Local Group Policy Editor [Professional] A nice feature of the Windows NT, 2000, XP Operating Systems is the "Local Group

Policy Editor" This is a flexible Change and Configuration Management tool. This tool includes options for registry-based policy settings, security settings, software installation, scripts, startup, shutdown, logon, logoff, and folder redirection. To invoke the Local Group Policy Editor, select Start and then Run, then type: gpedit.msc Now press ENTER on your keyboard. [Top] Enable ClearType Microsoft states, "With Windows XP, ClearType delivers improved font display resolution over traditional anti-aliasing. It improves readability on color LCD monitors with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat desktop displays. Readability on CRT screens can also be somewhat improved." Here is a are the steps to enable ClearType for Windows XP: Right click on the desktop and select Properties Click on the Appearance tab. Click on the Effects button. Put a check on the Use the following methods to smooth edges of screen fonts. Change the value from standard to ClearType. Open up IE and you will see a difference. [Top] Classic Start Menu If you prefer to have your system Icons on the Desktop rather than having many of them in your Start Menu, then here's how to get the Classic Start Menu on your XP system. Right-click the Start Menu and choose Properties. The "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window should appear. In the bottom half of the window, select "Classic Start Menu" and then click OK or Apply, and you should see the old familiar Start Menu. [Top] Back up the XP Registry Go to Start>> Run, type in: regedit Click on the registry key that you are going to edit. Go to File and click Export. Choose a location to save the registry key file and click Save. Or you can use a small utility called "ERUNT" which stands for: The Emergency Recovery Utility NT. This is an emergency registry backup and restore utility for Windows NT/2000/XP 574 KB NOTE: Please keep in mind that using the export style of backup is not a complete backup of the Windows registry. ERUNT is a very good backup program and is a complete backup of the

registry, but I believe the System Restore (SR) feature that comes with XP is the best and safest way to backup. With SR, you'll have a months worth of clean registry backup copies to choose from (assuming the chosen restore point was in fact clean to start with). Remember, each restore point overwrites the next. Now, If you use ERUNT, you could be restoring a copy of your registry that is much older than a month, whereby you would lose any programs and/or changes that you've made after making your backup copy. So, you can see that the SR is best because you can always choose a restore point that is very recent. For further information regarding the System Restore feature: Click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 306084 HOW TO: Restore Windows XP to a Previous State 304449 HOW TO: Start System Restore Tool From Command Prompt 283073 HOW TO: Disable the System Restore Configuration User Interface 302796 Troubleshooting System Restore in Windows XP [Top] Shared Documents Folders Many are finding the links to all of the shared folders on your system to be pretty annoying. This may be the system default setting, but you certainly do not have to live with it. Here is how to remove the Shared Documents Folders from My Computer. Go to Start > Run and type in: regedit Hit [Enter] on your keyboard Navigate through the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders Click once on DelegateFolders to empty its contents in the right pane. You will see a sub-key named: {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}Deleting this sub-key will remove all of the Shared Documents Folders. It is not necessary to reboot to see this change. [Top] DirectX Diagnostic Tool Windows 2000/XP has a handy tool for running diagnostic tests on your DirectX program. Some of what this tool can do includes: Display detailed information Diagnostic tests on many components, which include: Display Sound Network ...and more Check for problems Save the information to a text file. [Top] Minimum System Requirements PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.* Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor CD-ROM or DVD drive Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device [Top] XP Design Goals Below, are the design goals for Windows XP Operating System. Richer communications. Real-time voice, video and application-sharing will enable people to communicate more effectively. Enhanced mobility. Mobile users' ability to access their information any time, anywhere will be further improved. Improved help and support. Users will be able to easily connect to people and resources for help whenever they need it. Simple digital photos and video. Windows XP will make it easy to create, organize and share digital memories. Exciting music and entertainment. Windows XP will deliver the best experience for the discovery, download, personalization and playback of high-quality audio and video content. Enabling of the "connected home." Windows XP will give people an easy way to share information, devices and Internet connections within the home. [Top] Program Compatibility Issues With any new system, there will be compatibility issues that will arise. Windows XP is designed to run most programs that run on Windows 95/98/ME and NT. However, XP may have compatibility issues with DOS programs. [Top] Upgrade Paths Both Home and Professional can be upgraded from Windows 98, Windows 98SE, and Windows ME. Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home can all be upgraded to Windows XP Professional. Windows 95 is not a supported upgrade path from either version. [Top] Secure Attention Sequence Title To change the title of the Secure Attention Sequence (SAS = Ctrl+Alt+Delete), perform the following steps: Start the registry editor (regedit.exe). Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. From the Edit menu, select New> String value. Enter a name of Welcome, and press Enter. Double-click the new value, add the text you want to display after Windows Security (e.g., for 5 Star Support), and click OK. Close the registry editor. Press the SAS sequence to see the new dialog box title. [Top] Tasklist.exe Microsoft has replaced tlist.exe with tasklist.exe in XP. Tlist.exe lets you list all the processes running on your machine and the associated task name and memory usage. Tasklist.exe replicates all the functionality of the original utility. For information about tasklist.exe, type the following at the XP command prompt: tasklist /?

[Top] System Restore Feature XP contains a new feature called System Restore that restores the system to a previous configuration point. Should you restore your system to a point before you activated XP on your computer, the OS will forget that you activated it and you'll need to reactivate XP. If the system restore point is past the 30-day grace period that Microsoft allows for activation, you'll have to activate XP immediately. The only workaround to reactivating your system is to perform the following steps: Start your Windows installation in Minimal Safe mode. Move to the \%systemroot%\system32 folder. Rename wpa.dbl to wpa.noact. Rename wpa.bak to wpa.dbl. Reboot your system as normal. Note: The above procedure will work only if you've made no significant hardware changes. [Top] Icon Spacing on Desktop Icons displayed on the desktop are spaced according to values defined in the display properties. To change these values, perform the following steps: Start the Display Control Panel applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and click Display). Select the Appearance tab. Under Item, select Icon Spacing (Horizontal) and modify the size. Select Icon Spacing (Vertical) and modify the size. Click OK to close all dialog boxes. Note:For the change to take effect, you need to unselect Auto Arrange from the Arrange Icons context menu that displays when you right-click the desktop. [Top] Enable Boot Defragment Windows XP includes an option to perform a boot defragment, which places all files required for booting next to each other on disk to provide a faster boot time. The OS enables this option by default, but you can check the status and enable this option by performing the following steps: Start the registry editor (regedit.exe). Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction. If Enable isn't set to Y, double-click Enable and set the value to Y. Click OK. Close the registry editor. Reboot the machine. Note: If you want to disable boot defragment, set Enable to N. [Top] Perform a ScanDisk in XP XP and Win2K don't include the DOS SCANDISK Utility. However, you can perform the same task using XP's and Win2K's Error Checking feature. To access this feature, perform the following steps: Open Windows Explorer. Right-click the drive you want to check, and select Properties from the context menu. Select the Tools tab. Under Error Checking, click Check Now. If you want the scan to automatically attempt to make repairs or check the disk for bad sectors, select those options and click Start.

Close Windows Explorer. [Top] PowerToys for XP As with previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has released a set of great utilities to enhance the Windows experience. Power Toys for XP consists of the following: Super-Fast User Switcher: Switch users without having to go through the XP logon screen Open Command Window Here: Open a command window that points to a particular folder just by right-clicking that folder TweakUI: Make many modifications to internal XP settings that aren't accessible in the default UI Power Calculator: Graph and evaluate functions as well as perform unit conversions Image Resizer: Easily resize multiple images into a target size with a right-click CD Slide Show Generator: View images as a slide show Virtual Desktop Manager: Have up to four virtual desktops Taskbar Magnifier: Magnify part of the screen from the taskbar HTML Slide Show Wizard: Create HTML slide shows of your digital pictures, ready to place on a Web site Webcam Timershot: Take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate 939 KB Download 8 Min @ 28.8 kbps [Top] Disable XP's splash screen The Windows XP splash screen is designed to hide all of the behind the scenes boot information that is ordinarily never needed to view. However, if you need to troubleshoot a startup problem, it may be necessary to view this information to determine the trouble. To find out, you can disable the splash screen by making a small change to the Boot.ini file. Follow the steps below: Press [Windows][Break] to open the System Properties dialog box. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup And Recovery section. In the Startup And Recovery dialog box, select the Edit button in the System Startup section. The Boot.ini file will open in Notepad; locate the line that ends with the /fastdetect switch. Position your cursor right after the parameter, press the spacebar, and add the /SOS switch. Save the Boot.ini file, and close Notepad. Click Cancel to close both the Startup And Recovery dialog box and the System Properties dialog box. Restart the system. When the system restarts, the splash screen will no longer appear. You can observe some of the operations that Windows XP performs during the startup stage. To revive the splash screen, simply repeat the above steps to edit the Boot.ini file and remove the /SOS switch. [Top] Break out of a continuous reboot loop Below are instruction on troubleshooting an XP system that is stuck in a continuous reboot loop. This tip assumes you can start the system and are able to log on. As soon as you log on, the system reboots itself. In many cases, it may not even wait until you are logged on before rebooting itself. By default, Windows XP is configured to deal with a system failure by rebooting and in doing so, should repair the failure. But, in some cases, the system failure is serious enough to cause a continuous reboot loop.

If your system is stuck on a continuous reboot, you can disable the automatic restart behavior. Follow these steps: Press [Windows][Break] to open the System Properties dialog box. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup And Recovery section. In the System Failure section, deselect the Automatically Restart check box, and click OK. To enable the changes, click OK in the System Properties dialog box. This change configures the system to halt after encountering a system failure error, which allows you to investigate the problem error in more detail. You'll then have to manually restart the system. Keep in mind that you'll have to work fast in order to make the change before the system reboots. You may have better luck making the change if you launch the system in Safe Mode. [Top] Encrypted Files Windows XP and Windows 2000 both include the Encrypting File System (EFS). If you have NTFS permissions to a file that another user has encrypted, you will receive an "access is denied" error. To determine whether a file is encrypted, perform the following steps to enable the view attributes option in Windows Explorer: Start Windows Explorer. From the View menu, select Details. Select the Attributes option, and click OK. If a file has an E attribute, that file is encrypted. Only the user who encrypted the file or the recovery agent user can decrypt the file. [Top] Defrag.exe One of the problems with the welcome addition of the disk defragmenter in Windows 2000 is that it has no command-prompt equivalent. As a result, you can't easily schedule the defragmenter to run. To address this problem, Microsoft included defrag.exe in Windows XP for command-level disk defragmentation. An example analysis execution shows: C:\>defrag d: -a Windows Disk Defragmenter Copyright (c) 2001 Microsoft Corp. and Executive Software International, Inc. Analysis Report 6.91 GB Total, 6.73 GB (97%) Free, 2% Fragmented (5% file fragmentation) The command format is: defrag <volume> [-a] [-f] [-v] [-?] volume drive letter or mount point (d: or d:\vol\mountpoint) -a Analyze only -f Force defragmentation, even if free space is low -v Verbose output -? Display this help text [Top] Windows XP MSCONFIG The Windows XP utility Msconfig (Microsoft Configuration) is useful for configuring various OS elements: Startup type (e.g., which drivers are loaded, whether system.ini/win.ini are parsed) Which parts of system.ini are used Which parts of win.ini are used Which commands run at start-up Which services start boot.ini options

With the boot.ini option, you can check the current entries, specify additional options, and configure the timeout. Start Msconfig (Start, Run, msconfig.exe). Select the BOOT.INI tab. The dialog box displays the current OSs. Click Check All Boot Paths to go through all the entries and ensure that they relate to a true installation. If you select an actual installation, you can then set the various boot options, such as basevideo and SOS. Once finished, click OK. [Top] Bootcfg Bootcfg is a new addition to the Windows XP recovery console. You use this command to modify the boot.ini file, which contains the choices at system startup (in a multiboot environment, boot.ini contains the list of all the OSs and lets you choose one). The Bootcfg command recognizes Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT. It doesn't recognize Windows 9x. Bootcfg has the following options: /default-Sets the default OS (modifies the default= line in boot.ini). /add-Scans the computer for OSs and lets you add located installations. You can also specify optional boot switches. /rebuild-Same as /add except /rebuild automatically recreates boot.ini with all found installations if the user confirms. /scan-Identifies current installations but doesn't modify boot.ini. /list-Scans the boot.ini files and displays each entry. /redirect-Enables redirection of the boot loaded to a specific port and baud rate (this option is useful for the Headless Administration options). /disableredirect-Disables the redirection configured with /redirect. Bootcfg is simply an extra tool. You can still modify boot.ini directly with Notepad (after removing read-only, system, and hidden attributes-attrib c:\boot.ini -r -s -h). Or you can use the System Control Panel applet or Msconfig [Top] Optimize System Performance If you have 512 megs or more of memory, you can increase system performance by having the core system kept in memory. Go to Start>Run, type in: regedit Follow this string to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive Double click DisablePagingExecutive Set the value to be 1 Restart your computer for this to take affect Common Command Console Utilities Listed below are many of the Windows XP console utilities that you can run from the command line. Computer Management compmgmt.msc Disk Managment diskmgmt.msc Device Manager devmgmt.msc Disk Defrag dfrg.msc Event Viewer eventvwr.msc Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc Group Policies gpedit.msc Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc

Performance Monitor perfmon.msc Resultant Set of Policies rsop.msc Local Security Settings secpol.msc Services services.msc Component Services comexp.msc [Top] Disabling Hibernation The Hibernation feature can be somewhat of a resource hog. If you don't plan to use it, you may as well disable it. Here's how: Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel. Select the Power Options Icon Click on the Hibernation icon Uncheck Enable Hibernation [Top] Display message at Startup If you would like to display any message in a popup window when Windows is started, here's how: Go to Start> Run, then type in: regedit Hit [Enter] on your keyboard Follow this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogo Modify the key LegalNoticeCaption with your text of choice. Modify the key LegalNoticeText with your text of choice. Restart Windows for this to take affect. [Top] System Information When you view the System Information, you will find much useful information such as, the length of time that XP has ran since rebooting. To find this information and more follow the instructions below: Open the Command Prompt Type in : systeminfo press [Enter] on your keyboard [Top] Speed up the Start Menu Windows XP default speed of the Start Menu is very slow. You can fix that by editing a Registry Key. Here's how: 1. Go to Start> Run, then type in: regedit Press [Enter] on your keyboard. 2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop \ MenuShowDelay 3. By default, the value is 400. Change this to a smaller value (like 0) to speed it up. Note: If your still experiencing a slow speed of the Start Menu, even after using the above tip, then you might try the following: 4. Navigate to Display Properties> Appearance> Advanced 5. Turn off the option titled Show menu shadow . You will get much better overall performance.

[Top] Using the Windows Key The Windows logo key, located in the bottom row of most computer keyboards is a little-used treasure. Don't ignore it. It is the shortcut anchor for the following commands: Windows: Display the Start menu Windows + D: Minimize or restore all windows Windows + E: Display Windows Explorer Windows + F: Display Search for files Windows + L: Lock the workstation Windows + M: Minimize all windows Windows + Q: Quick switching of users (Powertoys only) Windows + Q: Hold Windows Key, then tap Q to scroll thru the different users on your pc Windows + R: Display Run dialog box Windows + U: Open Utility Manager Windows + Ctrl + F: Display Search for computer Windows + F1: Display Help and Support Center Windows + Pause/ Break: Display System Properties dialog box Windows + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows Windows + Tab: Cycles through all open programs and taskbar buttons. Press [ENTER] to select. [Top] Stop Windows Messenger If you do not want Windows Messenger to load automatically on Startup, simply delete the following Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\MSMSGS [Top] Personal Support Have you ever made the mistake of telling friends or co-workers that you know something about computers and then get tasked with fixing all of their computer ailments? Well, as nice as it is to give your time for free, it's is even nicer if it doesn't take tons of time to fix them. With any version of Windows XP it can be pretty simple. If the other party has an Internet Connection, all they have to do is send you a Remote Assistance request then you will be able to connect to their computer to fix a wide array of troubleshooting tasks such as; file associations, registry settings, set system options and much more. But beware...they'll surely be so impressed that they will tell all of their friends about you. [Top] Assign a Keyboard Shortcut This tip provides instruction on how to create a keyboard shortcut for a program in Windows XP. This feature works only with program shortcuts on the desktop or the Start menu. This feature does not work if the desktop shortcut is a shortcut to another shortcut. Right-click the desktop or start menu shortcut, and then click Properties. On the Shortcut tab, click in the Shortcut Key box. Press the keyboard combination that you want to use to start the program. The shortcut combination must consist of one character (a letter, number, or symbol) plus at least two of the following three keys: CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT. Click Apply then OK. Note: The default combination is CTRL+ALT; if you press only a character key, Windows XP automatically adds CTRL+ALT. To use other combinations of the three required keys, press those keys before you press the character key. A keyboard shortcut does not work if it conflicts with a keyboard combination that is used in the program that is currently active.

[Top] Format Hard Drive There are several ways to format in XP: 1 During install 2. Using Diskmanagement under administrative tools 3. Using the recovery console 4. Using start run cmd then the format command. 5. Right click on the drive in explorer and select format. 6. Using a Win98 boot disk Note: WinXP will not let you mess with the boot partition or system partition since both contain items required to boot and run winXP. Thus, you should use the install process to format system and boot drive. Here is the easiest way to perform a "Clean Install" of XP: Using Windows XP CD: 1. Insert your XP CD in the drive while running your current installation of XP. 2. You will be given some options here. You can select: Clean Install New Installation Advanced ...and others I believe. But since this tutorial teaches a Clean Installation of XP, select "Clean Install". 3. Put a checkmark in the box to "designate where you want to install XP" (or some such dialog). Typically, you will choose to install XP on your C: drive. 4. Next, you will need to select the file system you wish to use. I recommend selecting NTFS as it is more sucure than the FAT32 system. 5. Setup will then format the partition you chose and then you can install XP clean on that partition. Be sure that if you have more than one partition, you select the correct one. 6. Install your Windows XP Operating System. Using Windows 98 Boot Disk: Get yourself a Windows 98 boot-diskette with fdisk. Delete all partitions and THEN boot from the CD. If XP's setup finds formatted partitions, it proceeds without user intervention. If it doesn't find any, setup will prompt you for partitioning and formatting. Using Floppy Drive: If you are not able to boot from your CD-ROM, try changing the boot order in your BIOS so that your CD-ROM boots first. [Top] View Thumbnails In Folder Window Do you have a hard time identifying photos or graphics images by their names only? Opt to view thumbnails, or mini-versions of the images, right inside their folder window. Open the folder that contains the graphics you want to identify Select View, Thumbnails. Now you can find what you need at a glance. What's more, this setting sticks for that folder until you turn it off.

[Top] Clean Out "Send To" Items Deleting items that you'll never use is simple, here's how: Open My Computer and navigate your way to the C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\SendTo folder, where C is the drive on which Windows is installed. Inside the SendTo folder, right-click any shortcut you don't want and select Delete. It will no longer appear in the SendTo list. [Top] Disable Net Send Messenger Service To disable the "net send" Messenger service on Windows XP, follow these steps: Go to the Start menu in the lower left corner of your screen. Select Programs: Administrative Tools: Services. A Services window will appear. Select the Messenger service in the right-hand list of local services by double-clicking on it. A Messenger Properties window will appear. In the General tab, set the Messenger service's Start Type to Disabled using the pull-down list of Start Types. Also in the General tab, click the Stop button in the Service Status section. Your computer will stop the service if it is currently running. Click OK. The Messenger Properties window will disappear. Click the File: Exit tab in the Services window, and it will disappear. [Top] Increasing Virtual Memory Windows XP uses virtual memory that consists of a so-called swap file, which is a very large data file generated on your hard disk. The operating system uses this swap file to store its temporary data, when your PC runs out of physical memory. This occurs when you have many software programs open in your taskbar and/or when your PC is equipped with insufficient physical memory. The usage of virtual memory affects system performance dramatically, because the data speed of a hard disk is much lower than the data speed of physical memory. You will notice a total slowdown of your system and an increase in hard disk activity if Windows XP is using the swap file instead of physical memory. Upgrading this memory can be a good idea. Since Windows XP is a real memory-eating monster a minimum of 128 MB is required to run it smoothly. If your system is low on memory, just increase the virtual memory to a fixed size. Follow these steps to alter the virtual memory settings: Click on 'Start' and on 'My Computer' Click the 'Advanced' tab in the 'System Properties' window. Click the 'Settings' button in the 'Performance' field. Click the 'Change' button in the 'Performance Options' window. You will now see the 'Virtual Memory' window: You can multiply the virtual memory size by 1.5 times the amount of physical memory. So if your system has 128 MB of physical memory, you can set the amount to 192 MB. Click the 'Custom-size' radio-button and enter '192' in both the 'Initial size (MB)' and 'Maximum size (MB)' fields. Click the 'Set' and 'OK' button to apply your settings. [Top] Disabling Startup Programs Is the Notification area, on the left-hand side of your task bar cluttered with icons? Does it take ages to start up your PC? It might be caused by software programs you installed on your system. After the software is installed, a small icon is placed in the Notification area. The icon facilitates quick access to the software. If you do not use some of these icons, disable them and save

precious physical memory. Decide which program icons you use regularly and whether you want to keep these in the Notification area. I recommend keeping virus scanners and printer/scanner icons. Click on 'Start', 'Run', type 'msconfig' in the 'Open' field and click OK to open the System Configuration Utility window below. Click on the 'Startup' tab to get a list of all your system's startup programs. Tick the boxes of the programs you want to disable and click OK to continue. Reboot your system and check if everything is working fine. You can always re-enable the disabled startup programs by re-opening the System Configuration Utility and ticking the boxes of the disabled items. Reboot your system for the changes to take effect. [Top] Ungroup Taskbar Items By default, Windows XP groups similar taskbar items on the same taskbar button, for example, if you have four folder windows open, you'll see a single button that reads "4 Windows Explorer." If you prefer, you can view each open window on its own taskbar button. Right-click a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties. On the Taskbar tab of the resulting dialog box, deselect "Group similar taskbar buttons" and click OK. [Top] Disable Notification Balloon Tips You have undoubtedly seen the yellow balloons that appear at certain times in the notification area. For instance, when you connect or disconnect the network cable, you'll see a message notifying you of the network's state. Most of the time, these balloons are quite useful, because they replace dialog boxes displayed in previous versions. But sometimes these balloons can be very annoying. For example, if you don't have much free space on your hard drive, the balloons will keep reminding you of low disk space. You might like the first notification, but probably not the fifth, sixth, and so on. Fortunately, you can disable them by opening your favorite registry editor and going to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced. Create a new DWORD value with the name "EnableBalloonTips" and set it to 0. This setting should disable all notification balloons for the user. If you want to disable only low-disk-space balloons, set the "NoLowDiskSpaceChecks" DWORD value to 1. If this value is not in the same location as the previous one, create it manually. If you don't want to mess with the registry, you can use the Tweak UI utility to do this for you. Run Tweak UI and go to the Taskbar option. Tweak UI is part of the PowerToys, which are available free from Microsoft. Download safely right here from 5 Star Support. 939 KB Download 8 Min @ 28.8 kbps Note: As always, back up your registry prior to making any changes. [Top] Configure Auto Updates Microsoft regularly releases security patches, programs, language packs, and bug fixes through its Windows Update site to keep your system in tiptop shape. On today's "Call for Help," we'll show you how to configure XP to automatically download Windows updates for you. Here's how to configure Windows XP to automatically download updates: Single-click the Start Menu and then the Control Panel. Single-click the Performance and Maintenance icon and then the System icon. On the System properties dialog, click the Automatic Updates tab.

Click the radio button next to the text labeled "Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be installed." Click the Apply button. The next time you're online and there happens to be an available update, you'll be prompted to install it. [Top] Create an XP Start Disk To create an XP Start Disk: Place a blank floppy diskette into your floppy drive. Open Windows Explorer. Right click on the floppy drive icon. Select "Format..." from the resulting menu options. Tick the box that states "Create an MS-DOS Startup Disk". Select "Start". Windows will start creating your disk. This should only take a minute or so. Be sure to label it before putting it away. [Top] Feel the need for speed? You can adjust the graphics and splash screen effects in XP. This uses up some memory and slows XP down. Follow the steps below to pick up some noticeable speed by taking out some of the fancy stuff that XP does behind the scenes: Click your Start button on bottom left of your tool bar. Choose control panel>> System>> Advanced. Under 'Performance' click Settings and select "Adjust for best performance". Now, scroll down to the last two options in that menu and uncheck them: Use drop shadows Use visual styles Apply the change. Don't worry, XP will still look and feel like XP. [Top] Disable Caps Lock To disable the caps lock, follow the instructions below: Open Notepad and insert the following information: ====Begin cut-and-paste (omit this line) Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout] "ScanCode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00 ====End cut-and-paste (omit this line) Save the file to your desktop and name it; DisableCapsLock.reg To insert the information contained in this file, right-click and select "merge" or simply doubleclick the file. You must either restart your system or log off and back on again before the system will recognize the new mapping data.

You can delete the file from your desktop is you wish by simply right clicking and select Delete. Note: Do not use if you've already remapped other keys, because you'll lose those remappings! Works in Windows XP and 2000 only. [Top] Clean the Prefetch Directory Windows XP has a feature called Prefetch. This keeps a shortcut to recently used programs. In time, this directory will clutter up with many un-needed or unused programs. Here's how to clean this occasionally: Star >> Run >> Prefetch Press Ctrl-A to highlight all of the shorcuts Press Delete [Top] Display the QuickLaunch Toolbar By default, Windows XP does not show the QuickLaunch toolbar as did Windows 98. To enable it: Right click on an open area of the toolbar Select Toolbars Select Quick Launch [Top] Disabling Hibernation If you don't want to use up the disk space taken by Hibernation, or don't need to use it at all, you can easily disable it. Open up the Control Panel Power Options icon Click on the Hibernation tab Uncheck Enable Hibernation [Top] Folder Memory Setting Windows XP remember the view settings for the 400 most recently used folders by default. Once that figure has been reached, it will start overwriting the data of the oldest folder. Below you will find a registry tweak that will increase the number of folders from 400 to 5000. The information is stored in two registry keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam Open Windows Explorer and go to Tools>> Folder Options>> View>> Advanced Settings. Ensure that "Remember each folder's view settings" is checked. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] Navigate to: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell Right-click on "Shell", then follow to New>> Key>> DWORD Value. Name this item "BagMRU Size" (without quotation marks) Ensure there is a space between BagMRU and Size. Double-click BagMRU Size, give it a "Decimal" value of 5000, then click OK. Now navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam.

Create another BagMRU Size DWORD Value for "ShellNoRoam". Again, give it a "Decimal" value of 5000, then click OK. Close the registry and reboot your computer. Windows XP will now remember 5000 folder view settings instead of 400. [Top] Create a Zip Folder The information listed below gives instruction on three methods of creating a Zip Folder and password protecting your Zip Folder. Method #1: To create a new zip file in Windows Explorer, click the File menu>> New>> Compressed (zipped) Folder. A new folder will appear. Enter a file name making sure that you use .zip at the end. Press Enter on your keyboard to save it. Method #2: Right-click an open area of your desktop and select Compressed (zipped) Folder from the resulting menu. As in method #1, name and save your folder the same way. Note: In methods #1 and #2, you will need to drag and drop files into these folders once they are created. This is easily done by double-clicking your newly created folder to open it. Then drag a chosen file and drop it into your folder. If you are just wanting to copy a file, use drag and drop. If you want to move the file from its location into your folder, use drag and drop while holding down the Shift key. Method #3: (Preferred Method) Right-click a selected file or folder and choose Send To>> Compressed (zipped) Folder. This will create a new zip folder with a .zip extension. As an example; sending a file named AnyFile.txt to a compressed folder using this method, will automatically be named AnyFile.zip. If you double click your new Zip Folder, you will see that it contains AnyFile.txt. You can also send multiple files to one Compressed Zip Folder using this method. All you would have to do it use your CTRL key while clicking individual files, or click the first file, hold down the SHIFT key and click the last file. In either case, once you have all of the files highlighted (selected), just use the above instructions for method #3 to create a Compressed Zip Folder containing all of your selected files. In using this procedure, Windows XP will create a file name automatically. If you would like to change the name, simply right-click the folder and choose rename. Note: Now that you have create a Zip Folder, you can password protect it. Open your folder then click the File Menu>> Add a Password... In the resulting dialog box, type in your password then again in the field below to confirm it. Click OK. To remove your password, open your zip folder, click the File Menu and select Remove Password. [Top] Protecting Your PC A very important and often overlooked method of PC security is keeping your Operating System up-to-date. Falling behind in your updates will only compromise the systems integrity by giving hackers a way in. Checking for updates is easy using Internet Explorer: Open Internet Explorer>> Tools>> Windows Update. Windows XP users can benefit from Windows Automatic Update Feature.

How does Automatic Updates work? When you turn on Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks the Windows Update Web site for high-priority updates that can help protect your computer from the latest viruses and other security threats. These updates can include security updates, critical updates, and service packs. Depending on the setting you choose, Windows automatically downloads and installs any high-priority updates that your computer needs, or notifies you as these updates become available. [Top] Automatic Updates In yesterdays tip, we discussed the importance of updating your computer to keep it safe and secure. In today's tip, we'll discuss your updating options. Do you want to let Windows update your system automatically? Or, do you want to run your updates manually? The link supplied below will give detailed instruction on how to: -Change the Settings for Automatic Updates -Turn On and Use Automatic Updates -Turn Off Automatic Updates -Have Windows Remind You About Pending Updates -Pause or Resume Downloading -Restore Declined Updates -Update Your Files by Using Windows Update: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;306525#4 [Top] Using the "Ping" Command A very handy method of checking your computer's networking connection is the Ping command. Let's say that you are having trouble connecting to a certain site. You can PING that site to see if it is accessible. If the site is not the trouble, try PINGing your Internet Service Provider to see if the problem is at their end. Using the PING command in Windows XP/NT/2000: Once you are online, go to Start>> Run. Type in: cmd.exe [Enter] Using the Ping command in Windows 95/98/ME: Once you are online, go to Start>> Programs>> MS DOS [Enter] At the command prompt: Type in: ping www.your-isp.com [Enter] [Top] A Virus that won't go away... In many cases, a virus will load itself into your system restore files. It is a technique used by hackers to keep re-infecting your computer using its own back up system. So anytime you are infected with a virus, make sure that you disable the system restore feature and then run your virus scan. Disable System Restore in Windows XP: Right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties". Click the "System Restore" tab and check the box "Turn off System Restore" then click OK. Disable System Restore in Windows ME:

Right-click "My Computer" and choose "Properties". Select the "Performance" tab then click the "File System" button and go to the "Troubleshooting" tab. Put a check mark next to "Disable System Restore" then click OK. You'll need to restart your computer. Run your virus scan. Once it is complete, follow the instructions above in reverse to Enable System Restore. [Top] Cancel A Print Job I know that most of you at one time or another have, in an effort to stop a print task resorted to pulling the paper out of the printer until the printer showed the "out of paper" error message. Well, you don't have to do that. This tip will show you alternate methods of canceling a print job. Usually the easiest way to stop a print job is to double-click its icon in the system tray to open the "printer queue folder". Then click on the print job that you would like to cancel and press the delete key on your keyboard. Or, you can right click the print job and select "Cancel" from the resulting menu. If neither of the above will work for you. Try turning the printer off and restarting it. You should be prompted to resume your print job. You can then select "Cancel" from that menu. How to prevent spyware Spyware and other unwanted software can invade your privacy, bombard you with pop-up windows, slow down your computer, and even make your computer crash. Here are several ways you can help protect your computer against spyware and other unwanted software. On This Page: Step 1: Update your software Step 2: Adjust Internet Explorer security settings Step 3: Use a firewall Step 4: Surf and download more safely Step 5: Download and install anti-spyware protection Step 1: Update your software: If you use Windows XP, one way to help prevent spyware and other unwanted software is to make sure all your software is updated. First, visit Windows Update to confirm that you have Automatic Updates turned on and that you've downloaded all the latest critical and security updates. Step 2: Adjust Internet Explorer security settings You can adjust your Internet Explorer Web browser's security settings to determine how much-or how little-information you are willing to accept from a Web site. Microsoft recommends that you set the security settings for the Internet zone to Medium or higher. To view your current Internet Explorer security settings: 1. In Internet Explorer, click Tools and then click Internet Options. 2. Select the Security tab. For a step-by-step guide to adjusting your settings without blocking content from sites that you trust, see Working with Internet Explorer 6 Security Settings. If you're running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and you use Internet Explorer to browse the Web, your browser security settings for the Internet zone are already set to Medium by default. Internet Explorer in Windows XP SP2 also includes a number of features to help protect against spyware and many other kinds of deceptive or unwanted software. Step 3: Use a firewall While most spyware and other unwanted software come bundled with other programs or originate from unscrupulous Web sites, a small amount of spyware can actually be placed on your

computer remotely by hackers. Installing a firewall or using the firewall that's built into Windows XP provides a helpful defense against these hackers. Step 4: Surf and download more safely The best defense against spyware and other unwanted software is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don't want: -Only download programs from Web sites you trust. If you're not sure whether to trust a program you are considering downloading, ask a knowledgeable friend or enter the name of the program into your favorite search engine to see if anyone else has reported that it contains spyware. -Read all security warnings, license agreements, and privacy statements associated with any software you download. -Never click "agree" or "OK" to close a window. Instead, click the red "x" in the corner of the window or press the Alt + F4 buttons on your keyboard to close a window. -Be wary of popular "free" music and movie file-sharing programs, and be sure you clearly understand all of the software packaged with those programs. Step 5: Download and install anti-spyware protection Microsoft currently offers anti-spyware beta software for download; more information is available on Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) site. Additional security tools to help block, detect, and remove unwanted software from your computer are available on the Security Downloads resources page. Note: Microsoft is not responsible for the quality, performance, or reliability of third-party tools. Source: Microsoft [Top ] Secure your computer from external threats using a password Using a complex, virtually impossible to guess type password is very important these days. Hackers have password stealing software that could help them gain access to your computers valuable data. Any security measures you take can be undermined by a simple to steal password. Never setup an account without creating a good password for it. I recommend using a password that is 15 or more characters (whenever possible). A password should never be less than 5 characters. The hardest to steal passwords incorporate a mixture of character classes such as uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Stay clear of using passwords that are regular dictionary words or names. Password stealing software will sniff those out extremely fast. Also, stay away from using keyboard patterns such as "ZXCVB" or "123654". A very effective way to remember a long password is by passphrasing. A passphrase is a collection of 'words' used for access control. An example of a passphrase would be "Ihatecheapbeer!" It is important to use different passwords for each of your important accounts. If one of your passwords is compromised, then the others accounts are not easily accessed. This can be a bit of an inconvenience, but with the use of some creative passphrasing, it doesn't have to be that hard. Lastly, be sure to change your password often. This is especially important if your computer is accessed by other individuals. Keep to a good password regimen and your personal information should remain safe and secure. [Top] Description of the Low Disk Space Notification in Windows XP When a Windows XP-based computer is running low on disk space, you receive a "Low Disk Space" message that, when clicked, starts the Disk Cleanup Wizard. This article describes the conditions in which you receive the "Low Disk Space" message. When free disk space reaches 200 megabytes (MB), you receive the following message for 10 seconds, once per session: You are running out of disk space on [drive]. To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here. When free disk space reaches 80 MB, you receive the following message for 30 seconds, every four hours, twice per session:

You are running very low on disk space on [drive]. To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here. When free disk reaches 50 MB, you receive the following message for 30 seconds, every five minutes, until free space is above 50 MB: You are running very low on disk space on [drive]. To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, click here. Note: There is a registry value you can set to disable this feature. To disable low disk space checks, follow these steps, log off, and then log on again: Follow these steps, and then quit Registry Editor: 1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK. 2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer 3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value. 4. Type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks, and then press ENTER. 5. On the Edit menu, click Modify. 6. Type 1, and then click OK. Source: Microsoft Full Screen feature The Windows Full Screen Feature is very helpful when you are in search of a file within a very large folder. For instance, when you open your My Documents folder, press the F11 key on your keyboard to activate the Full Screen Feature. This will make the whole folder viewable within the screen instead of having to scroll down in search of your file. To revert back to your regular screen, just press the F11 key again. [Top] Saving Space All Windows Operating Systems have a folder on the hard drive where various applications temporary files are stored. On occasion, it is a good idea to relieve your hard drive of these unneeded files. There are a couple different ways you can find these files: 1. Open Windows Explorer and in the Address field type: %temp% (including the percent signs) [Enter]. You will then be taken to that folder. 2. Click Start>> Run, and type: %temp% [Enter] Any of these temporary files that are found using the above methods are safe to delete. Note: Sometimes the files are still in use, so deleting them works best immediately following a reboot. [Top] Repair Option on a Local Area Network or High-Speed Internet Connection In the latest versions of Windows, you are given a repair option when you right-click a network connection in the Network Connections window. Below, you will find exactly what Windows does, in order, when you tell it to repair a network connection: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) lease is renewed (ipconfig /renew) Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache is flushed (arp -d *) Reload of the NetBIOS name cache (nbtstat -R) NetBIOS name update is sent (nbtstat -RR) Domain Name System (DNS) cache is flushed (ipconfig /flushdns) DNS name registration (ipconfig /registerdns) IEEE 802.1X Authentication Restart (WinXP SP1 or later) Note: The bit in parenthesis is the actual command that is issued, which you can perform yourself from a command prompt.

Source: Microsoft KB Article [Top] Detect and Repairing Disk Errors In previous versions of Windows, you would find a built in utility called ScanDisk. This utility exists in Windows XP but is called the Error Checking utility. So, in addition to running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to optimize the performance of your computer, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running the Error Checking utility. As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced. To run the Error Checking utility: Important: Be sure to close all files before running the Error Checking Utility. Any unsaved data will be lost. 1. Click Start, and then click My Computer. 2. In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties. 3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab. 4. Click the Check Now button. 5. In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start 6. If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them. Tip: Only select the Automatically fix file system errors check box if you think that your disk contains bad sectors. Source: Microsoft [Top] Speed Up Access to Data Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. The response time can be significantly longer. Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up. When to Run Disk Defragmenter: In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals, optimally monthly, certain events warrant running the utility outside of the monthly rule of thumb. You should run Disk Defragmenter under the following circumstances: You add a large number of files. Your free disk space nears 15 percent. You install new programs or a new version of Windows. To use Disk Defragmenter: Click Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Defragmenter. Click Analyze to start the Disk Defragmenter. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button.

After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives. Tip: You should analyze a volume before defragmenting it to get an estimate of how long the defragmentation process will take. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment button. After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window. Source: Microsoft [Top] Knowing Network Neighborhood If you have other computers on your network that have file sharing enabled, accessing those files is as easy as accessing files on your own computer. Here's how: -In Windows XP, go to Start>> My Network Places. Here, you will find a list of the other computers on your LAN (Local Area Network). -In Windows 98, double-click the Network Neighborhood icon on your Desktop to see a list of the other computers on the network. In either case, if the other computers have file sharing enabled, you should be able to open documents stored on them or copy files to your PC. If you don't see or can't access the other computers in My Network Places or Network Neighborhood, then chances are file sharing is not properly configured. [Top] Display a Photo on your Desktop If you would like to display your favorite picture on your desktop, Windows XP makes this a simple task. Here's how: Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the picture file and right-click it. In the resulting right-click menu, look for the "Open With" option. Choose to Open it in Internet Explorer. Once Internet Explorer has opened your picture file, right-click the image and select "Set as Background". [ Top] Adding an item to the Send To menu If you would like to add an additional item to your Send To menu, you need to add a shortcut to the SendTo folder. Here's how: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: sendto [Enter] Right click a blank space within the SendTo folder. Click New>> Shortcut. Follow the Create Short Cut wizards onscreen instructions to create a new shortcut. Close the SendTo folder window. This newly created shortcut will now appear in your Send To menu. To delete a shortcut from the Send To menu: Go to Start>> Run: Type in: sendto [Enter] Find the item that you would like to delete. Right click the item and select Delete. [ Top]

Clear unwanted items from the "Open With" list When you right click a file, you may see an option called 'Open With', which lists a number of programs on your computer to open that file with. If you would like to remove some of these options from this list, here's how: Warning: The following tip involves editing the Windows Registry. Please make sure that you make a backup copy of the registry prior to making any changes. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: REGEDIT [Enter] or Click OK. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ FileExts Click once on the 'FileExts' entry to empty its contents into the right pane. Find the extension you wish to edit and click on the "+" sign to expand OpenWithList (see Figure #1) Right click on the one that you would like to delete, then select Delete. Figure #1 Note: Deleting the item from the above registry key may not remove it from the Open With list. Some items may still reside in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT registry key which is common for all user profiles. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ .xxx \ OpenWithList (Where .xxx is a file extension) When you find the desired entry, right click and select Delete. [Top] Adding a special character If you ever find the need to use a special character such as; ® or ©. Instead of opening up your character map each time you need to insert one of these symbols, there are shortcuts available that can be a great time saver. Here's how: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Character Map. Click the © symbol At the bottom right corner, you will notice the keyboard shortcut used to insert this character. Be sure to write it down for future use. To insert the character using the keyboard shortcut: Position the cursor where you would like to insert the special character. With NUM LOCK key on, hold down the ALT key and use the number pad keys to type the character value. [Top] Monitor USB Bandwidth Usage USB devices such as; digital cameras, mice, flash drives and keyboards all share the same bandwidth allocated by Windows. The Windows XP USB user interface does not support more than 10 host controllers. When the bandwidth reaches the 100% allocation, you will receive a "Stop Error 0x0000007E" message. To check the bandwidth usage: Go to Start>> Right click on My Computer. Select Properties>> Hardware>> Device Manager Once at the Device Manager, double click "Universal Serial Bus Controllers", then double click the first USB Root Hub listing (see Figure #1).

In the resulting window, select Advanced (see Figure #2). (Figure #1) (Figure #2) [Top] Move The Cursor Without A Mouse If you would like to try out using your mouse with only your keyboard, Windows makes this option available to you. The utility is called MouseKeys. MouseKeys uses your numeric keypad to control the mouse cursor. This can be a handy feature if you are needing better accuracy while designing graphics. MouseKeys allows you to move the cursor pixel by pixel across the screen. Here is how to activate the MouseKeys feature: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Accessibility Options Click the Mouse tab Place a checkmark in the box titled: Use MouseKeys Click the settings button to adjust the pointer speed Click OK Now you can use your numeric keypad to control your mouse cursor. [Top] Use your own picture for your User Account If there are multiple user accounts on your computer. Windows makes it easy for your to use your own picture to be associated with your user account. Here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> User Accounts Select your account from the User Accounts window You should be at the User Accounts windows that asks the question; "What do you want to change about your account? Select the "Change my picture" link. At the "Pick a new picture for your account" window, Select "Browse for more pictures" Navigate to the picture that you would like to use, then select "Open" The selected graphic will now appear on the Welcome Screen and Start Menu. [Top] Muted sound If you find that your DVD or CD won't play music any longer or if you are not getting any sound from your system at all. Try the following troubleshooting steps for help: Make sure the Mute feature is not turned on by trying one or more of the following steps: Try Pressing the Mute button on the keyboard. By pressing this button, it will toggle the ON/OFF and will give you onscreen notification. Press this button until you receive a Mute OFF notification. Double click the volume control icon on the taskbar. When the Master Volume window appears, make sure that the "Mute" check boxes do not have a check marks. Check to make sure that other devices not listed in the Master Volume window are not muted. Here's how: With the Master Volume window showing, go to Options>> Properties (see Figure #1). Place a check in the volume controls that you would like to view (see Figure #2). Click OK. The Master Volume window will now show the additional selected devices. Uncheck any Mute check boxes for these devices.

Figure #1 Figure #2 [Top] Playing a DVD Movie using WinDVD To play a movie, follow the instructions below: Open the DVD drive door, place a DVD into the tray, shiny side down, and close the DVD drive door. If a window pops up asking which application you would like to use, choose WinDVD and then select OK. If any other windows appear other than WinDVD, just close the window. WinDVD should start automatically. If it does not, you can start it from the All Programs menu. Here's how: In Windows 98 and Me: Go to Start>> Programs>> Accessories>> Entertainment>> DVD Player In Windows XP: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Intervideo WinDVD The WinDVD console and viewing window will now appear. The DVD should automatically start playing at this point, but in the event that it does not, try the following: Click the Play control, a dark triangle that points to the right (see Figure #1). If the DVD movie still does not play, click the small down pointing arrow directly under the WinDVD logo on the console to view the console menu options. You will also see a 'Help' option if further troubleshooting is required (see Figure #2). Unhide Components in Add/Remove Programs You can uninstall many Windows components using the Add or Remove Programs. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Add/Remove Programs While searching for old programs to delete from your system, you'll probably notice that some components are not there. Well, they really are there, Windows just has them hidden. The most common Windows program that is hidden and marked for removal by many PC users is MSN Messenger. Here's how you can tell Windows not to hide these components. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: notepad.exe C:\windows\inf\sysoc.inf In notepad, select Edit from the toolbar. Click the Replace button. In the "Find What" text area type HIDE Leave the "Replace With" text area blank. Click Replace All. Exit the Replace window. In notepad again, select File from the toolbar and click Save. All of the hidden Windows components will now be visible in Add/Remove programs. [Top] Windows Keyboard Shortcuts The keyboard shortcuts listed below are used as an alternate method of working with Windows XP. Many people find it faster and more convenient to use the keyboard when performing some tasks. You will need to experiment with them to find what works best and feels more comfortable to you.Command Result CTRL + C Copy CTRL + X Cut CTRL + V Paste CTRL + Z Undo DELETE Delete SHIFT + DELETE Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin CTRL while dragging an item Copy selected item CTRL + SHIFT while dragging an item Create shortcut to selected item

F2 Rename selected item CTRL + RIGHT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word CTRL + LEFT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word CTRL + DOWN ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph CTRL + UP ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph. CTRL + SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Highlight a block of text SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document CTRL + A Select all F3 Search for a file or folder ALT + ENTER View properties for the selected item ALT + F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program ALT + Enter Displays the properties of the selected object ALT + SPACEBAR Opens the shortcut menu for the active window CTRL + F4 Close the active document in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously ALT + TAB Switch between open items ALT + ESC Cycle through items in the order they were opened F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop F4 Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer SHIFT + F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item ALT + SPACEBAR Display the System menu for the active window CTRL + ESC Display the Start menu ALT + Underlined letter in a menu name Display the corresponding menu Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu Carry out the corresponding command F10 Activate the menu bar in the active program RIGHT ARROW Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu LEFT ARROW Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu F5 Refresh the active window BACKSPACE View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer ESC Cancel the current task SHIFT when you insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD from automatically playing. [Top] Make a backup copy of your Windows XP Registry Many of the tips and tricks here at 5 Star Support require editing the Windows Registry. In this tip, I will show you the correct way to perform a backup of your Windows Registry so that you can safely restore your systems registry files in the event something goes wrong. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Once in the Registry Editor, choose File from the toolbar. Select Export In the resulting Export Registry File window (click image below), locate the "Save in:" selection menu. Choose a location for this file that will be easily found if needed. Name the file whatever you would like (I use the days date) in the "File name:" text box. At the bottom of the window you will see the Export Range category. Tick the "All" selection. Click the Save button. [Top] Enlarge your Thumbnail Images In Windows XP, you have the option of viewing a little thumbnail image of pictures on your hard drive as a quick preview of the image. If you would like to make these images a little larger, here's how:

Warning: The following tip involves editing the Windows Registry. Be sure that you make a backup copy prior to making any changes to your registry. Please proceed with caution! Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Drill to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer Click once on the Explorer entry to empty its contents into the right pane. Look for an entry named ThumbnailSize. Once you find it, double click this entry and change the hexidecimal value to anything between 32 and 96. If this entry does not exist, right click an empty area within the right pane and select NEW>> DWORD. Name this value: ThumbnailSize Then, double-click this new DWORD entry and insert a value between 32 and 96. Exit the Windows Registry saving your changes. It may be necessary for you to reboot your system for the changes to take effect. [Top] Update a Device Driver Many people are of the opinion that if it isn't broke then don't fix it. However, there are other people that believe that updating your hardware with fresh drivers taps its full potential and makes for a smoother running device. In any case, it is easy to locate and update a device driver using Device Manager, here's how: Go to Start and right-click on My Computer. Select Properties from the resulting menu. Click the Hardware tab. Click the Device Manager button. Select the device you want to update by hitting the plus sign next to the hardware category. The specific device will now be shown. Right click on the device and select Update Driver (see Figure #1). This will invoke the Hardware Update Wizard. Follow the onscreen instructions or visit the manufactures web site to locate an updated driver. If the new driver fails, you can easily reinstall the old driver. Here's how: Open the Device Manager (steps 1-4 above). Expose the desired device, right click it and then select Properties. Choose the Driver tab. Select the Roll Back Driver button (see Figure #2). Figure #1 Figure #2 [Top] Uninstall Windows Updates Method #1 Windows Update is a very important tool that serves to protect or improve upon your computers functionality. In some cases, you may encounter problems due to an update that did not install correctly. If this happens, here is how you can uninstall the update package: 1. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Add or Remove Programs 2. Select the Change or Remove Programs button 3. Locate the offending update, click it to highlight it, then click the Change/Remove button If it is an updated device drive that is causing the problem, here's how you can uninstall the updated driver and go back to the previous one. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System

Click the Hardware tab Select Device Manager Double click the offending device Click the Driver tab Select Roll Back Driver Method #2 Using System Restore, you can quickly and easily take your system back to a restore point before installing the update. Here's how: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> System Restore Tick the task that states "Restore my computer to an earlier time" Click Next, then follow the onscreen instructions [Top] Troubleshooting Drivers Using Driver Verifier Manager If you are having lockups, blue screens, error messages...etc. Many times the cause is a corrupt driver. Microsoft has a tool already installed in Windows XP called Driver Verifier Manager. This easy to use tool will help you identify the cause of a driver problem. Here's how to use this tool: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: verifier [Enter] or Click OK. With the Select A Task page open, keep the default setting "Create Standard Settings". Click Next. Choose the "Select Driver Name From A List" option. Select the driver files that you would like to verify by checking the checkbox next to a driver file. Click Finish, then Reboot your system. If you encounter a Blue Screen along with an error message on restart, then one or more of the selected drivers are a problem. If your system boots normally, then you have no driver issues with the ones that you've selected. Driver Verifier will remain active until you turn it off. Here's how: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: verifier /reset [Enter] or Click OK. For further information about the Driver verifier program visit: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;244617 [Top] Alphabetize Your All Programs Menu Have you ever searched your programs menu and found it difficult to find what you're looking for? That's pretty common. We all enjoy finding new programs and using them on our computers. The problem is that when you load lots of them, it can be very difficult finding them in the All Programs menu. It may help if you alphabetize the All Programs menu, here's how: Go to Start>> All Programs Right click any of the listed programs From the resulting right click menu, select "Sort By Names" All of your programs will now be alphabetically sorted. [Top] Create Password Reset Disk I often get questions regarding forgotten passwords in Windows XP. Windows XP has a feature that will reset your password in the event that you forget it. Here's how to set this up: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> User Accounts Open the User account that you would like to make a reset disk for Find a link titled: "Prevent a Forgotten Password" Click this link

The Forgotten Password Wizard will now guide you through the steps necessary to create the disk. When the process completes, label the disk accordingly and store it in a safe place. [Top] Installing Wallpaper on the PC One thing that I change a lot is the desktop wallpaper. I get tired of looking at the same thing day in and day out. Using Google Images or Yahoo Images, you can go out into the Internet and find millions of background photo's to use. Here's how: Open your browser and type in: www.google.com Select the Google Images tab Type in your screen size, then use a one or two word description of what you are looking for. Here are a few example searches: 1024x768 hawaii sunset 1024x768 nascar 1024x768 lakes 1024x768 mountains 1024x768 waterfall ...you get the idea Note: Replace the 1024x768 with your screen size. If you do not know what your screen size is, simply right click an open area of your desktop and select Graphic Options>> Graphic Properties from the resulting menus. Open the image from its thumbnail view to full-size view. Once you have selected the photo that you would like to use as your background, right click the image and choose the "Set as background" option. Your selected background will now reside on your desktop. Change this as often as you like, you'll never run out of photo's. [Top] Content Advisor Password If you would like to restrict access to restricted web sites, Internet Explorer makes this possible by adding a supervisor password to the Content Advisor. Here's how: Open Internet Explorer, then go to Tools>> Internet Options>> Content tab>> Enable tab (under the Content Advisor section)>> General button (in the Content Advisor window)>> Create Password button (under Supervisor Password section). If you should forget your password, there is a way to work around this issue, here's how: Warning: The following instructions involves editing the Windows registry. Incorrect editing can have severely adverse effects on your operating system. I recommend that you do a backup of the Windows registry prior to making any modifications. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\P OLICIES\RATINGS Right click on the "Ratings" entry and then select Delete. Exit the Registry editor. Now you can open IE and disable the Content Advisor. Once you are prompted for the Supervisor Password, leave the password box blank and then click OK. You can now re-enable the Content Advisor feature and create a new Supervisor Password. [Top] Transparent Desktop Icons

If you would like the background of the desktop icons to have a transparent appearance, here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System Once at the System Properties windows, select the Advanced tab Under the Performance category, select the Settings button In the Performance Options windows select the Visual Effects tab Scroll down the list of settings and place a checkmark next to the entry titled: Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop. [Top] Change file associations If you would like to change how a certain file-type opens, here's how: Right click the file you would like to change. Hold your mouse over "Open With". In the resulting menu, select "Choose Program...". Select a program that you would like this file to be opened with. Once you've made your selection, place a checkmark in the box titled: "Always use the the selected program to open this kind of file". [Top] Tool Tips will not display on Taskbar This is a known bug that really doesn't have a "fix". There are however, things that may help. Here are a few tips that have been known to help: Method #1: With your Desktop in view, single left click an empty area, then press the F5 key on your keyboard. This should reset the desktop. Method #2: Right click your Taskbar>> Properties>> Uncheck the entry titled: Keep the taskbar on top of other windows. Click Apply, then OK. Reverse the process and re-check the aforementioned entry. Click Apply, then OK. Method #3: Most of the time a simple reboot will fix this issue. [Top] System Information Tool In Windows XP, you'll find a very handy tool called, the System Information Tool. The main purpose of this tool is to help in troubleshooting computer issues. As an example, if you are having a problem with an optical drive, you can use this tool to identify the status of the driver for this drive. While the troubleshooting aspect of this tool is used by the more advanced users, this tool is handy for all users who wish to find out information about what is installed on your Windows application at a glance. Here's how to start the System Information Tool: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> System Information. OR - Go to Start>> Run. Type in: msinfo32.exe [Enter] or click OK. The categories of information you can expect to find in this tool are: Installed Components

Hardware Resources Installed Applications Software Environment Internet Explorer [Top] Off-Line Web Browsing Here is a feature that I have personally never used, but I have always had a reliable Internet connection. If you are not so lucky, then you may find this feature useful at times. To configure IE for offline browsing: Open up the web site of choice and click the Favorites button. Select Add to Favorites... Tick the box that reads; "Make available offline" Note: If you would like to be able view even linked pages of this selected web site, you can click the "Customize" button and follow the Offline Favorite Wizard to help you determine how much content you would like to make available offline. Select a favorites folder to place it in Click OK To remove a web page from offline browsing: Select Tools>> Synchronize... De-select the check box next to the web page you would like to remove Click Close The de-selected web page will no longer show in this menu when re-entered. [Top] Disable unneeded devices in Device Manager There are many ways to improve the boot speed in Windows XP, one quick way is to disable any unused devices in the Windows XP device manager. For example, if you do not use a floppy drive on your system or you have an extra unused network card, then disabling these items may make sense. Note: If you don't know what it is or you are unsure of something, just leave it alone. To perform this task: Right click on My Computer and select Properties. From the Hardware tab, select Device Manager. Expand the various categories to locate unused devices. Right click the devices and select Disable. [Top] Save Custom Colors & Patterns If you enjoy creating custom colors and patterns for your Windows installation, you know that creating this takes a great deal of time. If you would like to save these settings to keep as a backup copy or transferring these settings to a second computer here's how: Open up the Registry Editor, Start>> Run, type in: regedit [Enter] Drill to the following two registry keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Custom Colors HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Patterns Right click Custom Colors and select Export from the resulting menu. Choose a location to save it to and click Save. Do the same for the "Patterns" entry.

Once you copy the file to the second computer, just double click the file to import. [Top] Installing Fonts Windows comes with a great deal of different fonts selections, but there are those of you that need more. Windows makes it easy to add new fonts to your system. Once you have downloaded your font of choice: Go to Start>> Control Panel. Double-click the Fonts icon. If the Fonts icon is not visible, you may need to click Appearance and Themes first. Then go to "See Also" in the upper left of your screen. Once you get to your Fonts window, you can either drag and drop your new font from its downloaded location into the Font window or, you can click on the File menu in the upper left of the Fonts window and select "Install New Font...". From here, you can browse to the new font location, click the font file and click OK. The font will automatically be copied into your Fonts folder. Your new font will now be available for all Windows applications to use. [Top] Monitor System Performance Windows XP has a handy little utility for monitoring your system performance. To access this utility: Press CTRL + ALT + DEL on your keyboard and select the Performance tab. [Top] Obtain Version Information Using the Windows Registry, you can quickly and easily find your Windows version, build and service pack information for Windows NT, 2000, XP. Go to Start>> Run, type in: regedit [Enter] Drill to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion The following values tell the following information:Value Information CSDVersion Service Pack CurrentBuildNumber Build Number CurrentVersion Version Number ProductName Windows Version Name [Top] Disk Cleanup Utility Hangs Over time, you may notice that the Disk Cleanup Utility takes longer and longer to sort files or won't complete the cleanup process. This is usually caused by a full TEMP directory, corrupt temp files or a heavily fragmented hard disk. Try cleaning out the temp files using the method below, then perform a disk defragmentation: Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Defragmenter. To clean TEMP files: Go to Start>> Run, type in: %temp% [Enter] In the resulting menu, select Edit>> Select All [Delete] Then select Yes.

The Disk Cleanup Utility should run much better for you now! [Top] How to login as Administrator [ XP Pro] XP's built-in Administrator account is hidden from the welcome screen when a user account with admin privileges exists and is enabled. XP Home Edition allows you to login as built-in administrator in safe mode only. In XP Professional, just press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice at the Welcome Screen then type in your admin password into the resulting classic logon window that appears. Below, you will find two methods to have the admin account display in the welcome screen. [1] TweakUI: You can download Tweakui for free here: http://www.5starsupport.com/info/xpinfo.htm#powertoys 1. Once you open Tweakui. 2. In the left pane, click the Logon option. 3. Then place a checkmark in the Show Administrator option. 4. Click OK Once you logoff, the welcome screen should now list Administrator login. [2] Edit Windows Registry: Warning: Be sure to make a backup copy of the registry prior to making any changes. Go to Start>> Run>> Type in: regedit [Enter] Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon/SpecialAccounts/UserList Right-click an empty space in the right pane and select New DWORD Value. Type in the word Administrator as the value. Double-click this new value, and enter 1 as the data. Close the registry editor. [Top] Making text transparent on desktop icons Four criteria must be met to have transparent text on your desktop icon. 1. Go to Start>> Right Click My Computer>> Properties>> Advanced tab>> Performance Settings>> Visual Effects tab. The entry "use drop shadows for icon labels..." must be checked 2. Right click any blank area of your desktop>> Arrange Icons by...>> The entry "Lock Web Items on Desktop" entry must be unchecked. 3. Having any web content on your desktop will not allow transparency to work. Here's how to check for web content:

Right click a blank area of your desktop>> Properties>> Desktop tab>> Customize Desktop button>> Web tab>> make sure all checkboxes are unchecked. 4. Wallpaper must be an image file, not HTML. [Top] Boot to Safe Mode To boot your system in to Safe Mode: 1. Tap the F8 key during boot, right after the BIOS info switches to a black screen. -ORGo to Start>> Run>> Type in: msconfig [Enter] Select the BOOT INI tab>> Place a check in the /SafeBoot checkbox>> Click Apply>> Then OK. Reboot your system for the change to take affect. [Top] Cleaning out Windows Registry There are many third party software on the market that will do the job. One that I have used for several years and have been very satisfied with is a program called EasyCleaner. Best of all, it's FREE! EasyCleaner is a small program which searches Windows' registry for entries that are pointing nowhere. Deleting these entries will speed your computer up. But as you already might know, deleting entries from registry can be dangerous for your computer, so it is wise to make a backup of your registry. EasyCleaner also lets you delete all kinds of unnecessary files like temps, backups etc. You can search for duplicate files and you can view some interesting info about your disk space usage! ToniArts may not be held accountable in any way if EasyCleaner affects your computer in a negative way. Here's a list of some features: Finds invalid registry entries - deleting them speeds up your computer up to 20%! Finds duplicate files - deleting them will free disk space! Finds all unnecessary files like backups, temps etc. Very user friendly! Shows some interesting info about your disk space usage. Very customizable. Uses only little amount of recourses while running! Huge help file which gives you every little detail about EasyCleaner! And much more...Current Version Author Requirements License Language V2.06 Build 7 ToniArts 486 8mb RAM Windows 95/98/ME/NT 3.51 (or newer)/2000/XP Freeware Multilingual

[Top] Increase Windows Shutdown Time If you have a program that needs additional time to shut itself off when shutting down your computer, you can increase the amount of time that Windows takes when it shuts down.

Warning: Be sure that you make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes to it. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] Drill to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop Single click on the "Desktop" entry to empty its contents into the right pane. Now, find the following entry: WaitToKillAppTimeout Double click the entry and increase the value. (10000=10 seconds) [Top] Enable CD burning service Windows XP gives you the ability to burn CDs without adding additional software. However, this feature isn't enabled by default. Here's how to start the service: Go to Start>> Administrative Tools>> Services. Right-click IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service, then choose Properties. Change the Startup Type to Automatic. Select Start>> click OK. Reboot your system To burn files to a CD-R or CD-RW, individually select the desired files and/or folders and drag them to the CD burner device. Right-click the device, and choose Write These Files To CD. To empty the burn queue, simply right click the device and choose Delete temporary Files. IMAPI: Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface [Top] Backup the Windows Registry Instructions on how to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 can be found in the following MSKB article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=322756 [Top] Clear Page File at Shutdown To clear Windows Page File at shutdown; Go to Start>> Run, Type in: regedit [Enter] Drill to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management Single click once on "Memory Management" to empty its contents into the right pane. Double click on ClearPageFileAtShutdown, then change the value to 1. Restart your computer for this change to take effect. Note: If the value does not exist, add the following value: Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown Value Type: REG_DWORD

Value: 1 Warning: Be sure to make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes. [Top] Remove a Randomly Named Trojan Virus Warning: Be sure to make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes to it. Start your computer in Safe Mode by pressing F8 once Windows first begins to load. Be sure that you login as Administrator. Go to Start>> Search all files and folders. Search for the viruses file name and delete it whereever it is found. Go back to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Navigate to the following Registry keys one at a time: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig\startupreg Click the last string entry (eg: startupreg & run) to empty its contents into the right pane. Look for entries that reference your specific Trojan file. Delete the strings that contain such reference. Be sure that you do not delete any string values in the left pane. Close the Registry Editor when completed. Restart your computer normally. Update your Antivirus software and run a full system scan. If your antivirus software states that your system is clean, you will now need to remove all of your restore points as the virus may reside there. The next time that you would use system restore, you will re-infect your system. Here's how to remove your restore points: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System>> System Restore tab. Check the box to "Turn off system restore on all drives". Click Apply. Then click OK. This will remove all restore points. Follow the instructions in #1 above to restore your system restore on all drives by unchecking the entry. Create a new clean restore point by going to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> System Restore. Click "Create a Restore Point" then click Next. Enter a name for this Restore Point and then click Create. Note: If everything seems to be running well at this point, delete the backup copy of your registry. Then, empty your recycle bin. [Top] Launch the On-Screen Keyboard Microsoft's on-screen keyboard utility is a virtual keyboard that allows people with mobility impairments to use the on-screen keyboard via a mouse or joystick. To access the on-screen keyboard: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: osk [Enter] or click OK. The on-screen keyboard will now be displayed at the bottom of your screen. You can move it anywhere you would like just as you can with any other window. Once you have the on-screen keyboard displayed, you can click the "Keyboard" button and select the type of keyboard to be displayed (see figure #1).

Then, click the "Settings" button to select the mode you would like it to operate in (see figure #2). Figure #1 Figure #2 [Top] Directory size limitations in XP I am often asked if Windows XP, both Home and Pro editions, have file limits on their directories. The answer is that it would depend on the file system that you are using. I have listed both below: NTFS Size Limits Files per volume 4,294,967,295 FAT32 Size Limits Maximum number of files and subfolders within a single folder 65,534 Note: Using long file names can greatly reduce the figure listed. [Top] Constant Ping to Troubleshoot a Connection If you would like to send a constant Ping to an Internet address, it is possible to do this using a DOS command: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: cmd [Enter] or click OK At the command prompt, type: ping /t Note: To find additional ping commands, you can type: ping /? [Top] Download PowerToys for Windows XP I just ran across this link and wanted to share it. There are many useful utilities listed in the link below. But the most useful is TweakUI which in my opinion is a "must-have"! http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx [Top] Switch Users without the Welcome Screen If you would like to switch users quickly without going through the welcome screen to do it, here's an alternate method: Press CTRL + ALT + Delete on your keyboard to access the Task Manager Click the User tab Right click the user you would like to switch to and then select Connect from the resulting menu. [Top] View event logs to troubleshoot issues

If you need to troubleshoot issues within Windows XP, you can view your event logs in the Computer Management Console. To access the Computer Management Console: Go to Start>> Right click My Computer>> Select 'Manage' from the resulting menu. Once in the console, select Event Viewer. Then double click any highlighted events within the Application or System categories to view the details on what the problem could be. [Top] Disable certain services Many of the services provided in Windows XP are not needed and in many cases can either slow down your system or add certain security risks. Below, is a list of services that you can disable to create a safer and faster system. You can access the listed services through the Computer management Console: Go to Start>> Right click My Computer>> Select 'Manage' from the resulting menu. Then, open Services and Applications and click Services. Now the right pane will have all of the services listed in alphabetical order. To disable a service, right click the entry and select "Stop" from the resulting menu. If it is already disabled, then "Stop" will be greyed out. Note: Disable only if your computer is not networked and you are the sole user. Services: Alerter Clipbook Computer Browser Fast User Switching Human Interface Access Devices Indexing Service (slows the hard drive) Messenger Net Logon (not necessary unless networked on a domain) Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (disabled for added security) Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (disabled for added security) Remote Procedure Call Locator Remote Registry (disabled for added security) Routing & Remote Access (disabled for added security) Server SSDP Discovery Service (this leaves TCP Port 5000 open) TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Telnet (disabled for added security) Universal Plug and Play Device Host Upload Manager Windows Time Wireless Zero Configuration (for wireless networks) Workstation [Top] Choose Hibernate from Shutdown Dialog If you would like to Hibernate your computer instead of selecting the default "Standby" setting. You will first need to be sure that Hibernation is enabled in your Power Options. Here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Power Options>> Hibernate tab>> Place a checkmark next to "Enable hibernation".

Once Hibernation is enabled, go to the shutdown dialog (Start>> Turn Off Computer) and hold down the Shift key. Standby will now turn in to Hibernate. Release the Shift key and it changes back to Standby. The differences between the two options are: Standby Standby mode is a power control option created to save energy for laptop computing. When in Standby mode, your computer is put into a power conservation mode. It will shut down the monitor and hard disk while keeping track of the files that you currently have open. This is a great method for taking a break from your computer because the computer wakes up very quickly from Standby mode. Standby mode is not designed for long term use. Leaving your computer in Standby mode overnight is probably pushing your laptop batteries limits. Hibernate Hibernation mode is also a power control option designed for much longer shutdown periods without actually shutting down the system completely. When you select the Hibernate option, an image of your current work is stored in a special file on your hard drive and then the computer is almost completely shut down. When you wake your computer back up, it will take less time than a normal Shut Down would, but much longer than from the Standby option because the computer will go through the actual boot sequence. The benefit of hibernation mode versus actually shutting down is that you can hibernate while in the middle of a work project without saving the work. I'm not a big fan of using the Hibernate option, but it is there in the event you need to shut down for a long period in a big hurry. [Top] Disable password when returning from Standby When resuming from hibernation or Standby mode, you can bypass the password prompt by going to: Start>> Control Panel>> Power Options>> Advanced tab>> Uncheck the entry "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby". [Top] Command a change when dragging files When you are dragging files in Windows Explorer, you can quickly make a copy of the file, force a move or create a shortcut by using keyboard commands. Here's how: Click and hold the click on any chosen file. When you start to drag the file press the: Control key to force a Copy Shift key to force a Move Alt key to force a Create Shortcut While holding the key down, release the mouse click to complete the operation. [Top] Rename Multiple Files It is possible to rename multiple file all at once. In Windows Explorer, select the files that you wish to rename by holding down the CTRL key and single clicking each file. Once they are all highlighted, right click the first file and select "Rename" from the resulting menu. Once you have entered the new name into the text box, single click outside of the text box and all of the other files will follow suit.

[Top] File names in thumbnail view In Windows Explorer, if you would like to view your image files in thumbnail view without having the file names listed, just hold down the Shift key then go to View and select Thumbnail. If you change your mind and want the file names listed, then simply repeat the procedure. [Top] Quickly Close All Windows If you have several windows open and you would like to close them quickly, you can hold down the CTRL button while clicking each taskbar button. With all of the buttons selected, right click the last button clicked and select "Close Group" (see illustration below).

[Top] Make any folder a desktop toolbar You can easily make any folder a desktop toolbar or a floating toolbar. here's how: With all application windows minimized, drag any folder to the edge of your computer screen (top or right side) and then drop the folder. The folder will now snap into position as a toolbar. From here, you can drag it towards the center of your screen and it will become a floating toolbar. [Top] Turn any folder into a taskbar toolbar If you would like to turn a folder into a taskbar toolbar, here's how: Be sure that your taskbar is unlocked by right clicking an empty area of the toolbar. If there is a checkmark next to "Lock the Toolbar", then click once on that entry to uncheck it. Then, drag the desired folder to the space between taskbar button area and the clock. While dragging, you may see a "no-entry" cursor (which is a circle with a diagonal slash), once that disappears, you can drop your folder into the taskbar button area. Resize it however you would like. You can even turn this toolbar into a menu by resizing it until only the name is showing. To delete this button, simply right click it and select "Close Toolbar". [Top] Add Details to the 'Arrange icons by' Menu When in Windows Explorer, you can arrange the icons in many different ways. To see a list of the additional options available in this list, go to View>> Choose Details... from here you can place a checkmark in any of the unchecked options to make your selection available. Once your selection is made, click OK to save the change and exit the window. Now, when you go to View>> Arrange Icons By, your selection will now appear in this menu. [Top] Clear AutoComplete Entries from Web Forms I'm sure that all of you have noticed that when you are filling out a web form, once you press a letter, many different text choices are available in the AutoComplete menu. To remove any of these items, just simply highlight the item and press delete on your keyboard. To completely clear all AutoComplete entries, follow the steps below: Open Internet Explorer Go to Tools>> Internet Options>> Content tab

Under the Personal Information category, press the AutoComplete button. Press Clear Forms from the resulting menu. [Top] Arrange two windows side-by-side If you would like to arrange two windows side-by-side, just click the taskbar button of one of the windows, then right click on the taskbar button of the second windows and select "Tile Vertically" from the resulting menu. [Top] Create a Folders Thumbnail Image In Windows Explorer, if you were to create an image and name it; Folder.jpg, Windows will use this image as the thumbnail for that folder. Also, it will be used as the album art in Windows Media Player for all of the media files in that folder. [Top] How to tell if SP2 is installed Here is a very easy method to show if you have SP2 installed: 1. Go to Start 2. Right click on My Computer 3. You will now see a similar image to that of my illustration below (Click to enlarge) [Top] Find out what programs are installed To find out what Microsoft products are installed on your computer, follow the instructions below: Go to Start>> Help and Support In the left column of the Help and Support window and under "Pick a Help Topic", select "Windows basics". In the left pane, click the plus (+) symbol to expand "Core Windows tasks". Click "Searching for information". In the right pane, under "Pick a task:", click "Get information about your computer". In the right pane, under "What do you want to do?", click "View a list of Microsoft software installed on this computer". Once you have the information in view, you can Print this information by clicking the Print button located in the toolbar above the list of information. [Top] Hide Inactive Icons You have control over what icons you would like to appear in the taskbar. If you do not want an icon to show, follow the instructions below: Right click an empty area of your taskbar. Select Properties from the resulting menu. Click the "Customize" button at the bottom right of the notification area. Click an item that you would like to change within this menu. Once clicked a drop-down menu will appear that has three options: Hide when inactive Always hide Always show Select one of the options, click OK and then click Apply.

Note: If you click the Restore Defaults button in the Customize notifications window, this will place ALL icons in the "Hide inactive icons" status. [Top] Disable the Indexing Service I have found that the Indexing Service slows down the system more by having this feature enabled. Windows provides this description of the Indexing Service feature: "Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language." Personally, I prefer a speedier computer than to have my files found a millionth of a second faster. Here's how to disable this feature: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: services.msc [Enter] or click OK 2. The Services console will now appear. In the right pane, scroll down to find the Indexing Service. Note: A quick method of locating items here is to click once in the right pane and then press the letter "I" on your keyboard. That will take you to the start of the services that start with "I". 3. Double click the Indexing Service entry. 4. In the Indexing Service Properties window and under "Startup type:", click the arrow for the drop-down menu. 5. Select "Disable" from the menu. 6. Click Apply, then OK. The next time you restart your computer, the Indexing Service will not run automatically. [Top] Installing the Windows XP Recovery Console I have seen on many occasions that after trying to install software or a device, something in Windows may become corrupt and sometimes to the point where Windows will not boot. If after trying to restore to a last known good configuration you still cannot boot. You can try a last ditch effort at the Recovery Console. The Recovery Console will give you access to a DOS like environment where you can try to fix suspected problems. Here is how to install the Recovery Console: 1. Place your Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM drive 2. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: d:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons (assuming D:\ is your CD-ROM Drive). Press Enter on your keyboard or click OK. A Windows setup dialog box will now appear. Here, you can read about the Recovery Console option. After you're done reading, click YES to confirm the installation. Once you restart your computer, you will now see "Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" on the startup menu. [Top] Most Common Reasons for System Crashes [Windows XP] If you are seeing random system crashes or periodical restarts, it may help you to know what the most common reasons for Windows XP to become unstable.

Bad Memory Module: Having a bad memory module will cause these issues. To troubleshoot this, you will need to either swap out a module for a known good module one at a time until you find the bad module. Or, remove one module at a time and reboot your system. Repeat this process as necessary until you find the bad module. Sound Card Driver: It is fairly common for a driver to cause this type of issue. Sometimes they become corrupt for no reason or even become out-dated. The sound card driver is not the only driver that can cause these issues, but it is the most common and should be the first card to focus on. Just simply visit the manufactures web site and reinstall the correct driver for your sound card. Overheating: Once your systems processor reaches a certain temperature, the system will shut itself down. The most common reason for overheating is a dirty fan not being able to spin fast enough to cool the processor. Or, a fan has just gone bad. Once you've gained access to the inside of your case, look and listen for a faulty fan. If they all appear to be working, it may not be a bad idea to go ahead and clean them while you are in there. Failing Power Supply: A power supply that isn't providing enough power to create a stable environment will cause this type of issue. It would seem if your computer turns on and boots up that the power supply is working, but in fact, it could be failing. This can be a tricky one to troubleshoot if you do not have the proper equipment. Without the proper test equipment, you are forced to either replace the power supply with a known good one or replace it with a new one. Mixing FAT32 and NTFS: If you have two hard drives installed on your system where one is FAT32 and the other is NTFS, this can cause conflicts that can ultimately create errors. Try converting your hard drives to the NTFS file system. Bad USB Hub: This one is pretty simple to troubleshoot. Just simply remove the hub from your system to see if the problem is resolved. This is not nearly as common as the scenarios listed above, but I have seen it happen a few times. [Top] How to use the Recovery Console There are many things that can be done in the Recovery Console. Enable and Disable Services Format Drives Read and Write data on a local drive to include NTFS formatted drives Plus many other administrative tasks The Recovery Console is mostly used for bringing a non-booting machine back from the dead. If you accidentally deleted a file that is keeping your system from booting, you can use the Recovery Console to copy the file from your CD-ROM to your hard drive. Or, if a particular service is preventing proper system function, then you can use the Recovery Console to reconfigure the service to restore proper system functionality. In any case, it is important for you to become familiar with the Recovery Console so that you can restore your computer in the event something should go wrong. Using either the Microsoft Windows XP startup disks or the Windows XP CD-ROM, you can run the Recovery Console. Here's how:

Startup Disks: If you do not have the startup disks, you can use the following MSKB article to create them: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994/ CD-ROM: If you are going to use the Windows XP CD-ROM to run the Recovery Console, you will first need to configure your BIOS to start from the CD-ROM. Running the Recovery Console: 1. Insert either media method (listed above) into the proper drive. Note: When using the CD-ROM, select any on-screen options that will allow the computer to start from the CD-ROM. 2. When you get to the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press R on your keyboard to start the Recovery Console. 3. If you have a dual-boot or a multi-boot system, select the installation that you need to access from the Recovery Console. 4. When prompted, enter the administrator password. If there is no password, leave it blank and just press Enter on your keyboard. 5. This will take you to the command prompt where you can enter the proper command to diagnose your problem and/or repair your installation. Note: At the command prompt, you can access a list of command options: type: help Press ENTER Note: For information regarding specific commands, type: help commandname (using the actual command name after "help") Press ENTER 6. When you are ready to exit the Recovery Console, type: exit Press ENTER [Top] Driver Rollback Feature Windows XP instability is often caused by corrupt or out-of-date drivers. I know I like to keep my system with updated drivers whenever possible. But, there are times when updating the driver you find yourself in a blue screen. Well, this situation used to cause all kinds of problems for users until the Driver Rollback Feature came. Now, if you are faced with a driver that fails to update, or became corrupt, you can roll back to the previous driver version very easily. Here's how: Be sure to log in as Administrator. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Administrative Tools Double click "Computer Management" Double click "Device Manager" Click the plus (+) symbol next to the device title to expose the device you were trying to update Now, right click on the device and select "Properties" Click the "Driver" tab Select the "Roll Back driver" button Follow the on-screen instructions to complete this task. [Top]

Auto Logon to Windows XP Windows XP has the ability to store your password and other pertinent information in the registry so that you can automate the logon process. Keep in mind though, while this is a very convenient method, it has its security risks. Anyone using your computer will have access to your account and your network. Only use this setting if the other people within your network are trusted. Warning: This tweak involves editing the Windows registry. Mistakes made while editing can have serious effects on your Windows installation. Be sure that you have made a backup copy of the registry prior to making any changes. Here is how to configure Windows XP to auto logon: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon Click the Winlogon entry in the left pane once to empty its contents into the right pane. Find the DefaultUserName entry in the right pane and double click it. In the Value data test box, type in your user name. Click OK. Back in the right pane, locate the entry titled; DefaultPassword. Double click this entry and type in your password in the value data text box. Click OK. Note: If the DefaultPassword entry does not exist. You will need to create this entry. Here's how: a. Hold your mouse over the right pane and right click an empty area. b. Click New>> String Value. c. A new entry at the bottom of the right pane will now appear. Name it DefaultPassword. Press Enter. d. Now, double click your new DefaultPassword entry and type in your password in the Value Data box. Back in the right pane, locate the entry titled AutoAdminLogon. Double click this entry and change the value from 0 to 1. Click OK. The "1" entry turns the feature ON and the "0" turns the feature OFF. Note: If the AutoAdminLogon entry does not exist, follow the instructions above and create this new string entry. Exit the Windows Registry and restart your computer. [Top] Erase Files from a CD-RW If you have a computer that is equipped with a CD recorder and it supports CD-RW (re-writable) discs, then you will be able to easily erase and reuse the CD-RW disc. Here's how: 1. Place the CD-RW disc you would like to reuse in your CD-RW drive. 2. Go to Start>> My Computer 3. In My Computer, right-click the CD-RW drive, and then click Open. A temporary storage area is now displayed. This storage area is where files are held before they are copied to the CD. You will find the files listed in the "Files Ready to Be Written to the CD" box. 4. In the CD Writing Tasks pane, click "Erase this CD-RW". Windows will now display the "Welcome to the CD Writing Wizard". 5. Click Next. The "Erasing the CD" dialog box is displayed along with a progress bar. 6. When the process is completed, you will receive a message in the notification area. You can now reuse your CD-RW disc.

[Top] Windows Update Registered Incorrectly Fortunately, this occurrence does not happen very often at all. But, if you do find an instance where you have already installed a particular update, but Windows is asking you to install it again. This is due to an update that did not register correctly. To fix this, you will need to delete the registry key associated with the update, then reinstall the update. Here's how: Warning: Making mistakes while editing the Windows Registry can have serious effects on your Windows installation. Be sure to make a backup copy prior to making any changes. At the Windows update web page, note the KB article number (six digits) associated with the incorrectly registered update. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\Windows XP\SP2 (could possibly be SP1 instead of SP2) Click once on the SP2 entry to empty its contents into the right pane. In the right pane, locate the KB article number that you noted earlier. Right click the KB article number and select Delete from the resulting menu. Exit the registry editor saving the changes. Restart your computer and then reinstall your Windows update. [Top] Cleanup Your Desktop Windows XP has a feature known as the Desktop Cleanup Wizard that locates rarely used shortcuts and gives you the option to remove them. Here's how to access the Desktop Cleanup feature: Right click an empty area of your Desktop. Select Properties from the resulting menu. Under the General tab, select the Desktop tab and then the Customize Desktop button. Note: While in the Desktop Items window, you have an option to run the Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days. To enable this, place a checkmark in the box under the "Desktop cleanup" category. Click the Clean Desktop Now button. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard will now be evoked. You will see a list of desktop shortcuts that you haven't used in 60 days. Simply uncheck the ones that you would like to remove and they will be swept away to a folder called "Unused Desktop Shortcuts". If you ever need to retrieve a removed shortcut, just drag the shortcut out of the file and back on to your desktop. [Top]

Recover your XP Password If you have forgotten your XP password, there is a small utility that will recover it for you: http://www.lostpassword.com/windows-xp-2000-nt.htm [Top] CD/DVD Drive Not Detected Before Windows can see your Drive, it first has to appear in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). When getting error messages from Windows that state the CD or DVD drive is not detected, check to make sure it appears in the BIOS. Here's how: Boot up your PC. At the first logo screen, press F1 repeatedly until you see the BIOS setup screen. Using the left and right arrows to navigate, select Main (usually at the top left). The CD or DVD Drive name should be listed next to Primary Slave, Secondary Slave or Secondary Master. Navigate to Exit and exit without saving changes. If it is listed in the BIOS but the CD/DVD Drive no longer functions, then a ribbon cable could have come loose. If that is not the case either, try uninstalling the device in Device Manager. Here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System>> Hardware tab>> Device Manager button. In Device Manager, locate and expand the entry titled "DVD/CD-ROM drives". Right click the appropriate drive and select "Uninstall" from the resulting menu. When prompted, confirm that you would like to remove the selected device. At the "Action" menu, select "Scan for hardware changes". Click out of the Device Manager and the Control Panel. If none of the above has worked, it is likely that your CD or DVD Drive no longer functions. Replace the drive with a compatible drive. See your manufactures web site for details. [Top] Cannot Create or Replace a File or Folder If you are trying to create a file and receive one of the following error messages: Cannot create or replace (filename). The directory or file cannot be created. Cannot create file or folder, disk may be full or write protected. This can occur from one of the following reasons: The file name already exists. The file name was typed incorrectly. The file itself is to large for the remaining hard disk space. The file cannot be created in a certain folder. To correct the error message, do one of the following steps: [1] The file name already exists: By default, Windows will never allow two files to co-exist on any of their Operating Systems. Therefore, you must ensure that the file name that you are trying to create has its own identity. [2] The file name was typed incorrectly: The criteria for creating file names is as follows: Use 8 characters or less. Use only hypens (-), numerical or alphabetical characters.

[3] The file itself is too large for the remaining hard disk space: Be sure to check to make sure that your hard disk has sufficient space available to create the file you are trying to create. To check your available hard disk space: Go to Start>> My Computer Right click on your primary hard drive (usually C:\). Check the space available against the file size you are trying to create. Note: Your hard disk space should have at least twice the available space for the file size you're trying to create. If you are lacking in hard disk space, then continue reading below. To create more hard disk space: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Cleanup. Select your hard disk drive (usually C:\). Click OK. Select the files under "Files to delete" to remove them. You can click the "More Options" tab to remove the following: Unused Windows Components Restore Points Software Application Click OK. All of your selected items will now be removed. Restart your system. [4] The file cannot be created in a certain folder: If the folder you are trying to create a file in has too large of a file size, then Windows will not accept it. Also, if the folder has any corrupt files in it, new files will not be accepted. To correct this issue, create a new folder and save your file in the new folder. Here's how: Note: Do not attempt to try to create a folder within the corrupt folder. From the application your would like the folder to reside in, go to File>> New>> Folder. Type the file name for your new folder. Open both the new folder and the old folder side by side. Drag the file from the old folder (right click>> Cut) and drop (CTRL>> V) it into the new one. [Top] Game will not install If you are having trouble installing a games software, the steps listed below may help you determine the cause and help you finish the installation. Be sure that the Windows version that you are trying to install on is supported by the game. Check to make sure that you have enough Hard Disk space available to load the software. Check to make sure that your PC meets the minimum system requirements to run the game. Turn off DMA: Some game manufactures use a copy protection verification test. But with high-speed drives, the disc may spin so quickly that the test fails. If the test does not pass, the software will not install. Do get around this issue, try turning off DMA (Direct Memory Access) in your Device Manager. Here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System>> Hardware tab>> Device Manager tab. Go to the "View" menu and make sure that "View devices by type" is selected. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers entry (double click). Double click Secondary IDE Channel entry. Select the Advanced Settings tab. Under the Device 0 category and next to the Transfer Mode entry, you will find a drop down menu that lists two entries: DMA if available PIO Only

If "DMA if available" is showing, select PIO Only. Click OK. Exit Device Manager and Control Panel. Restart your system Note: Once the verification process completes and your game software is successfully installed, you can turn DMA back on using the above method. [Top] Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons If you would like to remove the shortcut arrows from your desktop icons, here's how: Warning: The following tip requires a registry edit. Mistakes made in the Windows registry can cause serious problems with your operating system. Be sure to make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile Delete the IsShortcut registry value. Note: This may require a system restart. [Top] Change Your Pointer Scheme The default scheme for the Windows busy pointer is the hourglass. If you would like to change the default scheme to any of the available alternatives, such as: Dinosaur Ocean Sports ...plus many more Here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Mouse>> Pointers tab Next to Schemes, click the drop-down arrow and select a scheme to preview its pointers. Click OK to apply the scheme of choice to your desktop. [Top] Microsoft Narrator A great accessibility feature for the visually impaired is Microsoft Narrator. To enable this feature: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> Accessibility>> Narrator (alternately, you can press the Windows key + U). Once you click on Narrator, it will start automatically. The narrator will guide you through all of the available options. To disable the Narrator, click Exit of right click and close the taskbar item. [Top] Do Not Highlight Newly Installed Programs If you would like to turn off the popup that alerts you to newly installed software, here's how: Right click the Start button>> Properties>> Start Menu tab>> Customize button. Click the Advanced tab. Under the "Start menu settings" category, uncheck the entry titled "Highlight newly installed programs".

Click OK, then OK once again. [Top] Local Group Policy Editor (Professional Edition only) Hidden within your hard drive is a very powerful tool that will allow you to modify virtually every feature in Windows XP. It's called Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit). To invoke this tool: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: gpedit.msc [Enter] or click OK. [Top] Local Area Network Connection Information Shortcut Instead of using a command prompt and typing in "ipconfig" to find local area network information, you can use the following shortcut: Go to Start>> Connect to>> Show all connections. Right click the connection that you would like to receive information about and then click "Status". Select the Support tab in the connection properties dialog box. For additional information, click the Details button. If you would like to automatically enable the status monitor each time there is an active connection, here's how: From the connection properties dialog box, select the "General" tab, then select Properties. Place a checkmark in the "Show icon in taskbar notification area when connected". Click OK and close all other networking connection windows. [Top] Internet Connection Sharing If you would like to enable Internet Connection Sharing on a network connection, here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Network Connections. Double-click the dial-up, local area network (LAN), PPPoE, or VPN connection that you would like to share. In the connection status window, click the Properties button. In the connection properties window, click the Advanced tab. Under the Internet Connection Sharing category, place a checkmark in the "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet Connection" check box. Click OK, then close all other open windows. [Top] Keep Favorites At The Top Of Start Menu If you have a certain program that you use frequently and would like to be able to find it quickly and easily. Just pin it to your Start Menu where it can be found in one click. Here's how: Locate the program that you would like to pin to the start menu. Right click the program and select "Pin to Start Menu" from the resulting menu. It will now permanently reside in the top left pane of your Start Menu. To remove this item from the Start Menu, just right click it and select Delete. [Top] XP Pro Won't Completely Shutdown Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Power Options.

Select the APM tab. Place a checkmark in the "Enable Advanced Power Management support" check box. Click OK and exit the Control Panel. Your computer should successfully complete the shut down process. [Top] Add Familiar Icons back to your desktop Windows XP does not put the icons that we were used to seeing on our desktops under Windows 98. But, they have made it possible to add some familiar icons to the desktop quickly and easily. Here's how: Right click an empty area of your desktop. Select properties. Click the Desktop tab. Select the Customize Desktop button. Place a checkmark next to any of the available desktop icon entries. The choices are: My Computer My Network Places My Documents Internet Explorer Click OK and then OK once again. [Top] Printer Sharing Using Windows XP If you have more than one computer in your home network and you would like to share the printer between the two, Windows XP makes this an easy task. Here's how: Opened the Printers and Faxes folder on the computer that is currently connected to the printer. To open the Printers and Faxes folder: Click Start and then click Control Panel. Click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Printers and Faxes. In the Printers and Faxes folder, click the printer's icon and, in the tasks pane, click Share This Printer. Open the printer's Properties dialog box, and click on the Sharing tab. Click Share Name, and then click OK. The printer will now be available for other computers to use. Now let's connect to it and print from other computers on the network. To connect to the printer Open Control Panel, and click Printers and Other Hardware. Click Add a Printer. Instead of adding a local printer, click Printer Connection and then browsed the network for the printer. [Top] Windows XP Desktop Themes Desktop themes are predefined elements that help you to personalize the appearance of your computers desktop, which includes your background, screen saver, icons, colors, mouse pointers and sounds.

There are many things that you are able to do in Windows XP to personalize your settings. You can use the Windows Classic look as your theme, or switch to another theme or even modify an existing theme. You also have the ability to create new themes (that's tomorrows tip!) Selecting a different desktop theme: 1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop>> Click Properties. 2. Click the Themes tab>> Select a new theme in the Theme list. Note: A preview of the theme will now be displayed in the Sample box. 3. Select the theme that you want, and then click OK. The desktop theme will now be applied to your computer. [Top] Create your own desktop theme When you change any element of a theme, you should save your changes using a new theme name. This way, you can always come back to it and make changes to your personal theme while keeping the original in tact. Follow the steps below to create your theme: Right-click an empty area of the desktop>> Properties. Click the Themes tab>> Theme list>> click the theme that you would like to modify. Modify the chosen themes elements. The following list highlights the individual desktop theme elements and their locations on the Display Properties dialog box tab or in Control Panel: To change the background design, the color, or the position of the background design on your screen, click the Desktop tab in the Display Properties dialog box. To change the icons on your desktop, click the Desktop tab in the Display Properties dialog box, and then click Customize Desktop. To change the screen saver, click the Screen Saver tab in the Display Properties dialog box. To change the color scheme, the window and button styles, or the font size, click the Appearance tab in the Display Properties dialog box. To change the color, the size, and the font settings of individual window elements, click the Appearance tab in the Display Properties dialog box, and then click Advanced. To change your mouse pointer scheme or the appearance of individual pointers, click the Pointers tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box. (Click Start, click Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Mouse.) To change a sound scheme or to apply a sound to individual program events, click the Sounds tab in the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties dialog box. (Click Start, click Control Panel, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices.) When you are finished making your changes, click the Themes tab in the Display Properties dialog box, then click Apply. The changes that you make to the theme are saved as Previous theme name (Modified), where "Previous theme name" is the name of the previous theme. This name is displayed in the Theme list, and it is the default name of the theme when you modify it but before you save it with a new name. Click Save As. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for your new theme, and then click Save. Click OK. Your new theme is displayed in the Theme list and is now applied to your desktop.

New themes are saved in the My Documents folder with the .theme file name extension. For example, you might name your file MyNewTheme.theme. To open the My Documents folder, click Start, and then click My Documents. Delete a desktop theme You can delete any theme that you create, install from a CD-ROM, or download from the Internet. You cannot delete the themes that are included with Windows XP, such as the Windows XP and Windows Classic themes. To delete a desktop theme, follow these steps: Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display. Or, rightclick an empty area of the desktop, and then click Properties. Click the Themes tab, and then, in the Theme list, click the theme that you want to delete. A preview of the theme is displayed in the Sample box. Click Delete. The desktop theme that you selected is deleted from your hard disk. [Top] Create invisible titles for your XP desktop icons

In this first step, you will need to make sure that Windows XP is configured to use drop-shadow icon titles. Here's how:

Right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Click the Advanced tab in the resulting window. Click the Settings button inside the Performance pane Click the Visual Effects tab. Scroll down until you see the entry "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop". If it's not checked, go ahead and check it now. Click OK. Now Windows will not include a rectangular background around the icon text. In this next step, we will create our invisible title. Since Windows will not accept a space as a file name, we will need to use a character that is invisible. The ANSI character "0160" is a nonbreaking space and is visually indistinguishable from a space. We will need to insert this ANSI character into the icon title box, here's how: Right click an icon and select Rename (or single click the icon and press F2) Hold down the Alt key and type 0160 on your numeric keypad, then release the Alt key. Press Enter. Note: You will now see a highlighted rectangle that represents the invisible title but a single click on a blank area of your desktop will make this disappear. To make a second icon have an invisible title, just insert the special ANSI character twice into the icon title box. (eg: ALT + 01600160) This is necessary because Windows will not allow duplicate file names.

[Top] Questions you should ask yourself when buying a new computer Is it the latest technology? Make sure that you are getting the latest technology. With computers changing so rapidly, you could run the risk of having an outdated system in a very short period of time. It also may not be a bad idea to make sure that your new system is upgradeable. Does it have everything I need? Do you need a new monitor with it? Does it come with the software that you need? Do you need a new printer? Will the printer that your system comes with fit your needs? If you are buying a package deal, make sure that what you are getting is going to be good enough for you. At the same time, make sure you are not getting things that you will never use. What technical support is included? Almost all computers are essentially made from the same parts. It is the technical support that can often set one company apart from the others. There is great peace of mind in knowing that if a problem should arise, you have competent tech support at your service! Make sure that they have a toll free number and check to see what their hours of operation are. Be sure to check on the actual coverage. Many times the computer stores extended service coverage will only start when the manufactures warranty has expired. Be sure to ask plenty of questions when purchasing a new computer. Feel free to shop around. The Internet has made shopping for computers very easy and most manufactures web sites have excellent descriptions and visual references to their systems and system components. If you do a little homework before you buy your new computer, you will help ensure that your system will work well for you. [Top] Use your digital photos as Windows XP screensavers Windows XP includes an option that lets you use your digital photos as screensavers. Here's how: Right click an empty area of your desktop and select Properties. Click the Screen Saver tab and select My Pictures Slideshow from the Screen Saver drop-down list. Click Settings and then indicate the folder on your hard drive with the photos you want to use for the screensaver. You can also indicate the size and frequency of the photos, also whether or not to use transition effects. Finish the task by clicking OK in all open dialog boxes. [Top] Add Toolbars on the Windows XP Desktop For an easy way to create a toolbar for your favorite Windows XP folders such as "My Documents" or "My Pictures", all you have to do it drag the XP folder to the right, left or top of the desktop. The toolbar will then snap into place. Right click an open part of the toolbar to see the customizing options. You can even add additional toolbars in the existing toolbar by right clicking an empty part and select "Toolbars". Then simply select a new toolbar or browse for a new toolbar to add. To delete the new toolbar, right click it and select "Close Toolbar".

[Top] Change the Registered Owner information When you install Windows XP, you are requested to enter your name and organization (optional) information. This registration information can be viewed here: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System>> General tab. If you need to change this information after Windows has been set up, it will be necessary to change it in the Windows registry. Caution: Prior to making changes in the Windows registry, be sure to make a backup copy. Making errors while following this information can create serious problems in your Windows installation. Continue at your own risk. Change the Registered Owner information in Windows XP: Click Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] Drill down to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion Single click the "CurrentVersion" entry to empty its contents into the right pane. In the right pane, locate and double click the entry "RegisteredOrganization". Under the "Value data" type the new name that you would like to use. Click OK. Go to File at the top and click Exit. [Top] Launch a program minimized or maximized Windows XP lets you choose how you would like to display a program when launched. The choices you have are: Minimized Maximized Normal Here is how you can apply this setting: Go to Start Right click the program that you would like to launch Select Properties from the resulting window Select the Shortcut tab Open the pull down menu in the "Run:" text box Select the window launch option, then click OK Your program will now launch the way that you have pre-selected. [Top] Capture a Windows Screen If for whatever reason you would like to capture what is on your computer screen, Windows makes this task easy. here's how: Press the Printscreen (prt scr) key. This will place a digital image of your screen on to the clipboard. Open any image editing software such as:

Paint Word PowerPoint Select Edit and Paste The image will now be available to edit. From here you can print it, save it to a file or post it to the Web like the screen capture below.

[Top] Stop seeing Links folder in your Favorites menu Below, you will find two methods that can be used to stop seeing the Links folder in your Favorites menu. In the first method, the Links folder will be permanently deleted. In the second method, the folder will just be hidden from view but will not be deleted from your system. First method: Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] Drill to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar Click once on "Toolbar" to empty its contents into the right pane. Double click on "LinksFolderName". Remove the default word "links" from this string value leaving it blank. Open IE and delete the Links folder from the Favorites menu. The next time you start Internet Explorer the Links folder will not be recreated. Second Method: Using File AttributesUsing Windows Explorer find the location of your Favorites folder (e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Favorites) within that folder will be a sub-folder named Links. Right click the "Links" folder and select Properties. Check the Hidden checkbox and click OK. From now on the Links folder should be hidden from the Favorites list. This works for any other folder or link on the favorites menu as well. [Top] Booting to Safe Mode in Windows XP Booting to Safe Mode can be a very effective method of troubleshooting a system. Safe Mode allows only essential files and drivers to be used. An example of why you would need Safe Mode is; If you have installed a new hardware device and upon rebooting your system it will not start. If you can get into Safe Mode you will be able to remove the offending hardware device from your system and allow your system to boot normally. If there are damaged, deleted or corrupt system files involved, Safe Mode may not be an option. You may need to use the Recovery Console for help. To boot in to Safe Mode: Go to Start>> Turn off computer>> Restart. When the message "Please select the operating system to start" appears, press F8.

Using the arrow keys, highlight the appropriate Safe Mode option, then press Enter. Note: If your system is a dual-boot or multi-boot system, choose the appropriate installation using the arrow keys, then press Enter. Alternate method: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: msconfig [Enter] Select the BOOT.INI tab Check the box titled "/SAFEBOOT" Click Apply and then exit the Configuration Utility. Windows will now be configured to restart in Safe Mode and will continue this way until you uncheck the /SAFEBOOT box. [Top] View more in Windows Explorer The default settings in Windows Explorer keeps certain information about files and folders from being seen. I am sure that it is designed this way because most people do not need to see this information. If there are those of you that would like to view all of the information about your files and folders when in Windows Explorer, I can show you how with only a few quick tweaks. Here's how: Open Windows Explorer>> View>> Status Bar This will show details at the bottom of the window. Open Windows Explorer>> View>> Details This will show the details of your files and folders in the right pane. Open Windows Explorer>> Tools>> Folders Options>> View Under the Advanced settings category, check all of the "Display" entries to display everything that Windows Explorer has to offer. There are a couple of "Hide" options listed that you can uncheck also. To apply these changes, click the "Apply to All Folders" button. [Top ] Working with Windows XP Taskbar The Windows XP taskbar plays an important role in organizing your open tasks. There are many ways in which you can customize your taskbar to help you organize them better. Lets take a look at the Taskbar Properties menu and discuss the options within this menu: Right click on your Start button and select Properties from the resulting menu. Then, click the Taskbar tab (see Figure #1). The options listed in the Taskbar Properties menu are: Lock the taskbar: When selected, it will lock the taskbar in its current position and will not allow you to re-size it. Auto-hide the taskbar: When selected, the taskbar will be hidden from plain view until you move your mouse pointer to the bottom of your screen where your taskbar is hiding. Keep the taskbar on top of other windows: When selected, it will keep the the taskbar visible at all times. Group similar taskbar buttons:

When selected, allows multiple taskbar buttons of similar type to group together. This feature is designed to better organize your tasks and keep the taskbar buttons from getting too small. Show Quick Launch: When selected, displays the quick launch toolbar to the right of your Start button. As you will notice, when you select one of the above listed items, Windows will show you a preview of what the selection will change. Figure #1 [Top] Create a Personal Screensaver If you would like to create a personal screensaver, here's how: Right click an empty spot on the desktop Select Properties>> Screensaver tab. From the screensaver dropdown list, select 'My Pictures Slideshow'. Click Settings to adjust picture size, display speed and transition effects. Pictures are randomly displayed from the My Pictures folder located in My Documents. [Top] Change Your Desktop Appearance If you are looking for a new desktop look, maybe a simple change of font style, size or color will work. Below, I will show you how to customize individual Windows elements on your desktop such as icons, menus and title bars. Here's how: Right click an empty space on your desktop. Click Properties. Click on the Appearance tab. Click the Advanced button. In the Advanced Appearance windows under the "Item:" category, when you open this list, you can change the appearance of the following options: 3D Objects Active Title Bar Active Window Border Application Background Caption Buttons Desktop Icon Icon Spacing (Horizontal) Icon Spacing (Vertical) Inactive Title Bar Inactive Window Border Menu Message Box Palette Title Selected Items ToolTip Window Note: Not all appearance options will be available for all of the listed options. For example, you will not be able to change the font on elements that do not display text. This option will be greyed out.

Once you've selected an item from the listed options, if available for that item, you can make the following changes (see Figure #1): Under Item: In the Size box, select a font size. In the Color box, select a color. Under Font: Select the Font that you would like to use. In the Size box, select a font size. In the Color box, select a color. To make your font appear bold, click the B. To make your font appear in Italics, click the I. When you are finished making all of your changes, click OK twice to save these settings. Figure #1 [Top] Enable Printer Sharing Do you have more than one computer on a network and would like to share the same printer? In this tip I will outline how you can enable printer sharing in Windows XP. You will need to be logged in as Administrator. Using the computer that has the printer that you would like to share connected to it. Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Printers and Faxes. In the Printers and Faxes window, right click the default printer and select Sharing.. from the resulting menu. In your printers properties window, tick the Share this printer option and click OK. Your printer will now be available for other computers on your network to print from. Using the networked computer, connect to your newly created shared printer: Start>> Control Panel>> Printers and Faxes. Click Add a Printer. Using the Add Printer Wizard, choose to browse for a network printer when prompted. That's it! Enjoy the freedom of printing from any computer within your network. [Top] Synchronizing Files Question: I have two separate computers that I keep photo files on. Is there a way to copy the files from one to the other so that both computers have the exact same files? Currently, I have many files that are the same on both, but many are different. Answer: Yes, this can be done as long as the file names are intended to be the exact same for both computers. Here's how:

Copy each file in any folder(s) that you wish to transfer from Computer #1. Paste them into the folder of choice on Computer #2. Once Windows gives a prompt asking if you wish to overwrite a file, simply choose Yes to all. Do the same thing from Computer #2 to Computer #1. [Top] Limit Computer's Function I would like to create a separate user account on Windows XP that would be given VERY LIMITED functions, similar to those system you might see in a library. It must not have any access to hard drives nor access any programs. I would like to be able to control Internet access at the Administration level if possible. How would I go about doing this? It looks like you are looking for something like the Computer Toolkit for Windows. Computer Toolkit for Windows was designed to help administrators better manage and secure public computers, such as those in kiosks, libraries, Internet cafes, schools, etc. But the toolkit is useful for any situation in which multiple persons use the same computer, including family computing and small business offices where several employees must use the same machine. [More] Also see: Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit [Top] Customize Windows Explorer's Default Folder Windows default setting for opening Windows Explorer is "My Documents". If you would like to customize Windows Explorer and make it open your root directory by default, here's how: 1. Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> Windows Explorer 2. Right click the Windows Explorer icon 3. Click the Shortcut tab 4. Replace the text in the "Target" box with: %systemroot%\explorer.exe /e,/root, 5. Apply the change and then click OK Windows will now open Windows Explorer at your root directory by default. Bonus Tip: You can customize Windows Explorer to open with any folder you would like. For instance, let's say I would like Windows Explorer to open with "My Pictures" because I am working with that folder most often. Simple, just follow the above instructions and replace the "Target" box text with: %systemroot%\explorer.exe /e,C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\My Pictures Apply the change, then click OK. Windows Explorer will now open with your My Pictures folder by default. Note: Where "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\My Pictures" is my actual path for my "My Pictures" folder, yours may be different. To find out your actual path for My Pictures, simply right click the My Pictures folder and select Properties. Look at the "Location:" field for the exact location (see fig. 1). (Fig. 1)

[Top] Remove the OEM link from the Start Menu In many cases, an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) machine will have a link in the start menu that will either open a folder, web page or launch an application. If you find this feature to be annoying and have no intensions of using this link, you can hide this link from the Start Menu. Here's how: 1. Click the Start button 2. Right click the top of the Start menu 3. A "Properties" button should appear. Click the Properties button. Note: If more than a Properties button should appear, then you are right clicking a program within the Start Menu. 4. Click the Start Menu tab 5. Select the Customize button 6. Choose the Advanced tab 7. In the Start Menu items list, uncheck the entry titled: Manufacturer Link 8. Click OK, then OK again. In some cases, I have seen that the Manufacturer Link does not appear in the Start Menu Items list. If this is your case, you will need to edit the Windows Registry to enable the Start Menu Items list option. Before editing the Registry, be sure to save a backup copy to a file. How to backup the Windows Registry Enable the Start Menu item list option: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. 2. Navigate to following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft \Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartMenu\StartPanel\ShowOEMLink 3. Click the "ShowOEMLink" entry once to empty its contents in the right pane. 4. Double click the entry titled: NoOEMLinkINstalled 5. Change its value from "1" to "0" 6. Exit the Windows Registry Editor and restart Windows The Manufacturer Link should now be viewable in the "Start Menu Items" dialog. Now you can uncheck this item to hide it from the Start Menu. [Top] Fixing Defragmenter problems in Windows XP When trying to access the Defrag tool in the Properties>> Tools dialog box for your local hard drive, one of the following problems may occur: The Defragment Now button is missing When you click the Defragment Now button, your receive the following error message: The Disk Defragmenter is not installed on your computer. To install it, double-click the Add or Remove Programs icon in Control Panel, click the Install/Uninstall tab, and then follow the instructions on your screen. To fix this issue:

Method #1: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: %Windir%\Inf [Enter] or click OK 2. Locate the dfrg.inf file 3. Right click the file and select Install. Method #2: Go to Start>> Run. Copy and paste the following command in to the "Open:" text box: rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %windir%\inf\dfrg.inf The above command will reinstall the Disk defragmenter. [Top] Reinstall System Restore in Windows XP If you ever need to reinstall System Restore, this tip will guide you though the process. Follow the outlined procedures below: Method #1: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: %Windir%\INF 2. Scroll the list to find the SR.INF file 3. Once found, right click the SR.INF file 4. Select Install Windows will now start the System Restore reinstallation. Restart Windows when the procedure has completed. Method #2: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Copy and Paste the following in to the "Open:" line: rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %Windir%\Inf\sr.inf 2. Press Enter or click OK. Windows will now start the System Restore reinstallation. Restart Windows when the procedure has completed. [Top] Display Administrative Tools folder in Start menu If you do not see the Administrative Tools menu within the Start menu or the All Programs menu, you can enable this option by following the directions below: 1. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Taskbar and Start Menu>> Click the Start Menu tab>> Select the Customize button>> Click the Advanced tab. 2. Scroll the "Start menu items:" list and under the listing titled: System Administrative Tools, tick either of the two options listed below: Display on the All Programs menu Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu 3. Click OK, then exit all open windows.

[Top] Delete invalid entries from MSCONFIG Startup Menu MSCONFIG is a commonly used program used to manage the programs installed on your system. As you've probably noticed, you cannot delete entries from the list. Even if you have completely removed a program from your system, it still may show up in MSCONFIG's startup list. To delete invalid entries from here, you will need either a 3rd party program or edit the Windows Registry. Prior to deleting entries in the Windows Registry, please make a backup copy. Follow the instructions below to remove the invalid entries: 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. 2. Navigate to the following registry keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig\Startupreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig\Startupfolder 3. Expand the "Startupreg" entry by clicking the "+" symbol. You will now notice all of the disabled items below. Do the same for the "Startupfolder" entry. 4. Once you have located the invalid entry(s), right click and delete. [Top] Create a customized default user profile When you logon to Windows XP for the first time, Windows uses a template to store the information you have inputted to customize your Windows XP experience. However, if multiple users would like to have their own customized profile on the same machine, you would need to modify the default user profile to accommodate these new users. Warning: Be careful when editing the default user profile. The change is permanent, so it is a good idea to make a backup copy of it so that it can easily be returned to its original configuration in the event something goes wrong. How to create the customized default user profile: Logon as Administrator, then create a local user account. Note: Many of the files in the profile are hidden by default, you may need to turn on the option for showing hidden files and folders, here's how: Go to Start>> My Computer>> Tools>> Folder Options. Click the View tab Under Advanced settings, click the Show Hidden files and folders option. Click OK. Logoff of the Administrator account, then log back on using the local account information that you've just created. Note: Step #2 is important because if you change the default user profile while logged on as Administrator, you will cause permission issues. Go to Start>> My Computer>> Local Drive (usually C:/) >> Documents and Settings>> Default User. Modify the Template settings as you wish. This will make all new users share the same default settings. Logoff the system, then log back on as Administrator. You will now need to replace the current default user profile with the one that you have just created, here's how: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> System>> Advanced tab Under User Profiles, click the Settings button.

Under Profiles stored on this computer, click the profile that you've just created. Then, click the "Copy To" button. In the "Copy To" window and under the "Copy profile to" option, click the Browse button. In the "Browse doe Folder window, find your default user folder (C:\Documents and Settings\Default User folder) Click OK. Back in the "Copy To" window and under the "Permitted to use" option, click the Change button. In the resulting window, click Everyone and then click OK. Note: If the "Everyone" option is not listed, choose the Advanced option, then click "Find Now". You should now see the Everyone option. Click OK. Now, when a new user logs on to the computer, Windows XP will use the customized default user profile. Note: This template folder can be copied to any Windows XP based machine. [Top] Error message when you click a Mailto: link Applies to: Windows XP/2000 When you click on a Mailto: link, you may receive the following error message: Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed The mail client may also invoke several windows followed by the error message: Action Cancelled The reason these errors could occur is due to either: A missing String value in the Windows Registry -orRegistry Mailto key permissions are set incorrectly To resolve this issue: Resetting the default email client: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: control inetcpl.cpl [Enter] or click OK. Select the Programs tab. Open the email dropdown menu and select another email client. Click Apply. Go back through steps 1 - 5 and reset your email client from the email dropdown menu. Click Apply. If this does not resolve your issue, try this: Note: The following instructions involves editing the Windows Registry. Please be sure to make a backup copy before making any changes. Create a new registry string value: Note: Administrators, be sure that all users have READ access to the following Registry key.

Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Navigate to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto Single click the "mailto" entry to view its contents in the right pane. Right click an empty portion of the right pane. Select New>> String Value Name the new string value: URL Protocol Exit the Windows Registry. [Top] Positioning your Wallpaper image Windows provides for only two position settings for your wallpaper. Placing it in any other position would require a registry edit. I recommend using a program already designed to perform this task for you. It will be much quicker and safer in the long run. One that I recommend is: Automatic Wallpaper Changer 3.0 Author's product description below: "The AWC is designed to do one thing well: allow you to automatically change your desktop wallpaper on a timed basis. The time between changes is defined as a number of seconds, minutes or hours. The displayed image can be stretched or shrunk for the best fit to the screen, optionally maintaining its aspect ratio, or displayed at its actual size. When displaying a picture the user is not limited to the centre of the screen, as is usually the case in windows, but can choose to display it in any of the four corners of the screen or centered on one of the edges. Additionally you can specify that files smaller than a predefined size should be tiled: again you can specify how the tiles are justified on the screen rather than simply going from the top left. Resizing is performed using a range of resampling methods to ensure the best possible results. After resizing you can apply various levels of sharpening to further improve image quality. You can further refine the list of files to display by filtering on file date or age and by file name. For example all files whose name begins 'XMAS' which you've created in the past 30 days. The AWC is minimized to the system tray rather than to the task bar. To restore it to view just double-click the icon in the tray or right click to pop up a menu. There's even a full set of command line switches so you can customize multiple shortcuts. Image formats supported are *.jpg;*.jpeg;*.gif;*.bmp;*.png;*.rle;*.tga;*.pcx." Author: Steve Murphy OS: Win98/WinMe/WinNT 4.x/Windows2000/WindowsXP Language: English File Size: 2.90MB

[Top] Change the command prompt startup directory By default, when you open a command prompt window (Start>> Run. Type in: cmd [Enter]), it opens to the default user profile directory (see fig #1). Changing this setting requires a registry change. Be sure to make a backup copy before making any changes.

How to change the startup directory: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor Single click the entry titled: Command Processor to empty its contents in to the right pane. In the right pane, double click the entry titled: Autorun Double click the Autorun entry. Place the actual path that you would like the command prompt to start at in to the "Value data:" text box. Exit the Windows Registry. Example: To set the Startup Directory at: C:\Windows, enter CD /d C:\Windows in the Value data text box. Note: If the Autorun entry is not present, create a new string. Here's how: Right click an empty area of the right pane. Select New>> String value Name the new string value: Autorun Continue with Step #5 above. Fig #1 [Top] Easily re-activate your XP installation In the event you need to reinstall your XP installation, you won't have to re-activate it. All you have to do is copy the wpa.dbl file located at WINDOWS\system32 folder prior to the reinstallation. Once the reinstallation is complete, replace the copied file with the newly created one. Clear Page File At Shutdown To save on Random Access Memory (RAM), Windows uses your Page File as a sort of cache. This can slow down your PC's overall performance. To remedy this situation, Windows XP has an option that allows users to clear the Page File when you shut down Windows. While this tweak tends to lengthen the shutdown time, it does have its performance benefits. Be sure to make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes to it. 1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. 2. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management 3. Click once on the entry titled: "Memory Management". Its contents will now appear in the right pane. 4. In the right pane. Locate an entry titled: "ClearPageFileAtShutdown". Right click this entry and select "Modify". 5. Chance the Value to "1". This will enable this feature. 6. Exit the Windows Registry and reboot your system. [Top]

Clear Corrupt Event Log Files A handy Administrative tool for troubleshooting is the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). When viewing your event logs in the Event Viewer, you may come across one or more corrupt log files. Here is how you can clear these corrupt log files: Go to Start>> Administrative Tools>> Event Viewer With the Event Viewer open, locate the corrupt log file. Right click the corrupt log file and select Properties. Click the "Clear" button. Note: It is not possible to rename or delete log files while the Event Log service is running. [Top] Move the Page File to a different partition The Page File (by default) is loaded on to the boot partition of your hard drive as are all of the Windows system files. Windows uses this page file as a sort of Random Access Memory. It is not necessary for the Page File to be on the boot partition, so if you would like to move it to a different partition, you will increase system performance along with free up some space on your boot partition. Here's how: Be sure that you are logged in as Administrator, then go to Start>> Control Panel>> Performance and Maintenance>> System. Select the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click the Settings button. Select the Advanced tab. Under Virtual Memory, click the Change button. In the Drive [Volume Label] list, select a drive other than the one the Windows Operating System is installed on (usually Windows is installed on the C: drive). Under the Virtual Memory category, make a note of the "Total paging file size for all drives" recommended value. Click the Change button. Tick the Custom size radio button, then enter the recommended value in the "Initial size (MB):" text box. Enter in the "Maximum size (MB) that you would like. Usually this setting is double the initial size. Click the Set button. Next, back in the Drive [Volume Label] box, select the drive that Windows is installed on (usually C:). Follow ether steps below that would apply: <>If you DO NOT want a page file on this drive, tick the No paging file radio button and then click the Set button. The following message should now appear: If the paging file on volume C: has an initial value of less than 126 megabytes, then the system may not be able to create a debugging information file if a STOP error occurs. Continue Anyway? Select Yes. <>If you DO want to keep the page file on this drive, select the Custom size button, then enter a size of equal or greater value of the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) that you currently have installed on your system in to the "Initial size (MB)" text box. Enter the same value for your maximum size, then click the Set button. The following message should now appear: The changes you have made require you to restart your computer before they can take effect. Click OK (OK your way out of all open windows). When given a prompt to restart your system, click Yes. [Top]

Protect your data during a power outage I'm sure that many of you have been victims of data loss due to a power outage. In some cases, devastated by this event. Most people that need certain safe guards from power outages use a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). It used to be that a UPS would only be used at places such as data centers or critical business applications. Since the cost of a UPS has come down considerably over the years, this is now a cost effective solution for personal computers too. A UPS is nothing more than a battery backup. So, knowing that the UPS is giving you 'battery' power during a power outage, you know that you are not going to be able to continue working on your computer, but you will have enough time to save the work that you've already started. That is its sole purpose. If you have unsaved data and are away from your computer during a power outage, you can configure your 'Power Option' settings to ensure that your computer will go in to Hibernate mode before the battery backup power is gone. Once a computer enters Hibernate mode, it takes all of the data that is in memory and stores it on your hard drive. Here is how to configure this setting: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Performance and Maintenance>> Power Options. In Power Option Properties, select the Hibernate tab. Place a checkmark in the checkbox titled: Enable hibernation. Click Apply Click the Power Schemes tab. In the Power Schemes drop down menu, select Max Battery from the list. In the "System hibernates" category, select a time that is less than your maximum backup battery life. Click Apply Exit all windows. [Top] Store all of your passwords on one secure database If you have a long list of user names and passwords used for a variety of different frequently accessed programs, then it will interest you to know that there is a free utility that uses a high level encryption to keep these sensitive items safely stored in its database. This free utility is called "KeePass". It is an open-source password manager designed to store all of your passwords and user names in a safe and secure way, and all on one database. Try it for yourself. Click the link below: Download: http://keepass.info/download.html Screen Shots: http://keepass.info/screenshots.html Instructions for use: Download and Run the KeePass program. From the 'File' menu select "New Database". Enter a Master Password or select a "Key Disk". You can now store your passwords in Groups. As an example; Store all of your banking, asset management or home business passwords in a group named "Financial". Store all of your game site passwords in another group named "Games". Populate each group by selecting each group in the right pane and right click the group entry. Select "Add Entry" from the resulting menu. Note: To get familiar with this powerful utility, you can browse their help files. Click on the "?" for help. [Top] TweakUI PowerToy for Windows XP The developers of the Windows XP Operating System have made available to the general public and for free, a powerful tool that makes performing certain changes to the user interface (UI) a simple process. Many people do not feel comfortable making changes to the user interface

through the Windows Registry, so this is a perfectly safe alternative. While browsing the TweakUi utility, you can find many helpful descriptions of what certain changes are and how they effect the operating system. As you navigate through the many categories, just know that any change you make can be undone by simply reversing the step in which you made the change. In most cases, a change is made in just a couple of mouse clicks. There are many useful tweaks that aide in the customization of the operating system to create either better performance or improve functionality. But, since tweaking is more of a personal preference, I will leave it to you to explorer the hundreds of possibilities on your own. Click the following link for a free TweakUI download for Windows XP: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx [Top] Open Windows Explorer from a Command Prompt If you would like to open Windows Explorer from a Command Prompt, here's how: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: explorer [Enter] or click OK. There are a number of different switches that you can use to perform different functions in Windows Explorer. Below you will see the switch and a description of its function: explorer /n This switch uses the default setting for showing only the root of the drive that Windows is installed. explorer /e This switch also uses the default setting for exposing the root drive. However, you can easily switch folders in this view as both the right and left panes are viewable. explorer /e,c:\windows In this example, Windows Explorer will open the Windows folder in the root drive. explorer /e,c:\windows\fonts This example shows that you can go a step further and open Windows Explorer with the focus on the "Fonts" folder held within the Windows folder of the root drive. Replace "fonts" with any other folder within the Windows folder that you would like to view. [Top] Change Windows Explorer's Default Start Folder Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories. Right click Windows Explorer and select Properties. In the "Target" textbox, enter the location change. For example, if you would rather have Windows Explorer start at the root drive (usually C:), make the following change: %SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /root, C:\ [Top] Place a custom popup menu on your taskbar If you would like to create a popup menu on your taskbar that contains all of your frequently accessed programs, here's how: Go to Start>> Accessories>> Windows Explorer. With Windows Explorer open, select a location for a new folder. Then, go to File>> New>> Folder. Name the new folder whatever you would like and then place all of your frequently used programs in this folder.

Next, right click an empty portion of your taskbar then select Toolbars>> New Toolbar from the resulting menu. With the New Toolbar window showing, browse to the location of your new folder. Once the new folder is selected, click OK. Your newly created folder will now reside within the taskbar. To easily see the contents of this folder, click the double arrows (usually to the right of the name) to view its contents. If you would like to remove this new folder from the taskbar, right click an empty portion of the taskbar and select Toolbars. Then click the "New Folder" entry within the resulting list. [Top] Windows Search Disk Indexing Service The purpose of this service is to constantly index all of the files on your system so that when you use the search function, your search will provide fast and accurate results. The draw back to this is that it is a constant resource drain. If you rarely use the search function to search for files on your computer, I recommend turning the Disk Indexing service off. Here's how: Go to Start>> Accessories>> Windows Explorer Right click your root hard drive where Windows is installed (usually C:\), then select Properties. Uncheck the checkbox titled: "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching" Click Apply. At the next prompt, select the entry titled: "Apply changes to [root drive], subfolders and files" You will now see an "Applying Attributes" window that will remove all of the indexing on the selected drive. It is possible that you could see some errors resulting from the indexing removal. Do not be alarmed, the errors are a result of either that a file is write protected and could not have indexing removed or possibly a file is currently in use and cannot be changed. To continue, we need to turn the actual Indexing Service off. Here's how: Go to Start>> Run. Type in: services.msc [Enter] or click OK. With the Services window open, scroll the list of services until you find "Indexing Service". Double click the Indexing Service entry. In the resulting Properties menu, click the drop down menu titled: "Startup type: Select "Disabled". Click Apply and exit all windows. [Top] BIOS Power-On Selt Test (POST) Screen Each Motherboard has a self-diagnostic program built in. It is call the POST screen. As your computer starts to boot, it passes through this self-diagnostic mode extremely quickly to determine if the motherboard is running all devices without error. If no error is found during this process, you will probably never notice it. But, if an error is detected, the program will omit a series of audible beeps. These beeps are codes are useful in determining where the error originated. For a complete list of beep codes by motherboard manufacturer visit here: BIOS Beep Codes from 5 Star Support [Top] BIOS Settings As your system boots, Windows has created a method to gain access to the BIOS settings. Most commonly, this entails pressing the DELETE key on your keyboard repeatedly as the system boots. If you have created a BIOS password, you will be prompted as some point to enter it. If you have forgotten your BIOS password, we have a web page that can help: BIOS Generic Passwords

Once you've gained entrance to the BIOS settings you will see many self explanatory settings. The settings you see will depend on the manufacturer of your motherboard. [Top] Enable "Show hidden files and folders" Open Windows Explorer Select Tools>> Folder Options Click the View tab Scroll the Advanced settings to find the entry titled: Show hidden files and folders. Tick the entry and then click Apply. Close Windows Explorer [Top] Disable New Programs Installed message Right click the Start button Select Properties Choose Customize Click the Advanced tab In the Start menu settings category, uncheck the entry titled: Highlight newly installed programs Click OK [Top] Speed up the Start Menu The tweak below requires making a change in the Windows Registry. Be sure to make a backup copy of the registry prior to making any changes. Click Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop Single left click the "Desktop" entry to empty its contents in to the right pane. Scroll the right pane to locate an entry titled: MenuShowDelay Double click MenuShowDelay. Change the "value data" number. The default delay value for the start menu is 400. Select a lesser number to speed this process. I've got mine set to 0. Click OK and exit the Registry Editor. [Top] Disable "Automatic Restart" feature Windows XP has an automatic restart feature that is designed to restart the operating system when an error is detected. Most of the time, one restart and you're back in business again. However, on some rare occasions your system may continually keep restarting making it difficult to determine what the problem is. To disable this feature follow the instructions outlined below: Click Start>> Control Panel>> System>> Advanced tab. Under the Startup and Recovery category, click the Settings button. Uncheck the "Automatically restart" entry. Click Apply and then exit all windows. [Top] Windows Utilities Shortcuts Here are some popular shortcuts to handy Windows utilities:

Simply type the shortcut command in to the Run textbox (Start>> Run), then click OK. Shortcut Utility compmgmt.msc Computer Management devmgmt.msc Device Manager dfrg.msc Disk Defragmenter diskmgmt.msc Disk Management eventvwr.msc Event Viewer fsmgmt.msc Shared Folders Manager gpedit.msc Group Policies Editor lusrmgr.msc Local Users and Groups Manager perfmon.msc Performance Monitor secpol.msc Local Security Settings services.msc Services [Top] Disable "-Shortcut" when creating shortcuts To disable this, try this registry fix: "-Shortcut" Fix [Top] Create a Shortcut to Lock Your System In the event you should need to leave your computer system in a hurry and do not want others to be able to access your information. You can create a shortcut to sit on your desktop so that all you would have to do is double click this shortcut and your computer will automatically lock your display. This will not log-off your system. In order to unlock your computer, simply click your "User Name", enter your password and your back in business. Here's how to set this up: Right click an empty area of your Desktop. Select New>> Shortcut. The Shortcut wizard will activate. Type the following exactly as is in to the "Type the location of the item:" text box: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation Note: It may be best to copy and paste the command (above) for accuracy sake. Click Next Enter a name for your new shortcut (eg: Lock System). Click Finish Alternately, you can always just press the Windows key + "L" on your keyboard which will do the very same thing. Some people just like having the shortcut to click. Now that you have the Shortcut residing on your Desktop. You can change the actual icon to something other than the default icon. Here's how: Right click the new shortcut on your Desktop. Select Properties. Select the Shortcut tab Click the Change Icon button. In the textbox titled: "Look for icons in this file", type in: shell32.dll Click OK Click any of the available icons from the list. Click OK

[Top] Create a Shortcut That Starts Remote Desktop If you would like to have a handy icon on your desktop that starts a remote desktop session from your home computer to an office computer, here's how: Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> Communications>> Remote Desktop Connection. Click Options Configure your office computer connection settings Click "Save as" Enter a name for your shortcut (eg: Office Session), then click Save. Now, open the Remote Desktops folder. Right click the newly created file (Office Session), select Create Shortcut from the resulting menu. Drag the shortcut on to the home computers desktop. To start the Remote Desktop session connecting your home computer to your office computer, simply double click the new Shortcut. [Top] Create a Password Reset Disk Creating a password reset disk is a great backup idea for when/if you should ever forget your login password. You will need to be running XP Professional as a local user in a workgroup environment. Here's how to create the disk: Go to Start>> Control Panel>> User Accounts Select your account name. Under the Related Tasks category, select "Prevent a forgotten password". The Forgotten Password Wizard will now be invoked. Follow the onscreen instructions to successfully create your Password Reset Disk. Important: Be sure to store this disk in a safe place. Anyone having access to it can easily access your information. [Top] Restore Mistakenly Removed Desktop Icons If you have mistakenly removed any of the following icons from your Desktop: My Documents My Computer My Network Places Internet Explorer Here's how you can easily restore them on to your Desktop: Right click an empty area of your Desktop. Click the Desktop tab. Select the Customize Desktop button. With the General tab selected, place a checkmark in the checkbox(s) next to any of the above listed icons (see fig.1)

[Top] What happened to ScanDisk? Windows XP has improved the ScanDisk feature from the Windows 98 days. It is now called CHKDSK Error Checking. This tool accomplishes the same thing as ScanDisk did though. It will check for file system errors and bad sectors on your hard disk. Here's how to use CHKDSK:

Go to Start Right click My Computer Select Properties (see fig.1). With this Properties window open you can view how much space is occupied on your hard drive and view the free space. You can even to a disk cleanup on this drive as well. Click the Tools tab (see fig.2) With the Tools window open, click the Check Now button. Once you are done with the CHKDSK tool, now is a good time to perform a Defragmentation of your Hard Disk which is located directly below the CHKDSK tool (see fig.2). Fig.1 [Click] Fig. 2 [Click]

[Top] Create a Shortcut to your LAN Information If you would like to create a shortcut to your Local Area Networking information, here's how: Go to Start>> Connect to>> Show all connections. Right click the desired connection. Click Properties. Place a checkmark in the checkbox titled: Show icon in notification area when connected. Click OK. [Top] Reformat your dates Excel 2000 has some new four-digit date formats. To reformat your dates, go to the Format menu, select Cells, click the Number tab, and select Date from the Category list. Scroll down the Type list to view the available four-digit formats. You can also format dates on the fly if you enter your data using the syntax m/d/yyyy. [Top] Make a Copy That Excludes Hidden Cells When you use outlining or subtotals to create a small summary of a large set of data, you can make a copy of just the displayed cells in the summary, excluding the detail. First display only the summary rows or columns, and then select all of the summary data. On the Edit menu, click Go To, click Special, and then click Visible cells only. Now click the Copy button, click a cell on a blank worksheet, and click the Paste button. The copy includes only the summary data. For more information about subtotals and outlines, type inserting subtotals and creating outlines in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window. [Top] How to Change Default Colors Excel uses Windows colors for several of its elements. You can change these colors for Excel by changing the Windows colors. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. Double-click the Display icon in Control Panel, click the Appearance tab, and click the element you want to change in the Item box. You can then click the color and font color you want for each item: 3D Objects:Sets the background color of the Excel row numbers and column letters, and also the inactive sheet tabs. The font color sets the color of the row numbers and column letters, and the text on inactive sheet tabs.

Selected Items:Sets the color of the highlighting Excel uses to indicate which cells are selected. This highlighting is a muted version of the color you specify. ToolTip:Sets the default background color for worksheet comments. The font color sets the default color for comment text. You can also change the background and font colors for individual comments. For more information about changing comment colors, type format comments in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, click Search, and then click the topic "Change the appearance of a comment." Window:Sets the sheet background color. The font color sets the default color for data you enter in cells, and the color of the text on the active sheet tab. You can also change font and background colors for individual cells or an entire sheet. For more information about changing colors of cells and worksheets, type format worksheets in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search. Changing the gridline color: You can set this color in Excel. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the View tab, and, under Window options, click the color you want in the Color list. [Top] Set High-Contrast Selection When you select cells, do you have trouble seeing what's selected? If you need a higher-contrast selection display to accommodate low vision, you can set Excel 97-style selection shading. Use the Registry Editor to add a registry subkey HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel\Options\Options6 as a DWORD value, and set this subkey equal to 16 decimal. [Top] Enter More Than One Line in a Cell Excel provides two ways for you to display multiple lines of data in a cell. Type a line break: Press ALT+ENTER to start a new line while you're typing or editing data. Wrap text automatically: Click the cell, click Cells on the Format menu, click the Alignment tab, and then select the Wrap text check box. Data in the cell will then wrap to fit the column width. You can make the column wider or narrower to adjust the width of the data. For more information, type change column width in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search. [Top] Enter URLs As Text When you type an Internet address in a cell, such as www.example.microsoft.com, Excel automatically turns the address into a hyperlink. To store the address as regular text instead, type an apostrophe (') before the address. For instance, if you type 'www.example.microsoft.com, you'll see the address text in the cell, without the apostrophe, and the text won't be a hyperlink. If Excel has already turned an address into a hyperlink, you can deactivate it: Right-click the cell, point to Hyperlink on the shortcut menu, and then click Remove Hyperlink. [Top] Switch Rows of Cells to Columns or Columns to Rows Have you ever had a column of text that you wanted to move into a row so that you could use the text as column labels in a table? Or, have you ever had a row of data that you wanted to move into a table in which the data is organized in columns? It would be tedious to move the data

manually, one item at a time. Instead, you can use the Paste Special command to transpose a column of data to a row of data, and vice versa. Transpose a column of data...Dairy Meat Beverages Produce ...into a row of data.Dairy Meat Beverages Produce

Follow these steps to transpose a row of data into a column or data, or vice versa: Select the cells that you want to switch. Click Copy on the Edit menu. Select the upper-left cell of the paste area. The paste area must be outside the copy area. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special. Select the Transpose check box. Data from the top row of the copy area appears in the left column of the paste area, and data from the left column appears in the top row. For more information on options in the Paste Special dialog box, click the ? in the upper-right corner of the dialog box, and then click the option you want to learn more about. [Top] Calculate the Amount of Time Between Two Dates To calculate the number of days between two dates, you can simply subtract the two dates. For example, if cell A1 contains the date 6/8/2000 and A2 contains 6/20/2000, the formula =A2-A1 calculates the number of days between these dates (12). Be sure to use number format for the cell where you enter this formula (click Cells on the Format menu, click the Number tab, and then click Number under Category). If you don't format the cell with number format, Excel assumes the result has the same format as the cells used in the calculation, and displays the result as a date instead of a number. [Top] Create a Formula to Keep a Running Total In Microsoft Excel, you can calculate a running (or cumulative) total in a column or row of cells by using a combination of absolute and relative references in a formula that uses the SUM function. A B 1 100 100 2 200 300 3 300 600 4 400 1000 5 500 1500 For example, to keep a running total of cells A1 through A5 in column B (for example, B1 contains the value from A1, B2 contains A1+A2, B3 contains A1+A2+A3, etc.), set up the worksheet as follows: Enter the formula=SUM($A$1:A1) into cell B1, as shown here. A B 1 100 =SUM($A$1:A1) 2 200 3 300

4 5 1 2 3 4 5

400 500 A 100 200 300 400 500 B =SUM($A$1:A1)

Select cells B1 through B10. On the Edit menu, click Fill Down. The $A$1 (absolute reference) will be constant in each cell, while the A1 (relative reference) will be updated in each successive cell to refer to the adjacent cell in column A, as shown here: A B 1 100 =SUM($A$1:A1) 2 200 =SUM($A$1:A2) 3 300 =SUM($A$1:A3) 4 400 =SUM($A$1:A4) 5 500 =SUM($A$1:A5) For more information on using absolute and relative references in Excel, type cell and range references in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search. For more information on the SUM function, type SUM worksheet function in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search. [Top] Finding Worksheet Functions Can't remember the name of that Excel worksheet function you used last year to determine your mortgage payments? You can use the Paste Function dialog box and the Office Assistant to help you locate the function you want. On the worksheet, select the cell you want to insert the function into. On the Insert menu, click Function.

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