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List of Windows XP Environment Variables

January 14th, 2006 by Jim

The following table lists the system and local environment variables for Windows XP. This information is difficult to locate when needed, so I decided to post it here for quick reference.

Tip: To quickly open your user’s hidden Application Data folder…

  1. Open the Run menu (Windows Key + R)
  2. Type %APPDATA% in the prompt, and press Enter.

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Microsoft KB: How to Remove Linux and Install Windows XP

December 22nd, 2005 by Jim

I just ran across a Microsoft KB article that I thought was interesting.

Microsoft KB Article ID 314458, Revision 2.0, December 14, 2005

This article explains how to remove the Linux operating system from your computer and install Windows XP. This article assumes that Linux is already installed on your computer’s hard disk, that Linux native and Linux swap partitions are in use (which are incompatible with Windows XP)…

Hmmm… Is Microsoft having trouble with those new cheap computers that are shipping with Linux? 😉

Microsoft is probably not hurting much from Linux computer sales, but considering that a user educated enough to install Linux would also be able to remove it, the KB article must be targeting those who bought a computer with Linux preinstalled.

I bet those users feel pretty bad when they learn their $200 computer needs a $130 copy of Windows XP Home to make it work for them. 😀

Fix for 30 second gaps between subscription music tracks

December 17th, 2005 by Jim

If you own a portable audio player that supports subscription music services (Janus DRM), such as Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Napster To Go, you may have noticed the wait time before DRM protected tracks begin to play will increase over time. With the current players available, most users report 1 to 5 seconds before playback will begin, 3 seconds on average, but once this bug triggers the wait time increases to 30 seconds or more! 😯

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Hibernation: Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API.

November 6th, 2005 by Jim
Update: Microsoft has released the hotfix to the public. If you have been needing the hotfix for a language other than English, you may now download it directly from Microsoft’s website.

Update: Microsoft has released a new hotfix for this issue! Although it is currently unavailable to the public, a kind individual has uploaded it to Rapidshare so anyone may try it. Because Microsoft considers this hotfix “in testing” and has decided to NOT release it publically yet, the support options should be obvious: NO support unless you received it from Microsoft. Try it at your own risk!

Computers running Windows XP with more than 1 GB of RAM may fail to hibernate. The best way to describe the problem is by the steps taken and the response from the system.

  1. The user requests the system to hibernate.
  2. The system appears to think about it for a couple of seconds.
  3. As the system tries to switch video modes, just before displaying the “Hibernating…” progress bar, the Windows Exclamation sound plays.
  4. The video mode switches back, and a dialog box opens with the message:
    Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API.

After the problem occcurs, the hibernation option is no longer available to the user. In fact, the hibernation tab normally found in the Power Options is hidden until the next system reboot.

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Windows 2000/XP fails to boot after replacing a motherboard

October 30th, 2005 by Jim


Why does Windows 2000/XP fail to boot after replacing my motherboard? Windows 98 used to be okay with this…


I think this is an ACPI issue. When Windows is installed, it appears to configure the exact ACPI driver needed for booting. This is probably done so ACPI detection is not needed on bootup, which would noticeably increase the boot time. If you change the motherboard to a different make/model, there are slim chances that the replacement board will require the same ACPI driver. The end result is either a successful boot (good ACPI driver) or a BSOD (bad ACPI driver).

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Removing the “My Bluetooth Places” desktop icon

October 23rd, 2005 by Jim

My Bluetooth Places IconA few months ago, I decided to add Bluetooth to my computer so I could use my mobile phone’s Bluetooth headset with games that support in-game chat and other VoIP applications. I purchased a USB Bluetooth adapter, installed the provided software, and was very pleased with it overall. However, I was surprised to find that the installer dropped a “My Bluetooth Places” icon on the desktop that could not be removed.

Is Bluetooth so important that it needs to be accessable 24×7 from a location that I try to keep as clean as possible? I think not…

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Personal firewall software interfering with your games?

October 2nd, 2005 by Jim

Many of us now run personal firewall software. Unfortunately, a common problem with firewall software arises when used in conjunction with games and other full-screen applications. It appears to the user that the computer is frozen, while in fact the installed personal firewall is questioning if the game should be allowed to connect to the Internet.

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Hiding Drive Letters

September 24th, 2005 by Jim

Sometimes it is useful to hide or deny access to drive letters in My Computer and the Windows Explorer. This is often desired if you have a swap partition or scratch partition that you do not want in the way, or when a multi card reader creates drive letters you simply will not be using. Or maybe you just have something to hide… 🙂

There are two ways to achieve this goal. The first method is easier and limited, while the second method is powerful and considerably more complicated.

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Accessing the “Security” tab in Windows XP Home

August 24th, 2005 by Jim

Windows XP Home is a nice cheaper alternative to Windows XP Professional. The differences between XP Home and Pro are mostly business-oriented concepts, so I generally recommend XP Home for anyone who does not need to logon to a Windows domain. Simple enough…

However, the major drawback for using XP Home is the lack of control over the file permissions. 90% of the people that I recommend XP Home to will never notice the difference. For the remaining 10% who wonder why saving money on Windows XP means loosing a very crucial feature of any modern OS, there is hope for you!

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