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The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book: A Complete Resource from the Desktop to the Enterprise

The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book: A Complete Resource from the Desktop to the Enterprise

by John Savill

An invaluable resource for Windows system administrators, small business managers, and home users, The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book answers more than eight hundred of the most frequently asked questions about the newest and most powerful versions of the Windows operating system. It provides solutions to real-world Windows system administration problems


An invaluable resource for Windows system administrators, small business managers, and home users, The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book answers more than eight hundred of the most frequently asked questions about the newest and most powerful versions of the Windows operating system. It provides solutions to real-world Windows system administration problems and shows users of all levels how to take full advantage of their Windows systems.

The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book is based in part on the author’s highly acclaimed Windows NT/2000 FAQ Web site, but is broader in scope and contains more in-depth information and concrete examples. Organized for easy access, the questions range from basic queries about installation and core functions to the operating system’s most sophisticated capabilities, such as customization, domain concepts, Active Directory, Internet support, and security. Each stand-alone entry begins with an overview of the technology and includes clear explanations, step-by-step instructions, and examples of effective use.

You will find answers to such questions as:

  • What hardware is needed to run Windows 2000?
  • What is the difference between Windows XP Professional Edition and XP Home Edition?
  • What Windows backup options are available?
  • How can I manage services remotely?
  • What are the differences between NT 4.0 and 2000 domains?
  • Which naming conventions does Active Directory use for objects?
  • How do I configure a domain on a DNS Server?
  • How do I create a DHCP Relay Agent?
  • How do I perform Scandisk in Windows XP and Windows 2000?
  • How can I stop aWindows 2000 upgrade from overwriting special security settings?
  • How do I speed up server response?
  • How do I create a queue to a network printer?
  • What is the Windows Media XP bonus pack?
  • How can I create a RAS connection script?
  • Whether you are searching for the answer to a specific question, or just browsing to gain insight and practical techniques, the wealth of information in The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book will enable you to install your system properly, configure it to serve your organization’s needs, and keep it running smoothly.

    Editorial Reviews

    The Barnes & Noble Review
    John Savill’s Windows 2000 (and previously NT) FAQ has long been one of the Web’s best destinations for Windows administrators. Drawing on that FAQ, Savill has written the most thorough Windows XP/2000 solutions guide in the marketplace.

    There are some 1,200 solutions here, each presented with step-by-step instructions and nary a wasted word. They encompass every aspect of managing Windows XP and Windows 2000 (with a few especially valuable NT4 solutions left in for good measure). User configuration -- from logon scripts to local profiles. Desktop environments. System information. System recovery (where did NTLDR go when you can’t find it)? Networking. Security. Internet Explorer. The command line. Windows Scripting Host.

    No matter how much you know about administering Windows, you’ll find plenty of great stuff you haven’t come across before. Need to tune Active Directory replication? Configure a forwarder on Windows 2000 DNS? Encrypt a file from the command line? Fool a program into thinking it’s actually running under Windows 95? Stop MSN Messenger Service from running automatically? Generate a logfile for debugging a remote access connection script? Create a RAID 5 set? Move your pagefile? Enable print auditing? Hide Administrative Tools on the Start menu? It’s all here.

    As are solutions to the “simple” annoyances associated with running Windows. Sick of CD AutoPlay, or Windows XP Balloon Tips, or of constantly having to click Show Files in Windows 2000’s Explorer? Savill shows you how to disable these lovable features. Three tips which just might pay for the book in improved mental health. Bill Camarda

    Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

    Product Details

    Pearson Education
    Publication date:
    Product dimensions:
    7.26(w) x 9.22(h) x 2.35(d)

    Read an Excerpt

    Windows NT was first inaugurated in 1993. Six versions later (3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0, 2000 and XP) we are now waiting for the release of Windows .Net the server equivalent of Windows XP workstation product. Windows .Net has the .Net framework built into the product hence its name but its important to realize Windows .Net is just the next version of Windows 2000 Server (which has NT 5.0). When inspecting the version number of Windows XP we see it as 5.1 which demonstrates it is actually quite a minor upgrade that does however have some nice changes.

    As a result of Windows’s ease of use and large feature set (and the Microsoft name), Windows is now the corporate desktop of choice and now Windows 9x and NT have finally merged with the release of Windows XP it will also become the home desktop of choice. The server market remains Microsoft’s goal and while it has a good percentage of the market it continues its assault and when .Net is released 64-bit processor support will be added as well as full Web services implementation. With Windows here to stay, learning how to get the most out of it is critical. In the corporate setting in particular, Windows system administrators must deal with many common challenges and tasks, but until now, there has been no one resource that addresses all of these common tasks and challenges.

    The goal of this book is to provide Windows users and system administrators with valuable know-how for handling these day-to-day tasks and proven solutions to the many common challenges. Just as the administrator is task-driven, so too is this book, task-focused. How do I execute RDISK in Windows 2000? How do I configure Remote Assistance? Hundredsof such Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and their answers are provided in this book!

    The tasks and challenges addressed as questions cover all facets of Windows, from the simple to the complex, and should appeal to both experienced and inexperienced administrators and users. When first using Windows, everyone has the same challenges (or issues, to use Microsoft speak), such as

  • How do I convert FAT to NTFS?
  • What operating systems can be upgraded to Windows XP?
  • How do I copy group policy objects between domains?
  • Every answer is structured in a step-by-step format with examples and an explanation of what is being performed.

    I expect that some answers in this book are known to you but it really is designed to appeal to everyone from the beginning user to an experienced system administrator. My hope is that with hundreds of answers to common questions, all readers will find something helpful and informative.

    How It Began

    I’ve been using Windows NT since its first version, 3.1; however when I first used it I had know idea! I realized I wasn’t in Kansas when the system hung (which I know seems impossible) so I pressed Ctrl-Alt-Del and instead of nearly rebooting a strange dialog was displayed and from this point I was hocked and have been ever since, learning all I can and participating in the Windows NT beta programs since Windows NT 4.0 and currently on Windows .Net beta.

    When I first started out learning I had many questions and I found the best way to find the answers was via the NT newsgroups but while learning I saw many other users posting exactly the same questions and so to help I put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and posted this list on my Logica Web page (where I worked at the time). I quickly began to get requests and suggestions from many other NT users and over the past five years I’ve expanded the FAQs and added details about various other components such as Internet Information Server, Internet Security and Acceleration server, Exchange server—all topics in this book. The Web version of the FAQ now gets millions of hits a month and is used by many large companies as a vital resource including U.S. government agencies and many large computer and financial institutions. It is due in part to the creation and up-to-date maintenance of this Web-based FAQ that I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Award (MVP) from 1997 through to 2000.

    Turning the Web-based FAQ into a book seemed to be a natural and worthwhile progression and the first edition was received very well and, as I’d hoped, the readers found printed edition very useful and found information they had never seen on the Web.

    Who Should Read This Book?

    If you are using Windows NT, 2000 or XP and have questions or simply wish to increase your understanding then there will be something in this book for you. This book is aimed at beginners and advanced administrators.

    Ideally people would read this book from start to finish, however, many people deal with a specific area of technology and therefore will only want to read those chapters. However, understanding elements that you don’t currently use will open up the true power of Windows and potentially give you new and more efficient ways to achieve your day-to-day tasks. My hope is that this book can server as the one Windows reference guide that will help you be successful as a user and system administrator.

    Book Organization

    So you can get to the solutions quickly, I’ve structured the book so each entry is self-contained, i.e. you don’t have to read FAQ x,y,z first. The book starts off with the core chapters about what Windows is, installation and then moves onto customization, domain concepts and optionally components.

    Each chapter starts off with the basic, e.g. what is the subject matter, where applicable; how do I install and then moves on to the more advanced configuration options and actions.

    This book is a technical book; the answers are to the point and do not have lots of extra narrative. When you need a solution; you need a solution—you are not that interested in an amusing story about my cat (of which I have many!) When a description is useful one is given and in all cases the information given is consistent with that needed to achieve and where appropriate solve your issue.

    What Version of Windows Is Covered in This Book?

    This book covers mainly Windows 2000 and XP and, thanks to their common core functionality, the FAQs provided apply to both versions, in most cases. However, to be able to bring you information about the new features of XP, for example, some FAQs will not apply to Windows 2000 and some functionally has changed so a 2000 FAQ will not apply to XP. We also have some NT 4.0 FAQ’s which may not apply to other operating systems and so we have a key to help identify these. Unless otherwise stated, FAQ’s apply to Windows 2000 and XP and many will also work on NT 4.0.


    A big thanks to

    Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Emmaline who has always given me unconditional love, support, and put up with me “always being on that computer”.

    I’d like to thank the technical reviewer of this book Goga Kukira for her great work and spotting all my mistakes and providing exceptional feedback. Big thanks to Stephane Thomas for keeping the whole thing together and everyone else at Addison-Wesley. Their patience and professionalism helped transform my rough draft manuscript into this masterpiece J. Also thanks to Mark Smith, Eric Shanfelt, Warren Pickett, Michele Crockett, Kristi Forren, and everyone else at Penton who have helped develop the Web version of the site.

    Finally I’d like to thank my eight month old son Kevin for putting everything into perspective and bringing me so much joy.

    Lets go

    John Savill
    Petts Wood, England
    April 2002

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