How To Use Regedit

reg-icon Windows stores its configuration settings in a database called the registry. These settings are constantly modified by the many different programs running in Windows. Users can also make changes to the registry by using the Windows registry editor, regedit. Making changes to the registry is a common way to correct problems and change the way Windows looks and acts.

However, making the wrong registry changes can cripple your Windows system. So before you start hacking away with regedit, you should learn a little about it. This tutorial will explain some of the features in regedit and tell you how to use it safely.

Backing up the registry

Back up the registry before you make changes. One convenient way to do this is to use Windows System Restore. Here’s how to use System Restore. Another method for backing up the Windows registry is using a free utility named ERUNT, and here is how ERUNT works. Make sure you understand one of these methods before going any further.

Launching regedit

Unlike most other system tools, regedit will not appear in any of your menus when you click the Start button. That means you’ll have to launch it some other way. I’ll tell you how to start it using the Run dialog.

To bring up the Run dialog, hold down the Windows key and tap the R key.

winkey r

Now type regedit into the command entry box and click OK.


Using Regedit

Once launched, regedit will pop up pretty quickly. Here’s what it looks like:


First, I’ll mention that you can see a Helpmenu in regedit and you’ll find plenty of information in it that I won’t cover in this tutorial.

The navigation pane (on the left) is showing the 5 main hivekeys, which always start with the word HKEY. To navigate deeper into the registry, you need to click on the plus (+) signs next to a hive key. The same applies the further into registry you go. Once you click on a plus, it will display all the sub-keys under that key and the plus will change into a minus (-) sign. Clicking on the minus sign will collapse the structure back to the way it was.

In the view below, you can see that I’ve located the key for a piece of software that I had installed.


At the bottom of the window you can see the registry path to this key. Right clicking on a key will bring up a menu showing several actions.

  • New, will create a new key under the key I have selected.
  • Delete- If this was a program that was no longer installed on my PC, I could safely delete this key.
  • The Copy Key Nameaction places the full path to the key in your Windows Clipboard, and it can be pasted as text into other applications, such as email or a web browser.
  • Exportaction allows you to save the information under a registry key, and this information can be restored later if it’s needed. It’s a good idea to export a key before you make changes to it. I’ll talk more about exported keys later.

Here you can see that I’ve navigated down into the Current User hive to take a look at my mapped network drives.


In this view, I have the Zkey open. In the right pane (data pane), you can see the entries for the data values under this key. Each piece of data under a key has a name, type and value. The data name can be almost any string of letters as long as it doesn’t contain a space. There are several types of data, as shown above, and you can learn more about them in the regedit help file.

Right clicking into an empty area in the data pane will bring up the Newmenu, as shown above, which allows you to add new data entries. Right clicking on one of the data entries, as shown below, will allow you to modify its value or delete it entirely.


Importing data into the registry

Above I mentioned that you can export a key to save all the sub-keys and data under it. When you export a key, you will see that it wants to save as a REG file.


A .reg file is actually a plain text file and you can open it up in Notepad to see what’s inside of it. Here’s a look inside of one:


That’s good to know, because you will often find registry tweaks published online in plain text as shown in the image above. All you need to do is to copy the text, paste it into Notepad and then save it as a .REG file.


Once you have a REG file that you want to restore or add to the registry, all you need to do is double click on it, or right click on it and Mergeit into the registry. When you do this, you’ll get a message asking you to confirm this action.


After you confirm, you’ll get a message telling you that the information was entered.


  • If you’ve made changes to the registry, you won’t always see an immediate change (if it’s one you can see). Many times you will have to log out of Windows and log back in before you see any changes.
  • Some free tools make it easy to change your registry without using regedit. These programs are often called tweakor system enhancement tools, such as TweakUI (from Microsoft).
  • Here are some sites with lots of registry tweaks you can apply to Windows.
  • Here are some tutorials on how to use the registry and REG files.
  • Here is a list of free registry tools.

I’ve told you what the registry is, how to back it up, make changes to it, and finally, how to add to the registry using REG files. Now you have enough information to safely make registry changes, and you can learn even more about these topics in the regedit help file and other places online.

How To Fix Missing ASL.dll While Running Blackra1n

Apple has released a new version of iTunes, iTunes 9.1 which changes how certain things work. If you have upgraded to iTunes 9.1, several programs will start giving you an error that ASL.dll is missing.

iTunes 9.1 Missing ASL.dll issue

This problem also occurs while trying to jailbreak iPhone using Blackra1n, when running the executable will give you an error saying that ASL.dll is missing as shown in the above screenshot.

The solution for this is simple, you will need to place the Blackra1n executables in the Apple folder under Common files in Program Files. The folder would be located in the following locations:

32 Bit – C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

64 Bit – C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support

Once you copy the blackra1n executable to the above folder, create a shortcut for it on the desktop and double-click it to run it as usual.

Update: If you continue having problems with Blackra1n, you can use the new Spirit tool to jailbreak iPhone OS 3.1.3 and others.

How to Find Out Who Is Spying On You

spying-on-you[Windows Only] Today, I found out that my computer at work had a trojan infection. Most of my co-workers would never have noticed the bug, but a little luck and the right tools made my discovery possible. Since I discovered the infection early, I was able to quickly  remove the malware. Do you know if evil computers are connecting to your PC? If you really want to find out, I recommend that you try two utilities from NirSoft.

Download and Install:
CurrPorts and IPNetInfo are both portable applications that are offered as ZIP files. You can unpack these ZIP files anywhere on your hard drive or even onto a flash drive to use them. CurrPorts and IPNetInfo work best if you put the files from both programs into the same folder. After I downloaded and unpacked them,   I ended up with the following files in my CPorts folder.


Run CurrPorts:
You can run CurrPorts by launching the cports.exe file. It will scan your computer and display a list of processes on your PC that are using the network and internet connections. The list contains the following columns of information on each connection.

Process Name *
Process ID
Local Port
Local Port Name
Local Address
Remote Port
Remote Port Name
Remote Address *
Remote Host Name
Process Path *
Product Name
File Description
File Version
Process Created On
User Name
Process Services
Process Attributes
Added On
Module Filename
Remote IP Country
Window Title

Search the information:
The most important columns to pay attention to are the columns described below.

Process Name is the name of the program or service on your PC that is making the connection.

Process Path tells you where the program or service is located on your hard drive. It’s important to know this location if you suspect that you have a spyware, virus or trojan infection.

Remote Address is a set of numbers that is often called the “IP Address”. This address is needed to identify the computers connected to you by the internet.

Many of the connections you’ll see won’t even have a remote address and you don’t have to pay as much attention to them. In order to unclutter the list and concentrate on the remote IP addresses, you can use the Options menu and uncheck the item labeled “Display Items without Remote Address“.


Identify WHO IS connecting:
Now that you have some IP addresses displayed, you can find out more about them by using NifSoft’s IPNetInfo utility. When you right click on any remote address shown in CurrPorts, you can find out more about it by choosing the IPNetInfo option. IPNetInfo will pop up and give you the WHOIS information if it’s able to.


Here’s an example of the WHOIS info for a Google page in Internet Explorer.


IPNetInfo.exe can be run all by itself by launching the ipnetinfo.exe file. When it’s running this way, you will have to paste in the IP Addresses manually to initiate WHOIS searches.

Stop the Spies:
Once you’ve identified all the owners of those remote IP addresses, you should have a better idea about who they are. You can usually find out more about them by using the company name in an internet search. If you are still suspicious that the IP addresses you are seeing are from the bad guys, you can check in several places to find out if they are on a watch list. I recommend that you search for malicious addresses at hpHosts. Just paste the remote IP address into the search box.

If you’ve identified a connection you don’t want, you can right click on entries in CurrPorts and either “Close” the connection or “Kill” the process on your PC. If you have a process running on your machine that continues to connect to IPs that are suspect, you should probably save an HTML report as shown below, then run an Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware scan. I recommend using MalwareBytes or one of the other good free spyware removers. If that doesn’t do the trick, get some help from one of the Anti-Spyware forums. I always visit‘s forums when I need help.

If you wish to ask me about some of your remote connections, you can select one or more items in CurrPorts, click on “View” > “HTML Report – Selected Items”. When the report pops into your web browser, you can copy and paste the information into the comments below this article. You can also save the report from your browser using the File > Save menu.


Have a good day and surf safely!

How To Link Foobar With Google Talk’s “Show Current Music Track” Feature

Foobar [Windows Only] When it comes to desktop music players, Foobar is my software of choice. It’s got features, it’s got speed and it can be customized like a ball of soft clay. Previously, I have written about how to turn the minimalistic interface of Foobar into something more expressive, and here’s something adding to it.

If you use Google Talk as your primary Internet Messenger and prefer Foobar for listening to music, you would have noticed that when setting the status in Google Talk, the Show Current Music Trackfeature doesn’t work. Well, it is not really supposed to work as such. Apparently, Google Talk only supports iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp and Yahoo Music Jukebox. The small number of supported players is actually justified because given the state and construction of every music player, the developers would have to utilize and bring to work a different API for each media player, which is not a viable option provided the large number of music players available.

So what does a user of a lesser known media player like Foobar do? Given the extensiveness of the audio player in question here, it is pretty easy. All it needs is a plugin, a little hack and minor registry editing.

Blogger Siddharth from shows you how to make the task at hand happen. You should read the post over there, but I will explain briefly how it works. First you get a plugin, or component in foo-speak and install it to your Foobar. Next you’ll need a registry hack. And then you will need to create an empty playlist file in the Foobar directory. Now since Google Talk happens to support Winamp, when you choose the Show Current Music Trackoption, it will look for Winamp on your system. The registry hack that was applied earlier now deceives Google Talk into believing that Winamp is actually located in your Foobar installation folder. The Foobar component that was installed emulates a Winamp 2.x window so that other plugins and applications (Google talk in this case) can work with Foobar without any trouble. The empty playlist file probably facilitates the process.

So ultimately, now you can update all your contacts with the music track you are tuning into.


How To Create A Cue Sheet

On Tuesday, we talked about splitting large music tracks into smaller ones with the help of cue files. I’d mention that I’ll soon write a tutorial on creating a cue sheet yourself. True to my word, here’s the tutorial on creating a cue sheet with your own hands!

For a quick recap A cue sheet has an extension of .cue and its contents tell the splitting program where each individual track starts and ends.In technical terms It’s a metadata file which describes how the contents of a CD, DVD or a compilation are to be laid out.

So, let’s say you have a music mix called Junkyard Mix.mp3. It’s music mix containing all the tracks interlocked. There’s no cue file available so you just can’t use a cue splitter and split the file as easily. You’ll now need to create a cue sheet.

Creating a cue sheet is pretty simple. There are a few commands/tags you’ll need to take care of and the syntax is simple. Just like many other scripts, you’ll need to create this one in a text editor; for example Notepad. I will first go through the tags and will then explain with an example.

TITLE: This tag is used two occasions. Once while mentioning the name of the album and the second time when you mention the title of an individual track. In the former case, the tag is used in the beginning of the document; in the latter, it is used after that TRACK tag

PERFORMER: Once used to define the artist of the album as a whole and second time after the TRACK tag to define the artist of an individual track.

FILE: Defines the name of the compilation file, from where to derive the data (Junkyard Mix.mp3 in this case)

TRACK: Defines a track by its number and data type. Other tags that define the track are placed under it in the hierarchy.

INDEX: Indicates the start position within the data where a given track begins, in MM:SS:FR (minute-second-frame) format (for example, 04:18:63 = 4 minutes, 18 seconds, 63 frames).

That covers the rudimentary tags of a cue sheet. That’s probably all you will need to get started. Now let have it with an example. Let’s say Junkyard Mix.mp3, the album, is composed of two individual tracks: Grease Sweep and Burning Tires. Let’s say the album’s artist is Johny Wrench. (Don’t google them! They’re all hypothetical :D) This is how the cue sheet should be laid out in this scenario:

2967338475_bc48bd8d93_bTITLE Junkyard Mix

PERFORMER Johny Wrench

FILE Junkyard Mix.mp3MP3


TITLE Grease Sweep

PERFORMER Johny Wrench

INDEX 01 00:00:00


TITLE Burning Tires

PERFORMER Johny Wrench

INDEX 01 12:42:00

Let’s go through it again. The TITLE track at the beginning marks the name of the album. The next PERFORMER tag marks the name of the album artist. FILE is for the file name of the compilation. Next we have definitions the comprising tracks. TRACK 01 AUDIO marks the definition of the first track. It says that the first track’s track number is 01 and its data type is audio. It then goes on to define the TITLE of the song and its PERFORMER in the respective tags. The second track has also been handled in the same way. The INDEX tag tells the program where the song is beginning.

The first track always begins at 00:00:00. You’ll have to mark the beginnings of each track so that you can define the correct beginning and therefore, ending of each song. It is crucial that your timing is correct or the results won’t be appealing.

After everything is done, save the document with a .cue extension and then use it to split the music compilation with the help of this tutorial.

Photo by Dani Sarda

How To Disable “This Program Might Not Have Installed Correctly” Notifications

Before I begin, allow me to get one thing out of the way; I absolutely hate the “This Program Might Not Have Installed Correctly” dialogue box. They are not only annoying but also misleading. Whatever little purpose they serve is negated by the fact that these prompts tend to be woefully inaccurate.


These warning prompts are triggered by the Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) Service, which monitors all application installations and tries to detect known compatibility problems. The trouble is that most portable applications seem to trigger PCA alerts. Thankfully, disabling the PCA service is straightforward.

  • Type services.msc in the Start Menu (or in the Run dialogue box).
  • Locate the entry for Program Compatibility Assistant Service.
  • Program-Compatability-Assistant

  • Right Click on it and select Properties from the context menu.
  • Set Startup Type to Disabled and close the Services applet.
  • If you ever feel the need to undo the changes, simply change the Startup Type back to Manual.

How To Split Large Single-File Compilations And Mixes Into Individual Separate Tracks

If you have ever downloaded or bought a musical compilation or mix, you might have come across a single large mp3 file that contains all the tracks joined together. Music mixes were initially made to be a single file track, however, with the advent of portable music players that may not always have storage spaces as large as desktop or laptop computers, handling and listening to such music files is not a very convenient task.

If you have a large music compilation or mix that you’d like to split up in individual tracks, you’ve come to the right place.

greenshot_2010-03-16_20-57-46 To split a large a mix into individual tracks, we’ll need a cue sheet. A cue sheet file has an extension of .cue and its contents tell the splitting program where each individual track starts and ends. The splitting program we are going to use here is Medieval Cue Splitter. After you’ve downloaded the program, you will need the cue sheet. A cue sheet is necessary in this process, if you don’t have one already, you will need to create one yourself. I’ll write down the process of creating a cue sheet in a separate post.

Ok, so to split a the file, follow this process:

  • Let’s say the mix/compilation is called mix.mp3. In most cases, the cue sheet will be called mix.cue. Have them both in the same folder.
  • Open Medieval Cue Splitter. Go to File → Open cue file. Select the cue file and then the mix (mix.cue and mix.mp3)
  • Now you can edit the details about the individual tracks that are are going to be made from the mix. You can change the titles, tags, genres, artists and other track details.
  • Click the Split button, select the location to save the tracks and you’re done.
  • If you’d want to add album art to each of the smaller tracks, click to read how.

Now that a large mp3 has been broken down into smaller tracks, you can easily share the music with your friends online, transfer it to your mobile phone or simply sync it with your iPod or any other music player.

How to Send Anonymous Email

wl-mail There are many reasons why a person might be afraid to send a normal email message to someone. The person sending the email could:

  • lose a friendship
  • anger a family member
  • lose a job
  • get sued
  • get arrested
  • get hurt or killed

There’s also another reason.

It might be fun! How would you like to send an email that looks like it came from the President, Tax Office or Police? The possibilities for mischief are endless.

Whatever the reason, there are many resources available to those who need to send an anonymous email. The easiest methods are online services. Below I’ll list the top three for you. simple plain text simple plain text html (rich text)

green-check-mark I checked these services for safety using SiteAdvisor.

These email sites are easy to use. You’ll only need to fill out:

  1. From: (make something up)
  2. To: (who is this email for?)
  3. Subject: (what’s the email about?)
  4. Message: (give them the bad news)

Typically, no attachments are allowed and you’ll have to fill out a captcha form to keep the spammers from using these services.

See also: Send Anonymous Tweets With ShhTwitter

Now you’re either ready to save the world, a friendship or get a good laugh. Let me know if you have your own special way to send out secret email, by adding your comment below.

How to Add a Right Click Search to Chrome Browser

Would you like to be able to highlight a word or a phrase on a web page and find out more about it? You can make this possible by adding search entries to the right click (context) menu.

Recently, I’ve posted articles telling you how to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Firefox and Internet Explorer. You might think that I have a real searchaddiction. It’s not an addiction, it’s a real need that’s based on the desire to save time. I spend large chunks of time searching the net for the things I want to learn and write about.

Now I’ll show you how to add a context search menu to Google’s Chrome web browser. chrome

1. You must be running version 4 of Chrome or higher.

2. Go to the ChromeExtensions site and install Context Search.


3. To add your own custom search sites (providers), open the Extensions manager by using the Wrench pull-down menu.


4. Click on the Options button for Context Search.


5. In the preferences, you can add/remove and edit existing search providers. To add a new provider, click the Add newlink.


6. Here you can see how I’ve added my favorite search provider. Don’t forget to use the Savelink when you have everything entered. (read why I like Scroogle Search)


Tip: How do I get URLs like the ones shown above? I go to a website (such as Twitter) and perform a search there, using an easy to identify keyword (such as TESTSEARCH). Then I find the keyword and replace it with %s.

URL displayed in address bar after searching Twitter for TESTSEARCH

URL after replacing TESTSEARCH with %s

7. When you run across a word or phrase on a page, highlight it and you’ll see a little triangle beside the highlighted text. Click on it and you’ll see your search providers listed.


8. I’ve noticed that the little triangle doesn’t appear on some web pages. When that happens, right click on the highlighted text and you’ll see your customized search providers listed.


That’s all there is to it. Now you’re ready to beat Chuck Norris at searching. Oh, I forgot – Chuck Norris doesn’t search, the results come to him.   (bad joke)

How to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Firefox

ff-logo Would you like to be able to highlight words on a page and choose the search engine or a site to look them up? This can be done in most web browsers, but it may not be a built-in feature.

A while back, I told you How to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Internet Explorer.   Now I’ll tell you how to add this to Firefox. Here’s what it looks like:


As you can see above, the word RSSis highlighted on the page. A right click on the highlighted word, brings up the context menu(or right click menu).

To add the Search formenu item, we’ll need to install an addon to Firefox. There are a few addons which add this type of function, but I like the SmartSearch addon.

Do you see all of the search engines listed in that menu? Those won’t be there when you use this addon the first time. You have to add them yourself. It’s easy to do, and the beauty of this is that you can add only the sites you like to search. Nobody will be giving you a pre-made list that they think you’ll like.

Here’s how to add a site to the Search formenu after SmartSearch is installed. I’m going to use as an example.

Go to

When you see the search box, right click on it and choose Add a Keyword for this Search.


Next, you’ll need to fill out the name of the search and add your own short keywordfor it (as shown). You can see that I’ve chosen the two letters DLas the keyword.


Notice that the Folder says Bookmarks Menu. You are actually better off creating a new folder for all of your searches. I chose to call my folder quicksearch.

After saving, you’ll have a new search in your right click Search formenu.

There’s an additional benefit. Since you have a keywordon the bookmark, you can search from your address bar using that keyword. If you want to search for browsersat, just type dl browsers  into the address bar and the results from will quickly fill your page.

Here’s where to install SmartSearchfor Firefox.

Be sure to check out some of the other cool Firefox addons we’ve talked about in the past.

Happy searching!