Cara Mengakses File Linux dari Windows WSL?

Ada yang sudah coba WSL? itu loh Windows Subsystem for Linux. Kini kita sudah secara resmi dan (relatif) mudah mengakses file Linux yang ada di WSL dengan Windows Explorer (explorer.exe).

Microsoft menulis konfirmasi tentang itu di blog mereka disini. Berikut caranya:

Login terminal ke WSL, Continue reading Cara Mengakses File Linux dari Windows WSL?

Cara Memperbaiki Services Windows Yang Kena Virus/Hack

Simak cara memperbaiki WIndows yang rusak servicesnya disini.

Services Windows atau program-program yang berjalan secara otomatis untuk menyediakan fungsi-fungsi tertentu di Windows, seperti Fax, Spoiler Printer, Windows Defender dll adalah salah satu penyokong utama nyaman tidaknya Windows digunakan.

Adakalanya, setelah kena virus baik Trojan maupun Adware, services windows ini jadi salah satu kompatemen di sistem operasi yang rusak parah karena banyak yang dimanipulasi. Menggunakan Antivirus pun tak akan bisa maksimal, karena mereka tak akan memulihkan setting services.

Continue reading Cara Memperbaiki Services Windows Yang Kena Virus/Hack

Tutorial Windows: How to Download Windows 10 Lock Screen Wallpapers Set by Windows Spotlight

Windows Spotlight is one of the new features available in Windows 10 and it brings new wallpapers on your lock screen every day, allowing you to rate them individually and get more photos that are specifically tailored to match your preferences.

Some of these backgrounds look absolutely fantastic, and it’s no surprise that users are looking into ways to save them and either use them at a later time or set them as wallpapers on their desktops.

To do this, you don’t need any fancy third-party apps because all lock screen backgrounds are actually saved on your computer and stay there if you’ve rated them with a “yes” mark.

How to reach the photos

Basically, all photos are stored in the following folder (make sure you replace username with your own user account):

code
C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalPackagesMicrosoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewyLocalStateAssets

If you’re looking for an easy way to access this folder, simply open the run dialog by pressing the Windows key + R and enter this line:

code
%localappdata%PackagesMicrosoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewyLocalStateAssets 
Files downloaded by the Windows Spotlight feature

Files downloaded by the Windows Spotlight feature

You should now see what looks like a list of files named with random numbers and letters, but that’s the list of wallpapers that you actually liked and that got downloaded to your PC.

These files, however, do not have any extension assigned to their names, so you have to do that manually. Copy all photos to a new folder (do not make any changes in the original directory because you might break down Windows Spotlight) and rename photos one by one by adding the extension .jpg at the end of the file name.

Since there are plenty of files there, renaming them one by one is clearly a process that could take longer than what you’d be willing to spend on such a task. So you can either use a third-party app like Bulk Rename Utility or use a little trick.

Press the Shift button and right-click in the folder where you’ve copied the folders, hit the option that says “Open Command Prompt here,” and in the new window, type the following command:

code
Ren *.* *.jpg

All files should be instantly added a .jpg extension, and you should now be able to load your photos with the default image viewer.

Tutorial Windows: How to Upgrade from Windows 10 Home 1511 to Pro Version

If you’re one of those users who want more control over Windows updates and also need features that are bundled into the Pro SKU, then you obviously want to move from Home to Pro in an easy manner, without losing any of your data.

Luckily, Microsoft does provide a way to upgrade from Home to Pro without the need for a clean reinstall. And what’s more, the whole process doesn’t cost anything, but you’re still going to need a Pro key to validate your install.

How to upgrade to Pro

In a post dated November 20, Microsoft engineer Charles explains that before the November Update (version 1511), the process of moving from Home to Pro was not at all straightforward, but the company has revised this with the latest patches.

“We are going to make these steps more visible and easier to find for folks.  Sorry that has not been the case.  The process is not really straight forward; I guess we were hoping folks would upgrade their 8 PCs to Pro and then upgrade to 10.  Well we have lots of people and lots of scenarios and lots of folks want to start fresh,” he explains.

So in order to simply upgrade from Home to Pro, follow the next path:

Settings > Update & Security > Activation > Change product key

And enter the following key:

VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

This is the key that allows you to perform the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, but it won’t validate your install. Basically, your Windows 10 PC will be pushed into a trial mode, so you have 30 days to provide a genuine Windows 10 Pro key to activate.

Keep in mind that this method only works if your Windows 10 Home PC is already running the November Update (version 1511). To check the version number currently running on your computer, click the Start menu, type “cmd” and enter the following command:

“winver”

If your Windows about screen looks like the one below, then you can safely upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

The Windows about screen showing the version number

The Windows about screen showing the version number

Tutorial Windows: How to Enable Windows Defender Adware Blocking in Windows 10

Microsoft has recently added a new adware protection system for enterprises, allowing them to detect and block Potentially Unwanted Applications (also known as PUAs) on their computers.

But according to Microsoft’s own announcement, this feature was only available for enterprises, so consumers running Windows 10 Home or Pro, for example, aren’t getting it.

And yet, there’s a very simple way to enable this feature on any computer with Windows Defender, and as gHacks notes, it all comes down to just a few registry tweaks.

Before anything, make sure you create a backup or a system restore point, just in case something goes wrong and you need to recover your Windows install.

How to enable adware blocking

First and foremost, launch the Registry Editor. To do this, click the Start menu and type “regedit.exe.” Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindows Defender

Double click the Windows Defender folder to expand it, right-click it and hit the New > Key option to create a new entry called “MpEngine” (without the quotes). Right-click this newly-created key called MpEngine and select New > DWord (32-bit) Value and call the new entry “MpEnablePus” (again without the quotes). Double-click it, enter value 1, click OK, and restart your computer.

Your settings should look exactly like in the screenshot at the end of the article.

There’s one major thing that you need to take into account. Enabling adware protection in Windows Defender is a double-edged sword. While it can indeed prevent some unwanted apps from running on your PC, it could also block legitimate software, so always keep an eye on Windows Defender to see which executables are allowed and which are not.

On the good side, exes that are found to be dangerous are automatically quarantined, so you can always whitelist and run them as a legitimate app.

It’s probably a matter of time until Microsoft makes this option available by default in Windows Defender for all users, but in the meantime, this trick surely comes in very handy.

This is how your settings should look like with the new keys

This is how your settings should look like with the new keys

Tutorial Windows: Blocking Ads in Microsoft Edge via the HOSTS file

What happens when you get a new toy car, but the doors, trunk, and hood won’t open, wheels won’t turn, and isn’t fitted with a little motor to give it some momentum, unlike your other toy cars do? Well, you either find an excuse to get rid of it, or find a way to adapt it.

To better understand the above, just replace the new toy car you got with Microsoft Edge, and the others in your collection with the other web browsers you’re familiar with, even Internet Explorer. There’s no need to waste time, nor precious space to refill you in on what Microsoft did, or did not (yet) include in its brand-new browser, so we’re going to cut to the chase.

A considerable convenience when riding the information superhighway is to have an Ad blocker nearby, just in case you don’t want to bump into any annoying banners, pop-ups, or whatever it is that acts like bad TV commercials.

Since Microsoft Edge isn’t yet able to support extensions, AdBlock Plus and other such solutions can’t be used. However, we wouldn’t be writing this whole article if there weren’t any methods to force Edge into blocking ads.

Editing the HOSTS file

Windows doesn’t recognize websites and domains by their URL, as you do, but rather by their Internet address, like the mailman delivers correspondence by street address and house number, not by people’s names.

The HOSTS file is responsible for this task, and can be used to block websites and domains you consider dangerous or don’t want any other user on your computer to be able to access.

Tip: Discover the Default and Third-Party Apps to Edit the Windows HOSTS File.

Since we brought this up, you need to know that ads can be blocked in a similar way, but doing all the work by yourself is a task that requires too much effort not to quickly give up and look for alternatives.

Luckily, someone already thought of this trick some time back, and created a HOSTS file specially designed for this task. It’s frequently updated with new entries, and you can download and find more about MVPS HOSTS here. Now, we’re just going to go through what it takes to make it work.

Step 1-a: Go to this location

C:WINDOWSSystem32driversetc

Step 1-b: Copy the hosts file (it has no extension) to a secure location to have a backup, in case you ever want to revert changes.

Step 2: Download the zip archive from the MVPS HOSTS website linked above.

Step 3: Extract content, and place the HOSTS file in the directory mentioned above. If you’re asked for overwrite confirmation, click Yes.

Tip: Learn How to Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows in case you’re not allowed to overwrite the HOSTS file.
Note: A HOSTS file larger than 135 KB usually slows down the computer, but there is a way this can be solved by disabling the DNS Client service.
Default HOSTS file:
Default HOSTS file

Default HOSTS file

Large HOSTS file:
Large HOSTS file

Large HOSTS file

Step 4: Press Win + R in order to look for, and run services.msc.

Step 5: Scroll down until you see the DNS Client service, and double-click it to access its properties.

Tip: You can click the Name column header to sort in alphabetical order for easier identification.

Step 6: From the Startup Type drop-down menu, choose Manual. Now, press the Stop button. Hit Apply and OK to confirm changes.

Now, whenever you go online using Microsoft Edge, banners and other kind of ads no longer show up. Instead, the banner is replaced with a message that lets you know the specific page can’t be reached. However, pop-ups still show up, but the built-in component should normally handle this, in most cases anyway.

Third-party alternatives

One method is to install Adguard Web Filter, which supports Microsoft Edge and other browsers as well. It’s easy to set up, sitting mostly in the system tray, and doesn’t attach itself to the web browser.

Another similar application is AdFender, and you can read more about it at the link provided, where you also find download links. Unlike Adguard Web Filter, this one also comes with a standard, free edition that is enough for basic ad blocking. Just make sure to bring up the main window from the tray icon in order to select all filters for better chances at blocking unwanted ads.

Important Note: AdFender relies on its own proxy connection, which might make some web pages difficult to respond. This can be disabled from the Settings panel under Network & Internet. From there, switch to Proxy on the left pane, and under Manual Proxy Setup, make sure the Use a Proxy Server option is Off. However, doing so disables the functionality of AdFender.

On an ending note

The thing is, the sole purpose of ads is not to annoy you, but some, if not most websites out there rely on advertising in order to further sustain functionality. For all you know, some ads can even come up with offers you might really benefit from. However, if a clean navigation is all you need, then these methods are sure to help, given you’re fond of Microsoft’s web browser.

Tutorial Windows: Running Old (16-bit and 32-bit) Programs on a 64-bit Windows

Just like any other hardware component, the CPU has gone through some serious upgrades in the past few years. It’s not just about the number of cores, but the architecture has a greater saying in how everything runs, or if.

You’re probably aware by now that even the operating system molds around the CPU architecture, with versions for both 32-bit, and 64-bit processors. However, the 32-bit architecture isn’t the first, with 16-bit processors once ruling the world of IT.

What’s more, some applications are still built on the outdated architecture and can create compatibility issues with modern versions of Windows, despite Windows 10’s enhanced compatibility options. Chances are you can’t even get to see the application’s set of features because the installer itself can be on 16-bit.

Running old programs on new systems

Despite that technology is moving forward at an alarming rate, applications can’t just be switched to 64-bit versions. Luckily, Windows comes with a handler that is specially built to enable compatibility with 32-bit apps, namely the WoW64 compatibility layer. It enables you to run most 32-bit applications just as you normally would on a corresponding operating system.

The downside of having an application on the older architecture is that it can only benefit from a maximum of 2GB of memory, and most don’t even need a quarter of that amount. Video games, on the other hand, are mostly built on the 64-bit architecture, but older ones aren’t.

Run as Administrator

Sure enough, it’s best to install the video game or application for the right architecture if you want to avoid any potential compatibility issues. If there’s no other way around, it might have something to do with a component that still relies on the 16-bit architecture.

Running as administrator might be the first attempt at solving any compatibility issues. Even if the account you’re using has administrator rights, some applications are built to fail at launch in an attempt to prevent access to regular users.

Doing so only requires you to work with the context menu. There’s an option that clearly points out to Run as Administrator, with the UAC prompt immediately asking for confirmation. What’s more, you can make it always run this way, with the possibility to apply this to all users.

Tweaking compatibility settings

The option to always run a program with administrator privileges is brought by the built-in Windows compatibility system. You can read more about running applications under compatibility settings here, and there’s a high chance this might solve those issues with programs that stubbornly refuse to work.

The first time you run an application with compatibility settings, Windows monitors activity, and on exit, you’re asked whether or not it worked out just fine, or if you want to launch the compatibility troubleshooter for more options.

Drivers and other dependencies

Video games in particular heavily rely on drivers and other software components to make proper use of system resources, and for you not to experience any in-game technical difficulties. Most attention needs to be paid to drivers, because you can’t just install a 32-bit driver on a 64-bit operating system, or the other way around.

However, there are some situations where there’s absolutely no solution other than having that specific driver installed, but unless it’s digitally signed, Windows won’t let you install it. Luckily, you can manipulate it to let you.

All you have to do is press the Power button, hold down Shift and press Restart. In the prompt screen, choose to Troubleshoot. Then, go to Advanced Options, pick Startup Settings, and hit the Restart button in the bottom right corner. When the Startup Settings screen shows up, a set of options is put at your disposal, with one that lets you Disable Driver Signature Enforcement, so press F7 to trigger it, and you can now install all kinds of drivers, just be careful what you opt for.

Dependencies can also mean software products that hold various libraries required for some processes to function. You don’t really need them for default Windows activities, and that’s why they’re not there. For instance, some apps require Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package. It comes with versions for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, but it’s best to install both of them, because the target game or program looks for the one it needs, not the one that corresponds to your system, and no compatibility issues occur if you keep them both.

Running 16-bit apps and games

Truth be told, there’s no actual method of making 16-bit applications or games work without some special tweaks. Windows on 64-bit architectures doesn’t support them at all, since the WoW16 layer is not implemented, and trying to copy it from a 32-bit version of Windows doesn’t help either.

The bad part here is that even if the application itself is built on 32-bit architectures, you still can’t make it run if the installer is on 16-bit. A prompt appears and lets you know that This App Can’t Run on Your PC.

On the other hand, running a 32-bit version of Windows doesn’t cause any of these issues with 16-bit apps. However, it’s bad practice keeping a whole different operating system just for a single application or game, but you can install one in a virtual machine. Moreover, it’s possible to configure specialized applications like DOSBox for better compatibility with 16-bit programs and video games.

A few last words

In any case, Windows 10 shows some signs of improvement, at least when it comes to compatibility, even if it’s still not capable of natively running 16-bit apps and games from a 64-bit edition. This isn’t an issue you run into on a daily basis, but it’s good to know the workarounds in case you do happen to depend on such an old computer software product.

Tutorial Windows: Run Apps as Admin Without Password Prompt from Standard Windows Accounts

Basic security measures in Windows are heavily related to the administrator account, without which you wouldn’t have much freedom to install or run specific programs, services, or video games.

Even if you’re logged into an administrator account, prompts still show up when running certain executables, but you’re not asked to write down the password again. The situation changes when running the same applications from a regular account, with the prompt showing up, requiring the administrator password.

This method is used to prevent others from messing up system configurations, or worse, allowing malicious content to infiltrate, even by accident. On the other hand, this prompt becomes frustrating when you frequently have to run a specific program with a regular account, even if it’s made to enhance security.

Luckily, there are methods of providing the right clearance for a target program, without disabling anything, but rather simply granting full administrator privileges to just that specific program. Some tweaking is required, but there’s also an app for that.

The Windows method

Important note: First of all, an elevated administrator account must be enabled for this method to work. Doing so is easy, but it’s highly recommended NOT to use it for everyday activities, since it’s fitted with unrestricted access to any area of your computer, every operation you perform, and isn’t even prompted by the UAC, which makes it an easy target for malicious content.

Step 1: Make sure you’re currently logged into an administrator account. Launch the Command Prompt with admin privileges. It’s easily done by right-clicking the Start Menu button and choosing the option from the menu.

Step 2: Regardless of the location, type in this command:

net user administrator /active:yes

Step 3: Close the Command Prompt and access the Control Panel.

Step 4: From the User Accounts section, follow the link to Change Account Type.

Step 5: Now, pick the new Administrator account, and choose to Create a Password.

Step 6: Fill in the corresponding fields for the password and hint fields, and press the Create Password button. You can close the Control Panel.

Step 7: Sign out of the current administrator account and log into the one you want to grant special permission to.

Step 8: Go to the location you wish to launch the program from, or stay on the desktop. Right-click an empty space, and choose to create a New Shortcut.

Step 9: A new prompt shows up. In the field where you need to Type The Location of The Item, write down this code:

runas /user:computer_nameAdministrator /savecred “C:application_pathexecutable_name.extension”

In this example, the code we had to write down looks like this:

runas /user:DESKTOP-N12V7FQAdministrator /savecred “C:Program Files (x86)IObitIObit UninstallerIObitUninstaller.exe”

Step 10: Press Next, and give the shortcut the name you see fit.

Step 11 (optional): Access the Properties panel to change the program icon, because by default it’s not fitted with one.

Step 12: Run the newly created shortcut, type down the administrator password you previously set, and press Enter. The program runs, and you don’t have to enter the password again for this application.

Removing the saved password: The password is now saved in the Windows Credentials Manager, and can be removed from there. It’s done by looking for the Credentials Manager utility via search (Win + S), clicking on Windows Credentials, expanding the Computer_nameAdministrator entry, and hitting Remove.

The third-party alternative

A much faster and easier way is to use RunAs Tool. The first launch requires you to write down the administrator password, after which you only need to drag target files over the main window. These can either be run from the program interface, or right-clicking items to create desktop shortcuts with admin privileges.

In conclusion

Bottom line is that the administrator prompt and UAC screen are good security measures, even if it gets frustrating to always have to write down the password to run specific programs. However, if other security measures have your back, then it’s probably safe to make a few exceptions, at least with frequently used applications that can’t really harm your PC.

Tutorial Windows: Setting up a Windows Remote Desktop Connection

Weren’t you ever in the situation where you had to spend countless hours on the phone because you just couldn’t understand how a particular computer function works, or to explain to someone how to activate a certain thing? Then you probably weren’t aware of the possibility to control a PC from a distance.

Setting up a remote desktop connection nowadays is a pretty common thing, and comes in handy for presentations, helping someone out, or even performing a different operation on your home PC from your office.

Microsoft has a built-in feature in this regard, which is automatically deployed with Windows, so you don’t spend any more time to add any extra options after installation. However, not everyone is at terms with the tools Microsoft provides by default, and you might want to look for alternatives. Luckily, there are tons of third-party applications aiming to make it easier to connect, but also provide more features than the Windows built-in tool.

The Windows default method

Needless to say that two computers are required for this operation. In addition, the target computer can’t be used while under control, and isn’t even able to display the desktop, because the current user is temporarily logged off. Here’s what needs to be done.

Enabling remote desktop connection

Step 1: Move to the target PC (the one you want to connect to), and right-click This PC icon to access Properties.

Note: In case This PC icon is not visible, use Win + S to look for the panel to Show or Hide Common Icons on the Desktop. Access it, and simply tick the Computer box.

Step 2: From the left navigation pane, choose to access Remote Settings.

Alternative access method: Press Win + S and search for the option to Allow Remote Access to Your Computer.

Step 3: Check the option to Allow Remote Assistance Connections to This Computer. Press the Advanced button, and make sure you Allow This Computer to be Controlled Remotely, and press OK to confirm.

Step 4: Now, make sure to Allow Remote Connections to This Computer from the Remote Desktop section of the System Properties panel.

Step 5 (optional): If the current user is not the one you want to use, then press the Select Users button. There, choose to Add, and write down the target user name in the empty text field. You can also Check Names just to be sure it’s the right one, or spelled correctly.

You’re free to have any kind of user controlled from a distance, regardless whether it’s a Microsoft account or a regular one.

Important Note: In case you don’t have a password set for the user you want to use, an error occurs when trying to connect. An option needs to be disabled, and there are two methods to do this:

Method 1:

→ use the search utility to Edit Group Policy, or type gpedit.msc in the Run utility.

→ navigate to this location

Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options

→ click on Security Options, and look for the Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only entry.

→ double-click it and press Disable. Now, hit Apply and OK to confirm.

Not all Windows editions are fitted with the Group Policy editor, but this option can also be disabled through the Registry Editor.

Method 2:

→ launch the Registry Editor by pressing Win + R for the Run utility to come up, searching for regedit.

→ navigate to this location using the left pane

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlLsa

→ click the Lsa key and look for the LimitBlankPasswordUse item in the right pane, and double-click it.

→ change the Value Data field from 1 to 0 (zero). Press OK and close the Registry Editor.

Note: There’s a chance you still get an error message, even if the password limitation feature is turned off. This is because the user is logged off of the target PC, but since there’s no password, it might attempt to automatically log back in. If this happens, simply sign off, and leave the target PC in the login screen.

Connecting to the target PC

With everything fully configured, switch your attention to the computer from which you want to connect. It only takes a few, easy steps to get inside the target PC.

Step 1: Press Win + S to look for Remote Desktop Connection, and launch it.

Step 2: Press the Show Options button to expand the main window.

Step 3: In the Log-on Settings section, write down the target PC’s name in the Computer field.

Step 4: Now, write the computer name again in the Username field, add a backslash ( ), and type in the user you want to connect to. In this example, it looks something like this:

Computer: DESKTOP-N12V7FQ
Username: DESKTOP-N12V7FQTest subject

Step 5: Press Connect, write down the password if needed, and hit OK. In a couple of seconds, the screen shows the target PC desktop, with the possibility to fully manage it.

Note: Before the connection is established, you’re free to configure additional settings for Display, Local Resources, Programs, Experience, and Advanced.

Important note: Logging in on the target PC to any user attempts to interrupt the connection. However, the source computer is alerted, with the possibility to completely deny the login request on the target PC, thus keeping the connection active.
Connecting with TeamViewer
One alternative is the popular application called TeamViewer. It’s even easier to configure than the method found in Windows, doesn’t require the target PC to stand idly by, with the possibility of both computers and users to interact in one common space. All you have to do is grab the application, install the host and the main component on PCs correspondingly, and simply punch in the connection code and password.

A few last words

All in all, controlling a PC from a distance has its benefits, especially when the individual at the other end is capable of watching you perform a specific operation that he might not be completely aware how. There are even some browser extensions you can try your luck with, as well as tons of other remote utilities.

Tutorial Windows: Basic Guide for the Windows Command Prompt

Before all the stylish types of program interfaces came to power, most computer management operations were done through terminals, such as the Command Prompt. Although most might consider it difficult or even obsolete, it’s still found in Windows 10 for that old-school feel.

Sure enough, it can take some time and patience to get to know the Command Prompt, especially now with all the available applications that can perform almost any kind of operations with just a few mouse clicks. However, there are some default Windows operations that can’t be done otherwise, or the process requires a lot more effort than working with a set of commands.

About a month ago, we had a look at how the Command Prompt can be visually tweaked, or greatly enhanced with various third-party alternatives, in case visuals were holding you back from using the Command Prompt more often. If this is the case, take the time to make it suit your style, because we’re going to go through a few basic commands and how they can be used to your advantage.

Overview of the Command Prompt functions

The fastest way to launch the command prompt is right-clicking on the Start Menu/Screen button, and choosing to launch it from there, with or without administrator privileges. However, writing down cmd in the Run utility, or simply holding down Shift while pressing right-click in an empty desktop space or folder, also provides quick access.

In case you already have a Command Prompt window active and want to know whether it’s elevated, look at the title bar to see if it states Administrator: Command Prompt, or just the name. Additionally, the default path of an elevated instance is in C:WindowsSystem32> unlike C:UsersYour_User> for a normal one.

Navigation

Needless to say that you might not want to work in the directory you’re taken to by default, with simple commands to go forward and back. This is done through the CD (change directory) command, and works this way:

> CD full_folder_path – takes you to that specific folder.
> CD.. – brings you up one level to the parent directory.
> CD folder_name – opens the folder with that name, given it’s in the location you’re in.

Moving to a different drive, for instance, only requires you to write down the corresponding letter.

C:UsersSoftpediaDesktop>

C:UsersSoftpediaDesktop> D:

D:>

If you’re unsure of the content of the directory you’re in, just type DIR to have all files and folders enlisted, thus helping you choose the next destination or file easier. It’s also possible to use the TREE command to have all files in all subfolders of the target directory enlisted.

Switches

What the extra /P after the DIR command does in the video example, is to force the Command Prompt to stop after every screenfull of information, not showing the rest of content until you press a key, thus giving you time to analyze.

The /P acts like a switch, with the possibility to add more than one to a command. However, each command comes with its own set of switches. Just type /? after the command if you’re unsure how it’s used, and what switches it supports.

File and folder management

If using the DIR command made you stumble upon some directories or files you don’t want there, you might want to know it’s possible to more, or even delete them on the spot.

Let’s say we have a folder from which a file needs to be saved, but we can remove the whole directory after moving the file to a new location. First, a new folder needs to be created to save that specific file.

MKDIR C:Backup

This creates a new folder called Backup in the C drive.

The MKDIR command is used to create a folder in your current location, with the basic form being MKDIR your_folder. Note that your_folder must consist of a single word, or between quotation marks ( ” “ ) for more. However, the command can also be used to create a directory anywhere, regardless of your location. You simply need to write down the full path. For example:

C:userssoftpedia> MKDIR D:existing_foldersub_foldernewdirnewsubdir

This creates a new folder called newdir, with a subfolder called newsubdir in the specified location. Any item in the path that doesn’t exist is automatically created. For instance, if existing_folder is not found on the D drive, the whole path is going to be created.

After this is done, we need to go to the folder with the file of interest, in this case Softpedia Transfer. Now, the new.mp4 file needs to be moved to the Backup folder, with the MOVE command (MOVE [option] [“target”]), which, in this example, goes something like this:

C:> MOVE C:Softpedia Transfernew.mp4 “C:Backupnew.mp4”

Note:

— If the file name consists of more words, use quotation marks ( “ ” ) for each command parameter.

— The target needs to be written between quotation marks ( “ ” ).

— Writing another name for the file in the target automatically renames it.

Just to make sure this is the file we want to move, we’re just going to run it. This is done simply by writing down the file name and executable, then pressing Enter. Note that you have to be in the source directory for this to work.

After applying the MOVE command, it’s time to delete the Softpedia Transfer folder. Note that using the DEL command only removes the content of the directory, while RMDIR also gets rid of the folder.

Drivers and processes

Another useful command is DRIVERQUERY and enlists all current drivers on your system. Sure enough, it’s not going to group them according to hardware components, but rather shows them all. Switches like /FO Table, /FO List, and /FO CSV can be used to display drivers in those particular output types.

If you’re only interested in general system info, there’s also a command for that. The command is SYSTEMINFO and can also be used with the /FO switches mentioned above.

In addition, both DRIVERQUERY and SYSTEMINFO can save all data to file. All you have to do is add > C:custom_pathfile_name.txt at the end, just like this:

C:Program Files> SYSTEMINFO /FO Table > C:BackupSysinfo.txt

Some of what the Task Manager can to is also found in a command here. Writing down TASKLIST shows all running processes, while using the /SVC switch also displays corresponding services for each task.

However, the functionality of the Command Line utility doesn’t end here, and there are even external tools to enhance the basic functionality. Find some here, with the chance to actually stumble upon something useful.

A few last words

A visual interface provides a lot more practicality in any domain of activity. However, there’s a reason it hasn’t been kicked out of the default Windows set of features, letting you perform advanced operations that aren’t normally possible through any visual interface elements.

Check out the full list of supported commands below.

Note: All commands marked with • are internal commands, and can only be run from a Command Prompt instance.

A

COMMAND RESULT
ADDUSERS Add or list users to/from a CSV file
ADmodcmd Active Directory Bulk Modify
ARP Address Resolution Protocol
ASSOC Change file extension associations•
ASSOCIAT One step file association
AT Schedule a command to run at a specific time
ATTRIB Change file attributes

B

BCDBOOT Create or repair a system partition
BCDEDIT Manage Boot Configuration Data
BITSADMIN Background Intelligent Transfer Service
BOOTCFG Edit Windows boot settings
BROWSTAT Get domain, browser and PDC info

C

CACLS Change file permissions
CALL Call one batch program from another•
CERTREQ Request certificate from a certification authority
CERTUTIL Utility for certification authority (CA) files and services
CD Change Directory – move to a specific Folder•
CHANGE Change Terminal Server Session properties
CHKDSK Check Disk – check and repair disk problems
CHKNTFS Check the NTFS file system
CHOICE Accept keyboard input to a batch file
CIPHER Encrypt or Decrypt files/folders
CleanMgr Automated cleanup of Temp files, recycle bin
CLIP  Copy STDIN to the Windows clipboard
CLS   Clear the screen•
CMD  Start a new CMD shell
CMDKEY Manage stored usernames/passwords
COLOR Change colors of the CMD window•
COMP  Compare the contents of two files or sets of files
COMPACT Compress files or folders on an NTFS partition
COMPRESS Compress one or more files
CONVERT Convert a FAT drive to NTFS
COPY Copy one or more files to another location•
Coreinfo Show the mapping between logical & physical processors
CSCcmd Client-side caching (Offline Files)
CSVDE  Import or Export Active Directory data

D

DATE Display or set the date•
DEFRAG  Defragment hard drive
DEL  Delete one or more files•
DELPROF Delete user profiles
DELTREE Delete a folder and all subfolders
DevCon Device Manager Command Line Utility
DIR  Display a list of files and folders•
DIRQUOTA File Server Resource Manager Disk quotas
DIRUSE Display disk usage
DISKPART Disk Administration
DISKSHADOW Volume Shadow Copy Service
DISKUSE Show the space used in folders
DOSKEY  Edit command line, recall commands, and create macros
DriverQuery Display installed device drivers
DSACLs Active Directory ACLs
DSAdd  Add items to active directory
DSGet View items in active directory
DSQuery Search for items in active directory
DSMod  Modify items in active directory
DSMove Move an Active directory Object
DSRM Remove items from Active Directory

E

ECHO Display message on screen•
ENDLOCAL End localization of environment changes in a batch file•
ERASE  Delete one or more files•
EVENTCREATE Add a message to the Windows event log
EXIT   Quit the current script/routine and set an errorlevel•
EXPAND Uncompress CAB files
EXTRACT Uncompress CAB files

F

FC Compare two files
FIND  Search for a text string in a file
FINDSTR Search for strings in files
FOR /F Loop command: against a set of files•
FOR /F Loop command: against the results of another command•
FOR   Loop command: all options Files, Directory, List•
FORFILES Batch process multiple files
FORMAT  Format a disk
FREEDISK Check free disk space
FSUTIL  File and Volume utilities
FTP   File Transfer Protocol
FTYPE File extension file type associations•

G

GETMAC Display the Media Access Control (MAC) address
GOTO  Direct a batch program to jump to a labelled line•
GPRESULT Display Resultant Set of Policy information
GPUPDATE Update Group Policy settings

H

HELP Online Help
HOSTNAME Display the host name of the computer

I

iCACLS Change file and folder permissions
IEXPRESS Create a self extracting ZIP file archive
IF Conditionally perform a command•
IFMEMBER Is the current user a member of a group
IPCONFIG Configure IP
INUSE Replace files that are in use by the OS

L

LABEL Edit a disk label
LODCTR  Load PerfMon performance counters
LOGMAN Manage Performance Monitor logs
LOGOFF  Log a user off
LOGTIME Log the date and time in a file

M

MAKECAB Create .CAB files
MAPISEND Send email from the command line
MBSAcli Baseline Security Analyzer
MEM   Display memory usage
MD Create new folders•
MKLINK Create a symbolic link (linkd) •
MODE Configure a system device COM/LPT/CON
MORE  Display output, one screen at a time
MOUNTVOL Manage a volume mount point
MOVE Move files from one folder to another•
MOVEUSER Move a user from one domain to another
MSG   Send a message
MSIEXEC Microsoft Windows Installer
MSINFO32 System Information
MSTSC Terminal Server Connection (Remote Desktop Protocol)

N

NET Manage network resources
NETDOM Domain Manager
NETSH  Configure Network Interfaces, Windows Firewall & Remote access
NBTSTAT Display networking statistics (NetBIOS over TCP/IP)
NETSTAT Display networking statistics (TCP/IP)
NLSINFO Display locale information (reskit)
NLTEST Network Location Test (AD)
NOW Display the current Date and Time
NSLOOKUP Name server lookup
NTBACKUP Backup folders to tape
NTDSUtil Active Directory Domain Services management
NTRIGHTS Edit user account rights
NVSPBIND Modify network bindings

O

OPENFILES Query or display open files

P

PATH     Display or set a search path for executable files•
PATHPING Trace route plus network latency and packet loss
PAUSE Suspend processing of a batch file and display a message•
PERMS  Show permissions for a user
PERFMON Performance Monitor
PING   Test a network connection
POPD Return to a previous directory saved by PUSHD•
PORTQRY Display the status of ports and services
POWERCFG Configure power settings
PRINT Print a text file
PRINTBRM Print queue Backup/Recovery
PRNCNFG Configure or rename a printer
PRNMNGR Add, delete, list printers and printer connections
ProcDump Monitor an application for CPU spikes
PROMPT Change the command prompt•
PsExec  Execute process remotely
PsFile  Show files opened remotely
PsGetSid  Display the SID of a computer or a user
PsInfo  List information about a system
PsKill Kill processes by name or process ID
PsList List detailed information about processes
PsLoggedOn Who’s logged on (locally or via resource sharing)
PsLogList Event log records
PsPasswd Change account password
PsPing  Measure network performance
PsService View and control services
PsShutdown Shutdown or reboot a computer
PsSuspend Suspend processes
PUSHD  Save and then change the current directory•

Q

QGREP  Search file(s) for lines that match a given pattern
Query Process / QPROCESS Display processes
Query Session / QWinsta  Display all sessions (TS/Remote Desktop)
Query TermServer /QAppSrv List all servers (TS/Remote Desktop)
Query User    / QUSER   Display user sessions (TS/Remote Desktop)

R

RASDIAL Manage RAS connections
RASPHONE Manage RAS connections
RECOVER Recover a damaged file from a defective disk
REGEDIT Import or export registry settings
REGSVR32 Register or unregister a DLL
REGINI Change Registry Permissions
REM   Record comments (remarks) in a batch file•
REN  Rename a file or files•
REPLACE Replace or update one file with another
Reset Session Delete a Remote Desktop Session
RD   Delete folder(s)•
RMTSHARE Share a folder or a printer
ROBOCOPY Robust File and Folder Copy
ROUTE  Manipulate network routing tables
RUN Start | RUN commands
RUNAS  Execute a program under a different user account
RUNDLL32 Run a DLL command (add/remove print connections)
REG Registry: Read, Set, Export, Delete keys and values

S

SC  Service Control
SCHTASKS Schedule a command to run at a specific time
SET Display, set, or remove session environment variables•
SETLOCAL Control the visibility of environment variables•
SetSPN Edit Service Principal Names
SETX  Set environment variables
SFC System File Checker
SHARE List or edit a file share or print share
ShellRunAs Run a command under a different user account
SHIFT Shift the position of batch file parameters•
SHORTCUT Create a windows shortcut (.LNK file)
SHUTDOWN Shutdown the computer
SLEEP Wait for x seconds
SLMGR  Software Licensing Management (Vista/2008)
SORT  Sort input
START Start a program, command or batch file•
STRINGS Search for ANSI and UNICODE strings in binary files
SUBINACL Edit file and folder Permissions, Ownership and Domain
SUBST Associate a path with a drive letter
SYSMON Monitor and log system activity to the Windows event log
SYSTEMINFO List system configuration

T

TAKEOWN Take ownership of a file
TASKLIST List running applications and services
TASKKILL End a running process
TELNET Communicate with another host using the TELNET protocol
TIME  Display or set the system time•
TIMEOUT Delay processing of a batch file
TITLE  Set the window title for a CMD.EXE session•
TLIST  Task list with full path
TOUCH Change file timestamps 
TRACERT Trace route to a remote host
TREE  Graphical display of folder structure
TSDISCON Disconnect a Remote Desktop Session
TSKILL End a running process
TSSHUTDN Remotely shut down or reboot a terminal server
TYPE  Display the contents of a text file•
TypePerf Write performance data to a log file
TZUTIL Time Zone Utility

V

VER Display version information•
VERIFY Verify that files have been saved•
VOL  Display a disk label•

W

W32TM  Time Service
WAITFOR Wait for or send a signal
WEVTUTIL Clear event logs, enable/disable/query logs
WHERE  Locate and display files in a directory tree
WHOAMI Output the current UserName and domain
WINDIFF Compare the contents of two files or sets of files
WINRM  Windows Remote Management
WINRS Windows Remote Shell
WMIC WMI Commands
WUAUCLT Windows Update

X

XCACLS Change file and folder permissions
XCOPY Copy files and folders
:: Comment / Remark•

Tutorial Windows: How to Create a Secret Context Menu Folder in Windows

Windows 10 isn’t quite the hit Microsoft expected it to be. It somehow tries to bring it down the right path through various updates and improvements. Until then, you can at least try and make it look pretty to cheer you up a bit.

One of the new features in Windows 10 is the introduction of multiple desktops, but it might not be enough to store more icons, because another desktop doesn’t exactly mean a different place to store shortcuts and folders.

However, various enhancements can be used to make Windows a better place, but there’s also the possibility to take matters into your own hands. One particular aspect can keep your desktop clean, and that is creating launchers for almost anything you need.

There’s only enough room on the desktop, and the taskbar gets crowded even faster. The Start Menu seems like a good place, and there’s also enough space in the classic context menu. As such, we’re going to explore methods of packing all desktop shortcuts in the context menu, but without making it feel crowded.

Context menu hidden shortcuts

Sure enough, this can be done with the help of third-party applications. However, before we get there, we’re going to take a detour through the method that doesn’t require you to install a thing. It’s one of those customization options that is done by editing registries, and here’s how:

Step 1: Press Win + R to launch the Run utility. Write down regedit and hit Enter to launch it.

Step 2: Navigate here:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShell

Step 3: Right-click the Shell key and choose to create a New Key. Give it any name, because the menu entry takes its name from a different value. Here, we used SPDmenu.

Step 4: Click the newly created key. Now, right-click an empty space in the right pane to create 4 (four) New String Value items. Their names need to be MUIVerb, SubCommands, Icon, and Position.

Defining the string values
→ MUIVerb – is used to define the menu of the new folder that appears in the context menu. Give it a value of your choice, like we used Softpedia here.
→ SubCommands – represents the order and items that are shown inside the menu. You can use the target application names for easy identification. As you can see, we used Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Remember these names, as they need to be fitted with commands later on. Its value needs to be the enumeration of your menu items, separated by semicolon ( ; ), while using the caret ( | ) symbol to add a visual delimiter.
→ Icon – is literally the small picture accompanying the name. Its value needs to be the full path and name + extension of an ICO file. Using explorer.exe as value grabs the File Explorer icon.
→ Position – dictates where an item is placed inside the menu, with values that can be either Top or Bottom. By default, items are shown in the middle.

Step 5: Go all the way to this location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerCommandStoreShell

Step 6: Now, right-click the Shell key in order to create a New Key for each of the values attributed to the SubCommands String. In this case, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are the new Key items we create.

Step 7: Right-click on each of the Key items. Create a New Key named command.

Step 8: Go to each command Key you created and modify the Data Value field of the (Default) String so it’s the path and executable file of the application you want to launch.

Step 9.1 (optional): Click each Key you created under the Shell key.

Step 9.2: Right-click inside right pane to add a New String Value.

Step 9.3: Name it Icon and insert the full path and file name + extension of the icon to appear next to the menu item. You can also target the application’s executable itself.

Up to this point, we managed to successfully create a context menu folder that’s fitted with some applications we no longer need to keep on the desktop. However, it’s still not hidden as the title of this article suggests.

Step 10: Go all the way back to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShell

Step 11: Open the first Key you created (SPDmenu in this guide), the one with MUIVerb, SubCommands, Icon, and Position Strings.

Step 12: Create a New String Value, and name it Extended. This makes your menu appear in the context menu only when holding down the Shift key, so you don’t overwhelm it.

The third-party alternative

As mentioned above, there’s also an application that can handle this task. However, it can only be used to place items in the default menu, with no option for cascading menus. Even though there’s a Folder option, it only creates a link that opens the specific directory. Luckily, the option to make items hidden is available.

Step 1: Download and run Right Click Context Menu Adder.

Step 2: Select the Item Type to Add, which can be Program, Folder, Web Address, or Any type of file.

Step 3: Use the Search menu for the Program to Add.

Step 4: Check the option to Show Only When SHIFT Key is Pressed.

Step 5: Press Add to Context Menu and check out your new secret context menu item.

In conclusion

Many applications automatically integrate themselves into the default context menu, which automatically make it a popular space. As such, it’s good to know how you can use it to your advantage, which also helps you keep a clean desktop, and even taskbar, especially with the special key function.

Tutorial Windows: How to Create an Unattended Windows Setup Package

Remember when your HDD only had a total of 512 MB of space and you had to carefully select Windows 95 components in the installation process so there would still be a bit of free space for you to use? No? Oh, well…

Disk space is now less of a concern, but this doesn’t mean you don’t get to spend some time picking the things you want to be deployed with Windows, even if this means managing features after setup.

What’s more, you might not be there for every small decision the setup process forces you to make, which means it’s going to stay stuck in that phase until further notice. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply run setup, and come back after half an hour to find your computer ready to be used?

Well, it just so happens that programmers already came up with solutions to this inconvenience. As such, we’re going to study a couple of them, and see how to create an unattended Windows 10 setup package.

Installing Windows at the press of a button

Microsoft too thought and developed a way through which to create an unattended Windows setup package, but the amount of effort and attention it requires for proper functioning is excruciating, and we’re going to skip the steps required to go through. In case you’re interested, you can find the required components (yes, it’s not just a program) here, along with related info.

–> Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) <–
–> Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1 <–
–> Microsoft Deployment Toolkit <–

As mentioned above, Microsoft’s solution isn’t the only one out there, so here are the methods and programs you can use, but first thing’s first, you need a Windows installation package. It can be either inside a folder, or as WIM, ESD, and SWM images.

NTLite

This is an application that’s aimed at offering you the possibility to fully customize what is deployed on your computer when you decide to install Windows, given it’s a component of the operating system itself.

Step 1: Download, install, and run NTLite.

Step 2: Press the Add button at the top left corner of the main window, and choose either Image Folder or Image File (WIM, ESD, SWM), depending on the package you have.

Step 3 (for Image Folder option): Navigate through the Source List until you identify the Operating System entry that suits your architecture, and press Load. You’re asked to confirm the file, so press OK when the prompt appears.

Important Note: Any conversion happening in the application replaces original files, so be sure to create a backup.

Step 4 (optional): Browse through the categories on the left pane to configure Components, Features, Updates, Drivers, Tweaks, and Post-Setup.

Note: It can take some time to manage all areas specified above, as these also refer to general Windows behavior post-install.

Step 5: Head all the way to the Unattended section on the left navigation pane.

Step 6: Notice that options are grayed-out. This is because the Default configuration is applied, so you need to Enable editing from the upper left corner of the main window.

Step 7: Select each option, and use the corresponding drop-down menu to set options. The menu is a bit difficult to see at first, but it’s actually the right part of the main window, with the drop-down menu button all the way close to the edge.

Step 8: Switch to Apply from the left pane, choose to Create ISO (optional) from the upper toolbar, and hit Start.

Step 9: Burn the new image to DVD or place it on a bootable USB flash drive, and you can now install Windows simply by triggering setup, given you configured all options properly.

The easy way around

There’s another method to trick the setup process into installing Windows with pre-configured options. This is done by specifying corresponding options in an online form that generates a HTML file with the required code. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Launch your browser, (or open a new tab now) and go to this website.

Step 2: Hover your mouse over the Desktop tab (the one next to Home, and followed by Server, Office, and Services), and choose the Windows version you want.

Step 3: Carefully go through the list of options and set your preferences for Installation Notes, General Settings, Regional Settings, Out Of Box Experience, Partition Settings, and User Account.

Important Note: Pay extra attention to the Partition Settings, because improper management can completely wipe the disk, thus resulting in data loss in case you wanted to save some files.

Step 4: Press the Download File link all the way at the bottom of the page. It’s just below the code field.

Step 5: Place the newly downloaded Autounattend.xml file in the root of the USB flash drive where Windows installation files are found, or setup CD/DVD.

Now you can go ahead and install Windows by paying a lot less attention, or even attend to some other activities while setup deploys the operating system with your preset configurations.

In conclusion

It’s recommended that the first time to go through with the setup process as it was intended. Once you’re familiar with options, it’s good to have an installation package fitted with your custom configurations, because you never know when you want or need to reinstall Windows.

Tutorial Windows: How to Track and Monitor Every System Change in Windows

Simply having an antivirus installed on your Windows PC doesn’t mean it’s completely safe, especially with all the various threats that lurk in every corner of the Internet. Sometimes, taking matters into your own hands is the best solution.

Whenever an application is installed on your computer, it makes some changes to your system so that it can perfectly run alongside other components or programs that are already there. Some might have a huge impact on functionality and stability, which can lead to overall failure, and this is one scenario an antivirus stands no chance against.

However, there’s the possibility of taking snapshots of your computer’s configuration at the point where you consider it’s stable, and then compare it with newer snapshots to see what changes were made, and where.

There isn’t a Windows default feature to handle this task, but there is a utility developed by Microsoft in this regard. Needless to say that there are also some alternatives, and we’re going to see how they can be used.

The Microsoft solution

Named Windows System State Monitor, the application is capable of keeping an eye on certain areas of your computer, such as the file system, registries, services, and drivers. Once monitoring is started, changes are detected, so you can take action and prevent any suspicious programs from infiltrating your PC.

Part 1: Windows System State Monitor

The first thing you need to do is go grab the application for the right architecture. Don’t get fooled by the name, because the component of interest is inside the bundle. You can find the download links below.

–> Server Logo Program Software Certification Tool x86 <–
–> Server Logo Program Software Certification Tool x64 <–

Once installed, look for the Windows System State Monitor executable and launch it. A small window needs to appear, showing computer and user name, the operating system (and yes, it works with Windows 10 too), as well as current date/time.

Depending on what you want to monitor, several areas can be selected. As mentioned above, a simple mouse click is enough to check or remove them from the list. When you’re ready, hit the Start Monitoring button.

All that’s left to do now is minimize the application and go on with whatever it is you were doing. Every change in the selected areas is tracked until you decide to Stop Monitoring. In the end, there’s the possibility of pressing Create Report, with various logs and an HTML file saved to a custom location.

Note that every change to your computer in the monitoring interval is tracked, so it’s best to only focus on a single task if you’re really looking to catch specific changes to your system.

Part 2: Windows System State Analyzer

But wait, there’s more! The package also deploys a Windows System State Analyzer component, which is used in the same regard, but this one is for the long shot. In other words, the analyzer is used to compare two snapshots taken at different times.

If you don’t already have a snapshot of your computer, and you probably don’t, the first step is to take one. Don’t just rush to press the Start button unless you want the whole system to be analyzed, which can take a considerable amount of time.

Access the Tools menu to go to Options. There, remove the right panel items you don’t want to be scanned, or add those you want from the left panel. Hit Apply and OK to confirm. Back in the main window, there’s the possibility of choosing a Snapshot Name for easy identification, and it can be Pre install, Post install, Pre configuration, Post configuration, Post primary functionality, Uninstall, or even Custom.

Press the Start button so the snapshot is taken. Then, perform all operations you need, and take another snapshot with the same options. When you have the two BIN files, load one in each of the two panels of the System State Analyzer main window, and hit Compare. Once the application processes your request, and saves the log file, it’s automatically opened in your default viewer.

Note: The utility is also capable of tracking removed items, just in case you notice something’s missing. That’s why it’s good to have a snapshot of the whole system with its normal functioning state, so you can later on compare it to others.

The third-party alternatives

WinPatrol
Designed with a similar concept in mind, this application takes a more professional approach to the situation. In other words, it makes it much easier to monitor areas of your system, with real-time notification of changes, and possibility of taking action on existing items. As such, you get to keep an eye on Startup Programs, Delayed Start, Scheduled Tasks, Services, Active Tasks, Cookies, File Types, Hidden Files, Recent, System Registry, and more. Download and info here.
FolderChangesView
In case you’re only interested in files, this small application is capable of detecting even the slightest change in files. It lets you pick a folder to monitor, choose file types to exclude, and even have a report generated in the end. As you can see, it immediately started detecting all temp frames created for the recording below, all this done in real time. You can get it here.

In conclusion

If you know you’re practically working in the no man’s land of the virtual world, it’s best to be equipped with more than just an antivirus or active firewall. These aren’t the only solutions though, as you can install an application in a sandbox virtual environment, and even an entire operating system in a virtual machine.

Tutorial Windows: Microsoft Office in Windows against Third-Party Alternatives

Microsoft recently updated its critically acclaimed Office suite to a new version. It’s already packed with a staggering amount of features and components, and it would take way too much time just to name them. Now, emphasis is put on collaboration.

Microsoft’s product isn’t the only suite on the market that packs all objects on your desk into a fully-functional computer application. Throughout the years and with the evolution of different technologies, we came in contact with others that want, and deserve a slice of the office cake.

However, Office is not a free product, and not everyone is willing to spend even a dime with all the free alternatives at a mouse click away. As such, we’re going to go through a few features that make an application worthy of transforming a whole office building into several megabytes of data on your computer.

We’re going to take common components and see how well they perform and how practical can be. As such, we present the candidates: Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, and SoftMaker FreeOffice.

The Text editor

Probably the most common component in an office suite is the text editor. Word the is Microsoft Office component, Writer is found in LibreOffice, while TextMaker belongs to SoftMaker FreeOffice.

First of all, you don’t want to risk getting stuck waiting for the application to respond because of who knows what. Stability is an important aspect, and so is backup.

To test this out, we created a text document under specific formats, like DOCX, ODT, and TMD, while pasting the same amount of text in each. Then, we used a small utility called Catfood Font Randomizer to literally randomize the case, font, and size of each character in a large text file.

Scrambled text

Scrambled text

This creates a huge amount of small differences that take a lot to process by every of the targeted word processors. The original text was replaced, while the new, randomized characters started to put such a large amount of pressure that in most cases caused a crash. Luckily, all three competitors managed to recover the original content.

Microsoft Word
LibreOffice Writer
SoftMaker TextMaker

Note: Just because this situation was successful, doesn’t mean you’re able to fully recover after every kind of crash or other accidents.

File support is yet another important characteristic of a text editor, especially since Word is a popular editor that adapted its format over the years, and competitors use it as reference. As such, here’s what each editor is capable of loading and saving. Moreover, all of them can export PDF.

TextMaker TMD, TMV, DOC, DOT, DOCX, DOCM, DOTX, DOTM, SXW, ODT, OTT, RTF, PSW, PWD, HTM, HTML, TXT
Writer OTH, ODT, OTT, SXW, STW, FODT, XML, DOCX, DOCM, DOTX, DOTM, DOC, DOT, WPS, HWP, HTML, HTM, LWP, RTF, TXT, WPD, ODM
Word DOCX, DOCM, DOTX, DOTM, DOC, DOT, HTM, HTML, RTF, MHT, MHTML, XML, ODT, PDF

Whenever you’re in a hurry to create or edit a specific document, print it out, and present it in front of important people, you want to make sure everything’s spelled correctly. While all three candidates are fitted with spell-checking features, TextMaker leaves a bit more to be desired, and even Word might get stuck in certain situations.

Microsoft Word
LibreOffice Writer
SoftMaker TextMaker

The Slideshow maker

Office isn’t just about writing piles of text that get read once, and are left forgotten somewhere in a virtual space. Presentations have an important saying, and can make half the impression when you need to convince a large public your argument is valid.

This is the component where creativity is the center of attention. You’ll be happy to know that all three candidates, Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint, SoftMaker Presentations, as well as LibreOffice Impress, are capable of creating slides limited only by your imagination.

Trying out a few tricks here and there, we conclude that PowerPoint takes the lead. This isn’t only because of the familiar design that makes elements easy to identify and use, but also the abundance of preset designs, font styles, and even the animation timeline editor that makes it possible to perfectly time each motion.

Microsoft PowerPoint
SoftMaker Presentations
LibreOffice Impress

The Spreadsheet creator

Tables are used to hold data in an organized manner, with the extended possibility to bundle it up in different charts for better visualization. This is where things not only get complicated, but also complex, because creating a spreadsheet isn’t all about writing values in different cells, but you also need functions for different automated operations that would normally take a lot of your time.

Microsoft Office lets you work with Excel, LibreOffice puts Calc at your disposal, while SoftMaker handles this task with PlanMaker. Even if you’re able to perform the majority of data input in multiple sheets, and build different charts with all candidates, this also needs to be done without spending too much time looking for functions and features of interest. Again, it narrows down accommodation, with PlanMaker falling behind.

Microsoft Excel
LibreOffice Calc
SoftMaker PlanMaker

In conclusion

All in all, this wasn’t really a competition, so we’re not going to call any of the presented Office suites a winner. The purpose was merely to point that fame doesn’t really make a product the best out there. What does in fact count is the type of data you have at your disposal, the public you’re addressing to, as well as the destination, because all of them are capable of meeting demands, but each in its own way.

Tutorial Windows: Enable Boot Loader for more operating systems in Windows

Installing Windows on a computer doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it until the next format or reinstall. As you already know, there’s the possibility to have more operating system types on a computer, and even different Windows iterations.

Let’s say you’re still using Windows 7 as the primary operating system, but want to install Windows 10 as well, without completely migrating to it. As a consequence, installed operating systems are shown in the boot screen so you can select the one you want to launch.

However, chances are that installing Windows 10 on a separate partition without replacing a previous version or upgrading, can cause the boot screen options to no longer show up. What’s more, Windows isn’t just a regular program you can launch from an executable, which leaves you kind of stuck without any initial options.

Luckily, there are several ways to enable the operating system selection screen, and we’re going to go through what it takes to make this happen.

Enabling the boot loader

Windows Boot Loader

Windows 8 introduced a new way of selecting the operating system you want to run, in case more are installed on your computer. However, even if Windows doesn’t completely boot when presenting these options, part of it does, meaning you waste some time if the operating system you want to run is different from the one that loads the boot options.

This new boot loader is also found in Windows 10, and is triggered in the same way. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Win key or hit the Start button to reveal power options.

Step 2: Click on Power, but don’t choose an option yet.

Step 3: Hold down the Shift key and choose to Restart.

Step 4: Wait for the PC to restart and ask you to Choose an Option.

Step 5: Select the second option to Use Another Operating System.

Step 6: Now, follow the link to Change Defaults.

Step 7: Choose to Change the Timer and select from 5 seconds, 30 seconds, or 5 minutes.

Note: The current setting is shown and if the value is 0 (zero), then you have your reason why boot options didn’t greet you before arriving to the desktop.

Legacy Boot Loader

In case you don’t want to use the new boot loader Microsoft bundled in Windows, you’d be happy to know it’s possible to enable the good old DOS boot loader. Here’s what you need to know.

Step 1: Right-click the Start Menu button and choose to launch Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2: Write down the following code and press Enter:

code
 
bcdedit /set {default} BootMenuPolicy Legacy

Step 3: Once you receive the message that states “The operation completed successfully” close the Command Prompt and restart your PC.

Even if you configured the new Windows boot loader, punching in the code from above in the Command Prompt disables it. Don’t worry, you can return to the stylish boot loader by simply writing down this code in Command Prompt (Admin):

code
 
bcdedit /set {default} BootMenuPolicy Standard

Boot options on the desktop

Editing system registries

Needless to say that you can’t switch to a different operating system while one is already running, without using a virtual machine. However, there is the possibility to create a shortcut that triggers a system restart, followed either by boot loader options, or directly taking you to the selected operating system.

One method is to access the system registry editor in order to create a special context menu function to reboot in the boot options menu. This is how it’s done.

Step 1: Access the Registry Editor by pressing Win + R to write down “regedit” and press Enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the following location HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShell.

Step 3: Right-click Shell on the left navigation panel, and choose to create a new Key. Give it any name you see fit, such as “Power Options“, or “Boot Loader“.

Step 4: Now, click the newly created Key (Boot Loader), right-click an empty space in the right panel, and create a new String Value with the name “SubCommands“.

Step 5: Double-click the “SubCommands” String and write down “safemode” in the Value Data Field. Press OK to confirm, but don’t close the Registry Editor.

Step 6: Go all the way to this location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerCommandStoreshell and create a new Key in the Shell directory called “safemode“.

Step 7: Select the “safemode” Key, and double-click the default key, and change the Value Data field to any name you’d like to see in the context menu as a trigger, like “Restart Now”.

Step 8: Create a new Key from the “safemode” directory, and name it “command“.

Step 9: Click on command, and open the default String. Now, write down “Shutdown -r -o -f -t 00” in the Value Data field.

Step 10: Close the Registry Editor, click on an empty desktop space, and check out the new context menu entry to quickly restart to the boot loader. Oh, make sure to save your work before testing it out.

Note: To remove the context menu entry, simply delete the “safemode“, and “Boot Loader” keys you created.

The third-party solution
Sure enough, editing system registries requires a lot of attention, and can take some time. Moreover, it’s not that different from holding down the Shift key when choosing to restart your computer, but it does look cool in the context menu. Luckily, you can download Reboot-To, a lightweight application that quietly sits in the tray, while letting you choose the operating system you want to reboot to, making things way easier.

To end with

Now that disk space is less of a concern, you can keep multiple types of operating systems on your computer, and it’s good to know how you can enable boot options in case they don’t appear, at least when it comes to Windows.

Hint: Check out how remove an OS from boot options.

Tutorial Windows: How to Stop HTML5 Video Autoplay in Windows

The Internet learned a lot from using Flash all of this time, and now moved and embraced HTML5 as the new ruler of multimedia content. However, this doesn’t make it less annoying when it suddenly starts to play as soon as you land on a specific page.

Although creators of a website intended for that particular one video to start playing whenever it’s in sight, it puts considerable pressure on bandwidth usage, and might even scare your headphones off because of sudden sound.

Popular web browsers give you the possibility to handle when plugins get triggered, but with Flash out of the way, there’s little left to be done. However, the workaround here doesn’t actually prevent the video from buffering, which means it’s only going to stay on pause until further notice, but still being downloaded in the background.

Unfortunately, none of the browsers Microsoft delivers as a default way of accessing the information superhighway can be tweaked in this regard. Internet Explorer can be configured, but doing so disables media content completely, without providing any playback options. As for Edge, it still lacks support for extensions as promised, but updates are on their way, and there’s hopefully going to be one to stop autoplay, in case you haven’t given up on it yet.

As such, we’re only going to cover the required steps to stop autoplay features for other popular browsers. The process is easy, and mostly requires you to download and install a specific extension.

Stop HTML5 Videos from automatically playing

In Google Chrome

The Chrome extension to disable video autoplay feature was originally intended for YouTube videos. Truth be told, it did get a bit frustrating having to pause every video opened in a new tab. Luckily, the extension you need doesn’t affect YouTube alone, but many other websites that consider you want to watch the video above all else.

The extension in question is Stop Autoplay for Youtube and you can get it here. You’ll be happy to know that there is also an extended version that keeps the video on pause until focus is on the specific tab. Download Stop Autoplay for Youtube Extended here.

In Mozilla Firefox

Things get a bit different when it comes to Firefox. A recent update brought about the option to disable the autoplay feature, or at least keep it under control. However, it does not affect YouTube videos, and you’ll have to look for an add-on if this is what interests you. Here’s what you need to do:

Launch Firefox and write down “about:config” in the address field. You immediately get prompted by a warning message, stating that stability is put at risk if any options are changed beyond this point. Kindly acknowledge the warning through the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button, and write down “autoplay” in the upper search field. When you spot the “media.autoplay.enabled” preference, double-click it so that its value turns to False.

In Opera

Stopping videos from automatically playing while using Opera takes you through similar steps as for Google Chrome. In other words, the Disable HTML5 Autoplay extension needs to be downloaded and integrated in Opera for things to work.

After it’s deployed, a small icon is added next to the address field, where you can view a number of attempts, and function toggle. Blocking rate is impressive, and even manages to stop YouTube videos from playing.

In conclusion

The Internet has become the primary source of entertainment, which automatically attracted ads and other intrusions that most individuals find frustrating. However, more and more websites tend to bully you with content that automatically triggers, but now you know there’s a way to guard yourself from this forced playback.

Tutorial Windows: How to Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows

After a fresh install of Windows, you need to set up an account, and even if it’s not a Microsoft Account, it still needs to have administrator privileges. Some operations don’t work unless given access by the administrator account, but there are some in the face of which even the admin is helpless.

This isn’t just some trick or scheme Microsoft placed in Windows to annoy you, but rather an enhanced security measure. In other words, there are some files and folders on your computer that, even if accessed or manipulated by the administrator, only end up displaying an error message related to ownership rights.

Windows has its own account that’s equipped with even more privileges than the one you’re using. This prevents system files and folders from being removed or even renamed, so that malicious content or other individuals can’t take advantage of your account’s privileges and sabotage your PC.

However, different situations might require a bit more freedom when it comes to certain operations, so here’s what you need to go through in order to gain full control over a file or folder.

Using default Windows methods

Step 1: Navigate to the location of the file or folder in question.

Step 2: Right-click it to gain access to Properties.

Step 3: Switch to the Security tab.

Step 4: Near the bottom of the panel, access Advanced settings For Special Permissions or Advanced Settings.

Step 5: Check the Owner at the top of the Advanced Security Settings window. If it’s not your account, follow the link next to the name to Change the owner.

Step 6: Now it’s the time to punch in your account. If you’re the one in control, then it’s enough to write down “Administrator” in the Object Name field, and press Check Names. If there are more elevated accounts, you can type “Administrators” so all of them have access.

Step 7: Press OK to return to the Advanced Security Settings screen. Notice that the Owner is now changed, with a new option available to Replace Owner On Subcontainers and Objects. Check this option and press Apply, and OK to confirm changes.

In case you also need to change permissions, close the properties panel and access it again. This needs to be done for the owner to successfully change.

Step 8: Once back in the properties panel, Press the Edit button to change permissions, right under the group or user names section.

Step 9: Select the new owner from the list, and check Permissions for Users correspondingly, by checking boxes that belong to states of interest.

Note: It’s not recommended to mess around with file ownership, because you risk making certain system operations virtually impossible, because Windows is denied access.

Returning ownership: When changing ownership, make sure to remember whom you took it from, because there’s no option to return to default ownership status. For instance, typing “TrustedInstaller” back in the object name doesn’t identify it. To change it back, type in “NT SERVICETrustedInstaller

Third-party alternatives

WinOwnership
All of the steps above can easily be replaced by an application. One of them is WinOwnership, and gives you the possibility of becoming the owner of any file on your computer by simply dragging it over the main window, and pressing Apply. Download and info here.
TakeOwnershipPro
In a similar manner, TakeOwnershipPro gives the current user ownership over specific files. The difference is you can even target folders, as well as files from different locations. All you have to do is drag them over the main window or use the Add button to browse, and hit Take Ownership for changes to take effect. More about it and download link here.

Note: Be careful what files or folders you bring under your command, and especially who the new owner is. If unexpected events occur because you can’t remember the original owner, your only hope is to either refresh the system, return to a previous restore point, or perform a clean install of Windows.

In conclusion

Even if you don’t trust the new Windows operating system with your files, system-related items are best left intact for proper functioning of the PC. Chances are a specific test case requires special ownership, or you detected a file that is not supposed to be in an area from which it can’t be removed. Either way, just remember to know how to get back from every situation.