Launching applications using windows key combination in Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista has a lot of new features comparing to any of the previous versions of operating systems released by Microsoft. One of the new features which fascinated me was the shortcut key to launch programs which are in your Quick Launch tool bar.

The shortcut key for the programs or applications which are saved in the quick launch is just a combination of the Windows Key + a number. To be more specific, you can save or add upto 10 application shortcuts to the quick launch. The shortcut key for these applications will be Windows key+1 (for the first shortcut in the quick launch), Windows key + 2 will be for the second application moving from left to right in your quick launch.

How to add or applications to the quick launch toolbar?

Just drag and drop the necessary application you want ūüôā it’s so simple!!

Snipping Tool

Have you ever wondered on how to capture screen shots of error messages, application configurations or certain windows from your computer without installing any other applications?

Windows Vista addresses this question by including a tool called Snipping Tool which helps to capture screen shots.

To start the snipping tool,

Run -> snippingtool.exe

You may¬†wonder what’s the difference between the Print Screen button on your keyboard and this ūüôā

Try the Snipping Tool and you will experience the difference. It captures the screens in a more structured manner which can be copied directly to your outlook an other applications.

Creating users and Assigning Folder level permissions on a Windows Server 2003 Domain

After my previous post which was on How to install Active Directory on a Windows Server 2003, I thought creating user accounts in Active Directory and Assigning permissions to folders will be more suited to follow on.

First let’s look at how we can create user accounts in a domain (after installing active directory)

  • Log in to your domain controller with an administrative privileged account.
  • Click on Start -> All programs -> Administrative tools -> Active Directory Users and computers
  • Expand the domain -> Right Click on the User container and select New -> Select User
  • You will be prompted with the New Object – User Window
  • Fill in the necessary details and click Next
  • Assign and confirm the password -> click Next
  • On the summary screen verify your details and click Finish.

User account is created and you can create any number of users here to meet your requirements. 

I have created two user accounts namely, User A and User B. By default when you create a new user account it will be a member of the Users group. You can go into the properties of the user object and make the user a member of any other group if necessary.

Now let’s look at how to assign permissions to a Shared Folder

  • Create¬†a folder and Share the folder by right clicking on the folder and selecting Sharing and Security
  • You will be prompted with the Folder properties Window where you will have two options (Do not share this folder and share this folder)
  • Select Share this folder option¬†
  • Click on Permissions and you will be prompted with the Permissions window which shows who can access this shared folder over the network. By default “Everyone” can access the folder.
  • I am going to make this folder accessible only to User A. To achieve this,¬†I am going to remove all other users permission and add only User A.
  • On the Sharing Permissions for Folder window click on “Everyone” and click on Remove.
  • After removing the everyone group from the permissions window click on Add and add User A and grant him full control permission
  • Click Apply and Ok.
  • Now click on the Security Tab, here you will be able to see the permissions given for each user or group towards this folder.
  • Remove all users and groups and then add User A, if you want you can add the Administrator acccount¬†so that only User A and the Administrator will have access to the folder and no one else.
  • After you add User A, give User A full control permission over his folder and click Apply and Ok.

After you perform these tasks, only User A will be able to access the Shared Folder. 

Screen shots attched below ūüôā

How to install Active Directory on a Windows Server 2003

I was thinking to write something on Windows Server 2008 until now when a friend of mine called me and asked on how to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003.

Well, before¬†I begin let’s¬†make a list on what you should have before you start installing Active Directory on a Windows Server 2003 computer.

  • You should have Installed Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003R2 on a NTFS partition and of course the partition should have¬†enough free space.
  • The computer should be connected to a network
  • ¬†You should have an idea about the Domain name you are going to assign
  • The Windows Server 2003 CD or Media kit

Once you finish installing the Windows Server 2003 Operating system on your server computer (a default installation), configure your computer with the necessary IP configurations and assign that computers IP address as the DNS server IP Address as we will be installing the DNS server on the same computer.

 Once you have all these things setup, then you can start installing Active Directory to promote the computer as a domain controller.

Installing Active Directory

  • Run -> dcpromo.exe
  • Welcome Screen -> Click Next
  • Operating System Compatibility Screen -> Click Next
  • Domain Controller Type Screen -> Select Domain controller for a new domain (first option) -> Next
  • Type of Domain to be created -> Select the first option Domain in a New Forest -> Next
  • New Domain Name -> type the domain name (we will be using DEMO.LOCAL) -> Next
  • NetBIOS Domain Name -> it will have a name by default or you can type a name (maximum 15 characters) here i will take DEMO as the name -> Next
  • Location for the Active Directory Database &¬†Log files -> browse and change or keep the default (here its default) -> Next
  • Shared System Volume Location -> Browse and change or keep default (here its default) -> Next
  • The Wizard will try to find a DNS server and display failure screen (since there are no DNS available) and give you three options. Select the second option which is Install and Configure DNS on this computer (default)¬†¬†¬† -> Next
  • Permissions Screen -> Two Options (select the second option which is the default or select according to your requirement) -> Next
  • Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password -> type a password and confirm password -> Next
  • Summary screen -> Verify -> Next
  • Active Directory Installation Starts
  • In the midst of the Active Directory installation DNS installation will start automatically and if your server is on dynamic IP it will prompt you to assign a static IP.
  • And finally when its done you will get the finish screen and upon clicking the finish button you will have to restart the computer.


Remember, If you have an existing forest with a Windows Server 2000, or 2003 Root Domain controller and if you are trying to promote a Windows Server 2003R2 as a Child Domain Controller, It will give you an error asking you to run the Adprep.exe Command line tool on the parent domain and modify the schema. For more information regarding this error please visit


The screen shots are below ūüôā

Opening IMDB website in Internet Explorer 8 Beta

About 2 weeks ago I installed Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 to my computer and have been using it since then. I usually browse almost everyvday since¬†I love movies and movies are the only thing I enjoy other than my work. Anyway, after installing IE8 Beta 2¬†the¬†IMDB website didn’t work, the site didn’t even open.¬†I thought that¬†there was something wrong with the website and I tried opening it from¬†another computer which has IE7 and for my surprise it was working perfectly.¬†That was it,¬†I tried to fix this and find out what exactly was causing this¬†and finally “wolaaaaa”¬†I found it, when i¬†enabled the compatibility view option in the tools menu it worked without a problem.

What¬†I think is causing this problem is that IE8 checks the website for any compatibility issues. Anyway now that my¬†problem is solved¬†I am going to find out the latest movie details from IMDB. Adieu ūüôā

User Account Control in Windows Vista

As all of you’ll know Windows Vista which is the latest client operating system¬†from Microsoft has many security features. One of these features is the User Account Control (UAC).

When this feature is enabled on a Windows Vista computer, each and every time there is an administrative task been performed such as installing a new program, modifying a system setting etc. a notification window will be popped on to the desktop, briefly locking or disabling the rest of the activities until you verify your action with the administrative credential to continue with the task. This is applicable even if you are logged on to the computer with administrative privileges.

¬†One of the main reasons to have this is to protect your computers from Malware. When a malware is been executed in your computer and when it is about to perform an administrative task you will be notified by this popup requesting for your permission ūüôā (Normally when there is a Malware running on your computer it runs in the background where you won’t notice whether its executing or not until the malware successfully execute and harm our systems).

By default this option is enabled but some of us turn this option off by visiting the User Account section in the control panel or by using msconfig.exe utility. But it’s always recommended and advisable to keep this feature enabled for your own good ūüôā

PS: After I installed my Windows Vista Service pack 1 i should say that the performance of my computer has gone up tremendously.

Shortcut key to create a New Folder

Shortcut keys in Windows environment or any software environment makes our life really easy. For an example to perfom a Copy operation you press Ctrl+C and to pate you press a Ctrl+V on your keyboard.

Have you ever wondered on what will be the shortcut key to create a New Folder in Windows?

The answer for this depends on where you want to create the Folder. Because you wont be able to use this partcular shortcut key on the desktop but you can use it anywhere in Windows Explorer or inside any of the existing folders.

Okay, the shortcut key is Alt+F+W+F 

Alt+F is for the File Menu and “W” is for New under the file menu and “F” is for New Folder.

Microsoft Exchange Error

Today I installed and configured Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (without SP1) on a virtual environment (used Microsoft Virtual PC). I had my Domain controller which was a Windows Server 2003 R2 on a seperate virtual pc and Exchange server on a different member server virtual pc.

The connectivity between the servers were perfect, and both servers weere communicatiing without a problem. My test environment includes five Dell laptops which are installed with Windows Vista and Office 2007. 

Although this was not my first time installing Exchange (infact done this countless times) i got this error message for the first time. The error

“Cannot open your default email folders. You must connect to Microsoft Exchange with the current profile before you can synchronize your folders with your offline folder file”¬†

occured when i was configuring the mailboxes for¬†the client computers (Office Outlook 2007). It’s wiered as this is the firt time that i have recieved this error and i tried removiing the¬†Outlook profile from the client computer, but didnt help.

As the next step¬†I installed Exchange Service Pack 1 and restarted the server and “TADAAAA”¬†it started to work on all the client Pc’s.

Google Chrome

Google released a new web browser named Google Chrome. Although this is still in Beta version it can be downloaded from and used.

It has tabbed based browsing like most of the other web browsers and the interface looks¬†great. The Google Chrome setup file is just 450KB download. The installation is quick and does not require a reboot which is great ūüôā

Enjoy using Google Chrome