Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make XP shut down more quickly

Are you annoyed at the amount of time it takes for their XP computers to shut down? If XP is inordinately slow about shutting down, it may be that it's waiting on a hung program. You can edit the registry to change the amount of time XP will wait for a program to close. As always when editing the registry, back it up first, just in case. Then perform these steps:
1. Open your registry editor.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop
3. In the right pane, find the item HungAppTimeout and double click it
4. In the value data box, change the default value (5000) to a lower number (for example, 1000). Click OK.
5. Next, find the WaitToKillAppTimeout and double click it
6. Change the default value from 20000 to 1000. Click OK.
7. Now navigate to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control
8. In the right pane, find WaitToKillServiceTimeout and double click it.
9. Change the default value to 1000 and click OK.
10. Then navigate to:HKEY_USERS \ DEFAULT \ Control Panel \ Desktop
11. Find HungAppTimeout and doubleclick it.
12. Change the default value to 2000 and click OK.
13. In the same key, find WaitToKillAppTimeout and double click it.
14. Change the value to (you guessed it!) 1000 and click OK.

If you don't want the timeout to be quite as short, change these values to something else (for example, 5000). Just make sure the value is the same for each.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to customize the right click menus

Many applications install their own items in the right context menu when you install them. After a while, if you install lots of these apps, your context menu can get pretty cluttered up, and some of these menu items may be unused and unwanted. Even if you uninstall the programs, the items may stay in the context menu.

You can remove items from the context menu by editing the registry. The items are contained in the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ * \ shellex \ ContextMenuHandlers

Delete the keys for the items you don't want. Be sure to back up the registry before editing it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Can I or can't I upgrade XP to Windows 7?

There is no direct upgrade path from XP to Windows 7. That is, if you start the Windows 7 installation, you cannot choose to upgrade the current OS and install Windows 7 "over" XP. Microsoft is providing, primarily for enterprises that have many XP machines to migrate, a tool called the Microsoft Deployment Tool 2010 that uses "hard links" to retain certain files and settings, including your user data and user preferences, and then do a clean install of Windows 7 and restore these to the correct location in the new OS. However, this does not preserve your applications as an in-place upgrade does; you'll still need to reinstall them. The tool is a free download and available to anyone, not just enterprises. You can read more about it and see a video of how it works here: Click Here

How to start System Restore when you can't boot into XP

If you're having problems that prevent you from booting into the GUI, you may still be able to use the System Restore tool to roll back to a previous operating system state, and thereby fix the problem. Here's how:
1. Restart the computer and press and hold F8 during startup to bring up the options menu
2. Select "Safe mode with a command prompt"
3. If you have multiple operating systems installed, select the correct instance of XP
4. Log on with an administrative account
5. At the command prompt, type
and press ENTER
6. Follow the on-screen instructions

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Network connection icons are missing in XP

If your Windows XP computer is missing some or all of the icons in Network Connections, but networking still works, there are several possible culprits. You can find several methods for troubleshooting and resolving the problem in KB article 825826 at: Click Here

XP computer can't detect USB flash drive, external hard drive or iPod

If you attach a USB device such as a flash drive, hard drive or iPod music player to your XP computer and scan for hardware, but your computer doesn't detect the device and it doesn't appear in the My Computer folder, it may be because some registry keys are corrupted. If that's the problem, you can fix it easily by clicking the Fix It button or following the instructions for manually resolving the problem in KB 925196 at Click Here

Hyperlinks no longer work in Outlook Express and Word

If you have ever had a time where your hyperlinks no longer work inside of Outlook Express, Word, or any other myriad of Microsoft programs you may need to re-register some of the Dlls. Here is how you would do this:
1. Click Start | Run.
2. In the Run box, type: regsvr32 urlmon.dll
3. Click OK.
4. Repeat the same command for each of the following DLLs: mshtml.dll; shdocvw.dll; browseui.dll; msjava.dll