PCWorld’s editors band together to solve the greatest PC mysteries! Find out why your PC beeps on startup, what a .dat file is, how USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 differ, and much more! Read the full article @ PCWorld.com.
At 9:49 I thought this video was going to be boring but the rime just flew by. What this guy did is set up a VM, Installed MS-DOS 5, and then started upgrading to all major versions of Windows from 1 through 7. (He did skip Widows ME for some reason and included Windows 2000 which wasn’t really a non-business OS in my opinion.)
I love Windows 7. One of its best features is the speed of searching the entire content of my more than 2TB of storage on the start menu. However, indexing all this content does take some processor power. But what about your public computers? Users are storing data there so they’re not looking for that file they’re not sure where they saved. Yes, typing “exc[enter]” is a bit faster than finding Excel in the menu system (but maybe not if there’s not an icon on the desktop) but that’s a minor convenience.
So, why not turn off the search box and all that indexing and give the processing power back to running programs? (I would especially recommend this if you’ve upgraded an older computer which not as much power to begin with.) The folks over at How-To Geek have full instructions with screenshots on how to do just this. (The short version is: Control Panel | Programs and Features | Turn Windows features on or off | Uncheck Windows Search | Confirm | Reboot.)
End result: no search box on the start menu or in Windows explorer along with some recovered processor cycles from the lack of indexing.
Here’s an interesting interview with Mark Russonovich done by Paul Thurrott. Russinovich knows more about how Windows works than most people will ever know. What he talks about is a little on the under-the-hood technical-side but not too much. For example:
Paul Thurrott: So from an upgrade/migration picture, one of the easy complaints for Windows 7 is it doesn’t provide for in-place upgrades from XP. What went into that decision and what are the real issues there?
Mark Russinovich: Well, when you do an in-place upgrade, the test matrix for that is enormous. So, obviously, if we’re going to do an in-place upgrade, the most recent operating system is a higher priority than an older operating system that people are going to be coming from. From an enterprise perspective, it’s really not an issue because people don’t upgrade their systems, they do clean installs. From a consumer perspective, if you look at people running XP systems, they’re probably running older hardware that’s not even in the class of Vista/Windows 7 where it would make sense to do an upgrade.
In addition, if you look at trends in the past, consumers don’t upgrade either-they buy new PCs and get the new version of the operating system. So if you look at the return on investment of supporting the XP to Windows 7 upgrade path, versus the people that would actually benefit from making it easier than it is with the migration tool, it didn’t seem to make sense.
It’s not really “God Mode” as much as a single hidden folder that you can create in Windows 7 that contains shortcuts to pretty much anything you can do to control and configure Windows. How do you get this folder?
- Create a new folder. (I created mine on the desktop)
- Name the folder
Feel free to use any other text in replacement of “
GodMode” just don’t include spaces in the name unless you rename it later.
Everything here can be found either via the Control Panel or by typing it’s name into the start menu but just looking at the options here you might discover something you hadn’t heard of before.
In older version of Windows, when you were connected to a network, there was a small icon in the system tray that blinked showing network activity. In Windows 7 you just get an icon that shows whether you’re connected, activity or not. To get that icon back just download and install the free Network Activity Indicator for Windows 7 from Igor Tolmachev. I installed it on my home desktop over the weekend and I’ve had blinky goodness ever since.
Igor also has a few other networking tools you might want to check out while you’re there.
After a little dust-up with some open source people (Microsoft reused some os code without giving credit, whoops!) the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool has been re-released:
“The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive or a DVD. To create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Once this is done, you can install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.
“The ISO file contains all the Windows 7 installation files combined into a single uncompressed file. When you download the ISO file, you need to copy it to some medium in order to install Windows 7. This tool allows you to create a copy of the ISO file to a USB flash drive or a DVD. To install Windows 7 from your USB flash drive or DVD, all you need to do is insert the USB flash drive into your USB port or insert your DVD into your DVD drive and run Setup.exe from the root folder on the drive.
“Note: You cannot install Windows 7 from the ISO file until you copy it to a USB flash drive or DVD with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool and install from there.
“The copy of the ISO file that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool creates is bootable. Bootable media allows you to install Windows 7 without having to first run an existing operating system on your machine. If you change the boot order of drives in your computer’s BIOS, you can run the Windows 7 installation directly from your USB flash drive or DVD when you turn on your computer. Please see the documentation for your computer for information on how to change the BIOS boot order of drives.”
Technically there’s no “upgrade” from Windows 7 to XP. You’ll need to buy a non-upgrade version of Windows 7 if you want to do the big Vista skip. If you do end up going this route, there are several steps you should take to minimize the pain of loosing all of your data in the process. (You will still need to reinstall all of your applications however.) Check out Steve Gibson’s article on performing these steps on the SuperSite for Windows for all the details. (This is actually just a single section of his complete Upgrading to Windows 7 article covering all the differing variations.)