Advanced system settings


J

Jeff Layman

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from the
CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next file -
or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file type
icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents. And to
allow for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on "Show,
hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed the icons
size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing on the
desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel |
System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual effects
| Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now... > : [
 
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E

Ed Cryer

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from the
CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next file -
or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file type icons
were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents. And to allow
for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on "Show,
hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed the icons
size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing on the
desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel |
System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual effects
| Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now... > : [
Google's your friend but a lot of people don't know how to use it properly.
You think PC-wise and so you can easily settle on good search
terminology specific to the particular problem you've got. Many don't.
You can see it in the way they choose subjects when posting a problem.
The worst type are "Win7 problem - please help!" or "Computer doesn't work".

Googling is an art in itself. I should think that quite a few university
computer depts. have people doing PhDs on subsections of the art.

Ed
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from the
CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next file -
or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file type
icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents. And to
allow for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on "Show,
hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed the icons
size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing on the
desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel |
System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual effects
| Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now... > : [
Was it at least pretty?

To get serious for a minute, I use the free version of Fences,
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences, mostly to organize my desktop.

But - my desktop stays arranged the way I like it after any
disturbances, such as booting in Safe Mode or changing the screen
resolution.

I'm not sure if that would have helped in the above situation, since I'm
not sure I got the right picture...
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Googling is an art in itself. I should think that quite a few university
computer depts. have people doing PhDs on subsections of the art.
My suspicion: Google also has a lot of people doing intensive research
on that subject :)

For one thing, I get much better search results these days, and I really
don't think *I* have gotten smarter...
 
S

SC Tom

Gene E. Bloch said:
My suspicion: Google also has a lot of people doing intensive research
on that subject :)

For one thing, I get much better search results these days, and I really
don't think *I* have gotten smarter...
Maybe not smarter, but certainly more proficient. Or at least, that's the way I feel. I think after using something for
years (I had to tell one of my work buddies NOT to let his 10YO daughter search for "a girl and her horse" by herself
when doing a book report), one gets a feel for what to put in the search field to get the best results in the fewest
number of hits.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Jeff Layman said:
Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from
the CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next
file - or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file
type icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents.
And to allow for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on
"Show, hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed
the icons size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing
on the desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).
Having done this sort of thing once too often even under XP, I've
disabled the scroll wheel part of my trackpad; I've never really got
much into using a real scroll wheel, and the one at the side of the
trackpad which is too easy to slip onto by mistake is just too
troublesome. Others' MMV, or course.
[]
 
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E

Ed Cryer

My suspicion: Google also has a lot of people doing intensive research
on that subject :)

For one thing, I get much better search results these days, and I really
don't think *I* have gotten smarter...
It's the speed with which Google indexes stuff that baffles me. They do
it almost before the bytes hit the Web.
I'll try an experiment with a posting in this group; and then google for it.

Ed
 
C

Chet

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7
dumping ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in
a sensible place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before
pressing "Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast
enough from the CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled
to the next file - or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size,
and the file type icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the
files' contents. And to allow for the icon size change, the desktop
rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less
- to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work
out what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on
"Show, hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed
the icons size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails
appearing on the desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on
the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel
| System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual
effects | Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now... > : [
I hoard links to freeware and remembered this one I came across
recently. I personally haven't tried it as I don't have any icons on
any of my physical machine's desktops. I did download the setup file
and it scanned clean with both MS Security Essentials and
Malwarebytes free version (both updated); I plan on trying it in one
of my VMs (someday!).

IconRestorer - Standard version
http://freesoftland.sytes.net/iconrestorer.html

From the description it sounds as it may prevent you further grief.
System requirements:
Windows Vista and Windows 7 compatible
Works on 64-bit systems (XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and Windows 7)

hth
 
J

Jeff Layman

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7
dumping ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in
a sensible place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before
pressing "Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast
enough from the CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled
to the next file - or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size,
and the file type icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the
files' contents. And to allow for the icon size change, the desktop
rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less
- to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work
out what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on
"Show, hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed
the icons size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails
appearing on the desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on
the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel
| System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual
effects | Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now...> : [
I hoard links to freeware and remembered this one I came across
recently. I personally haven't tried it as I don't have any icons on
any of my physical machine's desktops. I did download the setup file
and it scanned clean with both MS Security Essentials and
Malwarebytes free version (both updated); I plan on trying it in one
of my VMs (someday!).

IconRestorer - Standard version
http://freesoftland.sytes.net/iconrestorer.html

From the description it sounds as it may prevent you further grief.
System requirements:
Windows Vista and Windows 7 compatible
Works on 64-bit systems (XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and Windows 7)

hth
Interesting, but it appears to have problems with Win7x64:
http://freesoftland.sytes.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=307&start=15#p1278
 
J

Jeff Layman

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from the
CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next file -
or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file type
icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents. And to
allow for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on "Show,
hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed the icons
size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing on the
desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel |
System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual effects
| Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now...> : [
Was it at least pretty?

To get serious for a minute, I use the free version of Fences,
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences, mostly to organize my desktop.

But - my desktop stays arranged the way I like it after any
disturbances, such as booting in Safe Mode or changing the screen
resolution.

I'm not sure if that would have helped in the above situation, since I'm
not sure I got the right picture...
That looks interesting, Gene. I've heard about Fences, but at the time
did not consider it necessary. I'll have a look.

The real picture in this case is one where there are at least two
causes. Firstly, "fat fingers", if you see what I mean! The second
results from Microsoft's desire to make something available which you
probably never need (CTRL-Scroll to quickly change icon size on the
desktop), and link that with thumbnails appearing in place of the
file-type icon. And then, in the usual MS way, hide that option so deep
in the OS setup that it is almost impossible to find.

I'm not sure why MS thought that a thumbnail icon of a file's content
would be more useful that the file type icon itself. For example, the
icons for Notepad, Word, Acrobat, and IrfanView are all quite distinct.
But if I had files on the desktop opened by each of those
applications, and which happened to have a page of text as the first (or
only) page, all of the thumbnail icons would appear more-or-less identical.
 
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J

Jeff Layman

That is strange as the system requirements I posted were copied from
their site ;( Sorry 'bout that.

I'll have to check back sometime and see if they get it sorted-out.

Thanks for the feedback,
No problem. It's just that before I try anything, I always visit the
support forum (if there is one) just in case. ;-)
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Win7HPx64 laptop.

Don't you just love "Advanced system settings"? It's the Win7 dumping
ground for anything Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put in a sensible
place.

A few days ago I was in process of deleting several files from the
desktop by using CTRL-click to highlight several files before pressing
"Del". Unfortunately, I didn't move my finger away fast enough from the
CTRL button before using the Trackpad, and scrolled to the next file -
or so I thought. The desktop icons changed size, and the file type
icons were replaced by small thumbnails of the files' contents. And to
allow for the icon size change, the desktop rearranged itself.

After nearly an hour of fiddling around I got it back - more or less -
to where it had been previously. It took a lot of digging to work out
what had gone on. A small tip right at the end of Win7's Help on "Show,
hide, or resize desktop icons" noted that CTRL-scroll changed the icons
size, but I could find nothing about the thumbnails appearing on the
desktop (quite a bit of info about thumbnails on the Taskbar).

Google was my friend - eventually. It appears that in Control panel |
System | Advanced system settings | Advanced | Settings | Visual effects
| Show thumbnails instead of icons, the box was checked.

It isn't now...> : [
Was it at least pretty?

To get serious for a minute, I use the free version of Fences,
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences, mostly to organize my desktop.

But - my desktop stays arranged the way I like it after any
disturbances, such as booting in Safe Mode or changing the screen
resolution.

I'm not sure if that would have helped in the above situation, since I'm
not sure I got the right picture...
That looks interesting, Gene. I've heard about Fences, but at the time
did not consider it necessary. I'll have a look.

The real picture in this case is one where there are at least two
causes. Firstly, "fat fingers", if you see what I mean! The second
results from Microsoft's desire to make something available which you
probably never need (CTRL-Scroll to quickly change icon size on the
desktop), and link that with thumbnails appearing in place of the
file-type icon. And then, in the usual MS way, hide that option so deep
in the OS setup that it is almost impossible to find.

I'm not sure why MS thought that a thumbnail icon of a file's content
would be more useful that the file type icon itself. For example, the
icons for Notepad, Word, Acrobat, and IrfanView are all quite distinct.
But if I had files on the desktop opened by each of those
applications, and which happened to have a page of text as the first (or
only) page, all of the thumbnail icons would appear more-or-less identical.
I think the reason I was confused is that the event was confusing :)

I am, of course, totally immune to fat fingering, so there's no way I
can sympathize with your problem. (I'm not sure if I'm lying or just
kidding!).

For just a moment of seriousness: one place where I like thumbnails is
in picture or video folders, since it's a cool way to see what you have.
Or even to have a slide show of sorts.

OT, or on topic if you like weird problems that defy solutions:

Two days ago, I tried to install on this computer the software for a
Sony GPS tracker that can be used to geotag photos. Nothing worked, and
contradictory messages appeared because newer software that I didn't
realize was there prevented some of the updates... In addition, no
drivers ever installed and the device was never recognized (that was a
clue, I later learned).

After a couple of hours of trying, including two or three System
restores, trying & failing to install on Win XP in VMware, and an
uninstallation, I went to bed grumbling a lot...

The next day before even trying to reinstall any SW, I used Sony's short
USB cable to plug the device into another port, and it worked like a
charm. It turned out to be not the cable, but the port. It also turned
out that the newer software that prevented the updates, which was for a
Sony camera, worked fine without the older SW I was trying to install.

It was just luck that I happened to plug the short cable into a
different port. The faulty port is now OK too; the plug to the
motherboard had become loosened by - guess what - fat fingers!

OK, now that I've complained at length, I'm happy again!
 
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