• Make disk images, restore points, and backups of files and registry keys to repair your system if you fuck things up.
  • Domains: Join domain with XP Home  
XP Home can connect to domain resources like shared folders.
Limitations: XP Home can't be a domain client and doesn't support group policies or other 'advanced' domain features.

To make XP Home connect to a domain:
- Enter your login, domain, and password in X-Setup (Network/AutoLogin/Windows/Settings)
- Enter your login, domain, and password in TweakUI (Logon/Autologon)
- To do it by hand, check
When done, proceed to 'map network drives' below.

Warning: your password is stored in the registry unencrypted. Anyone can open regedit and read, change, or delete your password.

Alternative method: Install "XP Pro Lite" from an XP Home disk to unlock features from XP Pro

  • Domains: Map network drives with XP Home  
1) When logged onto a domain (see 'join domain' above), right-click My Computer, go to Properties -> Computer Name. It will look like:

Full computer name: \\

2) Open My Computer and select 'Map Network Drive...' from the Tools menu

3) Select a drive letter (Z:, X:, etc).

4) In the folder box type two backslashes (\\) and then the Fully Qualified Domain Name from step 1, then a backslash (\) and the folder you want to connect to. Example:


5) Click "Connect using a different user name." in drive/folder settings and enter a domain username that has access rights to the folder you want to access. Add it in the format username@domain. Example:

Enter the password for the myname account. This is not necessarily the same password you used for logging onto the domain (but if you want to access your own folders it usually is).

6) Check the 'Reconnect at logon' box so you won't have to enter the user credentials every time you log on.

You can only connect with one single username/password combo at a time with XP Home. If you need access to two folders with different username/password combos, you have to disconnect the shared folder before connecting to the other.

Alternative method: Install "XP Pro Lite" from an XP Home disk to unlock features from XP Pro

  • Login: Log in as administrator  
For XP Pro only. XP Home only lets you log into the administrator account in safe mode.

Hold Ctrl-Alt and press Del twice to bring up the normal login and you can log on as administrator.
This doesn't work if the administrator account has a password (and it would be rather stupid not to have a password).

To put the administrator account on the welcome screen:
1) Open regedit and highlight:
  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList
2) Make a DWORD called Administrator and set to 1. If you have renamed the administrator account, use that name instead of Administrator

  • Registry: Edit settings of another user  
1) Open regedit from an admin account (not from a limited account) and go to HKEY_USERS
2) Click file and select load hive
3) File open dialog: go to documents and settings\username for the account you want to edit and open NTUSER.DAT (if it's hidden, type it in the file name box)
4) Enter the username as key name
5) Edit the HKEY_USERS settings for the account you loaded
6) When you're ready, highlight HKEY_USERS\username, unload hive from the filemenu (don't skip this, because if you don't unload the registry hive logging into the edited account will cause trouble)

  • User accounts: Better management tool  
The user accounts/passwords control panel in XP Home is crippled. For more options run:

  control userpasswords2

- Create different user types (not just 'administrator' or 'limited') in XP Home. This option is very buggy.
- Change the name and password for the adminstrator account in XP Home without having to boot into safe mode.
- Set an account for autologin.

To add userpasswords2 to your control panel, use the reg file in

  • User accounts: Clone account (copy profile)  
1) Log into an account with administrator rights. This should not be the account you want to clone. If you've logged into the account you want to clone after you've booted up, restart your computer.
2) Open control panel/system/advanced/user profiles/settings.
3) Select the account you want to copy and click 'copy profile to.'
4) Enter %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\username as target location (replace 'username' with the name of the new account).

More details (including how to copy a profile to a network drive):

  • User accounts: Move account to another computer  
To clone a user account from XP to XP, or from XP to Vista, download the user state migration tool from M$.

  • User accounts: Programs that won't work on a limited user account  
List of programs that don't work on limited user accounts:;en-us;307091
That's just the tip of the iceberg.

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