Windows 7 Catch-All

Finally upgraded my Vista SP2 Home to Win7 Home Premium yesterday. The upgrade was a smooth sailing.

Small nits after the upgrade:

  • My custom terminal fonts are deleted. My own mistake.
  • Some guest accounts I kept in place disabled are impossible to enable now. In Vista, there was no MMC snap-in to manage local user accounts like that, but I could get around that limitation by using net.exe (net user xxxx /active). Looks like net.exe does not accept this commands in Win7 Home.
    EDIT: a-ha: I had to explicitly run cmd.exe "as an administrator", even though my interactive logged-in account is a local admin. Neat. But confusing.
  • Some Explorer UI changes are hard to explain and thus are annoying. Number/size of selected items in the first thing that comes to mind.
Dr.Ghastly wrote:
Malor wrote:

I'd make a fresh backup, just in case.

yeah, if I can keep it up long enough. Hopefully worst case though the FS is on another partition (its a cheap ass FS really) and I can save that.

It was a stupid error. Installed Windows Server 2008 (for now) and have had zero issues.

Also gave me experience on setting up a domain, dns server, and other stuff I have little experience with.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
  • Some guest accounts I kept in place disabled are impossible to enable now. In Vista, there was no MMC snap-in to manage local user accounts like that, but I could get around that limitation by using net.exe (net user xxxx /active). Looks like net.exe does not accept this commands in Win7 Home.
    EDIT: a-ha: I had to explicitly run cmd.exe "as an administrator", even though my interactive logged-in account is a local admin. Neat. But confusing.

I don't know if 7 is the same way, but Vista had two types of administrators; accounts they labeled as administrator, and then a Administrator account, which was even more administratorey :p than a normal administrator account. It's hidden by default. With that account you didn't have to do what you're describing.

More or less the same with Win7 -- it creates a no-password Administrator account, but disables it right out of the gate.
However, I didn't have to enable it -- simply "Run as Administrator" for CMD.exe did the job.

I'm just saying that that's why you still have to run the EXE as admin, even though you are admin.

General Crespin wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
  • Some guest accounts I kept in place disabled are impossible to enable now. In Vista, there was no MMC snap-in to manage local user accounts like that, but I could get around that limitation by using net.exe (net user xxxx /active). Looks like net.exe does not accept this commands in Win7 Home.
    EDIT: a-ha: I had to explicitly run cmd.exe "as an administrator", even though my interactive logged-in account is a local admin. Neat. But confusing.

I don't know if 7 is the same way, but Vista had two types of administrators; accounts they labeled as administrator, and then a Administrator account, which was even more administratorey :p than a normal administrator account. It's hidden by default. With that account you didn't have to do what you're describing.

How do you unhinde / access this alleged real adminstrator account?

mrtomaytohead wrote:

How do you unhinde / access this alleged real adminstrator account?

Computer management console. Just type "management" in the start search and it should be near the top.

Note that Computer Management console won't help you if you are on Win7 Home -- this version does NOT have a Local Users and Groups MMC snap-in.

In Win 7 Home, just click start and then your user ID's picture. It will bring you to you account page, and if you're an admin, on the left-hand side "tasks panel" you will see "Manage other accounts" link.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Note that Computer Management console won't help you if you are on Win7 Home -- this version does NOT have a Local Users and Groups MMC snap-in.

Didn't know that. Haven't installed Home Premium on anything.

In Win 7 Home, just click start and then your user ID's picture. It will bring you to you account page, and if you're an admin, on the left-hand side "tasks panel" you will see "Manage other accounts" link.

When I do this, I don't see the admin account. Just a disabled "guest".

This Google search is giving me a couple links that look valid but I don't have the time right now to find the best one. Replace 7 with Vista in the search if needed.

MannishBoy wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Note that Computer Management console won't help you if you are on Win7 Home -- this version does NOT have a Local Users and Groups MMC snap-in.

Didn't know that. Haven't installed Home Premium on anything.

In Win 7 Home, just click start and then your user ID's picture. It will bring you to you account page, and if you're an admin, on the left-hand side "tasks panel" you will see "Manage other accounts" link.

When I do this, I don't see the admin account. Just a disabled "guest".

Activate it. "Run as administrator" this from command line: net user administrator /active:yes and try again.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Activate it. "Run as administrator" this from command line: net user administrator /active:yes and try again.

Oh, I can activate the account if I want to in a couple of different ways (like the management console), just didn't know I could get there from the user icon like you described. I believe you. Just pointing out it won't always work form a user account, even if it has normal admin rights (without additional steps)

You can get to the Advanced user config in any MS OS (that allows it ie it won't work on XP Home or similar versions of Vista/W7) by doing a Windows+R (for run) and then type
control userpasswords2

From there the basic users task will open but at the top will be an Advanced button. Not sure if that's useful to anyone but I use it quite often. Note that the command will work in any MS OS but the advanced tab at the top won't be there if I remember it right in the previously mentioned versions.

A shortcut straight to the snap-in that is launched from Advanced button: at command line prompt, run:

lusrmgr.msc

Again, versions "Pro" and higher only.

Normally when I click the task bar on an already open program, it is brought to the front. The last two days, clicking on the task bar makes the icon flash, but not move to the front. I can see the preview panes, but clicking on them doesn't do anything either.
Has anyone else encountered this?

Growat wrote:

Normally when I click the task bar on an already open program, it is brought to the front. The last two days, clicking on the task bar makes the icon flash, but not move to the front. I can see the preview panes, but clicking on them doesn't do anything either.
Has anyone else encountered this?

My work laptop does this in XP, and it drives me insane. But reimaging would be a bigger PITA than just dealing with it.

Never seen it on 7.

I've encountered that problem in all sorts of OSes when the OS thinks that the shift/ctrl key is being pushed. Maybe it's stuck, even if it doesn't look like it?

In Windows 7, in the Network and Sharing Center, there's the three icons at the top showing your computer, the network location, and the internet.

In Vista, it's possible to rename the network location via the "Manage network connections" option on the tasks menu on the left.

In 7, that option is gone. You can "manage wireless networks", but I'm on a wired connection.

My network name is "Network 2", and it bugs me. I want to change it.

Google has not helped at all, nor has IRC. The ways given to change that name in Vista don't seem to work in 7.

Anyone got any ideas how I can do this in 7?

Thanks!

If you're cozy with Regedit:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles\

Find the GUID that has Network for ProfileName and modifty it to Network 3, then change Network 2 to Network. Probably take a reboot to update.

Thar there be dragons! You'll blow up your house, etc. etc. etc. All the usual disclaimers apply. So you'll probably shoot your eye out.

Anyone know if you can install google desktop on Windows 7 without having Google Desktop Search take over the start menu search function? I like some of the desktop gadgets, but I HATE Google's desktop search. It's "Google" style results style is a pitiful way to look for files.

General Crespin wrote:

In Windows 7, in the Network and Sharing Center, there's the three icons at the top showing your computer, the network location, and the internet.

In Vista, it's possible to rename the network location via the "Manage network connections" option on the tasks menu on the left.

In 7, that option is gone. You can "manage wireless networks", but I'm on a wired connection.

My network name is "Network 2", and it bugs me. I want to change it.

Google has not helped at all, nor has IRC. The ways given to change that name in Vista don't seem to work in 7.

Anyone got any ideas how I can do this in 7?

Thanks!

phide[/url]]Remarkably, I just did this not ten minutes ago. Just click on the icon to the left of the network name in the Network and Sharing Center.

Thanks anyway LiquidMantis.

I've been having some problems getting any drive activity Gadgets to work on my PC. I'm trying out these two:

1. Drive Activity
2. Drive Meter

The 1st gadget stopped working after running normally for a few weeks. I initially put it down to a file corruption issue since I had a number of crashes from a bad stick of RAM. But then I started to wonder after I realized even when I had fixed everything, the Gadget never worked again.

I tried the 2nd one and it defaulted to a blank white box. Now, Googling for that particular problem turns up lots of hits about re-registering some DLLs etc and I've tried all of that, to no avail. Also, there are other gadgets on my desktop that work fine so I'm guessing it's not a DLL issue.

I'm starting to suspect some change in the permission model in W7 and/or a security update is causing the Gadgets to break. Would appreciate if a fellow-Goodjer who's running Win7 64-bit Ultimate would try installing the gadget(s) and let me know what happens - atleast that way I'd know for sure whether it's a problem specific to my PC or not.

General Crespin wrote:

phide[/url]]Remarkably, I just did this not ten minutes ago. Just click on the icon to the left of the network name in the Network and Sharing Center.

Thanks anyway LiquidMantis. :)

Ha! That's what I get for not making sure there wasn't an easy way to do it.

avggeek wrote:

I'm starting to suspect some change in the permission model in W7 and/or a security update is causing the Gadgets to break. Would appreciate if a fellow-Goodjer who's running Win7 64-bit Ultimate would try installing the gadget(s) and let me know what happens - atleast that way I'd know for sure whether it's a problem specific to my PC or not.

I use drive activity and it's working fine for me.

So... long story short, I made a mistake when I setup my defrag schedule on Win7. I left out a drive. My game install drive. I went to play a game that had been installed for a long time on that drive yesterday and it kept hanging, sitting for a couple of minutes with the audio stuttering, and then resuming, with the disk activity light going solid the entire period.

It was 73% fragmented.

I started the Win7 defrag program last night at about 1am. It's now been thirteen hours, and it's still only 76% done defragging the drive.

Is there a better (free) tool for Win7 to handle defragmenting drives? I know I had a freeware program for XP that worked great, it usually did just as good a job as the stock XP defrag tool and it was much faster, I just can't remember what it was called.

Thin_J wrote:

So... long story short, I made a mistake when I setup my defrag schedule on Win7. I left out a drive. My game install drive. I went to play a game that had been installed for a long time on that drive yesterday and it kept hanging, sitting for a couple of minutes with the audio stuttering, and then resuming, with the disk activity light going solid the entire period.

It was 73% fragmented.

I started the Win7 defrag program last night at about 1am. It's now been thirteen hours, and it's still only 76% done defragging the drive.

Is there a better (free) tool for Win7 to handle defragmenting drives? I know I had a freeware program for XP that worked great, it usually did just as good a job as the stock XP defrag tool and it was much faster, I just can't remember what it was called.

Lifehacker did one of their Hive Mind polls and recommended Defraggler. I keep meaning to try it, but haven't.

Thin_J wrote:

Is there a better (free) tool for Win7 to handle defragmenting drives? I know I had a freeware program for XP that worked great, it usually did just as good a job as the stock XP defrag tool and it was much faster, I just can't remember what it was called.

You might want to check out Defraggler. I don't know that it's any faster though, moving a ton of bits is time consuming Sometimes it's easier to just copy to another drive so that all your reads are one drive and writes on the other. The obvious drawback is that method requires a spare hard drive.

Well, I have a 1TB drive that's got about 700gb free on it. So you're saying copy to another drive, delete, and then move back to the original? Does that actually work?

Yeah, you're copying files in serial, so they get written as contiguous files rather than chunks broken up where ever there was a random hole for some bits. I'd imagine that moving to a temp drive then back to the stock shouldn't be as fast as a decent defragmenter though. I'd like to think a good program would use RAM caching to be more efficient than two separate reads and two writes, even with all the head shuffling.

Beware NTFS permission wonkyness if you go this route.