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How to change maximum number of frequently used program shortcuts
When you use the same program frequently, it goes into the Most Frequently Used Programs section of the XP Start menu. By default, the eight most frequently used programs show up here. If you’d like XP to display more (or fewer) programs, you can change that. Here’s how:

  1. Right click the Start button.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. On the Start Menu tab, click the Customize button.
  4. On the General tab, under “Programs” in the middle of the page, set the number of programs you want to appear on the most frequently used menu. You can select from 0 to 30.
  5. Click OK, and then OK again to exit the dialog boxes.

If you select a high number, you should also select “small icons” on the General tab so there will be room to display them all.

Great Resource for Understanding Security Bulletins
Each month, Microsoft releases a set of security bulletins on “Patch Tuesday,” along with a technical description of each bulletin. But for some folks, those descriptions are a little too technical and long-winded. Enter Randy Franklin Smith’s Ultimate Windows Security website, where he provides an explanation and his own personal take on each of the security bulletins soon after they’re released. Not only does he mostly de-jargonize the language in the bulletins, he also provides caveats and tips on how to determine whether you need to deploy them based on your particular situation. You can also subscribe to have the assessments sent to you each month via email.  Link here.

How to disable media sensing for TCP/IP
Windows XP contains a feature called media sensing that is used to detect whether your computer is physically connected to the network. If it senses that you’re disconnected, it will remove the bound protocols from your network adapter. If you don’t want this to happen, you can disable media sensing by following the instructions in KB article 239924 here.

Can’t open Office files in Internet Explorer
If you try to open an Office XP/2003 file in Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6.0, you might get an error message that says “414 Request – URI too large,” “404 Page Not Found” or “A DDE error has occurred.” This happens because the file or path name is too long. You can update IE with the appropriate service pack to fix the problem. For more information, see KB article 416351 here

XP Search doesn’t find Office files
If you try to search for files created by Microsoft Office programs with the extensions .doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.), you may find that the Search function doesn’t locate any files even though you know that such files exist on the hard drive you’re searching. This can happen when you’ve upgraded or removed Office. For a workaround to the issue, see KB article 312510 here.

Deb Shinder