Windows XP A to Z - http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/windowsxp
Windows XP FAQ B
http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/windowsxp/articles/558/1/Windows-XP-FAQ-B
Super Admin
 
By Super Admin
Published on 02/27/2005
 
starting with letter "B"

Windows XP FAQ B Page 1

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP

Background - For all Users

Create a user, set the profile up exactly the way you want it and then log on as someone with administrator privileges and copy that profile to \Documents and Settings\Default User.  Overwrite the existing profile. Any user created after you modify the Default User profile will get the new settings.

HOW TO: Distribute a Custom Desktop Theme to Users
HOW TO: Configure Desktop Themes in Windows XP

Background - Specify the Background Image and Wallpaper Style

These settings allow you to specify the background wallpaper and display style. When this setting is defined users can not choose an alternative background image. Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]

Value Name: Wallpaper, WallpaperStyle.  Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)

To specify the wallpaper create a new string value called "Wallpaper" and set it to the full path and filename of the image.

Additionally, to specify the display style, create a new string value called "WallpaperStyle" and set it to either "0", "1" or "2" according to the list below.

  • 0 - Centered (Default)
  • 1 - Tiled
  • 2 - Stretched

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

Background Tab is Missing

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Look in the right pane for a value called: NoDispBackgroundPage If it exists, double click it and set the value to 0. If it doesn't exist, right click in the right pane and select New, DWord value, and name it NoDispBackgroundPage. Leave the value at 0.

Backup  - Windows XP

In Pro you can find it here: Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Backup

The Backup utility is not included in the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. The Backup icon is not present on the Start menu in Windows XP Home Edition, nor is Backup listed in Add Remove Programs for Windows XP Home edition.

     To manually install Backup:

Double-click the Ntbackup.msi file in the following location on the Windows XP Home Edition CD-ROM to start a wizard that installs Backup: CD-ROM Drive :\VALUEADD\MSFT\NTBACKUP. When the wizard is complete, click Finish.

System Backup for Windows XP
Windows Backup Does Not Back Up to CD-R, CD-RW, or DVD-R Devices

     Tip:  Save the backup to your CD Burning folder. Then select the CD-R device and "burn" the file to CD. If you want to
              restore the backup, copy it from the CD to your disk and then restore it. If for some reason the restore utility
             doesn't like the file, change the read-only attribute that it picked up from being on the CD.

For more information:  http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/win_xp_backup.htm

Backup

WinBackup makes it easier than ever before to secure your data by making regular backups. Not only will WinBackup help you organize your backups and schedule automatic backups, it will also protect your data using the latest encryption techniques, compress data to save space, create detailed logs of all backup operations and more. WinBackup also features one of the most intuitive user interfaces you have ever seen, making even the most advanced features easily accessible to beginners and professionals alike.  Download here.  Users Manual here.  FAQ's here.

Second Copy® 2000 is the perfect backup product designed for Windows 9x/Me/NT4/2000/XP you have been looking for. It makes a backup of your data files to another directory, disk or computer across the network. It then monitors the source files and keeps the backup updated with new or changed files. It runs in the background with no user interaction. So, once it is setup you always have a backup of your data some where else.

Second Copy 2000 simplifies the task of making "Second Copies" of your important files and folders. It organizes your copy jobs in "profiles". Each profile is a set of file and folder specifications which tells Second Copy 2000, what you want to be copied, to where, and when. Once configured, it runs in the background (accessible from the system tray) and monitors the "source" folders for changes or updates and copies new or changed files to the "destination."

Setting profiles is a snap with the "Profile Wizard". Express setup lets you copy entire folders to another location on your disk, to another disk on your computer or to another computer across the network. You can define copy intervals from every half an hour to once a day. The Custom setup option lets you specify which files and folders should be included or excluded and whether you want the files copied, moved, compressed or synchronized. A neatly organized Log lets you monitor the copy activities.   Download here.

Backup Plus

Backup Plus allows you to easily and quickly backup all of your important data. Features include the ability to include files, full folders, wildcards and exclusions in your backup set. Backup to just about any removable device, span multiple disks if required and even write to CDR/CD-RW drives with your existing packet writing software. Make backups easy with Backup Plus.  More information here.

Backup and Recovery

The Backup utility in Windows XP Professional helps you protect your data in the event your hard disk fails or files are accidentally erased due to hardware or storage media failure. By using Backup you can create a duplicate copy of all of the data on your hard disk and then archive it on another storage device, such as a hard disk or a tape.

If the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard–disk malfunction, you can easily restore it from the disk or archived copy by using the Restore or Automated System Recovery Wizards. To start Backup or to access Restore and Automated System Recovery:  Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Backup.

Windows XP Backup, Restore, and Automated System Recovery all function when Windows XP Professional is functioning. If your computer does not start properly, you may need to use Recovery Console. Recovery Console provides a command line during Startup from which you can make system changes when Windows XP Professional doesn’t start.  To learn more about Backup, Restore, and Automated System Recovery, see Help and Support Center.

     Recovery Console

You can use Recovery Console to perform many tasks without starting Windows XP, including: starting and stopping services, reading and writing information on a local disk drive, and formatting drives. However, you must install Recovery Console while your computer is still functioning. The Recovery Console feature should be used only by advanced users. Before using Recovery Console, it is recommended that you back up your information on a tape drive, because your local hard disks might be reformatted—thus erased—as part of the recovery. You can also run Recovery Console from the Windows XP CD.

     To install Recovery Console as a Startup Option

Log on to Windows XP Professional as an administrator or as a user with administrator rights.
If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing this procedure. Contact your network administrator for assistance. Insert the Windows XP Professional CD into your CD ROM drive. If you’re prompted to upgrade to Windows XP, click No.

From the command prompt—or from the Run command in the Start menu–type the path to the appropriate Winnt32.exe file (on your Windows XP Professional CD), followed by a space and /cmdcons to reference this switch. For example:
e:\1386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons.  Follow the instructions that appear.
 
     To run Recovery Console on a computer if Windows XP Professional does not start

Restart your computer, and then choose Windows Recovery Console from the list of operating systems. Follow the instructions that appear. Recovery Console displays a command prompt. Make the required changes to your system.

Back up your information regularly—using the Backup utility in Windows XP—to keep your archived data up–to–date.
It is also a good idea to backup important data and files before making any system changes, such as adding new hardware, updating drivers or firmware, and editing the registry. For more information about how to back up your data, see Help and Support Center. To see the commands available in Recovery Console, type “help” at the command prompt. To restart your computer, type “exit” to close the Recovery Console command prompt.

Backup Restore - From Win95, 98, Me

Cannot Restore Backups That You Create in Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me with the Windows XP Ntbackup Tool.  To resolve this behavior, restore the data from the tape or file by using Msbackup on a computer that is running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me.

Suggested workaround:

Obtain the Win9x MSBACKUP program and run it in compatibility mode on the WinXP computer. If you do not have the program you can download a copy from Microsoft:  ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/msback.exe  (558K)

The MSBACK.EXE file is a self-extracting file containing the MSBACKUP.EXE program and supporting files.
Place this file on a floppy disk, open a DOS window, and execute the file. The MSBACKUP.EXE program and supporting files will be extracted to the same floppy.

You must then run the install program. Create a temporary directory on the hard drive and then command A>INSTALL C:\TEMP (or whatever directory name you made on the hard drive). MSBACKUP will then run and attempt to set itself up.
It is during this process that some users tend to find WinXP not allowing the program to proceed.

Backup VB Script

Move the folder/contents to another partition. Create a shortcut to it and place it on your desktop. Anything added will go to the new destination. It is merely a shortcut to the folder.

An added measure: Copy the four lines below into notepad and save as backup.vbs. Change NameofFolder to the correct name and create two backup folders according to the example below. In the done = change NameofFolder as well.

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

fso.CopyFolder "C:\NameofFolder\*.*", "C:\NameofFolder_backup"
fso.CopyFolder "C:\NameofFolder\*.*", "E:\NameofFolder_backup"

done = MsgBox("Done", vbOKonly, "Backup NameofFolder")

Batch Files - .bat

Batch files for XP
Batch Script Collection
Batch Files for Windows
Batch File Association Fix  Or from a command prompt just type assoc .bat=batfile

Belarc Advisor - System Inventory Tool

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware. Download here. In the Software Versions section you'll see all of your installed software. At the end of each entry is a clickable asterisk that will take you to the folder the software is installed in.

BING - Bootit Next Generation

BootIt NG is a partition and multi boot manager with a powerful and simple to use set of tools for partitioning, imaging, and multi-booting your computer.

Boot It Next Generation
Support and FAQ's
Help/Info
BootIt NG Newsgroup Support
How to install W2K/XP with Controller Card issues using Bing

To move to another larger drive using BootIT NG, from http://www.BootitNG.com by MVP Alex Nichol

Download, to its own folder, extract from the zip, run the bootitng to make a boot floppy. 

With the new drive plugged in as slave/secondary, boot the floppy, Cancel Install, entering maintenance, then Partition work. On the left, select the second Drive (HD1) then highlight and Delete existing partitions that are to be replaced, leaving it empty. Select HD0 again, highlight your C:,Copy, select HD1 and Paste. You can then click resize and say to use the whole of the larger drive.  Close out, swap the disks to make the new one bootable, and remove the other for the moment.

At this point reboot the BING floppy, again Partition Work, this time click view MBR and in it highlight your C and click to make it active, then click to write MBR code - this makes the partition bootable. and you can exit and reboot to XP. (May not be needed for a drive that was in use before, but do it to be certain).

Bios

Bios Explained

Bios - Beep Codes

You'll need to know who the maker of your BIOS is. That's one of the first things displayed when you computer starts up.
Here's the beep definitions by BIOS: Standard Error Codes:  http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml

Bios - Upgrades

WimsBios - By Motherboard Manufacturer - FAQ's - Forum
BIOS Information Guide - How To's, General Information and Download Links
Soyo Bios Downloads - Download Drivers, Manuals, and Other Information

Bios - Commands

Bios Manufacturer Key Command(s)
ALR Advanced Logic Research, Inc. ® PC / PCI F2
ALR PC non / PCI CTRL+ALT+ESC
AMD® (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.) BIOS F1
 
AMI (American Megatrends, Inc.) BIOS DEL
Award™ BIOS CTRL+ALT+ESC
Award BIOS DEL
DTK® (Datatech Enterprises Co.) BIOS ESC
Phoenix™ BIOS CTRL+ALT+ESC
Phoenix BIOS CTRL+ALT+S
Phoenix BIOS CTRL+ALT+INS
    Computer Key Command(s)
    Acer® F1, F2, CTRL+ALT+ESC
    AST® CTRL+ALT+ESC, CTRL+ALT+DEL
    Compaq® 8700 F10
    CompUSA® DEL
    Cybermax® ESC
    Dell® 400 F3
    Dell 400 F1
    Dell Dimension® F2 or DEL
    Dell Inspiron® F2
    Dell Latitude Fn+F1 (while booted)
    Dell Latitude F2 (on boot)
    Dell Optiplex DEL
    Dell Optiplex F2
    Dell Precision™ F2
    eMachine DEL
    Gateway® 2000 1440 F1
    Gateway 2000 Solo™ F2
    HP® (Hewlett-Packard) F1, F2
    IBM® F1
    IBM E-pro Laptop F2
    IBM PS/2® CTRL+ALT+INS after CTRL+ALT+DEL
    IBM Thinkpad® (newer) Windows: Programs-Thinkpad CFG.
    Intel® Tangent DEL
    Micron F1, F2, or DEL
    Packard Bell® F1, F2, Del
    Sony® VIAO F2
    Sony VIAO F3
    Tiger DEL
    Toshiba® 335 CDS ESC
    Toshiba Protege ESC
    Toshiba Satellite 205 CDS F1
    Toshiba Tecra F1 or ESC

Bios - View System BIOS Information

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System

Value Name: SystemBiosDate, SystemBiosVersion, VideoBiosDate
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)

Black Screen

Black Screen on Boot
Computer Stops Responding with a Black Screen When You Start Windows
Windows XP Stops Responding at the Welcome Screen
Blank Screen or Operating System Cannot Load Profile at Logon

 


Windows XP FAQ B Page 2

Blocking Ads

Blocking Ads with a Hosts File:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/winhelp2002/download.htm

Bootable CD

How to make your XP bootable
How to create a bootable CD for XP with SP1

Microsoft added the ability to Slipstream a Service Pack to Windows XP. It not only has the advantage that when you reinstall your OS, you'll don't have to apply the Service Pack later, also if you update any Windows component later, you'll be sure that you get the correct installation files if Windows needs any. Slipstream Windows XP Service Pack 1

Boot - Disable Splash Screen

Right click My Computer, select Properties. Go to Advanced, Startup and Recovery, Settings and click the Edit button.  Locate the line that loads XP and add /SOS to the end of it.  The resulting line should look something like this:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /SOS

Boot - Run a Batch File at Bootup (before XP loads)

How to Run a Batch File Before Logging on to Your Computer (Q243486)

Boot Disks

Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks (Home & Pro)
An alternative, ONE BOOT DISK, to the Microsoft Windows XP 6 Disk Set
HOW TO: Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition with Windows XP
Use System Files to Create a Boot Disk to Guard Against Being Unable to Start Win XP

Right click on your Floppy drive. Choose format. an option at the bottom is "Create an MS-DOS startup disk. This will format the disk and install Dos components.

Boot Config and INI

How do I use Msconfig to modify boot.ini?
A Discussion About the Bootcfg Command and Its Uses
BOOT.INI and ARC Path Naming Conventions and Usage

     Alter BOOT.INI to remove secondary listings:

Right click My Computer, select Properties. Advanced, Startup and Recovery. Set the default OS and and the timeout.
Or...
Remove the line for the old OS in [operating systems] by going to Start/Run, and typing:  C:\Boot.ini.  Be sure 'default=' points to the new OS.
Or...
Press WinKey-Break,(or start/run 'sysdm.cpl'), Advanced Tab, "Start Up and Recovery" area, Settings button, then edit the old line out with the edit button. Reboot, and delete the files for the old OS.

Boot - Increase Bootup Speed

Right click My Computer Icon/Properties/Hardware/Device Manager. Go to IDE/ATAPI Controllers. Select Primary Channel/Properties. On the device that does not have a device type, select disable instead of autodetect. 

This example assumes you have 1 Hard drive on your primary IDE channel and a DVD-ROM(or CD)
and CD-R on your two secondary IDE channels.

Boot - Problems

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP
How to Use Clean Boot Troubleshooting for Windows XP
How to Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP 
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_conflicts.htm

How to Disable a Service that Prevents Windows XP from Booting
Use System Files to Create a Boot Disk to Guard Against Being Unable to Start Win XP
Fast Boot /Fast Resume Design: A performance trace visualization tool for use with Windows XP systems.
Troubleshooting Bootup Problems and Edits

Boot Disk - Control Automatic Boot Disk Optimization

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction 

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called 'Enable' and edit the value according to
Y = enabled, N = disabled . Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Bootvis - Decrease Boot Time

Bootvis is a Boot performance trace visualization tool for use with Windows XP systems. It gives a graphical view of what processes are doing what and when during boot and allow you to optimize your boot up. A very handy tool.

Download Bootvis: http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/platform/performance/fastboot/BootVis.asp

This is a self extracting ZIP file. Double click the file you just downloaded and unzip it to the folder of your choice. Locate Bootvis.exe click on it. You will now see the GUI of bootvis.

Now go to File/New and choose "Next boot trace" or "Next boot and drivers chase". Leave everything else as is and get ready for a reboot in 15 seconds.  Then click on the Bootvis.exe, it will now output the results, once it has finished generating the report, you will see graphs 5 or 6 graphs. From the main menu .. Click on Trace >> optimize system, then reboot.

You will see a message box "Please wait for bootvis to load" ... about 20 seconds later another message box will appear "Optimizing system for boot performance" basically bootvis is rearranging the boot files for a faster startup. (T. Shuel)

More information:

• Disk: Tracks the time to enumerate all the devices in the non-pageable device path. This is everything from the CPU to the boot disk drive; multiple IDE devices and slow IDE devices can affect this time. Typical disk time in Windows XP is 2 seconds.

• Driver: The time it takes to initialize devices.

• Prefetching: The time spent reading pages in from disk used later as devices initialize, and Winlogon, services, the shell, and other applications start during boot.

• Registry+Page file: The time spent to read the registry and initialize the page file.

• Video: Time spent as the display mode is set for the final resolution and refresh rate. Video driver and Video BIOS affect this time.

• Logon+Services and Shell: The times to start Winlogon, services, the shell, and so on. This is mostly the operating system. However, 3rd party software such as anti-virus and firewall software can effect this time.

You can start a report by selecting Next Boot from the Trace menu, or select Next Boot + Driver Delays, which will show you if there are any drivers delaying your boot (they will be displayed in red). Choose to boot your computer, and patiently wait..... After your machine has rebooted to the desktop, it will still take a while before Bootvis will show its report, so just wait till it shows up on your screen.

If Bootvis reports that drivers are delaying your boot time, visit the manufacturers Web site to obtain the latest drivers.
To optimize your system for a faster boot, choose Optimize System from the Trace menu.

Bootvis - Explained by David Candy

Bootvis optimizes the files so it's traces are run on an optimized machine. XP automatically optimizes itself every three days, bootvis merely makes it the optimization happen now rather than having to wait three days.

There are two ways of asking XP to do this now.  defrag c: -b which rearranges files according to the current layout.ini and rundll32.exe, advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks which rebuilds layout.ini from the information in the prefetch folder and and rearranges files according to the newly generated layout.ini. It also does other tasks (such as some System Restore stuff) that windows does when the computer is idle.

Bootvis calls ProcessIdleTasks function in advapi32.dll so automated tasks don't kick in affect the boot monitoring and so the boot monitoring is done on an optimized machine.

You can read about it here : http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/fastboot/download/fastboot-winxp.ZIP which will explain what those .pf files are in prefetch folder and the registry keys that control it.  The technical documentation on ProcessIdleTask is below from the platform SDK.

Idle Task Scheduling: The ProcessIdleTask API

The file placement optimization, which is done no more often than once every three days, is an example of a task that is carried out when the system is deemed to be idle. System Restore and other features of Windows XP also attempt to defer some work until the system is deemed to be idle. There are also some done-once-after-setup work items that also operate under the Idle Task Scheduling mechanisms.

All of these "idle tasks" are controllable by a system API in advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks. The API’s sole purpose is to allow benchmarks a simple way to force any pending idle tasks to be executed immediately, without having to wait a lengthy period of time.

The API ProcessIdleTasks can be called in one of two ways, from the command line or synchronously from a program. To call ProcessIdleTasks from the command line, use this syntax:

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

When called from the command line, the ProcessIdleTasks work is done in the background asynchronously. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for idle tasks to complete. Task Manager will report processes running, and the disk will likely be active during this time.

The ProcessIdleTasks API takes no arguments and returns a standard Win32 error code. The definition is:

DWORD
ProcessIdleTasks()

The API itself is synchronous, so it won’t return until the idle tasks have completed.

Bootable CD

A bootable CD-Rom is a CD from which you boot the PC. This means putting the CD in your CD-Rom drive and power-on or reboot your system. The PC will load a boot image from the CD-Rom and control is given to this boot image. Information here:  Creating bootable CD-Roms for PC!

Bootup Problems and Issues

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP
How to Use Clean Boot Troubleshooting for Windows XP
How to Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP 
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_conflicts.htm

Windows XP Restarts Continuously with Blue Screen
How to Disable a Service that Prevents Windows XP from Booting
Use System Files to Create a Boot Disk to Guard Against Being Unable to Start Win XP

Bootup - Network

When your computer is connected to a network, booting up Windows XP can take a long time. A big part of this time is taking up by updating the group policies. This tweak lets you log on before this process is finished. Because of this, booting up is much faster.

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system

In this key, look for the following values: SynchronousMachineGroupPolicy and SynchronousUserGroupPolicy
By default, these values don't exist. If you can't find them, create them as REG_DWORD values. Set both values to 0.

Bootup - Reduce the Time the Startup List is Shown on Boot

Using Windows explorer find the file called BOOT.INI on your system drive. Change the attributes of the file from read-only, by right clicking on it and choosing Properties, and then under Attributes, uncheck 'Read-only'. Then double-click on BOOT.INI and it should open in Notepad.

Under the [boot loader] section is a value called "timeout=". The number after the "=" sign is the time in seconds Windows will wait for a selection. Change the value according to the options below.

Set the value to the number of seconds between 1 and 999. To make Windows boot instantly change this value to "0" (i.e. timeout=0). To make Windows wait indefinitely change this value to "-1" (i.e. timeout=-1). Save the file, and restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Branding - Remove

Changes the Title Bar Text in Internet Explorer
Remove IE/OE Branding

For IE:  Go to Start/Run and enter: rundll32.exe iedkcs32.dll,Clear

Manual Edit:  Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.  In the right pane scroll down to Window Title, double click it and change accordingly.

Briefcase

How to get "My Briefcase" in windows XP

C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache. Look for a file named "syncapp" and double click it. An icon should appear on your desktop that says "My Briefcase". Double click it and it will come up with this window that tells you how to use it.

HOW TO: Use the Briefcase Feature in Windows XP

Browser Hijacking

Check your settings here:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.  In the right pane scroll down to Start Page.  Double click and under Value data, type in (for example):  http://www.google.com/.

Two regedits:  HomePageLock and HomePageUnclock.

IE/Tools/Internet Options/General/Home Page/Address.  If the feature is disabled (greyed out), download this script.

Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key: 
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel. 

  1. If a HomePage dword value exists in this key, select it.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes to confirm the deletion.

StartPage Guard (SPG) protects your PC from cyberscam, by monitoring status of your internet browser StartPage address and preventing it from any unauthorized changes. It also can be used to remove or change unwanted startpage address, even if change-startpage-buttons has been disabled. Malicious programs (viruses, trojans, backdoors, etc.) sometimes change the StartPage to 'gain the ground'. Spywares use this way to invade user's privacy by tracking destinations which user visited, and collecting personal information.  Free Download.

Ever downloaded a 'Free' program only to find out it was Spyware?  (Banner Advertiser Supported)  Or even worse, many will hide the Spyware functions and not tell you.  At the time of this release there were 762 known Spyware programs and Spy Chaser lists them and lets you enter a program name to see if it's on this list. 

Many of those programs don't uninstall the Spyware even after uninstalling the main program leaving files on your system and entries in the registry you might never get rid of.  For the list:  http://camtech2000.net/Pages/SpyChaser.html

Help to Clean Spyware from your System

Lavasoft AD-Aware
detects: Adware, Alexa 1.0-5.0, Attune, Aureate v1.0,2.0 + 3.0, Comet Cursor v1.0 and v2.0, Cydoor, Doubleclick, DSSAgent, EverAd, EzUla, Expedioware, Flyswat, Gator, Hotbar 1+2, OnFlow, TimeSink v1.0,v2.0 and v5.0, Web3000, Webhancer, Transponder, Wnad, ZapSpot, SurfPlus, AdvertBar, NetPal, CashBar, BonziBuddy, WurldMedia, Lop.com, TopMoxie, BDE Projector, MessageMates, EWA, CommonNameIEBar and more... (updated regularly).
 

Cleaning

  • Lavasoft AD-aware
    detects: Adware, Alexa, Aureate v1/2/3, Comet Cursor v1/2, Cydoor, Doubleclick, DSSAgent, Flyswat, Gator, TimeSink v1/2, Web3000 and Webhancer. Download EXE

Blocking

  • ZoneAlarm
    A personal dynamic firewall that allows you to block spyware communication. With Stealth mode enabled, the firewall renders your computer invisible to the Internet and to potential intruders. Mind you, we find that ZoneAlarm itself wants to know too many details about its users. 1.5Mb. Download EXE

StartPage Guard 1.3
http://www.pjwalczak.com/spguard/index.php
 

How to Block Comet Cursor in Internet Explorer 5 and 6
http://tech.tln.lib.mi.us/blockcc.htm
 
Browser Hijacking
http://www.spywareinfo.com/hijacked.html
 
Spyware
http://www.simplythebest.net/info/spyware.html

Pornography - Clear unwanted files by Content Audit

You can accidentally pick up objectionable PC files from the Internet! ContentAudit provides a way to safely detect unwanted files.  Content Audit is free, safely scans for unwanted content and has an online checker that works in minutes.

Restrict Web Sites from Installing Software
 
These restrictions allow you to block unwanted web sites from downloading software onto your system. This can be useful in disabling the installation of some common "cursor" programs.
 
Open your registry and find the key below. Start/Run/Regedit
 
Create a new sub-key for each site you want to block, naming it based on the top-level domain for the site. For example to block www.restricted.com you would create a new sub-key called:
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\InternetSettings\ZoneMap\Domains\
restricted.com.  Under the sub-key create a new DWORD value called "*" and set it to equal "4".
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

Value Name: *
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (4 = restricted)

Restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.
 
Note: This setting can also be applied on a user-by-user basis by modifying the same key under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive.

Home Page Hijacking - "Has your Browser Been Hijacked?"

Browsing - Speedup (Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer)

Start/Run/Regedit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace In the left pane find: {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} Value and delete it.

Bug Filing

Go Start/Administrative Tools/Component Services/Services (Local). In the right pane, with the Extended tab selected at the bottom of the screen, scroll the list to Upload Manager. Right-click and select Properties, then in the center of the next screen in the Startup type: use the arrow to set it to Automatic. This will allow use of the bug filing program.

Burning CD's

Burning CDs in Windows XP
Compact Disc Recorded in Windows XP Is Missing Files or Folders, or Is Unreadable

Burning CD's - Disable

Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer Value Name: NoCDBurning Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value) Value Data: (0 = Allow CDR, 1 = Disable CDR) Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called 'NoCDBurning' and edit the value according to the settings above.

CD Burning - Disable Native CD Burning in XP

Right click the CD in My Computer/Properties/Recording/Uncheck "Enable CD recording on this drive."
Disable Native CD Burning and Allow Limited Users Access to CD Burning

CD-Rom Burning - Allow limited users access to CD Burning:

For XP Home: To allow Limited User's to burn CD's, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT. Go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Look in the right pane for AllocateDASD and double click the entry. Set the value to 2.

On PRO, this is exposed in Local Security Policy under Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options "Devices: Allowed to format and eject removable media"

A REG file can be used to set this value as well.  It is available here.  Download the REG file and save it to your hard disk.  Double click the file you just saved and answer yes to the import prompt.  REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking them and selecting Edit.

For XP Pro: You can do this by clicking Start, Run and entering SECPOL.MSC.

Go to Local Policies, Security Options, look in the right pane for Devices: Allowed to Format and eject removable media. Set this option to Administrators and Interactive Users. 

Buttons and Menus

Microsoft has been experimenting a lot with flat buttons and all different kinds of 3D looks. This tweak introduces a new kind of flat look for buttons and menus and the like.  Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/ColorsLook for the following values: ButtonHilight and ButtonShadow

These values will probably exist. If not, create them as REG_SZ values.  Set ButtonHilight to the following value:
128 128 128 and set ButtonShadow to the following value: 255 255 255.  You will need to restart or log off for the new settings to take effect.