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Internet Fixes Windows XP And More News Letter!  Issue

1. Speed Up Detailed View in Explorer.
2. Turn Off System Restore to Save Space in XP.
3. Very Slow Boot When Networking In Windows XP.
4. Disable IE's downloading capability in Windows XP!
5. Track down startup programs in Windows XP!
6. Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP!
7. Hide drive letters in My Computer!
8. Add a frequently used folder to the Send To menu in XP!
9. Retrieve declined Windows Update Reminders!
10. Create an Icon to Switch Users in XP.
11. When having problems installing Windows XP. You can get more information about debugging the installation.
12. XP creates the following log files during installation.
13. Copying all of the files on C: to a folder called BACKUP on D
14. Disable XP's Splash Screen!
15. Turn off Indexing to speed up XP.

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1. Speed Up Detailed View in Explorer.

If you like to view your files in Windows Explorer using the "Details" view here is a tweak to speed up the listing of file attributes:

Viewing files in Windows Explorer using the "Details" mode shows various attributes associated with each file shown. Some of these must be retrieved from the individual files when you click on the directory for viewing. For a directory with numerous and relatively large files (such as a folder in which one stores media, eg: *.mp3's, *.avi's etc.), Windows Explorer lags as it reads through each one. Here's how to disable viewing of unwanted attributes and speed up file browsing:

• Open Windows Explorer.
• Navigate to the folder which you wish to optimize.
• In "Details" mode right-click the bar at the top which displays the names of the attribute columns.
• Uncheck any that are unwanted/unneeded.

Explorer will apply your preferences immediately, and longs lists of unnecessary attributes will not be displayed.
Likewise, one may choose to display any information which is regarded as needed, getting more out of Explorer.


2. Turn Off System Restore to Save Space in XP.

Before using this tip make sure that you have another program in place to take the place of Windows System Restore. I use Acronis True Image that backs up to external drives on the three systems I use daily. There are many other programs out there.

By default, Windows XP keeps a backup of system files in the System Volume Information folder. This can eat up valuable space on your hard drive. If you don't want Windows to back up your system files:

• Open the Control Panel.
• Double-click on System.
• Click the System Restore tab.
• Check "Turn off System Restore on all drives".
• Hit Apply.
• You may now delete the System Volume Information folder.

Warning! If you turn this off you will not be able to use Windows System Restore to restore your system in case of failure. Make sure that you have another option in place.

3. Very Slow Boot When Networking In Windows XP.

On some XP Pro installations, when connected to a network (peer-peer in this case), the computer boot time is over 1:40. The system seems to freeze after logging in and the desktop may not appear or will freeze for a minute. As timed with the utility, Bootvis.exe, the problem was with the driver mrxsmb.dll, adding over 67 seconds to the boot time.


Turning off and restoring file and printer sharing eliminated 65 seconds from the boot time.

• Alt-click (or right-click) on Network Places > Properties.
• Alt-click on Ethernet Adapter connection > Properties.
• Un-check "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" > OK.
• Reboot.
• If you need file or printer sharing, repeat the above, re-check the box and re-boot again.

4. Disable IE 7's downloading capability in Windows XP!

Do you support Windows XP users who insist on downloading files from the Web via Internet Explorer--regardless of what you tell them? If so, you'll be glad to know that you can disable Internet Explorer's ability to download files by tweaking the Security settings.

To disable IE 7's downloading capability, follow these steps:

1. Launch Internet Explorer.
2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
3. On the Security tab, select the Internet Web content zone (if it isn't already selected), and click the Custom Level button.
4. Scroll through the Settings list box, and locate the Downloads heading.
5. Under File Download, select the Disable radio button.
6. Click OK twice.

The next time the user attempts to download a file, Internet Explorer will display a warning message stating that the current security settings do not allow the downloading of files.


5. Track down startup programs in Windows XP!

As you may know, Windows XP provides several methods for automatically launching programs at startup. Of course, an obvious option is the Startup folder on the Start menu, and there's also the Run key in the registry.

If you're trying to track down exactly what programs XP launches at startup, you might think that you have to check several places. However, that's not the case. Windows XP provides two ways to view all the startup programs in one place.

The first place is the Startup tab of the System Configuration Utility. To access it, follow these steps:

1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R.
2. Enter msconfig in the Open text box, and click OK.
3. Select the Startup tab.

The second option is the Startup Programs section in the System Information utility. To access it, follow these steps:

1. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information.
2. Expand the Software Environment branch.
3. Select the Startup Programs section.


6. Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP!

The Recovery Console, which has a DOS-like interface, is a flexible tool that lets you access and save data when your system won't boot. Using the Recovery Console, you can copy and delete files on FAT32 and NTFS partitions or even access the CD-ROM drive.

There are three main ways to load the Recovery Console. You can install it on your hard drive and access it when booting your system, you can launch it from the Windows XP start-up disks, or you can use the Windows XP CD.

To install the Recovery Console on your system, put your Windows XP installation CD in your CD drive, click on Start | Run, and type d:\ i386\winnt32.exe/cmdcons, where d is your CD-ROM drive letter. Press OK and you will be asked whether you want to install the Recovery Console. Click on Yes. Once this application is installed, it will add Microsoft Windows Recovery Console as an option on the boot menu.

To start the Recovery Console using the Windows XP CD, boot your system from the CD (be sure your BIOS is set to boot from CD-ROM before the hard drive). Once you're past the welcome screen, press R and the Recovery Console will start.

Inside the Recovery Console you can obtain a list of possible commands by typing recovery console commands or help at the command prompt and pressing Enter. For more information about a specific command, type help commandname. From here, you can copy important data off your hard drive or, if you are a more advanced user, troubleshoot and replace corrupt files that are preventing your system from booting properly.

7. Hide drive letters in My Computer!

Have you ever needed to hide a drive on a system? For example, suppose you manage a system shared by multiple users in a public area, and you keep diagnostic and management applications on a separate drive.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to hide that drive from users to prevent any mischievous exploration? You can do so with a simple registry edit.

Follow these steps:

1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
3. Right-click the Servers key, and select New | DWORD value.
4. Name the value NoDrives.
5. Press [Enter] twice to open the Edit DWORD Value dialog box.
6. Using the list below, type a number that corresponds to the drive you want to hide in the Value Data text box, and click OK.
A: 1
B: 2
C: 4
D: 8
E: 16
F: 32
Close the Registry Editor.

You must restart the system or log out of Windows XP in order for the change to take effect.

To hide other drive letters that we didn't list, follow the pattern of doubling the number for each successive drive. For example, drive G: would have a value of 64.

To hide multiple drives, add the values together. For example, to hide drives A: and B:, use a value of 3. If you want to hide all drive letters, use a value of 67108864.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.
8. Add a frequently used folder to the Send To menu in XP!

If you frequently work with the contents of a particular folder on your hard drive, you may wish for a way to quickly send your documents to that folder without having to work through the My Computer or Windows Explorer folder trees. You'll be pleased to know that you can easily add a shortcut to that folder to the Send To menu to be able to easily send your documents to this folder.

Open My Computer, and double-click on the C: drive icon. Next, double-click on the Documents And Settings folder, and then double-click on your username's folder. Next, display the SendTo folder, which is hidden by default. Choose Tools | Folder Options, select the View tab, and then select the Show Hidden Files And Folders option button, and click OK.

Next, choose File | New | Shortcut, and follow the Shortcut Wizard to create a shortcut to your frequently used folder. The next time you right-click on a file and select Send To, the shortcut to the folder you added will appear on the submenu.

9. Retrieve declined Windows Update Reminders!

As you know, Microsoft's Windows Update feature scans your computer and provides you with updates that apply only to the software and hardware you have installed. The updates include security fixes, drivers, critical updates, and the latest Help files to keep your computer current. However, there may be times when you elect not to install a specific update that has been downloaded, and as a result, Windows deletes the update files from your system. If you happen to reconsider this later on and wish you could go back and download the declined updates, you'll be relieved to know you can.

Click the Start button and choose Control Panel. In Category view click on the Performance And Maintenance link, and then click on the System link. In Classic view, double-click on the System icon. Select the Automatic Updates tab, and then click the Restore Declined Updates button. If any of the updates you previously declined still apply to your computer, they will appear the next time Windows notifies you of available updates. Keep in mind that you can always install specific updates from the Windows Update Web site, by opening Windows Update via the Help And Support Center.

10. Create an Icon to Switch Users in XP.

You have Fast User Switching enabled, here's how to get the icon going:

1. Right-click an empty part of the desktop.

2. Click New | Shortcut

3. At the top of the Create Shortcut Wizard dialog box, type

runndll32 user32.dll LockWorkStation

You must capitalize LockWordStation in precisely that way

4. Click Next and give the shortcut a name, such as Switch Users.

5. Click Finish.

You end up with a shortcut that quickly jumps back to the Windows XP logon screen.

11. When having problems installing Windows XP. You can get more information about debugging the installation.

The winnt32.exe executable includes a /debug switch that you can
use to configure the amount of logging during setup. The switch lets
you specify any of the following debugging levels:
- 0--only severe errors logged
- 1--errors
- 2--warnings
- 3--information
- 4--detailed information useful for debugging

Each level logs information about that level plus information about
the previous level in the list. So, for example, level 2 would log
warnings and errors. By default, the executable writes the debugging
information to C:\winnt32.log (the default level used with the switch
is level 2). To use the /debug switch, type

winnt32 /debug<level>

where <level> is the level number you want to use. You can change the
name of the log file by adding :<file name> to the end of the command.
For example,

winnt32 /debug4:C:\setupxp.log

would debug the installation at level 4 and log the information to the
setupxp.log file in the root directory.
12. XP creates the following log files during installation:

- setupact.log--This log file contains a list of actions in chronological order that occurred during the graphical installation phase, such as file copies and registry changes. The OS also stores setup error log entries in this file. XP writes the setupact.log file to the %systemroot% folder (e.g., c:\windows).

- setuperr.log--This log file contains a list of errors that occurred during installation and their severity (this log file should be 0 bytes in size if no errors occurred during installation). XP writes the setuperr.log file to the %systemroot% folder.

- comsetup.log--This log file contains installation information about Optional Component Manager and COM+ components. XP writes the comsetup.log file to the %systemroot% folder.

- setupapi.log--This log file contains information that XP writes each time a .inf file executes, including any errors. XP writes the setupapi.log file to the %systemroot% folder.

- netsetup.log--This log file contains information about workgroup and domain membership. XP writes the netsetup.log file to the \%systemroot%\debug folder.

- setup.log--This log file contains information about the Windows installation that the Recovery Console (RC) uses during repair operations. XP writes the setup.log file to the \%systemroot%\repair folder.
13. Copying all of the files on C: to a folder called BACKUP on D

I’ll assume that you’re copying all of the files on C: to a folder called BACKUP on D:. (Remember: Because I'm copying all the files on C: to D:, D: will need to be larger than C:.) To do so, your batch file would include the following commands:
XCOPY C:\*.* D:\BACKUP /E /V /C /I /H /Y
This batch file switches to the D: drive and makes a directory called BACKUP. The batch file then switches to the A: drive so that it can run the XCOPY command (which you should have on your boot disk). The XCOPY command then copies all of the files on the C: drive to the D: drive. The switches that I’ve used with XCOPY do the following:

/E copies all subdirectories including the empty ones.

/V verifies each file after it’s been copied.

/C continues the copy process should an error occur.

/I tells XCOPY that if a specific destination doesn’t exist, assume that the destination must be a folder.

/H copies all hidden and system files.

/Y suppresses to prompt that asks you to confirm whether or not you want to overwrite a file.
Once you've copied all the files on C: to the BACKUP folder on D:, you can burn this information to a CD.
Restoring the image
After you’ve created the image CD, the next trick is to use the image CD to fix a failing PC or to configure a new PC. To do so, boot the PC from your boot disk and then use a batch file like this one. This batch file assumes that Windows will be installed on C: and that E: is the CD-ROM drive:
XCOPY *.* C:\ /E /V /C /I /H /Y /R
There are only two differences in this XCOPY command and the one that I used to create the image. The first difference is the source and destination paths. The second difference is the addition of the /R switch. The /R switch tells XCOPY to overwrite any files that might already exist that are flagged as read only.
Once you've copied all the files from your image CD to the PC hard drive, you should be able to boot the PC normally.

14. Disable XP's Splash Screen!

Have you ever been in the process of troubleshooting a Windows XP startup problem and wondered what goes on behind the Windows XP splash screen while the system boots up? To find out, you can disable the splash screen by making a small change to the Boot.ini file.

Follow these steps:

1. Press [Windows][Break] to open the System Properties dialog box.
2. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup And Recovery section.
3. In the Startup And Recovery dialog box, select the Edit button in the System Startup section.
4. The Boot.ini file will open in Notepad; locate the line that ends with the /fastdetect switch.
5. Position your cursor right after the parameter, press the spacebar, and add the /SOS switch.
6. Save the Boot.ini file, and close Notepad.
7. Click Cancel to close both the Startup And Recovery dialog box and the System Properties dialog box.
8. Restart the system.

When the system restarts, the splash screen will no longer appear. You can observe some of the operations that Windows XP performs during the startup stage.

To revive the splash screen, simply repeat the above steps to edit the Boot.ini file and remove the /SOS switch.

15. Turn off Indexing to speed up XP.

Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk so when you do a search on the hard drive it is faster. There is a downside to this and because the computer has to index all files, it will slow down normal file commands like open, close, etc. If you do not do a whole lot of searches on your hard drive then I suggest turning this feature off:

1. Control Panel
2. Administrative Tools
3. Services
4. Disable Indexing Services


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