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Windows Secrets

To fully reap this Manual you need to have a basic understanding of the Windows Registry If you wants to know the basic of registry then go to Registry Tips page of this site.

Important Note: Before you read on, you need to keep one thing in mind. Whenever you make changes to the Windows Registry you need to Refresh it before the changes take place. Simply press F5 to refresh the registry and enable the changes. If this does not work Restart your system.

1) Disabling Display of Drives in My Computer :

This is yet another trick you can play on your geek friend. To disable the display of local or networked drives when you click My Computer go to :

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Now in the right pane create a new DWORD item and name it NoDrives. Now modify it's value and set it to 3FFFFFF (Hexadecimal) Now press F5 to refresh. When you click on My Computer, no drives will be shown. To enable display of drives in My Computer, simply delete this DWORD item. It's .reg file is as follows:

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

"NoDrives"=dword:03ffffff

2) Pop a banner each time Windows Boots :

To pop a banner which can contain any message you want to display just before a user is going to log on, go to the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WinLogon

Now create a new string Value in the right pane named LegalNoticeCaption and enter the value that you want to see in the Menu Bar. Now create yet another new string value and name it: LegalNoticeText. Modify it and insert the message you want to display each time Windows boots. This can be effectively used to display the company's private policy each time the user logs on to his NT box. It's .reg file would be:

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

"LegalNoticeCaption"="Caption here."

3) Secure your Desktop Icons and Settings :

You can save your desktop settings and secure it from your nerdy friend by playing with the registry. Simply launch the Registry Editor go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

In the right pane create a new DWORD Value named NoSaveSettings and modify it's value to 1. Refresh and restart for the settings to get saved.

4) Deleting System Options from the Start menu :

You can actually remove the Find and Run options from the start menu by performing a simple registry hack. Again like always Launch the registry editor and scroll down to the below key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Right-click on the right pane and select New, DWORD Value. Name it NoFind.(To remove the RUN option name it NoRun). Double-click the newly create DWORD to edit it's value and enter 1 as its value. This will disable the FIND option of the Start Menu and will also disable the default Shortcut key(F3 for Find.)

To restore the Run or find command modify the value of the DWORD to 0 or simply Delete the DWORD value.

5) Cleaning Recent Docs Menu and the RUN MRU :

The Recent Docs menu can be easily disabled by editing the Registry. To do this go to the following Key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Now in the right pane, create a new DWORD value by the name: NoRecentDocsMenu and set it's value to 1. Restart Explorer to save the changes.

You can also clear the RUN MRU history. All the listings are stored in the key:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU

You can delete individual listings or the entire listing. To delete History of Find listings go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Doc Find Spec MRU and delete.

6) Other Similar Useful Tricks :

Launch Regedit and go to the following Registry Key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Policies

Under this key, there will definitely be a key named explorer. Now under this explorer key we can create new DWORD values and modify it's value to 1 in order to impose the restriction. If you want to remove the Restriction, then you can simply delete the respective DWORD values or instead change their values to 0. The following is a list of DWORD values that can be created under the Explorer Key-:

NoDeletePrinter: Disables Deletion of already installed Printers

NoAddPrinter: Disables Addition of new Printers

NoRun : Disables or hides the Run Command

NoSetFolders: Removes Folders from the Settings option on Start Menu (Control Panel, Printers, Taskbar)

NoSetTaskbar: Removes Taskbar system folder from the Settings option on Start Menu

NoFind: Removes the Find Tool (Start >Find)

NoDrives: Hides and does not display any Drives in My Computer

NoNetHood: Hides or removes the Network Neighborhood icon from the desktop

NoDesktop: Hides all items including, file, folders and system folders from the Desktop

NoClose: Disables Shutdown and prevents the user from normally shutting down Windows.

NoSaveSettings: Means to say, 'Don't save settings on exit'

DisableRegistryTools: Disable Registry Editing Tools (If you disable this option, the Windows Registry Editor(regedit.exe) too will not work.)

NoRecentDocsHistory: Removes Recent Document system folder from the Start Menu (IE 4 and above)

ClearRecentDocsOnExit: Clears the Recent Documents system folder on Exit.

Nolnternetlcon: Removes the Internet (system folder) icon from the Desktop

Under the same key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Policies you can create new subkeys other than the already existing Explorer key. Now create a new key and name it System. Under this new key, system we can create the following new DWORD values(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

  • NODispCPL: Hides Control Panel

  • NoDispBackgroundPage: Hides Background page.

  • NoDispScrsavPage: Hides Screen Saver Page

  • NoDispAppearancePage: Hides Appearance Page

  • NoDispSettingsPage: Hides Settings Page

  • NoSecCPL: Disables Password Control Panel

  • NoPwdPage: Hides Password Change Page

  • NoAdminPaqe: Hides Remote Administration Page

  • NoProfilePage: Hides User Profiles Page

  • NoDevMgrPage: Hides Device Manager Page

  • NoConfigPage: Hides Hardware Profiles Page

  • NoFileSysPage: Hides File System Button

  • NoVirtMemPage: Hides Virtual Memory Button
Similarly, if we create a new subkey named WinOldApp, we can add the following DWORD values under it(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

Disabled: Disable MS-DOS Prompt

NoRealMode: Disable Single-Mode MS-DOS.



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