Windows XP

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NOTE: When instructions call for modifying the Windows Registry ensure that you take a backup of the entire registry before proceeding with any changes.

Application Compatibility Toolkit

Example: Service Pack 3 (SP3) is installed but the programme you are trying to install requires Service Pack 2 and its installer does not recognise SP3.

Installing the Application Compatibility Toolkit allows you to fool an executable file in to believing that the operating system has a different Service Pack installed.

Autoenrollment Error - Event ID 15

  1. Click Start, click Run, type gpedit.msc, and then press ENTER.
  2. In the left pane, expand Computer Configuration, expand Windows Settings, expand Security Settings, and then expand Public Key Policies.
  3. Double-click Autoenrollment Settings.
  4. Click Do not enroll certificates automatically.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5, but in step 2, expand User Configuration, expand Windows Settings, expand Security Settings, and then expand Public Key Policies.
  7. Close the Group Policy window.

Gleaned from the Microsoft article found here.

Briefcase Icon: How To Recreate It

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':


Click 'OK' and the "My Briefcase" icon will appear on the desktop.

C:\ Shows As Removable Drive: How To Fix

This appears to happen on some NVIDIA nForce4 chipped motherboards causing attached SATA drives to show in 'Safely Remove Hardware', the following registry tweak should fix it.

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':


Navigate to:


From the main menu click 'Edit' --> 'New' --> 'DWORD Value'

Name this DWORD: DisableRemovable

Double click this new DWORD and set its value to one (1).

Close Regedit and restart the system


Allegedly this tweak gives smoother fonts, really it depends on how good your eyes are:

  1. Open 'Display' properties
  2. Select the 'Appearence' tab
  3. Click on the 'Effects' button
  4. Under 'Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:' select 'ClearType'.

NOTE: This is a per user tweak, to apply to all existing and future users required editing the Windows Registry.

CTRL+ALT+DEL Log On: How To Enable

Click 'Start' --> 'Control Panel'

Open 'User Accounts'

Click 'Change the way users log on and off'

Untick 'Use the welcome screen' and 'Use Fast User Switching'

Close the Control Panel

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open' then click 'OK':

control userpasswords2

On the resulting window click on the 'Advanced' tab

Under the 'Secure login' section tick the box next to 'Require users to press CTRL+ALT+DEL'

Click 'Apply' then restart the system.

Credentials Manager

If your username and password are rejected even though they have been confirmed as correct when trying to access a Samba share then check the following:

  • Control Panel
  • User Accounts
  • Select the appropriate account
  • Click on 'Manage My Network Passwords' on the Related Tasks panel (left hand side of the window)

From this point you will be able to manage your passwords, either editing or deleting etc.

Compressed (Zipped) Folder Support - Disable: How To

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open' then click 'OK':

regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll

Windows will display a conformation message that the operation has completed successfully, then restart the Windows for the change to be effective.

To re-enable Compressed (ZIP) Folder support in Windows:

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open' (essentially it is the same command except without the /u switch):

regsvr32 %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll

Restart Windows for change to take effect.


Diskpart.exe is used to extend an existing data volume in to unused space.

Full details can be found here:

End Task: Change Timeout

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Locate the following entry:


Double click and alter the 'Value data' to your desired selection

File List Viewing Preferences: How To Set

Open 'My Computer' or 'Windows Explorer'

Sort the files and folders how you wish them to be viewed, i.e. by date, by size, by details view

Hold down the Ctrl key and click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the Window to close it

Now whenever you run a Windows application that uses the File Open, Save, or Save As dialog boxes, the files are listed in the manner selected above

"For testing purposes only. Build 2600.xp_sp..." Appears On The Desktop: How To Remove

The follow steps removes the test certificate that is responsible for the text message being displayed.

Click Start --> Run then type:


Then click 'OK'

In the list that appears, find and expand the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder.

Within the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder, find and expand the Certificates folder.

In the right pane, find and delete all entries named Microsoft Test Root Authority.

Restart the computer.

Generate File Listing: How To

Note: The following creates when you right click on a folder an entry in the shell menu called 'Create File Listing'. This creates a text document listing of all the files with in a folder, with the resulting text file saved in the folder itself. The listing is a plain list of all the files, if you want to have listed in the document details of the files themselves i.e. dates, then drop the /b switch.

Open Notepad and paste in the following text:

dir /a /b /-p /o:gen >filelisting.txt

Save the file in to the Windows directory calling it file_listing with a .bat file extension not .txt

Open Windows Explorer, click 'Tools' --> 'Folder Options' click on the 'Files Type' tab, find and highlight 'Folder' then click the 'Advanced' button.

Click the 'New' button, in the 'Action' box paste the following:

Create File Listing

Then browse to and highlight the .bat file created above.

Click all the 'OK' buttons as required.

Group Policy Editor - Administrative Templates Missing: How To Fix

In the Group Policy Editor right expand 'Computer Configuration' or 'User Configuration' (or both if needed).

Right click on 'Administrative Templates' select 'Add/Remove Templates' highlight 'system' then click the 'Add' button.

In the resulting window select 'system.adm' then click the 'Open' button. Finally click the 'Close' button.

If the above does not work it may be the .adm files are corrupted replacements can be downloaded from here.

Hidden Files & Folders Will Not Display: How To Fix

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':


Then press the 'OK' button.

Navigate to:


In the right hand pane find the value


Double click on it and change the 'Value Data' to:


Next copy the text below and paste in to Notepad and save it as:


NOTE: Text to copy, depending on your browser you may have to manually remove a space from the beginning of each line.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Double click the resulting file and merge it in to the registry.

Hidden Windows Components: How To Uninstall

This allows you to un-hide Windows components to make them viewable in Add/Remove Programs, e.g. Games & MSN Messanger. This is useful in a business environment

Ensure that hidden files are visible, in Windows Explorer click 'Tools' --> 'Folder Options' --> 'View' --> 'Show Hidden Files & Folders'

Navigate to:


Open the sysoc.inf file in Notepad or another plain text editor.

Use the 'Search' --> 'Replace' feature of Notepad to remove all entries 'HIDE' (without the speech marks)

Leave Notepad open and move on the next step

Open the Control Panel --> Add/Remove Programs --> Add/Remove Components. Remove any features not required.

Close the sysoc.inf file remembering not to save changes.

Logon Screen Wallpaper: How To Remove

This allows you to alter the default wallpaper seen at the login screen. Delete the value if you want there to be no wallpaper.

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open'


Navigate to:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Locate the following entry:


Double click and alter the 'Value data' to your desired selection

Installation Date - How To Find It

Method 1

Open a command prompt, type:


The tenth line of the results will give you the install date and time.

The above command also gives you plenty of other information about the physical aspects of the computer.

Method 2

In the Run box type:

CMD /K WMIC OS GET InstallDate

A terminal will open in which will be displayed the installation date.

Installation Path: How To Change The Default

On occasions when you add software or features to XP the installation files are needed and you will be prompted for the installation CD. To facilitate the process, you can copy the i386 folder on the CD to you local hard drive and change the registry, so that XP will look for them automatically.

Edit these 2 keys:


In SourcePath, change to the correct drive letter

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

In SourcePath, change the value to the correct i386 folder (eg. e:\i386 to c:\i386)

Page File: Setting To Clear At Shutdown

Start Registry Editor, 'Start (button)' --> 'Run', type 'regedit' (without the ) click 'OK'

NOTE: If 'Run' is not present on your start menu press and hold down the Windows key on the keyboard (usually found on the left hand side of the space bar) and press 'R'

Locate the following section of the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management      

Locate in the right hand pane if present the entry 'ClearPageFileAtShutdown' and alter its value from 0 to 1. This is done by double clicking on it to open a dialogue box.

If the value does not exist right click on a blank are in the righthand pane and select 'New' --> 'DWORD Value adding the following value:

Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

Recovery Console: How To Install

To install the Recovery Console as a startup option

With Windows XP running, insert your Windows XP CD in the drive, and click Exit when the installation options are displayed.

Click Start, click Run, and then type:

D:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons 

Note: Where D: is the CD-ROM drive letter, and then press Enter.

Follow the instructions on screen to install the Recovery Console, and when the installation is complete, restart your computer.

The Recovery Console will show up in the list of available operating systems in the Startup menu. You must be an administrator to use the Recovery Console.

If the i386 directory is already installed on your computer (as might be the case in computers purchased with Windows XP pre-installed), you can use the same syntax as in Step 2, using the [path]\i386 directory without having to use the CD.

An alternative method is to boot to the CD and start WINNT.EXE, then when prompted to Install or Repair, click Repair, which installs the Recovery Console for you.

If Windows XP will not start, you can run the Recovery Console from the Setup CD.

Screen Resolution: Home Edition

Home Edition of XP out of the box only supports one screen resolution across all user profiles...

Go here and download the tool to allow a different screen resolutions for each user.

Search Facility Not Working When Searching By Extension and/or Keywords: How To Fix

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':


Locate the registry key:


Locate the following key:


Change the DWORD value:

0 = Disabled
1 = Enabled

Services: Create or Delete

Services are added from the Command Prompt. You need to know the actual service name as opposed to what Microsoft calls the Display Name. For example, if you wanted to create or delete the Help and Support service, the name used at the Command Prompt would be "helpsvc" rather than the Display Name of "Help and Support". The actual service name can be obtained by typing services.msc in Run on the Start Menu and then double clicking the Display Name of the service. Once you know the name;

To Create A Service:

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':

sc create <service name>

Reboot the system

To Delete A Service:

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':

sc delete <service name>

Reboot the system

If you prefer to work in the registry rather than through the command prompt to delete services;

Click 'Start' --> 'Run'

Enter the following command in the text box next to 'Open':


Navigate to:


Scroll down the left pane, locate the service name, right click it and select Delete.

Reboot the system

Shared Documents Folder - Remove: How To

Registry Hack

Open Regedit, browse to the following path:


In the right-hand pane create a new DWORD value with the following values:

Name: NoSharedDocuments
Value: 1

Show Desktop Icon: How To Recreate

Open Notepad.

Copy and then paste the following text into Notepad:


Click File --> Save As, and then save the file to your desktop as "Show desktop.scf", and save to the Windows folder.

Open Windows Explorer and browse to the Windows folder, locate "Show desktop.scf" left click and hold down and then drag to the Quick Launch toolbar.

Shutdown: Automatically Close Applications Not Responding

When an application fails to respond during shutdown a dialog box is displayed prompting the user to either end it now or to wait. Enabling the value AutoEndTasks will take care of the non-responding application without user intervention. This is often referred to as “Force Exit”.

Implement for All Users

Start --> Run --> Regedit

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

The values are:

0 = Disabled
1 = Enabled

Start Menu - Recent Documents Not Populating: How To Fix

  • Log in as Administrator
  • Windows Explorer --> C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Recent
  • Right click on the "Recent" folder and select "Properties" from the pop-up list
  • In the Properties dialog box, click the "Security" tab
  • If you don't see username in "Group or user names" you'll need to add it by clicking the "Add" button
  • In the ensuing "Select Users or Groups" dialog box, type your user name exactly as identified by the system, and then click the "Check Names" button to the right. The OS software hopefully will hopefully return "computername\username" in the pane where you'd typed your username
  • Then click "OK," and you should see your username along with SYSTEM under "Group or user names"
  • Select your username. Then, in the "Permissions" pane, check the box "Allow, Full Control" and "OK"

Time Failing To Update - How To Repair

If in Event Viewer - System you get the errors:

Event ID: 7 - The time provider 'NtpClient' returned an error while updating its configuration. The error will be ignored. The error was: The handle is invalid. (0x80070006)

Try un-registering and re-registering the W32time service, you will need to be logged in as an administrator and the following commands can be run from either the command prompt or from the 'Run' windows:

  1. Stop the Windows Time service, type 'net stop w32time' (without the speech marks), and press ENTER.
  2. Un-register the Windows Time service dynamic-link library (DLL), type 'w32tm /unregister' (without the speech marks), and press ENTER.
  3. Re-register the Windows Time service DLL, type w32time /register (without the speech marks), and press ENTER.
  4. Re-start the Windows Time service, type net start w32time (without the speech marks), and press ENTER.

Test by synchronizing the clock from within 'Date and Time Properties' and then re-check the Event Viewer log.

Winsock - How To Repair

Network Folders and Printers: How To Stop Automatic Search

Microsoft has a habit of putting convenience features into their operating systems that are convenient only to a small, select group of users. One such feature in XP is the automatic search for network printers and folders. Automatic search periodically polls your network to check for new shared resources and adds relevant icons into My Network Places if anything is found.

Microsoft's documentation on this feature is contradictory. In one sentence Microsoft state that the feature "does not add a great deal of overhead to your Windows XP computer's work load", implying that it does add some overhead, though they are not willing to state the level of that overhead. In the same documentation Microsoft proceed to state that if you have a small network where few resources are added or infrequent changes are made, or if you use a laptop that is regularly disconnected from the network then "...having Windows XP use any resources at all to perform this chore might be counter-productive", thus implying greater overhead than Microsoft are willing to admit to.

You can manually search your network for new printers in the Add New Printer Wizard, and you can manually locate new computers and shares on your network using standard URI notation in Windows Explorer, for example:


If you wish to prevent XP from regularly searching your network and performing "counter-productive chores" then follow these simple instructions:

   * Open the Control Panel and select Folder Options. If you use the Control Panel Category View you'll find Folder Options under Appearance and Themes.
   * Click the View tab.
   * In the Advanced Settings list, click to clear the Automatically Search for Network Folders and Printers check box.
   * Click OK.

How to get administrator access to Windows without a password