Most Useful Windows'XP Tips, Tricks and Secrets!

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Kiran.dks, Dec 25, 2006.

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  1. Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    Time to time I have seen many people asking for Windows XP tips and tweaks and how to? I present you the most useful of these.
    These tweaks & secrets are courtesy from various sources on net compiled over a period of time. I wanted to share this collection with you all. So here it goes...

    Courtesy:http://mywebpages.comcast.net, http://v2.tlab404.com/......

    Note: Most of the articles include registry changes. Please take a back-up of registry before attempting any registry changes so that you can revert back if something goes wrong.

    [​IMG]

    1. Display Hibernate Option on the Shut Down dialog

    Go to "Start", "Turn Off Computer..." and press either Shift key to change the "Stand By" button to "Hibernate".

    2. Hidden Command Line Switch

    Go to "Start", "Run" and Type defrag c: -b to defragment the Boot and Application Prefetch information.

    3. Hidden Uninstall Options

    Browse to C:\Windows\inf\ and make a backup copy of sysoc.inf. Then open the original file C:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf in notepad.
    Go to "Edit" and select "Replace". In "Find what:" type, hide and in "Replace with:" type, then select "Replace All", save and close the file. Go to the "Control Panel", "Add/Remove", and select "Add/Remove Windows Components". You will now see many more Windows components to uninstall. Do not remove anything with no label or that you do not recognize or fully understand what it does. Doing so can break certain functionality in Windows.

    4. Windows XP CD Key is in the registry?

    The Windows XP CD Key is required to reinstall the operating system.
    If you have lost it, you can retrieve it from the Windows registry:
    1) Open the Registry Editor
    2) Navigate to HKEY_LOCALMACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ WindowsNT\ CurrentVersion.
    3) Find ProductId. The CD Key is digits 6 thought 15.

    5. Performance tweak for computer with > 512Mb RAM!

    Here are a couple of performance tweaks for users who have more than 512Mb RAM.
    Launch Folder Windows in a separate Process:
    - Open My Computer -> Tools -> Folder Options
    - Check the box "Launch folder windows in a separate process"

    Force Windows Core to Memory:
    - Open Start -> Run and type "Regedit"
    - Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ Session Manager\ Memory Management"
    - Modify "DisablePagingExecutive" to "1"
    - Reboot will be needed to take effect.


    6. Speedup your Internet by altering DNS Settings

    Modify these registry settings:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Services\Dnscache\Parameters]
    "CacheHashTableBucketSize"=dword:00000001
    "CacheHashTableSize"=dword:00000180
    "MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit"=dword:0000fa00
    "MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit"=dword:0000012d


    7. How to make Explorer icons appear quicker?

    In Windows XP everytime you open My Computer to browse folders XP automatically searches for network files and printers. This causes a delay in displaying your icons. You probably see the "default" windows icon and as you scroll it changes to the correct icon. This is how to stop that...

    1. Open My Computer
    2. Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options...
    3. Under Folder Options select the view tab.
    4. Uncheck the very first box that reads "Automatically search for network folders and printers".
    5. Click "Apply" or "OK"

    You should see a dramatic increase in speed when Windows displays your icons. Please not that this is generally automatically disabled if your computer joins to a domain.


    8. Does your desktop load before the logon script finishes?

    Edit or add value (REG_DWORD):
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\winlogon
    value: RunLogonScriptSync
    0 = Don't wait for the logon script to complete before loading the desktop.
    1 = Wait for the logon script to complete before loading the desktop.


    9. How to delete win2000&XP Pagefiles?

    The pagefile can contain unencrypted passwords as well as other sensitive data. While the novice user won't be able to see your pagefile while meandering through your computer, it's still a security risk whenever sensitive information exists on your drive. You can tell your computer to clear your pagefile of any information before it shuts down with a simple registry edit.

    The steps:
    Go to Start --> Run and type "regedit"
    Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ Session Manager\ Memory Management.

    Modify or add the REG_DWORD entry "ClearPageFileAtShutdown" (without the quotes) and set its value equal to 1.

    You must restart your computer for the changes to take effect.


    10. How to change the time allowed to wait for an application at shutdown?

    When you shutdown a Windows (XP, 2000, or 2003) computer, the OS will tell each of the running applications and services to close, and gives them a period of time (20 seconds) to do so gracefully. If the application doesn't respond, the user is prompted with options to cancel, wait, or kill the application. With a change to the following Registry entry, you can adjust the 20 second timeout period, which can be helpful if you have an application that normally takes longer to respond when shutting down. Keep in mind that the longer you make the timeout period, the longer it could potentially take your computer to shut down. In the case of a UPS shutdown because of loss of power, this could potentially extend the shutdown time past the life of the battery, so use discretion when changing this entry.

    Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    Key: \Control Panel\Desktop
    Name: WaitToKillAppTimeout
    Data Type: REG_SZ
    Value: Milliseconds in decimal (default is 20000)


    11. Does your desktop lose its settings?

    If you desktop or folders on your desktop do not retain their settings, follow the next steps:
    Open the Registry Editor click on the Start button on your taskbar, then click on Run and type "regedit" and click on OK to start the regedit utility.
    Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions
    Create or edit the DWORD value "NoSaveSettings" and give it a value of "0".
    Reboot, and should work now!


    12. How to "Brand" your Computer?

    Do you want to change the info & picture in the GENERAL TAB of the SYSTEM PROPERTIES were it shows the manufacturer of the PC?

    To change this information, follow these steps:
    You want to find a file called "oeminfo.ini". You can do this by performing a Find File for "oeminfo.ini".
    The file is in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder. Make a backup of this file and save a copy in a safe place.
    If your computer doesn't have this file, you can create a new one. Just follow the example below.
    Open the oeminfo.ini file by double-clicking on it. You'll see a list of items that looks something like this:

    [general]
    Manufacturer= TLab404 Speed Computer.
    Model= TLabian

    [support information]
    Line1 = "Support Information Here"
    Line2 = Call somebody other than us. Tech support is expensive!
    Line3 = Seriously.
    Line4 = We mean it!


    You can change the information after the = sign.
    If you're creating a new oeminfo.inf file, just follow this format. Line 1 creates the Support Information Here button, Lines 2-??? are the information displayed in the box that pops up.

    Perform a Save As, and save the file as a .ini file (replace the oeminfo.ini file in the system folder).

    Check the OEM info by right-clicking on My Computer and select Properties. Your changes should be in effect.
    You can also add an image to the OEM info box. To do this:
    Create a bitmap image with the dimensions of 175x100 pixels.
    Save the file as a bitmap and name it "oemlogo.bmp".
    Place the file in the system folder along with the oeminfo.ini.


    13. Windows XP - Desktop Icons

    If you've recently installed or upgraded to Windows XP, you may be wondering where those familiar desktop icons went. You know, the icons you've come to cherish and love: My Computer, My Network Places, Internet Explorer, Recycle Bin, and My Documents.

    The icons didn't go anywhere. They're waiting for you to unleash them from their secret hiding spot.

    Here's how to place the regular icons back on the desktop.

    -Right-click the desktop and choose Properties to launch the Display Properties.
    -Select the Desktop tab under Display Properties.
    -On the Desktop tab, click the button marked "Customize Desktop" to launch the Desktop Items dialog box.

    Now you can select from your favorite icons of Windows past. You can choose from My Computer, My Network Places, Internet Explorer, Recycle Bin, and My Documents.


    14. How to Remove Shared Documents from My Computer?

    Start regedit and navigate to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/ Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/
    MyComputer/NameSpace/DelegateFolders.

    Locate the key {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}.

    Right click on it and select delete.
    Reboot.


    15. How to Set a Drive's Icon


    Open the Registry Editor click on the Start button on your taskbar, then click on Run and type "regedit" and click on OK to start the regedit utility.

    Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    If one doesn't already exist, create a new key called "DriveIcons". Under this key, create a new key with the letter of your drive.

    I.e. C for your C:\ drive.
    To change the icon for that drive, create a key inside that one called "DefaultIcon" and set the path of (Default) to the location of your icon.
    eg C:\DefaultIcon\
    then (Default) = D:\Documents\C Drive Icon.ico
    To change the name of that drive, create a key in the drive letter one (eg C:\) called "DefaultLabel" and set the (Default) to what you want the drive to be called.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  2. anandk

    anandk Distinguished Member

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  3. forever

    forever filth is me

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    in the 3rd point , does the "replace with" field have to be left blank ?, great job btw.
     
  4. aditya.shevade

    aditya.shevade Console Junkie

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    Great job... Repped ya.
     
  5. OP
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    Welcome guys! :)
    @forever: Replace with field should not be blank..
    Find what:" type, hide and in "Replace with:" type ,

    @aditya.shevade: Your avatar is very funny! :-D
     
  6. Tech Geek

    Tech Geek Wise Old Owl

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    In the 6th one where sould we enter that?
     
  7. OP
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    ^^^You need to edit the registry for that.
    Start>Run> regedit>OK
    Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Services\Dnscache\Parameters]
    Then change the values as indicated above...i.e.

     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
    phreak0ut likes this.
  8. aditya.shevade

    aditya.shevade Console Junkie

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    Thank god that does not happen in reality, or I would have had been busted many times by my PC. :-D
     
  9. Rollercoaster

    Rollercoaster -The BlacKCoaT Operative-

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    cool tuto...thanks
     
  10. max_demon

    max_demon IM AS MAD AS HELL!!

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    nice tuts man
     
  11. hemant_mathur

    hemant_mathur -- No Easter Eggs here --

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  12. n2casey

    n2casey Super Hero - Super Powers

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    Nice tute Kiran. :)
     
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    Welcome everyone. :)
     
  14. Tech Geek

    Tech Geek Wise Old Owl

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    After we go to parameters
    i see default and service dll
    then what should i do???
     
  15. max_demon

    max_demon IM AS MAD AS HELL!!

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    ^^^i created the values :D
     
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    Jus download the winzip file. Extract the 'dnsreg' file on to desktop.
    Now right-click the DNS registry entry and click 'Merge'.
    Reboot for DNS settings to take effect.
    Take a back-up of registry as a precautionary measure before attempting the above.

    Source: http://v2.tlab404.com/articles/detail.asp?iFaq=220&iType=16
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  17. SE><IE

    SE><IE Guest

    @kiran: I suppose the numbers 6 through 15 are all numeric in ProductID. How can anyone see his key from there? [​IMG]
    Nice collection of tips [​IMG]
     
  18. OP
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    ^^^^ProductID includes characters too. Generally preinstalled WindowsXP by OEM's come with alphabets, which often include OEM in ProductID.
    __________

    One more handy tut...

    Add a 'Folder Options' icon to the explorer toolbar
    > My Computer
    > Right-click toolbar > Customize
    > Select the Folder options icon. You can add any other icons too.
    > Click 'Add'
    > Close
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  19. Ron

    Ron ||uLtiMaTE WinNER||

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    thanks man........
     
  20. OP
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    Kiran.dks

    Kiran.dks New Member

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    Welcome ron..

    One more to add up..

    Disable Recently opened Documents list

    >Start>Run>gpedit.msc and click Ok
    >Configuration>Administrative Templates>Start Menu and Taskbar
    >Click Do not keep history of recently opened documents and click Enabled.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Create a Quick Lock Icon

    Create a shortcut by right-clicking the desktop. On the pop-up context menu, choose "New", then "Shortcut". Then copy and paste this in the program location box:

    rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

    Click "Next",
    and enter a name for your new shortcut, such as "QuickLock" or whatever. When you double-click that shortcut, you're logged off the network, and has the same effect as logging off. All running and open programs remain intact upon logging back in.

    Source: Click here

    Most of the above tweaks and much much more are available at: Click here
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
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