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«  January 2012  »
Main » 2012 » January » 24 » Win XP tips 3
3:23 PM
Win XP tips 3
19. Rework System Restore
The amount of space Windows uses for restore points is a little more complicated than
a single percentage value. The Registry includes its own setting for the maximum disk
space given to System Restore, and Windows uses whichever amount is larger: the
percentage you specify via the System Properties dialog box, or the Registry's
maximum value. Any disk space you free up via System Properties won't instantly be
used by System Restore; it will be available until a new restore point requires more
space than the amount allotted via the percentage value. The percentage and max
values tell Windows only when to stop making new restore points.
To lock in your System Restore allocation, open the Registry Editor and navigate to
ystemRestore. Select the SystemRestore icon in the left pane to see several icons
appear in the right pane. Do not experiment with just any of these icons! While you
can safely change the value of some of them, Microsoft warns that others should not
be altered under any circumstances. Fortunately, you can safely edit the values for the
DiskPercent and DSMax icons, which control System Restore's disk-space allotments.
To change the maximum amount of disk space System Restore will use (providing it's
larger than the percentage value), double-click the DSMax icon. In the Edit DWORD
Value dialog box, click Decimal so you can see the specified number of megabytes in
the 'Value data' box (the default on most systems is '400'). Change this to the desired
amount, and click OK.
While you're there, you can also safely edit the DSMin value, which specifies the
minimum space System Restore needs to work at all. Normally, if free space on your
Windows drive gets too low, System Restore shuts down and makes no restore points
until you have at least 200MB of free space. Setting this value determines the amount
of disk space at which System Restore will wake up and attempt to start saving restore
points again. However, just because System Restore will try to do so, it won't
necessarily succeed if the available space is too small. Unfortunately, we know of no
method to determine how much space a single restore point will require, so setting
this amount too low could render the feature useless. Still, you can fit a lot of system
files in 100MB of disk space.
To change this value, double-click the DSMin icon, click Decimal, and enter your
desired amount of free disk space (in megabytes) in the 'Value data' box. Click OK.
20. Pop Up a Message at Start Up
To pop a banner which can contain any message you want to display just before a user
is going to log on, go to the key:
Now create a new string Value in the right pane named LegalNoticeCaption and enter
the value that you want to see in the Menu Bar. Now create yet another new string
value and name it LegalNoticeText. Modify it and insert the message you want to
display each time Windows boots. This can be effectively used to display the
company's private policy each time the user logs on to his NT box.
21.Hide All Icons in the Notification Area
The system tray, also called the notification area, is the small area on the far right side
of the taskbar, in which utilities and programs that run in the background, such as
antivirus software, show their icons. I don’t find it a particularly intelligent use of
screen real estate, so I prefer not to see the icons there.
To hide them, run the Registry Editor and go to the following key:
plorer. Among other things, this key controls the display of objects throughout XP.
Create a new DWORD called NoTrayItemsDisplay. Assign it a value of 1. (A value
of 0 will keep the icons displayed.) Exit the Registry and reboot.
While you’re at the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/
CurrentVersion/Policies/Explorer key, you can also delete the My Recent Documents
icon on the Start menu. Create a new DWORD called NoRecentDocsMenu. Assign it
a value of 1. (A value of 0 will keep the icon displayed.) Exit the Registry and reboot.
22. Turn Off System Beeps
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Sound, and find the Beep and
ExtendedSounds String values. Set each value to No. Exit the Registry and reboot.
The beeps will no longer sound. Hey, your XP is no longer noisy!!
23. Add Specific Folders to Open Dialog
Box (XP Home only)

When you use certain Windows applications (such as Notepad) to open a file, on the
left side of the Open dialog box are a group of icons and folders (such as My
Documents, My Recent Documents, Desktop, My Computer, and My Network) to
which you can navigate to open files. A registry hack will let you put just the folders
of your choosing on the left side of the Open dialog box. Note that when you do this,
it will affect XP applications such as Notepad and Paint that use the Open and Save
common dialog boxes. However, it won’t affect Microsoft Office applications and
other applications that don’t use the common dialog boxes. Run the Registry Editor
and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
\Policies\comdlg32. This is the key that determines how common dialog boxes are
You’re going to create a subkey that will create a customized location for the folders,
and then give that subkey a series of values, each of which will define a folder
location.To start, create a new subkey underneath EY_CURRENT_USER
\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\comdlg32 called Placesbar,
and create a String value for it named Place0. Give Place0 a value of the topmost
folder that you want to appear on the Open dialog box, for example, C:\Projects. Next,
create another String value for Placesbar called Place1. Give it a value of the second
folder that you want to appear on the Open dialog box. You can put up to five icons
on the Open dialog box, so create new String values up to Place4 and give them
values as outlined in the previous steps. When you’re done, exit the Registry. You
won’t have to reboot for the changes to take effect. If you do not want any folders to
appear in common Open dialog boxes, you can do that as well. In
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\
comdlg32, create a new DWORD value called NoPlacesBar and give it a value of 1.
Exit the Registry. If you want the folders back, either delete NoPlacesBar or give it a
value of 0.
24. Place Windows Kernel into RAM
It’s a given that anything that runs in RAM will be faster than an item that has to
access the hard drive and virtual memory. Rather than have the kernel that is the
foundation of XP using the slower Paging Executive functions, use this hack to create
and set the DisablePagingExecutive DWORD to a value of 1. Perform this hack
only if the system has 256MB or more of installed RAM! Edit the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive to 1 to disable paging and have the
kernel run in RAM (set the value to 0 to undo this hack). Exit the Registry and reboot.
25. Alter Prefetch Parameters
Pre-fetching (the reading of system boot files into a cache for faster loading) is a
commonly overlooked component that can have a significant impact on system boot
time. To see which files are gathered using each setting, clear the prefetch cache
located at C:\Windows\Prefetch and then enable one of the settings listed in this hack.
Clear the cache and repeat for each setting. Set the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher to 0 to disable
prefetching, 1 to prefetch application launch files, 2 to prefetch boot files, or 3 to
prefetch as many files as possible.
26. Disable 8.3 Name Creation in NTFS
Files that use the 8.3 naming convention can degrade NTFS drive performance.
Unless you have a good reason for keeping the 8.3 naming convention intact (such as
if you’re using 16-bit programs), a performance gain can be achieved by disabling it.
CurrentControlSet\Control\ FileSystem\NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1. Exit the
Registry and reboot.
27. Cleaning Recent Docs Menu and the

The Recent Docs menu can be easily disabled by editing the Registry. To do this go to
the following Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\
CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Now in the right pane, create a new DWORD value
by the name: NoRecentDocsMenu and set it's value to 1. Restart Explorer to save the
changes. You can also clear the RUN MRU history. All the listings are stored in the
key:HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer
\ RunMRU. You can delete individual listings or the entire listing. To delete History
of Find listings go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft \ Windows
\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Doc Find Spec MRUand delete.
28. DMA Mode for CD-ROMs
Like Windows 2000, Windows XP still fails to set the DMA mode correctly for the
IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary IDE and secondary IDE channels.
Most CD- ROMS are capable of supporting DMA mode, but the default in XP is still
PIO. Setting it to DMA won't make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less
CPU cycles. Here's how: Open the Device Manager. One way to do that is to right
click on "My Computer", select the Hardware tab, and Select Device Manager.
Expand "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and double-click on "Primary IDE Channel"
.Under the "Advanced Settings" tab, check the "Device 1" setting. More than likely,
your current transfer mode is set to PIO. Set it to "DMA if available". Repeat the step
for the "Secondary IDE Channel" if you have devices attached to it. Reboot.
29. Speed up IE Start Up
This tweak tells Internet Explorer to simply 'run', without loading any webpages. If
you use a 'blank' page, that is still a page, and slows access. Notice the 'about:blank' in
the address bar. The blank html page must still be loaded. To load IE with 'nothing'
[nothing is different than blank]:
1. Right-click on any shortcut you have to IE
[You should create a shortcut out of your desktop IE icon, and delete the original
2. Click Properties
3. Add -nohome [with a space before the dash] after the endquotes in the Target field.
4. Click OK
30.Delete INDEX.DAT (Faster Browsing)
First of all open up the command prompt. For that go Start  Run cmd. Now press
CTRL + ALT + DELETE to bring up the task manager. In the task manager, go to
processes and click on explorer.exe. End the "explorer.exe” task. All the windows
will be closed down. Don’t panic. You can still see the command prompt. In the
command prompt type the following command exactly as it is:
Del "C:\Documents and Settings\<your_log_in_name>\Local Settings\Temporary
Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"
Note <your_log_in_name> is the name that you use to log in to your windows. Some
log in as "administrator” while some with another name eg: Sandeep. Whatever it is,
type that name. This will also help in fixing all the issues related to browser
performance, especially the ones that cause browser to hang frequently.

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