Archive for October, 2009

WINDOWS XP HIDDEN APPS

To run any of these apps go to Start > Run and type the executable name (ie charmap).

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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 Contro = 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

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Hidden Back-up utility in XP

Posted: October 13, 2009 in Windows XP
Tags: ,
Win XP Tip, Hidden Back-up utility
Insert your windows XP disc into your PC.
Click exit if your installation screen comes up.
Now go too your CD drive in *My Computer*. Right-click and select open.
Choose VALUE ADD\MSFT\NT BACK-UP FILE.
In the *files of type* drop down list be sure that *select all files* is on.
Click on the NTBACK-UP.msi file and click okay.
Click the finish button and now go over too the start button\ALL PROGRAMS\ACCESSORIES\SYSTEM TOOLS\ and there it is now.. BACK-UP FILES…
Great little tool that Microsoft never should have hidden.

Win XP ,

Insert your windows XP disc into your PC.

Click exit if your installation screen comes up.

Now go to your CD drive in *My Computer*. Right-click and select open.

Choose VALUE ADD\MSFT\NT BACK-UP FILE.

In the *files of type* drop down list be sure that *select all files* is on.

Click on the NTBACK-UP.msi file and click okay.

Click the finish button and now go over too the start button\ALL PROGRAMS\ACCESSORIES\SYSTEM TOOLS\ and there it is now.. BACK-UP FILES…

Great little tool that Microsoft never should have hidden.

Why Doesn’t Windows Remember My Folder View Settings?
If you’ve changed the view settings for a folder, but Windows “forgets” the settings when you open the folder again, or if Windows doesn’t seem to remember the size or position of your folder window when you reopen it, this could be caused by the default limitation on storing view settings data in the registry; by default Windows only remembers settings for a total of 200 local folders and 200 network folders.
To work around this problem, create a BagMRU Size DWORD value in both of the following registry keys, and then set the value data for both values to the number of folders that you want Windows to remember the settings for. For example, for Windows to remember the settings for 5000 local folders and 5000 network folders, set both values to 5000.
Here is how:
Follow these steps, and then quit Registry Editor:
1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type BagMRU Size, and then press ENTER.
5. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
6. Type 5000, and then click OK.
AND:
1. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam
2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
3. Type BagMRU Size, and then press ENTER.
4. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
5. Type 5000, and then click OK.
Note:
When you use roaming user profiles, registry information is copied to a server when you log off and copied to your local computer when you log on. Therefore, you may have performance issues if you increase the BagMRU Size values for roaming user profiles.

Why Doesn’t Windows Remember My Folder View Settings?

If you’ve changed the view settings for a folder, but Windows “forgets” the settings when you open the folder again, or if Windows doesn’t seem to remember the size or position of your folder window when you reopen it, this could be caused by the default limitation on storing view settings data in the registry; by default Windows only remembers settings for a total of 200 local folders and 200 network folders.

To work around this problem, create a BagMRU Size DWORD value in both of the following registry keys, and then set the value data for both values to the number of folders that you want Windows to remember the settings for. For example, for Windows to remember the settings for 5000 local folders and 5000 network folders, set both values to 5000.

Here is how:

Follow these steps, and then quit Registry Editor:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

4. Type BagMRU Size, and then press ENTER.

5. On the Edit menu, click Modify.

6. Type 5000, and then click OK.

AND:

1. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam

2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

3. Type BagMRU Size, and then press ENTER.

4. On the Edit menu, click Modify.

5. Type 5000, and then click OK.

Note:

When you use roaming user profiles, registry information is copied to a server when you log off and copied to your local computer when you log on. Therefore, you may have performance issues if you increase the BagMRU Size values for roaming user profiles.

Thumbnail Cache

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[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced]

“DisableThumbnailCache”=dword:00000001

Windows XP has a neat feature for graphic and video files that creates a “thumbnail” of the image or first frame of the video and makes it into an oversized icon for the file. There are two ways that Explorer can do this, it can create them fresh each time you access the folder or it can load them from a thumbnail cache. The thumbnail caches on systems with a large number of image and video files can become staggeringly large. To disable the Thumbnail Cache, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced and find the DWORD “DisableThumbnailCache”. You may need to create this key. A setting of 1 is recommended for systems where the number of graphic and video files is large, and a setting of 0 is recommended for systems not concerned about hard drive space, as loading the files from the cache is significantly quicker than creating them from scratch each time a folder is accessed.

Powertweak application

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xxx.powertweak.com

Powertweak is an application, which acts much like a driver for our chipsets. It optimizes the communication between the chipset and the CPU, and unlocks several “hidden” features of the chipset that can increase the speed of the system. Specifically, it tweaks the internal registers of the chipset and processor that the BIOS does not for better communication performance between subsystems. Supported CPUs and chipsets can see a significant increase in I/O bandwidth, increasing the speed of the entire system. Currently the application supports most popular CPUs and chipsets, although you will need to check the website for your specific processor/chipset combo – the programmer is working on integrating even more chipsets and CPUs into the software.

Priority Tweak

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[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ PriorityControl]

This setting effectively runs each instance of an application in its own process for significantly faster application performance and greater stability. This is extremely useful for users with stability problems, as it can isolate specific instances of a program so as not to bring down the entire application. And, it is particularly useful for users of Internet Explorer, for if a rogue web page crashes your browser window, it does not bring the other browser windows down with it. It has a similar effect on any software package where multiple instances might be running at once, such as Microsoft Word. The only problem is that this takes up significantly more memory, because such instances of a program cannot share information that is in active memory (many DLLs and such will have to be loaded into memory multiple times). Because of this, it is not recommended for anyone with less than 512 MB of RAM, unless they are running beta software (or have some other reason for needing the added stability).

There are two parts to this tweak. First is to optimize XP’s priority control for the processes. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ PriorityControl and set the “Win32PrioritySeparation” DWORD to 38. Next, go into My Computer and under Tools, open the Folder Options menu. Select the View tab and check the “Launch folder windows in separate process” box. This setting actually forces each window into its own memory tread and gives it a separate process priority.

QoS tweak

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QoS (Quality of Service) is a networking subsystem which is supposed to insure that the network runs properly. The problem with the system is that it eats up 20% of the total bandwidth of any networking service on the computer (including your internet connection). If you are running XP Professional, you can disable the bandwidth quota reserved for the system using the Group Policy Editor [gpedit.msc].

You can run the group policy editor from the Run command line. To find the setting, expand “Local Computer Policy” and go to “Administrative Templates” under “Computer Configuration.” Then find the “Network” branch and select “QoS Packet Scheduler.” In the right hand box, double click on the “Limit Reservable Bandwidth.” From within the Settings tab, enable the setting and then go into the “Bandwidth Limit %” and set it to 0%. The reason for this is that if you disable this setting, the computer defaults to 20%. This is true even when you aren’t using QoS.

IRQ Priority Tweak

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[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ PriorityControl]

You will need to create a new DWORD: IRQ#Priority (where # is the number of the IRQ you want to prioritize) and give it a setting of 1. This setting gives the requisite IRQ channel priority over the other IRQs on a software level. This can be extremely important for functions and hardware subsystems that need real-time access to other parts of the system. There are several different subsystems that might benefit from this tweak. Generally, I recommend giving either the System CMOS or the video card priority. The System CMOS generally has an IRQ setting of 8, and giving it priority enhances the I/O performance of the system. Giving priority to the video card can increase frame rates and make AGP more effective.

You can give several IRQs priority, but I am not entirely certain how the system interacts when several IRQs are given priority – it may cause random instabilities in the system, although it is more likely that there’s a parsing system built into Windows XP to handle such an occurrence. Either way, I would not recommend it.

Bootvis Application

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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.

Optimizing Startup Programs [msconfig]

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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.