Monday, December 13, 2010

Turning Off the Firewall

If you want to turn off the firewall for your computer:
  1. Go to Start / Settings / Network Connections
  2. Right click on the network connection you want to change
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Advanced tab
  5. Uncheck the box in Internet Connection Firewall

Hiding a XP Computer from Network Neighborhood

If you want to share files from a XP computer,
yet want to remove it from showing up in the Network Neighborhood,

Run net config server /hidden:yes

Running CHKDSK - in Windows XP

One way to run a chkdsk (this is like Scandisk that was with Win9X), is to
  1. Double click on My Computer
  2. Right click on the drive you want to check
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Tools tab
  5. Click on the Check Now button
  6. Check to Automatically fix file system errors - This is the same as running chkdsk /f
  7. If you want to Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, check that box - This is the same as running chkdsk /R. It can also add a lot of time to the scan
  8. Reboot if necessary
You can also run chkdsk from the command line with will give you more options.
The following switches are available:
/F - fix any errors
/R - identifies bad sectors
/V - with FAT32, displays a verbose output
With NTFS Volumes:
/I - Performs simpler check (stage 2)
/C - Skips the checking of cycles within folder structures
/X - Forces the volume to dismount if necessary.  Intended for server administrators and should be avoided for normal use

Renaming Multiple Files in a Directory

If you want to rename multiple files in the same directory:
  1. Using the Windows Explorer, select all the files you want to rename
  2. Press F2 or right click and select Rename
  3. Enter the prefix for the name you want (e.g. Newname)
  4. This will automatically rename the rest of the files Newname (1).jpg, Newname (2).jpg etc.
  5. Make sure you include the extension if you have the Explorer configured to show them.

Showing Common Tasks in Window

When you open a window from My Computer or the Control Panel, and you don't see the blue bar with additional options on the left side, you may simply need to turn on Common Tasks
  1. From that same windows, go to Tools / Folder Options
  2. Check Show common tasks in folders

Cleaning the Prefetch Directory

Windows XP has a feature called Prefetch. This keeps a shortcut to recently used programs.
However it can fill up with old and obsolete programs.
To clean this periodically go to:
  1. Start / Run / Prefetch
  2. Press Ctrl-A to highlight all the files
  3. Delete them

Displaying the QuickLaunch Toolbar

By default, WindowsXP does not show the QuickLaunch toolbar.
To enable it again:
  1. Right click on an open area of the toolbar
  2. Select Toolbars
  3. Select Quick Launch

Changing the Picture Displayed for a User

You can change the picture that gets displayed for a particular user
  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Select User Accounts
  3. Click on the Account to change
  4. Click on Change my picture
  5. You can then browse to the picture you want to use

Locking the Workstation - in Windows XP

There are two ways you can lock the workstation.
  1. With a Windows key + L
  2. Create an shortcut rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Disabling Hibernation - in Windows XP

If you don't want to use up the disk space taken by Hibernation, or don't need to use it at all,
you can easily disable it.
  1. Open up the Control Panel / Power Options icon
  2. Click on the Hibernation icon
  3. Uncheck Enable Hibernation

Setting System Time Over the Internet - in Windows XP

You can set your system clock to a time server on the Internet.
  1. Double-click the time on your taskbar
  2. Click the Internet Time tab
  3. Check Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server
  4. Click on the Update Now button

Creating a Shutdown/Reboot Icon - in Windows XP

WindowsXP has a program called SHUTDOWN.EXE which allows you to easily create icons to shutdown or restart your computer.

To create a shutdown shortcut on the desktop:
  1. Right click on an open area of the desktop
  2. Select New / Shortcut
  3. Enter in "shutdown -s -t 00" - no quotes
  4. Press the Next button
  5. For the name, enter in anything you like. I just use shutdown. Click on the Finish button.
For a reboot, enter "shutdown -r -t 00"

Shutdown [{-l|-s|-r|-a}] [-f] [-m [\\ComputerName]] [-t xx] [-c "message"] [-d[u][p]:xx:yy]

  • -l - Logs off the current user, this is also the defualt. -m ComputerName takes precedence.
  • -s - Shuts down the local computer.
  • -r - Reboots after shutdown.
  • -a - Aborts shutdown. Ignores other parameters, except -l and ComputerName. You can only use -a during the time-out period.
  • -f - Forces running applications to close.
  • -m [\\ComputerName] - Specifies the computer that you want to shut down.
  • -t xx - Sets the timer for system shutdown in xx seconds. The default is 20 seconds.
  • -c "message" - Specifies a message to be displayed in the Message area of the System Shutdown window. You can use a maximum of 127 characters. You must enclose the message in quotation marks.

Turning Off the Built-In CD Burner - in Windows XP

If you want to turn off the ability to using the built-in CD burner software that comes with WindowsXP:
  1. Open up the Explorer
  2. Right click on the drive that is your CD burner
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Recording tab
  5. Uncheck Enable CD recording on this drive

Changing Drive Letters - in Windows XP

If you want to change the letters assigned to your fixed or removable drives:
  1. Right Click on My Computer
  2. Select Manage
  3. Select Disk Management
For a Fixed Disk:
  1. Select it
  2. Right click
  3. Select Change Drive Letter and Path
  4. Click on the Edit button
  5. Enter in the letter you want to use
For a Removable Disk:
  1. In the lower, right hand panel, right click on the Disk or CD ROM # 
  2. Select Change Drive Letter and Path
  3. Click on the Edit button
  4. Enter in the letter you want to use
Note: This can only be done for drives that do not have the Operating System Installed or you are booting to.

Removing Thumbs.db Files - in Windows XP

When viewing a folder with the Thumbnail view, WindowsXP creates a thumbs.db file.
This is a cache of the current pictures in that directory.
If you want to turn this feature off and save a little disk space
  1. Start the Windows Explorer
  2. Go to Tools / Folder Options / View
  3. In the first section under Files and Folders, check Do not cache thumbnails
  4. Now you can search for the thumbs.db file on your computer and remove them. No more should be created.