Brought to you thanks to Andrew Bourdon."If you are an avid Net user or Sysadmin, you most likely have to deal
with many "asterisked out" login confirmation boxes. Chances are you end up entering the password several times, because
you can't see what you're typing. The easy and obvious solution is to type in your password in the user name box, and then
cut and paste it into the password boxes. Then just type in your user name and you're set! Also, if you are setting up a
proxy and don't know the user name and password of your ISP login, simply view it with SnadBoy's Revelation (freeware). When you drag the program's cross-hairs over a blocked
password, it automatically displays it in a text box. Then just copy the password to the other computers in your proxy or
Courtesy of Andrew Bourdon."Try this if you want to set up a proxy, or are having problems with your current
one. Run Regedit and go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Config\0001\Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Internet SettingsFirst, set
"EnableAutodial" to 1 if you use a dialup proxy service. Next, (double-)click "ProxyEnable" and replace
the Decimal value of 0 with 1. Your proxy is now fully enabled!"
If you have installed (and I STRONGLY recommend you do too!) the current Microsoft DirectX APIs +
Drivers [free] on your Windows 9x/ME machine, I have a few tweaks 4 ya to enable some hidden DX features. MS DirectX 5.0
or newer is required, and they work on ALL Windows 95, 98 and ME systems, but... BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM FILES BEFORE MAKING
ANY CHANGES! Ready? Alrighty then:
WIN.INI is a Windows 3.xx/9x/ME INItialization file,
residing in your main Windows folder (%windir% = default C:\WINDOWS), and can be edited with Notepad/Sysedit in Windows or
EDIT.COM in DOS. Note that all *.INI entries are case insensitive. Here they are:
Some of these settings can be enabled/disabled also by using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool
(DxDiag.exe, located in C:\Windows\System), bundled with MS DX6 and all newer versions. Most of these lines are
used (if set to 1) for debugging purposes if DirectX seems to cause GPFs (General Protection Faults), errors, lockups
etc, by creating Debug.txt files, which can be sent to Microsoft support (e.g. via e-mail), together with the user's
hardware/OS specs, for troubleshooting. In normal conditions it is recommended to set them all to 0, to allow
MAXimum speed with all DirectX 3D apps and games, ONLY IF DirectX works properly on your Win95/98/ME machine. Most
of them are NOT set to 0 by default [surprise! :)] if NOT present in WIN.INI as listed above, and these default settings
attract DirectX apps/games slowdown, which is unacceptable in my book. :) Therefore it is STRONGLY recommended to turn
them all OFF: make sure all lines under the [Debug] section are set to 0, which disables the DX error logging
("debugging") mode. Though to create Debug.txt files, one needs also to download the separate DXInfo.exe,
DXBug.exe, DXTool.exe + Directx.cpl tools. Grab DX9 Control Panel applet (CPL)
[free]. Grab DXInfo.exe + DXTool.exe [free].One disadvantage is that for example DXBug also
creates the Dxbug.ini (unencoded, plain text) file, which contains personal user info: name, company, address, email
etc. Talk about privacy! To my knowledge "BreakOnAssert" can be set to 1 to improve gameplay (game
controller response) over the internet/network/LAN in multiplayer environment with 3D intensive games like Quake, Unreal
Tournament etc. I know Quake and UT use OpenGL APIs for graphics rendering, but all newer 3D games (including Quake II and
Quake III Arena) use the DirectPlay component of DX anyway for joysticks, wheels, throttles etc for direct access at hardware
level, and DirectSound for direct hardware access to the sound card. The only Win9x/ME tweaking tool I know of that
handles most of these DX settings is DirectControl [111 KB, freeware].
WIN.INI... 3dfx Banshee 2D+3D video card owners (especially the ones manufactured by Creative Labs) might benefit from
adding these lines to WIN.INI, to tweak the RGB (Red Green Blue) gamma settings to their heart content, to brighten up the
display for all 2D+3D programs, including the Windows desktop GUI:
These are the recommended values for most users, if the screen appears too dark in 3D (Glide
3dfx) games/apps. Minimum - maximum RGB gamma values = 1.0 - 4.0. Each color can be changed individually, but "normal"
(color calibrated) screen output is obtained by synchronizing all sliders (R, G and B) at the same level.
Add (if not
present) a new section to your SYSTEM.INI, named [Display] and these lines beneath it (example), to speed up all
Windows screen (re)draws, and enhance video quality and resolution, especially in 32 (24) bit true (16 million) color
SYSTEM.INI is the other "vital" Windows 3.xx/9x/ME initialization file, found also in
your Windows folder, and can be also edited using Notepad or Sysedit in Windows or EDIT.COM in DOS. Some of these settings
are specific only to ATI and/or 3dfx video chipsets, but some can be also used on most other video accelerator brands to
improve graphics performance. Try to see if they make any difference with your video board:MEANING:
BlockWrite=1 speeds up video to memory writes.
BusThrottle=1 fixes PCI bus to video
memory writes if using more than 256 colors (8-bit) resolution. Known to work with older S3 PCI video chipsets.
on the Display Data Channel on older (2D only) graphics boards.
Five6Five=1 forces the 5-6-5 mode in 16-bit
resolution (65k colors), even if it is disabled by default on some controllers (i.e. older ATI chipsets).
ATI cards are
known to work better with DevBmp=0 (turns off DeviceBitmap).
VAD=1 turns on the external VGA feature
connector on ATI cards, if hooked up to an MPEG, video capture or TV card.
RefreshRate=100 (100 Hz in this
example) must match its Registry "twin", the "RefreshRate"="100" String Value, found under this key (as shown by
subkey can be 0001, 0002 etc, depending of your video driver location. Together these two settings force
Windows to use a predefined vertical refresh rate (also known as vertical frequency), measured in Hertz (abbreviated as Hz).
This allows fluorescent multi-scan CRT monitors, able to change screen resolutions, color depths and refresh rates on the
fly, to take advantage of higher frequencies built into their cathode tubes, thus avoiding eye strain caused by
flicker. Brief explanation: most human eyes can perceive [and can get irritated by :(] lower refresh rates (60, 70, and
even 75 Hz) produced by the time interval necessary for each video/TV/monitor/kinescope/oscilloscope/etc electron beam (spot)
to complete an entire horizontal sweep of the screen, from top to bottom. Windows 95/OSR1 use mainly the SYSTEM.INI line,
and Windows OSR2/98/ME use exclusively the Registry entry.
If you experience video errors/lockups after adding these
lines to your SYSTEM.INI, disable them by replacing 1 with 0, or just remark them by typing a semicolon
(;) in front of them. Note that ANY SYSTEM.INI changes require a Windows restart to take effect.
Panel → System applet → Performance tab → Graphics button → drag the "Hardware acceleration" slider all the way to
the right (to "Full") → click OK/Apply → finally reboot, to take advantage of all these video settings. But in the
rare cases your video controller freezes up on the "Full" position, drag the slider back one notch to the left for
more reliability, at the expense of using fewer accelerator functions (slower video performance). The default Windows
95/98/ME Graphics setting is "Full", which turns on all available graphics hardware acceleration features built into
the display driver. That's why it is VERY IMPORTANT to ALWAYS install the available CURRENT (most recent) set of video
drivers for your particular video controller, to take advantage of enhanced/added functions, and eventually of the
patches for bugs plaguing previous driver releases.
The first notch to the left corrects eventual
mouse pointer issues (disables hardware cursor support) by adding the "SwCursor=1" line (switches to Software Cursor)
under the [Display] section of SYSTEM.INI, and this String value (Windows 98/ME ONLY) under the Registry key below (you can
access by running Regedit):HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Config\0000\Display\Settings "SwCursor"="1"Note that
0000 might show as 0001, 0002 etc... in your Registry, depending on the specific key name your video driver is installed
The second notch can correct certain display errors (disables bit block transfers to and from the video card and
disables memory mapped I/O for some display drivers) by adding the "SwCursor=1" and "Mmio=0" lines under the
[Display] section of SYSTEM.INI, the "SafeMode=1" line under the [Windows] section of WIN.INI, and these String values
(Windows 98/ME ONLY) under the Registry key below:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Config\0000\Display\Settings "SwCursor"="1"
The third [and last :)] notch ("None") can correct severe hardware issues (i.e.
the machine often stops responding to input) by adding the "SafeMode=2" line under the [Windows] section of WIN.INI.
This removes ALL driver hardware acceleration support, forcing Windows to use only the Device Independent Bitmap (DIB) engine
rather than bit block transfers for displaying images. The "None" setting usually corrects IPF (Invalid Page Fault)
error messages like:"Program X caused an invalid page fault in module
UNKNOWN"that pop up upon system startup, indicating a problem between the display driver and the Windows
software based DIB engine.
See "SYSTEM.INI TWEAKS", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to boost your system, communications, disk, cache, DMA, keyboard etc performance
to the MAX.
And of course you can use Dxdiag.exe (see above) to enable the DirectX 3D video Hardware
Acceleration Layer (HAL). Though in some situations (i.e. buggy video drivers) you may want to disable HAL for slower but
more stable operation, especially if you own an older (i.e. 2D only and/or ISA based) video controller.BTW: ALWAYS
upgrade your video drivers to their current release from your video board vendor or chipset manufacturer web site, and try to
avoid using the generic (usually older, and lacking enhanced/custom features) drivers included with your Windows 9x/ME
Brought to you courtesy of Andrew Bourdon."Speed up your Windows 9x modem/LAN transfers via buffer increase:
Open Control Panel.
Open the Network applet.
Select Properties for
Select Yes to "Enable Point to Point IP". Be sure to check with your ISP first
to see if they support this!
Select Automatic for "IP Packet Size".
Select No for "Record a log
Select No for "Use IPX header compression".
Click "Enhanced mode [32 and 16 bit] NDIS driver".
Watch your modem fly!
Cable modems/LAN intranets, specifically using a D-Link 530TX PCI Fast Ethernet
adapter and a standard 1.5 Mbps Cox@home cable modem. Your card may or may not support these settings, but the chances
Open Control Panel.
Open the Network applet.
Select Properties for your Ethernet
Select "Enhanced mode" in the Driver Type tab.
Click the Advanced tab.
Set Connection Type to
"AutoSense", unless you're absolutely sure what yours is.
Set DMA Burst Length to "128 DWORDS". If it works,
try 256 next, but do that only after you've tried 128 first.
Set Map Registers to 16 for starters, but you
can increase it further if you want more speed.
Set No Cable Indication to "Enabled".
Set Receive Threshold to
Set Transmit Buffers to 16.
Set Transmit Threshold to 1024 bytes.
UPDATE: After a few months of playing around with the settings, I think I've found the
"sweet spot" settings. In general, higher buffers save data and partially cache data transfers. However, if the buffers
are set too high, too much time will be spent buffering, thus reducing your download speed:
Burst Length = 256 DWORDS
Map Registers = 16 or 32
Receive Buffers = 16
Threshold = 1024 Bytes
Transmit Buffers = 16
Transmit Treshold = 1024 Bytes
settings should remain as they are.NOTE: While clients should have medium-low buffer values,
servers which have error-correction should have all Ethernet buffers at their lowest values to increase speed as much as
possible, and the send/receive thresholds should be set to the max."
This is an Internet security risk that affects ANY unpatched Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000 computer configured as a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) client, and exposes the user to different type of attacks
(spoofs): web page hacks, stealing credentials/private information, altering data etc. The "IRDP Router Advertisments spoof" (IRDP = ICMP Router Discovery Protocol, ICMP = Internet Control Message Protocol) was
first discovered by L0pht. Further more, Microsoft acknowledged this as a potential security risk, has posted a Registry and a VBS (Visual Basic Script) workaround, but has NOT posted an official OS patch. Most
cable modem DHCP clients and large internal organizations are at risk. The purpose of this article is to show you how to implement the FIX:
Or if you like to hack the Registry [like I do :)], run Regedit and go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTransExpand the "NetTrans" key → look in the
left hand pane at the 000n subkeys (where n can be any integer number from 0 up to 50) → click on each one of
them → create a new DWORD Value → right-click in the right hand pane → select New →
DWORD → name it "PerformRouterDiscovery" (no quotes) → (double-)click on it → check the Decimal
box → type 0 (zero) → hit OK. Now repeat this under ALL your 000n keys (most likely you'd have more than one). Close the Registry Editor and restart
Enjoy this cool tip courtesy of Bo:"I have found a faster way to start MS Internet
Explorer 4/5/6. Create a shortcut with the following switch (quotes are needed):"C:\Program
Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -nohomeThe "-nohome" parameter is used by IE for opening pic
files like .JPG or .GIF. It also starts IE without opening the start page (in my case the famous "about blank"). Note that
opening IE like this disables some features until you start browsing the web."
This excellent workaround appears thanks to Michael."This tip concerns the free programs
all over the net which, in exchange for using them, put ads all over the program, especially screen savers, and sometimes all
over your desktop. What happens: every time you log on to the Internet, any and all of these programs immediately begin to
search pre-programmed sites for ads. This will cause your connection to slow down considerably. Also, within a few months,
your entire hard drive(s) will be full of ads, annoyingly popping up all over the place. This is all done in the background,
so most people, even hackers, have trouble finding out where the slowdown is coming from. Some computer bundles (ALL
E-Machines do) have at least one of these. They all create a new directory at C:\Program Files\Timesink. If you expand
it, you will find all sorts of private information about yourself, your preferences, and probably 300+ ads. Deleting the
directory by itself works only until you log on to the Internet again; then, there it is back, in all its glory, only this
time with over 500 ads. To cure the problem: run Regedit → click on "My Computer" → click "Edit" →
"Find" → type in "timesink" (without the quotes) → hit "Find Next". Every time Regedit finds "timesink", right-click and choose
Delete. Hit F3 and delete ALL instances (there should be about 7) until it says "Finished checking the Registry". Go back and
click on "My Computer" again → "Edit" → "Find". This time choose "tsadbot.exe" (this file is the real culprit: it
executes the stealth command to search the Internet for the most annoying ads it can find), hit "Find next", and delete all
its instances, until you get the "Finished checking the Registry" message. Now close Regedit, open Explorer, and go to
C:\Program Files\Timesink. Right-click on Timesink and choose Delete, or drag it to the Recycle bin. Win 3.1
and 9x/ME sometimes put the reference to the file "tsadbot.exe" in the WIN.INI file under the [windows] section, on
the load= or the run= line, so check there too, and remark this executable with a semicolon (;) in front of it by placing it
on its own line, or delete it altogether. Reboot, and you will notice an IMMEDIATE improvement upon startup, ALL of your
annoying ads will forever be gone, and your Internet connection will be at least 5% faster, and downloads about 15%. The only
side effect is that whenever you run again the program which caused the ads to appear in first place, it may ask you what
type of connection you have--go ahead and tell it something--the problem is gone, it will only ask once anyway. Keep these
instructions on hand, because there are quite a few "free" (read "ad-sponsored") programs out there which do this behind your
back. Example: download Image Carousel II (freeware), and create a
simple screen saver, then log on to the web, and you will see what I mean. Every third picture will be a clickable ad.
:("UPDATES + LINKS:
(free, ad-sponsored) keeps reinstalling Timesink on my system and into my Registry. After removing it (too bad because it's a
useful utility), Timesink has not come back." [Thank you M.E. Johnson!]
"With Iplay Internet gaming site you get Tsadbot.exe, but after following the
instructions above Iplay no longer works. I found out if finding the Timesink folder, deleting all the subfolders in the Ads
folder, and then making the Ads folder read only, there are no more ads saved on my computer and I can still use
Iplay.net." [Thank you Roger!]
"In addition to "Timesink" applications there's another
annoying type of AdWare using Cydoor's Ad Loader. The perpetrator is called Cd_load.exe and is located in
C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32 (Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003) or C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM (Windows 95/98/ME). Just do a search on the filename and
remove it. To get rid of its registry entries, find and remove the following: Run Regedit and go to:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Softwareand delete the "Cydoor" and "Cydoor Services" keys. Then go
to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Runand delete the
"Cydoor"="CD_Load.exe" value. This is the Cydoor home
page. You might want to check out what software uses the Cydoor Technology BEFORE installing anything 'free'." [Thank you Casper!]
CPR v1.2 for Windows 98/2000
(free adware) installs these files in C:\Windows\System: Adimage.dll, Amcis2.dll, Ipccli~1.dll, Tfde.dll, Htmdeng.exe +
Msipcsv.exe, and this entry under this Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
"IPServer"="c:\windows\system\msipcsv.exe"to run every time Windows starts. They can be removed by completely
uninstalling the program from Control Panel → Add/Remove Programs (deleting only the Registry value and the files above
makes CPR unoperable). Letting Msipcsv.exe run longer than 10 minutes, drastically reduces system
NetNak, a freeware
[actually "adware" :(] internet performance monitoring tool, uses Aureate/Radiate advertising software, and installs these
files in C:\Windows\System: Advert.dll and Amcis.dll. Uninstalling NetNak should safely remove the
The MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6 Content Advisor Password is kept under this Registry key accessed by running Regedit,
valid for all Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP releases:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\RatingsLook for the "Key"
Binary (hex) value in the right hand pane, which holds the encrypted password. By normally uninstalling MS IE 4/5/6 and
then reinstalling it will NOT clear this password box! But you can (re)set the Content Advisor Password back to none
(blank) by deleting the "Key" value: right-click on it → select Delete → click OK → close the Registry Editor → done. :) If you don't need to use an Advisor Password, you can also delete
(or move to another folder) the RATINGS.POL file from %windir%\SYSTEM (Win9x/ME) or %windir%\SYSTEM32 (WinNT4/2000/XP), by running these commands from any DOS prompt
(Win9x/ME example):ATTRIB -H %winbootdir%\SYSTEM\RATINGS.POL DEL
%winbootdir%\SYSTEM\RATINGS.POLTo (re)enable the Content Advisor Password on your computer, either copy
RATINGS.POL [if you backed it up :)] back to your Windows System(32) folder, or create a new one: start Control Panel
→ Internet Options → Content tab → Content Advisor area Enable button → type
your password→ confirm it → click OK.More info @ MSKB.
If you are among the millions of frustrated AOLers who have been "greeted" with a 45 minutes inactivity popup dialog
box one too many times, when you ARE in fact doing something on the Internet (eventually using a stand-alone web browser browser while connected to AOL), you should consider one of these
AOL users located in the USA or Canada: If using a "Call Waiting" (or similar)
service provided by your telephone company (telco), turn it off by adding the *70 (or 70# or 1170 =
depending on your local phone line provider) prefix followed in most cases by a comma (,) in front of your (local)
phone number used to connect to AOL.
Install one of the "FREE WINDOWS 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003 AOL
32-bit TOOLS", which perform a similar job: monitor and dismiss the 45 min time limit inactivity popup messages. Just
make sure to get one that works with your particular AOL version and MS Operating System. :)
... Appear thanks to Andrew Bourdon:"Speedup Internet logon on next visit:When you are done using the
Internet or office intranet, visit the fastest server you can find before you disconnect. Since all operating systems (at
least Windows) do not reset their server queues when you disconnect, they will not logon as fast since they have to reroute
to your ISP's server. This tip is also good for LAN access such as Cox@home, because the same thing happens, just a lot
faster.Speedup Startup sequence:
Load them instead using BatchRun
[freeware], create a script time delay between programs of 5 seconds, and check the "No load until previous program is
Place the script file (.BRS) in C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup or in
Restart Windows and watch the fur fly. :)
UPDATE [Thank you Don Joe!]: "BatchRun stops running the startup list if you check "Wait until
finished" for all programs. BatchRun starts 1 program at a time, every 5 seconds, which means the system resources are
available earlier, with small interruptions every 5 seconds, but it comes at the cost of having the startup programs
available LATER than normal."Speedup program execution:
Right-click on the executable you want to
access and select "Create Shortcut".
Move the shortcut to your Windows folder.
To access the file, all you have to do
is go Start → Run and type in the program name. NOTE: If you want to rename the shortcut, make sure you update the name
of the actual file as well.
Select more than 1 file/folder in Windows Explorer:Option 1: While pressing
SHIFT, select the first and last files in a row. This will select all the files in between. Option 2: While pressing CTRL,
select the files you want to open. Unlike the first option, you can select only the files you want, not an entire
This cool trick comes courtesy of STN, and applies to Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 (ONLY with MS IE 4/5 installed) and
Windows 98/98 SE/ME + MS IE 5/6."Highlight the file C:\WINDOWS\WEB\FOLDER.HTT in Windows Explorer, disable its
hidden attribute, then open it in Notepad, and scroll down to this string:
var wantMedia=false; // Cool, but may hinder media file manipulation!
false and type true instead to turn on the hidden preview feature for all multimedia files! Save your work,
close Notepad, and finally reenable its hidden attribute."
Enjoy Scott's Windows Media Player (WMP) tip."I have a 28.8 connection and often have trouble with streaming
media. There is a setting that controls the number of seconds buffered by WMP [free from MS]. Install WMP →
click the Start button → Settings → Control Panel → Multimedia → Devices → Media Control Devices → Wave Audio Device.
This is a slider that can be moved between 2 and 9 seconds (default is 4). I have changed mine to 2, which allows for more
frequent gaps of much less duration with difficult (slower) connections."
... Brought to you by Lanetouchet."In Windows 95/98/ME you can put your name or any
other text string in the Taskbar tray next to the Time/Date display. Run Regedit.exe and go to:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\InternationalRight-click in the right hand pane → choose New →
String Value → name it s1159. Then right-click on it → Modify → type/paste whatever text you want. Now right-click
again in the right hand pane → select New → String Value → name it s2359. Then (double-)click on it → put the same
text here. Close the Registry Editor, restart Windows, and you'll see your text exactly as you entered it at the right of
the Time in the Taskbar tray."ADD-ON: The maximum number of allowed characters is 13 (anything
beyond that is not displayed), and all ISO8859-1 (Latin-1) characters (even special symbols) are accepted.This can also be done from Control
Panel → Regional Settings → Time tab →AM and PM symbol boxes → type any letters, but restricted here to a maximum
of 8 characters (numbers and certain special symbols are not accepted, especially if entered as the first character) → click
... Appears thanks to VV."Many have been hit by viruses, trojans or worms. As a result, they can't use program
fixes containing the *.EXE extension anymore, nor can they get into the Registry to make necessary corrections, because the
Registry is really REGEDIT.EXE! Unfortunately, all backed up Registry versions stored by Scanreg [Win98/ME users] can be infected too, so restoring an older version may not be an
option. But the *.REG file extension is usually unaffected. The solution is to create a REG file in Notepad, name it
EXEFIX.REG [filename doesn't matter, but the REG extension must be kept] with the lines below, and then (double-)click
on it to merge its info into the Registry to regain access to the Registry.
"REG files require REGEDIT.EXE to
run in order to be merged. But if you rename REGEDIT.EXE to REGEDIT.BAT you can still use .REG files: Registry →
Import Registry File. [Thank you David!]
"Here's a couple of items I found useful when I exposed my system to a
virus which modified the Registry, and Windows could not run exe programs. This includes, of course, REGEDIT.EXE! Both
.EXE and .COM files are loaded as EXEcutables if the "MZ" signature is present, and as COMmand files otherwise, regardless of
whether the file extention is .COM or .EXE. By renaming REGEDIT.EXE to REGEDIT.COM it ran as normal, by bypassing the
corrupt exe file Registry key. Also, my Desktop icon for MS IE (which appears to be neither a program nor a shortcut, but
a Registry generated icon) worked even with the corrupt exe file key! This is very useful for browsing virus update sites to
find the key(s) to modify and repair the Registry. :)" [Thank you Chogg!]
Do you have two 3D video controllers (i.e. a 3dfx Voodoo/Voodoo2 add-on 3D only PCI accelerator besides the primary AGP or PCI 2D+3D video adapter) installed on your computer? If you do, I'm sure you have run into this
BUG: some (older?) DirectX 3D games insist on using your secondary (3D only) adapter, even if your newer primary video card handles 3D/DirectX/OpenGL tasks better/faster. It is well known that older 3dfx based accelerators
(Voodoo, Voodoo2, Voodoo3, Banshee) canNOT display 3D in 32-bit modes [16.7 milion colors]. Sure, the new generation of 3dfx VSA-100 chipset (code named "Napalm"), is the first "incarnation" of their long awaited 32-bit color
3D controller. But if you don't have one of these multi-chipset, SLI-on-a-single-card AGP video boards (Voodoo4/Voodoo5/Voodoo6), we still need to use our old Voodoos to play those "3dfx only" games... like I do. :) And
of course, there are freeware tools that can switch back and forth from one adapter to another, like 3D Control Center [42 KB], or DirectControl
[111 KB]. But these "fixes" do NOT work with some (read "buggy") Direct3D games/apps, which are NOT able to properly detect your primary video driver, when a secondary 3D video card is installed. Such games include Prince Of Persia 3D and Klingon Honor Guard, both
coincidentally using the Unreal 3D Game Engine. :) I found out that these games work ONLY AFTER applying the Registry fix below, regardless of installing (or not) their current patches:
So here we go...First you MUST install the current release of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 APIs on your Win98/ME system [32 MB, free]. If using Win95/OSR1/OSR2,
get the older DirectX 8.xx APIs.Then fire up Regedit and go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\hardware\DirectDrawDriversThere you'll see 1 or 2 long 16-bit alphanumeric
keys, which may be different on your machine, depending on installed video hardware. This is mine, saved as a REG file (I named it DX2ON.REG):
Note that the name of my secondary (3D only) adapter is found under the
"Description" String value, and its installed driver name shows under the other two String values (1st key above).
This information is usually updated in the Registry every time you update/install different drivers for your add-on 3D only
controller, or sometimes when running these DirectX tools provided freely by Microsoft:
Diagnostic [DXDiag.exe] located in C:\Windows\System.
DirectX Control Panel [Directx.cpl]. Grab DX9
Control Panel here [free].
Therefore you need to delete those Registry values AGAIN
every time this happens. :( Note also that sometimes these keys are NOT updated after properly uninstalling the video
drivers, or after physically removing the video card from your computer case. Now (double-)click on each of these 3 Strings
under the 1st Registry key above, delete their entire text strings (leave those lines blank), and then click OK to save.
Repeat this operation for all Strings found under the 2nd Registry key above (if any). Close the Registry Editor and
restart Windows when done so these changes can take effect.To do this the easy way, all you have to do is save the
"incriminated" key as a plain text REG file (let's call it DX2OFF.REG), and place it in your Startup folder under
C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup, to have Windows "adjust" these values automatically every time it loads. You also
need to apply the hack explained in "UNATTENDED REGISTRATION", also in REGISTRY.TXT
[part of W95-11D.EXE], to eliminate all those annoying prompt dialog boxes Regedit pops up whenever you
try to merge a REG file into the Registry. :) This is my DX2OFF.REG file (example):
Final step: from now on whenever you start
your favorite "buggy" game, the primary Direct3D video driver will be selected by default, and if your game allows, you can
play it on the 3D accelerator of your choice. :)On the other hand, the majority of Direct3D games require these Registry
entries to be present, in order to detect your secondary 3D card, if you choose to select it within the game's Options/Video
Menu. Therefore you can start ONLY your "buggy" DX3D games from a plain DOS batch file, which begins by disabling the
DirectDraw Drivers REG entries (by running DX2OFF.REG above), runs the game executable (with your 3D only card
selected), and finally reenables DirectDraw on the secondary adapter upon exiting, using DX2ON.REG above (Prince Of
Persia 3D used here as example). I named this batch POP3D.BAT, and placed it together with both REG files in the game
directory:@ECHO OFF C:\POP3\DX2OFF.REG START/W
C:\POP3\POP3D.EXE C:\POP3\DX2ON.REGYou also need to edit the PIF file you created as shortcut to POP3D.BAT
(right-click on it and select Properties) to "Close on exit" (the Program tab). Also make sure to uncheck the "Warn
if still active" box (the Misc tab). Click Apply/OK when done.Depending on how many "buggy" Direct3D/3Dfx games you
have, you can use similar batch files only for the ones that require these REG entries disabled.FYI: Here are the 2 video accelerators + drivers I use:
Sometimes Windows 9x/ME Defrag takes way too long to completely rearrange all files on your fixed
drive(s)/partition(s), especially if your disks are "cluttered" with tons of files, because more files you have, slower it
performs. [Duh! :)] But you can modify the way the Defrag tool works, and set it to NOT reorder all files by file use (by
default most recent accessed files are placed at the beginning of the partition, on the outer clusters).FIRST BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FILES!Then start Regedit and go to:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag\Settings\methodIn the
right hand pane → (double-)click on the "(Default)" String → change the "FULL" [file reorder enabled = default]
value to read "FULLNOAPPLOG" [file reorder disabled] → click OK. Then go to:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag\Settings\scandiskIn the
right hand pane → (double-)click on the "(Default)" String → change the "FALSE" [file order enabled = default]
value to read "TRUE" [file order disabled] → click OK. Then go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Defrag\AppStartRegionsDelete
ALL values found in the right hand pane: highlight each one → right-click on it → select Delete → click
OK.CAUTION: Deleting the drive letter Binary [hex] values under the Registry key above WILL DISABLE
the Win98/ME "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option!Win98/ME
users: see these topics, also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to make Defrag
perform at MAXimum speed: "MAP THE CACHE", "FIX DEFRAG" +
If you work/play in a multiuser computing environment, and own the Windows 9x/ME computer, you might like to "scare
away" casual users by disabling the GUI capability of creating New Shortcuts/Folders on your Desktop. Just run Regedit and
go to:HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNewThe New Shortcut Wizard is handled by the "Command"
String [REG_SZ] value (default shown here):RUNDLL32.EXE APPWIZ.CPL,NewLinkHere %2(Double-)click
on "Command" → highlight and delete the entire text string → click OK. Close Regedit when done. From now on,
when someone else (logged on into your computer with a different account) right-clicks on the Desktop and selects New →
Shortcut, this will create an empty (blank, useless) icon on the Desktop, followed by a benign error message which can be
safely dismissed. :) Alternatively you can change the "Command" default string to point to any other program, to start
that particular application instead. But in this case make sure to keep the %2 entry at the end of the command call
(preceded by a space), regardless if your program has or has not any command input abilities, to allow the "New" context menu
wizard to perform correctly.
... As tweaked by The Captain, and works with all Windows 95/98/ME releases, ONLY with MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6
installed."Hit Start → click Run → type Regedit → press
Enter → go to:HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\GeneralThe "Wallpaper"
String Value should read (standard example):C:\Windows\Web\SafeMode.httBut you can
change the page displayed on your Desktop background, useful if your Win9x/ME + MS IE 4/5/6 "combo" crashes a lot, and which
normally canNOT be changed in the user interface. This requires MS IE 4/5/6 with the "Windows Desktop Update" (Active
Desktop) installed. The file type must be in .HTM, .HTML or .HTT