Category Archives: Windows 7 Hacks

Windows 7 Hacks

Some cool Windows 7 hacks at this link:

http://home.roadrunner.com/~macecil/hackingw7/

I've copied the page here in case the website is moved.

Enable Logging in as the Administrator

Right click on "Command Prompt" and click "Run as Administrator", then type "regedit" and press enter.
In the Registry Editor, browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon

Add a new key called "SpecialAccounts".
Inside the new "SpecialAccounts" key, add a key called "UserList".
Within the "UserList" key, create a 32-bit DWORD value called "Administrator" and set its value to 1.
(Or if you are going to rename the Administrator account, create a 32-bit DWORD value to match and set it to 1.)

Close the Registry Editor and back in the command prompt window, run "control userpasswords2".
Click on the Advanced tab, then under "Advanced User Management" click the Advanced button.
Next, click on Users and right click the Administrator account and select Properties.
Finally, remove the check from "Account is disabled".
(If you wish, you can rename the Administrator account and set a password for it here.
Reboot and you should see the Administrator account on the Welcome screen.

Enable Logging in as the Administrator - Method Two

Right click on "Command Prompt" and click "Run as Administrator".
Enter the command, "net user administrator /active:yes"
Reboot or log out to see the Administrator account on the Welcome screen.


Log in Automatically

Right click on "Command Prompt" and click "Run as Administrator", then type "control userpasswords2" and press enter.
Remove the checkmark from "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" and click the Apply button.
You will be prompted for the user name and password to automatically log in. Enter them and click OK, then click OK again.
In the same administrative command prompt window as before type "regedit" and press enter.
In the Registry Editor, browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon

Add a string keys called DefaultUserName and DefaultPassword if they aren't already present.
Edit the data for those two keys to match the appropriate user name and password values entered above.


Disable UAC (User Access Control)

There are severals ways to do this. I prefer a simple registry edit instead of messing around with security policies or MSConfig.

Open the Registry Editor with administrative rights and navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Locate the following DWORD value, "EnableLUA" and assign it a value of 0.
Reboot for this change to take effect.

Get Rid of the Windows Security Center

First, disable and stop the Security Center service.
Remove the service entirely by typing the command,

"REG DELETE HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\WSCSVC /F"

Open a Command Prompt window with Administrative rights and change to the \Windows\System32 folder.
Take ownership of the files, wscapi.dll, wscsvc.dll and wscui.cpl.
For example, issue the command "takeown /f wscapi.dll" in the command prompt window.
Also, issue the command "icacls wscapi.dll /grant administrators:F" in the command prompt window.
Rename or just delete the three files.
Finally, reboot the computer for the change to take effect.


Disable Hibernation

From administrative command prompt issue command, "powercfg -h off"


Track down the Start Menus

The All Users Start Menu is now located: \ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

The Users Start Menus are now located: \Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu


Adjust Window Border Thickness

Right click on your desktop and select Personalize.
Click on "Window Color" at the bottom.
Select "Border Padding" in the Item: drop down box.
Change the border size and keep clicking OK to exit.

Remove "- Shortcut" from Shortcuts

Start Regedit with administrative rights.
With Regedit browse to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Find and edit the "link" value from 16 00 00 00 to 00 00 00 00.
Close Regedit and reboot or logoff for the change to take effect.


Connect to Samba shares

Windows 7 defaults to using NTLMv2 authentication which does not work with versions of Samba <3.0.
Make this registry edit to enable NTLMv1 authentication, if needed.

Start Regedit with administrative rights.
With Regedit browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa

Add a DWORD value called LmCompatibilityLevel if it isn't already present.
Set the value of LmCompatibilityLevel to be 1.
Reboot for this to take effect.

Open Windows Explorer with drive C: selected

Edit your Explorer shortcut so the target field contains,

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,c:

The /e tells explorer to use a two-pane view, while the ,c: indicates which drive to select.


Customize the OEM information and graphic

Start Regedit with administrative rights.
With Regedit browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Change or create a Key called OEMInformation if it isn't already present.
Inside this new key create the following String values setting their values as indicated:

Logo - OEMlogo.bmp, such as c:\windows\system32\OEMlogo.bmp
(The logo bmp file should be 96x96 in size.)
Manufacturer - Any name
Model - Any name
SupportHours - Any time
SupportPhone - Any phone number
SupportURL - Any URL

To see the changes, open System Properties from the Control Panel or by right clicking on My Computer and choosing Properties.

Improve Internet speed by disabling TCP Auto-Tuning

Open a "Command Prompt" with the "Run as Administrator" option.
Enter the command, "netsh interface tcp show global" to check the status of TCP Auto-Tuning.
Enter the command, "netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled" to disable TCP Auto-Tuning.
Enter the command, "netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal" to enable TCP Auto-Tuning.

Set processor affinity for finicky old programs

Open a command prompt in the program's folder.
Issue the command "start /affinity 01 program.exe" where 01 is the processor and program.exe is the finicky program's executable.

Adjust the disk space use by Volume Shadow Services

Windows 7 allocates 15% of the drive's total size or 30% of the drive's free space, whichever is smaller, as the maximum VSS storage. Sometimes this parameter is ignored so if you're running out of space you can check and/or adjust this limit with the vssadmin.exe utility.

Open a "Command Prompt" with the "Run as Administrator" option.
Issue the command "vssadmin /?" to see the available options.
For example, to set the VSS limit for the C: drive to 20GB and to store these VSS backups on C:, issue the command:

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /On=C: /For=C: /MaxSize=20GB

MaxSize must be at least 300MB or more and takes a KB, MB, GB, TB, PB or EB suffix.
Leave out the MaxSize parameter to let Windows use any available space.

Use the System Recovery Command Prompt to bypass Windows 7 security

Boot from the Windows 7 DVD and select the Repair option.
Then select the Command Prompt.
Now you have full access with both Admin and System rights, so go ahead and "recover" whatever files you need.
Hint: the SAM file is in c:\windows\system32\config.


Restore the Quick Launch Toolbar

Right click on the Taskbar and select Toolbars then select New Toolbar.
Copy the following text into the folder field, then click Select Folder:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Next make sure to right click on the Taskbar and unlock it.
Remove the text by right clicking on the Taskbar and unchecking Show Text and Show Title.
Right click on the Taskbar and select View then Large Icons to enable large icons if you like.
Finally, adjust the Quick Launch toolbar location and size.


Create an install DVD that will let you install any version of Windows 7

Unlike Vista, some Windows 7 discs will only allow certain versions to be installed.
First, create an ISO image file from your DVD.
Use a tool like PowerISO or UltraISO to edit the ISO image.
Find the ei.cfg file in the \sources folder and delete it.
Save the changes and then use the modified ISO to create a new install DVD.


Remove the Libraries from Windows 7 Explorer

Launch Regedit with Administrative rights.
Find and delete the following registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}

Creat the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
“{031E4825-7B94-4DC3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=dword:00000001

Log back in or reboot for the changes to take effect.

Change your Windows 7 Logon Background

Launch Regedit with Administrative rights.
Either create or modify the following registry entry so the DWORD value equals 1:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

Then create a folder called %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds
Finally, create a graphic file in this folder called backgroundDefault.jpg that is no more that 256 KB in size.
Log back in or reboot to see the changes.