Windows Tips and Tricks Admin Blog

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Enable Genie Effect using Magic Lamp in Compiz-Fusion 0.8 +!!

Hello guys, I recently switched to ubuntu from windows and this is my first ever article on Linux. I will try my best to be as precise as possible.

I read earlier articles but they didn't seem to work with the new version of Compiz Fusion. Therefore I hacked it out myself and finally figured out just how to do it!

Here's a step-by-step procedure for you.

  • Press Alt + F2 to get the run application window and type metacity --replace and hit RUN.
  • Download ghex which is a hex editor software for Linux. Go to Synaptic Package Manager and get it from there.
  • Now comes the actual hacking part! :) So here we go!
  1. Type in terminal: sudo gedit /usr/share/gconf/schemas/compiz-animation.schemas and hit ENTER.
  2. Press Ctrl + F and in the FIND window, search for magic_lamp_max_waves and once you locate it, you will see <default>4</default> under it. Make that <default>0</default>. Further look under it and locate the entry which says The maximum number of waves for Magic Lamp. (3 - 20). Change the red portion of this phrase to (0 - 20). Save the file now.
  3. Type in terminal: sudo ghex2 /usr/lib/compiz/libanimation.a and hit ENTER.
  4. Press Ctrl + F and in the FIND DATA window on the RIGHT pane, click on the top left corner and type magic_lamp_max_waves and click hit ENTER. Now in the RIGHT pane of the actual ghex window you will see highlighted phrase magic_lamp_max_waves and immediately after it there will be <min>3</min>. Make that <min>0</min>. Make sure that the insert key is inactive by default so whatever u will type will replace the selected text. So just select 3 with mouse pointer and type 0 to replace. Now save the file.
  5. Type in terminal: sudo ghex2 /usr/lib/compiz/ and hit ENTER.
  6. Repeat the same procedure as above and save the file.
  7. Type in terminal: sudo gedit /usr/share/compiz/animation.xml and hit ENTER.
  8. Press Ctrl + F and the in the FIND window, search for magic_lamp_max_waves and once you locate it, scroll down through all the lang entries till you see <default>4</default>. Make that <default>0</default>. Immediately underneath it you will see <min>3</min>. Make that <min>0</min>. Now save the file.
You're now ready to reboot. After reboot, go to CompizConfig Settings Manager from System->Preferences and modify the magic lamp settings from Effects->Animations->Effect Settings->Magic Lamp and pull the Magic Lamp Max Waves bar down to 0.


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bring back "OPEN" option in the drive menu

  • Open Folder Options and go to File Types tab.
  • From there, select Drive as File Type.
  • Now click on the Advanced button at the bottom right.
  • Edit File Type box will appear now, click on New button.
  • Now in the New Action window that just popped open, type abc in the Action box and below it in the Application used to perform this action box, browse and give path of any .exe file of your choice. I prefer that you browse to \Windows\ and give path of explorer.exe from there.
  • Now click on OK and the new action named abc will appear in the Actions list in the Edit File Type window.
  • Click on it to select it and then click on Set Default button on the right.
  • Now keep hitting OK on all the windows till the Folder Options window is closed.
  • Once you have done these above steps, go to start->run and type regedit and hit OK.
  • In the registry editor, navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\Shell and there you will find a sub-key named abc. Simply right click on it and click DELETE!
  • All done, now your drives will open normally.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to make hidden files settings in Folder Options, working!

Follow these simple steps and things will work out for sure!

  • Go to Start->Run, type regedit and hit OK.
  • Now in the registry editor, go to this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • In the right pane, double click hidden and change the value to 1.
  • Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
  • Once there, you will find a REG_SZ (string) value in the right pane named CheckedValue and its data will be set to 2. Delete it!

(Note: If you don't find it there, then things are OK and you're done. Be careful about the TYPE! Its REG_SZ!!)

  • Now create a new DWORD value by right clicking on the right pane and then going to New->DWORD Value. Name the newly created DWORD value as CheckedValue and set its data as 1.
  • If things still don't work, download a modified registry file from here (Password: safwan) and run it. It will do the job.

Now you will be able to modify hidden files settings from folder options for sure!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cool high resolution wallpapers for Windows

Download all these wallpapers from here.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lock drives through a registry hack

You can find a lot of softwares which will lock folders, individual files but very few of them can lock drives. Let us lock drives from registry now without taking help from any third party software!

  • Go to Start->Run and type regedit.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Policies\Explorer. If the above key doesn't exist, right click on the key named Policies and from New, select Key. Rename the newly created key as Explorer.
  • Once the key has been created, create a new DWORD value in it named NoViewOnDrive.
  • Once this is done, set the data of this value to 2 ^ (ά-1) where ά is equal to the simple numbering of alphabets from A to Z i.e., from 1 - 26. For instance, to lock C:\ά is 3 so 2^ (3-1) = 4 (Decimal value, not HEX!)
  • In order to lock additional drives, you can simply calculate the value 2 ^ (ά-1) for each individual drive and then sum up the numeric values for all drives to be locked and set it as data in NoViewOnDrive registry value.
  • Changes will take effect after computer is restarted (or simply close explorer.exe from task manager and re-run it).
  • To unlock all drives, simply double click the value named NoViewOnDrivefrom and set its data to 0.
Here is a screenshot in which C:\ drive has been locked.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Hack Windows XP and make it look like Windows Vista / Windows 7 WITHOUT using ANY transformation packs, Windows Blinds or Style XP!!

Many a times I have seen people in our community Windows Tips and Tricks and on many other places who are trying desperately to give their Windows XP a real Windows Vista/Windows 7 touch. In this short article I am going to tell you exactly how can you do this. I will make things simple by uploading some of the files as pre-edited versions and all you will have to do is to replace the files manually in your system and your computer will be looking like windows vista in no time! Here are some screenshots. Take a look!

Windows Aero_SK and Windows Vista Basic_SK Themes:

Windows 7_SK Theme:

Windows Vista Grace_SK Theme (New):

Windows Seven Modified_SK (New):

Windows Vista Modified_SK (New):

NOTE:- Although this article works flawlessly for Windows XP Service Pack 2 but it was initially published with all the tweaks done and tested thoroughly for Windows XP Service Pack 3. Service Pack 3 is a critical update package containing latest performance and sercurity updates for Windows XP. I strongly recommend that you download and install it before applying this tutorial. It will not only make your computer performance almost 10-20% faster than Service Pack 2 but will also make it more secure against viruses and malwares. You can download it from here.

We'll do the downloading side by side so that you can download only those items which you want to change or those which appeal you the most. Lets get to work!

Let's first add these items to windows.

A glassy vista/windows 7 style copy/move/delete dialog box:

Modified Windows logoff screen:

Vista/Windows 7 style icons:

To get all these changes implemented, follow these steps:
  1. Download the Replacer utility from here. This utility will be used extensively for replacing any system files with the hacked ones. So keep it somewhere from where its easily accessible.
  2. Download the modified compressed Shell32.dll file from here. Extract it, and then run replacer.cmd from the replacer folder which you just downloaded. Now go to windows\system32 folder and drag-drop the original Shell32.dll file onto the replacer window and hit enter. Then drag the modified Shell32.dll file which you just downloaded and drop it onto the replacer window and hit enter.
  3. It will ask for a confirmation for replacement, press Y. It will ask you to reboot in order for the changes to take effect. Don't reboot just yet. A little more work to take care of and then we will reboot the system.

Now lets modify the shutdown/restart/standby screen of Windows XP and make it look like this:

How? Simple! Download the modified compressed msgina.dll from here. Then, once again open replacer.cmd, drag-drop the original msgina.dll from windows\system32 onto the replacer window and hit enter. Then, drag-drop the modified msgina.dll on the replacer window and hit enter. It will ask for confirmation for replacement, say yes, and its done! Don't restart yet.

Now lets apply Vista / Windows 7 themes to windows. For that, we will have to first replace the original uxtheme.dll file of windows XP which prohibits the usage of third party themes on windows. Since the themes I have uploaded were thoroughly modified by me, its necessary to change uxtheme.dll in order to use them. Here's how you can do it.
  1. Download the modified compressed uxtheme.dll file (Windows XP SP2 users from here and Windows XP SP3 users from here) and extract it somewhere. Now close the replacer window if it was previously open and re-open it. Then go to windows\system32 and find the original uxtheme.dll and drag-drop it on the replacer window and press enter.
  2. Then drag the modified uxtheme.dll which you just downloaded, and drop it on the replacer window, press enter, and it will once again ask for confirmation, press Y. Again it will ask for reboot, but just close it. We don't need it yet.
  3. With this done, we are ready to put the Windows Vista and Windows 7 modified themes in place. Download all these themes in the compressed format from here. After downloading, extract them and copy the folders named Windows Aero_SK, Windows Vista Basic_SK, Windows Vista Modified_SK, Windows Vista Grace_SK, Windows Seven_SK and Windows Seven Modified_SK to windows\resources\themes. Now the themes are in place and will be accessible from display properties->Appearance tab after reboot.

The major changes have been done now. Its advisable that you restart your system at this point so that the things we have done so far can take effect. Then we will advance further. Save this tutorial somewhere or bookmark the link for later reference.

Now lets apply Windows Aero Cursors:

Get all these cursors in the compressed format from here and extract them. A folder named Aero Cursors will be extracted. Open it, and inside this folder, right click on Configure Aero Cursors.inf or Configure Aero Cursors (Large) and click Install. Then go to Control Panel\Mouse and click Pointers tab. Under Scheme, select Aero Cursors (Alphablended) or Aero Cursors (Alphablended Large) and hit OK. If there is some problem with the shadow of the pointers, then read the ReadMe.txt file that is inside the same folder Aero Cursors.

Once this is done, download the refreshing Windows Vista Ultimate/Windows 7 Ultimate/Summer Lush welcome screens from here. Here are some screenshots of these boot screens.
Summer Lush:

Vista Ultimate:

Windows 7 Ultimate:

Lets apply these screens. First of all download all these welcome screens from here and extract them. A folder named Welcome Screens will be extracted which will further have 3 folders for these three welcome screens. Whichever welcome screen you want to apply, simply copy itsWelcomeScreen.exe to windows\resources and then run the SetWelcome.reg file which is inside the Welcome Screens folder.Voila! The welcome screen was successfully changed! (Note: If your windows XP resides on some partition other than C:, then open this SetWelcome.reg in notepad and change the drive letter in the given path from C:\\ to wherever Windows is installed {remember using double '\' instead of single i.e., \\ instead of \ }. Otherwise just run it directly.)

Now let's modify the boot screen and apply a modified Windows Vista's boot screen clone.
Download the bootscreen (Windows XP SP2 users from
here and Windows XP SP3 users from here).The file name is ntosboot.exe. Simply extract it, and copy it to windows\system32. After you have done this, go to C:\boot.ini and append /KERNEL=NTOSBOOT.EXE at the END of the line that contains the text "Windows XP Professional".

Now let's make some additional enhancements to Windows XP which include:
A Windows Flip utility named WinFlip:

A third party low memory consuming utility named Visual Task Tips:


Windows Longhorn / Vista style clock for Windows (LClock):

To apply all these three updates, download Visual Enhancements package (compressed) from here. Extract it, and a folder named Visual Enhancements will be extracted from it. Simply move this folder (which contains three additional folders and a reg file) to windows\program files. Then run the SetVisuals.reg that is inside this folder. If your windows XP is installed in C: drive then you can run it as it is, however in other case, just open it in notepad and change all the drive letters in it from C:\\ to wherever windows xp is installed and then run it(remember using double '\' instead of single i.e., \\ instead of \). Voila! You just applied all three of these updates!

Now lets install Windows Vista style Sidebar along with dozens of gadgets.

For this, first of all, download Windows Sidebar cracked for Windows XP from here. Extract it, and then inside the Windows sidebar folder, go to Pre-Setup folder and run the Pre-Setup.reg first. Then go back to the parent Windows sidebar folder and open the folder namedsvcpack and run Alky_XP.exe from it. Watch the hard disk activity LED on the system chasis as it will take approximately 45 seconds to complete in the background. After running it, come back to Windows sidebar and right click on Sidebar.inf and click Install. Wait for the setup to complete. Sidebar installed!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using Windows XP SP2 then you will also have to apply the following WLAN API update otherwise Sidebar will give a delay-load library error. You may download this update from here. Windows XP SP3 users don't need to install this update.
PLUS, if the CPU meter gadgets are not working and a white blurred box is displayed instead of the gadget itself, download and install Internet Explorer 8 from here since these gadgets utilize some of its modules. Now your sidebar will be fully functional.

To give finishing touches, download ICF from here. Its a free utility that updates and adds extremely cool folder icons to windows and also supports custom color changing of these icons!

Extract the downloaded icf.rar and first install iCF.exe from it and when the setup finishes, before you install the iCF_skinpack.exe, open the iCF utility that you just installed and apply the vista icons(Don't forget to check the Use generic folder icon defined in the skin checkbox before clicking Apply). Doing so will apply the latest style drive icons as well! Now you can install iCF_skinpack.exe for adding a variety of cool folder icons to the iCF Skin Selector and color changing option to the folder context menu!

Finally, you can get a fully or partially transparent taskbar in Windows XP.

Download TransBar setup from here and run it. It will add transparency to your windows taskbar WITHOUT CONSUMING ANY RAM!


Download Vista style Aurora, Bubbles, Ribbons and Mistify screensavers for windows XP from here. After extracting the downloaded file, open any of these above mentioned named folders, right click on the screen saver file and click install.

Download a modified new vista style titlebar transparency utility named FastAero from here to make your windows title bar appear like it is in these screenshots:

In order to apply Windows Vista / Windows 7 sounds to Windows XP, download the compressed folder named Media from here. Just extract it, and copy all the sound files in it towindows\media folder. It will ask for replacement, just click yes and the vista sound effects will be added automatically!

It will be a good idea to restart the system now for a clean startup. For flipping windows like its done in the second screen shot from the top, use windows logo key + tab, or click the blue winflip icon in the system tray. Enjoy a fully customized Windows XP!

A few possible minor glitches:
  1. If icons of my computer, my documents and recycle bin are not changed, you can change them manually by going to Control Panel\Display and clicking Desktop tab followed by clicking Customize Desktop button from the bottom. Just give the path ofwindows\system32\shell32.dll and all the new vista style icons will be available.

Thanks to all the developers of Alky for XP project and Windows Sidebar.
Special thanks to Angus Johnson for Resource Hacker.