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From the Tips Box: Xbox Output on Two Screens, High Tech Halloween Props, and Old Flash Drives as Password Reset Disks

Once a week we round up some great reader tips and share them with everyone, this week we’re looking at outputting your Xbox 360 to two screens, spooky high-tech Halloween props, and recycling old flash drives as password reset disks.

Output Your Xbox 360 to Two Screens


Len writes in with the following Xbox 360 trick:

I discovered a really neat trick with the Xbox 360 a few weeks back. I had some buddies over and we wanted to split the video output between a big TV and a little TV (long story short, so the people in the kitchen area could watch the play and know when their turn was coming up). The secret sauce is to use the component AV out cable but to switch the selector switch to standard def. I don’t know why exactly, but the Xbox pushes the standard def video out over the component cables and the regular composite cable at the same time. Unfortunately, if you have a newer HDMI only Xbox you can’t take advantage of this trick.

That’s a nifty gaming parlor trick, Len. For those readers who want to try it but have an HDMI only Xbox 360, a cheap HDMI splitter can help them realize their two-screen vision.

DIY Spooky Mirror Is a Cheap but High-Tech Halloween Prop


Meredith writes in with the following DIY Halloween project:

I’ve been working on a neat Halloween project I lifted off Instructables… the finished project looks like it would be so complicated to make but in reality it’s just a cheap LCD panel behind an IKEA mirror. I’ve sent a link to the project and to a demo video, you really ought to check it out!

We definitely have to agree with your assessment, it looks like a complex and pricey project but all said it’s actually quite simple. Nice find!

Use an Old Flash Drive as a Password Reset


Ben writes in with a tip for getting some use out of your old USB drives:

I finally found a reason to justify keeping my super old and super low capacity flash drives in the back of my drawer: using them as password reset disks! A 64MB flash drive is just about useless for darn near anything but password reset files are only 1.5kb in size. I copied the file over and threw the flash drive in my home safe. Future crisis averted!

That is a great use for a really old flash drive, Ben. For those of you following along at home you can check out our guide to setting up a Password Reset Disk in Windows Vista/7 and Windows 8.


Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for your trick on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/11/12

Comments (2)

  1. LMAO

    “Password Reset Disk”? Have you tried Trinity Rescue Kit or even Kon-Boot? I seem to recall that Kon-Boot would fit on a floppy disk and seemed to work best that way too.

    TRK: http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.php?content=TRINITY_RESCUE_KIT____CPR_FOR_YOUR_COMPUTER&front_id=12&lang=en&locale=en

    Kon-Boot: http://www.piotrbania.com/all/kon-boot/ (And yes, it will cause a false-positive with most AV software too – it’ should!)

    And if you’re into uber-geek stuff you may already know about Coreboot which might help with a BIOS password by replacing the BIOS (www.coreboot.org). Waring! You will almost certainly “brick” your computer if you don’t know what you’re doing here.

    That’s my limit of 3 URL’s. Gotta go.

  2. Alex

    But my question is…

    will the password reset disk(thumbdrive) work if the password has been changed by a virus, hacker, etc? Or does it only work if you forget your current password?

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