The most popular Windows posts of 2011

The most popular posts of 2011 give us a snapshot of what was important to readers and, perhaps something even more interesting, what was not important.

As 2011 comes to a close, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the past year and list the most popular posts in the Windows Blog during 2011. Each year, the most popular posts give us a snapshot of what was important to readers and, perhaps something even more interesting, what was not important to readers during the past 12 months.

We have the usual suspects, like tips for customizing and personalizing Windows and tweaking performance, but we also have a specific patch month (June) that made the top 10 posts this year. Of particular note this year was the lack of many Windows XP tips -- it appears that slowly but surely we are moving beyond XP and Vista to Windows 7.

Top 10

1.       "Change and Customize Windows 7's Logon Screen Wallpaper"

Takeaway: In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, Greg Shultz shows you how to change Windows 7's Logon screen wallpaper.

This tip involves a change to the Windows Registry file, as will some of the others in the list, so let me get the standard disclaimer out of the way:

Note: Editing the Windows Registry file is not without its risks, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

2.       "Creating a Windows Vista Recovery CD"

Takeaway: While a Recovery Disk or a Recovery Partition will allow you to restore your computer to the original settings from the manufacturer, chances are you will not be able to use it to repair your Windows Vista installation. Greg Shultz shows how you can create a Vista Recovery CD.

3.       "How Do I Make Windows 7 HomeGroup Content Accessible to Vista and XP?"

Takeaway: Greg Shultz shows you how to grant Windows XP and Windows Vista systems access to the folder and printers shared in a Windows 7 HomeGroup.

4.       "Repair Your Corrupted Windows Registry File the Easy Way"

Takeaway: Any longtime Windows user knows that a single corrupt registry entry can kill an entire Windows installation. Jack Wallen takes a look at the features of the open source application Little Registry Cleaner.

5.       "How Do I Copy Shortcuts to the All Users Folders in Vista or Windows 7?"

Takeaway: Alan Norton shows you how to copy shortcuts to the All Users folders in Windows 7 -- it is not the same procedure as in Windows XP.

6.       "10 Things You Should Do Before, During, and After Reinstalling Windows"

Takeaway: There are some very good reasons why you might want to reinstall Microsoft Windows. Whether it is 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, the registry can become corrupted or it can accumulate settings for programs long-since forgotten, leading to sluggish performance. Or you can find yourself with a stubborn Trojan Horse. The only way to be 100 percent sure that you have rid yourself of some particularly nasty viruses is to reload Windows. Alan Norton explains it all.

7.       "Selectively Disable UAC for Your Trusted Vista Applications"

Takeaway: Do you want to selectively disable User Account Control (UAC) for specific programs that run from Vista's Start menu? You can -- Greg Shultz shows you step-by-step using the Application Compatibility Toolkit.

8.       "Create a Windows XP and 7 Dual-Boot System Staged for an Easy Migration"

Takeaway: Greg Shultz shows you how to resize your existing Windows XP partition and then install Windows 7 in a dual-boot configuration on the same hard disk.

9.       "Reset Internet Explorer's Window Size in Windows XP"

Takeaway: By default, Internet Explorer is supposed to open at the same size it was the last time it was closed; however, sometimes the default setting gets out of whack and you need to manually reset it. Greg Shultz explains how it is done.

10.   "It's Microsoft Patch Tuesday: June 2011"

Takeaway: This is how Justin James put it: The out-of-band and nonsecurity stories were great this month. Unfortunately, we are getting pounded with a stunning sixteen patches, which cover a large number of problems. To make it worse, a number of patches have known issues and surprises when installing them. I've highlighted these patches for you, so look before you leap on these. Apparently, his words rang true, as this is the only Patch Tuesday blog post to make the top 10 for 2011.

Favorite Windows post

Do you have a favorite Windows post that you keep handy to refer to from time to time?