Windows 98/98 SE
Tricks + Secrets - Part 4

Go to Windows 98 ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
5-25-00 Win98/OSR2 ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Courtesy of Chris.

"Some Win98/98 SE setups (this also applies to Win95B/95C OSR2.x) are configured to automatically run ScanDisk after Windows has either crashed or exited incorrectly. This always creates a SCANDISK.LOG file... Until now! :)
In your %windir%\COMMAND folder you will find the SCANDISK.INI file. Open it with Notepad. Scroll down to the [CUSTOM] section. You should see this line:


Change it to read:


Save your file.
That's it!"

NOTE: Read "BYPASS AUTOSCAN", also in OSR2TIPS.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE), to see how to enable/disable Scandisk upon bootup, valid for both OSR2 and Win98 systems.

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2-9-00 Win98/98 SE ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Thanks a mill[ennium :)] Jsjr for your cool tip!

"Everybody knows how to use the Win9x Add/Remove Programs Startup Disk property page to create a boot floppy, but Windows 98 has two others, more flexible, but less known ways to create a boot disk(ette), ONLY IF using an internal [1.44 or 2.88 MB] 3.5 inch floppy drive set as drive A:

  1. The first is a simple batch file called BOOTDISK.BAT located in your %windir%\COMMAND folder (usually C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND). Under that directory is a subfolder called EDB, which holds all the files the Startup Disk applet uses to make the traditional Windows 98 boot disk. You can create your own custom boot floppy by dragging the desired files, i.e. EDIT.COM, MSD.EXE etc, to the EDB folder, and then executing BOOTDISK.BAT.

  2. The second method uses a Windows utility called NOCOMP.EXE found in the C:\Program Files\Plus!\System folder, which relies on the NOCOMP.INF configuration file to determine which programs to include or exclude from the boot disk. Its advantage is that it reads your AUTOEXEC.BAT + CONFIG.SYS files (and optionally the AUTOEXEC.DOS + CONFIG.DOS files with REAL MODE MS-DOS drivers, if still dual-booting into MS-DOS 6.xx) to transfer needed files to your startup disk.
    NOCOMP.EXE can also exclude unnecessary files such as DRVSPACE.BIN, which is rather large, and DrvSpace is rarely used on most boot disks anyway, because it works ONLY with FAT16 drives/partitions smaller than 2 GB.
    NOCOMP.EXE is also available with MS Plus! for Windows 95 according to this MSKB article."

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2-2-00 Win98/AOL Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This Win98/98 SE + AOL Scanreg trick appears thanks to Da Drk Sde.

"In order to backup a file with Scanreg, that file must reside in a directory that has an LDID (Logical Directory ID) defined. To create a user defined LDID, so we can backup critical (including those created by AOL) files, we need to fire up Regedit and go to:


There you should see some already user-defined LDIDs. They should be numerically ordered, so scroll down to the last one. My last one had "C:\PROGRA~1\Plus!\Themes" defined as LDID "30400". I added 5 to that [30405] to allow for any future expansion Microsoft may have in mind on Plus! LDIDs.
This was a completely arbitrary call on my part. I haven't checked the MSDN website yet to see if there are LDID sub-categories and how they're applied to user-defined LDIDs, but it works for now. Next, create a new String Value naming it to that entry plus 5 [e.g. since Themes was 30400 I created a valuename of 30405]. Then set the value to the path you want an LDID defined for. I set mine to "C:\America Online 4.0\Idb" so I could backup the Main.idx and Main.ind files in that folder. Now you can open Scanreg.ini in Notepad, and add the line:


Replace "LDID" with the LDID you just created in the Registry, and "file1,file2,file3..." with the filenames you want to backup.
Now test it by running Scanreg from the Run box on the Start Menu, and answering Yes when it asks if you want to backup. Then do a Find for "Rb*.cab" files, which should give a list of the Registry backup files in your System folder [assuming default directory wasn't changed], and click the date heading in the Find applet to sort them by date. The first one on the list should be the one you just made.
Use your Cab Viewer to see the contents of the new Cab file. If everything worked, you should see the additional files you added in Scanreg.ini.

CAUTION: This is still in experimental phase, since I haven't tested the effects of replacing an old Main.idx/Main.ind on a configuration that may have changed. Use at your own risk and please let me know of results."

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1-27-00 Win98/98 SE ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Credited to vv (anonymous).

"Many PC users have a hard time defragging their drives. Microsoft recommends deleting C:\Windows\Applog. However this rarely enables the optimization portion of the Defrag to be rebuilt properly, if at all. I suggest to follow these steps:

  1. Rename and extract Defrag.exe and Cvtaplog.txt to C:\Windows with SFC.

  2. Empty the C:\Windows\Applog folder.

  3. Make sure Taskmon.exe runs from Msconfig, Startup or in:


    Use Regedit to access Registry keys and values.

  4. Most importantly of all, remove the "ExcludeApps" value under:


  5. You must make sure there is a "UseProfile"=dword:1 under this key:


    Mine looks like this (as REG file):

    -----Begin cut & paste here-----
    ------End cut & paste here------

  6. Reboot and start Defrag. Subsequent use of applications and reboots will rebuild the Applog file.

As you can imagine the first time you defrag will be the slowest time. But it will make steady progress and be appreciably faster than before."

FYI: See also these related topics, also in TIPS98.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE):

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1-5-00 Win98/ME ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Remember the cool HwDiag tool that Microsoft bundled with OSR2? If you don't, see "HARDWARE DIAGNOSTIC", also in OSR2TIPS.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE), for details.
Well, guess what? Windows 98/98 SE/ME come with a similar "toy" called HwInfo (Hardware History Diagnostic Tool). HWINFO.EXE resides in your Windows folder.
But normally (run by itself), HwInfo does NOT display anything, only performs a full system checkup, and stores the system information in the HWINFO.DAT binary file, also found in C:\Windows.
To force its User Interface (UI) to become "visible", you need to run it with this command line parameter:


Just like HwDiag, HwInfo displays loads of hardware related information about your computer, by reading the Registry.
The list is actually huge, but VERY useful in tracking potential system errors, lockups, incompatibilities etc.
HwInfo's color coded entries have not changed. Here they are:

BTW: HwInfo "clutters" your hard disk with these 3 files:and they are NOT needed after you're done using it, and you can safely delete them, they will be recreated to contain your up to date system specs whenever you run HwInfo anyway. :)

HWINFO.EXE [108 KB] from Windows ME (newest + •last• version) works with all Windows 95/OSR2/98 releases.

FYI: More info @ MSKB:

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12-29-99 Win98/ME ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This Win98/ME (all releases) tip was unearthed thanks to Paul.

"I found this thread at the Windows 98 Annoyances Forum. I've applied the tweak, but too soon to tell if it causes any problems. Does seem to add a performance boost:"

Q [Horst Mueller]:

"Having trouble with Win98 swap file, sometimes it indicates 50 MB then it will soar to over 100, giving me false readings on available disk space. I have 128 MB RAM. I have reinstalled Win98, all programs and all Win98 updates which takes me about 12 hours each time."

A [Dan A. Wilson]:

"I've suggested this several times here before, and I use it and swear by it as a tweak for both speeding up Win98 and controlling the outlandish sizes of swapfiles when you have a ton of available hard memory (128 MB).
Quoted from this MSKB article:

Windows 98 added a new feature, PageFile_Call_Async_Manager, that allows the Memory Manager to asynchronously write out page file (swap file) buffers during periods of time when VFAT file system activity is not busy...
You can disable this feature, causing the system to behave as Windows 95 does, at some cost in overall system performance. Add the following entry to the SYSTEM.INI file under its [386Enh] section:


The "cost in overall system performance" never came up on mine. Things just got better all around.
This tweak will force the notoriously bad Win98 Memory Manager to use your available chip memory for its functions first, and all uses of chip memory are •much faster• than any use of read-write HD file memory.
It's worth a try.
My Win98 computer purrs with this tweak, and is much faster than it was without it, and the swap file, which used to never be less than 40 MB and was often over 100 MB is now almost always zero or nearly zero.
After you add the new line, save SYSTEM.INI and reboot.
If there's any reduction in performance or any problem, just edit SYSTEM.INI again to remove the line, save the file and reboot...

The ridiculous Memory (mis-)Manager is now USING your 128 MB of RAM, instead of roaring off to the HD swapfile every time 40% of your available memory has been tapped, and the result is that your swapfile now sits at zero most of the time, while your hard memory is serving all of your needs. If, in fact, you ever push your memory to about 85% usage, a swap file of 10 to 15 MB may be created, but it will disappear when you close down the (30 memory-hungry) things you're running at once and shut down the machine. The next time you boot up, there will be a zero swap file.
If you ever configure a Win98 computer that has 64 MB of RAM or less, this fix probably won't work. It depends on a massive quantity of available memory to work."


Try the ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1 tweak on your computer and use the built-in Win9x/ME System Monitor (%windir%\SYSMON.EXE) tool to keep track of free/used resources (add the Disk Cache and Memory Manager items to the monitor window), enable logging (click File Start logging... choose a path for Sysmon.log click Save), and then run a few apps/games you know are RAM/disk intensive.
Repeat these steps, this time using the ConservativeSwapfileUsage=0 setting.
Then open Sysmon.log in Notepad and look for differences. If there are any, keep the SYSTEM.INI line that brings the most performance boost to your machine.

More Windows 98/ME memory management tips:

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10-14-99 Win9x/NT4/ME/2000/XP/2003 Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


... Suggested by Casper.

This Registry hack is valid for all Windows 95, 98, ME + NT 4.0 releases, but applies ONLY to 32-bit DLLs, NOT to 16-bit or "mixed" 16 + 32 bit DLLs.
Windows OS does NOT always unload opened DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) used by programs/games from memory (where they are cached for faster execution), upon closing the respective application (default action), therefore keeping unused DLLs in the memory buffer much longer than necessary, even after their programs closed, thus slowing down system performance, because over time the amount of RAM dedicated to holding them grows gradually as more apps are opened. :(
To fix this, start Regedit and go to (both are necessary):

  1. AlwaysUnloadDll subkey:


    In the right hand pane look for the "(Default)" String [REG_SZ] value. Make sure its value is 1.
    If not present, create a new Registry subkey: highlight the "explorer" subkey (see above) right-click in the left hand pane select New Key type AlwaysUnloadDll hit Enter highlight the new "AlwaysUnloadDll" subkey double-click on the "(Default)" String Value in the right hand pane type 1 click OK or hit Enter.

  2. AlwaysUnloadDll DWORD [REG_DWORD] value:


    In the right hand pane look for the "AlwaysUnloadDll" DWORD [REG_DWORD] value. Make sure its value is 1.
    If not present, create a new Registry DWORD [REG_DWORD] value: highlight the "explorer" subkey (see above) right-click in the right hand pane select New DWORD Value type AlwaysUnloadDll hit Enter highlight the new "AlwaysUnloadDll" DWORD Value double-click on it check the Decimal box replace whatever text with 1 click OK or hit Enter.

The caveat is that certain (especially older and/or 16-bit) Windows programs might "complain" by issuing error messages [like Invalid Page Faults (IPFs)], or even crashing the entire system (Win95/98/ME only) when this option is turned on. :(
But you can turn it off by deleting both the Registry "AlwaysUnloadDll" subkey and the "AlwaysUnloadDll" DWORD value.
If you haven't experienced such errors/lockups, you can leave it on, because this setting speeds up GUI operation a bit, by freeing chunks of unused RAM and returning it to the system once in a while.
Close the Registry Editor when done and restart Windows for the change to take effect.

More info:

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9-30-99 Win98 SE/IE5 Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:

98 SE + NEW IE5

After installing the current final release of Microsoft Internet Explorer (MS IE) (5.5 SP1 as of this writing), when you right-click on Iexplore.exe (MS IE executable) and select the Properties tab, the downloadable version should display 5.00.3020.2100 [release 5.51], no matter if you downloaded the Microsoft "generic" release or a "customized" (different logo, home page etc) 3rd party IE5 version (there are tons of them out there).
The MS IE release installed by Win98 SE identifies itself as 5.00.2614.3500.

BUG: If you installed Win98 SEU ($19.95 Upgrade, Full or Update retail/OEM releases), and then tried to install the current IE release (which is NEWER than the one bundled with Win98 SE), you may have noticed that IE5 was NOT updated to the new version! To FIX this BUG:

  1. Run Regedit and go to:


    Right-click on this key and select Delete. Exit the Registry editor.

  2. Move Iemigrat.dll from C:\Windows\System to a backup/remote drive/folder.

  3. In some cases you may have to reinstall Win98 SE BEFORE installing the most recent MS IE release.

  4. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: Check INTERNET EXPLORER (IE) 4/5/6/7/8/9/10 ESSENTIAL FREE FIXES + UPDATES on a regular basis for NEW updates/patches/hotfixes, and install MS IE 6.0 SP1 (final release compatible with Win98/ME) because it installs the latest security patches and interface bug fixes.

Also note that Win98 SE(U) won't allow you to install an older IE5 build over the one it comes bundled with or over the newer one you have installed! But why would you do that anyway? :)

IE5 installed by Win98 SE(U) adds a new Sharing button (for use with ICS = Internet Connection Sharing) under the Communications tab, when you click the Tools Internet Options from the IE5 menu, or when you right-click on the IE5 Desktop icon and select Properties.
If you do NOT see the new Sharing button, apply the fix detailed in this MSKB article.

UPDATE: "You do NOT have a Sharing button, unless ICS is installed from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. ICS should ONLY be installed on one machine in a network. Client machines do NOT need it installed as they should use TCP/IP to access the host machine as if it were a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server."
[Thank you Captain!]

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9-30-99 Win98 SE ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Many thanks Gary for this BUG fix!

"I am using the Internet Connection Service (ICS) from Win98 SE, and find it quite useful, but I did notice a problem with my connection on my other PC. I have a cable modem, and I am sharing it with only 1 other PC.

Microsoft released a fix detailed in the "Slow Transfer Rates with ICS and High-Bandwidth Devices" MSKB article:

    If an Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) host is using a high-bandwidth connection to the Internet, the transfer rate may be slower than the medium's normal rate.

    To resolve this issue, remove the following registry key on the host and then restart your computer:

    This key should NOT be removed if you are using a dial-up connection with a modem over an analog phone line."

I looked at it, and it was set to 512, it does not default to the LAN setting (1500) like everything else. I guess they had the idea mostly dial-up accounts would be using it? I manually changed it to 1500."

UPDATE: "This gives ICS client machines [the ones using the shared connection] more speed if the MTU is set to the same value as the ISP's, and specifies what MTU they will use for Internet based MTU value, if connecting through ICS via a network.
But if using a local stand alone machine's modem, ICS uses Win98 SE's default or user specified MTU. Remember, the host/server machine will still use its "stand alone" settings for Internet traffic MTU."
[Thank you Captain SiskoX!]

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9-30-99 Win98 SE/IE5 ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Thank you Michael!

"I have Win98 SE that came with IE 5.0. I like having the option of accepting cookies or not, and with IE 4.0 this was done under the Advanced tab of Internet Explorer Options. However when I installed Win98 2nd Edition (SE), this option was gone. But I discovered it now under the Security tab of Internet Explorer Options: select the custom level button for each zone and configure the cookies option the way you wish."

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9-8-99 Win98 SE ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Thank you Michael for your cool tip!

"As you know the Win98 Second Edition (SE) Upgrade (NOT Updates, a.k.a. SEU) has the DOS Setup disabled by default, meaning you can't do a clean install from a newly formatted hard disk. Actually the Setup program first checks for any qualifying Win98 original build [4.10.1998] file. What I did:

  1. Boot to native MS-DOS using a floppy boot disk (A) with CD-ROM support created by Win98 original build.
  2. Run FDISK from A to create a new D (hard disk) partition.
  3. Copy all Win98 SE install files from the Setup CD \WIN98 folder to the D partition.
  4. Install Win98 original build from the Setup CD.
  5. Run Win98 SE Setup and create a boot disk (A) when prompted.
  6. Reboot to native MS-DOS using the Win98 SE floppy boot disk.
  7. Run FORMAT from A with the /S option to reformat "clean" the C partition, and then copy the system files to C:\ root after formatting is completed.
  8. Remove the boot disk from A and reboot to native MS-DOS.
  9. Run the DOS based Win98 SE Upgrade Setup from the D partition.

This worked, and I was able to save about 50 MB of disk space since the system files are backed up by default if I install over the original build. Also, Windows Update Manager does a more accurate job of analyzing which patch needs to be installed. Before I used to run into a lot of redundant patches since Windows Update Manager in the original Win98 build doesn't seem to work properly if Win98 SE is installed on top of it.
Note that I've used Win98 SE Upgrade Setup CD [build 4.10.2222 A] for this procedure. I don't know if this works with other custom/OEM builds."

FYI: Check out this page for more details on how to install Win95/98 without (re)formatting your hard drive(s).

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9-1-99 Win98/98 SE Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


You can improve Windows 98/98 SE performance by disabling the annoying Low Disk Space monitoring and warning message that pops up whenever disk space on your fixed drive(s) falls below the minimum specified by the system. This is enabled by default, and these are possible warning messages you may get:

"Hard disk is low on disk space."


"You are running out of disk space on drive X.
To free space on this drive by deleting old or unnecessary files, run Disk Cleanup.

The percentage of low disk space monitoring is set depending on the size of your drive(s). By default a 1 GB drive runs low at 5%, and a 2 GB drive at 2.5%. Look at this MSKB table for more details on low disk space percentages depending on drive size.

BEWARE: If you disable this setting, whenever you run out of space without knowing it, you may experience system/application errors, especially if using a resizable swap file (default file name is Win386.swp) located on your primary/master (fixed) drive!

To do this, run Regedit and go to:


Create a new DWORD value: right-click on an empty spot in the Regedit screen select New click DWORD Value name it DisableLowDiskSpaceBroadcast. Or double-click on it if it already exists check the Decimal box type 67108863 click OK or press Enter.
To (re)enable Low Disk Space notification on ALL your fixed, removable, remote/network, etc drives (A to Z), just delete the "DisableLowDiskSpaceBroadcast" value.
To enable/disable the Low Disk Space warning on selected drives, follow the guidelines at this MSKB page.
Windows needs to be restarted after applying these changes.

More info @ MSKB.

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6-29-99 Win98/98 SE Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This is a fragment quoted from the "Windows 98 MTSUTIL.TXT File" MSKB article:

"Windows 98 supports the mapping of cached pages to increase the amount of memory available to running applications. The Windows 98 memory manager architecture divides memory into 2 parts:Reading from memory is much faster than reading from the hard disk. VCACHE improves performance by reducing the number of times the hard disk is accessed. A process in memory will demand a particular section of code; if that section of code is in VCACHE, it can be accessed and used much more quickly than if that section of code needs to be read from a file on disk.
For example, if you were to launch an application, close it, and then shortly thereafter launch it a second time, the application's launch time would now be noticeably reduced. This is a result of copying much of the application from VCACHE instead of the hard disk.
Memory allocated to the disk cache is not available to executing processes.
Reducing the amount of memory available to running applications negatively impacts performance by increasing the amount of data swapped from memory to the hard disk.

What does all this "mumbo-jumbo" mean? Basically Win98 will act faster if a portion of the computer's memory is allocated for the fixed disk "mapped cache", thus avoiding frequent access to the slower swap file (supplemental "virtual" memory located on the fixed disk). The disadvantage is (only obvious on PCs with less than 64 MB of RAM) that this "retained" memory is not available to applications anymore, thus reducing the amount of memory Windows 98 can "play" with.
Therefore it is recommended to enable the Win98 "mapped cache" feature on machines with at least 64 MB RAM (and definitively if you have 128 MB or more), to improve performance at the expense of little less memory available to programs.
To do so, start Regedit and go to:


In the right hand pane, make sure the "MapCache" Binary value is not present.
If you see it, delete it: right-click on it and select Delete or highlight it and press Del, then click Yes or press Enter.
Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows.
To disable the "mapped cache" on Win98 systems with less than 64 MB RAM (and definitively if you have 32 MB or less), run Regedit, and scroll down to the Registry key above.
Create a new "MapCache" entry: right-click on an empty spot in the Regedit screen, select New Binary Value type in MapCache (its value is of no importance, according to Microsoft) click OK or press Enter.
Exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows.
The information quoted above is also available in the MTSUTIL.TXT file, located on the Win98 Setup CD-ROM, in the \TOOLS\MTSUTIL subfolder. Open it in Notepad for reading.
You can also enable "mapped cache" without "messing" with the Registry, by running MAPC_ON.INF, or disable it by installing MAPC_OFF.INF. These are 2 information (.INF) files, also found in \TOOLS\MTSUTIL.
To do this right-click on the one you want in Explorer, select Install, and finally restart Windows.

NOTE: For details on how to configure your "mapped cache" for maximum performance on your Win98 system, read "MAP THE CACHE", also in TIPS98.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE).

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6-24-99 Win98/98 SE Original ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This kept bugging me since I have installed Win98 retail/final/gamma/Gold Upgrade on my Abit BH6 Pentium II/III ATX motherboard, back in December '98.
To my knowlegde a Windows 98/ME ATX computer canNOT be forced to shut down to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode, as we were accustomed to in the good ol' Win95/OSR1/OSR2 days, due to the inability of the 98/ME kernel of accepting such redirecting commands. The 98/ME shut-down sequence does not allow to exit the GUI without performing a complete system power off, independent of the ACPI (Advanced Configuration Power Interface) status, and even disabling all ACPI/APM features in the BIOS and in the Control Panel Power Management applet makes no difference. :(
The standard ATX 2.xx PC power supply unit (PSU) includes a remote ON/OFF feedback wire, which allows a compatible Operating System (like Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/2003) to send a "soft(ware)" signal to the computer's PSU, literally turning it off. That's why this process is also called "soft power-off" or "soft-off".

ATX + ACPI/APM standards + specs:

Certain ATX motherboards have the ability to disable the system shut down feature through a BIOS Setup setting called "AC Back Function" (?), but unfortunately the Abit BH6 and BE6 series are not among them. :(

As some of you may have noticed, another new "feature" (I'd call it rather an annoyance) of the new ATX powered motherboards/systems is the single position electrical power switch (called momentary SPST switch), which can only send an ON/OFF "hard" signal to the power supply ("hard power-off" or "hard-off"), but it is not a true ON/OFF switch, and it canNOT physically turn off the system, because it doesn't have an OFF position, as classic (older) dual position mechanical ON/OFF switches do on AT and Baby AT form factor motherboards.
To make a long story short, here are the solutions I found to prevent Win98 complete shut down, and exit the GUI to native MS-DOS instead:




    To properly exit/shut down Windows 9x to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode, follow the steps detailed in "DOS NOW!", also in MYTIPS95.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE).
    Then apply ONLY one of the tweaks below:


    1. Download the patched English + German WIN.COM files [26 KB, free].

    2. Use one of these "Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 File Shrinkers" (most are freeware) to extract all files from 98ATXFIX.ZIP.

    3. Rename your original WIN.COM from %windir% (usually C:\WINDOWS) to something like WINCOM.OLD (example).

    4. Rename English WIN98ENG.COM or German WIN98GER.COM to WIN.COM depending on which Language version of Windows 98/98 SE you are using.

    5. Move the new WIN.COM to %windir% (usually C:\WINDOWS).

    6. Reboot.

    This tweak allows Windows to return to native/real/true/pure MS-DOS ONLY IF you select the "Restart in MS-DOS mode" option from the Shut Down menu.
    If you select the "Shut Down" option, Windows will power off your ATX PC at the end of the shut down sequence, unless you perform the "AUTOMATIC TWEAK #2" below.


    1. Go to this page and download the small NOOFF.COM DOS TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) program [279 Bytes, freeware, right-click to save!].

    2. Create a new folder called (for example) C:\ATX and place NOOFF.COM in it.

    3. Then add this line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT (using example above):


      NOOFF takes 336 Bytes of upper RAM if using an upper memory manager like MS EMM386.EXE [see MEMORY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE] or UMBPCI.SYS in your CONFIG.SYS.

    4. Reboot.

    From now on you will be "teleported" automatically to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS prompt every time you "shut down" Windows.



    1. Edit (if present) or create (if absent) the AUTOEXEC.BAT file in the root folder of your boot drive/partition (default is C:\) to include these 2 lines:


      The 1st one disables the confirmation prompts before overwriting a file when using the COPY, MOVE and XCOPY commands.
      The 2nd one MUST be the LAST line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT, because otherwise Windows 98/98 SE will start the GUI by running WIN.COM from C:\Windows (default) IF your MSDOS.SYS system file (also found in C:\ root) contains the BootGUI=1 line under the [Options] section!

    2. Copy the MOVE.EXE file from C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND to C:\ root, because it will be used further below to rename the Windows 98/98 SE folder. This is necessary because MOVE won't allow renaming the parent directory or the subdirectory inside which it resides (in this case C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND).

    3. Reboot.

    4. Create a shortcut (.PIF = Program Information File) to COMMAND.COM on your Desktop, and call it Exit98 (or any other suggestive name you wish).

    5. Right-click on Exit98 and select Properties.

    6. Click the Program tab.

    7. Replace COMMAND.COM in the "Cmd line:" box with:

      C:\MOVE C:\WINDOWS C:\W98

      to have the MOVE command rename your Win98 folder from WINDOWS to W98.

    8. Place a check mark in the "Close on exit" box.

    9. Click the Advanced button.

    10. Place a check mark in the "MS-DOS mode" box, and make sure the only other checked box is "Use current MS-DOS configuration".

    11. Click OK/Apply twice to confirm changes.
      Configured this way, the PIF shortcut ends and tries to return to the Win98 GUI, but since the Windows directory is not present anymore (as stated on the PATH line and by the %windir% environment variable which loaded when Win98 GUI started), it aborts to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode, unloading the resident part of the WIN module and the second COMMAND environment from memory.

    12. Create a DOS batch file containing these lines:

      @C:\MOVE C:\W98 C:\WINDOWS>NUL

      and this is VERY IMPORTANT: call it WIN.BAT and place it in C:\ root.
      It is also IMPORTANT to mention the .COM extension for the WIN.COM executable.
      Otherwise the batch file will be caught into an infinite loop, trying to restart itself over and over! :(

      Why create WIN.BAT, and why place it in C:\ root?
      Simple. Because it is known that when Windows 9x starts by running the WIN command, a batch file with the SAME name as the actual WIN.COM executable and residing in C:\ root is executed BEFORE WIN.COM (which is valid for ALL MS-DOS .COM and .EXE executables bearing IDENTICAL names with user created batch files residing in a directory listed on the PATH statement).

    13. You also need to "strip" your Windows folder of its Read-only attribute (if enabled), otherwise the MOVE command won't be able to rename it. To do this: run WINFILE [the Win9x 16-bit File Manager (FM) interface] highlight the Win98 main folder click File select Properties uncheck the Read Only box click OK exit FM.

      From now on you will be "transported" automatically to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode every time you "shut down" Windows 98 by running Exit98.
      Actually Exit98 simply exits Win98 to MS-DOS mode (with the WIN module loaded in memory), from which (under normal conditions) you can return to Windows by typing EXIT and pressing Enter. But not so, since the entire Win98 folder just "vanished" by being renamed. Ha! :)

      IMPORTANT: In case your Win98 computer locks up unexpectedly, i.e. due to a sudden power outage (you never know, unless you have a battery powered UPS unit or a laptop) right after renaming Win98's folder, you want to be able to get back into Windows after rebooting. To do this, copy: HIMEM.SYS, IFSHLP.SYS, DBLBUFF.SYS, EMM386.EXE, MSCDEX.EXE, SMARTDRV.EXE (normally residing in your Windows main directory or the Command subdirectory) etc... and ANY other devices/TSRs/programs listed in your startup files (CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT), and also used by the Win98 OS bootup routine to C:\ root, or to a different (new) folder, but NOT to a Windows subdirectory! Then modify their CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT lines to point to this new folder.
      You also need to remove the NOAUTO switch from your CONFIG.SYS "DOS=" line (if present), to read:


      This is mandatory because the Win9x boot process (built into IO.SYS) reads the MSDOS.SYS "WinBootDir=" line to learn the default location of these two DOS (legacy) devices located in the Windows folder, and loads them automatically in memory, ONLY IF they are NOT present in CONFIG.SYS (located in C:\ root):

      • HIMEM.SYS = the default MS-DOS HIgh/upper/extended MEMory SYStem manager (if not replaced by a similar 3rd party memory manager in CONFIG.SYS), which enables and maps the computer's extended memory (XMS) so that the Win9x GUI can use it, load and run properly, and

      • IFSHLP.SYS = the MS-DOS Installable File System HeLPer support SYStem driver, which enables Windows 32-bit disk access, thus making the GUI (32-bit) compatible with the underlying MS-DOS layer (16-bit) on top of which loads, by initiating file system calls to allow loading of device drivers.

      But if these drivers ARE present in CONFIG.SYS (proper DEVICE lines) they load from there, bypassing the default Win9x OS boot sequence.
      It is also recommended to add this line to your CONFIG.SYS, AFTER the last DEVICE/DEVICEHIGH line:


      to rename your Win98 folder back to C:\WINDOWS, in case your machine crashed, before you had the chance to do it yourself by running WIN.BAT.

      WARNING: If you try to run any DOS based programs residing in your Windows parent folder or subfolders AFTER renaming your Win98 directory, you will encounter this error message:

      "Bad command of file name"

      To prevent this from happening, create a separate batch file I called REN98.BAT:

      @C:\MOVE C:\W98 C:\WINDOWS>NUL

      which renames your Win98 folder back to its original name. Place it in a folder listed on your PATH statement (the "SET PATH=" line should be present in your CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT), and run it immediately after you exit Win98 to MS-DOS by running the Exit98 shortcut, ONLY IF you don't want to restart Windows right away by running WIN, that would start WIN.BAT from C:\ root, which has its own line for renaming W98 back to WINDOWS.


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