Windows FAQ

Tips by Jameson Jones-Doyle:

How to perform a clean boot in Windows

 Q. How can I uninstall hidden Windows components?

A. When you start the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel applet and select Add/Remove Windows components, the system doesn't display all of
the components because Windows doesn't want them uninstalled. However, you can change which components the system displays. Perform the
following steps:
   1. Open the sysoc.inf file located in the %systemroot%\inf folder.
   2. Go to the [Components] section.
   3. Locate the entry you want to make uninstallable and remove the word "hide." For example, for MSN Messenger Service, change the line
   4. Save the sysoc.inf file.

   In Parts 2 through 5 of this article series, Randy Franklin Smith described the many security settings in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
5.0. You've probably identified some areas where you need to improve browser security. But like many administrators, you might have hundreds
or even thousands of workstations where you need to make these changes. In addition, you need to prevent users from going back and reversing
your stricter security settings. To accomplish these tasks in Windows 2000, you can use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that you link to your
Active Directory (AD) domain or to organizational units (OUs) in your domain. Learn how in Randy's latest column.

Q. How can I remove the view of other people's documents in Windows Explorer? (Windows XP)

A. New to Windows XP is the view of other people's documents folders in Windows Explorer when you view the root of My Computer under the "Other
Files Stored on This Computer" section. To remove this section, perform the following steps:
   1. Start regedit.exe.
   2. Go to
   3. Delete the subkey {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}.
   4. Close regedit.
   5. Restart Explorer.
Note that this change affects all of the machine's users because you modify this setting at a machine, not user, level.

Q. Why does Internet Explorer hang when it accesses Temporary Internet files (disk cache)?

A. Internet Explorer (IE) can enter a state where it almost immediately hangs and starts to use 100 percent of CPU time. In particular, trying
to delete Temporary Internet files via Tools, Internet Options triggers this behavior. Also, all attempts to delete files or folders from
%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\TemporaryInternet Files (or wherever the Temporary Internet files folder is
located) causes Windows Explorer to hang. This behavior occurs because the Temporary Internet files database is corrupt.

The Temporary Internet files aren't really files but entries in %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary
Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat. Deleting that file solves the problem.
   1. Exit IE and Windows Explorer (iexplore.exe and explorer.exe, respectively, in Task Manager).
   2. Use the following command from a command prompt to delete the file:
         C:\>del "%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"
   3. Restart IE and Windows Explorer.

Google Answers: Delete index.dat files

* TIP: WINDOWS EXPLORER SHORTCUT   ( contributed by  )
After reading others' attempts at similar setups, I wanted to offer the simplest way I've found to Explore My Computer. This procedure changes
the way that the system opens (browses) a folder and shows it in Explorer view rather than My Computer view. The procedure is as follows:
   1. Open Windows Explorer.
   2. Go to View, Folder Options and click the File Types tab. (In Windows 95, go to View, Options, and click the File Types tab).
   3. Scroll down through the Registered File Types to the Folder extension type (not File Folder, just Folder). Click on Edit.
   4. Under Actions, highlight Explore and click Set Default (make no other changes). Click OK twice.
Now, when you double-click the My Computer icon on your Desktop, you'll get an Explorer window with two panes. A minor drawback is that now all
system Folders will open in Explorer view--including Control Panel. I find this a minor inconvenience for what is-to me--a major UI improvement.

* FAQ: RUN WINDOWS EXPLORER AS AN ADMINISTRATOR    ( contributed by John Savill, )
Q. How do I run Windows Explorer as an administrator when I'm logged on as a different user?

A. The impersonation service, Runas, is a nice Windows 2000 feature. But Runas can't run Windows Explorer impersonated because in Win2K, new
Windows Explorer windows are spawned as threads of the main explorer.exe invocation. You can circumvent this behavior in the following way:
   1. Select Start, Run, and type
            runas /user:administrator "\"c:\program files\internet
            explorer\iexplore\" c:\\"
   2. Click OK.
   3. When the system prompts you, enter your Administrator password. This command executes Windows Explorer in the desired context; adding a
local path makes Windows Explorer emulate the default (i.e., no Windows Explorer bars or buttons).

Q. Subject: Upgrade Milleniuem to W 2000
When I attempt to install W 2000 and replace Millenium, it will not allow me to do it. It creates a 2nd operating system on my C drive. Since this
is a new laptop and not much installed that cannot be tossed, should I simply reformat the drive and start all over? If so, how do I do it and since I have interchangeable CD ROM with floppy, will that cause a problem re boot disk, reading a CD ROM, etc. Any help most appreciated.  Your new laptop will lose it's tech support from the manufacturer with a W2K install. However, go ahead and install W2k. Don't worry about dual booting... Why
would you want to dual boot into ME anyway??
Take your floppy drive out, insert the W2K CD and install W2k by reformatting the whole hard drive. You can partition up the hard drive if you like or leave it contiguous. Just start the CD, reformat the drive(s) in NTFS and follow the prompts... easy set-up!
Maybe you need to read how to as you cannot upgrade from ME to 2000.
Windows 2000 is older than Windows ME, therefore you cannot upgrade, either dual boot or do a total clean install and wipe out ME.
Having performed the upgrade myself, I would recommend that you reformat your HD to the NTFS format and perform a clean install of Win2k. You don't
mention any legacy devices, so apparently that isn't an issue and most software designed for Win9x and WinMe will run without problem in Win2k. You will definitely enjoy the lack of blue screens and improved security and resource management.
It's not actually a supported upgrade path (ME is newer) and, as such the Win32 setup won't let you upgrade to 2k from ME. That said, it CAN be done
but (speaking from experience) it seriously wrecks 2k internally and it is much cleaner to do a clean install.
TIP: When starting fresh, remember to BOOT to the Win2k CD and then go ahead with the re-format (contained in the setup program). Starting setup while in Windows will not allow you to re-format it.

Q. How can I disable Windows Update?

A. Windows Update is a great tool for updating your computers; however, if you want to control the deployment of fixes, you might want to disable Windows Update. To disable it at a Group Policy level, perform the following steps:
   1. Start Group Policy Editor (GPE), and load the desired Group Policy Object (GPO).
   2. Expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Start menu and Taskbar.
   3. Double-click "Disable and Remove Links to Windows Update" (Windows 2000) or "Remove links and access to Windows Update" (Windows XP).
   4. Select Enabled and click OK.
   5. Close GPE.

You can also edit the registry to disable Windows Update on a per user basis:
   1. Start regedit.exe on the machine where you want to disable Windows Update.
   2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
   3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD value.
   4. Enter a name of NoWindowsUpdate, and press Enter.
   5. Double-click NoWindowsUpdate, and set it to 1.
   6. Close regedit.
You don't need to reboot. If the user tries to start Windows Update, the system will display the following error message:
Windows Update was disabled by your system Administrator.

Q. How do I get ANSI support on the command line?

A. To get ANSI support, perform the following steps:
   1. Create a shortcut to
   2. Create a file called ansi.nt.
   3. Include the following lines in the ansi.nt file:
   4. Under Properties for the shortcut, go to the Programs tab. In the Config Path field, enter the path to ansi.nt.
Now when you open the shortcut, any DOS applications you run will have ANSI support.

   (contributed by David Chernicoff,

You have users in your organization who want to be able to install programs on their systems. You give them the rights they need to do so, but now you're concerned that they might mess up their Windows 2000 configuration or install programs that you don't want on your network (such as IIS on their workstations).
You can deal with this problem by using Group Policies, but you can also stop users from adding (or removing) Windows components by removing the
Add/Remove Windows Components section from the Win2K Add/Remove Programs applet. To do so, perform the following steps:
   1. Run regedt32.
   2. Go to
   3. Edit the REG_DWORD data type value name NoWindowsSetupPage.
   4. Set the data value to 0 to disable it.
   5. Set the data value to 1 and the Add/Remove Windows Components Button won't display under Add/Remove Programs.

   (contributed by Scott Firestone, IV,
So you've got the Windows setup files on your hard drive. How do you make the OS quit asking for the CD?
(This involves modifying the Registry. Always back up your registry before making modifications.)
The steps:
   1.Go to the Start menu, select Run, and type in regedit. This will launch    the Registry Editor.
   2.In the left pane, open    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SETUP.
   3.In the right pane, scroll down till you see SourcePath. Double-click on it.
   4.Change the path (i.e. E:\win98cd\win98) to your own setup directory    (i.e. C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS\). Note: You must have the backslash at the
   end of your path.
   5.Close regedit.
See also:

The registry location
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run contains the paths to programs that run when your computer boots. You can edit and remove (or add, for that matter) the path to any program you like. We highly recommend backing up your registry and exploring your other options before modifying the registry.

Identify where in the boot up process the system is failing. Do this by intercepting the boot sequence. On Windows 98 and Me, hold down the CTRL
key during boot up. Select option 2, "Logged (\BOOTLOG.TXT)," from the Startup menu. This will make a record of each module as it loads, much
like an airplane's "black box flight recorder." All this information is  written to a text file called BOOTLOG.TXT that is stored in the root directory of the boot volume.

Speedy logons
When you log on to Windows 2000, the Start menu should appear in a matter of seconds, and logging off should be just as quick. But if you implemented
roaming user profiles, logging on and off may seem to take forever. This is caused by the sheer amount of data in a typical user profile. And if you add in the user's documents, it can take even longer.
Microsoft included a clever fix for this problem: Redirected Folders.
Redirected Folders moves documents and settings out of the user profile and onto a centralized network location. Windows 2000 has to download much less
data when the user logs on, and the net result for a user is a faster logon.
You enable Redirected Folders using Group Policies. Select User Configuration | Windows Settings | Folder Redirection and right-click on the following nodes to redirect the folder by the same name:

Application Data
My Documents
Start menu

Redirected Folders has another benefit: it makes backing up users' documents a much less painful process because all documents are stored in a central
location.  The biggest challenge is educating users to store documents in their My Documents folders.

You should spend some time learning what all of the Redirected Folders options mean and check the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit's best practices
for implementing this feature. In general, though, the default settings are the most appropriate.

Q. How do I configure the lower graphics resolutions in Windows XP?

A. By default, XP hides the lower graphics resolutions (e.g., 256 colors, 640x480) from the user. To access these graphics resolutions, perform the following steps:
   1. Start the Display Control Panel applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Display).
   2. Select the Settings tab.
   3. Click the Advanced button, and select the Adapter tab.
   4. Click List All Modes to select the graphics mode you want, and click OK.
   5. Close all the dialog boxes.

   ( contributed by David Chernicoff, )

Windows XP's balloon tips can be annoying. Their behavior is erratic,  and often they pop up and get in the way. You can easily turn off
balloon tips by following these steps:

   1. Launch regedit.
   2. Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
   3. Create a new DWORD value called EnableBalloonTips.
   4. Give the entry a value of 0 to disable the tips and a value of 1 to turn them back on.

   As you know, maintaining a secure, healthy network entails auditing server and workstation activity and examining logs frequently for signs of intrusion or
unexpected events. Each time you use Group Policy or Local Security Policy to adjust security audit settings, you must force a policy refresh to update the
settings for each system on which you want to implement the changes. When you use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Local Security Policy snap-in to modify security audit settings, you must remember to use the secedit /refreshpolicy machine_policy command to manually refresh the policy and
activate the changes. If you don't refresh the policy, the system will remember the new audit settings but fail to implement the changes until you reboot the
system (rebooting refreshes the security policy).
  When you suspect that a system is under attack, you can use AuditPol to implement security audit changes on a specific system immediately. Unlike other,
more dated resource kit tools, AuditPol functions exactly as its documentation states. You can use AuditPol to enable or disable security auditing on local or
remote systems and to adjust the audit criteria for nine categories of security events. For the complete story and details about using AuditPol, visit the
following URL:

Command-Line Environment

   (contributed by David Chernicoff,

I recently discovered that some of our interns were creating extra local accounts on their Windows 2000 Professional systems. I didn't  want to further lock down the accounts that they were using, so I  manually removed this ability from the computers by performing the  following steps:
   1. Log on to the computer as a member of the Local Administrators group.
   2. Open a command prompt, and use the net command net localgroup users "NT AUTHORITY\INTERACTIVE" /DELETE.
   3. Log out.
This process removes the ability for a local account to create a new account on that machine. An administrator can reverse the process if necessary.


 ( contributed by John Savill, )

A. By default, you don't have to type the extension to run certain file types
(e.g., .exe, .bat). To add the Microsoft Snap-in Console to this list, you need
to add .msc to your PATHEXT variable. To change this setting for one command
session, type

 set pathext=%pathext%;.msc

To change this setting for all of Windows, you need to modify the system
environment variable by performing the following steps (click OK when prompted
to close each dialog box):

1. Start the Control Panel System applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel,
2. Select the Advanced tab.
3. Click Environment Variables.
4. Under "System variables," double-click PATHEXT.
5. Click Edit and add ;.msc to the end of the string, then click OK.

You can now start the Microsoft Snap-in Console without typing the .msc file
extension after the snap-in filename (e.g., devmgmt).

   (contributed by David Chernicoff,

I often receive questions from users who want to move Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) bookmarks from one computer to another. The task is simple, though not very intuitive.

   1. Launch IE.
   2. From the File menu, select Import and Export to launch the Import/Export Wizard.
   3. Export all of your Favorites sites (or any folder under Favorites) to an .html file that you can read in a browser or text editor. You can also export your cookies to a file.
   4. Transfer the files to the target computer and run the Import/Export Wizard, selecting Import for your Favorites or cookies.

   (contributed by David Chernicoff,

If you work with HTML pages, you probably have a favorite HTML editor.  Even code dinosaurs like me, who prefer to use text editors, have  begun to switch to editors that handle syntax checking and can catch  simple errors in code. When you click View, Source in Microsoft  Internet Explorer (IE), the browser opens Notepad, but changing the  browser to open the editor of your choice is simple.

Launch regedit, then edit the following registry subkeys. In the  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Default HTML  Editor subkey, change the REG_SZ "Description" data to the name of  your editor. In the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet  Explorer\Default HTML Editor\shell\edit\command subkey, change the  default REG_SZ data to the fully qualified pathname for your editor  (e.g., c:\program files\html editor\editor.exe).


Failure during a Windows 2000 Setup or a Windows 2000 service pack installation can sometimes result in the creation of a small temporary page file, which isn't deleted on completion. This temporary page file prevents Windows 2000 from creating its regular, larger page file when it boots. This causes poor performance because of the small size of the page file.
If Windows 2000 is the only operating system on the machine, you can't simply delete the temporary page file and allow Windows 2000 to create another. Reconfiguring the page file settings through the GUI doesn't correct the problem, because Windows 2000 is still unable to create the new page file with the old one in use.
To locate the temporary page file, look in the %systemroot% folder for a file named Pagefile.sys. Next, boot the system to the Recovery Console (RC). (You can boot the RC from the Windows 2000 CD if it isn't already installed.) The page file is a hidden system file, so the RC won't let you see or delete the file. However, you can replace the file with another file, and then delete that replacement file to clear it out for good.
1. In the RC, use the CD command to change to the folder where the page file is located.
2. Use the COPY command to copy any other file over Pagefile.sys. (For example, you can use the command COPY WIN.INI PAGEFILE.SYS to replace  Pagefile.sys with a copy of Win.ini.)
3. Next, enter the command DEL PAGEFILE.SYS to delete the page file.
4. Exit the RC, and boot Windows 2000.
5. Right-click My Computer and choose Properties, and then click the Advanced tab.
6. Click Performance Options

What environment variables are available in Windows

Logout users after a period of inactivity

The Windows 2000 Resource Kit tool Rm.exe is a POSIX application that runs under Windows 2000 and allows you to remove folders and files, including those with reserve names. The following command would remove a file named COM1 from the C:\Program Files\App folder:
rm -d "//C/Program Files/App/COM1"
From the sample command above, notice that POSIX uses a path structure that's different from DOS / Windows 2000. Also, POSIX commands are case-sensitive, so enter the path using its actual case.  If you need to remove an entire folder tree, use a command similar to
the following, replacing the path with the appropriate path to the folder
you want to delete:
rm -r "//C/Program Files/App"

After reinstalling Windows 2000 on a system with an existing Documents and Settings folder, you'll probably see that a new user profile replaced your old profile. For example, assume you log on as administrator and in your previous installation, your profile was stored in Documents and Settings\ Administrator. You install a new copy of Windows 2000, name the computer MYPC in the second installation, and delete the original. The problem is that your account now uses Documents and Settings\Administrator.MYPC as your profile location. All of your old data still resides in your original profile folder, which houses your desktop, My Documents, and application data.
You can redirect Windows 2000 to your old profile by editing the registry. Open the Registry Editor and then open the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
Under this branch, locate the key that contains your profile settings. The easiest way to identify the correct key is to check the value of ProfileImagePath in the key and locate the one pointing to your current  profile directory. Then, edit the value of ProfileImagePath to point to the old profile path. Log off and log back on; this should restore your original profile.
NOTE: Remember that editing the registry can be risky; so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

Cleaning Up the Desktop
If you don't configure systems for a living but do install systems for a test lab, a small network, or home systems, here are some tips you can use to eliminate desktop clutter. Win2K defines the system environment in two parts: computer-specific controls and user-specific controls. The computer settings define the OS environment and components, and user settings define the desktop's look and feel. On a local system, Win2K stores computer settings in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE registry subkey and user settings in the HKEY_USERS\<profile>\SOFTWARE registry subkey. The following four tips for eliminating the Recycle Bin, removing Microsoft Outlook Express and the Internet Connection Wizard (ICW), and disabling the Configure Your Server Wizard require you to modify the local registry. If you want to implement these controls in Group Policy, you'll need to create a custom template that deletes or changes registry subkeys or value entries for each desired behavior.
When you fine-tune the desktop by manually editing the registry, you can modify the default user profile, which defines the desktop for all users who don't already have a profile (i.e., users who log on after you modify the profile), or you can modify settings for an individual account by changing the individual user's profile. You change the default environment by editing the HKEY_USERS\.Default subkey, and you change a specific user's desktop by modifying the ntuser.dat profile for that individual. To guarantee that the system saves your changes, modify a user's profile only when the user isn't logged on.
To ensure you can undo changes, always create a backup copy of the registry subkey or value entry you plan to delete. You can create a backup copy in binary registry-ready format or in a text file. To back up a subkey by using regedt32, highlight the subkey, go to the registry menu, and select Save Key to create a binary version or Save Subtree As to create a text file of the subkey contents.
Recycle Bin
Recycle Bin is a computer-specific control. Start a registry editor and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Namespace subkey. Each subkey below Namespace is a Class ID, an internal number that defines the product and version for the system object or file. Highlight each subkey and look at the contents of the Removal Message in the right pane. When you locate Recycle Bin, create a backup copy of the subkey, then delete the subkey.
You can use this technique to remove other desktop icons that appear below the Namespace subkey. As long as you don't unregister the Class ID, you can restore the icons by importing or manually recreating the subkeys and value entries from the backup copy. Microsoft's documentation recommends you log off and log back on to refresh the desktop, but in my case, the Recycle Bin icon disappeared immediately after I removed its Namespace subkey.
Internet Connection Wizard
ICW is a user-specific control. ICW introduces a security risk and, as such, is often an undesirable feature on user desktops. To modify the default profile, locate the HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Runonce subkey or load the ntuser.dat profile from the Default user profile directory. Delete the Runonce value entry SetupICWDesktop in the right pane, and exit the registry editor. To remove ICW from a specific user's desktop, make the same modification to that individual's profile.
Outlook Express
Outlook Express is a computer-specific control. To disable creation of the Outlook Express icon for all future profiles, start a registry editor and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components subkey. Below Installed Components, locate {44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}\Stubpath, create a backup copy, and delete the subkey.
Configure Your Server Wizard
Configure Your Server Wizard is a user-specific setting. I find the wizard annoying because it introduces several unnecessary screens when I know exactly what I want to do. To disable the wizard in all future profiles, start a registry editor and navigate to the HKEY_USERS\.Default\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Setup\Welcome subkey. Locate the value entry srvwiz in the right pane, and change its value to zero; this change should take effect immediately.
My Documents
You can easily remove the My Documents icon from your desktop when you’re logged on. Open Windows Explorer, click Tools, Folder Options, then click the View tab. Scroll down and clear the "Show My Documents on the Desktop" option. You can implement this control in Group Policy by enabling the Remove My Documents icon control in User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Desktop.

Pictures pop-up toolbar
One of the most annoying "features" of IE 6 is the Pictures pop-up toolbar. After installing IE 6, pages that I developed would show the Pictures toolbar whenever the mouse hovered over an image; ostensibly to allow the visitor to save, print, or e-mail images on the page that weren't associated with a hyperlink. While it has always been possible to "lift" images from a Web page by right-clicking and choosing one of the Save commands, I don't think developers should make it easier for novices to use copyrighted material. This feature is very easy to switch off on a per-page or per-image basis. To turn this feature off for an entire page or site, add the following META tag to the page or include the information in the IIS headers for the site through the Internet Service Manager console:
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />
To switch off this feature on a per-image basis, simply add the following attribute to the appropriate IMG tag:

   ( contributed by John Savill, )

Q. Why does Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 prompt me for an action when I click a .tif file, even after I've cleared the "Always ask before opening this type of file" check box?
A. When you select a link to a .tif file in IE, the browser will always prompt you to either open or save the file unless you clear the "Always ask before opening this type of file" check box. However, a bug in IE 6.0 can cause the browser to lose this setting, forcing you to make a decision each time you access a .tif file. To resolve this problem, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.tif subkey.
  3. Double-click the Default value and change the value data from TIFImage.Document to Imaging.Document.
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.tiff subkey.
  5. Double-click the Default value and change the value data from TIFImage.Document to Imaging.Document.
  6. Close the registry editor.
The problem occurs because TIFImage.Document and Imaging.Document share the same class identifier (CLSID) but the reverse lookup points back to only Imaging.Document when you access a .tif file. Hence, IE 6.0 ignores the registry settings for TIFImage.Document.


When you install Windows 2000 to a new folder or partition on anexisting Windows 9x system, you can dual-boot between the two. Windows 2000 Setup modifies the boot sector to load the Windows 2000 boot loader at boot.The boot loader gives you the option of booting either Windows 2000 or Windows 9x depending on the selection you make from the boot menu, which isdefined in the Boot.ini file.
If you decide that you no longer want to use Windows 2000 on thecomputer, you can keep the system as it is, deleting the system folder but continuing to use the boot loader to boot Windows 9x.
A cleaner solution, however, is to remove all Windows 2000 files, including the boot loader. To do so, boot the computer to Windows 9x and insert a blank, formatted diskette in drive A. Then, open a DOS prompt and execute this command: SYS A:.
This copies the system files to the diskette so you can use it to boot the computer to a DOS prompt. You can also format the disk through the GUI and choose the option to copy the system files to it to create the boot disk.
Next, copy the files,, and Fdisk.exe to the diskette. Boot the computer using the diskette, and then execute this command: SYS C:.
This overwrites the existing boot files and restores the Windows 9x boot loader. Then you can remove the Windows 2000 folder and the boot files Ntldr.exe, Boot.ini,, Arcsetup.exe, and Arcldr.exe from the computer. If Windows 2000 is installed in a different partition, use Fdisk to remove the Windows 2000 partition or Format to reformat it for use with Windows 9x.


If you run Setup.exe from an existing Windows 2000 installation and install to a new folder, Setup doesn't remove the existing installation. In fact, you can dual-boot between the two. It's unlikely that you would want to do so, however, unless you need to test different configurations and don't want to reconfigure the existing installation. Or, perhaps you want to have a backup installation you can use to boot the system if the original becomes unstable or unbootable.
If you don't need both copies, you can remove one. To do so, first edit Boot.ini to remove the entry for the Windows 2000 installation you'll be removing. Make sure to check the path in the entry to be sure you're deleting the right one. Then, change the value of the DEFAULT entry in the [boot loader] section to point to the installation you're keeping.
When you reboot the system, it will boot to the copy of Windows 2000 that you want to keep, assuming you made the correct changes to Boot.ini. You can check to be sure by opening a command console and typing the following command, which echoes the system root folder to the console:
ECHO %systemroot%
When you're satisfied that you've booted the right copy, you can open Windows Explorer and delete the old Windows 2000 system folder.

John Savill / May 7, 1999
Q. How can I automatically kill hung processes when I logoff?

A. When you tell NT to shut down, it first sends shutdown requests to any running processes. Most 32-bit applications honour these requests and shut down, but older 16-bit apps running in the Virtual DOS Machine often won't. When this occurs, the operating system prompts you with a dialog box asking if you want to kill the task, wait for the task to die on its own, or cancel the shutdown. By modifying the Registry, you can automate this process.

You can force NT to kill all running processes on shutdown by performing the following:

Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
Move to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
If a value "AutoEndTasks" does not exist from the Edit menu select New - String Value. Enter a name of AutoEndTasks and press Enter
Double click on AutoEndTasks and set to 1. Click OK
Close the registry editor
You can also add this key to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop for new users to inherit.

WinXP - Eliminate Balloon Tips in the Notification Area

Most of the balloon tips tied to the notification area on the taskbar serve little or no purpose for experienced users; they're just distracting. To turn off the tips, run the Registry editor and navigate to the subkey HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\ Advanced. (Always use caution when editing the Registry. Any errors can cause system problems and data loss.)
Right-click on the right pane, create a new DWORD value, and name it EnableBalloonTips. Then double-click on the new entry and give it a value of 0 (zero). Close the Registry editor and restart Windows.
Note that this change will turn off all the balloon tips, which means that you may have to adjust some other options. If, for example, you have Automatic Update set to notify you before downloading anything, notifications of critical updates won't be as obvious. You may want to change your Automatic Update options or update manually.

WinXP - Remove Hidden Windows Components

If you've been looking for a way to remove Windows Messenger or other Windows components that don't show in the Add or Remove Programs applet, here's the secret. Windows keeps a list of components in a file called Sysoc.inf in C:\Windows\ Inf. Some of the entries under the [Components] heading, among them the line for Messenger, include the word hide. To make them visible to the Add or Remove Programs applet so that you can remove them, you have to delete the instruction to hide them.

First, make sure that Windows Explorer is set to display hidden files: In Windows Explorer, choose Tools | Folder Options, then the View tab, and set the option to Show hidden files and folders. Also remove the check from the check box labeled Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

After clicking OK, you can navigate to the C:\Windows\Inf folder. Open Sysoc.inf in Notepad and find the line msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7. Delete the word hide, being careful to leave the commas. Save and close the file.

Next, go to the Control Panel, choose Add or Remove Programs, and when the applet opens, choose Add/Remove Windows Components. Windows Messenger should now appear in the list. You can make other hidden components appear in the applet by following the same steps.

Windows Messenger
One relatively new form of pop-up that has been annoying Internet users with potentially dangerous effects is spam being sent using the Windows Messaging feature in Windows XP. This is not the instant messaging software that is used by millions of computer users, but rather an administrative tool that is meant to be used by systems administrators to contact users.

While there are utilities that claim to stop such pop-ups, the Windows Messenger feature is relatively easy to disable. To disable the Windows Messenger in Windows XP:

In Windows XP --> Control Panel --> Administrative Tools.
Double-click Services.
Double-click Messenger.
In the Startup type list, choose Disabled.
Click Stop, and then click OK.

WinXP - Create Flexible Music Files

By default, Windows Media Player creates protected WMA files when you rip CDs. Because protected files require licenses for playback, you won't be able to listen to the files on another computer. But you can turn this feature off. In Windows Media Player, open the Tools menu and select Options. Then click on the Copy Music tab, and uncheck the box next to Protect music.

WinXP - Where Did The Status Bar Go?

WinXP - Fix A Mangled IP Configuration

In the days before Windows XP, a corrupted IP installation could often be fixed simply by removing and reinstalling TCP/IP. In most cases, the IP-related files remained intact, but some related Registry keys would be corrupted beyond repair.

You can't uninstall TCP/IP in Windows XP, because there is no Uninstall button for this protocol. According to Microsoft, that is because TCP/IP is an integral part of the operating system, and removing it would cause major problems. You can, however, use the Windows XP command line utility NetShell to reset all IP-related Registry settings to their default values. The result is a brand-new TCP/IP configuration.

The Netsh.exe program is located in the C:\Windows\ System32 directory. To use the program, enter the command "netsh int ip reset filename." You must specify a filename, such as Ipstuff.txt. After Netsh .exe runs, the file will contain a detailed log of the Registry keys that were modified.

WinXP - Shorten the Start menu Delay

If you have ever been annoyed by the built-in delay before a menu displays in Windows, you can eliminate it. To do this, open Regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel \Desktop\menushowDelay. The default value is 400 (milliseconds); lowering the value will speed up how quickly menus display. This change will take effect after you reboot.

Use DMA Mode For All ATAPI Drives

Slave drives on ATAPI channels are often set to PIO mode by default, even if they are capable of modes such as UltraATA or DMA, which allow more efficient data transfers. This means CD/DVD burning, DVD playback, and other performance may suffer unnecessarily.

To fix this problem, in Windows 2000 or XP, open the System applet in the Control Panel and select Device Manager in the Hardware tab. Choose Advanced Settings, and change the transfer mode for each drive to DMA if possible. For Windows 98 or Me, go to Device Manager, then Disk Drives | Hard disk properties and click the Settings tab. Click the DMA box. There's no harm done if a device can't handle DMA mode.

Optimize The Paging File

You can reduce the annoying lag created by constant paging by increasing your paging file size and by making the file static so that Windows doesn't have to resize it all the time. If you can, place the paging file in its own partition—or, if at all possible, place it on a separate physical hard drive from the Windows drive. Frequently defrag whatever drive the paging file resides on.

To change the settings, open the Control Panel and double-click on System. Click on the Advanced tab, and then, under Performance Settings, go to the Advanced tab and click on Change. (In Windows 98 or Me, go to the System Control Panel applet, to the Performance tab, and then to the Virtual Memory settings.) Here you can change the size and drive location of the paging file.

First, if you have more than one local drive available, you can select the one that you want the paging file on. (You cannot change the file's location in Windows 98 or Me.) Next, specify the paging file's initial size in megabytes. There are many theories to determine the perfect size, but just make it as large as your hard drive can spare within reason, up to 2GB. Then enter the same number for the file's maximum size. Click Set. You'll have to reboot for the changes to take effect.

Windows 2000 screensaver
Craig in Annapolis, Maryland, is looking for a way to specify the screensaver that Windows 2000 uses when there aren't any users logged in.
You can pick a screen savers that specific users can use, but when no one is logged in, Windows 2000 has a default screensaver. A viewer named Kenderson recommends the following instructions.

  1. Look for the "logon.scr" file. It's located in the System32 directory in C:WINNT.
  2. Rename the file. Keep it so you can put it back if your new screensaver doesn't work.
  3. Place the screensaver you want in the same directory.
  4. Rename the new screensaver "logon.scr".

Hide drive letters in My Computer - TechRepublic 20030918

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:

Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
Right-click the Servers key, and select New | DWORD value.
Name the value NoDrives.
Press [Enter] twice to open the Edit DWORD Value dialog box.
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.

"It is Now Safe to Turn Off Your Computer" Error Message When You Try to Shut Down Your Computer

Add/Remove hidden programs in Windows XP and 2000.

We all want to uninstall everything Windows doesn't completely need to run optimally. Problem is, some programs you don't want taking up space hide away. They're next to impossible to find, much less remove.
Don't worry, because tonight I have a Windows tweak that'll help you immediately. Yes, we showed you how to do it back in November 2001, but my gut and my inbox tell me I should mention it again.

  1. Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf
  2. Open the sysoc.inf file in Notepad or another plain text editor. If you can't find the inf directory, it's probably hidden. Unhide it.
  3. Click Tools and choose Folder Options.
  4. Under View, enable Show Hidden Files & Folders.
  5. In sysoc.inf, look for the section called "components" in XP or "old base components" in 2000. What looks like a bunch of gibberish is actually pretty easy to read. You'll see a component name, followed by an equals sign, followed by a list of parameters separated by commas.
    For example: Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,HIDE,7
  6. The deal: the "HIDE" between the two last commas indicates a hidden component. Remove "HIDE" to unhide the component.
    For example: Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7
  7. Unhide any component you want.
  8. Save the file.
  9. Reopen the Windows Component Wizard to see your new Add/Remove options!
  10. Let's see if you can remove Windows Messenger forever. I know you can.

Posted October 2, 2003 - Modified October 1, 2003

gapi32.dll..... errors in XP

Manually remove Outlook Express

You can add or remove many of the applications included with Windows 2000 Professional via Control Panel. However, you can't remove Outlook Express using this method. If you don't use Outlook Express or you need to reinstall it, you can manually remove it.

This process isn't complicated, but it does involve several steps. Start by setting folder options to display both hidden files and protected operating system files. After making sure you've backed up any Outlook Express data if necessary, rename the following folders, adding _old at the end of each:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Identities
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Address Book

Next, open the Registry Editor, and delete the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{7790769C-0471-11D2-AF11-00C04FA35D02}

Finally, search for and rename the following files. Note that each file resides in two locations. Rename both copies, adding _old to the end of each.


Windows will display a file protection warning. Click Cancel when prompted to enter the Windows 2000 CD, and click Yes when Windows asks if you want to keep the unrecognized file versions. Restart the computer after you've renamed the files.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes.

Prevent logon if a roaming profile fails

Users who have roaming profiles can log on from any location in the network, and their profile follows them to their logon location. Roaming profiles help these users access the same desktop and working environment regardless of logon location.

If Windows 2000 is unable to download the roaming profile because it is unavailable or contains errors that prevent it from loading, Windows attempts to load the user's profile from the local computer, if available. Failing that, Windows loads the local default user profile instead.

If you prefer that roaming users can't log on unless the computer can download their roaming profile, enable the following policy: Computer Configuration\
Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Log Users Off When Roaming Profile Fails. Then, if Windows can't obtain the user's roaming profile, it will log off the user.

In addition to setting a policy to prevent logon if the roaming profile fails, you might also want to prevent Windows from caching the roaming profile on the local computer when a roaming user does log on. To prevent local caching of the profile, enable the following policy: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Delete Cached Copies Of Roaming Profiles.

Create a boot log for troubleshooting

Problems that you're troubleshooting in Windows XP often originate in the boot process. As such, one of your key troubleshooting techniques should be to create a boot log. Creating such a log is a relatively easy process.

Follow these steps:

Restart the system.
When the operating system begins to load, press [F8].
Select the Enable Boot Logging option from the Windows Advanced menu, and press [Enter].

After the system restarts, launch Notepad, and open the C:\Windows\Ntbtlog.txt file. This file contains a list of all of the files that Windows XP attempted to load during startup.

Every line in the file will begin with either "Loaded driver" or "Did not load driver," which makes it easy to determine what drivers or services could be causing the problem. In either case, the path and filename of the driver or service will follow.

Delete an "undeletable" file

Local Machine Zone Lockdown = LMZ Lockdown

ZIP files

Slow disk access (especially from MyComputer and Windows Explorer)


To remove the "Shortcut to..." text string instances from ALL your existing and ANY new Shortcuts you will create from now on, run Regedit and go to:
Create a new Binary value called "link": right-click on an empty spot -> select Binary [hex] Value -> name it "link" (no quotes).
If "link" is already present: double-click on it -> type as many zeroes as necessary until it reads:
00 00 00 00
Click OK. Don't type the spaces.
Restart your system and the "Shortcut To" text prefix is gone.
Note: This applies to all your existing as well as and newly added shortcuts!

Remove the 'Shortcut to...' Prefix on Shortcuts (All Windows) at Registry Guide for Windows

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
Value Name: link
Data Type: REG_BINARY (Binary Value)
Value Data: (00 00 00 00 = No Shortcut Text)



No Auto-restart for Scheduled Automatic Update Installation Options
This policy specifies that to complete a scheduled installation, Automatic Updates will wait for the computer to be restarted by any user who is logged on, instead of causing the computer to restart automatically.

If the status is set to Enabled, Automatic Updates will not restart a computer automatically during a scheduled installation if a user is logged on to the computer. Instead, Automatic Updates will notify the user to restart the computer in order to complete the installation.

Be aware that Automatic Updates will not be able to detect future updates until the restart occurs.

If the status is set to Disabled or Not Configured, Automatic Updates will notify the user that the computer will automatically restart in 5 minutes to complete the installation.

This policy applies only when Automatic Updates is configured to perform scheduled installations of updates. If the Configure Automatic Updates policy is disabled, this policy has no effect.

To inhibit auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Update installation options

Group Policy Object Editor

In Group Policy Object Editor (gpedit.msc)

In the details pane, click No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Update installation options, and set the option.

Click OK.

How To Disable Forced Restarts After A Windows Update

Automatic restart/reboot after update


 Cmd.exe does not support UNC names as the current directory


Could not reconnect all network drives

Windows XP Menu Show Delay

How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Maximize the application