How to Use This Book

The information in this book is assembled into "annoyances" and "fixes." If you're having a problem with Windows, look through the Table of Contents for the annoyance that most closely matches your problem, or jump to the Index to find a section based on the solution. Of course, feel free to thumb through these pages, tooyou'll likely find fixes to problems you didn't even know could be solved.

Annoyances and their respective fixes are organized into categories, which in turn are divided into these six chapters:

Chapter 1, Windows Interface

The fixes in this chapter deal with the interface quirks that plague Windows and most of the applications you run on your PC. Among other things, you'll learn how to clean up your Start menu, get to the desktop easily, and switch between applications more quickly.

Chapter 2, Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is the heart of file and folder management in Windows XP. The annoyances in this chapter cover Windows Explorer in all of its forms, including tips on how to do things like force it to remember your view settings, save your default application choices, tame File Open and File Save As dialog boxes, and get XP's Search tool to behave.

Chapter 3, Multimedia

Can't hear sound? Having a problem playing a DVD or burning a CD? Want to do more with your digital photo collection? Interested in turning your PC into a DVR and entertainment center? Chapter 4 covers all this and more!

Chapter 4, The Web and Email

The Internet is a terrific resource, but it's also the source of a lot of major annoyances, such as spyware, spam, and pop-ups. Get a handle on Internet Explorer's role in this mess, and what you can do to improve your online experience.

Chapter 5, Wireless and Networking

Getting your PC online can be a bit of a headache, not to mention connecting all the PCs in your home or office together to share files and printers. Learn how to make everything work without compromising your security.

Chapter 6, Setup and Hardware

This opening chapter helps you reinstall Windows, update it safely, get it to start up more quickly and shut down without complaining, and finally, make it work with all your hardware.