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View everything in the Control Panel in one folder in Windows 8

With the new Metro interface for Windows 8, finding things can be kind of hard. So I thought I would give the 'God' mode trick from Windows 7 a try, and sure enough, it works. The way it works is you create a new folder and give it a specific name. Then, when you open that folder, it displays the complete contains of the Control Panel.

Complete listing of Control Panel in one folder inside of Windows 8
A complete listing of Control Panel in one folder inside of Windows 8

All you have to do is create a new folder (I like having one on my Desktop) and cut & paste the following code in the name (check out How to create a shortcut on the Desktop and Start menu in Windows 8).

Control Panel Expanded.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Note:
For this article, I am going to use the name Control Panel Expanded. You can use whatever you like; just keep the GUID (Global Unique Identifier) extension (.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}) at the end
.

The first thing you will notice is that the folder now has a Control Panel icon. Double-clicking it reveals the complete contains of the Control Panel. How does it work? The folder extension references the GUID for the Control Panel in the registry and lists everything contained in it.

Clean up and optimize your computer for free with CCleaner

Do you want to clean up and optimize your computer but don't know where to start? Maybe you want to clean out all of the temporary Internet files for security purposes. Or clean up all of the temporary files from other applications to free up some space on your hard drive. You can do all of this and more for free with CCleaner.

The Cleaner tab inside of CCleaner
The Cleaner tab inside of CCleaner

CCleaner from Piriform is a complete system optimization tool for Windows. It cleans out temporary Internet files from most browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and cleans out various Windows files (recent documents, temporary files, search autocomplete, etc.). It can also repair multiple areas of the registry.

The Registry tab inside of CCleaner
The Registry tab inside of CCleaner

CCleaner can also rename, delete, or uninstall programs listed in the 'Uninstall a program' or 'Add/Remove Programs' section in the Control Panel. It can even manage the system restore points. Here's a quote from Piriform's website:

CCleaner is our system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! Cleans the following:

Internet Explorer
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat files.

Firefox
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history, form history.

Google Chrome
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history, form history.

Opera
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, download history.

Safari
Temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, form history.

Other Supported Browsers
K-Meleon, Rockmelt, Flock, Google Chrome Canary, Chromium, SeaMonkey, Chrome Plus, SRWare Iron, Pale Moon, Phoenix, Netscape Navigator, Avant and Maxthon.

Windows
Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files, Log files, Clipboard, DNS Cache, Error Reporting, Memory Dumps, Jump Lists.

Registry Cleaner
Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more...

Third-party applications
Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more...

100% Spyware FREE
This software does NOT contain any Spyware, Adware or Viruses.

CCleaner is available in three editions: Free (no support), Professional (priority support), and Business (premium support). For more information on CCleaner, follow the links below:

CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning

CCleaner - Features

Disable Windows hibernation and free up disk space

If you're a hardcore computer user like me, you have your system running 24/7—no screen saver or power saver options (I turn off the monitors when not in use). I need to be able to walk into my office and have it ready to go. So when I noticed that my version of Windows 7 still had the Hiberfil.sys file and I am not using hibernation, it was time to remove this file and regain that hard drive space back (in my case, 8 Gb)

The Hiberfil.sys is a hidden system file located in the drive's root folder where Windows is installed. The Windows Kernel Power Manager creates this file when you install Windows. This file's size is approximately equal to how much Random Access Memory (RAM) is installed on the computer.

The computer uses the Hiberfil.sys file to store a copy of the system memory on the hard disk when hibernation is turned on. If this file is not present, the computer cannot go into hibernation.

To delete the Hiberfil.sys file and make hibernation unavailable, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
  2. In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
  3. If User Account Control prompts you, click Continue.
    Disable Windows Hibernation at the Command Prompt
  4. At the Command Prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off and then press ENTER.
  5. Type exit and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.

To recreate the Hiberfil.sys file and make hibernation available, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
  2. In the search results list, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
  3. If User Account Control prompts you, click Continue.
    Renable Windows Hibernation at the Command Prompt
  4. At the Command Prompt, type powercfg.exe /hibernate on and then press ENTER.
  5. Type exit and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.

My favorite left hand Windows keyboard shortcuts

Updated October 16, 2020

One of the most useful items I use daily is keyboard shortcuts. Especially shortcuts that I can perform with just my left hand, allowing me to keep my right hand on the mouse. You can use keyboard shortcuts to open frequently used files, folders, and programs like File Explorer. Windows has a ton of built-in keyboard shortcuts (see links at the bottom of this article), plus you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. Here are my favorite left-hand keyboard shortcuts:

Left hand Windows keyboard shortcuts
Press To
Windows logo key + E Open My Computer / File Explorer
Windows logo key + R Open the Run dialog box
Windows logo key + D Display the desktop
Windows logo key + F Search for a file or folder (Windows 7 / 8.1)
Windows logo key + S Search for a file or folder using Cortana (Windows 10)
CTRL + A Select all
CTRL + X Cut
CTRL + C Copy
CTRL+ V Paste
CTRL + ALT + (KEY) Custom keyboard shortcut (see below)

create your own Windows keyboard shortcuts

You can create keyboard shortcuts that use CTRL + ALT + (your choice of a key) for frequently used files, folders, and programs. You will need to have a shortcut to the file, folder, or program you want to open first. You can use an existing shortcut (on your desktop or the Start menu) or create a new one. Once you have a shortcut:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut
  2. From the context menu, click Properties
  3. On the Properties box, select the Shortcut tab
    The shortcut key box inside of a Windows shortcut
  4. Click inside the Shortcut key box and press the key in which you want to combine with CTRL + ALT

Note:
You can not use the following keys for keyboard shortcuts: ESC, ENTER, TAB, SPACEBAR, PRINT SCREEN, SHIFT, or BACKSPACE.

For more information on Windows keyboard shortcuts, follow the links below:

Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts

General keyboard shortcuts

Natural keyboard shortcuts

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Stitching panoramic images for the web with Microsoft Research HD View

A while back. I wrote an article about creating panoramic images with Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE) and Photosynth. With ICE and Photosynth, you can create panoramic images and then upload them to the Photosynth website. But what if you wanted to upload them to your website? That's where HD View comes into the picture.

Microsoft HD View is a new viewer to display large images (gigapixels) across the internet. It allows you to create panoramic images for web pages that do not take a lot of bandwidth. When someone views the image, they are only downloading what is required for that view. It is only when they pan or zoom that more of the image is downloaded. HD View / Deep Zoom is now included in ICE, also as a stand-alone command-line utility, and (here's the best), a Photoshop plug-in.

HD View / Deep Zoom export in Microsoft Image Composite Editor
HD View / Deep Zoom export in Microsoft Image Composite Editor

HD View / Deep Zoom export in Photoshop plug-in
HD View / Deep Zoom export in Photoshop plug-in

So if you're a Photoshop user, you can now export those panoramic images that Photoshop can create directly to HD View / Deep Zoom format. The Photoshop plug-in is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. Here's a quote from the HD View website:

About HD View
HD View is a new viewer developed by Microsoft Research's Interactive Visual Media group to aid in the display and interaction with very large images. The HDView development team included Johannes Kopf, Matt Uyttendaele, Howard Good, and Michael Cohen along with Jonathan Fay of the Next Media group.

Recent advances in camera and sensor technology and software for stitching images together has led to the creation of images containing billions of pixels (gigapixels). These images are often panoramic, that is, they cover very wide fields of view. Since monitors typically contain only one to two million pixels, it is only possible to actually see 1/1000th of such image data at once. Also, viewing very wide fields of view require unwrapping of an image projected onto a curved surface (think of a map of the world) which can cause distortions.

HD View leverages current graphics hardware to allow smooth panning and zooming as well as the viewing transformation described below.

HD View was developed with a number of goals in mind. It should:

  • allow smooth panning and zooming on large images,
  • only download enough data to create the current view (and possibly look ahead to the next), and
  • always display the current field of view with an appropriate projection. This means that when zoomed way in you should be presented with a standard perspective projection providing a sense of immersion, and when zoomed out you experience a curved projection so that get a full overview of the scene. In between the projection should smoothly transition.
  • Finally, it should be easy to create your own HD View content and present it to the world via the web.

The HD View plug-in currently supports all major browsers on the Windows platform. The first time that you visit a page with HD View content you will be prompted to install the HD View plug-in.

For more information on HD View / Deep Zoom, follow the links below:

Microsoft Deep Zoom

HD View Utilities (32 bit)

HD View Utilities (64 bit)

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in servicing laptop and desktop computers. Since 2008, our expert and knowledgeable technicians have provided excellent computer repair, virus removal, data recovery, photo manipulation, and website support to the greater Phoenix metro area.

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