Win XP and 2000 Tips and Tricks

Huge area to cover, we have assembled and written tutorials that have proven helpful over time.

Win XP and 2000 Tips and Tricks

Postby weazy » Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:17 pm

Q. Why do I receive Stop Error 0x0000007E in Windows XP when I add a
new USB device?

A. If the USB bandwidth consumption exceeds the 100-percent maximum
that the USB 2.0 update or XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) allows, you'll
receive the error you mention. Specifically, if existing USB devices
are already using the maximum bandwidth and you add another USB device
(e.g., if you're viewing streamed audio or video through a USB device
and plug in another USB device), you'll receive the following error
message:

STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, <address>, <address>, <address> )
usbhub.sys

To work around this problem, you can take one of the following
actions:
- Connect your keyboard, mouse, or other USB device before you
start streaming USB video or audio.
- If you've already started streaming USB video or audio, either
stop or pause the stream, connect the keyboard, mouse, or other USB
device, then start the stream again.
- If your computer has multiple USB host controllers, connect the
keyboard, mouse, or other USB device to a USB host controller separate
from the USB host controller that you're using to connect the USB
video or audio device. Most computers sold in the past year have two
or more USB host controllers. To verify this configuration, view the
USB host controllers in Device Manager (go to Start, Settings, Control
Panel, System, Hardware, and click Device Manager).

--------------------

Q. How do I restore or configure my own Microsoft Internet Explorer
(IE) start and search pages?

A. Some users have reported seeing adult content when they start IE or
click Search in IE. Adult Web sites sometimes modify the values IE
uses to tell the software which URLs to use for the default IE start
and search pages. To resolve this problem, you can reset the registry
values that control these settings by performing the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Main registry subkey.
3. Review the settings for the Search Bar, Search Page, and Start
Page.
4. If any of the values indicate adult-based URLs, you can either
delete the value, which causes IE to use the default setting, or
modify these values to point to more-acceptable URLs.
5. Close the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. How can I configure multiple concurrent Microsoft Internet Explorer
(IE) download sessions to one server?

A. In accordance with Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request
for Comments (RFC) 2068, IE 5.0 and later limit the number of
concurrent downloads to one server. HTTP 1.0-based servers are limited
to four sessions, and HTTP 1.1-based servers are limited to three
sessions, one of which is queued. If your servers support high
bandwidth and you want to establish more concurrent connections,
perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet
Settings registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server for HTTP 1.0-based
servers or enter the name MaxConnectionsPerServer for HTTP 1.1-based
servers, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to the hexadecimal value for
the number of connections you desire (e.g., "a" in hex for 10), then
click OK.
6. Close the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. Why doesn't clipboard redirection work on my Windows 2000 Server
Terminal Services client?

A. Clipboard redirection lets you copy information from a Terminal
Services session and paste it into the local console-based session.
However, you might receive the following error message when you try to
paste information from the clipboard:

Cannot copy file: Cannot read from the source file or disk

This error occurs when you upgrade the Terminal Services client to the
Windows XP Remote Desktop client, then reinstall the Terminal Services
client. To resolve this error, you need to reestablish the clipboard
registry setting by performing the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal
Server Client\Default\AddIns registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, Key.
4. Enter the name RDPDR, then press Enter.
5. Close the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. How can I set the default email program?

A. The system registry maintains a list of email programs under the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail registry subkey. You can
configure any one of these programs to be the default application for
sending and reading email by performing the following steps:
1. Open the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) options dialog box (go
to IE, click Tools, then select Internet Options).
2. Select the Programs tab.
3. Click on the E-mail drop-down box, select the preferred default
application, then click OK.

Be aware that changing this value also modifies the
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command value to reflect the new
client. Because the IE value modifies HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, the default
mail application you select is set on a machine basis, not on a
per-user basis. As a result, you can't establish a different default
mail application for multiple users on a single instance of Windows.

If you log on as a regular user (i.e., non-Administrator) and change
the default mail application, Windows will ignore your changes. If you
log on as an Administrator and change the default mail application,
your changes will affect all users on that system.

You can create user-based shortcuts on the Start menu, Quick Launch
bar, and desktop to make it easier for users to open a preferred email
client. However, programs that use Messaging API (MAPI) calls, mailto:
links, and "Send Page by E-Mail" in IE will still use the default mail
application that you set for the machine.

--------------------

Q. Where can I get updated Windows XP boot disks?

A. XP doesn't ship with boot disks, and you can't create these disks
from the XP media. However, Microsoft provides downloads to create XP
boot disks. As Microsoft continues to release service packs, the
company will continue to update the downloadable boot disks, starting
with new boot disks available for XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). You must
download the correct set of boot disks for your version of XP (i.e.,
you can't use an XP Home Edition boot disk with an XP Professional
Edition CD-ROM). XP Home SP1 boot disks are available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/rele ... seid=42818 , and
XP Pro SP1 boot disks are available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/rele ... seid=42819 .

Q. When I install Microsoft Office 2000, why doesn't Internet Explorer
(IE) 5.0 and later recognize Word as an HTML editor?
A. Because the Office installer doesn't register Word as an editor for
the .htm file type, IE doesn't recognize Word as an HTML editor.
Microsoft has resolved this problem in IE 5.5 and later.

To use Word as an HTML editor on a machine running IE 5.0, you can
either manually load an HTML file into Word and click Yes when the
system prompts you to use Word as the default editor, or you can
manually update your registry by performing the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.htm\OpenWithList registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, Key.
4. Enter the name WINWORD.EXE, then press Enter.
5. Close the registry editor.

To confirm this setting, start IE, open the Tools menu, and select
Internet Options. Select the Programs tab and click the "HTML editor"
drop-down list to ensure that Microsoft Word is an option.

--------------------

Q. How can I prevent Windows XP from maintaining a thumbnail cache?

A. XP keeps a thumbnail cache of images on your machine. However, if
these images change frequently, the OS might not always update the
cache file, and thus display the wrong thumbnail. For the same reason,
you might simply want to prevent the OS from creating the cache file
(i.e., thumbs.db) altogether. To stop the OS from maintaining the
cache file, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
registry subkey.
3. Double-click the DisableThumbnailCache value or create this
value of type DWORD if it doesn't exist.
4. Set the value to 1, then click OK.
5. Close the registry editor.
6. Log off and log on for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I configure the grace period that Windows uses for
password-protected screen savers?

A. By default, when you activate a password-protected screen saver,
Windows provides a brief grace period during which keyboard and mouse
activity will stop the screen saver and let you access the system
without having to enter the password. To modify this grace period,
perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name ScreenSaverGracePeriod, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set the "Value data" to the number
of seconds (from 0 to 2,147,483) that you want to use for the grace
period, set the Base type to "decimal", then click OK.
6. Restart the machine for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. Why do I receive an error when I try to run the Internet Connection
Wizard (ICW) on my non-networked computer?

A. The error,

"You are restricted from running the Internet Connection Wizard.
Contact your Network Administrator for more information."

is the result of a policy setting that you can configure using the
Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). To remove the policy
setting, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Control Panel registry subkey.
3. Delete the Connwiz Admin Lock value.
4. Exit the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. Why can't I add or remove programs after I install Microsoft
Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 or IE 5.5 on Windows 2000?

A. A bug in the IE 6.0 and IE 5.5 installation procedure prevents you
from adding or removing new programs. To resolve this problem, you can
try to reinstall IE. If reinstalling the Web browser doesn't work,
perform the following steps:
1. Reboot you machine.
2. During startup, press F8 to start the computer in Safe mode with
Networking.
3. Use the Local Administrator account to log on (the Windows
Update dialog box will appear and state that Windows is updating the
following items: browsing services, Internet tools, and system
services).
4. Run the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet and ensure that
you can see the installed programs listed correctly as you'd expect.
5. Reboot the machine.

--------------------

Q. Why can't I use the CD command to change directories to a Universal
Naming Convention (UNC) path in a command window?

A. When you attempt to use the CD command to change directories to a
UNC path, you receive the following error:

"CMD does not support UNC paths as current directories."

Although you can map a drive, use the CD command to change to the new
drive, then disconnect after you're done working in the UNC location,
this approach is cumbersome. A better approach is to use the Pushd
command. For example, you can enter

pushd \\titcanic\data

The Pushd command automatically maps a drive and navigates to it. If
you run the Net Use command after you run Pushd, you'll see a new
drive mapping. After you're done working in the UNC location, use the
Popd command to navigate back to your original network location before
you ran Pushd.


Q. How can I configure Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 and later to connect to URLs that contain foreign (multibyte) characters?
A. To configure Internet Explorer to connect to Web sites that contain foreign characters, perform the following steps:

Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings registry subkey. (You might need to create some of the subkeys if they don't already exist.)
From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
Enter the name MBCSServername, and then press Enter.
Double-click the new value, set it to 0 to enable multibyte characters or 1 to disable multibyte characters, and then click OK.
Log off and log back on for the change to take effect.

Q. How can I configure the number of customized folders that Windows
XP remembers?
A. XP lets you customize different appearance settings for different
folders (e.g., some folders might display details while others display
thumbnail images). XP remembers these settings for as many as 400
customized folders and stores this information under the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags registry
subkey. However, you can increase or decrease the number of customized
folders that XP remembers by performing the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name BagMRU Size, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to the number of folders that
you want XP to remember, then click OK.
6. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 under the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam registry
subkey as well.
7. Close the registry editor, then reboot the system for the change
to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I clear my customized folder settings in Windows XP?

A. To clear any customized folder settings, perform the following
steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell registry subkey.
3. Delete the Bags and BagMRU subkeys.
4. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam registry
subkey.
5. Delete the Bags and BagMRU subkeys.
6. Close the registry editor, then reboot the machine for the
changes to take effect.

--------------------

Q. Why does text appear in the bottom left of my screen after I
install Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 beta on Windows 2000?

A. In the beta-test version of Win2K and later Windows versions, text
appeared on screen to indicate that the user was running a beta
version. This text typically stated "Microsoft Windows 2000
Professional, For Testpurpose only, Build 2195." To stop the text from
appearing, you needed to set the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control
Panel\Desktop\PaintDesktopVersion registry value to 0. However, after
you install WMP 9, this text can reappear. To prevent this text from
displaying on screen after you install WMP 9, perform the following
steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\CA\Certificates\
registry subkey.
3. Delete the FEE449EE0E3965A5246F000E87FDE2A065FD89D4 subkey.
4. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\ROOT\Certificates
registry subkey.
5. Delete the 2BD63D28D7BCD0E251195AEB519243C13142EBC3 subkey.
6. Close the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. How can I remove the Windows XP notification area (i.e., system
tray) from the taskbar?

A. To hide the notification area, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the notification area for the current user, or
navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the notification area for all users.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name NoTrayItemsDisplay, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor and log off or restart the machine for
the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I stop Windows from caching a .dll file after I close the
program that was accessing it?

A. Windows caches .dll files to speed disk I/O. However, even after
you close the calling program, the .dll file remains cached. To stop
Windows from caching .dll files after you've closed the calling
program, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name AlwaysUnloadDLL, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor, then reboot the machine for the
change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How do I use the Windows XP alternative TCP/IP configuration?

A. Laptop users often experience problems when moving between networks
in which DHCP servers aren't consistently used (e.g., moving between
an office that uses DHCP to assign IP addresses and a home network
that uses static IP addresses). If you configure your computer to use
DHCP and no DHCP server is available, the machine will typically use
an IP address in the range 169.254.0.1 to 169.254.255.254 with a
subnet mask of 255.255.0.0. The actual IP address will depend on what
IP addresses other machines on the local subnet have selected (XP will
perform a limited test to ensure the Windows TCP/IP component doesn't
use an address already in use). Because the local TCP/IP stack assigns
no WINS, DHCP, or gateway information, all IP communication is limited
to machines in the local subnet.

XP lets you create an alternative IP configuration that you can use
when your system can't find a DHCP server. This alternative
configuration lets you specify an IP address, subnet, gateway, and the
other typical network settings. To create this alternative IP
configuration, perform the following steps:
1. Open the Control Panel Network Connections applet (go to Start,
Programs, Accessories, Communications and click Network Connections).
2. Right-click the network adapter for which you want to specify an
alternate IP configuration, then click Properties.
3. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click Properties.
4. Under the General tab, ensure that you've configured the
connection to use DHCP.
5. Select the Alternate Configuration tab, select "User
configured", then fill in the static IP address details you want the
connection to use when the system can't find a DHCP server.
7. Click OK.
8. Click OK again to close all remaining windows.

XP stores the custom connection configuration settings under the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces
registry subkey.


Q. Why do I receive an ngina.dll error when I use Windows XP's Remote
Desktop feature to attempt to connect to a remote machine running
Lotus Notes 5?
A. Lotus Notes 5 includes a Client Single User Logon option that lets
a user access Lotus Notes without entering a password. Systems that
use this feature run the Lotus Notes version of ngina.dll. When you
attempt to connect to such a system, an incompatibility with the XP
Remote Desktop version of ngina.dll results in the following error:

"You cannot initiate a Remote Desktop Connection because the Windows
logon software on the remote computer has been replaced by
incompatible software ngina.dll.

To correct this problem, please have the administrator of the remote
computer contact the program vendor for a version that is compatible
with Windows."

Lotus Notes always installs its own version of ngina.dll but only
enables this file when you use the Client Single User Logon option.
This option is set in the registry at the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\GinaDLL registry subkey.

To resolve the error, uninstall then reinstall Lotus Notes 5 without
enabling the Client Single User Logon option. Although you might be
tempted to simply delete the GinaDLL registry value, this action will
corrupt the Lotus Notes single user logon feature.

--------------------

Q. How can I disable Windows 2000 Server's Web Printing feature?

A. By default, Win2K servers display printers on a Web page at
/printers TITLE="http:///printers" TARGET="_blank">http://<server>/printers . To disable this Web-based display (and thus
the Web Printing), perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name DisableWebPrinting, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Exit the registry editor.
7. Restart the server for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. Why are the network shares still active in Windows 2000 after I
unbind the "Client for Microsoft Networks" service?

A. Unbinding the "Client for Microsoft Networks" service disables the
remote procedure call (RPC) service but doesn't disable the Lanman
Server service, which serves shares on your computer. To stop serving
shares, either delete the shares or unbind the "File and Printer
Sharing for Microsoft Networks" service.

To unbind the "Client for Microsoft Networks" and "File and Printer
Sharing for Microsoft Networks" services in Win2K, perform the
following steps:
1. Start the Control Panel Network applet (go to Start, Settings,
Control Panel, Network and Dial-up Connections; right-click Local Area
Connection; and select Properties from the context menu).
2. From the General tab, clear the "Client for Microsoft Networks"
check box and clear the "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft
Networks" check box. (To bind these services, select both check
boxes.}
3. Click OK.

--------------------

Q. How can I prevent regedit from remembering the last registry key
location I accessed under Windows XP?

A. In a previous FAQ
( http://www.windows2000faq.com/articles/ ... leid=14753 ),
I explained how to write a script to automatically reset the last
key location every time you log on to the OS. Another option for
clearing the last registry key accessed is to use registry permissions
to disable Write access to the key. To do so, perform the following
steps:
1. Start the registry editor.
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Regedit
registry subkey.
3. Select LastKey.
4. If you're working in XP, open the Edit menu and select
Permissions; if you're working in Windows 2000, open the Security menu
and select Permissions.
5. Remove Full Control access and grant Read-only access.
6. Click OK.

You'll need to repeat this process for all users who don't want
regedit to remember the last key location they accessed.

--------------------

Q. How can I configure the automatic update feature in Windows Media
Player (WMP) 7 and later?

A. You can configure WMP to automatically check for updates once a
day, once a week, or once a month. To configure this setting, open the
Tools menu, click Options, then select the Player tab. To turn off the
automatic update feature, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsMediaPlayer
registry subkey, or create this subkey if it doesn't exist.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name DisableAutoUpdate, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor.
7. Restart WMP for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I configure Notepad to remember Page Setup settings?

A. Notepad lets you configure document-specific settings (e.g.,
margins, page orientation, header and footer), which you access by
selecting the Page Setup option from the File menu. However, Notepad
reverts to using default Page Setup settings every time you restart
the program. To configure Notepad to remember your Page Setup
settings, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Notepad
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name fSavePageSettings, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Log off and log on for the change to take effect.


Q. How can I stop Windows 2000 from using an encrypted format when I
copy encrypted files to a server?
A. By default, when you copy locally encrypted files to a server,
Win2K retains the encryption format. However, you might not want
server-based files to be encrypted. For example, a laptop user might
want to encrypt files locally for security reasons but want the
server-based files to be unencrypted so that other users can view the
files.

To stop Win2K from copying files to a server in an encrypted format,
perform the following steps on the destination server:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
registry subkey.
3. Select the NtfsEncryptionService value, then select Edit, Delete
from the menu bar.
4. Close the registry editor.
5. Reboot the server for the change to take effect.

After you make this change, you'll no longer be able to encrypt files
on the server and Win2K will decrypt any encrypted files that users
copy to the server.

--------------------

Q. How can I upgrade an IEEE 1394 (FireWire)-connected disk to a
dynamic disk under Windows XP?

A. By default, XP doesn't let you convert a FireWire-connected disk to
a dynamic disk. However, you can make a simple registry change to
accomplish such an upgrade. To convert a FireWire-connected disk to a
dynamic disk, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\dmadmin\Parameters
registry subkey.
3. Double-click EnableDynamicConversionFor1394, set this value to
1, then click OK.
4. Close the registry editor.
5. Reboot the machine for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I view and clear my DNS cache content?

A. When a Windows XP or Windows 2000 machine queries a DNS server, the
response is either positive (a match was found) or negative (no match
was found). The OS stores these results in a local DNS cache so that
local clients don't repeatedly query the DNS server for the same
address. These DNS cache entries are known as DNS Resource Records
(RR), and the DNS resolver always checks the local cache before it
queries the DNS server.

To view the current DNS resolver cache content and the entries
preloaded from the Hosts file, go to the command prompt and type

C:\> ipconfig /displaydns

Each entry shows the remaining Time to Live (TTL) in seconds. To clear
the cache, go to the command prompt and type

C:\> ipconfig /flushdns

Flushing the DNS cache clears all entries and reloads the entries from
the Hosts file.

--------------------

Q. How can I configure the amount of time the DNS cache stores
positive and negative responses?

A. By default, Windows stores positive responses in the DNS cache for
86,400 seconds (i.e., 24 hours) and stores negative responses for 300
seconds (i.e., 5 minutes). To modify these values, perform the
following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit to change the positive
cache period or the name NegativeCacheTime to change the negative
cache period, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to the desired number of
seconds (e.g., if you entered the name NegativeCacheTime, you could
set the value to 0 to stop Windows from caching any negative
responses), then click OK.
6. Repeat Step 5 for the other value, if required.
7. Close the registry editor.
8. Reboot the computer for the changes to take effect.

--------------------

Q. What's DNS round robin and subnet prioritization?

A. The most common type of DNS record is a Resource Record (RR) type
A, which is a record that provides the IP address for a specified host
name. In certain instances, a host name might resolve to multiple IP
addresses, each with its own A record. For example, if three servers
host the http://www.savilltech.com Web site, the DNS server might
contain the following three address records:
http://www.savilltech.com.IN A200.200.10.1 http://www.savilltech.com.IN A200.200.11.1 http://www.savilltech.com.IN A200.200.12.1

When a client queries a DNS server for this host, the server returns
all three address records. To avoid sending every client to the first
address record (and, hence, the first host) every time, the DNS server
uses a round-robin algorithm, which Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) 1794 describes. With each request,
the algorithm rotates the order in which the DNS server returns the
address records to more evenly distribute the load across all hosts.
For example, the first time a client queries the DNS server, the
server might return

200.200.10.1 200.200.11.1 200.200.12.1

to the client. The second time, the DNS server would return

200.200.11.1 200.200.12.1 200.200.10.1

The third time, the DNS server would return

200.200.12.1 200.200.10.1 200.200.11.1

and so on.

If the client making the request connects directly to a subnet that
contains one of the returned host addresses, having the client
communicate directly with the host that corresponds to that address
would reduce response time and network traffic. Subnet prioritization
is a feature that recognizes when a host is on the same subnet as the
client and returns the local host's address first. (Microsoft
introduced subnet prioritization in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack
4--SP4--and later.) When a client uses subnet prioritization, the
client resolver receives address record results and sorts them
according to the order of direct subnet connectivity.

So, for example, if a client has address 200.200.11.5 (which is part
of subnet 200.200.11) and the DNS server would typically return
address record results of

200.200.10.1 200.200.11.1 200.200.12.1

the local DNS resolver will use subnet prioritization to re-sort the
results according to the local subnet priority and return results of

200.200.11.1 200.200.10.1 200.200.12.1

to the client. Consequently, the local DNS resolver's subnet
prioritization takes priority over the DNS server round robin when a
resolved address is on the local subnet. Although this approach
reduces network traffic, it doesn't balance the load across hosts.

--------------------

Q. How can I enable or disable subnet prioritization on a client
machine?

A. In the FAQ titled "What's DNS round robin and subnet
prioritization?," I explained how subnet prioritization cuts down on
network traffic but defeats the load-balancing effect of the DNS
server round robin. If balancing the load across the hosts is more
important than traffic management, you might want to disable subnet
prioritization. To do so, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe) on each client
machine.
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name PrioritizeRecordData, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 0, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor.
7. Reboot the machine for the change to take effect.

To reenable subnet prioritization, either delete the
PrioritizeRecordData registry value or set this value to 1.

--------------------

Q. How can I enable or disable subnet prioritization on the DNS
server?

A. The DNS server can check the IP address of a client that's
requesting name resolution and sort the results the DNS server returns
to the client according to the proximity of the host address to the
querying IP address. To enable or disable this functionality, perform
the following steps on the DNS server:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Parameters\
registry subkey.
3. Double-click LocalNetPriority, or create this value of type
DWORD if it doesn't exist.
4. Set the value to 1 to enable subnet prioritization or 0 to
disable subnet prioritization, then click OK.
5. Restart the server for the change to take effect.

Under Windows 2000 and later, you can also use the DNS Management
Console to set this functionality. To use this tool to change the
setting, go to Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, then click DNS
Management Console; right-click the server and select Properties;
select the Advanced tab; then clear or select the "Enable Netmask
Ordering" check box. You can also control the round-robin
functionality by opening the DNS Management Console Advanced tab and
clearing or selecting "Enable round robin". The following list
describes the expected functionality, depending on the values you set:
- Subnet prioritization disabled, round robin disabled--The DNS server
returns records in the order they were added to the database.
- Subnet prioritization enabled, round robin disabled--The DNS server
returns records in the order of the local subnet priority.
- Subnet prioritization disabled, round robin enabled--The DNS server
returns records in rotation according to the order they were added to
the database.
- Subnet prioritization enabled, round robin enabled--The DNS server
returns records in rotation according to the local net priority.

--------------------

Q. How can I ensure that the DNS resolver uses only results from
queried DNS servers?

A. By default, if a client requests name resolution, the client will
accept any response with the correct query ID, regardless of where the
response is from. This behavior could lead to security problems if a
rogue process that deliberately returns incorrect information exists
on a system. To force the DNS resolver to match the source IP address
of the response with the DNS servers that the DNS resolver queried,
perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe) on each client
machine.
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name QueryIpMatching, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor.
7. Reboot the machine for the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I stop Windows XP from displaying the time in the
notification area?

A. To stop XP from displaying the time on the desktop in the
notification area, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the time for the current user or to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the time for all users.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name HideClock, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor.
7. Log off or restart the machine for the change to take effect.

Q. How can I configure the number of customized folders that Windows
XP remembers?
A. XP lets you customize different appearance settings for different
folders (e.g., some folders might display details while others display
thumbnail images). XP remembers these settings for as many as 400
customized folders and stores this information under the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags registry
subkey. However, you can increase or decrease the number of customized
folders that XP remembers by performing the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name BagMRU Size, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to the number of folders that
you want XP to remember, then click OK.
6. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 under the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam registry
subkey as well.
7. Close the registry editor, then reboot the system for the change
to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I clear my customized folder settings in Windows XP?

A. To clear any customized folder settings, perform the following
steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell registry subkey.
3. Delete the Bags and BagMRU subkeys.
4. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam registry
subkey.
5. Delete the Bags and BagMRU subkeys.
6. Close the registry editor, then reboot the machine for the
changes to take effect.

--------------------

Q. Why does text appear in the bottom left of my screen after I
install Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 beta on Windows 2000?

A. In the beta-test version of Win2K and later Windows versions, text
appeared on screen to indicate that the user was running a beta
version. This text typically stated "Microsoft Windows 2000
Professional, For Testpurpose only, Build 2195." To stop the text from
appearing, you needed to set the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control
Panel\Desktop\PaintDesktopVersion registry value to 0. However, after
you install WMP 9, this text can reappear. To prevent this text from
displaying on screen after you install WMP 9, perform the following
steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\CA\Certificates\
registry subkey.
3. Delete the FEE449EE0E3965A5246F000E87FDE2A065FD89D4 subkey.
4. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\ROOT\Certificates
registry subkey.
5. Delete the 2BD63D28D7BCD0E251195AEB519243C13142EBC3 subkey.
6. Close the registry editor.

--------------------

Q. How can I remove the Windows XP notification area (i.e., system
tray) from the taskbar?

A. To hide the notification area, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the notification area for the current user, or
navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
registry subkey to hide the notification area for all users.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name NoTrayItemsDisplay, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor and log off or restart the machine for
the change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How can I stop Windows from caching a .dll file after I close the
program that was accessing it?

A. Windows caches .dll files to speed disk I/O. However, even after
you close the calling program, the .dll file remains cached. To stop
Windows from caching .dll files after you've closed the calling
program, perform the following steps:
1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
2. Navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
registry subkey.
3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
4. Enter the name AlwaysUnloadDLL, then press Enter.
5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
6. Close the registry editor, then reboot the machine for the
change to take effect.

--------------------

Q. How do I use the Windows XP alternative TCP/IP configuration?

A. Laptop users often experience problems when moving between networks
in which DHCP servers aren't consistently used (e.g., moving between
an office that uses DHCP to assign IP addresses and a home network
that uses static IP addresses). If you configure your computer to use
DHCP and no DHCP server is available, the machine will typically use
an IP address in the range 169.254.0.1 to 169.254.255.254 with a
subnet mask of 255.255.0.0. The actual IP address will depend on what
IP addresses other machines on the local subnet have selected (XP will
perform a limited test to ensure the Windows TCP/IP component doesn't
use an address already in use). Because the local TCP/IP stack assigns
no WINS, DHCP, or gateway information, all IP communication is limited
to machines in the local subnet.

XP lets you create an alternative IP configuration that you can use
when your system can't find a DHCP server. This alternative
configuration lets you specify an IP address, subnet, gateway, and the
other typical network settings. To create this alternative IP
configuration, perform the following steps:
1. Open the Control Panel Network Connections applet (go to Start,
Programs, Accessories, Communications and click Network Connections).
2. Right-click the network adapter for which you want to specify an
alternate IP configuration, then click Properties.
3. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click Properties.
4. Under the General tab, ensure that you've configured the
connection to use DHCP.
5. Select the Alternate Configuration tab, select "User
configured", then fill in the static IP address details you want the
connection to use when the system can't find a DHCP server.
7. Click OK.
8. Click OK again to close all remaining windows.

XP stores the custom connection configuration settings under the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces
registry subkey.
--The Devil is in the Details--
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