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

Windows XP FAQ C Page 1

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP

Cabinet Files - Restore

From Start, Run, type "msconfig" without the quotes. Click the expand button lower right. You can then expand and extract to any location.  Detailed version:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
3. Click Expand File.
4. In the "File to restore" box, type the name of the file that you want to restore.
5. In the "Restore from" box, type the path to the Windows XP .cab file from which you want to restore the file, or click
    Browse From to locate the Windows XP .cab file.

    NOTE: The Windows XP .cab files are stored in the I386 folder on the Windows XP compact disc (CD).

6. In the "Save file in" box, type the path to which you want the new file extracted, or click Browse To to locate the folder
    that you want.
7. Click Expand.
8. In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click OK. If you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

Description and Explanation of a Cabinet File

Cab Files Treated as Folders

XP treats Cab files like folders, to stop this type regsvr32 /u cabview.dll at the command prompt (Start/Run/CMD)
To reverse it type regsvr32 cabview.dll.

Cab Files Install and Relocate

1. Insert your windows XP CD.
2. Click on, Perform Additional Tasks.
3. Click on, Browse this CD.
4. Look for the I386 folder, right click on the folder and copy.
5. Get into, My Computer and create a unique folder.
6. Right click on your new folder and paste.

Then alter the source path: Start/Run/Regedit

In the right pane, double click SourcePath and type in exactly, the path to where the cab files can be found. (The folder to where the cab files have been copied to). Registry, exit.

Caps - Show File and Folder Names Using the Correct Case

Some versions of Windows will attempt to adjust the capitalization of files and folders that are in all uppercase to make them more visually pleasing. For example, if you create a folder named "C:\ALLINCAPS" Windows will actually display it as "C:\Allincaps". This feature can be disabled using this tweak.


Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called "DontPrettyPath" and set it to equal "1" to display the file using their original capitalization or "0" to adjust the caps.  Restart Windows for the change to take effect.


Cdaudio.exe May Cause an Error Message

CD - Backup

HOW TO: Back Up Information to a CD
Recorded CD-ROM Is Missing Files or Folders, or Is Unreadable

Q:  Will XP Pro allow me to back up various files and folders daily be adding only newer or changed files or do I have to
      copy the entire folder each time I back up?
A:  You will need to use packet writing software to format the CD-R/W first. Common packet writing programs are the latest versions of Direct CD (bundled with Easy CD Creator and is not available as a stand alone program but can be install as such ) InCD (available as a stand a lone program from ) DLA ( comes bundled with the retail version of RecordNow Max or Click n Burn from  it is available as a stand a
lone product only if you own an HP writer and can be downloaded from the HP site).

XP's native burning software is mastering software. You can not do a one step write to a CD. You must send the file to a caching area and then select the option to Write to CD. You also can not save directly to the CD Writers drive letter. You need to save to the location of the cache. It is found here "C:\Documents and Settings\<log on name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning" By using the Tweakui for XP Powertoy you can relocate the CD Burning directory to a more readily accessible location. Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Windows XP]

CD - Files Ready to be Written to the CD (message box keeps appearing)

Default storage is here: Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning

If you are using TweakUI, go to My Computer/Special Folders see what is set for CD Burning. Make sure it is set to a folder and not a drive.

When the balloon appears: There are two commands to the left of the displayed files. One is Copy to CD and the other is Delete Temporary Files.

If you click Delete Temporary Files, the files listed in the box will disappear. This will not erase the files from your hard drive, it simply removes them from being copied to the CD.


CD-R Drive or CD-RW Drive Is Not Recognized As a Recordable Device
HOW TO: Erase Files From a CD-RW Disc


CD-Rom and DVD Articles and Burning Issues

You cannot view the files on a CD or DVD in Windows Explorer:

Close Windows Explorer. Go to Start/Control Panel/Double click System/Hardware/Device Manager. Expand DVD/CD-ROM. Click the appropriate device, and then click Uninstall on the Action menu.

When you are prompted to confirm that you want to remove the device, click OK. On the Action menu, click Scan for hardware changes. Quit Device Manager and Control Panel.
You Cannot View the Files on a Disc After You Replace a CD-R or CD-RW Drive with a DVD or CD-ROM Drive

CD-ROM Drive or DVD-ROM Drive Missing After You Install Windows XP
"Incorrect Function" Error Message When You Access the CD-ROM Drive, DVD-ROM Drive, or CD-RW Drive
CD Recording software will cause Windows to become unstable. Windows has prevented these drivers from loading.
Recorded CD-ROM Is Missing Files or Folders, or Is Unreadable
Restore AutoPlay Icon
CD-ROM Access Is Missing - Error Code 31, Code 32, Code 19, or Code 39 After You Remove Easy CD Creator

CD Rom or DVD Not Listed in Explorer/My Computer
Save the file to your hard drive. Navigate to where you saved it and double click the file. A confirmation dialog will appear when the script is done. You may need to reboot for the change to take effect.  Download.

Can't download while playing a CD or running/watching a DVD movie?  Disable digital CD playback.

CD-Rom - Explore

Right-click the "Start" button and click "Explore CD-Rom". To do this:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\CLASSES\Directory\shell\Explore CD-Rom

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\CLASSES\Directory\shell\Explore CD-Rom\command
@="c:\\windows\\EXPLORER.EXE /e,x:"    (Where x is the letter to your CD-Rom).

CD-Rom - Incorrect Contents

When you view the contents of a CD-ROM in Windows Explorer, you can see the name of the CD-ROM in the left pane, and the folders are displayed in the right pane. However, after you remove the CD-ROM and insert a different CD-ROM, the right pane may still display the folders from the first CD-ROM even though the left pane correctly displays the name of the new CD-ROM.

To work around this problem, use either of the following methods: Manually refresh Windows Explorer by pressing F5 or by clicking Refresh on the View menu in Windows Explorer. Or do not use Folder view in Windows Explorer.

Incorrect Contents Are Displayed in Windows Explorer

CD-Rom - 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.

CD-Rom Stops Auto-playing

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


AutoRun = 1

Disable CD AutoPlay for Home or Pro (Line 3)

Enable CD AutoPlay for Pro or Home (Line 10)

Other Auto Play options here under (A) AutoPlay and (C) CD-Roms

If you are using TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay

Restore AutoPlay Icon (Line 17)

Restore AutoPlay Handlers (Line 99)

CD-Rom Backup

HOW TO: Back Up Information to a CD
Recorded CD-ROM Is Missing Files or Folders, or Is Unreadable

CD-Rom Burning

Burning CDs in Windows XP
How to Use the Built in CD Burning in Windows XP
Compact Disc Recorded in Windows XP Is Missing Files or Folders, or Is Unreadable

CD-Rom Burning - Add to Autoplay Options

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

CD-Rom Burning - Disable

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

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer
Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called 'NoCDBurning' and edit the value according to 
0 = Allow CDR, 1 = Disable CDR.

CD-Rom 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:

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"

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.

Or use this regedit:  CD Burning for Limited Users

CD-Rom or DVD Disappeared

Remove the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values completely from the following registry key:


Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to the branch indicated above, locate the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values. Right click each and select Delete.

If you desire, you can right click on the {4D36E965..........} branch and select Export. This will create a REG file that can be re-imported should you find a need to.

You may also want to delete the following 4 Registry keys, as per the instructions above:


Or apply this manual edit:  Save the file below to your hard drive. Navigate to where you saved it and double click the file. A confirmation dialog will appear when the script is done. You may need to reboot for the change to take effect. 
CD Rom or DVD Not Listed in Explorer/My Computer

Your registry might be corrupted. (Code 19)

CD-ROM Access Is Missing and Messages Error Code 31, Code 32, Code 19, or Code 39 After You Remove Easy CD Creator :;;Q314060

NOTE : If you are getting a code 39 message, it may be that additional third-party filter drivers were added to UpperFilters and LowerFilters values in addition to Adaptec filter drivers. In that case, you may try to remove the non-Adaptec filter drivers first, leaving the Easy Creator filters in place to see if the Code 39 goes away. If you still receive an error code 39, 32, or 31 message, remove the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values completely in the preceding key.


When you attempt to record (burn) data to a compact disc recordable (CD-R) drive or compact disc rewritable (CD-RW) drive, you may not have the option to send data to the CD-ROM drive. To resolve this issue, edit the Windows registry to identify the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive as a recordable drive. To do this, follow these steps.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Expand the following registry subkey:

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

  4. On the File menu, click Export.
  5. In the File name box, type backup of drives key, and then click Save .

    NOTE: You can restore this registry subkey by double-clicking the backup of drives key.reg file that you saved.
  6. In the left pane of the Registry Editor window, click the Volume{ GUID } folder under Drives , where GUID is a 32-character hexadecimal globally unique identifier.

    NOTE: If you have more than one CD-ROM drive in the computer, an additional Volume{ GUID } folder is listed for each drive.
  7. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, double-click Drive Type.
  8. In the Value data box, type 1 or 2 , depending on the drive type, and then click OK. The drive type should be 1 if it is a CD-R and 2 if it is a CD-RW.
  9. Quit Registry Editor.
  10. Click Start , and then click My Computer.
  11. Under Devices with Removable Storage , right-click the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu that appears.
  12. If the Recording tab is displayed, the drive is successfully recognized by Windows as a recordable device.
  13. Click Cancel .

    NOTE: If you have more than one CD-ROM drive, DVD-ROM drive, or CD-RW drive in the computer and the Recording tab is not displayed, an incorrect drive may have been configured as "recordable" in the Windows registry. To troubleshoot this issue, follow these steps:
    1. Follow steps 1 through 9 to edit the Drive Type value of the Volume{ GUID } folder whose value you previously changed.
    2. In the Value data box, type 3 , and then click OK. The drive type value of 3 indicates that the drive is a standard CD-ROM and is not writable.
    3. In the left pane of the Registry Editor window, click the next Volume{ GUID } folder.
    4. Follow steps 7 through 8 to change the Value data entry to 1 or 2 , depending on the drive type.
    5. Quit Registry Editor, and then follow steps 10 through 12 to confirm that the Recording tab is displayed in the properties dialog box of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive.

Note that this may not work in all cases. This is only a workaround in a situation where the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive is capable of functioning in Windows XP and for some reason has been misidentified. If the drive is not on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), the drive may not work with the built-in CD copying functionality, regardless of this registry setting.

CD-R Drive or CD-RW Drive Is Not Recognized As a Recordable Device


HOW TO: Erase Files From a CD-RW Disc
Compact Disc Recorded in Windows XP Is Missing Files or Folders or Is Unreadable


Free Practice Exams for A+, MCSA, MCSE - 70-215, 70-270, 220-302

Change Default Directory for Installing Applications in the Program Files folder:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version

Name: ProgramFilesDir
Value: C:\Program Files default

Verify or Change Program Download Directory (Line 82)

Increase Internet Explorer Downloads to 10 (Line 55)

Change User Pictures

Default Pictures are stored here:

Windows Explorer\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\Default Pictures

Restore User Default Pictures (Line 58)

HOW TO: Add or Change a User's Picture in Windows XP;EN-US;q292434

How to Add a Specific Picture

Find a picture you are interested in using and use Save As to download and/or move the picture in question to your My Pictures Folder. Then go to User Account/Change my picture/Browse for more pictures/My Pictures Folder/Choose the picture you want to use, then click Open.

Summary of an image is 48x48/71 dpi, depth 24.

Note: If you have disabled Picture and Fax Viewer by using regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll, you will not be able to change the picture. To restore, go to Start/Run and type in: regsvr32 shimgvw.dll

How to Add or Change a User's Picture
Restore User Default Pictures

Check Disk - Disk Checking Runs Upon Boot

Check Disk runs on every boot: Note - I have seen this happen when Windows File Protection has either been disabled or not allowed to run upon canceling the bootup Check Disk.

Suggestions and Checkpoints:

Go to Start/Run/CMD and type in: fsutil dirty query c:
(Modify the drive letter accordingly)

If it comes back as dirty, it hasn't cleared. For more information go to Start/Run/CMD and type in: CHKNTFS /?

Option: From a command prompt type chkntfs /D and then reboot, a chkdsk should run but not again on next boot.

This edit does not work for all users, circumstances depending:

Disable or Enable CheckDisk Upon Boot (Line 82)

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.

Chkdsk Runs Each Time That You Start Computer


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

Highlight the Winlogon file.

In the list look for "SFCScan", this should be set to (0) if it is set to (1) the scan will happen at every boot.

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Look for the REG_MULTI_SZ value with the following name: BootExecute. This value contains commands that will be executed at startup. The default value is: autocheck autochk *

After scheduling one or more chkdsks, the entry will contain one or more autochk lines. Delete each of these lines and put the default one in place.

If you always want a check to be performed at startup, change the value to: autocheck autochk /f *

If you don't want any checks to be performed, delete all autocheck entries.

Last checkpoint: Modify as needed:

Registry entry should read: %SystemRoot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe /D %c

How to schedule a CHKDSK on every boot
Chkdsk Runs Each Time That You Start Computer After Upgrade to Windows XP

Scandisk after a Bad Shutdown - Go to Start/Run/CMD and type in:  CHKNTFS/T:4
Where 4 is the amount of waiting time.

Automating Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows
An Explanation of CHKDSK and the New /C and /I Switches

Use the scheduler and run chkdsk with the automatic switches for unattended operation (chkdsk /? will list the options for you). To open Scheduled Tasks, click Start, click All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.  You can also use TweakUI to automatically login if you have logged off the system to allow chkdsk access.

Restore Disk Cleanup - cleanmgr (Line 84)

Disk Cleanup freezes during the Compressed File Phase: This edit correct the problem:

Disk Cleanup - Compressed Old Files Freezes (Line 48)

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.

How to Automate the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP;EN-US;Q315246

Classic Color Palettes

Choose among Windows XP's color palettes: Right click the desktop, select Properties, click the Appearance tab, and choose a new palette under Color Scheme. At the time of this writing, using Windows XP RC1, the only choices available other than the default blue were olive green and silver.

For a larger selection of palettes, and if you don't mind giving up the "new-and-improved" feel of Windows XP, select Windows Classic under Windows and Buttons. Now click the down arrow under Color Scheme and you'll see lots of choices. Select any one to see what it looks like in the preview area, then click OK to apply it.

Classic Start Menu

If you've been used to previous versions of Windows, you'll notice some big changes when you click the Start button. If you like the new layout, then great. But if you don't, feel free to go back to the familiar. Right click the Start button (or a blank area of the Start menu) and select Properties. On the Start Menu tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, select Classic Start Menu, then click OK.

Classic Start Menu - Force Use

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer. Value Name: NoSimpleStartMenu, Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value), Value Data: (1 = force classic menu, 0 = default). Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called 'NoSimpleStartMenu' and edit the value according to the settings below. Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Both edits can be downloaded from here:

Classic View

Click Start, Run and enter CONTROL. You should get an Explorer window with the Common Tasks pane. At the top is the option to Switch to Category view.  If you don't get the Common Tasks pane, click on the Folders button on the Toolbar.

Common Tasks View - Disable or Enable (Line 78)

Control Panel - Classic or Category View (Line 145)

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.

Cleaning Up XP

Unexplained computer behavior may be caused by deceptive software;EN-US;827315

Download each and run:


VX2 Cleaner: or:


CWShredder (Line 313)

Hijack This

Tip:  Browser Hijack and Malware Removal Forums

How to obtain the most effective support

Spyware, Thiefware, Browser Hijackers, etc. Parasites Forum


SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware. It prevents it from ever being installed.

Custom Entries for SpywareBlaster

Download.Ject Payload Detection and Removal Tool

Free Online Virus Scan

This link has some of the above listed for quick downloads:

Tutorials on how to use them in detail:

Windows XP FAQ C Page 2
Manual Checkpoints:

Go to Start/Control Panel/Add or Remove - Uninstall obvious added programs.

Added info for later:

Troubleshooting, Removing and/or Cleaning Add or Remove Programs

If you receive any type of error message while attempting to delete or remove:

a. Open the Task Manager, end process on said.
b. Go to Start/Run/msconfig/Startup (uncheck all seem able problematic listings) to get
the exact location(s) read the path to each and delete the entries.

To do so, move the glider over to read. If that doesn't offer enough viewable
information, run the program below and read the log file:

Windows XP Startup Program Tracker - MVP Doug Knox

More info for later:

Clear Disabled Items from Msconfig Startup (Line 148)

c. Go to Start/Run/msconfig/Services. Place a check in the box that reads: Hide All
Microsoft Services, then evaluate the list left. For troubleshooting measures, uncheck all
of them. And/or: Start/Run/services.msc and stop/disable the Service(s) in question.

Tip: To Delete a Service

In Services take note of the Service Name (not the display name). Then go to Start/Run/CMD
and type in: sc delete <service name>. Reboot.

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

Locate the Service in the list. Delete it, reboot.

For a list of legitimate XP Services:

Black Viper's Windows XP Home and Professional Services Configurations:

d. Check your Startup Folder (right click the Start button/Expore All Users...) for the

e.  In very rare cases, there can be an added:  Windows/Run here:  Start/Run/msconfig/Win.ini
If this is present, uncheck what is listed there.

f.  Again, rare but some add Load and Run in the key below:  Most times left blank, delete both of them.
  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows


Go to Start/Run/regedit and navigate to these keys:


Delete anything listed here that you don't normally need or have placed yourself and/or is
set pragmatically to run upon boot. Note: These are often third party iconized programs
that are placed in the Notification Area.

Tip:  Run, RunOnce, RunServices, RunServicesOnce and Startup

Added info for later:

Troubleshooting the Notification Area

NOTE:  Messenger Service pop-ups are not the same as Spyware, etc pop-ups.  More info here:

You need to turn turn on the firewall.

To disable the Messenger Service:

Go to Start/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services. Double click the Messenger Service and change Automatic to Disabled, then click the Stop button.

Or use this automated edit:

Disable Messenger Service (Line 95)

Home PC Firewall Guide

More information and options here on using a Firewall:

Update:  Quick Launch -  As of late, the removal of wsaupdater.exe causes the Quick Launch toolbar to not
remain checked/present nor retains the sort order. To correct, verify your values here:

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.

In the right pane under Userinit, Change the key to read:

Once done, run the Taskbar Repair (clickable link on page) and/or Quick Launch repair from here, then the add on edit.

Update:  Quick Launch:  Gives error message, Cannot Create Toolbar

Either download the file from here or run my utility listed below it to correct. 

Note:  If you already had my utility downloaded, you will need to re-download for the added fix.

Cannot Create Toolbar - Quick Launch (Line 296)

Taskbar Repair Tool Plus! Quick Launch - Repair!.htm

Save Settings on Exit (Line 54)

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.

Another checkpoint:

In Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/View make sure all of your System files are viewable. Once done, right click
the Quick Launch task bar/Open Folder. Verify that desktop.ini is present. If not, create one and place it there.

Example (modify as needed) for the others:

Launch Internet Explorer Browser.lnk=@xpsp1res.dll,-11003
Windows Media Player.lnk=@C:\WINNT\inf\unregmp2.exe,-4
Show Desktop.scf=@xpsp2res.dll,-6100

Navigate to this key, delete it, refresh:

Go to Start/Run and type in each of these separately and hit ok.

regsvr32 msdxm.ocx
regsvr32 browseui.dll
regsvr32 shell32.dll
regsvr32 shdocvw.dll

Toolbars missing in Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer

Restore Search/Address Bar to XP Default

Restore Toolbars:  Toolbars Greyed Out or Missing!.htm

In IE - Go to Tools/Internet Options/Advanced and uncheck:  Enable third party browser extensions.

If still nothing:  Disable all third party programs and/or:

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

Then try again.

Lastly:  If none of the above has helped:

Enable Reinstallation of Internet Explorer or OE (Line 114)

Then re-install IE - Go to Start/Run, and type :
"rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %windir%\inf\ie.inf"

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP;EN-US;q318378

Note:  Many Zone Alarm users have stated that this happened after the latest update.

If your case is more extreme from the above mentioned .exe, thus resulting in your not
being able to select a user nor log into Windows XP:

Verified by Rick Lewis:

Place your XP CD in and navigate to the Recovery Console.

Tip: HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP;en-us;Q307654

At the prompt: Change the C:\Windows prompt to: C:\Windows\System32 and copy
userinit.exe to wsaupdater.exe

Reboot into Safe Mode, go to Start/Run/Regedit, navigate to the key below and
and modify/change Userinit: from wsaupdater.exe, to userinit.exe,


Other than that:  Go to Start/Run and type in:  %SystemRoot%\Debug\UserMode\Userenv.log

Added info:

Recovering XP using the Recover Console (Line 333) Right hand side:

Update:  CWS Hijacker disables cleaners.  Workaround by 3bentarrows:

The way to remove the registry key is not obvious. If you just delete it from regedit, since the trojan
DLL is loaded, it will re-add it right back. (Try it. Delete the AppInit_DLLs registry key and hit F5.
Notice that it's added right back by the trojan).

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

1. Rename the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows folder to Windows2.
2. Now delete the AppInit_DLLs key under the Windows2 folder.
3. Hit F5 and notice that AppInit_DLLs doesn't come back.
4. Rename the Windows2 folder back to Windows.

Now that AppInit_DLLs is gone, run the latest Adaware 6 to remove the trojan for good. Reboot your machine.
Check the registry and make sure AppInit_DLLs is still gone. Your computer should be free of this for good now.

Or download and merge this edit from MVP Mike Burgess:


Tip: common edits needed after running cleaners:

EXE and LNK Fix for Windows XP - Line 12

Tip: For all other File Association Fixes

Reset IE Search back to XP Default (Line 229)

Restore/Repair Toolbars in IE and/or Windows Explorer (Line 3)

Restore All Tabs under Internet Options (Line 268)

Restore Start Button, Desktop and Taskbar to XP Default:!.htm

More registry fixes here:

Just for your information:

To get a better idea of some of the types and definitions:

For a list of Known Spyware:

Adware, Spyware and other unwanted "malware" - and how to remove them:

If you have unwanted programs loading and bugging you at startup, here's how to get rid of

Virus Encyclopedia:

Virus Descriptions: Alphabetical List -

Hoax Description Databases:

Dealing with Unwanted Spyware and Parasites - MVP Mike Burgess

NOTE:  Special thanks to David Candy for his help with the continuing research in this area/matter.

Clear History

Temp Files: IE/Tools/Internet Options/Delete Temporary Internet Files
Temp Files: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp & TIF
Cookies: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Cookies
History: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\History

Typed URL's:  Start/Run/Regedit: Open your registry and find the key below and delete any value you want to remove.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs

Clearing History May Not Remove Pages You Visited Today in Internet Explorer
Clear Recent File Lists
Prevent History of Typed URL's and Prevent Document History Registry Edits

Removes your Internet history in Internet Explorer and Netscape. Clears the address list drop-down, cached files, history and cookies. In Windows it clears the TEMP folder and Recycle Bin, the run history, recent documents, and find files history. It also deletes locked files ("index.dat" and files that are in use by applications). Clean out Usage Tracks in Windows

Clear Recent MRU

Clear Recent File Lists in XP (Typed URL's, Media Player Play List, Run Commands, Search History...).  Download here.

Clear Search History

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Search Assistant\ACMru.  Delete the key. To prevent keeping a history altogether, right click ACMru/Permissions/Deny all users and groups listed.

Clear Search History under Search (Line 24)

Clear Recent File Lists - Clears Search History

Clear System Restore Points

Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Cleanup. "More Options" tab, see the option to delete all but the last restore point.

Clear Type

Microsoft ClearType

Clear Type - Active Clear Type on the Welcome Screen

HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT/Control Panel/Desktop. In the right pane, right click "FontSmoothingType", modify, change the value to 2.

Name: NoCommonGroups
Data Type: dword
Value: 00000001

A value of 1 hides the common groups, a value of 0 displays them.

Clock - Hide

On the right side of your Windows XP Taskbar, you see a clock and a number of notification icons (also known as the "tray" of the Taskbar in previous versions of Windows). Unlike its predecessors, Windows XP provides a number of options for customizing this "Notification Area."

For example, if you don't want the clock there (unnecessary if you have one on your desk already), Right click a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties. Under Notification area, deselect Show the Clock, then click OK.

Cluster Size

The Default Cluster Size for the NTFS and FAT File Systems

Problems When You Are Using an Out-of-Date Version of the C-Media Driver File

Command Line Switches for Windows Explorer

Right click Windows Explorer/Properties and type this into the Target path:

To have C: open (No folders)
%SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /root, C:\

To have C: open expanded:  %windir%\EXPLORER.EXE /e,c:

To have C: open and My Documents:
%windir%\EXPLORER.EXE /e,c:,%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%\My Documents

For it to open to My Documents:
explorer /n,/e,%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%\My Documents or
C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /n,/e,%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%\My Documents

To have My Documents open only (No folders):
Explorer /root, c:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents

If you wish to have Explorer open at My Documents on another drive, you would use:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e, f:\My Documents

To have another Drive letter assigned to opening: D for example:  C:\Windows\Explorer.exe /e, d:\

d:\ can be modified for any folder/sub-folder you like. As in: %SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /e,d:\My Stuff

The /e switch tells Windows Explorer to open in the two pane explorer mode and the c:\ tells it to open in folder C:\. If you omit the /e switch, Windows Explorer opens in a single pane view.

HOW TO: Have Windows Explorer Default to the %SystemRoot% Drive When Started;en-us;257518

Command-Line Switches for Windows Explorer

Command Prompt - Add to the Right Click

Download here or see:

Command Prompt - Change the command prompt to C: 


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor\AutoRun.  In the right pane, double click Autorun and type in: cd\ as the value data.

Other options:

This setting allows you to change the format of the command prompt to show additional information instead of just the current drive and path ("C:\>").  To do so, go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment.  In the right pane, double click the REG_EXPAND_SZ string named PROMPT and modify the Value data accordingly:

Special Codes

$A - & (Ampersand)
$B - | (pipe)
$C - ( (Left parenthesis)
$D - Current date
$E - Escape code (ASCII code 27)
$F - ) (Right parenthesis)
$G - > (greater-than sign)
$H - Backspace (erases previous character)
$L - < (less-than sign)
$N - Current drive
$P - Current drive and path
$Q - = (equal sign)
$S - (space)
$T - Current time
$V - Windows XP version number
$_ - Carriage return and linefeed
$$ - $ (dollar sign)


%USERNAME% - Current Username
%COMPUTERNAME% - Local computer name
%USERDOMAIN% - Local domain name

The default prompt is "$P$G" (e.g. "C:\>"), some alternatives include:

[%computername%]$S$P$G to show the computer, drive and path
[%username%]$S$P$G to show the current user, drive and path

Restart or log-off Windows for the change to take effect.

Command Prompt - Run Startup Programs

This setting allows you to specify commands or programs to be automatically executed whenever a command processor is launched. For example, to set environment variables or parameters using a batch file.

Create a new string value called "AutoRun" and set the value to equal the commands to be automatically executed. Multiple commands should be seperated by double ampersands e.g. "command1 && command2".  The changes will take effect the next time the command processor is used.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]

Value Name: AutoRun
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Command to Execute

Command Prompt - Quick Edit

Quick Edit allows you to easily cut and paste text in the command prompt window using the mouse. The ability to use the Edit menu options is still possible.  Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

Per User:  [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console] Per System:  System Key: [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Console]

Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called "QuickEdit" and set it according to  (0 = disabled, 1 = enabled).  Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Common Dialog - History

By default, Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes (for example, the Open dialog box and the Save As dialog box) provide both a most-recently-used (MRU) list of file names and an AutoComplete list of previously typed file names.

To prevent the MRU list and the AutoComplete list of file names from appearing, use the procedures that are described in this section.

How to Prevent the MRU List of File Names from Appearing

NOTE : After you complete this procedure, the MRU list does not appear in Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes; however, this list is not removed from the registry.

Windows XP Professional:  Log on as the user. Click Start, and then click Run. Type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.

In the left pane under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, expand Windows Explorer, and then click Common Open File Dialog. In the right pane, double-click Hide the dropdown list of recent files. Click Enabled, and then click OK. Click File, and then click Exit.

Windows XP Home Edition: Log on as the user. Click Start, and then click Run. Type regedit, and then click OK .
Locate and then click the following key in the registry:


NOTE : If the Comdlg32 key does not exist, follow these steps: Click the Policies key. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key. Type comdlg32, and then press ENTER. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
Type nofilemru, and then press ENTER. On the Edit menu, click Modify. Type 1, and then click OK. On the File menu, click Exit.

How to Prevent the AutoComplete List of File Names from Appearing

To prevent the AutoComplete list from appearing in typical Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes, turn off the AutoComplete functionality for Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer: Start Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options. Click the Content tab, and then click AutoComplete. Under Use AutoComplete for, click to clear the Web Addresses check box, and then click OK. Click the Advanced tab, click to clear the Use inline AutoComplete check box in the Browsing section (if this check box has been selected). Click OK.

Common Groups - Hide

In the Start Menu, groups (subfolders) in the upper part of the Programs menu are specific to each user, while groups (subfolders) in the lower part are common to all users. In order to prevent a user from viewing the common groups, make the following Registry change:

Common Tasks

Remove Common Tasks from Desktop. This Regedit or small VB Script utility will modify the System Registry to remove Common Tasks from your Desktop.  Regedit or VB Script

Common Tasks - Don't Match Folder Type (by Keith Miller)

Common Tasks - Show Common Tasks in Folders (Missing or greyed out)

Check your settings here:  Start/Run/gpedit.msc/User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows  Components/Windows Explorer.  In the right pane, double click Turn on Classic Shell and choose Enable.  Another checkpoint:  Start/Control Panel/System/Advanced/Performance/Settings/Visual Effects/Use common tasks in folders.


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Find out about using Windows Messenger to communicate with video Windows Messenger: Video Communications
Find out about using Windows Messenger to send files or photos Windows Messenger: Send a File or Photo
Find out about controling your online status when using Windows Messenger Windows Messenger: Control Your Online Status
Find out about sharing applications and the whiteboard with Windows Messenger Windows Messenger: Applications and Whiteboard Sharing


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Compatibility Mode - Explained

Using Program Compatibility Mode

Compatibility Wizard

Windows XP Program Compatibility Wizard (detailed walk through)
HOW TO: Use the Program Compatibility Wizard

Compressed Files and Folders - Change Display Color

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer. Value Name: AltColor, Data Type: REG_BINARY (Binary Value), Value Data: 00 00 ff 00 (default). Create a new binary value, or modify the existing value, named "AltColor" and set it to equal the hexadecimal RGB color value for the files and folders. Restart Windows for the change to take effect. Note: The option to "Display compressed files and folders with alternate color" must be enabled in explorer.

Compressed Folders - Disable Compressed Folders in Windows XP

Windows XP includes a built-in feature to manage compressed ZIP files and folders. This tweak allows you to disable it and install a third-party application.

To disable the compressed folder feature click on Start/Run and enter the following command:  regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll. 
To enable ZIP folder support run this command:  regsvr32 zipfldr.dll.  Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Compressed Folders - Extract Files From

Extracting files from a compressed folder is just as easy as getting them in there. Right-click the *.zip file and select Extract All. Identify a destination folder (click Browse, and so on), click Next, then click Finish. As an alternative, click and drag a file from inside the compressed folder to another location, then let go.

Compressed Folder - Restore Icon

Start/Run and Type: regsvr32 zipfldr.dll

Computer Jargon

Computer Jargon by Babylon

Confirm Open after Download

Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/File Types/[File type in question]/Advanced/Confirm open after download.

Containing Text - Search Issue

Windows® XP has a known issue for not finding a number of File Types when you do a Search for Files "containing text" or using the "A word or phrase in the file" option. This can be remedied for many file types, but not all. The cause is the lack of a PersistentHandler value in the Registry for this type of file.  Fix:

Using the "A Word or Phrase in the File" Search Criterion May Not Work

Content Advisor

Remove the Content Advisor and Ratings Password


Open your registry, find the key below. Single click on the key to highlight it, press the DELETE key, or alternatively select Delete from the Edit menu. Close Internet Explorer, re-open it, and the Content Advisor feature should be disabled.

Content Advisor - Apply per user

Content Advisor On (vb script).  Download it (you may want to right click and use Save Target As) and save it to your desktop.  Then place it in the startup folder of each account you want it activated in. 

Next, download the Content Advisor Off (vb script) and place it in each startup folder that you don't want/need it activated in.

Both scripts can be found here:  (scroll to the very bottom)

Content Advisor Restrictions

These settings allow you to control the Content Advisor feature of Internet Explorer. Including the option to disable Content Advisor, require a supervisor password and view unrated content.

Open your registry (Start/Run/Regedit) and find the key below, create it if it does not already exist.


Value Name: Allow_Unknowns, Enabled, PleaseMom
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = disable, 1 = enable restriction)

Create a new DWORD value for each required restriction from the list below.

  • Enabled - (1 = enable content advisor, 0 = disable)
  • Allow_Unknowns - (1 = display unrated sites, 0 = restrict unrated sites)
  • PleaseMom - (1 = allow supervisor password, 0 = no supervisor override)

Restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.

Context Menu - Customizing Windows Explorer Context menu (right click menu in windows explorer)

Ever wondered how does the right click menu (which is actually a context menu) work? For example, when I right click in windows explorer, I see an option which says "open command window here". This is seen because you have following entries in the registry.

@="Open Command Window Here"

@="C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe /k cd "%1""

If You have never used a tweaking utility and have newly installed Windows XP, You would not see this option. You would have to navigate to [[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive] go and create two subkeys ("cmd" and within that "command" and would have to put the text "Open Command Window Here" without quotes in default string value of "cmd" key and the text "C:\WINDOWS\System32\cmd.exe /k CD"%1"" without quotes in default string value of command key). After this You need to REBOOT for these changes to take effect.

Context Menus (Right Click) - Deleting entries

Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to:


You can also go to a specific File extension (example: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt\ShellNew) and right click on the ShellNew key and select Delete, if the item shows up in the New context menu.

Expand the above branch and look through the sub-keys. Locate the one that corresponds to the entry you wish to remove and right click that sub-key and select Edit.

You may wish to right click the desired sub-key and select Export. This will create a REG file that you can double click to re-import the information, if you find out you deleted the wrong one, or want it back.

Customizing Right-Click Menu Options in Windows

Right Click - Submenus

The new OpenExpert is the answer to this problem! Instead of messing around with a fixed association of a file type with only one application, it adds an "Open with" item to the context menu of the chosen file type with all the applications you decide.

Control-Alt-Delete - Enable

To Enable or Disable the CTRL+ALT+DELETE Sequence

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
2. Click the Advanced tab.
3. In the "Secure logon" section, select or clear the "Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete" check box.

If you want to set up a requirement for a user to press CTRL+ALT+DEL before the classic logon is displayed, in the same manner as it behaves on Windows XP Server:

1. Click Start/Run/Regedit, and then click OK.
2. Select the Winlogon subkey at the following registry location:

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

3. Click Edit, click New, and then click "DWORD value".
4. Change the value name to "DisableCAD" (without the quotes) and press ENTER.
5. Keep the data value set to 0 which is displayed as 0x00000000(0).

If the Welcome screen is enabled, the computer can be locked if you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE (to open Task Manager), and then click Lock Computer or click Switch User on the Shut Down menu. 

Control, Alt, Delete Process Explained and Key Commands

Control-Alt-Delete - Use Crtl + Alt + Delete to Restart the Computer

Normally when you press Ctrl + Alt + Delete the Windows task list is displayed. Using this tweak the key combination will instead reboot the computer. Open the SYSTEM.INI file found in the Windows directory using Notepad.

Under the [386Enh] section create or modify the value named "KybdReboot". Set the value to equal "True" to cause the system to reboot on the key combination or "False" to show the task list. For example:


Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Control, Alt, Delete Process Explained and Key Commands

Control Panel Applets

This tweak does not prevent the control panel applets from running, they just do not show up in control panel any more.

Start/Run/gpedit.msc. User Configuration/Administrative Templates Folder/Control Panel Folder. Select Show only specified Control Panel Applets (right pane) properties. Select the enable button/click the Show button.

A new window will pop up that will display control panel objects that are OK to show. Items not on this list will not be displayed in control panel when this feature is enabled. Here are the Windows XP Pro Control Panel applets:

System Properties = sysdm.cpl
Network Connections = ncpa.cpl
ODBC Administrator = odbccp32.cpl
Display Properties = desk.cpl
Add or remove programs = appwiz.cpl
Internet Properties = Inetcpl.cpl
Game Controllers = joy.cpl
Phone and modem Options = telephon.cpl
Time and Date Properties = timedate.cpl
Region and Language Options = intl.cpl
Power Options = powercfg.cpl
Mouse Properties = main.cpl
Accessibility Options = access.cpl
Add Hardware Wizard = hdwwiz.cpl
Sound and Audio Devices = mmsys.cpl
User Accounts = nusrmgr.cpl
Speech Properties = sapi.cpl

Control Panel - Classic

You can remove the "common tasks" pane from the left side of your open folder windows: inside a folder window, click the Folder Options icon, select Use Windows Classic Folders, then click OK. Similarly, you can switch from the new, task-oriented Control Panel (great for new users or those who want to perform common tasks without wading through dialog boxes) back to the "classic" version. Open the Control Panel (select Start, Control Panel), and in the common tasks pane on the left side of the window, click Switch to Classic View.

Control Panel - Display

This setting specifies the visual style of the Control Panel. Allowing you to either force the use of the new XP style, classic style or allow the user to select the preferred style. Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to:


Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called 'ForceClassicControlPanel' and edit the value according to the settings (0 = force new, 1 = force classic).  Exit your registry, you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Control Panel - Icons Missing

Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT

Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\don't load

Look in the right pane and you'll see the Control Panel Icons that have been disabled. You can either right click on the "don't load" subkey and select Delete to restore all disabled icons, or you can right click on each of the items in the right pane and select Delete to selectively restore them. Scroll up to Control Panel Applets for a listing of what each one is.

The change will be seen the next time you open Control Panel.

Control Panel - Tools (Reference)

Have You noticed the new view of control panel in XP. Well as its says, its a view and you can switch to a classic view anytime. But if you like the view but want to customize the categories, there is again a good article on How to do this :
How to Add a Control Panel Tool to a Category (Q292463).

You can get complete details by visiting the site but in brief a control Panel tool can be included in a particular category by adding a registry DWORD entry for the tool in the following registry key:  Go to Start/Run/Regedit:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2.  Value category ids are:

0x00000000 : Other Control Panel Options (any tool that does not specify a category ID is placed in this category)
0x00000001 : Appearance and Themes
0x00000002 : Printers and Other Hardware
0x00000003 : Network and Internet Connections
0x00000004 : Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices
0x00000005 : Performance and Maintenance
0x00000006 : Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options
0x00000007 : Accessibility Options
0xFFFFFFFF : Do not put the tool in any category (for special tools such as Add/Remove Programs which only start directly).

Control Userpasswords2 - Add to Control Panel

Copying User Profiles

How to Copy User Profiles

Copying User Profiles - Copy To Button Disabled

This issue can occur if the account that you are trying to copy is currently logged on; you cannot copy a user profile while you are logged on as that user.
To resolve this issue, verify that the user account is not logged on before you try to copy its profile. If you are currently logged on as this user, log off, log on again by using a different user account, and then copy the profile.
If you are not logged on as the user account that you are trying to copy, that account may be logged on in a different session (using Fast User Switching). To force that account to be logged off, start Task Manager, click the Users tab, click the user account, and then click Logoff.
To work around this behavior, you can also create a user who has administrative privileges, log on as that user, and then copy the profile of the first user.

"Copy To" Button in System Properties Dialog Box Is Unavailable

Crash Report

Windows® Online Crash Analysis

If you experience a blue screen crash event, or Stop error, while using Microsoft Windows XP, you can upload the error report for analysis.


CTFMon is involved with the language/alternative input services in Office XP. CTFMON.exe will continue to put itself back into MSConfig when you run the Office XP apps as long as the Text Services and Speech applets in the Control Panel are enabled. Not required if you don't need these features.  

OFFXP: What Is CTFMON and What Does It Do?

Customize Your Computer

Get started customizing your computer Get Started Customizing Your Computer
Change your desktop background Change Your Desktop Background
Add a colorful screen saver Add a Colorful Screen Saver
Work with themes Work with Themes
Change the screen size Change the Screen Size
Work with sound effects Work with Sound Effects
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Customize the Start Menu Customize the Start Menu
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