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Windows XP FAQ I

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 »  Home  »  Troubleshooting  »  Windows XP FAQ I
Windows XP FAQ I
By  Super Admin  | Published  02/27/2005 | Troubleshooting | Rating:
Windows XP FAQ I Page 1

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP


IBM Thinkpad A30 May Not Correctly Enter Suspend Mode and the LCD Back Light May Not Turn Off

Icons - Adjust Vertical Spacing

Depending on your desktop resolution, a certain number of icons fit in each auto-arranged column down the screen -- for example, if your resolution is set to 800 by 600 pixels, 7 icons fit in each column. Want to fit more without changing your resolution? Adjust your icon spacing.

Right-click the desktop and select Properties. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Appearance tab, then click the Advanced button. Click the down arrow under Item and select Icon Spacing (Vertical). Decrease the Size, click OK, then click Apply to see the result on screen. (Tip: On our system, going from the default 43 to 39 squeezed 8 icons into each column.) Repeat these steps until you're happy with the result, then click OK to keep the change.

Icons - Change (To change the icon used for specific drives in Explorer)  Start/Run/ Regedit


Create a key called DriveIcons.  Within DriveIcons, create another key with the drive letter you want to change (..\DriveIcons\K).  Create another key within the drive letter key called DefaultIcon.  Set the default value equal to the icon you want to use. If you have a file that has more than one icon in it, such as a DLL file, use the standard C:\full_path\icon_file.dll,x <file:///C:/full_path/icon_file.dll,x>) where x is the number of the icon within the file icon_file.dll.

You can change a hard drive's icon in any 32-bit Windows platform by including a valid Autorun.inf file in that drive's root directory. Windows Desktop Update presents another way to change a hard drive's icon. To change the icon for drive C:, insert the name and (optional) icon index number of a valid icon file as the (Default) value for this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\driveicons\C\DefaultIcon. Replace C with a different letter to change another drive's icon.  Explained here.

Icons - Change Size

This setting will let you resize them to suit your desktop preference. Go to:  Start/Run/Regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
Value Name: Shell Icon Size
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Size in Pixels (Default = 32)

Create a new value named 'Shell Icon Size' and set the value, or modify the existing value, to equal the size of your icons in pixels. Smaller values = smaller icons!

Icons - Keep in Place after Reboot

Normally when Windows exits it saves the desktop configuration, including icon location, appearance etc. This setting disables these changes from being saved, this is useful in both a secure environment.


Value Name: NoSaveSettings
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = disabled, 1 = enabled)

Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value called 'NoSaveSettings' set the value to equal '1' to enable the restriction. Exit your registry, you may need to restart for the changes to take effect. Note:  You want it set to 0.

Icons - Lock on Desktop

"In Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP you can lock down the position of the Desktop icons using a couple of files from the MS Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit.  Download Layout.dll here.

Place it here: C:\Winnt\System32 then double click the Layout.reg file. You will now have a new right click option.

Icons - Fast Path to Icons

Call up all your desktop icons without leaving whatever applications you have currently open. Just click on Start/Run
and enter a period (.) without parenthesis, then ok.

Icons - Hide Desktop Icons

Want a quick way to hide all the icons on your desktop--for example, if you've got a great photo displayed there? Right click the desktop, select Arrange Icons By, then select Show Desktop Icons (to deselect this option). To get your icons back, simply re-select the same option.

Icons - Missing in C Drive

The Folders Bar in Windows Explorer Does Not Contain Any Icons

Icons - Notification Area

Windows XP provides a number of options for customizing what Microsoft has decided to call the "Notification Area" of your Taskbar (the area that displays the clock and a number of icons). By default, Windows XP hides any inactive icons here. But if you prefer, you can choose to hide (or show) individual icons all the time.

For example, suppose you want to keep the Volume and Synchronization Manager icons out of site, regardless of how often you use them. Right click a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties. Under Notification area, click Customize. Alternatively, Right click a blank area of the Notifications Area and select Customize Notifications.

One at a time, select the Volume and Synchronization Manager icons, then Right click the down arrow next to it and select Always hide (in the same way, you could select any icon and choose the "Always show" option). Click OK twice, and now, an arrow appears on the edge of the Notifications Area. Click it to display the hidden icons.

Icons - Notification Area - Chevron Missing

For some users, setting the very first icon to Always Hide, restores the arrow.

Icons - Notification Area - Missing

Three methods/workarounds: Log off and Log back on, password protect your account or...

Right click My Computer/Manage. Expand Services and Applications then Click on Services. A list of services appears in the right column. Scroll down to the SSDP and uPnP Service. Right click each, choose properties. Change the text next to "Startup type:" to Disabled.

Or if you are running XP SP1 uninstall UPnP from Add/Remove Windows Components.

Hide or Show Inactive Icons in the Notification Area (Line 53)

Remove Past Items From the Notification Area (Line 53)

Once done, Open Task Manager, click the Processes tab, click Explorer.exe, and then click End Process. In Task Manager, click File, click New Task, type explorer, and then click OK.

After you have all icons in place, run this edit:

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.

PS Tray Factory will allow you:
- hide low-activity icons from a system tray into menu;
- hide inactive icons from a system tray into menu;
- get fast access to the hidden icons with the help of hot keys;
- change the order of icons in the menu;
- hide from the menu seldom used icons;
- restore icons in system tray area at crash or restarting Explorer.exe.

Icons - Remove and Restore

This article explains how to remove and restore the default Desktop icons such as Inbox, Windows Internet Explorer, and Recycle Bin.  How to Remove and Restore Default Desktop Icons and Windows System Tray Icons.

To delete an icon from your desktop step through the sub-keys until you find the key representing the icon you want to remove. Delete the sub-key and the icon should disappear after your press F5 to refresh the desktop.

To add an icon to your desktop create a new sub-key named using the CLSID from the table below and the icon should appear after your press F5 to refresh the desktop. Below are a list of common IDs: Description CLSID

Administrative Tools    {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153}
Briefcase    {85BBD92O-42A0-1O69-A2E4-08002B30309D}
Control Panel    {21EC2O2O-3AEA-1O69-A2DD-08002b30309d}
Fonts {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524152}
History    {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}
Inbox    {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
Microsoft Network    {00028B00-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
My Computer    {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
My Documents    {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}
Network Computers    {1f4de370-d627-11d1-ba4f-00a0c91eedba}
Network Connections    {7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E}
Printers and Faxes    {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
Programs Folder    {7be9d83c-a729-4d97-b5a7-1b7313c39e0a}
Recycle Bin    {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
Scanners and Cameras    {E211B736-43FD-11D1-9EFB-0000F8757FCD}
Scheduled Tasks    {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
Start Menu Folder    {48e7caab-b918-4e58-a94d-505519c795dc}
Temporary Internet Files    {7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933}

Web Folders   


Note: Not all icons can be successfully placed on your desktop. Right-click on the icon to display the options available.
Key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace

Icons - Remove Text

Transparent text under icons - Right click the Icon/Rename and type in: ALT+0160

Icons - Rename

With the icon you want to rename selected, press the F2 key. Type the new name, then press Enter.

Icons - Rename Desktop (System) Icons

Rename Your Desktop (System) Icons

Icons - Rename Shortcuts

If you have shortcuts saved in your Quick Launch bar that uses favicons and they revert...  This workaround will help:  Save each as (ex) google.ico, msn.ico, etc.  Right click each/properties/change icon/browse/ok/apply.

Icons - Replace with Old Style

Bring back old Desktop icons. New users of WinXP may wonder what happened to the My Documents, Internet Explorer, Network Neighborhood, and My Computer icons that were planted on the Desktop in earlier Windows versions. Most of these icons are still available for the Desktop, but they are buried in the Start menu and other menus. A few twists of the Registry keys will unlock them.

The values that turn back My Documents, Internet Explorer, My Computer, and Network Neighborhood icons all are in:


To restore the My Documents icon, right-click the {450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} value, modify the Value Data from 1 to 0, and click OK.

To restore the Internet Explorer icon, right-click {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}, modify the Value Data from 1 to 0, and click OK.

To restore the My Network Neighborhood icon, right-click {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}, modify the Value Data from 1 to 0, and click OK.

To restore the My Computer icon, right-click the {20DD04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} value, modify the data value from 1 to 0, and click OK.

Icons - Repair View

TweakUI Icon Fix - Repairs the View 16 & 32 (Line 4)

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.

Icon - Titles

This setting controls whether the icon titles should be word wrapped over multiple lines or shown in one longer line. Go to: Start/Run/Regedit.  You may need to create the key if it does not already exist.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

Value Name: IconTitleWrap
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: (1 = Enabled, 0 = Disabled)

Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called 'IconTitleWrap' 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.

Icons - Transparent

Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Advanced/Performance/Settings/Visual Effects/"Use drop shadows for icon labels on the Desktop".  If this still doesn't do the trick, right-click the desktop, point to Arrange Icons By and make sure that Lock Web Items on Desktop is un-checked.

Icons - True Color

Windows supports true-color icons (16-bit/65,000 colors or higher) for users with displays that can support them. However, there are two obstacles to using them on your system. First, you need to turn on Windows' support for true-color icons (which may not be enabled on your system). Secondly, you need to be able to create these icons (most icon editors only support 16-colors). Here's what you need to do:

     To enable true-color icons:

First of all, your display color-depth needs to be set to 16-bit or higher. Double-click on the Display icon in Control Panel, and click on the Settings tab. Adjust the Color Palette to your liking. Note: Your video card or monitor may not support the higher color depths necessary to use true-color icons.
Next, choose the Effects tab, and make sure the Show Icon Using All Possible Colors option is checked.
Press Ok when you're done.

If your Show Icon Using All Possible Colors option is grayed out, open the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, and change the UserPreferencesMask value to 9c 00 00 80.

     To create true-color icons:

Create a Windows Bitmap (.BMP), 32 pixels by 32 pixels, any color depth, and save it to a directory on your hard disk.
In the properties window (right-click on the icon) of any shortcut, choose the Program tab, click Change Icon, and specify your new .BMP file.

Icons - Shell32:  %SystemRoot%\System32\shell32.dll  (IT Library)

0 Unassigned file types 18 Networked computers 36 Start menu folder 54 Document to document
1 Document 19 Small folder and window 37 Printers folder 55 Documents folder to folder
2 Window 20 Sm open folder with paper 38 Fonts folder 56 Pen writing a folder label
3 Closed folder 21 Gears 39 Windows flag 57 Comp, gears, open folder
4 Open folder 22 Find file 40 CD (music) 58 Configuration file
5 5 1/4-inch disk 23 Help 41 Green tree 59 Text file
6 3 1/2-inch disk 24 Window - hourglass cursor 42 Multiple documents 60 Window with gears
7 Removable drive 25 Monitor 43 Find file 61 Gears image on paper
8 Hard drive 26 External removable disk 44 Find on networked comp 62 Font file
9 Network drive 27 Monitor 45 Monitor on computer case 63 TrueType font file
10 Network drive (disconn) 28 Shared folder 46 Control Panel folder 64 Window - hourglass cursor
11 CD-ROM drive 29 Shortcut arrow 47 Printers folder 65 Are you sure...delete files?
12 RAM chip 30 Larger shortcut arrow 48 Printer image on paper pad 66 Tape backup
13 Globe 31 Empty Recycle Bin 49 Network printer 67 CD in drive
14 Network cable connection 32 Full Recycle Bin 50 Print to file (3 1/2-in disk) 68 Defrag
15 Network computer 33 Dial-Up Networking folder 51 Alternate full Recycle Bin 69 Printer
16 Printer 34 Desktop 52 Alternate full Recycle Bin 70 Network printer
17 Networked computers 35 Control Panel folder 53 Alternate full Recycle Bin 71 Print to file

ICQ - AdKiller

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.

ICQ - Ad Banner (Remove)

To remove the flashing banners at the bottom of ICQ. Simply open the ICQ folder with windows explorer. C:\Program Files\ICQ and Delete the file "ICQHttp.dll".  Do not delete "ICQHttp_.dll" (note the underscore).  Re-start ICQ.

ICQ - Connection Problems

The Problem is that when XP loads, ICQ pops up and says "no connection detected". This occurs despite the fact that 'Net Detect Agent' and 'automatically connect to internet when no connection present' are checked.

1. Go to the Group Policy Editor (Start/Run/gpedit.msc)
2. Under 'User Configuration', click "Administrative Templates"
3. Click 'System'-> 'Logon'
4. In the window on the right, double-click on "Run these programs at user logon"
5. Make sure 'Enabled' is checked, then click 'Show'
6. You'll now want to add ICQ's Net Agent Detect to the list (which is probably empty unless you've already been in here).
    To do this, first locate on your HD the exact location of 'NDetect.exe'.

           Example: C:\Internet\ICQ\NDetect.exe
           Click 'Add', then type the filename & path of the above file

7. Click 'OK', 'OK', and 'OK' again to exit.
8. Now make sure that there are NO traces of ICQ or Net Detect Agent in your Programs->Startup folder. If there are,
    delete them from Startup.
9. Start up ICQ, and go to 'Connections'(Main->Preferences->Connections->General tab). Under 'Launch' make sure
    'Launch ICQ at startup' is NOT checked.
10. Click 'OK'. Disconnect from Internet if connected. REBOOT.

If everything goes properly, you should now see the Net Detect Agent appear in the system tray as WinXP starts up the desktop. When you connect to the Net, it magically disappears.. to be replaced with the ICQ 'flower' which will shortly find a connection.

ICQ - Send files and Firewall Workaround

1. First you must limit the range of port that ICQ use for send. In ICQ, click on Main, Preferences, User tab, click on 'Not
    using proxy' and choose 'Use the following TCP listen port for incoming event from 1030 to 1030'. (use port number of
    your choice, 1030 is only for example)
2. The go into the Control Panel/Network Connections
2. Right click on your connection and select Properties
3. Left click the Advanced Tab
4. Left click the Settings Button
5. Under Services, left click the Add Button
6. For description type "ICQ", for Name of IP put the name that identifies your system with your ISP OR your IP if it is
7. Both external and internal ports are 1030 by default and TCP. (depends of which port you set at beginning)
8. Click OK and Restart.

ICQ - Removing the 'From ICQ' Favorites Folder

Deleting this folder doesn't usually do any harm, however ICQ will keep bringing it back, which can be annoying if you don't want it in your Favorites menu.

To permanently prevent it from coming back, you need to make a change inside ICQ. Start ICQ if it isn't already running and find your way to the Preferences panel. From there, select the Events tab. Different versions of ICQ work in different ways, but hopefully you should be able to find what you're after in here somewhere.

If you can't find an option in ICQ and it's still annoying you to see the folder there, you can always right-click it, choose Properties… and select the Hidden attribute to hide it!

ICS - Internet Connection Sharing

Troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP

Troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP
Windows XP Internet Connection Sharing
Dial-Up Connection in ICS Does Not Prompt to Disconnect
Resources for Troubleshooting ICS in Windows XP
Dial-Up Connection in ICS Does Not Prompt to Disconnect
Using Internet Connection Sharing with User Profiles
The Redirector Failed to Determine the Connection Type
Domain Policy to Stop the Use of ICS or ICF Stops Services

Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles - Dealing with Internet Connection Sharing

     Tip:  To disable ICS go to:  Administrative Tools/Component Services/Internet Connection Firewall. Right
              click/properties. Change Startup type to Disabled. Close/Reboot.

Index.Dat - AutoComplete Won't Clear

When you go to the Tools menu then Internet Options then Content then click the AutoComplete button there's an option to "clear forms". This is designed to stop Internet Explorer from guessing the correct URL when you type it. You may not want it to do this if it suggests some illicit site you may have visited.

However some people may find that this doesn't work. So here's how to overcome the problem.

There's file on your computer called index.dat. It allows Microsoft Windows to find Web files faster. It is an index containing names of files that have been stored in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder. These files are usually either Web pages that have been visited using your computer or images viewed on the Web that appear on those visited Web pages.

In Windows XP:
Click START, then Search then "For Files and Folders". Next click "All Files and Folders" then type in index.dat in the "All or part of the file name" box. Under the "Look in" option choose "My Computer". Then click "More advanced options" and check off "Search system folders" as well as "Search hidden files and folders".

To view or delete the contents of the index.dat files on your computer, you can use a free program called Spider 1.16. It can be downloaded from here.

Index.Dat - Auto History Kill and Download.

Index.Dat Files

[Delta2] deletes the folders the index.dat files are in and restores any saved cookies each time you start or reboot your computer. Download here.

Index.Dat Files and Primary I.E. Folders - Reference

The 'Index.dat' file within the Cache folder is used to contain URL names, date and time stamps, and pointers to the actual cache files which are spread among the four to eight cache sub-folders. These sub-folders are named with randomly-generated 8-character names.

The 'Index.dat' file within the Cookie folder is used to contain URL names, date and time stamps, and pointers to the actual Cookie files which are stored within this same folder.

The 'Index.dat' file within the upper level of the History folder is used to store 'Visited URL' names, date and time stamps. This is the data used by I.E. for its AutoComplete function and controlling the highlighting of imbedded links on the displayed Web pages.  Download the removal tool here.

There is one 'mshist...' file for each day of history that you have instructed I.E. to retain. The daily history is stored in the subordinate 'Index.dat' files.

Indexing Service - Eluent

Indexing Service is a Windows XP feature which supports rapid searching of file contents and properties across many thousands of files. Indexing Service provides this capability by extracting information from files and storing it in indexes organized for fast searching. These indexes are stored in units called catalogs.

The default catalog is called System, and it indexes your local hard drives. You can create additional catalogs, delete existing catalogs, add and remove folders from catalogs, and perform other management tasks through the Computer Management Console, where Indexing Service appears under Services and Applications.

Once you've configured Indexing Service to your liking, it works in the background indexing your files and requires little if any further attention from you. While the initial catalogs may take a while to build, once built, we find that this background processing is sufficiently non-intrusive that it's often acceptable to leave Indexing Service on all the time. (Note that Indexing Service is not enabled by default, so you must enable it yourself.)

Indexing Service - Improve Performance By Disabling Indexing Service - InfiniSource

The Indexing Service in Windows XP Indexes your files presumably to shorten the time needed to search your hard drive if you are looking for a specific file or part of a phrase inside a file.

By default, this service is set to manual (so it won't start), but when you do a search on your computer, there's that little question asking you if you want to make future searches faster.... so you could have enabled it (it will tell you that you are going to enable the Indexing service when you choose this).

Anyway, having run it for a while, it was one of the first things I decided switched off, and I haven't noticed any delay when I do my searches (and I presume that with my C:\ drive holding in excess of 106,000 files in over 2,700 folders I'm not a typical user!), but I did notice the improvement of having more CPU cycles available at all times.

To disable the Indexing service, open Computer Management from Administrative Tools (on the Start menu if you enabled this, or from the Control Panel), select Services and Applications, double click Services, and find the Indexing Service.

Double click to bring up the Properties window, and click Stop to let Windows stop the service. Then from the Status type drop down box select Disabled.

HOW TO: Use Computer Management in Windows XP

Indexing Service - Plain English Computing

Windows XP comes with an Indexing Service which boosts the efficiency of searches. When enabled, the Indexing Service works in the background, extracting the contents and the properties of documents and organizing them in a way streamlined for fast searching.

If your computer strains under the weight of Windows XP, you may want to keep the Indexing Service switched off, as it slows your system somewhat. If you’d like to have faster searches, then turn it on.

You can switch the Indexing Service on and off, and adjust its properties, via the Search Companion:

  1. Open the Search Companion and click Change Preferences.
  2. Click the With Indexing Service option (if Indexing Service is already enabled, the option will be Without Indexing Service).
  3. Select the options you want and click OK.

Indexing Service - Turning it On

Once you turn Index Server ON, it will take some time before the index is created. Index Server runs automatically when your system is otherwise idle, so how long depends upon how you use your system. 

In order for the index to remain updated, it's a good idea to leave the computer on unattended overnight, or at least for a couple of hours, on a regular basis.  Checking & Managing Index Server.

  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
    But not enough explanation,such as when increasing internet downloads, do you delete the old values, or can you just change the date???
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