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        Power Guide to

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                                                                   Expert advice on hardware, software, and the Web

                      HERE’S HOW    E D I T E D B Y M I C H A E L S . L A S K Y, D E N N I S O ’ R E I L LY, A N D E R I C D A H L

                                                                                                 though you may also need the Windows
                                                                                                 XP CD (Pro or Home). Likewise, if you’re
                                                                                                 using VNC to make the remote link, you
                                                                                                 can work with any PC that runs Windows
                                                                                                 95 or later. Both Remote Desktop and
                                                                                                 VNC require the remote computer to be
                                                                                                 accessible over a network, via a modem,
                                                                                                 or across a virtual private network (VPN)
                                                                                                 connection. A high-speed DSL or cable-
                                                                                                 modem connection works best.
                                                                                                   First, let’s look at XP’s Remote Desktop.
                                                                                                 Set up the remote computer: Log on to the
                                                                                                 PC you’ll be accessing remotely as the
                                                                                                 administrator or with an account that is
                                                                                                 part of the Remote Desktop Users group.
                                                                                                 (To find out whether your account is in
                                                                                                 this group, select Start•Run, type lusrmgr.
                                                                                                 msc, and press <Enter> to access the Local
                                                                                                 Users and Groups utility.) After you log
                                                                                                 on, right-click My Computer on your desk-
                                                                                                 top or in Windows Explorer, and choose
      WINDOWS TIPS                                                                               Properties. Click Remote; and under Re-
                                                                                                 mote Desktop, check Allow users to connect
       SCOTT DUNN                                                                                remotely to this computer. Click OK at the
                                                                                                 explanatory prompt. Make a note of the
                                                                                                 full computer name listed there.

    Access Your Desktop From                                                                       By default, all administrator accounts
                                                                                                 are set up to permit remote access. If the
                                                                                                 account you want to access isn’t an ad-

    Wherever You May Be                                                                          ministrator, click Select Remote Users. If
                                                                                                 you don’t see the desired name listed in
    Windows it happens all the time:                If the PC you need to access uses Win-       this dialog box, click Add, type the user
     2K XP You’re at home and the files           dows XP Professional, you have every-          account name or multiple account names
     98 ME you need are on your office            thing you need to do this and more,            separated by a semicolon (;), and click
    computer. Or you’re at Grandma’s place        thanks to Remote Desktop. If you don’t         OK. (You’ll receive a prompt to try again if
    and you want to use her PC to do a little     have XP, don’t worry: RealVNC offers a         you type the name of an account not set
                                                                                                                                                ILLUSTRATION: JONATHAN CARLSON

    Web browsing without leaving a bunch of       free solution for you called VNC (Virtual      up on that system.) Click OK to close the
    cookies and other Internet cache files        Network Computing).                            System Properties dialog box. If any of the
    behind. Perhaps you’d just like to show         In most cases, the computer you’re           accounts you’ve specified are not pass-
    some clients the software you’re running      accessing from afar must have an Inter-        word-protected, you’ll need to change
    on your system back in the office without     net connection. The computer you’re            that: Choose Start•Run, type nusrmgr.cpl,
    having to take them there or install the      actually using (called the “client”) can run   and press <Enter>. Click an account name
    program on their computers.                   any version of Windows from 95 on,             and select Create a password. Follow


                                                    ings to collapse the ones you don’t want       dor’s Web site) to learn how to get through
                                                    and to reveal the Details contents. If your    the firewall and connect to the remote PC.
                                                    Network Connections folder still doesn’t       Log in remotely: Once you’ve established
                                                    have a Task bar, choose Tools•Folder Op-       a connection via your modem, network,
                                                    tions, make sure Show common tasks in          or VPN, choose Start•Programs (or All Pro-
                                                    folder is selected under the General tab,      grams)•Accessories•Communications•Re-
                                                    and click OK. Once you see the Details         mote Desktop Connection. Type the name
                                                    data, note the IP address. It consists of      of the remote computer, and click Connect
                                                                  four groups of numbers sep-      (see FIGURE 2). You’ll see the log-in dialog
                                                                  arated by periods, like 123.     box of the remote XP computer. After you
                                                                  123.123.123 (see FIGURE 1).      log in, the remote computer will lock, pre-
                                                                  Set up the client: Keep the      venting anyone at that location from
                                                                  remote system on while you       using the machine without the account
                                                    set up the client computer (you can turn       name and password. If you log into an
                                                    the remote PC’s monitor off, of course).       account on the remote machine other
                                                    If the client computer is running a ver-       than the one currently running, you’ll
FIGURE 1: YOUR IP ADDRESS is on the                 sion of Windows other than XP Profes-          receive a warning that a different account
Network Connections window’s Task bar.              sional or Home, you have to install
                                                    some files onto the client from your
the on-screen prompts and then click Cre-           Windows XP CD, so bring the disc
ate Password. Close the User Accounts               with you. Insert the disc, and when
control panel when you’re done.                     the Welcome screen appears, click
   Various network and connection set-              Perform additional tasks. In the next
tings may make it difficult for the system          screen, click Set up Remote Desktop
or network you’re accessing to find the             Connection. Follow the prompts on
computer’s name. To be on the safe side,            screen to complete the installation.
note its IP (Internet Protocol) address, too        Climb the firewall: In many cases,
(if applicable): Launch Explorer if needed,         establishing remote connections in-
right-click My Network Places, and choose           volves using a virtual private network    FIGURE 3: TROUBLESHOOT A faulty remote
Properties. Select Local Area Connection,           to access a computer that sits behind     connection via XP’s Help and Support Center.
and look in the Details box in the Task bar         a corporate firewall. If you’re con-
on the left side of the window. You may             necting to a company computer, contact         is already logged in. If you click ‘Yes’ to
need to scroll the Task bar or click head-          your IS department or network adminis-         proceed, a message will appear on the
                                                            trator to find the approved means      remote PC asking whether the connec-
                                                            of making this connection. (Visit      tion should be allowed. If the remote
                                                   for an          machine user clicks ‘No’, you won’t be
                                                            overview of virtual private net-       able to continue. If no one is at the remote
                                                            working.) If you’re connecting two     machine, the prompt will disappear after
                                                            privately owned, firewall-protected    several seconds, and you can log in.
                                                            computers that are on the same         If at first you don’t succeed... If the client
                                                            network, you may need to consult       computer couldn’t find the remote com-
FIGURE 2: TO SEE A REMOTE desktop on your own,              the documentation for your router,     puter by using the name you typed in,
just type its name in the text field and click Connect.     gateway, or firewall (or the ven-      enter the remote PC’s IP address (the

                                                                                                   POWER GUIDE           W W W. P C W O R L D.C O M   3

    one you wrote down when you set up the          other computers you’ll be working with.          W I N D OWS TO O L B OX
    remote system). If that doesn’t work, con-         Now go to the remote (server) computer
    sult your IS department or check other          and choose Start•Programs•RealVNC•Run
                                                                                                      Redesign Your Keyboard
    resources mentioned previously. Also, the       VNC Server. The first time you run this           for Free With KeyTweak
    next time you are at a machine running          tool, you’ll see a properties dialog box.        Windows A FEW YEARS BACK, I told
    XP Pro, you can get additional informa-         Normally, you can accept the defaults, but       2K XP you how to edit your Win-
    tion by choosing Start•Help and Support,        be sure to enter a password in the box on        98 ME dows Registry to remap the
    typing Troubleshooting Remote Desktop in        the upper left (see FIGURE 4). Then click         keys on your keyboard (find.pcworld.
    the Search box, and pressing <Enter> to         OK. To reopen this dialog box, double-            com/41726). Key remapping is especially
    see a list of topics based on the type of er-   click the VNC icon in your system tray (at        useful to IBM ThinkPad users, whose key-
    ror message you receive (see FIGURE 3).         the end of the taskbar near the clock).           boards lack a <Windows> key and who are
                                                    Finally, write down the server computer’s         willing to give up another one (such as
                   GO VIRTUAL                       IP address. VNC makes it simple to find:          <Caps Lock>) to get it. Fortunately, Travis
    if the machine you want to access               Hold the pointer over the VNC icon in the         Krumsick has automated the process. His
    from a distance doesn’t have Windows            tray for a moment until a tool tip appears        brainchild, KeyTweak, lets you change
    XP Pro, don’t sweat it. Start your brows-       over the icon. The number in the tool tip         keys by clicking the one you want to re-
    er, head over to, and           is the one you want.                              map on an onscreen keyboard, choosing
    click the download it now link on the left         Like Remote Desktop, VNC is not likely         its new function from a handy drop-down
    to get the free VNC software. Enter your        to see computers that hide behind a fire-         list, and selecting Remap Key. When
    name, e-mail address, and other required        wall. Make sure that you can establish a          you’ve got all your remappings set, just
    information. Check the OS version you           network connection first. See
    want (Windows, Linux, or Solaris), and          “Climb the firewall” on page 3.
    click Proceed to download. Choose the link      And jump to
    for the .exe version. (The .zip version isn’t   41722 to read RealVNC’s helpful
    much smaller, and it has to be uncom-           FAQ page on firewalls.
    pressed before you can install it.)             Make the connection: Choose
    Set up server and client: With VNC, one         Start•Programs (or All Programs)•
    installer sets up both the VNC Server (the      RealVNC•Run VNC Viewer on
    “remote” computer in XP-speak) and the          the client (or “viewer”) comput-
    VNC Viewer (which runs on the machine           er. Enter the IP address that you
    that XP calls the “client”). Double-click       noted in the tool tip and click
    the file you downloaded, and follow the         OK. A window will appear dis-
    prompts to install VNC. If the current ma-      playing the desktop of the server ma-             double-check them and click Apply. If you
    chine will be exclusively a server comput-      chine. Ta-da! Now you can click, drag, and        make a boo-boo, it’s easy to restore the
    er (one that others connect to but that         generally perform tasks on the computer           default mapping for one change or for all
    doesn’t make any connections itself), un-       as if it were the one in front of you. Well,      of them. Browse to
    check the VNC Viewer option to install          almost. A number of system keystrokes             41728 to download your free copy.
    the VNC Server only. If you think you’ll        (such as <Alt>-<Tab>) will go to the local
    ever want to use that system to access          computer, not to the server (the remote          checked, and under Update Handling,
    another machine remotely, install both          one). You may have to use the mouse to           verify that ‘Poll Full Screen’ and ‘Poll
    programs. Repeat these steps on all the         get to the application you want; but once        Window Under Cursor’ are unchecked
                                                    it’s active, you can use the keyboard to run     (but leave the ‘Poll Foreground Window’
                                                              it from the viewer machine.            option checked). To boost performance
                                                              Maximize performance: Even with        further, check Poll on Event Received Only
                                                              a relatively fast connection, virtu-   to update the viewer only when it receives
                                                              al computing can be sluggish. To       clicks and keystrokes from you. Click OK.
                                                              limit the amount of data that            Go to to read
                                                              needs to be transmitted, double-       the full user manual for VNC.
                                                              click the VNC icon in the system
                                                              tray of the server computer to         Send Windows-related questions and tips to
                                                              open the properties dialog box We pay $50 for
                                                              shown in Figure 4. Under Con-          published items. Visit
    FIGURE 4: TO GET STARTED with VNC, just install            nection Settings, make certain        31607 for more Windows Tips. Scott Dunn is
    and launch the program, and then enter a password.         that Remove Desktop Wallpaper is      a contributing editor for PC World.

                                                                         Expert advice on hardware, software, and the Web

                      HERE’S HOW        E D I T E D B Y M I C H A E L S . L A S K Y, D E N N I S O ’ R E I L LY, A N D E R I C D A H L

                                                                                                      applications that run uninvited at startup
                                                                                                      by constantly reinserting themselves into
                                                                                                      the Registry. First I’ll show you how to
                                                                                                      add a shutdown folder to Windows with-
                                                                                                      out buying any additional software. Then
                                                                                                      I’ll describe how to create a Registry file
                                                                                                      that wipes out unwanted entries every
                                                                                                      time you turn off your system. A batch file
                                                                                                      sent in by John F. Vogele of Santa Fe, New
                                                                                                      Mexico, inspired this tip.
                                                                                                         First, create your shutdown folder. Note
                                                                                                      that launching items from a folder at
                                                                                                      shutdown works only with Windows 2000
                                                                                                      and XP, so Windows 9x and Me users can
                                                                                                      skip this step and follow the instructions
                                                                                                      below for running programs at shutdown.
                                                                                                      To keep your shutdown folder with your
                                                                                                      Startup folder, right-click the Start button
                                                                                                      and click Open. Double-click Programs and
                                                                                                      then select File•New•Folder. Type Shutdown

      WINDOWS TIPS                                                                                    and press <Enter> to give the folder a name.
                                                                                                      Press <Enter> again to open the folder, and
                                                                                                      then fill it with shortcuts to any programs
                                                                                                      you want to run at shutdown: Use the
                                                                                                      right-mouse button to drag an item from
                                                                                                      any menu or folder window to your Shut-

    Make Windows Start and                                                                            down folder and choose Create Shortcut(s)
                                                                                                      Here (in XP) or Copy Here (in 2000).
                                                                                                         The programs start just before your

    Stop the Way You Want                                                                             computer powers down, so add only util-
                                                                                                      ities and batch files that automatically
     Windows want to run an applica-                      The Scheduled Tasks feature in Win-         shut down or stop their tasks when they
      2K XP tion each time Windows                      dows can run those activities while you’re    finish (see FIGURE 1). To do this with disk
      98 ME starts? Easy. Just right-drag               away from your system—but only if you         maintenance utilities, you may need to set
    its .exe file, or a shortcut to that file, to the   leave your computer on all the time. If       some special command-line switches; go
    Startup folder and choose Create Short-             you prefer to save power by shutting          to for details.
                                                                                                                                                     ILLUSTRATION: EDWIN FOTHERINGHAM

    cut(s) Here. The next time you start Win-           down your PC every day, tell Windows to       Visit for tips on
    dows, the program will load automatical-            do its chores just before it shuts down. Or   automating Disk Cleanup, too. You can
    ly. But what about scanning for viruses,            even better, create a shutdown folder         also add a batch file that backs up your
    making backups, defragmenting your                  whose contents you can change at will,        work or a shortcut that performs a virus
    hard drive, and doing other regular main-           knowing that Windows will run the items       scan. Consult your antivirus software for
    tenance tasks? You don’t want to wait for           in the folder when it shuts down.             any necessary command-line options.
    them to finish every time you start up.               This allows you to put the whammy on           The names of the shortcuts in your


FIGURE 1:                                              On the second line, type cd /d and enter     Save, navigate to the folder where you
SAVE TIME                                           the path to the directory containing your       store batch files, and give your file a name
at startup                                          Shutdown folder again. (The /d switch           with the .bat extension—for example,
by creating                                         simply ensures that the prompt points to        Shutdwn.bat. Next, open the folder in
a shutdown                                          the correct drive.) For example, the sec-       Explorer and drag the icon for the file you
folder that                                         ond line of your batch file might look like     just saved onto the Start menu button.
runs utility                                        this: cd /d “C:\Documents and Settings\         Click the Start button, right-click your
programs of                                         Scott\Start Menu\Programs\Shutdown” (your       new command, and select Rename (if you
your choice                                         path may differ, of course).                    want to change its name) or Properties (if
whenever                                               The next line will launch the batch file.    you want to customize its look via the
you exit                                            Type a command like this: call c:\batch\        Change Icon button on the Program or
Windows.                                            run_it.bat (again, your path may differ).       Shortcut tab). The next time you want to
                                                       In all Windows versions, add a line for      exit Windows and automatically run your
                                                    each utility you want to launch that does       shutdown applications, choose this icon
                                                    not have a corresponding shortcut in your       on the Start menu instead of selecting the
                                                    Shutdown folder. In Windows 9x and Me,          usual command.
    Shutdown folder cannot contain any
                                                    this is the only way to get programs to
    spaces. If you see a shortcut name that                                                               STOP AUTOSTART APPS
                                                    launch just prior to Windows shutting
    does have a space, select it, press <F2>,
                                                    down. For example, you might have a line         Windows one handy use for a shut-
    type a space-free name, and press <Enter>.
                                                    like c:\windows\scandskw.exe c: d: /n (your       2K XP down folder is to clear per-
    Repeat as needed for all such shortcuts.                                                          98 ME sistent folderol from your
                                                    application and command-line options
        SHUTDOWN MAINTENANCE                        may differ, naturally). If you add Win-         Registry. Many apps try to keep them-
                                                    dows utilities that automatically exit upon     selves or one of their modules running in
    now create a batch file to launch
                                                    completion, add start /w to the beginning       your system tray (the area near the clock)
    these applications and shut down your
                                                    of their lines, particularly if the tasks take  even when you’re not using them. Most
    computer. Select Start•Programs (All Pro-
                                                    a while. The /w switch causes the batch         of these Startup items are placed here
    grams in XP)•Accessories•Notepad. The first
                                                    file to pause until the application has shut    when you first install the program. If you
    three lines of the batch file, which will
                                                    down before going to the next line.             use them only occasionally, you can pre-
    launch the applications in your Shutdown
                                                       Add a line to the batch file to shut down    vent them from starting by using a handy
    folder, apply only to Windows 2000 and
                                                    Windows. Browse to            freeware tool such as Mike Lin’s Startup
    XP. On the first line, type dir /b followed
                                                    41282 and scroll to “One-Click Exits and        Control Panel. Visit
    by the path to your Shutdown folder (in
                                                    Reboots” for the full scoop. If you’d like      41285 to download the program.
    quotation marks if it contains any spaces
                                                    to use Windows XP or 2000 to launch ap-            Unfortunately, some applications (such
    or long folder names). On the same line,
                                                    plications by putting them in your Shut-        as QuickTime for Windows) restore their
    type a space and > (the “greater than”
                                                    down folder, adjust the ‘-t’ (timeout) op-      startup commands every time you up-
    symbol) followed by the path to the folder
                                                    tion to give these tasks enough time to         grade or even just run the application. Be-
    that will store the batch file, and finally a
                                                    finish before Windows shuts down. Type          fore you can clean them out automatically,
    name for the batch file that lists your
                                                    -t, followed by a space, and then enter the     you need to edit the Registry key in ques-
    shutdown applications. To find the file
                                                    number of seconds you want the shut-            tion. Choose Start•Run, type regedit, and
    path, simply open the folder in Explorer
                                                    down process to wait. For example, the          press <Enter>. Navigate to the folder (called
    and look in the Address field. (If you don’t
                                                    command -t 9999 will cause Windows to           a “key” in Registry lingo) containing
    see it there, click Tools•Folder Options•
                                                    wait nearly 3 hours
    View•Display the full path in the address
                                                    before shutting
    bar.) The /b switch in the command caus-
                                                    down. When you’re
    es it to list only file names, without extra
                                                    done, your Notepad
    information. For example, your first line
                                                    window may look
    might look like this: dir /b “C:\Documents
                                                    like the one in FIG-
    and Settings\Scott\Start Menu\Programs\
                                                    URE 2.                     FIGURE 2: A SIMPLE BATCH FILE is the key to running utility
    Shutdown” > “c:\batch\run_it.bat” (your
                                                       Now choose File•        programs and then shutting down Windows in a single step.
    paths may differ, of course).

                                                                                                    POWER GUIDE          W W W. P C W O R L D.C O M   6

                                                     changes to the top line, the blank line
                                                     below that, or the next heading line that
                                                     shows the Registry path in brackets.
                                                     Underneath that heading, one or more
                                                           applications will be listed in quota-
                                                           tion marks. Find the line that corre-
                                                           sponds to the application whose
                                                           startup command you would like to
                                                     remove. Leave the line intact up to the
                                                     equal sign (=), but delete everything on
                                                     the line after that. Type a hyphen imme-
                                                     diately after the equal sign. For example,
                                                     if you’re eliminating the QuickTime Task
    FIGURE 3: BACK UP REGISTRY segments              item, the line should now read “QuickTime
    that you’ll edit, in case something goes awry.   Task”=-. Repeat these steps for all the
                                                     applications you want to prevent from
    the command to start the application.            starting with Windows.
    Startup Control Panel can show you                  Finally, delete all of the other lines be-
    where to look, but the most likely places        neath the bracketed heading. When you
    are HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\                  are finished, you should be left with only
    Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\                the two headings at the top (showing the
    Run and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\                      Registry version and the bracketed Reg-
    SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Cur-                  istry path) and one line for each applica-
    rentVersion\Run. The QuickTime Task              tion whose behavior you want to modify
    module, for example, uses the latter.            (see FIGURE 4). Choose File•Save to pre-
       With the key selected in the tree pane        serve your custom .reg file.
    on the left, choose Registry•Export or File•        Double-click the Registry export icon
    Export (depending on your version of             and follow the prompts to keep unwanted
    Windows). Navigate to your backup fold-          applications from starting with Windows.
    er, make sure that Selected branch is high-      To create a shortcut that responds auto-
    lighted, give the export file a name, and        matically, right-click inside the desired
    click Save (see FIGURE 3).                       folder (such as the Shutdown folder you
       Back in the Registry, choose the Export       created in the previous tip) and choose
    command again, but this time specify a           New•Shortcut. In the first box in the Cre-
    folder for storing a modified version that       ate Shortcut wizard, type regedit /s fol-
    you can use to delete unwanted Startup           lowed by a space and the path to your
    items. If you plan to make this correction       modified .reg file. So if you stored your
    via a batch file (like the one described in      file in C:\Windows\Batch, your line
    the previous tip), you may store this ver-       might read regedit /s “C:\Windows\Batch\
    sion in the same folder as your batch files.     Startup Stopper.reg” (your path and file
    Again, confirm that Selected branch is           name may differ). Use quotation marks if
    highlighted, type a name, and click Save.        your path contains a space or uses long
       Open Explorer and locate the icon for         names. Click Next, type a name for your
    the export file you just saved. Right-click      shortcut, and click Finish.
    the icon and choose Edit. Don’t make any
                                                                     S e n d W i n d ows- re l a te d
                                                                     questions and tips to
                                                                     We pay $50 for published
                                                                     items. Visit find.pcworld.
                                                                     com/31607 for more Win-
                                                                     dows Tips. Scott Dunn is
    FIGURE 4: TO KEEP APPLICATIONS from starting, use a              a contributing editor for
    hyphen to delete entries when the Registry file is merged.       PC World.

                                                                                                      To add a link to a Web page or graphic,
                                                                                                    click the Location field in the New Active

      WINDOWS TIPS                                                                                  Desktop Item dialog box (New Desktop
                                                                                                    Item in Windows XP). Press <Ctrl>-V (or
                                                                                                    right-click inside the field and choose
                                                                                                    Paste) and click OK. In the Add Item to
                                                                                                    Active Desktop dialog, click Customize to
      LIVE WEB UPDATES               IDENTIFY MYSTERY               A FREEBIE GRAPHS                start the Offline Favorite Wizard. This
      ON YOUR DESKTOP                SYS-TRAY ICONS                 YOUR FILE SIZES                 sets a time for automatic updating. Click
                                                                                                    Next. When asked how to synchronize,
                                                                                                    decide how you’d like to keep the info up

    Have the World Delivered                                                                        to date. If you’re on dial-up and want to
                                                                                                    update items manually, select Only when I
                                                                                                    choose Synchronize from the Tools menu.

    to Your PC’s Desktop                                                                              If you’d like the items to update auto-
                                                                                                    matically, select I would like to create a new
     Windows whether it’s cluttered                and other sites that refresh frequently. To      schedule and click Next. Specify the update
      2K XP with icons or adorned with             add a whole Web page to your desktop, go         frequency and time. (We’ll set the options
      98 ME tasteful wallpaper, your Win-          to the site; click the URL in the Address        for updating several times a day on the
    dows desktop just sits there. Why not put      bar at the top of the Internet Explorer
    it to work showing you the information         browser (to highlight the URL); and press
    you really need? What’s the weather going      <Ctrl>-C, or right-click the URL and choose
    to be like on Saturday? How’s my Martha        Copy. To add a single Web graphic, right-
    Stewart Living stock doing? What does          click the picture, choose Properties, and
    the commute traffic look like? In only a       select the text to the right of ‘Address:’
    few minutes, you can add these and sim-        (the graphic’s URL). Press <Ctrl>-C to copy
    ilarly useful items to your desktop. Once      the address to the clipboard (see FIGURE 1).
    they’re in place, Windows does all the         The address or URL you copy must refer
    work, automatically updating the infor-        to an actual file, such as one ending in
    mation at the interval you choose.             .html, .gif, or .jpg.                            FIGURE 2: SCHEDULE YOUR desktop
       Microsoft has some special Web toys           Once you’ve copied the URL to the clip-        updates with the Offline Favorite Wizard.
    designed specifically for the Windows          board, right-click the desktop and choose
    desktop, but you can add any Web page or       Properties. In Windows 9x, 2000, and Me,         next page.) If you’re adding other items to
    graphic that gets updated with useful in-      click the Web tab. (To get to this tab direct-   your desktop that you’ll update at the
    formation regularly. Check your favorite       ly, right-click the desktop and choose           same time, type a name for your custom
    news, weather, traffic, sports, financial,     Active Desktop•Customize my Desktop.) If         schedule. If you’re on a dial-up connec-
                                                   the option isn’t checked, click View my          tion and want the synchronization to
                                                   Active Desktop as a web page (Windows 9x)
                                                   or Show Web Content on my Active Desktop
                                                          (Windows 2000 and Me). In Win-
                                                                                                        WHAT’S ON MY TRAY?
                                                          dows XP, select the Desktop tab,              IF YOU’RE NOT SURE what all the little
                                                          click the Customize Desktop button,           icons collecting in your system tray (the
                                                          and then click the Web tab. In all            area at the end of the taskbar) are for,
                                                   Windows versions, click the New button.              hold your mouse pointer over each one.
                                                     If you want to check out Microsoft’s               A tool tip should pop-up with the name
                                                   Desktop Gallery of goodies (such as a cus-           of the running application that the icon
                                                   tomizable stock ticker, a weather map,               represents. If you need more information
                                                   and sports scores), click Yes when prompt-           about the program associated with an
                                                   ed in Windows 9x or click Visit Gallery in           icon, check the list of some common
                                                   other versions of Windows. If you want               taskbar icons, along with information
                                                   an item you see in the gallery, click Add to         and links about each one, provided by
                                                   Active Desktop and follow the prompts on             the good folks at Computer Hope (www.
    FIGURE 1: ADD A WEB PAGE, graphic, or          screen. Windows may later prompt you to     Visit find.pcworld.
    animation to the desktop by copying its URL.   install and configure some software.                 com/42160 to have a look at the list.


                                               turn off your PC (see FIGURE 3). Click OK.       W I N D OWS TO O L B OX
                                                 The controls under the Settings tab let
                                               you update only when you’re away from
                                                                                                 Track Disk Space Hogs
                                               your computer (the Idle Time options) or          With the Free TreeSize
                                               stop updates when your system is run-             NO MATTER WHAT you do, Windows’ an-
                                               ning on batteries. Make your choices,             noying low-disk-space warnings won’t
                                               click OK until you close the dialog boxes         stop. How do you determine which of
                                                           and return to your desktop.           your bazillion folders hold the real space
                                                             Now that you have created a         wasters? One easy—and free—solution is
                                                           schedule for updating, you can        TreeSize from Joachim Marder of JAM
                                                           skip these steps when adding          Software. The program uses Explorer’s
FIGURE 3: UPDATE DESKTOP items as often        future items to your desktop, if you don’t        familiar folder-tree diagram to show the
as you wish via Advanced Schedule Options.     mind them updating at the same time.              contents of a selected folder or drive, but
                                               When prompted to synchronize an item              it adds a bar chart for each branch so you
access the Web automatically at the spec-      using the Offline Favorite Wizard, choose         can see which folder or group of nested
ified time, check the appropriate box.         Using this existing schedule, select the          folders takes up the most space. You can
Click Next (see FIGURE 2).                     schedule you named earlier, and follow
  If the site needs a password, select Yes,    the remaining prompts in the wizard.
my user name and password are and enter          To reposition or resize a desktop item,
the information to keep from having to         click it (but not a Web link) to make a bor-
enter it manually for each update. Other-      der appear. Move the pointer to the top of
wise, click No and then Finish. Finally,       the image to see a kind of titleless title bar
click OK in the Add Item to Active Desk-       that you drag to reposition your item.
top dialog box. Windows synchronizes           Drag any edge to resize it. As a general
the item and then adds it to the list of       rule, graphics will look better if you don’t
Active Desktop items in the Web tab.           resize them. Web pages have scroll bars,
  Traffic reports and other items that         so you can position the information you
need frequent updates require some fur-        want to see within the desktop item.              configure the display to see the size of
ther scheduling. Select the item in the list     Place the items on your desktop where           each folder, the bytes allocated to each,
on the Web tab, and then click Properties.     they look best and are easy to read. Use          the percentage of space each consumes,
Choose the Schedule tab and make sure          Windows’ Paint or another image-editing           or the bytes wasted due to empty space
Using the following schedule(s) has been       program to create desktop wallpaper to            in clusters used by the FAT32 disk for-
highlighted. Select                                       organize your desktop items.           mat. For a more sophisticated analysis of
the item you’re going                                     The wallpaper is visible in the        your files and folders, try JAM Software’s
to schedule and click                                     areas between your automatically       $40 TreeSize Professional shareware.
                                                          updating items (see FIGURE 4).         Browse to to
                                                            If you don’t see a border or top     download the free version of this utility.
                                                          bar around your item, the resize
                                               option may be locked: Right-click the            Update Now (in Windows 9x) or Active
                                               desktop, choose Active Desktop (in Win-          Desktop•Synchronize (in Windows 2000
                                               dows 2000 and Me) or Arrange Icons By            and Me). Or choose Tools•Synchronize in
                                               (in XP), and uncheck Lock Desktop Items          any folder window. Check the boxes for
                                               or Lock Web Items on Desktop, depending          the items to update, and click Synchronize.
                                               on your version. When the desktop items            Ta-da! Now press <Windows>-D or <Win-
                                               are positioned as you like, recheck the          dows>-M to minimize all other windows
                                               command to freeze them in place. (None           and see your items on the desktop. (Our
FIGURE 4: ARRANGE DESKTOP items to get         of these commands appear on the Active           thanks to Oscar Guerra of Seattle, Wash-
the best view of the information you need.     Desktop submenu unless Show Web Con-             ington, for suggesting this tip.)
                                               tent is checked.) In XP, return to the Web
Edit. Choose the Schedule tab and then the     tab of the Desktop Items dialog box and          Send Windows-related questions and tips to
Advanced button. Check Repeat task and         check Lock desktop items to keep the items We pay $50 for
specify the update interval. Use the op-       where they are on the desktop.                   published items. Visit
tions under ‘Until’ to stop the updating at      To update items manually, right-click          31607 for more Windows Tips. Scott Dunn is
the end of the day or when you leave or        the desktop and choose Active Desktop•           a contributing editor for PC World.

                                                                                                POWER GUIDE          W W W. P C W O R L D.C O M   9
                                                                                                    wait for them to close. For additional
                                                                                                    Windows shutdown tricks, head over to

       ANSWER LINE                                                                                  page 5 and save even more time and

        LINCOLN SPECTOR                                                                                     FAILED SHUTDOWNS
                                                                                                    if windows won’t shut down at all,
       DELETE FILES THAT              MAKE A DUAL-BOOT               SIMPLE OUTLOOK                 run the Startup and Shutdown Trou-
       WINDOWS WON’T                  SYSTEM SINGULAR                DATA SHARING                   bleshooter (unless you have Windows
                                                                                                    2000, which lacks this wizard). To launch
                                                                                                    the troubleshooter, select Start•Help (Help

     Why All the Problems                                                                           and Support in XP). In Windows 98, click
                                                                                                    Search. Type shutdown troubleshooter,
                                                                                                    press <Enter>, and select Startup and Shut-

     Shutting Down My PC?                                                                           down Troubleshooter (see FIGURE 1).
                                                                                                      If the troubleshooter wizard doesn’t
               MY PC TAKES ABOUT 5 minutes to       remote desktop, fast user switching, re-        help, or if you have Windows 2000, here
               shut down. What’s causing the        mote assistance, the terminal server, or        are some other suggestions:
               problem, and how can I fix it?       other Terminal Services, you don’t need           If you have Windows XP and haven’t
               Linnett Williamson, Felt, Oklahoma   this. To shut it off, select Start•Run, type    upgraded to Service Pack 1, visit find.
     remember when turning off an elec-             services.msc /s, and press <Enter>. Find to download the up-
     tronic gadget meant flipping a switch?         and double-click the Terminal Services list-    date. It fixes a shutdown bug.
     Shutting down a PC is much more com-           ing. (Of course, if you don’t have Termi-         If Windows closes but the PC stays on
     plicated. Sometimes Windows takes an           nal Services installed, your slow shut-         with a message that you can now safely
     extremely long time to close, and too          downs have another cause.) Change               turn off your computer, there’s a problem
                                                                    ‘Startup type’ to Disabled or   with Advanced Power Management. But
                                                                    Manual and click OK.            is the problem in Windows or in your
                                                                      If you use Windows 2000       hardware configuration? Check Windows
                                                                    or XP, you can speed up         first: Right-click the desktop and select
                                                                    your shutdowns by verify-       Properties. Click the Screen Saver tab and
                                                                    ing that you’re not clearing    then the Power button. (In 98 and Me, this
                                                                             your virtual mem-      button is the ‘Settings’ button under
                                                                             ory whenever you       ‘Energy saving....’) Click the APM tab (if
                                                                             exit out of Win-       there is no APM tab, the problem resides
                                                                             dows. This is not      in your hardware configuration). Check
                                                                    the default setting, but it’s   the Enable Advanced Power Management
                                                                    still good to check. Select     Support box, and then click OK.
                                                                    Start•Run, type gpedit.msc,
     FIGURE 1: WHEN WINDOWS WON’T shut down, turn to           and press <Enter>. Navigate the
     the Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooter first.            left pane as if you’re in Win-
                                                                                                        BE A CHOOSY DOWNLOADER
                                                               dows Explorer to Computer Con-           A READER WHO asked to remain anony-
     often the operating system doesn’t shut        figuration\Windows Settings\Security Set-           mous requests that I remind readers not
     down at all. I’ll discuss the major causes     tings\Local Policies\Security Options. In the       to download and install every program
     and describe fixes for both problems.          right pane, scroll to Shutdown: Clear vir-          they read about in PC World. We recom-
       First, here’s some general advice: Bugs      tual memory pagefile. If the option is              mend only programs that we find useful,
     in hardware drivers cause most shutdown        enabled, double-click it, select Disabled,          of course, but that doesn’t mean they’re
     difficulties. Before you do anything else,     and click OK. (You may not have this                useful to everyone. You may not need a
     go to the Web sites of your hardware ven-      option on your system.)                             tool for the chore it’s designed to do, or
     dors and look for the latest updates.             Finally, the more programs you have              you may already have a program that
                                                    running on your system, the longer it               handles it. Remember that every pro-
               SLOW SHUTDOWNS                       takes Windows to close each one before              gram you download and install clutters
     one common cause of recalcitrant               shutting itself down. You could simply              your hard drive, and every program that
     shutdowns in Windows 2000 and XP is            close your programs manually before exit-           runs in the background slows Windows
     Terminal Services. If you never use            ing Windows, but you still would have to            and increases the likelihood of conflicts.


  To check your hardware configuration,              You have to boot from your startup flop-     OFFICE TIP
reboot and then enter your computer’s             py disk to accomplish the same thing in
Setup program by pressing a certain key           Windows Me. If you don’t have a startup          Share Your Outlook Data
early in the boot-up process (an on-screen        disk, select Start•Settings•Control Panel,                 HOW CAN TWO people use
message should identify the key). Search          double-click Add/Remove Programs•Start-                    Microsoft Outlook to share data
                                                  up Disk, and then follow the prompts (be                   across a network?
                                                  sure to have a blank, formatted floppy              Andrew Mace, Birmingham, Alabama
                                                  disk ready beforehand). If you reboot your       THIS TECHNIQUE doesn’t keep one
                                                  computer with the startup disk in the            person’s data separate from the other’s,
                                                  drive, you’ll get to a DOS prompt from           and it doesn’t work between Outlook
                                                  which you can delete the file.                   2003 and older versions of the program,
                                                     Unfortunately, you can’t exit to DOS in       but it’s free: Open Outlook on the first
                                                  Windows 2000 and XP, so try deleting the         machine and select File•Import and
                                                  file in Safe Mode: Select Start•Turn Off         Export to launch the Import and Export
FIGURE 2: REMOVE WINDOWS’ dual boot by            Computer•Restart. During the reboot—             Wizard. Select Export to a file, and then
erasing one line from your boot.ini file.         and just before Windows loads—press              Personal Folder File (.pst). Choose the
                                                  <F8> (it may take you a few attempts to get      folder you want to export (you can’t
the menus for options that will allow you         the timing right). Select Safe Mode, and         select more than one folder, so you’ll
to turn on APM or ACPI (another power-            then try to delete the file.                     have to run the wizard separately for
conserving standard).                                If that doesn’t work, go to find.pcworld.     each folder you want to move). To export
  If you run Windows 2000 or XP and               com/40568 to download Gibin Software             everything, select Personal Folders and
your PC reboots when it’s supposed to             House’s GiPo@MoveOnBoot. This free               check Include subfolders. Save the ex-
shut down, the culprit is probably a sys-         program lets you define files to be copied,      port in a shared folder that the other
tem failure. These versions of Windows            moved, or deleted the next time you              computer can access. Once the wizard is
respond to system failures by rebooting,          boot—before Windows loads.                       finished, exit and reopen Outlook.
making it look like Windows can’t distin-                                                            Now open Outlook on the second PC,
guish between Turn Off and Restart. To                    REMOVE DUAL BOOT                         and select File•Import and Export to
get to the root of the problem, right-click                I’M RUNNING A dual-boot system          launch the Import and Export Wizard on
My Computer and choose Properties. Select                  with Windows XP and Windows 98.         that system. Select Import from another
the Advanced tab. In Windows XP, click                     I no longer want to use 98. What        program or file; for the file type, click
Settings under ‘Startup and Recovery’,            steps do I take to remove the dual boot?         Personal Folder File (.pst). Choose the file
uncheck Automatically restart, and click                                     George Nowotny,       you just created on the first PC, and click
OK twice. In Windows 2000, click Startup                        Port Moody, British Columbia       Replace duplicates with items imported.
and Recovery, uncheck Automatically re-           to kill the “Please select the operating         Click Finish, and the data from the first
boot, and click OK twice. Now you’ll be           system…” menu that comes up every time           system merges with that on the second.
able to see what’s making Windows blow            you boot, load Windows XP, click the               If you’re willing to spend money for a
up in your face, and maybe you’ll be able         Start button, right-click My Computer, and       more elegant solution, you might try
to fix it or find a workaround.                   select Properties•Advanced. Choose the Set-      Vaita’s OsaSync ($37.50), which shares
                                                  tings button under ‘Startup and Recovery’.       only contacts, or its bigger sibling, Osa-
           WHEN YOU CAN’T                           If your XP installation isn’t listed as the    Sync Pro ($62.50), which shares every-
            DELETE A FILE                         ‘Default operating system’, select it from       thing. Go to to
          HOW DO I DELETE a file when Win-        the drop-down menu, click OK twice, and          download either of these programs.
          dows insists that it’s “being used by   reboot. Return to ‘Startup and Recovery’,
          another person or program”?             and click the Edit button to bring up           and resize the Windows XP one. But oth-
          Rob Oldenburg, Wellington, Florida      boot.ini in Notepad. Delete the last line of    erwise, don’t worry about it. Simply use
this is easy to do in Windows 98: Select          the file (see FIGURE 2), which should be        the Win 98 partition to store backups or
Start•Shut Down•Restart in MS-DOS                 the unwanted boot option. Save the file,        for some other purpose.
mode, and then use the del filename com-          exit Notepad, click OK twice, and reboot.
mand to delete the file from the DOS              XP should load with no menu. If there’s         Send your questions to answer@pcworld.
prompt. To do this, you’ll have to know           a problem, use System Restore to return         com. Answer Line pays $50 for published
the path to the file on your hard drive.          to the status quo, and try again.               items. See for more
And remember that a file called “Photo of           If you have partitioning software such        Answer Line columns. You’ll find Contribut-
Mary.jpg” in Windows is probably some-            as Symantec’s PartitionMagic, you may           ing Editor Lincoln Spector’s humorous writ-
thing like photoo~1.jpg in DOS.                   want to delete the Windows 98 partition         ing at

 11   W W W. P C W O R L D.C O M    POWER GUIDE

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