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Windows XP
Tweaks + Secrets - Part 1

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5-8-02 WinXP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


TEACH XP NEW TRACKS


Sent courtesy of Da Drk Sde.

"I was a bit disappointed to find out XP could recognize and autoplay DVDs but included no support for its little brother the VCD.
My disappointment was however short lived, when I stumbled upon a Registry key I'd never seen before in Win9x. I wrote this document to show how I taught XP to recognize and automatically play a VCD or SVCD when it is inserted into the CD/DVD drive.

For those who are unfamiliar with VCDs, it's basically a CD that contains movie files. The VCD (Video CD) format is comparable to the VHS standard in quality and uses MPEG1 standard. The SVCD (Super Video CD) is closer to DVD quality and uses MPEG2 standard. A full length movie generally occupies 2 to 3 CDs in VCD format or 3 to 4 in SVCD format.
From the number of disk switching you can see why Autoplay recognition is a plus.
The Registry key in question is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\ContentTypeSniffers\VideoFilesContentSniffer

and the specific Value name we'll be modifying within this key is "RelPattern" which is REG_MULTI_SZ (Multiple String). This Value type is properly recognized only by Regedt32.exe, NOT by Regedit.exe, therefore Regedt32 will be used in this case.
Note that there are quite a few zero terminated strings already in this structure, and when we add our strings we must take care to preserve those already there. The Edit box pops up with all elements in there selected, so it's easy to type a single key and wipe out everything already present. Make sure to click once in the box or use a cursor key so the data gets deselected first. Then we can add these 4 strings after the last one in the structure:

    MPEGAV\AVSEQ01.DAT
    MPEG2\AVSEQ01.DAT
    MPEGAV\AVSEQ01.MPG
    MPEG2\AVSEQ01.MPG

Click OK and exit Regedt32.
All that's left is the association with the executable you want to use to play video files, such as WMP8 or PowerDVD.
You could simply just leave it in prompt mode, so it asks what you want to use to play every time a file with this extension is opened.

The VCD/SVCD standard is implemented loosely, but those 4 lines comprise the majority of disks I've seen. As an aside, I'm of the opinion that this key and its siblings are responsible for that annoying bug in XP where you're sometimes unable to delete media files.
They are currently being sniffed, so you get the "in use" error.
Another possibility is they are being indexed with that Fastfind reincarnation called Indexing Service.
A quick fix I've found for that is to open a command prompt to the folder you want to delete the file from, then open Task Manager and End Task on Explorer.exe and/or Cidaemon.exe. Then delete from the prompt.
Afterwards you can restart the shell from the Task Manager using the New Task button."

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1-29-02 WinXP ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


FORCE XP STYLE THEMES


Even if you have turned on the Windows XP style themes (using the new "Enhanced UI") for your apps/games: the XP built-in "Blue" theme [default, also nicknamed "Teletubbies" :-)], or any other Windows Blinds/Styles XP compatible custom theme, available for free at one of these web sites, or if you created your own XP theme, you may have noticed that certain 32-bit programs (especially the ones you have installed separately, not the ones included with Windows XP, MS Plus! XP or MS Office XP), do not display the XP style theme properly, or not at all, and their interface is flat (they are using the "Classic UI").
But the good news is you CAN turn on the XP style themes for most of your 32-bit (Win32) programs, by creating a dedicated manifest file, which MUST reside in the respective program's main folder.
Start by (if not already) enabling the view of Hidden/System files in Windows Explorer: click View Folder Options View tab check the "Show all files" (including Hidden, System) box click OK until you close all dialog boxes.
Now open Notepad and create a new text file with these lines:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0">
<assemblyIdentity version="1.0.0.0" processorArchitecture="X86"
name="CompanyName.ProductName.MyProgram" type="win32"/>
<description>My Program Description</description>
<dependency><dependentAssembly><assemblyIdentity type="win32"
name="Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls" version="6.0.0.0"
processorArchitecture="X86" publicKeyToken="6595b64144ccf1df"
language="*" /></dependentAssembly></dependency></assembly>

Save it into your program executable's directory as "MyProgram.EXE.manifest" (no quotes). This file's extension MUST be manifest.
Replace MyProgram.EXE with your actual executable name and extension.
Replace the "MyProgram" and "My Program Description" strings above with your actual app/game name and description, respectively.
Optionally you can also replace the "CompanyName" and "ProductName" strings above with the wording of your choice.
From now on, whenever you run this program, you will notice that it "shows off" the currently used XP style theme.
Repeat these steps for any other of your 32-bit installed apps.

FYI: XP style themes are NOT supported by all 32-bit programs, so don't expect all your apps/games (especially older ones) to "behave" this way. :(

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1-4-02 Win2000/XP/2003 Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MESSENGER ;)


Here are all possible and impossible ways to disable, uninstall, remove, delete, annihilate, wipe out, make go away, force disappear etc... [you've got the picture ;)] Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger and/or Messenger Service from your Windows 2000/XP/2003 OS [not exactly 50, but more than 25 anyway :-)].

FYI: In case you're not aware, this (intended) pun "plays" on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" song.

  1. Courtesy of Peter:
    "Messenger always loads automatically when visiting Hotmail and/or other related web sites.
    But you can prevent this from happening by hacking the Registry.
    Open Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{F3A614DC-ABE0-11d2-A441-00C04F795683}\LocalServer32

    Start by backing up this Registry key, in case you want to reenable it for some reason in the future.
    Delete the entire line which displays the path to MSMSGS.EXE from the "(Default)" String Value: (double-)click on it delete the entire Value data line click OK or hit Enter close Regedit.
    MSN Messenger will stop loading from now on."

  2. Alternatively you can run this REG file (name it NOMSN.REG for example) you can create using Notepad, by (double)-cliking on it in Windows Explorer:

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    REGEDIT4
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{F3A614DC-ABE0-11d2-A441-00C04F795683}\LocalServer32]
    @=""
    
    ------End cut & paste here------

  3. Courtesy of Peter:
    "This tweak did stop MSN Messenger, but as a result it also caused MS Outlook Express 6.0 (OE6) to take an extremely long time to load (30 seconds). :(
    After racking my brains out for days, I found 2 other Registry keys that need to be modified in order to cut down on OE6's loading time.
    Use Notepad to save this as MSNOFF.REG:

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    REGEDIT4
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}\InProcServer32]
    @=""
    "ThreadingModel"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}\LocalServer32]
    @=""
    
    ------End cut & paste here------

    Use Notepad to save this as MSNON.REG:

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    REGEDIT4
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}\InProcServer32]
    @="C:\\Program Files\\Messenger\\msgsc.dll"
    "ThreadingModel"="Apartment"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541}\LocalServer32]
    @="\"C:\\Program Files\\Messenger\\msmsgs.exe\""
    
    ------End cut & paste here------

    Run MSNOFF.REG to turn these Registry keys OFF (speeds up OE6) or MSNON.REG to turn them back ON (default)."
    [Thank you Duke!]

  4. Courtesy of Micah:
    "To get rid of (uninstall) Windows XP MSN Messenger permanently, click the Start button click Run... paste this single line in the command box:

    RUNDLL32 ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\MSMSGS.INF,BLC.Remove

    click OK or hit Enter."

  5. To permanenetly uninstall Messenger in Windows XP: run Notepad File Open type C:\Windows\Inf\sysoc.inf run a search for all HIDE strings (case insensitive) in this text file delete them all save the file open Control Panel Add or Remove Programs Add/Remove Windows Components tab uncheck the MSN Messenger Service click Next click OK or hit Enter.

  6. To prevent MSN Messenger from loading automatically whenever you access your Hotmail (MSN) e-mail account, run Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Messenger.MsgrObject

    Right-click on the "Messenger.MsgrObject" Registry subkey above select Rename replace entire original text string above with this one (example):

    Messenger.MsgrObject-DISABLED

    click OK or hit Enter exit the Registry Editor.
    Alternatively you can delete this subkey, but BACK IT UP FIRST!

  7. To prevent MSN Messenger from loading/running, run Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client

    for all users (global setting), or to:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client

    valid only for the currently logged on user (local setting).
    Create if not present or modify if present these 5 DWORD [REG_DWORD] Values in the right hand pane: right-click on an empty spot select New Key DWORD name them respectively: "Disabled", "PreventAutoRun", "PreventAutoUpdate", "PreventRun" + "PreventBackgroundDownload" (don't type the quotes) right-click on each one and type 1 in the Decimal box click OK exit the Registry Editor.
    These settings will take effect after the next reboot.

  8. To stop MSN Messenger from loading automatically upon every Windows startup: click the Start button click Run... type msconfig click OK or hit Enter click Startup tab remove the check mark next to Windows Messenger close Msconfig restart Windows.
    Note that this way Messenger still loads when called upon by other apps like Outlook, Outlook Express or Hotmail (MSN) web access.

  9. To stop MSN Messenger from loading automatically upon every Windows startup: click the Start button click Run... type gpedit.msc (Group Policy Editor = GPE) click OK or hit Enter select Per Machine Restriction Computer Configuration Adminstrative Templates Windows Components Windows Messenger change from automatic to manual or disable it. Then: Per User Restriction User Configuration Adminstrative Templates Windows Components Windows Messenger change from automatic to manual or disable it exit GPE restart Windows.
    In case after doing this Outlook or Outlook Express takes too long to open, you need to also:
    • MS Outlook Express Tools Options General tab turn off Messenger Support.
    • MS Outlook Tools Options Other turn off Messenger Support.

  10. To prevent MSN Messenger from automatically signing in using a registered Microsoft Passport account: click the Start button click Run... type control userpasswords2 hit Enter or click OK click Advanced tab select Manage Passwords delete all Passport entries click OK/Apply.
    Then run MSN Messenger sign in type your passport, e-mail address and password uncheck the "Sign me in automatically" box save your settings and close MSN Messenger.

  11. Courtesy of Michael:
    "To permanently disable MSN Messenger when using Outlook (Express) or Hotmail web site, simply rename the C:\Program Files\Messenger folder to Messenger-DISABLED (example).
    This will effectively shut down Messenger, but not interfere with the loading of Outlook."

  12. Windows Messenger service can also be stopped from starting every time Windows loads by merging (importing) a Registry file I called STOPMSN.REG.
    Copy & paste lines below in Notepad, save the file with the REG extension, and then (double-)click on it:

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    REGEDIT4
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Messenger]
    "Start"=dword:00000004
    
    ------End cut & paste here------

  13. Kelly's Corner XP: Windows Messenger guide.

  14. PC Hell: How to Remove Windows Messenger.

  15. Doug's Disable Windows Messenger tool [7 KB, free].

  16. Doug's Remove XP Messenger VBS tool [1 KB, free, right-click to save!].

  17. Kelly's Disable Messenger in Outlook Express VBS tool [1 KB, free, right-click to save!].

  18. GRC's Shoot The Messenger tool [22 KB, freeware].

  19. JSI's NoMess.bat + NoMess.reg.

  20. The Elder Geek Guide.
  21. If (for any reason) you wish to (re)install Messenger Service: log on as Administrator/Power user open Windows Explorer browse to your %windir%\Inf (usually C:\Windows\Inf) folder you may need to "unhide" it in order to "see" it, because by default the Inf subfolder has the Hidden (H) attribute right-click on it select Properties tab uncheck the Hidden box highlight the MSMsgs.inf file right-click on it select Install you will be asked to pop in the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM make it so done.

  22. To (re)install Windows Messenger: click the Start button click Run... paste this single line in the command box:

    RUNDLL32 ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\MSMSGS.INF,msmsgs

    click OK or hit Enter.

  23. MSKB: Prevent Windows Messenger from Running.

  24. MSKB: Avoid Messenger Spam Messages.

  25. Get current Microsoft Windows + MSN Messenger releases + BUG fixes from "Windows 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 Essential System Components + Add-ons".

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1-4-02 WinXP/2003 ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


INTERNET TIME THROUGH FIREWALL


Courtesy of Jeromy.

"Enable Internet Time Service behind XP/2003 Firewall:

The Internet Time Service (ITS) in its default state does not work with the Windows XP/2003 Personal Firewall enabled on a dial-up connection.
To reenable this ability while maintaining your firewall follow these steps: go to My Network Places Network Tasks sidebar View Network Connections right-click your account name select Properties click the Advanced tab click Settings click Add type "Internet Time Service" for the description type 127.0.0.1 for the IP type 123 for both External and Internal port numbers select TCP click OK until all dialog boxes disappear.
If you are online, a message will pop up stating that you need to disconnect and reconnect for these settings to take effect.
From now on (double-)click the system tray Clock and select Update Now from the Internet Time tab whenever you want to synchronize your computer's time with one of the available atomic clocks.
More info."

FYI: See "XP/2003 FIREWALL GUIDE", also in TIPSXP.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to enable/use Internet Connection Firewall (ICF).

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12-12-01 WinXP ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


XP SENDMAIL.DLL FIX


Courtesy of JT.

"I hate that when you right-click on a graphic file to e-mail it via "Mail Recipient" from the SendTo menu, you have to deal every single time with that annoying dialog box: "Do you want to keep the original size or change the size?", and you are given 3 options to choose from. I also didn't like how right-clicking on file sending places "Emailing:" in the Subject box.
In the Compose mail window you must also delete "Your files are now attached and ready to send."
But I eliminated all these nuisances by altering WinXP's SENDMAIL.DLL [26 KB, zipped].
Place the "fixed" file into BOTH your %windir%\System32 and %windir%\System32\DllCache folders (default XP %windir% directory is C:\Windows), overwriting the original ones.
You may have to go to DOS to actually be able to perform these replacements: see "MS IE 5.5 SP2 + 6.0 FIX" step 6. SOLUTION, also in MYTIPS95.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE), to learn how to replace Windows 2000/XP system files already in use.
Reboot when done.
When trying to e-mail a pic, Windows XP may balk and refuse at first, but just click on the red X to exit the error box, and then when asked if you are sure, just say Yes.
PS: BACKUP your unmodified SENDMAIL.DLL FIRST!"

FYI: This similar fix automates the file replacement process, but uses an older SENDMAIL.DLL version.

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12-4-01 Win2000/XP/2003 ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


XP PRO QOS MYTH


This applies to Windows 2000 SP4, XP Professional + 2003.
Does NOT apply to Windows 2000 Pre-SP2 and XP Home, which do not have QoS support.
Windows XP Home users can get QoS support only if they upgrade to Windows XP Professional. :-(
Windows 2000 Pre-SP2 users can get QoS support by installing Windows 2000 SP4 (free).
Windows 2003 Server and newer NT based (NTx) OSes have QoS support built-in.
Unfortunately this so-called "bug" and its "fix" are just another urban myth.
More info:

THE MYTH:

Some claim Microsoft reserves/wastes 20% of your internet/network bandwidth for the QoS (Quality of Service) Packet Scheduler, even if this service is disabled.
And they tell you to increase your overall bandwidth by doing this:

  1. Log in as Administrator.
  2. Click the Start button Run type gpedit.msc hit Enter or click OK.
  3. Go to Local Computer Policy Administrative Templates Network QoS Packet Scheduler.
  4. In the right hand pane (double-)click on "Limit reservable bandwidth".
  5. On the Setting tab check the Enabled box.
  6. Change "Bandwidth limit %" to read 0.
  7. Click OK and close gpedit.msc.
  8. Go to Start My Computer My Network Connections View Network Connections right-click on your connection select Properties (where your protocols are listed) make sure QoS Packet Scheduler is enabled.
  9. Reboot for these changes to take effect.

THE TRUTH:

Microsoft does NOT reserve NOR use ANY amount/percentage of your bandwidth for the QoS Packet Scheduler, UNLESS the QoS service is actively transmitting/receiving ANY data/packets between your computer (which MUST use a QoS aware program) and the QoS enabled internet/network (if any).
This is achieved through a series of PATH and RESV refresh messages sent back and forth over the connection.
Therefore this is NOT a "bug" and its so-called "fix" above is NOT necessary!
Learn more about QoS from the "horse's mouth":

FYI: "This does NOT increase bandwidth whatsoever, UNLESS your network administrator (I have yet to find any companies using QoS) is running on a QoS enabled network, and in this case you want it enabled anyway, to allow your PC to take advantage of this service of higher quality packets."
[Thank you Nathan!]

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11-7-01 WinXP ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


AVOID XP REGISTRATION


This procedure implies that you have NOT installed Windows XP on your PC yet!
To my knowledge ALL XP Gold (RTM, final) builds EXCEPT the Corporate (Volume License) releases try to register your newly installed Windows XP copy at Microsoft's web site upon the first normal bootup, right after Setup is succesfully completed. :(

Note that the registration process (optional) is NOT the same as the Windows Product Activation (WPA), which IS mandatory, except IF using a Volume License (VLK) a.k.a. Corporate version!

By registering your copy of XP OS, you actually allow Microsoft to add your personal information [name, company, address, phone number, e-mail etc... talk about privacy :(] to their database, for the purpose (among others) of providing you with technical support/help before (in most cases for free for a limited time) and/or after (for a price!) the warranty period expires. But registration is NOT mandatory NOR necessary in order to obtain technical assistance from Microsoft, ONLY IF you purchased your Windows XP Setup CD separately. This does NOT apply IF you purchased a new PC with Windows XP preinstalled [and pre-registered :(], in which case your warranty and tech support are usually provided by your 3rd party OEM/VAR/vendor/retailer.

To avoid registering your copy of Windows XP with Microsoft altogether [and keep your private information private :)], and to force XP into thinking you have already completed the registration process, just follow these steps:

  1. Physically disconnect/unplug your modem/network cable/connection (if any).

  2. Turn on (power up) your computer.

  3. Start WinXP Setup and answer NO when asked to use Windows Dynamic Update (WDU), which would (if enabled) connect to the Microsoft web site for registering purposes. :(
    If you are installing XP unattended (automatic Setup), you MUST add/modify your Unattend.txt "DisableDynamicUpdates" line under the [Unattended] section to read:

    [Unattended]
    DisableDynamicUpdates=yes

    ONLY AFTER THAT run your automatic Setup batch file.
    See "INSTALL XP UNATTENDED", also in TIPSXP.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to Setup XP in "hands-free" mode.

  4. Right after your XP installation is completed, either:
    • reboot to Safe mode, or
    • avoid setting up your Internet connection when asked to, upon the first reboot. Click Next or Skip instead. At this point the Internet Connection Wizard will eventually crash, after clicking the Next button, but don't worry, everything is cool! :)

  5. Click the Start button select the Run box type (case insensitive):

    REGSVR32.EXE -U REGWIZC.DLL

    Click OK or hit Enter. Then click OK or hit Enter again to close the next confirmation dialog box, which effectively unregisters (deactivates) this DLL, responsible for running the Registration Wizard, thus making it "invisible" to Windows.
    Optionally, you can also rename BOTH your REGWIZC.DLL files located both in %windir%\System32 and %windir%\System32\Dllcache to something else [i.e. REGWIZC.DL@], to avoid having to repeat these annoying steps all over again, whenever you install a Windows component/patch/update/etc that might re-register (reenable) REGWIZC.DLL, which would force WinXP to register with MS in the future, without your permission.

  6. Run Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

    Right-click on the "RegDone" String [REG_SZ] Value select Modify type 1 in the Value data: box click OK or hit Enter exit the Registry Editor.

  7. Right-click on the Internet Explorer Desktop icon open Tools menu click Internet Properties change the default home page to ANYTHING EXCEPT ANY Microsoft or MSN web page click OK/Apply or hit Enter.

  8. Reboot in Normal mode.

  9. Right AFTER XP reboots, but BEFORE before Windows GUI loads, make sure to plug back in/reconnect your (PnP or USB) modem/network cable/connection (if any). This should normally be possible because WinXP OS is PnP (Plug and Play) and USB aware, and should recognize (and automatically install proper drivers for) such "hot-swapping" devices/peripherals.

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10-23-01 WinXP Original ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


INSTALL XP UNATTENDED


This tip works if installing XP (all builds) as upgrade over any existent Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME or previous XP copy, as well as if installing XP "from scratch" on an empty hard drive/partition.
If you own an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), VAR (Value Added Reseller) or Bulk/Corporate/Volume License Setup CD-ROM (released September 25 2001), or if you purchased the Full or Upgrade retail Setup CD (released October 25 2001) of Windows (e)XP(erience) Home or Professional Edition, you CAN install it in COMPLETELY UNATTENDED ("hands-free") mode, a *tremendous* time saver!
Why unattended? Simple. Because this way the entire setup process is automated, so you won't have to do ANY of this time consuming, boring stuff:

IMPORTANT: No matter which OS you upgrade to WinXP from: BACK IT UP FIRST!

If moving from your previous, stable, heavily customized/tweaked MS OS, you may need to spend some time getting used to the new XP features (which was built on the more secure and less prone to crashes WinNT true 32-bit code), especially if you were using Win95/98/ME exclusively.
If this sounds quite appealing or if it picked your interest even remotely, please read on, you're in for a treat... :)

NECESSARY STEPS:

  1. Automatic [boring :)]:

    1. Pop in your XP Setup CD.

      FYI: You DO own a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-R(W)/DVD-R(W) drive, don't you? Otherwise you canNOT do this, because WinXP comes ONLY in CD-ROM format! ;-)

    2. Fire up Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = C:\WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE), presuming you're running one of these Windows OSes: 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME or XP. The complete list of supported Microsoft Operating Systems that can be upgraded to XP is available here.

    3. Click on your CD/DVD drive icon/letter.

    4. Go to the \Support\Tools folder.

    5. (Double-)click on DEPLOY.CAB.

    6. Highlight DEPLOY.CHM, REF.CHM, SETUPMGR.EXE + README.TXT.

    7. Select your target path.

    8. Click OK to extract them.

    9. Go to the folder where you have extracted these files.

    10. (Double-)click on the CHM files [one at a time :)] to read the detailed guidelines on how to install XP in "automated" unattended mode.

    11. Run SETUPMGR.EXE, which will guide you through the process of creating an UNATTEND.TXT file.

      NOTES:
      • To be able to open the *.CHM files (using the MS HTML Help system), you need to either own Win98, ME or 2000, or install (if you haven't already) the current version of MS Internet Explorer (free), which installs HTML Help engine (also available as a separate download) on all older Win95/NT4 releases.
        Win95/NT4 users: get MS IE 5.5 SP2 [84.1 MB, English].
        Win98/2000/ME users: get MS IE 6.0 SP1.
      • The CABinet Extract function may not be available if using Win95 or NT. In this case you need to download the MS Win95 Power Toys Pack [204 KB, free, unsupported] and install Cabview.dll by right-clicking on Cabview.inf and selecting Install, or get the CabPack tool [436 KB, freeware].

  2. Manual [more fun :)]:

    1. Create a file called UNATTEND.TXT (file name is optional) to contain all required and eventually optional sections and lines, customized to match your particular hardware/software/user settings/wishes.
      For a template, you can take a look at the two generic UNATTEND.TXT examples found in REF.CHM.
      Here is my customized UNATTEND.TXT file contents:

      -----Begin cut & paste here-----
      [Data]
      MsDosInitiated=0
      UnattendedInstall=Yes
      FloppyLess=1
      UseSignatures=Yes
      InstallDir="\DIRECTORY"
      EulaComplete=1
      
      [GuiRunOnce]
      "DRIVE:\DIRECTORY\PROGRAM.EXE /SWITCHES..."
      
      [Components]
      AccessOpt=on
      Appsrv_console=off
      Aspnet=on
      Autoupdate=off
      BitsServerExtensionsISAPI=off
      BitsServerExtensionsManager=off
      Calc=on
      Certsrv=off
      Certsrv_client=off
      Certsrv_server=off
      Charmap=on
      Chat=off
      Clipbook=off
      Cluster=on
      Com=on
      Complusnetwork=on
      Deskpaper=on
      Dialer=off
      Dtc=off
      Dtcnetwork=off
      Fax=off
      Fp_extensions=off
      Fp_vdir_deploy=off
      Freecell=on
      Freestyle=on
      Hearts=on
      Hypertrm=off
      IEAccess=on
      IEHardenAdmin=on
      IEHardenUser=on
      Iis_asp=off
      Iis_common=off
      Iis_ftp=off
      Iis_inetmgr=off
      Iis_internetdataconnector=off
      Iis_nntp=off
      Iis_serversideincludes=off
      Iis_smtp=off
      Iis_webdav=off
      Iis_www=off
      Indexsrv_system=off
      Inetprint=on
      Licenseserver=on
      Media_clips=off
      Media_utopia=off
      Minesweeper=on
      Mousepoint=off
      Mplay=on
      Msmsgs=off
      Msmq_ADIntegrated=off
      Msmq_Core=off
      Msmq_HTTPSupport=off
      Msmq_LocalStorage=off
      Msmq_MQDSService=off
      Msmq_RoutingSupport=off
      Msmq_TriggersService=off
      Msnexplr=off
      Mswordpad=on
      Netcis=on
      Netoc=on
      Noaccess=on
      Notebook=off
      Objectpkg=on
      OEAccess=on
      Oobe=off
      Paint=on
      Pinball=on
      Pop3Admin=on
      Pop3Service=on
      Pop3Srv=on
      Rec=on
      Reminst=off
      Rootautoupdate=on
      Rstorage=off
      Sakit_web=off
      Solitaire=on
      Spider=on
      StickyNotes=off
      System=on
      Tabletpc=off
      Templates=off
      TerminalServer=on
      TPG=off
      TSWebClient=on
      Vol=on
      WbemCrrl=on
      WbemFwrd=on
      WbemMSI=on
      WMAccess=on
      WMPOCM=on
      Wms=on
      Wms_admin_asp=on
      Wms_admin_mmc=on
      Wms_isapi=on
      Wms_server=on
      Zonegames=on
      
      [Display]
      BitsPerPel=24
      Vrefresh=100
      Xresolution=1024
      Yresolution=768
      
      [GuiUnattended]
      AdminPassword=*
      AutoLogon=Yes
      AutoLogonCount=4294967295
      OEMSkipRegional=1
      OEMSkipWelcome=1
      ProfilesDir="DRIVE:\DIRECTORY"
      TimeZone=010
      
      [Identification]
      JoinWorkgroup="GROUP NAME"
      
      [LicenseFilePrintData]
      AutoMode=PerSeat
      
      [PCHealth]
      Display=1
      ER_Display_UI=0
      ER_Enable_Applications=None
      ER_Enable_Kernel_Errors=0
      ER_Enable_Reporting=0
      ER_Enable_Windows_Components=0
      ER_Include_MSApps=0
      ER_Report_Path="DRIVE:\DIRECTORY"
      Headlines=1
      RA_AllowFullControl=0
      RA_AllowToGetHelp=0
      RA_AllowUnsolicited=0
      
      [RegionalSettings]
      Language=0409
      LanguageGroup=1
      
      [RemoteInstall]
      Repartition=No
      
      [SetupData]
      OsLoadTimeout=5
      OSLoadOptions="/fastdetect /nodebug"
      LoadIdentifier="ID NAME"
      
      [SetupParams]
      SkipMissingFiles=yes
      
      [SystemFileProtection]
      SFCDllCacheDir="DRIVE:\DIRECTORY"
      SFCDisable=ffffff9d
      SFCShowProgress=1
      SFCQuota=0
      
      [SystemRestore]
      CheckpointCalendarFrequency=99
      CheckpointSessionFrequency=24
      CreateFirstRunRp=0
      DisableSR=1
      MaximumDataStorePercentOfDisk=0
      RestorePointLife=0
      
      [TerminalServices]
      AllowConnections=0
      
      [UserData]
      ComputerName="COMPUTER NAME"
      FullName="FULL NAME"
      OrgName="ORGANIZATION NAME"
      ProductKey="XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX"
      
      [Unattended]
      AutoActivate=No
      CrashDumpSetting=0
      DisableDynamicUpdates=Yes
      DriverSigningPolicy=Ignore
      DUDisable=Yes
      DUStopOnError=No
      FactoryMode=No
      FileSystem=LeaveAlone
      Hibernation=No
      KeyboardLayout=US
      OemPreinstall=No
      OemSkipEula=Yes
      Repartition=No
      RunOobe=No
      TargetPath="DIRECTORY"
      UnattendMode=FullUnattended
      UnattendSwitch=Yes
      WaitForReboot=No
      NtUpgrade=No
      Win9xUpgrade=No
      
      [Uninstall]
      DisableCompression=Yes
      EnableBackup=No
      
      [URL]
      Help_Page="http://support.microsoft.com/"
      Home_Page="http://www.mdgx.com/"
      NoWelcome=1
      Search_Page="http://www.google.com/"
      
      [Win9xUpg]
      Boot16=Yes
      DefaultPassword=*
      ForcePasswordChange=No
      ForceWorkgroup=No
      IgnoreNetworkErrors=Yes
      UseLocalAccountOnError=Yes
      UserPassword=*
      ------End cut & paste here------

      All generic lines that need your input to enter actual information between the quote marks are in CAPITAL letters.
      You MUST replace all "X" symbols on the "ProductKey" line with the Product ID number (25 digits in groups of 5 separated by dashes) found on your WinXP CD sleeve.

      All characters in both UNATTEND.TXT and XPSETUP.BAT are case insensitive, except user names, passwords and URLs.

      IMPORTANT: If ANY of these lines are not valid, or do NOT match your system specific configuration, Setup will display error messages and ABORT!
      Example: I couldn't force my copy of WinXP Pro OEM Setup CD to upgrade over my previous WinME installation, so I had to change the Win9xUpgrade="yes" line to read Win9xUpgrade="no" under the [Unattended] section.

      Note that if you are setting up XP (any release) on a computer running Win95/98/ME, and select to install XP in a different directory, XP Setup will detect your existing OS, and will allow you to dual-boot between them after installation, from the WinXP boot menu.

      OPTIONAL: You can also force the default "C:\Documents and Settings" system folder to install on any other of your (local) hard drives/partitions/volumes (provided you have enough free space), and eventually change its folder name by typing the destination of your choice on the ProfilesDir="" line (between the quote marks), under the UNATTEND.TXT [GuiUnattended] section.
      More info @ MSKB.

    2. Copy & paste the file contents into Notepad.

    3. Of course you'll need to add/modify/delete some of/all these lines to adapt them to YOUR OWN hardware, software, user and/or network settings, otherwise you may experience errors/lockups!

    4. Save it as UNATTEND.TXT or give it any other name you want. The .TXT extension is NOT mandatory, it can be anything you want (.INF or .INI are both supported). Keep in mind though, the file MUST have an extension, it will NOT work if you name it only UNATTEND (or whatever) WITHOUT extension, because XP Setup will "see" it as a folder name. :(

    5. Use Notepad to create a DOS style batch file with the .BAT extension [I called XPSETUP.BAT] to contain these lines [ONLY AFTER learning how to use WINNT32.EXE + WINNT.EXE by reading the CHM files enumerated above!]:

      -----Begin cut & paste here-----
      @ECHO OFF
      REM Use ONLY 1 of these 2 lines and REMark the other!
      REM Windows GUI mode Setup [ONLY IF (older) Windows installed]:
      D:\WINXP\I386\WINNT32.EXE /UNATTEND3:C:\UNATTEND.TXT /DEBUG4:C:\XPDEBUG.LOG /DUDISABLE /S:D:\WINXP\I386 /TEMPDRIVE:C
      REM Native MS-DOS mode Setup [ONLY IF NO Windows installed]:
      D:\WINXP\I386\WINNT.EXE /S:D:\WINXP\I386 /U:C:\UNATTEND.TXT /T:C
      ------End cut & paste here------

      More WINNT32 info @ Microsoft:

    6. Modify XPSETUP.BAT in Notepad IF:
      • your CD/DVD drive letter is different (D in this case): the "D:" instances on lines 2, 6 and 8.
      • the path where UNATTEND.TXT resides (C:\ root in this case) is different, and/or you named UNATTEND.TXT to something else: the /UNATTEND3:C:\UNATTEND.TXT switch.
      • you prefer to have XP Setup create XPDEBUG.LOG (which BTW, can have any name and/or file extension) somewhere else (C:\ root in this case): the /DEBUG4:C:\XPDEBUG.LOG switch. After successful [or unsuccessful ;(] installation completion, you can open XPDEBUG.LOG with Notepad to see if anything went wrong, and eventually what/why.
      • you would like XP Setup to copy the temporary installation files on another drive (C in this case): the /TEMPDRIVE:C switch.

      BEWARE: The target drive letter and folder name where XP will be installed on your computer are dictated by:
      • The /TEMPDRIVE:C parameter (drive C in this case) on the WINNT(32).EXE line of your XPSETUP.BAT file. If this parameter is not mentioned the default is C:\$WIN_NT$.~LS.
      • The TargetPath="DIRECTORY" line under the [Unattended] section of your UNATTEND.TXT file. If this parameter is not mentioned the default is WINDOWS.

    7. Place XPSETUP.BAT + UNATTEND.TXT anywhere you desire. You can even create a new (temporary) local/remote folder for this purpose, just make sure to add the UNATTEND.TXT path to the WINNT(32).EXE /UNATTEND: switch.

    8. Copy the entire \WINXP folder contents by using the Windows Explorer right-click Copy function to highlight and drag it from your WinXP Setup CD to the root directory of your hard disk, to accelerate significantly the installation process, and to avoid having to (re)boot from your MS OS emergency bootup floppy.
      If you are installing XP from native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode, which would slow setup down to a crawl, you will also need to have the necessary MS-DOS mode CD-ROM drivers loaded in your computer's memory beforehand, to be able to access and boot from (if your mobo BIOS supports it) the Setup CD.
      Therefore I STRONGLY RECOMMEND to avoid this alternative altogether if possible, and start WinXP Setup from within Windows GUI, which is way faster!

    9. (Double-)click on XPSETUP.BAT and wait.
      The time necessary for Setup to complete depends mainly on your CPU, motherboard chipset, RAM and hard disk subsystem capabilites.

  3. Final step [optional :)]: get a cup of coffee, or whatever refreshment or (soft) drink floats your boat, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. ;)

Of course, if you care or need to customize an automated XP Setup even further, eventually for installing WinXP on more than one computer, you could use these handy programs, also included in DEPLOY.CAB, and explained in detail in both CHM help files listed above: OFORMAT.COM, CVTAREA.EXE, FACTORY.EXE, SETUPCL.EXE + SYSPREP.EXE.

More info:Gee! Writing this entire article took me longer than XP took to install on my PC. :)
In the "aftermath" of a successful XP Setup: here I am, 35 minutes and 3 reboots later, staring at the new WinXP Pro desktop, which is showing off the Windows Blinds "Luna" theme... but more about that at a later date. ;)
Have fun.

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10-17-01 WinXP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WELCOME ADMINISTRATOR!


To display the Administrator (master: Admin/Sysadmin) account on the Windows XP Welcome logon screen, fire up Regedit (or Regedt32) and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

  1. Create (if not present) a new Value: right-click on an empty spot in the right hand pane select New DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value name it Administrator click OK (double-)click on it check the Decimal box type 1 click OK.

  2. Modify (if present) the "Administrator" DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value: highlight it in the right hand pane select Modify check the Decimal box type 1 click OK.

Close the Registry Editor when done.
From now on, whenever you logon [ONLY IF you have Administrator rights to the computer you're trying to boot into :)] you'll see the Administrator account on the Welcome display.

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10-17-01 WinXP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


HIBERNATE OPTION


Whenever you want to logoff, shut down or reboot your Windows XP machine you have only 3 choices (from left to right): (1) Standby [ONLY IF the ACPI/APM function is properly enabled BOTH in your motherboard's BIOS AND in WinXP!], (2) Restart and (3) Shutdown.

To properly enable Hibernation in WinXP: Start button Control Panel Power Options Hibernate tab check Enable hibernate support box Apply/OK reboot.
NOTE: If the Hibernate tab is unavailable your computer does NOT support it!

For some reason Microsoft did NOT enable the 4th option: (4) Hibernate, which should be available on power saving (ACPI) enabled PCs and laptops. :(
But you CAN bring it back: just hold the Shift key while the Shut down menu is displayed on your screen, and notice the Standby button being replaced by a new, fully functional Hibernate button, which can be clicked with the left button of your mouse. :)
If you release the Shift key, the Hibernate option will disappear once again, to be replaced by Standby. Hocus-pocus! :)

FYI: More info @ Microsoft.

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8-21-01 WinNT4/2000/XP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


AUTOREBOOT


Windows XP and its more "advanced" brother called 2003 Server are advertised as the most stable Microsoft OSes to date (2002).
But nothing is perfect, and XP/2003 make no exception. :)
There are [still :(] those rare cases when a system fault/error/crash ends up freezing the OS at the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death), which displays the cause of the crash and gives some details about the state of the system when it crashed. The major annoyance is that it requires a "cold" reboot (reset) or complete power shut down, to remind you why those 2 buttons on the front of your PC case are meant for. ;) And moreover, if you are a system administrator, requiring your server(s) to run non-stop 24/7, this can be a pain in the neck.
But have no fear, the fix is here... :)
This Registry hack is valid for ALL NT, 2000, XP and 2003 releases.
To bypass the BSOD altogether and enable the instant "Auto Reboot" feature, run Regedit and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl

Right-click on the "AutoReboot" DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value in the right hand pane select Modify change it to read 1 (Auto Reboot enabled) click OK close the Registry Editor.
Restart Windows for the change to take effect.
From now on the OS will reboot upon locking up, right after writing to the crash log file (if enabled).
To disable it, change the "AutoReboot" value back to 0 (default).
This can also be achieved this way:
Control Panel System Advanced tab Settings button under Startup and Recovery check the Automatically restart box under System failure click Apply/OK until you close the dialog box restart Windows.
More info.

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8-21-01 WinXP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


COMMENTS? LINK


Late into the beta program Windows XP introduced a new "Comments?" link displayed on the left side of the top title bar of most Windows apps.
Its purpose is to send bug/error/problem feedback/report to Microsoft, but some users don't like or use it, and besides, this "feature" also makes it too easy to click on it by accident. :(
But here is the fix. Start Regedit (or Regedt32) and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Right-click on the "LameButtonEnabled" String value in the right hand pane select Modify change it to read 0 click OK.
From now on you won't see the Comments? link anymore. :)
To reenable it, change the "LameButtonEnabled" value back to 1 (default).
And if you would like to customize the Comments? link, just change the text of the "LameButtonText" String Value to have it display whatever you want, but make sure "LameButtonEnabled" is also set to 1 for this to work.
Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

NOTE: Microsoft removed the Comments? link from all final (Gold, RTM) Windows XP releases. :(

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7-12-01 WinXP Registry ©Trick in TIPSXP.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WMP8 MP3 ENCODING


Courtesy of Ross.

"This Registry hack affects the MP3 encoding save rates for the new Windows Media Player 8.0 (WMP8) included with Windows XP Gold/RTM (all releases).
To make this happen: open Notepad, save the text between the cut & paste lines below as a REG file, and then merge it into your Registry by (double-)clicking on it:

-----Begin cut & paste here-----
REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Settings\MP3Encoding]
"LowRate"=dword:0000dac0
"MediumRate"=dword:0000fa00
"MediumHighRate"=dword:0001f400
"HighRate"=dword:0002ee00

------End cut & paste here------

This corresponds to 56, 64, 128 and 192 KB/second rates, respectively.
Moreover, you can change the rates using these DWORD [hex] values for each of the Registry entries above:

Done."

    IMPORTANT:

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©1996-2017 MDGx (a.k.a. AXCEL216): Everything here is FREEware. Always free of ad(vertisment)s, cookies, tracking, malware + spyware. I have created [August 1996], maintain and update these web pages entirely by hand using Programmer's File Editor [replaced Notepad].
I do not promote, speak in the behalf of, advertise or work for any computing, news or internet profit business. All ©copyrights and ®registered trademarks retain owners' property.

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