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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August 12, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

  • Q. How can I open a Web site in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 without typing the www and com extensions?
  • Q. How can I check my machine's Security event logs?
  • Q. How can I create a command-prompt session inside Windows Explorer?
  • Q. How can I use the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" feature?
  • Q. How can I remove the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" item from the Start menu?
  • Q. How can I remove the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" Visible Entry Points at installation time?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Need to Keep Your Servers Running 24/7?
  • Become Part of Our MEC 2002 Focus Group!
  • WinGuides Tweak Manager—The Essential Tweaking Utility!

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 how to open a Web site in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) without typing the www and com extensions, how to use a new tool from GFI Software to check your Security event logs online, and how to create a command-prompt session inside Windows Explorer under the Microsoft .NET Framework. Microsoft has finally released Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) (to download this new service pack, visit the URL below). With this new release and the anticipated release of Windows XP SP1, I tell you how to use the "Set Program Access and Defaults" feature, how to remove the "Set Program Access and Defaults" item from the Start menu, and how to remove "Set Program Access and Defaults" visible entry points during a system installation.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp3

My new book, "The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book: A Complete Resource from the Desktop to the Enterprise" (Addison-Wesley), is now available for preorder on Amazon.com at the URL below. The book will be available at the end of September.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0321113578/windowsntfaq

2. FAQS

Q. How can I open a Web site in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 without typing the www and com extensions?

A. Typically, you must enter a Web site's full name when you type a Web address in IE. However, if the Web address ends with a com extension (e.g., www.windows2000faq.com), you can simply type the middle part of the address (e.g., windows2000faq) and press Ctrl+Enter—IE will add the www and com extensions automatically to produce the final address (e.g., www.windows2000faq.com).

Q. How can I check my machine's Security event logs?

A. GFI Software has launched a free service on the Web, EventLogScan, that uses an ActiveX control to scan your security event logs online, group them by severity, and warn of any problems. Full instructions as well as details about which audit settings you need to enable are available at http://www.gfi.com/eventlogscan . Because the tool uses ActiveX, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) will ask you to execute a GFI ActiveX component. Details about the scan service from GFI's press release are as follows:

"EventLogScan is an immediate online service that analyzes all the events in the user's security event log and produces an HTML report listing all the critical, high and medium security events found on the user's machine, with a brief explanation of each. This way, users can automatically see how secure their system is without having to manually sort through the many security events generated by their machine each day - an activity that users usually do not have enough time for or do not know how to perform, due to the event log's cryptic/non-existent security event explanations and because of 'noise' events that make up a large ratio of all security events."

Q. How can I create a command-prompt session inside Windows Explorer?

A. In two previous FAQs

( http://www.windows2000faq.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=13571 and http://www.windows2000faq.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=13572 ), I looked at the Command Here option, which lets you select a folder in Windows Explorer and start a command-prompt session at that location. Thanks to the Microsoft .NET platform, you can now start a command-prompt session within the Windows Explorer window. You can download this add-on feature, known as the Command Prompt Explorer Bar, from http://www.codeproject.com/csharp/commandbar.asp . To use this feature, you need to install the .NET Framework, which you can download from http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/downloads/howtoget.asp .

After you install the Command Prompt Explorer Bar, press Ctrl+M to start a command-prompt window in the selected folder or select Command Prompt from the View, Explorer Bar menu. When you change folders in Windows Explorer, the command session will automatically move to the current folder.

Q. How can I use the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" feature?

A. In keeping with recent agreements in the United States between Microsoft and the US Department of Justice (DOJ), XP SP1 and Win2K SP3 will include an item called "Set Program Access and Defaults" in the main Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet and in the Start menu. This feature lets you set options for the availability of the following Microsoft components:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Windows Media Player (WMP)
  • Windows Messenger
  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

Microsoft refers to these components as visible entry points. For each component, the Administrator can select a default program (i.e., the Microsoft option or a third-party option) and whether the Microsoft component should be visible. The "Set Programs Access and Defaults" feature doesn't remove any application files; it simply removes the visible components associated with the application. For example, if you clear the Outlook Express check box so that the application is no longer enabled, Windows will remove the Outlook Express quick launch and Start menu items. However, you can still execute Outlook Express by typing the following application executable at the command prompt:

msimn.exe

You can configure this feature in three ways:

  • Microsoft Windows—the standard out-of-the-box configuration where all Microsoft components are the default and visibly available.
  • Non-Microsoft—an alternative configuration where none of the five Microsoft components are the default or visibly available.
  • Custom—an alternative configuration where you select what the default components should be and which Microsoft components are visibly available.

Microsoft designed these options for OEMs to use during installation with Sysprep or an unattended setup.

Q. How can I remove the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" item from the Start menu?

A. To remove the XP SP1 and Win2K SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" feature from the Start menu, simply right-click the item, select Delete, then click Yes in the confirmation.

Q. How can I remove the Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 "Set Program Access and Defaults" visible entry points at installation time?

A. I described visible entry points in a previous FAQ ( http://www.windows2000faq.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26153 ). You can set visible entry point options for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player (WMP) during installation with Sysprep or an unattended setup. Under the \[Components\] section in the unattend.txt file, you can add a combination of the following settings:

  • IEAccess = Off (to remove IE access)
  • OEAccess = Off (to remove Outlook Express access)
  • WMPOCM = Off (to remove WMP access)

For example, to remove IE, Outlook Express, and WMP, the \[Components\] section would include all three settings:

  • IEAccess = Off
  • OEAccess = Off
  • WMPOCM = Off

Sysprep installations don't always use an unattend.txt file, so to call this file, add the following line in the \[GuiRunOnce\] section of sysprep.inf:

sysocmgr /U:unattend.txt /Q /R /C /X

After installation is complete, the visible entry points for the options you selected will be hidden from view, but you'll still be able to access the executable files for these applications through Windows Explorer or a command session.

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

  • NEED TO KEEP YOUR SERVERS RUNNING 24/7?

  • Join Morris Lewis for our next Web Seminar, "Planning Highly Available Database Server Environments," on August 27. This seminar will explain methods for achieving high availability and detail the criteria you must evaluate to determine which options will best suit your tolerance for risk and your budget. Register today!
    http://www.sqlmag.com/sub.cfm?code=mlei322hmu

  • BECOME PART OF OUR MEC 2002 FOCUS GROUP!

  • If you're attending MEC 2002 and work at a company with more than 3000 employees, join our focus group on October 9, 2002. We'll give you a free lunch and $100! To be considered for this focus group, please email us at mailto:research@winnetmag.com by August 23. Please include your full name, job title, and email address.

  • WINGUIDES TWEAK MANAGER—THE ESSENTIAL TWEAKING UTILITY!

  • WinGuides Tweak Manager allows you to easily download and apply tweaks to your system with a click of your mouse! Take control with hundreds of powerful tweaks and hidden registry settings that let you optimize, enhance, and secure almost every aspect of Windows. Download a free trial now and experience tweaking on a new level!
    http://www.winguides.com/tweak/?reg=winnetmag2

    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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