Archive for the 'Windows 7' Category


How to rename multiple picture files

You’ve been out for the day at Kings Park gardens with the family and taken dozens of snaps. You get home and load them up in My Pictures library but they all have very uninspiring titles such P1000365.jpg

You can heap them all into a folder called Kings Park but they are still not easily identified as you browse. You could rename them all individually or you could simply rename them all Kings Park.

You can do this by selecting all the pictures in the folder then tap the F2 key on the keyboard, then rename the first of the series Kings Park. All subsequent files will be enumerated making it easier to locate and manage images.


How to enable quick access to your favourite folder

Add a favourite folder to the taskbar in Windows 7

 One of the tings I loved about those very early Unix systems was how everything was just a click away on the desktop. Today storage is so much bigger so we have to navigate to an often used folder, all the worse if it’s a nested folder. You could make a shortcut and place that on the desktop but if your desktop is anything like mine, cluttered with stuff, you can spend just as long trying to locate it.

A neat alternative in Windows 7 is to pin the folder to the taskbar. We know that we can pin a program or app to the taskbar but there doesn’t seem to be a pin to taskbar menu on a folder. We need to create a toolbar for that folder. Here’s how.

  1. right click a blank area of the taskbar and unlock it
  2. select toolbars >new toolbar
  3. navigate to your often used folder and choose select folder
  4. your folder will now appear as a permanent link on the taskbar



New Windows 7 Ultimate Tweaker

New Windows 7 tweak tool

TweakUI was very popular with XP and did lots of useful things. It’s now available for Windows 7 from our friends at TheWindowsClub. This has some powerful tweaks so user beware, but it also has a restore defaults button.

It’s called Ultimate Windows Tweaker and you can download the latest version here at no cost.


The shortcut to everything in Windows 7

In early UNIX systems everything was on the desktop which made accessing stuff really easy. In Windows 7 each user has a main profile folder.  If you right click this folder and check the box to “show on desktop” you have an all-in-one shortcut to everything for that user including Outlook data files, documents, pictures, saved games, and downloads.

Go to >start, the user folder is on the top right.


Adding images to the Windows 7 Desktop Background Slide Show

The Windows 7 desktop background slide show is available through the Personalize menu (right click desktop – personalize) and is available for a geographic region. In Australia you will find only the Australian slide show background. There are others for various regions including USA and South Africa.

It is possible to add images to your regions folder and extend the slide show, even add your own holiday photos to the regional folder or create a new folder.

To access the folders and add your images:

  1. Choose start >R
  2. In the run box type “C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT” without the quotes
  3. Choose your destination folder
  4. Prepare your images in a photo editing program to be 1920X1200 with a DPI of 96 if possible.
  5. Remember when taking pictures to set your camera’s resolution for the optimum screen resolution.

You can also type “change desktop background” in the Windows 7 search box and browse for the photos you want to use. I find method above a lot easier to use.


Shortcomings of File Encryption in Windows 7 (EFS)

In Windows 7 Professional you can encrypt either files or folders and keep specific information private from other users. Encrypted files may become unexpectedly decrypted so it is best practice to encrypt folders which hold the files you want to keep private and secure.

To encrypt a folder:

  • Right click the folder and open its properties
  • Click advanced on the General tab
  • Select “Encrypt contents to secure data”
  • Press ok
  • Encrypting sensitive data, bank account or credit card details, also helps keep your data safe if your computer is hacked or stolen. For example, if your hard drive is removed and installed as an external drive in another computer your encrypted data is still safe – well sort of.

    EFS is Microsoft software designed to work in the NTFS file system. Encrypted files will stay encrypted as long as the data is on a NTFS formatted drive. If the EFS folder is copied to a USB thumb drive formatted in the FAT file system the folder loses its encryption properties.

    Managing EFS recovery keys and certificates.
    If the hard drive on your PC becomes damaged and you need to recover data outside of your usual profile you will need to have “recovery keys and certificate” available. You will need to store this information off the drive with the EFS such as a thumb drive.

    To backup your Recovery Keys and Certificate in Windows 7 Pro

  • Press the start key on your keyboard and type “manage file encryption certificates”
  • Follow the prompts and choose your password carefully
  • An Alternative to EFS shortcomings is Bitlocker
    Another more secure way to encrypt data is with Bitlocker to secure the entire drive. Bitlocker-to-Go is available in Windows 7 Pro for encryption of USB drives, but Bitlocker for drive encryption is only licensed to Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise editions, just as EFS is limited in versions other than Windows Prof.


    Low battery and wake-on-lan safety check

    If you are experiencing low battery life on your Windows 7 powered laptop a good place to start looking for reasons is component hardware set to wake-on-LAN.  If your laptop is waking by itself after going off to sleep this could be draining your battery. Also, if the laptop is forced to wake by a hardware component or task the laptop could become very hot in a confined space like a bag, especially if that bag is inside hand luggage in the overhead locker!

    The steps to check your wake-on-LAN settings are:

    • start menu, type “cmd” (without quotes)
    • right click cmd to run as administrator (Windows 7)
    • in the command prompt type “powercfg -devicequery wake_armed
    • when we query the power configuration settings we will see any devices set to wake prompts
    • if one of the devices is a network or wireless network adaptor navigate to (start >r) to open a run box
    • type in “devmgmt.msc” to list your network adaptors
    • right click, choose properties, choose power management
    • adjust your wake on LAN settings.

    External monitor on laptop with lid closed

    In the first of our neat tips for Windows 7 you can use an external monitor with the lid closed on your laptop.

    Just configure advanced power options

    1. start. Type “Power options”

    2. on the left hand pane click on what to do when lid closes

    3. choose the option to do nothing

    Enjoy your external monitor.