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Startup folder location on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 2012 Server

Do you remember the Startup folder, where users and administrators – and also malware and other malicious software – could put shortcuts in order to execute certain programs on system startup? Since Windows 8 – with the Start menu gone for good – that folder was quickly forgotten in favor of more robust, service-based approaches, to the point it was nearly forgotten.

Despite all this, the folder is still there, up and “running”: it’s just that the new GUI is designed in a way that prevents us to accidentally stumble upon it like we were used to. Here are its upated filesystem paths.

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How to perform Network Trace on Windows using NETSH (without installing external software)

If you need to monitor the network traffic of a Windows client or server and you don’t want to install software such as Network Monitor or third-party tools such as Wireshark you can achieve the same results by using the native netsh console command, available on all Windows platforms starting from Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and above.

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VMware vSphere Client Download for Windows: All Versions and Releases

Few will deny the impact VMware had on modern virtualization technology environment and the Palo Alto software company leading role in the revolution involving thousands of server farms in recent years. An infrastructural change that also had an huge impact on many system administrators, who suddenly found themselves eager to learn and manage the logics behind the maintenance, backup and administration of either the Virtual Machines and their Hypervisors.

These issues are being mostly handled by using the vSphere Client, which is a free software released by VMware enabling SA to connect to VM Hypervisor systems and manage them. If you stumbled upon this page, chances are you know how difficult can be to retrieve the download links of the vSphere Client’s builds, each one required to connect to the corresponding vSphere release. This list comes to the rescue, including the download links for a wide number of available vSphere Client for Windows in the most likely case you’ll need them.

 

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Windows 8: Disable Auto-Restart after Updates feature

UPDATE: If you need to do this for Windows 10, read here.

Windows updates are generally a good thing, except when they force the shutdown process giving you no chances to do anything about it except save your work. We’re talking about the dreadful “Restarting in XX minutes, YY seconds” countdown message, which happens to be one of the most annoying features of the new operating system, even among those – including me – who actually like it.

Luckily enough, there are some ways to prevent this feature from happening, depending on which version of Windows you’re using, or just to shutdown the countdown.

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How to disable the On-Screen Touch Virtual Keyboard in Windows 8

You probably already know that Windows 8 has a nice on-screen virtual keyboard just like any other mobile-ready OSes. Once activated, the keyboard will automatically slide-in every time a textbox field gains focus inside a web browser, a desktop application and so on, giving the user the opportunity to tap and/or make handwriting gestures using the touch-screen:

fuller_keyboard

This handy feature comes up and running in most Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 pre-installed environments such as laptops, HTPCs, etc.; needles to say, there’s plenty of scenarios where we just do not need it. For example, when we already have an hardware keyboard.

Question is: how to effectively turn it off?

The answer is quite simple: the virtual keyboard is part of the “Touch screen keyboard and handwriting panel” local system service). In order to shut it down we need to:

  • Press the Windows Key + W (to open the search panel)
  • Type “services” and press ENTER (to open the local services panel)
  • Scroll down to the “Touch screen keyboard and handwriting panel”service.
  • Click/double click to it and select Stop (to shut down the service).
  • If the service startup is Automatic, you should also change it to Manual in order to prevent the system to restart it upon your next reboot.

Please notice that disabling the aforementioned service will also disable the handwriting service, so you’ll lose handwriting gesture recognition. I’m fairly sure that, as long as you have an hardware keyboard, you mosts likely won’t miss it.

 

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