Main Page XP Tools Downloads Articles News Links Basics Contact
Tips from 0001 to 0025:
1. Not sure of website address and want to try out all possible options ?
Most of the computer users would choose to type less if they are given such an option. Problem is for many of us, to find that option itself is challenging enough! Anyway I am talking to those folks who don't have habit of typing complete domain names and want the computer/Internet to do the job. Here are some of the registry changes that can widen your search domain.. If in Internet options, Display result and go to most likely site or just go to most likely site is enabled, you can type only the domain root in the Address box and Internet Explorer attempts to locate the correct Web site by searching different domain types. For example, if you type "Microsoft" in the Address box, Internet Explorer searches the domain types in the Autoscan list until a domain name match is found (in this case, www.microsoft.com).
By default, Internet Explorer searches the following domain types when the Autoscan Common Root Domains option is enabled:.
.com, .org, .net, .edu
To add a domain type to the Autoscan search list, add the string value "" with a value of "%s." and a string value "" with a value of "www.%s." (without quotation marks), where is the next available number and is the domain type, under the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/Url Template For example, if you want to add the .gov domain type and there are already 7 domain types listed, add a string value "8" with a value of "%s.gov" and a string value "9" with a value of www.%s.gov. NOTE: The order in which Internet Explorer searches domains is based on the string value.For example, the domain type associated with string value 1 is searched before the domain type associated with string value 2.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTOOLS is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

2. Attention LAPTOP Users ! Do your eyes a favor, use Clear Type Fonts.
Hi everyone! May be you have already realized the importance of clear type font by now. A new technical ground that must be a boon to all those spending there life staring these monitor screens!. After years of research, it has been noticed that Clear Type Fonts are best way to prolong you Laptop computer experience. Windows XP comes equipped with it and you can change the setting to use Clear Type fonts. What is not so simple to do is to even change the Welcome (logon) screen to used Clear Type. I have got hand of a tip that might be of help to you installing clear type fonts at logon screen. Save following to a .reg file and import it in registry.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"FontSmoothing"="2"
"FontSmoothingType"=dword:00000002

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
"FontSmoothing"="2"
"FontSmoothingType"=dword:00000002
For those of you who do not know how to use clear type fonts in normal session here are the instructions: Right click on at any free area of the desktop and go to appearance tab of Display Properties. Click on effects and check the box saying "use following methods to smooth edges of screen fonts" and select clear type.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTOOLS is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

3. 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. Please click on how to change QoS parameter article using Group Policy Editor (GPEDIT.MSC).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.

4. 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.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters]
"CacheHashTableBucketSize"=dword:00000001
"CacheHashTableSize"=dword:00000180
"MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit"=dword:0000fa00
"MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit"=dword:0000012d
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.
5. Want to remove shared documents folder from My Computer window ? Microsoft has done a fabulous job in the making of Windows XP. But least to say, no two people are alike. Some of the default features that Microsoft thought was good may not be liked by you at all. I have read various newsgroups and chats and one thing I noticed is that some don't like my shared documents folder option. If you are one of that, here is a trick to remove it.Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders You must see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this key, you have effectively removed the my shared documents folder.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

6. 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

[Version]
Signature = "$Windows NT$"
DriverVer=07/01/2001,5.1.2600.0

[Components]
NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4
WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7
Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7
Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7
NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7
iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7
com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7
dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6
ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7
AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7
IEAccess=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,ieaccess.inf,,7

Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7
AccessUtil=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,accessor.inf,,7
CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7
MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7
AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7
Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7
MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7
ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7

[Global]
WindowTitle=%WindowTitle%
WindowTitle.StandAlone="*"

7. How to verify XP software you bought is OEM/UPGRADE/RETAIL?
I am sure we all have noticed Microsoft product marketing strategy. Whenever they launch any new product line,there are various flavors of it available right from day one. Some are given adjectives like UPGRADE version or FULL, others RETAIL v/s OEM and then of-course we have various categories of the product like HOME, PRO , SERVER , ADVANCED SERVER etc etc. Well ever wondered what you bought is same as what was advertised ? How to tell the difference. Here comes the help. Look for a file called Setupp.ini that is present on your Windows XP CD and double click on it and browse its content. There is a field called PID=. This PID is what would tell us exactly what we have got.First 5 bytes of PID decide whether (it is OEM or RETAIL or is an UPGRADE ) and last three digits determine what kind of CD KEY will it accept. Here are some of the typical PID values:
Retail = 51882 335
Volume License = 51883 270
OEM = 82503 OEM
8. Group Policy Editor: Extremely powerful tool in Microsoft XP Operating System.
Have you heard of group policy editor ? This is one of the most powerful tool that Microsoft XP comes bundled with that most of us don't even know about. I recently discovered it by accident. Learn more about it at list of tools section of this site but in brief it can be used to carry out powerful customizations and performance tuning of your system. Go to START-RUN and enter gpedit.msc.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: It is important for XPTools to inform all of you who intent to use this tool that you are solely responsible for making the decision and apply any of the tweaks,tips or tricks. Our intention is to provide you with all the information that we have but in no way would we like to be hold responsible for any of your actions or its result.You are free to try it out and there is a very strong chance that it will be of benefit to you but beyond that its your choice.
9. Have tendency to forget passwords ? Want a solution that will help you get back in business ?
Most of us have a common tendency of forgetting passwords. If you don't every forget anything, I envy you and this may not be of much use to you but for most of us, this may be a life saver. If you're running Windows XP Professional as a local user in a workgroup environment, you can create a password reset disk by following instruction as shown below:
Go to START-CONTROL PANEL-USER ACCOUNTS. Then click your account name and further on in RELATED TASKS, click PREVENT A FORGOT PASSOWRD. A wizard would come up, follow instructions and you have your password reset disk ready.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As it goes with things like password, make sure that you keep this disk at secure location else you risk tress passing with your user account.
10. Want to change font size of Internet Explorer content on the fly ?
Do you know that font size of many of the web sites can be changed as per your view pleasure. Yea ! You know about it but do not want to take those additional steps. I hear you ! Here is a tip. If you have a mouse that has scrolling button then fond changing is as easy as pressing CTRL key and rotating scrolling button either towards you (to increase) or away from you (to decrease). Try it out. It works for me.
11. 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.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.
12. Want to enhance Network throughput? Try out this tip.
Network throughput depends on a variety of factors and as such you never no what could be the bottleneck. One of things that we can try out is the network redirector reserves.Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit and navigate to key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters]. One here, click on right pane and added following Dwords. Dwords are in hexadecimal (and value as shown below indicates that of 104, valid values are 0-255). Keep both values same. I think default is 15 or 20. This may help networkthrough put but there is no guarantee. Try it out.
"MaxCmds"=dword:00000068
"MaxThreads"=dword:00000068

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

13. Change the default search engine in Internet explorer?
Default search engine of Microsoft Internet explorer is MSN. But there are better search engines available. I like yahoo.com and you may have your own preference. Recently I came across article that indicated how to change the default search engine through registry. Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit and navigate to following three keys separately and change it as shown below:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"Search Page"="http://www.google.com"
"Search Bar"="http://www.google.com/ie"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL]
""="http://www.google.com/keyword/%s"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search]
"SearchAssistant"="http://www.google.com/ie"

(This example is specific to google but there is a Microsoft article that I found on their support site which described show to do it for many other engines. Read all of it at: http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;EN-US;q198279
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

14. Heard of Microsoft Platform Support Reporting Tool?
Are you having a tough time with Microsoft Windows XP and feel like lost ! If this is the case and you are working with Microsoft Support team, Ask them about MPS reporting tool. This tool can create a LITE or FULL version of a CAB file that could be useful for Microsoft Support person or even you. Learn more about MPSRPT_XP.exe
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I got this tool from Microsoft because I was facing serious problems with my DVD-RAM and even after working with Microsoft, I could not have it resolved. Finally I got this executable from Microsoft Support team requesting that I should give him the CAB file generated as a result of this tool.
15. 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
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} and delete it. This action should remove recycle bin from your desktop.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup by exporting it. Remember any minor mistake in registry modification can cause your system to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes.
16. How to create a XP Bootable Disk?
Go to window explorer and right click on the floppy drive. Select checkbox for Create an MS-DOS startup disk and format the disk. This is all that is needed to create a MS-DOS startup disk in Windows XP
17. Trying out hardware/software updates & feel the need to reinstall but want to avoid reactivation?
Once you activate your copy of Windows XP operating system,A file gets created/updated in windows/system32 directory. It is called wpa.dbl file. I have noticed that if you need to reinstall, take a backup of this file and once you have reinstalled the OS, just copy it back to the same directory.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE INSTALLED A LEGAL COPY OF WINDOWS XP ON THEIR MACHINE AND HAVE ALREADY ACTIVATED THE SOFTWARE THROUGH MICROSOFT PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU INSTALL OPERATING SYSTEM ON ANOTHER MACHINE (MEANING MORE THAN ONE) YOU SHOULD HAVE A VALID LEGAL COPY AND LICENSE AND SHOULD ACTIVATE THAT COPY THROUGH MICROSOFT
18. Having problems with new install ? Like to restore your system quickly?
This can be achieved in couple of ways. Depending upon how you look at it, Quickest way may be to open command prompt and typing SFC /SCANNOW or you can go to START - ALL PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES - SYSTEM TOOLS and click System Restore:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You would go back to previous fully functional operating system image and may loose all your changes that may have affected system files.
19. Having problem with slow boot time or is it taking long to resume ?
There are a variety of reasons why your windows XP system would boot slowly. Most of the times it this has to do with the startup applications. If you would like to speed up the bootup sequence, consider removing some of the startup applications that you do not need. Easiest way to remove startup apps is through System Configuration Utility (Go to START-RUN and enter MSCONFIG) and going to Startup tab and deselecting application(s) that you do not want to startup at boot time. If this works, great ! If not you can also look into SERVICES tab and possibly deselect WORKSTATION option and see if that helps.Want to know more about boot time and what Microsoft is doing about it ? Visit Microsoft web site on fast boot /fast resume at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/platform/performance/fastboot/default.asp
Go to Download section and you would see a software called Bootvis.exe. It is Microsoft Boot Performance trace visualization tool and has option to optimize your boot sequence. Read my step by step guide to using bootvis.EXE.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you deselect WORKSTATION option from SERVICE tab and reboot, a warning message window may come the very next time which you can choose not be displayed by checking "do not show this message again" option.
20. What to do with "the system has recovered from a serious error......" error message after boot ?
Whenever Windows XP encounters a problem (that it thinks is serious even if you did not do anything unusual) it creates a dump file. Next time you reboot, you most likely see this error message. Clicking on more information shows error signature and other clumsy details. Typically minidump would be stored in \WINDOWS\MINIDUMP directory. It is not so easy to decipher this information. Best thing to do is to go to Windows Online Crash Analysis site at http://oca.microsoft.com and submit report ( or check status if you have already submitted the report). You may need to signon with Microsoft .Net Passport and if you don't have you may need to create one by supply some basic information about yourself..

Following are some of actions that you can take to avoid this error from cropping up.
Temporarily disabling error reporting:
Right-clock on my computer, select properties, advanced tab, error reporting button - turn on the "no error reporting" check box and turn off the "but notify me" option.
Disable Virtual Memory:
Right-click on my computer, select properties, advanced tab, performance settings, advanced tab, virtual memory "change" button. Note down the current VM settings (system managed or any customized size. Turn on the "no paging file" bullet, and press the set tab.
Delete the paging file:
Reboot. Verify that the option reads 0 kb for page file. Use folder options on control panel or explorer "tools" pulldown menu & go to "view" tab. Turn off check box to permit viewing of system files. Now explorer on the root of C drive (or what ever drive letter you page file was set to use), should show a pagefile.sys entry. Delete this. You will get a warning message about this being a system file. Since you have disabled virtual memory, this entry is not being used. Delete it. Go empty the trash bin to make sure this entry is cleared.
Re-enable Virtual Memory:
Right-click on my computer, select properties, advanced tab, performance settings, advanced tab, virtual memory "change" button , turn on the system-managed or customized paging file with the same settings as you noted down earlier. Be sure to press the set button. Reboot and verify that the paging file is active. Re-enable error reporting that was disabled earlier. Reboot to verify that the repetitive error message has indeed "left the building"
IMPORTANT NOTE: Microsoft support team should contact you as soon as possible!
21. Installed Windows XP on the same volume as old OS?
I did this very same thing on my computer the first time I tried to install Windows XP Pro. Installation was carried out from within the old Windows 2000 environment and it did go well. I had chosen fresh install and ( that was the intention as I had bought a copy of WINDOWS XP PRO FULL VERSION and wanted to wipe out the old install...I do not believe in UPGRADE Versions!). But when rebooted I saw multiple boot option and soon figured out that installation did not go as I had expected.....To clean it I had to go into boot.ini file and delete entry corresponding to Windows 2000. Also based on my experience of old directory structure, I had to manually delete those. I could easily remove the WINNT directory as it belonged to Windows 2000. Difficult task was the program files directory as it has old as well as new stuff mixed up. I used date and timestamp sorting to figure out what was old and not needed but you be very careful here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you remove a program file belonging to Windows by mistake, you may be heading for trouble !
22. NetMeeting does not open up quickly or not at all?
I did face this a couple of times when inviting someone for voice chat on MSN. If you have recently bought/installed the XP PRO on your PC (which had been the case with me) you may not have activated netmeeting. You would have to do that. Quickest would be to go to START-RUN and entering CONF and in the resultant screen, providing basic information about your self and your are done.
23. Do you know you can reduce keystrokes by pressing CTRL key while keying in web addresses ?
If you just type CNN and press CTRL+ENTER, it is as good as entering www.cnn.com!

IMPORTANT NOTE: To best of my knowledge it only works for .com addresses!
24. Why sending a file does not work in MSN messenger if NAT is installed ?
I have three computers connected to Internet via one that has WINDOWS XP installed on it. NAT works great and I like that. Problem is if you are using MSN messenger, you can not send a file to someone because that is sort of like point to point ftp protocol and does not work with local addresses over Internet But you can get remote assistance and if you have any problems read this tip on Microsoft Expert Zone: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/tips/september/jackson1.asp.
25. DVD-RAM model supported in XP but not being recognized or being recognized as CD-ROM?
Open Regedit by going to START - RUN and type Regedit and hit enter. Then you should navigate to following entry in registry
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. Highlight the {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} folder in the left pane, delete the following two keys in the right pane.
"UpperFilters"
"LowerFilter"
DELETE these two entries and restart your computer. If your DVD-RAM is supported by WINDOWS XP, this may work.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Before doing anything with registry, It is very important that you take a backup of registry by exporting it. Remember even a minor mistake in registry could render your system unusable or will cause it to stop or crash. XPTools is not responsible for any such damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes. Don't try it if you are not sure. Use at your own risk.

1