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Windows Vista hints and tips

A better boot screen for Vista

When you turn on the computer and Windows Vista starts to load, a very boring display appears on the monitor. It just shows a loading progress bar and the words Microsoft Coporation underneath.

Isn't Vista supposed to be graphically exciting? That looks plain boring! Fortunately, there is a way to improve the appearing of the loading screen and it is surprisingly easy.

Click the Start button and type msconfig into the search box. Hit Return and click through the User Account Control warning. The System Configuration utility is then displayed.

Select the Boot tab in the dialog and then tick the box labelled No GUI boot. Click OK to close the dialog and then restart Windows. Instead of the usual boring black screen you will now see a graphic image in its place. Isn't that more interesting?

Of course, you can easily return Vista to its original state. Run msconfig again and clear the tick on the Boot tab next to No GUI boot.

Add the Desktop toolbar to the taskbar

Toolbars can provide shortcuts to common functions and they can be very useful. There is a great one that you can add to the taskbar called Desktop. Right click an empty part of the taskbar and select Toolbars, Desktop from the menu that is displayed. You will see the word Desktop has been added to the right side of the taskbar and there is a right pointing double arrow. Click the double arrow and a menu is displayed.

On the menu are items like Computer, Network and Public and these enable you to access items that are normally displayed in these Explorer windows. Sub menus slide out and these can contain further menus. It's almost like browsing the computer using menus instead of Explorer. You will also see desktop items like shortcuts and folders and they can be opened or run from the Desktop toolbar.

Is the Desktop toolbar useful? No doubt some people will find it a great time saver, but others won't. It's all down to personal choice. If you don't want it, just right click an empty part of the taskbar and select Toolbars, Desktop again. The tick next to the menu item will be removed and so will the toolbar.

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