Tricks of Past Weeks - Part 4

Go to ALL WinDOwS ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
8-16-97 Win3.1x/9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003/DOS6 Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


To find ANY file location (full path: drive letter + directory name) fast, in ANY DOS mode, when you know its file name, or at least some of its file name and/or file extension characters, I have created a small DOS style BATch file called FIND!.BAT [part of both W95-11D.EXE + W31-11D.ZIP].
This is FIND!.BAT structure:

IF "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" GOTO D0S
VER | FIND /I "MS-DOS version 6">NUL
DIR/A/O:GEN/P/S/V %1 %2 %3 %4 %5
DIR/A/O:GEN/P/S %1 %2 %3 %4 %5

FIND!.BAT works ONLY with MS-DOS 6.xx, Windows 95/98/ME [a.k.a. MS-DOS 7.00/7.10/8.00] and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 [no real DOS mode here :(], but NOT with ANY MS-DOS release earlier than 6.00, because Microsoft added the "/S" command line switch to the "DIR" command ONLY in MS-DOS 6.00 and newer, making possible to search for files/directories an ENTIRE drive/partition by using "DIR", ONLY IF the search starts in the root directory (X:\ = X represents the drive/partition letter).
The only difference is that Windows 95/98/ME version of "DIR" adds the "/V" (extended View) switch, NOT available in MS-DOS 6.xx or Windows NT/2000/XP/2003.

To use it, simply type this command from any DOS prompt:


and then press Enter.
Here "FILENAME" is the name of the file you want displayed, and "EXT" is the file extension in MS-DOS 8.3 Short File Names (SFNs) standard.
Don't type the quotes though. :)
You can also find files with Long File Names (LFNs) if using Windows 95, 98 or ME, if you type a tilde ("~") after the first 6 characters in the file name, which converts a LFN into its correspondent SFN. Example:


To locate multiple files, use typical DOS "wildcards" ("*" or "?"). This example:


locates ALL .TXT (text) files on your current (selected) drive/partition.
If your "SET PROMPT=" line contains the default string "$P$G", displayed by running the SET command from any DOS prompt:


then you can see your current (selected) drive/partition letter by simply looking at your DOS prompt (drive C shown in this example):


If you have more than 1 hard drive/partition, change to your other drive/partition letter(s) by running (example):


each followed by your particular FIND! command.
Another example: to locate all files beginning with letter "A" on your current drive/partition, run:

FIND! A*.*

FIND!.BAT uses the "DIR" (stands for "DIRectory") internal MS-DOS command, built into COMMAND.COM (the default MS-DOS command interpreter which loads in memory upon bootup).
If your search report is longer than the standard DOS screen (80 lines by 25 columns), listing too many files to be displayed on a single screen, the BATch file stops at the end of each page [due to the use of the "/P" (Page) switch for the "DIR" command], and you need to press a key to continue to the next.
To see all available command line parameters for DIR, run:

DIR /?

from any DOS prompt.

Back 2 Contents
5-5-97 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


When you're logging on to a WinNT domain it is preferable to disable password caching. This allows for the single NT domain login and eliminates the secondary Windows logon screen. It also eliminates the possibility of the respective passwords to get out of sync.
To disable password caching on the workstation, you need to make a one-line addition to the Registry (this also works for machines running the Workstation release of Windows NT 4.0).
First, create a text file (using Notepad) called DISABLE.REG with these lines:

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


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

Save it. Then (double-)click on DISABLE.REG in Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = C:\WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE).
If you need to reenable password caching, create another plain text file named REENABLE.REG, with the following lines:

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


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

Save it. Then (double-)click on REENABLE.REG in Explorer or File Manager to revert back to caching your password when logging into an NT domain (default).

More info @ MSKB.

IMPORTANT: Protect your computer against disclosure of plain text cached passwords by patching Windows 95/98/ME MPR.DLL using PassLock (freeware).

Back 2 Contents
3-3-97 Win9x/ME/IE Original Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To change the default font (size, weight, style etc) displayed in Windows 9x/ME Internet Explorer 4/5/6 to any font installed on your system, launch Regedit and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

All possible combinations are listed there. You need to highlight the "Style Name" key in the left hand pane, followed by its value in the right hand pane. (Double-)click on "Style Name" and change its font name, font size and/or font weight. Repeat this operation for all available fonts for the style you'd like to customize. There are 13 "StyleSheet_Names" settings you can modify here.
When you're done, go to this Registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

and rename the "Default_Style_Sheet" string to show an identical value with the "Style name" key you have selected under the Internet Explorer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key above.
Now close the Registry Editor and restart Internet Explorer to "admire" your new font/style/weight.

Back 2 Contents
9-22-95 Win9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


With all the devices/drivers/TSRs loaded in the Upper Memory Area (UMA), using "DEVICEHIGH" in CONFIG.SYS and "LOADHIGH" ("LH" for short) in AUTOEXEC.BAT, you may be able to get a maximum of 625 KB of conventional memory at the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS prompt OUTSIDE Windows 95/98, when you choose to Shut down the computer from the Start Shut Down menu, without using any special memory management "advanced" features (provided by most of third party memory managers out there: QEMM, NetRoom, 386MAX). You'll NEVER need more than 620 KB of conventional RAM for ANY MS-DOS program anyway!
This is possible because Win95/98 can move the FILES, STACKS, LASTDRIVE and FCBS to the upper memory area (above the first 640 KB area). The BUFFERS are moved to the high memory area (HMA), the first 64 KB of RAM above the first MegaByte. These new features are implemented in the Win95/98 OS and can be achieved by adding these lines to the beginning of your CONFIG.SYS file (the numeric values below are only average examples, and you should change them to suit your system needs):


or go with the "conservative" version (let the OS do the work for you):


The AUTO switch doesn't need to be mentioned being the default.

NOTES: For more info about these new DOS 7 features read these two text files found in your Windows folder: CONFIG.TXT and MSDOSDRV.TXT.
See also MEMORY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to MAXimize your WinDOwS memory resources.

Back 2 Contents
9-22-95 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Click on Start, Shut Down, Restart computer. Hold down Shift and click Yes/OK. This ONLY restarts the GUI (Graphical User Interface), NOT your computer (warm reboot).
This is also valid in some situations when Windows 95/98 prompts you to restart your computer, after you have made changes to the system (example: when choosing another video resolution/number of colors in the Display Settings dialog box).

NOTE: You have to restart your system when changing display resolutions ONLY if you use Win95 or Win95a OSR1, but NOT with OSR2 or Win98!

  1. This "Windows fast GUI restart" might cause problems on some Windows 9x systems: System files and/or Registry corruption, lockups, or even data loss, if there are ANY open applications, running Terminate and Stay Resident programs (TSRs) or loaded Virtual eXtended Drivers (VXDs) at the moment of the "Shifted reboot"!
    A possible solution is to FIRST press Ctrl-Alt-Del the same time (the famous "three-finger-salute"), and then click "End Task" for ALL programs listed, EXCEPT Explorer! ONLY AFTER that hold Shift while rebooting Windows.

  2. Certain MS-DOS real mode drivers/TSRs my not be (re)initialized correctly by using this "fast restart", because ONLY the Windows GUI restarts, NOT the underlying DOS. Example: if you use a DOS based utility (TSR) to change your monitor refresh rate upon boot, that particular program may NOT run (since it's probably loaded from your AUTOEXEC.BAT file). This means that ONLY your video controller will be reset, NOT your monitor, which in this case might be using incorrect refresh rate(s).

For an alternative method of restarting Windows 9x WITHOUT using the "Shifted reboot", read "FAST EXIT | RESTART!", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].


  1. WIN98 LAPTOP USERS: "Even after disabling "Fast shut down" by running Msconfig, using SHIFT on Reboot with Win98 still throws WRITE PROTECTION ERRORS necessitating one or more cold boot-downs and boot-ups on my system. Possibly this is caused by the laptop's various shut-down power modes. On my system, there are 3 different shut-off options:

    1. full power-off
    2. standby
    3. hibernation

    These are designed to optimize battery use and conserve power as well as save time for re-starting. In light of the above experience, I think it's wise not to recommend to laptop owners to try disabling "Fast shut down" in order to re-enable the SHIFT on RE-BOOT feature."
    This update courtesy of Ojatex.

  2. *ALL* WIN98 USERS:

Back 2 Contents
1-3-96 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To update the Windows 95/98 interface, the Registry, or to recover from a GPF (General Protection Fault) without rebooting Windows, press Ctrl + Alt + Del, select Explorer and click End Task.
Answer No to the Shut Down prompt screen, then click End Task again at the next prompt.
You should see the Start menu and the Taskbar will reappear as Windows reloads the Explorer shell. Now everything should be (hopefully) OK again.

  1. "Except that the system tray gets cleared, and this can be VERY annoying sometimes (I have a bunch of system tray icons, and the network chat program, Cool Mouse and QuickRes are among them)."
    This update courtesy of Yuri.
  2. "TraySaver is an excellent tool (freeware) that allows you to retain your System Tray icons (i.e. after an Explorer crash). TraySaver also has the ability of hiding and unhiding tray icons."
    [Thank you Andrew!]

Back 2 Contents
1-7-96 Win9x/DOS6 Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


Use this command ONLY in your CONFIG.SYS file, as the FIRST line:


With the value chosen here:


Windows 95/98 moves only 288 bytes from the Extended BIOS (EBIOS) area to conventional memory.
Valid values for /E:nnnn are 48-1024.
You may gain up to 1 KB (1,024 bytes) of free conventional memory by using this line in your CONFIG.SYS.
I have recovered 768 bytes of low memory using the SWITCHES line in the example above.
You also need to have the lines below in your CONFIG.SYS, for this to work, to provide Upper Memory Blocks (UMBs) to your system:


You need to adapt the /E: parameter value on your SWICHES line to your own system configuration (or start by using /E without any parameters).
You can begin with 512:


Reboot, and then go to a DOS prompt. Now run:


You'll see that the first module loaded in memory (on your MEM screen) is SYSTEM. Look at its conventional memory footprint. You may be able to decrease it by lowering the value on the SWITCHES=/E: line. Decrease or increase its value in increments of 16. Reboot, and repeat the operations above (go to a DOS prompt, and then run MEM /C/P again, etc).
Compare the new size of the SYSTEM module in low memory. If it is smaller, decrease (or increase) the SWITCHES value again by another 16, and keep repeating these steps until you won't get any more free conventional memory.
Keep the value that gives you a maximum free low (conventional) memory (the smallest SYSTEM module conventional memory footprint).
There is another useful parameter to add to your SWITCHES line:


The /F parameter skips the 2 second delay before processing the startup files (CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT) at bootup. /F is valid for all MS-DOS versions beginning with 6.00 and including Windows 95/98/ME (a.k.a. MS-DOS 7.00/7.10/8.00).
Use both parameters on the same line (you can have only one SWITCHES line in your CONFIG.SYS). Example:


NOTE: To learn about all available "SWITCHES" command line parameters, read CONFIG.TXT (using Notepad), a text file located in your Windows folder.

Happy tweaking!

Back 2 Contents
1-11-96 Win3.1x/9x/ME Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


To have your DOS style BATch files close automatically upon completion, whenever executed from a Windows icon/shortcut, DOS box/session/window or by (double-)clicking the respective program PIF (Program Information File = MS-DOS Program Properties):

Edit your BATch files with Notepad in Windows or EDIT.COM in DOS.

Back 2 Contents
3-11-96 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To change the options Win95/98 gives you when making a shortcut to an MS-DOS app/game that requires its own AUTOEXEC.BAT and/or CONFIG.SYS files, open Regedit and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\MS-DOSOptions

Create a new key called AUTOEXEC.BAT (example) under any of the directories/keys listed for the key above, and give it a value, typing the exact program path and name (don't forget to type also the program file extension) you would like to include in your custom AUTOEXEC.BAT. From now on you'll be able to use this command in your existing AUTOEXEC.BAT, to load a particular program/driver/TSR needed to run your MS-DOS app/game.
Then you can perform the above steps again to add similar CONFIG.SYS (example) key(s)/value(s), and corresponding devices/drivers/TSRs.
Press F5 when done, to refresh/update your Registry settings.

Back 2 Contents
3-20-96 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Click Start Settings Control Panel System Device Manager. Or right-click on My Computer Properties System Device Manager. Now (double-)click the My Computer icon at the top of the scrollable window. From there you can view the IRQs, DMA channel usage, I/O assignments and Memory settings.
On Win95, OSR1 and OSR2 machines (Win98 users can access the Print button from the Device Manager tab), in this area there is an option to print a detailed or summary report of your System specs. The detailed report can take a huge amount of paper when printed (over 30 pages on my computer!).
My summary (short) report is only about 3 pages, and contains a list of all Interrupt Request Lines (IRQ) currently assigned in the system, the system devices they are assigned to, the Direct Memory Access (DMA) channel assignments and the Base I/O Port Addresses (BA).

Back 2 Contents
3-25-96 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To change the default font displayed in Notepad, open Regedit and go to:


The 0000 Registry key above might have a different value on your system: 0001, 0002 etc. If that is the case, refer to the appropriate Registry key for your active display settings.
Modify the "fixedfon.fon" string found in the right hand pane, and replace the default Win95/98 display font (vgafix.fon) with the plotter, screen or system fixed font (.FON extension) you want to see in your Notepad documents, and in all other display screens that can make use of this font type.
You can try to use any other .FON file installed in your Windows\Fonts subfolder for that matter.
This change requires a Windows restart to see the effect.

NOTE: I haven't tried this, but it may also work with True Type Fonts (.TTF extension). These are scalable fonts.

This is especially useful if you work with Windows 95/98's multi-language support installed, and if the selected font is bilingual. Windows 95 and OSR2 have one limitation though: you can switch from English to any other language only ONCE per session.

TIP: You may also want to try a better 3rd party replacement for Notepad, that allows you to change its display font from within the program.

Have fun.

Back 2 Contents
4-11-96 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Suggested by Eddie Yan.

Frequently, computers built by PC vendors (also called OEMs = Original Equipment Manufacturers) come with custom (OEM) Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP or 2003 releases preinstalled.
You can tell by opening Control Panel System General tab look at the picture in the lower left corner, usually displaying the vendor's logo and their company name, internet address, support e-mail and/or phone number in the lower right corner. You'll also notice a "Support Information..." button below the text area, which shows company or system details when left-clicked.
This looks cool, but it would look even better if my own logo, name and computer specs would show up instead. :)
Easy, just create/edit OEMINFO.INI (a plain text file located in %windir%\System on Win95/98/ME or in %windir%\System32 on WinNT4/2000/XP/2003) with Notepad, and add/modify your own lines under these sections:

Make sure you type some text on the "Manufacturer=" and "Model=" lines after the equal sign (no quotes), even if you decide to leave the others empty, otherwise the logo (see further below) will NOT be displayed.
OEMINFO.INI supports more than 200 lines [I have no idea of the maximum limit allowed :)] under the [Support Information] section, each numbered correspondingly in ascending sequence, up to a maximum of 254 characters per line after the equal sign. You can even have blank lines, or the lines can be empty themselves (after the equal sign), and all (even special ASCII) characters typed after the first equal sign are displayed (even multiple equal signs).
Optionally you can enclose typed text with quotation marks, they won't be displayed.
Exception: the first tab (which normally adds 8 spaces) is displayed as a single space, but anything following the second tab is not displayed.
To disable/comment/remark a line (make it invisible) type a semicolon (;) in front of it (just like in any other Windows INI file), and it won't be displayed anymore.
The "Support Information" button acts like a "mini" text viewer (no editing allowed within the box though). :) Click it, and you can use the left mouse button drag to highlight all lines, and then right-click to Copy the entire text (including the empty lines, if any) to the Clipboard, which you can Paste into any text editor.
Then create/edit a custom OEMLOGO.BMP (a bitmap logo, residing in the same folder as OEMINFO.INI = see above), which must be maximum 180x114 pixels in size [larger pictures are automatically cropped (downsized) to "fit" the "window", and smaller ones are displayed with a background surrounding them (mine is 154x114)], and must have 256 colors [RGB encoded, 24-bit color depth (16 million colors) also allowed], in BMP format (uncompressed Windows BitMaP), you can use MS Paint (found as C:\Program Files\Accessories\MsPaint.exe by default), the primitive but free painting program bundled with Windows or a better 3rd party utility (most are freeware).
Note that you need to fill at least 2 or 3 of the corners (1 pixel size) of your OEMLOGO.BMP file with a "blank" color (white), to have it display properly. The white color is shown as transparent (useful as background if the bitmap logo is smaller than 180x114).
Alternatively you can use OEM Logo Stamper [530 KB, nag freeware] to customize both OEMINFO.INI + OEMLOGO.BMP.
When you're done, just left-click your mouse once on an empty spot on your Desktop background, and then hit F5 to refresh. Now you can open the System Properties General tab to admire your "handy" work. :)

FYI: See OEM Logo + Info in "action".

More info:

Back 2 Contents
4-16-96 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To open a file/object with a different application than the one it is associated with and if the right-click menu no longer lets you choose the "Open With..." dialog, hold down the SHIFT key when you right-click on the selected object.
The "Open With..." command should appear on the menu list now.

NOTE: This is only a temporary solution for accessing the "Open with..." right-click menu. To learn how make this feature permanent, read "OPEN WITH", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

Back 2 Contents
9-11-96 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


I have found a way to have all BMPs [Windows BitMaP image format, RGB (uncompressed) or RLE (compressed) encoded, a.k.a. Desktop background wallpaper) show as small icons (miniature bitmaps) of the actual picture in Windows 95/98/ME.

CAUTION: This FIX may crash MS IE 5.xx because its built-in graphic filters do NOT support compressed Windows Bitmaps (RLE encoded) = see "UPDATE:" further below!

To do this, fire up Regedit and go to:


Under "DefaultIcon" (Windows default using MS Paint), or whatever program your BMPs are registered to (e.g. Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Lview Pro, XNview, Irfan View etc), in the right hand pane, (double-)click on the "(Default)" String Value, and change it from:

C:\Program Files\Accessories\Mspaint.exe,1

or from (MS Plus! 95 users ONLY):


to read "%1" (no quotes): right-click on it replace the entire text string with %1.
Add a new subkey under "Paint.Picture" and name it "DefaultIcon" (no quotes) if not present.
"%1" tells Windows that the default icon for this file type is found in the file itself, but since there is no icon in a BMP file, Windows creates a small preview image of the BMP for the icon (which shows up in Windows Explorer and in all dialog boxes/menus that list files).
This FIX makes viewing and sorting BMPs much easier.

UPDATE: "I discovered this (potential) problem: I have heard that MS Internet Explorer 5.xx users with the Active Desktop installed should NOT activate this, as it MAY cause IE to crash!
Although I haven't tried this [I have Windows 98 (not SE) with MS IE 5.01 with Active Desktop installed but disabled], when I preview icons (.ICO) files which have been created in MS Paint (by specifying the size as 32x32 and saved with the .ICO extension), they appear OK without problems."
[Thank you Neil!]

Back 2 Contents
5-3-96 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


If you're browsing through folder windows, it's usually nice to have Win95/98 set to use a single window that changes when you open a new folder. However, if you want to copy or move files around, you should be able to quickly open a separate window or folder.
This can be done by holding the CTRL key as you (double-)click, but it would be nice to have this option on the right-click menu, next to "Open" and "Explore".
To add this option to the drop down menu, open Regedit and go to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Default Icon\shell\shellex

Under "shell", add a new key called "opennew". Modify its (Default) value to read "Open New &Window" (no quotes). Then add another key under "opennew", call it "command", and set its (Default) value to "explorer %1".
A side effect is that "Open New Window" will also appear now when you right-click on the Start Button, which is completely pointless because it does that anyway. :)

UPDATE: "This hack did not work on my Win98 SE PC. After some tinkering I found the correct solution.
To add the "Open New Window" option to the drop down menu in Win98 SE, open Regedit and go to:


Add a new key here called "opennew". Modify its (Default) value to read "Open New &Window" (no quotes). Then add another key under "opennew", call it "command", and set its (Default) value to "explorer %1". Close Regedit.
The above works correctly and will add the "Open New Window" option to the right-click menus on the Start button and Folders, but it does NOT appear on the Drives right-click menus!"
[Thank you Michael!]

Back 2 Contents
1-20-96 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Courtesy of Art.

"This is how to change "This Product is Licensed to: ..." without re-installing Windows 9x/ME. Run Regedit and go to:


In the right hand pane you can create/modify any of these String Values: "RegisteredOrganization", "RegisteredOwner", and/or "ProductId" (Win95/OSR1/OSR2 only) or "ProductKey" (Win98/ME only) to read whatever your heart desires.
Your Windows System Properties General tab will display "Registered to:/Licensed to: Your Name/Your Company" from now on."

Back 2 Contents
9-4-95 Win3.1x/9x/ME ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


To quickly resort to the command line and do any tasks in a DOS session (started from within Windows), create a DOS style batch file with the lines below, and name it MSDOS.BAT:

ALL Windows 3.1x/9x/ME users: Look up the PATH line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file (the latter supports the PATH entry ONLY IF using MS-DOS 6.xx or newer), and place MSDOS.BAT in a directory on your path, to be able to run any DOS/Windows command/program in the background. For example, running this command line from a DOS box:


copies all .INI files from the C:\WINDOWS directory (standard Win3.1x/9x/ME setup) to the D:\BACKUPS directory in the background, letting you work on other tasks in the foreground.

Back 2 Contents
8-28-95 Win9x/ME ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To run multiple Windows 95/98/ME applications or a combination of Windows and DOS programs sequentially from a DOS batch file, use START with the /W (wait) switch. Besides saving time, this way you can run more than one program with a single (left) mouse click.
For example, to scan all your fixed disks/partitions for errors, and then fully defragment them, open Notepad and type or cut & paste these lines:


Save this file as DISKTOOL.BAT, and then create a shortcut for it on your Desktop, or place it into your Startup folder, to run the disk maintenance utilities every time you load Windows, and keep your hard drives "filthy clean".
Just make sure your MS-DOS shortcut Properties Program tab (right-click to access) has the "Close on exit" box checked.
MS Plus! for Win95 and Win98/ME users can schedule any program, batch file, screen saver, Windows function etc to run periodically using System Agent or Task Scheduler.
These are START.EXE (located in C:\Windows\Command) command line switches, displayed when running:


from the Run box:

"Runs a Windows program or an MS-DOS program.

START [options] program [arguments...]
START [options] document.ext

/m[inimized]    Run the new program minimized (in the background).
/max[imized]    Run the new program maximized (in the foreground).
/r[estored]     Run the new program restored (in the foreground). [default]
/w[ait]         Does not return until the other program exits."


Back 2 Contents
1-11-96 Win9x/ME Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


When you run the Windows 95/98/ME EXTRACT tool without any command line parameters from any DOS prompt, you'll see this help screen [MS IE 6.0 SP1 version (newest) shown here]:

"Microsoft (R) Cabinet Extraction Tool - Version (16) 1.00.0610.0 (03/31/99)
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corp 1994-1999. All rights reserved.

EXTRACT [/Y] [/A] [/D | /E] [/L dir] cabinet [filename ...]
EXTRACT [/Y] source [newname]
EXTRACT [/Y] /C source destination

cabinet  - Cabinet file (contains two or more files).
filename - Name of the file to extract from the cabinet.
           Wild cards and multiple filenames (separated by
           blanks) may be used.
source   - Compressed file (a cabinet with only one file).
newname  - New filename to give the extracted file.
           If not supplied, the original name is used.
/A         Process ALL cabinets. Follows cabinet chain
           starting in first cabinet mentioned.
/C         Copy source file to destination (to copy from DMF disks).
/D         Display cabinet directory (use with filename to avoid extract).
/E         Extract (use instead of *.* to extract all files).
/L dir     Location to place extracted files (default is current directory).
/Y         Do not prompt before overwriting an existing file."

EXTRACT.EXE is a 16-bit DOS based utility, located in the %windir%\COMMAND folder (default is C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND), and used to extract (or list) any files from the installation CABinet files residing on your Win95/98/ME Setup CD-ROMs or floppies.
The CABinet (.CAB) file format uses Microsoft's proprietary file compression technology, and was designed to store Windows 95/98/ME installation files in a smaller ("shrunken"), convenient way.
These examples use EXTRACT.EXE to copy any Windows Setup file(s) from your Win9x/ME Setup CD-ROMs/floppies (presuming your CD/DVD drive letter is D = change it if different on your computer) to your local hard disk/partition (presuming your HD drive letter is C = change it if different on your computer), by running these DOS commands (make sure the respective Windows Setup CD-ROM is already inserted in your CD/DVD drive):

To automate the task of extracting original files (in case they get corrupted by a system crash or overwritten by a buggy program you installed) from the CABs, I created a DOS batch file called ECD.BAT.
From now on, whenever you need to extract a particular file, just run:


Replace FILENAME with the actual name of the file you're looking for, and EXT with the respective file extension.
For example:


extracts VCOMM.VXD to C:\EXTRACT.

WARNING: EXTRACT.EXE is a DOS based tool and is NOT Long File Names (LFNs) compliant, NOT even in a DOS box/session inside Windows, and ALL LFNs information will be LOST upon extraction!
Therefore you need to respect the ol' DOS 8.3 (********.***) Short File Names (SFNs) convention when extracting a file by using EXTRACT.EXE.
Better, use EXTRAC32.EXE to preserve the LFNs, the 32-bit Windows GUI counterpart. See "CAB EXTRACT", also in TIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for details.

EXTRACT will search ALL Windows 95/OSR2, 98/98 SE, MS Plus! 95/98 and ME installation .CAB files from the Setup CD-ROMs [make sure the appropriate CD-ROM(s) is/are present inside your CD/DVD drive(s) ;-)], and will extract the specified file(s) to the C:\EXTRACT folder created by ECD.BAT.
For those who have the floppy version of Win95 (retail) Setup, use EF.BAT to extract files from the floppy CAB files. Just make sure your first Win95 Setup floppy is inserted into your primary floppy drive (usually A) before running EF.BAT.
You can use DOS "wild cards" (*.* or FILE*.* or *.EXT) with these batch files to extract multiple files at the same time.
Example: to extract all *.SYS files from all *.CAB files, run:


Another example: to extract all files starting with AB* from all *.CAB files, run:


Or you can add multiple groups of files to extract:


To see the complete list of all files contained in all CABs, run CABLIST.BAT.
CABLIST.BAT uses NOTEPAD.EXE (default Windows GUI mode text/ASCII editor/viewer) to view the entire list of files contained in the CABinets, by creating CABLST??.TXT (plain text/ASCII) files:in the C:\EXTRACT directory.
Get all *.BAT + CABLST??.TXT [CABL98SE.TXT, CABLS95B.TXT, CABLST95.TXT, CABLST98.TXT + CABLSTME.TXT] files mentioned here [160 KB, ZIPped].
Beware that CABLST??.TXT files are usually too large for Notepad, which is limited to a maximum file size of ONLY 64 KB. :( That's why I recommend using a better Notepad replacement able to handle huge files from this "FREE Windows 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 Text Editors" list.

You need to change your floppy drive letter in EF.BAT if other than A. Edit it with Notepad in Windows or EDIT.COM in DOS.

The first time you run ANY of these BATches, ALL 3 will be copied to your %winbootdir%\COMMAND folder (default is C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND), which is already listed on your PATH, to avoid typing unnecessary directory names at the DOS prompt, whenever using them thereafter. :)

More info:

Back 2 Contents
©1996-2014 MDGx (a.k.a. AXCEL216): Everything here is FREEware. Always ad(vertisment)s, cookies, tracking, malware + spyware free. I have created [August 1996], maintain and update these web pages entirely by hand using Programmer's File Editor [replaced Notepad].
I do not promote, speak in the behalf of, advertise or work for any computing, news or internet profit business. All ©copyrights and ®registered trademarks retain owners' property.