Back Up Your Bookmarks During your many Internet journeys, you have probably collected countless bookmarks that can whisk you away to your favorite websites with one click of the mouse. If your bookmarks are erased, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding your way back to some of those sites, so don’t take any chances—bacKup your bookmarks today. Follow these steps: 1. Open Internet Explorer. 2. Click the File drop-down menu. 3. Select Import and Export. 4. The Import/Export Wizard opens. Click the Next button. 5. Select Export Favorites, and then click the Next button. 6. To export all of your bookmark folders, click the Next button.To export only one folder, click its name, and then click Next. 7. Under the Export to a File or Address heading, click the Browse button. 8. A window opens that allows you to choose the location on your computer where your bookmarks will be saved. Click the Save In drop-down menu, and then select a drive or folder. 9. In the box labeled File Name, type a name for your backed-up book- marks, such as My Bookmarks or Exported Bookmarks. 10. Click the Save button. 11. You are returned to the previous window. Click the Next button. 12. Click the Finish button. 13. Use a backup device like a CD or DVD burner to save a copy of your exported bookmarks. Turn Off Error Reporting When Windows XP crashes or hits a snag, it usually displays an error message and asks for permission to report the problem to Microsoft via the Internet.To prevent these messages from bothering you, turn off the error-reporting feature: 1. Right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. 2. Select Properties. 3. A window opens. Click the Advanced tab. 4. Click the Error Reporting button located in the lower-right corner of this window. 5. Select the option to Disable Error Reporting. If you still want to be notified when serious errors occur, then put a checkmark in the But Notify Me When Critical Errors Occur box. If you want to disable all types of error reporting so that you never see any error messages, then remove the checkmark from this box. Stop Highlighting New Software Whenever you install new software, its name will automatically become high lighted in your Start menu’s list of programs.The purpose of doing this is to help you quickly find your new software in case you need to configure it. If find this highlighting to be annoying, you can easily turn it off as follows: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click the Control Panel. ( 3. If the Control Panel is in category view, click the Appearance and Themes category, and then click the Taskbar and Start Menu icon. 4. A window opens. Click the Start Menu tab. 5. Click the Customize button. 6. Another window opens. Click the Advanced tab. 7. Under the Start Menu Settings heading, remove the checkmark from the Highlight Newly Installed Programs box. 8. Click the OK button. 9. You are returned to the previous window. Click the Apply button. 0. Click the OK button. Change the Windows Registration Name If you bought a previously owned computer, there is a good chance that Windows still says it is registered to its former owner.To remove that name and insert your own, you must edit the Windows Registry: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click Run. 3. A window will appear.Type regedit in the blank, and then click the OK button or press the Enter key. 4. The Windows Registry Editor opens. In the left window pane, double- click the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry key. 5. A new column of registry keys appears. Double-click Software. 6. A long column of registry keys will appear. Scroll down until you fi Microsoft, and then double-click it. 7. Another long list of registry keys appears. Scroll down and double- click Windows NT. 8. Click the CurrentVersion registry key. 9. In the right window pane, double-click the RegisteredOwner regist value 10. A window opens. Under the Value Data heading is the name of the previous owner. Delete it, and then type your name in the blank. 11. Click the OK button. 12. Above RegisteredOwner, double-click the registry value named RegisteredOrganization 13. Under the Value Data heading is the name of the previous owner’s employer or organization. Delete it, and then type the name of your organization (or you can just leave it blank if you want). 14. Click the OK button. 15. Exit the Registry Editor by clicking the X button in the upper-right corner. Edit a Song’s Tag An ID3 tag is a list attached to a digital song that displays the singer’s name, the title of the song and the album, and more.A great feature of Windows XP is its native support for tags, which enables you to edit them without using additional software. Here’s how: 1. Locate a digital song you want to edit, such as an MP3 or WMA. 2. Right-click it and select Properties. 3. A window opens. Click the Summary tab. 4. If the center of the window displays four categories named Music, Description, Origin, and Audio, proceed to Step 5. If these categories are not available, then make them appear by clicking the Advanced button located on the right side of the window.On top of the four categories are Property and Value columns. Underthe Property column are Artist,Album Title,Year, and so forth 5. Underneath the Value column, there are numerous blank spaces.To fill in these blanks with information that identifies the name of the musician, the title of the album, the year the album was made, and so forth, simply click one of the blanks and type the relevant data. 6. When you finish editing the tag, click the Apply button. 7. Exit the tag by clicking the OK button. Adjust Virtual Memory When Windows is under a heavy strain, it sometimes needs more system memory (RAM) than your computer currently has. In that case, it seeks help from a Digital warehouse called Virtual Memory. No matter how little or how much RAM your computer has, you can adjust the settings of your Virtual Memory to ensure optimal performance. Here’s how: 1. Right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. If this icon is not available, click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows and right-click My Computer. 2. Select Properties. 3. A window opens. Under the General tab, look for Computer. Beneath it, you should see the name of your CPU as well as your total amount of system RAM. Remember this number. 4. In the same window, click the Advanced tab. 5. Under the Performance heading, click the Settings button. 6. Another window opens. Click the Advanced tab. 7. Under the Virtual Memory heading, click the Change button. 8. A new window opens. Click the Custom Size button. 9. In the Initial Size (MB) and Maximum Size (MB)boxes, type a num- ber based on the following formula: • If your computer has 128 MB of RAM, use 256 as the Initial Size and 512 as the Maximum Size. • If your computer has 256 MB of RAM, use 384 as the Initial Size and 768 as the Maximum Size. • If your computer has 512 MB of RAM, use 768 as the Initial Size and 1536 as the Maximum Size. 10. When you are finished adjusting the virtual memory, make your changes take hold by clicking the Set button. 11. Click the OK button. 12. You are returned to the previous window. Click the OK button. Disable Unneeded Services Another way to reduce the strain on an aging computer is to disable some non-essential Windows services. Follow these steps: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click the Control Panel. (If you don’t see this option, your Start menu is in classic mode. In that case, click Settings, and then select the Control Panel.) 3. If the Control Panel is in category view, click the Performance and Maintenance category, and then click the Administrative Tools icon. If the Control Panel is in classic view, simply double-click the Administrative Tools icon. 4. Double-click the Services icon. 5. A window opens. Using the scroll bar, scroll down until you see Alerter, and then double-click it. 6. Another window opens. Click the Startup Type drop-down menu, and then select Disabled 7. Click the Apply button. 8. Click the OK button. 9. Return to the Services window and repeat the previous steps to dis- able the following services: • IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service:This service controls the basic, no-frills CD-burning program built into Windows XP. If you currently use a separate CD-burning program like Nero Burning ROM, Easy Media Creator, or NTI CD-Maker, then you can disable the IMAPI service. Doing so should not affect your burning program, and might even make it faster. However, if problems arise, then simply return to this window and re-enable IMAPI. • Indexing Service • MS Software Shadow Copy Provider: If you have the Professional Edition of Windows XP and want to use its internal Backup program, then do not disable this service. Otherwise, this service is unnecessary. • Volume Shadow Copy: If you have the Professional Edition of Windows XP and want to use its internal backup program, then do not disable this service. Otherwise, this service is unnecessary. Start Windows Faster One of the best ways to help your computer start more quickly is to reduce the number of programs that are loaded while Windows is “waking up.”To tweak the startup, you must use a utility called msconfig, as follows: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click Run. 3. A window opens.Type msconfig in the blank, and then click the OK button or press the Enter key. 4. The System Configuration Utility window opens. Click the Startup tab on the far right. 5. In the Startup Item column on the left is a list of programs with checkmarks next to them.A checkmark indicates that the program is scheduled to launch each time Windows starts.To prevent a program from loading at startup, remove the checkmark from its box. Here are guidelines about which programs to allow or to disable: • Disable non-essential multimedia programs like qttask (which is part of the QuickTime software), realsched (which is part of the RealPlayer software), or Adobe Reader. • Allow common processes for Windows and Microsoft Office. • Allow programs related to your antivirus software, antispyware software, or firewall. For example, if you use the ZoneAlarm fire- wall and Spy Sweeper antispyware program, then you should allow the startup programs named zlclient and SpySweeper. • Allow programs related to your printer. For example, if you have an Epson printer, then allow the startup program named Epson Status Monitor. 6. If you are uncertain about whether or not to disable a particular program, do the following: a. Write the program’s name on a piece of paper. b. Connect to the Internet. c. In your Web browser, type http://www.processlibrary.com to visit the Process Library. d. Near the top of this website’s main page is a Search for a Process search box.Type the name of your program into this box, and then click the Search Now button. You are taken to a Web page that explains what your program is used for and whether or not it is essential to your computer’s performance. 7. When you have finished tweaking the System Configuration Utility, click the Apply button. 8. Click the OK button. 9. A message alerts you that you must restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Click the Restart button.Your computer auto- matically shuts down and reboots. 10. When you return to Windows, a message alerts you that you have just used the System Configuration Utility to change the way Windows starts. Put a checkmark in the box labeled “Don’t show this message or launch the system configuration utility when Windows starts.” 11. Click the OK button. Windows Shortcuts Alt + E -- Opens the Edit menu Alt + Enter -- Opens the Properties window Alt + F --- Opens the File menu Alt + F4 -- Closes the current program Alt + Print -- Screen Takes a screen shot of the current window or program Alt + Tab -- Switches between the programs currently in use CTRL+TAB -- SWITCHES BETWEEN TAB IN DIALOG BOX,I.E 7 Ctrl + A -- Selects all text Ctrl + C -- Copies the selected object Ctrl + End -- Jumps to the end of the current document Ctrl + Esc -- Opens the Start menu Ctrl + F4 -- Closes the current program Ctrl + Home -- Jumps to the beginning of the current document Ctrl + Insert -- Copies the selected object Ctrl + left arrow -- Moves to the left one word Ctrl + right arrow -- Moves to the right one word Ctrl + V -- Pastes the selected object Ctrl + X -- Cuts the selected object Ctrl + the “+”key -- Perfectly resizes the width of Explorer columns End -- Jumps to the end of the current line F1 -- Opens the Help menu F2 -- Renames the selected icon F3 -- Launches the Search Companion in a folder or on the desktop F4 -- Accesses the Address Bar in a folder or window F5 -- Refreshes the contents of a folder or window Home -- Jumps to the beginning of the current line Shift + Delete -- Permanently deletes files (bypasses the Recycle Bin) Shift + End -- Highlights text from the current position to the end of the line Shift + F10 -- Substitutes for a right-click Shift + Home -- Highlights text from the current position to the beginning of the line Shift + Insert -- Pastes the selected object Shift while inserting -- Prevents the CD player from playing an audio CD Shortcuts for Keyboards with a “Windows”Key (Resembling a Flag) Windows Key + E -- Opens Windows Explorer Windows Key + F -- Launches the Windows Search Companion Windows Key + F1 -- Opens the Help and Support Center Windows Key + L -- Locks down Windows Windows Key + M -- Minimizes all windows and shows the desktop Windows Key + M + Shift -- Undoes the minimize Windows Key + Opens -- the System Properties window Pause/Break key Windows Key + R -- Opens the Run window Windows Key + U -- Launches the Utility Manager WINDOWS KEY+U -- MINIMIZES ALL WINDOWS AND GOES TO DESKTOP Internet Explorer Shortcuts Alt + left -- arrow Returns to the previous Web page Alt + right arrow -- Moves forward one Web page Ctrl + N -- Opens a new browser window Ctrl + P -- Prints the current Web page Ctrl + Enter -- Fills in a Web address.For example,if you type THINKDIGIT in the address bar then press Ctrl + Enter , you will get http://www.THINKDIGIT.com Esc -- Halts the current Web page from loading F5 -- Refreshes the current Web page F11 -- Displays a Web page in full-screen mode.To exit this mode,press F11 again. Spacebar -- Moves down one Web page at a time Spacebar + Shift -- Moves up one Web page at a time Edit the Send To Menu Windows XP has a time-saving technique that enables you to right-click a file, select Send To, By default , Windows XP only has a few pro-grams listed in the Send To menu, but you can easily add more and customize this menu to your liking. Follow these steps: 1. Locate a folder or program you frequently use, and then create a desktop shortcut to it. 2. Right-click the shortcut you just created, and then select Cut. 3. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop. 4. A window opens. Double-click the icon for your C: drive (unless you installed Windows in a different location, in which case you would double-click that drive letter). 5. Double-click the Documents and Settings folder. 6. Double-click the folder containing the name of your Windows account. For example, if your account is named CLMLBX , then double- click the CLMLBX folder. 7. Inside your Windows account folder, click the Tools drop-down menu. 8. Select Folder Options. 9. A window opens. Click the View tab. 10. Under the Advanced Settings heading, scroll down and click the Show Hidden Files and Folders button. 11. Click the Apply button. 12. Click the OK button. 13. Back inside your Windows account folder, several hidden folders appear. Double-click the SendTo folder. 14. Inside the SendTo folder, right-click in the empty space and select Paste.Your new desktop shortcut appears. 15. If necessary, repeat this process to paste more shortcuts in the SendTo folder. 16. Click the Tools drop-down menu. 17. Select Folder Options. 18. A window opens. Click the View tab. 19. Under the Advanced Settings heading, scroll down and click the Do Not Show Hidden Files and Folders button. 20. Click the Apply button. 21. Click the OK button. 22. Exit the SendTo folder by clicking the X button in the upper-right corner. 23. From now on, whenever you right-click a file or folder and select Send To, you will have the option to send a copy of it to one of the loca- tions you added. Rename Several Files at Once If you want to give new names to a group of files that share a common theme such as a collection of digital photos taken during a vacation—you can save yourself time and finger cramps by renaming them all at once (known as a “batch rename”). Follow these steps: Note A batch rename can be done in only one folder at a time. Also, be careful not to accdentally rename any critical system files. Doing so could cause Windows to maLfunction. 1. Select the files you want to rename using one of the following methods: • Simultaneously press the Ctrl key and the CTRL+A key to select all of the files in a folder. • Click the first item in a list, and then hold down the Shift key and click the last item in the list.This causes the first and last items and any between them to be highlighted. • Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking each individual item you want to select. 2. Right-click the file you want to go first in the newly renamed series. 3. Select Rename. 4. Type a name for the first file in the series, and then press the Enter key. 5. All of your selected files are given this new name, followed by a num- ber that distinguishes them from one another. For example, if you renamed the first file PICNIC, then the rest of the files would be named PICNI 1, PICNIC 2, PICNIC 3, and so on. 6. If you are unhappy with the new names, you can restore the original ones by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl and Z keys on your key- board. Each time you use this keyboard shortcut, only one file reverts to its original name.That means you must use this shortcut numerous times to restore all of the names. Manually Update Windows XP To protect your computer from sinister digital threats like viruses, worms, spyware, and hackers, you must keep Window updated with the most recent security patches and service packs. If you have not enabled the automatic-update feature oF Windows XP, then you will have to download the patches Manually. Follow these steps: 1. Connect to the Internet. 2. Open Internet Explorer. 3. In the address box, type: http://windowsupdate .microsoft.com (but do not type www in this Web address). 4. After arriving at the Windows Update website, you might be asked to install a small program that will help the site “talk” to your computer. Depending on your version of Windows, click the Yes button or click the Install button.When this process is finished, the main page of the Windows Update site appears. 5. Depending on your version of Windows, click the Express button or the Express Install button 6. The Windows Update website scans your computer to determine which security patches are missing.When the scan is finished, follow the on-screen instructions to download and automatically install the updates. It is recommended that you begin by downloading the service packs, which are critical collections of various patches and fixes. Note Not all security patches, updates, or service packs can be downloaded at the same time. You may need to return to the Windows Update website several times to retrieve all of them. 7. Once the updates are installed, it is likely that you are asked to restart your computer. 8. After your computer reboots, return to the Windows Update website as many times as necessary until all possible security patches and serv- ice packs are downloaded and installed. Disable the List of Recent Documents Even if you followed the steps to hide the Recent Documents list,Windows XP continues to monitor the files you open or use and stores this information in the background just in case you need it.If you want to prevent Windows from keeping track of your recent documents,you must edit the Windows Registry,as follows: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click Run. 3. A window opens.Type regedit in the blank, and then click the OK button or press the Enter key. 4. The Windows Registry Editor opens. In the left window pane, double- click the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key. 5. A new column of registry keys appears. Double-click Software. 6. Another list of registry keys appears. Scroll down and double-click Microsoft. 7. A long column of registry keys appears. Scroll down and double-click Windows. 8. Double-click the CurrentVersion registry key. 9. A new column of registry keys appears. Scroll down and double-click Policies. 10. Click the Explorer registry key 11. Click the Edit drop-down menu located in the upper-left corner of the Windows Registry Editor. 12. Select New. 13. Select DWORD Value. 14. In the right window pane, a new registry value appears. Rename it NoRecentDocsHistory 15. Double-click new NoRecentDocsHistory value to open it. 16. Type the number 1 under the Value Data heading. 17. Click the OK button. 18. Exit the Registry Editor by clicking the X button in the upper-right corner. 19. If you want to undo this fix and restore the list of recent documents, do the following: a. Open the Windows Registry Editor and return to the NoRecentDocsHistory registry value you created. b. Double-click this registry value to open it. c. Under the Value Data heading labeled, delete the number 1. Type the number 0 in its place. Hide the List of Recent Documents Each time you open a document or file,Windows creates a shortcut to it that is placed in a list called Recent Documents.The purpose of this list is to give you a simple way to access your recently viewed documents without having to waste time searching for them. However, there is a downside: anyone who uses your computer—or hacks into it—can view this list to find out what documents you recently opened.To enhance your privacy and security, you can hide the Recent Documents list. Follow these steps: 1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of Windows. 2. Click the Control Panel. 3. If the Control Panel is in category view, click the Appearance and Themes category, and then click the Taskbar and Start Menu icon. If the Control Panel is in classic view, simply double-click the Taskbar and Start Menu icon. 4. A window opens. Click the Start Menu tab. 5. Click the Customize button. 6. Another window opens. Click the Advanced tab. 7. Remove the checkmark from the List My Most Recently Opened Documents box. 8. Click the Clear List button. 9. Click the OK button. 10. You are returned to the previous window. Click the Apply button. 11. Click the OK button.