Everyday Computer Tricks

        Below you will find some info that I have found very useful and I hope you do to. Simply scroll down the page or click on the links below to read each topic, I will try to keep this page updated often with useful stuff I find, so if you thick something should be on here plz feel free to send me it and ill put it up for you.

  1. Zone things
  2. AoC things
  3. PC things

Zone Things

How to turn Swearing ON on the zone (but remember ONLY you and others with it switched on, can see it)

I still see people space up their shi its and fu cks, so that other people can see what they are trying to say. Well my fellow cursing fiends, there is a way to disable that. And it is rather easy.

1. First go to the Zone and Enter any room. (Ex. Ladder Room 1)
2. On the top left corner you will see four tabs. Room, Options, Zone and Help.
3. Click the Options tab, and unclick Filter Chat Language.
It is that simple

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How to copy Zone Friends.

Some people still, when they make a new zone name, go in and manually copy and paste all their zone friends. Well no more because there is an easier faster way to do this.

1. On your desktop double click on My Computer.
2. Now go into your C:\ hard drive.
3. Next open up your Program Files folder.
4. Now open up the MSN Gaming Zone folder.
(*Here you will see all the zone names you have ever created, open the one from which you want to copy your friends.)
5. In there you will find a Friends.txt document. Copy its content and paste it into your new name's Friends.txt.
6. Once pasted, just close the Friends.txt document and it will automatically ask you if you want it saved. Press yes and you are good to go.

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Easy Zone log-in

There is an easy way to login to MSN Gaming Zone without even going there not to mention the signout-signin - crap most of us have to go through every single time.
After reading this post it will take you only ONE click to start your Zone-Friends and it's 100% legal and working.
Here is what you have to do::-

1.) Open note pad and copy-paste the below script into it.

<script>done=0; function stop_cat() { if (!done) {i.navigate("about:blank");done = 1;} else {done = 1;}}</script> 
<IFRAME id=I src="http://msnialogin.passport.com/login.srf?&ec=e1" onload="stop_cat()" width="0" height="0"></IFRAME> 
<body onload="go_cat.submit()"><FORM name="go_cat" METHOD="POST" ACTION="https://login.passport.com/ppsecure/post.srf?id=20960&ru=http://zone.msn.com/conquerors/"> 

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="login" value="PASSPORT"/> 
<INPUT TYPE="hidden" name="passwd" value="PASSWORD"/> 

<input type="hidden" name="mspp_shared" value="1"/>
<input type="hidden" name="sec" value="0"/>

2.) Now replace PASSPORT with your passport (example: netclan@msn.com) and PASSWORD with  your password (example: abcde).

3.) Then Save your document as "ZoneLogIn.html" or what ever you want (but make sure it ends in .html NOT .txt) on to your desk top.

Now whenever you want to enter the zone just click on this link (page) on your desk top and you will go Straight into the zone

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Game Room Chat Lag & White Screen lag FIX

Recently I have been Suffering from REALLY bad lag when I have left a game of AoC and returned back to the zone/game room etc, the only thing that used to sort this problem out was to reset my machine, But I have now found this and it Works great.

Go to the multi folder which is inside your AOC SaveGame folder:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\SaveGame\multi

Select all of the files in that folder and delete them.

That's it! Just make sure you do this regularly to prevent white screens or chat lags.

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AoC Things

How to speed up rec. games.

There is a way to speed games up even faster then just pressing the fast play button.
This is how it's done:-

In the game as you are watching it, press the dropdown menu where you decide which player you want to watch. But do no select a player, just keep it pulled down and the game will speed up. However you will not be able to see the game it will just run faster. This is very useful if you want to skip over the Dark Age. You will be able to tell how far into the game you are by the villager created sound. It will sound a lot faster, and as soon as the player clicks the feudal upgrade button it will stop sounding for a short while. Now just select a player and continue watching form the feudal age.

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AOE II Expansion: The Conquerors: Command Line Parameters

The information in this article applies to:


This article describes the command line parameters that you can use when you start Microsoft Age of Empires II Expansion: The Conquerors.


You can use command line parameters to customize the startup process for Microsoft Age of Empires II Expansion: The Conquerors and to resolve certain issues that you may encounter when you attempt to start or play the game.

Shortcuts that include these command line parameters are located in the following folder on the Age of Empires II Expansion: The Conquerors CD-ROM

        cdrom:\Age of Empires II\Support 

where cdrom is the drive letter of the CD-ROM drive.

NOTE: After you install Age of Empires II Expansion, the shortcuts are copied to the following folder by default

        drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\Support

where drive is the drive letter of the hard disk where Age of Empires II is installed.

To play the game normally, double-click the shortcut for the program that is installed on the Microsoft Windows desktop or on the Windows Start Menu.

For more information about Microsoft Age of Empires II Expansion: The Conquerors, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:

        http://support.microsoft.com/support/games/aoe/default.asp The following table includes a list of the command line parameters that you can use to start Age of Empires II Expansion: The Conquerors.

Parameter Description
1024 Sets the screen resolution for the game to 1,024 x 768 pixels.
1280 Sets the screen resolution for the game to 1,280 x 1,024 pixels.
800 Sets the screen resolution for the game to 800 x 600 pixels.
Autompsave Automatically saves a multiplayer game every few minutes. Saved games are located by default in the Savegame\Multi folder.
Mfill Attempts to fix horizontal line issues and black screen areas that can occur when you use certain video adapter configurations.
Msync Attempts to fix an issue with some SoundBlaster AWE configurations, which can cause the computer to stop responding (hang).
NoMusic Turns off all music.
NormalMouse Replaces a custom mouse pointer with a standard mouse pointer.
NOSC Turns off the detection of the Microsoft Strategic Commander game controller.
NoSound Turns off all sounds, except the sounds that are played in cinematic sequences.
NoStartup Skips all cinematic sequences before the game starts.
NoTerrainSound Turns off all terrain sounds.

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PC Things

How to disable pop-ups on IE.

Note that this will not just disable those nasty pop ups, but it will disable your java scripting so that your explorer is unable to produce pop ups. I find this very useful when surfing through porn/warez sites (emmm I mean when other people visit them) which tend to have a lot of pop ups. It takes 5 sec to disable and 2 sec to enable again when you need it. Only downside is you can't go to the zone when you have this disabled. But since it is enabled rather easily it is no problem.

1. On top of your internet explorer, press the Tools tab. Then click on internet options.

2. Now go to the security tab, then press Custom Level.

3. Now go down in the menu until you see scripting.

4. Then disable the following: Active Scripting, Allow paste operations via script and scripting of Java applets.

5. To enable your scripting again simply press the Default Level button on your Security tab.

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Windows XP tricks.

These are some tips and tricks for windows XP users, that would like some of the "dumb" xp options disabled or tweaked.

1.) I have seen a lot of people complain, about how xp groups their browsers as soon as they have more then 6 of the same kind open. Well this is rather annoying, but can be disabled.
I. Right click your Toolbar (at the VERY bottom of your screen) and go to Properties.
II. In the Taskbar appearance there is a Group similar taskbar buttons check mark, unclick that and it will not group them anymore.

2.) Another annoying thing XP does is it minimizes your program menus. It puts away the less frequently used programs, so when you want to use them you have to press the down arrow and then you can click the program you want to use. This is especially annoying since xp is stupid and puts down everything that isn't used five times a day!!!
This is how you disable it.

I. Right click ur Toolbar and go to Properties.
II. Press the Start Menu tab.
III. Now press the Customize button.
IV. Look through and uncheck the box that says Use Personalized Menus (for classic menu) or Favorites Menu for new style menu users.

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How to disable start up items (Good for XP users).

Most manufactured computers come with software and programs that slow your computer down. You don't even know it, they run in the background slowing all your other programs and applications down. Well don't worry anymore, because there is a way to disable those.*For XP
This is how it's done:-

1.) Go to Start then to Run.

2.) Type in msconfig and press OK.

3.) Press the Start Up tab and there you will see all the programs you have. Some starting up upon start up, and others that you can enable if you wish.

4.) Now just go in and Uncheck all the nasty programs that start up that you don't need or want.

Note that some programs you want to keep enabled. Such as your mouse software, otherwise your extra buttons will not work.

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Forum-Board Trouble.

I have heard complaints about people that just got Windows XP and 2000 etc on how ez board, and some other sites that need cookies enabled, don't keep them signed in. Well this is due to Xp's etc thinking. It disables the sites it thinks shouldn't be allowed to be added to your cookies. Well what this does though is it will keep login you out. This would get annoying, but can be disabled.

1.) In your IE on the top left corner go to the Tools tab. Then go to Internet Options.

2.) Now click the Privacy tab.

3.) There you will see a Web Sites box. Click on Edit.

4.) In here you will see a box that says Address of Website. Simply type in the URL to the site you want cookies enabled to, then hit the Allow button.

5.) To get the address of a specific link right click the link and click Open in New Window. (for the forum on the _NeT_AnGeLs_ site use http://www.net-clan.com to allow cookies).

Now your browser will accept cookies for that location and will keep you logged in. Neat huh?

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How to get URL's of pop-up windows that don't show you

Well occasionally you get a pop up that you want the URL of, but there is no Address bar (like when on our forum when you click "show all" to look at the Emoticons) well now you can all you have to do is Press F11 and there it is (and to restore press F11 again?.

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How to properly re-install your computer.

This is a guide that is designed to help users when recovering their computer systems. Every once in a while, when we have to much junk on our computers, we have to go in and format our drives and reinstall everything. Well when that time comes, take a look at this for some help.

1.Install all components double check or even triple check that the HDD and FDD are hooked up corresponding to their connector orientation. IE. Flipped upside down or not Also make sure that the memory is in tightly as are all the other cards such as video and sound blah blah..

2. When you boot up make sure the POST beeps to show that it is running correctly usually it is a single beep but refer to your manual for further documentation. If the beep is correct you can either 1. Restart by hitting ctrl+alt+del to format hard drive using fdisk or if using windows xp refer to step 4.

3. When formatting your hard drive for anything but windows ME and Win XP insert a win 98 or otherwise boot up floppy in the dir of the floppy should be an exe called "fdisk" this utility is used to format and add dos partitions primarily to the master HAD. Follow the directions and ERASE all traces of dos partition or other normalcy's/abnormalities. Then reboot once done add a primary dos partition allowing for large disk drive support. (Usually boot sector head of 1024) After adding the dos partition then it is ok to format reason to format after adding the dos partition is because windows wont recognize the HAD until it actually contains a DOS partition. Viola! You know have a completely capable hard drive!

4. For windows XP users this is simpler go into BIOS (blue screen configuration utility) and set the CD ROM as the first boot up and read device on the list once done add the Win XP cd-rom into the drive bay. Then reboot the computer it will read form the cd-rom first instead of the floppy go through the set up to install from and make sure you format in NTFS style not FAT. Once you have completed what needs to be done on reboot go back into BIOS and set the boot devices to floppy first again. The rest is simple in xp because it sets everything to normal and installs drivers and what have you.

5.Ok now that you have your HDD formatted reboot the computer with the windows cd-rom in the drive bay and the boot disk in the drive bay also. When you load into the a:/ prompt type "Setup" without the quotes. This will launch 98se or otherwise into setup mode and then you are gong to set up your system for the OS! Your settings not mine. (NOTE FOR EXPERTS: Advisedly I would prefer you would go into the BIOS and edit it will increase performance and other attributes make sure you read the BIOS section of your manual VERY carefully and do not attempt to change something if you are not sure! The BIG BLUE can easily turn into the Blue screen of death.)

6.Once this is completed reboot again and you will be running windows for the first time yadda yadda! GO ahead and install all necessary DRIVERS not SOFTWARE for your MOTHERBOARD nothing else! When installing make sure you read carefully the info and donít add excessive crap! Once you have completely installed the DRIVERS then reboot nothing is going to change just yet. Now install the drivers for everything else preferably in this form. Vid Card, sound card, NIC, modem, other... now the best way to do this is to reboot after EVERY DRIVER INSTALL this does not mean every complete driver install this means every ONE! Driver install after the other as long as it is mentioned when you are done installing. If not then donít bother.

7.Now to add software if you are having trouble installing GAMES? Then I might have the feeling that you have corrupted something utilizing dll's for 3d rendering or otherwise. Now if you cant even get them to install at all you might have a software issue with your cd-rom hardware go into device manager in the MY COMPUTER properties and check your cd rom drive make sure the cache size is right in the middle and not to high. Also make sure that all functions on the IDE controller are set to DMA as are the cd-rom and other functionalities. Now install all of your software making sure everything is installed correctly!!!

8. Once completed reboot and then in the run command type msconfig then go to startup and unclick everything except "Exploror","systray" for win xp unclick everything you donít need anything. That should speed up loading times and actual speed of computer. Now go and do a scandisk on the HDD and then disk clean up and the finally disk defragment once completed you have a mean rocking machine!

By Troy aka Godfather

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How to stop pop up messenger service ads.

Are you fed up of getting these pop up ads going up on your screen?

Then all you have to do, to stop these is:-

Go to Start, then Run and type in services.msc Click Ok
Scroll to Messenger, select it, right click it and choose Properties.
Under startup choose "Disabled", then choose Stop.
When stopped, click Ok. 
(this is not the msn messenger its a service used by network to send messages e.g. alerts that a print job is completed etc)
also read this - http://www.popup-killer.info/messenger-spam/
Hope that stop the pop ups 

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How to stop pop up messenger service ads.

Are you fed up of these really annoying messages coming to your computer from "people" you don't know?? 

Well I recently Questioned MSN about these and here is the E-Mail I got in return:-

Thank you for your message to Microsoft .NET Messenger Privacy.  
The .NET Messenger Terms of Use (http://messenger.microsoft.com/support/tou.asp) prohibits all members from using this service to advertise, or offer to sell or buy, any goods or services for any business purpose.  
You can protect yourself from receiving unsolicited commercial instant-messages from sources who are not on your contact list by blocking messages from "all others" in your account options.  
1) From the main .NET Messenger window select the "Tools" menu.  
2) Choose "Options".  
3) Click on the "Privacy" tab.  
4) Select "All other users" from your "Allow" list and then click the "Block" button.  
5) Click on the "OK" button when finished.  
If you are receiving message dialogs (windows) that appear on your system with the title "Messenger Service", and they contain an "OK" button, you should note that these are not related to .NET Messenger.  
They are generated by the Messenger Service that's built into some Windows operating systems (Windows NT, 2000, and XP). This service is intended to be used for network alerts and communications by system administrators. It is a tool that can only send messages one-way, unlike the two-way conversations that .NET Messenger services are designed to provide.   
It's possible for unsolicited messages to be sent across a home or corporate network, as well as through the Internet, to any system that has not blocked  or disabled this service. Although you may have received a message through this service, it does not mean that the person sending has in any way compromised your system. These messages can be sent out "blindly", so that any computer that has not blocked or disabled the service will receive them.  
You can see how this service works by performing the following test (which will send one of these messages to you):  
1) Click on your "Start" button and select "Run" from the menu.  
2) Enter "cmd" (without quotes) and click on the "OK" button.  
3) In the command window that has opened type "net send This is how it works" (Without quotes) and hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard.  
4) The IP address always represents the local machine (the one you are working on), so this will cause a Messenger Service dialog to appear on your screen.  
If your computer is running Windows XP, you can prevent these messages from appearing by turning on the Windows XP built-in firewall:  
1) Click on your "Start" button and select "Help & Support" from the menu.  
2) Search for "enable firewall" (no quotes).  
Or, if you wish, you can disable this service:  
* Windows 2000  
1) Click on your "Start" button and go to the "Programs/Administrative Tools" menu, then select "Services".  
2) Scroll down and highlight "Messenger".  
3) Right-click the highlighted line and choose "Properties".  
4) Click the "STOP" button.   
5) Select "Disable" in the "Startup type" menu.  
6) Click "OK".  
* Windows XP  
1) Click on your "Start" button and go to the "Control Panel" menu.  
2) If your Control Panel is set to "Category View" click on the "Performance and Maintenance" link, if it is set to "Classic View" go to step 3.  
3) Click "Administrative Tools".  
4) Double-click "Services".  
5) Scroll down and highlight "Messenger".  
6) Right-click the highlighted line and choose "Properties".  
7) Click the "STOP" button.  
8) Select "Disable" in the "Startup type" menu.  
9) Click "OK".  
If you choose to disable this service please be aware of the following:  
* You will no longer be able to receive network notifications. We recommend you contact your system administrator (if you are on a network) before changing any settings.  
* You may no longer receive error reports relative to networked printers.  
* This may prevent messages from 3rd party software from being displayed.  
* Disabling this service will not affect your .NET Messenger Instant Messaging service in any way.  
We hope this information is helpful to you.  
NET Messenger Privacy

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How to get your AoC to work though a firewall
by cus

A lot of people ask me how to get their AoC to work behind router with a firewall. So i'm writing this just to tell you that what i've learned from my own trying and failing.

I'll start with some vocabulary:-

IP address: The address of your computer. When you are behind a router you will typically have two ip's to think about. Your external ip, which is the one that is visible to the computers outside your network, for example people you play with. The external ip is given to you by your ISP, and can be either dynamic or static. Your internal ip is the one typically given to you by your router and is your computer's identification on your Local Area Network(LAN). You can find your internal ip by opening your command prompt and entering "ipconfig"(without the quotation marks) on XP and WinME/2000, and by entering "winipcfg"(without the quotation marks) on Win98.

Port: A bit harder to explain this one. One definition I've read is "A logical numbering of server services". Doesn't say much really does it?. One way of seeing it is to think of a port as a sort of gate at an airport, with the airport being the ip address. It does the plane no good to find the airport, if it's just sits there in the middle of the runway. For the plane and passengers to find each other they both need a gate. Get it? Get it?

Socket: A socket is an established connection between two computers. A socket consists of an ip address and a port and is usually written like this; IP:PORT -> with being the ip address and 21 being the port. (If we use my brilliant(^^) airport example above we'd get e.g. Heathrow:Gate 2) If you want to "see" a socket, open your command prompt and type 'netstat'(without the quotation marks). Then all your current connections(sockets) will be listed.

Firewall: Software or Firmware that blocks access to ports from the outside. In other words, it prevents someone from establishing a socket on a port that is not open.

NAT(Network Address Translation): NAT tells the router which computer on the network is to receive incoming traffic on specified ports.
Example: On our network, my internal ip is If I want to play AoC i have to specifically tell the router that all traffic received on the ports used by AoC, is to be sent my Otherwise my computer will not be properly identified to the other players and I will not be able to join the game.
Configuring NAT is commonly referred to as port forwarding or forwarding ports.

TCP and UDP: Two different types of protocols used to communicate on networks. In some cases you have to open the same ports twice in your firewall, but on different protocols.

Now, if you understood the explanations I gave above, the rest of this is a piece of cake. What you have to do is open the ports in your firewall required for playing AoC and then forward the same ports to your computer. The problem in describing how to do this in detail, is that different routers will have different ways of doing it, though the principle is the same for all. For specific instructions on how to open ports in your firewall and forward ports, you will have to consult your manual and/or the manufacturers web site, or catch me online.

Port list for AoC and Msn Gaming Zone.


DXPort is a program that may allow more than one computer on a network with NAT to play DirectX games online. The reason i say may is that it does not work with all routers. In some cases it does not work at all, in other cases it will work, but not allow the computers behind the router to join the same game, and yet in other cases it works just perfectly. It works in the way that it allows you to specify a range of port with 2300-2400, which is the ports used by DirectX games. The ports you don't specify will then be blocked by DXPort, forcing your computer to use one of the ports that aren't blocked. The reason this works is that the computers on a network will/might try to use the same ports and find those ports busy. However, if it's your own computer that blocks the port(s), this is not a problem. Your NAT configuration will have to be in accordance with the DXPort configuration. As an example i will use my and strider's network. The router's firewall is set to allow traffic on the ports above to pass through to all computers on the network. Most routers will allow this. But the NAT is setup to direct all traffic on ports 2300-2349 to strider's computer and all traffic on ports 2350-2400 to mine. On strider's comp, DXPort blocks ports 2350-2400. On mine, it blocks ports 2300-2349. Only strider can host though, which i believe is either because port 47624 is set to him, or that he has the start of the 2300-2400 range.



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Improve your Broadband speed

Broadband users might appreciate a bit of extra speed for their already fast connection. If you cant get enough bandwidth, try this tip for a bit of extra power. Assuming you are logged on as an administrator, click the Start button and then select Run. Type gpedit.msc. Open the branches for local computer policy / administrative templates / network. Highlight the 'QoS Packet Scheduler' in the left hand window. In the right hand window, double click the "limit reservable bandwidth" setting. On the setting tab, tick the 'Enabled' Item. Change the setting 'Bandwidth limit %' to read Bandwidth limit 0%. To be sure the new settings has been applied, reboot.

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