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 Windows XP Tips & Tricks

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conrad

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Number of posts : 108
Age : 41
Location : Philippines
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Windows XP Tips & Tricks   Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:47 pm

Activate
Once Forever
Windows will require re-activation if several pieces
of hardware are changed at one time. It makes sense to try to spread
these installations out to avoid the hassle.

But what if the WinXP OS must be re-installed on the
same system? To avoid having to re-activate, keep a copy
of wpa.dbl from the System32 folder with your backups.
Make sure to create a fresh copy with any hardware
upgrade. Upon re-installing WinXP, just copy wpa.dbl
back to the System32 folder to skip activation.

Deactivate WinXP 'Spyware'
Although mentioned on the Windows
Tweaks
page, it's worth repeating here if you missed
it. Win XP users have a new set of security issues,
including a plethora of default settings that cause
'phone home' activity, automatic updates and
downloads without user choice or intervention. The
method for manually disabling these is here.
Free software to change these settings easily is here.


WinXP Power Toys
This versatile (unsupported) collection of goodies
from Microsoft includes:

Tweak
UI:

Provides access to system settings that are not exposed
in the Windows XP default user interface, including
mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and
more.


]Super-Fast
User Switcher:

Switch between users without having to go through the
Logon screen (see Quick Tips, below, for another way).

Open
Command Window Here:

Adds an "Open Command Window Here" context
menu option on file system folders.

Taskbar
Magnifier:

Magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.

Power
Calculator:

Graph and evaluate functions as well as perform many
different types of conversions.

Image
Resizer:
Resize
one or many image files with a right-click.

CD Slide
Show Generator:

View images burned to a CD as a slide show.

Virtual
Desktop Manager:

Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar.
Multi-monitors is much better.

Webcam
Timershot:

Lets you take pictures at specified time intervals from
a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a
location that you designate.

HTML
Slide Show Wizard:

Helps you create an HTML slide show of your digital
pictures, ready to place on your Web site.


Microsoft pulled Power Toys
for WinXP to de-bug them, and re-released them on April
23, 2002. This time, these proggies are available
seperately which is a good thing. Click here
to see 'em.

Don't forget IE Powertoys, a cool collection
of enhancements designed for IE5.x but which work beautifully
with IE6.x. Find it on the Internet
page. Useful, fun and the price is right.

Hide Recycle Bin
Yes, there's a registry or 'inf' file hack for this, but why?
Download TweakUI, above, change the Recycle Bin to a
folder (so you can move it off the Desktop, like into My
Documents), eliminate the icon and revel in your pristine
desktop, without an icon to be seen (if you choose).
Hey, your wallpaper looks great!

Remove 'Shortcut to' prefix and arrow
See TweakUI, above. Don't hack the registry
unnecessarily.

Dig into the system
While there is a code that can be entered at a
command-line prompt (ipconfig) which will display or
allow configuration of ip information, but a sweeter
solution is the GUI goodness of the familiar winipcfg
from Win 9.X/Me. Download it from Microsoft here,
install it, then just hit, Start/Run, type winipcfg and
hit 'Enter.' You're so clever.

To access information on your entire system, including
hardware, installed software application info and more,
hit Start/Run and type winmsd. To access more
information as well as change default startup items
(harmlessly), try Start/Run msconfig.

Task Manager in WinXP is a versatile tool which displays
running applications and processes (ala Ctrl/Alt/Del in
Win 9.x/Me) as well as graphical display of Performance
items like CPU, Page File Usage and Networking
information. Right-click on the Taskbar and select 'Task
Manager (keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Shift/Esc), Try it &
see.

To configure virtually any aspect of WinXP hardware,
software and behavior, hit Start/Run, type gpedit.msc and
hit 'Enter' to access the Group Policy Editor. This is
where you can turn off 'Autoplay' for CD-ROMs if you
wish. Have fun in there.

Those Nasty Balloon Tips
These things are like the neighbor's wind chimes; an
annoyance foisted upon us against our will that only
gets more irritating with time. The quick, easy method
of disposal is with 'Group Policy Editor, above. No
third-party software or registry hacking is necessary.
Choose' Disable Balloon Tips' and breathe a sigh of
relief. Too bad there's no 'Delete' button for annoying neighbors.

WinXP Quick Tips
There
are several methods (some involve risky and unnecessary registry hacks)
for removing the persistent and annoying MSN Messenger. Hit 'Start/Run'
then copy and paste the following: 'RunDll32
advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\\INF\\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove'
(without the quotes). Hit enter and it's gone. To enable sending items wherever you wish on your computer
easily, enable hidden and systems folders in the 'View'
folder settings, open
C:\\Documents and Settings\\your_user_name\\SendTo\\ and add
shortcuts to whatever locations you wish.

Instantly switch between users by depressing the Win key
and 'Q' simultaneously. After a moment, all users
appear. Keep hitting 'Q' to rotate between them.

You will use far less memory if you keep multiple
applications minimized rather than in open windows.

To create a keyboard shortcut from a desktop
shortcut, right-click on the shortcut, choose
properties and enter the combination in the Shortcut Key box,
including two of the following: CTRL, ALT, and/or SHIFT.
OK out and it's done.

To eliminate the annoying question "Are you
sure?" when you delete an item, right-click on the Recycle Bin
icon, choose 'Properties' and remove the (default)
checkmark from 'Display delete confirmation dialog.'

Prefetch works great to speed up operations in WinXP,
but the default folder needs a cleanout every few weeks
or the clutter will actually slow the system. Open the 'Prefetch'
folder in C:\\WINDOWS, left-click 'Edit,' choose 'Select
All,' right click on any item in the folder and choose
'Delete' to dump everything.

Unless you spend most computer time doing searches, this
tweak will add a little speed to your system. Open my computer,
right-click on C:\\ and select 'Properties.'
Uncheck 'Allow indexing service to index this disk for faster
searches.' uncheck this OK out. Select 'Apply to all folders and
subfolders' in the pop-up window.

To prevent the operating system from asking for the
WinXP disk during installations, copy the I386 folder
from the XP CD and paste in into the C:\\ drive. That'll
stop it.

What? You actually used the Briefcase in Win9.x/Me? OK,
to get it back on the desktop in XP, go to C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\dllcache
and double click on 'syncapp' to place it on your
desktop.

If you've removed the Recycle Bin from the Desktop (see
Registry Hacks, below), you can access it by either from
a 'Desktop' Toolbar added by right-clicking on the
Taskbar and choosing 'Toolbars' and putting a checkmark
by that setting or by opening 'My
Documents' & going up one level.

If you don't want XP to display the programs in the
Start Menu that it determines are used most frequently, right-click in
the empty space on the left side of the menu, choose 'Properties'
then 'Start Menu' and Customize. Click on 'Clear List'
and set number to zero.

Right–click My Computer, and then click 'Properties'
then 'Advanced.' From here you can choose for what
functions the greater portion of processing and power is
used and set virtual memory if you're so inclined.

To place the programs you want permanently on the Start
Menu, right-click on the program from the pop-up menu
and choose 'Pin to Start Menu.'

For a quick desktop shortcut to any folder, file or
application, find the target on your hard drive,
right-click and choose 'Send to Desktop.'

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conrad

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Number of posts : 108
Age : 41
Location : Philippines
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: Windows XP Tips & Tricks   Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:48 pm

One-Button Adjustment
To change the built-in functions for either speed or
visual effects, right-click on the 'My Computer' icon,
then 'Properties' and the 'Advanced' tab. Hit the
'Settings' button and choose either 'Adjust for best
appearance' or 'Adjust for best performance' to flip the
switch on all
of the graphical enhancements.

Folder Icons
For all folders except Thumbnails, pictures may be
added or different icons may be chose, either from those
in SHELL32.dll (default) or from any icon collection on
your hard drive. Just right-click on the folder, choose
'Properties' then the 'Customize' tab & browse away.

Clear Type Innovation
This little goody, originally developed for laptops,
will enhance your experience, both on and off the
Internet. Hey. don't take my word for it, go here,
say 'Yes' for the little program install the tune and
tweak to you heart's content. You will enjoy the
results.

Change is Good and So Easy
The
quickest way to change your user name and the picture that appears next
to it on the Start Menu is to double-click on that picture. From the
menu that appears, you can change lotsa stuff. Pick a new picture. The
pictures are 48 X 48 by default, but Windows XP will resize whatever
you choose. The closer to the default size (and square), the better
your results will be. Scan your face. Have fun with it. You can also
prevent the irritating highlighting of newly-installed programs. Leave
the option 'Set up my account to use .NET Passport' alone 'cause it's a
security nightmare.

Your Desktop - Your Choices
Right-click on the Desktop. select 'Properties' then
the 'Desktop' tab.
Hit the 'Customize Desktop' button and select which
icons you want to appear.

In order to allow items (like custom shortcuts) to be
added to the Taskbar, just right-click on it, choose
'Toolbars' then 'Quick Launch.' Delete any icons you
don't want, drag shortcuts from the desktop to this new
area.

Folder Options
Each folder can use its own display properties, set
from the 'View' drop-down menu. Thumbnails makes sense
for folders that contain images, of course. To speed the
loading of this option go to the Control Panel and click
'Folder Options.' Under the 'View' tab, be certain that
'Do not cache thumbnails' is not checked.

The Ultimate Appearance Tweak
Microsoft Sez: "You can connect up to 10 monitors to your Windows XP-based computer and display numerous
programs or windows at one time. You can use your mouse to move items from one monitor to
another. You can open a different file on each monitor.
Or several. Or you can stretch one item across
several monitors; so for example, you can see more columns in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet,
or the entire layout of a Web page, without scrolling."
Consider it. Monitors and PCI video cards are pretty
cheap now. Windows recognizes the addition & allows
easy adjustments on the 'Display
Properties/Settings' menu
.
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conrad

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Number of posts : 108
Age : 41
Location : Philippines
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: Windows XP Tips & Tricks   Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:49 pm

Microsoft Windows XP uses many visual effects to provide a rich,
friendly interface. One of these settings allows menus to fade into
view when you open them. This visual effect is so smooth that you may
never have noticed it; however, the effect does cause menus to take a
little longer to appear. On a fast computer, this shouldn't be
an issue. But on a computer that isn’t responding as quickly as you'd
like, you can make menus display faster.To speed up menu display
1.Click Start. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2.Click the Advanced tab. In the Performance area, click Settings.
3.On the Visual Effects tab in the Performance Options dialog box, clear the Fade or slide menus into view check box.
4.Click OK.
5.In the System Properties dialog box, click OK.
Now when you click a menu, it will appear almost instantly.
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conrad

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PostSubject: Re: Windows XP Tips & Tricks   Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:50 pm

Manually put your computer into hibernation

When
you use a laptop computer, you probably try to keep your battery power
usage to a minimum. You may also want to cut down on the energy
consumption of your desktop computer. One way to save power is to turn
the computer off when you're not using it. If you’d like to save power
but do not want to wait for Windows to shut down and restart, you can
use the Microsoft Windows XP hibernation capability. Hibernation saves
your open windows to your computer's hard disk and shuts the computer
down within a few seconds. The next time you start your computer, all
of your windows open exactly where you left them.Hibernation is
an alternative to the standby capability and saves your programs and
shuts your computer down completely. Hibernation uses no power, and it
takes your computer just several seconds to recover from hibernation
when you want to use it again. Standby reduces power usage when your
computer is not in use by turning off the parts of your computer that
use the most energy. Standby uses more power than hibernation, but it
takes less time to start a computer from standby than from hibernation.Note: You can learn more about the standby option in your computer's power management settings in Configure Windows XP power management.To put your computer into hibernation
1.Click Start, and then click Turn Off Computer.
2.Click Hibernate. If Hibernate is not an option, read Configure Windows XP power management for instructions on how to enable hibernation.
Your
computer goes into hibernation—a state in which it consumes no power.
To wake your computer from hibernation, press the power button. If you
like using hibernation, you can configure your computer's power button to automatically put your computer into hibernation.
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conrad

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Number of posts : 108
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Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: Windows XP Tips & Tricks   Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:52 pm

Add a shortcut to your desktop

You
can create shortcuts on your desktop that enable you to open your
favorite files and folders by simply double-clicking your mouse. To add a shortcut from a file to your desktop
1.Browse through your My Documents folder, and find the file that you want to create a shortcut to.
2.Right-click the file that you want to be able to open from your desktop, click Send To, and then click Desktop.
You’ll see the shortcut on your desktop.Note:
The shortcut icon has an arrow in the lower-left corner to indicate
that it’s a shortcut rather than the actual file. You can open a
shortcut just like you would any other file by double-clicking it.
However, if you delete the shortcut, you won’t remove the file itself.For more information about shortcuts, read Working with icons and shortcuts.
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