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How to change the Registered Owner in Windows 7

Most third-party applications pick registration details from the system and such details were inputted during the installation of Windows 7. The owner name and organization details stored in Windows can be displayed using the winver.exe application but cannot be modified through the GUI. What if, you need to change the registered owner or organization name? Say, you have bought a used computer or exchanged your computer with a co-worker and there’s no need to re-install the whole thing from scratch! You can directly change these details from the registry editor.

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Registry Tools

If you are not tech savvy and find the Windows Registry Editor daunting then there are tools that can help you navigate through the registry hives and paths. Navigating to keys is pretty cumbersome but these third-party tools facilitate registry edits.

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InPrivate Filtering Hack

InPrivate Filtering helps prevent website content providers from collecting information about sites you visit. The InPrivate Filtering feature is present in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) while, the feature in IE9 is called Tracking Protection. Content providers or third-party websites could develop a profile of your browsing preferences which can be used in a variety of ways, including for analysis and serving targeted advertisements. Do not confuse InPrivate Filtering with InPrivate Browsing. For more information about InPrivate Browsing go here.

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Triggering a Stop Error to test if a Dump File is created!

To ascertain that a dump file is created when a Stop error occurs, you need to simulate a Stop error. You can manually initiate a Stop error by creating a registry value and pressing a special character sequence. Then, after Windows 7 restarts you can verify that the dump file was actually created.

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How to Restore the Windows 7 Registry

The Windows registry editor allows you to access certain configuration settings that may be unavailable from the GUI. Some knowledgeable users enjoy tweaking the registry for the fun of it but others do it to troubleshoot various problems. However, I must remind you that the registry contains low-level operating system components that if incorrectly set or accidentally deleted can result in your computer not starting properly! However, you can restore the registry using the Last Known Good Configuration option found in the boot up process.

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The Windows WMI Command Line Utility

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) allows you to write scripts and expose information about a Windows 7 resource or service. As we have seen in the previous post – Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), WMI allows you to access system management information from the command-line interface! WMI can become handy when you need to retrieve specific information which may be not available from the GUI. Mastering the WMI command line utility may turn you into command line freak never wanting to leave the command line.

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Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) allows you to write scripts that configure performance settings and resolve performance issues. System performance is dependant on many factors and settings, and the amount of resources every service or process consumes. With WMI, you can write scripts that manage event logs, file systems, printers, processes, registry settings, scheduled tasks, security, services, shared folders, etc. WMI scripts can monitor and respond to entries in the event log, modifications to the file system or the registry, and other real-time operating system changes.

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Memory Dump Tweak

A memory dump during a crash of Windows 7 will fail if your system drive (%SystemRoot%) has less than 25GB of free space! Memory dumps help you diagnose crash issues and it is always recommended to allow enough free space on your system drive for debugging information to be logged and for better overall performance. You can set the dump file to be stored on a different local drive with ample storage space or disable this feature, but in cases where this is not possible and regardless of free space, you can force Windows 7 to create a dump file using the following new registry entry:

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Changing the default Windows Shell in Windows 7

The default Windows shell in Windows 7 is the Windows Explorer, however you can replace it with other shells such as, the command prompt, Windows PowerShell or custom built shells. This may become handy when computers are running specific tasks and you want to restrict their usage or free up resources taken by the default shell. However, remember that if for example you set the command prompt as the default shell, users can still load the default shell and other hidden applications.

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Hiding Drives in Windows 7

This simple registry hack allows you to hide drives from appearing in the Windows Explorer shell. Users will not be able to select or see the drive in the applications’ open and save dialogs, My Computer and Windows Explorer but it remains visible from other shells such as, the command prompt. Therefore, applications can still access the hidden drive, even though it is invisible to end users! A hidden drive may be useful when backing files to a network or local drive and you would like to restrict that drive just for backup purposes. The risk of filling up that drive with unrelated data is limited by making it invisible to users including you, while it remains available to the backup application. Obviously, first set the backup destination drive from the backup application and then hide the drive as explained below.

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