Windows XP

PowerOff At Shutdown


If your computer does not turn off at the power when doing a shutdown, you may need to edit the registry. 

You may have all the correct BIOS and Power settings and still need to do this.

1. Start Regedit

2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

3. Edit the key PowerOffActive and give it a value of 1

4. You can do the same in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Opening A Command Prompt To A Particular Directory From Explorer

If you want to open a Command Prompt to a directory that is selected in the Explorer:

1. Start Regedit.

2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ shell

3. Create a new key called Command

4. Give it the value of the name you want to appear in the Explorer.  Something like Open DOS Box

5. Under this create a new key called command

6. Give it a value of cmd.exe /k "cd %L"

7. Now when you are in the Explorer, right click on a folder, select Open DOS Box, and a command prompt will open to the selected directory

Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks

1. Start Regedit

2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER_\Control


3. Set the value to be 1

4. In the same section, change the WaitToKillAppTimeout to the number of milliseconds you want

Running Network Diagnostics

Network Diagnostics scans your system to gather information about your hardware, software, and network connections.

Start / Run / NETSH DIAG GUI

The following is the type of information that can be displayed:

  • Ping
  • Connect
  • Show
  • Verbose
  • Save to Desktop
  • Mail Service
  • News Service
  • Internet Proxy Server
  • Computer Information
  • Operating System
  • Windows Version
  • Modems
  • Network Clients
  • Network Adapters
  • Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Default Gateways
  • Internet Protocol Address
  • Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS)

Back-up To A CD-Rom

A major limitation of XP's Ntbackup utility is its inability to select a CD-RW drive as a backup destination. To work around this hurdle:

1. Open Ntbackup

2. Select the files to back up

3. Then select C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\microsoft\cd burning\backup.bkf as the backup destination.

4. When the backup finishes, XP will prompt you to write the files to the CD-ROM.

Disabling Messenger Service

To remove the ability for anyone in the world to pop up messages on your computer, you can disable the Messenger service:

1. Click Start->Settings ->Control Panel

2. Click Performance and Maintenance

3. Click Administrative Tools

4. Double click Services

5. Scroll down and highlight "Messenger"

6. Right-click the highlighted line and choose Properties

7. Click the STOP button

8. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar Click OK

Accessing Non-Listed Display Configurations

If you want to access display configurations not normally listed (e.g. 256 colors) then:

1. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab.

2. Click the Advanced button.

3. Click the Adapter tab,

4. Click the List all modes button.

5. Select the resolution, colour depth, and refresh rate that you want and click OK.

Reinstalling WindowsXP

If you need to reinstall WindowsXP and want to keep all your current installed applications and settings:

1. Start WindowsXP

2. Go to the location of your source files

3. Run WINNT32 /unattend

Creating a Boot Floppy

To create a bootable floppy from within WindowsXP:

1. Insert a floppy into the A: drive

2. Open the Explorer

3. Right click on the A: Drive

4. Select Format

5. Check Create an MS-DOS startup disk

6. Click on the Start button

7. This will create a Millennium boot disk

Rollback a Device Driver

If you install a device drive that does not work correctly, you can restore the previous one fairly easily.

1. Log in with an administrator account

2. Right click on My Computer

3. Select Properties

4. Click on the Hardware tab

5. Click on the Device Manager button

6. Go to the device you want to reconfigure

7. Click on the Driver tab

8. Click on the Roll Back Drive button

Increasing Graphics Performance

By default, WindowsXP turns on a lot of shadows, fades, slides etc to menu items. Most simply slow down their display.

To turn these off selectively:

1. Right click on the My Computer icon

2. Select Properties

3. Click on the Advanced tab

4. Under Performance, click on the Settings button

5. To turn them all of, select Adjust for best performance

6. My preference is to leave them all off except for Show shadows under mouse pointer and Show window contents while dragging

Disabling Hibernation

If you don't want to use up the disk space taken by Hibernation, or don't need to use it at all, you can easily disable it:

1. Open up the Control Panel / Power Options icon

2. Click on the Hibernation icon

3. Uncheck Enable Hibernation



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