Windows 2000 Tips and Tricks


-To define a home page for user accounts : Open Active Directory Users And Computers. Select the Users folder. In the details pane, right-click on a user account for which you want to define a home page and choose Properties. On the General tab of the user's Properties dialog box, enter the address of the user's home page in the Web Page text box. Click OK to save your changes. To view a user's home page, right-click on the user's account in Active Directory Users And Computers and choose Open Home Page.  


-To email users or groups: Select the first user to which you want to send email. Hold down the [Ctrl] key and select the other accounts to which you want to send email. Finally, right-click on a selected user or group and choose Send Mail. If you're using Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, each user and group's email address will be automatically defined.


-To determine which domain controller is the PDC emulator: In the console tree, right-click on your domain and choose Operations Masters. Select the PDC tab. You'll see the fully-qualified domain name of the domain controller that is acting as the PDC emulator listed in the Operations Master text box.  


-To assign the role of the PDC emulator to a different domain controller: Begin by logging on at the domain controller to which you want to assign the PDC emulator role. Next, open Active Directory Users And Computers. Right-click on your domain and choose Operations Masters. Select the PDC tab. To move the role to your current domain controller, click Change. Make the necessary changes, and then click OK.  


-To access the Administrative Tools in Windows 2000 Professional: Double-click on the Administrative Tools icon within Control Panel. You will see a window with shortcuts for all the Windows 2000 Administrative Tools.  


-To prevent Windows 2000 from adding shortcuts to My Network Places: First, open your existing group policy (or create a new one if you don't have a group policy). Next, below User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates and then select Desktop. In the details pane, double-click on Do Not Add Shares Of Recently Opened Documents To My Network Places. Select Enabled, and then click OK.  


-To troubleshoot the offline files cache: If the offline files cache on a user's computer becomes corrupted, the user typically sees the following error message whenever he attemp ts to synchronize an offline file with the server copy: "Unable to merge offline changes on\\server_name\share_name. The parameter is incorrect." The offline files cache is stored in the %SystemRoot%\CSC folder, and it's possible to corrupt the cache if the user modifies the files (or the folder i ts elf) directly. In this scenario, your best bet is to delete the files in the cache by using the Offline Files viewer and then attempt to resynchronize the files. To delete the files, open Windows Explorer and choose Tools | Folder Options. Select the Offline Files tab and then click View Files. You now see a list of all offline files stored on the user's computer. Delete the copies of the files stored in this folder. Next, attempt to synchronize the files by choosing Tools |Synchronize, and then click Synchronize. If after completing the synchronization the user is still experiencing errors, you can reset the offline files cache in Windows Explorer by choosing Tools | Folder Options. Select the Offline Files tab. Press [Ctrl][Shift], and then click Delete Files. Windows 2000 will now reinitialize the offline files cache on the user's computer. Click Yes to continue. When the process is complete click Yes again to restart the computer. The user should now be able to access and synchronize offline files with your server.  


-To identify when your server synchronizes i ts time with an external time source: Open Registry Editor and navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters. Choose Edit | Add Value. In the Value Name text box, type Log. >From the Data Type dropdown list, select REG_DWORD and then click OK. In the Data text box, type 64 and click OK. Next, choose Edit | Add Value again. Use WriteLog for the Value Name. From the Data Type dropdown list, verify that REG_SZ is selected and then click OK. In the String text box, type True and click OK again. Next, stop and restart the Windows Time service. You'll now be able to determine the status of time synchronization by examining the System log in Event Viewer.  


-To use the registry to determine which Group Policy Objec ts are applied to a user and computer: Open Registry Editor. If you want to view a remote computer's registry, choose Registry | Select Computer. In the Computer text box, type the name of the computer and then click OK. Next, to view the Group Policy Objec ts applied to the user, navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\History. To view the Group Policy Objec ts applied to the computer, navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\History. In both of these keys, you'll find other keys that represent the Group Policy Objec ts applied to the user or computer. Within these keys, you'll find numbered keys that indicate the order in which specific group policies were applied. For example, a key name of 0 indicates that this policy was applied first when the user logged on, and a key name of 1indicates that this policy was applied next, and so on. Within each of the numbered keys, you'll find values that identify the group policy applied to the user or computer. For example, the DisplayName gives you the user-friendly name of the Group Policy Object. The GPOLink value enables you to determine to what scope the GPO applied, as follows: 

1 = The GPO is linked to a computer.
2 = The GPO is linked to a site.
3 = The GPO is linked to a domain.
4 = The GPO is linked to an organizational unit.  

-To manually force Windows to generate a STOP error: Begin by opening Registry Editor. Next, access the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters. Choose Edit | Add Value. In the Value Name text box, type CrashonCtrlScroll. From the Data Type dropdown list, select REG_DWORD, and then click OK. In the Data text box, type 1 and click OK again. Close Registry Editor and restart the computer. Next, configure Windows 2000 so that it will generate a memory.dmp file (if necessary). In Control Panel, double-click on System. Select the Advanced tab, and then click Startup And Recovery. From the Write Debugging Information dropdown list, verify that Complete Memory Dump is selected. In the Dump File text box, specify the location in which you want Windows 2000 to store the memory.dmp file. Click OK twice to save your changes. Finally, force Windows 2000 to stop responding and dump the conten ts of memory into the memory.dmp file by pressing [Ctrl][Scroll Lock] twice.  

-To use Netdiag to detect and repair networking problems: Begin by opening a Command Prompt window. Next, enter Netdiag | more. You now see the following information:

-Computer name, DNS host name
-The version of Windows installed
-Type of processor
-A list of installed hotfixes
-IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server addresses
-The resul ts of Netdiag's testing of componen ts such as the local area connection, default gateway, domain membership, DNS, and even the computer's modem.

If Netdiag detec ts a problem with DNS or with accessing the domain controller, you can enter the command Netdiag /fix to attempt to resolve these problems. If the problem is with DNS and you're working on a domain controller, running Netdiag /fix will check all the DNS entries in the Netlogon.dns file. If Netdiag detec ts any errors, it will correct them.


-To move the offline files cache on a client computer (2000 Professional): The Windows 2000 Resource Kit includes a utility, Cachemov.exe, which enables you to move the folder in which Windows 2000 stores i ts offline copies of files to a different location. When you use the Cachemov.exe utility, it moves the CSC folder to the new partition or disk you select; it then hides this folder.  


-To administer multiple user accoun ts simultaneously (2000 Server): In Active Directory Users And Computers, right-click on your domain and choose Find. From the Find dropdown list, select Custom Search. From the In dropdown list, select Entire Directory. From the Field dropdown list, select User | Logon Name. In the Value text box, type *. Click Find Now to display a list of all user accoun ts . When you see the list of all user accoun ts , you can then select the user accoun ts you want to modify. Right-click and then choose the appropriate task you want to perform on these user accoun ts from the shortcut menu.  


-To shut down Windows 2000 in an emergency:
Begin by pressing [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] to display the Windows Security dialog box. Next, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click Shut Down. Click OK to confirm that you want to perform an emergency shutdown of the computer. Be aware that when you perform an emergency shutdown, you won't be prompted to save any open documen ts . To avoid losing your work, make sure that you save anything you're currently working on (if possible) before performing an emergency shutdown.


-To restore an accidentally deleted domain controller computer account:
Begin by completing the following tasks on the orphaned domain controller: 1) Start Windows 2000. When prompted, press [F8] to display the Startup menu. From the Startup menu, choose Directory Services Restore Mode; 2) Restore the System State data from a backup that you completed prior to the deletion of the domain controller's computer account; 3) Open a Command Prompt window and enter ntdsutil; 4) Enter authoritative restore; 5) Enter restore subtree "cn=domain_controller,ou=Domain Controllers,dc=domain_name,dc=top_level_domain_name". In this syntax, replace domain_controller with the name of the domain controller. Replace domain_name with the name of the domain in which the deleted domain controller resides. Replace top_level_domain_name with the top level name of the domain in which the domain controller resides (such as com); 6) Enter quit twice; 7) Enter exit; 8) Restart the domain controller. After you've completed the above steps on the deleted domain controller, repeat these steps on all other domain controllers in your domain.  


-To prevent users from installing unsigned drivers:
Begin by logging on as an administrator. Next, open Control Panel and double-click on System. Select the Hardware tab and then click Driver Signing. Below File Signature Verification, select the Block – Prevent Installation Of Unsigned Files option. Verify that the Apply Setting As System Default check box is selected and then click OK. Click OK again to close the System Properties dialog box.