CategoryWindows

Fix Incorrect Clock Settings in Windows When Dual-Booting With Elementary OS

Switching between Elementary OS and Windows, I noticed that the Time was not set correctly.  This is mostly caused by Windows and Linux using two different ways of setting time. Linux sets the computers time to the RealTimeClock and then applies the timezone. While Windows simply sets the computers clock to the TimeZone you are currently in.

The classic way of fixing this issue is, changing some value in the Registry. However I use a different – more native to Windows method by using the already existing “Synchronize Time” Task and adding a trigger to ensure that it runs at logon.

Step 1:  Open Task Scheduler

Open the “Task Scheduler” (Press the Windows Key and Type Task Scheduler)

Navigate to the Folder Task Scheduler Library/Microsoft/Windows/Time Synchronisation

Step 2: Set up Trigger

Rightclick on the task “Synchronize Time” > Preferences2016-12-01-00_33_40-nvidia-geforce-overlay

Step 3: Set up a new Trigger

Navigate to the Tab “Triggers” and click on “New”

In the Dialog Box Select Begin the task: “At Log on”

2016-12-01-00_35_47-task-scheduler

 

Now the clock should always be set to the correct time whenever you log on.

 

How to install Windows 10

Preparation

You will need a USB-Drive with a minimum of 3GB free space.

Installation Files

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has released a download tool.

  1. Download the tool from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  2. Attach the USB-Stick to your computer
  3. Start the tool and select your USB-Drive
  4. The tool will download the installation files and make the USB-Stick bootable.

Install Windows 10

Start your computer and boot from the USB-Drive

During Installation you should not use “Express Settings” but instead use “customize settings” and take a close look at the different options.

If you are upgrading a Windows 7 installation or Windows 10 has been previously installed on the computer Windows will not ask you for a Product-Key and does not need to be activated again.

Quick Program Setup

By using chocolatey you can quickly install most of the programs you need.

Install Chocolatey

  1. Open a cmd with Administrator Privilages (Windows Key > type “cmd” > Shift + Ctrl + Enter)
  2. Copy and Paste following script:
@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin

Install your programs

  1. Visit the chocolatey site to find packages (http://www.chocolatey.org)
  2. Open a cmd with Administrator Privilages
  3. Create your own script that looks something like this:
  4. choco install -y googlechrome vlc skype 7zip
    

 

Optimizations

Remove Preinstalled Apps

If you are running Windows on a Desktop without any touch capabilities, you will probably have no use for certain features, like Cortana or those Apps in the Start menu. Some of these Apps you can remove using the control panel, however Microsoft apps like “Mail” cannot be removed using the control panel.

To remove them you need to using an evevated Powershell (Windows Key > “Powershell” > Ctrl – Shift -Enter)

To remove a package

Step 1

First List all available Packages


Get-AppxPackage

Step 2

Use the name of the package, only one package should be selected


Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos

Step 3


Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos| Remove-AppxPackage

Note: It is not recommended to remove the Windows Store. It is rumored that you then cannot install anymore Windows updates after that.

 

Remove all Packages

As alternative run following command to remove all Apps (excluding the Windows Store).

 

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | where-object {$_.name –notlike “*store*”} | Remove-AppxPackage

Note: This command may also remove components you actually would like to keep It is better to create a controlled powershell script to remove only the apps you do not want.

Disable UAC (User Account Control)

Assuming you are a power user and you know what you are doing with Windows. You can disable the User Account Control using the elevated Powershell console.

With this oneliner you can disable UAC on your computer.


Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system -Name EnableLUA -Value 0

(Restart required)

Maximum Memory by Windows Services Configuration (BlackViper Settings)

There are a lot of tips and tricks on how to optimize your system memory. One of the main ways to get the most out of your system is to configure the “Windows Services”, essentially tasks and programs that windows starts and stops in the background. These services are needed by other programs, changing this configuration can result in that some programs cannot start or behave in a strange manner. If you mess around with the services, you could disable your access to the internet and its a pain to figure out which service you accidentally stopped that should have been running.

There are only two situations in which you should configure the services

  1. You are desperate and want to optimize a very old pc without having to buy new ram
  2. You are a gamer and want the speediest most lightweight computer

Service Configurations

Fortunately smart people have already played around with various configurations. BlackViper provides on his website a list of “tweaked”, “safe” and “default” settings. However the table on his website is interesting, but not very useful. If you would want to apply these settings you would have to open up “services.msc” and apply each setting manually.

Thankfully I found a way to convert the table into a powershell script.

  1. Head over to his site  http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/
  2. Go to your Version of Windows
  3. Use the websites Copy function and save the tap separated table into a textfile
  4. Execute following python code in the same folder

Alternatively you can download the resulting Powershell Scripts for Windows7SP1:  Win7SP1 – BlackViperPowerShell

Note: During the execution of the script errors appear for services that are not installed on your system – just ignore them.

Results

To consistently measure the memory usage I did a clean install of Win 7SP1 on a VirtualBox.

  • Default  39 Processes using  600MB Ram
  • “Safe Configuration”:  29 Processes using 500MB.

While the safe configuration ‘saves’ you 100MB of Memory. The amount of effort of testing if all your programs are still running correctly etc. Does not make a lot of sense – especially when typically you are anyway have 8GB+ RAM in Computers these days.

Image:

Windows: Password Recovery

Sometimes you run into the problem that someone has forgotten their password for their home PC. As a good friend you are going to help them recover their password.

Preparation

  1. Go over to http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/ and download a Live CD with tables  (either for XP or Vista/7)
  2. Burn the CD with imgburn or create a USB-Boot disk with Universal Usb Installer

Password Recovery

  1. Start the computer by booting from the USB-stick/CD
  2. Ophcrack will launch immediately and try to crack the password by brute force
  3. If it does not work, click on the button “tables”
  4. Now click on the button “Install” and navigate to the tables directory on the CD or USB-drive (something like /media/usb-drive/tables)
  5. Enable the tables, it is going to take a while to load them into RAM
  6. Retry to crack the password.

Finishing up

Write down the password, restart the computer and login. Change the password to something that a human being can remember.

 

Windows 8.1: Boot to Desktop

Windows 8.1 finally gives you the option to boot directly to the desktop (without the need for a 3rd party program). You can enable this option by opening the preferences for the taskbar and go to the tab for “Navigation”.

win8.1-boottodesktop

Advanced Users can use the Registry to Boot to desktop by setting following key:

Windows 7: Quick and optimized install (Update)

Let’s speed up my original ideas and make it superfast.

1. Install

1.1 Win 7 SP1 integrated

So for WinXP you would have slipstreamed the Service Packs. But screw that we got broadband. Download an integrated Iso from:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-from-digital-river/

1.2 USB Install

Installing from USB, is usually faster than installing from a DVD.

  1. Copy all the contents of the Win7 ISO to an USB-Drive (3GB free space required).
  2. Right-click on “Computer” – > Manage and navigate to Disk Management
  3. Right-click on the Partition you copied the Win7 Files to and select “Mark Partition as Active”
  4. Plug the USB-Drive in the PC to be set up and boot from the USB-Drive.
  5. Install

Note: If you have a USB3-Port you may need additional drivers to install via USB.

1.3 Partitions

The sole purpose of Partitions is organization. However you want to organize you files you create any number of partitions accordingly. Best Practice is to have at least 100GB of space for the Operating Install Partition so you have plenty of space to install more Programs. Note: To gain a speed advantage one must use  multiple physical Hard drives and then configure the Swap Files. However placing the Swap-file on the same physical disk will is not give any performance boost.

2. Initial Settings via Powershell

  • Open Powershell as Administrator
  • type  Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
  • Copy (and modify)  following Code into a new Textfile

#Enable Windows Classic Theme
Write-Host "Enabling Classic Theme"
& $env:Systemroot'\Resources\Ease of Access Themes\classic.theme'

#Set Explorer Settings
Write-Host "Configuring Explorer-Settings"
$explorerKey = 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced'
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey NavPaneShowAllFolders 1
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey NavPaneExpandToCurrentFolder 1
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey Hidden 1
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey HideFileExt 0

#Set Taskbar Settings
Write-Host "Taskbar Settings"
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey TaskbarSmallIcons 1
Set-ItemProperty $explorerKey TaskbarGlomLevel 1

#Disable Customer Experience Improvement Program
Set-ItemProperty 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SQMClient\Windows' CEIPEnable 0

#Desktop Items
Write-Host "Display Icons"
$desktopKey = 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons'
new-item -path $desktopKey
new-item -path $desktopKey\ClassicStartMenu
new-item -path $desktopKey\NewStartPanel
new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\ClassicStartMenu -name '{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}' -value 0
new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\ClassicStartMenu -name '{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}' -value 0
new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\ClassicStartMenu -name '{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}' -value 0

new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\NewStartPanel -name '{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}' -value 0
new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\NewStartPanel -name '{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}' -value 0
new-ItemProperty -path $desktopKey\NewStartPanel -name '{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}' -value 0

#Disable Remote Assistance
Set-ItemProperty 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Remote Assistance' fAllowToGetHelp 0

#Restart Explorer
Stop-Process -processname explorer

#Disable UAC
Write-Host "Disabling User Account Control (UAC)"
Set-ItemProperty 'HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System' EnableLUA 0
Write-Host "System needs to be rebooted"
#Disable Services
#Windows Search
(gwmi win32_service -filter "name='WSearch'").ChangeStartMode("Disabled")
#Windows Features
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:WindowsGadgetPlatformDISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:TabletPCOC /NoRestartDISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:Printing-XPSServices-Features /NoRestart
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:Xps-Foundation-Xps-Viewer /NoRestart
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:Printing-Foundation-InternetPrinting-Client /NoRestart
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:MediaCenter /NoRestart
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:OpticalMediaDisc /NoRestart
DISM /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:WindowsMediaPlayer /NoRestart
  • Save as “windowsConfig.ps1” at C:\
  • In Powershell execute C:\windowsConfig.ps1 (works only with full path)

3. Applications

3.1 Internet Explorer 9

To prevent downloads of unneeded updates, install IE9 prior to running windows update.

IE9 Download

3.1 Ninite

Visit www.ninite.com you can choose from a selection of free programs and then download an automatic installer.

That’s all folks!!!

Further Links:

Speed Up Windows 7 How to

Tweaking Windows 7 for Maximum Performance

The Ultimate Guide to Speed up Windows 7

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