Win9x Registry Tweaks
29 Nov 2004 @ 10:08AM

Updated: 28 Jan 2010 @ 10:09AM
Welcome to my first tweaking guide. In this issue, I'll be covering a couple little registry hacks. These have been tested on a couple 98se boxes, and the hacks SHOULD work on 98 first edition and probably 95 and ME. Before we launch into it, however, I need to go over a couple things right quick.


Hacking the registry is dangerous work. The registry is the brain of windows. If you mess up enough, windows will DIE DIE DIE! As a result, to protect yourself and the (already) fragile windows, be sure to back up the registry before doing ANY tweaks. Running scanreg /backup should work, but I'd highly recommend you check out the windows/regedit help files. If you misstep and delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, don't blame me or whine or demand me to fix it for you when windows won't boot up anymore. Tweaking the registry was YOUR idea...I'm just giving you more information. FYI, if you touch the registry, noone, including microsoft, will fix windows. They'll just have you reinstall windows and more than likely wipe your harddrive in the process. If you have very little computer experience, hacking the registry is NOT for you. This is meant basically for the gurus in the world.

Alright, having said that, let's begin, shall we?
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This first tweak is kind of neat, but nothing ungodly. None of these tweaks are, actually. At any rate, if you have windows logon or Microsoft logon enabled (ie, if you have a login prompt before getting to the desktop) this tweak may be of interest. What it does is pop up a dialog box with your choice of heading and text that must be ok'd before a user may log in. Your choice means anything you want (for the thicker people out there). I'm not sure what the maximum number of characters is, but I wouldn't want to put a novel. A one word heading and a one-sentence message would be most appropriate.

First thing is to go to start|run and open regedit. This is windows' built-in registry editor, and it functions just fine for what it does. Once there, you need to go to the following key;


Just to cover all bases, to do that, you find hkey_local_machine in the list on the left and hit the plus next to it. Then you find software beneath it, and hit the plus next to that. All the way until you find Winlogon, which doesn't have a plus next to it at all. Clicking on Winlogon will cause values to pop up on the right. In my case, the only value was (Default) with no value set. At this point, you need to add a new key on the right side. Right click in the white area on the right of the screen and select new --> string value.
A new key will show up with the ability to change it's name. Names are totally space and case sensitive, so be sure to type it EXACTLY as shown below.


Now double-click on this new key. The blank space that says "value data" will be the heading for your dialog box. If you mess up, you can reedit both the name and the value by right-clicking on the key and choosing the appropriate choice. I'm sure you can figure that out on your own.
Now right click on the white area again and, once more, choose a new string value. This one will be called (once again case/space sensitive);


Double-click and add the text to your dialog box. After you finish, if you want to check out your handiwork, just close down regedit (no need to save, it does that automatically) and restart the computer. As a note, all registry hacks require the computer to be rebooted...or at least the registry to be reloaded. I'll leave that for another tutorial.

This is what it should look like

And there you have the first hack. Not too bad, right? Right!
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I'll assume you read the top instructions, so you know how to open regedit and navigate the keys, as well as creating new values, so I'll not go through all that again. This next tweak involves something rather trivial. Do you have a network login box that pops up everytime you boot windows and are tired of it? But for some reason you can't remove the clients or change the primary network logon? (I don't know why you would do this, but whatever, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, well, skip this tweak). The following tweak completely disables the network login box. I'm not sure if it just affects client for microsoft networks login, or every one. All I know is some OEM boxes come with this key, and deleting it is the only way to get the logon to work. Here's where it is;

hkey_local_machinesoftwaremicrosoftwindowscurrentVersionnetworkreal mode net

Navigate down to that key and check the real mode net subkey. If you're trying to ENABLE network logins, look for a value of AutoLogon 00. This is the offensive key. DELETE it, and all is well.

If, for some reason, you WANT to disable network logins, then you add that key. A value of 00 implies that it's a BINARY value, not a string, that you need to add. And that does it for reg tweak number two.

this is what the key looks like
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This next tweak can actually be pretty handy. This is how to disable the content advisor that's built into Internet Explorer. If someone (or you) turned this advisor on, then forgot the password (or forgot to tell other people what the password was), a quick foray into the registry can fix the issue. Delete a single key and you're back online.
The key in question is located here;


Just highlight that Ratings key (yes, highlight the key on the left-hand side) and DELETE! After a reboot (or reg reload) everything is peachy once more. Very handy, very easy.

Content Advisor
And finally, the most fun of the registry tweaks. You know, at the top of Internet Explorer, it has the name of the page, followed by "Internet Explorer provided by ...."? Well, did you know you can change that to anything you want to? Yes sir! Just whip out regedit.
This one's fairly easy, just navigate on down to the following registry key;


Highlight the main, and on the right add a string value named Window Title. Note the space, it's very important. The value of this, once you supply it, will make your IE say anything you want to. To pop it back to normal, just delete the key, but who would want to do that? This is a great way to mess with people's minds...subtle enough, yet obvious enough that they would eventually notice it. heheh. Next I need to figure out how to replace the throbber (you know, the little picture in the top right that spins when you're pulling something up).

IE provided by...

And that does it for this entry. I hope you found it informative and possibly even interesting. Watch for further reg tweaks in the near future.
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