WindowsXP Tips


Services You Can Disable – Updated 10/30/03
Faster DOS Printing – Added 6/21/03
Cleaning the Prefetch Directory – Added 3/2/03
Increasing the Folder Cache – Added 1/6/03
Increasing Graphics Performance – Added 11/27/01
Disabling Balloon Tips – Added 11/9/01
Speeding Up the Display of Start Menu Items – 11/8/01

Networking / Internet

IPCONFIG Error – Added 9/15/07
Browse Master Monitor – Added 2/8/07
Repairing Damaged Winsock2 – Updated 2/6/07
Network Connection Always Shows Access Denied – Added 2/6/07
Speeding Up Network Browsing – Added 11/14/05
Opening Shared Folders Snap-In – Added 8/17/05
Viewing Your IP Address Information – Added 8/17/05
Opening Ports or Adding Allowed Programs with SP2’s Firewall – Added 9/30/04
Guest Only Network Access – Added 4/11/04
Not Displaying Previous Network Share Shortcuts – Added 3/26/004
Hiding a XP Computer from Network Neighborhood – Added 3/26/04
Easy Way to Share Multiple Folders – Added 3/26/04
Running Network Diagnostics – Added 3/4/04
Network Access After Norton Anti-Virus Install – Added 12/9/03
Adding TCP/IP Printers – Added 1/7/03
Installing Java Virtual Machine – Updated 12/21/02
Disable Shared Documents – Added 11/23/02
Fix Browsing Delay to Win98/ME Computers – Added 5/4/02
Using the Internet Explorer Classic Search – Added 4/20/02
WINIPCFG for XP – Added 4/1/02
Allowing Network Access with Blank Passwords – Added 3/23/02
Reinstalling the TCP/IP Protocol – Added 3/2/02
Remembering Outlook / Outlook Express Password – Submitted 1/26/02
Turning Off the Firewall – Added 1/26/02
Installing the NetBEUI Protocol – Added 11/7/01
Setting System Time Over the Internet – Added 11/5/01
Configuring the Firewall – Added 8/16/01
Changing the Internet Explorer Title – Added 8/16/01

SpeedUp My PC


Windows Help and Support Error – Added 11/19/05
Make Pictures Smaller Unavailable – Added 8/17/05
Identify Faulty Device Drivers – Added 3/2/05
Operation Was Attempted on Something That Is Not a Socket Error – Added 11/19/04
Autoexec.nt or Config.nt Errors – Added 9/17/04
Windows Explorer Opens Search Companion Rather than the Folder – Added 9/1/04
Running SFC without a CD ROM – Added 6/9/04
Fixing Cryptographic Services Error – Added 12/8/03
Fixing Explorer Searching Rather Than Opening Directories – Added 11/30/03
Repair Install – Added 2/9/03
Missing or Corrupt NTOSKRNL – Added 2/9/03
Missing or Corrupt HAL.DLL – Added 2/9/03
Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG – Added 2/9/03
NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM Not Found – Added 2/9/03
ReInstalling WindowsXP – Added 5/21/02


Configure for Auto-Logon – Added 11/28/03
Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages – Added 3/2/03
Bringing Up the Shutdown Dialog Box – Added 1/31/03
Hiding the Last User Logged On – Added 1/4/03
Poweroff at Shutdown – Added 1/4/03
Adding SafeBoot to the Boot Menu – Added 4/23/02
Speeding the Startup of Some CD Burner Programs – Added 4/23/02
No GUI Boot – Added 4/23/02
Getting Rid of Unread Email Messages– Updated 4/20/02
Re-Installing User Login Pictures – Added 4/5/02
Decreasing Boot Time – Added 3/4/02
Hide/Unhide Logon Names – Added 3/3/02
Original NT Style Logon Screen – Updated 1/19/02
Creating a Shutdown/Reboot Icon – Added 11/11/01

Desktop / Toolbar / Explorer

Showing Common Tasks in Window – Added 11/25/05
Not Viewing Zip Files as Folders – Added 3/4/04
Restoring Desktop Icon to the Quicklaunch Bar – Added 12/26/03
Remembering Folder Settings – Added 12/21/02
Disable Explorer Thumbnail View – Added 12/4/02
Saving Desktop Settings – Added 9/11/02
Hiding the Windows Version on the Desktop – Added 9/10/02
Controlling the Desktop Cleanup Wizard – Added 7/24/02
Using the Classic Search in Explorer – Added 4/11/02
Search Companion Error – Added 4/1/02
Opening a Command Prompt to a Particular Directory from Explorer – Added 3/18/02
Selecting What Details to Display in the Explorer – Added 2/3/02
Changing the Default Search Settings – Added 11/5/01
Opening an Explorer Window to the Directory You Want – Added 9/4/01
Displaying the QuickLaunch Toolbar – Added 8/16/01
Displaying and Configuring the Classic Start Menu – Added 8/16/01


Taking Ownership Of a Folder – 2/6/07
Task Manager is Menu Bar is Missing – Added 2/6/07
Hiding Manage My Computer – Added 11/25/05
Finding Your XP Product ID – Added 11/25/05
Forgotten Admin or User’s Password – Added 11/25/05
Renaming Multiple Files in a Directory – Added 11/19/05
Disable Windows Tour – Added 11/19/05
Editing the Boot.ini file – Added 10/18/05
Running CHKDSK– Added 8/17/05
Additional Utilities – Added 8/17/05
Creating a Suspend Shortcut – Submitted 3/2/05
Changing the User Type – Added 3/2/05
Determining Which Services are Associated with SVCHOST – Added 3/2/05
Viewing Installed Drivers – Added 3/2/05
Common Control Panel Applets – Added 9/17/04
System32 Folder Opens When Logging On – Added 3/26/04
Setting Capslock, Numlock, Scroll Lock – Added 3/4/04
DOS Tips in XP – Submitted 3/4/04
Stopping the Messenger Service – Added 6/21/03
Accessing Non-Listed Display Configurations – Added 3/2/03
Stop Password Expiration – Updated 12/21/02
Preventing Applications from Stealing the Focus – Added 12/4/02
Adding Environment Variables – Added 12/4/02
Disable Passport Pop-Up – Added 11/26/02
Show Hidden Devices – Submitted 11/26/02
Spell Check Not Working With Outlook Express and Office97 – Added 11/23/02
Disable the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon’s menu – Submitted 11/23/02
Prevent the Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS) icon from appearing in the notification tray – Submitted 11/23/02
Printing a Directory – Added 11/12/02
Removing Thumbs.db Files – Added 11/12/02
Enable / Disable the Task Manager – Added 10/17/02
Using Media Player 6.4 – Added 9/10/02
Clearing the Page File on Shutdown – Updated 7/24/02
Restoring Access to CD ROMs – Added 5/22/02
Setting the Dir Command to Display Filenames on the Left – Added 5/10/02
Dell Computer Not Keeping Correct Time – Added 5/5/02
Formatting a Partition Greater than 32 GIG with FAT32 – Added 4/27/02
Logging in as Administrator – Added 4/11/02
Correcting Fast User Switching Error – Added 4/11/02
No To All When Overwriting Files – Added 4/5/02
Installing the Backup Program on the Home Version – Added 4/1/02
Changing Drive Letters – Added 3/30/02
Turn off the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer as the Default Image Viewer – Updated 3/29/02
Changing the Default DOS Window Properties – Added 3/22/02
Changing the Registered Owner – Added 3/20/02
Adding Time Servers – Added 3/18/02
Creating a Boot Floppy – Added 3/14/02
Changing the Login Screen Saver – Added 3/8/02
Running NetMeeting – Added 3/8/02
Set the Online Registration as Being Completed – Added 3/4/02
Re-Enabling System Restore – Added 3/3/02
Renaming the Start Button – Added 2/25/02
Rollback a Device Driver – Added 2/18/02
Closing Multiple Taskbar Items – Submitted 2/3/02
Grouping Similar Taskbar Buttons – Added 1/26/02
Turning Off the Guest Account – Added 1/22/02
Turning Off the Built-In CD Burner – Added 1/15/02
Hiding System Tray Icons – Added 1/10/02
Faster Task Switching – Added 1/6/02
WindowsXP Command Line Utilities – Added 2/5/02
Disabling Error Reporting – Added 12/5/01
Adding a Title for the Command Prompt Title Bar – Added 11/27/01

Creating an Automated Install of WindowsXP – Added 11/12/01
Command Line Help Reference – Added 11/11/01
Using the System File Checker – Added 11/11/01
Creating a Password Recovery Disk – Added 11/5/01
Disabling Hibernation – Added 8/20/01
Locking the Workstation – Added 8/19/01
Changing the Picture Displayed for a User – Added 8/19/01
Removing the MSN Messenger – Added 8/16/01
Common Command Console Utilities – Added 8/16/01
Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks – Added 8/16/01
Changing Visual Effects – Added 8/16/01
Changing System Restore Settings – Added 8/16/01
Changing Programs That Start Automatically – Added 8/16/01
Adding / Removing Additional Programs – Added 8/16/01
Increasing File System Caching – Added 8/16/01
Enabling NumLock on by Default – Added 8/16/01


Added 9/15/07

When you run IPCONFIG and get an error:

An internal error occured: The request is not supported.
Please contact Microsoft Product Support Services for further help.
Additional information: Unable to query routing information

You need to copy a clean TCPIP.SYS file to the \windows\system32\drivers directory and reboot.

You can download TCPIP.SYS from my site

Browse Master Monitor

Added 2/8/07

If you have trouble browsing the network with only a few computers, you might check to see what Browse Master they are using.
There is a utility from Microsoft that will let you see what each computer is using for a  browse master called Browsemon.

Download Browsemon

Taking Ownership Of a Folder

Added 2/6/07

Sometimes when you reinstall WindowsXP, you can receive an Access Denied error when trying to open a previous user’s directory.
To take ownership of that folder again:

  1. Log on with an account that has administrator rights
  2. Right click on the folder
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Security tab
  5. Click on the Advanced button
  6. Click on the Owner tab
  7. In the list of Names, click on your name
  8. To take ownership, click on Replace owner on subcontainers and objects
  9. Click OK and Yes

 Repairing Damaged Winsock2

Updated 2/6/07

The symptoms when Winsock2 is damaged shows when you try to release and renew the IP address using IPCONFIG.

And you get the following error message:
An error occurred while renewing interface ‘Internet’: An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket.

Also Internet Explorer may give the following error message:
The page cannot be displayed Additionally, you may have no IP address or no Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) address, and you may be receiving IP packets but not sending them


If you have WindowsXP with Service Pack 2, there is a one line command you can run to reset the winsock2 registry entries
netsh winsock reset catalog


There are two easy ways to determine if Winsock2 is damaged:

From the XP source files, go to the Support / Tools directory

Winsock Test Method 1
Run netdiag /test:winsock

The end should say Winsock test ….. passed

Winsock Test Method 2

  1. Run Msinfo32
  2. Click on the + by Components
  3. Click on the by Network
  4. Click on Protocol
  5. There should be 10 sections if the Winsock2 key is ok

RSVP UDP Service Provider
RSVP TCP Service Provider
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…
MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip…

If the names are anything different from those in this list, then likely Winsock2 is corrupted and needs to be repaired.
If you have any 3rd party software installed, the name MSAFD may be changed.
There should be no fewer than 10 sections.

To repair Winsock2

  1. Run Regedit
  2. Delete the following two registry keys:


Download Reg file to delete these entries

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Go to Network Connections
  3. Right click and select Properties
  4. Click on the Install button
  5. Select Protocol
  6. Click on the Add  button
  7. Click on the Have Disk button
  8. Browse to the \Windows\inf directory
  9. Click on the Open button
  10. Click on the OK button
  11. Highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
  12. Click on the OK button
  13. Reboot

Or Download Reg file to add the correct registries back in. Then reboot the computer

Task Manager is Menu Bar is Missing

Added 2/6/07

If you start the Task Manager and menu bar and tabs are missing,
the Task Manager is running in Tiny Footprint mode.

To fix this, simply double click on an empty space in the top border

Network Connection Always Shows Access Denied

Added 2/6/07

If you are always getting Access Denied errors when trying to connect to a XP computer,
and you know you have the correct user names and passwords on the computer,
the solution may be a simple registry edit.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet / Control / Lsa
  3. Change the value of a key called “restrictanonymous” to 0 instead of 1
  4. Don’t change “restrictanonymoussam” value.
  5. Reboot

Hiding Manage My Computer

Added 11/25/05

If you want to remove Manage My Computer from My Computer

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Policies / Explorer
  3. Create a DWORD value called NoManageMyComputerVerb
  4. Set the value to 1
  5. Reboot

Finding Your XP Product ID

Added 11/25/05

There is a great little utility available to help you find your currently installed product ID

It also works for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Office 97, and Office XP

Forgotten Admin or User’s Password

Added 11/25/05

You do not need to reinstall if you forgot the admin password.

There is a boot disk you can download at:

that will let you reset the password of any account on NT4, Windows2000 or XP.

Just follow all the default settings which are for the admin account. Used it many
times with great success.

They also have a bootable CD image you can download.

Showing Common Tasks in Window

Added 11/25/05

When you open a window from My Computer or the Control Panel, and you don’t see the blue bar with additional options on the left side, you may simply need to turn on Common Tasks

  1. From that same windows, go to Tools / Folder Options
  2. Check Show common tasks in folders

Renaming Multiple Files in a Directory

Added 11/19/05

If you want to rename multiple files in the same directory:

  1. Using the Windows Explorer, select all the files you want to rename
  2. Press F2 or right click and select Rename
  3. Enter the prefix for the name you want (e.g. Newname)
  4. This will automatically rename the rest of the files Newname (1).jpg, Newname (2).jpg etc.
  5. Make sure you include the extension if you have the Explorer configured to show them.

Disable Windows Tour

Added 11/19/05

If you want to disable the Take Tour of Windows XP that comes up after you install WindowsXP:

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Tour
  3. Create a new DWORD key called RunCount
  4. Give it a value of 0

Download Reg File

Windows Help and Support Error

Added 11/19/05

If you get an error Windows cannot find HELPCTR.EXE, it may be that a registry entry has gotten corrupted.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE
  3. If the key isn’t there, right click and create a new key HELPCTR.EXE
  4. It should have a value of C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe
  5. Reboot

Speeding Up Network Browsing

Added 11/14/05

There are a lot of things which can negatively impact how fast XP will browse network shares.
One has been previously covered regarding browsing to Win9x computers.

Other things you can try, especially when there is slow browsing to network shares with a lot of files:

1. Remove current shortcuts in My Network Places

2. Change the registry so shared folders on remote computers are not automatically added to My Network Places when you even open a document from that shared folder

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Create a DWORD value:
  3. HKEY_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer \ NoRecentDocsNetHood to 1.
  4. I have also seen setting the following help as well.
    HKEY_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer \ UseDesktopIniCache to 1.

Download Reg file to do both

3. Increase the amount of data is buffered at one time to send to a client. On the computer with the shared directory:

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters
  3. Create a DWORD Key called SizReqBuf
  4. Give it a value of Hex FFFF

Download Reg file

Editing the Boot.ini file

Added 10/18/05

The boot.ini file is a simple text file that is on the root of the boot drive.
You can edit this with any plain text editor like Notepad (may need to unhide the file first)

  1. Right click on My Computer
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Under Startup and Recovery, click on the Settings button
  5. Click on the Edit button

Running CHKDSK

Added 8/17/05

One way to run a chkdsk (this is like Scandisk that was with Win9X), is to

  1. Double click on My Computer
  2. Right click on the drive you want to check
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Tools tab
  5. Click on the Check Now button
  6. Check to Automatically fix file system errors – This is the same as running chkdsk /f
  7. If you want to Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, check that box – This is the same as running chkdsk /R. It can also add a lot of time to the scan
  8. Reboot if necessary

You can also run chkdsk from the command line with will give you more options.
The following switches are available:

/F – fix any errors
/R – identifies bad sectors
/V – with FAT32, displays a verbose output
With NTFS Volumes:
/I – Performs simpler check (stage 2)
/C – Skips the checking of cycles within folder structures
/X – Forces the volume to dismount if necessary.  Intended for server administrators and should be avoided for normal use

Opening Shared Folders Snap-In

Added 8/17/05

To manage all your shared folders, you can run the snap-in directly

Start / Run / fsmgmt.msc

This will show you all your shared folders in a single window
You can also see what other computers are connected and what files they have open

Additional Utilities

Added 8/17/05

On the XP CD in the \Support\Tools directory, there are a lot of additional support and troubleshooting utilities.
You can run SETUP from that directory to install them.

Just a few are:

diruse Shows Disk Usage
dupfinder Finds Duplicate files
getmac Get’s MAC address of the network card
hostname Shows the host name of the computer
netdiag Diagnoses a variety of network components
pviewer Show a list of process and allows you to get a memory detail or kill any process
windiff Compare files and directories

Viewing Your IP Address Information

Added 8/17/05

There are several ways you can determine your IP address information:


  1. Start / Run / cmd

This opens a command window. One advantage is that you can send the information to a text file (IPCONFIG /ALL > c:\ip.txt)
But sometimes the window shows show much information you need to scroll around to fine it.


  1. Control Panel / Network Connections / Double click the icons for your network (If the network has an icon in the system tray you can also just double click on that icon)
  2. Click on the Support tab
  3. Click on the Details button

Make Pictures Smaller Unavailable

Added 8/17/05

When you try and send pictures through e-mail, you should normally be given the option to make them smaller.
If this option is not available, a DLL file may need to be registered.

  1. Start
  2. Run
  3. regsvr32 shimgvw.dll

 Creating a Suspend Shortcut

Submitted 3/2/05

If you would like to create an icon to suspend your computer,

  1. Right click on the Desktop
  2. New / Shortcut
  3. Enter in rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState
  4. Give it whatever name you want
  5. Now when you click on that shortcut, your computer will shutdown and suspend

Submitted by Gabe

 Changing the User Type

Added 3/2/05

Normally in XP Pro, through the Control Panel / User Accounts icon, you are only allowed to create administrators or limited users.
If you want to create

  1. Right click on My Computer
  2. Manage
  3. Local Users and Groups
  4. Users
  5. Right click on the user you want to change
  6. Properties
  7. Member of tab
  8. Add button
  9. Advanced button
  10. Find Now button
  11. From here you see the full list of possibilities (e.g. Power User, Backup Operator etc.)

 Determining Which Services are Associated with SVCHOST

Added 3/2/05

Since so many critical services are run with each svchost,
You can see which ones are being used by opening a cmd prompt and running:

tasklist /svc /fi “imagename eq svchost.exe”

Note: This is available only with XP Pro

 Identify Faulty Device Drivers


If you are having problems with lockups, blue screens, or can only get to safe mode,
often the problem is due to a faulty device driver.

One way to help identify them is through the use of the Verfier program

  1. Start / Run / Verifier
  2. Keep the default of Create Standard Settings
  3. Select the type of drivers you want to confirm
  4. A list of drivers to be verified on the next boot will be shown.
  5. Reboot
  6. If your computer stops with a blue screen, you should get an error message with the problem driver
  7. To turn off the Verifier, run verifier /reset

 Viewing Installed Drivers

Added 3/2/05

If you want to see a list of installed drivers, you can run the driverquery program
There are a lot of available switches to view different types of information.
On use can be to export to a CSV file for viewing in Excel
An example would then be:

Driverquery  /v  /fo  csv  > drivers.csv

 Operation Was Attempted on Something That Is Not a Socket Error

Added 11/19/04

If you get this error when you try and renew your IP address,
Likely the winsock2 registry entries are corrupted.

The basic steps to fix this are:

  1. Remove the old registry entries – Download Reg file
  2. Import the correct registry entries – Download Reg file
  3. Reboot the computer

 Opening Ports or Adding Allowed Programs with SP2’s Firewall

Added 9/30/04

  1. Click on Start / Run
  2. Enter in firewall.cpl
  3. Click on the Exceptions tab

Adding a Port for Internet Access:

  1. Click on the Add Port button
  2. Name it whatever you want
  3. Enter in the ports you want to open

Adding a Program for Internet Access

  1. Click on Add Program… button
  2. A list of all installed programs will be displayed
  3. Highlight the one you want to include for Internet access
  4. Click on the OK button

 Autoexec.nt or Config.nt Errors

Added 9/17/04

If you are getting errors similar to:
The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose ‘Close’ to terminate the application.

Try copying the file from \windows\repair directory to the one that is in the \windows\system32 directory.

 Common Control Panel Applets

Added 9/17/04

The follow are some common Control Panel Applets that are located in the \windows\system32 directory.
If you find yourself using any of these frequently, then you can simply make shortcuts to them on your desktop.

appwiz.cpl  Add/Remove Programs
desk.cpl  Display Properties
firewall.cpl  Firewall Settings
inetcpl.cpl  Internet Options
mmsys.cpl  Sound and Audio
ncpa.cpl  Network Connections
nusrmgr.cpl  User Accounts
powercfg.cpl  Power Options
sysdm.cpl  System Properties
wscui.cpl  Security Center
wuaucpl.cpl  Automatic Updates Configuration

Windows Explorer Opens Search Companion Rather than the Folder

If the Windows Explorer opens up the Search Companion rather than opening up the actual folder, the default setting for opening a folder is changed.

To correct this:

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

Download reg file

 Running SFC without a CD ROM

Added 6/9/04

If you run sfc /scannow and get prompted to insert a CD,
there are a couple of changes you might need to make.

Slipstream your copy of WindowsXP with the latest service pack you have applied.
For detailed unstructions on how to do this see:
SlipStreaming a Service Pack into Windows XP

Once these files are on your hard drive, you can simply make a few registry changes to point to those locations.

Start Regedit

Go to the follow locations and change the path to wherever you copied the source files.

the last one might not be necessary
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SourcePath

 Guest Only Network Access

Added 4/11/04

If you try and connect to an XP computer and are shown a logins screen with only the computername/Guest,
You may need to change one of the Local Security Policies:

  1. Got to Control Panel – Administrative Tools
  2. Go to Local Policies – Security Options
  3. Check teh Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts
  4. Set it to Classic – local users authenticate as themselves

 Not Displaying Previous Network Share Shortcuts

Added 3/26/04

By default, when you go to Network Places, it will scan and show shortcuts to previous network shares.
To turn this off and remove any current shortcuts

  1. Open up the Windows Explorer
  2. Go to Tools / Folder Options / View
  3. The top section should be Files and Folders
  4. Uncheck Automatically search for network folders and printers
  5. Then go into Network Neighborhood Select all the previous netowork connections Delete them
  6. Next time you look at the Network Neighborhood, they should not repopulate

 Hiding a XP Computer from Network Neighborhood

Added 3/26/04

If you want to share files from a XP computer,
yet want to remove it from showing up in the Network Neighborhood,

Run net config server /hidden:yes

Easy Way to Share Multiple Folders

Added 3/26/04

If you need to share multiple folders, running the program SHRPUBW.EXE  will bring up a simple dialog box to let you:

  1. Browse to the folder you want to share
  2. Enter in a Share name
  3. Ender in a Share description
  4. Set permissions. Several choices are available
  5. Restart the process from within the same program

System32 Folder Opens When Logging On

Added 3/26/04

If the System32 folder shows on the desktop, there may be an invalid entry in the Registry

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to both:
  3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  5. Double check that the values do not have incorrect, incomplete, or blank entries

 Not Viewing Zip Files as Folders

Added 3/4/04

If you want to turn of WindowsXP showing Zip files as folders,
just run:

regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll

 Setting Capslock, Numlock, Scroll Lock

Added 3/4/04

If you want to set the startup state for any or all of these keys,
you just need to edit the registry.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Keyboard
  3. Open InitialKeyboardIndicators
  4. Change the value to one of the following numbers
    0 – All Keys off
    1 – Caps Lock on
    2 – Num Lock on
    4 – Scroll Lock on
    For multiple keys, add their values:
    3 – Caps Lock and Num Lock on
    5 – Caps Lock and Scroll Lock on
    6 – Num Lock and Scroll Lock on
    7 – Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock on
  5. Log off and back on again

 Running Network Diagnostics

Added 3/4/04

Network Diagnostics scans your system to gather information about your hardware, software, and network connections.

Start / Run / NETSH DIAG GUI

The following is the type of information that can be displayed:

  • Ping
  • Connect
  • Show
  • Verbose
  • Save to Desktop
  • Mail Service
  • News Service
  • Internet Proxy Server
  • Computer Information
  • Operating System
  • Windows Version
  • Modems
  • Network Clients
  • Network Adapters
  • Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Default Gateways
  • Internet Protocol Address
  • Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS)

 DOS Tips in XP

Submitted 3/4/04

Windows XP cmd tip (DOS isn’t dead… it just smells funny) Some command-line folder creation examples:

To create multiple folders at once, add them directly to the “md” command:

C:\> md this is a test

To create a folder several folders deep, use:

C:\> md this\is\a\test

Creating a folder with a long name requires the double-quote at the beginning:

C:\> md “this is a test

Bonus tip: Windows XP supports the forward slash “/” as a folder divider. Unix/Linux users: don’t let the DOS environment get you down. Use a Unix-style CD command to change your present working directory:

C:\> cd Windows/system32/drivers/etc

Submitted by Bob and Tina

 Restoring Desktop Icon to the Quicklaunch Bar

Added 12/26/03

If you mistakenly deleted the icon for the Desktop on the Quicklaunch toolbar

Go to C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
(where user_name is replaced by your login name)

Create a Text file called ShowDesktop.SCF with the following contents:


You can also DOWNLOAD a file, uncompress it, and copy to the toolbar or wherever you would like.

Network Access After Norton Anti-Virus Install

Added 12/9/03

Sometimes you can’t access a WinXP 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

Fixing Cryptographic Services Error

Added 12/8/03

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

Fixing Explorer Searching Rather Than Opening Directories

Added 11/30/03

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

 Configure for Auto-Logon

Added 11/28/03

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

Services You Can Disable

Updated 10/30/03

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:

  • Alerter – Sends alert messages to specified users that are connected to the server computer.
  • Application Management – Allows software to tap directly into the Add/Remove Programs feature via the Windows Installer technology.
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service – The Background Intelligent Transfer service is used by programs (such as Windows AutoUpdate) to download files by using spare bandwidth.
  • Clipbook – ClipBook permits you to cut and paste text and graphics over the network.
  • Error Reporting Service – Allows applications to send error reports to Microsoft in the event of an application fault.
  • Fast User Switching – Windows XP allows users to switch quickly between accounts, without requiring them to log off.
  • Help and Support – Allows the XP Built-in Help and Support Center to run.
  • IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service – You don’t need this if you have other software to create CDs.
  • Indexing Service – Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.
  • IP 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.
  • Messenger – 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.
  • Net 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
  • Network DDE – Provides network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer or on different computers.
  • NT LM Security Support Provider – Provides security to remote procedure call (RPC) programs that use transports other than named pipes.
  • Performance 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.
  • Portable Media Serial Number – Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player connected to your computer
  • QOS RSVP – Provides network signaling and local traffic control setup functionality for QoS-aware programs and control applets.
  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manager – Manages and controls Remote Assistance. If you are not using Remote Desktop you don’t need this service.
  • Remote Registry – Enables remote users to modify registry settings on this computer.
  • Routing & Remote Access – Offers routing services to businesses in local area and wide area network environments. Allows dial-in access.
  • Secondary Login – Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. This is what allows you to run an application as another user.
  • Smart Card – Manages access to smart cards read by this computer.
  • Smart Card Helper – Enables support for legacy non-plug and play smart-card readers used by this computer.
  • SSDP Discovery Service – Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.
  • TCP/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.
  • Telnet – Enables a remote user to log on to this computer and run programs, and supports various TCP/IP Telnet clients.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply Service – Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the computer.
  • Universal Plug and Play Device Host – Provides support to host Universal Plug and Play devices
  • Upload Manager – Manages synchronous and asynchronous file transfers between clients and servers on the network.
  • Volume Shadow Copy Service – Manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies used for backup and other purposes.
  • Web Client – Enables Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify non-local files across the Internet.
  • Wireless Zero Configuration – Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11 adapters
  • WMI Performance Adapter – Provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf providers.

Stopping the Messenger Service

Added 6/21/03

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

Submitted by Thomas Bitner Olson

Faster DOS Printing

Submitted 6/21/03

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

Submitted by Steve Cohen

Cleaning the Prefetch Directory

Added 3/2/03

WindowsXP 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 files
  3. Delete them

Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages

Added 3/2/30

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

 Accessing Non-Listed Display Configurations

Added 3/2/03

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.

Repair Install

Added 2/9/03

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.
Make sure you have your valid WindowsXP key.
The whole process takes about half an hour depending on your computer
If you are being prompted for the administrator’s password, you need to choose the 2nd repair option, not the first.

  1. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD
  2. At the second R=Repair option, press the R key
  3. This will start the repair
  4. Press F8 for I Agree at the Licensing Agreement
  5. Press R when the directory where WindowsXP is installed is shown. Typically this is C:\WINDOWS
  6. It will then check the C: drive and start copying files
  7. It will automatically reboot when needed. Keep the CD in the drive.
  8. You will then see the graphic part of the repair that is like during a normal install of XP (Collecting Information, Dynamic Update, Preparing Installation, Installing Windows, Finalizing Installation)
  9. When prompted, click on the Next button
  10. When prompted, enter your XP key
  11. Normally you will want to keep the same Workgroup or Domain name
  12. The computer will reboot
  13. Then you will have the same screens as a normal XP Install
  14. Activate if you want (usually a good idea)
  15. Register if you want (but not necessary)
  16. Finish
  17. At this point you should be able to log in with any existing accounts.

NTOSKRNL Missing or Corrupt

Added 2/9/03

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

HAL.DLL Missing or Corrupt

Added 2/9/03

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 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. 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

Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG

Added 2/9/03

If you get the error:
Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt

  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. 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


Added 2/9/03

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.


  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. 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\:
  6. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

Bringing Up the Shutdown Dialog Box

Added 1/31/03

  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.

Submitted by DJ Speed Racer

Adding TCP/IP Printers

Added 1/7/02

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.

Increasing the Folder Cache

Added 1/6/02

The default setting for WindowsXP 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

Hiding the Last User Logged On

Added 1/4/03

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

Poweroff 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

Remembering Folder Settings

Added 12/21/02

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


Download reg file

 Stop Password Expiration

Updated 12/21/02

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

Start / Run / net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited

Added 3/18/02

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

Installing Java Virtual Machine

Updated 12/21/02

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

Preventing Applications from Stealing the Focus

Added 12/14/02

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

 Disable Explorer Thumbnail View

Added 12/4/02

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

Adding Environment Variables

Added 12/04/02

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

  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.

Disable Passport Pop-Up

Added 11/26/02

Normally, WindowsXP will prompt you 10 times that You Need a Passport to use WindowsXP 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)

Show Hidden Devices

Submitted 11/26/02

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


  3. Give it a value of 1

Download reg file

Batch File

@Echo Off
Prompt $p$g
start devmgmt.msc

Submitted by Michael Kinsel

Spell Check Not Working With Outlook Express and Office97

Added 11/23/02

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.

Disable Shared Documents

Added 11/23/02

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

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

Submitted 11/23/02

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.

Submitted by Justin Herron

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

Submitted 11/23/02

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.

Submitted by Justin Herron

Printing a Directory

Added 11/12/02

WindowsXP 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

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

Download reg file

Removing Thumbs.db Files

Added 11/12/02

When viewing a folder with the Thumbnail view, WindowsXP 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.

Enable / Disable the Task Manager

Added 10/17/02

  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

Saving Desktop Settings

Added 9/11/02

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

Hiding the Windows Version on the Desktop

Added 9/10/02

If your version of WindowsXP 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.

Using Media Player 6.4

Added 9/10/02

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.

 Controlling the Desktop Cleanup Wizard

Added 7/24/02

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

 Clearing the Page File on Shutdown

Updated 7/24/02

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

Submitted by Arthur Pounder

Added 8/16/01

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

Download reg file

 Restoring Access to CD ROMs

Added 5/22/02

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:

Download Reg File

 ReInstalling WindowsXP

Added 5/21/02

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

  1. Start WindowsXP

  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.

Setting the Dir Command to Display Filenames on the Left

Added 5/10/02

Previous versions of Windows displayed the filenames on the left hand side when you run the dir command.
WindowsXP 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

Dell Computer Not Keeping Correct Time

Added 5/5/02

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

Fix Browsing Delay to Win98/ME Computers

Added 5/18/01

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

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

Download reg file

Formatting a Partition Greater than 32 GIGs with FAT32

Added 4/27/02

WindowsXP 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. WindowsXP will then be able to use the partition with no problems

Adding SafeBoot to the Boot Menu

Added 4/23/02

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

No GUI Boot

Added 4/23/02

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

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

Speeding the Startup of Some CD Burner Programs

Added 4/23/02

If you use program other than the native WindowsXP 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 dontYou should notice

 Getting Rid of Unread Email Messages

Updated 4/20/02

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

 Using the Internet Explorer Classic Search

Added 4/20/02

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

 Logging in as Administrator

Added 4/11/02

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

 Correcting Fast User Switching Error

Added 4/11/02

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

 Using the Classic Search in Explorer

Added 4/11/02

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

No To All When Overwriting Files

Added 4/5/02

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.

 Re-Installing User Login Pictures

Added 4/5/02

Normally WindowsXP 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

If you need to reinstall them, they can be expanded from the source CD. The actual files are:
pink flower.bmp
dirt bike.bmp
palm tree.bmp
red flower.bmp


Added 4/1/02

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:

The actual file is at:

 Search Companion Error

Added 4/1/02

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

Installing the Backup Program on the Home Version

Added 4/1/02

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

Changing Drive Letters

Added 3/30/02

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

Note: This can only be done for drives that do not have the Operating System Installed or you are booting to.

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

Updated 3/29/02

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

Added 3/4/02

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

 Allowing Network Access with Blank Passwords

Added 3/23/02

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

 Changing the Default DOS Window Properties

Added 3/22/02

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

  • Size
  • Color
  • Font
  • Buffer Size
  • Window / 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

 Changing the Registered Owner

Added 3/20/02

  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

Opening a Command Prompt to a Particular Directory from Explorer

Added 3/18/02

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

 Adding Time Servers

Added 3/18/02

With WindowsXP, 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.

 Creating a Boot Floppy

Added 3/14/02

To create a bootable floppy from within WindowsXP:

  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

 Changing the Login Screen Saver

Added 3/8/02

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

 Running NetMeeting

Added 3/8/02

To run NetMeeting:

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

 Set the Online Registration as Being Completed

Added 3/4/02

You can set WindowsXP 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

Decreasing Boot Time

Added 3/4/02

Microsoft has made available a program to analyze and decrease the time it takes to boot to WindowsXP
The program is called BootVis

  1. Uncompress the file.
  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.

 Re-Enabling System Restore

Added 3/3/02

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.

 Hide/Unhide Logon Names

Added 3/3/02

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

 Reinstalling the TCP/IP Protocol

Added 3/2/02

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.

netsh  int  ip  reset  ip_reset.txt

 Renaming the Start Button

Added 2/25/02

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

Rollback a Device Driver

Added 2/18/02

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

 Selecting What Details to Display in the Explorer

Added 2/3/02

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:

  • Owner
  • Name
  • Size
  • Type
  • Date Modified
  • Status
  • Attributes
  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Category
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Copyright
  • Date Created
  • Date Accessed
  • Attributes
  • Artist
  • Album Title
  • Year
  • Track Number
  • Genre
  • Duration
  • Bit Rate
  • Protected
  • Camera Model
  • Date Picture Taken
  • Dimensions
  • Company
  • Description
  • File Version
  • Product Name
  • Product Version

 Closing Multiple Taskbar Items

Submitted 2/3/02

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).

Submitted by Terry Cadieux

 Remembering Outlook / Outlook Express Password

Submitted 1/26/02

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.

Submitted by Naste

 Turning Off the Firewall

Added 1/26/02

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

 Grouping Similar Taskbar Buttons

Added 1/26/02

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, WindowsXP 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

 Turning Off the Guest Account

Added 1/22/02

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

 Original NT Style Logon Screen

Updated 1/19/02

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.

The following Update Submitted by:
Steven Pennypacker

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

Turning Off the Built-In CD Burner

Added 1/15/02

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

  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

Hiding System Tray Icons

Added 1/10/02

With WindowsXP, 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.

 Faster Task Switching

Added 1/6/02

If you installed WindowsXP 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:

  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

 WindowsXP Command Line Utilities

Added 1/5/02

While there are a lot of command line utilities in WindowsXP, 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

Disabling Error Reporting

Added 12/5/01

By default, WindowsXP 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

 Adding a Title for the Command Prompt Title Bar

Added 11/27/01

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:


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

 Increasing Graphics Performance

Added 11/27/01

By default, WindowsXP 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

 Creating an Automated Install of WindowsXP

Added 11/12/01

On the WindowsXP 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.

 Creating a Shutdown/Reboot Icon

Added 11/11/01

WindowsXP 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]


  • -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.

 Command Line Help Reference

Added 11/11/01

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

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

 Using the System File Checker

Added 11/11/01

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

Command line switches are:

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

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

 Disabling Balloon Tips

Added 11/9/01

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

 Speeding Up the Display of Start Menu Items

Added 11/8/01

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

 Installing the NetBEUI Protocol

Added 11/7/01

Microsoft no longer supports the NetBEUI protocol as part of WindowsXP.

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 WindowsXP.
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.

 Setting System Time Over the Internet

Added 11/5/01

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

 Creating a Password Recovery Disk

Added 11/5/01

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.

 Changing the Default Search Settings

Added 11/5/01

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

 Opening an Explorer Window to the Directory You Want

Added 9/4/01

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

 Disabling Hibernation

Added 8/20/01

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

 Locking the Workstation

Added 8/19/01

There are two ways you can lock the workstation.

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

 Changing the Picture Displayed for a User

Added 8/19/01

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

 Displaying the QuickLaunch Toolbar

Added 8/16/01

By default, WindowsXP 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

 Increasing System Performance

Added 8/16/01

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

 Removing the MSN Messenger

Added 8/16/01

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:

 Common Command Console Utilities

Added 8/16/01

WindowsXP 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

 Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks

Added 8/16/01

  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

 Changing the Internet Explorer Title

Added 8/16/01

  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

 Changing Visual Effects

Added 8/16/01

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

 Changing System Restore Settings

Added 8/16/01

By default, WindowsXP 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.

 Configuring the Firewall

Added 8/16/01

WindowsXP 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

 Changing Programs That Start Automatically

Added 8/16/01

WindowsXP 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)

 Adding / Removing Additional Programs

Added 8/16/01

By default, WindowsXP 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.

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2


 Displaying and Configuring the Classic Start Menu

Added 8/16/01

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

  1. Right click on the Taksbar
  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.

 Increasing File System Caching

Added 8/16/01

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

 Enabling NumLock on by Default

Added 8/16/01

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

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