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

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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.

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Overview

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.



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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321113573
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 10/1/1902
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1275
  • 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.

Acknowlegments

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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Table of Contents

Introduction
Ch. 1 Core
Ch. 2 Windows 2000
Ch. 3 Windows XP
Ch. 4 Installation
Ch. 5 Service Packs
Ch. 6 System Configuration
Ch. 7 User Configuration
Ch. 8 Desktop Environment
Ch. 9 System Information
Ch. 10 Registry
Ch. 11 Recovery
Ch. 12 Backup
Ch. 13 Network
Ch. 14 Domains
Ch. 15 Active Directory
Ch. 16 Group Policy
Ch. 17 TCP/IP
Ch. 18 DNS
Ch. 19 DHCP
Ch. 20 Filesystems
Ch. 21 Dfs
Ch. 22 RAID
Ch. 23 Terminal Services
Ch. 24 Internet Explorer
Ch. 25 Performance
Ch. 26 Printing
Ch. 27 Multimedia
Ch. 28 Security
Ch. 29 RAS and RRAS
Ch. 30 Utilities
Ch. 31 Miscellaneous
Ch. 32 Command Prompt
Ch. 33 Batch Files
Ch. 34 Windows Scripting Host
Ch. 35 Hardware
Ch. 36 Compatibility Issues
Ch. 37 Problem Solving
Ch. 38 ISA
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Preface

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

As a result of Windows’ ease of use and large feature set (and the Microsoft name), Windows is the corporate desktop of choice. Windows 9x and NT have finally merged with the release of Windows XP, meaning XP 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, Microsoft continues its assault. When .NET is released, 64-bit processor support will be added as well as a 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, no one resource addresses all of them.

The goal of this book is to provide Windows users and system administrators with valuable skills for handling these day-to-day tasks and to provide proven solutions to the many common challenges. Just as the administrator is task driven, this book is focused on tasks. How do I execute RDISK in Windows 2000? How do I configure Remote Assistance? Hundreds ofsuch frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers are provided in this book!

The tasks and challenges 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 Microsoftspeak), 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 a complete description of the procedure.

You may know some of the answers in this book, but it is designed to appeal to everyone from the beginning user to an experienced system administrator. I hope that every reader will find something helpful and informative within the hundreds of answers to common questions.

How It Began

I’ve been using Windows NT since its first version, Windows 3.1; however, when I first used it, I had no 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 rebooting, a strange dialog was displayed. From this point, I was hooked and have been ever since, learning all I can and participating in the Windows NT beta programs since Windows NT 4.0. I’m currently on Windows .NET beta.

When I first started learning, I found the best way to find answers to my many questions was via the NT newsgroups. I saw many other users posting exactly the same questions, and so to help, I put together a list of 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 (IIS), Internet security, Acceleration server, and Exchange server, which are all topics in this book. The Web version of the FAQ now gets millions of hits a month and is used as a vital resource by many large companies 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 Professional 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. As I’d hoped, readers found the printed edition to be very useful, and in the book, they 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, this book will contain something for you. This book is aimed at beginners and advanced administrators.

Ideally people will read this book from start to finish; however, many people who deal with a specific area of technology will want to read only those particular chapters. Gaining an understanding of 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. I hope this book can serve as the one Windows reference guide that helps you succeed as a user and system administrator.

Organization of the Book

So you can get to the solutions quickly, I’ve structured the book so each entry is self-contained–that is, you don’t have to read other FAQs to understand any one FAQ. The book starts off with the core chapters describing the basic concepts of Windows, including an explanation of how to install Windows, and then moves on to customization and descriptions of domain concepts and optional components.

Each chapter starts off with the basics. The subject of the chapter is discussed, where applicable installation issues are addressed, and then we move on to the more advanced configuration options and actions.

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

What Version of Windows Is Covered in This Book?

This book covers mainly Windows 2000 and XP, and thanks to their common core functionality, most FAQs apply to both operating systems. However, to be able to bring you information about the new features of XP, for example, some FAQs do not apply to Windows 2000. In addition, some functionally has changed so some FAQs that apply exclusively to Windows 2000 do not apply to XP. The book also contains some NT 4.0 FAQs that may not apply to other operating systems, and these FAQs are distinguished by the bold text “NT Only”.

A Big Thanks to...

Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Emmaline who has always given me unconditional love and support. I want to thank her also for putting 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, for spotting all my mistakes, and providing exceptional feedback. I want to extend a 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 6. Also thanks to Mark Smith, Eric Shanfelt, Warren Pickett, Michele Crockett, Kristi Forren, and everyone else at Penton who has 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.

Let’s go...

John Savill
Petts Wood, England
June 2002



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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    Excellent Book!

    This book is excellent! This is probably one of the best XP books I've read. Very to the point, no fluff. This is very easy to read and is a great reference and how-to book. It covers everything I've needed since I got it and I use it almost daily now to look up how to do something. I also like to just go through several sections just to learn something new (or refresh my memory on things I don't do often. I would recommend this book for about anyone at about any level, it's a great reference to have around. I don't have 2000, but everything for XP has been very accurate...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Authoritative and Comprehensive

    Finally, Microsoft has merged Windows 9x and the NT series into something called XP. Took long enough, eh? From their standpoint, this greatly simplifies their development, instead of having to maintain two huge codebases. But sysadmins will still have problems. Always! So this book arose out of a website run by the author, windows2000faq.com. The website is tremendously successful, garnering over a million hits a month, and widely recognised, including by Microsoft, as having authoritative answers. The latter is crucial. If you are going to be doing delicate and perhaps irrevocable things to your computer, you want some reassurance that the suggestions you are following are credible. (Which is why some sysadmins prefer only manuals from the manufacturer.) The book instantiates over 1000 tasks faced by sysadmins of MS Windows 2000 and XP. These are tasks of all levels of complexity. The book has three great virtues. First, of course, is its comprehensiveness. The sheer sweep of the tasks is staggering, from the trivial "What is the history of NT?" to the "How do I perform an unattended installation?" (slacker) to the "How do I recover a lost Administrator password?" (naughty naughty). Naturally, you will never need to ask the latter! :) The second virtue is that you have random access to the tasks. Wait a minute, you might say. "Of course I have random access. I can turn to any page I want. It's a book, isn't it?" Yes. But it is not a textbook. You do not need to read the earlier pages to understand a task. Crucial if you need an emergency fix NOW. Its final virtue is the contents pages. The tasks are grouped into 38 chapters, for that number of broad topic clusters. Within each, the tasks are listed as questions. How do I do such-and-such? Gets to the point. You can quickly find your fix. Part of the reason for the heft of this 1275 page book is that the author has been generous in providing screen captures of appropriate windows. Not, I hasten to add, merely to beef up the book. If you have done any sysadmin duties, you will know the value of a good screen capture of what you should be seeing or doing. The toughest question about this book is "Why buy it?" It is derived from the author's website. So why can't you just go there? Of course you can. But what if your computer won't reboot, and no nearby computer has net access? What if your crashed computer was the gateway? (You're in deep doo-doo now.) Or maybe you only have one computer (it's your one and only home computer). Even a tyro sysadmin soon learns that it is good to have hardcopy manuals within reach. Consider making this one of those manuals.

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