For questions specific to Windows XP. Use [windows] instead for questions involving Windows in general.

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93
votes
7answers
175k views

Can I delete the folder “C:\WINDOWS\Installer\$PatchCache$”?

This folder is taking up nearly a GB of my C partition. Is it possible to just delete it?
83
votes
9answers
72k views

Is it safe to delete from C:\Windows\Installer?

I've been looking on an XP machine what is using all that diskspace, and it turns out C:\Windows\Installer is high up there on the list of directories that use the most diskspace. It seems to contain ...
62
votes
6answers
221k views

How do I know what proxy server I'm using?

I need to know what the address for my proxy server is so I can configure another program to also use it. If I go into IE, Internet Properties, LAN Settings, then all I see is an automatic ...
61
votes
11answers
33k views

What can I do to retrieve windows that have gone off screen?

I am having a weird issue with a machine where sometimes when a window is initialized, it will shoot off screen and out of sight. I am unable to click on it to drag it back to sight. Are there any ...
60
votes
17answers
150k views

How do I find the largest files and folders on a drive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows? I am looking for a tool to tell me which files and folders are the largest as I need to do some cleanup.
60
votes
7answers
25k views

How do I reset the Windows XP Administrator password?

I have forgotten the Administrator password of my Windows XP installation and locked out. Is there a way to reset it? I do have physical access to the PC.
59
votes
12answers
113k views

How to avoid keyboard layout automatically changing on windows

I have two input languages in my language bar (windows xp). The problem is that windows likes changing between them without any intervention. That's really annoying! I know about the shortcuts and ...
57
votes
8answers
29k views

How do I delete a 'locked' file?

On Windows XP, when I try and delete a specific file it says: Cannot delete blah.blah: Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use. How can ...
55
votes
5answers
176k views

How to split large file on Windows?

Is there a tool to split large text file (9Gb) into smaller files so that I can open it and look through? Anything usable from command line that comes with Windows (XP)? Or what's the best way to ...
53
votes
7answers
88k views

Apostrophes and double quotes don't show up until I type the next letter

in Windows XP, when I type an apostrophe ', or dumb/typewriter quote ", no character is displayed. If I type another character, the apostrophe or dumb quote and the next character appear at the same ...
51
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the potential security issues when I keep using Windows XP? [closed]

Microsoft stopped updating Windows XP and the media warns us of security leaks. I actually just read that continuing to use Windows XP is "extremely" dangerous. Why exactly is this such a danger? I ...
51
votes
1answer
4k views

Saving “Bush hid the facts” in notepad

When saving the text "Bush hid the facts" in notepad under Windows XP, how come when you reopen it shows squares instead of the text? I saw it in this video if you need an example ...
50
votes
6answers
50k views

Create an alias in Windows XP

Back in school, I used to have a .login file along the lines of alias ll = ls -l alias dir = ls -Fhl alias web = cd ~/public/public_www/development I'd like to do that sort of thing with my ...
49
votes
3answers
70k views

How can I unzip a .tar.gz in one step (using 7-Zip)?

I am using 7-Zip on Windows XP and whenever I download a .tar.gz file it takes me two steps to completely extract the file(s). I right-click on the example.tar.gz file and choose 7-Zip --> Extract ...
47
votes
4answers
11k views

With dual monitors, one rotated 90 degrees, how can I get windows to line up correctly?

I have two monitors. One rotated 90 degrees. The other at standard station. I've adjusted the two monitors to heights that are comfortable for me. Allow me to attempt some ASCII art to demonstrate: ...
46
votes
2answers
80k views

How to check the exit code of the last command in batch file?

Inside a batch file on Windows, I use 7-zip like this: ...\right_path\7z a output_file_name.zip file_to_be_compressed How could I check the exit code of 7z and take the appropriate action ?
44
votes
11answers
7k views

Can I paste plain text by default?

I regularly copy and paste text between spreadsheets, emails, browser windows, etc. I can't think of a single time when I've wanted to keep the formatting from the source text. I already know about ...
44
votes
3answers
121k views

How to add command line options to shortcut?

How can I add command line options to an executable in a shortcut in Windows XP? For example in the shortcut properties in target I have: "c:\path\to\exe\pogram.exe" I want to add some options: ...
41
votes
9answers
111k views

How to make a shortcut from CMD?

How can I create a shortcut file (.lnk) to another file or executable, using command line utilities?
37
votes
14answers
85k views

How can I monitor all and any internet traffic from my home PC?

I would like to monitor all and any internet traffic from my home PC to see what programs installed on my home machine are accessing the internet. I thought I could use Fiddler for this but I noticed ...
36
votes
5answers
37k views

USB-Sticks and multiple Partitions

I've got an USB-Stick with multiple Partitions on it (FAT32 (active), FAT32, Ext2 but that's another story) and it seems like that my Windows XP can only mount the first partition of the stick. If I ...
35
votes
5answers
78k views

Is there anyway to xcopy just changed or new files?

I am trying to deploy a website from my desktop to my webserver and so right now I am doing this: xcopy C:\source X:\destination /s My desktop is a Windows XP machine and I need to copy to a ...
31
votes
6answers
26k views

How can I log my hard drive activity by program?

I am using Windows XP and am looking for a utility that can tell me the percentage of hard drive activity a program is using. Basically, I'm looking for something like Task Manager and its ability ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I rename a file whose name is in itself a full path (e.g. begins with “g:\”)? [duplicate]

Inadvertently, I have created a file named g:\filename.csv on Windows XP through a Python script. Note that g:\filename.csv is the filename. Actually it is saved on the F: drive. I can't rename it ...
30
votes
10answers
9k views

Determining if a hard disk has been removed and data copied from it?

Is there a method or a tool that can detect if someone has separated my hard disk from my computer, copied data from it, and returned it back? I want to be sure that no one has done this without my ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

What technical reason did Microsoft give for no Internet Explorer 9 on Windows XP?

I have the belief that Internet Explorer 9 unable to run on Windows XP is really marketing. But I want to ask you if there really is a technical reason why Microsoft didn't release Internet Explorer 9 ...
30
votes
4answers
12k views

How do Microsoft Word and Excel run without any installation?

I was having a discussion on bookmarks in Word with a friend, and he suggested me to check out his implementation of a query in Word. Since I did not have Microsoft Word installed, I told him I don't ...
29
votes
4answers
48k views

Finding out which app is using the webcam

Yesterday I was working on my laptop. Suddenly I noticed that the indicator light of the webcam was on, despite the fact that I wasn't making a video call or using the webcam in any other way at the ...
28
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I remove a file named “NUL” on Windows?

I have a Windows XP box (NTFS filesystem) on which I found a file named NUL. I have not been able to remove this file in any usual way. The file appears to be owned by Administrator in the SYSTEM ...
28
votes
5answers
22k views

Installing Windows XP from USB pen drive

I want to install Windows XP on my desktop computer (only XP) but my CD drive is not working. I've only found installation tutorials on how to install it on the pen drive rather than from the pen ...
27
votes
11answers
153k views

How to delete files and folders that cannot be deleted?

I have a backup copy of a previous Windows' Documents and Settings folder which only contains my original user and within 2 more directories: Favorites and Local Settings. When I try to delete Local ...
25
votes
3answers
5k views

Still receiving windows XP updates… Is this expected behavior?

According to the answer on another post, we should not have been receiving any more updates for Windows XP. But I am receiving updates: Is this indicative that my system is bugged or compromised ...
25
votes
5answers
15k views

How to change the Windows XP console font?

I have been using Cleartype and Vista fonts on Windows XP for quite a while now. I love the Consolas font for working with source code. I would love to have it as the font of my Windows console ...
24
votes
6answers
12k views

How to pipe text from command line to the clipboard

I'd like to do something like dir *.* > clipboard ie. get to get the standard output of a command line program copied to the clipboard. Can this be done on a standard XP machine without ...
24
votes
3answers
45k views

How do I do comments at a Windows command prompt?

What's the equivalent of # for Windows cmd console sessions, to create a comment? The operating system is Windows XP.
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Why must I install drivers BEFORE plugging in a new peripheral?

I've always found this to be curious about installation instructions for computer peripherals; most commonly, installation of USB hardware in Windows XP. Installation instructions typically insist ...
23
votes
5answers
129k views

Force Windows to output only mono sound

So, the 'right' half of my pair of headphones broke (the transducer+wire are fine, but the earpiece broke on the headband and so the earpiece won't sit over my ear). So now the right channel is being ...
22
votes
3answers
72k views

How to resize the primary Windows XP partition?

I just cloned my failing 250 GB hard drive onto a 500 GB hard drive (so I wouldn't have to re-install everything, etc.), but now the drive only thinks it is 250 GB. How do I tell it about the other ...
21
votes
21answers
12k views

What's a good alternative to Windows' “Search for Files and Folders”? [closed]

The built-in Windows Search tool will apparently not search within PHP files. I cannot find the files named *.php containing text "some_function_name" that I know are there. Search is complete. ...
21
votes
11answers
22k views

Deleting files in Windows XP extremely slow

When I delete even the smallest of files on windows xp the operation takes 3-10 minutes to complete. I have read this can happen when the recycle bin has alot of items in it, and XP has to iterate ...
20
votes
8answers
25k views

Straightforward, easy way to create symbolic links on Windows?

I need something supported at least on Windows XP and not requiring any new user downloads hopefully.
20
votes
3answers
25k views

How to access the system tray using the keyboard?

Is there a way I can access the system tray items using the keyboard in Windows XP?
20
votes
2answers
43k views

What are “Debug/Checked” versions of a Windows OS?

While looking for a Windows XP download in the MSDN subscriber portal, I noticed this: So, what is the Debug/Checked version?
20
votes
8answers
180k views

How to boot from a USB device using an ISO image

I want to re-install Windows XP on my laptop. I have the ISO image for Windows XP. How can I boot from a USB device using simply my ISO image of Windows XP? My laptop is an IBM T42. If you are ...
19
votes
8answers
4k views

Installing legal older versions of Windows XP

For testing purposes, I need to install a Windows XP Home environment in a virtual machine. The thing here is I don't have a license and Microsoft won't sell it anymore. What can I do about it?
19
votes
4answers
68k views

change directory command doesn't work in windows command prompt [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using cd Command in Windows Command Line, Can’t Navigate to D:\ Somehow cd command is not working in windows command prompt when I want to change the drive. For ...
19
votes
4answers
20k views

Restoring Windows XP PATH variable

I installed an application that screwed my PATH variable. Now I cannot run anything from the command prompt. Is there any way I can restore PATH variable?
19
votes
6answers
19k views

Windows XP equivalent of “tail -f”?

Is there way have windows XP show me updates to a log file as they happen? I'm thinking of something similar to tail -f <file path> in the linux realm.
19
votes
8answers
129k views

What's the best way to completely remove everything from a computer, without re-installing?

I have a friend who wants to sell their computer, but obviously all personal information and software that it is on it needs to be removed before doing so. Usually I would format and reinstall it, ...
19
votes
4answers
13k views

Does changing Windows XP theme to classic enhance performance?

A lot of my colleagues and friends who are still using Windows XP use the Windows Classic theme (i.e. the Win98-like theme, unlike the XP theme). Some of them just like it, but some others say that ...