Best Windows XP troubleshooting bookmarks.
March 18, 2004 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP users - let's help each other help ourselves! What are your most treasured bookmarks for XP troubleshooting, tips and tricks, etc. Two of mine are inside.

A great page of tips, all spelled out for us, at Andew K.'s Optimize XP, and Black Viper's Notes for a Happier Computer and User for disabling unneeded services. (Full explanation of functions here - DO read. Also check the left sidbar for more XP help, or see here.)

I showed you mine - now show me yours.
posted by taz to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Minimalism: I keep an entirely blank destop (everything but Recycle Bin is removable, and I get rid of that with TweakUI - you can drag it to the start menu first or just get to it from Run). Also, I keep all (or as many as possible) of my own user-created or downloaded files in C:/!/ (named such because it's always first in the listing that way) - C:/!/downloads, C:/!/p2p, C:/!/Current etc. , rather than using My Documents etc., that way I know the entire filesystem except that dir is all program config files and such, and I don't have my own files strewn all over. Also, I rename My Documents, My Network Places and My Computer to doc, net, and dev, for easy typing.
posted by abcde at 12:33 AM on March 19, 2004

An underscore as a prefix to folder names works for me to do the same thing that abcde is talking about (having some folders appear first in a Windows Explorer list), rather than use '!'. I think it looks nicer, as does a nice, clean root dir with as few subs branching off the first level as possible. Each to their own though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:50 AM on March 19, 2004

Defrag with PerfectDisk®.
posted by JohnR at 1:14 AM on March 19, 2004 ?

posted by matteo at 1:17 AM on March 19, 2004

The Windows key! I am surprised by how few people know about it. Most keyboards have one, it looks like the Windows logo. Winkey+E is Explorer, +F is Find, +M is minimize all, +D is Desktop, and lots more!

Oh and matteo: What the *fuck* is wrong with you? If you have nothing helpful to say in askmefi, DONT SAY ANYTHING. Stupid remarks like that don't help anyone and AREN'T FUNNY. Do you really have nothing better to do than make a stupid joke about using Apple instead in a thread about Windows? Haha, I get it. Windows XP tip: switch to Apple. Thats just a fucking thigh-slapper, isn't it!
posted by ac at 3:53 AM on March 19, 2004

Enable XPs firewall
Is the in-built firewall any good? I always assumed that, being part of Windows, it has the same security flaws as the OS itself.

Like stavros, I use an underscore at the start of names to keep folders and files at the top of a list and work tirelessly to keep files and folders out of the root directory (a hangover from DOS days, I think). Not that either of these are XP-specific, but organisation is the key to being able to find things, particularly once you get to the stage where you have thousands of files - once things get disorganised, the job to organise them all at once is too big and you will never do it.

I use a system of directories that have a prefix of a, b, c, etc with a description after the letter, then all file names in that directory start with that letter and a hyphen, followed by the 2-digits for the year it was created and a consecutive number for that year, then a description. All documents get the file name (less description) added to them somewhere such as the footer, so I can always find things. Mostly.
posted by dg at 4:25 AM on March 19, 2004

XP's firewall hosed my networks file sharing, so I switched it off and use ZoneAlarm instead.
posted by signal at 6:09 AM on March 19, 2004

I vote for Kerio instead of ZoneAlarm.

Handy must-have utilities:
- doughnut (max vert/horiz/rollup windows)
- popfile (spam control)
- powerdesk dialog helper
- desktop calendar
- ifranview
- windows media player classic
- foobar mp3 player
- scite text editor
- tweakui
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 AM on March 19, 2004

After many years I switched from ZoneAlarm to Kerio Personal Firewall. A bit more administration at first but overall a better application.
posted by Tacodog at 8:27 AM on March 20, 2004

Have you tried the latest Kerio? I'm using the old one that has the ugly UI and only tracks net traffic. I glanced at the new version, and it seems to also control interprocess (or interapplication, at any rate) traffic, and has a ponderous UI. That has kept me from upgrading.

Which is my longwinded way of asking whether it's worth upgrading.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on March 20, 2004

Running Kerio 4.whatever. The UI was daunting at first, especially since I was used to ZoneAlarm's old interface, but I like the granularity and control Kerio allows. Took some poking around though.
posted by Tacodog at 12:20 PM on March 20, 2004

Back on topic, the Microsoft MVPs provide a useful starting point for almost any Microsoft software problem. MVPs are people who post to newsgroups that Microsoft has anointed with a title. It is not something that you can take a few tests and get. Apropos to your question might be Mark Salloway's XP Resource Center or Kelly (Theriot)'s Korner.
posted by calwatch at 10:29 PM on March 20, 2004

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