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Internet Fixes Windows XP Newsletter

Today's Tips 09/04/2006


Fix A Corrupt Master Boot Record In XP!

The master boot record occupies the first sector on the hard disk and is responsible for initiating the Windows boot procedure.

The master boot record contains the partition table for the disk as well as a small program called the master boot code, which is responsible for locating the active, or bootable, partition, in the partition table. Once this occurs, the partition boot sector takes over and begins loading Windows. If the master boot record is corrupt, the partition boot sector can't do its job and Windows won't boot.

If you suspect Windows XP won't boot because the master boot record has been corrupted, you can use the Recovery Console tool Fixmbr to fix it. First, boot the system with the Windows XP CD and access the Recovery Console!

To use the Fixmbr tool, from the Recovery Console command prompt, type
Fixmbr [device_name]
Where [device_name] is the device pathname of the drive to which you want to write a new master boot record. For example, the device pathname format for a standard bootable drive C configuration would look like this:
There are 2 Reverse Slashes in the above line. 1 before Device and 1 before HardDisk0

Gary Chambers

Disable Automatic Restart In Windows XP!

When Windows XP encounters a fatal error, the default setting for handling such an error is to automatically reboot the system. If the error occurs while Windows XP is booting, the operating system will become stuck in a reboot cycleŚrebooting over and over instead of starting up normally. In that case, you'll need to disable the option for automatically restarting on system failure.

When Windows XP begins to boot up and you see the message Please select the operating system to start or hear the single beep, press [F8] to display the Windows Advanced Options Menu. Then, select the Disable The Automatic Restart On System Failure item and press [Enter]. Now, Windows XP will hang up when it encounters the error and with any luck, it will display a stop message you can use to diagnose the problem.

Gary Chambers

Remove The Manage Context-menu Option For My Computer In Windows 2000!

By default, when you right-click My Computer, you'll see a Manage option on the context menu. Selecting this option starts the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Computer Management snap-in.

If you don't want the OS to display this option, perform the following steps:

1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).

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Even after you remove the Manage option from the My Computer context menu, you can still use the Administrative Tools folder under the Start menu to access the Computer Management snap-in.

Gary Chambers

Be Selective When Installing Protocols In Windows 98!

Many IS people I have dealt with take the default configuration of Control Panel's Network applet as installed with the shotgun approach to connectivity--load 'em all and something will connect.

In practice, this might work in a very small environment, but when intermittent problems start appearing or computers stop communication to each other, it's difficult to discern what is actually at fault. The best approach is to find out which protocols and services should be installed to make your PCs connect to the services on the network--and then remove the rest. This will also cut down some of the broadcast traffic on the network.

Make a list of the protocols that are installed on the server computers--print servers, mail servers, fax servers--and PCs that share folders on an ad hoc basis. With this list, you'll know which protocols are absolutely essential.

Enable protocols by binding them to NICs

Protocols are "bound" to network interface cards (NICs) by using the Network applet in Control Panel. If a protocol is not bound to a card (or dial-up adapter), it won't run on that transport. If a Windows PC is having problems connecting to the network, make sure the protocol is bound to the appropriate network card.

To query, open the Network applet in Control Panel and double-click a NIC. Select the Bindings tab. A list of protocols that are installed on the computer will appear, each with a corresponding check box. Selecting the check box enables--or binds--the protocol on that transport. Similarly, clearing the check box disables it.

Gary Chambers


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