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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    TOP STORY

    10 great 'Do these first' tweaks for Windows 7


    By Fred Langa

    It's that time of year when many PC users are buying new machines and — ready or not — making the leap to Windows 7.Get off on the right foot: save time, trouble, and frustration by performing these 10 simple Win7 tweaks.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/12/16/01 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by andyfboyd; 2011-01-18 at 15:03.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    I have some remarks and here are they:

    1. The Windows Backup System is different than his predecessors, they use now a Reserved System Partition on your C:/
    it's only 100MB and when you have not separated system and data, this latter on another HD, then you are in for a surprise...
    It won't work, so put your data on another place, let's say D:/, not on C:/ and enlarge your RSP to 400MB, more is overkill.
    You can purchase an external USB HD after a year and put your complete year on this external USB HD, now is the time to do it.
    Do not automate your Backup, do it manually every week or month, depends how much work you do on your machine.

    2. Don't install MSE, iif you already an AV program installed, it checks your system and conflicts with your AV programs which will say that MPMSEng.exe (a part of MSE) has a Trojan of a sort, besides your PC will run much slower...

    3. Use also another Internet Browsers, you can then compare them in use and convenience.

    4. Put your taskbar on the left instead of on the bottom, it creates more space to work with and make it automatically hide to save space.

    5. Tip: Make a different folder on your desktop and call it: My Shortcuts and put there all your frequently used shortcuts in...

    6. If you can afford it, hav another flatscreen, they are cheap now and use Dual Monitor Wall screens.

    7. That's it for now...

    amj2010 from flanders.

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    I must be missing something but here's something that stands out to me. While the article is great it takes the approach as though you have just turned your computer on for the first time. For those of us who have used Win7 for a long time it would be nice to know exactly where these settings are rather than having to search for them without the benifit of a startup setup for IE8. Great article as always. Thanks

    Jim

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Here is a tip from my daily practice regarding the part of the article with sub-title "Put frequently accessed items on the desktop":

    Most of my customers describe themselves as "computer illiterate" and come to Windows 7 straight from XP.

    The biggest confusion they encounter stems from having no clue about the Win7 concept of libraries. To save me a lot of emails and calls I put shortcuts to My Documents, Downloads and Pictures and so on on the desktop. Here is how I do it, your mileage may vary:
    1. Clean out the left top corner of the desktop by moving icons to some other place on the desktop
    2. Open the <username> folder (Start button, right column, top entry is the username). Please NOT in full screen!
    3. For every folder you want to create a shortcut for do 3a: through 3d:
      (My Documents, Downloads, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos are main candidates;
      you have to watch out, I mean the folders, not the system generated shortcuts!):

      a: Right click on the folder name,
      b: Left click on Copy,
      c: Right click on the desktop where you want the shortcut and
      d: Left click on Paste shortcut
    I put these new shortcuts in the left top corner of the desktop (remember My Documents in Win98?) and I put the Computer icon right underneath in row two.

    Since November 2009 there was not one customer who had questions or problems concerning this setup. Takes only a minutes and saves tons if frustration on both sides.

    Merry Christmas to all.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Good one Fred, as usual.

    One thing, some of the clicks you mentioned weren't available on my version e.g. in the folder options one the panel 'apply to folders' was greyed out.

    No bother, just interesting, but I haven't checked if all the changes have actuaally happened.

    Thanks, Barry

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    This is a great article. I also have been working with Windows 7 for almost a year, and I picked up several new tips from your article.

    I agree with Mr. James S's comments about how do you make those IE changes after you already set them up. That would save others a lot of searching time.

    I assume you forgot in the released version of Windows 7 Microsoft moved the Folders Option to an entry on the Control Panel instead of hiding it under Appearance and Personalization. They got smart and dropped that option completely.

    My wife, a non-computer geek, added a new twist to Dhr. van Wamelen's Tip of, "Make a different folder on your desktop and call it: My Shortcuts and put there all your frequently used shortcuts in...." She added that folder to the toolbar via: Right-click an empty space on the Toolbar | Toolbars | New toolbar... | Browse to created Shortcuts folder | Select Folder button.

    I am anxiously waiting for your next 10 great tweaks for Windows 7.

    Thank you,

    Jeff V. Pulver

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    This is how I like to see my Windows Secrets newsletter, starting off with a good article from Fred Langa.

    The one thing I do for my customers as a "great 'Do these first' tweaks for Windows 7" or in other Windows versions it to arrange the Antivirus/Antimalware icons at the top right, in descending order of importance. ie. Malwarebytes, Spybot, AVG or MSE...

    Otherwise, I am looking forward to having Fred help me drag my customers, kicking and screaming into the 21st century!



    Wyatt.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I disagree with the statement in the article that the IE8 (and IE9) accellerators don't accellerate anything.. If you highlight something on a web page, a boxed arrow pops up. Clicking on it will allow you Email the selection, search the selection with your selected search engine, or map the selection, all with one additional click. I find it quite handy and you lose this function if you turn off accellorators.

    Jerry

  9. #9
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    Ok, I just came onto this whole thing, and the post mentioned here doesn't seem to be around anymore... It would certainly be helpful to me, if I could get that info. In answer to the post about more experienced users, I am a total 7 newbie... I bought the upgrade to 7 and installed it, just 2 weeks before my computer sort-of melted. So, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I now have a brand new PC which I am trying to get set up to my comfort point. It is rather laborious, and several of Fred's points I had already discovered myself - after hours of trial and error! So, I too look forward to the next installment, and could someone please tell me how to get hold of the IE info?

    Thanks,

    Phil Buglass


    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff V Pulver View Post
    This is a great article. I also have been working with Windows 7 for almost a year, and I picked up several new tips from your article.

    I agree with Mr. James S's comments about how do you make those IE changes after you already set them up. That would save others a lot of searching time.

    [snip]

    I am anxiously waiting for your next 10 great tweaks for Windows 7.

    Thank you,

    Jeff V. Pulver

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I feel the insatiable itch to include these first setup settings & tweaks for Windows 7 as well:
    Set Windows 7 UAC to a complete off state upon very first bootup.
    Turn off Remote Desktop upon very first boot.
    Set Windows explorer's properties to "%systemroot%\explorer.exe /e," upon very first use.
    Install and run the "InstallTakeOwnership.reg" at the earliest convenience.

    Other candidates for consideration:
    Set System Restore to a complete off state on all drives.
    Completely remove indexing from services and the properties of all hard drives.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Fred, thanks for the great article! It's going in my archive for future setups. Besides MSE, I like to add one more free program: Classic Shell. It brings back some of the lost functionality to both Windows Explorer and the Start Menu.

    @Clint Rossmere: +1 to all your suggestions as well. The so-called Ultimate Windows Tweaker is also helpful because it brings together a lot of potential changes in one place for review and evaluation.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    I suggest the following needs to be done when you receive a new laptop.
    1. Make Recovery Disks
    2. Run Disk Cleanup and delete system restore points and shadow copies.
    3. Shrink C drive to about 100 to 150GB based on your disk size.
    4. Partition remaining disk space into suitable partitions.
    5. Make a folder on D: Drive just made above say d:\DOCS
    6. Move All USER Folders except Appdata to D:\DOCS
    7. Take Image Backup of C: to a folder on D: drive.

    Only then you can start applying Fred's tips.

    Please see my blog at http://dnyankosh.spaces.live.com/ for complete explanation of the above tips.

    Good Luck and Happy Holidays

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    Your instructions to create a Boot Disc were incorrect (for me - W7 64-bit). The search on 'system repair' does not present that selection; only System Restore selections.

    The command can be found at Control Panel > Backup and Restore > Create a System Repair Disc.

  14. #14
    2 Star Lounger NTLS's Avatar
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    To all readers of this as well as the Author,

    As a User only and tinkerer of Windows, installed Win7 64 on a Dell Inspiron 531s from Vista 32 (plain) that I updated to SP1 then SP2 and now Dell will not give me any details on my system because they never sold this computer with 64 bit not to mention Win7. I have been tinkering with Windows from Windows 3.1 up and to include Win7 64. I do like this 64, even though some programs are not up to 64 bit, yet, and also find that the selection for the settings of the Folder options is from within Explorer under Menu Bar/Tools/Folder Options select View tab and that was one of the first operations done. As for any other instructions not conforming to my Win7, with a little searching will do the trick and using some creative imagination to get to the correct location. My Control Panel does not have the selection for "Appearance and Personalization" and the Personalization is only for the desktop and is accessed by right-click on an empty (MT) area of the desktop.

    For the icons on the desktop, I do not like mine to be cluttered, right-click on the Task Bar, MT area, and select Toolbars/Desktop to place it on the Task Bar (this can be done even with the Task Bar Lock checked). Go into to Explorer C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Microsoft\Roaming\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and then rename "Quick Launch" to a name you like or just shorten to "QL" and save then when you are ready to add another Tool Bar, where I keep my Admin tools to keep my system running as smooth as possible, use the same instructions as for placing the Desktop tool bar on the Task Bar except click the new name you have given to the Quick Launch (or QL) that is now showing just below Desktop that may have a check mark next to it. Later if you so desire may add another tool bar selection by creating another in the same location or any place you desire and add it as well using the same procedure as for both of the ones just described except choose the bottom entry, "New Toolbar" and go to the one you just created or you may choose to create it from within the Explorer window and High Lighting it then click on the Radio Button (RB) for "Select" and vola it will be selectable by following the first instruction above for the Desktop and QL (or whatever name you chosen).

    Fred, I cannot remember where the Tweak is for adding the "Move to . ." or "Copy to . ." location in the Registry using the RegEdit command under Run, but; would be a very nice feature to have access when right clicking on a file in Explorer to do either operation.

    TIA, CU L8R,
    NTxLS
    TIA, CU L8R,
    NTxLS Win7 Pro 64bit SP1; FireFox v49.x, all with the latest updates

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    Some of the instructions also do not work for me. Perhaps they are different based on the version of 7. I also have the 64-bit version (which turns out to be a bad choice since many programs have glitches when you try to operate them under this OS). But I have the answer for that type which starts with the non-existent Appearance and Personalization category in Control Panel. These options are available, but the way to get to them is to open Computer and click on Organize, and select Folder and Search Options. This brings up what Fred shows in Figure 4.

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