How to create a key combination to eject your optical drive

agosto 20, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to create a key combination to eject your optical drive

They say CD and DVD drives are going the way of the dinosaur soon, but in the meantime, many of us still use them – for installing software, for backing up data, for transferring data from one computer to another, for watching movies or playing music. Sure, you can eject the disc by pushing the hardware button or going through the menu, but if you’re a keyboard wizard who hates to remove your hands from the home keys, wouldn’t it be handy to have a key combo to do it? Here’s how to do

  1. Download NirCmd from Nirsoft (link at the bottom of the instructions).
  2. Right click on the desktop or in Windows Explorer and select New, then Shortcut. You need to first create a shortcut to which you can assign the key combination.
  3. In the “Location” field, type the path to where you saved the nircmd.exe file, and at the end of it, add “cdrom open , with quotes around the path, so the entry looks like this if you saved the NirCmd utility to a folder called SavedStuff on drive C and your CD drive is D: “c:SavedStuffircmd.exe” cdrom open D:
  4. Name the shortcut and put it wherever you want. You can put it on the desktop and double click it to eject the CD that way.
  5. Right click the shortcut icon and select Properties.
  6. Click the Shortcut tab.
  7. In the “Shortcut key” field, choose the key combination you want to use to eject the CD and click OK.

Here’s where you can download the free NirCmd tool, which you’ll note does more than just eject discs:

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How to customize the shutdown button

agosto 13, 2011 - Leave a Response

By default, at the bottom right of the Windows 7 start menu is a button labeled “Shut down.” If you want to restart, log off, or put the computer to sleep instead, you have to click the arrow to the right and select the action from the drop-down menu. It’s not as if that takes a lot of time, but if you almost never shut the computer down and often need to log off and log back onto a different account, for example, you might want to change the button so you can do your most frequently used tasks with one click. Here’s how:

  1. Right click the Start button on the taskbar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click the Start Menu tab
  4. Under “Power button action,” select the action that you want to be the default for the button.
  5. Click OK

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How to customize the CTRL+ALT+DEL screen in Windows 7 Pro and above

agosto 6, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to customize the CTRL+ALT+DEL screen in Windows 7 Pro and above

When you press the key combination CTRL+ALT+DEL in Windows 7 (and Vista), you get a screen that shows you a number of options, including locking the computer, changing your password, logging off, and starting Task Manager. You can customize this screen to show only those options you want to see, using Group Policy – if you’re running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition. Here’s how:

  1. Click Start
  2. In the Search box, type gpedit.msc and press ENTER to open the Group Policy Editor
  3. In the left pane, navigate to and click on User Configuration | Administrative Templates
  4. In the right pane, double click the folder name “Ctrl+Alt+Del Options”
  5. In the right pane, you’ll see the items that you can remove (for example, “Remove Lock Computer”). To remove one, double click it and click Enabled to enable the policy and remove the item from the screen menu
  6. When you’re finished, click Apply and then OK

To see the change, press CTRL+ALT+DEL

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How to turn a USB thumb drive into a Windows 7 installation disk

julio 23, 2011 - Leave a Response

If you need to install Windows 7 on a computer that has no DVD drive and you don’t have a network connection to install from a shared DVD drive on another computer, you can install the OS from a USB thumb drive. Make sure it has plenty of free space for the installation files (I used a clean 32 GB drive). You will need to wipe everything on the drive so be sure to back up any data you have there to a different location. Here are the steps to follow to prepare the USB drive.

1.- the USB drive into a computer that does have a DVD drive.
Click Start and in the search box, type
and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to open the command prompt with administrative
2.- At the command prompt, type
At the DISKPART> prompt, type
list disk
3.- Type
select disk
replacing with the number of the USB disk from the list of disks
create partition primary
format fs=fat32 quick
exit The above is not a typo. You need to type “exit” twice, once to exit the DISKPART utility and then again to close the command

Now you can insert the Windows 7 installation disc and copy all files to the USB drive. To use it to install Windows 7, insert it in the computer where you want to install the OS, make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the USB drive first, and boot up to begin the Windows setup process.

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How to use location-aware printing

julio 16, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to use location-aware printing


Windows 7 has a cool new feature that lets you automatically switch the default printer when you move from one network to another (for example, when you move your laptop from your home network to your work network). Here’s how you set it up:

1.- Click Start and in the search box, type Devices
2.- Click the link for Devices and Printers (You can also get to this through the Control Panel)
3.- Select a printer and click Manage Default Printers (note that you won’t see this on desktop computers, only on mobile devices)
4.- Choose “Change my default printer when I change networks”
5.- Select a network, select the default printer you want to use when on that network and click Add
6.- Do the same for each available network (If you’re at home, you obviously will have to wait until you’re at work where the work network is available before you can set up the default printer for that one)

Now when you connect to a new network, Windows 7 will automatically switch to the default printer that you specified for

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How to change the size or resolution of a photo with Paint

julio 9, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to change the size or resolution of a photo with Paint


1.- Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.
2.- Click the Paint button, click Open, click the picture you want to resize, and then click Open.
3.- On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize.
4.- In the Resize and Skew dialog box, select the Maintain aspect ratio check box so that the resized picture will have the same aspect ratio as the original picture. If the Maintain aspect ratio check box is selected, you only need to enter the horizontal value (width) or vertical value (height). The other box in the Resize area is updated automatically.
5.- Do one of the following in the Resize area, and then click OK: To resize your picture by a certain percentage, click Percentage, and then enter a percentage to reduce the width by in the Horizontal box or a percentage to reduce the height by in the Vertical box. To resize the picture so it’s a specific size, click Pixels, and then enter a new width in the Horizontal box or new height in the Vertical box.
6.- Click the Paint button, point to Save as, and then click the picture file type for the resized image.
7.- Type a new file name in the File name box, and then click Save.

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How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop connections

julio 2, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop connections


As some readers noted in response to last week’s editorial about Windows 7 Remote Desktop, you can increase security by changing the default port through which RDP connects (normally port 3389). Here’s how:

1.- Open your registry editor and navigate to the following location:
2.- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ TerminalServer \ WinStations \ RDP-Tcp\PortNumber
3.- Click Edit | Modify
4.- In the properties box, click Decimal
5.- Type in the new port number that you want to use (should be a port not in use by any other protocol)
6.- Click OK
7.- Close the registry editor and reboot the computer to apply the change

To connect via Remote Desktop over the Internet to a computer on a non-default port, when you enter the computer name in the Remote Desktop Connection client, add a colon and the port number (for example: Computername:3390).

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How to search the web from the Start menu

junio 25, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to search the web from the Start menu


The Search box on the Windows 7 Start menu is very cool, but you’ll notice that it says “Search programs and files.” What if you could search the web from that box, too? Well, if you have Windows 7 Pro or above, you can. You’ll need to use Group Policy to add Internet search to the Start menu. Here’s how:

1.- Click Start and in the search box, type gpedit.msc
2.- Press ENTER to open the Group Policy Editor
3.- In the left pane, under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates
4.- Click Start Menu and Taskbar
5.- In the right pane, double click “Add Search Internet link to Start Menu”
6.- Click Enabled and then click OK
7.- Close the Group Policy Editor

Now when you type a search term in the Start menu’s Search box, you’ll see a link that says “Search the Internet.”

Of course, if you don’t want to have to click Start to do your Internet search, you could just put an Address toolbar on the taskbar by right clicking it, selecting Toolbars and then Address. This works in all editions of Windows 7 (and earlier versions, too).

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How to switch to Dvorak keyboard layout in Windows 7

junio 18, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to switch to Dvorak keyboard layout in Windows 7


Those who are trained on the Dvorak typing system can attain speeds much higher than are possible with the standard QWERTY keyboard layout. Here’s how you change the keyboard output settings in Windows 7 to use the Dvorak layout:

1.- Click Start | Control Panel.
2.- Click Region and Language.
3.- Click the Keyboards and Languages tab.
4.- Click Change Keyboard.
5.- On the General tab, click the Add button.
6.- Scroll down to “English (United States) and under it put a check in the box for “United States – Dvorak.”

Click OK and then OK again to close the dialog boxes.

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How to troubleshooting Outlook “stuck in the outbox” problem

junio 4, 2011 - Comentarios desactivados en How to troubleshooting Outlook “stuck in the outbox” problem


How to troubleshooting Outlook “stuck in the outbox” problem

I recently got a message from Karlyn K., who needed help with Outlook. When she clicks to send a message, it goes into the outbox and just sits there. To get it to “leave the premises,” she has to open up the Outbox folder and click Send again. Unfortunately, this is a rather common problem and it can have several different causes. Here are some things to try if your sent mail is getting stuck in the outbox (depending on the version of Outlook you’re using, these may vary):

1.- In Outlook, click Tools > Options > Mail Setup. Check “Send immediately when connected.”

2.- Click on the Send/Receive button on the Mail Setup General tab. Make sure both options to “Include this group in Send/Receive” are checked. Make sure that your account is included in the Group to send.

3.- Try registering a library file that’s used in the send/receive process. Click Start > Run and type regsvr32 inetcomm.dll

3.- Check to see whether an antivirus email check is slowing down the sending and receiving process. Try disabling AV and sending to determine whether this is the problem.

4.- Check to determine whether other programs running in the background are interfering. Disable them one at a time. This includes the firewall, antispyware, antispam, and all antimalware programs.

5.- In the account settings, Advanced settings, change the server timeout time from 1 min to 5 min.

6.- Check to see whether outgoing mail server authentication is required. Try selecting that option in account settings and use same setting for the incoming server.

If all else fails, create a new Outlook profile. Here are some tips on doing that:

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