Kp’s Weblog

Things you didn’t know about Windows Vista..!!!

Posted on: May 25, 2008

Tips and Tricks

 

1. Partition unused space

Vista has a built-in hard-drive partitioning tool that’ll let you take unused space from your main partition and form an extra partition, say. a H: drive for storing photos and videos. It can also consolidate extra space into a single partition. The utility resides in the Computer Management console located in Vista’s Administrative Tools Control Panel.

 

2. Watch TV on your Vista PC

If one is not already built in, you can buy an external TV tuner and use Windows Media Center to watch TV and record through the handy program guides. For buildings or homes that are cable-ready, high-definition channels are unscrambled or ready to watch without a cable box,

 

3. Send faxes and scan documents The odds are good that your PC has an integrated fax modem. Take advantage of it by using Vista’s built-in Fax and Scan utility (found in Vista Business and Ulti­mate editions). This same utility can also take advantage of that old scanner to image documents without your purchasing new, Vista-compatible software.

 

4. Have kids? Use parental controls Go to the Control Panel and select User Accounts and Family Safety. Next, click the link that says Set up parental controls for any user. From there, you can block inap­propriate Web sites, set up a time schedule for playing games, limit use of instant-messaging software, and create boundar­ies for browsing the Internet. You can even print out an activity report for your child.

 

5. Conserve battery power

In addition to setting up a Power scheme, Vista can automatically crank down the brightness of the screen (via a slide bar or by percentage points) when a laptop is running on battery. Go to Control Panel \ Power options | Advanced Settings j Display and set the brightness to 50 percent. This can add an extra 20 to 30 minutes’ worth of battery time for your commute home.

 

6. Turn off annoying prompts Vista added the “A Program Needs Your Permission to Continue” prompt to help prevent you from inadvertently installing malware or making unauthorized changes to your computer. It’s annoying to see that dialog box constantly pop up. If you’re computer savvy, you can turn it off by deactivating User Account Control in the User Accounts Control Panel.

 

7. Two clocks for two time zones

If you work in different time zones, you can add up to two additional clocks on the sys­tem task tray. Left-click on the clock, select Change date and time settings, and go to the Additional Clocks tab. You can then enter the display name for the clock(s) and choose its time zone.

 

8. Boost compatibility

Before throwing your computer against a wall because a particular piece of leg­acy software is not working in Vista. try compatibility mode. Right-click on the program’s EXE file and choose Properties. Then click the Compatibility tab, check the box that says Run this program incompat­ibility mode for:, and select the operating system that worked best with the software.

 

9. Expanded shortcut menu

You can add useful options to the right-click menu on any file or folder. By holding down Shift as you right-click an item, add any file to the Start menu or Quick Launch toolbar, copy the entire path of the file or folder to the clipboard, or open a com­mand prompt window.

 

10. Get a health report from Vista People get physical checkups, and so do computers. Vista can run a complete and well-organized diagnostic report high­lighting potential problems. In the Con­trol Panel, click System and Maintenance | Performance Information and Tools. In the Tasks list along the left, click Advanced tools. The last item on the resulting list  is Generated system health report.

 

11. Remove metadata from pictures Pictures and documents have hidden data about the type of equipment used, as well as personal information about you. You can remove these details by right-clicking the file icon and selecting Properties. On the Details tab, click Remove Properties and Personal Information. You can remove sev­eral properties at a time or all of them by the checkboxes next to a property.

 

12. Create a shortcut to lock a PC Slice steps off your system log-off rou­tine by putting a log-off shortcut on your desktop. Start by right-clicking an empty space on the desktop and then selecting New shortcut. In the space below Type the location of the item, type in run dl I32.exe user32.dll. LockWorkStation (remember to watch your spacing and case). Finally, create a clever name for the icon in lieu of the default “rundll32″—how about “Lock PC”? Then click the shortcut to lock your computer with ease.

  

13. Virtualize your keyboard

If you’re running Vista on a Mac via Boot Camp, you won’t be able to find the PrintScrn key a Mac doesn’t have one on its keyboard. Good thing Vista has a vir­tual on-screen keyboard built in. It’s in the Ease of Access folder, under Accessories, in the Start menu. You should see the esc key next to the F12key.

 

14. Bypass the log-on screen

You don’t have to be confronted by that eyesore of a log-on screen every time you boot up. Make Vista log in automatically by typing netplwiz into the Start menu search box. That will bring up the Advanced User Accounts Control, where you can uncheck the box that reads: Users must enter a user-name and password to use this computer.

 

15. Take smarter screen shots Windows could always capture an image of you r desktop (with the Print Scrn key) or an active window (press Alt-PrtSc). With the Snipping Tool in the Accessories folder, you can snip a port ion of the screen or part of a Web site, document, or picture, and save it as an image file. Keep it handy by checking the option to display an icon of it in the Quick Launch toolbar.

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