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Windows XP Cookbook

Windows XP Cookbook

5.0 2
by Robbie Allen

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Each year, Windows XP is pre-installed on 30 million PCs sold in the U.S.—and 90 million worldwide—making it the world's most popular operating system, and proving to frustrated users everywhere that preponderance does not equate to ease of use. There are literally thousands of programs, tools, commands, screens, scripts, buttons, tabs, applets, menus,


Each year, Windows XP is pre-installed on 30 million PCs sold in the U.S.—and 90 million worldwide—making it the world's most popular operating system, and proving to frustrated users everywhere that preponderance does not equate to ease of use. There are literally thousands of programs, tools, commands, screens, scripts, buttons, tabs, applets, menus, and settings contained within Windows XP. And it has only been in the last couple of years that Microsoft's documentation has actually been more of a help than a hindrance. But it still isn't enough.

Windows XP users and administrators need a quick and easy way to find answers. Plenty of books go into detail about the theory behind a particular technology or application, but few go straight to the essentials for getting the job done. Windows XP Cookbook does just that, tackling the most common tasks needed to install, manage, and support Windows XP.

Featuring a new twist to O'Reilly's proven Cookbook formula, this problem-solving guide offers multiple solutions for each of its 300-plus recipes. Solve dilemmas with the graphical user interface, the command line, through the Registry, or by using scripts. Each step-by-step recipe includes a discussion that explains how and why it works. The book is also among the first to cover Microsoft's XP Service Pack 2. With these practical, on-the-job solutions, Windows XP Cookbook will save you hours of time searching for answers.

Windows XP Cookbook will be useful to anyone that has to use, deploy, administer, or automate Windows XP. But this isn't a typical end-user book; it covers the spectrum of topics involved with running Windows XP in both small and large environments. As a result, IT professionals and system administrators will find it a great day-to-day reference. And power users will find Windows XP Cookbook a great source for information on tweaking XP and getting the most out of their systems. The bottom line is that Windows XP Cookbook will make just about anyone who uses XP more productive.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
By now, everyone knows how to do the easy stuff in Windows. But what about the powerful, complex, or obscure tasks advanced users and administrators need to perform? Look 'em up in Windows XP Cookbook, follow the directions, and -- voilà -- done.

What kind of stuff? Speeding up system startup. Converting TIFFs to JPEGs. Disabling the WinXP SP2 firewall. Figuring out which process has a file open. Restricting access to shares. Protecting yourself at public hotspots. Viewing a user’s group membership. Scheduling reboots. Setting disk quotas. Improving Wi-Fi performance. Installing the IPv6 stack.

Oh, and troubleshooting just about everything: wired and wireless network connections, user account lockouts, local and Internet printing problems, CD reading and ripping failures, DNS trouble, audio and video problems, boot failures, blue screens, you name it. Fast, convenient, and highly recommended. Bill Camarda, from the October 2005 Read Only

Product Details

O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 8.96(h) x 1.24(d)

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Meet the Author

Robbie Allen is a Technical Leader at Cisco Systems where he has been involved in the deployment of Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and several Network Management solutions. He enjoys working on Unix and Windows, and his favorite programming language is Perl. Robbie was named a Windows Server MVP in 2004 and 2005 for his contributions to the Windows community and publication of several popular O'Reillybooks. Robbie is currently studying at MIT in the System Design and Management program. For more information, see Robbie's website at www.rallenhome.com.

Preston Gralla is the author of Windows Vista in a Nutshell, the Windows Vista Pocket Reference, and is the editor of WindowsDevCenter.com . He is also the author of Internet Annoyances, PC Pest Control, Windows XP Power Hound, and Windows XP Hacks, Second Edition, and co-author of Windows XP Cookbook. He has written more than 30 other books. He has written for major national newspapers and magazines, including PC Magazine, Computerworld, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News (where he was the technology columnist), USA Today, and several others. A well-known technology expert, Preston has also appeared on many TV and radio programs and networks, including CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. In addition, he's won a number of awards for his writing, including Best Feature in a Computer Magazine from the Computer Press Association. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Windows XP Cookbook 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Are you involved in deploying, administering or automating Windows XP? If you are, this book is for you. Authors Robbie Allen and Preston Gralla, have written an outstanding end user book that covers the spectrum of topics involved with running Windows XP in both small and large environments. Allen and Gralla, begin by setting the stage for the rest of the book by covering their approach on where you can find the software tools used in this book as well as, where to find additional information. Next, the authors cover tasks related to installing and upgrading Windows XP, installing hotfixes and service packs, and performing initial system configuration. Then, they cover adding and managing hardware, troubleshooting hardware related problems, resolving device conflicts, and dealing with USB devices and printers. The authors continue by showing you how to remotely install, uninstall and redeploy applications using Group Policy deal with installation and uninstallation problems change the default location for installing applications customizing application launches and resolve compatibility problems between applications and XP. In addition, they cover customizing the desktop, controlling and customizing the Start menu, and customizing the Control Panel and Windows Explorer. The authors also focus on 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. Then, the authors cover disk quotas, converting between disk types, creating drives, mapping drives, and managing volumes. They continue by showing you how to manipulate files and folders, create shortcuts and links, modify file properties, and manage share points. The authors also cover basic Registry administration. Next, they discuss both basic and advanced process and task management, including how to create, suspend, and kill processes, and schedule tasks. Then the authors look at 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. They continue by looking at tasks related to configuring network adapters, viewing network configuration, viewing network traffic, and installing IPv6 support. The authors also show you how to speed up web access, trouble shoot DNS problems and Internet connections, work with Internet Information Services (IIS) and Telenet servers, customizing Internet Explorer, blocking pop ups, handling cookies protecting yourself against spy ware, and using firewalls. Then, they cover working with XPs wireless client, installing a wireless router, wireless security, troubleshooting wireless networking, and using hotspots. The authors continue by discussing how to create and administer local and domain user, group, and computer accounts. In addition, you'll also learn how to create and view events, create and manage event logs, search event logs, and enable various system logging. The authors also cover several tasks related to securing Windows XP, including auditing, screen saver locking, enabling string passwords, and disabling unused accounts. Then they cover tracking and speeding up speeding up system performance, using RAM more effectively, optimizing pagefile size, cleaning your hard disk, and converting a hard disk to NTFS. Finally, the authors examine how to use 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. This excellent book covers hundreds of tasks you'll need to do at one point or another with Windows XP. As a result, IT professionals and system administrators will get the mo
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. I¿ve come across a lot of these ¿cookbook¿ type books for Windows XP, and they¿ve all seemed about the same. They all have a lot of good tips, but they all seem to be geared to the home user. While this book can certainly still be used by the home power user, it has a lot of great help for real system administrators. In fact, this is the only Windows XP book I¿ve come across that actually has script examples for virtually every ¿recipe¿. Like you would expect, there are many recipes for the home user. These include such tasks as speeding up your computer, ripping music, watching DVDs, etc. But where I felt this book really shined was in the realm of system administrators. Managing remote installations, troubleshooting hardware problems, managing services, and security are all covered in great detail. Again, I was very impressed by the inclusion of windows commands or VBScript files to accomplish nearly each task. In some instances, a simple windows script command won¿t do the job. In those cases, the author has carefully researched tools that are available to accomplish the task. Case in point: recipe 6.9 shows you how to change your boot screen. This change can¿t be directly made through Windows XP, so the author provides a URL (and even price) for a tool that will do the job. The author notes where free software is available. This is definitely the best book for managing Windows XP that I have come across. I felt it was easy to follow, well organized, and accessible to both experienced home users and network admins. I feel like I understand my computer a lot better after reading this book. I highly recommend this book to sys admins supporting Windows XP installations or home power users who just want more out of their XP computer.