By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Nov - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Nov - 2006
Whenever I click on a folder in the Start menu, it seems to take ages to open. Is there any way I can speed things up a bit?
Madhav Kumar
Yes, you can easily alter the speed at which these menus appear, and there are a couple of ways to go about it. Go to Start > Run, type in "regedit" in the dialog box and click OK. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl_Panel Desktop. In the right-hand pane, you should see a key called MenuShowDelay with a (default) value of 400. This is the  number of milliseconds that elapse before Windows shows you a menu. Double-click on this entry and enter a lower value to speed things up. Alternatively, download TweakUI from www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx.

Adjust menu speed in TweakUI

This is a great tool that allows you to safely perform a number of tweaks without opening the Registry Editor. In the Mouse section of the program, you can adjust the "Menu speed" slider as required.

A Larger Clipboard?

I am using Windows 98, and I frequently copy and paste text and images from one document to other. The clipboard that's built into Windows is limited to holding one piece of text or one image at a time. So I have to constantly flick back and forth between files if I have to copy a number of items. Is there any way to increase the amount of information the clipboard can hold?
Senthil Venkataraman

Windows 98 comes with a host of secret tools hidden on the installation CD-one of these tools is a handy little program called ClipTray, which greatly extends the capabilities of the clipboard. Install the Windows 98 Resource Kit from the Toolsreskit folder of the Windows CD. Once this is installed, go to Start > Programs > Windows 98 Resource Kit > Tools Management Console. From here, you can launch ClipTray in the Desktop Tools section. Double-click on the new System Tray icon to add entries to the ClipTray list. Enter a title for your clipboard item and paste in the text you want and click in Add. When you have added a few entries, right-click on the System Tray icon and select which clipboard item you would like to paste.

Function-Key Frustration

I often need to boot my Windows XP computer into Safe Mode to fix problems-most of them created by me. The problem is only a minor niggle, that is, I find getting into the Safe Mode by pressing [F8] a bit frustrating, especially when I do not press the key at the right time and miss the train. Is there any way I can create a Desktop shortcut that shuts down my computer and restarts it in Safe Mode?
Vinit Prabhu

There is no way to create a Desktop shortcut that restarts Windows in Safe Mode. But there is an alternative, which we think is worth mentioning and which you may find useful. If you have more than one operating system installed, you're presented with a boot menu that asks you which version of Windows you'd like to load. You can set up this feature to be able to choose whether you want to boot into Normal Mode or Safe Mode.

Right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click the Advanced tab and then the Settings button under "Startup and Recovery". Click the Edit button towards the top of the dialog box, and Notepad should open a file called boot.ini. Under the "[operating system]" line, you will see a line "multi(0)disk(0)…". Copy this line and paste it on to the line below. Go to the end of this newly-added line and add a space, then /safeboot:minimal /sos /booting. Change the words inside the quotes to "Windows XP Safe Mode". Close Notepad and save the file. When you restart Windows, you will see a menu asking you if you want to start Windows normally or if you want to use Safe Mode. The menu will automatically select normal Windows in 30 seconds.

Pop-Up Begone!
I have two 250 GB hard drives installed. Recently, I moved my Windows XP swap file to the second drive. I configured it to use all available free space thinking that I may never have to worry about running short of memory again. Everything is running smoothly, as I'd expected, apart from the nagging pop-up warning me that I am running out of free space on this drive. Since I have intentionally set this, I wish to get rid of this pop-up.
Ganesh Menon

Windows XP balloon messages are generally a useful way to keep track of hard drive usage and this works well with most people. But there is always the odd occasion when they are an unwanted distraction. You can disable this warning completely by editing the Registry. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWARE MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer. Right-click in the right pane and then select New > DWORD value. Type in "NoLowDiskSpaceCheck" and press [Enter]. Double-click on this newly created value and set its Value data to 1. Click OK and close the Registry Editor, and restart Windows. You will no longer be bothered by the low disk space warning again.

Your mail implies a very large swap file-this is overkill. Your PC isn't going to need such a large swap file, and in its efforts to seek through it, you might actually experience performance lags. Our recommendation: set your swap file to be system-managed, and use the remaining disk space for something else-like ripping your CD collection to uncompressed audio formats.

Plugin Pain
My problem is that Adobe Reader takes a very long time to start up. Is there a way to speed it up?
Ali Asgar

Adobe Reader can be a snail when it comes to starting up, because, in addition to loading the main program, it is also busy loading a ton of plugins that you may or may not need. And just for this, there is a program that lets you decide which plugins to load. This freeware program is Acrobat Reader Speed-Up, and can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/symjd. Simply download and run the program and select only those plugins you deem necessary. Leave the selection of plugins to default and click OK. The next time you load Reader, you'll notice it starts up much faster.

Adobe Reader Speed-Up

Alternatively, you could try Foxit PDF reader-it's fast and light on system resources, looks quite similar to Reader, and loads PDFs fast. You can find it on all Digit CDs.

Beyond Word
We are a group of college students. We want to start a small newsletter type of publication for our college. I feel MS Word is inadequate as a page layout software. Could you recommend a better software that is also easy to use? I don't mind paying.
Niranjan Joshi

If you are still looking for a dedicated program with which to create your newsletter, PagePlus is a good program available from www.serif.com. You can also visit www.freeserifsoftware.com where you can find and download several older versions of Serif programs free of charge. One of these free programs is PagePlus 5, which should definitely meet your requirements. You can design your page layouts from scratch or use one of the inbuilt templates to get started quickly. You can even try Microsoft Publisher, which will meet your needs if you don't have large volumes of content.
Himem Harassment
I use Windows 98, and have been getting the following error message:
"The following file is missing or corrupted: C:WINDOWSHIMEM.SYS
HIMEM.SYS is missing
Make sure that the file is in your Windows directory.
Windows has stopped. Press CTRL ALT DELETE to restart your computer."
I am now unable to boot into Windows.
Pravin Dabhade

To correct this problem, you'll have to extract a new copy of Himem.sys from your Windows 98 CD. Boot from the Windows 98 CD or from the Windows 98 startup disk: insert the Windows 98 CD into the CD/DVD drive. Type in the following commands:
F: (assuming F is the letter of your CD/DVD drive)
extract /a /y /e /l c:windows base4.cab himem.sys
Here, we've assumed that C:Windows is the location where Windows 98 is installed. After the file has been extracted, restart your computer.

A Vanishing Act
I like to keep shortcuts on my Desktop to the Web sites I visit frequently. Some sites have their own logos, such as MSN's butterfly, which makes it easy to identify them. But these icons periodically disappear, and are replaced with a standard Internet Explorer icon. How do I keep this from happening?
Sharad Mathur

Web site designers can add a site-specific icon in two ways. One way is simple: They just include a file named favicon.ico in the root folder of the site. The other involves using a script and is less common. When you add a Favorite or create a URL shortcut, the special icon gets copied into your Temporary Internet Files folder (the browser cache). If you clear the cache, the icon will be lost. Even if you don't, sooner or later it will be pushed out of the cache by newer content. As long as the site uses the simple favicon.ico technique, you can prevent this disappearing act.

Save the icon of your favourite web site

Open Internet Explorer, click the Address bar, and type the site's domain name followed by a slash and favicon.ico-for example, www.thinkdigit.com/favicon.ico. Your browser should now display the desired icon. Right-click the icon and choose Save Picture As to save a copy of the icon on your own computer. Next, right-click the URL shortcut or Favorite and choose Properties. Click the Change Icon button, click the Browse button, and select your saved icon. This one won't disappear on you!

Friendly Transfer Please
I have Windows XP and a broadband connection. I have a registered Web site where I wish to upload files so my friends can access them. I have tried various FTP programs, but have found them really confusing. Is there any easy way to upload to Web sites?
Malkit Singh

Windows XP supports FTP, so you can connect to your Webspace as you would any to folder on your hard drive.
Make sure you have your FTP address at hand along with your username and password before clicking on Start > My Network Places. When the window opens, click "Add A Network Place", then click Next. You can work your way through the Wizard, entering your FTP address and username. When you double-click the new icon that gets created, you will be connected to your Webspace and be prompted for your password.

You can cut out many of the steps of the Wizard by entering the following information when asked to enter the Internet or Network Address: ftp://username:password@ftpaddress. Here, replace "username", "password", and "ftpaddress" with your actual login information, and a new shortcut will be created for you in one step.

CoffeeCup Free FTP (http://www.coffeecup. com/free-ftp/), Free FTP (http://www.brandyware.com/free.htm), and Core FTP Lite (http://www.coreftp.com/) are some free FTP tools you may wish to try.
SP2: Service Pack Or Space Pincher?

After I installed XP's Service Pack 2, I found that I've lost a substantial amount of disk space. I don't think SP2 requires that much disk space. How can I reclaim at least some of it?
Mohit Sharma

You're right-Windows XP SP2 does not require all that much space on its own, but it does leave behind a lot of files that you really don't need.
The first, usual culprit is a very large Restore Point in case the System Restore feature is active on your installation of Windows XP. You can remove all but the most recent Restore Point quite easily. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Select Drive C and click OK. Then click on the More Options tab. Next, click on the Clean Up button at the bottom and click Yes when asked if you want to delete all but the most recent Restore Point.
You can also remove the uninstallation information for SP2. This, too, is quite simple. All you need to do is delete the NTServicePackUninstall folder, which you will find in C:Windows. If you can't find the folder, select Folder Options from the Windows Tools menu, and when the dialog box appears, click on the View tab. Select the option to "Show hidden files and folders", and the folder should become visible.
You could also find that you have a large folder called C:WindowsSoftware DistributionDownload, which, too, can be deleted.

On The Right Side Of The Law
I am building a PC for myself for the first time and have a copy of Windows XP that came with a laptop that I bought last year. Is it legal to install this version on my new PC with the same CD key as my laptop? Also, can I make a recovery CD for my home-built computer like the CDs you get when you buy certain branded computer systems?
Nikhil Vaidya

The copy of Windows XP that came with your laptop is only for use with that laptop. According to the EULA, you are legally entitled to install Windows XP if you completely remove it from the laptop and then install it on another computer, but using it on two machines is a scrict no-no. The only solution for you is to purchase a second copy of XP.
A recovery CD restores a PC to its factory-fresh state. This won't take into account any programs you have installed in addition to Windows. A better solution is to use a program such as Acronis TrueImage from www.acronis. com, or PowerQuest Drive Image from www.powerquest. com. These programs make a complete copy or image of your hard drive, which you can store on one or more CDs. You can re-apply this image to your PC to restore it to a fully-working state following a crash. What's more, the image can even be updated to take account of any new programs you have installed.

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