Joe's Win Tips

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These are a few tips I gathered while trying to find answers to numerous problems I've had with Windows. It was frustrating looking for all this stuff so I thought I'd put some of them on a web page and maybe help somebody out. When I get a chance, I'll add some more. Some of these tips involve editing the registry. It's always a good idea to back up the registry, anyway. Especially when you're messing with it. Consider yourself warned. If you get some help here, that's great. If not, what the heck, you learned something anyway.

If you installed a Windows program and deleted it in Explorer, the Add/Remove listing in Control Panel is still there. To remove it, do this:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall. Delete the program. This will delete it from the list. It won't delete the actual program.

To disable CD autoplay:

Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager, select your CDrom, choose properties and uncheck "Auto Insert Notification".

If you don't use User Profiles and don't want the Windows Logon screen to appear at startup:

When the logon screen comes up, enter your user name but don't enter a password. The next box will ask to reaffirm, tell it okay. If you already have a password entered, go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Passwords/Change Windows Password. Put your password in the old box and leave the others blank.

If you DO use User Profiles but don't want the last user listed in the Windows logon screen:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. In the right pane you should see "DontDisplayLastUserName". A value of "0" means last user will NOT be cleared. Change the "0" to "1" to clear last user at logon.

If your files open with the wrong programs:

In Explorer, highlight the file. Hold down the Shift key and right click the file. Choose "Open With" from the menu. Make sure you check the save box.

To change Windows Explorer's font and icon size:

Right click the desktop. Choose Properties/Appearance. In the Item box select Icon. Make your changes.

To make a copy of a floppy:

Right click the floppy icon in My Computer. Select "Copy Disk". Follow on screen instructions.

To bypass the Recycle bin when deleting files:

Hold the Shift key down while dragging to the recycle bin or deleting from a menu. CAUTION, once you do this, that file's gone forever.

If Defrag won't Run:

Delete everything in Internet Explorer's "Temporary Internet Files" folder and Netscape's cache folder. Empty the Recycle bin, too. I also delete the contents of my temp folder. (Usually C:\Windows\Temp).

If the computer locks up when you disconnect from the Internet:

Start/Settings/Control Panel/Network. Double click TCP/IP, WINS Configuration tab and make sure "Disable WINS Resolution" is marked. If that doesn't work, go to C:\Windows\System folder and rename "Vnbt.386". Restart the computer.

To decipher those cryptic error messages:

Visit the Microsoft Knowledge Base Type in part of the error message and search.

When a program freezes your computer:

Hit the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. This brings up a box listing all your currently running programs. The offending program should be listed as "not responding". Click "End Task" to close it. Sometimes this won't work and there's nothing you can do but reset.

To see all details in Windows Explorer:

Left click the rightside panel, hit Ctrl and the (+) sign on the number pad on the right side of the keyboard.

If your floppy drive hunts a nonexistent disk when Windows opens:

Start/Run/Regedit. Do a Find for "a:". Delete the value. Continue the search with the F3 key, deleting as you go. I seem to have this problem whenever I run an executable from the floppy.

If your Help files quit working:

Get "wow32.dll" from the Windows install disk and reinstall it in C:/Windows/System.

When you're in the mood for some new icons:

Before you surf the net, check out these libraries on your hard drive. Moricons.dll, Pifmgr.dll, Progman.exe, Shell32.dll and (if you have Plus!) Cool.dll.

If Windows setup can't find your install files:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup. Change the path.

If your Taskbar ends up in some screwy spot on the desktop:

Drag it where you want with the left mouse button. It looks like it won't move, but it will.

To move a window with the keyboard (if you can't reach it with the mouse)

Alt + space for the system menu on the window
M to select move
Arrow keys to move the window
Enter to end.

To restart Windows without rebooting (faster)

Hold down the Shift key while clicking yes on the restart dialog. Or, if you use User Profiles, just click "Log on as another user".

Here are the places Windows uses to load Startup programs:

    load= and run= in "Win.ini";
    [386Enh] section of "System.ini";
    C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp;
    Registry keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run or RunServices.

To open Windows Explorer to My Computer (no folders expanded)

Right click your desktop or Start Menu Windows Explorer shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab. Put this line in your shortcut target window: C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE ,/n,/e, or, in Windows 2000: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ,/n,/e,

To change drive letters for your removable drives (CD, Zip, etc.) do this:

Right click "My Computer", choose Properties, click the "Device Manager" tab, click on the + by "Disk Drives", double click the drive you want to change, click Settings, type in the Start and End letter you want to use for this drive. (They're usually the same)

To edit Win95/98's registration name or number WinReg95 (9k)

Start/Run/Regedit, go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Look for "ProductId", this is the registration number, or "Registered Owner". Make your changes. I've included a link above to a handy little app that makes this job easy.

To turn off the modem sounds (when the slider bar doesn't work):

Right click "My Computer", choose Properties/Device Manager, click the (+) sign by Modems, highlight your modem, select Properties/Connection/Advanced. Type "M0" (that's a ZERO) in the extra settings box.

Reinstall with Windows 95 Companion CD:

    (2) copy dossetup.bin, oemsetup.bin, oemsetup.exe, setup.exe, setup.txt, suhelper.bin, and winsetup.bin to the same directory (#1 above), from any version of Windows95.
    (3) run setup from the directory you chose in #1, above.
FYI: setup.exe was intentionally omitted from the CD to prevent users from installing OSR2 on another system. The CD should only be used for adding and/or removing OS components. Yes, I think the "Companion" concept is a ripoff, too.

To free up memory in DOS:

    (1) Add these lines to "config.sys":
    DEVICE=C:\windows\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
Then when adding a device to config, use "DEVICEHIGH=". When adding to autoexec.bat, use "LOADHIGH=". This should give you 600k or so if you're not using drivespace.
    (2) In the [386Enh] section of 'System.ini', add 'LocalLoadHigh=1'
    (3) If you are not using DoubleSpace or DriveSpace, delete 'drvspace.bin' and 'dblspace.bin' from the C:\ and C:\Windows directories.
This will free additional DOS memory and speed system startup.

Go here for a list of Win95/98 install setup switches:

Microsoft Knowledge Base

or here:

Microsoft Knowledge Base

To change the Win95/98 startup logo:

Open your picture in a graphics program. (Paint or whatever) Resize or crop it to 640x480 in 256 colors and save it as a bitmap. Then squeeze it to 320x400. (I know it looks funny, but it'll work) The finished file MUST be exactly 126k in size. Rename it "logo.sys" and copy it to your root directory.

To change the default search engine in IE4:

Changing the default search engine was easy in IE3. It's a hassle in IE4 but you can do it. Start\Run\Regedit, work your way down to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. Right click "Search Bar", choose "Modify" and change the address. Do the same with "Search Page".

To change the Zip drive icon in "My Computer": Zip drive icons (8k)

Go to the "Tools_95" folder, rename "Zip.ico" to "Zip.icold", rename your icon of choice to "Zip.ico" and copy it to your tools folder. I zipped up some pretty cool Zip icons along with a couple of floppy icons to match if you want to check them out.

To make a shortcut to Device Manager:

If you constantly find yourself right clicking My Computer to get to Device Manager, (I'm always screwing something up) right click the desktop, choose New/Shortcut, put this line in the dialogue box and leave it on your desktop or add it to the start menu: CONTROL SYSDM.CPL,,1

If your hardware is running in "compatibility mode":

Windows probably put a NOIDE entry into this registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\VDX\IOS and you must remove it. This entry is put there any time Win95 can't load 32-bit drivers, and after it's in there you can't load Windows drivers on boot-up until it's gone. Search the Registry for NOIDE. When found, delete it. Then right-click My Computer, select Properties/Device Manager. Under Hard Disk controllers, select your IDE controller and delete it. Reboot. Windows should now rediscover your hardware and let you install drivers.

To put Notepad in the rightclick menu of all files:

Copy the following lines:

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\ open]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\ open\command]
    @="Notepad.exe %1"

Paste them in Notepad, save as "Note.reg" Doubleclick the saved file to merge in the registry. Very handy.

To save your Netscape bookmarks as IE favorites (or vice-versa): favtool (50k)

Download "Favtool", a little MS freeware app. It's on Microsoft's site , but they seem to move it around. Use the link above if you like.

If IE5 doesn't ask if you'd like to disconnect after closing your browser:

Go to Tools/Internet Options/Connections/Settings/Advanced, ensure that
'Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed' is checked.
If that doesn't work, try this: Start/Run/regedit. Go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER|Software|Microsoft|Windows|Current Version|Internet Settings
Change value '00 00 00 00' to '01 00 00 00'

If your internet apps won't launch DUN (and your DUN settings don't help):

Start/Run/regedit. Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess
and check the values in the right panel for these two items (if they are listed):
NoLogon and Remote Connection.
If either or both have a value of '01 00 00 00' (make sure DUN is not connected),
change them to read '00 00 00 00'

If you lose your 95/98 product key and can't reinstall:

Go to 'Start/Run/Regedit'. Drill down to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
Look for 'ProductKey' in the right pane. That's your number.

Cascading Control Panel in your Start menu:
1. Copy the following line:

Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

2. Right-click Open the Start button.
3. Create a New Folder and paste the line above.

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[ June 2006  pcd ]