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Windows 7 is Engineered for speed. Special attention has been given by the Windows 7 team for making Windows 7 faster than the previous operating systems. Windows 7 is much faster than Windows Vista, but even then most of us don’t get satisfied with it. There are many who still have their old PC. Installing Windows 7 on them wont be as soothing as they work with with XP and Even with latest hardware’s installed some users still long for more performance. At least if we don’t make it lightning fast we can optimize Windows 7 to the maximum possible extent and enjoy the maximum performance we could squeeze out from it. So for all the extra performance lovers, let me present you wit this Ultimate Guide To Speed Up Windows 7.
I guarantee that after following this guide and implementing the recommendations on your PC, you will really get the performance gain. The bare Minimum Requirements You need To Run Windows 7 1) 1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit) 2) 1GB of main memory 3) 16GB of available disk space 4) Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface) 5) A DVD – R/W drive Even if you don’t have the DX 9 graphics card there is no problem because our target is performance and not the ” Eyecandy ” . Of course if you need the aero experience you need a powerful graphics card for sure.
The Ultimate Guide to Speed up Windows 7 1. Disabling the Search Indexing Feature in Windows 7
So lets start ○ Right Click the “Computer” Icon in the desktop and select “Manage”. ○ Click “Services and Applications” in the “Computer Management” window. ○ Click on “Services”.
You can see a lot of services listed there. Look for “Windows Search” in that.
○ Right Click on “Windows Search” from the list and choose “Properties”. ○ The “Windows Search Properties Window” will open up. From “Startup type” click on the drop down menu and choose “Disabled”. ○ Click “Apply” then “OK” and that’s it. The Windows 7 Search Indexing Feature is now disabled. Most of the Windows 7 users do less searches in there system. The Search Indexing service in Windows 7 will index keeps track of the files so that they can be found quickly when asked at some other time. This feature is useful only if you perform frequent searches on your system. For occasional file searchers the Search Indexing service in Windows 7 is a total resource hog. It unknowingly eats up your system resources. What you need from windows 7 is maximum performance from it then i would certainly recommend you to disable this resource hogging Windows 7 Search Indexing Feature. To Disable the Search Indexing Feature in Windows 7
If you want to completely disable the search indexing feature in Windows 7 you can set the Search Indexing Service to Manual (See the above method about disabling unwanted services).
1. Disable the Aero Theme on Windows 7
Right Click on your Desktop and select ” Personalize ” click the Window Color Tab. appearance properties for more color options”.
○ Uncheck the Box saying ” Enable Transparency ” and then click on ” Open classic
Then a window will open up. Apply a Standard or Basic theme from it. The Standard Windows 7 theme is more preferred.
The aero user interface certainly adds some ” Eyecandy ” to Windows 7 but certainly is a resource hog especially when, what you expect from windows 7 is more performance juice. Aero user interface squeezes your graphics or video card to its maximum. So why dont we just avoid the Windows 7 aero? if we care more about speed and performance in Windows 7. SoDisabling the Aero in Windows 7 certainly adds an extra speed boost to it.
Disabling the aero theme alone in Windows 7 will really speed things up. You can know this by looking into the memory consumption when aero is turned on and off.
1. Disabling the Unwanted Visual Effects in Windows 7 to Speed Up more
For this right click on ” Computer” and select “Properties” from the right click menu.
○ Click on ” Advanced System Settings ” from the left pane to open up the ” System Properties ” window. ○ Select the “Advanced” tab from it. Then Under ” Performance ” click ” Settings “. Choose ” Custom: ” Options From it. ○ Now un tick all the options and select only the last four options (actually three only needed; you can un tick the second option from the last four). See the screen shot if you have any doubt. ○ Now just logoff your system and turn logon. Even though we have tuned off the aero effects in Windows 7 still there are many unwanted visual effects that can be safely disabled to speed up windows 7 even more.
You will now notice the speed difference now.
1. Disabling the Unwanted Services to Speed up Windows 7
There are many services in windows 7 that we dont require for our daily use. There are some exceptional cases though. Services such as “print spooler” is only needed when we use a printer. If we use a printer only occasionally we can safely turn off that service in Windows 7 and turn it on only when we need to take a print. I have previously prepared a List of services in Windows 7 that can be safely set to manual / disabled. Disabling the unneeded services in Windows 7 can really speed up the system boot time.
1. Disable the User account control (UAC) Feature in Windows 7
From the Control Panel open the ” User Accounts and Family Safety ” > User Account.
○ Click the User Account Control settings link. ○ Now just Drag the Slider towards “Never Notify”. ○ Click “OK” and Reboot your system. The User account control (UAC) feature in Windows 7 is very annoying though it says it can protect your computer from harmful virus activity etc. But if you are a daily user of your computer this windows 7 feature will be a total nuisance to you. To Disable and Turnoff UAC in Windows 7
Disabling UAC is for advanced users only its not recommend doing it if not.
1. SetUp the Windows 7 Ready Boost Service for an Extra Speed Boost
○ To configure the Ready Boost Feature in Windows 7 you need to have a High Speed Flash/USB or Pendrive with you which is ready boost compatible.
After plugging you pendrive, open “Computer” > Right-click the on USB Drive/Pendrive > select “Ready Boost” tab > tick the “Use this device” checkbox.
○ You can configure how much space on your USB drive/ Pendrive to be used as Ram. The ready boost feature in Windows 7 will help you to use your flash drive or pendrive or USB drive as Ram there by improving the performance and speed of windows 7 greatly. You can certainly experience it when launching bulky applications such as Adobe Photoshop etc.
1. Turn off Unused Windows 7 Features
○ Open up ” Programs and Features ” from Control Panel.
Click the ” Turn Windows features on or off ” from the left pane. the changes to take effect.
○ Now uncheck all the Feature that you don’t use in Windows 7 and restart the system for There are many feature in windows 7 that we often don]t use. Disabling these unused features in Windows 7 will really help in speeding things up.
1. Disable the Windows 7 Sidebar (Actually the Gadgets)
○ Right click on the sidebar and select ” Properties “. ○ On the properties windows untick the check box showing ” Start sidebar when Windows Starts “ ○ From now on windows sidebar won’t start when windows 7 start up. Disabling the window 7 sidebar is definitely help you to to gain a few seconds during start up time. There are many useful utilities such as the RocketDock etc. which are good application launchers. To Disable the Sidebar in Windows 7,
1. Disable the Aero Peek and Aero Snap features in Windows 7
○ Open the Windows 7 ” Control Panel ” and double-click on ” Ease of Access Center ” icon. ○ Now click on the ” Make it easier to focus on tasks ” seen at the bottom in there ○ Now untick the check box saying ” Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen ” . ○ Right click on the Windows 7 taskbar and select ” Properties “. ○ Now untick the ” Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop ” option from there. Aero Snap will help you to maximize, minimize and resize the windows just by dragging and dropping it into the screen corners. To disable Aero Snap Feature in Windows 7, That will now disable the Aero Snap in Windows 7. Now To Disable the Aero Peek feature in Windows 7 The Aero Peek feature in Windows 7 helps you to peek through all open windows by hiding all other windows and showing only the outlines of all windows. Aero Peek is similar to the ” Show Desktop ” Feature in XP and Vista. If you have followed step 3 then Aero Peek will be automatically disabled. If not, The aero peek feature will now be disabled in windows 7.
1. Change the Power Plan To Maximum Performance
○ Double click the ” Power Options ” in the Control panel. ○ Click the down arrow showing ” Show Additional Plans ” to see the ” High Performance ” power plan . ○ Now just activate the ” High Performance ” plan and that’s it. ○ You may go for the advanced settings for further tweaking if you want. The Power settings in Windows 7 is not automatically set for maximum performance. By default the power plan in Windows 7 is set for a balanced performance with energy consumption on hardware. So you may not get the optimal performance from windows 7 if this is the case. So we need to change the power plan to High Performance Mode.
1. Disable the Thumbnail Preview Feature to speed up File browsing in Windows 7
○ Double Click on ” Computer ” >click on the “Organize” drop-down menu and select the “Folder and Search options” ○ Under ‘Files and Folders’ section, go to the “View” tab and tick the check box showing “Always show icons, never thumbnails” checkbox. The thumbnail preview feature in Windows 7 will show the small thumbnails of the contents of a folder instead of showing it’s icon. But this feature really do take up some system resources. So by disabling the Thumbnail Preview feature in Windows 7 the file browsing in Windows 7 explorer can be speed up.
For disabling thumbnails in Windows 7,
1. Most Essential Softwares To Speed Up Windows 7
○ Wise Registry Cleaner ○ CCleaner ○ TCP Optimizer ○ TeraCopy ○ Startup Delayer
In order to maintain your Windows 7 Performance and keep it up in Top Shape there are some very essential software’s that can help us to Speed Windows 7. I will list some of them here. You can download these utilities. But i remind you that you need to run these utilities at least once in a week. Only if you do it regularly your Windows 7 will be in top shape every day. You can read this post which i have prepared earlier about the Top 5 Tools To Speed Up Your PC. http://www.computingunleashed.com/2009/05/top-5-tools-to-speed-up-your-pc-to.html Ther e you can know more about these software i mentioned now.
1. Registry Tweaks to Speed Up Windows 7
Here are some registry teaks that can be used to speed up windows 7 even more. I have complied only the safest tweaks that can be applied to your PC. Apart from speeding up windows 7 they will also add some functionality in windows like adding Copy to / Move to in right click context menu to speed up your daily tasks. http://www.computingunleashed.com/2009/01/registrytweaks-for-speeding-up-windows.html If you have the complete version of Tune Up Utilities software with you then it is the best one to keep your Windows 7 in top shape.
1. Turn OFF Windows 7 Password Protection To save a few More Seconds!!!
If you have set a password for accessing your user account in windows 7, then you need to enter it each and every time you logon to windows. Logging into windows automatically without entering any password will save you a few seconds more. If you are the only person who use your computer then i would recommend to turn this off. If that is not the case you can skip this step. How to Automatically Logon to Windows 7 without entering any username or password
1. Turn OFF Windows 7 Screen Saver and Wallpaper
○ Right click on desktop and choose “Personalize”. ○ Click the Screen Saver link ” From the Screen Saver drop down menu, Set it to “None” and click “Apply” and then “OK”. ○ Now click on “Desktop Background” link. ○ From the “Location” drop down menu select “Solid Colors” and pick one color and click “OK”.
In order to display the wallpaper and screen saver the system needs some memory. So by disabling those two we can save a few Mega Bytes of memory. To Disable The Screen Saver and Wallpaper in Windows 7,
1. Disable Unwanted Start Up Items and Speed Up Windows 7 Start Up
Type ” msconfig ” in the “RUN” option from start menu press [Enter] to open up the System Configuration Utility.
○ Now navigate to the “StartUp” tab. ○ Untick the Entries which are not needed This really matters when you have installed a lot of softwares on your PC. Many software such as AcdSee will run services such as device detector etc during the system start up. These are of no use actually for most windows users. So preventing such services from starting up during the start up of windows 7 can result in quicker start Ups. This will actually save some seconds during windows 7 start up.
1. Disable Unwanted System Sounds in Windows 7
○ Type mmsys.cpl in RUN From the Windows 7 Startmenu search box and press [Enter]. ○ Navigate to the “Sounds” tab.
Now from under “Sound Scheme:” select “No Sounds” > Click “Apply” > “OK”.
○ You can keep some of your favorite sounds turned on if you want, but sounds played during the Windows 7 start up, shutdown, Logon, logoff, start navigation etc should be set to none if you want some real speed boost. In order to play the sounds you hear in windows 7, system resources are being utilized. So if you can disable these sound effects you can gain some speed and also free some system resources too. To disable the system sounds in Windows 7, Thats it following all these steps will certainly boost the speed and performance of your windows 7 operating system.
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85 Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets
COMPUTING COMPONENTS NEWS By Mike Williams
September 29th 2010 | Tell us what you think [ 16 comments ]
Updated: Help and advice for your Windows 7 PC
Page 1: New applets and features in Window s 7
Windows 7 lets you search online repositories as well as your PC
Whether you've just bought a new PC running Windows 7 or you've been using it for a while, there are bound to be things you didn't know you could do.
Whether it's tweaks to get the desktop the way you want it, tips for troubleshooting or ways to squeeze more performance from Windows 7, we've got it covered. We've updated our popular Windows 7 tips article with a load of new ones, including how to recover locked-up apps, how to extend your jumplists, leave a Windows 7 Homegroup, and more. Read on for 85 tips to help you get the best from Windows 7.
22 common Windows 7 problems solved
1. Problem Steps Recorder As the local PC guru you're probably very used to friends and family asking for help with their computer problems, yet having no idea how to clearly describe what's going on. It's frustrating, but Microsoft feels your pain, and Windows 7 will include an excellent new solution in the Problem Steps Recorder. When any app starts misbehaving under Windows 7 then all your friends need do is click Start, type PSR and press Enter, then click Start Record. If they then work through whatever they're doing then the Problem Steps Recorder will record every click and keypress, take screen grabs, and package everything up into a single zipped MHTML file when they're finished, ready for emailing to you. It's quick, easy and effective, and will save you hours of troubleshooting time. 2. Burn images Windows 7 finally introduces a feature that other operating systems have had for years - the ability to burn ISO images to CDs or DVDs. And it couldn't be much easier to use. Just double-click the ISO image, choose the drive with the blank disc, click Burn and watch as your disc is created. 3. Create and mount VHD files Microsoft's Virtual PC creates its virtual machine hard drives in VHD files, and Windows 7 can now mount these directly so you can access them in the host system. Click Start, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter, then click Action > Attach VHD and choose the file you'd like to mount. It will then appear as a virtual drive in Explorer and can be accessed, copied or written just like any other drive. Click Action > Create VHD and you can now create a new virtual drive of your own (right-click it, select Initialise Disk, and after it's set up right-click the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume to set this up). Again, you'll be left with a virtual drive that behaves just like any other, where you can drag and drop files, install programs, test partitioning software or do whatever you like. But it's actually just this VHD file on your real hard drive which you can easily back up or share with others. Right-click the disk (that's the left-hand label that says "Disk 2" or whatever) and select Detach VHD to remove it. The command line DISKPART utility has also been upgraded with tools to detach a VHD file, and an EXPAND command to increase a virtual disk's maximum size. Don't play around with this unless you know what you're doing, though - it's all too easy to trash your system. 4. Troubleshoot problems
If some part of Windows 7 is behaving strangely, and you don't know why, then click Control Panel > Find and fix problems (or 'Troubleshooting') to access the new troubleshooting packs. These are simple wizards that will resolve common problems, check your settings, clean up your system and more. 5. Startup repair If you've downloaded Windows 7 (and even if you haven't) it's a good idea to create a system repair disc straight away in case you run into problems booting the OS later on. Click Start > Maintenance > Create a System Repair Disc, and let Windows 7 build a bootable emergency disc. If the worst does happen then it could be the only way to get your PC running again. 6. Take control Tired of the kids installing dubious software or running applications you'd rather they left alone? AppLocker is a new Windows 7 feature that ensures users can only run the programs you specify. Don't worry, that's easier to set up than it sounds: you can create a rule to allow everything signed by a particular publisher, so choose Microsoft, say, and that one rule will let you run all signed Microsoft applications. Launch GPEDIT.MSC and go to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Application Control Policies > AppLocker to get a feel for how this works. 7. Calculate more At first glance the Windows 7 calculator looks just like Vista's version, but explore the Mode menu and you'll see powerful new Statistics and Programmer views. And if you're clueless about bitwise manipulation, then try the Options menu instead. This offers many different unit conversions (length, weight, volume and more), date calculations (how many days between two dates?), and spreadsheet-type templates to help you calculate vehicle mileage, mortgage rates and more. Don't take any Windows 7 applet at face value, then - there are some very powerful new features hidden in the background. Be sure to explore every option in all Windows applets to ensure you don't miss anything important.
CALCULATE MORE: The new Calculator is packed with useful features and functionality 8. Switch to a projector Windows 7 now provides a standard way to switch your display from one monitor to another, or a projector - just press Win+P or run DisplaySwitch.exe and choose your preferred display. (This will have no effect if you've only one display connected.) 9. Get a power efficiency report If you have a laptop, you can use the efficiency calculator to get Windows 7 to generate loads of useful information about its power consumption. Used in the right way, this can help you make huge gains in terms of battery life and performance. To do this you must open a command prompt as an administrator by typing 'cmd' in Start Search, and when the cmd icon appears, right-click it and choose Run as administrator. Then at the command line, just type in 'powercfg -energy' (without quotes) and hit Return, and Windows 7 will scan your system looking for ways to improve power efficiency. It will then publish the results in an HTML file, usually in the System32 folder. Just follow the path it gives you to find your report. 10. Understanding System Restore Using System Restore in previous versions of Windows has been something of a gamble. There's no way of telling which applications or drivers it might affect - you just have to try it and see. Windows 7 is different. Right-click Computer, select Properties > System Protection > System Restore > Next, and choose the restore point you'd like to use. Click the new button to 'Scan for affected programs' and Windows will tell you which (if any) programs and drivers will be deleted or recovered by selecting this restore point. (Read our full Windows 7 System Restore tutorial.) 11. Set the time zone
System administrators will appreciate the new command line tzutil.exe utility, which lets you set a PC's time zone from scripts. If you wanted to set a PC to Greenwich Mean Time, for instance, you'd use the command tzutil /s "gmt standard time" The command "tzutil /g" displays the current time zone, "tzutil /l" lists all possible time zones, and "tzutil /?" displays details on how the command works. 12. Calibrate your screen The colours you see on your screen will vary depending on your monitor, graphics cards settings, lighting and more, yet most people use the same default Windows colour profile. And that means a digital photo you think looks perfect might appear very poor to everybody else. Fortunately Windows 7 now provides a Display Colour Calibration Wizard that helps you properly set up your brightness, contrast and colour settings, and a ClearType tuner to ensure text is crisp and sharp. Click Start, type DCCW and press Enter to give it a try. 13. Clean up Live Essentials Installing Windows Live Essentials will get you the new versions of Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and others - great. Unfortunately it also includes other components that may be unnecessary, but if you like to keep a clean system then these can be quickly removed. If you left the default "Set your search provider" option selected during installation, for instance, Windows Live will install Choice Guard, a tool to set your browser home page and search engine, and prevent other programs from changing them. If this causes problems later, or you just decide you don't need it, then Choice Guard may be removed by clicking Start, typing msiexec /x and pressing [Enter]. Windows Live Essentials also adds an ActiveX Control to help upload your files to Windows Live SkyDrive, as well as the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant, which makes it easier to manage and switch between multiple Windows Live accounts. If you're sure you'll never need either then remove them with the Control Panel "Uninstall a Program" applet. 14. Add network support By default Windows Live MovieMaker won't let you import files over a network, but a quick Registry tweak will change this. Run REGEDIT, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Movie Maker, add a DWORD value called AllowNetworkFiles and set it to 1 to add network support. 15. Activate XP mode If you've old but important software that no longer runs under Windows 7, then you could try using XP Mode, a virtual copy of XP that runs in a window on your Windows 7 desktop. But there's a big potential problem, as XP Mode only works with systems that have hardware virtualisation (AMD-V or Intel VT) builtin and turned on. If you've a compatible CPU then this may just be a matter of enabling the option in your BIOS set-up program, however some high profile brands, including Sony Vaio, disable the setting for "security reasons". And that blocks XP Mode from working, too.
One solution has emerged, but it's a little risky, as essentially you'll have to alter a byte in your laptop firmware and hope this doesn't have any unexpected side-effects. Gulp. If you're feeling brave then take a look at theFeature Enable Blog for the details, but don't blame us if it goes wrong. A safer approach might be to use VirtualBox, a virtualisation tool that doesn't insist on hardware support, but then you will need to find a licensed copy of XP (or whatever other Windows version your software requires) for its virtual machine. 16. Enable virtual Wi-Fi Windows 7 includes a little-known new feature called Virtual Wi-Fi, which effectively turns your PC or laptop into a software-based router. Any other Wi-Fi-enabled devices within range - a desktop, laptop, an iPod perhaps - will "see" you as a new network and, once logged on, immediately be able to share your internet connection. This will only work if your wireless adapter driver supports it, though, and not all do. Check with your adapter manufacturer and make sure you've installed the very latest drivers to give you the best chance. Once you have driver support then the easiest approach is to get a network tool that can set up virtual WiFi for you. Virtual Router (below) is free, easy to use and should have you sharing your internet connection very quickly.
If you don't mind working with the command line, though, maybe setting up some batch files or scripts, then it's not that difficult to set this up manually. See Turn your Windows 7 laptop into a wireless hotspot for more. 17. Recover locked-up apps If an application locks up under a previous version of Windows then there was nothing you could do about it. A new Windows 7 option, however, can not only explain the problem, but may get your program working again without any loss of data. When the lockup occurs, click Start, type RESMON and click the RESMON.EXE link to launch the Resource Monitor.
Find your frozen process in the CPU pane (it should be highlighted in red), right-click it and select Analyze Wait Chain. If you see at least two processes in the list, then the lowest, at the end of the tree, is the one holding up your program. If it's not a vital Windows component, or anything else critical, then save any work in other open applications, check the box next to this process, click End Process, and your locked-up program will often spring back to life.
18. Fault-Tolerant Help Windows 7 includes a new feature called the Fault Tolerant Help (FTH), a clever technology that looks out for unstable processes, detects those that may be crashing due to memory issues, and applies several real-time fixes to try and help. If these work, that's fine - if not, the fixes will be undone and they won't be applied to that process again. While this is very good in theory, it can leave you confused as some applications crash, then start working (sometimes) for no apparent reason. So if you'd like to check if the FTH is running on your PC, launch REGEDIT, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\FTH - any program currently being protected by the FTH will be listed in the State key. Experienced users may also try tweaking the FTH settings to catch more problems, and perhaps improve system stability. A post on Microsoft's Ask The Performance Team blog (bit.ly/d1JStu) explains what the various FTH Registry keys mean. 19. Automatically switch your default printer Windows 7's location-aware printing allows the operating system to automatically switch your default printer as you move from one network to another. To set this up, first click Start, type Devices, and click the Devices and Printers link.
Select a printer and click Manage Default Printers (this is only visible on a mobile device, like a laptop you won't see it on a PC). Choose the "Change my default printer when I change networks" option, select a network, the default printer you'd like to use, and click Add. Repeat the process for other networks available, and pick a default printer for each one. And now, as you connect to a new network, Windows 7 will check this list and set the default printer to the one that you've defined.
How To Enable Windows 7 Secret God Mode
• • •
By James Kendrick Jan. 3, 2010, 9:37am PT 40 Comments
As nice as Windows 7 is to use let’s face it — we always want total control over the computing environment. What we really want is to have total control in an easy-to-use form that puts everything at our fingertips. Enter the super secret Windows 7 God Mode. God Mode is a simple folder that brings all aspects of Windows 7 control in a single place. It collects all of the Control Panel functions, interface customization, accessibility options, just about every aspect of controlling Windows 7 into a single place.
God Mode is easy to set up too, just do this: • Create a new folder anywhere. • Rename the folder by pasting this name exactly as it appears (copy it first):
That’s it, you now have a folder with the Control Panel icon (pictured above) that has all the controls in one place:
(Windows 7 Themes viaDwight Silverman on Twitter) Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro: Subscriber content.Sign up for a free trial.
Windows 7's best secret feature
TAGS:libraries, Review, Windows 7 IT TOPICS:Applications, Operating Systems, Windows
One of Windows 7's most subtle changes may, in fact, have one of the operating system's greatest impacts on the way you compute -- the way in which files and documents are organized. It finally fixes the way that Windows forces you to organize your entire life under the Documents folder. In earlier versions of Windows, including XP and Vista, you're practically forced to organize all of your files and documents under the Documents folder in your user account. Try to organize your files differently, and you come across so many conflicts with default settings, that you'll throw up your hands and give in. Windows 7 changes things. Now there's an overall "Libraries" folder under which your other folders live, such as Personal Documents, Public Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. You can see a screenshot of it, below.
So how is the new Libraries organization different from Documents? You can easily include folders from other locations in Libraries as well --- and that includes even network locations. So you can include folders from servers, for example. And if you've got a home network you can include folders from other PCs as well. In Windows Explorer, click the library locations button on the right side of the screen, and you'll see the dialog box shown below, which lets you add locations.
At first glance, this is far from earth-shaking. But it's a great productivity booster. I'll have more details about Windows 7 in a fuller review in Computerworld. Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld, and the author of more than 35 books.