MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS
Windows 98/98 SE
Tricks + Secrets - Part 3

Go to Windows 98 ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
9-20-00 Updated Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 Original Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:

[UPDATED 9-20-2000]

Oh no... not •another• BUG alert!? Yeap!
Unfortunately this affects one of the most popular tools bundled on the Windows 98 retail (and removed by Microsoft from all subsequent Win98/2000/ME/XP/2003 releases) Setup CD-ROM, the (in)famous TweakUI "Power Toy". This so-called "final" release of TweakUI 98 has a lot of BUGs.
And after receiving lots of e-mail from frustrated users, complaining about a great variety of problems after using TweakUI 98, I have decided to search for fixes.
To fix most of the "problems" TweakUI created on your Win32 system [some seem to be irrecoverable though :(], first run the "buggy" TweakUI applet [for the last time :)], and restore ALL settings to their defaults (if possible).

WARNING: Deleting the TweakUI files does NOT fix ANY errors you may have experienced after changing any TweakUI default settings, because when you clicked any Apply/OK buttons in TweakUI, Registry, System (SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI + CONTROL.INI) and Startup (MSDOS.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT + CONFIG.SYS) settings also changed!
The ONLY way your "pre-TweakUI" (original) settings were NOT altered is if you clicked the TweakUI Cancel button.

Then uninstall (if possible) TweakUI from Control Panel Add/Remove Programs (double-)click on "Tweak UI".
Now search ALL your local drives/partitions and delete ALL TweakUI.* files from:

Default %windir% folder is C:\Windows if using Win9x/ME/XP/2003 or C:\Winnt if using WinNT4/2000.
Windows Explorer may not be able to "see" and/or delete TWEAKUI.GID unless you "strip" it of its Hidden (H) attribute first by running this command from any DOS prompt:


Make sure to delete also these Registry String [REG_SZ] Values (if present) by using Regedit (Regedt32) or StartUp Control Panel (CPL) applet [freeware]:


"Tweak UI"="RUNDLL32.EXE TWEAKUI.CPL,TweakLogon"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons

Easy way:
Copy & paste the contents between the lines below into Notepad save it as DELTWKUI.REG merge (register) it into your Registry by (double-)clicking on it answer OK/Yes to all following prompts:

-----Begin cut & paste here-----

"Tweak UI"=-
"Tweak UI"=-
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons]

------End cut & paste here------

If "Tweak UI" Registry Values are still present after deleting TWEAKUI.CPL, you will be "greeted" with this error dialog box next time you (re)start Windows:

Error loading TWEAKUI.CPL.
The system cannot find the file specified.

This way all TweakUI traces should be permanently erased from your computer.

More info:

To identify the "buggy" Win98 TweakUI release: run Windows Explorer highlight your C:\Windows\System(32) subfolder scroll down to Tweakui.cpl (file size 159744 Bytes, date/time stamp 5-11-98, 20:01:00) right-click on it select Properties click the Version tab look at the "File Version:" number at the top must be 1.25.0.

Finally, apply "THE FIXES" at the bottom of this article. But now let's see...


The TweakUI applet included on the Win98 Gold (retail/OEM) CD-ROM has a few known, and some less known or undocumented BUGs:


  1. Windows XP/2003 users ONLY: Get one of these two Microsoft TweakUI v2.xx releases for Windows XP/XP Media Center Edition (MCE)/2003 + MS IE 6.xx [FINAL release, free, unsupported, English]:CAUTION: TweakUI 2.10 may NOT work with Windows XP original (retail) release, IF NOT already upgraded with SP1, SP1a, SP2 or SP3!
    Power Toys XP review.

  2. Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME users ONLY: Get Microsoft TweakUI v1.33 for Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME + MS IE 4/5/6 [110 KB, FINAL release, free, unsupported, English, fixed most bugs].
    More info.
    Added more "tweaks" and interface improvements:
    • compatible with ALL Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME and MS IE 4/5/6 releases,
    • fixed [almost :(] ALL TweakUI 98 bugs described in this article,
    • ALL tabs together on the same (main) window [thank you! :)],
    • Mouse tab: moved here all mouse related settings, reintroduced X-Mouse Delay setting, new "Mouse Wheel" settings,
    • General tab: more "Effects" settings, new "Prevent application from stealing focus" setting, new "Flash taskbar button" settings (Windows 2000/ME ONLY!),
    • IE tab: renamed "Active Desktop Enabled" to "Allow Active Desktop to be turned on/off", renamed "IE4 Enabled" to "Shell Enhancements", new "Show Links on Favorites menu" setting,
    • moved "Special Folders" setting from General tab to My Computer tab,
    • renamed Network tab to Logon tab,
    • Repair tab: removed "Repair URL History", new "Repair hotkeys" setting.
    Extract all TweakUI files into an empty folder. Then right-click on TweakUI.inf (in Windows Explorer), and select Install. Now you can start TweakUI from your Control Panel. Have fun.

    ... But this doesn't mean you shouldn't BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM + REGISTRY FILES BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES!

    TweakUI 1.33 [still :(] did NOT fix some of the OLD TweakUI 98 BUGs, and introduced a few NEW ones:

    • OLD BUGs:

      • The Start, Open and Explore menu items are disabled (grayed out) in Windows 95/98 (but NOT in Windows ME/2000!) if ALL drive letters are unchecked under the My Computer tab. This can be fixed by placing the check marks back into the drive letter boxes. This BUG is acknowledged by Microsoft, in the Commands Unavailable on Start Button Context Menu MSKB article.

      • The "Log on automatically at system startup" (skip password) box under the Logon tab works sometimes only if: Control Panel Network Primary Network Logon change Client for Microsoft Networks to something else (i.e. Windows Logon) OK restart Windows reopen Control Panel Network change Windows Logon back to original Primary Network Logon (i.e. Client for Microsoft Networks) OK restart Windows.

    • NEW BUGs:

      • "In Windows 98 SE if the Paranoia "Clear run history" box is enabled the DUN password will not work! I have to start DUN, click on Settings and retype the password, or reenable the DUN login prompt, or uncheck the "Clear run history" box and reboot."
        [Thank you Henry!]

      • "Enabling the "Save Explorer window settings" box under the Explorer tab in Win98/ME writes a new Binary (hex) Value under "(Default)" (incorrect), instead of creating the new "NoSaveSettings" Binary Value (correct) under this Registry key:


        The checkbox is available, but useless."
        [Thank you Gmaster!]

      • "Disabling the "Shell enhancements" box under the IE tab in Windows 2000 removes the "Windows 2000 Professional" graphic from the Start menu, replacing it with a black box. This can be fixed by reenabling the "Shell enhancements" box. It seems that older TweakUI releases do NOT exhibit this bug."
        [Thank you Skyler!]

      • Enabling the "Show Control Panel on Start Menu Settings" box under the IE tab works ONLY in Windows 2000/ME, but NOT in Windows 95/98! Unchecking this box in Windows 2000/ME (but NOT in Windows 95/98!) disables Control Panel and ALL its icons (applets) completely! This can be fixed by:

        1. Running Regedit and going to:


          Look in the right hand pane for the "NoControlPanel" Binary [hex] value. Delete it or right-click on it select Edit change it to read "00 00 00 00" (no quotes). Restart Windows when done.

        2. Running File Manager (FM = C:\Windows\WINFILE.EXE) and associating the *.CPL files with C:\Windows\Control.exe (the Control Panel executable): File menu Associate... Browse... to C:\Windows (double-)click on Control.exe click the OK button. Restarting Windows is not necessary in this case.

      • Unchecking the "Search results" box under the Desktop tab in Windows ME may turn off all file/folder search results. This can be fixed by rechecking the "Search results" box. This BUG is acknowledged by Microsoft in the "No Search Results Are Returned After You Disable Search Results" MSKB article.

      • Selecting My Computer as First icon on desktop under the Desktop tab in Windows ME will display an empty My Network Places folder and generate MS IE script errors, if the "Web view" option is turned on in Windows Explorer Tools Folder Options tab. This can be fixed by turning off "Web view".

  3. Ditch (uninstall) TweakUI as described above, and use a better 3rd party tweaking tool from this "FREE WINDOWS 9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/Vista/2008/7 SYSTEM + REGISTRY TWEAKERS" list. My favorite is X-Setup Pro 6.6 [freeware for personal use], the BEST and most comprehensive Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 system and registry tweaker.

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4-28-99 Win98/ME Original ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


I'm sure you have been watching Microsoft's web site for the (too many) "latest" system updates, patches, fixes etc, which usually keep your Windows 98/ME copy up to date. I know, because I have. In fact, I've lost track of all those countless "patches". :) And if you installed the Critical Notification Update, you are automatically notified when a new update is issued at the Microsoft Windows Update site.
I have put together a list with all available ["critical" as Microsoft calls them, I like to call them "essential" :)] system Upgrades + Fixes, also found in SOFTWARE.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE).
But the problem is that after completing the downloads, Windows automatically installs them, tells you when it's done, eventually prompts you to restart Windows (if needed), and then deletes downloaded files. And there is a big chance that if you later delete your Internet Explorer temporary cache files (TIF), and/or "clean" your drives of unneeded junk, they will be gone. And if you will ever need to (re)install the same updates at a later time (i.e. if you reinstalled Win98/ME or upgrade another Win98/ME computer), you'll have to download them all over again. :(
Well, not quite. Follow these steps to save the original installation files and keep them handy for future upgrades:

  1. NEW METHOD: Works only with newer WU v4.0 web site.
    Go to this page, and follow this MSKB guide to save ANY updates for ANY available Windows OS to your hard disk for future install.
    Detailed step-by-step guide:
    1. Go to this WU page [must use at least Windows 98/98 SE/ME/2000/XP/2003 and MS IE 5/6].
    2. Click the "Find updates for Microsoft Windows operating systems" link.
    3. Select desired OS from the "Operating System" list.
    4. Select desired language.
    5. Click the "Search" button.
    6. Click the "Critical Updates and Service Packs" item.
    7. Select "Sort by: Posted date". This way newest updates will be at the top.
    8. Add desired updates to your download list by clicking the "Add" button as many times as necessary.
    9. Click "Go to download basket" when done.
    10. Make sure the folder where you wish to save the updates already exists on your local hard drive(s)/partition(s). Otherwise create it.
    11. Type the full path [drive letter followed by a colon (:), backslash (\) and folder name] or click "Browse" to point to your newly created folder.
    12. Click the "Download now" button.
    13. After all selected updates have completed downloading, you MUST close ALL MS IE web browser [IEXPLORE.EXE] instances.
    14. Open %windir%\"Windows Update.log" (short name is WINDOW~1.LOG) [%windir% = usually C:\WINDOWS] in Notepad or better text editor.
    15. Cut & paste and save relevant URL links as/into text/HTML files for future reference.
    16. Go to the deepest tree folders created by WU under the main folder you selected as destination, and rename/move/archive/whatever the EXE files.
    17. Done. ;)

  2. OLD METHOD: Works only with older WU v3.0 web site.
    After each update/fix is finished installing, open Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = %windir%\WINFILE.EXE), and search for a folder named Msdownload.tmp (short name is MSDOWN~1), usually located underneath your main Windows directory, or if you have more than one hard disk/partition, this folder may reside on your second drive/partition (D).
    Some of the automatically installed update files are also found in the MS IE 4/5/6 temporary cache folders. Therefore it is advised to empty your Internet Explorer cache prior to downloading updates, to find them easier afterwards.
    To do this: right-click on the Desktop Internet Explorer icon (or open IE click View choose Internet Options) select Properties click the General tab click the Delete button under Temporary Internet Files.
    Consider also removing ALL references to failed installs from your WULog.txt file, found in your Windows folder. To do this you need to strip it first of its hidden and read-only attributes: in Windows Explorer, right-click on Wulog.txt select the General tab uncheck the Read-only and Hidden boxes click OK/Apply. Now edit Wulog.txt in Notepad and delete all lines that contain the word "failed".
    Some of the newer Win98 system updates/fixes (especially if part of Win98 SP1 Update) are stored in your C:\Program Files\WindowsUpdate folder (short name is C:\PROGRA~1\WINDOW~1). Look there for the WUHistv3.log text file, you can view/edit in Notepad.
    Download ONE update at a time, and then look for any .CAB and/or .EXE files in these folders. Move them all to a safe location (i.e. backup disk), and eventually zip them up to save space, by using one of these free(ware) "Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 File Shrinkers".
    Now you can erase ALL temporary folders mentioned above from your fixed drives/partitions, which only add to disk space waste. :(
    Copy back the files you want from your backups, and (re)install away when needed.

To only extract individual files from a compressed executable (.EXE), without installing the respective update, you can run it by using the command line switches listed at this MSKB page.
To extract all files from a compressed cabinet (.CAB), (double-)click (or right-click and select Extract) on a CAB file in Windows Explorer to decompress its files in the desired folder.
All these .EXE command line parameters and the CabView extraction tool are valid for ALL Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2/98/ME releases.
Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 users ONLY: CabView.DLL is NOT available, but you can get it as part of Microsoft Power Toys 95 Set [204 KB, free, unsupported]. Right-click on CabView.INF and select Install.
Windows 98/98 SP1/98 SE(U)/ME users ONLY: CabView.DLL is already installed.
To install updates using files extracted from CABs, one would presume it's enough to right-click on the respective INF(ormation) file and choose Install. Wrong!
These are "advanced information files", and need to be executed with a command line similar to:


You can also create a DOS style batch (.BAT) file (using Notepad), to automate this process, and also to extract all files from a .CAB to the current folder before starting the install routine:

MEM /C | FIND /I "vmm32">NUL
START /W FOR %%1 IN (*.CAB) DO EXTRAC32 /E %%1
FOR %%2 IN (*.INF) DO RUNDLL32 ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection %%2

Note that the INFormation filename and extension (.INF) MUST be entered after the batch filename (separated by a space), but the Section_Name is optional [separated by a comma (,)].


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4-20-99 Win98/ME Original Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Windows 98 introduced a new (and very useful I might add) feature I like to call "Mapped Cache", inherited also by its newer "sibling", Windows ME.
Jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft, the Intel Application Launch Accelerator (IALA) technology speeds up considerably application loading time, thus improving storage subsystem performance.
IALA uses the new Windows 98/ME Defrag and Task Monitor (TaskMon) tools, to speed up the loading of frequently used Win32 applications by "remapping" the hard drive(s), and relocating the 32-bit program executables that meet the requirements for "optimization". This is broken down into 4 settings, which can be tweaked separately, only by editing the Registry:

Mapped Cache requires this TaskMon command line as String value (default Win98/ME installation):


under this Registry key:


to run the Task Monitor tool in the background every time Windows loads.
App remapping starts working ONLY AFTER the first time you run the Defrag tool (C:\Windows\Defrag.exe) with the "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option enabled (default), which actually moves parts of the executables towards the hard drive/partition ending (outer) cluster, obviously accessed faster than the starting (inner) clusters.

FYI: "The fastest accessing part of a hard drive is on the outside where there is the largest circumference and the most sectors per track. The inside is slowest. On the inside the heads have to seek over more tracks to span a given amount of data which makes seeks slower there for a given data span. Also, for sequential reads a track boundary where a track or cylinder skew is needed (a slowdown) are more frequent thus the inside is slower. HDs begin their sector numbering or Cyl-HD-Sect schemes beginning on the outside.
Defrag moves the dirs and app acceleration stuff to the outside/beginning/front/fastest part."
[Thank you Ron!]

All remapping operations are logged in Optlog.txt, a plain text file located in the C:\Windows\Applog folder, you can open with Notepad for viewing.
Modifying this file won't make any difference, because it will be overwritten each time an app is remapped, or after changing the Registry parameters shown below.
So far we've seen the defaults. But they can be changed by hacking your Registry. :) Start Regedit and go to:


Look in the right hand pane for these DWORD Values: "MaxApps", "MaxNoUseDays", "MinLogSize" + "UseProfile".
You can modify each of them: (double-)click on the one you want check the Decimal box type a number click OK or press Enter.
These are the values I use, exactly as they appear in Regedit (only an example):

Numbers in parenthesis represent the Decimal values used for optimization.
Try not to increase/decrease these values too much (especially the "MinLogSize"), because remapping might stop working properly.
The "UseProfile" Value Data MUST be set to 1 in the Decimal box, otherwise remapping will NOT work! To turn it off [but why would you do that for? :)], change its Decimal value to 0.
Exit the Registry Editor when done.

Optionally you can delete all app log files: *.LGC, *.LGD, *.LGE etc, from C:\Windows\Applog. They will be recreated when you first open a program, but ONLY AFTER running Defrag with the "Rearrange program files so my programs start faster" option enabled, for ALL your fixed hard drives/partitions.



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3-2-99 Win9x Original Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This topic applies to ALL 28.8 - 56 kbps analog modem owners, using any 56K protocol for 56K modems (3COM/US Robotics x2, Rockwell/Lucent 56KFlex, or the newer ITU V.90 PCM standard) to connect to the Internet through the TCP/IP protocol, and using Dial-Up Networking (DUN) in Windows 98/98 SE, to enable the fastest Internet transfers supported by these modems.

UPDATE: These tweaks apply also to Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2 systems ONLY IF upgraded with Dial-Up Networking (DUN) Upgrade 1.4 [1.8 MB, free], because this DUN Update implements the "IPMTU" Registry value for Internet Packet size (MTU), besides the well known "MaxMTU" setting.

DEFINITION: Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) or packet size of a Network/ISP is the largest amount of data that can be transferred in one physical frame on that Network. Fragmentation will occur if a packet is sent across a Network that has a MTU smaller than the packet's frame length. This leads to lower performance as fragments need to be reassembled. The workaround in this case is to decrease the Winsock's MTU value to match the minimum MTU of ALL intervening Networks. Since it is virtually impossible to determine the minimum MTU of so many Networks, trial and error is almost always the best choice. Start by trying to match your MTU value with your Network/ISP's MTU. Typical cases:See also Microsoft's explanation of (Max)MTU.


There is a little known (undocumented) limitation in Windows 98: [more like a BUG :)] the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit), represented by the "IPMTU" String value in Win98's Registry, which determines the maximum packet size of data that can "fit" through the network "pipes", when using the PPP (Point to Point) protocol to connect to the Internet, is said to be limited to a minimum of 576, no matter what changes are made to the Registry or to the TCP/IP settings: Control Panel Network Dial-Up Adapter Advanced tab IP Packet Size Small or Custom (if the "Custom" value is created in the Registry). So even if you assign an IPMTU lower than 576 to the "Small" or "Custom" Strings under the Registry key below, Windows 98 still uses a packet size of 576. Example:



BUT I have found a workaround to enable the use of a MTU lower than 576 with Win98, by applying the Registry changes described below. Another Win98 BUG squashed! 1 down, 1 zillion to go... Ouch! ;)
Thorough tests performed on 36 different PC clones (that I am aware of so far), running Windows 98 retail, SP1 or SE(U), demonstrate the validity and usability of this "fix".

Why use a MTU lower than 576? Because with most ISPs and Online Services (like AOL), even if they use a MTU of 576 at server end [read "ISPS KNOWN MTU VALUES" for details, also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], using a MTU lower than 576 might improve modem throughput, thus increase transfer rate, especially when accessing web pages with huge graphic files and/or when downloading large compressed files (i.e. ZIP format) from WWW/FTP sites.


The principle is to MATCH ALL MTU Registry values to the one you want (I used 548 in this example).

NOTE: A MTU lower than 512 becomes ineffective, resulting in too many small packets, which end up overflowing the network "pipe".

Experiment with different MTU values (i.e. 568, 560, 552, 548, 536, 528, 520, 512) to find your "sweet spot", depending on [too :(] many factors, like: your ISP's network type/speed, connection quality, phone line conditions etc.


    Start Regedit, go to these "Net" keys, and modify ALL String values shown below to read 548:





    The "548"="Small" String above needs to be renamed to show 548.
    If any of these Strings are not present, create them (read further below the paragraph on creating a new MaxMTU String for details on how to do this).
    These are ONLY my "Net" keys, and you MUST make these changes ONLY under YOUR Net keys that display "DriverDesc"="Dial-Up Adapter" and "DriverDesc"="AOL Adapter" (the second one applies ONLY to AOL users who installed version 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 of AOL 32-bit software).

  2. Select the Small IP Packet size (after renaming the "576"="Small" Registry String above to "548") for your TCP/IP connections in Control Panel Network Dial-Up Adapter Advanced tab IP Packet Size Small (set in this case to 548).

  3. TWEAK "MaxMTU":

    Similarly, with the Registry Editor open, go to these "NetTrans" keys, and modify ALL String values shown below to read 548, IDENTICAL with the String values under the "Net" keys above:





    These are ONLY my "NetTrans" keys, and you MUST make these changes ONLY under YOUR NetTrans keys that display "DriverDesc"="TCP/IP".
    The MaxMTU String is not present by default if you have NEVER added it to your Registry, either manually by using Regedit, or by running a MTU "tweaker", like EasyMTU [360 KB, freeware].
    To create a new MaxMTU String by using Regedit: right-click on each of your NetTrans 000n (0000, 0001, 0002, 0003 etc) subkeys that contain the "DriverDesc"="TCP/IP" parameter select New String right-click on the new String select Rename name it MaxMTU Click OK or press Enter. Now (double-)click on each "MaxMTU" String change its value to read 548 Click OK or press Enter.

    TIP: If you connect to AOL, try to use MTU=548 with ALL your IPMTU and MaxMTU Strings for MAXimum performance. [Thank you Ojatex!]

    Close Regedit when done and restart Windows so all changes can take effect.
    Note that you have to restart Windows every time you modify the MTU values!

  4. Now test if the new MTU settings really work, and if it makes any difference on your system:

    1. Connect to your Internet provider as usual, using DUN or AOL 3.0/4.0/5.0 32-bit software (if you use AOL as your primary ISP).

    2. Open a DOS box and run this PING command (parameters are case sensitive):

      PING -f -l 548

      or this one (for ISPs that have the "net" suffix instead of "com"):

      PING -f -l 548

      Note that I used here a packet size IDENTICAL with the Registry MTU value (548 in this example), in order to obtain non-fragmented "pings". Using a packet size larger than the one specified in the Registry will return ALL packets as fragmented!
      Replace "your_isp_name" (no quotes) with your real ISP name. Example:

      PING -f -l 548

      if using AT&T WorldNet as your ISP.
      For accurate results, you need to run PING BEFORE making ANY Registry changes, and ONLY IF you have NEVER changed the MTU by editing the Registry or by using a MTU tweaking tool, like EasyMTU [360 KB, freeware], thus using the default Win98 MTU value of 1500. If you DID change the MTU before, open Regedit, go to the "IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings listed above under YOUR "Net" and "NetTrans" keys (respecting the conditions stated above for ALL IPMTU and MaxMTU Registry values!), DELETE ALL "IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings you find, and then set: Control Panel Network Dial-Up Adapter Advanced tab IP Packet Size Large click OK twice. Then restart Windows, and run PING again with a MTU of 1500 (the default).
      Only after that apply the MTU changes in the example above (all "IPMTU" and "MaxMTU" Strings MUST read an IDENTICAL value, in this case 548), restart Windows again, and run PING one more time using 548 for the Packet Size, as described above.
      Compare the PING times in both cases, and notice any differences.

      NOTE: In most cases you need to add 28 to the MTU value returned by pinging your ISP's server, because they do NOT account for the IP (20 Bytes) or ICMP (8 Bytes) headers when reporting their MTU!

    3. Another good test for confirming an increase in modem transfer speed is to download the same file from the same site, using the same WWW/FTP browser, BEFORE and AFTER making the changes to your Registry (using a MTU of 1500 and 548 respectively), and timing your downloads for comparison.

    You can also run these tests with the MTU set to 576, which in some cases might give you the best transfer rate (depending on your ISP).

  5. Check out these other topics [all part of W95-11D.EXE] to help you speed up your analog modem transfers to the MAX:

    ... And these MTU/56K/DUN reference links.

  6. Enjoy the speed boost!

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2-18-99 Win98 ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Have you ever got a "VxD error" message while starting Windows 98 or 98 SE?
It's pretty much "fatal", and automatically returns you to the DOS prompt. :(
Especially if you upgraded to Win98 from Win95 or OSR2, since some old 32-bit protected virtual drivers might have "survived" the upgrade.
The Windows 98 Resource Kit (RK) Help file (WIN98RK.HLP, found in the \TOOLS\RESKIT\HELP subfolder on the Win98/98 SE Setup CD-ROM) states that:

"If a virtual device driver (VxD) is missing or damaged, Windows 98 displays an error message that indicates which VxD is involved. If the VxD is critical to the operation of Windows 98, then Windows 98 does not start and the screen displays the command prompt. You might need to run Windows 98 Setup and select Verify or Safe Recovery to replace the missing VxD."

But there is an easier solution to this problem.
The generic driver VMM32.VXD (located in C:\Windows\System) was built when you first installed Win98 on your computer. Depending on your hardware specs, it may contain some or all of the following VXDs (Virtual eXtended Drivers): biosxlat.vxd, configmg.vxd, dynapage.vxd, ebios.vxd, enable.vxd, ifsmgr.vxd, int13.vxd, ios.vxd, parity.vxd, reboot.vxd, vcache.vxd, vcd.vxd, vcomm.vxd, vcond.vxd, vdd.vxd, vdef.vxd, vfat.vxd, vfbackup.vxd, vflatd.vxd, vkd.vxd, vmcpd.vxd, vmouse.vxd, vmpoll.vxd, vpd.vxd, vsd.vxd, vtdapi.vxd, vwin32.vxd, vxdldr.vxd. VMM32.VXD is not only slow to load (because of its huge size), but if you have added/changed your hardware devices after installing Win98, this old driver might not match your system specs anymore.
Certain system errors, like random lockups, error messages at startup, VMM errors, erratic and/or slow mouse movement etc, might be resolved by selectively overriding a VXD included within VMM32.VXD.
Start by manually extracting one or more of these individual drivers from the .CAB files found in the \Win98 folder on your Win98 Setup CD-ROM, and then copying them to your C:\Windows\System\Vmm32 folder (change the Windows folder name if different on your machine). Use this command line (example):


to extract VCOMM.VXD to the current directory. Typing in the first .CAB file name in a given folder (in this case BASE4.CAB), forces EXTRACT.EXE to search all CABs in the same directory for the file you specify.
Change the CD-ROM drive letter if different on your system.
Now move VCOMM.VXD to C:\Windows\System\Vmm32, and reboot.
From now on Win98 will use the individual VXD instead of the one contained in VMM32.VXD, because if the same VXD loads twice, the second instance (in this case the one in C:\Windows\System\Vmm32) intercepts all the calls to that particular VXD.
Alternatively you can edit SYSTEM.INI (located in your Windows folder) using Notepad, and add an entry for the VXD you know creates "problems", under the [386enh] section. Example:


VXDs known to generate error messages more frequently are: configmg.vxd, ntkern.vxd, vcomm.vxd, vdd.vxd, vdmad.vxd, vflatd.vxd and vmouse.vxd.
You can also check which VXDs are used in VMM32.VXD on your Win98 computer by running Control Panel System Device Manager tab Your device name Driver tab Driver File Details button, and look for all drivers that have VMM32 in parenthesis after their filenames. Example:


Check all items on your Device Manager list for similar drivers and write down their names. Extract them to C:\Windows\System\Vmm32 and then reboot.
Now go back into Device Manager, and check again for the same drivers. You'll notice that all (VMM32) instances after the driver filenames are gone.

WARNING: If you exceed the maximum number of VXDs allowed by Windows 9x at startup (80), the GUI may fail to load or display a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)!


    "I have researched the VMM32.VXD issue and found 3 useful tools [40 KB, free] that work with VXD type archives like VMM32.VXD:See also VxDMon for Windows 9x/ME (freeware).
    DO NOT replace any existing VXD from inside the VMM32 folder with a VXD file extracted from original Windows CAB files!
    This will replace the updated VXD with an OLDER version, removing any fixes made by ANY NEWER VXD update!
    Sometimes, updated VXDs will be compiled into the VMM32.VXD archive if you place an original VXD (from a CAB file) into the VMM32 folder, while a NEWER version of that VXD exists inside the VMM32.VXD archive, because this will REPLACE the NEW driver with the OLDER one, which also removes all NEWER VXD fixes!
    My advice is to leave the VXD files inside the VXD archive unchanged, because I did not really notice any performance boost (on any PC) by placing the VXDs inside the VMM32 subfolder. Though, speeding up VMM32.VXD load time can be achieved by unpacking it (turning it into an unpacked archive) by issuing this command from native/real/true/pure MS-DOS mode from inside the %windir%\SYSTEM folder:
    Of course, you must copy VXDLIB.EXE to %windir%\SYSTEM beforehand."
    [Thank you Gregor!]

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2-18-99 Win98/ME Registry ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Defragmenting all your hard drives/partitions with no overhead (background programs running or TSRs/VXDs loaded), to avoid any interference or potential lockups, can be done three ways:

  1. Change to the \Tools\Mtsutil folder on your Win98 Setup CD-ROM, and right-click on Defrag.inf. Select Install. This will create a one-time entry (DEFRAG.EXE /ALL) under this Registry key:


    Defrag will start automatically next time you boot, before the login prompt, therefore before any other program loads.

  2. This one looks more like a bug fix... :)

    "To disable the screen saver automatically every time before Defrag starts, run Regedit and go to:


    In the right hand pane right-click to create a new String named DisableScreenSaver. (Double-)click on it and give it the value YES.
    See this MSKB page for details."

    Second method courtesy of Gpinzone.

  3. "If defrag keeps resetting due to programs running in the background, start up in MS-DOS Mode (press F8 during the boot sequence), edit SYSTEM.INI with Notepad or Sysedit, and change the shell= entry under the [boot] section from Explorer.exe to Defrag.exe.
    This will ensure that Defrag is the only process to load instead of all your other programs.
    You will have to change it back after defragging of course!"

    Third method courtesy of Craig.

    TIP: You don't need to restart or reboot Windows after modifying the shell= line.
    Just press and hold Ctrl+Alt+Del highlight Explorer (or the name of your custom shell executable) click End Task click No at the Shut down screen click End Task again. The new shell specified in SYSTEM.INI will reload presto. :)

  4. "In Win98/ME open Regedit and disable (rename its executable) the TaskMonitor (%windir%\Taskmon.exe) Registry String Value under:


    The programs/tasks usage will not be recorded anymore: no read/write activity in the %windir%\Applog directory."

    Fourth method courtesy of G nought.


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2-2-99 Win98 ©Trick in TIPS98.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


When you click the Start button, scroll down to Settings, then hold the Ctrl key and click "Taskbar & Start Menu...", a new tab shows up in the Taskbar Properties: "Deskbar Options". If you click on this tab, there are no functions available and all buttons are grayed out, so I called it the "phantom Deskbar". Hmmm... Strange...
You can make the "Deskbar" appear also if you hold down the Ctrl key while right-clicking somewhere on an empty spot on the raised Taskbar, NOT in the sunken Tray area.
Take a peek at the hidden Deskbar Options tab.
More info @ MSKB.

  1. "I've known about the Phantom Deskbar for a while now, but it's not widely known since it is undocumented.
    The Deskbar is not going to work regardless of what the user does, because there is no code for it to use.
    A deskbar is where you take a set of icons from the taskbar (such as the Win98/IE4/IE5 default for Internet Explorer, Outlook Express etc) and you drag the little vertical line on the left side of the icons on that bar up onto your desktop or to the side or bottom of your screen, depending on where the original taskbar is situated on your screen. That's the same thing as a deskbar, and you'll notice a small window will come up with the icons in it which you dragged and dropped elsewhere on your desktop from the taskbar.
    The Phantom Deskbar appears on Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 as well. It may also affect Windows 95 if Internet Explorer 4.0 or 5.0 is installed.
    Using the Phantom Deskbar trick may sometimes lock up the computer."
    This update courtesy of The Captain.

  2. "The Deskbar Options tab is generated from SHDOCVW.DLL.
    There are a few references to Deskbar in the Registry - mainly "Clsids" in HKCR and HKLM. But there are strings to it under:
    HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Shell Extensions/Approved"
    This update courtesy of Ojatex.

  3. And this one comes directly from the "horse's mouth" (anonymous source):
    "I have spoken with the "top of the engineering chain" and here are the results. The deskbar options tab was a part of the operating system that was being considered during the beta stages. For unknown reasons, this tab was not taken out of the final code. However, the tab has no meaning or functionality..."

Problem solved. :)

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