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Adding and Removing Windows Components In XP
Revised 7-4-08 to show example

To see what components are installed, open the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Programs and then select Add/Remove Windows Components in the left column. See Fig 1 & 1A.

Fig 1

Fig 1A

STOP HERE! Do not click on anything until you read the following:

WARNING ... You must understand what the boxes to the left of each selection means. If you click on the box, the selection is changed and may remove desired components or add unwanted components.


Do not randomly click your mouse.
More trouble develops from unwanted mouse clicks and dragging than any other single error.

Notice each box. There are 3 different styles.
First, the ones with white background and no check mark indicate that the selection is not installed. If you click a checked box, it will uncheck (deselect) the item and uninstall it (Remove) from your windows environment. If you see an item you do want to remove, then uncheck the box.
Second, some boxes are checked with a white background. This indicates that all sub parts of that feature are installed.
Third, some boxes are checked with a gray background. This indicate a partial installation.
To see how many sub components are available as well as how many are installed, click the words or icon on the item to look at. DO NOT CLICK THE BOX!!! IT WILL CHANGE IT.

To view the sub components, after selecting an item, click Details. If the Details button is grayed out, there are no subs. For the subs to Accessories, see Fig 2. As you select each item, a description is listed for you.

Fig 2

When done looking or changing selections, click OK and you will return to the previous window to look for more selections. See Fig 1A.

As an example, if you can't find paint on your computer using the "run" suggestion on this web page or you can't find mspaint.exe in the search box, you can reload it from this suggestion. Even if all you lost was the shortcut, you can do this. In fig 2 above, make sure the Accessories box is checked. Then click Details to get fig 3.

Fig 3

First see if the box for Paint is checked. If not, it means it was not installed. Check it & click OK & finish. You should have it back.
IF IT IS CHECKED, it means it has gotten lost or corrupt or you just erased the shortcut. To fix it, uncheck the box and OK out. You may need to restart. Do so if asked. Then go back into this dialog box using the steps above. Check the box & OK out. Then you should have the program and shortcuts back. Other selections work the same way. Note that if any item selected causes the Details box the turn black, it means there are sub items in that category.

Each version of Windows carries different selections, but all have extra mouse pointers somewhere. Some are in the basic list. Others may be within the Accessibility list and yet others from installing Microsoft Plus or other programs from the web.

Look through all the items, changing selections only at the lowest level so only a single item is selected. If the Details button is black, there are sub components. BTW, this same selection process works for all Windows programs with sub parts like Microsoft Office.

When you finish selecting/deselecting, click OK until you get to the top level.(Fig 1), click OK at the bottom. You may be asked to insert the Windows CD to complete the process and restart the computer. Any added items will be added to the start menu (usually in Accessories). Likewise any removed programs will be gone.

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