Find your CD with
Keyfinder from Magical Jelly Bean Software
Lost your CD key for your Windows disk? This little free utility
will dig it out and print it for you. It will run right from the
desktop in normal Windows or Safe Mode.
Go get it
Back up your drivers with
Windriversbackup from Jermar software
This is one of the slickest utilities I've seen yet. It lists
all of the drivers and their associated files used by your machine,
and then backs them up into a folder by making copies. It
sure makes reinstalling Windows a whole lot easier. Best of
all, it's free.
Go get it
Inventory your hardware and
Software with Belarc Advisor
free utility that inventories your computer. Gives you a list
of hardware and programs installed, Checks for the proper software
updates and more. It displays the results in an Internet Explorer
Don't get taken in by these
There are a couple of
simple web tricks that some "less than honest" web sites use to
try to get you to buy software to "protect" your computer
when it doesn't need protecting. The first is the popup that tells
you your IP address is showing. Well it better be, or else the web
site server won't know where to find your computer to send the info
back.!!! Click View IP to see your IP address.
trick is a website that shows you your hard drive contents.
Nobody but you can see it so don't be alarmed. What it does
is exactly the same as if you typed C:\ in your address bar and
clicked Go. It only works from a web site on older versions
of Internet Explorer.
Free up memory by making sure
unused Dll files are "unloaded"
A little registry
tweak to make sure the computer's memory is cleared when files are
no longer required. The entry should already be in the registry,
but for some reason it is sometimes forgotten. Run regedit and go
and make sure it contains a Key value, AlwaysUnloadDLL with the
Default value set to 1. If not right click explorer
and then click new key. Then rename the new key to AlwaysUnloadDLL
then right click Default, click modify and set the value at 1.
Make a Start Menu folder with
frequently used system tools
I use regedit and sysedit and others so often that I got tired of
clicking Start, Run and typing the name of the program I wanted
to use. So I made a Start Menu folder named system and put
shortcuts to the exe files in it. Now it only takes two clicks
to launch any one of them.
the desktop from refreshing so often
Have you ever
noticed that when you close a window that the computer hesitates
while windows "refreshes" all of the Desktop Icons. This is
because the ShellIconCache file has reached it's limit of 500 entries.
To stop this run Regedit and open the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer
and create a new string value. Name it Max Cached Icons and then
set the value to 2000.
Working on or editing a large Word or Office
text document and have a word that doesn't look quite right but
running spell check will take so long you can take a coffee break?
To run a quick spell check, just highlight the word, sentence or
paragraph you want to check and click the spell check button.
Only the highlighted text will be checked. I know this
works in Outlook and FrontPage, so I'm sure it will work in all
Prevent Accidentally running
a batch file
When some programs or
windows upgrades are installed they create a .bat file which is
used to restore old files during an uninstall. Accidentally
double clicking a file with a .bat extension will cause the old
files to be restored and can render a program or upgrade unusable.
To prevent this, run regedit and open the Key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\shell
and change the value of Default to Edit, by right clicking Default
and clicking Modify. The change will take effect the next time you
start the computer. These files can still be run if needed
by right clicking them and clicking run.
Prevent accidental Registry
Your computer is full of files with the .reg extension.
Some of these files are created for backup purposes when programs
are installed so that if you uninstall a program it can restore
the old registry settings. However, if you accidentally double
click a file with a .reg extension, the regedit program will automatically
write ( merge ) the contents to the Registry which can cause a program
to not function. To prevent this, run regedit and open the
key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\regfile\shell and change the value of Default
to Edit by right clicking Default and clicking Modify. This
will make it open in Notepad when double clicked. The change
will take effect the next time you start the computer. The
Merge function will still work when you right click such a file.
Make a Startup Disk
One of the easiest things to do, and one that a lot of folks ignore,
is making a Start Up disk to use when your computer malfunctions
and won't load windows. Go to Control Panel, Add Remove Programs
and click the Startup Disk tab. It could very well "Save" your computer.
Windows Compression Agent
You might find a program named Compression agent in the System section
of the Start, Programs, Accessories. Or it might pop up and
offer to increase your disk space when the hard drive starts getting
full. In my humble opinion DO NOT USE IT,
as it is well noted for rendering a system unusable. Just get rid
of some junk files instead
Place an image or a
letterhead in a printed letter
Ever want to include an image in a printed letter or create a nice
letterhead but figured you needed an expensive "office" or printing
program to do it. It can be done using a Bitmap image with
Paint and WordPad. For JPEG and GIF images use Internet Explorer
and WordPad. Click the image type on the left for a little
"how to" tour. Just remember, your letter must be saved with
the rtf or rich text format file extension, which is an option when
you click Save or Save as.
to check out your computer
Installing some of the Microsoft
Office programs also installs a little known utility named Msinfo
onto your computer. It will show you everything that is going
on in your computer. If there it is named Msinfo32.exe and
lives in the Program Files, Common Files, Microsoft Shared, MsInfo
( Note: there is an msinfo.inf file in your Windows
install files, it is not the same )
could never find a download site, so I have compiled the necessary
files in an install file named msinfo.exe. You can download
it by clicking here: msinfo.exe
Then double click to start the install program.
Use your CD player and the
Sound Recorder to make your own sounds
Have a favorite
artist or a favorite passage from a song. Use your CD player
and the little sound recorder that's part of Windows Multimedia
to record wave files and use them for your mail notification, or
other Windows "Event" sounds. Or if you have a microphone,
record you own voice or that of "someone special." Use the
sound recorder, and when done editing your "sound file" click File
and then Save as, give it a name and save the file in the Windows
Media folder. Open Sounds on the Control Panel, select the
event and then Browse to and select the file you just made.
You can also use the "Say It" text to speech converter shown on
the Fun Stuff page to make your wave files. Note: to install Sound
Recorder, go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Windows Setup,
Multimedia, and check the Sound Recorder box. You can
also "Browse" to sound files in other programs but I usually copy
them to the media file. ( Sound Recorder will not work if Media
Player is being used at the same time )
Use the tools scanreg and
scanreg/restore from 98 in Windows 95
The automatic registry
backup and restore tool set from Win98 will work in 95.
Thanks to an e-mail from Carol J,
I've installed and use them. Clicking
Image will open a text page of instructions
that you can copy and paste to a Notepad file so you can save it
to your C: drive and read it in DOS if need be.
Also, since it's becoming impossible to find
the files on the web, I have created an install file that will install
Scanreg on your Windows 95 computer. It will start working
the next time you start your machine. Just click
it to your desktop and double click Scanregsetup.exe to run the
Instructions on reading files with the DOS Edit
command are on the Windows Repair page.
Control Panel items on the start menu
If you're in
the control panel as much as I am, you probably get tired of having
to click five or six times to get where you want. This trick
adds a Control Panel folder to the Start Menu, that will pop open
when the mouse pointer is on it and show a list of all of the control
panel items. One click and whatever feature or function you want
is opened. Right click Start, and click Explore which
will open the Start Menu folder, right click in the right hand panel
and click New and then Folder. Right click your "New Folder"
and click rename. Clear the name field and copy and paste ALL of
the following in the name space and press enter. ( Note: When you
press enter everything but Control Panel will disappear. )
from the Desktop
Put a stop sign on the desktop and double
click it to shut down instead having to click start, shut down,
yep I really want to shut down etc,etc. By the time I'm done it's
time to start up again! It shows in and works from Deskmenu
too. Right click the Desktop, select New, then Shortcut and
then copy and paste the following into the command line box:
Then click next,
clear the field and name it Stop and click finish. Next, right
click the new shortcut and click properties, click shortcut and
then click Change icon. Click Browse, change the file type list
to "all files" and go to Windows\System and click on vga.drv and
there's your stop sign. Click once to highlight it and click
Found the command line on the net, posted by Deerslayer.
Note: The command line might be different for NT, 2K and XP
are also some neat icons in windows\moricons.dll and windows\system\pifmgr.dll,
and several .exe files contain icons
By default the icon that shows for bitmap
images is the Paint icon. Therefore, when you're "exploring" you
have to click on each file to open Paint and view the image.
This modification changes the icon to a miniature view of the actual
bitmap. It requires a minor registry modification so
view the Registry page first. Click Start, Run and type in regedit
and click ok. In the panel that opens click the plus sign
by HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, scroll way down and click the plus by Paint.Picture.
Click once on DefaultIcon and in the right panel, right click on
(Default) and then click modify. Clear the data in the box that
opens and type in: %1 and click ok. Close regedit and the next time
you start your computer the change will take effect.
this one came from the site: Windows Registry Guide.
Make Windows stop asking for
its Installation Disk
If the Windows directory on your
computer has a folder named Options which should contain a folder
called CABS. If the CABS folder contains a set of CAB ( cabinet
) files, these are a copy of the install files from your CD.
Click Start, Run and type regedit and click ok. In the panel
that opens click the plus signs by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE,
Microsoft, Windows, Current Version, and scroll down to and
click once on Setup. In the right panel find and right click
on SourcePath, click Modify and in the panel that opens clear the
value and type in: C:\Windows\Options\CABS\ Click OK and close
regedit and after you've restarted your computer, the next time
you modify windows or install software it will not ask for the install
disk. ( Mine says Win95B because that's where my files are. The
subject of a trick to be added later. )
Move the install/backup files
out of Windows
Normally Windows installs the backup files
into Windows\Options\CABS which is great if you've installed the
above trick to stop Windows from asking for the install disk.
The drawback is that if the Windows directory ever becomes contaminated
or the "young one" tosses Windows into the Recycle Bin you've not
only lost Windows, but also the ability to re-install/repair Windows.
( to be covered in the repair section ) Simply cut and paste
or drag the CABS folder onto the root or C: drive and rename it
Win95. You'll need to modify the above trick to point to the new
View files from a different
Included in Windows 95 is a leftover from
Windows 3.1 called Winfile. To use it click Start, run and
type in winfile and click Ok. A totally different version
of file manager opens, and displays the files on your hard drive
from a different point of view, which includes exact file size and
a listing of the file attributes. The other drives are accessible
for file copying etc, and when Windows Explorer has failed, Winfile
will "sometimes" still work.
Find a "lost" control panel
You right click on the desktop and nothing happens or try to open
a control panel and it doesn't work. Windows control panels
have the .cpl file extension, so to find them use the find files
or folders feature and type in *.cpl and click find now. A list
will appear and they can be opened by right clicking on the one
you want and then clicking "Open with control panel."
Use Msconfig from Windows
98 for changing settings
Msconfig from Windows 98 will
work in all versions of Windows 95. It can be run from the
desktop, but should be placed in the Windows\System folder and the
two help files should go in the Windows\Help folder. It lets
you edit the files normally opened with System Editor, ( sysedit
) and also remove entries from the Run key in the registry without
having to use the Registry Editor ( regedit ). You will have
to use a search engine to find a download site. Type in msconfig.exe
Go get it
Make the text box for Desktop
Have a nice image as your desktop
wallpaper but it's covered by the little text boxes under the icons?
A free utility called Disappear by Integrated
Electronic Systems, that can be found in the software section
at Annoyances will make it transparent. Be sure to download
the vb40032.dll file and place it in the Windows\System folder.
The dll file is also found at Annoyances.
Go get it
defrag program file and save some time
this tweak on a forum I visit, and Carol J. found the original download
site for me. I downloaded it and ran it as a trial right from
the desktop and darn near fell out of the chair. It is the
defrag.exe from Windows ME and it works in Windows 95. It
has some selectable options and was done so fast I didn't have time
to "refresh" the beverage of the hour. Needless to say it's
installed. Thanks Ian and
Thanks to Jay, here's a new