Official Windows Tip Thread.

or something...

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#1 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 22 March 2003 - 12:46 AM

ok, since it seems that everyone always has windows questions i've just spontaneously decided to post a semi-weekly windows tip going forward. depending on everyone's interest we can make these as general or advanced as we want. as always feedback is appreciated. i would prefer any replies be directed to my PM box so this thread doesn't get cluttered and information is easily found. if you feel the need to edit the post, feel free. just mark your additions/subtractions so we know who changed what. i'd encourage anyone to make a similar thread for other OSs as this one will only cover Win9x and later.

we will start with a simple tip:

Title: Installing the Recovery Console in Win2k/XP
Category: Recovery
Level: Intermediate
Version: Windows 2000/XP

here is a link on how to install the Recovery Console for those not wanting to make the 6 floppies or don't have a bootable CD-ROM drive. after installation the recovery console will appear as an option when the computer boots. this will aid in recovery of the system if you find yourself in a situation where your system will not even boot to safe mode. the recovery console provides a command line interface that allows you Administrator level privileges to your file system. i'd suggest reading more on it if you're interested, but withthe amount of posts so far on computers not booting i'm hoping this article will give many of you a 'jumping off point' where we can begin troubleshooting.

As a side tip: right after installation the delay to choose your boot options will be set to 30 seconds. you can change this by going to System Properties -> Advanced -> Startup and Recovery (settings button) ->"Time to display operating systems"
you can even set this time to 0 as when you try to enter safemode on boot there will be an option to return to the operating system selection.

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Replies To: Official Windows Tip Thread.

#2 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 22 March 2003 - 02:14 AM

Tip 2

Title: Removing Startup Items
Category: Performance
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Version: ALL

Windows is full of TSR (Terminate Stay Resident) programs. some of these you can see just by looking at your system tray (the dealie doo opposite your start button on the taskbar) many apps you install like to start up with windows just so they can make an entry in memory (RAM) so they can start faster when you actually go to click on them. this is just fine and dandy for a handful of apps to do this, but how often do you use quicktime? do you really need it to load itself up when windows starts? not really? besides, with these apps taking up memory you're not providing memory to apps you're actually running. To remove these offensive apps is quite easy. Note: editing the registry can be harmful to your Windows health. if you don't feel comfortable DON'T DO IT!

if you're running WinNT4/Win95:
1. right-click the start button and choose Open.
2. browse to the Startup folder and delete any items you don't want there. nothing is needed
3. open the registry editor (Start -> run -> regedit)
4. export the registry for backup purposes by File -> export
5. navigate to the following key: HKLM_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run
6. feel free to delete all the values here except for the default as these are the problem.
7. you can also do the same for the values in RunOnce and RunServices if present
8. repeat steps 5 and 6 for these as well: HKCU_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run and HKU_.Default_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run
9. reboot and your TSRs are now gone.

if you're running Win98/98SE/ME/XP:
1. right-click the start button and choose Open All Users (the current account also if necessary).
2. browse to the Startup folder and delete any items you don't want there. nothing is needed.
3. open MSCONFIG by Start -> Run -> msconfig.
4. remove the check marks from: Process Autoexec.bat, Process Config.sys, Load startup group items.
5. hit apply and ok and restart when prompted.
Under these OSes this should be all that's needed. you may also want to look at the Startup tab in MSCONFIG if you want to selectivly remove TSRs manually. its always a good idea to keep scanregistry if under Win9x. Alernately if for some reason MSCONFIG hangs you can use the registry techniques described above as they still apply to these OSes.

if you're running Win2k
1. right-click the start button and choose Open All Users (the current account also if necessary).
2. browse to the Startup folder and delete any items you don't want there. nothing is needed.
3. open the registry editor (Start -> run -> regedit)
4. export the registry for backup purposes by File -> export
5. navigate to the following key: HKLM_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run
6. feel free to delete all the values here except for the default as these are the problem.
7. you can also do the same for the values in RunOnce and RunServices if present
8. repeat steps 5 and 6 for these as well: HKCU_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run and HKU_.Default_Software_Microsoft_Windows_CurrentVersion_Run
9. reboot and your TSRs are now gone.

As 2k came out after 9x and before XP you can see how the steps for 2k are hybrid, but still closer to the 9x steps.

if you run into trouble: the registry can be imported (if you exported it) via safemode in Win9x. in 98 you can drop to a command prompt and simply type scanreg /restore and 98 and higher will restore your registry. in ME and XP you can run system restore from safe mode. in 2k you can choose Last known good configuration from the boot menu (also works in XP). this should get you back where you started.
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#3 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:18 PM

Tip 3

Title: Add/Remove optional features of Windows2k/XP
Category: Administration
Level: Intermediate
Version: Win2k/XP

Speaking of removing items... many people may have noticed that Windows2000 and XP do not present many of the optional components installed during setup. I'm talking about games, MSN Explorer, and others. In Win9x these items were readily accessible via Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, but Microsoft in their infinite wisdom believe that everyone needs these items. We can, however, remove these items... Microsoft has left us a way to do this: (tip modified from Paul Thurrot's SuperSite for Windows - www.winsupersite.com)

Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter and path for your version of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. You may have to Right-Click the file and choose OpenWith -> Notepad to do this. You may also have to enable showing of hidden files to find the folder and file. Under Windows XP Professional Edition, this file will resemble the following by default:

[Version] Signature = "$Windows NT$"
DriverVer=06/26/2001,5.1.2505.0

[Components]
NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4
WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7
Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7
Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7
NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7
iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7
com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7
dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6
ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7
AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
msnexplr=ocmsn.dll,OcEntry,msnmsn.inf,,7
smarttgs=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,msnsl.inf,,7
RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7
Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7
AccessUtil=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,accessor.inf,,7
CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7
MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7
AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7
Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7
MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7
ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7

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

The entries that include the text hide or HIDE will not show up in Add/Remove Windows Components by default. To fix this, do a global search (Edit -> Find/Replace) and replace for ,hide and change each instance of this to , (a comma). Then, save the file, relaunch Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Components.
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#4 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:43 PM

Tip 4

Title: Utilize the Group Policy Editor to Tweak Windows2k/XP Pro
Category: Administration
Level: Advanced
Version: Win2k/XP (Pro only)

The Group Policy Editor is just one of the many tools or "Snap-Ins" you can add to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Without going into too much detail on the MMC I will say that the MMC is the tool that systems administrators use to control virturally all aspects of the Operating System. In many ways it is infinitely more powerful than the Control Panel. In this tip we will focus on the Group Policy Editor.

To best explain this tool I am simply going to post a link to the Microsoft Support site to explain how to open and use the Group Policy Editor. The article is written for WindowsXP, but the same information applies to Windows2000. The article also contains links to more general as well as in-depth information on this tool.

http://support.micro...kb;en-us;307882

hint: i find it easier to launch this tool simply by: Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc

Note: some of the following articles reference specific versions of Windows (2000 or XP). Since 2k and XP are so similar many of the concepts still apply even though the exact menu verbage may differ. If any of these are COMPLETLY off base, let me know.


Supplement: if you do not want to apply your changes to the Administrator account refer to this article: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;293655

Supplement: lets say you want to limit a user from running a certain application: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;323525
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#5 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 09 April 2003 - 04:16 PM

Tip 5

Title: Set File and Folder Security in Windows 2000/XP
Category: Administration
Level: Intermediate
Version: Win2k/XP (Pro and sometimes Home)

Marko expressed an interest in a more in-depth networking/security/file-sharing tip. since this seems just a tab broad for just one tip i decided to break it down one tip at a time working up to a complete guide to setting up secure file sharing on a peer-to-peer network. we'll start with the basics of making your files secure and then move on to making them available to others.
to set security you will need to be running your Win2k/XP client on an NTFS partition. FAT32 does not provide for the security options you might wish to employ. if you are running FAT32 currently you can convert your file system to NTFS by simply opening a command prompt and typing: CONVERT X: /FS:NTFS (you would sub X for your intended partition/drive). Once that’s done…

in XP Pro: in Windows Explorer, go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View and uncheck Use Simple File Sharing. now, when you right click on a drive, folder or file (on an NTFS partition) and select Properties, you'll see a Security tab. Here you can assign or deny permissions based on user name or user group membership.

in XP Home: by default, you can only make files and folders under My Documents "private". this is done by right clicking a folder or file and selecting Properties, Sharing. to change the permissions on other folders, you need to boot the computer to Safe Mode and log in on the built in Administrator account. in this mode, you'll see the Security tab in Properties, and you can assign permissions based on user name or group membership.

(to effectively manage your users/groups... start -> run -> mmc -> file -> add/remove snap-in -> add -> local users and groups)

in Win2k: you do not have to disable Simple File Sharing as the proper view is enabled by default.

On the Security tab in the Properties dialog the first section is where you add/remove the users or groups on which you wish to specify permissions. For each user or group that you specify you can modify specific permissions in the second section of this window. Using the Security tab you can effectively limit what files can and cannot be used (and in what ways) by specific users or entire groups… even the system itself! For even more specific permissions settings click the advanced button.
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#6 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 09 April 2003 - 05:05 PM

Tip 6

Title: Set File and Folder Encryption in Windows 2000/XP Pro
Category: Administration
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Version: Win2k/XP Pro (NTFS)

Have you ever wanted to be sure no one else could read your files? Sure you can set security permissions on files, but what if someone gets admin access to your computer remotely? Answer? Encryption.
Before we discuss how you can encrypt your files we should first discuss some pros and cons. Pros: file encryption ensures only you or those you allow to access the files you encrypt. It does this by creating security certificates for users assigned encrypted files. When a user attempts to open an encrypted file windows checks the security algorithm attached to the file against the algorithm saved in that user’s certificate. If they match the user is granted access. If not, it is denied. Cons: the user must have a certificate to be authenticated. The certificate must contain the correct security algorithm. If you format your machine or simply reinstall windows you will need to restore your certificates from backup before you will be able to again access your encrypted files. If you lose your certificate you will NEVER be able to access your files again.
Encrypting your files is as simple as accessing the General Properties dialog by simply the right-clicking the file or folder and choosing properties. If you click the Advanced button you care given the option to encrypt contents to secure data. Pressing the OK button on both windows will create your certificate and encrypt the file. You will notice the file/folder name will appear green now… not black.
To back up your certificates you will need to access the MMC and add the Certificates snap-in. once added you can export your personal certificates to a file for storage and back-up. You can also import certificates from this same snap-in.

As always you can find further info @ support.microsoft.com. here are a few links to get you started.
How to encrypt a folder: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;308989
How to encrypt a file: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;307877
How to share access: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;308991
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#7 Vetritus03  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 24 April 2003 - 04:16 PM

Tip 7

Title: Enable and Configure Folder Sharing in Win2k/XP Pro
Category: Administration
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Version: Win2k/XP Pro (NTFS)

If you've been following the tips you have probably already figured out how to enable/create network shares. Creating a network share is easier than setting security permissions.

1. For any folder you wish to share, simply right-click the object and choose 'Sharing and Security.'
2. On the resulting Sharing Properties page choose the option to 'Share this folder.'
3. You can specify the Share name and also add a Comment to identify the contents of the share to users.
4. You can then specify the number of users who can access this share at any given time.
5. Hit the Permissions button and you can specify Users who are allowed to access this Share and their level of access.

Now that you are armed with the knowlege of sharing and security permissions for folders you should be able to assign network shares to users and grant/deny access as you see fit. If you need any additional specific information or hints on specialized configurations PM me and discuss this further.
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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 24 April 2003 - 05:33 PM

Tip 8

Title: View/Remove Hidden Devices
Category: Maintenance
Level: Intermediate
Version: ALL

This tip is especially useful when installing/removing/reinstalling hardware. Sometimes Windows installs multiple copies of hardware device drivers or corruption occurs and hidden or "ghost" copies of the hardware are created. Ever have trouble isntalling a USB device? this might help you if you just can't seem to get something installed by the third try...

in Win9x:

for Windows 95/98/98se/ME first look in the Device Manager: right-click My Computer, choose Properties, and choose Device Manager. Check first for Other Devices... all these need to go. Check for any other specific location for devices showing up that you do not have. If you're at all unsure what something is don't remove it.
Now, to remove the "hidden" devices. Reboot your computer to safe mode. and make another trip through Device Manager. see if anything new has cropped up.

in Win2k/XP

why should NT users have to reboot? well, they shouldn't! 2k/XP users can view all their devices with just a few clicks and no reboots. first, go to System Properties: right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Choose the Advanced tab. Click the Environment Variables button. Under System Variables choose New. For Variable name enter: DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES and use a value of 1. hit OK on this window AND the System Properties window. now, re-open System Properties. Choose the Hardware tab. Hit the Device Manager button. Choose the View menu. Choose Show hidden devices.
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#9 yasir  Icon User is offline

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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 29 June 2005 - 09:33 AM

Admin priviledges???

you know your admin password for winxp, now you want to change the accounts type without passing through control panel???

1) Click Start > Run

2) Type "control userpasswords2"

3) will ask you to enter admin password (if you are guest)

4) Change Access levels, reset user passwords and all that.


How to obtain Admin pass??

use Advanced Windows Password Recovery (www.elcomsoft.com)
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Re: Official Windows Tip Thread.

Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:34 PM

Tip 10

Title: Vista Connection/Latency issues
Category: Network
Level: Intermediate
Version: Vista

Vista has implemented it's own network tuning mechanism that replaces previous versions of Window's RWIN tweak. Used to, you could set the RWIN value in your registry, but that's been obfuscated and somewhat automated. But, there is a way to have some control over the auto-tuning through the netsh command. the attribute to change is interface tcp set global autotuninglevel and the different values are disabled, highlyrestricted, restricted, and experimental.

You will need to open a command prompt with administrator priveleges and run your command as follows:
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=<value>


You may have to experiment a bit to find the best level for your usage. In my case, I was trying to troubleshoot a connection issue with BF2, which is how I stumbled upon this little hack, and started with disabled (which effectively sets your RWIN to 65k). This seemed to make my connection worse. So I stepped up from there and the connection was most stable when I reached experimental. The connection is still not where it should be, but I think the rest of my issue is ISP related.
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