Thursday, December 1, 2011

Windows 7: Tweaked Installation: Latest Version

The time came to reinstall Windows 7. This post copies and pastes text from previous posts on this subject, with additions and corrections as needed. (I used this same writeup for later installations, and have modified some of its points accordingly.)  The posts I drew especially from were these:

Note:  there are quickie Windows 7 installation pages.  The focus here is on a tweaked installation, i.e., one that addresses lots of small issues and needs along with the general-purpose installation.  The steps here seemed pretty much the same for 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

The first steps I took in the installation process were as follows:
  • After booting with Ubuntu 10.10 (using the "Try Ubuntu" not "Install Ubuntu" option), I went into System > Administration > GParted Partition Editor. That version of Ubuntu used GParted 0.5.1.  I'd had problems with Ubuntu 11.10, for this purpose, with its apparently newer version of GParted.  If the Ubuntu Live CD had not worked, a bootable USB tool might have been an alternative.  In GParted, I deleted the hard drive partition containing the previous version and created a new NTFS partition.  This worked better than using the partition creation option in the Windows install process.  The partition size was 100GB.  My previous Win7 installations had been about 45GB and then 70GB, but I found the extra space helpful, even though I did not store data on drive C.
  • I installed Windows 7 from the CD into the newly emptied partition. My upgrade version required me to install my full copy of WinXP first, and then install Win7.  During installation, I set a password and instructed the computer to go ahead and install updates.  After the installation, my former Windows XP install had been packaged into C:\Windows.old.  I deleted that.
  • My other drive partitions were already created and labeled.  I had used GParted for that too.  I had to change the drive letters for some.  To do that, I went into Start > search for diskmgmt.msc.
  • I verified that I had only my Administrator account and the Guest account.  This was in Start > Control Panel > View by Small Icons > User Accounts > Manage another account (alternately, Start > Run > control userpasswords2, when I would add Run to the Start Menu (below)).  This way, the changes that I made would all be made to the same account.
  • I turned off User Account Control:  Start > search for UAC > Change User Account Control settings > Never notify.
  • I went to Start > Computer to open Windows Explorer.  I navigated to my INSTALL partition, where I had saved the various programs and drivers that I would be installing.  There were quite a few of these; I made a point of copying stuff from installation CDs to this partition whenever possible, so as to simplify reinstallation.  I also named the folders so that the things to install first would be first in the list, such as "01 Motherboard Drivers."  I had to do some of these (especially installing ethernet drivers and having the router and modem configured) before the Internet connection would work.  I also wanted to have my other hardware drivers (for e.g., the display) in place before Microsoft's Windows Update started detecting optional software and drivers to install; these were drivers that I had previously worked with, so I knew these worked.  The display software took care of most configuration automatically.  For the rest, I went into Start > Control Panel > Display > Change display settings.
  • I connected the Internet cable and went to Start > Control Panel > Windows Update.  I selected all language updates and right-clicked to hide them, and installed the rest.  I re-ran Windows Update until there were no more updates to be had. This brought Microsoft Security Essentials along as free and easy antivirus.  At first, I let the updates run automatically.  Later, I changed Control Panel > Windows Update to a manual setting, to prevent the updater from rebooting the machine inconveniently.  Updates continued to install, requiring occasional reboots, while I proceeded down this list.
  • Somehow, I wound up with two Windows 7 entries on the initial Windows Boot Manager screen.  To get rid of one, I followed advice and went into Start > search > msconfig > Boot tab > select the one that is not the default OS > Delete > Apply > OK.
  • Windows Defender. The Microsoft updates gave me a dialog, on reboot, that said, "This program is turned off." I knew from my previous installation that I might keep on seeing that dialog every time I rebooted.  There were many suggestions on how to get rid of it, and some worked for some people, but none worked for others, including me.
  • I ran Ultimate Windows Tweaker 2.2 (UWT) (saved as a portable app in my Start Menu) and tweaked a number of items, including:  System Performance (enable support for 4GB of RAM on 32-bit Windows OS; Disable Tablet PC Input service); Network Tweaks (disable auto-discovery of media contents in shared network by Windows Media Player); Internet Explorer (uncheck "Open first home page when IE starts"; uncheck "Notify when download completes"); and Additional Tweaks (uncheck "Show 'Search ...'"; show "Take Ownership" and "Move To Folder..."; remove "-Shortcut" suffix for new shortcuts). TweakNow PowerPack 2010 was an alternative to UWT.
  • I now had a "Take Ownership" right-click context menu option in Windows Explorer.  I right-clicked on the top-level folders, for each drive in my system, and selected that Take Ownership option.  This didn't work for the ones that had padlock icons on them, but it seemed to work for the rest.
  • While in Windows Explorer, I right-clicked on each partition (e.g., drive D) and selected Properties > Customize > Optimize this folder for Documents > Also apply this template to all subfolders.  That way, all of my folders would display the same way; there would not be different column headings, in Windows Explorer, for music or picture folders.  The Customize tab was not visible on drive C.  Apparently it would also not have been available if I had been been approaching the other partitions (D, E ...) through Libraries or through some view other than via Windows Explorer > Computer > Drive D (or E, etc.).
  • I made some adjustments in Windows Explorer, under its  Organize option.  One was to go into Organize > Layout > turn on Menu Bar, turn off Details pane.  (Navigation pane was already on.)  I also went into Organize > Folder and Search Options.  There, in the View tab, my changes included show hidden files, empty drives, extensions, and protected operating system files.
  • In the navigation pane of Windows Explorer, I wanted to get rid of Favorites and Homegroup.  The Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer appeared to provide this easily.  Previously, I had used the following manual approach instead:  I went to Start > Run > regedit and went to two different locations.  For Favorites, it was HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder.  For Homegroup, it was HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder.  In both, the first step was to set Permissions so that I could make the change.  To do that, I right-clicked on Permissions > Administrators > Full Control.  If necessary to make that happen, I went on into Advanced > Owner tab > change owner to me and click "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" > Apply.  With that taken care of, I could OK out of that dialog.  So now, as advised, I could right-click on Shell Folder > Attributes > Modify.  Both values were changed slightly.  For the former, the desired value was a9400100; for the latter, it was b094010c.  64-bit Windows 7 would require me to do exactly the same thing in a second location.  For Favorites, that location was HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder.  For Homegroup, it was HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder.
  • I ran the Win7RegEdit.reg or the Win7RegEdit-x64.exe file to automate a number of tweaks.
  • I installed Classic Shell, to change the look and some functions of the Windows 7 Start Menu and Windows Explorer to what I considered the more efficient form of Windows XP.  After installing this, I right-clicked on the Start button > Settings > Customize Start Menu > Backup > Load from XML File to restore my previously saved configuration settings for Classic Shell.  This enabled my customized, shared Start Menu.
  • I right-clicked on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and chose small icons.
  • At this early stage, while messing around with various tasks, I also installed Google Chrome so that I would have a fast alternative browser in lieu of IE 9.  I also installed recommended extensions by going into Chrome's Options > Personal Stuff > Sign In.  Within a few minutes after entering my Sync password, Chrome had installed my previously installed settings.  It also brought Google Earth.  Earth didn't have a way of saving settings, so I used my previously tweaked installation on another computer as a guide to how I wanted it set up.
  • LockHunter.  This very useful bit of freeware would unlock files and drives that did not seem to be in use, but that Windows would nonetheless refuse to move or delete.
  • Bullzip PDF Printer.  Actually my default PDF printer, despite having Acrobat.  Simple, fast, reliable.  My customized Start Menu already had portable PDF readers, in case I needed to read a program's PDF read-me during this installation phase.
  • I created a shortcut to an administrator command (CMD) window on the desktop or Start Menu.  To do this, in Windows Explorer I used File > New > Shortcut.  The target location was C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe.  I right-clicked on that shortcut and went into the Shortcut tab > Advanced > Run as administrator.  I only had to do this during the first installation.  After that, it was portable to other machines as part of my customized Start Menu.
Now I was getting closer to the point of installing a boatload of programs.  The one other thing to take care of first was to do a tour of those Control Panel items that I had not already adjusted by using the .reg file and other steps mentioned above, and that were not better addressed in other steps described later in this post:
  • AutoPlay:  uncheck "Use AutoPlay for all media and devices."  Turn it back on for video CDs and DVDs.  Set everything else to "Take no action."
  • Device Manager:  check any items showing exclamation marks in yellow triangles.
  • Indexing Options:  Modify > uncheck everything, because I used other programs and didn't need this slowing down my system.  This left only Start Menu and Users on the list.
  • Internet Options:  best done by starting Internet Explorer (IE).  (Windows Updates had installed IE 9.)  There, open all desired home webpages in separate tabs, signing into each as needed.  Then go into IE's Tools > Internet options (Alt-T O) > General tab > Home Page > Use current.  (After the first time, I was able to save these URLs in a text file and just copy and paste them into that Home Page space.)  Also in General tab:  Browsing history > Settings > Move folder > drive X (BACKROOM).  (Ideally, the Win7RegEdit.reg file (above) would have already taken care of this.  Otherwise, I would save this step for last, since it required a reboot.)  Also in General tab:  Search > Settings > Search Settings > Find more search providers.  Also in General tab:  Tabs > Settings > adjust as desired.  Next, Security tab > click on Trusted Sites > Custom Level > Scripting section (near the end of the list) > Allow programmatic clipboard access > Enable.  I saved and closed the options dialog.  I navigated to and played a video, so as to trigger the process of installing Adobe Flash Player if needed.
  • Notification Area Icons (continuing, here, with the remaining Control Panel items):  Check "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar."
  • Personalization:  I wanted the Windows Classic theme, Desert colors.  A website offered a bunch of them, including that one.  I downloaded and unzipped it.  That gave me Desert.themepack.  I right-clicked and unzipped that and got Desert.theme.  I put a copy of that in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.  I closed the Personalization window and then opened it again, and Desert was there.  I clicked on it.
  • Power Options > Create a Power Plan > model it on High Performance > Change advanced power settings.  Adjust as desired.
  • Program Updates:  this was for the annoying InstallShield Update Manager.  It only became available after certain programs were installed.  I went into its Update Settings tab and selected "The InstallShield Update Manager will not automatically check for updates."  An alternative was to root it out, perhaps as advised in my previous post
  • Programs and Features:  Turn Windows features on or off > turn off Games, Indexing Service, Tablet PC Components, Windows Gadget Platform.
  • System:  On the left side:  System Protection > Hardware tab > Device Installation Settings > Yes, do this automatically.  Advanced tab > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Change > Uncheck "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" and set No Paging File for all drives, with two exceptions:  a 16MB (minimum and maximum) paging file on drive C, and a paging file of 2000 MB (minimum) to 4000 MB (or more) (maximum) on drive X (BACKROOM), where it will not be added to any backups.  (It is necessary to click the Set button after each change.  After exiting this part, go back in to see if amounts recommended or allocated have changed.  A high minimum supposedly saves the system from having to recreate a file of that size.)  System Protection tab > select each drive, one by one > Configure > adjust Disk Space Usage as needed.  In the middle of the list on this System page:  Windows Experience Index:  View and print detailed performance and system information (for future reference).  Towards the bottom: Activate Windows.
  • Windows Firewall:  verify that it's on (unless some other firewall has been installed).
I then began to install my long list of programs, working down through the list of executables that I had saved in the Installed Programs folder (above).  I almost always installed to the default location.  Doing so meant that the shortcut to each program, already sorted into the desired location in the customized Start Menu, would come alive.  In other words, the icon associated with that shortcut would take on color and shape when it became operational.  So then I could easily see if some particular Start Menu program had not yet been reinstalled or was no longer working.

At about this time, I began getting the irritating "Could not find this item" error message.  I rectified it by running a batch file, which I also built into the Win7RegEdit.reg file (above).  I postponed making an Acronis drive image of the installation until I was done with my list of settled programs.  (I kept the installation files for my various programs on my Install partition (drive W), in two separate folders:  after 01 Motherboard Drivers and utilities and 02 Programs Needed Early, these were in 03 Standard Programs and 04 Programs Not Yet Installed (with a few in 05 Run in Virtual PC and 06 One Machine Only (i.e., not installed on both computers).)  Among the standard programs I installed, the ones that may call for commentary included these:
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional.  There were many apparently good freeware or cheapware PDF editing alternatives, but I already had this one.  As I was installing this and other programs, I configured them and checked for updates.
  • Cool Edit 2000.  For audio editing.  Not available anymore:  bought up by Adobe.  It worked fairly well until I installed an Adobe Acrobat update.  I tried fixing it by right-clicking on C:\Program Files\Cool2000\cool2000.exe > Troubleshoot compatibility > Try recommended settings > Start the program.  This didn't work.  There were indications that Adobe was now deliberately torpedoing CoolEdit.  But then, later, it did.  Not sure why.  An alternative was to run it in Windows Virtual PC, which would provide a virtual copy of Windows 98 running within Microsoft's free Virtual PC program.
  • Audacity was a good freeware alternative to Cool Edit.  The version I installed was 2.0.  I had found that 1.2 would not do very well with recording streaming audio in Windows 7 (below).  But I ultimately wound up using Debut for streaming audio.  So I could have just kept a portable version of Audacity on my customized Start Menu, avoiding the need to reinstall it.
  • Copernic Desktop Search.  I configured it to store its cache on drive X (BACKROOM).  I used it for searches of content within files.  I used Everything for fast searches of file names (opened via Shift-Esc, just like Ava Find).  In Windows Explorer, therefore, I right-clicked on each drive > Properties > General tab > uncheck "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties" and indicated that this applied to subfolders as well.
  • Firefox and recommended extensions and preferred themes.  I had saved a list of extensions to install using the Infolister extension, and I used that list to search for the ones to install, though I hoped that something like Firefox Sync or FEBE would eventually prove reliable enough to automate this.  I had saved settings from at least some extensions (e.g., Tab Mix Plus, Session Manager) and was able to use those to speed up the reinstallation process somewhat.  Firefox still didn't have a way to save settings, so I had to go back through its tabs and set things to taste.  One setting that was easy to overlook was to brighten up the color of visited links a bit, so that it was easier to distinguish which Google hits I had previously viewed.  For that, I went into Tools > Options > Content tab > Fonts & Colors > Colors.  As with Internet Explorer, I went to, tried to play a video, downloaded the Adobe Flash plugin, and installed it.  I did the same also in Chrome; its Adobe Flash installer applied to Opera as well.
  • Microsoft Office 2003.  Microsoft was no longer making it easy to figure out which updates were needed, but I had previously developed a list, downloaded them manually, and set up a batch file to install them one by one.  So I ran that batch file.  I ran the Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard to restore previously saved settings.  These, like the settings for some Firefox add-ons (above), were saved in a Saved Settings folder on the INSTALL drive (X).  I also ran the Auto-Correct macro to restore Autocorrect entries.  I also installed some add-ons to enhance Office 2003 functionality.  These steps provoked some more Windows updates.
  • Thunderbird for email.  I had found the installed version to be more stable than the portable one.  At this point, T-bird 5.0 was not supporting the several extensions I had collected (to extract attachments, delete duplicate emails, and export emails to other formats), so I decided to stick with version 3.1.13.  I closed Thunderbird and, inspired by my previous efforts with Thunderbird, went into Start > Run and typed "thunderbird.exe -ProfileManager" (without quotes).  I chose Create Profile > Ray > Choose Folder and selected D:\Thunderbird\Profile.  (I wanted my email and address book to be on a data partition, not on drive C, so that they would be regularly backed up with other data.)  In the Choose User Profile dialog, I clicked on Delete Profile and deleted the default profile, so that Ray was the only one appearing in the Choose User Profile dialog.  This deleted the contents of the default profile at C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles, but did not actually delete the default folder.  I clicked on Start Thunderbird.  T-bird came up with an error message:
  • Server not found could not be found. Please check the name and try again.
    I started a search on this, but then decided to just close that tab and see if Thunderbird was working.  My inbox, archives, etc. all seemed to be there; the address book was available; I was able to send and receive email.  Mission accomplished.  I added the ability to read newgroups by going into Thunderbird > Tools > Account Settings > Account Actions > Add Other Account > Newgroup Account > Next.  I entered a username and a fake email address, the latter because I wasn't sure yet if I wanted to get email from group members.  The Newsgroup Server was  That created the account, which I called Mozilla Newsgroup.  I went into Server Settings for that account and insured that its port was 119.  I clicked on Mozilla Newsgroup in Thunderbird's folders pane and specified as the newgroup I wanted to subscribe to.  I hadn't used newsgroups much since Google had bought and ruined the old DejaNews, but I had heard that Google Groups might someday become useful again.  If I got interested in another approach to newsgroups, there was also the option of subscribing to a usenet server, which would probably involve paying a fee.
  • Glary Registry Repair.  I put a link to this in my Start Menu > Programs > Startup folder so that it would start automatically whenever I started the computer.  In perhaps a year's use, it had seemed to be a highly rated, non-destructive registry cleaner.
  • Freeware PDF Unlocker.  Primarily because some PDF authors put security on their PDFs that prevented me from adding a note indicating where I got the document, and other information needed for academic citations.  Later, I decided I was getting better results from
  • Google Earth.  I added a registry hack to my Win7RegEdit.reg file (above) to tweak Google Earth.  This tweak automated the setting of the cache size to 1GB of memory and 2GB of disk space.  It also moved the cache to another partition.  Moving it, I hoped, would increase speed, since another drive would be handling some of the data.  It would also remove the potentially large cache from backup images of my program drive.  Before this tweak, I had a 131MB dbCache.dat file (plus dbCache.dat.index and others) in C:\Users\Ray\AppData\LocalLow\Google\GoogleEarth.  After this tweak, upon restarting Google Earth, I had a file of that size in the target folder I had created at X:\Cache\Google Earth.  I browsed in GE to Beijing, and on to Moscow, and then sent GE slowly wandering eastward over the Russian forest, and yet dbCache.dat did not increase in size.  I closed GE, removed dbCache.dat from C:\Users\Ray\AppData\LocalLow\Google\GoogleEarth, and restarted GE.  Functionality remained.  The tweak appeared to work.
  • TClockEx.  To provide customized date and time readout in the system tray.  My preferred format:  ddd, MM d, yyyy - h:mm:ss tt.  For a 64-bit version, see Stoic Joker's adaptation.  To make sure the computer's time was accurate, I used a registry edit to add Internet sources and choose NIST.
  • WinRAR.  I had 7zip as a portable, but was beginning to like this more than that.  Its warnings said it was only good for 40 days, and I hadn't yet been using it that long, so I wasn't sure what would happen at that point.  But it sure did have a lot of people downloading it.
  • I had installed BinManager, as a way to automatically empty out items in the Recycle Bin after they had sat there for a while.  But I couldn't find a way to configure it.  I uninstalled it and tried Autodelete instead.  I wasn't happy with that either.  Eventually I just added this line to a batch file that ran weekly:  start "" emptyrecyclebin.exe.
  • I finally broke down and bought a copy of Debut for screen capture.  I just hadn't found any good freeware.  CamStudio worked sometimes, not other times.  NCH Software, creators of Debut, were excessively touchy about licensing.  Reinstalling Windows on the same computer, where I simply decided to change the name of the computer, was enough to prevent me from being able to use my paid copy of their software.
A few programs worth mentioning in the area of noninstallation or uninstallation:
  • Adobe Reader, which must have been pre-installed by ASUS.  I didn't need it, with Acrobat installed.  But then I decided it wasn't hurting anything, and I'd have it if Acrobat malfunctioned, so I left it alone.
  • I decided not to install software for my digital camera.  I found that Windows Explorer could see the contents of that device as soon as I plugged it in, without the need for bloatware.
  • I installed Virtual CloneDrive so that I would have the capability of mounting an ISO image as though it were a mounted CD, without having to actually burn the ISO to a CD and then put the CD in my CD drive.  Unfortunately, there was no way to keep it from starting with Windows.  I used it too rarely to have that extra clutter, and therefore thought about uninstalling it and just reinstalling when I needed it.  It created "BD-ROM Drive (F:)."  In Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc), it showed up as a second CD-ROM drive, and its Properties called it "Elby Clonedrive SCSI CdRom Device," whereas its Properties > Hardware tab > Properties in Windows Explorer said it was a "NEC DVD_RW ND-3550A ATA Device." I went into Control Panel > Programs and Features and saw that "Elby" was apparently shorthand for "Elaborate Bytes," maker of VCD.  (Note that VLC was also able to play videos saved in ISO format, without any need for mounting them as separate virtual drives.)
Next, I set up various scheduled items:
  • Defragmentation.  Start > Run > dfrgui.exe > Configure schedule > Daily (so as to run in small, relatively non-bothersome tasks, without having to keep the computer on at night) > Select all disks.  But later, when I found dfrgui.exe choking on a USB drive, I went back to Smart Defrag.
  • Daily and other scheduled batch files, including an internal backup batch file that used a Robocopy script.  These would run programs, open Firefox tabs, or otherwise do things that I needed to do at a certain time every day, or on a certain day of the week, month, etc.  These scheduled items could be exported from Task Scheduler and imported into new installations, so they would not have to be re-entered manually.
  • Create System Restore Points at regular intervals.  I downloaded the Instant_Restore_Point.vbs script and added a line to my daily batch file, so that I would have at least one such restore point each day.
Finally, I turned to miscellaneous tweaks and adjustments:
  • Installing the programs listed above gave me a large number of duplicative Start Menu entries.  (My customized Start Menu, saved on D, already had links to those programs, sorted into various categories for easy access.  When I reinstalled the programs, those already-sorted shortcuts worked again, so I didn't need the new ones that the programs had installed on the desktop and in the top level of my Start Menu > Programs.)  To get rid of the duplicates, I put all the new shortcuts into a separate folder and ran a DoubleKiller comparison of that folder against my customized Start Menu.  Very few had the same size and CRC numbers.  Many had the same names, but I could not have any global certainty that the ones already existing in the Start Menu were still working.  Ultimately, I just manually re-sorted many of these new shortcuts, overwriting the old ones in the event of conflict.
  • To get windows to stay in the size and position where I put them, I tried an approach that had sometimes worked for me:  right-click on the title (top) bar of a Window.  Choose "Size."  Drag the window and its edges somewhere and then let it go.  If it doesn't respond, trying using arrow keys.  Then click on the top right X to close the window.  I almost thought that approach was working for me.  Some people said that FileBox eXtender or WindowManager would fix this.  At this point, I was just beginning to try ShellFolderFix for this purpose.
  • To prepare Audacity to record streaming audio, I took the advice to go into Control Panel > Sound > Recording tab > right-click anywhere in the white space > Show Disabled Devices > right-click on Stereo Mix > Enable.  Right-click on Stereo Mix again > Set as Default Device.  Then I went into Audacity > View > Toolbars > make sure Device Toolbar is checked.  The location of that toolbar apparently shifted, from one version to the next.  In my version, it appeared slightly to the right of the center; in others, it ran across the top line.  It apparently reflected the same thing as in Edit > Preferences > Devices.  The Device Toolbar had drop-down boxes listing various speakers and microphones.  There, in the first box, I selected Windows DirectSound, and in the third box I selected Primary Sound Capture Driver.  (Some versions of Audacity apparently combined the two into one.)  This approach had worked previously, but did not work on this new installation; I was not able to record streaming audio. Back in Control Panel > Sound, I could see the level meter moving on my headset's microphone; the mike was picking up what was being played in the headset's ear speakers.  But the Stereo Mix item was not showing any such action.  I tried the approach of using a cable to connect the computer's Line In and Line Out (or, on my computer, Front Speaker Out) ports, but that didn't work either.  It seemed to be a hardware problem.  So this was still a work in progress.
  • Shellstyle.dll.  I had modified this file to hide the command bar (i.e., the folder band) in Windows Explorer.  Now I needed to put it into C:\Windows\System32.  Despite taking ownership of the System32 folder, I still had to take ownership of the Shellstyle.dll file within it, in order to replace it with this other Shellstyle.dll file.  Later I decided that I sometimes needed the folder band.  I had renamed the old one to be shellstyle.old, so I could presumably have gone back if I'd had a burning need.
  • To get Windows to stop asking if I was sure I wanted to delete files, I right-clicked the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop > Properties > uncheck "Display delete confirmation dialog."
  • To make Internet Explorer stop offering to "Speed up browsing by disabling add-ons," I took the advice of Pete, who posted a comment on my previous post.  Pete's advice was to go to Start > Run > gpedit.msc > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components.  In the left pane, under Windows Components -- not a subfolder, but a sort of subentry, made more visible by double-clicking again on Windows Components -- there was an All Settings option.  I clicked on that.  This opened a long list of items in the right pane.  One was "Disable add-on performance notifications." I double-clicked on it and selected Enabled and then bailed out.  I hoped that would solve the problem.  It didn't.
The last step was to synchronize the new Win7 installation with other computers.  This time around, I was not having the IP Address Conflict problem I'd had previously.  I just had to do basic networking and set up GoodSync.



I decided to take a different approach to the daily System Restore. I discovered that I had changed the name of a folder in the path leading to the VBS script that was supposed to make a daily System Restore point. That change meant that the script was no longer running. But Task Scheduler and the script did not tell me this. I put the command leading to the VBS script into my daily batch file instead, which I knew would complain if it didn't find something it was supposed to find.


At a certain point, I started getting error messages when I tried to delete or move folders: "This folder is shared with other people." To avoid getting that message, I went into Control Panel > Homegroup > Leave the homegroup. I could do this because I was using traditional networking to connect my computers. I did not need the homegroup, and I was not persuaded by claims that homegroups were fantastic.


The Windows 7 Navigation Pane Customizer failed to remove the User Home Folder (on my system, the one called "Ray") from the Windows Explorer navigation pane. I could have lived with that, but the Start Menu shortcut that instructed WinEx to open in D:\Folder would open, instead, in one of a bazillion copies of D:\Folder that appeared in that User folder. This changed when I right-clicked on an empty spot (at the bottom) on the navigation pane and selected "Show All Folders." In a bid to get rid of the User Home Folder entirely, I posted a question.


Correction: that HomeGroup fix didn't solve the problem. I pursued this further in a separate post.