JCPB's Windows 95 Page.

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I have worked, played, re-installed, fixed and cursed Windows 95 so many times that I decided to make a little list of the optimizations & customizations that helped me along the way. Note that several of these items below could damage your setup if done incorrectly. So, PLEASE backup your registry and/or system before you attempt these. The most complicated things are saved for last, so you can just do the first 12 or so and gain some easy and immediate benefits.

WARNING: It is possible to cause damage to your system if you make changes that exceeds the capabilities of your knowledge. PLEASE backup your registry and/or system before you attempt these changes. Remember, Windows 95 is like a paper airplane, when it is in the air is fast and beautiful, but the smallest change can make it CRASH like a rock.
Some IDE hard drive controllers don't seem to allow the full 32-bit optimal performance, thus forcing compatibility mode. I found a trick that will fix this problem: RUN REGEDIT.EXE and find NOIDE when you find it, right click on it and change it's value from 01 to 00. When this is done close REGEDIT and restart your Windows. This has came in very handy many times. Much faster performance than before. Not only that, brings back your animated cursors and lost drives. It helps the system a lot. Highly recommended.

  1. Set up virtual memory: At system-properties click on performance / virtual memory and direct the swap-file to another hard drive (or - to be used with caution - disable it). After defragmenting the drive to be used as the swap-drive direct the swap-file there and set min- and max-size to the same value (We suggest 2 to 3 times your main memory). This process forces the system to use a one block swap-file which is not changed in size
  2. Install ERU from Other\Misc directory on CDROM or install Norton Rescue. Backup SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT (your registry) using one of these utilities. If anything ever goes wrong, boot to DOS, and copy registry files from backup. Be sure to update this whenever you add new hardware or software.
  3. Download Powertoys, Service Pack 1 and Latest drivers from Microsoft and install Content, Quikres, Target, TweakUI, ShellFix by right-clicking on INF files and choosing install. download area.
  4. Tweak lots of UI settings (menu speed, disable animation, remove unneeded desktop icons, etc.) using this PowerToy in control panel.
  5. Defrag with /Windows as the first directory. Moves Windows closer to the FAT and will allow faster loading. Load your most frequently used applications 2nd, 3rd, etc....
  6. Verify that config.sys, autoexec.bat, win.ini, and system.ini are clean or use something like this:
    This is my Config.sys:
    REM Only for DOS USE

    My autoexec.bat:
  7. WIN.INI
    • Clean up unused sections.
      • This is usually a major problem for Windows' users.
      • A smaller, condensed WIN.INI will improve Windows performance.
      • The WIN.INI file is limited to 64K - all else is truncated!
    • Reduce number of True Type fonts.
      • Every font is initialized when Windows starts.
      • Fonts consume system resources which may slow system performance.
      • Excessive True Type fonts contribute to Application Errors.
      • 250 fonts can consume 5-20%of the system resources.
      • FontMinder software allows you to load and unload fonts as needed.
      • 10 or less fonts are ideal.
      • Do not remove Arial or Times New Roman fonts - Windows requires these two fonts for operation.
    • In the [WINDOWS] section, add DefaultQueueSize=16.
      • Use this technique if your system has 4MB or more of RAM.
      • The default size is 8K.
      • This is a communication queue between Windows and Windows' applications.
      • Increases throughput, performance.
    • To change icon title font characteristics, go to the [DESKTOP] section and make these changes.
      • Add IconTitleFaceName=Arial (San Serif is the default font)
      • Add IconTitleSize=10
      • Add IconTitleStyle=1 (1 for bold, 0 for normal)
    • In the [386Enh] section, change NoEmmDriver=ON.
      • Use this unless you have DOS applications that require expanded memory.
      • This turns off the expanded memory manager.
      • Will improve Windows performance.
      • Do not do if using QEMM 7.xx.
    • In the [386Enh] section, add DMABufferSize=64.
      • This is the communications buffer between hardware and Windows.
      • The default size is 16K.
      • This will stabilize sound boards and will also boost tape drive performance.
    • In the [386Enh] section, remove CGAxxxx.FON and EGAxxxx.FON. Not useful since you can't run Windows under CGA or EGA.
    • Get WINSENSE software.
      • This software is an encyclopedia of Windows INI files. It explains all the various switches and settings.
      • This software will optimize INI files based on a user survey.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set WinExclusive=Yes. For Windows applications, gives them nearly 100%of the CPU.
    • In the [386Enh] section, add XlatBufferSize=128.
      • This will increase the DOS communication buffer size from the default, 8K, for Windows applications (communications buffer between Windows, DOS, and BIOS).
      • This may hurt DOS application performance under Windows.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set KeyBoostTime=.005. This increases keyboard responsiveness by giving more CPU to the keyboard.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set PageOverCommit=1.
      • This redefines the default swap file recommendation from four times physical memory to one times physical memory.
      • Useful for technical support and Windows installers.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set MinUserDiskSpace=5000.
      • Changes the default from 500K.
      • When the user, goes below 5MB of disk space, Windows will warn and prohibit use until disk space is freed up.
    • In the [386Enh] section, add PageBuffers=32.
      • Use this technique, if you have 4MB of RAM or more.
      • This increases the default size from 4 (which takes 16k) of extended memory.
      • 32 page buffers takes 128K of extended memory.
      • This improves Windows' performance by eliminating a bottleneck.
    • In the [386Enh] section, add MaxBPs=768.
      • Reduces general protection faults (GPFs), application errors and lockups up to 90%.
      • Every user should have this!
      • Increases Windows application breakpoints from the default of 200. Windows itself takes about 150 to load.
      • The default error message when breakpoints exceeded is a GPF.
      • This technique adds 400 more breakpoints.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set Com1Buffer=512.
      • Changes the default from 128.
      • This is essential for high-speed modems.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set ComBoostTime=20.
      • Increases default from 2 milliseconds to 20 milliseconds.
      • Stabilizes transfer rate on high speed communications (9600+).
    • In the [386Enh] section, set Com1AutoAssign=-1.
      • Prompts user before another application is allowed to use the same port.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set FileSysChange=Off.
      • This prevents updates being sent to the file manager every time a file is added, changed, or deleted.
      • Use F5 key to update the File Manager window.
    • In the [386Enh] section, set ScreenLines=50.
      • Increases the number of lines visible in the DOS application.
  9. Using, Regedt32, make Windows truncate long filenames better. under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ control\ FileSystem create a binary value named NameNumericTail and set it to 0 (zero).
  10. Display BMP's as an icon preview! Modify the default value of HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ PAINT.PICTURE\ DefaultIcon to "%1" - and get a iconized preview of that Bitmap.
  11. For maximum DOS memory in an MS-DOS session, add the line LocalLoadHigh=1 to the [386Enh] section of system.ini.
  12. If you need the Mousedriver after restarting in MS-Dos Mode (and did not preload it in Autoexec.bat for resource aspects), Create/Modify a file named Dosstart.bat located in your Windir and start stuff here
  13. Add items to SendTo Menu (useful: Notepad, Word, Image viewer, floppy disk, download, temp directories)
  14. Add all and other file types to registry
  15. Add View with entries to right-click menu (how? article in Windows?)
  16. Add Items to the New Menu, by creating a new blank document of the corresponding application and putting it into the %windir%\ShellNew Folder. Next go to the key of that filetype under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT of the registry and create a subkey named ShellNew with the string-value FileName in it - modify the value of this string to the filename of the blank template file you created.
  17. You can setup your own popup-menu (RightClick) of "My Computer"! Open same key as above - open subkey 'shell' and there create a new key named e.g. Contrl - set it's value to&Control Panel - open it, create subkey "command" and modify it's default value to %windir%/control.exe. %windir%/explorer.exe c:/ will OPEN the root of Drive C, by comparison parameter /e will EXPLORE it. Make entries for A:, C: , CD, etc.

    We support the work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
    Help find a missing child" Call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you've seen this child
    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  18. Change your Windows Startup Logo: Create a bitmap of 320 X 400 X 8bit (really!), using MS-Paint and rename it to Logo.sys after putting it into the root-dir of the boot-drive. Also logow.sys (wait), logos (turnoff) for shutdown.
  19. To change the look of your desktop download my icons and place them in your windows directory or use any icons you wish and you own path. Click on icons to download.
    To change the trash icons modify the default value of: Open the ..\Windows\Regedit.exe, follow the path and edit the entries.
    NOTE: Use your path to the icons.

    To change the trash name modify the default value of:
    (Default)="insert your name to the trash can"

    full.ico empty.ico
  20. Good luck..........Be Safe....Backup your System often...

More Tips...

If you installed a Win95 program and deleted it in Explorer, the Add/Remove listing in Control Panel is still there. To remove it, do this:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall. Delete the program. This will delete it from the list. It won't delete the actual program.

To disable CD autoplay:

Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager, select your CDrom, choose properties and uncheck "Auto Insert Notification".

If you don't use User Profiles and don't want the Windows Logon screen to appear at startup:

When the logon screen comes up, enter your user name but don't enter a password. The next box will ask to reaffirm, tell it okay. If you already have a password entered, go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Passwords/Change Windows Password. Put your password in the old box and leave the others blank.

If you DO use User Profiles but don't want the last user listed in the Windows logon screen:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. In the right pane you should see "DontDisplayLastUserName". A value of "0" means last user will NOT be cleared. Change the "0" to "1" to clear last user at logon.

If your files open with the wrong programs:

In Explorer, highlight the file. Hold down the Shift key and right click the file. Choose "Open With" from the menu. Make sure you check the save box.

To change Windows Explorer's font and icon size:

Right click the desktop. Choose Properties/Appearance. In the Item box select Icon. Make your changes.

To make a copy of a floppy:

Right click the floppy icon in My Computer. Select "Copy Disk". Follow on screen instructions.

To bypass the Recycle bin when deleting files:

Hold the Shift key down while dragging to the recycle bin or deleting from a menu. CAUTION, once you do this, that file's gone forever.

If Defrag won't Run:

Delete everything in Internet Explorer's "Temporary Internet Files" folder and Netscape's cache folder. Empty the Recycle bin, too. I also delete the contents of my temp folder. (Usually C:\Windows\Temp).

If the computer locks up when you disconnect from the Internet:

Start/Settings/Control Panel/Network. Double click TCP/IP, WINS Configuration tab and make sure "Disable WINS Resolution" is marked. If that doesn't work, go to C:\Windows\System folder and rename "Vnbt.386". Restart the computer. The Dial Up Networking(DUN) 1.2 upgrade, available on Microsoft's site, supposedly fixes this problem.

To decipher those cryptic error messages:

Visit the Microsoft Knowledge Base Type in part of the error message and search.

When a program freezes your computer:

Hit the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. This brings up a box listing all your currently running programs. The offending program should be listed as "not responding". Click "End Task" to close it. Sometimes this won't work and there's nothing you can do but reset.

To see all details in Windows Explorer:

Left click the rightside panel, hit Ctrl and the (+) sign on the number pad on the right side of the keyboard.

If your floppy drive hunts a nonexistent disk when Windows opens:

Start/Run/Regedit. Do a Find for "a:". Delete the value. Continue the search with the F3 key, deleting as you go. I seem to have this problem whenever I run an executable from the floppy.

If your Help files quit working:

Get "wow32.dll" from the Windows install disk and reinstall it in C:/Windows/System.

When you're in the mood for some new icons:

Before you surf the net, check out these libraries on your hard drive. Moricons.dll, Pifmgr.dll, Progman.exe, Shell32.dll and (if you have Plus!) Cool.dll.

If Windows setup can't find your install files:

Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup. Change the path.

If your Taskbar ends up in some screwy spot on the desktop:

Drag it where you want with the left mouse button. It looks like it won't move, but it will.

To restart Windows without rebooting (faster)

Hold down the Shift key while clicking yes on the restart dialog. Or, if you use User Profiles, just click "Log on as another user".

Here are the places Windows uses to load Startup programs:

    load= and run= in "Win.ini";
    [386Enh] section of "System.ini";
    C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp;
    Registry keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run or RunServices.

To open Windows Explorer to My Computer (no folders expanded)

Right click your desktop or Start Menu Windows Explorer shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab. Put this line in your shortcut target window: C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE ,/n,/e,/select,C:\

To change drive letters for your removable drives (CD, Zip, etc.) do this:

Right click "My Computer", choose Properties, click the "Device Manager" tab, click on the + by "Disk Drives", double click the drive you want to change, click Settings, type in the Start and End letter you want to use for this drive. (They're usually the same)

To edit Win95's registration name or number

Start/Run/Regedit, go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Look for "ProductId", this is the registration number, or "Registered Owner".

To turn off the modem sounds (when the slider bar doesn't work):

Right click "My Computer", choose Properties/Device Manager, click the (+) sign by Modems, highlight your modem, select Properties/Connection/Advanced. Type "M0" (that's a ZERO) in the extra settings box.

Reinstall with Windows 95 Companion CD:

    (1) copy all CD files onto your harddrive
    (2) copy dossetup.bin, oemsetup.bin, oemsetup.exe, setup.exe, setup.txt, suhelper.bin, and winsetup.bin to the same directory (#1 above), from any version of Windows95.
    (3) run setup from the directory you chose in #1, above.
FYI: setup.exe was intentionally omitted from the CD to prevent users from installing OSR2 on another system. The CD should only be used for adding and/or removing OS components.

To free up memory in DOS:

    (1) Add these lines to "config.sys":
    DEVICE=C:\windows\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
Then when adding a device to config, use "DEVICEHIGH=". When adding to autoexec.bat, use "LOADHIGH=". This should give you 600k or so if you're not using drivespace.
    (2) In the [386Enh] section of 'System.ini', add 'LocalLoadHigh=1'
    (3) If you are not using DoubleSpace or DriveSpace, delete 'drvspace.bin' and 'dblspace.bin' from the C:\ and C:\Windows directories.
This will free additional DOS memory and speed system startup.

Go here for a list of Win95 install setup switches:

Microsoft Knowledge Base

To change the Win95 startup logo:

Open your picture in a graphics program. (Paint or whatever) Resize or crop it to 640x480 in 256 colors and save it as a bitmap. Then squeeze it to 320x400. (I know it looks funny, but it'll work) Rename it "logo.sys" and copy it to your root directory.

To change the default search engine in IE4:

Changing the default search engine was easy in IE3. It's a hassle in IE4 but you can do it. Start\Run\Regedit, work your way down to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. Right click "Search Bar", choose "Modify" and change the address. Do the same with "Search Page".

To make a shortcut to Device Manager:

If you constantly find yourself right clicking My Computer to get to Device Manager, (I'm always screwing something up) right click the desktop, choose New/Shortcut, put this line in the dialogue box and leave it on your desktop or add it to the start menu: CONTROL SYSDM.CPL,,1

If your CDROM is running in "compatibility mode":

Windows probably put a NOIDE entry into this registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\VDX\IOS and you must remove it. This entry is put there any time Win95 can't load 32-bit drivers, and after it's in there you can't load Windows drivers on boot-up until it's gone. Search the Registry for NOIDE. When found, delete it and reboot. Windows should now rediscover your CDROM and let you install drivers.

NOTE: If you use a Windows 3.1 display driver in Windows 95, you cannot use new Graphics Device Interface (GDI) features such as:
 - Animated cursors. For information about using animated cursors, please
   see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      ARTICLE-ID: Q123334
      TITLE     : Requirements for Animated Cursors
      Requirements for Animated Cursors
 - Dynamic resolution changes. In many circumstances, you can change the
   video resolution in Windows 95 without restarting Windows 95. If you
   change the color depth or the video driver you are using, you must
   restart Windows 95.

 - VGA fallback mode. If Windows 95 detects a problem with the video card
   or video driver, it restarts with the VGA driver.

 - The Windows 95 virtual flat frame buffer device (Vflatd.vxd).
   Vflatd.vxd provides a frame buffer that can be up to 1 MB in size.
   Windows 3.1 video drivers are limited to a 64K frame buffer that
   affects your available system resources.

Useful Links for Windows 95....

Windows 95 Annoyances.
Microsoft Windows 95 Page.

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We support the work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Help find a missing child" Call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you've seen this child
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

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