Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, August 4, 2003, —brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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1. Commentary

2. FAQs

  • Q. How can I use the registry to change the amount of disk space that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses to store temporary files in the Temporary Internet Files folder?
  • Q. How can I configure Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to empty the Temporary Internet Files folder when I close the browser?
  • Q. What's the Trinity Rescue Kit?
  • Q. What alternatives do I have to Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services?
  • Q. How can I prevent users from disabling the Remote Desktop Sharing settings in Microsoft Windows NetMeeting?
  • Q. How can I print to a USB printer from the command prompt?

3. Announcements

  • Need Help Managing Your Storage Investment?
  • Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003

4. Event

  • New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

5. Contact Us

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1. Commentary
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, jsavill@winnetmag.com

This week, I tell you how to use the registry to change the amount of disk space that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses to store temporary Internet files and how to configure IE to empty the Temporary Internet Files folder when you close the browser. I also explain the Trinity Rescue Kit, alternatives to Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services, how to prevent users from disabling the Remote Desktop Sharing settings in Microsoft Windows NetMeeting, and how to print to a USB printer from the command prompt.

Not much happening around the industry this week, but I wanted to make Ahead Software Nero 6 users aware of a bug that could wipe your hard disk clean if you set the root of your disk (e.g., C:) as the program's destination directory. The bug was introduced in the Nero 6 Recode project and Ahead is working on an update to fix the problem. For more information, see http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/7638.


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2. FAQs

Q. How can I use the registry to change the amount of disk space that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses to store temporary files in the Temporary Internet Files folder?

A. To change the amount of space that IE uses to store temporary Internet files, you typically open the IE Tools menu, select Internet Options, select the General tab, then click Settings under the "Temporary Internet files" section. However, you can also adjust this setting in the registry by performing the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\Cache\Content registry subkey.
  3. Double-click CacheLimit, change the Base to Decimal, enter the amount of space you want to use for temporary Internet files (in kilobytes) in the "Value data" field, then click OK.
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Cache\Content registry subkey.
  5. Double-click CacheLimit, change the Base to Decimal, enter the same value you entered in Step 3, then click OK.
  6. Close the registry editor.

The next time that IE starts, it will use the new size for the Temporary Internet Files folder.

Q. How can I configure Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to empty the Temporary Internet Files folder when I close the browser?

A. Temporary Internet files are essentially a log of everything you've viewed on the Web. To clear the Temporary Internet Files folder when you close the browser, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the IE Tools menu, then select Internet Options.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Security section.
  4. Select the "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed" check box, then click OK.

You can also use the registry to configure IE to empty the Temporary Internet Files folder upon exiting the browser by performing the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Cache registry subkey.
  3. Double-click Persistent, set its value to 0, then click OK.
  4. Close the registry editor, then start IE for the change to take effect.

Remember that although you can configure IE to automatically empty the Temporary Internet Files folder each time you close the browser, your History log will still list the sites you've visited, so you might want to also manually clear this setting each time (go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options, select the General tab, then click Clear History).

Q. What's the Trinity Rescue Kit?

A. The Trinity Rescue Kit is a Linux distribution on a bootable CD-ROM that contains everything you need to rescue or repair dead or damaged Linux or Windows systems. The kit, which you can download for free at http://trinityhome.org.trk, is based on Mandrake Linux 9.1 binaries.

When you start the CD-ROM, you'll see a splash-screen Linux Loader (LiLo) boot menu with a few options to specify how the startup procedure should behave. The default configuration will work in most cases, but the rescue kit also gives you the option to specifically search for PC Card network adapters or USB Ethernet adapters, run extra scripts from a 3.5" disk, or even customize the way the CD-ROM boots (e.g., load a Belgian keyboard, detect all USB Ethernet adapters, use DHCP to locate an IP address, mount all file systems found on the local computer). After you boot the rescue kit, you can access tools to help you address the most common problem scenarios.

The rescue kit will typically attempt to detect onboard network adapters and use DHCP to obtain an IP address. If the rescue kit is successful at both tasks, you can then transfer files to an FTP, Secure Shell (SSH), or Windows server. For example, if you need to rescue files from a crashed Windows 2000 system, you'll be able to mount the partition, read the files, and copy them somewhere safe on your LAN.

If you accidentally delete files from an NTFS partition, you can use the included Ntfsundelete utility to recover those files. You can use the Winpass shell script, which uses a GNU Windows registry editor called Chntpw, to reset Windows passwords without having to know Linux. The script searches for any available local Windows installations, asks you which installation you want to reset the password for, then starts Chntpw.

You can use the included Virusscan shell script to scan for viruses. The script calls a free version of FRISK Software International's F-Prot Antivirus and scans every local disk; the script also presents you with the option to first fetch the latest antivirus definitions from ftp://ftp.f-prot.com.

Q. What alternatives do I have to Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services?

A. SourceForge has released Thinstation, a free Linux distribution that runs on any x86 box that has at least 16MB of RAM. Thinstation supports the following protocols:

  • Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services (RDP)
  • Citrix Systems' Citrix ICA
  • X-Terminal (XDM)
  • TightVNC
  • Secure Shell (SSH)
  • Telnet
  • Tarantella

The software lets you run thin-client sessions on older systems, giving your users access to the latest applications and helping you get a few more years of service out of your machines. Additional information about Thinstation is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/thinstation.

Q. How can I prevent users from disabling the Remote Desktop Sharing settings in Microsoft Windows NetMeeting?

A. NetMeeting's Remote Desktop Sharing feature lets you gain control of another person's desktop, which is useful for Help desk personnel who need to see what's happening on a user's computer. However, users can easily turn off this feature. To prevent users from turning off Remote Desktop Sharing, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Conferencing\Mcpt registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, String Value.
  4. Enter the name Nx, then press Enter.
  5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.

Users with typical access privileges will no longer be able to access the Remote Desktop Sharing option under the NetMeeting Tools menu. This setting doesn't affect an administrator's ability to turn off Remote Desktop Sharing.

Q. How can I print to a USB printer from the command prompt?

A. You typically print to a parallel-port printer by copying a file to the lpt1: device. Because USB devices don't connect through an LPT device, you can't take the same approach to print to a USB printer from the command prompt. However, you have several options that will work.

If a network adapter is connected to your network, you can share the printer with another machine on the network and map the printer to LPT2 or LPT3. For example,

net use LPT2 \\<machine>\<printer share> /yes</printer></machine>

shares the printer on LPT2. By sharing the printer, you can copy files from the command prompt to the printer on that port.

If you don't have a network adapter, you can install the Microsoft loopback adapter, which emulates a network adapter, create a printer share on your machine, then use the Net Use command to print to the printer share.

Alternatively, if the USB printer is your machine's default printer, you can use Microsoft Notepad to print an ASCII file to the printer. For example,

start /min notepad /P <filename></filename>

prints the file from Notepad to the printer, where is the name of any file that you can open in Notepad that you want to print. You don't have to include "start /min" for this technique to work, but you'll want to include this command if you're printing from a batch file to minimize the command window while the batch file runs. Otherwise, the Notepad executable will steal focus away from the batch file that issues this command and could stall the batch file after printing is finished. To continue processing the batch file, you'd need to click the command window.

If none of the above techniques are suitable for your particular situation, check out the DOSPRN shareware utility available at http://www.dosprn.com. DOSPRN lets you print to any printer from the command line.

3. Announcements
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  • Learn More About the Security Risks in Exchange 2003

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