First time XP user... please help

Hello. I recently bought a new PC which will arrive in a week. It comes with XP Home which I will load myself. Since it will be the first time ever for me using XP, I figured there's no one better to seek advice from than you computer gurus. Any replies would be much appreciated, thanks in advance!

My questions:

1. Should I use Fat32 or NTSF? I'm currently using a 9x OS and have always used Fat32 partitions. The only thing I know about NTSF is from what people said a long time ago about it-- that it is for NT systems and HD's cannot be converted back to Fat once you format with it. My PC will be a stand-alone with a cable connection (no home network). Which partition should I format with? And which is faster?

2. I understand XP uses admin-controlled access to assign users, and what not. But I'm really used to the Win98 way of starting a the computer. It will also be used by my roomate, but I want him to be able to access everything also. We're just goof-offs and don't need to hide anything from one another. Therefore, what is the most pratical way to set up the access?

3. Security. I've read about all the hacks and viruses XP is prone to, but also that XP can be safer than 9x due to all the security options. So starting from a fresh install, what all should I do to protect myself? I can install any patch that is needed, just point me where.

4. Do I need to register XP? Would I miss out on any feature if I didn't? Everything I own is legit, but I never register anything. Because what if one day I sell this system to someone else, but all its components are still registered in my name? It's all redundant.

5. Last Question... My PC will have 1GB of RAM. Will XP make full use of that from the start, or do I need to adjust some cache settings beforehand?

Thanks again.
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  1. hi, i have xp pro and have ntsf and it's cool to use, dont use fat32.........

    <img src="">
  2. NTFS offers several key advantages over FAT32, mainly security and recoverability features. There are some reasons why you might consider using FAT32, but that's for you to research and decide. I adopted NTFS when I switched to XP, and haven't looked back.

    XP by default installs one profile as an administrator account with full access to your resources. If you dont have any need to worry about local security, you wont have any problem using just the default account between you and your friend.

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> Go to that link and download all of the security patches. Take a look through everything that's there, and download what you need. There's no need to download updates for services that you dont have installed.

    You do not need to register XP. You DO need to "activate" XP (Unless this has been done for you where you bought the PC). Activating entails connecting to the internet and allowing Microsoft to check your installed CD Key (this is done automatically). WinXP will become non-functional after 30 days if you do not Activate.

    XP will have no problem addressing your 1GB of RAM. As far as settings, the only thing I can think of would be page file size. (Control Panel -> System -> Advanced Tab -> Performance Options -> Advanced Tab -> Virtual Memory -> Change Button) I've found that setting Page File size to 1.5x your installed RAM works well in most cases (there are many MANY arguements about idea page file size, if you look around on these forums you can find a multi-page thread regarding this topic). In your case, I would set the page file size to 1536mb.
  3. Thanks for all the info. The only thing else I'm unsure of is the usage of the admin acct. I read on microsoft that you shouldn't use that acct to browse the web with, but a user acct instead.

    What exactly does this mean? At what times do you use the admin acct?
  4. I don't know what that means. I use my admin acount for everything, everytime I start my computer.

    Your arrogance is boring!
  5. 1. In your case, if you have a Hard disk of 32 gigs or bigger, and want to have all that space in one partition you HAVE to use NTSF otherwise, there is really no difference if you use FAT32 or NTSF. FAT32 is a tiny wee faster than NTSF but it really makes no difference. The advantages of NTSF are some that you most likely wont use, so again, there is no difference. Oh, and if you format NTSF you can always switch back to FAT32, lol even FAT16 if you really want.

    2. If you and your roomate will both be able to do anything, then FAT32 is fine, since NTSF offers some administrative control. Again, both are ok in your case.

    3. Update your windows, get the security patches and service packs. If you are careful and knowledgeable, an antivirus isnt really needed. I dont use it, and i havent had a problem. If you are kinda paranoid, get an antivirus, other than that, you dont need to do anything else.

    4. You have to register windows xp by phone or online if you want to be able to use it for more than a few days. Your cdkey will be registered by microsoft and that cdkey wont be able to be used in another machine as long as you have it. I believe it makes a connection between your cdkey and hardware and you have a certain limited amounts of different hardware configurations. Im not sure though, its complicated. But what i know for sure is that you have to register your cdkey by phone or online so its harder to pirate.

    5. you dont have to do anything for your ram, windows xp will manage it automatically.

    There are a lot of theories and tips about how to partition your hard drive. Some(like me) make a partition for windows virtual memory only (as big as your ammount of ram or whatever windows xp recommends, right click My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Performance Settings, Advanced Tab). Other people make another partition for programs, separate from their OS partition. Other people make a virtual memory partition, a partition which contains their documents, another for programs, and another for the OS. Also, the files that you are going to access the most (like documents, programs, virtual memory) should go at the beginning of the hard drive since its the outside part of the physical disk and it spins faster, for faster access..
    Well this is a very complicated topic, and I cant explain everything clearly, try google searches, ask friends, and post questions. Sorry to not give you links as i dont have them on my hand.

    good luck and keep postin

    My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek:
  6. Registration? Many people seem to say it's not required. And all a person has to do is "activate" their copy which sends MS a fingerprint.

    I wager this means you're not allowed to put XP on more than one computer at a time, even if you own another PC.
  7. You can only put it on one computer. That's the reason for activating it. So that microsoft knows that it's only on one computer, using the same key code.

    Your arrogance is boring!
  8. by registration i mean activating, sorry.

    and no, you dont loose features if you dont register it, so dont bother.

    My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek:
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