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Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP

Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP - PCSTATS
Abstract: PCSTATS has a massive Tech Tip guide for Windows XP covering 101 useful and sometimes spicy Tweaks and Tech Tips that will make your clunkly PC run better!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS May 01 2011   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 65 to 68

65. Logging in as the 'Administrator' account

Every Windows XP installation comes with an administrator account built in, the password for which you set during the install process. Of course, the administrator account does not actually show up on the welcome screen. If you have disabled the welcome screen you can do it easily enough, but what if you happen to like that friendly screen?

Never fear, simply press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice and you will be transported to a login prompt that defaults to the administrator user account.

66. Update your drivers

Not so much a tip as essential advice. Much like frequently updating windows, this is a good practice for improved system health, and especially performance. If your system contains even somewhat recent hardware, it's likely that the manufacturers are still working on upgrading and stabilizing the software drivers for some components of your computer.

These new driver sets are generally made available for download at the manufacturer's website and will install over your older drivers. It is recommended that you take an inventory of the parts and brands in your system (if it is a store-assembled PC) or the manufacturer part number of your system itself (from big box retailers like Dell and Compaq) and visit the manufacturer's websites to attain the newest drivers. You may be surprised at the results.

67. Check your PC for spyware and other nasties

Your PC could be hosting spyware or adware programs without your knowledge. These small applications, installed knowingly or unknowingly by the user (adware licenses are often buried inside the End User License Agreements of software packages like Kazaa Media Desktop) can pass information on your web surfing habits, among other things, to advertising companies, and enable them to target advertising based on your habits.

These programs can also consume valuable system resources. While not specific to Windows XP, removing spyware and adware from your system is an excellent step towards better PC health. To check for these programs:

Download either LavaSoft's Ad-Aware or PepiMK's Spybot Search and Destroy or both. Run these programs and update them via the built in interface, then check your system for spyware and adware programs. For more information on this topic, see PCstats' Guide on spyware and how to deal with it here.

68. Show the quicklaunch bar

The quicklaunch bar is a convenient toolbar containing shortcuts to commonly used programs. If you used any flavour of Windows from 98 to 2000, you probably became used to it sitting in the bottom left of the taskbar next to the start button. You also probably missed it when you started using XP, especially since it also means you are missing that essential 'minimize all windows and take me back to the desktop' button.

Don't fret though, the quicklaunch bar is still here, just not by default. Possibly to make room for the larger start button graphic in XP, Microsoft decided to have the quicklaunch bar present only as an option. Let's look at how to get it back.

To re-enable the quicklaunch bar: Right click on the time display in the lower right corner of the taskbar and select 'properties.' Now look for the option entitled 'show quick launch.' Enable it. Now that your quick launch bar is back, you can drag and drop shortcuts onto it from the desktop to customize it.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP
 Pg 2.  PCSTATS Performance Tech Tips
 Pg 3.  Performance Tips 3 to 5
 Pg 4.  Performance Tips 6 to 7
 Pg 5.  Performance Tips 8 to 12
 Pg 6.  Useful tips for XP (13 to 16)
 Pg 7.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 17 to 18
 Pg 8.  Useful Tips for XP: tip 19
 Pg 9.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 20 to 22
 Pg 10.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 23 to 26
 Pg 11.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 27 to 30
 Pg 12.  Security, privacy and recovery tips (31 to 33)
 Pg 13.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 34 to 36
 Pg 14.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 37 to 39
 Pg 15.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 40 to 42
 Pg 16.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 43 to 45
 Pg 17.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 46 to 49
 Pg 18.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 50 to 52
 Pg 19.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 53 to 54
 Pg 20.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 55 to 56
 Pg 21.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 57 to 59
 Pg 22.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 60 to 61
 Pg 23.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 62 to 64
 Pg 24.  — Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 65 to 68
 Pg 25.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 69 to 71
 Pg 26.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 72 to 76
 Pg 27.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 77
 Pg 28.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 78 to 80
 Pg 29.  Next Section: Registry tweaks (81)
 Pg 30.  Registry Tweaks: Tip 82
 Pg 31.  Registry Tweaks For performance (83 to 85)
 Pg 32.  Registry Tweaks for Performance: Tips 86 to 88
 Pg 33.  Registry Tweaks for Performance: Tips 89 to 92
 Pg 34.  Miscellaneous registry tweaks (93 to 95)
 Pg 35.  Miscellaneous Registry Tweaks: Tips 96 to 99
 Pg 36.  Miscellaneous Registry Tweaks: Tips 100 to 101

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