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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RUN-NING ON EMPTY
Want to delete an item from your Run list--the one that appears when you select Start,
and click the down arrow? All it takes is a quick trip to the Registry. (As always, back it up
first: Open the Registry Editor, select Export Registry File under the Registry menu; navigate to
where you'd like to store the backup file, name the file and click on Save.)
Open the Registry Editor (select Start, Run, type "regedit" and click on OK),
and navigate your
In the right pane, right-mouse click on the letter (in the Name column) next to any item you'd
like to remove from the list, and select Delete. Click on Yes in the dialog box that pops up, and
the item is gone. Repeat these steps to delete any other items [just make sure not to delete
"MRUList" or "(Default)"]. Close the Registry Editor, restart Windows 95, and check out your
slimmed-down Run list.
IT AIN'T OVER, BUT MICROSOFT WILL SING!
Want to see the names of all the people who were part of the Windows 95 Product Team?
You can watch them roll by (to music, don't you know) as if you were at the end of a movie.
So grab some popcorn and do the following:
1.Create a folder on your desktop called "and now, the moment you've all been
for" (no quotes).
2.Right-mouse click on the folder, select Rename, type
we proudly present for your viewing pleasure
and press Enter.
3.Rename the same folder "The Microsoft Windows 95 Product Team!" (Again, no
quotes, but include the exclamation point.)
Double-click on the folder and let the show begin!
GOOD TIPS GET BETTER WITH AGE
On September 9, we ran a tip describing how to find the total size of all the files and
within a particular directory. We then proceeded to describe a method that was much longer
than the following technique, suggested by a number of readers:
Right-mouse click on the folder whose size you're trying to determine, select
there's your answer.
A special thanks to all the readers who politely pointed out this easier way!
In our last tip, we told you about the two files in which all of your Registry's
stored--SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT--both of which are backed up every time Windows
95 starts. These backups, SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0, can be used to replace the
*.DAT Registry files in the event of an emergency (for example, if you're editing the Registry,
make a mistake you can't undo, and didn't back it up first--oops). Before we show you how
this replacement is made, however, we should warn you that this tip is not for beginners. If
you make a mistake, the results could be devastating.
First, you'll need to get yourself inside MS-DOS. Reboot your system, press F8 when you
see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and select Command Prompt Only. Switch to the
Windows directory using the command:
Next, remove the hidden, read-only, and system attributes from both the Registry files
(*.DAT) and their backups (*.DA0). Type the following at the DOS prompt, and then hit
Enter (repeating for each of the four files):
attrib -h -r -s system.dat
Now copy the SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0 files over the SYSTEM.DAT and
USER.DAT files using these commands:
copy system.da0 system.dat
copy user.da0 user.dat
Replace the attributes you removed as follows (again, repeating for all four files):
attrib +h +r +s system.dat
And that's it! Turn your computer off, and when you restart Windows 95, those Registry
will have been replaced with the backups.
IT TAKES TWO, BABY
Ever wondered where all the information you can view in the Registry Editor is stored
system? Not in a plain old *.REG file, that's for sure. The Registry is made up of two hidden
files--SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT--both of which are found in the Windows folder.
(Note: If your system is configured for multiple user profiles, there are different versions of
SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT files in each user's Profiles folder.)
Because these two files are so crucial to the successful operation of Windows 95,
are created every time you boot successfully. You'll find these backups, SYSTEM.DA0 and
USER.DA0 alongside the "real" Registry files in the Windows folder.
SEND TO DOUBLE-TAKES
In a previous tip, we discussed adding items to the SendTo menu for easy access. Here's
quick review: Open the C:\Windows\SendTo folder, then click and drag any folder (or EXE
file, if you're adding an application) into this window; let go, and select Create Shortcut(s)
If you're big on adding items to the SendTo folder, why not add a shortcut to the
C:\Windows\SendTo folder! From then on, you can right-mouse click on any file or folder
shortcut, select Send To, and then choose the SendTo folder in the pop-up menu.
(Tip-in-a-tip: For frequent adding and deleting of SendTo items, add an
SendTo shortcut to your desktop or Start menu.)
An anonymous reader writes:
"When I select Start, Programs, Windows Explorer, Explorer opens with its focus on my hard
drive. How do I change its focus?"
The answer lies in a tip we ran about pointing an Explorer shortcut to your folder of
Here's a quick review: Right click on the Explorer shortcut, select Properties, and click on the
Shortcut tab. Add the name of any folder to the end of the Target line (for example, it might
now read C:\MYDATA\PERSONAL after the last comma) and click on OK.
Simply apply the above technique to the Explorer shortcut on the Start menu. To access
shortcut, right-mouse click on the Start button, select Open, and then double-click on
THIS MENU SETTING IS JUST RIGHT
Want to change how fast Windows 95 displays a submenu--a menu that pops out when you
select a menu item with an arrow next to it? (An example is the menu that pops out when you
select Start and then Programs.) There are two ways to go about it. One is to simply adjust
this setting using Tweak UI, one of the free Windows 95 Power Toys. (To obtain this utility,
as well as the remaining Power Toys, point your web browser to
and follow the download Instructions.) If you don't have Tweak UI, you'll need to edit
Assuming you have Tweak UI, open the Control Panel and double-click on the Tweak UI
icon. On the Mouse tab, adjust the menu speed to your liking. To test the setting, right-mouse
click on the test icon and select an item in the menu. Make an adjustment, if need be, and test
it again. When the setting feels just right, click on OK
If you don't have Tweak UI, you'll need to venture into the Registry to adjust this
always, back it up before making any change.) Open the Registry Editor and navigate your
way to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. Right-mouse click anywhere in
the right pane, choose New, and then select String Value. Name the new value
MenuShowDelay. Right-mouse click on the new value, select Modify, and in the Edit String
dialog box, enter a number to indicate the delay in milliseconds. (The default is 400, or almost
a half-second delay.) Click on OK, close the Registry Editor, and restart Windows 95 to
make your change stick.
If you want to view all the fonts on your system, what do you do? Open the Fonts folder,
select the one you want to preview, and then view it on screen or print it? Well, stop all that
busy work. There's an easy way to view all of your fonts at once. A freeware program called
ShowFonts allows you to print a complete list of system fonts, samples included, so you don't
have to load and print each one separately.
After downloading SHOWFONTS.ZIP from the above address, open it with an unzipping
utility, then double-click on SHOWFONTS.EXE. Inside ShowFonts, select any font in the list
to see a preview, or select Print under the File menu for a handy reference list.
REGULAR HARD DISK MAINTENANCE, PART 1
To keep your system running with maximum efficiency, you should run ScanDisk and Disk
Defragmenter on a regular basis (once a month is a good interval to start with, but it depends
on how often you use your system). Today, we'll discuss the first half of this necessary
maintenance routine, ScanDisk. (Note: It's best to run ScanDisk before Disk Defragmenter,
because a disk with errors on it cannot be defragmented.)
ScanDisk checks your hard disk for errors and fixes them for you. To open this utility,
in a My
Computer or Explorer window, right-mouse click on your hard disk, select Properties, click
on the Tools tab and click on the Check Now button. Or select Start, Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, ScanDisk. Select your hard drive and choose the Standard or Thorough
option. (Standard checks the files and folders on your hard disk, while Thorough does the
same plus checks the drive itself for damaged or unusable areas. Standard is a much faster
operation, but Thorough is exactly that--more thorough.)
Make sure the Automatically Fix Errors option is selected (unless you want to fix them
yourself--ick), click on OK, and wait a while. It takes quite a long time to complete the check,
especially if you've chosen the Thorough option, so your best bet is to start it when you won't
need your computer for a while. When ScanDisk finishes, you'll see a dialog box detailing the
results. Good as new!
REGULAR HARD DISK MAINTENANCE, PART 2 OF 3
To keep your system running with maximum efficiency, you should run ScanDisk and Disk
Defragmenter on a regular basis, such as once a month. In our last tip, we discussed ScanDisk
(select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, ScanDisk; choose Standard or Thorough
and click on OK). Today, we'll cover the second half of this maintenance routine, Disk
Why do you need to defragment your hard disk? As you add and delete files on your
information that should be grouped together gets split into various locations on the disk,
making more work for your system--it has to run all over the place to get the information it
needs. Very simply, defragmenting regroups data that belongs together.
First, disable your screen saver. (If it kicks in while the Disk Defragmenter is
system may lock up.) Next, open the Disk Defragmenter. In an Explorer or My Computer
window, right-mouse click on your hard drive, select Properties, click on the Tools tab, and
select Defragment Now. Or, select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk
Defragmenter. Select the drive you want to defragment, click on OK, and click on Start.
(Often, you'll see a message telling you your disk is only a certain percentage defragmented
and that you don't need to defrag. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to
You can go about your business as the Disk Defragmenter does its thing, but it works
efficiently if you don't multitask. As with ScanDisk, set it into motion when you won't need
your system for a while. When it finishes, restart Windows 95 and you should notice smoother
operation of your everyday tasks, especially if a large percentage of the drive was fragmented
REGULAR HARD DISK MAINTENANCE, PART 3 OF 3
In our last two tips, we told you about ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter, two utilities
should run fairly frequently (every month or so) to keep your hard disk in tip-top shape. One
way to access these utilities is to select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then
choose ScanDisk or Disk Defragmenter. Another is to open a My Computer or Explorer
window, right-mouse click on your hard drive, select Properties, select the Tools tab, and
click on Check Now or Defragment Now. But if you don't want to run these utilities manually,
and you've installed Microsoft Plus!, the System Agent will run them for you. Just tell the agent
at what time(s) and how often you want each utility to run, and let it worry about the rest.
The System Agent's icon should appear in the Taskbar. Double-click on it to start the
Agent. (If you don't see the icon, select Start, Programs Accessories, System Tools, System
Agent. If System Agent doesn't appear in the pop-up list, you'll need to install it: In the Control
Panel, choose Add/Remove Programs, select Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 on the
Install/Uninstall tab, and click on Add/Remove. Click on Add/Remove again, select System
Agent, click on Continue, and follow the instructions to complete the installation. Once it's
installed, you'll see the icon on the Taskbar.)
In the System Agent dialog box, you'll see four items under Scheduled program: Low disk
space notification, ScanDisk for Windows (Standard), Disk Defragmenter, and ScanDisk for
Windows (Thorough). The Time scheduled to run column lists the preset schedules for these
programs. You can change these times to match your maintenance plan.
Right-mouse click on an item, select Change Schedule, and take your pick of options.
nice thing is, you can choose whether the program should wait until you haven't used your
computer for a certain amount of time and whether or not the agent should stop the program if
you start using your computer while it's running. Click on OK to make your settings stick.
Repeat these steps for each utility whose schedule you'd like to adjust, then rest
agent will complete these maintenance routines on time, every time.
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