I was documenting a process today for a client when I came across a reference to the Windows System Administrative Tools. When I checked my Start menu, I couldn't find them, then I learned from a colleague they were buried, one of those sets of tools that Microsoft hides to prevent users from accessing the full compliment of tools.
The System Administrative Tools enable you to access such tools as the Services window where you can see which services Windows is running or the Performance Monitor where you can watch a running graph representing your system's performance. The fact is, that most users don't need to use these tools, but on the oft chance you do, it's good to know where they are.
To access the System Administrative tools in Windows XP:
- Right-click on an open part of the Windows task bar and select Properties. The Properties dialog box opens.
- Click the Start Menu tab, then click the Customize button. The Customize Start Menu dialog box opens.
- Click the Advanced tab, then scroll to the bottom of the Start Menu items list and click the radio button next System Administrative Tools > Display on the All Programs menu and Start menu.
- Click OK twice.
- Click Start > All Programs > Administrative tools to access these tools.
Note that you can make other changes to the Start Menu from the Advanced tab including turning on and off items or making the Control Panel display as a cascading menu, rather than opening as a separate dialog box, the default state.
Keep in mind these types of changes will change the expected behavior in Windows, so you should customize with care, but if you need access to those Administrative tools and other functions, and you're comfortable customizing Windows, it's good to know where these tools are.