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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April 29, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

  • Q. How can I enable autologon for Windows XP?
  • Q. How can I perform a bulk file rename in Windows XP?
  • Q. How can I hide the Active Directory folder under My Network Places in Windows 2000?
  • Q. Why can't I remove the read-only flag from a Windows XP or Windows 2000 folder?
  • Q. Why do I receive a Missing Operating System error after I reboot my machine?

3. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Cast Your Vote for our Reader's Choice Awards!

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 provide an easy way to enable autologon for Windows XP and a useful new way to perform a bulk rename in XP. I also tell you how to hide the Active Directory folder that appears under My Network Places in Windows 2000, explain why you can't remove the read-only attribute on customized folders in XP and Win2K, and identify why you might receive a Missing Operating System error after rebooting your machine. Till next week, take care.

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2. FAQS

  • Q. How can I enable autologon for Windows XP?

  • A. To enable autologon and bypass XP's prompt to enter a username and password, perform the following steps:
    1. Select Run from the Start menu.
    2. Enter
    3. control userpasswords2

      and click OK.

    4. Select the Users tab.
    5. Clear the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" check box.
    6. Click OK.
    7. When the system prompts you, enter a username and password for users who automatically log on, and click OK.

  • Q. How can I perform a bulk file rename in Windows XP?

  • A. XP lets you rename files in bulk by simply selecting multiple files within Windows Explorer and pressing the F2 key. When you use this feature, the OS applies the name you enter to the first file and applies the same name with a number in parentheses to the other files you selected (the file extensions remain unchanged). For example, if you select the following files,
    • notes.doc
    • figures.xls
    • disney.jpg
    • holiday.gif

    and rename the first file (notes.doc) to file.doc, XP renames the remaining files as follows:

    • file (1).xls
    • file (2).jpg
    • file (3).gif

  • Q. How can I hide the Active Directory folder under My Network Places in Windows 2000?

  • A. You can hide the Active Directory folder under My Network Places so that users won't be able to see or browse the folder but will still be able to search on that directory. To hide the Active Directory folder, perform the following steps:
    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Directory UI subkey (create the subkey if it doesn't exist).
    3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value, enter a name of
    4. HideDirectoryFolder

      and press Enter.

    5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, and click OK.
    6. Close the registry editor.
    7. Log off and log on for the change to take effect.

  • Q. Why can't I remove the read-only flag from a Windows XP or Windows 2000 folder?

  • A. If the folder is one that you customized using the Customize This Folder Wizard in Windows Explorer or a standard Windows customized folder (e.g., the Fonts folder), you might not be able to remove the read-only attribute or you might receive an error when you try to write a file to the folder. In either scenario, Windows is preventing you from writing to the folder because the OS is using the read-only flag to determine whether the folder is a system folder.

    To work around this problem so that you can modify a folder's read-only status, you can tell Windows to use the system flag instead of the read-only flag to identify customized folders. To configure Windows to use the system flag, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer subkey.
    3. Select New, DWORD Value from the Edit menu.
    4. Enter a name of
    5. UseSystemForSystemFolders

      and press Enter.

    6. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, and click OK.
    7. Close the registry editor.
    8. Reboot the machine for the changes to take effect.

  • Q. Why do I receive a Missing Operating System error after I reboot my machine?

  • A. Unless your computer has suffered a major disk malfunction, this error message usually means that the hard disk's active partition has changed. To resolve this error, perform the following steps:
    1. Boot your machine using a Windows Me, Windows 9x, or DOS 3.5" system disk that contains the Fdisk utility.
    2. Start the Fdisk utility.
    3. Press the Enter key to enable large disk support.
    4. Select Option 2 for "Set active partition."
    5. Enter the number of the partition that you want to set as the active partition, and press Enter.
    6. Press the Esc key to exit.
    7. Remove the boot disk from the floppy drive and reboot the machine.

    3. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • CAST YOUR VOTE FOR OUR READER'S CHOICE AWARDS!

  • Which companies and products do you think are the best on the market? Nominate your favorites in four different categories for our annual Windows & .NET Magazine Reader's Choice Awards. You could win a T-shirt or a free Windows & .NET Magazine Super CD, just for submitting your ballot. Click here!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/readerschoice

    4. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE FAQS — jsavill@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — warren@winnetmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
      Customer Support — tipsandtricks@winnetmag.com
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