In this book, you will find 16 chapters spread across three main parts. Each part covers a different theme and each chapter is broken down into sections supporting the chapter's topic. The first two parts are presented in logical operating system event order, such as boot, logon, and interface. The third part is laid out in order of steps.
Chapter 1 starts off by customizing the very first thing you see when you turn on your PC: the boot screen. Then I cover tweaking the settings of the logon screen and customizing its look. Chapter 2 shows you how to customize many aspects of the Start menu and the taskbar. Chapter 3 is all about customizing the desktop and the new Windows Sidebar. I even show you how you can make your own Windows Sidebar gadget. Chapter 4 covers customizing the look of the user interface by fine-tuning Aero Glass and completely changing the look of the interface with themes and visual styles. Chapter 5 shows you how you can customize all aspects of the Windows Explorer interface. Chapter 6 is all about customizing and tweaking Internet Explorer 7. Chapter 7 shows you how to customize Windows Media Player 11 as well as how to add a Media Center to your PC and customize it as well.
Chapter 8 introduces performance monitoring and benchmarking, using applications such as the Performance Diagnostic Console and Event Viewer to discover bottlenecks. Chapter 9 starts off with configuring your BIOS for maximum boot speed and various techniques to speed up the boot time, such as disabling unneeded services and features. Chapter 10 is all about speeding up your logon by removing unneeded startup programs as well as some other tips. Chapter 11 shows you how to speed up Windows Explorer and adjust the search indexer for maximum performance. Chapter 12 helps you optimize the core Windows components, such as using ReadyBoost, fine-tuning the paging file, and setting application priorities. Chapter 13 is all about speeding up your web browser and network.
Chapter 14 helps you identify how vulnerable your system is as well as ways to better protect your computer, such as file and drive encryption. Chapter 15 is all about Internet security and protecting yourself with the latest tools, such as the new bidirectional firewall and Windows Defender. Chapter 16 guides you through techniques to protect your privacy by clearing stored personal history information from Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer.