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Archive for April, 2010

Hidden trick to exit windows explorer

This trick comes from here (April 4th 2010).

You can cause explorer.exe to exit on a Windows machine (XP, not known if it works in Vista or 7) using a simple trick.

  1. Click the start menu, then the shutdown button.
  2. Hold CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT and click the Cancel button.

Explorer now exits, leaving all other programs running.

To restart explorer, do this:

  1. Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to start windows task manager.
  2. Click File -> New Task (Run)
  3. Type explorer and hit enter.

Though it’s a bit late for April Fools, I’m sure this would make for a good prank nonetheless. This is also great for kiosk machines where you don’t want users having access to the start menu or task switcher.

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How to check battery wear on Dell laptop batteries

Here’s a nifty trick that will show you the wear on your Dell laptop battery.

It requires that your battery have the self-test button on it with the 5 LEDs.

  • You can show the percent charge remaining by pressing the self-test button.

One to five LEDs will light up showing the approximate level of charge (around 20% for each LED that shows up.)

Every-other (on-off-on-off-on): The battery fail-safe has triggered and the battery is unusable.

  • You can show the percent wear by holding the self-test button for about 5 seconds.

The LEDs will light to show thecharge just like in step the point above, but after 5 seconds the lights will go off for a moment and a new light pattern will display. (No lights IS a valid display.) This indicates the percent of battery WEAR on increments of 20%.

If you get no lights, either the battery has very little wear (charges completely) or is “dead” (can’t be tested/doesn’t charge at all).

5 lights: The cells are completely worn and will not hold a signifigant charge.

Of course, you can always go into your systems BIOS and take a look at the battery health there, but this is great is you’re picking up a battery and want to check it out before installing it in your system.

This test only works on Dell batteries (as far as I know — other manufacturers may have something similiar) and only genuine Dell batteries. Not cheap imitations.

You can find more information on Dell batteries at the Dell Laptop Battery FAQ

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