Windows hacks part 3 RRS feed

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    Deleting System Options from the Start menu

    You can actually remove the Find and Run options from the start menu by performing a simple registry hack. Again like always Launch the registry editor and scroll down to the below key:


    Right-click on the right pane and select New, DWORD Value. Name it NoFind.(To remove the RUN option name it NoRun). Double-click the newly create DWORD to edit it's value and enter 1 as its value. This will disable the FIND option of the Start Menu and will also disable the default Shortcut key(F3 for Find.)

    To restore the Run or find command modify the value of the DWORD to 0 or simply Delete the DWORD value.

    Fed Up of the boring Old Yellow Folder Icons?[Drive Icons Included]

    NOTE: This trick hasn't been tried on Win98.

    You can easily change the boring yellow folder icons to your own personalized icons. Simply create a text file and copy the following lines into it:



    Save this text file by the name, desktop.ini in the folder, whose icon you want to change. Now to prevent this file from getting deleted change it's attributes to Hidden and Read Only by using the ATTRIB command.

    To change the icon of a drive, create a text file containing the following lines:



    Save this file in the root of the drive whose icon you want to change and name it autorun.inf For Example, if you want to change the icon of a floppy, SAVE THE icon in a:\icon_name.ico One can also create a kewl icon for the Hard Disk and create a text file [autorun.inf] and store it in "c:\".

    Securing NT

    By default, NT 4.0 displays the last person who logged onto the system. This can be considered to be a security threat, especially in the case of those who choose their password to be same as their Username. To disable this bug which actually is a feature, go to the following key in the registry editor:


    Click and select the ReportBookOK item and create a new string value called DontDisplayLastUserName. Modify it and set it's value to 1.

    As a system administrator, you can ensure that the passwords chosen by the users are not too lame or too easy to guess. NT has this lovely utility called the User Manager which allows the administrator to set the age limit of the password which forces the users to change the password after a certain number of days. You can also set the minimum length of passwords and prevent users to use passwords which already have been used earlier and also enable account lockouts which will deactivate an account after a specified number of failed login attempts.

    When you log on to Win NT, you should disable Password Caching, this ensures Single NT Domain login and also prevents secondary Windows Logon screen.

    Simply copy the following lines to a plain text ASCII editor like: Notepad and save it with an extension, .reg






    To Enable Password Caching use the following .reg file:






    Cleaning Recent Docs Menu and the RUN MRU

    The Recent Docs menu can be easily disabled by editing the Registry. To do this go to the following Key:


    Now in the right pane, create a new DWORD value by the name: NoRecentDocsMenu and set it's value to 1. Restart Explorer to save the changes.

    You can also clear the RUN MRU history. All the listings are stored in the key:


    You can delete individual listings or the entire listing. To delete History of Find listings go to:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Doc Find Spec MRU

    and delete.

    Customizing the Right Click Context Menu of the Start Menu

    When you right click on the start menu, only 3 options pop up: Open, Explore, and Find. You can add your own programs to this pop up menu( which comes up when we right click on it.) Open Regedit and go to the following registry key:


    Right click on the shell and create a new Sub Key (You can create a new SubKey by right clicking on the Shell Key and selecting New > Key.). Type in the name of the application you want to add to the start menu. I want to add Notepad to the Start Menu and hence I name this new sub key, Notepad. Now right click on the new registry key that you just created and create yet another new key named Command. Enter the full path of the application, in this case Notepad in the default value of Command in the right

    pane. So I Modify the value of the default string value and enter the full pathname of Notepad:


    Now press F5 to refresh. Now if you right click on the Start Button you will find a new addition to the Pop Up Menu called Notepad. Clicking on it will launch Notepad.

    We can not only add but also remove the existing options in this pop up box.

    To delete the Find option, go to the following registry key:


    Delete Find. DO NOT delete Open else you will not be able to open any folders in the Start Menu like Programs, Accessories etc.

    BMP Thumbnail As Icon

    You can actually change the default BMP icon to a thumbnail version of the actual BMP file. To do this simply go to HKCU\Paint.Picture\Default. In the right pane change the value of default to %1. Please note however that this will slow down the display rate in explorer if there are too many BMP thumbnails to display. You can use other icons too, simply enter the pathname.To restore back to the normal change the vale of default back to: C:\Progra~1\Access~1\MSPAINT.EXE,1.

    Customizing The Shortcut Arrow

    All shortcuts have a tiny black arrow attached to it's icon to distinguish from normal files. This arrow can sometimes be pretty annoying and as a Hacker should know how to change each and everything, here goes another trick. Launch the Registry Editor and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Icons.

    Now, on the right pane is a list of icons ( we found out that on some systems, Windows 98 especially, the right pane is blank. Don't worry, just add the value as required ). Find the value 29. If it isn't there, just add it. The value of this string should be C:\Windows\system\shell32.dll, 29 ( which means the 30th icon in shell32.dll - the first one begins with 0 ). Now, we need blank icon to do this. Just create one with white as the whole icon. Go here to learn how to create an icon. Once done just change the value to C:\xxx.ico, 0 where "xxx" is the full path of the icon file and "0" is the icon in it.

    Now for some fun. If the blank icon is a bit boring, change it again. You will find that under shell32.dll there is a gear icon, a shared folder ( the hand ) and much more. Experiment for yourself!

    Use Perl to Get List or Services Running on your NT box

    Use the following Perl Script to get a list of Services running on your NT system



    use Win32:Tongue Tiedervice;

    my ($key, %service, %status, $part);

    Win32:Tongue Tiedervice::GetServices(' ',\%services);

    foreach $key (sort keys %services) {

    print "Print Name\t: $key, $services{$key}\n";

    Win32:Tongue Tiedervice::GetStatus( ' ',$services{$key};


    foreach $part (keys %status) {

    print "\t$part : $status{$part}\n" if($part eq "CurrentState");




    Internet Explorer Tricks and Tips

    Resizable Full Screen Toolbar

    The Full Screen option increases the viewable area and makes surfing more enjoyable but sometimes we need the Toolbar but also need to have extra viewing area. Now this hack teaches you how to change the size of the Internet Explorer toolbar. This registry hack is a bit complicated as it involves Binary values, so to make it simple, I have included the following registry file which will enable the resizable option of the Internet Explorer toolbar which was present in the beta version of IE.


    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar]






    HACKING TRUTH: Internet Explorer 5 displays the friendly version of HTTP errors like NOT FOUND etc . They are aimed at making things easier for newbies. If you would rather prefer to see the proper error pages for the web server you're using, go to Tools, Internet Options and select the Advanced tab. Then scroll down and uncheck the Show friendly http errors box.


    Making the Internet Explorer & the Explorer Toolbars Fancy

    The Internet Explorer toolbar looks pretty simple. Want to make it fancy and kewl? Why not add a background image to it. To do this kewl hack launch the Windows Registry Editor and go to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\Toolbar\.

    Now in the right pane create a new String Value and name it BackBitmap and modify it's value to the path of the Bitmap you want to dress it up with by rightclicking on it and choosing Modify. When you reboot the Internet Explorer and the Windows Explorer toolbars will have a new look.

    Change Internet Explorer's Caption

    Don't like the caption of Internet Explorer caption? Want to change it? Open the registry editor and go to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.

    In the right pane create a new String Value names Window Title (Note the space between Window and Title). Right click on this newly created String Value and select Modify. Type in the new caption you want to be displayed. Restart for the settings to take place.

    Now let's move on to some Outlook Express Tricks.

    Colorful Background

    Don't like the boring background colors of Outlook Express? To change it launch the Windows Registry Editor and scroll down to the

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Mail And News key.

    On the left pane, click on ColorCycle or select Edit and Modify in the menu. Now change the value to 1. Close and restart. Now, launch Outlook Express and whenever you open up a New Message, hold down ctrl-shift and tap the z key to scroll to change the background color. Repeat the keystroke to cycle through the colors.

    Internet Explorer 5 Hidden Features

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 has several hidden features which can be controlled using the Windows Registry. Open your registry and scroll down to the following key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

    Create a new DWORD value named x(See complete list of values of x below) and modify it's value to 1 to enable it and to 0 to disable it.

    NoBrowserClose : Disable the option of closing Internet Explorer.

    NoBrowserContextMenu : Disable right-click context menu.

    NoBrowserOptions : Disable the Tools / Internet Options menu.

    NoBrowserSaveAs : Disable the ability to Save As.

    NoFavorites : Disable the Favorites.

    NoFileNew : Disable the File / New command.

    NoFileOpen : Disable the File / Open command.

    NoFindFiles : Disable the Find Files command.

    NoSelectDownloadDir : Disable the option of selecting a download directory.

    NoTheaterMode : Disable the Full Screen view option.

    Hacking Secrets

    Almost all system administrators make certain changes and make the system restricted. System Administrators can hide the RUN option, the FIND command, the entire Control Panel, drives in My Computer like D: A: etc. They can even restrict activities of a hacker my disabling or hiding, even the tiniest options or tools.

    Most commonly these restrictions are imposed locally and are controlled by the Windows Registry. But sometimes the smart system administrators control the activities of the hacker by imposing restrictions remotely through the main server.

    Poledit or Policy Editor is a small kewl tool which is being commonly used by system administrators to alter the settings of a system. This utility is not installed by default by Windows. You need to install in manually from the Windows 98 Installation Kit from the Resource Kit folder. user.dat file that we saw earlier.

    The Policy Editor tool imposes restrictions on the user's system by editing the user.dat file which in turn means that it edits the Windows Registry to change the settings. It can be used to control or restrict access to each and every folder and option you could ever think of. It has the power to even restrict access to individual folders, files, the Control Panel, MS DOS, the drives available etc. Sometimes this software does make life really hard for a Hacker. So how can we remove the restrictions imposed by the Policy Editor? Well read ahead to learn more.

    You see the Policy Editor is not the only way to restrict a user's activities. As we already know that the Policy Editor edits the Windows Registry(user.dat) file to impose such restrictions. So this in turn would mean that we can directly make changes to the Windows Registry using a .reg file or directly to remove or add restrictions.

    Launch Regedit and go to the following Registry Key:


    Under this key, there will definitely be a key named explorer. Now under this explorer key we can create new DWORD values and modify it's value to 1 in order to impose the restriction. If you want to remove the Restriction, then you can simply delete the respective DWORD values or instead change their values to 0. The following is a list of DWORD values that can be created under the Explorer Key-:

    NoDeletePrinter: Disables Deletion of already installed Printers

    NoAddPrinter: Disables Addition of new Printers

    NoRun : Disables or hides the Run Command

    NoSetFolders: Removes Folders from the Settings option on Start Menu (Control Panel, Printers, Taskbar)

    NoSetTaskbar: Removes Taskbar system folder from the Settings option on Start Menu

    NoFind: Removes the Find Tool (Start >Find)

    NoDrives: Hides and does not display any Drives in My Computer

    NoNetHood: Hides or removes the Network Neighborhood icon from the desktop

    NoDesktop: Hides all items including, file, folders and system folders from the Desktop

    NoClose: Disables Shutdown and prevents the user from normally shutting down Windows.

    NoSaveSettings: Means to say, 'Don't save settings on exit'

    DisableRegistryTools: Disable Registry Editing Tools (If you disable this option, the Windows Registry Editor(regedit.exe) too

    will not work.)

    NoRecentDocsHistory: Removes Recent Document system folder from the Start Menu (IE 4 and above)

    ClearRecentDocsOnExit: Clears the Recent Documents system folder on Exit.

    Nolnternetlcon: Removes the Internet (system folder) icon from the Desktop

    Under the same key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/CurrentVersion/Policies you can create new subkeys other than the already existing Explorer key. Now create a new key and name it System. Under this new key, system we can create the following new DWORD values(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

    NODispCPL: Hides Control Panel

    NoDispBackgroundPage: Hides Background page.

    NoDispScrsavPage: Hides Screen Saver Page

    NoDispAppearancePage: Hides Appearance Page

    NoDispSettingsPage: Hides Settings Page

    NoSecCPL: Disables Password Control Panel

    NoPwdPage: Hides Password Change Page

    NoAdminPaqe: Hides Remote Administration Page

    NoProfilePage: Hides User Profiles Page

    NoDevMgrPage: Hides Device Manager Page

    NoConfigPage: Hides Hardware Profiles Page

    NoFileSysPage: Hides File System Button

    NoVirtMemPage: Hides Virtual Memory Button

    Similarly, if we create a new subkey named Network, we can add the following DWORD values under it(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

    NoNetSetupSecurityPage: Hides Network Security Page

    NoNelSetup: Hides or disables the Network option in the Control Panel

    NoNetSetupIDPage: Hides the Identification Page

    NoNetSetupSecurityPage: Hides the Access Control Page

    NoFileSharingControl: Disables File Sharing Controls

    NoPrintSharing: Disables Print Sharing Controls

    Similarly, if we create a new subkey named WinOldApp, we can add the following DWORD values under it(1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option):

    Disabled: Disable MS-DOS Prompt

    NoRealMode: Disable Single-Mode MS-DOS.

    So you see if you have access to the Windows Registry, then you can easily create new DWORD values and set heir value to 1 for enabling the particular option and 0 for disabling the particular option. But Sometimes, access to the Windows Registry is blocked. So what do you do? Go to the Windows Directory and delete either user.dat or system.dat (These 2 files constitute the Windows Registry.) and reboot. As soon as Windows logs in, it will display a Warning Message informing you about an error in the Windows Registry. Simply ignore this Warning Message and Press CTRL+DEL+ALT to get out of this warning message.(Do not press OK) You will find that all restrictions have been removed.

    The most kind of restriction found quite commonly is the Specific Folder Restriction, in which users are not allowed access to specific folders, the most common being the Windows folder, or sometimes even access to My Computer is blocked. In effect, you simply cannot seem to access the important kewl files which are needed by you to do remove restrictions. What do you? Well use the RUN command. (START >RUN). But unfortunately a system administrator who is intelligent enough to block access to specific folder, would definitely have blocked access to the RUN command. Again we are stuck.

    Windows is supposed to be the most User Friendly Operating System on earth. (At least Microsoft Says so.)

    It gives the User an option to do the same thing in various ways. You see the RUN command is only the most convenient option of launching applications, but not the only way. In Windows you can create shortcuts to almost anything from a file, folder to a Web URL. So say your system administrator has blocked access to the c:\windows\system folder and you need to access it. What do you do? Simply create a Shortcut to it. To do this right click anywhere on the desktop and select New > Shortcut. A new window titled Create Shortcut pops up. Type in the path of the restricted folder you wish to access, in this case c:\windows\system. Click Next, Enter the friendly name of the Shortcut and then click Finish. Now you can access the restricted folder by simply double clicking on the shortcut icon. Well that shows how protected and secure *ahem Windows *ahem is.

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:44 PM

All replies

  • Thanks for sharing with us...but why dont u use same thread ..
    why u r making new thread for each post....

    Friday, September 28, 2007 6:10 AM
  • ya..it is very useful post........
    Friday, September 28, 2007 12:06 PM
  • Thanx for sharing..

    Friday, September 28, 2007 3:37 PM
  • Some of these tweaks can be done through TUNEUP or PC security.It's very easy to use than this..is it so?
    what others think of this
    Friday, September 28, 2007 4:18 PM
  • I did it so that a single post doesnt become veryyyyyyyyyy long and boring and i also dont know how to create multipage posts on this forum may be u can help me....


    Friday, September 28, 2007 10:49 PM
  • Yes and i do it using that only most of the time.... But one needs to know what happens back stage if one wants to be a playwrit...

    I hope u understand....

    Friday, September 28, 2007 11:13 PM