Saturday, August 8, 2009

Speed Up Your Bandwidth By 20% !, Windows uses 20% of your bandwidth

Windows uses 20% of your bandwidth Here's how to Get it back

A nice little tweak for XP. Microsoft reserve 20% of your available bandwidth for their own purposes (suspect for updates and interrogating your machine etc..)

Here's how to get it back:

Click Start-->Run-->type "gpedit.msc" without the "

This opens the group policy editor. Then go to:

Local Computer Policy-->Computer Configuration-->Administrative Templates-->Network-->QOS Packet Scheduler-->Limit Reservable Bandwidth

Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth. It will say it is not configured, but the truth is under the 'Explain' tab :

"By default, the Packet Scheduler limits the system to 20 percent of the bandwidth of a connection, but you can use this setting to override the default."

So the trick is to ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO.

This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%.

I have tested on XP Pro, and 2000
other o/s not tested.

Please give me feedback about your results

Speed up Mozilla FireFox

Mozilla Firefox, Speed it up!

Speed up Mozilla FireFox


1. Type "about :config" in the adress field.
2. Set the value of network.http.pipelining to "true".
3. Set the value of network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to "100".
4. Set the value of network.http.proxy.pipelining to "true"
5. Set the value of nglayout.initialpaint.delay to "0" (not availible in newer versions)

Speed up menu display

Speed up menu display

When using the start menu the you will notice a delay between different tiers of the menu hierarchy. For the fastest computer experience possible I recommend changing this value to zero. This will allow the different tiers to appear instantly.

Start Regedit. If you are unfamiliar with regedit please refer to our FAQ on how to get started.
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Select MenuShowDelay from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify.
Change the value to 0
Reboot your computer.

Sp2 Tweaks

Sp2 Tweaks

Disable the SP antivirus and firewall functions - and keep XP from nagging about it:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center]
; don't monitor firewall and antivirus

;Disable antivirus and firewall check at boot time

SP2 enables Auto Updates by default. This is good for you, but some folks disagree, so here is how to turn it off:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update]
;disable Auto Update
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center]
;Stop nagging about AU being turned off

How to turn off the SP2 firewall (if you must):

; turn off firewall policy for domain profile
;disable firewall policy for standard profile

Change some popup settings:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0]
;turn off IE popup blocker and return activeX handling to pre-SP2 setting for local system and current user
;1001 = 1 (prompt before download signed ActiveX)
;1004 = 1 (prompt before downloading unsigned ActiveX)
;1200 = 0 (prompt before download signed ActiveX)
;1809 = 3 (disable popup blocking)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\1]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\2]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\4]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\1]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\2]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\4]

Or you can disable Security Center altogether by disabling the wscsvc service.

;Disable Security Center

Sp2 For Xp Slipstream, Integrate SP2 into your XP CD

This is a long one but it works really nicely:

I have used this method with great success and I want to say that I did not create it, but in checking several sources, I find that it is pretty much the standard way to Slipstream the new SP2 that is being posted all over so have fun ...... If you follow the steps to the letter, you shouldn't fail on the very first attempt or the first burn

SlipSTreaming XP SP2

Now that Service Pack 2 (SP2) has been released (RTM 2180) for Windows XP a lot of people have been updating their systems. In fact, a lot have been doing clean installations followed immediately by applying SP2 to eliminate much of the garbage that has collected over the past year of using XP. There really isn't a downside to reformatting and doing a clean install, but if there was one I suppose it could be that the installation of SP2 might be quite time consuming, especially if you do it through Windows Update. However, there is a way to reduce this time expenditure.

If you fall into the category of users that frequently reformat their systems and clean install XP from the CD then creating a slipstreamed version of XP/SP2 can be a huge time saver. You invest the time once and then on subsequent reinstalls you avoid bringing XP up to SP2 speed via Windows Update downloads and installations. You will still have to get the post SP2 updates from Windows Update, but the time saved will still be worthwhile.

There are a few essential items necessary to successfully create the slipstreamed CD. You will need:

The original Windows XP installation CD ROM (Preferably A Corporate Edition)
Note \ it doesn’t matter if you slipstreamed a normal XP version or XP with SP1 (By MS OR Slipstreamed before) one At the end you’ll always come out with a XP\ SP2 CD ROM.
The new CD can be created from either the Home or Professional version of Windows XP. If your computer came with an OEM version of XP it can also be used.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 - It will be necessary to either download SP2 or obtain it on CD. To slipstream, you need the full SP2 which is a 265MB( RTM Version) download from forum or wait till it’s officially on Microsoft site.

CD Creation Software - A burning program for your CD-R or CD-RW drive that allows creating bootable CD's. Unfortunately, while XP does come with the capability to burn CD's built in, the software it uses is not suitable for this task. Since the majority I know seem to be using Nero Burning Rom I've used it in the tutorial, but the instructions can be adapted to other burning software.

ISO Buster - Used to extract the boot loader image file for the Bootable CD. It's a free download (free to try ware)

Building Directories
The first step is to build a directory structure to hold the files that will be used in the CD creation process. It's a simple structure, requiring nothing more than a main folder with three sub-folders. It doesn't matter what names you use for your structure or where you locate them on your hard drive, but most users find drive C the easiest. I used the structure shown below, located on Drive “C:\”. Create whatever folders you are comfortable with or use the ones below if you want to cut and paste commands later in the tutorial. Whatever your choice, it's the relationship between the components that's important, not the naming of the parts.

Main Folder: XP-SS [Located on Drive C]
Sub-Folder: SS-Boot
Sub-Folder: SS-Root
Sub-Folder: SS-XP2
Copying and Extracting Files:

The first step is to insert the Windows XP CD and copy the entire contents into the SS-Root folder or the equivalent folder in your structure.
Before copying the XP CD make sure that the system is set to display all hidden and system files to ensure a complete copy of all files on the CD. The settings to control what files are visible are located in Windows Explorer > Tools > Folder Options > View tab. Make sure [Show hidden files and folders] radio button is selected and [Hide protected operating system files] is unchecked.

The second step is to navigate to where you downloaded the Service pack 2 file. If you downloaded SP2 from Microsoft it should be named xpsp2_en_x86.exe.
The current RTM version named \ xpsp2_RTM_ENU.exe. Copy the file to the XP-SS folder and then rename it to xp-sp2.exe after the copy operation completes.
(If you are using the CD of SP1 the files should already be extracted. Copy them into the XP-SS folder)

Use the Run dialogue shown below to extract the contents of the Service Pack to the previously created SS-XP2 folder.
The Run dialogue box is accessed from [Start] [Run]
The command to begin the extraction is: C:\XP-SS\XP-SP2.EXE -U -X:C:\XP-SS\SS-XP2

Apply the extracted Service Pack 2 to Windows XP in the SS-Root folder using the [Run] dialogue box.

The Run dialogue box is accessed from [Start] [Run]
The command to apply the Service Pack is:
C:\XP-SS\SS-XP2\i386\update\Update.exe -S:C:\XP-SS\SS-Root

The Service Pack 2 is being integrated into the Windows installation folder.
Successful completion of the integration process.

In order to make the new CD bootable it's necessary to add the file Microsoft Corporation.img to the folder SS-Boot we created earlier. There are a number of ways to do this but the easiest is to use ISO Buster. With the Windows XP CD in your CD drive,( Or Any Bootable Win Xp Version You Might Have) open ISO Buster. Click on Bootable CD in the left pane then right click ( Microsoft Computing.img )( IF Its Not The MS Original CD The Boot File Name Might Any Thing Else The Most Common IS (Arnes Boot Record.img ) so any way we’ll use the (*.img file) in the right pane,
finally right clicking Extract Microsoft Corporation.img file. (Extrack To SS-Boot Folder)

Setting Up The Nero Burning Rom Software:
Depending on how you have Nero configured it may open to a wizard that offers a number of screens to walk you through the process of selecting the type of CD to be created. If the wizard does appear, close it so the main Nero application loads

Select [File] [New...] from the menu bar.

The New Compilation window will open.

In the left column, select “CD-ROM (Boot)” then select the Boot tab

In [Source of Boot Image Data] section, select the [Image File] radio button.

Use the [Browse] button to navigate to the C:\XP-SS\SS-BOOT folder and select MicrosoftCorporation.img file (it ill be asking for A “*.ima File Put the last scroller down on (all files (*.*) ) and choose the *. Img file we extracted earlier (it will work fine).

Make sure the [Enable Expert Settings] box is checked.

Set [Kind of Emulation] to No Emulation

Set [Load Segment of Sectors] to 07C0

Set [Number of Loaded Sectors] to 4 (Failing to set this to 4 will make the CD unbootable)

Once the settings are in place, switch to the ISO tab


Select them as follows

File Name Length ( Max Of 31 Chars ( ISO Level 2)
Format mode 1
Character Set Iso 9660
And then make sure all the other options are checked

Very Important Note

In the [Relax ISO Restrictions] section it's essential you check the [Do Not Add the ';1' ISO File Version Extension] checkbox or the slipstreamed CD will not be able to boot. If this option is not available on the ISO tab, you must stop now and upgrade to a newer version of Nero - Burning Rom before proceeding.

The Label Tab:

I've never had a problem with any of the slipstreamed CD's I've created by using a Volume Label different from the label that is provided for Windows XP home and Professional version CD's. However, if you prefer, set a Volume Label consistent with the original XP CD. The official labels are listed below.

Set the [Volume Label] field depending on your Windows XP version.

If you have Windows XP Professional enter WXPCCP_EN

If you have Windows XP Home enter WXHCCP_EN

If you have Windows XP Professional OEM enter WXPOEM_EN

If you have Windows XP Home OEM enter WXHOEM_EN

With SP2:

Set the [Volume Label] field depending on your Windows XP version.

If you have Windows XP Professional enter WXPCCP_SP2_EN

If you have Windows XP Home enter WXHCCP_ SP2_EN

If you have Windows XP Professional OEM enter WXPOEM_ SP2_EN

If you have Windows XP Home OEM enter WXHOEM_ SP2_EN

Once the Volume Label has been set, click the [Burn] tab to open the window where the basic burn parameters will be selected.

The Burn Tab:

Make sure the [Write] and [Finalize CD] options are checked in the Action section of the Burn tab and that the proper [Write Speed] has been selected for your burner. The [Write Method] should be set to Disc-At-Once. If you want more than one copy of the CD, enter a new value in [Number of Copies].

Once the burn options have been set, click the [New] button to open the window where the files to be added to the CD will be selected.

Adding The Files To Be Copied:

Clicking the [New] button in the previous step opens the Nero - Burning Rom - ISO1 window that's divided into two distinct sections; ISO1 and File Browser.

In the File Browser window, navigate to SS-Root or your equivalent folder. Click on the first file in the list, hold down the Shift key and click on the last file in the list to select all the files and folders in the C:\XP-SS\SS-Root folder.

Drag and drop the selected files to the ISO1 window.

Press the [Burn] icon on the menu bar to open the Write CD window. the [Burn] icon is the ninth one from the left in the menu bar.

”Important Important Important”:
When you press burn the previous setting window will appear before you press burn button in the right go back to the boot tab and make sure of the following one more time

*Make sure the [Enable Expert Settings] box is checked.

*Set [Kind of Emulation] to No Emulation

*Set [Load Segment of Sectors] to 07C0

*Set [Number of Loaded Sectors] to 4 (Failing to set this to 4 will make the CD unbootable)
Nero will by default disable them so make sure they are set right - its better of you review the rest of the settings as well.

Burning XP:

The Write CD screen allows visual monitoring of the burning process. A few notes are in order relating to insuring a successful burn.

Before you start the burning process close all other programs. Burning a CD can be very processor and memory intensive and there is no sense in taxing the system more than necessary.

If you use a screensaver, disable it before the burning process as an extra precaution. The same applies to your anti virus software if it starts scans or updates automatically.

How long the burning process takes will vary widely depending on your system and the CD burner speed. It may not appear like anything is happening at times, but be patient and more than likely all will be fine.

If the burn does fail, especially because of a buffer problem, reduce the speed of the burn and try again.

Some More Tips To Improve Your Winxp

How to Install the Netbeui Protocol on a Windows XP-Based Computer
This article describes how to install the NetBEUI protocol on a Windows XP-based computer. This may be useful because the NetBEUI protocol is not included in the list of installable protocols in Windows XP even though the files that are needed to install the protocol are included with the installation CD-ROM. It is important to note that the NetBEUI protocol is not supported on Windows XP.
The Netnbf.inf and Nbf.sys files are the files that are needed to install the NetBEUI protocol. To install the NetBEUI protocol:
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Network Connections.
Right-click the adapter you want to add NetBEUI to, and then click Properties.
On the General tab, click Install.
Click Protocol, and then click Add.
Click Have Disk, insert your Windows XP CD-ROM, open the Valueadd\msft\net\netbeui folder, click the Netnbf.inf file, and then click Open.
Click OK, and then click OK to complete the installation.

Change Out Your Pointer Scheme
Tired of seeing your pointer as an arrow or an hourglass all the time? Windows XP offers a number of alternative pointer schemes, such as Dinosaur, Ocean and Sports.
Open the Control Panel, double-click Mouse, and select the Pointers tab. (If you start in Category view, select Appearance and Themes, then click Mouse Pointers under "See Also.") Next to Schemes, click the down arrow and select a scheme to preview its pointers. Click OK to apply the scheme to your desktop. Simple as that.

Know your rights
Windows XP comes bundled with Windows Media Player 8.0. While Media Player plays just about any digital media file format--it supports 35, including MP3, it records music only in the Windows Media Audio, or WMA, format. The reason? Content protection.
When recording, or ripping, music from CDs, Media Player allows you to make protected recordings so that no one will be able to copy the recording from one computer to another. You can turn copy protection on or off on the Copy Music tab by checking or unchecking the box that says Protect Content.

Protect your identity
Like many other audio players, Windows Media Player rushes out to the Internet to find information for you when you play a CD. Some of this information, such as song titles and album art, is useful, but Media Player also identifies your copy of Media Player to the site where it's getting data. Why? According to the help file, "The server uses this unique identifier to monitor your connection. By monitoring your connection, the server can make adjustments to increase the playback quality and to alert you about events that occur when receiving streams over the Internet."
If you're disturbed by this exchange of information, here's how to stop it. In Windows Media Player, click Tools > Options and go to the Player tab. Notice the option that says "Allow Internet sites to uniquely identify your player?" Turn it off.

Reduce Temporary Internet File Space
The temporary internet files clutter your hard drive with copies of each page visited. These can build up over time and take up disk space. Even more bothersome is that instead of getting new pages each time IE often takes the page out the temp internet files. This can be a problem if you are viewing a website that is updated all the time. If you are on a slow connection such as a 56K or lower then this can be good but if you are on a fast broadband connection, like me, then you can get away with decreasing the size of your temp internet files to just one meg without any performance decrease

Turn Off System Recovery
Right click on My Computer and choose Properties. Click on the System Restore tab and check the box Turn off System Restore. (This will increase Windows performance & save disk space)

Win XP Won’t Completely Shutdown
Goto Control Panel, then goto Power Options.
Click on the APM Tab, then check the "Enable Advanced Power Management support."
Shut down your PC. It should now successfully complete the Shut Down process

Disable error reporting
Open Control Panel
Click on Performance and Maintenance.
Click on System.
Then click on the Advanced tab
Click on the error-reporting button on the bottom of the windows.
Select Disable error reporting.
Click OK
Click OK

Close Multiple Windows : Note works in all versions of Windows
If you just opened a number of separate, related windows (a folder inside a folder, and so on), there's an easier way to close them all than one-at-a-time. Hold down the Shift key as you click the X caption button in the upper-right corner of the last window opened. Doing so closes that window and all windows that came before it.

Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons
Here's how you can remove those shortcut arrows from your desktop icons in Windows XP.
Start regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile
Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
You may need to restart Windows XP.

Remove Shared Documents
Open Regedit(Start- Run- Regedit) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer My Computer NameSpace DelegateFolders There will see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. By Deleting this you can remove the 'Other Files stored on This Computer' group.

Turn of CD Auto Play
Open My Computer
Right click on your CD ROM and choose Properties
Click on the Auto Play tab
In the drop down box you can choose the Action for each choice shown in the drop down box
Go to Start->Run->gpedit.msc
Computer Config -> Administrative Template -> System
Double click Turn off Autoplay
Enable it.

Getting MP3 ripping to work in Windows Media Player 8 in XP
Enter the following in the registry : [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE
MicrosoftMediaPlayerSettingsMP3Encoding] "LowRate"=dword:0000dac0 "MediumRate"=dword:0000fa00 "MediumHighRate"=dword:0001f400 "HighRate"=dword:0002ee00 This corresponds to 56, 64, 128 and 192 Kbps. You can change this to your liking using the following dword hex values : 320 Kbps = dword:0004e200 256 Kbps = dword:0003e800 224 Kbps = dword:00036b00 192 Kbps = dword:0002ee00 160 Kbps = dword:00027100 128 Kbps = dword:0001f400 112 Kbps = dword:0001b580 64 Kbps = dword:0000fa00 56 Kbps = dword:0000dac0

This is for broad band connections. I didn’t try it on dial up but might work for dial up.
make sure your logged on as actually "Administrator". do not log on with any account that just has administrator privileges.
start - run - type gpedit.msc
expand the "local computer policy" branch
expand the "administrative templates" branch
expand the "network branch"
Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in left window
in right window double click the "limit reservable bandwidth" setting
on setting tab check the "enabled" item
where it says "Bandwidth limit %" change it to read 0
Effect is immediate on some systems, some need to re-boot. This is more of a "counter what XP does" thing. In other words, programs can request up to 20% of the bandwidth be reserved for them, even with QoS disabled, this is no big deal and most programs do not request it. So, although QOS has caused a big stink because people think it reserves 20% of their bandwidth, you can still disable it, just to be sure, hehe.

Increase your cable modem or DSL speed in XP
This tweak is for broad band cable connections on stand alone machines with winXP professional version - might work on Home version also. It will probably work with networked machines as well but I haven't tried it in that configuration. This is for windows XP only, it does not work on win2000.
I use 3 Com cards so I don't know how it works on others at this point. It does not involve editing the registry. This tweak assumes that you have let winXP create a connection on install for your cable modem/NIC combination and that your connection has tcp/ip - QoS - file and print sharing - and client for microsoft networks , only, installed. It also assumes that winxp will detect your NIC and has in-box drivers for it. If it doesn't do not try this.
In the "My Network Places" properties (right click on the desktop icon and choose properties), highlight the connection then at the menu bar choose "Advanced" then "Advanced Settings". Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK

From the windows XP cd in the support directory from the support cab, extract the file netcap.exe and place it in a directory on your hard drive or even in the root of your C:\ drive.
next, open up a command prompt window and change directories to where you put netcap.exe. then type "netcap/?". It will list some commands that are available for netcap and a netmon driver will be installed. At the bottom you will see your adapters. You should see two of them if using a 3Com card. One will be for LAN and the other will be for WAN something or other.
Next type "netcap/Remove". This will remove the netmon driver.
Open up control panel / system / dev man and look at your network adapters. You should now see two of them and one will have a yellow ! on it. Right click on the one without the yellow ! and choose uninstall. YES! you are uninstalling your network adapter, continue with the uninstall. Do not restart yet.
Check your connection properties to make sure that no connection exists. If you get a wizard just cancel out of it.
Now re-start the machine.
After re-start go to your connection properties again and you should have a new connection called "Local area connection 2". highlight the connection then at the menu bar choose "Advanced" then "Advanced Settings". Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK.
Choose connection properties and uncheck the "QOS" box
Re-start the machine
after restart enjoy the increased responsivness of IE, faster page loading, and a connection speed boost.
Why it works, it seems that windows XP, in its zeal to make sure every base is covered installs two seperate versions of the NIC card. One you do not normally see in any properties. Remember the "netcap/?" command above showing two different adapters? The LAN one is the one you see. The invisible one loads everything down and its like your running two separate cards together, sharing a connection among two cards, this method breaks this "bond" and allows the NIC to run un-hindered.

Add a Map Drive Button to the Toolbar
Do you want to quickly map a drive, but can’t find the toolbar button? If you map drives often, use one of these options to add a Map Drive button to the folder toolbar.
Option One (Long Term Fix)
Click Start, click My Computer, right-click the toolbar, then unlock the toolbars, if necessary.
Right-click the toolbar again, and then click Customize.
Under Available toolbar buttons, locate Map Drive, and drag it into the position you want on the right under Current toolbar buttons.
Click Close, click OK, and then click OK again.
You now have drive mapping buttons on your toolbar, so you can map drives from any folder window. To unmap drives, follow the above procedure, selecting Disconnect under Available toolbar buttons. To quickly map a drive, try this option.
Option Two (Quick Fix)
Click Start, and right-click My Computer.
Click Map Network Drive.
If you place your My Computer icon directly on the desktop, you can make this move in only two clicks!

Do Not Highlight Newly Installed Programs
Tired of that annoying little window that pops up to tell you that new software is installed? If it gets in the way when you’re logging off, turn it off completely.

To do this Click Start, right-click at the top of the Start menu where your name is displayed, and then click Properties.
In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, on the Start Menu tab, click Customize.
Click the Advanced tab, and then clear the Highlight newly installed programs check box.
Click OK, and then click OK again.
Now that message won’t be popping up when you least want to see it.

Speed up the Start Menu
You can use this tip to speed up the Start Menu in Windows XP release candidate 1. You can customize the speed of the Start Menu by editing a Registry Key.
Click Start, and then click Run.
Type Regedit in the box, and then click OK.
Expand the menu in the left panel and select the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop folder.
Scroll down in the right panel and double click on the MenuShowDelay file.
In the Value Data box, change to default value for the menu speed from 400 to a lesser number, such as 1.
Click OK.
Caution: Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.

Stop Password Expiration
After you have run Windows XP for a while, you may receive this message when you log on: "Your password will expire in 14 days.....".
By default, Windows XP is set up with passwords which will expire after 42 days. 14 days in advance, Windows will start warning you of this fact. If you do not want your passwords to expire:
Go to Start > Run and in the Open: box type control userpasswords2
Select the Advanced tab in the User Accounts window
Press the Advanced button below the Advanced user management header
Select Users in the Local Users and Groups
In the right pane, right-click the user name for which you want to change the setting, and select Properties
On the General tab, check Password never expires
Click Apply and OK (all the way out)

Hide yourself what?
Once you've created a user account, password-protect it to keep other users from viewing your files, Favorites, and cookies. Why? You may not want your child to see the note that you're sending to his or her teacher, or you may be planning someone's surprise party. (Note: Anyone with an Administrator account can still see them.)
Worried about remembering your password? Create a hint to help you when you initially create it by following the prompts during setup. XP stores the password hints in the Registry at Hkey_local_machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Hints.
What if the hint doesn't help? Any user or Administrator can create a password reset disk, which you can use to log on and create a new password. Go to Control Panel > User Accounts and select "Prevent a forgotten password" in the Related Tasks box on the left. Follow the wizard's instructions. After creating the disk, find a safe place for it. Don't forget the password or where you put the disk. Someone else could use it to change your password without you knowing it.

Not A Tweak, But A Double XP Surprise!
Neither Win2K nor WinME has the ability to create a simple, basic, DOS- based boot floppy (a "startup disk") unless you jump through hoops or do things in nonstandard ways. Because XP is the fusion of Win2K and Win9x/ME, I assumed it would follow the same "no boot floppy" tack. But instead, I was surprised to poke around in XP and see that the format option there does indeed offer a "Create MS-DOS Startup Disk."
As an experiment, I created a startup disk, and all went smoothly. I was able to use the disk to boot my PC without any problems. But when it started up, I got the second surprise. The DOS boot message showed "Microsoft Windows Millennium." To confirm this, I typed "Ver" to see what version of DOS was running, and the screen showed: Windows Millennium [Version 4.90.300]
Although it's very strange to see the WinME startup message on an XP-created floppy, all this means is that Microsoft cribbed a few essential DOS boot files from WinME, and made it so XP can drop them onto a freshly- formatted floppy for you. I'm glad they did: It's a very good thing that Microsoft restored the ability to make a simple boot disk.

Automatically defrag drives with a new context menu item
Create a new Registry import file named context_defrag.inf in Notepad (be sure to save with it with the Save as type set to All Files and not Text Documents) and place the following text inside:
; context_defrag.INF
; Adds Defrag to the right click context menu in Windows XP
HKCR,"Drive\Shell\Defrag\command",,,"DEFRAG.EXE %1"
Then, right-click and choose Install. This will add a context menu to XP that allows you to automatically defrag drives, using the command line version of the built-in defragmentation utility. To use it, navigate to a drive in My Computer, right-click, and choose Defrag. A command line window will appear, and that drive will be defragged. When it's complete, the window just disappears.

Create a Password Reset Disk
Microsoft has enhanced security features in XP including the the ability to create a floppy diskette to recover your password incase it is forgotten.

Click Start
Click Control Panel
Click User Accounts
Click on the account which you want to create a password disk
Click Prevent a forgotten password which starts the Forgotten Password Wizard . This is found under Related Tasks
Insert a blank, formatted disk into drive A, and click Next
Enter the password in the Current user account password box
To use the recovery disk, at the Welcome screen

Click the user name whose password is on the recovery disk
Click the question mark button
This causes the Did you forget your password message to appear.
Click use your password reset disk
This will start the Password Reset Wizard.
From this point, just follow the wizard's instructions and you will be able to set a new password. It is different if you are part of a domain, see next tip.

How to Create a Password Reset Disk for computers that are part of a domain
Note that this procedure requires one blank, formatted floppy disk.
To create a password reset disk for your local user account:
Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE. The Windows Security dialog box appears.
Click Change Password . The Change Password dialog box appears.
In the Log on to box, click the local computer. For example, click Computer (this computer) .
Click Backup . The Forgotten Password Wizard starts.
On the "Welcome to the Forgotten Password Wizard" page, click Next .
Insert a blank, formatted disk in drive A, and then click Next .
In the Current user account password box, type your password, and then click Next . The Forgotten Password Wizard creates the disk.
When the progress bar reaches 100 percent complete, click Next , and then click Finish . The Forgotten Password Wizard quits and you return to the Change Password dialog box.
Remove, and then label the password reset disk. Store the disk in a safe place.
In the Change Password dialog box, click Cancel .
In the Windows Security dialog box, click Cancel.
If you forget your password, you can log on to the computer with a new password that you create by using the Password Reset Wizard and your password reset disk.
To gain access to your local user account on a computer that is a member of a domain, or has been disconnected from a domain:
In the Welcome to Windows dialog box, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE.
In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type an incorrect password in the Password box, and then click OK .
In the Logon Failed dialog box that appears, click Reset . The Password Reset Wizard starts. The Password Reset Wizard lets you create a new password for your local user account.
On the "Welcome to the Password Reset Wizard" page, click Next .
Insert the password reset disk in drive A, and then click Next .
On the "Reset the User Account Password" page, type a new password in the Type a new password box.
Type the same password in the Type the password again to confirm box.
In the Type a new password hint box, type a hint that will help you remember the password if you forget it. NOTE : This hint is visible to anyone who attempts to log on to the computer by using your user account.
Click Next , and then click Finish . The Password Reset Wizard quits and you return to the Log On to Windows dialog box. The password reset disk is automatically updated with the new password information. You do not have to create a new password reset disk.
In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type your new password in the Password box.
In the Log on to box, click the local computer. For example, click Computer (this computer) , and then click OK . You are logged on to the local computer with your local account information.

CD-R Drive or CD-RW Drive Is Not Recognized As a Recordable Device. (Q316529)
When you attempt to record (burn) data to a compact disc recordable (CD-R) drive or compact disc rewritable (CD-RW) drive, you may not have the option to send data to the CD-ROM drive.
When you view the properties of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive, you may notice that the Recording tab is not displayed in the CD Drive ( drive_letter :) Properties dialog box, where drive_letter is the letter of the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive.
NOTE : To view the CD Drive ( drive_letter :) Properties dialog box, click Start , click My Computer , right-click the CD-R drive or CD-RW drive that you want, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu that appears.

One-Click Shutdown
If you have Clean Sweep Deluxe, Mike recommends that you disable it before proceeding. Follow these directions to create a one-click shutdown shortcut:

Navigate to your desktop.
On the desktop, right-click and go to New, then to Shortcut (in other words, create a new shortcut).
You should now see a pop-up window instructing you to enter a command line path.
Enter one of these as the path:
Use this path if your operating system is Windows 95, 98, or Me:
C:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindows
Use this path if your operating system is XP:
SHUTDOWN -s -t 01
If the C: drive is not your local hard drive, then replace "C" with the correct letter of the hard drive.
Click the "Next" button.
Name the shortcut and click the "Finish" button.
Now whenever you want to shut down, just click on this shortcut and you're done. Also, if you want to make life better and faster, you can right-click the new shortcut you just made, go to Properties, and type in X (or whatever letter) in the Shortcut Key box.

Microsoft Windows XP System Restore
The System Restore feature of Microsoft Windows XP (the operating system previously known as Microsoft Whistler) enables administrators to restore their PCs, in the event of a problem, to a previous state without losing personal data files (such as Word documents, drawings, or e-mail). System Restore actively monitors system file changes and some application file changes to record or store previous versions before the changes occurred. With System Restore, users never have to think about taking system snapshots as it automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which allow users to revert the system back to a previous time. Restore points are created at the time of significant system events (such as application or driver install) and periodically (every day). Additionally, users can create and name their own restore points in Windows XP at any time. System Restore has an automatic restore point space-management feature that purges the oldest restore points to make room for new ones, so that a rolling safety net is always kept under the user, enabling the user to recover from recent undesirable changes.
System Restore is enabled by default and will run upon the successful completion of either the Windows XP Professional or Personal x86 version installation. It requires a minimum of 200 MB of space available on the system partition. If there are not 200 MBs available, System Restore will install disabled and will enable itself automatically once the required disk space is created.

Winamp Causes an Error Message in Windows XP (Q321857)
When you attempt to drag MP3 files into the playlist in the Nullsoft Winamp program, your computer may become unstable, or you may receive the following error message:
Crash caused in ntdll.dll!! Winamp.exe has encountered a problem and must be shut down. We apologize for the inconvenience.
If the error message is still displayed and you want to see the data that the error report contains, click the click here link at the bottom of the message box. You then see error signature information that may be similar to the following:
App Name App Version Module Name Module Version Offset

Set Win Explorer to open the folder you want!, Little trick

ired of "Windows Explorer" always opening up with My Documents?

You can customize it by changing the properties for the "Windows Explorer" icon and replacing the Target field with:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, c:\yourfolder

Securing WinXP Pro (with what win-xp has to offer

Securing WinXP Pro (with what win-xp has to offer)

Note: These are just notes of the changes i made to win-xp pro using win-xp options
after my default install. These changes will not secure your box 100% but they
make a good couple of 1st steps. They are in no specific order other than the
order that I performed them. I have only spent a couple of hours working on
this operating system at the time of this text so please bare with me and
understand that there is much more to securing your box than this.

1. NTFS Partition.
2. Disable Error Reporting
3. Disable Automatic Updates (only if your XP copy is pirated)
4. Disable "Recent Documents" Viewed
5. Setup XP Firewall
6. Setup screensaver password
7. Setup BIOS password
8. Setup "AfterBios" login password
9. Account Modifications
-Rename Admin Account
-Disable Guest Account
-Disable Help_Assistant Account
-Disable Support Account
10. Install a virus scanner.
11. Change Login Screen (default shows usernames)
12. Disable Remote Registry (and other services)
13. Disable/Change Auto-Search settings in IE.

1. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NTFS Partition (I like being God over system users)

Be sure to install XP onto an NTFS partition so that you (the admin) can take advantage
of file permissions. You want this option so that "you" can decide who reads, writes,
executes what files.

If you didnt install XP onto an NTFS partition. Convert It. To convert to NTFS follow
the instructions below.

Open a command prompt and type "convert c: /FT:NTFS /v"

This command will convert your c: partition from FAT to NTFS in verbose mode.

2. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disable Error Reporting - we dont want microsoft to know everytime we fuck up.
especially if we didnt pay for winxp.

control panel >> performance and maintenance >> system >> advanced >> error reporting
(disable all)

right click "my computer" >> manage >> services and applications >> services >> " stop
and disable" Error Reporting.

3. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disable automatic updates - to update, they must know what we have. thats a NO NO!

NOTE: DO THIS ONLY IF YOUR COPY OF XP IS PIRATED!! I suggest "auto update" if your copy
of XP is legal. If your copy is pirated then i suggest that you stay updated with
the latest fixes and patches manually.

control panel >> performance and maintenance >> system >> automatic updates
(disable updates)

right click "my computer" >> manage >> services and applications >> services >> " stop
and disable" Automatic Updates.

4. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quit listing most recent documents opened under the start button - Dont want the
girlfriend or the parents to find that pr0n you being viewing.

control panel >> appearance and themes >> task bar and start menu >> start menu >>
customize >> advanced

remove the checkmark next to "List my most recently opened documents".

5. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Block incoming traffic to your winxp box. - Before this change, i scanned my xp box and
found it to have many ports wide open. After this change, I found nothing and xp logged
the attempts in c:\windows\pfirewall.log.

control panel >> network connections >> right click "local area connection" >> properties
>> advanced >> check the box under "Internet Connection Firewall" then choose "settings".

Services Tab - leave all unchecked unless there is a service you are running that people
must be able to access.

Logging Options - Log everything.

ICMP - I left all these unchecked for the time being. (allowing nothing)

(this does not protect you from "Spy Ware". This only stops traffic from coming into
your win-xp box (not all traffic). It does not stop traffic from going out.) If you
need to stop traffic from going out and need a more secure firewall then download a real
firewall like "zone alarm or black ice".

6. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Setting a screensaver password incase you leave some of that secret pr0n open when you
walk away.
right click on the desktop >> properties >> screen saver >> check the box next to " On
Resume, Password Protect."

If you dont have a password set on your user account, you can do so in control panel >>
user accounts >> change account.

7. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Setting a BIOS password - We dont want anyone rebooting the computer or trying to sneak
into our pr0n while we are away at school or work.

I cant explain to one how this is done due to the differences between all computers and
how the BIOS settings are entered. If you know what Im talking about then do it. If you
dont know what Im talking bout then learn how to do it. A screensaver password is useless
unless you setup a BIOS password.

8. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Setting up the "AfterBios" password. Sometimes bios passwords are easily cracked. This
password will add extra local login security incase your bios pass is crax0red. I dont
know bout you but i love having to type in 3 passwds and a username to login to my box.

Start >> run >> type "syskey" >> choose "update" >> choose "Password Startup" >> enter a
password and choose ok.

9. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Renaming and Disabling Accounts for adminstrator, guest, help_assistant and support.
Right click my_computer >> manage >> local users and groups

rename administrator account
disable guest account
disable help_assistant account
disable support account

10. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Install Virus Protection............. (We like our uncorrupted data and trojan free system)

Install a virus scanner. Your firewall might protect your system from unwanted hackers but
what about an unwanted virus or trojan?. I recommend installing a virus scanner such as
"Nortons" or "McAfee".

11. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Change Default Login Screen............ (why do we want to share usernames with anyone?)

Xp uses the "welcome screen" by default. This screen has the names of all accounts on the
system so that the user only has to click on their name and type a password. Come on now....
We arent that damn lazy. If we change this screen to the normal login, then prying eyes
will have to know a username and password to get in. Follow the instruction below to change

control panel >> user accounts >> change the way users log on or off

uncheck the box next to "Use Welcome Screen" and choose "apply options".

12. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disable Remote Registry..........(why would I need to edit my registry remotely anyway?)

right click "my computer" >> manage >> services and applications >> services >> " stop
and disable" Remote Registry.

NOTE: disable any services running in this area that you arent using.

13. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disable/Change Auto-search in Internet Explorer. This is not really a security risk but it
is important to some people that prefer to keep their internet surfing to themselves and
away from microsoft.

Open Internet Explorer >> Click the "search" button >> click the "customize" button >> click
"autosearch settings" >> FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS BELOW...........

DISABLE: In the "When Searching" drop down menu, select "Do not search from the address bar".
>> click "ok" >> "ok". Type an invalid address in your address bar and see if it
takes you to the msn search page or if it gives a "page not found" error. In this
case, the "page not found" error is what we want.

CHANGE: If you wish not to disable, but you wish to change it to your favorite ""
search page. Instead of following the "DISABLE" instructions, follow the instructions
below. Choose "Google Sites (or whatever you prefer)" from the "choose a search provider
to search from address bar" drop down menu >> click "ok" >> "ok"

Secrets Of Lock Picking



By Steven Hampton

originally published by Paladin Press (c) 1987
(don't let the date fool you. This is good stuff)

brought to you by
Dr. Bloodmoney


Well, I'm bringing you this file because I have a scanner and an
OCR package and I like to pick locks. This file is a complete transcription
of the book, Secrets of Lock Picking by Steven Hampton, minus the chapter
on warded locks (These locks are cheap. Use a hammer and a screwdriver).
Before getting on to the subject, I would just like to use this opportunity
to say that you can not just read this file and know how to pick locks. It
does take practice. The good news is that by practicing you will learn how
to open locks. And fast, too. I have heard many people say "It's not like
the takes time to pick a lock." Well, sometimes thats true, but
I have picked a Sargeant six-pin, high-security tumbler lock in three seconds.
And other similar locks in the the same time frame as well. So I know that
it can be done. But don't worry. Practicing is not boring. There is a
certain thrill present when you pick a lock for the very first time.
Imagine the sensation of knowing that you can get into almost anywhere you
want. Believe me when I tell you that it is very cool.


Lock Identification
Pin Tumbler Locks
Wafer Tumbler Locks
Double Wafer Locks
Pin and Wafer Tumbler Padlocks
Tubular Cylinder Locks
Mushroom and Spool Pin Tumbler Locks
Magnetic Locks
Disk Tumbler Locks
Tips for Success


The ancient Egyptians were the first to come up with
a complicated security device. This was the pin tumbler
lock. We use the same security principle today on millions
of applications.

The most commonly used lock today is the pin tumbler
lock. A series of pins that are divided at certain points
must be raised to these dividing points in relationship to
the separation between the cylinder wall and the shell of
the lock by a key cut for that particular series of pin divi-
sions. Thus the cylinder can be turned, and the mechanism
or lock is unlocked.

Lock picking means to open a lock by use of a flat piece
of steel called a pick. Actually, the process requires two
pieces of flat steel to open cylinder locks. It amuses me
to watch spies and thieves on TV picking locks using only
one tool. But it is for the better in a sense. If everyone
learned how to pick locks by watching TV, we would all
be at the mercy of anyone who wanted to steal from us,
and the cylinder lock for the most part would be outdated.

The actual definition of lock picking should be: "The
manipulation and opening of any restrictive mechanical
or electronic device by usage of tools other than the
implied instrument (key or code) used solely for that
device." A little lengthy, but more accurate description.
With cylinder locks, it requires a pick and a tension

By picking the lock, you simply replace the function
of a key with a pick that raises the pins to their "break-
ing point," and using a tension wrench one rotates the
cylinder to operate the cam at the rear of the lock's cylinder
to unlock the mechanism.

(See Fig-01.GIF)

The tension wrench is used to apply tension to the
cylinder of the lock to cause a slight binding action on
the pins as well as to turn the cylinder after the pins have
been aligned by the pick; this opens the lock. The slight
binding action on the pins caused by the tension wrench
allows one to hear and feel each pin as it "breaks" or
reaches alignment with the separation of cylinder and
shell. The vibration is felt in the knuckles and joints of
the fingers, and the sound is similar to that of a cricket
in an arm wrestling match-a subtle yet distinct click.

Usually you need very little tension with the wrench
while picking the lock. In fact, it takes somewhat of a
delicate, yet firm touch. This is the secret to picking locks
successfully-a firm and yet gentle touch on the tension
wrench. You should be able to feel the pins click into place
with the right amount of tension; experience will be your
true guide.

Half of your success will be based on your ability to
use or improvise various objects to use as tools for your
purpose. The other half will depend on practice. I once
picked a pin tumbler lock using a borrowed roach clip
and a hairpin. A dangerous fire was prevented and prob-
ably several lives were saved. The world is full of useful
objects for the purpose, so never hesitate to experiment.


I started picking locks using a small screwdriver and
a safety pin. The screwdriver can be used as a tension
wrench, and the safety pin is used like a "hook" pick.
The last half inch of the screwdriver's tip was bent at a
45 degree angle so as to allow easy entry for the pick (bent
safety pin). Do not heat the screwdriver tip to bend it,
as this will destroy its temper. Use a vise and hammer to
do the job. Bend slowly by using firm and short taps of
the hammer, otherwise you may break and weaken the
shaft. The safety pin should be about one and a half inches
long and bent in the same way.

With the small screwdriver as a tension wrench, you can
use more of a turning or twisting movement than with
a regular tension wrench so you will generally need less
direct force when using it. As I mentioned earlier, with
practice you will develop the feeling for the right amount
of tension on a cylinder. If the safety pin bends after a
short time, use the keyway of the lock you are picking
to bend it back into shape. Even after several times of
bending, it should still be useful. Keep a few spares handy,
though. File the tip of the safety pin flat in relationship
to the bottom of the pins in the lock. Smooth any sharp
edges so that you won't impale yourself. Also, if the tip
is smooth, the pick will not get hung up on the pins while
picking the lock.

Granted these are not the best tools for the job, but
they do work. If you learn to use your junk box as a rich
source of equipment, then with your experience real lock
picks will give you magic fingers. Also, you'll have the
advantage of being able to improvise should you be
without the real things (which are illegal to carry on your
person in most parts of the country).

Lock picks are difficult to get. I received my first set
when I became a locksmith apprentice. All of my subse-
quent sets I made from stainless steel steak knives with
a grinder and cut-off wheel. They are much more durable
than the commercial picks. If you do make your own,
make certain that the steel is quenched after every 3
seconds of grinding-do not allow the pick to get hot to
the point of blue discoloration.

A diamond pick is the standard pick I use on most all
pin and wafer locks. A small diamond pick is used for
small pin tumbler locks such as small Master padlocks,
cabinet file locks, etc. The tubular cylinder lock pick, we
will discuss later. The double-ended, single-pronged ten-
sion wrench is used with the diamond pick. It features
double usage; a small end for small cylinders and a large
end for the larger cylinders. A special tension wrench is
used for double-wafer cylinder locks with an end with two
prongs on one end and tubular cylinder locks with the
single prong on the other end. We will discuss tubular
cylinder and double-wafer locks later as well. The steel
should be .030 inches to .035 inches thick for the picks
and .045 inches to .050 inches thick for the first tension
wrench mentioned above. The second tension wrench
should be .062 inches square (.062 inches x .062 inches)
on the tubular cylinder side (one pronged end), and .045
inches thick on the double-wafer end (two-pronged end).
You can accomplish this by starting out with .045 inches
in thickness. The two-pronged end should be bent carefully
in a vise at a 30 degree angle. This allows easy entry for
the pick on double-wafer locks.

(See fig-02.GIF)

Among the more common tools used by professionals
around the world is the rake pick. The rake pick is used
to "rake" the tumblers into place by sliding it in and out
across the tumblers. I seldom use the rake pick because
it is not highly effective and I consider it a sloppy excuse
for a lock pick. I've seen the rake pick work on some dif-
ficult locks, but you can rake with a diamond pick and
get the same results. I prefer the diamond pick for most
tumbler locks simply because it is easier to get in and out
of locks-it slides across the tumblers with little or no

A ball pick is used for picking double-wafer cylinder
locks, though I never carry one; I use a large diamond
pick and reverse it when picking these locks. This means
I have one less pick to carry and lose.

(See fig-03.GIF)

A double-ball pick is used like a rake on double-wafer
locks in conjunction with a tension wrench (two-pronged

A hook pick is used to open lever tumbler locks, though
again, I use a diamond pick with a hooking action when
possible. There are various sizes of hooks but they all have
the same basic job-to catch the movable levers that
unlock lever locks.

There are also various sizes of tension wrenches. They
are usually made from spring steel. The standard tension
wrench is used for pin and wafer locks. A special tension
wrench is called a Feather Touch, and it is used for high-
security mushroom and spool pin tumbler locks. Its
delicate spring-loaded action allows the pick to bypass the
tendencies of these pins to stick. A homemade version of
the Feather Touch can be made from a medium-light duty
steel spring.

As to getting lock picks for your own use, you cannot
go down to your local hardware store and buy them. I
could supply you with some sources or wholesalers, but
I do believe it is illegal for them to sell to individuals. Your
best bet would be to find a machine shop that will
fabricate them for you. It would be less expensive and
arouse less suspicion if you purchase a small grinder with
a cut-off wheel and make your own. With a little prac-
tice, you can make a whole set in an afternoon. Use a copy
of the illustrations in this book as templates and carefully
cut them out with an X-ACTO knife. Cut down the middle
of the lines. Acquire some stainless steel (many steak
knives approach proper thickness).

With a glue stick, lightly coat one side of the paper
template and apply it to the cleaned stainless surface, and
allow it to dry. You'll need a can of black wrinkle finish
spray paint. This kind of paint has a high carbon con-
tent and can stand high temperature of grinding. Spray
the stainless (or knives) with the patterns glued on and
dry in a warm oven or direct sunlight for one hour. Set
aside for twenty-four more hours. Peel off the paper
template and you are ready to cut and grind. Please use
caution when cutting and grinding. The piece should be
quenched every three seconds in cold water. Smooth up
sharp edges with a small file or burnishing wheel.

Tools made from stainless steel will outlast the pur-
chased ones. The tools purchased from most suppliers are
made from spring steel and wear out after about 100 uses.
The stainless steel ones, if properly made, should last over
2,000 uses.


There are many types of locks, the most common being:

1. The pin tumbler lock. Used for house and garage doors,
padlocks, mail boxes, and Ford automobiles.

2. The wafer tumbler lock. Used for garage and trailer
doors, desks, padlocks, cabinets, most autos, window
locks, and older vending machines.

3. The double-wafer lock. Used for higher security wafer
tumbler applications.

4. The warded locks. Used for light security padlocks and
old-fashioned door locks.

5. Lever locks Used for light security and older padlocks,
sophisticated safe-deposit boxes, some desks, jewelry
boxes, and small cash boxes.

6. Tubular cylinder locks. Used for alarm control systems,
newer vending machines, car-wash control boxes and
wherever higher security problems might exist.

These locks are the more common locks used yet there
are variations and combinations of these principal types
that usually pick open in the manner that will be discussed.
Some of them just require practice of the basic types,
others luck, and most of the rest of them knowledge of
how that particular lock works and is keyed. This comes
from experience.

(See fig-04.GIF)


Pin tumbler locks offer the most security for their price.
They have close machine tolerances and approximately
1,000,000 different key combinations for a five-pin lock.
Considering the thousands of different companies mak-
ing pin tumblers (different shaped keyways for each com-
pany or design line), the chances of someone having a key
that will work in your front door lock are one in many

Pin tumbler locks can easily be identified by peering
down the keyway and locating the first round pin.

Sometimes you can see the pin's dividing point, where it
breaks with the cylinder wall (shear point).

To successfully pick a pin tumbler lock, your sense of
touch sould be honed so that both hands feel the tools.
Once the hand holding the pick has located a slight relief
in tension while picking a particular tumbler, the other
hand holding the tension wrench will feel a relief or break-
ing point. Both hands should be involved with the sense
of touch, the sensing of the inner workings of the lock.

We are now ready to begin the first lesson. First open
your front door and check for a pin tumbler lock on it.
It should have one on it. If there is one, leave the door
open to decrease suspicion. Do not lock yourself out of
your apartment or house by being overconfident; not only
will you raise suspicion, but window glass is not cheap.



Without using the tension wrench, slip the pick into
the lock. The "hook" of the pick should be toward the
tumblers (up in most cases, depending on whether or not
the lock was mounted upside down-you can tell by look-
ing down the keyway and locating the first pin with your
pick). Try to feel the last tumbler of the lock. It should
be 7/8 inches into the lock for a five-pin tumbler lock
(most common pin tumbler lock used).

Make certain that you have no tension on the wrench
when inserting the pick as this will encumber the frontal
tumblers. When you feel the back tumbler, slowly raise
it with a slight prying motion of the pick. Release it, but
keep the pick in the lock on the rear tumbler.

Now insert the tension wrench, allowing room for the
pick to manipulate all of the pins. It should be placed at
the bottom of the cylinder if the lock was mounted
upright, tumblers toward the top of the cylinder. Apply
firm and yet gentle clockwise pressure to the tension

Slowly raise the back tumbler with a slight prying mo-
tion of the pick. A minute click will be felt and heard when
it breaks. It will lose its springiness when this occurs, so
do not go any further with it. Any further movement with
the pick will cause binding by going past the pins' shear
line. Continue an even pressure with the tension wrench.

Keeping an even tension pressure, proceed to Step Two.


The fourth tumbler should be easily felt since it is the
next one in line. Raise it until it breaks, keeping the ten-
sion wrench steady. It too will give a sound and sensa-
tion when it breaks or aligns.


The third or middle tumbler is next. Again, it too will
click. Maintain a constant, even pressure on the wrench-
about the same pressure that you would use to replace
a cap on a catsup bottle. You may feel the "clicks" in your
tension wrench as well as hear them.

(See fig-05.GIF)


Continue on to the next tumbler out, working toward
you. When it breaks, raise the last (front) tumbler to its
braking point and the cylinder should be free to rotate
and unlock the door. Sometimes you may have to play
with the wrench to open the lock because you may have
raised a tumbler too high, past its breaking point. If this
is the case, very slowly and gradually release the tension
wrench pressure and the overly extended tumbler will drop
into its breaking point before the other tumblers have a
chance to fall. The cylinder should pop open at that point.
I have found that this technique is responsible for over
30 percent of my successes in opening all tumbler locks.

If the lock still refuses to open after all that treatment,
release the tension wrench pressure, allowing all of the
tumblers to drop and start over. You may have more than
one tumbler too high and would be better off to repeat
the picking process.


Wafer tumbler locks make up over one-fourth of the
locks in use in the world. Since they are generally easier
to pick than most pin tumbler locks, you will be 75 per-
cent master after fooling around with these mechanisms.
That is why I wrote about pin tumbler locks first-they
are more difficult and make up over one-half of the locks
used today.

(See fig-06.GIF)

The term wafer refers to the general shape of the
tumblers. The wafers are flat, spring-loaded tumblers that
are much thinner than pins and the distance between them
is less. Wafer locks are picked in the same way as pin
tumbler locks, but you must compensate for the smaller
dimensions. You can identify wafer locks simply by look-
ing down the keyway and locating the first flat tumbler.
The last tumbler on most wafer locks is located about one-
half inch into the lock.

Wafer locks are used on filing cabinets, lockers, most
cars, garage doors, desks, and wherever medium security
is required. The only wafer tumbler lock in common use
that is difficult to pick is the side-bar wafer lock. It is the
most popular type of auto lock. This lock is of different
design than most other locks and offers much more secur-
ity than a regular wafer tumbler lock, or even a pin
tumbler lock.

The side bar lock is used mostly on General Motors
cars and trucks since 1935. It is used on ignitions, door,
and trunk locks. Side bar locks are hard to pick because
you cannot feel or hear the tumblers align with the
cylinders breaking point. A spring-loaded bar falls into
place to allow the cylinder to turn when all of the tumblers
are aligned. There is no way to tell when that happens.
One learns to sense the bar while picking so that it seems
to fall into place by itself. But for beginners, I recommend
this technique for emergency openings: Peer down the
keyway and locate the side groove of any of the tumblers
using a pick as a searching tool. Drill a small hole in the
shell of the lock above the bar which is above the grooves
on the tumblers. Since side bar locks have off-centered
keyways, the usual place to drill is opposite of the keyway.
Using an L-shaped steel wire, put pressure on the sidebar
and rake the tumblers using a tension wrench for cylinder
rotation and the lock will open.

Fortunately, most GMC autos have inferior window
seals; with a coat hanger, one can lasso the locking door
knob to open the door. If you are going to be successful
at opening side bars, you will do it within two minutes;
otherwise, you are causing unnecessary wear on your picks
not to mention wasting your time.

Ford auto locks are relatively simple to pick. They have
pin tumblers and you have to remember that the door
locks turn counterclockwise. Most other auto locks turn
clockwise. If you are not sure, remember this: If the
tumblers will not catch at their breaking points, you are
going in the wrong direction with the tension wrench.

Wafer locks are a cinch to pick if you have learned how
to pick pin tumblers. Just remember that wafers are thin-
ner than pins and there is less distance between them.

Generally you need less tension-wrench pressure with these
locks, yet car locks can be quite stubborn and require a
great deal of tension. Any heavily spring-loaded cylinder
needs a substantial amount of tension.

As a rule, though, wafer locks need less play with the
tension wrench than with pin tumbler locks. But if you
find yourself having difficulty in opening these, you may
try a little tension-wrench play. Usually they won't pop
open like pin tumbler locks, they just slide open; you don't
get the warning that a pin tumbler gives before it opens
because there is less contact area on the wafer's edge than
on a pin, so the sense of climax is reduced with these types
of locks. Still, they open quite easily.


Double-wafer locks are picked in the same way as single-
wafer locks, but there are two sides to the story. Not only
do you have to align the top wafers, but you have ones
in the bottom of the cylinder to align as well.

The Chicago Lock Company was the first to come up
with this type of lock. It is a classic example of the race
toward better security. Certain tension wrenches allow
uninterrupted picking using ball picks. You can also use
a standard tension wrench or small screwdriver and place
it at the center of the keyway. To eliminate unnecessary
baggage, use a diamond pick, reversing it to encounter
both top and bottom wafers.

(See Fig-07.GIF)

The last tumbler in this type of lock is located less than
one-half of an inch in. The picking procedure may have
to be repeated more than one time-top wafers, then bot-
tom wafers, top, bottom-back and forth. Yet these locks
are easier to pick than most pin tumblers.

Locate the last wafer on the top side and move it to
its breaking point. Do the same with the other top wafers.
Keep the tension wrench firm, remove the pick, turn it
upside down (if you are using a diamond or homemade
pick), and reinsert it to work the bottom wafers. You may
have to repeat this process a few times, but double-wafer
locks can and will open with such treatment. Schlage has
a doorknob lock that opens this way, but the last tumbler
is about one and one-half inches in.

Double-wafer locks are easy to master if you have
learned to pick pin and wafer tumbler locks. Since double-
wafer locks are more compact, you have to compensate
for the fact-slightly closer tolerances. These type of locks
are used on old pop and candy machines, gas caps,
cabinets, etc.


Cylinder padlocks require a technique of holding them
with the same hand with which you are using the tension
wrench. This technique allows one to pick the padlock
without going into contortions over a dangling padlock.
Assuming that you are right-handed, hold the padlock
in your left hand by gripping the body of the padlock with
your thumb and forefinger. Insert the tension wrench at
the bottom of the keyway and hold it in a clockwise turn
with your ring and little finger, causing a slight binding
pressure on the cylinder. Now your right hand is free to
pick, and your left hand does the job of holding both the
lock and tension wrench. The overhand method works
well, too, but the thumb controls the tension wrench
instead. Switch around to find which is most comfortable
for you.

When tumbler padlocks pop open, it is quite a sensa-
tion because the shackle is spring-loaded and gives one
quite a jolt. It's a feeling of accomplishment. You may
need a little more tension on padlocks than on door locks
because the cylinder cam has to operate a spring-loaded
bolt. Overall, padlocks are the most fun to open. Prac-
tice using old or discarded padlocks that you have found.
I've worn out hundreds of them.


(Note: Diagrams of tubular lock were omitted due to the fact that picking
them with conventional methods is a complete waste of time. There are picks
available that are specifically designed to pick this kind of lock in a
matter of seconds)

We will gradually proceed to more sophisticated locks
from here. I would like to remind you that success is not
based on personality. If one is arrogant about one's lock-
picking skills, one could easily be made a fool of by a
lock. And no matter how many times you bash a cylinder,
you will still be locked out. The only thing you accomplish
is attracting an audience-so be cool.

If at this point you have had much difficulty under-
standing the principles of pin and wafer locks, please
restudy this book from the beginning. Read it several times
so as to absorb it. The information that you now have
has taken me almost two decades to gather, so please be
mindful of that.

Now you are about to learn how to open the more dif-
ficult locking mechanisms-some of the other 25 percent
of the locks used today. You should feel confident with
pin, wafer and double-wafer tumbler locks before you
attempt rim cylinder locks.

Tubular cylinder locks stand out as the most generally
accepted lock in all important industries using high-quality
locks for protection of property, merchandise, and cash.
They are recognized as giving the maximum amount of
security for their price range.

Tubular cylinder locks are pin tumbler locks arranged
on a circular plane. Unlike conventional pin tumbler locks,
all of the pins are exposed to the eye. The central section
of the lock rotates to operate the cam when all of the seven
pins have reached their breaking points. When the pro-
per key is entered into the lock, the tumblers are pressed
into position so that the central section (plug) can be
turned. This manual operation of inserting the key places
the tumblers in position so that the lock can be operated
and ensures that frost, dust, salt, or unfavorable climatic
conditions will not affect the smooth operation of the

The Chicago Ace lock is a product of the Chicago Lock
Company of Chicago, Illinois. It is an effective security
device and is used on vending machines, coin boxes, and
burglar alarms. A larger, more complex version of it is
used on bank doors and electronic teller machines. The
key is of tubular shape with the cuts arranged in a circle
around the key.

The pick used for this lock is the tubular cylinder pick,
or you may use a straight pin or your homemade safety
pin pick. The one-pronged end of the tension wrench is
a little more specialized and is used for rim cylinder locks.
It must be .062 inches square for best results. Any square
steel stock is acceptable, as long as it fits snugly into the
groove of the tubular cylinder plug.

This type of lock is a burglar's nightmare because it
takes so long to pick. You have to pick it three or four
times to accomplish the unlocking radius of 120 to 180
degrees. And the cylinder locks after each time you pick
it-every one-seventh of a turn.

If you leave the lock only partly picked, the key will
not be able to open it, so you must pick it back into the
locked position after opening it-another three or four
picking sessions. In all, to unlock and lock the cylinder,
you have to pick it up to eight times-quite a chore if you
don't have the right tools or time.

These locks almost always pick in the clockwise direc-
tion. Make certain that the tension wrench fits snugly into
the groove on the cylinder. Very slowly push the first pin
down until it clicks, maintaining a definite clockwise
pressure on the tension wrench. Once the tumbler has
broken, do not push any further and proceed to the next
one, and so on. As you reach the last tumbler, the ten-
sion wrench will feel more slack and give way if the lock
were properly picked.

There are special keyhole saws for these locks in which
you drill out the tumblers and turn the cylinder. Also there
is a special tool used by locksmiths to open rim cylinder


High-security pin tumbler locks may contain specially
made pins to make picking them more challenging. The
pins are machined so as to make picking them quite dif-
ficult. When picking these locks, the pins give the impres-
sion that they have broken, when in fact they could be
a long way from breaking. You can tell whether or not
you are picking a pin tumbler lock that has these pins by
the fact that the pins seem to align so easily with a louder
than normal click. The cylinder seems eager to open but
to no avail.

The picking procedure relies on a well-yielding tension
wrench. The tension wrench has to be lightly spring-loaded
so that the pins can bypass their false breaking points.
You also have to "rake" (seesaw in and out) the pins with
your pick. The feather-touch tension wrench is ideal for
the job. Use light pressure with it, and it will let you in.

(Note: A feather-touch tension wrench is not necessarily required. A normal
tension wrench will work fine with an extremely light tension on it. The
weight of just your index finger alone should be enough in most cases.)

The mushroom and spool pins are used in locks for
high-security purposes such as bank doors. The American
Lock Company uses them in some of their padlocks.


Magnetic locks are fascinating. I almost hate to open
them because I feel that I have breached their uniqueness.
In reality, you do not pick them, but "confuse" them. They
generally work on the principle that like magnetic
polarities repel each other. The key is a set of small
magnets arranged in a certain order to repel other magnets
in the lock, thereby allowing the spring-loaded bolt or cam
to open the lock.

By using a pulsating electromagnetic field, you can
cause the magnets in the lock to vibrate violently at thirty
vibrations per second, thereby allowing it to be opened
by intermittent tugging of the bolt or turning of the door

This method may also ruin the small magnets in the
lock by changing their magnetic status or properties. So,
if you have to perform an emergency break-in with these
locks, do not relock the door. The card or key will not
operate the lock.

The magnetic pick can be used on padlocks by strok-
ing it across the place where the key is placed. It is also
designed to fit into the doorknob and is used by stroking
one pole in and out or by using the other pole the same

If you have had little or no training and experience
building something like this, please have a friend who is
familiar with basic electronics do it for you. Do not take
the chance of electrocuting yourself. Make sure that the
coil is also completely covered with electrician's tape after
you have wound the 34 gauge wire. Also make sure that
the steel core has at least three layers of tape over it. Do
not leave the unit plugged in for more than two to three
minutes at any one time as this may cause overheating
which could cause it to burn out or start a fire. It is safe
to use if constructed properly and not left plugged in
unattended. Opening magnetic locks requires only 30 to
60 seconds anyway, so don't leave the unit plugged in for

For magnetic padlocks, use a back-and-forth stroking
action along the length of the keyway. For magnetic door
locks, use a stroking in-and-out action in the slot of the
knob alternating from one side (pole) of the pick to the

The "key" for a magnetic door lock is a metal or plastic
card containing an array of magnetic domains or regions
coded in a specific order to allow entry. The magnetic pick
bypasses that.

(See fig-08.GIF)


Combination or "puzzle" locks were invented to fur-
ther improve security and the protection of valuables. The
older safes and lockboxes were good security devices when
they came into the market, but some people became
curious and realized that these safe locks had inherent
weaknesses. One of the main problems was that the disk
tumblers were not mechanically isolated from the bolt that
unlocks the safe door. In other words, you could feel and
hear the tumblers while turning the dial by applying
pressure on the handle of the bolt.

When that problem was recognized and solved, thieves
started drilling through strategic places in the lock itself
to open it. Knocking off hinges was an all-time favorite
tactic as well. Then came punching out the dial shaft,
blowtorching, and just plain blowing the door with ex-
plosives. Greed can breed great creativity.

The first problem, that of manipulating the tumblers
open, was rectified by making use of the dial to operate
the bolt upon completion of the dialing of the correct com-
bination. This made it nearly impossible to feel or hear
the tumblers. Drilling was deterred by laminating the safe
door with hard steel and beryllium-copper plates. The
beryllium-copper plates pull heat away from the drill tip
quickly, and the bit just spins without effect; drilling can-
not take place without the generation of heat at the bit's
cutting edges. Knocking off hinges was discouraged by
using three or more bolts operated by a main linkage net-
work. Punching out the dial shaft to let the tumblers fall
out of the way of the bolt was corrected by beveling the
shaft into the wall of the safe door.

Presently, safe locks are quite sophisticated. Picking
them would require supernatural power. The older safes,
however, are much easier and even fun to pick. Picking
combination padlocks is a good way to start learning how
to open safes, and we will get to them shortly. But first,
let us discuss some basic prmciples of disk tumbler locks.

Disk tumbler locks work by the use of flat, round disks
of metal or plastic with a notch and a peg on each disk.
The notch is called the tumbler gate. The gate of each
tumbler has to be lined up with the pawl of the bolt
mechanism by usage of the linking capabilities of the pegs.

The first tumbler of the disk tumbler lock (also the last
combination number dialed) is mechanically connected
to the dial through the safe door. When the dial is turned,
the first tumbler picks up the middle tumbler when their
pegs connect. The middle tumbler in turn picks up the
last tumbler for one more complete turn and the tumblers
have been "cleared"-you are ready to dial the first com-
bination number by aligning the last tumbler's gate to the
pawl. After you have reached this number or position,
rotate the dial in the opposite direction one complete turn
(for three tumbler locks; two turns for four tumbler locks)
to engage the middle tumbler and drive it to the second
combination mlmber. By rotating the dial back into the
opposite direction to the last combination number, the
bolt can be operated to open the lock, or as in the case
of newer safes, the dial will operate the bolt by turning
it once again in the opposite direction.

One of the innovations that developed to deter sensual
manipulation of combination locks was the use of ser-
rated front tumblers (last combination number dialed).
These were designed to foil listening and feeling of the
tumblers' gates by burglars.

When the bolt encountered any one of these shallow
gates, the safecracker could never be sure whether or not
a tumbler was actually aligned with the pawl-bolt
mechanism. Some burglars solved this problem by attach-
ing high-speed drills to the dial knob to rotate and wear
down the first tumbler's shallow false gates against the
bolt, thereby eliminating them altogether, or at least
minimizing their effects. Still, today the serrated tumbler
is used as an effective deterrent to manipulation in com-
bination padlocks where space is a factor.

Let us move on to combination padlocks. The most
common and difficult to open of these small disk tumbler
locks are the Master combination padlocks, and they are
quite popular. I have had good luck in opening these locks
with a wooden mallet or soft-faced hammer. The manip-
ulation of Master combination padlocks is quite easy-I
have done it thousands of times, and you can learn it, too.
The newer the lock is, though, the more difficult it will
be to open at first. If the lock has had a lot of use, such
as that on a locker-room door where the shackle gets
pulled down and encounters the tumblers while the com-
bination is being dialed, the serrated front tumblers will
become smoothed down, allowing easier sensing of the
tumblers. So, until you have become good at opening these
locks, practice extensively on an old one. Let's try to open



First, clear the tumblers by engaging all of them. This
is done by turning the dial clockwise (sometimes these
locks open more easily starting in the opposite direction)
three to four times. Now bring your ear close to the lock
and gently press the bottom back edge to the bony area
just forward of your ear canal opening so that vibrations
can be heard and felt. Slowly turn the dial in the opposite
direction. As you turn, you will hear a very light click as
each tumbler is picked up by the previous tumbler. This
is the sound of the pickup pegs on each disk as they engage
each other. Clear the tumblers again in a clockwise man-
ner and proceed to step two.


After you have cleared the tumblers, apply an upward
pressure on the shackle of the padlock. Keeping your ear
on the lock, try to hear the tumblers as they rub across
the pawl; keep the dial rotating in a clockwise direction.

You will hear two types of clicks, each with a subtle
difference in pitch. The shallow, higher pitched clicks are
the sound of the false gates on the first disk tumbler. Do
not let them fool you-the real gates sound hollow and
empty, almost nonexistent.

When you feel a greater than normal relief in the shackle
once every full turn, this is the gate of the first tumbler
(last number dialed). This tumbler is connected directly
to the dial as mentioned earlier. Ignore that sound for now.
When you have aligned the other two tumblers, the last
tumbler's sound will be drowned out by the sound of the
shackle popping open.


While continuing in a clockwise direction with the dial,
listen carefully for the slight hollow sound of either one
of the first two tumblers. Note on the dial face where these
sounds are by either memorizing them or writing them
down. Make certain that you do not take note of the driv-
ing tumbler (last number dialed). If you hear and feel only
one hollow click (sounds like "dumpf"), chances are that
the first number could be the same as the last one.

You should have two numbers now. Let us say one of
them is 12 and the other is 26. Clear the tumblers again
just to be safe and stop at the number 12. Go
counterclockwise one complete turn from 12. Continue
until there is another "dumpf" sound. After the complete
turn pass 12, if you feel and hear a louder than normal
sound of a tumbler rubbing on the pawl, the first tumbler
is properly aligned and the second tumbler is taking the
brunt of the force from the shackle-you are on the right
track. When the second tumbler has aligned in this case,
you will feel a definite resistance with the last turn of the
dial going clockwise. The final turn will automatically
open the shackle of the lock. If none of these symptoms
are evident, try starting with the number of the combina-
tion, 26, in the same way.


If the lock still does not open, don't give up. Try search-
ing for a different first number. Give it a good thirty- or
forty-minute try. If you play with it long enough, it will
eventually open. The more practice you have under your
belt, the quicker you will be able to open these padlocks
in the future.

Using a stethoscope to increase audibility of the clicks
is not out of the question when working on disk tumbler
locks, though I never use them for padlocks. A miniature
wide-audio-range electronic stethoscope with a magnetic
base for coupling a piezoelectric-type microphone is ideal
for getting to know the tumblers better.

Filing your fingertips to increase sensitivity might not
be such a good idea for beginners since their fingertips
will not be accustomed to operating dials for a long period
of time. With practice, you may develop calluses and need
to file your fingertips. But I don't recommend it at first.

After some time you may find that in some cases you
can whiz right through the combination of an unknown
lock without looking at it and pop it open in seconds.
It becomes second nature. I've done this on many occa-
sions-something beyond my conscious control seems to
line up the tumblers without my thinking about it.

Another type of disk tumbler padlock is the Sesame
lock made by the Corbin Lock Co. Its unique design
makes it more difficult to open than Master padlocks, but
it can be opened. Let's take one of the three or four wheel
mechanisms, look at a cross section, and see how it works.
The wheel has numbers from zero to nine. Attached to
the wheel is a small cam. Both the wheel and cam turn
on the shaft. Each wheel in this lock operates indepen-
dently with its own cam and shaft. The locking dog is
locked to the shackle. In this position the shackle cannot
be opened. The locking dog operates with all three or four
wheels. The locking dog is riding on the round edge of
the cam. The spring is pushing up on the cam. The lock-
ing dog cannot move up because it is resting on the round
part of the cam. When the wheel is turned to the proper
combination number, the locking dog rests on the flat of
the cam. The spring can then raise the locking dog to
release the shackle, and this opens the lock.


You will undoubtedly encounter a pin tumbler lock in
which there will be a pin or two that is keyed too low
(the shear line of the pin is too high). In this case the lock
is difficult to open because the breaking point of a long
bottom pin doesn't allow room in the keyway for the pick
to manipulate the other pins. Your success in opening
"tight" locks will depend on the skill you have developed
with your tension wrench. Sometimes it helps to play with
the tension wrench. Try bouncing it left and right slightly
while picking, allowing some of the tumblers to drop occa-
sionally. You may also try picking the front tumblers first
or picking at random on these locks. You can tell if you
have a lock that is keyed like this because your pick may
get jammed during the picking process.

After you have opened a cylinder and unlocked a lock,
be sure to return it to the locked position. You will hear
the tumblers click into place when this happens. Other-
wise it may be difficult to unlock it with its key because
the bottom pins cannot "float" like they normally would.

To tell whether or not the cylinder should go clockwise
or counterclockwise when picking a tumbler lock, there
is an easy rule to follow. If the tumblers (pin or wafer)
will not break, or stay broken, you are going in the wrong
direction with the tension wrench. There will be little or
no progress with the cylinder, and few, if any, "clicks."

Some keyways are cut at an angle (Yale, Dexter, and
Schlage, for example) so you want to be sure that you tilt
your pick to follow that angle while picking or your pick
will get hung up. A slight twist of the wrist will compen-
sate for this problem.

Should your fingers become tired while picking a lock,
lay down your tools and shake your hands and fingers
to relieve any tension. After some time the muscles in your
hands will become accustomed to such activity. Practice
and persistence will tone your hands and senses to the
point where you will be able to pop open a cylinder in
three to five seconds (that's seconds) in total darkness. The
combination of touch and sound lets you know almost
a split second before you open the lock that you have

If the lock is a well-machined one, the cylinder will feel
tight and you will need a little firmer hand on the ten-
sion wrench. While picking, if any one of the pins at any
time feels firm or difficult to move, chances are it's aligned.
If it feels springy, it is not.

Use the shaft of the pick if you have to when working
the frontal pin of a pin tumbler lock. This may save you
the trouble of aligning the tip of the pick on the front
pin where there is little or no support for the pick. All
of the other pins allow the pick to be supported by the
inside wall of the keyway.

Master keyed pin tumbler locks are generally easier to
pick open because they have more than one shear line or
breaking point in the pins. Master keying allows a group
of locks to be controlled by a master key holder while the
individual locks in that group are controlled by individual
keys. Hotels and apartment complexes are usually master

There is a simple technique to open pin and wafer
tumbler locks. Simply drill through the shear lines of the
tumblers. This point is located just above the center of
the keyway on the face of the cylinder. By doing this,
though, you obviously ruin the lock and make a lot of
racket. If the lock is a Medeco or some other high-security -
lock, you risk damage of one hundred dollars or more,
so be sure you know the value of the situation before you
decide to rape the lock. Use a center punch to start a
reliable hole on the cylinder face and use a one-quarter
inch drill bit with a variable speed drill. With a large
screwdriver, turn it to unlock. The cylinder will be dif-
ficult to turn because you may be shearing the tumbler
springs that have fallen down past the cylinder's shear line.

Dead bolt locks are those mounted on a door above
the knob. All dead bolt locks unlock counterclockwise
with left-hand doors and clockwise with righthand doors.
If you have trouble remembering this, just remember that
the bolt of the lock has to go in the opposite direction
of the doorjam.

Dead bolt locks are just as easy to pick open as knob
locks are. They both have cylinders that can be picked
open. The main difference is that dead bolts cannot be
opened by sliding a plastic or metal card through to the
bolt so as to work it back. In other words, they are not
spring loaded. That's why they are called dead bolts. Most
knob locks now have guards in front of the bolts to deter
opening with cards.

Kwik-sets, Weisers, and some of the less-expensive knob
locks may open in either direction. Schlage and Corbin,
along with more sophisticated locks, can open only in one
direction. Auto locks will open either way. Another
method of picking pin tumbler locks is with a pick gun.
As the pick snaps up, it hits the bottom pin. This bounces
the top pin out of the cylinder and into the shell. As you
apply light turning pressure with the tension wrench, the
top pins are caught in the shell, the cylinder will turn. I've
never used a pick gun, but they do work well for lock-
smiths who use them. They are cumbersome and expen-
sive, and show some lack of professionalism.

(Note: If you don't care about professionalism and want to open 95% of all
pin tumbler locks out there - and fast- buy this device. It is very awesome.
I even recommend it over a Cobra Electronic lockpick. Trust me, I have both,
and I feel the $60 Lockaid pick gun blows away the $350 Cobra)


If you bought this book to learn how to pick locks in
order to become a more efficient burglar, then there is
not a whole lot I can say or do to stop you. But I must
say this: the locks used in prisons are nearly impossible
to pick even if you get or make the right tools. They are
usually electrically controlled from an external station.

Do not carry lock picks on your person. If you get
caught with them, you could get nailed for most any pro-
fessional job in town for the last seven years. If you must
carry them, as in the case of rescue workers, etc., please
consult your local authorities about details and ask about
registering with them. As a former locksmith, I do not
have that problem.

I advise that you do not teach your friends how to pick
locks. The choice is yours, of course. You paid the price
of this book and the knowledge is yours-be selfish with
it. It is for your own protection as well. The fewer people
who know you have this skill, the better. Getting blamed
for something you didn't do is unfair and a hassle.

When you become proficient at picking locks, you may
decide to get a job as a locksmith. But believe me, there
is more to being a locksmith than being able to pick locks.
You have to be a good carpenter as well as a fair mechanic.
But you may want to approach the owner of a lock shop
and ask if you could get on as an apprentice.


There isn't a locking device on earth that cannot be
opened with means other than its key or code. It's just
that some are easier to open than others. Anything with
a keyhole, dial, or access port is subject to being opened
with alternate means, though some of the newer electronic
and computer-controlled security devices would be a
nightmare even if you had extensive knowledge of elec-
tronics and electromagnetics. Some devices also use palm
prints as a readout to allow entry.

On the mechanical side, there are locks that have nor-
mal pin tumblers, but they are situated in various places
360 degrees around the cylinder. Some locks use pin
tumblers that not only have to be aligned vertically within
the cylinder, but also have to "twist" or turn a certain
number of degrees to allow the cylinder to open. This is
because the pins' shear line is cut at an angle. These locks
are made by Medeco.

I have witnessed only one Medeco lock being picked-
by a fellow locksmith. We both spent hours trying to pick
it again, but it was futile. We estimated the chances of
opening it again to be one out of 10,000. They are excellent
security devices, but their price keeps them limited to areas
prone to security problems such as isolated vending
machines and for government use. The only one I have
been successful at opening (after an hour of picking) was
one I drilled. By the way, they are easy to drill because
the brass that's used is soft.


Most of us know how to touch. We touch objects every
day, and yet we do not truly feel them. It seems so
commonplace that we forget that we are actually feeling
while we touch.

Here is an exercise that will develop a delicate touch.
Gently rub and massage your hands and fingers-
preferably with hand lotion. Do this for five minutes. Once
the lotion has evaporated, shake your hands and fingers
so that they flop loosely. Gently pull each finger to relax
each joint.

Now with a piece of fine sandpaper, gently draw the
tips of your fingers across it. Try to feel the texture of
the grains on its surface. Relax your fingers, hands, fore-
arms, shoulders, and chest. Take your time. Do this for
several minutes.

After a few weeks of practice, you will be able to feel
each individual grain of sand on the sandpaper. This
allows you to feel the slightest sensation vibrate through
your bones.

Try to remember to practice touching and feeling dur-
ing your everyday experiences. Practice feeling wood,
metal, and various other objects. Play with the feel of
mechanical vibrations, even your television set. Try to sense
the world around you as a source of information. This
could and will open a whole new horizon of experience.

After a while, you will be able to feel or sense the move-
ment of the tumblers of a Sargeant and Greenleaf safe.
My first safe opened in three minutes because of that
technique that took me years to discover.


If you respect the security of the lock and do not
become overconfident, you will never become disappointed
if you fail to open it. You also increase your chances of
opening the lock because you personally have nothing to
gain or lose by opening it. Give up trying to be an expert
and just pick the lock.

With such an attitude, you may find the lock will usually
pop right open. I never received a trophy for being the
best lock picker in the state. My satisfaction is in know-
ing that I am never helpless in a lockout situation. The
quality of your success is almost romantic; it involves sen-
sitivity and compassion in the face of curiosity as a means
to help others.

Visualization and imagination are important to the lock
picker. I've noticed that people who have the ability to
visualize the internal parts of the lock that they are pick-
ing seldom fail to open it in moments. Anyone can learn
to do this by simply remembering to do it while picking
a lock. Since sight, sound, and touch are involved with
the process, visualization is very easy to do. Try to keep
all of your attention on the lock during the picking pro-
cess. This will help you to learn how to use heightened
sensitivity for picking locks.

So in that respect, an unopened lock is like a new and
unexplored lover. You imagine all of the qualities of an
attractive person whom you've just met and apply that
feeling to the lock that you are picking. Use visualization.
It will help immensely.

(Note: All this Zen stuff may sound like a load of shit, but it's not. I
myself cannot pick a lock unless I am comfortable. If I am craving a
cigarette or I am hungry or something else like that, I have a difficult time
opening a lock. Also, attitude is important. Don't show off.)

Have fun

Any question or comments
can be left to me at Ripco
(leave mail to BLOODMONEY)

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