Windows 98 Tips
Windows 98 Tips
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If you are looking for tweaks for windows 98, and I know lots of you are, then you should really use one of the windows 98 tweaks programs such as Tweak Manager from Winguides. With a program, there are no mistakes deleting the wrong registry keys, no worry since you can't screw it up, all their tweaks are listed in easy to navigate categories, you just check the windows 98 tweaks you want and click apply, it's that simple. You can take complete control of your Windows system with access to hundreds of powerful tweaks for windows 98 and hidden registry settings. Get your copy today for $29.95!
Microsoft: Windows patch is flawedMar 31 2005-Microsoft has acknowledged that a security patch issued in January for its Windows 98 and Windows ME operating systems may cause performance issues for customers who have downloaded the update.
According to a notice posted Friday in the discussion group section of the company's TechNet site, Microsoft's KB891711 update, which was released to address a vulnerability related to cursor and icon format handling, fails to adequately protect users of Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and Windows ME. The patch was included as part of security bulletin MS05-002, one of the software giant's regular monthly updates.
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Silence the MIME to fix Netscape attachment woesQ: I am having trouble with Netscape 4.7 on my Windows 98 computer. Incoming e-mail from a number of specific sources is displayed with the embedded text as an attachment, indicating "Part 1.1, Type: Plain Test (text/plain), Encoding: quoted-printable" and sometimes as "Part 1.1.1". Why is this happening? When I click on the attachment, it either doesn't come up or it appears as text, but without word wrap. I can, of course, select it and copy it to Word or WordPerfect to read it. I never had this problem until recently.
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Some Share Names May Not Work CorrectlyIf you use one of the following names as a share name, some API operations on this share will fail:
M, MA, MAI, MAIL, MAILS, MAILSL, MAILSLO, MAILSLOT
While MAILSLOT is a reserved name, the other share names are legal regardless of case.
A known API call is FindFirstFile(). It may fail with an error 1 "Incorrect function". Unfortunately, Microsoft Cluster Server uses this API call to verify if the share name is alive.
The share name was compared against the string "MAILSLOT" and found identical, even if the share name was shorther than eight characters.
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Desktop CyclerDesktop Cycler for Windows 98/95/NT/2000 is a special utility to manage and cycle your desktop goodies. Using easy to use interface you can cycle hundreds of selected wallpapers, screensavers, desktop themes, windows logo, IE's toolbar skins or even Start Menu icons automatically on specific time. Plus access hundreds of selected resources sites for great and free desktop goodies! Get it here.
Microsoft Halts Driver Support For Windows 98Microsoft Corp. has halted hardware driver support for users of Windows 98 and Windows NT in a bid to push users to the company's new operating systems.
The push also means that the latest hardware will not support PCs with operating systems as "old" as Windows 98. ATI's recent Radeon 9000 and 9700 series of cards, for example, will not support Windows 98 through Microsoft, although ATI said those operating systems will still be supported through the Windows Me OS.
On its web site, Microsoft explains that "Beginning 01 July 2002, at 12:01 A.M. PST, WHQL will no longer accept submissions for all hardware devices and systems for the following operating systems. This includes all submission types for all devices and systems: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE); Windows NT 4.0 Workstation; (and) Windows NT 4.0 Server."
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Upgrade, or not to upgradeIf you're planning on upgrading to Windows 98 from Windows 95, don't. My recommendation is to always wipe the hard drive clean and do a fresh install. This clears up any problems you were having, prevents new ones from poppingup as much, and generally makes your pc much faster, lot less overhead. I've personally tried both, and the upgraded pc was not only initially slower, but got worse all the time, so back up your data, suck it up, and format that hard drive and get a good start, ofcourse you will need to reinstall all your programs, and you should download updated drivers for your hardware, including your bios, and store them on floppy.
Speed up your programsThe improved Disk Defragmenter in Windows 98 gathers the program files that you use most often and moves them to faster parts of the hard disk.
To run Disk Defragmenter:
Getting back to the desktop quicklyEver tried to get back to the desktop when you have several windows open? It's quite a task minimizing all of those windows one by one. That's why Windows 98 has a Show Desktop button conveniently located on the taskbar. No matter how many windows are open, you can click just this button to minimize all windows at once. Try it out! If you change your mind and don't want to use the desktop, you can click the Show Desktop button again to restore all of your windows.
Note If you don't see the Show Desktop button, right-click the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and make sure Quick Launch is checked.
Rearranging programs on the Start menuIs there a program on your Start menu that you always use? Would it be more convenient to have it at the top of the menu? You can easily rearrange the programs on your Start menu by dragging and dropping!
Click the Start button, and then point to Programs. To move a program, drag the icon to the place in the list where you want it. You can also move program groups folders by dragging them in the list.
Give startup problems the bootNormally, you would create a startup disk when you installed Windows 98. If you never made a startup disk, if you have lost it, or if yours is old (Startup disks created with previous versions of Windows are not compatible with Windows 98.), now is a great time to make a new one. It’s easy.
To create a boot disk, you will need a blank, 1.2 megabyte (MB) disk. You may also need your Windows 98 CD, so be sure to have it handy. To create a startup disk:
Under normal operation, files and applications that are stored on your computer are often divided into small units and scattered around the hard disk, which can make recovering them very difficult. Disk Defragmenter places files and applications into contiguous groups, thereby improving the chances of recovering your data (since files will not be scattered all over the drive), and keeping your system operating at optimum speed. Other tools in Windows 98 for keeping your system healthy include:
Finally, if you do run into trouble and don't have a startup disk, many computer manufacturers offer them for download on their Web sites. But if you make a one now and put it in a safe place, you won't have to rely on your friend's computer for Web access when you are having problems.
Track changes to your system files after installing softwareYou can use System File Checker in combination with Notepad to track any system changes that programs make during their installation.
System File Checker creates a log after each scan, which is then appended to the previous file by default; but you can also choose to overwrite it on each scan. If you choose to overwrite the log, you can easily print out the list of changes each program installation makes to your operating system files. Every time you install a program, follow by running System File Checker, open the log in Notepad, enter the name of the program at the top of the log, then print and save it for future reference.
Here's how to do it:
Let the Add New Hardware Wizard resolve your device problemsIf you are having problems with a particular device after installing Windows 98 or other software, try removing it and then let Windows 98 reinstall the device.
Here's how to do it:
Use some cool, free tools from the Windows 98 Resource Kit SamplerThe Windows 98 CD comes with some free tools and utilities in a sampler called the Resource Kit. These allow you to do such things as compare files and folders, check and delete obsolete shortcuts, read text and hypertext markup language (HTML) code in the Text File Viewer, and more. These tools don't load automatically when you do a standard installation, but they're easy to install:
Converting a drive to FAT32The File Allocation Table (FAT) is the way in which data is stored on your hard disk drive. Until now, the only option has been to use FAT16, but Windows 98 has the capability of converting your drives to FAT32. The difference between the two is in how they store data. FAT32 stores data in smaller units than FAT16 and, by using these smaller units, can save a lot of hard disk space.
Here's how to convert a drive:
Here's how to check if your hard disk drive is already using FAT32, in My Computer, right-click the icon for the drive in question (typically C, for your hard disk), and then click Properties. The File System field indicates whether a drive is FAT16 (listed simply as FAT) or FAT32.
Update Your DriversAlthough many Windows 95 drivers will run under Windows 98, most of them work less efficiently with the newer OS--and some don't work at all. To ensure the best performance of your hardware, you need the latest driver. And that may not be the one that was with your original Windows 98 CD-ROM. Why? Because several vendors didn't create Windows 98 drivers in time for them to ship with the OS. Thus, Microsoft included interim drivers whose performance was less than ideal.
The good news? By now most vendors have completed their Windows 98 drivers. The best way to get the latest drivers is to hit the vendor sites and look for upgrades. If you're as lazy as we are, have an online software updater such as CyberMedia's OilChange do the searching for you.
Speed Up RebootsIf you think Windows 98 takes too long to boot, you can remove the built-in two-second delay in the OS's start-up sequence. Here's what you need to do:
Don't Autostart AnythingNothing's slower than having to wait for your computer to launch a bunch of programs each times it starts up. To stop a program from launching at start-up, just open C:WindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp in Windows Explorer and delete that program's shortcut.
Windows 98's System Information tool (Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Information) gives you an even more detailed list of autostarting programs. Just expand the Software Environment menu and choose Startup Programs. This will show you any programs that are automatically launched by the Registry. To keep these programs from autostarting, consult each application's help file.
Stop the Floppy ScanWhen Windows 98 boots up, it wastes time scanning for new floppy drives. You can reclaim these lost seconds via the System Control Panel applet (Start/Settings/Control Panel/System, or right-click My Computer and choose Properties). Select the Performance tab; click the File System button; select the Floppy Disk tab; and uncheck the option "Search for new floppy disk drives every time your computer starts." Voilà!
Control Panel ShortcutsYour Control Panel makes easy work of configuring Windows 98, but if clicking through Start/Settings/Control Panel gets on your nerves, here's a quick fix: Open the Control Panel folder, select the icons of your frequently used applets (hold down Ctrl while you click for multiple selections), then drag them onto your Start button. The Start menu will open, allowing you to place your new Control Panel shortcuts wherever you want.
We suggest leaving them in the root of the Start menu and renaming them something unique (go to C:\Windows\Start Menu in the Windows Explorer, right-click the icon, and choose Rename). That way, you can access them with just a click of the Windows key (or Ctrl-Esc if you don't have a Windows key) and the first letter or number of the shortcut's name.
Back Up Your Registry FilesTo be safe, back up the Registry manually before you make any changes. Run the System Info utility (go to Start menu/Programs/Accessories/System Tools), then click Tools, Registry Checker. After a quick scan, Registry Checker will offer to make a backup. Click Yes to replace the oldest backup file with a fresh one. So, remember, when making changes to Windos registry, always back it up first, because you could end up with a dead pc, and having to reinstall everything.
Check for ErrorsHacking Registry entries is safer under Windows 98 than it was under Windows 95. Windows 98 adds a few safety nets that come in very handy in case things go wrong, and the Registry Checker is the best of them.
This handy tool kicks in before Windows 98 loads, and inspects the Registry for serious problems. It usually finds no problems, and it will back up system.dat and user.dat--the two files that make up the Registry--as well as the two prehistoric Windows configuration files, system.ini and win.ini. Registry Checker also retains an audit trail of five backups in the C:WindowsSysbckup folder (in CAB files numbered sequentially rb001.cab, rb002.cab, and so on). When it adds a new one, it tosses out the oldest.
Restore the RegistryIf the Registry Checker does find errors at start-up, it won't start Windows 98; instead, you'll get a warning message, "Windows has detected a Registry/configuration error." You then boot to a command prompt (select Shut Down from the Start menu, then select "Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode" and click OK), and Registry Checker automatically restores your most recent backup.
Even if the change isn't serious enough to make Registry Checker kick in, it's possible to restore a backup. Restart your PC, but boot to a command prompt instead of Windows. At the command prompt, enter the command Scanreg. Follow the instructions to view your backed-up Registry files and restore the most recent one.
Viewing the RegistryWant to browse the Registry and the changes you've made to it? Use RegEdit (a.k.a. the Registry Editor) to export the Registry to a text file. It's easy to do: just launch RegEdit (select Start/Run and type RegEdit), then choose Registry/Export Registry File and select a filename for the text file. After you make your changes (or install new software), convert the new Registry to a second text file and compare the two text files.
These Registry text files are enormous, but if you use Windows 98's WinDiff utility, you can see any differences highlighted. WinDiff is one of the little tools in the Windows 98 Resource Kit Sampler. After starting WinDiff, click File/Compare Files. WinDiff highlights the file differences in yellow, and you can jump between them with a click of the F8 key.
Optimize Your Virtual CacheNotice your system periodically stalling while the hard drive thrashes? This phenomenon is often caused by the Windows virtual cache feature. Like onboard caching, this cache is designed to reduce disk access, but it can easily grow large enough to put a dent in your performance. If you've got 32MB of RAM or more, try setting the cache size at a fixed number. We recommend 4MB for systems with less than 48MB of RAM, and 8MB for those with 48MB or more. Here's how to set it up:
Selecting multiple filesWhen working in Windows Explorer or the My Computer window, you might need to perform the same action on more than one file in a folder. For example, you might need to copy a group of files to another location. You might think you have to copy each file individually, but you don't. Just select all the files at one time and then copy (or delete) them together.
To select a group of files that are listed together in the folder window (contiguously), select the first filename, hold the [Shift] key, and click on the last file you want to affect. This technique selects all the filenames between the first and last files. To select noncontiguous files, select the first file, hold the [Ctrl] key, and click on the other files you want to affect. To deselect a file, hold the [Ctrl] key and click on the selected file. Then use the keyboard or right-click on one of the selected files to complete your action with the shortcut menu.