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Windows 95/98 Tips and Tricks Page 2

Free Disk Space Windows login password
View Windows side by side Floppy Disk Drive Problems in Windows 95
The Windows key on your keyboard Character Map - Typing symbols
Speed up program launches Improving graphics speed
Speed up your system Updating your system
Repair corrupted icons Changing Desktop icons
System File Checker Windows 98 Startup folder
File types and Applications A device is not working
Deleting screen saver password Start Windows 98 faster
Change the name on your computer Using System File Checker
System Diagnostics (Dr Watson) Windows Help on your hard drive
Get your IP Address Put Control Panel in your Start menu
Graphics settings and System freezes Change the name of your Recycle Bin
Entering BIOS CDROM not recognized after install
Add a background to your folders Clean out the "Opens with" list
Uninstalling Desktop Themes Eliminate Microphone Feedback
Adding scrap to the desktop Searching in a folder by right-clicking
Check device manager for conflicts Closing items in the Systray
Recycle on the fly Auto-dial your ISP on boot-up
Keep your Internet Connection alive Top level start menu programs
Change Registered User Information Get help from your hard drive
Get your IP Address in DOS Remove entries in the Run dialog box
Keep your connection Running Maintenance Wizard
Hide your Taskbar Invoke the resource meter
Folder double pane view Remove Add/Remove Program entries

Free Disk Space

Windows will begin to slow considerably when the disk space becomes to full.  If you are short on disk space follow the steps below:  

Right click the Recycle Bin and choose Properties. By default, the Recycling Bin uses 10% of available space. This can translate into some serious waste of space. Move the slider that controls the maximum size of the Bin to 2%. 

Go to Start> Find> Files or Folders. Enter the following file names into the "Named" dialog box just as I have them listed. 
*.tmp, *.gid, *.bak, *.fts  Hit Enter on your keyboard. All of these files can be deleted, you don't need them. Empty the Recycle Bin. 

Trim your browser cache. If you're using Internet Explorer go to ToolsInternet Options then click on the Settings button under Temporary Internet Files. Reduce the amount to 10MB or less. 

Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs and get rid of any programs that you're not using.

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Windows Login Password

If your computer came with Windows 98 installed, you may be prompted for a User ID and Password when you start Win98. This allows separate users to define special desktop configurations. If you are the only user of the system and you don't want to enter a User ID and Password, you can disable the Password Dialog box at Windows startup.

1 - Right-click the Network Neighborhood icon on your desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu.
2 - Click on the Configuration tab and select Windows Login from the Primary Login menu.
3 - Click OK and when prompted to restart your computer, select "NO".
4 - Click Start >Settings >Control Panel and double-click the Passwords icon.
5 - Click the User Profiles tab and select "All users of this computer use the same preferences and desktop. settings."
6- Click the Change Password tab, then the Change Windows Password button. Enter your password into the "Original" password text box but Do NOT enter a new password, click OK to save your settings.

Note: If the "Change Password" tab is not there, you must first log into Windows at the login prompt.  If you cancel or "X" out of the Login prompt, the "Change Password" tab will not appear.

The next time Windows 98 is started, the password prompt will no longer pop up.

If none of the above works: 

  • Install Tweak UI, and double-click the Tweak UI icon in Control Panel.
  • Choose the Network tab, and check the Log on automatically at system startup option.
  • Type your username (shown after Log Off in your Start Menu) and your password (leave it blank if you don't have one), and click Ok when you're done.

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View Windows side by side

If you would like to view folders side by side, there is an easy way to do this rather than dragging and dropping the windows manually. 

1 - With the desired windows open, right-click a blank area of the desktop
2 - Choose "Tile Horizontally" or "Tile Vertically" from the resulting menu
3 - Open windows will shrink and line up side by side

If you don't like the results, right-click a blank area of the Taskbar, and select "Undo Tile" from the resulting menu.

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The Windows key on your keyboard

If you have a Windows key on your keyboard, you can activate some great shortcuts. Press and hold the Windows key, then press the other key(s) and release to perform the action.

  • Win key-D  Show/Hide Desktop 

  • Win key-E  Open Windows Explorer 

  • Win key-F  Find: All Files 

  • Win key-F1  Open Windows Help 

  • Win key-M  Minimize all open windows 

  • Win key-Shift-M  Undo previous minimize

  • Win key-R  Open Run (Start > Run) 

  • Win key-Ctrl-F  Find: Computer 

  • Win key-Pause key  Open System Properties 

  • Win key-Tab  Toggle through taskbar buttons 

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Character Map - Typing symbols

Character Map is a Windows accessory that shows you the complete character set of each font on your system. Use it when you need to type a special character, such as a copyright or registered trademark symbol, or to generate accented letters and other characters not available on a standard keyboard. 

To locate Character Map:
1 - Click the Start button
2 - Move the mouse over Programs
3 - Select Accessories (also look on any sub-menus)
4 - Click on Character Map to run

If Character Map is not installed:
1 - Start >Settings >Control Panel >Add/Remove Programs control panel, 
2 - Click the Windows Setup tab, highlight Accessories and click Details 
3 - Check the Character Map check box and click Apply button. 
4 - The application will install or you will need to insert the Win98 CD.

To Use Character Map:
1 - Start >Programs >Accessories >Character Map
2 - From the drop-down list select the font you want to see.
3 - Click/hold down the mouse button on a character to see it enlarged
4 - Double-click a character to add it to the Characters To Copy text box.
5 - Click Copy to copy the selected character to the Clipboard.
6 - Switch applications, use its Edit >Paste command to insert the character.

There's a quick way to use characters in most Win98 programs. As you click each character, Character Map shows what keys to use to create it. Hold down the ALT key and press 0-1-6-9 on the numeric keypad (not the numbers across the top of your keyboard) and release the ALT key to create the copyright symbol.

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Speed up program launches

Fragmentation occurs when files aren't stored on a drive in adjoining areas. Windows 98 may need to split files as you work with them and store pieces in different drive sections. This slows your computer's operation, since files must be reassembled before they are displayed again. The same is true of program files; if they're scattered all over the drive, they will load more slowly. 

Win98's Disk Defragmenter utility contains an option to not only piece together fragmented files, but to arrange program files so that they will launch faster. 

1 - Click the "Start" button
2 - Select Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter
3 - Click the "Settings" button
4 - Check the "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option
5 - Click OK to start defragmentation

NOTE: Defragmentation of large drives may take several hours to complete.

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Improving graphics speed

If your monitor seems slow to refresh or exhibits a "choppy" behavior, your graphics card may not be set for maximum acceleration. You can check the settings by performing the following:

1 - Right-click a blank area of the desktop and choose Properties
2 - Click the Settings tab
3 - Click Advanced Properties
4 - Click the Performance tab
5 - Under Hardware Acceleration, move the slider all the way to the right
6 - Click OK. 

Changing this setting should speed up your display, but if it leads to problems with your mouse pointer or other display elements, return the slider to its previous position.

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Speed up your system

This tip helps many systems to run faster, individual performance may vary.

1 - Click Start >Settings >Control Panel.
2 - Double click the System listing.
3 - Click Performance tab.
4 - Click File System button.

Look for Typical role of this computer under Settings and you'll probably find your system is set up as a "Desktop computer." Change the setting to "Network server" and reboot your system. This change dedicates more RAM memory to your disk cache, instead of accessing your hard drive as often.

Note: Systems with 32+ MB of RAM will benefit more from this change.

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Updating your system

To obtain free updates to programs and find some fixes for that bug infested software, connect to Microsoft's Windows Update Web page. The Windows Update Wizard will show you what is available.

1. Click Start, then choose Windows Update to go to the Windows Update Web page.
2. Click Update Wizard
3. Click Update
4. Select the Update that you want.
5. Read the description and click Install
6. Follow instructions to complete installation.

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Repairing corrupted icons

Without warning and totally unexpectedly, Windows icons may become corrupt and a generic icon will take the place of the original. Windows has supplied a way to repair these corrupted icons. See below for details: 

Windows 98 stores the information for your desktop icons in a special file called "ShelliconCache." This means that the operating system keeps all the data for all the icons on the desktop in a single file for faster display than if the system would have to search for all the original icon files. ShelliconCache is a hidden file in the C:\Windows folder. To rebuild your icons, you have to delete your ShelliConCache file. Here's how you repair the damage.

Unhiding The ShelliconCache File
1 - Open any Windows Explorer Folder view window
2 - Select "Folder Options" from the View menu
3 - Click the View tab
4 - Expand the File And Folders branch of the display
5 - In the Hidden Files branch, check the "Show All Files" option.
6 - Save your changes.

Deleting The ShelliconCache File
1 - Click Start/Shutdown
2 - Choose "Restart In MS-DOS mode"
3 - At the command prompt type; del ShelliconCache and press enter
4 - Restart your computer. 

At reboot, Windows will rebuild all icon files back to their original state.

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Changing Desktop icons

If your tired of the way some of your Desktop icons look, Windows 98 makes changing these possible.

1 - Right click on any blank area of the desktop
2 - Choose properties from the drop down menu
3 - Click the "Effects" tab
4 - Highlight an icon you wish to change and click "Change Icon"
5 - Pick an icon from the ones shown and click "Apply"
6 - OR use "Browse" to find icons in most .EXE, .DLL, or .ICO file types.

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System File Checker

Windows 98 includes System File Checker, a program which runs quietly in the background and monitors software installations. If System File Checker detects that a program you are installing is attempting to overwrite a system file with a version older than the existing file, it will not allow the install routine to replace the good file. Your new program will function normally using the correct system file.

Click on Start > Run, type SFC and click OK to access the Windows 98 System File Checker. This utility will let you know if you have corrupt files and tells you how to fix them.

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Windows 98 Startup folder

The StartUp folder is especially important to Windows because it contains all of the programs that will automatically run each time you start Windows. If you want a program to run automatically when Windows starts, drag its icon into the StartUp Folder. 

Windows also lets you decide how a program will open when it starts...minimized as a button on the toolbar, normal size or as a full screen. To set this option, right click the menu item and choose Properties. In the Shortcut panel, look for the Run drop down list and choose Minimized, Maximized, or Normal, then click OK.

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File types and Applications

Windows 98 allows you to associate a file extension with multiple applications. Files of a specific extension are usually associated with a single application, but now,  you will have the ability to select which application you want to use to open that particular file with.

Follow the listed instructions:
1 - Double-click My Computer, select Options from the View menu and click on the File Types tab. 
2 - Look in the Registered File Types list for the file type that you'd like to open in other applications. For example, you may want to open a file type of .TXT with MS Word, Notepad, or Word Perfect.
3 - Click on Edit, then New. Type something like "Open in [your application]" in the Action field. 
4 - Click on the Browse button to find the application. 
5 - Select the application's .EXE file and click OK.
6 - Click Close, then Close again. 

Now when you right click on a file of that extension (.TXT in our example) you'll see a drop down menu that lists all the "Open With" options you established in the steps above.

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A device is not working

Hold your mouse arrow over the "My Computer" icon on your desktop.  Right click, choose "Properties", then select "Device Manager". Check to see if any items have a yellow exclamation mark (!).  If so then highlight that device by clicking on it and select "Properties", it might explain the error. Sometimes choosing "Refresh" fixes things. If not, choose "Remove" and then "Refresh".

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Deleting screen saver password

Right-click the desktop and click on "properties", select "Screen Saver" tab and the "change" button. Leave the two password boxes empty and click "OK" twice. Click the password protected box and "OK". On some systems this will not work and a registry change is required. Open the registry editor by going to "Start", "Run" and type in: regedit  click "OK". Navigate to this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.

Click on "Desktop" to open its contents in the right pane. In the right pane, delete the "ScreenSave_Data" entry. Then right click "ScreenSaveUsePassword", select modify and change the value to 0 (zero).

I recommend backing up your registry before playing in there.

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Start Windows 98 faster

To disable the floppy search: Right-click on your Desktop. Choose "Properties". Click the "Performance" tab. Click the "file system" button and select the "Floppy Disk" tab. Lastly, uncheck the "Search for new floppy..." box. Click "Apply". Now when you reboot, Windows will bypass the floppy search saving boot time.

NOTE: This will not prevent using an Emergency Recovery Disk.

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Change the name on your computer

If Windows came preloaded and has an existing name. Here is how to change it:
NOTE: Always back up your registry before making changes as a safety precaution.

Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion. Click "CurrentVersion" to open its contents in the right pane. In the right pane, double-click the "RegisteredOrganization" or "RegisteredOwner" (which-ever is fitting) options and type in your name or organization. Exit and restart Windows.

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Using System File Checker

If your Windows system is continuously acting up, you may need to run the "System File Checker" to fix what ails it. Go to:  Start> Run, type in: SFC.EXE and click "OK". You can configure it to search for deleted or missing files, older files, files in certain subdirectories, etc. Problems can occur from using this utility, so I recommend using it on a "need to" basis.

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System Diagnostics

Windows has a program called Dr Watson.  This is a System Diagnostic tool used when you're getting a lot of system errors.  It will diagnose problems, intercept errors from your software, and prescribe a course of action. To run Dr Watson,  go to your Windows System folder and open "drwatson.exe" program. 

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Windows Help on your hard drive

Create a shortcut to Windows help on your desktop. Navigate using Windows explorer. Go to: C:/Windows/Help In the "Help" folder find a file called "Windows".  Right click the "Windows" file and choose "create shortcut". This will create a duplicate icon named "Shortcut to Windows. Now drag and drop this on to your desktop.  You can rename this icon whatever you wish by right clicking the icon, choose "rename", type in what you want to name it. Click outside of the icon to set your new name.

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Get your IP Address

You can find out what your IP (Internet Protocol) Address is, here's how: Got to, Start> Run, type in: winipcfg  Click "OK". You can use this to create a more direct connection when configuring gaming sites or some online voice chats.

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Put Control Panel in your Start menu

Right click the Start button and select "Explore" from the resulting menu.
Right click the right pane of the Exploring window and select "New", then "Folder" from the menu.
Enter:   Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} as the folders name.
Press the "Enter" key after naming the folder; it should appear as "Control Panel."

Now you can access your Control Panel and all of its contents from the Start Menu.

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 Graphics settings and System freezes

System freezes occur for thousands of reasons. Frequently it can be due to a faulty graphics card. A temporary fix is to disable hardware acceleration for the graphics. This slows down the computer, but it can buy you some time until you get it fixed. To disable the acceleration, right click on "My Computer" at your desktop, then click on "Properties". Once the window opens, click on the "Performance" tab. Then select the "Graphics" button to change the acceleration. You can set it to "None" for more severe problems. Restart your computer to see if this fixes the problem. If this does not fix it, simply slide the "Hardware Acceleration" back to the "FULL" position.

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Change the name of your Recycle Bin

Ever notice that you can't change the name of your Recycle Bin like you can the others on your desktop?  This is because it is a system icon and it is not allowed. You can, however, change it from the registry.  Here's how:

Go to "Start", "Run" type in:  regedit  click"OK" Navigate to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/CLSID.  Scroll quite a ways down and find: "645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E". Single click this to show its contents in the right pane.  In the right pane, double click "Default".  In the resulting text box, change the name from "Recycle Bin" to whatever you wish. Click "OK" and exit the registry editor.

NOTE:  To see your new name, single click anywhere on your desktop, then depress the F5 key.
WARNING:  Make sure that you have backed up the registry before making any changes.

To make this change in TweakUI is so much easier: Go to "Control Panel", click on "TweakUI" to launch it.  Click on the "Desktop" tab.  Double click in the "Recycle Bin" named area, then type in the new name.  Click "OK"...Done!

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Entering BIOS

You can enter the BIOS/CMOS many different ways.
You can usually enter the BIOS/CMOS by holding down  one of the following keys at boot-up:
"Delete" or "F1" or "F10" 
Manufactures BIOS boot options:
Acer - Ctrl+Alt+Esc
Compaq - F10
Dell - F1 or Del.
Gateway 2000 - F1
Hewlett Packard - F1
IBM:
For the older models, hold down both mouse buttons to enter CMOS during boot-up.
Aptiva - Press F1
NEC - F2
Packard Bell - F1 or F2
Sharp Laptop 9020 - F2
Sony - F3, then F2, or F1
Tandon - Hold down the <Esc> key after turning on power
Toshiba Laptops - Toshiba Utility

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CDROM not recognized after install

After you install Windows 98, you may be unable to access your CD-ROM drive. This can occur if you have a dual-channel IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) controller installed in your computer. Here's how to fix it:
  • Select Start > Settings > Control Panel, and double-click "System".
  • Select the "Device Manager" tab.
  • Click the (+) symbol next to "Hard Disk Controllers" branch to expand its contents. 
  • 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" (Twice), then restart your computer.

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Clean out the "Opens with" list

Open any Explorer window and select "View", "Options" (or "Folder Options"). Click the "File Types" tab and, under "Registered File Types", select the type associated with the program you want to remove from the Open With dialog box. Click the "Remove" button, click "Yes" to confirm, then select "Close". The next time you open the "Open With dialog box", that program will no longer be there.

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Add a background to your folders

 To add a background to a folder, choose "View", "Customize This Folder" from the folder's menu. Then select "Choose A Background Picture" and click "Next". Browse the list of available backgrounds (click on any one background once to see a preview of it), and when you find one you like, click "Next" and then "Finish". 

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Uninstalling Desktop Themes

If you have no intention of using a Desktop Theme, then you may be better off just deleting it from your system as these themes can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. Keep in mind that you can always recover a deleted theme with your Windows 98 Installation CD. To uninstall specific Desktop Themes, go to "Start"> "Settings"> "Control Panel" and double-click the "Desktop Themes" icon. You can preview any theme from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. If you see one you'll never use, click the "Delete" button to remove it from your system. 

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Eliminate Microphone Feedback

If you're hearing a lot of microphone feedback, your microphone is probably set to route the sound directly to the speakers. There is an easy way to fix the problem. Double-click on the speaker in the Taskbar. Once the window is open, check to see if the recording and microphone volume controls are there. If not, go to "Options" and open up "Properties" to check the microphone and recording monitors. Close that window and mute the recording and microphone volume controls. This should fix the problem. To make sure your computer is still recording from the microphone, open up "Sound Recorder" and do a test record. If no sound was detected, go back to volume control and remove mute from the microphone and recording volume controls and bring the volume for them way down.

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Adding Scrap to your Desktop

You can keep the contents of the clipboard on your desktop for later reference by creating what is called a scrap. Though this name implies something cheap, frayed, and disposable, the scraps you create on your 
desktop could very well be among the most valuable bits of data on your computer. You can recognize a scrap by its icon: It looks like a document file except for a torn edge along the bottom. 

You can create a scrap in a couple of ways. If you have material copied to the clipboard, you can right-click on the desktop and select Paste to create a scrap containing the clipboard information. The other way to create a scrap is to select data and drag it to the desktop in any program that supports Microsoft's OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) standard. 

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Search in a folder by right-clicking

If you're looking for a file and you're certain it's in a specific folder, you can always tell Windows to search in that folder by selecting it from the "Look In" field in the Find dialog box (open Find 
by pressing Windows key-F). An even quicker way to look for a file in a specific folder is to right-click the folder and select "Find" from the pop-up menu. This launches the Find command with the folder you 
clicked already loaded into the "Look In" field. 

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Check Device Manager For Conflicts

  1. On your screen, locate and click the Start button. From the Start menu, point to Settings, then click Control Panel. In Control Panel, double-click the System icon
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Device Manager tab. If there is a minus sign instead of a plus sign in front of any of the categories, the device is not installed properly. To remove the device that is not properly installed, click the device name, then click Remove. Click Yes to confirm the device's removal.
  3. If there is a category called Other Devices, there are probably devices that are not installed properly. Remove all devices from the Other Devices category. To remove a device, click the device name, then click Remove. Click Yes to confirm the device's removal.
  4. If there is any device listed with a yellow circle, or splat, this device is either not available or improperly installed. If the device with the splat is a communication (COM) port, this just means that the motherboard serial port is unavailable in the BIOS Setup Utility so that the COM port can be used for the modem. Leave this setting as is.
  5. Remove every other device with a splat. If a device is listed twice, one with a splat and the other without, remove both.
  6. Restart the computer. On your screen, locate and click the Start button. From the Start menu, click Shut Down. In the Shut Down Windows dialog box, click Restart the Computer, then click Yes. All devices are re-detected on startup, and the drivers can be properly installed.
  7. Verify in the Device Manager that all devices are installed properly. If there is still an issue with a device, troubleshoot that particular device until it is installed properly.

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Closing items in the Systray

  1. Right-click one of the icons on the systray, which is located next to the clock in the lower-right corner on your screen. In the shortcut menu that appears, you will have a choice of Pause, Exit, Disable, or Close. Click the option that you find in this menu. If none of the options appears in the menu, leave the icon alone and right-click the next icon.
    Note: Clicking Exit may remove the icon from the systray, even after the computer is restarted.
  2. After you have selected an option, test the computer to see if the symptom persists. If the symptom persists, right-click the next icon on the systray, then click the option that appears in the shortcut menu. Determine if the issue still occurs.
  3. Continue this process, one icon at a time, until the computer is working, or there are no more icons on the systray to close, pause, exit, or disable.
  4. If the computer begins working properly after closing one of the programs in the systray, determine what program or device this icon is associated with and troubleshoot that specific program or device.

If the computer still is not working properly, restarting the computer will restore most of the icons on the systray. A few of the icons may require that they be re-enabled through the program associated with them.

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Recycle on the fly

If you would like to send your deletions to the recycling bin on the fly and without  "are you sure" prompts to annoy you...here's how to do it:

Open up a Windows Explorer window.  In the left pane, scroll to the bottom.  Drag the recycle bin to the "Send To" folder under C:Windows.  When you get the prompt asking if you want to create a shortcut, choose "Yes".  Rename the recycle bin shortcut what you want (I named mine "Quick Can"). Now when you want to delete something, right click it, choose "Send To", and select your recycle bin shortcut. 

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Auto-Dial your ISP on boot-up

To make your computer use Dial-up networking to connect you to the internet every time you boot, go into the dial-up networking directory in "My Computer." Now click on the file that you usually use to connect to the internet and drag it to the desktop; it should appear there WITHOUT asking any questions such as "This file cannot be placed on the desktop, would you like to create a shortcut instead?" At this point, you should "cut" the file off of the desktop and placing it in your startup directory in your start menu. Now reboot your computer. It should automatically connect you to the internet without the "enter information" box appearing, forcing you to click Connect before it continues. If it does come up with the box, do two things... type in your password in the appropriate box when it appears on the boot-up and check the box below it that says "Save Password." Now you must connect to the internet once by clicking on Connect. The call must go through or else it will not save your password. Now disconnect from that call once it has completed verifying you. Go into dial-up networking in My Computer and click ONCE on the icon that you dragged to the desktop before. Choose "settings" from the toolbar at the top of the window. Uncheck the box in this window stating "Display information box." Now reboot and watch it dial!

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Keep your Internet Connection alive

If you want to keep your internet connection alive while your away from your computer, simply open up your email program and (under options) configure it to check for new mail every 2 minutes or so.  This will keep a flow of information going between your email and your server. 

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Top Level Start Menu Programs

Top Level Start Menu programs are those that are above the regular programs in your Start Menu.  To quickly access a Top Level Start Menu program, hit Ctrl> Esc on your keyboard followed by the first letter of the desired program. 

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Change Registered User Information

If you would like to change the Registered Owner and/or Registered Organization Information that appears in "System Properties", follow the instructions below:

Go to Start> Run> type in "regedit" (without the quotes).  Click the (+) symbol next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE opening its contents. Next, open SOFTWARE, then MICROSOFT> WINDOWS> CurrentVersion. Click on the "CurrentVersion" folder, this will open its contents in the right pane.  Look for "Registered Owner" or "Registered Organization", right click the one that you would like to change. Select "Modify" and on the Value Data line of the resulting dialog box, type the desired information. Click OK, close the Registry Editor saving the changes.

Warning:  Make sure you back up your Registry prior to making any changes as a precaution.

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Get help from your hard drive

You can get help from your hard drive in Windows 98.  Open Windows Explorer and locate the Windows/Help folder. Inside this folder resides a file named "windows.hlp". If you would like to create a shortcut on your desktop:
  1. Right-click and hold the windows.hlp file.  
  2. Drag the file to your desktop.  
  3. Release the mouse button and select "Create Shortcut" from the resulting menu.

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Get your IP Address in DOS 

To access your IP Address from DOS:
  1. Select the DOS prompt from Programs in the Start Menu. 
  2. Type "ipconfig/all" (without the quotes). 
  3. Press enter on your keyboard.

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Remove entries in the Run dialog box

Instead of using Explorer to get around, you can use the Run dialog located at, Start> Run. Just enter a program name and hit enter. You can even create an email by typing "mailto:" (without the quotes). One thing about "Run" is that it keeps a history of the items you have been running, making it possible for all to see.  If you would like to cover your tracks, here's how:
  1. Go to Start> Run and type "regedit" (without the quotes).
  2. Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, select Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/RunMRU.
  3. Click on RunMRU once to display its contents in the right pane.
  4. In the right pane, select the commands you want removed one by one and press Delete to remove them.
  5. Exit the Registry Editor saving changes.
  6. Restart Windows.

TweakUI way: Select Start> Control Panel and double-click the TweakUI icon. Click the Paranoia tab and select the histories you want to delete.

Warning:  Always back up your registry prior to making changes as a precaution.

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Keep your connection

If you keep getting disconnected from your ISP without warning, try adding this initialization string to extend the hang-up time. Select Start> Settings> Control Panel, click the Modems icon, then select Properties. Choose the "Connection" tab, then click the "Advanced" button. In the Extra settings field, enter S10=50

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Running Maintenance Wizard

The Windows Maintenance Wizard is a Windows 98 utility that performs Defrags, ScanDisk, removes Temporary files and will delete your browser cache all automatically. To schedule maintenance, select Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Maintenance Wizard. Choose Express, then follow the prompts to set the time and frequency. Click OK.  The Task Scheduler icon will appear in the Taskbar's system tray. The only thing you will need to remember now is to leave your computer running at the scheduled time, and the system will do the rest.

Note: Once your options are set, you can run the Maintenance Wizard at any time by choosing Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Maintenance Wizard and selecting "Perform Maintenance Now".

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Hide your Taskbar

Hiding the Taskbar is an easy way to gain a little extra viewable screen space.  Here's how:

Click on the Start button and choose Settings> Taskbar. In the Taskbar Options dialog, check box labeled "Auto hide". Now the Taskbar will minimize itself until you hover the mouse cursor over the spot where it normally resides.

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Invoke the Resource Meter

To start your Resource Meter, go to Start> Programs> Accessories>System Tools> Resource Meter.  Or you can go to Start> Run and type in RSRCMTR.  Once invoked, you will be able to monitor where your system resources are going right from your taskbar.

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Folder double pane view

To make a folder open up in a double pane view, while in Explorer, if you click a folder once, then hold down the Shift key while you double-click it, you will open the folder with a two-pane Explorer view.

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Remove Add/Remove Program entries

Some-times when you have removed a program in the Add/Remove Programs feature, it will stay in there, although its contents are removed, it still remains.  If you would like to get rid of this file name, here's how:

Go to Start> Run, type in regedit and press OK on your keyboard. Follow the string below: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall. At Uninstall, click it once to show its contents in the right pane. This will give you a list of all the programs in your Add/Remove programs list. Click once to highlight any file you want to remove, and select Delete.

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