Other people are logged on to this computer

Leif writes, I have cable internet at home (cox) and Earthlink high speed at work. After being on line and shutting down, I get the message “Others are logged onto your computer, Shutting down now will…”. What is going on and how can I prevent my computer from being used as a relay station for some hacker?
Windows XP includes a number of cryptic error messages and nothing is more unnerving than the possibility that someone or something might be logged into your computer. A little more explanation in the message would go a long way to clearing up the confusion. The good news is this message has nothing to do with a hacker using your computer. There are two common explanations for what might be happening.

Speeding Up Windows Delete

Al writes, When I right-click and choose Delete to eliminate a file, it currently takes 30+ seconds to do it. Do you know how to fix this?
The Windows delete behavior varies slightly depending on the way you have your Recycle Bin configured. The default behavior is reserve 10% of your hard drive for the Recycle Bin, with a Delete of any kind moving files into the Recycle bin, which makes the files appear deleted from Windows but doesn’t actually eliminate them from your hard drive. If you infrequently empty your hard drive, this can amount to a fairly sizeable section of files on your hard drive being deleted but not actually gone.

Using Two Monitors

E writes, How does one add additional monitors, to watch/use different computer functions? I have a brand new 15″ LCD sitting in a closet that I would like to make use of.
Windows XP makes adding a second monitor relatively easy, as long as you have a video card with support for two monitors. How much you spend on the new card is entirely up to how long you want to be able to use the card into the future. Depending on where you shop, dual monitor video cards are available for as little as $50. The downside to these budget-priced cards is lack of compatibility with some of the upcoming video features in Windows Vista, creating a very short window for ongoing useful life of the card.

Removing Entries from MSCONFIG Startup List

Fred writes, When you go into msconfig and you click off programs from the startup how do you delete or eliminate the programs that you have deleted from your system? It seems like once the program gets there it stays. There are some programs that come with your system like virus programs, that one does not use and therefore disable them and then remove them from the system but they stay in the msconfig lineup.
The MSCONFIG System Configuration Utility offers plenty of powerful options for managing your startup process, while also presenting one of the more convoluted displays in Windows XP. If you disable a startup item, the information in the MSCONFIG Startup tab must be removed by deleting an entry from the Windows Registry. This is not an ideal situation, fortunately there are a number of apps available to act as an intermediary in the process.

Disable IE Download Warning

Chuck writes, I’m running Windows XP Pro and using Internet Explorer 6. When I try to download something I get a message about (50% of the time) do I want to okay the download and there is a new toolbar message at the top of the browser window that I have to right click and tell it to do the download. Is there some setting in IE 6 that I need to change?
This behavior was added in the Service Pack 2 update to Windows XP to help add a layer of security to the browser. In theory it helps prevent the drive-by download scenario common to spyware that attempts to install without your permission. For those of us who are careful to avoid dangerous downloads, the feature adds a certain level of annoyance to the browsing experience. If you feel comfortable in disabling this feature, IE offers a way to override the warning.