Tag Archives: microsoft_windows

The PC De-Crapifier

Long overdue: an OEM’s worst nightmare. Jeff Jarvis oughta love it, but I doubt Dell will. Nothing illegal here:

The PC De-Crapifier is designed to remove a specific list unwanted software in an unattended fashion. Before running, the user may select exactly what software should be removed. Currently, it is targeted for use on most Dell machines; however it will theoretically run on anything that has the software listed below…

Hey Dell – if you really *ARE* listening, and you really *DO* believe in your own marketing hype, why don’t you put some truth behind the new “Designed For You” campaign? Ya know, offer a HUGE CHECKBOX next to the “Install software that doesn’t ship natively with Microsoft Windows” option and have it unchecked by default. First, you have to make that option available. Second, you could call it… “Really, Truly Designed For You.” Welcome to the blogosphere!

Remove the IE Drag & Drop Prompt

Like every power user, I’m annoyed with Microsoft’s “you’re about to hit a pothole” warnings. After installing a recent IE6 security update, I was smacked with an insipid dialog prompt every time I tried to copy an item (image or link) from Internet Explorer to the desktop. “Do you want to move or copy files from this zone?â€Â? Yes, I’m sure… I’m 100% positive I want to move or copy files from that zone. I must thank Dean Hachamovitch for the initial lead on this registry hack, although I had to change both the HKCU and HKLM subkey structures to eliminate the annoyance altogether:

[code]Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet SettingsZones4]
@=””
“180B”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet SettingsZones4]
@=””
“180B”=dword:00000000[/code]You can “safely” copy and paste that code into a new .REG file, then apply it to your own Registry by double-clicking the newly-created file. If you’re skilled enough, you can probably change the Registry directly with REGEDIT. If you’re too lazy to do any of that, I suppose you could download a ZIP file of the REG hack. And if you’re not sure what any of this means, then I’m telling you not to change a damn thing.

Windows Explorer ToolTips

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow lost ToolTip functionality in Windows the other day. I’d hover over an icon and NOTHING would show up. Needless to say, I was more than a little perturbed. I did a quick look around the ‘Net and discovered The Elder Geek had an answer that might work. It involves a bit of Registry diving, which is no problem from a seasoned power user like myself. To Enable or Disable Tool Tip Displays, fire up your Registry editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced. Look for “ShowInfoTip” and make sure its value is set to 1. That’s it. Shouldn’t even need a reboot in XP to see ‘er work again.

Removable Media Drive Icons in Windows XP

Many new systems today are coming with integrated digital media readers instead of floppy drives. I say that’s a good thing. However, these manufacturers have a penchant for slapping in crappy icons for those drives – if they even bother to include icons at all. There’s no way of telling which drive letter belongs to which type of removable media – CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, MMC, or SmartMedia. I lived with this problem until today. Ponzi’s new machine installed a craptacular array of icons for her removable media drives. I set out to figure out where they were coming from, and ran into some amount of difficulties at first. I didn’t know where the icons were sitting; they were likely buried in a DLL. Then, I noticed that the CompactFlash drive was labeled “CompactFlashI/II.” Awesome! Now I had something to search for in the system Registry.

Less than a minute later, I was staring down the barrel of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer DriveIcons! Each drive letter has a separate key, mind you. Once I found this location, it was relatively easy for me to change. The drive letters and icon locations for your system will definitely be different, but you can base your tweak on mine. I’ve yet to find amazing removable drive icons, but Windows XP stores a couple of good ones within Shell32.dll in the %windir%system32 directory. If you’d rather not navigate on your own, I’ve zipped the REG file (and the icons I’m currently using from XP) in RemovableDriveIcons.zip. Again, you will need to view and edit the REG file to change the local paths and drive letters on your system. This should be completely safe, but I’m not responsible for anything you choose to do with this.

Removable Media Drive Icons in Windows XP

And for heaven’s sake – if you know of better removable media icons out there, let me know where to get ’em. I’ve gotta find a single theme for CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, MMC, and SmartMedia.