Category Archives: How To

How to Totally Uninstall Applications

Recently Techie-Buzz published an article about Revo Uninstaller. It allows you to do a better job cleaning up the junk files, folders and registry entries that a typical Windows Add/Remove session often leaves behind.

The use of third party uninstall utilities like Revo is primarily based on the idea that software authors may not put much effort into uninstallers. Sure they provide you an uninstall option, but do they really care if they leave some garbage behind? In many cases, I’d guess that they aren’t very concerned. After all, you’ve already decided that you didn’t like their software, right?

Besides Revo Unistaller, there is a class of uninstall utilities that work a little differently. Sometimes they can do an even better job of removing unwanted files and registry keys. I’ll tell you about two that I use often.

One of my favorites is the last freeware version of Total Uninstall.

tun-screenshot

The other is Zsoft Uninstaller.

zsoft_shot

Today I tried the Seven Remix XP program. After using it’s built in uninstaller, I was still left with a strange Vista boot splash. Fortunately I’d used Total Uninstall to watch over the installation. I was able to run it and remove all the changes it had made. By the way, I really did like the Seven Remix program even though I decided not to keep it.

Both Total Uninstall (TUN) and Zsoft work by allowing you to monitoryour system during a program installation. Before you start the actual installation of a new program, you will run TUN or Zsoft to take a snapshot of all the system files and registry settings. Next they allow you to perform the new program installation. Finally, once the new installation is finished, they prompt you to take a final snapshot of the system files and registry settings.

The before and after snapshots are compared so that TUN and Zsoft can record the exact changes that the new program installation made to your system. Later you can fire up TUN or Zsoft to reverse all of the changes that were made. In other words, you have totallyuninstalled the program.

Here’s quick comparison of features. It’s not complete but it will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Zsoft

TUN-lfv

Lists all installed programs

Yes

No

Provides other cleanup tools

Yes

No

Lists programs it monitored

Yes

Yes

Outputs Installation log

Yes

Yes

Options to select monitored registry hives

Yes

Yes

Options to ignore selected registry areas

Yes

Yes

Options to ignore selected files and folders

Yes

Yes

Tree view of registry keys and files

No

Yes

Easy removal of sections of install log

No

Yes

Here are a few more details about these two programs.

Zsoft is a currently supported freeware program and continues to improve in speed and reliability. The version of Total Uninstall that I use is the last freeware version and it’s currently not supported. The author of Total Uninstall has a great shareware version that is considered to be one of the best around. I’d recommend it to anyone who can afford it.

Here are a few tips on usage for uninstallers that monitor (analyze) installations.

  1. These programs cannot track any changes made to your system after you’ve taken the last snapshot. They only monitor changes made between the before and after snapshots. They may not be able to help you recover from problems you encounter long after you’ve installed an application.
  2. Don’t expect these applications to do a good job of uninstalling an application that was not monitored with a before and after system snapshot. If you don’t use the monitor functions, they’ll only do as good as Windows Add/Remove does. In fact the freeware version of TUN will only list applications that it’s monitored. Zsoft will list everything installed on your system but you’ll have to go to the Analyzedtab to find the applications that it monitored.
  3. These programs are best used on software that you aren’t sure you want to keep. They work best if you can decide quickly if you want to uninstall. I’ve even used them to install adware and spyware programs for testing and then removal. The log files that TUN and Zsoft generate can be very valuable in finding out what sneaky programs have been up to.
  4. You can even use these programs to monitor guests on your PC. Log in as administrator then run a beforesnapshot. Close the program and log out. Now you can let other users have the PC. Later, you can log back in as admin and run the aftersnapshot to examine any changes they’ve made to the system and reverse them if you’d like to.

I hope this article has taught you a few more tricks for keeping your PC running more safely and cleanly. Be careful out there and have a nice day.

Download Total Uninstall or Download Zsoft Uninstaller

How to Restore Default File Extension Type Associations?

When you double click to open a file, you may find that it opens up in an application that you don’t want to use. Below I’ll point out some ways that you can change this, but first I want to explain a little bit about how it all works.

What are File Extensions and File Types?

As you may already know, the last few letters after the dot in a full file name are called the extension. A picture or photo file would often have a name such as family.jpg. In that case, jpg is the extension. You’ll often see music files with the extensions of mp3 or wma. A file type is a group of file extensions. In the above examples, the musicfile type may contain the extensions for mp3, wma and many others.

What are File Associations?

File type associations are settings that control what applications open your files and other ways that Windows interacts with them. The file type associations and protocols can accidentally be changed by installing and un-installing software or virus and malware infections.

How Can I Change File Associations?

Here at Techie-Buzz we’ve previously told you how to change file type associations. See the two following articles if you want to un-associate a file type in Vista or simply want to change the default application.

Un-associate File Types To Use Your Favorite Programs In Windows Vista

Reclaim your files to open in your favorite editor

How Can I Restore Windows Default File Associations?

If you wish to restore the file associations back to what they were when your copy of Windows was brand new, keep reading.

The settings for file associations are stored in the Windows Registry. Editing the registry or merging a .reg file into the registry allows you to change the defaults or restore them.

If nothing else works, the following links will lead to .reg files that can be merged into the registry to restore default behaviors. These are the settings that a new copy of Windows uses before any changes are made to it.

Here are a few of the file extensions that you can restore: avi, bat, bmp, chm, cmd, com, cur, dll, exe, gif, htm, html, ico, inf, jpe, jpeg, jpg, js, lnk, mp3, mpa, mpe, mpeg, mpg, msc, reg, rtf, scr, tif, tiff, txt, vbs, wma, wmv, wsf, xml, xps,   and zip.

Please be sure to read the instructions on these pages. Making changes to your Windows Registry can be hazardous unless you take precautions.

Normally, these .reg files will immediately restore the default behavior of file types. If not, you may have to reboot your PC before you see any changes.

Be sure to comment below if you have problems, questions or different solutions.

How To Disable/Block Loading Images in Firefox?

Images are the heaviest components on a webpage and they can eat up a lot of internet bandwidth. If you are on a low bandwidth connection you can easily reduce bandwidth usage by disabling images from loading in .

Disabling images from loading is pretty simple and you do not need to add any . Follow the simple steps to disable images in Firefox.

Disable Images from Loading in Firefox

Step 1: Go to Tools -> Options in Firefox.

disable_firefox_image_loading

Step 2: Go to the content tab and de-select the checkbox next to Load images automatically.

Step 3: If you want certain sites to still load images you can click on the Exceptions button and add the URLs of the sites that you want images to load for.

That’s it the images will not load in Firefox unless you load it explicitly by right clicking on the image. If you are looking to block images for only certain sites you can always right click on a image on the page and select Block images from domain name….

Or a better solution would be to use the Image Block extension which will allow you to selectively block images on certain sites.

Install Windows 7 From a USB Drive

Installing an OS usually requires a bootable CD/DVD. With you can skip using a CD/DVD for installing and instead make use of a USB drive, this is particularly helpful for people who use netbooks which do not have a optical drive.

create_bootable_windows_usb_drive

If you are looking for a easy way to copy over the Windows installation files to a USB drive a handy called WinToFlash can come in pretty handy.

WinToFlash provides users with a wizard that will import the contents of a windows installation CD and copy over the files to a USB drive making it a bootable replacement for a optical drive. This application cal also be used to create a bootable USB drive from a LiveCD.

WinToFlash makes creating a bootable USB drive a piece of cake.

Download WinToFlash [via on10]

How to Test Websites in Different/Multiple Resolutions Without Changing the PC Resolution

Designing websites is a constant challenge for webmasters. One of the problems that they face is that computer users will be viewing their sites using any number of screen resolutions. As you can see from this list at Wikipedia, there are many common display resolutions on PCs.

cn_resolutions

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_resolution

There are a few simple solutions that may help webmasters with multiple screen resolutions as they strive to make sure their websites look good. Here are two free web services and one free application that I’ve used in the past.

Viewlike.us is a simple and quick way to view several screen resolutions.

cn_viewlikeus

Browsershots takes quite a bit longer to generate results, but it also allows you to select different web browsers and operating systems to be used for the results.

cn_browserhots

For those using a Windows PC, there is also a nice little freeware utility called “Sizer” which allows you to change web browser size quickly. This isn’t the same as changing the display resolution, but it works for me.

Once you launch Sizer, you can right click on the title bar of any application and set it’s window size.

cn_sizer_interface

Sizer Homepage

I’m sure that there are dozens of other solutions that allow you to view different screen resolutions. If you know of any that you’d like to share, please comment below.

Disable Windows From Restarting After Automatic Updates

We always advised our readers to activate Automatic updates in Windows as it will allow you to keep your PC safe and secure with the latest patches Windows releases.

windows_update_restart

However one of the most annoying things about Windows Update is that it automatically restarts the PC after a certain time. It does provide you with an option to delay the reboot, but if you are not near the PC it will force restart and you may lose unsaved data and open applications.

In order to stop Windows Update from automatically restarting/rebooting your PC, follow the simple steps given below.

Note: You will have administrative privileges to perform the actions below. Also the steps below will only temporarily disable the automatic restart, it may still show you the restart dialog though.

How to Stop Windows Update from Automatically Restarting PC

Step 1: Press Windows + R key and type in cmd. Press enter and a new command prompt will open up.

Step 2: In the command window, just type in net stop windows updatewith the quotes. This should stop Windows from automatically restarting.

Additionally if you do not want to follow the steps above, you can also download a software called Leave me Alone which will allow you to disable automatic reboots without changing any additional settings.

Restore/Revert Back Old Google Search Box and Font Size

Google recently rolled out new changes to the homepage where they increased the the size of the search box and the size of the font to make it a lot more larger.

The bigger font is definitely not appealing and I guess many of you might agree with me, if you are looking to revert back to the old search box and font size in Google you can do so by using a script.

google_search_before

Once you have installed the script it will revert back the size of the search box and font size to the one we are all so used to.

The script works in both and , but you will have to enable userscript support in Google Chrome before you can use it.

Download Google Search – un-S-U-P-E-R-sized [via gOS]

Create/Add Custom Libraries in Windows 7

Libraries in are a cool new feature that allow you to access frequently used folders quickly and easily in file open and save dialogs. A library is pretty similar to a regular folder, but a library can either contain references to a single folder or multiple folders, you can learn more about libraries by referring to a post from Windows 7 team.

By default Windows 7 contains 4 Libraries for Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos, but you can add your own custom libraries that will allow you to access your favorite folders quickly and easily.

Follow the simple steps given below to learn how to add custom libraries to Windows 7.

How to Add Custom Libraries in Windows 7

Step 1: Click on the Library icon in the task bar to open the Library.

create_new_windows_7_library new_library_name

Step 2: In the Library window, click on the New Library to create a new library. Give the library an appropriate name.

Step 3: Right click on the library you just created and click on Properties.

add_folders_to_library

Step 4: A new window will popup showing you options to add folders and customize the library. Click on the Include a folder button to add folders to your library, you can choose to add one or more folders. Once your done adding the folders click on Ok.

windows_7_new_library

Once you have created the libraries they will start appearing in file open save dialogs (you can change this behavior in the library properties). You can also access all your favorite folders by simply opening the library again, pretty simple and useful.

For Operating Systems like and Windows XP, we highly recommend you read our complete guide to Quickly and Easily access your Favorite folders.

Block Flash Animations In Google Chrome

Flash animations can be annoying at times and many of them use voice to alert users about something like Congratulations, you have just won a iPod, now when you are in a office these animations and sounds can put you into a spot of embarrassment.

block_flash_animations

If you are a user like me, there is no easy way to block flash animations, however a user script called BlockFlash Plus will allow you to block Flash animations in Google Chrome. You can play the animations by clicking a button on the flash object.

BlockFlash Plus Features

  • Based on the BlockFlash and FlashBlock scripts.
  • Supports both Flash and Silverlight
  • Uses two methods to block Flash and Silverlight elements to ensure they are blocked
  • Uses an icon to cover animations (complete with mouse-over effect)
  • Supports whitelist (add url to "var exclude")
  • Runs instantly.

This is a userscript, so the installation is a bit different, if you do not know how to use userscripts in Google Chrome read our tutorial to Enable Userscripts support in Google Chrome.

Download BlockFlash Plus

Watch Full Episodes of America’s Got Talent Free Online

Are you a fan of the popular America’s Got Talent? Missed a few episodes while you were busy doing something else? Don’t worry even if you have not recorded the shows you can still watch the full episodes of America’s Got Talent free.

americas_got_talent

NBC.com has full episodes of America’s Got Talent which you can watch online, to view the video you will need to visit NBC America’s Got Talent rewind, from there you can watch full episodes and individual performances for free.

So don’t fret that you missed an episode, go ahead and watch it online for free now.