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Windows XP hints and tips

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Disable System Restore for other users

System Restor is a very useful tool that enables you to turn back the clock. When you've done something wrong or Windows has gone wrong all by itself, you can put things back the way they were yesterday, last week or last month, when the computer was working OK.

However, you don't want your kids or employees using it because they could undo essential system updates and tweaks that you have performed. It's best to disable System Restore for other users - you can still use it yourself though.

Click Start, Run and enter regedit. Go to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Policies\ Microsoft\ Windows NT and create a new key under it. Right click it and select New, Key and name it SystemRestore. Now select the key and click Edit, New, DWORD value and name it DisableConfig. Set its value to 1. Quit the registry editor and restart Windows.

Disable the File menu in Explorer

Computers in the home, classroom and workplace are shared among several users and it's a bad idea to give everyone too much power. They could use the powerful tools in Windows to change things that should be changed and even damage the system (the software, not the hardware).

For example, there are lots of useful commands on the File menu in Explorer windows for cerating, deleting and renaming files - useful to you, that is, but perhaps not to a child or employee. It is best to disable the menu so that unauthorised users cannot use it.

To disable the File menu click Start, Run and enter regedit. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Policies\ Explorer and select Edit, New, DWORD value. Name it NoFileMenu and set its value to 1 (set it to 0 if you ever want to restore the menu). Quit the registry editor and restart Windows.

Use a Limited account

There are two account types in Windows XP - Administrator and Limited. An administrator has the power to do anything, such as change system settings, install any type of program and so on. A Limited user cannot change certain settings, install certain types of program, and so on.

When you access the internet it is safer to do so with a Limited account because malware - viruses, spyware, adware and so on - will find it much harder to infect the system. Windows will simply block certain actions because as a Limited user you don't have the priveledges.

It is safer for children and employees to use Limited accounts because it restricts what they can do, such as make system changes, install software and so on.

To create one or more Limited accounts, or to change an administrator account to a Limited one, go to the Control Panel and in Classic View, double click User Accounts. Click Create a new account to create a new account, but remember to set the Limited option. Click an existing account to change it from Administrator to Limited. Restart Windows afterwards.

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