Category Archives: windows

Finding the Microsoft File Transfer Manager

This is really just a reminder blog post for me. Way too often I find that I have closed the Microsoft File Transfer Manager for one reason or another, and I want to start it up again to resume some download from my MSDN Subscription. Like today, I need to grab the latest version of SQL Server 2008 R2, which includes built-in Split, RegEx and Fuzzy matching features for T-SQL (something I’ve wanted for a long time, and that I’ll blog more about later, once I’ve had a chance to try it out). It’s a large download, and not something I want going when I’m on a 3G connection, but happy to use a WiFi connection for. And there’s just the odd time when I’ve forgotten I’m downloading something and it’s sitting there, partly downloaded…

So I find myself looking for the application to run. When it installs by default because you click on a download, it doesn’t put a shortcut in the Start Menu anywhere. So I’ve been known to even go and restart a download (just telling it to Cancel instead of agreeing to it), just to start the process. Then I can jump into PowerShell and run this command:

get-process -name transfermgr | select path

…which tells me that the path of the transfermgr process is at c:\windows\downloaded program files\TransferMgr.exe

So now I can just run it from there. The idea of this post is to remind me where it is, so that I don’t have to hunt for it every time.

Non-Administrators couldn’t log in, and Admins couldn’t Run As Admin

One of the Windows 7 machines in my house had a problem recently. Non-admins couldn’t log in, and there was a message saying that the System Event Notification Service wasn’t running. I could log in as admin, but couldn’t escalate to run things as Administrator. The error “The system could not find the environment option that was entered” would appear.

The standard web searches weren’t my friend, but I eventually found that if I started in Safe Mode, I could run a Command Prompt as Administrator and disable UAC. Then I could log in as me (with admin privileges), and run setup.exe from my Windows 7 disk and do an Upgrade to repair my system.

Book review: Windows 7 Inside Out

Perhaps it’s because I keep finding new things about Windows 7 that I really like… Today’s one was that you can drag the top (or bottom) edge of a window to the edge of a screen and have that window fill the screen vertically, but keeping the left and right edges still (great for when you don’t want it maximised, or docked to the left or right). Another favourite of mine is that you can Shift+Right-click on a file and see “Copy as Path”, which is great when you want to paste the full path into a textbox, or PowerShell, etc. I don’t know if this was available in Vista, but I’ve only noticed it since I’ve been using Windows 7.

…but anyway, perhaps it’s that, but I thought it might be worthwhile to pick up a book about Windows 7. I ordered Windows 7 Inside Out (by Ed Bott), and it arrived this week. It’s not short (about 1000 pages), but I flew through it. I guess because I’m already an experienced Windows user, I skimmed a lot of pages. A lot of the features discussed aren’t new, but Windows is such a large technology that it’s good to look through a good reference book, and with Windows 7 having a lot of new features, it was great to be able to go through this book looking for nuggets that I didn’t know.

And there are plenty of things that I’m just not that interested in. There are sections in this book about IE8, Windows Media Center and Windows Live. It’s not why I picked up the book. They’ll be useful for anyone who borrows the book from me, but I ended up skipping those sections almost completely. I’ll end up going back to them one day maybe. The book comes with an eBook version, which I’ll stick onto my phone and load up when I need it.

Ed Bott (the author who I doubt has a brother that shares my given name) is a journalist, and it shows in his writing. I found it easy to read, and the book is full of tip sections.

So yes, I picked up the tip about dragging the top border from the book. But I found the Copy as Path option myself. Nowadays, I hold Shift down whenever I right-click, just in case there’s an extra option in there I’ll like.

Hey Microsoft – let me restrict my network connections better!

I’m sure you know the feeling… you jump online by tethering to your mobile because you want to check a particular website, and all of a sudden you find your connection is being flooded by a Windows Update, or Live Mesh download, or a Sync Framework thing. Perhaps even Outlook is downloading your Junk Mail folder for you.

But all you wanted was to check what the weather was – but it’s just cost you a fortune in download fees.

Situation is that running applications will check for an internet connection, and then take advantage of it – with no consideration about whether it’s going to cost you (per kilobyte!) to use that connection.

I would love to see a way of configuring my network connections (like how it asks me whether I’m at Home, Public or Work) into a profile, along the lines of:

  • Anything connect – all my apps can use this
  • Sometimes connect – apps need to ask me to use the connection before they do
  • Never connect – I would need to explicitly allow an application to use this connection

When I connect using an account that’s limited by size, I don’t want Silverlight to download a ton of images, or Windows Update to pull down a Service Pack. But I would be happy for a particular instance of a browser to connect out.

But when I’m at home, I’m happy for anything to be pulled down.

I’d probably end up using the “Sometimes connect” option a lot, so that my connection is more ‘available’, even when one of my applications decides to pull a ton of information down – but right now, connectivity is either ON or OFF, and I can’t easily stop applications from using it when it’s ON.

Please, Microsoft… let me choose this. It’ll help me feel okay about connecting while my applications are open (and not have to quit Skype/Msgr/LiveMesh before I connect).

Disabling the beep

I thought I’d blogged about this before, but when talking about with Simon Sabin just now, I couldn’t find it.

Simon’s just blogged a couple of ways of stopping the beep from the command line. Here’s one using a User Interface.

Go to Device Manager, and make sure that “Show Hidden Devices” is checked in the View menu.


Now you can find the Beep in the “Non-Plug and Play Drivers” section and edit its properties (setting it to Disabled).