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WinDOwS Tricks - Part 12

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5-19-99 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WRITE BEHIND CACHE


By default Windows 9x/ME is set to use write behind caching, which means it writes data back to the fixed disks while proceeding to the next operation, for increased performance.
Further more, Windows 98/ME takes another step and enables this mode also on all your removable drives: Control Panel System Performance tab File System... button Removable Disk tab "Enable write-behind caching on all removable disk drives" check box (checked by default).
The disadvantage is that in case of a sudden power outage or any other system failure, some data might not be completely written back to disk, resulting in data loss, or worse, system lockups/errors, and/or disk errors (lost clusters, surface defects), on subsequent (re)boots.
Therefore you may want to disable the write behind cache function, especially if you own system critical applications, and ALWAYS shut down Windows AFTER closing ALL running programs!
This means all data will be immediately written to disk, bypassing the cache.
To do this on:

  1. Removable drives [Windows 98/ME ONLY]: uncheck the "Enable write-behind caching on all removable disk drives" box, click OK/Apply twice, and finally restart Windows (which you will be prompted to do anyway).

  2. Fixed (hard) drives [ALL Windows 9x/ME releases]: run Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

    In the right hand pane look for the "DriveWriteBehind" Binary value.
    It should read something like:

    01 00 00 00

    meaning write behind is enabled on drive C, or:

    00 00 00 80

    meaning write behind is enabled on drives/partitions C, D, E and F (in my case).
    To completely disable write behind on ALL your fixed local/network drives, (double-)click on "DriveWriteBehind", and change its value to read (don't type the spaces):

    00 00 00 00

    To enable write behind on ALL local/remote drives (C to Z), change it to:

    FF FF FF 03

    Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows when done.
    If write behind cache is disabled, overall system performance will decrease slightly, depending mainly on your CPU, RAM and hard disk subsystem speed, but it will allow you to "play safe".
    If you are the lucky owner of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) unit, turning off write behind cache becomes obsolete.

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5-19-99 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


SCREEN SAVER PASSWORD


Have you ever forgotten your screen saver password, not being able to return to "normal operation" in Windows 9x/ME?
Well, there is a way to completely delete the screen saver password, allowing you to get your system back, that is if you are using a "protected" screen saver.
Just fire up Regedit and go to:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\desktop

In the right hand pane look for the "ScreenSave_Data" String value.
Highlight it and hit the Delete key.
Exit the Registry Editor when done. Voila!
Of course, everybody who has been "playing" with personal computers for a while has learned the "easy way" around this: press and hold Ctrl+Alt+Delete simultaneously, followed by/or Ctrl+Esc. This "classic" trick works with all Windows/WfWG 3.xx releases, NT 3.xx, 95 retail and 95a OSR1 [talk about "OS security"... :)]. Doesn't seem to work with Windows 95B/95C OSR 2.x, 98/98 SE, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP or 2003 though.
Screen savers are not necessary anymore for protecting your monitor from screen burn-in these days, because newer CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes) are equipped with good quality phosphor and anti-static coating layers.
Use screen savers only as a primitive (easy to bypass) security shield, or if you just like looking at a "pretty" desktop when not using your computer. :)

TIP: Read "BYPASS SAVER PASSWORD", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn about another screen saver password bypassing method.

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5-10-99 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


SYSTEM LIBRARIES UPDATES


If you are experiencing frequent Invalid Page Faults (IPFs) or Memory Access Violation error messages like:

"Program.exe caused an invalid page fault in module MSVCRT.DLL at XXXX:XXXXXXXX."

when trying to open or close 32-bit apps in Windows 9x/ME, like Microsoft Office tools, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6, Netscape/Mozilla Communicator/Navigator 3/4/6/7, Microsoft Encarta, AOL 4/5/6/7/8 etc, you may need to update your Microsoft system libraries (DLLs) to their current versions: ASYCFILT.DLL, MFC42.DLL, MSVCRT.DLL, OLEAUT32.DLL, OLEPRO32.DLL + STDOLE2.TLB. All these files reside in %windir%\SYSTEM (%windir% is usually C:\WINDOWS).
See "WINDOWS 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 ESSENTIAL SYSTEM COMPONENTS + ADD-ONS" to download ALL necessary updates listed here: see below...

Read this MSKB article (and click the related links) for more details.
To install these OLE Automation, Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) and C Runtime Libraries Updates on your system:

UPDATES:

  1. If you use any 32-bit Internet application (i.e. web browser), you need to install the free Microsoft Internet Interoperability APIs (DCOM), which also update the OLE Automation Libraries for better compatibility:
    • Windows 98/98 SE owners: download + install DCOM98 1.3.
    • Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 owners: download + install DCOM95 1.3.

  2. If you own Windows 9x/ME or use ANY Windows applications written in or using JScript or/and VBScript, like Microsoft or Netscape 32-bit web browsers, you need to install the free Microsoft Scripting Engines (MSE) v5.6 Updates for Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003, which include: VBScript 5.6, JScript 5.6, Windows Script Components, Windows Script Host 5.6 + Windows Script Runtime 5.6.

  3. It is also recommended to install the free Microsoft Visual Basic 3.0 (VB3), 4.0 (VB4), 5.0 (VB5) and 6.0 (VB6) SP5 Runtime Libraries for Windows 3.xx/9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003, if using ANY Windows applications written in Visual Basic (VB).

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5-4-99 Win9x/ME Original Registry ©Trick found as Intro chapter in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


REGISTRY BACKUP + RESTORE


1. HOW TO BACKUP/EXPORT YOUR REGISTRY •FIRST•!
VERY IMPORTANT!

This applies to Windows 95, 98 + ME OSes, all editions.
To backup your Registry while using Windows NTx OSes (NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8 + 2012) please see the "REG:" section.

  1. Copy SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT (all Win95/98/ME releases) + CLASSES.DAT (WinME only) to a safe location, such as a BACKUP disk (removable media): cartridge, optical, (re)writable CD/DVD, tape, USB/FireWire stick, external HD etc.

    NOTE: Registry files are usually too large to fit on a single 1.44 MB floppy diskette, therefore you need to use any other larger media to back them up!

    1. Create a DOS batch file called REGBAKUP.BAT (using Notepad) containing these lines (example):

      @ECHO OFF
      IF NOT EXIST E:\REGBAKUP\NUL MD E:\REGBAKUP
      ATTRIB -H -R -S +A %winbootdir%\*.DAT
      IF EXIST E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA2 COPY/Y E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA2 E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA3
      IF EXIST E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA1 COPY/Y E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA1 E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA2
      IF EXIST E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT COPY/Y E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA1
      COPY/Y %winbootdir%\SYSTEM.DAT E:\REGBAKUP
      COPY/Y %winbootdir%\USER.DAT E:\REGBAKUP
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\CLASSES.DAT COPY/Y %winbootdir%\CLASSES.DAT E:\REGBAKUP
      EXIT

      presuming E is a removable backup drive. Change the paths to match your system setup.
      Note that REGBAKUP.BAT creates up to 4 different copies of your Win9x/ME Registry files if run more than once: *.DAT (newest = default extension), *.DA1 (second to newest), *.DA2 (second to oldest) and *.DA3 (oldest).
      In case of system lockups/errors/etc due to a corrupted Registry, you can restore your working (good) Registry files from the most recent backup by copying the *.DAT files from E:\REGBAKUP back to your Windows folder, overwriting the ones already there.
      In case your E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT files are also corrupted, rename the *.DA1 files to *.DAT and then copy them to your Windows folder, over the old ones.
      Same procedure applies if the E:\REGBAKUP\*.DA1 files are corrupted: rename the *.DA2 files to *.DAT and then copy them to your Windows folder etc...
      You can also modify REGBAKUP.BAT to create more than 4 backups in the same manner: copy *.DA3 as *.DA4, *.DA4 as *.DA5 etc...

    2. Create a shortcut (.PIF file) to REGBAKUP.BAT in the Startup folder (C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup), to backup the Registry files automatically (in the background) every time Win95/OSR1/OSR2 loads.
      Win98/ME does this automatically upon the first load of each day. See "SCANREGW, SCANREG + SCANREG.INI", also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for Win98/ME Registry backup details!

  2. To BACKUP the ENTIRE Registry to a .REG file (which is a plain text/ASCII file) from WITHIN Windows:

    1. Run the Registry editor (Regedit.exe).
    2. Highlight "My Computer" main tree.
    3. Click on the "Registry" menu item.
    4. Select "Export Registry File...".
    5. Type REGBAKUP.REG (or whatever filename you wish, just keep the .REG extension) in the "File name" field.
    6. Browse to the drive and folder where you want REGBAKUP.REG to reside.
    7. Click the Save button.
      Then you can open REGBAKUP.REG in a text editor, if you would like to make any changes.
      You canNOT use Notepad, because it is limited to a maximum file size of only 64 KB. Bummer... :(
      NEVER use ANY word processor like Wordpad, MS Word (MS Office), AbiWord, OpenOffice or similar to edit .REG files!
      ALWAYS use a plain text/ASCII editor (better Notepad replacement) that can handle large text files [free(ware)].

  3. You can also EXPORT the ENTIRE Registry or only the keys/subkeys of your choice to a .REG file, ONLY from the native MS-DOS mode, using this REGEDIT command (example):

    REGEDIT /E E:\REGBAKUP\REGBAKUP.REG

    presuming E is a removable backup drive. Change the paths to match your system setup.
    This exports the ENTIRE Registry to REGBAKUP.REG.

2. HOW TO RESTORE/IMPORT/MERGE (INTO) YOUR REGISTRY!
VERY IMPORTANT!

  1. To RESTORE the Registry files (i.e. after a system crash), FIRST exit Windows (or reboot) to the native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode.

      IMPORTANT:

      • To learn more about these issues, READ these topics [also part of W95-11D.EXE]:
        • For details on how to boot to the native MS-DOS prompt, read "COMPLETE MSDOS.SYS REFERENCE", also in MYTIPS95.TXT.
        • For details on how to exit Windows 9x to MS-DOS, read "EXIT TO DOS", also in TIPS95.TXT.
        • For details on more MS-DOS boot options, read "2 DOS OR NOT 2 DOS", also in MYTIPS95.TXT.
        • For details on how to PROPERLY recreate (compact/shrink) your Registry from an exported .REG file in Windows 9x, read "SHRINK THE REGISTRY!", also in MYTIPS95.TXT.
      • Download the FIXed REGEDIT.EXE [53 KB, free] for ALL Win95/OSR1/OSR2/98 releases (NOT WinME!) to properly recreate/import into the Registry from REG files.
      • Alternatively you can download the patched WinME REGEDIT.EXE [173 KB, free] which also fixed the Win9x .REG file recreate/import bug.
      • See FixReg [57 KB, freeware] to learn how to FIX Windows 95/98 exported Registry recreation/import BUGs.

    1. Create a Registry BACKUP using REGBAKUP.BAT, as explained in the "HOW TO BACKUP/EXPORT YOUR REGISTRY •FIRST•!" topic (paragraph A) further above.

    2. Create a DOS batch file (using Notepad) called REGRESTR.BAT, or whatever else you want (but keep the .BAT extension), containing these lines (example):

      @ECHO OFF
      MEM /C | FIND /I "vmm32">NUL
      IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
      ATTRIB -H -R -S +A %winbootdir%\*.DAT
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\*.DA0 ATTRIB -H -R -S +A %winbootdir%\*.DA0
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\*.BAD ATTRIB -H -R -S +A %winbootdir%\*.BAD
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\*.BAD DEL %winbootdir%\*.BAD
      REN %winbootdir%\SYSTEM.DAT SYSTEM.BAD
      REN %winbootdir%\USER.DAT USER.BAD
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\CLASSES.DAT REN %winbootdir%\CLASSES.DAT CLASSES.BAD
      IF EXIST %winbootdir%\*.DA0 DEL %winbootdir%\*.DA0
      IF EXIST E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT COPY/Y E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT %winbootdir%
      :END
      EXIT

      presuming E is a removable backup drive. Change the paths to match your system setup.
      The newest E:\REGBAKUP\*.DAT Registry backup files are copied back to your Windows folder, and the corrupted *.DAT files from your Windows folder are renamed to *.BAD (which you can delete later). Now (re)start Windows by running WIN.
      If your newest *.DAT backup files are also corrupted, follow the steps outlined in "HOW TO BACKUP/EXPORT YOUR REGISTRY •FIRST•!" paragraph A (further above) to restore your Registry from an older (good) backup.

    3. Place REGRESTR.BAT in a folder in your path, specified on your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS PATH line.

    4. Run REGRESTR.BAT ONLY from the native MS-DOS prompt, every time after you have been locked out of Windows, or experience sudden errors, and you KNOW this happened because of CHANGES (you or a buggy program/driver/etc) made to your Registry.

  2. To IMPORT a .REG file (back) into the Registry from WITHIN Windows:

    1. Run the Registry editor (Regedit.exe).
    2. Click on the "Registry" menu item.
    3. Select "Import Registry File...".
    4. Browse to the drive and folder where your .REG file resides.
    5. (Double-)click on it, or click the Open button.
    6. Answer OK to the confirmation prompt.

  3. To IMPORT a .REG file (back) into the Registry, ONLY in native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode OUTSIDE Windows, use this REGEDIT command (example):

    REGEDIT E:\REGBAKUP\REGBAKUP.REG

    presuming E is a removable backup drive. Change the paths to match your system setup.
    To see all available REGEDIT parameters, run:

    REGEDIT

    ONLY from the native MS-DOS prompt.

  4. To (RE)CREATE the Registry from scratch using a .REG file that contains your ENTIRE Registry, ONLY in native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode OUTSIDE Windows, use this REGEDIT command (example):

    REGEDIT /C E:\REGBAKUP\REGBAKUP.REG

    presuming E is a removable backup drive. Change the paths to match your system setup.
    To see all available REGEDIT parameters, run:

    REGEDIT

    ONLY from the native MS-DOS prompt.

  5. To MERGE (register) a .REG file (back) into the Registry from WITHIN Windows:

    1. Start Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = %windir%\WINFILE.EXE).
    2. Browse to the .REG file you want to merge.
    3. (Double-)click on it.
    4. Click Yes to proceed.
    5. Answer OK to the confirmation prompt.

FYI: More info + backup/restore tools:

CAUTION: FAULTY CHANGES made to .REG files you import/merge/register into your Windows Registry may LOCK UP/CRASH your machine, and/or generate UNEXPECTED system ERRORS!

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5-4-99 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/IE/Netscape Original Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


BROWSER CACHE IN MEMORY


To improve Internet browsing speed noticeably, you can use a temporary RAM (memory) drive to store the Temporary Internet Cache Files (TIF, as they are called if using MS IE), Cookies, Favorites (optional) and History folders, with both Netscape and Microsoft web browsers, all releases beginning with version 3.0.
This applies to ALL Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 builds, and specific procedures are detailed step by step separately below.
But first let's see the...

PROs:

CONs:

Necessary steps for creating a properly configured RAM drive to use as browser cache/cookie folder:

WINDOWS 95/98/ME:

  1. Get XMS/EMS RAMdisk 16-bit DOS TSR improved Microsoft RAMDRIVE.SYS replacement for MS-DOS 5/6 and Windows 3.1x/9x/ME [74 KB, freeware], or XMS/EMS RAMdisk with installer/uninstaller for Windows 9x/ME [114 KB, freeware].
    Install and configure XMS/EMS RAMdisk to load every time with Windows.
    Do NOT reboot yet. Skip to paragraph 3 below to learn how to change the location of your web browser(s) cache/cookie folders to point to the RAM drive.

    If using MS RAMDRIVE.SYS: add this line (example) to your CONFIG.SYS file to create a new temporary drive in your computer's memory (RAM):

    DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\RAMDRIVE.SYS 4096 /E

    This creates a new 4 MB RAM drive in extended memory, but you can specify a different size (in KiloBytes), depending on the desired cache folder size, and your installed RAM.
    To load RAMDRIVE.SYS in the Upper Memory Area (UMA), you need to use an upper/extended/expanded memory manager in CONFIG.SYS, like EMM386.EXE (bundled with Windows 9x/ME), with the NOEMS (to enable extended memory only) or RAM (to also enable expanded memory) switch. Example:

    DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE I=C800-EFFF I=B000-B7FF RAM D=256 AUTO

    TIP: See my "Complete UMBPCI.SYS Guide", to learn how to use a better and faster (freeware) memory manager (provides ONLY upper, NOT expanded memory) in your CONFIG.SYS, in order to load XMSDSK.EXE or RAMDRIVE.SYS in the UMBs, thus saving conventional RAM.

    Change the Windows folder name if different on your system.

  2. Create a new temporary directory on the RAM drive to store all browser cache/cookie files, by adding this line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file (example):

    MD D:\TEMP

    presuming you have only 1 hard disk/partition and 1 CD-ROM drive. Change this letter if you have more drives to the next available letter AFTER the last letter taken by your hard disks/partitions, and BEFORE the CD-ROM drive letter.
    DO NOT allow your browser to use the root directory on the RAM drive as its cache folder, because the RAMDRIVE.SYS root directory can ONLY hold up to 512 files, because it uses the obsolete FAT12 (used on floppy disks) as its default File System!
    FYI: FAT16 also supports ONLY maximum 512 root entries, and newer FAT32 allows unlimited root entries.

  3. Modify your web browser settings to point to the new cache/cookie folder:

    1. Netscape Navigator/Communicator 4.xx: click Edit Preferences (double-)click Advanced select Cache adjust the "Disk Cache Folder" to point to the directory you created on the RAM drive, then adjust the "Disk Cache" to match the size of the RAM drive click OK.
      Netscape/Mozilla 4.xx/6.xx/7.xx browsers use the \Netscape\Users\Your_Email_Name folder (default) for storing cookies. But you can change the COOKIES.TXT file location to the drive/partition + folder of your choice, thanks to Tom:

      "Open Start Menu Netscape Utilities User Profile Manager create a NEW profile enter the disk + folder location when requested browse to your RAM disk drive letter and select the TEMP directory (example).
      From now on your ENTIRE profile (including COOKIES.TXT) will go there."

      IMPORTANT: The downside is that you need to SAVE this entire folder contents to your hard disk EVERY TIME BEFORE shutting down or rebooting your PC (eventually using a dedicated DOS batch file shortcut), otherwise it will be wiped out. :(
      For this purpose, use Notepad to create a file with the .BAT extension for complete automation, using E as RAM drive, E:\TEMP as new profile location and C:\TEMP as hard drive destination folder for saving and restoring your profile every time before opening your browser and after closing it, and including a command line for starting Netscape.exe in between (example):

      @ECHO OFF
      XCOPY /E/H/I/R/Y C:\TEMP E:\TEMP
      START/W NETSCAPE.EXE
      XCOPY /E/H/I/R/Y E:\TEMP C:\TEMP
      EXIT

      If any of these drive letters and/or folder names are different on your system, change them accordingly.
      Last step is to create a shortcut for this BAT file into the Start Menu folder of your choice, and from now on just run Netscape from this new shortcut. Make sure your MS-DOS PIF (Program Information File) shortcut is set to close at the end: right-click on it select Properties Program tab check the "Close on exit" box click OK done. :)

      UPDATE: "There is no Preferences option to move the Netscape 6.xx/7.xx, Mozilla Gecko or Firefox Cache folder location to a RAM (or any other) drive and/or directory.
      But you can achieve this without creating a new profile on your new target (RAM) drive and then copying this profile to and from the RAM disk every time you restart the computer.
      Just open the Prefs.js file (located in %windir%\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\UserName\xxxxxxxx.slt = replace UserName with your actual user name) in Notepad and modify this line to whatever you wish:

      user_pref("browser.cache.disk.parent_directory", "X:\\Cache");

      Replace X with your desired drive/partition letter and Cache with your folder name (long file names are accepted).
      Save your work and exit Notepad.
      FYI: This tweak is found at Mozilla.org.
      [Thank you Biolex!]

    2. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4/5/6: click Tools Internet Options/Properties click the Settings button in the "Temporary Internet Files" area click the "Move folder" button browse to and select the directory you created on the RAM drive, then "Adjust the amount of disk space to use" to match the size of the RAM drive click Apply/OK.
      In case MS IE won't allow moving its cache folder from the Internet Properties applet, you can still force it to do so by merging the IECACH9X.REG REG file [9 KB, ZIPped; use one of these "Free Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 File Shrinkers" to extract the files] into your Registry by (double-)clicking on it in Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = C:\WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE), but BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FIRST!

    IECACH9X.REG contains also the necessary Registry keys for redirecting IE's Cookies, History, URL History and Favorites folders to the TEMP directory on your RAM disk. This is cool if you have no use for them, and would prefer to "clean up" your hard disk(s) a bit, like I do. :)
    Some of these key names may differ slightly depending on your MS IE built, like the "5.0" Cache keys that are used only by IE 5.xx/6.xx.
    Open IECACH9X.REG in Notepad and replace the RAM drive letter (E in this example) if different on your computer.

  4. OPTIONAL: Redirect your TEMPorary folders location to the RAM disk by adding/changing these lines in your CONFIG.SYS file (located in C:\ root) with Notepad/Sysedit:

    SET TEMP=E:\TEMP
    SET TMP=E:\TEMP

    IMPORTANT: Microsoft acknowledged that RAMDRIVE.SYS canNOT be used in Windows ME because real DOS mode [and CONFIG.SYS] has been removed.
    Therefore Windows ME users MUST apply one of these Unofficial DOS Patches, which modifies COMMAND.COM + IO.SYS (from C:\Windows\Command\EBD) + REGENV32.EXE (from C:\Windows\System), in order to be able to boot to native MS-DOS and use DOS mode startup files (AUTOEXEC.BAT + CONFIG.SYS), Windows 95/98 style.

  5. Reboot.

  6. Done. :)

Another way to redirect (and empty periodically by deleting all temporary files) your MS IE 4/5/6 Cache, Cookies, Favorites and History folders to a different (single) location (i.e. a RAM disk) is to use these 98lite CacheCloak INF files [freeware].

UPDATE: "There is a much better DOS based RAM Drive called XMS/EMS RAMdisk (freeware), which does NOT shift drive letters, also available with automated install/uninstall [114 KB, freeware].
I have 128 MB and I use a RAM disk of 46 MB, which can be extended to up to 2 GB, depending on how much memory you have.
These 2 RAMdisk drivers can load in either extended (XMS) or expanded (EMS) memory. Example: place a line for the XMS driver in your AUTOEXEC.BAT:

LH XMSDSK 46080 E: /C1 /T /Y

LH (LOADHIGH for short) loads it in upper memory, if you have an upper memory manager present in your CONFIG.SYS, like MS EMM386.EXE (found in your main Windows 9x/ME folder) or UMBPCI.SYS (freeware, the BEST in the business).
Meaning:If using a folder other than the root folder of your RAM drive (recommended!) for the MS IE temporary cache files, you need to add another AUTOEXEC.BAT line below the line that loads XMSDSK to create the respective directory (example using the same RAM drive letter above):

MD E:\TEMP

You can turn off your RAMdisk by running XMSDSK again with the /U switch:

XMSDSK /U /Y

or you can disable it altogether by typing a double colon (::) or REM in front of the XMSDSK AUTOEXEC.BAT line.
I load and save the MS IE cache files to disk by using 2 DOS BATch files, but this can be also automated by NetLaunch (freeware) at the beginning and at the end of a dialing session.
The only disadvantage is that RAMdisk cannot be resized at will."
[Thank you Sven!]

WINDOWS NT4/2000/XP/2003/VISTA/2008/7/8/2012:

  1. Get one of these freeware RAM Disk Drivers for Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012.

  2. Example: to install AR RAM Disk [248 KB]: log on as Administrator/Power User run ARRAMDSK.EXE do NOT reboot yet!

  3. (Double-)click on IECACHXP.REG [9 KB, ZIPped; use one of these "Free Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/2012 File Shrinkers" to extract the files] to move all MS IE temp folders to the newly created RAM disk: E:\TEMP used here, change if necessary to match your particular settings.

  4. OPTIONAL: The extra lines at the bottom of IECACHXP.REG relocate all TEMPorary files created by the OS to the RAM disk E:\TEMP target directory.
    Open IECACHXP.REG in Notepad and change the drive letter and/or folder name to match your particular/desired settings, or REMark (disable) them by preceding each line with a semicolon (;), if you don't want to move the TEMP and TMP folders to the RAM drive.
    Note that the RAM disk will occupy the next available letter after the last local drive/partition already installed in your system, excluding eventual network/remote drives, which are usually positioned towards the end of the alphabet (e.g. M-Z). In case your network drives follow immediately after the local drive letters, you need to count them all in.
    To find out your RAM disk drive letter, open Windows Explorer, scroll down to the last (local) drive/partition letter and add 1 to it.
    When done, run IECACHXP.REG to relocate all MS IE 4/5/6 Cache, Cookies, Favorites and History folders to the newly created RAM drive.
    If you don't want to move your Favorites folder to the RAM disk, open the REG file in Notepad, and REMark (disable) all "Favorites" lines from IECACHXP.REG by preceding each of them with a semicolon (;).

  5. Customize your RAM drive size following the same rules as described above (try not to go over 1/4 of your total installed PC memory) by using the included Control Panel applet (if using AR RAM Disk) or your newly created RAM Disk Properties right-click menu (if using RAMDisk).

  6. See paragraphs 3A & 3B under the "WINDOWS 95/98/ME:" subtitle above to find out how to change the location of Cache and Cookies folders in Microsoft and Netscape browsers without modifying the Registry.

  7. If all your hard drives/partitions are using NTFS and/or you have no floppy drives attached to your (portable) computer, Windows 2000/XP/2003 may not load the FastFAT driver. :( In this case you need to fire up Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Fastfat

    In the right hand pane (double-)click on the "Start" DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value modify its Data value to read 1 exit the Registry Editor.

  8. Reboot.

  9. Done. :)

FYI: More info:

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4-15-99 Win9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


SAFE MODE CLEANUP


Each hardware component/device installed in your Windows 9x computer has its own Registry keys, may it be PnP (Plug and Play) or not.
If you have ever made changes (and who doesn't), like moving a PCI card to another slot, or added/removed hardware devices, like a new AGP/PCI video controller, ISA/PCI modem, serial/PS2 mouse, PCI/ISA sound card, etc, the Windows 9x Add Hardware Wizard adds new Registry keys for every one of them.
Over time your Registry gets cluttered with such unneeded/obsolete keys.
But you can decrease (in some cases by a lot) the size of your overgrown Registry by deleting these old keys, thus improving your system's reliability and speeding up the Windows GUI loading process.
Just follow these steps:

  1. Reboot.
  2. Press F8 during the BIOS POST routine, while the bootup messages appear on screen. This restarts your machine in "Safe Mode".
  3. When the Windows 9x GUI has completed loading, right-click on your My Computer icon select Properties click the Device Manager tab.
  4. Expand each device menu one at a time.
  5. Skip the FIRST item in each category, and then DELETE ALL others with identical or similar names, EXCEPT if you have more than one device of same type (i.e. more than one floppy/hard drives, 2D/3D video adapters etc).
  6. Reboot again in "Normal Mode". [Don't touch that dial! :)]
  7. Now watch for any messages like:

    "New Hardware found"
    "Windows has found a new device and is installing software for it"
    "Please insert installation disk #1"

    Follow the instructions to reinstall your hardware if necessary, inserting your vendor provided driver cd-rom/floppies, or pointing to the drive and folder where your drivers reside. Then restart Windows when prompted to do so.
  8. Run Regedit.exe click the Registry item select "Export Registry file..." browse to C:\ root, type NEW.REG in the "File name:" box, and finally click OK or press Enter, to export your entire Registry to NEW.REG (or call it whatever you want, just keep the REG extension).
  9. Download FixReg [57 KB, freeware].
  10. Run FixReg (ONLY from Windows!) to FIX eventual Registry errors.
  11. Exit Windows again to the native MS-DOS mode, and run:

    REGEDIT /C C:\NEW.REG

    to compact (shrink) the FIXED Registry.
  12. Restart Windows by typing:

    EXIT

    and then pressing Enter.
  13. Defragment ALL your hard drives/partitions, and if you have Windows 98, enable the "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option.
  14. Done.

Your Windows 9x system should load a little faster from now on.

NOTES:

  1. Read "COMPLETE MSDOS.SYS REFERENCE", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for more details on bootup options.
  2. Read "SHRINK THE REGISTRY!", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for more details on how to PROPERLY compact (shrink) your Registry.

CAUTION: Do NOT change ANY device properties while in Safe Mode!

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4-8-99 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


QUICKVIEW ALL FILES


I'm sure you have certain file types that do not list a QuickView option when you right-click on them to make their context menu pop up in Explorer.
But you can add the QuickView selection to ALL files by editing the Registry.
Run Regedit and go to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*

Highlight it right-click select New Key. Name this new subkey "QuickView" (no quotes). Now highlight QuickView (double-)click on its "(Default)" String in the right hand pane type an asterisk (*) click OK.
Exit the Registry Editor. Now open Explorer and right-click on a file, any file. You'll notice the new QuickView command.
Have fun.

UPDATE:

    "There are a few little other tweaks for file viewers:

  1. If one uses an enhanced viewing program, such as Quick View Plus, the viewer will default to the Plus program which is already on the FILE and Right Click menus. [A search of the Registry shows "Quick View Plus" has taken over the original "QuickView" key and the latter is now relegated to a key named "QuickView.Original".]
  2. "Quick View" will not appear on the File or Right Click menus for non-extensioned files such as the ones named "axcel216" or "ojatex" in the Organize sub-folder of the AOL program. However, Quick View Plus will appear in those menus. One can make Quick View appear in the Right Click menus if one uses a program such as "Mlaunch.dll" by adding "QuikView.exe" via the Properties Tab.
    {Note: Any AOL screen name longer than eight characters [10 is the max], has a period placed after the eighth character in the file directory, which gives the file an "extension".}
  3. When one tries to open a file such as "axcel216" or "ojatex" with Quick View Plus it seems to work fine unless that file has become quite large [since the owner has not cleaned out their AOL Personal File Cabinet in a long time -- I'm taking the 5th on this one]. At some point of "largeness", apparently Quick View Plus balks and returns a "Whoops" message. But there is a workaround for this too [we won't have to clean up just yet]. One can open these files with a word processing program - they won't look as nice as the Quick View rendition, but the files are viewable."

[Thank you Ojatex!]

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4-8-99 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


FILE SYSTEM SYNCHRONIZATION


You might own certain applications that may need the asynchronous buffer commit function enabled in Windows 9x/ME to operate properly. This feature was introduced with the release of Windows/WfWG 3.11, and was enabled there by default, thus speeding disk access. But you can also do this in Windows 9x/ME, and speed up disk intensive applications noticeably.
In asynchronous mode, the Windows 32-bit file system starts immediately the next disk operation without checking if the data from the last operation was written correctly to disk, thus decreasing (by 10% in most cases) the time it takes to perform an I/O (Input/Output) read/write disk function.
Some programs specify if this is recommended or necessary in their documentation, but most don't. :(
But changing the default might prove unsafe if the hard disk presents surface defects/lost clusters, which errors can be easily corrected by running ScanDisk with the "Thorough (performs Standard test and scans disk surface for errors)" option turned on. Also, some disk intensive applications might not "like" the asynchronous mode, and will "complain" by issuing warning messages, or even "behave" improperly. The worst case is a sudden power surge, when the information stored into the memory cache buffer cannot be written properly back to disk, resulting in data loss.
Therefore you may need to return to the default mode: synchronous buffer commit, which allows the file system to always check the data to be correctly written to disk from the memory buffer.
Now BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM FILES BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER!
Then open Regedit and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

In the right hand pane you should see the "AsyncFileCommit" DWORD (Win95/98) or Binary (WinME) Value.
Create it if not present: right-click select New DWORD (Win95/98) or Binary (WinME) Value name it "AsyncFileCommit" (no quotes) (double-)click on it check the DWORD Decimal box (Win95/98) type 1 (for asynchronous mode) or 0 (for synchronous mode), or type in the Binary (WinME) Value box: 01000000 (for asynchronous mode) or 00000000 (for synchronous mode).
Close Regedit and restart Windows.
From now on watch for any weird error messages generated by your programs while in asynchronous mode. If you DO get any, reset back to synchronous mode (default), as described above.
This can be also achieved the easy way [but that's no fun :)] by running Control Panel System Performance tab File System button Troubleshooting tab place (asynchronous mode) or remove (synchronous mode) the check mark in the "Disable synchronous buffer commit" box restart Windows.
Note that Microsoft suggests altering this setting ONLY for troubleshooting purposes.

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3-30-99 Win9x/ME/NT4/2000/XP/IE Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


BRANDED MS IE


This trick applies to all MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6 32-bit releases.
If you have (by accident) installed Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 Public Release (example used here) from ANY other web site than Microsoft's, you may have a so-called "branded" IE6 version, which might have a different name and/or spinning logo, usually displaying a company's name/logo.
But if you want your "original" (unmodified) IE copy back, there are a few things you can do:

  1. First, make sure to close ALL IE browser windows.

  2. Even if you have already installed a "branded" copy of IE, you can always reinstall it. Open the folder IE's installation files reside into, and move the BRANDING.CAB file to another location. Now download Microsoft's original IE 6.0 SP1 BRANDING.CAB [8 KB, right-click to save!].
    Place it into your IE Setup folder. Reinstall IE. No need to uninstall it beforehand, ONLY IF you first installed the SAME (current) version: IE 6.0 SP1 Public Release 32-bit for Windows 98/98 SE/NT4/ME/2000 (Intel platforms) final build 6.00.2800.1106.
    To tell exactly your IE version/build, open your IE folder and right-click on Iexplore.exe. Select Properties and click the Version tab.

  3. To revert IE's title to its original, run Regedit.exe and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    and to:

    HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    Look in the right hand pane for the "Window Title" String Value. You can either modify it to show the original name (Microsoft Internet Explorer), customize it to your heart's content, or simply delete it.

  4. To get back the MS IE spinning (globe) logo, run Regedit.exe and go to:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

    In the right hand pane: (double-)click on the "BrandBitmap" String and delete its value, or delete the entire "BrandBitmap" String. Do the same with "SmBrandBitmap".

  5. Alternative method without modifying the Registry: click the Start button Run... box type the command line below click OK or hit Enter:

    rundll32.exe iedkcs32.dll,Clear

  6. Restart IE. Voila! The original title and logo have been restored. :)

FYI: To further customize your MS IE interface, see "CUSTOM IE TOOLBAR", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

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3-30-99 Win9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


DUAL-BOOT DLL CONFLICT


In a dual-boot environment, using Windows 9x/OSR2's dual-boot menu feature, and an older copy of Windows/WfWG 3.1x that loads on top of MS-DOS 6.xx (when you select to boot into the "Previous version of MS-DOS" option from the Windows 9x/OSR2 Startup menu), in certain cases you may experience conflicts or weird error messages in Windows applications, in both Windows 9x and Windows/WfWG 3.1x environments.
Some are due to the presence of different versions of the same resource libraries (DLLs = Dynamic Link Libraries) in both Windows 9x/OSR2 System subfolder (default is C:\Windows\System) and in the Windows/WfWG SYSTEM subdirectory (default is C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM). Although on such dual-boot computers the Win31 or Win9x default folder might have different names, to accomodate two different versions of Windows on the same drive/partition.
This happens ONLY IF one or BOTH these \System subdirectories are mentioned on your AUTOEXEC.BAT file PATH line, if a program has added them there during installation, or if you have added them manually.
Example: if you installed Win95 in C:\Win95, and WfWG 3.11 is installed in C:\WFWG, the AUTOEXEC.BAT PATH line that includes both \SYSTEM subdirectories looks like this:

SET PATH=C:\;C:\WIN95;C:\WIN95\COMMAND;C:\WIN95\SYSTEM;C:\WFWG\SYSTEM;etc...

Notice that in such dual-boot setups there are two copies of AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files (with different extensions) present in the root directory of the boot drive (C:\), each being used separately by the different Windows version at boot time.
When you boot into Windows 9x/OSR2, the startup files are renamed to:

AUTOEXEC.BAT          Win9x/OSR2 file
CONFIG.SYS            Win9x/OSR2 file
AUTOEXEC.DOS          MS-DOS 6.xx file
CONFIG.DOS            MS-DOS 6.xx file

When you boot into MS-DOS 6.xx (and start Win31), the startup files are renamed to:

AUTOEXEC.BAT          MS-DOS 6.xx file
CONFIG.SYS            MS-DOS 6.xx file
AUTOEXEC.W40          Win9x/OSR2 file
CONFIG.W40            Win9x/OSR2 file

provided you have both these Operating Systems installed on your machine.
For details on properly setting up a dual-boot system, read these topics [also part of W95-11D.EXE]:

The solution is simple: remove C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM (or whatever name you gave your Windows System subfolder) that points to the OTHER Windows version (not used in the current session) from BOTH AUTOEXEC.BAT PATH lines, and reboot.

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©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].
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