Setting Windows XP Straight After A New Install
When Windows XP is first installed, it is wrong. The following steps will
help to make XP more proper.
1. Right-click the taskbar, and select "Properties". Turn off "Group similar
taskbar buttons". This will prevent programs from getting hidden because more
than one instance may be running at once.
2. Uncheck "Hide inactive icons". This will prevent Windows XP from taking
away icons from you simply because it thinks you're not using them.
3. Click on the "Start Menu" tab at the top of the window, and select
"Classic Start menu". This will prevent the abominable Windows XP start menu
from defiling your screen. Click OK.
4. Right-click the desktop, and click "Properties". From the "Theme"
drop-down box, select "Windows Classic" and click OK. This will look Windows
XP look more like normal Windows versions and less like the default XP look.
5. Click on the Start button, point to "Settings", and click on "Control
Panel". Click "Switch to Classic View". This will prevent Control Panel from
burying its sections in inaccessible places to prevent you from being able to
6. From within Control Panel, double-click on "Administrative Tools", then
double-click on "Services". This will bring up a list of currently-available
services that Windows XP can run. (Lot of them, aren't there? Notice that
Windows 98 didn't come with any of these services, each of which presents a
potential security vulnerability for your computer.) Right-click on the
"Automatic Updates" service, and click on "Properties". From the "Startup
type" drop-down box, select "Disabled". If the service is currently running,
also stop it by clicking the "Stop" button. This will prevent Windows XP from
silently downloading things from Microsoft without your permission or
knowledge. Click OK, and close the Services and Administrative Tools windows.
7. Right-click the desktop, and click "Properties". Click the "Desktop" tab,
then click the "Customize Desktop" button. Uncheck the "Run Desktop Cleanup
Wizard every 60 days" checkbox and click OK twice. This will prevent Windows
XP from removing icons off your Desktop because it thinks you don't need them
8. Right-click the taskbar, click "Properties", click the "Start Menu" tab,
and click the "Customize" button. Turn on the "Display Administrative Tools"
check box; this will prevent Windows XP from hiding its most important
control panel from the Start menu. Also, turn off the "Use Personalized
Menus" check box; this will prevent Windows XP from hiding Start menu items
that it thinks you won't need. Click OK twice.
9. If you have Windows XP Professional, make sure that "Simple File Sharing"
is turned off. This is another Windows XP abomination that removes all
individually-settable permissions from the file security interface,
effectively defeating the whole purpose of using NTFS. To turn off Simple
File Sharing, open up Windows Explorer, open the Tools menu, and select
"Folder Options". Click the "View" tab. Uncheck "Use Simple File Sharing",
then click OK. Regrettably, there is no way to turn off Simple File Sharing
in Windows XP Home Edition, which means that Windows XP Home Edition should
not be used by anyone for any reason. (Then again, the same is true for all
versions of Windows XP, for other reasons.)
Optional Bonus Step: Uninstall Windows XP and install a real operating