What's in This Book
This book consists of 20 chapters. Here is a brief overview of each chapter:
Chapter 1, sets the stage by covering our approach to the book, where you can find the tools used in the book, and where to find additional information outside of the book.
Chapter 2, covers tasks related to installing and upgrading Windows XP, installing hotfixes and service packs, and performing initial system configuration.
Chapter 3, covers adding and managing hardware, troubleshooting hardware-related problems, resolving device conflicts, and dealing with USB devices and printers.
Chapter 4, covers remotely installing, uninstalling, and redeploying applications using Group Policy, dealing with installation and uninstallation problems, changing the default location for installing applications, customizing application launches, and resolving compatibility problems between applications and XP.
Chapter 5, covers customizing the desktop, controlling and customizing the Start menu, and customizing the Control Panel and Windows Explorer.
Chapter 6, covers creating a multiboot menu, running multiple operating systems in addition to XP, performing a clean boot, halting services that run at startup, changing your boot screen, speeding up startup and shutdown times, disabling error reporting, and customizing reboots.
Chapter 7, covers disk quotas, converting between disk types, creating drives, mapping drives, and managing volumes.
Chapter 8, covers file and folder manipulation, creating shortcuts and links, modifying file properties, and managing share points.
Chapter 9, covers basic Registry administration. It includes recipes on how to create and delete Registry keys and values, exporting and importing Registry files, restricting access to the Registry, and monitoring Registry activity.
Chapter 10, covers both basic and advanced process and task management including how to create, suspend, and kill processes, and schedule tasks. Additionally, starting and stopping services, running scripts as services, searching for services, and viewing various service properties is covered.
Chapter 11, covers ripping and burning digital music, using Windows Media Player, playing Internet radio stations, using media metadata, converting images between graphics formats, capturing video, and making DVDs.
Chapter 12, covers tasks related to configuring network adapters, viewing network configuration, viewing network traffic, and installing IPv6 support.
Chapter 13, covers speeding up web access, troubleshooting DNS problems and Internet connections, working with Internet Information Services (IIS) and Telnet servers, customizing Internet Explorer, blocking pop ups, handling cookies, protecting yourself against spyware, and using firewalls.
Chapter 14, covers working with XP's wireless client, installing a wireless router, wireless security, troubleshooting wireless networking, and using hotspots.
Chapter 15, covers how to create and administer local and domain user, group, and computer accounts.
Chapter 16, covers how to create and view events, create and manage event logs, search event logs, and enable various system logging.
Chapter 17, covers several tasks related to securing Windows XP, including auditing, screen saver locking, enabling strong passwords, and disabling unused accounts.
Chapter 18, covers tracking and speeding up system performance, using RAM more effectively, optimizing pagefile size, cleaning your hard disk, and converting a hard disk to NTFS.
Chapter 19, covers making backups, restoring from backups, using Automated System Recovery, using System Restore, retrieving a shadow copy, using XCOPY, using the Recovery Console, creating a password reset disk, and backing up, auditing backup and restore, caring for backup media, and restoring activation data.
Chapter 20, covers using Safe Mode and the Last Known Good Configuration, using a boot log to trace problems, using the Recovery Console, repairing Autoexec.nt or Config.nt errors, fixing a wide variety of XP errors, configuring error reporting, and using Dr. Watson to troubleshoot errors.
The Appendix provides an overview of the major Windows XP versions including service packs 1 and 2.
This book covers hundreds of tasks you'll need to do at one point or another with Windows XP. If you feel something important has been left out that should be included, let us know. We'll work to get it into a future edition. For contact information, see the "We'd Like Your Feedback!" section later in the preface.