Back Up Your Registry in Case of Disaster – ERUNT

registry icon Most of you already know what the Windows registry is and what it does. I’ll tell you about it anyway, just in case you’ve forgotten. The Windows registry is the keeper of all the settings in Windows and many of the programs you install. If something goes wrong in the registry, you can end up with a PC that won’t even boot properly.

In some of the older Windows operating systems, such as Win95, 98 and ME, your PC used to back up the registry every time you rebooted. If you are using Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Win7, this isn’t true. In those older systems, you could restore an older copy of the registry while you were booting up. In the newer systems, you can’t do that.

Many years ago, I ran into a program called ERUNT that solves this problem to some extent. The name stands for Emergency Recovery Utility NT. ERUNT allows you to back up the registry completely and restore older copies of the registry if you run into any problems. It has saved me plenty of headaches over the years.

The ERUNT program is fairly small. The installer is about 772kb when you download it. The installation is fairly standard up to the final option. You will be asked if you want ERUNT to run every time Windows starts. I always tell it No’, but it’s a great safety option.


Once installed, you can launch ERUNT from your Start menu, or a shortcut. You’ll see a screen like this.


As you can see, the default location of the backup files is a folder called ERDNT inside the Windows folder. Once you click the OK button to start the backup operation, it actually does it’s job fairly quick.


Now that you have a backup, what good is it? Let’s use me as an example. I had recently tried out a new image viewer and I didn’t like it after trying it. I tried to uninstall it, and I found out that the uninstall wouldn’t work. The image viewer had changed all of my image file type settings and now there was no way to return them to the original settings.

If I had used ERUNT before installing the image viewer, I’d be able to restore the registry to make all of those changes vanish. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made any backups, and I ended up with far more trouble. Hopefully, I won’t do that again.

To recover the registry from an earlier backup, you need to go to the C:\Windows\ERDNT folder, then into one of the dated backup folders. Once inside one of the date folders, you’ll see the ERDNT.exe file.


Double click the ERDNT file to launch the restore operation. Once it’s finished, you will be prompted to reboot the PC. During the reboot, Windows will load the backup copy of the registry.

Here’s what I recommend for the use of ERUNT.

• Back up the registry just before installing new programs.
• Back up the registry just before you start a Windows update.
• Back up the registry on a regular basis (like once a week).

ERUNT works in Windows NT, 2000, XP, and I’ve read it also works with Windows 7 and Vista.

When you install ERUNT, it also provides you with a utility called NTREGOPT. This is a registry optimizing tool and supposedly compacts the registry to remove wasted space in it. I don’t use it often, but you may find it useful.

Download ERUNT

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you want to prepare for disaster, you should always keep full backups of your Windows hard drives. For smaller and quicker backups, you can use ERUNT to back up the Windows registry. It could save you hours of trouble, and I could almost say it’s a must have‘ utility.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

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)

Microsoft Releases Windows Experience Pack for Windows XP/Vista/7

Microsoft has been releasing freebies for Windows 7 users fairly regularly. However, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft has completely forgotten about users of older versions of Windows. The Windows team has released a new set of goodies for Windows Live, which are available not only for Windows 7 but also for Windows XP and Vista.


The Windows Experience Pack allows you to enjoy the beach, explore the city, go on a safari or experience the mountains without leaving your computer. It is mainly targeted towards Windows Live users and includes display pictures (static as well as dynamic), winks, emotions and messenger scenes. Windows 7 users will also get a new set of desktop backgrounds (wallpaper) and screensavers. The desktop wallpaper is personalized and features your online avatar.

The so called Windows Experience Pack is little more than a set of Windows Live goodies. If you don’t use Windows Live you won’t really find this exciting. However, one can’t really complain about something which is free.

WinPatrol Lifetime License for 99¢ – One Day Only

I don’t check my Twitter very often. I was surprised to catch a tweet that I consider breaking news. The author of the excellent WinPatrol security software for Windows has gone a little crazy. Here’s what he says on his blog.

I’m curious and thinking a crazy single day experiment could be fun and may be worth the risk. So what the hell. If you want to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS on January 29th, I’ll give you a lifetime WinPatrol membership for less than a dollar. (normally $29.95 USD)

I’ve used the free version of WinPatrol many times over the last few years. Last year we wrote an article telling you how to use WinPatrol to speed up Windows startup by delaying less important startup programs. That’s only one way to use WinPatrol. It’s been listed at Gizmo’s as a Best Free Intrusion Prevention and Detection Utility for Home Use. The PLUSedition of WinPatrol has some features in it that are going to be worth far more than a dollar to most users.

I’ll take a few moments here to tell you about some of it’s other important features.


As you can see, the program offers you 13 tabs full of information about the programs, services and settings on your PC. These include:

• Startup Programs
• Delayed Start
• ActiveX
• IE Helpers
• Scheduled Tasks
• Services
• Active Tasks
• Cookies
• File Types
• Hidden Files
• Recent
• PLUS Information
• WinPatrol Options

Each one of those tabs typically allow you to not only see what’s going on in your PC, but to also make changes to those areas. WinPatrol normally runs as an icon in your System Tray and notifies you when important PC settings are changed. Once notified, you are given the chance to deny those changes.

The PLUS section gives you access to WinPatrol’s exclusive information about the normally unknown processes that run on your PC.

There’s also a portable version of WinPatrol called WinPatrolToGo that can be taken with you on a flash drive or other portable media.

The 99 ¢ offer is available only on January 29th at:

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The free version of WinPatrol is a great addition to the security of any Windows PC. Adding the PLUS features for a small lifetime fee of 99 cents is a real bargain that many people should consider. Remember that this offer is only good on January 29th 2010, one day only.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5

GodMode Creator for Windows 7 and Vista

Earlier this week, we took a look at the much hyped God Mode‘ trick and explained how it works and why it isn’t Godly after all. The God Mode trick simply uses Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID), which point to certain special folders.

Ed Bott provided the GUIDs for 39 useful Windows 7 and Vista shortcuts. Now, the folks at TheWindowsClub have created a free utility to easily create God Modes in Windows 7 and Vista. The utility contains 38 useful special folder shortcuts. Simply click on an icon and it will automatically create the respective shortcut on your desktop.


Techie Buzz Verdict

God Modes act as simple shortcuts to various special folders already present in your system. They don’t reveal any hidden settings and as such are only useful for providing quick access to frequently used options. The GodMode Creator is a straight-forward app, which simplifies this process by automatically creating the shortcuts for you. However, the main limitation of this app is that, the shortcuts are always created on your desktop. There is no option to specify the target directory.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2/5 (Average)

[ Download GodMode Creator for Windows 7 and Vista (32bit only) ]

Liked Windows 7 God Mode? Here Are 39 More Delicious Shortcuts for Windows 7 and Vista

Windows-7-God-ModeEarlier this week, we had shared with you an intriguing Windows 7 tip called God Mode. Of course, its not as phenomenal as it sounds. In fact it isn’t even new. What it does is create a folder (rather a shortcut) containing an exhaustive list of Windows 7 options. The trick itself is extremely simple and all the user needs to do is create a folder named “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}“.

The shortcut is basically a globally unique identifier (GUID) which points to the Control Panel. The first potion of the key (i.e. portion before the period) is totally inconsequential. In fact “Test.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” would work just as well (but obviously Windows 7 Test Mode doesn’t sound as juicy as Windows 7 God Mode).

Windows Vista (32 bit only) users can achieve something similar by creating a folder named “Master Control.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}“. This trick was discovered by Ramesh Kumar and is popularly called the Master Control Panel.

Windows Guru Ed Bott has now come up with a fairly large list of useful GUID shortcuts for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Some of them are:

Windows 7 and Vista (GUIDs)

AutoPlay: {9C60DE1E-E5FC-40f4-A487-460851A8D915}

Computer Folder: {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Default Programs: {17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966}

Get Programs: {15eae92e-f17a-4431-9f28-805e482dafd4}

Performance Information and Tools: {78F3955E-3B90-4184-BD14-5397C15F1EFC}

Personalization: {ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}

System: {BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}

Windows Update: {36eef7db-88ad-4e81-ad49-0e313f0c35f8}

Wndows 7 only (GUIDs)

Action Center: {BB64F8A7-BEE7-4E1A-AB8D-7D8273F7FDB6}

Backup and Restore: {B98A2BEA-7D42-4558-8BD1-832F41BAC6FD}

Biometric Devices: {0142e4d0-fb7a-11dc-ba4a-000ffe7ab428}

Display: {C555438B-3C23-4769-A71F-B6D3D9B6053A}

Recovery: {9FE63AFD-59CF-4419-9775-ABCC3849F861}

Speech Recognition: {58E3C745-D971-4081-9034-86E34B30836A}

Troubleshooting: {C58C4893-3BE0-4B45-ABB5-A63E4B8C8651}

Remember that you need to create a new folder and name it according to the format “FolderName.GUID“. While, these shortcuts won’t provide any new functionality, using them you can create your own version of Control Panel containing the most frequently used options. You can find the full list provided by Ed Bott over here.

How to Take Ownership of Files and Folders in Windows Vista and 7

File permissions are a much needed addition to Windows, but occasionally it can get on your nerves. There may be times when you will need to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows. Sure, you can modify permissions through the file properties dialogue box. However, there are a couple of much simpler alternatives.

The first alternative is to use the registry files provided by Vishal Gupta from AskVG. Just double click on the Add Take Ownership Option.reg to apply the required changes to your registry. This modifies the discretionary access control lists and grants you permission to do whatever you wish with the file/folder. After this you should be able to take ownership of any file/folder through the right click context menu. Undoing the changes is as simple as running the Remove Take Ownership Option.reg file.


The second option is to use the Rizone Take Ownership Shell Extension. This is a portable utility which essentially does the same thing. You can create and delete the context menu entry with a single click. The utility doesn’t itself require any installation and is a tiny download.
Both of these are good options. Chose the one you feel comfortable with.

Enable Aero Effect in Windows Vista and Windows 7 Home Basic

Aero was one of the most celebrated additions to Windows Vista. The snazzy new Aero effects brought Windows on par with modern GUIs. Windows 7 further refined Aero and succeeded in delivering an attractive yet intuitive interface. Unfortunately, Aero is disabled in cheaper editions of Windows Vista and 7 (Home Basic and Starter editions). Aero is also locked on lower end systems.

AeroEnabler is a simple utility which unlocks Aero in Home Basic and Starter Editions. It can also be used to disable Windows hardware check. This makes it possible for everyone to get a taste of Aero, without upgrading the hardware or software.


Techie Buzz Verdict

AeroEnabler does what it promises. However, one must be careful while forcefully enabling Aero effects on lower end configurations. The hardware check was included in the first place because, running Aero on systems which aren’t powerful enough, may lead to major performance issues. If your hardware doesn’t satisfy the Windows Display Driver Model specifications, then you would probably be better off without Aero.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

[ Download AeroEnabler ]

via NirmalTV

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)

Windows 7, Vista, XP CD Key Finder


Quite sometime back we had told you on how you can find the XP Product CD key on your installation disk. If you are planning to re-install your system or format it, here is a nice which will allow you to find your Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 CD Key.

Though the product says that it only extracts CD keys from XP, we successfully ran this on and too.

Download XP CD-Key Finder