Most computer manufactures these days do not ship a Windows 7 DVD with their computers. Instead, they supply an ISO image of the Windows 7 operating system, and leave it to the customer to burn the Windows 7 ISO to a DVD. It makes sense from a manufacturing perspective because shipping DVD’s with each computer costs money, but not so much from the average end-user perspective because most end-users are unclear why it is important to burn the Windows 7 ISO to a DVD, or how to burn an image to DVD, or just don’t think about it until disaster strikes. Which, by then it is too late to burn the Windows 7 ISO.
“ISO image is a term commonly associated with CD and DVD burning. An ISO image (or .ISO file) is a computer file that is an exact copy of an existing file system. An ISO can contain the entire contents of a CD-ROM disc or CD medium. ISO files are typically created through a software application that will open, create, edit, and extract CD or DVD image files, then convert the extracted image to an ISO file, easily allowing users to burn an exact copy of the original onto CD or DVD.” (Source: webopedia.com)
What typically happens in this scenario is the customer will call the computer manufacture’s support department only to find out that they have to order a Windows 7 DVD for their computer, and it’s going to cost them money.
There is another solution; you can download the Windows 7 ISO for your computer. Hopefully, you have a high-speed Internet connection, or know someone who does, because the ISO is going to be 2 to 4 Gigabytes, depending on which version of Windows 7 you need. It’s going to take a little time to download the ISO.
Microsoft does not provide ISO’s of their Windows operating systems to the public, but you can download the Windows 7 ISO for your computer here:
Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit:
Keep in mind, you will still need your Windows 7 license key, which will only work with the version of Windows 7 that was installed on your computer. You should be able to find this on a sticker somewhere on the computer case, or in your computer’s documentation. But at least you now have a working DVD of Windows 7 that you can use to repair or replace your installed version of Windows 7.
Burning a Windows 7 ISO to DVD
If there is one thing that holds true for all operating systems, across all platforms, at some point in time, they crash. Sadly, Windows is prone to crashing. Well, that’s more true for older versions of Windows than for newer versions. I’m using Windows 7 and I am really liking it. So far, it has not crashed on me. But being who I am, and in my profession, it’s only a matter of time. Fortunately, Windows 7, like Windows XP, has built-in tools to recover from disasters like the famous Blue Screen of Death, (Does that exist in Windows 7? I’ve not seen it) or not being able to load Windows at all.
This video explains the process of creating a System Repair disk for Windows 7, which you can use to recover from said disaster, providing that you have a System Repair disk made before disaster strikes.
If you need something printable, just scroll down.
To create a System Repair disk:
Open the Backup and Restore utility by going into the Control Panel [Start/Control Panel] and click on “Backup and Restore”
In the left pane, click Create a system repair disk, and then follow the steps. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Note: If you’re prompted to insert a Windows installation disk, it means that the files needed to create the system repair disk can’t be found on your computer. Insert a Windows 7 installation disk and continue on:
To use the System Repair disk:
Insert your System Repair disk into your CD or DVD drive, and restart your computer using the computer’s power button. As your computer starts up, you may be prompted to boot from the CD by pressing and key. If your computer does not boot to the System Repair CD, you may need to change your boot order in the BIOS to look to the CD or DVD drive as the first boot device.
Choose your language settings, and then click Next.
Select a recovery option, and then click Next.
From there, simply follow the prompts until the repair is complete.
Have you ever wished you could control multiple computers with one keyboard and one mouse? To do this, you could spend a lot of money and time installing a KVM switch, which also means that you have to run cables to each computer and connected them to the KVM switch. Or, you could use a free program from Microsoft Garage project called Mouse without Borders, and your existing wireless or wired network, and use your mouse and keyboard to seamlessly control and move files between up to four computers.
How Mouse without Borders Works:
First, you download Mouse without Borders from Microsoft’s website.
Second, install mouse without Borders on the first computer you want to connect. The installation wizard will ask you if you have installed Mouse without Borders on any of your other computers, to which you’ll answer no. When the installation is complete, you will be provided with a Security code, write this down or keep it visible on your screen, and go to the next computer.
As you install Mouse without Borders on your other computers, you simply enter the Security code that you were provided. This will connect your computer to the first computer. Repeat this process for all of the computers that you want to control. And that’s all there is to it. You’ll now be able to control all of your computers from one keyboard and mouse.
This video will show you some of the advantages to Mouse without Borders, and also walk through the installation process.
If you notice that the font on your monitor isn’t exactly smooth or clear and easy to read on your laptop or LCD monitor, you can adjust the clarity of the font by using the Windows Clear Type Tuner.
Run “cttune.exe” (without quote marks) from the Start Menu search box, or go to the Control Panel Display applet, and select Adjust ClearType Text from the left.
(Click for larger image)
In previous versions of Microsoft Windows, when a program locked up, there was nothing you could do except the three-finger-salute (CTRL+ALT+DELETE), and hopefully terminate the offending program. That meant losing any unsaved data that you were working on. Worst case scenario was that you would have to restart Windows.
With Windows 7, a new utility has been that added that may help users unfreeze a program or restart it without losing data. The utility is called the Resource Monitor. You can launch the Resource Monitor by typing resmon.exe from the Windows Start/Search box.
Find your frozen process in the CPU pane (it should be highlighted in red), right-click it and select Analyze Wait Chain.
If you see at least two processes in the list, then the lowest, at the end of the tree, is the one holding up your program. If it’s not a vital Windows component, or anything else critical, then save any work in other open applications, check the box next to this process, click End Process, and your locked-up program will often spring back to life.
It is nearly impossible to recover a lost Windows 7 password. If, for whatever reason, you have forgotten your windows 7 password, you are going to be in pretty big trouble. Without that password, you are not going to be able to log into your profile and access your files or data.
Fortunately, Windows 7 provides a simple tool to help you recover your password by way of a password reset disk. The catch is that you must create the password recovery disk BEFORE you need it.
Creating the Password Recovery disk
You can use a floppy disk, if your computer has a floppy drive, or if it does not, you can use a USB flash drive. To start, insert the floppy disk or USB flash drive into your computer, and then follow the steps below:
1) Click on the windows button on your task bar, and type “reset” (without quotes) into the Search box. Select “Create a password reset disk”
(Click on image for larger view)
2) When the Forgotten Password Wizard appears, click “Next.”
3) Select your USB flash drive or your floppy drive, and click “Next.”
4) When the wizard finishes creating the reset disk, click “Next” and then “Finish.”
Using the Reset Password Disk
1) Insert the password reset disk into your computer.
2) At the Windows 7 Welcome screen, click on the link labeled, “Reset password.” It will appear just below the password field after a failed log-on attempt.
3) Click “Next” when the Password Reset Wizard appears.
4) Select the drive where the password reset disk is located.
5) Type in your new password and password hint then click “Next.”
6) If successful, you’ll receive a confirmation window saying, “You’ve successfully reset the password for this user account.”
Store your password recovery disk or flash drive in a safe location, preferably with your Windows 7 Operating System DVD, and hardware drivers.
Awhile back I discovered that I could no longer pin programs to my task bar. I am always experimenting with new settings, so I assumed this issue was something I caused, but I couldn’t figure out what I did. Yesterday, I discovered that I was right.
The reason I could no longer pin programs to the task bar was because I changed the way shortcuts appeared on my desktop by removing the stupid little arrow from the icon. That is something I have never had a problem doing in Windows XP, so why would this be a problem in Windows 7?
Anyway, I found the solution to recovering my ability to pin programs to the task bar, and it requires a little modification to the registry.
Back up the Registry Settings
You must be logged in an Administrator to perform these steps
First and foremost, back up your registry before you try this. Better to be safe than sorry, I like to say. Two easy ways to back up the registry. One, you can simply create a system restore point:
1. Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
2. In the left pane, click System protection. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
3. Click the System Protection tab, and then click Create.
4. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then click Create.
The second option is to open the registry Editor and export a copy of your Windows 7 registry
1. Click the Windows Orb on the task bar, in the Search box, type “regedit” (without quotes)
2. In the Registry Editor, click File, and click Export.
3) ave the exported file somewhere save, like the root of the C: drive. This will make it convenient to restore in case something goes wrong.
Edit the Registry
1. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile (don’t confuse the small “L” for a capital “I”)
You should see the following files:
2. Add a new string value to the registry key,
Value name: IsShortcut
Value data: .lnk
(You might see IsShortcut is already present. If so, you should also see IsNotShortcut. If so, change the value of IsNotShortCut to “0“)
3. Exit from Registry Editor.
4. Logout and login again or restart Explorer for the change to take effect.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista do not have the Run command listed in the Start menu. Instead, Microsoft wants you to use the search bar by typing in the name of the program you want to run. For example. to open Microsoft Word, you type the word “word” in the search box, and hit the Enter key; to open a command box, you use the command “cmd”, and so forth.
As an alternative, you could hold down the Windows logo key (if your keyboard has this), and press the R key. This will bring up the run command box.
For folks that prefer to have a Run command in the Start menu, you can add it by following these steps:
1. Right click an open area of the Task bar
2. Select Properties
3. Select the Start Menu tab
4. Tick the Start menu entry and click the “Customize” button to the right.
5. Scroll down the list until you find the “Run command” entry.
6. Place a check-mark in the “Run command” check box.
7. Click OK.
The Run command should now appear in the Start Menu.
Before I demonstrate how to defragment a hard drive, I think it’s important to give a brief explanation about why data on a hard drive becomes fragmented and why you should defragment your hard drive from time to time.
Hard drives are structured to store data on tracks which are divided into sectors. Depending on the format and technology of the hard drive, each sector can hold from 512 bytes to 4 kilobytes of data, depending on the technology of the drive. Hard drives also have a reserved section called the header, which contains information used by the drive and controller, and a usable area where the operating system, programs, and data is stored.
Data is stored on the hard drive in the first available sector. When that sector is full, the hard drive moves onto the next sector, and so on. On a fresh or defragment hard drive, data storage is consecutive from one sector to the next. Over time however, when files are modified, moved, or deleted, they can become fragmented across different sectors and tracks on the hard drive. In this state, the hard drive has to work harder and take more time to locate all of the segments of data in a file. Over time, drives can become so fragmented, it can take a considerable amount of time to boot a computer, and open programs and files.
Revision: As a friend and peer of mine pointed out to me on Facebook, If you are using a Solid State Drive, then you really do not have to worry about defragmenting, because SSD’s can access data from any address on the drive almost instantaneously. Defragmenting an SSD does little more than add wear to the SSD, and doesn’t really provide any performance benefit. (Thanks William George, from PugetSystems.com)
Defragmenting a Hard drive
There are various programs you can use to defragment your hard drive in Windows, but for the sake of this article, we are going to use the Windows 7 built in Disk Defragmenter. If you have another version of Windows, don’t worry, Disk Defragmenter is included with all desktop versions of the Windows operating system, although the steps involved will be slightly different.
In Windows 7, click on the windows logo orb on the Windows Task bar. In the Search box, type the work “defrag” (without the quotes). you should see disk Defragmenter in the search results. click on Disk Defragmenter to launch the program.
Now, if you are using Windows XP or another version of Windows, an easy way to launch the disk Defragmenter is to open My computer, right-click on the C drive, or the drive you want to defragment, and select Tools. From there, you can select the Disk Defragmenter. The rest of the steps in this guide should suffice to demonstrate howe to run disk Defragmenter.
Another way to access the Windows Disk Defragmenter on any earlier version of the Windows desktop operating system, is to click on Start / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / and then select Disk Defragmenter. This also works for Windows 7 in principal, but the path is slightly different. For Windows 7, the path is Windows Orb / All Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Defragmenter.
Disk Defragmenter provides you with various options and will also display when the last time the Disk Defragmenter was run and if it is scheduled to run again in the near future. We’ll cover the scheduling options later in this article, but for right now, we will focus on analyzing and defragmenting a hard disk.
The first thing we’ll do is select the drive that we want to work with. to do that, just click once on the drive until it is highlighted. We can test the selected drive to see if it even needs to be fragmented by selecting the Analyze disk option. Or if we know that the drive needs to defragmented, we can start the defragmenting process by selecting the Defragment Disk option.
The time that it takes to defragment a hard disk depends on the size of the drive, how much data is on the drive, and how fragmented the drive is. It’s not unusual for a defragmenting to take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour.
Scheduling a disk Defragment
As I mentioned earlier, the Windows Disk Defragmenter utility provides the option to schedule automatic disc defragmenting. This could be useful you prefer to run Disk Defragmenter regularly on a daily or weekly or monthly basis , when Windows Starts up, or at a specified time. The scheduler is pretty much self explanatory. You simply select the frequency that you want to run Disk Defragmenter, what day of the week, and at what time you want to run the defragmenter. That’s all there is to it.
Alternative Disk Defragmenting utilities
Defragler – Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files – unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems.
Auslogics Disk Defrag - Defragments and re-arranges files to ensure the most efficient file placement.
MyDefragGUI – MyDefrag*2 defragments very fast, has several optimization strategies, offers highest possible data security and can also defragment external storage media. However you can input options only by a script grammar.