802.11x Tutorial Glossary RF & Health Tools
 
  Windows XP Tips and Tricks

Home
Company Info
Projects
Services
FAQ
Support
Solution Partners
Contact Us

Windows XP Tips

Performance

Services You Can Disable
Faster DOS Printing
Cleaning the Prefetch Directory
Increasing the Folder Cache
Increasing Graphics Performance
Disabling Balloon Tips
Speeding Up the Display of Start Menu Items
Increasing System Performance

Networking / Internet

Network Access After Norton Anti-Virus Install
Adding TCP/IP Printers
Installing Java Virtual Machine
Disable Shared Documents
Fix Browsing Delay to Win98/ME Computers
Using the Internet Explorer Classic Search
WINIPCFG for XP
Allowing Network Access with Blank Passwords
Reinstalling the TCP/IP Protocol
Remembering Outlook / Outlook Express Password
Turning Off the Firewall
Installing the NetBEUI Protocol
Setting System Time Over the Internet
Configuring the Firewall
Changing the Internet Explorer Title 

Repairing

Fixing Cryptographic Services Error
Fixing Explorer Searching Rather Than Opening Directories
Repair Install
Missing or Corrupt NTOSKRNL
Missing or Corrupt HAL.DLL
Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG
NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM Not Found
Reinstalling Windows XP

Startup/Shutdown

Configure for Auto-Logon
Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages
Bringing Up the Shutdown Dialog Box
Hiding the Last User Logged On
Power off at Shutdown
Adding SafeBoot to the Boot Menu
Speeding the Startup of Some CD Burner Programs
No GUI Boot
Getting Rid of Unread Email Messages
Re-Installing User Login Pictures
Decreasing Boot Time
Hide/Unhide Logon Names
Original NT Style Logon Screen
Creating a Shutdown/Reboot Icon

Desktop / Toolbar / Explore

Remembering Folder Settings
Disable Explorer Thumbnail View
Saving Desktop Settings
Hiding the Windows Version on the Desktop
Controlling the Desktop Cleanup Wizard 
Using the Classic Search in Explorer 
Search Companion Error
Opening a Command Prompt to a Particular Directory from Explorer
Selecting What Details to Display in the Explorer
Changing the Default Search Settings
Opening an Explorer Window to the Directory You Want
Displaying the QuickLaunch Toolbar
Displaying and Configuring the Classic Start Menu

Misc

Stopping the Messenger Service
Accessing Non-Listed Display Configurations
Stop Password Expiration
Preventing Applications from Stealing the Focus
Adding Environment Variables
Disable Passport Pop-Up
Show Hidden Devices
Spell Check Not Working With Outlook Express and Office97
Disable the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon's menu
Prevent the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon from appearing in the notification tray

Printing a Directory
Removing Thumbs.db Files
Enable / Disable the Task Manager
Using Media Player 6.4
Clearing the Page File on Shutdown
Restoring Access to CD ROMs
Setting the Dir Command to Display Filenames on the Left
Dell Computer Not Keeping Correct Time
Formatting a Partition Greater than 32 GIG with FAT32
Logging in as Administrator
Correcting Fast User Switching Error
No To All When Overwriting Files
Installing the Backup Program on the Home Version
Changing Drive Letters
Turn off the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer as the Default Image Viewer
Changing the Default DOS Window Properties
Changing the Registered Owner
Adding Time Servers
Creating a Boot Floppy
Changing the Login Screen Saver
Running NetMeeting
Set the Online Registration as Being Completed
Re-Enabling System Restore
Renaming the Start Button
Rollback a Device Driver
Closing Multiple Taskbar Items
Grouping Similar Taskbar Buttons
Turning Off the Guest Account
Turning Off the Built-In CD Burner
Hiding System Tray Icons
Windows XP Command Line Utilities
Disabling Error Reporting
Adding a Title for the Command Prompt Title Bar
Creating an Automated Install of Windows XP
Command Line Help Reference
Using the System File Checker
Creating a Password Recovery Disk
Disabling Hibernation
Locking the Workstation
Changing the Picture Displayed for a User
Removing the MSN Messenger
Common Command Console Utilities
Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks
Changing Visual Effects
Changing System Restore Settings
Changing Programs That Start Automatically
Adding / Removing Additional Programs
Increasing File System Caching
Enabling NumLock on by Default

Network Access After Norton Anti-Virus Install

Sometimes you can't access a Windows XP computer after installing Norton Anti-Virus.There might be a variety of errors at the other computer depending on the operating system.On the XP computer, in the Event Viewer / System log, there will be the following error: The server's configuration parameter "irpstacksize" is too small for the server to use a local device.

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters
  3. Edit the IRPStackSize
  4. Give it a value of 15
  5. Reboot the computer

 

 Back to the Top --

Fixing Cryptographic Services Error

If you get an error about the Cryptographic services when trying to apply the Security Updates or Service Pack 1,run the following from Start / Run - note, you might want to just cut and paste the text.

 

net stop cryptsvc
ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 oldcatroot2
net start cryptsvc
regsvr32 softpub.dll
regsvr32 wintrust.dll
regsvr32 initpki.dll
regsvr32 dssenh.dll
regsvr32 rsaenh.dll
regsvr32 gpkcsp.dll
regsvr32 sccbase.dll
regsvr32 slbcsp.dll
regsvr32 cryptdlg.dll

 

Back to the Top --

Fixing Explorer Searching Rather Than Opening Directories

Sometimes after adding the right click with the Explorer, the default setting for opening a folder is changed.To correct this:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ shell
  3. Edit the default value to be explorer or none

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Configure for Auto-Logon

If you are the only person using the computer and what to have it automatically log you on,

 

  1. Start / Run / "control userpasswords2" - no quotes
  2. Uncheck User must enter a user name and password to use this computer

 

-- Back to the Top --

Services You Can Disable

There are quite a few services you can disable from starting automatically. This would be to speed up your boot time and free resources.They are only suggestions so I suggestion you read the description of each one when you run Services and that you turn them off one at a time.Some possibilities are:

 

bulletAlerter - Sends alert messages to specified users that are connected to the server computer.
bulletApplication Management - Allows software to tap directly into the Add/Remove Programs feature via the Windows Installer technology.
bulletBackground Intelligent Transfer Service - The Background Intelligent Transfer service is used by programs (such as Windows AutoUpdate) to download files by using spare bandwidth.
bulletClipbook - ClipBook permits you to cut and paste text and graphics over the network.
bulletError Reporting Service - Allows applications to send error reports to Microsoft in the event of an application fault.
bulletFast User Switching - Windows XP allows users to switch quickly between accounts, without requiring them to log off.
bulletHelp and Support - Allows the XP Built-in Help and Support Center to run.
bulletIMAPI CD-Burning COM Service - You don't need this if you have other software to create CDs.
bulletIndexing Service - Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.
bulletIP SEC - Manages IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP security driver. If you are not on a domain, you likely don't need this running.
bulletMessenger - Transmits net send and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. This is how a lot of pop-up windows start appearing on your desktop.
bulletNet Logon - Supports pass-through authentication of account logon events for computers in a domain. If you are not on a domain, you don't need this running
bulletNetwork DDE - Provides network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer or on different computers.
bulletNT LM Security Support Provider - Provides security to remote procedure call (RPC) programs that use transports other than named pipes.
bulletPerformance Logs and Alerts - Collects performance data from local or remote computers based on preconfigured schedule parameters, then writes the data to a log or triggers an alert. If you don't need to monitor your performance logs, then you don't need this service.
bulletPortable Media Serial Number - Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player connected to your computer
bulletQOS RSVP - Provides network signaling and local traffic control setup functionality for QoS-aware programs and control applets.
bulletRemote Desktop Help Session Manager - Manages and controls Remote Assistance. If you are not using Remote Desktop you don't need this service.
bulletRemote Registry - Enables remote users to modify registry settings on this computer.
bulletRouting & Remote Access - Offers routing services to businesses in local area and wide area network environments. Allows dial-in access.
bulletSecondary Login - Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. This is what allows you to run an application as another user.
bulletSmart Card - Manages access to smart cards read by this computer.
bulletSmart Card Helper - Enables support for legacy non-plug and play smart-card readers used by this computer.
bulletSSDP Discovery Service - Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.
bulletTCP/IP NetBIOS Helper - Enables support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution. This should not be needed in today's network environment.
bulletTelnet - Enables a remote user to log on to this computer and run programs, and supports various TCP/IP Telnet clients.
bulletUninterruptible Power Supply Service - Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the computer.
bulletUniversal Plug and Play Device Host - Provides support to host Universal Plug and Play devices
bulletUpload Manager - Manages synchronous and asynchronous file transfers between clients and servers on the network.
bulletVolume Shadow Copy Service - Manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies used for backup and other purposes.
bulletWeb Client - Enables Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify non-local files across the Internet.
bulletWireless Zero Configuration - Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11 adapters
bulletWMI Performance Adapter - Provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf providers.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Stopping the Messenger Service

To remove the ability for anyone in the world to pop up messages on your computer, you can disable the Messenger service.

 

  1. Click Start->Settings ->Control Panel
  2. Click Performance and Maintenance
  3. Click Administrative Tools
  4. Double click Services
  5. Scroll down and highlight "Messenger"
  6. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties
  7. Click the STOP button
  8. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar Click OK

 

-- Back to the Top --

Faster DOS Printing

If you are experiencing slow printing for DOS programs with Windows2000

 

  1. Go Start | Run | Regedit
  2. Click Hkey_Local_Machine
  3. Click on System
  4. Click CurrentControlSet
  5. Click Control
  6. Go to the bottom of this part of the list and click WOW
  7. Click LPT timeout and change it to a 3

 

-- Back to the Top --

Cleaning the Prefetch Directory

Windows XP has a new feature called Prefetch. This keeps a shortcut to recently used programs. However it can fill up with old and obsolete programs.

To clean this periodically go to:

 

  1. Star / Run / Prefetch
  2. Press Ctrl-A to highlight all the shorcuts
  3. Delete them

 

-- Back to the Top --

Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages

To turn these off:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system
  3. If it is not already there, create a DWORD value named DisableStatusMessages
  4. Give it a value of 1

 

Download a reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Accessing Non-Listed Display Configurations

If you want to access display configurations not normally listed (e.g. 256 colors)

 

  1. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab.
  2. Click the Advanced button.
  3. Click the Adapter tab,
  4. Click the List all modes button.
  5. Select the resolution, color depth, and refresh rate that you want and click OK.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Repair Install

If XP is corrupted to the point where none of the previous solutions get it to boot, you can do a Repair Install that might work as well as keep the current settings.

 

  1. Make sure you have your valid WindowsXP key
  2. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD
  3. At the second R=Repair option, press the R key
  4. This will start the repair
  5. Eventually you will be prompted for your XP key

 

-- Back to the Top --

NTOSKRNL Missing or Corrupt

If you get an error that NTOSKRNL not found:

 

  1. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
  2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
    Typically this will be #1
  4. Change to the drive that has the CD ROM.
  5. CD i386
  6. expand ntkrnlmp.ex_ C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe
  7. If WindowsXP is installed in a different location, just make the necessary change to C:\Windows
  8. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

 

-- Back to the Top --

HAL.DLL Missing or Corrupt

If you get an error regarding a missing or corrupt hal.dll file, it might simply be the BOOT.INI file on the root of the C: drive that is misconfigured

 

  1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.
  2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
    Typically this will be #1
  4. Type bootcfg /list to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file
  5. Type bootcfg /rebuild to repair it
  6. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

 

-- Back to the Top --

Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG

If you get the error: Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

 

  1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.
  2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
    Typically this will be #1
  4. Enter in the administrator password when requested
  5. cd \windows\system32\config
  6. Depending on which section was corrupted:
    ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad
  7. Depending on which section was corrupted
    copy \windows\repair\system
    copy \windows\repair\software
  8. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

 

-- Back to the Top --

NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM Not Found

If you get an error that NTLDR is not found during bootup,

If you have FAT32 partitions, it is much simpler than with NTFS. Just boot with a Win98 floppy and copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files from the i386 directory to the root of the C:\ drive.For NTFS:

 

  1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.
  2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
    Typically this will be #1
  4. Enter in the administrator password when requested
  5. Enter in the following commands (X: is replaced by the actual drive letter that is assigned to the CD ROM drive.
    COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\:
    COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\
  6. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

 

-- Back to the Top --

Bringing Up the Shutdown Dialog Box

  1. Create a new txt file somewhere on your system, open it and put in this one line: (new ActiveXObject("Shell.Application")).ShutdownWindows();
  2. Save and Close the file. Change the extension to js and your got it.
  3. You can make a shortcut to that file to make it easy to shut down your system.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Adding TCP/IP Printers

To create a connection to a printer connected to your network:

 

  1. Start to add a new printer through the control panel.
  2. Select Local Printer / Next
  3. Instead of a LPT port, check Create a new port at the bottom on the window
  4. Scroll to Standard TCP/IP Port
  5. Keep going and enter the IP address of the printer.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Increasing the Folder Cache

The default setting for Windows XP is to cache the Explorer settings for 400 folders. To increase it:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam
  3. Change the vaule of BagMRU  to whatever size you want (hex)

1000 - 3e8
2000 - 7d0
3000 - bb8
4000 - fa0
5000 - 1388

You can Dowload a reg file that will set it for 5000

 

-- Back to the Top --

Hiding the Last User Logged On

If you use the standard NT style of login and want to hide the last user:

 

  1. Start the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
  2. Go to Computer Configuration / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options
  3. Scroll down to Interactive logon: Do not display last user name
  4. Set it to Enable

 

-- Back to the Top --

Power off at Shutdown

If your computer does not turn off the power when doing a shutdown, you may need to edit the registry. I have all the correct BIOS and Power settings and still needed to do this.

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. Edit the key PowerOffActive and give it a value of 1
  4. You can do the same in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Remembering Folder Settings

If XP does not remember your folder settings, delete or rename the following registry keys

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\BagMRU]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags]

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Stop Password Expiration

If you want to do this for all users, enter:

Start / Run / net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited

If you are getting an error message that your password is about to expire:

 

  1. Right click on the My Computer icon
  2. Select Manage
  3. Go to Local Users and Groups / Users
  4. Right-click on the user you want to change
  5. Select Properties
  6. On the General tab, check Password never expires
  7. Click OK

 

-- Back to the Top --

Installing Java Virtual Machine

If you are getting errors when browsing the web to install Java Virtual Machine,

You can still download it from Microsoft (version 3810) If this link is removed by MS or is too slow you can download it here If you need a previous version, you can download 3805

It is now included in Service Pack1  You can also download Sun's version

 

-- Back to the Top --

Preventing Applications from Stealing the Focus

To prevent applications from stealing the focus from the window you are working

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop

3.     Edit the key ForegroundLockTimeout

4.     Give it a value of 00030d40

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Disable Explorer Thumbnail View

If you want disable the Explorer's ability to show the Thumbnail View ,

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced \

3.     Change ClassicViewState to 1

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Adding Environment Variables

Since any version of NT does not use an autoexec.bat file, to add environment variables to Windows XP:

 

1.     Right click on My Computer

2.     Select Properties

3.     Click on the Advanced tab

4.     Click on the Environment Variables button

5.     From here you can change it for the system or just the current user.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Disable Passport Pop-Up

Normally, Windows XP will prompt you 10 times that You Need a Passport to use Windows XP Internet communication features. To disable this

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ MessengerService

3.     Edit the binary key PassportBalloon

4.     Give it a value of 0A (0A 00 00 00)

 

-- Back to the Top --

Show Hidden Devices

You can show hidden devices in the Device Manager. One way is by making a simple registry change. The other is through a batch file.Registry Change:

 

1.     Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ ControlSet001 \ Control \ Session Manager \ Environment

2.     Create a string DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES

3.     Give it a value of 1

 

Download

 

reg file

 

Batch File

@Echo Off Prompt $p$g set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1start devmgmt.msc

exit

Spell Check Not Working With Outlook Express and Office97

This is simply due to a missing or corrupted DLL file

 

  1. Go to the i386 directory of your XP source files
  2. Run Expand  csapi3t1.dl_  csapi3t1.dll (Note: If your source files are on a CD, you will need to put a path before the csapi3t1.dll since you can't write to the CD).
  3. Copy the file to the Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof directory
  4. You can also download the file from my site.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Disable Shared Documents

To disable the Shared Documents folder that shows up on the network

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer \

3.     Create a new DWORD Value

4.     Give it the name NoSharedDocuments

5.     Give it a value of 1

6.     Log off or reboot

 

-- Back to the Top --

Disable the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon's menu

To Disable the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon's menu:

 

  1. Start regedit.exe
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Conferencing\Mcpt
  3. Create a new string value (Click on Edit > New > String Value).
  4. Name the value Nx
  5. Double-click on it and set it's value to 1
  6. Close the registry

Now the menu options will be grayed out

 

-- Back to the Top --

Prevent the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon from appearing in the notification tray

To Prevent the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon from appearing in the notification tray:

 

  1. Click Start, then Run.
  2. Type services.msc and then click ok.
  3. Scroll down until you find the NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing service
  4. Double-click on it.
  5. Click on the Log On tab.
  6. Uncheck Allow service to interact with desktop
  7. Click OK then close the services window.
  8. Reboot (You must reboot).

There you go. When you return, RDS will work, but there will be no icon in the notification area.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Printing a Directory

Windows XP does not allow you to use previously describe methods for printing the contents of a directory. To do this requires the creation of a small batch file which is then added to your right-click options.

 

Batch File

On the root of the C: drive, create a batch file called print_directory.bat with the following lines:

@echo off dir %1 /o:g > c:\directory.txt start /w notepad /p c:\directory.txt del c:\directory.txt exit

Note: dir %1 /o:g will print with any directories listed first. You can add whatever other switches you like

 

Adding to the Explorer Right Click

 

1.     Start the Explorer

2.     Go to Tools / Folder Options

3.     On the File Types tab, click File Folder.

4.     Click Advanced button and then click New.

5.     In the Action box, type Print Directory (or whatever text you want to appear).

6.     In the Application used to perform action box, type C:\print_directory.bat, and then click OK.

7.     Click OK, click OK, and then click Close

 

Fixing the Registry

Sometimes after adding the right click with the Explorer, the default setting for opening a folder is changed. To correct this:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ shell
  3. Edit the default value to be explorer or none
  4.  

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Removing Thumbs.db Files

When viewing a folder with the Thumbnail view, Windows XP creates a thumbs.db file. This is a cache of the current pictures in that directory. If you want to turn this feature off and save a little disk space

 

1.     Start the Windows Explorer

2.     Go to Tools / Folder Options / View

3.     In the first section under Files and Folders, check Do not cache thumbnails

4.     Now you can search for the thumbs.db file on your computer and remove them. No more should be created.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Enable / Disable the Task Manager

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

3.     Create the Dword value DisableTaskMgr

4.     Give it a value of 0 to enable it

5.     Give it a vaule of 1 to disable it

 

Download Reg File

 

-- Back to the Top --

Saving Desktop Settings

If you desktop or folders on your desktop do not retain their settings:

Start Regedit

 

1.     Go go HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions

2.     Create or edit the DWORD value NoSaveSettings

3.     Give it a value of 0

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Hiding the Windows Version on the Desktop

If your version of Windows  XP is displaying on the desktop and you would like to remove it:

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop

3.     Edit or Create the DWORD entry PaintDesktopVersion

4.     A value of 0 will hide the version from the desktop

5.     Logoff or reboot

 

Download reg file

 

To make this change for all future users, edit HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop in the same manner.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Using Media Player 6.4

If you want to use the older version of Microsoft Media Player 6.4, it is still on your computer.

Make a shortcut on your desktop to the: C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\mplayer2.exe file

You can also change the file associations from this program to set it as the default for all media types.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Controlling the Desktop Cleanup Wizard

By default, the Desktop Cleanup Wizard will pop up every 60 days to cleanup your desktop.

To stop this:

 

  1. Right click on the desktop.
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Desktop tab
  4. Click on the Customize Desktop button
  5. Uncheck Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Clearing the Page File on Shutdown

Another way to set the computer to clear the pagefile without directly editing the registry is:

 

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Go to the Control Panel
  3. Administrative Tools
  4. Local Security Policy
  5. Local Policies
  6. Click on Security Options
  7. Right hand menu - right click on "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile"
  8. Select "Enable"
  9. Reboot

 

If you want to clear the page file on each shutdown:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\ClearPageFileAtShutdown
  3. Set the value to 1
  4.  

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Restoring Access to CD ROMs

If after you remove CD Burning software, you can no longer access your CD ROM's, the following registry keys need to be deleted:

Locate and delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values under the following key in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

 

Download Reg File

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Reinstalling Windows XP

If you need to reinstall Windows XP and want to keep all your current installed applications and settings:

 

1.     Start Windows XP

2.     Go to the location of your source files

3.     Run WINNT32 /unattend

 

I've often need to do this to repair something that had gotten corrupted and didn't want to do a clean install.

 

-- Back to the Top --

Setting the Dir Command to Display Filenames on the Left

Previous versions of Windows displayed the filenames on the left hand side when you run the dir command.
Windows XP changes this and the default it to put it on the right.

To change this back:

 

1.     Right click on My Computer

2.     Click on Properties

3.     Click on the Advanced tab

4.     Click on the Environment Variables button

5.     Click on New button

6.     Enter the Variable name: dircmd

7.     Enter the Variable value: /-n

 

-- Back to the Top --

Dell Computer Not Keeping Correct Time

If your Dell computer is loosing time while the computer is turned on,
You can run the following commands:

 

  1. Start / Run / CMD
  2. Net stop w32time
  3. w32tm /unregister
  4. w32tm /unregister
  5. w32tm /register
  6. Net start w32time

 

You can also download a Dell Patch to do the same process automatically

 

-- Back to the Top --

Fix Browsing Delay to Win98/ME Computers

If you experience a 30 second or so delay when browsing to Windows98 or Windows ME computers, delete the following registry key on the Windows2000 or Windows XP computer.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer / RemoteComputer / NameSpace {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Formatting a Partition Greater than 32 GIGs with FAT32

Windows XP will only format a partition greater than 32 GIGs as NTFS. If you want to format it with FAT32:

 

1.     You can use a regular Win98 Boot disk and use that version of FDISK to create the partition (with Large Hard Drive Support)

2.     Reboot with the same boot disk and format

3.     Windows XP will then be able to use the partition with no problems

 

-- Back to the Top --

Adding Safe Boot to the Boot Menu

You can add Safeboot as an option to the normal XP boot screen

 

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Copy the current c:\boot.ini to another name (just in case)
  3. With your favorite text editor, edit c:\boot.ini
  4. Copy then edit the current boot line to another line. For example: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
    might copy and then change to: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safeboot" /fastdetect
  5. Start MSCONFIG
  6. Click on the BOOT.INI tab
  7. Highlight the second line with the additional name of Safeboot
  8. Check the /SAFEBOOT box with option you want Minimal - Minimal set of drivers Network - With Network Support Dsrepair - Directory Services Repair Minimal (Alternate Shell) - Standard Explorer Desktop
  9. You will now have this option every time you start XP

 

-- Back to the Top --

No GUI Boot

If you don't need to see the XP boot logo,

 

  1. Run MSCONFIG
  2. Click on the BOOT.INI tab
  3. Check the box for /NOGUIBOOT

 

-- Back to the Top --

Speeding the Startup of Some CD Burner Programs

If you use program other than the native Windows XP CD Burner software, you might be able to increase the speed that it loads.

 

  1. Go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services
  2. Double-click on IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
  3. For the Startup Type, select Disabled
  4. Click on the OK button and then close the Services window
  5. If you don't you should notice

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Getting Rid of Unread Email Messages

To remove the Unread Email message by user's login names:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. For a single user: Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail
  3. For all users: Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail
  4. Create a DWORD key called MessageExpiryDays
  5. Give it a value of 0

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Using the Internet Explorer Classic Search

If you want to use the classic search engine in the Internet Explorer

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  3. If it is not there, create a String Value of Use Search Asst
  4. Give it a value of no

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Logging in as Administrator

If you want to log in as Administrator, but it is not show on the Welcome screen,

 

  1. Hold the Ctrl-Alt key and press Del twice.
  2. This will bring up the normal login and you can log on as Administrator

  To unhide the Administrator account so it does show up:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \ UserList
  3. Unhide the Administrator key by giving it a value of 1

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Correcting Fast User Switching Error

If you are getting an error that: A recently installed program has disabled the Welcome screen and Fast User Switching with a reference to CSGina.DLL

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Delete the key GinaDLL

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Using the Classic Search in Explorer

If you prefer to use the classic search style in Explorer,

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CabinetState
  3. Add a String Key called Use Search Asst
  4. Give it a value of no

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

No To All When Overwriting Files

When overwriting files in the Windows Explorer, there is an option for Yes To All. This would overwrite any files you would normally be prompted for.

To have No To All, simply hold down the Shift key while you click on the No option.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Re-Installing User Login Pictures

Normally Windows XP shows assigned pictures for each user on the system. If you have deleted your user pictures, want to know the location, or need to reinstall them, they are stored in the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\Default Pictures directory.

If you need to reinstall them, they can be expanded from the source CD. The actual files are:

 

airplane.bmp
astronaut.bmp
ball.bmp
butterfly.bmp
cat.bmp
fish.bmp
pink flower.bmp
guitar.bmp
snowflake.bmp
beach.bmp
car.bmp
chess.bmp
dirt bike.bmp
dog.bmp
drip.bmp
duck.bmp
frog.bmp
horses.bmp
kick.bmp
lift-off.bmp
palm tree.bmp
red flower.bmp
skater.bmp

 

-- Back to the Top --

 WINIPCFG for XP

If you like the graphic IP configuration program that comes with Windows98,
you can download a similar one for WindowsXP or Windows2000 from Microsoft at:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/existing/wntipcfg-o.asp

 

The actual file is at:


WntIpcfg_setup.exe

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Search Companion Error

When doing a file search, if you get the error A File That Is Required to Run Search Companion Cannot Be Found

 

  1. Log on as an Administrator
  2. Click Start
  3. Select Run
  4. Enter in the command - %systemroot%\inf
  5. Right-click the Srchasst.inf file
  6. Click Install

 

-- Back to the Top --

Installing the Backup Program on the Home Version

By default, the NTBACKUP program is not installed on the home version.

You can find it on the CD in the \VALUEADD\MSFT\NTBACKUP directory

Since not all vendors include the actual source code for XP,
you can download a copy

 

-- Back to the Top --

Changing Drive Letters

If you want to change the letters assigned to your fixed or removable drives:

  1. Right Click on My Computer
  2. Select Manage
  3. Select Disk Management

 

For a Fixed Disk:

 

  1. Select it
  2. Right click
  3. Select Change Drive Letter and Path
  4. Click on the Edit button
  5. Enter in the letter you want to use

 

For a Removable Disk:

 

  1. In the lower, right hand panel, right click on the Disk or CD ROM # 
  2. Select Change Drive Letter and Path
  3. Click on the Edit button
  4. Enter in the letter you want to use

 Turn off the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer as the Default Image Viewer

You can also change the file associations for the specific file types you want.

  1. Open the Windows Explorer
  2. Go to Tools / Folder Options / File Types
  3. Scroll down to the extension you want to change
  4. Click on the Change button
  5. Select the program you want to associate with that extension
  6. Click on the OK button
  7.  

If the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is set as the default for many of your graphic file types,
you can remove it so other graphics programs can be used.

  1. Run Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT / SystemFileAssociations / image / ShellEx / ContextMenuHandlers
  3. Delete the key ShellImagePreview

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Allowing Network Access with Blank Passwords

Although you can log in locally without a password, by default, WindowsXP Pro does not allow network users to access the computer without a password. Typically you will receive an Unknown error 31 if this is the case.

To change this setting:

 

  1. Run gpedit.msc
  2. Go to Computer Configuration / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options
  3. Double click on Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only
  4. Disable this option

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Default DOS Window Properties

If you want to change the default DOS windows properties like:

 

bulletSize
bulletColor
bulletFont
bulletBuffer Size
bulletWindow / Full Screen

 

  1. Open up a DOS window
  2. Right click on the Title Bar
  3. Select Defaults
  4. Make any of the changes you like
  5. All subsequent DOS windows will assume these defaults

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Registered Owner

  1. Start Regedit
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  3. From there you can edit the name in the Registered Owner key

 

-- Back to the Top --

Opening a Command Prompt to a Particular Directory from Explorer

If you want to open a command prompt to a directory that is selected in the Explorer:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT  \ Directory \ shell
  3. Create a new key called Command
  4. Give it the value of the name you want to appear in the Explorer. Something like Open DOS Box
  5. Under this create a new key called command
  6. Give it a value of cmd.exe /k "cd %L"
  7. Now when you are in the Explorer, right click on a folder, select Open DOS Box, and a command prompt will open to  the selected directory.

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Adding Time Servers

With Windows XP, you can double-click on the time in the System Tray and connect to Time Servers on the Internet to synchronize with.
To add to the list of available servers:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers
  3. Add new string keys named 2, 3, etc. with a value of the time server you want to use.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Creating a Boot Floppy

To create a bootable floppy from within Windows XP:

 

  1. Insert a floppy into the A: drive
  2. Open the Explorer
  3. Right click on the A: Drive
  4. Select Format
  5. Check Create an MS-DOS startup disk
  6. Click on the Start button
  7. This will create a Millennium boot disk

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Login Screen Saver

If you want to change the screen saver that runs at the login prompt:

Start Regedit

 

  1. Go to HK_USERS / .DEFAULT / Control Panel / Desktop
  2. Double click on SCRNSAVE.EXE
  3. Enter in the screen saver you want to use

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Running NetMeeting

To run NetMeeting:

 

  1. Do a Start / Run
  2. Enter conf
  3. Answer the prompts along the way for name, e-mail etc.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Set the Online Registration as Being Completed

You can set Windows XP to assume the online registration has been completed.

 

  1. Run Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion
  3. Create a String Value called RegDone
  4. Give it a value of 1

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

Decreasing Boot Time

Microsoft has made available a program to analyze and decrease the time it takes to boot to Windows XP


The program is called BootVis

 

  1. Uncompress the file.
  2. Run BOOTVIS.EXE
  3. For a starting point, run Trace / Next Boot + Driver Delays
  4. This will reboot your computer and provide a benchmark
  5. After the reboot, BootVis will take a minute or two to show graphs of your system startup.
  6. Note how much time it takes for your system to load (click on the red vertical line)
  7. Then run Trace / Optimize System
  8. Re-Run the Next Boot + Drive Delays
  9. Note how much the time has decreased
  10. Mine went from approximately 39 to 30 seconds.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Re-Enabling System Restore

If you previously disabled system restore through the Group Policy Editor, the option to start it again does not show in the System Properties.You can re-enable it again by:

 

  1. Run the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
  2. Go to Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / System Restore
  3. Set Turn off System Restore and Turn off Configuration to Disable
  4. Right click on My Computer
  5. Select Manage
  6. Go to Services and Applications / Services
  7. Scroll down to System Restore Service
  8. Set it for Automatic
  9. Click on the Start button to start the service
  10. Close down this window
  11. Go back to the Group Policy Editor and configure both to Not configured
  12. Now when you right click on My Computer, there should be a tab for System Restore and you can configure how much space will be used.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Hide/Unhide Logon Names

If you want to hide or unhide the names of users that are displayed on the initial logon screen:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \ UserList
  3. Add a DWORD with the name of the user account you want to hide
  4. Make sure it has a value of 0
  5. If there is an existing account, you can unhide it by giving it a value of 1

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Reinstalling the TCP/IP Protocol

If you've worked on previous versions of Windows, there are times when you need to completely reinstall the TCP/IP protocol stack.This is typically due to corrupted files.

To do this with XP,you need to run a small script netsh int ip reset [ log_file_name ]

the log_file_name needs to be specified. e.g. netsh  int  ip  reset  ip_reset.txt

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Renaming the Start Button

To rename the start button, you will need a hex editor.
My preference is UltraEdit

 

  1. Copy the \windows\explore.exe file to a new name (e.g. explorer_1.exe)
  2. With the hex editor, open that file and go to offset 412b6
  3. You will see the word start with blanks between each letter
  4. Edit it be any 5 characters or less
  5. Save the file
  6. Boot to DOS
  7. Copy the existing c:\windows\explorer.exe to explorer.org
  8. Copy explorer_1.exe to explorer.exe
  9. You will also need to replace the explorer.exe in the c:\windows\system32\dllcache file as well with the new one.

 

Note: If the partition is NTFS and you can't access the files from DOS:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon.
  3. Change the value of Shell from Explorer.exe to explorer_1.exe

 

-- Back to the Top --

Rollback a Device Driver

If you install a device drive that does not work correctly, you can restore the previous one fairly easily.

 

  1. Log in with an administrator account
  2. Right click on My Computer
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Hardware tab
  5. Click on the Device Manager button
  6. Go to the device you want to reconfigure
  7. Click on the Driver tab
  8. Click on the Roll Back Drive button

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Selecting What Details to Display in the Explorer

To add or remove items to be displayed in the Explorer when using the Details View

 

  1. Start the Explorer
  2. Go to View / Choose Details
  3. Right click on the columns by Name and check or uncheck any item you want displayed

 

Available options are:

bulletOwner
bulletName
bulletSize
bulletType
bulletDate Modified
bulletStatus
bulletAttributes
bulletAuthor
bulletTitle
bulletSubject
bulletCategory
bulletPages
bulletComments
bulletCopyright
bulletDate Created
bulletDate Accessed
bulletAttributes
bulletArtist
bulletAlbum Title
bulletYear
bulletTrack Number
bulletGenre
bulletDuration
bulletBit Rate
bulletProtected
bulletCamera Model
bulletDate Picture Taken
bulletDimensions
bulletCompany
bulletDescription
bulletFile Version
bulletProduct Name
bulletProduct Version

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Closing Multiple Taskbar Items

If you hold down the Control Key when you click on the taskbar icons, it selects multiple tasks. Then you can simply right-click on the selected items and choose close group.

This tip works with all windows, not just one applications. If you have the cal, ie, notepad and solitaire open, it will close them all, unlike the group similar items command that only lets you close all of one type (ex: all IE or all notepads).

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Remembering Outlook / Outlook Express Password

On systems, Outlook or Outlook Express will not remember the e-mail password, which would then need to be entered in each time. To solve the problem:

 

  1. Open Registry Editor
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft
  3. Right Click Protected Storage System Provider
  4. Choose the Permissions option
  5. Click the Advanced box near the bottom right hand corner. This should open another box, Towards the bottom of this box there should be two tick boxes, make sure that both of them are ticked. Click Apply, another box will open Click Yes, then Click OK and OK again.
  6. Left Click the + next to Protected Storage System Provider and Delete any sub folder in this tree. (Right clicking and choose the delete option or press the delete key and choosing yes to delete)
  7. Shutdown and Restart Computer.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Turning Off the Firewall

If you want to turn off the firewall for your computer:

 

  1. Go to Start / Settings / Network Connections
  2. Right click on the network connection you want to change
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Advanced tab
  5. Uncheck the box in Internet Connection Firewall

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Grouping Similar Taskbar Buttons

When you open more than one document in the same program and then minimize each document,
rather that showing separate icons on the taskbar for each document, Windows XP groups them under a single icon for that application.

If you want to group, or ungroup, similar taskbar buttons,

 

  1. Right click on the Taskbar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Check or Uncheck Group similar taskbar buttons

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Turning Off the Guest Account

For security purposes, you might want to turn off the Guest account

 

  1. Open up the Control Panel
  2. Click on User Accounts
  3. Click on Change an account
  4. Click on the Guest account
  5. Click Turn off the guest account

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Original NT Style Logon Screen

If you want to have the original NT style windows logon screen with XP, simply hold the Ctrl-Alt keys and press the delete key twice. To make a permanent change so the logon screen is always like the traditional NT4/2000 style:

 

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Open up User Accounts
  3. Click Change the way users log on and off
  4. Uncheck Use the Welcome screen
  5. Click on Apply Options

 

-- Back to the Top --

Turning Off the Built-In CD Burner

If you want to turn off the ability to using the built-in CD burner software that comes with Windows XP:

 

  1. Open up the Explorer
  2. Right click on the drive that is your CD burner
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Recording tab
  5. Uncheck Enable CD recording on this drive

 

-- Back to the Top --

Hiding System Tray Icons

With Windows XP, you can manually select how you want individual icons in the System Tray to be displayed.

 

  1. Right click on the Taskbar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Check Hide inactive icons
  4. Click on the Customize button
  5. This will bring up a dialog box that will allow you to select one of three options for your applications:
    Hide when inactive, Always hide,
    or always show
  6. Highlight current or past applications and make any changes you like.
  7. A small arrow will now appear in the System Tray that will allow you to show or hide these icons.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Faster Task Switching

If you installed Windows XP Power Tools from Microsoft, when you press Alt-Tab to switch between running applications, you get a screen that shows a small graphic of the window that is of that application along with its icon. This also takes a long time to display. (Or at least longer than I'm comfortable with) You can speed this up and revert back to previous ways task switching is displayed. To Turn This Off After Your Reboot:

 

  1. Run MSCONFIG
  2. Click on the Startup tab
  3. Uncheck Taskswitch
  4. Click on the OK button
  5. If you want to keep working, click on Exit without Restart

 

To Turn This Off Immediately:

 

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete
  2. Click on the Processes tab
  3. Highlight TaskSwitch.exe
  4. Click on the End Process tab
  5. Click on the Yes button

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Windows XP Command Line Utilities

While there are a lot of command line utilities in Windows XP, here are some that I have been using lately.

 

bootcfg - Configures, queries, or changes Boot.ini file settings.

driverquery - Displays a list of all installed device drivers and their properties.

getmac - Returns the media access control (MAC) address and list of network protocols associated with each address for all network cards in each computer

gpresult - Displays Group Policy settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) for a user or a computer

netsh - You can use commands in the Netsh Interface IP context to configure the TCP/IP protocol

schtasks - Schedules commands and programs to run periodically or at a specific time

systeminfo - Displays detailed configuration information about a computer and its operating system

 

-- Back to the Top --

Disabling Error Reporting

By default, Windows XP will request to report application errors to Microsoft. To turn this off

 

  1. Right click on the My Computer icon on the desktop
  2. Select Properties / Advanced
  3. Click on the Error Reporting tab
  4. Check Disable error reporting

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Adding a Title for the Command Prompt Title Bar

If you create a batch file that might take a while to run, you can add a title to the command prompt title bar it by simply adding the line:

    title YOUR TEXT

where YOUR TEXT would be replaced by whatever text you want to show.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Increasing Graphics Performance

By default, Windows XP turns on a lot of shadows, fades, slides etc to menu items. Most simply slow down their display.

To turn these off selectively:

 

  1. Right click on the My Computer icon
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Under Performance, click on the Settings button
  5. To turn them all of, select Adjust for best performance
  6. My preference is to leave them all off except for Show shadows under mouse pointer and Show window contents while dragging

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Creating an Automated Install of Windows XP

On the Windows XP CP, in the SUPPORT\TOOLS directory, there is a file called DEPLOY.CAB.

 

  1. Extract the programs DEPLOY.CHM (help file) and SETUPMGR.EXE (main program)
  2. Run SETUPMGR and answer the prompts.
  3. This will create both a unattend.bat and unattend.txt file you can use for automated installs.
  4. Note: The batch file might need some minor modification for file locations but it is fairly basic.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Creating a Shutdown/Reboot Icon

Windows XP has a program called SHUTDOWN.EXE which allows you to easily create icons to shutdown or restart your computer.

To create a shutdown shortcut on the desktop:

 

  1. Right click on an open area of the desktop
  2. Select New / Shortcut
  3. Enter in "shutdown -s -t 00" - no quotes
  4. Press the Next button
  5. For the name, enter in anything you like. I just use shutdown. Click on the Finish button.

 

For a reboot, enter "shutdown -r -t 00"

Shutdown [{-l|-s|-r|-a}] [-f] [-m [\\ComputerName]] [-t xx] [-c "message"] [-d[u][p]:xx:yy]

Parameters

 

bullet-l - Logs off the current user, this is also the defualt. -m ComputerName takes precedence.
bullet-s - Shuts down the local computer.
bullet-r - Reboots after shutdown.
bullet-a - Aborts shutdown. Ignores other parameters, except -l and ComputerName. You can only use -a during the time-out period.
bullet-f - Forces running applications to close.
bullet-m [\\ComputerName] - Specifies the computer that you want to shut down.
bullet-t xx - Sets the timer for system shutdown in xx seconds. The default is 20 seconds.
bullet-c "message" - Specifies a message to be displayed in the Message area of the System Shutdown window. You can use a maximum of 127 characters. You must enclose the message in quotation marks.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Command Line Help Reference

To get a quick help for all the commands you can enter from Windows XP, simply create a shortcut:

 

hh.exe ms-its:C:\WINDOWS\Help\ntcmds.chm::/ntcmds.htm

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Using the System File Checker

You can run the System File Checker to verify protected system files.

Command line switches are:

sfc [/scannow] [/scanonce] [/scanboot] [/revert] [/purgecache] [/cachesize=x]

bullet/scannow  - Scans all protected system files immediately.
bullet/scanonce - Scans all protected system files once.
bullet/scanboot - Scans all protected system files every time the computer is restarted.
bullet/revert - Returns the scan to its default operation.
bullet/purgecache - Purges the Windows File Protection file cache and scans all protected system files immediately.
bullet/cachesize=x - Sets the size, in MB, of the Windows File Protection file cache.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Disabling Balloon Tips

To turn off balloon tips in applications that support XP Themes:

 

1.     Start Regedit

2.     Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\

3.     Create a DWORD value of EnableBalloonTips

4.     Give it a value of 0

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Speeding Up the Display of Start Menu Items

An easy way to speed up the display of the Start Menu Items is to turn off the menu shadow.

 

1.     Right click on an open area of the Desktop

2.     Select Properties

3.     Click on the Appearance tab

4.     Click on the Effects button

5.     Uncheck Show shadows under menus

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Installing the NetBEUI Protocol

Microsoft no longer supports the NetBEUI protocol as part of Windows XP. You can add it as a installable protocol by going to the VALUEADD \ MSFT \ NET \ NETBEUI directory on the CD ROM. Note: %SYSTEMROOT% refers to the drive and directory where you installed Windows XP.
Typically this is in the C:\WINDOWS directory

 

  1. Copy the nbf.sys into the %SYSTEMROOT%\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ directory
  2. Copy netnbf.inf into the %SYSTEMROOT%\INF\ directory
  3. Open the Network connection properties for your local area network and use "Install..." button to add NetBEUI protocol

 

I included a zipped file with the above files and a simple batch file to copy both to the appropriate directories

This is only if you absolutely need NetBEUI. It is not at all a necessary requirement for most networks.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Setting System Time Over the Internet

You can set your system clock to a time server on the Internet.

 

  1. Double-click the time on your taskbar
  2. Click the Internet Time tab
  3. Check Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server
  4. Click on the Update Now button

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Creating a Password Recovery Disk

In case you forget your password, you can create a password recovery floppy disk beforehand to help you out of this problem.

 

  1. Single-click Start menu
  2. Go to the Control Panel / User Accounts
  3. Click the User Account
  4. On the left hand side, click on Prevent forgotten password
  5. You will need to know your password to create the disk.
  6. If you don't remember your password sometime in the future, click on the green arrow like normal at the login and you will be prompted to insert the password recover disk.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Default Search Settings

By default, when you start a search, you are prompted for what you want to search for. (e.g. Pictures, Documents, Files, Computers) To change the preferences, simply click on Change preferences From here you can:

 

  1. Turn off the animated screen character
  2. Change files and folders search behavior (setting it to Advanced changes the default search screen to be for simply files)
  3. Internet search settings
  4. Turn off balloon tips

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Opening an Explorer Window to the Directory You Want

If you want to create a shortcut for the Explorer to a specific directory, include the directory you want in the Target. For example:


%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, d:\internet

would open the Explorer to the D:\INTERNET directory

 

-- Back to the Top --

Disabling Hibernation

 

If you don't want to use up the disk space taken by Hibernation, or don't need to use it at all, you can easily disable it.

 

  1. Open up the Control Panel / Power Options icon
  2. Click on the Hibernation icon
  3. Uncheck Enable Hibernation

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Locking the Workstation

There are two ways you can lock the workstation.

 

  1. With a Windows key + L
  2. Create an shortcut rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Picture Displayed for a User

You can change the picture that gets displayed for a particular user

 

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Select User Accounts
  3. Click on the Account to change
  4. Click on Change my picture
  5. You can then browse to the picture you want to use

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Displaying the QuickLaunch Toolbar

By default, Windows XP does not show the QuickLaunch toolbar. To enable it again:

 

  1. Right click on an open area of the toolbar
  2. Select Toolbars
  3. Select Quick Launch

 

Now you can add programs like with Win98

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Increasing System Performance

If you have 512 megs or more of memory, you can increase system performance by having the core system kept in memory.

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive
  3. Set the value to be 1
  4. Reboot the computer

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Removing the MSN Messenger

If you want to remove the MSN Messenger from always starting in the system tray, do

 

  1. Start / Run
  2. Then enter in the following string: RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

 

To remove it completely, see the section Adding / Removing Additional Programs

 

Remove the hide  from the line:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Common Command Console Utilities

Windows XP comes with quite a few console utilities you can easily run from the command line:

Computer Management - compmgmt.msc
Disk Managment - diskmgmt.msc
Device Manager - devmgmt.msc
Disk Defrag - dfrg.msc
Event Viewer - eventvwr.msc
Shared Folders - fsmgmt.msc
Group Policies - gpedit.msc
Local Users and Groups - lusrmgr.msc
Performance Monitor - perfmon.msc
Resultant Set of Policies - rsop.msc
Local Security Settings - secpol.msc
Services - services.msc
Component Services - comexp.msc

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\AutoEndTasks
  3. Set the value to be 1
  4. In the same section, change the WaitToKillAppTimeout to the number of milliseconds you want.

 

Download reg file

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing the Internet Explorer Title

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Window Title
  3. Enter what you want appear in the title bar

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing Visual Effects

To change visual effects such as fade menus, mouse shadow, visual styles on buttons, drop shadows for icons, slide open boxes and buttons etc.:

 

  1. Right click on My Computer
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Under Performance, click on the Settings button
  5. From here you have a list of items you can select

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing System Restore Settings

By default, Windows XP uses a large amount of hard drive space for storing system restore points.
If this is not necessary, you can change the settings.

 

  1. Go to Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools
  2. Run System Restore
  3. For each drive or partition, you can click on the Setting button to change how much hard drive space is devoted to each one.
  4. There is even the option to turn it off for all drives.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Configuring the Firewall

Windows XP has firewall capabilities built into the operating system.

 

  1. For your network connection to the Internet, select Properties
  2. Click on the Advanced tab
  3. Check the Internet Connection Firewall section
  4. Click on the Settings button to change the settings

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Changing Programs That Start Automatically

Windows XP has a similar program, MSCONFIG, that was available in Windows98. This allows you to view and change what programs are automatically started each time you log in.

The new version also allows you to view and edit the boot.ini file (as well as check for errors and use several advanced switches)

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Adding / Removing Additional Programs

By default, Windows XP does not display all the programs you can add or remove. To show this list: Edit the \Windows\Inf\sysoc.inf file In the Components section, simply remove the word hide. This will leave two commas together (like on the rest of the items). Then you can go to the Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs / Add/Remove Windows Components and the new items will be displayed.

 

[Components]
NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4
WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7
Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7
Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7
NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7
iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7
com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7
dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6
ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7
AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
msnexplr=ocmsn.dll,OcEntry,msnmsn.inf,,7
smarttgs=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,msnsl.inf,,7
RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7


Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7
AccessUtil=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,accessor.inf,,7
CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7
MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7
AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7
Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7
MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7
ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Displaying and Configuring the Classic Start Menu

If you prefer the original Start Menu, you can easily switch it back.

 

  1. Right click on the Taskbar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Start Menu tab
  4. Select Classic Start Menu
  5. If you click on the Customize button you can choose to display Administrative Tools, Favorites, Run, and expanding many of the sub-menus like the Control Panel.

 

-- Back to the Top --

 Increasing File System Caching

To increase the amount of memory Windows will locked for I/O operations:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
  3. Edit the key IoPageLockLimit

4096 - 32megs of memory or less
8192 - 32+ megs of memory
16384 - 64+ megs of memory
32768 - 128+ megs of memory
65536 - 256+ megs of memory

 

 Back to the Top --

 Enabling NumLock on by Default

To have numlock turned on for each user:

 

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard\InitialKeyboardIndicators
  3. Change the value from 0 to 2
  4. Turn Numlock on manually
  5. Log off and back on again.
  6. For all users, make the same change to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard\InitialKeyboardIndicators

 

Download reg file

 

 Back to the Top --

Back Home Up Next

 

Copyright   2003 - WirelessTEK