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Windows XP

Without doubt, the grand daddy of the current crop of Microsoft Operating Systems. Launched in 2001 as the successor to the ill fated Windows ME, Windows XP started Microsofts trend towards changing the appearance of their Operating Systems away from dull colours to something more vibrant.

Windows XP has the distinction of being the Operating System that Microsoft stuck with the longest without being replaced, it being nearly six years before Vista was in a position to replace it. Even after that, XP still maintained a large user base as many users couldn’t run Vista due to hardware limitations. And then just as it looked like XP was going to die out, the popularity of ‘Netbooks’ in 2008 & 2009 gave it a new lease of life as it was ideal for low cost, low power platforms

Microsoft have pledged to support XP with security updates until 2014, so there is plenty of life left in it yet, and as such we are able to mirror this support, and will be providing articles and advice right up until then.

WARNING – Microsoft will end all security updates and support for Windows XP on 8th April 2014 – We strongly suggest you upgrade before then – there are only
days left!

For more information on what will happen on 8th April 2014, click here.

Customisation / Tweaking

Stop Windows Update Auto-Rebooting – How to stop this annoying ‘feature’
Load websites from the Taskbar – Getting quick access to the internet
On-Screen Keyboard – How to access in the OSK in case of emergencies
Faster Menus – Decreasing the delay between mouse click and menu display
Customising the ‘Send To’ Menu – Making it do what you want
Changing the Windows XP Boot Screen – Customising your startup
Move ‘My Documents’ Folder – Changing the location of all your important data
Disable Windows Error Reports – Stop your PC reporting back to Microsoft
Disable Windows Balloon Tips – Stop those annoying pop-up balloons
Changing the Registered Owner – How to rename the owner of a 2nd hand PC

Security

Making USB Devices Read Only – How to stop people stealing your data
Create a System Restore Point – Making sure you can recover from system problems
Create a Password Reset Disk – Do this now before you forget your password!

Optimisation / Performance Improvement

Windows Shortcut Keys – Getting things done quickly without using the mouse
Move Paging File – Improve system performance by moving your virtual memory.
Unloading .dll Files – Remove un-used system files to increase performance
Disable Disk Indexing – How to increase hard disk performance.

Troubleshooting

Restoring a Missing Recycle Bin – A fix for this common Windows XP problem
Clearing The Print Queue – How to get rid of a job stuck in the print queue
Checking System Files – How to check none of your critical files are corrupt
Playing DVD’s In Windows Media Player -An answer to this commonly asked question
Force Your System To Use Signed Drivers  – Hardware problems? This may help