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Windows 2000 Tips

TweakUI from Microsoft System Requirements for Win 2000
Change your password Create Strong Passwords
Change Your Computer Name Uninstall a device
Specify your default printer Diagnose Hardware Problems
Detecting and Repairing Disk Errors Send a Quick Email
Check your connection status Setting DMA and Display Settings
Make a File or Folder Available Offline Using Folder Shortcuts
Create an Emergency Repair Disk in Win2K Create a Startup Disk in Win 2K
Windows 2000's Indexing Service Get Immediate Queries With Indexing Service
Configure Your Calling Card Dial-up Setup Using Personalized Menus
Remove and Personalize Desktop Icons Installation Errors
Print appt's and meetings from calendar Add web content to your desktop
Create a locking desktop shortcut Changing Drive Letters 
Prevent Programs From Loading Modem Detection At Startup

Use the information below at your own risk.  See "Terms of Use"

TweakUI from Microsoft

System Requirements:
Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98 or Windows 95.

How to Download:

  1. Create a folder by right-clicking on the desktop, click New, and then click Folder. Type a name for the folder. I  named mine PowerTools.
  2. Click the TweakUI link below. In the File download dialog box that appears on your screen, click Save Program to Disk.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, choose to save the file in the folder you just created, then click Save.
  4. Open the folder and double-click the downloaded file. This may create several new files in your folder. Among these, look for "Read Me" or "INF" files.
  5. The "Read Me" file will contain any additional download information you need to know. To install the file, right click the .INF file and click Install

Note: There's a bug in this installer (it's been there since the very first release, except for the new version for Windows XP). If it prompts you to insert a disk or specify the location of the Tweakui files, just point to the folder containing the files you just unzipped, and click OK.

Download Now
Version 1.33 |  64KB  |  1 Min @ 28.8

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System Requirements for Windows 2000

Windows 2000 Professional:

  • 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.

  • 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness.

  • 2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 1 GB of free space. (Additional free hard disk space is required if you are installing over a network.)

  • Windows 2000 Professional supports single and dual CPU systems.

    Windows 2000 Server:

  • 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.

  • 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum [128 MB minimum supported; 4 gigabytes (GB) maximum].

  • 2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 1.0 GB free space. (Additional free hard disk space is required if you are installing over a network.)

  • Windows 2000 Server supports up to four CPUs on one machine.

    Windows 2000 Advanced Server:

  • 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.

  • 256 MB of RAM recommended minimum (128 MB minimum supported; 8 GB maximum).

  • 2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 1.0 GB free space. (Additional free hard disk space is required if you are installing over a network.)

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server supports up to eight CPUs on one machine.

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Changing your password

You can change the password that connects your PC to your company's network. To change your password, press Ctrl>Alt>Delete and then click "Change Password". Be sure to keep track of your new password so that your network administrator does not have to reset it for you.

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Create Strong Passwords

Good computer security includes the use of strong passwords for your network logon and the Administrator account on your computer. For a password to be strong and hard to break, it should be at least seven characters long and contain a combination of letters, numerals, and symbols (make sure to have at least one symbol character in the second through sixth positions). Your new password should be significantly different from prior passwords; it also should not contain your name, user name, or any common word or name.

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Change Your Computer Name

If your computer is configured with a name that no one can recognize (for example, a string of unrelated letters and numbers), you may decide to give your computer a more intuitive or personal name. Open System in Control Panel, then click Properties on the Network Identification tab. In the "Computer name" field, type a new name for the computer and click OK. If the computer is a member of a domain, you will be prompted to provide a user name and user password to rename the computer. You must be logged on as an administrator to the local computer to change the computer name.

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Uninstall a device

To uninstall a device in Windows 2000, open Add/Remove Hardware in the Control Panel. click Next, click Uninstall/Unplug a device, and click Next again. Then click Uninstall a device, click Next, click the device you want to uninstall, click Next, and follow the instructions that appear on your screen. When you are done uninstalling, go ahead and remove the device from the computer.

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Specify your default printer

To select your default printer in Windows 2000, open Printers, right-click the printer you want to use as default printer, and then click Set as Default Printer. A check mark should appear next to the printer icon in the Printers folder. You can have only one default printer; it should be the printer you use most often.

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Diagnose Hardware Problems

If you're having problems with one of your peripherals, Windows 2000 has a handy utility that can help you find out what's wrong. Open Add/Remove Hardware in Control Panel, click Next, click "Add/Troubleshoot a device", and then click Next. Once Windows 2000 finishes searching for new Plug and Play devices, choose the device you want to diagnose and fix, click Next, and follow the instructions on the screen.

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Detecting and Repairing Disk Errors

You can use Windows 2000's Error-checking tool to find file system errors and bad sectors on your hard disk. Open My Computer and select the local disk you want to check. On the File menu, click Properties, then click the Tools tab. Under Error-checking, click Check Now, and under "Check disk options" select the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" check box.

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Send a Quick Email

If you want to send a quick e-mail, perform one of the following steps:
  • Type mailto: in the Run box (found in the Start menu)
  • Type mailto: in the Address box of Internet Explorer
  • Create a shortcut

You'll save yourself a few steps by not going into your default email application and starting a new mail message.

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Check your connection status

Place your mouse cursor over the "Network Monitor" icon to display pop up information about the current status of your connection, speed, and packets send and received.  To display a full status window or to disconnect the network connection, double-click the icon. 

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Setting DMA and Display Settings

Direct Memory Access (DMA) is frequently used for data transfer directly between memory and a peripheral device such as a disk drive. If you encounter difficulty with your DVD-ROM setup, the DMA might not be turned on. Check the DMA and confirm that it's turned on.

To turn on DMA in Windows 2000:

1. In Control Panel, click the System icon and click the Hardware tab.

2. Select "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers".

3. Right-click the Primary IDE Channel icon and select Properties.

4. Click the Advanced Settings tab and select the DMA check box (if itís not selected already).

5. Click OK.

If you get an error about unavailable overlay surface, reduce the display resolution or number of colors. You may also get the following error: "Unable to create video window. Please try altering your display settings."

To modify your display settings:

1. Right-click your desktop.

2. Click Properties.

3. Select the Settings tab and make the appropriate changes.

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Make a File or Folder Available Offline

To make a file or folder available offline:

1. In My Computer or My Network Places, click the shared network file or folder that you want to make available offline.
2. On the File menu, click Make Available Offline.

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Using Folder Shortcuts

Folder shortcuts are a new feature of the Windows 2000 shell, allowing you to make any folder on the user's machine act as if it were another folder. Unlike traditional shortcuts, Folder shortcuts integrate the target into the shell namespace, allowing you to present a direct hierarchy. For example, if you drag and drop an icon for a folder or disk drive to your Start menu, Windows 2000 creates a shortcut that cascades to expose the contents of the target of the shortcut.

To create a folder shortcut:

1. Drag and drop a folder or disk drive icon onto your Start menu.
2. Click the Start menu, then point to the folder or drive that you just moved.

The target of the folder or drive shortcut has been grafted into the shell namespace. This reduces any confusion, because the Up button actually goes back up to the folder that contained the folder shortcut.

Note: If you open an Explorer window on the Start menu, you will see that the tree view expands through the folder shortcut.

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Create an Emergency Repair Disk in Windows 2000

1. Go to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools and click Backup.
2. On the General tab, click the Create an Emergency Repair Disk button.
3. When prompted, insert a blank, formatted floppy disk in your drive. Click OK.
4. When the process is complete, remove the disk, label it "Emergency Repair Disk," and then store it in a safe location.

To restore your settings from the disk, you need your Windows 2000 CD, the Windows 2000 Setup disks, and the disk. During the restoration process, you can press F1 for more information about your options.

Note : Because missing or corrupted files are replaced with files from the Windows 2000 CD, any changes you made to the system after the original installation are lost.

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Create a Startup Disk in Windows 2000

1. Insert a blank, formatted disk into the floppy disk drive, and insert the Windows 2000 CD into the CD-ROM drive. You need four blank, 1.44 MB formatted 3.5-inch disks. Label them "Setup Disk 1," "Setup Disk 2," and so on.
2. Click Start/Run. At the prompt, type the following command, replacing d with the letter of your CD-ROM drive and a with the letter of your floppy disk drive.

d:\bootdisk\Makeboot.exe a:

3. Follow the instructions that appear.

Note: The startup disks are used to start Setup if you can't start Setup from your hard drive. Startup disks contain different information from the Emergency Repair Disk.

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Windows 2000's Indexing Service

The Indexing Service, which Windows 2000 Professional obtained from Internet Information Services (IIS), indexes the content of files in local and network storage, enabling the file system to become a rich data store. Using search bar in Windows Explorer, users can find files faster. The Indexing Service indexes a file's contents and properties. For example, users can search the index for all documents that contain the words "Windows 2000" or search for all documents written by "Mohammed." Windows 2000 Professional does not enable the Indexing Service in a default installation, but users can easily enable it by clicking the Indexing Service hyperlink in Windows Explorer's Search bar.

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Get Immediate Queries With Indexing Service

By default, Indexing Service only indexes when applications and peripherals are not in use. If you type or move the mouse, indexing ceases for a couple of minutes. Also, if there are changes on the disk, Indexing Service won't index them for up to five minutes. This can be frustrating if you want to immediately query for files you just changed. To update as soon as possible:

1. In the Indexing Service MMC, right-click Indexing Service and then click "Stop the service."

2. Right-click Indexing Service and then select All Tasks/Tune Performance.

3. Click the Customize radio button and then click the Customize button.

4. Click and drag Indexing over to Instant.

5. Press OK twice.

6. Right-click Indexing Service and then click Start.

Now your changed files will be indexed in a few seconds or less. For more Indexing Service samples, see the Windows 2000 Platform Software Development Kit.

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Configure Your Calling Card Dial-up Setup

With Windows 2000, you can easily configure your calling card dial-up setup by controlling how each step is handled during the calling card PIN and account dialing process.

To modify an existing calling card:

1. In Control Panel, double-click the Phone and Modem Options icon.

2. On the Dialing Rules tab, select the location that you want to modify and click Edit to open the Edit Location dialog box. When youíve finished your edits, click OK.

3. In the Edit Location dialog box, open the Calling Card tab page, click the card type you want to modify, and then click Edit.

4. To change the calling card name or number or your personal identification number (PIN), click the General tab and enter your changes into the appropriate text boxes.

5. To change the access number or dialing steps for the corresponding type of call, click the Long Distance, International, or Local Calls tab and enter the appropriate information.

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Using Personalized Menus

The Personalized Menus option keeps the Programs menu clean by hiding items you haven't used recently, while keeping all of your programs easily accessible. When Personalized Menus is turned on, Windows 2000 keeps track of which programs you use each time you use your computer, and hides the programs you have not used in a long time. You can still gain access to hidden programs by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, and then clicking the down arrow at the bottom of the menu. To turn on Personalized Menus, click Start, point to Settings, click Taskbar & Start Menu, and then select Use Personalized Menus on the General tab.

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Remove and Personalize Desktop Icons

If you want to streamline your desktop and frequently used applications, simply drag a desktop icon to the Quick Launch portion of the taskbar. The relocated icon appears next to the other Quick Launch icons (e.g., Internet Explorer, Outlook Express). To remove the icon that still remains on the desktop, drag it to the Recycle Bin. With this icon removed from the desktop, there will be one less icon to hunt for when you need to start a commonly-used program.
Also, if you need to access My Computer on a regular basis, drag the My Computer icon to the Start button and you will automatically create a cascading shortcut to My Computer that will expand to reveal your drives, folders, and files. With Windows 2000 incorporating the use of tool tips, you can also hold your cursor over a partition in the Start Menu for a moment to view its free space and capacity. You can execute a file just by single-clicking it in the Start Menu and open a folder by double-clicking it.

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Installation Errors

In some cases, Win2K will abort its installation and report that it has detected software that has not completely installed. Win2K generates this message if there is any data associated in either of the Registry keys below.  Navigate to the end of these keys and click the last entry to open it's contents in the right pane. You can correct the problem by deleting any data in these keys. Then, when you restart the install, it should proceed normally.
  •  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx
  •  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Runonce

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Print Appt's and Meetings from Calendar

If you would like to print only the appointments or meetings for a particular day, here's how:

Click Calendar. Select View> Current View, and click Day/Week/Month. Display the days you want to print in the view. Select File, Print. Click Calendar Details Style in the Print Style box. To print a new page at the start of every day, click Page Setup. Select the "Start A New Page Each check box" and then select an option. Click 
OK twice. That's it!  

Note:  If there's nothing going on for a day, it won't print! 

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Add web content to your desktop

You can add a picture from the Internet to your desktop or add an item from the Active Desktop Gallery (such as a stock ticker, updated news, entertainment, or weather. Right-click a blank area on the desktop, point to Active Desktop, click New Desktop Item, and then follow the instructions on your screen. 

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Create a locking desktop shortcut

Create a desktop shortcut that you can double-click to lock your computer. You'll find this shortcut handy for locking your computer whenever you want to step away from your desk. Here's how to set it up:
  1. Create a shortcut to the rundll32.exe file in your \WINNT\System32 folder. 
  2. Modify the properties of the shortcut so that the Target text box reads as follows:

C:\WINNT\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation

  1. Click OK to save your changes. 

Note: When you double-click on this shortcut, Windows NT locks your computer and displays the Unlock Computer dialog box (for logging back in).

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Changing Drive Letters 

If you find the need to change a drive letter, Windows 2000 makes this possible. Here's how:
  1. In the Control Panel, select Administrative Tools. The Administrative Tools folder will pop up.
  2. In that folder, select Computer Management. 
  3. Click on Disk Management and wait for the Logical Disk Manager Service to finish scanning your system's drives. You will then see a list of the drives available in your system. 
  4. Click on the drive with the drive letter you want to change.
  5. Right click and select the Change Drive Letter and Path... option. 
  6. All drive letters linked to that drive will be listed on this popup screen.
  7. Click on the drive letter you want to change and click on Edit.
  8. Click on the drive letter and a whole list of available drive letter choices will now appear. 
  9. Select the drive letter you want for this drive. 
  10. Click OK and your drive will have a new drive letter.

Notes: You will not be able to change the drive letter of your system or boot volume. However, the drive letters of all other drives and drive volumes are changeable.

If you want to change the drive letter of a CD/DVD-ROM or ZIP drive, make sure you insert a disk first. The drive letter cannot be changed unless there's a disk in the drive.

Some software may not work properly if you change any drive letter. So, you may need to do some registry editing to get those software to work with the new drive letter. If that doesn't work, you will have to reinstall the software using the new drive letter or reset the drive letter back to its original drive letter. 

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Prevent Programs From Loading

Windows is adding links directly into the Registry so that users can't easily remove them.  These programs can be very taxing to your system resources and should you need to remove one (or more), here's how:
  1. Open up the Registry Editor (Start Menu > Run > type in: regedit). [Enter]
  2. In Registry Editor, go to My Computer -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run. 
  3. Select the program you want removed, right click and choose Delete. 
  4. Once removed, Windows 2000 will no longer load this program at start up.
  5. Close Registry Editor and restart Windows 2000 for the changes to take effect. 

Notes:   Be careful of what you delete. It may be very hard to recreate the link. Just to be safe, it's best to save (export) the Run registry branch so that you can undo the changes later.

If you made a mistake and can't remember what the exact command line for the link was, you can try creating a shortcut to the program in question and moving it to the Startup folder. 


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 Modem Detection At Start Up

If you forget to turn your modem on, Windows 2000 will certainly not recognize it and will give you an error "Unable to Connect".  I know there are those of you that are just as annoyed as I am over this. Restarting Win2K all over again then turning on the modem is a waste of time.  Below, is a permanent work-a-round for this issue:
  1. Go to Control Panel and select Phone and Modem Options. 
  2. Select the Modems tab and you will see a screen similar to the one below 
  3. Remove your existing modem by selecting it and then clicking on the Remove button.
  4. Click on the Add... button. 
  5. Tick the Don't detect my modem option and click on the Next button.
  6. Select your modem model. 
  • If you have the driver for your modem on a disk or CD, you can load it using the Have Disk option. If your modem isn't listed in this screen and you don't have the specific driver for it, you can always select one of the generic drivers for your modem.
  1. Select the correct port for your modem. 
  2. After clicking the Next button, Windows 2000 will install the driver. 
  3. Click on Finish and the Phone and Modem Options page should appear.
  • From now on, you won't need to remember to turn on your modem before you boot up Windows 2000. You can turn on your modem just before you need to use it, saving power and reducing the wear and tear on your modem ( the modem will get very hot even when not actually in use). 
  • If Windows 2000 is auto detecting your modem at startup, that means you have left your modem on! If you always keep your modem turned on, then there's no need for you to use this tip. If you use this tip, make sure your modem is turned off before Windows 2000 boots to avoid the auto detection process.

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