Windows 7 Control Panel Options – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 1.5

Windows 7 includes some unique Control Panel opens not found in Windows XP or Windows Vista. In this video, you’ll learn about Windows Homegroup, Action Center, RemoteApp, and Troubleshooting.

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Windows 7 provide some Control Panel options that you won’t find in Windows XP or Windows Vista. Let’s look at some of those. In Windows XP and Windows Vista, if you wanted to share files or documents that were on your computer, you had to manually configure a SharePoint, and then you needed to go to all of the other computers in your home and point all of those back to those share locations.

It was a pretty manual process, and there was a lot of detail in setting up that share information. in Windows 7, all of that has changed. There’s new capability called Homegroup. If you’re in your home and you just want everybody to have access to all of your pictures, and all of your videos, and documents that are on your computer, you can set up a central Homegroup configuration, click Go, and now everybody can access all of that information.

To use this, you have to configure your settings for your networking to be at home. That way, all of your systems know that they’re in a home environment and they’re relatively protected. You would enable Homegroup by specifying what you wanted to share, and then it will create for you, a password. You can make your own password if you’d like. This is the example of the default Homegroup password on my computer.

Now you would only need to share that single password for all of the devices, and they will automatically have access to all of these resources, documents, videos, pictures, and much more on your computer.

In Windows 7, all of the notifications that are important on your computer have been consolidated into a single utility called, the Action Center. This is where you might see things like security updates, or maintenance updates, and things that you can do to help keep your system more secure.

It’s going to monitor your Windows update, it will see your Windows Firewall configuration, it will look for anti-virus and anti-spyware to make sure is first, installed, and then, make sure that all of your signatures are updated for those utilities.

Notice that it’s color coded things that have an attention, the things you might want to do, for instance, setting up your backup, are given a yellow color. The more critical of things are provided with this red color.

That’s an important message that tells you need to perform a Windows update, you need to install virus protection, you need to make sure that your Windows Defender anti-spyware has been updated. Those types of things are pretty important, so the Action Center is going to give you that red feedback to let you know that’s something you should do immediately.

In the Windows 7 Control Panel, you’ll see an option for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. If you’re in a large environment, this is something you’ll use. If you’re just running at home, this is not a capability that you’ll generally take advantage of, because RemoteApp is going to be running applications that are actually running on a separate machine somewhere else.

They’re somewhere across the network, usually it’s on a terminal services device that is managing applications for many people in your environment. It’s a way to centralize the management of those applications, and then have your system simply create this, effectively, a remote desktop into this application use. But on your Windows system, it looks like a normal icon, it acts like a normal application, except it’s not running on your computer, it’s running on a device that’s located somewhere else across the network.

These applications are all going to be configured on that remote server. There’s a service called the RemoteApp Manager that allows your IT manager to set that piece up. And then they would configure on your system inside of this RemoteApp and Desktop Connections link inside of your Control Panel where those connections happen to be. They would configure then, the URL for the connection, and now you’re able to use that remote application from your computer, even though it’s running somewhere else on your network.

The process for doing our own troubleshooting in Windows has evolved through the years. In Windows 7 we have a troubleshooting utility right in the Control Panel. This takes a lot of the hardware and software diagnostics and brings it down into one central place. You can go into this utility and see that it is categorized so that you might want to run troubleshooting for programs, or perhaps hardware and sound, or network and internet. And so you can really pick and choose exactly what you would like to perform some troubleshooting on.

This is a simple diagnostic that allows your end users to perform some basic functionality for diagnosing hardware or software, but it doesn’t replace some of the full diagnostics you might get from a motherboard manufacturer or an adapter card manufacturer. For those types of scenarios, you’d want to run the utilities from those manufacturers.

But if somebody just wants to run a quick diagnostic and see, is the problem that sound isn’t playing or that the driver itself is an issue, this maybe a great utility to use. You’ll find that Windows under the troubleshooting applet in your Control Panel.