Frequently Asked Problems with Solutions

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by Vishal Gupta, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Guys!

    I'm posting this thread because I have seen lots of members starting new threads for already discussed problems in almost every forum. We always ask them to search in forum before posting those problem.
    I have tried my best to cover all frequently asked problems with their solutions. :)

    I request all members to go through this thread before posting their problems.

    All problems covered in this thread:


    1. Task Manager/Registry Editor/Tools -> Folder Options disabled.
    2. Search window opens while double-clicking on drives.
    3. "Cannot find copy.exe" Error while double-clicking on drives.
    4. Folder opens in a new window?
    5. A sub-folder with the same name is created under parent folder.
    6. My Documents/My Computer opens automatically at windows startup.
    7. "NTLDR missing" Error at system startup.
    8. "Hal.dll is corrupt or missing" Error at system startup.
    9. "Windows\System32\config\system file missing or corrupt" Error at system startup.
    10. Not able to boot into Windows 2000/XP/2003 after installing Windows 98.
    11. Windows XP Boot loader related problems, like adding/removing entries.
    12. ScanDisk starts running at windows startup.
    13. "CMOS checksum error. Defaults loaded." Error at system startup.
    14. How to reset system BIOS password?
    15. "Stand By" option is greyed out in shutdown dialog box and I can't use it.
    16. Windows Login Screen has changed to "Classic Logon Box" automatically.
    17. A strange process "ctfmon.exe" running in background.
    18. How to recover lost Firefox bookmarks?
    19. How to reset the corrupted windows icons?
    20. How to make Desktop icons text background transparent?
    21. How to get Windows XP Common tasks (Left-side pane in explorer) back?
    22. "Copy To"/"Move To" dialog box opens automatically while right-clicking on Start -> Open.
    23. Can't set "Show Hidden files/folders" option in "Tools -> Folder Options".
    24. Accidentally deleted "mspaint.exe"/"notepad.exe"/etc. file, how to get it back?
    25. Taskbar is showing only icons in opened application buttons not showing text.
    26. Orkut.com, Youtube.com and Firefox is blocked in the system.
    27. I have forgotten my Windows Administrator password. How can I reset / recover it?
    28. I can't see any message in chat window of Yahoo! Messenger?
    29. All User folders are showing default yellow icon instead of Glass icons in Windows Vista.
    30. How can I change Power button in Windows Vista to Shutdown Windows instead of Sleep?
    31. Hibernate option suddenly disappeared from Startmenu in Windows Vista.
    32. Why menus appear on lest side of cursor in my Windows Vista?



    So here we start:

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

    1. In my windows Task Manager/Registry Editor/Tools -> Folder Options has been disabled. I'm getting warning message that "It has been disabled by Administrator". How can I enable it again?

    Sol: Please visit following articles:

    How to Fix “Task Manager has been Disabled by Your Administrator”?


    How to Enable Tools -> Folder Options and Registry Editor in Windows


    If any other Windows component like RUN, Desktop Properties, System Properties, etc has been disabled, then you can check following link:

    All Kinds of Restrictions for Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista


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

    2. Whenever I double-click on any drive/folder in My Computer, a Search window opens.

    Sol: Open regedit and goto following keys one by one:

    Code:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell
    In right-side pane, delete the "Default" key. If it doesnt work then delete the key "find" under both.

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

    3. Whenever I double-click on any drive in My Computer, I get following error message:

    Sol: Enable "Show hidden files" option in "Tools -> Folder Options" and then search for "Autorun.inf" file in all drivers and if you get them in root of any drive (e.g. in C:\, D:\ and so on), delete them.

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

    4. Whenever I double-click on any folder in My Computer, it opens in a new window even I have selected the option "Always open folders in same window" in "Tools -> Folder Options".

    Sol: Copy following code and paste it in Notepad then save the file with name "vishal.reg" (including quotes). After it run the file and confirm the action:

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell]
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore]
    "BrowserFlags"=dword:00000022
    "ExplorerFlags"=dword:00000021
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore\command]
    @=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
      00,5c,00,45,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,\
      65,00,20,00,2f,00,65,00,2c,00,2f,00,69,00,64,00,6c,00,69,00,73,00,74,00,2c,\
      00,25,00,49,00,2c,00,25,00,4c,00,00,00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore\ddeexec]
    @="[ExploreFolder(\"%l\", %I, %S)]"
    "NoActivateHandler"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore\ddeexec\application]
    @="Folders"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore\ddeexec\ifexec]
    @="[]"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\explore\ddeexec\topic]
    @="AppProperties"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open]
    "BrowserFlags"=dword:00000010
    "ExplorerFlags"=dword:00000012
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\command]
    @=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
      00,5c,00,45,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,\
      65,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,64,00,6c,00,69,00,73,00,74,00,2c,00,25,00,49,00,2c,\
      00,25,00,4c,00,00,00
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\ddeexec]
    @="[ViewFolder(\"%l\", %I, %S)]"
    "NoActivateHandler"=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\ddeexec\application]
    @="Folders"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\ddeexec\ifexec]
    @="[]"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\ddeexec\topic]
    @="AppProperties"
    
    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\explore]
    
    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\open]
    
    [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\open]
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell]
    @="none"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell]
    @="none"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell]
    @=-
    -------------------------

    5. Whenever I open a folder, another folder with the same name is created under it.

    Sol: Your system is infected by a variant of Indonesian virus called Brontok/Rontokbro. It creates a sub-folder in a folder with same name. Most of the times it comes from mobile memory cards. Scan with a good anti-virus and remove the virus. Also download HijackThis and scan your system with it in Safe Mode, then fix following entries:

    Code:
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\SSVICHOSST.exe
    F2 - REG:system.ini: Shell=Explorer.exe SSVICHOSST.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Yahoo Messengger] C:\WINDOWS\system32\SSVICHOSST.exe
    O7 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Pol icies\System, DisableRegedit=1
    -------------------------

    6. Whenever I start my computer, My Documents/My Computer opens automatically at windows startup.

    Sol: Open regedit and goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    In right-side pane, change value of "Userinit" to:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,

    NOTE: If you have windows installed in other drives, then change C:\ to that drive label.

    Now goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    In right-side pane, change value of "PersistBrowsers" to 0

    Now log off windows and it should solve the problem.

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

    7. When I start my computer, I get error message:

    or
    Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

    copy x:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy x:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\


    Where "x" is your CD drive, change it acc. to your system.

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

    8. When I start my computer, I get error message:

    Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

    Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
    Del C:\Boot.ini
    BootCfg /Rebuild
    Fixboot


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

    9. When I start my computer, I get error message:

    Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

    copy %windir%\Repair\system %windir%\System32\Config

    If it doesnt work, then again boot into "Recovery Console" and give following commands:

    fixmbr
    bootcfg /scan
    bootcfg /rebuild
    fixboot


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

    10. I have Windows 2000/XP/2003 installed in my system and yesterday I installed Windows 98 over it, after that I'm not able to boot into Windows 2000/XP.2003. I'm not getting option to select the OS.

    Sol: Windows 98 has overwritten the boot loader. Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

    fixmbr
    bootcfg /scan
    bootcfg /rebuild
    fixboot


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

    11. When I start my system, I'm getting 2 entries for windows XP in the boot loader. How can I remove the duplicate entry?

    OR

    How can I change the default OS in windows boot loader?

    OR

    How can I change the entry labels in windows boot loader?

    OR

    How can I change the boot loader time? Its set to 30 seconds and I want to change it.


    Sol: There are several way. You can follow any of following:

    A. Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press <Enter>. Now goto "Advanced" tab and click on "Settings" button in "Startup & Recovery" section. Now click on "Edit" button and then you can edit the boot loader time, labels, etc.

    B. Type "msconfig" in RUN dialog box and goto "Boot.ini" tab and then you can change the desired thing. If you want to remove the corrupt/non-working entries, then click on "Check all boot paths" button.

    C. Enable "Show hidden files/folders" and disable "Hide protected system files" options in "Tools -> Folder Options". Now open C:\ drive and remove the READ-ONLY attribute of "BOOT.INI" file from its Properties. Now open this file and then you can make your desired changes.

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

    12. Whenever I start my computer, Scandisk starts running even I proper shut down the PC last time.

    Sol: Do as following:

    A. Open regedit and goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
    In right-side pane, change the value of BootExecute to:

    autocheck autochk *

    B. If the above trick doesnt help then give following commands in Command Prompt:

    chkntfs /x drive_name

    for e.g., if ScanDisk runs automatically for C: and D: drives, then give following commands one by one:

    chkntfs /x C:
    chkntfs /x D:


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

    13. When I start my computer, I get following error message:

    Sol: Open the cabinet and look for a coin-sized battery in motherboard. Remove it and attach a new one. The new battery will cost approx. 15-20 Rs.

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

    14. I forgot my system BIOS password. How can I reset it?

    Sol: Open the cabinet and look for a coin-sized battery in motherboard. Remove it and attach it again after a few minutes. All BIOS settings will set to default and the password will also reset.

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

    15. I re-installed my windows and now "Stand By" option is greyed out in shutdown dialog box and I can't use it.

    Sol: Install VGA drivers from your motherboard CD and the option will be enabled. If you don't have the motherboard CD, then goto the manufacturer site and downlaod the required drivers.

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

    16. My Windows Login Screen has changed to "Classic Logon Box". I want the new Welcome Screen back.

    Sol: Type "control userpasswords" in RUN dialog box or Open "User Accounts" in Control Panel. Then click on "Change the way Users log on and off". Now check the option "Use Welcome Screen". If you get following error:

    Then Open "Network Connections" and open Properties of your Internet Connection. Now goto "Networking" tab and select "Client services on Netware" option and click on the"Uninstall" button.

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

    17. A strange process "ctfmon.exe" always runs in background and if I click on "End Process" button, it restarts automatically.

    Sol: Open Control Panel and goto Add/Remove Programs list. Now click on the Microsoft Office entry and then click on "Change" button. Now select "Add/Remove Features" and click on "Next". Now expand "Office Shared Features" and click on "Alternative User Input" and then select "Not Available" and finally click on Update. It'll permanently remove that ctfmon.exe and your problem will be solved.

    You can also use 3rd party utility "CTFMON-Remover" to get rid of ctfmon.exe easily and quickly:


    CTFMON-Remover

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

    18. I just noticed that all my Firefox Bookmarks have gone. The bookmarks list is empty. How can I get them back?

    Sol: Type "%appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles" in RUN dialog box and then open the "xxxx.default" folder (where xxxx will be random numbers and characters). Now open "bookmarkbackups" folder and you'll get your bookmarks there. Now you can import them in Firefox again.

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

    19. My Windows is showing some wrong icons of files. How can I reset the corrupted icons?

    Sol: You can use any of following methods:

    A. Download TweakUI from here and then click on "Repair Icons" in "Repair" section.

    B. Open My Computer and goto:

    C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Local Settings\Application Data

    Replace C:\ with your system drive and "user_Name" with your username.
    Now there'll be a HIDDEN file "iconcache.db", delete it and restart your system.

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

    20. I'm using Windows XP and the desktop icons suddenly started showing an ugly background rectangle behind the text. How can I make the text transparent?

    Sol: Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press <Enter>. Now goto "Advanced" tab, click on "Setting" button in "Performance" section and enable the option "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop".

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

    21. I'm using Windows XP and suddenly the Common tasks stopped showing in left-side pane.

    Sol: Open "Tools -> Folder Options" and enable the option "Show Common Tasks in folders".

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

    22. Whenever I right-click on Start button and select "Open", a "Copy To"/"Move To" dialog box opens automatically.

    Sol: Open regedit and goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\
    Now under this key, delete following 2 keys:

    Copy To
    Move To


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

    23. I can't see Hidden files/folders in my computer. Even I enable the option "Show hidden files/folders" in "Tools -> Folder Options", its automtically disabled again.

    Sol: Open regedit and goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    In right-side pane, change value of "Hidden" to as following:

    1 - To show hidden files
    2 - To not show hidden files

    If it doesnt work, then scan your computer with an anti-virus software.

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

    24. I accidentally deleted my "mspaint.exe"/"notepad.exe"/etc. file, how can I get it back?

    Sol: You can use any of following methods:

    A. Goto "%windir%\System32\DLLCache" folder and look for the file, if its there then copy it to "%windir%\System32\" folder.

    B. Insert your Windows Setup CD and goto "I386" folder. Now look for the same file, it'll present there but the last letter of extension will be "_". e.g., u'll get "mspaint.ex_"/"notepad.ex_"/etc. Now open Command Prompt and goto "I386" folder and give following command:

    expand mspaint.ex_ mspaint.exe
    expand notepad.ex_ notepad.exe

    etc.

    Now u can copy the file to "%windir%\System32" folder.

    C. Give following command in Command Prompt:

    sfc /SCANNOW

    It'll automatically restore the files.

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

    25. Suddenly my taskbar is showing only icons in all opened application buttons. I can't see any text. How can I get back the full taskbar buttons?

    Sol: Open regedit and goto:

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
    In right-side pane, change the value of "MinWidth" to -2300
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  2. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    AskVG.com
    Re: MUST READ: Frequently Asked Problems with Solutions

    26. Whenever I open "www.orkut.com" or any folder with the name "orkut", I get following error with a scary laugh:


    Sol: Pls visit following thread:

    [Solution] Orkut.com, Youtube.com and Firefox is Banned in System

    ————————-

    27. I have forgotten my Windows Administrator password. How can I reset / recover it?

    Sol: Pls visit following link:

    How to Reset / Recover Forgotten Windows NT / 2000 / XP / 2003 Administrator Password?

    ————————-

    28. In Yahoo! Messenger, whenever I send a message or get a message I can't see the contents in chat window. All I can see is a blank window.

    Sol: Pls download Windows Script from the following link and install it:

    Download Windows Script

    ————————-

    29. Why all User folders in my Windows Vista show default yellow icon instead of the new glass icons?

    Sol: Please follow the steps mentioned in following tutorial:

    How to Fix User Folders Showing Simple Folder Icon in Windows Vista?

    ————————-

    30. Whenever I click on power button in Vista startmenu, it put my system in Sleep state. How can I change it to shut down the system?

    Sol: In Windows Vista the default action of power button is set to Sleep. But you can change it to shut down like previous Windows versions. Please follow the instructions given in this tutorial:

    How to Change Power Button in Windows Vista to Shut Down the System instead of Sleep?

    ————————-

    31. Suddenly Hibernate option is missing in my Windows Vista. How can I enable it again?

    Sol: You must have run "Disk Cleanup". Its a known issue in Vista. There is a solution to re-enable Hibernate option:

    How to Re-enable Missing Hibernate Option in Windows Vista?

    ————————-

    32. Why in Windows Vista menus appear on left side of mouse cursor? In previous Windows versions, menus used to show on right-side. How can I change it in Vista?

    Sol: Its a problem which many Vista users are facing. Don't worry, follow the following link:

    How to Change Menu Position from Left to Right in Windows Vista?


    A few more problems with their solutions have been covered here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
    LordOfLA likes this.
  3. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    Thread stuck, renamed.
     
  4. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

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    ^^ Thank you. :)
     
  5. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Your first post is truly excellent, but I think the sheer number of links back to your own website in the second post is tantamount to spam - surely you could put those answers here? I know people like to promote themselves, which is a good thing, but there is a line.
     
    Shamus MacNoob likes this.
  6. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

    Messages:
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    ^^ Thanks. It was a single post but forum was not allowing to post the complete article in a single post because no. of characters were exceeding the limit. So I have to post it in parts.

    And reg. to spamming or promoting, I was not trying to get traffic to my website. Some solutions are too long and can't be posted within this thread, thats why I have mentioned the links. My intention was not to promote anything. I wanted to share something but didnt know that it'll be considered as advertising.
     
  7. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    If we ever think you're spamming we'll delete the posts :)
     
  8. American Zombie

    American Zombie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    A lot of this is just common knowledge to me.
     
  9. tdinc

    tdinc █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User

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    I think this is a super list of how to's all in one place, He took the time to do it and I believe it helps the community here. instead of trying to search out a specific question :) many come here for help just for this reason and he has provided it.

    Good Work
     
  10. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

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    Yeah, you've been making some great contributions over the past couple weeks, Vishal. Thanks!
     
  11. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Yeah, nice one - I will reply to your mail soon too :D
     
  12. madmatt

    madmatt Bow Down to the King Political User

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    Ditto. Same mail I received, likely?
     
  13. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    aww.. i didn't get an email :)

    Still.. nice post :)
     
  14. Bman

    Bman OSNN Veteran Original

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    Great post, and great information. Most of it is known already, for me and a lot of people here I assume. Yet for people searching around this is perfect.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    I suspect so, I have a few I need to review - lots from MVPs with new sites... did we miss the gravy train for getting one of those? :D
     
  16. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

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    Thank you guys for nice comments. I'm glad you liked it. :)

    @Electronic Punk and madmatt
    I sent the same mail to you both. I'm thankful that you spent your time to check it.
     
  17. madmatt

    madmatt Bow Down to the King Political User

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    EP, web sites are overrated.

    Vishal Gupta, we will review and get in touch. It looks promising if you ask me.
     
  18. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

    Messages:
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    ^^ Thanks. :)