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Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual by Sharon Crawford

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The Start Menu

If you're willing to double-click 65 times in succession, opening folder after folder, the disk icons in the My Computer window eventually lead you to every single file in your computer. The vast majority of the files and folders you'll encounter are utterly useless to you personally; they're support files, there for behind-the-scenes use by Windows and your applications.

That's why the Start menu is so important—it lists almost every useful piece of software on your computer, including commands, programs, and files you've been working on recently. You can use the Start menu to open your applications, install new software, configure hardware, get help, find files, and much more.

When you click the Start button, the Start menu pops open, fading into view. Its contents depend on which options you (or your network administrator) selected when installing Windows, but Figure 3-3 shows a representative example.

Thin etched lines divide the sections of the Start Menu. In the beginning, the top section holds only Windows Update (a link to Microsoft's software-updates Web page); but you can add your own favorite programs and documents to this list, and such programs as Microsoft Office and Corel Suite also install commands here. The main section contains the items you'll use most. The bottom section is conveniently located for a quick logoff or shutdown.

Figure 3-3. Thin etched lines divide the sections of the Start Menu. In the beginning, the top section holds only Windows Update (a link to Microsoft's software-updates Web page); but you can add your own favorite programs and documents to this list, and such programs as Microsoft Office and Corel Suite also install commands here. The main section contains the items you'll use most. The bottom section is conveniently located for a quick logoff or shutdown.

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