Windows XP Tips, Tweaks And Guides

vbimport

#1

Windows XP Tips, Tweaks And Guides
This thread is for Windows XP Tips, Tweaks And Guides. Simply put if there is something that you always do to Windows XP after a reformat or a short guide on how to improve Windows XP then please share it with the rest of the forum.

All that is needed is a simply guide with pictures showing what it is you are doing.

Guides In This Thread

[ul]
[li]Disabling Windows XP Built-In Burning Software
[/li][li]ATI Driver Installation – The Proper Way
[/li][li]SlipStreaming A Windows CD With The Latest Service Pack
[/li][/ul]

So if you have something that you think will fit in this thread then PM it to me or just tell me your idea.


#2

Disabling XP’s Built-In Burning Software

The first thing to do is to press the Start Button at the bottom left of your Desktop.

Next you will need to click on the Run button on the start menu.

When you have done that copy and paste or just type in the following text without the Quotes. Then press OK.

“%SystemRoot%\system32\services.msc /s”

When the new window come up scroll down and find “IMAPI CD-Burning Com Service”. Once you have found the correct entry you will need to double click on it.

When the new window opens up you need to change the Startup Type from Auto or Manual to Disabled.

All you need to do now is to hit the OK button and then close down the open windows.

If at any time you want to use the XP Burning feature all you have to do is follow the step again but change the Startup Type from Disabled to Auto Or Manual.


#3

ATI Driver Installation – The Proper Way

Checking Your Graphics Driver Versions
The first thing to do is to Right Click on your Desktop and select the Properties option. This will bring up the Display Properties window. Along the top will have several tabs. If you go along to the Settings tab and click on it you should see the following picture.

Next you need to click on the Advanced button which is near the bottom on the right hand side. This will bring up the Advanced features panel. If you click on the Options tab in the window the following picture will be seen.

Here you can see the Version Information for the ATi graphics Card that is installed. In this case it is version 4.6. You should make a note of this as you will need to know this number later when looking for newer drives. To get back to the Desktop simply click Ok in all of the open windows.

Downloading New Drivers
The first thing to do is to check to see if there are new Drivers available to download. To do this you will need to go the ATI website and look for the Drivers And Software picture. By clicking on this you will be taken to the Download Selection page.

On the next screen you will need to select you Operating System, then the type of driver you want followed by the Generic Family Name. This was the information that you made a note of previously. When you have selected your system options click on the GO button.

Once you have done that you will be taken to the download page. This page will contain the download item that you choose from the previous screen so make sure you clicked on the correct options. At the top of the screen will be the current version of this driver. If this number is higher than the one you have currently got installed then you should download it to your computer.

The download page will also contain two different ways of downloading the file. There will be one big file containing all of the applications and software and a second way which has split the software down into three separate files. Choose the option which is best suited to your dialup situation. The easiest way is to use a Download Manager and get the one big file.

Installation Of New Graphics Drivers
Now you have downloaded the new drivers for you Graphics Card and are ready to install them. If you have never had another Graphics Card or Drivers installed in your system then you can just Double Click on the download and install. If however you are changing you Graphics Card or updating older drivers then read on to learn how to do it properly and avoid conflicting drivers.

The first thing to do is to remove the older Drivers and Software. To do this go into your Add Or Remove Programs menu. This is found by Double Clicking on My Computer And Selecting Control Panel from Other Places on the left hand side menu system. You simply need to scroll down until you see and entry called ATi - Software Uninstall Utility. Click on this and then hit the Change/ Remove button on the right. This will uninstall the software. If you computer asks you want to restart the computer then cancel it as we have a couple more things to do first.

Sometimes not all of the Registry information will be removed by simply uninstalling the Drivers. In the last few versions of the drivers I have in fact found no registry entires to remove so this next step may no loger ne required. To get rid of everything download and install RegCleaner onto your system. Once you have done that run it to see into your Registry files. Here you need to find all entries which are by the Author ATi Technologies. Simply click on the boxes next to these items and then click on the Remove Selected button at the bottom. You can now exit this program.

Finally it is a good idea to remove old entries from your Device Manager. This really applies if you have changed the Graphics Card over. To do this use the Run function on your Start Menu. Type in “cmd” without the quotes and hit the Ok button.

This will bring up the following window. here you first need to type in “Set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1” and hit the Enter button. Next type in “Devmgmt.msc” and hit Enter.

By doing that you will bring up the Device Manger. Finally tick the Show Hidden Devices option in View. This will show previously hidden option in this panel. Finally scroll down to Display Adapters and click on the + button. Inside you show see your Graphics Card name and possible one that says Secondary as well. These need to be left alone. If however there is anything else in there which is greyed out then these can be deleted by clicking on them and pressing the Delete button. Once that is done Restart the computer.

Once the computer has been restarted a little window at the bottom may appear saying New Video Card found. Don’t worry about that as that is windows re-finding your Graphics Card. Also a window may come up asking you to Install new Drivers for your Graphics Card Simply close this down. It may reappear but you can safely keep on closing it until it doesn’t reappear. Now we can install the new drivers it has been looking for. To do this find the new drivers that you downloaded and Double Click on them. This will launch the installation process. Here all you need to do is to hit the next button a few times. At the end of the process you maybe asked to restart the computer. You should do so.

Now the new drivers have been installed. To check that everything went Ok go and check the version number again. It should now have changed to the new version that you downloaded.

The final thing to do is to make sure that you card is running at peak performance. To do this go to the SmartGear™ tab. In here you will need to change your AGP Speed to match your Motherboard. If you have a 2x AGP compatible Motherboard then set it to 2x. Likewise for 4x or on some newer boards 8x. Lastly change the Fast Write option from On to Off. Once again you may have to reset you computer to the changes to take effect.

After the restart go back again to the previous window. This is just to make sure the settings were applied properly. Sometimes you will have to increase the AGP speed slider by one setting and then restart the computer. Once it is up and running again increase it by another point until it is as high as either your Motherboard will allow or as high as it will go.

That is it. You should now have your new drivers installed and configured correctly.


#4

Slip Streaming Windows And Service Packs Onto One CD

Needed Items
Original CD Of Windows - 2000/XP Home/XP Pro
Latest Administrative Version Service Pack - SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4 - Microsoft
Burning Application - Nero, Easy CD Creator
CD Image Manipulator - ISOBuster

Guide Items
In this guide I will be going through the process to make a Windows XP Home SP2 CD. This guide can be used to create a 2000 or XP Pro CD as well.

How To Do It
The first thing that you need to do is to create three folders on your hard drive.

First Folder - This is for the Windows CD contents - I have it called “WindowsXPCD”
Second Folder - This is for the Service Pack contents - I have called it “WindowsXPSP2”
Third Folder - This is for the Windows CD boot file - I have called it “WindowsXPBoot”

You can use any names you like. I would use your root drive as it will be easier to find and use.

Now you need to copy your downloaded Service Pack to your new folder. I have also renamed the file to WindowsXPSP2.exe. This is so I know what it is and for when I have to type it in later. I find the original filename of WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe just a little to long to easily remember.

Next you need to copy the contents of the Windows CD to your new folder. There is no copy protection on the CD so everything will copy straight over.

Now we need to update our original Windows CD with the Service Pack. To do this we need to click on the Start Menu and select Run.

In the run dialog box we need to type in the following,

(Hard Drive):(Location of Service Pack)(Service Pack Name).exe -s(Hard Drive):(Location Of Windows CD)\

For me this and this guide that would be the following

C:\WindowsXPSP2\WindowsXPSP2.exe -s:C:\WindowsXPCD

After you click Run it will extract all of your files to a temp directory.

It will then start the integration of the Service Pack into the Windows CD.

When it is done the following screen will appear telling you that the integration has been completed.

Manual Mode – Only Needed If Above Way Failed - Not 100% Success Rate

If for some reason when you try to use the above command a screen comes up saying that the Service Pack can’t be integrated then you can do it manually. If there is a problem doing it automatically this maybe due to a disc that has been edited by a computer company like Dell. There is no guaranty that these edited discs will work when slipstreamed.

To do this manually you need to put the following into the Run dialog box,

(Hard Drive):(Location of Service Pack)(Service Pack Name).exe -x

For me this and this guide that would be the following

C:\WindowsXPSP2\WindowsXPSP2.exe -x

This will extract the files to the directory that the Service Pack is located in.

All you have to do then is to copy the directory it creates into the Windows CD directory that you have created on your hard drive.

End Of Manual Mode

ISOBuster
Now we move onto ISOBuster. We are using this program to take a file from the Windows CD to make our new slip streamed CD bootable.

Load up ISOBuster with your Windows CD in the drive. It should take you straight to the contents of the CD. If not click through until you have the contents of Bootable CD in the view window. Here you can see the file “Microsoft Coperation.img”. This is the file that we want.

To get it off the CD you need to right click on the file and then choose Extract.

It will ask you for a directory where you want to put it. Use the directory that we created earlier. Mine is called “WindowsXPBoot”.

That is it for ISOBuster.

Burning The CD
Now we move onto burning the new CD. Here I will go through both Easy CD Creator and Nero as these are the two most popular.

Easy CD Creator
You need to load up the program and then make a Bootable CD which can be found by going to File -> New CD Project -> Bootable CD

Next you need to set the options on the screen to,
Set Bootable CD Type to No Emulation
Load Segment to 0x7c0
Sector Count to 4

Now you need to click on Browse and find the file called Microsoft Corporation.img and then click on open.

Now we need to set the CD properties. Go to File -> CD Project Properties.

Under the General tab you need to set the following options,

The Volume Label MUST be set to the same name as your CD in your drive. The English CD names are below. Generally they will be the same except for the last two letters which will change country to country. If you are unsure then check the name of your original CD by putting it into the CD-Rom drive and then browsing it.

Win XP Pro -> “WXPCCP_EN”
Win XP Home -> “WXHCCP_EN”
Win XP Home OEM -> “WXHOEM_EN”
Win XP Pro OEM -> “WXPOEM_EN”

File system must be set to “ISO9660
Physical Format Of CD must be set to “Mode 1: CDROM

On the File Type tab the follow two setting must be applied.
Select Add All Files
Uncheck the Do Not Add Boxes

All you now have to do is to add all of the files from the WindowsCD folder into the project.

Now burn the disc in Disc-At-Once mode

You should now have a bootable Windows disk with the latest Service Pack on it.

Nero
The first thing to do is to select Boot CD. To do this go to File -> New. Then you need to select CD-Rom (Boot) on the left hand side of the window.

Under the source of Boot Image Date File click on Image File and browse to the Microsoft Corporation.img file you stored earlier.

Here you may need to enable Expert Settings to enter the following information.
Set kind of emulation to No Emulation
Load segments to 07C0
Number of loaded sectors to 4

Now we need to switch to the ISO tab.

Here we need to make sure that the following settings are configured as follows,
Format Of CD must be set to “Mode 1
Character settings are set to “ISO9660

Finally we now switch to the Label tab.

The Volume Label MUST be set to the same name as your CD in your drive. The English CD names are below. Generally they will be the same except for the last two letters which will change country to country. If you are unsure then check the name of your original CD by putting it into the CD-Rom drive and then browsing it.

Win XP Pro -> “WXPCCP_EN”
Win XP Home -> “WXHCCP_EN”
Win XP Home OEM -> “WXHOEM_EN”
Win XP Pro OEM -> “WXPOEM_EN”

Now will hit the New button to be taken to the main windows. Here we will add the files from the Windows CD folder we created earlier.

That’s it all we have to do now is to click on the Burn button and make sure that the write method is set to Disc-At-Once.

Once that is done hit the Burn button.

You should now have a bootable Windows disk with the latest Service Pack on it.