Boot Into Windows XP Without a Password
Be aware that not requiring a logon is a big security risk. For that reason, you won't see this option if your computer is a member of a Windows domain. But if you don't have anything important or secret on your computer, and your computer is a standalone or belongs to a workgroup, go for it!
Getting around the "Guest" login prompt when connecting to another computer:
Windows XP changed the way it handles file sharing by default
and may cause you to have issues when trying to share files between two
computers (especially between a domain computer and a workgroup computer). If
you try to connect to another PC and you get a login dialog box that has "Guest"
listed in the username field without allowing you to change it and log in as an
authorized user, you will need to make the change that is listed in the
article below. Basically you need to click Start / All Programs / Administrative
Tools / Local Security Policy and then navigate to Security Settings / Local
Policies / Security Options / Network access: Sharing and security model for
local accounts. Then change the value from Guest Only to Classic. (This occurs
when you are logged into computer #1 with a local account credential - not a
domain user - and you try to connect to a drive on computer #2, where computer
#2 is set to authenticate all local users on the network as "Guest" only, rather
than as "Classic" which allows you to set different permissions for different
users on computer #2).
Turn Off Error Reporting
To disable error reporting, follow these directions:
Remove MSN Messenger from XP
A lot of people want to know how to remove MSN Messenger service from XP... heres the instructions how:
Connecting Remotely to your XP desktop
Windows XP Professional allows you to connect to your XP
Professional PC from anywhere. This is a really useful feature when your working
from home and need documents from your office or vice versa. With Remote desktop
you can redirect printers, which allows you to be at home and print to the
office or vice versa while logged into the XP Pro host.
You can also redirect sound, shared drives as well as copy and paste.
What you'll need:
Setup Remote Desktop on the Host computer:
What the Client Needs
Remote Desktop Client Software is installed by default on Windows XP Home and Pro. To start it click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
For computers running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 you'll need to install the client software
The Log On to Windows dialog box appears.
Once remote desktop is setup on the host you can also connect to your XP Pro computer from any computer running Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher by opening a browser window and typing http://xp_host_pc_name/tsweb
Stop Password Expiration in XP
By default, Windows XP is set up with passwords which will expire after 42 days. 14 days in advance, Windows will start warning you of this fact. If you do not want your passwords to expire:
Turn the Windows XP Autorun Back On
Some people like having the CD-ROM play automatically when Windows XP starts, and some people really don't like it. If you like CD autoplay and it's not working (maybe the last person who used the computer was an anti-autorun type), here's how to get it working again:
Fix the Desktop Cleanup Freezeup when Compressing Old Files
Many WinXPnews readers tell us that the disk cleanup tool freezes when it gets to the phase in which it compresses old files. We can't tell you why it happens, but we can tell you how to fix the problem. Give this a try:
Note that step 4 created a backup of the VolumeCaches Registry key before you deleted it. You can double click on the file you created to recreate the key you deleted if you ever need to (although you shouldn't need to).
Easy Log on to Windows XP Machines
On a Windows XP Professional computer that is a member of a workgroup, you can create a user account that has no password. This allows you to type in your user name without a password and access the computer. You can also have the log on dialog box appear without pressing the "security attention sequence (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) by going into the User Accounts applet in the Control Panel and clicking the Change the way users log on or off option. Put a checkmark in the Use the Welcome screen checkbox. Then, if you don't have a password on your account, all you need to do is click on the account name. If you want autologon, you don't need a password because security must not be an issue for you. Have fun!
Disable Tray Balloon Nags
What's the most common request we get in our WinXPnews mailbox? "How do I disable those balloons in the tray? I don't want to sign up for Passport!" Here's how:
Remove "Memorized" Outlook Address Entries
Most Outlook 2000/2002 users really appreciate the "autofill" feature when typing in the To: address in a new email message. The problem is that sometimes it remembers addresses you don't want it to remember. The same thing happens in Internet Explorer, where it remembers Web sites and text box entries that you don't want it to remember. Here's how you can whack the remembered addresses:
MS-DOS "NET" Commands
The following commands can be entered via the Comand prompt DOS window, to see network info or perform these functions: (replaceable parameters are in brackets)
Switching to the Classic Logon Screen on a Non-domain XP Computer
When you install Windows XP as a standalone or workgroup computer (not a member of a Windows domain), by default it will use the Welcome logon screen that has a button for each user account. A lot of folks who have their home computers set up as non-domain members still prefer to use the classic logon screen that asks you to type your user name and password. Good news! It's easy to switch. Just follow these steps:
Now the familiar username/password box will appear instead of the Welcome screen. Be aware that changing to the Classic Logon screen will disable Fast User Switching, so don't do this if you want to use that feature.
Move the Default "My Documents" Location
There are a few ways to change the location to which the My Documents shortcut points. The first is by editing the HKEY CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders key of the Registry. You double click Personal and change the value to the new path. But this is the hard way and we only encourage it for people who like playing with the Registry. Another way is to right click the My Documents folder on the Desktop and select Properties, then on the Target tab, click Move and browse to the folder on D: where you want to store your documents.
How To Configure your XP Computer for Two Different Networks
Here's how to set up your computer to login to different networks that require different settings (company's network and home network) without having to manually change the TCP/IP settings each time. Let's say the office network uses DHCP but you want to assign a static IP address for the home network. This is one area where Microsoft listened to users and added a great new feature to XP and Server 2003, called Alternate TCP/IP Configuration. To use it, do the following:
Now when the computer can't find a DHCP server (that is, when you're connected to the home network), it will use the alternate configuration information you entered
Stop Startup Programs via MSConfig
One way to get rid of startup programs (and one that is easier and safer than editing the registry) is to use the msconfig tool. Hhere's how:
Tired of Being Asked if You're Sure You Want to Delete Items?
By default, when you delete a file or folder, a confirmation dialog box pops up first and asks if you're really sure you want to delete the item(s). This can be a lifesaver if you click Delete unintentionally, but it can be very annoying if you're deleting several items in a row. If you'd prefer that Windows take your word for it the first time and not question your decision to delete, you can turn off the confirmation dialog. Here's how:
Now when you delete something, it will be deleted immediately. We recommend that you not use this setting if you have the following checkbox checked: Do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted. If that box is checked, it will be difficult to get back a file that you delete accidentally.
Showing the Desktop without the Show Desktop Icon
You don't have to have use the the Show Desktop icon to show the desktop. You can do it using a keyboard shortcut instead. All you have to do is hold down the Windows key and press the D key. Pressing Windows + D again will bring back your application windows.
Less Typing to Enter www.[name].com addresses
When typing in URLs in the .com top level domain that start with "www." in Internet Explorer, you can just type the domain name (for example, if the URL is www.microsoft.com, just type "microsoft") and hold down the CTRL key while you press ENTER. This only works on URLs in the .com domain.
How to Install and Configure XP's Built-in Fax Service
Do you want to send and receive faxes on your Windows XP computer? If you have a fax modem installed, you can - but the fax service is not installed by default. Here's how to install and configure it:
Now you need to configure the service:
Now you can send and/or receive faxes!
Browser Start Page Hijacked by Searchv.com
Question: My default homepage for IE is Earthlink. A few days ago it somehow changed to someplace called SearchV. Seemed like an easy fix to go to Internet Options on the General Tab and fix it. Well, what happens is that anytime I do a reboot or a fresh start up it still somehow defaults back to SearchV.
Answer: Searchv is a well known browser "hijacker." It's likely that your Registry has been changed. Caution: always be careful when editing the registry. Here's how to check:
Use the On-screen Keyboard
What if you've just created a document and your keyboard stops working before you can type a name to save the file? That's just one scenario in which you might want to use the on-screen keyboard. This is a keyboard on the screen that you can "type" on by clicking the keys with your mouse.
Media Center Edition How-to of the Week: Watching Recorded TV on another Computer
Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) allows you to record and play back TV programs like a TiVO, but did you know that you're not limited to playing them back on the TV or monitor to which your MCE computer is connected? Your Media Center PC records the programs in dvr-ms format, and they can be played back on any Windows XP Professional or Home computer, with a little tweaking. Here's what you have to do to play your recorded programs on another computer:
Now you should be able to play your TV shows on your second computer by simply clicking on a dvr-ms file. You can transfer the files to the second computer by recording them to DVD on your Media Center PC (a half hour program uses about 1.5GB at high quality) or you can play them over your local network if the Media Center and the second computer are on the same LAN. We found that playing over the network didn't work very well on an 802.11b network, but over a wired network, it worked great!
Where's that Share?
If you're on a home or office network, you probably use the network browser service (accessed via the My Network Places icon) to find and connect to shared folders and printers on other computers. Sometimes, though, all shares may not show up here. Does that mean they're "gone?" and inaccessible? Not necessarily.
If you know the name of a shared resource, you can try connecting to it via the UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path. To do so, click Start | Run and in the Run box, type \\servername\sharename. "Servername" is the name of the computer on which the share is located, and "sharename" is the name of the shared folder or printer. You will often be able to connect to a share this way even though it doesn't appear in the browse list.
How to Set the Size of the Internet Explorer Window on Opening
When you open IE, do you always have to resize the window because it's too large or too small? You can change the window size at opening by doing the following:
Now your IE windows should open in the sizes you've set, depending on how you open the browser (from a link or by clicking the IE icon to launch the browser).
How to Restore the Show Desktop icon to the Quick Launch Bar
A reader wrote to say that she accidentally deleted the Show Desktop icon from the quick launch bar, and she wants to know how to get it back. Here's the procedure:
Now the Show Desktop icon should reappear in the Quick Launch bar.
Go to IE Address Bar without the Mouse
For all your folks out there who like to keep your hands on the keyboard, you can use the CTRL+D shortcut to go to the IE address bar. This highlights the current URL so you can replace it with another URL without having to backspace to delete it. Remember, you have to be in IE for this to work
How to Shrink Down Word Files Ten-fold
For those of you who paste a lot of graphics files into your Word XP (Word 2002) documents, have you ever noticed how big those Word document files get? We work with a lot of Word docs containing tons of graphics and they get really big. Here's a tip that will shrink those Word docs down ten-fold! (thanks to Ronald Beekalar for this great tip):
How to Log On to XP Automatically
Despite the security issue, we get many requests from readers for instructions on how to bypass the logon dialog box and log onto XP automatically when you boot the computer (while still having a password set on your account). We don't recommend it, but here's how:
How to Install the FTP Service on your XP Computer
Want to run your own FTP server so your friends can connect to it and download or upload files? XP includes an FTP services component but it's not installed by default. Here's how to install it:
You may be asked to insert your XP installation CD or navigate to the location of the installation files on your computer or on the network.
Once it's installed, the FTP service can be configured using the Internet Information Services console in Administrative Tools. You can set options such as the home directory, accounts, whether to allow anonymous access and the IP address information. You can stop or start the FTP service by right clicking the FTP site in the console pane and selecting "Stop" or "Start."
Windows XP changed the way it handles file sharing by default and may cause you to have issues when trying to share files between two computers (especially between a domain computer and a workgroup computer). If you try to connect to another PC and you get a login dialog box that has Guest listed in the username field you will need to make the change that is listed in the article below. Basically you need to click Start / All Programs / Administrative Tools / Local Security Policy and then navigate to Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options / Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts. Then change the value from Guest Only to Classic.