How Can I Perform Windows Registry Search In Windows XP, 7

Microsoft’s operating system, Windows Series is a great stage with a large number of options and great user-friendly interface, which does not exist in other systems and that, is the secret behind its popularity. But this system has great alternatives for the nerdy users- especially those with the feeling that Windows Registry contributes towards high perks and risk, because bad editing or re-arrangement is bound to bring unrepairable situations.

Its trademark, delicate designs and the important messages every key holds is what makes it so interesting. The Windows Registry initially came out as a 3.1 version of Windows with the aim of clearing out a lot of INI files’ garbage that occurred due to its working on each program. In other words, every program made their INI which was difficult to understand.

The Registry recorded every INI file for its data base and thereby were able to get rid of a great deal of mess that had piled up in the routine working of the OS. Slowly, the Registry moved onto become large database, utilized to link programs working directly, in addition to hash-keys, routine information, currently running information, and kernel information, very important for the overallmaintainance of your computer.

It also provided its users the power-user that can be used for Windows very easily. The Registry editor, which can be obtained by going to Start->Run->Regedit, is in fact very influential software yet possessing a simple user-friendly interface – click on the key-folder and all the keys are displayed on the right. Here, any corrections, proof-reading is also very quick and simple, as if to sow that simplicity is the only factor necessary to make a likable software interface.

To access the ‘Searching Command’ move to Edit->Find. On clicking, a pop-out window is displayed which questions you for a ‘Search String ‘and the boundaries of the search string. Searching is a time consuming job, especially when we are looking at bigger machines filled with larger number of programs, but the search will auto stop once it comes in contact with any key of the same parameter.

In case you find many such keys, you might have to choose ‘Find Next’ from the Edit Menu. The short cut keys are the same as the ones used in other Windows programs – Ctrl +F [Find Function] and F3 takes up the role of ‘Find Next’ instantly.

4 Registry Tweaks That Will Improve Performance Of Windows XP Significantly

How can I make my windows XP Run faster ??

Learn to tweak windows XP by hacking the registry and ensure your system runs faster than it normally does. There are a lot of commercially available tweaking utilities, while using them you need to be cautioned about where you are buying the utility from. Best is to learn to tweak registry with the tools which Microsoft provides with XP.

Before tweaking – you need to know your machines limitations. There can be significant improvement in your systems performance, doesn’t mean that you buy a good old Celeron and by making some minor adjustments turn it into an gaming monster XPS 😛 . Set realistic expectations to avoid yourself from any kind of disappointment. Here are some of the tweaks I’ve got on my system. There are a lot more tweaks on my system, but I’m listing down 4 of them which I can remember right away. I’ll list more registry tweaks as and when I recall.

Registry tweak to increase Menu Speed in Windows XP:

XP came with a bang new interface, which is it’s default look and feel and according to me, I just love the way it looks. But there are a lot of complaints that when a user clicks on “Start” menu, there is a bit of delay before you see any action. Inspite of the initial complaints people tend to use it, while some users prefer reverting to the  “Classic interface” version which is an option in XP.

Here is how you can increase the default speed of the “Start” menu in Windows XP :

Go to the Registry key : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\MenuShowDelay . 400 is the default value. Change 400 to 0 and the delay is off completely.

There is a catch here, if you set it to zero, the menu speed becomes too fasat for you to activate any programs. Experiment with different values between 0 – 400. Find the speed which you are comfortable with, which should be a good point between speed and usability and set it to that value

Registry tweak to Place Windows Kernel into RAM in Windows XP:

Known fact is that any program on RAM runs quicker than that on hard drive and virtual / secondary memory. Kernel which is the building fondation of Windows XP access the Pagin Executve functions whichs slows down the system. Use the hack to create and set the DisablePagingExecutive DWORD to a value of 1.

Note: This hack should be perfomed only if the RAM installed is 256 MB or more.

Editing the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive to 1 disables paging and ensures the hernel runs in RAM. You can set the value to 0 if you want to undo this hack. For the hack to be effective, you need to reboot the system, once the changes are done.

Registry tweak to Alter Prefetch Parameters in Windows XP:

Pre-fetching is a process in which the system boot files are read into cache, to help faster loading. If handled correctly, pre-fetching will have a significant impact on systems total boot time. With this tweak, you have the flexibility to select only those components which will make use of pre-fetch parameters. It involves a repetitive process of clearing cache and making a note of the files that are gathered in C:\Windows\Prefetch (assuming your OS is installed in C:\ Drive), for each setting.

Setting the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher to 0 disables prefetching, 1 prefetches application launch files, 2 prefetches boot files and/or 3 prefetches as many files as possible.

Registry tweak to Disable 8.3 Name Creation in NTFS in Windows XP:

If you don’t know what 8.3 naming is then read this.

8.3 naming convention is for the older MS-DOS FAT file. On Windows XP this can possibly degrade the NTFS drives performance. If you have a strong reason to retain the 8.3 naming convention, go ahead, if you have no idea what it is then you can disable it to achieve better performance.

Set the Registry DWORD key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1. Exit the Registry and reboot.

WinPatrol – An Effective Free Tool Which Sniffs Malicious Objects On Your System- Part 3

How to install WinPatrol:

WinPatrol is one of the easiest to install software. You’ll hardly see any changes in the system while Installing. Scotty on gaurd, gets added to the system tray once WinPatrol is installed. This is the only visible change. There will be nothing added to the pro0gram files and also nothing on the desktop, or toolbars. So much of a relief for those who love deleting all unwanted desktop icons.

WinPatrol - A Tool That Sniff Out Malicious Mysteryware
WinPatrol - A Tool That Sniff Out Malicious Mysteryware

Double clicking the scotty icon brings up Winpatrol, though which you can investigate each tabs at your own pace. There is a help button associated to each tab or page, which will provide more information about that particular page and/or tab and will guide you in a better way to optimize your computer.

WinPatrol is FREE in the real sense, but you can also get a PLUS version for a one time fee of $29.95, which will help the developers of WinPatrol improve the software, making it more robust and hence much better.

With WinPatro PLUS you get access to the ‘secret’ knowledgebase, which sheds information on the programs and files that play around with your systems’ integrity. If there are any hidden registry startup keys, WinPAtrol Plus shows it. And you also get Real time Infiltration Detection with WinPatrol PLUS.

Its not mandatory that you need to get the PLUS version, as most of the important tasks are handled by the free version of WinPatrol. If you are one of those like me, who do not mind spending a dime or two for the good cause, then go ahead and get the PLUS version :).

1> Part 1 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
2> Part 2 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
3> Part 3 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system

[ Download WinPatrol 2008 Install Edition | USB Flash Edition ]

WinPatrol – An Effective Free Tool Which Sniffs Malicious Objects On Your System- Part 2

What are Some of the interesting features of WinPatrol:

1. It can remove and disable startup programs. Removing and Disabling Startup Programs
2. There are a lot of IE and Most other Browser Helper Objects
3. WinPatrol lets you schedule tasks
4. A Services Manager that lets you decide and investigate the services that are important and running
5. Expose Hidden Files
6. Options – Host File/Start Page Monitoring
7. Monitor BHO’s and Tool Bars
8. Display and Kill Multiple Running Tasks
9. Monitor, Stop and Control Window Services
10. Detect and Lock Changes to File Type Associations
11. Track Date/Time when programs are first detected on your system
12. Delay Auto-Startup programs for quick bootup
13. Multiple System Report Options
14. Access to WinPatrol PLUS Knowledgebase – PLUS version only
15. Real-time Infiltration Detection – PLUS version only

1> Part 1 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
2> Part 2 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
3> Part 3 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system

[ Download WinPatrol 2008 Install Edition | USB Flash Edition ]

WinPatrol – An Effective Free Tool Which Sniffs Malicious Objects On Your System- Part 1

How would you like computer to behave like an alarm, when a program tries to install something unexpected or probably something nasty like keeping tabs on programs running on your PC? Quite fascinating to think about right? .. this is now possible with the help of WinPatrol.

WinPatrol does this ‘guard job’ where in it alerts you when any unexpected thing is happening. Its goal is to help you understand better what programs are running on your computer and to alert you to any new programs that are added on your system without your knowledge.

It actively monitors your systems startup groups i.e. the registry and startup folder, cookies and active tasks. It provides you with options to enable or disable Startup programs, and also lets you delete cookies based on keywords which can be achieved by cookie monitoring option. Another interesting feature available is the WHOIS lookup tool.

I have personally used a couple of traditional security programs,which scan the hard drive and search for previously identified threats. These programs do a good job of explaining what the threat is and also the severity, the exact location and so on and so forth. These information makes sense to a computer savvy person. If you are not much of a computer person then a better way to explain things to you is in the form of screen shots. Most of the traditional security programs do not have such a feature, but WinPatrol beats the mass here. It keeps screen shots of all the critical system resources on your system and if there is any doubtful change occurs to the critical system resource without your knowledge, WinPatrol alerts you.

1> Part 1 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
2> Part 2 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system
3> Part 3 – Reviewing WinPatrol – An Effective Free tool to sniff out malicious objects from your system

[ Download WinPatrol 2008 Install Edition | USB Flash Edition ]

How To Schedule Windows Shutdown with ‘Vista Shutdown Timer’

Some of the latest versions of Windows have a command ‘shutdown.exe‘,which can put your system on hold, log off, restart, and shutdown. But probably you would want this to happen only at some particular time and to make this happen automatically use Scheduled Tasks tool.

1> Go to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks.
2> Double-click Add Scheduled Task to launch the Scheduled Task Wizard.
3> Click Next and then click the Browse button.
4> Access the Windows\System32 folder, select Shutdown.exe, and click Open.
5> Follow the wizard through the next two screens to give the task a name and choose a schedule.
6> Enter your user account name and password and click Next.
7> Select Open Advanced Properties and click Finish.

In the task’s Properties dialog box, add the /r parameter to the end of the command line in the Run text box and click OK. (Be sure to include a space between the last character in the command name and the first character in the parameter list.)

Enter your user account name and password and click OK.

When the Shutdown utility runs, you’ll momentarily see a small dialog box on your screen before the system restarts.

The above process works fine, but there is an easier way to achieve this. Vista Shutdown Timer, is a simple application which allows users to achieve the same with ease. The auto shutdown process has a limitation. Scheduling cannot be done for more than an hour. With Vista Shutdown Timer this limitation can be used to overcome.

Vista Shutdown Timer is a free application that allows the user to time the machine to shutdown at their time. This currently supports support Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Another interesting feature is that Vista Shutdown Timer does not mess around with the registry and doesn’t introduce any .INI files, it is just a single .exe file.

Vista Shutdown Timer
Vista Shutdown Timer

The program can be configured using command line parameters. This means that we can create a batch file to automate the tool to shutdown or restart at a scheduled time. Click the windows icon at the top right of the program to know about the command line parameters. If this confuses you, use the built-in Shortcut wizard which is simple to use and hassle free.

Vista Shutdown Timer Shortcut Wizard
Vista Shutdown Timer Shortcut Wizard

Vista Shutdown Timer at times is flagged as a suspicious file by some antivirus software such as Sophos, QuickHeal, ClamAV, and eSafe. This happens for a lot of other applications even though the applications are safe and do not pose any threat to the users system. Such an alarm is called ‘False Positive’, which meant the anitvirus software is just throwing a warning of possible threat, which in reality is an innocuous file/application. This kind of incorrect flagging may be because the virus signature in the vault or database of the antivirus software may be corrected or not updated.

Related reading: Shutdown, restart, logoff windows Vista / XP remotely from any computer

How to speed up shutdown time of Windows XP and Windows Vista

This article is targeted at Windows XP and Windows Vista users. The article doesn’t scope beyond.

When users on Windows XP or vista try to shut their computer, at times it takes more time than expected. I’ve heard vista users complaining that the system takes as long as 5 minutes or more to shut down. This issue can be fixed by a simple tweak to the registry. I have tried this on XP and the vista part was tested by a friend.

Note: This tweak involves editing/manipulating the registry, which is not advised if you a newbie or a computer noob. Take help of a professional in case you do not know how to handle registries. It is also advised that you take a back up of your registry before you man handle it. This will save your life if you do edit/change something which you were not supposed to :). You can read for more help on how to take a registry backup.

Most importantly you need to be the admin or have admin rights in order execute this tweak as this involves tweaking your registry and not everyone will have rights to do so.

If you are a Windows XP user, then read this else skip to the Vista part:

– Click “Start” and Type ‘regedit‘ in the Run box and hit “Enter“.
– Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER >> Control Panel >> Desktop
– On to your right you’ll see a key ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout‘, double click on the key and change the value to be somewhere between 3500 and 5500. (The values here are in milliseconds, which means lesser the value, quicker the system shuts down).
– Once the value is changed, save the value by clicking “OK“.

When you try to logoff or shutdown your system, there are possibilities that a few user initiated processes are running which may need to by killed before the system shuts down completely. The key WaitToKillAppTimeout internally determines how long the system needs to wait before attempting to kill those processes which are still on.

The key WaitToKillAppTimeout will round robin each process that is running  and calls the AutoEndTasks action on those processes. Most of the processes are killed by the system implicitly or the system user kills them explicitly. If not, that’s when AutoEndTasks key, as the name specifies takes the responsibility of killing such processes.

Now you may want to do a little more tweak so that the end task dialog doesn’t pop up everytime, which can get annoying at times. You still have the registry open right, if not follow the same steps mentioned above to open the registry editor.
In registry editor Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER >> Control Panel >> Desktop

Navigate to find the AutoEndTasks key, which will be somewhere stuffed down in the right pane and double click to open and edit it. Normally, the default value here will be 0, just change it to 1. Click “OK” to save the value. This will ensure that the end task dialog doesn’t pop up every time your systems’ WaitToKillAppTimeout calls the AutoEndTasks.

Now a bit of help for the Vista users:

You should note that the key WaitToKillServiceTimeout replaces WaitToKillAppTimeout in Vista . The functionality is the same, just the name and the location is changed.

If your registry is not open yet, the keys are same as described above.

– Once the registry is open you have to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
– In the right side of the registry editor window search for WaitToKillServiceTimeout. Double click on the key to open and edit it. Rest is the same what you’d do for XP and is explained above.

Try this and let me know how it changed your shutdown speed.