Monthly Questions & Answers For Windows XP

How do I turn off the System Restore feature in Windows XP? I am using an Antivirus program that has directed me to temporarily do this while running a clean up.

System Restore feature

System Restore is a terrific feature. It allows a user to roll back the Windows XP operating system to a previous point (before corruption) just in case the system becomes corrupt. If you turn this feature off to run a specific program, please turn it back on after you are finished. Leaving System Restore off is a problem because all restore points are lost. Three easy steps to Disable XP System Restore from the Windows XP Desktop are:

  • Right mouse click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties"
  • Click on the "System Restore" tab
  • Check the box "Turn Off System Restore" and click on the "OK" box

For more information refer to and;en-us;Q310405. Restore points were also covered in last month's HAL-PC Magazine.

I have Windows XP Home Edition and Outlook 2000. What is the file name for the "Personal Address Book" and where is it located?

The "Personal Address Book" ends with the extension of "PAB." From your Windows XP desktop, click on "Start" -> "Search" and search for all files that end in "PAB" (*.pab). The "*." is a wild card search character that means all files. This will find all "Personal Address Books" on your PC. In your search field, locations of all Personal Address Books should be shown.

To find the location of the one that you are currently using, right mouse click on the Outlook Icon from the Desktop and choose properties.

In Outlook 2000 and Previous Versions:

  • Under the service tab you should see a Personal Address Book Listed
  • Highlight the Personal Address Book
  • Click on the property button
  • There should be a path statement listed which is where the file is located.
  • [If Personal Address Book is not listed, then you are probably not using one.]

If you do not have an Outlook Desktop item, you can start Outlook and from the menu go to "Tools", "Services".

The "Personal Address Book" doesn't have anything to do with Windows XP. It is the same in Windows 98 or Macintosh, so don't worry about that piece. Outlook 2000 and Outlook XP, however, try to focus on using "Contacts" (a newer feature) instead of "Personal Address Books." "Personal Address Books" will eventually go away. "Contacts" is built into your mail file. It is part of your Personal Folder, which is the file that ends in the 3 letters "PST." It is part of one large database that includes Contacts, Mail Messages, Calendar, Journal, etc. Because "Contacts" are integrated into Outlook, it works better and offers more features than "Personal Address Books". Contacts can also be imported or exported. For more on "Personal Address Books", start Outlook and hit your F1 key. Then type in "PAB." I get asked that question a lot. Thanks.

What is Tweak UI for my Windows XP? My buddies keep telling me that I need to get this program?

Tweak UI is part of a program called "Power Toys." Great Question! It is a free utility for Windows XP. It is usually used by technical support. Most home users do not install this program. Tweak UI gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more. Other Power Toys features are:

  • Open Command Window Here
  • Alt-Tab Replacement
  • Power Calculator
  • Image Resizer
  • CD Slide Show Generator
  • Virtual Desktop Manager
  • Taskbar Magnifier
  • HTML Slide Show Wizard
  • Webcam Timershot

My suggestion is not to install these utilities unless one is needed. They are not supported by Microsoft. If however, one of the features is needed, Power Toys does a good job. For more information and the free download location, go to:

After updating XP Pro with Service Pack 1, a directory "REMOVE" appeared in my C:\WINDOWS\TEMP. Do I need these files and the other files in the C:\Windows\Temp directory? XP CLEANUP did not delete these files.

No. The "Temp" directory, whether it is in C:\Windows, C:\Winnt, in your profile or in Local Settings, is a necessary System folder and should not be deleted. You should be able to delete the data in the folders without negative effects. Highlight the files and choose delete from the menu. Once these files are deleted, you might find that your system runs faster.

The "Temp" folder is supposed to be a staging area for files while being used. Once the files being used are closed, the "Temp" directory is supposed to be emptied by Windows. This process does not work many times, which is why Microsoft developed the XP Cleanup utility. If a file won't be deleted, it is because the file is still open or being used. For more on the XP Cleanup utility, please refer to the Windows XP questions in the November/December of the HAL-PC Magazine. Thanks for this very productive question.

What is Auto Update in Windows XP?

Windows XP has a feature called Auto Update. When your PC is connected to the Internet, it will check with the Microsoft website for software update, download the needed ones and install them in the background while you perform your normal PC activities. As far as the Auto Update, I do not suggest using this feature to install software updates. I do like the new ability to be notified and then I decide what I want to install.

Before I do any install, I create a System Restore Point (discussed in the November/December 2002 HAL-PC Magazine) and mark down what I am installing. I keep a physical list of everything that I ever installed on my PC and the date that I installed it. If I ever have a "Crash," I can always refer back to the list for support reasons. One way (there are always many) to adjust the auto update is to:

  • -Right Mouse click on the "My Computer" icon from the Desktop.
  • -Choose "Properties"
  • -Click on the "Automatic Updates" tab
  • -And I choose to check the Radio Button; "Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be installed".

Don't be fooled by the word critical, install only what is needed. Updates should be used for your PC's benefit and not Bill Gates'. With that said, I do install most of the updates but I come prepared. Thanks for this great question!