Configuring Windows XP SP2 from the Control Panel

In this post I mentioned that a few months ago I got a new machine at work. Here are the steps I take to configure Windows XP SP2 on all of my machines. Of course, I use the File and Settings Transfer Wizard to avoid having to do all this manually but here are the steps anyway. As I think of other things I’ll update this post.

From the Control Panel:

  • Select User Accounts
    • Create new administrative user account

Log out and log back in using the above account.

From the Control Panel (switch to Classic mode) do the following:

  • Select Display Properties
    • Under Settings change the resolution accordingly
    • Under Desktop set the background to (None)
  • Select Add/Remove Programs and click Add/Remove Windows Components (have the OS CD ready)
    • Uncheck Accessories/Games
    • Uncheck MSN explorer
    • Check IIS
    • Check IIS\FTP Service
    • Uncheck Outlook Express
    • Uncheck Windows Messenger
  • Revisit Windows|Update to ensure the recently installed drivers are the latest
  • Select Sounds and Audio Devices
    • Remove sound from Windows Explorer\Start Navigation
  • Select Windows Security Center
    • Under Virus Protection click “Recommendations” and check “I have an antivirus program that I’ll monitor myself”
  • Select Network connections
    • Double click Local Area Connection and click Properties
    • Check “Show icon in notification area when connected”
  • Select Start|Run and type gpedit.msc
    • Browse to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update and enable “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations”
  • Select Folder Options
    • Uncheck “Display simple folder view in Explorer’s Folders list”
    • Check Display the full path in the title bar
    • Uncheck “Use simply file sharing”
  • Select Mouse
    • Under Pointers select “Windows Black (large)”
  • Select Internet Options
    • On the General tab under Temporary Internet Files
      • Settings… and change the disk space use to 5MB
      • Click Colors… and check “Use hover color”
    • Under Programs
      • Uncheck “Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser”
    • Under Advanced
      • Set Underline Links to Never
      • Check “Use inline Autocomplete”
      • Uncheck Show Go button in Address bar
  • Select Date and Time
    • Under Internet Time set Server to “”
  • Select Taskbar and Start Menu
    • On the Taskbar tab
      • Uncheck Show the clock
      • Uncheck Hide inactive icons
    • Under the Start Menu tab select Customize
      • On the General tab
        • Click Small Icons
        • Set Number of programs to display on Start Menu to 12
      • On the Advanced tab
        • Under Control Panel select Display as Menu
        • Uncheck Help and Support
        • Under System Administrative tools select Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu
  • Select System
    • Under the Remote tab
    • Uncheck Remote Assistance
    • Check Allow users to connect remotely to this computer
    • Click Select Remote Users and add the above user account
  • Select Folder options
    • Check “Display the contents of system folders”
    • Check “Show Hidden files and Folders”
    • Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”
    • Uncheck “Hide Protected OS files”

4 thoughts on “Configuring Windows XP SP2 from the Control Panel

  1. My additions, in Folder options:-
    * Check "Display the contents of system folders"
    * Check "Show Hidden files and Folders"
    * Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
    * Uncheck "Hide Protected OS files"
    – Roddy

  2. Nice list, it’s nice to see that great minds think alike (most of your settings are things I do too), however, as useful as this list is, it could be made more useful (inho) by putting a little comment next to some of the more obscure settings stating *why* you choose this particular setting. That way folks would also know what, if any, the consequences of agreeing or disagreeing with your settings might be.

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