How to Restore Default File Types in Vista and Windows 7

registry iconA few weeks ago, I told you how to repair the default image file types in Windows XP. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any utilities that could help you restore file types in Vista or Windows 7. I should have guessed that Ramesh Srinivasan would make good on his word. I had seen an old post which said he’d be working on something to help out.

Why would you need to restore a default file type?

You probably already know that a file type is controlled by the last letters after the dot in a file name. When you install new applications, sometimes the new app takes over the opening of some file types automatically. If you installed a new music player, you might discover that all .MP3 files now open up in the new player. That’s fine if you like the new player, but what if you don’t? You can re-assign the MP3 file type to another player by using the Open Withmenu when you right click on an MP3.

If you want Windows to use the default player that Microsoft had originally chosen for MP3 files, you might have trouble figuring out how to do that. I have found that it’s also sometimes tricky to get the defaults back on image file types. Fortunately, there are a few scripts and utilities that can help.

Using .REG Scripts

Ramesh has a page on his site that helps you restore a few Windows 7 file types to their defaults. He also has a page that lets you restore Vista file types to their defaults. Read the instructions on those pages to use REG (registry) scripts to make the changes.

Here’s a list of the file types that can be changed there:


Using the Unassoc Utility

Can You Hide Your Web Browser While Surfing at Work or School?

If you have to sneak around, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. You could get fired or expelled. However, there is one way to hide your surfing from other people as they walk past your computer. GhostZilla was designed to help with this exact problem.

ghost-from-clif What is GhostZilla? It’s a web browser that behaves like a scared chameleon. It blends into your desktop windows so well that anyone who’s more than 2 feet away won’t even see it at first. If someone is looking, a single mouse movement causes GhostZilla to disappear completely.

GhostZilla is a modified version of the Mozilla web browser, which is no longer supported. The Mozilla and Netscape browsers are the parents of the modern Firefox browser. You could say GhostZilla is an aging uncle to Firefox. The main feature of GhostZilla is that it appears inside the window frame of any application window that’s on top at the time.

Here’s what it looks like before you launch –


– and after you launch GhostZilla, you see this.


While you are surfing, you’ll notice that the text is displayed in a low contrast mode, and gray images will only appear as you hover your mouse over them.


When you want GhostZilla to disappear, just move the mouse out of the window and it disappears, leaving behind the original window.


To get GhostZilla back, you need to move your mouse all the way to the left edge of the display screen, then back to the right edge, and finally back to the left edge once again. Suddenly, GhostZilla should re-appear in the current active window.

There are a few problems with GhostZilla as it currently stands.
• It’s an abandoned project
• The original website is no longer there
• It doesn’t work as well in Vista/Win7 (XP is fine)
• It’s pretty big – 26mb

GhostZilla is a free and open source (FOSS) portable app. You can download it, unzip it and run it from a folder, flash memory stick, USB thumb drive or CD. To start GhostZilla, double click the Start-Ghostzilla-CD.exe file.

There is a current add-on project, named GhostFox, which is trying to duplicate the features of GhostZilla in the Firefox browser. However, I have not been able to get it to work because of add-on compatibilities. Once this add-on is working, it should be the ideal way to go.

If anyone out there has the time, I’d like to see a portable version of Firefox with the GhostFox add-on enabled and running by default. Be sure to let us know if you succeed.

Download GhostZilla:

Techie Buzz Verdict:

GhostZilla is a great idea that isn’t great for everyone at this time. It’s old, it’s big and it’s no longer supported. However, some of you may find it useful. Remember that I warned you not to secretly do your web surfing at work or school.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

How to Speed Up Windows Disk Cleanup

disk-cleanup-icon Cleaning out the junk files on your PC is something you should do on a regular basis. Microsoft has included a file cleaning utility in Windows, and it’s called Disk Cleanup. Running Disk Cleanup will often make your system a little snappier and you can also free up a large amount of used disk space.

You can find the Disk Cleanup utility in the following locations:

WinXP: Start > Program Files > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

Vista/Win7: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup


If you occasionally clean out your unwanted system files using Windows “Disk Cleanup”, you may have seen that the Disk Cleanup utility takes a long time scanning for “Compressed Folders”. I have seen this many times and it makes me impatient every time.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine at work (Bill M), told me that there’s a registry hack to make Cleanup skip the long wait. He was right, I found it using a simple Google search.

Here’s the registry hack (works in XP, so far – have not seen this work in Vista and Win7):

WinXP: Open up the registry editor by clicking the Start Button, then choose Run, type in “regedit” and press the OK button.

Vista/Win7: Hit the Start button and type regeditin the quick search.

Once you have regedit running, find the following location:
\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files”

The “Flags” value must be set to “0”.

For 64-bit Windows only:

\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files”

The “Flags” value must be set to “0”.

You may not   notice any difference until you reboot, but the next time you use Disk Cleanup, you should notice a substantial decrease in the amount of time it takes.

Find as You Type with Listary

Last year, while trying out some Linux operating systems, I was surprised to discover a cool find-as-you-type feature in the Gnome Nautilus file browsers.

listary-icon While looking for a file, you only had to start typing and a small text box appeared in the bottom right of the window (as shown below).


At this point I had feature envybecause I wanted to see the same feature built into Windows Explorer. However, I knew that this was not going to happen anytime soon. Windows is traditionally many years behind on cool features that appear in other operating systems.

Last week, I found that my wait was over. As usual, someone saw the need and developed a third-party app which adds this cool feature to Windows. Listary not only reproduces the find-as-you-type feature, it adds even more little time-saving tricks.

Here’s what Listary looks like in Windows 7 (or Vista):


As you can see, it not only lists the first match as Nautilus does in Linux, it adds a drop-down list with all the possible matches. Another great addition is that it accepts the asterisk and question mark wild-card characters that help you find files quickly.

If you were looking for only JPG files in a folder, you would start by typing *JPG in the window and your matching files would be listed below. To navigate inside the list, you can use the TAB key or the UP and DOWN arrow keys. As each file is highlighted in the Listary search box, the corresponding file in the Explorer window is also automatically shown and highlighted. If a file you wish to open is highlighted in the results box, pressing ENTER will open it.

In addition to working in Windows 7 and Vista, Listary also works in Windows XP, as shown below.


Listary is a free program although there is a paid version (Listary Pro) which offers more search features. You’ll find that it’s offered as an 827kb setup file that must be installed. The installation doesn’t spring any surprises on you and you do have the ability to set several options in it.

The most important option is whether to allow Listary to start when Windows does. Listary only takes about 7mb of memory while running and is always shown as an icon in the system tray. Right clicking on the system tray icon allows you to exit the program or change settings.

Download the free version of Listary

[via DownloadSquad]

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Listary has given me the chance to try a feature I’d wished for in Windows. I like how it works and I was also surprised to find that it offers more than similar features in Linux. I can’t complain about any lack in features, because there is a Pro version and I could pay for the additional features if I need them.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5

Portable Sticky Notes for Your Desktop – hott notes

If you need to post quick notes on your desktop, you have quite a few programs to choose from. My personal pick is hott notes. Hott notes has been around for a long time and has continued to improve with each version. This may or may not be the best sticky notes program, but it does have one feature that would make it my choice. Hott notes is now available in a portable version.

Here’s a screenshot from the website:


You can change the colors, fonts, titles, add pictures, to-do lists and more. Here’s a brief list of other features.

• Note types – Message, List, Scribble
• Transparency
• Scribbles draw your own images
• Wastebasket just like Windows Trash Bin
• Archive notes store them away
• Backup notes keep them safe
• Restore notes from Wastebasket or Archive
• Import notes from Backup files

I like the portable version, which I can take with me on a flash drive to use on any Windows PC. It’s offered as a ZIP file and can be extracted to any location.

Here are 11 more sticky note programs. If you need a sticky notes program that can be used on multiple operating systems, such as Mac or Linux, you might like to try GloboNotes, which runs on any computer with Java 6 installed on it. Another popular sticky program is called Stickies, and I’m still waiting for a portable version of it that actually works.

• Download hott notes

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Hott notes is a good way to keep track of small bits of information. Just like the real world sticky notes, they will keep you from forgetting important events or information. The only lack I’ve found so far, is that you can’t paste images into these, even though you can draw your own using the Scribbles note type.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Locking Programs and Files with a Password – SaveIt

I saw a review for a program called Empathy at Download Squad. It allows you to lock files with a password. They mentioned that this was a free version with the password feature disabled partially. You could only use a one letter password. What are they thinking?

I try out lots of free apps and I do occasionally recommend CrippleWare if it’s still useful. If there are any good alternatives I’ll mention those in the same article.

There are many free apps to let you lock down your PC and it’s applications. Below are a couple I’ve run into in the past and one I can recommend.

WindowsXpSecurityConsole – Super but mainly locks Windows resources

WinGuard Pro 2008 – NOT RECOMMENDED too many disabled features in the free edition

SaveIt! is the one I recommend if you need to lock program files.


SaveIt uses a fairly standard installer. When you launch it, you’ll be able to choose the executable file that you want to password protect. It will step you through two additional screens to get more settings from you. If you get confused about what to do at the end of each step, look in the right side panel for the link labeled Nextto advance to the next step.

When you are done, you should see the icon for your executable change to the SaveIt icon which shows a red circle with a cross-bar through it. Anyone trying to open your protected executables will have to know the password to use it.

If you decide to remove the protection on a file later, you can get to this screen (below) by launching the file and supplying the password.


Download location:

Techie Buzz Verdict:

SaveIt is a simple and effective way to control who can access programs on your PC. It’s small. easy to use, and it’s free. I can recommend it without any reservations.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Find Files Fast with UltraSearch

UltraSearch_MAINICON Last week, I told you how to Replace Windows XP Search with a faster file search utility. In the article I mentioned three very good and fast replacements.

This week, I’ve found a fourth search utility that I can recommend as well.

A company, named Jam Software, has just released a beta version of UltraSearch. It’s a relatively small and very fast file search utility for NTFS local drives. It should run well in any Windows OS that uses NTFS file systems (WinNT, Win2K, WinXP, Vista, Win7).

Features I like:

  • It’s very fast, almost as fast as indexed search tools
  • It’s small, less than 2mb download
  • It’s simple, no options other than selecting drives
  • It accepts wildcard characters ( * ? )
  • It allows the Windows context menus to show (right click on file)
  • It’s available as a zip download and installed download
  • It includes a help file (English and German)
  • It can be used from a portable drive (flash drive, floppy disk, CD)
  • It’s freeware, no strings attached



First, I want to clarify why I like search tools that don’t create indexes. Usually, an indexed search tool must run in the background, continuously watching your hard drive for changes. Often the index databases can be large, sometimes very large (gigabytes). Indexed search tools, can not be used from a portable drive, at least not easily.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

UltraSearch isn’t a new idea. There are a few other tools that take advantage of the NTFS file tables to search quickly. It also does not search inside of files for text or other data. It cannot be considered completely portable since it appears to write data to the Application Data folders and likely other areas. However, if all you need is a very fast and easy file search, it’s a big winner.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3.5/5 (Very good)

Protect Your Computer With Returnil Virtual System 2010

Returnil Virtual System 2010 is a powerful combination of anti-virus, anti-malware and a virtual system that protects your computer from all types of viruses, trojans, adware, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, spyware and unwanted system changes. This program comes with an excellent virtualization feature that creates a clone of the actual operating system. This allows you to run your applications and perform all the activities in an entirely isolated environment.

returnil virtual system

Returnil Virtual System was installed smoothly in our computer. We had to reboot our system to complete the installation process. Virtualization feature was activated as soon as we returned to Windows. Once the virtualization feature is activated, a floating bar is visible on desktop as well as on top of all the applications.

You should check all the system requirements before entering into virtual mode. You should atleast have twice the space of your RAM, in order to access the virtual mode. You need to reboot your computer, in order to return to the previous state. The best part is that, all our downloaded files were deleted and all the changes we made in our system was returned to its previous state. This feature is extremely helpful in case of a virus attack.

returnil virtual system

This program also allows you to create and mount virtual drive, which can be used easily in the virtual mode. You can access all your files and folders in virtual mode with the help of in-built file manager. The virus guard included in this program provides real-time protection to your system against malware and virus attacks.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

The virtualization feature of this program is extremely useful. This program worked smoothly on our system without any lags even while installing it. It also allows us to select the data that we want to keep in the real system and discard other stuffs by simply selecting the files, folders and registry items. This program works on Windows7, Vista and XP.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

Check out the video review of Returnil Virtual System below…

Video Review

[ Download Returnil Virtual System 2010 ]

How To Extract Microsoft Office 2010 Product Key?

Microsoft Office 2010 Logo

Microsoft has already created a lot of hype over its latest version of Office Suite. Recently a beta version of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus was released and we have posted a download link for the same. After few days, a Starter Edition of Microsoft Office 2010 was also leaked. What’s more? We have even posted all the tips and tricks of Microsoft Office 2010.

If you are one of those people who have already downloaded and installed Microsoft Office 2010 but lost the product key due to some reason, then here is something for you to rejoice.

ProduKey is an easy to use utility that can extract your Microsoft Office 2010 product keys within few seconds. ProduKey is a very tiny program that can extract all of your product keys as soon as you open the program. There is no need to install this program and it is completely portable. You can carry it anywhere on your USB drive.

Extract Office 2010 Product Key ProduKey

Techie-Buzz Verdict

ProduKey can easily extract the product keys of Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2010 as well as product keys of Windows 7, Vista, and XP with a single click. It works smoothly on Windows 7, Vista, XP, Exchange Server and SQL Server.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

Don’t Forget to Check Out Some Free Alternatives for Microsoft Office And Tips and Tricks for Office

[ Download ProduKey ] [ via. BlogsDNA ]

Process Hacker : The Best Task Manager For Windows

The default Windows Task Manager is very basic and provides only a few controls. You can kill a process but if you want some details about running processes in your system, you have to look for Windows task manager alternatives. Process Hacker is yet another task manager for Windows but has many more controls and functions that you’ll love using.

Continue reading Process Hacker : The Best Task Manager For Windows