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Internet Fixes Windows XP And More News Letter!  Issue

1. Some measures you can take to protect yourself from viruses using Outlook Express.
2. Internet Explorer Windows open 'off screen' or tiny or minimized to the taskbar.
3. PC stopped responding! What do you do?
4. How To - Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP.
5. Change the Default Font Face and Color in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.
6. Cleaning The Prefetch Directory In Windows XP!
7. Defrag Multiple Hard Drives At Once In Windows XP.
8. Run a Faster Windows PC, by Keeping it Clean.
9. Configure Windows Explorer to display Windows XP disk drives.
10. Skip the CD setup for your Wi-Fi router.
11. Create different user accounts in Vista.
12. Protect your computer with Windows Vista Firewall.
13. How to Automatically logon in Windows Vista.
14. Change Screen Resolution in Vista.
15. Create A System Restore Point In Vista.
 
 

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1. Some measures you can take to protect yourself from viruses using Outlook Express.

Update Outlook Express(OE) to the latest version from Windowsupdate.com. Use anti-virus software such as Norton Anti-virus to scan email. Personally, I never use the email scanning that NAV provides, because I use the latest OE and the following measures: Disable the Preview Pane when downloading messages from your ISP. 

1. A quick way to do this is to add a button to the toolbar. Right-Click on the toolbar (where the buttons Reply, "Create Mail" and other buttons are) and click "Customize".

2. On the left, find and click "Preview", click "Add ->" and click Close.

3. You will have a button now that toggles the preview pane.

Setup a new message rule that redirects all mails with attachments to a special folder. Infected messages usually come with attachments

1. Right-click "Inbox", click "New Folder" and specify a name, we'll use "WARNING" here.

2. Next we have to tell OE to redirect the messages. Click "Tools" in the menu bar, "Message Rules" and "Mail".

3. Click "New...", specify the condition as "Where the message has an attachment" and the action to "Move it to the specified folder".

4. Specify the folder as "WARNING" and click "OK" all the way out. 

Making sure a message is not infected.

1. Before you click on the "WARNING" folder, make sure the Preview Pane is disabled.

2. View the message subject, do not OPEN (double-click ) the message.

3. View the message source, by RIGHT-clicking the message, clicking "Properties", "Details Tab" and "Message Source". Here you can read the message in the original form.

4. Attachments will have a special heading, here is an example:

Content-Type: image/jpeg;

name="FILENAME"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

Content-Disposition: attachment;

filename="FILENAME" ..followed by some garbage  

5. The message will be ABOVE the attachments. Read it to check whether it is a message that the person intended to send to you.

If the message is in HTML, it will be harder to decipher for those HTML inclined users. In this case, you just have to try to read the content.

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2. Internet Explorer Windows open 'off screen' or tiny or minimized to the taskbar.

This trick should work.

Remove any 'Auto-hide' option for the taskbar and then maximize the problem window.  While the window is maximized, increase the height of the taskbar from one row to two. Allow the maximized window to reset itself to fit into the new area allowed by the taller taskbar.  Now return the taskbar to its normal single row. This is to try to make Windows re-calculate the window size and boundaries.

If no joy, run regedit and remove these registry key values which are most likely corrupted:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\window_placement

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\OldWorkAreas\OldWorkAreaRects

Then reboot.

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3. PC stopped responding! What do you do?

If a program or window on your PC seems to have frozen up and you cannot close it by clicking the X (Close) button in the top-right corner, hold down the CTRL and ALT keys together and tap DELETE once.

In Windows Task Manager click on Applications which shows all the programs that are currently running. You can usually tell which program has frozen or crashed as its Status will appear as Not responding. Click to highlight that program on the list then click on End Task. The PC will now attempt to close it. If it is successful you can then close Task Manager and the PC should be able to carry on as normal.

If Task Manager does not appear, try holding down CTRL, ALT and DELETE and keeping all three keys held. This will restart your PC, which will often fix the problem. If these keys don't work, you will have to press and hold the power switch or turn the plug off. Turn the PC back on. Your PC should be alright but always try to avoid switching off without shutting down properly first.

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4. How To - Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP.

This disable common startup programs, settings, and drivers to troubleshoot issues in Windows XP. This procedure is known as The "clean booting."

You should use this procedure only to troubleshoot error messages or behaviors when you have been unable to determine the cause of the issue. Following these steps results in a temporary loss of some functionality. Restoring the settings restores the functionality, but it may result in the return of the original error message or behavior.

Perform a Clean Boot in Windows XP


NOTE :You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

1. In Windows click on Start , click Run , type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK .

2. On the General tab, click Selective Startup , and then clear all of the subsequent check boxes. You will not be able to clear the Use Original BOOT.INI check box.

3. Click OK , and then you need to click Restart to restart your computer.

4. After Windows starts, you need to determine whether the symptoms are still present. Click Start , click Run , type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK .

NOTE: It is important for you to look closely at the General tab to ensure that the check boxes you cleared are still cleared. Go to step 6 if none of the check boxes are selected. If you see a disabled or dimmed check box, your computer is not truly "clean-booted" and you may need assistance from the manufacturer of the program that places a check mark back into Msconfig.

5. On the General tab, click Selective Startup , and then clear all of the subsequent check boxes. You will not be able to clear the Use Original Boot.ini check box.

6. Starting with the first available check box (Process System.ini File), select each check box one at a time, and restart the computer as prompted until the problem is reproduced.

7. Once the problem reappears, click the tab that corresponds to the selected file. For example, if the problem reappears after selecting the Win.ini file, click the WIN.INI tab in System Configuration Utility.

NOTE : Internet Fixes strongly recommends that you do not use System Configuration Utility to modify the Boot.ini file on your computer without the direction of a support professional. Doing so may render your computer unusable.

How to Return from a Clean Boot State:

1. Click on Start , then click Run , type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK .

2. On the General tab, click Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services .

3. Click on OK . Click Restart when you are prompted to restart your computer.  

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5. Change the Default Font Face and Color in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.

To permanently set the default font face and color for new messages in Windows Mail or Outlook Express:  

• Select Tools | Options... from the menu in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.

• Go to the Compose tab.

• Under Compose Font, click the Font Settings... button next to Mail:.

• Choose the desired font and color.

• Click OK.

Does The Font Still Look Unnaturally Small? 

If you have changed your default font to a larger type but still can barely see what you are typing, it may be your reading font settings' fault. Check in the main Windows Mail or Outlook Express window under View | Text Size.

Default Windows Mail or Outlook Express Stationery Overrides Default Font

Note: to make sure Windows Mail or Outlook Express is using the font you just specified no default stationery must be defined or its font settings will be used no matter what you specified under Font Settings...
 

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6. Cleaning The Prefetch Directory In Windows XP!

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.

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7. Defrag Multiple Hard Drives At Once In Windows XP. 

The Disk Defragment utility in Windows XP does not include a way to defragment all hard drives at the same time, which is inconvenient when you have more than one hard drive in your computer.

The method I am going to use is by creating a batch file to defragment all of the drives, one after the other. 

The disk defrag utility in Windows XP can be triggered from the command line with the following syntax:

Windows Disk Defragmenter

Copyright I 2001 Microsoft Corp. and Executive Software International, Inc.

Usage:

defrag <volume> [-a] [-f] [-v] [-?]

volume  drive letter or mount point (d: or d:volmountpoint)

-a      Analyze only

-f      Force defragmentation even if free space is low

-v      Verbose output

-?      Display this help text

First, we’ll create a file named defragdrives.bat, and place it anywhere you like, as long as you’ll remember where it is. If you want to run it from the command line, you could place it in the \windows directory so that it will be available in the system path.

For each hard drive, add a line to the batch file. For instance, if we want to defragment drives C: , D: , and F: we will add these three lines: 

defrag c: -f
defrag d: -f
defrag f: -f

To run the defrag, just either double-click on the batch file or start it from the command line.

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8. Run a Faster Windows PC, by Keeping it Clean.

A fresh installation of Windows with all its updates and tweaks run's fantastic for most people. Then, we start throwing gunk into the system, including antivirus programs, firewalls, etc. and all the garbage we collect from the slums of the public internet.

It is possible to run a faster, cleaner PC. It's also possible to keep it that way, even if you're not a computer genius. Just a few commercial tools and a little planning will make it an easy process - and your PC much more useful for much longer.

One of the first things I do when I install a fresh OS and start putting all my tools and toys on my PC is make a checklist of software I need, want, and prefer. Obviously, we all use some commercial software packages, but it's a good idea to get a staple of reliable open source and free software. That's because they aren't selling anything. They stick to the useable features and leave off advertising or unnecessary flash to justify a new shiny version [purchase].

Just look at all the complaints about the two biggest antivirus companies. You'll find no shortage of geeks complaining these tools mostly just steal system resources and provide little or no protection.

The fastest that I have ever been backup and running was 15 minutes after loosing a hard drive on a PC I was using was when I was still able to work.  I was using a (very tweaked) Ghost drive.  Opened the Case and hooked up the Ghost Drive and rebooted with a floppy and transferred the Image from the Ghost Drive to the PC drive.  Unhooked the Ghost drive closed up the Case, rebooted, and was back in business.

Remember, the enemy is junk that steals resources. One of the things I strongly encourage people to do is free themselves of the resource hogs known as Norton and McAfee.

Antivir is free, but they do offer a commercial version for about twenty bucks. It's cheaper and faster than the three big brands. I've never experienced any real resource loss because of this product. It's just a good clean antivirus program. I've also never been infected while running it. I can't say that for either McAfee or Norton.

One thing I also suggest is create an image  (The link I just sent you to covers just about all Operating Systems) of your system once you get it installed, updated, and configured. There are system imaging tools out there, if you're uptight about wasting your time should you be required to reload it again because of the common wear and tear on XP.

Acronis True Image comes highly recommended.

When your system starts getting sluggish, you can easily throw a known good image (an exact replica of your computer's operating system and programs) back on and run fresh and clean just like the day you installed your operating system and programs. If you create the image after registering Windows, you won't even have to repeat that tedious task.

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9. Configure Windows Explorer to display Windows XP disk drives.

When you double-click the My Computer icon in Windows XP, you see a list of all the drives on your hard disk. However, when you launch Windows Explorer, it displays the contents of My Documents in the right panel. If you like the way that the My Computer view displays all the disk drives when you first launch it, but prefer the Windows Explorer view, here’s how you can get the best of both views.

1. Right-click on the desktop.

2. Select New | Shortcut.

3. Type C:\Windows\Explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\ in the text box, then click Next.

4. Type My Explorer in the text box and click Finish.

Using the /Select switch with C:\ as the object causes Windows Explorer open a My Computer view of your system. Now, when you select your new shortcut, your window will look more like the My Computer view.

Note: This tip applies to Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.
 

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10. Skip the CD setup for your Wi-Fi router.


Most Wi-Fi vendors provide a CD for accessing router features. You won't need it. If you know the router's IP address—typically 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.15.1—just type that into the Web browser of any PC that gets its IP address from the router.

 

The Web-based controls for the router will be at your finger-tips once you enter the router's username and password.  Normally when you sign into your router for the first time the login and password are both admin.  It is a good idea to change the password before leaving the interface for the first time.

 

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11. Create different user accounts in Vista.

 

With Windows Vista and Windows XP, you can create multiple user accounts for your computer. Each user can log on separately and has a unique profile with his or her own Desktop and My Documents folder.

 

As a parent you can give yourself an Administrator account with full control over the computer, and give your children Limited User accounts, with restricted controls.

 

Limited Users cannot change system settings or install new hardware or software, including most games, media players, and chat programs.

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12. Protect your computer with Windows Vista Firewall.

To protect your computer from intruders, Windows Vista Firewall must be turned on and set the right way. 

The same way previous Windows versions had a firewall built in, the Windows Vista Firewall is present for the same purpose - to protect you from the outside world. Unless you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), your firewall, together with your antivirus software will shield your computer from incoming threats. 

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a software application that acts like a barrier between your computer and the outside world - the local area network and, of course, the Internet. Firewalls can be built into your operating system, like Windows Vista Firewall, or installed as additional programs.

How to use Windows Vista Firewall. 

Using Vistas built-in firewall is not hard at all, but the start seems to be the hardest part, as always, so let me guide you...

- Open your computer's Control Panel, and choose Check This Computer's Security Status

- The Windows Security Center windows opens, and the Firewall is the first item to be noticed in the upper area; be sure that the Firewall is marked as On

- If the firewall is off, click the Windows Firewall link located in the left pane and then choose Change Settings

- In the Windows Firewall window that opens, select the On button and press OK

You are now sure that the your computer is protected from unwanted network connections.

To take care of things the right way, you should create exceptions for the programs you want to allow to connect to the network or Internet and don't have predefined exceptions already.  

How to Create Exceptions 

Creating exceptions can be done in 3 ways:

1. Click Unblock when Windows Vista Firewall blocks a program and asks you what to do

2. Set up a program exception in the Exceptions tab

3. Open a port in the Exceptions tab in the firewall.

The easiest way is to let the program ask you what to do, but sometimes you need to set the exception manually first. Here is how this can be done.

- Open Control Panel and click on "Allow a program through Windows firewall" under the Security section

- Make sure the Exceptions tab is selected and click Add Program

- Once the Add A Program dialog box appears, choose the program for which to allow connections, or simply click Browse and select the program from your computer

- Click Change Scope and select the range of computers allowed to connect to yours 

A lot of complaints exist about the reliability of the Windows Vista Firewall, and no matter how accurate these reports may be, I know there's always something better than what you get with your operating system, and I'll show you an alternative soon. In the meantime, feel free to learn the basics of using a firewall with Windows Vistas build-in firewall!

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13. How to Automatically logon in Windows Vista.

If you are the only one using a computer that has Windows Vista on it, typing your user name and password each time you start it up is something pointless. Now, I'll show you how to enable the automatic logon - make Windows Vista stop prompting you for a user name and password when it starts up. There are only a few easy steps to take, and I'll show them to you bellow: 

- Click the Start orb

- Type netplwiz inside the search box and select netplwiz

- The Advanced User Accounts panel opens; select the Users tab

- Uncheck the radio button next to Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer

- Click the Apply button at the bottom of the window

- At last, when the dialog box called Automatically Log On comes up, enter your password in the required fields (be careful to type the same password twice)

- Click OK when finished. 

If you didn't make any typing mistakes, the changes are applied and you won't have to type your user name and password when Vista is loading from now on!

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14. Change Screen Resolution in Vista.

The biggest change to screen resolution in Vista is that not all resolutions are displayed by default. Vista simply displays the resolution it thinks will be suitable for your monitor. This is based upon on the assumption that monitor size decided screen resolution as follows:

15 Inch Monitor Resolution 1024x768

17-19 Inch monitor Resolution 1280x1024

20+ Inch Monitor Resolution 1600x1200

While you can slightly alter these resolution - downwards rather than upwards - in order to increase the resolution above these figures you need to change a few settings.

1. Right click on the desktop.

2. From the drop down menu click Personalize.

3. In the Personalize window click the Display Settings link.

4. To reduce the screen resolution adjust the slider until the desired resolution shows.

5. If you wish to increase the resolution above the default; and you must remember that your monitor must support this new resolution, then click the Advanced Settings button.

6. In the Advanced Settings window click the Monitor Tab. In the monitor tab window remove the tick mark from the 'hide modes that this monitor cannot display', then click Apply followed by OK.

7. An extended display resolution range should now be available on the Monitor tab. All you need do now is slide the resolution slider up to your desired resolution and then click OK.
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15. Create A System Restore Point In Vista.

System Restore is a form of system backup that enables the user to recover from many a disaster. While system restore automatically creates a restore point at a given time each day, if your PC is not switched on at that given time then the system restore cannot be created; therefore, it is necessary for you to have to wait for the next scheduled restore file creation point.

While installing most software applications will automatically trigger a system restore point, it is good practice to get into the routine of manually creating a restore point every time you make significant changes to your PCs setup.

To manually create a system restore proceed as follows:

1. Click the Start button

2. From the Start menu click Control Panel

3. In Control Panel click the System Icon

4. On the Left of the System Properties Window you will find a list of Tasks. From this list click System Protection

5. In the next window click the Create Button

6. A new dialogue box now appears

7. In this Dialogue box type a suitable name for the restore Point (preferably one that gives you an insight into what you created the restore point for. It is far better to have a title such as: 'Changed display settings' than one simply called 'Restore point 1'. At least the first title gives you a description, the second does not.)

8. After typing a suitable title, click Create

9. The Creating A System Restore Point progress bar will now appear

10. Once the restore point has been created a box will appear with the legend 'The restore point was successfully created.'

11. At this point click OK to finish the process

 As well as the above, you can also create a system restore point as follows:

1. Click the Start Button

2. Click All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System restore

3. In the System restore window click the 'Open System Protection' link.

4. In the System protection Window follow instructions 4 through to 11 above to complete the task.

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See The 11 Tip Package That You Should Print And Keep Close To Your Computer! 

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This One Also Comes With The Standard Tips Package!  2 Downloads!

 

PDF Tip Sheets That Include Over 600 XP Tips.

 


 


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