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Best Windows95/98 Tech tips

by Mystic OverClocker

Windows 95/98
orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Restart Windows without Rebooting
Did you ever want to quickly restart Windows95/98 without going through the whole boot process?

Hold down the 'shift' key on your keyboard when clicking on Start/Shutdown/Restart. Windows will close and restart without going through the boot process.

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Windows One Click Restart
You all know how to restart Windows 95 without restarting your PC, right? Select Start, Shut Down, select Restart The Computer, then hold down Shift as you click the Yes button.

Well, if this shortcut isn't short enough for you, get a load o' this: You can create a batch file that will restart Windows 95 with one double-click.  Open Notepad--select Start, Programs, Accessories, Notepad and type:  @EXIT   Select File, Save, name the file something appropriate, such as 'restart.bat', save it anywhere you want, and close Notepad.

Now place access to the batch file in a convenient location, such as the desktop. In an Explorer window, locate the new file, right-click it, and select Create Shortcut. Drag the new shortcut out to the desktop (or another location of your choice), and rename it.

Finally, a few setting changes. Right-click the shortcut, select Properties, and on the Program tab, select Close On Exit. Click the Advanced button, select MS-DOS mode, and deselect Warn Before Entering MS-DOS Mode. Click OK twice to close all open dialog boxes, and you're done.  The next time you want to restart Windows, just double-click your new batch file shortcut!

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Update your registry without restarting Windows
Did you ever change your registry and only want Windows95/98 to just reread it and move on?

Press Ctrl-Alt-Del, select Explorer, and click End Task. When Windows asks "Are you sure you want to... Shut Down Your Computer?", click No, then click End Task at the next prompt.    (Note: your icons in the tray will disappear until you restart the computer.)

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Speed up Windows95/98
Windows will quickly begin writing all over your hard drive, it is the nature of it.  If you will run 'Scandisk' and 'Drive Defrag' regularly on your hard drive, Windows will run faster.  These programs are located by clicking:   
Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Permanently Delete Files
If you would like to quickly delete a file without sending it to the Recycle Bin, hold down the Shift key when you press the delete key.

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) RegClean - Trim the Registry Fat
Location: RegClean  [download file]
Key feature: Removes certain redundant settings from the Registry.

The Registry is often full of clutter--driftwood from long uninstalled software, entries left over from system crashes, and the dross of a thousand system entries. You could go through the big Registry keys:
looking for programs you've already deleted, and remove their keys. But this is immensely time consuming. (And besides, you should make only one change per Registry editing session, to make it easier to troubleshoot any problems your editing may cause). Instead, let RegClean ax redundant entries. It's simple to run: just fire it up, wait for it to do its stuff, then restart Windows.

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) Speed Up Your Boot Cycle
Want to shave a few seconds off your already interminable boot cycle? You can, but you have to hack a different system file from the usual Registry suspects--the msdos.sys file. It's a text file, so you can use Notepad to make alterations. However, the file is hidden and read-only, so you can't easily find it or quickly edit it, unless you know the secret:

  • Select Find/Files or Folders from the Start menu.
  • Enter msdos.sys in the Named box and C: in the Look In box; then click the Find Now button.
  • When the file appears, right-click it and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • Click to remove the check marks from the Read-Only and Hidden attributes and click OK.
  • Right-click msdos.sys again and select Open With from the pop-up menu.
  • Enter Notepad as the opening program and click OK.
  • Under [Options], enter BootDelay=0 or BootDelay=1 on its own line. (They represent respective delays of zero seconds and one second, both of which are faster than the default.)
  • Close Notepad after saving your changes.
  • Return msdos.sys to its hidden, read-only state.  (Right-click it, select Properties from the pop-up menu, and check the Read-Only and Hidden check boxes; then click OK.)
  • Quit and restart Windows.

orangearrowright.gif (836 bytes) SysEdit : Optimize Your Virtual Cache
Location: Start/Run. Type sysedit and press Enter.  Key feature: Edits or adds lines to configuration files such as autoexec.bat, config.sys, and win.ini.  

Notice your system periodically stalling while the hard drive thrashes? This phenomenon is often caused by the Windows virtual cache feature. Like onboard caching, this cache is designed to reduce disk access, but it can easily grow large enough to put a dent in your performance. If you've got 32MB of RAM or more, try setting the cache size at a fixed number. We recommend 4MB for systems with less than 48MB of RAM, and 8MB for those with 48MB or more.  Here's how to set it up:

  1. Run SysEdit. (Select Run in your Start menu, type SysEdit in the text box, and press Enter.)
  2. Click in the system.ini window.
  3. Scroll down to the [vcache] section. If you don't see one, type in [vcache] as a new heading.
  4. If you have 48MB of RAM or less, enter these two lines:
  5. If you have more than 48MB of RAM, enter these two lines:
  6. Close SysEdit, saving changes on the way out, and restart Windows.



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