Internet Fixes Windows XP
And More News Letter!
1. There are two ways you can convert a volume to
One method is to use the Computer
Management console. Or, you can do so from the command prompt window
using the convert command. For example, if you have a volume "d" on your
computer and you want to convert it to NTFS, simply open the command
prompt and type the following command:
Convert d: /fs:ntfs
After you press Enter, you'll be asked to confirm your actions by
pressing Y. Now if your drive is currently in use (prime example: you
are trying to convert your system volume), you can opt to have the
conversion take place the next time the computer is restarted. Just to
reiterate, this is a one time conversion which means there isn't any
going back from NTFS to FAT32 unless you format the volume or find a
third party utility that can perform this task.
2. Track down startup programs in Windows XP!
As you may know, Windows XP provides
several methods for automatically launching programs at startup. Of
course, an obvious option is the Startup folder on the Start menu, and
there's also the Run key in the registry.
If you're trying to track down exactly which programs XP launches at
startup, you might think that you have to check several places. However,
that's not the case. Windows XP provides two ways to view all the startup
programs in one place.
The first place is the Startup tab of the System Configuration Utility. To
access it, follow these steps:
1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R.
2. Enter msconfig in the Open text box, and click OK.
3. Select the Startup tab.
The second option is the Startup Programs section in the System
Information utility. To access it, follow these steps:
1. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System
2. Expand the Software Environment branch.
3. Select the Startup Programs section.
3. Export, Import or Back Up Your Cookies!
Cookies have a bad reputation
among many online users, but cookies can be useful as well as intrusive.
They can log you automatically onto Web sites, for example, and offer
you customized views of information. So you might want to make sure that
your cookies are backed up, and you might want to export them to another
computer of yours - for example a laptop, or a new computer. Power
surfers take note: if you're building a new computer, or you're
particularly hard on notebooks, this is an essential task.
To back up cookies:
1. From Internet Explorer, Choose
Import and Export from the File menu.
2. The Import/Export Wizard will
launch. Choose "Export Cookies" and follow the directions.
3. A single text file containing
all your cookies will be created in My Documents, although you can
choose a different location for them.
4. To import the cookies on
another computer, launch the Import/Export Wizard, choose Import Cookies
and browse to the location or disk where the cookie file has been
4. Turn Off Multimedia and Graphics on Web Pages!
If you want to browse the Internet fast, without being bogged down
by animations, sounds, images or other multimedia content, you can turn
them all off.
This is very helpful on a dial-up or fading 802.11b
connection. To do it:
1. From Internet Explorer, choose Internet Options from the Tools
2. Click on the Advanced tab.
3. Scroll down to the Multimedia section. It has a list of
multimedia and graphics content, with checkboxes next to each.
4. Put a check next to each type of content you want displayed,
and uncheck each type of content you don't want displayed.
|5. Customize Internet Explorer Printing
Internet Explorer has special printer options that let you print out a
list of every link on a Web page, and to also print not just the page that
you're on, but all linked documents as well. This is very helpful when a
multi-page article fails to include a "Print" view. To print out a list of
all the links on a page and to print out all linked documents:
1. Choose Print from the File menu. The Print dialog box will appear.
2. Click on the Options tab.
3. Check the box next to Print table of links.
4. When you click on Print, the page will print out, followed by a the
list of links on a separate sheet. It will list the shortcut text for each
link, along with its Internet address.
5. To print out the page, as well as all the linked documents from it,
check the box next to Print all linked documents and print.
Add details to the Getmac command's report in
You may be familiar with the Getmac command, one of Windows XP's handy
command-line utilities. Getmac displays the physical or media access
control (MAC) address assigned to a network interface adapter in a local
or a remote computer. Knowing the MAC address can come in very handy in a
number of troubleshooting operations.
If a system has more than one network interface adapter, the standard
report generated by the Getmac command will list all MAC addresses, but it
won't identify which network interface adapter has which MAC address
However, the Getmac command comes with an often overlooked parameter.
The /v parameter configures the command to provide detailed information in
its report. This detailed information includes the actual names of the
network interface adapters.
To make the report even easier to read, use the /fo LIST parameter,
which specifies that the Getmac command format its report in a list
Here's an example:
Getmac /V /FO List
XP Pro Only!
|7. Using the System File Checker in XP!
Having some problems with Windows XP? You can run the System File
Checker to verify protected system files. To run the System File Checker
just Click on Start select Run and type in sfc and Hit the enter key
Command line switches are:
sfc [/scannow] [/scanonce] [/scanboot] [/revert] [/purgecache] [/cachesize=x]
• /scannow - Scans all protected system files immediately.
• /scanonce - Scans all protected system files once.
• /scanboot - Scans all protected system files every time the computer
• /revert - Returns the scan to its default operation.
• /purgecache - Purges the Windows File Protection file cache and scans
all protected system files immediately.
• /cachesize=x - Sets the size, in MB, of the Windows File Protection
If you ever open the Task Manager and see 5 or 6 Svchost.exe Don't Become Alarmed!
Track down services running under Svchost.exe with TaskList
When you're troubleshooting Windows XP problems, one of the tools you
likely use is the Windows Task Manager. By design, Task Manager provides
detailed information about the programs and processes that are running on
When you first launch Task Manager (by pressing [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] and
clicking the Task Manager button), it opens to the Applications tab, which
shows you a list of all of the currently running applications. However,
switching to the Processes tab shows that there are many more processes
running than there are applications.
One of the processes that you'll find in this list is Svchost.exe. In
fact, you'll likely see several Svchost.exe processes listed.
Svchost.exe is a generic host process name for services run from
dynamic link libraries (DLLs). If you want to quickly uncover which
services are running under each of the Svchost.exe processes, you can use
a command-line utility called TaskList, along with one of its special
Follow these steps:
1. Open a command prompt.
tasklist /svc, and press [Enter].
3. If you want a printable list
use this command. Type "tasklist
/svc >tasklist.txt" (no
XP Pro Only!
|9. Add a Safe Mode option to the Boot menu in XP!
When you're experiencing a problem with Windows XP, you may need to
boot the system into Safe Mode more than once. However, doing so can be a
tiresome process. When the Boot menu appears, you must press [F8], and
then you must select Safe Mode from yet another menu.
Wouldn't it be nice if Safe Mode were available from the Boot menu? In
fact, it's relatively easy to add a Safe Mode option to the Boot menu.
Follow these steps:
1. Press [Windows][Break] to open the System Properties dialog box.
2. On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup And
3. In the System Startup section, click the Edit button.
4. When the Boot.ini file opens in Notepad, locate the line that ends
with the /fastdetect switch.
5. Highlight and copy that line, and paste it in the line below.
6. Change the section on the line that reads WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows
XP Professional" to WINDOWS="Safe Mode."
7. Add the following to the end of the line:
/safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
|10. Add Fields to the Details View of Folders in XP!
You can add other columns to the Details view of the files contained in
Windows XP folders, such as Comments, Description, Category, and many
To add new columns:
1. Right-click the column header of the files list, and then click one
of the fields listed, or click More.
2. In the Choose Details dialog box, you can reorganize the order of
column headers, specify column widths, and add columns to display details
for the files in that folder.
When you click the new column header, the width of the selected column
is displayed in pixels in the Choose Details dialog box.
|11. Add a Map Drive Button to the Toolbar!
Do you want to quickly map a drive, but can't find the toolbar button?
If you map drives often, use one of these options to add a Map Drive
button to the folder toolbar. Option One (Long Term Fix)
1. Click Start, click My Computer, right-click the toolbar, then unlock
the toolbars, if necessary.
2. Right-click the toolbar again, and then click Customize.
3. Under Available toolbar buttons, locate Map Drive, and drag it into
the position you want on the right under Current toolbar buttons.
4. Click Close, click OK, and then click OK again. You now have drive
mapping buttons on your toolbar, so you can map drives from any folder
window. To unmap drives, follow the above procedure, selecting Disconnect
under Available toolbar buttons.
To quickly map a drive, try this option.
Option Two (Quick Fix)
1. Click Start, and right-click My Computer.
2. Click Map Network Drive. If you place your My Computer icon directly
on the desktop, you can make this move in only two clicks!
|12. Arrange Multiple Monitors in
One monitor serves as the primary monitor, and this monitor displays
the Logon dialog box when you start your computer. In addition, most
programs will display windows on the primary monitor when you initially
open them. You can select different screen resolutions and different color
quality settings for each monitor. Multiple monitors can be connected to
individual video adapters or to a single video adapter that supports
To configure the arrangement of multiple monitors:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
Click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display. On the Settings
tab, click Identify to display a large number on each of your monitors.
This shows which monitor corresponds with each icon.
Click the monitor icons and drag them to positions that represent how
you want to move items from one monitor to another, and then click OK or
Apply to view changes.
NOTE: The icon positions determine how you move items from one monitor
to another. For example, if you are using two monitors and you want to
move items from one monitor to the other by dragging left and right, place
the icons side by side. To move items between monitors by dragging up and
down, place the icons one above the other. The icon positions do not have
to correspond to the physical positions of the monitors. You can place the
icons one above the other even though your monitors are side by side.
|13. Windows Task Manager has a built
in CPU Meter!
It gives you a quick way of monitoring the CPU usage on your computer.
Normally you would have to open Task Manager manually to see it. However,
here is a trick you can use to place an icon for the CPU meter in your
system tray every time you reboot regardless of which user is currently
logged on to the computer.
1. Perform a search on your computer and locate TASKMAN.exe.
2. Right click the application, point to Send To, and click Desktop
3. Right click the shortcut on your desktop. From the Shortcut tab,
change the Run: option to Minimized.
4. Click OK.
5. Right click the shortcut and click Cut.
6. Right click the Start Menu and click Open All Users. Open the
Programs \ Startup folder and paste the shortcut.
7. Right click the Taskbar and click Task Manager.
8. From the Options menu, place a check beside Minimize on use and Hide
9. Minimize the Windows Task Manager dialog box.
10. An icon in your system tray will now appear for the CPU Meter.
|14. Windows XP's Prefetch Directory!
Windows XP contains a directory known as Prefetch in which it stores
files that are used to start Windows XP and applications faster. By
prefetching, Windows XP can read ahead into the cache the data that is
expected to be requested (remember its much faster to read data from the
cache). So you can see overall how this prefetching can improve
But - yes, there is a but - over time some of the files within the
Prefetch directory are no longer used. The result is that it can
noticeably slow down your computer's boot time. So what can you do?
Simple. Open the run command and type in Prefetch. This takes you to the
Windows\Prefetch directory. Once you are there, delete all the files
within the folder (or at least those files that are more then two - three
So of course I tried this on my system and only noticed a slight
decrease in the amount of time it took my computer to boot. However, I was
more than happy to delete the 120 files that were in the folder. A word of
caution though, empty this directory too often can have negative results.
Shoot for about once a month and you should be okay.
Manually clean out the Temp
folder in XP!
As you probably know, you can use Windows XP's Disk Cleanup tool to
free up hard disk space by getting rid of all sorts of unused and obsolete
files. One of the places that Disk Cleanup checks is the Temp folder,
which can be a big culprit when it comes to wasted disk space.
While Disk Cleanup can usually clean out the Temp folder for you, it
can sometime get stuck there--especially if the Temp folder is full of
files and folders. In other situations, Disk Cleanup inadvertently leaves
unnecessary waste in the Temp folder.
Either case requires a manual cleanup. To quickly locate and clean out
the Temp folder, follow these steps:
1. Shut down and restart Windows XP.
2. Open the Run dialog box by pressing [Windows]R.
3. Type %Temp% in the Open text box, and click OK.
Windows Explorer will immediately launch the Temp folder. Because you
just restarted the system, you can safely delete any files and folders
that you find there.
Let me know if you need anything else.
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