|My computer is not a
national brand but home built by myself. It has never given me
any problems. No disk drive has crashed. No memory failures.
Nothing. Nada. Until . . . I installed Windows Me.
Before I start let me say I will not
upgrade my computer because a company cannot make an operating
system that is lean, mean, and works in the background making
sure all my programs co-exists and I get all my work done with
no system crashes.
We spend $1500 to $3000 every three
to five years so that a $100 operating system will look
like it is working as advertised. The math doesn't compute!
Microsoft delivers a new version of it's consumer operating
system it is not providing us with an improved OS but one that
has added programs that will enable Microsoft to penetrate a
given market such as with the new Media Player. I believe that
the OS is just a marketing tool to enable Microsoft sell
release of consumer version of Windows is fatter. This was not a
problem until Windows Me which is fatter and slower and works
reliably on only the newest and fastest systems.
Me claims to be more user friendly. This attempt at friendliness
is countered by a very sluggish OS. The most common image now is
the hour-glass. The problem with Microsoft's attempt at helping
the user is that you still need to know how to navigate the most
common tools of the OS and these tools haven't changed since
Windows 1.0. Sure File Manager is now Windows Explorer but you
still need to know how to work with files and folders. You need
to understand what the Start menu is and what is in the Start
menu. Almost every new user, and some experienced ones, believe
that what is in the Start menu is the program itself instead of
the short-cut, or pointer, to programs. Some never get it. So
all the hand-holding Microsoft tries to provide does nothing
more than clog up the OS and slow everything down.
has probably spent thousands of man-hours developing silly tools like
the Media Player while the one fundamental problem of the
consumer version of Windows has never been fixed. The
problem is resource allocation and restoration. I have a
Resource Meter going full time so that I can be aware of
resources left to the OS. From Windows 95 through Windows 98SE
there was continuous small improvements in resource allocation
With Windows Me
I couldn't make any observation of resources because the OS kept
crashing. Also the OS was so slow that resource problems took a
back seat to just getting my work done. I got the impression
that Windows Me was trying to do to much in the background.
Often the mouse pointer would freeze momentarily and it would
also skip across the screen instead of moving smoothly.
With Windows Me
OS rarely shutdown properly. Therefore startup took several
minutes while Scandisk was run. Read my article on installing
Windows Me for details on this problem.
Two: Power Management didn't work. Or it did and the shutdown
problems were caused by another aspect of the OS. The
hibernation option of Shutdown was not enabled with my computer.
This meant the computer didn't have a BIOS that supported this
option. This option of Shutdown is not discussed in the Quick
Start Guide of Windows Me. I can find nothing about hibernation
at the Microsoft site so I have no idea what is required by the
BIOS in order to support hibernation. Considering the
unreliability of the OS hibernation would not be a good idea
anyway. I have never understood why the OS could not remember what
applications you have running and start up those applications
and files when you start up the OS the next session.
Three: Why does it take almost a minute to start the Help
program? When a user goes for help he/she wants it now not
later. the Help system is so slow in Windows Me that it almost
makes it useless. Who wants to wait forever to read a help file
that tells you nothing. The help program may have changed but I
doubt that any of the data is any more understandable than in
previous versions of the consumer OS. The new Search (Find in
Windows Me) is also very slow to start. Sometimes I felt I could
open Windows Explorer and search for the file faster than it
would take the Find window just to open. Microsoft changes the
name from Search to Find. Shorter name with slower results.
Four: Windows Me is so fat, up to 400MBs, that it only left me
with 250MBs on my C: drive. My C: drive is 1.6GBs. One of my
problems is that I have been doing upgrades since Windows 95. I
have deleted the Windows directory but I have never cleaned out
the C: completely and started from nothing. When I did this for
my reload of Windows 98 I had used 500MBs installing Windows 98
and additional support files. Those extra files include many,
many DLLs that Microsoft Office puts into the Windows/System
folder. Because Windows 9x takes up so much space is the reason
I moved the temporary directory
and the SWAP file to a different partition. Is 1.6GBs enough
space for an operating system? Hard to say.
Five: I have run out of disk space on the C: drive and must
remove something to keep going. See
Story of Deleting Windows Me and Installing Windows 98
process of going to the Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
and removing Windows Me failed. Considering all I did to drive
C: I can't blame this on Microsoft. Stuff happens.
need to save some data. I copy the Windows\Application Data folder from
the C: drive to another partition. Start Menu, Favorites folders
also in the Windows folder. Copy them to another partition.
If you are the only person using the computer and
you use no username/password to log-on to the computer then you
will only have an Windows\Application Data folder. If you
are using a computer that has more than one user and they have
to log-on with a username/password then you will also have a Windows\Profiles
folder. Each user will have a subfolder of the Windows\Profiles
Whenever you add a new user the Windows\Application
Data folder is used as the source of the initial data for
the new user. So whatever is in the Windows\Application Data
is the starting point for all users if you select Create
copies of the current items and their content.
You want to
copy these folders to another partition.
If you have a Windows\Profiles
folder then copy both the Windows\Application Data and
the Windows\Profiles folders.
If you have a Windows\Favorites
or Windows\Start Menu folders then copy them to another
If you have an Internet access through an ISP then
you need to copy all that information. Do it with a pencil and
paper. You should always have this data on paper backup anyway.
think that's everything.
Erase it all
After 3 years
of adding and modifying the C: drive I decide to erase it all
and start with a fresh C: drive. I format C:. Nothing left.
Can't go back now.
Windows 98 not Windows Me
to install Windows Me on a blank C: drive. One problem. I had
the upgrade version of Windows Me and Microsoft changed their policy on using an
upgrade version. In the past you could use any full version of
Windows (I'm not sure how far back they went but I used my
Windows 3.1 floppies for my full install.) to verify you could
use the upgrade version to do a full install. With Windows Me you
can only go back to Windows 3.1 Workgroups. I don't qualify with
plain old Windows 3.1. This means I will do the full install
with Windows 98.
Windows 98 requires floppies 1,2,3, and 5 of
the full version of Windows 3.1 in order to verify you qualify
to use the upgrade version of Windows 98 to do a full install. With Windows 95 it was floppy 1
Install of Windows 98 Is Complete . . . Almost
you have multiple users then setup each user. Do this before
you restore the data. Once each user is established you can copy
the data and folders for those users back over to
C:\Windows\Profiles. Everything can be copied over with no problems except
for the Outlook Express folders. The data in the Outlook Express
folders has to be imported from Outlook Express.
dial-up connection for your ISP.
Importing messages to
In Outlook Express under the File
menu select Import>Messages. You may need to do this
for Outlook Express 4 messages and then again for Outlook
Express 5 messages. Browse to the Outlook Express
folder that you saved prior to restoring Windows 98. Once Outlook
Express finds the folders you can import them all or one at
a time. The import will not overwrite existing messages.
needed to do the import more than once to get all the messages
imported. This may be because the first time I tried it I didn't
check the proper boxes. Who knows with Microsoft. Just keep at
it until you get all messages or at least the ones you want
imported back into Outlook Express.
Back To Windows
98 And Getting Work Done
It's back to work. While I was
using Windows Me (Or was Windows Me using me?) I spent to much
of my time trying to get Windows Me to work smoothly. Now
Windows 98 works the way an operating system should. In the
Will I Ever Use Windows Me?
Yes. But not
until I get another disk drive that I can install Windows Me
onto. It will also be a full install. By having a separate disk
drive I can move between Windows 98 and Windows Me. note:
I don't like using dual boot software. Disk drives are cheap
enough that swapping drives is safer and easier for me.