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Jason's PC Passion

Window Basics

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PC Talk

Changing your screen resolution

While most advanced Windows users take changing the screen resolution for granted, this task is often seen as difficult by many novice users. Here are the steps to change your screen solution.

  • Right click anywhere on the desktop EXCEPT on the task bar or on an icon.
  • When the DISPLAY PROPERTIES dialog box pops-up select the SETTINGS tab along the top (FIGURE 1)
  • Using the slider under the SCREEN AREA text, move the slider left for a smaller resolution, and right for a larger resolution.
  • While there are sizes larger than the listed sizes, these are the most common. From smallest to largest they are:
    640x480 - Windows Default Size
    1024x768 - A nice happy median of sizes
  • Once you have selected a resolution and click OK you will be told that Windows will change to the new resolution. Click OK. If all is well you will be able to see your desktop in the new resolution. Make sure you click ok when it asks you if you want to keep this resolution. If your screen is blank, simply wait 15 seconds (don't push any buttons, or click your mouse) and Windows will restore your previous settings.

Not all video cards support the resolutions that are listed above. Because of this, you may only see 2 or 3 choices in the SCREEN AREA menu. Windows will only display the resolutions that your video card can display.

If you change your resolution to a high resolution (1024x768 or above) and then think your fonts are too small there is a quick remedy to this situation. Click on the ADVANCED button seen in FIGURE 1 and change the font size to LARGE.


Turn back the clock

Gray is definitely out. The folks at Microsoft bathed Windows XP in color. 

   Don't like XP's look? To switch back to the Classic look that resembles Windows 2000, right-click the desktop, select Properties, click the Themes tab, and choose Windows Classic from the drop-down list. 

Voilą! You're back to comfy shades of blue and gray--not to mention having all those familiar icons.
Click "Switch to Classic view" in the upper-left corner of the Properties dialog to bring back the familiar Control Panel icons of earlier versions of Windows.  

    To get back to a Start menu that looks more like Windows 2000's, right-click in an empty portion of the Start menu's left-hand column, select Properties, and go to the Start Menu tab. Select Classic Start Menu. To bring the new look back, just reverse these steps.

Customize the Start menu

    The Start menu gets more real estate in XP than in previous versions, and it's more customizable.

      To make the Start menu display only     the applications you want, rather than the default determined by Microsoft, right-click in an empty section of the Start menu's left column, and select Properties > Start Menu > Customize.

 Here you'll find a list of your most frequently used programs. (XP keeps track of what you use and what you don't, then updates this list dynamically).

Fine tune Internet connection speed: Tip on changing QoS parameter

This tweak deals with QoS parameter manipulation. 

There have been some confusion as to what can be achieved in real terms by changing the QoS parameter. 

   Microsoft has finally released an article correcting describing the behavior of QoS parameter. I am providing a link to Microsoft web site knowledgebase article;EN-US;q316666.  

   In brief though, this tweak would only work on QoS aware programs and rest of the programs would simply ignore them. 

    Networking Quality of Service (QoS) refers to a variety of techniques that prioritize one type of traffic or program when these operate across a network connection rather than relying solely on "best effort" connectivity. 

 By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20 percent of the underlying link speed on each interface on an end computer.

 If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending enough data to utilize it completely, the unused portion of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host. This default parameter can be changed.

Further fine tune Internet access speed: Tip on improving DNS resolution

     Internet browsing is such an exciting and easy experience now a days that we have almost forgotten the amount of work that goes behind the scene to make this all happen.

     We only feel bad if we can't find something easily or have to wait for a long time (I have heard many people saying WWW stands for world wide wait not too long ago!!!)

      Well with changes in technology and falling prices we have far better hardware and software to do this job but fruits of fine tuning have always been great and would continue to remain so. 

    One of the things that should happen before Internet connection would go through is DNS resolution.DNS stands for Domain Name Service.

      Even though XP does a fine job of handling DNS resolution, you may still gain by increase the DNS Cache size. To do this you would have to add following entries in registry. 

     Save what is written below in say "dnstuning.reg" file and import it in REGISTRY but opening registry editor and going to IMPORT option from top menu.

Want to have more options in the Add/Remove program list ?

All programs that are available on your Windows XP system are not available for removal.

 For example wordpad. I mean you don't want to remove wordpad from Add/Remove program list, but that serves just as an example. 

    So why are some programs in the list and some not. Its not a game of Random numbers. There many a few unique methods through which we can control what appears on list and what does not. 

  If you have installed Windows in C: drive , Go to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. 

File contents looks like this: See the components that have word HIDE as second last item on the row. 

    This hide tells system to not to display those items/apps in the Add/Remove program list. If you want to have this item in list, simply replace it with blank. I think you understand what am I saying
Signature = "$Windows NT$"
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2

Start menu is slow in responding? Want to boost response time of start menu ?

Windows XP is touted as a new generation of OS Xperience. No doubt about that but this experience come at a cost. Resources. 

     If your hardware configuration (read CPU,RAM) is not upto speed but still want to boost response time of start menu, here are a few tricks that might help. 

   Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit and navigate to key HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop \ MenuShowDelay .

 Change the value (default may be 400) to 5 or 50 or even 0. This should speed up.

   If you are not all that crazy for shadowy effects, you can further speed the things up by going to DISPLAY Properties Window and from there to appearance and over there clicking Advanced command button and check off Show menu shadow.

How to remove recycle bin from your desktop ?

Open Regedit by going to START - RUN and type Regedit and hit enter. Then you should navigate to following entry in registry
Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} and delete it. This action should remove recycle bin from your desktop.


Turn on your firewall

Microsoft included a firewall in Windows XP to keep you safe from hackers while you cruise the Internet.

    How do you know that the Internet Connection Firewall is on? Go to the Control Panel and double-click the Network Connections icon. 

In the dial-up, DSL, or cable connection dialog that appears, check the Status column. If your firewall is on, it should say Firewalled. 

      You can turn the firewall off with the check box, but unless you are going to add a third-party firewall for heightened security, it's best to leave it on.
Now that you know that your firewall is on, how do you know that it's doing its job?

    Test it with ShieldsUp, the free testing service sponsored by Gibson Research. According to our tests, XP's Internet Connection Firewall kept the computer in full stealth mode.

 Hackers could not break in and couldn't even see the computer online.
  But, given the latest security problems with USB 2.0, etc, you should always go to
Windows Update to make sure you have the latest patches, no matter what operating system you use.

Watch your cookies

   In XP, the Documents And Settings folder holds all user information, including configuration settings, favorites, and cookies. The Documents And Settings\Username\Cookies folder is where XP stashes cookies.

    How do you control the number of cookies you allow on your system? Click Start > Control Panel > Network And Internet Connections > Internet Options. Click the Privacy tab, then use the slider bar to modify your cookie settings. 

      For instance, you can block cookies from sites that use personal identification without your consent. To increase your security, try out the other privacy settings in this dialog. 

  The lowest level is Accept All Cookies while the highest is Block All Cookies, with low, medium, medium-high, and high settings in between. (An explanation of each appears as you move between settings.) 

      Keep in mind that rejecting cookies may limit your actions on some Web sites, and some sites use cookies to track how many times you see a popup, for example, on this website, if you blocked cookies, you would see a popup on every page.

Disable error reporting

  • Open Control Panel

  • Click on Performance and Maintenance.

  • Click on System.

  • Then click on the Advanced tab

  • Click on the error-reporting button on the bottom of the windows.

  • Select Disable error reporting.

  • Click OK

  • Click OK

Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons

Here's how you can remove those shortcut arrows from your desktop icons in Windows XP.

  1. Start regedit.

  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile

  3. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

You may need to restart Windows XP


This is for broad band connections. I didn’t try it on dial up but might work for dial up.

  1. make sure your logged on as actually "Administrator". do not log on with any account that just has administrator privileges.

  2. start - run - type gpedit.msc

  3. expand the "local computer policy" branch

  4. expand the "administrative templates" branch

  5. expand the "network branch"

  6. Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in left window

  7. in right window double click the "limit reservable bandwidth" setting

  8. on setting tab check the "enabled" item

  9. where it says "Bandwidth limit %" change it to read 0

Effect is immediate on some systems, some need to re-boot. This is more of a "counter what XP does" thing. 

    In other words, programs can request up to 20% of the bandwidth be reserved for them, even with QoS disabled, this is no big deal and most programs do not request it. 

     So, although QOS has caused a big stink because people think it reserves 20% of their bandwidth, you can still disable it, just to be sure,

Increase your cable modem or DSL speed in XP

      This tweak is for broad band cable connections on stand alone machines with winXP professional version - might work on Home version also.

     It will probably work with networked machines as well but I haven't tried it in that configuration. This is for windows XP only, it does not work on win2000.
 It does not involve editing the registry. 

This tweak assumes that you have let winXP create a connection on install for your cable     modem/NIC combination and that your connection has tcp/ip - QoS - file and print sharing - and client for microsoft networks , only, installed.

 It also assumes that winxp will detect your NIC and has in-box drivers for it. If it doesn't do not try this.
      In the "My Network Places" properties (right click on the desktop icon and choose properties), highlight the connection then at the menu bar choose "Advanced" then "Advanced Settings". 

Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK

  1. From the windows XP cd in the support directory from the support cab, extract the file netcap.exe and place it in a directory on your hard drive or even in the root of your C:\ drive.

  2. next, open up a command prompt window and change directories to where you put netcap.exe. then type "netcap/?". It will list some commands that are available for netcap and a netmon driver will be installed. At the bottom you will see your adapters. You should see two of them if using a 3Com card. One will be for LAN and the other will be for WAN something or other.

  3. Next type "netcap/Remove". This will remove the netmon driver.

  4. Open up control panel / system / dev man and look at your network adapters. You should now see two of them and one will have a yellow ! on it. Right click on the one without the yellow ! and choose uninstall. YES! you are uninstalling your network adapter, continue with the uninstall. Do not restart yet.

  5. Check your connection properties to make sure that no connection exists. If you get a wizard just cancel out of it.

  6. Now re-start the machine.

  7. After re-start go to your connection properties again and you should have a new connection called "Local area connection 2". highlight the connection then at the menu bar choose "Advanced" then "Advanced Settings". Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK.

  8. Choose connection properties and uncheck the "QOS" box

  9. Re-start the machine

  10. after restart enjoy the increased responsivness of IE, faster page loading, and a connection speed boost.

Why it works, it seems that windows XP, in its zeal to make sure every base is covered installs two seperate versions of the NIC card.

       One you do not normally see in any properties. Remember the "netcap/?" command above showing two different adapters? The LAN one is the one you see. 

     The invisible one loads everything down and its like your running two separate cards together, sharing a connection among two cards, this method breaks this "bond" and allows the NIC to run un-hindered.

Boost HDD Performance

            Win9x sets DMA to OFF by default. You have to switch it on. In theory, enabling DMA increases UDMA Hard Disk access to 33.3 MB/sec. In practice, speed will increase substantially from the old standard of 16MB/sec.

           Furthermore, DMA uses only 25% of CPU resources compared to 40% normally. Nearly all 5400rpm/7200rpm, and some lower speed, drives, support DMA.

        Right-click on "my computer". Now click on "properties". Now search for "devide manager" and click properties of your hard drive. It should have an option called "DMA".

        By enabling this, your hard drive should show an increase in performance. Also, this method can increase the transfer rate of your CD-ROM or CD-Writer, possibly eliminating those under buffer run errors.

Again, an easy tweak which could improve you hard drive's performance

Win2k/XP L2 Cache Tweak

First open up Registry Editor go to this location...

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->System->CurrentControlSet->Session Manager->Memory Management. In there find SecondLevelDataCache. There enter the size of your cache in decimals.

So if you have a Athlon because the size of L2 cache is 256KB, enter 256. For a Duron, enter 64 for 64KB.

Disable Paging Executive

          In normal usage, XP pages sections from RAM memory to the hard drive. We can stop this happening and keep the data in RAM, resulting in improved performance.

           Note that only users with a large amount of RAM (256MB+) should use this setting. The setting we want to change to disable the ’Paging Executive’, as it is called, is called DisablePagingExecutive. Changing the value of this key from 0 to 1 will de-activate memory paging.

System Cache Boost

            Changing the value of the key LargeSystemCache from 0 to 1 will tell Windows XP to allocate all but 4MB of system memory to the file system cache, basically meaning that the XP Kernel can run in memory, greatly improving it’s speed.

             The 4MB of memory left is used for disk caching, but if for any reason more is needed, XP allocates more. Generally, this tweak improves performance by a fair bit but can, in some intensive applications, degrade performance.

As with the above tweak, you should have at least 256MB of RAM before attempting to enable LargeSystemCache.

Input/Output Performance

        This tweak is only really valuable to anyone running a server - it improves performance while a computer is performing large file transfer operations.

By default, the value does not appear in the registry, so you will have to create a REG_DWORD value called IOPageLockLimit.

        The data for this value is in bytes, and defaults to 512KB on machines that have the value. Most people using this tweak have found maximum performance in the 8 to 16 megabyte range, so you will have to play around with the value to find the best performance.

Remember that the value is measured in bytes, so if you want, say, 12MB allocated, it’s 12 * 1024 * 1024, or 12582912.

           As with all these memory tweaks, you should only use this if you have 256MB or more of RAM.Win2k/XP Shutdown Fix:First of all open RegEdit, if you dont know how do do this its simple Go to Start,
click on Run (should be in the bottom right hand side) and type Regedit.

Navigate your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then ---> SYSTEM then --->CurrentControlSet then --->Control
Click on control and in the right window you will see this key WaitToKillServiceTimeout

It should be set to 20000, what this means i do not know, but lower it to 200, i did this safely with no problems.Make XP Browsing faster:This make broswing a lot faster, but if you use scheduled tasks, don't do this, Open up the Registry and go to :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace

Under that branch, select the key :


and delete it.

Get back Bandwidth in XP

The following tweak applies only to Windows XP Professional edition.

          The default system behaviour is that all 100% bandwidth is available, however, if there is a running application that indicates to the OS it needs to send high priority/real time data, then as long as it has the socket open,

Windows XP will restrict “best effort” traffic to 80% of the bandwidth so that high priority traffic can be accommodated.

       Basically, applications can make this request to the operating system for QoS support using the QoS application programming interfaces (APIs) in Windows and this only applies if a specific app is requesting QoS.

If you'd like to change how much bandwidth is reserved for QoS (the default is 20% of the total bandwidth), do the following:

1. Make sure you're logged in as "Administrator" (not just any account with admin privileges).
2. Navigate to START>Run and type: gpedit.msc
3. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Network > QOS Packet Scheduler
4. In the right window, double-click the limit reservable bandwidth setting
5. On the setting tab, check the enabled setting.
6. Where it says "Bandwidth limit %", change it to read 0 (or whatever percentage you want to reserve for high priority QoS data)
7. Click OK, close gpedit.msc

        Under START > My Computer > My Network Connections > View Network Connections, right-click on your connection and under Properties (where it lists your protocols), make sure QOS Packet Scheduler is enabled.

You need to reboot for changes to take effect.

Change the Logon Message in Windows XP

Start regedit.


In the key LegalNoticeCaption enter the Title you want to give the window.

In the key LegalNoticeText enter whatever message you want to display at logon.
Close regedit. restart your computer.

Removing Menu Delay

      To remove any delay from menus sliding out. use regedit The key to change this is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop. The actual key is called MenuShowDelay - all you have to do is change the value to 0. and re-boot your computer.

Stop Windows Explorer from expanding the folder tree:

Tired of Windows XP Explorer's hard-drive tree be expanded by default?

Right click on Windows XP Explorer and select "properties" then select the "shortcut" tab.

Change the target line to this (cut and paste):

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,C:\,/select

Nice and easy. Now your hard-drive tree should be collapsed and easier to navigate

Repair Windows XP

Have sfc check the system files by running the command sfc /scannow from the Command Window (Start > Run).

          Put XP disk in, click on exit when it comes up on screen, leave disk in, type in run box off Start sfc /scannow and click OK. (Space between c and /)

This is actually not a tweak, but I think it deserves a look at...

Get more Bandwidth

step 1: restart computer nd go into BIOS
setp 2: disable anything to do with usb (ULNESS YOU USE USB)
setp 3: restart your computer.

        reason: usb allocates 12% of your bandwidth for usb devices. depending on your system configuration this can improve frame rates in games greatly,
example: my old k6-3 computer gained 25FPS in UNREAL TOURNAMENT by disabling usb.
this tweak does not work as great on modern computer running DDR or the more costly rambus, yes it still is good for 4-10% more bandwidth.

slightly older computers, , p2s p1's k6's etc will benefit most from this, lets face it these older systems need all the help they can get.

       on an older system where ram bandwidth is an issue, they help alot but when new computer that get 2-3GB's of bandwidth, it doesn't help as much so YOUR RESULTS WILL VARY.

Faster Boot

        When you boot your WinXP home box, does your system hang for a looooooong time after the desktop appears?? You try and click on items and nothing happens?

Then all of a sudden, all those things that you clicked on during the hang start to load and pop up?
I had this problem with my computer, and I have seen it in others.

It took me awhile to find a solution, so I want to share it with as many as possible.....

1. Click START/RUN
2. Type msconfig
3. Click OK
4. Click the SERVICES tab
5. Scroll down to find a service called WORKSTATION
6. Uncheck this service
7. Click APPLY
8. When prompted, Restart

With any luck, you will just have cut your boot time in half, just like I did for my computer and for others'.
            When the System configuration utility appears, if this worked for you, click the box that says "Do Not Show This Message Again". If this causes something bad to happen, immediately repeat the steps above except put a check IN the box on step #6.

I cannot say if this will work in XP Pro because I have not tested it. If anyone tries I would love to know if it worked.

Windows Tile Trick

         Run "regedit" from Start->Run under Windows. Search the registry for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Window Title

          If the Window Title string does not exist, create a new string with that name! Edit the key value to read "Internet Explorer Provided by CHE on the loose! *Spit* YEAH!!@@##"

           That is now the title which will be displayed at the top of your Internet Explorer window. It may be kinda boring on your own machine, but it's a fun trick to play on your friend or your boss

Can you change the window title for Outlook Express? Windows of other programs? Try and see

        Warning: Messing with your registry can hose your operating system ect ect...make sure you back up the registry first and know what you are doing.

Java Taking too long?

In IE select tools- Internet options-advanced; under Microsoft VM'; check for Java logging enabled and JIT compiler for virtual machine enabled.

Make sure these have a check mark and boom there u go....

Enable DMA on CD-RW's:

problems leading to coasters

1) you have little ram
2) many background apps running
3) YOUR DMA IS NOT ENABLED FOR YOUR BURNER!!!!!!!!!!! <---most important

          To enable your DMA for your burner/hard drive/anything that is IDE!! simply go to system info in control panel, then goto your hardware device manager. Now look for IDE ATA/Atapi controllers in your list of devices.

double click and your should see primary controller and secondary and master controller.

       Primary being your first IDE channel, and secondary your second channel, double click primary or secondary if the device u want to enable dma is in there, then go to advanced settings tab, and select dma if available for them all, you usually don't want PIO mode ever

WinXP Slow

     Usually win xp is lagging on your comp because u have those nice little graphics stuff that is on by default, simply just change your desktop scheme back to classic style, that'll take off that nice look, but boost performance =)

CD 2 CD = Coaster?

When you are experiencing problems cd to cd copying, without first buffering an image to the hdd, its because.

1) you have little ram
2) dma is not enabled for either of your cd-rom/writer/dvd drive
3) your read speed is not at least twice as fast as your burn speed

         and lastly the biggest problem: both your cd rom/writer/drive is connected to the same IDE channel, causing loss of data because the ide channel cannot handle all the data.

Solution: simply switch one drive over to a different IDE channel

Raise your AGP Aperature Size

    There are many reasons and many ways to solve it. If you have little system ram it could be a problem. even if your vid card is 16mb, by getting for system ram, you can boost overall system performance and video.
you say, "I have 256mb ram, but everything loads so slow in games"
that's because you have no set your agp arpeture size in you bios to at least have of your total memory of your system.

         In this case you would set it to 128mb. Basically agp aperture size decides how much your system memory your video card is allowed to hog and use to cache textures, game data and other stuff.

To solve this problem, get a download broswer, that will cut your file into small little pieces to download, because as you might have noticed,

when your downloads starts it fires up to 1mb/sec but after 5 sec its back to like 200kb/s, thats probably because your isp has capped u after they detected your bandwidth hogging transfer. Thats why you get a program that splits your download into little pieces =)

Unlock the T-Bird/Duron

To overclock an AMD processor all you need to do is grab a sharp number 2 pencil.

          While examining the CPU under good light you'll see a set of small gold contacts labeled "L1" you should see a row of 8 contact that resemble dots.

           Get a sharp number 2 pencil and connect each pair of dots in the same axis as the "L1", when you are done you should have four pairs of connected dots. Be careful not to smear lead so that it touches the other contacts.

        You can also use overclockers tape (trace tape) to do this if you do not like the idea of using lead. Both work great, but be careful you have enough cooling.

           AMD processors already run a little hotter than the Pentium. when you are all done put everything back together (heatsink, fan, ect.....) and boot your computer.

           In your BIOS you should be able to change your clock-speed multiplier. If your machine refuses to let you change your the multiplier you probably didn't connect the contacts correctly.

Prioritize Processes

        This is so simple it’s not funny, but it leads into the next tweak... anyway, if you press Control+Alt+Delete, then click on the ’Processes’ tab, you should get a dialog like the one above.

   You can see a list of all the processes running at the time. Now, if you are running a program that you want to dedicate more processing time to -

     eg, 3D Studio Max, as in my example, you can just right-click on the process, move your cursor down to ’Set Priority >’, then select how high you want that program prioritized.

    While I’m checking my email, I might want a Normal priority for Max, but if I leave my Computer, I can increases it to ’RealTime’ to get the most rendering done. Easy!

Improving Internet Connection

Even when connected to the Internet, sometimes the websites do not load, or take too long to load. Use a simple trick I have used for years:

1. Go to Start, click Run...
       2. Type "ping -t" (without quotaion marks). Instead of "anysite" you may use, etc, or any other site that is normally up and running.
3. Hit OK.

In an MS-DOS prompt window you will see your computer pinging a website. You will see your Internet connection taking off!

Deleting Trash

Sometimes you find files you KNOW you will not need ever again.

Instead of sending them to the Recycle Bin by hitting Del in Windows Explorer, use the combination Shift+Del.

Thus, you bypass the Recycle Bin, pretty much guaranteeing that you will never see those files again (use with caution).

Manage your computer remotely

     Just configure Microsoft Netmeeting on the computer that you know you will have to manage remotely and be sure to configure it with the option of shared desktop.

After that you will be able to enter the remote computer anytime, using the user name and password that you assigned at the configuration time.

Always remember to make a secure call.

And be prepared to get a user calling you about his/her computer is haunted because is moving alone.......hehehehe...

Ungroup Buttons

XP groups similar applications under a single button in the taskbar, forcing you to choose the item from a pop-up menu.

          If you would prefer separate buttons for each open application, right-click the taskbar, choose Properties, uncheck Group similar taskbar buttons, and click OK.

Making WindowsXP remember open folders

In other versions of Windows, folders and Explorer windows you had open when you logged off would open again the next time you logged on.

        This is not the default in Windows XP. choose Tools, Folder Options in any window, click the View tab, scroll to the end of the Advanced settings list, click" Restore previous folder windows at logon", and click OK.

Performance Boost

       This is the simple trick I always use to boot PC performance. It's low cost and everybody can do the same trick. I have a MB with Via chipsets. The simple way is to download the latest version 4in1 driver. It can fixed many problems.

If people know enough what they are doing, he can even twist the driver to get a little bit more juice out of it.

Overclocking the P4

          Intel Chip usually have more safety margin than AMD. It would be a good candidate for o/c. The easy way to o/c is to increase the FSB frequency by editing the BIOS.

        Say if you have one with 100MHz (or 400MHz depends how you look at it). You can increase up to 119Mhz without problem as long as you the the right cooler.

       Don't be aggressive or you will run into stability issue. You can increase increase more if you have those "downgrade" chip. You wouldn't fry your chip even if it run too hot.

Change the Logon Message in Windows XP

Start regedit.


In the key LegalNoticeCaption enter the Title you want to give the window.

In the key LegalNoticeText enter whatever message you want to display at logon.
Close regedit. restart your computer.
Quick Boot:

   If you would like your computer to boot a tad faster, and you are comfortable with changing a few bios settings try these,enable Quickboot,in bios features setup ,disable bootup floppy seek, and in boot sequence boot from C: only

Quick Computer Lock

This is not a tweak, just a simple keyboard shortcut (very useful at least for me!)
     I have to lock the computer several times a day because I have sensitive information and here's a simple way to do it: Just press Winkey (key between left control and left alt) and L at the same time. Bang, computer locked.

Boot XP Faster

This will work for all versions of Windows.
Go to "Start"

Click on "Run"

Typ "msconfig" without the " " and click "ok"

Go to "startup"
You will now see a list of files. All the files that have a check in front of it, will be loaded when you boot the computer.

A lot of these files are useless. For example, who needs Quicktime to be started automatically every single time the computer is booted??

     If you need it, you can just start it via program files. So, all the files you don't want to be started at boot can be unselected. If you're not sure what a particular file means, leave it, it might be important.

 Important programs could include a virus scanner, a firewall, a driver needed to operate hardware or any other program you want to be booted.
I myself decreased the boot time for my WinXp machine from 45 seconds to 30 seconds.

I got similar results for my WinMe and Win98 machine, nearly booting at half the time needed before! And that with a few simple clicks!

Finding my IP address

Here are a few ways to find your IP address:

If the Network Connection icon is in the System tray, right click it, select Status. Then click the Support tab.

Open a Command Prompt window and type IPCONFIG /ALL

For anyone familiar with WINIPCONFIG you can download it here: IPCONFIG

You can also visit

Locking your Desktop

Here are a couple of ways to lock your XP desktop:

Hold down the Windows key and the L key (WinKey+L) simultaniously.

You can also create a shortcut icon on your desktop using the command: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Right-click somewhere on the desktop

Select New | Shortcut and type: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

NetMeeting on XP

         NetMeeting is installed with Windows XP, it is just not obvious that it is. There are, by default, no Desktop or Start Menu shortcuts for it. To activate NetMeeting:

Click Start | Run and enter CONF.EXE This will start the NetMeeting Setup wizard.

During setup, you'll be prompted to create Desktop and/or Quick Launch bar icons.

Disabling Windows Messenger

          If you're running XP Pro, you can use GPEDIT.MSC to prevent Messenger from loading. Otherwise, even disabling it in startup won't cause it to "always" not run. Outlook, Outlook Express and some Microsoft Web pages can still make it load.

Click Start | Run and enter GPEDIT.MSC

For "per machine" restriction, go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger

For "per user" restriction, go to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Messenger

You can now modify whether it starts initially and/or whether its to run at all.

          Note: Outlook and Outlook Express will take longer to open, unless you turn off Messenger Support. In Outlook Express its in Tools | Options | General tab. In Outlook its in Tools | Options | Other.

Restricting a users Logon hours

To restrict a users logon hours we will use the net user command. These commands are used fromt the Command Prompt.

Below are some examples:

net user brendon /time:M-F,08:00-17:00

net user brendon /time:M-F,8am-5pm

net user jane /time:M,4am-5pm;T,1pm-3pm;W-F,8:00-17:00

net user matt /time:all (this one means this user can always log on)

         Note:You can only restrict when a user can log on to the system. On a stand alone computer, there is no way, currently, to force a user to log off when their hours expire.

Disable the Splash Screen

Ever wonder what's going on behind that splash screen? Well, now you can find out!

Right click My Computer

Select Properties then click on the Advanced tab.

Next click Settings under Startup and Recovery.

Click Edit

You'll need to edit this file "BOOT.INI"

Add /SOS right after /fastdetect with a space between them.

The line should look something like this:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows="Microsoft Windows Whistler Professional" /fastdetect /SOS

After you restart, the splash screen should be gone! You can set it back simple by removing the /SOS switch

Burning a CD in XP

Windows XP comes with software to make copying to a CD-RW drive easy!

Be sure that you have a Recordable CD in your CD writer

Highlight the files that you want to burn to your CD

Right-click and select Send To | CD-RW Drive (D:) (or whatever your Recordable CD Drive is called.

Note: It is always a good idea to view the CD contents afterwards to verify that the data was copied correctly!

Note: Be sure that you have enough space to store the temporary files that are created during the burning process.

Keeping XP up to date

It is a good idea to keep your system up to date with the latest security updates!

Click Start | Help and Support. Under “Pick a task,” click Keep your computer up–to–date with Windows Update.

Click Click Scan for updates
Click Yes when prompted to install any required software or device drivers.

This will keep your system automatically updated with the latest security updates!

          Note: You can also open Windows update by opening Windows Internet Explorer and clicking on Tools | Windows Update OR by clicking on Start | All Programs | Windows Update

Using System Restore

System Restore is a great utility should anything go wrong with your system. You can restore you system back to the last restore point.

Creating a Restore Point:

          Access the System Restore Wizard through Help and Support Center. (Click Start | Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance | Using System Restore to undo changes | Run the System Restore Wizard.

Click Create a restore point, and then click Next.

          In the Restore point description box, type a name to identify this restore point. System Restore automatically adds to this name the date and time that this Restore Point is created.

Click Create

Now if something ever happens to your system, you can always restore you system back to this restore point:

         to return to this restore point, from the Welcome to System Restore screen of the System Restore Wizard select Restore my computer to an earlier time. Then select the date when the restore point was created from the calendar in the Select a Restore Point screen.

Disable Balloons

Annoyed by those silly balloons that keep popping up?

Right-Click on Start and select Properties

On the Start Menu tab click Customize

Select the Advanced tab

Uncheck the box labeled Highlight Newly Installed Programs

Click OK.

Note: To change it back set the Value data: to 2

Changing the Owner of the System

The settings can be located using REGEDIT

Click Start | Run and type REGEDIT

Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | Software | Microsoft | Windows NT | CurrentVersion

Right-click on RegisteredOwner and select Modify

Change the Value data: to your the new owner name

Right-click on RegisteredOrganization and select Modify

Change teh Value data: to the new organization name


Lock the Taskbar

Tired of accidentally resizing your taskbar?

Right-click somewhere on the taskbar where there is empty space.

Select Lock the Taskbar

Clear up that type

ClearType is an effect that smooths the text fonts on the screen. For some reason, it is disabled by default on XP.

Click Start | Control Panel

Click the Appearance And Themes tab

Click the Display icon | Appearance tab | Effects button

Check the box labeled Use The Following Method To Smooth Edges Of Screen Fonts and select ClearType

Click OK.

Disable Autoplay CD

Older OS's would autoplay a CD that has music or software to install

XP goes a step further and display or find another way to present the data. This can be rather annoying everytime you want to insert a CD.

Double-Left-Click on My Computer

Right-Click on your CD-ROM icon and click Properties

Click AutoPlay to bring up the options for this selection

Select the content-type from the drop-down list

Click the radio button for Select An Action To Perform and choose your desired action.

NOTE: By selecting Take No Action with a data CD, the CD will no longer open when you are installing new software.

Compatibility Mode

Ever tried to run software that was design for Win98 or WinME and had problems?

Perhaps running the software in Compatibility Mode will enable this software to function properly.

Right-Click on the shortcut to the problematic software and select Properties

Select the Compatibility tab and check the box marked Run This Program In Compatibility Mode For and select the OS from the dropdown list

Click OK.

Windows Logo Key

The Windows key does more than just open the start menu.

Tapping the Windows Logo Key Once Opens the start menu

Holding down the Windows Key and tapping:

D - minimizes the open windows. (Doing it again re-opens all the windows)

E - opens Windows Explorer

F - opens the File Search window

R - opens the Run window.

U - opens the utility manager

Break - opens the System Properties window.

F1 - opens the Help & Support Center window.

Finding the Registration Information

If you've bought a used computer with Windows XP and need to change the registered owner, or for any other reason:

Click Start | Run and type "regedit"
Follow the directory to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
Right click on RegisteredOwner and select modify
Change any other needed values in this directory

How-To Articles By Microsoft

Microsoft has their own set of How-To Articles for Windows XP which is the next place you might look for more tips and tricks!

For Windows XP Pro:
For Windows XP Home:

Creating a Shortcut to a folder on the Desktop

Creating a shortcut to your favorite folder can save you the time and frustration of having to locate the same folder all the time.

Click Start | My Computer to open Windows Explorer
Locate the folder that you want to create a shortcut by navigating through the list
Right click on the folder and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut)

IE Script Debugger Error

           If you go to sites and have had this annoying screen pop up asking if you wish to debug the website, you can turn it off. This isn't directly associated with Windows XP, but rather Internet Explorer.

From Internet Explorer, Click Tools | Internet Options... | Advanced
Locate Disable script Debugging and put a check mark in front of it.

IE saving images as .bmp instead of jpeg


Since the early days of communication, codes have been used to send information over long distances. Smoke signals, Morse code and semaphore are examples.

To send information using lasers and optic fibres we first use a code of numbers that's understood by a computer. The code uses ordinary numbers to mean a letter in the alphabet, a colour in a picture, a note of music, or whatever you want. For instance, 1 might be 'a', 2 might be 'b', 3 might be 'c' and so on.

We then need to convert them to something that can be understood by a computer. For this we use the binary number system.

The binary system

Binary numbers are used to represent all information in the digital world. They're similar to our decimal system, which uses the digits 0 to 9, except binary uses only 0 and 1.

Binary is handy because now we can easily use something physical to represent numbers. For instance we could use a laser. When it's on you know it means '1' and when it's off you know it means '0'.

When we write numbers in decimal, it's the position or place of the number that tells us what its real value is. With 246 for example, the 6 at the end is six ones, the 4 in the middle is four tens and the 2 is two hundreds. Each place or position is 10 times greater than the previous position.

The binary number system also uses place to give value, but as we have only 2 numbers to work with each place or position is only 2 times greater than the one before.

In binary code:

    Decimal number 0 is binary    0
    Decimal number 1 is binary    1

Now it's different:

    Decimal number 2 is binary   10 (one two and no ones)
    Decimal number 3 is binary   11 (one two and one one)
    Decimal number 4 is binary 100 (one four, no twos and no ones)
    Decimal number 5 is binary 101 (one four, no twos and one one)

Using lasers to send binary

Say we wanted to send decimal number 5 which is 101 in binary. We take each digit one at a time: start with the laser on for '1', turn it off for '0' and back on again for the last '1'.

We convert each number to binary, send it down the optic fibre with a laser, then convert it back. Computers can switch a laser beam on and off very fast, so we can send lots and lots of numbers at an incredible speed.

ASCII: Standard data-transmission code used to represent both text (letters, numbers, punctuation marks) and noninput device commands (control characters). It converts information into standardized digital formats that allow computers to communicate with each other and to process and store data efficiently. Standard ASCII uses groups of seven-digit bits, and can represent 128 characters. Extended ASCII, which uses an 8-bit encoding system, can represent 256 characters, incl. many useful characters not available in standard ASCII, such as letters with accents. Extended ASCII is the industrywide standard for encoding text on personal computers. See also EBCDIC, Unicode.

EBCDIC: Data-encoding system, developed by IBM, that uses a unique eight-bit binary code for each number and alphabetic character as well as punctuation marks and accented letters and non-alphabetic characters. EBCDIC differs in several respects from ASCII, the most widely used system of encoding text, dividing the eight bits for each character into two four-bit zones, with one zone indicating the type of character, digit, punctuation mark, lowercase letter, capital letter, and so on, and the other zone indicating the value (that is, the specific character within this type).

Unicode: International character-encoding system designed to support the electronic interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages of the modern and classical world. The Unicode Worldwide Character Standard includes letters, digits, diacritics, punctuation marks, and technical symbols for all the world's principal written languages, using a uniform encoding scheme. Originally introduced in 1991, the most recent version contains almost 50,000 characters. Numerous encoding systems (incl. ASCII and EBCDIC) predate Unicode. With Unicode (unlike earlier systems), the unique number provided for each character remains the same on any system that supports Unicode.


Binary Code



Binary Code



What is a Screensaver?

A screensaver is really just an executable file, with the extension changed from .exe to .scr. File extensions tell the computer what kind of file it is dealing with. For example, winword.exe is a word-processing application that can be loaded by the computer, while article.doc is a text file that can be loaded into the Microsoft Word word-processing application.

An executable file is a file that the computer's operating system considers a program or application. Files ending in .exe (or .scr) are expected to run without the need of another file; or, if they do need another file, they are expected to tell the computer which particular file is needed.

So we know that, in essence, a screensaver is a program. By putting a screensaver file into the Windows or System directory and giving it a .scr extension, Windows knows that it should treat this file as a screensaver and makes it available as an option in the Display properties window. The screensaver file can be programmed in several different ways. It can:

  • Simply present a black screen
  • Use vector graphics to draw various designs
  • Load and display a particular image or group of images
  • Display a particular line of text
  • Display an animation or series of animations
  • Play a video sequence
  • Have music or sound effects
  • Display information from another program or a Web site
  • Provide the ability to interact with another program or a Web site (For example, the HowStuffWorks screensaver keeps the mouse active, which allows you to click on several different icons to access specific areas of the HowStuffWorks Web site.)
  • Require a password to turn it off and return to the desktop

Most screensavers offer some combination of these features. Except for the slide-show screensavers that display a sequence of images, screensavers generally move an image, piece of text or animation around the screen. The screensavers that have a custom interface, and do not use the Display properties window at all, are less common. Usually, these screensavers do not have the .scr extension. They require that you install them using a setup program in order to configure them properly.

What Are Screensavers For?

Screensavers were originally designed to protect coputer monitors from phospor  burn-in. Early CRT monitors, particularly monochrome ones, had problems with the same image being displayed for a long time. The phosphors, used to make the pixels in the display, would glow at a constant rate for such a long period of time that they would actually discolor the glass surface of the CRT. This discoloration would then be visible as a faint image overlaying whatever else was displayed on the monitor. Advances in display technology and the advent of energy-saver monitors have virtually eliminated the need for screensavers. But we still use them.

Here are the main reasons why:

  • Entertainment - The most common reason we use screensavers is for the fun of it. Watching that macaroni dance across the screen to the tune of "Hey Macarena" can be a great diversion for a few minutes.

  • Security - By setting up a screensaver with password protection, you can walk away from your computer and feel comfortable that nobody is going to be able to see any sensitive information.

  • Uniform look - Many companies require all employees to use a particular screensaver. This creates a uniform and perhaps aesthetic environment and ensures that no inappropriate screensavers are displayed.

  • Advertisement - Companies, particularly retail businesses, that have computers in areas accessible to customers will often have a screensaver that promotes their business or product.

  • Information - A lot of screensavers provide either static or real-time information. A screensaver may cycle through a series of trivia questions. Another may pull stock information from a Web site and stream it across the screen.

  • Some great sites for screensavers are;-






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Jason * Perth* Australia * 6169
Copyright of all documents and scripts belonging to this site by Jason's PC Passion.  2004. Most of the information contained on this site is copyrighted material. It is illegal to copy or redistribute this information in any way without our expressed written consent . This site is NOT responsible for any damage that the information on this site may cause to your system.