Editing the Windows registry can most easily be accomplished through the REGEDIT program built into Windows. This can be accessed by going to start\run\ and typing ‘regedit.’

Due to the nature of the registry, any changes you make here do not have to be saved. All changes are applied upon restarting the system. This also means that there is no ‘cancel’ button for undoing accidental changes, so make sure you keep careful note of the values you intend to edit.

Registry values are stored in keys which appear as folders in the REGEDIT window. Most of the following instructions will have you add or edit values inside these keys.

When you highlight a key in the left pane, the values stored in it appear in the right pane. To edit a value, right  click it and select ‘modify.’

To add a new value, navigate to the key in which you wish to add the value, right clock it and select ‘new’ then the type of value you wish to create. Generally this will be either a string or DWORD value. Once you have created the value, name it, then right click on it to ‘modify’ its properties.
Backing up and restoring the windows registry
This is an important tip for preserving your system, and an essential introduction to this section of tips. The Windows registry is the central data store for the Windows operating system. It contains all the information and variables that Windows uses to run itself and the programs you install. Editing the registry gives access to a wealth of options that may not be offered to you through the user interface. It also gives you the means to completely mess up your system in the time it takes to reboot.
While restoring a computer with registry problems is now a fair bit more possible thanks to the system restore  
features built into Windows XP, it’s still a good idea to make a backup of your registry before making any changes to it.

To back up the registry, open REGEDIT and ensure that ‘my computer’ is highlighted, then go to file\export.
In this window, you need to enter a location to save the exported registry (as a single file) and choose the type of file to create. Also, check the ‘all’ button at the bottom of the screen to backup the entire registry.

There are several possible file types, but we will focus on one only, as the .reg file type is the easiest to use. A  .reg backup will copy over all changes made to existing portions of the registry when it is restored, while leaving additions to the registry made since the backup untouched.

Select the .reg file type and click ‘save.’
Restoring the registry from this .reg file is a simple matter of locating the file you created, right clicking it and selecting ‘merge.’

1) Hibernating Windows
There are two ways to hibernate windows. One–>Open Task Manager and then click shutdown tab and click hibernate. Second Hidden Method id to Simply click Turn Off From Start Menu and Press Shift when the small box appears. Notice Standby changes to HIBERNATE.

2)Speed Up your performance in Windows XP
Some people find Windows XP slow and some find it good. But the simple way to boost up your XP is simply right click»»my computer »» click properties »» Advanced »» settings in perfomance »» Adjust for best performance.
Wait and watch. If you common tasks have gone (the boxes in each folder then go again there and check »» USE COMMON TASKS IN FOLDER.

3) Speed up your Booting
Just edit boot.ini and remove the /fastdetect word. Another way id press win+R. Type msconfig click startup tab. End the processes you do not want. Also do the same with services tab. If BITS is started please turn it off.

4) No Messenger
Tired of MSN messenger, even after disabling it, but do not want to remove it. Simply go to C:Program Files and Rename Messenger folder to Died Messenger. And if you use outlook express, It(messenger) will not start untill yo invoke it to stat.

5) Do Not Highlight Newly Installed Programs
Tired of that annoying little window that pops up to tell you that new software is installed? If it gets in the way when you’re logging off, turn it off completely. To do this:

Click Start, right-click at the top of the Start menu where your name is displayed, and then click Properties.
In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, on the Start Menu tab, click Customize.
Click the Advanced tab, and then clear the Highlight newly installed programs check box. Click OK, and then click OK again.

6) Turn Off Automatic Updating.
Some people might have thought that after using pirated XP copy and Connecting to the INTERNET their copy becomes some slower. So just turn off Live Update.

How to Turn Off Automatic Updates?
Click Start , click Control Panel , and then double-click System.
Click the Automatic Updates tab, and then click Turn off automatic updating. I want to update my computer manually.

7) Using the Ultimate Configuration Tool (Professional Edition Only)
One of the most full featured Windows XP configuration tools available is hidden right there in your system, but most people don’t even know it exists. It’s called the Local Group Policy Editor, or gpedit for short. It just like old Poledit.exe.

To start this editor:

Select Start and then Run, then type the following: gpedit.msc
After you hit Enter, you’ll be greeted by gpedit, which lets you modify almost every feature in Windows XP without having to go to regedit.

8) Login in Administrator
Its very easy to bypass the windows XP Admin logon window. When u started yr computer , u got a message something like this:

Admin or (whatever u make a account!!!)
Password: ….. XXX XXXX………
some people think that its impossible to break through this, but through this article u can make it easy to break this cripy.

In order to break the Windows XP admin logon , you simply boot yr computer through Windows 2000 CD and boot up a windows XP box and start windows 2000 recivery Console, its a troubleshooting program.
Windows XP then allows us to operate victim’s computer as an Administrator without a admin password, even if the Administrator account has a strong password. You can also operate other user accounts that may be present on, even if those accounts have passwords. Finally u can do anything u want on the victim’s computer, copy/delete the files whatever u want.

9) Remove program from your desktop
Whenever you have to remove any software/package/program you have to go to control panel then add/remove programe and for that either go to my computer or start menu. My way is the sleekest one.

All you have to do is make a new shortcut on ur desktop and set its target to “control.exe appwiz.cpl” there id space between control.exe and appwiz.cpl and write without quotes. this simply would launch Addremove programs wizard.

10) Shutdown Button on Desktop
Right click on ur Desktop and create new Shortcut and type “C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32Shutdown.exe –s” without quotes in the popup box which will appear asking for a path of shortcut . Now when u will double click this shortcut it will give u shutdown message and ur computer will shutdown after some seconds. U can customize ur shutdown button with same icon which original shutdown have Just go to the properties of ur shortcut and click change icon tab select any icon u like and click apply.

Similarly u can also put restart button on ur desktop just replace –s in above line by –r
If u don’t want shutdown button on ur desktop u can the go to start > run and type Shutdown –s or –r they will do the same job. If someone tries to shutdown u remotely on the net then u can stop shutdown process but typing shutdown –a in Run.

Shutdown –s = Shutdown & restart
Shutdown –r = Restart
Shutdown –a = To abort shutdown

11) Remove Hibernation File
If you do not use hibernation, make sure you do not have it enabled, which reserves disk space equal to your RAM. If you have a hidden file on the root directory of your C-drive called hiberfil.sys, hibernation is enabled. To remove that file:

Go to Control Panel, select Performance and Maintenance, Power Options, Hibernate tab, and uncheck the Enable hibernation box.

12) Free some disk space with XP and some fast.
If you have NTFS partistions then you should stop the indexing service. This service slows your navigation of files. Whenever you click the file the XP adds that to its database for quick search. To turn it off select your all hard disks. Then right click and go to properties. And uncheck “Allow indexing service check Box”.

13) Turn Off AND On System Restore.
The system Restore option is useful for some people but for most people its a sheer wastage of RAM and HDD. So according to me it should be turned off. To Change system restore settings Press Win Key + Pause/Break Key (near num lock). Go to System Restore. and change your settings.

14) Prevent XP from Unauthorised Access
This is the best way to prevent un authorised access while connected to the internet. Go to my computer properties, and select Remote tab. Uncheck Both the Check Boxes. This help you to prevent your computer  from unauthorized access, while connected to the net.

15) Change Drive Letters in Windows XP
When you add drives to your computer, such as an extra hard drive, a CD drive, or a storage device that corresponds to a drive, Windows automatically assigns letters to the drives. However, this assignment might not suit your system; for example, you might have mapped a network drive to the same letter that Windows assigns to a new drive. When you want to change drive letters, follow these steps:

Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
Under Computer Management, click Disk Management. In the right pane, you’ll see your drives listed.

CD-ROM drives are listed at the bottom of the pane.
Right-click the drive or device you want to change, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Click Change, click Assign the following drive letter, click the drive letter you want to assign, and then click OK.

16) Run safely any of downloaded EXE’s.
When ever you download or copy any EXE, do not execute it straight first scan it, and then right click that exe and select Run as and then Select the current user option alongwith, protection option. This is usefull in some cases.

17) Change the Default Opening Folder in Windows Explorer
By default, Windows Explorer opens showing the My Documents folder. To change the default setting so that all top–level drives and folders are shown, follow these steps:

Click Start > Programs > Accessories, then right–click Windows Explorer, and click Properties.
Under Target field, which reads %SystemRoot%explorer.exe, add to make the line read:
%SystemRoot%explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:
Click OK.

18) Identify a 16-bit Program
Use Windows Explorer to open the folder that contains the program’s executable (.exe) file. Right-click the .exe file, and then click Properties. A 16-bit program does not have a Version tab in this dialog box.

19) Use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP
To start the Desktop Cleanup Wizard:
Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
In Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes under Pick a category.
Under or pick a Control Panel icon , click Display. The Display Properties dialog box is displayed.

In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Desktop tab, and then click Customize Desktop. The Desktop Items dialog box is displayed.
Under Desktop cleanup , click to clear the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days check box if you do not want the Desktop Cleanup Wizard to automatically start every 60 days.
Click Clean Desktop Now. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard starts.

20) Remove Unwanted Shortcuts
In the Welcome to the Desktop Cleanup Wizard dialog box, click Next. In the Shortcuts dialog box, a list of shortcuts are displayed in the Shortcut to Clean Up list. The shortcuts that you click are removed from the desktop and placed in the Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder on the Windows desktop.

If you do not want a shortcut to be removed from the desktop, click to clear the check box for that shortcut, and then click Next when you are finished.In the Completing the Desktop Cleanup Wizard dialog box, view the items in the Shortcuts box to confirm that you want them removed from the desktop, and then click Finish. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard moves the selected shortcuts to the Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder and then quits.

21) How to Pause or Resume Downloading (BUILT IN DAP)
After the download process has started, you can pause or resume downloading at any time. If you close your Internet connection or restart your computer after pausing a download process, Windows automatically resumes the download process the next time you are connected to the Internet. During the download process, click the icon that is displayed in the notification area, and then click Pause.

When you are ready for Windows to start downloading again, click the Automatic updating icon, and then click Resume. Restore an Update that You Previously Declined. If you decide not to download a specific update, you can prompt Windows Update to offer that update again.
Click Start , click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
Click the Automatic Updates tab, and then click Restore Declined Updates. {EXTRACTS BY mr.xp}

22) Editing explorer in windows xp
Editing explore in windows xp is very easy with available tools its not as difficult like old dos based tedious method here u need just one tool called RESOURCE HACKER.

It is a resource viewer it will show u Resources in any 32bit Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 executable files (including exe’s, dll’s, ocx’s and cpl’s) . ok go in to ur windows directory and find explorer.exe and make its two copies name them As explorer_1 and explorer_2 .exe respectively and keep them in windows folder only. We will edit explorer_1 and will keep explorer_2 as backup copy if anything goes wrong.
Open explorer_1.exe in resource hacker and go to String table and edit whatever u want to even u can change start button by ur name or anything else. After editing even a single word do not forget to click the COMPILE button.

Change icon or u can change animated message such as when u install a new programs so when u go to all programs a animated message comes “New Program Installed” u can change it by ur sentence etc. now we have edited the explore_1 now go To File menu in Resource hacker and save it as explorer_1.exe it will ask u that explorer_1.exe is already present do u want to replace it, click YES.
Now we have our edited explorer. Now restart ur computer in safe mode with command prompt by pressing F8 during booting process . Now we will copy explorer_1.exe on explorer.exe by typing command Copy C:windowsexplorer_1.exe C:windowsexplorer.exe.
Now restart ur computer and what u will seeing that u r working with ur edited explorer. If anything goes wrong than just copy explorer_2.exe on explorer.exe by same process. {EXTRACTS BY MR.XP}

23) Customize Windows Media Player Title Bar
Change the title bar to read Windows Media Player provided by , so if I had entered text ‘Chris’ , it would read: Windows Media Player provided by Chris
[Start] [Run] [Regedit]

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER | Software | Policies | M*cro$oft
Create the Key [WindowsMediaPlayer]
Create String value named [TitleBar]
Data Type: REG_SZ // Value Name: TitleBar
Double click TitleBar and Enter the text to be displayed in the title bar.
Exit Registry / Reboot.

24) Increase Menu Display Speed
When you click on the Start Menu there is some delay to display the contents , just for no reason.
Effects are pretty though. The default speed can be adjusted with a quick registry entry.
The default value is 400. Set it to 0 and the delay is gone. If you are not able to adjust pick a number that suits your style and make the change.
[Start] [Run] [Regedit]

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER | Control Panel | Desktop
Modify/Create String value of Data type REG_SZ Named [MenuShowDelay]
Value Data: [Default = 400 / Adjust to Preference]
Exit Registry / Reboot

That's It for this part.. Read another one for more tweaks.. :)