Peek behind the GodMode curtains to reveal useful canonical names and GUIDs

Version 1.0 January 20, 2010

By Greg Shultz

In last week's blog post, Exert your control with GodMode folders in Windows 7, I discussed a few of the so-called "GodMode" folders in Windows 7. As I mentioned in that post, Windows 7's GodMode folders are simply special folders that are hidden until you enter a special, secret code. Well, it turns out that the latter part of that sentence is only half true. The special folders are indeed hidden until you enter a special code, but the codes aren't really secret. It turns out that all Windows 7 and Windows Vista Control Panel items have what is called a canonical name and an associated GUID (the infamous "special codes"). In this context, Microsoft describes a canonical name as being a non-localized string that the Control Panel item declares in the registry. A GUID, or Globally Unique Identifier, is a special type of identifier that is unique in any context, which Microsoft uses to provide an internal access point to Control Panel items. In last week's post, I used the GUIDs to create folders that provided access to the so-called "GodMode" folders. However, as I began investigating canonical names, I discovered that you can also create shortcuts to the Control Panel items that have canonical names. I also discovered that typing, or even copying and pasting all the canonical names while creating the shortcut was a tedious operation. I found 60 Control Panel items that have canonical names. So I created a short little VBScript program that reads a text file containing the list of canonical names and oneby-one, creates each shortcut. You can download that text file and script in the accompanying free TechRepublic Download to this blog post. In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I'll discuss the Control Panel canonical names in more detail and show you how to use them to create shortcuts to your favorite Control Panel items. I'll then present the text file and script and show you how to use them. That way you can instantly create these canonical name shortcuts on your Windows 7 system and be able to easily conduct your own investigation to discern which of these shortcuts will be helpful to you and delete those won't. What could be easier?

Canonical names
As I mentioned in the introduction, in the case of Control Panel items, a canonical name is simply a non-localized string that represents Control Panel items in the registry. Microsoft's canonical names use the format CorporationName.ControlPanelItemName. I discovered a list of Windows 7 canonical names on the Microsoft MSDN site in an article titled Canonical Names of Control Panel Items. Here you'll find the list of 60 Windows 7 Control Panel items that have canonical names. Accessing a Control Panel item using its canonical name is a pretty straightforward operation, once you know how. You use the Control Panel's executable file, a special parameter, and the canonical name. For example, to access the Action Center, whose canonical name is Microsoft.ActionCenter, you would use the following command line: Control.exe /name Microsoft.ActionCenter If you want to experiment, just type this command line in the Run dialog box.

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Copyright ©2010 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/

Peek behind the GodMode curtains to reveal useful canonical names and GUIDs The Script The short little VBScript shown in Figure A will instantly create 60 canonical name shortcuts on your Windows 7 system. The second section determines the folder in which the script is running. The fourth section uses a Do Loop to sequentially read each line of the text file and create the associated shortcut. In the first section. All rights reserved. It then accesses the Windows Scripting Host object allowing it to create and configure Windows shortcuts. The third section opens the text file for reading. which contains the data for the creating the canonical name shortcuts. Page 2 Copyright ©2010 CBS Interactive. Figure B shows the contents the CanList. This will allow you to easily create the shortcuts wherever you want. the script accesses the File System Object allowing it to manipulate files and folders. The fifth section simply closes the file. Figure A Instantly create all 60 canonical name shortcuts on your Windows 7 system with this short little VBScript. please visit http://techrepublic.txt file. gets the name of the text file containing the list of shortcut names and canonical names and then combines the two.com. There are basically five sections to the script.com/ . For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership.

TechRepublic's Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report newsletter. to the folder of your choice. Automatically sign up today! Page 3 Copyright ©2010 CBS Interactive. just copy both files. To create your canonical name shortcuts.com/ . offers tips. To get the script file and the accompanying text file. and scuttlebutt on Vista and Windows 7.txt and CreateCanonical. if you have comments or information to share about this topic. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership. CanList. and run the . you need to download them from the corresponding TechRepublic Download. including a look at new features in the latest version of the Windows OS.vbs file. delivered every Friday.com. What's your take? What do you think of the canonical name shortcuts? Have you found then useful? If so. what's your favorite? As always. news. please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.vbs.Peek behind the GodMode curtains to reveal useful canonical names and GUIDs Figure B The script will read each of the lines from this text file and create the associated shortcuts. All rights reserved. please visit http://techrepublic.

2010 Tell us what you think TechRepublic downloads are designed to help you get your job done as painlessly and effectively as possible. we need your feedback.0 Published: January 20. Because we're continually looking for ways to improve the usefulness of these tools. Thanks! —The TechRepublic Downloads Team Page 4 Copyright ©2010 CBS Interactive. Please take a minute to drop us a line and tell us how well this download worked for you and offer your suggestions for improvement.com/ .com. please visit http://techrepublic. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership.Peek behind the GodMode curtains to reveal useful canonical names and GUIDs Additional resources TechRepublic's Downloads RSS Feed Sign up for TechRepublic's Downloads Weekly Update newsletter Check out all of TechRepublic's free newsletters Version history Version: 1. All rights reserved.

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