How to Remove the Homegroup Icon From the Desktop in Windows 7

Did the Homegroup icon all of a sudden appear on the desktop after running a registry cleaner or using a third party tweaking tool? This article shows you the way to hide the Homegroup icon from desktop.

Removing the Homegroup icon via user interface is not possible, as the "Change desktop icons" dialog in Windows 7 doesn’t list Homegroup as an available option. The only way to remove the Homegroup icon is via the registry. Use these steps: Read the rest of this entry »

After a malware attack, your Action Center may report that the Security Center service has stopped…

.. and when you click the button to turn on the service, the following error may show up:

Windows could not start the Security Center service on Local Computer.

Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified.

This happens if the malware has wiped out certain service registration entries relating to Security Center service in the Windows registry. First, it is imperative that you eliminate any malware/viruses on-board your computer using a suitable anti-malware software with up-to-date definitions.

Security Center Service Registration – Registry Fix

Then, to reinstate the service, download w7-wscsvc.zip (via Miscellaneous Registry Fixes for Windows 7/XP/Vista), unzip and run the enclosed REG file.

Restart Windows. The Security Center service should start now.

When you attempt to browse the web, a dial-up window may appear prompting for username and password even though the obsolete dial-up connectoid had been deleted from Network Connections window long ago. This may occur when your Wireless goes out of range, or when internet connection goes down in your network.

To resolve the problem, rename the RAS Phone Book file using these steps:

1. Press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog

2. Type the following path and press {ENTER}

%AppData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk

(The file rasphone.pbk is the Remote Access Phonebook which stores the Dial-Up Connection data.)

3. Rename the file rasphone.pbk to rasphone.pbk.old

That’s it. The old dial-up connection should no longer appear. Note that none of the dial-up connections would show up in the Network Connections window after renaming the above file.

When you click on the Documents, Pictures, Music or Videos library from the Start menu, nothing may happen. Also, these library links may show up with the file extension ".library-ms" in the Windows 7 Start menu.

And the libraries (both the built-in and custom ones) don’t work when double-clicked from Explorer, and they show up with a generic icon. Read the rest of this entry »

After installing Internet Explorer 11, some of your desktop gadgets may not render correctly. The gadgets may appear transparent with pink border and text, as in the graphic below:

And here is how it’s supposed to appear:

This has to do with a bug in Internet Explorer 11 RTM, which breaks some desktop gadgets, if the user has set custom DPI settings (>100%). In my case, gadgets stopped rendering correctly if I set the DPI to a value higher than 115%. In order to make the gadgets display correctly, you have two options.

Option 1. Revert back the DPI settings to 115%. If that doesn’t work, set it to 100%. (via Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display)

Option 2. If you want to retain your custom DPI settings and still want gadgets to work correctly, edit the protected file gadget.xml located in the following folder:

C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

The trick is to set <autoscaleDPI> setting to false, inside the XML file. By default, the auto-scaling is enabled in the gadgets configuration, which means the Zoom feature (of Internet Explorer) scales text and images for this gadget to match the DPI settings of the current user. Since IE11 has this bug with higher DPI, disabling the automatic scaling feature for that gadget is a nice workaround.

Detailed instructions to do so are provided in the MSDN forum thread titled Gadgets not working with IE-11 Win7.