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Windows 95 Basics

Basic Windows 95 Tips Page 2

FAT32 and Defrag Don'ts. Don't defragment a FAT32 partition with anything but a defragger that supports FAT32. The one that came with your computer, which you'll find at Start*Programs* Accessories*System Tools*Disk Defragmenter, will do fine.

How Hard Is Your CPU Working? If you've changed your system's configuration, you can use System Monitor to see the effect of those changes on performance. You can measure the difference in performance between two hard drives to determine if the upgrade was worth it. From the Start menu, select Programs*Accessories*System Tools*System Monitor.

If System Monitor isn't there, you'll need to install it. Put your Windows 95 disc in your CD-ROM drive. When the blue Windows 95 window comes up, click Add/Remove Programs. Click the Windows Setup tab, double-click Accessories, check System Monitor, and click OK twice.

Display for Yourself. Don't want other folks messing with your wallpaper or screen resolution? The Windows 95 System Policy Editor is great for restricting access to your Display Properties dialog box.  Select File*Open Registry, double-click the Local User icon, double-click Control Panel, and then open the Display book. Select Restrict Display Control Panel and take your pick of options at the bottom of the dialog box--for example, use Disable Display Control Panel to keep people out altogether. Save your changes and exit.

Get Your Hands Off My Registry.  Playing with the Registry is an invitation to disaster, and the Windows 95 System Policy Editor can keep people out of it.  To lock people out of your Registry, select File*Open Registry, double-click the Local User icon, and double-click System and then Restrictions. Select Disable Registry Editing Tools. Save your changes and exit.

Conceal Your Entire Past. To erase the Start menu's Documents list entirely, at least until you next create or save a file, right-click an empty spot on the Taskbar, select Properties, click the Start Menu Programs tab, click Clear, and then click OK.

Longest Battery Life. You can conserve battery power on a notebook PC by setting Windows 95 to do a minimal amount of disk caching. Right-click My Computer and select Properties. From the Performance tab, click File System. On the Hard Disk tab, make sure Mobile or docking system is selected under 'Typical role of this machine'. Your system won't be as fast as it was before, but it will last longer on a battery charge.

Explorerless File Management. You can manage files right inside your applications. The Save As and Open dialog boxes of Windows 95-savvy applications offer full drag-and-drop capabilities and the same right-click menu you get in Explorer or a standard folder window.

Seven Megabytes Richer. Looking to free up some disk space? Check your Windows\Help folder for AVI files--you could have as much as 7MB of them left over from Windows' tutorial. Unless you're using Windows 95 for the first time, you don't need them.

Good Storage With ClipBook. There's some amazing, little-known stuff on the Windows 95 CD-ROM--for instance, a better version of Clipboard. When you copy or cut something to the usual Clipboard, you lose the last thing that was there. Few people know it, but Windows 95 also has a ClipBook where you can save clippings and reuse them. To install it, insert the Windows 95 CD-ROM, and in the resulting window select Add/Remove Software. Go to the Windows Setup tab, click Have Disk, click Browse, and navigate your way to d:\Other\Clipbook (where d is your CD-ROM drive letter). With the clipbook.inf file the only thing in the file name box, click OK twice. Check ClipBook Viewer, then click Install. You'll now be able to open the program by selecting Start*Programs*Accessories*ClipBook Viewer.

Back Up Your Registry. All sorts of installation programs mess with the Windows Registry, so it's a good idea to make regular backup copies of the two files, user.dat and system.dat. Unfortunately, you can't use Explorer or DOS to copy these files.

Buried on the Windows 95 installation CD-ROM is a program that lets you make up to nine backups of your Registry. Just copy Cfgback.exe from the CD-ROM's \Other\Misc\Cfgback folder to c:\windows, and then copy the Cfgback.hlp file to c:\windows\help. To make a backup, double-click Cfgback.exe and follow the detailed instructions.

Keep Policy Editor Off Your Hard Drive. Don't want someone else changing your Windows environment? Use the System Policy Editor, located on the Win 95 installation CD-ROM. Don't put the Policy Editor on your own hard drive or you'll make it too easy for others to change your configuration. When you need it, pop in the CD-ROM, select Start*Run, and run the command d:\admin\apptools\poledit\poledit.exe, where d is your CD-ROM drive.

Windows 95 Resource Kit. If you need the inside scoop on Win 95's innards, take a look at the Windows 95 Resource Kit, hidden on the installation CD-ROM. There you'll find information on everything from configuring a dial-up server to how device drivers work. To read this help file, place the CD-ROM in your drive, browse to the d:\admin\reskit\helpfile folder (where d is your CD-ROM drive letter), and double-click win95rk.hlp. To make the Resource Kit a permanent part of your hard drive, copy win95rk.hlp and win95rk.cnt to your c:\windows\help folder, then create a Shortcut to win95rk.hlp.

Enhanced Printer Troubleshooter. Having trouble with your printer? The Windows 95 installation CD-ROM contains a printer troubleshooting program that may be able to help. Place the CD-ROM in your drive, browse to the d:\other\misc\epts folder (where d is your CD-ROM drive letter), and double-click epts.exe. The program will ask you what kind of problem you're having, then continue to ask questions and offer solutions until you solve your problem or give up.

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