The Recent Documents section in my start menu is always empty, even if I have recently opened a lot of documents. Is there some setting in Windows XP to make it work again?
Right-click the Start button and choose Properties.
Click Customize > Advanced, select "List my most recently opened documents" under "Recent documents," and click OK twice.
To show Recent Items on the Start menu in Vista, right-click the Start button, choose Properties, click the Start Menu tab, select "Store and display a list of recently opened files," and click OK
Have you disabled it using a utility such as TweakUI?
Check the Group Policy. Menu>>Run, type gpedit.msc, look in User Configuration>>Administrative Templates, and double click on "Clear History of recently opened documents on exit". check the "Disabled" radio button.