Oh no... not another BUG alert!? Yeap! Unfortunately this affects one of the most popular tools bundled on the Windows 98 retail (and removed by Microsoft from all subsequent Win98/2000/ME/XP/2003
releases) Setup CD-ROM, the (in)famous TweakUI "Power Toy". This so-called "final" release of TweakUI 98 has a lot of BUGs. And after receiving lots of e-mail from frustrated users, complaining about a great variety
of problems after using TweakUI 98, I have decided to search for fixes. To fix most of the "problems" TweakUI created on your Win32 system [some seem to be irrecoverable though :(], first run the
"buggy" TweakUI applet [for the last time :)], and restore ALL settings to their defaults (if possible).WARNING: Deleting the TweakUI files does NOT fix ANY errors
you may have experienced after changing any TweakUI default settings, because when you clicked any Apply/OK buttons in TweakUI, Registry, System (SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI + CONTROL.INI) and Startup (MSDOS.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT +
CONFIG.SYS) settings also changed! The ONLY way your "pre-TweakUI" (original) settings were NOT altered is if you clicked the TweakUI Cancel button.Then uninstall (if possible) TweakUI from Control Panel
→ Add/Remove Programs → (double-)click on "Tweak UI". Now search ALL your local drives/partitions and delete ALL TweakUI.* files
Default %windir% folder is
C:\Windows if using Win9x/ME/XP/2003 or C:\Winnt if using WinNT4/2000. Windows Explorer may not be able to "see" and/or delete TWEAKUI.GID unless you "strip" it of its Hidden (H) attribute first by running
this command from any DOS prompt:ATTRIB -H %windir%\HELP\TWEAKUI.GIDMake sure to delete also these Registry String [REG_SZ] Values (if present) by using Regedit (Regedt32) or StartUp Control Panel (CPL) applet [freeware]:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Tweak
UI"="RUNDLL32.EXE TWEAKUI.CPL,TweakMeUp"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices "Tweak UI"="RUNDLL32.EXE
TWEAKUI.CPL,TweakLogon"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons "29"="C:\\WINDOWS\\SYSTEM\\TWEAKUI.CPL,3"Easy way:
Copy & paste the contents between the lines below into Notepad → save it as DELTWKUI.REG→ merge (register) it into your Registry by
(double-)clicking on it → answer OK/Yes to all following prompts:-----Begin cut & paste here-----REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] "Tweak UI"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices]
"Tweak UI"=- [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons] "29"=-------End cut & paste here------If "Tweak UI" Registry
Values are still present after deleting TWEAKUI.CPL, you will be "greeted" with this error dialog box next time you (re)start Windows:
"RUNDLL Error loading TWEAKUI.CPL. The system
cannot find the file specified."
This way all TweakUI traces should be permanently erased from your computer.More info:
To identify the "buggy" Win98 TweakUI release: run Windows Explorer →
highlight your C:\Windows\System(32) subfolder → scroll down to Tweakui.cpl (file size 159744 Bytes, date/time stamp 5-11-98, 20:01:00) →
right-click on it → select Properties → click the Version tab → look at the "File Version:" number at the top
→ must be 1.25.0.Finally, apply "THE FIXES" at the bottom of this article. But now let's
see...THE BUGS:The TweakUI applet included on the Win98 Gold (retail/OEM) CD-ROM has
a few known, and some less known or undocumented BUGs:
the tool tips (activated by right-clicking on items/boxes) show the wrong information.
Enabling some of the items
listed under the New tab may generate error messages.
The Stretch wallpaper Display feature is disabled if "IE4
enabled" and/or "Active Desktop enabled" boxes are NOT checked in TweakUI's IE4 tab. This can be fixed by running
Regedit, and adding the "WallpaperStyle=2" String value under this Registry key:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktopRefer to "STRETCH WALLPAPER",
also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for details.
The Automatic logon feature does not always
supply the required password in Windows 98/98 SE. This can be fixed by:
Uninstall "Client for Microsoft
Networks" protocol from Network Control Panel applet → reboot → reinstall "Client for Microsoft Networks" protocol,
Install "Microsoft Family Logon" client from Network Control Panel applet → select it as "Primary Network Logon" →
The Run/Don't run Scandisk after an improper shutdown prompt options may be reversed if they have been
reset in TweakUI's Boot tab, the "Autorun Scandisk" option. This corresponds to the wrong values assigned to the
AutoScan= line in MSDOS.SYS, under the [Options] section. This can be fixed by editing
MSDOS.SYS manually, a system file found in C:\ root, using Notepad (in Windows) or EDIT.COM (in DOS), and changing the
AutoScan= line to show the value you want (valid switches: 0, 1 and 2). But first you need to strip MSDOS.SYS
of its hidden, read-only and system attributes, by running:ATTRIB C:\MSDOS.SYS -H -R -STo
learn more about this, read "BYPASS AUTOSCAN", also in OSR2TIPS.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].
In WinNT 4.0 some Desktop icons may become corrupted, reverting to generic icons even
if the user manually changes them back, and some insist on displaying the shortcut overlay, even after disabling it by
running TweakUI. This BUG seems to affect ALL icon overlays, not only the shortcut one. This is the Microsoft MSKB fix. This can also be fixed by performing the
following steps in this EXACT sequence:
Delete the (possibly corrupted) ShellIconCache file from the
Open TweakUI → select the Repair tab→ activate "Repair Associations" and
then "Repair Icons".
Open Regedit and go to:HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exeMake sure the
"(Default)" String in the right hand pane displays "exefile". Modify it correspondingly if different (don't
type the quotes). Then go to:HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIconMake sure the
"(Default)" String in the right hand pane
displays "%1". Modify it correspondingly if different (don't type the quotes).
In case you decide to enable the
Desktop icons "Shortcut overlay" in TweakUI's Explorer tab, make sure to follow these steps:
the "Show icons using all possible colors" option from Control Panel → Display → Plus!/Effects tab → uncheck the
Delete the ShellIconCache file from the Windows folder.
Reenable the "Show icons using all
possible colors" option in the Display applet.
Restart Windows one more time.
The Notify tunes feature
doesn't work in GroupWise 41a on Win98 systems if TweakUI was installed before GroupWise. This can be fixed by uninstalling
TweakUI before installing GroupWise, and then reinstalling TweakUI.
TweakUI's Automatic logon (skip password) feature
works only on the first reboot in WinNT 4.0 (only if you have Administrator privileges or own the NT computer). After that,
NT disables it, and it will prompt for password again on all subsequent reboots. This can be fixed by rechecking TweakUI's
Network tab → "Log on automatically at system startup" box during every NT session. Another possible fix [courtesy
of Ojatex]: "To permanently get rid of the Login message at bootup, disable (uncheck) the line "Clear Last
User at Logon" from TweakUI's Paranoia tab. Reboot. When the Login message appears, fill in the User Name and don't type
in a Password. Reboot again. Poof! Login box is gone."
If the "Activation follows mouse (X-Mouse)" box is
checked and then unchecked in TweakUI's Mouse tab, it still remains active on all subsequent reboots in Windows 98. This can
be fixed if both "X-Mouse AutoRaise" and "Mouse hot tracking effects" boxes are unchecked in TweakUI's General
tab. If this doesn't work, uninstall the Mouse from Control Panel → System → Device Manager tab → (double-)click
Mouse → highlight your Mouse type→ click the Remove button. Restart Windows and your mouse will be redetected.
do not "stick" [Thank you Joel!]: TweakUI's Mouse tab → "Activation follows mouse (X-Mouse)" box checked, and: TweakUI's General tab →
"X-Mouse AutoRaise" and "Mouse hot tracking effects" boxes checked. This can be fixed in some cases (reminiscent from the old XMouse MS Power Toy 95) by adding/changing these WIN.INI entries under the [XMouse]
section:[XMouse] BringWindowToTop=1 ConsoleWindowsOnly=1 Delay=1Edit WIN.INI (located in your Windows folder) with Notepad or Sysedit. Change any of these lines from 1 to 0
or back, and then restart Windows to see if it works. See "ACTIVE WINDOW TRACKING", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to properly activate/fix
X-Mouse settings used by TweakUI.
Sometimes the Start menu pops up and "sticks" unexpectedly [Thank you Casper!], not allowing access to its folders, and/or shows non-installed features, like "Remove Docking PC".
This can be fixed temporarily by clicking the "Shut Down" (then Cancel), "Run", or "Help" items. The permanent fix is to uninstall TweakUI.
TweakUI canNOT be
uninstalled in WinNT 4.0 by accessing the Add/Remove Programs applet from Control Panel. This can be fixed by deleting ALL
TweakUI.* files on the local hard drive(s), and then manually deleting this Registry key (including all its subkeys),
by running Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
On Windows 9x systems with MS Internet Explorer 4/5 installed, selecting a
"Custom" Search engine using TweakUI's General tab, displays the surrounding signs (?, " etc) in the search bar
besides the typed keyword(s). [Thank you Ferdinand!]
The Start, Open and Explore menu
items are disabled (grayed out) if ALL drive letters are unchecked under the My Computer tab. This can be fixed by
placing the check marks back into the drive letter boxes. This BUG is acknowledged by Microsoft, in the Commands Unavailable on Start Button Context Menu MSKB article. [Thank
After unchecking the "Display splash screen while booting" box from TweakUI's Boot tab, the WIN command
will be removed from AUTOEXEC.BAT upon the next reboot, and you need to start the Windows 9x GUI manually by running
WIN. [Thank you Jason!]
After installing TweakUI (either the newer Win98 or the older Win95 release), Windows 98
hangs upon shut down, and requires pushing the computer power button to restart, ONLY IF logged on to a Network, but
shuts down properly ONLY IF disconnected from the same Network. This can be fixed by uninstalling
TweakUI. [Thank you Stuart!]
Other TweakUI 98 BUGs and their "fixes", as acknowledged by Microsoft in these MSKB
9x/NT4/2000/ME users ONLY: Get Microsoft TweakUI v1.33 for Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME + MS IE 4/5/6 [110 KB, FINAL release, free, unsupported, English, fixed most bugs]. More info. Added more "tweaks" and interface improvements:
compatible with ALL Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME and MS IE 4/5/6 releases,
fixed [almost :(] ALL TweakUI 98 bugs described in this article
ALL tabs together on the same
(main) window [thank you! :)],
Mouse tab: moved here all mouse related settings, reintroduced X-Mouse Delay setting,
new "Mouse Wheel" settings,
General tab: more "Effects" settings, new "Prevent application from stealing focus"
setting, new "Flash taskbar button" settings (Windows 2000/ME ONLY!),
IE tab: renamed "Active Desktop Enabled" to "Allow
Active Desktop to be turned on/off", renamed "IE4 Enabled" to "Shell Enhancements", new "Show Links on Favorites menu"
moved "Special Folders" setting from General tab to My Computer tab,
renamed Network tab to Logon
Repair tab: removed "Repair URL History", new "Repair hotkeys" setting.
Extract all TweakUI files into an empty
folder. Then right-click on TweakUI.inf (in Windows Explorer), and select Install. Now you can start TweakUI
from your Control Panel. Have fun.... But this doesn't mean you shouldn't BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM + REGISTRY
FILES BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES!IMPORTANT: TweakUI 1.33 [still :(] did NOT fix
some of the OLD TweakUI 98 BUGs, and introduced a few NEW ones:
The Start, Open and Explore menu items are disabled (grayed out) in Windows 95/98
(but NOT in Windows ME/2000!) if ALL drive letters are unchecked under the My Computer tab. This can be fixed by
placing the check marks back into the drive letter boxes. This BUG is acknowledged by Microsoft, in the Commands Unavailable on Start Button Context Menu MSKB article.
"Log on automatically at system startup" (skip password) box under the Logon tab works sometimes only if:
Control Panel → Network → Primary Network Logon → change Client for Microsoft Networks to something else (i.e. Windows
Logon) → OK → restart Windows → reopen Control Panel → Network
→ change Windows Logon back to original Primary Network Logon (i.e. Client for Microsoft Networks) → OK →
"In Windows 98 SE if the Paranoia "Clear run history" box is enabled the DUN password will not work! I
have to start DUN, click on Settings and retype the password, or reenable the DUN login prompt, or uncheck the "Clear run
history" box and reboot." [Thank you Henry!]
"Enabling the "Save Explorer window
settings" box under the Explorer tab in Win98/ME writes a new Binary (hex) Value under "(Default)" (incorrect), instead of
creating the new "NoSaveSettings" Binary Value (correct) under this Registry key:HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ExplorerThe checkbox is
available, but useless." [Thank you Gmaster!]
"Disabling the "Shell enhancements" box under the IE
tab in Windows 2000 removes the "Windows 2000 Professional" graphic from the Start menu, replacing it with a black
box. This can be fixed by reenabling the "Shell enhancements" box. It seems that older TweakUI releases do NOT exhibit this
bug." [Thank you Skyler!]
Enabling the "Show Control Panel on Start Menu Settings" box
under the IE tab works ONLY in Windows 2000/ME, but NOT in Windows 95/98! Unchecking this box in Windows 2000/ME (but NOT in
Windows 95/98!) disables Control Panel and ALL its icons (applets) completely! This can be fixed by:
Running Regedit and going to:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ExplorerLook in the right hand
pane for the "NoControlPanel" Binary [hex] value. Delete it or right-click on it → select Edit → change it to read
"00 00 00 00" (no quotes). Restart Windows when done.
Running File Manager (FM = C:\Windows\WINFILE.EXE)
and associating the *.CPL files with C:\Windows\Control.exe (the Control Panel executable): File menu → Associate...
→ Browse... to C:\Windows → (double-)click on Control.exe→ click the OK button. Restarting Windows is not necessary
in this case.
Selecting My Computer as First icon on desktop under the Desktop tab in Windows ME will
display an empty My Network Places folder and generate MS IE script errors, if the "Web view" option is turned on in Windows
Explorer → Tools → Folder Options tab. This can be fixed by turning off "Web view".
I'm sure you have been watching Microsoft's web site for the (too many) "latest" system updates, patches, fixes etc,
which usually keep your Windows 98/ME copy up to date. I know, because I have. In fact, I've lost track of all those
countless "patches". :) And if you installed the Critical Notification Update, you are automatically notified when a new
update is issued at the Microsoft Windows Update site. I
have put together a list with all available ["critical" as Microsoft calls them, I like to call them "essential" :)] system Upgrades + Fixes, also found in SOFTWARE.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE). But the problem is that after completing the downloads, Windows automatically installs
them, tells you when it's done, eventually prompts you to restart Windows (if needed), and then deletes downloaded files. And
there is a big chance that if you later delete your Internet Explorer temporary cache files (TIF), and/or "clean" your drives
of unneeded junk, they will be gone. And if you will ever need to (re)install the same updates at a later time (i.e. if you
reinstalled Win98/ME or upgrade another Win98/ME computer), you'll have to download them all over again. :( Well, not
quite. Follow these steps to save the original installation files and keep them handy for future upgrades:
NEW METHOD: Works only with newer WU v4.0 web site. Go to this page, and follow this MSKB guide to save ANY updates for ANY available Windows
OS to your hard disk for future install. Detailed step-by-step guide:
Click the "Find updates for Microsoft Windows operating systems" link.
desired OS from the "Operating System" list.
Select desired language.
Click the "Search" button.
the "Critical Updates and Service Packs" item.
Select "Sort by: Posted date". This way newest updates will
be at the top.
Add desired updates to your download list by clicking the "Add" button as many times as necessary.
"Go to download basket" when done.
Make sure the folder where you wish to save the updates already exists on your
local hard drive(s)/partition(s). Otherwise create it.
Type the full path [drive letter followed by a colon (:),
backslash (\) and folder name] or click "Browse" to point to your newly created folder.
"Download now" button.
After all selected updates have completed downloading, you MUST close ALL MS IE web browser
Open %windir%\"Windows Update.log" (short name is WINDOW~1.LOG) [%windir% =
usually C:\WINDOWS] in Notepad or better text editor.
Cut & paste and save relevant URL links
as/into text/HTML files for future reference.
Go to the deepest tree folders created by WU under the main folder you
selected as destination, and rename/move/archive/whatever the EXE files.
METHOD: Works only with older WU v3.0 web site. After each update/fix is finished installing, open Windows
Explorer or File Manager (FM = %windir%\WINFILE.EXE), and search for a folder named Msdownload.tmp (short name is
MSDOWN~1), usually located underneath your main Windows directory, or if you have more than one hard disk/partition,
this folder may reside on your second drive/partition (D). Some of the automatically installed update files are also found
in the MS IE 4/5/6 temporary cache folders. Therefore it is advised to empty your Internet Explorer cache prior to
downloading updates, to find them easier afterwards. To do this: right-click on the Desktop Internet Explorer icon (or
open IE → click View → choose Internet Options) →
select Properties → click the General tab → click the Delete button under Temporary Internet Files. Consider
also removing ALL references to failed installs from your WULog.txt file, found in your Windows folder. To do this you need to strip it first of its hidden and read-only attributes: in Windows
Explorer, right-click on Wulog.txt→ select the General tab → uncheck the Read-only and Hidden boxes
→ click OK/Apply. Now edit Wulog.txt in Notepad and delete all lines that contain the word "failed". Some of the newer
Win98 system updates/fixes (especially if part of Win98 SP1 Update) are stored in your C:\Program Files\WindowsUpdate
folder (short name is C:\PROGRA~1\WINDOW~1). Look there for the WUHistv3.log text file, you can view/edit in
Notepad. Download ONE update at a time, and then look for any .CAB and/or .EXE files in these folders. Move them all to
a safe location (i.e. backup disk), and eventually zip them up to save space, by using one of these free(ware) "Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 File Shrinkers". Now you can erase ALL temporary folders mentioned
above from your fixed drives/partitions, which only add to disk space waste. :( Copy back the files you want from
your backups, and (re)install away when needed.
TIPS: To only extract individual
files from a compressed executable (.EXE), without installing the respective update, you can run it by using the command
line switches listed at this MSKB page. To extract
all files from a compressed cabinet (.CAB), (double-)click (or right-click and select Extract) on a CAB file in Windows
Explorer to decompress its files in the desired folder. All these .EXE command line parameters and the CabView
extraction tool are valid for ALL Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2/98/ME releases. Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 users ONLY:
CabView.DLL is NOT available, but you can get it as part of Microsoft Power Toys 95
Set [204 KB, free, unsupported]. Right-click on CabView.INF and select Install. Windows 98/98
SP1/98 SE(U)/ME users ONLY: CabView.DLL is already installed. To install updates using files extracted from CABs, one
would presume it's enough to right-click on the respective INF(ormation) file and choose Install. Wrong! These are
"advanced information files", and need to be executed with a command line similar to:RUNDLL32
ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection FILENAME.INF,Section_NameYou can also create a DOS style batch (.BAT) file
(using Notepad), to automate this process, and also to extract all files from a .CAB to the current folder before starting
the install routine:@ECHO OFF MEM /C | FIND /I "vmm32">NUL IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END IF NOT
EXIST *.CAB GOTO END START /W FOR %%1 IN (*.CAB) DO EXTRAC32 /E %%1 IF NOT EXIST *.INF GOTO END FOR %%2 IN (*.INF)
DO RUNDLL32 ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection %%2 :END EXITNote that the INFormation filename and extension (.INF)
MUST be entered after the batch filename (separated by a space), but the Section_Name is optional [separated by a comma
Windows 98 introduced a new (and very useful I might add) feature I like to call "Mapped Cache", inherited
also by its newer "sibling", Windows ME. Jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft, the Intel Application Launch Accelerator (IALA) technology
speeds up considerably application loading time, thus improving storage subsystem performance. IALA uses the new Windows 98/ME Defrag
and Task Monitor (TaskMon) tools, to speed up the loading of frequently used Win32 applications by "remapping"
the hard drive(s), and relocating the 32-bit program executables that meet the requirements for "optimization". This is
broken down into 4 settings, which can be tweaked separately, only by editing the Registry:
specific app profile: default is to use app profile to determine its "remapping"
minimum app log file size: these files have the .LGC, .LGD, .LGE etc extensions, depending on the
letter (C, D, E etc) assigned to the drive/partition where the program resides, default size being 1000 Bytes, after
which Defrag starts moving an app on disk,
maximum number of days an app is not being used: default is 90,
after which an app is not optimized anymore,
maximum number of apps allowed for optimization: default is
Mapped Cache requires this TaskMon command line as String value (default Win98/ME installation):"TaskMonitor"="C:\\Windows\\Taskmon.exe"under this Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Runto run the Task Monitor tool in the
background every time Windows loads. App remapping starts working ONLY AFTER the first time you run the Defrag tool
(C:\Windows\Defrag.exe) with the "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option enabled
(default), which actually moves parts of the executables towards the hard drive/partition ending (outer) cluster, obviously
accessed faster than the starting (inner) clusters.FYI: "The fastest accessing part of a hard
drive is on the outside where there is the largest circumference and the most sectors per track. The inside is slowest. On
the inside the heads have to seek over more tracks to span a given amount of data which makes seeks slower there for a given
data span. Also, for sequential reads a track boundary where a track or cylinder skew is needed (a slowdown) are more
frequent thus the inside is slower. HDs begin their sector numbering or Cyl-HD-Sect schemes beginning on the
outside. Defrag moves the dirs and app acceleration stuff to the outside/beginning/front/fastest part." [Thank you
Ron!]All remapping operations are logged in Optlog.txt, a plain text file located in the C:\Windows\Applog
folder, you can open with Notepad for viewing. Modifying this file won't make any difference, because it will be
overwritten each time an app is remapped, or after changing the Registry parameters shown below. So far we've seen the
defaults. But they can be changed by hacking your Registry. :) Start Regedit and go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag\AppStartParamsLook in
the right hand pane for these DWORD Values: "MaxApps", "MaxNoUseDays", "MinLogSize" +
"UseProfile". You can modify each of them: (double-)click on the one you want → check the Decimal box →
type a number → click OK or press Enter. These are the values I use, exactly as they appear in Regedit (only an
Numbers in parenthesis represent the Decimal values used for optimization. Try not to
increase/decrease these values too much (especially the "MinLogSize"), because remapping might stop working properly. The
"UseProfile" Value Data MUST be set to 1 in the Decimal box, otherwise remapping will NOT work!
To turn it off [but why would you do that for? :)], change its Decimal value to 0. Exit the Registry Editor when
done.Optionally you can delete all app log files: *.LGC, *.LGD, *.LGE etc, from C:\Windows\Applog. They will
be recreated when you first open a program, but ONLY AFTER running Defrag with the "Rearrange program files so my programs
start faster" option enabled, for ALL your fixed hard drives/partitions.FYI:
This topic applies to ALL 28.8 - 56 kbps analog modem owners, using any 56K protocol for 56K modems (3COM/US Robotics
x2, Rockwell/Lucent 56KFlex, or the newer ITU V.90 PCM standard) to connect to the Internet through the TCP/IP protocol, and
using Dial-Up Networking (DUN) in Windows 98/98 SE, to enable the fastest Internet transfers supported by these
modems.UPDATE: These tweaks apply also to Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 systems ONLY IF upgraded
with Dial-Up Networking (DUN) Upgrade 1.4 [1.8 MB, free],
because this DUN Update implements the "IPMTU" Registry value for Internet Packet size (MTU), besides the well
known "MaxMTU" setting.DEFINITION: Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU)
or packet size of a Network/ISP is the largest amount of data that can be transferred in one physical frame on
that Network. Fragmentation will occur if a packet is sent across a Network that has a MTU smaller than the packet's frame
length. This leads to lower performance as fragments need to be reassembled. The workaround in this case is to decrease
the Winsock's MTU value to match the minimum MTU of ALL intervening Networks. Since it is virtually impossible to
determine the minimum MTU of so many Networks, trial and error is almost always the best choice. Start by trying to match
your MTU value with your Network/ISP's MTU. Typical cases:
MTU = 1500
SLIP servers: MTU = 1006
PPP protocol (Internet TCP/IP): MTU = 576.
See also Microsoft's explanation of (Max)MTU.THE BUG:There is a little known (undocumented) limitation in
Windows 98: [more like a BUG :)] the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit), represented by the "IPMTU" String value in
Win98's Registry, which determines the maximum packet size of data that can "fit" through the network "pipes", when using the
PPP (Point to Point) protocol to connect to the Internet, is said to be limited to a minimum of 576, no matter what changes
are made to the Registry or to the TCP/IP settings: Control Panel → Network → Dial-Up Adapter → Advanced tab
→ IP Packet Size →Small or Custom (if the "Custom" value is created in the Registry). So even if you assign an IPMTU lower than
576 to the "Small" or "Custom" Strings under the Registry key below, Windows 98 still uses a packet size of 576.
"0"="Automatic" "1500"="Large" "1000"="Medium" "576"="Small" "548"="Custom"THE
WORKAROUND:BUT I have found a workaround to enable the use of a MTU lower than 576 with Win98, by applying the
Registry changes described below. Another Win98 BUG squashed! 1 down, 1 zillion to go... Ouch! ;) Thorough tests performed
on 36 different PC clones (that I am aware of so far), running Windows 98 retail, SP1 or SE(U), demonstrate the validity and
usability of this "fix".Why use a MTU lower than 576? Because with most ISPs and Online Services (like AOL), even if they
use a MTU of 576 at server end [read "ISPS KNOWN MTU VALUES" for details, also in
MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], using a MTU lower than 576 might improve modem throughput, thus
increase transfer rate, especially when accessing web pages with huge graphic files and/or when downloading large compressed
files (i.e. ZIP format) from WWW/FTP sites.WARNING: FIRST BACKUP YOUR WIN98 REGISTRY FILES TO
A SAFE LOCATION!The principle is to MATCH ALL MTU Registry values to the one you want (I used 548 in
this example).NOTE: A MTU lower than 512 becomes ineffective, resulting in too many small packets,
which end up overflowing the network "pipe".Experiment with different MTU values (i.e. 568, 560, 552, 548, 536, 528, 520,
512) to find your "sweet spot", depending on [too :(] many factors, like: your ISP's network type/speed, connection quality,
phone line conditions etc.
TWEAK "IPMTU":Start Regedit, go to these
"Net" keys, and modify ALL String values shown below to read 548:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0000 "IPMTU"="548"
"0"="Automatic" "1500"="Large" "1000"="Medium" "548"="Small"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0002 "IPMTU"="548"The "548"="Small"
String above needs to be renamed to show 548. If any of these Strings are not present, create them (read further
below the paragraph on creating a new MaxMTU String for details on how to do this). These are ONLY my
"Net" keys, and you MUST make these changes ONLY under YOUR Net keys that display "DriverDesc"="Dial-Up
Adapter" and "DriverDesc"="AOL Adapter" (the second one applies ONLY to AOL users who installed version 3.0, 4.0
or 5.0 of AOL 32-bit software).
Select the Small IP Packet size (after renaming the "576"="Small" Registry
String above to "548") for your TCP/IP connections in Control Panel → Network → Dial-Up Adapter → Advanced tab
→ IP Packet Size →Small (set in this case to 548).
with the Registry Editor open, go to these "NetTrans" keys, and modify ALL String values shown below to read 548,
IDENTICAL with the String values under the "Net" keys above:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0000 "MaxMTU"="548"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0003 "MaxMTU"="548"These are ONLY my
"NetTrans" keys, and you MUST make these changes ONLY under YOUR NetTrans keys that display
"DriverDesc"="TCP/IP". The MaxMTU String is not present by default if you have NEVER added it to your Registry,
either manually by using Regedit, or by running a MTU "tweaker", like EasyMTU [360 KB, freeware]. To create a new
MaxMTU String by using Regedit: right-click on each of your NetTrans 000n (0000, 0001, 0002, 0003 etc) subkeys
that contain the "DriverDesc"="TCP/IP" parameter → select New → String → right-click on the new String
→ select Rename → name it MaxMTU→ Click OK or press Enter. Now (double-)click on each "MaxMTU" String
→ change its value to read 548→ Click OK or press Enter.TIP: If you connect to AOL, try to use MTU=548
with ALL your IPMTU and MaxMTU Strings for MAXimum performance. [Thank you Ojatex!]Close Regedit when
done and restart Windows so all changes can take effect. Note that you have to restart Windows every time you modify the
Now test if the new MTU settings really work, and if it makes any difference on your system:
Connect to your Internet provider as usual, using DUN or AOL 3.0/4.0/5.0 32-bit software (if you use AOL as your
Open a DOS box and run this PING command (parameters are case sensitive):PING -f
-l 548 www.your_isp_name.comor this one (for ISPs that have the "net" suffix instead of "com"):PING -f -l 548 www.your_isp_name.netNote that I used here a packet size IDENTICAL with the
Registry MTU value (548 in this example), in order to obtain non-fragmented "pings". Using a packet size larger than
the one specified in the Registry will return ALL packets as fragmented! Replace "your_isp_name" (no quotes) with your
real ISP name. Example:PING -f -l 548 www.att.netif using AT&T WorldNet as your
ISP. For accurate results, you need to run PING BEFORE making ANY Registry changes, and ONLY IF you have
NEVER changed the MTU by editing the Registry or by using a MTU tweaking tool, like EasyMTU [360 KB, freeware], thus using the default Win98 MTU value of
1500. If you DID change the MTU before, open Regedit, go to the "IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings listed above under YOUR
"Net" and "NetTrans" keys (respecting the conditions stated above for ALL IPMTU and MaxMTU Registry values!), DELETE ALL
"IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings you find, and then set: Control Panel → Network → Dial-Up Adapter → Advanced tab
→ IP Packet Size → Large → click OK twice. Then restart Windows, and run PING again with a MTU of 1500 (the
default). Only after that apply the MTU changes in the example above (all "IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings MUST read an IDENTICAL value, in this case
548), restart Windows again, and run PING one more time using 548 for the Packet Size, as described above. Compare the
PING times in both cases, and notice any differences.NOTE: In most cases you need to add 28 to
the MTU value returned by pinging your ISP's server, because they do NOT account for the IP (20 Bytes) or ICMP (8 Bytes)
headers when reporting their MTU!
Another good test for confirming an increase in modem transfer speed is to download
the same file from the same site, using the same WWW/FTP browser, BEFORE and AFTER making the changes to your Registry (using
a MTU of 1500 and 548 respectively), and timing your downloads for comparison.
You can also run these tests with the
MTU set to 576, which in some cases might give you the best transfer rate (depending on your ISP).
these other topics [all part of W95-11D.EXE] to help you speed up your analog modem transfers to the
Have you ever got a "VxD error" message while starting Windows 98 or 98 SE? It's pretty much "fatal", and
automatically returns you to the DOS prompt. :( Especially if you upgraded to Win98 from Win95 or OSR2, since some old
32-bit protected virtual drivers might have "survived" the upgrade. The Windows 98 Resource Kit (RK) Help file
(WIN98RK.HLP, found in the \TOOLS\RESKIT\HELP subfolder on the Win98/98 SE Setup CD-ROM) states that:"If a virtual device driver (VxD) is missing or damaged, Windows 98 displays an error message that indicates which
VxD is involved. If the VxD is critical to the operation of Windows 98, then Windows 98 does not start and the screen
displays the command prompt. You might need to run Windows 98 Setup and select Verify or Safe Recovery to replace the missing
VxD."But there is an easier solution to this problem. The generic driver VMM32.VXD (located in
C:\Windows\System) was built when you first installed Win98 on your computer. Depending on your hardware specs, it may
contain some or all of the following VXDs (Virtual eXtended Drivers): biosxlat.vxd, configmg.vxd, dynapage.vxd, ebios.vxd,
enable.vxd, ifsmgr.vxd, int13.vxd, ios.vxd, parity.vxd, reboot.vxd, vcache.vxd, vcd.vxd, vcomm.vxd, vcond.vxd, vdd.vxd,
vdef.vxd, vfat.vxd, vfbackup.vxd, vflatd.vxd, vkd.vxd, vmcpd.vxd, vmouse.vxd, vmpoll.vxd, vpd.vxd, vsd.vxd, vtdapi.vxd,
vwin32.vxd, vxdldr.vxd. VMM32.VXD is not only slow to load (because of its huge size), but if you have added/changed your
hardware devices after installing Win98, this old driver might not match your system specs anymore. Certain system errors,
like random lockups, error messages at startup, VMM errors, erratic and/or slow mouse movement etc, might be resolved by
selectively overriding a VXD included within VMM32.VXD. Start by manually extracting one or more of these individual
drivers from the .CAB files found in the \Win98 folder on your Win98 Setup CD-ROM, and then copying them to your
C:\Windows\System\Vmm32 folder (change the Windows folder name if different on your machine). Use this command line
(example):EXTRACT /Y /A D:\WIN98\BASE4.CAB VCOMM.VXDto extract VCOMM.VXD to the current
directory. Typing in the first .CAB file name in a given folder (in this case BASE4.CAB), forces EXTRACT.EXE to search all
CABs in the same directory for the file you specify. Change the CD-ROM drive letter if different on your system. Now
move VCOMM.VXD to C:\Windows\System\Vmm32, and reboot. From now on Win98 will use the individual VXD instead of the one
contained in VMM32.VXD, because if the same VXD loads twice, the second instance (in this case the one in
C:\Windows\System\Vmm32) intercepts all the calls to that particular VXD. Alternatively you can edit SYSTEM.INI (located
in your Windows folder) using Notepad, and add an entry for the VXD you know creates "problems", under the [386enh] section.
Example:device=vcomm.vxdVXDs known to generate error messages more frequently are:
configmg.vxd, ntkern.vxd, vcomm.vxd, vdd.vxd, vdmad.vxd, vflatd.vxd and vmouse.vxd. You can also check which VXDs
are used in VMM32.VXD on your Win98 computer by running Control Panel → System → Device Manager tab → Your
device name → Driver tab →Driver File Details button, and look for all drivers that have VMM32 in parenthesis after their
filenames. Example:C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VCOMM.VXD (VMM32)Check all items on your Device
Manager list for similar drivers and write down their names. Extract them to C:\Windows\System\Vmm32 and then reboot. Now
go back into Device Manager, and check again for the same drivers. You'll notice that all (VMM32) instances after the
driver filenames are gone.WARNING: If you exceed the maximum number of VXDs allowed by Windows
9x at startup (80), the GUI may fail to load or display a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)!FYI:
Run VXD_FIX.BAT [27 KB, free] to copy all necessary VXD files from your Win98/98 SE(U) Setup CD-ROM to the
UPDATE: "I have researched the VMM32.VXD issue and found
3 useful tools [40 KB, free] that work with VXD type archives like VMM32.VXD:
DEVLIB.EXE [Microsoft Windows VxD Library Manager]: MS tool included with OSR 2.1 USB Supplement (USBSUP) to create VXD archives, dump their contents, pack, unpack (not
extract!) or append a specified VXD file to it.
RPLCLDR.EXE [Microsoft Replace Loader]: MS tool included with OSR 2.1 USB Supplement (USBSUP) to replace an existing driver inside VXD archives with a specified VXD
VXDLIB.EXE [VXD Library Manager]: 3rd
party tool (freeware) to list, dump, pack (better than DEVLIB), unpack and even extract VXD files from VXD libraries.
also VxDMon for
Windows 9x/ME (freeware). WARNINGS: DO NOT replace any existing VXD from inside the VMM32 folder with a
VXD file extracted from original Windows CAB files! This will replace the updated VXD with an OLDER version, removing any
fixes made by ANY NEWER VXD update! Sometimes, updated VXDs will be compiled into the VMM32.VXD archive if you place an
original VXD (from a CAB file) into the VMM32 folder, while a NEWER version of that VXD exists inside the VMM32.VXD archive,
because this will REPLACE the NEW driver with the OLDER one, which also removes all NEWER VXD fixes! My advice is to leave
the VXD files inside the VXD archive unchanged, because I did not really notice any performance boost (on any PC) by placing
the VXDs inside the VMM32 subfolder. Though, speeding up VMM32.VXD load time can be achieved by unpacking it (turning it into
an unpacked archive) by issuing this command from native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode from inside the %windir%\SYSTEM folder: VXDLIB -U VMM32.VXD Of course, you must copy VXDLIB.EXE to %windir%\SYSTEM beforehand." [Thank you
Defragmenting all your hard drives/partitions with no overhead (background programs running or TSRs/VXDs loaded), to
avoid any interference or potential lockups, can be done three ways:
Change to the \Tools\Mtsutil folder on
your Win98 Setup CD-ROM, and right-click on Defrag.inf. Select Install. This will create a
one-time entry (DEFRAG.EXE /ALL) under this Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnceDefrag will start
automatically next time you boot, before the login prompt, therefore before any other program loads.
This one looks
more like a bug fix... :)"To disable the screen saver automatically every time before Defrag starts, run Regedit and go
right hand pane right-click to create a new String named DisableScreenSaver. (Double-)click on it and give it the value
YES. See this MSKB page for details."Second
method courtesy of Gpinzone.
"If defrag keeps resetting due to programs running in the background, start
up in MS-DOS Mode (press F8 during the boot sequence), edit SYSTEM.INI with Notepad or Sysedit, and change the shell= entry
under the [boot] section from Explorer.exe to Defrag.exe. This will ensure that Defrag is the only process to load
instead of all your other programs. You will have to change it back after defragging of course!"Third method courtesy
of Craig.TIP: You don't need to restart or reboot
Windows after modifying the shell= line. Just press and hold Ctrl+Alt+Del → highlight Explorer (or the name of your
custom shell executable) → click End Task → click No at the Shut down screen → click End Task again. The new shell
specified in SYSTEM.INI will reload presto. :)
"In Win98/ME open Regedit and disable (rename its executable) the
TaskMonitor (%windir%\Taskmon.exe) Registry String Value under:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunThe programs/tasks usage will not be
recorded anymore: no read/write activity in the %windir%\Applog directory."Fourth method courtesy of G
When you click the Start button, scroll down to Settings, then hold the Ctrl key and click "Taskbar & Start
Menu...", a new tab shows up in the Taskbar Properties: "Deskbar Options". If you click on this tab, there are no
functions available and all buttons are grayed out, so I called it the "phantom Deskbar". Hmmm... Strange... You
can make the "Deskbar" appear also if you hold down the Ctrl key while right-clicking somewhere on an empty spot on
the raised Taskbar, NOT in the sunken Tray area. Take a peek at the hidden Deskbar Options tab. More info @ MSKB.UPDATES:
"I've known about the Phantom Deskbar for a while now, but it's not widely known since it is
undocumented. The Deskbar is not going to work regardless of what the user does, because there is no code for it to use. A deskbar is where you take a set of icons from the taskbar (such as the Win98/IE4/IE5
default for Internet Explorer, Outlook Express etc) and you drag the little vertical line on the left side of the icons on that bar up onto your desktop or to the side or bottom of your screen, depending on where the
original taskbar is situated on your screen. That's the same thing as a deskbar, and you'll notice a small window will come up with the icons in it which you dragged and dropped elsewhere on your desktop from the
taskbar. The Phantom Deskbar appears on Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 as well. It may also affect Windows 95 if Internet Explorer 4.0 or 5.0 is installed. Using the Phantom
Deskbar trick may sometimes lock up the computer." This update courtesy of The Captain.
"The Deskbar Options tab is
generated from SHDOCVW.DLL. There are a few references to Deskbar in the Registry - mainly "Clsids" in HKCR and HKLM. But
there are strings to it under: HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Shell
Extensions/Approved" This update courtesy of Ojatex.
And this one comes directly from
the "horse's mouth" (anonymous source): "I have spoken with the "top of the engineering chain" and here are the results.
The deskbar options tab was a part of the operating system that was being considered during the beta stages. For unknown
reasons, this tab was not taken out of the final code. However, the tab has no meaning or functionality..."