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50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« on: 09. May 2008., 20:00:06 »

Fifty of the finest tips for Windows XP and Vista

For most people using a computer means using Windows and over the years Microsoft’s operating system has become easier to use.

However, there is always room for improvement, so in this feature we have compiled 50 of the finest tips for Windows XP and Vista. These can help to make Windows even better, easier to use and faster. Most don’t even require you to install any extra software, so if you want to make your copy of XP or Vista better, it’s possible to get started immediately.

1 Access My Documents from the Taskbar (XP and Vista)
Right-click an empty section of the Taskbar and select toolbars, then New Toolbar. Navigate to the My Documents (XP) or Documents (Vista) folder and click the OK or Select Folder button. In its default position to the far right of the Taskbar, the toolbar provides menu access to the entire contents of the folder.

2 Extra speed with Readyboost (Vista)

Plugging in a USB memory key is one of the easiest ways to speed up Vista. When the Autoplay menu appears, select ‘Speed up my system’, or right-click the drive in Computer and select Properties. Move to the Readyboost tab, tick ‘Use this device’ and use the slider to choose how much space should be given up. Not all USB memory keys are fast enough to provide this boost.

3 Save folders after a crash (XP)
If you have lots of folders open in Windows XP, when one of them crashes, they will all close. This can be avoided by using a hidden option. Open the Control Panel, then choose Folder Options. Move to the View tab and scroll down through the list of options until you get to one called ‘Launch folder windows in a separate process’. Place a tick next to it, then click OK.

4 Disable Aero Glass (Vista)

Vista’s Aero Glass transparency effects may look great, but they also drain a computer’s processing power. To speed up a struggling computer, right-click the desktop and select Personalize. Click the link ‘Window Color and Appearance’ at the top of the screen and untick the ‘Enable transparency’ box before clicking OK.

5 Save memory (XP)
When you run programs, Windows XP stores files known as DLLs in memory. When you close the programs, it usually leaves them there for later use but this can slow down the computer. If you are fine editing the Windows Registry, this can be fixed – but make suitable backups first and take great care. Click Start, then Run, type regedit and press Enter.

Click the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, Windows, and Current Version. Select the Explorer folder. Click Edit, then New, then DWORD Value. Name the new entry AlwaysUnloadDll, press Enter, then double-click the item and assign it a value of 1. From now, DLL files will be removed from memory when programs are closed.

6 Partition a hard disk (Vista)
Vista makes it possible to divide a hard disk into two or more partitions that Windows sees as separate disks. Click Start, right-click Computer and select the Manage option. Select Disk Management from the left-hand pane, right-click the disk that is to be split and select Shrink Volume. Enter a new size for the partition and click Shrink.

Now right-click the drive space marked as Unallocated and select New Simple Volume. Follow the wizard to create and format the new partition.

7 Make room for Start menu favourites (XP)
The Start menu includes space for six shortcuts to the most frequently used programs, but this can be increased if it is not enough. Right-click the Start button, select Properties and click the Customize button. In the Programs section in the centre of the dialogue box, use the up arrow button to increase the number of icons that should be displayed and then click OK.

8 Restore a deleted Recycle Bin (Vista)

If you right-click the Recycle Bin, there’s a Delete option – this makes it easy to accidentally remove the bin from your desktop. To get it back, right-click the desktop, select Personalize and then click ‘Change desktop icons’. Tick the box next to the Recycle Bin option and click OK – it will reappear on the desktop.

9 Automatically log in to Windows XP

If your PC has only a single user account, it might seem silly to type in a password every time you start it up. To avoid this, click Start, then Run, and type control userpasswords2 before pressing Enter. Select your account and untick the box labelled ‘Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer’. Click OK, enter the password when prompted and click OK again.

10 Add Run to Start menu (Vista)

After moving from Windows XP to Vista, some people miss the Run option from Windows XP’s Start menu. To add a Run link in Vista right-click on Start, select Properties and move to the Start Menu tab before clicking Customize. Scroll down through the options, tick the box labelled ‘Run command’ and click OK.

11 Make it easier to select files (Vista)

To make it easier to select a number of files or folders, it is possible to add a tick-box feature to all icons. Open a folder and click Organize, then on ‘Folder and Search Options’. Move to the View tab, tick the box labelled ‘Use check boxes to select item’ and click OK.

12 Restore the Show Desktop icon (XP)

The Show Desktop icon in Windows XP’s Quick Launch toolbar is very handy, but it’s also easy to delete. Getting it back is rather convoluted, but Microsoft has provided a guide – scroll down the page and click Download Guided Help. Opt to Run the file, and follow its instructions. For a quicker way to show the desktop, press the Windows key and the M key together.

13 Extend Send To (Vista)

We’ve explained how to add items to the Send To menu in Windows XP numerous times, but the process is a little different in Windows Vista. Open the Control Panel, then Folder Options, then move to the View tab and select the option labelled ‘Show hidden files and folders’ before clicking OK. Now click Start, Computer, and open the C drive.

Open the folder called users, then the one with your user name, then the folders AppData, Roaming, Microsoft, Windows and SendTo. Add any shortcuts you want in the Send To menu to this folder.

14 Hide Recent Documents from Start menu (XP)
The Windows Start menu normally shows which files have been opened most recently. This can be handy, but it’s possible to remove this feature. To do so, right-click the Start button, select Properties and move to the Advanced tab. At the bottom of the dialogue box, untick the option labelled ‘List my most recently opened documents’ and click OK.

15 Quick Launch keyboard shortcuts (Vista)

The Quick Launch bar makes it very easy to start the most frequently used programs. As well as clicking the shortcuts, though, it’s possible to start the programs in Quick Launch using the keyboard. Press the Windows key, then the number key relating to the position of the icon you want – for example, to start the program that’s second from the left in the Quick Launch bar, press the Windows key and 2 together.

16 Access shared folders simply (XP)
It’s possible to make it easier to find shared files on a computer attached to a network. Right-click the My Computer icon in the Start menu, select Map Network Drive then choose a drive letter from the dropdown menu. Click Browse, then navigate to the shared folder and then click Finish. It’ll now be easy to find that shared folder by simply opening My Computer.

17 Permanently show menus (Vista)

When viewing folders in Vista the menu bar is hidden. It can be temporarily restored by pressing the Alt key, but it’s also possible to permanently restore it. With a folder open, click the Organize button and select ‘Folder and Search Options’. Move to the View tab and tick the box labelled ‘Always show menus’ before clicking OK.

18 Disable disk indexing (XP)
Unless you regularly use the Find tool to search for files on your computer, Windows XP’s indexing feature will only slow down the PC. To disable it, right-click the hard disk in My Computer and select Properties. Untick the box labelled ‘Allow Indexing Service to index this drive for fast file searching’, then click OK.

19 Trim Start menu searches (Vista)
Vista’s Start menu can be used to perform searches, but the sheer number of files that are searched can mean dozens of results are produced. To get more control over just what is searched for, right-click the Start button and select Properties. On the Start Menu tab, click the Customize button and untick any options that can safely be ignored. We unticked ‘Search favourites and history’, as we don’t often want to look for these.

Then click OK.

20 Quickly lock Windows (XP)
For security purposes, a computer can be quickly locked by pressing the Windows key and L simultaneously. To make this process even quicker, right-click on the desktop, hover the mouse over New and select Shortcut. In the dialogue box that opens, type rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation.

Give the shortcut an appropriate name, such as Lock, then drag the shortcut to the Quick Launch bar – the desktop can now be locked simply by clicking this button.

21 Reduce window borders (Vista)
Vista’s Aero graphics can give program and folder windows a fairly chunky border. When using a program that has several floating windows, such as image-editing software, the wasted space can become annoying. To shrink the borders down to size, right-click the desktop and select Personalize before clicking ‘Window Color and Appearance’.

If the Appearance Setting dialogue box does not appear, click ‘Open classic appearance properties for more color options’. Click the Advanced button, select Border Padding from the dropdown menu, reduce the size setting to less than 4, then click OK twice.

22 Group Taskbar buttons (XP)
Normally opening more than one copy of the same program will produce more than one button on the Taskbar, and this can mean the Taskbar runs out of space. To make things simpler, it’s possible to group Taskbar buttons from the same program together. To activate this feature, right-click on an empty section of the Taskbar and select Properties. Tick the box labelled ‘Group similar Taskbar buttons’ and click OK.

23 Add links to folder Favorites (Vista)
When viewing folders in Vista the ‘Favorite Links’ panel is displayed to one side. Adding the folders you use most often to this list makes using the computer quicker and easier. Simply drag and drop the folders you use most often onto the ‘Favorite Links’ panel.

24 Access web pages quickly (XP)
Visiting a website is a two-stage process: first open a web browser, then type in the address. To speed things up add an address bar to the Windows Taskbar. Right-click an empty section of the Taskbar – if there is a tick next to ‘Lock the Taskbar’ remove it. Next, hover the mouse over Toolbars and click on Address.

A tiny address bar will appear – type in any website’s address and it will open in your web browser of choice.

26 Use Flip 3D (Vista)
Flip 3D is one of Vista’s most impressive tricks, but many people don’t even know it exists. With several programs or windows open, hold down the Alt key and push the Tab button a few times – Vista will cycle through the windows in a useful but dull way.

Now, try holding down the Windows key and pushing Tab a few times – Vista will use the impressive-looking Flip 3D system to change between the windows, allowing you to view each one as they change.

27 Speed up the Start menu (XP)
When using the Start menu you might notice a delay between clicking a sub-menu and watching it open – this is added deliberately by Windows. It’s possible to remove it, as long as you are a confident computer user happy to edit the Windows Registry. To do so, click Start, then Run, type regedit and press Enter.

Click the plus sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then click the plus sign next to Control Panel and select Desktop. Look for an entry in the right pane called MenuShowDelay. This has a default value of 400. Right-click it and select Modify – entering a value of between 50 and 100 will speed up the Start menu.

28 Make USB disks faster (Vista)
If you leave your USB hard disk permanently connected, it’s possible to make it faster. Click Start, type Device Manger and click the Device Manager link. Expand the Disk Drives entry, right-click the USB disk icon and select Properties. On the Policies tab tick ‘Optimize for performance’ and click OK.

29 Advanced Windows shortcuts (XP)
Windows XP is full of keyboard shortcuts, but there are a few that every user should know. Hold down the Windows key, then try pressing these letter keys: E will launch Windows Explorer, R will launch the Run box, F will launch the Find utility, M will minimise all open windows to show the desktop, and L will instantly lock the computer.

30 Activate windows without clicking (Vista)
Normally it’s necessary to click a window to make it active, but it is possible to avoid this by using one of Vista’s Ease of Access features. Click Start, open the Control Panel and then choose the ‘Ease of Access Center’. Click the link labelled ‘Make the mouse easier to use’ and then select the option labelled ‘Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse’. It’s easy to go back and de-select the option if you want.

31 Keep track of notes
It’s easy to lose notes kept on scraps of paper, so why not keep them handy on the desktop? Right-click the desktop, select New then Text Document. Call it ‘notes’. From now on, to make a note simply double-click the file, press F5 to insert the date and time, type a note then press the Control and S keys together to save.

32 Clever keyboard (Vista)
Windows Vista has an on-screen keyboard that can be accessed by pressing the Windows key and the R key together, then typing osk.exe and pressing Enter. For a more useful version, right-click the Taskbar, then select Toolbars followed by Tablet PC Input Panel. Click the icon that appears in the Taskbar, then click the keyboard icon in the dock that appears.

Select ‘Dock at Bottom of Screen’ from the Tools menu to dock this keyboard at the bottom of the screen. When the keyboard is not needed click the usual close button, and to bring it back click the small floating panel to the side of the screen.

33 Add a shortcut for updates (XP)
Windows Update means Windows XP can be set to check for security updates automatically. If you prefer to check yourself, you can create a desktop icon to simplify the process. Right-click an empty spot on the desktop and select New, then Shortcut. In the box that appears type, then click Next. Enter a name such as ‘Check for updates’ and click Finish.

Simply double-click this icon to start the update process.

34 Change Start menu power button (Vista)
By default, the power button in Vista’s Start menu activates sleep mode rather than switching the computer off. To fix this open the Control Panel, then Power Options, and click the ‘Change plan settings’ link beneath the currently selected power plan. Click ‘Change advanced power settings’ and expand the ‘Power buttons and lid’ entry.

Expand the ‘Start menu power button’ entry, click the menu next to Setting and select Shut down before clicking OK.

35 Type in quick shortcuts (XP)
There are a few programs in Windows that can be very handy but which are hidden in the Start menu. If you’re busy doing something else and don’t want to rummage around in the Accessories folder for the Calculator, though, don’t worry. Simply press the Windows key and R together, type calc and press Enter.

Similarly, for a quick way to start a text file press the Windows key and R together, type notepad then press Enter.

36 Preview documents (Vista)
To save having to open a document to see what it contains, turn on Vista’s file preview option. Open a folder, click the Organize button and select Layout followed by Preview Pane. Select a file, and a preview will be displayed to the right.

37 Give hard disks a friendly name (XP)
If your computer has more than one hard disk, it’s often a good idea to store different files on each one – programs on drive C, for example, and music files on drive D. If so, why not give each disk a friendly name? Open My Computer, right-click the hard disk and select Rename, then type in something appropriate – we called our second disk ‘music and video’.

38 Disable User Account Control (Vista)
Vista’s User Account Control (UAC) is a useful security feature, but some people find it incredibly annoying. It can be disabled. Open the Control Panel, then User Accounts, and click the link labelled ‘Turn user account control on or off’ before clicking Continue. Untick the box labelled ‘Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer’ and click OK.

Re-enabling UAC is simple – follow these steps again, then re-tick the box.

39 Check your specs (XP)
Sometimes it’s helpful to know some basic information about the parts inside your PC. For details on the processor and memory, right-click the My Computer icon and select Properties. Look at the bottom of the box that appears: under the word ‘Computer’ you’ll find, the type of processor inside, along with its speed (in MHz or GHz), and then the amount of memory, which will look something like ‘512MB of Ram’.

40 Scan again for wireless networks (Vista)
Wireless networks don’t always show up the first time you perform a scan. Vista will re-scan after a while, but there’s no need to wait. Simply press F5 to start another scan immediately.

41 Move My Documents (XP)
Now that hard disks are larger and cheaper than ever, it’s easy to keep documents and programs separate. If you’ve added a new hard disk, it’s easy to move the My Documents folder over to it. Click the Start button, right-click My Documents and select Properties. Click the Move button and then choose a folder on the new disk. Click OK once again and click Yes to move existing documents to the new folder.

42 Create XPS documents (Vista)
Much like PDF files, XPS documents created in Windows Vista will look the same on any computer used to view them. Any document can be converted to XPS format. To do this choose to print the file, then select the XPS Document Writer. XPS files can be opened and viewed in Internet Explorer 7, or using the free XPS viewer program. This can be downloaded.

43 Restore Preview option to image files (XP)
By default, Windows XP uses its own image preview tool if you double-click an image file. Annoyingly, though, other programs will sometimes take over so double-clicking an image opens that program instead. For those who prefer the preview tool, open the Control Panel, then Folder Options. Select the File Types tab, and scroll down to find the file type in question, such as JPG, then click the Restore button.

44 Disable Windows Defender (Vista)
Windows Vista includes a tool that helps to protect Windows Vista against spyware. If you prefer to use another program to defend against spyware it’s possible to disable Defender. Launch Windows Defender from the Start menu and click Tools, then Options. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and untick the box labelled ‘Use Windows Defender’ before clicking Save.

45 Different web browser for each user (XP)
Windows XP remembers which web browser you prefer to use, but if several different users share a computer it annoyingly assumes they all prefer the same one. To allow different users to choose different web browsers, download a free copy of the DefaultBrowser tool. Double-click the ZIP file and copy the defaultbrowser.exe file to somewhere safe on the hard disk.

Each user can now double-click this program file and select a browser from the menu.

46 Watch your network (Vista)
Vista includes a handy tool that gives a quick visual indication of how busy a home network is. Look for the network icon in the notification area at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen – this looks like two computer monitors, one in front of the other. Right-click it, and select ‘Turn on activity animation’ – the icon will now show when the network is busy.

47 Manage notification area icons (XP)
If you install lots of programs on your computer, the notification area in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen can become full. To make it more manageable, right-click the Taskbar, select Properties and tick the box labelled ‘Hide inactive icons’. This generally works well, but sometimes useful icons can disappear.

If this happens, right-click the Taskbar and select Properties again, then click the Customize button. Click the icon you want to see, then select ‘Always Show’ from the menu to its right and click OK.

48 Copy file location (Vista)
Sometimes it’s useful to know where a file is stored. It’s possible to type the location of a file manually, but this can lead to errors. Instead click Start, select Computer and navigate to the file in question. Hold down the Shift key and right-click the file, then select the option to ‘Copy as Path’. It’s now easy to insert the file location into an email or document – choose paste from the menu or press the Control and V keys together.

49 Advanced Autoplay (XP)
When you insert a CD or DVD into a Windows XP computer, Windows will pop up an Autoplay window asking you what to do with it. This can be very handy, but if you want to do the same thing each time it can be skipped. Open My Computer, right-click on the CD or DVD drive and select Properties, then click the Autoplay tab.

Select a type of file from the dropdown menu, then choose the action you want the computer to perform from the list below it. For example, we like to set ‘Mixed Content’ discs so Windows will ‘Open folder to view files’ without asking us each time. Different options can be set for each different type of files.

50 Quick internet test (XP)
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether a broadband internet connection is broken, or whether there’s a problem with your web browser. For a quick way to tell, press the Windows key and R together to launch the Run box, then type cmd and press Enter. A black window will appear. Type ping and press Enter. Windows will attempt to connect to our website.

If several lines of text beginning with ‘reply’ appear, the connection is fine. If not, check your broadband connection and try again.

(Copyright by Incisive Media Ltd.)

Samker's Computer Forum -

50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« on: 09. May 2008., 20:00:06 »


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #1 on: 18. August 2008., 05:30:23 »
good tricks i tested some of them
thanks samker


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #2 on: 13. May 2009., 18:07:49 »
Thanks, solves at least one of my problems, BR N


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #3 on: 19. May 2009., 10:37:42 »

Sometimes it happens in windows XP that you are not able to open drives on your hard disk. When you double click on the drives icons or right click on the drive>>explore in My computer ,the drive does not open.

This problem is generally caused by most of the viruses which infect windows XP system. They block or restrict your access to any of the drives.

 Normally when a virus infects a windows system which causes a drive opening problem, it automatically creates a file named autorun.inf in the root directory of each drive.

This autorun.inf file is a read only ,hidden and a system file and the folder option is also disabled by the virus. This is deliberately done by the virus in order to protect itself. autorun.inf initiates all the activities that the virus performs when you try to open any drive.

You have to just delete this file and restart your system to correct this problem.

Follow the set of commands below to show and delete the autorun.inf

1. Open Start>>Run and type cmd and press enter. This will open a command prompt window. On this command prompt window type the following steps.
2. type cd\

3. type attrib -r -h -s autorun.inf

4. type del autorun.inf

5. now type d: and press enter for d: drive partition. Now repeat steps 3 and 4. Similarly repeat step 5 for all your hard disk partition.

Restart your system and your trouble will be fixed.



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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #4 on: 19. May 2009., 11:16:04 »
How to remove w32downadup.b virus that is found in December 2008 and announce by Symantec on 09-01-09 and now it widely spading all over the world and make all the computer no network connection.  This virus monitors DNS requests to domains containing certain strings and blocks access to those domains so that it will appear that the network request timed out.When trying to enter to another computer over the network , windows will alert that ” No network provider ….”  but we still can ping the computer name or IP Address.

W32.Downadup.B creates an autorun.inf file on all mapped drives so that the threat automatically executes when the drive is accessed. The threat then monitors for drives that are connected to the compromised computer in order to create an autorun.inf file as soon as the drive becomes accessible.

So now what to do with it is :

1- Download the removal tool from Symantec website and place it on your desktop.

2- Download the Security patch from microsoft website. ( Choose the file support with your OS).

<!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]-->3- Temporarily Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).

5-​​​Update the virus definitions (Symantec).

5- Reboot computer in SafeMode

6-Run the FixDownadup.exe that u just downloaded and let it scan until it found a viruses.

7-Run the Security patch.

8-Reboot your system in normal mode and run the Full System Scan to make sure that no virus present on  your computer.

Hope you can solves this problem as me also. For me I spend nearly 1 week until I found the right solution to do that.
Good luck.


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #5 on: 20. May 2009., 07:42:29 »
thankss for the tricks


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #6 on: 20. May 2009., 15:40:05 »
whoah thats nice... i saved it for future purpose ^_^ ehee


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Re: 50 Windows Tips & Tricks
« Reply #7 on: 30. September 2009., 16:42:53 »
thx for the tips :)


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