This day, last month, I released a small utility to patch system files in Windows 7 Build 6801, the build given out at this year’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC), to enable some features that Microsoft intentionally tried to hide from the public.
Chris Holmes and I were scratching our heads over Aero Peek, a feature that we knew worked in some builds, but wasn’t working on Blue Badge’d systems. I initially wrote it off as an unfinished quirk but I took another look…
… and noticed I totally missed a series of checks made in the registry. Each protected feature has a pair of enabling override bits that are checked for, one for those on the Microsoft domain and one for those that aren’t. I’m not sure as to the rationale behind that, but I suspect it was implemented this way to prevent Microsoft employees from leaking working override bits. Overkill in my opinion.
Revision 3 of the tool no longer patches system files, no longer requires administrative permissions, and is no longer locked to any specific build. It inserts all the known protected feature GUIDs as of build 6956 into the current user’s branch of the registry. An anonymous reader confirmed this behavior is similar to the Microsoft-internal win7features.exe utility.
Yes, this will enable Aero Peek in 6801+.
To prying eyes: To those that will inevitably reverse engineer the program, please note the creation of the 41579D76-09BA-4ABD-A49A-A2335B9CB706 key, without braces, is not a typo on my part and must remain intact.