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Microsoft Windows
Installation and Use FAQ

Microsoft Windows
rickatech 2017-01

Related [ edit ]


Microsoft released Windows 10 in 2016 to the general public.  It essentially is a follow on replacement to Windows 7.  Windows 10 continues to change the desktop to use a more square button themed layout, which is informed by Windows tablet and Xbox graphic design.  Windows 10 also introduces the Microsoft Store, providing a one stop online portal for applications to be purchased, downloaded and installed. 

Elsewhere Archive


Vista - Revealing Administrator Login

Strangely, you will need to login into an account that has administration rights, then right click on the Command Prompt program and select Run as administrator. If you just run it normally the following command won't work. After it runs successfull, logout, and you Administrator will be displayed along with normal user accounts.

> net user administrator /active:yes

  The command completed sucessfully.

How-To Geek

Windows Scheduled Tasks

Elsewhere Related
Since at least Windows 2000 there is a command AT, often called Task Scheduler.  Since Windows XP there is a slightly fancier command SCHTASKS. Both mechanisms allow Windows to run batch files/scripts in the background, similar to how Unix/Linux systems use crontab.

I:\tasks> at 7p /every:m,t,w,th,f,s,su I:\tasks\test.bat ^> I:\tasks\output.txt

  Added a new job with job ID = 1

I:\tasks> at

  Status ID   Day                   Time      Command Line
          1   Each M T W Th F S Su  7:00 PM   I:\tasks\test.bat > I:\tasks\output.txt

I:\tasks> at 1 /d

I:\tasks> at

  There are no entries in the list.

I:\tasks> at /?

  The AT command schedules commands and programs to run on a computer at
  a specified time and date. The Schedule service must be running to use
  the AT command.


Windows XP Recovery Weirdness

There are times when Windows XP will not let you login or otherwise requires recovery techniques. Be careful! Without careful planning recovery actions may destroy critical user data. In particular, the 'My Documents' folder may be overwritten during recovery proceedures.
Here's the deal, could not login. After several attempts, pulled out Offline NT Password & Registry Editor CD and discovered all user accounts, including Administrator, were gone.

Windows XP Corrupt Login Profile

Sometimes domain login accounts become corrupted. This makes it impossible to log onto the Windows Domain, using any account except local accounts.
The current work around for this is
  • locate and copy to backup folder all pertinent folders in C:\Documents and Settings
  • System Properties > Computer Name
    [ may need domain admin to do this ]
  • login as local user
  • System Properties > Computer Name
    "Windows Domain"
    [ may need domain admin to do this ]
    [ This will destroy data in old domain associated profiles! They should already be backed up at this point ]
  • login as domain user
    [ your desktop and settings are reset to system defaults ]
An alternative to this may be to use system restore points. However, unless a known restore point has been made recently this may not be desirable. Also, the system must not be disturbed from the point of corruption discovery and restore point execution, lest the restore may not work properly.
Kelly's Corner

Windows XP Windows Slimming

Windows 2000 (i.e. 'classic' desktop) used reasonably tight window border ornamentation. Windows XP bloats the default window border and other settings. Although there is a setting to revert the whole desktop to 'classic', in some cases the XP look helps you know you are not on an older version of Windows. The following settings should tighten up your XP desktop to pretty much match Windows 2000 without dispensing with the XP color and other thematic trimmings.
Display Properties -> Appearance -> Advanced
  • Inactive Title Bar 18 / 8
  • Pallete Title 15
  • ScrollBar 16
  • Selected Items 18
  • Icon Spacing (Vertical/Horizontal) 43

Windows XP Firewall

As of at least Windows XP Service Pack 1, the Internet Connection Firewall (ICP) module built into XP is enabled by default on most network interfaces. This can exhibit really weird behavior like one way pings and file sharing issues. There is no obvious indication that this is in effect except a small 'padlock' symbol that appears within the network connection icon.

One way to disable this is to use the Local Area Connection Properties control panel (see image) and uncheck the Internet Connection Firewall section. It may also be possible to just uninstall this module so that it can not accidentially be enabled.

What is particularly insidious about ICP is that in the base Windows XP it is not enabled by default. Only updating Windows XP with patches from Microsoft changes the behavior of the ICP, and when it performs this there is no obvious message or alert indicating the default behavior for ICP has changed. Nasty network confusion results when this happens and it can be quite frustrating to track this down. But hey, its Microsoft and more transparency in how they do things would be out of character ;-)

Windows 2000/XP Hibernate

Sometime older system freak out out on sleep ...
  • Start Menu: Control Panel, Power Options [Power Scheme Tab]
  • Check the Running on Batteries settings.
  • Notice a time out for sleep and a timeout for hibernate. Insure the sleep timeout is set to NEVER. Hibernate timeout set to something reasonable. Note, you may have to 'enable' hibernate functions elsewhere in the Power Options control panel before you can assign a timeout.

The only reason sleep freaks out a system when going to sleep is due to bad drivers, or out of date 'firmware'. In some cases these drivers can be updated, but if hibernate fixes the problem usually don't bother.

Windows 2000 Add/Remove Programs Broken

> regsvr32 mshtml.dll
  Click OK to confirm
> regsvr32 shdocvw.dll -i
  Click OK to confirm
> regsvr32 shell32.dll -i, and then press ENTER.
  Click OK to confirm

Windows 2000 Network Guest account access

So you have your Windows system on a local area network and you would like others on the network to be able to see your shared folders. Normally Windows require username passwords to match on client and host computer to access shared folders. Unless you enable the guest account.

Windows 2000 Server may be pissy about this until you give the Guest account a password.

Windows FTP - command line client tips and limitations

There appears to be no passive mode for the command line ftp that comes with most versions of windows. This means that you will have strange problems when trying to ftp to a site from behind a firewall or other IP masqeraded network. As a work around, there are lots of alternative ftp clients for Windows that do support this mode.

Windows 2000 Media Server Setup
This is best done as a fresh install of Windows 2000 Server on to a freshly formatted NTFS partition. Windows Media Server is included with Windows 2000 Server (though you may need the Advanced Server variant), but is not automatically installed.

Installing is typical. When the installer eventually asks what components to install, make sure you UNCHECK IIS which is evil and not required. Make sure you CHECK Windows Media Services. Alternatively, you may defer installing Windows Media Services until after the base OS is in place, apply the latest Service Pack from Microsoft, and then use the Add/Remove Windows COmponents control panel to add the capability.

Depending on your needs, you may also need to Configure Server -> Server Properties -> HTTP Streaming and Distribution so that it is set to WMS Enable HTTP streaming for Windows Media Unicast service.

Windows 2000 Media Server Notes
When it is installed properly, a user NetShowServices and a group NetShow Administrators will be created. Also, four services will be started, and unlike most other services for which Log On As = LocalSystem, these services will have Log On As = .\NetShowServices will be used.

Under some circumstance services may be misconfigured and not start properly. In this situation in may be best to use the Add/Remove Windows Components control panel to uninstall Windows Media Server, and if necessary remove the user and group (if uninstalling doesn't already do that). Then reboot, and reinstall using the same control panel.

Windows 2000 Server + laptop = no sleep
Beware of running Windoes 2000 Server on laptops. If the battery runs low the system will just shutoff, no sleep. All the snazy sleep modes for Windows 2000 Professional are not present in the server version.

CD Burning - using Easy CD Creator

First off, recent versions of Easy CD Creator (circa Version 5) may appear to HANG or otherwise LOCK A MACHINE UP when in fact massive deep file directories are being processed. Delays of 20 minutes or so are NOT UNUSUAL! BE PATIENT! This also means that there may be little value in buying a 1000X CDRW drive over a 4X one since this delay has nothing to do with the CD burner hardware. Furthermore, at least older (circa version 4) versions of Easy CD Creator were well written enough to show nice file update activity and otherwise not hork out on the system during the initial file setup. Later versions are prone to hogging the CPU, ignoring window updates (which makes the display seem to hang), and otherwise not indicate what its doing - bad, bad, bad!

Otherwise the software work pretty well. Note, ar some point Microsoft will probably incorporate into the next version of Windows CD burning capabilities equivelent to the most common used features in Easy CD Creator. Which means future version of CD Creator will be even more funky and prone to ignoring the user in order to free up their developers time to enable some wanger, esoteric performance burning mode not yet supported by Microsoft 'initially'.

Secure Shell (SSH)
  • stay tuned
OpenSSH for Windows Cygwin-style
  • discontinured? OpenSSH - now obsolete
  • run the installer
  • now tweak the
    C:\program files\networksimplicity\etc\passwd
    (see included example passwd file)
  • addpath.bat will add ssh commands to path
    tip: create shortcut to cmd, with start in set to
    C:\program files\networksimplicity)
  • PuTTY - Win32 client with rich feature set


Make = web server
  ssh -L 80:

Make = telnet, = cvs
  ssh -L 23: -L 2401:

Vista - TelnetWindows

Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off

Windows XP Remote Desktop Connection

Related Elsewhere

Remote Desktop Connection aborts
If the host you are connecting to has some pending Microsoft Updates that need a reboot to install, the host may disable Remote Desktop connections until after the reboot. Alas, this means you have to attend the machine directly, check for Windows Updates to see if it is waiting to reboot, allow it to do so. After reboot it should allow remote connections again. In some cases may need to reboot more than once.

Remote Desktop Connection and localhost
If for some reason you want to connect to localhost (say you are using ssh to port forward a connection) you may find XP doesn't want to cooperate. Simple work around is to use which should provide identical function to ( seems to be blocked by XP).

More elaborate and perhaps unnecessary workaround is to change how you launch Remote Desktop. First make sure My Computer > Remote > [ all connections disabled ] Otherwise attempts to forward port 3389 will fail. Furthermore, with XP localhost connections are not allowed, sort of.

  1. Copy mstsc.exe and mstscax.dll to a seperate folder
  2. Right click mstsc.exe choose Properties > Compatibility
  3. check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
  4. "Windows 98 / Windows ME"

W2000 Terminal Services

MSTSC.EXE - just the client executable
Note, to just run the client all you need is MSTSC.EXE . Getting MSTSC.EXE via the offical MS install process requires awkward service installation and 'actual floppy install disk' creation! So when all you really need to do is login into a remote server, just keep a copy of MSTSC.EXE around. NOTE: Windows XP has this client built in, plus it supports a more advanced RDP mechanism that W2000 - Stay tuned for more on this.

Logoff vs Disconnect:
Logoff will terminate your session - very desireable. Disconnect will leave it idle so that you will still have applications up when you return. The latter should be used with care.

!!! DANGER !!!
It is not uncommon for W2000 Terminal Service to become corrupted after running continuously for several weeks. That is, it no longer accepts external connections, and netstat -ap tcp does not list port 3389 as listen anymore. There appears to be no way to reliably prevent this from happening. Even worse, once it gets in this mode there is no way to fix it without reinstalling the OS! Ergo, save your data elsewhere because the boot partition may need to be wiped to restablish remote terminal service. (if you know a possible solution/workaround for this please notify

Terminal Server Setup
you will need install cd

settings - control panel - add/remove programs
add/remove windows components
terminal services (check mark)
  - Client Creator Files
    (not needed if you already have a copy of MSTSC.EXE)
  - Enable Terminal Services
remote administration mode
- restart computer -
MSTS uses port 3389 according to netstat -a
To change server listening port use REGEDIT ...
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | System | CurrentControlSet | Control | Terminal Server | WinStations | RDP-Tcp
Value: PortNumber

3D Test Apps
These downloadable apps may help qualify a system's 3D capabilities
  • (375 KBytes): classic Microsoft Windows' Direct3D and OpenGL demos

Cut and Paste Desktop Graphics
With an application window current
ALT/Print Screen - cut graphics of current window into paste buffer
With the Windows Desktop top current
ALT/Print Screen - cut graphics of current desktop into paste buffer

Windows 2000 command line window

large telnet 132x40 :-)

command completion - see REGEDIT change from wacky key to tab (note will not beep if multiple matches found)

Windows Fonts - moving them from one system to another
"The fonts on your machine are in the WINDOWS\FONTS directory. They're all written out nice a pretty, but if you copy them from that directory to, say, your desktop, it'll change the name of the font to its actual file name. Then you can just attach them to an E-mail and send it off."