I've used KatMouse for many years on Windows 7 computers. It lets you scroll whichever window your mouse pointer is over, using your mouse-wheel. The window doesn't need to have focus - you can scroll a window without having clicked it first.

It's especially useful for Windows Explorer. You can scroll through the left pane to find the folder you're interested in, click that folder so that its files are displayed in the right pane, and then immediately scroll down through the files in the right pane without another click.

Whenever I use a computer without this functionality, it feels tedious and awkward having to click before being able to scroll. So naturally, on my newer Win8.1 computer, I installed KatMouse as well. At first it worked fine. But later on, it was intermittently not working. So I searched for a fix.

In doing so, I discovered that Windows 10 has the same functionality built-in and enabled by default. Even better, Windows 8 has this functionality too, although it requires a registry tweak to enable it:
   HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
   Set the MouseWheelRouting value to 3 to turn it on, or 1 to turn it off
   Logout and back in

The built-in functionality even works on some windows, such as Task Manager, which KatMouse didn't work on.

I was curious whether the registry tweak would work in Windows 7 too, so I tried it out. Windows 7 did not have the MouseWheelRouting key by default, so added it. However, it did not work on Windows 7. This only works on Windows 8 +.
Windows Update is acting odd today on my Win7 computer.

One svchost.exe process had high CPU usage (~50%) for a long time. Resource Monitor showed it was due to the wuauserv (Windows Update) service. At this point, I had no notification of any updates available in the Task Bar. Windows Update is configured to notify me that updates are available, but not to automatically download or install them. So there was no obvious reason for the service to be using a lot of CPU.

I rebooted, and the same thing happened again.

Then I opened Windows Update from the Control Panel, and it showed 26 important and 8 optional updates available. I clicked to download and install them (186.9 MB).

11 minutes later, the download progress was still showing 0% complete, so I clicked to stop it.

I tried restarting the Windows Update service from the Services panel, but got the message "Windows could not stop the Windows Update service on Local Computer. Error 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion".

I ended the offending svchost.exe process from Task Manager, and restarted the Windows Update service. I again clicked to download & install the updates.

Svchost/wuauserv started using a lot of CPU again.
50 minutes later, the download showed 3% complete - at least it finally was making progress. Another 80 minutes later, it finally finished and wants to reboot.

And now 15 minutes later without having rebooted yet, TrustedInstaller.exe has been using a lot (~50%) of CPU the whole time.

Hopefully after I reboot, the CPU usage will go back to normal.

If I ignored these things, they'd probably eventually complete on their own and not be issues. But it bothers me when background processes use a lot of resources, with no easy way for me to tell what is going on.

This person may be having the same problem, but I'm not sure.

Yep, after rebooting, walking away, and coming back to my computer a few hours later, it's back to normal.
I have a laptop set up with a docking station and dual monitors. One monitor is connected to the docking station's VGA port, and the other to the DVI port. The monitors are configured to both duplicate the laptop's desktop. I generally only use one monitor at a time and leave the other one turned off. One is on a desk for use while sitting down, the other is on a shelf higher for use from a standing position.

One morning, after placing the laptop on the docking station and waking it from sleep, the main monitor on the desk would not display the desktop like usual. After showing some of the wake-up/startup screens, the monitor simply went dark as if it wasn't getting any signal. When I opened the laptop to press the function key for switching between the dual monitor modes, the laptop locked up (for a still unknown reason) and even the laptop screen went dark. This happened several times in succession after force-rebooting the laptop.

I eventually found that while the bottom monitor wouldn't turn on to begin with, that the top one would. Whenever this happens again (which it did again today), I simply need to bring up the "Screen Resolution" window on the top monitor, and set it back to the "Duplicate" display mode. Somehow the settings are getting changed to only display the desktop on the top monitor, and I just need to change them back. Opening the laptop is not necessary for this.

Update: After posting the above, there were a couple of times after waking the laptop from sleep when neither monitor nor the laptop screen would display anything, and so I still had to force a reboot.

I discovered some hot-keys, which I'll try if the problem happens again.
Windows key + P: brings up the window for switching between the computer and projector displays. Keep holding down the Windows key while pressing P one or more times to cycle through the options. Then release both keys to switch to that option.

Ctrl + Alt + F1 or F3 or F4 (etc): switches the display to the laptop, VGA monitor, or digital monitor. The specific hot-key combinations can be found by right-clicking the desktop, selecting "Graphics Properties...", and then selecting the item for "Options and Support".
Microsoft Sysinternals - has many useful tools for monitoring and troubleshooting Windows applications.
Here's a Windows trick I recently learned:

In Windows Explorer, if you click Shift+Right/Alt-Click on a file, the context menu that is shown will include the option "Copy as path". Selecting this will copy the full path + filename, surrounded by double-quotes, to to the clipboard.

That's much easier than what I've been doing up till now: selecting the path, copying it, pasting it, appending a slash, right-clicking the file and clicking Rename in order to select and copy it, and then pasting it after the path.
Why, all of a sudden, am I not able to save a temporary file to the Windows\System32 folder, unless using the "run as administrator" option? Is this due to some recent Windows update?

Requiring administrator rights to save files to that folder seems a good idea. But a batch file which I regularly use has apparently been writing temporary files to the System32 folder, and then deleting them without a problem, until today.

The batch file, which applies various changes to a selected file, is listed in my "Open With" context menu. The System32 folder seems to be the default folder used for the batch file's commands - I didn't realize that when I wrote the batch file. Is it possible the default folder used to be different, and that is why it used to work? What could have caused it to change?

Or did the system perhaps previously view me as an administrator automatically, and it no longer does?

It is odd when things like this happen with no explanation.

Changing the batch file to specifically use a different folder for the temporary files fixed the problem.
This is news to me.

Windows has for many years had a feature called "alternate data streams" whereby one or more files can in effect be hidden within another file or folder. These alternate data streams aren't regular hidden files and aren't displayed in Windows Explorer. One way of seeing them is to use the "dir" command with the "/r" switch, in a command window.

More details here: Hide sensitive files with Alternate Data Streams.

Why questionable downloads use rar archives - Len Boyette explains that when malware is hidden by means of alternate data streams within WinRar archives, many anti-virus programs are not able to detect it.

via [personal profile] andrewducker



September 2017

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