Archive for March, 2011


Re-installing Windows XP sounds after removal (Download)

March 20, 2011

So you removed XP sounds from nLite then realized… oh, crap, I have no sounds? Fear not.

Spent way too much time compiling this. Extract, right click winsnd.inf, choose “Install”, then go select “Windows Default” in your sounds control panel. Voila. Sound.

Extracted from XP SP3.


How to switch Windows XP HAL _BACK_ from Standard PC to ACPI (the clean way)

March 19, 2011

Awh man… a whole bunch of bad information on the internet about this. You don’t need to re-install the OS. Hell, you don’t even have to hack (and hence, un-sign) the hal.inf or machine.inf files. Using a little knowledge of the way Device Manager identifies devices (and hence, locks them into their supported hardware IDs), you can trick it into allowing you to “update” to the ACPI HAL and kernel.

Of course, on an unsupported system, this may just BSOD you forever, then you’ll be pretty much hosed since your ntoskrnl.exe, ntkrnlpa.exe, and hal.dll will have been replaced with ACPI versions – something “Last Known Good configuration” will not help you with. So BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN your system supports ACPI mode (e.g. “oh crap, I switched to Standard PC and now I can’t get out!”) before changing this.

Not even gonna give that “omg registry editing is dangerous” BS, because every geek should know their way around the registry. But this is another good place to mention: you could f’ing hose your system if you do this. I’m actually in the process of re-installing Windows on the PC I tried this on right now, because it’s a 266MHz Pentium II laptop with 64mb RAM, originally Win95, far from ACPI. The most recent BIOS update (in 2001) provided ACPI compatibility, so I figured I’d give it a try. Since it was installed with the Standard PC HAL (no ACPI), it installed all its hardware support under that key. So, it just BSOD-looped me (0x7b, curiously enough – couldn’t find the HDC driver?), and since 64mb isn’t enough to load MiniXP, and the HDD is too old to work with a USB-adapter, I’m screwed. Meh, I just installed it an hour ago anyway.

  1. Regedit. Browse to:
  2. Right click the 0000 key and choose “Permissions…”.
  3. Check the “Full Control” checkbox for “Everyone”. This allows you to edit this next value…
  4. Open the “HardwareID” value and change it from “e_isa_up” to “acpipic_up” (followed by one line break, the cursor should be on the line directly under “acpipic_up”).
  5. Open Device Manager, open the “Computer” key, right-click “Standard PC”, and select “Update Driver”.
  6. You’ll pick from a list, don’t search, answer accordingly.
  7. Select the ACPI entry, which will now be shown in the Compatible Hardware list (joy!), thanks to the reg-tweak.
  8. Once again, if you actually CONTINUE with this, and your system is NOT originally an ACPI system, it very well may make it unbootable.
  9. Select “Next” and let the new HAL install.
  10. Reboot, and you’re done! Enjoy your ability to select the multi-processor HAL once again if you were curiously poking around. Since hal.inf locks you into only “compatible” HALs, you can now update again and select Multi-Processor PC if your system supports it, then you’ll have multi-cores again.

Hope this helps more people than it harms… please be careful with this. I’ll update this if that reinstall works and ACPI mode works after all… there might just be more stuff I need to tweak to make it work right. Not entirely clear on how the device-driver handling works… seems very strange that I would get a 0x7b BSOD instead of an ACPI-based BSOD… that tells me it’s not finding the HDC that it just booted with 10 minutes ago. That is, perhaps something is screwy with the hardware IDs it’s now detecting. I’ll look into it… but this should work for anyone that switched from ACPI to Standard PC and now needs a way back 😉


FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD/USB 4.5

March 12, 2011


(sheesh, people? I need to put up a big bold highlighted flag saying to look for the latest version?)

At last, for your enjoyment… the latest version of FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD has arrived. V4.5 may be just a 0.5 version bump, but there is so much good stuff in here, lots of changes and lots of cool new toys to play with.

In this boot CD are the most popular and useful tools anyone would ever need. The best of the free software, the best of the commercial software, and it all fits on one CD-R that’s readable by any computer worth booting on. Not everything can read a DVD, and USB booting is hit and miss at best.

It’s been a long time. How have you been? Things have changed since we last met… I got myself a corporate IT job, still doing computer repair on the side. But being a side thing, kinda has its pros and cons. On one hand I don’t have constant first-hand experience using the disc anymore. On the other hand, I can also take a step back and look at it from a designer’s point of view… how well does it work? What does it do good, what’s bad, what could be done better? How can I make this the ULTIMATE BOOT CD it claims to be?

This disc, a minor half-version revision, is the answer to those questions. Scoured through every option, considered the usefulness of some tools, added others, collaborated with users over Facebook, gutted some functions and built others. A launcher here, a script there, and about 1,500 WIM captures. I imagine I went through some 20 ISO re-burns, 150 virtual machine boots, 200 VHD mount/unmounts… I can’t even count how much time has been put into polishing this thing. All for the love of making computer repair accessible to anyone that wants it.

Of note… let’s see here. Virtual Floppy enables you to mount images from your USB stick to be used in a boot selection like MiniXP (for F6 SATA/RAID drivers) or DR-DOS (BIOS flashing). VFD with file copy allows you to make a <1mb RAR file accessible to DR-DOS or Hiren’s DOS in a virtual floppy. Wireless drivers in MiniXP along with improved Ethernet and storage support. Mini Linux provided by RIP Linux. Bootable partition and imaging utilities provided by Acronis True Image and EASEUS Partition Manager. Improved Memtest86+ with failsafe mode to resolve startup hangs. Kon-Boot 1.1 is really v1.1 now, with support for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Tons of new utilities in MiniXP with new launchers to provide easier access. ERD 5.0 is integrated with MiniXP for offline system restore and service/driver management, and Microsoft DaRT 6.5 (x86 and x64) are added to support Windows Vista and 7. Antivirus scanning with real-time updates is provided by DaRT 6.5’s Standalone System Sweeper, and allows you to load definitions to a USB stick for live updating.

This ain’t yo mama’s BartPE compilation.

Based on Hiren’s BootCD 13.0 Rebuild by DLC, minus some unnecessary clutter.

  • MiniXP gutted and rebuilt with new, flexible on-disc scripting, for easy mods.
  • Active File Recovery 7.5.1
  • CCleaner 3.04CPU-Z 1.57
  • HWMonitor 1.17
  • MS DaRT 5 / ERD Commander 2005 utilities
  • HD Tune Pro 4.60
  • ImgBurn
  • Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder 2.0.8
  • MyDefrag 4.3.1 with FullOptimize script
  • NirSoft collection 3/1/2011, now with 90% fewer antivirus false alarms
  • SoftPerfect Network Scanner 5.1.2
  • TreeSize Personal 5.4.4
  • Firefox Portable 3.6.14
  • SpinRite 6.0 (under DOS -> Hard Disk Tools)
  • Shiny graphics that make the room smell nicer

And of course, a slew of utilities from Hiren’s disc, some updated, including:EzPcFix, Acronis Disk Director, ATF Cleaner, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware updated 3/7/2011, Bulk Rename Utility, Combofix updated 3/2/2011, Defraggler, Speccy, Content Advisor Password Remover, Recuva, Diskview, Filemon, Regmon, Procmon, DriveImageXML, GetDataBack, Recover My Files, Ghost32 11.5.1, ISOBuster, GImageX (ImageX GUI), SUPERAntiSpyware, IrfanView, NTPWEdit, Partition Magic, TeraCopy, TightVNC Server/Viewer, Unstoppable Copier, Victoria, MHDD, WinRAR, and 7-Zip

MD5: 225435D19B1D134892BD2057C5F4490F
SHA-1: 6980D5906295AF28475260FEE9395D4D35E3DFB8


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