pranks needed.
April 26, 2007 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Does anybody have any ideas of some practical jokes i can play on a colleague by remoting into his registry?

I only have access to his HK_LOCAL_MACHINE and HK_USERS branches. so i cant, to my knowledge, change his homepage to something childish.

i got him with a bunch of directories on his desktop that were not removable in windows.

He in-turn got me with, loading up a screenshot of my computer on bootup making me think the computer was frozen.

i need some ideas to retaliate. nothing damaging please. 5th grade humor is welcome.
posted by goldism to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How did he get a screenshot of your computer? Can you get one of his? If so, replace his wallpaper with it, then move all his desktop contents into a folder somewhere. He'll see all his shortcuts and such, but won't be able to click on any of them.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:01 AM on April 26, 2007

You can edit an entry in his "Run" key (Local Machine - Software - Microsoft - Windows - Current Version - Run) To run various programs. I'd write a batch script with the REAL hijinks on it, plant it on his HD or some network location, and configure his PC to run the batch file at startup. This opens up all manner of complicated mischief to you.

On the other hand, if these PCs are corporate assets or otherwised not actually owned by you, you may wish to have a peek at the "Acceptable Use" policy of your workplace before proceeding, lest you prank both your sorry butts out of a job.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2007

Not PC related, but changing the language of his desktop phone to a non recognisable character set like Japanese or Russian is a good one, if possible. Tricky to change back when you don't know the Japanese for "Change Language Settings".
posted by jontyjago at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2007

You didn't mention the operating system or version, so I'll assume Windows XP, for no particular reason.

What better way to piss off someone than to turn on annoying Windows "features"?

"Narrarator", which has very little chance of actually helping vision-challenged folks, is horrid. Try turning it on:
Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Accessibility\Utility Manager\Narrator\Start With Windows to "1".

Set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Accessibility\Utility Manager\Narrator\HideClient to "1", while you're at it.

Easy to get rid of, but it might give your pal a chuckle.
posted by catkins at 7:24 AM on April 26, 2007

Response by poster: Sorry, yes it is windows XP.

jonty and catkins, nice ideas thanks.
posted by goldism at 7:57 AM on April 26, 2007

Turn on any of the 'acessibility features' like sticky keys, etc .

Swap mouse buttons. Change the mouse speed to the lowest setting.

2nding changing language settings. Nearly imposible to undo (who knows where it is in English, not to mention in Farsi?)
posted by Four Flavors at 8:13 AM on April 26, 2007

I'm not sure, but I think the active desktop settings are in one of those, somewhere. Turn on active desktop and change the URL to lastmeasure. Or whatever web page you think would be appropriate.
posted by IronLizard at 8:59 AM on April 26, 2007

Can you copy a file onto his machine? If so, you could put the infamous BSOD screen saver on it. Screen saver setting is here:

HKEY_Users\{user GUID}\Control Panel\Desktop\SCRNSAVE.EXE
posted by internal at 9:04 AM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Gosh, when I used to mess around in the Windows 95 registry there was some way to write your own "helpful Windows tips". I wrote some really funny (at the time) ones. I wouldn't have the faintest clue how to do that now, but if it's still possible in XP you could do that.
posted by crinklebat at 10:07 AM on April 26, 2007

Change the shell from explorer.exe to notepad.exe, or minesweeper, or something similarly useless:

User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
Value Name: Shell
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Filename of Replacement Shell
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:35 PM on April 26, 2007

I suspect if you have reg access, you have file access. Load on some annoying (frating is suitably childish) audio files, and make shortcuts to them. Change the shortcut icon to the Word icon, IE, Firefox, etc.
posted by theora55 at 8:52 PM on April 26, 2007

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