Special Folders on Windows – or how to copy a program icon to desktop on Windows 8

Aug 17

Have you ever had a problem of copying a program’s shortcut from the Program Menu to the desktop?

With Windows versions between NT and 7 absolutely no problem: open the start menu, select the item with a right mouse click and then select “Copy” from the context menu and “Paste” on the desktop.

With Windows 8 this is becoming very hard, unfortunately.

The Start Menu structure is here, but on the Start screen there is no possibility to copy the shortcut.

It is here:

c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Unfortunately, this folder is also hidden.

And since I don’t like to fiddle every time, I have created the small utility OpenSpecialFolders that gives you a list of most special folders on the system and let you open them in a new explorer window, so copying and pasting shortcuts is a lot easier.

You can download a zip file with the exe and a few runtime DLLs here:


I hope this will help someone!

Add Windows 7 PC to Samba Domain after IP address change

Aug 16

Today, I had to change all IP addresses on a customers Samba network. (Really, the customer had two separate networks, and I have unified them to one).

After this, I had to add several Windows 7 PCs to the Samba domain, but the process failed, and the logs on the Samba server had no entries on this.

The error message was:

“The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted”

I had added the registry entries specified here:


but nothing.

Finally, the nblookup tool downloadable from Microsofts website pointed me in the right direction: incorrect wins data!

The solution was simple:

/etc/init.d/samba stop
rm /var/lib/samba/wins.*
/etc/init.d/samba start

This recreated the correct wins database wins.tdb and the PC could be joined to the database.