Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Add Windows 7 themes and backgrounds for the July 4th holiday

As I prepare myself for the July 4th celebration, I’ve been working on customizing my Microsoft Windows 7 system and decided to share with the TechRepublic Community what I have done. I also explain how to create a guest account in Windows 7 so that if you have visitors this holiday you can allow them to use your PC without risking your configuration. Read more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Official support is ending so why are you still running Windows XP SP2?

As you probably know, a lot of folks chose to continue running Microsoft Windows XP after Windows Vista came out because it was such a problematic operating system. As such, those folks simply refused to upgrade. Many people and organizations are still running Windows XP and waiting to see what happens as Windows 7 approaches its first Service Pack.

Reasons for continuing to use the SP2 version and purposefully avoiding SP3 range from perceived compatibility problems to the misconceptions that SP3 didn’t offer anything new to that fact that because SP2 was a very much hyped security packed version that it was somehow superior to its successor. Whatever the reason, those folks really must wake up and smell the coffee soon because in about two weeks official support for Windows XP SP2 will end. Read more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Move your Windows XP installation into Windows 7 with VMware

If you are still using Microsoft Windows XP but thinking of moving to Windows 7, you’re probably feeling a bit apprehensive about the project. What if I told you that you could have Windows XP and Windows 7 running on the same system? Of course, you might say that’s what Windows XP Mode is all about, and you’d be right.

But what if I told you that you could have your Windows XP installation and Windows 7 running on the same system? To that you might say that’s what dual booting is all about, and you’d be right again.

But what if I told you that you could use VMware Converter to turn your entire Windows XP installation (data files, applications as well as the operating system) into a virtual machine that you could then run inside Windows 7 with VMware Player without having to worry about configuring a dual-boot partition scheme and without having to reinstall all your applications in Windows XP Mode? Well, it’s true, and the best part is that it won’t cost you a penny! Read more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five tips for taking advantage of Windows 7 file management features

Microsoft made several basic file-management enhancements in Windows 7. Although some are fairly obvious, others can be a bit tricky to find and harness. Once you get used to using them, though, you’ll find them pretty handy. Read more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How do I use a Windows 7 Virtual Hard Disk as a backup device?

As you know, using external hard disks as backup devices has become very popular recently due to the fact that they are now relatively inexpensive to purchase or build. I use several of them for backups on my home and test systems.

The other day I was experimenting with Windows XP Mode on my Microsoft Windows 7 test system and was backing up my Windows XP Mode virtual machine and the accompanying virtual hard disk (VHD), when it occurred to me that I could use a VHD as a backup device.

Once I began experimenting with this technique, I knew that it would be perfect complement to my overall backup strategy. I don’t trust a single backup device and like to have multiple backups just in case. Using VHDs, I can easily back up my data and then just copy the VHD file to another external device. Read more.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reap the benefits of Windows 7's Task Manager

When you access the Task Manager in Microsoft Windows 7, it’s very easy to overlook the new features and other changes until you take a closer look. If you’re coming from Windows XP, you’ll discover that there are many new and improved features. If you’re coming from Windows Vista, you’ll find a familiar user interface, which has been polished up a bit. Read more.