Big Book of Windows Hacks

First Edition

Preston Gralla

Publisher: Dale Dougherty
Associate Publisher and Executive Editor: Dan Woods
Editor: Brian Jepson
Copy Editors: Mary Anne Weeks Mayo & Nancy Kotary
Creative Director: Daniel Carter
Designer: Alison Kendall
Production Manager: Terry Bronson
Indexer: Patti Schiendelman

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Book Details
 Price
 3.00 USD
 Pages
 636 p
 File Size
 74,332 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN-10
 ISBN-13
 0-596-52835-3
 978-0-596-52835-5
 Copyright   
 2007 Preston Gralla 

PREFACE
What good is software and hardware if you can’t hack it? In my
book (literally), it’s no good at all.
Windows-related software and hardware is eminently hackable. As you’ll see, you can hack just
about anything. Want to completely redo Windows Vista’s (or Windows XP’s) interface? I’ll show you
how. How about hacking the dreaded Vista User Account Control prompt, ReadyBoost, or Windows
Aero? It’s in here as well. Want to mod your PC’s case, do some serious Zune hacking, replace
your home router’s fi rmware to give it enterprise-level features, hack your BIOS, speed up Internet
access for free, take control of your wireless network, and more? That’s all in here as well, and plenty
more, to boot. (And yes, there are plenty of hacks for booting your PC as well, including setting up
multiboot systems and mastering Windows Vista’s bizarre new BCD store for bootup.)
You’ll fi nd hundreds of hacks in this book. Some are simple enough so that you can do them in a few
minutes. Some take some serious time and thought, such as how to build your own Windows Vista
gadgets. But all of them are useful or entertaining. You’ll learn how to get far more out of Windowsrelated software and hardware, and have fun in the process.

The hundreds of hacks you’ll fi nd inside are useful, frequently entertaining, and will save you
countless hours at the keyboard. Whether you want to speed up your PC, customize the Windows
interface, hack your wired and wireless network, get more out of the Web, make better use of email,
use the Registry to bend the operating system to your will, record TV shows and burn DVDS, or use
Windows for countless other useful tasks, you’ll fi nd what you’re looking for here. And each hack
doesn’t just show you how to do something; it also teaches why it works. Each hack is a starting
point, rather than an ending point, so that you can apply the knowledge you’ve gained to create new
hacks of your own. Try it out: who knows, in the next edition of this book, you might get a hack of
your own published.

The book covers Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as hardware that works with both,
including laptops, desktops, the Zune, and more. It also covers other Microsoft software, including
Microsoft Offi ce and Windows Home Server.

How to Use This Book
You can read this book from cover to cover if you like, but each hack stands on its own, so feel free
to browse and jump to the different sections that interest you most. If there’s a prerequisite you
need to know about, a cross-reference will guide you to the right hack. If you’re not familiar with
the Registry yet, or you want a refresher, you might want to spend some time in Chapter 13 to get a
good grounding.

Acknowledgments
A writer without an editor is a lonely thing, and for this book I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the
companionship and editorial insight and guidance of Brian Jepson. Brian has been far more than
an editor on the book: He has written hacks, made my hacks better, been an invaluable technical
resource, served as a technical reviewer, and even worked on the cover design. For all I know, he ran
the presses as well.
Thanks also go to Brian Sawyer, who was the book’s fi rst editor before he moved to another
position. And I’d like to thank Nancy Kotary and Mary Anne Mayo, who copyedited the manuscript,
Terry Bronson, who shepherded this book through production, and Alison Kendall for the design and
layout of the book.
Finally, as always, thanks go to my wife Lydia, my daughter Mia, and my son Gabe. Without them, is
anything worth hacking?

Table of Contents
PREFACE
How to Use This Book
How This Book is Organized
Conventions Used in This Book
Using Code Examples
We’d Like to Hear from You
CHAPTER 01: STARTUP AND SHUTDOWN
HACK 01: Change Your Windows Vista Boot Screen
HACK 02: Change your Windows XP Boot Screen
HACK 03: Speed Up Boot and Shutdown Times
HACK 04: Run Windows Vista Without Activation for 120 Days
HACK 05: Bypass the Windows Vista and XP Logon Screen on Multi-Account PCs 
HACK 06: Speed Up Startup by Halting Startup Programs and Services
HACK 07: BIOS Hacks for Faster Bootup
HACK 08: Hack an Unhackable BIOS
HACK 09: Upgrade Your Flash BIOS
HACK 10: The Secrets of Windows Vista’s BCDEDIT
HACK 11: Customize Windows XP Multiboot Startup Options
HACK 12: Hack Windows Vista Multiboot Systems with VistaBootPRO
HACK 13: Move Partitions Around on Vista Without Destroying It
HACK 14: Transforming Your Windows XP Laptop into a Dual-Boot XP/Ubuntu Linux System
CHAPTER 02: HACKING THE INTERFACE
HACK 15: Hack Your Way Through Windows Vista’s Aero Interface
HACK 16: A Grab Bag of Great Vista Interface Hacks
HACK 17: Turn Windows Into a 3D Virtual Desktop
HACK 18: Hack Your Way Through the Interface with the Registry Editor 
HACK 19: Customize the Windows XP GUI with Tweak UI
HACK 20: Control the Control Panel
HACK 21: Hack the Start Menu and Taskbar
HACK 22: Hacking Gadgets
HACK 23: Force the Slide Show Gadget to Play Videos as Well as Images
HACK 24: Play YouTube Videos in the Feed Headlines Gadget
HACK 25: Carry Your Gadgets with You on a USB Flash Drive
HACK 26: Automatically Build Any Vista Gadget from the Web 
HACK 27: Yes, You Can Hack Windows Vista’s Screensavers
HACK 28: Extend Your Screen Real Estate with Virtual Desktops
HACK 29: Force Older Programs to Use XP Common Controls
HACK 30: Run Linux Inside Windows Without Dual Booting
HACK 31: Run Mac OS X on Windows Vista
HACK 32: Go Retro: Run Windows 3.11 in Windows Vista
HACK 33: Instant Linux
CHAPTER 03: WINDOWS EXPLORER,
MANAGING FILES, AND SEARCH
HACK 34: A Power User’s Hidden Weapon: Improve the Context Menu
HACK 35: More Hacks for Improving Windows Vista’s Context Menu
HACK 36: Open an Administrator Command Prompt Anywhere in Windows Explorer
HACK 37: Generate Folder and File Listings for Printing or Editing
HACK 38: Only the Shadow Knows: Using Windows Shadow Copy
HACK 39: Control Windows Explorer with Command-Line Shortcuts
HACK 40: Move User Directories to a Separate Partition or Drive
HACK 41: Hack Your Partitions in Windows Vista
HACK 42: Get More Hard-Disk Space by Using NTFS Compression
HACK 43: Power Up Search in Windows Vista
HACK 44: Quick Way To Speed Up Windows Vista Search
HACK 45: Use Start ++ To Juice Up Windows Vista Search
HACK 46: Find Files Faster in Windows XP by Mastering the Indexing Service’s Query Language
HACK 47: Secrets of Windows Vista’s Sync Center and Offl ine Files
CHAPTER 04: INTERNET EXPLORER, THE WEB
AND THE INTERNET 
HACK 48: Clear Up Router Congestion and Increase Your Bandwidth
HACK 49: Surf Anonymously, Without a Trace — For Free
HACK 50: Use OpenDNS for Faster, Safer Web Browsing
HACK 51: Tweak DNS Settings for Faster Internet Access
HACK 52: Kill Viruses, Spyware, and Web Bugs — For Free 
HACK 53: Keep Your Google Search History Private
HACK 54: Fix Internet Explorer 7 Add-In Woes
HACK 55: Kill Badly Behaving Items on the Internet Explorer Tools Menu
HACK 56: Hack Printouts in Internet Explorer 7
HACK 57: Hack Internet Explorer with the Group Policy Editor
HACK 58: Hack Firefox
HACK 59: Stop Firefox Memory Leaks
HACK 60: Build Your Own Firefox Search Engine
HACK 61: Build Your Own Internet Explorer Search Engine
HACK 62: Make Java-based Apps Play Nice with Vista
HACK 63: Where Did HyperTerminal Go?
HACK 64: Mash Up Google Calendar and Other Online Calendars with Windows Vista’s Calendar
HACK 65: Import Internet Calendars into Outlook
HACK 66: Create Custom RSS Feeds from Newsgroups and Online Forums
CHAPTER 05: NETWORKING
HACK 67: Quick Fix for a Sluggish Router
HACK 68: Give the World Access to a Server or PC Behind Your Home Router
HACK 69: Give Your Home Server a Hostname
HACK 70: Get Quick Access to Network Connections in Windows Vista
HACK 71: Teach XP to Play Nice on Networks with Vista
HACK 72: Teach All Your Networks to Get Along
HACK 73: Control Another Windows XP PC with Remote Access
HACK 74: Control Another Windows Vista PC with Remote Access
HACK 75: Reboot Your Network Settings 
HACK 76: Troubleshoot Network Connections with ping, tracert, and pathping
HACK 77: Troubleshoot Network Connections with netsh, netstat, and ipconfi g
HACK 78: Prioritize Packets to Improve Voice Quality
HACK 79: Sound Like Darth Vader While You VoIP
HACK 80: Record VoIP Calls
HACK 81: Make Skype Work with Personal Firewalls
HACK 82: Improve Skype Service Quality 
HACK 83: Automatically Forward Skype Voicemail
CHAPTER 06: EMAIL
HACK 84: Instantly Compress Files You Send via Email
HACK 85: Put Your Bloated Outlook Mailbox On a Diet
HACK 86: Stay Off Spam Lists
HACK 87: Prevent Your Newsletter from Being Blocked as Spam
HACK 88: Block International Spam
HACK 89: Open Blocked File Attachments in Outlook and Outlook Express 
HACK 90: Remove Exchange messaging From Outlook 2007
HACK 91: Publish Your Outlook Calendar to the Web
HACK 92: Turn Gmail into a Universal Inbox
HACK 93: Use Gmail as a POP3 Server
HACK 94: Use Gmail as a Virtual Hard Drive
HACK 95: Import Your Contacts into Gmail
HACK 96: Import Mail into Gmail
CHAPTER 07: WEB AND THE INTERNET
HACK 97: Turn Your Home Router into an Enterprise-Level Powerhouse
HACK 98: Troubleshoot Wireless Interference Woes, and Extend Your Range
HACK 99: Impersonate Another Computer on the Network 
HACK 100: Protect Yourself Against “Free Wi-Fi” Scammers
HACK 101: Protect Your Home Wi-Fi Network
HACK 102: Turn On Wi-Fi Encryption
HACK 103: Go Wardriving for Wi-Fi Access 
HACK 104: Solve Hotspot Email Woes
HACK 105: Protect Yourself at Hotspots
HACK 106: Hacking Wi-Fi Antennas
HACK 107: Using a Bluetooth Headset in Vista
CHAPTER 08: SECURITY
HACK 108: Hack Windows Vista’s User Account Control
HACK 109: Unlock the Super-Secret Administrator Account
HACK 110: Root Out Rootkits 
HACK 111: Kill Spyware and Pests With Your Bare Hands
HACK 112: Hacking Windows Vista’s Outbound Firewall
HACK 113: Punch an Escape Hole Through Your Firewall 
HACK 114: Track Firewall Activity with a Windows Firewall Log
HACK 115: Protect Your Privacy by Removing Windows Vista Metadata
HACK 116: Kill Annoying Software Registration Reminders
HACK 117: Use Vista’s BitLocker with a USB Key 
HACK 118: Hide Folders and Files with the Encrypting File System
HACK 119: Set Up a Virtual Private Network 
CHAPTER 09: APPLICATIONS, HOME SERVER, AND BACKUP
HACK 120: Fast Hacks for Word 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .416
HACK 121: Blog Using Word 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .418
HACK 122: Create Reusable “Building Blocks” in Word 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .421
HACK 123: Say Hello to Your New Word 2007 Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
HACK 124: Shrink Supersized Pictures in Offi ce Docs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
HACK 125: Grab Real-Time Stock Quotes in Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
HACK 126: Open and Create Offi ce Docs Without Word or Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433
HACK 127: Roll Your Own PDFs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
HACK 128: Customize Windows Home Server Backups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438
HACK 129: Make a Remote Connection to Windows Home Server Over the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .441
HACK 130: Take Remote Command of a PC Using Window Home Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 445
HACK 131: Hacking Windows Vista Backups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 448
HACK 132: Use Windows XP’s Ntbackup in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 450
HACK 133: Best Backup Plans for Your PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453
HACK 134: Control How Much Disk Space Windows Vista Uses for System Restore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 458
HACK 135: Run 16-Bit DOS and Windows Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 460
HACK 136: Emulate the Nintendo Entertainment System on a PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 463
HACK 137: Emulate the Game Boy on Your PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 468
viii
CHAPTER 10: GRAPHICS AND MULTIMEDIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 472
HACK 138: Set Up Your PC To Record TV Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .472
HACK 139: Remove Commercials from Recorded TV Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .479
HACK 140: Make Your Own TV Show Mashup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 483
HACK 141: Burn Recorded TV Shows Directly from Windows Media Center to DVD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490
HACK 142: Rip DVDs into Media Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 492
HACK 143: Quick Fix for Video and Animation Woes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 498
HACK 144: Choose the Right Settings for Publishing Your Movie in Windows Movie Maker . . . . . . . . . . . 498
HACK 145: Upload Your Video to YouTube . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .501
HACK 146: Turn VHS Tapes into DVD Movies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505
HACK 147: Store Any Type of File on Your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509
HACK 148: Watch Any DVD on Your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510
HACK 149: Delete Music from Your PC without Deleting It from Your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511
HACK 150: Play YouTube Videos on your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 512
HACK 151: Copy Recorded TV Shows To Your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513
HACK 152: Organize Your Photos with Metadata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .514
HACK 153: Use RAW Photos in Windows Photo Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .519
HACK 154: Play It Loud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520
HACK 155: Convert Vinyl and Tapes to MP3s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .522
CHAPTER 11: SYSTEM PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524
HACK 156: Strip the Crud Out of Your Windows Install . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524
HACK 157: Hack Multicore Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .527
HACK 158: Speed Up Your PC with ReadyBoost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 529
HACK 159: Force Windows Vista to Use Any Flash Drive for ReadyBoost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .532
HACK 160: Get the Most Out of Your RAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .535
HACK 161: Improve Defragging in Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 539
HACK 162: Look, Ma, No Hands! How To Automate Defrag in Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .541
HACK 163: Schedule Defragging in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 544
HACK 164: Defragment a Single File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 545
HACK 165: Track Down Vista System Woes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .547
HACK 166: Track System Performance with the XP Performance Console . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 550
HACK 167: Track Performance and Reliability with the Vista Reliability Monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .553
HACK 168: Speed Up System Performance with the Task Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 556
HACK 169: Manage the Paging File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 562
HACK 170: Speed It Up with RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 565
CHAPTER 12: HARDWARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 568
HACK 171: Mod Your PC’s Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 568
HACK 172: Use Your Zune as a USB Hard Drive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .573
HACK 173: Install a Larger Disk in Your Zune . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .573
HACK 174: Troubleshoot Hardware with Device Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .578
HACK 175: Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583
HACK 176: Get a Comprehensive List of all Your Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 586
ix
HACK 177: Turn off Hybrid Sleep Mode in Windows Vista . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 588
HACK 178: A Quick Way to Overclock your PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 590
HACK 179: Keep It Cool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591
HACK 180: Overclock Any Video Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 599
HACK 181: Install a Video Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 599
HACK 182: Top Hardware Troubleshooting Hacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 603
CHAPTER 13: THE REGISTRY AND GROUP POLICY EDITOR . . 610
HACK 183: Don’t Fear the Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 611
HACK 184: Hack Away at the Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617
HACK 185: Safely Edit the Registry Using .reg Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .619
HACK 186: Better Registry Backups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622
HACK 187: Track and Restore Registry Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 623
HACK 188: Hack Away at Windows with the Group Policy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 624
CREDITS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .627
INDEX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633

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How This Book Is Organized
This book is not a mere tips-and-tricks compendium that tells you where to click, where to drag, and
what commands to type. It takes advantage of Windows’ fl exibility and new features, recognizes that
there are specifi c tasks you want to accomplish with the operating system and related hardware
and software, and offers bite-size pieces of functionality you can put to use in a few minutes. It also
shows how you can expand on their usefulness yourself. To give you this kind of help, the book is
organized into 13 chapters:
Chapter 1, Startup and Shutdown
Want to change the picture that appears on your bootscreen, create a multiboot system for multiple
Windows versions as well as Linux, speed up startup and shutdowns, or hack your BIOS? You’ll fi nd
all that in this chapter, as well as the Registry, to enable you to control many different aspects of
startup and shutdown, customize multiboot options, and learn the deep, dark secrets of Vista’s BCD
store—and how to get around it.
Chapter 2, Hacking the Interface
Want to bend Windows Vista’s Aero interface to your will? You’ll fi nd that in this chapter, along with
ways to hack XP’s interface as well. You’ll also learn how to create 3D virtual desktops and control
the Control Panel, Start menu and Taskbar. And for gadget freaks—that’s Vista gadgets—you’ll fi nd
plenty of hacks, including how to have a gadget play YouTube videos. You’ll also discover how to
easily build a gadget from any gadget or widget on the Web. Mac lovers will fi nd out how to run Mac
OS X on Windows, and those who want to go retro can fi nd out how to run Windows 3.11.
Chapter 3, Windows Explorer, Managing Files, and Search
If you haven’t given much thought to Windows Explorer or searching in Windows, so much the worse
for you. As you’ll see in this chapter, there are plenty of ways you can hack both. You’ll be able to
power up the context menu, hack your partitions and redirect your user folders in Visa, use Windows
Shadow Copy to restore fi les, and more. As for search, you’ll fi nd out how to speed it up, and add
amazing new features via a simple add-in. The chapter also demystifi es the confusing and rarely
used Sync Center, and shows how to get more disk space using NTFS compression.
Chapter 4, Internet Explorer, the Web, and the Internet
Face it: you live on the Web and Internet, so why not make the most of it? In this chapter, you’ll fi nd
plenty of ways to improve your life online, including how to increase your bandwidth for free by
clearing up router congestion, hacking DNS for lightning-fast Web access; how to build your own
Internet; and Firefox Explorer search applets, protect yourself by surfi ng anonymously without a
trace; and plenty more. You’ll also fi nd out how to keep your Google searches private, fi x a variety of
Internet Explorer woes, stop Firefox memory leaks, and even build a Google screensaver.
Chapter 5, Networking
If you’ve got a small network, you need this chapter. The fi rst hack alone will make it worth your
while; you’ll be able to fi x a sluggish router in a few simple steps. The chapter also tells you how to
make XP and Vista get along on a network, give the world access to a server behind your router, use
remote access to control distant computers, and use command-line tools for trouble-free network
operations. You’ll also fi nd plenty of hacks for using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to make
inexpensive phone calls, including plenty of Skype hacks.
Chapter 6, Email
Email—can’t live with it, can’t live without it . . . and in this chapter, you’ll learn many ways to get
more out of it. Here’s where you’ll fi nd out how hack Gmail, including using it as a universal inbox;
put your bloated Outlook folders on a diet; slam spam; instantly compress fi les for faster sending;
open blocked fi le attachments in Outlook, Outlook Express, and Windows Mail; and much more.
Chapter 7, Wireless
It’s an unwired world, and Windows is at the center of it. This chapter offers plenty of great
wireless hacks, including one that shows you how to turn your $50 router into an enterprise-level
powerhouse by replacing its fi rmware. You’ll also fi nd out how to build your own antenna, extend
the range of your wireless network, spoof your MAC address, and protect yourself against “free
WiFi” scammers as well as protect your home wireless network. And if you have trouble sending
email from hot spots, there’s a hack for you. There’s plenty more here as well, including setting up a
Bluetooth headset in Windows Vista.
Chapter 8, Security
It’s a nasty world out here. There are snoopers, intruders, and malware writers looking to turn your
PC into a spam-spewing zombie. But this chapter helps you fi ght them off and also shows how to
customize how you use security. Don’t like the way that User Account Control (UAC) works in Vista?
No problem—I’ll show you how to hack it. Want to go mano a mano against spyware and kill it with
your bare hands? I’ll show you how to do that as well. You’ll also fi nd out how to unlock Windows
Vista’s super-secret Administrator account, root out rootkits, hack the Windows Vista (and XP)
fi rewall, and use Vista’s BitLocker encryption technology with a USB key. There are also hacks on
encrypting your PC, setting up your own virtual private network (VPN), and more.
Chapter 9, Applications, Home Server, and Backup
An operating system by itself is a poor thing. What makes it go are applications, and you’ll fi nd out
how to hack them in this chapter. Want to hack Microsoft’s Home Server? You’ll fi nd ways to do that.
Want to blog with Word 2007 and use Excel to grab live data from the internet? You’ll learn to do that
as well, along with fi nding out how to create reusable building blocks in Word 2007. You’ll also see
how to shrink supersized pictures in Offi ce, hack Windows backups, use Windows XP’s Ntbackup in
Windows Vista, and more
Chapter 10, Graphics and Multimedia
While you weren’t watching, Windows and related technologies became a multimedia powerhouse,
ripe for the hacking. This chapter probably has the highest coolness factor of the entire book. You’ll
fi nd out how to record TV shows, edit out commercials, and even “mash up” several TV shows—what
happens when you combine Lost with House? You’ll be able to do it. You’ll also discover plenty of
Zune hacks, including how to record TV shows to watch on the Zune, how to exchange any fi le using
Zune’s built-in Wi-Fi, and how to watch any DVD on your Zune. You’ll also discover how to copy DVDs to your hard disk, save YouTube videos to your PC (and your iPod and Zune), and transfer movies from old tapes to DVDs. There are plenty more hacks as well.
Chapter 11, System Performance
When it comes to PCs, there are only three important speeds—fast, faster, and fastest. This chapter
shows you how to make sure that your PC always runs in the fastest lane. Want to strip the crud out
of your Windows install? It’s here. You’ll also learn how to hack dual core performance and speed up
your PC with ReadyBoost. The chapter also shows you how to get the most out of your RAM, speed
up your hard disk, and use a variety of tools for tracking down system woes and fi xing them.
Chapter 12, Hardware
Hardware hacks: just the sound of it can make grown men and women shiver—visions of sizzling
soldering irons, of system boards, cards, and cables scattered in an unholy mess, of a PC turned into
toast. But as you’ll see in this chapter, it’s easier to do than you might think. You’ll fi nd out how to
mod your PC’s case like a hot rodder, replace your Zune’s hard drive with a bigger one, troubleshoot
hardware problems, overclock your PC and video card, cool down overclocked PCs, and plenty more.
Chapter 13, The Registry and Group Policy Editor
If you’re going to hack Windows, you’ll need to use the Registry. It’s that simple. This chapter goes
beyond merely teaching you how to use the Registry and how it’s organized (although it covers that
in detail). It also shows you how to hack the Registry itself—for example, by offering hacks on how to
use .reg fi les to edit the Registry safely, and how to track and restore Registry changes. Additionally,
you’ll fi nd out how to use the Group Policy Editor for hacking.
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