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If I run system restore to a date preceding the installation of a program, will that remove the folders I now see which are leftovers?
Thank you

I got the information... SERVICE PACK 2 KILLED MY

Use any one of the following methods to remove Microsoft
Windows XP SP2 from your computer:
Use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel
Use the hidden $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder
Use the System Restore process
Use Recovery Console
Important We recommend that you use the following methods
in the order that they are listed.
Use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel
Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl in the Open box,
and then click OK.
Click to select the Show Updates check box.
Click Windows XP Service Pack 2, and then click Remove.
Follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows
Use the hidden $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder
Click Start, click Run, type
c:windows$NtServicePackUninstall$spuninstspuni nst.exe
in the Open box, and then click OK.
When the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Removal Wizard starts,
click Next.
Follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows
Use the System Restore process
Click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%System32
restorerstrui.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
Click Restore my computer to an earlier time, and then
click Next.
Click the date that you installed Windows XP SP2, and
then click Installed Window XP Service Pack 2 in the
Restore Point box.
Click Next, and then follow the instructions on the
screen to remove Windows XP SP2.
Use Recovery Console
Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may
cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall
your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that
you can solve problems that result from using Registry
Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

If you cannot successfully remove Windows XP SP2 by using
one of the previous methods, follow these steps:
Insert the Windows XP startup disk in your floppy disk
drive or insert the Windows XP CD in the CD drive or in
the DVD drive, and then restart your computer.

Note When you receive the following message, press a key
to start your computer from the Windows XP CD:

Press any key to boot from CD

Note Your computer must be configured to start from the
CD drive or the DVD drive. For more information about how
to configure your computer to start from the CD drive or
the DVD drive, see the documentation that came with your
computer or contact the computer manufacturer.
When you receive the Welcome to Setup message, press R to
start the Recovery Console.

NoteMultiple options will appear on the screen.
Select the Windows XP installation in question.

Note You must select a number before you press ENTER, or
the computer will restart. Typically, only the 1:
C:Windows selection is available.
If you are prompted to type an administrator password, do
so. If you do not know the administrator password, press
ENTER. (Typically, the password is blank.)

Note You will not be able to continue if you do not have
the administrator password.
At the command prompt, type cd
$ntservicepackuninstall$spuninst, and then press ENTER.

Note After you complete this step, you cannot stop the
removal process.
At the command prompt, type batch spuninst.txt, and then
press ENTER.

Note The Spuninstal.txt file appears. As the file scrolls
down, you will see errors and files being copied. This is
normal behavior.
After Windows XP SP2 is removed, type exit, and then
press ENTER.
Restart your computer in Safe Mode. To do this, press F8
as the computer restarts.
Note After you restart, the system may lock up with a
black screen. (Your mouse will work.) In this case,
restart again by turning the computer off and then back
on. The second restart will let you to log on.
When your computer restarts, Windows Explorer
(Explorer.exe) does not run, and the Windows icons and
the Start button are unavailable. To resolve this
problem, follow these steps:
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to start Task Manager.
Click File, and then click New Task (Run...).
In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServic esRpcSs

On the right side of the viewing pane, right-click
ObjectName, click Modify, type LocalSystem in the Value
data box, and then click OK.
Restart your computer
Use one of the previous methods to remove Windows XP SP2
from your computer.


I was trying to do a complete reinstall of Thunderbird and was trying to locate and delete folders which do not get removed after uninstall of Thunderbird.

Anyway, I clicked something in C: Users... and everything on the desktop disappeared.

So, I did a system restore to earlier in the day. Everything reappeared except some word and excel docs (Open Office versions).

I searched for these docs in the Windows explorer but found nothing.

So, I reopened the progs and was able to access the documents via recent documents. So I resaved them - but it said the files were already on the desktop (not that I could see) - anyway, I just renamed them and they are now there.

Anyway, any ideas why this might have occurred as I'd like to avoid this problem in the future.

I am an experienced system administrator (mostly on Unix, but also on Win XP).

I've recently upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. The data disk, where all of
the user project folders are stored is separate from the system disk, and untouched
by the upgrade.

I am the owner and administrator of the node. I enabled and logged into the
local Administrator account. When I navigate to and double click on any of the
hundreds of user project folders, I get:

You don't currently have permission to access this folder. Click continue to permanently
get access to this folder.

I click and get:

You have been denied permission to access this folder. To gain access to this folder, you will need to use the security tab.

I click on highlighted and get the properties dialog box with
security tab selected. It does not show the tab contents, but says:

To continue, you must be an administrative user with permission to view this object's
security properties. Do you want to continue?

I *am* an administrator - why is it asking me this? I click and get the
Advanced Securities Settings popup with Owner tab selected. It says:

You do not have permission to view this object's security properties. To view its security properties, you can try taking ownership of the object.

I am administrator and cannot even view an object's security settings?? What if it's
a malicious object?
I cannot legitimately take ownership of another user's objects, or they will no longer
have access to them. Nor even if I did, would it be feasable to take ownership of ALL
data folders and files on the disk (Terabytes of them) in order to administer the machine. Nothing may be allowed to escape the inspection of Administrator. How do
I get read/write/execute/delete, etc dominion over the objects? None of the users
are complaining, so I believe folders and data in them are intact. When I first
encountered the problem, I removed the disk and installed it on another test
machine still running XP, and saw that everything was still there, accessible, and just
as it was before the upgrade to windows 7. While there, I ran a scandisk to check
for bad sectors, and chkdsk to check the integrity of the file system. No errors.
(It's NTFS 5.0, BTW). So I moved the disk back to the production machine.

In the control panel, under User Accounts, My Icon shows "Administrator" as my id,
and under that "Administrator" as account type, so I am indeed Administrator. When
I do "whoami" at a command prompt, it shows "my-pcAdministrator". I tried
"cacls D:sdata" and it gives "Access is denied". Of course, I cannot to that
directory, either.

I tried the following run in a batch file as Administrator:

@echo off
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%*.* /grant=administrators=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%*.* /grant=system=f
@Echo =========================
@Echo Finished.
@Echo =========================

The problem persists. I cannot access any D: project data folders as administrator.

I conducted the following experiment. While on the XP test machine, I created a new user, "tester", logged in as tester, and created a folder "tester" with subfolders and
files under it on the data drive. On the Windows 7 machine, after moving the drive,
I cannot access the tester folder as administrator. I bring up the properties box for the folder. In the Advanced Securities Settings box, owner tab,
I clicked "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects". Under "Change Owner to",
I selected myself (Administrator) and then clicked . I get:

You do not have permission to read the contents of directory D:tester. Do you want
to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you full control?

I click . I get two boxes:

Windows Security
Changing ownership of

Error Applying Security
D:tester Access is denied.

I click in the latter box. I get:

Windows Security
Unable to set new Owner on D:tester. Access is denied.

I click and the box disappears. I'm back to the Owner tab in
Advanced Security Settings. I uncheck "Replace owner on subcontainers and
objects". I select Administrator again under "Change Owner to" and click . I get:

Windows Security
If you have just taken ownership of this object, you will need to close and
reopen this objects properties before you can view or change permissions.

I click in the box and close the properties box then reopen it, select Security Tab, click Advanced and select Owner tab. I am now the owner. I click . On the Security tab, I can now see the ACL and permissions lists and Administrator is not on it. Remember that a previous box asked me if I wanted to grant myself "full permissions" to this folder, and I clicked . Since I am not on the ACL, I have no permissions at
all. That's inconsistent. I click Edit, then Add, type in Administrator, and click . Now I'm on the ACL, select Administrator there, and check Full control in the permissions list, then click . I get two boxes:

Windows Security
Setting security on: < Blank line>

Error Applying Security
Access is denied.

I click in the latter box. There follow about 20 boxes in succession just like
the second one above (corresponding to the number of subfolders and files under "tester"), and I click in each. In the end, I own folder "tester" and have
full control permissions. I cd into it and attempt to cd into a subfolder and get
"Access is denied". I do not own any of the subfolders, and cannot view any of their
security properties. I am starting over again, with each object below "Tester". I
give up. Too much work. No administrator could afford this kind of time on the

Then, I set ownership of the "tester" folder back to user
"tester", but user tester was not able to access the files (same problem as administrator had before). As Administrator,
I had to laboriously take ownership of each subfolder and subfile under "tester", add myself to the ACL, grant myself full permissions, then delete
it and finally delete the "tester" folder itself. Then I restored the tester folder from backup, and user tester was able to access his files in that folder.

I have been a system administrator a lot of years, and never seen anything like this
foul-up. What in the hell is going on? How do I get dominion over this disk as
administrator? It has to be simple. It has to be something I can do within seconds.
It cannot require taking ownership of anything... administrator isn't a permanent login
account; it can't really own anything.


Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu in Perfect Harmony

Windows 7

and Ubuntu, despite their opposing missions, can get along like best pals on a single computer. Here's how to set up a dual boot system that lets you enjoy the best of both worlds in perfect harmony.

By default, Windows 7 takes over your boot-up process and wants to be your only OS, and Linux treats Windows like a weekend hobby you keep in a shed somewhere on your hard drive. But I've been dual-booting Ubuntu and some version of Windows 7 for nearly a year, and I've learned a lot about inconveniences, annoyances, and file-sharing necessities, and now I'll walk you through how to set up your systems to achieve a peaceful union of your dual-boot OSes. (Both with Windows 7 already installed, and with a clean system ready for a new dual-OS existence.)
Follow through this guide, and I'll explain how to rebuild a system from the ground up with Windows 7 and Ubuntu, with either a backed-up and cleaned-out hard drive (recommended) or Windows 7 already installed. When we're done, you can work and play in either operating system, quickly and conveniently access your documents, music, pictures, and other files without worry or inconvenience, and boot into either system without having to worry about whether Windows is going to get mad at you. Plus, when Ubuntu 10.04 or Windows 8 come along, you'll find it much easier to install either one without having to start over entirely from scratch.

What you'll need

Windows 7 installation disc: For clean installations, either a full installation copy or an upgrade disc is needed. If you own an upgrade disc but want to start from scratch, there's a way to do a clean install with an upgrade disc, though that's a rather gray-area route. Then again, there's probably not a person on this earth that doesn't have a licensed copy of XP or Vista somewhere in their past.Ubuntu 9.10 installation image: You can grab an ISO at, or hit "Alternative download options" to reveal a (usually very fast) BitTorrent link. You'll want to get the ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso download for 32-bit systems, or ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent for 64-bit on AMD or Intel systems (despite the name).Blank CD or empty USB drive: You'll need one of these for burning the Ubuntu ISO, or loading it for USB boot. If you're going the thumb drive route, grab UNetBootin for Windows or Linux, plug in your USB drive, and load it with the downloaded ISO image.All your data backed up: Even if you're pulling this off with Windows 7 already installed and your media and documents present, you'll want to have a fallback in case things go awry. Which they shouldn't, but, naturally, you never know.Free time: I'd reckon it takes about 2 hours to pull off two OS installs on a clean system; more if you've got a lot of data to move around.

Setting up your hard drive

If you've got nothing installed on your system, or you've got your data backed up and you're ready to start from scratch, you're in a great position--skip down to the "Partition your system" section. If you've got Windows already installed, you can still make a spot for Ubuntu, though.

(Only) If Windows is already installed: You're going to "shrink" the partition that Windows 7 installed itself on. Before we do that, clean out any really unnecessary applications and data from your system (we like Revo Uninstaller for doing this). Also, open up "Computer" and take note of how much space remains on your main hard drive, presumably labeled "C:". Head to the Start menu, type "disk management" into the search box, and hit Enter.

Windows 7 probably put two partitions on your hard drive: one, about 100 MB in size, holding system restoration data. We don't want to touch it. Right-click on the bigger partition to the right, and choose Shrink Partition.

After a little bit of hard drive activity and a "Please wait" window, you'll get back the size you can shrink your Windows partition by.

If the space Windows offers doesn't jibe with what your Computer view told you was "remaining," you might need to hit Cancel, then head back and defragment your hard drive, and take some of the steps laid out by the How-To Geek. Run the Disk Management tool again and try a Shrink Volume operation again, and free up as much space as you can.

Partition your system: You're aiming to set up a system with three partitions, or sections, to its hard drive: One lean partition for the Windows operating system and applications running from it, another just-big-enough partition for Ubuntu and its own applications, and then a much larger data partition that houses all the data you'll want access to from either one. Documents, music, pictures, application profiles—it all goes in another section I'll call "Storage" for this tutorial.

How do you get there? We're going to use GParted, the Linux-based uber-tool for all things hard drive. You could grab the Live CD if you felt like it, but since you've already downloaded an Ubuntu installer, you can simply boot a "live," no-risk session of Ubuntu from your CD or USB stick and run GParted from there. Once you're inside Ubuntu, head to the System menu in the upper left when you get to a desktop, then choose the Administration menu and GParted under it.

You'll see your system's hard drive and its partitions laid out. You're going to create partitions for Linux and your storage space, but not Windows—we'll let the Windows installation carve out its own recovery partition and operating space. On my own system, I give Windows 15 GB of unallocated space, and Ubuntu another 15 GB of space right after it, with whatever's left kept as storage space. Then again, I've only got a 100 GB hard drive and don't run huge games or applications, so you can probably give your two operating systems a bit more space to grow.
Click on the unallocated space and hit the "New" button at the far left. In the "Free space preceding" section, click and hold the up button, or enter a number of megabytes, to leave space for Windows at the front. When you've got the "space preceding" set, set the actual size of the Ubuntu partition in the "New Size" section, and leave "Free space following" alone. Choose "unformatted" under file system—we'll let Ubuntu do the format itself and hit "Add." Back at the main GParted window, click on the space to the right of your two OS spaces, hit "New" again, and set the file system as "ntfs." Give it a label like "Storage," hit "Add," and at the main GParted window, hit the checkmark button to apply your changes. Once it's done, exit out of GParted and shut down the system from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner.

If Windows is already installed: If you've shrunk down its partition for free space and booted into a live Ubuntu or GParted, click on the "Unallocated" piece next to the two "ntfs" partitions that represent your Windows 7 installation and system recovery tools. Create a 15(-ish) GB unformatted partition, and give it a label like Ubuntu. If you've got a good deal of space left, format it as "ntfs" and label it something like "Storage." If you can just barely fit the Ubuntu partition, you can just keep your media files in the Windows partition—until you can remedy this with a full wipe-and-install down the line.

Experienced Linux geeks might be wondering where the swap space is going—but don't worry, we'll create one, just not in its own partition.

Installing and configuring Windows

Grab your Windows 7 installation disc—either a full copy or modified upgrade disc, and insert it into your DVD drive. If your system isn't set up to boot from CD or DVD drive, look for the button to press at start-up for "Boot options" or something similar, or hit up your system maker's help guides to learn how to change your boot order in the BIOS settings.
Follow through the Windows 7 installation, being sure to choose "Custom" for the installation method and to point it at that unallocated space we created at the beginning of your hard disk, not the NTFS-formatted media/storage space we made earlier:

Work your way through the Windows 7 installation, all the way until you reach the Windows desktop. Feel free to set up whatever programs or apps you want, but what we really want to do is set up your Storage partition to house your pictures, music, video, and other files, and make your Libraries point to them.
Hit the Start menu, click Computer, and double-click on the hard drive named "Storage" (assuming you named it that earlier). In there, right-click and create new folders (or hit Ctrl+Shift+N) for the files you'll be using with both systems. I usually create folders labeled Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos—I could also see folders for saved games and data files from big software packages. Copy your media files into these folders now, if you'd like, but we've got a bit more tweaking to pull off.
In the left-hand sidebar, you'll see your "Libraries" for documents, music, pictures, and video. At the moment, they point to your Public shared folders and the My Pictures-type folders on your main Windows drive. Click once on any of the Libraries, and at the top of the main panel, you'll see text stating that this library "Includes: 2 locations ...". Click the blue text on "2 locations," then click on each of the folders below and hit "Remove" on the right-hand side. Now hit "Add" and select the corresponding folder on your Storage drive. Do the same for all your music, pictures, videos, and other media folders.

Want to add another library for quick access? Right-click somewhere on the desktop, choose New->Library, and follow the steps.
That's about it for Windows. Now get your Ubuntu CD or USB stick ready and insert it in your system. Ignore whatever auto-play prompts appear, and restart your system.

Installing and configuring Ubuntu

Restart your computer, this time booting from your Ubuntu Live CD or USB boot drive. When your system boots up, choose your language, select "Try Ubuntu without any changes to your computer," and you'll boot into a "live" desktop, run entirely off the CD or USB stick. Once you're booted up, try connecting to the internet from the network icon in the upper-right—it helps during the installation process, ensures your network is working, and gives you something to do (Firefox) while the system installs.
Click the "Install" link on the desktop, and fill out the necessary language/location/keyboard info (most U.S. users can skip through the first 3 screens). When you hit the "Prepare disk space" section, select the "Specify partitions manually" option, then hit Forward. Select the free space that's after your first two Windows partitions with ntfs formats, then hit the "Add" button at bottom. Your partition should already be sized correctly, and the only thing to change is set "/" as a mount point. Here's what your screen should look like:

Click OK, then finish through with the Ubuntu installation. If it catches your Windows 7 installation, it might ask if you want to import settings from inside it—you can, if you'd like, but I usually skip this. Wait for the installation to finish, remove the CD or thumb drive, and reboot your system.

When you start up again, you'll see a list of OS options. The only ones you need concern yourself with are Windows 7 and the top-most Ubuntu line. You can prettify and fix up this screen, change its settings, and modify its order later on. For now, let's head into Ubuntu.

We're going to make the same kind of folder access change we did in Windows. Click up on the "Places" menu, choose "Home Folder," and check out the left-hand sidebar. It's full of links to Documents, Pictures, and the like, but they all point to locations inside your home folder, on the Linux drive that Windows can't read. Click once on any of those folders, then right-click and hit Remove.

You should see your "Storage" partition in the left-hand sidebar, but without that name—more like "100GB filesystem." Double-click it, type in the administrator password you gave when installing, and you'll see your Documents, Music, etc. Click and drag those folders into the space where the other folders were, and now you'll have access to them from the "Places" menu, as well as any file explorer window you have open.
Ubuntu won't "mount," or make available, your Windows 7 and Storage drives on boot-up, however, and we at least want constant access to the Storage drive. To fix that, head to Software Sources in the System->Administration menu. From there go to Applications, then the Ubuntu Software Center at the bottom. Under the "Ubuntu Software" and "Updates" sections, add a check to the un-checked sources, like Restricted, Multiverse, Proposed, and Backports. Hit "Close," and agree to Reload your software sources.

Finally! Head to the Applications menu and pick the Ubuntu Software Center. In there, search for "ntfs-config," and double-click on the NTFS Configuration Tool that's the first result. Install it, then close the Software Center. If you've got the "Storage" or Windows 7 partitions mounted, head to any location in Places and then click the eject icon next to those drives in the left-hand sidebar. Now head to the System->Administration menu and pick the NTFS Configuration Tool.

You'll see a few partitions listed, likely as /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and the like. If you only want your storage drive, it should be listed as /dev/sda3 or something similar--just not the first or second options. Check the box for "Add," click in the "Mount point" column to give it a name (Storage, perhaps?), and hit "Apply." Check both boxes on the next window to allow read/write access, and hit OK, and you're done. Now the drive with all your stuff is accessible to Windows and Linux at all times.

Adding swap to Ubuntu

"Swap" memory is a section of the hard drive that your system's memory spills over into when it gets full and busy. Until recently, I'd been creating a whole separate partition for it. Recently, though, I've found that swap isn't always necessary on systems with a large amount of memory, and that swap can simply be a file tucked away on your hard drive somewhere.

Follow the Ubuntu help wiki's instructions for adding more swap, but consider changing the location they suggest putting the swap file—/mnt/swap/ for the place your Storage is held—/media/Storage, in my case.

Share Firefox profiles and more

That's about it for this guide to setting up a harmonious Windows and Ubuntu existence, but I recommend you also check out our previous guide to using a single data store when dual-booting. It explains the nitty-gritty of sharing Firefox, Thunderbird, and Pidgin profiles between Linux and Windows for a consistent experience, as well as a few other dual-boot tricks.

You might also want to consider creating virtual machines with VirtualBox for those moments when you're in one OS and need to get at the other. Ubuntu is free to create as many instances as you want, of course, and Windows 7 (Professional and Ultimate) are very friendly with non-activated copies—not that either can't be otherwise activated in cases where it's just a double-use issue.

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Under User Interface:
Disable AeroMake menu bars and window frames opaque instead of translucentDo not animate windows when minimizing and maximizingSlow the window animations when holding Shift keyDisable 3D Window SwitchingAdd context menu to activate Flip 3DTurn off Aero PeekTurn off Aero SnapTurn off Aero Shake
Under Visual Effects:
Hide window contents while draggingDo not drop shadows under icons on the desktopDo not use translucent selection rectangleShow Windows version in the desktop bottom right cornerSelect how you want the arrows displayed on shortcuts
Under Animation:
Do not allow window animationDo not use smooth scrolling for list boxesDo not animate drop-down listsSelect tooltip animation types
Do not use menu fading animation effectsHide shadows under menusHide underlined letters for keybaord navigation until ALT is pressedMenu animation effects optionsDelay before displaying submenus (in milliseconds!)Full font smoothing optionsExtended ClearType and Standard font smoothing options
Start Menu:
Hide "Log Off" from the Start MenuHide the "Run itemHide "Set Program Access And Defaults" ("Default Programs" in Vista)Hide the "Help and Support" itemHide the "All Programs" menuHide "Administrative Tools"Hide the list of frequently used programsHide the list of pinned programsHide the "See more results" link
Under Folder options determine whether to hide individual items, show them as a link, or show them as a menu easily

Do not highlight recently installed programsDo not show partially installed programs in grayDo not sort the "All Programs" menu by nameDisable the context menu and drag itemsDisable the "Start" button tooltipExpand menu when you hover the mouse pointer over an itemEnable small icons in the Start menu
Show notification areaDo not display tooltips in the notification areaDo not hide unused icons in the notification areaDo not display the network activity icon in the notification areaDo not display the sound settings icon in the notification areaDo not display the battery icon in the notifications areaAuto-hide taskbarDo not slide taskbar buttonsAllow moving or rearranging taskbar itemsGroup similar buttons: Do not group, Group when full, Always group and hide tagsButtons: Configure advanced settings for taskbar application buttons
Show hidden filesShow file extensionsuse Windows classic foldersDisplay checkboxes to help select multiple filesAlways show the menu bar in Windows ExplorerDisable file and folder pop-up descriptionsDisplay folder size in the folder tooltip
Disable thumbnail cache creationDo not display thumbnails in network foldersThumbnail quality - 0-100%Thumbnail size in pixelsShow address bar folder path autocompleteShow address bar folder path autosuggestShow address bar maximized as a drop-down listInclude variable "PATH" into search pathDisable automatic replacement of a blackslash to a forward slash
Context Menu:
Show "Open Command Prompt"Show "Send To"Show "Copy to Folder..."Show "Move to Folder..."Show "Run as administrator"Show "Take ownership"Show "Search..."
Restore open Explorer windows when you restartDisable CD burning functions in Windows ExplorerRun Desktop and Explorer tasks as seperate processesRun each Explorer window as a seperate processAutomatically restart the shell if a shell error occursDisable the option to search the Internet when you open a file with unknown extension
Explorer items:
Display encrypted and compressed files and folders in a different colorDrive letter is displayed after disk labelDrive letter is displayed before disk labelDrive letter is displayed before disk label for network driveDrive letter is not displayed!

Disable autorun for:
Removable drives (Floppy, flash-drive, etc)Non-removable drives (hard disk, etc)Optical disk drives (CD, DVD, etc)Temporary memory disk (RAM-disk)Network drivesUnknown drive types
Command Prompt:
Enable advanced modeEnable delayed expansion of environmental variablesEnable quick editingFile names autocomplete hotkeyFolder names autocomplete hotkey
System Security:
Disable User Acount ControlSet all UAC options including advanced options only found in registry
Privacy Policy:
Wipe page file on computer shutdownClear the "Recent documents" list on logoffDo not create the "Recent Documents" listDo not store your logon password on the diskDisable hidden sharesDisable user trackingEnable encrypt/decrypt options in ExplorerDisable Faster User Switching
For anonymous users:
Access is allowed with the default settingsTransfer of accounts and SAM names is prohibitedAccess is denied if permits are not specified
Windows Defender:
Disable Windows DefenderDisable heuristic scanningDisable archive scansDisable removable media scansDisable e-mail scansDisable real-time protectionDisable real-time protection promptsDisable downloads checkupDisable executable files checkupDisable definition updates through alternate download locationsCheck for new signatures before scheduled scansDo not log unknown detectionsDo not log known good detections
Startup and Shutdown:
Disable Windows startup soundDisable parsing AUTOEXEC.BATDisplay information about previous logons during user logonDisable Ctrl-Alt-Del before logonRun logon scripts simultaneouslyOptimize system files placement on the diskSpecify time to wait before running Check Disk (chkdsK) in seconds
Event Logging:
Do not log any eventsLog standard events onlyLog all startup and shutdown events
Legal Notice:
Write any legal notice you want during startup of Microsoft Windows
Automatic login:
Use autologin and set credentials, including username, password, and domain

OEM Info:

Configure Windows OEM attributes, such as the manufacturer's logo and support information that appears in the System Properties window.

This includes:
ManufacturerModelSupport URLWorking HoursPhone120x120 pixel logo
Application Start:
Disable "Program Compatibility Assistant"Disable "Program Compatibility Wizard"Disable running 16-bit applicationsRun 16-bit programs as a separate processAdd checkbox "Run in seperate memory space" for 16-bit applications
Error Handling:
Disable sound when errors occurAutomatic restart in case of a critical errorSend error reportsShow error notification in windowDon't save reports on your computerDon't send additional information in a reportDon't write error information into system log
If an error occurs:
Ask user consent to send a reportAutomatically include only basic information in the reportAutomatically include all but personal data in the reportAutomatically include all data in the report
Internet Explorer:

Disable visual-styled controls in Internet Explorer pagesDisable page transitionsDisable Clear Type fontsDisable smooth scrollingDisable autoamtic updatesAlways show menusDo not show extended error messagesDo not show the welcome text for new opened tabsDo not show warning messages when closing tabsDo not send bug reports via the InternetAlways ask before downloading filesPlace the menu above the address bar
Let Internet Explorer decide how pop-ups should openAlways open pop-ups in a new windowAlways open pop-ups in a new tab
Specify how Internet Explorer displays a web page when it's launched from another program:
Opens in a new windowOpens in a new tab in the current windowOpens in the current tab or window
Speed up web browsing in IE by using more concurrent Internet connectionsIncludes anywhere from 1-20 connections (Default is 4)
Default file download directoryHome PageCaption string that is displayed after the page title
Microsoft Office:
Do not track document editing timeBlock updates from the Office Update SiteDisable Customer Experience Improvement programDisable error reportingDisable logging Microsoft Office activityDisable Office DiagnosticsDisable clipboard dialog boxPrevent Office Help from resizing the application window
Microsoft Word:
Do not check spelling as you typeDo not check grammar as you typeDo not use background printingDo not auto-save background printingDo not auto-save documents in the backgroundDo not use translucent selectionDo not check if MS Word is the default HTML editor
Microsoft Excel:
Show Formula bar in Full ViewCache spreadsheetsCache PivotTable reportsUndo steps: Set from 0 to 100
Software tweaks (The ones we can see so far)

Disable file transferDisable loading language filesDisable publishing Skype status on the WebDisable Skype Public APIDisable checking for updatesDisable listening for TCP connectionsDisable UDP communications
Windows Media Player
Disable auto-updatesDisable automatic codec downloadsDisable Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM)Disable video smoothingDisable CD and DVD Media information retrievalDisable music file media information retrievalDisable media file sharingDisable script handling in media filesHide the "Privacy" tab in the settingsHide the "Security" tab in the settingsHide the "Network" tab in the settings
Adobe Reader:
Disable splash screenDisplay PDF in the browser windowDisable Purchase Acrobat item in the menu
Disable link prefetchingDo not reduce memory when minimizedDo not download favorite icons (favicons)Disable blinking elementsForce frames to be reesizableUse old style for opening tabsShow all images / Block all images / Load images from the requird site only and block images from othersClose Tab Button full range of optionsHow long Firefox waits for the web page data before it displays the page (From 0 to 1 sec)
System Information includes everything:
OverviewGeneralHardwareCPUMotherbaordMemory ModulesVideoStorageIO DevicesInput DevicesModemsNetwork AdaptersResourcesProblem DevicesOperating SystemProgramsNetworkApplication ErrorsDevice ManagerMemory UsagePerformance
Tasks show Applications, processes, services, and locked files. You can unlock locked files, change the status of services, end processes, and modify application data.

Auslogics Disk Explorer will show what folders are taking up the most space and allow you to delete empty folders on your system.

File Recovery allows you to undelete files.

Speed Up Internet includes:
Automatic tuningAuto HeuristicsDefault TTLGlobal Max TCP WindowMax MTUTCP Window SizeMax Connections Per 1_0 ServerMax Simultaneous HTTP ConnectionsFirefox Max ConnectionsFirefix Max Connections Per Server
1323 OptsACK FrequencyARP Cache LifeARP Cache Min Reference LifeARP Cache SizeAuto HeuristicsAuto TuningCongestion ControlDefault TTLDel ACK TicksDisable Task OffloadECN CapabilityEnable PMTU BH DetectEnable PMTU DiscoveryFin Wait DelayGlobal Max TCP Window SizeInitial RTTIPv6 over IPv4Keep Alive InternalKeep Alive TimeMax Connect RetriesMax Data RetransmissionsMax Dup ACKsMax MTUNum ConnectionsReceive-side ScalingSACK EnabledTCP Window SizeSYN Attack ProtectTimed Wait DelayUse RFC1122 Urgent Pointer
Default Receive WindowDefault Send WindowLarge Buffer SizeMedium Buffer SizeNon Blocking Send Special bufferingSmall Buffer SizeTransmit Worker
Request Buffer SizeUse Raw ReadUse Raw WriteUse Write Raw Data
Dns Cache:
Adapter Timeout TimeHash Table Bucket SizeHash Table SizeMax Entry TTL LimitMax SOA Entry TTL LimitNegative SOA TimeNegative TimeNet Failure Time
Internet Explorer:
DNS Cache EnabledDNS Cache TimeoutKeepAlive TimeoutMax Connections Per 1_0 ServerMax Connections Per ServerReceive TimeoutServer Info TimeoutSocket Receive Buffer LengthSocket Send Buffer LengthTCP Autotuning
Disable IPv6DNS Cache EntriesDNS Cache ExpirationHTTP Connect TimeoutKeepAlive TimeoutMax ConnectionsMax Connections Per ServerMax Persistent Connections Per ServerMax Persistent Connections Per ProxyPipeliningPipelining Max RequestsPrefetch NextProxy PipeliningUse KeepAliveUsing Proxy KeepAlive
(Auto-optimization is based on Over 1Mbps / 1Mbps or lower (default that Windows assumes) / or 128kbps or lower)

The built-in System Advisor determines (THESE ARE JUST SOME):
Can the Internet connection be optimized?Is the registry fragmented?Can Windows shutdown be sped up?Can incorrect drivers be updated? (It updates them in Auslogics Device Manager)
Quick Tasks allow you to:
Erase browser historyErase Windows historyCleanupt emporary filesOptimize memory
Privacy allows you to shred files and wippe entire disks.

Let's check that one again:
Disk MaintenanceFree Up SpaceRemove DuplicatesExplore diskDisk cleanupDisk defragmentDisk repairSoftware ControlSystem TweaksService OptimizationDisaster RecoveryFile RecoveryRescue CenterRegistry MaintenanceRegistry RepairRegistry DefragmentSystem StatusSystem InformationSystem TasksSystem ServicesLocked FilesComputer PrivacyErase Computer HistoryShred FilesWipe disksSpeed Up InternetInternet OptimizationMemory Optimization
It is quite probable that Auslogics BoostSpeed is the best program on the market for system repair and optimization EVER. Even if you don't know how to use the options listed above, that is why this program is great. It really DOES it for you. It really does repair your registry, with money behind it that went into big time research and development.

Their previous freeware products have been used regularly by IT professionals, but this product includes absolutely everything. There is nothing missing in this program, and updates are absolutely frequent. It is the one application I would recommend to every member of without hesitation. Even if you do not know what these settings mean, this program will optimize and repair your system without any doubt. Today, there are so many programs that "claim" to do this and do that. When we saw Auslogics offering a commercial solution I had to start offering it on my website after I saw what it could do. I had to make a video about it. I had to find a way to provide a discount to members.

I have recommended it to my mother, my grandparents, and I will bring it up to a client I am currently working with tomorrow who is asking for Windows XP. This is the program that you need to automatically manage your system and keep it up-to-date, speedy, and performing in top condition.

Windows 7 Forums Rating: 10/10 Stars

Don't take my word for it. CNET gave them 5/5 stars too!

Watch our YouTube video for an exclusive discount offer.

*WARNING* This is a LONG spill, all in plain text and simplified so that
even non-techs should be able to understand it. Hopefully this will
assist some people in not only repairing their systems, but in making
them faster and more stable tools for them to use. It contains advice
on many things, many considered "common knowledge" to 'IT' people
everywhere. It is split into major sections, hopefully this will make
it easier to navigate. *WARNING*

Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC. Every attempt
has been made to be general and an assumption of a "Windows" operating
system is made here as well - although in some ways, this could be
adapted to any OS.


You should periodically defragment your hard drives as well as check them
for errors.

How to Defragment your hard drives

How to scan your disks for errors

How to use Disk Cleanup

You should also empty your Internet Explorer Temporary Internet
Files and make sure the maximum size for this is small enough not to cause
trouble in the future. Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the
size it stores to a size between 120MB and 480MB..

- Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
- Select TOOLS - Internet Options.
- Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
- Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
- Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
something between 120MB and 480MB. (Betting it is MUCH larger right
- Click OK.
- Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
(the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
minutes or more.)
- Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet

Uninstall any software you no longer use or cannot remember installing
(ask if it is a multi-user PC) - but only if you are sure you do not
need it and/or you have the installation media around to reinstall if
you need to. may help you accomplish this.

You should also verify that your System Restore feature is enabled and
working properly. Unfortunately, if seems to have issues on occasion,
ones that can easily be avoided by turning off/on the system restore and
make a manual restoration point as one of your periodic maintenance tasks.
This is particularly important right before installing something major
(or even minor if you are unsure what it might do to your system.)

Turn off System Restore.


Turn on System Restore.

Make a Manual Restoration Point.

(That, of course, will erase the previous restore point you have.)

Also, you should look into backing up your valuable files and folders.

And keep your original installation media (CDs, disks) safe with their
CD keys and such. Make backups of these installation media sets as
well and always use strong passwords. Good passwords are those that
meet these general rules (mileage may vary):

Passwords should contain at least six characters, and the character
string should contain at least three of these four character types:
- uppercase letters
- lowercase letters
- numerals
- nonalphanumeric characters (e.g., *, %, &, !)

Passwords should not contain your name/logon name.


** Side Note: *IF* you are about to install Service Pack 2 (SP2) for
Windows XP, I suggest you clean up your system first. Uninstall any
applications you do not use. Update any that you do. Download the
latest drivers for your hardware devices. Defragment and run a full
CHKDSK on your hard drives. Scan your system and clean it of any
Spyware/Adware/Malware and for Viruses and Trojans. Below you will
find advice and links to applications that will help you do all of
this. If this advice helps you, please - pass it on. Print it,
email it, forward it to anyone you think it might help. A little
knowledge might help prevent lots of trouble.

This one is the most obvious. There is no perfect product and any company
worth their salt will try to meet/exceed the needs of their customers and
fix any problems they find along the way. I am not going to say Microsoft
is the best company in the world about this but they do have an option
available for you to use to keep your machine updated and patched from
the problems and vulnerabilities (as well as product improvements in some
cases) - and it's free to you.

Windows Update

Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get the critical ones as
you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you see when selecting the
updates and if you have trouble over the next few days, go into your control
panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest numbers you downloaded
recently (since you started noticing an issue) and uninstall them. If there
was more than one (usually is), install them back one by one - with a few
hours of use in between, to see if the problem returns. Yes - the process
is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble like I mentioned - but as
you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is MUCH better than the

Windows is not the only product you likely have on your PC. The
manufacturers of the other products usually have updates as well. New
versions of almost everything come out all the time - some are free, some
are pay - some you can only download if you are registered - but it is best
to check. Just go to their web pages and look under their support and
download sections. For example, for Microsoft Office update, you should

Microsoft Office Updates
(and select "downloads")

You also have hardware on your machine that requires drivers to interface
with the operating system. You have a video card that allows you to see on
your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your PCs sound output and
so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the latest downloadable
drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always (IMO) get the
manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft offers. On the Windows
Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting their hardware
drivers - no matter how tempting. First - how do you know what hardware
you have in your computer? Invoice or if it is up and working now - take

Belarc Advisor

Once you know what you have, what next? Go get the latest driver for your
hardware/OS from the manufacturer's web page. For example, let's say you
have an NVidia chipset video card or ATI video card, perhaps a Creative
Labs sound card or C-Media chipset sound card...

NVidia Video Card Drivers

ATI Video Card Drivers

Creative Labs Sound Device

C-Media Sound Device

As for Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, Microsoft has made this
particular patch available in a number of ways. First, there is the
Windows Update web page above. Then there is a direct download site
and finally, you can order the FREE CD from Microsoft.

Direct Download of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP

Order the Free Windows XP SP2 CD

Microsoft also have a bunch of suggestions, some similar to these,
on how to better protect your Windows system:

Protect your PC


Let's say you are up-to-date on the OS (operating system) and you have
Windows XP.. You should at least turn on the built in firewall. That will
do a lot to "hide" you from the random bad things flying around the
Internet. Things like Sasser/Blaster enjoy just sitting out there in
Cyberspace looking for an unprotected Windows Operating System and jumping
on it, doing great damage in the process and then using that Unprotected OS
to continue its dirty work of infecting others. If you have the Windows XP
FW turned on - default configuration - then they cannot see you! Think of
it as Internet Stealth Mode at this point. It has other advantages, like
actually locking the doors you didn't even (likely) know you had. Doing
this is simple, some helpful tips for the SP2 enabled firewall can be found

If you read through that and look through the pages that are linked from it
throughout - I think you should have a firm grasp on the basics of the
Windows XP Firewall as it is today. One thing to note RIGHT NOW - if you
have AOL, you cannot use this nice firewall that came with your system.
Thank AOL, not Microsoft. You HAVE to configure another one.. So we
continue with our session on Firewalls...

But let's say you DON'T have Windows XP - you have some other OS like
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000. Well, you don't have the nifty built in
firewall. My suggestion - upgrade. My next suggestion - look through your
options. There are lots of free and pay firewalls out there for home users.
Yes - you will have to decide on your own which to get. Yes, you will have
to learn (oh no!) to use these firewalls and configure them so they don't
interfere with what you want to do while continuing to provide the security
you desire. It's just like anything else you want to protect - you have to
do something to protect it. Here are some suggested applications. A lot of
people tout "ZoneAlarm" as being the best alternative to just using the
Windows XP FW, but truthfully - any of these alternatives are much better
than the Windows XP FW at what they do - because that is ALL they do.

ZoneAlarm (Free and up)

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)

Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)

Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)

Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)

BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)

Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)

That list is not complete, but they are good firewall options, every one of
them. Visit the web pages, read up, ask around if you like - make a
decision and go with some firewall, any firewall. Also, maintain it.
Sometimes new holes are discovered in even the best of these products and
patches are released from the company to remedy this problem. However, if
you don't get the patches (check the manufacturer web page on occasion),
then you may never know you have the problem and/or are being used through
this weakness. Also, don't stack these things. Running more than one
firewall will not make you safer - it would likely (in fact) negate some
protection you gleamed from one or the other firewalls you run.


That's not all. That's one facet of a secure PC, but firewalls don't do
everything. I saw one person posting on a newsgroup that "they had
never had a virus and they never run any anti-virus software." Yep - I used
to believe that way too - viruses were something everyone else seemed to
get, were they just careless? And for the average joe-user who is careful,
uses their one to three family computers carefully, never opening unknown
email attachments, always visiting the same family safe web sites, never
installing anything that did not come with their computer - maybe, just
maybe they will never witness a virus. I, however, am a Network Systems
Administrator. I see that AntiVirus software is an absolute necessity given
how most people see their computer as a toy/tool and not something
they should have to maintain and upkeep. After all, they were invented to
make life easier, right - not add another task to your day. You
can be as careful as you want - will the next person be as careful? Will
someone send you unknowingly the email that erases all the pictures of your
child/childhood? Possibly - why take the chance? ALWAYS RUN ANTIVIRUS
SOFTWARE and KEEP IT UP TO DATE! Antivirus software comes in so many
flavors, it's like walking into a Jelly Belly store - which one tastes like
what?! Well, here are a few choices for you. Some of these are free (isn't
that nice?) and some are not. Is one better than the other - MAYBE.

Symantec (Norton) AntiVirus (~$11 and up)

Kaspersky Anti-Virus (~$49.95 and up)

Panda Antivirus Titanium (~$39.95 and up)
(Free Online Scanner:

AVG 6.0 Anti-Virus System (Free and up)

McAfee VirusScan (~$11 and up)

AntiVir (Free and up)

avast! 4 (Free and up)

Trend Micro (~$49.95 and up)
(Free Online Scanner:

RAV AntiVirus Online Virus Scan (Free!)

Did I mention you have to not only install this software, but also keep it
updated? You do. Some of them (most) have automatic services to help you
do this - I mean, it's not your job to keep up with the half-dozen or more
new threats that come out daily, is it? Be sure to keep whichever one you
choose up to date!


So you must be thinking that the above two things got your back now - you
are covered, safe and secure in your little fox hole. Wrong! There are
more bad guys out there. There are annoyances out there you can get without
trying. Your normal web surfing, maybe a wrong click on a web page, maybe
just a momentary lack of judgment by installing some software packages
without doing the research.. And all of a sudden your screen starts filling
up with advertisements or your Internet seems much slower or your home page
won't stay what you set it and goes someplace unfamiliar to you. This is
spyware. There are a whole SLEW of software packages out there to get rid
of this crud and help prevent reinfection. Some of the products already
mentioned might even have branched out into this arena. However, there are
a few applications that seem to be the best at what they do, which is
eradicating and immunizing your system from this crap. Strangely, the best
products I have found in this category ARE generally free. That is a trend
I like. I make donations to some of them, they deserve it!

Two side-notes: Never think one of these can do the whole job.
Try the first 5 before coming back and saying "That did not work!"
Also, you can always visit:
For more updated information.

Spybot Search and Destroy (Free!)

Lavasoft AdAware (Free and up)

CWShredder (Free!)
** No longer updated as of July 29, 2004 - however, still a great
product and should still be ran **

Hijack This! (Free)
( Tutorial: )

SpywareBlaster (Free!)

IE-SPYAD (Free!)

ToolbarCop (Free!)

Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner (Free!)

Browser Security Tests

Popup Tester

The Cleaner (49.95 and up)

That will clean up your machine of the spyware, given that you download and
install several of them, update them regularly and scan with them when you
update. Some (like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot Search and Destroy and
have/are immunization utilities that will help you prevent your PC from
infected. Use these features!

Unfortunately, although that will lessen your popups on the Internet/while
you are online, it won't eliminate them. I have looked at a lot of options,
seen a lot of them used in production with people who seem to attract popups
like a plague, and I only have one suggestion that end up serving double
duty (search engine and popup stopper in one):

The Google Toolbar (Free!)

Yeah - it adds a bar to your Internet Explorer - but its a useful one. You
can search from there anytime with one of the best search engines on the
planet (IMO.) And the fact it stops most popups - wow - BONUS! If you
don't like that suggestion, then I am just going to say you go to and search for other options. Please notice that Windows XP
SP2 does help stop popups as well. Another option is to use an alternative
Web browser. I suggest "Mozilla Firefox", as it has some great features
and is very easy to use:

Mozilla Firefox

One more suggestion, although I will suggest this in a way later, is to
disable your Windows Messenger service. This service is not used frequently
(if at all) by the normal home user and in cooperation with a good firewall,
is generally unnecessary. Microsoft has instructions on how to do this for
Windows XP he


This one can get annoying, just like the rest. You get 50 emails in one
sitting and 2 of them you wanted. NICE! (Not.) What can you do? Well,
although there are services out there to help you, some email
servers/services that actually do lower your spam with features built into
their servers - I still like the methods that let you be the end-decision
maker on what is spam and what isn't. If these things worked perfectly, we
wouldn't need people and then there would be no spam anyway - vicious
circle, eh? Anyway - I have two products to suggest to you, look at them
and see if either of them suite your needs. Again, if they don't, Google is
free and available for your perusal.

SpamBayes (Free!)

Spamihilator (Free!)

As I said, those are not your only options, but are reliable ones I have
seen function for hundreds+ people.


I might get arguments on putting this one here, but it's my spill. There are
lots of services on your PC that are probably turned on by default you don't
use. Why have them on? Check out these web pages to see what all of the
services you might find on your computer are and set them according to your
personal needs. Be CAREFUL what you set to manual, and take heed and write
down as you change things! Also, don't expect a large performance increase
or anything - especially on today's 2+ GHz machines, however - I look at
service you set to manual as one less service you have to worry about
someone exploiting. A year ago, I would have thought the Windows Messenger
service to be pretty safe, now I recommend (with addition of a firewall)
that most home users disable it! Yeah - this is another one you have to
work for, but your computer may speed up and/or be more secure because you
took the time. And if you document what you do as you do it, next time, it
goes MUCH faster! (or if you have to go back and re-enable things..)

Task List Programs

Black Viper's Service List and Opinions (XP)

Processes in Windows NT/2000/XP

There are also applications that AREN'T services that startup when you start
up the computer/logon. One of the better description on how to handle these
I have found he


That's it. A small booklet on how to keep your computer secure, clean of
scum and more user friendly. I am SURE I missed something, almost as I am
sure you won't read all of it (anyone for that matter.) However, I also
know that someone who followed all of the advice above would also have less
problems with their PC, less problems with viruses, less problems with spam,
fewer problems with spyware and better performance than someone who didn't.

Hope it helps.

- Shenan -
The information is provided "as is", it is suggested you research for
yourself before you take any advice - you are the one ultimately responsible
for your actions/problems/solutions. Know what you are getting into before
you jump in with both feet.

I had to do a SYSTEM restore from removable hard drive (Iomega REV) to 05/02/05. After restoring system I did a DATA restore to 05/05/05 which has the backup copy of Outlook made by Outlook Genie. When I did the restore of Outlook data from Outlook Genie all the Contacts and Calendar info was gone. The Sent Items and In Box restored to 03/01/05 from the backup dated 05/05/05 (why, I don't know). There are NO Contacts or Calendar entries. Yet, if I go to create a new e-mail and click on "To" all the contacts appear; or even if I use "Type a contact to find" in the main Outlook window all the Contacts are there. If I display "View folders" I get a rather strange group of folders; at least one I don't recognize - everything seems to be duplicated and Outlook Today is followed by "[Archive Folders]" which I don't recall being there before. At this point (because I know nearly nothing about Outlook) I don't know if it's an Outlook issue, or an Outlook Genie problem; but in either case it's a problem. The Contacts are in there somewhere or I wouldn't be able to view them from "Type a contact to find" and I suppose the calendar entries are too, but I can't view them anywhere. Any ideas?

EDIT: I went to: File > Open > Outlook Data Files and found a "Outlook" file in the Outlook folder. I opened this file and all my Contacts and Calendar info appeared (there was also an

Help! Suddenly, all my personalized sub-folders and their messages have disappeared! They are also gone from My Documents where I save them. Do not know what I did: one minute, everything was there; I minimized the program to work on something else and, when I opened OE up again, only the original default folders were there, all of them empty, too.

The only thing I had done differently today was download a trial version of Trojan Remover, turn off Norton AntiVirus for the 2 minutes it took to run a TR scan and then turn it back on. TR said there were no malicious items on the computer. I had set a Restore Point before installing TR, but the PC would not restore itself to that point when I tried to do so (actually it has refused to do any restoring lately, come to think of it, when I've tried for other things).

I've also tried closing and reopening OE; switching identities (there are 2 on the PC only one of which is regularly used); restarting the computer (which was done by System Restore).

All our criticial business emails are in those folders and I truly am puzzled about what happened. I am also frantic hoping someone here can help me get them back!



My daughter was working on my computer and downloaded Google's earth piece. She got rid of it because it wouldn't open. On deleting it she got a restart now or later prompt. She didn't restart it until trying unsuccessfully to remove its desktop icon. Pretty much everything on the desktop disappeared. We did a system restore .
All the application shortcuts came back and seem to work. BUT, all the folders on the desktop that had anything in them, those files are gone. The empty folders are still there All the graphics, pdf, .doc and other files on the desktop are also gone. I can't find them by doing a search through the C: drive. I did another system restore to a date farther back to no avail.
Is there a way to get the files back? Are they really gone?
thanks for any help and/or ideas you can give me.

using XP SP3

Can anyone tell me what program put anchors on the left side of icons on the desktop? They are also on all icons in folders on the desktop. I have looked through the different programs that I have and can't find a reference to an anchor. I'm thinking that it is a security program doing it. These are the programs I have on the computer: Ad-Aware, Advanced System Care, Auslosgics Disk Defrag & Duplicate File Finder, Belarc Advisor, CCleaner, CleanUp!, Defraggler, Eraser, Free Registry Defrag, Game Booster, Little registry Cleaner, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Spybot Search & Destroy, Super AntiSpyware Pro, Comodo System Cleaner, TweakNow Power pack 2010, Wise Disk Cleaner Free & Registry Cleaner, Microsoft Security Essentials, Revo Uninstaller.

The anchors do not show on and .exe files on the desktop or My computer, Recycle bin, My network places, but does show on shortcuts to Add & Remove programs, system restore. The anchors are not on the icons in the All Programs Menu either.[attachment=89861:Anchors on icons.bmp]
Thanks for your help.

I just started experiencing a problem with the folders on my system. It seems to have begun after I tried a tip I read in PC World about how to add a "New Folder" item to the right-click menu. The tip appeared to work as advertised and I went about my business. However, the next time I double clicked on a folder on my desktop the Search window opened. This occurs with every folder on the system, everytime. There are no removal instructions for this tip, just a Regedit, which I did, to no avail. If I right-click and select Open from the context menu, the folder opens normally. I was going to try a system restore to yesterday but I have only System Checkpoints for yesterday and the day before. Any thoughts ??

Windows XP SP2
Do I feel dumb! I was so fed up with Windows Messenger (which I never use) that I removed it using Add/ Remove Programs. At least, that's what I thought I did. Unfortunately, Messenger is still on the computer (though no longer in the Add/ Remove list), but other things seem to be missing. The Games folder is empty (yes, I admit to playing Spider Solitaire before shutting down each night) and OE didn't appear in the Start button list (that I've since retrieved using System Restore although the desktop shortcut is still missing).

Did I misread the Add/ Remove list and mistakenly delete the wrong program? More importantly, can anyone help me get back to where I was? I'd like to just undo the Add/ Remove I did or at least the Messenger step, which seems to be the problem. I do NOT have a "pure" Windows XP SP2 CD, just the CD that came with this Toshiba computer (Recovery and Applications/ Drivers is its title).

Did try reading Pogue's XP Missing Manual and Woody's XP Dummies first for help, but can't figure out what to do. From Woody, I suspect that I did not take the correct route to deleting Windows Messenger in the first place!




Merry Xmas to all

ok installed win 8, clean install on a new drive, worked great, ran it for about 6 weeks, worked great and was happy using win 8 so decided to make that computer my main one, connected another HD to copy all kinds of files from an old win 7 drive (word docs, downloads folder, favorites, and various other pdf docs etc to new win 8 install, went well, then a few days later i unplugged the old win 7 drive from the win 8 computer, on reboot got error that win 8 couldn't start as could not access required device, or a required device isn't connected or couldn't be accessed, i tried safe boot it booted ok, then did system restore no joy, it still failed to boot and again said it had encountered a problem (couldn't connect to or a required device isn't connected or couldn't be accessed) and wanted to restart, error number was all zeros with an E as the last character of the error message.

when i re-connected the other HD it finally booted, grrr usually under all previous version of windows i could connect and disconnect drives at will win 8 seems to hate it, any idea's ?

As i loaded win 8 without that second drive connected i don't understand why it wants it connected to boot, got me fuzzleld !!

the Win 8 install wasn't an upgrade, it was a Clean Install !!

it passed registration and activation and was purchased from a nationwide retailer so it wouldn't be a counterfeit copy hmm, and even then as it was a genuine upgrade it still shouldn't need the old drive connected to boot.

btw they are both sata drives so i cant see that there is a problem with slave or master drives settings.....


Okay, sorry, but this is my mom's computer I'm trying to fix for her. It's a Vista Home Premium. She has several folders and sub folders in her Pictures folder and I recognize the names from times when I know there were pictures in them. Some of the folders are completely empty and some have one .db file in them.

I thought maybe she had one of those "album" programs that come with a camera/printer and she had deleted the program (she would usually do that by just finding the folder and deleting it rather than going through Add/Remove Programs). I know that some of those types of programs keep the pictures in their own folders rather than putting them in the Pictures folder.

I called Kodak Tech Support on their Easy Share program I thought she might have had because there's a folder called Kodak Pictures (also empty). They said that even if she had deleted (or even properly uninstalled) their program, the photos would still be left behind.

I posted on the MS Vista forums and the suggestions were Recuva and Shadow Explorer. I haven't tried Recuva yet but Shadow Explorer wouldn't install. I also tried a System Restore. I can't imagine that SHE did the deleting of every photo --- it's too strange that the folder structure is intact and they're just empty.

I'm hoping someone recognizes these symptoms.

Thanks for any help.


A friend asked me to delete an IMAP account that belonged to one of his ex-employees. But when I did that, the account Sent and Received folders disappeared. (I got them back with a System Restore)
These mails are all needed for reference purposes. What's the best way to remove the account but keep the data?


Windows 8 has stopped showing thumbnails, or a preview of images in the preview window.
It was working fine a couple of weeks ago when I was working on a job with a lot of pics in it.

I did a system restore back to June 29 and it didn't make any difference.

I've checked to see that "Always show Icons" is not checked.
And I have the folders set to display Pictures in customize.

But I can't get it to display thumbnails of a preview in the preview pane.

I think this may have something to do with a utility that I downloaded that would let Windows display Photoshop files that I had installed and then removed when the trial ran out.

That may have disabled thumbnails in Windows 8, but I don't have a clue as to how to get them back.

Anyone have any ideas?


Greetings. I am journaling my Windows 8 upgrade experience here in hopes that others can learn from the experience. If I am able to resolve the problem here in these forums, I would consider that a plus. But most of all, I am hoping to create some documentation so that others may learn from this experience.

Our story begins a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

No... not really. I purchased a Pavilion P7-1235 back in July, and took advantage of the "$15 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade" promotion.

Shortly after Windows 8 became available, I installed the Windows 8 Upgrade tool, downloaded the upgrade files, and decided to "Create Install Media". Now, call me old fashioned, but I thought that the best way to experience Windows 8 would be to perform a "Clean Install".

NOTE: My definition of "Clean Install" is a re-format of the existing OS volume, or even a repartitioning of the main system disk, so that there are no remnanants of the previous operating system. Aparently, after talking with Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrade support, we have a difference of opinion here.

Now, my Windows 8 Upgrade journey began with booting the install media, and trying to do a custom install. I tried both formatting the OS volume, and also removing the existing OS partition. Neither was successful, as I was informed that I could not perform the operation because the disk had GPT partitions.

At this point, I had already backed up all my data, and created the HP Recovery Disks, and so I decided to delete ALL paritions on the disk. One of these partitions I was about to delete included the UEFI support. But with all the parttions now gone, I was now able to install Windows 8.

After the installation completed, I started work on creating extra partitions. To my dismay, I was not allowed to create more than 4 partitions. The reason for this is because since I had removed the UEFI partition, my system no longer had UEFI support. Without UEFI support, I no longer had support for GPT partitions. Without GPT partitions, I had to utilize MBR partitions, and thus I could only have partitions less than 2 TB in size (not a problem for this system with its 1 TB disk) and could only have 4 partitions per physical disk.

After restoring my system back to the original factory settings (UEFI partition, Windows 7 partition, Recovery Partition), I decided to take advantage of the free Windows 8 Upgrade support offered by Microsoft. I decided to utilize the call back feature, and within minutes on a Sunday afternoon (my football team was on a bye week), I received a call back from a friendly Microsoft technician.

First, the technician had me run the Windows 8 upgrade from inside Windows 8. She had me chose an option for a "Clean Install". Being skeptical, I followed her instructions, and completed the upgrade. I reviewed the system afterwards, and it appears that all it did was backup the existing Windows and Program Files directories, and place them in a folder called "Windows.old".

Next, I explained to the technician how I thought a clean install should work, and she agreed to walk me through the installation by booting the system with the Windows 8 DVD. We are moving through the install process, and we get to the screen when it asks you where you want to perform the install. At this point, there are 4 partitions listed:

1) UEFI partition

2) Windows 8 SYSTEM partition (from previous upgrade)

3) Windows 8 OS partition

4) HP Recovery partition

First, the technician has me try to install on partition #3. Unsuccessful. I receive the "Windows cannot install here. This is a GPT partition". Next, the technician has me format partition #3 using the "Advanced" options on the installer screen. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Next, the technician has me open the DISKPART utility and format partition #3. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Finally, the techician has me run the FORMAT command from the CLI. Unsuccessful. Same error message.

At this point, the technician tells me that I have an encrypted drive and that it cannot be upgraded to Windows 8, and that I should contact HP support.

Go ahead... I'll let that sink in.

After falling out of my chair, picking the phone back up, and attempting to remain as calm as possible, I informed the technician that a) the drive was not encrypted, b) HP informed me that all Windows 8 upgrade issues were being handled my Microsoft and c) I believed we were dealing with an UEFI/GPT support issue.

At this point, my system is unusable. I'm going to run the system restore AGAIN to get it back to Windows 7 so atleast its usable. Thankfully, before the technician hung up, we agreed that she is going to escalate to a TIER 2 engineer, and that engineer will be calling me back tomorrow night.

I'll shall update this forum as the Odyssey progresses. If anyone has any insight on how to upgrade an HP Pavilion P7-1235 to Windows 8 Pro by performing a clean install and keeping UEFI support, I would really appreciate your insight.

Hello, I've experienced today a weird "error", that I even do not know how to search for it. Let me explain:

I had win 7 (32bit) installed at job, and worked on it for more than a year. Two weeks ago I got a new HDD and decided to make a clean install, starting from scratch. So, i disconected the old HDD with Win 7 on it (removed all wires, sata etc), connected the new empty HDD (C:) and performed the Win 7 full install (with same licence I had on the old one).

I shut down the computer, reconnect the old HDD (as G:) - I needed it for the jobs archive on it - and enterd the bios, disabled the boot for it and started the comp with the new Win 7.

All went OK, and after a week I decided to free some space on the old HDD (G:) so I made a dump folder on it which I was planning to delete and started to move everything from old HDD root into that folder. When I reached to the old users folder, there were some files I could not move, I clicked "try again" twice with no succes and sudenly my desktop blanked and all icons dissapeared from it. I recieved some message about "system files" and when I accesed (C:) My Computer, in Users - on my new HDD with the actual running Win 7 everything was gone... How is it possible to move some old win 7 files from an HDD (G:) that was not in the system when I installed a new Win 7 on other HDD (C:), AND WIN 7 to start moving his own files?

I had some luck in a restore point made a week ago and managed to repair Win 7.

I researched the problem and did not find anything. I did not made any hard links or similar and I do not understand how files and folders became jammed between old HDD with Win7 and the new one? Both, with all files, were installed and had real files, with no shortcuts.

Can anyone help me? Can anyone explain what happened? How can I empty the old HDD without affecting this weird connection between independent files?

Thank you, Max

First of all I have to tell you I'm not native English speaker. So please accept my apologize for my English usage.

I really want a solutions for these.

After I installed Microsoft .NET framework and few programs such database program,ancient font program.I've change my wallpaper once.


1. I can't change Theme and background picture anymore. No matter what kind of Picture type .JPG .GIF . even windows background that comes with system. Its error will show " Internal error occurred"

2.There's no thumbnail view for picture in general folders. I mean when I open folder , There's only file name and empty white box instead of tiny picture.
No display for large Icon option, medium option or extra large icon. Also Icon picture.
but for list view, detail view , tiles view are fine.

3. I can't use some program such Windows7manager , Picasa
Here's error " Microsoft .NET Framework"
The type initializer for "W7MPCL.determinePassword" threw an exception"
This error also showing up when I open notebook.

I've been tried several ways to solve before. Close Net framework 3.5 feature , re-install, restore system before it occurred but still the same, remove program and re-install, Check malware and virus , Check service , google for solution.
I Still can't fix these problems.

Thanks for your kind.

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