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Monday, November 13, 2006

The mysterious ways of XP

DO you want to make your browsing faster or speed up the boot time of your computer? Today we will talk about a few tips that will help you do so. These tips range from functional to “pretty cool”.

1. How to make your desktop icons transparent: Go to Control Panel>System>Advanced>Performance Area>Settings button>Visual Effects tab. Check “use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop.”

2. Speedy internet browsing: We all know that when you connect to a website, your computer sends information back and forth. What you don’t know is that some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address or DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit it. Although Windows XP has a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing the size. You can do this with the registry entries below.

Make a new text file and copy the lines below and save. Rename the text file to dnscache.reg. Then double-click to merge the file into the registry and increased browsing speed: “Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00






3. Kill the tasks: You can get rid of tasks that are causing problems on the computer from the command line by using “taskkill /pid” and the task number, or just “tskill” and the process number. You can find that out by typing “tasklist” which will also tell you a lot about what’s going on in your system.

4. Stop WinXP from pestering you: Windows XP can be very insistent about you checking for auto updates, registering a Passport, using Windows Messenger and so on. To bypass this run Regedit, go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER/ Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/Advanced” and create a DWORD value called EnableBalloonTips with a value of 0.

5. Speed up the start menu: The start menu can be leisurely when it decides to appear, but you can speed it up by changing the registry entry, HKEY_CURRENT_ USER/ Control Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay, from the default 400 to something a little snappier, like 0.

6. Automatic log in: If Windows XP no longer logs you into your account automatically, click Start>Run and type “CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2”, and then click OK. Select the user account from the list (the account to which you want to automatically log on). Uncheck “users must enter a user name and password to use this computer option” and click OK. Type the user account password and complete the process.

7. Hard disk space: Often, our hard disk space becomes hogged and leaves us wondering. You can create space by running the Disk Cleanup utility. Click Start and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK. Select the drive, then go to More Options>System Restore>Cleanup.

8. Turn off the welcome screen: Open User Accounts in Control Panel. Click “change the way users log on or off.”

9. Viewing shared files across a network: Windows XP machines can delay as long as 30 seconds when you try to view shared files on a network because it is using the extra time to search the remote computer for any scheduled tasks. Here’s how to prevent this and speed up the network:

— Open up the Registry and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/
Software/ Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/

— Under that branch, select the “{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF” key and delete it.

10. Renaming the Recycle Bin: To change the name of the Recycle Bin desktop icon, open Regedit and go to HKEY_CLASSES_ ROOT/CLSID/{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}and change the name Recycle Bin to whatever you want.

11. Change the text in Internet Explorer’s title bar: This means to navigate this key: “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”Change the value of the string "Window Title" to whatever you want on the title bar of the Internet Explorer. To have no title except the title of the web pages, you are browsing; do not enter anything for a value.

12. Rename a series of files: When you download photos from your digital camera, they often have unrecognisable names. If you have hundreds of them, it’s going to take a very long time to rename separately, but with these simple tricks you can easily rename all those in seconds.1. Open the folder containing files that you want to rename.2. Select the file you want to rename. If the file you want is not listed, press and hold CTRL and then click each item to select it.3. On the File menu, click Rename.4. Now type the new name, and then press Enter. All of the files in the series will be named in sequence using the new name you type.

13. Disable error reporting: 1. Open the Control Panel.2. Click on Performance and Maintenance.3. Click on System.4. Then click on the advanced tab.5. Click on the error-reporting button on the bottom of the windows.6. Select “Disable error reporting.”7. Click OK.8. Then Click OK again.

14. Add Album Art to any music folder: Album Art is the cover of the CD that XP displays in Windows Media Player and on Folders. To add album art individually to folders is a gruesome task because it takes a lot of time. So let’s make it faster.Download the album cover art from the Web for the music folder of your choice and save the image as folder .JPG. Place it in the appropriate folder. Then Windows XP will automatically use the image you have chosen as the thumbnail for that folder and will use that image in Windows Media Player for Windows XP. If you choose to display album cover art instead of visualisation, your music folders will never look so good.

15. Getting an older program to run on Windows XP: If you’ve got some old programs that are unable to run on XP, here’s a tip on how to make them run properly:1. Right-click the executable or the program shortcut to the executable and then click Properties.2. Select Run this program in compatibility mode check box.3. From the list, select an operating system which runs in program comfortably.

16. Lock Windows XP with a click: You can lock your XP workstation with just two clicks of the mouse. Create a new shortcut on your desktop using a right mouse click and enter: “rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation” in the location field.Give the shortcut a name you like. That’s it. Just double-click on it and your computer will be locked. And if that’s not easy enough, the Windows key, + L, will do the same.

17. Create a password reset disk: Ever forgot your XP password? If you’re running Windows XP Professional, then you can create a password reset disk to log onto your computer when you forget your password. To create the disk:1. Click Start, click Control Panel and then click User Accounts.2. Click your account name.3. Under related tasks, click “Prevent a forgotten password.”4. Follow the directions in the Forgotten Password Wizard.5. Store the disk in a secure location.

18. Make your folders private: Many of us who use shared computers have lots of stuff that we don’t want our siblings to know about. You can make those folders private so they’re not accessible to other users.Please note though that this option is only available for folders included in your user profile. Folders in your user profile include My Documents and its subfolders. If you do not make these folders private, they are available to everyone who uses your computer. To make these folders private:1. Open My Computer.2. Double-click the drive where Windows is installed (usually drive C:).3. If the contents of the drive are hidden, under System Tasks, click “Show the contents of this drive.”4. Double-click the Documents and Settings folder.5. Double-click your user folder.6. Right-click any folder in your user profile, and then click Properties.7. On the Sharing tab, select the “Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box.”

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