A Few Vista Registry Hacks

My new OS is Vista, and even though I’ve only had it a few days, some things were already nagging me — so I found these registry hacks. Remember, always do a backup of your registry before trying them out.

1. I transferred a bunch of folders from my portable hard drive — including a folder with a bunch of ATI video card drivers. As I now use NVIDIA, I went to delete it, but it gave me an error (I guess it didn’t copy exactly right). Googling suggested to “take control” through the command prompt. A little more googling revealed a registry hack to add “Take Ownership” to the context menu.

2. Several programs I frequently use trigger the UAC. I’m leery of turning it off, so instead of that, I found another registry hack to quickly disable UAC for specific apps.

3. I have quite a few “portable” apps, so I was manually creating shortcuts for them. However, Vista annoyingly had the shortcut name as “File – Shortcut.” A quick google brought up the instructions for disabling this. (Unlike the last two, this one requires manual editing of the registry.)

4. In XP, I made use of the “taskbar button grouping” function to prevent cluttering of the taskbar. However, with Vista, the buttons, on default, will only group when the taskbar gets full. I found instructions on how to edit this. (I set mine to group when there’s 3 windows from the same program.)

5. Vista has this cool thing called “Games Explorer,” which will automatically find boxshots and information of better-known games. However, I play quite a few obscure games so there’s no boxshot. Googling brings up this article, which explains how to add it.


Useless registry keys? Get them out with RTKF.

Sometimes when uninstalling a program, it’ll leave registry entries behind, which can eventually make it laggy (as well as messy). You could always go in and manually delete them (always do a backup) but some people are uncomfortable with it. For those ones, I recommend Registry Trash Keys Finder, or RTKF, a useful freeware program. (There’s also a paid version, but that’s not required; it’ll work just fine.)

Hacking the Windows XP Context Menu

No, not that kind of hacking. The hacking that’s more along the lines of “tweaking.”

This one involves using the registry to remove annoying context menu entries. Some programs give you entries you don’t need, and others leave stuff behind after uninstalling. And this makes the context menu less and less useful.

Hacking the Context Menu

“Show Desktop” not working? How to fix it

If you install a Maxis game called SimTown, you may notice the “Show Desktop” icon turned into a SimTown Sound File. However, going into the file extension manager will not work. Here’s how to fix it.
Go into the registry editor (Start >> Run >> regedit). Then go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SHCmdFile\shell\open\command. SCF files should be associated with explorer.exe.

Next, go into the command Prompt, which is usually under Start > Programs > Accessories. (‘Start > Run’ won’t work for this!) Type in “assoc .scf=SHCmdFile” and it should restore it.

Good luck!

How To Re-Enable Task Manager After a Virus

Lots of malware disables the task manager, to make it more difficult to identify and remove it. Even if you’re the administrator account, it will say the administrator has disabled the task manager. However, a few quick registry fixes should re-enable it.

Read this article for more infos, and the instructions.

Revo Uninstaller

You wouldn’t be able to believe the junk some programs leave behind when they are uninstalled — registry keys, empty folders…

Revo Uninstaller is a freeware uninstall manager. It has more features than the Windows Add/Remove programs — such as Hunter Mode (which can be useful for killing spyware) and the Startup Manager.

But the main feature I like, is when you uninstall a program, it finds junk left over. Such as registry keys, empty folders, and sometimes even EXE files.