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Author Topic: Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?  (Read 469 times)

Jimdoria

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Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?
« on: September 11, 2016, 07:20:42 PM »
OK, calling this "hacking" is super generous, but for years I have had a registry file that added some useful extensions to the context menu of My Computer, including the ability to jump directly to the Services list and the Devices list, without having to click through "Manage...".

Since I upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10, however, those menu options have disappeared, and the registry hacks in my file no longer work.

I am guessing Windows 10 uses a different registry key for the My Computer icon?

Anyway, when I try to merge my old reg files I get the message "Cannot import (filename): Error accessing the registry." This comes up even when I try to merge from an admin command prompt.

Has anybody else encountered this and figured out a workaround?

Here's my original registry hack:

Add the Disk Management context menu:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Disk Management]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Disk Management\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\diskmgmt.msc"

Add context menus for Services, Device Management and Events:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Services]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Services\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\services.msc /s"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Devices]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Devices\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\devmgmt.msc"


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Events]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Events\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\eventvwr.msc /s"
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

Shades

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Re: Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 10:29:41 PM »
Which Windows 10 edition are running?
Did you try to 'Run as admin' regedit.exe and import your registry files using its GUI?

Specific files and folders (especially on the C:\ partition) have been getting less and less accessible with each new iteration of Windows since Windows Vista. And the 'Run as admin' functionality has been degrading since Vista too. All done for extra stability and security, as Microsoft deemed best.

However, by typing 'regedit.exe' (in full!) you should be able to open the graphical registry editor, where you have 'Import' and 'Export' menu options that handle your registry files. It might even give you a more descriptive reason if it isn't able to import your file(s).

The only version of Windows 10 I have access to is Windows 10 Enterprise. Not sure if Windows 10 Home comes with 'regedit.exe' or not. I always operate under the assumption that every version of Windows comes with this editor, but I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft removed/disabled it in Windows 10 Home editions. Unfortunately, now and in the future I will have no way to verify this for you...as I have absolutely no interest to work with anything less functional than Windows 10 Pro (from the Windows 10 family of products).   

4wd

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Re: Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 11:53:06 PM »
You need to take Ownership of the shell key as described here: Add Control Panel, Task Manager, Windows Update and Other Useful Shortcuts with Icons in My Computer Context Menu

Then it will work.

2016-09-12 14_52_51.pngHacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?

IainB

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Re: Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 08:56:20 PM »
@Jimdoria: I also for years have had special buttons to take me to special folders, including the Services list and the Devices list, and I have used these across several laptops and versions of Windows, with only minimal change required.
I have been mostly achieving this by the simple "no-brainer" expedient of copying the GodMode links/shortcuts. I thus never need to go near the registry, and when migrating to a new laptop or Windows OS, I simple copy the links.
Thus, achieving the "hack" via a registry change (as per the OP) is kinda unnecessary/redundant, given that you can get links to all the special folders and their icons (including the Services list and the Devices list) via the GodMode folder, thus:
  • Create a folder "A" named GodMode Shortcuts (just like that, with no special characters).
  • Create a folder "B" named GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} - with the dot and the curly brackets, and the string inside the curly brackets exactly as written. The string "GodMode" is optional though.
  • Open folder "A" (which should be empty).
  • Open folder "B" (which should be full of links - 237 in total).
  • Select All the links in "B", then Alt+drag all those links into folder "A". This will populate folder "A" with the icons and shortcuts to each of the 237 links. These shortcuts can be renamed as required by the user and dragged and dropped where they are needed.

In the shortcuts folder:
The most handy Services shortcut is named "View local services" by default, and can be renamed.
The most handy Devices shortcuts are named "View devices and printers" and "Device Manager"by default, and can be renamed.

One can also use a more direct way of creating links to some of these functions by trying to understand the .msc (control) files and figuring out which function links to (is provided by) an .msc (control) file in a system folder - e.g., the C:\WINDOWS\system32\ folder.
One then creates shortcuts to that - e.g.,  C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.msc will bring up the Services list, and I use that direct path in my FARR Toolbar buttons, because it displays the plain little gear icon for Services, rather than a shortcut arrow over the icon.

Similarly, one can bring up the Device Manager with C:\Windows\System32\devmgmt.msc.

Hope this all makes sense and is of use.

IainB

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Re: Hacking Windows 10's My Computer context menu?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 09:08:10 PM »
@Shades: The article How To Enable Paths Longer Than 260 Characters In Windows 10 mentions that Win10 Home won't permit access to the GPE (Group Policy Editor), but it does allow access to Regedit (the Registry Editor).
I presume it would be correct, but out of interest I shall try to remember to check it out next time I am working on a Win10 Home PC (like you, I am not usually using Win10 Home - I use Win10 PRO).