esSJae's Virtualization Blog

Virtualization and other IT topics

Restoring the Quick Launch Menu (and Windows Explorer) for Windows 7 and 10

Posted by essjae on January 10, 2016

(this is an updated repost of an article I have on my deprecated http://www.essjae.com website)

One thing I really had grown accustomed to is the Quick Launch menu and easily opening multiple Windows Explorer windows across my 2 and 3 monitor setups and seeing the Drives view.

Both of these have been noticeably missing since Win 7.

Step 1: Get back the Quick Launch menu

  • Right-click the Taskbar, select Toolbars–>New Toolbar.
  • In Folder text box copy and paste the following:     %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  • Right-click the Taskbar, uncheck Lock the Taskbar, and right-click on the new Quick Launch toolbar. Uncheck Show Text and Show Title, click View–>Small Icons
  • Drag the toolbar divider all the way to the left of the taskbar to position it next to the Windows Orb, adjust the spacing on the taskbar as necessary
  • End result: quicklaunchicons  (minus the Explorer icon)
  • Step 2:
  • Add Windows Explorer in Win 7
    •  Click the Orb, then All Programs–>Accessories
    • Right-click to select and drag Windows Explorer () to the Quick Launch toolbar, then release
    • Select Copy Here from the pop-up menu
    • Right-click the Windows Explorer icon (), then click Properties
  • In Windows 10
    •  select and copy %SystemRoot%\
    • Click the Win icon or press the Win key and then paste %SystemRoot%\
    • Press Enter
    • Find explorer.exe, right-click and drag it to the Quick Launch bar
    • Right-click the Windows Explorer icon (), then click Properties
  • Add the following to the end of the command in Target:     /e,
  • The command should look like this:  %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,

we-props

  • Click OK
  • Now, when you click on the Windows Explorer icon you’ll see this:
    • display

Posted in Win7, Windows, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Troubleshooting with users…I saw this and couldn’t pass it up

Posted by essjae on December 17, 2015

write_click

IT told me to write click on the desktop, it’s not helping!

From Spiceworks (http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1345507-what-has-been-your-face-palm-moment-working-for-an-msp?page=2&pos=19&source=topic)

Posted in Computers, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Disabling Aero Shake via Group Policy

Posted by essjae on December 1, 2015

If you’re running Pro or higher, you can use Group Policy to disable Aero Shake instead of a Registry edit.

Press the Windows key and enter “gpedit.msc” to launch the Local Group Policy Editor

Navigate to “User Configuration–>Administrative Templates–>Desktop”

Double-click “Turn off Aero Shake window minimizing mouse gesture” and select “Enabled” to disable it.

aeroshake

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Enabling or Disabling Aero Shake on Windows 10

Posted by essjae on November 30, 2015

Has this happened to you?  You’re moving around one window, trying to position it just right and all your other windows just minimize? You’re a victim  of the Aero Shake minimize.

This seems to get me more often than I’d like.  There’s a simple way to disable it via the Registry.

Keep in mind that messing with Registry can cause bad things to happen to your system.  Make a backup before you mess around.  If you’re uncomfortable, maybe you don’t change this.

The Registry key you need is here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts DWORD

Set to 0 = Enable
Set to 1 = Disable

 

This should work on Home and Pro versions.

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 5.0.10 (released 2015-11-10)

Posted by essjae on November 11, 2015

5.0.10 maintenance release is now available: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Changelog:

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: improved support for certain Intel Atom CPUs (bug #14773)
  • VMM: system register emulation fix (5.0 regression; bug #14515)
  • GUI: fixed immediate screenshot issue (bug #14108)
  • GUI: fixed another 3D overlay window reparenting issue when the VM is switched to fullscreen mode on X11 hosts
  • GUI: fixed help index (bug #14722)
  • GUI: fixed state synchronization issue in the VM manager window when VM was paused from its runtime window
  • Audio: fixed suspending/resuming audio streams on VM pause/unpause (bug #14784)
  • Audio: properly reset AC97 audio streams, otherwise there is silence until a non-48 kHz stream is played
  • Audio: fixed a small emulation quirk of the AD1980 codec of the HDA device to make recent linux guests work (bug #14653)
  • USB: serveral fixes for the xHCI controller
  • USB: fixed a crash under certain conditions on hosts with Linux kernels older than version 3.3
  • USB: better identification of certain USB devices
  • NAT: support TCP in DNS proxy (bug #14736)
  • NAT Network: fixed sporadic crashes on Windows hosts (bug #13899)
  • API: when creating differencing images (e.g. as part of a snapshot or cloning a VM) use the same disk image variant as the parent image if possible, which means that e.g. a diff image for a VMDK image split into 2 GB files will also be split (bug #14764)
  • API: event queue handling fixes preventing loss of certain events at runtime (e.g. new webcam attached), particularly important on Mac OS X hosts
  • Webcam: passthrough fix for certain devices (Windows hosts only)
  • VBoxManage: don’t crash on snapshot restorecurrent / edit if the VM has no snapshots
  • VBoxManage: don’t crash on controlvm addencpassword (bug #14729)
  • Mac OS X hosts: use the correct kernel on certain hosts
  • Windows hosts: fixed VRDP external authentication
  • Windows hosts: allow to use a shared folder path with extended-length path prefix (5.0 regression; bug #14651)
  • Windows hosts: fix a crash in the netfilter host driver under certain conditions (bug #14799)
  • Windows host installer: documented and fixed public properties which can be used to control the installation to some extent
  • Windows host installer: fixed not starting the actual installation when showing the version information or help dialogs
  • X11 Additions: added basic support for X.Org Server 1.18 (3D requires additional fixes)

Posted in Linux, OS X, VirtualBox, Virtualization, Windows | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

VMware Workstation 12 released 26Aug2015

Posted by essjae on September 1, 2015

A little late, I know!

Also, VMware Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro) – See more

Player, Workstation, and Workstation Player Comparison

VMware Workstation 12 Pro Release Notes

VMware Workstation 12 Pro | 24 AUG 2015 | Build 2985596

Last updated: 26 AUG 2015

Check for additions and updates to these release notes.

What’s in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

About VMware Workstation Pro

VMware Workstation Pro enables technical professionals to develop, test, demonstrate, and deploy software by running multiple x86-based Windows, Linux, and other operating systems simultaneously on the same PC.

You can replicate server, desktop, and tablet environments in a virtual machine and allocate multiple processor cores, gigabytes of main memory and graphics memory to each virtual machine, whether the VM resides on a personal PC or on a private enterprise cloud.

For more information, see the broader VMware Workstation documentation or specifically the VMware Workstation 12 Pro Documentation Center.

What’s New

The following support is new in Workstation 12 Pro:

  • Full support of Windows 10
    VMware Workstation Pro provides the following support for Windows 10:

    • Run Windows 10 as a virtual machine
    • Run Windows 10 as a host operating system
    • Windows 10 Auto Detect and Easy Install
    • Unity support for Windows 10
    • Migrate Windows 10 PC to a virtual machine
  • New guest operating systems support
    Support has been added for the following operating systems:

    • Ubuntu 15.04
    • Fedora 22
    • CentOS 7.1
    • RHEL 7.1
    • Oracle Linux 7.1
    • VMware Project Photon
  • Advanced graphics
    Support has been added for the following standards:

    • DirectX 10
    • OpenGL 3.3
  • Performance improvements for suspending and resuming encrypted virtual machines
  • Improved vCloud Air Integration (Workstation Pro on Windows only)
    • Power operation on remote virtual machines
    • Enhanced user experience
  • Support IPv6 NAT network
  • Tear away tabs
    You can drag open tabs out of the Workstation Pro window into new or already existing Workstation Pro windows.
  • Automatically suspend virtual machines upon host shutdown
  • Support 4K monitors with high resolution UI
  • Support for multiple monitors with different DPI settings
  • Echo cancellation for voice and video calls with Microsoft Lync and Skype
  • Added USB 3.0 support to Windows 7 virtual machines (with the latest Intel USB driver)
  • Improved standard installer
  • Added NAT network configuration in Virtual Network Editor on Linux hosts
  • Respect left-handed mouse setting on Windows host

The following features have reached end of life in Workstation 12 Pro and have been removed:

  • Unity mode on Linux guest and host operating systems
  • Integrated Virtual Debugger Visual Studio
  • Connection to the VMware vCloud Air subscription service (The VMware vCloud Air OnDemand service is still fully supported)

Posted in Virtualization, VMWare, Workstation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 5.0 Released July 9!

Posted by essjae on July 14, 2015

VirtualBox 5.0 (released 2015-07-09)

This is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Paravirtualization support for Windows and Linux guests to improve time-keeping accuracy and performance (see the manual for more information)
  • Make more instruction set extensions available to the guest when running with hardware-assisted virtualization and nested paging. Among others this includes: SSE 4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, AVX-2, AES-NI, POPCNT, RDRAND and RDSEED
  • xHCI Controller to support USB 3 devices (see the manual for more information)
  • Drag and drop support (bidirectional) for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests
  • Disk image encryption (see the manual for more information)
  • VMs can now be started in separate mode. The VM process is started headless while the frontend runs as a separate process which can be terminated without stopping the VM.
  • GUI: VM guest-content scaling support (including 3D acceleration)
  • GUI: New User Interface settings page for customizing status-bar, menu-bar and guest-content scaling
  • GUI: New Encryption settings tab for customizing encryption options for disk images
  • GUI: HiDPI support including application icons and optional unscaled HiDPI output on Mac OS X (including 3D acceleration)
  • GUI: Hot-plugging support for SATA disks
  • New, modular audio architecture for providing a better abstraction of the host audio backends
  • Support for the NDIS6 networking framework on Windows (default on Vista and later)

Download here

Posted in VirtualBox, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Configuring/Removing Password Policies in Windows Server 2012 for Lab/Demo environments

Posted by essjae on June 24, 2015

The default password policies are pretty strict for a lab or demo environment.  If you’re not in a domain, it’s easy to modify these settings from the Local Security Policies:

  1. Run gpedit.msc
  2. Under Computer Configuration–>Windows Settings–>Security Settings–>Account Policies–Password Policy
    1. Change the Policy Security Settings you want.

Under a domain controller, you can do this via the Active Directory Administrative Center

  1. Run dsac.exe, or via the GUI it’s under Administrative Tools–>Active Directory Administrative Center
  2. Go to YourDomain(local)–>System–>Password Settings Container
  3. Click New from the Tasks menu
  4. Create your Password Settings

Here’s the window, note that I’ve already created a password policy.  A new forest/domain will not have anything populated in it.

dsac

I don’t recommend disabling all these settings if you’re in a production environment.

Posted in Sysadmin, Windows 2012 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

TinyBorders for Win8 replaced with Winaero Tweaker

Posted by essjae on May 25, 2015

I posted a while back about a nice little utility I use on all my Windows 8.x systems to reclaim those lost pixels from Win 8’s giant, padded borders.

It’s recently been replaced with a new tool, Winaero Tweaker, link: http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.1836

A new feature with Winaero Tweaker allows you to change colors, which is nice when working with Windows Server 2012 R2.

If you try to change the color you’ll see this:

 

feature

Winaero Tweaker launches with an error in Windows Server 2012 R2, but it doesn’t seem to affect the programs ability to change border size or color.

error

As you can see, I changed the color from cyan to a light purple, shown in the Winaero Tweaker page

tweaker

 

 

 

 

Posted in Computers, Utility, Windows 2012, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Windows 10 Hyper-V: Installing Linux in Gen2 VMs

Posted by essjae on May 15, 2015

Important Notes:

Firmware:

Disable Secure Boot

settings-firmware

SCSI Controller:

Add a DVD drive for your ISO file

settings-scsi

Posted in Hyper-V, Virtualization, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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