- When Windows starts, it automatically loads programs from several places:
Startup Control Panel displays what is started up.
- Folder Windows/Start Menu/Programs/StartUp
- The current user's Startup folder in the Start Menu.
- The common (all users) Startup folder in the Start Menu.
- Run registry keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM) for all users.
- Run registry keys in HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) for the current user only.
- On NT/2000/XP, the Services control panel
or the Services item in Computer Management
lists System services started before the user logs in.
- Run Once - started once and once only at the next system startup.
- Deleted programs when removed from another location.
These don't run at system startup, but will merely be stored should you ever want to use them again.
If you delete an item from the Deleted tab, it is removed permanently.
WinPlanet has an article on setup switches and other features.
- To quickly retrieve the Systems Properties screen,
hold down the Window key and press the Pause/Break key.
This shows the technical details of how your computer is configured:
Note that this screen can also be obtained by clicking on
"My Computer" on the Desktop, then Control Panel, and System.
- Under the General tab, the
specific version of Windows 95, Microsoft Internet Explorer,
the Serial number you need to provide for technical support,
and the type of computer you have (e.g., “Pentium")
- under the Device Managers tab, the
Display adapters, Modem, etc. you have installed
- under the Performance tab, the
amount of Memory you have.
- In Windows 9x, press Start, Run MSCONFIG for the System Configuration Utility.
This lets you control what items are set to start up.
Keyboard Shortcuts to Control Applications:
These nifty keyboard tricks are, to me, quicker than reaching for that mouse:
- Ctrl-Esc for the Start menu
(at the lower left corner of every screen).
- Alt-Tab once for the previous task running on your computer.
- Alt-Tab Tab to Tab (cycle) through the processes running on your computer.
- Alt-Shift-Tab to cycle backward through the processes running on your computer.
- Alt-Esc to cycle through tasks in the order they were opened.
- Alt-spacebar to minimize, maximize, or close the active window.
- Rich-click on an open area of the grey Task Bar
to Close, Cascade, or Minimize ALL active windows.
This menu also has an option to bring up the Task Manager.
Items on your desktop should be what you typically invoke
when you first get into Windows95.
- To use the Windows 3.x style Program Manager,
hold down the Windows key and R (for Run).
Type PROGMAN and press Enter.
(You can also create a shortcut to \WINDOWS\PROGMAN.EXE
on your desktop.)
- Typical changes users make to their desktop include:
- Earthlink or other Internet ISP
instead of “The Microsoft Network" provided by Windows95.
- a short-cut to your “ToDo List"
instead of “Outlook Express" provided by Windows95.
- a short-cut to “My Documents" folder
instead of “My Briefcase" provided by Windows95.
- a short-cut to the folder where you store down-loaded files
instead of the “Inbox" provided by Windows95.
- a short-cut to your personal folder on the network
instead of the entire “Network Neighborhood"
provided by Windows95.
- a short-cut to a folder named “Obsoleted"
instead of the “Recycle Bin" provided by Windows95.
- It's a good idea to create a short-cut to the Floppy drive
and put it next to the “Recycle Bin" already on your desktop
so that you can copy files into the diskette by
dragging a file from the Windows Explorer to
drop it once the diskette icon is highlighted.
This drag-and-drop feature is not available on Windows 3.x.
- To rename an icon, left-click the item
once to highlight it, then press F2 on the keyboard.
- If you want to replace all characters highlighted
with what you type,
just begin typing when the entire name is highlighted.
- If you want to change just the right-most character
of the name, press the right arrow key, then the
Back Space key (above the Enter key).
- If you want to change just the left-most character of
the name, press the left arrow key, then the delete key.
- To view or change the path or file name
to which the icon points to, you need to
get the “Properties" screen for the item by doing
one of several actions:
left-clicking to highlight the item, then press Alt-Enter or
holding down the Alt key and
double-clicking on the object.
- When you double-click
an icon on your desktop,
you launch the program associated with that icon OR,
if the icon is a file folder, you will get Windows Explorer
to list the files within that folder.
Note: If you return to the desktop and double-click on the same icon
again, you will load another copy
of that program into memory.
People sometimes make the mistake of loading another copy of
Windows Explorer program when copying files from one folder
- To change the desktop picture,
place a .BMP graphics file in Windows directory.
(GIF and JPG file need to be converted to the BMP format using
Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, or other graphics manipulation program).
Then click Start, Settings, Control Panel, then
Display icon. Select the file you want displayed, then select whether
you want a single copy of it in the middle of the screen.
Pictures and Clip art are in the Office 97 CD.
- To open Windows Explorer,
hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and press E.
Wait until the “Exploring" screen appears.
- To move files among folders easily:
Use CTRL+C (or right-click on the file) to copy any file to the clipboard.
Use CTRL+X to cut it to the clipboard.
Then open or click on the folder you want to place it in and
press CTRL+V to paste.
- To use the Windows 3.1 style File Manager, press
the Windows key and R (or move the cursor to Start, then select Run).
Then type WINFILE and press Enter.
If you want this all the time, create a short-cut to
file \WINDOWS\WINFILE.EXE on your desktop.
- To get to the top of a folder window quickly,
- To get to the bottom of a folder window quickly,
- You can right-click on a text file to edit it if you
create a shortcut to the Notepad.exe program in the
Windows folder and move it into the Windows/SendTo directory.
Start Task Bar:
- Close a window by clicking on
the “X" at the upper right corner of that window
OR click the icon at the upper left corner of the window.
Closing a window would remove the program from memory.
- To minimize the currectly selected window,
hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and press M.
Minimizing does not remove the program from memory.
- You could get to the Desktop without minimizing
all the windows by adding a short-cut which points to the
"Windows/Desktop" folder in the “Windows/Start Menu" folder.
- To switch quickly among programs already loaded
in memory, press
Alt-Tab (hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key).
To toggle backwards, hold down Shift, Alt, and Tab
at the same time.
- To get the current date , hold the cursor for a few seconds
over the time shown at the lower right corner of the Task Bar.
- To open other programs, press the Start menu or press Ctrl+Esc
and the first letter of the program you want.
(This is why you should consider naming items on your Start menu
start with a unique number or letter of the alphabet.)
- Programs which are already loaded into memory are listed
in the the Task Bar visible when you pull your mouse to the bottom
of the screen OR if you press the Windows button on a newer
If you use applications (such as Excel) which have
tab bars on the bottom of the screen,
you probably find it annoying to miss them and accidentally
get the Windows Task Bar instead.
If you make a habit of using the Windows key to get the
Start Task bar, you can turn off the Taskbar Properties
“Always on top" feature.
Items on the desktop are stored in folder
- The tree of Program in the Start button
are short-cuts to executable programs stored in the Program Files
folder or elsewhere.
These short-cuts are stored in folder
- Short-cuts to programs above the Start button
are stored in folder “Windows/Start Menu".
Many experienced Windows95 users put a short-cut to their
personal To Do List and frequently used programs (such as
Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer/Netscape Navigator)
there. There is room for 6 items in standard font and
19 items using small fonts. If you add more items above this,
you would need to click the up arrow to view them.
Finding / Searching Files:
There are several ways to obtain the “Find" screen
(renamed “Search" in Windows 2000):
- Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard, then press F.
Wait until the screen appears.
- From the desktop, click Alt-click on My Computer.
Here are some useful modifications to the standard installation:
Increase Windows 95 Dialup PPP Peformance by modifying the Registry TCP/IP MaxMTU value to 552
- To sound a beep warning tone whenever the Caps Lock or the Num Lock button is pressed,
Open the Control Panel, choose Accessibility Options and select Use Toggle Keys.
- To make Netscape Mail the default mail program
(so it will come up when you click on an email link in a help file, program, etc.).
go to the Registry, then to the section HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command.
Under command, enter the full path to Netscape and then %1
(mine looks like this: c:\internet\netscape\program\netscpae.exe %1.
- To create a shortcut to an executable, create a new folder, then
use the left mouse button to drag an executable file to the new folder.
- As default Win95 uses SoundRecorder to play back samples,
as you may know it takes an age with big wav files as it has to load ALL the sample in and creates a HUGE swapfile!!
If you change the Wav File type to open with Media Player it will stream
the audio from the hard disk!
To do this Select FILE then OPTIONS in the VIEW Menu on and window,
then on FILE TYPES. Scroll down to WAVE SOUND and click on EDIT.
Click on OPEN then press EDIT and type the following in the
box:- C:\WINDOWS\MPLAYER.EXE. Click OK. Select PLAY and click on EDIT and
type the following in the box:- C:\WINDOWS\MPLAYER.EXE /PLAY /CLOSE.
This will then associate all WAV files to the media player and you will gain a
MAJOR performance increase when playing Wav Files! (Well Large ones anyhow!!)
- Sound card Wavetable support is NOT enabled as default.
You have to go into Start, Settings,
Control Panel, Multimedia icon. Click on the Midi tab,
then choose the device that you have.
The midi files will sound much more realistic and nicer.
- Download a
better Notepad, and
faster Backup, and
steroids for SendTo.
- To learn what any toolbar button is for,
rest your mouse pointer on the button for a few seconds.
- To find out what is being loaded, Run msconfig
- A shortcut to your usual printer is created on your desktop so that
you can print files instantly by dragging the file to the icon.
This was created by selectin gthe Start menu, then Settings, then Control Panel,
- To pause printing, there are several methods:
- The hard way:
- Press the Start menu button
- Select Settings
- Select Printers
- Select the Printer you want to print to
- Select the Printer pull-down menu.
- Select Pause.
- Right-click the printer icon on the lower-right corner of the task bar.
- There are two easy ways to minimize all open windows at once:
- Use your right mouse button
to click an empty grey area on the Taskbar, and then click "Minimize All Windows".
- Hold the Start key down and press M.
- To delete your items (moving it to the Recycle Bin) without confirmation,
scroll the left pane to the bottom and drag the Recycle Bin icon
into the “Send To" folder in C:\Windows.
When asked to create a shortcut, click “Yes".
Go to the Send To folder and rename the item whatever you wish.
Then Right-Click the desired file, choose “Send To",
then click your Recycle Bin shortcut.
Instant delete to the Recycle Bin without confirmation.
- There is a limit of 512 files per directory folder.
- Windows 95 introduced the protected-mode 32-bit VFAT method which uses the Installable File System (IFS) drivers to access 12 or 16 bit FAT tables.
The VFAT system replaces the Windows 3.x SMARTDRV disk caching utility with a protected mode driver named VCACHE.
- Before starting setup, get a blank diskette to create an Emergency Repair Disk.
Setup creates it with operating system files and utility programs for troubleshooting startup problems.
Use it to boot up the system in Safe mode and display a DOS command-line prompt.
- Safe mode can also be accessed by typing Win /d:m at the DOS prompt, or by pressing the F5 function key during startup.
- Every time you change the hardware, create a startup disk through the
Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs icon.
- A hard drive should be defragmented once a month.
From the Start menu, select Programs, Accessories, Systems Tools,
Disk Defragmenter. Don't use older programs which do not recognize Windows 95's
longer file names.
- Windows Temporary files *.TMP.
- The “Windows/Temporary Internet files"
could grow quite large.
Press Alt-Enter to select all files and press Delete.
Click “Yes" to each prompt about deleting Cookies.
Ways to deal with cookies
- To empty the Recycle Bin ...
- ScanDisk, in the System Tools folder, to check your hard disk for errors.
Sources of Tips:
- As Windows 95 runs, it outputs several logs in the drive's root directory.
These text files can be viewed using a text editor program such as NOTEPAD or WORDPAD
to diagnose problems.
- SETUPLOG.TXT tracks the events of the Setup process.
- The BOOTUPLOG.TXT file tracks the events of the Startup procedure.
- DETLOG.TXT lists information about the detection module running when the system crashed.
This is the text version of the binary Detect Crash log created when the system crashes during the hardware detection portion of the startup procedure.
- Run Microsoft's DXDIAG to see whether the drivers installed on your system
was tested by Microsoft's Hardware Quality Labs.
Download WinTune97 for WinNT (1.5MB) or
run WinTune98 using MS Internet Explorer 4
to analyze CPU and Direct3D video performance.
PowerQuest has utilities to retrieve data from drives which have been formatted.
Symantec Norton writes information on disks during data recovery.