MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS
WinDOwS Tricks - Part 6

Go to ALL WinDOwS ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
My "AOL MAXMTU REVISITED" Original/UNique AOL 3.0/4.0/5.0 MTU Registry ©tweak for Windows 95/98 is posted HERE.
7-15-98 Win9x/ME Original Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


CD-ROM/DVD MAX SPEED


Right-click on My Computer select Properties Performance tab click File System select the CD-ROM tab. Look at the "Supplemental cache size:". When you move this slider all the way up to the right, Windows 95/98/ME allocates a maximum of 1238 KB (1.2 MB) from your computer's memory (RAM) to the CD/DVD cache. You can also select "Quad-speed or higher" in the "Optimize access pattern for:" box to maximize the size of the read-ahead buffer Windows allocates to your CD-ROM/CD-R(W)/DVD-ROM/DVD-R(W)/DVD-RAM drive.

NOTES:

According to Microsoft these are the maximum values allowed by Windows 95/98/ME... NOT! :) You can further increase them to optimize your CD/DVD performance, also depending on your optical drive(s) physical speed(s), transfer rate(s) and seek time(s), well beyond Windows 9x/ME GUI limitations.

Now BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FILES BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER!

There are two hex (Binary) or on some older Win95 (retail) machines DWORD values, you can change to speed up your CD/DVD access, under this Registry key (maximum values allowed by Windows shown here):

  1. The hex values:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\control\FileSystem\CDFS
    "CacheSize"=hex:6b,02,00,00
    "Prefetch"=hex:e4,00,00,00

  2. The DWORD values:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\control\FileSystem\CDFS
    "CacheSize"=dword:0000026b
    "Prefetch"=dword:000000e4

To do this you need to run Regedit.
If you choose to do this manually, it may take some time to become familiar with the way the hex and DWORD values work and how to modify them properly.
The table below shows all the "CacheSize" and "Prefetch" values you need to modify for cd-roms/dvds of different speeds, starting with 4x (maximum allowed by Windows) and all the way up to 72x: [High enough for you?! :)]

  1. CD-ROM/CD-R(W)/DVD-ROM/DVD-R(W)/DVD-RAM "CacheSize" Registry values:

    Cache Size      Decimal [KB]    Hex             DWORD
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Small [Default]  619 [1238]     6b,02,00,00     0000026b
    Medium          1238 [2476]     d6,04,00,00     000004d6
    Large           2476 [4952]     ac,09,00,00     000009ac

  2. CD-ROM/CD-R(W) "Prefetch" Registry values:

    CD-ROM Speed    Decimal         Hex             DWORD
    --------------------------------------------------------
     4x [Default]    228            e4,00,00,00     000000e4
     8x              448            c0,01,00,00     000001c0
    12x              672            a0,02,00,00     000002a0
    16x              896            80,03,00,00     00000380
    20x             1120            60,04,00,00     00000460
    24x             1344            40,05,00,00     00000540
    32x             1792            00,07,00,00     00000700
    40x             2240            c0,08,00,00     000008c0
    44x             2462            a0,09,00,00     000009a0
    48x             2688            80,0a,00,00     00000a80
    52x             2912            60,0b,00,00     00000b60
    60x             3372            2c,0d,00,00     00000d2c
    72x             4104            08,10,00,00     00001008

    CREDITS: 12x, 20x, 44x and 52x values courtesy of Spiny.

    And a little "bonus" [:)]: optimal read-ahead buffer size values for DVD-ROM/DVD-R(W)/DVD-RAM drives up to 16x speed:

  3. DVD-ROM/DVD-R(W)/DVD-RAM "Prefetch" Registry values:

    DVD Speed       Decimal         Hex             DWORD
    --------------------------------------------------------
     1x              448            c0,01,00,00     000001c0
     2x              896            80,03,00,00     00000380
     4x             1792            00,07,00,00     00000700
     6x             3584            80,0a,00,00     00000a80
     8x             4096            00,10,00,00     00001000
    10x             5376            00,15,00,00     00001500
    12x             6400            00,19,00,00     00001900
    16x             8192            00,20,00,00     00002000

Larger cache/buffer size means using more memory (RAM). Make sure you leave Windows with enough memory to operate properly (it's only a trial-and-error game), especially if you're RAM "challenged". :)

But if you prefer to do this the easy way, take your pick... download ALL Registry files listed here as CDSPEED.ZIP [11 KB, ZIPped] and use one of these "Free Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 File Shrinkers" to extract the REG files.
To choose your cd/dvd speed and/or buffer size, just (double)-click on the correspondent .REG file below in Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = C:\WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE) to merge the changes into your Registry:

  1. REG files for cache size:

    Cache Size      hex REG file    DWORD REG file
    ----------------------------------------------
    Small [Default] n/a             n/a
    Medium          MEDIHEX.REG     MEDIDWRD.REG
    Large           LARGHEX.REG     LARGDWRD.REG

  2. REG files for read-ahead buffer:

    CD-ROM Speed    hex REG file    DWORD REG file
    ----------------------------------------------
    4x [Default]    n/a             n/a
    8x              CD8HEX.REG      CD8DWRD.REG
    16x             CD16HEX.REG     CD16DWRD.REG
    24x             CD24HEX.REG     CD24DWRD.REG
    32x             CD32HEX.REG     CD32DWRD.REG
    40x             CD40HEX.REG     CD40DWRD.REG
    52x             CD52HEX.REG     CD52DWRD.REG

[Default] means the maximum values allowed by Windows 95/98/ME in System Properties Performance File System CD-ROM "Supplemental cache size" Large (referred to as Small in the tables above!) and respectively "Optimize access pattern" "Quad-speed or higher" settings, the equivalent of a 4x speed cd-rom, and you don't need custom REG files for them (therefore the "n/a" statements above!).
I didn't provide any REG files for DVD drives, but I'm sure you can easily create your own using Notepad. :)

HINTS:

You can experiment selecting any combination of settings by using any REG files above, until you're satisfied with your cd-rom performance.
Restart Windows after each change, so the new settings can take effect.
You may see noticeable speed improvement when playing a video clip (AVI, MOV, MPEG etc), running multimedia apps, or copying large files from your cd/dvd drive(s).
But if you play graphics intensive (e.g. 3D DirectX/OpenGL) games, the speed increase might not be so obvious, because most newer games use their own disk read-ahead technologies, which work independently from the Windows preset CD buffer/cache.
To compare your cd/dvd speed before and after making such changes, and to see which are the optimal settings in your case, run one of the benchmark tools listed under "SPEEDUP + BENCHMARK TOOLS", also in SOFTWARE.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

FYI:
Use DirectControl DirectX tweaking tool for Windows 9x/ME (freeware) to configure your CD-ROM Cache and Prefetch sizes, among many other DirectX, 2D/3D Video, 3D/A3D Audio, Disk Cache/Vcache etc settings for MAXimum performance.

Full speed ahead!

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6-17-98 Win9x/ME Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


IOS.INI TWEAKS


Explanation:
IOS.INI
[I/O (In/Out) Supervisor INItializing file] is a plain text file found in your Windows 95/98/ME folder. Nothing unusual so far. But the lines contained in IOS.INI are a powerful filter for the OS.
Windows boots, and then starts the GUI, loading its 32-bit protected mode disk paging VXDs (Virtual eXtended Drivers), but needs to know that there is NO real DOS mode (legacy, 16-bit) device/driver/TSR that can interfere with Windows 32-bit disk operation.
IOS.INI is read by IOS.VXD (I/O Supervisor Virtual eXtended Driver) while Windows GUI loads, looking for devices/drivers/TSRs (Terminate and Stay Resident programs) matching the ones listed in IOS.INI. If IOS.VXD detects a potential disk I/O conflict, loads the "MS-DOS 16-bit compatibility mode" drivers, which will impair system performance. :(
More IOS.VXD info @ MSKB.
Some well known and some less known (to IOS.VXD) such programs might drive the OS "crazy", forcing it to start with an alert/warning message, like this one: [we all have grown to love and hate ;-)]

"A new MS-DOS resident program named 'CACHDISK' may decrease your system's performance.
Would you like to see more information about this problem?
"

Also, at this point, if you are using any animated mouse cursors (using the high color mode or better resolution only), you will notice that they have been "frozen". Now right-click on My Computer icon, click Properties, and select the Performance tab. Surprise! Here is what you'll see: [nag, nag :-)]

"File System       All drives are using MS-DOS compatibility mode.

Virtual Memory     MS-DOS compatibility mode.

CACHDISK in AUTOEXEC.BAT forces MS-DOS compatibility mode.
Compatibility mode paging reduces overall system performance.
"

But everything is cool, no need to panic... :)
The whole "secret" lies in the list found under IOS.INI's [SafeList] section.
If one of your "weird" drivers/TSRs loaded in memory from a CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT command line is not present on this list, the OS might "spit" a message similar to the one above, and aborts the loading of its 32-bit disk drivers, which causes performance to degrade.
All you need to do (ONLY if you determined that your particular program WILL NOT interfere with Windows proper operation) is add a line under IOS.INI's [SafeList] section to include the "culprit" (edit IOS.INI with Notepad).
Example: if this is your AUTOEXEC.BAT line:

LOADHIGH C:\MYPROGS\CACHDISK.EXE

this is the appropriate IOS.INI line for your TSR:

[SafeList]
CACHDISK.EXE ; My MS-DOS Cache Disk TSR

Characters after the semicolon (;) are ignored and considered comments.
You can alternatively type the filename without extension, using a DOS "wild card" (*), to include ALL programs/drivers bearing the same name:

CACHDISK.* ; My MS-DOS Cache Disk TSR

IOS.INI has yet another section you might consider keeping an eye on: [CDUnsafe]. All drivers/TSRs listed under this header are considered "unsafe" by the OS, and Windows will show you a message to prove it, or will stop from loading (in case you try using one of them).
The [CDUnsafe] section can be used to enumerate known buggy drivers/TSRs to make sure an older or poorly written application (especially MS-DOS programs created before Win95's "birth") doesn't "infiltrate" such an incompatible driver in your startup files, which might cause Windows to "drop" its 32-bit paging mode in favor of the slower MS-DOS compatibility mode.
This is IOS.INI's default "unsafe" list:

[CDUnsafe]
plextor.sys ; Plextor 6plex cd-rom driver.

Stay safe: BACKUP YOUR FILES FIRST!

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6-24-98 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


RESTORE INSTALL FUNCTION


If by accident (or after a "buggy" software installation) the Install command is disabled when you right-click on Setup Information files (.INF), you can easily restore it.
Start Explorer, click "View", and select "File Types" (click "Folder Options" first if you have MS IE4 with the Desktop enhancements enabled). Scroll down to the "Setup Information" item. Click the "Edit" menu (or double-click on "Setup Information"), and then select "New". In the "Action" box type:

Install

In the "Application used to perform action" type:

Rundll.exe Setupx.dll,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132

Leave the "DDE" box unchecked. Click OK to close all dialog boxes.
From now on you have the "Install" option available again whenever you right-click on an .INF file.
To alternatively restore the "Open" and "Print" commands for .INF files, repeat the steps above, typing in the "Action" box: Edit (for the "Open" function), and: Print (for the "Print" function). In the "Application used to perform action" box, you need to type:

Notepad.exe

for "Open", and:

Notepad.exe /p

for "Print".
All other steps are identical.

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6-24-98 Win9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


CONTROL APPLET ICON


Q [Joe Beech]:

"How do I change a Control Panel icon?"

A [MDGx]:

"I'm afraid the only way I know is to create a separate (new) shortcut on your Desktop, to make it easier, but you can move it somewhere else after that using Explorer or the Taskbar Properties menu, for each Control Panel applet you want (.CPL files are located by default in C:\Windows\System).
To create a Control Panel applet shortcut on your Desktop, open the Control Panel folder, and left-click and drag the item you want onto an empty area on the Desktop. To change its icon, right-click on your new shortcut, click Change Icon, and then choose from your icons (.ICO) or icon libraries (.CPL, .DLL, .EXE, .ICL etc) the one you like.
Common Windows 9x icon libraries (.DLL, .EXE, .CPL) and their default locations:

And if you own MS Plus! for Win95 or/and MS Plus! for Win98, you also have a bunch of icons to choose from (.ICO format, 256 colors, 48x48 or 128x128 pixels), in your C:\Program Files\Plus!\Themes subfolders.

Windows XP has a lot of executables containing icons that can be used to replace default ones assigned by the operating system.

PS: You can also use the .DLL file [MYICONS.DLL] included with W95-11D.EXE, which contains 223 icons (16 colors, 32x32 pixels) for popular PC Windows/DOS games/apps.
Also available separately here in DLL, ICL + ICO formats."

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6-24-98 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


HIGH COLOR ICONS WITHOUT PLUS!


If you own Windows 95 (retail) or Windows 95 OSR1 (upgraded with SP1) you can have High Color (65,000 colors) icons displayed on your Desktop, without the need to have MS Plus! Pack for Windows 95 installed.
This is valid for all Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP + 2003 editions.
Start Regedit.exe and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop\WindowMetrics

Add a new String (if not present) under the Registry key above: right-click on an empty spot in the right hand pane, select New String and type "Shell Icon BPP", without the quotes. Or edit/double-click it if already present and give it this numeric value (don't type the quotes):

"Shell Icon BPP"="16"

BPP = Bits Per Pixel.
The integer number represents the color depth.
These are all available values (depending on your video controller + monitor capabilities):

4 = 4-bit = 16 colors
8 = 8-bit = 256 colors
16 = 16-bit = 65,000 colors = High Color
24 = 24-bit = 16 million colors = True Color
32 = 32-bit = 16 million colors = True Color

This is the Windows 95 "Shell Icon BPP" default value without MS Plus! 95 Pack installed:

"Shell Icon BPP"="8"

More info @ MS TechNet.

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7-1-98 Win9x/ME ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WINKEY WITHOUT WIN95 KEYBOARD


Another good tip thanks to The Captain...

"Add a Windows Key to your keyboard

If you wish your keyboard had a Windows Key but you don't, and you don't want to shell out money for a new keyboard when yours is perfectly fine, then make one. All you must do to complete this operation is the Microsoft Keyboard Remap Kernel Toy and your Right Ctrl or Right Alt key.
Get the Kernel Toy for keyboard remapping.
Run Keyremap.exe to extract its contents, right-click on Keyremap.inf and select Install.
Next, open the Control Panel, open Keyboard Properties and select the Remap tab. Under Right-hand Side, select the key you want to use, such as Right Alt from the left-hand box. In the right-hand box (still under Right-hand Side), select Windows. Click OK, and you have now a Windows key. To test it, press the key you used once and the Start Menu will pop up."

FYI:
See "WINKEY SHORTCUTS", also in TIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for a list of keyboard shortcuts using the Windows Logo key.

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7-1-98 Win9x/2000/ME/XP/2003 ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


QUICK FIX ENGINEERING


With so many Windows 9x/2000/ME/XP/2003 upgrades/patches/fixes/etc Microsoft "blessed" us with, that you need to download and install over and over in order to keep your MS OS(es) in tip-top "shape", no wonder if you get confused trying to keep up to date, and determine which ones you have already applied, and which ones you still need to get.
Luckily, most Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/2003 "hot fixes" can be installed automatically from the Windows Update site, but unfortunately Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 and NT do not have such capabilities.
On the other hand, many fixes are NOT posted at Windows Update, and you need to either subscribe to one of the Microsoft free e-mail newsletters [which requires disclosure of personal info :(], check their internet pages on a regular basis, or look elsewhere (dedicated, unofficial web sites) for up-to-date Windows patches. My "FREE Software Essentials: Upgrades, Patches, BUG Fixes, Drivers + Tools" page [also available in SOFTWARE.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE)] is a good example, and covers ALL flavors/builds of Microsoft Windows OSes, starting with Win31 all the way up to Win2003.

This is why Microsoft has made our "computing" lifes a little easier [:-)] by posting the free Windows 9x/2000/ME/XP/2003 Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) Hotfix Checker.
QFECHECK.EXE installs in your Windows [%windir% for Win9x/ME] or System [%windir%\System32 for Win2000/XP/2003] folder.
It searches through your entire Windows Registry and Windows folders, and then reports its findings. It can also be forced to search an alternate path by typing it in.
If an updated file is missing, or if a mismatch occurs between the version stored on the disk and the information in the Registry, the Update Information Tool will let you know by marking the "culprit" in red.
QFECHECK can also accurately determine your Windows release and core files version/build (i.e. Kernel32.dll, User.exe), especially if you upgraded by installing a patch/fix, so you know exactly which Windows release you're currently using.

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7-21-98 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


DEFAULT BROWSER


To replace Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6 with Netscape Navigator/Communicator 4.xx/6.xx as your default web browser, follow the steps below:
  1. First EXIT COMPLETELY ALL your Netscape web browser instances.
  2. Right-click on your desktop Internet (Explorer) icon, select Properties, and click the Programs tab.
  3. Uncheck the "Internet Explorer should check to see if it's the default browser" box.
  4. Open the PREFS.JS plain text file with Notepad and change the string:

    user_pref("browser.wfe.ignore_def_check", true);

    to read:

    user_pref("browser.wfe.ignore_def_check", false);

    It is set to "true" if you answered "no" to the default browser confirmation prompt the first time you ran Netscape 4/6.
    PREFS.JS is located in the \Program Files\Netscape\Users\Username subfolder (default Netscape 4/6 installation). \Username has the name of the e-mail account you typed in when you first installed Navigator/Communicator.
  5. Now start Netscape Navigator/Communicator 4.xx/6.xx and answer "yes" to the confirmation prompt asking if you want to select it as default browser.

NOTE: You may also need to apply these fixes: "DEFAULT BROWSER - Part 1" and "DEFAULT BROWSER - Part 2", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to make this trick work properly.

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7-21-98 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


DEFAULT BROWSER - Part 2


To replace Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6 as your default web browser with Netscape Navigator/Communicator 3.xx/4.xx/6.xx, you need to enable the pop-up confirmation message box for Netscape.
Start Regedit and go to:

  1. MS Internet Explorer entry:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  2. Netscape Navigator/Communicator entry:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Netscape\Netscape Navigator\Main

First make sure you exit ALL your browsers COMPLETELY.
For both these browsers you need to modify (or add if not present) two String Values under the "Main" header: "Check_Associations" and "IgnoreDefCheck".
To create a new String Value click on an empty spot in the right hand pane right-click select New String name it "Check_Associations". Repeat these steps for "IgnoreDefCheck" (don't type the quotes).
Notice that IE's "Check_Associations" String has a default value of "yes". On the other hand, Netscape's "Check_Associations" String value is "no". Right-click on IE's "Check_Associations" String, select Modify, and replace yes with no. Also modify IE's "IgnoreDefCheck" String to read "yes". Similarly, right-click Netscape's "Check_Associations" string, select Modify and replace no with yes, and then modify Netscape's "IgnoreDefCheck" string to read "no".
Now start Netscape Navigator/Communicator and answer "yes" when asked if you want to make it your default browser.

NOTE: You may also need to apply these fixes: "DEFAULT BROWSER", also in TIPS95.TXT, and "DEFAULT BROWSER - Part 1", also in REGISTRY.TXT [both part of W95-11D.EXE], to make this trick work properly.

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7-27-98 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


CAPTAIN'S QUICK TIPS


Enjoy these three quick tips courtesy of The Captain.

  1. "NEW FOLDER VIEW

    If your View Options are set to Browse Folders Using a Single Window for Each Folder, you can open an additional window for the folder by holding CTRL while you double click.

  2. DRAG AND DROP ACTION

    Before you "drop" a drag and drop operation, look at the lower left corner of the icon you're moving. This will tell you what the default action will be: a plus means copy, an arrow means a shortcut will be made.

  3. LIST ALL FILES IN DOS

    To find a file in MS-DOS mode, use ATTRIB. Type: ATTRIB FILENAME /S. This will list the path your file is in. You can use wildcards and redirection.
    To find all the jpegs on a PC from MS-DOS mode and to save the result to a floppy disk type:"
    ATTRIB *.JPG /S > A:\JPEGLIST.TXT

Back 2 Contents
7-30-98 Win3.1x/9x/ME Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and to MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


RELEASE MY MODEM!


This applies ONLY to dial-up (phone line based) modems connected to one of your computer's COM(munication) ports in Windows 3.1x/9x/ME.
If you are using both Windows and MS-DOS based communications/fax programs, you may experience occasional error messages such as:

"Another program is using the selected Telephony device.
Try again after the other program completes.
"

or:

"Cannot initialize COMx port"

This means your modem/fax device may not be properly released for further use upon exiting a DOS based communications/fax application (running in a DOS box/session/window). But there is a workaround.
The state of a device contention in Windows 3.1x/9x/ME is determined by the "COMxAutoAssign=n" setting under SYSTEM.INI's [386Enh] section, where x is the serial (COM) port number (usually 1 to 4), and n can have any integer value from -1 up to 1000.
Windows default setting is -1. This causes Windows to NOT release a serial port previously used by a non-Windows (DOS) based application.
To enable the "hot-swapping" capability between Windows and MS-DOS based communications/fax programs, open your SYSTEM.INI file (found in your Windows directory) with Notepad or Sysedit, and add/modify these entries under the [386Enh] section to read:

COM1AutoAssign=0
COM2AutoAssign=0
COM3AutoAssign=0
COM4AutoAssign=0

Save your work and restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

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8-5-98 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


REMOVE "SHORTCUT TO"


To remove the "Shortcut to..." text string instances from ALL your existing and ANY new Shortcuts you will create from now on, run Regedit and go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

In the right hand pane create a new Binary value called "Link": right-click on an empty spot select Binary [hex] Value name it "Link" (no quotes).
If "Link" is already present: double-click on it type as many zeroes as necessary until it reads:

00 00 00 00

Click OK. Don't type the spaces.
Now apply the same trick under this Registry key:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

to affect ALL users on your Windows 95/98/ME computer.
Restart Windows to make the changes take effect.

You can also achieve this by using the TweakUI Power Toy [110 KB, free, unsupported].

FYI:
More info @ MSKB.

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8-5-98 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


NEW FOLDER ICON


This works with Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2/NT4 ONLY with MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6 with the shell integration (Active Desktop = Web View) enabled, and with ALL Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/2003 releases.
To change a folder icon displayed in Windows Explorer, use Notepad to create a new text file with the following lines:

[.ShellClassInfo]
IconFile=Drive:\Path\Filename.Extension[,Number]
IconIndex=Number

and save it as DESKTOP.INI into the folder (directory) you want to change the icon for.
Replace "Drive" above with a valid drive letter, and "Path" with the folder name your icon file resides into.
"Filename" can be anything you want, but the "Extension" must be one of the following: .CPL, .DLL, .ICL, .ICO or .EXE.
If you choose an icon library with the .DLL or .EXE extension (these usually contain more than one icon), you need to specify the position of the icon displayed by inserting a comma (,) followed by the icon's "Number" on the "IconFile" line, or by specifying the icon "Number" on the "IconIndex" line (example):

IconFile=C:\Icons\Icons.dll,3
IconIndex=3

Then you MUST change your selected folder's attributes to "Read Only" by running this command from any DOS prompt (example):

ATTRIB +R C:\MYFOLDER

Optionally, you can change the DESKTOP.INI attributes to "Hidden" by running:

ATTRIB +H DESKTOP.INI

Press F5 to refresh your Desktop when done.
Now start Windows Explorer and check out your new folder "look". :)

FYI:
MSKB: Cannot Change Default Folder Icons in Windows Explorer.

UPDATE: "The Windows preferred DESKTOP.INI format is:

[.ShellClassInfo]
IconFile=Drive:\Path\Filename.Extension
IconIndex=Number

The "IconIndex" line is needed for icons contained in other files. A separate icon only needs "IconFile=Drive:\Path\Generic.ico".
You can also: open Windows Explorer right-click on any folder choose Properties check the "Enable thumbnail view" option (if available) click OK or press Enter.
A new DESKTOP.INI file will magically appear in that folder. Open it in Notepad (after removing all its attributes except Archive), add/modify the icon lines, save it, et voila! Done.
The correct icon number in a *.DLL may not be shown by some icon viewing utilities. If you have a *.DLL or *.ICL with lots of icons you want to use this way, it may be more convenient to make a plain text list, with numbers (corrected, if necessary) and descriptions.
If there is a problem with an icon in an *.EXE file not showing as a folder icon, the icon can be extracted (using a dedicated 3rd party tool) and used separately. For folders that are deleted regularly, such as Cookies (created by MS IE 4/5/6), the icon file should be placed in a different folder, eventually create a dedicated Icons folder."
[Thank you Arual!]

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8-5-98 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


NEW DRIVE ICON


This works with ALL Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 releases.
To change a drive icon displayed in Windows Explorer, use Notepad to create a new text file with the following lines:

[Autorun]
ICON=Drive:\Path\Filename.Extension,Number

and save it as AUTORUN.INF into the root directory of the hard/removable drive you want to change the icon for.
Replace "Drive" above with a valid drive letter, and "Path" with your icon file's folder name.
"Filename" can be anything you want, but the "Extension" must be one of the following: .ICO, .ICL, .DLL or .EXE.
If you choose an icon library with the .DLL or .EXE extension (these usually contain more than one icon), you need to specify the position of the icon displayed by inserting a comma (,) followed by the icon's "Number". Example:

ICON=C:\Icons\Icons.dll,3

Press F5 to refresh your Desktop when done.
Now start Windows Explorer and check out your new drive "look". :)

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8-11-98 Win9x Original Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


MOVE PROGRAM FILES


Windows 95, 98, NT4, all install some of their utilities, like: MS Paint, WordPad, MS Backup etc, into the C:\Program Files\Accessories folder.
All MS Plus! Package releases: Plus! 95, Plus! for Kids, Plus! 98, install into the C:\Program Files\Plus! subfolder, if you let them use the default destination.
Most applications (and some hardware drivers) also place at least some of their shared or system files, or even entire program subfolders and files in C:\Program Files, in subdirectories they create at the time of installation by default.
The principle behind having "all eggs in one basket" is good, making it easier to manage and find files/directories under a single parent folder, than having your apps scattered throughout your hard drive(s).
But on the other hand, having a huge number of files piling up on your C drive is not fun, because one day you'll run out of space. :-(
A possible solution is to change this default if you have another physical drive (hard disk or removable) or partition available, and divert most application installations somewhere else.
Besides gaining valuable disk space on your main drive, you'll also spend less time accessing and defragmenting it, and also making incremental backups of your most recent files/directories, because the datafiles created would be on another drive, not in the gargantuelian C:\Program Files folder.
On my machine the size of the C:\Program Files folder has grown over time larger than my C:\Windows directory, to a humongous 300 MB!
Enough blabbering, let's get on with the solution... :)

  1. Fire up Regedit and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

    You'll see many entries in the right hand pane. Pick "ProgramFilesDir", double-click on it, and modify the C:\Program Files string to read something like D:\Programs. This is just an example, you can choose the destination of your apps (drive/path) depending on how many drives/partitions you have.
    This was the easy part. :-)

  2. Now comes the tough part:

    1. You need to uninstall ALL apps from C:\Program Files, by opening Control Panel Add/Remove Programs and then reinstall them into the new folder (D:\Programs in the above example).

    2. Another way is to manually edit the Registry by using Regedit and replace all C:\Program Files instances with D:\Programs, but this is a DANGEROUS procedure, and I do NOT recommend it if you're not experienced messing with the Registry! Anyway, BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FILES FIRST!

    3. An easier way is to simply open Explorer, drag and drop the Program Files folder from C to D, then switch to your D drive, rename it to Programs, and then finally delete C:\Program Files.
      In this last case, some of your apps might not work properly because they had Registry, SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI etc (and possibly other .INI, .CFG, .DAT etc files) settings pointing to C:\Program Files, which is not there anymore. Therefore some Registry editing is also in order here to reestablish your apps' correct settings.
      Also read "MOVE WITHOUT REINSTALL", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for more details and an example of how to move an app without losing its custom Registry settings.

    4. The most "elegant" solution (which requires a lot of time though) is to reformat your C drive, reinstall Windows, and then modify the Registry as described at paragraph A above BEFORE installing any apps or 3rd party drivers.

UPDATE: "Your multiple solutions work fine depending on the computer savvy of the user. When installing a new program I find the best result for the portable drive user, is a direct install to a separate folder of its own on the drive of choice. When moving a program off of C:\, it is sometimes not possible to do a re-install because the original Setup.exe is not available or it is too time consuming. I have found the cut/paste method the easiest [as long as any shortcuts are re-targeted] when Mlaunch.dll is used that adds a Tab to the Properties Menu [resulting in a Registry entry] for related file extensions. Using this method, multiple programs are attached to one extension; for example, an htm file is easily opened by various browsers as well as text editors, word processors, etc. via the right-click menu regardless of the location where the program was originally installed or subsequently moved."
This update courtesy of Ojatex.

Good luck!

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8-19-98 Win9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WHAT, NO MOUSE?


We are all used (maybe too much) to clicking the mouse, and we have forgotten there are (in case of a mouse failure) some well or less known shortcut key "combos": Alt+Tab, Alt+Esc, Alt+X, Alt+F4, Ctrl+F4 etc, that allow us to get back into "action" without mouse support.

NOTE: To learn about the most used Windows 9x/ME hot key "combos", read "KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS", also in TIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

But unfortunately NOT everything can be accomplished using the keyboard. :(
Examples of Windows 95/98 actions that canNOT be performed WITHOUT a mouse:

And now for the good news: :)
Let's presume you accidentally moved an Explorer or Control Panel window off the screen (off the top, bottom or sides), and/or eventually changed your screen resolution. Normally you canNOT move them back using the mouse.
There are two solutions to this problem:

  1. Enlarge the screen size and drag the open window back onto the screen (may not always work though):

    1. Increase your Desktop screen resolution to the maximum setting supported by your video card and monitor, by right-clicking on an empty spot on your Desktop, select Properties Settings tab drag the slider all the way up to the right click Apply/OK restart your machine (if prompted to).
    2. Drag the open window to the center of the screen using the mouse.
    3. Close that window.
    4. Restore your screen size as described above.

  2. Luckily you can move/resize an open window using only the keyboard, by following these steps (works in all cases):

    1. Hold down ALT and press Space.
    2. Hold down M and press Enter to move the open window.
    3. Use the keyboard cursor arrows: Up, Down, Right and/or Left to move the window towards the center of your screen, until its title bar shows up.
    4. Press Enter again when you're satisfied with your window's new position.
    5. Close that window.

To be prepared for potential mouse failures, activate the Accessibility Options in Control Panel:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Scroll down to Settings.
  3. Select Control Panel.
  4. (Double)-click the Accessibility Options applet (install it if not present).
  5. Click the Mouse tab.
  6. Place a check mark in the "Use mouse keys" box.
  7. Click on Settings.
  8. Place a check mark in the "Use shortcut" box. This enables the use of the left Alt + Shift + Keypad numeral keys in Win9x. You can also choose to have NumLock pressed or not to activate them.
  9. Click Apply/OK twice to save your changes.

From now on you can navigate the cursor on the screen using the Keypad arrow keys (Up, Down, Right, Left) by holding down Alt + Shift. The 5 key in the middle of the Keypad acts like a mouse left-click.

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