Platform: Asus U81A notebook computer, Win7 64-bit

Problem: The built-in card reader works ok the first time a card is inserted. But after ejecting the card, the card reader cannot be used again until after rebooting the computer. If the computer is not rebooted and a card is (re-)inserted, the system makes a deep-toned (~"ga-dunk") problem noise, and the drive is not detected.

With a card inserted into the drive (the first time), the Device Manager included the following entries:
"USB Disk" (under "Disk Drives")
   Driver details:

"E:\" (under "Portable Devices")
   Driver details:
     c:\windows\system32\DRIVERS\UMDF\WpdFs.dll ver. 6.1.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255)
     c:\windows\system32\DRIVERS\WUDFRd.sys ver. 6.2.9200.16384 (win8_rtm.120725-1247)

Windows indicated that the drivers for both of the above items were up to date.

Programs and Features included an entry for "Alcor Micro USB Card Reader" (version I uninstalled this item and rebooted.

After rebooting, I inserted a card into the reader. Windows automatically re-installed the device driver software and indicated that the install was successful.

After doing this, I am able to eject and re-insert the card multiple times, and to read files from it without a problem.

After doing the above, the Device Manager includes the same entries and driver versions as before. The only difference is that the item under "Disk Drives" is now named "Multiple Card Reader USB Device" rather than "USB Disk".
Customize the Five Windows Folder Templates - This page explains that Windows 7 categorizes folders into 5 different types. When you customize a folder's display settings and choose to apply those settings to "all" folders (via the "Apply to Folders" button in the Folder Options - View dialog), it only applies the settings to folders of the same type.

This allows you to customize different display settings for "Music" folders versus "Picture" folders versus "General Items" folders, etc. If desired, it is possible to configure all types of folders to display the same way; it simply takes extra effort in that you do need to update all 5 of the folder type templates.

Using the information presented on the above page, I finally know how to configure all my music folders to include "Date Modified" and "Size" columns!
Sometimes when I sort a folder by date in Windows Explorer, the most recently modified files are displayed at the top of the list, and the folders are displayed at the end of the list. I like this, as it allows me to easily access a file I have just saved, without having to scroll down past the folders.

Other times when I sort a folder by date, the folders are all displayed at the top of the list, followed by the files, regardless of when the folders were modified in comparison to the files. I found* that I was able to change this behavior by doing the following:

  • open the folder properties

  • select the "Customize" tab

  • in the "Optimize this folder for" field, change the selected value

In my scenario, the "Optimize..." field was originally set to "Pictures", and I changed it to "General Items". After doing that, the files were displayed at the top of the list like I wanted them to be.

I changed the "Optimize..." value several more times to find out how each value affected the results. Eventually, even with the value set back to "Pictures", the files were displayed at the top of the list when sorting by date! Therefore, I can't say which value should be selected, to achieve a specific sorting behavior. However, the "Optimize this folder for" field does somehow affect the sorting. Therefore, if your files and folders aren't being displayed as desired, you could try changing that setting.

(*) - Stan's comment on this page inspired me to try changing that setting. Stan's reported workaround corroborates my findings: changing the setting makes a difference, but the results aren't always predictable. Stan wanted the files sorted the same way as I did, but he achieved it by changing the selected value from "General Items" to "Documents", whereas I first achieved it by changing the selected value to "General Items".
This is ridiculously simple, and in retrospect it seems quite obvious. Yet it took me half an hour to figure out, so I feel it merits mention here.

In Windows 7, you can pin executables to the Start Menu by right-clicking the item and selecting "Pin to Start Menu".

But non-executable files do not include that option in their context menu. So how can you pin a non-executable file to the Start Menu?

You can create a shortcut to the file, and drag the shortcut onto the Start Menu. However, if you do that, the shortcut also remains in its original location. If you delete the shortcut from its original location, the Start Menu shortcut will no longer work. What if you don't want to have an extra shortcut in the other location?

The solution, which I found on this page, is to simply drag and drop the file onto the Start Menu. You don't need to create a shortcut. The same method works for pinning a folder to the Start Menu.


On a related note, to edit the "All Programs" menu in Windows 7, you can right-click "All Programs" and select either "Open" or "Open All Users". That will open a folder hierarchy in Windows Explorer which shows the program entries for the current user, or for all users. From there you can create new folders, edit items, add shortcuts, etc.

The folder for the current user is:
[root]\Users\[current user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

The folder for "all users" is:
[root]\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Each of those "Start Menu" folders has a "Programs" folder under it. Note that if you create a shortcut in one of the above "Start Menu" folders, it does not show up in the top-level Start Menu, but rather in the "All Programs" menu. Likewise, if you create a shortcut directly in the "Programs" folder, it also shows up in the "All Programs" menu.



February 2017

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