WindowsXP · TIPS & TWEAKS




To Disable CD autoplay, completely, in Windows XP Home

Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Then go to: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer

Create a new value called: NoDriveTypeAutoRun

Type is: DWORD

Value is: 0x000000b5 (181)

You may need to log off/log on or reboot for the change to take effect. Additionally, you may need

Administrator privileges to edit the Registry.

To Disable CD autoplay, completely, in Windows XP Pro

1) Click Start, Run and enter GPEDIT.MSC

2) Go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System.

3) Locate the entry for Turn autoplay off and modify it as you desire.
 

Disable the Windows Logo Keys

This code may be freely distributed/modified. This REG (Registry) file will disable the Windows Logo keys on your keyboard. To use: Download the disable_winlogo_key.reg file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Open Windows Explorer (if necessary) and locate the file you just saved. Double click the file and answer yes to the import prompt. You will need to log off/log on or restart for the change to take effect. To re-enable the Windows Logo keys, download this REG file: re-enable_winlogo_key.reg and double click the file. Answer yes to the import prompt and then reboot.

Disable the Windows XP Splash Screen

Ever wonder what's going on behind that splash screen? Well, now you can find out! Right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery, Edit. Edit BOOT.INI. Add "/SOS" right after "/fastdetect" with a space between. The line will look something like this: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /SOS. When you're finished. The first part, multi(0)..... may not be the same on your machine. Upon restarting, the splash screen will be gone. It can be re-enabled by removing the new switch

Enable the Administrator account on the Welcome Screen

Option 1: Download and install TweakUI from the Powertoys for Windows XP collection. In the Logon section, you can hide, or make visible, User accounts on the Welcome Screen. Option 2: Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList (note that there is a space in the Windows NT). Right click in the right pane and select New, DWord value. Give the value the same name as the Username on the Welcome Screen (it must match) for the account you wish to hide/show. Double click the new value and set it to 1 to show the account on the Welcome Screen, or set it to 0 to hide the account. Example: Doug is a user on the computer, Doug would be the name you give the new value. As of 4/24/2002, the individual Powertoys for Windows® XP are available here:Powertoys

To enable Autologon in Windows® XP Professional & Home Edition

Option 1: Download and install TweakUI from the Powertoys for Windows XP collection. In the Logon section, set the default username and password to be used. Option 2: From an Administrator account, click Start, Run and enter CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2 Remove the check mark from Users must enter a username and password and click Apply. Follow the prompts.

Changing Drive Letters in Windows XP?

When you add drives to your computer, such as an extra hard drive, a CD drive, or a storage device that corresponds to a drive, Windows automatically assigns letters to the drives. However, this assignment might not suit your system; for example, you might have mapped a network drive to the same letter that Windows assigns to a new drive. When you want to change drive letters, follow these steps: Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage. Under Computer Management, click Disk Management. In the right pane, you’ll see your drives listed. CD-ROM drives are listed at the bottom of the pane. Right-click the drive or device you want to change, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths. Click Change, click Assign the following drive letter, click the drive letter you want to assign, and then click OK. You will not be able to change the boot or system drive letter in this manner. Many MS-DOS-based and Windows-based programs make references to a specific drive letter (for example, environment variables). If you modify the drive letter, these programs may not function correctly. HOW TO: Change Drive Letter Assignments in Windows XP (Q307844)

HOW TO: Change the System/Boot Drive Letter in Windows (Q223188)

XP. I do not offer ANY support for this procedure. NOTE: Some user's have reported that this has rendered their system unbootable. Others have reported that it works. If you follow this procedure, you do so at your own risk.

How do I delete an "undeletable" file?

Open a Command Prompt window and leave it open. Close all open programs. Click Start, Run and enter TASKMGR.EXE Go to the Processes tab and End Process on Explorer.exe. Leave Task Manager open. Go back to the Command Prompt window and change to the directory the AVI (or other undeletable file) is located in. At the command prompt type DEL where is the file you wish to delete. Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell. Close Task Manager. See more good Windows XP information on Kelly's Windows XP from A-Z web site.

Editing the Registry for "other" Users

From an account with Administrator level access 1) click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT 2) In Regedit, highlight the HKEY_USERS key and go to File, Load Hive. 3) Use the File Open dialog to go to the Documents and Settings\ folder, where is the account you wish to modify. 4) Highlight the NTUSER.DAT file in this folder (usually a hidden file) and select Open. 5) You'll be prompted to enter a "Key name". You can use whatever you wish, but I use the User's logon name. 6) You can now expand the Hive you just loaded and make any needed changes. 7) When finished, highlight this Hive again and go to File, Unload Hive. NOTE: You MUST unload the Hive prior to logging on to the users account. Otherwise XP may have trouble loading the user's profile.

Windows® XP - Search Problems

Windows® XP has a known issue for not finding a number of File Types when you do a Search for Files "containing text" or using the "A word or phrase in the file" option. This can be remedied for many file types, but not all. The cause is the lack of a PersistentHandler value in the Registry for this type of file. You can correct this by clicking Start, Run and entering REGEDIT Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and locating the entry for the file type in question. For example, .txt, .adm, .asp. Expand the branch for that file type, and if the PersistentHandler subkey does not exist, create it. Do this by clicking on the file extension key and going to Edit, New, Key. Name the Key, PersistentHandler. Click on the PersistentHandler sub-key. In Regedit's right pane, double click on the Default value and enter the following (copy and paste may be your best bet): {5e941d80-bf96-11cd-b579-08002b30bfeb} If the PersistentHandler sub-key does exist, do not change the default value. This could have very undesired consequences. Close Regedit and reboot the computer. This file type will now be searched for "A word or phrase in the file" type searches. An alternative is to download a small VB Script utility Save the file you just downloaded to your hard disk. Locate the file you just saved and double click it. Enter the file extension you wish to modify. If the PersistentHandler sub-key exists, no changes will be made. If it does not exist for the file type in question, the Registry will be updated accordingly. Reboot when you're finished with the file types you wish to change.

How do I enable CD burning for Limited accounts?

This tip does not apply to Nero users, it is only for XP's built-in CD burning feature. Thanks to RIP for this information. Allow limited users access to CD Burning: To allow Limited User's to burn CD's, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon Look in the right pane for AllocateDASD and double click the entry. Set the value to 2. On PRO, this is exposed in Local Security Policy under Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options "Devices: Allowed to format and eject removable media" For XP Pro, you can do this by clicking Start, Run and entering SECPOL.MSC Go to Local Policies, Security Options, look in the right pane for Devices: Allowed to Format and eject removable media. Set this option to Administrators and Interactive Users

How do I find my IP address?

You can download the Windows 2000 version of WINIPCFG here: http://www.microsoft.com/ If the network connection icon is in the System tray, right click it, select Status, then go to the Support tab. See this page: http://www.dougknox.com/ for a small VB Script that will list all IP addresses in use on your machine. This VB Script will determine the IP Address(es) available on your computer and display them, along with the hostname associated with the IP Address(es). To use: Download: the Find_IP.vbs file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Locate the file you just saved and double-click the Find_IP.vbs file. A dialog will open listing the available IP Address(es) and the corresponding hostname. Last, open a Command Prompt window and type IPCONFIG /ALL Note: This utility works with Service Pack 1

How do I repair Internet Explorer in Windows® XP?

The ability to Repair Internet Explorer does not exist in the version that ships with Windows XP. This feature only becomes available after you upgrade to a newer version. This is normal and has been this way since Windows 98 and IE4. However, you can reinstall IE in Windows XP by clicking Start, Run and entering the following command: rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %windir%\Inf\ie.inf You will need to have your XP CD available. More info -->> How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP (Q318378)

Installing Norton AntiVirus 2001 with Windows XP

1) Download and save the Norton SymEvent patch from here. 2) Start the installation of NAV2001. 3) During Setup, uncheck the option to load AutoProtect at Startup 4) Disable the Run Live Update and Virus Scan options when setup completes. 5) When Setup is done, do not run any scans or Live Updates. 6) Locate the SymEvent patch you downloaded earlier and double click it to install. 7) When complete, reboot the computer. You can now load NAV 2001 and adjust its options to your liking.

How Do I Do a "Repair Installation"?

Configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM drive. For more information about how to do this, please refer to your computer's documentation or contact your computer manufacturer. Insert your Windows XP compact disc (CD) into your CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer. (You can also boot with a Windows 98/Me Startup disk with CD support and run WINNT.EXE in the I386 folder on the CD) When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD. When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER: To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER. At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed. Do not select this option. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement. Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

How Do I Get the Security tab in Folder Properties?

First, your hard drive must be formatted NTFS for this tab to show up. Second, if you're running XP Pro, you must open Windows Explorer, go to Tools, Folder Options, View and uncheck Use Simple File Sharing. Third, if you're running XP Home, Simple File Sharing is enforced by default and cannot be disabled. You must boot the computer into Safe Mode and log in with the Administrator account, in order to see the Security tab.

How do I install Windows® 98/Me after I've installed XP?

(without 3rd party software) Necessary Criteria This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed on drive C: No support is offered for other drive letters. Drive C: must be FAT16 or FAT32 to be able to install Windows 98/Me after XP is already installed. The 98/Me installation routine cannot write to an NTFS partition. You must have a second hard disk or partition formatted for FAT16/32 in order to be able to install Windows 98/Me. Installing 98/Me to the same partition as Windows XP is NOT RECOMMENDED! I recommend the use of a Windows 98/Me Startup disk for this procedure. If you don't have one, you can download the necessary files from http://www.bootdisk.com You should ensure that DEBUG.EXE is on your Startup disk. If it isn't, it can be copied from the Windows\Command folder. On a 98/Me Startup disk, created from Add/Remove Programs, its in the EBD.CAB file on the Startup disk. For a 98 Startup disk created from FAT32EBD.EXE its on the floppy

Installing Windows® 98

1) Use a Win98/Me Startup disk (with CD support) to boot your computer. 2) Insert your Win98/Me CD into the CD Rom drive. 3) At the A: prompt type X:\Win98\Setup.exe (for Win98) or X:\Win9x\Setup.exe (for Win Me) where X: is your CD-ROM drive. 4) Proceed with the install. When prompted for the install location, you'll see C:\Windows.000. Choose Other directory and change this to the drive you wish to install 98/Me to and name the folder Windows (or something else if you prefer). 5) Complete the Win98/Me install. Allow the computer to boot into Win98/Me.

Repairing the Windows® XP Boot Loader

1) Create a Win98/Me Startup Disk 2) Create a Notepad file with the following entries, exactly as shown: L 100 2 0 1 N C:\BOOTSECT.DOS R BX 0 R CX 200 W Q 3) Save the file to the Win98/Me Startup Disk as READ.SCR 4) Boot the computer with the Win98/Me Startup Disk and at the A: prompt type DEBUG <READ.SCR Steps 1 - 4 create the BOOTSECT.DOS file needed to boot Win98/Me. For your convenience, you can download READ.SCR here: READ.SRC. I suggest you use right click and Save As. You may need to use the ATTRIB C:\BOOTSECT.DOS -S -H -R command if BOOTSECT.DOS already exists and you get an error when trying to recreate it. 5) Configure your computer to boot from the CD drive. This is done in the BIOS, or your computer may offer the option at startup if it detects a bootable CD. Consult your computer's manual for more information. If your computer does not support booting from CD-Rom, you should also be able to boot with a 98/Me Startup disk, and run WINNT.EXE from the I386 folder of your XP CD. 6) Insert your XP CD and boot from it. 7) You'll see some files being copied, then you'll be presented with a choice of installing or repairing an existing installation. Choose Repair. 8) You'll be asked which XP installation you want to log into. Enter 1. There is usually only one installation. 9) You'll be prompted for the Administrator password. For Home, the default password is blank, so just hit Enter. For Pro, enter the same password you did during setup for the Administrator account (this is not the same as the password for an Admin level account. It must be the Administrator account password). 10) At the C:\Windows prompt, type FIXBOOT. You'll be prompted to confirm. Do so. 11) When FIXBOOT is finished, remove the XP CD and type EXIT and the machine will reboot. Reconfigure your computer to boot from the hard drive if necessary. You will now get the XP Boot loader with your choice of operating systems.

How do I install Windows 2000 after I've installed XP?

(without 3rd party software) This procedure was performed on FAT32 drives. Install Windows 2000 1) Use a Win98/Me Startup disk (with CD support) to boot your computer. If you don't have one, you can download the files to make a boot disk at www.bootdisk.com 2) Insert your Windows 2000 CD into the CD Rom drive. 3) At the A: prompt type X:\I386\WINNT.EXE where X: is your CD-ROM drive. 4) Proceed with the install. Install Windows 2000 to a different partition than XP is installed in. 5) Complete the Windows install. Allow the computer to boot into Windows 2000.

Repairing the Windows® XP Boot Loader

NOTE: Some users have reported that Step 1 is not necessary, but in testing I found that it was. Since the C: drive is FAT32, you can use a 98/Me boot disk and skip Step 1, if you wish, but you may find that you need to do it anyway. Boot your computer with the Windows XP CD. When prompted to Setup or Repair, choose Repair. In the Recovery Console, enter the following commands. 1) FIXBOOT, answer Yes 2) CD \ 3) ATTRIB -H NTLDR 4) ATTRIB -S NTLDR 5) ATTRIB -R NTLDR 6) ATTRIB -H NTDETECT.COM 7) ATTRIB -S NTDETECT.COM 8) ATTRIB -R NTDETECT.COM 9) COPY X:\I386\NTLDR C:\ 10) COPY X:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\ In Steps 9 and 10, X is the letter of your CD-Rom drive.

Lock your Desktop

Press the Windows key and the L key (WinKey+L) at the same time. Additionally, you can create a new shortcut, with the following command line: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation Copy the new shortcut to your Quick Launch bar and you have one click access to locking the desktop. Notes: If you are using the Welcome screen and Fast User Switching is enabled, other users will still have access to you computer, by selecting their Username and entering their password. Additionally, if you don't have a password on your account, then all that is required is to click on your Username on the Welcome screen.

Multibooting with Windows® XP

for more information on multibooting with Windows XP go to ../gettingstarted/multiboot

Outlook Express keeps prompting for your password

This fix also applies to Outlook, other programs that store passwords in the Protected Storage System Provider sub branch of the Registry. It also corrects some issues with Internet Explorer and Autocomplete. This is caused by a damaged Registry key. To Remove the broken Key in Windows® XP 1) Click Start, click Run, and then type regedt32 in the Open box. 2) Locate the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider 3) Right click the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider key, and then Select Permissions. 4) In the Permissions for Protected Storage System Provider dialog box, click the Advanced tab. Make sure that the has Full Control access. Select "Replace permission entries..." 5) Click OK. 6) Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each subkey that is listed under the Protected Storage System Provider registry key; otherwise, you may receive the following error message when you try to delete the Protected Storage System Provider key: Registry editor could not delete the key currently selected. The key or one of its subkeys does not give you delete access. Note: The sub keys under Protected Storage System Provide will look something like this: S-1-5-21-1085031214-1202660629-1708537768-1003 7) At this point, you can delete the Protected Storage System Provider key by clicking Delete on the Edit menu. If you prefer, you can first export a copy of this key, and then delete the key. To export the key, right click the Protected Storage System Provider key, and select Export. The exported file can be re-imported by double clicking on it. 8) When you click Delete, you receive the following message: Registry editor will delete the currently selected key and all its subkeys. Do you want to continue the operation? Click Yes to finish the process. 9) Start Outlook Express. When Outlook Express checks your mail account(s) you will be able to re-enter your password(s). This process repopulates the Protected Storage System Provider registry key with the correct information for that computer's SID. OLEXP: Your Password Is Not Retained in Windows 2000 or Windows XP (Q264672) xp_messenger_autorun.vbs - Prevent Windows Messenger from automatically running. This code may be freely distributed/modified. This script works in XP Pro or Home. Usage: Download: xp_messenger_autorun.vbs and save this file to your hard drive. Navigate to where you saved it and double click the file. A confirmation dialog will appear and remind you to log off/back on or restart your computer. This script can be viewed in Notepad or any text editor, as to the specific Registry key and value that are updated. This version eliminates the startup delay in Outlook Express when the Contacts Pane is used. Should you decide to undo this "fix", an undo script is available here: ../xp_messenger_autorun_undo.vbs Follow the directions, as above.

Windows® XP - Remote Desktop Web Connection - How to use

Host Machine: On the server machine, go to Control Panel, System, Remote. Check Allow users to connect remotely to this computer. On the server, you need to install Internet Information Services from Add/Remove, Windows Components. Specifically you need to install the Remote Desktop Web Connection. This will make your computer accessible via the web. The URL to use would be http://<youripaddress>/tsweb You can also use the hostname if one is available for your connection. Guest machine: You will be presented with a login screen. When asked for the server name, use the IP address or host name of the server. Check Send Login information Enter the user name (this must be a valid user account on the server) Domain name (on my setup) is left blank Click continue You'll get a new screen, and a login prompt. Enter your password and you're all set to go. Remove TweakUI v1.33 (and earlier) Manually To remove TweakUI v1.33, or earlier versions, manually, perform the following steps: Do a Find for TWEAKUI.CPL, TWEAKUI.HLP and TWEAKUI.GID. When each of these files has been located, delete it. Note: TWEAKUI.GID may not exist on your system. Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT. This step is only necessary if you wish to remove the Shortcut Icon customization. Go to the Registry branches indicated and modify or delete the values as instructed. a) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons\29 In the right pane, locate the value named "29". Right click on this value and select Delete. b) HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics In the right pane, locate the value called "Shell Icon Size". Double click on this entry and set the value to 32. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run In the right pane, locate the value called "Tweak UI". Right click on this value and select Delete. Close Regedit.

Renaming Desktop Icons

You can easily rename various Desktop (System Icons). Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT. Navigate to the following Registry brach: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID The Desktop Icons are located in the sub keys as follows: My Network Places: {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} My Computer: {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} My Documents: {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} Recycle Bin:{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} Default IE Icon: {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} Double click the Default value in the above keys and enter the text you desire. Right click on the Desktop and select Refresh to see the changes. To undo the changes, just right click on the Default value and select Delete. Refresh the Desktop to see that things are back to normal.

How do I restrict a User's Logon hours?

You can only restrict when a user can log on to the system. On a stand alone computer, there is no way, currently, to force a user to log off when their hours expire. 1) Open Help and Support and type "logon hours" (without the quotes) in the search box. 2) Go to Full text matches and click on "Net user". See the examples for setting a user's logon hours. Some examples would be: net user johnsw /time:M-F,08:00-17:00 net user johnsw /time:M-F,8am-5pm net user marysl /time:M,4am-5pm;T,1pm-3pm;W-F,8:00-17:00 net user johnsw /time:all (this one means this user can always log on) 3) Open a Command Prompt window. 4) Enter the appropriate "net user" command for the user(s) you wish to restrict access for. xp_sysrestorepoint.vbs - VB Script to run unattended Restore Point Creation as a Scheduled Task This code may be freely distributed/modified. This script is only intended for Windows® XP. This VB Script can be run as a Scheduled Task to create an unattended System Restore Point. The Restore point will be identified as Automatic Restore Point with the date and time the script was run. Usage: Download: xp_sysrestorepoint.vbs and save this file to your hard drive. Create a new Scheduled Task and point it to the VBS file. After the script runs, it will leave a dialog telling you whether or not the Restore Point was successfully created. This script can be viewed in Notepad or any text editor, as to the specific Registry key and value that are updated. For an EXE version of this utility, click HERE

Where did my Desktop Icons go?

Right click on the Desktop, choose Properties, Desktop tab and click on "Customize Desktop". Internet Explorer, My Computer, My Documents and My Network Places can be added or removed here. If all of your desktop icons are missing, right click on the Desktop, select Arrange Icons By, then select Show Desktop Icons.

Where is NetMeeting?>

NetMeeting is installed with Windows XP, it is just not obvious that it is. There are, by default, no Desktop or Start Menu shortcuts for it. To activate NetMeeting, click Start, Run and enter CONF.EXE This will start the NetMeeting Setup wizard. During setup, you'll be prompted to create Desktop and/or Quick Launch bar icons.

Disable Windows® Messenger in Windows® XP Pro

If you're running Pro, you can use GPEDIT.MSC to prevent Messenger from loading. Otherwise, even disabling it in startup won't cause it to "always" not run. Outlook, OE and some MS web pages can still make it load. 1) Start, Run and ender GPEDIT.MSC 2) For "per machine" restriction, go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger For "per user" restriction, go to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger 3) You can now modify whether it starts initially and/or whether its to run at all. Note: Outlook and Outlook Express will take longer to open, unless you turn off Messenger Support. In Outlook Express its in Tools, Options, General tab. In Outlook its in Tools, Options, Other. If you prefer to remove Windows Messenger manually, click Start, Run and enter the following command: RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove Note: This will prevent a long delay when opening Outlook Express if you have the Contacts pane enabled. To prevent this, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express Right click in the right pane and select New, Dword value. Give it the name Hide Messenger Double click this new entry and set the value to 2.

I DO NOT provide any support for these procedures via e-mail

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Last Update: Thursday, June 24, 2003 | © 2002-2003 Kay Nix  ·  K-SeCuRiTy Timisoara, Romania


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