Configuring Windows Explorer - The Cookbook

This CookBook is a short synopsis of the suggested improvements to the standard Windows Explorer Configuration. As the name implies, only the how is included, not the why.
Basic Explorer Configuration
Enable the Toolbar by checking View/Toolbar
Using View/Options.../View
Select Show all files
Check Display the full path in the title bar
Uncheck Hide file extensions for known file types
Check Display compressed files and folders with alternate color (NT 4.0 only)
Add Edit in Notepad to the Send To folder
Win 95 Create a link to c:\windows\notepad.exe in c:\windows\sendto
Win NT Create a link to c:\winnt\notepad.exe in c:\winnt\profiles\[userid]\sendto
This allows the user to open any file in notepad, very useful since many text files are not associated with an application.

Configure the My Computer icon to show a file list instead of the stupid Large Icons
Using View/Options.../File Types, edit Folder and change the default action from Open to Explore

If you right click the My Computer icon, you can select either Open (Large Icons) or Explorer (Directory Tree).

Protect the Registry by changing the default action for *.reg files
Using View/Options.../File Types, edit Registration Entries and change the default action from Merge to Edit

Add new folder/directory functionality
Edit the Folder file type using View/Options.../File Types
 New Action   Command
DOS Shell (95) c:\windows\ /k cd
DOS Shell (NT) c:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe /k cd
Make dir.txt c:\windows\ /c dir /a/ogen/-p "%1"> "%1"\dir.txt
Print DIR (95) c:\windows\ /c dir /a/ogen/-p "%1"> LPT1:
Print DIR (NT) c:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe /c dir /a/ogen/-p "%1"> ~dir.txt & notepad.exe /p ~dir.txt & del ~dir.txt &
Make Directory c:\windows\ /c cd "%1" | md NewDirectory
Notepad notepad.exe    (edit the registry to remove the %1)
Copy Path To Clipboard C:\Utils\CopyToClipboard.exe "%1"
CopyToClipboard.exe is 14 kb, Copyright Jun 1999 by Robert Clemenzi, You may use it freely as long as I get credit.
Create Directory C:\Utils\CreateDir.exe "%1"
CreateDir.exe is 169 kb, Copyright Mar 1999 by Robert Clemenzi, You may use it freely as long as I get credit.

In each case, use c:\windows\ for Windows 95, c:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe for Windows NT 4.0.

DOS Shell works with Windows 98.
The Notepad selection does not default to the current directory with Windows 98.
In some cases, "%L" may give better results than "%1".

UnZip or view the directory in a zip file
Add a PK ZIP file type using View/Options.../File Types
Add the following actions
Un-Zipc:\Utilities\PKZ204G\Pkunzip.exe -d
View Contentsc:\windows\ /k "c:\Utilities\PKZ204G\Pkunzip.exe -vb %1 |more"
View Contentsc:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe /k "c:\Utilities\PKZ204G\Pkunzip.exe -vb %1 |more"
(This will not work if the directory contains spaces.)

This does not work with Windows 98 - you get a "Bad command or file name" error. Apparently, the pipe to more is failing. However, there are additional problems which I can not isolate.

The Explorer icon opens C:\, but all my files are on H:\.
Create a shortcut and enter just the name of the directory you what. If it contains spaces, enclose the name in double quotes.

Configure htm & html file associations to launch multiple applications
In the registry
Rename Open to something that makes sense, like Browse in IE 3.0

Using Internet Document (HTML) via View/Options.../File Types
Add a new Edit in Notepad action C:\WINNT\system32\NOTEPAD.EXE
Change the default to your choice - most developers prefer an editor to a browser. However, some applications will fail, such as FrontPage and MSNBC News Alert, if an editor is the default.

Configure the bat file default association to view the contents ... not to execute them
In the registry
Rename Open to something that makes sense, like Execute BAT File
Remove the user lockouts (EditFlags) which prevent changing the default action.

Using MS-DOS Batch File via View/Options.../File Types
Change the default action to Edit

There is a small problem that shortcuts to batch files perform the default action ... and, of course, everything in the Start menu is a shortcut. This is probably why users are not normally allowed to change the bat default action. Simply renaming the default action has no affect on this.

Disable smooth scrolling (not required unless IE 4.0 has been installed)
In the registry, add a SmoothScroll DWORD value of "00,00,00,00" to This can also be set using TweakUI.
In Windows 98, the value is either 0 or 1 and the function can be disabled by right clicking the desktop, selecting properties, and un-checking Animate windows, menus and lists on the Effects tab.
NOTE: This parameter is normally cached and will not appear to work until you re-boot or force a cache update.

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / WinExplorer / WinExplorerCookBook.htm