March 5, 2015

GUID Herding...

Morning, Grumpy Admin is in pain… you know that saying, all work and no play… well I went out to play last night (Go Karting) and ended up hurting myself. Not to badly, but just enough to make me more grumpy than normal! But I thought I would spend a few mins just sharing a common and well known tip, that should be in your troubleshooting tool kit!

It been well known that Microsoft have some hidden shell code on explorer executable for a long time, which when passed particular GUID’s via an extension to a folder name. Explorer will provide a nice more consolidated view of common used system tools or open various parts of the operating systems configuration tools such as Control Panel.

Some forums and top tip sites call this “God Mode” or some other cool name. For me, it just another shotcut to save abit of time when dealing with users. I don’t want to be near them horrible creatures really! So accessing these GUID’s to speed up the troubleshooting process can be quite useful on the client side of life!

The most common and “God like” guid string you can use is the following:-




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As you this saves you a bit of time by providing most of the tools and features in a single easy view! Cheers Easy 🙂 Why can’t this be the default for Administrators? This makes me grumpy that you have to go out of your way to access this!

Of course Microsoft can and often have change that GUIDs at any point! There are quite a few other GUID short cuts that you might want to experiment with if you like – some might work some might not – Google and have fun!

Test some of these outs – There are quite a few of them… are we detecting a pattern yet? I think we are starting to see under the hood of how Windows Explorer works, see it isn’t all magic like people think now is it. I hear all them Linux people cheering….

Applications {4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}

Tools {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153}

Updates {d450a8a1-9568-45c7-9c0e-b4f9fb4537bd}

Firewall {4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}

So we can actually make explorer.exe open these from the command line as well by executing explorer shell:::{GUID HERE} . So you could create a menu system much like sconfig to provide fast access to all the windows tools and features. How cool is it you go to the directors machine (his kids laptop which has more infections than an STI clinic ) to fix something, hit a few key presses and you access all these tools in an interface the Director hasn’t seen before! It will make you look like you know what you are doing… More to the point, it will save you time looking around the ever changing Windows Control Panel to find certain things like the Firewall.