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Switch, Change or Set 64-Bit WMP11 in Vista x64 as Default

Posted by n0nsequitur on June 8, 2008

In Windows Vista x64, the 32-bit edition of Windows Media Player 11 (WMP 11) is set as the default Windows Media Player. This is done to avoid and reduce any compatibility issues or problems that may arise with codecs or other DirectShow related plug-ins or add-ons that majority of them still built for 32-bit operating system. However, if you decide to use the 64-bit version of WMP11 with your 64bit version of Windows Vista, especially now that more and more codecs support 64-bit computing platform, and a x64 FFDShow codec which can decode virtually any audio or video media files has been released, you can use a few easy methods to launch 64 bit WMP11 or simply switch, change or swap the system default media player to x64 Windows Media Player, and revert back to x86 version when you need to.

By default, the 32-bit WMP 11 x86 is located at path of %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player, and 64-bit WMP11 x64 is located at folder of %ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player. So the first method to use 64-bit Windows Media Player is by launching WMP from its x64 location.

Press the Start button, type %Programfiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe and press Enter. Alternatively, you can create a shortcut with target and location set to the above, and place the shortcut on the Desktop or in Quick Launch for easy access.

Second method: You need to perform 2 steps each to swap to 64-bit version or to undo the change back to 32-bit version WMP. The unregmp2.exe command (first step) changes the operating system shortcuts to point to WMP 64bit, while the second registry step changes the file associations default program to WMP64-bit, which determines which program will be used when you double click on a media file.

Open an Elevated Command Prompt, type unregmp2 /SwapTo:64 and press Enter.
Then, open the Registry Editor (regedit), then navigate to the the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe. Set the registry subkey Path to be %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player, and the (Default) subkey to “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” (include quotes).

To undo the x64 change, open an Elevated Command Prompt, type unregmp2 /SwapTo:32 and press Enter.
Then, open the Registry Editor, and reset the value for registry subkey of Path and (Default).

With either one of two methods, you will have complete full x64 Windows Media Player experience.



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Generate a Systems Diagnostics Report

Posted by n0nsequitur on June 8, 2008

Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor uses performance counters, event trace data, and configuration information, which can be combined into Data Collector Sets. You can generate a report detailing the status of local hardware resources, system response times, and processes on the local computer along with system information and configuration data. This report includes suggestions for ways to maximize performance and streamline system operation.

Open the Control Panel, click Performance Information and Tools, click Advanced Tools (Tasks pane on the left), click Generate a System Health report. Or,.. press the Windows button, type perfmon /report and press Enter.

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Superhidden Files

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 20, 2008

Did you know that even if you check the “Show hidden files” option in Windows Explorer, you still won’t see all the files? There are files in Windows that are “Super hidden”. To be able to see these files, simply open your favorite registry editor and navigate to the following:
Set “SuperHidden” to 1

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If UAC is blacking out your screen…

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 16, 2008

For Vista Home Users:
Type in regedit in the start menu search box and press Enter. Browse to the following registry key:
Double-click the key called PromptOnSecureDesktop and change it’s value to 0.

For Vista Business and Ultimate Users:
Type in security in the start menu search box. Click on “Local Security Policy” and browse down to Local Policies \ Security Options. On the right window, scroll down and find “User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation”. Double-click it and change it to disabled then click OK.

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Command Prompt Tips

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 15, 2008

  • Turn on Quick Edit Mode. This will allow you to easily select, copy and paste all with just your mouse and a right click.
  • When typing in a file or folder name, type in part of the name and then hit the TAB key to bring up matches. Use SHIFT +TAB to go the other direction.
  • When searching for a file, type in dir part_of_filename* to look for the file in the folder. To search sub directories as well, append the /s flag as well. Example: dir exp* /s
  • Use the up arrow to go back over past commands. Alternatively you can hit F7 and go directly to the command.
  • When working with network drives type: prompt $m$p$g to show the full network path along with the drive prompt. Other prompt settings can be found by running prompt /?.
  • You can print the contents of a file by typing: copy file.txt prn
  • Write the output of any command by appending > output.txt. For example, dir > filelist.txt

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Enable support for 4GB of RAM (or more) in Vista 32-bit

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

On a computer that has 4 GB of RAM, the System Properties dialog box and the System Information dialog box may report less memory than you expect. This problem occurs because the address space is limited to 4 GB in a 32-bit hardware environment. Memory may be relocated to make room for addresses that the basic input/output system (BIOS) reserves for hardware. However, because of this limitation, Windows Vista cannot access memory that is relocated above the 4 GB boundary.

Solution: Open an elevated Command Prompt, type BCDEdit /set pae ForceEnable and press Enter.

The pae parameter enables Physical Address Extension (PAE). On 32-bit versions of Windows, PAE is disabled by default. PAE is an addressing strategy that uses a page-translation hierarchy to enable systems with 32-bit addressing to address more than 4 GB of physical memory. PAE also supports several advanced system and processor features, such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP; “No execute”), Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA), and hot-add memory, so it is also used on computers with less than 4 GB of memory. PAE must be supported by the processor.

On a computer that supports hardware-enabled Data Execution Prevention (DEP), PAE is automatically enabled when DEP is enabled and automatically disabled when you disable DEP. To enable PAE when DEP is disabled, you must enable PAE explicitly: Open an elevated Command Prompt.
Type BCDEdit /set nx AlwaysOff & BCDEdit /set pae ForceEnable and press Enter.

Info & Sources:
Memory Limits for Windows Releases
Windows Vista may report less memory than you expect
Boot Parameters to Configure DEP and PAE
BCDEdit /set Parameters

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Vista Shell Commands

Posted by n0nsequitur on January 14, 2008

The shell: command can be used to open a special folder directly from the Start, Search menu. For example, the command shell:SendTo opens the SendTo folder (%UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo). To launch the Documents folder of your User Profile, you’d type shell:Personal. Below is a complete shell: commands listing for Windows Vista. The entire listing is stored in the following registry key in Windows Vista:

shell: commands for Windows Vista:
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder – shell:Administrative Tools – shell:AppData – shell:AppUpdatesFolder – shell:Cache – shell:CD Burning – shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder – shell:Common Administrative Tools – shell:Common AppData – shell:Common Desktop – shell:Common Documents – shell:Common Programs – shell:Common Start Menu – shell:Common Startup – shell:Common Templates – shell:CommonDownloads – shell:CommonMusic – shell:CommonPictures – shell:CommonVideo – shell:ConflictFolder – shell:ConnectionsFolder – shell:Contacts – shell:ControlPanelFolder – shell:Cookies – shell:CredentialManager – shell:CryptoKeys – shell:CSCFolder – shell:Default Gadgets – shell:Desktop – shell:Downloads – shell:DpapiKeys – shell:Favorites – shell:Fonts – shell:Gadgets – shell:Games – shell:GameTasks – shell:History – shell:InternetFolder – shell:Links – shell:Local AppData – shell:LocalAppDataLow – shell:LocalizedResourcesDir – shell:MAPIFolder – shell:My Music – shell:My Pictures – shell:My Video – shell:MyComputerFolder – shell:NetHood – shell:NetworkPlacesFolder – shell:OEM Links – shell:Original Images – shell:Personal – shell:PhotoAlbums – shell:Playlists – shell:PrintersFolder – shell:PrintHood – shell:Profile – shell:ProgramFiles – shell:ProgramFilesCommon – shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 – shell:ProgramFilesX86 – shell:Programs – shell:Public – shell:PublicGameTasks – shell:Quick Launch – shell:Recent – shell:RecycleBinFolder – shell:ResourceDir – shell:SampleMusic – shell:SamplePictures – shell:SamplePlaylists – shell:SampleVideos – shell:SavedGames – shell:Searches – shell:SearchHomeFolder – shell:SendTo – shell:Start Menu – shell:Startup – shell:SyncCenterFolder – shell:SyncResultsFolder – shell:SyncSetupFolder – shell:System – shell:SystemCertificates – shell:SystemX86 – shell:Templates – shell:TreePropertiesFolder – shell:UserProfiles – shell:UsersFilesFolder – shell:Windows


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