MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS
WinDOwS Tricks - Part 9

Go to ALL WinDOwS ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
10-27-98 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10/IE Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


You can control the way your Windows 95/98/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/2012/8/8.1/2012 R2/10 system and Internet Explorer [unfortunately integrated into the OS :(] restricts/allows access to certain areas or features (especially useful on multiuser machines) without having to mess with PolEdit (Policy Editor = %windir%\Poledit.exe), the default Windows 95/98/ME administrative control tool, which needs to be installed separately from your Win9x Setup CD-ROM.
The bad news is Microsoft removed PolEdit from Windows ME, but you can get it back.
See "The Registry" [Intro chapter], also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for more info.
Windows NTx (2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8, 8.1, 2012, 10) users have a greater variety of administrative tools at their disposal, designed for tweaking system + security policies, as part of the free Microsoft Windows 2003 Resource Kit (RK) Tools.
GPEDIT.MSC is the "daddy" of all policy editing tools.

FYI: Some of these security issues are detailed @ Microsoft (examples):All you have to do is modify the Registry Values listed below, either manually using the Registry Editor (%windir%\Regedit.exe), or save them as text .REG files (in Notepad) for future use, eventually on more than one computer. I named mine RESTRICT.REG (example).
Without further ado, start Regedit and go to:


Look in the left hand pane for these subkeys: Explorer, Network, Ratings, System, ActiveDesktop + WinOldApp. If they are not present, create them: right-click New Key Name it to one of the values listed above.
Now you need to create (or modify if already there) the following DWORD [REG_DWORD] values listed further below under the subkeys above. To create a new DWORD value: right-click New DWORD name it to one of the values listed further below.
To modify one of these DWORD values: right-click on the one you want select Modify check the Decimal box give it a value of 1 (to disable access to a certain system feature/area), or a value of 0 (to enable access to a certain system feature/area).
These are the valid DWORD values (if not specified otherwise) you can change under the following subkeys:

  1. Explorer subkey:


    • AllowLegacyWebView = enable/disable display of registered Web View HTML templates (Folder.htt) (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • AllowUnhashedWebView = enable/disable display of unregistered Web View HTML templates (Folder.htt) (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • RevertWebViewSecurity = enable/disable display of security message for potentially unsafe Web View HTML templates (Folder.htt) (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
      Requires "AllowLegacyWebView" (see above) enabled!
    • ClearRecentDocsOnExit = enable/disable Clear of Recent Documents upon exit
    • DisableRegistryTools = enable/disable Registry Editing tools
      WARNING: IF you disable the Registry Editor interface (GUI) mode, you will NOT be able to modify ANY Registry settings anymore, and the ONLY way to (re)enable/disable system restrictions is to run/merge/register/install a .REG/.INF/.VBS/.HTA file from the DOS console/box command line or by running a BATch file (.BAT in Win95/98/ME or .CMD in WinNT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012)!
    • ForceClassicControlPanel = enable/disable Classic Control Panel (WinXP/2003 ONLY)
    • ForceCopyACLwithFile = enable/disable forced file/folder copy/move operations with Access Control Lists (ACLs) intact across drives/partitions/volumes (WinNT4/2000/XP/2003 ONLY, NTFS ONLY)
    • ForceStartMenuLogOff = enable/disable forced Start Menu Logoff item
    • HonorAutorunSetting = enable AutoRun/AutoPlay to allow Windows XP/2003 SHELL32.DLL Fix to work properly
      NOTE: See "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!" for details!
    • LockTaskbar = enable/disable "Lock the Taskbar" right-click Taskbar setting
    • MoveSecurityAttributes = enable/disable file/folder move operations with Access Control Lists (ACLs) inherited from parent folder within same drive/partition/NTFS volume (Win2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012 ONLY, NTFS ONLY)
    • NoAddPrinter = enable/disable addition of new printers
    • NoCDBurning = enable/disable built-in CD burning feature (WinXP ONLY)
    • NoClose = enable/disable computer Shutdown
    • NoDeletePrinter = enable/disable existent printers deletion
    • NoDesktop = enable/disable ALL Desktop items and Desktop right-click menu
    • NoDesktopCleanupWizard = enable/disable Cleanup Wizard (WinXP/2003 ONLY)
    • NoDevMgrUpdate = enable/disable Windows 98/ME Web Update Manager
    • NoDriveAutoRun = enable/disable selected Drives or Drive types AutoRun/AutoPlay
      Microsoft recommends to completely disable AutoRun/AutoPlay on ALL drives, due to too many security vulnerabilities/exploits.
      To disable AutoRun/AutoPlay on ALL drives: run RegEdit under this registry key:
      create a New DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value called "NoDriveAutoRun" (if not present) or Modify its Hexadecimal value (if present) to read:

      NOTE: See "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!" for details!
    • NoDrives [hex] = enable/disable ANY Drives in My Computer/Explorer/IE
      CAUTION: See "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!" for details!
    • NoDriveTypeAutoRun [hex] = enable/disable selected Drives or Drive types AutoRun/AutoPlay
      NOTE: See "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!" for details!
    • NoFileAssociate = enable/disable default File Associations (WinXP/2003 ONLY)
    • NoFind = enable/disable Find command
    • NoInternetIcon = enable/disable Internet Icon on Desktop
    • NoLogoff = enable/disable computer Logoff (Win95/98 ONLY)
    • NoLowDiskSpaceChecks = enable/disable low disk space warnings (Win2000/XP ONLY)
    • NoNetHood = enable/disable Network Neighborhood
    • NoRecentDocsHistory = enable/disable Recent Documents in Start Menu (Win98/ME + IE4/IE5/IE6 ONLY)
    • NoRun = enable/disable Run command
    • NoSaveSettings = enable/disable Save Settings upon exit
    • NoSetFolders = enable/disable Folders in Start Menu Settings
    • NoSetTaskbar = enable/disable Taskbar in Start Menu Settings
    • NoSMMyDocs = enable/disable My Documents folder in Start Menu (Win98/ME ONLY)
    • NoSMMyPictures = enable/disable My Pictures folder in Start Menu (Win98/ME ONLY)
      "NoSMMyDocs" + "NoSMMyPictures" courtesy of David.
    • NoStrCmpLogical = enable/disable listing/ordering of files/folders names alphabetically (WinXP/2003/Vista/2008 ONLY)
      More info.
    • NoThemesTab = enable/disable Themes Display tab (WinME/2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • NoTrayItemsDisplay = enable/disable display of system tray icons/items (WinXP/2003/Vista/2008/7 ONLY)
    • NoViewOnDrive = enable/disable selected Drives or Drive types
      NOTE: See "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!" for details!
    • NoWindowsUpdate = enable/disable Windows 98/2000/ME/XP Web Update
    • StartMenuLogoff = enable/disable Start Menu Logoff item (WinME/2000/XP ONLY)

  2. System subkey:


    • DisableStatusMessages = enable/disable system Status Messages at logon/logoff (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • DisableTaskMgr = enable/disable Task Manager (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • DontDisplayLastUserName = enable/disable Last User Name display at logon (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • EnableLUA = enable/disable User Account Control (UAC) (WinVista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10 ONLY)
      More info:
    • LegalNoticeCaption = enable/disable Legal Notice Caption display before logon (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • LegalNoticeText = enable/disable Legal Notice Text display before logon (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • NoAdminPage = enable/disable Remote Administration tab
    • NoConfigPage = enable/disable Hardware Profiles tab
    • NoControlPanel [hex] = enable/disable Control Panel
    • NoDevMgrPage = enable/disable Device Manager tab
    • NoDispAppearancePage = enable/disable Appearance Display tab
    • NoDispBackgroundPage = enable/disable Background Display tab
    • NoDispCPL = enable/disable Display Properties applet
    • NoDispScrSavPage = enable/disable Screen Saver Display tab
    • NoDispSettingsPage = enable/disable Settings Display tab
    • NoFileSysPage = enable/disable File System button
    • NoInternetOpenWith = enable/disable online File Association Web Service (WinXP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10 ONLY)
    • NoPwdPage = enable/disable Password Change tab
    • NoProfilePage = enable/disable User Profiles tab
    • NoSecCPL = enable/disable Password applet
    • NoVirtMemPage = enable/disable Virtual Memory button
    • ShutDownWithoutLogon = enable/disable Shutdown button at logon/logoff (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • UndockWithoutLogon = enable/disable Undock Workstation button at logon/logoff (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)
    • VerboseStatus = enable/disable detailed system Status Messages at logon/logoff (Win2000/XP/2003 ONLY)

  3. Network subkey:


    • DisablePwdCaching = enable/disable Password Caching
    • HideSharePwds [hex] = enable/disable Shared Passwords
    • NoEntireNetwork = enable/disable Entire Network
    • NoNetSetup = enable/disable Network applet
    • NoNetSetupIDPage = enable/disable Network Identification tab
    • NoNetSetupSecurityPage = enable/disable Network Access tab
    • NoFileSharing = enable/disable Network File Sharing button
    • MinPwdLen = set Minimum Password Length (integer number: 0 - 99)
    • NoPrintSharing = enable/disable Network Print Sharing button
    • NoWorkgroupContents = enable/disable Network Workgroup

  4. ActiveDesktop subkey (Win98/ME/2000/XP/2003 + IE4/IE5/IE6 ONLY):


    • NoAddingComponents = enable/disable adding components to Active Desktop
    • NoChangingWallpaper = enable/disable changing of Active Desktop wallpaper
    • NoCloseDragDropBands = enable/disable closing of shell toolbars
    • NoClosingComponents = enable/disable closing of Active Desktop components
    • NoComponents = enable/disable ALL Desktop components
    • NoDeletingComponents = enable/disable deleting of Active Desktop components
    • NoEditingComponents = enable/disable editing of Active Desktop components
    • NoHTMLWallPaper = enable/disable Desktop HTML wallpaper display
    • NoMovingBands = enable/disable moving of shell toolbars

  5. WinOldApp subkey (Win95/98/ME ONLY):


    • Disabled = enable/disable MS-DOS Prompt
    • NoRealMode = enable/disable Real MS-DOS Mode reboot option (Win95/98 ONLY)

  6. Messenger client subkey (Windows 2000/XP/2003/newer ONLY):


Similar settings for Explorer, Network, System and ActiveDesktop can be also found under these Registry keys:




If there is only one user, the ".Default" key above contains all global system settings. If more than one user, each user has its own subkey here, named after the User Name(s) found in Control Panel Users, and the Registry settings located under a user's subkey are valid only for that specific user.
If you (double-)click on any of these keys, you'll see 3 subkeys in the left hand pane: Explorer, Network and System.
Create (or modify if already present) the following Binary (hex) [REG_BINARY] values listed below under the subkeys above. To create a new Binary value: right-click New Binary Name it to one of the values listed below.
To modify one of these Binary [hex] values: (double-)click on the one you want give it a value of 01 00 00 00 (to disable access to a certain system feature/area), or a value of 00 00 00 00 (to enable access to a certain system feature/area). Don't type the spaces, they will be inserted automatically.

Explorer subkey valid DWORD values (if not specified otherwise) that can be changed (some are valid ONLY for Win98/ME and/or MS IE 4/5/6):

Most of the "CURRENT_USER" settings, especially the ones that affect the entire system, change automatically when you modify the similar values under the "LOCAL_MACHINE" Registry key (see above). Most of these values affect ONLY Internet Explorer versions 3, 4, 5 and 6, and CAN be changed separately in the "CURRENT_USER" key, without influencing the overall system operation.
ANY changes to these settings under ANY of these Registry keys require a Windows restart to take effect.

The MS Internet Explorer 4.0x/5.xx/6.xx restrictions are found under these Registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions


HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

if there is only one user. If more than one user, the ".Default" key above is replaced with each "UserName" key. All Values are in DWORD format. Type in the Decimal box for the desired Value: 1 to disable or 0 to enable the respective function/key combo:

The Internet Properties restrictions for MS Internet Explorer 4.0x/5.xx/6.xx (also found as a Control Panel applet) are located under this Registry key:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

if there is only one user. If more than one user, the ".Default" key above is replaced with each "UserName" key. All Values are in DWORD format. Type in the Decimal box for the desired Value: 1 to disable or 0 to enable the respective tab/setting/button.
Changing ANY of these settings does NOT require restarting Windows:

The policy restrictions for MS Net Meeting/Conferencing reside under this Registry key:


if there is only one user. If more than one user, the ".Default" key above is replaced with each "UserName" key. All Values are in DWORD format. Type in the Decimal box for the desired Value:1 to disable or 0 to enable the respective restriction.
Changing ANY of these settings does NOT require restarting Windows:

MS IE 4.0x/5.xx/6.xx Web Check tool (%windir%\System\Loadwc.exe launched by %windir%\System\Webcheck.dll) Registry Values are stored under:


if only one user. If more than one user, the ".Default" key is replaced by each "UserName" key. Both Values are DWORDs. Decimal box values: 1 (disables) and 0 (enables) each function.
Changes to these settings take effect without restarting Windows:

FYI: See these topics for more restriction settings: "HIDE YOUR DRIVES!", "UNCLUTTER START MENU", "NO MORE "CLICK HERE TO BEGIN"", "PERMANENT SETTINGS" + "SAVE SETTINGS - Part 1" (also in REGISTRY.TXT) and "LOCK UP THE DOS BOX" (also in MYTIPS95.TXT), all part of W95-11D.EXE.

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10-27-98 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To permanenly add the needed "Open with..." command to all the right-click file context menus, you need to apply this Registry tweak.
Launch Regedit and go to:


In the right hand pane, you can see the "(Default)" string which has this command line as value:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL %1

(Double-)click on "(Default)", hold the CTRL key and press C (or right-click and select Copy) to copy this entire command line to the clipboard, and then click Cancel.
Don't make ANY changes at this point!
Now go to:


and highlight the "*" key (asterisk). Right-click on it and select New Key. Name this new subkey "shell".

NOTE: Don't type the quotes for any of the keys or values mentioned here.

Right-click on the "shell" key and add a new subkey named "openas". Right-click on "openas" and add a new subkey named "command". Now (double-)click on the "(Default)" string in the right hand pane, hold the Ctrl key and press V (or right-click and select Paste) to paste here the command line you have copied earlier.
Click OK and close the Registry editor.
From now on a new "Open with..." context menu selection will appear whenever you right-click on any highlighted file.

UPDATE: "After implementing this Registry tweak all my MS Office Shortcut Bar buttons were broken. Every time I clicked one I would get the "Open with" dialog box."
[Thank you Meteor!]

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4-20-96 Win3.1x/9x/ME ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


Setting a Windows 95/98/ME (or Windows/WfWG 3.1x for that matter = both cases are discussed here) fixed size swap file will drastically reduce the thrashing (frequent access) your hard disk constantly takes from the Windows Dynapage VXD [Virtual eXtended (protected mode) Driver], thus avoiding the continuous variable size swap file resizing (default operation), and therefore spend less time listening to your hard drive churning. :)
Basically the swap file supplements system RAM (real memory) with disk space (virtual memory). Windows manages virtual memory by "swapping" ("dumping") chunks of data from system RAM (much faster), when physical RAM runs out, to the fixed disk (much slower), by writing them to the swap file (this is called "paging"), from where it can be later retrieved and used as needed.

This is ONLY my own estimate. You'll have to figure out yours, taking in consideration the types of software used (3D games, CD burning, true color image rendering/editing, desktop publishing etc), to have your system run smoothly.

More info: Swap file optimization guide.

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4-20-96 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


If your modem is timing out (you experience too long delays) while performing file transfers or loading web pages, you might want to increase the inactivity timeout period.
Run Regedit and go to:


00nn is the integer number assigned to your modem (valid values: 0000 - 0050). Example: 0000.
You'll see the "InactivityTimeout" String in the right hand pane, which has an integer number inside brackets, representing the modem timeout in minutes.
(Double-)click on "InactivityTimeout" and give it the value of your choice. Example:


Default is 30 minutes.

NOTE: 3COM/US Robotics modems might have a default S19=<#> value string assigned as "InactivityTimeout" (30 minutes).

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5-3-96 Win9x/ME Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


WARNING: Take extreme caution when using this so-called FIX. Reports say that Win95 Long File Names (LFNs) information (especially Windows 95 retail + MS Plus! 95 users: see "UPDATE:" further below) can be PERMANENTLY LOST IF enabling this undocumented feature!
The good news is Windows 98 and ME (all releases) do NOT exhibit this BUG.
If you don't have a problem with reading truncated Long File Names in an OS/environment/application that doesn't support LFNs, please resist the temptation of doing this!
By default Windows 9x/ME creates 8 character alias names for long file and directory (folder) names.
Short File Names (SFNs) are relevant only in a mixed computing environment (MS-DOS 5.00/6.xx, Windows/WfWG 3.xx AND Win9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003), which share files and directories with systems that do not support LFNs.
More info @ MSKB:

To have a folder show as "New Documents" in Win9x/ME [and 32-bit (Win32) applications], but have the short directory name display as "DOCUMENT" [in Windows/WfWG 3.xx and 16-bit (Win16) applications] instead of the trucated "NEWDOC~1", follow the steps below:

  1. Start your LFNs with the short version: rename the above folder to read "DOCUMENTS-NEW", which resolves to "DOCUME~1" (don't type the quotes).

  2. Start Regedit and go to:


    Get rid of the unwanted tildes (~) by adding a new DWORD Value called "NameNumericTail": right-click click New click DWORD give it the name "NameNumericTail" (no quotes). Now (double-)click on it check the Decimal box finally type "0" (no quotes).

The folder name in the above example (assuming there wasn't a \DOCUMENT directory already present) resolves to the correct short name: 8.3 characters (DOS specific).

To revert to Windows default setting (tildes are enabled), delete the "NameNumericTail" DWORD Value from the Registry subkey above.

CAUTION: Do NOT rename the "Program Files" folder to ANYTHING else, because many (especially older) applications assume its short file name should be "PROGRA~1"! Such programs that use the hard coded directory name (due to poor programming practices) will install correctly, but WILL have difficulty finding resources/libraries (DLLs) afterwards.

TIP: TweakUI, the free, unsupported Microsoft Power Toy [110 KB], also has the ability of getting rid of the tildes in LFNs.

UPDATE: "Setting NameNumericTail=0 causes 2 major problems addressed in these MSKB articles:

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5-3-96 Win9x Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


To use a Logitech (or compatible) middle mouse button as a (double-)click (valid for 3-button mice users), run Regedit and go to:


Some Logitech mice might be installed under one of these other keys:




Your rodent might reside under the "0001" or "0002" subkeys, not necessarily under "0000".
In the right hand pane, (double-)click the "DoubleClick" String value and change its value from "000" to "001" (no quotes).

UPDATE: "This only works with Logitech mice and only for a (double-)click. But there is a freeware program called Cool Mouse 97 [234 KB] which works with ANY 3-button or 2-button mouse, and provides multiple mode features, a must have for all 3-button mice users."
[Thank you Yuri!]

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11-4-98 AOL Win3.1x/9x/ME AOL ©Trick in AOLTIPS.TXT, part of both W95-11D.EXE and W31-11D.ZIP:


To turn off AOL Instant Messages (IMs) so they won't pop up while you're in the middle of doing something else, log on to AOL and follow these steps:

  1. First method:

    1. Hold Ctrl and press I to open the IM box.
    2. Type:


      in the IM Send to box.
    3. Type something (anything) in the body of the IM message box.
    4. Hit Send.

    To turn AOL Instant Messages back on:

    1. Hold Ctrl and press I to open the IM box.
    2. Type:


      in the IM Send to box.
    3. Type something (anything) in the body of the IM message box.
    4. Hit Send.

  2. Second method (some steps may differ slightly depending on your AOL version):

    1. Click the Favorites icon.
    2. Open Favorite Places.
    3. Click the "Add Favorite Place" button to create a new item.
    4. In the "Enter the Place's Description:" box type:

      IM OFF

      or any other suggestive name you wish.
    5. In the "Enter the Internet Address:" box type:


    6. Click OK.
    7. (Double-)click "IM OFF" to turn off AOL Instant Messages.

    To turn IMs back on:

    1. Click the Favorites icon.
    2. Open Favorite Places.
    3. Click the "Add Favorite Place" button to create a new item.
    4. In the "Enter the Place's Description:" box type:

      IM ON

      or any other suggestive name you wish.
    5. In the "Enter the Internet Address:" box type:


    6. Click OK.
    7. (Double-)click "IM ON" to turn on AOL Instant Messages.

  3. Third method (applies ONLY to Windows 9x users):

      Set AOL KillTimer for Win9x [74 KB, freeware] to disable all IM pop-ups. KillTimer can also automatically push the "Yes/OK" button whenever the annoying message generated after 45 minutes of online inactivity shows up.

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11-4-98 Win9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003/IE Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This tip applies to Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2/NT4 systems ONLY IF you installed MS IE 4/5/6 or newer, and to Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/2003, which come all with MS IE 4/5/6 "built-in" [NO choice here! :(], but you can upgrade later to the newest MS IE release (MS IE 6.0 SP1 is current as of this writing), to benefit from all those "nifty" bug fixes and CRITICAL security patches. :)
You can change the Internet Explorer title bar name to whatever you want.
Just start Regedit and go to (all users):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

or to (if only one user):

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

and/or to (currently logged on user):

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Modify (or create if not present) the "Window Title" String Value in the right hand pane (don't type the quotes) to show the name of your choice: right-click in the right hand pane select New String Value name it "Window Title" (no quotes) (double-)click on it type your own, customized MS IE title bar name (for example I use IE6) click OK or press Enter.
Default is "Microsoft Internet Explorer".
To revert to default, simply delete the "Window Title" String Value.
Close the Registry Editor and open an Iexplore.exe window to see the change.

BTW: If you prefer to open IE in full screen (kiosk) mode (e.g. by hitting F11 when NOT full screen) you won't see the title bar though. :(

More info @ MSKB.

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11-10-98 Win9x ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Courtesy of Asrepka.

"Here's another way of finding out who made your no name modem or other add-on cards for your PC. Open up your computer case, and take out the no name card. Write down the FCC ID number on the card. Plug the card back in and close up your machine. Go to this FCC web page. Type in the FCC ID number, and then search their database. You will know now who made your no name card and then you can search the web for updated drivers."

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11-10-98 Win3.1x/9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003 ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


Another cool tip sent by The Captain. Enjoy.

"You aren't limited to just the number of characters (letters, symbols and numbers) on your keyboard. In fact, you could have dozens of characters you never knew about. Example:


The above is what you get if you hold down ALT and press 3 or 4 numbers on your numeric keypad.

These are known as ASCII characters, useful for putting in non-standard keyboard characters and symbols for various purposes. Most of them should work in Wordpad, MS Word and other text editors as well, such as EDIT.COM (MS-DOS program)."



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11-18-98 Win9x/ME AOL ©Trick in AOLTIPS.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This tip applies to all America Online members who:

NOTE: This tip is NOT valid for AOL 4/5 users, who have to configure the built-in AOL protocol for TCP/IP connections. See your AOL 4.0/5.0 help files for details.

I'm going to use in this example AT&T Worldnet as primary ISP. This means your DUN must be configured to log on to Worldnet FIRST. You should be able to log on to the Internet by (double-)clicking the Worldnet icon on your desktop.

NOTE: To learn how to "squeeze" maximum performance out of your DUN connection using your ISP, read "SPEEDUP MY DUN!", also in TIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

Then you have the choice of starting your favorite web browser and surf away, or/and check your e-mail on AOL the same time (like I do).
And AOL membership is only $9.95/month for unlimited use, if using another ISP to connect (the so-called "BYOA" option = Bring Your Own Access). See details at AOL Keyword: BYOA.
I use a local provider (TWR Online) as my primary ISP, which charges only $10.75/month for unlimited use (with an anual fee of $129). Therefore my monthly online charges amount to a grand total of $20.70, including AOL's $9.95/month, which allows me to use both for less than AOL's standard fee of $21.95/month (their unlimited use option).
Worldnet has its own proprietary method of starting AOL through a link found usually at the top of your web browser's Bookmark file/Favorites folder. But this may be time consuming, because you need to connect to Worldnet's server every time you want to access the AOL link. :(
BUT luckily there is a workaround. :)
This solution is valid no matter which primary ISP you are using, as long as you meet ALL conditions enumerated at the beginning of this topic.
Just follow the easy steps below to start AOL locally, without using Worldnet's (or your primary ISP's) remote AOL link.

  1. Create a new shortcut on your desktop for AOL 3.0: right-click on an empty spot on your desktop.
  2. Select New.
  3. Click Shortcut.
  4. Browse to your AOL 3.0 folder.
  5. (Double-)click the AOL.EXE (or WAOL.EXE) executable.
  6. Type in these parameters on the command line AFTER aol.exe (or waol.exe), separated by a space (AOL 3.0 is installed by default in the C:\AOL30 folder):




  7. Click Finish.
  8. Optional: change your AOL shortcut's name and/or icon if you so desire.
    HINT: You can use the AOL custom icon (the small magenta sphere in the middle of a triangle) found in MYICONS.DLL [download MYICONS.ZIP], also part of W95-11D.EXE.

Bingo! If you (double-)click your new AOL shortcut, you'll see a new AT&T icon to the right, on AOL's main menu bar. If you click the AT&T icon, AOL simply shuts down if you are not signed on (offline mode), or logs off and then exits if you happen to be online.
The "-aATT" parameter can be used independently, just to get the extra "AOL shut down" icon (the only drawback is that AOL's modem Setup is disabled).
What this means: the "-cTCP.CCL" command line parameter tells AOL 3.0 to start in "TCP/IP mode", instead of its default "modem mode" (used to connect through AOL's proprietary modem protocol, using AOLNET.CCL by default, when you use AOL as your primary ISP). TCP.CCL (AOL's proprietary TCP/IP protocol) is actually a file found in the \AOL30\CCL subfolder, when using the same folder name in the example above.
This way you can start AOL even if you are not connected to your primary ISP (Worldnet in this example), and then you can sign on to AOL as soon as your TCP/IP Internet connection has been established.
Have fun!

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5-11-96 Win3.1x/9x Original ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


I don't agree with programs that keep their system DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) into their own directories/folders, especially when they are older versions (duplicates) of the ones normally located in \Windows\System.
I found out that the \Windows\System directory sometimes also contains the same DLLs but usually of different (and if I'm "lucky", newer) versions, which may conflict/interfere with some (poorly written), usually older programs.
So whenever I install a new Windows program, I usually compare the same name duplicate DLLs, starting a search for that particular filename (present in both program's directory and in \Windows\System) on the entire drive, and erase (ONLY AFTER BACKING THEM UP!) all the older versions, to keep only the newest ones in \Windows\System. The Windows System directory is accessed by ALL properly installed applications, to find their shared (needed) Dynamic Link Libraries (newest versions are usually better to keep for compatibility reasons).
To uninstall a particular application properly, I keep a small text file, named after the program executable (but with the .TXT extension) in the application's folder, listing all DLLs used by it (and had duplicates at the time of installation). You can create such a plain text file to list all files present in a given directory, by running this command from any DOS prompt, from within the folder of your choice:


Replace APPPDIR and APPNAME in this example with your real folder name and program name, respectively.
For details on the DIR command parameters, run:

DIR /?

from any DOS prompt.
This way I know which DLLs to delete from \Windows\System when uninstalling that particular program, WITHOUT affecting ANY other apps on my machine.
Sounds like a whole lot of work, but it saved me from trouble a few times, since I don't trust handing this job over to commercial Uninstallers.

  1. The display of Long File Names (LFNs) is possible ONLY if you run DIR from a DOS box/window/session within Windows 95/98, NOT from the true/native MS-DOS prompt outside Windows.
  2. Win98 users can run Sfc.exe (System File Checker), a handy tool located in \Windows\System, which verifies that all files in your Windows (sub)folders are up to date, and logs a complete list to a text file (Sfclog.txt), found in your Windows directory, and which can be viewed with Notepad.

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11-25-98 Win3.1x/9x/NT/2000/ME/XP/2003/DOS ©Trick in TIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, and in MYTIPS31.TXT, part of W31-11D.ZIP:


Windows XP? Windows 98? OSR2? MS-DOS 6.22? Windows 3.11? ... Confused? Which one are you having trouble with? I know that all Microsoft Operating Systems I have used so far gave me grief at some point. Why? Simple. They all exhibit their share of BUGs, glitches, annoyances, quirks, problems, "issues", incompatibilities, security leaks, or whatever else you want to call them. :)
But wait! Microsoft is taking important steps towards explaining the most common problems, answering the most "burning" questions, and eventually fix some of the BUGs... [and unfortunately ignore others! :(]
The answer is simple. And it's free. All you need is an e-mail account and/or Internet access.
It's called the MicroSoft Knowledge Base (MSKB), the "mother" of all support web sites. A vast area full of articles that cover most of the unsolved, asked about, annoying issues and BUGs. And some of these articles include free updates/patches for your "affected" Microsoft OS/application.


  1. You can access any MSKB article by searching the entire MSKB web site if you know the 5, 6 or 7 digit article ID number or by typing keywords and/or selecting an OS/Environment/application name to refer to.
    Example using keyword VMM. This will generate a list of all MSKB articles containing the word VMM.
    You can substitute VMM with any other word you wish to search for.
    To customize/narrow your search, go to this page.
    Another example: typing keywords Windows 98 and MSDOS.SYS returns a list of matches (related MSKB articles) you can click on for on-line reading, and eventually save to disk in HTML or TEXT format for off-line reading.
    To generate a list of all MSKB articles regarding the same particular subject, you can type keyword(s) in the box of main search page: example using MSDOS.SYS.

    FYI: What Microsoft does NOT tell you, is that you can also access any MSKB article identified by a 5, 6 or 7 digit ID number (example: "id=242450" = see link above) by replacing the MSKB URL language specific string (example: "en-us" for U.S. English = don't type the quotes) with "ln" (abbreviation for Language Neutral = case insensitive), or even by deleting it altogether. ;)
    All these URLs point actually to the same web page [default is English (en-us) language if en-us or no language (ln) specified]:;en-us;242450;en-us;242450;en-us;242450;en-us;242450
    URLs are case insensitive: capital letters are interpreted by Microsoft servers the same as small letters.
    If you wish to view a MSKB page in another supported language, just add or change the language code [French (fr) in this example]:
    Lists of supported languages and their symbols:

    This is the Microsoft Software Support Web server, containing free Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 upgrades, drivers, patches, utilities etc.
    MSKB Search.
    Microsoft (entire web site) Search.
    Unofficial MSKB articles list by topic.
    Unofficial Windows Resources.
    Unofficial MSKB Free Email Alerts.

  2. Suggested by Rick:
    The Google search engine can limit searches by domain.
    To get the most relevant hits from searching the MSKB customize Google to include the site main URL after your keyword(s):
    like this (MSDOS.SYS used in this example):
    This way you'll get hits only from, which primarily comprises the MSKB.
    If using more than one keyword separate them with spaces.
    If looking for exact hits enclose your keywords with quotes.
    And Google makes this much easier now, just check the Google Microsoft Search page. :)


  1. MDGx Form: Request a MSKB hotfix online in all supported languages.

  2. Suggested by Captain SiskoX:
    Fire up your e-mail client and send a message to, with the word INDEX in the Subject field. This will return an automated list of all new ("hot") MSKB articles/issues/discovered bugs, in reference to all current Microsoft OSes/applications. If you type a MSKB article 5 or 6 digit ID number (nnnnnn) in the Subject area, you'll receive an automated message including that specific article.
    Example: to get a copy of the MSKB article 120822 in e-mail, type 120822 in the Subject field. You can also find this article online as a web page.

  3. Point your web browser [requires a cookies enabled browser :(] to this page, and subscribe for free to the Microsoft e-mail based Newsletter(s) of your choice.

Done. Gee... so many choices, so little time... ;)

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11-25-98 Win9x/ME/IE Registry ©Trick in REGISTRY.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


This tip applies to ALL Microsoft Internet Explorer releases beginning with version 4.00 (separate install), Windows 98 (installs MS IE 4.01), Windows 98 SE (installs MS IE 5.0), Windows ME (installs MS IE 5.5), and including MS IE 5.xx/6.xx (separate install).
I have been using MS IE 4.01 in full screen mode for some time, but I have never been able to adjust IE's menu bar to include all basic items, like: File, Home, Back, Forward, Reload, Full screen, Help etc, and the same time display the URL address bar and get rid of IE's annoying title bar.
Until now... :)

IMPORTANT: BACKUP the Registry key that will be modified further below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

Start Regedit, highlight the Registry key above, click the "Registry" menu item, select "Export Registry File", type IE4OLD.REG in the "File name" field, Browse for a destination, and finally click the Save button.

Then close all open IE instances. Now create (using Notepad) a Registration file (with the .REG extension, which is actually a plain text file), and call it IE4BAR.REG. Cut & paste the lines below into IE4BAR.REG EXACTLY as they appear:

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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar]

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

Save the file and close Notepad. In Windows Explorer or File Manager (FM = C:\WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE), (double-)click on IE4BAR.REG to merge (register) this information into your Registry.
Now restart IE in full screen mode (this also works in windowed mode though), et voila, no more title bar, a slick menu bar and a full sized address bar!

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©1996-2017 MDGx (a.k.a. AXCEL216): Everything here is FREEware. Always free of ad(vertisment)s, cookies, tracking, malware + spyware. I have created [August 1996], maintain and update these web pages entirely by hand using Programmer's File Editor [replaced Notepad].
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