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)
  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
  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:\ /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

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