Archive for October, 2009

Vista Disk Usage Sucks

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

I stole the following tip from Delete All But The Most Recent Restore Point In Vista:

System Restore is a handy feature but it can take up several gigabytes of hard drive space. You can reclaim the space but disabling System Restore, however, by doing so, you will not be able to restore your computer to a given point in time.

An alternative, or happy medium, is to delete all the restore points, except the most recent one. To accomplish this in Vista:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup.
  2. Click Files from all users on this computer.
  3. If prompted, click OK.
  4. From the dialog box that appears, click the More Options tab.
  5. From the System Restore and Shadow Copies section, click Clean up.
  6. When prompted, click Delete.
  • Click OK.
  • Vista Folders Suck

    Saturday, October 24th, 2009

    Will see if this works soon:

    Change Vista Default Folder View / Make Folders Same

    Why is trustedinstaller.exe Using Up All My CPU Cycles?

    Saturday, October 24th, 2009

    Covered very well at, I will quote the best post in case the URL changes:

    Re: TrustedInstaller.exe

    This became a lot longer than I expected so if you want the short answer
    without how I figured this out, scroll to the bottom.

    Long Answer

    So I think I’ve devised a solution to this problem.

    First, some background on what TrustedInstaller is.

    Essentially, TrustedInstaller.exe is this kind of third-party master
    “administrator” which holds the rights to certain files/applications
    that the OS deems to be essential. Windows basically gives
    TrustedInstaller carte blanche to do whatever it wants — use as much
    CPU, RAM as it wants. This is because if TrustedInstaller.exe has
    allowed a certain application (let’s call it Program X) to perform a
    given task, then Windows essentailly “trusts” that Program X is an
    essential system resource — because it is running under the purview of
    TrustedInstaller. (Hence the strange, spyware-esque name of
    TrustedInstaller.) And since Program X is an “essential” and “trusted”
    system resource, Windows will make sure to give it all the CPU time it

    I found the MSDN blog post found at
    to be particularly insightful on what TrustedInstaller actually does.

    Anyway, on to the solution.

    So, I would be trying to watch a movie in windows media player when all
    of a sudden the movie stutters and skips and TrustedInstaller is using
    like 90% CPU, can’t end task, lowering task priority does nothing. And
    if i closed wmplayer, TrustedInstaller would go away. After looking
    around on some forums I learned that TrustedInstaller has something to
    do with the new Integrated Windows Update feature in Vista. So I tried
    to deactivate Windows Update but that did nothing. Then I realized,
    TrustedInstaller.exe (in my particular case) is only hogging ridiculous
    amoutns of resources when I use programs that depend on a certain codec
    (ffdshow) that I had been having problems with earlier and which Vista
    logged in its “Problem Reports and Solutions” service. I then realized,
    Windows is continuously checking for “updates” or “new solutions” to the
    ffdshow problem I used to have because I had not yet removed the entry
    for the codec problem in the Problem Reports and Solutions control
    panel. So, removing all of these entries should result in Problem
    Reports and Solutions stopping its requests on the Windows Update
    service, which will then stop its requests to TrustedInstaller to take
    up massive amounts of system resources.

    Short Answer

    Do the following:
    Start > Control Panel > Classic View > Problem Reports and Solutions >
    Clear Solution and Problem History > (Confirm that you want to clear
    the history) > Close the control panel

    Caveat: The thing is, this assumes that Problem Reports and Solutions
    is the root cause of your particular TrustedInstaller using up all
    these resources. If there is something else that is making calls on
    TrustedInstaller (which it very well could be as TrustedInstaller
    serves as a central hub for what Vista deems mission-critical requests)
    – then you will have to diagnose your unique problem.

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    Links Be Gone

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

    I often save web pages as Word documents for different reasons, and sometimes need to disable the links. Finding no help in Help, I did the usual search and found the trick elsewhere.

    Here’s what I found:
    If you just want to remove the hyperlink property of the entry, select the document—[Ctrl]A—and unlink the field—[Ctrl][Shift][F9].

    Word Reading Layout Isn’t Readable

    Thursday, October 1st, 2009

    Among the many poor UI decisions Microsoft made with Office 2003, the Reading Layout has to be one of the more annoying. Word has built in a whole bunch of tools to tweak layout and presentation, then they think that the handiest way to look at a file created with these tools is to default to a different view.

    To fix this user-abuser feature, go to the Tools menu in Word, select the General tab, and deselect “Allow starting in Reading Layout”.

    Another annoyance is the Favorites panel in Outlook 2003. I don’t get it. Were so many people not using that feature that they had to stick it in a place where it can’t be removed. Worse yet, they made it look like the view that is useful, which is Folders view. So if you already know where your stuff is and don’t need Microsoft to tell you you should have favorites (another semantic violation, as what is frequently used isn’t always a favorite), just use the Folders view (buried with those annoying icons at the bottom to make it look like an OS instead of an app).

    Ah, I feel so much better having ranted against the Empire 🙂