The first big Windows 7 story of the new year is the “discovery” of “GodMode“–a supposedly undocumented hack that exposes all manner of secret settings in Windows. Except it doesn’t.

Shortly after the news hit the twitterverse, Ed Bott explained what God Mode really is (and isn’t). Today, he follows up with a list of other god mode (demi-god?) shortcuts.

Most of these shortcuts are well documented–if you know where to look. Check “Canonical Names of Control Panel Items” at MSDN, for example.

As Ed noted in his posts, we’ve covered this technique in previous Inside Out editions, but omitted coverage in Windows 7 Inside Out. Why? Frankly, it provides nothing useful in Windows 7. The Search box in Control Panel provides a much faster, easier, and more convenient method for finding Control Panel functions; you don’t need to know the name of the applet (many of which have changed in recent versions of Windows) or where it lives in the hierarchy. You don’t even have to spell correctly, because (as Ed points out in his blog) MS has put in several common misspellings as search keywords. 

Say, for example, you want to change the screen resolution. Begin typing “screen,” “display,” “monitor,” “resolution,” “size,” “pixels,” “adjust,” or “change.” (I’m sure there are other valid keywords; these are just the first few that occurred to me.) The short list invariably includes Adjust Screen Resolution under a prominent Display heading.

6 thoughts on “OMG!”

  1. I have a question for Ed Bott;

    “How do I change the start menu in Windows 7 to the true classic style? ” Thanks, Brad

    (hope this the right place to post this question!

  2. Brad:

    The short answer: You don’t. There are no settings built in to Windows 7 that enable a “true classic style” Start menu.

    Several third-party developers have addressed this perceived shortcoming, including

    But before you do that, take another long look at the Start menu in Windows 7. IMO, it has a number of significant improvements over the Windows 2000-style Start menu that (after a bit of hands-on use) speed up interactions with the Start menu. Most notably, perhaps: the Start menu search box, which lets me find programs, documents, etc., with just a few keystrokes. Much faster and easier for me than remembering and navigating a menu structure. YMMV.

  3. Gentlemen,

    There seems to be a serious issue with the Window Updater in W7 — it can somehow corrupts the SoftwareDistribution folder so that you can no longer do updates. The thrown error is Windows 8007005, Windows dt000 almost immediately after you start the update.

    I was able to do my initial update after taking my new Dell T5500 out of the box, but that was the only update I was able to do. After that, all I was able to do was generate the above error.

    It took me about 4 days of looking around the web for the cause/solution to this problem including a trouble call to Dell (which was a waste of time) to find a solution.

    The solution is to stop the Windows Update Service, rename the current SoftwareDistribution folder to get it out of the way, and then restart the service. If restarting the service doesn’t create a new SoftwareDistribution folder then you will have to do so manually. This soluion was posted on the web by Manu Philip.

    The reason I bring this up is that a Google of Window 7 error 8007005 will bring up many instances of this problem going back to Vista and many, many, many hare-brained and dangerous “solutions” to this problem.

    Since I didn’t find any web reference back to a KB article on Microsoft, I can only assume that they have not received sufficient pressure to resolve this issue. It would be my hope that one of you would have some input to the W7 dev team so that you could let them know about this issue so that it could be resolved.

    Thanks for you great books. Please keep up the great work.


    1. Thanks Len. I wasn’t aware of this problem, and I’m glad you found a solution.

      Although I’d like to think we have some influence at Microsoft, we’re just gnats. After all, I keep seeing ads featuring people who say Windows 7 was their idea. 😉

  4. I messed up the BOOT LOADER on my Win7 64Bit PC

    I need to remove THE LAST two entries. Does BCDEDIT (on W7 Emergency Boot Disk) have an option to delete them?

    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=C:
    path bootmgr
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {default}
    resumeobject {c2856f0e-0dd5-11df-b43e-ffd4021c9b83}
    displayorder {default}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {default}
    device partition=D:
    path Windowssystem32winload.exe
    description Windows 7
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    recoverysequence {c2856f10-0dd5-11df-b43e-ffd4021c9b83}
    recoveryenabled Yes
    osdevice partition=D:
    systemroot Windows
    resumeobject {c2856f0e-0dd5-11df-b43e-ffd4021c9b83}
    nx OptIn

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {c2856f12-0dd5-11df-b43e-ffd4021c9b83}
    device partition=D:
    path WindowsWindowssystem32winload.exe
    description Windows 7 Professional (recovered)
    locale en-US
    osdevice partition=D:
    systemroot WindowsWindows

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {c2856f13-0dd5-11df-b43e-ffd4021c9b83}
    device partition=D:
    path WindowsSysWOW64system32winload.exe
    description Windows 7 Professional (recovered)
    locale en-US
    osdevice partition=D:
    systemroot WindowsSysWOW64

    Thanks, Donald

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