“With Vista at least seven months away, we’ll all be using Windows XP for some time to come. So why not make the most of it? Here’s our all-time favorite Win XP hacks, tips, tricks, and fixes.”
An interesting list, with my favorites being 1, 2, and 5. (with apologies to Monty Python)
- Tip 10: Halt background services to improve performance.
- Tip 9: Increase available disk space by scaling back System Restore.
- Tip 8: Scrub your hard drive clean.
- Tip 7: Run two displays on the same PC.
- Tip 6: Force unresponsive applications to close at shutdown.
- Tip 5: Automatically optimize your hard drive.
- Tip 4: Set a custom resolution.
- Tip 3: Stay on top of registry changes.
- Tip 2: Recover lost data.
- Tip 1: Automatically log when and why shutdowns have occurred.
- Bonus tips!
Don’t miss TweakUI, which I’m surprised did not make it into the Top Ten list (but is in the bonus tips)…
Download TweakUI. Microsoft’s downloadable suite of PowerToys includes one of our favorite utilities: TweakUI. This handy app gives you a plethora of ways to customize Windows XP, including changing the location of the My Music and My Documents folders, adjusting Windows’ appearance, altering the contents of the Start Menu, and more. It’s at least 10 tips in one!
My favorite part of the article recalls The Robot’s dialogue from “Lost in Space,” with the heading “Danger, Danger!” A little dramatic, but it calls attention that many items do involve modifications to the Windows Registry.
“Before you jump into the story, a word to the wise: Some of the tips discussed here involve hacking Win XP’s powerful registry. Before you make any registry changes, make sure you back up your existing registry; that way, you’ll be able to restore it in case something gets fouled up.
“Backing up your registry is easy. Simply open RegEdit (click Start > Run, type regedit and click OK), then select File > Export from the main menu. You can export a copy of your registry to any folder on any hard drive in your system. Exporting a copy to the desktop is usually easiest.”