Enterprise Software

Win2K tips and tricks quiz stumps some members

Over 1,000 TechRepublic members took our Windows 2000 tips and tricks pop quiz. They answered questions on everything from controlling the Quick Launch bar to changing the default batch file editor. Check out the results here.


Whether your help desk supports 10 or 10,000 Windows 2000 Pro workstations, knowing how to get the most from an OS enables your IT department to provide top quality support. To test our members' knowledge of Windows 2000 Pro, we developed this quick, five-question quiz. While five questions cannot provide a complete assessment, these questions can serve as a starting point for evaluating your Windows 2000 proficiency.

More than 1,000 TechRepublic members took our Windows 2000 tips and tricks pop quiz. Here's a rundown of how they did. Would you have done better?

Word of warning
The following article suggests ways to edit your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that could require you to reinstall your operating system and could cause data loss. TechRepublic does not and will not support problems that arise from your editing your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.

Change the default batch file editor

Figure A


The correct answer is: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\shell\edit\command, and 45 percent of our quiz takers got it right, as shown in Figure A. The default editor for batch files is Notepad, so if you right-click on a batch file and select Edit, the file opens in Notepad. While Notepad is a handy text editor, if you work with a lot of batch files, you may want to use a more robust editor such as WordPad or Word.

You can change the default batch file editor by performing the following steps:
  1. Open the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\shell\edit\command.
  3. Double-click on Default from the right side of the Registry Editor.
  4. Change the value to the program you want to be the default batch file editor—for example, for WordPad the value would be:
C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories\wordpad.exe %1

For Word, the value would be:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe %1

Remember, the locations of WordPad and Word on your system may be different depending on how the programs were installed. Once you've finished, click OK to close the Registry Editor. You shouldn't need to restart Windows for the change to take effect.

If you ever want to change the default text editor back to Notepad, simply change the registry entry back to:
%SystemRoot%\System32\NOTEPAD.EXE %1

Add your help desk information to the General tab

Figure B


The correct answer is: Yes, and a high percentage of those who took the quiz, 83 percent to be exact, knew the answer, as shown in Figure B. Often computer OEMs place their own support information on the General tab of the System Control Panel applet, but with a little effort, you can change this information to benefit your help desk, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C


To learn more about adding your help desk's information to the General tab of the System Control Panel applet, check out this TechProGuild article from Greg Shultz.

Prevent the last logon name from being displayed

Figure D


For this question, there were two correct answers: Edit the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system and Enable the Group Policy Object: Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Do not display last user name in logon screen. As shown in Figure D, 49 percent of our quiz takers knew this.

Preventing the last logon name from being displayed is a good way to improve security. You can do so in two ways: through the Registry Editor or by using group policies.

The Registry Editor method
  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the registry entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system.
  3. Double-click Dontdisplaylastusername from the right pane of the Registry Editor.
  4. Change the value to 1.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close the Registry Editor.

The Group Policy method
  1. Open the Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc).
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Do not display last user name in logon screen.
  3. Double-click the policy from the right pane of the Group Policy Editor.
  4. Select Enabled.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close the Group Policy Editor.

Edit the Quick Launch toolbar

Figure E


The correct answer is: C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch, and 43 percent of those who took the quiz got this one correct, as shown in Figure E. The Quick Launch toolbar provides easy access to the applications you use most frequently. To learn more about this handy tool and how you can customize it to fit your needs, check out this article from Jason Hiner.

Disabling PrettyPath

Figure F


The correct answer is PrettyPath, but only 9 percent of our quiz takers knew this answer, as shown in Figure F. By default, Windows Explorer changes the case of filenames so that a file named c:\myTeXtFiLe appears as c:\Mytextfile. Microsoft calls this feature PrettyPath.

You can disable this feature in the following manner:
  1. Open the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Advanced.
  3. Double-click DontPrettyPath from the right pane of the Registry Editor. (If the DontPrettyPath key doesn't exist, you'll need to create a new REG_DWORD value with this name.)
  4. Set the value to 1 to disable PrettyPath.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close the Registry Editor.
  7. Restart Windows.

If you want to reenablePrettyPath, simply change the registry key's value to 0.

A little more study needed
Unfortunately, the results from this quiz were a little lower than normal, with only one of the questions being answered correctly by more then 50 percent of those who took the quiz. I'm not sure if this is due to the uncommon nature of the questions or a general lack of interest in the subject. While none of these Windows tips and tricks is required to support Windows 2000 Professional, mastery of them does illustrate a desire to learn more than the basics.

For those who took that quiz and missed more than three questions, I hope the information provided here will encourage you to delve a little deeper into the operating systems you support. For those who got all the questions correct, "Great job!" As I've mentioned in my previous pop quiz results articles, you get the TechPoints for just taking the quiz, not for getting all the answers correct. Good luck on our next pop quiz.

You be the teacher
If you have a topic you'd like us to cover in an upcoming pop quiz, we want to hear about it. Post a comment to this article or drop us a line and share your suggestions for both quiz topics and questions.

 

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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