Faster network browsing, reliable CD writing, and more

By Brian Livingston, InfoWorld |  Operating Systems

Readers provide me with the most useful secrets for this column and for my new "E-Business Secrets" newsletter. Keep sending those tips in, and you may see yourself here soon.

Browse Windows 2000 and 98 faster

Reader John Kehoe reports on an easy way to speed up your browsing of Windows 98 and Windows Me from Windows 2000 machines.

It turns out that you can experience a delay as long as 30 seconds when you try to view shared files across a local network from Windows 2000. For example, this delay would effect your search if you:

1. Right-click the My Network Places icon on your Windows 2000 desktop, click Search For Computers, and search for a Windows 98 or Windows Me computer name; or

2. Click Start, Run, and then type \\computername in reference to a Windows 98 or Windows Me machine.

Microsoft confirms this is a problem in Windows 2000. See support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q245/8/00.asp. The problem doesn't occur when browsing directly to a named computer share, just when using the computer name as shown above.

Windows 2000 is using the extra time to search the remote computer for Scheduled Tasks, a slow and unnecessary process. Kehoe provides a work-around that dramatically speeds things up.

Step 1. In Windows 2000, click Start, Run, type regedt32, and click OK.

Step 2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace.

Step 3. Under that branch, select the key {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. This key instructs Windows Explorer to search for Scheduled Tasks. If you wish, pull down the Registry menu and click Save Key to back up this value. Name the output file, say, Scheduled.reg, and you can easily restore the key if necessary.

Step 4. Delete the key and close the Registry Editor.

This change takes effect immediately and doesn't require a reboot, so you can determine how much it speeds up the process.

Save those writable CDs

A real pain for people who save information to their own writable CDs is watching the process fail to finish writing properly. When this happens, you're left with a useless shiny coaster, and you have to start over again.

New recordable CD drives tend to be more reliable in this matter, but reader Anil Dash reminds us of a simple way to avoid it entirely.

In Dash's office, other people need access to the files and intranet server on his Windows 2000 machine, but he can't shut down every other task when he needs to burn a CD.

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