Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 Most Prevalent Global Malware


Malware Type: Trojan
This is the Trend Micro generic detection for low-threat Trojans. It also installs itself as a browser helper object (BHO) by creating certain registry keys.


Malware Type: Worm
This worm arrives as an attachment to mass-mailed email messages. It spreads by attaching a copy of itself to an email message, which it sends using its own Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) engine. Having its own SMTP engine allows it to send messages without using any mailing application, such as MS Outlook.


Malware Type: Worm
This worm propagates by attaching copies of itself to email messages that it sends to target addresses, using its own SMTP engine. Through this SMTP engine, it is able to easily send the email message without using other mailing applications, such as Microsoft Outlook.


Malware Type: Worm
This is Trend Micro's detection for the damaged samples of WORM_NETSKY variants. It runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP.


Malware Type: HTML
This HTML malware arrives as an email with an executable file attachment that is detected by Trend Micro as WORM_NETSKY.P. It exploits a known vulnerability in Internet Explorer versions 5.01 and 5.5 known as the Automatic Execution of Embedded MIME Type. This vulnerability causes Internet Explorer to automatically run executable file attachments in email messages.


Malware Type: Trojan
This Trojan arrives as a file dropped by other malware like WORM_NUWAR.CQ or as a file downloaded unknowingly by a user when visiting malicious URLs. It may also arrive as a downloaded copy by earlier variants.

It is also spammed via email using subject lines related to specific events. The image below is a sample of the said email message.


Malware Type: Worm
This is Trend Micro's detection for unknown and future variants of WORM_RONTOKBRO and WORM_BRONTOK malware programs. It serves as a proactive means of safeguarding against possible attacks of the aforementioned malware.


Malware Type: Worm
This memory-resident worm propagates by dropping copies of itself in shared network drives. It steals login information and saves the obtained data in a file, which can be retrieved by a remote user. Its keylogger component substitutes the standard Microsoft Graphical Identification and Authentication DLL (MSGINA.DLL) to carry out its information-stealing routine.


Malware Type: Worm
This file infector infects .EXE and .SCR files on an infected system and on remote network shares with read and write access. It makes use of port 30167 in order to access network shares. It stays in memory by injecting itself into EXPLORER.EXE; thus, hiding its running process.


Malware Type: Worm
This destructive, memory-resident worm attempts to log on to remote machines using a list of user names. It then drops and executes a copy of itself on the remote machines. It has backdoor capabilities, and may execute commands coming from a remote malicious user. The said routine provides the remote user virtual control over the affected machine, thus compromising system security.

Security for Windows XP

Don't you hate it when people mess with your computer without you knowing it? Here are two ways to prevent this, (and still be lazy): create a desktop icon to lock your computer, and password protect after the screen saver is activated. Both of these only work if you already have your computer password protected on login.

If you already have a password, skip to the next part.

To create a password, go to the control panel , then to user accounts . Click your account, and then the " change my password " button, enter the requested fields and click on " change password " and then close the window.

How to create a lock-down icon:

First, pick any icon on your desktop. Right click it and drag it to another place on the desktop. In the menu that appears select " copy. " Now we need to change the name and the target of the new shortcut. Right click this shortcut, and click " properties. " Make sure you are in the shortcut tab .

In the box labeled " target, " copy and paste this line:

%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

In the box labeled " Start in, " copy paste:


To apply these changes click " apply. " Next you can change the icon. Just click the " change icon " button. If you're not already there hit the browse button and go to:


You'll find a nice selection of icons there.

Select an icon from the ones that appear in the box and click " ok. "

Now move to the general tab . The box on the top contains the name of your icon. Change it to whatever you want. I used "Fun Game" in the hope that if someone comes to the computer and it is not locked that they will click this icon, locking the computer. (This actually worked once!) After you are finished, click " apply ," and then " ok. "

To test your icon, double click it. You should be taken to something like a log on screen. Just enter the password to get back into windows, just as you left it too. This is different from actually logging off. Whenever you know you will be away for a while, just click that icon, and your computer will be safe.

How to lock down on screen saver:

Right click on your desktop in any empty space. Click " properties " in the menu that opens. Go to the screensaver tab. All you have to do now is click the box next to " On resume, password protect ." Click " apply, " and then " ok. "

Let your screen saver run, and see what happens after you move your mouse. This is good in case you leave suddenly and forget to click the icon we made earlier. Unlike hibernation, this will allow other programs, such as Kazaa or iMesh, to run in the background.

Secrets About Windows Operating System

This time I have a collection of Tips and Tricks which no body normally knows, the secrets which Microsoft is afraid to tell the people, the information which you will seldom find all gathered up and arranged in a single file. To fully reap this Manual you need to have a basic understanding of the Windows Registry, as almost all the Tricks and Tips involve this file.

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

Exiting Windows the Cool and Quick Way

Normally it takes a hell lot of time just Shutting down Windows, you have to move your mouse to the Start Button, click on it, move it again over Shut Down, click, then move it over the necessary option and click, then move the cursor over the OK button and once again (you guessed it) click.This whole process can be shortened by creating shortcuts on the Desktop which will shut down Windows at the click of a button. Start by creating a new shortcut( right click and select New> Shortcut). Then in the command line box, type (without the quotes.)

'C:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindowsexec'

This Shortcut on clicking will restart Windows immediately without any Warning. To create a Shortcut to Restarting Windows, type the following in the Command Line box:

'c:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindows'

This Shortcut on clicking will shut down Windows immediately without any Warning.

Ban Shutdowns : A trick to Play on Lamers

This is a neat trick you can play on that lamer that has a huge ego, in this section I teach you, how to disable the Shut Down option in the Shut Down Dialog Box. This trick involves editing the registry, so please make backups. Launch regedit.exe and go to :


In the right pane look for the NoClose Key. If it is not already there then create it by right clicking in the right pane and selecting New > String Value.(Name it NoCloseKey ) Now once you see the NoCloseKey in the right pane, right click on it and select Modify. Then Type 1 in the Value Data Box.

Doing the above on a Win98 system disables the Shut Down option in the Shut Down Dialog Box. But on a Win95 machine if the value of NoCloseKey is set to 1 then click on the Start > Shut Down button displays the following error message:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

You can enable the shut down option by changing the value of NoCloseKey to 0 or simply deleting the particular entry i.e. deleting NoCloseKey.

Instead of performing the above difficult to remember process, simply save the following with an extension of .reg and add it's contents to the registry by double clicking on it.




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 :


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:




Take Over the Screen Saver

To activate and deactivate the screen saver whenever you want, goto the following registry key:


Now add a new string value and name it Mouse Corners. Edit this new value to -Y-N. Press F5 to refresh the registry. Voila! Now you can activate your screensaver by simply placing the mouse cursor at the top right corner of the screen and if you take the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, the screensaver will deactivate.

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:


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:



"LegalNoticeCaption"="Caption here."

Delete the Tips of the Day to save 5KB

Windows 95 had these tips of the day which appeared on a system running a newly installed Windows OS. These tips of the day are stored in the Windows Registry and consume 5K of space. For those of you who are really concerned about how much free space your hard disk has, I have the perfect trick.

To save 5K go to the following key in Regedit:


Now simply delete these tricks by selecting and pressing the DEL key.

Change the Default Locations

To change the default drive or path where Windows will look for it's installation files, go to the key:


Now you can edit as you wish.

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:


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.

CLSID Folders Explained

Don't you just hate those stubborn stupid icons that refuse to leave the desktop, like the Network Neighborhood icon. I am sure you want to know how you can delete them. You may say, that is really simple, simply right click on the concerned icon and select Delete. Well not exactly, you see when you right click on these special folders( see entire list below)neither the rename nor the delete option does not appear. To delete these folders, there are two methods, the first one is using the System Policy Editor(Poledit in the Windows installation CD)and the second is using the Registry.

Before we go on, you need to understand what CLSID values are. These folders, like the Control Panel, Inbox, The Microsoft Network, Dial Up Networking etc are system folders. Each system folder has a unique CLSID key or the Class ID which is a 16-byte value which identifies an individual object that points to a corresponding key in the registry.

To delete these system Folders from the desktop simply go to the following registry key:


To delete an icon simply delete the 16 byte CLSID value within "NameSpace". The following are the CLSID values of the most commonly used icons:

My Briefcase:{85BBD920-42AO-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}

Desktop: {00021400-0000-0000-C000-0000000000046}

Control Panel:{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}


Fonts: {BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948534}

Inbox :{00020D76-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

My Computer :{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Network Neighborhood:{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-O8002B30309D}

Printers :{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-O8002B30309D}

Recycle Bin :{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

The Microsoft Network:{00028B00-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

History: {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}

Winzip :{E0D79300-84BE-11CE-9641-444553540000}

For example, to delete the Recycle Bin, first note down it's CLSID value, which is: 645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E. Now go to the Namespace key in the registry and delete the corresponding key.


Similarly to delete the History folder, delete the following key:


Sometimes, you may need to play a trick on your brother or friend, well this one teaches you how to hide all icons from the Desktop. Go to the following registry key:


In the right pane create a new DWORD value by the name: NoDesktop and set its value to: 1. Reboot and you will find no icons on the desktop.

Till now you simply learnt how to delete the special system folders by deleting a registry key, but the h@*k would have been better if there was a way of adding the DELETE and RENAME option to the right click context menus of these special folders. You can actually change the right click context menu of any system folder and add any of the following options: RENAME, DELETE, CUT, COPY, PASTE and lots more.

This h@*k too requires you to know the CLSID value of the system folder whose menu you want to customize. In this section, I have taken up Recycle Bin as the folder whose context menu I am going to edit.

Firstly launch the registry editor and open the following registry key:


In Case you want to edit some other folder like say the FONTS folder, then you will open the following key:


In the right pane there will be a DWORD value names attributes. Now consider the following options:

To add the Rename option to the menu, change the value of Attributes to
50 01 00 20

To add the Delete option to the menu, change the value of Attributes to
60 01 00 20

3. To add both the Rename & Delete options to the menu, change the value of Attributes to 70,01,00,20

4. Add Copy to the menu, change Attributes to 41 01 00 20

5. Add Cut to the menu, change Attributes to 42 01 00 20

6. Add Copy & Cut to the menu, change Attributes to 43 01 00 20

7. Add Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 44 01 00 20

8. Add Copy & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 45 01 00 20

9. Add Cut & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 46 01 00 20

10.Add all Cut, Copy & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 47 01 00 20

We want to add only the Rename option to the right click context menu of the Recycle Bin, so change the value of attributes to: 50 01 00 20. Press F5 to refresh and then after rebooting you will find that when you right click on the Recycle Bin a RENAME option pops up too.

To reset the default Windows options change the value of Attributes back to

40 01 00 20

The Registry File which one can create for the above process would be something like the below:




To access say the Modem Properties in the Control Panel Folder, the normal procedure is: Click on Start, Click on Settings> Control Panel and then wait for the Control Panel window to pop up and then ultimately click on the Modems icon.

Wouldn't it be lovely if you could shorten the process to: Click on Start> Control Panel>Modems. Yes you can add the Control Panel and also all other Special System Folders directly to the first level Start Menu. Firstly collect the CLSID value of the folder you want to add to the start menu. I want to add Control Panel hence the CLSID value is: 21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D

Now right click on the Start Button and select Open. Now create a new folder and name it: Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

NOTE: Do not forget the period after the 'l' in Panel. Similarly all system folders can be added to the Start Menu.(accept My Briefcase, I think)

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 h@*k. Again like always Launch the registry editor and scroll down to the below key:


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.

Fed Up of the boring Old Yellow Folder Icons?[Drive Icons Included]

NOTE: This trick hasn't been tried on Win98.

You can easily change the boring yellow folder icons to your own personalized icons. Simply create a text file and copy the following lines into it:



Save this text file by the name, desktop.ini in the folder, whose icon you want to change. Now to prevent this file from getting deleted change it's attributes to Hidden and Read Only by using the ATTRIB command.

To change the icon of a drive, create a text file containing the following lines:



Save this file in the root of the drive whose icon you want to change and name it autorun.inf For Example, if you want to change the icon of a floppy, SAVE THE icon in a:\icon_name.ico One can also create a kewl icon for the Hard Disk and create a text file [autorun.inf] and store it in "c:\".

Securing NT

By default, NT 4.0 displays the last person who logged onto the system. This can be considered to be a security threat, especially in the case of those who choose their password to be same as their Username. To disable this bug which actually is a feature, go to the following key in the registry editor:


Click and select the ReportBookOK item and create a new string value called DontDisplayLastUserName. Modify it and set it's value to 1.

As a system administrator, you can ensure that the passwords chosen by the users are not too lame or too easy to guess. NT has this lovely utility called the User Manager which allows the administrator to set the age limit of the password which forces the users to change the password after a certain number of days. You can also set the minimum length of passwords and prevent users to use passwords which already have been used earlier and also enable account lockouts which will deactivate an account after a specified number of failed login attempts.

When you log on to Win NT, you should disable Password Caching, this ensures Single NT Domain login and also prevents secondary Windows Logon screen.

Simply copy the following lines to a plain text ASCII editor like: Notepad and save it with an extension, .reg






To Enable Password Caching use the following .reg file:






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:


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:


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.

Customizing the Right Click Context Menu of the Start Menu

When you right click on the start menu, only 3 options pop up: Open, Explore, and Find. You can add your own programs to this pop up menu( which comes up when we right click on it.) Open Regedit and go to the following registry key:


Right click on the shell and create a new Sub Key (You can create a new SubKey by right clicking on the Shell Key and selecting New > Key.). Type in the name of the application you want to add to the start menu. I want to add Notepad to the Start Menu and hence I name this new sub key, Notepad. Now right click on the new registry key that you just created and create yet another new key named Command. Enter the ful path of the application, in this case Notepad in the default value of Command in the right

pane. So I Modify the value of the default string value and enter the ful pathname of Notepad:


Now press F5 to refresh. Now if you right click on the Start Button you will find a new addition to the Pop Up Menu called Notepad. Clicking on it will launch Notepad.

We can not only add but also remove the existing options in this pop up box.

To delete the Find option, go to the following registry key:


Delete Find. DO NOT delete Open else you will not be able to open any folders in the Start Menu like Programs, Accessories etc.

BMP Thumbnail As Icon

You can actually change the default BMP icon to a thumbnail version of the actual BMP file. To do this simply go to HKCU\Paint.Picture\Default. In the right pane change the value of default to %1. Please note however that this will slow down the display rate in explorer if there are too many BMP thumbnails to display. You can use other icons too, simply enter the pathname.To restore back to the normal change the vale of default back to: C:\Progra~1\Access~1\MSPAINT.EXE,1.

Customizing The Shortcut Arrow

All shortcuts have a tiny black arrow attached to it's icon to distinguish from normal files. This arrow can sometimes be pretty annoying and as a Hacker should know how to change each and everything, here goes another trick. Launch the Registry Editor and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Icons.

Now, on the right pane is a list of icons ( we found out that on some systems, Windows 98 especially, the right pane is blank. Don't worry, just add the value as required ). Find the value 29. If it isn't there, just add it. The value of this string should be C:\Windows\system\shell32.dll, 29 ( which means the 30th icon in shell32.dll - the first one begins with 0 ). Now, we need blank icon to do this. Just create one with white as the whole icon. Go here to learn how to create an icon. Once done just change the value to C:\.ico, 0 where "" is the ful path of the icon file and "0" is the icon in it.

Now for some fun. If the blank icon is a bit boring, change it again. You will find that under shell32.dll there is a gear icon, a shared folder ( the hand ) and much more. Experiment for yourself!

Use Perl to Get List or Services Running on your NT box

Use the following Perl Script to get a list of Services running on your NT system



use Win32::Service;

my ($key, %service, %status, $part);

Win32::Service::GetServices(' ',\%services);

foreach $key (sort keys %services) {

print "Print Name\t: $key, $services{$key}\n";

Win32::Service::GetStatus( ' ',$services{$key};


foreach $part (keys %status) {

print "\t$part : $status{$part}\n" if($part eq "CurrentState");




Internet Explorer Tricks and Tips

Resizable ful Screen Toolbar

The ful Screen option increases the viewable area and makes surfing more enjoyable but sometimes we need the Toolbar but also need to have extra viewing area. Now this h@*k teaches you how to change the size of the Internet Explorer toolbar. This registry h@*k is a bit complicated as it involves Binary values, so to make it simple, I have included the following registry file which will enable the resizable option of the Internet Explorer toolbar which was present in the beta version of IE.


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar]






h@*king TRUTH: Internet Explorer 5 displays the friendly version of HTTP errors like NOT FOUND etc . They are aimed at making things easier for newbies. If you would rather prefer to see the proper error pages for the web server you're using, go to Tools, Internet Options and select the Advanced tab. Then scroll down and uncheck the Show friendly http errors box.

Making the Internet Explorer & the Explorer Toolbars Fancy

The Internet Explorer toolbar looks pretty simple. Want to make it fancy and kewl? Why not add a background image to it. To do this kewl h@*k launch the Windows Registry Editor and go to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\Toolbar\.

Now in the right pane create a new String Value and name it BackBitmap and modify it's value to the path of the Bitmap you want to dress it up with by rightclicking on it and choosing Modify. When you reboot the Internet Explorer and the Windows Explorer toolbars will have a new look.

Change Internet Explorer's Caption

Don't like the caption of Internet Explorer caption? Want to change it? Open the registry editor and go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.

In the right pane create a new String Value names Window Title (Note the space between Window and Title). Right click on this newly created String Value and select Modify. Type in the new caption you want to be displayed. Restart for the settings to take place.

Now let's move on to some Outlook Express Tricks.

Colorful Background

Don't like the boring background colors of Outlook Express? To change it launch the Windows Registry Editor and scroll down to the

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Mail And News key.

On the left pane, click on ColorCycle or select Edit and Modify in the menu. Now change the value to 1. Close and restart. Now, launch Outlook Express and whenever you open up a New Message, hold down ctrl-shift and tap the z key to scroll to change the background color. Repeat the keystroke to cycle through the colors.

Internet Explorer 5 Hidden Features

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 has several hidden features which can be controlled using the Windows Registry. Open your registry and scroll down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

Create a new DWORD value named x(See complete list of values of x below) and modify it's value to 1 to enable it and to 0 to disable it.

NoBrowserClose : Disable the option of closing Internet Explorer.

NoBrowserContextMenu : Disable right-click context menu.

NoBrowserOptions : Disable the Tools / Internet Options menu.

NoBrowserSaveAs : Disable the ability to Save As.

NoFavorites : Disable the Favorites.

NoFileNew : Disable the File / New command.

NoFileOpen : Disable the File / Open command.

NoFindFiles : Disable the Find Files command.

NoSelectDownloadDir : Disable the option of selecting a download directory.

NoTheaterMode : Disable the ful Screen view option.

h@*king Secrets

Almost all system administrators make certain changes and make the system restricted. System Administrators can hide the RUN option, the FIND command, the entire Control Panel, drives in My Computer like D: A: etc. They can even restrict activities of a hacker my disabling or hiding, even the tiniest options or tools.

Most commonly these restrictions are imposed locally and are controlled by the Windows Registry. But sometimes the smart system administrators control the activities of the hacker by imposing restrictions remotely through the main server.

Poledit or Policy Editor is a small kewl tool which is being commonly used by system administrators to alter the settings of a system. This utility is not installed by default by Windows. You need to install in manually from the Windows 98 Installation Kit from the Resource Kit folder. user.dat file that we saw earlier.

The Policy Editor tool imposes restrictions on the user's system by editing the user.dat file which in turn means that it edits the Windows Registry to change the settings. It can be used to control or restrict access to each and every folder and option you could ever think of. It has the power to even restrict access to individual folders, files, the Control Panel, MS DOS, the drives available etc. Sometimes this software does make life really hard for a Hacker. So how can we remove the restrictions imposed by the Policy Editor? Well read ahead to learn more.

You see the Policy Editor is not the only way to restrict a user's activities. As we already know that the Policy Editor edits the Windows Registry(user.dat) file to impose such restrictions. So this in turn would mean that we can directly make changes to the Windows Registry using a .reg file or directly to remove or add restrictions.

Launch Regedit and go to the following Registry Key:


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 Network, we can add the following DWORD values under it(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

NoNetSetupSecurityPage: Hides Network Security Page

NoNelSetup: Hides or disables the Network option in the Control Panel

NoNetSetupIDPage: Hides the Identification Page

NoNetSetupSecurityPage: Hides the Access Control Page

NoFileSharingControl: Disables File Sharing Controls

NoPrintSharing: Disables Print Sharing Controls

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.

So you see if you have access to the Windows Registry, then you can easily create new DWORD values and set heir value to 1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option. But Sometimes, access to the Windows Registry is blocked. So what do you do? Go to the Windows Directory and delete either user.dat or system.dat (These 2 files constitute the Windows Registry.) and reboot. As soon as Windows logs in, it will display a Warning Message informing you about an error in the Windows Registry. Simply ignore this Warning Message and Press CTRL+DEL+ALT to get out of this warning message.(Do not press OK) You will find that all restrictions have been removed.

The most kind of restriction found quite commonly is the Specific Folder Restriction, in which users are not allowed access to specific folders, the most common being the Windows folder, or sometimes even access to My Computer is blocked. In effect, you simply cannot seem to access the important kewl files which are needed by you to do remove restrictions. What do you? Well use the RUN command. (START >RUN). But unfortunately a system administrator who is intelligent enough to block access to specific folder, would definitely have blocked access to the RUN command. Again we are stuck.

Windows is supposed to be the most User Friendly Operating System on earth. (At least Microsoft Says so.)

It gives the User an option to do the same thing in various ways. You see the RUN command is only the most convenient option of launching applications, but not the only way. In Windows you can create shortcuts to almost anything from a file, folder to a Web URL. So say your system administrator has blocked access to the c:\windows\system folder and you need to access it. What do you do? Simply create a Shortcut to it. To do this right click anywhere on the desktop and select New > Shortcut. A new window titled Create Shortcut pops up. Type in the path of the restricted folder you wish to access, in this case c:\windows\system. Click Next, Enter the friendly name of the Shortcut and then click Finish. Now you can access the restricted folder by simply double clicking on the shortcut icon. Well that shows how protected and secure *ahem Windows *ahem is.

h@*king TRUTH: Sometimes when you try to delete a file or a folder, Windows displays an error message saying that the file is protected. This simply means that the file is write protected, or in other words the R option is +. Get it? Anyway, you can stop Windows from displaying this error message and straightaway delete this file by changing its attributes to Non Read Only. This can be done by Right Clicking on the file, selecting Properties and then

unselecting the Read Only Option.

There is yet another way of accessing restricted folders. Use see, DOS has a lovely command known as START. Its general syntax is:

START application_path

It does do what it seems to do, start applications. So in you have access to DOS then you can type in the START command to get access to the restricted folder. Now mostly access to DOS too would be blocked. So again you can use the shortcut trick to launch, c:\command.com or c:\windows\command.com. (Command.com is the file which launches MS DOS).

Accessing Restricted Drives.

The problem with most system administrators is that they think that the users or Hackers too are stupid. Almost all system administrators use the Registry Trick (Explained Earlier) to hide all drives in My Computer. So in order to unhide or display all drives, simply delete that particular key.(Refer to beginning of Untold Secrets Section.)

Some systems have the floppy disk disabled through the BIOS. On those systems if the BIOS is protected, you may need to cr@ck the BIOS password. (For that Refer to the Windows h@*king Chapter). Sometimes making drives readable (Removing R +) and then creating Shortcuts to them also helps us to get access to them.

Further Changing your Operating System's Looks by editing .htt files

If you have installed Windows Desktop Update and have the view as Web Page option enabled, you can customise the way the folder looks by selecting View > Customise this folder. Here you can change the background and other things about that particular folder. Well that is pretty lame, right? We hackers already know things as lame as that. Read on for some kewl stuff.

Well, you could also change the default that is stored in a Hidden HTML Template file (I think so..) which is nothing but a HTML document with a .htt extension. This .htt file is found at: %systemroot%\web\folder.htt.

The %systemroot% stands for the drive in which Windows is Installed, which is normally C:

You can edit these .htt files almost just like you edit normal .HTM or .HTML files. Simply open them in an ASCII editor like Notepad. The following is a list of .htt files on your system which control various folders and which can be edited to customise the way various folders look.

controlp.htt Control Panel

printers.htt Printers

mycomp.htt My Computer

safemode.htt Safe Mode

All these files are found in the web folder in %systemfolder%. The folder.htt file has a line:

'Here's a good place to add a few lines of your own"

which is the place where you can add your own A HREF links. These links would then appear in the folder whose folder.htt file you edited. All this might sound really easy and simple, but you see these .htt files do not contain normal HTML code, instead they contain a mixture of HTML and web bots. Hence they can be difficult for newbies to understand.

Tricks : Access Blocked Websites

Websites which have been blocked in many countries can be accessed.Here are some tricks that might help :

1.Proxy server :Use a proxy server to access restricted sites.A proxy server (or proxies) is a normal computer that hides the identity of computers on its network from the Internet. Which means that only the address of the proxy server is visible to the world and not of those computers that are using it to browse the Internet. Just visit the proxy server website with your Web browser and enter a URL (website address) in the form provided.

List of Proxy servers

Just click on this link and it will take you to a page having a long list of proxies.You can either choose one yourself or let the service choose a random proxy for you.You can now visit any site with these proxy servers.

Also bookmark the DMOZ directory of free web-based proxy services and DMOZ directory of free proxy servers .

2.Convert ip to decimal:The third trick may work at some places and wont at others.This is a lesser known trick i came across recently.Suppose you want to access www.orkut.com.

Go to start->run type cmd.
Now type ping www.orkut.com (space between ping and www)
You will get an ip address for www.orkut.com ,note it down.
Now go to http://www.allredroster.com/iptodec.htm

Enter the ip in the enter ip address field and press calculate.You will get an address in Decimal field.This is it.Copy this address and type it in your browser,if lucky www.orkut.com or any other blocked site for which you do this should open.

For example,for orkut you get the decimal address as

Note:Press ctrl+d to bookmark this page.Visit the site often as it is reularly updated with the latest Tips And Tricks.

Tricks : Hidden Comands in XP

1- Private Character Editor
This program is for designing icons and Characters(Alphapet)
Click :start
Then :Run

2- iExpress
This Program is for conerting your files to EXCUTABLE files
Click : start
Then : run
type : iexpress

3-Disk Cleanup
This program used for cleaning harddisk to offer space
Click : start
Then : run
type : cleanmgr

4-Dr Watson
This program Is for repairing problems in Windows
Click : start
Then : run
type : drwtsn32

5-Windows Media Player 5.1
Opens the old media player
Click : start
Then : run
type : mplay32

Program CODE

Character Map = charmap

DirectX diagnosis = dxdiag

Object Packager = packager

System Monitor = perfmon

Program Manager = progman

Remote Access phone book = rasphone

Registry Editor = regedt32

File siganture verification tool = sigverif

Volume Contro = sndvol32

System Configuration Editor = sysedit

Syskey = syskey

Microsoft Telnet Client = telnet

Tips : Fasten your BroadBand Speed

If you are using a BroadBand connection at your home and using Windows Xp as your Operating System, and you feel that your BB speed is a bit less, then in that case you have the option to increase your Broadband speed upto 20%.

1. First of all make sure you are logged in as Administrator.
2. Go to Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc, press OK.
3. Then go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Network -> QOS packet Scheduler.
4. On the right it will give you the option of Limit Reservable bandwidth, open and and select Enabled, and change the value to 0.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tips : Configuring Outlook Express for Dataone Email

Configuring Outlook Express for Dataone Email:-

Open Outlook Express ->click on Tools -> Click on Accounts -> Click on Mail ->Click on Add ->Click on Mail -> Fill – Display Name: e.g. Arun Nair ->Click on Next -> Fill – Email address: e.g. xyz@dataone.in -> Click on Next -> Select My Incoming Mail server is a POP3 Server -> Fill – Incoming Mail(POP3,IMAP or HTTP) Server: smma.sancharnet.in -> Fill Outgoing mail (SMPT) Server:
smra.sancharnet.in -> Click on Next -> Fill –Account name: e.g. xyz@dataone.in ->Un-tick Remember Password -> Click on Next -> Click on Finish -> Select the Account created and Click on Properties -> Click on Servers -> Tick My Server requires authentication -> Click on Apply -> Click on OK ->Click on Close.

Tips : Hide Drives and Partitions

Do you have data on a partition or hard drive that you don't want tampered with or easily accessible to other users? Well, you can hide any drive/partition in Windows XP, NT, and 2000. That means that they won't show up in Explorer or My Computer.

If you want access to that drive from your user account you should create a desktop shortcut before proceeding. Once hidden, you can still access by typing the drive letter and a colon in Start/Run for example, "D:" will bring up a folder of the contents on your D drive.

The easiest way with Win XP is to use the TweakUI power toy from Microsoft. Go to Start/Run and type in "tweakui" (without the quotes).

Go to My Computer/Drives and uncheck the drive/partition(s) you want hidden. Click "Apply" or "OK" when finished.

For Win NT, 2000, and XP you can use the following Registry edit:
*Be sure to back up the Registry before proceeding

Open the Registry Editor by going to Start/Run and typing in "regedit" (without the quotes). Find your way to...

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Policies

Click on "Explorer".

Double-click the "NoDrives" key in the right column. If you don't find a "NoDrives" registry key, just right-click in the right pane and choose "New/DWORD Value" then name the key "NoDrives".

You'll see a value like "0000 00 00 00 00". This is where the fun starts. The four sets of double zeros (after the "0000") are where you'll enter the values for the drive/partitions. Now, stay with me on this. Iit's not as complicated as it sounds:

The first column is for drives A-H, the second for I-P, the third for Q-X, and the fourth for Y-Z.

The values for each drive are as follows:

1 - A I Q Y
2 - B J R Z
4 - C K S
8 - D L T
16 - E M U
32 - F N V
64 - G O W
80 - H P X

So, let's say you want to hide drive D. In the first column you would put "08". For drive K you would put "04" in the second column.

But what if you want to hide more than one drive in a column? Simply add the values together: D+E = 8+16 = 24. So in the first column you would put "24".

Still baffled? If you have XP then go get TweakUI and save yourself the math.

Whichever method you use, you can rest easy knowing that the files on that drive or partition are less accessible to other users.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cleaning up unwanted startup programs

Windows XP : Cleaning up unwanted startup programs

Many freeware and commercial software programs have a habit of setting themselves up to run automatically upon Windows startup. This can contribute to the gradual decline in startup speed that most Windows XP systems (and windows PCs in general) experience. Also, having programs that you only use selectively, or not at all, load automatically is a waste of system resources that could be better used for other things.

To top it off, many internet nasties such as spyware programs, viruses and Trojan horses will install themselves into one of the automatic start locations on your system in order to make sure that they are run on startup. So the point is, take a look at what is currently running every time you load your PC, and disable what you don't need or can't identify.

To do this: The first place you should go is 'start\programs\startup' which is a directory Windows XP uses to launch application shortcuts on boot-up.

If you remove the shortcuts from this directory, the applications will not load on startup. This directory can also be a repository for various badness such as spyware and virus software, so if there are files here which are not shortcuts and you don't recognize them, you may wish to consider removing them anyways, as Windows will not place critical files in this directory.

The next location for removing unnecessary startup files is the handy MSCONFIG utility that has been resurrected from the graveyard of Windows 9x especially for XP.

Go to 'start\run' and type 'msconfig' to access the utility.

The 'startup' tab in MSCONFIG provides access to several other applications that are started at boot up and are running in the background. By examining their Filenames and directories, you should be able to get a feeling for what is necessary and what is not. Be aware than several viruses and worms have a habit of disguising themselves with authoritative sounding Windows system file names.

The other method for removing these programs is through the programs themselves, as many applications, for example MSN messenger, contain the option to remove the software from startup.

Tips : For More Efficient Google Searches

1. Either/or. Google normally searches for pages that contain all the words you type in the search box, but if you want pages that have one term or another (or both), use the OR operator — or use the “” symbol (pipe symbol) to save you a keystroke. [dumb little man]

2. Quotes. If you want to search for an exact phrase, use quotes. [”dumb little man”] will only find that exact phrase. [dumb “little man”] will find pages that contain the word dumb and the exact phrase “little man”.

3. Not. If you don’t want a term or phrase, use the “-” symbol. [-dumb little man] will return pages that contain “little” and “man” but that don’t contain “dumb”.

4. Similar terms. Use the “~” symbol to return similar terms. [~dumb little man -dumb] will get you pages that contain “funny little man” and “stupid little man” but not “dumb little man”.

5. Wildcard. The “*” symbol is a wildcard. This is useful if you’re trying to find the lyrics to a song, but can’t remember the exact lyrics. [can’t * me love lyrics] will return the Beatles song you’re looking for. It’s also useful for finding stuff only in certain domains, such as educational information: [”dumb little man” research *.edu].

6. Advanced search. If you can’t remember any of these operators, you can always use Google’s advanced search.

7. Definitions. Use the “define:” operator to get a quick definition. [define:dumb] will give you a whole host of definitions from different sources, with links.

8. Calculator. One of the handiest uses of Google, type in a quick calculation in the search box and get an answer. It’s faster than calling up your computer’s calculator in most cases. Use the +, -, *, / symbols and parentheses to do a simple equation.

9. Numrange. This little-known feature searches for a range of numbers. For example, [”best books 2002..2007] will return lists of best books for each of the years from 2002 to 2007 (note the two periods between the two numbers).

10. Site-specific. Use the “site:” operator to search only within a certain website. [site:dumblittleman.com leo] will search for the term “leo” only within this blog.

11. Backlinks. The “link:” operator will find pages that link to a specific URL. You can use this not only for a main URL but even to a specific page. Not all links to an URL are listed, however.

12. Vertical search. Instead of searching for a term across all pages on the web, search within a specialized field. Google has a number of specific searches, allowing you to search within blogs, news, books, and much more:
* Blog Search
* Book Search
* Scholar
* Catalogs
* Code Search
* Directory
* Finance
* Images
* Local/Maps
* News
* Patent Search
* Product Search
* Video

13. Movies. Use the “movie:” operator to search for a movie title along with either a zip code or U.S. city and state to get a list of movie theaters in the area and show times.

14. Music. The “music:” operator returns content related to music only.

15. Unit converter. Use Google for a quick conversion, from yards to meters for example, or different currency: [12 meters in yards]

16. Types of numbers: Google algorithms can recognize patterns in numbers you enter, so you can search for:
* Telephone area codes
* Vehicle ID number (US only)
* Federal Communications Commission (FCC) equipment numbers (US only)
* UPC codes
* Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airplane registration number (US only)
* Patent numbers (US only)
* Even stock quotes (using the stock symbol) or a weather forecast regarding the next five days

17. File types. If you just want to search for .PDF files, or Word documents, or Excel spreadsheets, for example, use the “filetype:” operator.

18. Location of term. By default, Google searches for your term throughout a web page. But if you just want it to search certain locations, you can use operators such as “inurl:”, “intitle:”, “intext:”, and “inanchor:”. Those search for a term only within the URL, the title, the body text, and the anchor text (the text used to describe a link).

19. Cached pages. Looking for a version of a page the Google stores on its own servers? This can help with outdated or update pages. Use the “cached:” operator.

20. Answer to life, the universe, and everything. Search for that phrase, in lower case, and Google will give you the answer.

Windows XP File System NTFS - Faster, Secure, Stable : Microsoft.com

Article Taken From Microsoft.com

To NTFS or not to NTFS—that is the question. But unlike the deeper questions of life, this one isn't really all that hard to answer. For most users running Windows XP, NTFS is the obvious choice. It's more powerful and offers security advantages not found in the other file systems. But let's go over the differences among the files systems so we're all clear about the choice. There are essentially three different file systems available in Windows XP: FAT16, short for File Allocation Table, FAT32, and NTFS, short for NT File System.

The FAT16 file system was introduced way back with MS–DOS in 1981, and it's showing its age. It was designed originally to handle files on a floppy drive, and has had minor modifications over the years so it can handle hard disks, and even file names longer than the original limitation of 8.3 characters, but it's still the lowest common denominator. The biggest advantage of FAT16 is that it is compatible across a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows 95/98/Me, OS/2, Linux, and some versions of UNIX. The biggest problem of FAT16 is that it has a fixed maximum number of clusters per partition, so as hard disks get bigger and bigger, the size of each cluster has to get larger. In a 2–GB partition, each cluster is 32 kilobytes, meaning that even the smallest file on the partition will take up 32 KB of space. FAT16 also doesn't support compression, encryption, or advanced security using access control lists.


The FAT32 file system, originally introduced in Windows 95 Service Pack 2, is really just an extension of the original FAT16 file system that provides for a much larger number of clusters per partition. As such, it greatly improves the overall disk utilization when compared to a FAT16 file system. However, FAT32 shares all of the other limitations of FAT16, and adds an important additional limitation—many operating systems that can recognize FAT16 will not work with FAT32—most notably Windows NT, but also Linux and UNIX as well. Now this isn't a problem if you're running FAT32 on a Windows XP computer and sharing your drive out to other computers on your network—they don't need to know (and generally don't really care) what your underlying file system is.

The Advantages of NTFS

The NTFS file system, introduced with first version of Windows NT, is a completely different file system from FAT. It provides for greatly increased security, file–by–file compression, quotas, and even encryption. It is the default file system for new installations of Windows XP, and if you're doing an upgrade from a previous version of Windows, you'll be asked if you want to convert your existing file systems to NTFS. Don't worry. If you've already upgraded to Windows XP and didn't do the conversion then, it's not a problem. You can convert FAT16 or FAT32 volumes to NTFS at any point. Just remember that you can't easily go back to FAT or FAT32 (without reformatting the drive or partition), not that I think you'll want to.

The NTFS file system is generally not compatible with other operating systems installed on the same computer, nor is it available when you've booted a computer from a floppy disk. For this reason, many system administrators, myself included, used to recommend that users format at least a small partition at the beginning of their main hard disk as FAT. This partition provided a place to store emergency recovery tools or special drivers needed for reinstallation, and was a mechanism for digging yourself out of the hole you'd just dug into. But with the enhanced recovery abilities built into Windows XP (more on that in a future column), I don't think it's necessary or desirable to create that initial FAT partition.

When to Use FAT or FAT32

If you're running more than one operating system on a single computer (see my earlier column Multibooting Made Easy), you will definitely need to format some of your volumes as FAT. Any programs or data that need to be accessed by more than one operating system on that computer should be stored on a FAT16 or possibly FAT32 volume. But keep in mind that you have no security for data on a FAT16 or FAT32 volume—any one with access to the computer can read, change, or even delete any file that is stored on a FAT16 or FAT32 partition. In many cases, this is even possible over a network. So do not store sensitive files on drives or partitions formatted with FAT file systems.

Source And Credit Microsoft.com

About RSS Feed

Many of us Dont know about RSS Feed. It is very useful and helpful key of SEO. Please read below to know more about RSS Feed.

RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel," contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually.

RSS content can be read using software called a "feed reader" or an "aggregator." The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.

The initials "RSS" are used to refer to the following formats:

* Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
* RDF Site Summary (RSS 1.0 and RSS 0.90)
* Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)

RSS formats are specified using XML, a generic specification for the creation of data

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tips : To Setup a Virtual Private Network


Setting up a VPN in Windows is a two step process.

1. Set up one computer to share files (server).
2. Set up another computer to access them (client).

Begin by setting up the server:

1. Open Internet Explorer and go to www.whatismyip.com. Write down the IP address. You will need it to configure the client.
2. Click the Start button and click Run.
3. Type control and hit Enter.
4. Click Network and Internet Connections.
5. Click Network Connections.
6. Click Create a New Connection, which is the first option on the left toolbar.
7. The New Connection Wizard will open. Click Next.
8. Choose Set up an advanced connection, the last element on the list. Click Next.
9. Choose Accept incoming connections. Click Next.
10. You will see the Devices for Incoming Connections screen. Do not select anything on this screen. Click Next.
11. Select Allow virtual private connections. Click Next.
12. Select to whom you want to give access. Click Next. If a user is not listed, you will have to add an account. See “Related Wikihows” for more information.
13. Do not change anything on the Networking Software screen. Click Next.
14. That’s it! Your computer is now set up to allow for VPNs. Click Finish to complete the wizard.

Now proceed to connect the client:

1. Click the Start button and click Run.
2. Type control and hit Enter.
3. Click Network and Internet Connections.
4. Click Network Connections.
5. Click Create a New Connection, which is the first option on the left toolbar.
6. The New Connection Wizard will open. Click Next.
7. Select Connect to the network at my workplace and click Next.
8. Select Virtual Private Network connection and click Next.
9. Type the name of your network in the blank box. Click Next.
10. Enter the IP address you wrote down earlier and click Next.
11. Select Add a shortcut to this connection to my desktop and click Finish.


* Both computers must be connected to the internet.
* The user name and password must be entered exactly as you saved them.
* The IP address must be written exactly as listed on the screen.
* If the VPN doesn’t work, turn off your firewall.


* Do not give access to the “guest” account. It does not require a password, allowing anyone to access the VPN.

Tips : To Fix Errors on Page After Updating IE7


1. Run the most recent version of javascript.
2. Adjust settings in the browser.
3. Click on tools in IE7.
4. Open Internet Options and click on security tab, then custom level.
5. Shut off the internet security controls while doing the security settings.
* .NET Framework: enable all settings
* ActiveX controls and plug-ins:
* Previously used ActiveX controls: disable
* Allow scriptlets, automatic prompting, Binary and script behaviors, Display video and animation on webpage: enable
* Download signed ActiveX controls, download unsigned activeX controls, initialize and script activeX controls: Prompt
* Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins (again), script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting: Enable
* Downloads: Automatic prompting for file downloads: Disable
* Downloads: File download, font download: Enable
* Enable .NET framework setup: Enable
* Microsoft VM: Medium safety
* Misc: access data sources across domains: Disable
* Allow META refresh: Enable
* Allow scripting of internet explorer web-browser control, allow script initiated windows without size or position: Disable
* Allow webpages to use restricted protocols: Prompt
* Allow websites to open windows without address or status bars: Disable
* Display mixed content: Prompt
* Don't prompt for client certificate selection: Disable
* Drag and drop or copy and paste files, include local directory path: Enable
* Install desktop items, launching applications and unsafe files, launching programs and files in iframe: Prompt
* Navigate subframes across different domains: Disable
* Open files based on content: enable
* Software channel permissions: Medium
* Submit nonencrypted data: Enable
* Use phishing filter, use pop-up blocker: Disable
* Userdata persistence, websites in less privileged content zone, Scripting: active scripting: Enable
* Allow programtic clipboard access: Prompt
* Allow status bar updates via script, allow websites to prompt for information: Disable
* Scripting of java applets: Enable
* Logon: Auto logon for intranet zone
6. After settings are adjusted, click OK. You will get IE WARNING message: Click Yes
7. Click on Advanced folder and go to bottom.
8. Click on Empty Internet Files.
* Disable Phishing filter: Click Apply
* For Tab settings: Click on General
9. Click on Settings under tabs (how webpages...).
10. Check off circles: Always open pop-ups in new tab and a new tab in the current window.
11. Click OK.
12. Close IE7 browser.
13. Right click on IE7 icon on desktop and click Start without add-ons. You will get warning: ignore
14. Close IE7 and repeat last step.

Tips : To Configure DHCP in Your PC

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is the configuration of your Internet Protocol (IP) address, subnet mask, DNS servers, domain name suffix and about 200 other possible options to let your computer communicate with a network automatically via a server or router. It sounds complicated, but once set up, it can make connecting to a network much easier.

1. Log into Windows XP with administrator rights. This makes setting up the network for you, and other users, easier as you can make all the necessary changes to settings.
2. Look for the Network Neighborhood or My Network Places icon in your desktop. If it is not there, try your Start Menu.
3. Right-click the Network Neighborhood/My Network Places icon. A drop-down menu will appear.
4. Choose the "Properties" option, generally found at the bottom of the menu.
5. Look for an icon named "Local Area Connection". The icon looks like a pair of computer connected by a link. Double-click this icon.
6. Click the "General" tab, if it is not already selected. You will see a list of protocols to choose form.
7. Scroll down and choose Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click the button that is labeled "Properties".
8. Again, click the "General" tab, it it is not alreay selected. You will see two choices:

1. "Obtain an IP address Automatically"
2. "Use the following IP address..."
9. Choose option 1.
10. You have effectively configured DHCP for your PC. When your computer obtains the IP address, it will also obtain DNS server information automatically. This is provided by your dhcp server.


* Make sure your NIC (Network Card)is working properly.
* Make sure you are connected directly to a router, switch or hub.
* Make sure the Link light is on. (small green light where the cable plugs into the computer)
* If you are connected to a LAN, make sure that you have a router that will give addresses away, since the address will be obtained by the PC from the router.
* If you have a Server on the LAN such as Windows 2000 or 2003, make sure the server is configured DHCP enabled as well.

Tips : To Connect Two Computers


1. Connect the two computers together either with a Crossover cable or a Hub/Switch to the ethernet card in your computer.
2. Set the IP address on both computers. Goto Start > Control Panel > Network Connections (choose switch to classic view if you cannot see network connections)
3. Look for your Local Area Connection ethernet adapter, right-click and choose properties.
4. Select Internet Protocol TCP/IP and choose properties.
5. Setup the IP as and the subnet mask of on the first computer and on the second with the same subnet mask.
6. Choose OK then OK/close again.


* To share your files, right click on any folder and choose Sharing to make them shared.
* You can also do this with your printers to be able to print from one computer while the printer is connected to the other.

Things You'll Need

* A Crossover cable. This a Cat5 Ethernet Cable that the wires have been switched around to allow two computer only to talk to each other
* OR, you can purchase a switch/hub with two Standard "Straight-Through" Ethernet Cables
* Check to see if your computer has an Ethernet Adapter in the back of the computer. Most new computers have this. You can tell by the documentation from the computer or by looking at the back of the computer. It looks like a phone jack, but larger.

This Will Help you to share files and folders, printers, play network games, Etc

Tips : To Install RAM

These instructions will assist you in installing memory (RAM) into your computer.

1. Find out what type of RAM is required for your computer.
2. Find out how much of that type of RAM your computer can take.
3. Purchase RAM online; it's much cheaper.
4. Open your computer case (this may require a screw driver; usually a Phillips-Head.)
5. Once you have the case open, you need to locate the RAM slots on your motherboard. Most RAM slots are located on the top of the motherboard, on the right-hand side. You should see something in the computer that is similar to what you bought at the store.
6. Push the clamps OPEN to release the memory (if there is RAM already in there, which there may or may not be, depending on whether you're building a computer or altering an existing one). Remove old memory.
7. Look at the new memory and survey the motherboard memory slots. They should have a notch in each memory slot.
8. Line the notch on the motherboard up with the notch on the new memory.
9. Press gently but firmly until claps close completely. Once you have done this, the memory should be installed correctly.
10. Turn on the computer.
11. Once you have successfully booted the system, turn the machine off again and put the side panel back on the computer.
12. VOILA! You have just installed new RAM.


* If you are getting a beep when you turn on the computer, you have either installed an incorrect memory type, or you have installed the memory incorrectly. If this is a computer that you purchased at a store, you should contact the store or the manufacturer of the computer to find out what the beep code means.
* If you hear anything other than a single beep lasting one second, check your motherboards' documentation for an explanation of beep codes. Beep codes are a warning system when one or more components fails the POST (Power On Self Test), and is usually due to malfunctioning or incompatible hardware.
* If you are adding more RAM (not replacing), make sure there are enough RAM slots. Often you need to buy the exact same RAM as you currently have. Also, having a pair of 512MB is often cheaper than replacing a 512MB with a 1024MB.
* A good website to use is the crucial memory website http://www.crucial.com/ as they have a memory advisor tool which tells you how much and what type of ram your computer takes . you can also buy memory from here


* These instructions are for Desktop computers, not Laptops.
* Make sure to discharge any possible static buildup before touching RAM; it is extremely sensitive to ESD (Electro-Static Discharge). Do this by touching something metal before touching your computer

Tips : To assign a Static IP Address To Your Network

To assign a Static IP Address to your network connection follow these steps:

1. Open Network Connections

2. Right click the connection you wish to assign a Static Address to and choose Properties.

3. In the Properties box that comes up select "Internet Protocol TCP/IP" and click the Properties button beneath.

4. In Internet Protocol TCP/IP Properties place a dot in "Use the following IP Address".

5. Enter the IP address you wish to use and OK the change. Click OK on Local Area Connection Properties.

6. Reboot

Tips : Allow more than 2 simultaneous downloads in IE 6

This is to increase the the number of max downloads to 10.

1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).

2. Locate the following key in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

3. On the Edit menu, click Add Value (a dword) , and then add the following registry values:


4. Quit Registry Editor.

Tips : To Make Menus Load Faster

Tips : To Make Menus Load Faster

Go to Start >>Run
Type 'Regedit' then click 'Ok'
Find "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\"
Select "MenuShowDelay"
Right click and select "Modify'
Reduce the number to around "100"
This is the delay time before a menu is opened. You can set it to "0" but it can make windows really hard to use as menus will open if you just look at them - well move your mouse over them anyway.

Tips: To Change Internet Explorer Title

How to change the Internet Explorer tiltle?

1. start ->run-> gpedit.msc

2. choose User Configuration, Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintainance, Browser User Interface, and doubleclick Browser Title.

3. Activate Customize Title Bars, and type something in there. Doesn't matter what. Let's type: QWERTY. Click Okay.

4. Fire up Reg editor. (start, run, regedit)

5. goto HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.

6. Look for the key: Window Title. There you'll find the value: Microsoft Internet Explorer provided bt QWERTY.

7. Change this key to anythig you like and exit regedit.

8. Fire up IE and look at the titlebar!


WinXP security: If you don't do steps 1 to 3, you won't find the Window Title key!

Tips: To Change Browser Toolbar Background

Change Browser Toolbar Background

This tweak Customize the apperance of the Internet Explorer Toolbar

1. Click Start > Run > Type gpedit.msc
2. Click User Configuration > Windows Setting > Internet Explorer Maintenance > Browser User Interface
3. Double click on Browser Toolbar Customization
4. Click on Customize Toolbar Background Bitmap
5. Browse for the new Background

Note: Because you can customize your browser toolbar there isn't a specific size which
you need to make this tweak work. Play around with the size until you get it right.

The Width of your toolbar with be the width of your resolution. 1024 will be your width
if your resolution is 1024x768.

Now you changed the Toolbar Background of your browser and you sure see what you
wrote when you open a New Widow.

Enabling USB 2.0 Support For INTEL Boards

Desktop Boards
Enabling USB 2.0 Support

The Intel® Desktop Boards listed below are enabled to support USB 2.0 peripherals. The operating system must support USB 2.0 in order to achieve USB 2.0 performance. If your operating system does not support USB 2.0, your USB 2.0 peripheral will only operate at USB 1.1 (12Mbit) speeds.

USB 2.0 Supported Operating Systems

Microsoft* Windows* XP (all editions)
Microsoft* Windows* 2000 (be sure to have latest Service Pack installed)
Microsoft Windows 98SE
Microsoft Windows Me
To Enable USB 2.0:

Reboot (or power on) system.
Press "F2" during POST (Power-on Self Test) to enter system BIOS setup program.
Select "ADVANCED" menu using arrow (left and right) keys.
Select "USB Configuration" and press .
Enable "High-speed USB".
Press "F10" to Save & Exit BIOS setup program. ( Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controllers are now enabled and your operating system should detect New Hardware during the next normal boot cycle.
Cancel "New Hardware Found".
For additional BIOS Setup program configuration information, be sure to refer to the Technical Product Specification for your Intel Desktop Board.

If you do not have an operating system that supports USB 2.0, the recommendation is to disable the feature in the System BIOS Setup program.

Tips : Remove "unremovable" Desktop Icons

Please do the Below Step carefully as it is very dangerious to mess around in. Please Note there is no Edit>Undo. If you make a mistake it could mean you'll be reinstalling your OS!

Remove "unremovable" Desktop Icons

1. Run Regedit by going to Start>Run and typing "Regedit"

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mcft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace
For some reason the word M i c r o s o f t is shortened to Mcft

3. Here you will see a list of various icons. They are not listed by name but by CLSID.

4. To remove an icon from your desktop, simply delete the key and hit F5 to refresh your desktop.

{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} - Recycle Bin.
{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} - My Computer.
{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} - My Network Places.

WARNING: Regedit has no mercy. It is very dangerious to mess around in. Note there is no Edit>Undo. If you make a mistake it could mean you'll be reinstalling your OS!

Tips : Reduce Size Of Windows Folder

There are many reasons for making your windows folder smaller, first it saves space and removes windows features you will probably never use that are just slowing down your computer.

What can you delete?

That is what this article is about, I will explain everything I know is safe to delete, and what happens if you do!

Will this really improve the speed of my system?

I don’t have any results to prove it, but I think it does improve boot time a little, and after a clean install, it does seem to make the system slightly faster after deleting these things.

Final notes: This has been tested on Windows XP Pro Final and SP1 (Not home, but it should work fine) Windows 2003 Enterprise Server 3700, RTM, and The Free Evaluation version (Any 2k3 version should work fine), and Windows 2000 Pro. If the following folders are not on your 2k/2k3 system it means they are only in XP and you don’t need to worry about them.

If for some reason you can not delete a folder, just delete the files inside, I tried to make not of the folders that cant be deleted, but depending on your system and if you use FAT32 or NTFS it may be different.

All of the paths listed in there are C:\Windows and C:\Program Files, if your folders have different names (Like C:\WINNT on windows 2k) then you should use that path instead.

Well, lets get started deleting, these start out ordered from largest to smallest, but after the first few files they are all fairly small, and are just in a random order.

1. c:\windows\system32\dllcache\

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder uses a LOT of hard drive space, it holds a backup of every system file that windows uses. Deleting this will cause a SFC error when you replace a system file instead of windows putting back the original file. For people who want to mod there system, this is a good thing.

2. c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder only exists if you installed a service pack on XP, if you did a slipstream it won’t be here either. This folder is the same as the dllcache, but has the new files that were updated by a service pack. If you delete the dllcache, deleting this is just like finishing the job.

3. c:\windows\$Uninstall----$

These $uninstall----$ folders are used whenever you want to uninstall a windows update. If you delete them, you can not uninstall the update(s), but if the updates are working fine for you, there should be now reason to remove them.

4. c:\windows\cursors\

This folder contains some custom cursers for windows, if you are happy with the default cursers, or use your own set like Blue Curve, then deleting this wont effect you at all.

5. c:\windows\driver cache\i386\

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This is one you may not want to delete, this takes up a bit of space (about 80mb) but windows uses if you ever add or remove windows components and things like printer drivers. If you’re your hardware is already working fine, you don’t need this folder on your hard drive. For example, if you delete this folder, and try to install IIS, windows will ask for the CD or Network share with the files on it, if you don’t need to add or remove windows components often, deleting this will free up some space for you.

6. c:\windows\help\

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES IN SIDE! This folder contains all of the windows help files. If you are like me, and think they having 50mb of help files is a waste, then you probably want to delete it. If you delete this folder and try to view a help file, the Help and Support center will come up with a 404 error. No harm is done, you just can’t view the help files (because you deleted them…). There is also a tours folder inside of the help folder, you can delete everything in this folder also, but windows won’t let you remove the actual folder.

7. c:\windows\inf\

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! This folder contains a lot of windows drivers, if you ever add new hardware, windows looks in this folder, then on your CD drive for the latest drivers. Any hardware you might get will probably come with the drivers on a disk, so this folder is just a wasting space on your hard drive with outdated drivers. If all of your hardware is working fine, and you don’t plan on adding any new hardware for a while, deleting this wont effect your system at all. If you don’t want to delete everything in it, you can go into the folder, press CRTL+F and search for mdm*.* and delete everything that comes up. These are all modem drivers, and it is very unlikely you will ever need them because you either have a modem installed already, or if you do add one, it will come with newer drivers.

8. c:\windows\srchasst

This folder is the XP Search assistant, if you delete it, windows will just use the classic 2k style search instead, which is more functional and easier to use.

9. c:\windows\downloaded installations\

This folder holds the installers for some programs you download and install, for example, Tweak UI puts its installer in this folder, and so you can repair it or update its components later. Deleting this folder won’t harm any programs I have ever seen, but you should look inside this and see what you are deleting first.

10. c:\windows\media\

These are the default windows sounds, if you don’t want them, deleting them wont hurt anything.

11. c:\windows\system32\restore\

This is the system restore apps, if you delete this, system restore will no longer work. Before you delete this, you should go into System Restore, and delete all your restore points, and then you should go to the system properties and disable system restore. After that, you can delete this folder, and not worry about system restore slowing down your system or sucking up space.

12. c:\windows\system32\usmt\

This folder is the File and Settings Transfer wizard. If you have no need for it, then deleting this wont have any other effects besides the File and Settings Transfer wizard not working anymore.

13 A. c:\program files\msn
13 B. c:\program files\netmeeting\

These are the MSN Explorer and Net Meeting applications. If you don’t need or use them, then you can delete these folders (For net meeting, you can only delete the files inside) and the only thing it will effect is that these programs will know longer work.

14. C:\windows\system32\oobe

NOTE: DON’T DELETE THIS FOLDER, JUST ALL THE FILES INSIDE! In this folder is the Out of Box Experience (The screens you see right after you have installed XP for the first time), and the XP Product Activation stuff. If you have a Retail or OEM version of XP, and you think you might ever need to activate again, DON’T DELETE THIS. So unless you are using XP or 2k3 CORP, you may still need this folder someday.

15. c:\windows\msagent

This folder holds the MS Agent program. The MS Agent is a gay little wizard thing that looks like the Office Assistant, I personally hate this thing, and removing it will get rid of it for good! If windows wont let you remove the folder, just delete everything inside of it, and everything inside of the intl folder.

16. c:\windows\java

This is the crappy MS Java components that don’t work well, and MS got sued over. If you have Windows XP slipstreamed with SP1a you wont have this because MS no longer distributes it. If you use websites that use Java Applets, you should keep this, or remove it and install Suns Java VM.

17. c:\windows\mui

This is a little app that allows you to switch between multiple languages, if you only use one language, then deleting this wont effect you at all. NOTE: I think this folder only exists on XP Pro because Home Edition doesn’t support multiple languages.

Post Deletion:

After you have deleted everything you want to, I recommend you run the Regisrty Cleaner.This will remove all the references to things you deleted so a window doesn’t look for the files any more. If you delete the Java Folder, RegCleaner will find at least 50 reg entries related to it, and can remove them for you if you want.

What else can I do to make the windows folder smaller?

If you want to make your windows folder even smaller, and you use NTFS, you can use NTFS compression to make the windows folder smaller. Although you can compress everything it, compressing EXEs and DLL files will make you system a little bit slower, so I recommend compressing everything BUT EXE and DLL files.

Using this guide, you should easily be able to make your windows folder less then 1gb, but because some programs add there own files to the windows dir, your results may differ from what other people have gotten there folder sizes to. After a clean install, it is fairly easy to get your windows folder less then 700mb so you can put a image file of your clean install on one CD and be able to restore it easily.

Tips : Bios Ripped, useful Tips on BIOS

As you can see there are various ways on bypassing/changing BIOS passwords.
I have successfully used all of the options below on various computers many years ago. These methods will work on computers of today. I have updated the Standard BIOS backdoor passwords for current computers made as of last week. ( big grin ).

Basic BIOS password crack - works 9.9 times out of ten
This is a password hack but it clears the BIOS such that the next time you start the PC, the CMOS does not ask for any password. Now if you are able to bring the DOS prompt up, then you will be able to change the BIOS setting to the default. To clear the CMOS do the following:
Get DOS prompt and type:
DEBUG hit enter
-o 70 2e hit enter
-o 71 ff hit enter
-q hit enter
exit hit enter
Restart the computer. It works on most versions of the AWARD BIOS.

Accessing information on the hard disk

When you turn on the host machine, enter the CMOS setup menu (usually you have to press F2, or DEL, or CTRL+ALT+S during the boot sequence) and go to STANDARD CMOS SETUP, and set the channel to which you have put the hard disk as TYPE=Auto, MODE=AUTO, then SAVE & EXIT SETUP. Now you have access to the hard disk.

Standard BIOS backdoor passwords
The first, less invasive, attempt to bypass a BIOS password is to try on of these standard manufacturer's backdoor passwords:
AWARD SW, AWARD_SW, Award SW, AWARD PW, _award, awkward, J64, j256, j262, j332, j322, 01322222, 589589, 589721, 595595, 598598, HLT, SER, SKY_FOX, aLLy, aLLY, Condo, CONCAT, TTPTHA, aPAf, HLT, KDD, ZBAAACA, ZAAADA, ZJAAADC, djonet, %шесть пpобелов%, %девять пpобелов%
Other passwords you may try (for AMI/AWARD or other BIOSes)
LKWPETER, lkwpeter, BIOSTAR, biostar, BIOSSTAR, biosstar, ALFAROME, Syxz, Wodj
Note that the key associated to "_" in the US keyboard corresponds to "?" in some European keyboards (such as Italian and German ones), so -- for example -- you should type AWARD?SW when using those keyboards. Also remember that passwords are Case Sensitive. The last two passwords in the AWARD BIOS list are in Russian.

Flashing BIOS via software
If you have access to the computer when it's turned on, you could try one of those programs that remove the password from the BIOS, by invalidating its memory.
However, it might happen you don't have one of those programs when you have access to the computer, so you'd better learn how to do manually what they do. You can reset the BIOS to its default values using the MS-DOS tool DEBUG (type DEBUG at the command prompt. You'd better do it in pure MS-DOS mode, not from a MS-DOS shell window in Windows). Once you are in the debug environment enter the following commands:
O 70 17
O 71 17
O 70 FF
O 71 17
Invalidates CMOS RAM.
Should work on all AT motherboards
(XT motherboards don't have CMOS)
O 70 2E
O 71 FF
Note that the first letter is a "O" not the number "0". The numbers which follow are two bytes in hex format.

Flashing BIOS via hardware
If you can't access the computer when it's on, and the standard backdoor passwords didn't work, you'll have to flash the BIOS via hardware. Please read the important notes at the end of this section before to try any of these methods.

Using the jumpers
The canonical way to flash the BIOS via hardware is to plug, unplug, or switch a jumper on the motherboard (for "switching a jumper" I mean that you find a jumper that joins the central pin and a side pin of a group of three pins, you should then unplug the jumper and then plug it to the central pin and to the pin on the opposite side, so if the jumper is normally on position 1-2, you have to put it on position 2-3, or vice versa). This jumper is not always located near to the BIOS, but could be anywhere on the motherboard.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tips: Cleaning the TEMP Directory

One thing that is often overlooked, and can have a negative affect on your computer's performance,
are all the files that are in the TEMP directory. I've had quite a few people ready to get new computers until this was cleaned.
These are easy to clean and slightly different in Win9x and Windows2000 or WindowsXP


Open up a DOS prompt

CD \windows\temp (make sure you are in that directory before running the next line.

Run deltree /y *.*

CD \windows

Run del *.tmp (be very careful of the spelling)

Windows2000 / WindowsXP

Go to C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Local Settings\Temp (where User_Name is replaced by the person who is logged in)

Delete all the files

Tips : Change The Start Button Name

1. Navigate to your windows or winnt directory.
2. Make a copy of explorer.exe put it somewhere safe. make another copy name it explorer1.exe, put it in the windows directory.
3. Download a version of a Hex editor on a freeware site.
4. Open up explorer1.exe in the Hex editor .
5. Search for strings named Start
6. Heres some help with the offsets:

# Windows 98
Offset: 0x00028D6E - 0x00028D76
# Windows NT4
Offset: 0x00028BEE - 0x00028BF6
# Windows ME
Offset: 0x00033DDE - 0x00033DE6
# Windows 2000
Offset: 0x0003860E - 0x00038616
# Windows XP (Enhanced Start Menu)
Offset: 0x000412B6 - 0x000412BE
# Windows XP (Classic Start Menu)
Offset: 0x0004158A - 0x00041592
# Windows XP SP1 (Enhanced Start Menu)
Offset: 0x0004208E - 0x00042096
# Windows XP SP1 (Classic Start Menu)
Offset: 0x0004259A - 0x000425A2

start will be just before this:

There was an internal error and one of the windows you were using has been closed.".

now rename start to another five letter word of your choice like Help

save the modified explorer1.exe

open up regedit, you are looking for this key:

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

search for the value named Shell and make it equal to explorer1.exe.

restart for changes to take place.

alternatively, close all apps, fire up task manager and end the process explorer.exe, start new traske explorer1.exe and there you go.

if PC dont boot, slave off , navigate to your windows delete explorer1.exe and rename explorer.exe to explorer1.exe, plug back into your PC and there you go back to normal, i assure you it works great!

Tips And Tricks: PC Upgrade

Tired of your out dated personal computer configuration? Think your computer is no good anymore?

With the price of the personal computers having hit rock bottom in the past couple of years, one can't help but think of getting the latest replacement. Also, with the extensive promises that chip manufacturers, video card designers and peripheral manufacturers make these days, your computer might seem far outdated than it actually is for your needs.
However, before you jump to any conclusions, here are a few questions you need to answer first.

~ How long ago did you buy your machine?
~ What do you use your computer for?
~ Where exactly does it fall short?
Read on to understand the kind of performance an average computer user actually needs from his machine.Then evaluate if you really need an upgrade.

Hard drives
There isn't much to choosing or upgrading a hard drive. When you fall short of storage on your machine, which is sooner rather than later, just get a new 160 or 300 GB disk.

Go for companies like Seagate, Western Digital or Hitachi since they have well-established dealer networks in most Indian metros. A 300 GB, 7500 rpm hard disk should cost you between Rs 4,400 -- 4,700. Once bought, just complete the formality of partitioning it to facilitate storage of programme files.

Look at the right reasons before upgrading your motherboard. One of the primary reasons for the upgrade could be the fact that you want a more responsive, faster central processing unit, CPU. Perhaps your present motherboard needs a new socket, or does not adequately support the speed. In case of an upgrade, go for a motherboard with integrated sound, video, network and modem. This will free up quite a few slots to help you upgrade to perhaps a, 8X AGP adapter.

Remember that upgrading your motherboard is quite pointless unless you simultaneously upgrade your CPU and random access memory, RAM, too. Upgrading your AGP card or getting PCI Express means an additional expense on a DDR2. Once you reach the point where the only old components on your machine are the drives and the peripherals, seriously consider getting a new machine.

Let's get it clear what a CPU upgrade practically means:

* Your motherboard has to support it first, and it needs to be at least 40-50 per cent faster than your earlier CPU for you to even notice the difference.
* The memory and hard drive will be running at an unchanged speed.
* A CPU upgrade means more on-chip cache, and faster command execution.

A CPU upgrade makes a lot of sense if you manage to get a substantial upgrade in the chipset and the CPU at under Rs 3,000. Also socket compatibility and compatible chip set models are factors you should ascertain prior to upgradation.

This is the best value for your buck as far as improving performance is concerned. Anything under 256 MB surely needs an upgrade. Most softwares and applications today struggle to run smoothly on machines with 128 MB RAM, say for example running Windows XP. Upgrade over 256 MB at your own discretion in case of usage of heavy applications like graphics-heavy games, animation software or speech recognition.

It is recommended to replace your entire RAM with the new one at the time of the upgrading. Do not upgrade just the required additional RAM over your old one. It leads to complications, and quite simply for the marginal cost difference, it's not worth the trouble.

Some points to remember:

* Faster CD or DVD drives do not affect any application or program that you run. So whether the player is a 16X or a really old 2X, there isn't much to gain with a faster drive.
* Choose to go for a DVD burner upgrade over a CD burner. The cost difference is negligible for the advantages.
* Check for software compatibility with the drive upgrade as that is the area of highest concern while upgrading.
* Upgrading from an existing burner to a faster burner is pointless, unless you plan to burn CDs or DVDs for commercial purposes in large quantities.

Video card
An AGP adapter or a top-end PCI Express can cost you more than your entire machine at times. Similarly, a Rs 25,000 video card in a Rs 20,000 machine will not make your machine gain much performance edge, besides bettering the 3D effect a little bit. If you are into hard-core gaming, make sure that you have an AGP slot and not onboard video before you go for an expensive video card upgrade.

Sound card
Keep a few pointers in mind:

* There is no 'ultimate' sound system. It depends whether you want your speakers to produce 3D surround effect for games or a home theater effect or rather take the place of your music system. Choosing a sound system is one of the most subjective calls you could take among all hardware choices for your computer.
* For 3D surround sound in games, first check if you have a 3D sound card installed before installing the four speakers. It is the card that actually gets you to hear enemies closing up on you from behind, not the number of speakers.
* If you are simply interested in recording music, go for a sound card with a good A/D conversion. Choose a top shelf card if you want to compose music on your machine.
* Dolby Surround Sound is the same as 3D surround, and usually most motherboards support 6 channel speakers (5.1 audio) that come with a sub-woofer.

If the cost of an upgrade exceeds Rs 15,000, don't even consider an upgrade; go for a new machine. If the cost for upgrading is between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000, take a call on how old your machine is. If it exceeds 3 years, you might consider buying a new one.

Don't upgrade your machine in a hurry. Understand and list your needs of a computer. Check your current system configuration and check if you are really falling short of an upgrade. Most times, upgrading your machine might not be worth it in terms of time and efforts required, since new ones cost so little.

Keep in mind that system crashes and software failures might just mean you need to clear some memory space, curb a few applications or defrag your machine; not that your machine is 'out-dated' for your needs.

~ Basic hardware requirements have been addressed in the article.
~ Prices are subject to fluctuation across markets.
~ The article does not endorse any brand/ brands of hardware or computers.