Windows General

From Indie IT Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Error: "Windows Update Cannot Check For Updates"

Open a command prompt as an administrator:

net stop wuauserv 
ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old 

Reboot the system and run Windows Update again.

Unable To Install Or Remove Programmes

HOWTO: BITS - Limiting Bandwidth

BITS = Background Intelligent Transfer Service

After much tarting around we found that the simplest solution to this issue it to purchase a modem/router that can instigate limiting the bandwidth.


Licence Codes


HOWTO: CHECK: Active Ports

On the system you wish to check:

Command Prompt:

netstat -a -n

This will give a full list of all ports and their state.


Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7, 8 or Vista

Generate File Listing On Shell Menu

Note: The following creates when you right click on a folder an entry in the shell menu called 'Create File Listing'. This creates a text document listing of all the files with in a folder, with the resulting text file saved in the folder itself. The listing is a plain list of all the files, if you want to have listed in the document details of the files themselves i.e. dates, then drop the /b switch.

Open Notepad and paste in the following text:

dir /a /b /-p /o:gen >filelisting.txt

Save the file in to the Windows directory calling it file_listing with a .bat file extension not .txt

Open Windows Explorer, click 'Tools' --> 'Folder Options' click on the 'Files Type' tab, find and highlight 'Folder' then click the 'Advanced' button.

Click the 'New' button, in the 'Action' box paste the following:

Create File Listing

Then browse to and highlight the .bat file created above.

Click all the 'OK' buttons as required.


Temporary Files With A Batch File

Old Shellbag Entries In Windows For Privacy

Windows Service

  • Run services.msc
  • Locate the service you want to delete
  • Ensure it is not running
  • Right click on service entry and select 'Properties', on the corresponding windows that opens the actual name of the service as it appears in the registry will be highlighted in blue
  • Right click on the highlighted name and select 'Copy'
  • Run Regedit or Regedt32.
  • Go to the registry entry "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services"
  • Look for the service that you want delete and delete it, or run a search ensuring that the entry is in the location details above
  • Backup the entry and then delete it


Clear DNS Cache

Even with a web browser's private mode enabled Windows still (inadvertently as this system was in place long before private mode browsing) tracks the websites visited by the machine via the DNS cache.

Output the contents of the DNS cache to a text file (the complete cache may well be too large to display in the terminal):

ipconfig /displaydns > dns.txt

Sample output:

Windows IP Configuration
   Record Name . . . . . :
   Record Type . . . . . : 1
   Time To Live  . . . . : 2
   Data Length . . . . . : 4
   Section . . . . . . . : Answer
   A (Host) Record . . . :
   No records of type AAAA

To clear the DNS cache:

ipconfig /flushdns

Thanks to Ghacks.

Delete Files and Folders

Terminate Programmes

Print a List of Installed Programmes

MAC Address

Command Prompt:


Shutdown, Restart etc

shutdown -r restarts
shutdown -s shutdown
shutdown -l logoff
shutdown -t xx number of seconds to wait till shutdown/restart/logoff
shutdown -i invokes the dialogue box to fill in what function you want to use
shutdown -a aborts a shutdown command
shutdown -t 0 -r -f forces a reboot when logged in remotely

systeminfo Command

systeminfo is designed to display detailed configuration information about local or remote computers, providing details on operating system, operating system configuration, security information, product ID, as well as hardware properties, such as RAM, disk space, and network cards.


systeminfo /s A_Computer

systeminfo /s A_Computer | find "System Boot Time:"

Uninstall Windows Updates

wusa /uninstall /kb:xxxxxxx /quiet

Disable or customize Windows’ Internet Connection test to improve privacy

How To Extend A Data Volume Disk Partition


Windows Password

DLL File Registration

The tool to register DLL files is located in the following places:

  • The 64-bit version is %systemroot%\System32\regsvr32.exe
  • The 32-bit version is %systemroot%\SysWoW64\regsvr32.exe

NOTE: 64bit Windows operating system have both versions of the Regsv32.exe file.


REGSVR32 [/U] [/S] [/C] [/I:[Command_Line]] DLL_Name
REGSVR32 [/U] [/S] [/C] /N /I:[Command_Line] DLL_Name


/u  Unregister Server.
/s  Silent - no dialogue boxes.
/c  Console output.
/n  Don't call DllRegisterServer
/i  Call DllInstall (or DllUninstall if /u is specified)

Command_Line An optional command line for DllInstall


Unregister (disable) XP Zip folders

REGSVR32 /u C:\Windows\System32\zipfldr.dll

Unregister (Disable) CAB file viewer:

REGSVR32 /u C:\Windows\System32\cabview.dll

Register (enable) XP Zip folders

REGSVR32 zipfldr.dll

Register (enable) CAB file viewer:

REGSVR32 cabview.dll

Thanks to Microsoft Support.

OEM Infomation

SendTo Menu

Start > Run > type sendto, and add items in the right window pane.


Clear Offline Files

If you have decided not to retain offline files and wish to clear any already stored undertake the following:

With offline files enabled change the percentage required for retention, in this case zero.

  • Press CTRL+SHIFT on your keyboard and then click the 'Delete Files...' button.
  • Once cleared un-tick the 'Enable Offline Files' check box.
  • Click 'Apply' then 'OK'.


Applies to: XP, 7, Vista and 8(?)


Synchronization: Ensuring It Is Disabled

Windows Explorer

Tools --> Folder Options --> Offline Files (Tab), ensure all options are un-ticked.


Moving & Resizing open Windows or Applications

Aero Desktop Peek Win + Spacebar
Dock active Window to left/right Win + Left/Right arrow
Minimize all open Windows or Applications Win + M
Maximize vertical size of active Window Win + Shift + Up arrow
Maximize/Minimize active Window Win + Up/Down arrow
Minimize/maximize all inactive windows Win + Home
Move active Window between Dual Monitors Win + Shift + Left or Right Arrow
Moving & resizing active window Win + Up/Down/Left/Right arrows
Restore vertical size of active Window Win + Shift + Down arrow
Toggle Desktop display Win + D
Undo all window minimization Win + Shift + M
Toggle Desktop display Win + D


Cycle through all open taskbar Windows Alt + Esc
3D view of all open windows Win + Tab (hold Win and tap Tab to cycle)
Cycle through grouped taskbar items Hold Ctrl + tap Left Click
Get to taskbar items Win + T or Win + Shift + T for reverse order
Open a new instance of a taskbar Application Shift + Left mouse click
Open a new instance of a taskbar Application as Administrator Ctrl + Shift + Click
Open Taskbar Programs (pinned or open) Win + 1/2/3 s and so on
Persistent 3D view Ctrl + Win + Tab
Show Restore/Minimize/Move menu Of open application/window (grouped or ungrouped) Shift + Right click on taskbar icon

General, System Functions and Search

Create a new folder (where applicable) Ctrl + Shift + N
Delete without moving to Recycle bin Shift + Del
Full screen Command Prompt Alt + Enter Up to XP
Lock the computer: Win + L
Open a Program as Administrator Ctrl + Shift + Left mouse click
Open Command Prompt path to folder Shift + Right Click on/within a folder
Open Magnifier Win + =
Open Mobility Center Win + X
Open Windows Task Manager Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Move focus to the System Tray Win + B
Search for a file or folder Win + F
Search for computers: Ctrl + Win + F (domain PCs only)
Show advanced 'Send to...' menu Shift + Right mouse click
Show desktop gadgets Win + G
Switching between Laptop or Projector display Win + P
System Properties Win + Pause/Break
Utility Manager Win + U

Run Commands

NOTE: Win + R to open the Run dialogue box.

clipbrd your clipboard viewer Up to XP
control Current user's control panel
control userpasswords User Accounts Administration
excel Microsoft Excel
infopath Microsoft InfoPath
msaccess Microsoft Access
msmsgs Windows Messenger
msnmsgr MSN Messenger
mspub Microsoft Publisher
notepad Notepad (text editor)
ois Microsoft Office Picture Manager versions 2003 through 2010
outlook Microsoft Outlook
powerpnt Microsoft PowerPoint
services.msc Services
shrpubw.exe Shared Folder Wizard
sysedit System Configuration Editor
winword Microsoft Word
wordpad Word pad (text editor)

Advanced Users Run Commands

NOTE: Win + R to open the Run dialogue box.

control userpasswords2 User Accounts Administration
cmd Command prompt
cmd /k ipconfig Command prompt with IP address info
compmgmt.msc Computer management
devmgmt.msc Device manager
dfrg.msc Disk defragmenter
diskmgmt.msc Disk management
eventvwr.msc Event viewer
fsmgmt.msc Shared folders
gpedit.msc Group policies
gpupdate /force Force a refresh of Group Policies (domain workstation)
lusrmgr.msc Local users and groups
netsh diag gui Network diagnostics Up to XP
perfmon.msc Performance monitor
regedit Registry Editor
rsop.msc Resultant set of policies
secpol.msc Local security settings
services.msc Services
sysedit System Configuration Editor


Meltdown & Spectre Checking Tool


To identify your model of your (Kabylake, Skylake etc) processor use CPU-Z

Windows Update Error Codes Listing

Windows Update Problems - Possible Fixes

  • Run Disk Cleanup
  • Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter - available for Windows 7 & 8, built-in to Windows 10.
  • Run the Reset Windows Update Agent script