20 things you dont know about Windos XP

You’ve read the reviews and digested the key feature enhancements and operational
changes. Now it’s time to delve a bit deeper and uncover some of Windows XP’s secrets.
1. It boasts how long it can stay up. Whereas previous versions of Windows were coy
about how long they went between boots, XP is positively proud of its stamina. Go to the
Command Prompt in the Accessories menu from the All Programs start button option,
and then type ‘systeminfo’. The computer will produce a lot of useful info, including the
uptime. If you want to keep these, type ‘systeminfo > info.txt’. This creates a file called
info.txt you can look at later with Notepad. (Professional Edition only).
2. You can delete files immediately, without having them move to the Recycle Bin first.
Go to the Start menu, select Run… and type ‘gpedit.msc’; then select User Configuration,
Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Explorer and find the Do
not move deleted files to the Recycle Bin setting. Set it. Poking around in gpedit will
reveal a great many interface and system options, but take care — some may stop your
computer behaving as you wish. (Professional Edition only).
3. You can lock your XP workstation with two clicks of the mouse. Create a new shortcut
on your desktop using a right mouse click, and enter ‘rundll32.exe
user32.dll,LockWorkStation’ in the location field. Give the shortcut a name you like.
That’s it — just double click on it and your computer will be locked. And if that’s not easy
enough, Windows key + L will do the same.
4. XP hides some system software you might want to remove, such as Windows
Messenger, but you can tickle it and make it disgorge everything. Using Notepad or Edit,
edit the text file /windows/inf/sysoc.inf, search for the word ‘hide’ and remove it. You can
then go to the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, select Add/Remove
Windows Components and there will be your prey, exposed and vulnerable.
5. For those skilled in the art of DOS batch files, XP has a number of interesting new
commands. These include ‘eventcreate’ and ‘eventtriggers’ for creating and watching
system events, ‘typeperf’ for monitoring performance of various subsystems, and
‘schtasks’ for handling scheduled tasks. As usual, typing the command name followed by
/? will give a list of options — they’re all far too baroque to go into here.
6. XP has IP version 6 support — the next generation of IP. Unfortunately this is more
than your ISP has, so you can only experiment with this on your LAN. Type ‘ipv6 install’
into Run… (it’s OK, it won’t ruin your existing network setup) and then ‘ipv6 /?’ at the
command line to find out more. If you don’t know what IPv6 is, don’t worry and don’t
7. You can at last get rid of tasks on the computer from the command line by using
‘taskkill /pid’ and the task number, or just ‘tskill’ and the process number. Find that out by
typing ‘tasklist’, which will also tell you a lot about what’s going on in your system.
8. XP will treat Zip files like folders, which is nice if you’ve got a fast machine. On
slower machines, you can make XP leave zip files well alone by typing ‘regsvr32 /u
zipfldr.dll’ at the command line. If you change your mind later, you can put things back
as they were by typing ‘regsvr32 zipfldr.dll’.
9. XP has ClearType — Microsoft’s anti-aliasing font display technology — but doesn’t
have it enabled by default. It’s well worth trying, especially if you were there for DOS
and all those years of staring at a screen have given you the eyes of an astigmatic bat. To
enable ClearType, right click on the desktop, select Properties, Appearance, Effects,
select ClearType from the second drop-down menu and enable the selection. Expect best
results on laptop displays. If you want to use ClearType on the Welcome login screen as
well, set the registry entry HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT/Control
Panel/Desktop/FontSmoothingType to 2.
10. You can use Remote Assistance to help a friend who’s using network address
translation (NAT) on a home network, but not automatically. Get your pal to email you a
Remote Assistance invitation and edit the file. Under the RCTICKET attribute will be a
NAT IP address, like Replace this with your chum’s real IP address — they
can find this out by going to www.whatismyip.com — and get them to make sure that
they’ve got port 3389 open on their firewall and forwarded to the errant computer.
11. You can run a program as a different user without logging out and back in again.
Right click the icon, select Run As… and enter the user name and password you want to
use. This only applies for that run. The trick is particularly useful if you need to have
administrative permissions to install a program, which many require. Note that you can
have some fun by running programs multiple times on the same system as different users,
but this can have unforeseen effects.
12. Windows XP can be very insistent about you checking for auto updates, registering a
Passport, using Windows Messenger and so on. After a while, the nagging goes away, but
if you feel you might slip the bonds of sanity before that point, run Regedit, go to
Version/Explorer/Advanced and create a DWORD value called EnableBalloonTips with
a value of 0.
13. You can start up without needing to enter a user name or password. Select Run…
from the start menu and type ‘control userpasswords2’, which will open the user accounts
application. On the Users tab, clear the box for Users Must Enter A User Name And
Password To Use This Computer, and click on OK. An Automatically Log On dialog box
will appear; enter the user name and password for the account you want to use.
14. Internet Explorer 6 will automatically delete temporary files, but only if you tell it to.
Start the browser, select Tools / Internet Options… and Advanced, go down to the
Security area and check the box to Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser
is closed.
15. XP comes with a free Network Activity Light, just in case you can’t see the LEDs
twinkle on your network card. Right click on My Network Places on the desktop, then
select Properties. Right click on the description for your LAN or dial-up connection,
select Properties, then check the Show icon in notification area when connected box.
You’ll now see a tiny network icon on the right of your task bar that glimmers nicely
during network traffic.
16. The Start Menu can be leisurely when it decides to appear, but you can speed things
along by changing the registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control
Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay from the default 400 to something a little snappier. Like
17. You can rename loads of files at once in Windows Explorer. Highlight a set of files in
a window, then right click on one and rename it. All the other files will be renamed to
that name, with individual numbers in brackets to distinguish them. Also, in a folder you
can arrange icons in alphabetised groups by View, Arrange Icon By… Show In Groups.
18. Windows Media Player will display the cover art for albums as it plays the tracks — if
it found the picture on the Internet when you copied the tracks from the CD. If it didn’t,
or if you have lots of pre-WMP music files, you can put your own copy of the cover art in
the same directory as the tracks. Just call it folder.jpg and Windows Media Player will
pick it up and display it.
19. Windows key + Break brings up the System Properties dialogue box; Windows key +
D brings up the desktop; Windows key + Tab moves through the taskbar buttons.
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Hidden Programs in Windows XP

Below are the lists of some of the Hidden Programs in the Windows XP operating System. Go to start and select Run. There typing the command on right side of the list will open the application in the left side.
SQL Client Configuration – cliconfg
System Configuration Editor – sysedit
System Configuration Utility – msconfig
System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately)- sfc /scannow
System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot)- sfc /scanonce
System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) – sfc /scanboot
System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting)- sfc /revert
System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache)- sfc /purgecache
System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x)-sfc/cachesize=x
System Information- msinfo32
System Properties – sysdm.cpl
Task Manager – taskmgr
TCP Tester – tcptest
Telnet Client – telnet
Tweak UI (if installed) – tweakui
User Account Management- nusrmgr.cpl
Utility Manager – utilman
Windows Address Book – wab
Windows Address Book Import Utility – wabmig
Windows Backup Utility (if installed)- ntbackup
Windows Explorer – explorer
Windows Firewall- firewall.cpl
Windows Magnifier- magnify
Windows Management Infrastructure – wmimgmt.msc
Windows Media Player – wmplayer
Windows Messenger – msmsgs
Windows Picture Import Wizard (need camera connected)- wiaacmgr
Windows System Security Tool – syskey
Windows Update Launches – wupdmgr
Windows Version (to show which version of windows)- winver
Windows XP Tour Wizard – tourstart
Wordpad – write
Password Properties – password.cpl
Performance Monitor – perfmon.msc
Phone and Modem Options – telephon.cpl
Phone Dialer – dialer
Pinball Game – pinball
Power Configuration – powercfg.cpl
Printers and Faxes – control printers
Printers Folder – printers
Private Character Editor – eudcedit
Quicktime (If Installed)- QuickTime.cpl
Quicktime Player (if installed)- quicktimeplayer
Real Player (if installed)- realplay
Regional Settings – intl.cpl
Registry Editor – regedit
Registry Editor – regedit32
Remote Access Phonebook – rasphone
Remote Desktop – mstsc
Removable Storage – ntmsmgr.msc
Removable Storage Operator Requests – ntmsoprq.msc
Resultant Set of Policy (XP Prof) – rsop.msc
Scanners and Cameras – sticpl.cpl
Scheduled Tasks – control schedtasks
Security Center – wscui.cpl
Services – services.msc
Shared Folders – fsmgmt.msc
Shuts Down Windows – shutdown
Sounds and Audio – mmsys.cpl
Spider Solitare Card Game – spider
Malicious Software Removal Tool – mrt
Microsoft Access (if installed) – access.cpl
Microsoft Chat – winchat
Microsoft Excel (if installed) – excel
Microsoft Frontpage (if installed)- frontpg
Microsoft Movie Maker – moviemk
Microsoft Paint – mspaint
Microsoft Powerpoint (if installed)- powerpnt
Microsoft Word (if installed)- winword
Microsoft Syncronization Tool – mobsync
Minesweeper Game – winmine
Mouse Properties – control mouse
Mouse Properties – main.cpl
Nero (if installed)- nero
Netmeeting – conf
Network Connections – control netconnections
Network Connections – ncpa.cpl
Network Setup Wizard – netsetup.cpl
Notepad – notepad
Nview Desktop Manager (If Installed)- nvtuicpl.cpl
Object Packager – packager
ODBC Data Source Administrator- odbccp32.cpl
On Screen Keyboard – osk
Opens AC3 Filter (If Installed) – ac3filter.cpl
Outlook Express – msimn
Paint – pbrush
IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration) – ipconfi/all
IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents)- ipconfig /displaydns
IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents)- ipconfig /flushdns
IP Configuration (Release All Connections)- ipconfig /release
IP Configuration (Renew All Connections)- ipconfig /renew
IP Configuration(RefreshesDHCP&Re-RegistersDNS)-ipconfig/registerdns
IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID)- ipconfig/showclassid
IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID)- ipconfig /setclassid
Java Control Panel (If Installed)- jpicpl32.cpl
Java Control Panel (If Installed)- javaws
Keyboard Properties – control keyboard
Local Security Settings – secpol.msc
Local Users and Groups – lusrmgr.msc
Logs You Out Of Windows – logoff…..
Accessibility Controls – access.cpl
Accessibility Wizard – accwiz
Add Hardware – Wizardhdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs – appwiz.cpl
Administrative Tools control – admintools
Adobe Acrobat (if installed) – acrobat
Adobe Designer (if installed)- acrodist
Adobe Distiller (if installed)- acrodist
Adobe ImageReady (if installed)- imageready
Adobe Photoshop (if installed)- photoshop
Automatic Updates – wuaucpl.cpl
Bluetooth Transfer Wizard – fsquirt
Calculator – calc
Certificate Manager – certmgr.msc
Character Map – charmap
Check Disk Utility – chkdsk
Clipboard Viewer – clipbrd
Command Prompt – cmd
Component Services – dcomcnfg
Computer Management – compmgmt.msc
Control Panel – control
Date and Time Properties – timedate.cpl
DDE Shares – ddeshare
Device Manager – devmgmt.msc
Direct X Control Panel (If Installed)- directx.cpl
Direct X Troubleshooter- dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility- cleanmgr
Disk Defragment- dfrg.msc
Disk Management- diskmgmt.msc
Disk Partition Manager- diskpart
Display Properties- control desktop
Display Properties- desk.cpl
Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected)- control color
Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility- drwtsn32
Driver Verifier Utility- verifier
Event Viewer- eventvwr.msc
Files and Settings Transfer Tool- migwiz
File Signature Verification Tool- sigverif
Findfast- findfast.cpl
Firefox (if installed)- firefox
Folders Properties- control folders
Fonts- control fonts
Fonts Folder- fonts
Free Cell Card Game- freecell
Game Controllers- joy.cpl
Group Policy Editor (XP Prof)- gpedit.msc
Hearts Card Game- mshearts
Help and Support- helpctr
HyperTerminal- hypertrm
Iexpress Wizard- iexpress
Indexing Service- ciadv.msc
Internet Connection Wizard- icwconn1
Internet Explorer- iexplore
Internet Properties- inetcpl.cpl
Internet Setup Wizard- inetwiz
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To prolong for restarting after windows update

Open Registry, Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\windows\Windowsupdate\AU". If both the sub-keys "Windowsupdate\AU" are not present, create tjese with "Edit->new->key". Create a new entry "RebootWarningTimeoutEnabled" in the right side of the Registry editor by clicking on "Edit->new->DWORD-Value". Open it and set its value to 1. With this you enable the instruction of an interval. Create another value called "RebootWarning-Timeout". Enter the desired span in minutes as the value eg. 30. Additionally, the span between the consistent "Restart later" messages can also be prolonged. This can be done with other entries in the Registry key used above. Create a DWORD-Value with the name "Reboot-RelaunchTimeoutEnabled" and set it to 1. Then create the DWORD value, "RebpptRelaunch-Timeout" and enter the desired duration in minutes after which Windows should repeat the message.
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Restrict User Timely login

Xp offers a possibility of deciding the logon times for each user in the system.Comfortable access to the settings is howev er only possible with the server version. The quickest way to do this in XP is by command line.
The "net user" command followed by the appropriate user account and the option "/times" enabhle the configuration of the logon times. For example to restrict access to the guest account, enter the follwing command
net user guest /times:Mo Fr,10 18;Sa,9 12
The change is effective immediately. The user can login from Monday to Friday between 10 to 18 and Saturday between 9 to 12. Outside this range will ask for password. And even if you give correct password, it will reject it being wrong.
To cancel the timely constraing just type
net user guest /times:all
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Allow usrs to access system services

You can curtail the services used on the network. Such tasks are regulated by group policies. On a local system, in your case, you are however required to define security template. This way you can apply the desired settings on the machine via the Snap-in "Security Configuration and analysis".
First load the Microsoft Management Console. Click on Start->Run, type "mmc" and click on "OK". Open the existing console file or create a new one by clicking on "File->Add/Remove Snap-in". Then in the Standalone tab click on "Add". Now close all the dialog boxes that have been opened. In the console, now open the "Security template" by clicking on the preceding plus sign. Right click on the desired directory and select "New Template". Name the template, give a description for it and click on "OK". Open the "Security template" folder and the file with the new template that you created. Go to the entry "System Service" under "Compatws". Right click on the desired service for e.g. Print Queue" and select properties. Activate the option "Define this policy setting in the template". The security setting are opened. Here click on "Add" in the input field of the following dialog box, type the name of the user who should get the rights to the service. Click on "Verify name" and on successful colclusion, click ok. The new user is now added to the previous dialog box and is marked. Under this, you can define the authorizations for him. A user should at least able to "Read". "Start, pause and suspend" to be able to start and end a service. Activate the necessary control box in the "Allow" column. Finally, confirm the settings with "Apply" and "OK". Again, defina the start moder or the service in the original dialog box. Select Automatic" to do this, and reconfirm with "Apply" And "OK".
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Using Ctrl+alt+del to lock desktop

Just open control panel->User Accounts. Select the action "Change the way users log on or off". Uncheck the option  "Use the Welcome Screen" and click apply. The old security dialog box will now appear if you click [ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del]. Now press spacebar to lock desktop.
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Some Important Tricky Issues

Well, the total thing is going very long, lets do it in short. Open registry and navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Policies\explorer". Under this create a DWORD-Value and name it from the list below to impose restriction. The value of which will be 1 to restrict and 0 to remove restriction. Lets look at the following list:
NoDeletePrinter: Disables Deletion of already installed Printers
NoAddPrinter: Disables Addition of new Printers
NoRun : Disables or hides the Run Command
NoSetFolders: Removes Folders from the Settings option on Start Menu (Control Panel, Printers, Taskbar)
NoSetTaskbar: Removes Taskbar system folder from the Settings option on Start Menu
NoFind: Removes the Find Tool (Start >Find)
NoDrives: Hides and does not display any Drives in My Computer
NoNetHood: Hides or removes the Network Neighborhood icon from the desktop
NoDesktop: Hides all items including, file, folders and system folders from the Desktop
NoClose: Disables Shutdown and prevents the user from normally shutting down Windows.
NoSaveSettings: Means to say, ‘Don’t save settings on exit’
DisableRegistryTools: Disable Registry Editing Tools (If you disable this option, the Windows Registry Editor(regedit.exe) too will not work.). So be very careful.
NoRecentDocsHistory: Removes Recent Document system folder from the Start Menu (IE 4 and above)
NoFileMenu _ Hides the Files Menu in Explorer
NoActiveDesktop – No Active Desktop
NoActiveDesktopChanges- No changes allowed
NoInternetIcon – No Internet Explorer Icon on the Desktop
NoFavoritesMenu – Hides the Favorites menu
NoChangeStartMenu _ Disables changes to the Start Menu
NoFolderOptions _ Hides the Folder Options in the Explorer
NoLogoff – Hides the Log Off …. in the Start Menu
NoViewOnDrive – Restrict a drive to open
NoTrayContextMenu – No context menu in tray.
ClearRecentDocsOnExit: Clears the Recent Documents system folder on Exit.
RestrictRun – Disables all exe programs except those listed in the RestrictRun subkey
Under the same key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Policies" you can create new subkeys other than the already existing Explorer key. Now create a new key and name it System. Under this new key, system we can create the following new DWORD values(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular
· NODispCPL: Hides Control Panel
· NoDispBackgroundPage: Hides Background page.
· NoDispScrsavPage: Hides Screen Saver Page
· NoDispAppearancePage: Hides Appearance Page
· NoDispSettingsPage: Hides Settings Page
· NoSecCPL: Disables Password Control Panel
· NoPwdPage: Hides Password Change Page
· NoAdminPaqe: Hides Remote Administration Page
· NoProfilePage: Hides User Profiles Page
· NoDevMgrPage: Hides Device Manager Page
· NoConfigPage: Hides Hardware Profiles Page
· NoFileSysPage: Hides File System Button
· NoVirtMemPage: Hides Virtual Memory Button
Similarly, if we create a new subkey named WinOldApp, we can add the following
DWORD values under it(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the
particular option):
Disabled: Disable MS-DOS Prompt
NoRealMode: Disable Single-Mode MS-DOS.
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