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Evil Tips and Tricks - Part 1

Author: Spot
Posted on: 1/15/2001
Discuss: In the forums

Working as a desktop technician in the computer industry for a few years gives you a pretty good insight about what the average user knows and doesn't know. On the other hand, you get to learn what the other technicians you work with know and don't know as well. Since the day-to-day PC fixes get rather boring and repetitive after a certain amount of time, you must do something that still makes the job fun. Where I work, we would play evil computer tricks on each other to help make everyone's day just a little brighter. Not only is it fun to watch people squirm trying to figure out what has been done to their PC, it's also a very educational process for the person that has to fix it.

I am going to list some of the tricks we have played on each other over the years. The tips and tricks listed in this article are for informational and educational purposes only. LittleWhiteDog.Com will not assume or accept any responsibility if these tips are used in an inappropriate manner.

You will notice that each tip will identify which operating systems we know for sure it will work on correctly. Some of these items may work on other OS's, but if it was not tested by us, then I'm not going to list it. A "damage/annoyance meter" will also be included with each section. I hope everyone finds this information informative and educational and if you decide to venture out on your own and try these tactics, please don't come crying to us.

The Non-Existing Folder
  • Operating System = Windows 95 and 98
  • Annoyance level = High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
The objective is to create a folder on the Windows desktop that can not be opened, renamed, or deleted by the average Joe Schmoe. This is a great simple trick that just annoys the hell out of people. Here's how it works:

The Steps
  • Open up a DOS prompt and change to the C:\Windows\Desktop directory.
  • The ASCII keystroke for a "space" can be done by holding down the "Alt" key and pressing "255" on the numeric keypad.
  • In the DOS window, type in "MD YOU SUCK" without the quotes of course. But between the words "You" and "Suck" use the ASCII keystroke of [ALT+255] instead of using the spacebar.
  • So what you are really typing is this: "MD[spacebar]YOU[ALT+255]SUCK"
  • Got it?
  • Now exit the DOS window, and you should see a folder on the desktop that looks like the one pictured to the right.
Windows doesn't quite know how to handle this "ASCII space" so it tries to put an underscore in it's place. Now if you try to open the folder, you get the error message below letting you know that the folder does not exist. The second picture is what happens if you try to rename it. And don't worry, there is another error message of you try to delete the folder too.


This simple little trick will drive most people absolutely crazy trying to figure out how to get rid of the folder. Even the geekiest of computer techs have a hard time remembering all of the ASCII codes.

I guess I should tell you how to remove the folder now eh? To delete this folder, all you have to do is open a DOS prompt and type in "RD[spacebar]YOU[ALT + 255]SUCK". If you try to use a space instead of the ASCII code, it will not work. You must remove the folder with the exact manner that the folder was created.

Format From Within Windows
  • Operating System = Windows 95 and ????
  • Annoyance level = VERY HIGH
  • Damage Level = 5/5
The Objective
Did you know that you can format a C: drive from within Windows? You may have noticed above that under "operating system", I have only listed Windows 95 and ????. That is because after it worked on a Windows 95 box, I didn't want to try it on any more. I really didn't think it would work. Oh well, live and learn.

The Steps
  • Open a command prompt.
  • Type in "Format C: /U"
  • Answer "Y" to the question about "Proceed with format?".
  • Press Enter
  • Windows will NOT come back up.
Like I said before, I didn't think this one would really work but it does. So be careful.

Double Click Speed
  • Operating System = All Windows Versions
  • Annoyance level = High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
Setting the computer's Double-click speed on the mouse as fast as it will go. This generally annoys the crap out of people, especially the person that lifts their entire hand off of the mouse just to click the mouse button. You know what kind of person I'm talking about.

The Steps
  • Open up the mouse applet from the control panel.
  • Under the "button" tab, set the slider for Double-Click speed all the way to the right.
  • While you're in there, change the mouse buttons around for an extra kick.
  • Click "OK" and you're all set.
This trick is even MORE ANNOYING if you combine it with the next item listed - "Removing Control Panel Applets".

Removing Control Panel Applets
  • Operating System = Windows 95, 98 and ME
  • Annoyance level = High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
This little item comes in really handy when you change the mouse double click speed because the first place the user is going to go to fix the problem is the Control Panel right? Well, now we are going to remove the mouse applet (and other applets) from the control panel since most people won't know where else to launch them from.

The Steps
  • Click "Start", then "Run"
  • Type in "Control.ini"
  • Towards the top, you should see a section header titled "[don't load]"
  • Under that section type in "Main.cpl=no"
  • Save the control.ini file
  • To see the changes that were made, you can either exit out of control panel and open it again or you can hit "F5" a few times to refresh it.
  • NOTE: Adding "Main.cpl=no" to the control.ini also removes the Keyboard, Fonts, and Printers applet from the Control Panel.
Here is a screenshot of the Control.ini before and after making the modifications. Below that, you will find before and after caps of the Control Panel. You should notice that I didn't only remove the mouse applet from these caps.... I removed almost everything.

Control.ini Before Control.ini After
Control.ini Before Control.ini After

If you want to remove only select items from the Control Panel, I have taken the liberty of listing them below and what line must be put in the "[don't load]" section of the control.ini file. Enjoy.

Line In The Control.ini What Applet(s) Will Be Removed
Desk.cpl=no Display
Modem.cpl=no Modem
Mmsys.cpl=no Multimedia and Sounds
Netcpl.cpl=no Network
Main.cpl=no Keyboard, Mouse, Fonts, and Printers
Appwiz.cpl=no Add/Remove Programs
Sysdm.cpl=no Add New Hardware and System
Password.cpl=no Add/Remove Programs
Joy.cpl=no Game Controllers
Timedate.cpl=no Date/Time
Odbccp32.cpl=no ODBC Data Sources

Bypassing a 9x Screen Saver Password
  • Operating System = Windows 95
  • Annoyance level = Low
  • Damage Level = Potentially High
The Objective
Windows screen savers can really be a pain in the ass when you're trying to get on someone else's machine. Rebooting takes too long, and sometimes people will put a shortcut to their screen saver in the startup folder which can make it even more difficult to bypass. We have just the answer for this situation.

You're probably asking yourself - "How does it work?". Well, most people leave "Auto Run" on when it comes to the CD ROM so the application will launch just by inserting a CD. So therefore, we can take advantage of this single weakness in security with three simple files burned onto a CD - "Autorun.inf", "ssvrhack.bat", and "ssvrhack.exe". Here's the actual steps that this application will perform.

The Steps
  • When the CD is inserted into the drive, Windows will launch whatever is specified in the "Autorun.inf"
  • In this case, Autorun.inf launches a .BAT file named ssvrhack.bat that will ask you if you would like to remove the screen saver.
  • If you do not answer the question in 5 seconds (which you won't be able to because the screen saver is still on) the bat file calls the executable named "ssvrhack.exe"
  • "ssvrhack.exe" enters the registry and disables the screen saver password by changing "ScreenSaveUsePassword"=dword:00000001 located under [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] to "ScreenSaveUsePassword"=dword:00000000
  • Once the password is disabled, the "ssvrhack.exe" moves the mouse across the screen so the screen saver is off and you can see the desktop.
  • The last thing it does (and this is the best part) is re-enables the password in the registry so the user never even knows the machine has been accessed. And to answer your question before you even ask it, "YES - the password remains the same"
For your convenience, I have included two files here for download. One is an ISO image of the CD, and the other is the three files zipped up that need to be unzipped and burned on the root of the CD. Either way, you must have a CD burner in order to get this to work.

NOTE: I just removed Win 98 from the list of OS's this item will work on. The registry key is identical between Win 95 and Win 98 but for some reason, it is not working on 98. I'm investigating the matter right now and will hopefully figure it out.

Desktop From Hell
  • Operating System = Windows 95 and 98
  • Annoyance level = Very High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
The objective of this one is to copy the entire contents of any folder you want onto the desktop. In this case, we are going to use the C:\Windows folder. There are many different ways of doing this, so I'm just going to pick one or two methods and the rest will be up to the individual.

The Steps
  • Open up the AutoExec.bat file in notepad or any other ASCII text editor you choose.
  • Add the line "Copy C:\Windows\*.* C:\Windows\Desktop
  • Save the file and exit.
  • Next time the machine is rebooted, the entire Windows directory will be copied directly on the desktop.
If you don't want to edit the autoexec.bat file, you can also type the same line as mentioned above in notepad and save the file with a .BAT extension. Then make a shortcut to the .BAT file in the startup folder and the same results will be achieved.

I recommend the Autoexec.bat method because the first place someone is going to look is in the startup folder. But hey - everyone has their own preferences.

The Desktop Wallpaper
  • Operating System = All Windows Versions
  • Annoyance level = Low
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
The objective is to move or remove the desktop icons and replace the wallpaper with a screen cap of the desktop. This is the simplest trick in this article, but it will always confuse the newbie user, and even get the more advanced user for at least a minute or two.

The Steps
  • Close all running applications so the entire Windows desktop is exposed.
  • Press the "Print Screen" button to capture the screen to the clipboard.
  • Open the MS Paint program and press Ctrl + V to paste the image.
  • Save the picture of the desktop using .BMP extension into the Windows directory using whatever file name you choose.
  • Set the computers background (wallpaper) to use the image that was just created.
  • Once this has been completed, using your mouse, highlight all icons on the desktop at once.
  • Drag them all off of the screen so they can not be seen by the next user.
There you have it, a desktop wallpaper that appears to have functional icons. Now sit close and watch them double click the "icons" for a while trying to figure why they aren't working.

Moving and Removing the Start Button
  • Operating System = Windows 95 Only
  • Annoyance level = Medium
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
The objective is to move the Start button around on the task bar, or to remove it completely from the taskbar. I posted this information in the news on our main page several months ago, but it is fitting for this page, so I'll post it again.

The Steps
  • Click twice on the Start button so it has the dotted line around it.
  • Then press the "Alt" and the "-" keys simultaneously.
  • This will bring up the option box that allows you to move or close the Start button.
  • If you choose move, you will have to use the arrow keys to move it around the taskbar.
NOTE: Moving it doesn't stay if you move the entire start bar with your mouse, and ending task on explorer.exe or rebooting will put it back in the corner. Here's some screen caps for your pleasure.


Auto-Logon in Windows NT 4.0
  • Operating System = Windows NT 4.0
  • Annoyance level = High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
Turning Auto-Logon in Windows NT can be really funny, especially if the logon is using the "Guest" account or some other account that doesn't have rights to do squat. Here's what has to be done:

The Steps
  • Click on "Start", then "Run", and type in "Regedit".
  • Browse to the location [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
  • Create a new string and name it "AutoAdminLogon" and set the value to "1". ("AutoAdminLogon"="1")
  • In the same folder, you should find "DefaultUserName"="", "DefaultDomainName"="" and "DefaultPassword"=""
  • All that needs to be done, is fill in plain text values for these three strings.
For example:
If you REALLY wanted to be mean, you could run regedt32.exe and remove "Guest rights" from those keys and then they would never be able to access them to stop the Auto-logon, but I'm not going to show you how to do that here.

I should tell you that you must know the password in order for this to work. If you don't know the password for the account that is being entered, the account will get locked out faster than you can whistle Dixie. Windows will keep trying and trying until the BDC's lock out the account. This kind of brings us to our next and final evil trick.

Force Password Changes
  • Operating System = All Windows Versions (client side)
  • Annoyance level = Very High
  • Damage Level = 0/5
The Objective
You must have some domain privileges in order to perform this little annoyance, but forcing someone to change their domain password 2, 3, or 10 times a day really gets on peoples nerves. Especially when they can't use the same password each time. Usually it gets to the point where they forget what password they are using and they lock themselves out. Oh... it makes me laugh.

The Steps
  • In my experience, most Domain Admins or Deputies use Enterprise Administrator to administrate their Territories or Domains.
  • If you are using EA, all you have to do is open up the person's logon ID properties, and check the box "User must change password at next logon"
  • If you are not using EA, you can do the same thing in User Manager.
  • If the person is sitting at an NT Workstation, every time they try to access a mapped drive or authenticate to the domain, it will prompt them to change their password.

Well, there you have it... 10 evil tricks that we have done to each other over the years. If you need more information on the items listed in this article, we will be watching this forum thread very closely. It's much easier for us to answer questions in there than via E-mail.

If those Tips & Tricks weren't enough for ya, there's 10 more listed on this page!!!

Copyright © by LWD All Rights Reserved.

Published on: 2004-02-22 (60326 reads)

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