The Power of Ctrl+Shift+Esc

This powerful combination can be used to quickly open the task manager, allowing you to manage running programs on your computer.

How to Use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc Key Combination

for Easier Access and Control Are you looking for an easier way to access and control your system? Do you want to learn how to quickly manage common tasks? Look no further than the Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination

Maximize Efficiency The Benefits of Leveraging Task Manager On Windows

Introduction to Task Manager on Windows

Task Manager is an essential Windows Tool

Task Manager is a powerful and critical tool for users of the Microsoft Windows operating system It allows them to view, manage and control system processes, applications, services as well as hardware resources such as memory usage, active ports and CPU utilization The Task Manager interface provides easy-to-understand visual feedback about the status of your computer’s performance including any applications that are currently running on it Additionally, you can use Task Manager to monitor system errors or find out which programs or files might be causing performance problems with your PC

Task Manager gives you information about how much memory each application is using and how many tasks are currently running on your machine so you can take action if needed – this could include disabling unneeded background processes – in order to improve system performance and reduce resource consumption This helps ensure that only important tasks will remain active while nonessential components don’t unnecessarily consume precious RAM or processor cycles Furthermore, letting Task Manager terminate troublesome programs instead of manually closing them by force ensures that all associated data associated with those apps remains secure until they’re restarted properly at another time

The TaskManager also includes functionality for managing startup items; these allow users to adjust which applications load automatically when their OS boots up from cold start ups — thereby saving time during everyday use — as well as sift through additional settings like disk drives’ read/write speed optimization settings inside different types of storage devices connected to a computer (e,g, hard disks In addition ,the task manager windows version offers basic maintenance options such as creating restore points in case something goes wrong after tinkering deeply around with certain tech features within their PC’s core software stack or settings parameters related directly towards its installed antivirus programs must also leverage the task manager for tracking activity accurately

Aside from these uses on PCs—where it has been available since —Microsoft changed tack more recently by introducing yet another implementation called “Windows Runtime Profiling” into current versions of Windows Phones It works by breaking down specific activities into condensed charts showing percentages regarding various factors ranging from battery life usage overviews between built in utilities like OneDrive cloud backup all the way up towards realtime visibility metrics concerning third party apps market shares amongst other elements spread across user’s phones environment interfaces — leading people who desire more insight beyond default overview details viewable via mobile device’s app stores themselves should look no further than what new profiler entry offers here because its instrumentation feature next generation technology packed abound under hood supplied!

Task Manager is a great way to maximize your efficiency while working on Windows By leveraging Task Manager, you can easily manage applications, view detailed performance information, monitor system resources and better control how Windows runs on your computer These are just a few of the benefits that come with using Task Manager, so start taking advantage of it today and find out how much more productive you can be!

Mapped network drive not showing up in application open / save window

When certain programs will not show a mapped drive in the open and save windows of various programs it may be an indication that Windows is stopping the communication between that program and the network.   By turning off the UAC (User Account Control) you can eliminate any device between your program and mapped network drives. However, while reducing the UAC enforcement may look like an easy solution it is something you should only use as a last resort.  The UAC does a number of other functions that help reduce malware and other nefarious programs from ruining your system so it is usually something you want to keep in place.  

Under normal conditions Windows should have already implemented this solution, however, depending on installation and other factors Windows sometime misses this valuable registry entry and you need to put it in yourself.   The value is “EnableLinkedConnections” and is found in the Registry   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.  If Windows missed this then the key is usually missing but it could be shut off as well.  The value you want to put there is 1 to turn this on.

Directly from Microsoft:

Caution: Incorrect use of the Windows registry editor may prevent the operating system from functioning properly. Great care should be taken when making changes to a Windows registry. Registry modifications should only be carried-out by persons experienced in the use of the registry editor application. It is recommended that a complete backup of the registry and workstation be made prior to making any registry changes.  

To configure the EnableLinkedConnections registry value, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Locate and then right-click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  3. Point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. Type EnableLinkedConnections, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click EnableLinkedConnections, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.  

I have included a file that you can just run which will insert this value in the registry for you. 

It will give a warning about modifying the registry fist but it will just write over the value if it is already there and create it if it isn’t so either way it will work.

Repairing Windows System Files

There are some base systems files that Windows must have to operate and to do so efficiently.   For some time now there has been a utility to check these files and report on their well-being.  This System File Check utility will check for damaged or corrupted files and repair what it can.   You only need to run it from an elevated command prompt with the command “SFC /scannow”.  The will initiate a complete of all the essential protected system files that would compromise your computer.

SFC /scannow

It, however, cannot always fix the problems on your system.  Sometimes this due to Windows updates and sometimes it is due to other issues.  When System File Checker cannot fix the system files there is a utility for Windows 8 and up called DISM.   The utility will check the files not only with internal checksums but with checksums over the internet from Microsoft.   There is a scan only option and a restore option.  You can use the restore blindly without scanning but if you want to see if there is anything first you should use the /scanhealth option.  You can run them back to back or use a single command line that will do if for you.

Back to Back would be:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Or both together:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth && DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

(there is a space both before and after the &&)

 DISM takes care of matching and fixing files based on what’s current on the Microsoft cloud but SFC is still the go to file checker.  I would recommend running SFC then DISM then SFC once more to check that there are no more errors.  Running SFC first will probably fix most of (if any) errors on your system but if it gives and error you then use DISM as a backup.  Once finished with DISM you run SFC again to see if there are any unresolved errors left.

Both SFC and DISM can take some time to run depending on errors found and corrected.  So, I would recommend doing them when you have down time that you wouldn’t need your computer.


Error “Trust Relationship between Workstation and Primary Domain failed”

The Error “Trust Relationship between Workstation and Primary Domain failed” does not come up often but it is scary when it does.   The quick explanation for this error is that the Active Directory stores a password for the computers connecting to it and the machine that has this error somehow did not sync correctly while using that password.  Microsoft knows about this problem and made these tools specifically to fix it.

Most sites tell you to un-register the computer with the domain, then re-register it.  This, in most cases, will create a new user profile. You will then need to rebuild and copy files and configurations from the old user directories to the new. Fortunately, there is a simpler and easier way of doing this.

Both the above method and the one I am about to describe require you to login to the local machines’ admin account.   Here is a good time to point out that you should retain the username and password for all of your workstations administrator type account just for this purpose.

Up to Windows 2012

Up to Windows Server 2012, you can use the Netdom command from either an elevated PowerShell or command prompt.  In windows 10 and Server 2016 they dropped this command and instead use the Reset-ComputerMachinePassword in PowerShell to accomplish this.  Windows Server 2012 can use either method.

To use the Netdom command you will need to first login as a local administrative user.   If you forgot the password there are methods of recovering it but I won’t discuss them in this article.   After logging in you will need to open the command prompt with Administrator privileges.  Then run the command as follows:

netdom resetpwd /server:DC_NAME /userd:USERNAME /password:PASSWORD

You will want to change the following to match your system:

  1. DC NAME to the name of your Domain Controller.
  2. USERNAME to a domain user that has rights to join new computers to the Domain.
  3. PASSWORD to either the above USERNAME’s password or use an * to have the computer prompt you for it.

After this completes you can just reboot your computer and login again under your Domain.  Everything should work as normal.

Windows 2012 to current

For Windows 2012 and beyond the same method is accomplished in PowerShell using the Reset- ComputerMachinePassword commandlet

Again, you will need to login with a local Administrator privileged account.  Then Open PowerShell with Administrator Privileges.  Once PowerShell is open you will use the following commandlet :

Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -Server “DC01” -Credential Domain01\Admin01

You will want to change the following to match your system:

DC01 to the name of your Domain Controller.

Domain01\Admin01 to your domain before the \ and a user that has rights to join new computers to the Domain after the \.

This will then prompt you for the Password for the user you specified.

Afterwards exit PowerShell and reboot your computer and login in again under your Domain.  Everything should work as normal.


MSI installation fail

When you get:

“The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable”

During and installation of a MSI file you may just be dealing with a registry error.  MSI installations sometimes get messed up and won’t install.   One of the causes of this is prior installation attempts or removals that didn’t quite finish the job. 

Then this is likely the situation.   Along with the error above it will tell you it cannot find the file and ask you to search for it.  You probably won’t be able to find this file but there is a solution.   It involves using the registry so if you are uncomfortable with this I would advise having someone knowledgeable do this.  My usual advice would be not to attempt this yourself.

First open the registry editor and make sure you are at the root.  Once there, search for the file your program is requesting (program.msi).  It will be associated with a key that will look something like (example only not actual key) {ACDA0F20-94F0-449E-B81F-F8179E3DE605} You will need to delete the entire key that is associated with that MSI file.   There should only be one key in the registry so to make sure you may want to continue the search before deleting this key then start from the beginning to find it again before deleting it.


Disable automatic reboots for Windows Update version 7, 8 and 10

There are two ways of doing this without disabling automatic updates.  The first way will work on Home, Pro, and Enterprise editions.  The second method involves the Group Policy Editor and will only work in Pro and Enterprise editions.

The first solution involves making a registry modification.  I do not suggest this method since it involves modifying the registry and anything involving modifying the registry is not the best practice, since you can wreck your computer this way.


Open the registry editor.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
(If the key doesn’t exist you will need to create it)
Create a new DWORD value called AUOptions and enter a value of either 2 or 3.
(2 = Notify before download)
(3 = Automatically download and notify of installation)

Restart your PC


The cleaner solution is to use the group policy editor as follows:


Open the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
Navigate to
Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Windows Update
Configure Automatic Updates
Enable the policy and make any changes here you want.

Optionally you may want to also enable
Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations
and set the interval to the largest possible value (1440 which is 24 hours) just so you don’t keep getting the pop up every 10 minutes after it actually does an update.

Restart your PC

Note: Restarting or shutting down from the start menu doesn’t seem to trigger the install process after this.


WoL (Wake on Lan)

WoL is useful for remote computers that perform specific tasks that do not require users. It can also be used for remote maintenance: if you shut down your computer and the technician needs access to it with WoL they can start it up, do their maintenance, then shut it down.

There is the problem of getting it to work, however. With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft added a “Fast User Switching” feature. With this introduction came a system to completely shut down your computer without any monitoring. Imagine you turn off your TV then the remote will not turn it back on because it turned off even the circuit that monitors that. With “Fast User Switching” Windows does exactly that. You will need to go the power settings under “what the computer does when you press the power button” to turn off this feature.

Another problem with some computers that is not Windows related, but essentially does the same thing, is in the BIOS you can tell the computer to go into a very deep sleep. This effectively does the same thing but at the machine level. You will need to go into the BIOS and turn this off or to a less deep sleep. While you are there you will also need to turn on the network adaptors WoL feature.

You can find several good programs on the internet that will wake up a computer and some with timers that will turn them on and off on a schedule.

Mapping a network drive

There are several different ways to map a network drive in Windows. Each way is, although different, basically the same. They all achieve the same end result and can be used interchangeably.

1. Use Windows Explorer
2. Use command prompt “Net Use”
3. Use Group Policy Editor

In Windows Explorer there are actually two ways of doing this. The easiest is to expand the network and then choose the computer which has the directory you want mapped. Then just left click on the directory and choose map network drive. All that is left after that is to assign the drive letter. The second method is in the Explorer header there is an option to Map Network Drive. This option will open a similar window without a drive mapping already filled in. You can now either browse for the folder or can type it in directly using the UNC of the folder.

If you want to use the command prompt you can use a command “Net Use”. With this command you can map drive letters and printer shares. You just need to know what the share name is.

Ex: net use x: \\mysharedcomputer\sharename

There are more options with net use that you can use to enter login credentials and such you can get a list by typing “net use /?”.

The last option is with group policy manager. This option is great for a server side configuration. There are a lot of things you can do the group policy manager but for now let us concentrate that you can map network drives. The best reason for doing it this way is for multiple people that need to share the same resource. It transcends changing of both computers and people. Setup correctly the only thing you need to do with group policies enabled is to attach the computer to the network and everything else is done for you. You can map network drives, printers, establish login policies, create defaults for internet explorer, assign local privileges, basically almost anything can be tweaked to your desire here and automatically update when the user logs on. All of these things can managed down to granular settings either by user, computer or even operating system. Any one all three or any combination thereof.

On your server based Group Policy Management Editor under “User Configuration” go to “Preferences” / “Windows Settings” then use “Drive Maps”. You can also setup login scripts and use the “net use” command from within these scripts.



If you would like to insert symbols to something you are typing you can do it with one simple method.  Use the Alt key like a shift key and hold it down while you type any of the following number combinations.  When you release the Alt key you will see the corresponding symbol in your text.

 Alt + 0153….. ™… trademark symbol

 Alt + 0169…. ©…. copyright symbol

 Alt + 0174….. ®….registered ­ trademark symbol

 Alt + 0176 …°……degree symbol

 Alt + 0177 …±….plus-or ­-minus sign

 Alt + 0182 …¶…..paragr­aph mark

 Alt + 0190 …¾….fractio­n, three-fourths

 Alt + 0215 ….×…..multi­plication sign

 Alt + 0162…¢….the ­ cent sign

 Alt + 0161…..¡….. ­.upside down exclamation point

 Alt + 0191…..¿….. ­upside down question mark

 Alt + 1…….….smiley face

 Alt + 2 ……… smiley face   

 Alt + 15…..…..sun

 Alt + 12………..female sign

 Alt + 11…..……m­ale sign

 Alt + 6…….…..spade

 Alt + 5…….…… ­Club

 Alt + 3…….…… ­Heart

 Alt + 4…….…… ­Diamond

 Alt + 13………..e­ighth note

 Alt + 14………… ­beamed eighth note

 Alt + 8721…. …. N-ary summation (auto sum)

 Alt + 251…..…..square root check mark

 Alt + 8236…..….. ­infinity

 Alt + 24…….….. ­up arrow

 Alt + 25………… ­down arrow

 Alt + 26…..…..r­ght arrow

 Alt + 27………..l­eft arrow

 Alt + 18…..……u­p/down arrow

 Alt + 29………lef­t right arrow

For a comprehensive list you could go here:
Facebook Symbols


Windows 10 Virtual Desktop

Like the Mad Hatter in Wonderland, Microsoft now has a built-in way of moving down for clean cups.   If you have even been in the middle of a project with windows open everywhere and suddenly needed to switch to something else but still needed all those lovely windows you will appreciate virtual desktops. They allow you to just switch to a completely clean desktop and start fresh. With the ability to switch back to the cluttered one you were so diligently working on.

Windows 10 taskbar snipitThere is a little symbol at the bottom of your screen that looks like a rectangle with a square on top of it. It sits next to the search window. If you click on this your screen will be put into a window and you will see two (more if you are already using this) miniature desktop screens on the bottom. One will be the cluttered one and the other a clean one. If you click on the clean one, then you will get a clean desktop that you can immediately start cluttering again. You can use this again to switch back to your original one. You will also see off to the right bottom a “+” button that will allow you to add more desktops as many as you desire.

While on this screen you can also drag an open program to any of the desktops you wish. This allows you to even organize all that extra clutter.

And for even quicker access there are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to move and switch without using the (dor)mouse.

Keyboard shortcuts for using Virtual Desktop in Windows 10:

  • WIN + CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT: Switch to previous or next desktop
  • WIN + CTRL + D: Create a new desktop
  • WIN + CTRL + F4: Close the current desktop
  • WIN + TAB: Launch task view