Removing more annoying context menus

In addition to an earlier article on removing annoying context menus in Windows:

  • Removing “Move to Dropbox“:
    regsvr32 /u "C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\DropboxExt.22.dll"
  • Removing “SnagIt” context menu:
    regsvr32 /u "C:\Program Files (x86)\TechSmith\SnagIt 11\SnagItShellExt.dll"

Windows Media Player is also pretty stubborn. To get rid of “Add to Windows Media Player list”, “Play with Windows Media Player” and “Shop for music online”, you need to remove the following registry keys:


Auto Publish in XP Mode stopped working

I am a big fan of the XP mode in Windows 7. A.o. it allows me to verify websites that I maintain in IE6, even side-by-side to IE8.

One nice feature is that you can have XP applications appear in the Start Menu of Windows 7, with “Auto Publish“. If Enabled in the XP Mode Settings, any shortcut you add to the All Users Start Menu in XP Mode, will appear in the Windows 7 Start Menu under Windows Virtual PC >¬†Windows XP Mode Applications:

Yesterday however, I noticed that the shortcut for IE6 that I had there, no longer worked. I removed the shortcut in the Start Menu of All Users in XP Mode and added it again, but that did not help. In fact, anything I added to the All Users Start Menu no longer appeared in the Start Menu of Windows 7.
When I checked the Settings of XP Mode, Auto Publish was grayed out, with an obscure error message about not having the latest updates. After a lot of trouble-shooting, without avail, I finally uninstalled XP Mode (via Windows 7’s Control Panel > Programs and features) and reinstalled it. That brought back the Auto Publish feature:

I have no clue about what went wrong, but I have a working IE6 shortcut in my Windows 7 Start Menu again.


Windows 7 + IIS 7.5 + php 5.3.1 + MySQL 5.1: no good combination

I recently installed Windows 7 on my laptop. I also configured IIS 7.5 on it, installed php 5.3.1 and MySQL 5.1.

Everything seemed to be installed correctly: I could see the IIS 7 Welcome screen, I could look at the php configuration with phpinfo() and I could see the MySQL tables using the MySQL Administrator GUI.

But when I tried to use phpMyAdmin, I got stuck: after trying to load the homepage of phpMyAdmin for 20-30 seconds, I got an HTTP Error 500. I searched the internet for hours, trying to find somebody with a similar experience, but I did not find any valuable resources.

Even a very simple test-script like

generated a HTTP 500-error, after a 20-30 seconds wait.

Eventually, I decided to look at what I had installed when I was still using Vista. The difference seemed to be php: on my previous system, php 5.2.10 was installed.

I finally uninstalled MySQL and php 5.3.1, and then reinstalled php 5.2.11 and MySQL 5.1.41. That combination seemed to work without issues.

Conclusion: IIS 7.5 + php 5.3.1 + MySQL 5.1 does not seem to be a workable solution (for now). Stick to the 5.2-branch of php if you want to use it on Windows 7/IIS 7.5.