Make Firefox Display Large Images Full Size

Firefox resizes large images by default to fit in the browser window. This can get really annoying if you are browsing a lot of large images.
To see this in action, you can click the link to the really nice Ubuntu wallpaper. You’ll notice that you have to click on the image to show the full size version.
1280×1024 Ubuntu Wallpaper
To change this setting, follow these steps:

  • Type about:config into the address bar in firefox.
  • Type in browser.enable in the Filter barand hit enter
  • When you see “browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing”, double click it and the value should change to false, as shown.

Disable Tabbed Browsing in Internet Explorer 7

Why you’d want to disable tabbed browsing is a mystery to me, but I received a request for a registry hack to force IE7 to not use tabs. I can only assume that it has to do with keeping users from too much confusion when upgrading from IE6.
There’s two ways that you can disable tabbed browsing. The easiest way is to just follow these steps:

  • Click the Tools button, and choose Internet Options
  • Click the Settings button in the Tabs section:
  • Uncheck Tabbed Browsing as shown here:

This method is probably the simplest, and should usually be used.
If you are a system administrator, here are some registry hacks to Enable/Disable Tabbed Browsing. Just unzip, and double-click. Note that the disable registry hack will force the setting on the users, so they can’t enable it without the enable registry hack.

  • Enable Tab Browsing
  • Disable Tab Browsing

IE7 without tabs:

Registry Hack to Set Internet Explorer Start Page

System administrators will almost always set the default home page for the browser to the corporate website or intranet when building a machine. This is just a small registry hack that will set the home page for IE6 or IE7.
You could probably use this in a logon script to set to home page on all users when they login to the network.
Here’s the registry hack. You’ll potentially want to change the home page listed.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]“Start Page”=”https://www.howtogeek.com/”

Here’s a downloadable version:
Set IE6 or IE7 Home Page

Disable or Hide Optional Updates on Windows Vista

One of the things that drives me crazy on Windows Vista is all of the optional updates that show up in the Windows Update list. I want to look at Windows Update and see that there are no updates, not see that there’s a list of 14 language packs that I don’t really need
Just open up Windows Update, and you might see something like this:

But when you click on View available updates, you see this:

I have this sneaky suspicion that I will never ever need the Finnish Language Pack, being in the US and all.
All you have to do to hide these updates, is to right-click on an item in the list, and choose “Hide update” from the menu.

Now when I look at Windows Update, I see what I’m expecting to see in the first place:

If you ever decide to move to Finland, and that you want to install the updates, there’s a “Restore hidden updates” link on the left-hand side of the screen that will let you put them back in the list.

Speed Up SATA Hard Drives in Windows 7 or Vista

Windows Vista has built-in support for Serial ATA(SATA) hard drives, but it doesn’t automatically enable advanced write caching features. You can speed up your computer by enabling this mode in Device Manager.
You can quickly get to Device Manager by just typing device into the start menu search box. (Or from the command line, devmgmt.msc)
Open the Disk drives section of the tree, and right-click on your hard drive, choosing Properties.

Select the Policies tab, and you should see this dialog:

Click the checkbox for Enable advanced performance, and you are done.

Reset Identity Column Value in SQL Server

If you are using an identity column on your SQL Server tables, you can set the next insert value to whatever value you want. An example is if you wanted to start numbering your ID column at 1000 instead of 1.
It would be wise to first check what the current identify value is. We can use this command to do so:

DBCC CHECKIDENT (‘tablename’, NORESEED)

For instance, if I wanted to check the next IDvalue of my orders table, I could use this command:

DBCC CHECKIDENT (orders, NORESEED)

To set the value of the next ID to be 1000, I can use this command:

DBCC CHECKIDENT (orders, RESEED, 999)

Note that the next value will be whatever you reseed with + 1, so in this case I set it to 999 so that the next value will be 1000.
Another thing to note is that you may need to enclose the table name in single quotes or square bracketsif you are referencing by a full path, or if your table name has spaces in it. (which it really shouldn’t)

DBCC CHECKIDENT ( ‘databasename.dbo.orders’,RESEED, 999)

Backup and Restore Firefox Profiles Easily

Transferring a Firefox profile from one computer to another can be a pain if you have to do it manually. Sure, you can locate the firefox profile directory and then copy it to the new machine, but then it doesn’t automatically show up in the list, etc.
A much easier method for backing up and restoring profiles is to just use the MozBackup application to backup and restore the profiles to a single backup file.
When you launch the application, you can choose to either backup or restore the profile. You can choose which profile to back up, and what file to save it as.

You can restore the profile on another computer by simply launching the MozBackupapplication on that computer, and then selecting the profile to restore to, and chosing the backup file that you copied from the first computer:

It’s really as simple as that.
Download MozBackup

Add Internet Explorer Icon to Windows XP / Vista Desktop

I know what you are thinking. Can’t I just make a shortcut? Of course you can. But using this tweak you can recreate the native Internet Explorer icon the way it used to be in prior versions of Windows.
The native icon gives you two benefits: First, you can right-click and get directly to the Internet Options panel, and secondly it doesn’t have the shortcut icon arrow.
Update: This doesn’t work in Windows 7. See this Microsoft KB article for answers, but the short version is that you’ll need to just create a regular shortcut instead.

Manual Registry Tweak
Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]

Find the key named “{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}” on the right-hand side, and then set the value to 0. If the key does not exist, then create a new 32-bit DWORD value with the same name. To remove the icon, you could set the value to 1 instead.
Note that if you are using the classic start menu, you should create this value under the ClassicStartMenu key instead of the NewStartPanel key.
Download Registry Hack
Even easier, you can just use one of the registry files I’ve prepared. Just unzip and double-click to enter into the registry.
Add IE Icon to Desktop
Remove IE Icon from Desktop

Enable Military Time in Windows 7 or Vista

It’s really very simple to enable the system clock to show military time in Windows 7 or Vista, but the setting is notin an obvious place, so you might not have found it.
To change this setting, we’ll need to get to the Regional and Language Options screen. The easiest way to do so is just enter intl.cpl into the Start menu search box and hit enter. Otherwise, type region into the Control Panel.

From the Regional and Language Options dialog, click the “Customize this format” button, and then select the Time tab.
Change the time format dropdown as shown:

You’ll notice from the key that the capital letter H means 24 hour time, and a single letter means that it won’t display the leading zero.
Windows 7 Military Time
It’s even easier in Windows 7 – just change the drop-down as shown:

Registry Hack to Disable Writing to USB Drives

A common security concern at organizations is allowing users to plug in a usb flash drive, because they could so easily copy corporate data.
Since Windows XP SP2, you can disable writing to USB devices altogether using a simple registry hack. Here it is:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies]“WriteProtect”=dword:00000001

You can also just download one of the following registry tweaks to enable or disable writing to USB drives.
Enable USB Write
Disable USB Write
Once you use the registry hack, you will have to reboot for the changes to take effect. One should also note that if you are using this trick, you should make sure that the users are not administrators on the computer, because they could easily change this setting back.
This works on Windows Vista as well.Here’s the window you’ll get when you tryand write to a USB drive: