For questions specific to Windows 7. Use [windows] instead for questions involving Windows in general.

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1750
votes
3answers
200k views

Why does Windows think that my wireless keyboard is a toaster?

I've inherited an old PC from my girlfriend's dad and when setting up the printer I got a bit of a surprise: Two questions spring to mind here: Why does Windows think my wireless keyboard is a ...
285
votes
27answers
89k views

How to mess up a PC running Windows 7? [closed]

Ok, so for my PC class I have to find 3 hacks that would mess up the lab's PC. Me and my partner are going to mess up the PC and then another team will try to fix it. The system on it is Windows 7. ...
258
votes
10answers
191k views

Menu select item stuck on screen after context or command menu has closed

Periodically when I select a menu command, the label or selected option gets "stuck" on screen and won't go away. I can close all open applications, including whichever one I was using when it got ...
239
votes
23answers
247k views

Is there a built-in checksum utility on Windows 7?

Is there a built-in checksum/hash utility on Windows 7?
236
votes
13answers
715k views

How to search inside files on Windows 7?

In Windows XP we can search for files that contain a defined keyword (inside all files types). Windows 7 can look inside files for a keyword, but only for text files. (*.doc, *.txt, *.inf, ...), not (...
230
votes
10answers
1.0m views

How do I get different background images on my dual monitors?

Is there a way to set two different background pictures for my two monitors in Windows 7? By default the same background picture is used for both displays. I am looking for a solution without ...
220
votes
6answers
239k views

Inverting direction of mouse scroll wheel

Is there a way to make a mouse scroll wheel invert its direction? I'd like to scroll upwards and have that action scroll downwards and vice-versa. There is no setting on the Mouse control panel that ...
216
votes
5answers
531k views

How can I display the contents of an environment variable from the command prompt in Windows 7?

In Windows 7, when I start the Command prompt, is there any command to display the contents of an environment variable (such as the JAVA_HOME or PATH variables)? I have tried with echo $PATH, echo ...
207
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I reset the time on my computer without turning it on?

Alright, so today, I did something very stupid: Do an experiment on my computer without backing it up. So I saw that the calendar in Windows could only go up to 12/31/2999 (or something like that). ...
201
votes
6answers
115k views

How to control Windows 7 snap feature with two monitors?

There is the Snap feature in Windows 7. But it seems to not work when dragging window to the edge that are adjoin to the second monitor. How to make it working? May be some regedit cheat or something?
192
votes
4answers
130k views

How to pin either a Shortcut or a Batch file to the new Windows 7, 8 and 10 Taskbar and start menu?

We are having trouble adding our batch scripts to the Windows 7, 8 or 10 taskbar or start menu. Our batchfiles take some arguments and just execute other application based on those arguments . To ...
188
votes
6answers
158k views

How can I delete a symbolic link?

I created a symlink using mklink. Now I need to change it but I can't figure out how to delete it so I can recreate it correctly.
170
votes
6answers
1.1m views

Windows 7 SP1 Windows Update stuck checking for updates

I installed Windows 7 fresh and installed SP1. Now, when I try to check manually for Windows Updates it just hangs on the Checking for updates screen. I tried running this tool but this did not fix ...
163
votes
4answers
265k views

Where can I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)?

I just bought a serial for Windows 7 on-line from the Microsoft store (the most painful shopping experience EVER!). I selected that I wanted to download my version of Windows 7 after purchase. After ...
156
votes
6answers
98k views

Notepad++ is unable to load langs.xml, why?

Whenever I open NotePad++ the following error message appears: --------------------------- Configurator --------------------------- Load langs.xml failed! --------------------------- ...
141
votes
12answers
287k views

Grep equivalent for Windows 7?

Is there a command prompt grep equivalent for Windows 7? That is, I want to filter out the results of a command: Bash use: ls | grep root What would it be from a Windows command prompt?
133
votes
13answers
546k views

How can I find out what motherboard is in my computer?

I want to find out the exact model of my computer's motherboard so that I can see what sort of memory chip, graphics cards and other components it supports. I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
124
votes
4answers
87k views

Where should the .vimrc file be located on Windows 7?

I recently installed vim on Windows 7 as a stand-alone binary. Where should I put my .vimrc file?
123
votes
5answers
75k views

Preventing applications from stealing focus

Are there any solutions to prevent applications stealing focus from the active window? This is especially annoying when I'm starting an application, switch to do something else and the new ...
122
votes
9answers
9k views

What is the danger of inserting and browsing an untrusted USB drive?

Suppose someone wants me to copy some files to their USB stick. I'm running fully-patched Windows 7 x64 with AutoRun disabled (via Group Policy). I insert the USB drive, open it in Windows Explorer ...
121
votes
13answers
257k views

What can I do if I forgot my Windows password?

I got a brand new Windows 7 machine, installed the operating system, created one account and forgot its password. What can I do? There is no external CD, the operating system is loaded from somewhere ...
120
votes
2answers
199k views

What do green folders mean in Windows 7 Explorer?

I downloaded a ZIP file and dragged the files out of the ZIP into a directory. The subdirectories I copied displayed in Windows Explorer in green instead of the default black. What does the green ...
118
votes
4answers
31k views

How does Windows know whether it has internet access or if a Wi-Fi connection requires in-browser authentication?

In Windows 7, the notification area networking icon will show an error indicator if there is no internet access , and the error icon goes away once there is a successful connection to the internet . ...
112
votes
2answers
19k views

What limits Windows 7 x64 machines to <=192GB RAM?

I know motherboards, BIOS, etc may set upper limits on how much RAM we can install or use on individual machines. However, what defines the maximum RAM for Windows 7 x64? Is that a fundamental ...
110
votes
14answers
312k views

How can I read my hard drive's SMART status in Windows 7?

How can I read the S.M.A.R.T. state of my HDDs while using Windows 7, either automatically or manually?
108
votes
11answers
148k views

Using Windows 7, how can you use multiple mice (to get multiple cursors)?

Is it somehow possible to use two mice in Windows 7? I think this could be useful; like using two fingers on a multi touch display...
106
votes
20answers
7k views

Easiest way to find out if user has either Windows 7 or Vista (through telephone support)?

If you have to provide some initial troubleshooting support by phone [or email], and you don't have access to the user's PC itself, what is the easiest and most foolproof question one can ask of the ...
106
votes
7answers
505k views

How do I change the default font of Sticky Notes?

How can the default font be changed for the Windows 7 Sticky Notes application? I can't stand that faux handwriting font it uses.
106
votes
10answers
243k views

How to stop jucheck from running? Java won't remember “Check for Updates Automatically” setting

I've installed Java on Windows Vista, and every day I get a Vista security warning asking me if I want to run "jucheck". Apparently this is the Java automatic updater. Well, I don't want it to run ...
104
votes
5answers
31k views

How do I disable Aero Shake in Windows 7?

I'm always accidentally minimizing most of my windows. This is really annoying. How do I disable Aero Shake?
102
votes
15answers
10k views

How can I fix a computer that is infested with malware and is extremely unresponsive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I get rid of malicious spyware, malware, viruses or rootkits from my PC? I'm troubleshooting a Windows 7 PC for a friend. A couple of days ago it started running '...
101
votes
1answer
17k views

I accidentally plugged my USB mouse into my eSata port… it works?

I'm on a Thinkpad T510 and I accidentally plugged my Razor USB mouse into the eSata port not realizing my error because it has been working fine this whole time. Does this seem a little odd?
99
votes
14answers
383k views

How do I synchronise two folders in real-time in Windows 7?

I want to synchronise two folders in real time under Windows 7. Basically, I want to monitor a folder and synchronise each change (new files, changed files, deleted files) to another drive. It has to ...
99
votes
1answer
12k views

Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

We get a lot of questions on Super User about Windows activation and licensing. This question is an attempt to answer the most common questions in one place with a canonical answer. When ...
97
votes
5answers
103k views

Change environment variables as standard user

When clicking on "Advanced system settings", I need to login as the administrator and hence only edit the administrators environment variables (in addition to the machine wide ones). How do I edit the ...
96
votes
4answers
212k views

Disable “Do you want to change the color scheme to improve performance?” warning

Sometimes this dialog box will pop up (see screenshot below). Every time it appears I select "Keep the current color scheme, and don't show this message again". Windows then reminds me again -- either ...
96
votes
9answers
343k views

Kill a process which says “Access denied”

I have a process that I can't kill with either Task Manager or Process Explorer - I get the error "Access denied". The process isn't a Windows executable. How can I kill it? Is there some tool I ...
95
votes
9answers
10k views

What is the rationale behind safely removing USB media from windows PCs? [duplicate]

Quite often when I'm in a rush, I automatically pull out a USB pendrive or USB cable from an external hard drive from my desktop PC or laptop, without right-clicking on the safely remove icon in the ...
91
votes
4answers
237k views

Why does virtualbox only have 32-bit option, no 64-bit option on Windows 7?

I have downloaded and installed the newest virtualbox 4.3.20 for my Windows 7 (64-bit OS), but when I want to install 64-bit Linux, the New->Create Virtual Machine only displays 32-bit option, no 64-...
90
votes
7answers
8k views

Does a computer use fewer resources when programs are minimized?

When programs are minimized in Windows 7, do they use less memory and CPU than leaving them maximized?
88
votes
10answers
378k views

How can I repair the Windows 8 EFI Bootloader?

I installed Windows 7 and Windows 8 in EFI mode on a hard disk some days ago. Today, the bootloader got missing/corrupted. I currently have the Windows 8 installer on a flash drive and tried using ...
87
votes
9answers
58k views

ShellExecute failed (2) error for Notepad++ on Windows 7 64bit

ShellExecute failed (2): Is this command correct? "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe [location of file to edit] I seem to have some issue with RIGHT CLICK > Edit with Notepad ++. ...
87
votes
7answers
158k views

How to shrink Windows 7 boot partition with unmovable files

I have just bought an HP laptop with Windows 7 (64 bit). It has a 500 GB HDD with three partitions: a small hidden system partition, a 12 GiB HP recovery partition, and a 450 GiB C:...
86
votes
8answers
27k views

My colleague often shuts down my machine through the LAN - how do I prevent it?

This might sound weird. My colleague and I were working on a Windows machine. He frequently shuts it down through the LAN. He usually follows these steps: Access command prompt, enter shutdown -i. ...
86
votes
10answers
224k views

Make Windows 7 ignore WiFi when ethernet is available

When I dock my Windows 7 laptop, I want it to prefer the wired ethernet connection over WiFi. This is a pretty straightforward thing to do on my Mac - I just reorder my network preferences, and it "...
86
votes
11answers
230k views

Why is checking Windows Update so slow?

I have Windows 7 PCs that have automatic update turned off. I do updates in batch once a month or so. But each time "check for update" takes 15 to 30 minutes. I don't understand why checking for ...
86
votes
8answers
83k views

My windows keyboard is being “clever” with the quote keys - how can I stop it?

I'm using windows 7 on a laptop. On the laptop keyboard, for some reason, the quote key (which has both double and single quote on it) is doing some "clever" annoying things: When I press single-...
86
votes
6answers
37k views

Windows 7 Taskbar Icon Highlight Sticks

After running Win 7 for some unknown period of time, the taskbar icon highlight starts to stick (video demo here: http://screencast.com/t/l5LhJ2uM). If I restart or kill explorer.exe and relaunch, it ...
85
votes
4answers
108k views

Refresh Icon Cache Without Rebooting

Normally, to refresh the icon cache in Windows, we have to reboot. Is there a way to refresh the icon cache in Windows 7/8 without rebooting?
85
votes
4answers
53k views

Windows 7's PATH and environment variables are corrupted

I have no clue, but lately I've been having this problem. After running my workstation suddenly something destroys PATH and lots of stuff stops working. Initially, my path had MANY directories listed (...