Changing your screen resolution
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
- 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.
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.
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 http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;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
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
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 = "$Windows NT$"
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
and delete it. This action should remove recycle bin from your desktop.
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
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
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
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
example, on this website, if you blocked cookies, you would see a popup on every page.
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.
Here's how you can remove those shortcut arrows from
your desktop icons in Windows XP.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile
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.
make sure your logged on as actually "Administrator".
do not log on with any account that just has administrator privileges.
start - run - type gpedit.msc
expand the "local computer policy" branch
expand the "administrative templates" branch
expand the "network branch"
Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in left window
in right window double click the "limit reservable
on setting tab check the "enabled" item
where it says "Bandwidth limit %" change it to read
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
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,
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.
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
Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings
for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK
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:\
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.
Next type "netcap/Remove". This will remove the netmon
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
Check your connection properties to make sure that
no connection exists. If you get a wizard just cancel out of it.
Now re-start the machine.
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.
Choose connection properties and uncheck the "QOS"
Re-start the machine
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".
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
Win2k/XP L2 Cache Tweak
First open up Registry Editor go to this location...
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
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.
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
Click on control and in the right window you will see this key WaitToKillServiceTimeout
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 :
Under that branch, select the key :
and delete it.
Get back Bandwidth in XP
The following tweak applies only to Windows XP Professional
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.
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
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
go to H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWSNT\CURRENTVERSION\WINLOGON.
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
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):
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.
usb allocates 12% of your bandwidth for usb devices. depending on your system configuration this can improve frame rates in
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.
older computers, , p2s p1's k6's etc will benefit most from this, lets face it these older systems need all the help they
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.
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
5. Scroll down to find a service called WORKSTATION
6. Uncheck this service
7. Click APPLY
8. When prompted,
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
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"
you have no set your agp arpeture size in you bios to at least have of your total memory of your system.
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
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.
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 www.anysite.com -t" (without quotaion marks). Instead of "anysite" you may use www.msn.com, www.yahoo.com 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!
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.
that you will be able to enter the remote computer anytime, using the user name and password that you assigned at the configuration
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...
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.
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.
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
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
go to H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWSNT\CURRENTVERSION\WINLOGON.
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.
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
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,
Boot XP Faster
This will work for all versions of Windows.
Go to "Start"
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:
the Network Connection icon is in the System tray, right click it, select Status. Then click the Support tab.
a Command Prompt window and type IPCONFIG /ALL
For anyone familiar with WINIPCONFIG you can download it here: IPCONFIG
can also visit http://www.whatismyip.com
Locking your Desktop
Here are a couple of ways to lock your XP desktop:
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
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.
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
net user brendon /time:M-F,8am-5pm
net user jane /time:M,4am-5pm;T,1pm-3pm;W-F,8:00-17:00
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.
click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
You'll need to edit this file "BOOT.INI"
right after /fastdetect with a space between them.
The line should look something like this:
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
Note: It is always a good idea to view the CD contents afterwards to verify that the data was copied
Note: Be sure that you have enough space to store the temporary files that are created during the burning
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
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
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.
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
Annoyed by those silly balloons that keep popping
Right-Click on Start and select Properties
On the Start Menu tab click Customize
Select the Advanced
Uncheck the box labeled Highlight Newly Installed Programs
Note: To change it back
set the Value data: to 2
Changing the Owner of the System
The settings can be located using REGEDIT
Start | Run and type REGEDIT
Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | Software | Microsoft | Windows NT | CurrentVersion
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?
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
Disable Autoplay CD
Older OS's would autoplay a CD that has music or software
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
Click AutoPlay to bring up the options for this selection
Select the content-type from the drop-down
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.
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
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
Windows Logo Key
The Windows key does more than just open the start menu.
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
- opens the Run window.
U - opens the utility manager
Break - opens the System Properties window.
- 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
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
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