Windows XP Initial Configuration

At work I don't have a fixed Windows environment. So every time I need one I get a newly imaged machine and need to reconfigure it. These are the steps I always go through to configure my Windows XP environment to prepare it for development work.

  • Create an OldIcons folder on the desktop and dump all icons into it (excluding MyComputer and the Trash). Icons such as IE which can't get moved get deleted.
  • Unlock the taskbar, add the quicklaunch toolbar.
  • Download a zip with essential utilities and unzip it to c:\mine. Make a link from c:\mine to the Desktop. The zip includes a subset of a larger set of free Windows software I normally keep with me.
  • Open the start menu, right-click and configure it.
    • Check show clock
    • Uncheck hide inactive icons
    • Customize start menu
      • display admin tools
      • display control panel and my computer as menus
      • hide everything else
  • Customize a command prompt icon and put it in the quick launcher.
    • Increase buffer size to 999
    • Turn on quick edit and insert modes
    • Lucida Console font, yellow screen text
  • Change the default view to List, edit the folder options from the Tools menu - view everything, hide nothing.
  • Run and configure Process Explorer (already included in the zip). Include username, handles, threads, working set size, remove company, description, lower pane.
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