Posts Categorised: Windows

0Enable access to the c$ share on Windows 7 and newer

I have a range of HTPCs running windows around the house, which I largely administer via remote desktop. Occasionally it is useful to access the root of the C drive remotely. Windows has always catered for this by creating some default administrative shares, which are hidden. The C drive is accessed via \\remote-pc\c$ for example. In windows 7 I found I wasn’t able to access these shares by default as they have been restricted (understandably). I needed a way to make them accessible again.
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1Fixed: Media Center PC wakes in wrong resolution

Since I upgraded my HTPC to an AMD A5400 series (from the old E350) I have had a problem where on wake from sleep the resolution would be set wrong (1024×768 I think) instead of the full 1920×1080 that the TV supports. Exiting media center would trigger a resolution correction and then media center could be reloaded without issue. This was not satisfactory as a solution.
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3windows 8 logoHow to restore a proper UI to Windows 8 & Server 2012

Windows 8 and Server 2012 have now RTMed and as expected the good old UI of desktop and startmenu has been replaced with a horrible new UI (previously called Metro).  In their ultimate wisdom Microsoft have left no way to switch back to the old desktop/start menu system, but thanks to various tweaks and tools it is possible to get 90% of the interface restored – good enough to be fully usable.  Below I document the various steps and tweaks required.

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0windows 8 logoWindows 8: Fix the start menu

So, Windows 8 is coming in late July (October for retail customers).  There are no signs that Microsoft will relent provide an option to switch back to the Windows 7 start menu, and instead will force the horrible metro interface upon everyone.  As a result many of us will undoubtedly stick quite happily with Windows 7, however there are 2 reasons to use Windows 8: being forced to as it will come on all new PCs soon and for improvements including a performance increase and the new storage spaces feature amongst others.  If you fall into either of these camps but, like me, can’t stand metro, there are now more options available than when I last wrote about this issue.

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0Disable startup repair

Occasionally my HTPC gets bogged down doing something and in frustration the less technical of the household may choose to press the tempting reset button to get things going again.  Occasionally this upsets Windows 7 which attempts to launch “startup repair”.  Despite the name, ‘startup repair’ has never repaired any startup problems for me, but instead often causes problems by changing settings or replacing files I don’t want replaced.  So, I’ve decided to disable it

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0windows 8 logoWindows 8250 consumer preview: Traditional start menu

Windows 8 looks to have many nice new features, but unfortunately, as I mentioned in a previous post, Microsoft has decided to create a phone/tablet user interface and foist it upon desktop users as well.  This wouldn’t be such a problem if Microsoft had left an option to turn the excellent and well established traditional interface back on, but in their infinite wisdom Microsoft hasn’t provided any such option.  Fortunately there are 2 options for getting the traditional start button and menu back.

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19windows 8 logoWindows 8: Horrible Horrible Horrible Metro UI

OK, I suspect the title is going to give it away.  I downloaded Windows 8 8250 consumer preview today, and almost immediately realised that as it stands I am going to avoid Windows 8 like the plague.  As far as I’m concerned the UI changes currently make Windows 8 the worst release of Windows ever (even worse than Windows ME!)

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11Windows Update IconFix Windows Update or Service Pack error 80073712

It’s that time of year again, and as always, when I visit the family over xmas there are various PC issues to resolve.  This year there were blessedly few issues, but there was 1 problem that it took me quite a while to track down and resolve.  One of the families PCs was failing to install Windows 7 service pack 1.  It’s a fairly new PC and came with an OEM install of Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, all legit and activated.  It also has up-to-date anti-virus protection, and other than the SP1 install problems it seemed to be in excellent working order…. Read Full Article