Windows XP secrets

Recently, I had some problems after installing Windows XP SP3 and asked for technical support. I don’t like Windows too much, but I have to use it for many applications; one thing that I did like was the support I got, with a technical representative calling several times to guide me and check if things were going smoothly. In the process I learned some secret XP lore.

  • The problem: IE7 wouldn’t run after installing SP3. Bad news, since windows updating depends on it.
  • Uninstalling IE7: It’s impossible to uninstall IE7 from the usual Control Panel utility after having installed SP3. However, there is c:\windows\ie7\spuninst\spuninst.exe, a program which does uninstall IE7! (ie7 is a hidden folder, by the way). (On the other hand, it’s easy to uninstall SP3 by the usual means.)
  • msconfig: Directly running this command starts a “system configuration tool” that can be very useful. The “services” tab has a “hide non-Microsoft services” option that’s helpful in order to stop anything non-vital. Same with the “start” tab, one can just disable all services there. It’s also interesting to notice the amount of rubbish the system collects with time…

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