Hacking Windows XP (P1)

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Hacking Windows XP (P1)

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Windows XP has a great new look, but after a while, the new look can get old.With the help of some cool tools and tricks, you can change many parts of Windows XP. This chapter will guide you through customizing two parts of your computer, the boot screen and the Welcome/logon screen. You will learn how to replace the boring boot screen with premade screens and even how to make some of your own.

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  1. Hacking Windows® XP
  2. Hacking Windows® XP Steve Sinchak Wiley Publishing, Inc.
  3. Hacking Windows® XP Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 10475 Crosspoint Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46256 www.wiley.com Copyright © 2004 by Steve Sinchak Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana eISBN: 0-7645-7722-0 Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4447, E-Mail: permcoordinator@wiley.com. LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY : THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEB SITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ. For general information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at (800) 762-2974, outside the U.S. at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Available from Publisher Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates, in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
  4. About the Author Steve Sinchak is an entrepreneur that has started several technology-related businesses and is currently running a Web development firm known as SSMGi that owns and operates several Web sites. As president of the small company, he is responsible for financial, as well as techni- cal, aspects of the business, such as application programming and infrastructure design and maintenance. Steve has been working with computers for more than 10 years. Starting with a desktop which had a 286-based processor, 1MB of RAM, and was running DOS & Windows 3.1, he taught himself how to make his computer run faster on the outdated hardware. Driven by curiosity to customize Windows and make it run faster, he spent countless hours researching and experi- menting with the inner workings and features of Windows. His primary claim-to-fame in this subject matter is as the creator of TweakXP.com, the number-one site for tweaking Windows XP. What started out as an idea for a new Web site that combined his interest in tweaking Windows and Web programming has grown into a massive database of tweaks and tips for Windows XP that attracts more than 3 million visitors a year. Currently, Steve is a senior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, studying management IT and computer science. He splits his spare time between classes, running his businesses, and spending time with his family and friends.
  5. Credits Executive Editor Vice President and Executive Publisher Chris Webb Bob Ipsen Development Editor Vice President and Publisher Scott Amerman Joseph B. Wikert Production Editor Executive Editorial Director Gabrielle Nabi Mary Bednarek Project Coordinator Technical Editors Erin Smith Greg Guntle Wiley-Dreamtech India Pvt. Ltd. Permissions Editor Laura Moss Copy Editor TechBooks Media Development Specialist Kit Malone Editorial Manager Kathryn A. Malm Proofreading and Indexing TechBooks Production Services Vice President & Executive Group Publisher Cover Image Richard Swadley Anthony Bunyan
  6. This book is dedicated to my parents Larry and Mary Jo, my brothers Jason and David, my sisters Jackie and Kimberly, and my girlfriend Emily.
  7. viii
  8. Acknowledgments Writing this book while juggling classes and my business was often pretty difficult. Almost all of my free time for the last four months has been consumed by writing, leaving very little time for my girlfriend and friends. First, I would like to thank my girlfriend, Emily, for her love, support, understanding, and help when things got really tight. Thank you so much. You mean the world to me. I’d also like to thank everyone in my family for the love, support, and motivation that they have always shown me. Dad, thanks for bringing home that old IBM AT from work many years ago. Who would have thought it could start something that would lead me to eventually write a book? Mom, thank you for your constant motivation and love throughout all of the challenges in my life. I’d like to thank my close friends, Paul and Tom. Although they made writing this book very difficult at times, with their constant distractions, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Going to Miller Time pub with you two to take breaks from writing was priceless. Next, I’d like to thank everyone at Wiley for their work on this book. Chris Webb, thanks for giving me this opportunity and for your suggestions in the early stages. Scott Amerman, thank you very much for your help and suggestions with writing the chapters. Thank you for turning me into an author. Everyone at TweakXP.com also deserves a big thank you—especially Allan Grossman, the forum administrator of the TweakXP.com support forums. Thank you very much for helping me with the site and for turning the forum into one of the best support forums for Windows XP. I would also like to thank all of the forum moderators, news posters, active members, and daily visitors. You have all played an essential role in the success of TweakXP.com. Thank you very much!
  9. Contents at a Glance Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Part I: Customizing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter 1: Customizing the Look of the Startup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Chapter 2: Customizing User Navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Chapter 3: Hacking the Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Chapter 4: Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Chapter 5: Hacking Windows Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Chapter 6: Exploring Other Windows Enhancements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Part II: Increasing Your System’s Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Chapter 7: Analyzing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Chapter 8: Speeding Up the System Boot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Chapter 9: Making Your Computer Load Faster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Chapter 10: Making Your Computer More Responsive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Chapter 11: Speeding Up Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 Part III: Securing Your System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Chapter 12: Protecting Your Computer from Intruders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Chapter 13: Fighting Spam, Spyware, and Viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Chapter 14: Protecting Your Privacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Appendix A: What’s on the CD-ROM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343 End-User License Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
  10. Contents Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xix Part I: Customizing Your System 1 Chapter 1: Customizing the Look of the Startup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Customizing the Windows XP Boot Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Changing the boot screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Customizing the Logon Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Working with the Welcome screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Working with the classic logon screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Global logon/Welcome settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Chapter 2: Customizing User Navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Customizing the Start Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Using Group Policy Editor to customize the Start panel . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Adding and removing navigation icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Switching to small icons for frequently run apps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Increasing number of recently run programs displayed on the Start panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Hiding programs from appearing in the Start panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Pinning your programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Adding Web site links to your Start panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Customizing the Classic Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Turning the classic Start Menu back on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Customizing the classic Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Customizing the Start Menu/Panel Program Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Changing program listing display options for users of the Start panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Changing program listing display options for users of the classic Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Removing pop-up Help for users of both the Start panel and Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Customizing the Taskbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Using and adjusting program grouping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Quick Launching your programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Hacking the Start button to replace the Start text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
  11. xiv Contents Modifying the taskbar location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Using the Taskbar Magnifier PowerToy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Removing the notification area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Removing the clock from the taskbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Chapter 3: Hacking the Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Customizing Desktop Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Removing all icons from the desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Customizing the icon drop shadow effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Displaying the traditional Windows icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Enabling large icons on the desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Removing the text below the icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Renaming the Recycle Bin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Removing the shortcut arrow from icons on the desktop . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Changing the icons on the desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Customizing the Behavior of the Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Using the Virtual Desktop Manager PowerToy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Fun with Active Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Using the wallpaper PowerToy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Chapter 4: Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface . . . 91 Working with Themes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Changing the current theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Making your own themes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Modifying the Visual Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Installing new visual styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Tweaking the visual styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Making your own visual styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Visual Style Alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Using WindowBlinds to change the way Windows XP looks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Installing additional Windows XP skins for WindowBlinds . . . . . . . . . 114 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Chapter 5: Hacking Windows Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Hacking File Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Changing the default launch app . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Changing the icon of any file type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Hacking the Context Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Removing items from the context menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Adding your own items to the context menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Modifying the Send To menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
  12. Contents xv Customizing Your Folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Changing a folder icon and picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Changing the template of a folder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Customizing the view folder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Applying your folder settings to all folders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Working with Hidden Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Unhiding hidden files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Revealing the super hidden files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Disabling the Common Tasks Pane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Chapter 6: Exploring Other Windows Enhancements . . . . . . . . . . 137 Modding Internet Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Changing the logo animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Changing the toolbar background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Making your own quick search address command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Other Visual Enhancements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Replacing the task switcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Adding Special Effects to your Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Fine-Tuning ClearType . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Branding Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Part II: Increasing Your System’s Performance 157 Chapter 7: Analyzing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Monitoring Your System Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Using performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Using Bootvis to analyze your system start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 Using Task Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 Benchmarking Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 How to benchmark your system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Chapter 8: Speeding Up the System Boot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Working with BIOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Changing the boot order of your drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Using the quick boot feature of the BIOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 Modifying the Operating System Boot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Lowering OS timeout values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Disabling the system boot screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 Disabling unneeded hardware devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 Removing extra fonts for speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
  13. xvi Contents Disabling unneeded services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 Optimizing the location of the boot files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 Chapter 9: Making Your Computer Load Faster . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Speeding Up the Logon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Enabling automatic logon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Removing user passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Adjust the startup programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Customizing startup programs for different users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 Other Time-Saving Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Assigning alternative IP addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Turning off the logon music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Chapter 10: Making Your Computer More Responsive . . . . . . . . . . 231 Speeding up file browsing and access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Disabling the file access timestamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Disabling legacy filename creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Speeding Up the User Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Reducing the menu delay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Working with the performance options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Disable Indexing Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 Chapter 11: Speeding Up Your Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 Working with the Windows Prefetcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 Hacking the registry to optimize the Prefetcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Accelerate specific applications with prefetch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 Using the Intel Application Accelerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 How well does the Intel Application Accelerator work? . . . . . . . . . . . 253 What are the system requirements? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 How to install Intel Application Accelerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 Fine-Tuning the Windows Paging File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 Disabling the paging file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Adjusting the size of the paging file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 Changing the location of the paging file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 Defragmenting Your Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 Defragmenting the Windows paging file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 Defragmenting the NTFS master file table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 Adjusting Your Application Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 Using Task Manager to adjust priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Starting applications with a user set priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Using WinTasks to profile your priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Speeding Up Your Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Increasing network browsing speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
  14. Contents xvii Disabling unneeded protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 Tweaking your Internet connection for speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 Part III: Securing Your System 277 Chapter 12: Protecting Your Computer from Intruders . . . . . . . . . . 279 How Vulnerable Is Your System? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280 Testing your Internet security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280 Updating your computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 Firewalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282 Using the Windows firewall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 Using ZoneAlarm personal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 Using Sygate Personal Firewall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Disabling Unneeded Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 Disabling Remote Desktop connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 Disabling Messenger Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Disabling Universal Plug and Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Disabling Remote Registry Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Disable DCOM support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Wireless Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296 Using WEP for secure communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 Using WPA for a more secure wireless connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298 Controlling access to your computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298 Managing user accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 Chapter 13: Fighting Spam, Spyware, and Viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Eliminating Spam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Stopping spam in the first place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Using filtering software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Blocking external links in HTML mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Defending Spyware and Adware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Detecting and removing spyware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Locking down Internet Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Immunizing your computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Defending against Viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Use an antivirus program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 Chapter 14: Protecting Your Privacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Internet Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Removing address bar suggestions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Clearing visited Web sites history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316 Clearing temporary Internet files and cookies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
  15. xviii Contents Adjusting your cookie security policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 Saying no to encrypted Web pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Disabling AutoComplete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Clearing Temporary Internet Files automatically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 Windows Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325 Clearing Frequently Run Programs list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325 Clearing the recently opened document list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326 Removing temporary files from your hard drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 Removing saved passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329 Setting file and folder permissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329 Encrypting Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334 Appendix A: What’s on the CD-ROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343 End-User License Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
  16. Contents xix Introduction W indows XP is a great operating system. It is faster and more secure than any other version of Windows. However, for some, it is not fast and secure enough. By picking up this book, you have started a three-part journey that will guide you through all of the steps of customizing, optimizing for performance, and securing Windows XP. I am not talking about minor little tweaks; this book is going to show you how to conduct major surgery on your Windows XP box. Visually, Windows XP is superior to all other Windows versions. No other version of Windows has ever looked this good. So how could you make it look better? Customize it! Impress your friends and refresh your dull desktop with a cool new look. I am going to show you how to completely change the way Windows XP looks during all stages of its operation. Performance-wise, Windows XP has made great advances. However, for some computer users of older hardware, running Windows XP can be like trying to pull a 100-foot yacht behind a tiny import car. Although Windows XP will not bust your CPU quite so much as a yacht would, it can slow down the operation of your computer because there are so many new fea- tures. To help you out, I am going to show you how to get the new features under control; I’ll also tell you about some tricks that I have found to speed up the operation of Windows XP. If you already have the V12 4 x 4 of computers, and you have no problem pulling the 100-foot yacht, then you will still benefit from the performance tips. Windows XP is a lot more secure than prior Windows operating systems. However, as we all know from recent history, it has not been doing very well. This book is going to show you how to use some of the new features of Windows XP Service Pack 2, as well as many other cool security tips, to make Windows XP much securer. Congratulations on starting your journey. Your computer will be in better shape than ever in no time! About This Book This book is the result of several years of research into the subject of the Windows oper- ating system. It is a more polished and portable companion to the author’s Web site, TweakXP.com, which is located at www.TweakXP.com. Most of the information con- tained in this book is completely new content that was never before published on TweakXP.com. This book is meant to be read from start to finish in order. However, it was also written so that it can be used as a reference manual of different hacks. Feel free to skip around if you do not want to take the full journey of customizing, optimizing, and securing Windows XP.
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