Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Hide a Drive per User in Windows 7

Applies to:
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Looking at ways of displaying different drives per user on a single computer. This one is by modifying the system registry, so if you aren't familiar with the system registry in MS Windows, you may need to find someone who is.

As a proof of concept, let's see how to hide a specific drive. Note that this section applies to the currently logged-in user. To restrict other users, see the example after this one:
  1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press Enter.
  2. In regedit, expand to the following key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. In the right pane of Explorer, right click on a empty area, click on New > DWORD (32-bit) Value > type NoDrives > Enter.
  4. Right click on the DWORD you just created and click on Modify.
  5. Type in the drive option hex or decimal number from the list below you want to set as restricted, and click on OK.

    1.  -- Restrict multiple drives by adding the values together 
    2.  -- For Example: To Restrict B & C, enter 6 decimal 
    3.  --              "      "    E & G, enter 80 decimal or 50 hexadecimal 
    5.  Drive Letter    Decimal         Hex 
    6.  A               1               1 
    7.  B               2               2 
    8.  C               4               4 
    9.  D               8               8 
    10.  E               16              10 
    11.  F               32              20 
    12.  G               64              40 
    13.  H               128             80 
    14.  I               256             100 
    15.  J               512             200 
    16.  K               1024            400 
    17.  L               2048            800 
    18.  M               4096            1000 
    19.  N               8192            2000 
    20.  O               16384           4000 
    21.  P               32768           8000 
    22.  Q               65536           10000 
    23.  R               131072          20000 
    24.  S               262144          40000 
    25.  T               524288          80000 
    26.  U               1048576         100000 
    27.  V               2097152         200000 
    28.  W               4194304         400000 
    29.  X               8388608         800000 
    30.  Y               16777216        1000000 
    31.  Z               33554432        2000000 
    32.  All Drives      67108863        3ffffff 
  6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes.
Important! The above only applies to the user you are running Regedit as! (So if logged in as Admin, this hides it from the Admin, but not from the Guest account)

To only restrict Guest or a Specific User:
So undo the above if you didn't want this applied to the current logged-in user (delete the NoDrives DWORD). The concept of creating the NoDrives registry entry is what you need to remember. In the example below, we are applying the same principle to a specific user account (the Guest account):
  • Open the registry editor with administrative privileges
  • Select HKEY_USERS
  • Go to the menu File and select Load Hive
  • Navigate to that user's profile folder, usually C:\users\username in this case Users > Guest
  • Enter NTUSER.DAT in the File name box. (This file is a system-hidden file, so it won't show up in the file selection window. You have to type it in. Be sure not to select ntuser.dat.log by accident.)
  • Click ok, then enter a name for the key. We'll call it Foo.
  • Go to HKEY_USERS\Foo\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
  • If it does not already exist, create a key called Explorer
  • Create a new 32-bit DWORD value inside the Explorer key/folder and name it NoDrives (or NoViewOnDrive).
  • The value you enter for NoDrives depends on the drive(s) you want to restrict (Refer to the list above)
  • CRITICAL STEP: Once you've saved this value, navigate back up to HKEY_USERS, select the Foo key you loaded, and then click File > Unload Hive > Yes (prompt).
  • Close the registry editor, then restart the computer.

  • Guest account will not see the drive in Windows Explorer but can still access it using the command prompt.
  • All users can access the drive using the command prompt.
  • To hide from specific users, you need to repeat the above for each user.
  • If your disk drive uses the NTFS file system: Modify the Security settings for the drive to restrict access via the Command Prompt.
  • If your disk drive uses the FAT32 file system, then you will have no security tab/setting.


MS Excel: Convert a text to a number

This is a quick article on how to convert some cells in Microsoft Excel to number values...

OMG. Seriously Microsoft! I have spent an hour trying to convert a column of currency values to a number using Microsoft Excel 2010. Since when did MS Excel stop understanding what a NUMBER was?

I have a column full of currency values which I want to convert, specifically Philippine pesos to British pounds (sterling). When I multiply the Philippine peso by the conversion rate, it returns #VALUE!

The problem is that I have a column which includes the currency symbol as per the following image:

Transferring Apps (purchases) from iPhone 4s to 5s on a Windows PC

Applies to:
  • Apple iOS 7
  • Apple iTunes
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

Just so many articles out there that did not help me. This article is how I finally did mine.

I had paid for some apps on my old phone and realized that if I didn't do a "restore", then I would have to install and pay for them all again. My purchased music was in the cloud so those could be re-downloaded on to the new phone (not fun).

The Apple documentation iOS: Transferring information from your current iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a new device was as useful as a Microsoft KnowledgeBase article. In that, it restored all my photos and the default Apple apps, but missed out all my other apps (and audio).

Note that the restore can be done when the new phone prompts you to set it up but you could do the below again at anytime (as I discovered). The steps below apply after having gone through the process of setting up the phone and finishing on the "Get Started" (including Touch ID).

MS Excel - Sort pivottable column headings by date

This is a quick note to myself so that I never use parentheses in the column headings again. Basically I have a pivot table in Microsoft Excel 2010 with the projects down the left (in the first column) and the days of the week along the top.

The excel report would hit a bug where it couldn't work out that 10 (Wednesday) happened after 8 (Monday).

See the following screenshot and note the dates for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday:

Administrator Program Shortcut without Prompt

Applies to:
- Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
- User with Local Administrator Privileges (required for setup)

Our work has group policies and two of our programs, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate (VS2010) and Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), require elevated or administator rights/privileges when run. This is so that these programs can write back and forth to our C drive. If we don't run them as local administrators on the workstation, they error incessantly and never manage to do what you want them to do.

I want to create a desktop shortcut that I can double-click and it will run the above programs in administrator mode without confirmation by the Windows operating system. At home this may not be a problem but this is intended for those in an office environment and we get prompted to login (with the same account as we're currently logged-in with???) instead of being able to just click on "Yes".

The gist is that we're going to create a scheduled task (that won't be scheduled) and a shortcut to that task:

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