1. No Profile Picture
    Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Rep Power

    a small correction

    Originally Posted by 0000
    When the control panel will not start, go into search, and move the directory to system32. Search ".cpl" excluding the quotation marks. Make a file on the desktop called "temp", again, excluding quotations. Move the .cpl files to the temp folder, you may notice them returning in the search window, this is a good thing. Open control panel, and it should work, then delete the temp folder.

    TEMP IS A FOLDER, not file

    Comments on this post

    • oneMSBi agrees : thanks :)
  2. #32
  3. CAUTION: Loderator Moose
    Devshed Loyal (3000 - 3499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    some starry place (india)
    Rep Power
    Avoiding Repair Installs When Changing Motherboards A Discussion with good information by Nilpo & Juniperr

    Comments on this post

    • Dictionary agrees
    • RadioactiveFrog agrees
    ..Seeking code free nirvana...
    Nigel Fernandes Blog
    Never argue with fools. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    Manchester United Forever
  4. #33
  5. CAUTION: Loderator Moose
    Devshed Loyal (3000 - 3499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    some starry place (india)
    Rep Power
  6. #34
  7. Registered User
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ottawa, ON
    Rep Power
    Getting access to external drives when auto-detect is disabled.
    • Create a shortcut to it by going File > New > Shortcut
    • Use Start command in the Command Prompt, that is, when you have the access to cmd.exe in the first place.
  8. #35
  9. Providing fuel for space ships
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    nr Edinburgh, Scotland
    Rep Power
    Some Windows Key Shortcut Keys :

    Windows Key - To display or hide the Start menu
    Windows Key+D - To display the desktop
    Windows Key+E - To open My Computer
    Windows Key+F - To open up the Search Function
    Windows Key+L - Lock the Desktop
    Windows Key+M - To mimimise all the Windows
    Windows Key+Shift+M - To restore the minimised Windows
    Windows Key+Break - To display the System Properties box
    Windows Key+R - To open up the Run function
    Windows Key+U - To open up the Utility Function
    Windows Key+F1 - Display Windows Help
    CTRL+Windows Key+F - Search for Computers

    Comments on this post

    • RadioactiveFrog agrees : Very Useful! Thanks :)
    • Dictionary agrees : Wow! I should print this out somewhere.
  10. #36
  11. Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    New Springfield, OH
    Rep Power
    If you have access to the cmd.exe, it's pointless to mess with editing the registry when you can invoke the Display Properties directly.

    RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0
    This can be used from the command-line, a shortcut, or from any batch or WSH script.

    Of course, if you have a good admin, there's only one effective method that I know of and that requires that Microsoft Office products are installed. I've never come across a system yet that had office macros disabled like they should be. The following macro effectively uses the command above. (I wonder what other uses this little trick could have? )

    Sub MySub()
         Call Shell("C:\WINNT\system32\RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0", AppWinStyle.NormalFocus)
    End Sub
    Please note that the information in this post is for educational purposes only. I do not recommend or condone taking actions that were not provided to you by a system administrator. Their policies are in effect for a reason.

    Intentional misuse of the information above only clarifies that you are a jerk with blatant disregard for authority. Please use this advice responsibly.

    Bottom line, if you want a background changed, most admins will help you out. If not, it's not exactly a necessity is it?
    Don't like me? Click it.

    Scripting problems? Windows questions? Ask the Windows Guru!

    Stay up to date with all of my latest content. Follow me on Twitter!

    Help us help you! Post your exact error message with these easy tips!
  12. #37
  13. Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    New Springfield, OH
    Rep Power
    Some Windows features (such as Wordpad) are always hidden from the Add/Remove Programs applet in the Control Panel. This script unhides them by editing the sysoc.inf file (in C:\Windows\inf by default) and removing the word "hide" from any lines.

    This script should work on all versions of Windows. It also makes use of Environmental variables to determine the Windows directory. This script features full error handling and built-in uninstall.

    ShowHidAddRem.vbs (6 KB)

    Right-click the link and save it to a folder. Then double-click the .vbs file to install.
    Don't like me? Click it.

    Scripting problems? Windows questions? Ask the Windows Guru!

    Stay up to date with all of my latest content. Follow me on Twitter!

    Help us help you! Post your exact error message with these easy tips!
  14. #38
  15. No Profile Picture
    network dude
    Devshed Intermediate (1500 - 1999 posts)

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Rep Power
    Ever remote desktop to a remote computer and then needed to copy a file over from your local machine? heres the esy way..

    open remote desktop before connecting click on "options" click on "local resources" and check the box that says "disk drives" now connect to the remote machine you will now have you local drives mapped in my computer on the remote machine for easy drag and drop copying.
  16. #39
  17. www.devhardware.com/forums
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Rep Power

    Disable Unnecessary Windows services

    Original Link

    Disclaimer: Before disabling any service, know what that service does in your system and environment. Understand and disable only if it really is unnecessary for you.
    For your more complex hardware related problems, visit DevShed's sister forums: DevHardware
    If you don't already know about it, please checkout our guide to Folding@Home . Join DevHardware team and help cure diseases. Your support is valuable and much appreciated. *
  18. #40
  19. Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Rep Power
    Add Album art to a Music Folder
    If you have some album art that you would like to apply to a folder, just save the image as folder.jpg and place it in the appropriate folder. Then, Windows XP will automatically use that image as the thumbnail for that folder and will use that image in Media Player. Windows Media Player will automatically do this for you if you choose to Find Album Info when in Windows Media Player.
    Automatically Defrag drives with a new context menu item
    Create a new Registry import file named context_defrag.inf (or click here to Download it) in Notepad (be sure to save it with the Save as type set to All Files and not Text Documents) and place the following text inside:
    ; context_defrag.INF
    ; Adds Defrag to the right click context menu in Windows XP
    HKCR,"Drive\Shell\Defrag\command",,,"DEFRAG.EXE %1"
    Then, right-click and choose Install. This will add a context menu to XP that allows you to automatically defrag drives using the command line version of the built-in defragmentation utility. To use it, navigate to a drive in My Computer, right-click, and choose Defrag. A command line window will appear, and that drive will be defragged. When it's copmlete, the windows just disappears.
    To remove this functionality, Open regedit.exe and navigate to the following location:
    Then delete the Defrag folder and close Regedit.
    Add/Remove optional features of Windows XP
    To expand ths list of applications you can remove from Windows XP, navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your vesion of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. The lines that include the text hide or HIDE will not show up in Add/Remove Windows Components by default. To fix this, perform a search and replace ,hide with , (a comma). Now there will be more Applications that you can remove from Windows XP.
    Remove the Shared Documents folders from My Computer
    Open the Registry Editor (Start, Run, regedit) and navigate to the following key:
    You'll see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this, all of the Shared Documents folders (which are normally under the group called "Other Files Stored on This Computer") will be gone.
    You do not need to reboot your system to see the change.
    Display the Advanced Sharing Tab in Folder Properties
    To make the system display the advanced sharing tab, simply open up Folder Options (My Computer, Tools, Folder Options) and navigate to the View tab. In the Advanced settings section, scroll down to the bottom and uncheck Use simple file sharing (Recommended). Now you will have Advanced Sharing Options when you go to a file/folder's properties.
    Use the ultimate configuration tool (Professional Edition only)
    To open this tool, select Start and then Run, then type the following:
    Then Press Enter. Now you will see GPEDIT which allows you to edit certain features of Windows XP.
    Speed up the Start Menu
    To Speed up the Start Menu, open up the Registry Editor (Start, Run, regedit) and navigate to the following Key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\MenuShowDelay
    By Default, the value is 400. Change this to a smaller value, such as 1, to speed it up.
    If this doesn't work, then try the following:
    Navigate to Display Properties then Appearance then Effects and turn off the option titled Show menu shadow. You will get a much better overall performance.
    Note: Do not set the value to 0 or your start menu will not function properly.
    Enable ClearType on the Welcome Screen!
    To Enable ClearType on the Welcome Screen, open the Registry Editor (Start, Run, regedit) and look for the following keys:
    HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop\FontSmoothing (String Value)
    HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop\FontSmoothingType (Hexadecimal DWORD Value)
    Make sure both of these values are set to 2 and you'll have ClearType enabled on the Welcome Screen and on each new user by default.
    Stop Windows Messenger from Auto-Starting
    If you're not a big fan of Windows Messenger, you can simply delete the following Registry Key:
    After doing so, Windows Messenger will no longer start when you logon. However, if you run any program that requests the use of Windows Messenger (such as Outlook Express), the registry key will be re-created, and Windows Messenger will load on Startup again. For this reason, I recommend you look at How to Completely Remove Windows Messenger
    Display Hibernate Option on the Shut Down dialog
    On some Computers, Hibernate is not displayed on the Shutdown Dialog Box. To display it, hold SHIFT when the Shutdown dialog box is open and hibernate will be displayed. After doing this a few times, Hibernate will be displayed by default.
    Disable Error Reporting
    As many of you would have noticed - every time a Microsoft program crashes in Windows XP - an Error Report dialog appears, asking you if you would like to send the information to Microsoft. If you would like to disable it then do the following:
      1. Open Control Panel
      2. Click on Performance and Maintenance
      3. Click on System
      4. Then click on the Advanced tab
      5. Click on the error reporting button at the bottom of the window.
      6. Select Disable error reporting.
    Change HTML error pages in Internet Explorer
    If you would like to to customize your Internet Explorer error messages, write an error message that you want to see (as HTML) and store it somewhere on you harddisk, open Registry Editor (Start, Run, regedit) and navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
    Edit the appropriate keys to link to the relevant file that you have created.
    Add EFS Options to the Shortcut Menu
    The Encrypting File System (EFS) in Windows XP lets you encrypt files in an NTFS volume. If you add the option to encrypt or decrypt file to this menu, when a user right-clicks a file or folder on an NTFS volume, the option to Encrypt or Decrypt appears in the list of options. Note that the EFS feature isn't included in Windows XP Home Edition.
    To add EFS options to the shortcut menu
       1. In the Run dialog box, type regedit.
       2. Navigate to the subkey
       3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
       4. Enter EncryptionContextMenu for the value name, and 1 for the Value Data.
    You may need to have Administrative Rights to edit the Registry.
    Restrict a User's Logon Hours
    To change when a user can logon, do the following:
    1) Open Help and Support and type logon hours in the search box.
    2) Go to Full text matches and click on Net user. See the examples for settings a user's logon hours.
    Some examples would be:
       net user johnsw /time:M-F,08:00-17:00
       net user johnsw /time:M-F,8am-5pm
       net user marysl /time:M,4am-5pm;T,1pm-3pm;W-F,8:00-17:00
       net user johnsw /time:all (This means that the user can always log on)
    3) Open a Command Prompt window.
    4) Enter the appropriate net user command for the user(s) you wish to restrict access for.
    Lock a computer
    To Lock a computer you must first be using the "Domain Style" logon type. To do this go to Control Panel and select User Accounts.
    Click Change the way a user logs on or off and deselect Use the Welcome Screen. Note: All other users must be logged off to do this.
    Now, whenever a user is logged on you can simply press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and Select Lock Computer.
    Create a Shortcut to lock your computer
    To create an even quicker means of securing your computer, you can place a shortcut on your desktop to lock your computer:
       1. Right-Click and open area of your desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut.
       2. In the location box, type
       %windir%\System32 undll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
       3. Click Next, in the Name box type a name for the shortcut such as Lock Computer, and then click Finish.
    NOTE: You must be using the "Domain Style" Logon type to be able to lock your computer.
    See Lock a Computer to find out how to do this.
    Create Your Own Logon Message
    You can create a message that will appear when you log on to your computer.
       1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit and the click OK.
       2. In the Registry Editor, drill down to the following key:
       HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
       3. Right-click LegalNoticeCaption, click Modify, type something like My Windows XP Machine, and then click OK.
       4. Right-Click LegalNoticeText, click Modify, and then type your logon message.
       5. Close the editor and your new message will appear at every logon.
    This tip applies to computers that are part of a domain or that use the "Domain Style" logon type. For Standalone, peer-to-peer networks or Workgroups the custom screen appears just before the Welcome screen.

    Comments on this post

    • Nilpo agrees : Nice.
    • aitken325i agrees
    Last edited by edwinbrains; May 15th, 2006 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Fixing code block issue with last tip

  20. #41
  21. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Arky-Saw, USA
    Rep Power

    How to Resolve the "Unknown Device"

    Windows XP Professional
    Windows Server 2003

    You open up Device Manager and see one or more devices marked as yellow question marks and labeled Unknown device. Also, opening up the computer to study the PCB labels may be out of the question or too exhausting.

    99.9% of the time, the device will have a unique ID burned into it. This ID can be used to find additional information about the device. To find the ID:
    1) Open Device Manager
    - a) Open Control Panel and System
    - b) Click the Hardware tab
    - c) Click Device Manager button
    2) Double-click on the Unknown device to bring up its properties
    3) Click the Details tab
    4) Select Hardware Ids from the drop-down list

    At this point, you will see multiple lines of cryptic text. Normally, the first line provides all the information needed to find the correct driver.

    The first line of my device is

    VEN_1106 is the vendor number of VIA Technologies Inc.
    DEV_3059 is the device number of AC97 Enhanced Audio Controller (chip VT8233/33A/8235/8237/8251).

    After searching VIA's website, I found the driver at

    Additional Information:
    PCI Vendor and Device Lists
    How to use Registry Editor to identify an unknown PCI device

    Comments on this post

    • Axweildr agrees : Good to know ...
    • aitken325i agrees
  22. #42
  23. duffy duck
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Rep Power
    A useful tool for diagnosing missing security updates is the MBSA from Microsoft. You can run it to diagnose missing updates across a network not just for the host machine. It will also warn you if you have more than 2 admins/have unsafe IE settings etc

    Group Policy is also an effective tool to apply configurations to a machine/network as I found out when I wanted to hide my drive E: from My Computer/disable the installer etc.

    Another useful tip is adding a Command Prompt option to the default Explorer right click context menu. There are lots of ways and petri has covered 5 or so ways to do this.

    There are one or two decent sites which have issues raised here as well as others not raised :-

    XP registry edits

    Common New User Questions at Dell Forums

    Wikipedia Registry Article

    Group policy registry entries for xp home

    [Warning before editing your registry please take a backup.]

    Comments on this post

    • Axweildr agrees : good st*ff
  24. #43
  25. They're coming to take me away

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Rep Power

    Remotely accessing a computer through Safe Mode with Networking

    Figured that a lot of techs out there would find it useful to be able to connect to a clients computer remotely in Safe Mode w/ Networking. Whether it be for Spyware/Virus scans, or to try and diagnose why the computer is having problems in normal mode.

    The steps are below (this is for Win XP home/pro, using Real VNC):

    Remember to backup the boot.ini contents prior to making any changes:
    Step One - Backing up boot.ini
    1) Right-click My Computer --> Properties
    2) Click the "Advanced" Tab
    3) Click "Settings" under "Startup and Recovery"
    4) Click "Edit" under "System startup"
    5) Click File --> Save As and save the file as a backup wherever you'd like.
    6) Then close the Notepad file and the dialog boxes.

    Step Two - Setting the computer to reboot into Safe Mode with Networking:
    1) Start --> Run
    2) Type msconfig
    3) Click the "BOOT.INI" tab and select the checkbox for "/SAFEBOOT" as well as the radio button for "Network"
    4) Click "Apply"
    5) Click the "Services" tab and click the "VNC Server" checkbox
    6) Click "Apply"
    7) Click "Ok"
    8) It will prompt you to either "Restart" or "Exit Without Restarting" ... Click Restart to reboot the computer.

    Step Three - Setting the computer back to boot into Normal mode:
    1) Start --> Run
    2) Type msconfig
    3) Click the "Normal Startup" radio button under the "General" tab.
    4) Click "Apply" and then "Close"
    5) Click "Restart" to reboot back into Normal mode.

    You will also need to remember that the remote computer needs to have the appropriate port forwarded for, in this case, VNC to work.
  26. #44
  27. /*
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Rep Power

    A few time saving keyboard shortcuts

    Someone at this forum once helped me to figure out a keyboard shortcut for minimising single windows and applications in Windows.

    Press Alt then Space then 'N'

    Anoher good one is Alt + Tab which cycles through all open windows and applications

    Also I find that pressing the keyboard combination Ctrl + F6
    will allow you to cycle through the open windows of just one application.
    ie: spreadsheets opened in excel.

    Those are three I use every day.
  28. #45
  29. Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    the high seas
    Rep Power
    Thought I would add my 2 cents...

    Invisible Folders
    Create a new folder and delete the default name that is given.
    Hold down ALT and press 0160 on the number pad.
    Release alt, and you will see that there is no name for the folder, something not usually allowed in Windows.
    Right click the folder and go to customize>change icon
    Choose the blank icon, and click ok. Your folder is now hidden
    Just try to remember where you put it. Also, its good to not that when I tried this little trick, it was impossible for me to delete in Vista. I am still working on that one...

    Check and see what your computer is doing internet- wise

    This can help you diagnose speed issues, and can help you track down a problem if you suspect you may have one.

    * Type cmd in your Windows Run box.
    * Type "netstat -b 5 > activity.txt" and press enter.
    * After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.
    * Type "activity.txt" on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)

    Audit this file to see what has made an internet connection in the last few minutes. Then, you can use task manager to track it down and kill it or find out what it was.

    Renewing your IP address
    Generally, IPs assigned by ISPs are dynamic, but if you need to get a new IP (for rapidshare, etc...) you can run the following commands-
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew
    Also, instead of running them all from the command line, you can just create a batch file to run them by opening notepad, typing in the above and entering another line below all of it with the word exit. Save it, and then give it a .bat extension, and it will all run without you having to type it in each time.

    Registry editing for Desktop Backgrounds-
    Open regedit while logged onto an account with admin priveledges. In regedit, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click on File (at the top) and select Load Hive. Navigate to c:\documents and settings\default user. The file you want to open is NTUSER.DAT. It will ask you to name it- call it Default User. Now it will show up as "Default User" under your HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Go into Default User->Control Panel->Desktop and find the Wallpaper key. Just put in the path\filename in place of what's already there. That will change the wallpaper for all new users logging into the system. Now, assuming you still have regedit open, go back up until you're resting at Default User, now click on File->Unload Hive. Now create a new user and login and see if the wallpaper is changed. Be aware that the wallpaper you put in must be located in an area where everyone has at least read access permissions.
    Group Policy-
    you could set a local policy instead of hacking the registry also.
    local computer policy - user configuration - administrative templates -desktop - active desktop - active desktop wallpaper

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo