It takes a special person indeed to put up with chasing me around the city to pick up my laptop. They delivered it back to me in Cherrybrook at the end of the day, all fixed! Thank you so much boys.
Mona, Camden

mobilegeeks Blog





Hello lovely people :)

We’ve all been in the position at one time when you’re listening to your music and the phone rings. You are then trying to fumble for the pause button or the speaker switch on your music player, while trying to answer the phone. Sounds familiar? So, instead of bothering with all that *drama* we have created a shortcut to mute the sound instantly with just one press of a key. This is then the topic of our todays computer repairs article. Continue reading “How To Create a Shortcut or Hotkey to Mute the System Volume in Windows” »

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Hello lovely people :)

A few people have contacted me asking how they can create a shortcut that will immediately eject a specific drive – so, today in our computer repairs how to time that is exactly what we will cover. Continue reading “How To Create a Shortcut or Hotkey to Eject a Specific USB Drive” »

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Hello lovely people :)

Has there ever been a time when you have copied something to the clipboard and you don’t really want to just leave it there in case someone else is going to be using your computer. While it is very easy to copy something else to the clipboard to cover what you’ve placed there, wouldn’t it be faster and far simpler to just make a shortcut or hotkey to clear it? And this is precisely what this installment of out computer repairs how to(s) is all about.

Using the built in clip.exe utility in Vista or Windows 7 you can. While it is not actually meant to clear the clipboard with a command line in a shortcut we can make it do what we want.

Please note – this is also very handy if you have copied a lot of data to your clipboard and you don’t want it wasting any more memory

How to create a Shortcut Icon to Clear the Clipboard

First just right-click on the desktop or elsewhere, and choose New Shortcut from the menu.

Enter the following command into the shortcut location box

cmd /c “echo off | clip”

You now have a small icon that will immediately clear the clipboard, but we can take this one step further.

Choose *Properties* by right clicking on the icon – then change the Run drop-down to *Minimised* just to make sure you don’t see the command prompt. If you want to, you can also assign a shortcut key here.

If you click the Change Icon button and then browse down to this file, you can find a clipboard icon:

%SystemRoot%system32shell32.dll

Now we’ve got a nice-looking icon that will clear out the clipboard sitting on our desktop.

Please note – If you are using Windows XP, you can download clip.exe from Microsoft. Just save the file in the Windows directory and the rest of the hack should work for you.

 Happy calibrating, fellow computer repairs people.

Over and out

MobileGeekette

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Hello lovely people :)

You would be well aware of the *Safely Remove Hardware* icon that sits in your icon tray when you remove USB devices such as flash drives. If you are not, not to worry, because we do not like it anyway. And in this computer erpairs blog I will show you how to create a short cut that avoids that icon altoogether.

The problem we have with this is that the icon is small and having to click on it to bring up the menu can be a pain. The question is – can’t we just make a shortcut that will bring up the dialog? The answer is – yes we can. And is it a lot easier than trying to click on the icon in the tray.

Please be aware that this doesn’t seem to work very well in Windows 7 so if it doesn’t work it’s not that you have done anything wrong.

How to create a Shortcut to the Safely Remove Hardware Dialog

The first step is to right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose New Shortcut:

In the location box just paste in the following:

RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

All you need to do next is give it a name and you have created your shortcut icon.

This will allow you to pull up the Safely Remove Hardware dialog.

How to assign a Shortcut Key

If you would like to assign a shortcut key for this dialog you can right click on the icon, open *Properties* and then go to the Shortcut tab

Just add in the shortcut key and close the dialog, as long as you have the shortcut key on your desktop you shouldn’t have to restart anything for the hotkey to work. If you want, you can also move the shortcut to another folder, for instance to your quick launch bar.

Well, now you know everything :) Good luck in your computer repairs DIY exploits.

Over and out

MobileGeekette

 

 

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Hello lovely people :)

The fastest way to lock your computer screen is to use the keyboard shortcut Win+L. While some like to use the mouse to lock their workstation, I like to have both options, and I am guessing some of you would too.

So, in today’s edition of our computer repairs blog, I will show you how to easily create a shortcut to lock, Vista, Windows 7 and even Windows XP

Just right click wherever you want the shortcut to be placed – choose *New* and then *Shortcut*

Just enter the following text into the shortcut textbox. The screen will look different on Windows XP, but the text should work just the same.

rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation

Just enter the name you wish to use for the shortcut and click *Finish* – That’s all there is to it.

Over and out

MobileGeekette – your computer repairs lady :)

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Hello lovely people :)

This time, out computer repairs blog is about bringing misplaced off-screen windows back to your desktop.

Have you ever hooked your laptop up to a secondary monitor and forgotten to move the window back to the primary desktop before you have disconnected.

You can still see the application in the taskbar and the app is still running, you just cannot see it on the screen – because the app thinks it is still running (and showing) on the second screen. Nothing seems to help, you try to right click on it, use move but the window does not cooperate and you are  forced to shut down and reboot. And you feel like a total fool to boot! ( pun intended)

Do not despair! There is a very simple trick to get around this. First, make sure you have clicked on it once to bring it into sight, or alt-tabbed to the window. Now, right click on the taskbar and choose *move*

 

You’ll notice that while your cursor has changed to the *move* cursor you still can’t move a thing.

 

 

Simply hit any of the arrow keys (up, down left, right) move your mouse and the window should *pop* back onto your screen.

For those of you who really know your way around a keyboard you can just alt-tab to the window, use alt-space and then M then the arrow key and move your mouse.

It’s surprising how many people are unaware of this trick which should work with all versions of Windows.

You can also right-click on the taskbar and choose to Cascade your open windows, which will often help bring the windows back onto the screen.

Now you can impress everyone in the office with your computer repairs skills. ;)

Over and out

MobileGeekette

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Hello, lovely people :)

Aaaaand in this edition of our computer repairs blog we will talk about hotkeys. Have you ever needed a hotkey for creating a new folder in Windows Explorer? Or is it just me?

Well, there is, and we have added the instructions for Windows 7 where it is just so easy to do!

There are actually a few solutions to this problem, you can download and install a small freeware app called bxNewFolder to assign the hotkey or you can use the built in accelerator keys.

How to make a New Folder Hotkey in Windows 7

Windows 7 comes with a shortcut key combination for creating new folders

Ctrl+Shift+N

If you use this shortcut key anywhere in Windows explorer a new folder will be instantly created.

How to use the Keyboard Accelerator Keys

You can also use the keyboard accelerator keys: Alt+F will bring up the file menu, and then <W> for the New menu, and then <F> for new folder. So your shortcut key sequence ends up being F+W+F with the Alt key held down. (Try it out)

We found that this works great once you get used to it, and it doesn’t require any additional software.

 How to install bxNewFolder

This freeware plugin uses F12 as the new folder hotkey, which is not changeable. So if you are using this in Windows XP, you’ll get the benefit of the new toolbar button that it adds, while there is no visible User Interface in Windows Vista, it still works perfectly.

To install this properly, you need to close all Windows Explorer windows and then choose Run as administrator from the right-click menu.

It should start working straight away once it has been installed. To open the new folder dialog press F12. If you hold down the shift key and hit enter after typing in the folder name it will navigate to the folder immediately.

In Windows XP, you’ll also get a New Folder button.

You will need to scroll nearly to the bottom of the page to find the installer download.

Yay! You can now do new folders with one click of a button. You totally rock as computer repairs technicians DIY!

Over and out

MobileGeekette

 

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Hello lovely people :)

In this installment of the computer repairs blog we will talk about using the “Up” keyboard shortcut.

Is everyone driven as insane as I am that Windows 7 and Vista do not have an UP button???? (Deep breath …another deep breath)

Fear not! We have found a keyboard shortcut replacement.

While I am in my x:wpmuwp-content directory I can usually click the “wpmu” part of the path and simulate the Up button, but it doesn’t always work, especially if I’ve tiled two windows beside each other or lowered the size of the window

This window is 600px wide; shouldn’t I have an easier way to go Up? Well, I do… if I just hit the following key combination:

Alt+Up

Now I’m in the parent directory – that is so much better!!!

This is also the fastest way to get to the Desktop folder – just keep pressing Alt+Up until you get to the folder you want.

Here are some other keyboard shortcuts for Explorer:

  • Alt+Right – Go forward
  • Alt+Left- Go back
  • Alt+D – Focus the address bar and select the current path.
  • F4 – Pop up the dropdown in the address bar, actually somewhat useful.
  • Alt+Enter – Properties of the selected file
  • Ctrl+Mousewheel – change the size of the icons
  • F11 – Put explorer into Fullscreen mode.

Well, there you go, fellow computer repairs DIYers.

Over and out

MobileGeekette

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Hello lovely people :)

In this installment of out computer repairs blog we will talk about problem steps recording to help troubleshoot Windows 7 machines. If you have ever been in the position of being asked to help sort out a computer problem, or diagnose a problem, based solely on their description, you know how difficult that can be. While you can try looking over their shoulder, or, using a remote session, it is not always  a practical solution. Windows 7 comes with a great  utility called Problem Steps Recorder which records the user’s actions and allows you, as a computer repairs DIY guru, to be able to find an answer a lot faster.

Type in “psr.exe” (no quotes) into the Start menu Search box to start up the Problem Steps Recorder

Or, you can create a shortcut for it on their desktop using the path “C:WindowsSystem32psr.exe”.  This means when a user calls for support they have a handy icon they can use to launch it.

The interface is nothing fancy; it has very basic controls which make it very easy to use. Click on the Start Record button and go through the steps to recreate where the problem is.

While it is recording you will notice a small red dot image briefly by the pointer when new shots are taken.  When finished the recording just click on Stop Record and then choose location to save the output file.

The output is saved as a zipped MHTML web archive file that can be viewed in Internet Explorer. Just have the user network share the file or email it to you.

You will be able to navigate through the recording and see what the user was doing.  It creates a file that allows you to scroll through each screen shot, view the shots as a slide show, or review tech details.

Here is an example of Slide Show view in Internet Explorer.

Towards the bottom of the document more additional technical information is shown.

One thing to note is that during the recording session you can hit the *Add Comment* button and highlight an area of the screen and leave a comment or question.

This is a nice addition to Windows 7 and it allows you to troubleshoot any issues. I hope this works for you. Good luck with all you computer repairs efforts.

Over and out

MobileGeekette

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Hello lovely people :)

In past versions of Windows the backup utilities have not been too spectacular which has lead to a market in third party applications. Today, in our computer repairs blog we will look  at what might be their best backup tool yet – the Windows 7 Backup and Restore. Continue reading “How To Backup and Restore in Windows 7” »

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