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Some Windows XP Registry Tweaks that may come handy

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by sushrukh, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. sushrukh

    sushrukh Member

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    20 XP Registry Tweaks that can be useful



    Part 1


    CUSTOMISATION


    1.Start Menu scrolling

    When your Start menu overflows,it isn’t possible to list all the entries in a single column.Then, Windows either creates a second column or a scrolling menu.You can control this through the registry.Navigate to the :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    , & select the entry called ‘StartMenuScrollPrograms’.If it’s not present, create a new String value called ‘StartMenuScrollPrograms’. Specify the value as ‘Yes’ if you want the Start menu to scroll, and ‘No’ if you need the Start menu as multiple columns.

    2.IE Title bar text


    Internet Explorer installations distributed by companies other than Microsoft
    might have their names in the title bar.If you want to change this,navigate to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main, & edit or create a string value entry called ‘Window Title’. Double-click the entry and enter any string you want. Leave it blank if you want to remove the default string.You’ll need to restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.

    3. Changing Logon message


    To create a personalised logon message in XP, go to :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\
    CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    .In the right pane, double-click the string entry ‘LegalNoticeCaption’,enter the string ‘ My Windows XP Machine’ & click OK.Next, double-click the ‘LegalNotice Text’ string entry, and enter the message to be displayed.


    4. Change the welcome screen


    Windows XP displays 3 different screens during boot-up.The 2nd screen
    is the one that says “Welcome”. To change this, navigate to :-

    HKEY USERS\DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop. Under this key, you will find an entry named ‘Wallpaper’; double-click it & enter the path of the image file you want displayed.The file can be a BMP or JPEG image. If you want to tile the image, set the value of the ‘TileWallPaper’ entry to 1. If you want to stretch the wallpaper, set the value of the ‘WallPaperStyle’ entry to 2.


    5.Detailed information in the device manager


    When this tweak is applied,the device manger in Windows 2000/XP will
    show an extra tab called ‘Details’. Selecting this tab will provide additional
    information about the device. Go to :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\
    Control\SessionManager\Environment
    .Here,you’ll find a string entry with the name ‘DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS’; if there isn’t one, create it.Assign this entry a value of ‘1’if you want the system to display the details tab; to hide the tab, assign it a value of ‘0’.

    6.Prevent access to specified drives


    Use this tweak to prevent access to drives to certain users.Remember, once this is applied, the prohibited user can’t access the drive by any means. Log into Windows using the user account that you want to restrict access to, open the registry editor & go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    . Create a DWORD value with the name ‘NoViewOnDrive’.Double click this entry and in the dialog box that appears, select the radio button named ‘Decimal’. In the value data field you need to enter a number that depends on the drive that needs to be hidden. Use the formula ‘2n-1’, where n is 1 for your A drive, 2 for B drive, and so on until 26 for drive Z. If you need to hide more than one drive, add the respective drive numbers and enter it into the value data field.

    For example, to hide drive C you need to enter 4 (23-1); to hide drives D and E you need to enter 24 (24-1+25-1). To apply the change to all users in the system, follow the same method, but use the key :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    instead. To remove all restrictions, just delete the entry.


    Performance



    7. Speed up access to folders with AVI files


    Windows XP sometimes takes a really long time to open folders with AVI files.
    This is because XP tries to get information about the files.To disable this feature, open the registry and go to :-

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{87D62D94-71B3-4b9a-9489-5FE6850DC73E}. Append a [-] (a minus sign) in front of the ‘{87D…’ key, so that it becomes something like ‘- {87D…’.

    8.Prevent OS being paged to disk


    At times, when there’s a dearth of RAM, the system will move some portion of the main memory to the hard disk. Obviously, this slows down the system, but there’s nothing much that can be done about it. In case your system is blessed with loads of RAM (256 MB or more) and runs Windows NT, 2000 or XP, you can use this tweak to prevent the kernel mode code from being moved to the hard disk. While this will improve system performance, it may affect programs that rely on Windows swap space. So if you notice any eccentric behaviour after applying this setting, revert to the previous setting.

    Go to :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\
    Control\Session Manager\MemoryManagement
    .Look for a DWORD entry called ‘DisablePagingExecutive’ ; set it to ‘1’to disable the kernel being paged. if you face problems,set it back to ‘0’.


    9.Window refresh rate


    All open windows are refreshed at a predefined interval; but when there’re
    too many windows open, and a paucity of memory, they often appear blank—a
    file copied to a folder may not appear immediately on the window. This tweak allows you to set a faster refresh rate for open windows.Go to :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\
    Control\Update
    .Create or modify the DWORD key called ‘UpdateMode’. Assign it a value of ‘0’ for a faster refresh rate, and ‘1’ for default.


    ANNOYANCES


    10. Menu display delay

    When a menu is opened, Windows opens the menu after a small delay. For example, after clicking on Start, the Programs menu takes ages to expand. This is because the ‘Menushowdelay’ entry has been given a large value.Open the key :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and modify or create a string value named ‘MenuShowDelay’. In this entry, give the required delay in milliseconds; the accepted limit is 0 to 999.



    Part 2


    11. Disable low disk space warning


    Windows XP will show a warning message whenever the drive is low on disk space. For some reason, whether we have an 8 GB or 80 GB hard drive, it’s never enough, and this message just gets irritating after a while.To suppress it, go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    and create or modify the DWORD value called ‘NoLowDiskSpaceChecks’. A value of ‘1’ will disable the warning message, ‘0’ will enable it.


    12. Hide the links folder


    Internet Explorer incessantly creates the ‘Links’ folder under the Favourites section, even if the user deletes it.You can get rid of it permanently by going to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
    InternetExplorer\Toolbar
    . Set the value of the ‘LinksFolderName’entry as a blank string. Now, open IE and delete the Links folder. It will no longer be displayed under Favourites.

    EASE THE TASK


    13. Include Copy to and Move to in the context menu



    When you right-click a file, you get a menu called context menu. This tweak shows you how you can add two useful entries to it, namely,‘Copy To’ and ‘Move To’.Therefore, copying and moving files can be done in 2 steps. To add the ‘Copy To’ option, go to :-

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\
    ContextMenuHandlers
    and create a subkey called ‘CopyTo’. Select the key you created and in the right pane, modify the value of the ‘Default’ entry to ‘{C2FBB630-297111d1A18C00C04FD75D13}’.

    Similarly,navigate to :-

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers and create a sub-key named ‘Copy To’and give the same default value as above. For the ‘Move To’ option, duplicate the above mentioned steps, but rename the subkeys as ‘Move To’ and the Default values as:-

    ‘{C2FBB631-2971-11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}’.Now when you right click on any file or folder—except on the Desktop you will get these two options.


    14. Start button context menu


    Using this tweak, you can open applications from the context menu of the Start
    button, i.e. by right-clicking on the Start button. Open the registry and select the :-

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ Directory\Shell key.Create a new sub-key named after the program you want to associate it with, say, Notepad. Now select this key and create another sub-key named ‘Command’ and set its ‘Default’ entry value as the path to the executable for example, ‘C:Windows\notepad.exe’.

    15. Make Google default search page


    You can set IE to search using Google as default. Enter the search terms in the address and select the option that appears below: Search for ‘<search terms>’. This will take you directly to the results page in Google. Open the registry and navigate to :-

    HKEY_ CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\
    Main
    ; change the value of ‘Use Search Asst’ to ‘no’ ; change the value of ‘Search Page’ to http://www.google.com’ ; change the value of ‘Search Bar’ to :-

    http://www.google.com/ie’.Next, go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
    InternetExplorer\Search URL
    and change the values of ‘Default’ to http://www.google.com/keyword/%s’ and ‘provider’ to ‘gogl’.Then go to the :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft \Internet Explorer\Search key and modify the ‘Search Assistant’ entry’s value to http://www.google.com/ie’

    COVERING TRACES



    16. Selectively remove cached Run commands



    Commands entered in the Run dialog box are automatically cached to be used again later as Auto Complete.You can selectively remove entries from the cached list of instructions. Go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
    , and on the right pane,you will find entries,each one representing a cached instruction.Delete the unwanted entries or delete all if you want to clear the cache.

    17. Removing typed URLs from IE address bar



    Internet Explorer stores 25 URLs that were previously entered into the address bar.Click on the drop down button at the end of the address bar to view the cached URLs.To selectively remove URLs from this list go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs.In the right pane, you will find the list of URLs ordered with names url, url2, …url25. Delete the entries you wish to remove.Rename the remaining entries so that the order is maintained.For example, if you delete two entries,rename the others so that they list as url1 to url23.

    18. Remove Start menu items


    Most users don’t use all the items in the Start menu.Entries such as Help are sometimes or never used at all.Using this tweak, you can selectively remove items from the Start menu. Go to :-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    , and add a DWORD entry for each item you want to remove.

    Here’s some examples of items:-

    ‘NoRecentDocsMenu’ removes the Documents menu.‘NoFavoritesMenu’ removes the Favourites menu.‘NoFind’ removes the Find command from the Start menu.‘NoRun’ removes the Run command.‘NoClose’ removes the Shutdown command (be careful as it prevents you from shutting down Windows :D ). ‘NoSetTaskbar’ removes the Taskbar command in the Settings subfolder on the Startmenu. Adding this entry will also prevent a user from making changes to the taskbar by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting Properties. In Windows 2000 and XP,adding ‘NoSMHelp’ will remove thehelp item and ‘NoCommonGroups’ will remove all the entries located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu and its subfolders.After adding any entry,assign it a value of ‘1’ to remove the item from the Start Menu, or ‘0’ to bring it back.

    19. Remove the Recycle bin


    If you’re tired of having to delete things twice and the Recycle Bin seems redundant, you can remove it. Using this tweak, you can force Windows to delete files directly—be sure that you don’t want files to be stored in the Recycle bin.

    Go to :-

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Explorer\BitBucket
    and create a DWORD entry named ‘NukeOnDelete’.Give this a value of ‘1’ to disable the Recycle bin and ‘0’ to enable it.


    20.Clear Add/Remove Programs list


    Certain program entries do remain in the Add/Remove programs list owing to an uninstallations that go haywire. This tweak enables you to do away with those. Go to :-

    HKE Y_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Uninstall.Under this key,you will find sub-keys for each program installed.Right-click and delete all the entries you want removed from the Add\Remove programs list.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, this is my little addition.Some of the tweaks may be already known to you.Hope you find it useful.Thanks for reading.
     
  2. tanka12345

    tanka12345 Pentium 4 the Win

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    Some nice tweaks there. Did you discover them yourself?
     
  3. sushrukh

    sushrukh Member

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    Most of them.Some of them i've heard about from some websites. :)
     
  4. dukeman

    dukeman New Member

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    thanks, the menu delay was driving me nuts
     
  5. opteron

    opteron New Member

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    nice, but I usually use a tweaking software to do the above tricks.
     
  6. zeparu

    zeparu New Member

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    thanks.this could help anyone who need a fine ride with their computer.you could do it manually as well, anyway, thanks.
     
  7. joe998

    joe998 New Member

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    Thanks for the helpful tips on doing it right.
     
  8. ryandigweed

    ryandigweed Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I used to use a bunch of registry tweaks on Windows XP, but it was really such a pain in the neck, so I decided to go for Windows7 :) And I'm loving it ! Not many tweaks for this, just GUI, and a couple of file associations, shell, formats etc. :)
     
  9. grumpydaddy

    grumpydaddy Forum Mod

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    So, you bought your shiny new ssd installed windows and now you realise that you are running in IDE mode instead of AHCI. Switching ahci on in bios means you bluescreen loading into windows....what to do? You could re- install windows or.....

    1. Startup "Regedit"
    2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlset / Services
    3. Open msahci
    4. In the right field, left click on "start" and go to Modify
    5. In the value Data field enter "0" and click "ok"
    6. exit "Regedit"
    7. Reboot Rig and enter BIOS

    In your BIOS select "Integrated Peripherals" and for each of the PATA/SATA Devices. change SATA Mode to AHCI from IDE.

    You now boot into Vista/Windows 7, the OS will recognize AHCI and install the devices. Now the system needs one more reboot and Voilà .. Enjoy the improved SSD performance. (Your HDD will like this too)
     
  10. Mandula901

    Mandula901 Member

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    Awesome and handy guide - thanks!
     
  11. Antonio Iacobone

    Antonio Iacobone Well-Known Member

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    we should do an updated guide for Windows 7...and for the new Windows 8 :)
     
  12. warpme11

    warpme11 New Member

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    nice i can tweak more my old comp :D
     
  13. CharlieKasper

    CharlieKasper Member

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    I use Windows XP. Thanks for sharing these tweaks, will help me. :)
     
  14. Kirios

    Kirios New Member

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    cool thanks, nice to have em all gathered in one place
     

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