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Easy XP Tweaks Second Edition


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#31
Michael

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Tweak #30: Shorten System set Delays.

Windows XP has some default settings that dealy the responsiveness of Windows, I Think that if I what to do some thing is should be done with out a dealy set by Bill Gates. In most cases 1 is the lowest setting allowed you can set it to what ever you want. I have the defaults here.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
HungAppTimeout=5000
This setting controls the delay before a hung application is allowed to terminate (each 1000 = 1 second).
WaitToKillAppTimeout=1000
This setting controls the delay before windows finally starts to shutdown (each 1000 = 1 second)
MenuShowDelay=400
This setting controls the delay before a menu or sub-menu pops open (each 1000 = 1 second)
AutoEndTasks=0
If enabled (set to 1) this setting automatically closes all running applications when Windows shuts down.
ForegroundFlashCount=3
Specifies the number of times the taskbar button flashes to notify the user that the system has activated a background window. If the time elapsed since the last user input exceeds the value of the ForegroundLockTimeout entry, the window will automatically be brought to the foreground.
ForegroundLockTimeout=200000
This setting controls the delay, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground. (each 1000 = 1 second)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
"WaitToKillServiceTimeout"="3000"
Sets the time before a service is stoped (a service is a background process with no user interface).

Remember editing the registry can cause problems, if you do the wrong thing. Do not do this unless you feel safe editing the registry, and remember to back it up, read tweak #9

If you know any other registry entries that shorten delays set by Microsoft please PM and I will add it.

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

Edited by Michael, 12 May 2006 - 11:25 PM.

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#32
Michael

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Tweak #31: Clean out the Prefetch folder Tweaks I don't recomend.

I have removed this Tweak because I don't think it is a good idea to do. The problems with message boards like this one is anyone can post something hundreds will see it and they will post it again on other messages boards. This has resulted in some tweaks that don't work, or even worse do damage becomeing popular. This in one very good example. The reason is highly complicated and tecnical so I will not even try to go in to it.

Another is the idea that if you use a JPG for your desktop background image, it saves memory. Windows can only work in bitmap in memory, JPG is simply a compression method for storing the picture infomation much like a ZIP file is used for storing word documents or text files. Windows actuly has to uncompress JPG pictures before it can use them, so it would actuly use up more memory.

Edited by Michael, 12 May 2006 - 11:23 PM.

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#33
Johanna

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XP Tip #32

How to DELETE

1.) Try it in Safe Mode first.

2.) Next, see if you can rename the file so that you change the extension to something that will release it from whatever has it locked; use .txt for example. Then try manipulating it afterward. If it works, then you can change the name back if you just wanted it moved.

3.) If no joy, get MoveOnBoot . Install it. It's a small freeware program that has the power to Delete, Copy, or Rename a file or group of files when you reboot and it's inactive. There are several ways to use it, here are some examples:
Run it to do the copy first to the folder of your choice and then run it again to do a delete if you wish. OR run it and rename the file and you may be able to manipulate it as you please with drag/drop etc. Then you can rename it with the right click and you'll be set. Try different methods as you prefer depending on your goal. It works on Folders as well as files but only by using the drag/drop into the main program screen.

4.) If still no joy, try taking ownership of the file. To do that follow the instructions given here:
http://support.micro...1&Product=winxp

5.) If still no joy, create a new administrator account and log off your present account and log into it. Then try moving the file onto the desktop of this new account. Then log off and go back to your original account. That may get the file to an inactive state so you can manipulate it from the new location while logged to the old identity. If you just want to delete it, then delete the old account and all files that it contains.

6.) If still no joy, run Task Manager and do an "End Process" on explorer.exe. The Desktop shell will disappear. This usually releases most problem files from whatever has a grasp on them. You'll have to use the toolbar menu of Task Manager to do your work and when you're finished, you can use the File > New Task(run) to start explorer.exe back up again and get the Desktop shell running again. If you run into difficulty getting explorer.exe back up, just click Shutdown > Restart and you'll get it all back.

Note:

On Windows NT/2000/XP:
Open Windows Task Manager. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC and click the Processes tab.
In the list of running programs, select EXPLORER.EXE.
Right-click EXPLORER.EXE and click End Process Tree.

Johanna

Edited by Johanna, 05 October 2005 - 03:10 PM.

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#34
Michael

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Tweak #33 Microsoft Update

This explains how to use Microsoft Update which is the update of Windows Update.

First open Microsoft Update in Internet Explorer, it dose not work in other web browsers.

If it is the first time you have visited Microsoft Update is will come up with a page that says "Try Microsoft Update Today" you then press "Start Now".

Next it will ask you to install some Active X controls if it is you first visit and run Microsoft Genuin Advantage tool with makes sure you have a legal installation of Windows XP. The web pages will guide you through the process with easy to follow steps.

Now comes the fork in the path you take, the first option is "Express" When this is pressed you are shown all "High-priority updates" you then just press "Install Updates" and than you see a window that downloads and installs the updates. You will them have to reboot and you are done.

The second option is to press "Custom". If you do so you will be able to chose what updates you what to install. On the leaf side of the page you will see select by type under this three or four categories. The first is "High Priority" it is best that you install all of these.

The next category is "Software, Optional" most if these are for things like Windows Media player, Outlook Express, and Internet Explorer. If I use the program I get the update if not, I don't download it.

The next category is "Hardware, Optional" these are the updates to drivers that run your hardware. I would not download these, because if a system is stable leave is that way, because these do not make it any more securer like the other updates. If You are having problems with a piece of hardware, go to the manufactures web site and download that latest driver form there.

The last category that is some times there is "Beta Software" I don't download any thing for there.

Once you have decided what you what to download press the little green arrow next to "Install Updates" and then the "Install Updates" button and than you see a window that downloads and installs the updates. You will them have to reboot and you are done. A tip here, I like to download only five updates at a time because I find that if I do to many at a time they seam to cause problems, done five at a time, no problems happen.

Some times on the rare case for some unknown reason (or because you Anti-Virus program has pulled out a line of code that it thinks is malicious) computer problems are experienced after updating your computer. In such a case you must uninstall the most recent updates. First find out what ones you have just installed, to do so go back to the update page and under "Options" on the leaf side of the page press "Review your Update History" this shows what updates you have installed and when. Form that you can work out ones you installed before the computer problems started.
Now go
Start < Control Panel < Add or Remove Programs
Up he top of the window tick the box next to "Show Updates" scroll down to the bottom and you will find the all the update you have installed, uninstall the ones that you need to.

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

Edited by Michael Buckley, 08 October 2005 - 06:49 PM.

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#35
Michael

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Tweak #34: Repair/Reinstall Windows Components.

Often part of Windows start messing up and not working, this is often because the files belonging to that component are missing or corrupt. The good news is that often these components can be reinstalled with out reinstalling XP. It is best that you run Tweak #6 first but it some times dose to repair some components of Windows XP

The way to do this is first put in you Windows XP CD then go to the folder C:\Windows\inf and right click the .inf file that belongs to that component of Windows that you what to reinstall and press install. I have started to put together a list of what each .inf file belongs to, if you know what one .inf that I have not listed belongs to please PM me.


Accessories accessor.inf
Communications communic.inf <-- the components in the Communications folder in Accessories.
COM+ comnt5.inf
Windows Defragmenter dfrg.inf
Distributed Transaction Coordinator dtcnt5.inf
Fax services fxsocm.inf
Windows Fonts font.inf
Windows Games Games.inf
Internet Explorer ie.inf
Internet Explorer Short cuts ieaccess.inf
Windows Internet Games igames.inf
Web Tools iis.inf <--Includes FrontPage
Windows Messenger msmsgs.inf
Multimedia multimed.inf <--Volume control and Sound Recorder and Media Player
Network Management and Monitoring Tools netoc.inf
Outlook Express Shortcuts oeaccess.inf
Out of Box Experience oobe.inf <--oobe folder in C:\Windows\System32
Pchealth pchealth.inf <-- Pchealth folder in C:\Windows
Pinball pinball.inf
Indexing Service setupqry.inf
Search srchasst.inf
Terminal Server TsOc.inf
Windows Management Instrumation wbemoc.inf
Windows Messanger Shortcuts wmaccess.inf
Windows Media Player Shorcuts wmpocm.inf
Tour XP wmtour.inf
Wordpad worpad.inf
Accessibility Tool optional.inf

One .inf file of importance that dose not install any thing is sysoc.inf It controls what you see in "Add/Remove Windows Components." If you open it you will so that most lines end with ,,7 (or some other number) and ,hide,7 (or some other number) adding hide hides it, removing the hide shows it. This can be useful for administrators that what to stop components being installed or removed.

There are 700 .inf files in C:\Windows\inf so that is a very small part of them, I am trying to get a full list.

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

Edited by Michael Buckley, 09 October 2005 - 02:37 AM.

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#36
Michael

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Tweak #35: Remove Entries From Add/Remove Programs

Sometimes after uninstalling a program the entry is still left in the Add/Remove Program, to the frustration of some users, so here is how to fix it.

First start Registry Editor

Then Locate the following key(folder):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

I recommend that you backup this whole Key(folder) by right clicking it and pressing Export and saving it some where, where you can find it should some thing go wrong.

Locate the key to be deleted by locating the key name created by the program. If the name of the key is not apparent, browse through each key and note the value for DisplayName. This is the viewable string in the Add/Remove Programs tool. It is best to double check that you have the right one by having Add/Remove Programs open as you do this.

Delete the selected registry key(folder) and its values(files). Do not delete the entire Uninstall key.

Quit Registry Editor.

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

For those that do not feel up to editing the registry you can download and install CCleaner.

Now open the the program can click on "Tools" then in the list find the entry that you what to delete. Then press the "Delete Entry" button.

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

Edited by Michael Buckley, 08 October 2005 - 06:32 AM.

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#37
Michael

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Tweak/Hint #36: How to Unistall Programs Programs

When you have a program that don't what any more you need to uninstall it. The is a difference between deleting its files and uninstalling it. When you uninstall a program it
  • Deletes the files (including those it but in the system folder)
  • Removes the programs shortcuts
  • Deletes the programs registry keys
Deleting the program only dose part of the first step.

So to uninstall a program first go
Start < All Programs < the program's entry
Look here for an Icon next to something do to with "uninstall" dubble click it and it will launch the uninstall wizard for that program.

If no luck go to
C:\Program Files\the program's folder
there should be a file called "uninstall" dubble click it and it will launch the uninstall wizard for that program.

If still no luck go to.
Start < Control Panel < Add/Remove Programs
You can now scroll up and down the list till you find the program. If you tick the little box up the top right hand corner next to Show Updates you can see update such as Windows Updates so you can remove that as well if you need to.

To remove a Program press an entry and then find a button that says "Remove" or any variation of Remove. This will launch the uninstall wizard for that program or if it dose not have one windows will use its own. After a program has been uninstalled it is best to restart your computer.

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

Edited by Michael Buckley, 14 October 2005 - 10:29 PM.

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#38
Michael

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Tweak/Hint #37: Add/Remove Optional Components

With Windows XP there are what are called option components, they are not needed but you can have then it you what to. It is good to look in to what optional components you have because you might be missing out on some of Windows XP goodies, or you might just what to free up a bit of disk space.

To get to the optional Components go
Start < Control Panel < Add/Remove Programs < Add/Remove Windows Components
Here you will see the list of all the optional Components. If you click on a component and then on the "Details" button you will see what subcomponents some of the components are made of.

Once you have decided what components you do/do not what to have press next. It may then ask you for you Windows CD so it can install the components. Once it is finished press "Finish".

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

Edited by Michael Buckley, 14 October 2005 - 09:11 PM.

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#39
Michael

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Tweak #38: Add Another Menu to the Task Bar

The first step in doing this is to make a new folder, to do so in explorer go to where you what to store the tool bar's folder you can make it any ware.

Now in the right half of explorer's window right click and then New < Folder. Now name the folder what you what, remember that this is going to be the name of the menu so make sure that it is a name you what it to be. Now in to this folder add what you what in the menu, it can be Short-Cuts, Documents, pictures, music, etc. anything that you what to be able to get to quickly.

Now Right click the Task Bar in the context menu find "Toolbars" and then "New Toolbar". In the Window that open find the folder that you made, then press "OK" You will now have a new Toolbar on your Task Bar.

Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.
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#40
Michael

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Tweak #39: Folder Options

To get to Folder Options go
Start < Control Panel < Folder Options

In the General tab there are three sections, “Tasks”, “Browse Folders”, and “Click items as follows”.
Under “Tasks” chose “Use Windows classic folders” to remove the side panel of common tasks that are not use are needed, the choice it yours, but that is what I recommend. Under “Browse folders” chose “Open each folder in the same window” to stop too many explorer windows opening. Under “Click items as follows” select “Double-click to open an item (single-click to select)’ to keep the normal double click an icon to open a program, this stops accedence.

In the View tab there are two sections “Folder views” and “Advanced settings.”
Under “Folder views” you can set the courent folder view (details, list, icons, tiles, thumbnails) if you press “Apply to All Folders”. You can also restore the default settings if you press “Reset All Folders”

Under “Advanced Settings” I tick / select
  • Do not show files and folders <--This is under hidden Files and folders, this prevents files that have been set to hidden form showing. This is best because they have been hidden for a reason.
  • Hide protected operating system files (recommended) <-- You don’t need to see these files.
  • Remember each folder’s view settings <--This mean if I set a folders view (details, list, icons, tiles, thumbnails) it will be the same next time I come back to that folder
  • Show Control Panel in My Computer <--Just another way to get to the control panel.
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color. <--Means I know if some thing is encrypted because it is green or compress because it is blue.
Things I don’t tick / select
  • Automatically search for network folders and printers <--This is what adds to the list of shared folders in My Network Places < Entire Network < Microsoft Windows Network I don’t like it doing so, and this adds to network traffic.
  • Display file size information in folder tips <--This is a matter of personal preference, if you look at folder tips tick it.
  • Display simple folder view in Explorer’s Folder list<--Dose not seam to do anything.
  • Display the contents of system folders<--Unless you know what you are doing you should not be looking in system folders.
  • Display the full path in the address bar <--Matter of preferance, I nomaly untick it.
  • Display the full path in the title bar <--Matter of preferance, I nomaly untick it.
  • Do not cache thumbnails <--This makes Thumnails load slower.
  • Show files and folders <--This is under hidden Files and folders, this makes files that have been set to hidden show. This is not advised they have been hidden for a reason.
  • Hide extensions for know file types <--If you tick this a file could show up as filename.bmp in stead of filename.bmp.vbs, and you would think that the file is a picture when it could realy be a virus.
  • Launch folder windows in a separate process <--It starts another process which is undeened.
  • Restore previous folder windows at logon <--Means all the Explorer Windows that I forgot to close open when I start my computer.
  • Show pop-up desciption for folder and desktop items <--This annoys me, if you like it keep it, it dose not make much of a difference.
Hope you find this tweak useful, please do not post comments in this thread.
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#41
Michael

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Tweak #40: Remove Unwanted Context menus

When you right click a folder do you notice that programs have added them selves to the the little pop up menu. You can remove these program entries, by editing the registry. It is best to have a full back up of the registry just in case some thing goes wrong. To backup registry right click a folder(key) and press export and save it where you could find it if needed. In this case you only have to back up

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder


Once you have done that have a look in

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\OpenWithList
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers


And delete the folders(keys) to the programs who's entries you want removed. Reboot and they will be gone.

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.
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#42
Mark36

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Tweak #6: Repair Corrupt Files.

Some times in XP files get corrupt, the good thing is it is easy to fix.

Now go
Start < run and type sfc /scannow (note the space between the sfc and /)

It will ask you for you installation CD so have it ready. This will gives you a blue bar it can tack some time to finish (any where up to an hour) when it gose reboot. It fixes any files that have become corrupt.

Go
Start < run and type chkdsk /r /x (again note the spaces)

This many ask you if you what to do it in your next boot, answer yes. Wanning this may take some time to finish, about 1 minute per gigbyte. This will fix all hard drive errors.

You should not use you computer while you do either of these.

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

How can I do this from dos or c:prompt? I am running xp pro.
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