You are previewing Insider Power Techniques for Microsoft® Windows® XP.
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Insider Power Techniques for Microsoft® Windows® XP

Book Description

Tweak Windows® XP for ultimate performance with the undocumented secrets and hidden gems of the experts who work with the technology every day. Use their best techniques, practices, hacks, tricks, and workarounds to put all of your PC’s muscle to work.

Table of Contents

  1. Insider Power Techniques for Microsoft® Windows® XP
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Introduction
      1. Some Notes Before We Begin
    4. I. Mastering Essential Insider Techniques
      1. 1. Mastering Control Panel, Policies, and PowerToys
        1. Operating Control Panel
          1. Reviewing Control Panel’s Icons
          2. Understanding Control Panel Files
          3. Accessing Control Panel More Easily
            1. Opening Control Panel Icons Using Alternative Methods
            2. Putting Control Panel on the Taskbar
            3. Putting Control Panel on the Start Menu
        2. Implementing Group Policies with Windows XP
          1. Working with Group Policies
          2. Example: Controlling Access to Control Panel
        3. Enhancing Your System with the Windows XP PowerToys
          1. Tweak UI
          2. Alt-Tab Replacement
          3. Open Command Window Here
          4. PowerToy Calculator
          5. Image Resizer
          6. CD Slide Show Generator
          7. Virtual Desktop Manager
          8. Taskbar Magnifier
          9. HTML Slide Show Wizard
          10. Webcam Timershot
      2. 2. Getting the Most Out of the Registry
        1. Understanding the Registry
        2. Taking a Tour of the Registry
          1. Navigating the Keys Pane
          2. Understanding Registry Settings
          3. Getting to Know the Registry’s Root Keys
            1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR)
          4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU)
            1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM)
            2. HKEY_USERS (HKU)
            3. HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG (HKCC)
          5. Understanding Hives and Registry Files
        3. Keeping the Registry Safe
          1. Backing Up the Registry
          2. Saving the Current Registry State with System Restore
          3. Protecting Keys by Exporting Them to Disk
            1. Exporting a Key to a .reg File
          4. Importing a .reg File
        4. Working with Registry Keys and Settings
          1. Changing the Value of a Registry Entry
            1. Editing a String Value
            2. Editing a DWORD Value
            3. Editing a Binary Value
            4. Editing a .reg File
          2. Creating a .reg File
          3. Renaming a Key or Setting
          4. Creating a New Key or Setting
          5. Deleting a Key or Setting
        5. Finding Registry Entries
      3. 3. Programming Windows XP with Scripts
        1. Understanding Scripts and Script Execution
          1. Running Script Files Directly
          2. Using WScript for Windows-Based Scripts
          3. Using CScript for Command-Line Scripts
        2. Programming Objects
          1. Working with Object Properties
            1. Setting the Value of a Property
            2. Returning the Value of a Property
          2. Working with Object Methods
          3. Assigning an Object to a Variable
          4. Working with Object Collections
        3. Displaying Text Using the WScript Object
        4. Scripting and Automation
        5. Programming the VBScript FileSystemObject
        6. Displaying More Detailed Information to the User
          1. Setting the Style of the Message
          2. Getting Return Values from the Message Dialog Box
        7. Running Applications
        8. Working with Registry Entries
          1. Reading Registry Keys or Values
          2. Storing Registry Keys or Values
          3. Deleting Registry Keys or Values
        9. Scripting Example: Programming Internet Explorer
          1. Displaying a Web Page
          2. Navigating Pages
          3. Using the InternetExplorer Object’s Properties
          4. Running Through an Example Script
    5. II. Getting the Most Out of Your Everyday Tasks
      1. 4. Starting Up and Shutting Down
        1. Launching Applications and Scripts at Startup
          1. Using the Startup Folder
          2. Using the Registry
          3. Using Group Policies
            1. Adding Programs to the Run Keys
            2. Specifying Startup and Logon Scripts
          4. Some Startup Scripts
            1. Adding a Network Printer
            2. Synchronizing the System Time
            3. Configuring Services to Display an Alert When They Fail to Start
          5. Controlling Startup Using the System Configuration Utility
        2. Controlling Startup Using Boot.ini
          1. Changing the Default Startup OS
          2. Using the Boot.ini Switches
        3. Controlling Startup with the Advanced Options Menu
        4. Getting the Most Out of the Shutdown Procedure
          1. Using the SHUTDOWN Command
          2. Deleting Files at Shutdown
          3. Running Scripts at Logoff or Shutdown
      2. 5. Managing Logons and Users
        1. Useful Windows XP Logon Strategies
          1. Customizing the Logon
            1. Switching Between the Welcome Screen and the Classic Logon
            2. Toggling Fast User Switching On and Off
            3. Accessing the Administrator Account
            4. Setting Up an Automatic Logon
          2. Setting Logon Policies
          3. More Logon Registry Tweaks
        2. Getting the Most Out of User Accounts
          1. Control Panel’s User Accounts Icon
          2. The User Accounts Dialog Box
          3. The Local Users And Groups Snap-In
          4. Setting Account Policies
            1. Account Security Options
            2. Setting User Rights Policies
            3. Setting Account Lockout Policies
          5. Working with Users and Groups from the Command Line
        3. Creating and Enforcing Bulletproof Passwords
          1. Creating a Strong Password
          2. User Account Password Options
          3. Taking Advantage of Windows XP’s Password Policies
          4. Recovering a Forgotten Password
        4. Sharing Your Computer Securely
      3. 6. Installing and Running Programs
        1. Tips and Techniques for Installing Applications
          1. User Accounts and Installing Programs
          2. Working Through a Preinstallation Checklist
        2. Launching Applications
          1. Launching Programs from the Command Prompt
          2. Running a Program as a Different User
          3. Creating Application-Specific Paths
          4. Restricting Program Launches for Users
        3. Understanding Application Compatibility
          1. Determining Whether a Program Is Windows XP–Compatible
          2. Understanding Compatibility Mode
          3. Scripting Compatibility Layers
          4. Using the Application Compatibility Toolkit
          5. Using QFixApp
          6. Using the Compatibility Administrator
      4. 7. Getting the Most Out of Files and Folders
        1. A Dozen Little-Known Windows Explorer Techniques
          1. Viewing Extra Details
          2. Choosing "No To All" When Copying or Moving
          3. Determining Selection Size
          4. Running Windows Explorer in Full-Screen Mode
          5. Making Quick Backup Copies
          6. Dragging and Dropping via the Taskbar
          7. Customizing the Send To Command
          8. Searching Faster with the Indexing Service
          9. Running Windows Explorer from the Command Line
          10. Moving the My Documents Folder
          11. Restricting Windows Explorer’s Features with Group Policies
          12. Working with Compressed Folders
        2. Getting Familiar with File Types
          1. Modifying Actions for an Existing File Type
            1. Changing the Application Associated with a File Type
            2. Changing a File Type Action
          2. Creating a New Action for a File Type
            1. Changing the Default Action
          3. Creating a New File Type
        3. Customizing the Windows XP New Menu
          1. Adding File Types to the New Menu
          2. Deleting File Types from the New Menu
        4. Customizing Windows XP’s Open With List
          1. Removing an Application from a File Type’s Open With Menu
          2. Removing a Program from the Open With List
          3. Adding a Program to the Open With List
          4. Disabling the Open With Check Box
      5. 8. Playing, Copying, and Storing Digital Media
        1. Tips for Working with Windows Media Player
          1. Playing Media Files
          2. Setting Media Player’s Playback Options
          3. Copying Music from an Audio CD
            1. Selecting a Location and File Name Structure
            2. Choosing the Recording File Format
            3. Specifying the Quality of the Recording
            4. Copying Tracks from an Audio CD
          4. Copying Tracks to a Recordable CD or Device
            1. Setting Recording Options
            2. Creating a Playlist
            3. Recording to a CD or Device
        2. Working with Digital Media Files
          1. Digging Deeper into Digital Media Files
          2. Tips for Working with Digital Media Files
          3. Creating a Screen Saver Using Digital Images
        3. Customizing Media Folders
          1. Selecting a Folder Template
          2. Changing the Folder Icon
        4. Investigating the Windows Media Bonus Pack
      6. 9. Installing and Troubleshooting Devices
        1. Tips and Techniques for Installing Devices
          1. Installing Plug and Play Devices
          2. Installing Legacy Devices
          3. Controlling Driver Signing Options
        2. Managing Your Hardware with Device Manager
          1. Controlling the Device Display
          2. Viewing Device Properties
          3. Working with Device Drivers
            1. Updating a Device Driver
            2. Rolling Back a Device Driver
          4. Uninstalling a Device
        3. Managing Hardware Profiles
        4. Working with Device Security Policies
        5. Troubleshooting Device Problems
          1. Troubleshooting with Device Manager
          2. Troubleshooting Device Driver Problems
          3. Troubleshooting Resource Conflicts
    6. III. Customizing and Optimizing
      1. 10. Customizing the Interface
        1. Customizing the Start Menu for Easier Program and Document Launching
          1. Getting More Favorite Programs on the Start Menu
          2. Changing the Default Internet and E-mail Programs
          3. Pinning a Favorite Program Permanently to the Start Menu
          4. Streamlining the Start Menu by Converting Links to Menus
          5. Adding, Moving, and Removing Other Start Menu Icons
            1. Adding Shortcuts via the Start Button
            2. Working with the Start Menu Folder
            3. Working with All Programs Menu Shortcuts Directly
        2. Customizing the Taskbar for Easier Program and Document Launching
          1. Displaying the Built-In Taskbar Toolbars
          2. Setting Some Taskbar Toolbar Options
          3. Creating New Taskbar Toolbars
          4. Putting Taskbar Toolbars to Good Use
          5. Improving Productivity by Setting Taskbar Options
        3. Controlling Taskbar Grouping
        4. Modifying the Start Menu and Taskbar with Group Policies
        5. Using Screen Space Efficiently
      2. 11. Optimizing Performance
        1. Monitoring Performance
          1. Using Task Manager
          2. Using System Monitor
        2. Fine-Tuning Performance
          1. Optimizing Startup
          2. Optimizing Applications
          3. Optimizing the Hard Disk
            1. Converting FAT16 and FAT32 Partitions to NTFS
            2. Optimizing NTFS
          4. Optimizing Virtual Memory
            1. Changing the Paging File’s Location and Size
            2. Defragmenting the Paging File
          5. Adjusting Power Options
          6. Turning Off Fast User Switching
          7. Reducing the Use of Visual Effects
      3. 12. Maintaining Your System in 10 Easy Steps
        1. Step 1—Check Your Hard Disk for Errors
        2. Running the Check Disk GUI
          1. Running Check Disk from the Command Line
        3. Step 2—Check Free Disk Space
        4. Step 3—Delete Unnecessary Files
        5. Step 4—Defragment Your Hard Disk
          1. Running the Disk Defragmenter Tool
          2. Defragmenting from the Command Line
        6. Step 5—Set System Restore Points
        7. Step 6—Back Up Your Files
        8. Step 7—Run the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard
        9. Step 8—Check For Updates and Security Patches
          1. Checking the Windows Update Web Site
          2. Checking for Security Vulnerabilities
        10. Step 9—Verify Digitally Signed Files
        11. Step 10—Review Event Viewer Logs
        12. Setting Up a Maintenance Schedule
      4. 13. Troubleshooting and Recovering from Problems
        1. Determining the Source of the Problem
        2. General Troubleshooting Tips
        3. Troubleshooting Using Online Resources
        4. Recovering from a Problem
          1. Booting Using the Last Known Good Configuration
          2. Recovering Using System Restore
          3. Recovering Using the Recovery Console
          4. Reinstalling Windows XP
          5. Recovering Using Automated System Recovery
    7. IV. Mastering Internet and Networking Features
      1. 14. Implementing Internet Security and Privacy
        1. Working with E-mail Safely and Securely
          1. Protecting Yourself Against E-mail Viruses
          2. Filtering Out Spam
          3. Maintaining Your Privacy While Reading E-mail
          4. Sending and Receiving Secure E-mail
          5. Setting Up an E-mail Account with a Digital ID
          6. Obtaining Another Person’s Public Key
          7. Sending a Secure Message
          8. Receiving a Secure Message
        2. Keeping Intruders Out of Your System
        3. Surfing the Web Securely
          1. Adding and Removing Zone Sites
          2. Changing a Zone’s Security Level
          3. Enhancing Online Privacy by Managing Cookies
      2. 15. Getting the Most Out of Internet Explorer
        1. Tips and Techniques for Better Web Surfing
          1. Navigating Sites Quickly and Easily Using the Address Bar
          2. Customizing the Links Bar for One-Click Surfing
        2. Searching the Web
          1. Changing the Default Search Engine
          2. Setting Up Other Search Engines for Address Bar Searching
        3. Understanding Internet Explorer’s Advanced Options
      3. 16. Setting Up and Administering a Small Network
        1. Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network
          1. Understanding Ethernet Network Hardware Requirements
          2. Understanding Wireless Network Hardware Requirements
          3. Running the Network Setup Wizard
            1. Configuring the ICS Host
            2. Configuring Other ICS Machines
            3. Configuring a Network Without ICS
            4. Completing the Network Setup Wizard
          4. Working with Network Settings
        2. Administering Your Network
          1. Using My Network Places
          2. Adding a Network Place
          3. Mapping a Network Folder to a Local Drive Letter
          4. Disconnecting a Mapped Network Folder
          5. Connecting to a Remote Registry
          6. Connecting to a Remote Desktop
        3. Sharing Resources with the Network
          1. Clearing Simple File Sharing
          2. Creating User Accounts
          3. Sharing a Resource
      4. About the Authors
    8. Index
    9. About the Authors
    10. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly