “Norton” within each of the “Software” folders.

 

The first “Software” folder that you need to remove “Norton/Symantec” from, is the folder in the directory below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/(your Norton/Symantec directory here)

 

The folder shown above is also depicted in the screenshot below:

Removing Norton

 

The second and last “Software” folder that you need to remove “Norton/Symantec” from, is the directory shown below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/(your Norton/Symantec directory here)

 

The folder shown above is also depicted on the screenshot below:

Software folder

 

You will now be able to install another antivirus software as well as be certain that your computer is now completely free of the Norton/Symantec software that was once installed on your computer. Feel free to head down to the local tech store and collect a new antivirus suite, or perhaps visit an online marketplace to pick up your new antivirus software.

Congratulations! You have just removed the most useless antivirus program from your computer and are now completely ready to install your brand new, state of the art antivirus suite. I recommend McAfee, I have had years of experience with this antivirus software and it has not yet let me down. Enjoy your newfound software removal knowledge.

This tutorial is written for all of you Windows users out there who find it very irritating having to press that “Num Lock” key EVERY time you try to enter a number using the numerical pad. Read below to find out how you can make the “Num Lock” key activate automatically as soon as you turn on your computer.

The first step you are going to have to take is to open the Windows registry editor. This can be opened by using the “Win + R” (press and hold the Windows key and then tap the "R” key) key combination, which will open the “Run” window. Once you have opened the “Run” window, you must enter the text highlighted below, into the text box of the “Run” window:

regedit

 

Once you have entered the text highlighted above into the “Run” window’s text box, you must hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. Doing this will open your computer’s “Registry Editor”, which you are going to use to allow tell the “Num Lock” key to turn on as soon as you turn on your PC.

 

Now that your “Registry Editor” Window is open you must navigate through the registry keys, using the folder tree on the left of the screen. In order to navigate to the registry key that will tell the “Num Lock” key to turn on automatically, you must use the expand the following registry folders by clicking the “+” sign next to the following registry folders and then their corresponding subfolder in the order shown below:

1.   HKEY_CURRENT_USER

2.           Control Panel

3.                     Keyboard

 

If you do not understand the instructions highlighted above, you may use the screenshots below to make sense of what exactly you should be expanding:

Registry Editing - Num Lock On Boot

 

Once you have expanded the folders and subfolders in the order shown above, you must click onto the title of the “Keyboard” folder, which will display you with the values shown in the screenshot above, which are (in case you can’t see them clearly) as follows:

Name Type Data
(Default) REG_SZ (value not set)
InitialKeyboardIndicators REG_SZ 2
KeyboardDelay REG_SZ 1
KeyboardSpeed REG_SZ 31

 

In order to enable the automatic “Num Lock” on feature, you must edit the “InitialKeyboardIndicators” value to the number “2”. Just as I have done in the screen shot above.

 

Once you have done this, restart your computer and your automatic “Num Lock” feature will now be activated.

Congratulations, you just worked around the many complications of enabling the “Num Lock” key on startup in Windows. Enjoy your newfound Windows Registry editing knowledge.

This tutorial is written for every computer user who is currently experiencing some kind of remorse after upgrading their precious Windows XP system to the buggy Windows Vista. Read below to find out how you can downgrade from Windows Vista to Windows XP without formatting your hard drive and without losing any files.

The first step that you are going to have to take to get your XP machine up and running, is of course to ensure that you have a copy of your Windows Vista administrator password written down and placed conveniently next to your PC.

 

If you are unsure of how to find/change your administrator password in Windows Vista then follow the tutorial below to find it in 2 minutes:

https://chafflube.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/how-to-change-administrator-password-in-windows-vista/

 

Once you have found and recorded your “administrator” password for Windows Vista, you can proceed to the next step.

 

The first step towards installing Windows XP over the top of Windows vista, without formatting your harddrive, is to open your computer’s disc tray and insert an original “Windows XP Install” disc. Once you have inserted the disc, you must close the disc tray and then restart your computer.

 

Once your computer restarts you will notice that the first prompt you will see is a “Press any key to boot from CD” prompt. When you see this prompt hit the “Enter” key, this will begin loading the boot files from the Windows XP disc.

Note: If you are not presented with the “Press any key to boot from CD” prompt, even though the disc is in the drive and you have tried resetting the computer once again, then you will need to configure your BIOS to boot from CD.

 

Assuming that you have been given the “Press any key to boot from CD” prompt and have hit the “Enter” key, you will need to wait for the first page to display. On the first page you will be prompted to enter a letter corresponding to your desired option, in this case you will need to hit the “R” key. Hitting the “R” key on the first screen, once setup has loaded, will log your computer into the “Windows XP Recovery Console”, which we are going to use to fool the computer into thinking it is not running an operating system at all; this allows you to downgrade to Windows XP.

 

Once you have hit the “R” key and entered the “Recovery Console”, you must type the following commands in the order shown below:

fixboot

fixmbr

cd \

ren windows winvista

exit

 

After you have entered the above commands into the “Recovery Console” your computer will restart. If your PC does not restart then hold the power button down for 5-10 seconds, or until your PC turns off.

 

Once your computer has restarted, you must keep the “Windows XP Install” CD in the disc tray and then boot from the CD just as you did before. This time though, you must install Windows XP just as you usually would by following the installation prompts.

Well done, you have just saved yourself a whole lot of hassle and a whole lot of money trying to find a computer technician to do that for you, also you now have something to show off to all of your geeky friends! Enjoy your newfound Windows XP installation knowledge.

This tutorial was written for all computer users who enjoy the convenience of the “Sleep” feature in Windows XP but do not enjoy the inconvenience of having to click multiple buttons to initiate the “Sleep” phase. Instead you can create a simple desktop shortcut that will put your computer into “Sleep” mode as soon as you double-click it. Read below to find out how easily you can create this convenient shortcut.

The first thing you are going to have to do is go to your desktop. You can do this by either right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Show the Desktop” or by minimizing each currently open window and application.

 

Once you are at the desktop right click a blank area on the screen. When you do so a context box should appear like so:

right click context menu on desktop

 

As you can see in the screenshot above, to create a “shortcut” you must select from the context menu “New” and then another sub-menu will appear, in which you will select “Shortcut”. Doing this will start the “Create Shortcut” window. The window will appear like so:

Create shortcut

 

In the window you will want to enter the following text into the text box highlighted with the red circle in the screenshot above:

rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState

 

After you have entered the above text into the text box you must click the “Next” button. When you click the “Next” button you will be presented with the following window:

Select a title for the program

 

Once the above window has appeared on your screen you must then type into the text box beneath the text “Type a name for this shortcut”, the text you would like to appear beneath the icon of your “Sleep” shortcut.

 

After you have entered the preferred name for your new shortcut, you must click the “Next” button.

 

You will now have your shortcut, which should look like the following:

Sleep icon

 

Congratulations your icon is now active. When you double-click your new “Sleep” icon, your computer will enter “Sleep” state. “Sleep” state is when your computer stores the current session to RAM and puts itself into a low power state to conserve energy and will load your session back to exactly as it was when you put it to “Sleep” as soon as you press the “Power on/off” button.

This guide is sure to save you on your power bill and also impress your friends with your ability to use customized system icons. Enjoy your newfound Windows shortcut knowledge.

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