Chapter 3. Startup and Shutdown
Quite obviously, you're going to start up and shut down Windows XP hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Therefore, it's probably a good idea to expand your understanding beyond the power button. (This is not to demean the power button in any way. In fact, in this chapter I'll show you a way to govern what happens when you hit the power button.)
XP offer several techniques that control the way it starts up and shuts down. Some of these techniques are applicable only under certain circumstances. If dual booting, for example, you must decide which will be the default OS in the OS selection screen. You can also restrict who can shut down the computer, as you will see, but only if you are running an XP Professional installation.
In addition, XP provides a startup folder and a System Configuration Utility, which enable you to start applications automatically whenever a user logs on. (The System Configuration Utility is discussed in Chapter 7, "Clicking Less.") These startup programs can affect all users or just a single user, as you will see. Further, you can bypass all startup items at logon time, thus potentially speeding up access to the desktop environment.
This chapter will look at many of the available startup and shutdown options, and it will explain why you might want to alter their default behaviors.