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Microsoft clear type technology greatly increases clarity of text on laptop LCD screens.  By default this feature does not start until after you log on.  But with the tweak below you will be able to make it start as windows loads so it will be enabled on the welcome login screen.

  1. Start regedit, if you are unfamiliar with regedit please see our FAQ.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop.
  3. Locate the key FontSmoothingType.
  4. Change the value to 2.
  5. Restart.

To revert back to the Win2k style logon so you can log on as the administrator and other options, press ctrl+alt+delete twice.

This works in Windows 2000 as well. Simply click and drag your My Computer icon onto the Task Bar near the right side icons next to the clock. This will create a cascading menu from where you can easily access just about anything on your system.

Want to spice up your desktop with super smooth font text? Well 18418m129s ClearType settings are the way to be my friend.

1.) Go into Display Properties
2.) Under Appearance Go to effects
3.) In Effects set the combo to ClearType instead of normal.

Now watch as your desktop and your text automatically transform to give you that graphical edge you've always wanted.

How to change the theme that windows xp uses to show the logon
and shutdown screens.
The colors it uses are at the following:
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors
The Window and Font Sizes are at the following:
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

The way i did it is getting my desktop to look like i wanted the logon and
shutdown screens to look and export the keys from:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

Under My Computer you will notice a new folder called shared documents.  Microsoft has made it easy to share files and folders over a network by dragging icons into it.  If you wish to remove this folder from My computer all you have to do is delete a key from the windows registry.

  1. Start regedit, if you are unfamiliar with regedit please see our FAQ.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\
  3. Locate the key .
  4. Right click on it and select delete.
  5. After a reboot is is gone!

I've forgotten where I picked this up but It's an alternative to sendto. It adds the ability to create a new folder to move or copy items to.

Right click on a file / object, there's a menu item for 'copy to folder...' and 'move to folder...'

Paste these lines into a new text document, (undo the word wrap) rename it with an extension .reg, double click then click 'yes'. Changes take effect imediately.

-------- ----- ------ ----- ----- -----

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Copy To]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Move To]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Send To]

  1. Go to Start->Run->gpedit.msc
    2. Computer Config -> Administrative Template -> System
    3. Double clik Turn off Autoplay
    4. Enable it.

Super fast user switching is a powertoy which makes it easy to switch the active user. But you must be a member of the administrator group to see other users! Quite useless for normal users, but this is done on purpose. I contacted Lou, the programmer of fast.exe, and he said (quote):

"It actually has to do with permissions. As a regular user, you don't have access to the (InteractiveLogon) service. This is because I didn't want to open another hole in Windows. This is unavoidable."

The solution opens a hole, but makes super fast user switching usable. THIS IS ONLY FOR EXPERIENCED USERS!

1. remove task.exe from the local_machine ~ windows ~ run registry entry (you can use start --> run --> msconfig for that)
2. create a fast.cmd file wich contains the line below:
runas /noprofile /env /savecred /user:YOURMACHINE\Administrator "c:\windows\system32\fast.exe"
replace YOURMACHINE by your machine name
3. copy fast.cmd to your windows directory
4. make a shortcut to c:\windows\fast.cmd, let the shortcut run minimized
5. copy the shortcut to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

You have to run fast.cmd manually one time for each user to supply the administrator password. This has to be done only once.

This solution won't work for XP home edition because that edition won't store the security credentials.

For your information: the user process fast.exe will communicate with the service task.exe to perform it's task. Meddling with the fast -service properties won't work (I tried...).

Don't do this on production systems, it's meant for home use where security is less important.

Here's how you can remove those shortcut arrows from your desktop icons in Windows XP.

1. Start regedit.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile
3. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
You may need to restart Windows XP.

To change from FAT 32 to NTFS for more stability and security, open the command prompt and type: "Convert C: /FS:NTFS". Make sure there is a space between the C: and the foward slash (/). Once you press enter it will ask you for confirmation and press Y. Then press Y and enter once more to reboot. It will take between one hour and 15 minutes to convert to NTFS. Now you can set passwords for files and use encryption. This also works for windows XP Home.

Contrary to the popular opinion that "Advanced" file security is only available with WinXP Pro, it is also available with WinXP Home edition as well. Specifically, I am referring to the "Security" tab that is available in XP Pro in the properties menu of any file or folder when "Enable simple file sharing" is unchecked in the Tools>Folder Options>View applet. This "Security" tab is the same as WINNT and WIN2K which allows you to use advanced options for file/folder security that apply to groups and users such as Read,Write, Execute, etc. Although Microsoft claims that this is not available in XP Home it is!

First, NTFS must be your file system, this will not work with a FAT file system. To enable "Advanced" security permissions in XP Home simply boot into safe mode, rt-click any file or folder, and now you will have the "Security" tab - just as in XP Pro! Simply make your changes and reboot into normal mode. This is very useful when you have 'limited' users on your computer and they are unable to run certain applications as a limited user - you can simply boot into safe mode, change the permissions according to each user, and reboot! The advanced tab is even there that will give you even more permission options such as inheritance, etc.

Ok, I can't believe someone submitted the Windows Key+E to launch explorer as a 'tweak', but I guess you'd be really happy to learn about it if you didn't already know.

In the spirit of higher learning, here's a few more:

Windows Key + F - Launch Find tool
Windows Key + M - Mimimize all open windows
Windows Key + R - Launch the 'Run' button
Windows Key + U - Launch the utility manager (win2k & XP only?)
Alt + Tab (Hold Alt & Press Tab repeadly) - Task Switcher
Alt + F4 - kills the 'active' application - fun(?) for killing web popup windows quickly when they are coming at you like spam madness!

Ctrl+Alt+Del - In Win9x/ME (why are you using that?) it launches a 14m3 version of NT/2K/XP's Task Manager. In NT/2K/XP you get a menu with useful options for lock computer, logoff, shutdown, change password, task manager etc.

Load the Local Security Settings under Administrative Tools. Open Local Policies and go to Security Options. You'll see an item listed for "Interactive Login: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL" and it should be listed as "Not Defined" by default. Double click on it to change the setting and change it to Enabled to use the Windows 2000 style login always. (Set back to Disabled to reenable the Windows XP login screen).

This is my favorite tweak, bit long winded but cute, hope you enjoy it too

You can change the start button by using a hex editor - see for details how to do it.

the offsets for XP are:

000412b6 - 000412bf
0004158a - 00041593

This method has a few limitations though, you can only use exactly 5 letters, so try the following method from (but it's in German so here's my rough translation)

First of all you will need to download a exe editor - Resource Hacker and Hacker 2.0 are avaliable from and are adequate for the task in hand.

The first 3 steps stop the file we are going to tamper with from being restored automatically when windows restarts

1) with notepad or a text editor open the file c:\windows\system32\restore\filelist.xml (you might need to change it's properites from read only first by right clicking on the file and selecting properties, then remove the tich from the read only checkbox)

2) add the following line to the first section to exclude explorer.exe from the protected file list
- %windir%explorer.exe

3) save the file (and apply the read only properties back if you wish)

The next 2 steps actually modify the explorer.exe file that is the windows shell so back it up first if you are uncertain what you are doing (to back up the file, open a cmd window and type -
copy c:\windows\explorer.exe c:\windows\explorer.bak)

4) Open the file c:\windows\explorer.exe with your exe editor and edit the text in following lines

String Table > 37 > 1033
String Table > 38 > 1033

You just edit the text inside the "Start" to what ever you want and compile if necessary (depends on your exe editor - you will if you use ResHack)

5) save the file as (file > save as) explorer.xp (back up this file to another disk if you want to save a bit of hassle after you recover the machine next time)

Now you need to copy the file you've modified best way I've found to do this is to boot to safe mode command prompt although it's been suggested that you can stop the explorer.exe process with Task Manager, copy the fie in a cmd prompt then restart the process again - that worked for me but the origional returned after a restart. The next 3 steps describe how you copy the file

6) restart the machine and start tapping F8 to get the start menu - choose safe mode with command prompt

7) log on as Administrator and you'll be presented with a cmd prompt

8) To copy the modified file just type
copy c:\windows\explorer.xp c:\windows\explorer.exe
assuming that's where you saved it to with your exe editor)

9) Restart Machine and VOILA!

With this tweak Start menu displays the classic Start menu in the Windows 2000 style and displays the standard desktop icons.


Remove user name from Start Menu


For all of you with 512 MB RAM or more, here's my advice.. get rid of that swap file! You will be surprised that Windows XP will run fine without it once you have the RAM available.

If you do not feel comfortable with going without a swap file, then set it to a minimum of 50 MB. To do this, Right-click on the My Computer Icon on your desktop, then select Properties. Click Advanced, then Settings, Then Advanced.

In the section describing virtual memory, click the CHANGE button, then select NO PAGING FILE if you want no swap file.. or CUSTOM SIZE if you want to start at 50 MB.

This will not only improve system performance, but you will be amazed as to how fast your system will run.

Just like Windows 2000, Windows XP still fails to set the DMA mode correctly for the IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary IDE and secondary IDE channels. Most CD-ROMS are capable of supporting DMA mode, but the default in XP is still PIO. Setting it to DMA won't make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less CPU cycles. Here's how:

1. Open the Device Manager. One way to do that is to right click on "My Computer", select the Hardware tab, and Select Device Manager.
2. Expand "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and double-click on "Primary IDE Channel"
3. Under the "Advanced Settings" tab, check the "Device 1" setting. More than likely, your current transfer mode is set to PIO.
4. Set it to "DMA if available".

Repeat the step for the "Secondary IDE Channel" if you have devices attached to it. Reboot.

Here is another way to figure out which services to set as Automatic and which to set as manual or disabled.

- set ALL your services to *manual* setting
- reboot computer and wait for windows XP to load. XP will boot pretty slowly, since it has to turn on each service seperately. Use your computer for a bit, doing what you normally do during a computing session. This will allow any other services to activate (such as DHCP or other services that didn't load during the boot process).

- go back to the list of services, and see which ones are Started.
- Change the services that are marked as Started, to *Automatic*
- This way windows will automatically load all of the services that you normally use, and the ones that you don't use will stay unloaded.

This isn't really a "gamer's tweak" because some "unecessary" services might still load. But I think this is a good optimization for a normal user.
Note: If you set windows audio service to manual you will not have any sound!

Windows Explorer caches DLLs (Dynamic-Link Libraries) in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory.Find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]. Create a new sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1' to disable Windows caching the DLL in memory. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.I tried this after running a intense program,then watched the task manager;memory recovered it self.

According to Microsoft, Windows 2000 does not qualify for an upgrade to the XP Home Edition. Windows 2000 Professional users can only upgrade to XP Professional. If the XP upgrade disk is run from inside Windows 2000, the software will report that no qualifying operating system is seen, and therefore the XP upgrade cannot be used. However, if the computer is set to boot from the XP CDROM, the install program will indicate that it sees no qualifying program for the upgrade, and asks the user to insert the install disk for 1 of several qualfying operating systems to verify ownership. Windows 2000 Professional is a qualifying system on the list, in spite of Microsoft statements that it can only be upgraded to Windows XP Professional. To upgrade from Windows 2000 to XP Home Edition, boot from the XP CDROM (by changing BIOS settings), and when asked insert your Windows 2000 install CDROM to prove ownership of an operating system eligible for an upgrade. The XP install can then proceed on any available free hard drive space. If the free space is on a hard drive already containing Windows 2000 (space created for example by programs such as Partition Magic), the XP install will automatically set up a dual-boot system. This asks you each time you turn the computer on which OS you want. This allows people to retain Windows 2000, while migrating applications and data piece by piece to Windows XP.

In a command window you can use the TAB key as "complete" key - like in unix/linux.

Start a cmd window and go to root (c:\)
type cd - hit key - and you will now scroll the directories, also hidden ones.

Try: cd doc - hit key - You get up "Documents and Settings" - hit enter. in Documents and Settings type cd and hit key several time - and you will scroll through the names of the directories - also the hidden ones.

This will help increase your bandwidth for any network connection in Windows XP PRO.

1. Make sure your logged on as actually "Administrator". do not log on with any account that just has administrator privileges. To log in as an administrator:
-click on start->logoff->logoff
-in the logon screen hold Ctrl+Alt+Del.
-in the user field type 'Administrator' <-case sensitive.
-in the password field type the password for the administrator (if you don't have one leave blank)
-press ok

2. Start - run - type gpedit.msc
3. Expand the "Computer configuration" branch
4. Expand the "Administrative templates" branch
5. Expand the "Network" branch
6. Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in left window
7. In right window double click the "limit reservable bandwidth" setting
8. On setting tab check the "enabled" item
9. Where it says "Bandwidth limit %" change it to read 0-- Click apply, OK, exit gpedit.msc
10. Go to your Network connections (start->my computer->my network connection-> view network connections). Right click on your connection, choose properties then under the General or the Networking tab (where it lists your protocols) make sure QoS packet scheduler is enabled.
11. Reboot , now you are all done.

This is more of a "counter what XP does" thing. In other words, XP seems to want to reserve 20% of the bandwidth for itself even with QoS disabled. So why not use it to your advantage. To demonstrate the problem, start up a big download from a server with an FTP client. Try to find a server that doesn't max out your bandwidth. In this case you want a slow to medium speed server to demonstrate this. Let it run for a couple of minutes to get stable. The start up another download from the same server with another instance of your FTP client. You will notice that the available bandwidth is now being fought over and one of the clients download will be very slow or both will slow down when they should both be using the available bandwidth. Using this "tweak" both clients will have a fair share of the bandwidth and will not fight over the bandwidth.

Edit your link to start Internet Explorer to have -nohome after it. For Example: "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE -nohome"
This will load internet explorer very fast because it does not load a webpage while it is loading. If you want to go to your homepage after it is loaded, just click on the home button.

when you connect to a web site your computer sends information back and forth, this is obvious. Some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address, the stuff that tcp/ip really deals with, not words. This is DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit the site. Although WinXP and win2000 has a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing its size.

You can do this with the registry entries below:

************begin copy and paste***********
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


************end copy and paste***********

make a new text file and rename it to dnscache.reg. The copy and paste the above into it and save it. Then merge it into the registry

when you connect to a web site your computer sends information back and forth, this is obvious. Some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address, the stuff that tcp/ip really deals with, not words. This is DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit the site. Although WinXP and win2000 has a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing its size.

You can do this with the registry entries below:

************begin copy and paste***********
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


************end copy and paste***********

make a new text file and rename it to dnscache.reg. The copy and paste the above into it and save it. Then merge it into the registry

In Regedit go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

Change the value of the string "Download Directory" to the new path you want to assign as IE's Default Download directory i.e. "D:\" has been assigned as my new download directory.  - Sec Test for XP

In regedit navigate to this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

change the value of the string "Window Title" to whatever you want on the titlebar of Internet Explorer - to have no title except the title of the web pages you are browsing do not enter anything for a value.

If XP will not install from the CD or if you have a new drive with no operating system on it yet try these:

Install Windows XP from the hard drive with Windows 98 already installed:

Boot Windows 98
Insert the XP CD into your CD reader
Explore Windows XP through My Computer
Copy i386 folder to C:\
Go into C:\i386 folder and double click on winnt32.exe to launch the setup from the hard drive

Install Windows XP from DOS (ie. no OS on a new hard drive):

Boot with a Windows 98 Start Up disk
Insert the Windows 98 CD into the CD reader
Run smartdrv.exe from the Win98 directory on the windows 98 CD (file caching)
Type cd.. to back up to the root directory
Insert Windows XP CD into the CD reader
Copy the i386 folder to C:\
Go into C:\i386 folder on C: and type winnt32.exe to launch the setup from the hard drive.

For added security you should always clear the page file upon shutting down your computer.  Windows uses this file as extra ram.  Lets say that you are working on a confidential MS Word doc.  When you load this document it is loaded into ram.  To save ram windows places certain items in the page file.  The page file can then be opened and the document can be extracted as well as any other open program or files.  However Microsoft has implemented a feature that will clear the page file but they do not have it enabled by default.  Please note, this will slightly increase the amount of time it takes to shut down your computer but it is well worth it.

  1. Start Regedit.  If you are unfamiliar with regedit please refer to our FAQ on how to get started.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
  3. Select ClearPageFileAtShutdown from the list on the right.
  4. Right on it and select Modify.
  5. Change the value to 1 to enable.
  6. Reboot your computer.

Format the partition you are going to use for the install. Restart your computer. Go into the BIOS Change your boot order and Make the CD-ROM your boot drive. Inser the CD and restart the PC. When prompted, Press Any key to boot from CD-ROM..
That's it.

Note: Make sure that your computer is bootable by CD, otherwise this will not work.

Right click on desktop and select new -> shortcut. Then copy and paste this in the program location box "rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation" Click next and enter a name for you shortcut and then click finish. Now you can copy and paste that shortcut anywhere you want on your computer.

If you deleted a program instead of uninstalling it, most likely the program will still be listed in the windows uninstall list.   Follow the directions below to remove programs from list manually.

  1. Start regedit, if you are unfamiliar with regedit please see our FAQ.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall.
  3. Delete the folder of the program.

If you want to share with permissions per user, go to folder options, next go to the tab view and disable 'use simple file sharing'. Now you can set permissions for your shares per user. It doesn't matter if you use the FAT system and even not the NTFS.

Some people say it isnt possible to uninstall XP. Fact is, it is! Use your Win98 Cd-ROM Autostart thing and go to DOS. There go to your XP-Drive and do a format -u. This will delete any XP-Files. Add to format -u an r and it restores the overwritten files from the last os (you won't see the RESTORED_OS-Folder since it is implemented in the Partition

For a one-click method to quickly shut down or reboot your system without the fuss of going through the Start menu, make use of the Shutdown command, a command line utility in XP.

Here's how you can set up a restart button on your desktop:

1. Create a shortcut (Right-click on desktop, select New > Shortcut).

2. For location, type the following:

shutdown -r -t 0

3. Click Next, enter a name for the shortcut ("Restart" is appropriate), and click Finish.

When you click your Restart shortcut, Windows XP will reboot *automagically*!

The "-r" switch tells XP to reboot. If you'd like the shortcut to shut off your PC instead, change it to "-s"; to simply log off, change it to "-l". The "-t 0" sets the timeout (in seconds), so up this value if you find the need for it. To force running applications to close, add "-f" -- be careful with this one!

For more information on Shutdown, type "shutdown" in a command prompt window (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt), or search for Shutdown in Windows XP's Help and Support Center.

Disable the Windows registry editors, Regedit.exe and Regedit.exe.
If this setting is enabled and the user tries to start a registry editor, a message appears explaining that a setting prevents the action.
To prevent users from using other administrative tools, use the "Run only allowed Windows applications" setting.


To use this setting, type the fully qualified path and name of the file that stores the wallpaper image. You can type a local path, such as C:\Windows\web\wallpaper\home.jpg or a UNC path, such as \\Server\Share\Corp.jpg. If the specified file is not available when the user logs on, no wallpaper is displayed. Users cannot specify alternative wallpaper. You can also use this setting to specify that the wallpaper image be centered, tiled, or stretched. Users cannot change this specification. Note: You need to enable the Active Desktop to use this setting.


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