the Color Block behind the Names of your Desktop Icons!
Remove icon color block: by Raymond,
WebTechGeek This utility will turn your Windows 9x or
NT desktop icon text backgrounds transparent; allowing
your wallpaper to show through. It will also allow you
to easily change the icon text to any color. It's completely
free, with no splash, and is only 25k. Get it here!
Put the file in you startup folder. Remember to come back
to WebTechGeek.com for more How~2s
Recycle Bin Tips!
Microsoft made it a point to put the Recycle Bin on the
Desktop and make it hard to remove Windows 98. The Recycle
Bin stores all the files that have been deleted from your
hard disks. You have to go to only one place to find all
your deleted files.
Want to get the Recycle Bin icon off the Desktop?
Use TweakUI to clear it. You can still get to the Recycle
Bin by going to the Recycled folders.
The Best Icons: The worldest largetst collection
of icons about 256: Color only icons for Windows 95/NT
4.0+. The most popular icon collections in 1995, 1996
and in 1997, don't be the only one without them.
Description The World's Largest 256 Color Only Icon Collection
Version/File 5.0 allicons.zip
Runs on Win 9x
File Size 2.50MB
Web Accessories: By
Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - Web Accessories from Microsoft,
Don't forget about all these cool accessories free for
Internet Explorer 5 includes an extensibility feature
called Web Accessories. Web Accessories are one way to
add new features and functionality to Internet Explorer
5. Try out the Web Accessories, which were developed by
Microsoft and several other leading Internet companies.
Note: These Web Accessories are only for use with Internet
Web Accessories from Microsoft -
Internet Explorer 5 Web Accessories, Dreamed up by Microsoft's
own development team, this kit contains eight utilities
that let you zoom in and out on any image, highlight text,
do custom searches, and much, much more. Get
Task Scheduler to accomplish various
useful tasks while your computer is idle.
You might want to reschedule most of the
tasks to take place once a month, and then remind yourself
to leave the computer on that night only so Task Scheduler
can accomplish Tasks while your PC is idle.
1. Click the Start button and choose Programs
> Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks.
2. Click Add Scheduled Task, click Next,
and wait a few minutes while the Scheduled Task Wizard
searches your registry for registered applications. Highlight
ScanDisk, and click the Next button. Continue using the
wizard to define the task, and click Finish.
3. Right-click your ScanDisk item, and click
Properties. Click the Settings button (not the tab), and
make sure that Thorough and "Automatically fix errors"
4. Click the Schedule tab, display the Schedule
Task drop-down list, and select Monthly. Click the Day
option button and then choose a start time for this first
task. Click OK.
5. Right-click the Maintenance-Disk Cleanup
item in the Task Scheduler, if it's present. This task
might be called Tune-up Disk Cleanup on your computer
— if you're in doubt, check that the Run field on
the Task tab says C:\WINDOWS\CLEANMGR.EXE. (If you don't
see any Disk Cleanup item, follow Step 2 again, this time
adding the Disk Cleanup task.) Click Properties. Click
the Settings button on the Task tab, and make sure you've
selected the files to be deleted automatically, Click
6. Click the Schedule tab, and set Disk
Cleanup to run an hour later than ScanDisk, but on the
same night. Click OK.
7. Right-click the Disk Defragmenter task
in the Task Scheduler. (It may also be called Maintenance-Defragment
Programs. If you don't see any Disk Defragmenter item,
follow Step 2, this time adding the Disk Defragmenter
task.) Click Properties. Click the Schedule tab and schedule
the Defragmenter to occur on the same day of the month
as ScanDisk and Disk Cleanup, but an hour after the cleanup.
OK you've set up your Task Scheduler to
perform these tasks on one day of the month, be sure that
there are no conflicts between the Disk Defragmenter and
your power management, screen savers, or any other applications.
Be careful not to run intensive disk activities too often.
Computer technicians recommend that you don't schedule
a thorough scan of your hard disk every night, for example.
This can wear out a hard drive more quickly than normal
usage will. If you scan once a month that should take
care of most problems that might arise.
Avoiding AutoPlay CD-ROM's: By Raymond,
WebTechGeek.com - You can hold down the shift key
when you insert a CD-ROM to disable AutoPlay.
Make the following changes: Open
any folder and select view, options, file types. Select
AudioCD and click Edit. Select Play from the Action listbox,
choose Set Default (this actually toggles the default).
If Play is bolded, the CD will play when inserted. If
it is not bolded, it will not.
Online Recorder:Do you want to know what other
people type on your computer when you are away from it?
Checking your system files for problems:
System files are the hardest working files in your computer:
they literally "drive" the computer and house
the "drivers" for your mouse, printer, and monitor,
among others. Every application you install has its own
set of system files, so when an application stops working
or won't open, there is a strong possibility that something
could be wrong with its system files. These files reside
in the C:\windows\system directory and usually have extensions
such as .386, .COM, .DLL, .DRV, and .VXD, among others.
The Windows 98 System File Checker scans all the system
files searching for any that may have been modified or
corrupted by a recently installed program. If it finds
a problem file, it prompts you to restore the original
file from the manufacturer's install disk. If you ignore
the prompt, you'll be asked about it again the next time
you run System File Checker.
To run System File Checker:
Click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Accessories,
and then point to Select System Tools.
Click System Information.
On the menu bar, click Tools.
Click System File Checker.
Choose either Scan for altered files or Extract one file
from installation disk.
If you choose to scan for altered files, Windows 98 will
prompt you if it finds any corrupt or modified files.
Follow the instructions on screen. However, if you know
the file name, you can extract the file yourself.
Here's how to do it:
Select Extract one file from installation disk.
Either type the file name or click the Browse button to
find the file.
When a file name is entered, click Start
In the Extract File dialog box, type the path from where
the file will be restored, or click Browse to find the
folder that contains the file. If Windows does not recognize
the file you wish to back up, you may have to manually
enter the path in Save file in to where the restored file
should go, or click Browse to locate the folder where
it should go.
Note: You may not see the file you need on your install
disks because it may have to be "extracted"
from a compressed file.
How~2 Change Windows Startup Graphic: by WebTechGeek.com
- Before your computer displays the Windows Desktop, you're
treated to an animated (640 x 400) Microsoft Windows advertisement.
This graphic is embedded in the Io.sys file in your root
directory, and is easy to change. more here!
You can make Control Panel Applets More Accessible:
By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - When you open the Control
Panel, you are presented with a few dozen icons allowing
you to control many aspects of the Windows environment.
Here is a tip that not only makes these Control Panel
Applets more quickly accessible, but allows you exclude
the ones you don't want, and add your own custom icons:
* Open Control Panel and Explorer.
* Make a new folder directly underneath the Start Menu
called "Control Panel".
* Select some or all of the icons in Control Panel, and
drag them into this new folder.
* Windows will make a shortcut to each icon you drop into
the folder, forming a new menu right off the Start Menu.
* Not only can you rename or remove any of the entries
you wish, but you can add non-Control Panel items to the
list, such as the Volume Control and Dial-up Networking
(which should have been in the Control Panel in the first
How to Create a Backup Copy of Startup
Files: By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - You can use System
Configuration Utility to create a backup copy of the startup
files. To do this, click Create Backup on the General
tab in System Configuration Utility. You can choose to
save the files in a folder on one of your hard disks,
or you can save the files to a floppy disk, which is recommended.
Static .vxd files are used to load virtual hardware and
software drivers. Many third-party manufacturers add their
own static .vxd files.
To Start System Configuration Utility at the Run command.
To do this, click Start, click Run, type msconfig.exe
in the Open box, and then click OK.
- is an amazing new tool that allows you to "Find
out the TRUTH about anyone you ever wanted to know about
your friends, family, neighbors, employees, and even your
boss!" You can even check out yourself. It is all completely
You Can Add Custom Graphics in the Windows
Properties Display: The system properties of any
computer often include a logo or graphic from the manufacturer.
Thanks to a cool little utility called OEM Logo Changer
1.3b, you can replace that graphic. This program seems
to work well on all Windows 9x installations, Note not
tested on NT or 2000. Your replacement graphic must be
a bitmap image with a maximum size of 180 x 114 pixels.
Download OEM Logo Changer 1.3b, Get it here!
Windows TIP: By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
- If you hold down shift while dragging items into the
Recycle Bin they will be DELETED immediately rather than
being placed in the bin. Just be careful not to accidentally
multi-select more files than you wanted. Similarly, pressing
Shift-Del gives you the same effect.
You can Stop CDs from Playing Automatically:
By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com -
Usually when you insert a CD in to your drive it will
automatically start by default, sometimes this can be
very annoying when you don't want the CD to run, so to
turn this off follow these simple instructions:
1. Go to Start, Settings and choose Control panel
2. Double-click on Settings
3. Click on the Device Manager tab, and click on CD-ROM
4. You will see your CD drive listed here, just double-click
5. Click on the Settings tab
6. Take the tick out of the Auto insert notification check
7. Click OK, and click OK gain to close Device Manager
OK, just click OK and restart your computer for the settings
to take affect
Now when you insert a CD you will have to double-click
on it in My Computer in order for it to run.
Restart Windows without Restarting your
Computer: By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - Choosing
Shut Down from the Start Menu gives you several choices,
including restarting your computer. However, to restart
Windows without restarting your computer, saving time
and aggravation, follow this step:
Hold down the Shift key while pressing OK in the
Shut Down box.
To make an icon on your desktop:
Using a Notepad or a text editor, type this by itself:
Save the new file somewhere on your hard disk - call it
whatever you like (exit.bat), as long as it has the extension
Make a shortcut to the batch file, and place it on your
desktop (or wherever you want).
Right-click on the shortcut, select Properties, click
the Program tab, and make sure the Close on Exit option
is turned on.
Now, click Advanced, and make sure MS-DOS mode is selected,
and Warn before entering MS-DOS mode is turned off.
Click Ok twice, and double-click on the icon to use it.
Eliminator: ~ This program offers complete protection,
eliminating tracks you accumulate online. Speed-Up...
your PC and Internet Browser, reclaim lost Hard Disk space
- All in one click of your mouse!
Speed up the Start Menu: by Raymond,
WebTechGeek.com - In the Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
Control Panel\ desktop, and add a string value named MenuShowDelay,
with a value specifying the number of miliseconds (400
is default, smaller numbers are faster).
Speed up system restart: Add BootDelay=0
to the [Options] section of C:\MSDOS.SYS
Windows Tip! If you need to get to System
Properties Fast! by Raymond, WebTechGeek - For most
of you computer~geeks, every microsecond counts. Well,
my impatient friends, Here's a tip for you. Press the
Windows~key on your keyboard and the Pause\Break key on
top roll of your keyboard. Now you can edit your computer's
System Priorities, FAST!
Microsoft has released a new version of TweakUI
that works with both Windows 2000 and Windows Me (as well
as Windows NT 4, Windows 95 and 98). Make sure you download
the file as instructed because what's actually being downloaded
is a self-extracting zip file (made using WinZip). Run
the exe, let it extract to the default Windows\Temp directory,
shift to that directory, right click the tweakui.inf and
pick Install. For those who don't know it, TweakUI is
a wonderful set of tools for customizing various aspects
of Windows—it even includes ways to customize the special
Open dialog that Windows 2000 and Windows Me.
If you are looking for an updated version
of the famous Tweakui powertoy, created by Microsoft,
you've found it. This version boasts that the bugs that
where present in the earlier version, released on the
Windows 98 First Edition CD, have been fixed. Tweakui
1.33 also works with Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows
NT/2000. In addition to the bug fixes it also has a friendlier
appearance with all tabs visible again as with Tweakui
1.1 the Windows 95 version. Just click here Tweakui~2000
or here download!
Temporarily turn off startup: You
may have some programs that you'd sometimes like to run
as part of your Startup group, but not always. A handy
solution is to put the shortcuts to these programs in
a separate "Start~Up~Not" folder beneath the
C:\Windows\ start menu\programs folder. You can then easily
drag the shortcuts form the "Start~Up~Not" subfolder
to the regular StartUp folder when you want to recommence
running the application at startup time. Remember to come
back to WebTechGeek.com for more How~2s
Windows 98 Second Edition Features:
Enhanced Encryption: Dial-Up Networking and VPN gets bumped
to 128-bit encryption on USA copies. DeviceBay Support:
OS-level support for the Intel DeviceBay standard (allows
hardware to be hot-swapped) Euro Support: Fonts enhanced
to include the Euro currency symbol Internet Connection
Sharing: The most substantial feature addition, ICS allows
multiple computers on a network to access the Internet
through a single computer's Dial-Up connection. This will
be great for home networks. TV Tuner Card Support: Windows
98 includes support for a small handful of TV Tuner video
cards; Windows 98 SE supports additional cards Netmeeting
3.0: the latest version of Microsoft Netmeeting Internet
Explorer 5.0: Microsoft's latest web browser. By WebTechGeek.com
Stubborn Log-In: By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
- Dialog Box Once you set up a Windows password,
that Welcome to Windows dialog box just doesn't want to
go away. If you don't need to control access to your system,
get rid of this dialog box by setting the password to
nothing. In the Control Panel, double-click Passwords
and then click Change Windows Password. Type the old password
and for the new password simply press Enter. Press Enter
again on the "Confirm password" line and click OK.
Instant Device Manager By Raymond,
WebTechGeek.com - Do you need to access the System Properties
dialog box--for example, to access the Device Manager?
Hold down the windows key and press the Pause-Break key!.Or
Select Start, Settings, Control Panel, double-click System,
and ... hey, wait a minute. There's an easier way. Hold
down Alt as you double-click My Computer; or select My
Computer and press Shift-F10; or right-click My Computer
and select Properties. Once you see the Properties sheet,
click the Device Manager tab.
One-Click Exits by Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
- Do you want an easy way to shut down Windows? Right-click
the Desktop and choose New, Shortcut. Then type c:\windows\rundll.exe
user.exe,exitwindows (your path may differ), click Next,
type a name for the Shortcut, and click Finish. Double-click
this icon anytime to exit Windows.
STOP Windows Boot Screen: By Raymond,
WebTechGeek.com - the boot screen is that Windows logo
that you see as the computer's booting up. There are actually
more methods to stop it. Simply press esc while the computer
is booting. This allows you to skip the boot-screen. Replace
or rename the logo.sys file in the C:\Windows directory.
Win TIP: I usually put a shortcut
for each of my favorite apps in the Quick Launch section
of the taskbar. It puts the applications a single click
away, but doesn't take up system resources or add time
to my startup. By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
Chosse your Own Drive Letters in Windows
98: By Raymond, WebTeckGeek.com - Yes you can change
the drive letters assigned by Windows 98~ Me. You can't
change your hard drive or floppy connected to your mobos
IDE adapter, But, you can change CD-ROM, Jaz, IDE Zip,
and other removable drives. It's easy, Right click on
My Computer and select Properties. Select the Device Manager
tab in the System Properties window. Click on the device
type you wish to change, for example your CDROM. Double-click
the critter who's drive letter you want to set. You should
now see the Properties window for that drive. Click on
the Settings tab. At the bottom a box should read "Reserved
drive letters." chosse a letter, under Start drive letter:
and End drive letter:. If the Start/End letter options
are grayed out, look for a checkbox labeled Removable.
Check it, select your drive letters, and then uncheck
it. Hit the OK button and reboot. You should see your
new drive letter assignment when you open up My Computer.
Windows Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts
By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - Hold down SHIFT with the
following: When inserting a CD-ROM, to skip auto-run.
While holding down CTRL and dragging to the desktop or
to a folder, creates an instant shortcut. (Of course,
you can do the same thing by clicking and holding the
right mouse button, letting go on the desktop, and choosing
SHIFT+F10: equivalent of right-click
SHIFT+DEL: Deletes immediately, without removing to Recycle
SHIFT+TAB: Moves to previous control in the dialog box
" TAB alone goes forward,
SHIFT+TAB backward". Function keys in Explorer: F2 - Rename object,
F3 - Find: All files, F4 - Selects the Go to A Different
Folder box on the taskbar, and moves down the entries,
F5 - refreshes current window and F6 - Moves among panes
Windows Key If you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard
(or any other keyboard with a Windows key), you have access
to all kinds of shortcuts. Hold down the Windows key with
the following: By itself - brings up the Start Menu.
Windows+R - opens the "Run" dialog box
Windows+M - Minimize all
Windows+SHIFT+M - Undo minimize all
Windows+E - Windows Explorer
Windows+F - Find files or folders
Windows+D - minimize all open windows and show desktop
Windows+CTRL+F - Find computer
Windows+TAB - Cycle through Taskbar buttons
Windows+BREAK - shows System Properties dialog box.
Make Your Own Windows Toolbar:
By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - Create a new folder
on your hard drive (easiest to find if it's on the desktop)
and name it something like "My Toolbar." Right click on
the start button, and click on Open. Go to the Programs
group (folder). Open your "My Toolbar" folder into a second
Explorer window. You should now have two-- one with Programs,
and one, empty, "My Toolbar." Find the program group (say,
Games) that you want the toolbar for, and copy all the
shortcuts into your empty "My Toolbar" folder. Right-click
on the taskbar, and choose New, Toolbar.
When the Explorer window comes up, point
to your "My Toolbar" folder. Now you have a new toolbar.
Customize it! Drag your toolbar to the desktop (top, side,
wherever you want it). Resize it 'till you can only see
the icons in the folder. Right-click on the sizing handle
once your toolbar is in place. Uncheck "Show Text" and
"Show Title." I have found this very handy, and have toolbars
on every side of my screen parked with icons, so I can
launch anything right from there." You now have a toolbar
with shortcuts to your favorite games, without stray icons
all over the place to drive you crazy.
Windows Tip: Kill
Logon Screen: By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
- If you're the only user on a computer, odds are you
don't need a logon screen to appear every time you boot
up. Eliminate the need to input your user name and password
with these steps. Open Control Panel. Double-click on
the Network icon. In the Primary Network Logon, choose
Windows Logon. Press OK. In the Control panel link the
Passwords applet. Click Change Passwords tab. Press Change
Windows Password button. Type in your current password
and in the Old Password box. Leave both the New Password
and Confirm New Password boxes blank. Click OK. Select
the User Profile tab and make sure the "All users of this
PC use the same preferences and desktop settings" is selected.
Click OK. Restart Windows.
To prevent Windows from prompting you for a password at
startup, follow these steps: Click Start, point to Settings,
click Control Panel, and then double-click the Network
icon. On the Configuration tab, click to select Windows
Logon in the Primary Network Logon box, and then click
OK. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click
No. In Control Panel, double-click Passwords. NOTE: If
you cancel the network logon dialog box when you first
start your computer, the Change Passwords tab may not
be available. You must logon so the Change Passwords tab
will be available. Click the Change Passwords tab, click
Change Windows Password, click to select any check box
items you want to be included in the change, and then
In the Change Windows Password dialog box,
type your current Windows password in the Old Password
box. Leave the New Password and Confirm New Password boxes
blank, click OK, and then click OK. Missing or Invalid
Passwords Click the User Profiles tab and verify that
the All users of this PC use the same preferences and
desktop settings option is selected, and then click Close.
Shut down and then restart Windows.
If the issue has not been resolved, this issue may be
caused by the TweakUI tool in Microsoft Windows 95 Power
Toys. If you have installed Microsoft Windows 95 Power
Toys, and are using the TweakUI tool, please see the following
article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Windows Tip: Restart Windows:
Not Your Machine By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - A major
annoyance of Windows is the need to reboot after almost
any change you make to the system. If you do a lot of
installing or tweaking with your system, you have to restart
a lot. In those instances, what do you care about the
system memory check? If you needed a cold boot or full
system restart, you'd make sure you had them. But what
if your change only affects Windows? For most of you geeks,
every microsecond counts. You can restart just the Windows
session without having to go through the whole arduous
startup process. Just go to Start, Shut Down, Restart,
and hold down the shift key when you hit OK. This will
just reload Windows-- and your changes-- without the whole
You can also take a few seconds off restart
by adding a command to the options section of your c:\msdos.sys
file. Add this command line: Bootdelay=0 To edit your
msdos.sys file, you have to change its attributes first.
The file is read-only. To turn it off: Go to your c:\
directory. Under the view menu, click folder options.
Click on the view tab Check the box under the hidden files
folder, marked show all files. Right-click on your msdos.sys.
Go to properties. Turn off read-only Open the file in
notepad, edit, and save Turn read-only back on.
Win Tip: Faster Startup: By Raymond,
WebTechGeek.com - Eliminate programs from the startup
process. Programs put icons directly into the startup
folder. So that they automatically launch every time Windows
boots. Try moving these icons to a NoStartup folder that
you can make. Sometimes you can even do it by right-clicking
on the icon in the system tray. Make them stop loading.
Launch Start/Run and type in MSConfig. Click the startup
tab and you'll see a checkbox list of all the applications
that start with Windows. Uncheck the box next to the program
you don't want to start.
Stop Windows from checks for a floppy every
time it boots. Open up System in the Control Panel. Click
on the Performance tab, then the File System button, then
Floppy Disk. Uncheck the box next to "Search for new floppy
disk drives each time your computer starts." Stop memory
count on boot up will save you time. Go to your BIOS and
uncheck this feature. Setting your system to boot from
the C drive first will save you boot time. That way your
system doesn't check for a bootable floppy or CD-ROM.
Try turning on "quick start," or "quick boot," look for
it in your BIOS setting and turn it on. By WebTechGeek
Device Problem: by Raymond, WebTechGeek.com
- If your having problem with one of your devices like
your netcam or CD-ROM you should try to reinstall your
device drivers. Open the device manager (windows key and
the pause/break key) in your system control panel. Scroll
to your device on the list. If the problem dives is a
CD-ROM then go to the CD-ROM on the list and click on
it. Delete the device, you need to reboot your computer.
Windows will find your hardware and reinstall the deviance
divers for it. Have your windows CD ready and any the
software for your dives. If the problem device is a USB
device, Scroll to the bottom where you will see USB. You'll
see a number of entries. Delete them and restart your
machine. Windows will reinstall the drivers. That may
solve your problem. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com
for more How~2s
PC Locks Up Before Windows Loads: WATCH
FOR CLUES Tip. By Raymond, WebTechGeek.com - Before Windows
starts, your PC performs an initialization process for
many of its components. As it does so, on-screen messages
either confirm the devices' proper initialization or report
errors. So watch for clues as your PC boots up; you may
be able to identify a troublesome component. If a message
flashes on and off the screen too quickly to read, you
can freeze the screen with the Pause key. RESEAT EXPANSION
CARDS. System lockups that occur before Windows' launch
can be caused by poorly seated expansion cards. Reseat
all cards following the instructions given above.
Bugs & Fixes
Step-by-step guide shows you how
to fix Win98's most common problems. Top Six Tips for
Bug-Free Updates If it had been up to us, the Windows
logo wouldn't be a multicolored flag. We would have picked
something that all Windows users could relate to, something
that illustrates how Windows makes us feel day in and
day out, something that instantly sums up Windows 98's
pluses and minuses. Perhaps something like the comedy
and tragedy masks often used to symbolize drama would've
been better-you know, where one mask is smiling and the
Win98 are now familiar: It's compatible
with far more hardware and software than any operating
system (even its siblings), is better able to perform
basic maintenance on itself and can even self-repair-to
a degree. But that's light years away from saying it's
the "best possible" desktop OS. It's not-and that's where
the crying starts. So we tapped several sources for the
most common Win98 problems and then set out to fix them.
Surprisingly, we found that most could be remedied, or
at least ameliorated, by following the simple fix-it process
we'll describe. It's always wise to have current, known-good
backups of your data before you make any significant alterations
to your system. Why take a chance? Make a backup first.
Step 1: Read the READMEs Start with the
basics: Win98 ships with some 300KB of information i n
13 separate README files that cover a wide range of known
problems, workarounds, tips and support options for a
range of hardware and software. All the documents are
TXT files located in your C:\WINDOWS directory. To see
if your specific problem is covered, start with README.TXT,
which is a kind of table of contents for all the other
README files. Also check GENERAL.TXT, which contains information
too new to have been incorporated elsewhere. It takes
only a minute and costs nothing to check out the READMEs-and
they just might solve your problem.
Step 2: Get Up to Date (Part I) Microsoft
itself has already released a number of updates and patches
to Win98. Around the time you read this, the company should
also be releasing a large service pack to remedy many
of Win98's internal bugs and problems. To see what's available,
run Windows Update (Start/Windows Update).
Step 3: Get Up to Date (Part II) Most major
hardware and software vendors have also released Win98-specific
updates: Peripherals: Win98's native driver model is different
than Win95's and, while Win98 can run Win95-style drivers,
the results are sometimes less than optimal. If Win98-specific
drivers are available for your video card, printer, modem,
scanner and so on, download and install them following
the vendors' recommendations. Systems: Brand-new systems
may need nothing-but it doesn't hurt to check. Systems
older than six to 12 months may need new drivers for built-in
or bundled peripherals (video, modems, printers and so
on), and some older systems may need a new BIOS. (This
isn't as dire as it sounds:
Most BIOSes can be updated simply by running
a special piece of software.) Check your system vendor's
site for details. Software: Most software that runs on
Win95 runs fine on Win98, but there are exceptions, especially
with low-level utilities (defragmenters, uninstallers
and so on). Check your software vendors' Web sites and
follow whatever Win98-specific recommendations you find
there. Also, poke around vendor sites for BBS areas, searchable
FAQs and other resources for solving Win98-related problems.
You may find solutions to your immediate problems, as
well as information that will help you avoid future obstacles.
Note: If you haven't yet installed Win98, it's still a
great idea to visit the appropriate hardware/software
sites for your system beforehand, so you'll learn of any
known gotchas or problems. That way, you'll have the fixes
or workarounds handy when you do finally install Win98.
Step 4: A Fresh Start for Hardware If the
first three steps haven't solved a hardware problem, try
removing and then reinstalling the device: Open Control
Panel and click on the System applet. Click on Device
Manager and select the category and specific device that's
not working properly. Click once on the malfunctioning
item, then on the Remove button. If Win98 asks to remove
files that are no longer needed, click on Yes and reboot.
Windows 98 should now wake up, redetect the hardware you
just removed and automatically run the Add New Hardware
Wizard (you can also run it manually within Start/Settings/Control
Panel). If you downloaded new drivers in Steps 1 to 3,
use the Wizard's Have Disk option to ensure that Win98
installs your new drivers and not the old ones.
Step 5: A Fresh Start for Software Similarly,
if Steps 1 to 3 haven't solved a software problem, reinstall
the app or do a complete remove/reinstall cycle: Reinstall:
Simply rerun your application's Setup program. Most applications
install over themselves without losing any settings, alterations
or customizations you've made, so this normally is a very
safe approach. Remove/Reinstall: Use Control Panel's Add/Remove
Programs applet, an application's own uninstall utility
or a standalone uninstaller to completely remove a malfunctioning
application. Reboot, even if it isn't required. Reinstall
the software from scratch, and then apply any updates
you obtained in Steps 1 to 3.
Step 6: Strength in Numbers (Part I) One
advantage of using the world's most popular OS is that
millions of other users are in exactly the same position
you are: Chances are, someone, somewhere, has had the
same problem or one very similar to yours-and there's
a reasonable chance it's already been reported to Microsoft.
The Microsoft Knowledge Base began as an internal resource
for Microsoft support technicians: As they solved support
problems, they'd document each one and its appropriate
remedy in a database that other tech support personnel
could reference. See the sidebar "Free Tech Support (with
the Web)." After a while, Microsoft made the Knowledge
Base available to the public. It's free, although you
do have to provide some basic registration information
to fully exploit its features. Go to http://support.microsoft.com,
register and then spend some time learning the advanced
features of the Knowledge Base. It's very powerful-and
just may be your ticket to solving very specific problems
that otherwise may seem intractable.
Step 7: Strength in Numbers (Part II) You
can also tap a huge volume of specific personal experiences
with Win98 by visiting any of the 30 or so separate Win98-related
Usenet newsgroups. Log on to your ISP, fire up your newsreader,
and search for discussion groups with "win98" and "windows98"
as part of their names. As a place to start, you'll find
one large series of discussions under the heading "microsoft.public.win98.xxx"
where xxx stands for various subsystems and components
(modems, displays and so on). Alternatively, search for
discussion groups with your specific vendor, system, peripheral
or app in their titles.
Step 8: Get Resourceful All normal retail
Win98 CDs contain a copy of the online Resource Kit, the
HTML equi valent of a 1,700-page book that can solve problems
and answer a wide range of troubleshooting and tuning
questions. Just click on \TOOLS\RESKIT\HELP\RK98BOOK.CHM
on your Win98 CD. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com
for more How~2s
It's not a bug-fixer by definition, but
Win98's Tweak UI will help you eliminate some common
OS annoyances. By far, the best Windows 9x utility available
is Tweak UI, made (but not supported) by Microsoft. The
free Windows 98 version provides more than 100 easy tweaks
to Windows: Use it to automate log-ons, remove shortcut
arrows, speed up menus, remove the "unremovable" Desktop
icons and much more. In fact, it makes you wonder why
Microsoft didn't just build it into Windows 98. After
all, the company bundles everything from browsers to TV-tuner
software-why not user-interface customization? To get
Tweak UI for Windows 98, just use Find to search the Windows
98 CD for TWEAKUI.INF. Right-click on the TWEAKUI.INF
file and select Install from the Context menu that pops
up. It's that easy. To use it, simply launch the new Tweak
UI applet from Start/Settings/Control Panel.
Tips for Bug-Free Updates Windows
Update makes Win98 renovations a low-stress affair by
scanning your system and providing a single source for
fixes, enhancements and drivers. You may not need it now,
but when it's time to update a critical component, make
sure you keep these tips in mind. Unlike the normal installation
of files, Windows Update doesn't give you options for
location, file and folder name, and so on. The best way
to keep tabs on what it's doing to your system is to run
System File Checker Start/Programs/Accessories/System
Tools/System Information/Tools) after you've performed
an update. Check for changed files, and you'll get a report
of which system files were altered. You can uninstall
some Windows Update software from the Web site. Click
on Product Updates, then on Show All. You'll see an uninstall
button next to each item that can be wiped clean. Device
drivers available for download don't automatically show
up in the list like the other downloads. To check for
driver updates, click on Product Updates, then on Device
Drivers. Note that you can install or uninstall only one
driver at a time.
Always download and install the Critical
Updates. They often contain bug fixes and security patches.
Recommended Updates often include bug fixes as well. If
you hide or delete the Internet Explorer icon from your
Desktop, you'll likely get an error message when you try
to access Windows Update from the Start menu. The fix
is to either restore the icon to your Desktop or open
your browser and head over to http://www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
. If you've got IE security settings on High, you won't
be able to get to the Products Update Catalog. Change
your settings to Medium or Low before going to the Windows
Update site (select View/Internet Options, open the Security
tab and select the desired setting). Remember to come
back to WebTechGeek.com for more How~2s
Hardware conflicts is when two devices try to use the
same resource, such as an IRQ or memory address. The telltale
signs of a conflict is either a particular device not
working, or your system hanging or crashing every time
you try to use a specific device. You tell your devices
which resources to use by setting jumpers or switches
on the device itself; newer devices allow you to change
these settings with software (drivers). Many new devices
are now Plug-&-Play (PnP), meaning that they adjust
these settings automatically to avoid conflicts. The more
PnP devices you have, the less likely you are to experience
a conflict. So, what remains is trying to resolve conflicts
between non-PnP (Legacy) devices; here is a general attack
strategy for this type of problem:
1.) Open the Device Manager, select System from the top
of the list, and click Properties. Windows 98 tries to
list all your resources, and which ones are being used
by which devices.
2.) From here, you should be able to determine if there
is a conflict, and which devices are causing it. Now,
it's only a matter of reconfiguring one or more of the
devices so that the conflict is eliminated (refer to the
specific device's manual for information on changing its
settings). If you can't find the cause of the problem
here, continue to step 3.
3.) Remove or disconnect all unnecessary devices (sound
cards, CD-ROMs) from your computer, except for the one
that isn't working (if applicable). If the device still
doesn't work, either it's broken, it's a driver problem
(see below), or the conflict is with a key piece of hardware
(such as the motherboard or video card).
4.) Now if the problem seems to have been fixed, start
adding devices one-by-one, until the problem reappears.
You've now isolated the culprit, and it's now only a matter
of reconfiguring that device so that the conflict is eliminated
(refer to the specific device's manual for information
on changing its settings).
5.) Note that old drivers can cause problems too.
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