Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site.
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(below COMMENTARY)


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November 25, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

Q. Why can't I manually stop the Fax service in Windows 2000?
Q. Why does the Magnifier utility start automatically whenever I boot my Windows 2000 or later machine?
Q. Why do I receive the error message "Setup can not uninstall Windows XP because the necessary registration information is missing" when I try to uninstall XP?
Q. What is Windows XP's automatic metric feature?
Q. How can I disable Windows XP's Automatic Metric feature?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Happy 10th Anniversary SQL Server!
  • Give Us Your Feedback and Be Entered to Win an Xbox

4. CONTACT US

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

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by John Savill, FAQ Editor, jsavill@winnetmag.com)

This week, I explain why you can't manually stop Windows 2000's Fax service, why the Magnifier utility might automatically start when you start your machine, and why you might receive an error message when you try to uninstall Windows XP. I also tell you about XP's Automatic Metric feature and how you can disable it.

Around the industry this week, Microsoft has released an update to XP Media Center Edition. The company has also confirmed that it will not distribute an XP second edition. Finally, Microsoft has released Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003, build 3716, to beta testers to gear up for the product's release next year.


SPONSOR: MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR

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2. FAQS

Q. Why can't I manually stop the Fax service in Windows 2000?
A. Win2K's built-in FAX service doesn't run constantly. Instead, the service starts when an application requires the service. As a result, when you attempt to manually start and stop the service, you receive the following error:

NET STOP FAX

The Microsoft Fax Service service is not started. More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 3521.

Q. Why does the Magnifier utility start automatically whenever I boot my Windows 2000 or later machine?
A. If you don't stop the Magnifier utility before you shut down your computer, Windows assumes that you want to use the utility the next time you start your computer and automatically runs it (the OS does this by adding the utility value to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce registry subkey). To stop the Magnifier utility, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Task Manager, select the magnify.exe task from the Task tab, then click End Task.
Q. Why do I receive the error message "Setup can not uninstall Windows XP because the necessary registration information is missing" when I try to uninstall XP?
A. You might encounter this error message when you attempt to use the c:\windows\system32\osuninst.exe command and either of the following conditions exists on your computer:
  • The Undo folder isn't present on the system.
  • The Win9xundodirpath and Win9xundointegrityinfo registry values are not present in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup registry subkey.
The Undo folder is typically at the root of the C drive and contains hidden and system attributes. To view the folder from the recovery console or command prompt, you need to type

dir /ahs

or set the folder permissions by typing

attrib -sh c:\undo

If the folder is missing, you can't uninstall the OS.

If the registry information is missing, try restoring a previous registry backup. Again, if this information is missing, you won't be able to uninstall the OS.

Q. What is Windows XP's Automatic Metric feature?
A. XP introduced the TCP/IP Automatic Metric feature. The OS uses metrics to assign costs to IP routes that let the IP component select the "cheapest" cost route when sending packets. Traditionally, you could manually assign a cost to a route — XP lets you automatically assign a route cost according to the link's connection speed, as shown below:
Link Speed                                                     Metric
-------------------------------------------------------------  -------
Greater than 200Mbps                                           10
Greater than 20Mbps, and less than or equal to 200Mbps         20
Greater than 4Mbps, and less than or equal to 20Mbps           30
Greater than 500Kbps, and less than or equal to 4Mbps          40
Less than or equal to 500Kbps                                  50

Assigning route costs is useful when you have multiple network connections to one destination. In such a scenario, XP will use the fastest link connection because it will have the lowest cost.

To see the end result, from the command prompt type

route print

The following sample shows metric values assigned for multiple IP routes:

Active Routes:
Network Destination         Netmask       Gateway     Interface  Metric
            0.0.0.0         0.0.0.0   192.168.1.1 192.168.1.102      30
            0.0.0.0         0.0.0.0   192.168.1.1 192.168.1.101      20
          127.0.0.0       255.0.0.0     127.0.0.1     127.0.0.1       1
        192.168.1.0   255.255.255.0 192.168.1.101 192.168.1.101      20
        192.168.1.0   255.255.255.0 192.168.1.102 192.168.1.102      30
      192.168.1.101 255.255.255.255     127.0.0.1     127.0.0.1      20
      192.168.1.102 255.255.255.255     127.0.0.1     127.0.0.1      30
      192.168.1.255 255.255.255.255 192.168.1.101 192.168.1.101      20
      192.168.1.255 255.255.255.255 192.168.1.102 192.168.1.102      30
          224.0.0.0       240.0.0.0 192.168.1.101 192.168.1.101      20
          224.0.0.0       240.0.0.0 192.168.1.102 192.168.1.102      30
    255.255.255.255 255.255.255.255 192.168.1.101 192.168.1.101       1
  255.255.255.255   255.255.255.255 192.168.1.101             4       1
  255.255.255.255   255.255.255.255 192.168.1.102 192.168.1.102       1
Default Gateway:        192.168.1.1

In this sample, you can see two interfaces: 192.168.1.101 and 192.168.1.102. The first interface has a metric value of 20, and the second interface has a metric value of 30. The first interface, 192.168.1.101, is a 100Mbps LAN link and the second interface, 192.168.1.102, is an 11Mbps wireless network that connects to my 1Mbps broadband link. Where both interfaces are available, XP would use the lowest metric (i.e., 20), which corresponds to the 100Mbps link.

Q. How can I disable Windows XP's Automatic Metric feature?
A. To disable XP's Automatic Metric feature, perform the following steps:
  1. Open the Network Connections dialog box (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and select the Network Connections applet).
  2. Right-click the desired link, then select Properties.
  3. Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)", then click Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced button.
  5. Clear "Automatic metric", then enter a metric value between 1 and 9999.
  6. Click OK to all dialog boxes.
  7. Ensure that the change has taken effect by typing

route print

at the command prompt.

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

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