Tips for Windows 95 from Tipworld

I got the tips to begin these pages over a period of  months, I personally got some benefit out of this and  I hope you will also.

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Need to format a floppy disk? Windows 95 offers the Quick (erase) option, to simply wipe out a disk's contents; or a Full format, which takes the disk down to bare bones and rebuilds it.
With the disk you'd like to format in your floppy drive, right-mouse click on your floppy drive icon and select Format. (Don't make the mistake of opening the floppy drive window first, as the Format command is only available from the icon's context menu.)

Which option should you choose? Select Quick (erase) and click on OK to remove the contents of an already-formatted disk. Keep in mind, however, that you should only use this option if you know the disk isn't damaged. Quick (erase) doesn't check the disk for bad sectors.

For a complete formatting job--for example, if you have a disk that was formatted for a Macintosh system, or you think a disk may have errors on it--choosee Full. Click on OK and Windows 95 will proceed to wipe out the disk's contents, prepare it for file storage, and check the disk for errors.


In our last tip, we showed you how to format a floppy disk: Right-mouse click on your floppy drive icon, select format, and choose from the Quick (erase) or Full options. Assuming you have a blank formatted disk in front of you, now may be a good time to create a system, or "boot" disk. This disk will get you to a command prompt in the event that you have trouble booting your system. (Note: Different from the Windows 95 Startup disk, a system disk does not include any diagnostic or repair tools--it simply gets you to an MS-DOS prompt.)
So, with your formatted disk in your floppy drive, right-mouse click on the drive's icon, select Format and choose Copy System Files Only. Click on OK, and Windows 95 will copy, Io.sys, Msdos.sys and Drvspace.bin (if applicable) to the disk. Why do you need this disk if all of these files are on the Startup Disk? Well, it never hurts to have a backup of the crucial files.


Do you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard 1.0? When you're in a DOS session and press the Windows key by accident, does your system then act as if the Windows key is still pressed? (For example, when you press E, does Windows Explorer start?) Microsoft claims that a conflict between the System Agent and the keyboard is to blame and suggests that disabling the System Agent will solve the problem. To disable the System Agent, double-click on the System Agent's icon in your Taskbar. Pull down the Advanced menu, select Stop Using System Agent, and click on Yes to confirm.

A reader, N. A. Alden III writes:
"In the September 30 Win 95 Tip of the Day, you make references to the System Agent scheduler in Plus! and how to automate disk maintenance tasks with it. While this tip works for most Plus! users, those who run the new Internet Explorer 4.0 browser may not be able to run SAGE."

Very true. Those using IE 4 will appreciate this info. And while we're on the subject . . .

With the installation of IE 4, many features of the Windows 95 user interface change. The Windows 95 Tip of the Day assumes that a system does not have IE 4 installed UNLESS the tip states otherwise. Many of you have taken the upgrade plunge, so starting next year (we mean January 1998) we'll publish an occasional tip for IE 4 users (and starting this month, we may point out a difference in IE 4). However, for the most part, we'll stick to tips that apply to everyone.

A reader, R. Be, asks:
"I have a window that shows up with its top half off the screen. Is there any way to bring that window back to the center of the screen?"

There is, but you'll need to use the keyboard. Click on any area of the window to make it active, then press Alt-Spacebar (to open the menu that appears when you click on the window's upper left icon). Press M for Move, then press and hold the down arrow on your keyboard until the window is in full view on-screen. Press Enter to let go of the window.

(Note: You can use this same technique to move any window without the mouse.)

Thanks for the question, R.!

If you want to get to a DOS prompt when starting your computer, you probably press F8 when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, wait for the menu to appear, and choose the Command prompt only option. Here's a shortcut: Press Alt-F5 instead (at the "Starting Windows 95" message), and you'll go directly to a command prompt.


A couple months ago, we ran a series of three tips ("CD Player Turns DJ") on using your CD Player to customize listening to audio CDs. If you listen to loads of audio CDs on your PC and don't want to take the time to input the song information from each into the CD Player, point your Web browser to

There, you'll find software that can download the contents of your CDs automatically from CDDB servers (provided you're online when you play the CD). Who knew?

If you try to copy and paste a large scanned image (over 10MB) into a graphics application, Windows 95 often returns an "out of memory" error. As a work-around, don't involve the Clipboard at all. Save the image as a file using the scanner's software, then exit that program. Now you can open the scanned image using the File, Open dialog box of your graphics program.


Ever tried to use the Start menu's Documents list to access a recently open file, only to find that it isn't there? You may be wondering how Windows 95 determines which files make the list. Here are two actions that will, without a doubt, add a file to the Documents list:

Double-clicking on a file's shortcut or icon--on the desktop, in a folder, on the Start menu, wherever--to open that file.
Using the Open dialog box or the File menu list of a 100 percent Windows 95-savvy application, such as Word 97, to open a file.
Speaking of the Documents list, did you know you can remove individual files from it? In an Explorer or My Computer window, navigate your way to C:\Windows\Recent. (It's a hidden file, so be sure to select the Show All Files option on the View tab of the View, Options dialog box.) Delete any shortcut in the Recent folder to remove the corresponding file from the Documents list.


In our last tip, we told you how to remove individual files from the Documents list: Delete the corresponding shortcut from the C:\Windows\Recent folder (a hidden folder). In many cases--for example, to protect your privacy--you'll want to clear the list entirely. There are a number of ways to do it:

If you're already staring at the contents of the Recent folder, just delete everything inside.
Select Start, Settings, Taskbar, and on the Start Menu Programs tab, click on the Clear button (this is the way Microsoft intended you to do it).
Write a batch file that automatically deletes all shortcuts in the Recent folder, then turn off your Recycle Bin and--nah, way too much work.


A number of people have asked for a tip on making an Explorer shortcut open with its focus on your entire system (the same way it looks when you right-mouse click on My Computer and select Explore). Well, here it is:
Right-mouse-click on the Explorer shortcut, click on Properties, select the Shortcut tab, and on the Target line, type exactly:

C:\Windows\Explorer.exe /n,/e,/root,,/select,C:\

(Note the space after exe. This is the only space in the line. Also, the double comma after "root" is not a mistake.)

A special thanks to T. Sheputa for suggesting this tip!



In a previous tip, we showed you how to make any .BMP file display a small version of itself (a thumbnail) as its file icon. A number of people have asked how to undo this change (with slower systems, it can affect performance).
To return to your previous setting, open the Registry Editor and navigate your way to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Paint.Picture\DefaultIcon. Right-mouse click on Default, select Modify, and change the Value data from %1 back to ONE of these defaults:

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\cool.dll,41 C:\Progra~1\Access~1\MSPAINT.EXE,1

(Pick the one you like better--the first looks like a paintbrush drawing on a page; the second is a can of paintbrushes.)

Click on OK, then close the Registry Editor.

(Note: If you missed this tip the first time around, to see thumbnails of your bitmaps, change the above Value data to %1.)


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