Menu

Operating Systems

Better than ‘Open Command Window Here’ – Vista Explorer Shortcut

In Windows Vista, you can no longer drag a folder from Explorer on to a Command Prompt and have it change to that directory.  They say it is a security feature.  But, they did add the ability to shift+right-click on a folder to show the option to Open Command Window Here.  This was something on XP that was you could add through a Windows Explorer extension.  I’ll admit, it’s a nice feature to have built into Vista, however, I stumbled across an even nicer shortcut (read: magic) for those of us that are prone to using the keyboard over the mouse, when it comes to shortcuts.  To quickly open a command prompt to the folder you have open in Explorer, hit Alt+D (mouse users: click on any empty space in the Address Bar), type cmd and then hit Enter.  I told you it was magic!

  1. In Windows Explorer, hit Alt+D
  2. Type cmd
  3. Hit Enter
  4. A command prompt window will open to the folder you had open in Explorer

I’ve been working on some Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer extensions and for the ease of testing I have to constantly restart Explorer.  Heck, I’ve just probably saved myself an extra 10-20 seconds per day.  I know, I’m weird, but you know what they say about special weird people…

If you’ve been looking for a reason to upgrade to Vista folks, this is definitely it (only kidding, of course) because it doesn’t work on XP (ugh, I feel my subconscious bullying me into creating an extension for XP to mimic this functionality…must…resist…urge)!

Windows Vista SP1 Causing Internet Connection Problems

On a Dell Precision 670 (@work), updated to Vista SP1, and a new Dell Inspiron 530 (@friend) with Vista SP1 installed on it when it was received, I have been having issues using the Internet.  Every time I restart my computer, my Internet connection won’t work even though the globe indicator on the network connection icon is showing as being online.  I can browse my local network but I can’t do anything online.  I found that I could temporarily get around this by disabling and re-enabling the Local Area Connection.  However, I wanted a more permanent solution:

Disabling IPv6 on Windows Vista SP1

Option 1:

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Click on Control Panel.
  3. Once the Control Panel is open, click the Classic View link on the left sidebar.
  4. Find and double-click Network and Sharing Center.
  5. Click Manage Network Connections on the left sidebar.
  6. Find your Broadband connection (usually named Local Area Connection) and right-click on it.
  7. On the context-menu, click Properties.
  8. Click the Networking tab.
  9. Remove the checkmark from Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).
  10. Click Ok.
  11. Close all the windows opened in the previous steps.
  12. Restart your computer.

Option 2 (requires modifying the registry but allows you to change one setting to affect all network adapters):

  1. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article – KB929852 – How to disable certain Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) components in Windows Vista

Known Issues with disabling IPv6:

  1. Any programs that require IPv6 will not work.  One example is Windows Meeting Space:

image

Hopefully Microsoft gets this issue fixed soon as I hate workarounds, especially ones that make compromises.  Though we all know that workarounds are a necessity of the digital life.

Team Fortress 2 on Vista crashes on map change, “Can’t load lump x, allocation of x bytes failed! Engine Error”

I’ll get straight to the point.  I’ve been playing Team Fortress 2 with no significant issues since the beta was published via Steam…until recently.  For some reason I was randomly getting crashes when the map changed on a server.  The specific error is as given in the title of this post.  I could not for the life of me figure out what might have changed that would have caused an issue like this (completely forgetting I had recently reinstalled Vista).  Instead of actively searching out a solution I continued restarting the game each time it crashed.  This seems to be a problem of mine, putting a band-aid on the problem rather than researching the cause to find a true solution.  Well it turns out it was actually a problem caused by Windows Vista itself in the way it handles memory allocation. 

This issue actually affects more than just Team Fortress 2, but my exposure to the problem was limited to this game.  The solution is a patch provided by Microsoft which I had installed on my previous instance of Vista, and was the reason I had not experience crashing prior to my reinstall.  Hopefully if you’re reading this you’ve taken the initiative to research your problem rather than trying to do what I did.  I have been running successfully with no crashes since installing the patch.  With that said, install the patch and get back to the game!

Microsoft KB Article 940105 – Virtual address space usage in Windows game development