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Last post Author Topic: Replacing the Control Panel  (Read 8867 times)

Vurbal

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Replacing the Control Panel
« on: August 15, 2013, 12:07:32 AM »
I've been working on a project to use LaunchBar Commander as an alternative to the Windows Start Menu. For the moment I'm building it in Windows 7 but eventually I'm going to create a version for Windows 8 as well. When I'm done - or at various points along the way more likely, I'll be writing about it for AfterDawn.com and putting up at least a video or 2 up on our YouTube account.

Now that I've waded hip deep into the Microsoft manure pile I've reached a point where I either need to spend at least a week researching and testing 12 hours a day. Or I could do something sensible for a change and actually ask for advice. Fortunately for me this is exactly the kind of place I'd expect to find some of the answers so what the hell. I always wondered what doing things the easy way felt like.

First I should explain the premise a little more. My projects tend to balloon to ridiculous proportions sooner or later and this one is no exception. Originally I planned to focus on simply organizing the various configuration tools and utilities in a way that's intuitive for ordinary people. I've tentatively settled on 4 categories - System Information, System Configuration, Interface Configuration, and System Mainenance - each of which will have a separate menu. I'm not completely happy with the names but I'm pretty settled on the categories themselves.

For a saner person the rest would be pretty straight forward. Sort out the Control Panel applets by category, do the same with any relevant programs, maybe throw in a few significant tools that don't have Start Menu shortcuts and you're done. For the final touches I figured I'd add in some third party software for adjusting settings lots of people want but are buried in the registry.

Did I mention easy isn't my thing? More importantly, organization isn't Microsoft's thing. Control Panel applets, as a group, suffer from several major flaws. Settings that a user would reasonably group together are separated not just into different applets, but also using inconsistent names. You adjust the your monitor's color profile is in Color Management but the resolution is in Personalization. That can be fixed by simply changing the names on the menu. In most cases you can even open a specific tab so I can use a task oriented scheme.

Others are just a confusing mess of unrelated items that don't belong together. They do, however, fit perfectly with one or more other applets. The real difficulty, though, is these are also the oldest applets. The old System (System Properties) applet has 5 tabs which launch 10 other windows between them, one of which has 3 basically random tabs of its own. And on top of all that there are reasonably compartmentalized applets like Default Programs that make the simplest, most straight forward tasks torturously painful.

I thought this was going to be a face lift but what this patient needs is reconstructive surgery. What I need are the tools for the job. I'm looking for alternative programs to do the same tasks so I can cut out the bits that are just too diseased to save. I already had some programs I was looking at. I hadn't gotten very far because I wanted to ease people into the unfamiliar interface first. Now that I've tried that for myself I'd rather not put people through it.

Any suggestions are welcome, whether it's an improvement over something Windows has or an addition it should have. Here are some specific tools or tasks I'm particularly interested in, and the tools I've identified to at least consider:

Advanced System Settings (aka System Properties): This is the poster child for everything wrong with the Windows interface. It's also going to be the hardest one to replace because of all the ground it covers. If I could find a way to at least work around the Performance Options window (Visual Effects and Pagefile settings mostly) it would fix the biggest problem. I've already been playing with Rapid Environment Editor as a replacement for the Environment Variables dialog and I'm pretty happy so far.

Default Programs: It's hard for me to express just how much I loathe this worthless pile of shit. If it isn't intentionally designed to prevent you from changing the file associations I can only conclude Microsoft put a team of retarded monkeys in charge of developing it. I've tried a couple alternatives - Default Programs Editor is the only one I can think of now. It's an improvement but still not as easy as I think it should be. Ideally I'd like something that divides things into a couple simple tasks - basically like the command line tools but with a user friendly GUI interface. The first task is associating multiple extensions as a single file type by selecting them from a list. Then I'd like a second option to set the program association for the file type. If it showed the common options like Edit and Preview so I could set them easily that would be great. If not I can do that myself. But I don't want to do it from scratch just because I reinstall Windows. If I'm going to do the work I want a way to save and load it later.

Device Manager: I know there are a lot of good tools that provide a lot more information about your computer's hardware than the Device Manager. I've just never taken the time to compare their features or interfaces. When I need one I download the first one I find and if it works I stop there. By the next day I've forgotten all about it. If it included Device Manager's options for loading, disabling, and removing drivers that would be a bonus but I'd happily settle for just a good interface and detailed usable information - especially for USB devices. Whenever I see "Composite Device" listed in the Device Manager I want to punch Steve Ballmer in the face.

Taskbar and Start Menu: This isn't such a bad applet but what I really need is a good program for setting a delay for unhiding the Taskbar. Because I basically have a HDTV monitor (16:9) instead of a regular computer monitor (16:10) I don't like wasting any vertical space so I use Autohide. However I've also moved it to the top of the desktop because it's usually closer to my mouse that way (also my new launcher is at the bottom). I found an old program somebody wrote to use with RocketDock called Total Taskbar Controller. The delay works fine but it has some quirks I find annoying. If I don't find anything better I can live with it.

Devices and Printers: I have no idea what problem this applet was intended to solve. I can launch the Add Hardware and Add Printer wizards directly but it would be nice to have a general printer management program. If not, maybe I'll just ignore it altogether and be happy things are a little simpler.

Network and Sharing Center: I've tried to imagine a developer who would look at this interface and think anything besides, "what a complete clusterfuck!" The concept of the HomeGroup was bad enough to begin with - not so much the idea as almost every aspect of the implementation. Why in the name of everything holy are the adapter settings not front and center on the main window? Ooh look, it's got pretty pictures, just hope nothing stops working because troubleshooting will suck. I'm not hopeful about finding a suitable replacement but on the good side Microsoft didn't just set the bar low. They buried it about a foot down.

I'm sure there's more - not necessarily in the Control Panel - but that's a good start for now. Feel free to throw out suggestions of your own.


I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 06:36:34 AM »
Devices and Printers: I have no idea what problem this applet was intended to solve. I can launch the Add Hardware and Add Printer wizards directly but it would be nice to have a general printer management program. If not, maybe I'll just ignore it altogether and be happy things are a little simpler.

Have you seen the Print Management console? It's buried pretty deep, but well worth looking for...and it's part of Windows 7.

40hz

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 07:42:18 AM »
Hope to god you never delve into Group Policy Objects with the intent of rationalizing that stream of consciousness bit of free verse. You'll never be heard from again. ;)

(Microsoft says: That's not a fault - it's a feature.)

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 08:57:17 AM »
Devices and Printers: I have no idea what problem this applet was intended to solve. I can launch the Add Hardware and Add Printer wizards directly but it would be nice to have a general printer management program. If not, maybe I'll just ignore it altogether and be happy things are a little simpler.

Have you seen the Print Management console? It's buried pretty deep, but well worth looking for...and it's part of Windows 7.
Sadly that's apparently a feauture you have to pay Microsoft's "Let me use everything on my computer" tax for - as in buying the Pro or Ultimate versions. Since AfterDawn didn't have an enterprise license for Win7 I'm running Home Premium. I can install LPR support but it doesn't give me access to the snap-in. That makes it sort of unsuitable for general use anyway. Too bad because it's probably just what I"m looking for - or as close as I can get.

Edit: Technically it probably can be enabled, just like the Group Policy Editor can. However I'm not planning to invest the time to figure it out and publishing instructions would fall into a sort of legal gray area given the current caselaw on license imposed restrictions.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 11:43:28 AM by Vurbal »

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 09:03:54 AM »
Hope to god you never delve into Group Policy Objects with the intent of rationalizing that stream of consciousness bit of free verse. You'll never be heard from again. ;)
You seem to be hinting at something here but I'm not sure what  :P

At any rate I gave up on GPOs a long time ago. I had to teach myself all about group policy at my last IT job in order to transform their network into an AD domain. O'Reilly got quite a bit of my money while I was there. I almost feel sorry for whoever replaced me since I'm sure my system for setting up policies is completely different than whatever Microsoft is teaching as the One True Way.

Well not really. I quit because the guy running the company was a corrupt scumbag who lied to me about why they refused to give me a real raise. They replaced me with a full time manager plus 2 part timers. Then I got the last laugh when the same douchebag was caught defrauding the FDA to get loans - it was a rural water utility.

Quote
(Microsoft says: That's not a fault - it's a feature.)
Microsoft also used to say (ie teach the unwashed masses in their indoctrination... err boot camps) that Ping stands for Packet Internet Groper. Oh and since IIS 4 had problems connecting to SQL Server through a firewall you should put your web db server in the DMZ.  :tellme:
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 11:40:00 AM »
Okay, here's an easier question if only to prove I actually have those from time to time.  :P

What are some simple command lines that would be good to have handy to have available on a basic system menu? Mostly I'm thinking about basic maintenance tools which don't need any user input. The first one that came to mind was the System File Checker (sfc /scannow). I'm sure there are others but nothing comes immediately to mind.

Power user commands or tools (the kind most users shouldn't touch in the first place) will also be getting their own submenu. Or maybe even just a separate base menu altogether that's not visible by default. Suggestions along those lines would also be useful.

For right now I'm going to rebuild the LBC configuration and then I'll post some screenshots to provide some context for what I'm doing.

I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

oblivion

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 02:08:51 AM »
What are some simple command lines that would be good to have handy to have available on a basic system menu?
Have read all this with a combination of amused fascination and horror. You, sir, are a brave man. :)

Is chkdsk <driveletter> /f worth including?

Something I'd find useful -- a way to get at some of the control panel stuff when the logged-in user is restricted but I have an admin password I can run stuff as.

In these situations, I generally do runas /user:<whatever> cmd.exe and then try to remember which of the .cpls do what (control.exe whatever.cpl) since they're almost completely impossible to identify function from name. (If you don't already know, you'll never guess what main.cpl is for!) So something along the lines of what you're doing I could run from a stick and that I could fire an admin account at without having to log the user off -- now that'd be really useful :)
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 02:36:30 PM »
What are some simple command lines that would be good to have handy to have available on a basic system menu?
Have read all this with a combination of amused fascination and horror. You, sir, are a brave man. :)

Thank you, but I suspect it's more foolish than brave.  :huh:

Quote
Is chkdsk <driveletter> /f worth including?


It's actually one of the options I've been considering but I need to figure out a way to do it in a way that it doesn't require the user to select the drive. For the drive with the Windows folder it should be as simple as using %SYSTEMDRIVE% for the drive letter. That's assuming I can work out a suitable method for entering the proper credentials dynamically as well. (more details below)

A better option would be to come up with a method for parsing the list of drives, isolating the hard drives, and presenting an option for each on the menu with a format like Check drive VolumeName [X:] for errors. It would be complicated but definitely something LaunchBar Commander should be capable of using its dynamic menu features.

Quote
Something I'd find useful -- a way to get at some of the control panel stuff when the logged-in user is restricted but I have an admin password I can run stuff as.

In these situations, I generally do runas /user:<whatever> cmd.exe and then try to remember which of the .cpls do what (control.exe whatever.cpl) since they're almost completely impossible to identify function from name. (If you don't already know, you'll never guess what main.cpl is for!) So something along the lines of what you're doing I could run from a stick and that I could fire an admin account at without having to log the user off -- now that'd be really useful :)

I've been toying with a couple ideas for launching items using alternate credentials. The RunAs command should do the job, but it would require coming up with a way to prompt for at least the username. That's based on memories from my WinXP sysadmin days so I could be remembering wrong or it may not work the same now.

Assuming the basic idea is sound, the next question is how to get credentials from the user. The simplest way would be a batch file or a script of some kind (WSH or PowerShell) but I'd rather not go that route for a number of reasons. There's a tool I've found which I suspect can do the job but it's a little (or a lot) over my head at the moment. More on that in a future post.

I'm also concerned about an oddity I ran into for launching the Windows Features tab directly - ie not from inside the Programs and Features applet. I posted it on the LBC forum:

Quote
Problem: Unable to get the Windows Features Control Panel to populate when launching it directly using the following rundll32.exe command:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl,,2

Solution: After a bunch of testing it appears the problem is in rundll32.exe itself. Populating the list of features is actually done by TrustedInstaller.exe which can only be run by the built-in System account. System fails to create the svchost.exe process to do this if rundll32.exe is launched by any process besides explorer.exe  (via the Run dialog) or cmd.exe (directly from the command prompt). I ran into the same problem attempting to launch it indirectly from the command prompt using NirCmd's exec feature.

As an alternative it can be launched using the built-in alias of optionalfeatures. Technically it's optionalfeatures.exe, but it only seems to work in LBC if I leave off the .exe file extension and doesn't even work with that syntax when launching via NirCmd exec.

The continued use of main.cpl for the Mouse applet is a perfect example of why Windows is such a mess. Whatever the specifics, improvement is change. If you prioritize minimizing change ahead of improvements, as Microsoft always has, you end up with kludges instead of fixes. When you start building on kludges you end up relying on even more kludges until eventually they're the rule rather than the exception.

In the case of today's Windows that goes all the way back to the core Windows NT architecture. Compatibility with DOS-based (Win9x) code required a tangled mess of kludges. Eventually Windows either needs a complete reboot (no pun intended) like Apple did with OS X or it's not going to be around in the not too distant future.

For my part I've decided to ignore the gaping hole in the Titanic's hull and focus on rearranging the deck chairs.   :-\
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 06:19:33 PM »
Project Update:

Although I'm sticking with my broader plan in the long term, I've decided my earlier strategy of using smaller steps was the right one. In fact I'm actually going to simplify a little further for the first stage and start by just transferring core Start Menu functionality to my System Bar almost entirely as-is. That leaves me with 4 menus at the moment:

  • Power: Logoff, shutdown, lock computer, and screensaver options via NirCmd.
  • Command: Run, Search, Windows Explorer from the Start Menu plus a few additional nodes like Eject Device (safely remove hardware), and Volume Control along with a handful of other features provided by NirCmd. At a minimum that will include Mute/Unmute system volume, Empty Recycle Bin (NirCmd), and Refresh explorer and environment (shellrefresh / sysrefresh).
  • Programs: LBC's %AllStartMenu% virtual folder menu copied from the example launchbar.
  • User Files: Some combination of submenus from the MRU (Most Recently Used) plugin and the user profile special folders such as My Documents. I'm completely undecided about which items to include or not.

That still leaves the Control Panel as an open question. The example launchbar has a My Control Panel menu which covers the basics but isn't really sufficient by itself. Ideally I'd be able to simply use a shell virtual folder - shell:::{GUID} - to populate the menu. That could duplicate the Start Menu's menu view option but it's only supported for LBC's specific list of virtual folders. That's actually an improvement over most launchers.

That leaves leaves just a couple options. The simplest would be just adding a Control Panel (command) node to open it normally. I could supplement that with another command node to open the All Tasks (aka GodMode/Master Control Panel) view using explorer.

Alternatively - or even additionally - I could build a menu of Control Panel applets equivalent to the Start Menu's 'View as menu' option. The big advantage to that approach is the flexibility to hide items most people never need to see like Anytime Upgrade and CardSpace. In fact it would be easy to hide the menu entirely. The disadvantage to such a menu is that third party Control Panel applets wouldn't appear automatically. However those should be available as regular programs (from the Start Menu) anyway.

That leaves the question of using control/rundll32 for launching them vs shell virtual folders. The only real advantage I see to the first method is access to individual applet tabs. For just opening the basic applets I'm leaning toward the explorer method.

The Next Step(s)
Once I have the basics transferred to LBC I can focus on more specialized menus. The basic focus will be on replacing the Control Panel and (Start Menu) Programs options. That will include replacements for some Control Panel applets and probably also the control/rundll32 options for opening individual applet tabs. The other thing I'd like to figure out is how to get away from the actual Programs folders used to generate the Start Menu. I've had too many bad experiences with shortcuts mysteriously disappearing. That's besides the basic problem that programs without installers don't put shortcuts there to begin with.

It's simple enough to add programs to LBC but separating the programs you want to launch from various helper exe's can be indistinguishable from magic. If I could find a way to semi-automate that process and create a text file in a format supported by LBC it would be a huge improvement. It's obviously not nearly as simple as that makes it sound - but that's why it's a challenge.

While visiting the website for one CP applet alternative I've already tried (7+ Taskbar Tweaker) I actually ran across another program I'd forgotten about. The same developer (RaMMicHaeL) wrote a cool little program for running WinAPI functions as commands. It's called winapiexec. If I was an actual programmer I suspect I could solve most of my problems with it.

Then again if that were the case I could write programs to do it right.  :)
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 04:15:15 AM »
So here's the latest on my *little* project. First I've decided to add just one or 2 more items to the first phase. Due to the clumsiness of replacing the Start Menu search box with the full blown Windows Search GUI I'm going to jump right into using FARR as a replacement. Besides the minimal size, it has the advantage of having a plugin to use the Windows search index and also launch files, making it something of a replacement for the Run dialog as well. I may also mention Everything since FARR has a plugin for its index as well.

I've also come to the conclusion I really need to learn AutoHotkey because it seems to be the simplest way to integrate basic Windows dialogs and controls.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Curt

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 06:19:52 AM »
I have heard that Windows 8 is unfriendly to AutoHotkey.

mouser

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 06:37:31 AM »
DC member Josh actually spent some time figuring out how to invoke control panel stuff for the creation of an alias for my Find and Run Robot (FARR) tool.

One of the interesting things he figured out was differences between winxp and win7/8.

Here are the contents of the cpanel alias file included with FARR.  I think you'll be able to see the different commands and how they are invoked:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="Legacy" ?>
<!-- This file defines aliases for use by the Find and Run Robot program (http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/findrun/index.html). -->
<FarrAliasFile>
    <FileFormatVersion>1</FileFormatVersion>
    <AliasSetDescription>Custom User Alias File</AliasSetDescription>
    <AliasEntry>
        <AliasText>cpanel</AliasText>
        <Score>1000</Score>
        <Results>
            <Result>Accessibility Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe access.cpl /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Action Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ActionCenter /ICON=ActionCenter.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Add Features to Windows | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Add Hardware | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AddHardware /ICON=Hardware.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Add Hardware | %windir%\system32\control.exe hdwwiz.cpl /ICON=Hardware.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Add or Remove Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe appwiz.cpl /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Administrative Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools /ICON=AdminTools.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Administrative Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe admintools /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Automatic Updates | %windir%\system32\control.exe wuaucpl.cpl /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>AutoPlay | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AutoPlay /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Backup and Restore Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter /ICON=Backup.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Backup and Restore | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore /ICON=Backup.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Biometric Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BiometricDevices /ICON=Bio.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>BitLocker Drive Encryption | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption /ICON=BitLocker.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Bluetooth Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BluetoothDevices /ICON=Bluetooth.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Color Management | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ColorManagement /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Credential Manager | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.CredentialManager /ICON=CredentialMgr.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Date and Time | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DateAndTime /ICON=DateTime.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Date and Time | %windir%\system32\control.exe date/time /ICON=DateTime.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Default Location | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DefaultLocation /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Default Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Desktop Gadgets | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DesktopGadgets /ICON=Gadgets.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Device Manager | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DeviceManager /ICON=DeviceManager.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Devices and Printers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Display | %windir%\system32\control.exe desktop /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Display | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Display /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Ease of Access Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>File History | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FileHistory /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Folder Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FolderOptions /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Folder Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe folders /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Fonts | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Fonts /ICON=Fonts.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Fonts | %windir%\system32\control.exe fonts /ICON=Fonts.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Game Controllers | %windir%\system32\control.exe joy /ICON=Games.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Game Controllers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Gamec:\windows\system32\control.exe /ICON=Games.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Get Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GetPrograms /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Getting Started | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GettingStarted /ICON=GettingStarted-WelcomeCenter.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Home Group | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.HomeGroup /ICON=HomeGroup.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Indexing Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions /ICON=Indexing.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Indexing Options | %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll /ICON=Indexing.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Infrared | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Infrared /ICON=infrared.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Infrared | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.InfraredOptions /ICON=infrared.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Internet Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.InternetOptions /ICON=Internet.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Internet Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe inetcpl.cpl /ICON=Internet.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>iSCSI Initiator | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.iSCSIInitiator /ICON=iScsi.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Keyboard | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Keyboard /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Keyboard | %windir%\system32\control.exe keyboard /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Language | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Language /ICON=Language.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Location and Other Sensors | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.LocationAndOtherSensors /ICON=Location.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Location Settings | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.LocationSettings /ICON=Location.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Mail | %windir%\system32\control.exe mlcfg32.cpl /ICON=Mail.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Mouse | %windir%\system32\control.exe mouse /ICON=Mouse.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Mouse | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Mouse /ICON=Mouse.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Network and Sharing Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter /ICON=NetworkSharing.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Network Connections | %windir%\system32\control.exe netconnections /ICON=NetworkSharing.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Network Setup Wizard | %windir%\system32\control.exe netsetup.cpl /ICON=NetSetup.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Notification Area Icons | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.NotificationAreaIcons /ICON=Notification.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>ODBC Data Source Administrator | %windir%\system32\control.exe odbccp32.cpl /ICON=ODBC.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Offline Files | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.OfflineFiles /ICON=Offline.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Parental Controls | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Parentalc:\windows\system32\control.exe /ICON=Parental.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Pen and Input Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PenAndInputDevices /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Pen and Touch | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PenAndTouch /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>People Near Me | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PeopleNearMe /ICON=People.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Performance Information and Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools /ICON=Perf.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Personalization | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Personalization /ICON=Personalization.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModemOptions /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe telephon.cpl /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModem /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Power Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PowerOptions /ICON=Power.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Power Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe powercfg.cpl /ICON=Power.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Printers and Faxes | %windir%\system32\control.exe printers /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Printers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Printers /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Problem Reports and Solutions | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ProblemReportsAndSolutions /ICON=Troubleshooting.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Programs and Features | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ProgramsAndFeatures /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Recovery | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Recovery /ICON=Recovery.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Region | %windir%\system32\control.exe international /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Region and Language | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Regional and Language Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RegionalAndLanguageOptions /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Regional and Language Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe international /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>RemoteApp and Desktop Connections | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RemoteAppAndDesktopConnections /ICON=RDP.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Scanners and Cameras | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ScannersAndCameras /ICON=ScanCameras.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Scanners and Cameras | %windir%\system32\control.exe sticpl.cpl /ICON=ScanCameras.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Scheduled Tasks | %windir%\system32\control.exe schedtasks /ICON=Tasks.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Security Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SecurityCenter /ICON=Security.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Security Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe wscui.cpl /ICON=Security.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Sound | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Sound /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Sound | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AudioDevicesAndSoundThemes /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Sounds and Audio Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe mmsys.cpl /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Speech Recognition Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognitionOptions /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Speech Recognition | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognition /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Speech | %windir%\system32\control.exe &quot;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Speech\sapi.cpl&quot; /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Storage Spaces | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.StorageSpaces /ICON=StorageSpaces.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Sync Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SyncCenter /ICON=Sync.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>System | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.System /ICON=System.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>System | %windir%\system32\control.exe sysdm.cpl /ICON=System.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Tablet PC Settings | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TabletPCSettings /ICON=Tablet.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Taskbar /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar and Start Menu | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TaskbarAndStartMenu /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar and Start Menu | %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 1 /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Text to Speech | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TextToSpeech /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Troubleshooting | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting /ICON=Troubleshooting.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.UserAccounts /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts | %windir%\system32\control.exe userpasswords /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Welcome Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WelcomeCenter /ICON=GettingStarted-WelcomeCenter.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows Anytime Upgrade | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows CardSpace | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.CardSpace /ICON=CardSpace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows Defender | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsDefender /ICON=Defender.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Firewall | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsFirewall /ICON=Firewall.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Firewall | %windir%\system32\control.exe firewall.cpl /ICON=Firewall.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Windows Marketplace | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GetProgramsOnline /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows Mobility Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.MobilityCenter /ICON=Mobility.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Sidebar Properties | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSidebarProperties /ICON=Sidebar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows SideShow | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSideShow /ICON=Sidebar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows Update | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate /ICON=WinUpdate.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Wireless Link | %windir%\system32\control.exe irprops.cpl /ICON=Wireless.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
        </Results>
    </AliasEntry>
</FarrAliasFile>

And here's one Josh made for admin actions:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="Legacy" ?>
<!-- This file defines aliases for use by the Find and Run Robot program (http://www.donationcoder....Mouser/findrun/index.html). -->
<FarrAliasFile>
    <FileFormatVersion>1</FileFormatVersion>
    <AliasSetDescription>Windows Admin Tools</AliasSetDescription>
    <AliasEntry>
        <AliasText>mmc</AliasText>
        <Score>1000</Score>
        <Results>
<Result>Certificate Manager | shellexec mmc certmgr.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=certmgr.ico</Result>
<Result>Component Services Administration | shellexec mmc comexp.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=comexp.ico</Result>
<Result>Computer Management | shellexec mmc compmgmt.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=compmgmt.ico</Result>
<Result>Device Manager | shellexec mmc devmgmt.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=devmgmt.ico</Result>
<Result>Defrag | shellexec mmc dfrg.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9 /hint="Windows XP only" /icon=dfrguiico</Result>
<Result>Disk Management | shellexec mmc diskmgmt.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=diskmgmt.ico</Result>
<Result>Event Viewer | shellexec mmc eventvwr.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=eventvwr.ico</Result>
<Result>Group Policy Editor | shellexec mmc gpedit.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /hint="Only works if group policy is installed." /icon=gpedit.ico</Result>
<Result>Indexing Service Manager | shellexec mmc ciadv.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9 /icon=Indexing.ico</Result>
<Result>Local Users and Groups | shellexec mmc lusrmgr.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=lusrmgr.ico</Result>
<Result>Network Access Protocol Client Configuration | shellexec mmc NAPCLCFG.MSC /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=NAPLCFG.ico</Result>
<Result>Performance Monitor | shellexec mmc perfmon.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=perfmon.ico</Result>
<Result>Printer Management | shellexec mmc printmanagement.msc /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=DevicesPrinters.ico</Result>
<Result>Removable Storage Manager | shellexec mmc ntmsmgr.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9 /hint="Windows XP Only" /icon=Storage.ico</Result>
<Result>Removable Storage Operator Requests | shellexec mmc ntmsoprq.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9 /hint="Windows XP Only" /icon=Storage.ico</Result>
<Result>Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) | shellexec mmc rsop.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=rsop.ico</Result>
<Result>Security Policy | shellexec mmc secpol.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=Security.ico</Result>
<Result>Services Manager | shellexec mmc services.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=services.ico</Result>
<Result>Shared Folders Management | shellexec mmc fsmgmt.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=fsmgmt.ico</Result>
<Result>Task Scheduler | shellexec mmc taskschd.msc /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=taskschd.ico</Result>
<Result>Trusted Platform Module | shellexec mmc tpm.msc /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=tpm.ico</Result>
<Result>Windows Authorization Manager | shellexec mmc azman.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=azman.ico</Result>
<Result>Windows Firewall with Advanced Security | shellexec mmc WF.msc /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=WF.ico</Result>
<Result>Windows Management Instrumentation | shellexec mmc wmimgmt.msc /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2 /icon=wmimgmt.ico</Result>
        </Results>
    </AliasEntry>
</FarrAliasFile>

The other thing josh did was assemble/extract icon files for each of the control panel items.

You can find all of the .ico files as well as the .alias files above, in the AliasGroups/Installed/Core_Aliases/cpanel directory of your FARR install.

All credit to Josh who did the hard work.

Josh

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 06:53:43 AM »
If you know of one that is missing, let me know and I will research how to add it.

By the way, "God Mode" shortcuts cannot be added, or I have not found a way to do so. If someone finds a way, let me know and I will gladly make an alias file. That would be awesome since most of those shortcuts are directly to specific parts of a control panel applet!

mouser

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 06:55:12 AM »
Another interesting idea would be to let LaunchBar Commander show the contents of FARR alias files directly in menus..  That would let LBC show a proper control panel menu..

4wd

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 07:25:26 AM »
If you know of one that is missing, let me know and I will research how to add it.

Advanced User Accounts - netplwiz.exe (Win 7) or nusrmgr.cpl (Win XP)

For Windows 7, see here - for Windows XP, see here.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2013, 07:39:38 AM »
If you know of one that is missing, let me know and I will research how to add it.

By the way, "God Mode" shortcuts cannot be added, or I have not found a way to do so. If someone finds a way, let me know and I will gladly make an alias file. That would be awesome since most of those shortcuts are directly to specific parts of a control panel applet!

Fantastic job putting those together!   :Thmbsup:

I don't think there's any way to generate a menu from the All Tasks virtual folder but I have collected a bunch of command lines for accessing quite a few of the same tabs and wizards. I should throw together a quick list and post it for anyone who's interested.

Another interesting idea would be to let LaunchBar Commander show the contents of FARR alias files directly in menus..  That would let LBC show a proper control panel menu..

That sounds like a great idea!
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Josh

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2013, 08:09:33 AM »
Quote
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="Legacy" ?>
<!-- This file defines aliases for use by the Find and Run Robot program (http://www.donationc...r/findrun/index.html). -->
<FarrAliasFile>
    <FileFormatVersion>1</FileFormatVersion>
    <AliasSetDescription>Custom User Alias File</AliasSetDescription>
    <AliasEntry>
        <AliasText>cpanel</AliasText>
        <Score>1000</Score>
        <Results>
            <Result>Accessibility Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe access.cpl /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Action Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ActionCenter /ICON=ActionCenter.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Add Features to Windows | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Add Hardware | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AddHardware /ICON=Hardware.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Add Hardware | %windir%\system32\control.exe hdwwiz.cpl /ICON=Hardware.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Add or Remove Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe appwiz.cpl /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Administrative Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools /ICON=AdminTools.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Administrative Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe admintools /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Automatic Updates | %windir%\system32\control.exe wuaucpl.cpl /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>AutoPlay | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AutoPlay /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Backup and Restore Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter /ICON=Backup.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Backup and Restore | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore /ICON=Backup.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Biometric Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BiometricDevices /ICON=Bio.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>BitLocker Drive Encryption | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption /ICON=BitLocker.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Bluetooth Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.BluetoothDevices /ICON=Bluetooth.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Color Management | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ColorManagement /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Credential Manager | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.CredentialManager /ICON=CredentialMgr.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Date and Time | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DateAndTime /ICON=DateTime.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Date and Time | %windir%\system32\control.exe date/time /ICON=DateTime.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Default Location | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DefaultLocation /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Default Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms /ICON=AutoUpdates-Defaults.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Desktop Gadgets | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DesktopGadgets /ICON=Gadgets.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Device Manager | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DeviceManager /ICON=DeviceManager.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Devices and Printers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Display | %windir%\system32\control.exe desktop /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Display | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Display /ICON=DisplayColor.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Ease of Access Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>File History | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FileHistory /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Folder Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.FolderOptions /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Folder Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe folders /ICON=FolderOpts.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Fonts | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Fonts /ICON=Fonts.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Fonts | %windir%\system32\control.exe fonts /ICON=Fonts.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Game Controllers | %windir%\system32\control.exe joy /ICON=Games.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Game Controllers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Gamec:\windows\system32\control.exe /ICON=Games.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Get Programs | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GetPrograms /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Getting Started | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GettingStarted /ICON=GettingStarted-WelcomeCenter.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Home Group | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.HomeGroup /ICON=HomeGroup.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Indexing Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions /ICON=Indexing.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Indexing Options | %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll /ICON=Indexing.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Infrared | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Infrared /ICON=infrared.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Infrared | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.InfraredOptions /ICON=infrared.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Internet Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.InternetOptions /ICON=Internet.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Internet Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe inetcpl.cpl /ICON=Internet.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>iSCSI Initiator | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.iSCSIInitiator /ICON=iScsi.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Keyboard | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Keyboard /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Keyboard | %windir%\system32\control.exe keyboard /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Language | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Language /ICON=Language.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Location and Other Sensors | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.LocationAndOtherSensors /ICON=Location.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Location Settings | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.LocationSettings /ICON=Location.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Mail | %windir%\system32\control.exe mlcfg32.cpl /ICON=Mail.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Mouse | %windir%\system32\control.exe mouse /ICON=Mouse.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Mouse | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Mouse /ICON=Mouse.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Network and Sharing Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter /ICON=NetworkSharing.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Network Connections | %windir%\system32\control.exe netconnections /ICON=NetworkSharing.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Network Setup Wizard | %windir%\system32\control.exe netsetup.cpl /ICON=NetSetup.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Notification Area Icons | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.NotificationAreaIcons /ICON=Notification.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>ODBC Data Source Administrator | %windir%\system32\control.exe odbccp32.cpl /ICON=ODBC.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Offline Files | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.OfflineFiles /ICON=Offline.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Parental Controls | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Parentalc:\windows\system32\control.exe /ICON=Parental.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Pen and Input Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PenAndInputDevices /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Pen and Touch | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PenAndTouch /ICON=InputDevices.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>People Near Me | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PeopleNearMe /ICON=People.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Performance Information and Tools | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools /ICON=Perf.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Personalization | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Personalization /ICON=Personalization.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModemOptions /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe telephon.cpl /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Phone and Modem | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModem /ICON=PhoneModem.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Power Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.PowerOptions /ICON=Power.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Power Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe powercfg.cpl /ICON=Power.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Printers and Faxes | %windir%\system32\control.exe printers /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Printers | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Printers /ICON=DevicesPrinters.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Problem Reports and Solutions | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ProblemReportsAndSolutions /ICON=Troubleshooting.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Programs and Features | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ProgramsAndFeatures /ICON=Programs.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Recovery | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Recovery /ICON=Recovery.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Region | %windir%\system32\control.exe international /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Region and Language | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Regional and Language Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RegionalAndLanguageOptions /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Regional and Language Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe international /ICON=Region.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>RemoteApp and Desktop Connections | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.RemoteAppAndDesktopConnections /ICON=RDP.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Scanners and Cameras | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.ScannersAndCameras /ICON=ScanCameras.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Scanners and Cameras | %windir%\system32\control.exe sticpl.cpl /ICON=ScanCameras.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Scheduled Tasks | %windir%\system32\control.exe schedtasks /ICON=Tasks.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Security Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SecurityCenter /ICON=Security.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Security Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe wscui.cpl /ICON=Security.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Sound | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Sound /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Sound | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.AudioDevicesAndSoundThemes /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Sounds and Audio Devices | %windir%\system32\control.exe mmsys.cpl /ICON=Sound.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Speech Recognition Options | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognitionOptions /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Speech Recognition | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognition /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Speech | %windir%\system32\control.exe &quot;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Speech\sapi.cpl&quot; /ICON=Speech.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Storage Spaces | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.StorageSpaces /ICON=StorageSpaces.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Sync Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.SyncCenter /ICON=Sync.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>System | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.System /ICON=System.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>System | %windir%\system32\control.exe sysdm.cpl /ICON=System.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Tablet PC Settings | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TabletPCSettings /ICON=Tablet.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Taskbar /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=6.2 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar and Start Menu | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TaskbarAndStartMenu /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Taskbar and Start Menu | %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 1 /ICON=Taskbar.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Text to Speech | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.TextToSpeech /ICON=AccessTTS.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Troubleshooting | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting /ICON=Troubleshooting.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.UserAccounts /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts | %windir%\system32\control.exe userpasswords /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts (Advanced) | %windir%\system32\control.exe nusrmgr.cpl /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=5.0 /winvermax=5.1</Result>
            <Result>User Accounts (Advanced) | %windir%\system32\netplwiz.exe /ICON=Users.ico /winvermin=6.1 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Welcome Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WelcomeCenter /ICON=GettingStarted-WelcomeCenter.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows Anytime Upgrade | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows CardSpace | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.CardSpace /ICON=CardSpace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows Defender | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsDefender /ICON=Defender.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Firewall | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsFirewall /ICON=Firewall.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Firewall | %windir%\system32\control.exe firewall.cpl /ICON=Firewall.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
            <Result>Windows Marketplace | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.GetProgramsOnline /ICON=GetProgs-Anytime-MarketPlace.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows Mobility Center | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.MobilityCenter /ICON=Mobility.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Windows Sidebar Properties | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSidebarProperties /ICON=Sidebar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.0</Result>
            <Result>Windows SideShow | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSideShow /ICON=Sidebar.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.1</Result>
            <Result>Windows Update | %windir%\system32\control.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate /ICON=WinUpdate.ico /winvermin=6.0 /winvermax=6.2</Result>
            <Result>Wireless Link | %windir%\system32\control.exe irprops.cpl /ICON=Wireless.ico /winvermin=5.1 /winvermax=5.9</Result>
        </Results>
    </AliasEntry>
</FarrAliasFile>

Modified Alias. Mouser, do you want to update the default load?

40hz

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2013, 09:15:53 AM »
@V - Certainly hope you make some money off of this when it's finished. Seems to me like a huge amount of effort being expended to reverse engineer and improve something made by a company that's notoriously tight-lipped about how their stuff actually works - and who should be doing this themselves considering what they charge for their products.
 :Thmbsup:

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2013, 01:11:29 PM »
@V - Certainly hope you make some money off of this when it's finished. Seems to me like a huge amount of effort being expended to reverse engineer and improve something made by a company that's notoriously tight-lipped about how their stuff actually works - and who should be doing this themselves considering what they charge for their products.
 :Thmbsup:

Sadly that's not likely. Like most of the things I do this has more to do with how my brain works than anything else. Like everyone with Asperger's Syndrome parts of my brain function at an above normal level which compensates for the dysfunction caused by autism. However my dysfunction is more severe and widespread than most Aspies and so are my offsetting high functions.

Think of it this way. The neurotypical brain conditions itself over time to collect only the minimum amount of information necessary for whatever task is being performed. My brain lacks that filtering mechanism and as a result it collects as much information as I can handle. One side effect of that is an inability to recognize basic problem solving strategies. I simply have to dive in headfirst and work things out as I go. Until I get at least most of the way to the end I literally can't decide which way I'm going.

I compensate by assembling and refining complex systems in my head. At any given time at least 2 or 3 different parts of my brain are analyzing all the data that comes in from completely different perspectives. Once I've figured out the big picture I apply it to the challenge at hand and then use it to formulate a solution. And yes, it's just as complicated as it sounds whether I'm redesigning fundamental features of Windows or picking out which flavor of Linux to put on my file server. That took me about a month BTW.

And to avoid demonstrating that any further I'll just add a couple links for anyone who really cares. They probably explain it much better than I possibly could anyway. Temple Grandin's explanation, in particular, is very close to my own mental process.

I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2013, 05:32:59 PM »
My brain lacks that filtering mechanism and as a result it collects as much information as I can handle. One side effect of that is an inability to recognize basic problem solving strategies. I simply have to dive in headfirst and work things out as I go. Until I get at least most of the way to the end I literally can't decide which way I'm going.

I compensate by assembling and refining complex systems in my head. At any given time at least 2 or 3 different parts of my brain are analyzing all the data that comes in from completely different perspectives. Once I've figured out the big picture I apply it to the challenge at hand and then use it to formulate a solution. And yes, it's just as complicated as it sounds whether I'm redesigning fundamental features of Windows or picking out which flavor of Linux to put on my file server. That took me about a month BTW.

Hell, with that description...I think we have the same strategy. I tend to start by overloading with insanely tangential minutia and then letting the project define itself on the fly. :)

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2013, 07:57:18 PM »
My brain lacks that filtering mechanism and as a result it collects as much information as I can handle. One side effect of that is an inability to recognize basic problem solving strategies. I simply have to dive in headfirst and work things out as I go. Until I get at least most of the way to the end I literally can't decide which way I'm going.

I compensate by assembling and refining complex systems in my head. At any given time at least 2 or 3 different parts of my brain are analyzing all the data that comes in from completely different perspectives. Once I've figured out the big picture I apply it to the challenge at hand and then use it to formulate a solution. And yes, it's just as complicated as it sounds whether I'm redesigning fundamental features of Windows or picking out which flavor of Linux to put on my file server. That took me about a month BTW.

Hell, with that description...I think we have the same strategy. I tend to start by overloading with insanely tangential minutia and then letting the project define itself on the fly. :)

Based on the small sampling of your posts I've read that doesn't surprise me. In fact I'd be willing to bet there are more than a few posters here with some degree of autistic dysfunction and hyper function. The low functioning part of the autistic brain is in the limbic system (particularly the amygdala) which is sort of an advisor to most processes that go on in the brain.

In addition to its significant role in memory, the amygdala is also a sort of regulator for the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for keeping most nervous system signals literally shut off most of the time so you can focus on only a handful of details. The human brain is so underpowered just processing all the information available from your eyes would be like trying to play a DVD on a 20 year old PC.

The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for shutting down purely internal signals so they don't get mixed up with each other. That way when you're taking a math test you don't accidentally write down 2+2=fish. I actually did something similar on a spelling test in 6th grade. I was always naturally gifted at spelling so I typically didn't pay a lot of attention in class. The teacher gave us a word and then used it in a sentence. Some completely different word in the sentence grabbed my attention and I wrote it down instead. On the good side I spelled it right at least.  :D

Those rogue brain functions are also essential to all the things I do well. Since I can't rely on my amygdala to learn like most people do I simply use other parts of my brain - especially the parts that process math and music. Other autistics (I'd bet Steve Wozniak is a textbook example) rely on their visual center. To most people language is mostly an emotional experience. For me it's part secret code and part musical composition. I break all the rules of grammar routinely and really never could keep them straight. But as I tell my daughter (a gifted writer herself), the rules are for people who can't hear the music.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013, 11:47:14 PM »
And now for something completely different... or back on topic or whatever.

I think I've tracked down what was causing the problem getting the Windows Features applet to populate. The problem appeared to be related to the process spawning the applet process (optionalfeatures.exe). I decided to use Process Explorer to get to the bottom of it and it turns out the problem is with the program itself. More specifically the problem (or maybe my system's problem) is with the 32-bit version of the EXE.

What's happening (at least today) is the 32-bit version of OptionalFeatures.exe is apparently unable to query the registry for the list of Windows features. I say apparently because the only notable difference I can find in the 2 processes is that SeCreateSymbolicLinkPrivilege is enabled for the 64-bit version but disabled for the 32-bit version. I also know that Registry Reflection was dropped for Windows 7 in favor of Registry Redirection which according to this MSDN page is accomplished via symbolic links.

Of course like any Microsoft documentation, especially dealing with the registry, the explanation just makes things more confusing. It describes registry keys as symbolic links to other registry keys which is either gibberish or a borderline criminal misuse of terminology. Presumably what they're actually describing is symbolic links somewhere below the SysWOW64 directory which refer to the registry files under System32.

In fact there don't appear to be junction points of any kind pointing to System32 registry files. That leads me to an alternate conclusion that symlinks to registry files are created on the fly when a 32-bit program accesses the keys in question and then deleted afterward. That would explain why the 32-bit applet with no symlink creation privileges wasn't able to access the necessary keys and why the list of features was never populated. It would be great if someone could definitely confirm or correct my conclusion.

Even if I'm right, though, I'm still confused. In Windows Vista I seem to recall SeCreateSymbolicLinkPrivilege being one of the privileges that UAC stripped when you weren't working in an elevated context. Then in Windows 7 they watered down UAC by whitelisting nearly every OS component so they could elevate silently and be less annoying to users. That's clearly how the 64-bit version maintains that privilege. If I set UAC to the highest setting I do, in fact, get prompted for it. However that's also true for the 32-bit version of the program. It just doesn't happen to inherit that particular privilege from my account.

Except at some point in the past - multiple points in fact - the 32-bit OptionalFeatures.exe worked perfectly for me. I'm sure it worked when I first added it to LBC. Then later I tried it again and it didn't work so I figured I was remembering wrong. I changed the command a little and got it working again, and again it stopped working later so I changed it again. I wouldn't say I fixed it since all I did was remove the .EXE extension. That fixed it again and now it's not working again. I ran the System File Checker to be safe and didn't find any problems. I'm curious to find out if anybody else has this problem or if it's just me.

What I can say is the applet runs just fine when I launch it by GUID using explorer:

Code: Text [Select]
  1. explorer.exe shell:::{67718415-c450-4f3c-bf8a-b487642dc39b}

Since explorer is a 64-bit program I know the 64-bit applet will be opened. Now it would be nice to figure out why it matters and especially if it's unique to my computer. If somebody could try running the 32-bit version and let me know what happens that would be great.

Edit: It finally occurred to me to look at some other processes to get an idea about whether SeCreateSymbolicLinkPrivilege is normally enabled or disabled. The general pattern seems to be that I was right about it being enabled by Windows components you would expect to run with elevated privileges like Control Panel applets and the Windows Script Host. However that was also true of the other 32-bit applets I looked at. This definitely looks like an anomaly so now the only question seems to be whether it's the program or my computer that's off.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 04:01:41 AM by Vurbal »

dluby

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2013, 09:42:25 AM »
I am not sure what should happened when I run explorer.exe shell:::{67718415-c450-4f3c-bf8a-b487642dc39b} but I used DOPUS as my explorer replacement and it opens my Desktop (I am running Windows XP SP 3).

oblivion

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2013, 10:32:18 AM »
I am not sure what should happened when I run explorer.exe shell:::{67718415-c450-4f3c-bf8a-b487642dc39b} but I used DOPUS as my explorer replacement and it opens my Desktop (I am running Windows XP SP 3).
In Vista, it opened the add/remove windows features applet and then sat for ages trying to populate it. I gave up waiting, so I don't know if it would have got there eventually. I can confirm that it doesn't work right in XP -- I have a suspicion that this may only work correctly in at least Vista and possibly Win7.
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

Vurbal

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Re: Replacing the Control Panel
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2013, 12:10:53 PM »
I am not sure what should happened when I run explorer.exe shell:::{67718415-c450-4f3c-bf8a-b487642dc39b} but I used DOPUS as my explorer replacement and it opens my Desktop (I am running Windows XP SP 3).

GUIDs change from one version of Windows to the next. It's been so long since I used XP I had to Google it myself. I'm pretty sure this is right:

%windir%\system32\sysocmgr.exe /i:%windir%\inf\sysoc.inf
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.