XP Tips

Here are some useful stuff you can do with XP, especially troubleshooting or diagnosing problem XP machines.

Shortcut Keys

Win-D: Show Desktop, Minimize all Windows (Win-M)

Win-L: Locks the workstation.

Win-R: Run – useful for starting up programs quickly. See list below for things you can start.

Win-Break: System Properties – used to easily access Computer Name, Device Manager, Environment Variables. Alternatives are right-click My Computer > Properties; going to the Control Panel > System.

Ctrl-Shift-Esc: Task Manager

Run Dialog

notepad
Starts Notepad.

calc
Starts the calculator.

cmd
Starts the command prompt. See the Command Prompt section below for a list of useful commands.

winword
Starts Microsoft Word.

excel
Starts Microsoft Excel.

mstsc /admin
Starts Remote Desktop, logging in as console. Useful when the server has exceeded maximum connections. After logging in, use Task Manager to kill the inactive users. (previously /console)

mspaint
Starts Paint.

services.msc
Opens the Services applet without going through Control Panel > Administrative Tools.

compmgmt.msc
Opens the Computer Management applet without going through the Control Panel. An alternative is to right click on My Computer (on desktop or Start Menu) and click “Manage”. This applet also includes Shared Folders, Local Users and Groups (XP-Pro only), Device Manager, Disk Management and Services.

rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
Locks the workstation. Useful in Remote Desktop situations.

shutdown -r -t 0
Restarts the computer immediately. Useful in remote desktop situations.

Other programs:
sol winmine

Command Prompt

tasklist
Alternative to using Task Manager. Especially useful when viruses disable the GUI version. Use “tskill” to kill the process without the GUI.

tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq svchost.exe"
Shows related Services that are using svchost. Also shows Process IDs of such processes to help identify malicious svchost in the process list.

netstat -o
Shows which process opened ports on the machine. Use this with the task manager to determine which process is listening on a port.

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