Windows only: Changing up your desktop wallpaper can be really fun, but if you want a certain image on your desktop at all times, Overlap Wallpaper takes any image on your computer and displays it over your desktop.P
There are any number of things you might want to keep on your desktop, whether it be something aesthetic, like a picture of your family, or something more useful, like your daily schedule. Overlap Wallpaper is a neat utility that lets you display an image on top of your wallpaper, giving you the ability to keep that important image close without giving up your giant stash of rotating NASA wallpapers. What you put on that image is up to you, and can serve any number of uses. You could display daily reminders, list important phone numbers and other quick-access info, or even show a list of your long-term goals to help keep your mind on track. I’m currently using it to display a small version of the Lifehacker daily schedule so I stay on top of my deadlines.P
If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that it display’s the image over everything on your desktop; that is, any desktop icons will fall under it instead of on top. If you could put icons on top of it, it’d be a great way to keep your desktop organized without giving up the wallpapers you love. Overall, though, it’s a cool program, that you can use to keep yourself on task or just to add a bit more spice to your desktop.P
Overlap Wallpaper is a free download for Windows only.
If you haven’t noticed one huge change with Windows 7 is that FAT32 is no longer an option when formatting drives. You are now left with the options of either NTFS or exFAT. OK so your asking what is exFAT? Well its not FAT32, actually its compatible with FAT64.
Now I need to note you can not format a Hard drive over 32GB to FAT32 unless you use one of these methods. Standard windows will not do it over 32gb. Well never fear, you basically have 2 ways to go about doing this.
Format external drive in FAT32 using DOS
First you need to find what your Hard Drive is named (the label) that is easy to do right click on the hard drive and it will show you in the top box. As you can see mine is called “Storage”. You also need to note which drive letter it is. Mine is Drive: N
Next thing you need to do is to find your command prompt to do that: Start button > all programs > accessories > Command Prompt
Once you get to command prompt you will see something like this:
at the very end just after the > you need to type this:
format /FS:FAT32 X:
**Note: You need to change the X to the letter of your drive.
once you do that it will then ask you these questions:
I have boxed the areas you need to answer:
YELLOW: Rename Drive name here – mine was a “N” so that is why it says “N”
PINK: What is your drives Lable name (remember we saw it up top) – mine is “Storage”
GREEN: Do you want to proceed with format? YES
Once you hit that it will SLOWLY start to format. It took me 5 hours to do a 500GB hard drive. Once its done you will see this:
The USB flash drive has replaced the floppy disk drive as the best storage medium for transferring files, but it also has its uses as a replacement for CDs and DVDs. USB drives tend to be higher in capacity than disc media, but since they are more expensive, they cannot (yet) really be used as a replacement. There are reasons why you would, however, choose a USB device over a DVD disc, and bootable software is definitely one of them. Not only is it faster to copy data such as setup files from a USB drive, but during usage the access times are also significantly faster. Therefore, installing something like Windows 7 will work that much faster from a USB drive than from a DVD (and of course, is particularly useful for the PCs without an optical drive; this isn’t something we should just leave for the pirates to enjoy).
This guide will show you two different ways to create a USB flash drive that works just like a Windows 7 DVD. In order to follow this guide, you’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of free space and a copy of the Windows 7 installation disc.
Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool
You are normally given this tool when you purchase from the online Microsoft Store.
The easiest way to turn a USB flash drive into a bootable Windows 7 installer is by using the tool Microsoft offers, cunningly named the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. To get started, download the installer [exe] from Microsoft.com and follow the basic steps to put it onto your computer; you can put it on the computer you plan to install Windows 7 on or another one, it doesn’t matter.
Once it is installed, it should create an icon on your desktop, so double-click that to open. If you can’t find it, use the search function in the Start Menu with a keyword like “USB.” Launching it should give you the above screen, and step one is to find the Windows 7 .ISO file. The tool only accepts .ISO images, so we recommend that you convert yours if it’s in a different DVD image format.
Step two is straightforward: simply choose USB device.
In step three, all you have to do is make sure that you are choosing the correct USB device. If you have other data on the device, move it to your hard drive, another USB device, or somewhere else before proceeding.
The tool will prompt you if it detects data on the device. Once your data is backed up elsewhere, click Erase USB Device.
You will get another prompt warning you that all the data will be wiped. Click Yes to continue.
The format will be very quick, while the copying of the files will take a little bit more time (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Once the process is complete, you should get the above confirmation message. At this point you can close the tool and use the USB drive to install Windows 7. Remember that you’ll have to choose to boot off the USB drive. Before doing so, you may want to open up the USB drive and double click on setup.exe to see if everything looks okay. If you want to be able to do this manually, see the next section, and if you want to be able to install any edition of Windows 7, skip to the section after that.
Maybe you don’t like that Microsoft violated the GPL with the first version of the above tool (the company has since GPLed the code), or you’re old-school and just love using the command prompt. Regardless of what your reasons are for creating a bootable Windows 7 USB drive manually, we have the scoop on how to do it. First, open the command prompt (if you use UAC make sure to right click it and choose “Run as administrator”), type “diskpart” without the quotes, and hit enter. You can also get here by simply typing “diskpart” without the quotes into the Start Menu and hitting enter.
Now type “list disk” without the quotes and hit enter. Take a look at the Size column and figure out which disk number your USB drive is. Ours is number 1, so we’re going to type “select disk 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Now we’re going to wipe it by typing “clean” without the quotes and hitting enter (make sure to do a backup of the contents if you haven’t already).
At this point we want to prepare the USB drive for the files and make sure it is bootable. Type “create partition primary” without the quotes and hit enter. Then type “select partition 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Next type “active” without the quotes and hit enter. Finally, type “format fs=fat32” without quotes and hit enter (if you choose to use ntfs, you’ll later have to run the “Bootsect.exe /nt60 G:” command to put boot manager compatible files onto your USB flash drive to make it a bootable device). This one will take a while, so go grab a snack, we’ll wait. When that’s done, type “assign” without the quotes and hit enter (this will assign a new drive letter to the USB flash drive).
An AutoPlay window like the one above will appear. Remember the drive letter (in our case it is H:), close the window, type “exit” without the quotes and hit enter. If you are working with an .ISO image, the best way to do this last part is to mount the file with a program like Virtual Clone Drive. Alternatively, you can extract the files from the .ISO image and simply copy them to the USB drive, but since we’ve been using the command prompt up to this point, we’ll show you how to do the last step with it as well.
If you don’t have the command prompt open, open it with administrative privileges, type “xcopy f:*.* /s/e/f g:” without the quotes and hit enter. Note that you will likely have to replace “f:” with the drive letter for your Windows 7 DVD and “g:” with the drive letter for your USB flash drive. Don’t worry if install.wim takes a while to copy: it’s easily the biggest file on the disc.
Bonus: install any edition of Windows 7
This is a completely optional step and you only want to do this if you want to be able to choose which edition of Windows 7 to install. In the command prompt, type “del G:sourcesei.cfg” without the quotes and hit enter (where g: is your USB flash drive).
This will make sure that your Windows 7 installer no longer has a specific version of Windows 7 set as the default, and you will be prompted to choose the version you want to install. Remember that while this gives you a more universal Windows 7 installer, you still need to make sure you are choosing the edition that you own, or you will not be able to activate Windows 7 with the key you have obtained.
By default, the Quick Launch bar is not available in Windows 7. To open programs quickly, you can drag the program icons to the taskbar.
However, you can follow the steps in this article to restore the Quick Launch bar and the Show Desktop button as it was in Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP.
STEPS TO ADD THE QUICK LAUNCH BAR
1. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click New toolbar.
2. In the dialog box, copy and then paste the following folder name to the Folder box, and then click Select Folder:
%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick Launch
3. Now you see the Quick Launch bar with the text on the rightside of the task bar. To hide the Quick Launch text and program titles, right-click Quick Launch, clear ShowText and Showtitle.
4. Drag the Quick Launch bar to the leftside of the task bar. If you cannot move the Quick Launch bar, right-click the taskbar again, and make sure that the Lock the taskbar option is cleared . Tip: Move the cursor horizontally.
5. If you prefer big icons in the Quick Launch bar, right-click an empty area of the Quick Launch bar, point to View, and then click Large Icons.
6. To add a program in the Quick Launch bar, drag the desired icon to the Quick Launch bar.