Tips and Tricks

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Installing Windows Xp Systems:

How to Determine If Windows Xp was Activated

You installed XP and then can't remember if you activated it. Go to Start->Run and enter the following: oobe/msoobe /a

Enable Windows XP Sound Scheme

Windows XP ships with a sound scheme but it's not loaded by default. To try it out:
Click Start
Click Control Panel
Click Sounds and Audio Devices
Click Sounds tab
In Sound Scheme pull down select Windows Default.

"Missing or Corrupt Ntfs.sys" Error Message When You Restart Windows XP After You Convert Your Hard Disk to the NTFS File System

To resolve this problem, you must replace the missing or corrupted Ntfs.sys file. To do so, follow these steps:
Start your computer with the Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive. You are prompted with the following option:
To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R
When you are prompted with this option, press R to select it.
At the command prompt, type the following commands (press ENTER after each command): cd \windows\system32\drivers ren ntfs.sys ntfs.old
Note: This step renames the corrupted Ntfs.sys file to Ntfs.old. If the Ntfs.sys file is not found, then the file was missing. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
copy cd:\i386\ntfs.sys drive:\windows\system32\drivers
Where cd is the drive letter for the CD-ROM drive that contains the Windows XP CD, and drive is the drive that you installed Windows XP to.
Remove the Windows XP CD from your CD-ROM drive, type quit, and then press ENTER to quit the Recovery Console.
Restart Windows XP

Reinstall Windows XP without re-activating

When you activate Windows XP, Microsoft stores the data in the Windows Product Activation database files wpa.dbl and Wpa.bak in the folder %systemroot%\system32. If you change the motherboard or make significant hardware changes, XP will require you to reactive. But if you plan to reinstall XP on the same hardware, you can back up the activation status and then restore it after you reinstall and avoid the activation process. You can backup the Windows Product Activation database files to diskette. They are very small. After you reinstall XP, to restore the Windows Product Activation database files:
Start XP to Minimal Safe mode
Change directory to the \%systemroot%\system32 folder
Rename the newly created wpa.dbl to wpa.nonactivated and wpa.bak, if it exists, to wpabak.nonactivated.
Copy your backed up wpa.dbl and wpb.bak files to the system32 folder
This should work if you want to avoid activating XP after a reinstall or restore on the same or very similar hardware. It will not work if the hardware is significantly different from that in place when the Windows Product Activation database files were created. This is not a hack to avoid activating installations.

Windows XP - Error: The Windows Installer Service Could not be Accessed

This document provides a solution to the error message: "Windows Installer Service could not be accessed".  When attempting to install software on Windows XP the end-user receives a message that reads:
"The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in a safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance."
To resolve the problem:
Click on Start.
Select Run.
In the "Open:" field, type: command.
Click OK.
An MS-DOS Prompt window will come up on the screen with a blinking cursor at the command line. In this window you will need to do the following:
Type msiexec /unregister and press Enter.
Type msiexec /regserver and press Enter.

Reinstall System Restore

System Restore enables administrators to restore their computers to a previous state without losing personal data file (e.g. Word documents, graphic files, e-mail). System Restore actively monitors system file changes and some application file changes to record or store previous versions before the changes occurred. Users never have to think about taking system snapshots as System Restore automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which the users can use to revert to a previous time. Restore points are created at the time of significant system events (such as application or driver install) and periodically (each day). Additionally, users can create and name their own restore points at any time.
Caution: The following procedure will remove all the existing System Restore points, and resets the System Restore drive monitoring options to defaults (monitors all drives by default.)
Click Start, Run and type %Windir%\INF.
Locate the SR.INF file. The file may be shown as SR, if you have configured Windows Explorer to hide known file extensions. To see the file extensions for all file types, then try this:
On the Tools menu in My Computer, click Folder Options.
Click the View tab.
Clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box.
Right-click the SR.INF file, and then click Install.
Windows will now attempt to reinstall System Restore, and may prompt you for the Windows
installation source path. Point to %Windir%\ServicePackFiles folder, or insert your slipstreamed Windows XP (matching the Service Pack level of your system.) System Restore core files will be reinstalled. Restart Windows when prompted.