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Information and articles about doing stuff in Windows

Microsoft Windows is the world's most installed operating system, used on desktop computers and servers all over the world. I have been using Windows since the Windows 3.11 days and have worked with most versions (Windows 3.11, Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7).

Although I currently use OSX as my desktop computer I also have Windows 7 desktop and laptop and a Windows XP netbook and also run XP virtualized for testing Internet Explorer.

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Display DNS cache on Windows

Posted in Windows -

It is possible on Windows to display the DNS cache from the command line. This can be useful for diagnosing DNS issues where an invalid or out of date DNS record might be cached. This post looks at how to displayed cached DNS records on Windows.

Solution for connections tab missing in Internet Explorer options

Posted in Windows -

It's possible for a system adminstrator to prevent access to the "Connections" tab in the Internet Options in Internet Explorer (which is also accessible from the Windows Control Panel). It's trivially easy to restore the tab as shown in this post.

Windows Vista Black Screen After Login - Resolved

Posted in Windows -

I have been having issues with my Windows Vista desktop giving me a black screen after logging in and not being able to do anything at all other than switching the computer off and on again. Yesterday I installed some security updates and the same thing happened again but I finally managed to work out the solution and now can safely reboot and log back into my profile each time.

Playing DVDs with Windows Media Player 11

Posted in Applications and Windows -

I have Windows Media Player 11 installed on my Windows Vista desktop and was surprised when I went to play a DVD and a dialog window popped up to tell me that "Windows Media Player cannot play DVD video". You have to ask what sort of media player WMP is when it can't play DVDs (and many other useful codecs like MP3 and xvid/DivX). A quick search on Google provided the answer which I will show in this post.

Windows Vista Black Screen After Login

Posted in Windows -

This morning I came down to the office to check my email and my Windows Vista machine presented me with a nice blank screen. I leave it running all the time and have auto updates/reboots disabled so was a little surprised. I powered it off and started it up again only to discover it was completing installing updates. (Never mind that I have auto updates disabled...) When it started up again I got that lovely Windows Vista black/blank screen after logging in to my profile. This post looks at the blank screen issue and the only solution that has worked for me, which is to create a new user profile each time it happens.

Editing the hosts file on Windows Vista

Posted in Windows -

On Windows Vista the hosts file has a higher level of default security than earlier versions of Windows and it cannot be edited by a regular user unless the permissions are changed, or you run your text editor as administrator. This post looks at how to edit the hosts file on Windows Vista using notepad.

Reinstall TCP/IP on Windows XP

Posted in Networking and Windows -

After adding a new network interface to my Windows XP computer networking stopped working completely. I uninstalled the McAfee Security Center but that didn't help. This article looks at the steps I did to uninstall and reinstall TCP/IP networking on Windows XP.

Open firewall ports for MSN Messenger and ICQ

Posted in Networking and Windows -

To connect to MSN Messenger and ICQ instant messaging servers through a firewall you will need to open up outbound ports to connect to them. This article describes which ports to open and has an example of how to do it using a Dynalink RTA200 ADSL router.

Ports used for Windows Virtual Private Networks

Posted in Networking and Windows -

To connect to a remote Windows Virtual Private Network you need to open up TCP port 1723 and IP protocol ID 47. This article explains about this with an example of how to do it using a Dynalink RTA220 ADSL router.