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

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP

QIC

Cannot Restore Backups That You Create in Windows 95/98, or Windows Me with the Windows XP Ntbackup Tool

BackUp MyPC is a powerful yet easy to use data protection and disaster recovery solution for a single computer or peer-to-peer network. Conveniently backup important files or your entire computer while you're not even around using our advanced scheduling system.

BackUp MyPC backs up to Recordable CD/DVD, Tape, Zip, Jazz, and other removable media drives and employs disc spanning and data compression which typically can double your media capacity for significant savings.

QoS

Windows XP Quality of Service (QoS) Enhancements and Behavior

Note:  In Media Center 2004 for Messenger (etc), disable QoS for headset/mic use.

Quick Launch - Icons (Arrange)

Right click the Quick Launch tool bar and choose Open Folder.  Right click in the right pane and choose Arrange Icons by.

Quick Launch - Doesn't Function Properly

Quick Launch Repair Tool and More:  http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/taskbarplus!.htm

Can't Create Toolbar Error Message
Restore Show Desktop Icon
Remove the Quick Launch Area *
Save Quick Launch Sort Order
Auto Add Specific Links to Quick Launch *
Set Quick Launch as Default for any new user added *

     NOTE: 
For a stand alone exe to be run as a startup script, send an email here and choose #8.  When this utility is run as
                  a "Startup script", it will automatically adjust the system Registry to "turn on" the Quick Launch bar, by default,
                  for all newly created user accounts.

Quick Launch - Icons are Large

Caption button size (Desktop/Appearance/Advanced). Also effects the Quick Launch and System tray icons.  Another option to correct it is to go back to the default XP theme, then redo your changes.

Quick Launch - Missing or you receive an error message, to correct:

This behavior can occur if the Quick Launch folder has been deleted. To resolve this issue, recreate the Quick Launch folder. Create a folder named Quick Launch at the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

Quick Launch Toolbar Becomes A Floating Palette

By default, the Quick Launch toolbar is right next to the Start button. But if you've added so many shortcuts to this toolbar, you can't see them all, you may wish to make it a floating palette. Then you'll have instant access to these shortcuts without unnecessary scrolling.

Click the left edge of the Quick Launch toolbar, drag it out to a blank area on the desktop, and let go. (Note: If your taskbar is locked, the toolbar won't move.) You can resize the resulting palette as you would any window: Hold your mouse pointer over its edge, and when the pointer changes to a double-pointed arrow, click and drag in any direction.

To ensure that your palette is never out of sight, right-click its title bar and select Always on Top.

Quicken

Cannot Back Up Quicken Files to CD

Quote Fix http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/dl.php?get=OE-QuoteFix

Disable this option to get the Spell Checker to work automatically:
OE/Tools/Options/Spelling and uncheck "Always ignore the original text in a reply or forward". Or select the text to check and press F7.

Raid Controllers

1. Enable the IDE Raid controller on the mobo if required.
2. Enable it in BIOS as required
3. Boot XP using the present set up - hard drives on the regular IDE controller.
4. Install the drivers for the IDE/RAID controller.

Now XP will recognize the controller and your ready to make any changes you may want to use the Ide/Raid controllers.

Random Words and Characters

In recent weeks, several XP users have posted messages to Internet discussion lists and newsgroups reporting that text is automatically appearing in Internet Explorer's address bar or in Outlook e-mail messages or Word documents as users compose them.

According to Microsoft, after installing Microsoft's Speech application programming interface, "random words or characters may be displayed in Office XP documents or in the Internet Explorer Address bar."

To resolve the problem, Microsoft said XP users should disable the Dictation and the Voice Command features on the operating system's Language bar. Alternately, users can turn off speech recognition completely from the Regional and Language Options tool on XP's Control Panel.

Merely unplugging or turning off the computer's microphone does not correct the random-character problem, according to several user reports.

Microsoft's Article about Random Characters in Office XP
Microsoft's Article on Configuring Speech Recognition in Windows XP
Microsoft's .NET Speech homepage

Read Only

You may be unable to remove the Read-Only attribute from a folder using Windows Explorer. In addition, some programs may display error messages when you try to save files to the folder.

This behavior occurs because the folder is customized. You can customize a folder by clicking Customize this folder on the View menu. Many programs also customize folders (for example, the Fonts folder comes with a customization as part of the standard system configuration).

Windows Explorer uses the Read-Only attribute to determine whether or not the folder is customized. To work around this behavior, you can configure Windows Explorer to use the System flag instead of the Read-Only flag. To do this, use the following steps.

NOTE : Some programs do not operate correctly with folders that have the System attribute configured. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe). Locate the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer.  On the Edit menu, click Add Value and then add the following registry value:

Value Name: UseSystemForSystemFolders
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1
Quit Registry Editor.

You can find additional information about folder customization in the Platform Software Development Kit (SDK). Refer to the PathMakeSystemFolder function and the "Customizing Folders with Desktop.ini" shell basics chapter at the following Microsoft Web sites:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/shellcc/shell/shlwapi/path/pathmakesystemfolder.htm
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/shellcc/shell/shell_basics/custom.htm

Unable to Remove Read-Only Flag from Folder

Reboot - Windows Boots without warning!

By default when WinXP encounters a system failure, it reboots without warning. The setting that controls this can be changed:

Control Panel/System/Advanced/Settings (Startup & Recovery)/System Failure/Uncheck-Automatically Restart.

You can use Event Viewer to view and manage the event logs, gather information about hardware and software problems, and monitor Windows security events.

To view the event log: Administrative Tools/Event Viewer or Start/Run/eventvwr.

To review Shutdown Event Tracker data, Open Event Viewer. Click System Log, scroll to the Event column, and find entries with the number 1075.

HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q308427

And also:

Go to Start/Run/Msinfo32/Hardware Resources, Components/Problem Devices and Software Environment/Windows Error Reporting.

Go to Help and Support/Pick a Task (left side)/Use Tools to view.../(left pane)My Computer Information/(right pane) View the status of my system hardware and software/Hardware/Update and Troubleshooters.

How to Troubleshoot Hardware and Software Driver Problems
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q322205

Try running the DirectX Tool: Start/Run/Dxdiag, Lower Hardware Acceleration (Display/Settings/Advanced/Troubleshoot/Hardware Acceleration). Check System Info for problematic issues: Start/Run/Msinfo32/Hardware Resources and Components/Problem Devices and Software Environment/Windows Error Reporting.

Report Error's to Microsoft automatically

Start/Run/gpedit.msc/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Error Reporting. Right click Report Errors/Properties. Check off Enable and then check off, Do not display links to any MS provided more information web sites. Apply, ok.

Recovery Console - To install the Recovery Console as a Start-up Option

1. With Windows running, insert the Setup CD into your CD-ROM drive.
2. Click Start and select Run.
3. Type the following where D: is the CD-ROM drive letter: D:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons
4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Notes:
a. To run the Recovery Console, restart your computer and select the Recovery Console option from the list of available
    operating systems.
b. You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure.
    If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.
c. To see the commands available on the Recovery Console, type help at the at the console prompt.
d. If your computer will not start, you can run the Recovery Console from the Setup CD. See Related Topics for information
    on running the Recovery Console when your computer will not start.  Recovery Console in Windows XP

Recent Documents

1. Open Taskbar and Start menu/Start menu Tab/Customize/Advanced uncheck "List my most recently opened
    documents".
2. Same place in "Start menu items" check "Favorite menu".  Or...

HOW TO: Display, Use, and Clear "My Recent Documents"
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q307/8/75.asp

Prevent My Documents and Recent Documents (Line 50)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Clear Recent Documents (Line 170)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Restore My Documents (Line 55)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Restore Recent Documents (Line 55)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Prevent My Documents and Recent Documents (Line 50)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

To use the Regedits: 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.

Recording Button Missing <source unknown>

If you uninstalled and reinstalled Nero in XP, or did an upgrade from a previous OS to XP without uninstalling Nero first, this is a known error
(for both Adaptec and Nero). Let me know if it works! This problem is caused by an association created in the system registry between these specific
Adaptec driver files and the CD file system drivers for Windows 2000. If the Adaptec driver files are renamed or removed, then the system will loose
access to any CD drive (CD ROM, CD recorder, or DVD).

IMPORTANT: The following contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if
a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key"
Help topic in Regedt32.exe.

1. Uninstall all CD Burning software from the system.
2. Go to the RUN line and type in Regedt32 and press Enter.
3. Go to the following registry locations and delete the key values for

UPPERFILTERS and LOWERFILTERS: (Do NOT delete the entire
4D36E965-E325-11CE-BBFC1-08002BE10318 key)

Or run this script:  http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/regs_edits/xp_cd_dvd_fix.vbs  <source known>

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BB
FC1-08002BE10318}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BB
FC1-08002BE10318}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11C
E-BFC1-08002BE10318}

4. Close out of Regedt32.exe and reboot the computer.
5. You should have access to your CDROM drives after reboot.

Make sure you create a System Restore Point before you make changes to the registry.

Recovery

1) Automated System Recovery capability in XP Pro BackUp:
 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q302894

2) "system file checker" From a cmd prompt, run "sfc /scannow"

3) System Restore from Start Menu Programs, Accessories, System Tools

4) Recovery Console from F8 boot

5) CD boot upgrade, but select Repair. Preferences, apps & settings preserved

6) Driver Roll Back from Start Menu, Admin Tools, Device Manager

7) Password recovery from Start Menu, Control Panels, User Accounts: User, Prevent a forgotten password

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.

Description and Uses of Windows XP Recovery Console

Workarounds:

Copy the "spcmdcon.sys" file from the temporary disk based fix to the c:\cmdcons directory, dated 10/5/2001 to the one dated 8/18/2001 from the temporary disk based fix to the c:\cmdcons directory. Then boot into the Recovery Console.

The Password Is Not Valid Error Message Appears When You Log On to Recovery Console in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;q308402&

Boot into Safe Mode and Run "control userpasswords2", uncheck Users Must Enter a Password, and fill out the dialogue for administrator, with a blank password.

Click Start//Control Panel/Local Security Policy. Scroll to "Recovery Console: Allow automatic administrative logon." Change from Disabled to Enable.

More info:

HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307654

Cannot Log On to Recovery Console After Running Sysprep in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q308402

Recovery Console Fix for XP SP1 (Line 58)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Boot from the XP Home boot Floppies, which you can make from this Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;EN-US;Q310994

It will accept a blank password after you boot from the floppies.

Recycle Bin - Deleting Problems

Most noted, this often happens if you use the SUBST command to create a virtual drive.  Meaning XP isn't installed on C.

IF you have a virtual drive. Do a SUBST DRIVER: /D
You should then be able to see the contents of you Recycle Bin

The optional quick fix is: Delete any file (just to make sure there's something in the bin).

Then, with the Recycle Bin CLOSED, right click the Recycle Bin desktop icon, select: Empty Recycle Bin, and when the Confirm File Delete dialog box comes up, click the OK button. Then reboot your system. After doing the above, any deleted files should now list correctly in the Recycle Bin.

Files Do Not Show Up in Recycle Bin When Deleted
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;168570

This seems to work for many: Make sure that something is in the Recycle Bin (delete any file). With the Recycle Bin closed, right click and choose: Empty Recycle Bin. When the confirm box appears, click ok. Reboot. Now the Recycle Bin should work correctly.

If the above didn't help:

Files not being listed in the Recycle Bin seem to be related to a corrupt info2 file. To correct the issue (Fat32):

Go to Start/Run and type in CMD:

Type CD \RECYCLED, and then press ENTER.
Type ATTRIB -r -s -h info2, and then press ENTER.
Type DEL INFO2, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: This deletes the damaged INFO2 file. Windows will recreate this file as needed, automatically.

You can often restore files even if it is not being listed in the Recycle Bin by searching (Start/Search) for the files by name, once found rename them. If the files still cannot be recovered, follow the steps above, then reboot. They should now be listed.

To see the files listed in the Recycled Folder

Go to Start/Run and type in:  CMD.  At the prompt type in:  cd\ [enter] then cd Recycled [enter] then dir [enter].
They will listed similar to this:  Dc25.url, Dc26.lnk, etc.  If Windows is installed on D:\, it will then be listed as Dd25, etc. The number represents the number of file deleted. 

A hidden folder is creating on each volume that has the recycle bin enabled named Recycled. Any deleted files are moved to this folder and renamed to: C<original drive letter><number file deleted>.<original extension> and the original full name and path stored in a mapping file Info2. For example the file name:  C:\www.dbknox_faq.com\index.html would become Dc1.html (if it was the first file deleted on the partition).

When the Recycle Bin becomes full, Windows starts deleting files to make room for newly deleted files. These files are still recoverable until you 'empty' the Recycle Bin.

To Recover Files in NTFS:

Click Start, Run and enter %systemdrive%\Recycler.  Under this folder you'll see sub folders with names like:
S-1-5-21-1085031214-854245398-1060284298-1003

One of these is your user's Recycle Bin folder, you'll have to determine which.  Then open a Command Prompt Window and type: Start/Run and type in: CMD

CD\Recycled\<name of the sub folder>
Next type DIR

Locate the files with the file extension that you wish to recover. There may be more than one of the same type. These files will all be DC??.xxx where ?? is a number and xxx is the file extension.

Use the COPY command to copy all of the matching files out. For example:  COPY *.DOC C:\Temp

to copy all DOC files to C:\Temp. Now you can open these files and find the one(s) that you wanted to retrieve.  Once you've retrieved all the files that you need, type the following command:  ATTRIB -S -H -R INFO2

INFO2 is a hidden file that holds the information on files in the Recycle Bin. This is the file that has been corrupted. Next type:  DEL INFO2

This removes the corrupted INFO2 file. Don't worry, it will be recreated automatically by Windows. Now, empty the Recycle Bin. The next time you delete a file, if not before, INFO2 will be recreated and your Recycle Bin will function normally.

Error Message while deleting:

If, while attempting to empty the recycle bin, you receive an odd error, you may have inadvertently opened a file or folder that has a share lock on a file or folder that you are attempting to delete. This usually occurs when attempting to browse your hard drive in Explorer. Close Explorer and then retry emptying the Recycle Bin.

Files Do Not Show Up in Recycle Bin When Deleted - NTFS

Permissions on the C:\Recycler directory may be too restrictive.

Administrators should have ownership of the Recycler directory. To take ownership of the directory, perform the following:
Log on as Administrator. Using Windows Explorer, locate the directory and select Properties/Ownership.

Use the option to Take Ownership of the directory. Restore default permissions to the directory with the permissions option.
Default permissions: Administrators Full Control, Creator/Owner Full Control, Everyone Change, System Full Control.

Checkpoints:

Right click on your recycle bin and make sure this box isn't checked checked that says "Do not move files to the recycle bin.  Remove files immediately when deleted."

Remove every reference to Recycled/Recycler (depending) and reboot.

Make sure that something is in the Recycle Bin (delete any file). With the Recycle Bin closed, right click and choose: Empty Recycle Bin. When the confirm box appears, click ok. Reboot. Now the Recycle Bin should work correctly.

The issue can occur if some program changes the Recycle Bin status such as Trash Guard/Shredder of McAfee. It should work normally after you empty the Recycle Bin.   

IF you have a virtual drive. Do a SUBST X: /D (where X is the letter assigned to the virtual drive).  You should then be able to see the contents of you Recycle Bin.

When deleted files are not showing up in the Recycle Bin at times the folder can also be missing under C:\Recycle Bin, if this is the case go to:  Start/Run/CMD and type in:  rd /s /q c:\recycled [reboot].  And/or run this edit:  Restore the Recycle Bin

Verify that NukeOnDelete is not set in the Registry by running this edit.  No Nuke On Delete

Running Spybot has cleared this issue for many users. 

Go to Start/Run/Regedit.  Edit/Find, in the Find what box type in:  {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.  The only reference to this CLSID should be for the Recycle Bin.  Many users have found up to 12 references to this key under different third party programs. 

Damaged Files in Recycled Folder

Go to Start/Run/CMD:

Type: cd.. enter cd.. enter then, Type: attrib -s -h recycled [enter], Type: del recycled [enter], Restart the computer.
Or go to Start/Run/CMD and type in: rd /s /q c:\recycled

Files Do Not Show Up in Recycle Bin When Deleted
Err Msg: Error Deleting File Cannot Delete INFO2...
The Recycle Bin on C:\ Is Corrupt or Invalid. Do You Want to Empty the Recycle Bin for this...
HOW TO: Bypass the Recycle Bin When You Delete Files and Folders in Windows XP


Replace/Repair the Recycle Bin (Line 64)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm


Recover and Restore Deleted Files (Line 36)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Rename the Recycle Bin (Line 115)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Change the Recycle Bin Icon (Line 158)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Add Empty Recycle Bin to the Right Click (Line 21)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Recycle Bin - Rename

Start/Run/Regedit
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder

Value Name: Attributes
Data Type: REG_BINARY (Binary Value)
Value Data: (70 01 00 20=enable, 40 01 00 20=default)

Set the value of "Attributes" in the appropriate key below to "70 01 00 20", you will then be able to rename and/or delete any special folders by right-clicking them.

Customizing Windows XP

Recycle Bin - Repair or Replace

Replace/Repair the Recycle Bin  This is a REG file. Save the file to your hard disk and double click it. Answer yes to the import prompt.  Right click on the Desktop and select Refresh. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking the file and selecting Edit.

Recycle Bin - Remove from Desktop

Remove the Recycle Bin (Line 115)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Note:  To remove, once the edit is installed, go to Windows Explorer, scroll down to the Recycle Bin, highlight, then go to File/Delete.  Refresh desktop.

Click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT

Go to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{647BD8C2-658B-4ECA-ABC7-FC5C0BF1704D}

Right click on the {647BD8C2-658B-4ECA-ABC7-FC5C0BF1704D} sub key and select Export (this way you can restore it if you want to). Next right click on the same key and select Delete. Go back to your desktop, right click and select Refresh. No more Recycle Bin.

Or use this registry edit:  Hide the Recycle Bin.

Red X

Pictures Are Not Displayed on Internet Web Sites
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q272306

Web Page Displays an Image As a Red X or Not at All
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q283807

Refresh Rate

Run the edits on line 157, 199, 204 and/or 317:   http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Update

Value Name: UpdateMode, Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value), Value Data: default = 1. Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, named "UpdateMode" and set it to equal "0" for faster updates. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Refresh Rates: The one CRITICAL flaw in Windows XP

Refresh Rates - Games (Refresh Rates: The one Critical flaw in Windows XP)

Microsoft Windows XP offers many great new features and innovations for both consumers and corporate users alike, but if you play computer games, you might want to think twice before purchasing XP to replace your Windows 98/ME operating system.  Windows XP suffers from huge limitations in the way it handles monitor refresh rates, and buying XP will increase monitor flicker and could severely hurt your eyes!

By default, Windows 98/ME always plays games at the highest refresh rate your monitor and video card can handle, and this offers the least flicker and the least eyestrain possible.  However, Windows XP plays games at much lower refresh rates.  In every resolution, all DirectX games in Windows XP run at only 75 Hz, and all OpenGL games in Windows XP run at only 60 Hz.  That's right, OpenGL based Quake III Arena will run at only 60 Hz in XP! 

Both of these refresh rate settings will give you much added eyestrain and a nasty headache after playing for a while.  This gaming refresh rate issue is such a HUGE and OBVIOUS problem, it makes you wonder how Microsoft can even ship an operating system with such a huge flaw.

Games however, are not the only area refresh rates are handled poorly in Windows XP.  When setting your 2D desktop refresh rate in "Display Properties," Microsoft got rid of the "Optimal" refresh rate setting in Windows XP.  In Windows 98/ME, Windows is automatically set at an "Optimal" refresh rate setting in "Display Properties," and Windows always uses the highest refresh rate possible at EVERY resolution on the 2D desktop. 

Now, since Windows XP only uses static refresh rate values instead of the "Optimal" setting in "Display Properties," every time you switch resolutions in XP, you have to manually change your refresh rate setting to the highest available to get the best display quality possible on the 2D desktop.  With an "Optimal" setting, users don't need to worry about refresh rates at all.

Also, no matter what people may tell you, this is NOT a driver issue.  These refresh rate problems happen with EVERY video card on the market, with all available drivers.  It happens on NVIDIA, ATI, S3, Matrox, 3dfx, and all other video cards.  Even with drivers designed for Windows XP, you will still experience these problems.

Furthermore, don't believe the myth that it's bad to run your monitor at high refresh rates, even if your monitor supports them. Running your monitor at high refresh rates, as long as your monitor can support them, will not damage or cause any added stress to your monitor.  I have confirmed this with multiple monitor manufactures. 

While most people can't consciously tell the difference between 85 Hz and higher refresh rates, running at higher refresh rates will still cause less eyestrain after you use your computer for an extended period of time, so it is best to run your monitor at the highest refresh rate possible.

Temporary solutions for now:  Click here and scroll down.

Regional Settings - Torgeir Bakken (MVP)

A combined batch/vbs solution creating a date variable in the
format 11-17-2004 regardless of the regional settings:

------------------------------------------
@echo off
echo D = Now : WScript.Echo Right(100+Month(D),2) ^& "-" ^& _ >%tmp%\today.vbs
echo Right(100+Day(D),2) ^& "-" ^& Year(D) >>%tmp%\today.vbs

for /f "tokens=1" %%a in (
       'cscript.exe //Nologo %tmp%\today.vbs') do set today=%%a

del %tmp%\today.vbs
echo Todays date: %today%
------------------------------------------

Third party:  Date 2 File or Directory

Registry - Disable Registry Editing Tools

Disable or Enable Registry Editing Tools (Line 213)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Repair the Registry Editor (Line 173)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Lift Restrictions from the Registry Editor (Line 275)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Manual:

Start/Run/Regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Value Name: DisableRegistryTools
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (0 = allow regedit, 1 = disable regedit)

Create a new DWORD value named 'DisableRegistryTools' and set the value to '1' to disable registry editing functions.
Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Save the file to the root of your C drive, naming it regfix.reg. Open a command prompt window (start, run, cmd.exe) and enter the following
command:  regedit -s c:\regfix.reg

Type in that command in hit the enter key. You should then be able to run regedit.

HOW TO: Back Up, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;322756

Registry - Default:  Revert a Single Registry Setting to its Default

This is useful, not only for defining settings for all new users on a system, but for obtaining the default for a particular setting that has been changed since the user account was created.

  • Say, the UserPreferencesMask value, located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, has an incorrect setting.
  • Now, this is a binary value, and therefore its data is not necessarilly easy to interpret.
  • Instead of guessing at the correct setting, just go to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop, obtain that value's default setting, and update the active value in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop with the new data.

Registry Edits

Registry Edits and Tips for Windows XP
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_reg_edits.htm
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Registry Explained

Windows Registry Tutorial

Registry - Last State

     Tip:  This script stops Regedit from remembering the last key and instead opens regedit at the top "My Computer"
              folder. Create a shortcut on your desktop to this script and double-click on it to launch Regedit without the last key
              memory. Download Here.

     Tip:  After you start Regedit, press and hold down SHIFT+LEFT ARROW to collapse all the entries back to the My
              Computer entry.

     Tip:  Start/Run/Regedit
              HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Regedit.
              In the right pane, for the value LastKey.

Double-click it and clear the string. Then right-click the Regedit key (in the left hand pane) and select Permissions. Set Permissions to Deny for any/all users/groups.  How to Prevent Regedit.exe from Using the Last State

Registry - Re-Initialize Your Registry Without Rebooting Windows

Some registry changes require you to restart Windows before they are enabled. A workaround in most cases is to go to the Task Manager, end process on Explorer.exe, with Task Manager still open, go to File/New Task and type in Explorere.exe.

 

Comments
  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Excellent source of info, a little dense though.
     
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