Ask MTE: Missing Windows Media Center, Thumbnails Missing In Explorer, Remove Games Icon And Many More (Week 16)

As with any product, certain aspects of Windows don’t come free of bugs, and third-party software can sometimes be a hassle. Here at Make Tech Easier, we recognize the need to answer questions for people who are experiencing problems or simply are curious about some of the things that Windows does. Our inbox is always filling up with questions from our readers, and we’ve been answering them for more than three months. Welcome to the 16th week of Ask a Windows Expert! If you would like to ask your own question, click the “Ask Our Experts Now!” button on the right side of any page of this website. Let’s get down to the questions submitted so far!

Q: How do I change the home page that Google Chrome opens up when I summon a new tab?

A: If you’re not infected by malware, this is rather easy. Click the wrench icon on the top right hand corner when in Google Chrome. Click “Settings” and select what you want on the “On startup” section, like so:


Close the tab and start a new one. You should see what you’ve chosen. If you aren’t getting what you want, you are probably infected by malware that keeps on hijacks your browser to show another page on every new tab. For this, you’ll have to get an anti-virus solution and scan your computer, eliminating any threats you find.

Q: My installation of Windows 7 is missing Windows Media Center. How can I correct this?

A: You probably have installed Windows 7 N or Windows 7 KN. Both of these are versions of Windows 7 that don’t include Windows Media Center or Internet Explorer, allowing you to choose what to install. If you would like to have this product on your computer, you’ll have to download it from Microsoft. Follow this link to get the Microsoft Media Feature Pack for Windows 7.

Oh, and one more thing: If you’re confused about which one of the two packages to install, get the “x64” version if you have a 64-bit version of Windows and the “x86” version for 32-bit. To find out what bit rate you installed Windows at, press “Win+Pause/Break” on your keyboard. Under “System,” you’ll see the bit rate next to “System type.” It will either tell you “64-bit operating system” or “32-bit operating system,” like so:


Q: My thumbnails are not showing in Explorer. The only way to see an image preview is to actually open the image. How do I enable the thumbnails?

A: If you’re not seeing your thumbnails, you’ll have to go into folder options to rectify the issue. To do this, click the “Organize” button on the top left corner of Windows Explorer and click “Folder and search options.” Click the “View” tab and make sure the checkbox next to “Always show icons, never thumbnails” is cleared, like so:


Once you do that, refresh the folder. Its icons should show up. If they don’t, try restarting your computer. If you continue to have problems, come back in the comments section and we’ll help you out.

Q: Invoices and Estimates Pro is not compatible with Windows 7. What can I use to send PDF invoices like I did with this program?

A: Based on our research, it seems like your program is made to work only with 32-bit versions of Windows 7. It also seems like many people are complaining about how it works even with the 32-bit version. A good number of people use FreshBooks for sending invoices, and you probably would benefit from their platform, as it automatically reminds recipients of payments due. Try it out. There are many online solutions for this that don’t require you to run a certain operating system. You can use Invoice Machine¬†or FreeAgent, as well. Truthfully, these solutions are always better than offline programs which go obsolete after a while. Tell us if you want to find an offline application in the comments section and we’ll recommend a few.

Q: How can I remove icons of games that don’t exist anymore from the “Games” menu?

A: When you enter the Games menu in Windows 7, it sometimes will show you shortcuts to games that aren’t present in your system anymore. While this is an annoying phenomenon, Windows allows you to hide these dead shortcuts by right-clicking the game in question and clicking “Hide this game.” If you don’t find this option or have any further problems related to this question, please leave a comment below.

Q: I get the following warning when trying to create a partition on one of my drives where there is unallocated space: The operation you selected will convert the selected basic disk(s) to dynamic disk(s). How do I stop this error?

A: The most likely problem you’re facing is Windows’ 4-partition limit. This includes the “System Reserved” partition. So, this gives you three possible partitions to create. If you already have three, you’ll likely get an error to the tune of converting a basic disk to a dynamic disk. Do not attempt to circumvent the limit, as you might end up damaging your system or hard disk. Instead, simply extend the current partitions you have to cover the unallocated space.

Unfortunately, Microsoft was not very clear about this four-partition limit because the operating system fails to warn you about it when you try creating a fifth. The error it gives instead kind of throws off a lot of people. So, keep in mind: More than four partitions isn’t possible on a Windows 7 system.

Got any questions or ideas?

Here’s your moment to shine! The majority of questions we get in our inbox show up in here, and we’re ready to crunch more of them. If you want to submit a question, kindly follow the advice in the introduction of this article and click “Ask Our Experts Now!” on the right side of any page of this site. Please leave a comment if you have any problems following any steps explained in answers shown here. We’re listening to you and ready to answer anything! Have a nice day!

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