Windows XP Tips & Tricks PART-1 (09/08/2006

Move to Windows XP Tips & Tricks PART-2 (25/10/2006)

Deleting System Softwares:
XP hides some system software you might want to remove, such as Windows Messenger, but you can tickle it and make it disgorge everything. Using Notepad or Edit, edit the text file /windows/inf/sysoc.inf, search for the word 'hide' and remove it. You can then go to the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Windows Components and there will be your prey, exposed and vulnerable.

Creating Shutdown Icon or One Click Shutdown:
Navigate to your desktop. On the desktop, right-click and go to New, then to Shortcut (in other words, create a new shortcut). You should now see a pop-up window instructing you to enter a command line path. Use this path in "Type Location of the Item" SHUTDOWN -s -t 01 If the C: drive is not your local hard drive, then replace "C" with the correct letter of the hard drive. Click the "Next" button. Name the shortcut and click the "Finish" button. Now whenever you want to shut down, just click on this shortcut and you're done.

Increasing Band-Width By 20%:
Microsoft reserves 20% of your available bandwidth for their own purposes like Windows Updates and interrogating your PC etc To get it back: Click Start then Run and type "gpedit.msc" without quotes.This opens the group policy editor. Then go to: Local Computer Policy then Computer Configuration then Administrative Templates then Network then QOS Packet Scheduler and then to Limit Reservable Bandwidth. Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth. It will say it is not configured, but the truth is under the 'Explain' tab i.e."By default, the Packet Scheduler limits the system to 20 percent of the bandwidth of a connection, but you can use this setting to override the default." So the trick is to ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO. This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%.It works on Win 2000 as well.

Renaming The Recycle Bin icon:
To change the name of the Recycle Bin desktop icon, click Start then goto Run, write Regedit and press Enter. It opens Registry Editor. Now in Registry Editor go to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/CLSID/{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} and change the name "Recycle Bin" to whatever you want (don't type any quotes).

Managing Tasks:

You can at last get rid of tasks on the computer from the command line by using 'taskkill /pid' and the task number, or just 'tskill' and the process number. Find that out by typing 'tasklist', which will also tell you a lot about what's going on in your system.

Removing Shared Documents folder From My Computer window:
Open registry editor by going to Start then Run and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders You must see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this key, you have effectively removed the my shared documents folder.

Making Google the Default Search Engine in Internet Explorer:
Open registry editor by going to Start then Run and entering regedit and navigate to following three keys separately and change it as shown below: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] "Search Page"="" "Search Bar"="" [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL] ""="" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search] "SearchAssistant"="" .

Improving the Slow Boot up time:
There are a variety of reasons why your windows XP system would boot slowly. Most of the times it this has to do with the startup applications. If you would like to speed up the bootup sequence, consider removing some of the startup applications that you do not need. Easiest way to remove startup apps is through System Configuration Utility. Go to Start then Run and enter MSCONFIG and go to the Startup tab. Deselect/UnCheck application(s) that you do not want to startup at boot time.

Customize Logon prompt with your Own Words:
Open Registry by going to Start then Run, entering regedit and Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]. In right pane, look for key by the name "LogonPrompt". Set its value to whatever text you want to see displayed at login screen.

IP address of your connection:
Go to Start then Run. Enter 'cmd' and then enter 'ipconfig' .Add the '/all' switch for more info.

Making Folders Private:
Open My Computer Double-click the drive where Windows is installed (usually drive (C:), unless you have more than one drive on your computer). If the contents of the drive are hidden, under System Tasks, click Show the contents of this drive. Double-click the Documents and Settings folder. Double-click your user folder. Right-click any folder in your user profile, and then click Properties. On the Sharing tab, select the Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box.

To change Drive Letters:
Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management, Disk Management, then rightclick the partition whose name you want to change (click in the white area just below the word "Volume") and select "change drive letter and paths." From here you can add, remove or change drive letters and paths to the partition.

Removing the Shortcut arrow from Desktop Icons:
Goto Start then Run and Enter regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile. Delete the IsShortcut registry value. You may need to restart Windows XP.

Get Drivers for your Devices:
Visit Windows Update (XP Only) Look at the left hand pane and under Other Options click Personalize Windows Update. Now in the right hand pane check the box - Display the link to the Windows Update Catalog under See Also Below Choose which categories and updates to display on Windows Update - make sure you check all the boxes you want shown. Click Save Settings Now look in the left hand pane under See Also click Windows Update Catalog and choose what you're looking for. Choose either MS updates or drivers for hardware devices. Start the Wizard and off you go.

Customize Internet Explorer's Title Bar:
Open Registry by going to Start then Run and Enter regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet. Explorer\Main. In right hand panel look for string "Window Title" and change its value to whatever custom text you want to see.

Disabling the use of Win Key:
If your are a gaming freak then you must be sick of the Win key in your keyboard. To disable use of Win key, open registry by going to Start then Run and entering regedit. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout] . In this look for value of "Scancode Map". Its binary data so be extra careful: Set its value to "00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 5B E0 00 00 5C E0 00 00 00 00" to disable the win key.

Restarting Windows without Restarting the Computer:
This one is again is. When you click on the SHUTDOWN button, make sure to simultaneous press SHIFT Button. If you hold the Shift key down while clicking on SHUTDOWN button, you computer would restart without restarting the Computer. This is equivalent to term "HOT REBOOT".

Stopping XP from displaying unread messages count on Welcome Screen:
To stop XP from displaying count of unread messages, Open registry and navigate to [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail] and look for the data key "MessageExpiryDays". If you do not see this key, create one DWORD key by the name "MessageExpiryDays". Setting its value to 0 would stop Windows XP from displaying the count of unread messages.

Modify Color Selection of Default Theme:
Open registry by going to Start then Run. Entering regedit, navigate to [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ThemeManager] and locate the key

"ColorName". Right Click on it and select modify its value from "NormalColor" to "Metallic" Click Ok, and exit regedit and restart your computer.

Removing the Recycle Bin from the Desktop:
If you don't use the Recycle Bin to store deleted files , you can get rid of its desktop icon all together. Run Regedit and go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/explorer/Desktop/NameSpace Click on the "Recycle Bin" string in the right hand pane. Hit Delete, click OK.

Read Windows XP Tips & Tricks PART-2 (25/10/2006)

DISCLAIMER!!! We have not tested all the tweaks listed in this article and some of them may in fact degrade your system performance or render your OS inoperable. We will not be held responsible for what happens to your operating system/computer if you apply these tweaks. Use at your own risk. Mail Us at for more help.

Windows XP Tips & Tricks PART-2 (25/10/2006)
Adding Administrative Tools Icon To The Desktop:
Open Registry Editor. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace . Create the following key: {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153} (just copy/paste, including the brackets). Close Registry Editor. There is no need to reboot. Just wait a few seconds and see how the icon appears.

Creating The Suspend Shortcut:
Right click on the Desktop .New / Shortcut. Enter in rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState . Give it whatever name you want. Now when you click on that shortcut, your computer will shutdown and suspend.

Disable XP Load Screen:
By disabling the load screen you can boost the boot up time by a couple of seconds, if not more. To disable the load screen, open the “msconfig” utility: go to Start>Run, type in “msconfig” without quotes and press Enter. In the subsequent window, select the ‘boot.ini’ tab. Check the /NOGUIBOOT option and press ‘Apply’. Restart Windows to see the effect.

To Remove Arrow Signs From Desktop Shortcuts:
Open registry editor by going to Start then Run and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile\ and rename the string value IsShortcut to AriochIsShortcut.

Make Your Internet Explorer As Fast As FireFox:

Open registry editor by going to Start then Run and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\InternetSettings. Right click @ windows right > New > DWORD. type MaxConnectionsPerServer > You can set value (the more higher the no, the more good speed u get, e;g : 99). Create another DWORD >type MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server. Then put a high value as mentioned above. Restart I.E and you are done.

Disable Disk Performance Counters:
Win XP comes with many inbuilt performance monitoring applications that constantly examine various parts of the system. This information can be of real use to a system administrator for collecting performance statistics. However, for a home user, these statistics hold no value and since the monitoring happens all the time, it consumes a good deal of system resources. “Disk monitoring”, for example, happens in the background, and turning it off is advisable if you will not be using the performance monitoring applications. To turn it off, type in “diskperf -N” at a command prompt. To bring up the command prompt: go to Start>Run, type in “cmd” and press [Enter].

Moving My Documents Folder:
The ‘My Documents’ folder invariably ends up as the default repository of files for most Windows applications. Over a period of time, this folder starts bloating, and this, to a certain extend results in performance degradation. It might be a good idea to move the target location of the ‘My Documents’ folder to some other partition on the hard drive, or to a different drive. To do so, right click on ‘My Documents’, and on the ‘Target’ tab, click on ‘Move’. In the subsequent dialog box, browse to the drive where you want to move the folder. Then click ‘Make New Folder’ to create a new folder, and name it appropriately. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘Yes’.

Removing Multiple Boot Screens:
If you are getting unwanted multiple boot screen Then Follow these Steps. 1> Right Click on My Computer 2>Select Properties 3>Select Advanced Tab 4>Select Settings In the Startup & Recovery Section(3rd grp) 5>Select the operating system which u want. 6>And Click OK. 7>Further again press the setting and click on Edit. 8>It will open boot.ini File. 9>Now u can delete those o/s which you don't want to be displayed. Note: For deleting operating systems from boot.ini file, keep it mind that you can't delete that o/s which is selected by default there. Before making any changes make a copy of boot.ini file.

Enabling Hibernation:
Go to diplay properties>screen savers>power>hibernate. Check 'Enable Hibernation'. Press shift button after you click 'Turn Off Computer' in start menu.

To Increase the Internet Speed:
Open Notepad and paste the below code in it. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters] "SackOpts"=dword:00000001 "TcpWindowSize"=dword:0005ae4c "Tcp1323Opts"=dword:00000003 "DefaultTTL"=dword:00000040

"EnablePMTUBHDetect"=dword:00000000 "EnablePMTUDiscovery"=dword:00000001 "GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize"=dword:0005ae4c Now save this file as speed.reg. Execute it and observe the change!

Speed Up Browsing By DNS Cache:
Each time you browse a web site on the internet, the actual site name you type is resolved to an IP address. This translation is effected through what is called the DNS (Domain Name System). This DNS information is stored in your computer so that each time you type a web address , a record of its IP address is stored so that it can be recalled later without having to retrieve it again. One way to speed up your browsing experience is to increase this DNS cache in windows XP. You will need to modify registry for this. Start notepad & enter the following text into it: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es|Dnscache\Parameters] "CacheHashTableBucketSize"=dword:00000001 "CacheHashTableSize"=dword:00000180 "MaxCacheEntryTtILimit"=dword:0000fa00 "MaxSOACacheEntryTtILimit"=dword:0000012d Save this file, naming it dnscache.reg . Double click on the file in windows explorer & merge it into your registry.

Changing Your Dynamic IP Address:
1. Click on "Start" in the bottom left hand corner of screen 2. Click on "Run" 3. Type in "command" and hit okay 4. Type "ipconfig /release" just like that, and hit "enter" 5. Type "exit" and leave the prompt 6. Right-click on "Network Places" or "My Network Places" on your desktop. 7. Click on "properties" 8. Right click on "Local Area Connection" and click "properties" 9. Double-click on the "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" from the list under the "General" tab 10. Click on "Use the following IP address" under the "General" tab 11. Create an IP address (It doesn't matter what it is. I just type 1 and 2 until it fill the area up). 12. Press "Tab" and it should automatically fill in the "Subnet Mask" section with default numbers. 13. Hit the "ok" button here 14. Hit the "ok" button again 15. Right-click back on "Local Area Connection" and go to properties again. 16. Go back to the "TCP/IP" settings 17. This time, select "Obtain an IP address automatically" 18. Hit "ok" 19. Hit "ok" again 20. You now have a new IP address

Using The Mouse Wheel To Control The Font Size:
Try using the Control key with the mouse wheel. This works a zoom function. You do this for Office 2000 applications as well, but in IE it just works on the text, so the page stays somewhat the same.

Saving File Searches:
While on the Desktop or with the Explorer, press F3 to start the search Click Options / Save Results. Do the search. After the search select File / Save Search. An icon will be placed on the desktop with the search results.

Deleting The Index.Dat File:

The INDEX.DAT file keeps a record of all the web sites you have visited. Normally you can't simply delete this file since it is protected by the operating system. However, there is a way: 1. Close all running applications 2. Open a command window (CMD.EXE) 3. Go to to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5 (where username is the replaced by your current login name) 4. Start the Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc) 5. Click on the Processes tab 6. Select EXPLORER.EXE and click on End Process 7. The screen will be blank except for the command window 8. Delete the INDEX.DAT file 9. Go back to the Task Manager 10. Do File / Run / Explorer and the desktop will be back

Change Or Add OEM Logo And Information:
By default, the General tab (right-click My Computer, or double-click System in Control Panel) contains information on the Windows version, processor, memory, registered user and registration identity. Optional items include the manufacturer and model, a small picture, and a button leading to a separate page of support information. The information is not held in the registry, but in an old-style .INI file, which can be created in any plain-text editor including Windows Notepad. This file can have two sections: 1.The first section, has a section header called [General], and within that section - two entries: Manufacturer=<text> Model=<text> 2.The second section, headed [Support Information], is optional, but if present adds a button with that label to the page. The entries after that heading should be in the form: Line1=<some text> Line2=<more text> Line3=<more text> and so on. The limit on the number and length of lines seems limited only by the 64 KB general limit on .INI files. The file should be saved in the %systemroot%\system folder (for Windows 98/ME computers) or in %systemroot%\system32 folder (for W2K/XP/2003 computers) as OEMINFO.INI. The picture is a 256-colour-Windows bitmap (.BMP) file. Microsoft states that the size should be 96 pixels square when using small fonts in Display Property settings, or 120 square with large fonts. The file should be saved in the %systemroot%\system folder (for Windows 98/ME computers) or in %systemroot%\system32 folder (for W2K/XP/2003 computers) as OEMLOGO.BMP. No other entry in the .INI file is required, but the latter must exist and have a populated [General] section for the bitmap to be visible in Display Properties. No reboot is necessary in order for the hack to take place. Press the ÿ +BREAK keys and see for yourself. For example, using this OEMINFO.INI file: [General] Manufacturer=[YOUR NAME] Model=[YOUR COMPUTER MODEL] [Support Information] Line1=Visit my home page at Line2= Line3= Line4= Line5=For hundreds of tips, tricks, knowledge base articles and much more! Line6= Line7=You can also contact me by using the following e-mail address: Line8= Line9=[YOUR ID]@xyz.COM

Breaking The XP Password:
In case of user password boot the pc in safemode by pressing the F8 key and then selecting the Safe Mode option. You can now logon as an administrator and XP wont prompt for the password. Incase of an administrator account try rebooting the pc in DOS. access C:\Windows\system32\config\sam . Rename SAM as SAM.mj Now XP wont ask for password next time You Login. Also 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Go to the cmd prompt . Type net user *. It will list all the users. Again type net user "administrator" or the name of the administrator "name" *. e.g.: net user aaaaaa *(where aaaaaa is the name). It will ask for the password. Type the password and there you are done.

Logging In As Administrator:
Hold the Ctrl-Alt key and press Del twice. 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

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 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

Shutdown Icon Explained:
As in XP Tips Part 1WindowsXP 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: • • • • • • • • -l - Logs off the current user, this is also the defualt. -m ComputerName takes precedence. -s - Shuts down the local computer. -r - Reboots after shutdown. -a - Aborts shutdown. Ignores other parameters, except -l and ComputerName. You can only use -a during the time-out period. -f - Forces running applications to close. -m [\\ComputerName] - Specifies the computer that you want to shut down. -t xx - Sets the timer for system shutdown in xx seconds. The default is 20 seconds. -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.

Scheduling a Shutdown:
Goto scheduled tasks and start a new schedule, browse shutdown.exe from system32 folder, select time or day to run scheduled task enter administrator password and on next screen check the option for opening advance screen and then append -s at the end of this line "C:\WINDOWS\system32\shutdown.exe"

Accessing Stored User Names And Passwords:
Access Stored User Names and Passwords with rundll32.exe in Windows XP 1. Click on START - RUN Type rundll32.exe keymgr.dll,KRShowKeyMgr 2. Press Enter

Add Desired Test To Time Area:
1.Open control panel 2.Double click on Regional and Language Option 3.Under Regional Option TAB. Click Customize 4.Click the time TAB 5.Change THE "AM" symbol to desired TEXT. 6.Change THE "PM" symbol to desired TEXT.

Hiding Your Computer In a Workgroup:
These settings will permanently hiding your computer from a workgroup: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Open registry, START --> RUN --> Type 'Regedit' Double click on 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE' Double click on 'SYSTEM' Double click on 'CurrentControlSet' Double click on 'Services' Double click on 'LanmanServer' Single click on 'Parameters' On the right panel, Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, named "Hidden" and set it to "1". (Without Quots) 9. Close the Registry, then restart your computer.

To Disable Right-Click On Desktop:
Goto Start> RUN and Enter REGEDIT. Browse the following key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Sofware\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer Create a new DWORD (edit ;new ; dwordvalue ;). With a value=1 ( Rightclick on the newly created DWORD and click on modify then change its value to 1) Restart Your Computer and you are done.

Disabling Unnecessary Programs At Startup:
Many programs add portions of themselves starting automatically on every login.This can be either in the Startup Folder or the Registry. One easy way to tell is by looking at how many icons are in your system tray. If you have a large number, perhaps unnecessary resources are being allocated them as well as increasing your boot time. Typical examples are Microsoft Office, Office FindFast, Real Player, ATI Video setting etc. You can remove them in one of three main ways: In the Start / Programs / Startup Folder In the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run

To convert a FAT partition to NTFS:
Click Start, click Programs, and then click Command Prompt. In Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type cmd and then click OK. At the command prompt, type CONVERT [driveletter]: /FS:NTFS. Convert.exe will attempt to convert the partition to NTFS. NOTE: Although the chance of corruption or data loss during the conversion from FAT to NTFS is minimal, it is best to perform a full backup of the data on the drive that it is to be converted prior to executing the convert command. It is also recommended to verify the integrity of the backup before proceeding, as well as to run RDISK and update the emergency repair disk (ERD).

DISCLAIMER!!! We have not tested all the tweaks listed in this article and some of them may in fact degrade your system performance or render your OS inoperable. We will not be held responsible for what happens to your operating system/computer if you apply these tweaks. Use at your own risk. Mail Us at for more help.

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