Internet Fixes Windows XP
And More News Letter!
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.
• If you need file or printer sharing, repeat the above, re-check the box
and re-boot again.
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.
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
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\
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.
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.
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
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
Create an Icon to Switch Users in
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
|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
- 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
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
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
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.
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
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
To revive the splash screen, simply repeat the above steps to edit the
Boot.ini file and remove the /SOS switch.
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
4. Disable Indexing Services
Let me know if you need anything else.
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