Tips and Tricks

Satheesh C B | Saturday, March 01, 2008 | 1 comments

Guest Only Network Access

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:

  • Got to Control Panel - Administrative Tools
  • Go to Local Policies - Security Options
  • Check teh Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts
  • Set it to Classic - local users authenticate as themselves

Hiding a XP Computer from Network Neighborhood

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

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

  • Browse to the folder you want to share
  • Enter in a Share name
  • Enter in a Share description
  • Set permissions. Several choices are available
  • Restart the process from within the same program

Not Viewing Zip Files as Folders

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

  • regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll

Setting Capslock, Numlock, Scroll Lock

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
    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
  4. Log off and back on again

Restoring Desktop Icon to the Quicklaunch Bar

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:

Network Access After Norton Anti-Virus Install

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.

  • Start Regedit
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters
  • Edit the IRPStackSize
  • Give it a value of 15
  • Reboot the computer

Configure for Auto-Logon

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

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

Services You Can Disable

There are quite a few services you can disable from starting automatically.This would be to speed up your boot time and free resources.They are only suggestions ,so 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.

Cleaning the Prefetch Directory

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:

  • Star / Run / Prefetch
  • Press Ctrl-A to highlight all the shorcuts
  • Delete them

Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages

To turn these off:

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

Repair Install

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

  • Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD
  • At the second R=Repair option, press the R key
  • This will start the repair
  • Press F8 for I Agree at the Licensing Agreement
    Press R when the directory where WindowsXP is installed is shown. Typically this is C:\WINDOWS
  • It will then check the C: drive and start copying files
  • It will automatically reboot when needed. Keep the CD in the drive.
    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)
  • When prompted, click on the Next button
  • When prompted, enter your XP key
  • Normally you will want to keep the same Workgroup or Domain name
  • The computer will reboot
  • Then you will have the same screens as a normal XP Install
  • Activate if you want (usually a good idea)
  • Register if you want (but not necessary)
  • Finish

At this point you should be able to log in with any existing accounts

NTOSKRNL Missing or Corrupt

If you get an error that NTOSKRNL not found:

  • Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
  • At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  • Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
  • Typically this will be #1
  • Change to the drive that has the CD ROM.
  • CD i386expand ntkrnlmp.ex_ C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe
  • If WindowsXP is installed in a different location, just make the necessary change to C:\Windows
  • Take out the CD ROM and type exit

HAL.DLL Missing or Corrupt

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

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

Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIGI

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

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


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 filesfrom the i386 directory to the root of the C:\ drive.


  • Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
  • At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  • Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
  • Typically this will be #1
  • Enter in the administrator password when requested
  • 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\:
  • Take out the CD ROM and type exit

Bringing Up the Shutdown Dialog Box

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

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

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

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

    Remembering Folder Settings

    If XP does not remember your folder settings, delete or rename the following registry keys
    Preventing Applications from Stealing the Focus.To prevent applications from stealing the focus from the window you are working

    • Start Regedit
    • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop
    • Edit the key ForegroundLockTimeout
    • Give it a value of 00030d40

    Disable Explorer Thumbnail View

    • If you want disable the Explorer's ability to show the Thumbnail View ,
    • Start Regedit
      Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced \
      Change ClassicViewState to 1
    • Close regedit

    Disable Shared Documents

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

    • Start Regedit
    • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer \
    • Create a new DWORD Value
    • Give it the name NoSharedDocuments
    • Give it a value of 1
    • Log off or reboot

    Removing Thumbs.db Files

    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

    • Start the Windows Explorer
    • Go to Tools / Folder Options / View
    • In the first section under Files and Folders, check Do not cache thumbnails

    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

    • Start Regedit
    • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
    • Create the Dword value DisableTaskMgr
    • Give it a value of 0 to enable it
    • Give it a vaule of 1 to disable it

    Clearing the Page File on Shutdown

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

    • Click on the Start button
    • Go to the Control Panel
    • Administrative Tools
    • Local Security Policy
    • Local Policies
    • Click on Security Options
    • Right hand menu - right click on "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile"
    • Select "Enable"
    • Reboot

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

    • Start Regedit
    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\ClearPageFileAtShutdown
    • Set the value to 1

    No GUI Boot

    • If you don't need to see the XP boot logo,
  • Click on the BOOT.INI tab
  • Check the box for /NOGUIBOOT
  • Using the Classic Search in Explorer

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

    • Start Regedit
    • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CabinetState
    • Add a String Key called Use Search Asst
    • Give it a value of 'no'

    Changing the Registered Owner

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

    Changing Drive Letters

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

    • Right Click on My Computer
    • Select Manage
    • Select Disk Management
    • For a Fixed Disk:
    • Select it
    • Right click
    • Select Change Drive Letter and Path
    • Click on the Edit button
    • Enter in the letter you want to use

    For a Removable Disk:

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

    Decreasing Boot Time

    Microsoft has made available a program to analyze and decrease the time it takes to boot to WindowsXP.
    The program is called BootVis
    • Uncompress the file.
    • For a starting point, run Trace / Next Boot + Driver Delays
    • This will reboot your computer and provide a benchmark
    • After the reboot, BootVis will take a minute or two to show graphs of your system startup.
    • Note how much time it takes for your system to load (click on the red vertical line)
    • Then run Trace / Optimize System
    • Re-Run the Next Boot + Drive Delays
    • Note how much the time has decreased

    Hide/Unhide Logon Names

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

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

    WindowsXP Command Line Utilities

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

    • 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 protoco
    • 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.

    Creating an Automated Install of WindowsXP

    • On the WindowsXP CP, in the SUPPORT\TOOLS directory,
      there is a file called DEPLOY.CAB.
    • Extract the programs DEPLOY.CHM (help file) and SETUPMGR.EXE (main program)
    • Run SETUPMGR and answer the prompts.
    • This will create both a unattend.bat and unattend.txt file you can use for automated installs.

    Note: The batch file might need some minor modification for file locations but it is fairly basic.

    Disabling Hibernation

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

    • Open up the Control Panel / Power Options icon
    • Click on the Hibernation icon
    • Uncheck Enable Hibernation

    Increasing System Performance

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

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

    Common Command Console Utilities

    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

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

    Changing the Internet Explorer Title

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

    Changing Programs That Start Automatically

    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)

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    1 comment:

    1. u r a great person spark thanx for sharing alot of knowledge
      aqeel raza
      student of telecom engneering
      pakistan(punjab province)