Windows XP Secrets

Here is a collection of tips, and secrets I found regarding your copy of
Windows XP. When I say ‘your’ copy, I mean all general distro’s of XP
from Home edition to Pro.

Level Easy to Intermediate

1) Newbie but nice tips

Stop CD’s from auto playing – Hold down the Shift key for a few seconds after inserting CD.

Did you know you can open a explorer window of XP folders by simply typing it’s name in the run box.

Try this:

  • Start —> Run
  • Then in the Run box type "Desktop" (without the quotes)
  • Click ENTER
  • Your desktop contents opens up in an explorer window

Try it out on others, I’ve tried "Desktop" and "Control Panel", they work… nice eh?

Here’s an interesting one for you.

  • In the Run box enter a "." (period or full stop whatever you call it) only.
  • Click ENTER

If you know DOS you’ll understand what’s happening here (hint try ".." too)

2) System Properties > I Can’t access it with out my Mouse !

To access the System Properties window when your mouse won’t work, hold
down the Windows key (usually between Ctrl and Alt) then hit
Pause/Break (near Scroll Lock) and presto! One System Properties
windows coming right up!

Did you know that you can password protect your PC without 3rd party software? Yup… it’s easy.

Lockdown is a very effective way to secure your machine **IF** you have
a password on your acount and don’t use "auto-logon" software/settings.
No more wiating for the screen saver password to come on! Instant and

  1. Click on Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> User Accounts
  2. Click on "Change the way users logon on and off"
  3. Uncheck "Use Fast User Switching"
  4. Uncheck "Use Welcome Screen"
  5. Close that window (optional)
  6. Hold down the Windows key then hit the letter "L"
  7. Your workstation is now locked

**There’s another way to put the workstation into lockdown…

  1. Go through steps 1-5 of the previous list
  2. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del
  3. Hit Enter

3) clsid Codes – and what they are for..

My Computer

Network Neighborhood

Recycle Bin

Task Scheduler


Control Panel

Web Folders

4) Windows XP shortcut keys

  • Windows: Display the Start menu
  • Windows + D: Minimize or restore all windows
  • Windows + E: Display Windows Explorer
  • Windows + F: Display Search for files
  • Windows + Ctrl + F: Display Search for computer
  • Windows + F1: Display Help and Support Centre
  • Windows + R: Display Run dialog box
  • Windows + break: Display System Properties dialog box
  • Windows + shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
  • Windows + L: Lock the workstation
  • Windows + U: Open Utility Manager
  • Windows + Q: Quick switching of users (Powertoys only)
  • Windows + Q: Hold Windows Key, then tap Q to scroll thru the different users on your pc

Sometimes a file just won’t allow itself to be deleted. The most common reason for this is that Explorer has a grip on this file and won’t let go!

The following method should allow us to delete the wee bugger….

How to delete an Undeletable file

  • Open a Command Prompt window and leave it open. Close all open programs.
  • Click Start, Run and enter TASKMGR.EXE
  • Go to the Processes tab and End Process on Explorer.exe. Leave Task Manager open.
  • Go back to the Command Prompt window and change to the directory the undeletable file is located in.
  • At the command prompt type DEL where is the file you wish to delete.
  • Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell.
  • Close Task Manager

Display the on-screen keyboard

  • Start –> Run (or Windows + R)
  • Type osk (Press ENTER)

5) Setting Folder Permissions in XP Pro

Using the GUI to set XP folder permissions…

Windows XP Pro

This only works on NTFS formatted drives!

Ensure Simple File sharing is disabled.

My Computer —> Tools —> Folder Options —> View

The folder I will change will be the MSOCache


Notice the folder is showing as 315MB.

Okay, now select the Security Tab, and set permissions accordingly. You can select users to hide/disable access for. In this example I deny all
permissions for myself! (You would normally select a different user or
user group).

Properties of folder after we set the permissions

Notice the folder is showing as 0 KB’s! Also, if you try and enter the folder you will be presented with an access denied message. Kool for keeping snoopers from your pr0n

Now, for the more advanced!

Same thing using command line

I won’t go into all the details, but the command you use is named CACLS

Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files

CACLS filename [/T] [/E] [/C] [/G user:perm] [/R user […]]
[/P user:perm […]] [/D user […]]
filename Displays ACLs.
/T Changes ACLs of specified files in
the current directory and all subdirectories.
/E Edit ACL instead of replacing it.
/C Continue on access denied errors.
/G user:perm Grant specified user access rights.
Perm can be: R Read
W Write
C Change (write)
F Full control
/R user Revoke specified user’s access rights (only valid with /E).
/P user:perm Replace specified user’s access rights.
Perm can be: N None
R Read
W Write
C Change (write)
F Full control
/D user Deny specified user access.
Wildcards can be used to specify more that one file in a command.
You can specify more than one user in a command.

CI – Container Inherit.
The ACE will be inherited by directories.
OI – Object Inherit.
The ACE will be inherited by files.
IO – Inherit Only.
The ACE does not apply to the current file/directory.


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