Fixing file permissions on network shares in Cygwin

Are you seeing question marks on network shares in mapped drives?

See this page for more information. Basically, modifying the /etc/fstab fixes the problem:

# For a description of the file format, see the Users Guide

# This is default anyway:
# none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user 0 0

# noacl = use the ntfs permissions
C:/cygwin/bin /usr/bin ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
C:/cygwin/lib /usr/lib ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
C:/cygwin / ntfs binary,auto,noacl 0 0
none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user,noacl 0 0

Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 – Adding network share to library

Ok, so you got Windows server 2008 R2 having some shares you want to add to your Windows 7 library. Here’s the guide to make it to work (without having the files available offline) [from here]:

  1. On Windows 2008 R2 server, do NOT install the indexing service! It’s a Server 2003 version that is not recognized by Windows 7 clients. Instead, install the ”Windows Search Service” – you can only pick one or the other so make sure you select Windows Search Service – it’s one of the roles under File Services.
  2. The install wizard should ask you which folders/drives you want to index – choose any data drive (recommend NOT selecting the system/boot drives) that contains files you want to include in your Windows 7 library on the workstations. If you missed this during the install, you can go back to CONTROL PANEL and type ”indexing” into the search box to find the indexing options and customize it there (exactly the same way you do with Windows 7).
  3. As soon as the drives have been added, you can now include any locations on those drives in your Windows 7 workstation libraries (even before the server finishes indexing). You will no longer get any warnings that ”some locations are not indexed”…everything works as it should!
  4. Make sure the SYSTEM account has full access to the folder you are trying to index

I noticed that the above steps might not be enough. If you are trying to add the network share to library using the computers smb name (e.g. someserver) it should work. Also the ip address should work all right according to my tests (I’ve read somewhere that it might cause problems…). However, In my case I have a dynamic dns service ( set up. Using that domain name (e.g. does not work when adding share to Windows 7 library. So always use the ip address or smb-name (not the domain name) when adding share to Windows 7 library.

Note that you can find some symbolic link trickery to fool windows to add unindexed folders to library. However, that just adds the folders to the library, but the searches will be slow!

AutoHotKey script for controlling multiple music applications easily

With the following AutoHotkey script you can control multiple media players easily. In windows, by default all the keyboard shortcuts (special media buttons play, previous, next and stop) will go to all applications. Obviously, this will cause problems if I have both Spotify and foobar2000 both running at the same time.

The script solves the situation by examining window titles and the active window. The script uses following logic when deciding the window that will receive the keyboard button press:

  1. Window that is active (determined by examined window title, for example)
  2. Media player that is currently playing a song (determined by examining window title, for example)
  3. The default player

The script should be easy enough to expand to more media players; the only hard thing is to figure how to determine if the player is actually playing something. In foobar2000, the window title is customizable to make the detection easy (DUI: Go to Preferences->Display->Default User Interface, CUI: Preferences->Display->Columns UI->->Main tab). You can append the following format string so that it will display [Playing] if a song is playing


UPDATE: The following script will use last activated window as the default player (see step 3).


SetTitleMatchMode  2
commandSpotify := 0
commandFoobar := 1

  ; all variables are global unless prefixed with local
  DetectHiddenWindows, On
  WinGetTitle, spotifyTitle, ahk_class SpotifyMainWindow
  WinGetTitle, foobarTitle, foobar2000
  WinGetTitle, currentTitle, A
  DetectHiddenWindows, Off
  spotifyTitleLength := StrLen(spotifyTitle)
  spotifyActive := InStr(currentTitle, "Spotify")
  foobarActive := InStr(currentTitle, "foobar2000")
  spotifyPlaying := spotifyTitleLength > 7
  foobarPlaying := InStr(foobar2000, "[Playing]")

  if spotifyActive or spotifyPlaying{
    commandSpotify := 1
    commandFoobar := 0 
    ;MsgBox spotify active
  } else if foobarActive or foobarPlaying {
    commandSpotify := 0
    commandFoobar := 1  
    ;MsgBox foobar active
  } else {
    ;MsgBox spotify not playing
    ;Use "defaults" as specified by CheckActivations

; Check for window activation
SetTimer, CheckActivations, 300

  if WinActive("Spotify") {
    ;MsgBox Spotify activated
    commandSpotify = 1
    commandFoobar = 0
  } else if WinActive("foobar2000") {
    ;MsgBox foobar activated
    commandSpotify = 0
    commandFoobar = 1

; 122 = play/pause handling

if commandSpotify {
  ControlSend, , {Space}, ahk_class SpotifyMainWindow 
} else if commandFoobar {
  Run "C:\program files (x86)\foobar2000\foobar2000.exe" /playpause 

; 110	 = PREV  handling
SC110	::

if commandSpotify {
  ControlSend, , ^{Left}, ahk_class SpotifyMainWindow 
} else if commandFoobar {
  Run "C:\program files (x86)\foobar2000\foobar2000.exe" /prev 

; 119	 = NEXT handling
SC119	::

if commandSpotify {
  ControlSend, , ^{Right}, ahk_class SpotifyMainWindow 
} else if commandFoobar {
  Run "C:\program files (x86)\foobar2000\foobar2000.exe" /next 

; 124	 = STOP handling
SC124	::

if commandSpotify {
  ; there is no stop in spotify, use "play/pause" instead
  if spotifyPlaying {
    ControlSend, , {Space}, ahk_class SpotifyMainWindow 
} else if commandFoobar {
  Run "C:\program files (x86)\foobar2000\foobar2000.exe" /stop 

Search PDF files (contents) with Windows 64bit

See this link for details.

Adobe currently bundles a 32-bit PDF iFilter with Adobe Acrobat® 9 as well as free Adobe Reader® 9 software. It uses the Microsoft iFilter interface and allows third-party indexing tools to extract text from Adobe PDF files.

In response to customer requests, Adobe is releasing Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms, which will allow searching PDF files on Microsoft® Windows® 64-bit platforms for applications such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

Note that Acrobat Reader does not provide IFilter for 64 bit Windows by default.

Matroska (MKV) video thumbnails in Windows 7 64bit (and 32 bit)

Some time has gone since my previous tips for making video thumbnails work in Windows 7. For some reason these tricks doesn’t seem to work in Windows 7 (not at least in 64 bit). Here’s a guide to fix the thumbnails in Windows 7 (probably works in older versions too!)

Fortunately, there is an easy way to make mkv files show the thumbnails, just install the latest MKV on Windows 7 from divx. Now you are probably thinking that you don’t want to install divx — it’s so 90’s. Fortunately, you don’t have to install anything extra just install the parts you need (meaning that you don’t need any codecs).

The following picture shows the necessary parts you need to have mkv video thumbnails in 64bit Windows 7. This probably works for 32bit too.

Just install these components in DivX

You will also have to install 64 bit video codecs. I prefer ffdshow since it basically contains video codecs for every possible video, in addition it supports hardware accerelated video decoding. You can install ffdshow from here. Just select the 64 bit version under SVN Builds. Notice that the 64 bit ffdshow codecs are still experimental so they might prove to be unstable…I think choosing the ”H.264 Decoder” and DivX codec in DivX installer might work just as well for some people. To me it really doesn’t matter so much since the 64 bit codecs are used only for thumbnail generation. The video player I use  (media player classic home cinema, available here) is 32bit and therefore it uses 32 bit codecs. Actually, the media player home cinema is bundled with internal h.264 decoder.

EDIT:Installing the direct show filters is no longer possible. One must install DivX Plus. Only the codec pack is mandatory for thumbnails.

7zip ”default programs” on Vista and later

Unfortunately 7zip doesn’t support ”Default programs” feature available in windows vista and later. Here’s a thread to associate 7zip to default programs by using a simple reg file.