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Windows 98 Index I | Windows 98 Index II | Windows Me | Windows XP | Virus Information | Updated 05/22/06

Welcome to Bo's Tweaky Clean Windows XP

For more on registry tweaks, click here

Index


Merging Registry (.Reg) Files Into Your Windows Registry

On many of these Registry Tweaks pages you may find an instruction to merge, after creating, a REG file. Generally when you come across a Registry Merge file it is titled like so: 

Filename.reg 

Double clicking on the file will write it’s contents into your system registry. I always recommend that you open the Reg file in Notepad to see what changes it is about to make to your system. Many of these files are available on the internet from various venders or webmasters. While most are probably okay to use, some most definitely are not and should never be used as they will compromise your entire system. 

Oft times you may forget to open the file in Notepad especially if it is from a site like BLCOW which you trust. Other problems can occur if the writer of the script, unintentionally makes an error. While we try very hard to make sure that our scripts are correct and will do what is intended, sometimes one slips by us.

That is why I suggest that you use this REG file which, once you double click a REG file, it is opened in Notepad automatically so you can check it out before committing to a merge into your Registry. Once this file is merged into the System Registry you  can no longer merge a REG file by double clicking on it. You will need to close Notepad and right click on the file and choose Merge from the right click context menu. Give it a try for yourself. Here is the script enjoy:

Copy only the script that appears between the line but do not copy the lines into Notepad

----------------------------------------------------------------------

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\regfile\shell]
@="edit"

----------------------------------------------------------------------

After copying the file into Notepad, save the file as MergeEdit.reg.

Save the file to the desktop or a place that you can remember where to find it. Once done, double click on MergeEdit.reg. and answer yes to the dialog which will allow the script to merge. this will be the last time you will ever be able to double click a REG file and have it merge automatically. The change is instantaneous and you do not have to reboot to lock it into the System Registry.

To test this file further we have a tweak which you can use to speed up your icon cashe. Again, copy only the script between the lines and save it to Notepad as, SpeedIcon.reg. double click it and it opens in Notepad. To have the fix merge, simply right click the file and chose Merge from the context menu.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

REGEDIT4

; Save the file as SpeedIcon.reg
; Please do not enter any of these types of scripts without
; First backing up your registry.
; Brought to you by BLCOW
; Some users report that installation and use of XP PowerToys causes desktop icons
; to revert to older forms. The causes have been traced to corruption of the following
; Registry keys. 

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop\WindowMetrics]
"Shell Icon BPP"="16"
"Shell Icon Size"="32"

----------------------------------------------------------------------


Automatically Refresh File Lists in Explorer

While viewing Windows Explorer, you pop out one CD and insert another. Sometimes the CD drive information doesn't update. This little reg tweak can help out. It also speeds up overall viewing in Explorer.,/p>

Change the value of UpdateMode in 

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Update 

from 01 to 00.


Easily Register and Unregister DLL's

If you are ever troubleshooting DLL's on your system, this registry entry can help save you time. It allows you to right click on a DLL file and select the option to register or unregister it.

Just copy this into a text file and save it as "dllreg.reg"ť, run the file and try it.

To use the Regedit Script: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on the file and selecting Edit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.dll]
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"
@="dllfile"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/dllfile]
@="Application Extension"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/dllfile/Shell/Registercommand]
@="regsvr32.exe "%1""
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/dllfile/Shell/UnRegistercommand]
@="regsvr32.exe /u "%1""

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The script is that which appears between the "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`" lines.


You get an "Unspecified error line 1344"
when attempting to print from the inbox in either of these two programs Outlook or Outlook Express..

Many of our readers have been getting an error such as, "Unspecified error line 1344", followed by a bath line to a system file in either Outlook or Outlook Express attempting email printing..

There are several things that can be done not the least of which is a Registry Hack. The hack should only be done after attempting to register the file for which the error is showing.

For our little demonstration we will assume the file in question is:Ole32.dll. In most cases the path points to files in the 

C:\Windows\System32

Folder.

Here is how to re-register the files:

  1. Press the Windows Key and hit the R key on your keyboard.

  2. This will bring up the Run dialog (Same as pressing Start | Run)

  3. In the Open command line, type or copy and paste the below if your files are Ole32.dll object files. If not, substitute your error file:

    Regsvr32 ole32.dll

    Note the space between the command Regsvr32 and the file for which the action is called Ole32.dll

  4. Once the file has been registered, you should get a confirmation message that it was successful. Please see:
    Bo Explains the Regsvr32 tool for more information on how to use the utility and some of the messages that you might see when attempting to register a file.

Windows Scripting Host is out of date

In some cases, this type of error will occur if the Windows Scripting Host is out of date, or perhaps has become corrupted. Click the below link to go get this updated version from Microsoft and install. Then reboot the system and see if the problem has been resolved.

Windows Script 5.6 for Windows XP and Windows 2000

The Registry Hack

If registering the files did not do the trick then try this Registry hack. 
NOTE: Never make any changes to the System Registry unless or until you have backed it up and know how to restore the System Registry. More on how to do this can be found on the start page for this section of 
Blasdell's Little Corner of the Web at the below site:

http://www.uninets.net/~blaisdel/RegTweaks.htm

Look below, for the automatic registry entry and an explanation on what to do.

This is a script (Appears in Blue) to install into the system registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00000320-0000-0000-C000-
000000000046}]
@="PSFactoryBuffer"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00000320-0000-0000-C000-
000000000046}\InprocServer32]
@="C:\\WINNT\\system32\\ole32.dll"
"ThreadingModel"="Both"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0C733A30-2A1C-11CE-ADE5-
00AA0044773D}]
@="ISequentialStream"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0C733A30-2A1C-11CE-ADE5-
00AA0044773D}\NumMethods]
@="5"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0C733A30-2A1C-11CE-ADE5-
00AA0044773D}\ProxyStubClsid32]
@="{00000320-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0000000c-0000-0000-C000-
000000000046}]
@="IStream"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0000000c-0000-0000-C000-
000000000046}\NumMethods]
@="14"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{0000000c-0000-0000-C000-
000000000046}\ProxyStubClsid32]
@="{00000320-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"


Unload .dll's to Free Memory

Windows Explorer caches DLLs (Dynamic-Link Libraries) in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory.

1. OPen Registry Editor and find the key

 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]

2. Create a new sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1' to disable (1=Disable: 0=Enable) Windows caching the DLL in memory. 
3. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows for the change to take effect.


Shutdown XP Faster

1) Click Start | Run and type or copy and paste the following & click OK:

 Regedit 

Navigate to the following Registry key: 

HKEY CURRENT USER\Control Panel\Desktop 

Double click on the AutoEndTasks entry and replace the 0 with a 1 in the Value data text box

For the next two, if the dword value indicated does not exist, create it:

Double click on the WaitToKillAppTimeout entry in the right pane and change the Value data to 2000

Double click on the HungAppTimeout entry in the right pane and change the Value data to 1000

Reboot for the changes to take affect

If still having a problem, make the next change:

2) navigate to 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control 

in the System Registry Editor

Right-click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and change it to 2000

NOTE: The lowest value Windows will recognize is 1000 (1 second)

ADVISORY: While rare, the "WaitToKillService" tweak can cause problems. If an application is in the process of saving data and the associated service is stopped prematurely, the data will not be saved and may be lost. 


Prevent Regedit from Saving the Last Location (Windows 2000/XP) 
Another one of the those little Windows annoyances Cured

By default, when you start Regedit.exe, it displays the last key you accessed the last time you ran Regedit. This tweak describes how to prevent this behavior.

1. Open your registry using Regedt32.exe (NOTE: Works with Windows XP Home versions under Regedit) and find the key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Regedit] 

2. Double-click the "LastKey" value, clear the entry in the String box, and then click OK. 

3. Highlight the key, and then click Permissions on the Security menu. 

4. Remove Full Control access for any user who does not want Regedit to display the last key the user accessed in the previous Regedit session, and then click OK. (Please note that if permissions cannot be removed, they may need to be denied.) 

5. Quit Regedt32.exe or Regedit.exe.

Note: If you do not want to deny access to users, there is an easy way to close all keys and hives after you start Regedit. After you start Regedit, press and hold down SHIFT+LEFT ARROW to collapse all the entries back to the My Computer entry. You must do this each time you start Regedit.

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\
Regedit]
Value Name: LastKey
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)

Add the QuickView Option to All Files (All Windows) 

If you ever wanted to add QuickView to the context menu of all file types, it may be a tedious task doing so using Windows Explorer's Options - File Type window. This tip shows how to do it in a couple of easy steps.

Open your registry and create a sub-key called QuickView under [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*].

Change the (Default) value of the new sub-key to equal '*'.

Close the registry and open an Explorer window. Right-click on any file and the QuickView command should now appear.

Note: You need to have QuickView installed on your PC. If not, Go to 
Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs | and add it from the Accessories group in the Windows Setup tab.

Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\QuickView]
Value Name: (Default)
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: *

Show All Hidden Devices in Device Manager (Windows 2000/XP) 

Devices that are installed but are not currently connected to the computer (such as a Universal Serial Bus (USB) device or "ghosted" devices) are not normally displayed in Device Manager. This tweak causes all devices to be shown.

Open your registry and find or create the key below.

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called 
"DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES
and set it according to the value data below.

Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
Environment]
Value Name: DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: (1 = show all hidden devices)

Related tweaks: Show Detailed Information in Device Manager


Show Detailed Information in Device Manager (Windows 2000/XP) 

If you require additional information about a device that is not typically displayed in Device Manager, you can use this tweak to make Device Manager show detailed device information.

Open your registry and find or create the key below.

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called "DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS" and set it according to the value data below.

Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Note: In Device Manager the properties for a device should now provide a Details tab that contains additional information about the device. 

Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
Environment]
Value Name: DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: (0 = default, 1 = show detailed info)

Allow Uninstall of Windows Components (Windows XP)
NOTE: Not a Registry Tweak but it is an little known Systems File Tweak

Windows includes a number of system components that are normally not available on the Add/Remove Windows Components list. This tweak allows you to display these items and therefore have the option to uninstall.

Open the SYSOC.INF file in the Windows\INF sub-directory (e.g. C:\Windows\INF).

Under the [Components] heading are the system components installed on the computer. The items that have the word "HIDE" or "hide" in them are not displayed on the Add/Remove Programs list. e.g. the WordPad program is usually not shown because it contains "HIDE"

MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7

To change an item so it is shown remove the "hide" text, leaving the surrounding commas. For example you would change the WordPad entry from:

MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7

To:

MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,,7

The main hidden Windows components in Windows XP are:

Accessibility Wizard AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7

Automatic Windows Update AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7

COM+ com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7

Communications components (including Chat, Hyperterminal, and Phone Dialer) CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7

Distributed Transaction Coordinator dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7

Windows Messenger msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7

WordPad MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7

Multimedia components (including Media Player, Volume Control, and Sound Recorder) MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7

Pinball game Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7

Tablet PC TabletPC=tabletoc.dll,TabletSetupProc,Tabletpc.inf,HIDE,7

Terminal Server TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2

Windows Management Instrumentation WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7

Save the file and reopen the Add/Remove Windows Components listing for the change to take effect.


Run Startup Programs in a Command Prompt (Windows 2000/XP) 
This setting allows you to specify commands or programs to be automatically executed whenever a command processor is launched. For example, to set environment variables or parameters using a batch file.

Open your registry and find the key below.

Create a new string value called "AutoRun" and set the value to equal the commands to be automatically executed. Multiple commands should be seperated by double ampersands e.g. "command1 && command2".

The changes will take effect the next time the command processor is used.

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]
Value Name: AutoRun
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Command to Execute

Quick Edit the Command Prompt (Windows NT/2000/XP)
Quick Edit allows you to easily cut and paste text in the command prompt window using the mouse. The ability to use the Edit menu options is still possible.

Open your registry and find or create the key below.

Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called "QuickEdit" and set it according to the value data below.

Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console]
System Key: [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Console]
Value Name: QuickEdit
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = disabled, 1 = enabled)

Change the Command Prompt Colors (Windows NT/2000/XP)

The value DefaultColor controls the foreground and background colors used in command prompt windows. It has a default value of 0, for standard white text on a black background.

You can replace this value with a two-digit hexadecimal number, in which the first digit selects a background color and the second a foreground color. The hexadecimal codes are:

 

Hexadecimal value

Color

0 Black
1 Blue
2 Green
3 Aqua
4 Red
5 Purple
6 Yellow
7 White
8 Gray
9 Light Blue
A Light Green
B Light Aqua
C Light Red
D Light Purple
E Light Yellow
F Bright White

A value of F0, for example, would give black text on a white background, and 1E would yield yellow text on a blue background.

The change should take effect the next time you open a console window.

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]
Value Name: DefaultColor
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = default)

Disable Windows Messenger

I know how annoying Windows messenger can be; popping up, taking up a space on your quicklaunch bar, and making waste of useful memory to stay running. If you want to disable it completely so that it does not start when Windows does, just follow the steps as follows:

1) Go to “Start | Run” and when the prompt comes up type “regedit” and hit enter.
2) When the window opens, navigate to 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoft.

3) Create a new key. To do this, go to “Edit” then select “New” then “Key”
4) Name this new key “Messenger”
5) Select this newly created key and create another key called “Client”
6) Now we need to add what is called a “DWORD Value”. To do this, right click on the “Client” key you just made and go to “New” then “DWORD”.
7) Name the new DWORD “PreventRun” then hit enter.
8) Now all you need to do is give it a data value of 1 (Double click on it then enter 1 in the box).
Enable=1 
Disable=0
9) Restart Windows and you will find that Windows messenger has been disabled.


Assign Application Shortcut Names in XP

If you’re a Windows user, you might’ve noticed that some applications can be launched from the “Run” dialog box by typing in a certain shortcut name or alias. For example, Paint can be run by typing, mspaint and Command Prompt can be started by typing cmd. Other installed software often assign shortcut names for their applications too, so they can be used in the same manner. Several readers have asked me whether it’s possible to do the same for their favourite apps, and programs they use on a regular basis. There are two ways, well okay, there really are three ways but these two are more fun, this can be achieved by; either a registry hack or a simpler Quick Trick both of which I’ll be describing in this article.

The Registry Hack 

Before I start, I must warn you that the registry is a crucial part of your system and messing around with it is dangerous. Although it can't set off some nuclear reaction, improperly using it can severely damage your system. So, I only recommend registry hacks if you're familiar with computers or at least able to carefully follow my instructions. 
Take a look at the Registry in this part of our site for more information.

  1. Open Registry Editor: Click Start | Click Run | Type regedit | Press Enter
  2. Navigate to the following key:


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | SOFTWARE | Microsoft | Windows | CurrentVersion | App Paths

  3. Create a new key and name it whatever you want but make sure it's followed by ".exe" (e.g. MyApp.exe). The name of the key is what you'll type into the Run dialog box later on to launch the application.
  4. Automatically, a string value called (Default) is created within the key. Double-click it and insert the full path of the application as the value data (e.g. C:\Program Files\MyApp\MyApp.exe). 
  5. Click OK.
  6. Next, you'll need to create another string value called Path. Its value data will contain the path of the folder where the application is located (e.g. C:\Program Files\MyApp\).
  7. Now close the Registry Editor.
  8. Open the "Run" dialog box and test it. If everything was properly done, you should immediately see the changes. You can type the name with or without the ".exe" (e.g. both "MyApp" and "MyApp.exe" should work).

The Quick Trick 

Although the previous method works fine, I prefer to use a much simpler trick. Instead of going into the registry, you can simply create a shortcut to the application and place this shortcut in the Windows folder (e.g. C:\WINDOWS).

  1. To do this, open the folder where the application is located and copy the application.
  2. Then go to the WINDOWS folder and paste a shortcut. You can rename the shortcut if you want to.
  3. Now you can start the application from the "Run" dialog box by typing in the name of the shortcut (without ".exe").

Fix a registry on a dead system

Sometimes a registry problem causes a computer not to boot or to prevent logon. If you can't boot the computer, or you don't have any other means to restore the problem registry file, you might be able to open the registry on another computer, fix it, and restore it to the problem PC.

In order to fix the registry this way, you must be able to boot the system through a diskette or dual-boot configuration and gain access to the file system. You also need to be able to copy the registry file to a removable media with sufficient space to accommodate it or be able to copy the file across the network.

Here's how to modify a remote registry locally on your computer if you can't connect to it across the network:

1. Boot the other computer with a boot diskette or dual-boot OS and then copy the problem hive file to a removable media or directly across the network to your system.
2. Log in as administrator on your system and run REGEDIT.EXE.
3. In the Registry Editor, select either the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_USERS window, and then choose Registry | Load Hive.
4. Locate the file copied to the system in step 1, select the file, and click Open. This loads the hive into the local registry as a subkey of the selected key.
5. Make the necessary changes to the damaged hive and then choose Registry | Unload Hive.
6. Copy the hive file back to its original location on the problem computer. Restart to test the system.


Altering the Windows registration information

When you install Windows XP, the installation procedure prompts you to enter your user name and a company name. Then, this information displays on the General tab of the System Properties dialog box under the Registered To heading. Unfortunately, Windows XP doesn't provide you with a tool for changing this registration information. However, you can alter the registration information by editing the registry. Follow these seven steps to alter the information:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Go to 
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version.
  3. Locate and double-click the RegisteredOwner value.
  4. When you see the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, change the Value Data setting to whatever user name you want, and click OK.
  5. Locate and double-click the RegisteredOrganization value.
  6. When you see the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, change the Value Data setting to whatever company name you want, and click OK.
  7. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows XP in order for the changes to take effect.

You can use Registry Editor to add your log on information
To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK to start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  3. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password under the value data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.
    If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.
  5. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.
  7. Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.
After your computer restarts and Windows XP starts, you can log on automatically.

If you want to bypass the automatic logon to log on as a different user, hold down the SHIFT key after you log off or after Windows XP restarts. Note that this procedure applies only to the first logon. To enforce this setting for future logoffs, the administrator must set the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Value:ForceAutoLogon
Type: REG_SZ
Data: 1

You can also use turn on automatic logon without editing the registry in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and in Microsoft Windows XP Professional (not joined to a domain). To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, click to clear the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer check box, and then click OK.

How can you speed up Internet Explorer?

Warning:  The following article involves editing your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems requiring the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk. Whether you can make Internet Explorer a lot faster or not depends mostly on your current Internet connection, but this handy tip is an excellent example of putting the registry to work for you. 
Bo NOTE: If you have DSL or Cable then this is a worthwhile update. Slower modem users may not see any real great advantage in this tweak.

What we are going to do is increase the number of streams that your browser can draw from. Since Internet Explorer complies with HyperText Protocol v1.1, browsers usually only draw two streams or less from a Web server. We are going to increase that from two streams to six. This should enable you to browse much faster. To begin:

  1. Click Start | Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion.
  4. Click on Internet Settings to view its contents.
  5. Check Regedit's right-hand column for the following two lines (values):
    MaxConnectionsPerServer
    MaxConnectionsPerl_OServer
  6. If these values are present, right-click on the first value (MaxConnectionsPerServer), select Modify from the drop-down menu, click Decimal, and set the Value data field to 6. Repeat this process for the second value (MaxConnectionsPerl_OServer).
  7. If these lines (values) are not listed, right-click on the white region of Regedit's right-hand column, click New, and then click DWORD Value.
  8. Enter MaxConnectionsPerServer for the name of the new DWORD Value and press Enter. The new value should now appear in Regedit's right-hand column.
  9. Right-click the new value and click Modify.
  10. As in step six, click Decimal and set the Value Data field to 6, then click OK.
  11. Repeat steps seven through 10 using MaxConnectionsPerl_OServer as the new DWORD Value name instead of MaxConnectionsPerServer.
  12. You are done. Close Regedit and test Internet Explorer.

Increase XP NTFS performance

To limit the size of the MFT, start the Registry Editor by selecting Run from the Start menu, typing regedit in the Open text box, and clicking OK. When the Registry Editor window opens, navigate through the left pane until you get to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Filesystem

In the right pane, look for the value named NtfsMftZoneReservation. If the value doesn't exist, you'll need to add it. Select New | DWORD Value from the Edit menu. The new value will appear in the right pane, prompting you for a value name. Type NtfsMftZoneReservation and press [Enter]. Double-click the new value. You'll then see the Edit DWORD Value screen.

The default value for this key is 1. This is good for a drive that will contain relatively few large files. Other options include:


To change the value, double-click it. When the Edit DWORD Value screen appears, enter the value you want and click OK. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't give any clear guidelines as to what distinguishes Medium from Larger and Maximum levels of files. Suffice it to say, if you plan to store lots of files on your workstation, you may want to consider a value of 3 or 4 instead of the default value of 1.

When you're done, close Regedit. Your registry changes will be saved automatically. Reboot your workstation. Unlike other registry changes, which take place immediately for maximum benefit, NtfsMftZoneReservation works best on freshly formatted hard drives. This is because XP will then create the MFT in one contiguous space. Otherwise, it will just modify the current size of the MFT, instantly fragmenting it. Therefore, it's best to use this if you plan to have one drive for data and another for applications.

Task Manager Tweaks:

First, you need to know that some viruses will cause this problem as well:

Klez or the Yaha virus will do this. There are removal tools at Symantec See:

If the Task Manager will not run, that is it appears for a second and disappears immediately, try these Registry Tweaks.

Enable the Task Manager

  1. Open the System Registry Editor do the following:

  2. Enable the Task manager: NOTE: 0=Enable 1=Disable

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
    In the Right hand pane set the DWord as follows:
    "DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\LocalUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
    In the right hand pane set the DWord value as follows:
    "DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000
    "**del.DisableTaskMgr"=" "

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system\]
    In the right hand pane set the DWord value as follows:
    "DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
    In the right hand pane set the DWord value as follows:
    "DisableCAD"=dword:00000000

    See the autoreg file explained above:

  3. Reset the Task Manager:

    Navigate to the key
    [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
    If it doesn't exsist, create the key
    TaskManager]

    To then enable the key set,
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
    Set in the right hand pane, the DWord value as follows:
    "DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

    Click here to see the files to save to Notepad and enable: 

Auto Reg Files:

taskmanager.reg 

Enable the Task Manager in Windows XP Home & Pro:
Copy the sets between the lines, but do not copy the lines, to Notepad and Name the file taskmanager.reg and save it to the desk top. Once saved, double click on it to automatically set the registry keys to enable the Task Manager


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\LocalUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000
"**del.DisableTaskMgr"=" "

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system\]
"DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"DisableCAD"=dword:00000000


Auto Register the files, to reset the Taskmanger and the file to use to enable that reset:

Reset Task Manager
Save the file to your desktop as ResetTaskMan.reg


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\TaskManager]


Enable Task Manager following the reset:
Name the file, EnableTaskMan.reg


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000


Open Command Prompts at Folder Level

Quickly open an MS-DOS command prompt with the targeted folder set as the current working directory. if you add the command C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe /k CD "%1" to the Directory and Drive program classes in the registry. Then you right-click a folder and click CMD Prompt Here to open a command prompt with that folder set as the current working directory. This is a real time saver.

Below are the settings to add to HKCR\Directory (repeat these settings in HKCR\Drive), in the Registry Editor.

1. In HKCR\Directory\shell, create the subkey cmdhere.
2. In HKCR\Directory\shell\cmdhere, set the default value to CMD Prompt Here. This is the text you'll see on the shortcut menu.
3. In HKCR\Directory\shell\cmdhere, create the subkey command.
4. In HKCR\Directory\shell\cmdhere\command, set the default value to C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k cd "%1".

I have created a script to add these items to your system registry. The script is called Cmdhere.inf, (Right click on it and choose save to disk depending on your browser [Netscape its: Save Link Target As] in [MSIE its Save Target As]) save it to your disk and right click on it, then choose install to activate it.

NOTE: If you have Windows XP on a different drive than the default of C:\, then you will need to edit the file accordingly.


Add Internet Explorer Search URLs

If you want to search urls from the address bar, then you need this tweak:

To search Google Newsgroups for example:

Go to:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL

This is where you create search URLs. If you don't see this subkey, create it. Then add a subkey for each search prefix you want to use. To use the example I just gave you, create the subkey news. Set the default value of the prefix's subkey to the URL of the search engine. Use %s as placeholders for the search string. Internet Explorer replaces the %s with any text you type to the right of the prefix. Continue the example, and set it to http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%s&hl=en.

Add the REG_SZ values shown in Table 1 to the prefix key you created. The purpose of these values is to describe what to substitute for special characters in your search string, including a space, percent sign (%), ampersand (&), and plus sign (+). These characters have special meaning when submitting forms to Web sites, so you must substitute a plus sign for a space, for example, or %26 for an ampersand. Thus, the browser translates the string Ben & Jerry to Ben+%26+Jerry if our an icecream junkie.

Deriving the URL that you must use is easy. Open the search engine that you want to add to Internet Explorer's search URLs, and then search for something. When the browser displays the results, copy the URL from the address bar, replacing your search word with a %s. For example, after searching Google Groups for sample, the resulting URL is http://groups.google.com/groups?q=sample&hl=en. Replace the word sample with %s to get http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%s&hl=en.   Figure 2 shows how this will look in the registry.

Table 1                                                Figure 2

Name Data
<space> +
% %25
& %26
+ %28

                         Figure 2


Clear History Lists

So that you can quickly open documents and programs you use frequently, Windows XP keeps history lists. These are most recently used (MRU) lists. Table 1 shows you where in the registry the operating system stores these lists. Sometimes it's useful to clear these history lists so that other people can't see what you've been working on or just to get a fresh start. Clear these lists by removing the keys associated with them. After removing the RecentDocs key, make sure you delete the contents of %USERPROFILE%\Recent, too.

Search Assistant's history list, shown in Table 2, deserves a bit more information. The key ACMru contains different subkeys, depending on the types of things for which you've searched. For example, if you search for files and folders, you'll see the subkey 5603, and that subkey contains a list of the different search strings. If you search the Internet using Search Assistant, you'll see the subkey 5001. You can remove each subkey individually to clear a specific type of query's history list, or you can remove the key ACMru to clear all of Search Assistant's history lists. The table contains a list of the subkeys that I've found in ACMru.

Table 2

Location Subkey
Internet Explorer address bar HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs
Run dialog box HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
Documents menu HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RecentDocs
Common dialog boxes HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\LastVisitedMRU
Search Assistant HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru
  1. -5001. Internet
  2. -5603. Files and folders
  3. -5604. Pictures, music, and video
  4. -5647. Printers, computers, and people

Clear the History lists at logon

For advanced users, you can clear these history lists every time you log on to Windows XP if you prefer. Add to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run the REG_SZ value MRUClear. Set the value of MRUClear to the command line that imports the file MRUClear.reg. For example, if the file is in C:\Windows, the command is C:\Windows\Regedit.exe /s C:\Windows\MRUClear.reg. The command-line option /s imports the file silently.

Copy the following (Below REGEDIT4) to Notepad and name the file, MRUClear.reg. Place it in the C:\Windows after making the edit to the system registry as expalined above.

REGEDIT4

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RecentDocs]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\LastVisitedMRU]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru]

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