Disable Feature Cripplers Like WinLock by Changing Windows Registry Policies

When I was a high school senior. I was in charge of the network and the technology lab. Part of my job included maintaining and fixing the computers. As a systems administrator, I required full access to the network and the machines. Unfortunately, some of the computers were locked. Back when I was a freshman that the previous systems administrator installed a feature crippler called Winlock on all of the machines to prevent students from changing settings like the desktop background and installing programs like computer games.

I hate it when people install programs the cripple functions in the operating system. But, I suppose it was necessary back then since the computers in the lab had Windows 98 installed. Unfortunately, Windows operating systems like 98 are not based on the NT Kernel. Therefore, WinLock was necessary in order to render a "guest user" environment for the students.


Cracking WinLock
Unfortunately, everybody in the past who had anything to do with the computer department forgot the password. So, I had to try some rudimentary workarounds like deleting the Winlock *.exe files. When that didn't work, I was at the verge of just reinstalling Windows. But, I decided to first look into the registry. There, I found where all the Winlock magic came from. In fact, it wasn't really magic. I discovered that you didn't have to buy expensive software to cripple features for guest users. If you knew what you were doing, you just have to change a couple of registry keys. The related keys are as follows:


  1. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  2. "NoWindowsUpdate"=dword:00000001
  3. "NoDrives"=dword:00000004
  4. "NoCommonGroups"=dword:00000001
  5. "NoSetFolders"=dword:00000001
  6. "NoDesktop"=dword:00000001
  8. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Comdlg32]
  9. "NoPlacesBar"=dword:00000001
  11. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  12. "NoDriveTypeAutoRun"=hex:95,00,00,00
  13. "NoRun"=dword:00000001
  14. "NoFind"=dword:00000001
  15. "NoSetFolders"=dword:00000001
  16. "NoSetTaskBar"=dword:00000001
  17. "NoDesktop"=dword:00000001
  18. "NoClose"=dword:00000001
  19. "NoAddPrinter"=dword:00000001
  20. "NoDeletePrinter"=dword:00000001
  21. "NoPrinterTabs"=dword:00000001
  22. "NoActiveDesktop"=dword:00000001
  23. "NoActiveDesktopChanges"=dword:00000001
  24. "NoSetActiveDesktop"=dword:00000001
  25. "NoInternetIcon"=dword:00000001
  26. "ClassicShell"=dword:00000001
  27. "NoFileMenu"=dword:00000001
  28. "NoViewContextMenu"=dword:00000001
  29. "NoFavoritesMenu"=dword:00000001
  30. "NoChangeStartMenu"=dword:00000001
  31. "NoFolderOptions"=dword:00000001
  32. "NoRecentDocsMenu"=dword:00000001
  33. "CDRAutoRun"=hex:00,00,00,00
  35. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\RestrictRun]
  36. "0"="WINLOCK.EXE"
  37. "1"="LAUNCHER.EXE"
  38. "2"="LOCKWALL.EXE"
  40. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Network]
  41. "NoNetSetup"=dword:00000001
  42. "NoNetSetupIDPage"=dword:00000001
  43. "NoNetSetupSecurityPage"=dword:00000001
  44. "NoFileSharingControl"=dword:00000001
  45. "NoPrintSharingControl"=dword:00000001
  47. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
  48. "DisableRegistryTools"=dword:00000001
  49. "NoDispCPL"=dword:00000001
  50. "NoDispAppearancePage"=dword:00000001
  51. "NoDispBackgroundPage"=dword:00000001
  52. "NoDispScrSavPage"=dword:00000001
  53. "NoDispSettingsPage"=dword:00000001
  54. "NoConfigPage"=dword:00000001
  55. "NoDevMgrPage"=dword:00000001
  56. "NoFileSysPage"=dword:00000001
  57. "NoVirtMemPage"=dword:00000001
  58. "NoAdminPage"=dword:00000001
  59. "NoProfilePage"=dword:00000001
  60. "NoPwdPage"=dword:00000001
  61. "NoSecCPL"=dword:00000001

Windows Policies
To enable or disable features in the operating system, you would just change the relevant keys in these registry entries. For example, to disable the control panel you just change (or create) a dword "NoDispCPL" with the value of 00000001 in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.

Quick Fix
I made it easy for you. If you have a crippling software or some features have somehow been disabled, I created a registry file that will enable everything.

  1. Just copy the text at the end of this article and paste it in a new file called "cure.reg" on the C: drive.
  2. Restart your computer in MS-DOS mode.
  3. Then at the C:\> prompt, enter "regedit cure.reg".
  4. When it is complete just restart the computer. Basically this cure.reg file contains the text of the keys above but instead of 00000001 (which mean "yes") it replaces it with 00000000 (which means "no").

  2. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  3. "NoWindowsUpdate"=dword:00000000
  4. "NoDrives"=dword:00000004
  5. "NoCommonGroups"=dword:00000000
  6. "NoSetFolders"=dword:00000000
  7. "NoDesktop"=dword:00000000
  9. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Comdlg32]
  10. "NoPlacesBar"=dword:00000000
  12. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  13. "NoDriveTypeAutoRun"=hex:95,00,00,00
  14. "NoRun"=dword:00000000
  15. "NoFind"=dword:00000000
  16. "NoSetFolders"=dword:00000000
  17. "NoSetTaskBar"=dword:00000000
  18. "NoDesktop"=dword:00000000
  19. "NoClose"=dword:00000000
  20. "NoAddPrinter"=dword:00000000
  21. "NoDeletePrinter"=dword:00000000
  22. "NoPrinterTabs"=dword:00000000
  23. "NoActiveDesktop"=dword:00000000
  24. "NoActiveDesktopChanges"=dword:00000000
  25. "NoSetActiveDesktop"=dword:00000000
  26. "NoInternetIcon"=dword:00000000
  27. "ClassicShell"=dword:00000000
  28. "NoFileMenu"=dword:00000000
  29. "NoViewContextMenu"=dword:00000000
  30. "NoFavoritesMenu"=dword:00000000
  31. "NoChangeStartMenu"=dword:00000000
  32. "NoFolderOptions"=dword:00000000
  33. "NoRecentDocsMenu"=dword:00000000
  34. "CDRAutoRun"=hex:00,00,00,00
  36. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\RestrictRun]
  37. "0"="WINLOCK.EXE"
  38. "1"="LAUNCHER.EXE"
  39. "2"="LOCKWALL.EXE"
  41. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Network]
  42. "NoNetSetup"=dword:00000000
  43. "NoNetSetupIDPage"=dword:00000000
  44. "NoNetSetupSecurityPage"=dword:00000000
  45. "NoFileSharingControl"=dword:00000000
  46. "NoPrintSharingControl"=dword:00000000
  48. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
  49. "DisableRegistryTools"=dword:00000000
  50. "NoDispCPL"=dword:00000000
  51. "NoDispAppearancePage"=dword:00000000
  52. "NoDispBackgroundPage"=dword:00000000
  53. "NoDispScrSavPage"=dword:00000000
  54. "NoDispSettingsPage"=dword:00000000
  55. "NoConfigPage"=dword:00000000
  56. "NoDevMgrPage"=dword:00000000
  57. "NoFileSysPage"=dword:00000000
  58. "NoVirtMemPage"=dword:00000000
  59. "NoAdminPage"=dword:00000000
  60. "NoProfilePage"=dword:00000000
  61. "NoPwdPage"=dword:00000000
  62. "NoSecCPL"=dword:00000000
  64. [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\WinOldApp]
  65. "Disabled"=dword:00000000
  66. "NoRealMode"=dword:00000000
  68. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]

Note that this article only applies to Windows 95 to ME. Windows NT, XP, and Vista use a different, much easier way to change policies.

Hope this works! Comment on your experience!

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8 Responses to “Disable Feature Cripplers Like WinLock by Changing Windows Registry Policies”

  1. asbo11 Says:

    Used this to info to "cripple" my sons win98 pc to I didnt have ti reinstall windows every week after he installed yet another crappy game of the internet...

  2. trekkerdon Says:

    thanks for the fix

  3. Conceited Says:

    Thank-you very much! This is helpful... very helpful. 🙂

  4. grafix Says:

    do you have an idea on how to disable winlock or the features that has been LOCKED<<>>

    i cany unistall it>>

    im using xp SP3

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