Tag Archive: windows

Often I will stroll into my office, drop my gear and power up my computer. Then I’ll buzz around taking care of the normal mundane stuff to start my day. I have Windows set to auto login my password secured main user account using netplwiz.exe which is kind enough to start all the processes that don’t start until a user is signed into the system. Gets my system all ready to go so when I sit down my system is as ready to get to work as I am. I also have my PC and HTPC setup to boot up after a power failure state to make sure my servers are running when the power returns. With the autologin in place it leaves my system open to mischievous co-workers to put pictures of grown men in diapers on my desktop. So I have an event setup in Task Scheduler that gets triggered when any user logs on C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe with the arguments user32.dll, LockWorkStation to lock my desktop immediately to keep my systems safe from outside influence. So I get the benefits of the auto logon, and the security of the password prompt to login.

So here’s the rub. Windows 10’s ( and apparently Windows 8 & 8.1, yuk) Lock Screen has a 1 minute timeout where if you don’t interact to the screen it powers off your display. I don’t know how much strain is put on my monitor powering up, then powering it back down, and then powering it backup if I bump something while sitting down, and then powering down a min later because I still haven’t logged in yet, and then powering back up when I finally log back in. On an almost daily basis, I just don’t think that can be good on the guts, and I can’t be plunking down $$$ on a whim for a new monitor. I want it to power up and stay up for a decent amount of time, and then if I still haven’t logged in yet, then go ahead and save the whales and power down.

Windows doesn’t by default give you a way to adjust the power down wait time at the lock screen. After digging around the net, I found a some gents had shared what I needed. You have to really dig down there into the guts of the registry to


and set Attributes to a value of 2.

Add Option to Adjust Lock Screen Timeout In Power Settings

Once that’s set, open your Power Options, and under Display you should have a new power option ‘Console lock display off timeout’.
Lock Timeout


Get out of my explorer tree OneDrive!

Browse or search the registry to:

Set Dword value System.IsPinnedToSpaceTree to 0 (zero)












Tip provided from TheWindowsClub.com – Thanks guys and gals, and go check them out!

How to remove OneDrive icon from Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows 10 includes several apps that Microsoft feels that you should have whether you want them or not. Not on my PC homie! You can force uninstall them using Powershell with admin rights.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.3DBuilder | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Getstarted | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.SkypeApp | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsMaps | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingWeather | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Office.OneNote | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.XboxApp | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.ZuneMusic | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.ZuneVideo | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingSports | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingNews | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsPhone | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingFinance | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsCamera | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsAlarms | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.People | Remove-AppxPackage


If your Windows 10 upgrade has not started yet or you want to install from different media so you don’t have to wait for the download on each system you are upgrading, you can use the Windows Media Creation Tool to either manually start the upgrade, or download the installer to a USB drive or ISO file. To get the free upgrade, you will need to preform the upgrade via the media creation tool directly or run the install media from an existing Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 install (vs. doing a boot clean install from the ISO or USB drive) so the installer can use your existing Windows 7, 8, 8.1 product key to grant the free upgrade.

Get the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Just a little list I am putting together of tweaks that go beyond the normal for Windows 10 that I have decided to use. These will all be filed under the ‘Windows’ tag, so you can click the tag below to get to them all as I add more. Hope they help others out.

First set of tips will be for cleaning up Explorer. All I want is my drives nice and neat, is that too much to ask for?

Clean Explorer



Image Source: howtogeek.com

Folder Groups: ‘Like gag me with a spoon dude!’ First eye sore on my list is the Folders group that is seemingly just tossed into the mix. We can use Quick Access to add custom jump points to things we want, no reason to have things listed twice at the root of the computer.

I found this tip floating around a few sites, but over at HowToGeek.com they have a nice set of registry files to help get things done fast.
Blog Post: http://tinyurl.com/p6yyk2a
Folder Group Registry Files: http://tinyurl.com/q3jxnus

Using their registry files you can easily remove all of the entries from Explorer. You will need to reboot after running the registry edits or end all instances of Explorer.exe via the Task Manager for things to work. One other thing to note. For some reason if you enable hidden files, sometimes the Desktop Folder will reappear. Usually disabling Hidden Files and closing Explorer will re-hide everything. I would guess that there is one more registry value floating around for that, but for now I don’t have hidden files turned on by default so I can live with it.

HomegroupHomeGroup: HomeGroup is a nice feature and most home networks would probably benefit from understanding how it works and using it. It’s like network sharing for dummies. I use normal Workgroup sharing with normal user account credentials on my home network because I have some special share requirements with how I communicate with work so using HomeGroup doesn’t work out for me and is just taking up space. If you don’t use/need HomeGroup either, you can ditch it too. This tip will work for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10. To disable HomeGroup completely so it’s removed from the Explorer list you need to disable the services that run it. hit you Windows key and type in Services.msc and hit ENTER. Locate the Two entries for HomeGroup, right click on them and STOP them. Then Right click on each one again and click Properties. Set The Startup type for each service to Disabled, and click OK. Reboot or end the Explorer tasks and your all set! If you need to re-enable HomeGroup at anytime reset the both HomeGroup Services’ Startup Type to Automatic and reboot.


Folder OptionsFolder Options: There are a few new options added to the Windows 10 Folder Options dialog, and most of them I want turned off :p Since I only want Quick Access to show links to folders I pick specifically vs. it guessing what I want based on my recent usage, I uncheck both Show Recently used files/folders in Quick Access. With both of these set, if I were to select the Quick Access at the top of the list, it would now only show me the links I setup on the main explorer window instead of a list of recent folders and files which is useless. By Default Windows 10 opens Explorer to this Quick Access location which doesn’t make sense to do anymore since I disabled it’s core functions. So to make sure it opens up to a more useful location, I set Open File Explorer to: This PC. This is where I personally want it to open up but maybe you would like it to open up somewhere else by default? Unfortunately there is not an option to change the default option to a custom path at this time. There were some work arounds for Windows 8 but they don’t seem to work at this point. For now if you want Explorer to open to a location other than This PC or the Quick Access location, you will have to use a custom shortcut that points to the location.






Color Title Bars: Thank the maker for this little gem. Tired already of staring at the stark, eye blinding white title bars? Add a little color by installing a theme that supports colors. Download these Color Theme files and copy them to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Once the files are copied to the folder, double click on the color.theme file to launch it. Once the theme launches you can use the new Desktop, Personalize, Colors picker to set a custom color for your Title Bars.
















If you want a more custom RGB color selector to set any color you want for the Title bars, you can create a shortcut to the old color picker:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced



Current User Paths: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

System User Folder Paths : HKEY_USERS\(User SID#)\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\

Here is my collection of fonts from around the net.

Download Fonts.zip

Just stumbled with my fat fingers and found that the Windows Key + a number key (1,2,3 etc.) will switch you to the corresponding window in the taskbar. So if the first window shown in your taskbar is Datacad (yea Datacad!) then you can hit Win+1 to switch to that window. If that window is already your active window, then it will minimize that window. This works in Windows 7 – Win XP or 8, who knows? The Shadow Knows!


Go from IDE mode to AHCI mode for your SATA devices by running the Microsoft Fix It tool to enable AHCI driver support. Worked Flawlessly on Windows 7 SP1. After running the MS Fit It Tool, reboot, enter the BIOS, change your controller mode to AHCI, save the BIOS settings and reboot back into Windows. With any luck you should not see the BSOD :p

Microsoft Fit It Tool – Enable Sata AHCI mode

Ever been crusing around on your LAN and try to delete a folder and get this message:


Windows 7 (and Vista SP1) creates a temporary cache in the networked location for quicker displaying of thumbnails from networked locations. The bad thing is the OS keeps the thumb.db file in use for a short time after you leave the folder so in the chance you may browse back to it shortly it can quickly recall the cache file rather than read all the files and rebuild the icons. The bad thing is when the thumbs.db file is still in lock down mode, you can’t delete or rename folders.

So if your network is fast enough (which most should be for most folder contents) you can disable the network location thumbnail caching by editing the following Group Policy:
– Start, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit ENTER.
– Drill down into User Config, Admin Templates, Windows Components, Windows Explorer
– Locate ‘Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files’ and double click on it to edit the policy
– Set the Policy to ‘Enabled’ and click Apply, OK.

That should be it. Now go delete a bunch of stuff.

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