I have been Using Windows 7 Home Basic for quite some time now. It came Pre-Installed with Dell PC where I Work. I Know, as the name suggests, it is VERY BASIC. However, after I applied some of my experience of working on Windows (since Windows 3.1 came on Floppies!), I successfully modified it to a workable Workstation.

I even managed to Run GADGETS!!. As many must be knowing Windows GADGETS are tiny apps that reside on the Desktop & give out visual (& Sometimes audible) snippets of information.

Below is a brief info of some of my favourite gadgets.

My_Side_BarPlease note, there are literally hundreds of Gadgets & so far I have managed to sift through only 200 or so. So this is an ongoing process. Please feel free to add your favourites in the Comments Section.

1) Weather Underground

Everybody likes some info about Local Weather. Even though many can simply look out the window & predict “accurately”. This gadget is slightly different from other since it provides info about Wind, Humidity, Dew Point, Pressure, Visibility etc… Very Technical & useful Weather Gadget. I tried few others but found this one to be the best. This Gadget does not hog-down resources either.

2) All CPU Meter:

This Gadget gives out information in a simple & informative manner about CPU Type (Display appropriate Logo!), Core Usage & RAM Usage. AND if  you have Core Temp installed & running in the Background, the CPU Meter also mentions Core Temperatures. Initially this gadget is FILLED with ALL POSSIBLE Info, which MOST of the folks do not need. Information Overload. BUT, after I trimmed the information, it became a simple & effective gadget. Below is a image of my Setting & the appearance!

All_CPU_Meter_1 All_CPU_Meter_2

3) System Control (v1.4.1)

I use this, ONLY for Three Functions: Shut-Down, Reboot & Lock-Workstation. You can add MANY More functions like Short-Cut-Apps, Time, Up-Time etc. But these work for me. Again you have to change few settings to make the Gadget fit for you.

4) Big Calendar, Clock & Currency

Standard Gadgets included in the Default Sidebar. So no mention of details here.

Everything was going smoothly. However, I wanted more (Bad.. but can’t help it ;)) & I installed a Gadget Called as Computer Status Side Show & BAM!! I go the Error:

Windows_7_Sidebar_Error_1 SideBar_Error_1

Now the Worst Part of this Error is that The GADGET CONTROL BAR Doesn’t Start. Hence I cannot simply Right-Click on the offending Gadget & Click Uninstall & Solve the Problem. There’s No other way (official) to remove the Particular Gadget.

Since OVER 90% of Problems in Windows can be rectified by a Simple Restart, I tried Rebooting Also. But the Error Persisted. The Side Bar Process would Start, then the above-mentioned Error Window & the Process Would End.

I needed the gadgets & I don’t concede defeat & hence fired-up Google to search for Solution. However, most of the results simply pointed me to Open Side Bar—> Right-Click Offending Gadget—> Click Uninstall Method. How Dumb!! If I could Do that, I would not search for a Solution.

But I finally managed to get Rid of the Offending / Rogue Gadget.

Caution: The method requires Proficient Skills working with Windows. Proceed with Precaution.

The below Method can only work IF the Sidebar Process has completely terminated. To check: Launch Task Manager (taskmgr.exe), select the sidebar.exe process (if you can find its running) and terminate it.

Now we need to EDIT the Settings.INI File. To Locate it Click START—> RUN—> %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar

Now Make Sure you make a Back-up the Original Settings.INI File. Then open the Settings.INI File. It opens-up in Notepad


Now the chances are, the LAST Installed Gadget Has caused the Error. Hence we NEED to Eliminate the “mention” of the same from the Settings.INI File.

The Gadgets are Listed as SECTIONS & are listed in Serial Order.


You can Observe from above the Gadgets are Listed as:


Now, assuming the Last Gadget Installed is the ROOT-CAUSE of the Problem, THEN it will be Gadget No: Section5=”12″. You will have to eliminate ALL Traces of the Gadget from THIS File & you are set.

TO Do that, you will have to SELECT & DELETE the SECTION from TWO PLACES in the File.





Make Sure you DO NOT LEAVE ANY Free/Blank Spaces. Delete the Free/Blank Spaces that are left behind by the void. Now SAVE the File

Right-click on the Desktop, and click Gadgets. This starts the Sidebar.exe process and shows the gadgets listed in the Settings.ini file.

Reset Windows Sidebar (Desktop Gadgets) Configuration to Defaults:

If you don’t want to go through all the hassle, simply rename or delete the Settings.ini and restart Sidebar.exe. It re-creates a new Settings.ini file, that means the customizations for your Sidebar/gadgets will be lost and you will need to add/install the gadgets manually and reconfigure them.

Happy Computing!!

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