PC vs. Mac: Lost in keyboard mappings

Use an Apple Wireless Keyboard with Windows, but miss some keys?
Apple has made mappings for the rescue.

Most important finding for me: shift+F10 is built in to Boot Camp for the Windows context menu key shortcut (option+left mouse click in most programs)

Still, things can get really complicated.

For example, if you want to stop a build in progress in Visual Studio you can hit Ctrl+Break on a PC keyboard. On the Apple Wireless Keyboard you have to hit Ctrl + Fn+Shift+F12. Amazing.

A soft line break (Word, Excel, etc.) is a bit easier: Fn+Shift+Return (since Return is not Enter on Mac…).

A Windows wireless keyboard might be the beater choice if you type a lot.


Cannot modify/delete/create files on SD Card or USB Stick or Thumb drive

If you cannot make changes to your SD Card or Thumb Drive or other flash memory based USB storage, well, then you have problem. But which problem exactly?


Let’s have a look at some usual causes: 

1. The SD Card is Write-Protected:

a) Some Mini/Micro SD card have a “Lock” switch on the card. The lock switch is typically a tab or switch on the side of the card. Move the switch to the unlocked position. 
Insert the Mini Micro SD card into your electronic device again and check if you can make changes now? If not.. 
b) If you have a Micro/Mini SD card in an SD card adapter, try to get a different adapter. Sometimes the adapter is the problem. 

2. You do not have the right file permissions

a) Maybe you do not have no write permissions granted. Check if your disk file permissions allow you writing  and change them if necessary. But you should get an error message if this is the issue. 
b) b) Maybe the disk is set to be write protected in the registry?

3. The File System of the Storage is corrupted

This can be a bit tricky since there are so many ways for flash memory to go corrupt . First, backup all your data. 
a) Then try the disk check & repair functions of your system. Try chkdsk or fsck. 
b) If there is nothing to repair, try to re-format the storage – preferable with Windows. Make sure to select “default cluster size” and untick “Quick format”. Some people advise to use the SDFormater for this task, but I don’t think this tool is any better than the default disk manager / Windows disk formatter. 
c) You can also try to repartition the disk: Delete the volume via disk manager, create a new volume, quick format. If the disk is still not working… then diskpart command is your best bet here. Some use 3-party partition tools like MiniTool Partition Wizard instead. 
This wikiHow article shows some more approaches. There also are some tools that claim to be able to repair damaged flash drives, but I would not count on them (and always check the tools you download for infections, there are many black sheep’s out there.) 

4. The Storage is dead

If you still cannot make changes to your files, the storage is most likely bad. When SD cards fail, they write protect themselves. You can still read files, but the firmware does not allow writing to prevent further data loss
Move your files to a new disk, dump the old one, and move on. That happens more often than you would think. Plus there are many fake and low quality USB Sticks and SD cards out that break after no time.

Here is some best practice dealing with sd cards & usb sticks from superuser user Tetsujin I’d like to quote:

Golden Rule #1

As soon as an SD card [or USB stick] starts to play up – bin it. They’re not worth the effort once they error.

I go through literally hundreds of them for work. Low write count, high read count.

If they error once, they will error again. Quality control on them is, let’s say… variable.

Some of them have a controller chip that will permanently lock them to read only if they detect a write error, as a preservation measure. There is no way to unlock them once this happens.

Golden Rule #2

Don’t use them to store anything valuable.

Note: If the data on an SD card was truly valuable, it is theoretically possible to replace the controller chip, or even directly access the memory itself. This service can be performed by data recovery specialists, but they charge a lot for their efforts & still can make no guarantees.

Rules 1 & 2 are still ‘best practice'”

Switch off safe boot if you cannot boot into it

Recently I run into problems with my NUC5 mini PC running Windows 10. I activated safe boot mode in msconfig, as it is recommended on some sites.

But, as it later turned out, is not the best and therefore not the recommended way. Because I run into the problem that my 26″ Monitor could not display the low resolution of the safe boot. At that point in time I only big monitors around.
And since I had activated the safe boot via msconfig a simple rebooting was of no use – since the computer started every time in safe mode and the display stayed black leaving me without an option to disable the setting.

I had a hard time to figure out how to switch this option of without reinstalling Windows from scratch – which I wanted to avoid.
Luckily the Windows DVD was helpful. I booted into the Windows 10 installation DVD and started the command line and succeeded to disable the safe boot mode using bcedit.

Usually the following command does the trick:

bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot

But it was not so easy in my case since I had multiple boot configurations setup.
In such a scenario you have to find the identifier of your spoiled boot configuration.
To do so, run:

bcdedit /v

Not the id of the configuration you have set to safe boot and delete the value:

bcdedit {xyz123} /deletevalue safeboot

Done. Close the command line and reboot normal.

Delete all files smaller than x bytes size

This is more or less a reminder to myself, but could came handy for others as well.

I had a folder with 250k files, 80% are small files with 0-10k I wanted to delete.
The easiest thing that comes to mind in such a case: Sort the files by size in the Explorer and hit SHIFT + DEL.
The sad thing is, it does not work (or at least takes ages..)

In such situations is time to turn to the command line.

1. Deleting all smaller files than x with Cmd:

Move to the directory of choice and execute the following command to delete all files smaller than 2kb. Warning! Use with care and on your own risk!

@for /f  “dir /b *.HTM” do If %~zA LSS 2048 del %A

This works fine, if you suppress the output.
If you run it without the @ it is very slow.

2. Deleting all smaller files than x with PowerShell:

Move to the directory of choice (or define an explicit path instead of $path) and execute the following command to delete files smaller than 500kb.

Get-ChildItem $path -Filter *.html -recurse -file | ? {$_.length -lt 512000} | % {Remove-Item $_.fullname -WhatIf}

If you remove the -WhatIf parameter, and the command deletes for real, after you have tested to make sure the code removes the files you want. Again: Warning! Use on your own risk!

3. Count of all files in (current) directory

Since we are already here, we might also want to know how many files before/after in the directory (Explorer at least can handle this quite well).

(Get-ChildItem C:\Scripts).Count

or if we want to filter for a specific file type:

(Get-ChildItem C:\Scripts -filter “*.txt”).Count

Cmd can do this too, but again it can be slow:

dir /b /a-d | find /c /v “”

Here is a SO article that has some more suggestions how to delete files less than a specific size: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6764621/delete-files-less-than-a-specific-size

Fix the volume of any USB headphone on Windows

Some USB headsets tend to be way too loud on Windows 10. Fixing this is pretty simple thanks to a handy little utility called Equalizer APO.

Some USB headsets tend to be way too loud on Windows 10. I guess the reason for this are outdated drivers or some kind of incompatibility.

In my case, I had a USB headphone that was already too loud on volume 2 of 100! Since I had to suffer from an acoustic shock a few years ago, I decided to take measures to prevent this. Once a super-intelligent macOS box “fogot” my volume and I got a blast (macOS tries to remember the configured volume for each output device – but as usual: things can go badly wrong if you rely on computer intelligence. Thanks Apple.)

Fixing this is simple thanks to a handy little utility called Equalizer APO. It’s even free.

Run the installer, and select the audio device(s) you want to equalize.
To enable the equalizer initially, you must reboot.

After you reboot run the provided Configuration Editor and set the Preamp to: –16 dB (or any other value to match your preference).
(You can modify the settings also manually with your text editor atC:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO\config\config.txt)

This app can be a life saver. But be warned: On some rare days Equalizer APO may fail to start-up or a bad update, or what-so-ever, may prevent the equalizer from running and may still get a boom in your ear.
So, if you have a USB headset that is just unbearable loud when it’s not equalized, do your ears a favor and just ditch them or the will bite you.. one day.

Update: I have learned the hard way that Equalizer APO comes with another caveat:
It interferes with other audio driver / plug-ins / extensions. E.g. a etool to route or capture the sound of you PC may not work anymore.
And, as mentioned in the comments, the equalizer can only handle a limited number of channels and ditches the extra channels (like 7.1). :/

How to copy-paste files to Hyper-V VMs

Unlike VMWare, on Hyper-V it’s not possible to copy & paste files across between the host and the Virtual Machine, even if you are running Window OS on the host and the guest. You have to rely on alternative ways:

1. Using standard Windows Shares to transfer files between the host and VMs

This requires a proper (external) Hyper-V Virtual Switch to have network access. That’s a no-brainer.

2. Connect via a Remote Desktop Connection

RDP is handy but less robust, if big file transfers are required; if you just need to copy/paste some text, RDP works great.

3. Mount the virtual hard disk and copy the files directly

This is most probably the fastest option for big chunks of files:

  • First, Turn the VM off,
  • locate the virtual hard disk image file .vhd of your VM
  • Right click the vhd file and select mount it: You get “System Reserved” and “Local Disk” drives.
  • Open the “Local Disk” drive (this is the OS drive of your VM)  
  • … and paste your files.
  • Finally unmount/eject the drive(s).
  • Run the VM and go the c:\ drive to find your files.

That’ all. Fair enough, it would argue.

Microsoft Edge Keyboard Shortcuts List

Since there is not an official list of shortcuts by Microsoft yet, we still have to maintain such a list on our own. For me this is some sort of personal Edge Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet.

If you know of any additional keyboard shortcuts, then feel free to post it here to help others.
Keyboard Shortcut Function
ALT + Home Open Home
ALT + F4 Close current active window
ALT+C Open Cortana
ALT + D Select the address bar
ALT + J Feedback & reporting
ALT + Spacebar Open system menu
ALT + Spacebar + C Close Microsoft Edge
ALT + Spacebar + M Move window with arrow keys
ALT + Spacebar + N Minimize window
ALT + Spacebar + R Restore window
ALT + Spacebar + S Resize window with arrow keys
ALT + Spacebar + X Maximize window
ALT + Left arrow Go to previous page that was opened in tab
ALT + Right arrow Go to next page that was opened in tab
ALT + X Open settings
Left arrow Scroll left on current webpage
Right arrow Scroll right on current webpage
Up arrow Scroll up on current webpage
Down arrow Scroll down on current webpage
Backspace Go to previous page that was opened in tab
CTRL + + Zoom in (+ 10%)
CTRL + – Zoom out (- 10%)
CTRL + F4 Close current tab
CTRL + 0 Zoom to 100% (default)
CTRL + 1 Switch to tab 1
CTRL + 2 Switch to tab 2 if open
CTRL + 3 Switch to tab 3 if open
CTRL + 4 Switch to tab 4 if open
CTRL + 5 Switch to tab 5 if open
CTRL + 6 Switch to tab 6 if open
CTRL + 7 Switch to tab 7 if open
CTRL + 8 Switch to tab 8 if open
CTRL + 9 Switch to last tab
CTRL+click Open link in new tab
Ctrl+Shift+click Open link in a new tab and switch to the tab
Alt+Shift+click Open link in a new window
Ctrl+Enter Add www. to the beginning and .com to the end of text typed in the address bar
CTRL + Tab Switch to the next tab
CTRL + Shift + Tab Switch to the previous tab
CTRL + Shift + B Toggle Favorites bar on or off
CTRL + Shift + K Open new tab of current tab
CTRL + Shift + L Open address bar query from clipboard in a new tab
CTRL + Shift + P Open new InPrivate browsing window
CTRL + Shift + R Toggle Reading view on or off
CTRL + Shift + T Reopen the last tab you closed
Ctrl+Shift+Delete Open clear browsing data pane
CTRL + A Select all
CTRL + D Add current site to favorites or reading list
CTRL + E Open a search query in the address bar
CTRL + F Open “Find on page”
CTRL + G View reading list (does not work for me)
CTRL + H Open history pane
CTRL + I Open favorites pane
CTRL + J Open downloads pane
CTRL + K Duplicate tab
CTRL + L Select the address bar
CTRL + N Open new window
CTRL + P Print the current page
CTRL + Q Open Side Pane (Favorites, selected)
CTRL + R Refresh current page; similar to F5
CTRL + T Open new tab
CTRL + W Close current tab
End Move to bottom of page
Esc Stop loading the page
Home Move to top of page
F1 Help
F4 Select the address bar
F5 Refresh current page
F7 Toggle Caret browsing
Tab Move forward through the items on a webpage, the Address bar, or the Favorites bar
Shift + Tab Move back through the items on a webpage, the Address bar, or the Favorites bar
Windows + G Games bar
Windows + H Share Menu (as known from Charms Bar)

If you’re a developer using Developer Tools (F12 hotkey), Microsoft shows you more love and has an official List of Keyboard Shorcuts for you: Developer Tools Keyboard Shortcuts

Anyways, here is a list of the most useful Developer Tools Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcut Function
CTRL + B Select element (on DOM Explorer tab)
CTRL + K Color picker (on DOM Explorer tab)
CTRL + J Debug just my code (on Debugger tab)
CTRL + E Start or stop profiling to begin a performance session (on Performance, Network, Memory tabs)
CTRL + S Export as HAR (on Network tab)
CTRL + O Import profiling session (on Performance, Memory tabs)
CTRL + S Export profiling session (on Performance, Memory tabs)
CTRL + L Clear errors, warnings, information (on Performance tab)
F5 / F8 Continue (on Debugger tab)
Hold F5 / F8 Fast Continue (on Debugger tab)
F11 Step into (on Debugger tab)
F12 Step over (on Debugger tab)
SHIFT + F11 Step out (on Debugger tab)
CTRL + SHIFT+ F5 Continue and refresh (on Debugger tab)
CTRL + SHIFT + I DOM element highlighting (on DOM Explorer tab)
CTRL + SHIFT + W Break on new worker (on Debugger tab)