Rupesh new articles1

Allowing Network Access with Blank Passwords (XP and Vista)

Although you can log in locally without a password, by default, WindowsXP Pro does not allow network users to access the computer without a password. Typically you will receive an Unknown error 31 if this is the case.
To change this setting:
Run gpedit.msc
Go to Computer Configuration / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options
Double click on Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only
Disable this option
Disabling the F3 Search Key

If you want to disable the ability to use the F3 key from either the Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions
Create a Dword value called NoFindFiles
Give it a value of 1
Preventing Changes to File Associations

You can prevent users from changing associations via Windows Explorer's Tools / Folder Options / File Types tab.
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explore
Create REG_DWORD data type NoFileAssociate
Give it a value of 1
Submitted by Paul Barker
Locking File Associations

If you have your file associations the way you want for a particular file type, you can remove it from the list that gets displayed in the Folder Options / File Types screen
Start Regedit
Scroll to the file association you want to lock.
In the right panel, create a new Binary value
Call it EditFlags
Give it a value of 01 00 00 00
Now when you go to the Folder Options / File Types screen, you won't see that file type listed.
Submitted by Paul Barker

Turning off System Beeps

If you want to turn off all system beeps (like the ones that go through your computers' internal speaker):
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Sound
Edit the key Beep and give it a value of No
Download reg file

Changing the Location Of Special Folders

You can modify the registry to change the location of special folders like:
My Documents
My Pictures
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Double click on any locations you want to change and alter the path
Logoff or restart for the changes to go into effect
Note: TweakUI from Microsoft will allow you to make these changes from a dialog box as well

Deleting Specific Registry Value

In a previous tip, Automatically Deleting a Registry Key, it was mentioned how to remove an entire registry key.If you want to simply remove a specific value within a key, use the syntax below:
[Registry Key]"value"=-
For example:
REGEDIT4[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] "MSConfig"=-
would delete the value MSCONFIG.
Submitted by Brent Towsley

Setting the Recycle Bin to Always Delete

You can set the recycle bin to always delete items (like holding down the shift key when dragging files to the recycle bin)
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ BitBucket
Set the key NukeOnDelete to 1
Download reg file

Setting the Internet Explorer Home Page

If you want to set the home page used by Internet Explorer through the registry
Start Regedit
Go to HKey_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Main
Give the Start Page key the string value you wish set as homepage
Submitted by Austin Henderson

Preparing to Move Hard Drive to Another Computer

To remove the devices from device manager when taking a HD from one computer to another,simply:
Run Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ and delete the Enum section
This removes all of the hardware specific settings
Submitted by Lee Berry

Comparing Registries

While working with changes to your system, you might want to see what is changing in your Registry.Since you can export it to a text file, the steps are fairly easy
Start Regedit
With the very top level select - My Computer, on the Toolbar select Registry / Export Registry File
I usually save it to the root of the C: drive with the name before (you don't need to add an extension)
Make the change to your system
Go back to Regedit
Press F5 to update it
Export the Registry like step 2
Name the file after and have it go in the same directory
Open up a DOS window
Go to the directory where the two exported files are
Enter FC before.reg after.reg > diff.txt
Then you can edit diff.txt with your favorite text editor.
Note: I do the last steps so often I have a simple batch file already set up.

Posted by Computer Tricks at 11.15 PM 0 comments
Monday, july 21, 2008
Easy Access to Folders from the Toolbar

You can quickly access commonly used folders from your Toolbar
Right click on an open area of the Toolbar
Select Toolbars / New Toolbar
Browse to the directory you want to add
Now on the toolbar you will see the name of that folder displayed.
Click on the >> to open any sub-folders as well.
Organizing the Start / Programs Listing

As you add more and more programs, the listing of them in Start / Programs can get fairly long.One solution is to categorize your programs into several groups, create a folder for those groups, and move the shortcuts to those folders.
For example:
Start the Explorer
Go to Windows / Start Menu / Programs
Create new folders with the categories you want (e.g. Graphics, Utilities, Internet etc.)
Now move the shortcuts to those programs in Windows / Start Menu / Programs to whichever category you decide.
This can greatly reduce clutter and make it a lot easier to find your programs.
Note: Windows2000 and WindowsXP Users will need to go to the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs directory

Restoring a Lost Desktop

If you ever lose the Desktop but Explorer is still running with the Start Button, you can do this to bring back your Desktop in a Windows box.
Click Start
Click Run
Type a period " . "
Then press Enter
Submitted by

Creating a New E-Mail Shortcut

To create a shortcut that will open your default e-mail program starting a new e-mail,
Right click on an open area of the desktop
Select New / Shortcut
For the Command Line, enter mailto:
For the title enter something like New E-Mail
When you click on this your default e-mail program should start with a new e-mail form.

Creating 3D Window Effect

You can create a nice 3D effect for your windows
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Colors
Make sure the following setting are there:
ButtonHilight=128 128 128
ButtonShadow=255 255 255

Creating Shutdown, Restart and Logoff Icons

To create the icons, create a shortcut on the desktop.
For Shutdown, the command is C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE user.exe,exitwindows
For Restart, the command is C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE user.exe,exitwindowsexec
For Logoff, the command is C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE shell32.dll,SHExitWindowsEx 0

Having your Favorites and Start Menus Sort Alphabetically

If your Start Menu Program or Favorites are not sorting alphabetically, it is easy to fix this:
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/MenuOrder
Under here is are Favorites and Start Menu folders
In each there is a value called Order
Simply delete (or rename this) and restart Winodws
Your Favorites or Start Menus should now sort alphabetically

Increasing the Icon Cache

Run Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer
Create a new string called Max Cached Icons
Give it a value of 10000
This will increase response time in windows and give the Shellicon cache file more elbow room.

Make Icons 256 Color 16-Bit

Open the Registry
Hit Ctrl+F
Type Shell Icon BPP
When found, right click the Shell Icon BPP icon
Click Modify
Change the value from 4 to 16
Click Ok
Close the registry
Restart your computer

Removing Shortcut Arrows

An easy way to remove those irritating arrows from your desktop shortcut icons and not change their properties
Right click the Desktop / Properties / Appearance tab
Select Item
Scroll for Icon
The default size is 32
Change this to 30
Clicking Apply

Adding the Control Panel to the Start Menu

Open up the Explorer
Go to \WINDOWS\Start Menu
Right click in the right-hand panel
Add a new folder
Name it Control Panel.{21ec2020-3aea-1069-a2dd-08002b30309d}
This makes getting to the Control Panel items a little easier

Making Desktop Changes Permanent

To make changes to the Desktop like window size, positon after rebooting:
Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Create a New Binary Value
Name it NoSaveSettings
Give it a value of 01 00 00 00
Easy Shortcuts on the Desktop

Here is an easy way to put shortcuts on the Desktop where they can easily be moved to other group icons.
Using the Explorer, create a SHORTCUT to the \Windows\Desktop directory in your \Windows\SEND TO directory.
Now whenever you want to make a shortcut and move it to the desktop:
Just make the shortcut you want using Explorer
Right click on that shortcut
In the pop up menu select the Send To and Desktop shortcut

Posted by Computer Tricks at 5:42 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Tips and Tricks to Improve Computer Speed

A Little Bit of My History
The very first time I have my hands on computer was almost 18 years back or so. It was an Apple computer given by my uncle who thought that I might be interested in it. The computer had no hard drive but with two 5 and a half inches floppy drive. The colors supported were black and green. All I did with the computer is to play games.
Later on, my father bought a 80286 system which came with a DOS system menu. I am particularly interested in games and since we had a DOS system, I started borrowing games from my friends. The computer was not considered fast because there were 80486 in the market at that time. Thus, some of the games are either not compatible or too slow to play a 80286 system.
At that time, I discovered that memory is one of the important components to increase the computer speed. Knowing that it was impossible for me to buy additional RAM to add-on, I started looking at DOS utilities. There was a Memory Maker tools which aimed to increase the memory similar of having a virtual memory but there was no significant improvement or I should say there was no improvement at all.
Later on, my father bought a Pentium 133 system with Windows 95. I upgraded it to Windows 98 myself. I went on to study computing in college and had another Celeron 300A system. I tried overclocking but the system just hangs after 333MHz. An increase of 33MHz did not improve much to the overall speed.
This is one of the most common tools that you can find in all Windows system. Run the tool by typing ‘msconfig’ from Start Menu –> Run, and a system configuration windows will appear. Click on the startup tab and it contains a list of startup program on your computer. Thus, one of the ways to improve your computer startup speed is to have the least programs to startup automatically with Windows.
Of course, you will want your antivirus to startup together but other than that, I believe that MSN, Skype and other similar tools will slow down your startup tremendously. You might be saying that you will always need to run MSN and Skype but a good practice is to enable them in the startup but prevent them from signing in automatically.
I like my system to startup fast because sometimes I may just want to type some documents or playing games without using other tools. Thus, shortcuts at the desktop are good enough for me as I can choose to launch any programs after startup.
After a fresh installation, the startup tab is normally blank. Hence, you are safe to untick all the programs listed. If you find that your system is not working properly after that, you can always run the system configuration and tick all the startup programs.
Windows Defender
This is a free spyware tool from Microsoft itself. Other than that, it is also a startup manager. Browse through the tools option, and there is a Software Explorer link. It works like a combination of startup manager and task manager. You can view currently running programs, network connected programs, winsock service providers and startup programs. You can choose to remove, disable or enable the programs listed.
However, Windows Defender is available for Windows XP and Vista only.
As time goes by, your copy of Windows may work slower and slower. This is because of the amount of software and games that you have installed in your computer but are not removed properly during uninstallation. During an of software or game, not only the files are installed in the specified folders; several records are also added into Windows registry. Unfortunately, not all the records in the registry are always removed during uninstallation.
“The Windows registry is a directory which stores settings and options for the operating system for Microsoft Windows 32-bit versions, 64-bit versions and Windows Mobile. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, users, preferences of the PC, etc. Whenever a user makes changes to Control Panel settings, file associations, system policies, or most installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the registry.” - Wikipedia
CCleaner is a piece of freeware which can be used to check any broken links from the registry and thus, offers the option to remove the invalid registry entries. A lot of people are saying that it is dangerous to change registry settings. Indeed, it is dangerous. But I have been using this piece of freeware for quite sometime and I have not encountered any serious problems with it. However, I do notice some improvement in my system speed especially during startup.
As I am using Vista at the moment, I reckon that the software does not work quite well with Vista because some of the options a greyed out.
System Mechanic of IOLO Technologies is a piece of software that done a better job than CCleaner. Well, of course because it is not free. If you manage to get hold of a copy of System Mechanic, you will be surprised how it performed and all the functions it has.
Advance System Properties
If you like the fancy appearance of your Windows right now, you may choose not to change any of the settings here. But there are a few options which you might want to disable and it does not affect the overall appearance of your Windows. To go to the Advance System Properties, right click My Computer and click on properties. For Windows XP, click on the Advance tab while Windows Vista users need to click on the Advance System Properties link at the left column.
In the advance tab, there are three frames, Performance, User Profiles and Startup and Recovery. Click on the Settings button in the Performance frame and you will be shown the Visual Effects tab. To choose for the best performance will untick all the options below and mostly likely, you will get better speed when navigating through Windows. However, if you prefer to have the fancy appearance, you may want to just untick the options for fading and sliding or untick everything except the bottom two options to keep the option of having drop shadow for icon labels and visual styles for windows and buttons.
Files in Desktop and User Account
The size of you user account has some effect on the speed of your computer during startup. You can view your user account size from the User Profiles frame mentioned above. Click on the Settings button in the User Profiles frame and you will see a list of users and the size of each of the users.
My own practice is to avoid storing files such as documents and pictures in my user account folders. Even though the user account has come pre-created with different folders for different types of documents such as the musics, pictures, bookmark favorites, documents and saved games, but I have dealt with problems that resulted from corrupted user profiles and the only way to recover the files is to connect the hard drive to another working machine. Well, that is way too troublesome for some people. In addition, some viruses attack through user profiles.
Desktop files are stored in User Profiles. The more icons and files stored in the desktop, the slower startup you get.
Thus, it will be wise to store the files to another drive or partition which will secure your files and also speed up your system slightly.
Disk Cleanup
Using Disk Cleanup will help you to clean your Internet Temporary Files, Downloaded Program Files, setup Files and compress files. This is another step to clean up your system and it may not help to speed up your system. Well, at least that you know a place to find the files that can be deleted safely. By the way, having enough of free disk space is equally important for your computer to run smoothly.
Posted by Computer Tricks at 8:29 PM 0 comments
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Internet Connection Sharing with Windows XP
This trick shows you how to share your internet connections on multiple computers within a workgroup with Windows XP. Windows XP has a built-in feature that called "Internet Connection Sharing" (ICS) that allows home users to share their internet connections on multiple computers.

If you are not familiar with the network configurations, the easiest way to share your internet connection is to purchase a router or hub. Use this trick only if you don't have a router, or don't want to use a router, or if you just want to try out the feature.

A simple way to understand this feature is, you are making your host computer (the computer directly connects to the internet) functioning as a router for other computers.

What do you need?

A "Host" computer that running Windows XP. This computer must have at least TWO (2) network adapters. One adapter - let's call it "Adapter #1" - connects to the internet and another, "Adapter #2", connects to a hub or directly to other computers.
Client computer(s), which run any version of Windows. A client computer can be connected to the host computer directly by a cross-over cable or indirectly through a hub.
This trick assumes that the host computer is connected to the internet and you are able to access the internet on this computer.

Configure the Host Computer

Logon the host computer as Administrator.
Click Start >> Control Panel.
Click Network and Internet Connections.
Click Network Connections.
Right-click the connection that you use to connect to the internet (the connection with Adapter #1). This connection can be either a high-speed internet connection or a dial-up connection.
Click Properties.
Click Advanced tab.
Under Internet Connection Sharing, select the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box.
If you are sharing a dial-up Internet connection, select the Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet check box if you want to permit your computer to automatically connect to the Internet.
Click OK. You'll reieve the following message:
When Internet Connection Sharing is enabled, your LAN adapter will be set to use IP address Your computer may lose connectivity with other computers on your network. If these other computers have static IP addresses, it is a good idea to set them to obtain their IP addresses automatically. Are you sure you want to enable Internet Connection Sharing?
Click Yes.
Posted by Computer Tricks at 11:15 AM 0 comments
Monday, july 21, 2008

To disable unneeded startup services for a safer, faster XP, use the "Services" Admin Tool (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services). If you are a single user of a non-networked machine, you can disable the following items, with no ill effect.AlerterClipbookComputer BrowserFast User SwitchingHuman Interface Access DevicesIndexing Service (Slows the hard drive down)MessengerNet Logon (unnecessary unless networked on a Domain)Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (disabled for extra security)Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (disabled for extra security)Remote Procedure Call LocatorRemote Registry (disabled for extra security)Routing & Remote Access (disabled for extra security)ServerSSDP Discovery Service (this is for the utterly pointless "Universal P'n'P", & leaves TCP Port 5000 wide open)TCP/IP NetBIOS HelperTelnet (disabled for extra security)Universal Plug and Play Device HostUpload ManagerWindows TimeWireless Zero Configuration (for wireless networks)Workstation


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