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Aftermath of a Fresh Windows Install, Few Tips

Whenever I do an install or a re-intall of Windows, I do coupla Must-Do-Tweaks. I have them written down so I know how to execute them in steps. Let me archive some of them here for future reference.

Customize Folder Context Menu

Start > Run and type “Regedit”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\Shell\]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shell\]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Shell\]

Shutdown is Slower – Windows XP

Start > Run and type “Regedit”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
\SYSTEM
\CurrentControlSet
\Control
\Session Manager
\Memory Management]

Set ClearPageFileAtShutdown value to 0

Alternate method for Windows XP Professional

Start > Run and type “Secpol.msc”
Click Local Policies | Security Options
In the right-pane, set “Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile” to “Disabled”

However, this setting is not the only cause for slow shutdowns. Non-responsive programs and Services also contribute to slow shutdowns. Lowering the WaitToKillServiceTimeOut may help as well. The WaitToKillServiceTimeout value name in the registry allows you to specify a length of time that the service control manager must wait for services to complete the shut-down request. To do this;

Start > Run and type “Regedit”

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
\SYSTEM
\CurrentControlSet
\Control
\WaitToKillServiceTimeout

Then, reduce the Service timeout value (default being 20000ms) to your preference.

Similarly, set the AutoEndTasks to 1 in the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
\Control Panel
\Desktop

“AutoEndTasks” value determines whether user processes end automatically when the user either logs off or shuts down Windows 2000/XP.

How to Set the Command prompt default path to a certain directory

When you type CMD in the RUN box, you will see a Command Prompt Window defaulting to your user profile home directory (%Userprofile%). If you want to set the default path to a different directory, you may do so by editing the registry.

Start > Run and type “Regedit”

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor

In the right-pane, double-click Autorun and set the folder there, preceded by a CD\ (as you type in DOS). If Autorun is missing, create a new REG_SZ (String Value) there.

Example: Typing just CD\ makes the Command Prompt default to C:\ drive or whatever drive you’ve installed Windows. You may also use a batch file so that it executes the contents automatically upon launching the Command Prompt. Some organizations display banners for their employees once CMD is launched.

Type CMD /? in the Command Prompt for a detailed information about it’s parameters

How to locate Documents and Settings folders

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (Shared all users)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER (Current User)
\SOFTWARE
\Microsoft
\Windows
\CurrentVersion
\Explorer
\User Shell Folders

How to Turn Off Zip Folders in XP

Start > Run and type “Regedit”

To turn OFF: regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll
To turn ON: regsvr32 zipfldr.dll

How to Turn off Error Reporting

Click through

\Control Panel
\System
\Advanced tab
\Error Reporting

Prior articles on similar topic

Note: In future, instead of spawning new articles, I should just append new tips/tricks to this article.
It is always better to back-up your registry before trying out anything with it.

Update – Links
* Windows XP/2000 Commands & Tools
* Command-line reference A-Z
* Customize a new Windows XP Installation

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