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Tips from 0051 to 0075:

51. Do you have a problem with Outlook Express ? Does it ask for password everytime you connect ?
Even though this is not a problem for me but there is a chance that it could be a problem for you. Sometimes no matter what you do, Outlook Express forgets your password and asks you to enter it again each and every time you connect to your mail server.I have a solution that may work for you. Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to HKEY_CURRRENT USER\Software\Microsoft and look for "Protected Storage System Provider". There is a good chance that you will see this folder. If you have it. Simply delete it. More than likely, you have solved your problem .

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.

52. Tuning up MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) to speed up Internet access.
This is an old one. I had tried it on Window 2000 as well. Now let me tell you one important fact related with tuning. Value of MTU depends upon how fast a connection you have, what kind of activities you perform (ask yourself a question. Are your a mild, average or high end user of Internet ? To put it in other words, Do you download little or nothing, or are an average surfer or are Internet savvy individual and download everything from programs,apps,patches to watching Internet audio/video real-time content?) Depending upon who you are as a user and what kind of connection (modem,dsl,cable or in rare cases T1/T3), this tuning may have little to significant effect on your Internet experience. All right MTU stand for Maximum Transmission Unit. Value of MTU decides the size of Internet data packet. Bigger the size, more you can transfer. Analogy could be made with a bucket. If bucket is small, you can carry little but it would be no strain on your strength. Bigger the bucket, more you can carry but it strains your physical strength. (Well! Its not that simple but good enough to understand). Objective should be find a perfect balance which works for you. I think maximum that you can put is as value of MTU is 1500 (but could be higher for your specific network) and it may not make sense making it smaller than 68.

Again this is a registry tweak unless and until you have a tweaking utility that can do it for you.Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\ ID for Adapter. For this right click on right pane and add a key by the name MTU. For this key you can add a DWORD value from 68 to 1500 (or higher value is certain cases). If you put less than 68, it will default to 68. If you put a value higher than 1500 or your Network permitted max, it will default to permitted max.
The MTU (Maximum Transfer Unit) specifies the maximum transmission unit size of an interface, and is usually determined by negotiation at the link layer of the driver.
The upper level protocols normally optimize pack size for each medium.

Following table gives typical values of MTU in bytes:-

Network Type Windows XP
MTU (bytes)
Windows NT / Windows 2000
MTU (bytes)
16 Mbps Token Ring 17914 17914
4 Mbits/Sec Token Ring 4464 4464
FDDI
4352 4352
Ethernet 1500 1500
IEEE 802.3/802.2 1492 1492
X.25 576 576
PPPoE (WAN Miniport) 1480 N/A

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.

53. Enable automatic path MTU size detection and improve Internet throughput and help remove congestion.
As stated on previous tip (Tip 52), MTP size plays an important role in deciding Internet speed. But its not so easy to determine the right value of MTU. For those of us who fall in this category and would prefer computer to find that for us, follow trick may work. I can not say with confidence whether this would work across all network but it should and there is no harm in trying it out. Now before I do that let me tell you what this action will do. Applying this trick, you would ask computer to automatically find out the maximum MTU size possible in the connection path to a host. This value could be different for different sites. I think this trick should pick the lowest common denominator across a particular path. Typically If MTU size is not optimized, this job has to be done by a router which would mean a significant waste of time (small chunks adds to a considerable loss if you imagine that there are billions of packets involved across the whole Internet) resulting in poor throughout and congestion on cyber lanes. All right this key is called EnablePMTUDiscovery.

Again this is a registry.Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\ ID for Adapter. For this right click on right pane and add a key by the name EnablePMTUDiscovery. For this key you can add a DWORD boolean value of 0 or 1 with 1 being TRUE (value that enables auto detection). Since we are trying this tweak, set to 1 and enable the TCP to attempt to discover the MTU size over the specific path to host. Microsoft has an interesting article on many similar tips http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q120642 and is titled TCP/IP and NBT Configuration Parameters for Windows (Q120642).

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.

54. How to avoid autoplay of CD ? Way I like best.
Hey this time no registry trick even though there are ways in registry to do it. Earlier only those CD that had autorun.inf file in their root directory were able to execute on its own but with advent of WINDOWS XP it has become just about with anything. Well sometimes it good and other times you want to avoid this part of automation. What would I do. Simply press SHIFT key when you enter a CD in your CD drive. It won't Auto play.

55. Running into Internet connection problem ? clean TCP/IP stack may be your solution

One of things that has improved a lot is the Windows ability to detect and connect to Internet But I still get into situations where (specially with my NAT and consistent testing of new ideas and tricks) that I end up correcting the TCP/IP stack. I got another IBM computer day before yesterday and I got into trouble again. Well one quick command that you can try out to rebuild the TCPIP stack is by means of using netsh network command shell. This is mentioned on my list of tools page and I would be describing its capability in great detail whenever I get some free time. But for now try this command netsh int ip reset mynetsh.log . This would rebuild your TCP/IP stack and a log of activities would be created in mynetsh.log (by the way you can give any name to log file as long as you do give some name).

56. Are you using an computer that is accessed by more than one ? Secure your privacy by cleaning pagefile.

I read about this tweak a long time ago and even found out couple of ways of achieving the same results but wasn't sure of the importance. But you know what, there is reason for everything. Assume your are working on computer where you don't really own the computer or is shared with someone else. Do you want maintain privacy and avoid other know what you were doing etc. Then this tweak may be of interest to you. Go to Control panel Administrative tools, local security policy. Then goto local policies ---> security options.Then change the option for "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile"

57. Gain temp access to Administrative privileges even if you are not logged in as administrator.

I must be telling you one thing. In most of the cases where Windows XP is installed on a personal computer, users generally have access to administrative account. But you know, it is not in your best interest to log on as administrator for all your computing needs. I must advise you to create a normal user account as well. But what if you are logged in as normal user and happen to download/install some software application that would need administrative privileges Here is the solution. Simply right click on the executable and select run as. You would see a window poping up. Here you can provide one of the userid/password that would have admin privileges That's all you need to run that program with administrative privileges

58. Another tweak to boost up network application performance. Change thread priority

I just read about this over the internet.You can change the priority of applications as soon as associated IO tasks are completed. Microsoft TCP/IP Stack component AFD.SYS allows you to do this. You can read all about it at http://rdweb.cns.vt.edu/public/notes/tcpip2000.pdf Again this is a registry tweak and works well with XP.Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AFD\Parameters] and set the following key values to the values shown.
"TransmitWorker"=dword:00000010
"PriorityBoost"=dword:0000000a

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.

59. Make a habit of cleaning prefetch data once a month.

Prefetch is a new and very useful technique in Windows XP. However, after using XP some time, the prefetch directory can get full of junk and obsolete links in the Prefetch catalog, which can slow down your computer noticeably. I would suggest that You do this once a month: Go to C(system drive):/windows/prefetch, and delete everything and reboot. This may help speed up your computer.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: 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.

60. How to determine a 16 bit application from a 32 bit application ?

Old 16 bit app are still useful and are in use by many. I think this is the result computer evolution. If You want to know whether a particular executable is a 16 bit or 32 bit application, here is a secret. Right-click the program’s executable file and Then choose Properties. If You see a Version tab, it’s a 32-bit program else its a 16-bit program. Alternately You can go into task manager and look for applications that have ntvdm.exe (virtual dos machine) in the name column of process tab. If there is one, it means its a 16 bit app.

61. Do You know how to add/delete entries in Control Panel ? Heard about CPL extension ?

If You open windows explorer and search for all *.cpl files, You would see at least as many entries in search as You have in your control panel.Yes ! .cpl stands for control panel. If You do not want to navigate to any of your favorite entries, You can create a shortcut to that entry's corresponding cpl file. Following lists control panel and cpl file names:
System Properties = sysdm.cpl
Network Connections = ncpa.cpl
ODBC Administrator = odbccp32.cpl
Display Properties = desk.cpl
Add or remove programs = appwiz.cpl
Internet Properties = Inetcpl.cpl
Game Controllers = joy.cpl
Phone and modem Options = telephon.cpl
Time and Date Properties = timedate.cpl
Region and Language Options = intl.cpl
Power Options = powercfg.cpl
Mouse Properties = main.cpl
Accessibility Options = access.cpl
Add Hardware Wizard = hdwwiz.cpl
Sound and Audio Devices = mmsys.cpl
User Accounts = nusrmgr.cpl
Speech Properties = sapi.cpl
Now if You want to add/delete any of these entries from panel You can do it through Registry or gpedit.msc or through tweakui if You have powertoys installed. It is preferable to use gpedit or TweakUi as its easier.

From TweakUi, You have to simply click on control panel , and select/deselect entries in right panel as per your choice.

From gpedit.msc (to run gpedit, goto START-RUN and type gpedit.msc) Navigate to User Configuration- Administrative Templates-Control Panel folder select and right click on Show only specified Control Panel Applets , click on enabled and Then click on the show. In this list You won't see anything if its your first time. Click on add and type the complete file name from above list. (This is a bit more complicated process specially if You are a new user of the tool)

And if You are a registry fan, You can do this my navigating to [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\] and adding a key field by the name "don't load" and one string value to each of the cpl file names. For example if You don't want to see accessibility options, add a string "access.cpl" on the right pane to the newly added key field "don't load". You can add as many strings You want.

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.

62. Have a IDE drive ? Improve disk performance by changing to DMA access mode

If You are an average user, there is a good chance that your are using a IDE hard disk that supports DMA access. Even Windows XP fails to set the DMA mode correctly for the IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary IDE and secondary IDE channels. Most CD-ROMS are capable of supporting DMA mode, but the default in XP is still PIO. Setting it to DMA won't make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less CPU cycles. Follow instructions below:
1. Open the Device Manager and navigate to "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers", expand it and double-click on "Primary IDE Channel"
2. Under the "Advanced Settings" tab, verify the "Device 1" setting. If transfer mode is set to PIO Then set it to "DMA if available". Repeat the step for the "Secondary IDE Channel" if You have devices attached to it. Reboot the sytem.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: XPTOOLS is not responsible for any 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.

63. Working in command environment ? Avoid keystrokes - use TAB key and let window do the typing work

One of the features in Linux and certain UNIX shells is the ability to predict user keystroke. If You are typing a directory name or a filename and if it exists, using this feature would help You avoiding those extra keystrokes. Do You know WindowsXP command environment has this feature ? (Well it is available in Windows 2000 as well). To use this feature You have to use TAB key. (I would also show You how to change it to some other key even though there is no need of it). Assume You are in C:\ drive and want to type autoexec.bat and there is a file that exists by that name. Result are amazing if there is no ambiguity in filenames (meaning multiple files/directories with similar names/prefix). In such cases You can simply type first few characters and press the TAB key. You would really be amazed at this finding (Hey if not, You are really too smart and don't need this tip! )

Now if You want to change this power key to some other key here is howto: Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to [HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Command Processor] and set CompletionChar" to ASCII number associated with the key char. for example, "CompletionChar"=dword:00000009

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.

64. Customizing Windows Explorer Context menu (right click menu in windows explorer)

Ever wondered how does the right click menu (which is actually a context menu) work ? For example, when I right click in windows explorer, I see an option which says "open command window here". Do You know why I see this ? Well I see this because I have following entries in my registry.

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd]
@="Open Command Window Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd\command]
@="C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe /k cd "%1""

If You have never used a tweaking utility and have newly installed Windows XP, You would not see this option. You would have to navigate to [[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive] go and create two subkeys ("cmd" and within that "command" and would have to put the text "Open Command Window Here" without quotes in default string value of "cmd" key and the text "C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe /k CD"%1"" without quotes in default string value of command key). After this You need to REBOOT for these changes to take effect.

Trick is in adding similar entries for other applications as well even though its much harder to come with ideas about what to put in the context menu!!!! .

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.

65. Low on disk space and do not use Windows XP Hibernate feature ?

With hardware prices going down every passing day You may not need this tip but if You are in a situation where You are really low on disk space even after using disk cleaner, one of the things You can do is to identify features of XP You don't use. It may very well be the hibernate feature. If You don't use it, simply disable it and get as much of hard disk space free as is your physical RAM size. To do that go to power options in control panel (fast route: goto START-RUN or win+R and type powercfg.cpl ) and click on hibernate tab and deselect "enable hibernation".

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Don't try it if You are not sure. Use at your own risk. XPTOOLS is not responsible for any damage that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of your applying these changes.

66. How to make autodisconnect work in Internet explorer ?

If You are having problem setting autodisconnect in Internet explorer 6 , here is a tip for You Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters] and look for autodisconnect parameter. Change its value to whatever You want (in minutes).

Alternately You can try this from command prompt: net config server /autodisconnect:30 -to set the autodisconnect to 30 minutes. Microsoft have a detailed article dealing on this titled How Autodisconnect Works in Windows NT and Windows 2000 (Q138365)

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.

67. Do You want Windows to unload dll immediately?

Folks, I read about this a long time ago and my preliminary findings are that it works on XP as well even though I can not say how beneficial this trick is (or how damaging !). Also there might be some potential problems with a a few apps. But I would still provide it to You There is a way in registry for You to tell Windows OS to unload DLL,immediately as soon as its use is over. Here is how to do that: . Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer] and look for AlwaysUnloadDLL parameter. It may not be present by default. If not, add a key by the name AlwaysUnloadDLL and set it to value of 1.

This would inform OS to unload the DLL files from memory immediately. This has its advantages and disadvantages. It may also crash some Microsoft applications (like Access).

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.

68. Lock known dll's list and make your computer a bit more safer

Folks, You may be wondering that I am talking about making your computer a bit more safer even though my very site was hacked on 1/14/2002. As it stands I have kept this site simple and I do not control the webhosting part. Anyway it is a good idea to keep your computer safe.Open Registry by going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager] and look for ProtectionMode parameter. If its value is not 1 , set it to value of 1. On my computer default value is 1. Doing this will protect your list of known system dlls from being compromised. To see what is present in your known DLL list, navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\KnownDLLs] and look in the right pane. I have not yet tried this but You may even try adding some other DLLs that You feel important and should be protected. This could be risky as I have not yet tried this myself.

Microsoft has an old but informative article on it http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q218/4/73.asp

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.

69. Improve computer performance by reducing EFS cache validation

Navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\NTFS\EFS\Parameters and set the parameter of EFSKCACHEPERIOD to a value between 2 and 30. default is 5. Value suggest the time in seconds the kernel will cache the session key for a user for a given file. The Kernel will not validate the user credentials during this cache period. This has the net effect of faster access to encrypted files that may be opened several times during a given time period.This is helpful in kernel and user mode of the EFS (encrypting file system) as it provides quicker access to frequently use components.
Similarly navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\EFS and set the value of KeyCacheValidationPeriod to a value in units of second from 1 minute to 1 day (60 to 86400).

Microsoft has an interesting article on this at Registry Keys Used to Tune EFS Caching (Q278256). Read it for complete details.

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.

70. Customize your Start Menu setting and preferences

You can open group policy editor (gpedit.msc) and go to User Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Start Menu and Taskbar and set a variety of preferences for your startmenu. Or if You want You can open registry editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and enable/disable various parameters by changing 1 to 0 and viceversa. I am doing a cut/paste of list available at Microsoft site. Visit the site to get details on these registry values

Registry Value:"NoSimpleStartMenu"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuPinnedList"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuMFUprogramsList"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuMorePrograms"
Registry Value:"NoCommonGroups"
Registry Value:"GreyMSIAds"
Registry Value:"NoWindowsUpdate"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuMyMusic", "NoSMMyPictures","NoFavoritesMenu","NoRecentDocsMenu"
Registry Value:"DisableMyPicturesDirChange", "DisableMyMusicDirChange", "DisableFavoritesDirChange".
Registry Value:"NoSMMyDocs"
Registry Value:"DisablePersonalDirChange"
Registry Value:"NoRecentDocsMenu"
Registry Value:"MaxRecentDocs"
Registry Value:"ClearRecentDocsOnExit"
Registry Value:"NoFavoritesMenu"
Registry Value:"{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}" under
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum.
Registry Value:"NoNetworkConnections"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuNetworkPlaces"
Registry Value:"NoRecentDocsNetHood"
Registry Value:"NoSMHelp"
Registry Value:"NoFind"
Registry Value:"NoRun"
Registry Value:"MemCheckBoxInRunDlg"
Registry Value:"NoResolveSearch"
Registry Value:"NoResolveTrack"
Registry Value:"ForceStartMenuLogoff"
Registry Value:"StartMenuLogoff"
Registry Value:"NoClose"
Registry Value:"NoStartMenuEjectPC"
Registry Value:"NoChangeStartMenu"
Registry Value:"NoSetTaskbar"
Registry Value:"NoInstrumentation"
Registry Value:"NoUserNameInStartMenu"

I read about this on Microsoft Web Site. Here is the link Policy Settings for the Start Menu in Windows XP (Q292504)

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.

71. How to Add a Control Panel Tool to a Category : Tips on customizing categories

Have You noticed the new view of control panel in XP. Well as its says,its a view and You can switch to a classic view anytime. But if You like the view but want to customize the categories, there is again a good article on How to do this : How to Add a Control Panel Tool to a Category (Q292463). You can get complete details by visiting the site but in brief a control Panel tool can be included in a particular category by adding a registry DWORD entry for the tool in the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2
Value category ids are:
0x00000000 : Other Control Panel Options (any tool that does not specify a category ID is placed in this category)
0x00000001 : Appearance and Themes
0x00000002 : Printers and Other Hardware
0x00000003 : Network and Internet Connections
0x00000004 : Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices
0x00000005 : Performance and Maintenance
0x00000006 : Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options
0x00000007 : Accessibility Options
0xFFFFFFFF : Do not put the tool in any category (for special tools such as Add/Remove Programs which only start directly)

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.

72. Protect yourself from denial of service attacks: UPnP weakness in Windows XP

You might have heard of Denial of Service attacks . Recently this news covered media headlines. Microsoft has provided a fix for it. You can read complete details at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-059.asp But in brief few registry tweaks can save the day for You in unlikely case of You being the target .

1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\UPnP Control Point and add "DownloadScope" key and put a value of 0 to 3. Here is the description of these values:
0 - on the same subnet
1 - same subnet or at a private address
2 - same subnet or at a private address or within 4 hops
3 - anywhere

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SSDPSRV\Parameters and add key "TTL" and sets its value to max number of rounter hops allowed in the PnP device search on Internet .

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.

73. How startup programs get loaded in Windows at boot time ? Run keys of Windows Registry

Run keys cause programs to automatically run every time computer/XP boots up . The Windows XP registry includes the following four Run keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce


Each of these keys has a series of values. The values allow multiple entries to exist without overwriting one another. The data value for a value is a command line. There are some special considerations for the third and fourth keys in the list, the RunOnce keys: By default, Run keys are ignored when the computer starts in Safe mode. Under the RunOnce keys, You can prefix a value name with an asterisk (*) to force the associated program to run even in Safe mode. You can prefix a RunOnce value name with an exclamation point (!) to defer deletion of the value until after the command runs. Without the exclamation point prefix, a RunOnce value is deleted before the command runs. As a result, if a RunOnce operation does not run properly, the associated program is not asked to run the next time You start the computer.

Again, this article is available at Microsoft site at A Definition of the Run Keys in the Windows XP Registry (Q314866)

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.

74. Have You seen those annoying searches for broken shortcuts/links ? Need a remedy ?

This could be annoying ! Has been to me. Well there is are couple of ways to solve this problem. If You are comfortable with Registry manipulation, Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit.exe. After this , Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer add a new key by the name "NoResolveTrack" (without quotes) and sets its value to 1.

This can be achieved by group policy editor as well. Open group policy editor by opening START-RUN and entering gpedit.msc. Navigate to User Configuration\AdministrativeTemplates\Start Menu and Taskbar group policy and selecting "Do not use the tracking-based method when resolving shell shortcuts"

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.

75. Want to move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware. How to do that ?

In most of the scenarios (legal !), You would be doing one of the following acts:

A. Migrate a working Windows XP operating system and your installed programs to a different or more powerful computer in minimal downtime.
B. Replace a small system/boot disk drive with a larger system/boot disk drive.
C. Restore a Windows backup from a malfunctioning computer to a different computer for disaster recovery purposes

Windows Backup (Ntbackup.exe) can handle differences in hardware configuration information between computers and maintain critical registry entries that are unique to the computer to which You are migrating information. This capability means that You can migrate to new hardware by performing a full backup of the source computer and Then restoring the backup over a fresh installation of Windows XP on the destination computer.

Ntbackup.exe handles restore operations in the registry by first querying the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\KeysNotToRestore
This registry key indicates to Ntbackup.exe that certain registry keys under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM key should not be overwritten when files are restored.

An entry that ends with a backslash (\) indicates that a key is protected and that any keys or values under that key should not be restored. If the entry ends with a backslash and an asterisk (\*), all subkeys are "merged." In this situation, "merged" means comparing the start values of the keys in the backup set with the start values that exist in the current registry, to determine the correct key to restore.

If the value of the key on the backup set has a lower start value, the backup key takes precedence. If the value of the key in the current registry has a lower start value, the current key takes precedence. This process ensures that all services and devices start correctly after a "system state" restoration, even on dissimilar hardware.

Complete details on this are available at Microsoft site at How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware (Q314070)

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.

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