Revert to Default Folder Icon in Windows

You may see the “pretty” icons in user folder keep turning back into regular folder icons, and what we can do to fix it?

The icons that are displayed on the folders are set through the hidden desktop.ini file inside of each folder. The problem is that a lot of applications seem to screw with this file and cause it to become corrupted or otherwise unusable. What we’ll do here is just reset the offending file to the default values that I’ve listed here.

To open the desktop.ini file, you’ll need to paste this command into the start menu search or run box, which will open the music folder’s desktop.ini file.

notepad “%USERPROFILE%\music\desktop.ini”

Select the entire contents of the file and delete it, replacing the contents with the default values that I’ve listed below. (You only need to pick the one that matches the folder you are trying to edit)

Contacts

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%CommonProgramFiles%\system\wab32res.dll,-10100
InfoTip=@%CommonProgramFiles%\system\wab32res.dll,-10200
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-181

Desktop

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21769
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-183

Documents

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21770
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-112
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-235

Downloads

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21798
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-184

Favorites

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21796
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-115
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-173

Links

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21810
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-185
DefaultDropEffect=4
[LocalizedFileNames]
Public.lnk=@shell32.dll,-21816
Searches.lnk=@shell32.dll,-9031
Recently Changed.lnk=@shell32.dll,-32813
Music.lnk=@shell32.dll,-21790
Pictures.lnk=@shell32.dll,-21779
Documents.lnk=@shell32.dll,-21770

Music

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21790
InfoTip=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-12689
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-108
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-237
[LocalizedFileNames]
Sample Music.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21806

Pictures

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21779
InfoTip=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-12688
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-113
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-236
[LocalizedFileNames]
Sample Pictures.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21805

Saved Games

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21814
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-186

Searches

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-9031
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-18
[LocalizedFileNames]
Indexed Locations.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32811
Everywhere.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32814
Shared By Me.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32802
Recent Music.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32803
Recent Documents.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32804
Recent Pictures and Videos.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32806
Recent E-mail.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32807
Recently Changed.search-ms=@shell32.dll,-32813

Videos

[.ShellClassInfo]
LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21791
InfoTip=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-12690
IconResource=%SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll,-189
IconFile=%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll
IconIndex=-238
[LocalizedFileNames]
Sample Videos.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21807

Note that you will need to logout and back in to see the changes, or you could just restart explorer.exe if you are feeling ambitious.

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NETSTAT

The netstat utility displays open ports on a machine or the ports which are in use, it’ a utility but not a port scanning tool, so don’t get confused here  🙂
On widnows open command prompt and type
C:’WINDOWS>netstat -an |find /i “listening”
TCP 0.0.0.0:135 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:445 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:1025 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:1084 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:2094 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:3389 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 0.0.0.0:5000 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENINGYou can collect all the output in a file by redirecting it using the following command;

netstat -an |find /i “listening” > c:’openports.txt

In order to find out the ports to which your machine has established the connections you need to replace “listening” to “established”

You may get a similar output which would be as follows;

C:’WINDOWS>netstat -an |find /i “established”
TCP   192.168.0.100:1084   192.168.0.200:1026   ESTABLISHED
TCP   192.168.0.100:2094   192.168.0.200:1166   ESTABLISHED
TCP   192.168.0.100:2305   209.211.250.3:80   ESTABLISHED
TCP   192.168.0.100:2316   212.179.112.230:80   ESTABLISHED
TCP   192.168.0.100:2340   209.211.250.3:110   ESTABLISHED

Additional info about the netstat command;

NETSTAT [-a] [-b] [-e] [-n] [-o] [-p proto] [-r] [-s] [-v] [interval]

-a            Displays all connections and listening ports.
-b            Displays the executable involved in creating each connection or
listening port. In some cases well-known executables host
multiple independent components, and in these cases the
sequence of components involved in creating the connection
or listening port is displayed. In this case the executable
name is in [] at the bottom, on top is the component it called,
and so forth until TCP/IP was reached. Note that this option
can be time-consuming and will fail unless you have sufficient
permissions.
-e            Displays Ethernet statistics. This may be combined with the -s
option.
-n            Displays addresses and port numbers in numerical form.
-o            Displays the owning process ID associated with each connection.
-p proto      Shows connections for the protocol specified by proto; proto
may be any of: TCP, UDP, TCPv6, or UDPv6.  If used with the -s
option to display per-protocol statistics, proto may be any of:
IP, IPv6, ICMP, ICMPv6, TCP, TCPv6, UDP, or UDPv6.
-r            Displays the routing table.
-s            Displays per-protocol statistics.  By default, statistics are
shown for IP, IPv6, ICMP, ICMPv6, TCP, TCPv6, UDP, and UDPv6;
the -p option may be used to specify a subset of the default.
-v            When used in conjunction with -b, will display sequence of
components involved in creating the connection or listening
port for all executables.
interval      Redisplays selected statistics, pausing interval seconds
between each display.  Press CTRL+C to stop redisplaying
statistics.  If omitted, netstat will print the current
configuration information once.

Outlook express settings

1) In Microsoft Outlook Express, select Tools > Accounts.
2) Select the “Mail” tab in the Internet Accounts window and click “Add.”
3) Enter you full name and click Next.
4) Enter your e-mail address and click Next. “user@domain.com”
5)  On the E-mail Server Names window, enter your information as follows:

My incoming mail server is a
POP3 server
Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP or HTTP) server
mail.domain.com
Outgoing mail (SMTP) server
mail.domain.com

Click Next.
6) Enter your e-mail address “@”for your account name and enter your password “”. Click Next.
7) Click Finish.
8) Select the mail account you just created and click “Properties.”
9) In the Properties window, select the Servers tab.
10) At the bottom of the window, select “My server requires authentication.”
11) Select the “Advanced” tab and Select “Leave a copy of message on server”.
Click Apply and Ok.
Then Try to send and receive the mails.

Please use SMTP port 26 If this fails use port 25 as most ISP’s do block ports usually.

Trojan horse

The term comes from the a Greek story of the Trojan War, in which the Greeks give a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering. But after the Trojans drag the horse inside their city walls, Greek soldiers sneak out of the horse’s hollow belly and open the city gates, allowing their compatriots to pour in and capture Troy.

A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.

The seven main types of Trojan horses are:

* Remote Access Trojans
* Data Sending Trojans
* Destructive Trojans
* Proxy Trojans
* FTP Trojans
* security software disabler Trojans
* denial-of-service attack (DoS) Trojans

For example, you download what appears to be a movie or music file, but when you click on it, you unleash a dangerous program that erases your disk, sends your credit card numbers and passwords to a stranger, or lets that stranger hijack your computer to commit illegal denial of service attacks.

Measures:-

1.Disconnect your computer from the Internet
Depending on what type of Trojan horse or virus you have, intruders may have access to your personal information and may even be using your computer to attack other computers. You can stop this activity by turning off your Internet connection. The best way to accomplish this is to physically disconnect your cable or phone line, but you can also simply “disable” your network connection.

2. Back up your important files
At this point it is a good idea to take the time to back up your files. If possible, compile all of your photos, documents, Internet favorites, etc., and burn them onto a CD or save them to some other external storage device. It is vital to note that these files cannot be trusted since they are still potentially infected.

3. Install an anti-virus program and scan your machine
Since your computer is infected with an unknown malicious program, it is safest to install an anti-virus program from an uncontaminated source such as a CD-ROM. You will have to visit your local computer or electronics store to a purchase the software. There are many to choose from, but all of them should provide the tools you need.

After you install the software, complete a scan of your machine. The initial scan will hopefully identify the malicious program(s). Ideally, the anti-virus program will even offer to remove the malicious files from your computer; follow the advice or instructions you are given.

If the anti-virus software successfully locates and removes the malicious files, be sure to follow the precautionary steps in Step 7 to prevent another infection. In the unfortunate event that the anti-virus software cannot locate or remove the malicious program, you will have to follow the next steps.

4. Reinstall your operating system
If the previous step failed to clean your computer, the only available option is to reinstall the operating system. Although this corrective action will also result in the loss of all your programs and files, it is the only way to ensure your computer is free from backdoors and intruder modifications. Before conducting the reinstall, make a note of all your programs and settings so that you can return your computer to its original condition.

It is vital that you also reinstall your anti-virus software and apply any patches that may be available.

5. Restore your files
If you made a back up CD in Step 3, you can now restore your files. Before placing the files back in directories on your computer, you should scan them with your anti-virus software to ensure they are not infected.

6. Protect your computer
To prevent future infections, you should take the following precautions:

• Do not open unsolicited attachments in email messages.

• Do not follow unsolicited links.

• Maintain updated anti-virus software.

• Use an Internet firewall.

• Keep your system patched.

Removal:
http://www.sophos.com/support/disinfection/trojan.html
http://www.simplysup.com/tremover/details.html
http://anti-trojan-horse.qarchive.org/
http://onecare.live.com/standard/en-us/virusenc/

Remove Backdoor SDBot.H Trojan:
http://www.pchell.com/virus/sdbot.shtml

RemoveWin32.Startpage.C:
http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/virusinfo/virus.aspx?id=35839

Installing XP after Vista is installed

Some of you may have purchased systems that came with vista pre-installed. If you want to run an older operating system such as XP or win2k [and you do not want to have to reinstall vista] then you might be interested in this guide. Note to do this you must have a vista install DVD.

I have just finished installing a dual boot; win2k and vista where vista was installed first and win2k added after. This is quite easy and does not require any third party app.

Prior to beginning this task, make a complete backup of your system. I use and recommend Acronis True Image for this task. In addition do make sure that win2k/xp has drivers available for your hardware. This is especially important if you have a laptop. If there are no drivers available, you are wasting your time.

To start we need to create a partition in which to install win2k/xp. Open disk management; start>run and type in “diskmgmt.msc” without quotes. Hit enter; this brings up disk management. Right click your drive and choose shrink from the menu. I would make the partition approx 10gig for win2k and 15-20gig for XP [depending on how much software you are going to install] Once you have completed the shrink process, create a partition and format with NTFS. [Using disk management] At this point you new partition has been assigned the next available drive letter. I like drive letters in order so I use disk management to reassign the drive letters for the optical drives so I can assign drive letters sequentially for the hard disk partitions. With the new partition now labeled D and optical drives following, it is now time to install our older operating system.

Boot with your win2k/xp CD [CD set as first boot device in the bios] Select the “D” partition as to where you will install. I will not go into detailed instructions as to how to install win2k or xp; there are many guides on the web for this purpose. Complete the install. At this point, vista will no longer boot; we need to repair the boot sector and vista’s boot configuration files. Boot into win2k/xp and open a command prompt; start>run>cmd and hit enter. We will now use Bootsect.exe to restore the Vista MBR and the boot code that transfers control to the Windows Boot mgr app.

Insert your vista dvd into the drive; cancel window that may autorun. Type this in
Drive:\boot\ Bootset.exe /NT60 All hit enter
In this command drive is the drive where the Vista install DVD is located.

Next we will use Bcdedit.exe to manually create an entry for win2k/xp

Type Drive:\windows\ system32\ Bcdedit /create {ntldr} –d “Description for earlier Windows” hit enter.
Note in this command drive is where you have vista installed; most likely “C” The description can be whatever you want ie Windows 2000, Windows XP, etc.

We now will set the active partition. Note in this command drive is the letter for the active partition; again most likely “C”
Drive:\Windows\ system32\ Bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=X: hit enter Again this is most likely C not X.

Drive:\windows\ system32\ Bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr hit enter
Drive:\windows\ system32\ Bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} –addlast hit enter.

Now restart the system and you will have the vista boot menu giving you the choice of operating systems.

10 Windows XP tips and tools to simplify your work

 

Launch System Restore from a command prompt in Windows XP

If your Windows XP system begins acting strange, a typical fix is to use System Restore to remove any system changes made since the last time you created a Restore Point. However, what if the problem is so bad that you can’t start Windows XP normally—or even start the system in Safe Mode?

The good news is you can run System Restore from a command prompt. Here’s how:

1. Restart your computer and press [F8] during the initial startup.

2. When you see the Windows Advanced Options Menu, select the Safe Mode With A Command Prompt option.

3. Select the Windows XP operating system.

4. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.

5. Type the following command at a command prompt:

C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

When you see the System Restore window, the graphics may look odd, but you can still follow the onscreen instructions to restore your computer to an earlier state.

Speed up Windows XP’s Search Companion

One reason that Windows Vista’s Search tool is so fast is that instead of searching your whole hard disk, it searches only the Documents folders. So the next time that you pull up Windows XP’s Search Companion, click All Files And Folders and select My Documents in the Look In drop-down list. This prevents the Search Companion from searching the entire hard disk.

If you want to search documents stored in the root folder, you can still speed up the process by removing system folders from the search. Click All Files And Folders, open the More Advanced Options panel, and clear the Search System Folders check box. If the Search Hidden Files And Folders check box is selected, clear it too.

If you have a lot of ZIP files (or compressed folders, as Windows XP calls them) on your hard disk, the Search Companion will search through each of those as well, albeit more slowly. To prevent the Search Companion from searching through compressed folders, either move all your compressed folders to the root folder and then configure the Search Companion to search only the My Documents folder or disable Windows XP’s support for compressed folders.

It’s not unusual to use System Restore to fix strange Windows XP system behavior—but depending on how damaged your system seems to be, you may need to call for more advanced measures. Here’s how to launch System Restore from a command prompt.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

There’s lots of buzz about Windows Vista’s speedy search features, but what can you do to speed up Windows XP’s Search Companion? Here’s how to optimize your search with speed in Windows XP.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional. Also remember that editing the registry is risky; so be sure you’ve performed a full backup

One reason that Windows Vista’s Search tool is so fast is that instead of searching your whole hard disk, it searches only the Documents folders. So the next time that you pull up Windows XP’s Search Companion, click All Files And Folders and select My Documents in the Look In drop-down list. This prevents the Search Companion from searching the entire hard disk.

If you want to search documents stored in the root folder, you can still speed up the process by removing system folders from the search. Click All Files And Folders, open the More Advanced Options panel, and clear the Search System Folders check box. If the Search Hidden Files And Folders check box is selected, clear it too.

If you have a lot of ZIP files (or compressed folders, as Windows XP calls them) on your hard disk, the Search Companion will search through each of those as well, albeit more slowly. To prevent the Search Companion from searching through compressed folders, either move all your compressed folders to the root folder and then configure the Search Companion to search only the My Documents folder or disable Windows XP’s support for compressed folders.

To disable this support, access the Run dialog box, type the command regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll in the Open text box, and click OK. You’ll need to restart the system for the change to take effect. (To re-enable Windows XP’s support for compressed folders, use the command regsvr32 zipfldr.dll.)

What if the Search Companion is disabled?

If you’ve disabled Windows XP’s Search Companion interface and are using the Windows 2000 Search interface instead, you’ll need to make the following adjustments to this tip:

To search My Documents, select My Documents from the Look In drop-down list.

To remove system folders from the search, click Search Options, select the Advanced Options check box, and then clear the Search System Folders check box. (If the Search Hidden Files And Folders check box is selected, clear it too.)

To prevent the searching of compressed folders, you can use the same technique as you would for the Search Companion

Working with multiple Windows XP computers from the same screen? Clear up potential confusion by using BGInfo, or Background Information. Here’s a look at the benefits of this free program.

Keep track of multiple Windows XP computers with BGInfo

Do you regularly work with multiple computers using a Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switch? If so, you know that it’s easy to get confused about which computer you currently have on the screen. Of course, you can find out on your own, but doing so takes several steps and can be distracting—especial ly if you’re in the middle of an important or lengthy task.

Fortunately, there’s a solution in a program called BGInfo, which is short for Background Information. When Microsoft acquired Sysinternals, it also acquired a whole library of cool little utilities that fall along the lines of Microsoft’s own PowerToys, and BGInfo is one of them.

Once installed, BGInfo displays relevant information about a computer on the desktop’s background. For example, you can configure BGInfo to display the computer name, IP address, service pack version, boot time, amount of free space, and much more. You can even choose the font and background color.

You can download BGInfo from Microsoft’s TechNet site. You’ll also find detailed instructions on how to install and use BGInfo.

Remove clutter with Windows XP SP2’s Duplicate Finder tool

Even if you’re a conscientious computer user (i.e., you regularly delete unnecessary files, empty the Recycle Bin, and run Disk Defragmenter) , you may be unaware of a potentially big waster of hard disk space: duplicate files. Applications can litter your hard disk with duplicate files, and you can create duplicate files yourself by copying files from one folder to another.

Hidden clutter exists on your Windows XP machine in the form of duplicate files. Here’s how to free up valuable hard disk space by doing some spring cleaning with the Duplicate Finder tool.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

Even if you’re a conscientious computer user (i.e., you regularly delete unnecessary files, empty the Recycle Bin, and run Disk Defragmenter) , you may be unaware of a potentially big waster of hard disk space: duplicate files. Applications can litter your hard disk with duplicate files, and you can create duplicate files yourself by copying files from one folder to another

Windows XP’s default installation doesn’t provide you with a decent utility for tracking down duplicate files. However, Microsoft does have a tool called Duplicate Finder, which is part of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools. Here’s how to install and use the Duplicate Finder tool:

1. Download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools and follow the instructions for installing the Complete installation version.

2. Open the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R.

3. Type Dupfinder in the Open text box and click OK.

4. Once DupFinder loads, simply select the drive or folder to search and then click the Start Search button.

5. When DupFinder completes its search, you can scan through the list and examine the duplicate files.

Working with the list of duplicate files:

Use either the Print Report or Export Data command on the File menu to create a permanent record of the duplicate files.

Use the Sort command on the View menu to reorganize the list for better analysis.

To get more detailed information about any file, select the file, pull down the File menu, and select the Info command.

Leave duplicate files in the Windows folder and its subfolders alone.

If you don’t recognize the duplicate file, it’s better to use the Rename or Move commands on the File menu rather than the Delete command.

Launch Windows Explorer with administrative privileges on Windows XP Pro

Do you ever need to perform an on-the-fly administrative task when you’re not on your computer? If the computer runs Internet Explorer 6 or 7, you can launch Windows Explorer with administrative privileges on a Windows XP Pro limited user machine.

Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional

When you’re working on a user’s computer and need to perform an administrative task from within his or her Windows XP Pro limited user account, you can use the Run As command to launch certain utilities with administrative account privileges.

However, if you try to use Run As to launch Windows Explorer with administrative privileges, nothing happens. This is because Explorer.exe is already running and only one instance of Explorer can run at a time. More specifically, when you launch Explorer.exe, the first thing it does is check to see whether it is already running. When the second instance of Explorer.exe sees that the first instance of Explorer.exe is running, the second instance of Explorer.exe closes without any outward notification. Here’s how you can work around it.

Internet Explorer 6

Internet Explorer 6 will work with Run As and will allow you to tap into Windows Explorer. Here’s how:

1. Right-click on the Internet Explorer icon in the Quick Launch toolbar and choose Run As. (Keep in mind that you can’t access Run As from the Internet Explorer icon that appears on the desktop or on the Start menu.)

2. Fill in the appropriate administrative account credentials in the Run As dialog box.

3. When Internet Explorer launches, type C:\ in the Address bar.

After you follow these steps, Windows Explorer will appear in the same window, and it will be running with administrative privileges.

Internet Explorer 7

If you’re using Internet Explorer 7, the steps for Internet Explorer 6 won’t work because, as part of the new security features in version 7, Internet Explorer is no longer integrated with Windows Explorer. You must use the standard method for launching Windows Explorer with administrative privileges. Here’s how:

1. Log on to the computer with the Administrator account.

2. Access the Control Panel and launch Folder Options.

3. When you see the Folder Options dialog box, select the View tab.

4. Scroll down the Advanced Settings list and select the Launch Folder Windows In A Separate Process check box, click OK, and then log off.

The next time you work on that user’s computer and need to perform an administrative task from within the limited user account, you can use Run As to launch Windows Explorer with administrative privileges.

Get a GUI for RoboCopy in Windows XP

Step up your copying operations with RoboCopy. This Windows 2003 Server tool is also at home on your Windows XP system. Learn why you’ll want to tap into this free, powerful resource.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

If you’re like most IT professionals, you probably use the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tool called RoboCopy with Windows XP. RoboCopy is an extremely powerful copy tool that allows you to perform more advanced copy operations than you can with Windows XP’s standard copy tools. For example, with RoboCopy, you can create mirror images of large folder tree structures on the same computer or on a network drive.

The only drawback to using RoboCopy is that you have to run it from the command line. This means that to use RoboCopy, you have to remember and type a lot of switches and parameters to really take advantage of all its features.

Fortunately, Derk Benisch, a systems engineer with Microsoft’s MSN Search group, created an add-in called RoboCopy GUI. This six-tabbed user interface makes configuring and using RoboCopy a real snap. Not only does the interface provide you with a large set of configuration options via check boxes, radio buttons, text boxes, and Browse dialog boxes, but it also can save your settings, which makes reusing the tool that much easier. Furthermore, RoboCopy GUI comes with a Help file and an extensive reference guide to help you get a handle on all that RoboCopy can do.

You can download RoboCopy GUI. Keep in mind that you must have Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 installed prior to installing RoboCopy GUI

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional

Take advantage of the Windows XP Start menu’s pinned items list

The left panel of the Start menu consists entirely of a divided list of programs that Windows XP thinks will come in handy for you: the pinned items list above the separator line and the most frequently used programs list, displayed below the line.

By default, Windows XP places links to your Internet browser and your e-mail application in the pinned items list and will place as many as 30 shortcuts to the programs you’ve recently used in the most frequently used programs list. (The most frequently used programs list is, by default, six shortcuts long.)

To really take advantage of the Start menu as a launching area for all the programs you use most often, you can configure the entire left panel as a pinned items list. Here’s how:

1. Right-click the Start button and select the Properties command to display the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

2. Click the Customize button adjacent to the Start Menu radio button to display the Customize Start Menu dialog box.

3. In the Programs panel, use the Spin button to set the Number Of Programs On The Start Menu setting to 0. Click the Clear List button.

4. In the Show On Start Menu panel, you can clear the Internet check box because the Internet Explorer icon already appears in the Quick Launch menu by default, and maybe even the E-mail check box, depending on how you launch your e-mail application.

5. Click OK twice—once to close the Customize Start Menu dialog box and once to close the Taskbar And Start Menu Properties dialog box.

6. Click the Start button and access the All Programs submenu.

7. Locate and right-click on the shortcut to a program you use often and select the Pin To Start Menu command.

You can pin as many as 30 of your most often used programs to the Start menu, depending on your screen resolution setting. With your actual favorite programs on the pinned items list, you can now really take advantage of the Start menu.

Investigate Internet Explorer add-ons in Windows XP

You’re probably familiar with Start’s left-hand menu—but do you know why the program list is divided in two? Here’s what you need to know about the pinned items list found in Windows XP and how you can customize it to easily access your favorite programs.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

When you visit various Web sites, your Windows XP computer may download add-ons—usually ActiveX controls designed to enhance your use of that particular site. Add-ons can include toolbars, software installers, and multimedia file viewers. However, some add-ons may be spyware, which could have devastating effects on Windows XP’s performance. So it’s worth your time to periodically investigate add-ons in Internet Explorer to make sure that they are all legitimate

Here’s how:

1. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools | Manage Add-ons.

2. In the Manage Add-ons dialog box, make sure the Show drop-down is set to Add-ons That Have Been Used By Internet Explorer.

3. Scan through the list and take note of each add-on’s name, publisher, status, type, and file.

4. If you discover an add-on you do not recognize, select it and then select the Disable option. Click OK.

5. Point your browser to your favorite search engine and search for the add-on’s name to see what you can learn about its origins. If you discover that it is indeed a legitimate add-on, simply return to the Manage Add-ons dialog box and re-enable the add-on.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

Before you connect a USB device to your Windows XP machine, learn how to determine whether a USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 controller is on your computer.

Determine whether USB 2.0 is on your Windows XP machine

If you plug a USB 2.0 device into a USB 1.1 port, Windows XP will display a warning message indicating that it will drop back to the slower data transfer speed. (USB 2.0 clocks in with a data transfer speed of 480 Mbits/second to USB 1.1’s 12 Mbits/second. ) To find out what version of USB controller is on a computer before you connect a USB device to it, follow these steps:

1. Press [Windows][Break] to access the System Properties dialog box.

2. Select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button.

3. When Device Manager appears, click the + sign next to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers branch.

If you see an entry containing the words Enhanced USB Controller, the system has a USB 2.0 controller. If you see an entry containing the words USB Controller, the system has a USB 1.1 controller

The most recently used list is designed to make it easier for you to launch the same Windows XP applications again and again—until the list gets so long you can’t find anything. See how to set up a shortcut that clears the list from the Run command.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

Clear the Windows XP Run command’s MRU list

The most recently used list is designed to make it easier for you to launch the same Windows XP applications again and again—until the list gets so long you can’t find anything. See how to set up a shortcut that clears the list from the Run command.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions

If you regularly use the Run command to launch applications, you know that Windows XP keeps a record in the registry, called the MRU (most recently used) list, of all the applications you recently launched. When you have the Run dialog box open, you can access the MRU list by clicking the drop-down arrow adjacent to the Open text box.

The MRU list is designed to make it easier for you to relaunch the same applications at a later date. However, this list can grow quite long, making it difficult to find what you want.

Fortunately, you can create a registry shortcut that clears the Run command’s MRU list. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) .

2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU.

3. Right-click on the RunMRU key and select Export.

4. Name the REG file Clear Run MRU, click the Save button, and close the Registry Editor.

5. Open the Clear Run MRU.reg file in Notepad.

6. Add a minus sign to the beginning of the key name just inside the square brackets.

7. Delete all lines that follow the line containing the key path.

8. Save the file and close Notepad.

9. Reboot Windows (or at least log off and then log back on) for this change to become effective. Now, any time you want to clear the Run command’s MRU list, simply locate and double-click on the Clear Run MRU.reg file. When you do so, the Registry Editor will display two dialog boxes: one that prompts you to confirm the operation and the other to let you know the operation was successful

Windows boot.ini

Windows boot.ini

Boot.ini is one of the very first files that come into play when a Windows XP system is started up. It is a plain text file that is kept in the system root, so it is usually C:\boot.ini. Because it is an essential system file, the attributes are set to hidden, system, read-only to protect it. That means that it will not appear in the file lists in My Computer or Windows Explorer unless the default Windows settings are changed to show hidden files.

 Boot.ini contains the location of the Windows XP operating system on the computer. If there is a multi-boot system, the locations of of any other operating systems are also contained. During the startup process, functions from the Windows XP file named “Ntldr” are in charge of getting the proper operating system loaded and Ntldr looks at boot.ini to find out where the operating systems are located and whether a menu should be displayed. Boot.ini can also include entries giving boot options such as Safe Mode or the Recovery Console.

 Some examples of boot.ini files

A typical simple example [boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 1)\WINDOWS= “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect

Example with Recovery Console as an option [boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 1)\WINDOWS= “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect

C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT .DAT=”Microsoft Windows Recovery Console” /cmdcons

Example of a dual-boot system with XP on partition 2. Note that the location of Windows Me is given as C:\ [boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(2)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 2)\WINDOWS= “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect

C:\ = “Microsoft Windows Me ”

Example with Safe Mode as an option and “timeout” =10 seconds [boot loader]

timeout=10

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 1)\WINDOWS= “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 1)\WINDOWS= “Safe Mode” /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
 
Open Start-Run and enter “msconfig”. The box shown below will open.

 Click the tab “BOOT.INI” and the figure shown next will open. The contents of the boot.ini file are shown and a number of configuration settings are available. In the middle right is a box where the settings for Timeout can be changed.

The command line tool bootcfg.exe

Windows XP Professional also has a command line utility for manipulating boot.ini called bootcfg.exe. (It may or may not be in a Home Edition installation. ) It is described in this Microsoft reference. It can be used in the Recovery Console to repair a damaged boot.ini file or in a command window to edit entries to the file. There are a number of different switches and these are illustrated in the output to a command window shown below

 Your Choices for Changing the Boot Menu

Boot up the Windows™ 2000, XP or 2003 OS and open “Control Panel” then click on “System ” (or select “Properties” after right-clicking on My Computer). Under the “System Properties” window’s “Advanced” tab, if you click on ” Startup and Recovery” you’ll see at least two basic items in the BOOT.INI file that you’re allowed to change from this dialog box:  1) You can select the default OS to boot up, and 2) How many seconds to display the boot menu. And under Windows™ XP or 2003, you’ll find another button that gives you direct access to editing the whole BOOT.INI file! Under Windows™ 2000, you’ll need to find the BOOT.INI file on your own for further editing; such as arranging the order in which the OS selections appear in the menu. So, if you decide to delete the new OS, simply set your old OS as the default boot OS and uncheck the item for displaying the menu list (or manually set it to zero; same result). You could then safely delete the new OS partition, but not the files it added to your old partition.

Explanations for each part of BOOT.INI

[boot loader]

timeout=10

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(2)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk( 0)rdisk(0) partition( 2)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP” /fastdetect

C:\ = “Microsoft Windows”

Option Description

multi(x) This option is used with IDE and ESDI drives and is also used with SCSI drives for computers using Windows NT. The number used in the above example is “0”, this number is the adapter’s number and should always be “0” for computers that rely on the BIOS to load system files.

    * In a computer using only IDE this option will work with up to four hard disk drives.

    * In a computer using only SCSI this option will work with the first two drives on the primary SCSI controller.

    * Finally, if a computer is using IDE and SCSI this option will work with the IDE drives on the first controller. 

scsi(x) If the computer has a SCSI controller and is not using BIOS to load the system files, the boot.ini may have “scsi(x)” instead of “multi(x).

disk(x) The disk on the controller. If “multi(x)” is used used, this value will always be “0”. However, if “scsi(x)” is defined, this value will be SCSI address.

rdisk(x) Which disk on the controller is being used. In the above example we are using an rdisk of “1”, which indicates the second disk on the primary controller is being used. This value may be between “0” and “3” and is always set to “0” when “scsi(x)” is being used.

paritions(x) Which partition the operating system is on. In the above example, the operating system is on the first partition of the drive. 

\WINDOWS=”.. .” Finally, the last portion of this line defines the directory of where windows is located and what the boot menu should display as the operating system. In the above example, the boot menu would display “Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition” as a selection.

In the “[boot loader]” section above, the “timeout” entry is how many seconds (30 in this case) that the menu will remain onscreen before trying to boot up the ” default” OS.

default=multi( 0)disk(0) rdisk(0)partitio n(2)\WINDOWS: –

Most of these lines use what are known as ARC (Advanced RISC Computing) paths to specify the location of various boot partitions. Almost every machine using ATA (E IDE / IDE) hard drives will have: “multi(0)disk( 0)”. The multi(x) parameter is used to set the disk controller number, where x=0,1,2,… . The multi(x) parameter is always followed by disk(0); unless you’re using a SCSI controller without the BIOS enabled.

The second line under the “[operating systems]” section is what you could call an alternate, backup or rescue copy of my main Win2000 OS which is located in the same volume as the main OS. A line like this will only be found if you install the Recovery Console files from your install CD onto your hard disk! Though its entry appears to differ radically from the usual

“multi(0)disk( 0)” + “rdisk(n)” + “partition(p) ” + “\ systemroot”  format.

Modifying the Boot.ini

At the MS-DOS prompt, type:

c: <press enter>

cd\ <press enter>

attrib -r -a -s -h boot.ini <press enter>

edit boot.ini <press enter>

While you can modify the Boot.ini file using the Startup and Recovery dialog, where you can select the default operating system, change the timeout value, or manually edit the file, the following method uses the command line utility, Bootcfg.exe.

Note The Bootcfg.exe utility is only available in Windows XP Professional. This utility is not available in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, this section does not apply to Windows XP Home Edition.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

2. In the Open text box, type cmd.

3. At the command prompt, type bootcfg /?.

4. The help and parameters for BOOTCFG.exe will display.

Adding an Operating System

At the command prompt, type:

bootcfg /copy /d Operating System Description /ID#

Where Operating System Description is a text description (e.g. Windows XP Home Edition), and where # specifies the boot entry ID in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file from which the copy has to be made.

Removing an Operating System

At the command prompt, type:

bootcfg /delete /ID#

Where # specifies the boot entry ID that you want to be deleted from the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file (e.g. 2 for the second Operating system that is listed.

Setting the Default Operating System

At the command prompt, type:

bootcfg /default /ID#

Where # specifies the boot entry id in the operating systems section of the BOOT.INI file to be made the default operating system.

Setting the Time Out

At the command prompt, type: bootcfg /timeout# Where # specifies the time in seconds after which default operating system will be loaded.

Open the Boot.ini File to Verify Changes

1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

-or-

Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.

2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.

3. Under System Startup, click Edit.

How to rebuild the Windows boot.ini

   1. Insert the Microsoft Windows XP CD into the computer. Note: If you have a system recovery CD or restore CD these steps will likely not work for your computer.

   2. Reboot the computer with the CD and press any key when prompted to press any key to boot from the CD. If you do not receive this prompt and/or are not able to boot from the CD.

   3. Once in the Microsoft Setup menu press R to open the recovery console.

   4. Select the operating system you wish to use; if you only have Windows XP on the computer you will only have one prompt.

   5. Once prompted for the password enter the Admin password and press enter.

   6. Once at the command prompt type bootcfg /rebuild to start the rebuild process.

   7. The rebuild process will step you through a number of steps depending upon how many operating systems you have on the computer and how the computer is setup. Below is a listing of the common steps you are likely going to encounter.

      * Prompt for the identified versions of Windows installed. When you receive this prompt press Y if the bootcfg command properly identified each of the Windows operating systems installed on the computer. It is important to realize this command will only detect Windows XP, Windows 2000 , and Windows NT installations.

      * Prompt to enter the load identifier. This is the name of the operating system for the boot.ini. For example, Microsoft Windows XP Home users would enter “Microsoft Windows XP Home edition”.

      * Prompt to Enter OS load options. When this prompt is received type /fastdetect to automatically detect the available options.

   8. Once you have completed all the available options in the rebuild and are back at the prompt type exit to reboot the computer.