Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How to Expand explorer navigation to include important elements in Windows 7-8

By default in windwos, many important folders cannot be accessed directly using the navigation pane in Windows Explorer. But you can quickly add direct access to the desktop and your user’s profile folders with a few simple tweaks. For this, right-click in any empty space in the navigation pane and click ‘Show all folders’. Simply deselect the same option to change back to the usual view.
At first, you will see a different set of folders, since ‘Libraries’ and ‘Network’ no longer form individual groups but are in their hierarchical order under ‘Desktop’. You can also go directly to the folder of the current user profile under ‘C:\Users’ as well as to ‘Control Panel’ and ‘Recycle Bin’. Try both views and decide which one works best for you.

Monday, 29 July 2013

How to predetermine the number of tile rows on the Start screen in Windows 8

Depending on the screen resolution, Windows 8 determines how many rows of tiles will be displayed on the Start screen. In case of displays with low resolutions, you get three rows, while higher resolutions can accommodate five or more rows. You can reduce these values or increase them if you want to. For this purpose, you will need to edit the Windows registry through the Registry editor. Change to the Desktop view and press [Win]+[R]. Then enter ‘regedit’, press the [Enter] key and confirm that you're an Administrator check with ‘Yes’. Navigate to the key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current version\ImmersiveShell\Grid’. Here, search for the DWORD value ‘Layout_ MaximumRowCount’. If you can't find it, create it with the command ‘Edit | New | DWORD value’. Open the value by double clicking it. Then enter the desired maximum set number as the decimal value (for example, 6) and confirm this with ‘OK’. In order for the changes to reflect, close the registry editor and restart the computer.

NOTE: For screens with high-resolutions, you can set the value to a maximum of ‘6’ against the standard setting ‘5’. Windows will not support values over 6, but you can always reduce the number of rows down to the minimum value of ‘1’.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

How to use Dropbox on the go

You can easily setup Dropbox to automatically synchronise its folder to exchange data between different computers. This works well, but requires you to set up Dropbox on your PCs, so you can’t use it on other computers. However, if you need to carry your Dropbox folder along, you can take it with you on a USB drive. The installer for the portable version of Dropbox is available for download at dbpahk.
First, extract the archive to any folder on your hard drive and run ‘DropboxPortableAHK.exe’. The program won't be installed but will run directly. After checking your Internet connection, specify the location of the Dropbox folder on your PC. Confirm the process by clicking ‘Next’. For the next step, you must be careful. Select the option ‘Previous Dropbox folder’ and then click the ‘Copy’ command to copy the folder that exists on your hard drive. Doing this lets you avoid downloading the folder’s contents again. Click ‘Next’; now all you have to do is just confirm the process. You might need to download some program components using the ‘Download Dropbox files’ button in the last step. Now select the desired icon for differentiating the normal Dropbox application from DropboxPortableAHK and click ‘Next’. Click ‘Start Dropbox setup’ in the new window and sign-in with your Use account name and password. To go ahead with the installation, select the setup
type ‘Upgrade’ and the option ‘I want to choose where to put my Dropbox’ in the next step. Then add the path to the existing Dropbox folder and proceed with the other steps. All your Dropbox data will now be saved under the program folder or the given relative path. This process can take some time. When the icon in the notification area signals that the process has been finished, end the program and
copy the entire folder to your USB drive. If you use another computer that doesn't have Dropbox installed, it will be enough to just run DropboxPortableAHK from the USB drive. The software will take some time to verify your user name and password, and sync the data. You can now use your Dropbox folder like it was on your own PC.
Whenever you're done, exit Dropbox using the notification area icon, and safely eject the USB drive to avoid losing data due to file system errors.

How to back up any folder automatically

Regular backups of the complete data are important but are also time-consuming when you have a lot of data. That’s why a weekly interval is usually the default for backup software. If you want to take more frequent backups of a specifi c folder, you can automate the task with a few steps. The command line tool Robocopy, which is included with Windows Vista, 7 and 8, is perfectly suitable for this purpose. Windows XP users can download the tool for free at
First, type ‘cmd’ in the search field of the Start menu or anywhere on the Start screen and then select ‘cmd.exe’. Robocopy needs you to type the source folder and the target folder with the full path and
the additional options you'll need. Use the option ‘/E’ to include all subfolders. It’s possible that some files will be open, so disable the standard retry attempts to prevent the process from stopping midway. For this, the two options ‘W:0 and R:0’ will need to be specified. Lastly, you'll also require the parameter ‘/MOT:n’ for time-dependent monitoring of the source folder; ‘n’ indicates the time between repeated operations if changes to any files are detected. The complete command for backing up your folder every hour will look like this: ‘Robocopy C:\source\folder D:\backup\folder /E /R:0 /W:0 /MOT:60’. Robocopy processes and monitors your system only when the command is executed. To make the computer automatically run the command at startup, create a new text file with Notepad and type the command inside it. Now rename the file so that the extension reads ‘.BAT’. Add this file to the Startup folder of your user account to make sure it runs every time you reboot or log out.
NOTE: You will notice some system lag while files are being copied, especially if the files are very large. As with all backups, the target folder must be on a different drive; preferably an external drive or a network location so that physical disk failures do not result in the loss of both the original and the backup.

Friday, 26 July 2013

How to Conceal your friends lists in Facebook

On Facebook you may be connected with many kind of people people like your friends, colleagues, business associates and relatives who do not know each other. Log into your Facebook account and go to your profile page. Click on ‘Friends’. Here at the top right hand corner you will see an option ‘Edit’. Click on it and you will find the option ‘Who can see your friend list?’ From here you can manage who will be able to see your friend list, you can keep it ‘Public', restrict it to ‘Friends except acquaintances’ so that only your direct friends but not your acquaintances can view the information. You can even select any lists that you may have configured.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How to display notifications from Google+ in notification bar

If you do not frequently visit Google+, then you can use the Windows utility tool G+ Notifier to stay updated about what’s happening on the social network. You can download the tool from the site Download the latest zip fi le” and save the file “DanTup.GPlusNotifi”.
Extract the contained fi les and folders into any folder like for example “C:\ Programs\GPlusNotifi er”. Then open this folder in Windows Explorer and double-click on the file entry “DanTup.GPlusNotifier.exe”. It automatically opens a window in which you can view and change settings. Save the changes with “OK”. You will then have to log-in to your Google+ account. Next add a shortcut to “DanTup.GPlus Notifier.exe” in the “Autostart” folder of your ‘Start menu’. After that open the info area and click “Adjust”. Ensure that in “G+ Notifier”, the option “Display symbol and notifications” is active. You will see a symbol in the notification bar, you will be notified of new messages, comments, etc. Google + from here. Click on it to get detailed information.

Monday, 22 July 2013

How to remove stripes in a print image after refilling the cartridge

A frequent cause of printing problems after cartridge refills is air stuck in the print head itself. While filling and even while assembling and disassembling cartridges, some times tiny air bubbles enter into the print head. This is caused due to the air which can establish unwanted pressure on the print nozzles. Subsequently, these nozzles do not spray any ink on the paper and you get white, horizontal stripes on your prints. If you're facing such a problem, your printer's print head cleaning function may help you out. The cleaning utility builds a very distinctly higher print volume in order to clean out the air bubbles. A bit of ink is also reverse pumped by the vacuum in order to restore the ink flow. This procedure must sometimes be repeated to get clean prints consistently. Keep in mind that a lot of ink will be wasted if you repeat the steps and this is normal.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

How to repair a defective USB stick in a convection oven

If a USB stick stops functioning abruptly, you might be able to save it. Try using it on another PC before deciding it is faulty. If it still doesn't work, you have two options to recover important data from the stick. In each case you must first carefully remove the pen drive's casing. Wrap the circuit board tightly using Scotch tape. In this way, the board is firmly insulated from contact with outside objects and safe from short circuits. Check if the drive works now. If the stick starts functioning again, quickly copy all data. If this does not prove successful, there is a possible last resort—but beware the device might thus be damaged irretrievably! Often, the solder holding the internal components together tends to get dry and does not make good contact. Re-soldering the entire circuit board is impossible by human hands because of the tiny SMD chips used.
This needs a wave soldering machine, which is not easy to procure. But you can use your oven at home to do the same work. Place the USB stick for five minutes in an oven preheated to 200° C. In this way, the solder melts a little and all contacts are strengthened. It is important that all plastic casing pieces be removed before popping the drive into the oven. If the memory modules are soldered
on one side of the circuit board, place these upturned. The plastic inside the USB plug should survive this effort unscathed. Once the five minutes are up, shut down the oven and leave the door open for cooling without moving the stick. After approximately 30 minutes, you can remove the pen drive and check whether it works again.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How to recover important data off unreadable CDs and DVDs

You want to copy photos from a scratched disc onto the hard drive. But the Windows Explorer aborts the copy process with the error notification ‘File cannot be copied’. Where the Windows Explorer fails, the mini-tool ‘Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier’ prevails against scratch and damages on the data storage medium.
This program copies and restores data from unreadable discs—you can download it for free at ‘’. In order to recover data, select the source and the target drives using the ‘Browse’ button in the ‘Copy’ tab. Subsequently in the ‘Settings’ tab, move the slider approximately to the middle—it is a good compromise between the best and fastest recovery of the data.
You should also set the tick in front of ‘skip damaged fi les automatically’, otherwise it may take considerably more time till the tool copies the still usable data. This utility is ideal for hard drives,
floppy drives, CDs and DVDs which could have bad sectors or partially corrupted fi le systems.

Friday, 19 July 2013

How to Display Flash contents in the IE 10 app in Windows 8

There are two versions of the Internet Explorer 10: the version started as app does not display Flash content by default and only allows this for specific websites saved in a whitelist. If you need Flash for other websites, then you must start the browser from the Desktop or will be redirected there by a note. But the desired URLs may be enabled in the file “IECompatData” in the profile.
For this, fi rst input “%userprofi le%” in the Windows Explorer address bar and press Enter. Navigate further to the folder “AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IECompat- Data”.
Then right-click on “iecompatdata. xml” and select the context command “Edit”. You can even edit the file using another XML editor. Search the start area »<Flash>« and check the subsequent, alphabetically sorted entries. While a few standard websites are already contained, other known surfing destinations are missing. For example, “” exists but “” is missing. But you can add additional websites line-by-line in the form “<domain></domain>”. Then save the changes. Since this White list is possibly overwritten in case of updates, you should create a backup copy of this or manage the appropriate entries in a text file in order to be able to quickly add them again. In the end, you must delete the Browser cache. For this, start the app and press the key combination [Windows]+[I]. Click on “Delete” for this process.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

How to protect a hidden administrator account (VISTA/7/8)

Even if you neither view nor use the standard administrator account in Windows 8, it is created automatically and thus represents a substantial security risk. The same also applies to Windows Vista and 7. As soon as the account is activated, it provides complete access to your system without asking for a password. However, booting the computer via a CD or a USB stick is necessary in order to activate the account using a tool like ntpasswd. You avoid this risk by activating the hidden account once and then creating a password. Then you must once again hide the account. For this enter “cmd” into the Start menu search fi eld, then right-click on the displayed “cmd.exe” and select the context command “Run as administrator”. After confirming the User Account Control, the command line is opened. Here type “net user Administrator /active” and confirm with the [Enter] key. The successful execution is displayed in the dialogue.
Now open the Control Panel and click on “User Accounts and Family Safety”, then on “Add/remove user accounts”.
Now the account “Administrator” should be visible. Select it and click on “Create password”. Enter a secure new password twice (at least eight characters with digits and special characters as well as mixture of upper and lower case), and enter a password hint in the next field. You can ignore the warning about loss of EFS-encrypted fi les since you have not yet saved any fi les using this account. Confirm the process with “Create password”. Now close the Control Panel and again switch to the command line or reopen the dialogue. Using the command “net user Administrator / active: no”, re-switch the administrator account to inactive and invisible. Besides this, you can ensure more security if you also change the standard account name “Administrator”. Automatic attack attempts which try to log into this account will fail.
NOTE: Using this safety measure, you may also lock yourself out of access to the administrator account. Therefore, you should save the password securely and not use it for normal user accounts.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

How to call up often used applets from the Control Panel directly from the Start menu

You might use a some Control Panel commands regularly. You can add your familiar icons directly into the Start menu for quick access. Drag and drop to do this in the blink of an eye. For this, open ‘Start | Control Panel’. In ‘View’, either select ‘Small Icons’ or ‘Large Icons’. Then you can click on the desired icon and drag it into the Start menu. Repeat this process for all necessary commands.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

How to upgrade context menu with the option ‘Copy to folder’

Generally, you duplicate a file by copying it to the clipboard and subsequently pasting it into the target folder. You can simplify this process by upgrading the context menu and adding the command ‘Copy to folder’. A small change in the registry makes this possible. Click on ‘Start’ and begin typing ‘regedit’.
The result shows in the Start menu. Right-click on the entry ‘regedit.exe’ and then click ‘Run as administrator’. You might then have to select an account with administrator rights and type a password. Navigate the tree structure on the left area to get to the key ‘HKEY_ CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ Context MenuHandlers’. Create a new sub-key named ‘Copy To’ using ‘Edit | New | Key’. Select it and double-click on the value ‘(Default)’ in the right window
area. Enter the GUID ‘{C2FBB630-2971- 11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}’ as the ‘Value’ in the dialogue ‘Edit string’. After that, move to the key ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ AllFilesystem Objects\ shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers’ and here also create a new sub-key called ‘Copy To’. Set the ‘(Default)’ value using the above given GUID again.
Once you close the Registry editor from ‘File | Exit’, the context menus of files and folders will be extended with the command ‘Copy to folder’. If in the future, when you select one or more files
and choose the command ‘Copy to folder’ from the context menu, a simple dialogue appears, in which you select the target folder. The files are of course copied to this folder with just a few clicks.
NOTE: If you create a key called ‘Move To’ in ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ Directory\shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers’ and in ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\
ContextMenuHandlers’ and then save the ‘(Default)’ value using ‘{C2FBB631-2971- 11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}’, you add the command ‘Move to folder’ in the context menu for files and folders.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

How to shoot shake-free photos without a tripod

You may not want to carry around a bulky tripod when you’re on a outing or sightseeing. Tripods work out best for capturing long-shutter shots in low light or HDR shots where steady frames are critical, but when you don’t have a tripod at hand, you should be willing to compromise a bit on the quality.
You should first try to lower the f-stop to the least possible value, which results in a larger aperture—a large aperture between f/1.4 and f/2.8 with the lens completely zoomed out (widest end) should work out well in dim light environments. If that still results in blurred results, boost the ISO. This increases the sensitivity of the sensor but in turn increases the amount of grain (noise) in the photographs. Very few cameras yield almost noise-free results at ISO speeds of 800 and higher. Also, keeping your elbows as close to your body while holding the camera with both your hands and breathing out and holding your breath before you press the shutter release helps you keep the camera steady.

Monday, 1 July 2013

How to batch correct photos with the same errors

If by mistake your camera’s automatic mode has led to your photographs being incorrectly exposed, processing all the defective photos may require several hours' worth of effort. However, you can easily correct all your photographs at one go by processing them as a batch. Batch processing is quite simple and is
completed in a matter of seconds. Many batch processing applications, actions and scripts come in handy in such cases. One of the best programs for image optimisation and correction is Adobe Lightroom. This application can fix similar defects in a batch of photos. To get started, import all the over/ underexposed photographs into the Library. You can choose to import only a few photos if you want to try out the software. In case of incorrect exposure, the histogram (at the top right corner) will be skewed towards the right or left— the bright areas may be over-exposed or the dim areas may be underexposed. Such an error can be easily corrected, just like rectifying noisy images. Once done, Lightroom will let you copy and apply the settings to the entire folder/ collection.