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| Windows 98 Index II | Windows Me | Windows XP | Updated 02/21/05

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Windows 98     

Hey, bohunky0, how come you don't have a page search engine? It would make finding stuff much easier. ----- Tad
You already have one Tad, push CTL+F and type your keyword!  Also now we do have a site search. See the button at the top of this page.   --------   Bohunky0

Try ZDNet's Windows 98 tune-up guide
Are you tempted to try Windows 98 Second addition? Before you take the plunge check out ZDNet's, "Windows 98 Second Edition Superguide".

Preface and my reasons for updating my system

I have been wrong for so long that it hurts!
On way too many occasions I have advised against playing Microsoft's continuing update plan. After a recent Windows 95 crash and a subsequent hard drive reformatting, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 98. All I can say is....WOW! What an improvement! If you are currently on the fence about upgrading your OS, don't procrastinate any longer, do it!

Windows 98 is light-years ahead of Windows 95 and the new Windows 98 Second edition is an improvement above that.

Ever the thrifty and conservative computer shopper, I opted to check out the basement discount bargain bins for my upgrade and because I had to reformat my drive anyway, I opted for the full version of Windows 98. Now I am sorely tempted to upgrade that to the second edition. I have come to this conclusion after spending about 12 hours in updating my current system at Microsoft's update center. You can spare yourself this torturous endeavor by simply purchasing the second edition. This upgrade will have all the recent updates and bug fixes for the original version of Windows 98 plus some improved functionality. There's a ton of stuff under the Windows 98 hood. We will explore some of these new features in the future. Until then, go ahead and upgrade, you won't be sorry.
Go to Top of Page ~BoHunky0 did a oh oh!~

Index of Articles

Lost Sounds.cpl in Control Panel
Dr. Watson, I presume?
Now that you know about Dr. Watson, load him at startup. Here's how.
Windows 98 has some nifty utilities bundled on the CD here we have just a few.
System Information, oh and so much more!
Use the taskbar to your advantage
Use the Explorer Quick Launch bar to store your Apps,
When Windows 98 tries to find your installation files to load drivers, it cannot locate your CD-ROM. This usually happens when you add a hard drive or new CD-ROM drive
Also see, Load your setup files on the Hard Drive Both of these require editing your Registry.
You want to make My Documents the active location when you first start Windows Explorer.
How do I troubleshoot Windows 98 shutdown problems?
The Windows logo key on your keyboard has some real functionality. Before you grab the sledgehammer to rearrange the keys check out what it can do for you. You may even find that it is useful. If not we will show you how to rearrange your keyboard through Windows. Not as much fun as a sledgehammer I know, but a whole lot neater.
Create your own personalized icons in Windows 98. Here's how.
Take control (Ctl) of your Windows. Use some basic keyboard shortcuts.
Take Control of Explorer  Make Windows Explorer work your way. Command Line Switches are key. This article link takes you to PC/Magazine's site. For a quick reference see, Figure 1, shows the most common switches, Figure 2, shows what the swatch for a single pane window does, and Figure 3, shows the swatch with a two pane window with the directory tree. The figures 1-3 are taken from PC/Magazine's own site and are offered for reference purpose only. To get the best benefit you should review the entire article at their website.
"Every time I boot up I receive a message saying "error starting program
missing DLL file, ECOMWR.DLL " any ideas? Click here to see a possible answer.
Resolving (IRQ) Iinterupt Request problems in Windows 98
I have a screen saver, but after a couple of minutes the screen goes blank and is all black get the sound but no picture, why?
Create A Shutdown Icon
Dealing With OS Decay: Rebuilding Your Windows System from Scratch
By Greg Shultz, The Windows Wizard, Help & How-To
Get step-by-step instructions on preparing for and rebuilding your Windows system from scratch.
Hold down your shift key and Click here to get started.
How to Troubleshoot Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Problems

  ~Bohunky0 had an idea, but lost it!~
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Dr. Watson
Remember that nice warm comfy feeling you used to get in Windows 3x? Knowing that the old gentleman was watching over your system ready to spout pages of infamous technobable. Well guess what! Heeeee's Baaaaaaaack! Only this time the long rest that he has taken have given him some new tricks.

For some unknown reason Dr. Watson isn't loaded on startup after you install Win 98. You have to elect to do that yourself. Click on your START BUTTON and select RUN from the menu. Now just type DRWATSON. You will notice that a new icon appears in the system tray. Click on the new icon and select DR. WATSON from the menu that pops up. The good ole doctoer does a quick diagnostic of your system and on the first tab that comes up you will find information and a suggestion for solving the problem, if any, that the doctor finds.

On subsequent tabs you will find, SYSTEM..which gives you pertinent information about your machine. The next tab is,

Dr. Watson is the place to start your search for that elusive problem which you just can not get a handle on.
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Windows 98 has some nifty utilities bundled on the CD here we have just a few.
click on the START BUTTON and then on PROGRAMS. Under PROGRAMS find the ACCESSORIES section. On this menu follow down to SYSTEM TOOLS. Now click on the file marked DISK CLEANUP.
    Disk Cleanup will search your files and folder of type. Once scanned you will be given a choice of what action you wish to make. On the first tab, DISK CLEANUP, you have some decisions to make. What group of files do you wish to delete? If you are new to Windows 98, use the default selection that Windows gives you. These are usually safe to delete.
    The second tab, MORE OPTIONS does just that, gives you more options. Microsoft has a flare for the obvious don't they? You can select to have Windows cleanup
    1) rid your system of Windows 98 files or programs you no longer need or those you no longer use.
    2) Cleanup Programs you no longer use will invoke the Windows 98 uninstall wizard for you to select those programs you want to completely remove from your system.
    3) Drive Conversion will offer to convert your FAT (File Allocation Table) from 16 to 32. Be warned, this will take some time if you have a large drive with multiple partitions, and is something you may want to do when the computer isn't used.
    The third tab is the SETTINGS TAB which if checked offers to run DISK CLEANUP when you get low on disk space. I suggest you leave this box checked if it isn't by default.

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System Information, oh and so much more!

To get to the system information file, click on  START, then PROGRAMS then ACCESSORIES then select SYSTEM TOOLS. Follow the file list down until you come to the file marked, SYSTEM INFORMATION. Once you select this file you will discover that in this one innocent looking and unobtrusive file there is a ton of stuff. As you explore the many features of this file be sure to select the TOOLS TAB. This is the tab that this article will deal with.

section I
        Direct X Diagnostic tool:
                    This will  open Microsoft's Direct X editor. Here you can test your system for             anything Multimedia. Video, Audio and lots more.

                    This tool will open a wizard which will ask you what is wrong and to describe what you were doing when the problem occurred, and so forth and so on. Fill it out and if you are connected to the internet, which you must be if you are seeing this article (Ah Duh!) then click to send the report off to Redmond where uncle Bill and the tech boys will have a good laugh at your expense. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Microsoft's Tech support people will review the contents of the log and find fixes which will then be posted on their Knowledge base website for others to find. Once at this site, if you have never used it before, you may be asked if you want to install a wizard. Click yes and continue.

                    This wizard offers to uninstall and update what is currently out of date and if a new version is available, If you get a message, "No Package available for Uninstall", you can assume you have all the latest updates or that the updates you do have have no options to uninstall.

                    This is a vary handy utility. One should not use this to muck about with though. This is a wizard that you should use only if you are having a problem with your computer. It will search your system files to discover if any are corrupt or out of date or otherwise changed and restores them for you. Like I said, a vary handy tool, but it can also cause some headaches if you are not sure what your system files are all about. If you use it, be sure to backup your current settings and proceed with caution.
    System File Checker will bring up a screen that will give you many options. If you are certain that a file has been updated through your system updates, go ahead and check this section. If you are not sure that a file has been upgraded check the ignore selection. Some programs write new files into your Windows directory or even into your Window/System directory. Windows 95 accepted these updates to system files out of hand and lead to many software conflicts. Windows 98 by default locks it's system files so that they can not be upgraded. Windows 98 will use the correct file for it's own purposes while allowing some other software program that needs the updated version to use it's own. It is not wise to select the restore feature either as one file may have nothing to do with the other. Windows 98 will overwrite the file in favor of it's own. In this instance your software package that relies on this file may no longer work.
    This system has saved my bacon on more then one occasion believe me. You should keep in mind however, that the wrong decision with this file could mean hours of reinstalling your Windows 98 Package, Please be careful using this one!!!!

                    This tool is similar to the FIND FILES OR FOLDERS that you are well accustom to. This however has one big difference. With it you can find files on your system that are not signed or files that are. Usually a file is signed by it's author or distributor as part of the file attributes. You can also check these files by right clicking on them in EXPLORER and looking at it attributes. This will generally furnish you with much the same data. Of course this assumes you know what file to check. This tool allows you to find all non signed file or all signed files or you may select what type of file to check and so on and so fourth. This is also handy if you know the author of a file, but not the file name.

                    This is a very good tool and has enough safety feature so that even a novice can use it with complete confidence. This checks your registry for errors and offers to fix any section that is corrupt or out of date. As with all of these tools the simple rule is, "Back it up, Back it up, and Back it up"!

                    This is used only if you keep getting, "ASD (Access Denied) critical operations failure on your hard drive. This allows you to still access certain parts of a damaged drive to retrieve some of your critical files, Like grandma's old Molasses Cookie Recipe."

        DR. WATSON which we have already covered, see Dr. Watson I presume

                    This is another of Windows 98's great utilities. With this you can backup and restore your current system configuration, make adjustments to it or just muck about to see what is doing what and why.
    As you can see there is a ton of information here and much functionality as well. Check here if your system is having problems booting or you have device conflicts, printer problems and the list goes on and on. Muck about to see what treasures you didn't even know you had! Note the backup and restore button. Before making any changes to these system files be certain to back it up before hand.

        SCAN DISK
                    This one you should be well aware of. If not I suggest you use it imediately and then plan to use it often. It can and will correct many hard drive errors. Tip: If you want a quick check of your drives do this, "Click START then RUN now type CHKDSK /F the /F switch tells check disk to look for errors on your drive. It is a little faster then scandisk and will alert you to problems it can not solve so you can then run scandisk.

                    Once you click on this button you will notice some disk activity. Conflict manager, by default, runs in the background. Once it has completed its task you will be given a list of files and told that it is a list of files that Windows 98 replaced with newer version. It will offer to restore to it's original version any file which you uselect. There should be no reason to do so unless a file is acting particularly strange. It would be better to run the System File Checker to see if this problem could be resolved without resorting to this arcane metod. Trust me, unless you are an expert computer user, this is not for you.

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More advise coming soon, so check back often.
Got a problem you want solved? Email me and lets see what we can do!
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Updated 6/1/00
The Tips Zone

Follow the links to define a problem, then click on the correct problem to find the solution,

You suspect that your system contains a slew of broken or dead links. These are shortcut files that no longer have a file associated with them. Let Windows 98 find them for you. Click here to learn how.

Printing different types of documents from the same printer, and changing the printer settings each time you print, can be a hassle. Click here for a better option
I can no longer see the Volume Control icon in the system tray. How can I get it back?
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q168/9/16.ASP If you have installed a new soundcard, try this
You set up Windows 98 SE's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) feature, but now whenever you use NetMeeting you can't share applications, use the whiteboard, chat, or transfer files.
PROBLEM: You want to replace the default name and organization entries that appear on the preinstalled programs that came with your computer. (Please note, this tip requires you to edit your system registry. Errors in editing could result in loss of information or the inability for your computer to boot properly. Always use extreme caution when entering anything into or deleting anything from the registry) The Solution!
Windows allows you to make adjustments for more accessibility. With this in mind, this tips is to the point. INCREASE SCROLLBAR SIZE
Deleting something twice can be a pain. Use Shift + Delete to permanently remove the garbage
I cant seem to get my scanner to program in
Using the Lasso Technique to Speed File Management
For Quick View for other file types, try adding its shortcut to the Send To menu.
Change MS-DOS file name length to 255 characters in a DOS box using Windows 98.
You've heard that Windows includes a scientific calculator, but your attempts to find it have been unsuccessful
Display the drop-down lists that appear in certain dialog boxes without having to reach for your mouse.
You want to be able to launch a Windows program with a hotkey. If the program is already running, you want the hotkey to switch to the program.
You want to shut down Windows fast before you go to work. Windows seems to take forever and your boss isn't going to understand that you were late to work because Windows wouldn't let you go!
You want to reorganize your cluttered Start Menu.
With Windows 95 I could start Windows in safe mode by hitting the F8 key when I saw starting Windows 95. How do I start a Windows 98-based computer in Safe mode?
Hint----You no longer have EZDrive from Western Digital installed on your system!
Cascading Control Panel
You use your control panel applets on many occasions. Trouble is double clicking on START-SETTINGS-CONTROL PANEL is a pain. You want a cascading menu like you receive in the PROGRAMS menu. Not my tip, but it is a good one. Find out how to do it for yourself by visiting, ZDNET'S TIP ZONE. While there take a look at the column marked CONTROL CENTER for an even better solution. Enjoy!
Free up more of your Tool Bar real estate.
Your system tray is so loaded with icons that it is blocking out the program bar. You have looked for them in the START-PROGRAMS-STARUP section, but they are not listed there. Some of the programs you do not use, but don't want to uninstall the associated programs. You just want to see what you have loaded in Windows. All you want is to free up more of your tool bar and eliminate the 90 minute wait while Windows loads all that garbage. This tip requires editing your registry.
PROBLEM: You're tired of scrolling every time you have to open a program from the Start menu.
More tips on the way, so check back often.
Got a problem in search of a solution? Found a useful solution on your own and want to share it? Drop me a line by clicking here and we will see what we can find.

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ZDNet's extensive Windows 98 Administrative & tune-up guide:

Windows 98 tune-up guide
Remove unneeded files
Know what you're deleting
View the list of files to delete
How to convert to FAT32
Should you convert to FAT32?
If you convert to FAT32
Antivirus software and FAT32
Stopping the FAT32 conversion midstream
Beyond defragging
Faster defragging
Extend battery life
ScanDisk without waiting
Decoding ScanDisk's new option
Automatic tune-ups
Keep your files up-to-date
Windows 98 Administrative Tools


Give MS Backup another chance
Installing MS Backup
Compatibility issues
Set accessibility options
Look at the Microsoft Magnifier
The Magnifier as a zoom feature
Check out your Registry
Manage Registry backups manually
Checking your system files
Track program changes

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Shut Windows Down Fast
When you shut down Windows 98, you have to go through several steps. There is a better way to shut down Windows 98 in one simple double-click, or single click if you are running webpage view on your desktop. To implement this technique, launch the Create Shortcut wizard by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting the New/Shortcut command from the shortcut menu. Once the Create Shortcut wizard loads, type
c:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindows
in the Command Line text box. (Make sure that there isn't a space between the comma and the exitwindows parameter, or the command won't work.) To continue, click Next. When the next page appears, type Shut Down Windows 98 NOW! in the Select a Name for the Shortcut text box, and click Finish. Now, when you're ready to shut down Windows 98, close all your applications as you normally would and then just double-click the new Shut Down Windows 98 NOW! icon.
tip added 9/1/99

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Organize the Start Menu:

With Windows 95 you had to alter the Start Menu by a Right-click on the Start Menu button, and then you had to choose either Explore or Open to display the Start Menu folder. Now with Windows 98 you can make quick changes by right-clicking on any entry in the Start Menu and choosing from options such as Cut, Copy, Delete, and Rename. Much simpler ins't it?
tip added 9/2/99

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To start a Windows 98-based computer in Safe mode, use either of the following methods:

Method 1
Restart your computer.

While your computer restarts, press down and hold the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears.
NOTE: If you are using the EZDrive tool, substitute the F8 key for the CTRL key.
Choose Safe Mode from the Startup menu, and then press ENTER.

Method 2
Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Information.

1)    On the Tools menu, click System Configuration Utility.

2)    Click Advanced, and then click to select the Enable Startup Menu check box.

3)    Click OK, click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted.

4)    Choose Safe Mode from the Startup menu, and then press ENTER.
tip added 9/2/99

More tips coming soon!
Bohunky0 says you should check back often
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