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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

StartupMonitor by Mike Lin

Description:free utility that runs transparently and notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup. Mike Lin's program to monitor unanticipated changes in startup file.
StartupMonitor.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows or sometimes in the folder C:\Windows\System32 or in a subfolder of C:\ or in a subfolder of "C:\Documents and Settings" - normally c:\windows\ or C:\Program Files\Startup Mechanic\. The file size on Windows XP is 86016 bytes.
There is no description of the program. File StartupMonitor.exe is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run). The program is not visible. The program can be uninstalled in the Control Panel.

StartupMonitor has been tested on Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP

StartupMonitor complements Sysinternal AutoRuns nicely When you choose not to allow a program to register itself, the program's entry becomes disabled in Sysinternal AutoRuns, so you can go back and enable it later if necessary.

Download StartupMonitor 1.02

Note: Use the Stop StartupMonitor shortcut on the start menu. If you lose or delete this shortcut, go to Start > Run and enter: StartupMonitor.exe /kill
Use the Uninstall icon on the start menu, or the Add/Remove Programs control panel. StartupMonitor should shut down automatically when you do this, but it might be a good idea to first manually close it using the directions above.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Windows XP Retirement Postponed, Again

Windows XP has been a huge hit in the netbook market. Microsoft's older operating system is still being more popular with many users than its newer Vista OS. Despite what Microsoft wants to see computer maker's use, the software giant has offered Windows XP alongside Vista since the launch of its newest OS. The software company has announced the retirement date for the XP operating system in the past, which was to have been June of 2008.

So many consumers and computer makers wanted to continue using Windows XP in low cost netbook systems that Microsoft extended the June deadline for retirement. The final cut off date was set to be January 31, 2009 after postponing the June deadline earlier this year.

Vista itself is too resource hungry.
Windows XP has a small enough footprint to install on machines with as little as 4GB of storage space. Granted, the default install of Windows XP Home on the newly-announced Eee PC 4G-X takes up 1.8GB of space, however, OEMs could pick and choose their installation options to duck under the 1GB barrier if they so choose. Software options like nLite already make this a possibility with end-users.

Windows Vista, on the other hand, simply isn't feasible due to its hardware requirements. Vista often struggles on even low-end Pentium Dual Core machines running with only 1GB of RAM. A Celeron-M based machine with 512MB of memory onboard wouldn't do much to provide a pleasant end-user experience in Vista.

"At the low end, Vista's hardware footprint is too large,"

Microsoft has now announced yet another delay in retiring Windows XP to allow Windows XP to ship until May 30, 2009. The catch is that vendors have to submit their XP sales forecasts by January 31, 2009.
Microsoft still says that the next operating system, Windows 7, won’t be offered until late 2009 or 2010.

Much of the issue is with netbooks where the little machines aren’t large enough to offer hardware powerful enough to provide a robust Vista experience.

Disable ReadyBoost and Superfetch(an updated version of Windows XP's prefetche) may help to start Windows Vista faster especially true when you have a large number of applications installed. While ReadyBoost may speed up Vista a tiny bit, it can also slow it down in some instances. It eats up memory for SuperFetch. It just loads programs into memory that are used frequently. It will instantly free up memory needed if you open another program that needs more. As flash drives do have a finite number of writes that can be carried out, ReadyBoost will eventually wear out the drive it uses. Flash memory is slow at sustained transfers, but that its access time is about ten times that of a hard disk. Using a USB drive for swap is not going to significantly increase your performance. (However it works for pre-fetched boot is because flash degrades when written, not when read.)

So as to say by May 30, 2009, Lenovo, HP and all the other big computer manufacturers will no longer be allowed to sell new computers with Windows XP pre-installed. One option is to buy a computer with a business version of Vista rather than a home/consumer version. Microsoft allows computer manufacturers to include a copy of XP on a CD with computers running the business editions of Vista. Those that offer it, may not offer it on every computer. The included XP CD is an "image" of XP, rather than the Windows disc that comes in shrink-wrapped boxes.

There is a price premium for a business version of Vista, you may also may have to pay for the XP image CD. Each hardware manufacturer sets their own pricing. When last checked, Fujitsu was the only company to include Windows XP for free with business editions of Vista. Microsoft however permits new ultra-cheap, ultra-small laptops to run Windows XP, but only the inferior home edition. A third option is to buy a computer with a home version of Vista (they're cheaper), wipe out Vista and install Windows XP the old fashioned way. But, this is may not be easy as there may not be any XP drivers for the hardware in question, in which case the system will not function correctly. If you just want a computer with Windows XP pre-installed, you will still be able to buy one , you just have to buy the computer from what Microsoft calls a System Builder.

Microsoft defines a system builder as "... anyone who assembles, reassembles or installs software on a new or used computer system." A company spokesperson provided a more useful definition: "System Builders (AKA "White Box manufacturers") ... buy software from distributors rather than directly from Microsoft and offer products without a brand name. These are the small companies or mom and pop shops that customize PCs for customers."

It is OEMs then, that are restricted from selling Windows XP, come May 30, 2009.

Maintain XP well until Windows 7 arrives
Windows XP - the OS that won't die
Windows Vista's successor & predecessor
Go from XP to Vista only with 64-bit processor

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Explorer.exe will not load, no icons or task manager

How do get the taskbar and desktop back if Explorer crashes

Intended For
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Windows 2003
Windows 2000
From time to time, Explorer (the application responsible for the taskbar, desktop, and Start Menu) will crash, and the taskbar and all your desktop icons will disappear. Now, there’s a built-in safeguard for this that relaunches Explorer automatically if such a crash is detected, but it doesn’t always work as it’s designed. For example, if you have a separate Windows Explorer window open and the Launch folder windows in a separate process option (in Control Panel -> Folder Options -> View tab) is enabled, and the taskbar disappears, Windows will mistakenly open another Windows Explorer window instead of reinstating your taskbar and desktop. Here's how to get your taskbar and desktop back:

* Close all visible Windows Explorer windows. Other running applications can be left alone.
* Press Ctrl-Alt-Del, and then click Task Manager.
* In the Windows Task Manager application that appears, select New Task (Run) from the File menu.
* Type Explorer and click Ok.


Problem - Explorer.EXE - Application Error

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0150002). Click on ok to terminate the application.

This error can occur if the computer does not complete applying Microsoft Windows Update KB923191, which attempts to fix a security hole relating to ActiveX implementation. The following symptoms occur:

* The computer boots successfully to the login prompt.
* However, only the traditional NT style login prompt is displayed, not the welcome screen.
* On successfully logging in, the user is greeted with the above error.
* On clicking OK, the user is left with a completely blank desktop. Crtl + Alt + Del does not work.
* Neither uninstalling or applying the patch in full appear to resolve the problem.
* Microsoft offer no fix to the problem beyond the usual "reinstall".

The following steps taken were unsuccessful:

* Running a repair reinstall of Windows XP Home SP2.
* Running chkdsk
* Booting the computer into Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking Support, or Last Known Good Configuration.
* Uninstalling the patch via spuninst.exe contained within the C:\Windows\$NtUninstallKB923191$ directory structure.


This problem was repaired by replacing the following two folders from the same folders on another working Windows XP SP2 install (or a parallel install) without the patch having been applied:

* %windir%\WinSxS
* %windir%\SoftwareDistribution
Read/write access must be gained to the drive, which can be done through Microsoft's recovery console, BartPE, or another method.
The failure is almost certainly due to just one file in one of these directories

More specific Solution-
Note: of late a cause for the frequent crashing of Explorer in Windows 2000 and Windows XP has been found by the writer. Please continue below for resolution.

Blank Windows upon bootings-
Press F8 on REstart for SafeMode or Last Known Good Configuration.

Deny Access to all LSASS,EXE 51079.exe, lsass.exe.45064.exe, &
~.exe.152319.exe instances at ZoneAlarm (or any firewall program) popups. The digits may be in any order,

Locate & Delete
lsass.exe.37013.exe instances

Do a search for LSASS.EXE to delete
lsass.exe.45064.exe, LSASS.EXE 51079.exe instances .
(lass.exe are trusted program)

Do a search for .exe. to delete all
~.exe.152319.exe instances .

Right Click undelatable file for Unlocker at Context Menu. Kill its
processes. Proceed to delete manually.

Kill at ZoneAlarm Program control (or any firewall program)
LSASS.EXE 51079.exe

lass.exe are trusted program

Delete all
~.exe.152319.exe instances in Sysinternal AutoRun

Press Ctrl*Alt+Delete to bring up the Windows Task Manager.
Click File for New Task (....Run)
Type Regedit & Press Ok
Do a find & find next for .exe. to delete all
~.exe.152319.exe instances as
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\~.exe.128534.exe
~.exe.128534 and
!\??\C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\~.exe.127923.exe

Run CCleaner-Cleaner & Registry tab and any Registry cleaner program. See here

Shut Down System

Start System

May need to do another restart.

All is well.

Do a system restore

However, if everything else fails, you may have to perform a Windows XP Repair Install

.... or you could try restoring your system to a time just prior to
installing the Windows Updates, as long as you can access the "Safe Mode with
Command Prompt" option from the Advanced Options menu (in order to access the
menu, press the F8 key just before Windows begins to load / directly after
POST). You'll need to log on as the administrator, or a user that has
administrative rights. At the command prompt, type...

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe ...and then press ENTER.

....then just follow the instructions on the screen. Another possibility is
to select the "Last Known Good Configuration" (your most recent settings that
worked) option from the Advanced Options menu.

If all the above does not work follow the post here to eliminate the virus file as described.

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Maintain XP well until Windows 7 arrives

Important notice for users of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3): The support for this product ends April 8, 2014. To ensure that you will receive all important security updates for Windows you need to upgrade to a later version such as Windows 7. May2012 Update Microsoft may not have planned it this way, but XP could end up rivaling NT and 2000 as the version of Windows with the longest lifespan. According to recent news reports, Dell, Lenovo, and other computer manufacturers will continue to sell new PCs running Windows XP well past Microsoft's June 30 cutoff date.

Microsoft itself is going to fast-track Windows 7 to get customers to leapfrog over the unpopular Vista and go directly from XP to the next version.

Eight rules for extending XP's usefulness to 2010 and beyond.

Rule 1: The latest ain't always the greatest. As a rule, older operating systems were designed to work with older software. Unless you need some utterly indispensible feature found only in the latest Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office 2007, stick to the preceding releases. Not only will the senior apps run faster, most of the kinks and bugs have already been worked out of them.

If your hardware and software work fine as is, don't bother upgrading any drivers, either. At the same time, driver upgrades often smooth out minor problems that you've just grown used to.

One way to check for out-of-date device drivers is to use the online scanner from Driver Updates. (Note that using this service requires running an ActiveX component in Internet Explorer.) or resort to Driver Utilities here notable Driver Magician.

Should you discover that one of your drivers is out of date, go to the manufacturer's site to find and download the latest version available (but skip any beta releases). Remember to back up your system before installing the new driver in case it causes problems.

Rule 2: Make an exception for security. Set Rule 1 aside when it comes to your security software and services. Update your virus and spyware definitions frequently. Get the latest security updates for your browser and for QuickTime, Flash, and other media players as well.

Rule 3
: Stay young and beautiful. The last exception to Rule 1 is to make a cautious investment in a handful of utilities that improve and modernize XP. You'll find a number of free and low-cost programs that approximate or even duplicate Vista's best new features without having to invest in a whole new operating system.

Free programs that approximate or even duplicate Vista's best new features
• Shadow copy. Vista's Shadow Copy applet is a file versioning tool that automatically makes backups of older and newer versions of your files while you work. This makes it simple to go back to a previous version of a file.
For a freeware equivalent, try FileHamster, which monitors files and folders you designate, automatically makes backups, and lets you annotate them. It's available from its makers at the Mogware Web site.

• Image-based backup. Neither XP nor Vista Home Premium have Vista Ultimate's tools for making a complete backup image of a disk drive or partition. For those with no budget at all, the freeware program DriveImage XML rates a score of 4.5 out of 5.0 from SnapFiles, an independent download site. But the product does not yet support Vista, if that concerns you. Another option is Acronis True Image version 10 & above Home, which also supports Vista and was given an "A List" rating by PC Pro.

• Faxing. Users of most versions of Windows have long taken faxing capabilities for granted. Unfortunately, this common feature was omitted from Vista Home Premium.Try RKS Fax send faxes from Windows Vista or XP... without a fax machine! (If you are using DSL or CABLE, please read this important information ) Dowload RKS MightyFax.v3.41_XP32bit.rar
*Whole drive encryption. Vista Ultimate comes with BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your data if your computer is hacked or stolen. For a totally free product that's comparable to PGP Desktop Home , check out TrueCrypt. This encryption software garnered the highest rating from SnapFiles, an independent software download site. TrueCrypt also has a "hidden volumes" feature, which lets you create an invisible drive letter within an encrypted volume for even more security. Note that TrueCrypt cannot encrypt the folder that contains Windows.

*Virtual computing. Vista Enterprise and Ultimate include Virtual PC, which lets you run multiple PC-based operating systems within Windows. This can give you backward compatibility with older software, a second environment in which to surf the Web more safely, and more. XP users can download this feature for free directly from Microsoft. Users of other Vista editions other than Enterprise and Ultimate may want to try out the free VMware Player,

*Vista Ultimate and Home Premium have some features that aren't found in Vista Business, Vista Enterprise, and other Windows versions. The most notable omission is multimedia playback, as is found in Windows Media Center. Vista Ultimate and Home Premium also have unique child-access and monitoring tools.
If your computer has a TV tuner card, you can record programs to your hard disc using SageTV Media Center. You can download a 15-day free trial version from the SageTV Web site.
Vista Home Premium and Ultimate come with built-in tools for controlling what Web sites your children can visit, what applications they can launch, and when they can use the computer. Microsoft's tools also provides monitoring, so you can get an activity report showing what your child has been doing with the computer.
Advanced Parental Control & CyberPatrol provides the same tools. These products can restrict instant messaging, the amount of time spent online, the downloading of programs, access to applications, and more. Both products have trial versions that you can install and use for free. If you have ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite it has some parental filtering features built in.
If you need to use a free product, your best bet may be the older (and therefore free) version 3.06 of iProtectYou. It lets you restrict Web sites, chat sessions, e-mails, and instant messaging as well as scheduling when children can use the Internet. iProtectYou Pro Web Filter 8.6.1 commercial version. Another freeware is Parental Filter -Dowbload link

Finally, XP owners who want more of the slick Aero appearance — and other desktop features that are part of every Vista version — free and cheap substitutes abound. For example:

• You can give XP a more modern look and feel by using "skinning" programs, such as StyleXP from TGTSoft or Stardock's WindowBlinds (US $20 each).

• You can add transparency to Windows elements with the free products Transbar, PowerMenu, and TransApps.

• To get Vista's "thumbnail preview" of a window when you hold your mouse pointer over a Taskbar button, check out the freeware product Visual Task Tips.

• Last, but not least, for something approaching the Vista Sidebar in functonality, try Desktop Sidebar or Yahoo's desktop widgets.

Rule 4: Shop carefully for new hardware. If your XP system needs a processor, memory, or other hardware upgrade to keep it from bogging down on your applications, there is no reason why you can't swap out an aging component or add some RAM.

However, since some new components are designed with Vista in mind, make sure the products you buy work as advertised under XP. Check the manufacturers' site for XP driver downloads before you make your purchase, and look for online reviews that mention the products' XP compatibility.

Rule 5: Don't let startup stuff slow you down. It seems like every program you install these days wants to start along with Windows. These auto-start apps are usually represented by an icon in your system tray (the area near your clock). Even if your system has oodles of memory, these little doodads can slow you down without offering any real value.

An excellent tool for finding what gizmos are starting up each time you log into Windows is Autoruns, available from Microsoft (originally from Sysinternals). Simply uncheck the item to disable it from starting, or select an entry and delete it to effect a more permanent removal.

If you can't figure out what a particular startup app does, right-click its entry in the Autoruns window and choose Search Online. This performs a Google search (rather than a Live search, which you might expect). Scour the results to find out whether the program has a legitimate reason for needing to run all the time.

If the Web search isn't helpful in rooting out a program's purpose, check the list of common startup applications maintained by Paul Collins to figure out what's getting started with Windows.

Finally, the free version of WinPatrol can warn you whenever a program attempts to add an item to your startup list.

Rule 6: Save on disk space.

Rule 6: Save on disk space. A problem that plagues nearly all aging systems is the pack-rat syndrome. Just using a PC day to day causes an ever-increasing amount of data to be stored in ever-shrinking disk space. These tips will help you recover some of that precious drive capacity.

* Eliminate hibernation files. XP's hibernation feature stores everything currently in RAM onto your hard disk, which allows you to return to your session more quickly after a period of inactivity. Unfortunately, hibernation needs about the same amount of disk space as your current amount of RAM (for example, 1GB of disk space if you have 1GB of RAM).

If you don't use XP's hibernate feature very often, you can save the space occupied by the hiberfil.sys file: choose Start, Run; type powercfg.cpl; click the Hibernate tab; uncheck Enable hibernation; and click OK.

* Don't let iTunes make you hear double. If you use Windows Media Player to rip CDs to your computer in the Windows Media Audio (.wma) format and then decide to give iTunes a try, beware! iTunes will convert those songs into its Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, resulting in duplicate files for every song iTunes manages. To avoid that, use a single music format (such as .mp3) that all media players can handle.

* Store stuff online. Another way to save on disk space is to transfer files to an online storage service. You may already store your e-mail and photos online. Yahoo's Flickr service lets you store as many photos as you like, but unless you upgrade to a paid account, you'll never be able to see more than the last 100.

Google's Picasa Web albums provide 1GB of free storage. And if you're willing to pay, you can get a whole lot more storage space than that.

Of course, you don't need to limit yourself to mail and photos. A number of sites offer free or low-cost online storage. For example, Mozy gives you 2GB of free storage through its MozyHome service. MozyPro accounts start at U.S. $4.50 per gigabyte per month.

Many sites, including ElephantDrive, and Box, provide only 1GB of free storage. Each service offers larger storage options at varying prices.

Finally, IBackup has economy plans that charge only $1 per gigabyte per month (and less for annual rates). By comparison, the popular Data Deposit Box charges $2 monthly for each gigabyte you use.

* Offload files to a new drive. Even if you've purchased a new hard drive to expand your storage space, you may still be running out of room on your Windows drive. Fortunately, you can move your virtual memory paging file, Internet Explorer cache files, My Documents, and other system files to another drive or partition.

*Offload files to a new drive. Even if you've purchased a new hard drive to expand your storage space, you may still be running out of room on your Windows drive. Fortunately, you can move your virtual memory paging file, Internet Explorer cache files, My Documents, and other system files to another drive or partition.

Rule 7: Keep it clean. It makes no sense to hang onto useless junk files that Windows uses for its own purposes. Fortunately, Windows' own Disk Cleanup tool can clear out this system clutter. Disk Cleanup also removes the outdated restore points created by System Restore that you no longer need. In the Disk Cleanup window, click the More Options tab. Under System Restore, click Clean up and confirm that you want to delete all but the current restore point.

Unfortunately, Disk Cleanup misses certain temp files. To make a little batch file that clears these folders, open Notepad and type the following:

del /s /q "C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"

Replace yourname with the name of the account you've logged into and adjust the drive letter or path as needed. Save the file with a .cmd or .bat extension (for example, killtemp.bat) and put the file or a shortcut to it in your Startup group (Start, All Programs, Startup). This way, it will run each time you log in to your Windows account. Alternatively use freeware CCleaner.

Rule 8. Do your chores
Get into the disk-maintenance habit: make backups, defrag your hard disks, and check them for errors. Fortunately, you can use XP's Scheduled Tasks utility (Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks) to automate or partially automate these chores by setting the program to give you a gentle reminder. See Related Post: Tuning and Optimizing System utility

Use AutoPatcher to preserve the latest Microsoft XP updates in CD for offline updating & should XP updates is no longer available at Microsoft site. This is useful when you need to another clean XP installation. See also Creating a new hybrid installation CD -WinXP Bootable CD.

Included excerpts from Scott Dunn column "Keep XP fresh until Windows 7 arrives"
Related Posts:
Windows XP Retirement Postponed, Again
Windows XP - the OS that won't die
Windows Vista's successor & predecessor
Go from XP to Vista only with 64-bit processor

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creating a new hybrid installation CD -WinXP Bootable CD

Produce a prepatched ("slipstreamed") setup CD
Create your own totally legitimate prepatched copy of XP on CD today.
This method of pre-patching an installation CD is basically the same process software vendors use to produce an updated version of their installation software.

Before you begin, you'll need the following:

1) A legitimate XP setup CD (almost any variation will work: Pro or Home; retail or OEM; full install CD or upgrade CD; etc.)

2) A CD burner, blank CD, and software capable of creating a bootable CD (eg. Nero, Roxio, etc.)

3) About a gigabyte of free space on your hard drive for temporary file storage. (This space can be recovered after you've made your new CD.)

Step One: Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the top level of your hard drive, or to some other suitable location that's easy to get back to.

Step Two: Create a new folder. We'll use this new folder to hold the components of your CD project. You can give it any name, but for clarity, let's call it XPSP3 in this working example.

Step Three: Open the newly created XPSP2 folder. Inside, create three new (empty) folders; name them Root, Boot, and SP3. These folders will house various components that later will be combined into a new, pre-patched setup CD.

Step Four: Put your original, unpatched XP installation CD in the CD drive; copy all of its files and folders to the new "Root" folder you just created in Step Three. (i.e. C:\XPSP3\ROOT )

Step Five: Open the Root folder; you'll see the files that have just been copied from the installation CD. Click to open the Support folder; then click to open the Tools folder inside that. Delete the file named "" inside the Tools folder. (In other words, delete: C:\XPSP3\ROOT\SUPPORT\TOOLS\DEPLOY.CAB )

Step Six: Download the (free) Windows XP Service Pack 3 Deployment Tools

Step Seven: The file you download In Step Six will be Rename this to "" if not, and copy it into the C:\XPSP3\ROOT\SUPPORT\TOOLS\ folder, replacing the "" you previously deleted there.

Step Eight: Download the (free) "Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers" from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Download the file to the C:\XPSP3 folder; or if you downloaded it elsewhere, copy it into the C:\XPSP3 folder. Once it's there, rename the downloaded file (which is named WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe) to "SP3.EXE"

Step Nine: Extract the Service pack files to the SP3 folder: Click Start/Run, and then type this command in the Run box: C:\XPSP3\SP3.EXE /U /X:C:\XPSP3\SP3

Click OK, and the self-extracting SP3.exe file will unpack its contents into the SP3 folder.

Step Ten: Use XP's built-in "Update" tool to apply the SP3 patches to the original XP setup files. Click Start/Run and type the following command in the Run box:


Windows will open an "Updating Your Windows Share" dialog, and will show you the progress of the patching. When it's done, the SP3 patches will be seamlessly integrated with the original XP setup files.

Making your new patched setup files a bootable CD.
Step 11: In addition to the content files, which you created in steps 1-10 above, you also need the actual boot code. The good folks at TackTech, in addition to offering a wealth of information, also make available, free, CD boot code files. Download a copy at ( ~1.34KB) It's a standard ZIP file; open the file and copy the compressed file inside, called "boot.ima" to the folder C:\XPSP3\BOOT you previously created.

Step 12: Start your CD burner utility---

Create a Windows XP CD with slipstreamed SP3 using CDBurnerXP.
For the CD image creation, you have to get nLite, at least version 1.4.5 beta2.[Deployment Tool for the Bootable Unattended Windows ISO(Remove components, integrate hotfixes, drivers and themes. Tweaks, patches...)] It does not only allow you to integrate Service Packs into CDs, but also offer the possibility to apply various modifications, like an integrated CD key. After you downloaded and installed nLite, start the application.

Installed nLite:
*Choose your language, click next.
*Insert your Windows CD. Click “Browse…”.
*Select the drive that contains the Windows XP disc. It should be displayed as typical setup icon.
*Ignore the warning, and in the next dialog select C:\ and create a new folder called “WinXPSP3”. You should have at least 1GB free space left. You may also choose a different location to store the temporary data of course.
*Now nLite will copy all files from the CD to your hard drive. After the process has finished, click “Next”, as well as in the following screen.
*You should now see a page with a lot of buttons on it. Decide for the first one (Service Pack) and last one (Bootable ISO).
*After you pushed them, there should be a green “light” on the left side. Click “Next” again.
If you feel confident enough, you can also explore the other options. For example, if you want to integrate a CD key, choose “Unattended” additonally to “Service Pack”.

*Now you have to specify the location of the Service Pack by clicking on “Browse”. If you didn't download SP3 yet, do it now. Alternatively follow the abovementioned Step 8 -10 for an updated servicepack 3.
*After finding your file, nLite will unpack the Service Pack and apply it to the files temporarily stored on your hard drive. This may take a while. It will not update your operating system. When done, click “Next”.

*Now enter a label for your disc, and select “Make ISO”. nLite will then ask you for a location to store the file. The advantage of making an ISO is that you can burn it as often as you want, or also mount it as virtual drive with applications like Daemon Tools.
*Once it has finished, select “Next”, “Cancel” or whatever you like, we are done with nLite for now.
Next steps

You might want to delete the temporary files, but not the created ISO image of course. Now you can burn the ISO image with CDBurnerXP or test it using a virtual machine.

in this example, Nero Burning ROM:
Download Nero 9 Ultra
Nero 9-System Requirements

Launch Nero Burning ROM and create a new bootable CD compilation. When the compilation properties window comes up, select the Boot tab.

Click the “Image file” radio button and Browse for the image1.bin file which BBIE extracted. Then under Advanced, tick “Enable expert settings”. Change “Kind of emulation” to “No emulation. Make sure that “Load segment of sectors” is set to “07C0” and change “Number of loaded sectors” to 4.
Hit OK, You're almost ready to burn. You already added the boot image files to the project in Step thirteen; now select and add all the files and folders in the C:\XPSP3\ROOT folder to the burn project, and click "Burn to disc."

in this example, Roxio's CD Creator:
Download Roxio.Creator.Ultimate.2009 - How?

Roxio Ultimate System Requirements
Step 13: Select File/New Project/Bootable Disc. When the dialog opens, set Bootable Disc Type: to No Emulation. Click the ">>Advanced" button, and set the Load Segment: to 0x000 and the Sector Count: to 4. Now click "Browse" where the dialog asks you to "locate the image file that contains the bootable image." Browse/navigate to C:\XPSP3\BOOT. Click on the "boot.ima" file you placed there in Step Eleven, and then click "Open" and "OK."

Step 14: Click to File/Project Properties. This opens one dialog with several tabs, and many choices and sub choices. Basically, you use this dialog to set up the new CD to match the characteristics of your original XP setup CD. For example, if your original XP setup CD is an unpatched, retail, full-install version, its volume label is probably "WXPFPP_EN," so that's what you'd enter in the "Volume Label" portion of the dialog box. You can simply check your original CD with Windows Explorer to see the volume label, or you can figure it out from the comprehensive list at

Likewise, set the other features in this dialog to match that of the original setup CD:

File System = Joliet
Physical format of CD = Mode 1: CDROM

Click Advanced, and enter the following:


The remaining default settings are probably OK, but to be sure:

Select "Use original file date."
Select "All Files" under the "File Filter" tab.
Uncheck "Do not add Hidden files" and "Do not add System files."

When you're done, click OK.

Step 15: You're almost ready to burn. You already added the boot image files to the project in Step thirteen; now select and add all the files and folders in the C:\XPSP3\ROOT folder to the burn project, and click "Burn to disc."

Step 16: The final dialog then opens, and offers a few last choices. If they're not already selected, select "Record CD" under "Record Options," and "Disc-at-Once" under "Record Methods." Click OK, and you're done!

Note that the burning software may complain about the "folder depth" being too many levels deep--ignore this warning, as it has no effect on the usability of this CD.

Using a rewritable CD will avoid wasting media, or it works just as well when updating a network install location.

Related Articles: AutoPatcher Comeback

Google: Create a Bootable CD xp

Related Topic: Cutting the fat - XP installs under 700mb

Reducing XP - Laymans guide to "cutting the fat" from Windows XP

Disclaimer - This was all done on my own time, from my own experimentation and a little web searching. I will not be held responsible for any damage done to your machine by this. I will only tell you it has worked for me, but by altering the registry and removing files from your system you can cripple and even destroy your system accidently. If you do this it is entirely at your own risk. This was done mostly for educational and entertainment purposes - If you do not know what you are doing or are afraid of a possible system restore DO NOT FOLLOW THIS GUIDE.

Second note: I'm writing up a simple batch file that will trash all this stuff for you, and a few registry samples, to make this easier. I'll have that done in a few days.


Basically, what we're doing here is removing as much as we can from XP while still maintaining (near)full functionality - Unlike programs such as 98lite we are not removing integrated features such as Internet Explorer. This is mostly a way to trim down on your XP install size. If you, like me, use multiple partitions and perhaps one seperate partition for OS alone, having the physical size of the OS to as small as possible can give you a nice performance boost, and of course make defragging a sub 20 minute process.

First Step: Moving Pagefile and disabling Hiberfile.

If you use hibernation, for the sake of this walkthrough please disable it. If you are not sure if you have it enabled, make sure the ability to see hidden files is enabled (From a folder: Tools --> Folder Options --> View --> Show hidden files and folders), then after it is, check the root of C (or wherever XP is installed) for the file hiberfil.sys. If it is there, hibernation is enabled. To disable it, open the "Power Options" control panel, select the "Hibernate" tab, and un-tick "Enable Hibernation"

Now, to move the pagefile, if it exists on C. You can either do this manually from within the registry, or you can do this from the System control panel, under "Advanced", in the "Performance" section - click the "Settings" button, under that open the "Advanced" Tab, then select "Change" down towards the bottom. Note that after making a change here you will *have* to click "set" before selecting another drive or leaving, or it will not save the change.If you have a seperate partition, move it to that partition (at least for now).If you do not have a seperate partition, make the pagefile as small as possible. On systems with a lot of RAM (512mb+) you can safely disable it for this walkthrough, then reenable it later. If you have less then 512mb, occasionally you can get away with disabling it, but likely you will just need to set it to something small. A system with 384mb RAM can easily get away with setting it to 16mb. Just get it as small as you can.

Restart after this.

Second Step: Removing DLL cache

This involves causing the SFC to stop scanning the dllcache directory, located in \%systemroot%\system32 (typically \Windows\system32), and allowing its contents to be deleted.

This is of course optional. The DLL cache can approach upwards of 200mb compressed data. This directory is where the system file checker stores backups of many "critical" programs and libraries, and constantly compares them to the current existing ones to ensure they are the same. A file-integrity service essentially, that although is not a bad idea in the slightest, especially for shared machines or for people who are known for damaging system files, but one that is quite annoying for tweakers and for those who want to cut the fat. Although maybe it is critical to protect such programs as Notepad and the Media "Tour", it really does go overboard in many cases.

XP Service Pack 1: You can do this without restarting and without patching your SFC library. All you need to do (in order to disable SFC from scanning the dllcache directory) is alter a single registry key. Open up REGEDIT by going to START, then RUN, then typing "regedit".

You'll have to navigate through here to get to where this key is. This one, "SFCDisable", is located here:

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

By default it is set to 0. What you need to do is edit this and change it to "ffffff9d". Change that, click ok, then close regedit.

Now, for all intents and purposes, you should now be able to open the dllcache folder in \%systemroot%\system32 and delete anything you wish at will. I have received a few reports that if you had hotfixes prior to installing sp1 that this may not work! In that case see the next step.

XP Patched or non SP1 - The above may not always work. If "ffffff9d" is changing itself back to 0, you will have to do some hex-editing in order to disable it entirely. You'll have to be a bit more cautious in this one, however other users may want to do this as well as it disables SFC entirely, including all directories in \%systemroot%

1) Make a copy of the SFC_OS.DLL located in \system32

2) Open the copy in a hex editor. I still use an ancient one called PCTOOLS. The WinNT resource kit has one that functions, but of course use whatever you prefer. In this file, you'll need to find two offsets and alter their values.

3) At offset 0xE3B8 and 0xE2B9, change "8BD6" to "9090", save and quit.

4) Make another copy of your original SFC_OS.dll and put it somewhere safe.

5) Now, copy your modified SFC_OS.DLL to \system32 and \system32\dllcache, overwriting the existing ones.

6) You should get a warning about critical files being modified. Click CANCEL at the first prompt, then YES at the next prompt. (Or OK, can't recall)

7) Restart XP

8) Once logged in again, open the above registry entry, and change SFCDisable to 0xffffff9d (you can just type ffffff9d in the dialog) and exit regedit. Now restart XP again and you should be able to trash dllcache to your hearts desire.

Note: Thanks JSIFaq ( ) for information on modifying SFC_OS.DLL

Third STep: Unhiding and uninstalling unneeded applications.

By default, XP hides the ability to uninstall certain programs such as Messanger, Netmeeting, Autoupdate, et cetera, and it hides them well.

Although yes it is true you can often simply delete the directory or executables for these programs, that can lead to problems in the future as XP still believes they are installed.

The better, cleaner method - Is to unhide them. Locate the file \%systemroom%\inf\sysoc.inf and you will see a section called [Components]. This is for the most part all the hidden programs we can easily remove.

At the end of each hidden appline, you will see this: inf,hide,7

To unhide these apps all you have to do is remove the word hide. That's it! An edit / replace all will take care of these with great speed.Now, in your add/remove programs menu (in control panel), under the "Add/Remove Windows Components" you will have a nice lovely assortment of new apps that you will never use in your entire life that you may remove at will. VIA

Related Topics:
Daemon Tools
DVD / CD format: ISO or UDF

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XP no-reformat reinstall technique

Start your PC with the setup CD in a drive, and hit a key when you see "Press any key to boot from CD"-See How To Boot From CD?

Once your PC starts to boot from the CD it will to mention of "Repair" here is " a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console..." but that's not the no-reformat repair/reinstall we are seeking.

The repair option we do want--a nondestructive, no-reformat reinstall--is actually hidden beneath the Setup option, "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER."

So hit Enter, just as if you were setting up Windows afresh and from scratch.
Press F8 to accept the licensing terms and to go on.
Next setup begins to refer to a Repair option. Here, Setup should have found your damaged XP setup, which you can select and then press R to start the nondestructive repair.

Highlight your damaged copy of XP in the list box to select it and press R to start the repair process. The Repair process then selectively deletes system files in the \Windows folder and subfolders and copies undamaged replacement files from the setup CD to their proper locations. The Repair process then works on the current setup's Registry, leaving much of it intact and rebuilding the rest.
The system then needs to reboot and will do so automatically. If your setup CD is still in the drive, remove it so that the system won't try to boot from it.
The first Repair reboot will take longer than normal. Don't be alarmed. Also, don't be alarmed when Setup resumes. Once again, it will appear that you're performing a full, from-scratch setup; there's nothing on-screen to indicate that you're repairing an existing version of XP. But although the setup screens are the same as what you'd see in a full install, it's still a repair process, as will become clearer in a moment.

The first two of the Repair setup screens ask for your language preferences and product key. Enter these normally. Many of the next few Repair screens will also be familiar. The "installing devices" screen, for example, is identical to the one you normally see during a full, from-scratch setup. But Repair is actually retaining much of the current setup's configuration and so will move through these steps faster than in a full setup. The "completing installation" screen means most of the heavy lifting is done, and you're just minutes away from finishing the repair operation. Setup then reboots your PC again, and this reboot will also take longer than usual. This is normal. After the reboot, you'll be brought to an abbreviated version of the "Welcome To Windows" setup pages.

You'll be asked if you want to register and--depending on how badly hosed the previous installation was--you may or may not be asked to reactivate the copy of Windows. Next, the setup software handles the final networking details and then offers a "thank you" screen. In most cases, the system will now reboot for a final time. The Repair is done. It's a normal boot, bringing you to the normal choices for login. if all has gone as planned, the only significant change will be that whatever problem your copy of XP was previously experiencing will now be gone!

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gdiplus.dll which contains libraries for the GDI graphics interface. gdiplus.dll should not be disabled, required for essential applications to work properly..

gdiplus.dll (Microsoft GDI Plus LIbrary) - Details

The gdiplus.dll library is required for windows to operate. It is used by windows when communicating with your video card in order to disaply graphics on screen. If gdiplus.dll is unavailable, windows will not function correctly.

gdiplus.dll is flagged as a system process and does not appear to be a security risk. However, removing Microsoft GDI Plus LIbrary may adversly impact your system.

The Process Server database currently registers gdiplus.dll to Microsoft.

This is part of Microsoft Windows.

Here you can download gdiplus.dll free of charge. The file is compressed so you need an unzip software in order to use the file.
File description: Microsoft GDI, The non vulnerable version! , v. 5.1.3102.1360
arrow Filesize to download: 0.88 mb

gdiplus.dll Error
Replace gdiplus.dll in the System32 folder by copying it over the old version in /System32.

To register the file:
1)Go to Start->Run and copy and paste this line into the box .

regsvr32 gdiplus.dll

2) Run Regsvr32.exe a Windows program task, and it registers programs into your system registry. This will be found in your windows or system32 folder as this is a system file. You can always find the location of regsvr32.exe on your computer by using your Windows search options

Explanation of Regsvr32 usage and error messages

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Reflexive Arcade Alex Gordon PC Game

Alex Gordon is a cat on a mission! Help our fabulous feline travel through five dazzling game worlds as he collects coins, stomps on bad guys and explores every nook and cranny on the way to save his sister from the cunning Monkey King. Alex will have to find the scattered pieces of an ancient amulet before his nemesis will release his sibling, though, so grab your fedora, strap on your satchel and take the leap into this breathtaking side-scrolling adventure!

System Requirements:

OS: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Me,
Windows Vista Memory: 256 MB CPU: P3 600
Download - How?

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Tuning and Optimizing System utility

Yamicsoft WinXP Manager
WinXP Manager is a system utility that helps you optimize, tweak, and clean up Windows XP. It will increase your system speed, improve system security, and meet all of your expectations.
It's compatible with Windows XP SP3 entirely!

Features and Benefits of WinXP Manager

* Information
Get detailed system and all hardware information on your system; helps you to find out the missing Registration codes of Microsoft product; show all detailed information of running processes and threads on your machine; WinXP Manager offers optimization Wizard feature for the user without having any advanced knowledge.

* Optimizer
Tweak your system to improve windows startup and shutdown speed; monitor and free your Physical Memory; tweak your hardware to increase system speed and performance; disable some unnecessary services which start with windows; repairs Internet Explorer and certain other System Components to restore these functions.

* Cleaner
Find out which files or folders engross your disk space and shown with chart; Find and clean junk, unnecessary wallpaper and screen saver files to increase Hard Disk space; Duplicate Files Finder can scan your computer for files with the same size, name and modification time; Registry Cleaner can easily checks your registry and repair incorrectly linked registry entries, automatically remove invalid entries; Registry Defrag rebuilds and re-indexs your registry to reduce application response time and registry access time; smart uninstaller can uninstall and logoff installed programs neatly.

* Customization
Control what is started on Windows startup; edit context menus of mouse Right-Clicking; customize system desktop, menus, toolbar and notifications settings, change Windows logon background; change system icons; custom OEM information; automatically change your desktop wallpaper on background.

* Security
You can improve desktop, menus, control panel, windows logon securities, and enable numerous hidden performance options of system, disable system updates and error reports; hide and restrict to access drives, specify which applications are not allowed to be executed on your computer; encrypt/decrypt and shred files, camouflage folder to hide its content from Windows explorer, change the location of system folders; Privacy Protector can maintain your personal privacy by eliminating the tracks that you leave behind; create lots of randomization password once.

* Network
Optimize your Internet connection speed, manage all shares items, search for and find out opened ports on your system; Tweak your Internet Explorer easily; backup all data in Outlook Express; automatically check the invalid URLs in your favorites and parse domain name; Message Sender can easily send messages to others.

* Misc. Utilities
Show the collection of Windows utilities; control your computer when you're not at home; apply XP visual style to any Windows applications; appoint logging on time of any account users.


Yamicsoft Vista Manager

Vista Manager is a system utility that helps you optimize, tweak, and clean up Windows Vista. It will increase your system speed, improve system security, and meet all of your expectations. It's compatible with Windows Vista SP1 entirely!

Features and Benefits of Vista Manager

* Information
Get detailed system and all hardware information on your system; show all detailed information of running processes and threads on your machine; Vista Manager offers 1-clicking cleans your system automatically.

* Optimizer
Tweak your system to improve windows startup and shutdown speed; tweak your hardware to increase system speed and performance; Optimize Task Schedule to turn off unnecessary system tasks.

* Cleaner
Find out which files or folders engross your disk space and shown with chart; Find and clean junk files to increase Hard Disk space; Duplicate Files Finder can scan your computer for files with the same size, name and modification time; Registry Cleaner can easily checks your registry and repair incorrectly linked registry entries, automatically remove invalid entries; Registry Defrag rebuilds and re-indexs your registry to reduce application response time and registry access time.

* Customization
Control what is started on Windows startup; tune up Vista boot menu; edit context menus of mouse Right-Clicking; customize system desktop, menus, toolbar and notifications settings; automatically change your desktop wallpaper on background.

* Security
You can improve desktop, menus, Windows logon securities, and enable numerous hidden performance options of system, disable system updates and error reports; hide and restrict to access drives, specify which applications are not allowed to be executed on your computer; encrypt/decrypt and shred files, change the location of system folders; Privacy Protector can maintain your personal privacy by eliminating the tracks that you leave behind; create lots of randomization password once.

* Network
Optimize your Internet connection speed, manage all shares items; tweak your Internet Explorer easily.

* Misc. Utilities
Show the collection of Windows utilities; help you find out the installation key of Windows, Office products; shutdown your PC or remind you automatically.

Download Yamicsoft WinXP Manager v6.0.0 - 32 bit

Yamicsoft Vista Manager v2.0.1 - 32 bit
Download Yamicsoft Vista Manager v2.0.1 - 64bit
See also TuneUp Utilities
Registry Medic

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Circumvent admin rights in Vista

Make the safe mode or the CMD promt work :
Open a Elevated Command Prompt in Vista
1. Open the Start Menu.
2. Click on All Programs and Accessories.
3. Right click on Command Prompt and click Run as administrator.
4. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.
1. Open the Start Menu.
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type cmd
4. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.
1. Open the Start Menu.
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type cmd
3. Right click on cmd (at top), and click on Run as administrator.
NOTE: To open a regular non-elevated command prompt window, just click on cmd instead.

Check to make sure that you are right clicking on the CMD shortcut (at
top) in the Start Menu and clicking "Run as administrator" to open a
elevated command prompt. It will not work with just click on CMD by

In Vista programs have to ask for administrative rights (which is more secure because not every program has all rights then). If you want to specify administrative rights to a program,start it by right-clicking it, and choosing "Run as administrator".
Or right-click the program file and click Properties to click Advanced. Claim your administrative rights by selecting your user name.

How to Enable or Disable the Real Built-in Administrator Account in Vista?
In Vista, even though you are using an administrator account, you still run with Standard account privileges. When a program or a action by you tries to run with administrators rights, you must first give it permission before it is allowed. This is the User Account Control (UAC). The hidden real Built-in Administrator Account does not use UAC and is like the one in XP with full rights on your computer. For more information, see: Microsoft Help and Support: KB942956

Go here for more.

Related Post: Windows Vista Annoyances

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Remove shortcut Icon Arrow & Shortcut suffix for new shortcuts

Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons and Shortcut suffix for new shortcuts
Windows XP: Download and install Tweak UI from Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP.

Disable Shortcut Icon Arrow Overlay in Windows Vista:Download a small, free utility from that will easily let you remove the shortcut arrows without having to do any registry patches. Also remove Shortcut suffix for new shortcuts.Download Vista Shortcut Overlay Remover from

Registry Patches:
Get rid of the shortcut arrows
You can get rid of the shortcut arrows in vista by using an old reg tweak that still works: Open up regedit and go to:

Close regedit and reboot - shortcut arrows are gone.*
1. Start regedit.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile (that's a lower case L)
3. Rename 'IsShorertcut' orDelete the IsShortcut registry value in the right pane.

To remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons in any type of document:

a) Perform instructions described under 'Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons'. For your convenience, steps 1 to 3 are reported here.

b) Perform instructions described under 'Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons (2)'. For your convenience, steps 4 and 5 are reported here.

c) And finally, do the same with conferencelink, docshortcut, internetshortcut and wshfile.

So, here is a summary of all actions:

1. Start regedit.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile
3. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

4. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile
5. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

6. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ConferenceLink
7. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
8. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DocShortCut
9. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
10.Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\InternetShortcut
11. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
12. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WSHFile
13. Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

14. Close regedit.


Note : Please note that in some cases deactivating the arrow for *.LNK files might lead to duplicate items in the Explorer Context menu.

How to get rid of "- Shortcut" on Vista shortcuts
get Vista to not append the "- Shortcut" textThis regedit works as it did under XP [paste the following into a .reg file]
Log out then in after clicking.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



1. Start Registry Editor.
2. Locate the following registry key:
3. Modify the data value of the Link value to be 00 00 00 00.

NOTE: For Windows 95, the Link value does not exist by default. Create the Link value as a Binary value, with a data value of 00 00 00 00.
4. Restart the computer.

To implement this change for all users on a computer with user profiles enabled, modify the Link value in the following registry keys:

To restore the "Shortcut to" prefix, delete the Link value.

How to Prevent "Shortcut to" Prefix from Being Added to New Shortcuts

Be careful of any tweak you use for removing those shortcuts.
The standard registry tweak used in XP has some adverse
affects on Vista. Your Favorite Links in Windows Explorer
may no longer work. The Games link on the Start Menu may
no longer open up. Another tweak for removing the arrows,
FxVisor 32, has been reported by some to leave big black
square boxes where the arrows were.

Vista-Remove the arrow (Shortcut Overlay) without side effects (32 & 64-bit)

Most Tweak programs remove the arrows by renaming or removing the
IsShortCut String Values from the registry. Windows uses this value to track
links, if you remove or rename the IsShortCut value lots of programs and
features that use links won't work correctly -> in Vista the shortcuts in
Favorite Links, Media Center and in the Games Explorer disappear or won't work

The files in the zip file below remove the arrows the same way
as TweakUI does in previous Windows versions; it refers the icon to another
icon. If you refer it to a completely blank icon, the overlays turn black when
you restart Explorer or Log Off and Log On again. Solution: I've created a blank
icon with some transparent pixels and with the same sizes as the default arrow
-> no more arrows & no black overlays.

Install: If you used a
program or a reg file that removed the IsShortCut values; merge RestoreArrow.reg
to restore them. Copy Blank.ico to the Windows directory from Vista, so if you
installed Vista on the D drive, copy it to D:\Windows\. Merge RemoveArrow.reg
and Log Off or Restart your Computer.

Windows Vista 64-bit users: Merge
RemoveArrow_[C].reg if you installed Vista on your C drive, Merge
RemoveArrow_[D].reg if you installed Vista on your D drive. If you installed
Vista on another drive, just edit one of the RemoveArrow_[X].reg files so that
it points to the Windows directory of Vista.

Uninstall: Merge
RestoreArrow.reg and remove Blank.ico from your Windows directory.
Log Off
or Restart your computer.

> (
2,87 KB VIA
More Vista Tips

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Vista's fonts

Microsoft introduced a slew of new fonts with Windows Vista and uses one of them, Calibri, as the default font throughout much of Office 2007.

So, if someone sends you a document, and it doesn't look quite right in XP, you probably need one or more Vista fonts. Microsoft has released a compatibility upgrade for older versions of Microsoft office, and within that package they have included finished versions of the new Vista fonts. Go for Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.

Other sources:

Windows Vista Fonts

Microsoft ClearType Fonts (optimized for LCDs)

See here for downloading help.

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Access more memory

Microsoft Developer Network, all non-server 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista impose a memory limit of 4GB. Even if you have 4GB of memory installed in your PC, you may not be able to use it all. For example, if your video card comes with 512MB of memory and you have 4GB of RAM, your system actually has 4.512GB of memory physically installed. But Windows will use only 4GB of that total, regardless.

There are tweaks to improve the way Windows manages memory, freeing up more RAM for your applications.

One method is to use Physical Address Extension (PAE), a feature of x86 processors that lets 32-bit operating systems overcome the 4GB memory limit. 32-bit Windows operating systems support PAE. Even though XP and Vista still cling to the 4GB limit with PAE enabled, the feature may help you get back some of your unused RAM.

Windows relies on the technology to support the security feature known as Data Execution Prevention (DEP). ( See Data Execution Prevention & Boot.ini File) If a computer supports hardware-enforced DEP, then PAE is enabled as well. Here's how to check for it in Windows XP:

Step 1. Choose Start, Run.

Step 2. Type sysdm.cpl and press Enter.

Step 3. Click the Advanced tab. In the Performance box, click Settings and choose the Data Execution Prevention tab.

Step 4. Look for a status message at the bottom of the dialog box. If it indicates that your hardware does not support DEP, chances are PAE is not enabled.

To check your system's PAE status in Vista, do the following:

Step 1. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Type SystemPropertiesDataExecutionPrevention and press Enter.

Step 3. If prompted by User Account Control, click Continue.

Step 4. If the status message at the bottom of the dialog box says your system supports DEP and the "Turn on" button is selected, then PAE is enabled as well.

If PAE is not already enabled on your system, here's how to activate it in Windows XP:

Step 1. Choose Start, Run.

Step 2. Type notepad c:\boot.ini and press Enter.

Step 3. Under the [operating systems] heading, look for a line that contains the /noexecute switch, which turns software DEP. For example, it may be /noexecute=optin, /noexecute=optout, or /noexecute=always on. Place the cursor directly after that switch and type a space followed by /pae. Save the file and reboot.

If you don't have DEP enabled on Vista (or you don't want it enabled), you can still activate PAE by following these steps:

Step 1. Click Start, type cmd.exe and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Step 2. If prompted by User Account Control, click Continue. This opens a command prompt window with administrator privileges.

Step 3. At the prompt, type BCDEdit /set PAE ForceEnable and press Enter.

Some drivers will not load if PAE is enabled. After you make this change, keep an eye on your system. If you have problems with drivers or your system starts acting up, remove the /pae switch from boot.ini in XP, or enter the following command line in an administrator command prompt in Vista:

BCDEdit /set PAE ForceDisable

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Install a dual-boot with Windows XP on new Windows Vista computer

Shrinking the Vista partition down to make room for XP:
Open the Computer Management panel, which you can find under Administrative tools or by right-clicking the Computer item in the start menu and choosing Manage. Find the Disk Management item in the list and select that.

Right-clicking on the main hard drive and choosing Shrink Volume.
Choose the size (Type in) that you want to shrink, which really means you are choosing the size that you want your XP partition to be.
The next step change Drive Letter and Paths.Use D: for the Windows XP partition for easy identification.
Right-click on the device that's invariably taking up D: in the list and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.
Change the drive to use E: by selecting that in the drop-down.
Create a new partition for XP installation and make sure that the drive letter is set the way you want. If you do not create a partition now the XP install will do so automatically, but it's easier and cleaner to do it this way.

Follow through the wizard and select whatever options you'd like, making sure to use D: as the drive letter.
Close out of disk management and reboot your computer.
Open up Computer from the start menu and then right-click on the D: drive and select properties. Give your partition a meaningful name like "XP". It would be useful to name the C: drive to "Vista" at this point as well.
Pop your XP cd into the drive and boot off it. You may have to configure your BIOS to enable booting off the CD drive.
Once you come to the screen where you can choose the partition to install on, then choose either the unpartitioned space or the new partition you created.
When XP is completely installed at this point, and you will no longer able to boot into Windows Vista, so you'll need to use the VistaBootPro utility to restore the Vista boot loader.

Download and install VistaBootPro(Vista Windows Vista Boot Manager - Dual Boot XP - BCD Edit) from vistabootpro.orgDownload and install VistaBootPro from alternative source1
alternative source2
During the install you'll be forced to install the .NET 2.0 framework. Open up VistaBootPRO and then click on the System Bootloader tab. Check the "Windows Vista Bootloader" and then "All Drives" radio buttons, and then click on the Install Bootloader button.

When the Windows Vista bootloader is installed and you'll only be able to boot into Vista, to enable XP boot just click the Diagnostics menu item and then choose Run Diagnostics from the menu.

This will scan your computer and then automatically fill in the XP version.. click on the "Manage OS Entries" tab and then click in the textbox for Rename OS Entry, and name it something useful like "Windows XP" or "The Windows That Works"
Click the Apply Updates button and then reboot your computer… you should see a new boot manager with both operating systems in the list!

Should you get an error saying "unable to find ntldr" when trying to boot XP, you'll need to do the following:

Find the hidden files ntldr and in the root of your Vista drive and copy them to the root of your XP drive.
If you can't find the files there, you can find them in the \i386\ folder on your XP install cd

Windows XP users

1. Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
2. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
3. Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
4. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and pressing enter.
5. You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
6. Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter, which in this case is "e." This letter may be different on your computer.

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy e:\i386\ c:\

7. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

Important reminder: Windows XP will be installed on the D: drive, even in Windows XP… so you'll need to keep that in mind when tweaking your system. NB. In Windows XP, its drive may be shown on E instead but when configuring in VistaBoot "Manage OS Entries", be sure to select "D" for booting Windows XP.

You can share information between the drives, but recommended not to mess with the other operating system's partition too much… it might screw up your files. What is recommended that you store most of your files on a third drive shared between the operating systems… you could call that partition "Data".

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Firefox is still safer

Firefox is still safer even though Microsoft patches IE.

Internet Explorer's latest security vulnerability, the so-called XML exploit released on Dec. 17. IE flaws cry out for switch to Firefox to avoid similar weaknesses that are certain to be discovered in IE in the future.

There's no easy way to secure IE against similar flaws that will inevitably be discovered and used by hackers to their advantage in the future. For this reason —
the simple solution is to use a different browser, such as Firefox, with a few easy customizations that allow you to switch to Microsoft's browser only for sites that absolutely require IE.


Foxit Phantom x32 & x64 v1.0.1.0901
(Foxit Phantom is a business ready PDF toolkit, with everything)

* Step 1: Switch to Firefox, Opera, Chrome, or another contender and configure it to be your default browser. Use IE only to visit sites that require Microsoft-specific technology — probably because they rely on ActiveX to function. (For example, you need to use IE to download patches at the Windows Update site.) Firefox is recommended because of the numerous add-ons available for that browser.

* Step 2: Install the Firefox add-ons known as User Agent Switcher (see UAS's download page) and IE Tab (download page).

User Agent Switcher lets you change your browser's identity. If a Web site demands the use of IE but actually works fine with other browsers, you can change the name of the operating system and browser the site thinks you're using. Many "IE only" sites render perfectly well in Firefox and other browsers.

IE Tab lets you open a site in a new Firefox tab that's driven by IE's rendering engine. This allows sites requiring ActiveX or other IE-only components to work in the same way they do in IE itself.

Unfortunately, using the IE rendering engine in a Firefox tab leaves your PC just as susceptible as it would be if you'd opened an IE window in the first place. Use this technique with caution and only with sites you feel are very unlikely to be hacked, such as

* Step 3: For added security, install the NoScript plug-in, which disables JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight, and other "active content" (see NoScript's download page). Because most Web sites of any complexity use JavaScript for menus and other functions, place in the utility's "whitelists" sites such as and that are unlikely to try to run malicious scripts on you.

* Step 4: Open an Internet Explorer window and set the security level of IE's Internet zone to High. To do this, click Tools, Internet Options, Security. Choose the Internet zone in the box at the top of the dialog and move the slider control below it to High. Note that this setting will cause many sites you haven't added to IE's Trusted Sites zone to render incorrectly or display error messages.

* Step 5: If for some reason you can't install Microsoft's Dec. 17 IE patch, for workarounds, adjust Access Control Lists by using Registry scripts in an file you can download from Microsoft. (see link 1) (see link2)

Be aware that some of the workarounds Microsoft recommends can have unexpected side-effects.

If you need any more evidence that weaknesses in IE can be rapidly used by hackers, take a look at a wiki page provided by the Shadowserver Foundation, a security group that lists sites known to be infecting unsuspecting visitors. IMPORTANT: Do not visit any of the sites on the list, even if you think your browser is secure — these sites are or were infectious.

The point is that thousands of sites became carriers within days. (The Press Association quotes Trend Micro as saying more than 10,000 sites were compromised by Dec. 16.) If you use a URL filtering system or block list, you should add the sites cited by Shadowserver to prevent access — at least until all your machines are patched or a specific site is proved to be clean.
Excerpts from Mark Joseph Edwards write-up.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to access a user Startup folder in Vista?

C:\Users\Profile Name Here\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

The "All Users" startup is now replaced by this: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Right clicking on the Start button, left clicking Explore takes you to C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. The Startup folder is there.

Right clicking on the Start button, left clicking Explore All Users opens up the start up folder for all users.

Related Post: Windows Vista Annoyances

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Change Vista's default action for the Shutdown menu Sleep

When you put Windows Vista to Sleep and turned off the power, you start your computer and receive the message "Windows Shutdown abnormally". The default action for Vista's Shutdown dialog box is Sleep.

Microsoft figures they can hide the fact that new version of Windows takes longer to shutdown and longer startup, by keeping the power on and a large portion of the operating system in memory.

To change Vista's default Start menu Shutdown to actually "Shutdown", go to Control Panel's "System and Maintenance" group, select Power Options. In the Power Options utility, in the list of "Preferred plans", under the name of the plan with it's radio button set, click on the "Change plan settings" link. In the Change settings for the plan: ... dialog box which appears, click on the "Change advanced power settings" link. In the Power Options dialog box which appears, expand the "Power buttons and lid" branch, and then expand the "Start menu power button" and in the drop-down list of options that appears, select "Shut down". Click on the [Apply] button, then click on the [OK] button. Close the Change settings for the plan: ... dialog box.
Related Post: Windows Vista Annoyances

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to extract a soundtrack from a movie

Use Free Video to MP3 Converter to extract audio from video files (*.avi, *mpg, *.mpg, *.mp4, *.wmv, *.asf, *.mov, *.qt, *.3gp, *.3g2, *.amv and *.flv) and save it as MP3. You can convert the whole file to MP3 or just a partition of a movie.

Free program, no spyware or adware. It's absolutely safe to install and to run!

Step 1. Download Free Video to MP3 Converter
Step 2. Launch Free Video to MP3 Converter
Step 3. Select Input Video Files
Click the upper Browse... button to select an input file(s) from your computer.
Step 4. Select Output Location
Click the bottom Browse
Step 5. Set MP3 Tags
Click the MP3 tags
In the MP3 Tags window specify the track number, title, artist and other parameters as you want.
Step 6. Select Output MP3 Profile
In the list of Presets select one of the available pre-configured MP3 presets
Step 7. Trim Video
Click the Trim video
Use navigation line and special buttons to set a start and end selection markers position.
Step 8. Extract Audio from Video to MP3
Click the Convert button

Download Free Video to MP3 Converter

Current version

Related Post:
Pazera Free Audio Extractor

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

How to maintain XP after Microsoft ends support

XP lovers may still be able to buy a new PC with that operating system installed for another year or so, but unfortunately, Microsoft plans to end most free support for the OS within months. The vast majority of more than 1 billion computers run Windows XP in use worldwide by the end of 2008 as projected. Some 68 percent of the client computers in use around the world use XP. Vista represents just over 19 percent of the worldwide PC market. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tells users that staying with XP until Windows 7 ships late next year is a viable option. XP's huge installed base helps to ensure that hardware and software companies are continuing to support their existing XP users while also making sure their new products will work with the OS. For now, anyway, losing the support of third-party vendors is far from the biggest threat facing anyone who sticks with XP.

XP will reach the end of mainstream support on Apr. 14, 2009, despite the fact that Service Pack 3 for XP was released just last spring. (XP first shipped in late 2001, so the end of its mainstream support is coming more than two years later than is typical — a testament to XP's popularity.) After April 2009, XP moves into the extended-support period, which is expected to last through Apr. 8, 2014. Under extended support, if you encounter problems installing a security patch or other critical fix, tech support will help you free of charge. Any other help from Microsoft tech support, however, will be on a pay-per-incident basis.

Dell Computer says it will sell systems with XP as a downgrade option through 2009 and possibly longer. If you bought a new PC with XP preinstalled, it's important to note that you must contact your PC maker for all support.

Useful XP support sites: Microsoft's XP newsgroups , TechArena community, BoardReader, and AllExperts.

Listings for Microsoft user groups are available at the Microsoft Mindshare site.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eliminate XP's Low Disk Space Notification alert

Start the Registry Editor by selecting Run from the Start menu, typing regedit in the Open text box, and clicking OK. When the Registry Editor opens, navigate through the left pane until you get to:

HKEY CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Add it if the value doesn't exist. Select New | DWORD Value from the Edit menu. The new value will appear in the right pane, prompting you for a value name. Type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks and press [Enter]. Make sure you don't separate each word with a space—it's one long variable name.

Double-click the new value. You'll then see the Edit DWORD Value screen. Enter a value of 1 in the Value Data field and click OK.

When you're done, close Regedit. Your registry changes will be saved automatically. Reboot your workstation.

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Hide Drives and Partitions

Method 1-
Go to:
a)Control Panel
b)Administrative Tools
c)Computer Management/Disk Management
d)On Disk Management choose & left click drive you wish to hide, and right click on drive, and then left click on Change Drive letter and paths, then click on remove.(this removes drive letter...)

Method 2- DOS
1. Go to Start > run > type "diskpart".
A DOS window will appear with following discription.

2. Then type "list volume"

The result will look like : ------

Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
--------------- --- -------- ---- ------ ---- ------ ----

Volume 0 F CD-ROM
Volume 1 C Window_XP NTFS Partition 7000MB Healthy System
Volume 2 D Softwares NTFS Partition 8000MB Healthy
Volume 3 E Songs NTFS Partition 8000MB Healthy

3. Suppose u wanna hide drive E then type "select volume 3"

Then a message will appear in same winwods { Volume 3 is the selected volume}

4. Now type "remove letter E"
Now a message will come { Diskpart Removed the Drive letter }
sometime it requires the reboot the computer .

Diskpart will remove the letter .Windows XP is not having capabilty to identify the unkown volume.

Your Data is safe now from all unauthorised users.
To access the content of hidden Drive repeat the process mentioned above. But in 4th step replace " remove" to "assign"
i mean type "assign letter E"

Method 3- Registry

For Win NT, 2000, and XP you can use the following Registry edit:

*Be sure to back up the Registry before proceeding

Open the Registry Editor by going to Start/Run and typing in "regedit" (without the quotes). Find your way to...


Click on "Explorer".

Double-click the "NoDrives" key in the right column. If you don't find a "NoDrives" registry key, just right-click in the right pane and choose "New/DWORD Value" then name the key "NoDrives".

You'll see a value like "0000 00 00 00 00". This is where the fun starts. The four sets of double zeros (after the "0000") are where you'll enter the values for the drive/partitions. Now, stay with me on this—it's not as complicated as it sounds:

The first column is for drives A-H, the second for I-P, the third for Q-X, and the fourth for Y-Z.

The values for each drive are as follows:

1 - A I Q Y
2 - B J R Z
4 - C K S
8 - D L T
16 - E M U
32 - F N V
64 - G O W
80 - H P X

So, let's say you want to hide drive D. In the first column you would put "08". For drive K you would put "04" in the second column.

But what if you want to hide more than one drive in a column? Simply add the values together: D+E = 8+16 = 24. So in the first column you would put "24".

Method 5-
The easiest way with Win XP is to use the TweakUI power toy from Microsoft. Go to Start/Run and type in "tweakui" (without the quotes).

Go to My Computer/Drives and uncheck the drive/partition(s) you want hidden. Click "Apply" or "OK" when finished.

If you have XP but not Tweak UI you can download it here...
Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP

Method 6-

Another way to do it is using the gdisk.exe(DOS) or gdisk32.exe(windows) from ghost, with this method, windows users only can delete the partition, can not see it. Files attached here; Also, this is the link for syntax switches: Switches: GDisk and GDisk32 for Norton Ghost 2003

- Run gdisk32 to check all your drive and partition #. It does not use drive letter.
Ex: you want to hide drive E (say 3rd(last) partition on your 2nd drive):
gdisk32.exe 2 /hide /p:3

* To unhide it:
gdisk32.exe 2 /-hide /p:3

* Another way to hide it is with WinPE bootup CD, using diskpart, with this windows users CAN NOT do anything with it but you have to partition it in special way; also, you only can retrieve it in WinPE bootup environment, so it only useful for storing real secret files.

BartPE (Bart`s Preinstalled Environment) enables you to boot from a CD-Rom and have full read/write access to NTFS volumes - you can move or delete files, execute programs and perform other tasks, even if your Windows 2000/XP/2003 operating system will not boot properly. It offers a graphical interface and comes bundled with several free utilities and you can add your own tools when you create the CD. BartPE will initially run on your PC and gather the files it needs to create a bootable Windows CD/DVD and then create the disc for you or save it as an ISO image.
BartPE vs. Windows PE?

* BartPE is not supported by Microsoft. Windows PE is an official Microsoft product.
* BartPE has a graphical user interface. Windows PE has a command line interface.
* The tools needed to make a BartPE installation are free software. Windows PE is available only to Microsoft OEM users.
* BartPE allows unlimited custom plugins. Windows PE has a limited range of plugins options.

Take the example above:
Boot up in WinPE environment
sel disk 2
sel part 3
create partition primary id=12
assign letter=z

-This script will create the EISA partition, assign drive letter z to it. Too inconvenient to access to it,
-Search for diskpart syntax b4 using this method.

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