Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Jimbob1989, Dec 10, 2004.

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  1. Jimbob1989

    Jimbob1989 Registered Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Windows XP Tips 'n' Tricks

    These tweaks have been copied from another forum, I have not created them myself

    Please note that some of these tweaks and tips require you to use a Registry Editor (regedit.exe), which could render your system unusable and remember that you are doing these on your own risk and it´s always good to back up your important files. Also note that most of these tips will require you to be logged on with Administrative rights.

    Get this program to back up your registry files:Erunt
    Also create a system checkpoint before doing any tweaks.


    So here they are: (Check at the bottom for good links, guides and other stuff)

    1 Never re-activate after a new installation
    If you have to reinstall Windows XP you normally will have to re-activate too. Well not anymore. Just copy wpa.dbl after you activated the first time. It is located in the system32 folder. Now if you reinstall Windows XP just copy the file back and you're up and running again.

    2 Here's how to check if your copy of XP is Activated
    Go to the run box and type in oobe/msoobe /a
    and hit ok ...theirs your answer

    3 XP browsing speed up tweak
    when you connect to a web site your computer sends information back and forth, this is obvious. Some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address, the stuff that tcp/ip really deals with, not words. This is DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit the site. Although WinXP and win2000 has a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing its size.

    You can do this with the registry entries below:

    ************begin copy and paste***********
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    ************end copy and paste***********

    make a new text file and rename it to dnscache.reg. The copy and paste the above into it and save it. Then merge it into the registry.

    4 Speed things up a bit tip
    This might help some of you.

    1. go to control panel - system.
    2. click on the advanced tab
    3. under "performance" click on the settings button
    4. click on the Advanced tab
    5. click on the "Background Services" button
    6. Click OK

    5 Unlocking WinXP's setupp.ini
    WinXP's setupp.ini controls how the CD acts. IE is it an OEM version or retail? First, find your setupp.ini file in the i386 directory on your WinXP CD. Open it up, it'll look something like this:


    The Pid value is what we're interested in. What's there now looks like a standard default. There are special numbers that determine if it's a retail, oem, or volume license edition. First, we break down that number into two parts. The first five digits determines how the CD will behave, ie is it a retail CD that lets you clean install or upgrade, or an oem CD that only lets you perform a clean install? The last three digits determines what CD key it will accept. You are able to mix and match these values. For example you could make a WinXP CD that acted like a retail CD, yet accepted OEM keys.

    Now, for the actual values. Remember the first and last values are interchangeable, but usually you'd keep them as a pair:

    Retail = 51882 335
    Volume License = 51883 270
    OEM = 82503 OEM

    So if you wanted a retail CD that took retail keys, the last line of your setupp.ini file would read:


    And if you wanted a retail CD that took OEM keys, you'd use:


    6 Fix Movie Interference in AVI files
    If you have any AVI files that you saved in Windows 9x, which have interference when opened in Windows XP, there is an easy fix to get rid of the interference:

    Open Windows Movie Maker.
    Click View and then click Options.
    Click in the box to remove the check mark beside Automatically create clips.

    Now, import the movie file that has interference and drag it onto the timeline. Then save the movie, and during the re rendering, the interference will be removed.

    7 Temporarily Assign Yourself Administrative Permissions

    Many programs require you to have Administrative permissions to be able to install them. Here is an easy way to temporarily assign yourself Administrative permissions while you remain logged in as a normal user.

    Hold down the Shift key as you right-click on the program’s setup file.

    Click Run as.

    Type in a username and password that have Administrative permissions.

    This will also work on applications in the Start menu

    8 Instantly Activate a Screen saver

    Turn on a screen saver without having to wait by adding a shortcut to your desktop:

    Click the Start button, and then click Search.
    In the Search Companion window, click All file types.

    In the file name box, type *.scr

    In the Look in box, choose Local Hard Drives (C or the drive where you have system files stored on your computer.

    Click Search.

    You will see a list of screen savers in the results. Pick a screen saver you want. You can preview it by double-clicking it.

    Right click on the file, choose Send To, and then click Desktop (create shortcut).

    To activate the screen saver, double-click the icon on your desktop

    9 Software not installing?

    If you have a piece of software that refuses to install because it says that you are not running Windows 2000 (such as the Win2K drivers for a Mustek scanner!!) you can simply edit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProductName to say Microsoft Windows 2000 instead of XP and it will install. You may also have to edit the version number or build number, depending on how hard the program tries to verify that you are installing on the correct OS. I had to do this for my Mustek 600 CP scanner (compatibility mode didn't' help!!!) and it worked great, so I now have my scanner working with XP (and a tech at Mustek can now eat his words).

    BTW, don't' forget to restore any changes you make after you get your software installed

    10 Use your Windows Key

    The Windows logo key, located in the bottom row of most computer keyboards is a little-used treasure. Don't' ignore it. It is the shortcut anchor for the following commands:

    Windows: Display the Start menu
    Windows + D: Minimize or restore all windows
    Windows + E: Display Windows Explorer
    Windows + F: Display Search for files
    Windows + Ctrl + F: Display Search for computer
    Windows + F1: Display Help and Support Center
    Windows + R: Display Run dialog box
    Windows + break: Display System Properties dialog box
    Windows + shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
    Windows + L: Lock the workstation
    Windows + U: Open Utility Manager
    Windows + Q: Quick switching of users (Powertoys only)
    Windows + Q: Hold Windows Key, then tap Q to scroll thru the different users on your PC

    11 Remove the Shared Documents folders from My Computer

    One of the most annoying things about the new Windows XP user interface is that Microsoft saw fit to provide links to all of the Shared Documents folders on your system, right at the top of the My Computer window. I can't imagine why this would be the default, even in a shared PC environment at home, but what's even more annoying is that you cannot change this behavior through the sh*ll
    : Those icons are stuck there and you have to live with it.
    Until now, that is.

    Simply fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders

    You'll see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this, all of the Shared Documents folders (which are normally under the group called "Other Files Stored on This Computer" will be gone.

    You do not need to reboot your system to see the change.

    Before: A cluttered mess with icons no one will ever use (especially that orphaned one). After: Simplicity itself, and the way it should be by default.

    12 Rip high-quality MP3s in Windows Media Player 8

    The relationship between Windows Media Player 8 and the MP3 audio format is widely misunderstood. Basically, WMP8 will be able to playback MP3 files, but encoding (or "ripping" CD audio into MP3 format will require an MP3 plug-in. So during the Windows XP beta, Microsoft is supplying a sample MP3 plug-in for testing purposes, but it's limited to 56 Kbps rips, which is pretty useless. However, if you have an externally installed MP3 codec, you can use WMP8 to rip at higher bit rates. But you'll have to edit the Registry to make this work.
    Fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ MediaPlayer \ Settings \ MP3Encoding

    Here, you'll see sub-keys for LowRate and LowRateSample, which of course equates to the single 56 Kbps sample rate you see in WMP8. To get better sampling rates, try adding the following keys (Using New then DWORD value):

    "LowRate" = DWORD value of 0000dac0
    "MediumRate" = DWORD value of 0000fa00
    "MediumHighRate" = DWORD value of 0001f400
    "HighRate" = DWORD value of 0002ee00

    Now, when you launch WMP8 and go into Tools, then Options, then Copy Music, you will have four encoding choices for MP3: 56 Kbps, 64 Kbps, 128 Kbps, and 192 Kbps. Note that you will not get higher bit rate encoding unless you have installed an MP3 codec separately; the version in Windows Media Player 8 is limited to 56 Kbps only.

    Find the appropriate location in the Registry... ...add a few DWORD values... ...And then you'll be ripping CDs in higher-quality MP3 format!

    dac0 = 56000 bps
    fa00 = 64000 bps
    1b580 = 112000 bps
    1f400 = 128000 bps
    27100 = 160000 bps
    2ee00 = 192000 bps
    36b00 = 224000 bps
    3e800 = 256000 bps
    4e200 = 320000 bps

    13 Speed up Internet Explorer 6 Favorites

    For some reason, the Favorites menu in IE 6 seems to slow down dramatically sometimes--I've noticed this happens when you install Tweak UI 1.33, for example, and when you use the preview tip to speed up the Start menu. But here's a fix for the problem that does work, though it's unclear why:
    Just open a command line window (Start button -> Run -> cmd) and type sfc, then hit ENTER. This command line runs the System File Checker, which performs a number of services, all of which are completely unrelated to IE 6. But there you go: It works.

    14 Do an unattended installation

    The Windows XP Setup routine is much nicer than that in Windows 2000 or Windows Me, but it's still an hour-long process that forces you to sit in front of your computer for an hour, answering dialog boxes and typing in product keys. But Windows XP picks up one of the more useful features from Windows 2000, the ability to do an unattended installation, so you can simply prepare a script that will answer all those dialogs for you and let you spend some quality time with your family.
    I've written about Windows 2000 unattended installations and the process is pretty much identical on Windows XP, so please read that article carefully before proceeding. And you need to be aware that this feature is designed for a standalone Windows XP system: If you want to dual-boot Windows XP with another OS, you're going to have to go through the interactive Setup just like everyone else: An unattended install will wipe out your hard drive and install only Windows XP, usually.

    To perform an unattended installation, you just need to work with the Setup Manager, which is located on the Windows XP CD-ROM in D:\SupportTools\DEPLOY.CAB by default: Extract the contents of this file and you'll find a number of useful tools and help files; the one we're interested in is named setupmgr.exe. This is a very simple wizard application that will walk you through the process of creating an answer file called winnt.sif that can be used to guide Windows XP Setup through the unattended installation.

    One final tip: There's one thing that Setup Manager doesn't add: Your product key. However, you can add this to the unattend.txt file manually. Simply open the file in Notepad and add the following line under the [UserData] section:


    (****-*****-****-*****-***** = your product key)

    Then, just copy winnt.sif to a floppy, put your Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD drive, and reboot: When the CD auto-boots, it will look for the unattend.txt file in A: automatically, and use it to answer the Setup questions if it's there.

    Finally, please remember that this will wipe out your system! Back up first, and spend some time with the help files in DEPLOY.CAB before proceeding.

    15 Change the location of the My Music or My Pictures folders

    In Windows 2000, Microsoft added the ability to right-click the My Documents folder and choose a new location for that folder in the shell
    . With Windows XP, Microsoft has elevated the My Music and My Pictures folders to the same "special shell folder" status of My Documents, but they never added a similar (and simple) method for changing those folder's locations. However, it is actually pretty easy to change the location of these folders, using the following method.

    Open a My Computer window and navigate to the location where you'd like My Music (or My Pictures) to reside. Then, open the My Documents folder in a different window. Drag the My Music (or My Pictures) folder to the other window, and Windows XP will update all of the references to that folder to the new location, including the Start menu.

    16 Autolog On tip for XP
    real easy and straight forward.
    1. click on "Start" - then click on "Run" - type "control userpasswords2"
    2. click OK
    3. On the Users tab, clear the "Users must enter a user name and password to
    use this computer" check box.
    4. A dialog will appear that asks you what user name and password should be used to logon automatically.

    Your all set.

    17 Rename Multiple files
    A new, small, neat feature for winXP deals with renaming files. I personally have always wanted the OS to include a way to do a mass file renaming on a bunch of files. You can now rename multiple files at once in WinXP. Its real simple:

    1. Select several files in Explorer, press F2 and rename one of those files to
    something else. All the selected files get renamed to the new file name (plus a number added to the end).

    2. thats it. Simple huh.

    I would recommend that you only have the files you want to rename in the directory your working in. I would also recommend that until you get used to this neat little trick that you save copies of the files in a safe location while your getting the hang of it.

    Handy for renaming those mass amounts of porn pics you d/l from the web

    18 Show file extensions

    Ever wonder where you file extensions went? Working with files when you can not tell what the file extension can be a huge pain in the butt. Thankfully, MS has made it possible for all file names with the extensions to be shown.
    In any folder that contains files. Click on the tools menu and select folder options.
    Then click on the view tab.
    Locate where it lists Hide extensions of known file types and uncheck it.
    Click OK.

    19 Windows XP does have a back-up Utility!!!

    Insert your windows XP disc into your PC. Click exit if your installation screen comes up. Now go too your CD drive in *My Computer*. Right-click and select open. Choose VALUE ADD\MSFT\NT BACK-UP FILE. In the *files of type* drop down list be sure that *select all files* is on. Click on the NTBACK-UP.msi file and click okay. Click the finish button and now go over too the start button\ALL PROGRAMS\ACCESSORIES\SYSTEM TOOLS\ and there it is now.. BACK-UP FILES...Great little tool that Microsoft never should have hidden.

    20 If you are using Norton Internet security 2002, and are experiencing slow start-up of XP.

    i.e. you can see the desktop with icons etc. but it takes 30-60sec before you can start using the computer.

    1. Click on start buttom.
    2. Select control panel
    3. Open “Network Connections”
    4. Under “LAN and High-Speed Internet”, right-click on your “Local Area Connection” and select “Properties”
    5. Under “General” tab, select “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” and select “Properties.
    6. Select “Use the following IP address:”
    7. Under “IP address” enter following :
    8. Under “Subnet Mask:” enter following :
    9. Click “Ok”

    21 Regedit stays expanded

    When I open regedit and expand a folder and open regedit later the folder stays expanded. how can I disable this?

    How can you disable it? Why, through the Registry, of course! You'll need to be in the admin account, or yours must have admin privileges.

    In regedit, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Regedit and look for the value LastKey. Double-click it and clear the string. Then right-click the Regedit key (in the lefthand pane) and select Permissions. Set Permissions to Deny for any/all users/groups.

    22 Remove the media Player history

    Every file you open or run in Windows Media Player is recorded, they are kept in the MRU (Most recently used) in the registry. Anyone can easily go in there and see what you have been viewing.

    To remove the media Player history:
    1. Click Start --> Run and type regedit
    2. Navigate to this Directory called "RecentFileList" and click on it:


    3. Right click on each key in the right window, and choose delete. i.e File 0, File 1 etc
    4. Also check the folder below it called "RecentURLList" and do the same.

    To prevent Media Player from entering more data in the list:
    1. Click Start --> Run and type regedit
    2. Navigate to this Directory :


    3. In the right window double click on the key called "AddToMRU"
    4. Double click that key and set the value to 00 (two zeros).

    23 GAIN/Gator Ads Removal (for all OS’s)

    Have you been looking for a way to rid of those dang GAIN ads while keeping the programs they come with? Look no further annoying as they are it is fairly simple to remove these pesky and annoying popup’s.

    Navigate to the Start Menu > Programs > GAIN > About GAIN

    When the About Gain window opens, click on Diagnostics tab then click on the 'Click Here' link to shut down all Gain/Gator components.

    Now if you don’t have that listing in the programs menu then open the task manager and close programs by the name of GMT and/or CMESys by highlighting and clicking ‘End Task’

    Once closed delete the CMEII&GMT folders in Windows Explorer:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\CMEII
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\GMT

    Only delete the CMEII and the GMT folders and their contents, nothing above them. Those redundant and annoying ads are now gone, that is until you install another program that uses GAIN/Gator Ads.

    24 Add Defrag, Chkdsk and SFC to the right-click menu

    Press here to go to paulindevon´s site if you want images to help you with the following three tweaks.

    To add defrag to the right click menu open regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\Shell.
    Then right click on shell and choose new key And label it Defrag. Next Right click on the defrag folder
    you just created. Choose New Key And call this new key Command. Now in the right pane right click on default,
    Choose modify and enter DEFRAG.EXE %1 as the value data close the registry open my computer and right click on
    one of youre hard drives you should be able to select to defrag it from there

    Firstly to incorporate Chkdsk into the menu open regedit and locate the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\Shell.
    Next Right click on shell and choose new key, Call the key Scandisk (or whatever you like you could call it billabong
    for all the computer cares) After naming the key Scandisk Right click on it and Again choose New Key Call this folder Command.
    Now in the right hand pane You will see an icon called default. Right click on Default and choose modify and Enter CHKDSK.EXE
    Now exit regedit go to my computer and right click on youre hard drive.The option is there to scandisk youre drive

    Firstly to incorporate SFC into the menu open regedit and locate the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\Shell. Next Right
    click on shell and choose new key, Call the key SFC (or whatever you like you could call it Eat my shorts for all the
    computer cares) After naming the key SFC Right click on it and Again choose New Key Call this folder Command. Now in the
    right hand pane You will see an icon called default. Right click on Default and choose modify and Enter
    Now exit regedit go to my computer and right click on youre hard drive.The option is there to SFC youre drive
  2. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Couldn't resist...

    Extremetech review
  3. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

    Jun 30, 2004
    Garden State, USA
    I'm glad you didn't! :D Rarely do I search anything Linux, but found that quite a door opening article Meneer.....thanks! :cool: The review gave a good impression of what sounds like a well thought out and intuitive package....Xandros Desktop OS.

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  4. no13

    no13 Retired Major Resident Nutcase

    Sep 28, 2004
    Wouldn't YOU like to know?
    Couldn't resist... one post in the middle of my exams... booting from safe mode.... Damn Xp....
    The best WinXP tip I've received....
  5. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    "Throw your PC out the ~Window~... look at it on the street below... ~eXPerience~ some relief..."

    LOL!!! :D
  6. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

    Feb 3, 2003
    on the sofa
    :eek: blaze head explode
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