Computer Guide

Running a program at shutdown
by George Skarbek - 2nd May 2006

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here


Q: I want to back-up my important files to go automatically to my second hard disk. I have a BAT file to copy these and usually remember to click on it at the end of the day but don't know how, or if, it is possible to run this as a default option when Windows closes.

A: This is possible if you are running Windows XP Pro but not XP Home.
You will need to create a policy to run your BAT on shutdown. You do this by clicking on Start, Run and enter Gpedit.msc and click on Windows Settings then Scripts and select Add. Now navigate to your BAT file and select it and exit from these screens. Your back-up will now run on shutdown.

Q: I use Windows XP. From Control Panel I click on the add/remove icon, it loads the files but, only some of the files are displayed. I decided to "page down", a screen at a time - low and behold, after 174 blank screens, I found the rest of the files at the bottom. How can the bottom files be brought to the top, or how can I delete/remove the blank between the two sets of files?

A: There have been several suggestions referring to this problem on Google and they usually refer to modifying the registry. Unfortunately other users have stated that these methods do not work for them.

I have encountered this problem only once on one of my clients computers and my solution was to sort by size. This worked and all entries appeared. Sorting by Date Used also worked. This takes a bit longer to find your program but is safer than deleting or modifying registry entries.

Q: Is there a way to record the daily internet usage of each user in a network, including uploads and downloads, in MB? Preferably for free.

A: I would recommend Dumeter that can be downloaded from This is an excellent program that has won many awards. It is very small, fully customisable and does the job well. It is free to use for 30 days but the author requests payment if you find it of value and continue using it.

In my opinion this is among the best programs of this type as it can be set to be quite unobtrusive and it provides very good reporting as well.

Q: I have recently updated to Windows XP. When I interrogate Windows Explorer, the folders/files are displayed as icons. By entering the view menu, I change the display to "list". However, when I next enter that folder, it has reverted to icons. How can I make the permanent change to "list"?

A: Start by opening Windows Explorer and then set your View to Details. Next you must click on Tools, Folder Options and then click on the View Tab. Now you make any other adjustments you require and then click on Apply to All Folders. This will remember the setting for the future.

Q: Is there any way to set a default saving destination when downloading files from the internet? I find that a lot of times it just goes straight to the Temp files without letting me choose. Worse still, they often go missing.

A: I am assuming that you are using Internet Explorer. Start by creating a folder, say Downloads, and save a download to that folder. This folder will then be remembered in the future for subsequent downloads. Having all your downloads in one folder will also help in deciding what old files to keep as generally after downloading and installing the program, the downloaded file can be deleted.

Q: Every time I press Ctrl + Alt + Del, I get a message saying my task manager has been disabled by the administrator. I don't think I did this. How can I turn it back on?
A: There is a fix that requires changing either the Group Policy or modifying the registry. The details are available from the Microsoft site.

See:;en-us;555480&sd=rss&spid=3208  or if you don't want to enter the full URL, go to the Microsoft home page, select support and search for 555480
To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here