Windows 2000 Registry Tweaks

By Michael Otey

In the June 2000 Top 10, I shared my favorite Windows NT registry tweaks. In this companion-piece Top 10, I share my favorite Windows 2000 registry tweaks. Although many Windows NT tricks translate to Windows 2000, some don't or require slightly different procedures.

This article is from the April 2001 issue of Windows 2000 Magazine.

Top 10

10. Delete roaming profiles. When a user who has a roaming profile logs off a workstation, a copy of the roaming profile remains, consuming space on the local hard disk. To delete cached profiles at logoff, go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon subkey and set the DeleteRoamingCache value to 1.

9. Add a prelogon dialog box to display a user greeting or an authorized users only warning. To alter the welcome dialog box, go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon subkey and change the LegalNoticeText value to a string such as This is the corporate ACME server. To set the dialog box's title bar, change the LegalNoticeCaption value to a string such as Unauthorized access prohibited.

8. Add a Copy To folder option to Windows Explorer's context menu. Through regedit, go to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \AllFilesystemObjects \shellex \ContextMenuHandlers subkey. From the Edit menu, select New, Key. Type Copy To, and press Enter. Go to the new Copy To key, double-click the (Default) value, and set the value to {C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}.

7. Disable CD-ROM AutoRun. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Services Cdrom subkey and set the AutoRun value to 0.

6. Speed up your Start menu and taskbar. You can reduce the time that the Start menu takes to display its submenus. Go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Control Panel\Desktop subkey and set the MenuShowDelay value to 100.

5. Don't display the most recent username. On shared systems, I prefer to turn off the display of the most recent logon name. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows NT\Current-Version\Winlogon subkey and set the DontDisplayLastUserName value to 1.

4. Open a command prompt from the current Windows Explorer location. Use regedit to navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \Folder \shell. Select Edit, New, Key, and enter CmdPrompt in the dialog box. Double-click (Default), and enter the name that you want to display when you right-click the directory (e.g., Command Prompt Here). Then, select Edit, New, Key and enter a key under CmdPrompt named command (in lowercase). Double-click (Default) and enter the path to your cmd.exe program, followed by "%L" (e.g., C:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe /k cd "%L").

3. Change My Computer to the actual computer name and username. Open regedt32 and go to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \CLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} subkey. Copy the contents of the key's LocalizedString subkey (e.g., @C:\\WINNT\\system32\\shell32.dll,-9216@1033,My Computer) to Notepad. Delete the LocalizedString subkey, then recreate it using the data type REG_EXPAND_SZ. Copy Notepad's contents into the new subkey, and change My Computer to %username% on %computername%.

2. Prevent users from changing My Computer. After you rename My Computer, use regedt32 to change the access permissions on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Classes \CLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} subkey. Remove Everyone:Full Control, and add Authenticated Users:Read.

1. Remove My Computer from the desktop. Simply delete the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \CLSID{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B 30309D} subkey. Be sure to first use regedit's Export Registry File option to save this subkey, in case you ever want to restore My Computer.

About the Author

Michael Otey is a senior technical editor for Windows 2000 Magazine and president of TECA, a software-development and consulting company in Portland, Oregon. He is coauthor of SQL Server 7 Developer's Guide (Osborne/McGraw-Hill). You can reach him at

For More Information

The above article is courtesy of Windows 2000 Magazine. Click here to subscribe to Windows 2000 Magazine.

Click to order