Windows XP Tips

Unhide the Administrator Account
XP has a cloaked administrator account, called Administrator, which is hidden unless there are no other accounts set up or you booted into Safe Mode. To add the Administrator account to the Welcome Screen, go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\SpecialAccounts\UserList in the registry. Add or open the Administrator DWORD value and set its value to 1. Then reboot or choose Start | Run and enter Control userpasswords and hit Enter.

Find Every File
When you search for a file in Windows, Windows only looks for certain registered file types. To see the list of registered files, open Explorer, choose Tools | Folder Options and click the File Types tab. To locate all files, use RegEdit to get to the HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex key. Change the FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions value from 0 to 1.

Windows XP Changes Filename Sorting
XP uses a different sorting algorithm than prior Windows versions. Example: previously File1.txt, File10.txt and File100.txt all came before File2.txt because 1 is less than 2. In XP, File10.txt comes after File2.txt because 10 is greater than 2. To revert to the old sort methodology, navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Oilicies\Explorer using Regedit and find or create a DWORD value named NoStrCmpLogical and set its value to 1.

Force XP to Crash
Use Regedit and navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\18042prt\Parameters. Find or create a DWORD value called CrashOnCtrlScroll and set its value to 1. Reboot your computer. Now you can cause XP to crash and display the blue screen by holding the right-hand Ctrl key and pressing Scroll Lock twice.

Create Your Own Fonts
XP comes with its own font editor program call eudcedit.exe. You can use it to create your own fonts either from scratch or by copying another font and modifying it. You use it like a scaled down version of Paint. You save your font by choosing Edit | Save Character which stores them in the Eudc.tte file. Your font will be linked to all fonts on your system. You can select File | Font Links to link them to a particular font instead.

To use your font you must use Character Map to select it and paste it into your document. Run Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Character Map and select All Fonts (Private Characters) from the font list. You should see your font.

Turn Off Messenger Service
Network administrators use Messenger service (not MSN Messenger) to broadcast notices to all network users using net send <IP address> <message> in the command prompt. Spammers can use this to pester you with alerts. The service is started at boot up by default. To prevent it click Start | Run, type services.msc and click OK. Double click the Messenger service and press Stop. From the Startup type list select Disabled.

Delete AVI Files
Sometimes trying to delete an AVI file causes Explorer to hang. To prevent this use Regedit and go to HKCR\System FileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler and delete the Default key.

Protect Your Files
On NTFS you can password protect compressed folders and move your sensitive files to that folder. To create a compressed folder, right click on the desired location in Explorer and select New | Compressed (zipped) folder. Move your files in then open the folder and select File | Add password. You can also encrypt a folder which means it is not available to other users. Right click the folder and select Sharing and Security, click the General tab, then Advanced. Check the Encrypt Contents option and hit OK.

Fix Corrupt Desktop Icons
Windows caches icons for all items on your desktop. If your desktop displays the wrong icons or none at all you can refresh the cache. Use Regedit to open HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer. Find or create a DWORD value named MaxCachedIcons. Change the value to 4096 or larger in decimal. Next, right click your desktop and choose Properties | Appearance tab | Advanced button. Select Icon in the Item list and increase the Size setting by 1. Click OK then Apply. The desktop will fade then return. Now change the Size back to its original value.

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