Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Windows Tips

Windows tips, tricks and hacks that will make your Windows run faster or better for the general Windows user or system administrators.

Enabling Windows 7 GOD mode

In Windows 7 you can create a GOD mode folder that contains nearly everything you can do within the Windows Control Panel and more.To access the special capabilities of the God Mode folder, create a new folder anywhere on your Windows 7 computer (I did mine on the desktop) and name it:

Once renamed, the icon will change to a control panel looking icon,that will contain all of different tweaking options that can be performed in Windows 7. Sort of a one stop shop of Windows tweaks. 

Prevent Windows Automatic Updates from rebooting your computer:

Here's how to prevent Automatic Update from rebooting your machine:
1. Start -> Run
2. Type: gpedit.msc (this will open the group policy editor)
3. In group policy editor choose one of these steps depending on your OS:
For Windows 2008/2003/2000 Server:
  • Expand Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update
For Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2000:
  • Expand Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update
4. Double-click "No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled Automatic Updates installations"
5. Select "Enabled", then Apply/OK. Close the Group Policy configuration program.

Now as long as there is a user logged into the server, it will never automatically reboot after patches have been applied. For extra security as you will have a user logged in, I would suggest enabling the Windows screen saver with password prompt.

Simple screen capture:
Take a screenshot by pressing Print Screen, which copies an image of your full screen to your clipboard so that you can paste it into Paint. To capture just the active window, use Ctrl-Alt-Print Screen.

How to back to the classic control panel:
If you still Windows old Control Panel, then just open the Control Panel and select Switch to Classic View. In Windows 7, click the View by drop-down menu in the upper-right corner and select your preference.

Speed up Windows startup: If your PC drags its feet during the startup process, press the Windows key and type msconfig to open the System Configuration utility. Check in the Startup tab to see what your machine is loading. Your computer might be loading services or apps that you don't need or want to use on startup.

Disabling XP’s Indexing Service to Improve Performance:
There are several ways to turn off XP’s Indexing Service. The most thorough is to open the Control Panel, open Administrative Tools, then open Services. Scroll down to Indexing Service and double-click it. Change the Startup type to “Disabled.”

Make your system shutdown more quickly by hacking the registry:
When’s the last time you didn’t have an application hang on you during shutdown? XP waits a grueling 20 seconds by default before trying to kill services that are still running when you’re trying to get out of the office, but you can knock this down to as low as zero with a quintet of registry hacks. Make the following changes using regedit (warning making changes to your registry could harm your system if you don't do it properly):
  • Under HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop, change the values for WaitToKillAppTimeout and HungAppTimeout to 1000 or 2000 (this is the wait time in milliseconds).
  • Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, change the values for WaitToKillAppTimeout and HungAppTimeout to 1000 or 2000.
  • Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control, change the value for WaitToKillAppTimeout to 1000 or 2000.
  • Use the same value for all three settings.

How to disable the User Account Control (UAC) feature in Vista/Windows 7:
Although UAC clearly improves the security on Windows Vista/7, you might want to disable it just because it can be so annoying. So here is how to do it in Vista/7.
  1. Launch MSCONFIG by from the Run menu.
  2. Click on the Tools tab. Scroll down till you find "Disable UAC" . Click on that line.

  1. Press the Launch button.
  2. A CMD window will open. When the command is done, you can close the window.
  3. Close MSCONFIG. You need to reboot the computer for changes to apply.
You can re-enable UAC by selecting the "Enable UAC" line and then clicking on the Launch button.

Test your computer's Internet speed:
If ever your computer seems to be crawling along while surfing the Internet and you're not sure if it is your computer that is the problem or your ISP. Well then here is the best place to go your Internet connection and bandwidth: http://www.speedtest.net/

Once on this site, just hover your mouse over the star in the center and it will show you local providers in your area to test your Internet download and upload speeds. Just select the closest one to you and the test will run automatically.

 Once the test has completed, your download and upload speeds will be shown on the screen. This gives you a good idea about how good your speeds are and you can run this test multiple times to see if it changes much.

The next thing you can check is the quality of your Internet connect which is different than checking your raw speed. Well the best place to go for this is: http://www.pingtest.net/

You begin the same as speedtest in that you select a node closest to you and click on it to begin the test. So remember, this test is used to test the quality of your Internet connection so when it is done it will give you a rating from A-F with a line quality of A being the best and F being the worst (see picture below). If you consitantly have a low rating then time to talk to your ISP and have them professionally test and troubleshoot your line.

Here are the explanations of the different ratings:
  • A
    An excellent result! Expect all Internet applications to work very well assuming you have sufficient bandwidth. Use Speedtest.net to see.
    MOS greater than 4.37 (Example - a ping below 50 ms with 0% packet loss)
  • B

    Very good! Your connection should work well for any Internet application. Some online games may not perform optimally.
    MOS between 4.28 and 4.37 (Example - a ping around 90 ms with 0% packet loss)
  • C

    Acceptable. Your VoIP quality will suffer some, and you will have a disadvantage in many online games. Most streaming media will be fine. You should try testing again to another server close to you.
    MOS between 4.00 and 4.27 (Example - a ping around 150 ms with 1% packet loss)
  • D

    Concerning. Most online applications will not perform well but should function in some capacity. Try testing to other servers to verify the result. You might need to contact your ISP for help.
    MOS between 2.50 and 3.99 (Example - a ping around 300 ms with 3% packet loss)
  • F

    Very poor. Real-time Internet application performance will suffer greatly on such a connection. Test to other servers to confirm the result, but definitely talk to your ISP about troubleshooting the issue.

How to get yourself a custom desktop that is free of icons with Rainmeter:
In this video, I will demonstrate my custom Windows desktop (on my home computer) that is not only functional but really nice to look at. :)


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