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Windows XP hints and tips

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Fix email problems

Error messages about low disk space or memory when using Outlook Express are frequently caused by corrupt email storage files. Usually, the message occurs all the time, but it might just be an occasional message. The solution is quite straightforward and if you delete or rename the existing inbox file, Outlook Express will create a new one. Of course, it will be empty, but it will get rid of the error message and allow you to read your email.

Click Start, Find, Files or Folders. In the Search box, enter *.dbx and start searching. When it has finished, there will be several .dbx files in the results window. Rename inbox.dbx to inbox.old and then run Outlook Express.

If you want to read your old emails at any time, you will have to rename the new inbox.dbx to inbox.new and rename the old one to inbox.dbx again. Faults with other message folders in Outlook Express are solved in the same way and there is a .dbx file for each one.

Enable/disable Task Manager

If children or other novices use your computer you might want to prevent them from accessing Task Manager. This is a useful tool for expert users, but novices should never need to access it. It is possible to disable Task Manager with a registry hack or to prevent users from accessing it by using the Group Policy Editor in XP Pro. By changing a registry value or by using gpedit.msc, you can enable Task Manager again.

Click Start, Run and enter regedit to start the registry editor. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies \System and if there is a value called DisableTaskMgr, double click it and set it to 0 to enable Task Manager or 1 to disable it.

If the DisableTaskMgr value is not present you will need to create it. Click Edit, New, DWORD value and name it DisableTaskMgr. Now you can double click it and set it to 0 (no, don't disable) or 1 (yes, disable).

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