Windows

Hiding Touch Keyboard in Windows 10

One of the issues that Windows 10 has fixed for touch screen laptop users is to provide an easy way to hide the Touch Keyboard Button from the Windows Taskbar. This helps cleanup the valuable screen real estate.

Taskbar

Right Click on Taskbar and Uncheck “Show touch keyboard button”

TaskbarContextMenu

Simple as that.

User selection screen on resume from standby

Microsoft Windows displays the lock screen when it resumes from standby. Apparently this is a design feature that enables users to just unlock their computer to get back to their desktops. But in a home environment where multiple users user the same computer, it can turn out to be a hassle and a “user training” issue when you have to teach your spouse to click on the “Switch User” link in order for her to get back into her account.

Turns out that since Windows 7, you can create a task it is possible to configure windows to display the Fast User Switching screen when coming out of standby.

Let’s start by creating a new Task in Task Scheduler (don’t create a Basic Task):

New Task

Enter basic details like the name of the Task. I recommend that you select the “Run with highest privileges” option in this screen.

Next, click on the Trigger tab and click the New button to define a new trigger for this task:

New Trigger

Next, update the options as show in the screen shot below:

Trigger Details

Move on to the Actions tab. We can now define what happens when the computer resumes from standby:

New Action

Next, update the options as shown in the screenshot below:

4

Explore other options and update as required.

Save the task and verify it runs properly.

Install Windows 7 from USB Flash Drive

Update: Microsoft has released a very useful open source tool to create USB flash drive for installation. Have a look at Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool at CodePlex. – 01/01/2010.

I recently bought an Acer One Netbook which comes with Windows XP preloaded. Since these Netbooks come without built in DVD drives, upgrading to another OS is a challenge. With the high storage capacity USB drives becoming cheaper by the day it is a perfect medium to installing Windows.  Although this tutorial is for Windows 7, you can use these steps to install Windows Vista as well.

Pre-Requisites

  • A Computer or Netbook that can boot from USB Drive. Check your BIOS for boot options, It should have an option to boot from USB disk or Removable drive.
  • A computer with an OS and/or software that can mount an ISO file.
    On Windows, I prefer using Slysoft Virtual Clone Drive to mount ISO. It supports both x86 and x64 bit platforms and is free.
  • USB Flash Drive with 3 GB or more space.
  • Windows 7 ISO (or Windows Vista ISO)
    Microsoft has published Windows 7 RC for everyone to download and test. This version can be used for 1 year. You can download Windows 7 from Microsoft Technet Website.

Prepare your USB Flash Drive

In order to boot from USB Flash Drive – you will need to mark the USB flash drive partition as Primary and format it in FAT 32 mode. Please be careful as while performing these steps. An incorrect step can render your current installation useless.

Step 1 – Open Command Prompt

Open command prompt in Administrator mode. (Click on) Start Button –> (Click on) All Programs –> (Click on) Accessories –> (Right Click on) Command Prompt –> (Click on) Select Run as Administrator –> (Click) Continue. You should a command prompt start “Administrator: “ in the title like below.

New Command Prompt

Step 2 – Setup USB Drive as Bootable

These following steps are very straight forward, but be careful with these steps, make sure you select the right drive. Read these steps and look at the screenshot before you start entering these commands.

  1. Enter command diskpart
  2. Enter command list disk – this will list drives on your computer. Check the size column and note the Disk ### for your USB drive
  3. Enter command select disk #, here replace # with the number of your USB drive.
  4. Enter command clean
  5. Enter command create partition primary
  6. Enter command select partition 1
  7. Enter command format fs=fat32 quick
  8. Enter command exit

command window

Copy Windows 7 Installation files

Mount the ISO that you have downloaded from Microsoft Website and copy all the files to the root of your USB Flash Drive

file explorer

Reboot your computer & set the option in BIOS to boot from USB or Removable Drive

Nice and Easy. Now wait and see how fast Windows 7 installs.

Add domain user to local vista administrator group

Recently I had to re-format my work laptop and I decided to fix one of the most annoying thing that I dealt with everyday but I was too lazy to research.

My company has a group policy setup for UAC. We need to have it enabled at all times but the pain of entering the username (domainusername) and password every time I wanted to start visual studio or IIS console was very unproductive and tedious.

Turns out a simple command at CMD prompt can do the trick:

net localgroup Administrators /add domainusername

Behold – no more password – one click and we are elevated. Oh the joys of Windows Vista.

Update: This works for Windows 7 as well. – 8th June 2009