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Jun 1, 2011

Short Tips

Short Tips

Folder Options Missing

Many of us sometimes find the folder options missing in windows explorer.

Here's the solution-->

Open Run and then type "gpedit.msc".

Press Enter.

Now goto User Configuration > Administrative templates > Windows Component > Windows Explorer.

Click on Windows Explorer you will find the 3rd option on the right side of screen "Removes the Folder Option menu item from the Tools menu".

Just check it, if it is not configured then change it to enable by double clicking on it and after applying again set it to not configured.

I hopes that you will find the option.

Hide Your Files In A JPEG

Well, did you know you could hide your files in a JPEG file?

For this, you will only need to download WinRAR. You just need to have a little knowledge about Command Prompt and have WinRAR installed.

Ok, lets begin…

1. Gather all the files that you wish to hide in a folder anywhere in your PC (make it in C:\hidden - RECOMMENDED).

2. Now, add those files in a RAR archive (e.g. secret.rar). This file should also be in the same directory (C:\hidden).

3. Now, look for a simple JPEG picture file (e.g. logo.jpg). Copy/Paste that file also in C:\hidden.

4. Now, open Command Prompt (Go to Run and type ‘cmd‘). Make your working directory C:\hidden.

5. Now type: “COPY /b logo.jpg + secret.rar output.jpg” (without quotes) - Now, logo.jpg is the picture you want to show, secret.rar is the file to be hidden, and output.jpg is the file which contains both.

6. Now, after you have done this, you will see a file output.jpg in C:\hidden. Open it (double-click) and it will show the picture you wanted to show.

Now try opening the same file with WinRAR, it will show the hidden archive.


Automatically close non-responsive programs

With a small registry tweak, Windows XP can be set to automatically close any program that 'stops responding' (crashes), eliminating the need for you to use the task manager to close down the offending software manually.

To do this:

Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Desktop

Modify the REG_SZ entry AutoEndTasks with a value of 1

Set monitor refresh rate

Every monitor has a maximum refresh rate it is capable of displaying at a given resolution (for example, a typical 17-inch monitor of a few years ago will happily crank out 85Hz or more at a resolution of 800x600, but may only be capable of 60Hz at 1600x1200.

If this refresh rate is exceeded, the image will be distorted and unusable.

Older CRT monitors, especially 15-inch or smaller ones, tend not to be capable of a refresh rate much over 60Hz, especially at resolutions greater than 640X480. Also, setting the refresh rate does not have the same effect on LCD or flat panel monitors, as their screens are not redrawn in the same way.

To change your monitor refresh rate: Right click on an empty space on your desktop (no icons) and select 'properties'.

Click the 'settings' tab and choose the 'advanced' button. Now choose the 'adaptor' tab and click the 'show all modes' button.

This presents you with a list of resolution, colour and refresh rate options that your video card\monitor combination is capable of displaying. You can experiment with these settings by using the 'apply' button. Note that a refresh rate of 75Hz or above is generally recommended, (keep in mind most monitors do not support settings higher than 85Hz).

After you set the refresh rate, you may feel a little uncomfortable for a short while as your eyes adjust, but rest assured you will grow to appreciate the difference in ease of viewing.

Use system restore when you cannot boot your system

If your system has failed to the point where you cannot access the Windows GUI either through booting normally or through safe mode, you may still have the chance to use the System Restore feature if you have it enabled, by running it form the command prompt.

To do this:

Restart your computer and press F8 after the POST screen to bring up the Windows XP boot menu. Choose 'boot in safe mode with command prompt'.

If your system gets to the command prompt successfully, type '%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe' and then press enter.

Follow the onscreen instructions to restore your computer to a previous saved point.

Create a password reset disk

Here's an important tip… If you are using a password protected user account in Windows XP (and you really, really should be) you might be nervous about forgetting your password. Well here's a way to put your mind at ease, at least a little bit. Windows XP allows users to create a password reset disk specific to their user account. This disk can be used at the welcome screen to reset your password in the event that you do forget it.

To create the disk:

Go to start\control panel\user accounts.

Select the account you are currently logged in as.

Under the 'related tasks' heading in the top left corner, click 'prevent a forgotten password' to open the forgotten password wizard.

Insert a blank floppy disk and follow the instructions to create your password reset disk.

To use the password reset disk in case of emergency:

Once you have created a password reset disk for a specific user, the next time the password for that user is entered incorrectly at the welcome screen, a message will pop up asking if you have forgotten your password.

At this point you can elect to use your password reset disk. Follow the instructions to reset your password.

Note: There are a couple of possible problems with the above procedure. For one, if you have used Windows XP's built in encryption feature to encrypt some of your files and folders, but have not yet updated to service pack 1, do not reset your password, as you will lose access to all the encrypted data. Once you have got service pack 1, it is safe to use the disk.

Also, you cannot gain access to the reset feature if you have disabled the welcome screen on XP.

Keep your reset disk in a safe location, because anyone else can also use it to reset your password....

Hosting online games through the Windows XP firewall

If you are using the Windows XP firewall and you wish to host an online game such as Quake 3, or other applications that require users on the Internet to contact your computer directly, you will need to customize your firewall slightly to allow these specific communications through. Fortunately the XP firewall makes these changes fairly easy to do.

To customize your firewall: Go to 'start\control panel\network connections'. Right click on the network connection that has the firewall enabled and go to 'properties'. Choose the 'settings' button at the bottom. On the 'services' tab, click the 'add' button.

This window will add the application that you are using to the firewall's list of data that is allowed into your computer.

You will need to find out the port that your application uses. This information should be available from the documentation or from the software manufacturer's website.

Input a description for your convenience, then the computer name or IP address of the computer that is hosting the program, then put the port number that the program uses. Note that as long as the program is running on the computer that uses the XP firewall, the internal and external port will be the same.

Click 'ok' to apply the rule. Your firewall will now allow connections through the port you specified.

Automatically run programs when starting Windows

If there are applications or commands that you run every single time you start your computer (Email comes to mind) you may want to consider setting things up so that these programs run automatically during the Windows XP startup. This can be done quite easily in XP by creating shortcuts and shuffling them around.

Here's how:

Windows XP has a startup folder located at 'C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name)\Start Menu\Programs\Startup'. Shortcuts placed into this folder will be run automatically when Windows XP starts up.

If you already have shortcuts for the programs you desire to use, copy and paste them into the startup folder. Otherwise, go to 'start\programs', select the program you would like to create a shortcut for, right click it and select 'send to' then 'desktop.' This will create a shortcut on the desktop that you can then use.

To convert a FAT partition to NTFS

Click Start, click Programs, and then click Command Prompt.

In Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type cmd and then click OK.

At the command prompt, type CONVERT [drive letter]:/FS:NTFS.

Convert.exe will attempt to convert the partition to NTFS.


Although the chance of corruption or data loss during the conversion from FAT to NTFS is minimal, it is best to perform a full backup of the data on the drive that it is to be converted prior to executing the convert command. It is also recommended to verify the integrity of the backup before proceeding, as well as to run RDISK and update the emergency repair disk (ERD).

Modify Color Selection of Default Theme

Open registry by going to Start then Run.

Entering regedit, navigate to
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ThemeManager] and locate the key "ColorName".

Right Click on it and select modify its value from "NormalColor" to "Metallic".

Click Ok, and exit regedit and restart your computer.

Disable the Disk performance counter(s)

Windows XP contains a built in performance monitor that is constantly examining various areas of your system. This information can be called up using the performance monitor application found in control panel\administrative tools. Of course, most of us have little interest in this sort of performance statistics monitoring, that being more the territory of systems administrators than individual users.

The thing is, XP is still monitoring away, and some of its observation tools can use a considerable amount of resources. The disk monitoring is an example of this, and it's a good idea to turn the disk monitors off if you are not planning to use the performance monitor application.

To do this:

Go to the command prompt ('start\run' then type 'cmd') and type 'diskperf -N'

Alternate Method

Win XP comes with many inbuilt performance monitoring applications that constantly examine various parts of the system. This information can be of real use to a system administrator for collecting performance statistics. However, for a home user, these statistics hold no value and since the monitoring happens all the time, it consumes a good deal of system resources. “Disk
monitoring”, for example, happens in the background, and turning it off is advisable if you will not be using the performance monitoring applications. To turn it off, type in “diskperf -N” at a command prompt. To bring up the command prompt: go to Start>Run, type in “cmd” and press [Enter].

Creating The Suspend Shortcut

Right click on the Desktop. New>Shortcut. Enter in rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState. Give it whatever name you want. Now when you click on that shortcut, your computer will shutdown and suspend. you can also change the icon of the Shortcut. Just right click on it and go to 'Properties/Shortcut (Tab)/Change Icon.

Removing the Shortcut arrow from Desktop Icons

Goto Start then Run and Enter regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile. Delete the IsShortcut registry value. You may need to restart Windows XP.

To change Drive Letters

Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management, Disk Management, then right-click the partition whose name you want to change (click in the white area just below the word "Volume" and select "change drive letter and paths".

From here you can add, remove or change drive letters and paths to the partition.

Force windows XP to reboot upon crashing

This registry edit will cause your system to reboot itself automatically upon crashing. This can be useful if you have a reason for keeping your system on 24/7:


Navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl'

Edit the 'AutoReboot' value to '1'

Removing Shared Documents folder From My Computer

Open registry editor by going to Start then Run and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\My Computer\NameSpace\DelegateFolders

You must see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}.

If you delete this key, you have effectively removed the "My Shared" documents folder.

Locking the desktop

If you are leaving your computer for a while and do not wish to turn it off, but want to assure that no-one else can use the computer while you are away, locking the desktop is the best option. By pressing WINDOWSKEY+L, you password protect your system just as if you had logged out or restarted the computer. The advantage is that any programs or processes that were running when you locked the desktop will stay open and running in the background, ready for you to resume work or play.

Creating Shutdown Icon or One Click Shutdown

Navigate to your desktop. On the desktop, right-click and go to New, then to Shortcut (in other words, create a new shortcut). You should now see a pop-up window instructing you to enter a command line path. Use this path in "Type Location of the Item"

SHUTDOWN -s -t 01 If the C: drive is not your local hard drive, then replace "C" with the correct letter of the hard drive. Click the "Next" button. Name the shortcut and click the "Finish" button. Now whenever you want to shut down, just click on this shortcut and you're done.

Deleting System Softwares

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.

Creating a desktop shortcut for locking your computer

If you use your computer in an area where others may have access to it, and there are things on your system you would rather have kept confidential, locking your desktop when you leave the computer is an essential task. Here's a recipe for a desktop shortcut that will lock your computer in two easy clicks:

Right click on an empty area of the desktop and choose 'new' then 'shortcut.' The create shortcut wizard will open; in the first text box, type '%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation' and then give your shortcut an appropriate name on the next page, and hit 'finish'.

You will notice that the shortcut you created has a blank icon. To select a more appropriate one, right click on the shortcut and hit 'properties'. In the 'shortcut' tab, click the 'change icon' button.

In the 'look for icons in this file' box, type '%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll' then click 'ok' to see a range of icons for your new shortcut. Choose an appropriate icon. Your desktop locking shortcut is now ready for use.

Test it out.

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