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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Removing the Recycle Bin from the Desktop

If you don't use the Recycle Bin to store deleted files , you can get rid of its desktop icon all together. Run Regedit and go to:



HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Wi
ndows/CurrentVersion/explorer/Desktop/NameSpace

16.Adding Administrative Tools Icon To The Desktop:
Open Registry Editor. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace . Create the following key: {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153} (just copy/paste, including the brackets). Close Registry Editor.

How to turn XP SP2 into SP3!

Start > Run > type in 'regedit'
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,

then SYSTEM,

then CurrentControlSet,

then windows
From here on in click "CSDVersion" and click modify, change "0x00000200" (SP2) to "0x00000300" by typing 300 in the field where 200 once was.


Close it down,


Restart (MAKE SURE YOU RESTART)

worked for me

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How can I protect myself against viruses?

There is one fool-proof positive method. Never run any program that
isn't already on your computer and never use anybody else's disks.
Unfortunately, that is practical. So what is the next best thing?

þ Backups - Make frequent backups of the files on your hard disk.
Remember that at any given moment you may lose your entire hard
drive and its contents. Do you have backups of all your important
files? Things like Phone directories and passwords are especially
hard to get back. So be prepared for the worst.

þ Rescue Disk - Many programs such as TBAV and Norton Utilities will
allow you to create a 'rescue disk', which is a floppy disk that
can be booted from in an emergency. On this disk will be stored a
copy of important system info that could be very hard, if not
impossible to come up with manually. This includes a copy of the
partition table, Master Boot Record (MBR), CMOS settings, and other
important system info.

Also on this disk, you should store utilities that can be used to
detect, clean, and remove viruses from your hard disk. This disk
should be write-protected, and should be updated any time you
make changes to your system.

þ Knowledge - Keeping yourself well-informed about how viruses work,
any new viruses, and that kind of info is very important. Most of
the computer using public is entirely ignorant when it comes to
viruses. By readin this article, you have already made a big step
at reducing your odds of being hit by a virus.

þ AV Software - There are plenty of good Anti-Virus programs
available on the market. Most of the good ones are usually
shareware or freeware. Some are commercial. Many of the commercial
ones are lousy, too. Using some of the less effective virus
software can provide a false sense of security.

Anti-Virus Software

What NOT to use:

The following are products that I feel are not up to par as far as
AV software goes. I would avoid using them if possible, opting for
some of the products in the following list. However, if these
programs are the only ones you can find, then they certainly are
better than nothing at all.

þ Norton Anti-Virus (NAV)

þ Central Point Anti-Virus (CPAV)

þ Dos v6.0 Anti-Virus



What TO use:


These are some of the AV products that I DO recommend for you to
use. The more Anti-Virus software, the better protected you are.
Allow me to quickly explain what a Heuristic Scan is.

Normally, a virus scanner will look for a 'signature', a series of
bytes that occur inside the virus that can be used to identify a
specific virus. A huruistic scan takes a different approach. It
evaluates the code and looks for virus-like programming techniques.
This technique enables the scanner to find new or unknown viruses
and variations but also tends to cause more false positives and
takes longer. It is a very useful feature.


þ VirusScan - by MacAfee, Also known as SCAN. This is the
standard, and recognizes more than 1300 virus strains. This
program is readily available and offers frequent updates.
{Shareware}

þ F-Prot Anti Virus- by Frisk Software, I highly recommend this
program. It recognizes nearly as many viruses as SCAN and
recognizes trojan horse programs, as well. It has both a menu
driven and command line interface, huriustic scan, virus
database, and detailed descriptions. {Free for personal use}

þ Thunder Byte Anti Virus- This is a good package that does alot
of interesting things. It will create a rescue disk, is highly
configurable, does CRC test for changed files, and has an
adjustable heruistic scan. It will also allow you to replace
the bootstrap loader on your hard drive with a new one that
will perform an automatic CRC check upon bootup. This will
allow you to be instantly informed of any boot sector viruses.
{ShareWare}

þ Doctor Solomon's Anti Virus ToolKit - Although more expensive
than the others, this program has some interesting utilities.
It has "anti-stealth" technology, and an authorization TSR, and
a Certify TSR, which only allows you to run programs that have been
checked and had their CRC logged in.


Well, that's it for now. Now that we have covered the basics, that
will allow us to get into the more fun stuff next time, like how to
play with virues. See ya guys next time.

signs that a virus is present

There are several things that may indicate the presence of a virus on
your system.

1. Unexplained file growth in EXE and COM files may indicate an
appending virus.

2. Programs that used to work now return with some type of error
message and fail to work at all. This may indicate an overwriting
virus. Some common messages are "Program to big to fit in memory"
or "Unknown Command" and other similar messages. Thes should make
you suspicious.

3. Unexplained directory changes. If you execute a program and then
find that you are suddenly in a different directory, this may
indicate that a virus has been hunting for files to infect.

4. A decrease in available system memory. You should know how much
memory is usually free on your computer. If this number drops, it
may indicate a TSR virus. This does not always work since some
viruses do not protect the memory they use.

5. Unexplained ChkDsk errors. Stealth viruses will cause you to get a
CHKDSK error because they are altering the info before it gets to
CHKDSK. If you do a CHKDSK /F under this condition, it could CAUSE
considerable damage to the directory structure when in actuality
nothing was wrong in the first place.

6. Unexplained disk access. If the floppy or hard drive begin to light
up all of a sudden for no reason, it could mean viral activity. It
could also mean that you are running a disk cache with staged
writes enabled.

7. An overall slowdown in system activity. Programs may take longer to
execute than normal.

ways that I can catch a virus

Just as with the AIDS virus, there is alot of bullshit concerning the
conditions under which a virus may infect your system. A virus can
only be caught by executing a program that has been infected with a
virus or by ATTEMPTING to boot up from an infected disk. You cannot
get a virus by merely LOOKING at an infected program or disk. A virus
can infect just about any executable file EXE COM OVL SYS DRV BIN and
the partition table and master boot record of floppies and hard disks.

Notice that above I said "attempting" to boot up from an infected
disk. Even if you attempt to boot up from A: and it tells you,
"Non-System disk" and then you boot from C: instead, the virus can
still be active if A: was infected. This is very important. It doesn't
have to be a succesful boot for the virus to get into memory. The
first thing it will probably do is infect C: drive. Then if you put a
new disk in A:, that will in turn be infected. That is why it is
important to keep a clean, write-protected floppy.


So, to sum it up:

þ You can catch a virus by executing an infected program, wether you
realize the program was run or not. This includes overlay files,
system drivers, EXE and COM files, etc.

þ You can catch a virus by ATTEMPTING to boot from an infected
floppy disk or hard disk, without regard as to whether that
attempt was succesful.

þ A cold boot will remove a virus from memory, a warm boot won't
necessarily do it. So press the button on your computer instead of
using CTRL-ALT-DEL.

þ You CAN'T get a virus just from looking at an infected disk or
file.

þ You CAN'T get a virus from a data file, unless it is actually an
executable and some other program renames it.

So in order to keep yourself in the clear, always check any new
program for viruses before running it, and never leave a disk in the
cd drive or usb when you boot upþ

Types of Viruses

Q: What is a virus?


a VIRUS is a small, executable program with the ability to replicate
itself by adding its code to that of a host program and/or the system
area of a hard or floppy disk. The user is generally unaware of the
actions of a virus as it replicates and usually only becomes aware of
its presence when the virus 'activates', which it does according to a
given set of conditions and at which time it is often too late.

However, once the user knows what signs to look for, it can be very
obvious when viral activity occurs. More on the signs in a little bit.
Let's discuss the difference between viruses.

Every virus has its own personality. Viruses differ in many ways, each
having its own unique properties that make it different. Here are some
ways that viruses differ from each other:

þ SIZE - A virus can be as small as 66 bytes or less, or as large
as 4096 bytes or more. Compared to most computer programs a virus
must be very small.

þ METHOD OF INFECTION - A virus can infect the host program in
different ways. Below are three methods commonly used. They are
by no means the only ways, but they are the most common. It is
possible for a virus to use one or more of these methods.

þ OVERWRITING - When a virus infects using this method, it will
simply write a copy of itself over the begining of the host
program. This is a very simple method and is used by more
primitive viruses. An infected file has been destroyed and
must be restored from a backup disk. Overwriting tends to make
the user suspicious becuase the host program no longer
functions. This method of infection causes no change in the
size of an infected program.

þ APPENDING - This method is a bit more complex. The virus
appends itself onto the end of the host program and also edits
the begining of the program. When the user runs the infected
program it will jump to the end of the program where the virus
is located, perform the functions of the virus, then return
and continue to run the host program. To the user, the program
is functioning normally. This method of infection causes
infected programs to increase in size.

Some appending viruses are unable to tell whether or not
they have already infected a program and will continue to
infect the program hundreds of times, causing it to grow
considerably in size.

þ DISK INFECTORS - Other viruses will infect the boot record or
partition table. This is an executable area of the disk that
is automatically run every time you boot up from the disk.
This means that as soon as the computer boots up, the virus is
in memory.

þ TSR - A virus may or may not become resident in memory. If it
does go TSR, then its chances of infecting files are greatly
increased. Otherwise it can only do its stuff when an infected
program is run. If the virus is in memory it can infect files any
time it chooses. Partition table and boot sector infecting viruses
are always TSRs.

þ STEALTH - Some TSR viruses use a sophisticated technique called
Stealth cloaking. What this means is the virus will fool the
system so that everything appears to be normal. When a user does
a directory listing the virus will intercept the disk read, and
alter the data so that the file sizes appear to be unchanged,
when in actuality they have increased in size.

Boot sector infectors may use stealth so that when the user
attempts to view the boot record, instead of showing the actual
boot record, a copy of the old boot record is returned instead.
Because of stealth techniques it may be impossible to detect a
virus once it has become resident in memory. The only sure way to
check for a stealth virus is to boot from a clean, write-
protected floppy, then scan the hard drive. It is a good idea to
prepare such a floppy disk ahead of time, and adding anti-virus
software such as Scan and F-Prot.


þ ACTIVATION CRITERIA AND EFFECT- The other area that gives a virus
its personality is the activation criteria, or what makes it go
off. Some activate by the date, others activate when a certain
program is run, and other will activate when they can't find any
more files that haven't been infected yet.

When a virus activates it will take a certain action. I will
refer to this as the activation effect. The efffect may be as
simple and harmless as displaying a message or as malicious as
trashing the victim's hard drive. Obviously, you want to find the
virus BEFORE it activates

What You Should Know About Computer Viruses

Q: Why should I learn about viruses??



When people talk about virii (a subject dear to my heart) it is common
for people to treat the virus, the trojan horse, the logic bomb, etc.
as if they were one and the same. Now, personally, I find the idea
insulting and I am sure that many virus writers would feel the same
way. Time and time again, I have seen the worthy name of VIRUS heaped
upon the ranks of such undeserving pranks as the common TROJAN horse.

To think that the two are one and the same is fine, if you are the
common lamer that so often finds himself behind the computer screen.
To be unable to differenciate between a virus and a trojan is
perfectly acceptable for many. If you are entirely satisified with
knowing just enough to be able to start your computer and run your
application, then for heaven's sake don't read this article. In fact,
why don't you go buy a MacIntosh?

As for the rest of us, we realize that there IS a difference. And in
order to prevent ourselves from looking like clueless idiots, we
strive to learn the differences between the virus and the trojan horse
and what each one is and is not capable of.

What advantage is gained by learning of such things as a computer
virus? The person who is well-informed in such matters gains many
advantages over one who is not.

For one, he will quickly notice when his system shows signs of virus
activity and he will catch it before it has had time to do significant
damage to his system. Since he will have taken the proper precautions
in advance he will be able to quickly restore his system system while
suffering minimal loss.

Since he knows what a virus can and can't do, he won't believe every
quirk in his hardware or software is actually the result of some
devious virus. He will not be lulled into the false sense of security
provided by such worthless products as CPAV or NAV. He will have the
wisdom to look a trojan horse 'in the mouth'.

When it comes to virii, people are inclined to believe alot of stupid
shit. Let's face it, people are inclined to believe alot of stupid
shit period, but when it comes to virii, they tend to get even
stupiderþ

Monday, June 15, 2009

Use Hotkeys to Switch Programs

If you routinely use a specific set of programs, you can set up hotkeys that will launch or directly switch among them instead of cycling with Alt-Tab. Find a desktop or Start menu shortcut that launches a program and select Properties. On the Shortcut tab, click in the Shortcut key box, and press the key combination you want to use. Be sure to choose key combinations that are not needed by any of your programs; for example, use Alt-Shift-1, Alt-Shift-2.

Regedit.exe & Regedt32.exe difference

Have you ever noticed that there are two versions of the Registry Editor on your computer? Ever wondered why? Well let me just give you a little insight!

It all depends on your Operating System. If you have Windows 2000 :

Regedit.exe

Regedit.exe is included with Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 primarily for its search capability. You can use Regedit.exe to make changes in the Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 registry, but you cannot use it to view or edit all functions or data types on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000.

The following limitations exist in the Regedit.exe version that is included with Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000:

You cannot set the security for registry keys.
You cannot view, edit, or search the value data types <>REG_EXPAND_SZ and <>REG_MULTI_SZ. If you try to view a <>REG_EXPAND_SZ value, Regedit.exe displays it as a binary data type. If you try to edit either of these data types, Regedit.exe saves it as <>REG_SZ, and the data type no longer performs its intended function.
You cannot save or restore keys as hive files.
Microsoft recommends that you use Regedit.exe only for its search capabilities on a Windows NT 4.0-based or Windows 2000-based computer.

Regedt32.exe

Regedt32.exe is the configuration editor for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. Regedt32.exe is used tomodify the Windows NT configuration database, or the Windows NTregistry. This editor allows you to view or modify the Windows NT registry.The editor provides views of windows that represent sections of theregistry, named hives. Each window displays two sections. On the leftside, there are folders that represent registry keys. On the right side,there are the values associated with the selected registry key. Regedt32 isa powerful tool, and you must use it with extreme caution when you changeregistry values. Missing or incorrect values in the registry can make theWindows installation unusable.

Note: Unlike Regedit.exe, Regedt32.exe does not support importing and exporting registration entries (.reg) files.

Or..Windows XP and Windows Server 2003

Regedit.exe

Regedit.exe is the configuration editor for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Regedit.exe is used tomodify the Windows NT configuration database, or the Windows NTregistry. This editor allows you to view or modify the Windows NT registry. It supports setting security on registry keys, viewing and editing <>REG_EXPAND_SZ and <>REG_MULTI_SZ, and saving and restoring hive files.On the leftside, there are folders that represent registry keys. On the right side,there are the values associated with the selected registry key. Regedit isa powerful tool. You must use extreme caution when you use it to changeregistry values. Missing or incorrect values in the registry can make theWindows installation unusable.

Regedt32.exe

In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, Regedt32.exe is a small program that just runs Regedit.exe.

make xp go faster

Services You Can Disable

There are quite a few services you can disable from starting automatically.
This would be to speed up your boot time and free resources.
They are only suggestions so I suggestion you read the description of each one when you run Services
and that you turn them off one at a time.

Some possibilities are:
Alerter
Application Management
Clipbook
Fast UserSwitching
Human Interface Devices
Indexing Service
Messenger
Net Logon
NetMeeting
QOS RSVP
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
Remote Registry
Routing & Remote Access
SSDP Discovery Service
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Web Client


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

Cleaning the Prefetch Directory

WindowsXP has a new feature called Prefetch. This keeps a shortcut to recently used programs.
However it can fill up with old and obsolete programs.

To clean this periodically go to:

Star / Run / Prefetch
Press Ctrl-A to highlight all the shorcuts
Delete them

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

Not Displaying Logon, Logoff, Startup and Shutdown Status Messages

To turn these off:

Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system
If it is not already there, create a DWORD value named DisableStatusMessages
Give it a value of 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clearing the Page File on Shutdown

Click on the Start button
Go to the Control Panel
Administrative Tools
Local Security Policy
Local Policies
Click on Security Options
Right hand menu - right click on "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile"
Select "Enable"
Reboot

For regedit users.....
If you want to clear the page file on each shutdown:

Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Set the value to 1

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

No GUI Boot

If you don't need to see the XP boot logo,

Run MSCONFIG
Click on the BOOT.INI tab
Check the box for /NOGUIBOOT

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Speeding the Startup of Some CD Burner Programs

If you use program other than the native WindowsXP CD Burner software,
you might be able to increase the speed that it loads.

Go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services
Double-click on IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
For the Startup Type, select Disabled
Click on the OK button and then close the Services window
If you dont You should notice

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

Getting Rid of Unread Email Messages

To remove the Unread Email message by user's login names:

Start Regedit
For a single user: Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail
For all users: Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail
Create a DWORD key called MessageExpiryDays
Give it a value of 0

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

Decreasing Boot Time

Microsoft has made available a program to analyze and decrease the time it takes to boot to WindowsXP
The program is called BootVis

Uncompress the file.
Run BOOTVIS.EXE
For a starting point, run Trace / Next Boot + Driver Delays
This will reboot your computer and provide a benchmark
After the reboot, BootVis will take a minute or two to show graphs of your system startup.
Note how much time it takes for your system to load (click on the red vertical line)
Then run Trace / Optimize System
Re-Run the Next Boot + Drive Delays
Note how much the time has decreased
Mine went from approximately 33 to 25 seconds.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Increasing Graphics Performance

By default, WindowsXP turns on a lot of shadows, fades, slides etc to menu items.
Most simply slow down their display.

To turn these off selectively:

Right click on the My Computer icon
Select Properties
Click on the Advanced tab
Under Performance, click on the Settings button
To turn them all of, select Adjust for best performance
My preference is to leave them all off except for Show shadows under mouse pointer and Show window contents while dragging

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

Increasing System Performance

If you have 512 megs or more of memory, you can increase system performance
by having the core system kept in memory.

Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive
Set the value to be 1
Reboot the computer

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

Increasing File System Caching

To increase the amount of memory Windows will locked for I/O operations:

Start Regedit
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
Edit the key IoPageLockLimit

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

Resolving Inability to Add or Remove Programs

If a particular user cannot add or remove programs, there might be a simple registry edit neeed.

Go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Uninstall
Change the DWORD NoAddRemovePrograms to 0 disable it

4096 - 32megs of memory or less
8192 - 32+ megs of memory
16384 - 64+ megs of memory
32768 - 128+ megs of memory
65536 - 256+ megs of memory

increase download speed

First of all download this wonderful program:

h@@p://www.speedguide.net/files/TCPOptimizer.exe

Then when u start trhe program goto settings goto cable modem or dsl whatevcer u have.

Go to MaxMTU and set it to 1500 this is optimal anything above this will not work as well.

Thats bout it!! Enjoy the speed!!

Block Websties Without Software, block websites

Steps:

1] Browse C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc
2] Find the file named "HOSTS"
3] Open it in notepad
4] Under "127.0.0.1 localhost" Add 127.0.0.2 www.sitenameyouwantblocked.com , and that site will no longer be accessable.
5] Done!

-So-

127.0.0.1 localhost
127.0.0.2 www.blockedsite.com

-->www.blockedsite.com is now unaccessable<--


For every site after that you want to add, just add "1" to the last number in the internal ip (127.0.0.2) and then the addy like before.

IE: 127.0.0.3 www.blablabla.com
127.0.0.4 www.blablabla.com
127.0.0.5 www.blablabla.com

etc

overburn a CD with Nero

Start Nero

From the action-bar select File and select Preferences.



In the Preferences window, select Expert Features(1) and check the Enable overburn disc-at-once(2).



Choose a Maximum CD Length(3) and click OK(4) (*82:59:59 is the maximum value I suggest, but as you can see from the screen capture above I have set mine significantly higher. The reason is because I frequently use 99min 850 MB CD media).

For a more accurate test you can use a nero tool called nero speed test to see how much a specific CD is capable of being overburned . get it here

From the action-bar select File and select Write CD.



A window will appear when you have exceeded expected length, click OK to start the overburn copy.

Remember to set disk to burn Disc at Once, you cannot overburn in Track at Once Mode.

Free Access To Websites Without Registering

Go to

-http://bugmenot.com/

and type the URL of the website you want to log into.
Examples:

-http://www.nytimes.com/, -http://www.winnetmag.com/
etcetera.

Another (and better) way is changing the user agent of your browser to:
Googlebot/2.1+

-http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html

This is very easy in Mozilla's Firefox. Download and install the User Agent Switcher from

-http://www.chrispederick.com/work/firefox/useragentswitcher/
and add the Googlebot user agent.

Have fun, Dead Dreamer!

-]Edit[- Now this kicks ass, was just browsing entire forum without even needing to login to view restricted areas, and it works on other sites
And no, you cant access the hidden forums either, already tried that

Thursday, June 11, 2009

23 Ways To Speed WinXP

Since defragging the disk won't do much to improve Windows XP performance, here are 23 suggestions that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of your customers' PCs.

Best of all, most of them will cost you nothing.


1.) To decrease a system's boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software -- the built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine -- and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.

2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.

3.) Ensure that Windows XP is utilizing the NTFS file system. If you're not sure, here's how to check: First, double-click the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Next, examine the File System type; if it says FAT32, then back-up any important data. Next, click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key. This process may take a while; it's important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.

4.) Disable file indexing. The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a "searchable keyword index." As you can imagine, this process can be quite taxing on any system.

The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP's built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.

Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you're a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.

Here's how: First, double-click the My Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Next, apply changes to "C: subfolders and files," and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore All button.

5.) Update the PC's video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, see articles on my site.

6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can "prefetch" portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That's fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.

7.) Once a month, run a disk cleanup. Here's how: Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the C: drive and select Properties. Click the Disk Cleanup button -- it's just to the right of the Capacity pie graph -- and delete all temporary files.

8.) In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to "DMA if available" for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.

9.) Upgrade the cabling. As hard-drive technology improves, the cabling requirements to achieve these performance boosts have become more stringent. Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all of your IDE devices with the connectors properly assigned to the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets. A single device must be at the end of the cable; connecting a single drive to the middle connector on a ribbon cable will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA hard drives, these signaling problems will prevent the drive from performing at its maximum potential. Also, because these cables inherently support "cable select," the location of each drive on the cable is important. For these reasons, the cable is designed so drive positioning is explicitly clear.

10.) Remove all spyware from the computer. Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft or SpyBot Search & Destroy. Once these programs are installed, be sure to check for and download any updates before starting your search. Anything either program finds can be safely removed. Any free software that requires spyware to run will no longer function once the spyware portion has been removed; if your customer really wants the program even though it contains spyware, simply reinstall it. For more information on removing Spyware visit this Web Pro News page.

11.) Remove any unnecessary programs and/or items from Windows Startup routine using the MSCONFIG utility. Here's how: First, click Start, click Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the StartUp tab, then uncheck any items you don't want to start when Windows starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, applications, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.

12.) Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel.

13.) Turn off any and all unnecessary animations, and disable active desktop. In fact, for optimal performance, turn off all animations. Windows XP offers many different settings in this area. Here's how to do it: First click on the System icon in the Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab. Select the Settings button located under Performance. Feel free to play around with the options offered here, as nothing you can change will alter the reliability of the computer -- only its responsiveness.

14.) If your customer is an advanced user who is comfortable editing their registry, try some of the performance registry tweaks offered at Tweak XP.

15.) Visit Microsoft's Windows update site regularly, and download all updates labeled Critical. Download any optional updates at your discretion.

16.) Update the customer's anti-virus software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make sure they have only one anti-virus software package installed. Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to spell disaster for performance and reliability.

17.) Make sure the customer has fewer than 500 type fonts installed on their computer. The more fonts they have, the slower the system will become. While Windows XP handles fonts much more efficiently than did the previous versions of Windows, too many fonts -- that is, anything over 500 -- will noticeably tax the system.

18.) Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition. The data is no safer on a separate partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall an operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of putting all your data on the D: drive, put it in a folder called "D drive." You'll achieve the same organizational benefits that a separate partition offers, but without the degradation in system performance. Also, your free space won't be limited by the size of the partition; instead, it will be limited by the size of the entire hard drive. This means you won't need to resize any partitions, ever. That task can be time-consuming and also can result in lost data.

19.) Check the system's RAM to ensure it is operating properly. I recommend using a free program called MemTest86. The download will make a bootable CD or diskette (your choice), which will run 10 extensive tests on the PC's memory automatically after you boot to the disk you created. Allow all tests to run until at least three passes of the 10 tests are completed. If the program encounters any errors, turn off and unplug the computer, remove a stick of memory (assuming you have more than one), and run the test again. Remember, bad memory cannot be repaired, but only replaced.

20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD recorder, check the drive manufacturer's Web site for updated firmware. In some cases you'll be able to upgrade the recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it's free.

21.) Disable unnecessary services. Windows XP loads a lot of services that your customer most likely does not need. To determine which services you can disable for your client, visit the Black Viper site for Windows XP configurations.

22.) If you're sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your OS down with it, then follow this tip: open My Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab. Scroll down to "Launch folder windows in a separate process," and enable this option. You'll have to reboot your machine for this option to take effect.

23.) At least once a year, open the computer's cases and blow out all the dust and debris. While you're in there, check that all the fans are turning properly. Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for bulging or leaks. For more information on this leaking-capacitor phenomena, you can read numerous articles on my site.


Following any of these suggestions should result in noticeable improvements to the performance and reliability of your customers' computers. If you still want to defrag a disk, remember that the main benefit will be to make your data more retrievable in the event of a crashed drive.

10 Fast and Free Security Enhancements

Before you spend a dime on security, there are many precautions you can take that will protect you against the most common threats.

1. Check Windows Update and Office Update regularly (http://office.microsoft.com/productupdates) Have your Office CD ready. Windows Me, 2000, and XP users can configure automatic updates. Click on the Automatic Updates tab in the System control panel and choose the appropriate options.

2. Install a personal firewall.
Both SyGate (www.sygate.com) and ZoneAlarm (www.zonelabs.com) offer free versions.


3. Install a free spyware blocker.
Our Editors' Choice is SpyBot Search & Destroy (http://security.kolla.de). SpyBot is also paranoid and ruthless in hunting out tracking cookies.

4. Block pop-up spam messages
In Windows NT, 2000, or XP by disabling the Windows Messenger service (this is unrelated to the instant messaging program). Open Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services and you'll see Messenger. Right-click and go to Properties. Set Start-up Type to Disabled and press the Stop button. Bye-bye, spam pop-ups! Any good firewall will also stop them.

5. Use strong passwords and change them periodically.
Passwords should have at least seven characters; use letters and numbers and have at least one symbol. A decent example would be f8izKro@l. This will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to your accounts.

6. If you're using Outlook or Outlook Express,
Use the current version or one with the Outlook Security Update installed. The update and current versions patch numerous vulnerabilities.

7. Keep antivirus software up to date.
If you're not willing to pay, try Grisoft AVG Free Edition (Grisoft Inc., www.grisoft.com). And doublecheck your AV with the free, online-only scanners available at www.pandasoftware.com/activescan and http://housecall.trendmicro.com.

8. If you have a wireless network,
Turn on the security features: Use MAC filtering, turn off SSID broadcast, and even use WEP with the biggest key you can get. For more, check out our wireless section or see the expanded coverage in Your Unwired World in our next issue.

9. Join a respectable e-mail security list,
Such as the one found at our own Security Supersite at http://security.ziffdavis.com, so that you learn about emerging threats quickly and can take proper precautions.

10. Be skeptical of things on the Internet.
Don't assume that e-mail "From:" a particular person is actually from that person until you have further reason to believe it's that person. Don't assume that an attachment is what it says it is. Don't give out your password to anyone, even if that person claims to be from "support."

WINDOWS XP HIDDEN APPS

1) Character Map = charmap.exe (very useful for finding unusual characters)

2) Disk Cleanup = cleanmgr.exe

3) Clipboard Viewer = clipbrd.exe (views contents of Windows clipboard)

4) Dr Watson = drwtsn32.exe (Troubleshooting tool)

5) DirectX diagnosis = dxdiag.exe (Diagnose & test DirectX, video & sound cards)

6) Private character editor = eudcedit.exe (allows creation or modification of characters)

7) IExpress Wizard = iexpress.exe (Create self-extracting / self-installing package)

8) Microsoft Synchronization Manager = mobsync.exe (appears to allow synchronization of files on the network for when working offline. Apparently undocumented).

9) Windows Media Player 5.1 = mplay32.exe (Retro version of Media Player, very basic).

10) ODBC Data Source Administrator = odbcad32.exe (something to do with databases)

11) Object Packager = packager.exe (to do with packaging objects for insertion in files, appears to have comprehensive help files).

12) System Monitor = perfmon.exe (very useful, highly configurable tool, tells you everything you ever wanted to know about any aspect of PC performance, for uber-geeks only )

13) Program Manager = progman.exe (Legacy Windows 3.x desktop shell).

14) Remote Access phone book = rasphone.exe (documentation is virtually non-existant).

15) Registry Editor = regedt32.exe [also regedit.exe] (for hacking the Windows Registry).

16) Network shared folder wizard = shrpubw.exe (creates shared folders on network).

17) File siganture verification tool = sigverif.exe

18) Volume Control = sndvol32.exe (I've included this for those people that lose it from the System Notification area).

19) System Configuration Editor = sysedit.exe (modify System.ini & Win.ini just like in Win98! ).

20) Syskey = syskey.exe (Secures XP Account database - use with care, it's virtually undocumented but it appears to encrypt all passwords, I'm not sure of the full implications).

21) Microsoft Telnet Client = telnet.exe

22) Driver Verifier Manager = verifier.exe (seems to be a utility for monitoring the actions of drivers, might be useful for people having driver problems. Undocumented).

23) Windows for Workgroups Chat = winchat.exe (appears to be an old NT utility to allow chat sessions over a LAN, help files available).

24) System configuration = msconfig.exe (can use to control starup programs)

25) gpedit.msc = used to manage group policies, and permissions

Windows XP Registry Hacks

Auto Sort Start Menu
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder
Go to Edit/Permissions, click Advanced, clear the "Inherit From Parent" check box, click Copy from the dialog box, click OK and then clear the "Full Control" for your account and now Windows will autp sort the start menu, but you can still do it too

Disable User Tracking
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Add or Edit DWORD = NoInstrumentation, Value = 1
Disables Windows user tracking; better performance, much better privacy

Cache Thumbnails
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Add or Edit DWORD = DisableThumbnailCache, Value = 1
Disables thumbnails in Windows, saving hard drive space

Kill Chrashed Apps Quicker
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Add or Edit Sring = HungAppTimeout, Value = 1000-5000
Cuts time for Windows to recongize a crashed application and allow you to kill it; default is 5000(for 5 seconds)

Faster Start Menu
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Add or Edit Sring = MenuShowDelay, Value = 0 - 400
Changes the delay that for Windows to show a menu in the start menu; value is in ms

Network Intelligently
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
Add or Edit String = DisableTaskOffload, Value = 1
Frees processor from doing network-card work

Browse the Network Faster
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace
Delete subkeys {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} and {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
Speeds up network browsing of old Windows machines on the LAN by ignoring their scheduled tasks and printers


Remove Compression Option In Disk Cleanup
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files
Delete the Default Value Key and the next time you start Disk Cleanup, it will skip the compression analyisis

10 reasons why PCs crash U must Know

Fatal error: the system has become unstable or is busy," it says. "Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications."

You have just been struck by the Blue Screen of Death. Anyone who uses Mcft Windows will be familiar with this. What can you do? More importantly, how can you prevent it happening?

1 Hardware conflict

The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.

For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.

If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager.

Often if a device has a problem a yellow '!' appears next to its description in the Device Manager. Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.

Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as 'IRQ holder for PCI steering'. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.

Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource is www.driverguide.com. If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).

When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.

To be fair to Mcft, the problem with IRQ numbers is not of its making. It is a legacy problem going back to the first PC designs using the IBM 8086 chip. Initially there were only eight IRQs. Today there are 16 IRQs in a PC. It is easy to run out of them. There are plans to increase the number of IRQs in future designs.

2 Bad Ram

Ram (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.

But a fatal error caused by Ram might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) Ram with 60ns Ram will usually force the computer to run all the Ram at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the Ram is overworked.

One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the Ram. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected Ram problem is to rearrange the Ram chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling Ram try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.

Parity error messages also refer to Ram. Modern Ram chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.

EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programmes.

3 BIOS settings

Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.

Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.

A common BIOS error concerns the CAS latency. This refers to the Ram. Older EDO (extended data out) Ram has a CAS latency of 3. Newer SDRam has a CAS latency of 2. Setting the wrong figure can cause the Ram to lock up and freeze the computer's display.

Mcft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to 'yes' to allow Windows to do this.).

4 Hard disk drives

After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter

This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.

The Task Scheduler should be one of the small icons on the bottom right of the Windows opening page (the desktop).

Some lockups and screen freezes caused by hard disk problems can be solved by reducing the read-ahead optimisation. This can be adjusted by going to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System Icon-Performance-File System-Hard Disk.

Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.

Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-ScanDisk

Otherwise assign the Task Scheduler to perform this operation at night when the computer is not in use.

5 Fatal OE exceptions and VXD errors

Fatal OE exception errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems.

These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Display-Settings

Here you should slide the screen area bar to the left. Take a look at the colour settings on the left of that window. For most desktops, high colour 16-bit depth is adequate.

If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups it might be due to the video card. Make sure it does not have a hardware conflict. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager

Here, select the + beside Display Adapter. A line of text describing your video card should appear. Select it (make it blue) and press properties. Then select Resources and select each line in the window. Look for a message that says No Conflicts.

If you have video card hardware conflict, you will see it here. Be careful at this point and make a note of everything you do in case you make things worse.

The way to resolve a hardware conflict is to uncheck the Use Automatic Settings box and hit the Change Settings button. You are searching for a setting that will display a No Conflicts message.

Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics

Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).

Look up your video card's manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.

6 Viruses

Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs

Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.

A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated weekly from the website of your antivirus software manufacturer.

An excellent antivirus programme is McAfee VirusScan by Network Associates ( www.nai.com). Another is Norton AntiVirus 2000, made by Symantec ( www.symantec.com).

7 Printers

The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.

Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer's performance.

If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer's default settings and you may be able to carry on.

8 Software

A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.

The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use Reg Cleaner by Jouni Vuorio to clean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries. It works on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE (Second Edition), Windows Millennium Edition (ME), NT4 and Windows 2000.

Read the instructions and use it carefully so you don't do permanent damage to the Registry. If the Registry is damaged you will have to reinstall your operating system. Reg Cleaner can be obtained from www.jv16.org

Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message "Starting Windows" press F4. This should take you into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.

Sometimes installing Windows is difficult because of unsuitable BIOS settings. If you keep getting SUWIN error messages (Windows setup) during the Windows installation, then try entering the BIOS and disabling the CPU internal cache. Try to disable the Level 2 (L2) cache if that doesn't work.

Remember to restore all the BIOS settings back to their former settings following installation.

9 Overheating

Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.

One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU. Specialist cooling fans/heatsinks are available from www.computernerd.com or www.coolit.com

CPU problems can often be fixed by disabling the CPU internal cache in the BIOS. This will make the machine run more slowly, but it should also be more stable.

10 Power supply problems

With all the new construction going on around the country the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.

If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is electricity, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.

It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

XP Tweaking

-----------
STARTUP
-----------


Windows Prefetcher
******************
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Session Manager \ Memory Management \ PrefetchParameters]

Under this key there is a setting called EnablePrefetcher, the default setting of which is 3. Increasing this number to 5 gives the prefetcher system more system resources to prefetch application data for faster load times. Depending on the number of boot processes you run on your computer, you may get benefits from settings up to 9. However, I do not have any substantive research data on settings above 5 so I cannot verify the benefits of a higher setting. This setting also may effect the loading times of your most frequently launched applications. This setting will not take effect until after you reboot your system.


Master File Table Zone Reservation
**********************************
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ FileSystem]

Under this key there is a setting called NtfsMftZoneReservation, the default setting of which is 1. The range of this value is from 1 to 4. The default setting reserves one-eighth of the volume for the MFT. A setting of 2 reserves one-quarter of the volume for the MFT. A setting of 3 for NtfsMftZoneReservation reserves three-eighths of the volume for the MFT and setting it to 4 reserves half of the volume for the MFT. Most users will never exceed one-quarter of the volume. I recommend a setting of 2 for most users. This allows for a "moderate number of files" commensurate with the number of small files included in most computer games and applications. Reboot after applying this tweak.


Optimize Boot Files
*******************
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Dfrg \ BootOptimizeFunction]

Under this key is a text value named Enable. A value of Y for this setting enables the boot files defragmenter. This setting defragments the boot files and may move the boot files to the beginning (fastest) part of the partition, but that last statement is unverified. Reboot after applying this tweak.

Optimizing Startup Programs [msconfig]
**************************************

MSConfig, similar to the application included in Win9x of the same name, allows the user to fine tune the applications that are launched at startup without forcing the user to delve deep into the registry. To disable some of the applications launched, load msconfig.exe from the run command line, and go to the Startup tab. From there, un-ticking the checkbox next to a startup item will stop it from launching. There are a few application that you will never want to disable (ctfmon comes to mind), but for the most part the best settings vary greatly from system to system.

As a good rule of thumb, though, it is unlikely that you will want to disable anything in the Windows directory (unless it's a third-party program that was incorrectly installed into the Windows directory), nor will you want to disable anything directly relating to your system hardware. The only exception to this is when you are dealing with software, which does not give you any added benefits (some OEM dealers load your system up with software you do not need). The nice part of msconfig is that it does not delete any of the settings, it simply disables them, and so you can go back and restart a startup application if you find that you need it. This optimization won't take effect until after a reboot.

Bootvis Application
*******************
The program was designed by Microsoft to enable Windows XP to cold boot in 30 seconds, return from hibernation in 20 seconds, and return from standby in 10 seconds. Bootvis has two extremely useful features. First, it can be used to optimize the boot process on your computer automatically. Second, it can be used to analyze the boot process for specific subsystems that are having difficulty loading. The first process specifically targets the prefetching subsystem, as well as the layout of boot files on the disk. When both of these systems are optimized, it can result in a significant reduction in the time it takes for the computer to boot.

Before attempting to use Bootvis to analyze or optimize the boot performance of your system, make sure that the task scheduler service has been enabled – the program requires the service to run properly. Also, close all open programs as well – using the software requires a reboot.

To use the software to optimize your system startup, first start with a full analysis of a fresh boot. Start Bootvis, go to the Tools menu, and select next boot. Set the Trace Repetition Settings to 2 repetitions, Start at 1, and Reboot automatically. Then set the trace into motion. The system will fully reboot twice, and then reopen bootvis and open the second trace file (should have _2 in the name). Analyze the graphs and make any changes that you think are necessary (this is a great tool for determining which startup programs you want to kill using msconfig). Once you have made your optimizations go to the Trace menu, and select the Optimize System item. This will cause the system to reboot and will then make some changes to the file structure on the hard drive (this includes a defragmentation of boot files and a shifting of their location to the fastest portion of the hard disk, as well as some other optimizations). After this is done, once again run a Trace analysis as above, except change the starting number to 3. Once the system has rebooted both times, compare the charts from the second trace to the charts for the fourth trace to show you the time improvement of the system's boot up.

The standard defragmenter included with Windows XP will not undo the boot optimizations performed by this application.

Secret Codes Of Nokia Mobiles

Below we present secret codes of nokia mobile phones which are very useful for people who unlock phones and for amateurs of this topic. These special key sequences entered fromkeyboard of phone allow you to get some important information like IMEI number, release date, software version and much more. You can also choose default language, activatenetmonitor ect.


1610/1630

*#170602112302# (software version)

1610/1611

IMEI number: -*# 0 6 #
Software version: -* # 1 7 0 6 0 2 1 1 2 3 9 2 #
Simlock status: - # 9 2 7 0 2 6 8 9 #


2110

*#9999# (software version)

2110i/2110e

*#170602112302# or (depends on model)*#682371158412125# (software version)


NOKIA3110

*#06# -IMEI

*#3110# -Software version

##002# - allows to turn off voice mail.

*#7780# - restore factory settings

*#746025625#(or *#sim0clock#) - to check if clock of sim (SIM-Clock) can be stopped (SIM-Clock-stop is akind of standby mode which saces battery)

*#92702689# (or *#war0anty#) -"warranty code:"- you have to enter one of the following codes:

6232 (OK)displays month and year of production date (ie "0198")

7332 (OK) - displays date of last repair - if there is (ie. "DATE NOT SAVED")

7832 (OK) - displays date of purchase - if there is (ie. "DATE NOT SAVED")

9268 (OK) -displays serial number

37832 (OK) -sets purchase date in format MMYY (MM - month, YY - year)- attention: you can set it only once, so beware !

87267 (OK)-displays message "Confirm Transfer?" - meaning is unknown (?)

* # 9 2 7 0 2 6 8 9 # -Simlock info

*#31# (call) -sets if your phone no. will be hidden or not (works only in some networks)

*#76# (call) -sets if target phone number when you call should be displayed (works only in some networks)

*#77# (call) -(work s only in some networks)

*#33/35# (call -displays message "Service not active".

**31# (call) -your no. will not be showed to others when you make a call



3210


*#06# -IMEI

*#0000# -software version

*#92702689# (or *#war0anty#)- enters service mode.

*3370# -Turns on sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.


#3370# -Turns off sound encoding system Enhanced Full Rate .

*4720# -Turns on battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy.

#4720# -Turns off battery save mode.

xx# -Replace xx with desired phonebook entry - press # and you will see it on display.


51XX


*#06# -IMEI

*#0000# - Software version

*#92702689#( or *#war0anty#) Enter service mode.

*3370# -Turns on sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

#3370# -Turns off sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

*4720# -Turns on battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy.

#4720# -Turns off battery save mode.

#pw+1234567890+1 -provider lock status

#pw+1234567890+2 -Network lock status

#pw+1234567890+3 -Provider lock status

#pw+1234567890+4 - SimCard lock status


NOKIA 61XX


*#06# -IMEI

*#0000# ;-*#99 99# (Nokia 6130)


*#92702689# (or *#war0anty#) Software versionEnter service mode.

*3370# -Turns on sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

#3370# -Turns off sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

*4720# -Turns on battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy.

#4720# -Turns off battery save mode.


NOKIA8810


*#06# - IMEI

*#0000# -Software version

*#92702689# (or *#war0anty#) Enter service mode.

*3370# -Turns on sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

#3370# -Turns off sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

*4720# -Turns on battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy

#4720# -Turns off battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy



NOKIA99OO


*#06# -IMEI

*#682371158412125# -Software version

*#3283# -Displays week and year of manufacture, ie. 1497 means 14th week of 1997.



NOKIA 911O


*#06# IMEI


*#0000# SOFTWARE VERSION

*3370# Turns on sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

#3370# Turns off sound encoding system - Enhanced Full Rate.

*4720# Turns on battery save mode - saves about 30 % of energy.

#4720# Turns off battery save mode.



NOKIA 81XX


*#06# IMEI
*#8110# Software version
xx# Replace xx with desired phonebook entry - press # and you will see it on display

*#92702689# (or *#warOanty#)

"Warranty code:" - you have to enter one of the following codes:

9268 (OK) displays IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification)

6232 (OK) displays date of manufacture in format MMYY (MM - month, RR - year)


7832 (OK) displays date of purchase

7332 (OK) displays date of repair or upgrade

37832 (OK) sets date of purchase in format MMYY (MM - month, RR - year) - attention: you can set it only once, so beware !!!

87267 (OK) transmits user data/move data do service PC

Modify .exe Files And Crack A Program

1) Don't try to modify a prog by editing his source in a dissasembler.Why?
Couse that's for programmers and assembly experts only. If any of you dumb kids
try to view it in hex you'll only get tons of crap you don't understand.
First off, you need Resource Hacker(last version).It's a resource editor-
very easy to use.

Resource Hacker Version 3.4.0
CODE
http://delphi.icm.edu.pl/ftp/tools/ResHack.zip/

Help File
CODE
http://www.users.on.net/johnson/resourceha...eshack_hlp.zip/


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2)Unzip the archive, and run ResHacker.exe. You can check out the help file too,
if you want to be a guru.
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3)You will see that the interface is simple and clean. Go to the menu File\Open or
press Ctrl+O to open a file. Browse your way to the file you would like to edit.
You can edit *.exe, *.dll, *.ocx, *.scr and *.cpl files, but this tutorial is ment
to teach you how to edit *.exe files, so open one.
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4)In the left side of the screen a list of sections will appear.
The most common sections are: -Icon;
-String table;
-RCData;
-Dialog;
-Cursor group;
-Bitmap;
-WAV.
*Icon: You can wiew and change the icon(s) of the program by double-clicking the icon section,chossing the icon, right-clicking on it an pressing "replace resource". After that you can choose the icon you want to replace the original with.
*String table: a bunch of crap, useful sometimes, basic programming knowladge needed.
*RCData: Here the real hacking begins. Modify window titles, buttons, text, and lots more!
*Dialog:Here you can modify the messages or dialogs that appear in a program. Don't forget
to press "Compile" when you're done!
*Cursor group: Change the mouse cursors used in the program just like you would change the icon.
*Bitmap: View or change images in the programs easy!
*WAV:Change the sounds in the prog. with your own.
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5) In the RCData,Dialog,Menu and String table sections you can do a lot of changes. You can
modify or translate the text change links, change buttons, etc.
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#####

TIP: To change a window title, search for something like: CAPTION "edit this".
TIP: After all operations press the "Compile Script" button, and when you're done editing save
your work @ File\Save(Save as).
TIP: When you save a file,the original file will be backed up by default and renamed to Name_original and the saved
file will have the normal name of the changed prog.
TIP: Sometimes you may get a message like: "This program has a non-standard resource layout... it has probably been compressed with an .EXE compressor." That means that Resource Hacker can't modify it becouse of it's structure.

Remember! This is only a small example of what you can do to executables with Resource Hacker.
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