At any time, with Windows XP, you can add users to, or remove users. Open the Control Panel
-- select Start, Control Panel -- and from the Category or Classic
View, select User Accounts. Assuming you want to add a new user, click 'Create
a new account.' Type a name for the account, click Next, choose an
account type, then click Create Account.
To remove a user account, click the account under 'Pick an account to
change.' Select 'Delete the account,' then choose whether you want to
save that user's My Documents files and desktop settings. Click Delete
Account to complete the removal.
Remember only the Administrator can add/remove users.
Picture for User
October 30, 2001
Don't like the picture that appears next to your user name on the Welcome
screen? Open the Control Panel -- select Start, Control Panel --
and from the Category or Classic View, select User Accounts. Click
your User Account, then select 'Change my picture.' Select a picture and
click Change Picture.
Of course, you can use any picture on your system. Click 'Browse for more
pictures,' navigate your way to the picture you want to use, select it and
When you first install Windows XP the system will create an account name
Administrator. As the name implies this account has full administrator rights.
If a user has administrator rights they have pretty much total control of the
OS. One of the privileges of Administrator is the ability to add/remove user
accounts. note: The password that you created during setup is for the
Windows XP will give the first user account that is created by the
Administrator the same rights as Administrator. Not only is this first created
account given Administrator rights but when you reboot the system you will no
longer see the Administrator. Instead you will see the new user accounts you
created while Administrator. So who is the administrator? That first new user
account you created is the administrator.
So be careful who sets up the OS. They will have control of the OS. Remember
those who have administrator rights can add/remove users.
note: The Administrator account is still there but it has been hidden
by the system.
Windows: Clean Install
October 25, 2001
If and when you decide to upgrade your Windows operating system, there is
another option of which you should be aware. Normally when you're upgrading, you
probably just insert the new CD and run it. Windows will then change files,
alter the registry and make many other changes. This is all well and good, but
if you have a PC that has been acting flaky, the last thing you need is an
upgrade to the next Windows OS, which will result in even flakier problems.
In this last instance, I always recommend what is known as a Clean or Virgin
Installation. This entails completely removing everything from your hard drives,
installing the new version of Windows, and then reinstalling applications within
the new OS. (Note: This procedure is not for the inexperienced or novice user.
If you are uncomfortable with this, consult a professional.)
To perform a Clean install, you MUST back up everything. First, create an
Emergency Boot floppy disk. After ! you do so, boot from the floppy disk. Make
sure you can access and read your CD or DVD drive with the new Windows version.
At the DOS prompt (it looks like this C>), type Format C: /u. The /u
means "unconditional" and removes everything. This procedure will
completely erase your hard drive. After formatting is complete (this may take a
while depending upon the size of your hard drive), install the new Windows OS.
When done, reinstall all of your applications and copy all data files to
wherever you want them.
Remember, this procedure is not quick, simple, or for the faint of heart. If
you have doubts, don't do it! Have a professional do it for you.
October 24, 2001
Windows Update From The Web Want to have the latest and greatest from Microsoft?
Then close down all of your applications, connect to the Internet and go to windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
From there, Explorer will receive a file that will compare what Microsoft has
out there as the latest, and what you have on your PC. Then it will inform you
of what you can download. If any of the downloads are labeled Critical,
download those first.
You may be required to reboot your PC, so before doing updates, save your
October 23, 2001
What is the difference between Upgrade and Update? Upgrade is taking your
current software and replacing it with a newer release of the software. Updating
is simply keeping your current software up to date with the latest changes.
The most significant difference between the two is cost. Many times, updating
software is free. Simply download the latest patches, and you're ready to go.
Upgrading may be expensive, but doing so allows you to have the most up-to-date
features and abilities that the software has to offer.
So how do you choose whether to update or upgrade your software? Ask yourself
the following questions: 1) Does my current software do everything I need it to
do? 2) Does my current software do everything I want it to do? 3) Will all my
current applications and utilities work with the Upgrade? 4) Is the total cost
worth the increase in features? (Upgrade, Time, Application updates, etc.) 5)
Would I really use the new features?
If you answered "No" to a majority of the questions, then consider
updating your current software. Otherwise, it may be time to upgrade. And
whether you're upgrading and/or updating, consider the possibility of downtime,
technical difficulties, and compatibility issues.
October 22, 2001
While word processing programs have their own procedures for accessing special
characters, in Windows 98 you can retrieve characters for use in any program by
using the Character Map utility. This little program allows you to copy
characters to the clipboard for insertion into any document. Access the Character
Map by going to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Character Map.
You can browse the various fonts using the drop-down menu at the top of the
dialog box. When you find a character you want to copy, select it with the
mouse, then click the Select button and the Copy button to copy it
to the clipboard. (You can even select a sequence of characters, if you like,
before you click Copy.) Then click Close, return to the program
you were working in previously, and press Ctrl-V to paste the character
(or sequence of characters) into your work.
October 12, 2001
Empirical evidence confirms that many computer-related, repetitive-stress
disorders come from using the mouse. Having to reach your arm to a mouse pad
that might not be positioned properly can cause aching in your arm, elbow,
shoulder, and wrist (we're speaking from experience here). If you're in a
position where you're using the computer all the time, it makes sense to
distribute the wear-and-tear of the mouse to both arms. Using your left hand to
work with the mouse can be tough at first, but with a little practice it becomes
just as natural as using your right hand.
To help you out, Windows 98 comes with a feature for changing the buttons on
your mouse, allowing you to replicate the feel of the right-handed mouse. To
switch buttons on your mouse to a left-handed configuration, go to Start,
Settings, Control Panel and double-click the Mouse icon. On the Buttons
tab, choose the Left-handed setting under Button Configuration.
(With a Microsoft IntelliPoint driver, you would click the Basics tab and
choose Right Or Upper in the Button Selection section.) Click OK
and start practicing.
Printer Twice For Special Settings
October 11, 2001
If you routinely print two kinds of documents, each requiring its own printer
settings, you've probably found it cumbersome to have to re-enter all the
printer properties every time you change documents. You might find it easier to
actually install the same printer twice, but with different names and settings.
This way, you can simply select the "printer" (actually the group of
print settings) that you like the next time you execute your print job.
To install the printer with new print settings, go to Start, Settings,
Printers and click the Add Printer icon. Install the printer as you
would normally, inserting the driver disk if you have it. When you come to the
screen where you name your printer, name it something that differentiates it
from your default printer and lets you know what the printer settings are. When
you finish, right-click on your new printer and select Properties. Enter
the print settings for your new printer icon and click OK. Now, when you
want to print using the new print settings, you can just select the name from
your program's Print dialog box.
October 10, 2001
Though most people are fine with the standard time format that comes installed
with Windows 98, others prefer another. You can change your time format at any
time by going to Start, Settings, Control Panel and double-clicking the Regional
Settings icon. Click the Time tab, and then select a Time Style
from the drop-down menu.
October 9, 2001
The standard Windows desktop icons are fine, but they may not be just right for
the kind of desktop you have in mind. Remember that you can choose from a
handful of alternative icons for your My Computer, Network Neighborhood,
Recycle Bin, and My Documents folders. Just right-click on your
desktop and select Properties. Click Effects and choose the icon
you wish to modify from the box at the top. Click the Change Icon tab and
select a new icon from the list (browse to the folder containing the icon files,
if necessary), then click OK twice.
Your Internet Connection
October 8, 2001
If you've ever wanted a visual representation of the quality of your Internet
connection, you can use the System Monitor in Windows 98 to take a look.
Open the System Monitor by going to Start, Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, System Monitor. As you can see, the System Monitor is a
graph that displays information of your choosing. To display information about
your Dial-up connection, go to Edit, Add Item and click Dial-up
Adaptor (you'll need to connect to the Internet first.) Choose which kind of
information you wish to display in the right box and then click OK. System
Monitor begins tracking the information you've selected.
Quick View For Specific File Types
October 5, 2001
With many types of files, you're given an option called Quick View
when you right-click the item. Quick View allows you to get a quick look
at something without having to open the potentially cumbersome application
associated with it. If you wish to be given the Quick View option for a
specific kind of file, you need to designate it as such in the File Types
box. In any folder, go to View, Folder Options and click the File
Types tab. Select the kind of file you want to use Quick View for,
and click Edit. Check the Enable Quick View For box, and then
click OK twice.
System In Safe Mode
October 4, 2001
If your computer is giving you trouble, and you need to restart
it and run some diagnostics programs, you might try starting
your computer in Safe Mode
in order to minimize any potential hardware or driver conflicts.
When you start your computer in Safe Mode, Windows loads
only the bare minimum of drivers and hardware devices, so that
you can examine and isolate problems with greater accuracy.
To start in Safe Mode, shut down and restart your computer. Then, hold
down the Ctrl key (Win98) as Windows loads. Windows 95 users use
the F8 key. You'll be prompted to choose a new startup mode. Select 3
to start in Safe Mode. Safe Mode displays your screen in 640 x 480
resolution, and you'll notice that Windows loads much faster without all those
(Note: If you receive a "stuck key" error message, you've probably
pressed the Ctrl key too early in the boot process. Try again with slightly more
Sometimes in the Run command dialogue box, you must type in a program name that
has spaces. For example: Cool Program. However, Windows might not
recognize the command, and may attempt to start program 'Cool' -- which results
in an error.
To correct this problem, surround the program name with single quotes like
this: 'Cool Program' Now, Windows will recognize what it is that you want
October 2, 2001
Sometimes, Windows 95, 98, and Me can experience all kinds of problems
when you're attempting to uninstall a program. Let's talk about the five ways
you can uninstall a program:
1) Go out and just delete the files from your hard drive. - This is a bad
solution. There are literally hundreds of places that any program can keep
files, registry entries, and such -- and there is no way to tell what kind of
damage would be done by simply deleting these files.
2) Use the program's uninstall procedure. - Many programs now come
with their own uninstall program that will quickly and effortlessly (yeah,
right) remove programs from your computer. The problem? Many of these programs
simply don't do a complete job.
3) Reinstall the program! - Yup! You heard me correctly. Sometimes the
easiest way to uninstall a pesky program is to reinstall it, then remove it
using its own software (or combine this method with #4).
4) Use the Add/Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel. - This is a
standard Windows removal tool that actually does a fairly decent job of removing
programs from your hard drive.
5) Use a third-party removal tool. - A third party tool (such as
Norton Uninstall or Clean Sweep) will be extremely thorough in removing
programs. Some software will detect 'orphans,' which are programs to which there
is no connection.
Many Ways To Find
October 1, 2001
If you're looking for a file and you're certain it's in a specific folder, you
can always tell Windows to search in that folder by selecting it from the Look
In field in the Find dialog box (open Find by pressing Windows
key+F or F3). Another way to look for a file in a specific folder is to right-click
the folder and select Find from the pop-up menu. This launches the Find
command with the folder you clicked already loaded into the Look In field. note:
for more on Find seeWindows
Find Folders or Files.