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Windows XP Notes


Windows XP platforms consist of two versions:


Windows XP Professional - OS use in a Client/Server Environment

Windows XP Media Center - OS use in Multimedia Environment

Windows XP Home - OS use in Peer to Peer Environment mostly in found in homes

Windows XP Hardware Requirements

CPU - Any Intel or AMD 233MHz is required the recommended is 300MHz or higher
Memory - 64MB is required the recommended is 256MB
Hard Disk - 2GB is required the recommended is 6.4 GB
Video - VGA is required the recommended is SVGA
Mouse and Keyboard must be present

When installing Windows XP

Install from CD ROM
Install from another Windows OS but install to another directory (dual boot scenario) or upgrade
Install from Network
Automated Installation (Remote Installation, Disk Imaging and Unattended Installation)

Windows XP System Folder C:\WINDOWS

File Systems

FAT -File Allocation Table compatible with DOS and Windows 9x dual boot configuration, excellent on small drives, however no file level security
Windows XP supports both FAT16 and FAT32

NTFS - New Technology File System supports larger partition, allows file and folder level security, protect system resources, supports disk compression, encryption, disk quotas and file ownership

To convert FAT to NTFS the CONVERT command is used:


NTFS Folder permissions

Right click a folder > Sharing > Security

Read - Can only read files and folder (RASH)
Write - Create folder, files, change folder attributes and view folder ownership and permissions
List Folder contents - See the names of files and subfolders in folder
Read & Execute - Read and Execute
Modify - Delete folder, plus perform actions permitted by the write and read & execute permissions
Full Control - Full Control

Share Folder Permissions

Right click a folder > Sharing

Full Control

Windows Setup options

Typical - allows setup to choose standard options
Portable - allows laptops dealing with PC cards and Advance power management
Compact - minimum space
Custom - users have control of the installation process

Advanced Options
Archiving - Backup
Indexing - Index files for fast searching
Compression - Dynamically compressed or uncompressed
Encryption - Secure files
Disk Quotas - Limits the amount of disk space a user may use
Dynamic Drives - Windows XP new drive organization

Logging On to Windows XP
Username - the name that defines a particular individual on the computer
Password - personal identifier that is used to verify the user
Log on to - Log on to Domain or Workgroup

Windows XP Key Boot Files

NTLDR - In the MBR this file boots up the Windows XP operating system

BOOT.INI - Holds information about what OS are installed on the computer

BOOTSECT.DOS - It locates the IO.SYS file so lets you start another OS dual boot environment

NTDETECT.COM - Installs Windows XP into protected mode and also detect the installed hardware on the system

NTBOOTDD.SYS - On a system with a SCSI boot device, this file is used to recognize and load the SCSI interface.

NTOSKRNL.EXE- Windows XP Core Files

WIN.COM - Windows XP command file

HAL.DLL - Hardware Abstraction layer

Desktop settings in Windows XP

My computer icon - Displays all the disk drives and properties settings

Recycle Bin - Where deleted files are stored until complete erased

Windows explorer - Windows XP user interface
Right Click Start>Explore
Start>Programs>Accessories>Windows Explorer

The desktop is a virtual desk upon which of all your programs and utilities will run.

Display properties
Right click desktop > Properties
Start>Settings>Control Panel>Display

Themes - Allows user to set background
Desktop - Use to select a picture or document to display on desktop
Screen saver - Allow you to setup a screen saver on your desktop
Appearance - Use to collect color scheme for your desktop
Settings - Use to set color depth, resolution and monitor configuration settings

System Properties
Right Click My Computer>Properties
Start>Settings>Control Panel>System

General - Contains information about OS version, service packs, updates, User information, license,
serial number, CPU and memory

Computer Name- Contains how to setup a network in Windows XP environment

Hardware - Contains information about Add/Hardware, Driver Signing, Device Manager and Hardware profiles (useful with laptops)

Advanced - Contains information about advance settings such as setting up environment variables, start and shutdown features, virtual memory and user profiles

System Restore - allows XP to restore system

Automatic Updates - allows XP to download updates from Microsoft website

Remote - allows user to connect to a computer by remote access

Device Manager - A graphical view of all the hardware installed in your computer

Device Manager Status

Normal icon - Hardware is operating properly
Yellow exclamation point- Hardware device not configured or its drivers are missing
Red with x or Stop sign icon- means the device has been disabled
Question mark - device drivers has not been loaded or recognized

Start Menu and Taskbar

Taskbar/Start Menu- contains the start menu and the system tray (Taskbar and Start Menu)

Turn Off Computer- Allow you to shutdown, restart or go into standby mode in your computer

Log Off menu - Allow you to log off and have someone else log into your computer

Run menu - Used to start programs if they don't have shortcut in the desktop

Start > Run > EDIT
Command Line Text Editor

Start > Run > NOTEPAD
Windows XP GUI Text Editor

Start > Run > SYSEDIT
Use to modify settings such as the AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI

Starts the Windows XP System Configuration Utility (General, System.ini, Win.ini, Boot.ini, Services and Startup)

Start > Run > CMD
Start the command prompt in a windows XP environment

Start > Run > REGEDIT
Starts the Windows Registry

Start > Run > DRWATSON
Starts the Dr. Watson utility useful for taking snapshots of windows XP environment

Start > Run > WINMSD
Starts the System Information Utility in Windows XP

Help and Support menu - Allow you to look for Windows XP help topics

Search menu - Is use to search for files, folders, computer, Internet and people.

Settings submenu - Gives access to your control panel, printer and taskbar/start menu

Document menu - To keep track of the last 15 data files you opened

Programs menu - Contains the programs and applications you will use

Windows Update – Allows your Windows 2000 to update files

Windows XP Management Utilities

Control Panel is the main utility for configuring your computer's setup. You can access the control panel by selecting Start>Settings>Control Panel.

Control Panel Options

Accessibility Options
Allows you to configure options that make Windows more accessible to users with limited sight, hearing and mobility

Allows you to install, remove, and troubleshoot your hardware (especially non plug-Plug-play hardware)

Add/Remove Programs
Allows you to change or remove programs that are currently installed in your computer or add or remove windows components

Administrative Tools
Provides Windows XP administrative utilities, including:

Component Services
Computer Management
Data Sources (ODBC)
Event Viewer
Local Security

Allows you to set date, time and time zone for your computer

Allows you to configure your computer's display, including background, screen saver, appearance, Active Desktop, resolution, colors and visual effects

Folder Options
Allows you to configure folder option, such as general folder properties, file associations and offline files and folders

Allows you to manage fonts installed on your computer

Game Controllers
Allows you to add, remove, and configure game controllers, including joysticks and game pads

Internet Options
Allows you to configure Internet Connection properties, security, content settings, and Internet programs

Allows you configure keyboard settings

Allows you configure mouse settings

Network Connections and Setup Wizard
Contains settings for network and dial up connections and wizards to create new connections

Phone and Modem Options
Allows you to configure telephone dialing options and modem properties

Power Options
Allows you to configure power schemes, hibernation, APM and UPS options

Printers and Faxes
Allows you to install and manage printers and faxes

Regional and Language Options
Allows you to set regional options, including numbers, currency, time, date and input locales

Scanners and Cameras
Allows you to configure cameras and scanners

Scheduled Tasks
Allows you to configure tasks to be run at specific times or intervals

Sounds and Audio Devices
Allows you to configure sound devices and to assign sound to system events

Allows you to configure system properties, including network identification, hardware, user profiles and advanced settings

Taskbar and Start Menu
Allows you to configure the taskbar and the start menu

User Accounts
Provides a simple tool for managing users and passwords

Computer Management
Right Click My Computer>Manage or
Start>Settings>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management

Computer Management provides a single, consolidated tool for managing common management tasks. The interface is organized into 3 main groups:

System Tools - Provides access for managing your computer

Event Viewer – Utility that tracks information about your hardware and software
Performance logs and alerts – Use to configure logs of performance related files and charts
Shared Folders – Utility use to manage shared folders
Device Manager – Utility use to manage your devices
Local users and groups – Utility use to create local users and groups

Managing windows XP User Accounts

Administrator - Is considered God in computer networking has full control rights over the network
Guest - Limited privileges

Local vs. Domain users

Local rights - only to the particular workstation
Domain rights - global rights anywhere within the Domain

Default Local Groups
Administrators - full permissions and privileges
Backup Operators - permission to backup and restore files
Guest - limited privileges
Network Configuration Operators Group - have some admin rights to manage computers
Power Users - less permission than an administrator
Remote Desktop User - Remote desktop administration
Replicator - supports directory replication
Users - end users with limited system access
Help Services - support the computer through the Microsoft Help Services

System Tools

Backup and Restore Files (Not found in XP home)

Types of Backup

Full Backup - A full backup copies everything

Incremental Backup - An incremental backup is faster to perform than a full backup because it records changes made to files since they were last backup (whether that last backup was full or incremental) Using a system of incremental backups, a user might perform a full backup once each week, with daily incremental backups recording the progressive changes to files
Differential Backup - A differential backup records all the changes made since the last full backup.

Disk Cleanup
A utility, which goes through the system and deletes, unneeded files to free up disk space

Disk Defragmenter
A utility use to make your drives contiguous

Files and Settings Transfer Wizard
Use to transfer files and settings from an old computer to a new computer that came with XP

Maintenance Wizard
Sets up a system maintenance plan

Scheduled tasks
Enables to run tasks automatically

System Information
Finds information on the hardware and software installed in your PC

System Restore
Monitors your computer for changes and creates a restore points that can be used to restore
the computer to a previous configuration

Troubleshooting in Windows XP

System Partition Errors

NTLDR missing or corrupt
Can't find NTDETECT.COM Unable to read BOOT.INI

Boot Partition Errors
Usually get an error reading on screen
Solution is to reboot to last know good configuration or use the recovery console and repair the error

F8 Boot Menu

Safe Mode - Troubleshooting tool that loads basic drivers
Safe Mode with networking - Safe mode with basic network support
Safe Mode Command Prompt Only - Safe mode in command prompt
Enable Boot Logging - Option log found in a file called NTBTLOG.TXT Enable VGA Mode - Boots Windows XP with only standard VGA driver
Last Known Good Configuration - Provides a great way to recover from bad installation and restores from previous state
Debugging Mode - Advanced boot logging

Windows Troubleshooting errors

General Protection Fault - When a memory overwrites another memory
Windows Protection Error - When the virtual device drivers did not load during startup
Illegal Operation - You performed an operation that windows did not like
System Lock up - Memory or to many programs are being used
Blue Screen of Death - Hardware, Device drivers and system being overloaded


The Registry is a database that the operating systems uses to store hardware and software settings centrally in a hierarchical database

To access the registry
Start>Run> REGEDIT

Data in the Registry

Device Drivers
User Profiles
Setup Programs
Hardware Profiles
Components that makeup the registry

Keys (are analogous to folders and subfolders)
Entries (has three parts: name, data type and value)
Hive (a discrete body of keys, subkeys, and entries)
Data types (REG_DWORD, REG_SZ and so on)

Registry Keys

HKEY_CURRENT_USER - A log file of the current user log on to the computer
HKEY_USERS - A log file of all the users of the computer
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - A log file of all the computer hardware configuration settings ever installed in your machine
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - A log file that is used by Windows explorer to properly associate with file association types
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG - A log file of the current hardware configuration settings installed in your machine

Windows XP Peer to Peer Networking

1. Right Click My Network Places
2. Properties
3. Right Click Local Area Connection
4. Properties
5. Install
6. Client: Select Client for Microsoft Networks
7. Service: Select File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
8. Protocol: Select TCP/IP
9. Right Click My Computer
10. Properties
11. Computer Name
12. Change
13. Computer name
14. Workgroup
15. Welcome to workgroup and restart PC
16. Log in as Administrator
17. Double Click My Network Places
18. Double Click Entire Network
19. Double Click Entire Contents
20. Double Click Microsoft Windows Network
21. Double Click Workgroup and find PC

Share Folders

1. Double Click My Computer
2. Double Click a Drive example C Drive
3. File>New>Folder
4. Right Click Folder>Sharing
5. Click on Share this folder and give it a share name
6. Apply
7. OK
8. (You will see a hand on the Folder that means it has been shared)



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