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  PC-Net's PC News - December, 2001
Don Watkins

First XP Tweaks

By Don Watkins



Several tips and fixes have already emerged from member posts in the message area that "fix" some of the issues in XP.

Exclude ZIP files from Search.

The first is the search facility which is a lot slower than any other version of Windows I've installed. I noted that it was getting incredibly bogged down in certain areas.

Chris Dunford noted that, by default, XP search looks inside of CAB and ZIP files which squared with my observation that XP search was crawling when it hit the Java folder.

Chris has a fix to eliminate that:

Disable all running programs.

From the command prompt type:

regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll

reboot immediately

This eliminates compressed file searching.

Want to undo the change? Simply rerun the command without the /u switch.

Remove MSN Messenger

Removing MSN Messenger files can also be a problem as simply removing them via add/remove doesn't delete the files.

Here's the process:

1. Run gpedit.msc and go to Windows Components then Windows Messenger. Change the options that allow Windows Messenger to run or auto start. You may not have this entry if MSN Messenger doesn't start automatically.

2. With notepad edit the sysoc.inf file in the C:\windows\inf folder and remove all the hide statements for all lines. The line that concerns Messenger is:


3. Go to Add Remove Windows Components in the Control Panel and remove Messenger. This does not remove all the folders and files.

4. Go to C:\Program Files and delete the folder called Messenger.

5. Copy and Paste the following into your run command or run from the DOS Prompt.

rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection BLC.Remove 128 %SystemRoot%\INF\msmsgs.inf

6. Run regedit, search for MSN messenger and delete all references to C:\Program Files\Messenger. Don't delete any references to messenger if it does not contain a pointer to C:\Program Files\Messenger. You may not have any entries, so don't be concerned if search doesn't turn any up

Set Keyboard Status at Boot (num lock, scroll lock, caps lock)

I follow good security advise (ha!) and use a password of letters and number yet when XP boots the num lock is disabled. That means I have to hit an extra key to enable it. Wow, I know, but I'm lazy.

I've read over and over that Windows XP will remember that state of the num lock and will restart in that state. Not on any of my XP boxes.

But there is a quick registry change that'll fix it up.

Click start, run and type in regedit to open the registry editor program.

Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard

The value of InitialKeyboardIndicators controls the state of num lock, caps lock and scroll lock:

0 - Indicators off
1 - Caps Lock on
2 - Num Lock on
3 - Caps Lock on and Num Lock on
4 - Scroll Lock on
5 - Caps Lock on and Scroll Lock on
6 - Num Lock on and Scroll Lock on
7 - Caps Lock on, Num Lock on, and Scroll Lock on

So to enable num lock at boot time set the value to 2, close regedit and reboot.

Be sure and drop by the message area for further tips and links to other tip sites and let us know of your experiences.

Recommended XP tweak download:

Tweaking Toolbox XP - The complete tool for tweaking XP
AutoPilot for XP - Depending on your computer load AutoPilot can increase performance by 40% (I've see it!). Worth trying.
XP Smoker - Way cool tweaking tool for XP. Very effective at improving XP stability.



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