Friday, December 28, 2007

Know your system info and get to hack 'em

About Windows
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winver.exe
Shows the version of Windows currently installed on the system.
 
Event Viewer
C:\WINDOWS\system32\Eventvwr.msc
Displays monitoring and troubleshooting messages from Windows and other programs.
 
Internet Options
C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetcpl.cpl
Internet Explorer Options or Settings
 
Internet Protocol Configuration
C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /k C:\WINDOWS\system32\ipconfig.exe
IPCONFIG is a command line tool used to control network connections on Windows-based computers
 
Network Diagnostics
C:\WINDOWS\system32\netsh.exe diag gui
Network Diagnostics scans your system to gather information about your hardware, software, and network connections
 
Programs Control
C:\WINDOWS\system32\appwiz.cpl
Add or Remove programs and Windows components and manage default programs
 
Security Center
C:\WINDOWS\system32\wscui.cpl
Configure Automatic Updates, Windows Firewall, and Internet Properties Settings
 
System Information
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSInfo\msinfo32.exe
View advanced information about harware and software settings
 
System Properties
C:\WINDOWS\system32\sysdm.cpl
View basic information about your computer's system settings
 
System Restore
C:\WINDOWS\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
Restore your computer to a previous state
 
Task Manager
C:\WINDOWS\system32\taskmgr.exe
Provides details about programs and processes running on your system

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Malware Bumps Google Ads From Web Pages

A security company has identified a Trojan horse program that replaces Google text advertisements on Web pages with ads from another source, depriving Google of revenue and potentially causing problems for end users.

Google may be powerless to stop the trick since it involves the modification of an internal PC file, called the hosts file, that is used to match domain names of Web sites with IP (Internet protocol) addresses, said Romanian security company BitDefender.

When a person visits a Web site, the browser checks the hosts file to see if it has an IP address for a particular domain name. If the hosts file is corrupted or hijacked, the browser can be directed to fetch a different Web page than the one the user intended to.

Modifying the hosts file can be done for legitimate reasons. For example, PC users can change the hosts to block banner ads served from known ad networks. When a Web page tries to contact an ad server, the request is diverted by the hosts file and no ad appears.

BitDefender said in an advisory this particular malware directs a browser to download advertisements from a different server than Google's ad server.

BitDefender named the malware Trojan.Qhost.WU and said it is not spreading fast and poses a "medium" risk of damage. It did not say how the Trojan is being circulated, and company representatives did not return a call for comment.

Besides costing Google ad revenue, there is a danger that those replacement advertisements could contain links to sites with malicious software, BitDefender said. Web site owners who buy ads through Google, as well as Google itself, can lose out on both Web traffic and revenue if people are diverted from its ads.

There is not much that Google can do for those who download the malware. However, security products such as BitDefender's can detect and remove it.

Without commenting on the Trojan specifically, Google said it removes Web sites from its search index that contain malware.

"We have canceled customer accounts that display ads re-directing users to malicious sites or that advertise a product violating our software principles," the company said in a statement. From http://www.pcworld.in/news/index.jsp/artId=3473408

Microsoft Lets Everyone Try Windows XP SP3

The first release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will be available from Microsoft's website today, the software giant has announced.
 
The move marks the first opportunity for all users of the six-year-old operating system to try out its final upgrade. Previously, several thousand users were given access to test builds of SP3 only by Microsoft's invitation.
 
According to a company spokeswoman, the version that debuts today, dubbed a "release candidate" to note progress from earlier betas, will be available from the Microsoft Download Center. She was unable, however, to say when the service pack would post to Windows Update so users can download and install it with the company's update service.
 
The final version of Windows XP SP3 remains slated for delivery sometime in the first half of 2008, the spokeswoman said. She also warned off casual users from trying the preview. "As this is a release candidate, we strongly encourage only those who are comfortable installing prerelease code to download Windows XP SP3," she said.
 
Recently, Microsoft has been downplaying the significance of Windows XP SP3. In a white paper posted to its Web site last week, and also today, the company praised Windows Vista at XP's expense, reminding users that "Vista provides the most advanced security and management capabilities of any Windows operating system."
 
"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP," the spokeswoman said.
 
According to the white paper, the Download Center version of XP SP3 will weigh in at about 580MB; the version downloaded and installed via Windows Update, however, will be much smaller, typically around 70MB.
 
Windows XP debuted in October 2001 and was last updated as SP2 in August 2004; SP3 will be the final major upgrade of the operating system. <Taken from http://www.pcworld.in >

Monday, December 17, 2007

Windows Secrets Revealed- Working with Folder Names

Adding Control Panel Icons to the Desktop

This is an easy one..

  1. Simply open up the Control Panel.
  2. Right Click and Drag the icon you want to your desktop or folder.
  3. This will create a shortcut for that icon.
  4. It could come in handy if there are always certain items you need to get to quickly.

Create a Control Panel menu directly below the Start Button

  1. Click the Start Button once with your right mouse button. You should see a right-button menu (called a context menu because it offers different choices in different contexts).

You should see the items Open, Explore, and Find on the context menu. Click Explore with your left mouse button.

An Explorer file management window should open. A directory tree should appear in the left pane, with the right pane displaying the contents of the Start Menu folder.

Right-click any empty space within the right pane. A context menu should appear. Click New and then Folder.

The Explorer will create a highlighted icon called New Folder. Type in the following string, all on one line, replacing the words New Folder with this new line. You must type the period, the curly braces, all four hyphens, and the hexadecimal numbers exactly as shown. After the closing curly brace, press Enter.

 

Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

The code givin in the braces is the key to control panel, Other Folders can be added following the same instructions.

  • Dial-Up Networking.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
  • Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
  • Inbox.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
  • My Computer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
  • Recycle Bin.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
  • Network Neighborhood.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
  • Desktop.{00021400-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
  • Briefcase.{85BBD920-42A0-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}
  • Fonts.{BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948F534}

windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Windows Secret Revealed- Working with StartUp and LogOff Screen

Startup Screen

  1. Create a 320x400 bitmap in the root directory and name it LOGO.SYS
  2. You can use LOGOW.SYS file in the Windows directory as a starter

Logoff Screens

  1. There are several files called LOGOX.SYS
  2. They are actually bitmaps 320x400 that just have a different extension
  3. The hidden one in the root directory LOGO.SYS is the startup logo.
  4. There are two files in the Windows directory.
  5. LOGOW.SYS is the Wait while Shutting down ... screen
  6. LOGOS.SYS is the You may now shut-off or Reboot screen
  7. To edit them, rename them with a BMP extension and use your favorite graphic editor
  8. You can edit these files or create you own
  9. They just need to be the same size 

 windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

Saturday, December 15, 2007

windows secrets II

Changing the clock to 24-Hour Time

  1. To change the display of the clock on the taskbar to 24-hour format:
  2. Open the Control Panel
  3. Double-click on the Regional Settings icon
  4. Click on the Time tab
  5. In the Time style section select H:mm:ss

Removing the InBox and Recycle Bin Icons from the Desktop

To remove the InBox from your desktop, without needing to run the Policy Editor:

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ explorer \ Desktop \ NameSpace
  3. Below that should be a few keys
  4. Rename the key {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}. I usually put another character before or after the curly braces.
  5. Restart Windows and the InBox icon should be gone
  6. You can do the same for any other items you don't to show such as the Recycle Bin or The Internet icons

Changing or Removing the Start Menu Icons

  1. Download Microangelo and install it.
  2. Create a blank.ico file.
  3. Put it in a directory (C:\Windows. Then double click on the Microangelo Engineer to run it.
  4. When you get it up on the screen click on the "start" tab. You will see a list of all the icons in the start menu.
  5. Highlight the first one (programs) and select "Change". It will bring up a dialog box - select "browse".
  6. Go to the directory that contains the blank icon and select it. Hit OK until you get back to the main
  7. Engineer window and do all the rest exactly the same way.
  8. When you have finished changing them all to the blank icon, Hit "Apply".
  9. Hit your start button and look to see if all the icons are invisible. (They should be.)
  10. Close out Micro Engineer and you're finished.

Adding Drive to the SendTo List

  • I have recently found that if you want to send something from A: drive or from any where to any drive, you can just make a short cut of that drive in subdirectory SENDTO.
  • For example I have two hard drives, a Floppy Drive, and a CDROM
  • After I have make a copy of each of my drive I will be able to send a whole directory of E:\XXX from the CDROM drive to A: drive or any other drive that i have had made the short c t in the SENDTO subdir of WINDOWS.

windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

windows secrets III

Moving the Start Button

How to move or close the start button!

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Press the Esc key
  3. Press the Alt and the - keys together
  4. This will give you a menu, you can move or close
  5. But if you move it you need to use the arrow keys and not the mouse.

Aligning Drop-Down Menus to the Right

All dropdown menus can be aligned to the right.
This features becomes useful when trying to access
menus with submenus that appear directly to the right.

  1. Open the Registory editor (e.g. regedit.exe)
  2. Goto \\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. Create a string entry called "MenuDropAlignment"
  4. Set its value to 1
  5. Reboot

Note: Will not work under NT 4.0.

Repositioning a Background Bitmap

Normally, you only options for displaying a background bitmap are tiled, centered, or stretch to fit (with the Plus Pack).
You can edit the registry and have a third option which is to place the bitmap anywhere on your screen by specifying the X and Y coordinates.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop
  3. Create new Strings called WallpaperOriginX and WallpaperOriginY
  4. Give them values to position them around your desktop
  5. The bitmap must be smaller than your desktop size

Changing Drive Icons

To change a drive's icon when you open My Computer

  1. Create a file called AUTORUN.INF on the root of your hard drive
  2. Enter the lines

[autorun]
ICON=Name of the ICON file

For the name of the icon file you can either specify the path and name (e.g. ICON=C:\WINDOWS\ICONS\MY_ICON.ICO) or
a specific icon in a library (e.g. ICON=ICONFILE.DLL,2)


 windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

Friday, December 14, 2007

windows secrets I

Adding a Protected Briefcase

You can make your briefcase a shortcut icon on desktop so if you have multiple users on your PC and you don't want to have a password for your briefcase, you can at least protect it from inadvertent deletion by just making the briefcase a hidden file or in a different location other than \Windows\Desktop\My Briefcase, then send a copy or shortcut to the desktop.

Customizing the Start Button's Name and Icon

To change the name of the Start button:

  1. Copy EXPLORER.EXE in your Windows directory to another directory
  2. Start a hex editor (eg Diskedit from Norton)
  3. Edit EXPLORER.EXE
  4. Search for the string 53 00 74 00 61 00 72 00 74
  5. This is the word Start with the letters separated by a null character
  6. The section you are in should also have the words "There was an internal error..." also separated with the null character immediately following
  7. Now just replace the Start letters with any of your choice (up to 5 characters only)
  8. Exit Windows
  9. Boot to DOS
  10. Copy your new Explorer file over the original

To change the Start button icon:

  1. Copy USER.EXE in your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory to another directory
  2. Use an icon editor that can replace icons in executable files
  3. Edit USER.EXE and replace the flag icons with the icon of your choice
  4. Boot to DOS
  5. Copy the new USER.EXE

The same can be done with NT 4.0, just the offset will be different but the location to just before "There was an internal error..." is the same.

Adding the Device Manager to your Desktop

This allows you to quickly see all the devices attached to your computer.
I use it a lot to select Refresh when I add new external SCSI devices that were not
powered up at startup. This way you do not need to restart the computer. To add the Device Manager Icon:

  1. Right click on an open area of your desktop
  2. Select New / Shortcut
  3. Type in C:\WINDOWS\CONTROL SYSDM.CPL, SYSTEM, 1
  4. Replace C:\WINDOWS with whatever directory you installed Windows95
  5. Click on the Next box
  6. At the next dialog box type in Device Manager
  7. Click on the Finish when you are done

Note: Replacing the 1 with a 3 will bring up the Performance Status

Adding Options to the Right-Click of the Start Menu

To add an option to the Right-Click of the Start button:

  1. Go to Control Panel, View, Options
  2. Click on the File Types Tab
  3. Scroll down until you see File Folder
  4. Click on Edit
  5. Click on New
  6. Type in the Name you want to in the Action box
  7. Type in the Application you want to use

A good option to add is an MS-DOS Prompt:

Try this c:\command.com /k cd %1
It also puts the shortcut on a regular folder.
This command will open a DOS window with that folder as the current directory.

How to make the task bar Auto Hide

  1. Click the right button on a blank area of the task bar
  2. Select Properties
  3. Select Autohide
  4. Click OK

This will make the task bar slide off the screen when the cursor moves away from it,
and it will slide back on when the cursor is moved near it again.

The same can be done for the MS Office task bar. The "sliding" effect is nice, and can free up some desktop space.


 windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

windows secrets III

Moving the Start Button

How to move or close the start button!

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Press the Esc key
  3. Press the Alt and the - keys together
  4. This will give you a menu, you can move or close
  5. But if you move it you need to use the arrow keys and not the mouse.

Aligning Drop-Down Menus to the Right

All dropdown menus can be aligned to the right.
This features becomes useful when trying to access
menus with submenus that appear directly to the right.

  1. Open the Registory editor (e.g. regedit.exe)
  2. Goto \\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. Create a string entry called "MenuDropAlignment"
  4. Set its value to 1
  5. Reboot

Note: Will not work under NT 4.0.

Repositioning a Background Bitmap

Normally, you only options for displaying a background bitmap are tiled, centered, or stretch to fit (with the Plus Pack).
You can edit the registry and have a third option which is to place the bitmap anywhere on your screen by specifying the X and Y coordinates.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop
  3. Create new Strings called WallpaperOriginX and WallpaperOriginY
  4. Give them values to position them around your desktop
  5. The bitmap must be smaller than your desktop size

Changing Drive Icons

To change a drive's icon when you open My Computer

  1. Create a file called AUTORUN.INF on the root of your hard drive
  2. Enter the lines

[autorun]
ICON=Name of the ICON file

For the name of the icon file you can either specify the path and name (e.g. ICON=C:\WINDOWS\ICONS\MY_ICON.ICO) or
a specific icon in a library (e.g. ICON=ICONFILE.DLL,2)


 windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Facebook Members Sell Their Own Ads

By Louise Story on The New York Times on December 7, 2007

URL: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/facebook-members-sell-their-own-ads/

More than 1,500 Facebook users have started placing advertisements on their own profile pages–despite the social networking site's rule against such ads.

They are posting them with the help of a Montreal-based company called Weblo, an advertising network that sells ads onto people's blogs and social networking profile pages.

Visitors to Weblo's site will see that they can "earn money from your popularity online." Weblo estimates people's advertising value based on variables like how many friends they have in their social networks, and, thus, how many people will likely see ads on their pages.

Facebook does not allow users to sell ads on their profile pages. Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, told me on Nov 6 that is because Facebook does not want people's profile pages to become cluttered.

"We don't want a free-for-all," he said.

But Weblo's chief executive Rocky Mirza says that people should be able to sell space on their pages on Facebook (and a variety of other sites like MySpace and YouTube) because they are the content creators on those sites. Facebook would have no content if not for its users, he said, which makes it different from media organizations, for example, that have content because they pay reporters.

Weblo started the service in October. In the past month the number of people using it on Facebook has grown from 200 to 1500.

"Obviously Facebook is providing the infrastructure, so they can place ads on the left side," Mr. Mirza said. "But users should be getting paid for the time they spend on the Internet and the friends they draw to their pages."

Facebook does allow people and companies that design widgets for use on the site to sell ads in the widget interface page, called the "canvas page." But those widget companies cannot sell ads on the profile pages, either.

Weblo shares ad revenues with the people who let it place ads on their pages. It will be interesting to see how long Facebook allows them to carry on. Facebook clearly would not want to alienate even more users now, after its Beacon debacle over the past month.

Weblo gets to the heart of a question of ownership that will generate more debate as more people spend more of their time looking at content created by other ordinary people. When users post reviews of restaurants on a media site, for example, should they get to share in the ad revenues generated?

Facebook has also yet to respond to my inquiry about Weblo, but I will update you when they do.

People can also sign up to run weblo ads on their pages by using a Weblo widget on the site called Internet Worth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nokia Offers Free Updates to N95

Nokia is offering existing owners of its N95 mobile phone handset the chance to improve its battery life and try out extra features via a free software update.

The over-the-air upgrade, available to Nokia N95 customers, promises maps that load faster as well as recognizing and redrawing positioning times more quickly. A three-day trial version of its real-time navigation service is included as part of the update.

Nokia is also pushing the multi-tasking capabilities of its popular handset. The N95 was already able to play music while surfing the web; Nokia says the software update will make multitasking more efficient since paging files are updated faster.

While these refinements are as much a way of crowing about the advanced capabilities of the Nokia N95 handset as anything else, the update that will be of most use to handset owners is the prolonged battery life.

Nokia claims an increase of up to 30 percent between charges. As much as 12 hours of use can be enjoyed once the update is installed, claims Nokia.

Nokia recently started selling a revised version of the Nokia N95 with 8GB of onboard memory, compared to the original handset's 4GB. It has also just launched a successor to the N95 in the form of the slimmer N82.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

windows secrets III

Moving the Start Button

How to move or close the start button!

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Press the Esc key
  3. Press the Alt and the - keys together
  4. This will give you a menu, you can move or close
  5. But if you move it you need to use the arrow keys and not the mouse.

Aligning Drop-Down Menus to the Right

All dropdown menus can be aligned to the right.
This features becomes useful when trying to access
menus with submenus that appear directly to the right.

  1. Open the Registory editor (e.g. regedit.exe)
  2. Goto \\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  3. Create a string entry called "MenuDropAlignment"
  4. Set its value to 1
  5. Reboot

Note: Will not work under NT 4.0.

Repositioning a Background Bitmap

Normally, you only options for displaying a background bitmap are tiled, centered, or stretch to fit (with the Plus Pack).
You can edit the registry and have a third option which is to place the bitmap anywhere on your screen by specifying the X and Y coordinates.

  1. Start Regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop
  3. Create new Strings called WallpaperOriginX and WallpaperOriginY
  4. Give them values to position them around your desktop
  5. The bitmap must be smaller than your desktop size

Changing Drive Icons

To change a drive's icon when you open My Computer

  1. Create a file called AUTORUN.INF on the root of your hard drive
  2. Enter the lines

[autorun]
ICON=Name of the ICON file

For the name of the icon file you can either specify the path and name (e.g. ICON=C:\WINDOWS\ICONS\MY_ICON.ICO) or
a specific icon in a library (e.g. ICON=ICONFILE.DLL,2)


 windows secrets- hacking your system to better performance and fun

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