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Windows 9X Special Interest Group

  Windows 9X Sig Report

by John S. Krill

New Name

Why 9X? We will be supporting both Windows 95 and Windows 98. From what I have heard Windows 98 will be the last of a separate consumer OS. Windows 98 will be merged into Windows NT. Probably after NT 5.0. Sometime after the turn of the century. 3 years, 4 years? I don’t see Windows 95 leaving the seen anytime soon. In fact if you are not getting a new system I see no reason to upgrade to 98. This means there will still be a lot of 95 questions.

June 98 Meeting

The Windows 9X Sig meeting was held jointly with the IBM General Sig. The Windows 95 registry was the main focus of the meeting. So what follows is some of the areas we covered during the meeting.

Saving the Registry

If you cannot start Win95 in Normal mode then reboot and when you see the line "Starting Windows 95’ press the F8 key. You have 2 seconds to do this. Select Safe mode. Once your system is up in Safe mode then restart your system and see if it will boot into Normal mode. If not, then reboot to Safe mode and reload a backup copy of your registry from either the cfgback.exe utility or regedit.exe utility. You can run regedit.exe from safe mode or from the dos prompt. Instructions for using regedit.exe from the dos prompt follow this section. You can also use cfgback.exe from Safe mode to restore one of the registry backups you made. Of course all this precludes that you made backups using either regedit.exe or cfgback.exe.

Exporting the Registry from regedit.exe

To export a text version of your registry go to your computer right now and from Start > Run type regedit and press the enter key. Now from the Registry menu item select Export Registry File. This action will create a Registry file (its in plain old text but formatted so regedit.exe can understand it and import it later if necessary.) Note: Make sure you export the ENTIRE registry.

Using regedit.exe from the DOS prompt

Note: The following information is from the Windows 95 Resource Kit. The Resource Kit help file is on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95.

The Registry can be exported, imported, or recreated using either the Windows-based version of Registry Editor or the real-mode version on the Windows 95 emergency startup disk. By using the export capabilities of Registry Editor, a specific branch or the entire Registry can be saved in text format as a .REG file. A branch of or the entire Registry can be restored by importing a .REG file that was created by exporting the Registry.

If you are exporting or importing Registry files using the Windows-based version of Registry Editor, use the Export and Import commands from the Registry menu. The information in online Help can guide you through this process.

In rare circumstances when the Registry is badly corrupted, you can start the computer using the Windows 95 startup disk. Then you can use the real-mode REGEDIT.EXE utility on the startup disk to import a .REG file. In this case, the following command syntax can be used at the command prompt.

REGEDIT [/L:system] [/R:user] filename1

REGEDIT [/L:system] [/R:user] /C filename2

REGEDIT [/L:system] [/R:user] /E filename3 [regpath]

/L:system Specifies the location of the SYSTEM.DAT file.

/R:user Specifies the location of the USER.DAT file.

filename1 Specifies the file(s) to import into the registry.

/C filename2 Specifies the file to create the registry from.

/E filename3 Specifies the file to export the registry to.

regpath Specifies the starting registry key to export from.

(Defaults to exporting the entire registry).

Caution: Use the regedit /c option with extreme care, and only when you are sure that the specified .REG file contains a complete image of the Registry.

Emergency Boot Disk?

Yes, create a Emergency Startup disk. If all else fails this may be your salvation. I also add some extra utilities to this disk: debug.exe, deltree.exe,, find.exe,, move.exe, xcopy.exe, xcopy32.exe. These utilities are all in the windows\command directory.

Installing the Configuration Backup Utility

Configuration Backup Utility, cfgback.exe, is a utility that creates up to 9 backups of your registry. The program can be found on your Win95 CD-ROM.

The configuration Backup Utility and it's help file can be found on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. the location on the CD is:


All you need to do is copy the files to a directory on your hard disk and create a shortcut for the utility.

Note: In order for the utility to properly start it's help file that help file or a shortcut pointing to the help file must be in the Windows directory.

Using the Configuration Backup Utility

Starting the utility will result in the below screen. To create an backup type a name in the Selected Backup Name text pane and click on the Backup button. To restore a previous backup select a backup from the List of Previous Backups and click the Restore button. To delete a backup select a backup from the List of Previous Backups and click the Delete button.

All configuration backups are stored in your Windows directory. You can move them (they are hidden files) but they must be in your Windows directory to be restored or deleted. The backup files are given the name:


where the X is a number 1 thru 9.

Password Not!

One of the most asked questions is: How do I get rid of the logon and password requests? What follows is one of the Win95 tips that may help.

If You Ask Me To Enter A Password One More Time--Part 1

If you just got your hands on a PC that was hooked up to a network in a former lifetime, chances are you still see the Enter Network Password dialog box each time you start Windows 95. You can bypass this dialog box by pressing Esc, but a more satisfying solution is to get rid of it altogether.

Right-mouse-click your desktop's Network Neighborhood icon and select Properties. (Alternatively, open the Control Panel and double-click Networks.) On the Configuration tab, under Primary Network Logon, click the down arrow and select Windows Logon. Click OK, wait while Windows builds its information driver base (zzz . . .), then click Yes to restart your computer (or restart at your convenience). That annoying log-in box will never bother you again.

Are you trying to get rid of TWO log-in dialog boxes--one for networks and one for Windows 95? Don't follow the above tip just yet. In our next tip, we'll show you how to ditch them both in one fell swoop.

If You Ask Me To Enter A Password One More Time--Part 2

In our last tip, we told you how to get rid of the Enter Network Password dialog box: Open the Control Panel, double-click Networks, select Windows Logon under Primary Network Logon, and click OK (then restart Windows 95). Trying to get rid of the Windows 95 log-in dialog box, too? Here's how to ditch both dialog boxes at once:

Follow the steps above, but when Windows asks if you want to restart your system, click No. Back at the Control Panel, double-click Passwords, and on the Change Passwords tab, click the Change Windows Password button. Type the Old password, press Tab to move the cursor to the New password field, then press Enter. You'll see a dialog box telling you that the password has been changed successfully. Click OK, click Close, restart Windows 95 at your convenience, and enjoy your log-in-box-free startups!

(Note: To ditch only the Windows 95 log-in dialog box, just follow the second part of this technique: Double-click the Control Panel's Passwords icon and so on.)

How Do I Organize My Start Menu

This is another question that I get almost every time I talk about Windows. The question I have is: does anyone read the Introducing Microsoft Windows 95 manual that Microsoft provides with EVERY copy of Windows 95 whether it is a copy you buy in a store or a copy that comes with a new system? The method I am going to describe is in this manual.

Open the Windows Explorer program. Go to the Startup folder. This folder is under your Windows folder (directory.) the Startup folder is where all your Start Menu item are kept. You can now drag and drop, delete, and move items into and out of your Start menu.

You can also use the utility provided. Do use the utility you:

Right-click while the mouse pointer is on the Taskbar. From the menu select Properties. Now click on the tab Start Menu Programs. Now you can Add, Remove, or use the Advance button to modify your Start Menu.

How To Stop Programs From Automatically Starting

Note: This is another popular question and what follows is from a previously published Win95 tip.

Can't figure out how to get a program to stop loading every time you start Windows 95? (Software developers have a whole lotta nerve to assume this is a convenience. They should ask first.) There are three places where you can try to stop this annoyance:

The Startup folder. This is the most obvious location for a program reference. Right-mouse click on Start, select Open, double-click on Programs, then double-click on Startup. If you see a shortcut to the annoying program inside, delete it.

The WIN.INI file. Select Start, Run, type


and click on OK. Inside the System Configuration Editor, make the WIN.INI window active and look for a "run=" or "load=" line under the [windows] section.

Programs referred to on these lines load at startup.

If you feel comfortable doing so, remove the reference to the annoying program, and save your change. (If not, have your local computer guru help you. WIN.INI is a very important file and should not be messed with unless you know what you're doing.)

The Registry. Select Start, Run, type


and click on OK to open the Registry Editor. Navigate your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RUN. In the right pane, you'll find programs that load when Windows 95 starts. Right-mouse click on the one giving you grief, select Delete, and close the Registry Editor. (As always, before editing the Registry, back it up. One way is to zip your System.dat and User.dat files and store them on a floppy disk.)

Whichever method you used, restart Windows 95 and (in most cases) breathe a deep sigh of satisfaction!

One Last Item - Color Schemes

One member wanted to know where desktop schemes where saved if he created a special color scheme for his desktop. That information is in the registry at: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance] and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes].

That’s all for this month. Will we have a July meeting? I don’t know. Check elsewhere in this copy of the Bytes to find out. If we do then I think we will start reviewing what’s in Windows 98.