Registry Hacking

Menu Delays:
Another minor and easy tweak to remove any delay from menus sliding out. For this you will need to use regedit (open regedit by going to Start -> Run..., then typing 'regedit' and pressing enter). The key you need to change is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop. The actual key is called MenuShowDelay - all you have to do is change the value to 0. Remember, you will have to re-boot your computer for this tweak to take effect.


GPEDIT.MSC And Autoplay
A great tweaking file that comes with XP is gpedit.msc. Go to Start -> Run... and then type in 'gpedit.msc' and press enter. This is effectively the Policies Editor, and it comes in handy often. For example, if you hate CD autoplay like I do and want to permanently disable it, you can use this tool to do so. Just run gpedit.msc, then go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System. In here you can see the value 'Turn Off Autoplay'. Right-click on it and then click 'Properties'.


Increasing options in add/remove programs:
Not a fan of MSN Messenger? don't want Windows Media Player on your system? Fair enough, but if you go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, by default none of Windows XP's 'built in' programs are visible. it's fairly easy to change, though... just open the file X:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf (where X: is the drive letter where Windows XP is installed) in Notepad. You should see a section of the file something like this:
[Components]
NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4
WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7
Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7
Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7
NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7
iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7
com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7
dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6
ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7
AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7
IEAccess=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,ieaccess.inf,,7
This is a list of all components installed at the moment. I've taken the example of MSN Messenger - the program entry called 'msmsgs', third-last line. You can see the word 'hide' highlighted - this is the string which tells Windows not to display the component in the Add/Remove Programs list. Fix this up by simply deleting the word 'hide' like so:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
To this:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7
Now, after restarting, you should be able to see MSN Messenger in the Add/Remove Programs list. If you want to be able to quickly view and remove all components, simply open the sysoc.inf file and do a global find and replace for the word ",hide" and replace it with a single comma ",".


Automatically Kill Programs At Shutdown:
don't you hate it when, while trying to shut down, you get message boxes telling you that a program is still running? Making it so that Windows automatically kills applications running is a snap. Simply navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop directory in the Registry, then alter the key AutoEndTasks to the value 1.


Speeding Up Share Viewing:
This is a great tweak. Before I found it, I was always smashing my head against the table waiting to view shares on other computers. Basically, when you connect to another computer with Windows XP, it checks for any Scheduled tasks on that computer - a fairly useless task, but one that can add up to 30 seconds of waiting on the other end - not good! Fortunately, it's fairly easy to disable this process. First, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace in the Registry. Below that, there should be a key called {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Just delete this, and after a restart, Windows will no longer check for scheduled tasks - mucho performance improvement!

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