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nil

Ideas for future service packs

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That in itself I would say is a good idea, but the hard part is getting everyone to agree on what links should or should not go in there.
If only! Unfortunately ssmokee the hardest part seems to be scripting the enabling and (re)positioning of the links toolbar itself as it requires changing numerous bytes within two rather long registry binary strings, and I'm not sure that the position or value of those bytes (or even the keys used) are constant for all Win98SE installs. We're in the fast food age now, so despite only requiring a couple of clicks and a shove to do manually I figure unless this bit gets automated it's unlikely to be used. As to shortcuts, while I reckon there's a number of easy choices as to which could be included by default (like Temp, Quicklaunch, Send To, Links, Start Menu, My Computer, My Documents, Windows, Program Files, System, Fonts, TIF, Favourites, Desktop, Media, Control Panel...) even "best guess" shortcuts would probably be ok as it's the shortcut creation itself that's the off-putting part of the process; it's easier to modify an existing shortcut than to create the shortcut in the first place. A good example of that would be a shortcut to a "Downloads" directory, a directory which most people are likely to have and access fairly frequently. Many seem to use "c:\Downloads" so that would be a reasonable default path to use, though if "c:\Downloads" doesn't exist it's simple enough for the user to either "browse" to the correct directory when the shortcut is first used, or to rename the shortcut and point it to another directory if they don't have a downloads directory. Or of course to simply delete the shortcut. The ordering of the links is likely to be a more difficult choice as the shortcuts are sorted by date. (BTW, as I mentioned previously I've worked out how to create new shortcuts using an .inf file but I haven't yet found a "magic number" for 'Links' [or 'Favorites'] to have them created directly in the 'Links' directory. Unfortunately, while it's possible to use an absolute pathname in "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\LinksFolderName" by default it just reads "Links", consequently the only way I can think of to make certain of the destination is to first check "HKCU\...\LinksFolderName" to see if 'Links' has been relocated or renamed, and if needed [very likely] to then check "HKCU\...\User Shell Folders" for the 'Favorites' path. That all seems like a rather inelegant way to handle the issue; maybe 'if not exist "%windir%\favorites\links\nul" echo Sorry!' is the way to go...)
In the next updated version I make Im just going to set a .reg file on the desktop that will delete the "HKLM\Enum" key to speed things up.

Nice idea, I hadn't considered taking that approach. I'd be interested to know how well it works. To date I've been too lazy to work out how to set up a "hardware neutral" image and so I do clean installs primarily to bypass the possible need to clean out conflicting/foreign hardware related system entries and files. (As to my use of someone's original Windows CD, its an ownership issue more then anything else. Thanks for the link all the same though - awsome site name!) I currently have the "pleasant" task of installing 98SE on a little Aptiva E3Q (Win98) for my sister. She wanted to install XP on that 450MHz "chat box" simply to allow the family to use the latest and greatest chat software. I think the cost of XP swayed her more than any argument I came up with. You can choose your friends,... :)

Is there a good freeware alternative to this?

I found a dos program called "savepart" but have not tried it yet.

azagahl, as I alluded to earlier I use Ranish Partition Manager to handle many of my partition related chores. While I haven't personally used it to do so it has the ability to clone one partition to another (via GUI or commandline) and may well suit your needs. At the least I suggest it might be worth checking out it's home site (www.ranish.com) as it includes a number of useful links to related utilities, sites, and articles.
Actually nil, the Copy To and Move To context menus are slightly better than the SendTo AnyFolder powertoy

erpdude8, "better", as far as usage goes, is a subjective thing, though I accept 'Copy/Move To' may well be functionally more appealing than 'Send To Anyfolder' to most people and I agree with you regarding their inclusion in future service packs. I simply hope that they are made optional, or, if they're enabled by default, that the SP allows for some way to "uninstall" them (mainly for the benefit of those who tremble at the thought of using regedit). 'Copy/Move To' (and 'DOS prompt here' for that matter) are especially suited to the service packs as they can be implemented by a simple registry change (unlike SendToX) and are popular enough to warrant adding. The service pack's front-end (INFEX.EXE) can currently handle more than enough individual options (150, unfortunately no description lines as yet) so the only issues with making things optional is that of running the risk of overwhelming the user (esp. the novice) with too many options (if it gets to that point they may as well run X-setup or the like instead) and the need for a separate .inf file for each option (unless [win9x] inf files can be passed parameters - anyone know if that's possible? I know you can do some pretty nasty scripting within "NT" .inf files but I couldn't manage to get any to work under 9x).

XP Home edition doesn't have EFS.

Apparently there's a number of decent third party alternatives to be had for those willing to Google hard enough - if I recall rightly there's even one listed at tinyapps.org. I say apparently as I haven't tried any myself - I don't own XP or use any NTFS formatted drives, or know anyone willing to let me tinker well enough with theirs (and I get busted when I even look sideways at the XP systems at work :unsure: ).

Here's a few more suggestions for future SP (including .reg snippets).

Maximise the speed of the system menus. The only downside to making this change is that you can't prevent (sub)menus from opening as you move the mouse towards the menu you intend to access (which some may not like) but the net result is a far more responsive menu system:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

"MenuShowDelay"="0"

Enable logging of software faults/system crashes. Saves searching for pen and paper when you want to record the specifics of errors that occur, and having a history of errors to refer to helps to track down future problems. This is low priority as it's do-able via TweakUI (included in SESP 2.0b2). I personally use c:\Faultlog.txt as it makes it easier for me to find the file, but I've also seen some horribly cluttered root directories in my time so the accepted TweakUI default of "c:\Windows\Faultlog.txt" might serve better:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Fault]

"LogFile"="C:\\FAULTLOG.TXT"

An option to increase the size of the icon cache (SESP 2.0 b2 currently [re]sets it to 1024 as a performance tweak), or implementing something like Robert Schumacher's 'Folder Options' icon cache hack (see the PCForrest site for an example):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer]

"Max Cached Icons"="2048"

I hope the silly season treated you all kindly. My heartfelt condolences and warm thoughts go out to those not so fortunate.

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In the next updated version I make Im just going to set a .reg file on the desktop that will delete the "HKLM\Enum" key to speed things up.

Nice idea, I hadn't considered taking that approach. I'd be interested to know how well it works. To date I've been too lazy to work out how to set up a "hardware neutral" image and so I do clean installs primarily to bypass the possible need to clean out conflicting/foreign hardware related system entries and files.

Well I typed out the simple .reg file and tried it out...worked perfectly the first time. Once the final SP2 is out Im going to rebuild the whole image with this .reg file on the desktop.

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