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Tech: Win XP Start Menu mystery

Newport Boy 13 Nov 08 - 01:47 PM
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Subject: Tech: Win XP Start Menu mystery
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 01:47 PM

I managed to trash my C: drive last week and all attempts to recover failed, so I've had to reinstal Windows and all my software (Data is safe - it's all in other partitions).

I now have a much faster computer, with all my software reinstalled, and yesterday I reorganised my Start menu as I've done many times before. And I had a problem. First, a brief explanation.

I set up the Programs section of the Start menu with about 20 categories, which are folders containing sub-folders and shortcuts. For example, I have a folder 'Office' which contains shortcuts for WordPro, Approach, OpenOffice and convert.exe. This means I can start WordPro with the keystrokes Start, P, O, W. All my other programs (about 100) can be started in the same way using 4 or 5 keystrokes.

I remember all the keystroke sequences for the 60 or so programs I use frequently, and it saves me having to look at the screen or use the mouse while I'm starting a program.

I had a problem. The system works because typing a letter in the Start menu takes me to the first item with that initial letter. I found that a number of items couldn't be reached that way. Eventually the light dawned - all these items had '&' in the name, eg 'GPS & Mapping'.

So to the mystery. These names were the same in my previous installation, which worked fine. Why not now?

I don't need a solution - trial and error produced that. I've changed the '&' to '+' and all works fine. Indeed, I've found a new Win XP feature. I can now have a regularly used category 'Utilities' and a little-used category called 'Unwanted & Uninstall'. The keystroke 'U' always goes to the former and skips the latter. And it would work if I renamed the first 'Utilities + Tools'.


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