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Operating System Tweaks: Windows 2000/XP

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System Settings

These tweaks deal with various and miscellaneous system settings.

Disable Windows Messenger

To stop Windows Messenger from loading, there is a registry tweak you can try out. If you use MSN Messenger, it can be run without Windows Messenger. If you install MSN Messenger after applying this tweak, the tweak will be reset by the installation and it will need to be done again.

First, if you have it open, close MSN Messenger and make sure it is not open in the system tray. Open up regedit and to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Messenger/Client. Create/modify these to DWORD values: “PreventRun” set to the value of 1; and “PreventAutoRun” also set to the value of 1.

If you are experiencing a slow down opening OE as a result of the above tweak, try this:

Open regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Classes/CLSID. Find the key {FB7199AB-79BF-11d2-8D94-0000F875C541} and under it select the folder IniProcServer32. In the right panel of regedit double-click on the “(Default)” entry at the top and completely delete the value data it contains. Now do the same for the LocalServer32 folder as well.

Freeze Folder Settings
For Windows 2000 & XP

Every time a user logs off, any changed settings are saved. Window locations, window sizes, and taskbar adjustments are all saved at the exit of each windows session. This tweak allows you to set up everything the way you want it, and no matter how you fiddle with the settings, everything will return to the way you set it up upon the next login.

Start out by adjusting everything the way you want it. This will be the freeze point. Next, open up regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/Explorer. Create/modify the DWORD value “NoSaveSettings” and set the value equal to 1. You will have to log off and back on again before the settings take effect. After that, no matter what you do, after every new login, the folder and taskbar settings will be returned to the frozen state you set earlier. You can also use this downloadable registry file to apply this tweak.

Put Outlook in the System Tray
For Windows 2000 & XP

If you like to have Microsoft Outlook open all the time and have Office XP installed, you’re in luck. You can remove toolbar icon from the toolbar and send it to the system tray when Outlook is minimized.

First, close Outlook if you have it open. Next, open up regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/MicrosoftOffice10.0/Outlook/Preferences. Create/modify the DWORD value “MinToTray” and set the value equal to 1.

The next time you open Outlook, it will be seen in both the toolbar and the system tray. As soon as it is minimized, it will disappear from the toolbar and only be seen in the system tray. Just double click the icon to restore it.

Reassign Drive Letters
For Windows 2000 & XP

If you want to reassign your drive letters, go to Start > Run and type diskmgmt.msc. In the Disk Management window, all your drives will be listed down at the bottom half of the screen. Right click on a disk and click “Change Drive Letter and Path”. Click “Edit” or “Change” and select an unused letter from the drop down list. Click OK, answer the prompts that come up, and finally hit OK when you are done.