Windows NT

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Last Updated On: 08/05/2004

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Windows NT Control Panel

Like Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 has a Control Panel. However, there are many differences between the two. Some things were added and others removed when Windows NT 4.0 was written. We will discuss each option in the Control Panel, but focus mainly on those features that differ between Windows NT and Windows 95. Note also that some third party utilities and tools may add addition icons to the Control Panel. The Control Panel is accessible by clicking "Start", then "Settings", and then "Control Panel".

Accessibility Options

This control panel is identical to the one found in Windows 95. It contains options that make using the operating system easier for people with disabilities and impairments.

Add/Remove Programs

This control panel is also identical to the Windows 95 control panel, with the exception that it lacks a tab for creating a startup disk. The "Install/Uninstall" Tab displays the applications that are currently installed in the operating system (although not all applications place an entry in this list) and provides the means to remove the program gracefully from the system. The "Windows NT Setup" Tab provides the means of adding or removing operating system options that were first offered during installation, such as Solitaire and the CD Player.


Console is the control panel applet that provides configuration for the Windows NT Command prompt. Settings such as font, layout, and color are adjusted here. The command prompt can also be altered to display in a full screen rather than a window in this control panel.


CSNW, or Client Services for NetWare, is not a control panel that normally appears on a Windows NT Workstation system upon installation of the operating system. It is installed later as a service. This icon will be discussed later during the Windows NT 4.0 networking class.


The system date, time, and time zone are all configured in this control panel, which is identical to the one found in Windows 95.


The Devices applet displays a list of currently running device drivers on the system. It is a very useful control panel, not just because you can see the device drivers that are running, but also because these drivers can be stopped and started here as well. The "Startup" button sets the load characteristics of the driver. If the user wants the driver to automatically load when Windows NT loads (which is usually how NT sets drivers) then the startup setting should be set for "Automatic". The "HW Profiles" option allows you to attribute a device driver with an existing hardware profile. For example, a person with a laptop would not want to load the driver for the audio card in his docking station if the user is on a business trip. Therefore, two hardware profiles, one for home and one for away, could be created.


The Windows NT 4.0 Display Settings control panel is very similar to the Windows 95 Display control panel. Many of the same options exist with a few minor differences. The Display Settings Control Panel can also be accessed by right clicking anywhere on the desktop background and choosing "Properties" from the menu. See "Devices > Video" for more details.


All installed Windows NT text fonts are displayed in the Fonts Control Panel. New fonts can also be installed from the "File" menu. Examples of each font can be displayed by double-clicking the font icons.


This control panel is identical to Internet Options on the view menu of Internet Explorer. Security, mail, content, and other settings are configured in this control panel.


This control panel is similar to its counterpart in Windows 95.

Mail and Fax

The Mail and Fax Control Panel configures where Exchange and Internet mail folders are located.


The Modems Control Panel is very similar to its counterpart in Windows 95. Modems are configured and installed in this control panel. Windows NT 4.0 can detect modems on COM ports, or they can be installed from a list of manufacturer modems or driver diskette.


The Mouse Control Panel is identical to the control panel found in Windows 95.


The Multimedia Control Panel is also very similar to its counterpart found in Windows 95. One difference is the "Devices" tab. Listed on this tab are all of the multimedia devices installed in Windows NT. In addition, devices may be added from this tab. When the "Add" button is clicked, a list of drivers, as well as an option for an unlisted driver in another path (such as a driver diskette or CDROM) is displayed. (See Figure 26)


The Network Control Panel will be discussed in depth in the Networking chapter.


The ODBC Control Panel configures the ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) settings. ODBC allows applications to access databases dynamically. This control panel is beyond our range of support and not covered in this curriculum.


The PC Card Control Panel is where PCMCIA cards are installed and configured. While PCMCIA cards are more commonly found in portable systems, some desktop systems utilize a PCMCIA swap box. For a visual walkthrough of this control panel, refer to MPS in Delltech.


The Ports Control Panel in Windows NT is where a user would add and configure COM ports. Baud rate and parity, for example, are two settings configured in this control panel for each COM port. One difference between the Port Control Panel found in Windows NT and the one found in Windows 95 is that the Windows 95 version includes settings for the parallel port. Windows NT does not.


The Printer Control Panel is simply where printers are installed and configured. The "Add New Printer" icon is utilized to install a new printer. The user will be asked for a driver and to identify the port onto which the printer is to be installed. Many advanced options exist for printers in this Control Panel. Since Dell does not factory install printers, however, these options are beyond the scope of this curriculum.

Regional Settings

Time zone, currency, and number format settings are all found in this control panel. Time and date formats can also be set in this control panel.

SCSI Adapters

The SCSI Adapters Control Panel is where a user would go to add, configure, or view the settings of, SCSI or IDE adapters. Drivers for devices such as ZIP and JAZZ drives are also installed in this control panel.


This is the control panel for the server service. When networking is installed, this manages external accesses to resources on the local workstation. The server service will be discussed in detail in a later chapter.


The Services Control Panel lists the system services currently installed in Windows NT. In this control panel users can stop, start and pause services. Users may also change the startup status of services so that they do or do not start automatically when Windows NT starts.


This control panel sets the system event sounds for Windows NT. The bells, chimes, and other sounds you hear in Windows NT are configured and changed here. This is also a convenient place to test the functionality of an installed sound adapter.


This is quite different from the System Control Panel found in Windows 95 in especially one major way. No Device Manager exists in Windows NT.

The General Tab

This tab simply reports information such as version, OEM/CD Key number, and the computer type. It is also a quick way to check the amount of physical memory detected by Windows NT.

The Performance Tab

It is on this tab that the settings are adjusted for system performance and virtual memory. The slide bar can be adjusted to give more or less resources to foreground applications or applications running in the background. The virtual memory settings can be altered by clicking the "change" button. Here, the swap file can be made larger or smaller, or be moved or split among the physical hard drives. The maximum registry size can also be adjusted here.

Tape Devices

This applet allows the user to install and configure tape backup devices.

Telephony Applet

This applet allows the user to configure properties for telephony modems and other such devices.


This applet allows the user to configure a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) on the system.