Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATE, June 16, 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 reset the numeric value directory list order in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later to match Windows 2000?
  • Q. How can I access all of my ATAPI hard disk, which is larger than 137GB?
  • Q. How can I change my Windows XP CD-ROM key?
  • Q. How can I power down on shutdown in Windows NT 4.0 without changing hal.dll?
  • Q. How can I reset the "Always ask before opening this type of file" functionality in Microsoft Outlook for a particular file type?

3. Announcements

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Fall Dates Announced
  • Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. Event

  • Security 2003 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 reset the numeric value directory list order in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later to match Windows 2000, how to access ATAPI hard disks larger than 137GB, and how to change the XP CD-ROM key. I also explain how to power down on shutdown in Windows NT 4.0 without modifying the hal.dll file and how to reset the "Always ask before opening this type of file" functionality in Microsoft Outlook for a particular file type.

This week has been a quiet week around the industry. Microsoft has announced a line of new handheld PCs that will use the company's new Pocket PC 2003 OS. Microsoft also recently acquired antivirus technology from GeCAD Software, which it plans to incorporate in its products and services.


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2. FAQs

Q. How can I reset the numeric value directory list order in Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later to match Windows 2000?

A. XP modifies the sorting algorithm that the OS uses to list files with numeric characters as a numeric value instead of string value. For example, the following table displays the listing-order difference between XP and Win2K.

Win2K Listing XP Listing
1.txt
110.txt
12.txt
2.txt
23.txt
8.txt
1.txt
2.txt
8.txt
12.txt
23.txt
110.txt

To force XP to use the old sorting method for the current user, you must install XP SP1 or later on the user's machine and perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
  4. Enter the name NoStrCmpLogical, then press Enter.
  5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
  6. Close the registry editor.
  7. Restart the machine for the change to take effect.

To make the change take effect for all users, navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer registry subkey instead of the subkey listed in Step 2.

Q. How can I access all of my ATAPI hard disk, which is larger than 137GB?

A. Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 add support for 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA), which lets you access hard disks larger than 137GB. To enable 48-bit LBA, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Parameters registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
  4. Enter the name EnableBigLba, then press Enter.
  5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK.
  6. Close the registry editor.
  7. Restart the machine for the change to take effect.

Be aware that if you multiboot your system with OSs that don't support 48-bit LBA, editing this registry setting might cause data corruption. If you still can't access hard disk space beyond the 137GB limit after you restart your system, your system BIOS might not be 48-bit LBA compatible, in which case you need to talk to your computer manufacturer.

Q. How can I change my Windows XP CD-ROM key?

A. To change your XP CD-ROM key, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a system restore checkpoint, in case you encounter a problem.
  2. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  3. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents registry subkey.
  4. Edit the OOBETimer value, modify any one character, then click OK.
  5. Start the CD-ROM key Activation Wizard--click Start, Run and type \%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
  6. Select the "Activate by Phone" option.
  7. At the product key screen, enter your new key, then click Update.
  8. If the wizard returns you to the previous window, click "Remind me later," then restart the machine.
  9. Repeat Step 5. XP will display the message "Windows is already activated. Click OK to exit."

You can also use the following script that Microsoft provides to change the CD-ROM key:

  '
  ' Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Script - ChangeVLKey.vbs
  '
  ' This script changes the product key on the computer. Service Pack 1
  ' must be installed.
  '
  '********************************************************************

  ON ERROR RESUME NEXT

  if Wscript.arguments.count 0 then
  WScript.Echo Err.Description, "0x" & Hex(Err.Number)
  Err.Clear
  end if

  Next

To use this script, go to the command prompt and run

changevlkey.vbs <new key></new>

where is the name of the new key that you want to activate (e.g., ab123-ab123-ab123-ab123-ab123).

Q. How can I power down on shutdown in Windows NT 4.0 without changing hal.dll?

A. In a previous FAQ, I described how to change hal.dll.softex to let the machine power down on shutdown. The method I described uses the ppntapm.sys file that comes with NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4) and later. To power down NT 4.0 without modifying hal.dll, perform the following steps:

  1. Run the service pack installer with the /X parameter to extract files only. The service pack will prompt you to provide the location for the extracted files; provide a location and continue.
  2. After you extract the service pack files, copy ppntapm.sys from the extracted files directory to your drivers directory (usually \%systemroot%\winnt\system32\drivers).
  3. Copy the following lines between the "-- begin" and "-- end" lines to Notepad, and save the file as ppntapm.reg.
    -- begin PPNTAPM.REG
    REGEDIT4

    \[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ppntapm\]
    "Group"="Power Management"
    "Start"=dword:00000000
    "Error Control"=dword:00000001
    "Tag"=dword:000000a1
    "Type"=dword:00000001

    \[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ppntapm\Parameters\]
    "UseDefaultSegmentLimits"=dword:00000001

    \[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\] "PowerdownAfterShutdown"="1"
    -- end PPNTAPM.REG
  4. Double-click the ppntapm.reg file to import the appropriate registry settings.
  5. Reboot your system for the change to take effect.

Q. How can I reset the "Always ask before opening this type of file" functionality in Microsoft Outlook for a particular file type?

A. When you open attachments, Outlook displays a dialog box that prompts you to either "Open it" or "Save it to disk". The dialog box also includes an "Always ask before opening this type of file" check box. If you clear this check box, Outlook will in the future always open that file type without prompting you. To reset the default behavior so that Outlook will prompt you to open or save the file type, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel Folder Options applet.
  2. Select the File Types tab.
  3. Scroll down to the extension type that you want to reset.
  4. Select the extension type, then click Advanced.
  5. Check the "Confirm open after download" check box, then click OK.
  6. Click Close to the Folder Options dialog box.

Outlook will now prompt you every time you open that particular file type.

3. Announcements
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Fall Dates Announced

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    http://www.devconnections.com

  • Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

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    4. Event
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

  • Security 2003 Road Show

  • Join Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott as they deliver sound security advice at our popular Security 2003 Road Show event.
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