Most of these Windows time tested tips go back several versions of Windows so they're definitely worth using.

Famous Shortcuts

  • Menu – Win + X
  • Explorer – Win + E
  • Useful cmds
    • ping
    • tracert
    • ipconfig
    • > (output to text file)
  • Security policies – Secpol.msc
  • Add / remove programs – Appwiz.cpl
  • Useful apps
    • Procmon
    • psexec
    • autoruns

Note: here are some useful run commands for Windows as well.

Logon Errors

User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

Login as local Administrator and delete the SQM Folder located at C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\SQM

There could be a couple reasons why this may be happening. Here's the most likely culprits:

  • Beginning hardware problems like bad memory, hard drive failure (disk write errors), and more. This could be due to age and wear or a power failure that damaged your hardware. This happens quite a bit.
  • An improper shutdown, especially in the middle of a cleaning, install, or upgrade of normal files or hardware.
  • Failed Windows Update of a critical system file.
  • Virus, other malware, or a poorly coded 3rd party Windows utility.

Common Files Locations

LocationNotesWin7 x64Vista x64Vista x86XP
All Users DesktopC:\Users\Public\DesktopC:\Users\Public\DesktopC:\Users\Public\DesktopC:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
All Users Start MenuC:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start MenuC:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start MenuC:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start MenuC:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu
ALLUSERSPROFILEAll Users ProfileC:\ProgramDataC:\ProgramDataC:\ProgramDataC:\Documents and Settings\All Users
APPDATAC:\Users\username>\AppData\RoamingC:\Users\username\AppData\RoamingC:\Users\username\AppData\RoamingC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data
CommonProgramFilesC:\Program Files\Common FilesC:\Program Files\Common FilesC:\Program Files\Common FilesC:\Program Files\Common Files
CommonProgramFiles(x86)Common 32bit Program Files on 64bit machineC:\Program Files (x86)\Common FilesC:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
HOMEPATHLocation of User Profile while user is logged in (not location of roaming profile)\Users\username\Users\username\Users\username\Documents and Settings\username
IE FavoritesC:\Users\username\FavoritesC:\Users\username\FavoritesC:\Users\username\FavoritesC:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites
LinksC:\Users\username\LinksC:\Documents and Settings\username\Links
LOCALAPPDATAMozilla Profile in VistaC:\Users\username\AppData\LocalC:\Users\username\AppData\LocalC:\Users\username\AppData\Local
Mozilla ProfileC:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\ProfilesC:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\ProfilesC:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\ProfilesC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
ProgramDataMST Login Scripts, All Users ProfileC:\ProgramDataC:\ProgramDataC:\ProgramData
ProgramFiles32bit programs for 32bit OS, 64bit programs for 64bit OSC:\Program FilesC:\Program FilesC:\Program FilesC:\Program Files
ProgramFiles(x86)32bit Program Files on 64bit machineC:\Program Files (x86)C:\Program Files (x86)
PublicShared Public Data in VistaC:\Users\PublicC:\Users\PublicC:\Users\Public
Quick Launch ToolbarQuick Launch shortcutsC:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick LaunchC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick LaunchC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick LaunchC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
SystemDriveDrive where Windows is installedC:C:C:C:
SystemRootLocation where Windows is installedC:\WindowsC:\WindowsC:\WindowsC:\WINNT
User DesktopC:\Users\username\DesktopC:\Users\username\DesktopC:\Users\username\DesktopC:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop
User DocumentsC:\Users\username\DocumentsC:\Users\username\DocumentsC:\Users\username\DocumentsC:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents
USERPROFILEProfile locationC:\Users\usernameC:\Users\usernameC:\Users\usernameC:\Documents and Settings\username
WINDIRLocation where Windows is installedC:\WindowsC:\WindowsC:\WindowsC:\WINNT

Note 2: here are some useful environment variables for Windows as well.

Note 3: here are some useful shell commands for Windows as well.

That's it for this post. What other windows time tested tips do you have?

Update: If you're looking for more modern tips instead of tips that stood the test of time, this Windows 10 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts article by Ed Bott at ZDNet has quite a few (over 30) tips for getting the most out of Windows 10.

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