Monday, November 25, 2013

Windows 8: Managing the Send To Menu

The Send To menu is a very useful context menu. This feature gives you the ability to right-click on any file and perform a specific action, such as sending a file to the desktop or another location. You can also send a file to a blank e-mail, so that it can be mailed to a friend. The options are not limitless, but they're pretty extensive.

To access the Send To menu, do the following:
  • From the Run... command (WinKey + R) Open field or the File Explorer address bar type %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo and press the Enter key.
  • From here you can create new folders, shortcuts to applications (such as Notepad), and more. If you create a shortcut to an application, make sure that it can handle those file types you want to send it.
If you ever want to remove some items from the Send To menu, just open up the folder and delete the shortcuts you don't want.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Software: Sysinternals Free Utilities

Personally I am not a huge fan of using 3rd party utilities for performing most types of systems diagnostics. I like to rely on the OS's built-in tools as much as possible.  Primarily I don't want to be reliant on a utility that I might not have with me at the time or it requires some type of installation on a customer's system.

Although when I do have to rely on external utilities, one of the first sites I use is Sysinternals ( These are some of the better diagnostic and troubleshooting utilities available for Windows. Also, Mark Russinovich and his team are continuously updating the existing tools and creating new ones.

Besides being free and powerful tools, all (or most) of these utilities don't require that they be installed (this is known as being a 'portable application' because it can be moved between systems without installing it).

Sysinternals Suite
The tools on the site can be downloaded individually, or you can download the Sysinternals Suite which contains the latest versions of all the utilities in one package.  As of the writing of this article, below is a current list of the programs that come included within the suite (see below).    

Note: Text above is from the following page.

Sysinternals Live
The site offers a feature called 'Sysinternals Live' that provides quick access to the latest versions of all their free tools. You can download any of the utilities without having to unzip them. All you have to do is remember the following URL to download them
Tip: You can also attach like any other network mounted drive, and run the utilities directly from the Internet.
    • Open a command prompt (type CMD in the search field under the Start menu)
    • Type: net use * \\\tools\
    • You will see a message like "Drive Z: is now connected to \\\tools\"
    • Type drive letter and press return (i.e.: type Z: then press the Enter key)
    • Now type DIR and you will see all the utilities, or open the Windows Explorer and goto the Z: drive (or whatever drive letter the NET USE command gives you).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Windows 8: Installing Hyper-V

Hyper-V is Microsoft's virtual machine (VM) hyper-visor technology.  If you're not sure what a VM is, its virtual hardware composed of software that runs inside of a computer.

Windows 7 had a similar feature called "XP Mode" which utilized the Virtual PC technology.  Although, the Virtual PC lacks several of the more advanced features of Hyper-V.

Hyper-V only used to be available on the Windows Server 2008 platform (and higher).  Microsoft has incorporated Hyper-V technology into Windows 8.  Although, this option is only available in the 64-bit versions of Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise editions of the OS.
  • If you're running Windows 8 Standard Edition (or Windows 7), then you will need to use a 3rd party VM technology like: VirtualBox (or another application). 
  • There are differences between the Hyper-V Client (Windows 8), and Hyper-V Server (Windows Server 2012).
To utilize this feature the computer needs to have enough RAM (minimum 4GB of RAM), storage and a fast CPU to support this feature.  The computer's CPU and motherboard also need to support the VM extensions (e.g. Intel Virtualization Technology [VTx] or AMD-V) and it must be enabled in the BIOS (check with your Motherboard manufacture's web site for more information).

  • From the Start Screen, type Windows Features, click on the Settings button and click on Turn Windows Features on or off.
  • In the Windows Features dialog display, check the Hyper-V option, and then press the OK button.  Note: If the Hyper-V Platform is grayed out the 64-bit version of the OS is not installed.

  • To enable Hyper-V using the administrator command prompt, type: Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
  • To enable Hyper-V using Windows PowerShell, type: enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All 
After the Hyper-V installation is completed, the computer will need to be restarted.  To create, delete or manage the VMs, you will need to use the Hyper-V Management console.  To access the console from the Start screen, type Hyper-V and then click the Hyper-V Manager.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Software: FileZilla (FTP Client)

If you do any development (such as web site design) on the Internet or systems administration, then you need a FTP client to upload or download files from remote computers and services.  FileZilla is a free open source cross-platform FTP client with a graphical user interface (note: there is also a FTP server option available).

Below is a brief list of some of its features:

  • FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Supports resume and transfer of large files > 4GB
  • Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue.
  • and more.
To download the program or get more information, visit the FileZilla web site.