XP Tips

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Some useful XP Tips you might want to try

Access the Administrator Account from the Welcome Screen

If you are at the Welcome screen and want to log on with the Administrator account, but it's not listed, press Ctrl+Alt+Del twice to bring up the logon window, which then allows you to log on as Administrator.

Change the Default Opening Folder in Windows Explorer

By default, Windows Explorer opens showing the My Documents folder. To change the default setting so that all top׬evel drives and folders are shown, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, point to Programs, then Accessories, then rightףlick Windows Explorer, and click Properties.
2. Under Target field, which reads %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe, add to make the line read %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\
3. Click OK.
Now when you open Windows Explorer you get to choose from all the folders and drives, not just My Documents.

Add an Item to the Send To Menu

You can create a new shortcut on the Send To menu, for example, one that goes to a frequently-used folder.

1. Open My Computer, and double-click the drive where Windows is installed, which is usually drive C.
2. Double-click the Documents and Settings folder, and then double-click the folder for the particular user.
3. Double-click the Send To folder.

The Send To folder is hidden by default. To see the Send To folder, click Tools, click Folder Options, and then click Show hidden files and folders.
4. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Shortcut.
5. Follow the instructions to create a shortcut.
Now, when you right-click a file, and click Send To, the shortcut to the item you selected will be an option. You can create shortcuts to local or network programs, files, folders, computers, or Internet addresses.

Add New Programs to Your Menu Alphabetically
Many people find it annoying that new programs and icons add themselves to the end of the start menu. If you are like me, you'd like them all to be alphabetized. Also, you may have found that opening the All Programs menu as a folder and rearranging the icons changes nothing on the menu. To arrange the items by name follow these instructions:

1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then right-click on any folder or icon.
2. Click Sort by Name.
That's it, works like magic. Enjoy your refreshingly organized Start menu.

Tune ClearType to Improve Text

With Windows XP, ClearType can improve the resolution of text on your screen. 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.

Through a Web-interface you can turn on ClearType (if you don't have it on already) and customize it so it looks best on your screen. Follow the instructions on the
Microsoft ClearType Tuner page. Select the text sample that looks best, and then click the Apply button at the bottom of the Web page. This will save how ClearType looks on your Windows XP system.

 Manually Install Backup in Windows XP Home Edition

The Backup utility is not included in the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. The Backup icon is not present on the Start menu in Windows XP Home Edition, nor is Backup listed in Add/Remove Programs for Windows XP Home Edition. The backup program is found on the Windows XP Home Edition CD in the Valueadd folder.

To manually install Backup

1. Double-click the Ntbackup.msi file in the following location on the Windows XP Home Edition CD to start a wizard that installs Backup:
2. When the wizard is complete, click Finish.

 Instantly Activate a Screensaver
Turn on a screensaver without having to wait by adding a shortcut to your desktop:

1. Click the Start button, and then click Search.
2. In the Search Companion window, click All file types.
3. In the file name box, type *.scr
4. In the Look in box, choose Local Hard Drives (C:) or the drive where you have system files stored on your computer.
5. Click Search.
6. You will see a list of screensavers in the results. Pick a screensaver you want. You can preview it by double-clicking it.
7. Right click on the file, choose Send To, and then click Desktop (create shortcut).
To activate the screensaver, double-click the icon on your desktop.

 Keyboard Control of the Desktop

Here's how to access icons on the desktop using the keyboard:

1. Press the Windows Logo key, which brings up the Start menu.
2. Press ESC (this makes the Start menu disappear, but keeps the taskbar active).
3. Press SHIFT + TAB one time (this toggles between the taskbar and the desktop). Your desktop will now be active, although you may not notice any visual indication of it.
4. Press the Down cursor key and you will see which desktop icon is active, and continue to use the cursor keys to move to the icon you want to use.
5. Press ENTER to run the icon, or press SHIFT + F10 to see the context menu for that icon.


 Speed up Menu Display
You can use this tip to speed up the way menus display in Windows XP.

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and click System.
2. Click the Advanced tab, and under Performance, click the Settings button.
3. Clear the Fade or slide menus into view check box, and then click OK.
Now when you bring up a collapsed menu, it will expand without delay.

 Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Open a Folder

Do you have a folder to which you want instant access from anywhere on your computer? For example, if you want the My Music folder to pop up while Internet Explorer or Word is maximized, follow these steps:

1. Select the folder in Windows Explorer.
2. Create a shortcut, and place it on the desktop. (You create a shortcut by opening the folder, pointing to New on the File menu, then clicking Shortcut. Drag the shortcut to your desktop.)
3. Rightףlick the new shortcut, and then click Properties.
4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Shortcut tab, and in the Shortcut key box, enter a Control key combination or a Controlדhift key combination, (that is, CTRL+ALT+M or CTRL+SHIFT+M when M is for music), and then click OK.
Anytime you hit the key combination you specified, your folder will open, even when other programs are maximized! This tip can be applied to folders, programs, and text file shortcuts that are placed on the desktop.

 Set Internet Explorer 6 to Run in Kiosk Mode

Kiosk mode means setting the browser window to full screen view with just a scroll bar for navigation. To provide additional controls, such as access to the Back, Forward, or Refresh buttons, you can set Internet Explorer 6 in partial kiosk mode, which includes a smaller toolbar at the top of the browser window. To add a Full Screen button to this toolbar, so that you can move easily from full screen view to the standard browser window, do this:

1. Right-click the toolbar at the top of the browser window, and then click Customize.
2. In the Customize Toolbar dialog box, click Full Screen under Available toolbar buttons, click Add, and then click Close.

 To hide the toolbar at the top of the window entirely, do this:

1. When in full screen mode, right-click the toolbar.
2. Click Auto-Hide.
Now you can view Web pages at full size without any controls getting in the way. When you want to view the toolbar again, move the pointer over the top of the Web page. If you don't want to add a Full Screen button to the toolbar, you can also toggle between full screen and the standard view by pressing F11.

 Use Your Keyboard if Your Mouse Goes Dead

If your mouse is not functioning, don't panic. You can use your keyboard to move around the Windows XP desktop. The keys to get used to are the Windows key, the arrow keys, and the Enter key.

For example, if you want to shut down the computer so that you can troubleshoot your mouse:

1. Press the Windows key
2. Press the up arrow key one time to highlight Shut Down, and then press Enter.
3. Press the up and down arrow key to select Shut Down from the menu, and then press Enter.
4. Use your Esc key to cancel.
5. Or, unplug mouse, then plug back in. Windows should re-detect.

 Switch Between Users Quickly

You're using your Windows XP, and suddenly your sister who's late for school comes running down the stairs, pulls your arm, and needs to print her homework. The fastest way to do that is to use a keyboard shortcut for switching users. Press the Windows logo key + L to quickly switch to the Welcome screen. Neat huh?

Fast User Switching is not available for members of a domain. Fast User Switching will not appear if it has not been turned on in User Accounts in Control Panel.

 Manually Put Your Computer Into Hibernation
If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, or Windows XP Professional with Fast User Switching turned on, the Turn Off Computer menu will present the options to Stand By, Turn Off, or Restart your computer. You might want to put your computer into Hibernate mode, a cool feature in Windows XP that is hidden in the Turn Off Computer box. To manually place your computer into hibernation (after enabling hibernation on your computer) follow this tip:

1. Click Start, and then click Turn off computer.
2. Press and hold the Shift key. The label under the first button on the left changes from Stand By to Hibernate.
3. Click the Hibernate button. 

To enable hibernation support on your computer:

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators or Power Users group. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent this procedure.

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.
2. Click the Hibernate tab, and then select the Enable hibernate support check box. If the Hibernate tab is not available, your hardware does not support this feature.
3. Click OK to close the Power Options dialog box.

Note: When you put your computer into hibernation, everything in computer memory is saved on your hard disk. When you turn the computer back on, all programs and documents that were open when you turned the computer off are restored on the desktop.


      Launch Programs at Login Without Using the Startup Folder

This tweak allows a program to be launched when the user logs onto the computer. It can be set to run minimized and there is no trace of the executable in the Startup folder on the Start Menu nor in the Documents and Settings folder accessible via Windows Explorer.

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: REG_SZ [String Value] // Value Name: [Enter the Name of Program Executable]
Value Data: [Enter the Path to the Program Executable]
Exit Registry and Reboot


There are also some great tips from Rick Maybury
at his site >>> BootLog  <<< check it out