This error can be triggered by many different things, but in general they’re all related to something to do with power management.
On my Media Center PC, after reinstalling some video codecs, my MKV* video files made Windows Explorer crash regularly when opening a folder with one of these files in it. To solve this problem, I had to disable automatic thumbnail generation in Vista or Windows 7. Disabling thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer can make Vista/Windows 7 perform notably faster in any case, as Explorer will no longer be generating thumbnails for every video and image file in every folder you open. This is especially useful when browsing back and forth between multiple folders. Follow these steps to disable the automatic thumbnail generation:
- Press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard, then press E to open Windows Explorer (alternatively click Start > Accessories > Windows Explorer).
- In the Windows Explorer window, click on the Organize button on the menu/shortcut bar.
- In the pull down menu, click on Folder and Search Options.
- The Folder Options dialog window will appear. Click on the View tab.
- Under the Files and Folders tree heading, check (tick) the box next to Always show icons, never thumbnails option.
- Click the OK button and you’re good to go!
* MKV is a common container format for video, audio and subtitles, often used to distribute standard and high definition video, audio and associated subtitles in one single file, with support for multiple audio and subtitle tracks, just like on a DVD.
Edit: Some codec packs by default turns off MKV thumbnails, but also makes it possible to easily control this and MANY other settings through an easy to use Windows application interface.
By installing the Media Control Plugin for Vista Media Center by Damien Bain-Thouverez, you can finally play back video files with subtitles, especially files using the Matroska container format (MKV). Multiple subtitles support, multiple audio streams support, FFDShow settings tweaking, and much much more is enabled.
The plugin can even hook on to the remote control driver and enable access to customizeable special functions and shortcuts when using a Media Center compatible remote control. There’s even a newly added feature that enables Windows Live Messenger integration. I haven’t tested this one myself yet, though.
If this is just what you’ve been looking for, then head on over to the homepage and download it now! Be sure to read the requirements section carefully before you install it.
Thank you Damien for this great plugin! Please show your support by donating to him if you find it useful.
How do you enable remote access to admin shares using a local administrator account in Windows 7 / Vista?
When you try to do this the same way you could in XP, you get prompted to log in, but get access denied. Apparently, for “security reasons” this option has been disabled. Thankfully, a small registry hack is all it takes to get around the issue:
- Open regedit (<Windows> + R, type “regedit”).
- Expand the tree to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft\ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ policies \ system.
- Create a new key (Right click -> New -> choose “DWORD Value (32bit)”).
- Name the key “LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy” and give it the value of “1”.
- Click OK.
If you’re so lucky to have an external hard disk drive that connects to your computer through USB / USB 2.0, then you can get increased performance from your hard disk in Windows Vista. This is because Vista treats your external drive differently than a FireWire (IEEE1394) or eSATA-connected drive, rather more like a USB pendrive. By switching off a feature called “Write Caching” might work swell for a thumdrive, it seriously hampers the performance of your external USB hard disk. Here’s how to disable write caching for your USB hard disk:
- In Windows Vista, first click on “Start”, bringing up the Start menu.
- Right-click “My computer” and select “Manage”.
- On the left-hand menu, click “Device Manager”.
- Locate your external hard disk drive in the list.
- Right-click your disk and select “Properties”.
- Click the “Policies”-pane and check “Optimize for performance” and “Enable advanced performance”.
- Reboot your computer!
Right click on the shortcut for Windows Media Player and click on ‘Properties’. In the ‘Target’ field, after the ” ends, type ‘/Task NowPlaying’ (without the single quotes).
Example: If the shortcut looks like [“C:Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /Prefetch:1] change it to [“C:Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /Task NowPlaying].