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Windows XP Components – An Overview
There are several Windows XP Components, some of which are visible in the Control Panel. In addition, there are some components that are not displayed in the Control Panel such as the USB and Disk controllers. One of the main problems when dealing with Windows components is that most of them have dependencies (programs that need these components to run properly) or are dependent on other components.
For an overview of Windows XP components currently installed on your computer, use the following steps:
1. Click on Start Menu and Click on "Run" in the Start Menu.
2. In the Run Dialog's text box, type "msinfo32.exe" and hit Enter.
3. You will be presented with a window that shows all installed Windows Components (whether or not working properly) along with other information about your machine.
The figure shows the window containing all the components. You can see each Windows XP component and its status when you select the item on the left. Based on the information, if you notice that a particular component is damaged or not installed properly, you can use "RegSvr32" command to re-register the Windows XP component. However, you have to consider your time and efforts while going for registration of all Windows XP components. The next section offers a discussion on when to go for individual component registration and when to employ in-place Windows XP reinstallation.
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Re-register Windows XP Components or Use In-Place Windows Reinstallation
If the problem is with one component or two, or you wish to add some components, it is recommended that you use the built in Windows Component Management feature in the Control Panel. You may also use the command "Regsvr32" that helps you re-register the components you want.
However, if you wish to re-register all the components, it is easier to go for an in-place install of Windows XP as it will take too much research to locate the "dll library" for each Windows XP component and then register each "related dll file" using the command. Re-registering all the Windows XP components is required when: Windows XP fails to behave properly due to registry problems, file associations and permissions go corrupt resulting in unstable working conditions, or the system files are damaged or missing.
Using the RegSvr Command: If you know the "dll files" related to the Windows XP component, which you wish to register, you may use the "RegSvr" Command from the command line (Start Menu ---> Run). The usage of RegSvr command is as follows:
An example to fix the Windows XP component for display problems could be registering disp.dll. Under the case, you will be typing "RegSvr C:\windows\system32\disp.dll". You may check out similar usage of RegSvr by visiting this page.
If you are not comfortable using the command line, you can check out the feature to manage Windows Components (through Control Panel) to add and re-register Windows XP Components. The next page explains this process.
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Using Control Panel to Add or Re-Register Windows XP Components
The Control Panel allows you to manage many of the default Windows XP components. To get the dialog box, reach out to the Add/Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel. Click on the icon to open the Add Remove Programs Window. Click on the third option "Add/Remove Windows Components" on the left (see Fig 1 below).
As you click on the option, you will be presented with the Windows XP Components Dialog box (Fig 2 below). This dialog box contains many components that are installed by default as well as those that you can select to register additionally. As shown in the figure, each line contains a Windows XP component or a set of Windows XP Components. If the line is a single Windows XP component, the "Details" button towards the bottom-left is not available. If the line indicates a set of Windows XP components, the button is available. You can click the button to further select the Windows XP components that you wish to add (see Fig 3). After selecting all the Windows XP components, click on Next. The components will be installed and registered (See Fig 4 below). In some cases, you may be prompted for Windows XP Installation CD for installation and re-registering Windows XP components. Overall, the process to re-register Windows XP Components using this feature is easy and can be used by anyone (provided the user is logged in with administrator privileges).
Note: You can also use the command "Sysocmgr.exe". The command does not need you to sit on the computer until the additional Windows XP Components are installed/re-installed and registered/re-registered. You can compile the list of Windows XP components (to be installed, registered, or re-registered) to a text file and use it with the command. The command works silently in the background to re-register Windows XP Components.