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Windows XP FAQ A - Printer Friendly
Windows XP A to Z -
Windows XP FAQ A
Super Admin
By Super Admin
Published on 02/27/2005
starting with letter "A"

Windows XP FAQ A Page 1

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP

Access Denied:  Error Message - Windows Update

Network policy settings prevent you from using Windows Update to download and install updates on your computer. If you believe you have received this message in error, please check with your system administrator.

     For Windows XP Pro:

Start/Run/gpedit.msc. User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Update. In the right pane, double click, Remove access to all Windows Update Features and set it to disabled.

     For Windows XP Home Edition:



Locate the value in the right pane called DisableWindowsUpdateAccess. Double click this entry and change the value to 0 (zero) or right click it and select Delete.

If editing the Registry manually isn't to your liking click here for a small Visual Basic Script that will make the change for you.

More information here:  Why can't I download updates?

WINUP-Err Msg: "Cannot Display Page"

Accessibility Options

Restore Accessibility Options to Default Settings (Line 135)


Acdsee.exe May Cause an Error Message

Activation - Troubleshooting 

Blank Activate Windows Page in the WPA Wizard
Service Pack 1 Changes to Product Activation
Windows XP Prompts You to Re-activate After You Restore Your Computer

Activation - Explained: 

Windows XP will typically remind you to activate the product (most users will have 30 days to activate XP after installation).

To activate XP manually, you can use the Start menu shortcut in the System Tools Accessories folder. At the command prompt, type:  oobe/msoobe /a or Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Activate Windows.

     Tip:  msoobe stands for "Microsoft Out of Box Experience."
     Tip:  Windows Product Activation  by MS-MVP Alex Nichol

Activation - Workaround (Ronnie Vernon MVP)

If you are doing a repair reinstall of XP on the same hardware, you can back up the activation status and then restore it after you run the repair install of the OS. To save the activation status, back up the wpa.dbl file from the %systemroot%system32 folder to a floppy disk.

After the repair install of the OS is complete, start in Minimal Safe mode. Open the %systemroot%system32 folder.  Rename wpa.dbl to wpa.noact. Copy the backed up wpa.dbl file to the system32 folder. Reboot your system.

This isn't a hack to avoid activating installations and will work only on the same hardware for an XP installation that you've already activated.

Active Partition

The Computer Does Not Start After You Change the Active Partition by Using the Disk Management Tool

Ad Aware

Ad-aware is an award winning, free multi ad/spyware removal utility, that scans your memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware components and lets you remove them safely. Many options like scanning depth or automatic modes can be set in the preferences menu. Ad-aware features an easy to use wizard-style interface, guiding you through the scanning and removal process. Ad-aware runs under Win9xMENT40XPand Win2000.  Download here.


Maximize your bandwidth with this free ad-blocking tool. It speeds up your surfing by removing banner ads and other advertisements from Web pages. It supports both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape. Download here.

Add and Remove

Hide selective programs/applications listed in Add or Remove:

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

Local the program in question in the left pane. In the right pane, right click DisplayName and select rename:  Add Quiet so it will read:
QuietDisplayName.  No reboot or refresh needed. Open Add or Remove - the listing is now gone.  To revert, rename back to DisplayName.

Or you can download the .bat file:

Add or Remove Programs tool appears to stop responding after you remove the security update that is documented in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-015;en-us;842253

Add or Remove Edits: Lines 188, 208 (right hand side) and 323:

Add Programs to Add/Remove

To add additional components to the Add/Remove Programs list (Windows Components):

Tools/Folder Options/View/Show Hidden Files and Folders and Show Extensions for known file types. Then go to Windows Explorer/Inf Folder/Sysoc.inf (Double Click it). You will find several lines that include the word 'hide'. Simply remove the word 'hide' (but leave the comma). Save and exit. From there you will be able to remove it from add/remove.

Add and Remove -  Show All Files

Windows XP doesn't let you add or remove all the programs it installs by default. Multimedia applications, the XP messenger, games, accessories, and accessibility options do not show up in the Add/Remove Programs dialog box. What if you want to get rid of them? Here's how to make Windows treat these applications just like it treats all the others.

Go to Windows Explorer/Inf. In the right pane, scroll down to sysoc.inf, double click it. Scroll down to: 

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2


  1. The word "HIDE" in an entry hides that application from your Add/Remove Programs dialog box. To add games to the Add/Remove menu, delete the word HIDE from its entry (but leave the commas that surround it). You also have to remove "HIDE" from "AccessUtil=" for this tip to work.  

  2. Save the file. Check for the new entries in the Add/Remove Programs dialog box after you restart your computer.

HOW TO: Add or Remove Windows XP Games;EN-US;q307768#2

Add and Remove -Removing Invalid Entries in the Add/Remove Programs Tool



Each program listed in Add/Remove Programs has a subkey listed here. Locate the correct subkey for the program in question and right click it, then select Delete.  You may want to choose Export, first, to export the key to a REG file.  The REG file can be re-imported if you find you made a mistake.

You may have to contact the manufacturer of the program that you want to remove if you need to clean up the disk and registry entries. The procedure described in this section does not remove all the files and registry entries used by the program; it removes only the reference in the Add/Remove Programs tool.

Note:  Other checkpoints to consider when trying to remove a program:

Check to see if the software/program is listed here: Start/Run/Regedit


1. Right click the Program's shortcut/Properties to gain the Target Path.

2. Go to Start/Run/Msconfig/Startup and make sure it is not listed or checked there. If so, uncheck it and remove the program listing from here: Start/Run/Regedit

For items that were in the Start menu, Programs, Startup folder:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsMSConfigstartupfolder. You'll find a subkey for each disabled item.

For items loaded from the Registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsMSConfigstartupreg. Again, you'll find a subkey for each disabled item.

Clear Disabled Items from Msconfig Startup (Line 148)

3. Go to Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/File Types. If the program file type is listed, either use Change or Delete.

4. Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTApplications. If the program is listed, right click, delete.

5. Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to these keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftware and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE. If the program is listed, right click, delete.

6. Go to Start/Run/Regedit. Edit/Find and under Find What type in the program path gained from step one. From there either use Find next or F3.

7. Removing Invalid Entries in the Add/Remove Programs Tool

8. The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility can remove a program's Windows Installer configuration information.;en-us;290301

9.  Third Party:  Displays the entries in the Add/Remove Programs list of Windows Registry, checks if each is valid, and uninstalls the selected program or removes the entry from the list.

10. You Cannot Reinstall a Program with the Add/Remove Programs Tool

Add and Remove - Remove or Hide Entries

This program enables you to hide items listed in your Add/Remove Programs list in the control panel without losing the information needed to uninstall the program. 

To hide a program that is listed in the Add/Remove Programs list, simply uncheck the entry.

If you want to uninstall a program that you have hidden, simply run the cleaner and check the empty check box. The program will then be visible in the Add/Remove Programs list. Download here.

Add and Remove - Error Message

"Error 1719. The Windows Installer Service Could Not Be Accessed" Error Message When You Add or Remove Program

Add and Remove - Restrictions

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:  (The first one is per user, the second, per system)


Create a new DWORD value for each restriction required according to the table below. Set the value to equal "1" to enable the restriction or "0" to disable it.

  • NoAddRemovePrograms - Disable Add/Remove Programs
  • NoRemovePage - Disable Change and Remove Programs
  • NoAddPage - Disable Add Programs
  • NoWindowsSetupPage - Disable Windows Components Wizard
  • NoAddFromCDorFloppy - Hide "Add a program from CD-ROM or disk" option
  • NoAddFromInternet - Hide "Add programs from Microsoft" option
  • NoAddFromNetwork - Hide "Add programs from your network" option
  • NoServices - Go directly to Windows Components Wizard
  • NoSupportInfo - Disable Support Information

You may need to restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Add or Remove Programs Restriction - Undo

Add and Remove - SP1 (Parser Message: Value creation failed " at line 472" error) or (SP2 at line 521) - Eric Pelezo

If you are using Style XP - Right click the Desktop/Properties/Desktop/choose Windows XP and try again.

Style XP has an update available for SP1

If you have renamed the uxtheme.dll (patch) you could try running SFC /Scannow to restore the original MS version. Or check in the root directory for "UxTheme.dll.tqtbak" and rename it to UxTheme.dll and replace the copy in "C:windowssystem32" with the new renamed copy.  The original MS Version - 6.0.2800.1045 (1.98 kb)

The patch can be downloaded here
Errors from trying to use Add or Remove after installing SP1

Add and Remove vs. System Restore
- Anshul Rawat [MS]

System Restore does not completely uninstall any program by itself if restoring to a point prior to the program installation. Since system restore is based on an inclusionary model, any file added or modified by the installation which System Restore does not monitor or files added to or modified in a non monitored drive will not be tracked by System Restore.

Thus System Restore cannot delete or undo any modifications made to these files. To remove all the changes an installation may have made on the system, the user should first use the Add/Remove option in the control panel to remove the application prior to using System Restore. System Restore however will undo all recorded changes made to the registry & monitored
files caused by the application install including:

  a.. Delete monitored  files the program installation may have added to the system
  b.. Undo modifications to monitored  files made by the installation
  c.. Replace the current registry with the registry snapshot taken when the restore point chosen was created. (*note: some
       current values will persist)
  d.. Any file type not monitored by System Restore added or modified on the system will not be restored or removed. E.g.
      .jpg, .txt files.

For additional information on System Restore please visit:

Add or Remove - White Space

AutoCad Fix 
Autodesk Land Desktop 3 Fix 

This is generally due to the DisplayIcon having a negative number. From here you can either remove the negative number or remove the last application listed: Start/Run/Regedit:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall{}

Add Defrag to the Right Click (Context Menu) 

Information and download here.

Add New Hardware

Try opening the device manager, locate the category for your new device, right click the category and click, 'Scan for Hardware Changes'.  For more information:  Go to Start/Run/Msinfo32/Hardware Resources, Components/Problem Devices and Software Environment/Windows Error Reporting.

How to Troubleshoot Hardware and Software Driver Problems;en-us;Q322205

Using Driver Verifier to Troubleshoot Drivers in Windows XP

Partial List of Possible Error Codes with Driver Verifier

Device Manager Conflicts, Error Codes and Solutions

Add New Hardware Error Message:  "Found New Hardware Wizard" advises, "Cannot install this Hardware. There was a problem installing this hardware: PCI Simple Communications Controller. The data is Invalid.

This is caused in XP by the new PCI Registry entry defaulting to "Read" under Permissions. Also, the Device Manager shows the typical yellow query against other Devices/PCI Simple Communications Controller.

Suggested Solution/Fix:

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

Open each sub-key: Ven_XXXX... In the right pane read the Value Data for each DEVICEDESC, until you find your modem. Once found, right click the 3&71aaa sub-key and select Permissions and under the word "Allow", select "Full Control", click OK then go to File/Exit.

Then go to the Device Manager, right click on the device name that matches the "DEVICEDESC" value you changed in the registry. Select Properties/Driver/Update Driver. Windows will now ask you for the disk or CD-ROM that contains the driver for the failing device.

This error can also occur when configuring drivers for a such as SCSI cards, Network cards, Sound Cards, or other peripherals.  This symptom appears to occur when there has been a recent hardware configuration change within Windows XP.  This error is believed to be due to an issue occurring when hardware enumeration takes place by the operating system.

Address Bar

In Microsoft Internet Explorer, use Alt + D to highlight the address bar. This allows you to enter a URL without the
mouse. And if you're still typing "http", "www", and ".com" as part of the address -- don't. It's just not necessary.

Toolbars missing in Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer

Restore All Tabs under Internet Options and Remove the Internet Options Restriction Message (Line 268)

Remove/Disable All Toolbars in Internet Explorer (Line 282)

Set the Search Engine in Internet Explorer back to XP Default (Line 229)

Address Book

Address Book is missing:  Click Start, and then click Search. Click All files and folders .
In the What do you want to search for box, click All files and folders. In the All or part of the file name type, *.wab , and then click Search.

When the search is finished, double-click each file to open it. When you have found the correct one (it will contain your Contact information), note the exact location and name of the file. In Outlook Express, click the File menu. Click Import, and then click Address Book. Point the Look In field to the location that you noted in the above step. Click the .wab file, and then click Open. Click OK to import the Address Book.

Move your Address Book to a Safe Location
OLEXP: Error Message: Address Book Failed to Load
OLEXP: Mail Folders, Address Book, and E-mail Messages Are Missing After You Upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP

Managing the Address Book
Err Msg: Address Book Failed to Load, Outlook Express Is...
OLEXP: Outlook Express Address Book Does Not Load

Note:  For KB Articles Q191946 and Q274745 (the above two), with OE 6, the value in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftActive SetupInstalled Components{7790769C-0471-11d2-AF11-00C04FA35D02} Should read "Address Book 6" without the quotes.

Address Book - Mysterious Tilde on the Desktop

The "Mysterious Tilde File" usually appears just after you close OE but only if you made any change to Address Book during this OE session...but not always.

It's usually found on Desktop but on occasion appears at C: . Rename it ~.wab and you'll see it's an exact copy of Address Book. You can either rename it or simply delete it.

It first appeared in November '02 with 331923/Cumulative Update for OE6-SP1 which was only available via manual download and with the more recent 330994/April '03 Cumulative Patch for OE, available via Windows Update.

Administrator Account - Add to the Welcome Screen

Download the INF fix here.  To use: Download the xp_admin_enable.inf file (you may want to right click and use Save Target As).  Locate the file you downloaded and right click on it, then select Install.  Or Download the VBS Fix here.  To use: Download the xp_admin_enable.vbs file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Double-click the xp_admin_enable.vbs file. You will be prompted when the script is done. INF and VBS files can be viewed in Notepad.

Administrator Account - Access from Welcome Screen

On Pro Edition, from the Welcome screen, press ctrl-Alt-Delete Twice.  Press Control/Alt/Delete Twice for Pro and Boot into safe mode and login for Home.  On Home, boot to Safe Mode, and logon.

More information and options here:

Administrator Password

Start/Run/compmgmt.msc/System Tools/Local Users and Groups/Right click Administrator/Set Password.

For a more comprehensive solution, make a password recovery disk. Under Related Tasks in the User Accounts Control Panel applet, click "Prevent a forgotten password." 

More information here:

Administrative Shares

HOW TO: Restore Administrative Shares That Have Been Deleted
HOW TO: Create and Disable Administrative Shares on Windows XP

Administrative Tools Folder Does Not Appear on the Start Menu After You Install a New Program

After you install a new program that belongs in the Administrative Tools folder, the Administrative Tools folder does not appear in the Start menu.  To resolve this behavior, customize the Start menu:

Right-click the Start button, and then click Properties. On the Start Menu tab, click Customize. On the Advanced tab, under Start menu items, click System Administrative Tools. Click to select either the Display on the All Programs menu or the Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu option. Click OK , and OK again to save the change.

     Tip:  Administrator Tools Missing: Open a Search window and do a find for *.msc files in C:WindowsSystem32. You
              can create the missing shortcuts by pointing them to the correct file.

Administrative Tools on the Start Menu - Hide

This folder contains powerful administration utilities and therefore can be hidden to avoid accidental use.

Open your registry (Start/Run/Regedit) and find the key mentioned below.


Value Name: StartMenuAdminTools
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Yes or No

Create a new string value, or modify the existing value, named 'StartMenuAdminTools'. Modify the value to equal 'YES' to show the administrative tools folder or 'NO' to hide it. Exit your registry and log off for the changes to take effect.

Note: By using the same key except under the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE] tree the tweak can be enforced system wide, instead of only user based.

Note: Hiding the folder does not stop the use of the tools, it only make it more difficult to locate them.

Administrative Tools - Restore

Album Covers

Album Cover Art for Windows XP and Windows Media Player 8

All Part2 is Null

Go to Start/Run/CMD and type in: net stop winmgmt. Then delete the %windir&system32wbem epository directory. Once done go back to Start/Run/CMD and type in: net start winmgmt

"Help and Support " Does Not Collect All Hardware Information

WinMgmt could not initialize the core parts:  To reinstall wmi into the registry:

Go to Start/Run and type in: CMD, then Winmgmt/? for information. Then run each of these hitting enter after each:

winmgmt /clearadap
winmgmt /kill
winmgmt /unregserver
winmgmt /regserver
winmgmt /resyncperf

Windows XP FAQ A Page 2

How to use Alt-Key codes and complete list.

Here are all of the special characters that the ALT key can generate. Most symbols require one key press; most accented characters require two. It is important to let up the ALT key after typing the symbol or accent.

Alt-Tab - Restore to Default Behavior

Open Control Panel/Add/Remove Programs. Powertoys for Windows XP. Remove the Alt-Tab replacement. When you install Windows XP Powertoys, it comes with a program called TaskSwitch.exe designed to enhance the Alt+Tab task switcher. To disable this feature, go to Start/Run and type: msconfig. Click the "Startup" tab and uncheck startup item "taskswitch". Click Start, Run and enter TASKMGR. In Processes, locate the TaskSwitch process and end it. Your Alt-Tab will be back to normal.

To manually apply:  Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop


The above values reflect how many columns and rows, respectively, you want to appear in the Alt+Tab cool switch display.

Animation - Disable Windows Animation in XP

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics.  In the right pane, select New/String. Name it MinAnimate. Set Value to 0. Exit/Reboot.


List of Antivirus Software Vendors

Application - Opening Applications In The Back

Make your documents and programs open behind the currently active window by pressing and holding the Ctrl key while you double-click on its icon.

Application Path - Creating Path to use the Run Command

To create an application path, so you can run an application in Windows XP from the Run dialog box you need to:

1. Run regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths

2. Create a new key with the what ever you want to use as your run command: 
    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\nameofprogram.exe

3. In the key folder that you created, create a new string, call it 'Path' and modify the value to point the specific folder of your
    executable your running:  C:\ProgramFiles\nameofprogram.

4. Use the default string and modify it's value to point to the executable you want to run.

Applications - Restrict Users from Running Specific Applications

This setting allows you to specify applications and filenames that users are restricted from running.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer]

Create a new DWORD value and name it "DisallowRun" set the value to "1" to enable application restrictions or "0" to allow all applications to run.

Then create a new sub-key called [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun] and define the applications the are to be restricted. Creating a new string value for each application, named as consecutive numbers, and setting the value to the filename to be restricted (e.g. "regedit.exe").

Explained: DK

Right click in the right pane and select New, DWord value.  Name the new value DisallowRun.  Double click the new value and set it to 1.  Then right click on the Explorer sub branch, in the left pane and select New, Key  Name the new key Disallow Run.  Highlight this key, then in the right pane, right click and select New, String value.  Give it "1" for
the name, without the quotes. 

Double click this new value and enter the actual file name of the executable you wish to restrict this user from
running.  Example: calc.exe   This prevents this user from running Calculator.  They'll get a "This operation has been cancelled message" when they try.  Note: The way around this is for the user to rename Calc.exe to something else.  For additional entries, just give the "values" names in numerical order, 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. DisallowRunReg and DisallowRunCalc

Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Applications - Restrict Applications Users Can Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Value Name: RestrictRun

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer]

Create a new DWORD value and name it "RestrictRun" set the value to "1" to enable application restrictions or "0" to allow all applications to run.

Then create a new sub-key called [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \Policies\Explorer\RestrictRun] and define the applications that are allowed. Creating a new string value for each application, named as consecutive numbers, and setting the value to the filename to be allowed (e.g. "regedit.exe" and "calc.exe").

Explained: DK

This example prevents any applications but those that you specify from being run:

Right click in the Right pane and select New, DWord value and name the new value RestrictRun  Double click this entry
and set it to 1. Right click on the Explorer sub branch, in the left pane and select New, Key  Name the new key RestrictRun.  Highlight this key, then in the right pane, right click and select New, String value.  Give it "1" for the name, without the quotes.  Double click this new value and enter the actual file name of the executable you wish to restrict this user from running. Example: calc.exe  Right click again, select New, String value, name the new value "2".  Double click the new
value, enter REGEDIT.EXE

This example would only allow Calculator and REGEDIT to be run.   Be VERY careful with this setting.  You could wind up locking yourself out of REGEDIT if you were to use the restrictions on your Administrator account.

Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Note: If you are the person who applies Group Policy, do not apply this policy to yourself. If applied too broadly, this policy can prevent administrators from running Group Policy or the registry editors. As a result, once applied, you cannot change this policy except by reinstalling Windows XP.

Software Restriction Policies may be set to determine what software may or may not be run by users on the system. (Jim Cavalaris [MS])

Software Restriction Policies can be configured via the group policy editor (gpedit.msc) at:

Local Computer Policy -->Computer Configuration -->Windows Settings -->Security Settings -->Software Restriction Policies.  Policy can be set to either: restrict users from running specified programs - OR -restrict users to allow ONLY the specified programs to be run.

For a non-domain machine, policy can be applied to all users on the system, or non-Admin users only (Admins are not affected by the policy, and may run any/all programs). you cannot specify this policy for only certain users, but for a non-domain machine, the Admin/non-Admin breakdown may be sufficient.

Using Software Restriction Policies in Windows XP and Windows .NET Server to Protect Against Unauthorized Software

Another Option - (KWE) - You can move shortcuts out of %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\StartMenu\Programs and place the shortcuts in specific user account profiles to keep program shortcuts from being visible to all accounts. This does not stop the limited account from running the program using a variety of techniques.

Applications - Set Priority

Open TaskManager (Ctrl+Alt+Del or Ctrl+Shift+Esc), Process Tab. Right click the Program in questions, Set Priority.

Application - Modify Application Timeout

The operating system has a set amount of time that a program must be frozen for before it is timed out. Often this number is set too high. But in some circumstances it is set too low. Depending on if the program is doing a lot of calculations in the background the computer may think that it is timed out. To prevent this increase the value of the timeout in the registry.

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.  Select HungAppTimeout from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify. Change the value to the new timeout value. Reboot your computer.

ASPI Drivers for Windows XP - Download.

ASPI stands for Advanced SCSI Programming Interface. Originally developed by Adaptec. It is a software layer that enables programs to communicate with SCSI (and ATAPI) devices.

Attachments - Avoid download of file attachments that may have virus infections.

Start/Run/gpedit.msc. User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Internet Explorer. Configure Outlook Express/Enable Block attachments that may contain a virus.

Attributes - Display the Attributes Column in Explorer

Right click on the column headers and select Columns. You'll get a list of them to choose from. Attributes is one of them.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Advanced. Value Name: ShowAttribCol, Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value), Value Data: (0 = disable, 1 = enable). Create a new DWORD value called 'ShowAttribCol' and set the value to '1' to enable the attributes column.

AutoComplete - Clear

IE/Tools/Internet Options/General/Clear History
IE/Tools/Internet Options/Content/AutoComplete

Can't Clear History:  Start/Search/Change Preferences/Turn off AutoComplete

     Control the Auto Complete Mode

This setting controls whether the automatic text completion (AutoComplete) feature of Windows explorer appends the suggested text to the words as you are typing as well as showing a drop-down list of available values.

Explorer\AutoComplete. Value Name: Append Completion, Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value), Value Data: yes or no.

Create a new string value, or modify the existing value, named "Append Completion" and set it to "yes" to append the suggested text as you are typing or "no" to only show a drop-down list.

Restart Windows for the change to take effect.  Note: This setting also changes the auto complete functionality of Internet Explorer.

You can view the values stored for each input field name, delete incorrect ones, and pre-load the system with additional values.

Clear Form Fields in AutoComplete (Line 37)

AutoComplete Mode Enabled or Disabled (Line 37)

Restore IE AutoComplete Password Prompt (Line 13)

Close IE. Then go to Start/Run and type in: services.msc
Scroll down to Protected Storage. Note the Status column. If Protected Storage is running, Started will appear under Status.

If Protected Storage is not started, start it. To do this, right-click Protected Storage, and then click Start. If Protected Storage is started, stop and then restart it.

If you receive a Stop Other Services message, record the names of the other services that will be stopped, and then click Yes. Then restart the others services. Close out then reopen IE.

AutoComplete Does Not Save Username and Password;EN-US;Q306895

For Pro: Start/Administrative Tools/Services/Protected Storage. Make sure the Service Protected Storage is Started.

Addresses Are Not Resolved When the AutoComplete Feature Is Enabled;EN-US;Q230592

AutoComplete and Vcard and how they work

AutoComplete Keys and Storage

The specific subkeys for different applications (appear to be) is as follows:

IE: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\S-1-5-21-839522115-1708537768-1343024091-1003\Data\e161255a-37c3-11d2-bcaa-00c04fd929db

OE: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\S-1-5-21-839522115-1708537768-1343024091-1003\Data\220d5cc1-853a-11 d0-84bc-00c04fd43f8f

FTP, Front Page and password protected web sites:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\S-1-5-21-839522115-1708537768-1343024091-1003\Data\5e7e8100-9138-11d1-945a-00c04fc308ff

Outlook XP: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\S-1-5-21-839522115-1708537768-1343024091-1003\Data\220d5cd0-853a-11d0-84bc-00c04fd43f8f

Note: the S-1-5-21-839522........ part of the Registry key above may be different on your machine.

InfoDelivery, MSN and Identities have their own sub branches off of the Data branch. These number (other than the User number) appear to be the same from machine to machine.

AutoComplete and HP's

When logging in as Owner, AutoComplete does not work when filling out a form, it does work; however, in the address bar, and also in Outlook Express.

HP support stated that the Owner/Administrator login doesn't save passwords, etc. This is for security reasons. They advice to set up another account, assign it as limited, and log in on that account.

AutoComplete:  Remove Google Search History

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System
"Item Data"=-

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System
"Item Data"=-

Note:  The S-1-5 ... portion of this string may be different on your machine.
Note 2:  To delete the value doesn't work unless the Permissions have been set to allow full control. Nor is it possible to delete the keys, without Full Control being allowed.

Tip: Step by Step instruction:

Go to the key listed below:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\

With the blue, choose File/Export and save it to your desktop and name it (ex). googlehistoryclear.reg. Leave the registry open then go to your desktop. Right click the saved reg file and choose Edit. If it needs an association choose Notepad. Scroll down to these keys:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System

To make the search/scroll easier they are listed in alphabetic order and you are looking for the end of the string in this case \q:StringData and \q:StringIndex. So scroll down to the q's....

Under q:StringData
Highlight what is listed after the word "Behavior"= only up to the words "Item Data"= and delete it. Then place a - (minus sign) after the = so that it looks like this: "Behavior"=-

From there highlight what is listed after the words "Item Data"= only up to the next key and delete it. Then place a - (minus sign) after the = so that it looks like this:
"Item Data"=-

Do the same for q:StringIndex.

Once done choose File/Save. Use the red X to close. If it asked to save again, answer yes.

Return to the registy and delete this key: (right click, delete, accept the warning)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider\

Then go back to your desktop and double click your saved regedit, answer yes. Then open Google and the search history is gone.

AutoComplete:  Save Passwords

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

In the right pane, right click FormSuggest PW Ask, modify value data with no = do not ask to save passwords, yes...

IE AutoComplete Password Prompt VB Script
Internet Explorer Control Panel Restrictions
AutoComplete Does Not Save Username and Password
For Pro: Start/Administrative Tools/Services/Protected Storage. Make sure the Service Protected Storage is Started.
Addresses Are Not Resolved When the AutoComplete Feature Is Enabled

Auto-Dial:  Disconnect/Disable

Check your settings here:

Right click the My computer icon (Desktop), open Manage/Services and Applications/Services. In the right pane scroll down to Remote Access Auto Connection Manager and double click it. Use the Startup type drop box and choose Disabled.

Network Connections/Advanced/Dial-Up Preferences/Enable Auto-Dial by Location/Uncheck all locations and Always ask me before Auto-Dialing.

Also check all programs with a Notification Area icon (system tray) for an option to disable or not start at startup.  Most can be unselected here:  Start/Run/Msconfig/Startup and/or removed from here:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

     Disable Automatic Modem Connections at Startup

If remote connections are enabled in Windows, the system may try to initiate an Internet connection at Windows startup or at the start of many applications. This setting disables that behavior.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Ole. Value Name: EnableRemoteConnect, Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value), Value Data: "Y" = enable automatic connections, "N" = disabled.

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called 'EnableRemoteConnect' and edit the value according to the settings above. Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

     Modify the Internet Auto-Dial Settings

Windows has the option to automatically dial your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to establish an Internet connection. This option can be controlled using this tweak.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

Create a new binary value named "EnableAutodial", and set the new value to equal "01 00 00 00" to enable autodial or "00 00 00 00" to disable it.

Note: This restriction can be used either on a user by user basis by adding it to HKEY_CURRENT_USER or on a computer wide basis by adding it to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

     To view the list of names and addresses recorded by AutoDial, type the following command at a command
     prompt: rasautou -s

To delete a name or address entry from the list: Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\RAS Autodial\Addresses

You can delete any TCP/IP addresses that you see under this key. Note that AutoDial can use IP addresses, DNS fully qualified domain names (FQDN), and NetBIOS names.

     How to make auto-disconnect work in Internet explorer



In the right pane, find Autodisconnect and change the time accordingly.  Alternately You can try this from command prompt: net config server /autodisconnect:30 -to set the autodisconnect to 30 minutes.

More Information on Auto-Dial and Auto-Disconnect


Creative SoundBlaster Audigy Audio May Cause an Error Message

Auto-Disconnect Modem


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters. In the right pane, find Autodisconnect and change the time accordingly.


Start/Run/net config server /autodisconnect:30 (30 being an example). To disable Auto-Disconnect set it to -1. Setting Autodisconnect to 0 does not turn it off and results in very fast disconnects, within a few seconds of idle time. (However, the RAS Autodisconnect parameter is turned off if you set it to a value of 0.)

Modem Issues, Auto-Connect/Disconnect & Dialup for Windows XP


1. At a command prompt, type "control userpasswords2" and press Enter to open the Windows 2000-style User Accounts application.

2. On the Users tab, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box and then click OK.

3. In the Automatically Log On dialog box that appears, type the user name and password for the account you want to be logged on each time you start your computer.

Add Control UserPasswords2 to the Control Panel (Line 1)


Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Local Security Settings/Minimum Password Length (0). User account/Remove Password.

How to Enable Automatic Logon in Windows

Welcome Screen in Windows XP

Logon and User Profiles

AutoPlay - Add Your CD-Rom Burning Program

Add Your CD Burning Program to AutoPlay Actions - Blank CD Inserted
TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay/Handlers/Edit

AutoPlay - Checkpoints

Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services/Shell Hardware Detection/Return this service to Automatic.

If you are using TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay

Go to Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/File Types. Highlight AudioCD/Advanced. Make sure that Play is in bold type, then go to Edit and verify that this line is listed under Application used:

"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /prefetch:3 /device:AudioCD "%L"

Related Registry Entries:





@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Windows Media Player\\wmplayer.exe\" /prefetch:3
/device:AudioCD \"%L\""


Auto-Play:  Disable

TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay

     To Disable CD Autoplay in Windows XP Pro

[1] Start/Run/GPEDIT.MSC
[2] Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System.
[3] Locate the entry for Turn Off Autoplay and modify.

Start/Run/Gpedit.msc/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System. Check your settings in the right pane, Turn Off Autoplay (double click).

     To Disable CD Autoplay, completely, in Windows XP Home

Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Then go to:


Name: NoDriveTypeAutoRun

If NoDriveTypeAutoRun does not exist, create it and set its value to 145 (decimal).




AutoRun = 0

Auto-Play:  Enable

Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services/Shell Hardware Detection/Return this service to Automatic.

Start/Run/Gpedit.msc/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System. Check your settings in the right pane for Turn Off AutoPlay (and modify).

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet\Services\Cdrom.  AutoRun = 1

Or run this edit:  Enable CD AutoPlay for Pro or Home (Line 10)

If you are using TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers. Right click on the AutoplayHandlers subkey and delete it. Do the same here under this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\Drives

If still not corrected, manually make these changes under this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CD Burning\Drives

Double click the "Drive Type" value to change it's properties. CD-R should be set to 1; CD-RW should be set
to 2;  Non-Writable should be set to 3. Then under AutoPlayHandlers:  User Defaults verify MSCDBurningOnArrival.  For any listed without an Autoplay LegacyHandler, set it to AutoPlay.

AutoPlay Handler Keys:


Restore AutoPlay Handlers (Line 99)

Restore AutoPlay Icon -

To use the Regedit: 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.

Note: This REG file contains numerous settings regarding Autoplay, in addition to the icon settings and may correct your problem.

Auto Play - Listen To CDs Without A Click

Since the advent of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, playing an audio CD has been a click-free task. However, after installing WinXP, when you insert an audio CD for the first time, the Audio CD dialog box appears. The Play Audio CD Using Windows Media Player is already highlighted, so there’s no need to click it. But before you click OK, click the checkbox next to Always Do The Selected Action. This will restore CD playing to its former click-free glory. Click OK and the CD will play.

Auto Play Icon - Restore

Restore the Auto Play Icon - or you can Download it here.  Download
the REG file to your hard drive, then double click it. Answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on them and selecting Edit.

Auto - Reboot  (Modify auto-reboot setting)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl.  Select AutoReboot from the list on the right. Right on it and select Modify. Change the value to 0 to disable and 1 to enable. Reboot your computer.


Create your message in Word, Wordpad, Notepad or any other text program you like. Save as (name you choose) and make sure you have selected a text extension .txt. I find that wordpad works just fine. Save to wherever you can find it again.

Go to OE/Tools/Message Rules/Mail/New and set up a rule.

1. Select your option from the top section for whom you want to send it to.
2. In the second section, scroll down and select "reply with message."
3. In the third section, click on the word "message." You'll be prompted to select the file to use.
4. In the bottom dropdown window, change the extension to text (mail is the default and won't see your saved file.)
5. Select the file you created. It will show the path to the message.

To test it, send an email to yourself and see if you get your message back. When you look at the message you sent yourself
in the inbox, it should show a reply icon.


AutoRuns - Shows what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login. Includes items in startup folders, win.ini, and 14 registry keys.  Download here.

Automatic Update

Automatic Update Feature in Windows XP Explained

Automatic Window Refresh

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Update. Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, named "UpdateMode" and set it to equal "0" for faster updates. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Automatically Close Non-Responding Applications on Shutdown

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Value Name: AutoEndTasks, Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value), Value Data: (0 = disabled, 1 = enabled). Modify the value of 'AutoEndTasks' to equal '1' to automatically end tasks or '0' to prompt for action.

Note: This change will affect all users but the value can also be changed on a user-by-user basis by modifying [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] with the same values.

Available Bytes

Description of What the Available Bytes in Task Manager Represents

AVI Files - Fix Movie Interference in AVI Files

If you have any AVI files that you saved in Windows 9x, which have interference when opened in Windows XP, there is an easy fix to get rid of the interference:  Open Windows Movie Maker. Click View and then click Options. Click in the box to remove the check mark beside Automatically create clips. Now, import the movie file that has interference and drag it onto the timeline. Then save the movie, and during the re-rendering, the interference will be removed.  

File Formats Supported by Windows Movie Maker in Windows XP
Cannot Use Sony MovieShaker v1.1 and v1.2 to Open AVI Files


This program was created to be able to watch partially downloaded DivX (AVI) movies. It can rebuild or strip the index
part of the movie, which is at the end of the file. There are also a basic error detection, which can detect serious errors in
the audio/video stream.  Download here.

AVI - Remove

Close all open apps. Open a command prompt and navigate to the directory with the offending files. Then open the Task Manager and click on the Processes tab. select "explorer.exe" under Image Name. Click "End Process".

Now you will only have the command prompt and the task manager. In the Command Prompt, DEL the offending files
(DEL *.mpg, DEL mus*.avi, DEL test.wmv, etc.)

The files should now delete without a problem. Now go back to the task manager and click on the Applications tab. Click the "New Task..." button. in the dialog, type explorer.exe and click OK.

How do I delete an "undeletable" file?

AVI - Explorer.Exe

Start/Run/Regedit -HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler.  And delete the "Default" key.