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Jumat, 08 April 2011

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) Setup Error: Access is denied.

As we all know Microsoft has released the final version of Windows XP SP3 to public and its available via Automatic Updates, Windows Updates and Downloads Center. Earlier we posted about it at following link:
Windows XP SP3 RTM Available on Windows Update, Automatic Update and Download Center
You can download the SP3 from the above mentioned link.
A few people are facing a problem while installing SP3. Whenever they try to install it, Windows shows following error message:
Service Pack 3 setup error. Access is denied.
OR
Service Pack 3 setup error. Service Pack installation did not complete.
If you are also facing the same problem, then follow these simple steps and your problem should be solved:
1. Download and install the Subinacl.exe file from here.
2. Open Notepad and paste following code:
cd /d "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
3. Save the file with name "SP3.bat".
4. Now right-click on the file and select "Run as administrator". It might take some time to complete.
5. After completion, restart your system and now you should be able to install SP3.

How to Enable / Disable New XP Style Welcome Screen, Log Off and Shutdown Dialog Box in Windows XP?


If you are a Windows XP user, you can see the new XP welcome screen at Windows startup. Also when you click on "Log Off" or "Shutdown" options in Startmenu, it shows new XP Style dialog boxes as shown in following screenshots:
New XP Style Log Off Dialog Box:
New_Log_Off.jpg
New XP Style Shutdown Dialog Box:
New_Shutdown.jpg
There are also Classic dialog boxes available in Windows XP. If you don't want the new XP Style dialog boxes, you can enable the old Classic dialog boxes as shown in following screenshots:
Classic Log Off Dialog Box:
Old_Logoff.jpg
Classic Shutdown Dialog Box:
Old_Shutdown.jpg
Following tutorial will help you in enabling/disabling the new XP Style dialog boxes and Welcome Screen:
1. Open User Accounts applet in Control Panel.
2. Click on "Change the way users log on or off" link as shown in following screenshot:
Change_Way.jpg
3. It'll show a new page containing 2 options:
  • Use the Welcome screen
  • Use Fast User Switching
Enable_Welcome_Screen.jpg
Now if you want to disable new Welcome screen and XP style dialog boxes, then disable both options. Or if you want to enable welcome screen and new XP style dialog boxes, then enable both options.
NOTE: You might get following error message while enabling "Use Fast User Switching" option:
Fast User Switching cannot be used because Offline Files is currently enabled. To make changes to Offline Files, click OK.
If you get this error message, click on OK button and it'll show a new dialog box. Now disable "Enable offline files" option in this dialog box and click on OK button. Now you'll be able to enable "Use Fast User Switching" option.

Folder View: An Excellent Add-on for Windows Explorer

Folder View is a free (freeware) add-on for Windows that drastically enhances the way you browse the folders on your system. Files are often scattered around many different folders on the hard disk and locations on the network. Every time you want to copy, move, open or save a file, this situation leads you to a quest through levels of folders.
With Folder View, these quests are over. Folder View enhances the Windows file Explorer by making all folders you need available in a single click. It integrates with other applications, speeding up opening and saving of files and also lets you copy and move files very quickly.

More Info
Homepage
Download

How to Enable / Disable Changing Themes, Wallpapers, Screen Savers and Other Desktop Settings?

In Windows you can change desktop wallpaper, screen saver, themes and other appearance settings by right-click on Desktop and select "Properties".
Sometimes you might want to disable all or a few options in Desktop Properties to restrict users or you might want to enable those options in case they are disabled by your system administrator or a virus infection.
Following tutorial will help you in enabling or disabling all or a particular option in Desktop Properties:
NOTE: This tutorial will work for almost all Windows versions.
A. Disable Themes Tab in Desktop Properties:
Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer
If "Explorer" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoThemesTab and set its value to 1 to disable it.
Restricted_XP_Themes.jpg
B. Disable Desktop Tab in Desktop Properties:
Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System
If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispBackgroundPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.
Restricted_XP_Desktop.jpg
C. Disable Screen Saver Tab in Desktop Properties:
Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System
If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispScrSavPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.
Restricted_XP_Screen_Saver.jpg
D. Disable both Themes and Appearance Tabs in Desktop Properties:
Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System
If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispAppearancePage and set its value to 1 to disable it.
Restricted_XP_Appearance.jpg
E. Disable Settings Tab in Desktop Properties:
Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System
If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispSettingsPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.
Restricted_XP_Settings.jpg
BONUS TIP: In case you want to enable a restricted tab in Desktop Properties, just delete the required DWORD value as mentioned above or change its value to 0 instead of 1.

Options to Change Hidden Files and Folders Settings are not Available in Folder Options

As we all know we can change the settings to show / hide hidden files and folders from "Folder Options" which can be found under Tools menu in Windows XP or in Organize menu under Windows Vista and 7. Default_Hidden_Options.jpg
But sometimes you might find that the options to change the settings of hidden files and folders are not available in Folder Options. There may be following 4 cases:
  • The whole Hidden Files and Folders tree is not visible.
  • Only the heading Hidden files and folders is visible but it doesn't contain any option to choose from.
  • Only Do not show hidden files and folders option is available.
  • Only Show hidden files and folders option is available.
If you are also facing such problem, then download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted .REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it and your problem will be solved:
Download Registry Script

The Best and The Easiest Way to Slipstream Service Pack 3 (SP3) into Windows XP Setup

We all know Microsoft has released the third and last service pack for Windows XP. So here I'm posting a simple and detailed guide for slipstreaming this SP3 into your Windows XP Setup, so that whenever you do a fresh Windows installation, you'll not need to wait for hours to download and install Windows updates or to manually install SP3. If you are wondering why should I slipstream SP3 into my Windows setup, then following are a few points which will satisfy you:
1. By slipstreaming SP3 into Windows setup, you'll get an up-to-date Windows setup which will install an already updated Windows. So you'll not need to update it over Internet to download 100+ updates.
2. You'll not need to install SP3 manually after installing Windows as it'll already contain it. So it'll save your time.
3. You'll not need to enter Serial key at the installation time because SP3 includes this new feature which allows you to install Windows without entering serial key. You can enter it after the installation completes.
So here we start our slipstreaming tutorial:
Prerequisites:
Getting Started:
1. Create a new folder in your system e.g. "Windows XP Setup" and copy Windows setup from CD in this new folder.
2. Now open nLite and it'll show the welcome screen where you can select the language that will be used throughout the setup wizard.
3. Click on "Next" button.
4. Now it'll ask for the folder location where Windows XP setup is stored. Click on "Browse" button and locate the recently created folder. You can also type the folder location in the given textbox.
5. Once you tell the folder location, the wizard will automatically detect the Windows version, language, size and other details. Now click on "Next" button.
6. Now it'll show "Presets" page. We are not covering it in this tutorial as its not required. So just click on "Next" button again.
7. Now the wizard will show you a number of tasks which can be performed on the Windows setup like Service pack integration, drivers integration, removing unwanted components from setup, a few Windows tweaks and creating bootable ISO.
Since this tutorial is for slipstreaming SP3 into Windows Setup, we'll recommend you to select following 2 tasks:
  • Service Pack
  • Bootable ISO
8. Now click on "Next" button. The wizard will ask you to tell the SP3 file location.
Click on "Select" button and locate the SP3 EXE file. Once you tell the file location, setup will automatically start slipstreaming it into Windows Setup.
9. Click on "OK" button and then click on "Next" button.
10. Now the wizard will show "Bootable ISO" page. Where you can change the CD label.
11. Now click on "Make ISO" button and the wizard will start creating bootable ISO image.
12. When it'll complete the ISO image creation, it'll show a message at bottom.
13. Now click on "Next" button and it'll show the final completion message.
14. That's all. Click on "Finish" button.
15. Now you can burn the bootable ISO using Nero or any other CD burning software.
That's the end of this guide. Now you can enjoy your new Windows XP installation.
NOTE: You can also choose other tasks mentioned in Step 7, like Tweaks, Options which will allow you to enter Product key, owner name, organization name, timezone, etc to make the whole setup unattended.

Solution: Windows Explorer Folders Pane Grayed Out in Windows 2000, XP and 2003

Sometimes Windows XP, 2000 and 2003 users face a strange problem, the Folders Pane in Windows Explorer becomes grayed out e.g. disabled. It doesnt show the folder tree: Explorer_Pane_Not_Visible.jpg
To fix this problem, download following .ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted .REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:
folders_pane_grayed_out_in_windows_explorer_fix
Now try to open Windows Explorer again and it'll start showing the folder tree:
Explorer_Pane_Visible.jpg

Pitaschio: A Free Utility to Customize Windows and Desktop Experience

Pitaschio (yes, its the correct name not a spelling mistake) is a great, must have and absolutely free application for Microsoft Windows OS. It lets you customize how your icons appear on Desktop, how your opened Windows behave? You can customize lots of handy features which are not available in Windows settings by default.
Following are a few interesting things which can be done using this small nifty utility:
  • You can set Small Icons view on Desktop
  • You can disable Minimize, Maximize, Close button in Windows titlebar
  • You can disable Windows, CAPs Lock, ALT, Insert, Function keys
  • You can change Desktop icons text color
  • You can control volume using your mouse wheel
  • You can use virtual desktops
  • You can set Windows to stay within the visible display screen
  • You can set various mouse shortcuts
  • You can go to the parent folder by double-clicking anywhere in the child folder
  • You can set Windows transparency using mouse wheel
There are many other useful tweaks inside this small application. It supports both Windows XP as well as Windows Vista.
It doesnt need to install. Just download the ZIP file, extract it and run the application directly.
Download Link

How to Hide / Show Specific Control Panel Applets / Icons in Windows?

This tutorial will guide you to hide or show any specific Control Panel applet in Windows. This tutorial will work for all Windows versions: NT, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Server 2008 and 7.
METHOD A: For All Windows Versions except Windows 95, 98 & Me
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\
OR
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\
2. Under this key create a new key with the name don't load , so the new path will be:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\don't load
OR
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\don't load
3. Now in right-side pane, create new String value. Set its name to the file name of the applet which you want to hide, e.g. if you want to hide Display applet then set its name to Desk.cpl now set its value to no to hide it. If you want to show it again, either set its value to yes or simply delete the String value.
To use the above mentioned method, you'll need to know the .CPL file name of the desired applet. You can search for .CPL in Windows Search or you can use help of following list which contains .cpl file names of almost all default Control Panel applets:

METHOD B: For All Windows Versions except Windows 95, 98 & Me
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
2. Look for a key "Explorer" under it. If its not present, then create a new one and give it name Explorer.
3. Select "Explorer" key and in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value DisallowCpl and set its value to 1
4. Now create another new key under Explorer key with the name DisallowCpl so the new path will be:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer\DisallowCpl
5. Select "DisallowCpl" key and in right-side, create new String value with name 1 and set its value to the applet name which you want to hide.You don't need to use the .cpl file name of applet in this method. You have to put the applet label which you see in Control Panel.

e.g., If you want to hide AutoPlay applet, then create a new String value, give it name 1 and set its value to AutoPlay. If you want to hide more applets, then simply create more String values with names 2, 3 and so on and set their values to the applet label.
METHOD C: For All Windows Versions except Windows 95, 98 & Me
This method is opposite of METHOD B. In this method, you'll tell Windows which applets should be visible and Windows will automatically hide the rest.
Its useful when you want to show a few specific applets and want to hide remaining applets. So you just need to create a few String values to tell Windows which applets you want to show. It'll save your valuable time.
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
2. Look for a key "Explorer" under it. If its not present, then create a new one and give it name Explorer.
3. Select "Explorer" key and in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value RestrictCpl and set its value to 1
4. Now create another new key under Explorer key with the name RestrictCpl so the new path will be:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer\RestrictCpl
5. Select "RestrictCpl" key and in right-side, create new String value with name 1 and set its value to the applet name which you want to show.You don't need to use the .cpl file name of applet in this method. You have to put the applet label which you see in Control Panel.

e.g., If you want to show AutoPlay applet, then create a new String value, give it name 1 and set its value to AutoPlay. If you want to show more applets, then simply create more String values with names 2, 3 and so on and set their values to the applet label.
Now Windows will only show the applets which you mentioned in String values, other applets will be hidden.
METHOD D: For Windows 95, 98 & Me
1. Open "%windir%\Control.INI" file. Where "%windir%" denotes Windows folder which is present in system drive where Windows is installed.
2. You'll see a line saying [don't load] in the file. If you can't find it, then create a new line at last.
3. Now under this line, you can set .CPL file name of your desired applet which you want to hide in following format:
filename.cpl=no
e.g.,
If you want to hide Display applet, then the syntax will be:
desk.cpl=no
You can create similar lines for other applets which you want to hide. The .CPL file name can be obtained from the list mentioned in METHOD A.
METHOD E: Using TweakUI Power Toy
You can also use Microsoft official powertoy "TweakUI" to easily hide/show control panel applets.
Download TweakUI from here. Run it and click on "Control Panel" in left side section. Now in right-side list, you can easily hide/show desired applets by just enabling/disabling the appropriate applet checkbox.

Click on Apply button and you have done.
NOTE: This tutorial can also be used in case some applets in Control Panel have been disabled accidentally and you want to enable them again. Just follow the steps mentioned in above methods and delete the required string value or line.

Solution: Windows Desktop Does Not Save User Customized Settings

Sometimes people face a problem in Windows when Windows doesnt remember their customization settings on Desktop and taskbar, like icons positions, toolbars positions, taskbar position, etc. Recently I got a similar mail from a visitor "Onie Ward":
I downloaded something called Vista Customization Pack.
I've tried to uninstall this program (I'm on Windows XP) and it seems to have worked, EXCEPT that every time I login, my icons all line up on the left hand side of the page. I move them back to where I want them, but every login...moved. It all started when I installed Vista Customization Pack. I've emailed them, but haven't heard back.
Can you help?? Thanks.
So if you are also facing such problem, then this tutorial will help you in fixing the issue:
1. Open regedit and check for a DWORD value "NoSaveSettings" in right-side pane under following keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Program Manager\Restrictions
The DWORD value must present in any of above mentioned locations, most probably in the last one.
2. Once you find the DWORD value, delete it and restart your system. It'll solve your problem and Windows will remember your desktop settings.

How to Fix / Troubleshoot Various Taskbar Problems in Windows?

Here you can find solutions for a few frequently asked problems which are related to Windows Taskbar like:
  • Taskbar context menu is disabled. No menu appears when you right-click on taskbar.
  • "Lock the Taskbar" option is disabled.
  • Can't add toolbars using "Toolbars" option in Taskbar context menu.
  • Can't open Taskbar Properties. An error message appears.
  • Can't resize or move Taskbar.
So here we start:
=======================================
1. Taskbar context menu is disabled. No menu appears when you right-click on taskbar.
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoTrayContextMenu" DWORD value.
=======================================
2. "Lock the Taskbar" option is disabled. Whenever you right-click on Taskbar, "Lock the Taskbar" option is grayed out:
Lock_Taskbar_Option_Disabled.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "LockTaskbar" DWORD value.
=======================================
3. Can't add toolbars using "Toolbars" menu in Taskbar context menu. All options are grayed out:
Taskbar_Toolbars_Restriction.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoCloseDragDropBands" DWORD value.
=======================================
4. Can't open Taskbar Properties. Whenever you click on "Properties" in taskbar context menu, an error message appears:
Taskbar_Properties_Restrictions.jpg
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
In right-side pane, delete "NoSetTaskbar" DWORD value.
=======================================
5. Can't resize or move Taskbar even "Lock the Taskbar" option is unchecked.
Sol. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
In right-side pane, delete "TaskbarSizeMove" DWORD value.

How to Install and Apply Styler Toolbar Skin in Windows XP Explorer?

In this tutorial, we'll tell you how to install a Styler toolbar skin in Windows XP explorer? Many times we download a styler skin but can't find a way to install and use it. As you all know about "VistaVG Ultimate" theme for Windows XP which can make Windows XP look-a-like Vista: Download VistaVG Ultimate Theme for Windows XP
In this theme pack, we have included a styler skin "VistaVG" which adds a toolbar similar to Vista explorer toolbar having back, forward buttons along with addressbar and searchbar in XP explorer.
Many visitors don't find themselves comfortable in installing and applying this styler skin, so we are posting a detailed tutorial with screenshots which will help you in applying Styler toolbar skins:
1. First of all install "Styler" if you have not installed it yet. You can download it from following link:
Download Styler Free Version
2. Install it and log off.
3. Now open Explorer window and right-click on toolbar. Now enable "Styler Toolbar" option and disable other options like Standard Buttons, Address Bar, Links:
Adding_Styler_Toolbar_in_Explorer.jpg
4. Now copy the styler skin folder to following directory:
C:\Program Files\Styler\TB\skins\Styler's
Here C: is the drive where Windows is installed. Change it if your Windows is installed in some other partition.
5. Now click on the "Floppy" icon in Styler toolbar and select "Skin -> Styler's -> skin_name" (In our case the skin name will be VistaVG). It'll apply the new skin.
6. If you want to remove Menubar also, then double-click on Styler's icon in System Tray. It'll open Styler Options window. Go to "Toolbar" tab and enable "Hide Menubar" option.
7. That's it. Now you'll get your desired styler toolbar in Windows Explorer.

How to Fix “Windows NT Setup Files Detected” Error Message While Running UXTheme Patcher in Windows XP

As you all know that Windows by default doesnt allow 3rd party themes to be used. But you can patch system files to use them without any problem. In Windows XP, you need to patch "UXTheme.dll" file to be able to use 3rd party themes. As you might be aware of my "VistaVG" and "SevenVG" theme series:
Theme for Windows XP
Although I have included all required steps to use these themes in the description as well as in Readme file but sometimes people face problem while patching the "UXTheme.dll" file using UXTheme Patcher.
One of our site visitor "Red" asked following query related to UXTheme Patcher:
i have downloaded the UXTheme Patcher and an error occurred. it said that it has detected that there’s any windows NT steup file in C:\i386. it also said that i must reject the windows NT CD or move that folder to somewhere else. what do i do?
Actually this UXTheme Patcher error is quite common. It mostly occurs in branded computers. Most companies put a folder "i386" in their systems which contains Windows setup files for system recovery.
When you run UXTheme Patcher, it detects this folder and shows following error message:
UXTheme_Patcher_i386_Error.jpg
In the above picture the path mentioned is "C:\i386", that means "Windows" folder in C: drive contains "i386" folder and UXTheme patcher will not run unless you rename this folder. This path might differ for different computers.
So the solution for this problem is, just rename the "i386" folder to any other name, e.g. "i386 Backup", and then run UXTheme Patcher again. Now it'll run without any problem.
After patching successfully, you can again rename the folder to its original name.

How to Restore Missing “Desktop (create shortcut)” Item in Send To Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

A few people asked solution of this frequently occurring problem, so today I decided to post a simple and detailed solution of this problem. As we all know about "Send To" menu which appears when we right-click on a file or folder in Windows Explorer. It contains some useful items like "Desktop (create shortcut)" which can create a shortcut of the selected file/folder on Desktop within a few seconds. Its really a useful option.
But sometimes this item gets deleted from "Send To" menu accidentally or intentionally. Following tutorial will help you in restoring this useful item back in "Send To" menu:
METHOD A:
1. Type "shell:sendto" in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open "Send To" folder.
2. Now right-click on blank area in the folder and select "New -> Text document". It'll create a text file with the name "New Text Document.txt". Rename this file and set its name to "Desktop (create shortcut).DeskLink".
3. That's it. Now you'll get "Desktop (create shortcut)" option back in "Send To" menu.
NOTE: Make sure "Hide extensions for known file types" option is disabled in "Folder Options", otherwise the second step might not work and the text file will not convert in desktop shortcut item.
METHOD B:
This method will only work in Windows XP. It'll not work in Vista and 7:
1. Type following command in RUN dialog box:
regsvr32 sendmail.dll
2. It'll re-create the missing "Desktop (create shortcut) option in "Send To" menu.
METHOD C:
This is the simplest method. Just download following zip file, extract it and copy the extracted file to "Send To" folder:
desktop-create-shortcut

How to Restore Missing “Compressed (zipped) Folder” Item in Send To Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Here is another frequently occurring problem regarding to "Send To" menu. As we all know about "Send To" menu which appears when we right-click on a file or folder in Windows Explorer. It contains some useful items including "Compressed (zipped) Folder" which can create a ZIP file of the selected files/folders within a few seconds without using any 3rd party compression utility. Its really a useful option.
But sometimes this item gets deleted from "Send To" menu accidentally or intentionally. Following tutorial will help you in restoring this useful item back in "Send To" menu:
METHOD A:
This method will only work in Windows XP. It'll not work in Vista and 7:
1. Type following command in RUN dialog box:
rundll32 zipfldr.dll,RegisterSendto
2. It'll re-create the missing "Compressed (zipped) Folder" option in "Send To" menu.
METHOD B:
This is the simplest method. Just download following zip file, extract it and copy the extracted file to "Send To" folder:

How to Modify or Disable ScanDisk Timeout Value on Windows Startup?

When Windows is not shutdown properly, an automatic scandisk is performed on next system startup. Actually Windows runs "Autochk.exe" file to perform scandisk operation. Automatic_Scandisk_at_Windows_Start.jpg
Windows shows 10 seconds timeout so that we can bypass the automatic scandisk. This tutorial will help you in modifying this timeout value.
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
2. In right-side pane create or modify DWORD value AutoChkTimeOut and set its value to the amount of time in seconds you want to show in timeout. For example, if you want to show 5 seconds timeout, then set its value to 5
NOTE: If no value is set, default 10 seconds value will be used by Windows. Also Windows will not accept timeout value more than 3 days, i.e. 259,200 seconds.

Set Explorer View as Default for My Computer and Other Folder Windows in Windows XP

When you open My Computer or any other folder in Windows XP, it shows the Common Tasks in left side as default view. Default_My_Computer_Window.jpg
When you open Windows Explorer, it shows Folder list in left side as default view.
Explorer_View_in_My_Computer_Window.jpg
Many people like me find Explorer view more convenient and useful rather than the common tasks pane. So here is a small trick which can be used to set "Explorer" view as default in My Computer and all folder windows. So whenever you'll open My Computer or any folder, it'll show Folder list just like Windows Explorer instead of the common tasks in left side.
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell
2. In right-side pane, set value of "Default" to explore
Setting_Explorer_View_from_Registry.jpg
3. That's it. Now open My Computer or any other folder, it'll show Folder List in left side pane.
NOTE: To revert back to default view, just delete Default key from right-side pane mentioned in Step 2.

Create a Virtual Drive for Your Desired Folder in My Computer Using Subst Command

Today we are going to tell you about a secret DOS command "subst" which can be used to create a virtual drive in Windows Explorer for any of your desired folder. For example, if you frequently use a folder "E:\Wallpapers", then you can create a virtual drive in Explorer which will directly go to this folder whenever you double click on it or access it from RUN or Command Prompt. It'll save a lot of time.
Here is how to do it:
1. Open Command Prompt and provide following command:
subst drive_letter: folder_path
for example, if you want to create a virtual drive letter H: for a folder "E:\Wallpapers", then use following command:
subst H: E:\Wallpapers
Creating_Virtual_Drive_using_subst_.jpg
2. It'll immediately create a virtual drive H: which will represent the "Wallpapers" folder:
Before using subst command:
Default_Drives_in_My_Computer.jpg
After using subst command:
Virtual_Drive_in_My_Computer.jpg
3. As you can see. A new drive letter H: has been created which directly goes to "E:\Wallpapers" folder upon double-click.
4. If you want to delete this virtual drive, then provide following command:
subst drive_letter: /D
for example, we created H: drive in Step1, so our command to delete this virtual drive would be:
subst H: /D
Deleting_Virtual_Drive_using_subst_.jpg
5. You can view a list of all existing virtual drives by simply giving subst command without any parameter in Command Prompt.
NOTE:
A. Remember! You can't use existing drive letters for creating virtual drives, e.g. if you have 2 partitions C: and D:, then you can't use them for subst command.
B. You should not use chkdsk, diskcomp, diskcopy, format, label and recover commands on virtual drives created using subst command as these virtual drives are not real and these commands either will not work or can cause problems for the actual drives where the folders reside.

How to Enable / Disable New -> Shortcut Menu in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Many system administrators or home users want to restrict a few things from other users for security purposes. Creation of "New Shortcut" is one of them. Many times we restrict drive access but sometimes it might be accessible using "New -> Shortcut" menu.
So here I'll tell you a simple method to disable "New -> Shortcut" menu, so that no one will be able to create a new shortcut anywhere in your system.
The method to disable "New -> Shortcut" menu is different for Windows XP and Vista. So I'll tell both of them one by one. The method for Windows XP will also work for Windows NT, 98, Me, 2000 and 2003. And the method of Windows Vista will also work for Windows 2008 and Windows Seven.
Disable "New -> Shortcut" Menu in Windows XP:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew
XP_Shellnew_Key.jpg
2. In right-side pane, you'll see a string value "Command". Double-click on it and delete the complete string from "Value data" box.
3. That's it. Now whenever a user will try to create "New -> Shortcut", Windows will show following error message:
Error_while_creating_new_shortcut_i.jpg
And the process will create an empty file "New Shortcut" which you can delete later.
Disable "New -> Shortcut" Menu in Windows Vista and 7:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew
Deleting_Shellnew_Key.jpg
2. Now delete the "Shellnew" key.
3. That's it. It'll completely remove "Shortcut" item from "New" menu:
Vista_New_Context_Menu_without_Shor.jpg
NOTE: If you want to restore the "New -> Shortcut" menu and its functionality, then download the appropriate ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted .REG file. It'll revert back to default settings:
Restore New -> Shortcut Functionality in Windows XP
Restore New -> Shortcut Functionality in Windows Vista and 7

Windows SteadyState 2.5: Easily Manage Your Shared Computers

Windows® SteadyState™ 2.5 is now available on Windows XP and Windows Vista. Whether you manage computers in a school computer lab or an Internet cafe, a library, or even in your home, Windows SteadyState helps make it easy for you to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them. SteadyState Helps Make it Easier to Manage Your Shared Computers:
Shared computers are commonly found in schools, Internet and gaming cafes, libraries, and community centers. It is increasingly common for owners, teachers, or non-technical personnel to manage shared computers in addition to their many other responsibilities.
Managing shared computers can be difficult, technically challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. And what’s more, without system restrictions and protections, users can inadvertently change the desktop appearance, reconfigure system settings, and introduce unwanted software, viruses, and other harmful programs. Repairing damaged shared computers can require significant time and effort.
User privacy is also an issue for shared computer environments. Shared computers often use shared user accounts that make Internet history, saved documents, and cached Web pages available to subsequent users.
Windows SteadyState provides a more effective way to help defend shared computers from changes by untrusted users and unwanted software installations. It can also help safeguard system resources.
Windows SteadyState Features:
Windows SteadyState includes the following features to help you manage your shared computers:
Getting Started – Provides the initial steps to help you during your first time use of Windows SteadyState.
Windows Disk Protection – Help protect the Windows partition, which contains the Windows operating system and other programs, from being modified without administrator approval.Windows SteadyState allows you to set Windows Disk Protection to remove all changes upon restart, to remove changes at a certain date and time, or to not remove changes at all. If you choose to use Windows Disk Protection to remove changes, any changes made by shared users when they are logged on to the computer are removed when the computer is restarted.
User Restrictions and Settings – The user restrictions and settings can help to enhance and simplify the user experience. Restrict user access to programs, settings, Start menu items, and options in Windows. You can also lock shared user accounts to prevent changes from being retained from one session to the next.
User Account Manager – Create and delete user accounts. You can use Windows SteadyState to create user accounts on alternative drives that will retain user data and settings even when Windows Disk Protection is turned on. You can also import and export user settings from one computer to another—saving valuable time and resources.
Computer Restrictions – Control security settings, privacy settings, and more, such as preventing users from creating and storing folders in drive C and from opening Microsoft Office documents from Internet Explorer®.
Schedule Software Updates – Update your shared computer with the latest software and security updates when it is convenient for you and your shared users.
System Requirements:
Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP
Download Link

How to Disable / Restrict Use of USB Storage Devices in Windows?

Many times we want to restrict users from using USB drives in our systems. Suppose you have some important data and a friend comes and takes the data in his USB drive. This tutorial will help you in completely disable the use of USB drives in system. After applying this tutorial, users will not be able to use USB drives. Windows will not detect it.
The tutorial is divided into 2 parts:
  • If the USB storage device is not installed in system
  • If the USB storage device is already installed in system
So lets start this tutorial:
If the USB storage device is not installed in system:
1. Type %windir%\inf in Explorer addressbar or RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open "inf" folder.
2. Now look for following 2 files:
  • usbstor.inf
  • usbstor.pnf
3. Now you have to change their user permissions setting. Do as following for each file:
Right-click on the file and select "Properties". Goto "Security" tab and select the desired user or group in "Group or user names" list which you want to restrict from using USB drives. Now in "Permissions for Users" list, click on "Deny" checkbox next to "Full control" option and then click on OK.
Change_Permissions_for_usbstor_file.jpg
NOTE: In Windows Vista, you'll have to click on "Edit" button after selecting the user or group in "Group or user names" list and then again select the same user or group in new dialog box. Now you can click on "Deny" checkbox.
4. That's it. Now users will not be able to install any USB storage device in system.
If the USB storage device is already installed in system:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor
2. In right-side pane, change value of "Start" to 4
Change_Start_Value_for_USBStor_in_R.jpg
3. Now whenever a user will attach a USB storage device which is already installed in system, Windows will not detect it and it'll not be shown in My Computer.
NOTE: If you want to revert it back to default, then change the value of "Start" to 3
BONUS TIP: If you want to restrict only writing to USB storage devices, then take a look at Point 15 in following tutorial:
All Kinds of Restrictions for Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista

How to Fix Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Stuck at Annoying First Run Welcome Page http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2.aspx

When you run Internet Explorer 7 for first time, it shows a first run welcome page "http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2.aspx" and you need to select your customization settings and then click on "Save your settings" button. This page will be displayed each time you open IE7 until you complete the customization wizard and save your settings.
Sometimes people face problems as given below:
  • The Runonce page is displayed every time even you have completed the customization process.
  • A blank page appears even you have selected some other page as your Homepage.
  • An "Error on page" appears with a plain blue color page.
  • "Save your settings" button doesnt work and shows following error:
  • Line 56 Char:2 Error: Element not found Code: 0 URL: http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2aspx
  • IE7 shows following error upon startup:
  • Server Error in '/' Application. ------------------------------------------------------ The resource cannot be found. Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly. Requested URL: /runonce2.aspx
All above mentioned problems occur if the Welcome page in IE7 is not loaded correctly or if it opens with restricted security settings.
If you are also facing this problem, then follow these simple steps and your problem will be solved:
1. Open regedit and goto:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
2. In right-side pane, look for 2 DWORD values:
  • RunOnceComplete
  • RunOnceHasShown
3. Make sure both have their values set to 1. If any or both of them is set to 0, then change it to 1
Internet_Explorer_7_Run_Once_Welcom.jpg
4. That's it. Exit registry editor and start Internet Explorer. Now it'll not show the welcome page and will directly go to your Homepage.
NOTE: If you don't want to edit registry manually and want a ready-made file to do this task, then download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the extracted REG file:
fix_ie7_run_once_welcome_page_problem

TeraCopy: Copy Your Files Faster and Easier

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user a lot of features:
  • Copy files faster: TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
  • Pause and resume file transfers: Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
  • Error recovery: In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
  • Interactive file list: TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
  • Shell integration: TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
  • Full Unicode support.

Download Free Version
Buy Pro Version

How to Access Linux Partitions (ext2, ext3) From Windows in Dual-Boot System?

If you have a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux, you probably know that Windows and Linux both use different file systems. Windows uses FAT32 and NTFS file systems where as Linux uses ext2 and ext3 file systems.
You can access Windows partitions from Linux but on the other hand Windows doesnt allow access to Linux partitions.
Many times we might need to access files stored in Linux partitions and we realize that we can't access them from Windows. In this situation we have to reboot our system in Linux to access those files.
Would not it be better if we could access Linux partitions from Windows? Indeed, it would. That's why here I'm sharing 4 interesting FREE tools which allow to access Linux partitions from Windows:
  • Explore2fs (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 IFS (Installable File System) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • DiskInternals Linux reader (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 FSD (File System Driver) (Read as well as Write Access)
Explore2fs:
Explore2fs is a GUI explorer tool for accessing ext2 and ext3 file systems. It runs under all versions of Windows and can read almost any ext2 and ext3 file system.
Download Link
Ext2 IFS (Installable File System):
Ext2 IFS provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista with full access to Linux Ext2 volumes (read access and write access). It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating system to include the Ext2 file system.
Ext2 volumes get drive letters. Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications.
Download Link
DiskInternals Linux reader:
DiskInternals Linux Reader runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there. The program provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions.
Download Link
Ext2 FSD (File System Driver):
Ext2 FSD is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (NT/2K/XP/VISTA, X86/AMD64).
Download Link

How to Remove Linux Boot Loader From Startup After Deleting Linux Partition on a Dual-Boot System?

If you have a dual-boot system with Linux and Windows, then you probably know that when you start your system first Linux boot loader appears showing Linux as well as Windows boot entries and if you select Windows from the list, it starts Windows. Suppose a situation when you want to remove Linux from your system and want to use only Windows, then how will you do it?
Many times people delete the partitions having Linux installed from "Disk Manager" but it doesnt remove Linux completely. The Linux boot loader still appears at startup but since you deleted Linux partitions, the boot loader gets corrupted and your system becomes unusable.
So if you are also facing this problem or you faced this problem in past and could not get a working solution, then read this tutorial and you can follow it if you find yourself in a similar situation.
This tutorial will help you in completely removing Linux from a dual-boot system:
1. First you'll need to boot using Windows setup CD. You can use Windows 98 Setup CD or Windows 2000, XP, 2003  CD or Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7 DVD.
A. Using Windows 98 CD:
Boot into Command Prompt and provide following command:
fdisk /MBR
Now exit from command prompt by typing Exit and press Enter.
B. Using Windows 2000, XP, 2003 CD:
Enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R", select your Windows installation and enter administrator password. Now provide following command:
fixmbr
Press "Y" to confirm and type Exit to exit from recovery console.
C. Using Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7 DVD:
Boot using setup DVD and click on "Repair Computer" link, then click on "Command Prompt". Now navigate to your DVD drive using CD command and at last provide following command:
bootsect /nt60 SYS /mbr
Exit from Command prompt and restart your system.
Thanks to Ramesh Kumar (Fellow MVP) to provide this trick.
2. The above commands will remove the Linux boot loader from startup and you'll be able to directly boot into Windows.
3. If you have not deleted Linux partitions, then you can delete them using "Disk Manager" tool in Windows.

Hidden Trick to Exit Windows Explorer Using Shutdown Dialog Box in Windows XP

Many times we install a software, shell extension which requires a restart. Sometimes logging off or end task of Explorer does the job and we don't need to restart the whole system. We usually End task of Explorer using Task Manager but Windows XP provides a lot easier way to Exit Explorer which is better than using Task Manager to forcefully End task of Explorer. Its a hidden option in Windows XP. Do as following to close Explorer cleanly and safely:
1. Click on Startmenu and then click on Shutdown button. It'll show shutdown dialog box as following:

Now press "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Shift" keys and click on "Cancel" button. It'll close the Explorer.
2. To get the Explorer back, press "Ctrl+Shift+Esc" keys and it'll open Task Manager. Now click on "File -> New Task (Run...)" option.
Creating_New_Task_in_Task_Manager_i.jpg
3. Type explorer in the text box and click on OK button:
Starting_Explorer_using_Task_Man-1.jpg
4. That's it. Windows Explorer will be back.
This method is much safe and has been recommended by Microsoft itself.
If you are using Windows Vista or Server 2008, then you can use following tutorial to safely and cleanly close Windows Explorer:
Hidden Trick to Exit Windows Explorer Using Start Menu in Windows Vista and 7

Get Windows Vista Explorer Breadcrumbs in Windows XP

Windows Vista Explorer has an enhanced addressbar which contains breadcurmbs for better and easier navigation. There are a few tools available for Windows XP which provide the similar functionality in XP. I blogged about "QT Addressbar" in past which adds the same breadcrumbs in Windows XP Explorer addressbar.
Today I'm going to post about another similar tool "Explorer Breadcrumbs" from Minimalist. Explorer Breadcrumbs is an add-in for Windows Explorer which contains a contextual series of buttons that allows you to quickly see and navigate through the entire folder hierarchy without leaving the current window.

Features List:
  • Saves time navigating through folders and files
  • Seamless integration with Windows Explorer
  • Changes appearance along with Windows themes
Although this tool has been created for Windows XP but according to the developers, it should also work for Windows 98, Me, 2000 and 2003.
Download Link

ViStart: A Windows Vista and 7 Start Menu Clone for Windows XP

Many people don't like Windows Vista or 7 but they do like the new Start menu which is easy to use, full of new features like instant search and looks great. Now if you don't want to upgrade to Vista or 7 but want the same Start menu functionality in XP, then "ViStart" is a boon for you. ViStart is an excellent Vista and 7 Start menu clone for Windows XP. It integrates itself into Explorer perfectly. It replaces the default XP Start menu and brings the new Vista and 7 Start menu to XP.
It also indexes all program files and personal files, so you can get the same instant search results as of Windows Vista and 7, even better than Vista.
ViStart is also skinnable, i.e. you can create your own ViStart skins and can change its look. There are lots of skins available for ViStart at DeviantART.com.

Its absolutely FREE and portable, so you don't need to install it. Just run the EXE file and enjoy it.
Download Link

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