Microsoft Monday

XP Tips and Tricks Many of our Microsoft Monday posts over the last several months have focused on Windows Vista — after all, it is the latest operating system from Microsoft. While it’s the “latest and greatest” as they say, we know many of you still use and prefer Windows XP. Today we thought we’d spend some time going over a few Windows XP tips. Some of the tips you may be well familiar with while others will be completely new to you. This will be the first in a two part series, so stay tuned for the 2nd edition.

Many of these tricks use the Windows Registry Editor, which you can start by pressing WinKey+R and type regedit into the box.

Note: Some of these tips may work in Vista, but we have not tested them in Vista.

–Rename the Recycle Bin–

Want to rename the Recycle Bin? Here’s what you gotta do:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ CLSID\ {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
  2. Double-click on (Default), and change the name of the Recycle Bin. Close the Registry, and press F5 on the desktop to refresh the icon.

–Network Sharing–

When you’re looking at files on a network drive you might have noticed that it can take a rather long time (up to 30 seconds). What happens is XP checks to see if the other PC has any scheduled tasks. You can disable that by:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace.
  2. Delete the {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} key. Close the Registry.
  3. While you’re there you can also delete the {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} key if you don’t use printer sharing.
  4. Reboot your computer.

–Excessive Printing–

This probably isn’t for home users, but for all the people out there that do a lot or printing this is something you should consider doing. By tweaking this Registry setting the printing process will have a higher priority. Here’s the details:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHING\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print.
  2. Create a new DWORD called SpoolerPriority, and give it a value of 1.
  3. Reboot your computer.

–Disable Last Access Time Stamp–

This small little tweak is a great one, because it disables a feature that most people never even use. By default Windows always keeps track of the “Last Accessed” date in the file or folder’s properties. If you’re constantly opening and closing files you’re causing some additional work for Windows since it has to update the last accessed date each time. If you never use that property feel free to disable it:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ FileSystem.
  2. Create a new DWORD called NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate, and give it a value of 1.
  3. Reboot your computer.

–Remove Text from Icons–

I would have to put this trick up near the top of my favorites list. With it you can prevent the text from appearing below icons on the desktop. If you’re looking to clean up your desktop a bit this could be the perfect way:

  1. Right-click on an icon, and choose the Rename option. Delete all of the text.
  2. Hold down the Alt key and type 0160 (note: you shouldn’t see any text being typed). That will essentially make a space character the file name. Press Enter to save the results.
  3. You can repeat this for several icons, but there is one catch. You probably know that you can’t have multiple icons in the same folder (or on the desktop) with the same name. To get around that for a second shortcut you can do Alt+0160 + Alt+0160. That will essentially create two spaces for the filename, and for a third shortcut you could do Alt+0160 + Alt+0160 + Alt+0160. As you can see this would get tedious rather quickly, but for a handful of shortcuts it is pretty nice.