O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Fixing Windows XP Annoyances

Book Description

Windows XP is the most popular operating system on the planet--and the most annoying. From incomprehensible error messages to inexplicable crashes, from wonky wireless setups to just finding a file, Windows can make your computing life a nightmare. But thanks to Fixing Windows XP Annoyances, you can banish the bugs, speed up operations, and just make Windows work right.

Inspired by author David Karp's Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks, this all-new tome pulls together tips, tricks, insider workarounds, and fixes for PC novices and pros, in a handy, accessible Q&A format that lets you find the solutions in a flash. Fixing Windows XP Annoyances will not only increase your productivity but lower your blood pressure. Karp's new book covers:

  • Setup and Hardware-Update Windows, reinstall Windows safely, speed up start up, resolve driver-hardware conflicts, and more.
  • Windows Interface-Navigate quickly, fix screen resolution problems, customize the desktop, and switch applications more quickly.
  • Windows Explorer-Force XP's file & folder management application to remember your view settings, save your default application choices, and get XP's Search tool to behave.
  • Multimedia-Having a problem playing a video or burning a CD? Want to do more with your digital photo collection? We have the answers.
  • Web and Email-Get a handle on spyware, spam and pop-ups; protect your privacy online; learn how to improve your online experience.
  • Wireless and Home Networking-Connect all your PCs; share Internet connections; share files and drives securely; make your wireless network purr; share network printers; and more.

If you're having a problem, just look through the Table of Contents for the annoyance that most closely matches your problem, or feel free to start thumbing through the pages. You'll likely find a fix to a problem you didn't even know could be solved.

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Introduction
    1. How to Use This Book
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Got an Annoyance?
    4. O’Reilly Would Like to Hear from You
    5. About the Author
    6. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Windows Interface
      1. Snappy Scrolling
      2. Sharpen Blurry Text
      3. Make Things Big on High-Res Screens
      4. Drag Windows Intact
      5. Make Windows Translucent While Dragging
      6. Un-Animate Windows Controls
      7. Customize the Windows Look and Feel
      8. Simplify the Control Panel
    2. DESKTOP
      1. Show the Desktop Without Closing Windows
      2. From Keyboard to Desktop
      3. Save Your Desktop Layout
      4. Make Icon Labels See-Through
      5. Control the Space Between Desktop Icons
      1. Pick a New Username
      2. Clean Up the Start Menu
      3. Block Recent Programs from Appearing in Your Start Menu
      4. Hide the My Recent Documents Menu
      5. Sort Your Start Menu Alphabetically
      6. Solve the Mystery of Disappearing Start Menu Items
      7. Stop Windows from Highlighting New Programs
      8. Show Start Menu Programs in Multiple Columns
    4. TASKBAR
      1. Customize the Alt-Tab Window
      2. Ungroup Taskbar Buttons
      3. Clean Out the Tray
      4. Customize the Start Button
      5. Move the Taskbar
      6. Fix Taskbar Bugs
      1. Find Missing Program Windows
      2. Seeing Double Windows
      3. Make Old Windows New Again
      1. Get Rid of the Welcome Screen
      2. Fix the Unread Messages Display
      3. Old-Fashioned Logon
      4. Hide the Name of the Last User
      5. Un-Secure Your Screensaver
  4. 2. Windows Explorer
    1. FOLDERS
      1. Show Folder Tree Lines
      2. Get the Details View Every Time
      3. Remember Settings for More Folders
      4. Jump to a Subfolder
      5. Shrink the Address Bar
      6. Copy a Folder Path to the Clipboard
      7. Print a Folder Listing
      8. Print a File from Explorer
      9. Show the Folder Size
      10. Navigate Folders with the Keyboard
      11. Hide the Tasks Pane
      12. Get Back the Folder Tree
      13. Open Explorer in a Custom Folder
      14. Keep Explorer from Vanishing
      15. Delete an Undeletable Folder
      16. Clean Up Context Menus
      17. Customize Folder Icons
      18. Faster Folder Fix
    2. FILES
      1. Show Filename Extensions
      2. Choose Default Programs
      3. Protect Your File Types
      4. Predict Moves and Copies
      5. Copy Files to a Hidden Destination
      1. Customize File Dialogs
      2. List Recently Used Folders
      1. Search in a New Window
      2. Jump to Advanced Search
      3. Take the Dog for a Walk
      4. See the Whole Megillah
      5. Reveal Missing Paths in Search Results
      6. Find Recent Files
      7. Save Your Searches
      8. Save Your Search Results
      9. Find a File Where Search Doesn’t Look
      10. Search Inside Files
      11. Faster Searches
  5. 3. Multimedia
    1. VIDEO
      1. Play Stubborn Videos
      2. Play Incomplete Downloads
      3. Fix the Aspect Ratio
      4. Shed Light on Blank Videos
      5. Skip Intro Ads
      6. Save Videos from the Web
      7. Rewind or Fast-Forward Streaming Video
      8. Reduce Video Buffering
      9. Make Your Own Director’s Cut
      10. Make a Montage
      11. Get an Alternative to Real Player
      12. Simplify Windows Media Player
      13. Use Alt-Tab with Windows Media Player
      14. Synchronize Audio and Video
      15. Fix Bad Color in Videos
      1. Choose an Input Source
      2. Let There Be Sound
      3. Fix Silent CDs
      4. Play Music at the Correct Speed
      5. Get Crossfades Working
      6. Extract Sound from a Video
      7. Convert Audio Files
      8. Fix MP3 Tags
      9. Connect to Your MP3 Player
      10. Iron Out License Issues
    3. PHOTOS
      1. Down with the Picture and Fax Viewer!
      2. Get Accurate Color Output
      3. Quickly Shrink Many Photos
      4. Sort Photos Chronologically
      5. Control Thumbnails in Explorer
      6. Choose Thumbnail Folders
      7. Make Thumbnail Icons
      8. Make a Digital Slideshow
      1. Watch TV… On Your TV
      2. Mimic Media Center
      3. Fix Broken TV Listings
      4. Send a Digital Signal to Your HDTV
      5. Capture HDTV Programming
      6. Fix HDTV Timeshifting Problems
      7. Tidy Up Your Remote Control Receiver
      8. Use Any Remote Control
      9. Alternatives to Media Center
      10. Burn Recorded Programs to DVD
      11. Build Your Own HTPC
      1. Burn CDs for Free
      2. Write Video to DVD
      3. Fix DVD Playback Problems
      4. Make Better-Sounding Music CDs
      5. Fix Inconsistent Volume in Your Music
      6. Watch DVD Movies on Your Hard Disk
      7. Back Up to CD or DVD
      8. View All the Files on a CD-R
      9. Read Stubborn Discs
      10. Express CD Duplicating
      11. Play Stubborn Audio CDs
      12. Fix Smudged DVD Subtitles
      13. Windows Media Player Quits Before Burning the CD
      14. Write CD Text Data to Music CDs
  6. 4. The Web and Email
    1. THE WEB
      1. Lock Down Internet Explorer
      2. Turn Off Internet Explorer
      3. Choose a Default Browser
      4. Fix Internet Shortcuts
      5. Change Internet Shortcut Icons
      6. Remember Web Site Passwords
      7. Living with Firefox in an IE World
      8. Funny Symbols in Web Pages
      9. Pictures Don’t Show Up in Some Web Pages
      10. Improve Any Web Site
      11. Put an End to Pop-Ups
      12. Stop That Browser Hijacker!
      13. Solve the Blank Form Mystery
      14. Stop Annoying Animations
      15. Open PDFs Outside the Web Browser
      16. Control Tabbed Browsing
      17. Faster Downloads Without the Hassle
      18. Set Download Defaults in Mozilla Suite
      19. Surf Anonymously for Free
    2. EMAIL
      1. Pick the Default Email Program
      2. Stop Spam
      3. Don’t Phall for Phishing
      4. Send Large Files
      5. Receive All Types of Attachments
      6. Hide Old Email Recipients
      7. Back Up Stored Email
      8. Email Long URLs
  7. 5. Wireless and Networking
      1. Network Two Computers
      2. Share Files with Other Computers
      3. Find Missing Computers in My Network Places
      4. Protect Shared Files
      5. Share an Entire Drive
      6. List All Your Shared Folders
      7. Turn Off Administrative Shares
      8. Speed Up Network Browsing
      9. Connect to a Windows 9X/Me PC
      10. Find Missing Remote Printers
      11. PC Slows When Accessed over the Network
      12. Log in Automatically
      13. Use the Administrator Account
      1. Get Your PC Online
      2. Get Rid of Third-Party Dialers
      3. Share an Internet Connection
      4. Measure Your Internet Connection Speed
      5. Make Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Work
      6. Use MSN Messenger Behind a Firewall
      1. Set Up a Wireless Network
      2. Connect to a Wireless Network
      3. Surf Safely at the Coffee Shop
      4. Increase Range and Improve Reception
      5. Turn Off “Not Connected” Messages
      6. Connect PCs Wirelessly Without a Router
  8. 6. Setup and Hardware
    1. SET UP
      1. Boot with the Windows CD
      2. Setup Hangs Before It’s Finished
      3. Reinstall Windows over SP2
      4. Wipe Your Hard Disk Clean
      5. Create a Usable Restore Disc
      6. Set Up a Dual-Boot System
      1. Windows Won’t Start
      2. Desktop Never Appears
      3. Un-Hobble the Windows Recovery Console
      4. Windows Won’t Shut Down
      5. Unattended Shutdown
      6. Faster Application Startups
      7. Faster Windows Boot
      1. Is That Update Safe?
      2. Remove a Windows Update
      3. Update Internet Explorer Safely
      4. Get Past the Validity Check
      1. Add a New Hard Disk
      2. Stop Heavy Hard Disk Usage
      3. Scanner Says It’s Not Connected
      4. Troubleshoot Multiple Monitors
      5. Fix Cranky Mice
      6. Disappearing CD and DVD Drives
      7. Send and Receive Faxes
      8. Find Drivers for Old Hardware
      9. What’s a Digitally Signed Driver?
      10. Windows Won’t Detect New Device
      11. Replace an Incorrect Driver
      12. Undo an Unwanted Driver Update
      13. Find Out More About Your Hardware
  9. Index
  10. About the Author
  11. Copyright