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ExpatTech Techblog - Windows XP

Peter Todd 2011.04.14. 11:26

Trick for creating a list of your files

Have you ever wanted to have a list of your files? If you have to do a quick list of your files and / or folders, get the location of the files or folders. In Windows this can be done by right clicking on the parent folder, going to Properties, then checking Location. Copy and paste this text into your browser and see the list. Copy the list and paste it to your favourite text editor, word processor, or cellular data editing software (Excel, Google Spreadsheets etc).

Alexander Dean 2009.02.03. 06:02

primary drive not assigned c:

Everybody knows that the majority computers have the OS on the C: drive and most people are used to this configuration. Although, in most situations, it really shouldn't matter on what logical drive your OS resides, it might be annoying or confusing to some users to not find Windows in the "usual" place. Most of the time when you install windows, it will correctly resolve to the C: drive. However, if the computer comes with removable media drives for memory cards, depending on many factors, Windows might install to a logical drive letter that comes after the removable media drives. If this configuration is undesired, then simply disconnect the removable media drives from the motherboard and redo the Windows installation.

If you decide to stay with your OS on a logical drive other than C:, then you shouldn't experience problems as most programs use environment variables to install. An environment variable is a special DOS level variable used to store useful system information. You can see your systems environment variables by getting to a Command / DOS prompt (start/run/cmd) and typing "Set". As you can see there are variables like "System Drive" that point new programs to the correct logical drive for default installation.

Should you ever run into any suspicious problem during install as I did recently while installing the Flash Player for internet browsing, there is a simple workaround.

Dylan Cooper 2008.11.12. 12:00

Memory, Memory, Memory!

Amazing what can go wrong with a computer, here's another couple of memory issues.

Laptop number one was infested with viruses, and we needed to reformat it and install a fresh copy of windows on it. However, once Windows setup had loaded the necessary files onto the computer, we constantly got an error message stating "process1_initialization_failed" and would then shut down the installation. We tried several fixes, and then went back to the old memory drawing board! On a hunch I checked the specs of the computer, a Compaq Presario 2200, and it turned out that the memory upgrade that had been installed was one grade faster than the motherboard was designed for (runs on DDR2-400 PC3200 RAM, and had been upgraded with two 512MB sticks of DDR2-533 PC4200. DDR2 RAM in general is backwards compatible, meaning that faster RAM can be used in a computer with a chipset designed for slower RAM, it just runs at the slower clockspeed. However, when it came to actually installing and setting up Windows for that particular laptop's configuration, it couldn't handle it and was bombing out. So I reached into the memory drawer, got out a 256MB stick (the minimum to run Windows XP) of DDR2-400 PC3200 RAM, installed Windows XP with no problems, and then reinstalled the faster upgraded RAM, and the computer worked like a charm!

Peter Todd 2008.11.06. 13:32

Win XP - Add element to Start Menu

There is an easy way to add a new element to Start Menu in Windows:

Use your favourite file manager and search for the program or file you want to add. Grab the file (click and hold mouse) and pull it over the Start Menu. Wait until it's opened and release the mouse button to add it to the desired location.

Dylan Cooper 2008.10.28. 22:31

Installing Windows XP on a Vista machine

Now, would you call that a DOWNGRADE? Popular opinion says no, as it seems a majority of computer users prefer the XP platform to Microsoft's latest version of Windows, Vista. The reason is that to date XP has been the most stable of all the Windows OS releases, having the greatest amount of compatibility with a wide variety of software. And it also afforded you a modicum of control over the settings and operation of your computer, unlike Vista that hides everything behind it's "user-friendly interface" and flashy buttons.

So it's no wonder that a lot of people who have purchased new computers and been "force-fed" Vista as their operating system are choosing to switch back to the familiar and relatively easy to use Windows XP.

Depending on your particular model of computer, and in particular laptop, this may not quite be as simple an operation as you may think. Getting anything running on a computer is always a complex marriage between hardware and software and various settings in the BIOS, and this case is no exception.

Nagy Richárd 2008.10.28. 18:38

Setting up a VPN

In the office, we have a LAN behind a router. On the LAN there is a fileserver which hosts personal and project files which are to be shared and/or backed up. This fileserver runs Windows XP. We have employees who live in other cities and work from there, and we also wanted to be able to access shared files from home, so we decided to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This basically means that from the Internet we can connect to our LAN and use its resources through a private and secure channel.

I became the lucky person to be selected for this special quest. I expected it to be easy, but this was not the case.

Alexander Dean 2008.10.22. 17:21

New Drive In XP

Sometimes when you purchase a new drive (sata or ide) and try to mount on an XP machine via a USB, nothing will appear under "my computer".  This absence isn't necessarily a problem, it just means that your new drive must first be initialized using Windows Disk Management.

To access Disk Management go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Mangement... Inside of "Computer Managment", on the right side, you'll see the Disk Management option near the bottom.  With your new drive plugged into the system, click on this option.  The drive should appear on the right half at the bottom of the screen.  Right-click on the drive and use the wizard to initialize the drive.  After this step, the drive will now appear with some unformatted unpartitioned space to the right of the drive.  Right click on this space (not the drive name) to create partitions and even a logical drive.  After finishing these steps, the drive will appear and will be accessable under "My Computer."