Feb 16, 2009

Show adminstrator account at Windows XP logon screen

When you install Windows XP on your PC, a default administrator account named ‘Administrator’ is created. This account is visible on the login screen when you boot Windows XP. But when you create any other account having administrator rights, the default ‘Administrator’ account is not shown on the login screen. If you want it to show on the login screen, follow these steps:

Open the registry editor by clicking on Start menu >Run, and typing ‘regedit’
The registry editor opens up. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList. Double click the Administrator and change its value data to ‘1’. If Administrator is not there, right click in the right pane and select New>DWORD. Name it Administrator and put its value data as 1. That’s it. The next time you boot your PC, you will find the administrator account along with your personal account in the logon screen.

Feb 15, 2009

Enable network adaptor’s onboard processor

If you have a network card and it has got its own onboard processor, you can take off the load of network processing from your CPU. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters and create a new DWORD by right clicking on the right hand side pane of the registry editor and selecting new>DWORD. Name it as “DisableTaskOffload”. Set its value to 0 to enable offloading network processing onto the network card. You will have to restart Windows for this to take effect.

Feb 14, 2009

Disable Shutdown in Windows XP

It’s maddening when someone is working on your PC and shuts down and shuts it down mistakenly or mischievously (whatever may be the case!) even after telling him/her a hundred times not to do so. Imagine if you can disable the shut down itself! (Off course, you can pull out the power plug though!) But if you really want to disable your shutdown in your PC, follow these steps: 

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. In the right hand pane right click on a blank space and select New> DWORD Value and call it “NoClose”. Set its value to 1 to disable shutting down your PC.

Feb 13, 2009

Registry keys - a quick guide

For those who wondering about what those different HKEY commands are and what do they hold in them, here is a short guide:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT: All file types and their associations

HKEY_CURRENT_USER: Currently logged on User Account settings
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE: Computer’s configuration information – both hardware and software
HKEY_USERS: All User Account settings

Feb 11, 2009

How to install Windows XP automatically

Do you hate to enter the details like serial number, user name, password, your screen resolution and other nitty gritties every time you install Windows XP on your machine? Do you wish you could stay back or may be take a small nap while your operating system installs all by itself, without any need of your intervention? That’s very much possible. All you have to do is create an answer file for the installation process which contains all the information required during the installation. When you are done with that, just zap the XP CD in the CD-ROM drive and initiate the installation. All the details will be taken automatically from the answer file. Isn’t it cool? Here is how you can do this:

1. Put the installation CD into the CD Drive and copy the entire contents of the CD to a folder on your hard disk. Browse to SUPPORT\TOOLS and extract the file Deploy.cab.

2. In the extracted folder double click the file setupmgr.exe, it will open up a wizard. Click next, choose Unattended Setup, click Next, Choose the appropriate Windows XP installation, click Next, Choose Fully Automated, click Next, Select Setup from a CD, click Next, Accept the License Agreement and click next again. A box opens up, which asks you to enter the Name and Organization. Enter the necessary information in the appropriate fields and click Next. You will be asked for all the details that are required during the installation process. Enter all the details one by one and at the end, click finish and save the file as “winnt.sif” when prompted. This is your answer file and you are supposed to save it in the i386 folder in the Windows XP installation folder you created in the beginning.

3. Now you need to burn a bootable disk. For this, you require the boot sector of Windows XP. You can obtain it from here. Extract it to a folder.

4. Launch Nero and select CD-ROM (Boot) from the new compilation dialog box. Under the boot tab, specify the boot sector file you extracted. Set the emulation as no emulation, and keep the boot message blank. Most importantly, remember to set the number of loaded sector as 4.

5. Select the disc at once method to burn the CD. Click the new button to add new files to CD. Here, you will have to drag all the contents of the Windows XP installation disc and the answer file as well. (Make sure you don’t drag the folder containing the installation files, instead drag the contents of Windows XP CD)

6. Insert a blank CD in the drive and burn it at a low speed. When it’s done, you have your own install-all-by-itself Windows XP CD!

I recommend you to keep this CD for your own personal and not to lend it to others as it contains a customized installation.