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What are your favorite windows registry tweaks/hacks? Please share...

By UncleRob ·
Most of us have opened up regedit (or similar registry tool) at least once and made some modification or change to fix or tweak a particular windows setting. What is your favorite windows registry tweak/hack?

I'll start off by listing a few registry tweaks I've tested & used in the past with success.

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyways) that changes to the windows registry must be done with extreme caution. Careless changes can make Windows operate strangely (even more than how it normally operates!) or cause it to stop working altogether. Back up your windows registry before you do anything:
Click Start, Run, type regedit, and press <Enter> to open the windows registry editor. Then choose My Computer in the folder pane on the left, click File, Export, give the file a name, and select a location to store it (preferably on a CD-RW or other type of removable media). The resulting file may be huge, and restoring your registry from it may take a while. WinXP's system restore utility also makes regular system restore points but having an additional registry backup doesn't hurt.

That being said, I look forward to the various windows registry tweaks/hacks that everyone else has used with great success. Please make sure to provide the full reg key and brief description of the change it makes/advantage it provides to windows.

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I've also seen "Internal Explosion"...

by UncleRob In reply to I've been using

among other words that can't be posted in a friendly discussion environment.

Customization is nice when it works.

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This is a very usefull tweak

by breadtrk In reply to I've also seen "Internal ...

Been using it since W2K. I put the name of my company there with my phone number. I then use the advanced button in the appearance tab of display properties to change fade and font to company colors.

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How About ....

by dbristol In reply to I've been using


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by bfelts In reply to I've been using

Internet Exploder. Not original, got if from Webalizer if I recall correctly.

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... some basic info on the windows registry

by UncleRob In reply to What are your favorite wi ...

The windows registry is a database that is built on five top-level Keys.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT: Dedicated to storing information about file types and OLE-aware applications. OLE stands for object linking and embedding and describes how an object--such as a document--can be created in one application and embedded in another.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER: Provides access to configuration data for the active user on the PC. The data is actually extracted from the
HKEY_USERS Key--which contains user information for all accounts on the system.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE: The repository for all data about installed hardware and software.

HKEY_USERS: Contains select preferences data for all users of the computer.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG: Extracts data from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE pertaining to the active hardware configuration.

By clicking the (+) sign next to a Key, you can expand the view to reveal sub-Keys. Clicking the Key itself reveals the Values for that Key in the right-hand pane. Double-click a Value icon, and you can edit the data contained within it.

As mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, you can use RegEdit to make windows registry backups: from the entire Registry to a single key. Just select the Key containing the data to back up and click File, Export. Assign the backup file a name and then navigate to the folder where you want to save it. RegEdit will save the selected Key in a file with a .reg extension. Now say you perform a change to Keys or Values under the Key you backed up and the changes disable your system. You can go back to the original Registry state just by double-clicking the .reg file you created.

Needless to say, farting around with the windows registry can be dangerous - it's a good idea to keep a system backup handy, in case things go very wrong. Make registry changes that you know to be safe and always backup the registry before making changes just in case.

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Edit User Name & Organization...

by UncleRob In reply to What are your favorite wi ...

Do you want to change the registered user name & organization that was setup in your winxp install or perhaps you accidentally mistyped this info and would like to correct it.

Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

On the left frame, find RegisteredOwner and RegisteredOrganization. Double click on each of these entries to edit them, click on ok when you're finished and that's it. Verify the changes by viewing the 'general' page under system properties.

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by sainbayar In reply to Edit User Name & Organiza ...

Thanks Rob. hmm, I once needed to do the same thing at my work and don't remember what i did. I probably reinstalled the OS, hehe, my bad

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Reduce hung application timeout...

by UncleRob In reply to What are your favorite wi ...

When shutting down, Windows attempts to stop all running tasks. If a task is not responding or refuses to shut down, there?s a built-in delay before Windows will force the task to end. This delay is called the timeout, and it can be shortened if you?re experiencing problems or unreasonable delays when shutting down your system:

Navigate to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Double-click the WaitToKillAppTimeout value. This number controls the time to wait, in milliseconds, before unresponsive applications are
forced to close. The default is 20000 (twenty seconds), but it can be decreased to any value; the minimum is 1 millisecond, although it?s
impractical to use any value smaller than about 2000 (two seconds) here.

Also in this key is the HungAppTimeout value, which does pretty much the same thing as WaitToKillAppTimeout; just enter the same number for both values.

Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

Double-click the WaitToKillServiceTimeout value. This works the same as the WaitToKillAppTimeout value described above, except that it
applies to services instead of applications.

Close the Registry Editor when you?re done & restart Windows for the change to take effect.
These values also affect the timeouts at times other than just shutting down, such as when you click End Process in the Windows Task Manager.

- this tip was obtained from a TR download, an O'Reilly Tips & Secrets sample chapter

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Small prob with this tweak

by normhaga In reply to Reduce hung application t ...

This tweak can close an application before it saves the file state to hard disk.

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yes, you're right

by UncleRob In reply to Small prob with this twea ...

you have to play around with the time delay to find out what works best for you but that is definitely a problem that can be experienced

- if you find it does cause you problems, change it back to it's default value

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