Managing the Start Menu in the Windows 7 Beta

Through trial and error I believe I’ve found a pattern of success in managing the Start Menu with UAC set to the Default setting.

Fire up Windows Explorer and navigate to the “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” folder. If you don’t see the “New Folder” button to the right of “Organize” then you won’t have much luck doing anything else which happened to me the first few times. If so then close Explorer and run it as Administrator. To do this right-click on the Windows Explorer icon on the Taskbar. Right-click again on the Explorer icon that shows close to the bottom of the context menu but above the “Unpin” icon. From the second context menu that pops up select “Run as administrator”.

Again, verify you can see “New Folder”. If you see it then you should be able to create all the folders and sub-folders you want. You cannot paste an existing folder into “Programs” – you have to create a new folder.

Adding program shortcuts seems to operate the opposite. You can copy/cut/paste as well as drag and drop shortcuts. But you cannot create a new shortcut.

Other posts have stated you can drag a shortcut onto the Start Menu by using a series of hover moves over the Start button (for lack of a better name), “All Programs”, and sub-folders. I’ve tried this and sometimes it doesn’t work and other times when it does, it’s added to a folder in my profile’s Start Menu and not the system’s.

On a related note, I’ve found this behavior in managing the wwwroot folder to be the same. I found I could create sub-folders but I had to create the actual pages in my user space first and then move them into the folder. Once there, I could edit the files as long as the program I was using was running as Administrator.

All that said, this is one behavior I really don’t like in W7B and believe it’s totally unnecessary and just complicates an Administrator’s or competent user’s life.

This has been my experience thus far – YMMV.

~ by bwsd on February 24, 2009.

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