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Posts Tagged #Windows

Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in How-To Guides on .

Ever wished you could stare at a different background image while logging into Windows 7? With a bit of photo editing and registry modification, you can.

The first step is to get an image that matches your computer screen’s native resolution. This is important, because the image will not be scaled and will appear stretched or distorted if it is the wrong size. Once you’ve found the image, save it as backgroundDefault.jpg (note the capitalization) and make sure that it’s under 245 KB in size. Then, put it aside for a second as we modify the registry.

Type regedit in the Start menu and press Enter to open the registry editor. Then, browse to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Authentication/LogonUI/Background

and change the OEMBackground DWORD value to 1. To change the value, double-click on OEMBackground, type in a 1 under Value data, and click OK. If the value OEMBackground does not exist, right-click in the folder, select New DWORD (32-bit) Value, and create a DWORD entry called OEMBackground with value 1.

Now you can close Registry Editor and open Windows Explorer. Browse to the C:\Windows\system32\oobe folder and check if a folder named “info” exists. If it does, open it and proceed to the next step. If it doesn’t, create it, accept the User Account Control warning, and proceed.

Now, create an empty folder called backgrounds inside the info folder. If the “backgrounds” folder already exists as well and contains images, rename it to something like “backgrounds_old” and create a new one. Then, move your backgroundDefault.jpg image into the empty backgrounds folder and lock or log off your account to see the new welcome screen.

Keep in mind that if you switch back to the default Windows 7 theme in Control Panel>Personalization, Windows will reset the value of OEMBackground to 0 and the default welcome screen wallpaper will display. Just change the value back to 1 to display your custom wallpaper again.

Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in How-To Guides on .

If you have a Windows computer with multiple user accounts, you can make any one of them automatically log in even if it is password protected. Here’s how:

Go to Start, enter netplwiz, and press Enter to open Advanced User Accounts.

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Uncheck the “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” box and click Apply.

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In the Automatically Log On dialog box that opens, enter the user name and password combination you would like to use to automatically log in with. If the user account has no password, simply leave the password field blank.

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Click OK to save changes, reboot, and watch as your computer automatically logs in to the selected user account.

Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in News on .

As of today, no more patches, hotfixes, security updates, or technical support will be provided for Windows XP. Time to upgrade to a new version of Windows, buy a new computer, switch to Linux or Mac, or take any Windows XP computers offline.

Image courtesy of the official Microsoft Windows XP support website.

Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in News on .

If you’re still running Windows XP, you have just two weeks before you will no longer receive updates or support. Microsoft’s aging, 12-year-old operating system will finally reach its end-of-support date on April 8th.

What this means for you if you still have XP: after April 8th, Microsoft will not be providing support or releasing any more updates for your operating system. April 8th is the last day that updates will be released or that you will be able to get support through Microsoft. Since security holes are found and patched monthly, any Windows XP users will be at high risk for malware after support ends. Technically, since Microsoft releases updates on the second Tuesday of each month, XP will not be truly unprotected until May 13th. However, no patches will be released after the 8th of next month, no matter what security flaws are discovered.

Once support ends, it also means that drivers and common Windows programs will no longer be written to support Windows XP. If you continue using XP, you will not only stop receiving updates for your operating system but also for the programs you use.

What you should do: once support ends, you have a number of options. If you still want Windows, check if your computer is capable of running Windows 7 or 8.1. You can find the system requirements for Windows 7 here and the requirements for Windows 8.1 here. An upgrade to either of these newer operating systems will be about $100, so if you are not interested investing that much money into older hardware consider buying a new computer or switching to Linux. Whatever you do, don’t continue using XP if you plan on staying connected to the Internet.

Check out Microsoft’s official end-of-support help page here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in News on .

Microsoft released a new update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8 on Tuesday that adds an option to clean up Windows Update files to the Disk Cleanup tool. The update, KB 2852386, allows you to delete unneeded backups of old Windows updates. Here’s how it works:

Type Disk Cleanup into the Start menu and press Enter. The program will prompt you which disk you want to perform a cleanup on. Choose the one Windows is installed on (most likely the C: drive) and click OK.

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The program will scan for files to clean up. Once it opens, click “Clean up system files”

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Wait for Disk Cleanup to scan for system files to clean up. At one point it will say “Scanning: Windows Update Cleanup”.

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Select Windows Update Cleanup and click OK. You should be able to recover at least a gigabyte of disk space by doing this, and most likely a lot more if you’ve installed a lot of updates since installing Windows. In my screenshot, it shows 2.04 MB because I had already run Disk Cleanup.

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Updated Posted by Arnon Erba in General on .

If you’re a Windows user, you’ll most likely know that the taskbar can be moved to any edge of the screen by right-clicking it, unchecking “Lock the taskbar”, and then dragging the taskbar to the screen edge of your choice. By default, the taskbar appears at the bottom edge of the screen, and this is what most people envision when they think of the traditional Windows desktop.

Though the taskbar is placed at the bottom of the screen by default, that doesn’t mean it has to stay there. Moving the taskbar to the left or right hand sides of the screen could put it in a more useful location for you, and here’s why.

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With the traditional size of today’s computer screens set at a 16:9 aspect ratio as opposed to 4:3, many applications leave a lot of wasted space on the left and right sides of the screen. Most webpages are oriented toward the center of the screen, and in those cases nearly half the screen space on a large monitor goes to waste. Word processing programs generally default to an 8.5×11″ display which once again wastes space on the left and right sides of the screen.

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If you move the taskbar to the left or right side of the screen, you can take advantage of that wasted space while freeing up space on the bottom of your screen. Ubuntu does something similar to this by default by putting the launcher on the left side of the screen. Though Ubuntu has an OSX-like toolbar at the top of the screen, this does not take up extra space because it doubles as the title bar for any open windows.

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