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Chapter 5 - The Desktop & Start Menu Logging On to the System The Windows Desktop Managing Your Taskbar The Quick Launch bar Notification Area Windows Update Desktop Themes Creating and Deleting a Desktop Shortcut The Show Desktop button The Desktop Cleanup Wizard The Start Menu

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Chapter 5 the desktop start menu l.jpg

Chapter 5 - The Desktop & Start Menu

Logging On to the System

The Windows Desktop

Managing Your Taskbar

The Quick Launch bar

Notification Area

Windows Update

Desktop Themes

Creating and Deleting a Desktop Shortcut

The Show Desktop button

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard

The Start Menu

Adding a Program to the Menu

Pinning a Shortcut to the Start Menu

Finding Files and Folders

The Help and Support Center

Run

My Network Places and Connect To…

Printer and Faxes

Configuring the Start Menu

Exiting Windows XP

Turn Off, Log Off, Restart and Standby

Using Windows Task Manager

Closing Unresponsive Applications


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The name of the user currently logged on

Logging on to the System

  • An act of running a computer under a specific user account is called being ‘logged on’.

  • The user account defines who you are and what you can do on the network based on rights and permissions given.

  • User with most permission is called Administrator.

  • Only administrator or a member of the administrator group can install programs or modify system wide settings.


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Logging on to the System

  • To log on to a Windows XP computer that is connected to a network:

    • From the Log on prompt pressCtrl + Alt + Delete to display the Log on dialog box,

    • Enter your user name and your password

    • Click the OK button to log on

  • The logon Options (if available) provide the following added items:

    • The domain you wish to access, some systems have multiple domains. If this option is available, the domain name may already be selected for you so you may not need to enter this.

    • If you want to Log on using a dial-up connection, check that box

    • You can also Shutdown the system by clicking the Shutdown button.


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Logging on to the System

  • If you are using a PC that is not connected to a network, Windows XP still employs user accounts, and therefore requires users to log on

  • You can change the user log on “prompt” from the Welcome screen to the “classic” Windows XP user logon dialog by modifying the “Change the way users log on and off” setting in the User Accounts tool found in the Control Panel.

  • Turning off both the Use the Welcome Screen and Fast User Switching options will set your logon to the classic style.

    • The classic logon prompt is considered more secure as it requires you to know both the user name and the password. You can also require a domain name to be entered.

      The next slide shows the non-networked user Logon or SwitchUser screen.


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The Windows Desktop

  • Main interface to our PC from where you can access your program and data files, and the tools to manage your system as a whole

  • On it are located the Start Menu and Taskbar, two of the most basic and essential tools Windows provides you.

    In the next slide you will see standard desktop….


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Standard shortcuts

The Windows XP desktop

Quick Launch bar

Start button

Taskbar

Notification Area

Minimized windows


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Managing your Taskbar

  • To Modify and Configure the Taskbar:

    • Right click on any “empty” area of the Taskbar,

    • From the pop-up (shortcut) menu that appears, select the Properties command,

    • The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box opens, as shown in the next slide.

    • This dialog box allows you to modify several taskbar settings. Among them are:

      • Lock the Taskbar – locks or unlocks the Taskbar size and position

      • Auto-Hide the Taskbar – hides the Taskbar when windows are open on the desktop or the mouse pointer is not over it.

      • Keep the Taskbar on top - this setting keeps the Taskbar always visible. This is the default setting.

      • Show Quick Launch – displays the Quick Launch bar (described later in this chapter) this setting can be changed from the Taskbar shortcut menu.

      • Show the Clock – shows or hides a clock on the Taskbar.

      • Customize button – configures the Taskbar’s Notification Area described later in this chapter.


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The Taskbar tab

Taskbar shortcut menu

Taskbar Properties command

The Taskbar Properties dialog box.


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The Quick Launch Bar

  • The Quick Launch bar is a portion of the Taskbar that displays program shortcuts. This is a good place to put shortcuts to your most often used programs.

  • To add a shortcut to the Quick Launch bar:

    • Click on any shortcut or program file,

    • Drag it to the Quick Launch bar,

    • Release the mouse button to drop the shortcut

  • To delete a shortcut from the Quick Launch bar:

    • On theQuick Launch bar, Right click on the shortcut or icon you wish to delete.

    • Select the Delete option from the menu.

Quick Launch bar

The quick launch bar


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Notification Area

  • The Notification Area is a portion of the Taskbar usually located at the far right side.

  • The Notification Area is where the system clock is displayed (if configured to show).

  • The purpose of this section of the Taskbar is to display shortcuts to important programs that are currently running, like anti-virus software, and to notify you of special events that occur. Events that could be displayed here are incoming e-mail, printing a document or when the Task Manager is open.

  • If you select the Hide inactive icons property from the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog, the notification area will “collapse” to show only the Active icons. To show all of the icons click the arrow button next to the icons as shown here.

Collapse or Expand button

Notification area


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Windows Update

  • Microsoft routinely issues security or performance updates, or system enhancements for its operating systems. Some of these are essential to your system’s security and well-being; others provide added functionality not available when the system was originally released.

  • Windows XP automates and makes this a virtually seamless process. XP accesses the Microsoft Windows Update Web site whenever you are connected to the Internet and checks for available updates.

Windows Update notification message


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Windows Update

  • Clicking on the icon showed in the previous slide displays a Ready to Install dialog. If you select to Install the updates XP will download and install them in the background so you can continue your current activity uninterrupted.

  • You can also view the selected updates by clicking the Details button to decide whether you want to install them. The Remind Me Later button will do just that, remind you later of the available updates and postpone the installation process.

  • You can also access the Windows Update feature manually by:

    • Selecting the Keep your computer up-to-date with Windows Update option from the Help and Support Center, or by

    • Using the Add or Remove Programs tool on the Control Panel.


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Desktop Themes

  • A desktop theme is a predefined set of colors, backgrounds, sounds, fonts and other window elements that have been configured and saved as a theme. This way you can apply one theme that will change the entire look and feel of the Windows interface.

  • Themes can be changed through the Display properties dialog (described in chapter 7) on the Themes tab as shown in the next slide.

  • Changes made to the desktop such as to screensaver, or the desktop background can be saved as a new theme or as a modification to an existing theme.


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Select the theme you want to use here…

See a preview of the selected theme here…

Changing your Desktop theme.


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Creating and Deleting a Desktop Shortcut

  • Method 1 - Right-click and drag a file, folder or other object to the desktop from MyComputer, Windows Explorer or another location. Release the mouse button and a popup (shortcut) menu will appear (see right). Select the Create Shortcuts Here option and it is done.

  • Method 2 – This method works from a menu. Select a file, folder or other object from My Computer, Windows Explorer or another location. Select the Send to option from the File menu. SelectDesktop (create shortcut) as the destination for the shortcut.

  • Method 3 – Right click on an object. Select the Send to option from the shortcut menu. Then select the Desktop (create shortcut)menu item.


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Creating and Deleting a Desktop Shortcut

Create a New:

File,

Folder, or

Shortcut

  • Method 4 – Right click on the desktop to display its shortcut menu. SelectNew (as shown here) and then Shortcut from the submenu. This command will display the Create Shortcut wizard (as shown here). Follow the prompts as they guide you through the process of creating a shortcut. This is by far the most time consuming method.

  • Deleting a shortcut is as easy as right clicking on any shortcut and selecting Delete from the shortcut menu.

Desktop shortcut menu

This is the undefined New Shortcut that will be configured by the wizard


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The Show Desktop Button

The Show Desktop button

  • The Show Desktop icon is located on the Quick Launch bar.

  • This feature is a quick way to clear your desktop of open windows.

  • The icon is a toggle between a cleared desktop and its previous condition. Clicking it once will minimize all the open windows to buttons on the Taskbar, clicking it again will restore all previously opened windows.


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The Desktop Cleanup Wizard

  • The Desktop Cleanup Wizard removes desktop icons that have not been used for 60 days or more.

  • By default, this function runs automatically every 60 days, but it can be set to run only when you request it.

  • If you run this wizard manually, it will display a list of the current desktop icons allowing you to select which ones you want to remove, if any.

The Desktop Cleanup wizard’s auto-notification message


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The Desktop Cleanup Wizard

Desktop tab

Standard Desktop icons

Desktop cleanup

The Desktop Items dialog box.


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The Start Menu

  • Adding a Program to the Menu

    • Adding a program to the Start Menu, or the Taskbar or the Desktop is simply the act of placing a shortcut to the program on them. The original program file does not move, it is just being referenced by the menu item or icon that represents it (the shortcut).

    • You can add a Program shortcut to the Start Menu by simply creating a shortcut (as explained earlier) in a Start Menu folder. The Start Menu is a folder that resides in the Documents and Settings folder. Each user has their own Start Menu folder in addition to the All Users and the Default User folders that are shared by everyone. This arrangement makes selecting where to place the shortcut a task for more advanced users.

  • The easy way to create a menu shortcut is:

    • Select the file you want to add to the Start Menu from Windows Explorer or MyComputer.

    • Drag it to the Start button and wait until the Start Menu appears.

    • Drag the selected file to the All Programs menu item and wait until it expands.

    • Drag the file to the desired location on the menu.

    • Release the mouse button and the shortcut is created.

  • This procedure uses the All Programs menu item as the location for the new shortcut, but you can place it on the Start Menu by dropping it there.


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Pinning a Shortcut to the start menu

Pinned items

  • Menu items placed on the Start Menu above the separator line are “Pinned” to the Start Menu.

  • These items are called the Pinned Items List.

  • You can place a file directly from Windows Explorer or My Computer, on the Pinned Items List by releasing the dragged object there.

  • To remove an item from the list (or unpin it), right click on the item to display the shortcut menu and select either Unpin from Start menu or Remove from This List as shown here.

Remove the selected item from The List

Unpinning or Removing a Start menu item


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Finding Files & Folders

  • The XP Search tool is used

    • For finding files and folders on computer,

    • For searching computers or other users on the network,

    • For contacts from Windows address book,

    • For information from the Internet and

    • help or support information from local help system or directly from Microsoft’s Web site.


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Finding Files & Folders

  • To find a file or folder located on your computer:

    • From the left pane select All Files and Folders.

    • Enter all are part of the filename (Figure 5.17)

    • Then enter the location to look in, such as your C drive, your floppy drive, or a specific folder like My Documents.

    • You can also enter other conditions to limited or aid in your search, such as:

      • any text (a word or phrase) that may be found within the file

      • the date the file was last modified

      • the size of the file

      • or other advanced options


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Finding Files & Folders

Search menu

All Files and Folders

The Windows XP Search tool


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Finding Files & Folders

Filename, this example uses the asterisk wildcard to look for all files with the file extension DOC.

Keyword or phrase from text within the file

Where to search

Additional search options

The Search tool options


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Finding Files & Folders

Search results

Options for viewing your results and performing further searches.

The XP Search window showing a completed file search


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Finding Files & Folders

  • Searching for a file, a folder or some other item that you don’t exactly know how to spell is made simpler by the use of wildcards.

    • A wildcard is a character that represents one unknown character or a set of characters.

    • Wildcards can be used anywhere within the file, folder or word being searched. The completed search shown before was performed using a wildcard. The filename was entered as *.doc.

  • The Windows XP Search tool makes use of two different wildcards:

    • ? - replaces a single character, for example:

      • wind? – could mean windy

    • * - replaces a set of characters, from 0 to any number, for example:

      • wind* – could mean windy, windward or windows

    • The wildcards can be used in any position and in any combination, for example:

      • Wind*.* - could mean wind.txt, window.html or winword.doc

      • ??m* - could mean any word that has an M as its 3rd letter with any 2 characters before it and any number and type of characters after the m.


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Finding Files & Folders

So are you ready to SeArCh???


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The Help & Support Center

  • XP ‘s help system is based on the language of the World Wide Web, HTML, so viewing the help topics is like browsing a Website.

  • The Help and Support Center window looks and behaves like a Web browser with the most frequently used help topics displayed on a “home page”. In fact, that is what Microsoft calls the start page of the Help center, the Help home page.


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The Help & Support Center

Get help from an outside source such as an Internet newsgroup

Windows update

System Restore Undoes changes you’ve made to your PC

Commonly used help topics

The XP Help main window


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The Help & Support Center

  • The XP help window is like a Web browser in the following ways:

    • When you select a topic, it is displayed in the window like a Web page with hyperlinks to other related subjects.

    • There is a Back, Forward and Home button to move through the help topics you have already viewed and return you to your starting point

    • You can save help topics as Favorites, which are actually bookmarks to help topics you may need to view again.

    • A history of your search through the help system is saved to assist you in returning to topics you did not add to your Favorites.

    • The Home button takes you back to the main menu

    • Did you know? This section features different selected help topics (called headlines) for you to view each time you open the Help and Support Center


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The Help & Support Center

  • What’s this? help feature..

    • This provides you the ability to “ask” the purpose of a specific element on a dialog box.

    • This feature is only available when the What’s this? help button is in the right corner of the title bar as shown in the next slide.


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The Help & Support Center

Click here for What’s this? help

  • To use the What’s this? help:

    • Click the button with the question mark in it.

    • This will turn your mouse pointer into the arrow pointer with a question mark attached

    • Then click the pointer on any element of the window or dialog box that you need help understanding

    • A small window will appear such as shown here that explains the window element you selected.

The What’s this? pointer

The What’s this? help for the Opens with element of the dialog

The What's this help cursor and help display


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The Help & Support Center

  • One more help technique is to use the Tooltips or Screentips help.

    • By hovering your mouse pointer over many menu items, toolbar buttons and icons, you will see a small “text box” displayed as shown here. This “tip” may just be something as terse as “Edit” or "Save”, but it could also be a sentence or two long.


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Run

  • The Run command is one of the many ways to open a program or a document.

  • The Run command is also helpful for installing software by executing an application’s installation program (typically setup.exe or install.exe).

  • To open the Run dialog select the Run command from the Start menu.

  • The Run dialog is very simple and straightforward to use

    • The Command Shell is presented to you in a special window called the Command Prompt windows.

    • This windows can also be accessed by selecting the Command Prompt command from the Accessories menu. (All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt)

  • To open a program using the Run command, simply enter the command required to start the program, typically the name of the executable file, and then press the OK key.

    • Most of the programs that come with Windows XP can be run by entering just the filename; the others will need to have the full path entered. The path is the complete filename including its location, for example, the path of WordPad is:

      • c:\program files\windows nt\accessories\wordpad.exe

    • You can use the Browse button to select a file and thereby enter the file’s path into the Open text box.

The Run dialog with the command to run WordPad entered


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Run

  • Another Windows program that can be opened from the Run dialog is msconfig.

    • This program is used to diagnose and fix system-wide problems, or it can be used to simply modify system settings. Many computer technicians use this program, and access it directly from the Run dialog box.

The msconfig dialog box


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Run

  • The real value of the Run command is the ability to run text-based command line utilities outside of the GUI. To do this you must open a new window running the Windows XP Command interpreter, cmd.exe.

    • The Command Shell, also known as the Command interpreter, is a program that displays a prompt, accepts keyboard input and executes the commands.

      • Commands such as dir, format or ping can be executed using the Command Shell.

    • You can also run a DOS emulator from the Run command by entering “command” in the text box. The resulting MS-DOS window will allow you to run many DOS based programs that will not normally run from the desktop.


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Run

  • For example, to run the tracert program you would do the following:

    • Click the Run menu item to open the Run dialog box,

    • Enter the command, “cmd”, in the Open: text box; you do not need to enter the path or full filename for this program because Windows knows where it is located.

    • ClickOK and the command processor opens a window on the desktop as shown in in the next slide.

    • Enter “tracert www.oracle.com” at the prompt and press the Enter key…the mouse won’t work in this situation!

    • The results of this are shown in the next slide. The actual outcome of this process changes as the route of data on the Internet is not always the same.

      (Tracert displays the path taken by message packets to the destination entered after the program name. For example tracert www.microsoft.com traces the path to the Microsoft.com domain. The path is listed as the router interfaces accessed between the local machine and the destination)


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Run

A Command Shell window


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Run

The command shell window running tracert


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My Network Places & Connect To…

  • Each network administrator has their own scheme for securing the network allowing you to access “my network places” & “connect to” options.

  • If you are not on a corporate network, or are using your PC at home, you will generally have the Connect to… menu item available.

The My Network Places folder

Click here to open The Network Connections folder.

The Connect to... menu option on a non-networked PC


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My Network Places & Connect To…

  • My Network Places:

    • My Network Places is a folder that contains shortcuts to shared resources on your network.

    • Such resources can be computers, storage devices, printers, or other hardware that is being shared on the network.

    • If you have the appropriate rights you can delete, copy, move and rename files on other computers just as if they resided on your own PC.

    • My Network Places gives you the ability to setup new network connections and delete existing ones.

  • Connect To:

    • It opens either your current network connections or the Network Connections window. Windows XP considers any connection to a network a network connection; this includes modem (Dialup), cable, DSL, ISDN and other direct connections. The Network Connections folder provides access to existing connections and the ability to create new ones.


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My Network Places & Connect To…

  • Add Network Place

    • The new ConnectionWizard, accessed by selecting the Add Network Place icon within the My Network Places folder, walks a user through the steps of creating a new network connection.

      • Windows XP has a network troubleshooter wizard that will walk a user through the process of troubleshooting a connection.

      • The troubleshooter is available through the XP Help and Support Center .


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Printer And Faxes

  • This folder is used to create, delete and modify Printers and Fax devices connected to your computer.

  • As with the Network Connections folder, there is a wizard to assist in creating new printer or fax objects, and a troubleshooter for resolving problems with existing devices

The Printer and Faxes folder


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Printer And Faxes

Print a Test Page

A Printer properties dialog


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Printer And Faxes

Selected device

The Printers and Faxes File menu


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Configuring the Start Menu

  • The XP Start Menu can be configured numerous ways to suit many different tastes by using the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

  • The two major choices are between the “new XP style” Start Menu and the “Classic” style as used in previous versions of Windows. The Classic style is the same Start Menu you would find on a Windows 2000 PC


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Configuring the Start Menu

Start menu styles, the “new” XP style (left) and the Classic style


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Configuring the Start Menu

  • With the Customize button in the Start Menu tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, you can configure the Start Menu in the way you want.

  • From the XP Customize Start Menu dialog box the following properties can be configured ...

    • The size of the menu icons (small or large)

    • The number of shortcuts in the MostFrequently Used Programs List (the list can also be cleared here).

    • The E-mail and Web browser to show in the Start Menu pinned list.

    • Whether to display the Help and Support , Favorites, My Documents, Connect To…, Printers and Faxes and the other system folders on the menu

    • The My Recent Documents (most recently opened documents) folder can be added removed or just cleared.

    • Set menu items to open when you pause on them with the mouse pointer (instead of having to click on them).

    • …and numerous other features that control how the menus look and behave


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Configuring the Start Menu

  • To access the Start menu properties dialog:

    • Right click on the Taskbar and then selectProperties from the shortcut menu or,

    • Right click on the Start button and then selectProperties from the shortcut menu


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Configuring the Start Menu

The selected Start menu style is displayed here

Open the Customize Start Menu dialog

XP or Classic Start Menu

Taskbar and Start Menu properties dialog, Start menu tab


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Configuring the Start Menu

The Customize Start Menu dialog


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Exiting Windows XP

  • Turn Off, Log Off, Restart and Standby

    • To log off from the computer:

      • Click Start, then click Log off.

      • Confirm that you really do want to log off by clicking the Log Off button when this message box appears.

  • Once you log off, your account is closed; the computer, however, remains on and ready for another user to log on.

  • You can log back on immediately if necessary, but so can any other user with the appropriate permissions.


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Exiting Windows XP

  • To log back on to the computer, press the CTRL+ALT+DEL key sequence at the log on prompt. Enter your user name, your password and the domain to which you want to log on. Many times the domain will be pre-selected for you. Sometimes, however there will be several choices and you will need to know the domain that you are to use. If you have permission to log on to the domain you select you will see your desktop appear and you are ready to use Windows XP.

    • Domains are groups of computers that are connected through a network. A single network can have several domains.

The Log Off and Turn Off Start menu options


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Exiting Windows XP

  • To Shutdown, Turn-Off or Reboot your PC, select the Shut Down option from the bottom of the Start menu. This will display another dialog box as in next slide. From there you can select to (some of these options may not be available on your system):

    • Restart or Reboot the computer.

    • Log off (the current user only)

    • Turn Off or Shutdown the PC

    • Put the PC in Standby mode or Hibernate, which powers down all unnecessary devices so the power use is at a minimum.


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Exiting Windows XP

  • Selecting Log Off… is the same as when you choose to Log Off from the Start Menu (as previously explained) except that you will not see the confirmation message. You will be logged off immediately

Restart or Reboot the PC

Log off

(the current user)

Put the PC in Standby mode

Turn Off or Shutdown the PC

Shutdown Windows dialog


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Using Windows Task Manager

  • The Task Manager presents a way to end programs that are not responding and appear to be “frozen.”

    • You may need administrator rights to use some of the features of the Task Manager, but a few are available to everyone.

  • To access the Task Manager:

    • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del at any time when you are using Windows

    • This will open the Windows Security dialog box from where you can…

      • Lock up the computer

      • Log off

      • Shutdown the computer

      • Change your Password

      • …and, Open Task Manager

    • From here select the Task Manager button

    • The XP Task Manager window will then open

    • From here you can:

      • View and terminate the currently running Applications and Processes

      • Manage other users or Log off the system

      • Shutdown or Restart the computer

      • View the System’s performance statistics

      • …and many more complex administrative tasks


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Using Windows Task Manager

From the Task Manager window you can access these features, each on a separate tabbed page:

  • Applications - current programs running on your system are displayed on this page along with their status. A program listed as Not Responding can be ended by pressing the End Task button.

  • Processes - displays a listing of all the current processes running on your system. You can view the CPU and memory usage of each process and end any one at will. Note that ending processes that the operating system depends on will shutdown Windows, sometimes in a most inelegant manner. Be careful when ending processes here!

  • Performance - this page shows you many performance statistics such as CPU and memory usage. Some of the data is displayed in graphical form, others in numerical values.

  • Networking - this page displays a graphical representation of network performance. It also shows the status of the networks that are active on your computer. This tab is displayed only if a network card is installed on your machine.

  • Users - from this page you can view the users who can access this computer and switch between them. This page is not available to machines that are not connected to a network domain.



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Closing Unresponsive Applications

  • Windows XP handles programs that misbehave much better than its predecessors did.

  • With the 95 and 98 versions of Windows, unresponsive, “frozen” or “locked up” programs many times crashed the entire system, forcing users to reboot their computer.

  • Most attempts to close problematic applications ended in a total system failure. With Windows XP you can use the XP Task Manager to do this for you effortlessly and safely.

  • To end an unresponsive program (or application):

    • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del,

    • Select the Applicationstab from the Task manager window (shown in the previous slide).

    • An unresponsive application will have “Not responding” in the Status column; Select that application from the list.

    • Click the End Task button. You may have to either confirm your selection or click the button more than once to get the attention of the unresponsive application.


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