Windows XP and 2000 Tips & Tricks UPDATEbrought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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November 18, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

  • Q. How can I change the Windows Messenger initial warning?
  • Q. How can I hide the Set Program Access and Defaults tool from all users of a particular machine?
  • Q. How can I check a system's availability?
  • Q. Why doesn't Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) install the Set Program Access and Defaults tool when I apply the service pack to my Win2K server?
  • Q. Why can't I use a dial-up connection to access Web pages after I upgrade my system to Windows XP?
  • Q. Why can't I use My Computer to format a removable disk larger than 2GB as FAT in Windows XP?
  • Q. What are the maximum volume sizes and maximum file sizes for the various Windows file systems?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The Microsoft Mobility Tour is Coming Soon to a City Near You!
  • Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!

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 tell you how to change the initial message that appears in Windows Messenger, how to hide the Set Program Access and Defaults tool, and how to check a system's availability. I also explain why you can't apply the Set Program Access and Defaults tool on a Windows 2000 server, why you might have problems using a dial-up connection to access Web pages after you upgrade to Windows XP, and why you can't use My Computer to format a removable disk larger than 2GB as FAT. Finally, I describe the maximum volume sizes and maximum file sizes for the FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems.

Around the industry this week, Microsoft has released an alpha build of the next Windows version (code-named Longhorn)—I'll have some

details about this build next week. The company has also released Microsoft Office 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3). You can download the service pack at http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/2000/o2ksp3.aspx . Finally, Microsoft released a DirectX 9.0 release candidate (RC), which is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?releaseid=45160 .


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2. FAQS

Q. How can I change the Windows Messenger initial warning?

A. When you start a new Windows Messenger session, the warning "Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation" appears in the top of the window by default. To modify this message text, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MessengerService\Policies registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, String Value.
  4. Enter the name IMWarning, then press Enter.
  5. Double-click the new value, enter a new string of text that you want to appear in place of the warning message, then click OK.
  6. Close the registry editor.

The change takes effect immediately.


Q. How can I hide the Set Program Access and Defaults tool from all users of a particular machine?

A. Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 2000 SP3 include a new GUI tool that lets you configure default program access for some OS components, including the Web browser, email client, Instant Messaging (IM) client, and media player. To hide this tool from all users, perform the following steps:

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

You can configure the same setting for an individual user by changing the path in Step 2 to navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Uninstall registry subkey.


Q. How can I check a system's availability?

A. Microsoft's Uptime tool, which you can download at http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/management/uptime/default.asp , displays basic system-uptime information . This tool can also list all startup and shutdown events, and you can use the /s switch to show the total percent time that your machine has been available. For example, when I type

D:\temp>uptime /s

on my machine, the Uptime tool displays the following information:

Uptime Report for: \\EAGLE01

Current OS: Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 1, Multiprocessor Free.
Time Zone: GMT Standard Time

System Events as of 07/11/2002 15:03:30:

Date:         Time:     Event:             Comment:
----------    -------   -----------------  ---------------------------
27/09/2002    10:54:46  Shutdown
27/09/2002    10:56:42  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:56s
27/09/2002    13:21:54  Shutdown           Prior uptime:0d 2h:25m:12s
27/09/2002    13:23:36  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:42s
30/09/2002    08:46:37  Service Pack       Service Pack 1 installed
30/09/2002    08:47:50  Shutdown           Prior uptime:2d 19h:24m:14s
30/09/2002    08:52:57  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:5m:7s
01/10/2002    08:45:22  Shutdown           Prior uptime:0d 23h:52m:25s
01/10/2002    08:50:30  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:5m:8s
02/10/2002    10:46:07  Shutdown           Prior uptime:1d 1h:55m:37s
02/10/2002    10:48:38  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:31s
03/10/2002    08:52:48  Shutdown           Prior uptime:0d 22h:4m:10s
03/10/2002    08:58:31  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:5m:43s
04/10/2002    15:56:58  Shutdown           Prior uptime:1d 6h:58m:27s
04/10/2002    16:02:47  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:5m:49s
07/10/2002    13:23:54  Shutdown           Prior uptime:2d 21h:21m:7s
07/10/2002    13:25:46  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:52s
10/10/2002    14:55:03  Shutdown           Prior uptime:3d 1h:29m:17s
10/10/2002    15:01:13  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:6m:10s
11/10/2002    09:19:20  Shutdown           Prior uptime:0d 18h:18m:7s
11/10/2002    09:21:08  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:48s
28/10/2002    09:24:07  Shutdown           Prior uptime:17d 1h:2m:59s
28/10/2002    09:26:48  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:41s
07/11/2002    08:22:25  Shutdown           Prior uptime:9d 22h:55m:37s
07/11/2002    08:24:18  Boot               Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:53s

Current System Uptime: 0 day(s), 6 hour(s), 39 minute(s), 12 second(s)

Estimate based on last boot record in the event log.
See UPTIME /help for more detail.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Since 27/09/2002:

           System Availability: 99.9287%
                  Total Uptime: 41d 4h:26m:24s
                Total Downtime: 0d 0h:42m:20s
                 Total Reboots: 12
     Mean Time Between Reboots: 3.43 days
             Total Bluescreens: 0

Notice the final summary, which displays useful information such as the number of total reboots and the mean time between reboots. You can use the /d: switch to generate statistics from a certain date or use the /p: switch to generate the statistics for a certain number of days. The /help switch provides a description of all available options.


Q. Why doesn't Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) install the Set Program Access and Defaults tool when I apply the service pack to my Win2K server?

A. The Set Program Access and Defaults tool is available only for Win2K Professional—the tool isn't available for any of the Win2K server versions.


Q. Why can't I use a dial-up connection to access Web pages after I upgrade my system to Windows XP?

A. You might experience a problem if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and a dial-up connection to view Web pages if all of the following conditions are true:

  • You upgraded your system from Windows Me or Windows 98.
  • Before the upgrade, you configured on the computer a LAN connection that used a proxy server.
  • Before the upgrade, one or more of the dial-up connections didn't use a proxy server.

If you meet all conditions, after you upgrade to XP, the OS installation software incorrectly copies the LAN proxy settings to the dial-up connections. To resolve this error, you must manually remove these settings from each dial-up connection by performing the following steps:

  1. Start IE.
  2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  3. Select the Connections tab.
  4. Select a dial-up networking entry, then click Settings.
  5. Clear the "Use a proxy server" check box.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for each dial-up networking entry.
  7. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.

Q. Why can't I use My Computer to format a removable disk larger than 2GB as FAT in Windows XP?

A. XP's My Computer interface lets you format a disk as FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. The maximum FAT partition size that you can create in XP is 4GB; however, a limitation in the My Computer interface prevents you from creating a FAT partition larger than 2GB. To work around this limitation, open a command prompt and type

format <drive>: /fs:fat /v:<label>

Q. What are the maximum volume sizes and maximum file sizes for the various Windows file systems?

A. Windows 2000 and later support FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems. (The next version of Windows—code-named Longhorn—will support a new file system known as WinFS). The table at http://www.windows2000faq.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=27253 lists the maximum volume sizes and maximum file sizes for FAT, FAT32, and NTFS.

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

  • THE MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR IS COMING SOON TO A CITY NEAR YOU!

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    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/mobility

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    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)
    • POST TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS XP AND 2000 TIPS & TRICKS UPDATESUBSCRIPTION? Email Customer Support — tipsandtricks@winnetmag.com
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