How to Fix a Corrupt Boot.ini File

As Windows begins to load, the Ntldr program refers to the Boot.ini file to determine where the operating system files are and what options to enable as the operating system continues to load. So if there’s a problem with the Boot.ini file, your PC will not boot up correctly.

If you suspect that your Boot.ini file has been corrupted, you can use the special Recovery Console version of the Bootcfg tool to fix it. To do this, you must first boot the system with the Windows XP CD and access the Recovery Console.

To use the Bootcfg tool, from the Recovery Console command prompt, type

Bootcfg /rebuild

There are several other parameter switches you can use with Bootcfg. These are listed here

  • /Add–Scans the disk for all Windows installations and allows you to add any new ones to the Boot.ini file.
  • /Scan–Scans the disk for all Windows installations.
  • /List–Lists each entry in the Boot.ini file.
  • /Default–Sets the default operating system as the main boot entry.
  • /Rebuild–Completely re-creates the Boot.ini file. The user must confirm each step.
  • /Redirect–Allows the boot operation to be redirected to a specific port when using the Headless Administration feature. The Redirect parameter takes two parameters of its own, [Port Baudrate ] | [UseBiosSettings].
  • /Disableredirect–Disables the redirection

How to Unlock Vista’s Hidden Boot Screen

To do this, click Start, type msconfig in the search field and press enter.
Run msconfig. (If a UAC prompt pops up click continue)


Select the boot tab of the System Configuration Window and check the box next to “No GUI boot”.
Click Apply and OK.
Restart your computer. 

When it starts back up, instead of the standard boot screens, you will be presented with the image below.


No GUI Boot Screen
No GUI Boot Screen


If you dont like it you can revert back to the defauld by following the instructions and unchecking the No GUI Boot option.


How to stop Outlook Express from blocking attachments

Normally this is caused by Antivirus programs or Windows update changing the way Outlook Express Handles attachments. Fortunately, you can reverse the process and get your email attachments normally again. Start Outlook Express and follow these steps:


  1. Click Tools from the menus
  2. Click Options
  3. Click the Security Tab
  4. Uncheck the “do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus” box
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click OK

How to Enable the Wireless Zero Configuration


You can use the Wireless Zero Configuration service to use 802.x Authentication in Windows. This can be a lifesaver if your third party wireless connection manager is not working.

 To start Wireless Zero Configuration use the directions for your version of Windows listed below. Then skip down to the last section showing how to enable it.

Windows Vista

To start Wireless Zero Configuration in Windows Vista you need to log in as an Administrator.

  • Click on Start and Control Panel
  • Select Administrative Tools and then Services
  • In the Services box scroll down the list of Services (Local) until you find the one labelled Wired AutoConfig and double click it.
  • In the Wired AutoConfig Properties (Local Computer) box change the Startup type to Automatic
  • Click on Start and once the service has started click on OK
  • Now find the service labelled WLAN AutoConfig and double click it.
  • In the WLAN AutoConfig Properties (Local Computer) box change the Startup type to Automatic
  • Click on Start and once the service has started click on OK
  • Go to File and Exit to close the Services window

Windows XP

Windows XP users must have Service Pack 2 installed to activate the Wireless Zero Configuration.

  • Go to Start and Control Panel
  • Click on Administrative Tools and Services
  • In the Services box scroll down the list of Services (Local) until you find the one labelled Wireless Zero Configuration and double click it.
  • In the Wireless Zero Configuration Properties (Local Computer) box change the Startup type to Automatic
  • Click on Start and once the service has started click on OK
  • Go to File and Exit to close the Services box.

Windows 2000

Windows 2000 users must have Service Pack 4 installed to activate Wireless Zero Configuration.

  • Click on Start and Settings and Control Panel
  • Choose Administrative Tools and Services
  • In the Services box scroll down the list of Services until you find the one labelled Wireless Configuration and double click it.
  • In the Wireless Configuration Properties (Local Computer) window change the Startup type to Automatic
  • Click on Start , once the service has started click on OK
  • Click on the X in the top right corner to close the Window


 Enable It.

Click on Start and Settings and Control Panel open Network Connections

From here, right click on your Wireless Network Connection and select Properties

On the Wireless Networks Tab. Check the “Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings” check box. This will alow “Zero Config” or the Windows Wireless Zero configuration utility to control the wireless card. Click ok. You can now use windows to manage your wireless connection.

How to Reset Internet Explorer 7

Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Internet Explorer 7 in Microsoft Windows Vista have many security enhancements that make Internet Explorer 7 less susceptible to spyware and to malware. Typically, badly written add-ons can affect the browsing experience in Internet Explorer 7. RIES enables Internet Explorer 7 to recover from such situations.


To use RIES in Internet Explorer 7, follow these steps:1. Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options.

2. On the Advanced tab, click Reset.

3. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, click Reset. 

4. When Internet Explorer 7 finishes restoring the default settings, click Close, and then click OK two times. 

5. Close Internet Explorer 7. The changes take effect the next time that you open Internet Explorer 7. 

Note If you cannot start Internet Explorer 7 for some reason, use RIES from Internet Options in Control Panel.


RIES restores the default settings of the following features: • Home pages

• Search scopes

• Browsing history

• Form data

• Passwords

• Appearance settings

• Toolbars

• ActiveX controls



 How RIES works

RIES resets the following settings:


• Browser settings


RIES resets all user-defined browser settings to Internet Explorer 7 defaults. These settings include those that are set by installed extensions, toolbars, and other add-ons. If you have administrative credentials when you are running RIES, the corresponding computer settings are located in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry subtree. RIES resets these settings to Internet Explorer 7 defaults. These settings include all the customizations that you can make to Internet Explorer 7 by using the Internet Options dialog box. For example, this resets security settings, privacy settings, and zone settings. 

• Extensibility


All extensibility entry points that you install are prevented from running automatically. If you load extensions such as toolbars, browser extensions, and Browser Helper Objects when you start Internet Explorer 7, the extensions are disabled. Additionally, the ActiveX Opt-in state of ActiveX controls are restored. 

• Browsing history


RIES clears temporary Internet files, cookies, browsing history, form data, passwords, and auto-complete data. 

• Manufacturer settings


RIES restores Internet Explorer 7 customizations that are applied by the OEM in the initial package. These customizations are applied to Internet Explorer 7 by using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). Alternatively, these customizations are applied by using the settings that are applied by the OEM during the installation of the operating system. 


Things you should know about REIS


• RIES disables all toolbars, browser extensions, and customizations that you install. To use any of these disabled customizations, you must selectively enable each customization through the Manage Add-ons dialog box. Some toolbars may require that two or more controls are enabled to work correctly. These toolbars have controls for the corresponding Browser Helper Object and toolbar extensions. You can easily enable all the disabled controls that are from a trusted publisher from the Manage Add-ons dialog box. 

• For Web pages that have ActiveX controls, you must approve running specific ActiveX controls. You approve running specific controls the first time that you encounter these controls. 

• RIES neither clears the favorites nor clears the feeds. Also, RIES does not reset connection settings because the settings can be used from other programs. 

• RIES does not affect Group Policy settings. After you use RIES, all the policies and restrictions that administrators control on a domain are still respected in Internet Explorer 7. However, RIES does not respect some policies that affect how RIES works when RIES is in progress. For example, when you enable the Turn off Delete Browsing History functionality Group Policy, RIES clears temporary Internet files. The policy continues to work after you use RIES by disabling UI entry points to the Delete Browsing History dialog box. However, from the RIES context, this Group Policy is not in effect. You can disable RIES features on end-user computers by using the Do not allow resetting Internet Explorer settings Group Policy. 

• When you run RIES with administrative credentials, the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry subtree settings are reset. These settings apply to all the users on this computer. This affects the browsing experience of users who are currently using Internet Explorer 7 and users who open a new browsing session. If users do not change the settings, Internet Explorer 7 reads those settings from HKLM, and then the settings are cleaned. However, RIES does not touch the settings that users specifically customize. Therefore, we recommend that administrators use RIES after they communicate with all affected end-users.


• Many applications interact with Internet Explorer 7. These applications may start Internet Explorer 7, or these applications may embed Internet Explorer 7 as needed. For example, Microsoft Outlook opens Internet Explorer7 when you click a hyperlink in an e-mail message. Such interactions with Internet Explorer 7 during an RIES operation could lead to unexpected results. Therefore, we recommend that you close all other applications and windows before you run RIES.


• If one or more RIES tasks fail, the tasks are identified by an X that is located next to the tasks in the Progress dialog box. Additionally, the details of failed actions are logged in the Ried.log log file and the Brndlog.txt log file. You can find these files in the %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ folder.

How to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity with Windows XP/Vista

This is a comprehensive guide for using the tools that are built into Windows when you are trying to determine the cause of TCP/IP networking problems. This article lists recommendations for using these tools to diagnose network problems. Although this list is not complete, the list does provide examples that show how you can use these tools to track down problems on the network.




TCP/IP troubleshooting tools

The following list shows some of the TCP/IP diagnostic tools that are included with Windows XP:



Basic tools

• Network Diagnostics in Help and Support

Contains detailed information about the network configuration and the results of automated tests.

• Network Connections folder

Contains information and configuration for all network connections on the computer. To locate the Network Connections folder, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet Connections.

• IPConfig command

Displays current TCP/IP network configuration values, updates, or releases, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) allocated leases, and display, register, or flush Domain Name System (DNS) names.

Ping command

Sends ICMP Echo Request messages to verify that TCP/IP is configured correctly and that a TCP/IP host is available.


Advanced tools

• Hostname command

Displays the name of the host computer.

• Nbtstat command

Displays the status of current NetBIOS over TCP/IP connections, updates the NetBIOS name cache, and displays the registered names and scope ID.

• PathPing command

Displays a path of a TCP/IP host and packet losses at each router along the way.

• Route command

Displays the IP routing table and adds or deletes IP routes.

• Tracert command

Displays the path of a TCP/IP host.

To view the correct command syntax to use with each of these tools, type -? at a command prompt after the name of the tool.



Windows XP Professional tools

Windows XP Professional contains the following additional tools: • Event viewer

Records system errors and events.

• Computer Management

Changes network interface drivers and other components.




The procedure that you use to troubleshoot TCP/IP issues depends on the type of network connection that you are using and the connectivity problem that you are experiencing.



Automated troubleshooting

For most issues that involve Internet connectivity, start by using the Network Diagnostics tool to identify the source of the issue. To use Network Diagnostics, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.

2. Click the link to Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems, and then click Network Diagnostics in the list on the left.

3. When you click Scan your system, Network Diagnostics gathers configuration information and performs automated troubleshooting of the network connection.

4. When the process is completed, look for any items that are marked “FAILED” in red, expand those categories, and then view the additional details about what the testing showed.

You can either use that information to resolve the issue or you can provide the information to a network support professional for help. If you compare the tests that failed with the documentation in the Manual Troubleshooting section later in this article, you may be able to determine the source of the issue. To interpret the results for TCP/IP, expand the Network Adapters section of the results, and then expand the network adapter that failed the testing.


You can also start the Network Diagnostics interface directly by using the following command:

netsh diag gui

Manual troubleshooting

To manually troubleshoot your TCP/IP connectivity, use the following methods in the order that they appear:



Method 1: Use the IPConfig tool to verify the configuration



To use the IPConfig tool to verify the TCP/IP configuration on the computer that is experiencing the problem, click Start, click Run, and then type cmd. You can now use the ipconfig command to determine the host computer configuration information, including the IP address, the subnet mask, and the default gateway.


The /all parameter for IPConfig generates a detailed configuration report for all interfaces, including any remote access adapters. You can redirect IPConfig output to a file to paste the output into other documents. To do this, type:

ipconfig > \folder_name\file_name

The output receives the specified file name and is stored in the specified folder.


You can review the IPConfig output to identify issues that exist in the computer network configuration. For example, if a computer is manually configured with an IP address that duplicates an existing IP address that is already detected, the subnet mask appears as


If your local IP address is returned as 169.254.y.z with a subnet mask of, the IP address was assigned by the Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) feature of Windows XP Professional. This assignment means that TCP/IP is configured for automatic configuration, that no DHCP server was found, and that no alternative configuration is specified. This configuration has no default gateway for the interface.


If your local IP address is returned as, the DHCP Media Sensing feature override turned on because the network adapter detected its lack of connection to a network, or TCP/IP detected an IP address that duplicates a manually configured IP address.



If you do not identify any issues in the TCP/IP configuration, go to Method 2.



Method 2: Use the Ping tool to test your connectivity



If you do not identify any issues in the TCP/IP configuration, determine whether the computer can connect to other host computers on the TCP/IP network. To do this, use the Ping tool.


The Ping tool helps you verify IP-level connectivity. The ping command sends an ICMP Echo Request message to a destination host. Use Ping whenever you want to verify that a host computer can send IP packets to a destination host. You can also use Ping to isolate network hardware problems and incompatible configurations.


Note If you ran the ipconfig /all command, and the IP configuration appeared, you do not have to ping the loopback address and your own IP address. IPConfig has already performed these tasks to display the configuration. When you troubleshoot, verify that a route exists between the local computer and a network host. To do this, use the following command:

ping IP address

NoteIP address is the IP address of the network host that you want to connect to.


To use the ping command, follow these steps: 1. Ping the loopback address to verify that TCP/IP is installed and correctly configured on the local computer. To do this, type the following command:


If the loopback test fails, the IP stack is not responding. This problem may occur if any one or more of the following conditions is true: • The TCP drivers are corrupted.

• The network adapter is not working.

• Another service is interfering with IP.


2. Ping the IP address of the local computer to verify that the computer was correctly added to the network. If the routing table is correct, this procedure just forwards the packet to the loopback address of To do this, type the following command:

ping IP address of local host

If the loopback test succeeds but you cannot ping the local IP address, there may be an issue with the routing table or with the network adapter driver.

3. Ping the IP address of the default gateway to verify that the default gateway is working and that you can communicate with a local host on the local network. To do this, type the following command:

ping IP address of default gateway

If the ping fails, you may have an issue with the network adapter, the router or gateway device, the cabling, or other connectivity hardware.

4. Ping the IP address of a remote host to verify that you can communicate through a router. To do this, type the following command:

ping IP address of remote host

If the ping fails, the remote host may not be responding, or there may be a problem with the network hardware between computers. To rule out an unresponsive remote host, use Ping again to a different remote host.

5. Ping the host name of a remote host to verify that you can resolve a remote host name. To do this, type the following command:

ping Host name of remote host

Ping uses name resolution to resolve a computer name into an IP address. Therefore, if you successfully ping an IP address but you cannot ping a computer name, there is a problem with host name resolution, not with network connectivity. Verify that DNS server addresses are configured for the computer, either manually in the properties of TCP/IP, or by automatic assignment. If DNS server addresses are listed when you type the ipconfig /all command, try to ping the server addresses to make sure that they are accessible.

If you cannot use Ping successfully at any point, verify the following configurations: • Make sure that the local computer’s IP address is valid and that it is correct on the General tab of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box or when it is used with the Ipconfig tool.

• Make sure that a default gateway is configured and that the link between the host and the default gateway is working. For troubleshooting purposes, make sure that only one default gateway is configured. Although you can configure more than one default gateway, gateways after the first gateway are used only if the IP stack determines that the original gateway is not working. The purpose of troubleshooting is to determine the status of the first configured gateway. Therefore, you can delete all the other gateways to simplify your task.

• Make sure that Internet Protocol security (IPSec) is not turned on. Depending on the IPSec policy, Ping packets may be blocked or may require security. For more information about IPSec, go to Method 7: Verify Internet Protocol security (IPSec).

Important If the remote computer that you are pinging is across a high-delay link such as a satellite link, response may take longer. You can use the -w (wait) parameter to specify a longer timeout period than the default timeout of four seconds.



Method 3: Use the PathPing tool to verify a route



The PathPing tool detects packet loss over multiple-hop paths. Run a PathPing analysis to a remote host to verify that the routers on the way to the destination are operating correctly. To do this, type the following command:

pathping IP address of remote host

Method 4: Use the Arp tool to clear the ARP cache



If you can ping both the loopback address ( and your IP address but you cannot ping any other IP addresses, use the Arp tool to clear out the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache. To view the cache entries, type any one of the following commands:

arp -a


arp -g

To delete the entries, type the following command:

arp -d IP address

How to turn off Aero effects in Vista

Windows Aero is sleek and looks great but, it can hinder the performance of your system if you have limited RAM or a slower processor. Here are a few simple changes that can boost system performance.

Right click your desktop and click “Personalize” .
Click “Window Color and Appearance”.
Uncheck the box next to “Enable Transparency”.
This will give your system a little boost but if you want to go all out, you can turn off all of the Aero effects. To do this, follow these steps.

From the “Windows Color and Appearance” box select “Open classic appearance properties for modem color options”.
On the list under Color scheme select “Windows Vista Basic”.
This will give a slower system a noticable poerformance boost.

Hacking Internet Explorer’s Kiosk Mode

Internet Explorer offers a Full Screen mode, invoked by pressing F11. In this mode it has no title bar or border and it fills the whole screen. This is sometimes called kiosk mode, suggesting you could use it to turn your PC into a self-service Internet kiosk for use by the public. However, it gives the user too much power. The navigation toolbar remains at the top, and any user can right-click it to restore the Address bar. Worse, pressing F11 again restores the normal view.

You can get a lot closer to a practical Internet kiosk by launching IE in its true Kiosk mode. To do so, simply enter iexplore -k in the Start menu’s Run dialog, appending the URL of the Web site you want it to open. You could also create a shortcut containing this command line. The resulting window will totally fill the screen with the selected page—no frame, no title bar, no menu, and no toolbar. If the page in question is a local HTML page with only local links, users can’t click to navigate elsewhere.

Savvy users could still get around this limitation by controlling IE through the keyboard. By typing Ctrl-O or Ctrl-L they could invoke the Open dialog, which would allow them to open any Web site (effectively restoring the Address bar’s functionality). Ctrl-N would open a new window that’s not in Kiosk mode, and Shift-clicking a link would open that link in a non-Kiosk window. Finally, Alt-F4 or Ctrl-W would close the Kiosk-mode window.

You can lock down these subversive key combinations using restrictions in the Registry. Launch RegEdit from the Start menu’s Run dialog; navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\
Policies\Microsoft Internet Explorer\Restrictions; and find or create each of the following DWORD values, setting its data to 1 to enable the restriction:

·  NoBrowserClose (disables closing the browser window)

·  NoBrowserContextMenu (disables right-click context menu)

·  NoFileOpen (disables use of Ctrl-O or Ctrl-L to launch an arbitrary URL)

·  NoOpenInNewWnd (disables opening a link in a new window via Ctrl-N or Shift-click)

A user who attempts one of these restricted actions will get a warning stating “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” You may need to restart the computer to make it recognize changes in these values. Of course users can still enter Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up Task Manager and end the process.

How to Disable Some Common Firewalls

Windows XP

  1. Log on as a user that is a member of the Administrators group.
  2. Open the Network Connections folder, right click the desired connection, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, and remove the check from Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet.
  4. Click Yes to the dialog windows that asks you to confirm your decision to disable the firewall.

Norton Internet Security

  1. Log on using an account with Adult or Supervisor rights. Open Norton Internet Security.
  2. On the left side of the window, click Internet Status and then click Current Status.
  3. In the Current Status window, click Disable.

Norton Personal Firewall

  1. Open Norton Personal Fireall.
  2. On the left side of the window, click Internet Status and then click Current Status.
  3. In the Current Status window, click Disable.

You can also disable Norton Personal Firewall by right-clicking on the Norton Personal Firewall icon in the notification area of the taskbar and selecting disable.

McAfee Internet Security

  1. Right-click the McAfee icon.
  2. Point to Personal Firewall and then click Options.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Set the Security Level by moving the slider to the desired level.
  5. Set Access to Low.
  6. Click OK to save changes.

McAfee Firewall

  1. Click Stop McAfee Firewall to disable the software