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Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP

Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP - PCSTATS
Abstract: From quick tips to WindowsXP, right through to cool tweak, toys and experiments, PCSTATS has go you covered with over a hundred new Tech Tips!
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS May 01 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 70-71

70. Perform a 'Hands Off' Windows XP Installation.

Windows XP includes the option to create an 'unattend' text file which will automatically answer all the questions you would normally field while installing Windows. This allows the installation to proceed without user input right from booting the computer. This method is often used by IT Professionals who can't afford the time to babysit a single system through the answer process.

While the 'unattend.txt' file itself is packed with options, Windows XP includes a simple to use utility which can build one of these files for you without much effort.

To get at this utility, setup manager, you need to insert your Windows XP CD and go to the 'support\tools' directory. Use your favourite zip/unzip software like Winzip or WinRAR to extract the 'deploy' .cab file to a directory on your hard drive.

Once the deploy.cab file is unzipped, navigate to the new directory and double click 'setupmgr' to start the setup manager wizard. This program will ask you a series of questions and use the answers to create a text file that can automate your Windows XP installation.

Most of the answers will be obvious, but here's a few you need to know near the start:

Create a new answer file;
Windows unattended installation;
Fully automated (but read the descriptions for the other modes);
No, this answer file will be used to install from CD;

Once the wizard has completed, you will be left with an 'unattend.txt' file in the same directory. Rename this file to 'winnt.sif'.

Now copy the winnt.sif file to a formatted floppy disk.

When you start your Windows XP installation, insert the floppy disk. The install process will automatically search for winnt.sif on the floppy and use the answers to automate the installation process.

71. Experiment With 'Virtual' Computing

You may have heard about 'virtual server' technology in the past. Companies like VMWare created software that allow multiple virtual computers to run sharing the memory, processor(s) and hardware of a single physical computer.

A single server can run many virtual 'client' systems inside itself, using multiple operating systems. This technology is primarily used for testing network and patch settings in business environments where running the tests on the actual live network would be too risky and time-consuming. Microsoft has decided to get into the virtual computing market, and you can try their 'virtual server' product evaluation for yourself here. Be aware that you'll need a fast PC to get much out of this, but if you are at all interested in networking and Windows networks, you owe it to yourself to play with this.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP
 Pg 2.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 1-2
 Pg 3.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 3-6
 Pg 4.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 7-9
 Pg 5.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 10-11
 Pg 6.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 12-14
 Pg 7.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 15-17
 Pg 8.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 18-20
 Pg 9.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 21-23
 Pg 10.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 24-25
 Pg 11.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 26-30
 Pg 12.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 31
 Pg 13.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 32-33
 Pg 14.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 34-36
 Pg 15.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 37-39
 Pg 16.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 40-41
 Pg 17.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 42-46
 Pg 18.  Computer Security Tips 47
 Pg 19.  Computer Security Tips 47 con't
 Pg 20.  Computer Security Tips 48-49
 Pg 21.  Computer Security Tips 50-51
 Pg 22.  Computer Security Tips 52
 Pg 23.  Computer Security Tips 53-54
 Pg 24.  WindowsXP Shortcut Tips 55-57
 Pg 25.  WindowsXP Shortcut Tips 58-63
 Pg 26.  Disk and Storage Management Tips 64
 Pg 27.  Disk and Storage Management Tips 65-67
 Pg 28.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 68-69
 Pg 29.  — Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 70-71
 Pg 30.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 72-75
 Pg 31.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 76-78
 Pg 32.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 78 con't
 Pg 33.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 79-81
 Pg 34.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 82-85
 Pg 35.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 86-90
 Pg 36.  Networking and Internet Tips 91-93
 Pg 37.  Networking and Internet Tips 94-97
 Pg 38.  Networking and Internet Tips 98-101
 Pg 39.  Networking and Internet Tips 102-104

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