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Easy XP Tweaks Second Edition


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#16
Johanna

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Tweak (Hint) #15
Using QFECHECK:
If you have run sfc in the past, your file versions may have been replaced by older versions. Many programs that have been updated may have been replaced by the versions on the CD. The only way to repair what sfc has done is to re-install all the Windows Updates. Though the catalog database will show that these have already been installed, the version changes will not have been recorded in the database.

You may want to download and install qfecheck:
http://www.microsoft...&DisplayLang=en
Then, go to a command prompt (Start > Run and type: cmd) and type: qfecheck /v
for a "verbose" output concerning your presently installed hotfixes. Qfecheck will verify the integrity of those installations and tell you which need to be re-installed.

Johanna

Edited by Czarina, 24 September 2005 - 02:46 AM.

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#17
Johanna

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Tweak #16
How to Limit Accounts:
- in Documents & Settings, check the 'all users' account and if the shortcut is there, remove it and put it in the admin account. Users won't see it then.

- in the folder containing the .exe file, go into security and make sure the administrator account has full access then remove/delete any other users and groups (everyone is probably there now).

No one except Admins will see the shortcut and if a user knows to go to the exe and run it, it will not let him/her.

If you run XP-Pro you can just use Windows Explorer when logged on as an administrator to do the above.

If you run XP-Home, you will have to boot to safe mode as the administrator to even see the security tab for the folder.

Johanna

Edited by Czarina, 24 September 2005 - 02:46 AM.

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#18
Johanna

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Tweak (HINT) #17
Systeminfo

Displays detailed configuration information about a computer and its operating system, including operating system configuration, security information, product ID, and hardware properties, such as RAM, disk space, and network cards.

Syntax
systeminfo[.exe] [/s Computer [/u Domain\User [/p Password]]] [/fo {TABLE|LIST|CSV}] [/nh]

Top of page
Parameters
/s Computer : Specifies the name or IP address of a remote computer (do not use backslashes). The default is the local computer.

/u Domain\User : Runs the command with the account permissions of the user specified by User or Domain\User. The default is the permissions of the current logged on user on the computer issuing the command.

/p Password : Specifies the password of the user account that is specified in the /u parameter.

/fo {TABLE|LIST|CSV} : Specifies the format to use for the output. Valid values are TABLE, LIST, and CSV. The default format for output is LIST.

/nh : Suppresses column headers in the output. Valid when the /fo parameter is set to TABLE or CSV.

/?: Displays help at the command prompt.

Johanna

Edited by Czarina, 24 September 2005 - 02:47 AM.

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#19
Johanna

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Tweak #18
Customizing the Windows Explorer Shortcut:

Create a new shortcut on your Desktop.

Then type or paste the following line into the target/command line:

For NT:
C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE /n,/e,/root,,/select,C:\

When you use this shortcut to access Windows Explorer, it will open up with all tree branches collapsed. You can even drag and drop this shortcut on the START button and have access to it when the Desktop may be obscured.

You may change the word "select" to "open" and it will start with the drive opened.

You may also change the drive specified after the "select" or "open" command and have it select or open any drive you choose. In addition, you can add further path information to include a directory or further subdirectories.

You can create any number of these shortcuts, even change their icons, and have a way to quickly access your favorite files, with a single click.

Example= %windir%\EXPLORER.EXE /n,/e,/root,f:\backup will open the Explorer screen to an opened Backup folder on the F: drive.

Here's some further explanation of the switches and their usage:

:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE {/n},{/e},{options},{folder}

/n, - Opens a new single pane Explorer window
/e, – Opens a 2 pane view of the selected folder
options- lets you choose between /root and /select
/root, – Used with folder. Chooses the designated folder as the starting point(root) of the folder tree. (Ordinarily, \DESKTOP is the root)
/select, – Highlights the designated folder and displays the contents of the parent folder in the right pane.
folder – designates the folder path

Note that there is a space between EXPLORER.EXE and {/n}, but no spaces elsewhere.
Each comma belongs to the preceeding element. Curly braces mean an item is optional- for example, you can include /n, and omit the the others. Spend a little time and experiment and you will understand how the parameters work. The following are some examples:

To present a SINGLE PANE view of C:\WINDOWS, use this command (don’t forget the mentioned space):

C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE /n, C:\WINDOWS (for Win98)

C:\WINNT\EXPLORER.EXE /n, C:\WINNT (for Win2k)

To present a DUAL PANE view with an open, highlighted \WINDOWS folder as the top folder in the left pane, use:

C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE /e,C:\WINDOWS (for Win98)

OR

C:\WINNT\EXPLORER.EXE /e, C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\ALL USERS\START MENU\PROGRAMS… (for Win2k)

To present a DUAL PANE VIEW WITH C: \WINDOWS, as the top folder in the left pane, use:

C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE /e,/root,C:\WINDOWS (for Win98)

C:\WINNT\EXPLORER.EXE /e, /root,C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS (for Win2K)

Drag your newly created shortcuts in the Explorer Views folder and then drag the Explorer Views folder to the TASK BAR next to the START button. Now you have a kind of “Quick Launch” Explorer view folder.

Johanna

Edited by Czarina, 24 September 2005 - 02:47 AM.

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#20
Michael

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Tweak #19: Turn off Visual Effects to improve system performance.

This will turn of a lot of visual effect that you would not have even noticed (ever seen the shadow under the mouse?)

To turn them off go:

Start < Control Panel < System < Advanced tab < Performance < Settings < Visual Effects.

The only ones that need to be kept are:

Show window contents while dragging <---- if turned off when you move a Window it stays where it is and dotted outline of the size of the window is shown until you let go of it and then it moves.
Smooth edges of screen fonts <---- if turned off text has less smooth edges.
Use drop shadows for Icon label on the desktop <---- if you have a back ground picture (which slows your computer up a bit so if after max performance don't have a back ground picture) this puts the icon label over the picture instead of having it in a box the colour of you background colour.
Use Visual Styles on Windows and buttons <---- if turned off the computer looks like Windows 98, ME, 2000 etc.

All of the others can be turned off with no effect.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by wannabe1, 03 July 2008 - 05:19 PM.

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#21
Johanna

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Tweak (Hint) #20 **
The Skinny on Messenger:
There are three different programs.
Messenger Service, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger.
The differences are more or less explained in the third paragraph here
http://messenger.msn...elp/Issues.aspx
As you can see, Messenger Service is a well-known provider of spam pop-ups, although that was not what it was supposed to do. I have already provided one reference to it. Here is another.
http://support.micro...spx?scid=330904
A quote from that article says "The Messenger service is not related to your Web browser, e-mail program, Windows Messenger, or MSN Messenger." It does not say where it does come from

MSN Messenger, is a legitimate MS supplied messenger service.
http://messenger.msn.com
Any one can get MSN Messenger, and it can be uninstalled from Control Panel|Add/Remove Programs.

As you have seen from the first reference, Windows Messenger is not the same as MSN Messenger. From MSN Messenger Help
http://messenger.msn.com/Help/

"How are MSN Messenger and Windows® Messenger different?Windows XP comes with Windows Messenger, which remains available even after MSN Messenger 6.1 is installed on your computer.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Only Windows Messenger can connect to the Communications Service and Exchange Instant Messaging, which are only used in corporations.
Some programs, such as Outlook, Outlook Express, and Remote Assistance, connect to Windows Messenger by default. When you are signed in to MSN Messenger, you may appear offline to people who connect to these programs and have you listed as a contact.
MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger can run at the same time, but only one will start automatically. You can start the other program from your list of programs (in Windows, click the Start button, point to All Programs, and then click the program you want to start).
In most cases, MSN Messenger will start automatically whenever you start Windows, unless you turn off this setting in your Messenger options. However, if you have set up Windows Messenger for corporate instant messaging and to start automatically when you start Windows, then it will continue in this manner and MSN Messenger will not start automatically.
You can be signed in to both MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger at the same time, but not with the same .NET Passport account. For instance, you can sign in to MSN Messenger with your Passport and then sign in to Windows Messenger with a different Passport account or with your corporate instant messaging account.
When both programs are running, you will see icons for each in your Windows taskbar (near your computer's clock). You can tell them apart by pointing to them with your mouse. When you point to an icon, a message appears telling you which program it is.
If you are signed in to one Messenger program with your Passport and then sign in to the other one using the same account, you will be automatically signed out of the first program."

I do not know how someone with Win98 can get Messenger Service (and hope never to find out). There are removal tools for all WinOS's except Win98. Among which
http://www.dougknox....nger_remove.htm

The source of Messenger Service
http://www.grc.com/s...hemessenger.htm

"What is the Messenger Service?

Starting back with Windows NT, and carried forward into all subsequent operating systems, Microsoft included a simple way for users on a network to send each other short "pop-up" messages. Network administrators might have used it to notify everyone of system-wide events. It was a nice idea, though in its original form it never caught on widely. There is a standard command line program "Net Send", that can be used to generate these messages, and there's also a GUI (Graphical User Interface) application to do the same.

If you're curious to see the graphical interface: On Windows 2000 or XP, right-click on "My Computer"/"Manage". Then under "System Tools" right-click on "Shared Folders". Choose "All Tasks" and finally "Send Console Message..."

You probably didn't know any of that was there, and neither do most people. It's a never-used feature that has been replaced by the various well known, popular, and feature-rich instant messaging systems.

** this is from my notes and was written by a MS-MVP on another board.

Johanna
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#22
Michael

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Tweak #21: Turn Off "Low Disk Space" Notification

Do you get a Low Disk Space Notification on a hard drive of partition and you know that is is low and don't what it to keep telling you? (note no disk space on the partition with you operating system could cause serious problems) The reason is that free space on your hard drive has fallen below a certain percentage. You can alter the threshold for this warning by changing it as follows:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver]
DiskSpaceThreshold=0
Create a new DWORD by right clicking and going to New and then DWORD and assign it a value in Decimal view of between 0 and 99 ‐ this is the percentage of free disk space left before a warning notification is given by Windows XP. Setting this to 0 turns off the notification altogether, which is what you will want.

Remember editing the registry can cause problems, if you do the wrong thing. Do not do this unless you feel safe editing the registry.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 06 October 2005 - 10:51 PM.

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#23
Michael

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Tweak #22: Disable Balloon Tips

Get sick of Balloon Tips, the small yellow pop‐ups that appear throughout Windows informing you of various facts. To disable them:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
EnableBalloonTips=0

Setting this to a DWORD value of 0 turns off the balloon tips.

Remember editing the registry can cause problems, if you do the wrong thing. Do not do this unless you feel safe editing the registry.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 06 October 2005 - 10:51 PM.

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#24
Michael

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Tweak #23: Stop System sounds
Dose your computer's tower make a bleep when you do some things and dose it annoy you? You can Turn if off by going

Start < Control Panel < System < hardware < Device Manager

In the View menu click "show hidden devices" Now under "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" find "beep" right click it and press "disable" is the prompt that comes up press yes and then yes again, you computer should the restart (if it dose not restart if yourself) and you will never hear the bleep again.

Do not Change any other device in Device Manager unless you know what you are doing, as it will cause problems.

All other sounds made by the computer can be turned off by going
Start < control panel < Sounds and Audio devices < sounds
Here you can change what events make what sounds, or turn them off. You can even browse you computer for a sound that you what it to make, it is nice when windows plays you favorite song when it starts up. For best performance chose the "No Sounds" in the box under "Sound Scheme".

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 12 October 2005 - 05:04 PM.

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#25
Johanna

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Tweak #24 Clipboard Viewer
Windows XP's Clipboard Viewer is called the "Clipbook Viewer," and it offers some additional features that are fun to play with. Here's how to put the "new" Clipbook Viewer onto your Start menu.

Click the Start menu button and open My Computer.
Open your C drive. (It's listed in the Hard Disk Drives section.)
Double-click on the Windows folder. (You might have to "show hidden files.")
Double-click on the System32 folder.
Scroll down the page until you locate a file named Clipbrd.
Drag and drop the Clipbrd file onto your Start button.
Just let go of your mouse button when it's pointing at the Start button; that drops a shortcut to the Clipbook Viewer onto your Start menu. When you open your Start menu, the Clipbrd program's icon will appear near the top.

Whenever you want to see exactly what's being stored on your Clipboard, double-click on that icon. The Clipbook Viewer will appear, letting you see what's on your clipboard.

Johanna
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#26
Johanna

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Tweak (hint) #25
Viewing/Changing File Associations
Did you know that you can run a command session and type assoc.exe press enter and you'll see the association assigned for that extension? You can likewise change the association for it by entering assoc.exe=txt or whatever you would like to assign to it. Or enter assoc.exe= and it'll have no association at all. To set it back correctly: enter assoc.exe=exefile That works on all other extensions as well of course.

To check all your assigned associations enter assoc|more and you'll get them all.

You could even send the list to a text file and print it out for reference by entering assoc > "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\assoc.txt" (change the name "owner" to match your own user name)

Johanna
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#27
Johanna

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Tweak #26
Organize your Desktop with MS Icons

Add any shortcut to your desktop, right click it and choose properties. Click "change icon" and browse to:
%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll
After making your selection, apply and okay out.

Johanna
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#28
Michael

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Tweak #27: Remove Arrow from Icons on the Desktop

If you what to remove the little icon form Desktop icons you have two options.

The first is to download Tweak UI and install it. Open it and go to Explorer < Shortcut here it the option of changing the the arrow or removing it.

The second options is to do it manualy, if you do this I recommend that you backup the regestry keys that you change then just in case something goes wrong or you what to undo something, Read the Tweak about opening Regedit to find out how to back parts of the regestry up.

first open Start regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile delete the IsShortcut registry value.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile delete the IsShortcut registry value.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ConferenceLink delete the IsShortcut registry value.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DocShortCut delete the IsShortcut registry value.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\InternetShortcut delete the IsShortcut registry value.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WSHFile delete the IsShortcut registry value.

Close regedit and reboot the computer and the arrow is gone for good.

Remember editing the regestry can cause problems, if you do the wrong thing. Do not do this unless you feel safe editing the regestry.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 06 October 2005 - 10:52 PM.

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#29
Michael

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Tweak #28: Change Drive and Folder Icons in Explorer.

Drive Icons

To change the Icon of a drive (such as C:\) open notepad and and type
[AutoRun]
icon="Path to file",0
and save the file making sure you set the save type to all files and call it Autorun.inf make sure that you have it to the root of the dive.

Ok so I have put "Path to file" you must put the file that contains the Icon that you what you use. The best way to find such and icon it to look on your start menu or desktop and find and icon that you like and right click it and press properties and then the "change Icon" button. In the Box under "Look for Icons is the file" copy the the path to the file that you have just made (while you are here why not press the "browse" button and go to C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll there are lots of icons there. Now if the file has more then one icon in it you will have to change the 0 that I put in to what ever number represents that Icon. To work out what number to put the first icon is 0 and the second is 1 and so on. Also when counting count form top to bottom of each column.

Folder Icons

This is a lot easier to do. Just right click the folder and press properties < Customize tab < Folder icons < change Icon, in the box under "Look for icons in this file" type the path to the file that you what you use, you can find an icon to use in the same way as above. Now press Ok then Ok and Ok again and you are done.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 06 October 2005 - 10:52 PM.

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#30
Michael

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Tweak #29: Cleaning Desktop, Quick Launch, and Start Menu Cleanup

This is for those that what to clean up these places (or what the little bit extra performance that few few Icon to the disk top gives you) but don't know what they can remove. First is is important to say that just about every thing that is on the Desktop, Start Menu, or Quick Launch is not the program itself but just a file that points to it, they can be deleted and you can still use the program. The most common exception to this is files that you have added to the Desktop, and unless you use them every day they can be put int the My Documents folder.

The Desktop and Quick Launch


The first move is to delete all shortcuts to programs that have been uninstalled, they are often left behind.

Now you can remove system Elements form the desktop this is done by right clicking the desktop and in the menu pressing properties in the window that comes up press the Desktop tab and then the "Customize Desktop..." button. In the general tab you can untick that those that you don't what like "My Computer".

You will notice that some system elements such at the recycle Bin are not there to remove then you must open the registry and go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Deskt
op\NameSpace
Here you will find Keys (Keys are like folders in Explorer) that look this one
{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
if you press on it in the other side of the windows it will say what it belongs to, here is a list of some of them

My Briefcase:{85BBD920-42AO-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}
Desktop: {00021400-0000-0000-C000-0000000000046}
Control Panel:{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
Dial-Up-Networking:{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD01CCC48}
Fonts: {BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948534}
Inbox :{00020D76-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
My Computer :{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
Network Neighborhood: {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-O8002B30309D}
Printers :{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-O8002B30309D}
Recycle Bin :{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
The Microsoft Network: {00028B00-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
History: {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}
Winzip :{E0D79300-84BE-11CE-9641-444553540000}
If you know one and what it is please MP about it and I will add it here.

Remember editing the registry can cause problems, if you do the wrong thing. Do not do this unless you feel safe editing the registry

Now you should only have program shortcuts plus those that you wanted to keep. Now you can delete every icon that you never use, and all those that are in both the quick launch and desktop.

Now how about have desktop icons with no name? The catch here is you can use the Space Bar to put in a name you can't see. But if you press down the Alt key while you type 255 you get an invisible name. Just as a note you can't have two icons with the same name so the second one that you do this to you must press the Alt key type 255 and the take you finger of the Alt key and then put it back on and type 255 again.

Ok So why not take is a step further and make icons that you can see at all, which is great for things that you don't what other people opening, or just are sick of seeing it.
Right click the Icon that you what to hide and press properties in the menu that comes up. Now press "Change Icon..." browse to C:\WINDOWS\system32\SHELL32.dll and 13 columns down there are blank icons select on and press Ok and Ok again you know have an invisible icon. If you have not already done so go-back and give it a name you can see and hide the arrow.

The Start Menu

The first move as with the desktop is to delete all shortcuts to programs that have been uninstalled, they are often left behind.

Now the hard thing about the Start Menu is that you don't really what to remove any thing form it because it is often used as the source for shortcuts. But There are ways to make it easier to find thing is in

The first is to make dividers to break the start menu in to sections. To do this find your start menu it is normally found "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Start Menu\Programs" where Owner is your user name. In this folder right click and press New and then Shortcut. In the Windows that comes up type some thing like C:\ because the shortcut have to point to something, then press Next. In the next window do the Alt 255 trick to give it a name that you can't see, and then give it a blank icon. You now have a divider that you can put where ever you what in the start menu. now just make as many as you need.

Another way to make things easier to find in the Start menu is to give the folders in your start menu an icon. This is hard to do unless you only have one user because it can be fiddly to do unless you combine the two start menus that are
"C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Start Menu\Programs" (where Owner is you user name)
and "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs"
in to one first by moving every thing form one to the other. (the Startup and administrative tools will not move).
Now find a Icon that you what the folder to use (normally one that is in the folder and belongs to that program) and right click it and press properties < Change Icon, in the box under where is says "Look for Icons in the file:" there is the file that contains the icon, highlight it and right click it and press copy. Now go to the folder which you what you change the Icon of and right click it and press properties < customize tab < Folder Icons < Change Icon, now in the box under "Look for Icons in the file:" paste the path for the other icon then press Ok then OK and then Ok again. If you go to the Start Menu it will have now changed.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.

Edited by Michael Buckley, 06 October 2005 - 10:52 PM.

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