Cover image for Windows XP weekend crash course
Windows XP weekend crash course
Nicholson, John R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN Wiley, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 376 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

"30 sessions that will have you up and running with windows XP in only 15 hours"--Cover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.76.O63 N53 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Get up to speed on Windows XP - in a weekend!

The big day is Monday. The day you get to show off what you know about Windows XP. The problem is, you're not really up to speed. Maybe it's been a while since you used the Windows operating system. Perhaps you're interested in the enhancements that have been made to the software. Or maybe you just like a challenge. In any event, we've got a solution for you - Windows XP Weekend Crash Course. Open the book Friday evening and on Sunday afternoon, after completing 30 fast, focused sessions, you'll be able to dive right in and use the dozens of tips that are useful on an everyday basis. It's as simple as that.

The Curriculum


Evening: 4 Sessions, 2 Hours
* Introducing Windows XP
* Windows XP Installation
* Windows XP Operating System
* Letting Windows Help You


Morning: 6 Sessions, 3 Hours
* Using the Control Panel
* Accessory Basics
* Advanced Accessories
* Basic Desktop Customization
* Advanced Desktop Customization
* File and Folder Basics

Afternoon: 6 Sessions, 3 Hours
* Advanced File and Folder Operations
* The My Documents Folder
* Printing
* Networking
* Internet Explorer Basics
* Advanced Internet Tasks

Saturday, cont.

Evening: 4 Sessions, 2 Hours
* Managing Your Computer
* Disaster Recovery
* Using Outlook Express
* Instant Messaging


Morning: 6 Sessions, 3 Hours
* Mastering Media
* Adding and Configuring Hardware
* Sharing Resources
* Updating Windows XP
* Controlling the Windows Task Manager
* Auditing Computer Efficiency

Afternoon: 4 Sessions, 2 Hours
* Managing Users and User Rights
* Protecting Your Computer from Viruses
* Basic Troubleshooting
* Where to Go from Here

Author Notes

John R. Nicholson is a professor of Computer Information Systems at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. He has been using Microsoft Windows since Version 1 was introduced, and has been an authorized beta tester of every version of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office since 1994. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional in both Windows NT and Windows 2000. John is author of more than a dozen computer-related books, translated into over 20 languages. Recent books include Inside Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 (2001), which he co-authored with his son Sean, and Teach Yourself Outlook 98 in 24 Hours (1998), which he co-authored with his daughter Rebecca. He has four children and seven grandchildren. When he isn't chained to his computer, John watches nearly every movie ever made, loves theater, and collects old radio shows from the 1920s through the 1960s. He can be reached at

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Fridayp. 2
Part I Friday Eveningp. 4
Session 1 Introducing Windows XPp. 5
What Is an Operating System?p. 5
Microsoft Windowsp. 6
All About Windows XP (Well, Almost)p. 7
New and improved Windows XP featuresp. 8
Visual designp. 8
User switchingp. 9
Internet Connection Firewallp. 10
Internet Connection Sharingp. 11
Windows Media Playerp. 11
A few final words about Windows XP featuresp. 12
Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition?p. 12
Costp. 12
Remote desktopp. 13
Network sizep. 13
Protecting sensitive filesp. 14
Recovery from catastrophic failurep. 14
CPUp. 14
Video displayp. 14
Session 2 Installing Windows XPp. 17
Windows XP Professional and Home Edition Hardware Requirementsp. 18
The minimum required hardwarep. 18
The recommended hardware suggestionsp. 18
Real-world suggestionsp. 19
Before Installing Windows XPp. 19
Assessing your current system: caveat emptorp. 19
Should you upgrade or perform a full installation?p. 20
Upgrading an Existing Operating Systemp. 21
Performing a Complete Installation of Windows XPp. 25
Activating Windows XP After Installationp. 28
Activation over the Internetp. 28
Activation using the telephonep. 29
Finalization of Windows XP installationp. 29
Session 3 Windows XP Operating System and Time-Saving Tipsp. 31
Windows XP Terminologyp. 31
The Windows XP desktopp. 31
Populating the desktop with common iconsp. 32
Displaying the Quick Launch barp. 34
Tips Timep. 34
Using the Windows logo keyp. 35
Using the Control keyp. 36
Miscellaneous tips and tricksp. 37
A few sample tip Web sitesp. 37
Session 4 Letting Windows Help Youp. 39
The Help and Support Centerp. 39
Using the basic search feature in the Help and Support Centerp. 40
Help screen buttonsp. 42
The standard toolbarp. 43
Using customized search optionsp. 43
Getting Help in Dialog Boxesp. 44
Opening a sample dialog boxp. 45
Displaying the help information boxesp. 46
Application-Specific Helpp. 47
Getting About WordPad helpp. 47
Viewing WordPad help topicsp. 48
Using the Contents tabp. 48
Using the Index tabp. 49
Touring Windowsp. 50
Using the Windows XP Search Featurep. 51
Searching for specific file typesp. 51
Searching for documentsp. 53
Saturdayp. 58
Part II Saturday Morningp. 60
Session 5 Using the XP Control Panelp. 61
Accessing the Control Panelp. 61
Understanding the Control Panel Iconsp. 62
Appearance and Themesp. 62
Printers and Other Hardwarep. 63
Network and Internet Connectionsp. 64
User Accountsp. 65
Add or Remove Programsp. 66
Date, Time, Language, and Regional Optionsp. 67
Sound, Speech, and Audio Devicesp. 68
Accessibility Optionsp. 69
Performance and Maintenancep. 70
Choosing a Control Panel Viewp. 71
Session 6 Windows XP Accessories: The Basicsp. 75
Accessing the Accessoriesp. 75
Using the Windows XP Calculatorp. 76
Creating Graphics with XP Paintp. 77
Comparing Notepad and WordPadp. 80
Using Windows Explorerp. 83
Session 7 Windows XP Accessories: Advancedp. 85
Accessing the Accessory Categoriesp. 85
Accessibility accessoriesp. 85
Communication accessoriesp. 86
Entertainment accessoriesp. 88
System Toolsp. 89
Audio and Video Capture Accessoriesp. 90
Windows XP Sound Recorderp. 90
Windows Movie Makerp. 91
Organizing Your Accessoriesp. 92
Session 8 Basic Desktop Customizationp. 95
Accessing Your Desktopp. 95
Arranging Your Desktopp. 97
Using Auto Arrangep. 98
Sorting your desktop iconsp. 98
Manually arranging your desktop iconsp. 99
Changing the View of Your Start Menup. 100
Displaying the Windows XP viewp. 101
Classic viewp. 102
Sorting the programs in your Start menup. 102
Session 9 Advanced Desktop Customizationp. 105
Changing the Display Optionsp. 105
Picking a themep. 106
Changing your background imagep. 107
Changing your screen saverp. 108
Creating a personalized screen saverp. 109
Adding and Removing Shortcutsp. 110
Adding a shortcut to your desktopp. 111
Removing a shortcut from your desktopp. 112
Using the Desktop Cleanup Wizardp. 112
Why Won't My Administrator Let Me Customize?p. 113
Session 10 File and Folder Basicsp. 115
Creating New Foldersp. 116
Creating Folders within Foldersp. 118
Finding the Path to a Folderp. 119
Moving, Copying, and Deleting Foldersp. 120
Moving a folder to a new locationp. 120
Copying a folderp. 121
Renaming a Folderp. 122
Deleting a folderp. 122
Part III Saturday Afternoonp. 126
Session 11 Advanced File and Folder Operationsp. 127
Encrypting Files and Foldersp. 127
Checking your computer's file system typep. 128
Encrypting a folderp. 130
Moving Files and Folders to Other Computersp. 130
Copying data to other mediap. 131
Copying data to a removable diskp. 131
Copying data to a CD-ROMp. 132
Modifying the Attributes of a File or Folderp. 132
Making a folder read-onlyp. 132
Making a folder hiddenp. 133
Session 12 The My Documents Folder and Folder Viewsp. 135
Locating the My Documents Folderp. 135
Understanding the My Documents Subfoldersp. 136
My Picturesp. 136
My Musicp. 137
Choosing a Folder's Viewp. 138
Thumbnailsp. 139
Tilesp. 139
Iconsp. 140
Listp. 140
Detailsp. 142
Session 13 Printing with Windows XPp. 145
Installing a Local Printerp. 145
Removing a Local Printerp. 148
Setting Your Printer Preferencesp. 148
Selecting a Default Printerp. 150
Printing a Windows XP Test Pagep. 150
Session 14 Networking with Windows XPp. 153
An Overview of Networkingp. 153
The domain model of networkingp. 153
The peer-to-peer workgroup model of networkingp. 155
Protocolsp. 156
Setting Up Your Home Network (Workgroup)p. 156
The hardwarep. 156
Wireless networkingp. 157
How fast do you want to go?p. 157
NICsp. 157
Hubsp. 158
Cablep. 158
Connecting the hardwarep. 158
Sharing resourcesp. 159
Sharing Your Internet Connectionp. 159
Session 15 Internet Explorer Basicsp. 161
Accessing Internet Explorerp. 162
Accessing a Web Sitep. 163
Accessing a site using the Menu barp. 164
Finding a site using the Search Companionp. 165
Setting a Home Pagep. 165
Shortcuts to Your Favorite Sitesp. 166
Adding a site to your Favoritesp. 167
Deleting a shortcut from your Favoritesp. 167
Organizing bookmarksp. 168
Reviewing Your Historyp. 168
Session 16 Advanced Internet Tasksp. 171
Adjusting Internet Settingsp. 171
Sharing an Internet Connectionp. 175
Protecting Your Family from Offensive Materialp. 176
The Ratings tabp. 178
Setting approved sitesp. 178
The General tabp. 178
Enabling the Content Advisorp. 179
Disabling the Content Advisorp. 180
Part IV Saturday Eveningp. 184
Session 17 Managing Your Computerp. 185
Accessing the Computer Management Consolep. 185
Understanding the Computer Management Categoriesp. 186
System Toolsp. 186
Event Viewerp. 186
Shared Foldersp. 188
Local Users and Groupsp. 188
Performance Logs and Alertsp. 189
Device Managerp. 189
Storagep. 191
Disk Defragmenterp. 191
Disk Managementp. 192
Services and applicationsp. 193
Indexing Servicep. 194
Internet Information Services (IIS)p. 194
Session 18 Disaster Recoveryp. 197
An Overview of Disaster Planningp. 197
Backing Up Your Datap. 198
Preparing for Backing Up Your Filesp. 199
File Attributesp. 199
Formatting a Floppy Diskp. 199
Understanding backup typesp. 200
Full (Normal) backupp. 201
Copy backupp. 201
Daily backupp. 201
Incremental backupp. 201
Differential backupp. 202
Advantages and disadvantages of the backup typesp. 202
Verifying your backupp. 203
Starting the Windows XP Backup or Restore Wizardp. 204
Performing a sample backupp. 206
Creating a sample file to back upp. 206
Backing up a sample filep. 207
Restoring Your Datap. 209
Session 19 Using Outlook Expressp. 211
Setting Up an E-Mail Accountp. 211
Installing Outlook Expressp. 212
Customizing Outlook Expressp. 216
Using the Options dialog boxp. 216
Changing the display of Outlook Expressp. 218
Composing an e-mail messagep. 218
Organizing incoming mailp. 219
Using Outlook Express as a Newsgroup Readerp. 220
Session 20 Instant Messagingp. 223
Accessing the Windows Messenger and Creating a Passport Accountp. 223
Adding Contactsp. 225
Sending an Instant Messagep. 226
Using Voice Communications within Windows Messengerp. 228
Sending Files and Photos Using Windows Messengerp. 229
Sundayp. 234
Part V Sunday Morningp. 236
Session 21 Mastering Mediap. 237
Accessing the Windows Media Playerp. 237
Playing Media-Based Audio Filesp. 240
Playing Web-Based Audio Filesp. 241
Playing Video Filesp. 242
Alternative Media Typesp. 243
Session 22 Adding and Configuring Hardwarep. 245
Plug and Play Hardwarep. 245
Configuration and driversp. 246
Internal and external hardware device connectionsp. 247
Port type selectionp. 247
Checking Your Portsp. 249
Using a Troubleshooterp. 251
Session 23 Sharing Resourcesp. 255
Gathering the Required Workgroup Hardwarep. 255
The Network Interface Cardp. 256
The cablingp. 256
The hubp. 257
Inexpensive routersp. 257
Assembling the Networkp. 257
Installing a Network Interface Cardp. 257
Running the cablesp. 258
Going the Wireless Routep. 259
Verifying a Workgroup Associationp. 259
Changing the Workgroup Namep. 260
Sharing Resourcesp. 262
Adding Resources from Other Computersp. 263
Session 24 Updating Windows XPp. 265
Patches and Service Packsp. 266
Updating Windows XPp. 267
Automatic Windows updatingp. 268
Manual Windows updatingp. 269
Scheduled Windows updatingp. 272
Microsoft Product Key Policiesp. 272
Session 25 Controlling the Windows Task Managerp. 275
Introducing Windows Task Managerp. 275
Using the Applications Tabp. 277
An Overview of the Processes Tabp. 278
Checking Efficiency Using the Performance Tabp. 279
Using the Networking Tabp. 280
Controlling Computer Usersp. 281
Session 26 Preserving and Auditing Computing Performancep. 283
Issues in Performancep. 283
Checking Performance Settingsp. 285
Spot Performance Checksp. 286
Introducing Microsoft Management Consolep. 287
Using Performance Monitorp. 289
Objects, counters, and instancesp. 290
Objectsp. 290
Countersp. 290
Instancesp. 291
Performance Monitor graph iconsp. 291
Test Driving Performance Monitorp. 291
Part VI Sunday Afternoonp. 296
Session 27 Managing Users and User Rightsp. 297
Administrator versus Limited Control Usersp. 297
Viewing the User Accounts Dialog Boxp. 298
Creating a new user accountp. 299
Change the Way Users Log Inp. 302
Changing Usersp. 303
Account Differences between Domain and Workgroup Networksp. 304
Session 28 Protecting Your Computer from Virusesp. 307
Anatomy of a Virusp. 307
Catching a virusp. 308
Exploring a real virusp. 309
Common virus hoaxesp. 309
Basic Steps toward Virus Protectionp. 310
Antivirus Protection Programsp. 311
Norton AntiVirusp. 313
McAfee AntiVirusp. 313
Panda Antivirusp. 313
A Final Few Words on Virus Protectionp. 314
Session 29 Basic Troubleshootingp. 317
Using Performance Monitor as a Troubleshooting Toolp. 317
Troubleshooting Hardware Problemsp. 318
Troubleshooting Software Problemsp. 321
Troubleshooting Operating System Problemsp. 323
Troubleshooting Browser Problemsp. 325
Session 30 Where to Go from Herep. 329
Magazines--Printed and Electronicp. 329
Booksp. 330
Microsoft on the Internetp. 331
Learning More about Microsoft Windows XPp. 336
Jobsp. 336
Appendix A Answers to Part Reviewsp. 341
Appendix B What's on the Companion Web Site?p. 351
Indexp. 353