Overwhelming options

Find numerous one-click settings to customize XP, but even with guidance, the novice user might be overwhelmed.

Nothing could be easier than one click to change and customize Windows XP settings, but even with guidance, the novice user will be overwhelmed with all of this program's options.

Ashampo PowerUp XP is listed as freeware, but you will have to register to get it. The demo version is only good for 10 days. The well-organized interface is easy to follow, with a left-hand sash that leads to the seven main categories, which includes Windows, Boot Options, and Security. The main display depends on which category you pick, but each section is organized the same way, with check boxes next to a brief but descriptive setting, and tabs to organize subcategories.

For the novice user, some options, like the general settings to clean up areas like the TEMP folder automatically at start-up, will be easy to follow. Others, however, like Process AUTOEXEC.BAT won't make much sense. There's a Help button, which gives detailed information, but could still leave inexperienced users unsure of a setting's impact. That said, you can easily make changes in nearly every system area, and while many of the settings can be accomplished with standard system tools, PowerUp XP2 puts everything in one package and wraps it nicely for the user.

Intermediate XP users and above will get the most from this app, and they'll appreciate PowerUP XP's straightforward all-in-one approach for tweaking common, and not so common, XP settings.

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