Change OS partition drive letter prior to Windows installation

Although Windows XP can work with OS partition placed on D: E: or any other drive, it's normally recommender to place it on the usual C: drive. You shouldn't change system partition letter after Windows installation therefore you need to ensure that system partition has correct letter during the installation.

If you have multiple partitions on your hard drive in some cases Windows XP setup may mark your intended OS partition as D: and some other (e.g. Recovery) partition as C: (This often happened to me wile downgrading DELL Latitude laptops from Windows Vista or 7 to Windows XP). This is not a problem if you want to delete all partition and install Windows on a blank hard drive. However if you want to keep your Recovery partition, there is no way to fix this inside Windows XP setup.

Normally Windows XP setup sets C: letter for a partition which is flagged as active or boot. So if your Recovery partition has been assigned letter C: it's probably marked as a boot partition (this doesn't mean that Windows will necessary try to boot from it). You can fix it using one of many bootable partition managers.

Free opensource gparted will do the job just fine:
Boot from gparted live CD.
Right click on your Recovery partition > Manage Flags > unselect “boot”
Right click on your OS partition > Manage Flags > select “boot”
After this Windows XP setup should set your OS partition as C:

Be aware that if you already have some OS installed gparted may make it unbootable. This can be fixed, however because you are planning to reinstalled OS anyway, it shouldn't be a problem.

Windows XP installation


explorer.exe very high RAM / Processor usage

There could be many reasons why explorer.exe consumes high amount or memory. This particular issue has been reported on Windows Vista and Windows Small Business Server 2008 machines and is caused by Windows Search functionality.

If you click on START and type anything in the "Start Search" box, explorer.exe RAM usage starts increasing. This doesn't stop even after Start menu is closed and eventually explorer.exe consumes pretty much all remaining RAM. Some users also report high CPU usage. Killing explorer.exe and starting it again fixes the problem until the next time search box is used.

To fix this:

Right click on Start > Properties > Start Menu - Customize.
Scroll down to Search files and select Don't search for files

Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008)
Windows Vista

Find who is logged on onto remote computer

Find out who is logged on onto a remote computer locally or via resource shares

Download and extract PsLoggedOn. For more info about this Microsoft Sysinternals tool by Mark Russinovich and direct download go here.

Run PsLoggedon.exe in a command prompt (CMD):

PsLoggedon.exe
Find out who is logged on onto a local computer

PsLoggedon.exe \\computer-name
Find out who is logged on onto a remote computer

PsLoggedon.exe user.name
Find all computers where a user is logged on


To make it a bit more sophisticated on easier to use you can create a simple batch script which will prompt for computer (or user) name.

  • Create LoggedOn.bat and place in the same directory as PsLoggedon.exe
  • Place following code in LoggedOn.bat
    echo off
    SET /P PC=Please Enter Computer Name
    PsLoggedon.exe \\%PC%
    pause

  • Now when you run LoggedOn.bat, it will prompt for a Computer Name and return the result.

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