Your Next Gen OS, Code Named Longhorn

Still using Internet Explorer?
Your kidding right?

Bo's Windows XP Performance Tips n Tricks

Bo's Requested Conversions

Windows XP SP-2, what you should know!


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Albion | Freeware | Freeware From A-Z | Security | Virus Information | Updated 08/04/07
| Windows XP Tips I | Windows XP Tips II | Windows XP Tips IIIWindows XP Tips IV | Windows XP V | Windows XP VI | Windows XP Tips VII
| Windows XP VIII | Windows XP IX | Windows XP X | Windows XP XI |

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Windows XP - EXpect Pain Those who value safety say freedom is worthless if you're not alive to enjoy it.  Those who value freedom say life is worthless if you're not free to enjoy it.
God Bless America

Windows XP a 64 bit upgrade to a 32-bit patch for a 16-bit GUI shell running on top of an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company who cannot stand 1 bit of competition (but it's better than a Mac)!

Readers: Before submitting any questions to Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web, be sure to read the disclaimer below or click here and I will take you there.


The Help Index
Note: Some below links are off site
Need to contact me? Click here

We've got a new look and hopefully it will be easier for you to find what your looking for. As with everything new, some links may not work as intended. If you find such a link, please let me know about it. ~Bo~

Category Menu Bar
Files & Utilities Miscellaneous Networking Printers Troubleshooting
See also: 
Compatibility Mode
Does Win XP Do DOS?

Windows Vista?

Computer Networking & the Internet
  Tweaks & Performance
Category: Windows XP Tweaks and Performance tips-n-Tricks  
Stop error message on a Windows XP-based computer: "STOP 0x000000D1"-MSKB
The computer occasionally does not hibernate and you receive an "Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API" error message in Windows XP with Service Pack 2, in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, or in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-MSKB
Battery power may drain more quickly than you expect on a Windows XP SP2-based portable computer-MSKB
Disabling Remote Registry For Security Turn on High Contrast
If your visually impaired, this tip is for you.
Windows XP Product Key
You discover that invalid product keys were supplied for a Windows XP Professional installation, or you receive an invalid product key error when attempting to install a Windows XP Professional service pack
Disable Microsoft Messenger Service in Windows XP
Popups are more than annoying, they are downright distracting. You can put an end to this one.
Disabling Service to Increase Performance
Turn off Indexing to speed up XP
Make the autorun.inf file for your burned CD-ROMs
You have been asking for it, so here it is.
Tweak Windows Boot Time
Switch to Windows' basic search tool Create a shortcut to search Active Directory shared folders
Explore To The Folder Of Your Choice Little known Windows XP search problem. 
Not so little if your looking for a file but can not remember the filename
Set up an automatic logon to Windows XP Add Safe Mode to the Boot menu
Changing Default Folder Eliminate XP's Desktop Cleanup Wizard
Speed Windows XP Searches Two methods of changing Windows XP's product key
Make Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcut, Do it Your Way Don't feel like rebooting Windows XP?
Shorten the Checkdisk boot up delay Making the View Settings stick in Explorer 
Memory performance tips Speeding up share viewing
Disable balloon tips Speed up menu display
Setting Windows Explorer to open in a desired Folder on opening Searches taking to long? Try this tip, its a "ZIP"
Problems with XP's Performance? Check out this Micrososft KB Article - MSKB
See Also:
Windows® XP Help and Support not working?
Here is a work-a-round:

To reinstall Help and Support:  Go to
Right click and choose install.  Have your CD handy.

Note:  The folder is hidden by default.  Go to Start/Run and type in: control folders.  View:  Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.

See also: Script Error In HTML Help Files
Faster Boot-Up without tons of fonts
Decrease your Applications startup time
Improve Your CPU's Performance in XP Clean pagefile on shutdown
The prefetcher Use Registry Editor to Identify an Unknown PCI Device W9x - MSKB
Place a Sendto menu inside the send to context menu. No, I'm not stuttering! Find a memory leak that is bloating the Windows pagefile
Shut down faster Bo's Instant Tips: Get more processing power
In the Run box, type
"Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks".  This frees up any idle tasks running in the background so that Windows XP can devote its full attention to what you want it to do.  For example playing graphic intensive games. 
Create a Run command shortcut  
  More coming I am sure

Place a Sendto menu inside the send to context menu.
No, I'm not stuttering!

We have told you how to customize the Send To menu (Open Windows Explorer by right clicking on the Start button. Then navigate up the tree to the Send to folder and creating a shortcut there for whatever you want placed on the right click Send to menu in Explorer). Huh? I can hear you say. There in lies the problem, you have to go through all of that just to get to the Send To menu in order to plant the shortcut. Okay, so being the resourceful guy that I am (Translation...lazy) I thought that it might be a good idea to come up with a better way of doing it. The solution? Why not put a send to menu inside the send to menu? Huh? Would you stop doing that? In this way, all you have to do is create your short cut, right click on it and send it to the send to menu. I know, I know...Huh?

Okay, here is the skinny:

Now, when ever you want to create a shortcut to the send to menu, simply create the shortcut and right click on it to send it to the send to folder. Bada Bing, Bada Boom your done.

One example of a great use for Send To, is to put a shortcut to regsvr32.exe. Then to register a DLL, all you need to do is right-click it and send it to regsvr32.exe. Click here for an explanation. You will find regsvr32.exe in the C:\Windows\System32 folder

Nix Grouped Taskbar Buttons

As you no doubt know by now, XP is smart enough to "group" Windows Taskbar buttons: if you have enough programs running, or documents open, Windows groups them by application and adds a little down-arrow so you can choose which document you want to work on, or which Web page you want to see, with a click. It's a cool feature, but it doesn't quite work right. (Taxonomy note: some people call the Taskbar Buttons "icons". I prefer the term "Button" but you can call 'em "icons" if you like. You can call 'em something far more colorful if you prefer. I'll stick with button. After all, the Start Button is a Button, true?)

Say I have Internet Explorer going and three Web pages open, and I have Outlook cranked up with the Inbox, Calendar and Contacts lists available. I reply to a message in the Inbox (and, yes, I'm using Word for my email editor at the moment, trying to track down more bugs in the $#@! thing). I open a document in Word, and the buttons get grouped up. Here's what my Windows Taskbar tells me is running, down at the bottom of my WinXP screen:

3 Internet Ex... v

3 Microsoft O... v

2 Microsoft W... v

Isn't that instructive? By the looks of it, I must be running Internet Ex, Microsoft O, and Microsoft W, three fine (if hopelessly abbreviated) products from Microsoft C.

O. Did I mention? If I want to see that message I'm typing in Microsoft O, I have to click on Microsoft W. That's yet another one of the wonderful things I love about using Word as an email editor. Makes a lot of sense, A? Er, eh?

It's really too bad, too, because Taskbar button grouping works so well in most cases. If I'm running almost any application, from any manufacturer other than Microsoft, the consolidated button makes sense. Even in Microsoft O, if the buttons are spread out, they make sense, too - they say "Inbox - Microsoft Outlook" or "Contacts - Microsoft Outlook". But when they stack up, all I get is a lousy "Microsoft O...".

Unfortunately, I haven't found a good, general-purpose solution to the problem. The best I've come up with is to set the Taskbar to auto-hide, and make it two buttons tall, so I get two full rows of buttons before they start ganging up on me. That has the added benefit of always showing the date when I glance down at the clock. I also use the Quick Launch Toolbar all the time. But that's another story.

Here's how to make your Taskbar look like mine, if you're so inclined:

  1. Right-click any open spot and uncheck "Lock the taskbar"
  2. Right-click again, choose Toolbars, and make sure Quick Launch is checked
  3. Right-click again, and pick Properties Make sure that all of the boxes on the Taskbar tab are checked, including the one marked "Lock the Taskbar"
  4. Click OK and you'll be seeing your Taskbar the same way I do

NTFS vs. FAT 32? Which is best?

Q. I have just upgraded from Me to XP pro and I am using the FAT32 system,
Should I go to ntfs system or should i remaim on the fat32 system.
I have 1.50 gb free space.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages?

A. Basically, yes, NTFS is very secure and if security is high on your list of needs, you probably should convert.

Since you have made the move from WinMe to XP-Pro, I assume you are not using this computer for much in the way of gaming.  Some users  have been surprised to find that their Win9x games would not load on WinNT/2000 platforms. Still others find that their favorite DOS games paly betteer or at least as well. There, isn't that as clear as mud? Is it a crap shoot? Oh yeah it is. Best advise on gaming, find the shareware version and see how it plays out in XP before commiting to a purchase. For older games? Flip a coin, maybe will, maybe won't.

If security is not an issue for you, but you want to maximize the disk space utilization on your system, NTFS still may be a good choice.  The current 32 bit file system is adequate and stable.

Do the research and make your best educated decision.

Here is a good link that explains all about NTFS:

Does XP do DOS?

Q. I heard that WinXP has no DOS included with it, is this true?  Can you run DOS games on it?

A. Yes, it is true, WinXP has NO facilities for DOS support.  Mr. Gates & Co. have been moving to this end and it is finally upon us. However, XP has DOS emulation that will run DOS programs.

Go to Start | Accessories | System Tools | Command prompt

To open an MS-DOS program from a command prompt window

  1. Open . command prompt
  2. Type the name of the installed -based program you want to open, and then press ENTER. Or, change to the directory where the program is located and type its name there.


XP, like NT and Win2K before it, has no native DOS component.There is DOS emulation, but any games which require real-mode support will not work in this mode. There is a Recovery Console which is a limited Command Line interface to interact with the system. Also, XP supports a Command Console (CMD.EXE) which accomodates NT/2000/XP shell scripting.

With Win XP, Home Version", Backing Up Is Hard To Do!!!

In this article:

Okay, you finally took the plunge or you got a new PC with Win XP installed right. Now you have all of your important data transferred to that bright shinny new machine that was state of the art when you brought it home, but of course now is outdated big time. Oh sorry, going in a different direction here. Any how, you want to backup your files right? Not a problem right? Well, somewhat right if you have the Pro version and well, yikes, not so right if you have the home version.

There are a million ways to back up your system, and at least a half million of them work.

I need backups for three reasons. 

First, sometimes my c: drive dies. When that happens, I need to stick a new drive in the machine, boot, restore the hard drive, restore my data, and get going. I also lose at least two hanks of hair and at least one night of sleep.

If you're running XP/Pro and you don't have a network guru at your beck and call, you might want to consider using Automated System Recovery. It's a full-featured, Sherman tank approach to backup and restore which, once set up properly, runs like clockwork, and gives you every option you could imagine. Oh, and it's free, if you have XP/Pro.

Got the home version? Egad! Better take a look at these Microsoft Knowledgebase Articles:

HOW TO: Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer (Q308422) for Win XP Pro. and,
HOW TO: Use Backup to Restore Files and Folders on Your Computer (Q309340) for both models home and Pro. Please do not contact me concerning this problem, contact Microsoft and scream load and long. Sorry, I can not help you. Your best bet for backup and recovery with Win XP is to purchase and use PowerQuest's Drive Image, and copy your important data files daily with a point and a click. This is just one of a myriad of reasons I am sticking with ole Win 98 SE thank you!

Find more info on the Microsoft Windows XP Home version Backup Utility here

Oh, Don't even think about an emergency recovery disk! Please, do not get me started on the so called, ASR Wizard, sheezs!

How do you use ASR?

XP/Home's backup is just about as useful as a Ferrari Testarossa with no wheels.

If you really, really want to use the ASR backup routine in XP/Home (it's the NTBackup program that Windows 2000 users have come to know and love), you can install it from the Windows XP/Home CD. To do so, put the XP/Home CD in your CD drive. When the installer asks, "What do you want to do?" click "Perform additional tasks" then "Browse this CD", navigate to VALUEADD\MSFT\NTBACKUP and double-click NTBACKUP.MSI.

But Wait, there is more!!

There's an MS Knowledge Base article that's supposed to tell you what you need to do in order to perform an XP/Home restore. If you tried and tried and couldn't make heads from tails out of the article you are not alone. The boot diskette generated by the backup program, following the description in the KB article, doesn't work on any systems known to man. The steps detailed there for creating a backup file do work - you have to manually override the wizard's settings - but in the end, the backup isn't much use.

Microsoft outright lies in their Knowledge Base article Q309340 where it says the restore feature "applies to Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" when it most assuredly does not - any backup that you make in XP/Home is essentially worthless. Even if you tell the XP/Home "Backup or Restore Wizard" to restore the entire contents of the c: drive, it misses parts. 

The only way to restore the c: drive, after using NTBACKUP to create a backup file is to boot from the Windows XP/Home CD, completely delete the partition that held Windows, re-install WinXP/Home, re-install NTBACKUP using the steps outlined above, and immediately run the restore using the Advanced settings in the wizard.

You know the worst part of it all?  At every turn, it appears as if everything is working correctly, No error message. No warnings. No nothing. The Knowledge Base articles occasionally warns you that the procedures don't work with XP/Home - then go ahead and gives you specific steps for performing the procedures that doesn't work! Unless somebody's clued you in, you'll only get heartburn over XP/Home's clueless backup when you need it - and find out that it didn't do what it was supposed to do.

Trustworthy computing, eh?


So now I've spoiled all your illusions about Backups in Windows XP what can you do?   Probably the best thing to do is to get one of the third party backups like Drive Image or Disk Copy from Power Quest.

My method for backups is really simple. I like it that way. 

1. My PC has two hard drives. The second one is primarily for backups, but I'll also stick device drivers and Service Packs and other not-critical-but-a-pain-to-download files on the second drive. The second drive also has copies of my old Outlook files, which I cycle manually once a month.

2. Every week or two (or whenever I'm going to do something fun like install new software) I run PowerQuest's Drive Image and create a full backup image of my main boot drive on the secondary drive. Drive Image generates boot disks and all the other goodies necessary to recovery from a crashed c: drive.

3. Every day - usually at the end of the day, I run a little batch file that copies all of my important data files from the main hard drive onto the backup drive. This is really a bailing wire 'n chewing gum approach, but it works fine for me. To make your own batch file that copies your data files from the c: drive to the d: drive, just do this:

This Batch is for you

xcopy "c:\Documents and Settings\*.*" "d:\Backup" /d /e /c /h /y

Hate to disappoint you, but that's my entire backup strategy. 

That strategy might not suit you, not all of us have to install beta versions of Office and Windows from time to time. Remember, substitute you appropriate data into your batch file. Windows is highly customizable, but of course you don't monkey around with your OS do you?

XP/Home users have some other options. For example, Microsoft has a set of six (six!) setup boot diskettes that you can download. Those diskettes will let you boot from your floppy drive, so you can run Windows XP setup from the CD, if your computer won't boot from the CD. Of course that couldn't happen with this new OS could it? Don't count on it!

Backing Up the Windows XP Registry
3 Ways to Protect Your XP System

For several versions of Windows now, the Registry has been at the heart of the operating system and how it's configured and run.  It's the central repository for important information from the name of the registered owner to which drivers to load.  I often encourage you to back up your registry before making changes to it.  That can mean different things in different scenarios, however.  Sometimes a full Registry backup is needed, but many times just backing up the section that is changing is best.  Here are three different ways that you can use, depending on your needs:

Any of these three methods will work for backing up your Windows XP Registry before you make changes.  I regularly employ the first method as part of a good backup and disaster recovery plan.  The third method is so quick and easy, however, that whenever I am about to make a change or tweak to my Registry, I export the part I am about to change - just in case.

Creating a System Restore Point
Protecting Recoverability in Windows XP Home

Microsoft, in an attempt to protect you from yourself, did not include the same Backup and Restore utility in Windows XP Home Edition as we find in Windows XP Professional Edition.  To help protect your system using Windows XP Home, you can use the System Restore Utility to create what is called a "Restore Point."  A Restore Point, ideally, is a point at which your computer starts and runs without any errors or problems.  If your XP Home computer is in such a condition right now, you should follow these steps to create a new Restore Point.  XP automatically creates a Restore Point immediately after installing Windows XP Home.  I will often create one as well as before each change to the system.  For instance, if I am about to install a new application, I would first create a Restore Point, and name it "Before Application X" so that if it turns out the new application causes me problems, I can restore my system to the way it was before.

To create a new System Restore Point in Windows XP Home Edition, click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore.  When the System Restore Utility opens, click "Create a Restore Point" then click Next.  Enter a name for this Restore Point (for instance, "Before Installing Office XP"), and click Create.  The utility will then take a snapshot of your system so that you can restore to that point sometime in the future.

Windows XP automatically creates a Restore Point when any of the following occurs:

Wait...using the Backup Utility, you say - what Backup Utility?!?  If you can't find the Backup Utility, and you are using Windows XP Home Edition, the next page has good news (and some simple instructions) for you!

Backup Utility for WinXP Home
Installing the Utility for XP Home Edition

If you are going to install the backup utility, be sure to read the Readme.txt file in the installation directory on the CD. It has an interesting and ominous warning. In a nutshell, here is what it says:

NTBackup Backup/Restore and ASR release notes



1.    ASR is not supported on home edition.

IF you install NtBackup from the CD to the Home Edition, ASR functionality will appear to work fine during
the backup session. Since the setup does not support ASR in the home edition, there is no way to initiate
the ASR restore in case of a disaster. If you need to restore from this session, install Windows XP manually
and then restore from the ASR media.

2. Backup to CDRW

If you decide to backup to a CDRW, you cannot target that device directly. You must create a backup set of
650MB or less and backup to a file. After the file is complete, copy the file to the CDRW.

Please refer to the readme for XP home edition for additional notes.

So, lets get this straight, if I install the backup utility, I can't use it in case of a disaster unless I am going to install Windows XP manually? Okay, so now we know why it isn't included in the setup procedure. I offer the below, only because so many have requested it......Personally? I have installed it only to write the below article and have subsequently uninstalled it, which is a task in itself. Best Bo Advise? Stay clear of this one, you do not need it!

If you have Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition, you will easily be able to find the Backup Utility by clicking Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup.  However, if you are using Windows XP Home Edition, your search for a backup utility under System Tools will be fruitless.  Although Microsoft originally planned to include the Backup Utility in the Home Edition as well as the Professional Edition, they removed it, for reasons known to themselves, from the final version that you can buy today.

While this may be a frustrating development for many, fear not!  You, as a reader of the BLCOW Focus on Windows site, are one of The Elite, The Astute, The intrepid, The Frustrated, The Bored, and you will be shown the secret necessary to be able to install and use the same Backup Utility that is available to XP Professional users.  Hidden deep in the recesses of the Windows XP Home Edition CD lies the actual installation program that you need to put the Backup Utility on your computer.  Simply insert the XP CD, and run NTBACKUP.MSI (it might look like just "Ntbackup") program from the folder D:\Valueadd\msft\ntbackup where D: is the letter of your CD drive.  This will launch the Windows Backup Utility Installation Wizard, which will install the utility automatically.  When it is finished, click "Finish."  It's that easy!  Using it, however, is another matter, See above

Now you can click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup, and the Backup Utility will start.  One of the things that you may note is the presence of the Automated System Recovery Wizard which was mentioned in Part 1 of this feature.  While you can try to use this Wizard with the Home Edition of XP, the results can be unpredictable, and the disks created with this Wizard in XP Home are unreliable.  Microsoft notes and acknowledges this in KB Article Q302700.

Once you have installed the utility from the CD, you need to know haw to use it. Here is the quick answer:

To start the Backup utility, look in System Utilities in the Start Menu (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Utilities).   The Utility will open to the "Welcome" tab, one of four tabs.  The other tabs are "Backup," "Restore," and "Schedule Jobs."  On the Welcome tab, there are three options: "Backup Wizard," "Restore Wizard," and "Emergency Repair Disk" or "Automated System Recovery"  This is covered in the Emergency Repair Disk function (for Win2000) in a Article, as well as the Automated System Recovery (for XP).   The other options, the two Wizards really just prompt you through (in dialogue box format) the information that you can provide manually on the other three tabs.

The interface is actually rather simple; there are only a few things that you have to understand in order to use it.   First of all, is selecting what to back up.  If using the Wizard, you can choose to backup the whole computer, selected files (including files from other computers on the network), or System State data.  These are all represented as check boxes when using the Backup tab to manually select what to back up (instead of using the wizard).   The next thing to know is what medium you want to use to store the backed up data.   If you already have a tape drive installed, that will be one of the choices. 

You can also choose to back up the files to another drive in the form of a .BKF file.  This can be a very handy option if you have a large drive available on this computer or on another computer on your network.  With a little luck, you can even back your files up to a CDRW drive - a technique that some will want to stay away from if you have a low speed burning CD-RW.   Once the BKF file is made, you can always choose to copy that file to the CD-RW. Some of the more advanced features that we will also look into later are the different types of backup (normal, incremental, differential, etc.), as well as scheduling a backup.   For now, if you choose the files to be backed up, choose the destination media, and choose the "normal" backup type, you should have everything you need to perform a backup using the Windows Backup Utility!

Choosing a Backup Type

When backing up your Windows XP/2000 computer with the Backup Utility, you have several options for what type of backup to perform.  In fact, these are common options in nearly any backup software.  Three of the choices are the most common types of backup: Normal (usually referred to as "Full"), Differential, and Incremental.  Windows Backup also provides two other choices: Daily, and Copy.

In order to fully understand how these backup types differ, it is necessary to know something about file "attributes."  Attributes are settings, sometimes called "bits" or "flags," that each file on your system has.  The concept of file attributes dates all the way back to the earliest DOS days, and attributes are still used to mark files today.  There are many attributes that can be set on a file, but the most commonly used attributes are ones such as 

These attributes can be viewed by viewing the properties of a file, or by showing the Attributes column in Windows Explorer.  To show this column, simply right-click an existing column heading in an Explorer window, and choosing the Attributes heading.

When a file is changed in any way - even just renamed - the "A" attribute is set, or "turned on."  This indicates that the file has changed since the last time it was backed up.  During a normal backup, this attribute will be "turned off."  That is how this attribute is used for the other types of backup, described below:

Normal Backup
During a Normal type of backup, every file on the system is backed up, and the Archive bit is turned off. Actually, there are certain files that are not backed up, as specified in the Registry (see this Tip-of-the-Day for more information).  This backup takes the longest to perform, but is the most complete type of backup, and the easiest to restore from.  In order to do a full system restore, you would first install the Windows XP/2000 operating system, then restore the files from the latest Normal (full) backup.

Incremental Backup
During an Incremental type of backup, only files that have the Archive bit turned on are backed up.  In other words, only files that have been changed since the last backup will be backed up.  After being backed up, the Archive bit will be turned off on each file.  This type of backup is usually the quickest, since the number of files that change on a system are generally a small percentage.  It can be the longest backup type to restore from, however.  In order to do a full system restore, you would first install the Windows XP/2000 operating system, then restore the files from each Incremental backup that was performed, in order (that's important), starting with the files from the most recent Normal backup, if one was performed.  For this reason, Incremental backups are generally used only in conjunction with Normal backups.

Differential Backup
A Differential backup type is similar to Incremental, in that it backs up only files that have the Archive bit turned on.  It differs in that after backing files up, it leaves the Archive bit alone, and does not turn it off.  This means that files that have been changed will be backed up during each Differential backup until either a Normal or Incremental backup is performed to turn the Archive bit off.  This backup takes the same or somewhat longer than an Incremental backup, but is much easier to restore from.  In order to do a full system restore, you would first install the Windows XP/2000 operating system, then restore the files from only the most recent Differential backup.  If a Normal backup was performed, you would restore the files from that backup, and then restore from the most recent Differential backup.

The Daily backup type is sort of an Differential off-shoot.  In this backup type, only files that were changed (have the archive bit on), during the current day are backed up, and the Archive bit is left unchanged.  This backup type is generally not used as part of a recovery program, because in order to do a full system restore, you would have to have a Normal backup, and then a Daily backup from each and every day since the Normal backup.

A Copy type of backup is similar to a Normal backup, except that it leaves the Archive bit unchanged.  This backup type can be used to back up any selected files, regardless of whether or not the Archive bit is turned on, and will leave the Archive bit the same as before the backup.  This is most commonly used between Normal and Incremental backups.

These different backup types can be used with a custom backup regimen or schedule to fit your time and storage capacity needs and limitations.

After all is said and done, the MBU has some shortcomings. If you want a true backup, and one that is easier and less frustrating to use, I strongly urge you to check out Drive Image or Disk Copy from Power Quest. It ain't free, but it works. For your non-system files, DOC, XML, PPT, and the like, the use of the backup bat file above is a reliable and easy system....even if the mechanics of it are older than dirt.

W2K Password work-a-round.

I have been getting allot of W2K questions lately. I do not know why, as we only advise on the Windows 9.x kernel. What is the question which seems to be popping up the most? W2K and forgotten passwords. In an effort to assist those of you who run Windows 2000, here is a few ideas on how to circumvent this issue. Do they work? Can't say, but they seem logical, so here they are...and please, no more emails on W2K.

Best advise? Write down your passwords and store them in a safe place for later retrieval. Of course if you are like me, you'll want to write yourself a note informing yourself where you placed them for safety sake. Heck, I don't remember what happened ten minutes ago let alone what I did a year ago...sheesh!

If the C: drive of the systems have the FAT16 or FAT32 file system boot from a DOS disk and delete C:\X\System32\Config\sam (in use and locked with W2K running) where X is the Windows directory to remove all local user accounts and groups.  When you reboot each system a new sam file will be created having only an administrator account configured with no password.

If the C: drive of the systems have the NTFS file system you can get at the above directory from a DOS disk by loading NTFSDOS Professional
( or temporarily adding the drives as a slave drive in another working W2K computer.

Access Control Panel | Computer Management | Local Users and Groups to assign the new Administrator accounts a password and create any other local users you wish to have on the systems.

Windows XP won't quit? Try this to make XP sleep a dreamless sleep.

Several people have written to me lately, complaining that the upgrade to Windows XP left one important feature in the dust: when they turn off their PCs (Start | Turn Off Computer | Turn Off), WinXP goes through its usual "Windows is shutting down" routine, but it doesn't turn off the computer. The power stays on until they manually punch the "off" button.

That's a pain in the neck. But it's easy to fix, if you know the secret, of course.

Windows power management is a notoriously messy topic, simply because there have been so many "standard" power management schemes, and just about every computer has its own power management quirks, standards or no standards. 

But if you have a somewhat modern PC (postdating, oh, the Mesozoic Era), you stand a good chance of convincing your PC to turn itself off when Windows XP goes bye-bye. Here's how:

Chances are good the APM tab will say that your computer reports that it can support Advanced Power Management. (Note that Windows doesn't claim that your computer does support APM. It only says that the computer says it supports APM. Nice bit of weasling there.)

Check the box marked "Enable Advanced Power Management Support" and click OK. Wait a few seconds - it takes a while to set this up.

Down in the notification area (the lower right corner of your screen) a balloon may pop up declaring that Windows has found a "Microsoft APM Legacy Battery". If that happens, you're in luck - chances are mighty good the change is going to work.

When you get back to the Control Panel, click Start | Turn Off Computer | Turn Off and see if Windows XP figured out where to find the power switch.

Want more tips like this? Check out WWW (Woody's Windows Watch) and while you are there, subscribe to the weekly Windows Watch News Letter. Send email to for your free issue.

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Uninstalling Win XP

On Wednesday, February 13, 2002 Pam wrote:

I wish that I had never gotten the XP. The main reason it that my pc internet camera is not compatialbe with it. So I can no longer take still photo shots with it. I know there is a site that I can go to, to download the drivers that I need, but I don;t have what it takes to do that. Just wondering what I need to do to take it off and if there is any way of getting any of that money back. I am sure that there isn't. But thought that I would ask.



Simply one of the many ways that people are realizing that XP stands for Expect Pain, and also the reason that Bo isn't going on the upgrade wagon for this one. Hey, I don't want to be an I told you so but.....!

As for getting your money're kidding right?

From your question, I am assuming that you installed an upgrade over an older version if Windows and it is not a clean install right?

How do I uninstall Windows?

Intended For
Windows XP
Windows 2000
Windows Me
Windows 98

If you've installed Windows 98, Me, 2000, or XP over an older version of Windows, you may be able to uninstall it using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. Unfortunately, the uninstall feature typically doesn't work or leaves the computer in an unusable state.

Since some new versions of Windows install new file systems, in addition to replacing most, if not all the program and support files, it is recommended that you simply reformat your hard disk in order to completely remove whatever version of Windows you've just installed. Trust me, this is not for the faint of heart and reformatting may, or may not be necessary. Also, if you opted to go to the NTFS New Technology Filing System, rather than the older FAT 32 (File Allocation Table) or even FAT 16 Windows 9.x system uses, a disk re-partitioning and reformat is the only way to go.

Once you have uninstalled Windows using this method be sure to reinstall Windows, what ever you were using before and be certain to click No when asked if you want to keep the older file over the newer version which is already installed on your system.

For the official way to uninstall XP please see this Microsoft Knowledgebase article:

How to Uninstall Windows XP and Revert to a Previous Operating System

If you were unable to save the uninstall files, a reformat and reinstallation of your hard drive, all of your software, and any updates or patches which have previously installed. Sounds like a great way to kill a weekend doesn't it?

Good luck!

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Windows XP -

A 64 bit upgrade to a 32-bit patch for a 16-bit GUI shell running on top of an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company who cannot stand 1 bit of competition (but it's better than a Mac)!

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Version Dec 7 Copyright © 2001 Larry Blaisdell