Although the Disk
Defrag utility speeds up file access, it doesn't
defrag your swap file, which is the file Windows uses
as virtual memory. You can get additional performance
gains by disabling your swap file, defragging your
disk, then re-enabling the swap file. The new swap
file will be effectively defragged and therefore
faster. To do so, right-click on My Computer
and select Properties from the Context
menu. Click on the Performance tab, then the Virtual
Memory button. Select the "Let me specify
my own virtual memory settings" radio button,
then select Disable Virtual Memory. Click on OK,
then OK again. After defragging your disk, follow the
same procedure above, but this time select "Let
Windows manage my virtual memory setting."
Off Task Scheduler
How can I turn off Task
Scheduler? I like to run the tasks manually and don't
want the Task Scheduler running in the
You can turn off Scheduled
Tasks entirely using one quick command. First, select Start,
Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks
to open this application. Now just pull down the Advanced
menu and select Stop Using Task Scheduler. The
program's icon will disappear from the tray of your
Taskbar, and the scheduler will no longer start when
you start Windows 98.
(To turn Scheduled Tasks back
on, follow the steps above, but select Advanced, Start
Using Task Scheduler.)
The Files Already? Two
In our last tip, we pointed
out that if you're viewing the contents of your hard
drive as a Web page and then double-click the Windows
folder (or the Windows\System folder), you'll
see a warning message and the instructions To View
The Contents Of This Folder, Click Show Files.
We also suggested that you can avoid these warnings by
opting not to view your folders as Web pages.
Not good enough? You can
remove those warnings and still view your folders as
Web pages. Basically, the warning messages are part of
the customization for the Windows and Windows\System
folders. Remove the customization and you remove the
Open the Windows folder,
locate the folder.htt and desktop.ini files, and
create copies of these files in the same folder. (Name
them anything you want, such as folder1.htt and
desktop1.ini, or just leave them as Copy Of Folder.htt
and Copy Of Desktop.ini.) Still in the Windows folder,
select View, Customize This Folder, and select Remove
Customization. Click Next twice, then click Finish.
Repeat these steps for the Windows\System folder and
those warning messages won't bother you again.
(Tip: If you ever want the
messages back--fat chance, we know -- rename the
copies of the folder.htt and desktop.ini files using
their original names.)
The Files Already? One
By now you've certainly
noticed that if you're viewing the contents of your
hard drive as a Web page and then double-click the Windows
folder (or the Windows\System folder),
you'll see a warning message and the instructions To
View The Contents Of This Folder, Click Show
Files. Gee Microsoft, thanks for the safety net,
but if I didn't want to view the files inside, I
wouldn't have double-clicked the folder.
There's an easy way to bypass
this warning and view the contents of the Windows
folder directly, the first time around: Don't view
your folders as Web pages. In any folder, deselect
View, As Web Page. Then, to apply the setting
globally, select View, Folder Options;
click the View tab; click Like Current
Folder; click Yes to confirm; then click
Not good enough? In our next
tip, we'll show you how to remove these warnings while
still viewing your folders as Web pages....
‘File Not Found'
uncommon in Windows to encounter a "File Not Found"
error while booting up. The message indicates that a
particular file-usually a DLL or VXD-is missing. Chances are,
the file was improperly removed when you uninstalled an
application. The file may be gone, but one or more lines in
your System Registry or SYSTEM.INI could still be trying to
load it. To fix the problem, reboot and note the exact name of
the errant file. From the Windows taskbar, select
Start/Find/Files and Folders to search for the missing file.
If you find it, copy it to your WINDOWS or WINDOWS\SYSTEM
folder. If you think you might have moved or renamed a program
folder, make a new folder with the old name, and copy the
offending file there. Reboot and see if the message goes away.
If you don't find the file,
you must find a reference in your Registry or SYSTEM.INI to a
program that no longer exists on your system. Use the Registry
Editor's search function to find the filename, then use
Notepad to open and search SYSTEM.INI for the same file. When
you find any references to the file, carefully note where it
is and the exact settings in case you have to reinstate it,
then delete the references. (Back up your Registry before
making any changes.) Also check the WINDOWS\STARTUP folder for
any shortcuts that call the file, and delete them.
Things In Small Packages
Are those icons that are
cluttering your desktop getting you down?
Bring them down to size and give yourself
more room. Right-click on the Desktop
and select Properties. Click on
the Appearance tab, then the Item
drop-down menu. Select Icon,
then pick a size of 16 (the default is
32). Click on OK. (This works best if you
make the words under the icons as short
can move or resize open Windows applications by
using only your keyboard. First, press Alt+Spacebar
to bring up a menu. Press S, then use
the arrow keys to resize the window. Press M
and move the window using the arrow keys. Press
Enter to keep the window change or Esc
to return the window to its previous state.
The Update Folder
When you install
Internet Explorer 5 over Win9x, you'll find a new
folder called Windows Update Setup
Files in your root directory. This folder
is filled with setup files that take up between
10MB and 20MB of space on your hard disk. It's a
good idea to save them for a while after
installing IE5 to make sure it's running
properly. That way, you won't have to download
the app again if you run into trouble and want to
reinstall. After using IE5 for a while without
encountering any problems, you can delete these
files to regain the disk space.
Registry changes require restarting Windows
before the changes take effect. However, there's
a way to reinitialize your Registry and refresh
your Desktop without fully restarting the OS.
Save your work, then press Ctrl+Alt+Del
to bring up the Windows task list. Select the Explorer
entry and click on End Task. If the
Shutdown screen appears, click on Cancel.
After a few seconds an error message will appear.
Click on End Task, and Windows Explorer
will reload with any new Registry settings.
and Win98 don't refresh your view of files and
folders as often as you might like. Here's how to
make Windows refresh constantly (make sure you
back up your system before editing the Registry).
Launch the Registry Editor by selecting
Start/Run, typing REGEDIT in the Run
dialog and pressing Enter. Click on the plus
sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE,
then on the plus sign next to System,
and then on CurrentControlSet. Select Control,
then Update. In the right pane,
right-click on UpdateMode and select Modify.
Select the 01 reading and change it to 00.
Click on OK, exit the Registry Editor and
you need to restart Windows to make a settings
change take effect. But there's a faster way.
Select Shut Down from the Start
menu, then press and hold the Shift key
when you click on Restart the Computer,
then (still holding down the Shift key) click OK.
When the screen prompt reads, "Windows is
now restarting," you can let go of the Shift
key. Performing this action bypasses the boot
sequence. More tips.
on the CD-ROM icon in My Computer and select Eject
from the Context menu to eject the CD from the
Open With.. Everywhere
can quickly add the Open With command to the
right-click Context menu of all or most icons in
Windows 9x. In the Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects
and make a new key called shell. (Do this by
right-clicking on the AllFilesystemObjects
folder and choosing New/Key from the pop-up
menu.) In the shell key, make the new key openas.
In the openas key, make a key called command. Now
double-click on the Default icon in the command
key and, in the Value data field, enter C:\WINDOWS\rundll32.exe
shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL %1 and click on
OK. Close the Registry Editor. You'll now find
the Open With menu item on the pop-up menus of
most file and folder objects.
already know that clicking on the maximize button
(the middle square in the upper-right corner) in
an Explorer window (either Windows Explorer or
Internet Explorer) opens the window full screen.
But if you're running Win98, try pressing F11.
The window will go truly full screen, covering
even the taskbar, and shrinking the buttons and
toolbars of the open window. You can also Auto-Hide
the menu by clicking the alternate mouse button
with the pointer somewhere on the Explorer menu
bar. One of the options is Auto-Hide.
Click it. Press F11 again to
toggle back to the original window size. (Note:
This won't work in most application windows.)
shuts down faster than Win95, but it achieves
this dubious benefit by pulling the plug on
running applications without shutting them down
first. If you're uncomfortable with that, disable
it. Launch the System Configuration Utility (Start/Programs/Accessories/System
Tools/System Information). Click on the
Tools menu and select System Configuration
Utility. Click on the Advanced button and check
the Disable Fast Shutdown item.
a system file gets damaged, you can extract a
fresh copy. Launch the System File Checker from
System Information's Tools menu. Click on the
"Extract one file from installation
disk" radio button, type the full file name
and click on Start. Type x:\WIN98 (where x is
your CD-ROM drive) in the Restore From box, enter
the destination in the Save File In box and click
Up Boot Process
You can speed up your
boot process by telling Windows not to search for
your floppy drive. (You'll still be able to use
the drive, but Win98 will search for it only when
you click on its icon in My Computer.) Go to My
Computer/Properties/Performance. Click on File
System and the Floppy Disk tab. Deselect
"Search for new floppy disk drives each time
your computer starts."
involves telling Windows not to search for a
*new* floppy drive. It has nothing to do with
searching for an existing, permanently installed
floppy drive. Importantly, using this tip will
not prevent you from booting from a Startup or
boot floppy. It disables only the plug-and-play
feature that checks for a new drive (useful
mainly on portable computers with external floppy
Wants To Explore The Start Menu
Want to change the focus
of the Explorer window that appears when you
right-mouse click Start and select Explore? It
can be done, with a little Registry-editing, but
here's the catch: From now on, selecting Explore
in the context menu of ANY folder will open
Explorer to the folder you specify. If you can
live with this limitation, here's the technique,
suggested by reader M. Whitco:
the Registry Editor: select Start, Run, type
click OK. Navigate your way to
In the right pane, right-mouse click (Default)
and select Modify. On the Value Data line,
replace both instances of '%I' with the
path of any folder. (Just be sure to leave
everything else intact.) For example, this line
might now read [ExploreFolder("c:\ABC
Files", c:\ABC Files, %S)]
OK and close the Registry Editor. From now on,
right-mouse clicking Start (or any other folder)
and selecting Explore takes you right to the
folder you specified.
always, before following these steps, back up
your Registry files, System.dat and User.dat.
Both are hidden files located in the Windows
has an automatic online procedure for Windows 98.
Select Windows Update on the Start button and you
will be sent to the Windows 98 Update Web site.
Follow their procedures and your system will be
checked out. It is your option as to what you
want to download and install. Whatever you select
to do the update is done remotely and out of your
control. So if you have to reload your Windows 98
and will have to go to the Update site and
download and install the updates all over again.
Starters, A Startup Disk
Upon installing Windows
98, you're given the option to create a Startup
Disk--a disk that, should you ever have trouble
starting Windows 98, boots your system and
provides some utilities to (you hope) diagnose
the problem. If, in your haste to get started
with Windows 98 (or because you didn't have a
blank disk handy), you opted to skip this step,
we recommend you take a minute to make the disk
now. You'll be mighty glad to have one, if and
when you need it.
locate a blank, formatted disk. If you can't find
one, a disk that contains some old, useless files
will do; just beware that they'll be wiped out in
Control Panel (select Start, Settings, Control
Panel) and double-click Add/Remove Programs.
Select the Startup Disk tab, then click the
Create Disk button. Now just follow along as
Windows 98 walks you through the disk creation
process. When it finishes, be sure to label the
disk and keep it in a safe place. (While you're
at it, switch that little plastic tab on the back
of the floppy disk to the down position--you'll
be able to see through the disk--to write-protect
What's the most
frequently accessed window on your system? More
often than not, it's the Control Panel. This
window provides one-stop shopping for all of your
system settings (not including the Registry
Editor, of course). Windows 98 provides easy
access to this oft-used window in the Start,
Settings menu, but for even quicker access, place
a shortcut within arm's reach--either on the
desktop or in the Quick Launch toolbar.
To add a
Control Panel shortcut to the desktop,
double-click My Computer, then right-mouse-click
and drag the Control Panel icon out to the
desktop. Let go and select Create Shortcut(s)
Here. If you'd prefer to have Control Panel
access from the Taskbar, follow these same steps
but this time drop the icon on the Quick Launch
toolbar. (Tip: Don't let go of the icon until you
see a black line to indicate where it will end