Here are some quirks you might have missed when using Windows 7.
- "Always On Top" feature of Windows Gadget. I do miss the sidebar in Vista (where your windows will resize to accomodate the sidebar), instead of moving the gadgets around the desktop. However, most webpages and applications are not built to occupy the whole widescreen, so my gadgets are not much of an obstruction to my windows.
- Uncheck Autoplay. Windows 7 has improved much of its security. However, if you are more concerned of ease and usability, then you might want to to set Autoplay for inserted media. As for me, I have to scan first before opening any USB flash drives, and due to a traumatic experience, CD/DVDs.
- "Manually connect" saved wireless connections. You can check your saved connections via Manage Wireless Connections, then choose only in your home network to automatically connect to your PC.
- Services.msc rather than MSConfig. Click Run in the Start menu, then type services.msc to be able to manage your startup and automatic applications. I mostly turned mine either to Automatic (Delayed) and Manual. I disabled others such as those from Lightscribe. MSConfig only manages startup applications, and would usually duplicate apps until you turn off the application itself.
- Check Firewall. I block applications (e.g. launchers, auto-updates) that automatically connects to the Internet. Not only does it compromise your security, it also affects your speed and performance of your browser.
- Windows Media Player + Libraries. I encountered a lot of annoyance when I managed my Library in Windows Media Player. I found out that you have to check your "default folder" in Libraries to be able to manage your WMP fully.
- Set Registry Size Limit to "unlimited". After I installed MS Visual Studio (prepackaged with ArcGIS 9.1), my Windows Update, .NET Framework and Windows Resource Module would not work! I did find a suggestion to set the registry size to "unlimited". This is not a safe tweak though, and I am still observing my PC performance after I did this tweak.
- Run sfc /scannow and chkdsk. These checks came with your MS DOS, so why not use them? You can perform this when cmd.exe is ran by an administrator.
- Administrator privileges. Right click an application, then choose "Run as an administrator" to run the app in an elevated environment.
- Run Defrag only when it needs to. When it is 0%, you're still OK - that or you need other means to speed up your PC.
- Windows Aero Themes. They are free and quite beautiful. Head over to Personalization gallery of Microsoft.
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