Windows ME Tips

Windows ME Tips

Welcome to the Windows ME tips portion of our website, here we have collected some great Windows ME tips and links to other Windows ME sites, like the great Windows ME info at windowsreintall, almost everything you could ever want to know about windows ME.
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Microsoft: Windows patch is flawed

Mar 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.
Go here for more.

Windows ME Support

Find answers to your questions about Windows Me.
Click here for the whole article.

Advertising Windows Constantly Interfere with Internet Browsing (Q312931)

When you attempt to browse the Internet, you may receive one of the following error messages
WMAD has caused an error in unknown
Exception 0E Access Violation in Module Wmad.exe at xxxx : xxxxxxxx
where xxxx : xxxxxxxx represents a memory address.
You may also notice the following symptoms:
Pop-up advertisements continually open while you attempt to browse the Internet or to open Web pages.
Web pages open very slowly or they are only partially displayed.
This problem can occur if you open the e-mail attachment game "Yo Mama, Osama". This is a game that offers free phone products if you can shoot Osama Bin Laden. While you are playing the game, an Adware Trojan is installed on your computer without your knowledge. The Adware Trojan monitors your Internet usage and then sends pop-up advertising to you while your are browsing the Internet. The Adware Trojan is not removed even if you remove the game from your computer.
Click here for the whole article.

Description of the System Restore Utility in Windows Millennium Edition (Q267951)

What is System Restore? System Restore is designed to automatically monitor and record changes made to the core Windows system files and to the registry. System Restore can then allow you to undo (or "roll back") a change that caused instability in your system. This is accomplished by periodically recording a "Restore Point" (or System CheckPoint) that gives you the ability to roll your system back to the point in time when your computer was known to function properly.
System Restore is not intended to be an "uninstaller" or a backup program. If Windows does not function properly after installing software or drivers, you should use the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel (or use the program's uninstaller) to remove the software before using System Restore.
System Restore monitors most system files with .exe, .vxd, .dll, .com, and .sys extensions. It does not monitor user-created files (for example, files that have .txt, .doc, or .xls extensions), the My Documents folder, Temporary Internet files (including the Internet Explorer History, Cookies, or Favorites files), the Recycle Bin, or the Windows Swap (.swp) file.
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How to Enable and Disable System Restore (Q264887)

This article explains how to enable and disable the System Restore feature in Windows Millennium Edition (Me).
CAUTION : Disabling System Restore removes all previous restore points. To continue to use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous point, do not disable System Restore.
Click here for the whole article.

Checkpoints That You Create After September 8, 2001 Do Not Restore Your Computer (Q290700)

When you attempt to restore a checkpoint that you created after September 8, 2001 in Windows Millennium Edition (Me), the restore procedure does not work after you restart your computer and you may receive the following error message:
Restoration Was Unsuccessful
This problem occurs because the algorithm that is used to calculate the checkpoint file name does not work after September 8, 2001.
Microsoft has released an update the corrects this problem. When you install this update, a checkpoint is automatically generated. Checkpoints that you create before you install this patch do not work after you install the patch. The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center..
Click here for the whole article.

How to Start the System Restore Tool From a Command Prompt (Q279736)

Windows Millennium Edition (Me) includes the System Restore tool, however, you cannot start the System Restore tool from a command prompt. Because of this, it may be useful to start the System Restore tool when you are unable to start your Windows Me-based computer normally or in Safe mode. This article describes how to start the System Restore tool when you are unable to start your Windows Me-based computer normally or in Safe mode.
Click here for the whole article.

How to Manually Restore the Windows 98/Me Registry (Q221512)

This article describes how to restore a backup copy of the Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (Me) registry.
Under normal circumstances, Windows is capable of detecting and recovering from registry errors automatically. If Windows is incapable of this, a previous copy of the registry can be restored manually. Windows makes and stores a backup of the registry when you start your computer successfully each day. By default, five previous copies or the registry are stored. To restore one of these previous copies..
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Using a subnet

If you create an Ethernet or phone-line-based network and also use a laptop or other mobile device, you may want to consider setting up a subnet—essentially a second network—with a wireless or IEEE 1394 connection for the mobile device. This allows you freedom of movement while using all your shared resources.
You can set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) on two different types of home networks at once. The computer through which you want to use ICS, which we'll call the ICS server (to distinguish it from ICS clients), will need two network adapters if you are using an external DSL or cable modem. Otherwise, you need one network adapter to connect to the rest of your home network. The ICS clients require only one network adapter.
Before you can share your Internet connection to a subnet, first finish setting up your primary home network, by using the Home Networking Wizard on the ICS server. Then follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Internet Options.
  3. Click the Connections tab.
  4. Under Local Area Network (LAN) settings, click Sharing. Note, if you do not see Sharing, you do not have Internet Connection Sharing installed on your primary home network (the one you set up without your laptop). To do this, follow the instructions under the Home Networking wizard.
  5. From the list, select the network adapter that connects you to the secondary network.
  6. Click OK, and then restart your computer.

Thinking of a wireless network?

The radio signals carrying data between your computers might extend beyond your home, making them potentially available to other people. Other devices, such as baby monitors, microwaves, and cordless phones, might also cause interference. To alleviate transmission conflict with others using the same type of wireless network, look for a wireless technology that supports multiple channels, rather like multichannel cordless phones.

Using IEEE 1394

Advanced users may want to consider setting up a network using the IEEE 1394 (sometimes known as "firewire") port on their computers. This is a high-performance serial bus that can connect up to 63 devices in a tree-like daisy-chain configuration, and transmit data at up to 400 Mbps. It supports Plug-and-Play and peer-to-peer communication between devices.
An IEEE 1394 network is especially convenient if you already use the 1394 port for a digital video camera or other device.
IEEE 1394 is a relatively new technology for home networking, and although most network functions work over it just like Ethernet, there may be some specialized programs that don't recognize the 1394 network.
For example, in some cases, not all of the computers on a 1394 network can see shared folders in My Network Places (on the Windows Me desktop). If this happens, you can connect to the computer sharing the folders by clicking Start, clicking Run, and then typing the computer name preceded by two backslashes (\\). To connect to a computer named Upstairs, for example, type \\Upstairs, and then click OK. This displays a window showing all the shared folders and printers on the computer. Note, to use this kind of network, all the networked computers must be running Windows Me.
To network two or more computers using 1394:
  1. Plug a six-pin to six-pin 1394 cable into the 1394 ports of all your computers. Just run the cable from any 1394 port on one computer to any port on the next computer. (You can also use a hub to connect the computers together.)
  2. Restart all the computers. The computers then automatically detect the network.

Sharing an Internet connection

One big advantage of a home network is that it allows two or more computers to use one Internet connection simultaneously. (If you have a DSL or cable modem connection, performance will be faster.) The client computers in your network gain access to the Internet via the server (host) computer's account with an Internet service provider (ISP).
(Even if you don't have a high-speed connection, you can have the convenience of using your computer to work on files stored on your son's computer while he surfs the Web via the connection hosted by your computer.)
Note, two or more people on the same single AOL or CompuServe account are not permitted to log on concurrently. Other ISPs may have similar restrictions. Check with your ISP if you intend to have more than one person log on to the Internet from a single account.

Creating an Ethernet

With an Ethernet network, each computer connects to a hub, a small device that accepts either four or eight computer connections. A network cable runs from the Ethernet network adapter in each computer on your network to the hub, by using an RJ-45 connector. An Ethernet network can accommodate transfer rates of between 10 and 100Mbps. For comparison, a 56Kbps modem is about 20 times slower than just 1Mbps.
  • Windows Me is designed to work in conjunction with an Ethernet network based on PCI (peripheral component interconnect) network adapters. Slots for these adapters are found in newer computers. Older computers tend to have slots for ISA network cards. Windows Me supports some ISA cards, but older cards that are not compatible with Plug and Play technology will not work. To see whether your equipment is compatible, check the Tested Hardware list.
  • For maximum performance and reliability, make sure to use Category 5 UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cabling for your Ethernet network. The category refers to the quality of the cable and how well it resists electromagnetic interference (from radio signals, electronic appliances, and so on).
Your computer's documentation contains information about the type of slot your computer has. You'll have to remove your computer cover to install a network card of either type.
Warning: Before removing the cover from your computer, make sure the power to the computer is off and the power cord is removed from the electrical outlet. Failure to do so may result in fatal injury to you or damage to your computer. See the instructions that came with your computer for information about opening the case.

Ethernet and Internet security

If you intend to use Internet Connection Sharing on a home Ethernet network and you use an Ethernet card for your Internet connection, you must install a second Ethernet adapter in the computer that will be sharing its Internet connection. One Ethernet card stays connected to the Internet, and the other plugs into the Ethernet hub with your other computers. (It is not recommended that you plug your cable modem or DSL directly into the hub.)
Having two cards removes the risk that the contents of your computers could be visible to people outside of your home and be potentially vulnerable to malicious "hackers." Note that two Ethernet cards are not required if you have an internal DSL adapter or if you share a modem connection.

Let the Add New Hardware Wizard resolve your device problems

If you are having problems with a particular device after installing Windows Me or other software, try removing it and then let Windows Me reinstall the device.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, point to Control Panel, and then click the System icon.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab. The problem category should automatically open within the list. A symbol should indicate the faulty device. If a device is not working properly, there will be a yellow circle with a black exclamation point inside it; if it's not working at all, there will be a red X.
  3. Click on the problem item to highlight it, and then click Remove.
  4. During start up, Windows Me should detect as missing the device you just removed and automatically run the Add New Hardware Wizard. If you recently downloaded new drivers from any of your hardware manufacturers' sites, or from Windows Update, be sure to use the wizard's Have Disk option to ensure that Windows Me installs the new drivers and not any old ones.
Hint: When you download new drivers from hardware manufacturers or Windows Update, copy them to a floppy disk and label them. This way, if you ever need to re-install them, and don't have access to the Internet, they are right where you need them.

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Create a startup or "boot" disk for your computer

A startup or boot disk is necessary not only to start your computer when it can't start on its own, but it also allows you to run diagnostic programs to see what is causing the problem, and apply a fix. To create a boot disk, you will need a blank, 1.2 MB disk (any files on a disk you use will be erased by this procedure).
Here's how to create a startup disk:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Point to Settings and then click Control Panel.
  3. Click Add/Remove Programs.
  4. Click the Startup Disk tab.
  5. Click the Create Disk button.
  6. When finished, click OK to exit the Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box.
Note: Whether or not you insert a disk before you start this procedure, you will receive an Insert Disk prompt. Insert a disk if you have not done so already, and then click OK to continue.

How to reveal more information about your CPU

To reveal a bit more information on your CPU, we've found this neat little trick (for Intel-based machines).
It starts with opening your Registry key using Regedit. Here's how:
  1. On the Start menu, click Run.
  2. Type REGEDIT and then click OK.
  3. Follow this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware\Description\System\CentralProcessor\0.
  4. Click VendorIdentifier and put a space between "Genuine" and "Intel" and then close Regedit.
  5. Right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties.
There is now a bit more information about your computer listed underneath the 'Genuine Intel' line. You'll see that your CPU comes from the "x86 Family A Model B Stepping (version) C," where A, B, and C represent the appropriate values in your system. This same information is now available in the Identifier line on the path, two rows above in the Registry. When you restart Windows Me, the default information will be restored.

Clear up the clutter with Disk Cleanup

As part of standard maintenance, Disk Cleanup should be scheduled to run at regular intervals, perhaps once a month, at some convenient time when your computer is not otherwise in use.
Here's how to run Disk Cleanup:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  2. Choose the drive you want to scan from the drop-down menu, and wait while the program calculates how much disk space is available for cleanup.
  3. To delete obsolete files, click the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes next to the files that you want to remove, click OK, and then click Yes.
  4. To remove Windows components, click the More Options tab. In the Windows Components area, click Clean Up.
To see what is included in any component, select the component, and then click Details. If you want to remove individual items within any component, clear the check boxes of the items you don't need.
  1. To remove installed programs, click the More Options tab.
  2. In the Installed Programs area, click Clean Up. On the Install/Uninstall tab, click the program that you want to remove, and then click Add/Remove.
  3. Follow the instructions on your screen to remove the program.

Defragment your hard disk to keep it in peak condition

Files and applications on your computer's hard disk drive are not always stored together as one unit, but are often divided into smaller units and scattered around the hard disk. This is caused by normal use.
On a fragmented hard disk, a computer has to work harder to gather all of the small units to perform the commands you give it; this slows down its ability to access files and run applications. Running Disk Defragmenter helps by putting all like files and applications into contiguous groups so the computer can access them quickly.
If you use your computer a lot, it's a good idea to run Disk Defragmenter on a regular basis. It's also a good idea to run Disk Defragmenter after you install a lot of applications to enable them to run at top speed.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Click the Settings button, select the options you want (to ensure fastest startup of programs, select the first check box), and then click OK.
  3. Choose the drive you want to defragment from the drop-down menu, and then click OK.
Note It is best to shut down all your applications before you run Disk Defragmenter.

Boot up without the floppy drive to save time

Would you like to shorten your startup time, even if by a little bit? Tell Windows Me not to search for your floppy drive when it starts up. You'll still be able to use the drive, but Windows Me will search for it only when you click the floppy drive icon in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Right-click My Computer, click the Properties button, and then click the Performance tab.
  2. Click the File System button and then click the Floppy Disk tab.
  3. Clear the option to Search for new floppy disk drives each time your computer starts.

Clean up your hard disk with ScanDisk

Through normal use of your computer, your hard disk can become cluttered and a bit messy. Folders become cross-linked, file names contain invalid or unknown characters or become damaged, and file names become disassociated with their files. ScanDisk can fix these and other problems for you. It's also a good idea to run ScanDisk on a regular basis: once a week for standard, and once a month for thorough.
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click ScanDisk.
  3. Click the drive you want to scan, and then choose either the Standard or the Thorough test.
  4. Click Start.
The Standard test checks the files and folders on the selected drive for errors. The Thorough test will give you further options. It performs the Standard test plus checks your hard disk for physical damage. You can even specify to scan areas of your disk containing only data files, or just the areas with system files, or both. Both Standard and Thorough have a set of Advanced options that help you to deal with lost file fragments, invalid files, and cross-linked files. You can also choose to display a summary and to keep a log file of what ScanDisk finds.

Using more than one e-mail account

Do you and your partner have separate e-mail accounts, but share the same computer? Or do you have two different e-mail accounts for yourself, such as one for home and one for work? With Outlook Express, you can manage multiple e-mail accounts from the same place. You can even have the e-mail from the different accounts delivered to different inboxes.
To set up different e-mail accounts:
  1. On the Tools menu in Outlook Express, click Accounts.
  2. Click the Add button, and then click Mail.
  3. Follow the instructions in the wizard to set up the new account.
To choose which account you want to use, on the Tools menu, point to Send and Receive, and then click the account you want to use, or click All Accounts to deliver e-mail to and from all of the accounts you have set up.

Turning AutoComplete addresses on or off

The AutoComplete feature in Outlook Express saves you typing time by automatically completing addresses that you type when composing e-mail messages. However, if you don't want to use this feature, you can easily turn it off. Here's how:
  1. On the Tools menu in Outlook Express, click Options.
  2. Click the Send tab, and then clear Automatically complete e-mail addresses when composing.

Screening out inappropriate material with Content Advisor

To help you protect your children from inappropriate material on the Internet, the Content Advisor feature in Internet Explorer in Windows Me lets you control the kind or degree of language, nudity, sex, and violence that is viewable. The Content Advisor follows the guidelines of the Recreational Software Advisory Council's (RSACi) rating system. Only Web sites that are rated by RSACi are subject to your Content Advisor settings. You also establish a password to turn Content Advisor on or off.
To set up Content Advisor:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Content tab.
  3. In the Content Advisor area, click Enable.
  4. In the Ratings dialog box, decide what level of language, nudity, sex, and violence is appropriate for your family by clicking the keys next to each area and moving the slider to the setting you want.
  5. Create a password, then confirm it.

Create a custom signature for e-mail

With Outlook Express, you can personalize your e-mail messages by creating a custom signature to include in messages you send. For example, maybe you'd like to include your name, phone number, and a favorite saying or quote.
Here's how:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Signatures tab, click New, and then type the information you want to include in your signature. If you already have information in a file, you can click the File radio button and enter the file's address.
  3. Click OK.
  4. If you want this signature to be included in all outgoing messages, select Add this signature to all outgoing messages.

Make sure downloaded files are easy to find later

It's easy to download software updates, games, sounds, pictures—just about anything. But sometimes it's hard to find them again on your computer. To make sure you can, specify where you want a downloaded file to go.
Here's how:
  1. After you've indicated you want to download an item, a dialog box asks "What do you want to do with this file?" Select Save this program to disk.
  2. A dialog box opens where you can specify a folder where you want the file to go.

Drag a Web page shortcut into a message

If you want to let a friend know about a Web page, you can send a shortcut to the page via e-mail. And with Outlook Express, you can easily send the shortcut by dragging and dropping.
Drag the Internet shortcut into the e-mail message. You can drag a link from the page you're viewing, the page icon from the Address bar, or any other Internet shortcut—especially, for example, if you've saved one to your desktop or a folder. If the message is behind other windows, drag the shortcut to the message's button on the taskbar, and pause momentarily. The message window opens up and you can drag the shortcut into the message.

Find your way back to a page you saw some time ago

Let's say you're surfing and see a cool page that you want to return to. You write down the address or add it to your Favorites list—or you think you do. Later, you can't find it. If it's a page you visited recently, Internet Explorer still remembers it via the History list.
Click the History button on the toolbar. The History bar appears, containing shortcuts to every page you've been to today, yesterday, the day before, and so on until it takes you back to the beginning of the week. It also keeps track of every page you've been to for the previous three weeks, which you can retrieve by clicking the level that says Week of __. The links in the week groupings are listed alphabetically.

Add Favorites with one keystroke

You can quickly add a Web page to your Favorites folder so you can come back to it later. Just press CTRL+D. The page is automatically added to your Favorites list without any further input from you.

Create a link to a Web page in a Word document

If you're creating a Microsoft Word document, you can create a link to a Web page or other HTML document rather than just including the address in text. Here's how:
  1. Copy the address (URL) to which you want to link.
  2. Select the word, phrase, or sentence in your document that you want to create as the link.
  3. On the Insert menu in Word, click Hyperlink.
  4. In Type the file or Web page name, paste the address by pressing CTRL+V.

Create new folders in Outlook Express

To organize and save your e-mail messages, you can create folders to put them in.
Here's a quick and easy way to create a folder:
  1. Right-click the folder where you want to put the new folder (for example, Inbox or Outlook Express), and then click New Folder.
  2. Type a name for the new folder, and then press ENTER.

Run programs from the Address bar

Did you know that in Windows Me you can run programs from the Address bar in the browser?
The next time you are surfing the Web and want to run a program such as Microsoft Word, just type the program name (including its path) in the Address bar, and then press ENTER. For example, you might type: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\winword.exe.

Get back to the desktop quickly

Ever 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 Me 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.

Browse the Web and your files with one program

Why use different programs to browse the Web, your hard disk, and a network? Internet Explorer provides a single place where you can browse anything! That's right, you can switch back and forth between Web pages, files and folders on your computer, network drives, and pages on a corporate intranet—all from the same browser! The buttons on the toolbar change to match the content that you are viewing, and you always have access to Back and Forward buttons so you can get back to where you started. How does it work? If you're surfing the Web and you decide you want to look at a folder on your hard disk, just type the path in the Address bar. Or, if you are looking at files in My Computer and you want to check out a Web page, type the address in the Address bar. Try it!

Close several programs at once

Ever get in a hurry and suddenly need to close multiple programs and windows all at once? Relax.
Here's a cool trick for getting that done fast:
  1. Choose the programs and documents you want to close by holding down the CTRL key while you click each item's button on the taskbar.
  2. Right-click one of the selected buttons, and then click Close.

Ways to delete a file or folder

Folders and files starting to clutter up your hard disk? Windows Me gives you several ways to get rid of files and folders you don't want.
Within Windows Explorer, you can use any of these methods:
  • Right-click the file or folder, and then click Delete.
  • Select the file or folder, and then press the DELETE key.
  • Select the file or folder, click the File menu, and then click Delete.
  • Drag the file or folder to the Recycle Bin on the desktop.

Explore more with Explorer bars

When you use Web view in a Windows Explorer window (including My Computer, My Documents, and Control Panel), you can add Internet Explorer capabilities. For example, you can use your favorite search engine, view your History list, or search your Favorites list. On the View menu, point to Explorer Bars, and then click Search, Favorites, or History. To return the window to its original state, click the View menu, point to Explorer Bars, and click Folders.

Undo actions in Windows

Have you ever accidentally deleted, renamed, moved, or copied a file you didn't intend to? Windows Me has an Undo command in every window, and it works just like the Undo command in other Microsoft applications. If you're viewing a window (for example, a Windows Explorer window) in Web view, just click Undo on the toolbar. If you're not using Web view, click Undo on the Edit menu.

Move or copy files to subfolders

You can use Windows Explorer to move or copy a file by dragging the file icon to a folder. When you have All Folders displayed on the left side of the window, it's easy to drag a file to a different folder.
If the folder you want isn't visible because the folder it's in is not expanded, here's a trick that will save you time and frustration.
  1. Drag the file icon to the collapsed (unexpanded) folder, and hold it there for a few seconds.
  2. The folder automatically expands and you can drop the file into the folder you want.

Set your windows so they all have the same view

Like to see lists of your files in a certain way—as large icons, for example, or with detailed information? You can set your view options (Details, Thumbnails, List, and more) the way you want them for all your folders at once.
Here's how:
  1. On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Set the view for this folder the way you want it to be for all folders.
  4. Click Like Current Folder, click Yes to confirm, and click OK.

Customize the taskbar

Want to customize your taskbar so you can do everything from one place, including starting programs, viewing documents, and surfing the Web? Wouldn't it be great if there were an Address bar or Links bar on the taskbar along with your program buttons?
With Windows Me, you can customize the taskbar to meet your every need. Right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click the toolbar you want to add: an Address bar, a Links bar, a toolbar containing all items on your desktop, or the Quick Launch bar. You can also create your own toolbar from any folder. Right-click the background of the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then click New Toolbar. Pick a folder from the list. A toolbar containing all items in that folder will be added to your taskbar. You can drag the new toolbar to any location on your desktop, and easily remove a toolbar from the taskbar by right-clicking the taskbar and then clicking the item again to remove the check mark.

Rearrange programs on the Start menu

Is 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?
Here's how to easily rearrange the programs on your Start menu by dragging and dropping:
  1. Click the Start button, and then point to Programs.
  2. To move a program, drag the icon to the place in the list where you want it. You can also move program group folders by dragging them in the list.
You can also see programs listed alphabetically:
  1. Click the Start button, and then point to Programs.
  2. Right-click the programs list, and then click Sort by Name.

Search the Web directly from the taskbar

Windows Me lets you search the Web right from your taskbar. That makes your access to the Internet even more handy.
To get started, you'll need to open an Address toolbar on your taskbar. Here's how:
  1. Right-click a blank area on the taskbar.
  2. Point to Toolbars, and then click Address. The Address toolbar appears on the taskbar.
  3. To search the Web, begin typing a Web address (URL) in the text box. The AutoComplete feature will suggest URLs based on sites you've visited. Or type go, find, or ? followed by a word or a phrase.

Adjust Accessibility Options

You can access most of the accessibility settings in Windows Me by selecting the Accessibility Options icon. When you select Accessibility Options, you'll find the settings grouped on these tabs: Keyboard, Sound, Display, Mouse, and General.
Steps using the keyboard:
  1. Display the Start menu by pressing CTRL+ESC (or the Windows logo key).
    • Move to Settings by pressing S.
    • Select Control Panel by pressing C.
  2. In Control Panel:
    • Select the Accessibility Options icon by using the arrow keys.
    • Press ENTER.
    Note If all of the Control Panel icons are not displayed, press the TAB key until view all Control Panel options is selected, and then press ENTER.
  3. In the Accessibility Options dialog box, select a tab by pressing CTRL+TAB (continue pressing TAB until you reach the desired tab).
    • To access keyboard options, select the Keyboard tab.
    • To access sound options, select the Sound tab.
    • To access display options, select the Display tab.
    • To access mouse options, select the Mouse tab.
    • To access other accessibility options, select the General tab.
Steps using the mouse:
  1. On the Start menu:
    • Point to Settings.
    • Click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel:
    • Click Accessibility Options.
    Note If all of the Control Panel icons are not displayed, click view all Control Panel options.
  3. In the Accessibility Options dialog box:
    • To access keyboard settings, select the Keyboard tab.
    • To access sound settings, select the Sound tab.
    • To access display settings, select the Display tab.
    • To access mouse settings, select the Mouse tab.
    • To access other accessibility settings, select the General tab.

Using Windows Me: Save system resources when transferring footage

Transferring video footage to your hard disk can consume significant system resources on your computer, affecting performance and ultimately the quality of your footage. To conserve resources and improve performance, select Disable preview while capturing in the Record dialog box.
Note This option appears only when a digital video device has been detected and the device is set to playback mode.

Use drag-and-drop importing

Are you looking for a quick way to import your videos to your computer? As an alternative to using the Import feature (found on the File menu), you can import supported file formats by dragging them from My Computer into Windows Movie Maker.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Open Windows Movie Maker.
  2. Open My Computer and navigate to your camera folder to select the files you want to import.
  3. Drag the selected files from My Computer into the My Collections folder in Windows Movie Maker.
Note If you want the imported videos to be broken into clips:
  1. On the Windows Movie Maker View menu, click Options.
  2. Make sure the Automatically create clips box is checked. (If this check box is clear when you drag a video file into Windows Movie Maker, the video file will be imported as one clip.)

Jump-start your moviemaking

Looking for a fast way to start putting together your movie? You can gather clips more quickly by selecting multiple clips in the collections area and then dragging them to the storyboard or timeline (depending on your current view). Here’s how:
  1. Hold down the CTRL key and click each clip in the collections area that you want to add to your project.
  2. Drag the selected clips to the storyboard or timeline.
The clips appear in your project in the order they appear in the collections area. You can rearrange the clips in your project by dragging them to the desired location on the storyboard or timeline.

Previews a double-click away

To quickly preview a clip from the collections area, double-click the clip. The clip then plays in the monitor.

Check your system profile to find IEEE 1394 information

For information about the hardware components that are configured to work on your computer, including video capture cards and cameras, check your system profile.
  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the System icon.
  3. Click the Device Manager tab.
  4. If you have an IEEE 1394 video capture card installed, it will show under the component label "IEEE 1394 Bus host controller." You may also find a component called "Imaging device," under which you can find information about your camera.

Use description in clip properties

The clip properties feature allows you to enter a short description for a clip. This is especially helpful if you have two similar clips that contain only slightly different content, or if your clip has a special feature that you want to remember quickly without having to view the clip in the middle of the editing process. It's an invaluable tool for making notes to yourself.
To add a description to a clip:
  1. Right-click the clip, and then click Properties.
  2. Enter your notes in the Description area, and then close the window by clicking the 'X' button in the upper right-hand corner.

Use details view for clips

The details view of clips gives you a lot of information about your clips at a glance. Besides the name, author, and date the clip was imported into your collection, you'll also find the length of the clip, how long it lasts; the start time, which indicates where your clip starts within the larger project; and the end time, which functions like a running total of your project's overall length.
With the details view, it's easy to get a quick overview of how your project is organized when you come back to working on it after some time away. You can also see more easily how the various pieces of your project are working together. To see your clips in the details view, in the menu bar, click View, and then click Details.

Add Image Preview to any folder

If you choose to store pictures in a folder other than the My Pictures folder, you can turn on Image Preview to preview your pictures.
  1. On the desktop, click My Computer.
  2. Click the disk drive where your pictures are located, and then click the folder that contains your pictures.
  3. Click the View menu, and then click Customize This Folder.
  4. In the Customize This Folder Wizard, click Next, select Choose or edit an HTML template for this folder, and then click Next again.
  5. Select Image Preview, click Next, and then click Finish.

Print pictures from the My Pictures folder

You can print your digital photographs and other images directly from the My Pictures folder, without even opening them first. This is especially helpful if you plan to print several photos.
  1. In the My Pictures folder, click the picture you would like to print. The picture will appear in the Image Preview window, to the left of the file list.
  2. Click the Print button.
  3. In the Printing better pictures dialog box, click Yes if you would like see the Windows Me help information on printing pictures. Otherwise, click No.
  4. In the Print dialog box, check the settings, and then click OK.

To JPEG or to GIF: Understand file formats

You're ready to scan a picture, or to save an image for use on a Web page. How do you decide what format to use for your image file? There are many formats, each with its own strengths and requirements, and choosing the right one for your images is important. With the right format, you'll get better quality and a smaller file size.
Three of the most common image formats are BMP, GIF, and JPEG. While all of these can be added to documents, only JPEG or GIF can be used in a Web page. Here is a quick look at when to choose which one.
  • JPEG - Choose the JPEG format when your image is a photograph, or has a lot of shading.
  • GIF - Use the GIF format for line drawings or pictures that have areas of flat color (no shading).

Share your images with others

It's easy to share an image from your camera to documents and e-mail. With Windows Me, you don't even have to save the image to your hard disk first. As long as your camera is WIA-enabled (check your camera’s documentation to find out) and connected to your computer, you can access it directly.
In your e-mail or document application, follow the steps to insert an image. For example:
  • From the Outlook Express Insert menu, choose File Attachment, or choose Picture and then click Browse.
  • In Microsoft Outlook, choose either File or Object from the Insert menu.
  • In Microsoft Word, choose Picture from the Insert menu, and then click From File.
The application will ask where to find the picture you wish to insert. Click the arrow to see the entire list of possibilities, including your camera! Click your camera, and then select the picture you wish to share.

Customize the Windows Media Player screen

You can specify the media information you'd like to see on your screen. Choose a graphic equalizer, captions, information about the media you’re listening to, or video setting controls.
  1. In the View menu, point to Now Playing Tools.
  2. Point to the options you would like to see or hide. You can even choose to hide everything except the visualization, which will expand to fill the available space on your screen.

Change Windows Media Player options

Windows Media Player lets you set up your system just the way you like it. To see all the possibilities, click the Tools menu, and then click Options.
The Options dialog box contains eight tabs:
  • Use the Performance tab to specify connection speed, network buffering, and video performance settings.
  • Use the Media Library tab to set or deny access by other applications or Internet sites, and to specify whether you want music that you've purchased on the Internet to be added to the Media Library automatically.
  • Use the Visualizations tab to choose, add, or remove visualization collections.
  • In the Formats tab, set which file formats (.asf, .wav, .wmp, and so forth) Windows Media Player will play.
  • Use the Player tab to specify how Windows Media Player will start, how often it will check for upgrades, and to choose your Internet identity, license, and connection settings.
  • Use the Network tab to configure the protocols and proxy settings that you want Windows Media Player to use when receiving streaming media files.
  • In the CD Audio tab, specify the settings to use when copying or playing music, and the folder to which you want to copy music files.
  • Use the Portable Device tab to set the quality level at which you copy music from your computer to your portable device. You can also press the Details button to open a Web page that lists information about portable-device support for Windows Media Player.

Customize the Windows Me taskbar

The Windows Me taskbar enables you to start programs, view documents, and launch Web pages all from the same place, and you can customize the taskbar to best suit your needs.
First, right-click on the taskbar and choose Toolbars, and then select the toolbar you want to add to the taskbar. You could choose to add the Links toolbar, which would display all of your default browser's bookmarks, the Address toolbar, which would display the Address Bar in which you could type a Web address, or the Desktop toolbar, which would display the contents of your desktop. The Quick Launch toolbar is displayed by default, but you could select that toolbar to remove it from the taskbar.
You can also create a new toolbar by choosing New Toolbar. In the New Toolbar dialog box, select a folder from the list box, and then click OK. A toolbar containing all the items in the folder you selected will be added to your taskbar.

Browse the Media Guide using Internet Explorer

You can browse the Media Guide using Internet Explorer. Just type into the Address bar.

How to troubleshoot Windows ME shutdown problems

Microsoft has a knowledge base article to help you troubleshoot Windows ME shutdown problems, very helpful. There is also a nice webpage that walks you through 15 steps to help solve your problem, other snipets from the website follow.


Networking issues have emerged as a cause of a larger percentage of shutdown problems for ME than for any earlier version of Windows. This is showing in the normal kind of networking issues mentioned in the general shutdown troubleshooter (problems with particular cards, network resources not releasing, etc.), but especially with DSL connections.
One correspondent solved his problem by disabling NDIS.VXD (in MSCONFIG, Static VxDs tab) — but it cost him his Internet connectivity. NDIS.VXD is part of Windows’ NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP support. Others have documented active or waiting network connections post-DSL usage (through the NIC) that produce BSODs (Blue Screens Of Death) during shutdown, unless he waits for them to time out first.
Some have found that, as they only need the TCP/IP protocol for their DSL, removing other existing network protocols has provided a satisfactory solution. For example, disabling NetBEUI resolved this problem on two machines. Other correspondents are getting at least partial resolution by downloading and installing new network adapter drivers. Others have found the best approach is to disable all network protocols except for TCP/IP.
I believe we will be seeing more DSL issues and other networking issues connected with ME Shutdown as time passes.


Open and examine the C:\Windows\System\IOSUBSYS folder. Remove (to a new folder — do not delete them!) all files that are not dated the same as the operating system files (the date you install Windows ME). Test Windows shutdown. If no resolution, move the files back. WARNING: Be sure you have a startup diskette at hand. Moving these files may make your system unbootable. In that case, use the startup disk to restart the computer, and move the temporarily moved files back to the IOSUBSYS folder.


Several correspondents have confirmed that if there is a shutdown problem in Windows ME and no Exit Windows sound is assigned, the shutdown problem is resolved by adding one!
I suspect this works by slowing down the shutdown process, thereby circumventing some other problem, such as Win ME inability to force all running programs to terminate. It may be, in fact, that the applications are not unwilling to terminate, but merely take a little more time. In any case, feedback from correspondents continues to suggest that you should give this solution a try!