1. ‘systeminfo’It boasts how long it can stay up. Whereas previous versions of Windows were coy about how long they went between boots, XP is positively proud of its stamina.
Go to the Command Prompt in the Accessories menu from the All Programs start button option, and then type ‘systeminfo’. The computer will produce a lot of useful info, including the uptime. If you want to keep
these, type ‘systeminfo > info.txt‘. This creates a file called info.txt you can look at later with Notepad. (Professional Edition only).
2. gpeditYou can delete files immediately, without having them move to the Recycle Bin first. Go to the start menu, select Run… and type ‘ gpedit.msc‘; then select User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Explorer and find the Do not move deleted files to the Recycle Bin setting. Set it.
Poking around in gpedit will reveal a great many interface and system options, but take care — some may stop your computer behaving as you wish.
(Professional Edition only).
3. rundll32.exeYou can lock your XP workstation with two clicks of the mouse. Create a new shortcut on your desktop using a right mouse click, and enter ‘rundll32.exe
user32.dll,LockWorkStation‘ in the location field. Give the shortcut a name you like. That’s it — just double click on it and your computer will be locked. And if that’s not easy enough, Windows key + L will do the same.
4. sysoc.infXP hides some system software you might want to remove, such as Windows Messenger, but you can tickle it and make it disgorge everything. Using Notepad or Edit, edit the text file /windows/inf/sysoc.inf, search for the word ‘hide‘ and remove it. You can then go to the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Windows Components and there will be your prey, exposed and vulnerable.
5. schtasksFor those skilled in the art of DOS batch files, XP has a number of interesting new commands. These include ‘eventcreate‘ and ‘eventtriggers‘ for creating and watching system events, ‘typeperf’ for monitoring performance of various subsystems, and ‘schtasks’ for handling scheduled tasks. As usual, typing the command name followed by /? will give a list of options — they’re all far too baroque to go into here.
6. ipv6XP has IP version 6 support (the next generation of IP). Unfortunately this is more than your ISP has, so you can only experiment with this on your LAN. Type ‘ipv6 install‘ into Run… (it’s OK, it won’t ruin your existing network setup) and then ‘ipv6 /?‘ at the command line to find out more. If you don’t know what IPv6 is, don’t worry and don’t bother.
7. taskkillYou can at last get rid of tasks on the computer from the command line by using ‘taskkill /pid‘ and the task number, or just ‘tskill’ and the process number.
Find that out by typing ‘tasklist’, which will also tell you a lot about what’s going on in your system.
8. zipfldr.dllXP will treat Zip files like folders, which is nice if you’ve got a fast machine. On slower machines, you
can make XP leave zip files well alone by typing ‘regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll‘ at the command line. If you change your mind later, you can put things back as they were by typing ‘regsvr32 zipfldr.dll‘.