XP Tricks & Tips-II

Sandeep Narayanan Sandeep.anamika@gmail.com +91-9884713366

Read before you proceed

This is in no way an ‘ultimate’ resource to computer tweaking. It is just the drop an ocean. This guide is nothing but an honest effort to assimilating knowledge on how a machine can be tamed. More can be obtained by searching the World Wide Web using ‘Google’ ‘MSN’ ‘DogPile’ ‘Yahoo!’ and other search engines. I do not claim whole rights on the contents discussed here. Many people- hackers, crackers, system administrators, computer geeks, teaching faculty, user groups- have also contributed their wisdom keeping faith in me and they wanted it to be shared and discussed. I have ‘compiled’ the data into a single file adding everything to what I have so that people can use it as an all purpose computer guide. I have personally tried and tested all of the tweaks discussed in this guide. However, I request fellow readers to be cautious while trying it out with your system. Some settings are found to be system specific. Always take a backup copy of all important data/registry before attempting to change the system/registry settings. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Last but not the least- Learn, Share & Grow. Add your knowledge and share it unconditionally with the people who are looking for it. Help people to learn and grow; after all that is what a hacker is supposed to do
Sandeep Narayanan

1. Change Text on Windows “Start” Button
Let us start with the “Start” button. Read the entire article at least once before you proceed. I’ve read a number of articles in Orkut about changing the text of the XP Start button. I have been told about a five letter limitation when the button is renamed. But with my personal experience I would say that there is no limit as such! I tried even a 10 letter word; I did not include any space though. This hack will be explained in two steps. I am taking extreme caution to make sure that nothing goes wrong. The first step is to make a backup copy of the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows. Copy the explorer.exe and paste it in a folder somewhere on your hard drive. Step 1 – Modify Explorer.exe File The file explorer. exe located at C:\Windows needs to be edited at first. Since explorer.exe is a binary file it requires a special editor. I used a special editor called “Resource Hacker”. Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files. It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP operating systems. You can download Resource hacker for free from the internet. Do a google search with the key word “Download Resource Hacker”; without quotes and it will take you to the download page. Start Resource Hacker and open explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer.exe. The category we are going to be using is String Table. Expand it by clicking the plus sign then navigate down to and expand string 37 followed by highlighting 1033. If you are using the Classic Layout rather than the XP Layout, use number 38. The right hand pane will display the stringtable as shown in picture below. We’re going to modify item 578, currently showing the word “start” just as it displays on the current Start button.

Just double click on the word “start” so that it’s highlighted, making sure that the quotation marks remain in place, surrounding the new text that you’ll type. Go ahead and type your , new entry. Click Compile Script and then save the altered file using the Save As command on the File Menu. Do not use the Save command – Make sure to use the Save As command and choose a name for the file (Say “newExplorer.exe”). Save the newly named file to C:\Windows. Step 2 – Modify the Registry Now that the modified explorer.exe has been created it’s necessary to modify the registry so the file will be recognized when the user logs on to the system. If you don’t know how to access the registry I’m not sure this article is for you, but just in case it’s a temporary memory lapse, go to Start (soon to be something else) Run and type regedit in the Open: field. Navigate to the following ke key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\ SOFTWARE\ CurrentVersion Winlogon g box In the right pane, double click the Shell entry to open the Edit String dialog box. In Value data: line, enter the name that was used to save the modified explorer.exe file (i my case it (in was “newExplorer.exe”). Click OK. Close Registry Editor and either log off the system and . log back in, or reboot the entire system if that’s your preference. If all went as planned you should see your new Start button with the revised text.

END NOTE: You can actually rename the modified file to “explorer.exe” then rename the original file in the windows folder to “explorer.exe.Tweaked”. Next just copy and paste the renamed modified file into the windows directory and re-boot. Doing it this way eliminates any issue with programs like “Ad-Aware” and XP-SP2.

2. Banning Programs from “Most Frequently Used” list
Take a look at this for it is very interesting. If any of the following words or phrases is included in the program's shortcut name, the program will be excluded from the list: Documentation, Help, Install, More Info, Readme, Read me, Read First, Setup, Support, and What's New. Additionally, the following executables are excluded from the list: Setup.exe, Install.exe, Isuninst.exe, Unwise.exe, Unwise32.exe, St5unst.exe, Rundll32.exe,

Explorer.exe, Icwconn1.exe, Inoculan.exe, Mobsync.exe, Navwnt.exe, Realmon.exe, and Sndvol32.exe. Run the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications. Underneath this key, you'll find a series of subkeys, each representing an application. The primary purpose of these su-keys is to determine whether the program appears on the Open With dialog box that appears whenever you try to open an unknown file type. But you can also add a value to any of the subkeys which will ban programs from appearing on the Most Frequently Used Programs List. Look for a subkey that is the executable name of the application you want to ban from the list; for example, visio.exe for the Visio business illustration program. Once you find the application's subkey, create a new String value for that subkey, named NoStartPage. Leave the value blank. Exit the Registry. You might have to reboot for the setting to take effect and the program to be banned from the list. Change the Number of Programs That Appear on the List By default, the Most Frequently Used Programs List has room for six programs, but you can change that default and have more or fewer programs appear. Right-click the Start button and choose Properties. Then choose the tab “Start Menu”. Under this tab, choose Start Menu Customize General. To customize the number of programs to include on the list, edit the

"Number of programs on Start menu" box. You can choose any number between 0 and 30. No matter how high your resolution is, don't expect there to be room for 30 programs

3.Kill the “Most Frequently Used”(MFU) list instead of Banning
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies\ Explorer. Create a new DWORD called NoStartMenuMFUprogramsList and give it a value of 1. You'll have to reboot or log off and back on for the setting to take effect. You have now managed to get kick the MFU list out of you menu.

4. Secrets Behind The Run Registry key
You can start or stop programs from executing at bootup by adding or deleting them to/from the run Keys in the Registry. Windows loads programs to start in the following order; Program listed in the Local Machine hive, then the Current User hive, then theWin.ini Run= and Load = lines and then finally programs in your Start Up folder. To add or remove programs in the Registry.Open RegEdit. .Go to the desired Key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Micrsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

Add a new String Value and name it anything you like. For the value data, enter the path and executable for the program you want to run. By adding the value to the KEY_CURRENT_USER hive instead allows the program to start only when that user is logged on. If you add the value to the RunOnce key the program will run once and be removed from the key by Windows.

5. Change “AM” and “PM” Displayed Near the System Clock to Any Text You want

You can add your name or anything you like that consists of 8 characters or less. This will replace the AM or PM next to the system time. Do not use this tip if you are using any software during the trial period as it will corrupt the trial license. Open the RegEdit and navigate to the following registry key: KEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\International. Add two new String values, "s1159" and "s2359". Most probably those keys will be already present. If it is not there then create them. Right click the value name and modify. Enter anything you like up to 8 characters. If you enter two different values when modifying, you can have the system tray display the two different values in the AM and PM

6. Change Text and Baloon Tip Associated With All Desktop Icons
You need to know the object's class ID (CLSID), which uniquely identifies each system object. The following table lists the CLSIDs for common desktop objects. CLSIDs for desktop objects Desktop object My Computer Recycle Bin Microsoft Outlook Internet Explorer The Internet My Network Places Briefcase Dial-Up Networking CLSID {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} {FBF23B42-E3F0-101B-8488-00AA003E56F8} {3DC7A020-0ACD-11CF-A9BB-00AA004AE837} {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} {85BBD920-42A0-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D} {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}

Run the Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID, a key that lets you change characteristics of system objects, and highlight the CLSID whose name or balloon text you want to change. For example, to change My Computer, highlight the subkey

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}. Keep in mind that HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID has many CLSIDs listed under it, so it might take you a while to find the proper subkey. Once you find the right subkey, if you want to edit the name of the object, open the Default value and type in the text that you want to appear underneath the object. If you want to edit the balloon text for the object, open the InfoTip value and type in the text that you want to appear as balloon text. Once you're done, exit the Registry and reboot.

7. Change Icons of your Desktop Objects (MyComputer, Recycle bin..)
Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID, and look for the CLSID subkey from the table above for the object whose icon you want to change. Open the subkey and then the DefaultIcon subkey under that. To change the icon for My Computer, open the subkey

Change the Default value to the path of the icon that you want displayed. Follow the same for changing the icons of ther items as well. Exit the Registry. You might have to reboot for the new settings to take effect. If you aren't able to change your icons still, then try editing the following: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft \Windows\CurrentVersion \

Explorer\ CLSID\, and you will be in.

8. Create a drive menu for My Computer
Windows XP makes it easy for you to configure My Computer so it works like a menu, with each drive listed as a menu item. Here's how. Right-click the Start button, and select Properties.Click Customize, which is adjacent to the Start Menu radio button, and select Advanced. Scroll through the Start Menu Items list box until you see My Computer. Select Display As A Menu, and click OK twice. Now, when you select My Computer from the Start menu, you'll see a menu of individual drives. To access the contents of that drive, just select the drive letter from the menu.

9.Add a program to the Right Click Menu So as to Use it Everywhere by just doing a Right-Clicking
When you right click on any folder, you can have access to that application, the same as using Sent To and New.







HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell. Add a new Key to the "Shell" Key and name it anything you like. Give it a default value that will appear when you right click a folder, i.e. NewKey (use an "&" without the quotes, in front of any character and it will allow you to use the keyboard). Navigate and click on the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\NewKey. Now you have to add a New Key named Command and Set the (Default) value of the application you want to run. For example: c:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe (Include the full path)

10. Turn Off Window Animation
You can shut off the animation displayed when you minimize and maximize Windows. Open Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control panel

\Desktop\WindowMetrics. Create a new string value "MinAnimate". Set the value
data of 0 for Off or 1 for On

11. Remove the Desktop Item Icons (My Computer, Recycle Bin…)
Run the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace. Here's where you'll find various special desktop icons. They're not listed by name, but instead by CLSID. Check the tip number 5 for the CLSIDs of common desktop objects. To remove an icon from the desktop, simply delete the key and then exit the Registry, go to your desktop, and press F5 to refresh the screen. If it still doesn’t work, system needs a restart.

12. Un-install Wordpad, Automatic Update, Messenger, Pinball etc
Use Notepad or another text editor to open the Setup Information file, sysoc.inf, which is generally found in the C:\WINDOWS\INF folder. For this folder to be visible, you will have to enable hidden folders by going into Windows Explorer and choosing Tools Options Folder

View Show Hidden Files and Folders. The lines in the file follow the format:


The Pinball game entry, as an example, looks like this:

Remove the word HIDE from the entry that refers to the component you want to remove. Save the sysoc.inf file, and run the Windows Components Wizard under Add/Remove programs. The component will now show up in the wizard. Remove it as you would any other component.

13. Add “Copy To Folder” and “Move To Folder” in a Right-Click Menu
Go to
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers. Shellex.

It tells you it's a shell extension key that lets you customize the user shell or the

interface. Create a new key called Copy To. Set the value to {C2FBB630-2971-11d1-

A18C-00C04FD75D13}. Create another new key called Move To. Set the value to {C2FBB631-2971-11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}. Exit the Registry. The changes
should take effect immediately. The Copy To Folder and Move To Folder options will appear. When you right-click a file and choose one of the options, you'll be able to move or copy the file using a dialog box.

14. Tune Your Browsing- Tricks on DNS
By default, XP caches negative entries for five minutes. Negative entries are those in which no match was found, and you end up getting a "Cannot find server or DNS" error in your

browser.After five minutes, they're cleared from your cache. But if you'd like, you can force XP not to cache these negative entries so that you'll never run into this problem. Run the Registry Editor and go to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM

\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters. Create a new DWORD value with the
name NegativeCacheTime and give it a value of 0. The DWORD determines how much time, in seconds, to keep negative entries in the DNS cache. If you like, you can have the entries stay alive for one second by giving the DWORD a value of 1.After you're done editing, exit the Registry. To make the change take effect, restart your computer, or flush your cache by issuing the command ipconfig /flushdns at a command prompt.

You can also use the Registry to control the amount of time positive entries are kept in the DNS cache. By default, they are kept for 24 hours. To change the default, go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameter again
and create a DWORD value called MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit. (If it's already present, just edit the value.) For the value, enter the amount of time you want the entry to remain, in seconds, making sure to use Decimal as the base.

15. Customize the “Send To” Option
Adding new locations and programs and taking away existing ones that you never use from this menu is very simple. It's easy to hack. Go to C:\Documents and Settings\<log_in_name>

\SendTo, where <log_in_name> is your username with which you login to your system. The
folder will be filled with shortcuts to all the locations you find on your “Send To” context menu. To remove an item from the Send To menu, delete the shortcut from the folder. To add an item to the menu, add a shortcut to the folder by highlighting the folder, choosing File New Shortcut, and follow the instructions for creating a shortcut. The new setting will take effect immediately.

16. Faster Network Access
When you use My Network Places to browse for other machines on your network, Windows XP first checks for the scheduled tasks on the target machine before listing the shared resources present on the computer. We can do a registry hack to avoid this delay. Invoke the Registry Editor by typing regedit at the command line. Open the following

Registrykey:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace. Delete the following key {D6277990-4C6A-11CF8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Now close the Registry and reboot.

17. Switch to Windows' basic search tool
Open the Registry Editor. Now Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software \Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer \ Cabinet State. Go to Edit New String

Value. Name the new value. Double-click the new value, type no in the Value Data text box, and click OK. Close the Registry Editor, and restart the system. To switch back to the Search Companion, just go back to the Registry Editor, and change the Value Data to yes.

18. All About Your Recycle Bin
Add rename to the menu: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder "Attributes"=hex:50,01,00,20

Add delete to the menu: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder "Attributes"=hex:60,01,00,20

Add rename and delete to the menu: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder "Attributes"=hex:70,01,00,20

Restore the recycle bin to Windows defaults including un-deleting the icon after deletion: Restore the icon. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer \Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} @="Recycle Bin"

Reset Windows defaults. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder


Other edits to the recycle bin icon: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder "Attributes"=hex:40,01,01,20 ... standard shortcut arrow "Attributes"=hex:40,01,02,20 ... a different shortcut arrow "Attributes"=hex:40,01,04,20 ... and still another shortcut arrow "Attributes"=hex:40,01,08,20 ... make it look disabled (like it's been cut) For Windows XP and 2000 you have to also edit the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{645F F040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

Did I miss anything..?? Ofcourse NOT!

19. Display Your Own Error Messages
When you try to delete Microsoft Outlook from the desktop, you get the warning message "The Outlook Desktop icon provides special functionality and we recommend that you do not remove it." If you like, you can edit that message to display whatever you want. In the CLSID's subkeyfor example, {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} for Microsoft Outlook you'll find the value Removal Message. Edit this value to whatever text you want, and your warning message will appear whenever someone tries to delete the icon. This is just an example. Follow the suit for customizing the error messages for other icons too!

20. Improved Use of System cache
Open registry by going to START-RUN and entering regedit. Navigate to the registry key that is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager

\MemoryManagement . Look for value of "LargeSystemCache". If available, do one of the
following: If the computer is a workstation, set its value to 0. If it is a server set a value of 1.

21. Clean Up the “Open With” Menu

When you right-click a file, you see the menu option “Open With”, which provides a list of programs for you to open the file with. You can clean up the Open With list by using a Registry hack. Run the Registry Editor (Start Run Regedit) and go to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer \FileExts. Look for the file extension whose Open With list you want to edit and find its OpenWithList subkey. The subkey will have an alphabetical list of String values. Open each value and examine the value data. It will be the name of one of the programs on the Open With list . Delete any entry you don't want to appear. Don't delete the value data; delete the String value listing. In other words, if the value data for the String value is Winword.exe, delete the entire string rather than just the value data. Exit the Registry.

22. Remove Menu Items from Explorer
Explorer's menus can get messy at times. But you can use a Registry hack to clean it up a bit by removing some items from the Tools menu. Map Network Drive, Disconnect Network Drive etc can be stopped from displaying. Run the Registry Editor and go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create the following DWORD entry and set the values correspondingly. If the values are already there, then just check the values: NoNetConnectDisconnect. NoAutoUpdate NoNetHood NoOnlinePrintsWizard NoPublishingWizard NoWebServices NoWelcomeScreen NoInternetOpenWith NoWindowsUpdate 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Restart your computer and see the explorer window with changes. Happy??

23.Command Prompt on Right-Clicking a Folder
With this tip, you can right-click any folder in your windows and open a command prompt at that folder. It is a very old hack and I am mentioning it here because of compulsion.Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Classes/Folder/Shell. Create a new key called Command Prompt. For the default value, enter whatever text you want to appear when you right-click a folder.. Create a new key beneath the Command Prompt key called Command. Set the default value to Cmd.exe /k pushd %L. That value will launch Cmd.exe, which is the XP command prompt. The “/k” switch puts the prompt into interactive mode. That is, it lets you issue commands from the command prompt; the command prompt isn't being used to issue only a single command and then exit. The “pushd” command stores the name of the current directory, and “%L” uses that name to start the command prompt at it. Exit the Registry.

24. Don’t want the “Open With” Option..?
Each application's subkey in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications controls whether that particular application will show up on the dialog box. If you want to ban a particular program from the Open With dialog box, look for the application's subkey underneath HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications, add a String value named NoOpenWith, and leave the value blank. There will be no more “Open With” menu for that item.

25. Activate “ClearType” for Better Display
Microsoft states, “With Windows XP, ClearType delivers improved font display resolution over traditional anti-aliasing. It improves readability on color LCD monitors with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat desktop displays. Readability on CRT screens can also be somewhat improved.












HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT/ControlPanel/Desktop. Right Click on the right window pane
and create a string value with the name FontSmoothing and set a value to 2.Once again right click and this time create a Dword with the name FontSmoothingType. Set the value to 2. Exit Registry and Reboot. This will enable the ClearType for all users on the computer.

26. Activate/De-activate Intelligent menu
When the Intelligent Menu is activated in Internet Explorer, a message pops up that states it can be turned of using the Internet Options, but while using the Classic Windows mode, that option is unavailable. Create the following keys if necessary. Most probably the keys will be found in those locations.

For Internet Explorer's Favorites folder:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] change: "FavIntelliMenus"="yes" to "FavIntelliMenus"="no"

For the Start Menu, and sub-menus: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanc ed] change: "IntelliMenus"=dword:00000001 to "IntelliMenus"=dword:00000000

27. Disable CD Auto Run
Start regedit and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet \Services\Cdrom. Now Create a new registry key of type Dword and name it AutoRun. If the key is already there, just set the value to 0 in order to disable AutoRun. To enable it, change the value to 1. Once it is done, Exit Registry and Reboot.

28. NO option to send data to the CD-ROM drive…?(Tip Is From MicroSoft KB)
When you view the properties of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive, you may notice that the Recording tab is not displayed in the CD Drive Properties dialog box. To resolve this issue, edit the Microsoft Windows registry to identify the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive as a recordable drive. To do this, follow these steps. 1. Click Start, and then click Run. 2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK. 3. Expand the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\Drives 4. On the File menu, click Export. 5. In the File name box, type backup of drives key, and then click Save. 6. In the left pane of the Registry Editor window, click the Volume{GUID} folder under Drives, where GUID is a 32-character hexadecimal globally unique identifier. If you have more than one CD-ROM drive in the computer, an additional Volume{GUID} folder is listed for each drive. 7. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, double-click Drive Type. 8. In the Value data box, type 1 or 2, depending on the drive type, and then click OK. The drive type should be 1 if it is a CD-R and 2 if it is a CD-RW. 9. Quit Registry Editor. 10. Click Start, and then click My Computer.

11. Under Devices with Removable Storage, right-click the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu. 12. If the Recording tab is displayed, Windows recognizes the drive as a recordable device. 13. Click Cancel. If you have more than one CD-ROM drive, DVD-ROM drive, or CD-RW drive in the computer and the Recording tab is not displayed, an incorrect drive may have been configured as "recordable" in the Windows registry. To troubleshoot this issue, follow these steps: Follow steps 1 through 9 to edit the Drive Type value of the Volume{GUID} folder whose value you previously changed. In the Value data box, type 3, and then click OK. The drive type value of 3 indicates that the drive is a standard CD-ROM and is not writable. In the left pane of the Registry Editor window, click the next Volume{GUID} folder. Follow steps 7 and 8 to change the Value data entry to 1 or 2, depending on the drive type. Quit Registry Editor, and then follow steps 10 through 12 to confirm that the Recording tab is displayed in the properties dialog box of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive.

29. Enable/Disable CD Burning
If you choose to use a different CD burning program than the one supplied with Windows XP this edit will disable the default burner. In most cases this isn't necessary even if you choose an alternative burning program, but there are a few badly behaved burning programs out there that insist on this modification. Open the registry editor and navigate to the following registry key:

.Create a new Dword with the Name "NoCDBurning". To enable give a value 0. A value of 1 disables Burning.Exit Registry and Reboot To Enable/Disable CD Burning for the Local Machine navigate to following registry key:


plorer. Create a new Dword with the Name "NoCDBurning". To enable give a value 0. A
value of 1 disables Burning. Exit Registry and Reboot.

30. CD Writer is Not Fast Enough..?
Open My Computer, right-click the CD Drive icon, and then click Properties. Click the Recording tab to display the settings. Under "Select a write Speed" Choose the "Fastest". If still having a problem, then choose a speed like 18x or a medium speed. This will resolve almost all the issues.

31. Enable/Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP
In an effort to make Windows XP a better and more stable operating system, Microsoft has included Error Reporting in the latest release. Whenever an application has to close because of an error, it asks that a report be sent to Microsoft for study and evaluation. Sending the report is optional, but users can benefit from the error log that is generated if they wish to study it or print a hard copy. If you find error reporting objectionable and want it disabled: Open Control Panel. Click on Performance and Maintenance. Click on System. Then click on the Advanced tab. Click on the error-reporting button on the bottom of the windows. Select Disable error reporting. Click OK.

32. A shortcut to “Sleep” well
Create your own Sleep button by creating a shortcut on your desktop. In the previous PDf release, I discussed about Shutdown and re-start shortcuts. Now it’s time for a sleep. Rightclick on the desktop. Select New Shortcut.

Type rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState in the text box as it is. Click Next. Type Sleep in the text box and click Finish. Now when you click the Sleep icon, Windows XP will put the computer into either Stand By or Hibernate mode depending on how the “When I Press The Sleep Button” On My Computer setting is configured on the Advanced tab of the Power Options Properties dialog box.

33. Disable the Windows XP Startup Screen
If you want to see what goes behind the Windows Startup Screen, you have to disable the Windows boot screen. Right click “My Computer”. Select “Properties”. Select the “Advanced” tab. In the “Startup and Recovery” section, click “Settings”. In the “System Startup” section, click Edit to open the boot.ini file in Notepad. You will see a line that looks similar to the one below: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft /fastdetect To disable the Startup Screen, change the line as below: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" Windows XP Professional"

/fastdetect /sos. Note that there is a space between 'fastdetect' and '/sos'. Close Notepad, click Yes when Notepad asks if you want to save your changes. Exit System Properties. Reboot computer and the Startup Screen will be gone.

34. Change the Registered User Information
Tired of tweaking? Well, Let us now do a very very simple registry trick. You can change the Registered Owner or Registered Organization to anything you want even after Windows is installed. Open Registry Editor and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Change the value of



"RegisteredOrganization" key or “RegisteredOwner", to what ever you want. Close the editor and restart the computer.

35. Hidden User Account
An account that is normally displayed on the Welcome screen can be hidden from view. To log on using the account it's necessary to use the Log On To Windows dialog box similar to the one in Windows 2000. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogo n\SpecialAccounts\UserList. Right Click on the right side window and create a new DWord value. Name the key, the name of account to be hidden. For example, If I wish to hide an account called “Sandeep”, then I name the key as “Sandeep”. Set the value 0 to hide that account. Now exit the registry editor and reboot. To display the account at a later period, visit the same key and give the value 1. Now you have an account hidden.

36. Increase Internet Download Connections
I have already given this trick in my last PDF file (XP Tricks& Tips). I have received many mails asking me what the keys really meant? Now I’m bound to explain them. Let me explain the trick once again. This trick increase Simultaneous Internet Download Connections and increases the number of allowed simultaneous connections to a higher number. The default value is only five connections. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings. Right click on the window pane and create a DWord key with the name “MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server” as it is without quotes. Set the value to a higher number like 0000000a. Note that they are zeros and not alphabet ‘O’. Right click on the window pane and create another DWord key with the name “MaxConnectionsPerServer”. No quotes please. Set the value to a higher number like 0000000a. Note that they are zeros and not alphabet ‘O’.

37. Remove Invalid Entries from Operating System Selection Menu

A common complaint after reinstalling XP is the appearance of a boot screen asking the user to select the copy of XP that is to be loaded, even when there is only one copy of XP on the system. XP provides a method that eliminates the danger of manual editing of boot.ini by using the System Configuration Utility. Click Start > Run .Type msconfig and click OK to open System Configuration Utility. Select the tab labeled BOOT.INI. Click the button labeled. Check All Boot Paths. A dialog box will open detailing the location of any invalid operating system locations. Confirm you want to remove the entry and reboot the system.

38. change the default letter assignment for drives
Right click “My Computer”.Click “Manage” to open the Computer Management Console. In the top or lower right pane, right click the disk you want to change. Fixed drives appear in the top and bottom pane. Removable drives appear in the bottom pane unless they have media inserted. Well, in that case they appear in both the upper and lower pane. Select “Change Drive Letter and Path” and Click “Change”. Select the new letter from the drop down list box and click OK.

39. Increase MFT size If You have Lot of Installed Programs
By default, NTFS would reserve 12.5% of your free diskspace for Master File Table(MFT) . This table stores the details of file stored like the memory details. MFT fragmentation could also cause a significant slow down. If you have installed tons of different programs on your hard disk , my advice is to increase the MFT usage percentage to say 25%. To do so navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem. In right pane, Add one more DWord key by the name "NtfsMftZoneReservation". DWORD value of 1 is interpreted as 12.5% ,2 as 25% and so on (multiples of 12.5).

40. Solve “Error 1719:The Windows Installer service could not be accessed”(From MS KB)
Method 1: Re-register the Windows Installer
To re-register the Windows Installer, verify the location of the Msiexec.exe file on your hard disk and in the Windows Registry, and then re-register the Windows Installer. To do so: 1. Verify the location of the Msiexec.exe file on your hard disk. To do so: Start Search (All files and folders) type msiexec.exe ||Click Search.

In the search results, make a note of the location of the Msiexec.exe file. The location of the Msiexec.exe file should be similar to the following example, where Drive is the drive where Windows is installed, and %Windir% is the folder where Windows is installed: Drive:\%Windir%\System32. An example of this is C:\Windows\System32. In Microsoft Windows 98-based computers, the Msiexec.exe file is located in the

Drive:\%Windir%\System folder. On the File menu, click Close. 2. Verify the location of the Msiexec.exe file in the Windows Registry. To do so: Locate, and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer. In the right pane, double-click ImagePath. In the Edit String dialog box, make sure that the string in the Value data box contains the correct path of the Msiexec.exe file on your hard disk that you determined earlier in step 1. For example, if the Msiexec.exe file is located in the Drive:\Windows\System32 folder on your hard disk, the correct path of the Msiexec.exe file in the Value data box is the following path, where Drive is the drive where Windows is installed: Drive:\Windows\System32\Msiexec.exe /V

Note If you are using Windows 98, the correct path of the Msiexec.exe file is Drive:\Windows\System\Msiexec.exe /V. If the Value data box does not contain the correct path, make the appropriate changes to correct the path, and then click OK. Quit Registry Editor. 3. Start your computer in safe mode, and then register the Msiexec.exe file. To do so: Press F8 after you receive the following message. On the Windows Advanced Option menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER. If you use a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the appropriate operating system from the list that is displayed, and then press ENTER. Log on to the computer. Click Start,, click Run, type the following line, and then click OK: “msiexec /regserver” {Without quotes} Note For 64-bit operating systems, you also need to reregister the 64-bit MSI installer. To do this, click Start, click Run, type the following line, and then click OK:

Drive:\Windows\Syswow64\Msiexec /regserver. On 64-bit editions of a Windows operating system, 32-bit binaries are located in %systemroot%\SysWow64 folder. 64-bit binaries are located in the %systemroot%\System32 folder. 4. Shut down, and then restart your computer in standard mode. If the issue persists and you still receive the error message that is described earlier in the "Symptoms" section, follow the steps in Method 2.

Method 2: Reinstall the Windows Installer
To reinstall the Windows Installer, rename the damaged Windows Installer files, and then reinstall the Windows Installer. To do so: 1. Click Start, and then click Run. 2. In the Open box, type cmd, and then click OK. 3. At the command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER, where Drive is the drive where Windows is installed and where %Windir% is the folder where Windows is installed:

attrib -r -s -h drive:\%Windir%\system32\dllcache For example, type attrib -r -s -h c:\windows\system32\dllcache Note If you are using Windows 98, type system instead of system32. 4. At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after each line:

ren msi.dll msi.old ren msiexec.exe msiexec.old ren msihnd.dll msihnd.old
5. At the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER. Restart your computer. Update the Windows Installer files on your hard disk to the latest version. Windows Installer 2.0 is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center.

41. Mouse Trick – Better Mouse Acceleration
Open registry and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse and set value of "SmoothMouseXCurve" and "SmoothMouseYCurve" as follows: "SmoothMouseXCurve"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,a0,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,40,01,00,0 0,00,00,00,00,80,02,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,05,00,00,00,00,00 "SmoothMouseYCurve"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,66,a6,02,00,00,00,00,00,cd,4c,05,00,0 0,00,00,00,a0,99,0a,00,00,00,00,00,38,33,15,00,00,00,00,00

42. Text prediction in Windows Command prompt

Linux and certain UNIX shells has the ability to predict user keystroke. If You are typing a directory name or a filename and if it exists, using this feature would help you in avoiding those extra keystrokes. If you think that only these Operating Systems have these features, then you are wrong. Windows XP command environment has this feature. You have to use TAB key. Assume you are in C:\drive and want to type autoexec.bat and there is a file that exists by that name. In such cases you can simply type first few characters and press the TAB key. You would really be amazed at this finding. Now tell me honestly, do you think that Windows is not smart enough?

43. Faster IE- Remove an Unused Key
Open registry and navigating to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace and then look for shared tasks ClassId key {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Simply delete it and get out of registry. No need to reboot.Launch Internet Explorer and see the difference. This key is found to search for scheduled tasks on starting up the IE. This is a bug according to MicroSoft. Don’t laugh please!

44. Avoid Reactivation on XP Reinstall
On activating your copy of Windows XP operating system, a file gets updated in windows /system32 directory. It is called wpa.dbl. If you need to reinstall, take a backup of this file and once you have reinstalled the OS, just copy it back to the same directory. This way you can avoid reactivation hurdles.

45. Do not let Regedit remember last change
You might have noticed that whenever you open up Regedit, you can see the screen opened up with the key you last changed. This is because regedit remembers the last changed key. You can make it forget at your wish. You be the master. To do this trick, you'll need admin privileges.

and look for the value LastKey. Double-click it and clear the string. Then right-click the

Regedit key (in the left-hand pane) and select Permissions.Set Permissions to Deny for any/all users/group.

46. Hide All Icons in System Tray
Run the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/ Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/Explorer. Create a new DWORD called

NoTrayItemsDisplay. Assign it a value of 1. (0= keep the icons displayed.) Exit the Registry and reboot.

47. Change default directory of Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer always opens My Documents folder by default. But it is now possible to change this default location by a small hack. Start Programs Accessories Windows

Explorer. Right click on this Windows Explorer and choose properties. Now you can see the Target text field. It reads like : %SystemRoot%explorer.exe. After this line, leave a space and type a comma(,) and type in the location of the folder you wish to open by default. For example you have a folder named MP3 in your C:\ and want this folder to be opened by default, then the change will be like this: %SystemRoot%explorer.exe ,C:\MP3 (leave space before you type comma)

48. File attributes in Windows Explorer
In Windows Explorer, when you click on the detailed mode, you do not see the file attributes any more. If you want to enable this setting, do this:In regedit, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explor\Advanced and look for key ShowAttribCol. If you do not find it , then create a new DWORD key

ShowAttribCol and set its value to 1 to enable it.

49. Solution to Screen Saver Hack

I remember that my last release quoted 2 exploits (hacks) to get into an XP machine without an administrator password. One technique was to replace the default “login.scr” with a command prompt that gives you full fledged admin rights. One of the readers (probably a system admin) wrote to me (from Orkut) on ways to patch it. The solution is known and it does not require any sixth sense or any ‘hacking’ sense. As a responsible hacker (I’m not a cracker, though I do some reverse engineering with hex editors/de-compilers/ dis-assemblers) , I feel that it’s my responsibility to mention the remedy too. This potential security risk can be negated with a very simple registry tweak. Open registry and navigate to








"ScreenSaveActive". Setting its value to 0 would disable screen saver. You can even clear out the value for 'SCRNSAVE.EXE' to completely remove the screen saver and replace it with some thing of your own. Isn’t a safe thing to do?

50. Multiple Columns for the Start Menu
We started with the Start button, right? So, let us end this session with the same ☺ .To make Windows use multiple Start Menu Columns (like Windows 95), do the following registry hack. Open Registry Editor (Start Run regedit). Go to the key: HKEY_LOCAL

_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsCurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced. Right click
on the right window pane and create a string value StartMenuScrollPrograms. Set the value to FALSE. To get the old setting simply change the value to True or delete the key . New wine in the old bottle, ehh??

51. Need More?? –It’s Learning Time Guys
Last time I mentioned about “gpedit.msc” (Start Run gpedit.msc) where you can do a lot of customization and it does not require any hacking knowledge. This time I am going to mention about a web site that will give you a better picture of your Windows system. Do not dream. It is nothing but our very own “support.microsoft.com”. Shocked? You may love Windows or you may love to hate Windows. No matter to which category you belong, but never underestimate that site. No other site has such an exclusive coverage of all Windows related issues.

If you were wondering why I included 2 tips from this site in this PDF, here is my explanation. It was an effort to make you understand that it is worth paying a visit. You don’t have to spend too much time looking for your topics. There is a search button. For example, If you are faced with some CD burning issues, search related topics by using the keyword “CD Burning”. Thanks to our “COPY-PASTE HACKERS”, I have seen many of those topics discussed on that site re-appearing on various hacking communities as “hacks”!!!! I pity them. Rather than spending time by scraping your e-mail address on the postings (that promise you to deliver some hacks by e-mail) on Orkut, do something by yourself. Learn the inside out of your system.

Before I leave, I would like to warn you with a word of caution. There are no such programs

to hack Yahoo! Or Gmail. You have to use customized hacking techniques which make
extensive use of scripts. So If somebody promises you such programs , don’t give them your e-mail addresses. They will send you some .exe file (kind of keylogger or other malicious programs) and you’ll be a victim. Don’t dare to run them. You will be in deep trouble. Watch Out guys. Happy Hacking.. Oops, I forgot. It is TWEAKING! SPECIAL THANKS TO:::: WARZOG, MiSt, and CORE::: Thanks Guys! Hackers Rule!