Sound-file switcheroo stops loud XP start-up


I have Windows XP Home Edition. I have tried everything I know to silence the loud start-up music. I can clear every sound but that one by going to Control Panel, picking Sounds and Audio Devices and selecting "none" for each sound under Program Events. I tried to change it to a soft ding to no avail. It then has both sounds at start-up. This sound evidently is coming from another source. I would appreciate your help.

As your note illustrates, the sound file listed for Windows under Start in the latest operating system isn't that startling deep gong-type sound. The file you are messing with, startup.wav, is just a small clicking sound.

The rafter-shaker is called Windows XP Startup.wav, and it lives in the Windows directory Media folder. To find it, right-click on Start, scroll to the Windows folder, open it and then click on the Media folder.

The fix is to rename the file and then substitute a quiet file in its place. Here's how:

Right-click on the Windows XP Startup.wav icon and pick Rename from the pop-up menu. Use the cursor to move to the first letter and put an "x" in front of the name.

Now go to the ding.wav file that is in the same folder (the same one that you tried to substitute for the start-up sound earlier). Rename ding.wav with an "x" in front of it, use the cursor to select it and then press CTRL--C to copy it.

Right-click on the xding.wav file and rename it back to ding.wav. Hit CTRL--V to paste the copied xding.wav file into the Media directory. Rename it Windows XP Startup.wav.

When you restart you will be greeted with a diminutive ding in place of chimes from hell.

I purchased a Logitech optical wheel mouse. It came with a USB and a PS/2 adapter. Logitech suggests using the PS/2, while the wizard suggests the USB. Which one is better?

Unless you are attempting to use a proper-size mouse and full-size keyboard with a laptop, it's probably always best to use the PS/2 connection.

All PCs come with PS/2 ports for a mouse and a keyboard, and if you don't use the mouse PS/2 port the mouse will take up a USB port that probably will be needed for a printer or some other peripheral.

Since speed is no issue with a mouse, it does not need the USB functionality. There are, however, some super-fancy mice (that Logitech is not one of them) designed with software written for USB, and in those cases you have no choice.

Laptops almost always come with a single PS/2 port that will take either a mouse or a keyboard. You can plug a keyboard into that PS/2 port and use the USB for the mouse.

James Coates writes for the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. He can be reached via e-mail at

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