James A. Cartwright, CNE, MCSE, MS
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1. God Mode It may be hyperbolically named, but Windows 7's God Mode is indeed omnipresent. It conveniently puts hundreds of settings from all around the operating system all in one place.

To turn on God Mode, create a new folder on your desktop--or anywhere you'd like--and name it: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. Don't include the final period. The resulting folder will contain 270 items, representing virtually every configurable option in Windows 7.

2. Wipe Free Disk Space08 It's no secret (or at least, it shouldn't be) that when you delete files or folders in Windows, they're not actually erased—the space they took up is simply marked as "available for use," which allows the files to be recoverable (with the right software) until they're overwritten with new data.

There is a utility built-into Windows (even XP Pro and Vista) that will overwrite all the free space on a hard drive, insuring any files you've deleted stay dead. Launch a command prompt and type cipher /w:X where X is the letter of the drive or partition you want to wipe. Be patient—the process can take a long time if you have a lot of free space.

3. Problem Steps Recorder When you need outside PC help, it's much better to let them see for themselves what's happening on your system. But if remote access isn't an option, the Problem Steps Recorder may be the next best thing.

Search for and run "psr" from the Start menu. Click Start Record, and the utility will record your activities through a series of screen shots, automatically including captions that show exactly where you clicked. You can also use the Add Comment button to highlight specific areas of the screen and insert custom annotations. When you stop recording, everything will be stitched together and saved as a Web browser-compatible MHTML (MIME HTML) file, conveniently pre-ZIPped and ready for e-mailing to your geek of choice. 

4. "Virtual" Wi-Fi If you check out the network connections of most Wi-Fi-equipped Windows 7 systems (except those with Starter Edition), you'll notice an adapter called Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport adapter. This virtual adapter can act as a software-based access point; it takes a wired or wireless network connection and makes it available a separate wireless network.

This lets you create your own hotspot from whatever network you're connected to, which can be handy in many different scenarios, including when you want to connect multiple devices to a Wi-Fi network that charges for access. (Note: to take advantage of this feature, you'll need a copy of the free Connectify software.)    

5. Hotkey a Window between Monitors Want an easy and mouse-free way to move windows around a display or, better yet, between multiple monitors? When you press the Windows key + the left or right arrow key, the active window will move from its original position and anchor itself to the edge of the screen in the direction of the arrow, and it will do so across every monitor you have. Similarly, if you press Windows + SHIFT + left or right arrow, the active window will jump over to the same position on the adjacent monitor (so if you only have two monitors, it doesn't matter which arrow key you use).