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Windows Vista tip of the week: Forcing windows to remember their sizes, locations, and customizations

Oh, Windows. If there's one aspect of this operating system that's been a constant disappointment, it has to be its complete and utter inability to "remember" window settings. You know the drill: You go into, say, the Documents folder and customize the windows size, position, and the icon style used to display its contents. Then, when you revisit that folder later—bam!—everything you previously configured was blown away. It's been a problem for years, over many, many versions of Windows. It's still a problem in Windows Vista.

Searching around the Web, you'll see two types of solutions to this problem. These are:

Ridiculous simple. tells you to hold the Ctrl key when closing a folder window. Aside from the fact that you may actually have to hold the Shift key to make this work (reports differ), the reason we're even discussing this issue is that Vista (like previous Windows versions) simply forgets this customization data.

Ridiculous hard. The Vista Forums has what has to be the most complicated set of instructions I've ever seen for something that, quite frankly, should be simpler than this.

If you're having problems with window customizations, you should try both of these solutions. Truth be told: I've made it work before using the second, more complicated, instructions listed above.

However, very recently, my main desktop (running Windows Vista Ultimate x64) has refused to remember my window customizations. It was driving me batty. And though everything else was working just fine, I was honestly getting ready to blow away the PC and reinstall from scratch because of this one issue. It's really annoying.

In the process of preparing the PC for this reinstall, I deleted an unused partition on its only PC and—using another great new Vista feature, by the way—non-destructively added the space freed by this partition to the Vista x64 system partition. (This functionality, essentially live partition resizing, is part of the Disk Management tool if you're curious.) And once the amount of free space on that partition jumped from about 9 GB of free space to over 70 GB of free space ... my window customization issues completely disappeared. And now, over a week later, I'm happy to report that the issue has indeed completely disappeared. I have no explanation for this. But I'm throwing it out there in case you're experiencing something similar.

You never know.

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