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Teach Windows how to shut down without nagging you about unresponsive processes. Open the registry and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. Double-click AutoEndTasks and change the value from 0 to 1. Then double-click WaitToKillApp and change the value from 5000 to 1000. Finally, double-click HungAppTimeout and change the value from 20,000 to 3000.
A fully loaded rig pays dividends in everything from productivity apps to games, but no matter how fast your machine is, the Start menu still lags. To give the Start menu a much needed speed boost, click Start, select Run, and type regedit. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, double-click MenuShowDelay in the right-hand pane, and change the value from 400 to 5. Reboot and watch your Start menu fly!
XP allows you to view folders five different ways—thumbnails, tiles, icons, list, details—but what you select for one folder doesn’t apply to all of them. Sure, you can configure each folder individually, but that takes far too long. To apply the same view universally, Go to My Documents, click Tools, then Folder Options, then select the View tab, and click Apply to All Folders.
To be a true IT ninja, equip yourself with Windows Support Tools (free, http://tinyurl.com/yja7vw), a set of more than 100 troubleshooting utilities aimed at advanced users (view a complete list at http://tinyurl.com/2k42ex). Not all of them are gems, but a few notable standouts include pviewer, for gathering information about running processes on remote computers; msicuu, to remove installer information when a program’s uninstaller gets borked (power outage, for example); and windiff, to compare files and see which is more recent, along with line-by-line code comparisons.
|Become the new champ at old games.|
It’s tough enough getting through the workday unscathed, and to make matters worse, most workplaces aren’t going to let you install Counter-Strike to blow off some steam—oh the tyranny! That means you’re stuck playing Minesweeper or Pinball, only Bob in accounting holds the high score in both and is quick to let everyone know. Here’s how you can stick it to Bob. To freeze time in Minesweeper, minimize the app using the Windows Key + D combination and then restore the window. Then fire up Pinball and type 1max at the start of a new game for additional balls or bmax for unlimited tries and an unbeatable score.