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Lost Sounds.cpl in Control Panel

Reader Jack writes: 

For some unknown reason I have lost the sound(s?).cpl file and it's Control Panel icon. Can I just copy this file from a computer running Win98SE from windows/system and paste it to the same directory on my computer? 
Thanks again!

Are you talking about audio settings? Should be the first tab on the Multimedia applet, which is Mmsys.cpl in \windows\system folder in Windows Explorer (Windows Key Plus E). If you mean Windows' event sounds, it doesn't have it's own .cpl, even though it appears in the Control Panel. "Sounds" sort of piggybacks on Mmsys.cpl. If for some reason "Sounds" doesn't appear in the Control Panel, try typing this in the Run box of the Start Menu (Windows Key plus R):

control mmsys.cpl sounds

That should bring it up. If not, or if Multimedia won't come up at all, you should try extracting a fresh copy from the .cab and placing it in \windows\system. For more on the uses of the Extract Command, please see our article:

How to use the Windows Extract.exe Command 
Windows 9.x kernels only

You Get the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) with the warning, "Increase MinSP in System.ini"

Loyal Reader Bill writes: 

It's been a while. To which of course Martha Stewart would say,, "...... and that's a good thing". I have a question for you about a warning I get on my screen when I've been starting my computer. (Compaq computer,,, Windows98SE, Netscape 7.0) During start up, it stops loading and I'll get a blue screen warning that says I should increase my "MinSPs in SYSTEM. INI". I am able to press any key to continue. I've looked all through Windows Explorer and that usually unhelpful Windows "help" section and am unable to find anything at all connected to MinSPs or SYSTEM. INI. Any suggestions on how to satisfy the order I am getting? I thank you in advance for any help you render.~ Bill 

First let me explain a little of what a MinSPs actually is and why you may be receiving it now. Please read this entire instruction as it kinda bobs in and out. The best thing and some would argue the worst thing about Windows, any version, is that there are more than one way of doing things.

MinSPs = Minimum Stack File size.

If this started all of a sudden, it most likely is due to a new program you have recently installed that requires more processing power. The reason your unable to find the System.ini file is because it is hidden by Windows (More on how to show these types of files a little further down in this email. Hey, its the bobby weavey thingy.). This is a part of the, "Microsoft's lets not confuse the new computer user's syndrome". We will first need to show the file so that it can be opened in Notepad. It is, after all, only a text file but first, give this a try:

1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard plus R to bring up the Run dialog (Or, click Start | Run its the same thing only different phenomena) 

2. Type the following or simply copy and past the below into the Open command line:


3. Click OK System.ini should open in Notepad. If it doesn't, try the below. 

4. Or, even better if that fails, type or copy and paste the following:


5. Click OK In Sysedit, click on the System.ini file (Sysedit opens in a Notepad like window with several other system files like Autoexec.bat and Config.sys and Win.ini.

Once you have the System.ini file opened, do the following:

Add the following line to the [386Enh] section of the System.ini file and then restart your computer:


NOTE: If the file doesn't exist under [386Enh] you will need to create it. Just copy and paste the above into the first line under [386Enh]

If the problem persists, increase the number of spare stack pages in increments of 4 (for example, 8, 12, 16 See below).

A. MinSPs=8 
B. MinSPs=12 
C. MinSPs=16

NOTE: Each spare stack page requires 4 kilobytes of memory so it must be increased in increments of 4 Do not forget to save the changes you made. This can be done with a shortcut such as Alt+S of by clicking File | Save.

To exit the Sysedit use the shortcut Alt+F+X of click File | Exit and then reboot the system for the changes to take place.. If after rebooting the problem does not go away, re-open System.ini and increase the MinSP another 4. then save the changes and reboot again.

Here is how to reveal hidden system files in Windows 98 and 98SE: ================================================== 
By default, Windows 98 does not show hidden or system files. Also file types which are registered with the system (i.e. there is a program associated with the file type), are shown without extension when you view your files in Windows Explorer.

To see all files:

1.. Open Windows Explorer, and select Folder Options from the View Menu 

2.. Click on the View tab, go to the Hidden Files header and choose Show all files, and press Apply 

3.. To see your file extensions for all files, make sure that the check-box for Hide file extensions for known file types is unchecked

System Tray Clock Loosing Time

We have been getting a lot of these types of questions lately about Windows 9.x computers. The below Q&A is an indicator that these older computers need some simple maintenance. This can be anything from a simple battery replacement to a new CPU.

Reader Patrick writes: 

The clock on my computer (running Windows 98 SE) keeps losing time--as much as one hour in three days. My computer is always on, so what could be the cause of the time loss, and how can I fix it?


You mentioned two important clues in your question.

First, that your operating system is Windows 98. Second, that your PC is always on.

Your PC has a motherboard with a CMOS clock (a clock Windows reads at regular intervals), powered by a coinlike battery, usually a CR2032 type (Check your computer manual to see which battery type you have before ordering a new one).

Why is this important? Because either the battery is running low, or Windows 98 seems to lose time because your PC is always on.

To check if that small battery is running low, do the following:

1. Run a MS-DOS prompt (Start | Programs | MS-DOS prompt) Or, simply press the Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog and type Command in the open box and press OK.

2. At the DOS prompt, type time, then press Enter. 

3. Compare this time with the time displayed on the Systray (the clock on the bottom right, the Windows clock). 

4. Type exit and press Enter to quit the DOS box.

If there is a difference between both values, the battery should be replaced. Please refer to your motherboard's manual or manufacturer.

If the CMOS battery is OK, and I guess it probably is, the time loss is due to Windows 98 itself. Microsoft reports that it is an issue that affects Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, and Me. (See Microsoft's knowledge base article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=189706&fr=1.)

To troubleshoot your problem, do the following:

1. Disable APM (Advanced Power Management) in your BIOS. Please refer to the manual of your board find out how to enter your BIOS (usually by hitting the Delete key at the computer's pretest cycle) and disable APM. It is usually quite easy. Then, let Windows manage APM instead: Open the Control Panel, click Power Management, and select the settings you want for APM.

2. As a CPU is sometimes under a heavy load, please check that you are not using the following software, which can cause Windows 98 not to check the CMOS time regularly:

- Antivirus 

- Screensavers 

- System utilities 

Memory managers are usually the culprit. Generally these use more recourse then they control. Try deleting or removing any third party memory managers from Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs.

- Scheduled applications or "heavy" applications running in the background 

- And, generally, any CPU-consuming applications

(You said that you left your PC on for several days; maybe you are running a server application.)

Disable the CPU-consuming application(s), except for the antivirus app; you wouldn't have your PC without one, right? Then if you conclude that it is the antivirus program, try a different one instead, perhaps a free one, such as AVG Free Edition.

3. If you can't identify which application(s) is not permitting Windows 98 to check the BIOS clock at regular intervals, try to reboot your PC once a day. (It is not a solution, just a workaround.)

4. Finally, if all this fails, try to install an application that sets your Windows clock from an atomic clock server (you may find the right one for your PC ). 

Anyway, never, ever install one of the so-called atomic clocks you may find while surfing the Net (such as a message that may read: "Do you want to run and install [supposed atomic clock program]?" They usually are malware (like dialers, spyware, and so on) that will affect your PC. Instead, choose an appropriate one from a reputable and clean download source.

Windows Update Site not Working for You?
Try this tip:

We have been getting a number of emails documenting problems connecting to or attempting to update Windows 98 from the Microsoft Update Center. this should resolve most of those issues.

NOTE: according to Microsoft, Windows 98, 98 SE and Me will not longer qualify for free tech support after 2005. Best advise? If you aren't planning on updating to Windows XP, then you may want to go to the Microsoft Download Center to grab all of the latest fixes, security updates and patches and store them to CD.

Get the System Tray Icons fo Win98SE sharing an ADSL connection

Question: "We have two older machines (Win98SE) sharing an ADSL connection, and I've forgotten how to make the 'two-computer' system tray icon appear when the Local Area Connection is active."


  1. Right-click Network Neighborhood and choose Properties. Double-click Local Area Connection.
  2. In the Local Area Connection Status dialog box, click Properties.
  3. At the bottom of that dialog, check the box for "Show icon in taskbar when connected."
  4. Click OK and Close.
  5. Right-click an empty spot on your Taskbar, open Properties, see if there is a hidden entry in your systray that you can activate.
  6. Go thru the network setup routines again. That should install the icon you are looking for.

I've Heard Microsoft No Longer is Supporting Windows 98

Questions: I read in a newsletter that MS has stopped supporting Win98. My computer is unable to download two critical updates. The download dialogue simply sits dumbly. Nothing happens. When I click 'Cancel,' it merely offers to send an error report to MS. Do you know how to fix this problem? Does it mean we have no choice but to upgrade to another version of the OS? - Mikie

Answer: Now, this question refers to two different, yet interesting topics... the first one being, "Is Microsoft still supporting Windows98?", and the other being "Why can't I download updates?" Let's tackle the first one.

From the Microsoft's Web site:   When Does Windows98 end: Or, The search form more money.

Windows 98 / 98 SE
Entering Extended phase June 30, 2002
Entering Non-Supported phase January 16, 2004*
End of Life (effective date after end of online self-help support)
January 16, 2005

* Microsoft will offer paid incident support on Windows 98/98 SE through January 16, 2004. Windows 98/98 SE downloads for existing security issues will continue to be obtainable through normal assisted support channels at no charge during this time. Customers can request Windows 98/98 SE fixes for new security issues and these requests will be reviewed. Fixes for any new security issues can be specifically requested through normal assisted support channels. Web-based self-help support will be available for at least one year after assisted support has concluded. Mainstream support for Windows 98/98 SE ended on June 30th 2002, and no- charge incident support and extended hotfix support ends on June 30th 2003.

For those of you who might need those files, Bruce offers this "Microsoft has indicated that what updates that they have on the Web server will remain for the time being. However, if you are persistent in sticking with Win98 and its variants, then I suggest that you do the following, and that is grab all the updates and burn them to a CD for safekeeping.

"To do this, go to Microsoft's Web site. Select 'Find Microsoft Windows updates,' choose Windows 98, click Search, then choose the updates you want and download them.

"This has all the updates Microsoft ever published, and it allows the files to be download to the hard drive. Once you have done this, you can then burn the files to CD."

To answer the other question as to why our  friend Mikie couldn't download updates, try this link to the Microsoft's Windows98 page.

MFC42.DLL missing, linked to invalid...and more of those cryptic MS error codings....

Question: I have a Windows 98 SE computer with Microsoft Office 97 and I keep getting "Error Starting Program" messages indicating that various files are "linked to missing export MFC42.DLL:(various #s)." Can you tell me how to recover the missing MFC42.DLL files? Ignoring the messages usually causes no discernable problem, but they are annoying and occasionally have caused trouble. Your help will be appreciated.

Answer: Don't you love those somewhat cryptic Microsoft error messages? Don't worry, we know just how to decrypt these messages and tell you the answer to resolve this little problem. First, I want to make sure you know that there is only one MFC42.DLL file being referenced in this error, the numbers on the end are just to designate the type of error for Microsoft. This type of error has two possible fixes, because your MFC42.DLL file is missing, damaged, or just isn't registered in the Windows Registry. I would start by trying to re- register the MFC42.DLL file in the registry because it is a pretty fast and easy fix. Just click Start | Run. At the Run window, type "C:\Windows\System32\Regsvr32.exe C:\Windows\System\MFC42.dll" (sans quotes) and click OK. You should get a message that MFC42.DLL was successfully registered, after which you need to restart your computer. If you don't have any more trouble then you know it was just a matter of an unregistered file.

If you are still having trouble, then you probably have a damaged or missing MFC42.DLL file. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 184799 addresses this exact problem. Basically, we just need to extract a new copy of the MFC42.DLL file from your Windows 98 SE CD. Put your Windows 98 SE installation CD in the CD-ROM drive, click the Start | Run. (Note: you don't need your Windows 98 CD if you know if/where your CAB files are stored on your computer). At the Run window type "sfc" (sans quotes) and then click OK. Next, click "Extract one file from installation disk" and in the "Specify the system file you would like to restore" field you need to type "C:\Windows\System\MFC42.dll" (sans quotes), and then click Start. Now, click the Browse button next to the "Restore from" field and browse to either your Window 98 install CD or your Windows 98 CAB files on your hard drive.

All that is left after this is to click OK and then follow the on- screen instructions. I would suggest that you restart your computer before testing this fix. One of these two fixes should correct your problem.

New Fonts Menu Not Available

Q: I would like to add more fonts to my computer. The info I got to do this said to click Start | Settings | Control Panel and then double-click Fonts, and then go to the file menu and click "Install New Font." When I go to the File menu, I do not have the menu item "Install New Font." I am running Windows 98 SE with Microsoft Word, Works, and Publisher installed. How do I solve this problem?

A: The good news? You are following the proper instructions. You can also accomplish this by copying your fonts (using Windows Explorer) to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder. Occasionally this last method DOSE NOT register a font properly.

That being said, let's get back into your missing Install New Font menu item. There are three reasons for this behavior: the system and read-only attributes are no longer set on the Fonts folder, the Fontext.dll file is missing/damaged, or the Desktop.ini file may be missing/damaged. We'll start with the easiest fix first, and that is repairing the attributes on the Fonts folder. For this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start | Run, type "command", and click OK.
  2. At the command window, type "cd\windows" and hit Enter. You'll then be at the C:\Windows directory.
  3. Now type in "attrib +S +R fonts".
  4. Now, just restart Windows, and your Install New Font menu item should be back.

If this doesn't work, then it may be a missing or damaged Fontext.dll file. To fix this, do the following:

  1. Restart Windows, and choose to restart in MS-DOS mode.
  2. At the command prompt, type "cd\windows\system" and hit Enter to switch to the C:\Windows\System folder.
  3. Now, type "dir fontext.dll" and hit Enter.
    • (If your machine does NOT have a Fontext.dll file, then proceed to the next step in these instructions.) If it DOES find a Fontext.dll file, then you need to type "rename fontext.dll fontext.old" , and hit Enter to rename your damaged Fontext.dll file. Type "exit"  to restart back into Windows.
  4. To recreate your Fontext.dll file, we need to extract a good copy of it from your Windows 98 install files. Click Start | Run, type "sfc"  and click OK.
  5. Click "Extract one file from installation disk" and in the "Specify the system file you would like to restore" box, type "C:\Windows\System\Fontext.dll" .
  6. Click Start, and in the "Restore From" box, click Browse. Now, browse to your Windows 98 CD or to your Cab files. (On some machines you can find the Cab files in C:\Cabs or in C:\Windows\Options\Cabs.
  7. Click OK and follow the on-screen instructions. When all this is done just restart Windows.

If all this doesn't work, then we still have one more possible fix: replacing the Desktop.ini file. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Restart Windows and choose to restart in MS-DOS mode.
  2. At the command prompt, type "cd\windows\fonts"  and hit Enter to switch to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder.
  3. Type "rename desktop.ini desktop.old"  and hit Enter to rename your damaged desktop.ini file.
  4. Type "exit"  to restart into Windows. Now, we need to extract a good copy of the Desktop.ini file from your Windows 98 install files.
  5. Click Start | Run, then type "sfc (Ssystem File Checker)"  and click OK.
  6. Click "Extract one file from installation disk," and in the "Specify the system file you would like to restore" box type "C:\Windows\Fonts\Desktop.ini" .
  7. Click Start, and in the "Restore From" box, click Browse. Now browse to your Windows 98 CD or to your Cab files.
  8. Close out SFC
  9. All that is left is to restart Windows.

One of these fixes should repair your missing Install New Font menu item,

Move over I need more space! Clear your Hard Drive of clutter.

We have covered this many times before, but the number of recent emails concerning disk storage and backups seems to indicate that some of you have a need of some simple refreshers. In that light, use these tips to take care of the clutter without breaking the budget. They will work with all versions of Windows. Before you start loading me up with tons of email; Yes, I know about Disk Cleanup, but like most of the recent Microsoft utilities it is horribly restricted. To coin a phrase...the road to Linux is strewn with Windowsphiles.

Temporary files to delete

All programs and operating systems create temporary files on the hard drive in the course of their work.  In theory Windows should tidy up after itself, in practice being a Microsoft product, there’s small and large files left all over the drive.

These temporary files can add up to a lot of space that’s easily reclaimed.

To find them open a Search window (Start | Search | Files or Folders) and look for files as follows:

            Any ending with .bak   (*.bak)

            Any ending in .tmp (*.tmp)

            Any starting with ~   (~*.*)

You can find them all at once by separating the file masks with a comma:


Click on Search Now and wait for the complete list of files to appear (it may take a few minutes).

Any files dated today or even yesterday may be temporary files still in use so leave them alone.  To find the older files click on the ‘Date’ column to sort the searched files list in date order with the most recent at the top.  Then select a file dated BEFORE today, hold down the Shift key while hitting End – this will select all the rest of the files to the bottom of the list.  Once selected press Delete.  

You may get an error if one of the selected files is in use – don’t panic.   Just repeat the search and delete older files first.  Repeat this process until you’ve narrowed down the list of temporary files to recent ones or those that won’t delete.

Finally right click on the recycle bin on your desktop and choose ‘Empty Recycle Bin’ to ensure the disk space is immediately available.

When I last tried this step alone I recovered 112MB on my hard drive – enough to keep working but there’s other options if you need more space.

The ‘TEMP’ folders

Chances are you have at least two folders for temporary files in addition to the temp files left all over your computer.  If these folders exists try to delete the contents but not the folders themselves. Many of the files will be old stuff long forgotten probably from old software installations. As with temp files, there may be recent files still in use that can’t be deleted.

Folders to look for:

Temporary Internet Files

Internet Explorer keeps copies of web pages, images etc so it can display them again more quickly.  By default, these temporary copies can use up 100MB or more of disk space.  Usually this is space well used but in an emergency it can be recovered.

Open IE choose Tools | Internet Options and choose ‘Delete Files’, choose ‘Delete offline content’ then OK.  Deletion will occur in the background and may take a few minutes to complete.

Do NOT delete cookies!  Despite all the bad press, cookies make your web browsing much easier with automatic login and preferences for web sites.  If you delete cookies recklessly you may find yourself wasting time re-configuring web sites or worse, madly trying to remember login and password details.  You won’t save a lot of disk space deleting cookies anyway so leave them alone.

Compress Files 1

If you are running Windows XP, 2000 or NT with NTFS on the hard drive you have the choice to compress files or folders.  They are still available to you like any other file on the hard drive.  Windows uncompresses the file automatically if you need it.   The compression isn’t as tight as ZIP or RAR but will suffice for many purposes.

As always with compression, some files compress better than others.  Documents and databases compress the best.  Files in the /Windows folders don’t compress as well in addition these regularly used files will slow down your computer if compressed.

I normally target the /Documents and Settings folder for compression.  Open Explorer and find that folder, right mouse click, click on Advanced and choose ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ click OK and, most important, when prompted choose ‘Apply changes to this folder, sub-folders and files’.

Once Windows has finished compression you’ll see on the screen the different sizes for file size and amount of disk space used.

Compress Files 2

Even more disk space can be saved by moving files to a compressed file.  These files aren’t quite as readily available but the disk space saved is much greater – especially for databases (*.MDB for Access users).

Most people use WinZIP which is quite good and ZIP has the advantage of being integrated into Windows XP so ZIP files appear as folders.  For beginner users ZIP is the way to go.

I prefer WinRAR – RAR has given impressive compression since the old DOS days.  To get the best compression choose ‘Best’ compression and also ‘Solid’ from the WinRAR options.  I usually choose ‘Delete files after archiving’ to recover disk space automatically.

RAR has much tighter compression – 5 to 10% better especially for multiple files.   An RAR ‘solid’ archive treats all the files as a single stream so you get compression between files – ZIP compresses within each file but ignores replication across files (as often happens with similar documents).

TIP:  WinRAR lets you create ‘self-extracting’ archives that are very handy for moving to another computer and extracting without installing WinRAR on the target computer.

One type of files that are good for compression are Microsoft Word backup files.   Look for *.WBK files in your ‘My Documents’ folder and sub-folders.   Pack them into a ZIP or RAR archive and delete the originals.

Other options are sub-folders off ‘My Documents’ that you don’t immediately need (eg old projects).  Anything with databases is a good candidate for ZIP or RAR compression.

When you have enough disk space back in the office you can easily uncompress the files back to their original place.

Remove Programs

Go to Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs and look down the list.  Chances are there are programs there you don’t need.

Things you have back at the office

If really desperate you can look for large files that you know for sure you have backup copies of.

For me this means music, video and picture files.

My music and video files, most, if not all, are copies of those back at the ranch.

Do You Have Double Vision In Right Click Context Menu?

Q. Suddenly I'm getting double entries in the context menu when I right-click on an item on the Microsoft Windows 98 SE desktop. The only thing I did recently was use Xteq's X-Setup tweaker to get rid of the overlay arrow on shortcuts.

A. The X-Setup utility is the culprit. It got rid of the overlay arrow by modifying the shortcut file type. This action has unpleasant side effects, including your doubled menu items. Use X-Setup to restore the overlay arrow. If you can't do that, launch REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile. Right-click in the right-hand pane, choose New | String value, and create an empty string value named IsShortcut.

The better way to remove the arrow is to replace it with a transparent icon, as the Tweak UI utility does. Windows 98 SE doesn't include Tweak UI, but you can download the utility as part of the free (and support-free) Microsoft PowerToys utility collection. Your favorite download site should have this collection.

Search From Quick launch bar
If you want to have Quick Launch bar access to Windows 98's useful Start | Find | Files Or Folders option, try this simple procedure:
1. Click Start | Find | Files Or Folders.
2. Click File | Save Search and a desktop icon named All Files will be created.
3. Drag-and-drop this icon to the Quick Launch bar.
To perform a search, just click the icon in the Quick Launch bar

Low Windows System Resources - A Refresher

If your system resourses dip belwo 40 percent free system resources. You may experience crashes or other problems if you do not have sufficent system resources. We recommend that you try to keep free system resources above 40 percent. More background on this problem is provided below.

About System Resources

Windows has a special area of memory called system resources that it uses to keep track of important information for user interface items such as windows, icons, buttons, menus, and toolbars. The system resources memory area is a fixed size, and does not get bigger no matter how much main memory you install. A system with 32MB of memory has the same size resource area as one with 256MB of memory.

Each application you run requires some of those system resources. The more applications that you have running, the more system resources you will need to use. The amount required by an application can vary widely; some need only 1 or 2 percent, others need 10 or 20 percent. When free system resources drop below 20 percent, Windows can start to behave strangely. You may get error messages, crashes, or programs just quietly refuse to open dialogs or windows. For some resource-hungry programs, resource-related problems can occur at even higher-levels of free resources.


We recommend that you try to keep free resources above 40 percent. To check your PCs current value for free resources:

A freshly booted Windows system with nothing running should generally have 80 percent or more of its system resources free. If your number is significantly lower, it is usually due to applications that have been started automatically. See below for instruction on changing start up programs. For a complete test of your system, including system resource, check out PCWorld.com's associated site, PC/Pitstop - its free.

If an application crashes or it is not programmed correctly, it may not return all the system resources when you close it. This is called resource leakage. There is no easy way to recover leaked resources; you must reboot the PC to get them back. (Well, I guess you could call that easy, it's just not very convenient.)

Manual Fix

Changing StartUp Programs

By clearing the check boxes one at a time and rebooting your system, you can see which ones are using significant system resources.

You can always come back and re-check the boxes in MSCONFIG if you later change your mind.

Retrieve Deleted File?

Q. I managed to delete a needed Word document. Not only that, I have emptied the Recycle Bin and defragged since the dumb delete. Any chance of getting the document back? I'm using Win 98. As expected in such circumstances, no recent back up of the document or recent print out. Please save the 'you shudda backed-up comments'--I know I shudda.

A: As long as it wasn't overwritten (which might have happened during defrag) you could use Drive Rescue to find and restore the file; download from http://www.webattack.com/Freeware/system/fwdisktools.shtml . There are a number of other undelete programs that you might try if this one doesn't work.

If Drive Rescue didn't work, the file was probably overwritten and in that case, we are out of luck....Sorry.

I know this won't help you on this case, but if you create a simple batch file, you can automatically backup your valuable data. Please see, Backing Up With Windows XP "Home Version", Is Hard To Do. Not to worry, batch files have been around sense Windows 1.0 and you can use them in all current versions of Windows.

The Share Name Was Not Found
Windows 98/ME

If you receive an error message telling you: The Share Name Was Not Found; Be Sure You Typed It Correctly, you probably double-clicked on My Documents and the folder did not open. The cause lies in the computer's networking capabilities; if the folder has been redirected as a network shared resource that renders it unavailable, the folder will not open. If you're connected to a network at work, notify the system administrator. Another way to work around this problem is to right-click the My Documents icon, select Properties. Then, on the Sharing tab, change the location from a network-shared resource to a local folder.

Q. Win98 Boots Up in DOS
I have Win98 and it used to boot up my desktop in GUI but now it boots up in DOS with a C prompt. Why is that? How can i make it boot back up with my regular desktop?

A. See the following Microsoft  Knowledge Base articles:

The last article deals with how to make Windows boot into DOS by default. The line that reads BootGUI in the msdos.sys file should be BootGUI=1 for a GUI interface (normal Windows) and BootGUI=0 for a DOS startup. Make sure that the BootGUI line in your msdos.sys file reads BootGUI=1. Edit the line accordingly.

Here is how:

  1. Open Windows Explorer (explorer.exe)

  2. On the Root Drive (C:\>) find MsDos.sys

  3. Right click on MsDos.sys

  4. Choose Properties from the context menu

  5. Uncheck, Read Only

  6. Edit your MsDOS.sys in Notepad to add the line described above.

  7. Be sure to save before exiting

  8. Return to Windows Explorer and right click on the MsDOS.sys file and choose Properties again

  9. Check mark the Read Only attribute

Running Scanreg Automatically

Q: It seems that some kind, well meaning jerk (could that be me?) went into the registry and deleted the entries to have Scanreg run every time on startup. No big deal, right? Sure, I can run it manually, but it's really not the same. Can you point my nose in the right direction on what registry entry to make to get it to run again?

A: In Windows 98 and Me, Scanreg checks the integrity of your registry on bootup and makes a backup copy of the registry which you can use to recover from disaster. In fact, there are two versions of the program: Scanregw.exe is a protected mode Windows program that runs when you load Windows. It checks the registry for errors and makes a backup of four important system files: user.dat, system.dat, win.ini and system.ini. Scanregw also helps prevent registry bloat by compressing the registry to recover space from deleted entries.

If Scanregw finds a problem with the registry, it doesn't do a repair job itself. Instead, it prompts you to restart your computer and hands the job of fixing the registry (or restoring it from a previous version) over to its DOS, real-mode counterpart, Scanreg.exe. (We have talked about the supercharged DOS version of ScanReg before. The DOS versions have a ton for fixes which are undreamed of in Scanregw.exe Want to learn how to use this utility? Check out an older article here for it's use and how you can get to it. Hint, it ain't through Windows)

Usually Scanregw.exe runs when Windows starts. If it doesn't, there are two possible reasons: You may have deleted the registry key, called ScanRegistry, which controls Scanreg's operation; or there may be a problem with the scanreg.ini file, which contains Scanreg options.

To fix scanreg.ini:

  1. Locate scanreg.ini (it should be in the \Windows folder) and open it in Notepad. Or do this:
    1. Click start | Run | Type:
    2. Hit the enter key or press okay. Scanreg.ini will open in a Notepad windows.
  2. Look for the line
  3. Backup=
    and make sure it reads:

  4. Close and save the file.

If there's no problem in scanreg.ini, then you may well have deleted the registry key which automates the process. To get it back, you'll need to edit the registry (Warning! Warning! Don't do this if you don't know what you're doing!):

  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Double-click down through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Run.
  3. Within the Run key, right-click in the right-hand pane and select New, String Value.
  4. Name the value ScanRegistry.
  5. Double-click the new ScanRegistry value to edit it and enter the following data value:

C:\Windows\Scanregw.exe /autorun

then exit the Registry Editor.

Closing Windows
Pet Peeves Below for more:
freeware & Shareware Fixes
See, the
Java Fix
Hate the picture dance? Try this fix

How can I solve the problem of browser windows popping up in rapid succession no matter how quickly I try to close them? Fighting these things is like a Whac-A-Mole game with annoying windows instead of moles!

Most Web sites want to sell you something. (Sorry, kids--it's the cold, hard truth.) If the site itself doesn't have a product to hawk, it's sure as shootin' got a slew of banner ads or pop-up windows clogging your screen, if only to support the cost of the site. Take a gander at these irritating ad ploys and some even trickier remedies.

Fixes: ban the banners
The answer lies either in your browser or in a free download called Webwasher, which stops your browser from loading most banner ads. With Webwasher, all you get is a site's content and none of the bandwidth-hogging images, shortening your page-loading time. If you have a fast DSL or cable connection, you probably don't care, but this trick saves anyone using a modem tons of time.

You can also stop your browser from loading any image on any page--banners, graphics, photos, and all. In Internet Explorer, click Tools • Internet Options and the Advanced tab. Scroll down the list to Multimedia and uncheck the box next to Show Pictures. In Netscape, click Edit • Preferences and Advanced in the dialog box that opens. Uncheck the box next to Automatically Load Images. Having your browser refuse to load images will definitely speed up your browsing experience but will also remove some of the best aspects of the Web. Use this option sparingly.

There are some shareware and freeware as well as pay for play tools you can also use:
Pop-up ads are the Web's most ubiquitous irritant, hands down. (Pop-up technology is also used to create the porn windows mentioned earlier.) They're everywhere. Promotional Web sites such as the one for rapper Eminem and even seemingly innocuous sites such as ESPN.com fill your screen with pop-up windows that carry ads, sign-up boxes, or surveys. An excess of pop-ups can even crash your browser; witness GhostCity.com, which, luckily, lets you press any key to kill the hundreds of windows it spews onto your screen. So, can you get rid of pop-ups?

Fixes: stop the madness
Happily, pop-up windows are the easiest Web peeve to kill. Enter C|Net.com's favorite remedy, CrushPop 2000, a free program that stops pop-up windows from opening in the first place by recognizing their code and blocking it. Plus, if you find a site with pop-ups that you want to avoid in the future, CrushPop blocks the entire site by avoiding those with keywords, titles, or URLs that you specify. CrushPop isn't alone. You'll find hundreds of shareware and freeware programs that do the same thing; just cruise CNET Download.com. If you're up for fiddling with your browser, you can also kill pop-ups by disabling the JavaScript controls in your browser.  Pop-up-killing software is somewhat less disruptive, however, because some sites, such as Hotmail, rely on JavaScript to run properly.

Pet Peeves

Entrapment schemes
Most Webmasters want their sites to be "sticky," marketing-speak for a page that keeps you interested for a long time (long enough to buy something). Tricks designed to keep you trapped on one site are among the most obnoxious on the Web. We found two common sticky wickets, plus the best ways to break free.

Peeve: the bunk Back button
It goes like this: You're surfing, you hit a Web site that doesn't really interest you and click your browser's Back button to return to a previous page. But--zounds!--you end up right back on the page you were trying to leave. That's because some clever Web designer programmed the URL to redirect you back to his or her page when you click the Back button. Surf through this Sony Web site, as an example (after you read the fixes, of course). You're supposed to say, "Aw, heck. I'm stuck. Might as well have a look around." (Note to clever Web designers: Not likely.) This particular peeve seems to be a relatively new phenomenon or maybe just egregious enough to be rare.

Fix: give it the runaround
There are two solutions for the fix you're in. First, try quickly clicking your Back button two or three times. Often, this bypasses the redirect command and takes you back to your original site. If you stumble across a particularly stubborn Back button, click and hold the little downward-pointing arrow just to the right of the button. Scroll down the pop-up list to the last site you visited and let go.

Peeve: the XXX-rated explosion
For decency's sake, we can't link to any examples of this particular peeve. But you've all seen them. You're visiting a normal site or surfing through search results, when suddenly, browser windows full of porn ads flood your screen. They usually open faster than you can close them, and, like the heads of a Hydra, once you close one, another sprouts up in its place. Not a good time for the boss to walk by! What to do?

Fix: shut those windows
This peeve is the result of a JavaScript program running on the offending Web site that launches repeated windows. Some errant code actually gives you illegal operation errors when you try to close the new windows, so quitting your browser entirely is often the best fix for this scourge.

If you're lucky, however, you may be able to stop the attack before you're forced to quit. If you use Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, hold down Alt-F4 to kill the new windows before they have a chance to run the code that launches more windows. Unfortunately, Netscape users don't have this option. If you want to avoid launching those wicked windows in the first place, Internet Explorer users can click Tools • Internet Options and the Advanced tab. Scroll down to Java Virtual Machine and uncheck the boxes next to Java Console Enabled and Java Logging Enabled. In Netscape 4.0 and later, click Edit • Preferences and Advanced in the dialog box that opens. Uncheck the boxes next to Enable Java and Enable JavaScript. Unfortunately, some sites, including Hotmail, need Java to run properly.

You receive an "Out of Memory" Error Message

If you receive an error message telling you that you are out of memory, then you have too many programs open and not enough memory to handle them. Closing the programs which you are not using should remedy the situation, but this often doesn't give your system all of its memory back. It should, however, give you enough memory to shut down the computer and start again. After you restart your computer, check on the status of your resources before you begin opening programs by right-clicking the My Computer icon on your Desktop and selecting Properties. Click the Performance tab and review the available system resources. If you discover that your system is low on resources and you want to use this feature, you may have to shut down all other open programs or upgrade your computer's memory.

For other error messages be sure to check out:
Bohunky0 Explains Windows Error Messages

Correct Drive Path Errors

Warning: This tip is only for the most advanced users. Tweaking the Registry is very risky. Always back up the Registry before you make any changes. If you've installed a CD-ROM at a different drive letter location than the one you presently use, you can use the Registry to correct the problem. For example, if you've added another hard drive to your system and your CD-ROM drive is now labeled as E: rather than D:, your system will still look for the installation files at drive D:. Because it continues to access drive D:, you will have to repeatedly tell your system to check the new drive letter location. This is because the installation is linked to the Registry key at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Micro soft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup,

which contains all the paths that uses. Find the one that is in error, and change it to your correct drive letter.

A Custom Network Neighborhood

Network Neighborhood can be a vast and confusing place. When you double-click on the Entire Network icon, you see dozens or even hundreds of servers. You can't drag your own shortcuts into Network Neighborhood, but there is a secret, undocumented way to add useful shortcuts to network resources you use frequently, including mapped drives, servers, folders, printers, and even files. Open the NetHood folder. On a default Windows 98 installation without user profiles, you'll find this folder at C:\Windows\NetHood; if you've set up user profiles, look for your personal NetHood folder at C:\Windows\Profiles\ (substituting your username, of course). Now browse through Network Neighborhood, find the resources you use most often, and drag them to your NetHood folder. The next time you open Network Neighborhood- from the desktop or from a common dialog box- all your resources will be available.

Q. Hey Bo,,,,,,,, I'm using a Compaq Pressario with Windows98. Now, when I go to save something on 3 1/2" disk, I get a message telling me to "put a disk in". There will be  a disk in! I keep hitting "retry" but it keeps telling me there is no disk. But all the while this is going on, I can see the little green light for the "A" drive lighting up so it is working. If I go to "My Computer" , with a partially used disk inserted, I'll open My Computer, click on properties, and it'll show the disk as full, (which it isn't). If I click on "open", it'll tell me to insert a disk in drive "A". If I try to format a disk, it'll tell me to insert a disk in drive "A". Like I said, it looks as though the actual mechanics of it is working because all the while I'm playing around with it, the little green light will come on like it is actually doing something. It's just that it wont save or open anything with the floppy. Any ideas?
Thanks,,,,,, Bill

A. This seems to be a common occurrence with Compaq Presario models. There are several things which may cause this problem, but I suspect, from what you have told me, that it is a mapping problem or an MS-DOS mode driver problem. Check out the two steps below to be sure. I think the second method will probably be the one, most likely, which will render success, but we had better cover all bases just to be sure.

Method 1
Start Windows in Safe mode and try to access the floppy disk drive. To start Windows 98 in Safe mode, restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key after your computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), and then choose Safe Mode from the Startup menu.

If you can access the floppy disk drive, follow these steps:

  1. Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then click Properties on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Double-click Floppy Disk Controllers.
  4. Click the floppy disk controller for the drive you are having problems with, then click Properties.
  5. In Windows 98, click the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box to select it.
  6. This disables the Windows protected-mode driver for the floppy disk drive controller.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Restart Windows normally.

If you can access the floppy disk drive successfully after following the above steps, the following conditions may be true:

If you still cannot access the floppy disk drive after following steps 1-7, follow these steps:

Method II

  1. Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then click Properties on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Double-click Floppy Disk Controllers.
  4. Click the floppy disk controller, and then click Remove to remove the controller.
  5. Click OK.
  6. In Control Panel, double-click Add New Hardware.
  7. Click Next, and then click Yes to allow Windows to detect the hardware in your computer.

When the Add New Hardware Wizard is finished, restart the computer and try to access the floppy disk drive again. Redetecting the floppy disk controller should resolve any addressing problems with the controller by detecting the correct address range. If the floppy disk controller is not detected correctly, there may be a problem with the floppy disk controller. If the floppy disk controller is redetected but you still cannot access the floppy disk drive, there may be a problem with the floppy disk or with the disk drive itself

Before giving up on the disk or the disk drive, try the following if none of the above works out for you:

Damaged Disks
Use the following steps to check for a damaged disk:

  1. Use a disk utility (such as ScanDisk) to test the disk for damage.

    NOTE: Do not use a non-Windows 98-aware disk utility on DMF disks. Non-Windows 98-aware disk utilities can damage DMF disks. The Windows ScanDisk tool recognizes and does not damage DMF disks.
  2. Type the following command at an MS-DOS command prompt (Click start | Run | Type - command | hit the enter key or click okay)

    copy < drive > \*.* nul

    where <drive> is the floppy disk drive you are having problems with. For example, if you are having problems with drive A, insert a disk you are having problems with in drive A and type the following command:

    copy a:\*.* nul

This command copies the files on the disk to a null device. If there is a problem copying the files, error messages appear on the screen. This means that the disk is being recognized but the data on the disk is not. In this case we can rule out the Drive itself and pretty much conclude that the disk is damaged. They do degrade over time.

The CMOS -complementary metal oxide semiconductor-A chip which requires less power than normal hard surfaced silicon conductors > Bo factoid

This one is a long short, but in some cases it happens.

The CMOS is based on your BIOS - Basic Input Output System and offers pre GUI (General User Interface=windows) and has advanced control over basic system components. Geek speak for it tells your operating system what is available and connected to the mother board.

It is in the BIOS setup that your system first discovers it has a 3.5 inch disk removable drive. If all else fails, check this out before taking a more drastic step of replacing your floppy dire.

Most Presario's require you to initiate the setup before the power on self test. Check your documentation to be sure, [Other systems may involve a combination of keys such as Shft+S, or by hitting the Del key - check your machines documentation if you aren't sure] but in the ones I am aquatinted with you need to watch your screen, when you first turn on your system. The COMPAQ logo appears and the curser flicker is at the left of the screen. When it enters the right of the screen press your F10 key to open the BIOS. You will need to check to see if the 3.5 A Drive is enabled. If it is, for whatever reason, disabled, just enable it and save your changes and exit. Documentation on the BIOS setup methods should either be available to you in your computer's documentation or you can view it once you enter setup.

Warning: Be very careful what you change in this system. This is the heart of your machine and an error could prove disastrous, though the BIOS settings in Compaq are woefully inadequate and you shouldn't have any trouble.

If none of these work for you there isn't much else I can tell you other than your removable disk drive may be shot. Lets hope not eh? Though you needn't worry, they are really cheap right now about $15 or so plus shipping and handling and yes you can install them yourself.

DMF High Density Disks

It could be that it is the difference in disk setups. For example if you exchange a 1.4 HD disk for a 1.68 DMF density disk. See the following Microsoft Knowledgebase article:


Eliminating Shortcut Arrows

Q: When a shortcut is created on the Desktop, the icon includes a small arrow in a white box in the lower left corner of the icon. How do I get rid of that little arrow?

A: There are two ways to do this, either by using TweakUI or by editing the registry.

I prefer to use TweakUI, which is part of Microsoft's 'unofficial' kit of goodies called Powertoys. If you don't have the Powertoys, you should - there are some incredibly useful tools in the collection.

If you have TweakUI, to remove the arrow on shortcut icons:

  1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel and double-click TweakUI.
  2. Click the Explorer tab.
  3. In the Shortcut Overlay section, select the type of arrow you'd like or None to remove the arrow completely, and click OK.

If, for some reason, you don't want to use TweakUI, you can edit the Registry to remove the shortcut. Be warned, though, that this Registry tweak may have side effects. Personally, I don't recommend it. One known side effect is that if you use Office 2000 and implement this change, you'll get an error when you access a shortcut to a folder which contains other shortcuts.

If you still want to use the Registry tweak, make sure you back up your Registry (I'm not going to tell you how to do that here - if you don't know how, you should definitely not be playing with this tweak). Then open the Registry Editor and navigate to:


and remove the IsShortcut value. Do the same with:


Then restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Max Memory in Windows
PROBLEM: I recently read that Windows 98 Second Edition can recognize only 128MB of RAM, and that purchasing more memory is not productive. Is this true?

SOLUTION: No. It's an urban legend. From time to time you'll see postings claiming that Windows 98, SE, ME, NT, 2000 (take your pick) can recognize only 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, or who-knows-how-many megabytes of memory. In fact, all modern versions of Windows can handle 2GB of memory-far more than most of us are likely to encounter in the foreseeable future.

There's one minor gotcha, though: A bug in Windows 95, 98, SE, and ME crops up if you have more than 512MB of memory installed. The part of Windows that moves files in and out of the main computer sets aside enough memory so it can work with big files, and if the amount of available memory is large, the memory chunk that's set aside is large, too. Unfortunately, if the amount of available memory is huge—more than 512MB-the file—handling routines can grab so much memory that nothing is left for more mundane functions. Paradoxically, if Windows hits this bug, it may report the problem to you by saying "There is not enough memory available to run this program. Quit one or more programs, and then try again." Or it may hang completely.

To warn Windows that you have more than 512MB of memory installed, add the following line to the [VCache] section of your win.ini file: MaxFileCache = 524288.

Do you allow your computer to take naps? Here is some info on Hibernation.

Monitor your monitor. When you can see something on the screen, that may mean it's turned on. Of course, it could also mean that your little brother just wanted to share his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When you can't see anything on your screen, that may mean it's turned on. No, I didn't make a typo. Sometimes your computer's most essential output device is in a state of suspension. Most newer (SVGA) monitors are smart enough to know when you're not using them after a set period of time. So how can you set that period? Open up the Power applet in your Control Panel. From there, you can choose if and when your screen can be turned off (without having to manually flip a switch). I've been asked if it's okay to leave a monitor in this state. Sure it is, but to save even more power, I'd suggest turning it off overnight (or if you don't plan on using your system a few hours). So, what about the rest of your computer? "Suspend," "Standby," and "Sleep" are terms you may have heard on various occasions. They're all related to power management (and each is associated with a different degree of energy savings). Sometimes, though, you'll discover that your PC doesn't like to take naps. Your system may not work properly after it's awakened or... it may simply refuse to wake up at all. If this is the case, consider turning off system-wide energy saving features (or adjusting the level at which your computer hibernates). This stuff is usually managed through the Power icon in your Control Panel, by the way

Depending on your system, you may also get to this feature through the Display icon under the tab Screen Saver | Settings.

Make use of the numeric keypad in windows Explorer

It's been a while since we've covered that number pad thingy. Look on the right side of your keyboard. Go ahead, I'll wait. Okay, did you notice anything special in the top row? Probably not. Take a look again (but be quicker this time -- I've got a steak on the grill). There's an asterisk! Sure, you could hold onto SHIFT and press the 8 key to produce the same character, but... one key is always easier to tap than two. But wait -- there's more! Open up your Windows Explorer and put the cursor's focus into the Folders pane. Don't have a Folders pane on the left side? Turn it on by clicking View | Explorer Bar | Folders. Or, ya know... click the Folders icon in Explorer's toolbar. Now, let's say you wanna see all the subfolders of your Windows folder. Select it in the left (Folders) pane first, then tap that asterisk. Just like pulling a rabbit out of a hat (albeit, with much less fur). And even though we covered it a few months ago, you can use another key-combo to resize field widths when your Explorer view is set to Details. Hold onto CTRL and tap the plus sign on your numeric keypad. Ah, each column is optimized for the longest data string within it.

Send To

Like a sugared-up kid in FAO Schwarz, I'm all about toys. PowerToys, that is. The "Send To X" powertoy provides you with several additional options for handling files. Don't have it? Search for "Send To Powertoy" on MICROSOFT.COM. Sending information to the clipboard can be enhanced by using a hidden feature within this Send To menu add-on. Right-click a file and hold down the CTRL key when you select the "Clipboard as Contents" option. Up will pop a list of file types which will affect how the data is handled in the clipboard (and ultimately the apps into which the information is pasted). The same technique can be used for the "Send To Clipboard as Name" option. Holding down the CTRL key in this instance causes the filename to be copied to the clipboard as its short (DOS 8.3) formatted name. With all of the options on that SendTo menu now, it might be getting a bit crowded. Make your way to the SendTo folder, then create a new folder (or two) into which you can move existing options! In Windows 9x, the SendTo menu is usually located in C:\ Windows \ SendTo -- and can be quickly accessed by tapping WIN+R and entering "SENDTO" . Windows 2k houses the folder within the individual user's profile directory.

Send To Tip Bonus
Once in a while, a hard copy of a folder's contents is required. Maybe you want to keep a list of files handy for future reference? Or, perhaps you care to keep a detailed list of what's stashed away on that Zip disk. No need for special tools, since a simple batch file will do the trick. Create a new text file in your favorite text editor and enter / paste the following: "@dir /a %1 > lpt1" . Save the file as DIRPRINT.BAT in your SendTo folder. Now, when you right-click on a folder, you can send it right to this batch file. On to the printer its list of contents will march. You can also add the "/s" switch to the command to include subfolders, but keep in mind that this may tax your inkwell. You could end up burning through an entire ream of paper (or three) if you're not careful!

I recently had to reformat and reload my system and apps. In the process I have lost Send to any folder. Is there a way I can get this back? Sure, Here is how:

First, Read the warning information on the Microsoft Power Toys:
Send To...Any Folder is one of my favorite tools so I understand your missing it.   It is part of the Windows PowerToys from Microsoft.  I'm still baffled it hasn't been added to the shipping operating system.  You can download the Power Toys for Windows 9x and Me from the Microsoft site - the SendTo extensions should work with Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000.  (The latest version of TweakUI, another Power Toy is elsewhere on the Microsoft site). Before you download this from the Microsoft site, First, Read the warning information on the Microsoft Power Toys:

Warning: These toys are said by Microsoft to be for Windows 95 only..and that is essentially true. However, you can add the Send to any folder command by right clicking on the downloaded *.INF* file and selecting Install from the context menu. Do not apply any of the power toys to Windows 98 or Me that may negate supported files which these two operating systems already support. Remember, these power toys are not supported by Microsoft.

Stop a VBS (Visual Basic Script) attack in it's tracks with this tip

Discovered this gem on a News Group. Not my tip, but it is a good one. Try it.

Most users rarely need to run Visual Basic, so here's an easy way to block viruses that rely on scripts. Using Notepad, create a text file called TEMP.VBS and save it to the Desktop. Hold down the Shift key, right-click on the new icon, select "Open with," and click Notepad. Finally, check "Always use this program to open this type of file." Now, if you try to open a potentially dangerous attachment, it opens in Notepad and doesn't run. If you need to run the script, save it to your computer, then drag and drop it onto Internet Explorer.

PROBLEM: You are curious about Microsoft's free Internet Connection Sharing, or ICS, feature that lets you share one Internet connection among multiple PCs.

SOLUTION: ICS is built into Windows 98 SE, Millennium, and 2000. There are several good resources for ICS. Check out the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Description of Internet Connection Sharing
which describes ICS and links to other popular Knowledge Base articles about ICS. Also visit Practically Networked's ICS How To Center for explanations, tips, tricks, cool tools, and walk-throughs (http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?104149:3802671).

Troubleshooting Video Problems in Windows

"Video problems that occur when Windows is started normally, but do not occur when Windows is started in Safe mode are usually related to the display driver that Windows is attempting to use. To determine whether you are using a Windows 3.1, or Windows 95/98/Me video driver, follow these steps: Use any text editor (such as Notepad) to open the System.ini file in the Windows folder. In the [Boot] section, search for the "Display=" line. If this line reads anything other than the following line, the driver you are using is designed for Windows 3.1 (or an earlier version of Windows): Display.drv=Pnpdrvr.drv"
View this Microsoft Knowledgebase Article to see how to make repairs:

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Make it work for you. Two computers, one phone line...need I say more? Interested? I thought you might be!

Connecting multiple computers to the Internet through a single connection requires the help of some sort of intelligent routing in order to keep things in order and flowing nicely. Windows 98SE introduced the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service that can be used to share a single dialin or LAN/Broadband Internet connection. Configuring the services isn't terribly difficult, but really making it sing takes a bit more effort. Practically Networked has compiled a set of resources and instructions for installing and configuring ICS on Windows 98SE/ME or Windows 2000 Pro. Also covered are more advanced topics like registry configurations and implementing port mapping.


PROBLEM: When working in Windows you often come across file extensions that leave you scratching your head wondering just what program created or uses that file.

SOLUTION: Often it's the file extension characters that are your only clue as to what application is (or should be) associated with a given file. The Almost Every File Format in the World page lists
hundreds of file extensions and what the extension signifies (http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?100259:3802671).


PROBLEM: Ten-digit dialing has come to your local calling area and all the dialing settings in Windows 98 are no longer working.

SOLUTION: In Windows 98, go to the Control Panel and select Telephony. On the Dialing Properties tab, click Area Code Rules. In the dialog box select; "always dial 10 digits" (located at the top). In Windows Millennium Edition, double-click Dial-up Networking in Control Panel, select the connection you need to change, right-click, and then turn on the Area Code rules check box. When that is checked, the connection will dial the area code.

Uninstall Problems (95,98 Me)
Sometimes, Windows 95, 98, and Me can experience all kinds of problems when you're attempting to uninstall a program. Let's talk about the five ways you can uninstall a program:

1) Go out and just delete the files from your hard drive.
- This is a BAD solution. There are literally hundreds of places that any program can keep files, registry entries, and such -- and there is no way to tell what kind of damage would be done by simply deleting these files.

2) Use the program's uninstall procedure.
- Many programs now come with their own uninstall program that will quickly and effortlessly (yeah, right) remove programs from your computer. The problem? Many of these programs simply don't do a complete job.

3) Reinstall the program!
- Yup! You heard me correctly. Sometimes the easiest way to uninstall a pesky program is to reinstall it, then remove it using its own software (or combine this method with #4).

4) Use the Add/Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel.
- This is a standard Windows removal tool that actually does a fairly decent job of removing programs from your hard drive.

5) Use a third-party removal tool.
- A third party tool (such as Norton Uninstall or Clean Sweep) will be extremely thorough in removing programs. Some software will detect 'orphans,' which are programs to which there is no connection.

How to Change the Default AutoSearch Search Page


"This article describes how to change the default AutoSearch search page without having to install the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). The AutoSearch feature enables you to conduct a search directly from the Address box in Internet Explorer or the Address toolbar in Windows 98 and Windows 2000 by typing "go," "find," or "?" (without quotation marks), followed by the topic you want. For example, typing "? mountain bikes" (without quotation marks) automatically searches the Internet for information about mountain bikes. By default, Windows uses a random search engine to perform your search. If you want to specify a particular search engine, you can do so by using the IEAK or by editing the registry."

CD-ROM Problems And Windows 98
Many people have reported a problem with their CD-ROM drives after installing Windows 98. Many CD-ROMS are dual channel IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) devices. Windows has a special setting you need to set in order to accommodate these devices. Try this fix if you experience the problem:

- Select Start, Settings, and Control Panel; then double-click System
- Select the Device Manager tab
- Double-click the Hard Disk Controllers branch to expand it, select your IDE controller, and then select Properties
- Select the Settings tab
- In the Dual IDE Channel Settings box, select Both IDE Channels Enabled, and then click OK (2 times), and restart your computer

My Computer Locks Up When In Suspend!
This is a little known bug in Windows 98 that causes the computer to hang when it is in suspend. You get this bug, believe it or not, when a drive letter is lower case in the SYSTEM.INI. You can fix this by doing the following:

- Select Start, Run, type msconfig in the Open: box, then press OK
- Select the System.ini tab
- Click the + sign next to the [386Enh] section to expand it
- Select the line PagingFile= and click Edit
- Change the lowercase drive letter to uppercase
- Click Apply, then OK
- When prompted, restart your computer

Got That Disconnected Feeling?
Does your modem sometimes suddenly disconnect for no real reason? If so, try this:

- Go to Modems in Control Panel (Start - Settings - Control Panel)
- From Modems select Properties, select the Connection Tab, then click the Advanced button
- In the Extra settings dialogue box, enter S10=50; this will force the modem to stay connected without a carrier for up to 5 seconds.
- Disconnect annoying modem settings

No Access to Windows Update [Requires editing the System Registry]

Some PC makers choose to restrict access to the Windows Update site, preferring that your downloads come from the manufacturer versus from Microsoft. The problem is that instead of routing this feature to a useful page on the OEM's site, they leave you with a cryptic error message that informs you that your system administrator will have the answers you seek. Even if they did route you to their own site, I haven't seen an OEM yet that allows you to download all of the service packs, browser updates and security fixes that Windows continually needs, so in my opinion, their narrow-mindedness in this regard is more of a detriment to users than a benefit, regardless of their support policies. Thankfully, a spot of registry house cleaning can give you back your Windows Update. Simply proceed to the following keys and delete all of the values contained except the Default value.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsUpdate \ LocalURL

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsUpdate \ RemoteURL

What to do when Windows/Update.com doesn't want to work for you.

Click on the Start button, select the Run option, and in the field, enter: "regsvr32 wupdinfo.dll" . This will hopefully fix the flub. If not, you may be forced to manually apply timely updates to your operating system.

Lock Netmeeting RDS Setting

Microsoft's NetMeeting has a Remote Desktop Sharing capability that can be used by help desks to gain remote control of users' PCs. This is great for environments that don't require high performance, high security remote access, but it's still a pain when users disable the Remote Desktop Sharing option within NetMeeting. A quick registry modification and it will be locked, available only to administrators. If users have administrative access on their PCs, then you're still left with the "carry a big stick" method.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Conferencing \ Mcpt

Value Name: Nx
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1


When you're opening programs like regedit, the best way is to use the Run command. Normally, we point you in that direction by telling you to go to Start, Run. But there is a keyboard shortcut. Just press Windows Key-R to open the Run command.


PROBLEM: You want to perform a fast, free, but detailed analysis of your PC.

SOLUTION: Microsoft Windows 9x, Millennium, and 2000 all include the free System Information tool. You can access it by selecting Start, Run, msinfo32, OK. Or you can select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information. This tool is an information gold mine. The user interface is an Explorer-like tree of folders including System Information, Hardware Resources, Components, Software Environment, Internet Explorer 5, and Applications. Exploring each folder is highly recommended. How about a list of "forced hardware"? That's under Hardware Resources. Curious to see a list of all running programs, including their version numbers, manufacturer, description, path, type, and "part of" description? Try Software Environment. Many panes allow you to switch from Basic to Advanced view (in Windows 2000 select View then choose the desired mode).


In Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, and any later Windows platform, if you drag a folder to an edge of the screen not already occupied by a toolbar, that folder will become a toolbar. Doing this accidentally is very easy with Network Neighborhood or My Computer.

Getting rid of such a toolbar is easy. Right-click it, and choose Toolbars from the pop-up menu. You'll see a menu of toolbars and a check next to your Network Neighborhood toolbar. Click that item to remove the check. You may need to answer OK to a Confirm Toolbar Close dialog.


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