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Boot Straight to Desktop in Windows 8.1 [Quick Tip]

Posted by Rich On July - 27 - 2013

Windows DesktopIf you’ve not yet upgraded to Windows 8.1, you can instructions to do so here.

The source of many complaints about Windows 8 manifests itself each time you start your computer: starting with the live tiled interface by default. From my observations, most people utilize this interface mainly to click the “Desktop” icon to return to “normal” Windows. Well, Microsoft heard our cry and have provided a way to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1. To boot to the desktop:

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Access Files from a VHD Image in Windows [Quick Tip]

Posted by Rich On July - 7 - 2013

If you’ve created a virtual hard disk for use with a virtual machine (i.e. XP Mode—how to create a virtual machine), you may want to access these files without booting in to the virtual operating system. To access files on a VHD from Windows:

  1. Press Windows Key + R (or click Start > Run), type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter
  2. Click Action > Attach VHD

    attach-vhd-windows01

  3. Browse to your VHD file and click OK

attach-vhd-windows02

 

When you are finished using the VHD, open Disk Management (step 1), right click the virtual drive and click Detach VHD

attach-vhd-windows03

Thanks to John Henderson for the tip.

 

Copy Error / Warning Dialog Box Text to Clipboard [Quick Tip]

Posted by Rich On December - 19 - 2012

Often we face errors on our PCs which, with a quick web search on the error text, are easily resolvable. Did you know you can copy the contents of an error message (or any dialog box) to your clipboard? When you’re faced with an error, press Ctrl+C to copy the error title and text to your clipboard.

This:

Becomes this:

—————————
Warning, grasshopper
—————————
You haven’t paid homage to Windows Guides today
—————————
OK
—————————

Simply paste the error message into the search field; I find this a lot quicker than transcribing the error message in to your favorite search engine yourself.

If you’re using Windows 8 and are primarily in the desktop view, you may find yourself jumping to the Start screen often to launch common applications like the Control Panel, the Command Prompt, or Device Manager. To save the jumping around and work a little more efficiently, Microsoft have provided a shortcut menu, accessible from both the Start screen and the desktop. This menu provides quick access to:

  • Programs and Features
  • Power Options
  • Event Viewer
  • System
  • Device Manager
  • Disk Management
  • Computer Management
  • Command Prompt/Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc)
  • Control Panel
  • File Explorer (Windows Key + E)
  • Search (F3 from the desktop)
  • Run (Windows Key + R)
  • Desktop (Windows Key + D)

Note the underlined letter on the menu. Pressing Windows Key + X and then typing the underlined letter will save you a mouse click. Want to access the Control Panel quickly? Windows Key + X, followed by P.

Looking for some more Windows 8 shortcuts? Check out Windows 8 shortcuts for non-touch screen users.

Note: A right click on the Start area will also launch this menu

Avoid the Majority of Viruses by Disabling Autorun [Quick Tip]

Posted by Rich On September - 25 - 2012

Do you disable Autorun on your PC? Many viruses execute malicious code by running automatically on your PC via a thumb drive, network drive etc. If you haven’t yet disabled Autorun, I recommend you do. This guide will show you the easiest way to disable Autorun in just a few minutes and will potentially save you from getting an avoidable PC virus that takes time (or money) to clean.

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If you need to boot from a disc i.e. Windows repair disc or a password cracking disc, USB drive, network drive, or a different drive on your PC, read on. The easiest way to boot from alternate media is to avoid changing BIOS settings and use the boot options menu, which is available with all modern PCs.

Boot from ______

1. If applicable, insert your bootable disc or USB drive

2. Reboot your PC

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