How to run XP Mode in Windows 7

This new feature for Windows 7 is quite handy, as it will make the application running in XP Mode seem integrated into the Windows 7 host rather than isolating the virtual guest in its own sandpit.

You need to download two packages for this to work. Both can be found here, and the links will vary depending on which version of Windows 7 you select.

It will provide you links to 2 files:

  • Windows Virtual PC: This is approximately 10mb (for x64 version).
  • Windows XP Mode file which is just a specialised image of a Windows XP installation. At this point, I'd advise you to use some sort of download manager as the file is 500mb and may corrupt during download.
Install Virtual PC and restart.

Next, install the XP Mode image somewhere onto your hard drive.

Once you click on "Start" > "Programs" > "Windows Virtual PC" and set up the user password, just follow the prompts and play around with it.

Defragging and shrinking VMware drives

Just like a physical hard drive, a virtual hard drive can also be prone to slowdowns after months of usage if care is neglected.

After fixing up a few computers for friends who are not exactly tech-savvy, the speed improvements after a disk defrag is quite surprising. Normally they expect a computer to be formatted after a year of usage.

Use VMware's Disk Defrag:
To help maintain optimal speeds with the virtual drive, a disk defragmentation tool is bundled with VMware.

You can find it in the "Edit Virtual Machine settings" link under the "Hard Disk" item. Click on "Utilities" and then "Defragment".

Shrink your drive:
This will reduce the bloat in your virtual machine, removing unnecessary data such as snapshots. Depending on the usage, I've found it to remove up to 6.5gb on my host computer after cleaning a 20gb virtual drive.

To access this, it requires "VM Tools" to be installed on the guest machine. Run the virtual machine and click on the VM Tools icon in the taskbar.

Go to "Shrink" and select the supported partitions you wish to shrink. Click "Prepare to shrink" and give it some time to work its magic. Once its ready, confirm that you wish to shrink and it'll do some crunching.

*edit 22/02/2010*
It is now much easier to shrink your drives. Just go to edit your VM machine settings, select the HDD and select "Compact" from the "Utilities" dropdown.


There are more uncommon space saving tips here.

Copy paste stops working for everything on Windows XP

This may affect more than one version of Windows, but I've only noticed it after a good long while with XP.

[Solved here!]

Normally I get pissed at the computer and just reboot, since I don't have the time to sit here and figure it out.

Today, I got pissed off enough to sit here for an hour or two and solve it.

Alot of solutions online revolve around the remote desktop feature and how it fails to release clipboard handles. If you have been using remote desktop recently and see either "rdclip.exe" (on the remote desktop server) or "mstsc.exe" (on the remote desktop client) tasks in your process list, simply kill them off and test your copy/pasta clipboard.

If your problem with the clipboard doesnt seem to be related to the remote desktop, then just try killing "explorer.exe" in your task manager.

Its ok, you may lose a few icons in the taskbar, or the taskbar altogether, but just run click "File" -> "New Task" and type in "explorer.exe" to bring everything back.

Now your copy paste should work again. It did for me at least. I must admit I still don't know why this happens.

Remove Nokia PC Sync 2 Synchronization Extension from Firefox

Yet another extension that gets installed without our permission. Honestly, can these fucken software companies just get off their high horses and ASK us if we want it or not?

Most of us will say yes if asked politely, and those who do not need that functionality (like me, I manage my mobile bookmarks myself) WILL NOT FUCKEN WANT IT!

Luckily, we can remove the PC Sync extension the same way we remove the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant extension.

Rather than removing the key pointing to the .NET assistant, simply look for the key pointing to the Nokia path and delete it.

Remove Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant from Firefox

This pesky little piece of shit came along with the .NET 3.5 Framework update.

Surely they could of at least ASKED me if I wanted to install it, then I wouldn't of minded so much.

But no, a backhanded tactic was applied and thus I will treat it as I would with the likes of trojans and spyware.

To remove it, navigate to:

  • for 32bit operating systems:
  • for 64bit operating systems:

Once found, remove the key pointing to the .NET Framework directory.

[ Source: Mozilla Support, Microsoft ]

Logitech Dual Action working with Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

Geometry Wars is a great game to play... if you cant get your hands on the super addictive Super StarDust HD!

However, support for the Logitech Dual Action controller is quite poor, as the second analogue stick wont work for firing your weapon.

Instead, you're stuck with using the buttons in a really awkward way, only firing at 45degree angles.

Some folks at the BizzarreCreations forums were posting some tweaks to get their controllers working, so I gave it a go for the Logitech Dual Action pad.

After about 10minutes of tinkering to get the second analogue stick to work, I decided to figure out what the other button mappings did.

Open up "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Bizarre Creations\Geometry Wars Retro Evolved\config.xml" with Notepad and edit till your hearts content.

Under joystick, the following joystick map IDs are:

Map ID Description
0 Up/down movement
1 Left/right movement
2 Up/down firing
3 Left/right firing
8 Bomb
12 Select in menu
16 Menu

Under the "negative" and "positive" tags, the "type" attribute indicates whether the button is analogue (type 1) or digital (type 3).

The "index" indicates which button it is mapped to on your controller.

You can also assign multiple buttons to one function mapping, which is handy if you need 2 bomb buttons.

The following mappings are shown below.

Front Back

For those who aren't bothered to do it yourself, below is my "Super Stardust"-esque control configuration.

  • Movement is with the left analogue stick.
  • Firing is done with the right.
  • The two bottom back buttons are bomb triggers.
  • Menu is button 10.
  • Button 1 is menu select (default).

<joystick map="0">
<negative type="1" index="0" />
<positive type="1" index="0" />
<joystick map="1">
<negative type="1" index="1" />
<positive type="1" index="1" />
<joystick map="2">
<negative type="1" index="2" />
<positive type="1" index="2" />
<joystick map="3">
<negative type="1" index="5" />
<positive type="1" index="5" />
<joystick map="8">
<positive type="3" index="6" />
<positive type="3" index="7" />
<joystick map="12">
<positive type="3" index="0" />
<joystick map="16">
<positive type="3" index="9" />


(Android) How to display HTML in a View

I needed a way to list some data in a view, but the use of the layout stuff seemed a bit cumbersome.

Luckily, there is a way to display dynamic HTML using a "WebView" without much hassle.

WebView wv;
String html = "<html><body>some html here</body></html>";

wv.loadData(html, "text/html", "UTF-8");

Windows 7 fails to load CD/DVD driver

"A required CD/DVD drive driver is missing. If you have a driver... blah blah blah"

A few people have had success with turning off the SATA mode in the BIOS for the DVD rom settings, and others have had success with disabling "Legacy IDE mode".

These methods cause the setup to use a different portion of the disk which may or may not work, depending on your luck.

After a bit of searching (and more ISO downloads), I'm afraid to say that the problem is a corrupt ISO image which was burnt to the DVD.

Check the file MD5 hash.

  • Windows 7 RC Build 7100 (x86) is 8867C13330F56A93944BCD46DCD73590
  • Windows 7 RC Build 7100 (x64) is 98341af35655137966e382c4feaa282d

Re-download the RC from a more reliable source, as Firefox may corrupt the file. BitTorrent or a reliable download manager may work better in this case.

Multiple Programs with Windows Batch Files

When it comes to starting up my computer for work, theres quite a few applications I need to run.
Rather than having to set up shortcuts for each one, I would rather just click on one shortcut and load them all at once.

Creating a batch file will do the job fine, however there is a small problem.
To demonstrate the problem, see the first attempt most people would make.
This will load up Calculator, Notepad and Wordpad.
However, the interesting quirk is that the batch file will not continue to execute Notepad until Calculator is closed.
Likewise with Wordpad, it will not execute it until Notepad is closed.

To overcome this, we need to change the way that applications are started.
Rather than calling the executables directly, we use "start".
start /d "%WINDIR%" calc.exe
start /d "%WINDIR%" notepad.exe
start /d "%WINDIR%" write.exe
start /d "%PROGRAMFILES%\Adobe\Acrobat" acrobat.exe

This way, you can also add optional arguments to the application.
start /d "C:\Path\To\Your Application" app.exe "D:\input\movie name.avi"

[ Source ]
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