Windows 7 Tips

Windows XP mode? Compatibity?

There is a lot of confusion about running older programs under Windows 7.

Windows Compatibility Mode

The first thing to try is to "Windows Compatibility Mode".... you are still running Windows 7, but in a mode that allows better compatibility with older programs. Go to the shortcut or icon for the program you want to run and right click and go to properties. Select the "Compatibility" tab. You will see a box to check, and you can select various windows operating systems "modes" to try.

This mode is helpful some times, but programs that work closely with the hardware, and/or graphics will often not run.

Windows XP Mode

This is completely different from the above method. This runs a "virtual machine", and basically you are running the "real" operating system. This mode uses "Windows Virtual PC" as a foundation to create a"virtual PC", which means an environment that looks like a piece of hardware. When you run Windows XP Mode, you are (supposedly) running a real copy of Windows XP in the virtual machine. This is a lot closer to a computer really running XP. The virtual machine does a good job, but still cannot "virtualize" all the hardware, especially graphics cards.

So, you get a window that looks like XP, because it is XP running. You install programs, do updates, etc.

You can also load Windows Virtual PC and install other operating systems. As a virtual machine, Windows Virtual PC is not as good as the virtual machine from VMware, but it's easy to set up.

An important thing to remember is that probably 99% of the people out there do not know the difference between these two methods, and probably are using the wrong words to describe what they are doing when they use one or the other.

Enable Administrator login

By default, the administrator user is hidden, first enable it. Run a command prompt as administrator, and execute:

net user administrator /active:yes

now be sure to set the account so the password does not expire, and SET a PASSWORD! (default is no password!!)


Really weird problem with with Word 2010 Professional Plus crashing


You are unable to open any doc or docx files, but Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook are working fine.

You may be able to launch the Word with blank documents without any problem and can save any documents created, but it will crash if you try to open a docx file.
When opening a file, a pop up window showing "Microsoft word has stopped working. Windows is checking for a solution to the problem..." [Cancel]
Then it will change to "Microsoft Word is trying to recover you information.....This might take several minutes." [Cancel]
Then another pop up showing"Microsoft Word has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stopped working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available." [Close program]


  • Believe it or not, the following fixes the problem:
  • User Accounts-> Change User Account Control Settings -->Set the notch to lowest
  • Restart System->
  • Start MS Word-> Goto COM Add-ins -> Remove "Send to Bluetooth"-->
  • Re-set the UAC->
  • Restart System

Adding / customizing control panel tasks

There is a way to create/show some hidden control panels.

There is a list following of GID's (numbers in curly braces).

Go to an open spot on the desktop, create a new folder, and make the folder name the name you want, followed by a period, and the GID (including the curly braces)

 14 For Windows 7


Action Center

Backup and Restore

Biometric Devices

Credential Manager

Default Location

Devices and Printers



Location and Other Sensors

Notification Area Icons


RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

Speech Recognition



Disabling fast user switching

In regular win7 and pro:

run "group policy"

under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon

enable Hide entry points for Fast User Switching

(seems backwards huh?)

Windows 7 home:

1)       Click Start, type regedit.exe in the Start Search or Run dialog box and press Enter.

2)       Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System

3)       Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value named HideFastUserSwitching by right clicking on the right side of the editor and selecting New >  DWORD(32bit) Value.

4)       Set the Value data for HideFastUserSwitching to 1 to disable fast user switching.

5)       In future if you want to enable fast user switching, set the value data for HideFastUserSwitching to 0.

Having done so, log off to see the changes. Fast User Switching should be disabled after performing the steps above.



Windows 7 k (korea) no messenger

Windows 7 n no media playback

Windows 7 kn is both

On Dell 745:

I used pro x64, had to turn on virt in bios

Install Virtual PC 2007 (I tried the x64 version)

Right alt key “uncaptures” the mouse

Right alt + enter should exit full screen mode

Right alt + del = ctl alt del

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