02 February, 2008

Keyboard shortcuts to make your life easier

General Keyboard Shortcuts, General Keyboard Shortcuts

General Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL+C (Copy)
CTRL+X (Cut)
CTRL+V (Paste)
CTRL+Z (Undo)
DELETE (Delete)
SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)
CTRL+A (Select all)
F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
F5 key (Update the active window)
BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
ESC (Cancel the current task)
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)
Dialog Box Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)
TAB (Move forward through the options)
SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)
ALT+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option)
ENTER (Perform the command for the active option or button)
SPACEBAR (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
F1 key (Display Help)
F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
BACKSPACE (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Shortcuts
Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

Accessibility Keyboard Shortcuts

Right SHIFT for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK (Switch the MouseKeys either on or off)
SHIFT five times (Switch the StickyKeys either on or off)
NUM LOCK for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off)
Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)
Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts
END (Display the bottom of the active window)
HOME (Display the top of the active window)
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
LEFT ARROW (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
RIGHT ARROW (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder)

Shortcut Keys for Character Map

After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the keyboard shortcuts:
RIGHT ARROW (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
LEFT ARROW (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line)
UP ARROW (Move up one row)
DOWN ARROW (Move down one row)
PAGE UP (Move up one screen at a time)
PAGE DOWN (Move down one screen at a time)
HOME (Move to the beginning of the line)
END (Move to the end of the line)
CTRL+HOME (Move to the first character)
CTRL+END (Move to the last character)
SPACEBAR (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected)
Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Main Window Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+O (Open a saved console)
CTRL+N (Open a new console)
CTRL+S (Save the open console)
CTRL+M (Add or remove a console item)
CTRL+W (Open a new window)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the MMC window menu)
ALT+F4 (Close the console)
ALT+A (Display the Action menu)
ALT+V (Display the View menu)
ALT+F (Display the File menu)
ALT+O (Display the Favorites menu)
MMC Console Window Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+P (Print the current page or active pane)
ALT+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
CTRL+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
CTRL+F5 (Restore the active console window)
ALT+ENTER (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut closes the console)

Remote Desktop Connection Navigation

CTRL+ALT+END (Open the Microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
ALT+PAGE UP (Switch between programs from left to right)
ALT+PAGE DOWN (Switch between programs from right to left)
ALT+INSERT (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
ALT+HOME (Display the Start menu)
CTRL+ALT+BREAK (Switch the client computer between a window and a full screen)
ALT+DELETE (Display the Windows menu)
CTRL+ALT+Minus sign (-) (Place a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)
CTRL+ALT+Plus sign (+) (Place a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)

Microsoft Internet Explorer Navigation

CTRL+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
CTRL+E (Open the Search bar)
CTRL+F (Start the Find utility)
CTRL+H (Open the History bar)
CTRL+I (Open the Favorites bar)
CTRL+L (Open the Open dialog box)
CTRL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address)
CTRL+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
CTRL+P (Open the Print dialog box)
CTRL+R (Update the current Web page)
CTRL+W (Close the current window)

Win XP Tweaks


Windows Prefetcher

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Session Manager Memory Management PrefetchParameters]

Under this key there is a setting called EnablePrefetcher, the default setting of which is 3. Increasing this number to 5 gives the prefetcher system more system resources to prefetch application data for faster load times. Depending on the number of boot processes you run on your computer, you may get benefits from settings up to 9. However, I do not have any substantive research data on settings above 5 so I cannot verify the benefits of a higher setting. This setting also may effect the loading times of your most frequently launched applications. This setting will not take effect until after you reboot your system.

Master File Table Zone Reservation

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control FileSystem]

Under this key there is a setting called NtfsMftZoneReservation, the default setting of which is 1. The range of this value is from 1 to 4. The default setting reserves one-eighth of the volume for the MFT. A setting of 2 reserves one-quarter of the volume for the MFT. A setting of 3 for NtfsMftZoneReservation reserves three-eighths of the volume for the MFT and setting it to 4 reserves half of the volume for the MFT. Most users will never exceed one-quarter of the volume. I recommend a setting of 2 for most users. This allows for a "moderate number of files" commensurate with the number of small files included in most computer games and applications. Reboot after applying this tweak.

Optimize Boot Files

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Dfrg BootOptimizeFunction]

Under this key is a text value named Enable. A value of Y for this setting enables the boot files defragmenter. This setting defragments the boot files and may move the boot files to the beginning (fastest) part of the partition, but that last statement is unverified. Reboot after applying this tweak.

Optimizing Startup Programs [msconfig]

MSConfig, similar to the application included in Win9x of the same name, allows the user to fine tune the applications that are launched at startup without forcing the user to delve deep into the registry. To disable some of the applications launched, load msconfig.exe from the run command line, and go to the Startup tab. From there, un-ticking the checkbox next to a startup item will stop it from launching. There are a few application that you will never want to disable (ctfmon comes to mind), but for the most part the best settings vary greatly from system to system.

As a good rule of thumb, though, it is unlikely that you will want to disable anything in the Windows directory (unless it's a third-party program that was incorrectly installed into the Windows directory), nor will you want to disable anything directly relating to your system hardware. The only exception to this is when you are dealing with software, which does not give you any added benefits (some OEM dealers load your system up with software you do not need). The nice part of msconfig is that it does not delete any of the settings, it simply disables them, and so you can go back and restart a startup application if you find that you need it. This optimization won't take effect until after a reboot.

Bootvis Application

The program was designed by Microsoft to enable Windows XP to cold boot in 30 seconds, return from hibernation in 20 seconds, and return from standby in 10 seconds. Bootvis has two extremely useful features. First, it can be used to optimize the boot process on your computer automatically. Second, it can be used to analyze the boot process for specific subsystems that are having difficulty loading. The first process specifically targets the prefetching subsystem, as well as the layout of boot files on the disk. When both of these systems are optimized, it can result in a significant reduction in the time it takes for the computer to boot.

Before attempting to use Bootvis to analyze or optimize the boot performance of your system, make sure that the task scheduler service has been enabled – the program requires the service to run properly. Also, close all open programs as well – using the software requires a reboot.

To use the software to optimize your system startup, first start with a full analysis of a fresh boot. Start Bootvis, go to the Tools menu, and select next boot. Set the Trace Repetition Settings to 2 repetitions, Start at 1, and Reboot automatically. Then set the trace into motion. The system will fully reboot twice, and then reopen bootvis and open the second trace file (should have _2 in the name). Analyze the graphs and make any changes that you think are necessary (this is a great tool for determining which startup programs you want to kill using msconfig). Once you have made your optimizations go to the Trace menu, and select the Optimize System item. This will cause the system to reboot and will then make some changes to the file structure on the hard drive (this includes a defragmentation of boot files and a shifting of their location to the fastest portion of the hard disk, as well as some other optimizations). After this is done, once again run a Trace analysis as above, except change the starting number to 3. Once the system has rebooted both times, compare the charts from the second trace to the charts for the fourth trace to show you the time improvement of the system's boot up.

The standard defragmenter included with Windows XP will not undo the boot optimizations performed by this application.

General Performance Tweaks

IRQ Priority Tweak

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE System CurrentControlSet Control PriorityControl]

You will need to create a new DWORD: IRQ#Priority (where # is the number of the IRQ you want to prioritize) and give it a setting of 1. This setting gives the requisite IRQ channel priority over the other IRQs on a software level. This can be extremely important for functions and hardware subsystems that need real-time access to other parts of the system. There are several different subsystems that might benefit from this tweak. Generally, I recommend giving either the System CMOS or the video card priority. The System CMOS generally has an IRQ setting of 8, and giving it priority enhances the I/O performance of the system. Giving priority to the video card can increase frame rates and make AGP more effective.

You can give several IRQs priority, but I am not entirely certain how the system interacts when several IRQs are given priority – it may cause random instabilities in the system, although it is more likely that there's a parsing system built into Windows XP to handle such an occurrence. Either way, I would not recommend it.

QoS tweak

QoS (Quality of Service) is a networking subsystem which is supposed to insure that the network runs properly. The problem with the system is that it eats up 20% of the total bandwidth of any networking service on the computer (including your internet connection). If you are running XP Professional, you can disable the bandwidth quota reserved for the system using the Group Policy Editor [gpedit.msc].

You can run the group policy editor from the Run command line. To find the setting, expand "Local Computer Policy" and go to "Administrative Templates" under "Computer Configuration." Then find the "Network" branch and select "QoS Packet Scheduler." In the right hand box, double click on the "Limit Reservable Bandwidth." From within the Settings tab, enable the setting and then go into the "Bandwidth Limit %" and set it to 0%. The reason for this is that if you disable this setting, the computer defaults to 20%. This is true even when you aren't using QoS.

Free Idle Tasks Tweak

This tweak will free up processing time from any idle processes and allow it to be used by the foreground application. It is useful particularly if you are running a game or other 3D application. Create a new shortcut to "Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks" and place it on your desktop. Double-click on it anytime you need all of your processing power, before opening the application.

Windows Indexing Services
Windows Indexing Services creates a searchable database that makes system searches for words and files progress much faster – however, it takes an enormous amount of hard drive space as well as a significant amount of extra CPU cycles to maintain the system. Most users will want to disable this service to release the resources for use by the system. To turn off indexing, open My Computer and right click on the drive on which you wish to disable the Indexing Service. Enter the drive's properties and under the general tab, untick the box for "Allow the Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching."

Priority Tweak

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control PriorityControl]

This setting effectively runs each instance of an application in its own process for significantly faster application performance and greater stability. This is extremely useful for users with stability problems, as it can isolate specific instances of a program so as not to bring down the entire application. And, it is particularly useful for users of Internet Explorer, for if a rogue web page crashes your browser window, it does not bring the other browser windows down with it. It has a similar effect on any software package where multiple instances might be running at once, such as Microsoft Word. The only problem is that this takes up significantly more memory, because such instances of a program cannot share information that is in active memory (many DLLs and such will have to be loaded into memory multiple times). Because of this, it is not recommended for anyone with less than 512 MB of RAM, unless they are running beta software (or have some other reason for needing the added stability).

There are two parts to this tweak. First is to optimize XP's priority control for the processes. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control PriorityControl and set the "Win32PrioritySeparation" DWORD to 38. Next, go into My Computer and under Tools, open the Folder Options menu. Select the View tab and check the "Launch folder windows in separate process" box. This setting actually forces each window into its own memory tread and gives it a separate process priority.

Powertweak application


Powertweak is an application, which acts much like a driver for our chipsets. It optimizes the communication between the chipset and the CPU, and unlocks several "hidden" features of the chipset that can increase the speed of the system. Specifically, it tweaks the internal registers of the chipset and processor that the BIOS does not for better communication performance between subsystems. Supported CPUs and chipsets can see a significant increase in I/O bandwidth, increasing the speed of the entire system. Currently the application supports most popular CPUs and chipsets, although you will need to check the website for your specific processor/chipset combo – the programmer is working on integrating even more chipsets and CPUs into the software.

Offload Network Task Processing onto the Network Card

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Services Tcpip Parameters]

Many newer network cards have the ability of taking some of the network processing load off of the processor and performing it right on the card (much like Hardware T&L on most new video cards). This can significantly lower the CPU processes needed to maintain a network connection, freeing up that processor time for other tasks. This does not work on all cards, and it can cause network connectivity problems on systems where the service is enabled but unsupported, so please check with your NIC manufacturer prior to enabling this tweak. Find the DWORD "DisableTaskOffload" and set the value to 0 (the default value is 1). If the key is not already available, create it.

Force XP to Unload DLLs

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer]

XP has a bad habit of keeping dynamic link libraries that are no longer in use resident in memory. Not only do the DLLs use up precious memory space, but they also tend to cause stability problems in some systems. To force XP to unload any DLLs in memory when the application that called them is no longer in memory, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer and find the DWORD "AlwaysUnloadDLL". You may need to create this key. Set the value to 1 to force the operating system to unload DLLs.

Give 16-bit apps their own separate processes


By default, Windows XP will only open one 16-bit process and cram all 16-bit apps running on the system at a given time into that process. This simulates how MS-DOS based systems viewed systems and is necessary for some older applications that run together and share resources. However, most 16-bit applications work perfectly well by themselves and would benefit from the added performance and stability of their own dedicated resources. To force Windows XP to give each 16-bit application it's own resources, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control WOW and find the String "DefaultSeparateVDM". If it is not there, you may need to create it. Set the value of this to Yes to give each 16-bit application its own process, and No to have the 16-bit application all run in the same memory space.

Disable User Tracking

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer]

The user tracking system built into Windows XP is useless to 99% of users (there are very few uses for the information collected other than for a very nosy system admin), and it uses up precious resources to boot, so it makes sense to disable this "feature" of Windows XP. To do so, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer and find the DWORD "NoInstrumentation". You may need to create this key if it is not there. The default setting is 0, but setting it to 1 will disable most of the user tracking features of the system.

Thumbnail Cache

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced]

Windows XP has a neat feature for graphic and video files that creates a "thumbnail" of the image or first frame of the video and makes it into an oversized icon for the file. There are two ways that Explorer can do this, it can create them fresh each time you access the folder or it can load them from a thumbnail cache. The thumbnail caches on systems with a large number of image and video files can become staggeringly large. To disable the Thumbnail Cache, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced and find the DWORD "DisableThumbnailCache". You may need to create this key. A setting of 1 is recommended for systems where the number of graphic and video files is large, and a setting of 0 is recommended for systems not concerned about hard drive space, as loading the files from the cache is significantly quicker than creating them from scratch each time a folder is accessed.

XP Repair Install

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the
boot order in the system BIOS. Check your system documentation
for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the
options below This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

do not choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the
Recovery Console, press R", (you do not want to load Recovery
Console). I repeat, do not choose "To repair a Windows XP
installation using the Recovery Console, press R".

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing
Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and
press R to start the repair. If Repair is not one of the options,
read this Warning!!

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.
Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.
Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your
applications and settings will remain intact.

Blaster worm warning: Do not immediately activate over the internet
when asked, enable the XP firewall
[ http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=283673 ]
before connecting to the internet. You can activate after the
firewall is enabled. Control Panel - Network Connections. Right click
the connection you use, Properties, and there is a check box on the
Advanced [ http://michaelstevenstech.com/xpfirewall1.jpg ] page.

7. Reapply updates or service packs applied since initial Windows XP
installation. Please note that a Repair Install from the Original
install XP CD will remove SP1/SP2 and service packs will need to be
Service Pack 2
An option I highly recommend is creating a Slipstreamed XP CD with SP2.
Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2)



If the option to Repair Install is not available and you continue
with the install;you will delete your Windows folder and Documents
and Settings folder. All applications that place keys in the registry
will need to be re-installed. You should exit setup if the repair
option is not available and consider other options.

Try the link below if the repair option is not available.
Windows XP Crashed?
Here's Help.
A salvage mission into the depths of Windows XP, explained by a

by Charlie White

Related links
You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing,
or Upgrading Windows XP (Q312369)

System Restore "Restore Points" Are Missing or Deleted (Q301224)

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP

Warning!! If the Repair Option is not Available
What should I do? Most important do not ignore the information below!

If the option to Repair Install is NOT available and you continue
with the install; you will delete your Windows folder, Documents and
Settings folders. All Applications that place keys in the registry
will need to be re-installed.

You should exit setup if the repair option is not available and
consider other options. I have found if the Repair option is not
available, XP is usually not repairable and will require a Clean
If you still have the ability to access the Windows XP installation,
backup all important files not restorable from other sources before
attempting any recovery console trouble shooting attempts.

Possible Fix by reconfiguring boot.ini using Recovery Console.
1.Boot with XP CD or 6 floppy boot disk set.
2. Press R to load the Recovery Console.
3. Type bootcfg.
4. This should fix any boot.ini errors causing setup not to see the
XP OS install.
5. Try the repair install.

One more suggestion from MVP Alex Nichol

"Reboot, this time taking the immediate R option, and if the CD
letter is say K: give these commands

COPY K:i386ntldr C:
COPY K:i386ntdetect.com C:

(two other files needed - just in case)

1. Type: ATTRIB -H -R -S C:boot.ini DEL C:boot.ini

2. Type: BootCfg /Rebuild

which will get rid of any damaged boot.ini, search the disk for
systems and make a new one. This might even result in a damaged
windows reappearing; but gives another chance of getting at the

Feedback on success or failure of the above fixes would be greatly

Registry Tutorial

What is the Registry?
The Registry is a database used to store settings and options for the 32 bit versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 95, 98, ME and NT/2000. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of the PC. Whenever a user makes changes to a Control Panel settings, or File Associations, System Policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the Registry.

The physical files that make up the registry are stored differently depending on your version of Windows; under Windows 95 & 98 it is contained in two hidden files in your Windows directory, called USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT, for Windows Me there is an additional CLASSES.DAT file, while under Windows NT/2000 the files are contained seperately in the %SystemRoot%System32Config directory. You can not edit these files directly, you must use a tool commonly known as a "Registry Editor" to make any changes (using registry editors will be discussed later in the article).

The Structure of The Registry
The Registry has a hierarchal structure, although it looks complicated the structure is similar to the directory structure on your hard disk, with Regedit being similar to Windows Explorer.

Each main branch (denoted by a folder icon in the Registry Editor, see left) is called a Hive, and Hives contains Keys. Each key can contain other keys (sometimes referred to as sub-keys), as well as Values. The values contain the actual information stored in the Registry. There are three types of values; String, Binary, and DWORD - the use of these depends upon the context.

There are six main branches, each containing a specific portion of the information stored in the Registry. They are as follows:

* HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - This branch contains all of your file association mappings to support the drag-and-drop feature, OLE information, Windows shortcuts, and core aspects of the Windows user interface.
* HKEY_CURRENT_USER - This branch links to the section of HKEY_USERS appropriate for the user currently logged onto the PC and contains information such as logon names, desktop settings, and Start menu settings.
* HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - This branch contains computer specific information about the type of hardware, software, and other preferences on a given PC, this information is used for all users who log onto this computer.
* HKEY_USERS - This branch contains individual preferences for each user of the computer, each user is represented by a SID sub-key located under the main branch.
* HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG - This branch links to the section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE appropriate for the current hardware configuration.
* HKEY_DYN_DATA - This branch points to the part of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, for use with the Plug-&-Play features of Windows, this section is dymanic and will change as devices are added and removed from the system.

Each registry value is stored as one of five main data types:

* REG_BINARY - This type stores the value as raw binary data. Most hardware component information is stored as binary data, and can be displayed in an editor in hexadecimal format.
* REG_DWORD - This type represents the data by a four byte number and is commonly used for boolean values, such as "0" is disabled and "1" is enabled. Additionally many parameters for device driver and services are this type, and can be displayed in REGEDT32 in binary, hexadecimal and decimal format, or in REGEDIT in hexadecimal and decimal format.
* REG_EXPAND_SZ - This type is an expandable data string that is string containing a variable to be replaced when called by an application. For example, for the following value, the string "%SystemRoot%" will replaced by the actual location of the directory containing the Windows NT system files. (This type is only available using an advanced registry editor such as REGEDT32)
* REG_MULTI_SZ - This type is a multiple string used to represent values that contain lists or multiple values, each entry is separated by a NULL character. (This type is only available using an advanced registry editor such as REGEDT32)
* REG_SZ - This type is a standard string, used to represent human readable text values.

Other data types not available through the standard registry editors include:

* REG_DWORD_LITTLE_ENDIAN - A 32-bit number in little-endian format.
* REG_DWORD_BIG_ENDIAN - A 32-bit number in big-endian format.
* REG_LINK - A Unicode symbolic link. Used internally; applications should not use this type.
* REG_NONE - No defined value type.
* REG_QWORD - A 64-bit number.
* REG_QWORD_LITTLE_ENDIAN - A 64-bit number in little-endian format.
* REG_RESOURCE_LIST - A device-driver resource list.

Editing The Registry

The Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) is included with most version of Windows (although you won't find it on the Start Menu) it enables you to view, search and edit the data within the Registry. There are several methods for starting the Registry Editor, the simplest is to click on the Start button, then select Run, and in the Open box type "regedit", and if the Registry Editor is installed it should now open and look like the image below.

An alternative Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE) is available for use with Windows NT/2000, it includes some additional features not found in the standard version, including; the ability to view and modify security permissions, and being able to create and modify the extended string values REG_EXPAND_SZ & REG_MULTI_SZ.

Create a Shortcut to Regedit
This can be done by simply right-clicking on a blank area of your desktop, selecting New, then Shortcut, then in the Command line box enter "regedit.exe" and click Next, enter a friendly name (e.g. 'Registry Editor') then click Finish and now you can double click on the new icon to launch the Registry Editor.

Using Regedit to modify your Registry

Once you have started the Regedit you will notice that on the left side there is a tree with folders, and on the right the contents (values) of the currently selected folder.

Like Windows explorer, to expand a certain branch (see the structure of the registry section), click on the plus sign [+] to the left of any folder, or just double-click on the folder. To display the contents of a key (folder), just click the desired key, and look at the values listed on the right side. You can add a new key or value by selecting New from the Edit menu, or by right-clicking your mouse. And you can rename any value and almost any key with the same method used to rename files; right-click on an object and click rename, or click on it twice (slowly), or just press F2 on the keyboard. Lastly, you can delete a key or value by clicking on it, and pressing Delete on the keyboard, or by right-clicking on it, and choosing Delete.

Note: it is always a good idea to backup your registry before making any changes to it. It can be intimidating to a new user, and there is always the possibility of changing or deleting a critical setting causing you to have to reinstall the whole operating system. It's much better to be safe than sorry!

Importing and Exporting Registry Settings

A great feature of the Registry Editor is it's ability to import and export registry settings to a text file, this text file, identified by the .REG extension, can then be saved or shared with other people to easily modify local registry settings. You can see the layout of these text files by simply exporting a key to a file and opening it in Notepad, to do this using the Registry Editor select a key, then from the "Registry" menu choose "Export Registry File...", choose a filename and save. If you open this file in notepad you will see a file similar to the example below:


"CmdLine"="setup -newsetup"

The layout is quite simple, REGEDIT4 indicated the file type and version, [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMSetup] indicated the key the values are from, "SetupType"=dword:00000000 are the values themselves the portion after the "=" will vary depending on the type of value they are; DWORD, String or Binary.

So by simply editing this file to make the changes you want, it can then be easily distributed and all that need to be done is to double-click, or choose "Import" from the Registry menu, for the settings to be added to the system Registry.

Deleting keys or values using a REG file
It is also possible to delete keys and values using REG files. To delete a key start by using the same format as the the REG file above, but place a "-" symbol in front of the key name you want to delete. For example to delete the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMSetup] key the reg file would look like this:



The format used to delete individual values is similar, but instead of a minus sign in front of the whole key, place it after the equal sign of the value. For example, to delete the value "SetupType" the file would look like:



Use this feature with care, as deleting the wrong key or value could cause major problems within the registry, so remember to always make a backup first.

Regedit Command Line Options
Regedit has a number of command line options to help automate it's use in either batch files or from the command prompt. Listed below are some of the options, please note the some of the functions are operating system specific.

* regedit.exe [options] [filename] [regpath]
* [filename] Import .reg file into the registry
* /s [filename] Silent import, i.e. hide confirmation box when importing files
* /e [filename] [regpath] Export the registry to [filename] starting at [regpath]
e.g. regedit /e file.reg HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT
* /L:system Specify the location of the system.dat to use
* /R:user Specify the location of the user.dat to use
* /C [filename] Compress (Windows 9Cool
* /D [regpath] Delete the specified key (Windows 9Cool

Maintaining the Registry

How can you backup and restore the Registry?

Windows 95
Microsoft included a utility on the Windows 95 CD-ROM that lets you create backups of the Registry on your computer. The Microsoft Configuration Backup program, CFGBACK.EXE, can be found in the OtherMiscCfgback directory on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. This utility lets you create up to nine different backup copies of the Registry, which it stores, with the extension RBK, in your Windows directory. If your system is set up for multiple users, CFGBACK.EXE won't back up the USER.DAT file.

After you have backed up your Registry, you can copy the RBK file onto a floppy disk for safekeeping. However, to restore from a backup, the RBK file must reside in the Windows directory. Windows 95 stores the backups in compressed form, which you can then restore only by using the CFGBACK.EXE utility.

Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 automatically creates a backup copy of the registry every time Windows starts, in addition to this you can manually create a backup using the Registry Checker utility by running SCANREGW.EXE from Start | Run menu.

What to do if you get a Corrupted Registry
Windows 95, 98 and NT all have a simple registry backup mechanism that is quite reliable, although you should never simply rely on it, remember to always make a backup first!

Windows 95
In the Windows directory there are several hidden files, four of these will be SYSTEM.DAT & USER.DAT, your current registry, and SYSTEM.DA0 & USER.DA0, a backup of your registry. Windows 9x has a nice reature in that every time it appears to start successfully it will copy the registry over these backup files, so just in case something goes wrong can can restore it to a known good state. To restore the registry follow these instruction:
* Click the Start button, and then click Shut Down.

* Click Restart The Computer In MS-DOS Mode, then click Yes.

* Change to your Windows directory. For example, if your Windows directory is c:windows, you would type the following:

cd c:windows

* Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each one. (Note that SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0 contain the number zero.)

attrib -h -r -s system.dat
attrib -h -r -s system.da0
copy system.da0 system.dat
attrib -h -r -s user.dat
attrib -h -r -s user.da0
copy user.da0 user.dat

* Restart your computer.

Following this procedure will restore your registry to its state when you last successfully started your computer.

If all else fails, there is a file on your hard disk named SYSTEM.1ST that was created when Windows 95 was first successfully installed. If necessary you could also change the file attributes of this file from read-only and hidden to archive to copy the file to C:WINDOWSSYSTEM.DAT.

Windows NT
On Windows NT you can use either the "Last Known Good" option or RDISK to restore to registry to a stable working configuration.

How can I clean out old data from the Registry?

Although it's possible to manually go through the Registry and delete unwanted entries, Microsoft provides a tool to automate the process, the program is called RegClean. RegClean analyzes Windows Registry keys stored in a common location in the Windows Registry. It finds keys that contain erroneous values, it removes them from the Windows Registry after having recording those entries in the Undo.Reg file.

Image Files ( Not pictures)

1. What's a image file?
(>) A image file is a CD/DVD, but instead of insert it into your CD/DVD-Rom, you open it from inside your Hard Disk. So, it's a file that replaces a normal CD/DVD. Inside the image are the CD/DVD files like if it were a CD/DVD.

2. What are the image files extensions?
(>) There's many extensions, but the most common are:
(>) iSO (Generic image file)
(>) BiN/CUE (Generic BiN image file)
(>) NRG (An image created using Nero Burning ROM)
(>) iMG/CCD/SUB (An image created using CloneCD)
(>) MDF (An image created using MagicISO Maker)

There are many other images, but these are the most common.

3. How to open a image file?

(>) The most common way to open image files, is to use a virtual CD/DVD-Rom. It's like a normal CD/DVD-Rom, only that you mount the images directly from your computer, installing a simple program.

4. What program should i use to create images files?

(>) Usually a CD/DVD Burning software has that option, but personally i use UltraISO. It allow me to create an ISO, BiN/CUE, NRG and iMG/CCD/SUB image file.

5. What program should i use to mount the images?
(>) Daemon-Tools is the most powerful one to use, and the most simple too.

6. How to burn a image file?

(>) Some image files must be burned using a certain software in order to work fine, but usually a common CD/DVD burning software works fine. I use Nero Burning ROM to burn my images.

7. How to work with Daemon-Tools?
(>) 1. Install the software into your Hard Drive. After installing reboot (or not) your PC.
(>) 2. After 1. , open Daemon-Tools. It will appear in your startup bar.
(>) 3. Right click on it, go to Virtual CD/DVD-ROM » Set number of devices » 2 Drives. If you want to use more drives you can set it on. I personally use 2. It's your decision.
(>) 4. Right click on it, go to Virtual CD/DVD-ROM » Device x: [X:](....). Here you will mount your image. Just choose the image to open it (x means Device 1 or 2, etc.)([X:] the letter of your device).
(>) 5. Done, now your image is working like a CD.

8. How to burn with Nero Burning ROM?
(>) 1. Install Nero Burning ROM.
(>) 2. Open it, choose what is the storage type you gonna use to burn the image, or is a CD or a DVD.
(>) 3. Go to Copy and Backup » Burn Image to Disc.
(>) 4. Choose the image you want to burn.
(>) 5. Done, let it burn baby!


(>) If you want to burn a BiN with Nero Burning ROM, you will have to have the CUE file. When you are going to open the image, if it's BiN, you open the CUE file. If you don't have the CUE and you don't want to download it, it's simple:
1. Open Daemon-Tools.
2. Mount your BiN file.
3. Open Nero Burning ROM.
4. Open it, choose what is the storage type you gonna use to burn the image, or is a CD or a DVD.
5. Go to Data » Make Data CD.
6. Now open the image you mounted through your virtual drive. Select all files, and drag the files into Nero Burning ROM window that is opened.
7. Done, let it burn.

Windows shortcuts

Run Commands:

compmgmt.msc - Computer management
devmgmt.msc - Device manager
diskmgmt.msc - Disk management
dfrg.msc - Disk defrag
eventvwr.msc - Event viewer
fsmgmt.msc - Shared folders
gpedit.msc - Group policies
lusrmgr.msc - Local users and groups
perfmon.msc - Performance monitor
rsop.msc - Resultant set of policies
secpol.msc - Local security settings
services.msc - Various Services
msconfig - System Configuration Utility
regedit - Registry Editor
msinfo32 _ System Information
sysedit _ System Edit
win.ini _ windows loading information(also system.ini)
winver _ Shows current version of windows
mailto: _ Opens default email client
command _ Opens command prompt

Run Commands to access the control panel:

Add/Remove Programs control appwiz.cpl
Date/Time Properties control timedate.cpl
Display Properties control desk.cpl
FindFast control findfast.cpl
Fonts Folder control fonts
Internet Properties control inetcpl.cpl
Keyboard Properties control main.cpl keyboard
Mouse Properties control main.cpl
Multimedia Properties control mmsys.cpl
Network Properties control netcpl.cpl
Password Properties control password.cpl
Printers Folder control printers
Sound Properties control mmsys.cpl sounds
System Properties control sysdm.cpl

Command Prompt:

ANSI.SYS Defines functions that change display graphics, control cursor movement, and reassign keys.
APPEND Causes MS-DOS to look in other directories when editing a file or running a command.
ARP Displays, adds, and removes arp information from network devices.
ASSIGN Assign a drive letter to an alternate letter.
ASSOC View the file associations.
AT Schedule a time to execute commands or programs.
ATMADM Lists connections and addresses seen by Windows ATM call manager.
ATTRIB Display and change file attributes.
BATCH Recovery console command that executes a series of commands in a file.
BOOTCFG Recovery console command that allows a user to view, modify, and rebuild the boot.ini
BREAK Enable / disable CTRL + C feature.
CACLS View and modify file ACL's.
CALL Calls a batch file from another batch file.
CD Changes directories.
CHCP Supplement the International keyboard and character set information.
CHDIR Changes directories.
CHKDSK Check the hard disk drive running FAT for errors.
CHKNTFS Check the hard disk drive running NTFS for errors.
CHOICE Specify a listing of multiple options within a batch file.
CLS Clears the screen.
CMD Opens the command interpreter.
COLOR Easily change the foreground and background color of the MS-DOS window.
COMP Compares files.
COMPACT Compresses and uncompress files.
CONTROL Open control panel icons from the MS-DOS prompt.
COPY Copy one or more files to an alternate location.
CTTY Change the computers input/output devices.
DATE View or change the systems date.
DEBUG Debug utility to create assembly programs to modify hardware settings.
DEFRAG Re-arrange the hard disk drive to help with loading programs.
DEL Deletes one or more files.
DELETE Recovery console command that deletes a file.
DELTREE Deletes one or more files and/or directories.
DIR List the contents of one or more directory.
DISABLE Recovery console command that disables Windows system services or drivers.
DISKCOMP Compare a disk with another disk.
DISKCOPY Copy the contents of one disk and place them on another disk.
DOSKEY Command to view and execute commands that have been run in the past.
DOSSHELL A GUI to help with early MS-DOS users.
DRIVPARM Enables overwrite of original device drivers.
ECHO Displays messages and enables and disables echo.
EDIT View and edit files.
EDLIN View and edit files.
EMM386 Load extended Memory Manager.
ENABLE Recovery console command to enable a disable service or driver.
ENDLOCAL Stops the localization of the environment changes enabled by the setlocal command.
ERASE Erase files from computer.
EXIT Exit from the command interpreter.
EXPAND Expand a M*cros*ft Windows file back to it's original format.
EXTRACT Extract files from the M*cros*ft Windows cabinets.
FASTHELP Displays a listing of MS-DOS commands and information about them.
FC Compare files.
FDISK Utility used to create partitions on the hard disk drive.
FIND Search for text within a file.
FINDSTR Searches for a string of text within a file.
FIXBOOT Writes a new boot sector.
FIXMBR Writes a new boot record to a disk drive.
FOR Boolean used in batch files.
FORMAT Command to erase and prepare a disk drive.
FTP Command to connect and operate on a FTP server.
FTYPE Displays or modifies file types used in file extension associations.
GOTO Moves a batch file to a specific label or location.
GRAFTABL Show extended characters in graphics mode.
HELP Display a listing of commands and brief explanation.
IF Allows for batch files to perform conditional processing.
IFSHLP.SYS 32-bit file manager.
IPCONFIG Network command to view network adapter settings and assigned values.
KEYB Change layout of keyboard.
LABEL Change the label of a disk drive.
LH Load a device driver in to high memory.
LISTSVC Recovery console command that displays the services and drivers.
LOADFIX Load a program above the first 64k.
LOADHIGH Load a device driver in to high memory.
LOCK Lock the hard disk drive.
LOGON Recovery console command to list installations and enable administrator login.
MAP Displays the device name of a drive.
MD Command to create a new directory.
MEM Display memory on system.
MKDIR Command to create a new directory.
MODE Modify the port or display settings.
MORE Display one page at a time.
MOVE Move one or more files from one directory to another directory.
MSAV Early M*cros*ft Virus scanner.
MSD Diagnostics utility.
MSCDEX Utility used to load and provide access to the CD-ROM.
NBTSTAT Displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections using NBT
NET Update, fix, or view the network or network settings
NETSH Configure dynamic and static network information from MS-DOS.
NETSTAT Display the TCP/IP network protocol statistics and information.
NLSFUNC Load country specific information.
NSLOOKUP Look up an IP address of a domain or host on a network.
PATH View and modify the computers path location.
PATHPING View and locate locations of network latency.
PAUSE Command used in batch files to stop the processing of a command.
PING Test / send information to another network computer or network device.
POPD Changes to the directory or network path stored by the pushd command.
POWER Conserve power with computer portables.
PRINT Prints data to a printer port.
PROMPT View and change the MS-DOS prompt.
PUSHD Stores a directory or network path in memory so it can be returned to at any time.
QBASIC Open the QBasic.
RD Removes an empty directory.
REN Renames a file or directory.
RENAME Renames a file or directory.
RMDIR Removes an empty directory.
ROUTE View and configure windows network route tables.
RUNAS Enables a user to execute a program on another computer.
SCANDISK Run the scandisk utility.
SCANREG Scan registry and recover registry from errors.
SET Change one variable or string to another.
SETLOCAL Enables local environments to be changed without affecting anything else.
SETVER Change MS-DOS version to trick older MS-DOS programs.
SHARE Installs support for file sharing and locking capabilities.
SHIFT Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch program.
SHUTDOWN Shutdown the computer from the MS-DOS prompt.
SMARTDRV Create a disk cache in conventional memory or extended memory.
SORT Sorts the input and displays the output to the screen.
START Start a separate window in Windows from the MS-DOS prompt.
SUBST Substitute a folder on your computer for another drive letter.
SWITCHES Remove add functions from MS-DOS.
SYS Transfer system files to disk drive.
TELNET Telnet to another computer / device from the prompt.
TIME View or modify the system time.
TITLE Change the title of their MS-DOS window.
TRACERT Visually view a network packets route across a network.
TREE View a visual tree of the hard disk drive.
TYPE Display the contents of a file.
UNDELETE Undelete a file that has been deleted.
UNFORMAT Unformat a hard disk drive.
UNLOCK Unlock a disk drive.
VER Display the version information.
VERIFY Enables or disables the feature to determine if files have been written properly.
VOL Displays the volume information about the designated drive.
XCOPY Copy multiple files, directories, and/or drives from one location to another.
TRUENAME When placed before a file, will display the whole directory in which it exists
TASKKILL It allows you to kill those unneeded or locked up applications

Windows XP Shortcuts:

ALT+- (ALT+hyphen) Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window's System menu
ALT+ENTER View properties for the selected item
ALT+ESC Cycle through items in the order they were opened
ALT+F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program
ALT+SPACEBAR Display the System menu for the active window
ALT+TAB Switch between open items
ALT+Underlined letter Display the corresponding menu
BACKSPACE View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer
CTRL+A Select all
CTRL+I Italics
CTRL+O Open an item
CTRL+U Underline
CTRL+V Paste
CTRL+F4 Close the active document
CTRL while dragging Copy selected item
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging Create shortcut to selected iteM
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word
CTRL+LEFT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
CTRL+DOWN ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph
CTRL+UP ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph
SHIFT+DELETE Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin
ESC Cancel the current task
F1 Displays Help
F2 Rename selected item
F3 Search for a file or folder
F4 Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
F5 Refresh the active window
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 Activate the menu bar in the active program
SHIFT+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
CTRL+ESC Display the Start menu
SHIFT+CTRL+ESC Launches Task Manager
SHIFT when you insert a CD Prevent the CD from automatically playing
WIN Display or hide the Start menu
WIN+BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box
WIN+D Minimizes all Windows and shows the Desktop
WIN+E Open Windows Explorer
WIN+F Search for a file or folder
WIN+F+CTRL Search for computers
WIN+L Locks the desktop
WIN+M Minimize or restore all windows
WIN+R Open the Run dialog box
WIN+TAB Switch between open items

Windows Explorer Shortcuts:

ALT+SPACEBAR - Display the current window’s system menu
SHIFT+F10 - Display the item's context menu
CTRL+ESC - Display the Start menu
ALT+TAB - Switch to the window you last used
ALT+F4 - Close the current window or quit
CTRL+A - Select all items
CTRL+X - Cut selected item(s)
CTRL+C - Copy selected item(s)
CTRL+V - Paste item(s)
CTRL+Z - Undo last action
CTRL+(+) - Automatically resize the columns in the right hand pane
TAB - Move forward through options
ALT+RIGHT ARROW - Move forward to a previous view
ALT+LEFT ARROW - Move backward to a previous view
SHIFT+DELETE - Delete an item immediately
BACKSPACE - View the folder one level up
ALT+ENTER - View an item’s properties
F10 - Activate the menu bar in programs
F6 - Switch between left and right panes
F5 - Refresh window contents
F3 - Display Find application
F2 - Rename selected item

Internet Explorer Shortcuts:

CTRL+A - Select all items on the current page
CTRL+D - Add the current page to your Favorites
CTRL+E - Open the Search bar
CTRL+F - Find on this page
CTRL+H - Open the History bar
CTRL+I - Open the Favorites bar
CTRL+N - Open a new window
CTRL+O - Go to a new location
CTRL+P - Print the current page or active frame
CTRL+S - Save the current page
CTRL+W - Close current browser window
CTRL+ENTER - Adds the http://www. (url) .com
SHIFT+CLICK - Open link in new window
BACKSPACE - Go to the previous page
ALT+HOME - Go to your Home page
HOME - Move to the beginning of a document
TAB - Move forward through items on a page
END - Move to the end of a document
ESC - Stop downloading a page
F11 - Toggle full-screen view
F5 - Refresh the current page
F4 - Display list of typed addresses
F6 - Change Address bar and page focus
ALT+RIGHT ARROW - Go to the next page
SHIFT+CTRL+TAB - Move back between frames
SHIFT+F10 - Display a shortcut menu for a link
SHIFT+TAB - Move back through the items on a page
CTRL+TAB - Move forward between frames
CTRL+C - Copy selected items to the clipboard
CTRL+V - Insert contents of the clipboard
ENTER - Activate a selected link
HOME - Move to the beginning of a document
END - Move to the end of a document
F1 - Display Internet Explorer Help

Windows' True Hidden files

DOS = Disk Operating System, or MS-DOS
MSIE = Microsoft Internet Explorer
TIF = Temporary Internet Files (folder)
HD = Hard Drive
OS = Operating System
FYI = For Your Information


No. Enabling Windows Explorer to "show all files" does not show the files in mention. No. DOS does not
list the files after receiving a proper directory listing from root. And yes. Microsoft intentionally
disabled the "Find" utility from searching through one of the folders.

Oh, but that's not all.

To see for yourself simply do as you would normally do to clear your browsing history. Go to Internet
Options under your Control Panel. Click on the [Clear History] and [Delete Files] buttons. (Make sure
to include all offline content.)

So, has your browsing history been cleared? One would think so.

These are the names and locations of the "really hidden files":

If you have upgraded MSIE several times, they might have alternative names of mm256.dat and
mm2048.dat, and may also be located here:

Not to mention the other alternative locations under:

c:windowsapplication data...
c:windowslocal settings...
(or as defined in your autoexec.bat.)

FYI, there are a couple other index.dat files that get hidden as well, but they are seemingly not very
important. See if you can find them.

1) Shut your computer down, and turn it back on.
2) While your computer is booting keep pressing the [F8] key until you are given an option screen.
3) Choose "Command Prompt Only" (This will take you to true DOS mode.) Windows ME users must use a boot
disk to get into real DOS mode.
4) When your computer is done booting, you will have a C:> followed by a blinking cursor.
Type this in, hitting enter after each line. (Obviously, don't type the comments in parentheses.)

C:WINDOWSSMARTDRV (Loads smartdrive to speed things up.)
DELTREE/Y TEMP (This line removes temporary files.)
DELTREE/Y COOKIES (This line removes cookies.)
DELTREE/Y TEMP (This removes temporary files.)
DELTREE/Y HISTORY (This line removes your browsing history.)
DELTREE/Y TEMPOR~1 (This line removes your internet cache.)

(If that last line doesn't work, then type this


(If that didn't work, then type this

If you have profiles turned on, then it is likely located under windowsprofiles%user%, while older
versions of MSIE keep them under windowscontent.)

FYI, Windows re-creates the index.dat files automatically when you reboot your machine, so don't be
surprised when you see them again. They should at least be cleared of your browsing history.

It was once believed that the registry is the central database of Windows that stores and maintains the
OS configuration information. Well, this is wrong. Apparently, it also maintains a bunch of other
information that has absolutely nothing to do with the configuration. I won't get into the other
stuff, but for one, your typed URLs are stored in the registry.

HKEY_USERS/Default/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/TypedURLs/
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/TypedURLs/
These "Typed URLs" come from MSIE's autocomplete feature. It records all URLs that you've typed in manually
in order to save you some time filling out the address field.

As you may already know, deleting files only deletes the references to them. They are in fact still sitting
there on your HD and can still be recovered by a very motivated person.
Use window washer to delete slack files. /http://www.webroot.com/download/0506/reg3ww.exe

The most important files to be paying attention to are your "index.dat" files. These are database files
that reference your history, cache and cookies. The first thing you should know is that the index.dat files
is that they don't exist in less you know they do. They second thing you should know about them is that
some will *not* get cleared after deleting your history and cache.

To view these files, follow these steps:

In MSIE 5.x, you can skip this first step by opening MSIE and going to Tools > Internet Options > [Settings] > [View Files].
Now write down the names of your alphanumeric folders on a piece of paper. If you can't see any alphanumeric
folders then start with step 1 here:

1) First, drop to a DOS box and type this at prompt (in all lower-case). It will bring up Windows Explorer
under the correct directory.

c:windowsexplorer /e,c:windowstempor~1content.ie5
You see all those alphanumeric names listed under "content.ie5?" (left-hand side.) That's Microsoft's
idea of making this project as hard as possible. Actually, these are your alphanumeric folders that was
created to keep your cache. Write these names down on a piece of paper. (They should look something like
this: 6YQ2GSWF, QRM7KL3F, U7YHQKI4, 7YMZ516U, etc.) If you click on any of the alphanumeric folders then
nothing will be displayed. Not because there aren't any files here, but because Windows Explorer has lied
to you. If you want to view the contents of these alphanumeric folders you will have to do so in DOS.

2) Then you must restart in MS-DOS mode. (Start > Shutdown > Restart in MS-DOS mode. ME users use a

Note that you must restart to DOS because windows has locked down some of the files and they can only be
accessed in real DOS mode.

3) Type this in at prompt:

CD %alphanumeric%
(replace the "%alphanumeric%" with the first name that you just wrote down.)

The cache files you are now looking at are directly responsible for the mysterious erosion of HD space
you may have been noticing.

5) Type this in:

You will be brought to a blue screen with a bunch of binary.

6) Press and hold the [Page Down] button until you start seeing lists of URLs. These are all the sites
that you've ever visited as well as a brief description of each. You'll notice it records everything
ou've searched for in a search engine in plain text, in addition to the URL.

7) When you get done searching around you can go to File > Exit. If you don't have mouse support in DOS
then use the [ALT] and arrow keys.

Next you'll probably want to erase these files by typing this:

(replace "cdwindows" with the location of your TIF folder if different.)

9) Then check out the contents of your History folder by typing this:

You will be brought to a blue screen with more binary.

10) Press and hold the [Page Down] button until you start seeing lists of URLS again.

This is another database of the sites you've visited.

11) And if you're still with me, type this:

12) If you see any mmXXXX.dat files here then check them out (and delete them.) Then:

More URLs from your internet history. Note, there are probably other mshist~x folders here so you can
repeat these steps for every occurence if you please.

13) By now, you'll probably want to type in this:



How does Microsoft make these folders/files invisible to DOS?

The only thing Microsoft had to do to make the folders/files invisible to a directory listing is to
set them +s[ystem]. That's it.

So how does Microsoft make these folders/files invisible to Windows Explorer?

The "desktop.ini" is a standard text file that can be added to any folder to customize certain aspects of
the folder's behavior. In these cases, Microsoft utilized the desktop.ini file to make these files
invisible. Invisible to Windows Explorer and even to the "Find: Files or Folders" utility. All that
Microsoft had to do was create a desktop.ini file with certain CLSID tags and the folders would disappear
like magic.

To show you exactly what's going on:

Found in the c:windowstemporary internet filesdesktop.ini and
the c:windowstemporary internet filescontent.ie5desktop.ini is this text:

Found in the c:windowshistorydesktop.ini and the c:windowshistoryhistory.ie5desktop.ini is this text:

The UICLSID line cloaks the folder in Windows Explorer. The CLSID line disables the "Find" utility
from searching through the folder.

To see for yourself, you can simply erase the desktop.ini files. You'll see that it will instantly give
Windows Explorer proper viewing functionality again, and the "Find" utility proper searching capabilities
again. Problem solved right? Actually, no. As it turns out, the desktop.ini files get reconstructed every
single time you restart your computer. Nice one, Slick.

Luckily there is a loophole which will keep Windows from hiding these folders. You can manually edit the
desktop.ini's and remove everything except for the "[.ShellClassInfo]" line. This will trick windows into
thinking they have still covered their tracks, and wininet won't think to reconstruct them.