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Windows xp tips and tricks
1. Where does Window's ProductId get stored ?
There are two places at least where ProductId gets stored. To see the first place, open Registry by
going to START-RUN and entering REGEDIT and Navigate to
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicr
osoft Windows NTCurrentVersion]. In right pane,
look for key by the name "ProductId". This is your Windows Product Id. Alternatively you can navigate
to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion] and still find same
field with the name ProductId.

2. Using third part defrag utility ? Make it defrag all files
I read about this tip on web. If you are using a third party defrag utility, you can make it defrag all files.
Go to C:WindowsPrefetch directory and removing/deleting layout.ini file.

3. Speedup boot time by improving NTFS check
CHKNTFS is the command used to set the AUTOCHK initiation count down time. You can reduce it
234 Tips – Trick Windows Part 1
from default 9 seconds to a much lower value say 4 seconds. Go to command prompt and type
CHKNTFS/T:4 This command would set the AUTOCHK initiation count time down to 4.

4. How to kill the IE About windows that popup from time to time
There is an Internet Explorer vulnerability to which allows some web sites to open a hidden popup
tracking minimized window either upon your first visit or when you leave their web site or even when
you close your browser while one of their web pages is still displayed. They do this by using the little
known "about:" browser built-in command into their HTML/DHTML/XML code. Sometimes this
window Go undetected as these are not resizable as you come to expect of a typical window app. If
you do not have anything specific with www.about.com, there could be a registry tweak that you can
do. Run the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) by going to START-RUN and type regedit and navigate
to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion Internet
SettingsZoneMapProtocolDefaults]
and add two DWORD keys"about" and "about:" and set its value to 4.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Doing this tweak would mean that you would not be able to use the
blank about page as your startup page. There is a workaround for this by adding it to your zone ...but
I do not like it and hence not mentioning it here.

5. How to fix problems with master boot record
So what is Master Boot Record (MBR)? Master boot record is the first sector of the disk that is
accessed by you computer BIOS as soon as it boots up. So what does it mean ? It means that your
ability to boot to a particular operating system depends upon the correctness of Master Bood Record.
If you have ever installed two or more operating system, your ability to select an operating system is
controlled by master boot record. Assume if you are not able to boot due to your dislike of the
changes in boot loader process or corruption in MBR (btw, this could happen for a variety of reasons,
right from virus to your own experiments with multi boot process.. I have seen this happening a lot on
my PC since I have a dual cpu system with Mandrake 8.1 on one partition and Windows XP on
another with Mandrake graphical Master Boot Menu ) you have to correct the master boot record.
Assuming you are in Windows XP, you have to put WINDOWS XP CD in your drive and make it
reboot next time in recovery console.
1. Simplest way to do this would be to would be to navigate to START-RUN and type D:i386winnt
/cmdcons (D: is the CDROM drive in my computer) and let the process finish and reboot.
2. Once rebooted, system would prompt you to choose recovery console and chose it by entering
proper menu id number (by default should be 1). Once console is loaded do enter this command
FIXMBR /device/harddisk0 (where harddisk0 refers to C: drive where WINDOWS XP is installed by
default). This would fix your master boot record to default XP boot. By the way FIXMBR command is
only available from recovery console. What to know more about FIXMBR, visit Microsoft TechNet site
If you have followed the instructions correctly, you are done.

6. Write a new partition boot sector to the system partition
Are you look for a way to correct the partition boot sector, here is a quick fix. You have to put
WINDOWS XP CD in your reboot the computer next time in recovery console. Here are the steps
after you put your XP CD and boot into recovery console (Choose R for Recovery console when
Windows XP setup disk starts)
1. Once console is loaded do enter this command FIXBOOT C:(where C: is the hard disk drive where
WINDOWS XP is installed by default). To know more about FIXBOOT options, click here to visit
Microsoft Technet site
If you have followed the instructions correctly, you are done.
234 Tips – Trick Windows Part 1

7. Change the text in START Button in task bar ?
I have received many emails from users on this topic. In Windows XP Pro, you can change your Start
button and you are not even restricted with 5 characters as it used to be the case in previous version
of Windows but the process itself of modifiying the start button is a bit more tedious than what it used
to be. Anyways, gist of act is to modify your
1. First of all, make a backup of your explorer.exe This is one of the most important executables of
your operating system and incase you make a mistake, you should have its backup to fall back on to !
You will see this file in C:Windows directory. Go there, make a copy and change its name to
something you remember like "explorerold.exe or explorer.old".
2. Download a freeware called ResourceHacker by going to 7. Reboot your computer as you would
normally do.
If you have followed the steps correctly, you should have new explorer by now.

8. 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_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanServerParameters] 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)

9. 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_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer] 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)

10. Lock known dll's list and make 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_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlSession 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_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerKnownDLLs] 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.

234 Tips – Trick Windows Part 1
Microsoft has an old but informative article on it
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q218/4/73.asp
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