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Internet Fixes Windows XP And More News Letter!  Issue

1. Customize the Taskbar
2. You can also create your own Toolbar from any Folder in XP.
3. Creating your own Sleep button in Windows XP.
4. Automatically Wake a hibernating Windows XP machine.
5. Web Browsers – Clearing the Cache.
6. Quick Fix for Networking Problems for Windows XP & Windows Vista.
7. Displaying, Releasing and Renewing a DHCP Lease.
8. Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer in Windows XP.
9. Telling Office to ignore Internet addresses when Spell Checking.
10 Change Behavior Of Icons In Vista Notification Area.
11. Enable/Disable Vista  Internet Connection Activity Animation.
12. Run Blocked Startup Programs In Vista.
13. Disable Vistas Data Execution Prevention (DEP).
14. Backup The Vista Registry.
15. Disable Automatic Restart to Read Vista Blue Screen Messages.
 
 

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1. Customize the Taskbar

With Windows XP, you can customize your taskbar so you can do everything from one place, including start programs, view documents, and surf the Web.

Simply right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click the toolbar you want to add: an Address bar, a Links bar, a toolbar containing all items on your desktop, or the Quick Launch bar.

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2. You can also create your own Toolbar from any Folder in XP.

To create a toolbar from a folder:

Right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click New Toolbar. Navigate to the folder you want. A toolbar containing all items in that folder will be added to your taskbar.

You can drag the new toolbar to any location on your desktop. You can also easily remove a toolbar from the taskbar by right-clicking the taskbar and then clicking the item again to remove the check mark.

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3. Creating your own Sleep button in Windows XP.

Many computers or keyboards have a Sleep button, which when pressed puts the computer into either Stand By or Hibernate mode depending on how Windows XP's Power Options are configured.

However, the Sleep button might not be in convenient location for regular use (e.g., if the Sleep button is on the front of a mid tower case that is under your desk).

You could activate Stand By or Hibernate mode from the Shut Down Windows dialog box. An alternative to this method is to create your own Sleep button by creating a shortcut on your desktop. Here's how:

1.Right click on the desktop.

2.Select New | Shortcut.

3.Type rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState in the text box.

4.Click Next.

5.Type Sleep in the text box and click Finish.

Now when you click the Sleep icon, Windows XP will put the computer into either Stand By or Hibernate mode depending on how the When I Press The Sleep Button On My Computer setting is configured on the Advanced tab of the Power Options Properties dialog box.

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4. Automatically Wake a hibernating Windows XP machine.

If you use the Windows XP's Hibernation feature on your laptop or desktop to put your system to sleep at the end of the day rather turning it off, you can schedule your system to "wake up" in the morning. When you do so, your machine is ready and waiting for you just as if you left it on all night.

Here's how to set up this schedule:

1. Go to Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Scheduled Tasks.

2. Launch the Scheduled Task Wizard by double-clicking Add Scheduled Task.

3. Click Next and select the program that you want to start when your system wakes up. Click Next.

4. In the following three screens, select the Daily option, the time that you want your system to wake up, and then type a username and password with Administrative privileges.

5. On the last page, select the Open Advanced Properties check box and click Finish.

6. When you see the Properties dialog box for the scheduled task, choose the Setting tab and select the Wake The Computer To Run This Task check box.

7. Click OK. 

Now, you're computer will be ready and waiting for you each morning. 

Note: This tip applies to both Home and Professional editions.  

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5. Web Browsers – Clearing the Cache.

This tip explains how to clear the cache for the following popular web browsers:

Internet Explorer 6.x – Windows

1. To clear the cache in Internet Explorer, select Tools-> and then Internet Options.

2. Click on the Delete Files button in the "Temporary Internet file" section of the window.

3. The "Delete Files" confirmation window is displayed. Click OK (Usually its not necessary to check "Delete offline content").

Internet Explorer 7.x – Windows

1. Select Tools-> and then Internet Options.

2. Click on the General tab and then the Delete... button.

3. Click the Delete files... button and then Yes on the Delete Files confirmation window.

4. Click the Close button and then the OK button.

Internet Explorer – Mac

1. Start Internet Explorer

2. Select Explorer->Preferences from the toolbar.

3. Select the Web Browser menu.

4. Select the Advanced menu.

5. Then on the right-side of the "Preferences" window in the Cache section, click on Empty Now.

Netscape/Mozilla – Windows

1. To clear the cache in Netscape, you need to select Edit | Preferences to display the "Preferences" window.

2. Click on the + in front of the "Advanced" menu.

3. Click once on Cache to display the cache options on the right-side of the "Preferences" window

4. Click on the Clear Cache button.

5. Click OK to close the "Preferences" window.

Netscape/Mozilla – Macintosh

1. Select Edit | Preferences.

2. Select Advanced.

3. Select Cache.

4. Then on the right-side of the "Preferences" window, click on the Clear Cache button.

Firefox 1.5 - Windows

1. Click on Tools | Options.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. View the "Cache" tab and click on Clear Cache Now.

Firefox 2.x - Windows

1. Click on Tools | Options.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. Click on Clear Now under the Private Data section.

4. Ensure that Cache is checked, then click Clear Private Data Now

5. Click on the OK button to return to browsing.

Firefox 3.x - Windows

1. Click on Tools | Options.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. Click on Clear Now under the Private Data section.

4. Ensure that Cache is checked, then click Clear Private Data Now

5. Click on the OK button to return to browsing.

Firefox 1.5 - Mac

1. Click on Firefox | Preferences.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. View the "Cache" tab and click on Clear Cache Now.

Firefox 2.x - Mac

1. Click on Firefox | Preferences.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. Click on Clear Now under the Private Data section.

4. Click on the red close window button to return to browsing.

Firefox 3.x - Mac

1. Click on Firefox | Preferences.

2. Click on the Privacy icon.

3. Click on Clear Now under the Private Data section.

4. Ensure that Cache is checked, then click Clear Private Data Now

5. Click on the red close window button to return to browsing.

Safari 2.x - Mac

1. Click on Safari | Empty Cache.

2. A window will appear asking if you want to clear cache. Click on Empty.

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6. Quick Fix for Networking Problems for Windows XP & Windows Vista.

Use this short article to repair Internet connection problems in Windows XP and Windows Vista. These commands reset TCP/IP, Windows Socket, and Windows Firewall.

Programs like firewalls, antivirus applications, VPN clients, and various malware can cause Internet connection problems. When there are Internet connection problems in Windows XP or Windows Vista, make sure there are no firewalls installed other than the Windows Firewall. If other firewalls are in use, consider uninstalling them and re-enable the Windows Firewall. If problems persist, try the following commands.

Windows XP

1. Open a command prompt by clicking on Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt

2. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each command:

- netsh int ip reset reset.txt

- netsh winsock reset

- netsh firewall reset

NOTE - Windows XP must have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed in order for these 3 commands to work properly. Otherwise, only the first command will work.

3. Restart the computer.

Windows Vista

1. Open a command prompt as Administrator by clicking on Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> right-click on Command Prompt -> choose "Run as administrator"

2. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each command:

- netsh int ip reset reset.txt

- netsh winsock reset

- netsh firewall reset

3. Restart the computer.

Summary

If the commands are typed in properly but errors occur, Windows networking may be heavily damaged. In addition, if these commands do not return errors, yet do not fix the Internet connection after the computer has been restarted, consider further troubleshooting:

• Power-cycle any external networking devices, i.e. routers, cable modems, DSL gateways, etc.

• Check Device Manager for any problems with Network adapters, i.e. if they are disabled or if drivers are not properly installed.

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7. Displaying, Releasing and Renewing a DHCP Lease.

The following instructions will walk you through how to:

• Display the network settings currently assigned. This information can be utilized to verify whether or not a network connection exists as well as what your network settings are.

• Release the current DHCP configuration. This parameter allows you to discard the current configuration settings (such as the IP address) which have been assigned to you.

• Renew the DHCP configuration. This parameter allows you to pull a new IP from the DHCP host and in many cases will resolve connection issues.

Note: Releasing and renewing the current configuration can only be done if your adapter is configured to obtain an IP address automatically.

Windows 2000, XP & Vista

1. Click on the Start menu.

2. Select Run..., enter Command or cmd into the text field, and click OK. This will bring up the Command prompt window.

3. At the command prompt, type ipconfig /release and press Enter.

4. If the command was successful, type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.

Windows 9x & ME

In Windows 9x & ME displaying, releasing and renewing a lease can be done one of two ways. The first way this can be done is by performing the following:

1. Click on the Start menu.

2. Select Run..., enter winipcfg into the text field, and click OK

3. In the IP Configuration window, select the appropriate network adapter from the drop-down list.

4. Click Release.

5. Click Renew.

Alternatively, you can:

1. Click on the Start menu.

2. Select Run..., enter Command into the text field, and click OK. This will bring up the Command Prompt window.

3. At the command prompt, type ipconfig /release_all).

If the command was successful, type ipconfig /renew_all).

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8. Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer in Windows XP.

In this article I will try and describe how to use Backup Utility for Windows (included with Windows XP) to back up files and folders on your computer.  

The Backup tool in Windows XP helps you protect your data in case your hard disk fails or files are accidentally erased. By using Backup, you can create a duplicate copy of all of the data on your hard disk and then archive it on another storage device, such as a hard disk or a tape.

If the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard-disk malfunction, you can easily restore the data from the disk or archived copy by using the Restore Wizard or Automated System Recovery Wizard.

Note: You must have permissions as an administrator or a backup operator on your computer to back up files and folders. Also, backup operators and administrators can back up and restore encrypted files and folders without decrypting the files or folders.

1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. The Backup or Restore Wizard starts.

2. Click Advanced Mode.

3. Click the Backup tab.

4. On the Job menu, click New.

5. Select the check boxes for the drives that you want to back up. If you want to be more specific in your selections, expand the drive that you want, and then click the check boxes for the files or folders that you want.

6. Select the System State check box.

Note: If you want to back up your system settings as well as your data files, you should back up all the data on your computer plus the System State data, which includes such things as the registry, the COM+ class registration database, files under Windows File Protection, and boot files.

• In the Backup destination list, click the backup destination that you want to use.

• If you clicked File in the previous step, type the full path and file name that you want in the Backup media or file name box. Note that you can also specify a network share as a destination for the backup file.

• Click Start Backup. The Backup Job Information dialog box appears.

Under If the media already contains backups, use one of the following steps:

• If you want to append this backup to previous backups, click Append this backup to the media.

If you want to overwrite previous backups with this backup, click Replace the data on the media with this backup.

• Click Advanced.

• Select the Verify data after backup check box.

• In the Backup Type box, click the type of backup that you want. When you click a backup type, a description of that backup type is displayed under "Description."

• Click OK, and then click Start Backup. A Backup Progress dialog box appears, and the backup starts.

• When the backup is complete, click Close.

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9. Telling Office to ignore Internet addresses when Spell Checking. 

If your documents contain e-mail addresses or URLs, the spell checker will stop at every one, and that’s going to annoy you. I know it annoys me. You can inhibit this behavior by simply telling Office to ignore Internet addresses as follows:

1. From the Tools menu, choose Options.

2. Click the Spelling & Grammar tab.

3. Check the Ignore Internet And File Addresses option.

4. Click OK.

If you’re using Office 2007, do the following:

1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options (or whatever application you’re using).

2. Select Proofing in the left pane.

3. Check Ignore Internet And File Addresses.

4. Click OK.

This permanent change affects all documents.
 

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10. Change Behavior Of Icons In Vista Notification Area.

The notification area is situated at the bottom right of your screen and is the home to the clock and a number of other application icons.

These icons usually represent programs that run when Windows starts. An example is Anti virus software and third party Firewall applications.

If you have a number of applications running at Start up the notification area can become somewhat overcrowded. While it is not always possible, or wise, to prevent the applications from launching when Windows starts, you can make the notification area somewhat less cluttered by hiding many of the icons you don't regularly use.

To do this proceed as follows:

1. Right Click your mouse in the Notification Area.

2. from the Drop Down Menu that appears Click on the Customize Notification Area option.

3. In the Customize Notification icons window, Click on the item you wish to change the behavior of.

4. In the Behavior column, Click on the Down pointing Arrow to the Right of the behavior dialogue box.

5. From the drop Down menu, Select the behavior you want to attribute to the relevant icon. The options are:

  • Hide when inactive (recommended)
  • Hide
  • Show

6. After making your selection, Click OK to set the behavior for that icon.

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11. Enable/Disable Vista  Internet Connection Activity Animation.

Enable

By default, the Internet Connection activity icon, situated in the notification area (double computer icon), displays two tiny PCs with blue screens when connected. This simply informs the user that a connection has been established. What it does not say is whether data is being transferred between the host PC and the Internet.

To get the icon to 'blink' as it does in other versions of Windows, and thus enable you to see that data is being transferred, you need to enable the Activity Animation option. to do this proceed as follows:

1. Right Click on the Internet Connection icon in the notification tray.

2. From the Drop Down Menu, Click on the 'turn on activity animation' option.

3. Now when data is being transferred between your PC and the Web you should see the connection icon blink alternately as data is transferred.

Disable

If you want to return the Internet Connection Icon to its original none blinking state proceed as follows:

1. Right Click the Internet Connection icon.

2. From the Drop Down menu, Click the 'turn off activity animation' option.

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12. Run Blocked Startup Programs In Vista.

Windows Vista is very security conscious and programs that run automatically when your PC starts come under particular scrutiny.

If, for example, a startup application requires permission or maybe an administrator password, User Account Control (UAC) kicks in and blocks the program from starting. An example of such a startup program could be update manager software such as Adobe Update Manager

To let you know that the program has been blocked, a message will appear in the notification tray to the right of your desktop, near the clock.

If you need this program to run you will need to give it the required permission, as follows:

1. Right Click on the blocked startup program icon in the notification tray.

2. Click on the Run Blocked Program option.

3. From the list that appears, Click on the program you wish to run.

4. If confirmation or an administrator password is required the user Account Control (UAC) will prompt you for that information or permission.

5. If required type in your administrator password or Click the continue button (only if UAC need confirmation), if requested.

6. The blocked program should now run.

Note:

Blocked Startup Program is part of Vista's security and you will be required to go through this procedure each time the particular program requires to run when Windows starts. However, where update managers are concerned as soon as all the updates have been completed the program will no longer require to run at startup and, therefore, you should not be prompted.

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13. Disable Vistas Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

Viruses and other security threats can control your PC by executing code from within memory. To prevent damage, the Data Execution Prevention (DEP for short) feature monitors program applications to ensure they use protected memory in a safe manner. Any incorrect usage, by an application, of protected memory and Data Execution Prevention steps in and automatically closes the application.

While DEP, by default, only monitors Windows programs and services, it is possible to increase protection by having DEP monitor all applications on your PC.

As DEP monitors activity in the background you may not have actually experience DEP close a program down. On the other hand, you may have already experience DEP at work because it closed down an application that you actually trust.

Like all security features, it is not recommended that you turn these features off. It is better, if possible, to work with the security feature. In many cases there are options available whereby a trusted program that constantly causes DEP to block it can actually be allowed to execute without the need to completely shut down the security feature completely.

Regardless of how good or how essential a security feature is there is always going to a minority of users' that want to shut it down completely. These instructions, therefore, are for those that cannot live with DEP.

Disable

1. Click the Start Button.

2. On the Start menu Click All Programs.

3. On the All programs menu Click Accessories.

4. From the Accessories menu Right Click on the Command prompt and, from the drop down menu, Select 'Run as administrator'.

5. If the User Account Control feature pops up you will need to either press the Continue button or else provide UAC with the details it requires.

6. When the Command Prompt window opens type: bcdedit.exe/set {current} nx AlwaysOff and press Enter.

7. If all has gone well you should see a message saying that 'The operation completed Successfully.'

8. Close down the Command prompt window and Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

Enable

If, at a later time, you want to re-enable DEP proceed as follows:

1. Click the Start Button.

2. On the Start menu Click All Programs.

3. On the All programs menu Click Accessories.

4. From the Accessories menu Right Click on the Command prompt and, from the drop down menu, Select 'Run as administrator'.

5. If the User Account Control feature pops up you will need to either press the Continue button or else provide UAC with the details it requires.

6. When the Command Prompt window opens type: bcdedit.exe/set {current} nx AlwaysOn and press Enter.

7. If all has gone well you should see a message saying that 'The operation completed Successfully.'

8. Close down the Command prompt window and Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

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14. Backup The Vista Registry.

The Registry is the heart and soul of Windows; damage it and the chances are the Windows Operating system will stop working. It is for this reason that registry editing should only be undertaken by those who are familiar with the way it works, and are competent enough to make any necessary changes.

While it is possible to follow step by step instructions in order to edit the registry, the first precaution necessary, prior to even attempting to make alterations, is to ensure that you have a current backup of the registry, either as a full backup or a backup of the respective registry hive. Should disaster strike and a registry edit go wrong you will, at least, have a working backup with which to replace the damaged registry hive.

To backup the registry proceed as follows:

1. Click Start.

2. From the menu click Run.

3. In the Run dialog box type: regedit.

4. The Windows registry Editor will now open.

5. Click the File option on the main toolbar and, from the drop down menu, select Export.

6. In the Export Registry File dialog box select All.

7. Now name the file.

8. Finally click the Save button.

9. To return the registry back to its original state should something go wrong simply click on the File option on the main registry editor toolbar and then select Import.
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15. Disable Automatic Restart to Read Vista Blue Screen Messages.

Sometimes an error occurs on your machine and you are immediately hit by a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). The only problem is the screen flashes by so quickly you rarely get to see what may have caused the error in the first place. To the layman the information on the screen may as well be in a foreign language but, in a number of cases, to a technician the all important 'scrambled numbers and letters' can mean the difference between locating your problem or complete disaster. By disabling the automatically restart on system failure feature, you are able to read what messages appear on the blue screen and can, if necessary, pass the information on to your technical support person.

1. Click Start button.

2. From Start menu Click Control panel.

3. In Control Panel Click the System icon.

4. In the System Window look on the Left hand side of the window and you will see a list of options. Click on the Advanced System Settings option.

5. Because Computer management requires administrative privileges you may find the User Account Control will pop up. If it does then enter the required information (if you are not the administrator) or, if you are the administrator, click the Continue button.

6. In the Advanced Settings window look for the Startup and Recovery section and then Click the Settings button.

7. In the Startup and recovery window look for the section marked System failure and remove the 'tick' mark from the 'Automatically Restart' option. Now press the OK button.

8. Finally click the OK button on the System properties Window and then close the system window.

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