1) If you accidentally lose the Start button and the gray Task bar (where you see all the programs that are open), move the tip of the white pointer all the way down to the bottom of the screen until it changes into a double-headed black arrow, then click and drag the Task bar up (but not too far–you can make it even taller than it originally was). Let go of the mouse button when the Task bar is the right height.

2) You can drag the Task bar up and to the top of the screen or to the sides if you prefer, by clicking anywhere where there isn’t a button and dragging it to the top or side. To move it back down to the bottom, click and drag anywhere where there isn't a button on the Task bar to the bottom of the screen.

3) If you can’t see the Start button and need to shut down the computer, hold down the Alt key and press the F4 key. (The F4 key is along the top row of keys on most keyboards.) Then click on Turn Off

Note: The Alt-F4 key combination also works to "quit" just about any Windows program, i.e., any program that is open and is the front most window. (If you don’t have any programs open, it will allow you to shut down Windows XP.)