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Annoying Taskbar Loading/ Too Many Icons on Desktop, etc

by Syrinx77 / February 29, 2008 11:21 PM PST

Dell 16000, Win XP,

Ok- A few general questions I have that've been bugging me:

-How can I speed up start up by getting rid of some of the icons on my taskbar? They appear everytime I log on & I know I don't use em all.

-When I log on, I'm seeing a weird dialog box saying I've got new hardware installed, but it reads "unknown". What is *That*??

-My desktop is getting too crowded. I'd been downloading some stuff from CNET, & many of them turned out to be software that didn;t work for me. But I'm having some trouble getting rid of em. I don't always see them in my uninstall program. (& how do I get rid of them completely? Often there's still remnants lurking about after an uninstall)


Thks for any help! Happy

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hmmm,. bump
by Syrinx77 / March 1, 2008 3:41 AM PST

....

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Step by step.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 1, 2008 3:53 AM PST

You're going to need a step by step process for this.

1] Icons in the Taskbar.

Do you mean the Taskbar or the System Tray, (the area where the clock is)? It would be unusual for the Taskbar itself to be loaded up with icons when you startup the computer. That would mean you have too many programs trying to load on startup.

Assuming you mean the System tray, then you need to identify each program, open each, search for options to 'de-select' Load on Startup, or similar.

Identifying each is simple. Just hover the mouse over each icon and wait for the yellow popup that tells you what it is. Then either double click the icon or right click it and select Open, etc. Then explore the Options, (sometimes under Tools), in each to find the Startup options.

That should work for a lot of the programs but not all. For those that it doesn't work for, look at the Start > All Programs > Startup folder. If there are any shortcuts there for programs you don't want to load on startup remove those shortcuts. You could delete them, (right click, select Delete), but personally I would create a new folder in the All Programs list called, for eg, "Disabled startup", and move the shortcuts to there. That way, if you want them later, you can just move them back.

If there are still some remaining, goto Start > Run, type in msconfig and click OK. You will see the System Configuration Editor window displayed. Click the Startup tab and start de-selecting any software that you don't want or don't need to load on startup. Google will help you identify them.

2] Crowded Desktop.

Why not just delete all those unwanted icons? Drag them to your Recycle Bin, or right click and select Delete. Or do you mean something else?

Those programs/software you have downloaded from CNET. When you download a file the browser ask where you want the file to be saved. The Desktop is a good temporary place to save it. These files are installer files, and when you double click the files the install process starts. So, 3 questions related to this;

a} When the install process is finished, either delete the install files, or move them somewhere else, in case you need to install the software again sometime. They have done their job and are no longer needed. Is that what you are doing?

b} Where are you installing all this software? Each install process usually asks where you want to install the software. If you are installing to the Desktop then that is a bad idea because that could flood your Desktop with hundreds, if not thousands, of files.

c} Most program installation processes will ask you if you want to place a shortcut on the Desktop. This gives you easy quick access to the software by double clicking it from the Desktop. If you don't want the shortcut on the Desktop, say No. Are these the icons you mean?

Unfortunately, most "Uninstall" processes do not clean out all the files and folders. usually we have to hunt these down and delete them ourselves.

3 Weird dialog box.

Can't help you there. it could be anything. Do you have any USB devices connected to your computer when it is turned on?

OTher than that, check the Device Manager for any items with an exclamation mark against them. Right click your My Computer icon, select Properties, click the Hardware tab, then click the "Device Manager" button. You will see a list of all the hardware and some software installed on your computer. Check to see if any have an exclamation mark, ( ! ), against them and see what they are.

Hope that helps.

Mark

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thanks
by Syrinx77 / March 1, 2008 5:55 AM PST
In reply to: Step by step.

I've done the Start Up/ delete thing, restarted & it seemed to work.

a} When the install process is finished, either delete the install files, or move them somewhere else, in case you need to install the software again sometime. They have done their job and are no longer needed. Is that what you are doing?

Yes. I'm left w/ a few install icons straggling about now.

b} Where are you installing all this software? Each install process usually asks where you want to install the software. If you are installing to the Desktop then that is a bad idea because that could flood your Desktop with hundreds, if not thousands, of files.

To the desktop. OOps.


c} Most program installation processes will ask you if you want to place a shortcut on the Desktop. This gives you easy quick access to the software by double clicking it from the Desktop. If you don't want the shortcut on the Desktop, say No. Are these the icons you mean?

I think so. Will say No to desktop option from here on.

Unfortunately, most "Uninstall" processes do not clean out all the files and folders. usually we have to hunt these down and delete them ourselves.

This is where this pc novice would need another 'step by step'.


As for the dialog box, yeah- I did have my Maxtor external HD plugged in at start up. The message said "Found New Hardware Wizard"...new software unknown."

I just keep clicking on Cancel when I see it. I'll try starting up w/o the external plugged in, but I *think* I remember still seeing that message even when the ext' HD wasn't there....

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To the desktop. OOps.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 1, 2008 6:34 PM PST
In reply to: thanks

Oops indeed! Happy

If that's the case then I can't imagine the mess your Desktop is in, and to be honest I am not sure of the best way to move on from here. Some of those Desktop icons are necessary for you to be able to use your computer easily and effectively, but identifying them will be difficult. Generally, on a default system, they are;

My Computer, My Network Places, Internet Explorer, Outlook, (or Outlook Express, or both), Recycle Bin, then any software, like CD Burning, or photo album software, or music and video players, where a shortcut has been placed on your Desktop. That list is by no means the full list.

However, you confess you are a novice, (and there is no harm in that, we all started as novices), so I am not 100% sure that you really have installed all this software to the Desktop, or whether you just think you have. To proceed without knowing could give you more problems than solutions. As you can imagine, we work in the dark here as we can't see your system, and you are our eyes, (and ears?), and we rely on your descriptions.

That being the case, I wonder if you could provide an image of your Desktop. This is a Screen Print, and is taken by pressing the "Print Screen" key on your keyboard. On a laptop, you may have to hold the Fn key down as you press the Print Screen key. Here's a tutorial for making and saving a Screen Print;
http://forum.worldstart.com/showthread.php?t=15537&highlight=printscreen+tutorial

Then goto an image hosting site like ImageShack and upload the image there. Then you can copy the web site address for that image and paste that web site address into a post here. However, as many people have personal Desktops and are reluctant to show the world what their desktops look like, if you want to contact me through my email option in my profile here;
http://forums.cnet.com/community/MarkFlax/?tag=usrprfl
then I will send you my email address and you can email me your image personally.

If you are happy with your Desktop now, then all of the above may no longer be necessary. Let us know. Then we can move on to the other things.

In case this makes you feel any better, when I first got my Windows Desktop, I installed programs to the Desktop more than once! I decline to say how many times, Devil

Mark

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