Overhauling the stock utilities in Windows can make your system faster, smarter, and easier to use. But some downloads do more harm than good. Here’s how to resurrect your picture viewer if a third-party one trashed it. Plus, I’ll give you a one-click hibernation hack and two useful speed-boosting tips.
Picture Viewer Gone Missing
The Hassle: I installed a free image viewer, and it was awful. I uninstalled it, but now the viewer that came with XP has vanished. What can I do to get it back?
The Fix: You’re talking about XP’s Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, and it’s handier–and more versatile–than most people think. Check out Scott Dunn’s “Windows Tips: Windows’ Hidden Image Viewer” for cool tricks.
Back to your dilemma: You’ll need to re-register the viewer. From the Start menu, choose Run, type regsvr32 %windir%system32shimgvw.dll, and click OK.
If that doesn’t do it, open My Computer, select Tools, Folder Options, and choose the File Types tab. Depending on your programs, you may find a pretty long list. Scroll to a file association that you want to change, and select it. (Start with BMP, GIF, JPEG, and JPG; do each one individually.) Click the Change button, browse to Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, and click OK.
Who’s Got the Hibernate Button?
The Hassle: When my buddy wants to turn off his PC, a Hibernate button appears next to Standby, Turn Off, and Restart in the Turn Off Computer screen. How did he do it? I want one!
The Fix: Ready to jump through hoops? First read Microsoft’s article KB893056; afterward, request the XP hot fix, and then fiddle with the Registry (which you’ve backed up in advance, of course).
A quicker, cooler way is to stick a Hibernate icon on your desktop, avoiding the Start menu altogether. First, make sure that Hibernate is enabled: In Control Panel, click Power Options, choose the Hibernate tab, select Enable hibernate support, and click OK. Now from the desktop, right-click, choose New, Shortcut, type %windir%system32rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState in the ‘Type the location of the item:’ field, and click Next. Type Hibernate and click Finish. Finally, right-click your new Hibernate shortcut, select Properties from the drop-down menu, choose Change icon, and browse to my Hibernate icon (right-click the icon and choose Save As from the drop-down menu).
Learn more about shutdown states in the article “Gunk Busters!” (scroll down to “Standby or Hibernate?”).