Archive

Archive for the ‘Microsoft Platforms’ Category

System Folders Customizer released

We are pleased to release System Folders Customizer, a free tool that lets you add Internet Explorer, important System folders, Control Panel applets to your Computer folder, Libraries and Desktop.

Many a times we need to access these folders and we have to click a couple of times to reach them. This tool will let you access them in a click, since they are placed in regularly accessed places like Computer folder, Libraries, etc.

 

We had earlier posted on how you could add the Recycle Bin to your Computer folder. You can now do so in a click using System Folders Customizer, since it lets you add many such shortcuts to your Computer folder, Libraries and Desktop.

To add the desired shortcuts, simple check the selected boxes and click on Save Changes. To undo the changes, un-check the boxes and click Reset Changes. You may have to restart explorer.exe to see the changes on the desktop.

While our Windows Access Panel let you access these  controls or the in-built Windows programs from a single interface and while our Handy Shortcuts lets you add such shortcuts to the desktop, System Folders Customizer goes a step further by placing their shortcuts in Libraries etc.

System Folders Customizer v1.0 has been developed by our 13-year-old TWC Forum member Paras Sidhu for The Windows Club and has been tested on Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit

Download Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2010 and it is now available for download for 32-bit as well as 64-bit installations.
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 contains several new features. There are things that you couldn’t before, or things that are just better than they were with the original release.

It provides the latest updates for Office 2010. This service pack includes two main categories of fixes:

  • Previously unreleased fixes that were made specifically for this service pack. In addition to general product fixes, these fixes include improvements in stability, performance, and in security.
  • All the public updates that were released through June 2011, and all the cumulative updates that were released through April 2011.

Currently Service Pack 1 is being offered as a manual download from the Download Center and from Microsoft Update, and no sooner than 90 days after release, will be made available as an Automatic Update.

Download Page : 32-bit | 64-bit.

Start Menu Cleaner

Start Menu Cleaner is a freeware utility, which cleans the start menu by removing unneeded shortcuts and folders. Most applications add folders and shortcuts to the start menu. The problem is, when you remove a program, sometimes its folders and shortcuts remain in the start menu. After a while, this can make the start menu messy and cluttered up. Start Menu Cleaner scans all shortcuts in your start menu and removes empty folders and shortcuts which points to files that no longer exist. The result is a smaller, cleaner and more efficient start menu.

Download Start Menu Cleaner Version 1.51 (clean151.zip, 38KB)

This utility requires MSVBVM50.DLL and OLEAUT32.DLL. Please download them if you do not have them already. After you get the files, extract them to your Windows\System folder.

Homepage: http://www.iceview.com/

Make Windows welcome you with an audio voice message during logon

I came across a nice tip here on How to Make Windows Welcome you With an Audio Voice Message During Logon.

To use this trick, follow the instructions given below:-

Open Notepad and Copy, Paste below Code. Write any desired text.

Code:
Dim speaks, speech
speaks="Hello Xarabas! Welcome back to your computer. Have a nice day"
Set speech=CreateObject("sapi.spvoice")
speech.Speak speaks

Save it as a .vbs file and place it in the startup folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\<account>\Start Menu\Programs

for example:

C:\Documents and Settings\xarabas\Start Menu\Programs

NetUse

NET USE command is used to associate a local drive letter or device name with a shared network drive or device. Most often, the NET USE command is used for network drive mapping.

The NET USE command can be used also to disconnect a computer from a shared resource, or to display information about computer network connections.

The NET USE command also controls persistent net connections.

What network resource can I connect to using NET USE?

When connecting to a network device using the NET USE command or the NET CONNECT command, you can connect to any of the following:

  • printer – LPT1 thru LPT4,
  • serial port – COM1 thru COM4,
  • AUX1 thru AUX4
  • logical drive – A: thru Z:

Logical drives are most commonly referenced devices when using the NET USE command.

Difference between NET USE and NET CONNECT

The commands NET USE and NET CONNECT are interchangeable. Originally IBM introduced the NET USE command and Microsoft used the NET CONNECT command. The NET USE command is being used more often now and is the preferred method these days.

Where NET USE is used?

The NET USE command is only available on client computers, that is most often on desktop workstations. A “client computer” in this context refers to the relationship of the computer not to the physical configuration. A client computer is the one that connects to somewhere, the one that relies on the target resource. The NETWORK.COM or CLIENT.COM modules need to be loaded for this command to work.

Before you can use any network device or drive, it must have been previously shared using the NET SHARE command from the server machine.

How do I display a list of network connections on my computer?

When you use the NET USE command without parameters NET USE retrieves a simple list of network connections. Go to your Start menu, click Run, type cmd and hit enter. Then, type NET USE and you will see a screen similar to the following output:

Status Local Remote Network
——————————————————————————-
OK H: \\client-0001\C$ Microsoft Windows Network
OK O: \\client-0105\shared Microsoft Windows Network
OK P: \\192.168.10.128\QRM Microsoft Windows Network
OK S:  \\1-nas01\teamddm Microsoft Windows Network
Disconnected X: \\01-antivirus-s\mcafeedat Microsoft Windows Network
The command completed successfully.

The NET USE is very useful to get a list of connected network devices. If  you need information about some particular network resource that you are connected to, you can use the following command:

NET USE [DeviceName]

For example, this would be the output for “NET USE H:” where “H” is your network drive.

Local name H:
Remote name   \\client-0001\C$
Resource type Disk
Status OK
# Opens 1
# Connections 1
The command completed successfully.

How do I make network connections persistent (available after reboot)?

When mapping a network drive, you can tell the computer to remember your mapping after you restart the computer. If you want to make all future connections are persistent (auto-reconnect at login), use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:Yes

or

NET USE /P:Yes

If you want to make all future connections non-persistent, use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:No

or

NET USE /P:No

In this case, mapping will be lost when the computer is restarted.

How do I connect a user to his or her HOME directory?

Connecting a user to his or her HOME directory is often used in corporate setting where each user is allocated some space on the network in addition to his or her personal computer. Making this network location available every time the user logs into his or her computer can be accomplished using the NET USE command in a login script. The following is the way it works:

NET USE [devicename | *] [password | *]] [/HOME]

for example:

NET USE H: /Home

The devicename in this case is the HOME server/folder that is defined in Active Directory (ADUC).

In case you need to use the NET USE command to connect to a password protected file share, use the following:

NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName[\volume] [password | *]

[/USER:[domainname\]username] [/PERSISTENT:No]

The following are a few examples of this:

NET USE H:\\CorporateFileServer\Users\%Username%

NET USE W: \\CorporateFileServer\GroupShare /Persistent:No

Are you wondering what the /USER is?

How to specify USER in NET USE?

If you deal with enterprise security, you may need to provide user name to the NET USE command. There are two notations for giving it the user name. In the NET USE command /USER can be specified as:

[/USER:[dotted domain name\]username][/USER:[username@dotted domain name]

Both work the same way.

Another example is:

NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto /USER:cappello

This command map the disk-drive device name X  with “ernesto” folder shared from “client-001” server using “cappello” account.

If you use SAMBA to share a folder from the server, you have to use:

NET USE X: \\SERVERNAME\FOLDER <SAMBA PASSWORD> /USER:<SAMBA ACCOUNT>

therefore

NET USE X: \\client-0001\xarabas_shared ********* /USER:xarabas

How do I disconnect from a share using NET USE?

If you no longer need a connection to the network share, it is a good idea to disconnect from it so that it does not drain system and network resources. You can do so by using the following NET USE command:

NET USE [driveletter:] /DELETE

This should disconnect.

Important note: You cannot disconnect from a shared directory if you use it as your current drive or if an active process is using it. You can find out whether anything is using your drive by typing the NET USE [driveletter]:

Possible problem with NET USE

Mapping to a resource shared on the network using the NET USE command has some peculiarities. You can encounter a problem when trying to connect to a network share right after you map to it (when doing so in a script).

This is because the execution of the NET USE takes some time. When using the NET USE command in a script to map to a network drive, you may want to wait until the mapping has completed before continuing with further scripting commands.

START /wait NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName

In our example we have:

Un altro esempio più specifico è :

START /wait NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto

The start /wait switch ensures that files can be read from the mapped drive immediately, in other words that subsequent commands in your script execute only after mapping is complete.

Syntax problem with NET USE

When using the NET USE command, you can run into some syntax-related errors. The System error 67 occurred is a very common one.

Also, if the ServerName that you provide contains spaces, you need to use quotation marks around the text. (that would be for example “Server Name”) Not providing quotation marks results in an error message: System error 85 has occurred.

Are there other related useful networking commands?

The NET SHARE command is used at the server to share a folder to others. If you want to access this shared resource from a client, you would use the NET SHARE command.

This page provides an overview of all available networking server commands: server NET commands.

NET USE syntax

The following is the syntax for NET USE:

net use

[{DEVICE | *}]

[\\COMPUTER\SHARE[\VOL]]

[{PASSWORD | *}]]

[/USER:[DOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER:[DOTTEDDOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER: [USER@DOTTEDDOMAIN]

[/SAVECRED]

[/SMARTCARD]

[{/DELETE | /PERSISTENT:{yes | no}}]

net use [DEVICE [/HOME[{PASSWORD | *}] [/DELETE:{yes | no}]]

net use [/PERSISTENT:{yes | no}]

That is about it.

Postpone Windows restart after installing updates

Postpone Windows restart after installing updates

After installation of updates that, in order to become effective, need to restart the personal computer, Windows is set to show – at regular intervals – a message warning that calls to provide for the reboot of the operating system.

Having said that, if prompted, restart your personal computer is a task that must be done as soon as possible (only in this way can be apply security updates and changes to files that are currently in use by Windows), it may be necessary
having to postpone it at a later time.

The behavior of Windows Update window is controlled by group policy by typing
gpedit.msc (Start -> Run…).

After that, you go to the section “Computer Configuration“, “Administrative Templates“, “Windows Components“,
Windows Update“.

Double-clicking in the right panel, the option “No auto-restart for connected users with automatic updates scheduled installations” will prevent the personal computer may automatically restart after installing some updates to the actual installation of patch, Windows Update will wait for the reboot of the machine by the user.

The Group Policy window is accessible, however, only the following operating systems: Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Ultimate/Enterprise/Business, Professional, and Windows 7.

In the case of other “editions” of Windows, you can apply the same
operation by opening the Registry Editor (Start -> Run.. -> regedit),
going to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
(to create manually if not exist)

creating a new DWORD value, name NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers then set the value to 1.

Environment Variables

Environment variables

Environment variables are used in Windows to store some settings relating to the operation operating system or installed applications.

They are used in all major operating systems (not just Windows) and some of them are particularly useful to interact simple and efficient with your personal computer. In the definition of Microsoft, the environment variables are :

strings of characters contain information such as file paths, drives, or names of file

They can be used to control the behavior of different programs.

For example, the “TEMP” environment variable can specify the directory in which installed applications will be able to save any temporary files.

The values of some environment variables are set during booting the operating system. Usually, the variables are initialized by Windows with default values.

To use the environment variables from the command line or from a any script,
you must enclose two percentage signs.

  • Example1
    • Click Start -> Run
    • Digit %TEMP%, … (Whatever is the version of Windows you have, or already in the Search box programs and files in the Windows Start menu 7)
    • Press Enter
    • The operating system shell will open up a window with the contents of the folder used to store temporary files.

  • Example2
    • Click Start -> Run
    • Type cmd
    • Press Enter
    • Write SET TEMP at the prompt, you receive the correct value for TEMP environment variable. Alternatively you can use a TEMP and TMP: the result will be identical.

In Windows XP, right-clicking with the mouse icon “My Computer” and selecting “Properties”, clicking on “Advanced tab”, then click “Environment Variables”, you can get the list of configured variables, whether the user than those of the system.

A similar operation can be performed in the case of Windows 7 clicking the “Start” button with the right mouse button on the “Voice Computer”, click “Properties”, “Advanced System Settings” link click the “Advanced tab” and the “Environment Variables” button.

This is the official Microsoft Page lists all the environment variables used in Windows.

We list below only those which are used by typing directly in Start, Run … or in any window Windows dialog. For example, clicking on Start, Run … then typing “%userprofile%” you can quickly open the folder contains the profile of the currently logged on.

As usual, typing “Start -> Run -> cmd” and then “SET USERPROFILE” you will get the folder contained in the environment variable (in the case of Windows 7, is usually C:\Users\username on Windows XP as C:\Documents and Settings\username).

  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE% – Back to the folder containing the information common between the different profiles of user accounts created on your system.
  • %APPDATA% – Folder where the various Windows applications usually store settings and configuration files.
  • % COMPUTERNAME% – Returns the assigned name to your system.
  • %SYSTEMDRIVE% – Returns the ID (drive letter) for the associated storage (Hard Disk) where you installed the system operational, normally the drive letter is “C:/”
  • %SYSTEMROOT% – Refers to the directory where you installed the operating system (eg C: \ WINDOWS).
  • %TEMP% and %TMP% – The directory where temporary files are stored by part of the operating system and installed applications. Usually, the contents of this folder can be deleted periodically in order to recover disk space.
  • %USERNAME% – Provides the user account name.
  • %USERPROFILE% – Provides access to the folder containing the files linked to the profile of the currently logged in Windows. This folder also contains the system directory Documents, My Pictures, Music, Video, and so
    on.
  • %WINDIR% – Returns the folder containing the operating system.

For further information please follow this official Microsoft Page .

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