If you need to connect to a wireless network that isn’t broadcasting its network name (SSID), use the following approach.

1. Click on the Control Panel item from the Start Menu

2. Find and double-click on the Network Connections item

3. Right click on Wireless Network Connection and select Properties

4. Select the Wireless Networks tab. Make sure the Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings option is checked and click on the Add button in the Preferred networks area

5. Enter the network settings Network name (SSID), Security details and if necessary, uncheck the option The key is provided for me automatically  to enable you to input the network password (encryption key/passphrase). Also, make sure the option Connect even if this network is not broadcasting is checked.

RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is a protocol developed by Microsoft that defines how to provide a user with a graphical  interface to another computer.

Microsoft supplies the Remote Desktop Connection client application that allows you to connect to another computer and provides access to the desktop of that machine.

If you need to issue the ctrl+alt+del key sequence on the remote machine use the equivalent key sequence


You can open multiple tabs when starting IE or Firefox as shown below:

In Internet Explorer

Open the General tab from the menu item Tools…Internet options and simply enter the address of each page you want to open in a separate tab as separate lines in the Home page listbox, as indicated.

In Firefox

Open the Main tab from the menu item Tools…Options and add the address of each page required separated by a vertical bar ‘|‘ character as shown.

Microsoft Outlook provides a mechansim to save the contents of Mail Folders as a file on your disk, which you can use as an archive or backup of your email messages and also enables you to copy the files and open them in Outlook on other machines. These are known as personal folders (.pst) files.

Here’s the process I used on Outlook 2007, which may work with other versions of Outlook too but I’m not sure whether this works in Outlook Express.

Creating a .pst file

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export.

2. Click Export to a File, and then click Next

3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst) , and then click Next

4. Click the folder that you want to export to a .pst file and then click Next

5. Click the Browse button, and then select the location to save the .pst file

6. In the File Name box, type a descriptive name which will be used as the title of the mail folder when the file is opened in Outlook. (The password is optional – you don’t need to specify a password) and then click OK.

How to open a .pst file data in Outlook

1. On the File menu select Open and then Outlook Data File and browse to the required .pst file

2. The file when opened in Outlook appears as an additional folder in the Mail Folders list as shown, using the name specified when the file was created. This folder can be used in the same way as other folders – emails which are copied to the folder are automatically written to the file.

Close the .PST file

1. To close the file, simply RMB (right mouse button) click on the Folder name and select Close

The System Restore feature is used to return your computer to a known working earlier state following a system failure or major problem with your system.

System Restore creates a Restore Point before changes are made to the system, such as the installation of new device drivers or applications. A Restore Point is a snapshot of the system and consists of a copy of the registry and other important system files. It is also possible for a user to create Restore Points manually.

System Restore requires at least 200Mb of disk space and should be enabled before it can be used, from the System Restore tab of the System Properties dialog.

This is launched either from RMB (right mouse button) on My Computer and select Properties


Start … All Programs … Control Panel … System

The settings allow you to specify how much disk space to use for System Restore Points and whether monitoring of the drive, or drives, is switched on.

To revert your system to a previously created Restore Point use the System Restore Wizard, which is launched from

Start … All Programs … Accessories … System Tools … System Restore

and select the option

Restore my computer to an earlier time

Follow the wizard instructions, selecting a date from the calendar of the Restore Point you want to revert to, and on completion the system will shut down and reboot to the state the system was in at that date.

Remember you will lose changes to any settings, applications, installations etc. that you have made since the date of the Restore Point (For example you will need to re-install any applications that you installed after the date the Restore Point was created).

BTW. You can see that this is the same wizard to use for manually creating System Restore Points. In this case select the option to Create a restore point.

(Tip: I have successfully recovered from a corrupt User Profile by returning to a previously created Restore Point – although this may not always work, depending on the nature of the corruption, it can be worth a try).

PowerToys are provided by Microsoft and add functionality to the Windows XP experience. (They are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released.)

However, they are not part of Windows XP and are not supported by Microsoft. PowerToys are available for Windows XP only and will not work with Windows Vista.

Details are available at


The following utilities are available:

Color Control Panel Applet

Professional-level photographers and designers know that getting consistent, accurate color from file to screen to print and beyond is a requirement for great results. This new tool helps you manage Windows color settings in one place.


With new sources of files coming from every direction (such as digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops), SyncToy can help you copy, move, and synchronize different directories.

RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer

Are you a serious photographer? Now you can organize and work with digital RAW files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). This tool provides thumbnails, previews, printing, and metadata display for RAW images.

ClearType Tuner

This PowerToy lets you use ClearType technology to make it easier to read text on your screen, and installs in the Control Panel for easy access.

HTML Slide Show Wizard

This wizard helps you create an HTML slide show of your digital pictures, ready to place on your Web site.

Open Command Window Here

This PowerToy adds an “Open Command Window Here” context menu option on file system folders, giving you a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder.

Alt-Tab Replacement

With this PowerToy, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.

Tweak UI

This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

Power Calculator

With this PowerToy you can graph and evaluate functions as well as perform many different types of conversions.

Image Resizer

This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.

CD Slide Show Generator

With this PowerToy you can view images burned to a CD as a slide show. The Generator works downlevel on Windows 9x machines as well.

Virtual Desktop Manager

Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar with this PowerToy.

Taskbar Magnifier

Use this PowerToy to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.

Webcam Timershot

This PowerToy lets you take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate.

(local copy: https://kf12.com/archives/xpnotes/media/2012/10/powertoys.zip)

Removing the arrows from shortcuts on the desktop.

Although you can do this by making modifications directly to the registry, the easiset way to do this is to use the Tweak UI Powertoy available from Microsoft.

As shown, you can select whether to use an arrow, a “light” arrow, custom overlay or no arrow at all (which is my preferred option).

Tweak UI is one of the PowerToys available for Windows XP from Microsoft.

This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

Version 2.10 requires Windows XP Service Pack 1 or above.

Why is the Font rendering in IE so much better than Firefox?

Here’s a sample from Internet Explorer

and the equivalent from Firefox

Although this may not seem to be substantially different, it does make a big difference.

There’s actually a simple fix for all fonts that Windows XP displays, simply enable ClearType.

  1. Right click on the Desktop and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Appearance tab and choose the Effects button
  3. In the option “use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” choose ClearType

If you’ve tried everything else and still have those annoying beeps emitting from the internal computer speaker you can ensure that it is turned off as follows:

  • RMB on the My Computer icon, and select Manage
  • Click on the “Device Manager”
  • From the “View” menu item select “Show hidden devices”
  • Expand the section Non-Plug and Play Drivers
  • Double-Click “Beep”
  • Select “Do not use this device” in the Device Usage and OK out of all

You may then need to reboot the machine

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