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500 Tips
Windows NT

Get Some Support

NT Workstation includes client software for linking to Novell NetWare/IntranetWare servers, but if you want full support for Novell Directory Services (NDS), use Novell's 32-bit IntranetWare client for Windows NT (available at http://support.novell.com/home/client/winnt/whatsnew.htm).

Forget the Salute

Instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete to launch Windows NT Task Manager, right-click on NT 4.0's taskbar and click on Task Manager in the resulting menu.

It's Only Natural

Using NT 4.0 and the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, press WIN+R to display the Run dialog box, WIN+M to minimize all windows currently open and WIN+E to start Windows NT Explorer.

Performance Anxiety

Many systems with factory-installed NT come with SCSI drives. These drives will give very slow uncached performance ratings on many low-level tests because their on-board write buffering is turned off by default. You don't need to turn on write caching to have excellent real-world application performance, though, because cached performance doesn't suffer from the default settings. If you still insist on turning the buffering on, you can do so using a SCSI utility from your SCSI adapter's manufacturer. But be aware that if you do, you'll have less data security, because write completion will be signaled before the data is committed to the disk surface.

Bye Bye Back Slash

Don't try to use the back slash from the command prompt to change drives. CMD.EXE won't let you and will give you an error message. Simply type the drive letter, followed by a colon, as in D:.

Save Early, Save Often

Save your Desktop arrangement often by pressing F5 when your cursor is on the Desktop. NT doesn't autosave the Desktop orientation the way Windows 95 does, so an abnormal shutdown can cause you to lose your icon placement.

Don't Go Down With the Ship

Pesky legacy DOS or 16-bit Windows apps running under NT can still cause problems, but NT has a way of protecting itself from crashing along with the troublesome program. Go to the program's Properties dialog (click on its icon and press Alt+Enter, or right-click and select Properties). At the bottom of the Properties dialog, click on "Run application in own memory space." If the program crashes now, it affects only its own virtual machine, not the Windows kernel.

Throw Caution To the Wind

You can log on automatically to Windows NT 4.0, if you don't care about security. Download Microsoft's PowerToy Tweak UI for NT (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/software/powertoy.htm) and go to the Network tab, where you can specify the UserID and password. But be aware that this will mean your system is no longer secure.

No More Double-Click

Make the middle button of your 3-button mouse a double-click. Instructions and a simple utility are at http://www.windows-nt.com/tipsandinfo.


NT has a couple of nifty Easter eggs. Start NT 4.0's 3D Text (OpenGL) screen saver module by select-ing Properties from the Desktop's Context menu and clicking on the Screen Saver tab. Select 3D Text (OpenGL) from the list and click on the Settings button. Type I love NT, select OK and click on the Preview button, and the screen-saver text will say, "good?" Click on Settings again, type not evil, select OK and then click on the Preview button. A 3D screen saver will display the names of Windows NT 4.0 programmers. If you type volcano, select OK and click on the Preview button, you'll see the names of volcanoes in 3D.

Themes Like Old Times

If you have both NT and Windows 95 with the Plus Pack loaded on your C: drive, you can use your Desktop Themes under NT 4.0. Find THEMES.CPL and THEMES.EXE in Win95's C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory and copy them to C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32. Reboot your system. A Desktop Themes icon will appear in Control Panel.

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