Some of us just don't like to use this IM program. I myself have looked in the Add/Remove Program panel and can't find any way to remove it there. I found out how to do it with a little research. Just go to Start->Run and type in rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection BLC.Remove 128 %SystemRoot%\INF\msmsgs.inf and hit ENTER. Do a copy and paste to avoid typographical errors.
Microsoft said that removing IE may make Windows unstable because it has key components that makes Windows function properly. Well, there is a way to remove it completely. Go to this site and get IEradicator. Many people have used it before and removed IE with no problems afterwards.
All versions of Windows have the same problem. It usually takes a little longer to shutdown when you have the Exit Sound enabled. To disable this go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Devices->Sounds. Scroll down and look for Exit Windows. Click on it once and then under Sounds, choose None. You should see faster shutdown times.
There are files located in the Prefetch folder (C:\Windows\Prefetch) that you may safely delete. These files are usually left there by other programs that were using. You can either manually delete them or use this batch file that I created to do it. All you need to do is unzip the file called prefetch.bat into your Desktop and then double click on it. You will see the command prompt come up shortly and disappear. That's it.
You may have noticed that .tmp files appear in the Temp folder (C:\Windows\Temp). You may delete these files. Since these files might be accessed by another program, it's a good idea to delete these when you don't have any programs open. It's best to do this right after you login to ensure that no programs are using it. If you don't want to bother going into that folder every time to delete it, you can download xp_downloads.zip which contains a file called del_temp.bat. Just extract that file and double click on it to run it.
When you right click on a file/folder and choose SendTo, you will get a list of programs/folders to send it to. Let's just say that you want to add or delete one of your own programs/folders. This could be accomplished very easily. Just navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\SendTo. In this folder you may add or delete any program/folder shortcuts. All you need to do is right click on the program you want to add, and drag and drop (choose Create Shortcuts Here) it into the SendTo folder.
In XP, zipped folders could be viewed just by opening up the file. If you have a third party zip program that you want to use instead of the built in one by XP, you can stop XP from displaying the zipped files as folders. This may also be useful for those who are on a slow PC and don't want to open zip files using XP's built in zip program.
To disable this in XP, go to Start->Run and type in regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll. You may just copy and paste the command into the Run menu. If you want to undo it, just type in regsvr32 zipfldr.dll. Zip away.
Windows XP allows you to create a password reset disk, just in case you forget the password and can't login. This is only for computers that are not on a domain. Those that are on a domain may or may not work the same way.
Go to Start->Control Panel->User Accounts and click on your username. Under Related Tasks on the left pane, click Prevent a forgotten password. A wizard will show up. Click next and then insert a floppy disk into your floppy drive and choose to save the reset disk on the floppy.
Enter your current password and then click Next and Finish. The floppy will now contain your encrypted password. If you forget your password, you can just use the Password Reset Wizard to create a new one. Just make sure to create another reset disk once you changed your password. So if you forgot your password and changed it to a new one, create another reset disk by repeating the above procedure again.
You can restrict a certain user to only use the computer at a certain time interval. Let's say you have a username called Bill and you want Bill to access the computer only from 9AM - 9PM from Monday through Friday. You can do this by going to Start->Run and type in net user Bill /time:M-F,9am-9pm. For 24-hour time, you can replace the time with 09:00-21:00 instead. This will only allow the user to login during those hours on those days.
Disable the messenger service built into Windows XP to prevent ads or other popups from coming up when using Outlook (and maybe even Outlook Express). Anyway, just disable it for better performance. To disable it, right click on My Computer->Manage->Services and Applications->Services and right click on Messenger and choose Stop. This will stop the service. There may be cases when the Messenger Service is required for some programs to run properly, so if that's the case, I would set it to Manual instead of Stop.
Have you ever wanted to use some other program to open up a certain file but had to go through My Computer->Program Files and then click on the program's folder and then the program itself. You can open a file with any programs you have with ease by adding them to the SendTo menu. You know, when you right click on a file and choose Send To. To do this, go to Start->Run and type in sendto to open up the SendTo folder. Now go to My Computer->C: Drive->Program Files and open up any of the program folders you want. Then right click on the individual programs and drag it to the SendTo folder and choose Create Shortcuts Here. Do that for each program you want to be listed there. The next time you right click on a file and choose Send To, you should see those programs listed there.
Some XP users might not like the personalized menus that XP has. One example of this feature is the highlighting of newly installed programs in the Start Menu. Some users might find this annoying. To turn this feature off right click on the Start Button->Properties->Start Menu tab->Customize->Advance tab->uncheck Highlight newly installed programs. Click OK. Now when new programs are installed they shouldn't be highlighted.
One important feature in XP is System Restore. This makes a backup of your data. To create the restore points go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore. Click Create a restore point and click Next. Type in a description for the restore point and click Create. You're all set. If your system fails for some reason you may use the restore point by hitting the F8 key repeatedly during boot time until a menu comes up. Choose Last known good configuration. This will restore everything to the last time when everything was working ok. It's using the most recent restore point that you created. If you can get into Windows XP, you can go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore.
System restore points can take up a huge amount of space due to the many restore points created. You can delete all these restore points by right clicking on My Computer->Properties->System Restore and check Turn off System Restore on all drives. Then make sure to create them again manually for each drive using the method above (Using XP System Restore). That will get rid of the older restore points and leave you with the new and updated one.
The hibernation file which allows a user to use hibernation mode takes up a lot of space. If you use this feature you are allocating/creating space so that when you come back everything (programs and folders) are still open. If you don't use it that much then there's not much sense keeping it. So you may remove it. Go to Start->Control Panel->Power Options->Hibernate tab and uncheck Enable hibernation. That should remove the actual hibernation file. You may double check by doing a Search (F3 key) and search for hiberfil.sys in the C: drive. It shouldn't be found, but if it is, you may safely delete it.
Speed up XP by turning off the Indexing Service for your hard drive. This feature is used to make your searching needs faster, but it's affecting the overall performance so it's best to turn it off. Go to My Computer and right click on the drive that you want the feature to be disabled. Choose Properties and uncheck the box where it says Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching. When a box come up choose to Apply to all folders and subfolders.
This is something new in Windows XP - renaming multiple files. Let's say you have a huge photo collection and want to name them in sequential order. You can do this very easily. Just select all the photos you want to rename (you may use the ctrl key and click on individual files if desired). Then hit the F2 key and type in the name of the file. Hit Enter. It should all rename. So if you entered VacationPhoto, you will have VacationPhoto (1), VacationPhoto (2), VacationPhoto (3), etc.
This has probably happened to most of us already. We have XP installed already and when we reinstall it, we are asked to go online and activate it again. You can avoid doing that by backing up a very small file that has the activation information. Before you do this, keep in mind that your hardware should be the same as before when you activated in order for this to definitely work. Go to C:\Windows\System32 and look for wpa.dbl. Copy that file to a floppy. After you finished reinstalling XP, just rename the current wpa.dbl file in C:\Windows\System32 to something like wpa.old