How to fix 5 persistent Windows irritations

These problems bug me in Windows, and they probably bug you too. Here's how to handle them

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If you open Server Manager and look for Security Information, there is a link called Configure IE ESC, short for "enhanced security configuration." Click it and choose whether you want to enable security for administrators or users (it's turned on by default). One click switches it off and the problem is solved. This is now one of the first things I do whenever I install a server where I use IE.  (Don't forget to enable the security again after you are done using the browser.  I use it for downloading hotfixes and so forth to install things like Exchange 2010 SP1.)

Windows irritation No. 4: Blocking Windows Server's shutdown tracker

Another annoying issue with Windows Server: Every time I shut down the server, it pops up a shutdown tracker dialog box that forces me to select a reason for my shutdown or type in the explanation. I usually type "aaa" to activate the OK button and move on. It's very annoying.

To turn this bugger off, open an MMC console (type "mmc" in the Start menu's Instant Search dialog box) and choose Add/Remove Snap-in for the Group Policy Manager for the Local system. Choose Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, and then System. Scroll down below the folders and look for Display Shutdown Event Tracker. Open that setting and disable the little monster.

Windows irritation No. 5: Fixing a wireless connection that doesn't automatically reconnect

For a little while now, my wife's computer has had trouble making a wireless connection at bootup and every time it wakes from sleep. My suggested fix: Disable and enable the wireless adapter. Her response: "Seriously, you're like this big-shot network guy and that is the best you can do?" (Ouch!)

Several months later, I decided to investigate the issue. In our case, it turned out to be a power management problem, though every instance is different. If you type "device manager" in the Instant Search dialog box from the Start menu, you can see your network adapters. Go into the properties of your adapter and look at the Power Management pane. Note the Allow the Computer to Turn Off This Device to Save Power option. Deselecting that option did the trick for us; the wireless connection now reestablishes itself automatically at bootup or wake-up.

Bonus quirk: Each night I put my system to sleep, and each morning it is up and running again and waiting for me to log in. I know a system wake-up event must occur to make it activate on its own, but how can I find out which one? Easy -- open a command prompt and type "powercfg -lastwake" to locate the initial cause of the wake-up.

Do you have a Windows frustration you'd like to share with readers? By all means, add it to the comments section below. And remember, no matter how frustrating it might be to you and how many evil memories you have of that event, if you need to express yourself, er, graphically, use the !@#$% keys.

This article, "How to fix 5 persistent Windows irritations," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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