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Windows XP Power Hound by Preston Gralla

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The Start Menu

The Start button (in the lower left-hand corner of your screen) is your gateway to just about everything in the operating system. You use it to open programs, customize your computer via the Control Panel, and shut down your computer. In fact, you probably use the Start menu more than any other part of Windows. This section shows you how to reorganize the menu, make it work more quickly, and generally train it to behave the way you want it to.

Making the Start Menu Jump to Attention

When you click around the Start menu, you may notice a delay between the moment you select a menu item and the time Windows gets around to displaying it. Since you're not getting any younger, it should come as good news that you can eliminate the delay. Or, if you have slower reflexes (or if you like moldering away in front of your monitor), you can lengthen the delay.

To do it, run the Registry Editor (Section 15.1.2) and then:

  1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.

    This Registry setting controls many aspects of how the desktop works.

  2. Find the string value MenuShowDelay.

    This value tells Windows how long it should pause when you highlight an item on the Start menu. It comes set to 400 milliseconds.

  3. Change the value to 100 or 200.

    A setting of 100 or 200 speeds up the menu noticeably; anything less is imperceptible. If you want a longer delay, change the value to something greater than 400.

  4. Exit the Registry.

    You many need to reboot in order for your new settings to take effect. If the new ...

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